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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in healing

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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In my previous post I talked about how I was contacted by the director of pastoral services at Duke University Hospital.  Once a month, the chapel invites speakers from various faith traditions to talk to doctors, nurses, social workers, and other hospital staff.  The director had contacted me almost a year ago, asking me to give a short presentation focusing on a Pagan perspective on health, healing, life, and death. 

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Red Rock Power Spot

Continuing my story of my personal journey, I found Red Rock Park to be a healing place. Red Rock Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, is a popular hiking, rock climbing, and picnicking destination where one can view petroglyphs. I often meditated in a shallow cave I named the Yoda Hole. The trailhead to the rock climbing area with many small caves is on the first overlook of the scenic road in the park.

The image that accompanies this post is a photo of the the Yoda Hole. It was pristine when I used to visit it for healing in the 90s, but had been defaced with graffiti at the time I took this picture. The circular design in the middle of the cave roof is natural, and I liked to position my head under it when I meditated. 

 A quote from my memoir:

     “When my feet touched the red rock I felt power go through me.  It was like plugging into a socket.  My energy level skyrocketed, and I found my pace quickening.  I walked right out onto the promontory of calico stone and sat down, my hands caressing the deep red stone.  At the same time that I realized this was the first stirring of psychic power I had felt in a long time, and I reveled in the feel of the power coursing through me from the rock, I also wondered what it was in the rock that set it apart and made it powerful.  Was the red color from iron, like rust?  If so, was what I felt as magical power actually a magnetic field?"

The red color is, in fact, from iron. Meditating in the Yoda Hole and hiking in the park improved my health. I became able to sense other minds again, including the gods. The gray lifted from me, and there was color in the world again.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_carrom-balance-board.jpgHere's a bit of "belly magic" for you.

The story begins years ago, when I sprained my left ankle, really badly.

The chiropractor suggested I go to the physical therapy supply store and buy a wobble board. The idea was to step side-to-side on this miniature see-saw, a wooden plank perched upon a cylinder, strengthening the tendons in the ankle I had damaged.

b2ap3_thumbnail_balanceboard-1.pngReluctant to pay the high-end price for this gizmo, I stepped into the nearest toy store and found a toy balance board brightly colored in blue and red, complete with a built-in maze game, actually a simple labyrinth.

The Woman's Belly Book describes how labyrinths relate to the body's center, the belly's center:

The labyrinth defines a path into and out from center. As a sacred symbol, it maps a journey from the everyday world to the secret core of existence. It charts a path to the World Navel, the point through which the life force emerges to revitalize the world.

From ancient times, cultures throughout the world from the Arctic to Africa have made labyrinths in a variety of designs. The labyrinth appears on cave walls, stone slabs, grave markers, pottery, coins, and the bellies of clay figurines.... Although many associations accompany the design, in some traditions the labyrinth clearly signifies a woman’s belly. The path through the pattern traces the soul’s return to the womb and its emergence in rebirth.

I recently took my balance board out of its box to exercise my ankles and keep them flexible. Stepping side to side, I tried getting the game's yellow ball from the labyrinth's outer channel into the center. No matter how I tried, I couldn't do it. Swishing as it spun, the ball swung around too fast for me to maneuver it through the narrow gateway into the next inner circle.

So I gave up and just played around with initiating the side-to-side motion with different parts of my body: feet, knees, hips, shoulders. Left, right; left, right.

Left, right; left, right: Initiating the movement with my hips made the motion smooth, almost effortless.

Eventually, I no longer heard the sound of the yellow ball circling around. I looked down and saw the sphere had come to rest in the labyrinth's center. With absolutely no effort on my part.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Susan, thanks for your comment, and what wonderful work you're doing with labyrinths! And yes, I believe The Woman's Belly Book a
  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thank you for this! As a longtime labyrinth walker, a labyrinth facilitator, I'm always looking for new ways to talk and think abo
Letting Go: The Practice from Hostage to Hopeful

My daily tarot card had been a series of reversals. The Lovers in reverse, the Death card in reverse, everything pointing to letting go of a past that seems to hold me hostage. Hostage to the doubt of not being good enough. Hostage to a body I did not wish to have. Hostage to a heartache that never seemed to abate. Hostage to past mistakes where the universe had let go, and yet I still lived in a vortex of fear, subterfuge, and suffering.

