altars

KRISTINA WINGEIER : Reflecting Your Inner Wisdom (part 3 of 3) Cultivating Intuition

Moon 9 // New Moon in Aries

Every one of us is intuitive. Intuition is a normal and natural part of being a human - we are hardwired to receive information from Spirit and the unseen realms. While it is true that some folks are born with a stronger intuitive aptitude than others, everyone has the ability to strengthen their intuitive capacities if they choose.

If the idea that you are intuitive is new territory for you it is important to remember that it takes time to build any skill; cultivating your intuition is no different. The key to building a relationship with this part of yourself is twofold. First, you must be OPEN to the idea that you are intuitive. Once you are open, you need to begin to TRUST any information you receive from your intuitive self. 

If you have not been in a relationship of trust with your inner knowing, your intuition might be speaking in a small, quiet voice. Once you are open to the idea that you are indeed intuitive and you are ready to begin trusting the information you are receiving, the next step is to make a commitment to creating a stronger relationship with your intuition. 

There are many schools and programs for intuitive studies. What I’m offering here are a few tips - simple things that you can do to begin opening and deepening your connection to Spirit in the form of your intuition. 

1. Begin by relaxing and releasing expectations as much as possible. Stress and anxiety will not lead to clarity. Do yourself a favor and enter into this exploration of your intuitive abilities with a playful attitude and a light heart.

2. Quiet your mind chatter on a regular basis. This is crucial, you MUST take the time and space to get quiet and begin to listen to that voice within. For some folks sitting in meditation works. For others, movement is what helps. Know what works for you and engage in this activity on a daily basis.

3. Ask for guidance from Spirit. You can imagine this guidance in whatever way works for you: from a divine being, angels, teachers, ancestors… or simply, the universe. When you have questions that you would like to receive guidance about - ask for a sign from your “support team” and trust that you will know the sign when you see it. Note - sometimes intuitive guidance doesn’t make rational and logical sense in the moment. You must be willing to go by what feels right rather than what looks right on paper.

4. Write down all the instances where you've recognized your intuition's guidance, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Note the outcomes of the situations as well - intuitive information is often made clear in hindsight. Tracking your asks and your answers will help you to validate the existence of your intuition. It will also help you to see how you perceive intuitive information, which channels flow easily for you. For instance, do you feel your intuition in your body? Do you see visions in your mind’s eye? Do you hear guidance in your inner ear? Do you just “know” things? Take notes about this as well.

5. Finally, give thanks - to your guides, to yourself, to the universe - for any and all intuitive guidance you receive. Appreciation only amplifies your connection to Spirit and to your intuition. 

Next month:
Moon 10 | New Moon in Taurus
Connecting with Spirit in Nature {part 1 of 3}
Plant Spirits


Kristina Wingeier is a Lunar Mystic & Soul Counselor offering services for women who are ready to {re}connect with their Inner Wisdom.

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GaLIA ALENA :: LUNA CARD STORIES

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I died as a mineral and became a plant;

I died as a plant and rose to animal;

I died as animal and I was a man.

Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Rumi

 

I’m in a holding pattern. I’m holding too much, way too much, I hold it so tight that I’m almost crushing it, crushing myself. And it feels so heavy.

Holding on too tight to things that are impossible to hold- life, this moment, today, the past. 

I’m looking for the strength to let it all go, to lay it down to rest, to release it for it is not mine to hold, it never was.

I’m looking for the love and trust to say goodbye, to let it all go.

 

I’m dreaming of a lightness. I’m dreaming of things moving through and out, of twirling and dancing with the moment instead of trying to hold it. I’m dreaming of rest, of feeling fully supported in each moment- I don’t need to do the supporting.

 

I shut my eyes, I feel the earth beneath my feet, she’s soft and warm and willing. She whispers to me to lay it all down. I hesitate, but I know its time. I kiss all the things I’ve been holding, holding way too tight, and I give them over to her, I give them over to the earth where they belong. I place them on the ground and she receives them with such grace, I feel her smiling. She takes it all.

 

I feel the space created, I feel expanded. I sit awhile listening to her sigh- the breath of mama earth. I watch all the things she supports, I see flowers bloom and fade, I see leaves sprout and fall, I see all the life she holds in her depths. I see seasons come and go- she inhales, and she exhales.

 

And she too is supported. The stars, the moon, the sun, they support her- moving rhythmically with her inhale and exhale and I barely in a breath.

 

I inhale, hold, release, let go, empty, expanded, expectant, I inhale and so it goes.

 

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” – Rumi

 

Transient gifts of such wonder. We die with each moment so we may live into the next.

 

A million deaths in this life, a million moments to treasure, to breath in and live into, to exhale and release. Bittersweet cycles of life that teach us the beauty in each delicate moment. The dying in order to be reborn, renewed. The releasing in order to be expanded.  The composting and fertilising, the transformation and metamorphosis, the spiralling, cyclic spinning of life. And in it all the humbling of ourselves into what is so ready to support us for we too are just an exhalation.

 

“Maybe death isn’t darkness, after all, but so much light wrapping itself around us.” ~ Mary Oliver


galia alena. visual poet. beauty unveiler, light huntress, moment caresser, visionary.

Join Galia for Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, Beloved Daughter, Goddess of Innocence and Growth, Hope

She intrigues me no end, this Queen of the Underworld and maiden Goddess of
Spring. Underestimated and over looked, dismissed as victim, child, pawn in the stories of others yet she is one who moves effortlessly between worlds, and dances in both the light and the shadow. She embodies the movements of life and death with such grace and isn’t scared to shadow mine. Dark feminine goddess, Goddess of Transformation, her gifts are as bountiful as the Spring she heralds.

♥  Shadow Mining
♥  Cycles
♥  Integration
♥  Rebirth & Transformation

We begin full moon in Scorpio Xx 

http://galiaalena.blogspot.com                           http://galiaalena.com

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DARCEY BLUE :: BEE BALM BLESSINGS in WINTER

THE MEDICINE JOURNEYS: NOURISHMENT AND RITUALS FROM THE PLANTS

Last July, in the warmth and abundance of summer’s glow, I was excitedly gathering and preserving all the Bee Balm I could get my little hands on.  It was overflowing in every drainage of my Northern Arizona forest home.  Its magenta firework flower heads waving gently in the wind, mingling with the white beauty of yarrow, and deep purple spikes of vervain.  They were taller and fatter than any I had ever seen in my 13 years of herbal wandering and medicine making.   For years, oh how I would pray and scour the land hoping to find a stand that was big enough to harvest a few handfuls of the blossoms.  But it was just at the edge of its range, not getting quite enough water to be abundant, it was, in pockets, but as drought wore on, I did see them growing smaller and fewer in Southern Arizona mountain lands.  

 

But it is a hardly mint family perennial, which does happen to transplant fairly well, and I was able to start a little patch in my garden.  But here, on the Colorado plateau, conditions are ideal for my friend bee balm.  And I was swimming in an abundance of it, with so much gratitude.  Because along with winter soups and hot steamy rooty herbal brews, bee balm is one of my go to winter allies, and oh- it is winter now! The freezing temperatures have taken all my herbs in the garden to sleep, and the land is covered over in snow, all I can pick these days is pinon and juniper (which do make nice brews themselves and are quite medicinal and wonderful in winter too!)  But the blessing of summer, is the abundance of winter stores....especially from my sweet and spicy friend Bee Balm.  Also known as Monarda, and sometimes goes by bergamot, oregano de la sierra, or sweet leaf, it is monarda fistulosa var. menthaefolia to which I am offering this ode.  There are many varieties of monarda, red flowered m. didyma grows in many gardens across the country, and there are countless other wild and spicy spp varying by region.

 

Just like its favored name in this region, oregano de la sierra, (mountain oregano), it has a delightful and strong oregano taste, aroma and spice.  And it is so lovely included in winter soups, stews, meat rubs, and sauces.  It is even delicious as a piquant and intense pesto when made in summer fresh, and frozen for later months.  But in addition to its yumminess as a wild spice and food, its medicinal value is unparalleled.   I could pare down my apothecary to just 10-15 herbs, and this is one I would NOT forgo.