How many of us are living our lives like this?  Were we are a captive hostage attached to suffering!  Why is letting go, and moving on so hard? And how can we develop that into a stillness of heart and mind to lead us from suffering and into sweetness?

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_turtlebat_land.jpgMy friend Denise Ostler, a.k.a. Merri Beacon, writes tiny stories set in Turtlebat Land that she calls Fairytale Medicine: "funny stories in an enchanted land where empowering events create feelings of peace, freedom and self-worth."

The stories are truly medicine, slipping through the fairy tale portal-template already installed in our brains to open up possibilities for long-sought healing.

All of her stories are wonderful. "From War to Peace" is a lovely dose. It's particularly timely and — guess what? — it features a big dollop of belly-centric wisdom.

The story begins as, once upon a time, a man named Ergo is chronically denying his chronic anger. Confronted by his wife, he storms out of the house, runs through the village and on and on into the forest until he has to stop and sleep.

The story continues:

Ergo awoke the next morning and started marching. When the sun was high in the sky, he walked into a little clearing where a wooden shack was built. A sign hung on the doorpost that read “HEALER”.

I bet he doesn’t get much business, thought Ergo to himself. The thought struck him as being quite funny and he laughed out loud. Pretty soon he was shrieking with laughter until he had tears in his eyes. A man came out the door of the shack and smiled at Ergo who was now rolling on the ground holding his belly. “Help me,” he gasped. “I can’t stop laughing.”

“It’s because you have so many unshed tears,” said the healer. Ergo stopped laughing abruptly and sat confused on the ground. The healer gave Ergo his hand and led him inside, placing Ergo in a big chair covered with blankets. Next to the chair was a huge glass globe sitting on a little table.

“What is that thing?” asked Ergo.

The story continues here.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Last May, right after I finished graduate school and earned my master’s degree in social work, I was contacted by the director of pastoral services at Duke University Hospital. This fine gentleman has been working to put together interfaith lectures and dialogues, and asked if I’d be willing to offer a Pagan perspective to the mix.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It was one year ago today that my life changed forever.  It didn't change as much as it could have changed, and for that I'm grateful, but nothing has been the same since this day one year ago.  My own error resulted in my falling 10 feet onto the thin edge of the control panel of a spare washing machine.  I broke 6 ribs at both ends and broke my left shoulder blade in half.  I spent several days in the hospital, 2 months off work, and 6+ months in physical therapy.  I would never have made it through all of this without amazing support from my friends, family, and co-workers.  I am still paying off medical bills, but I am alive and healthy.  I am nearly back to the level I was before the accident (and in some ways I am actually healthier).  It still amazes me that less than 2 months after the accident I climbed on a plane and flew to San Jose to do my 3 workshop presentations at PantheaCon.  I owe thanks to many of the people at that event as well.  While lurching around with broken bones, trying to haul incense making supplies from one workshop to the next, a lot of people I'd never met helped me haul things around and set up or tear down.  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED IN THE LAST YEAR.

But there was more help given to me than that and I want to try and thank as many people as I can from the Pagan Community.  In less than 1 day after my accident I was able to get online and, very slowly, type a message with one hand.  I sent out that email letting folks know what happened and asking for any spare energy to help me with the extraordinary pain as well as energy to heal.  The response was overwhelming and nearly immediate.  Within an hour of sending that message, I began to feel the energy pouring in.  I know that there were groups or covens who sent me energy and that was an immense kindness that truly made a difference.  Even more surprising was the energy that continued to come to me for weeks, much of it being sent by Solitary Pagans who had never met (or even heard of) me and who lived hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  That Community of Solitaries, without any coordination whatsoever, continued this outpouring of love and energy for months.

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