 

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Bee Balm flower infused honey is a winter dream stirred into hot tea or water, soothing a sore throat, easing a cough or combating winter infections  I always make sure to have a jar of bee balm honey made from the bright pink flowers, and besides, who can resist something so beautiful?  You can make bee balm vinegar which is medicinal and tasty to sprinkle on beans and rice as well, leaving the beautiful flowers in the jar, or to use in salad dressings.


I also tincture up loads of the fresh leaves and flowers for an infection kicker outer.  Seriously, I haven’t ever seen this stuff not make a huge difference in varying forms of bacterial infections- be it a sinus infection, stomach flu, UTI, strep throat, and even vaginal yeast infections.  Much like the oregano oil sold in stores, it has many similar compounds and aromatic oils, but in a form that is far more tolerable to the body, and just as effective without burning your mucous membranes.  Typically if I’m working on treating infections at home, I take my herbal allies of choice hourly, or at the least every two.  Frequency is key here.  And i have noted over and over that infections treated effectively at home with herbs dramatically improve within 24-36 hrs, and fully resolve in about 4-5 days.  If that is not the case, then I tend to err on the side of caution and get medical assistance.  Especially if you are working with a client, friend or child.  Sometimes switching up the herbs or adding others to the protocol helps too.  For bee balm, 1 dropper hourly usually does the trick, and I often blend it with other helpers, like Alder, Usnea, Yarrow or Oregon Grape Root, or even with Elderberries if I’m dealing with a viral cold or flu.


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Bee Balm leaf and flower tea is just as effective at kicking the infectious bugaboos out, but the taste is quite strong and for many people unpalatable to intolerable, it is both spicy, hot, and medicinal tasting in tea blends.  Mixing it with lots of peppermint can take the edge off, but go slow with this form if you want to get your friends and family to love and use bee balm.  I generally include it in a warming, stimulating, sweat inducing diaphoretic tea blend at the first sign of a cold, sniffle, cough or flu.  Also when dealing with UTI or gut infections more fluids are effective.

1 pt  bee balm

1 pt yarrow

1 pt elderflower

3 pt peppermint

Steep 10 min and sip as hot as possible. Add honey if desired.


Raising the body temperature and supporting a healthy fever response is an effective way to treat winter illnesses.  Most bacterial and viral infections cannot continue to live and reproduce at temperatures higher than 99℉ in the body.  A fever is a sign the body is doing its job to combat the infection, not a sign that things are getting worse.  Granted, a fever that gets too hot can be uncomfortable (though the dangers may be overstated, check this out from Seattle Childrens Hospital), and using gentle diaphoretic herbs can help to open the pores and break the fever, bringing the temperature down just enough.  Gargling with the luke warm tea or even the tincture mixed in warm saline is a wonderful sore throat remedy, the whole plant is high in tissue numbing essential oils, similar to cloves.  I do also use the tea or tincture as a skin wash or compress for infections, boils, or fungus like athletes foot, ringworm, etc.  Also, used as a sinus steam, dried leaves crumbled into hot water, and inhaled, is an effective way to treat sinus woes, while taking tincture internally as well.


That all said, it’s one of those herbs you can just keep around, and put it in your food, and give yourself a sinus steam with, or add a muslin bag full in your bath, or just drizzle infused honey in your tea every day.  It’s safe, it’s rather yummy, and one of those plant friends you just want to play with every day or so during the cold season. It is a very heating herb, so folks who tend to get overheated or run hot may want to use it in moderation on a day to day basis.


 Every time I look at those beautiful honey blossoms or sprinkle the fragrant leaves in my soup, I remember the glow and abundance of summer, and it warms my spirit and my body.  And I’ve turned to it so often in my herbal practice and day to day living experiences with infections, and I’ve seen it do amazing work, reliably.  And if it is not a plant that grows near where you live, it is easy to grow in a garden space, and can take quite a bit of heat and drought and still be potent and will grow back each winter from the spreading roots.  Noting, that as a mint family plant, it does tend to spread, so give it a nice roomy patch to grow, and you’ll have medicine to last for years to come!


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Shamana Flora

Sacred Wildness ~  Earth Medicine ~ Sacred Life Ways ~ Herbal Apothecary ~ Retreats

Handcrafted Herbal Remedies from Shamana Flora Apothecary

 

 

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THE SACRED BLUEPRINT {part 2 of 3} :: THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR

Welcome to Moon 5: New Moon in Sagittarius. 

Today we are continuing our exploration of The Sacred Blueprint, a trinity of cyclical time measurements that give structure to our days, months and years. The rhythms of the earth and the rhythms of our bodies are deeply aligned - this is the original imprint of how we experience the passing of time.

 

It is very easy to lose track of these natural cycles in the thick fog of techno soup we live in. When you begin tracking the Sacred Blueprint with conscious intention, you are returning to a template of wholeness that was always there to begin with. 

{For MOONRISE|13 sisters, aligning with the Sacred Blueprint will give you a living and breathing framework to help you bring your lunar intentions and solar projections deeper into your bones, weaving cyclical time into the very fabric of your being}

 

The Wheel of the Year and the Four Seasons

 

“Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.” Juvenal

 

Unless you live near the equator, you will experience shifts and changes in climate and light throughout the course of a calendar year due to the trajectory of earth’s movement around the sun. We label these shifts the four Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. This demarcation leads us to believe that they are distinct from one another, and while it is true that the Solstices & Equinoxes mark the “official” beginnings and endings to a season, you’ll begin to notice that the seasons tend to overlap. Meaning, Winter will often arrive before the actual Winter Solstice. And Spring will come early some years. There is a lot of fluidity because Mother Nature, while quite ordered, is also free to change things up at her whim.

 

I’m sharing from the lens of my geographical experience, which is in the Northern Hemisphere - the SF bay area in California to be exact. Wherever you live will determine how the seasons manifest for you. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere you will be on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Northern Hemisphere - our spring/summer is your autumn/winter, etc.

 

I’m not a gardener, but I am a plant person. As I observe the life cycles of different plants in my yard and neighborhood, I am witnessing the rhythms of transformation over and over: beginning, blooming, ending and beginning again. The plants remind me that the only constant is change, and that attachment to any one state will lead to stagnation. This is a simple yet profound spiritual truth. Like the plants, the seasons offer me a model that mirrors my own process of internal and external growth, release and change.

 

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is a earth-based spirituality tradition celebrating the cycles of the earth/sun dance throughout a calendar year. On the Wheel of the Year, eight major seasonal holidays are celebrated: Winter & Summer Solstice, Spring & Autumn Equinox and four “cross-quarter” holidays which fall between the Solstices and Equinoxes. The exact dates of Solstices and Equinoxes may vary a bit from year to year; they generally fall somewhere between the 20th and the 23rd of the calendar month.

 

I use these earth/sun based holy days like points on a compass. For me, the seasons aren’t really about the climate, but the quality and amount of light that is ever changing - retreating, returning and retreating again. I contemplate and celebrate the themes of the season with simple gestures: lighting candles; gathering flowers, seed pods, pinecones and other treasures from the natural world to bring inside and put on my altars; eating local and seasonal foods from the farmer’s market. My energy levels, sleep patterns and food cravings tend to shift with the seasons as well.

 

Connecting with the flow of the Sacred Blueprint is an ancient dance. It is old, but not outworn. It is a remembrance. Whether or not you celebrate the earth based holy days, you can easily notice and acknowledge the way the light changes throughout the solar year. You can observe your own energetic flows rising and falling throughout both the lunar month and the solar year.

 

Taking it a step further, you can begin to create self-care practices that are tailored to your constitution and the elemental energies of whatever season you are in. For instance, I find myself engaging in the practice of warm oil massage more often in the autumn and winter. I tend to be cold and dry during these times, and so replenishing in my body what is lacking from my environment becomes a priority.

 

The Wheel of the Year and Psycho-Spiritual Development

 

When viewing the Wheel of the Year through the lens of psycho-spiritual development, we honor the connection between the seasons in nature and the corresponding seasons of our life, both literally and metaphorically. We’ll explore this concept deeper next Moon with the Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions. Until then, I’m sending you Solstice blessings as we celebrate the return of the light.

 

The Flow

  • Winter Solstice/Yule: December 20-23
  • Imbolc/Candlemas: February 1/2
  • Spring Equinox/Eostar: March 20-23
  • Beltane/Mayday: April 30/May 1
  • Summer Solstice/Lithia:June 20-23
  • Lammas/Lughnasad: July 31/August 1
  • Fall Equinox/Mabon: September 20-23
  • Halloween/Samhain: October 31/November 1

 

The Wheel of the Year aligns beautifully with the Lunar Cycle 

 

  • New Moon = Winter Solstice/Yule
  • Crescent Moon = Imbolc/Candlemas
  • First Quarter Moon = Spring Equinox/Ostara
  • Gibbous Moon = Beltane/MayDay
  • Full Moon = Summer Solstice/Litha
  • Disseminating Moon = Lammas/Lughnasadh
  • Last Quarter Moon = Fall Equinox/Mabon
  • Balsamic Moon = Halloween/Samhain

 

Coming next month:

Moon 6 | New Moon in Capricorn

The Sacred Blueprint{part three of three}
The Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions


Kristina Wingeier is a Lunar Mystic, Soul Counselor, and Intuitive Healer. Her services include: Soul Counsel Depth CoachingIntuitive Tarot Readings, and The Conscious Empath Sessions: Re-Patterning Energetic BoundariesHer e-course, The Conscious Empath // Foundation Sessions begins with the New Moon in Aquarius, 2/8/16. Find out more information and/or sign up HERE.

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GALIA ALENA :: 13 MOONS READING


>>> Dark {Shaman’s} Moon: 25th of November (Sagittarius) <<<

Full moon in Gemini

Moon Energy: Transformation, shadow work and releasing the past, gratitude, reflection and integration.

 


Our dear friend Galia pulls cards in deep ceremony, often from her garden in Australia, & always invoking the 5 elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth & Spirit. Her readings are sometimes joined by animal guides, while she pulls from many years of intuitive practice with the Holy Trinity of Animal, Plant & Stone. For those looking to work with the lunar cycles in 2016, her readings will bring an important mirror to the path.

Get Galia's personalized reading for the year, 13 Moons, including a PDF of your reading, audio & a photograph of the cards drawn, here

xx, Maya 


visual poet. beauty unveiler, light huntress, moment caresser, visionary.
Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people peel back the layers to experience the intense beauty of each moment allowing access to both their intuitive wisdom and a deeper connection to spirit and self. 
    

http://galiaalena.blogspot.com                           http://galiaalena.com

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{THE LIVING HOME} VIGNETTE :: AN A-FRAME ON THE ROCKS. SPINNING CRYSTAL. SOUP.

Leaving our deck for the bears, it's all quartz & spirals. And soup, in bread bowls.

Crushing chopped garlic, leeks & scallions against hot butter. Topping with a pound of parsnip & potato. Simmering with a couple cubes of organic boullion + a shot of cream.

  images :: tumblr

images :: tumblr

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CREATING AN ALTAR :: CULTIVATING A PERSONAL PRACTICE {part 2 of 13} with KRISTINA WINGEIER

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moon two | new moon in virgo
creating an altar

 

Welcome to Moon 2 | New Moon in Virgo. This lunar cycle I am sharing one of my favorite things in the world, the practice of altar creation.

 

Altars have been used by cultures all around the world for thousands of years. Simply stated, an altar is a place where you can offer your appreciation for all of the helping spirits in your life. It is a physical and energetic vortex to call in and acknowledge the presence of the sacred.

 

Since the sacred is with you wherever you are, it isn’t necessary to create an altar in order to connect with Spirit. However, I’ve found altar creation to a beautiful and supportive act of co-creation.

 

Altars are visual and kinesthetic reminders of what is sacred to me. I like to think of my altars as gathering places; they reflect the act of gathering my energy into the present moment. When I spend time with an altar, whether in creation or in contemplation, it is an invitation for my soul and Spirit to align.

 

An altar can be in a small space (on a shelf for example), encompass an entire room or it can even be outside. It can be as simple as a candle that you light each day. An altar can be temporary or it can be a place you return to again and again. You can create a new altar each month, for the change of season, every new or full moon, for cultural and/or religious holidays, at the beginning of each week, every new year… the possibilities are truly endless and dictated only by how Spirit is moving through you at any given moment.

 

An altar can have a theme or particular focus like abundance, love, etc., or it can just represent whatever growth you are experiencing at the moment. You can dedicate your altar to one particular representation of the divine (the goddess, an angel, an animal, a spiritual teacher) or it can be devoted to many aspects of the sacred. You can create an altar alone, with another person, or with a group of people. Whatever works for you is exactly right.

 

I have altars all over my home. I also have a mini altar in my car. Some of my altars last for months and some last only a few days. The altar in my office/yoga space is my main altar - the one I interact with when doing meditation or focused spiritual practice -  but I attend to each altar as I feel called. Little things, like bringing in new treasures from the outside world, rearranging crystals, replacing burned down candle, or simply taking a moment to ground and center myself as I pass them by throughout my day.

 

How to create an altar

 

Note: there are many ways to create an altar, some with very formal instructions. I create my altars much more free form, following my intuition and the callings of Spirit, and this isthe practice I am sharing with you here.

 

Creating an altar is a sacred practice that will feed your soul. I encourage you to pick one place to create a “main” altar that you will be working with over an extended period of time. When you gather at the same place time and time again, you begin to build up the sacred energy in that particular space. If you feel inspired to create more than one altar follow your desire.

 

It is important to find a space that offers you easy access so that you can spend time and interact regularly with your altar. Approach the activity of creating your altar free of distractions, when you have some time to focus your energy and intention on your creation.

 

Speaking of intention, it’s nice to begin by clarifying the intention you wish your altar to represent and amplify. You can write your intention on a piece of paper and put it on your altar if you like. Always use affirmative language with your intentions, so that you are filling your body/mind with positivity each time you read, speak or think about your intention. And make sure that your intention is about YOU and your life, not focused on somebody else.

 

That said, I personally create many altars without a clearly stated intention… letting Spirit move through me and trustingin the process… so again, do what feels right to you.


Next, gather some items that you would like to place on your altar. Some ideas: candles, photographs, stones/crystals, feathers, flowers/plant material, statues or figurines, jewelry, incense, smudge stick, oracle cards, etc. Remember, your altar is an external version of the Sacred Space that you already are, so choose items that are pleasing to your eye and soul.


Altar creation, step-by-step

(feel free to deviate as your soul desires…)


  • Ground yourself and clear your energy field in whatever way feels right to you.
  • Get clear on your intention as you begin to create your altar.
  • It’s nice to begin with a clean surface - wipe down or dust the area you are using for your altar. 
  • If you are working outside, you might want to sweep or rake the area where you will be working.
  • If you are using an altar cloth or scarf, begin by placing it where you would like your altar to be.
  • “Cleanse” each object before placing it on your altar. I like to use a sacred plant like white sage or palo santo to smudge the objects and myself.
  • If you have one, you can focus on your intention as you place each item on your altar. This infuses the energy of your intention into each item.
  • Call on your helping spirits as you place the objects - guides, angels, teachers, etc. They love it when you remember to ask for guidance and give thanks.
  • After you have placed all of your objects on your altar, take a moment to ask for clear guidance on cultivating your intention if you have one. Or just spend some time in connection with Spirit manifesting through your creation.
  • Relax and have fun - there is no wrong way to do this!


I encourage you to spend some time at your altar each day, even if you only have a few minutes. Contemplating your intention, quieting your mind, making offerings, lighting a candle - all of these activities will nourish your soul and amplify the energy of your sacred space.


Next month - Moon 3 | New Moon in Libra, Creating a Ceremony or Ritual for your Unique Self


Kristina Wingeier is a Lunar Mystic, Soul Counselor, and Intuitive Healer. Her services include: Soul Counsel Depth CoachingIntuitive Tarot Readings, and The Conscious Empath Sessions: Re-Patterning Energetic BoundariesHer e-course, The Conscious Empath // Foundation Sessions begins with the New Moon in Aquarius, 2/8/16. Find out more information and/or sign up HERE.

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FOR OUR GRANDMOTHERS. BY MARYBETH BONFIGLIO

As the summer sun begins to wane, I think of death.

Not just because the moon begins to reign and the leaves are already falling on the ground in layers of crunch, but because I am taken deeper into my own mythologies. I am asked to look within and sit face to face with the stories I have been telling myself in the season of this sun. 

As I go in, I get closer to all things.  What was laid to rest behind me.  And what is laying itself out in front of me.  And where I am right now.

I get closer to who I am, but also closer to those whose bones and blood have brought me here.  I get to listen to the grandmother’s song inside me. Awakening. 

* * * 

I have never met my grandmothers.  This is a loss I cannot explain and do not have words for. I hear stories that my many siblings tell.  The red nails. The red lips. The not a lick of English. The way heels clicked across the hardwood floors. Ruffled aprons and housecoats..  Homemade provisions. 6 layer high birthday cakes. Shrines to the mother everywhere. The tell me stories in soundbytes and memories.

But I never knew them. I never knew the smell of their clothes.  The loose skin around their elbows.  The inflections in their voices.  I never knew the love of a mother who gave birth to my mother. Or who held me in her own womb when I was a fully formed egg in my mothers growing body.

There is a hole in my heart. I won’t lie. It’s a gap in my story.

I always wanted a grandmother.

A grandma.  To love me. To spoil me.  To teach me the ways of the Old Country. 

I feel like knowing them would have helped me figure out along the way who I am. Why I am the way I am.  There is a story missing from my blood that holds the key to mystery.  Who were these women? Who were the ones that came before them? Before them? Who did they sing songs to? What did they stir over the fire? How did they heal? Why did they flee? Who did they leave behind? 

My oldest daughter is arriving closer to the time of her own blood. Her own moon. She steps into the spiral that leads her to womanhood and I want to give her ancestry.  I want to give her stories.  I will pull them from behind me so she can carry on the magic pass it on. And on. And on. These stories will continue to heal. 

As the daughter of first generations who were trained very well to let go of the Old Country and embrace La Merica with pride, the stories of my blood got very lost, hidden, silenced.  I always felt I carried the unbearable weight of not knowing. 

I wanted to know. Something. I didn’t even know what I wanted to know.

But I knew there was something looking for me. And I was looking for it.  We are looking for each other. 

One time I went to a psychic or medium or whatever you want to call them and it was when I was really ‘in it’ with the baby/breastfeeding years.  And she said: You have a very strong line of women behind you.  Some of them are your bloodline.  Some of them are your lifeline. But they are there. And they want you to know them.  They want you to hear the songs they are singing to you and your children.  These are your grandmothers.  And you are meant to work with them.

This is the work of our blood, the bones and land and water of where we come from. This matters. It does.  Even if we have to make it up.  Even if we to re-tell the stories.  These stories matter.

We all need the grandmothers.

The grandmothers want to be heard.

The grandmothers are the ones who are guiding us into our new state of being. Of living. Of honoring the moon, and the daughters, of ourselves, and of our wombs. The Earth.

This is something I believe in fully.

I believe now is the time.

* * *

When I decided that honoring the roots, creating future roots, was very important to me, I began to learn everything I could about the land my grandmother’s were born on.  One on a mystery Island and the other against the Baltic sea.  These places held unseen treasures and scrolls and temples of stories and myth and uprising and family.  But it was all left behind for a new and better world.

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Instead of relying on the real thing, because there really isn’t a real thing-  {the story of the grandmothers of our bones is infinite and constantly flexible} - I just dove into myth.  I dove into how I felt.  All the reasons I am who I am because of the women before me.  I told myself stories of their lives as young girls, as lovers, as birthing mothers.  I tried to transport myself to their original soil by devouring every ounce of Sicilian {which involves Syrian, Greek, African and Egyptian} as well as Lithuanian/Polish history that I could find.  Myths, tales, legends, trade routes, foods, riots, religions, every last bit of it.  We have all been colonized.  We have all lost our roots, the anchoring into the Original Medicine we were promised was taken from us.  We have all been stolen from and the ways of the grandmother have been appropriated, bought, sold, and re-told as lies or else hidden so far underground and the tools are unknown. But not really. We have them. We are the tools to unearth the healing.

We are here to tell the stories of the unheard.  To be a voice for the pilgrimage of the righteous feminine that came before us.  We are the ones the Grandmothers have been waiting for.  We are the ones that are on the journey of becoming grandmothers ourselves.  How will we hold that space?  We must heal and learn from the roots before us.  This blood holds great wisdom.

* * *

The joto {a term from the African continent, that I feel speaks so well to this} is a layer of spiritual intelligence handed down from ancestors to us.  The joto is like the guardian spirit of the person living, tapping into the bones and blood of what has come before.  I believe that ancestor reverence, especially for the feminine bloodline, holds an important place for the future of our new belief systems and for the birthing a new world into being, a world that heals the earth and heals our wombs, a world so good that we know it can be true.

I believe that working with our bloodlines, our motherlines {and fatherlines} is crucial for releasing the karma of what we hold that is not ours as well as for tapping into the most powerful, protective and healing magic that is ours.

Working with Grandmother energy is learning to work with what is existing at another level.  We ask both for their guidance and help them release anything they carry so they can move into infinite bliss, communicate with clarity, and enjoy the re-birthing process. We can actually play a part in calling something ancient into a new being. Allowing the release into the great cosmic ash.

And more than anything, we tap into the feminine at levels beyond the physical, but that once were physical.  Our grandmother line may indeed be the blood that still courses in our bodies, but it may be blood from other sources, it may not be genetically familial to us.   But does it matter? We are all related, we are all relations, we are all connected- through the moon + the womb. Don’t get stuck on whose blood is guiding you.  We are One Blood.

Work on reconnecting the roots and aligning yourself with The Grandmothers who are ready to help us help ourselves heal the world ::


|| Altar creating || {very simple}

The Light of The Grandmother


Using a small or large space, trace a circle and in the center place a photo of a grandmother, an elder, a wise women that you long to tap into, to listen to, to speak with, to find wisdom from.  You can form a true circle around the photos with rocks or other material, or you can keep it energetic.

On the four corners give offerings in alignment with their culture.  Find out their drinks, their food, their soil, their elements.  This may be the same as your own blood, but maybe you are pulled to another type of grandmother-line.  Spend time at this altar and kneel in front of it, close your eyes, and breathe.  Listen. Listen. Listen. 

It is that simple.  This is your space of ancestry work.  You can always get more elaborate.  {If you want to find our more you can sign up for my newsletter at marybethbonfiglio.com to continue to learning more involved altars and ritual around this work}


|| Writing + Living Roots ||


*Make a list of all the deceased women in your family that you can remember by name.  This list can also be included on your Light Of The Grandmother altar.

*Make a list of deceased women that you honor and respect, that you feel are teachers to you, regardless if related to you.  Add these to your altar as well.

*Write down any stories or memories that you have been told or heard about your motherlines {your motherlines also includes your father’s motherline}

*Find elders that you feel a connection with.  Interview them. They may be family members or maybe they are not.  Listen to these stories as wisdom of the bones.

*Tell your daughter a story about the wise women in you life, a story of a grandmother or an aunt, or a relation.  Or find a story from your culture {or beyond} and share it with your daughter or with a child, relation or not. 

*Spend time writing stories about the things in your space.  Where do some pieces you hold and display come from? What are their stories? Tell the stories about the women who may or may not be connected to each piece.  I am talking art, decor, clothes, nature outside.  This is a creative writing endeavor, there is no right or wrong.  Write poetry about what is around you and connect it all to the great mothers.

*Write a story about a women who is spiritually with you.  You may know her.  You may not.  But you feel her.  Who is she? Give her a name.  Give her a purpose.  Give her your time and your honor. 


May you and your relations always communicate in peace and honor.  May the bloodlines be healed.  May you find your motherline teachers. May the moon be revered.  May the waters be respected.  May the Earth be given more life.  May the Grandmothers be heard.  Blessed will it all be.


MaryBeth Bonfiglio

writer. mother. speaker. creator. 

 amulet co-publisher. earth-trained herbalist. ancestry schooled tarot reader. co-host of a podcast about love.

 

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