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Feeling the Embrace of Divine Darkness

The Solstice with its longest night–and this whole season of More-Night-Than-Day–is a time that we have been conditioned to fear and resist. Our instincts tell us we’re vulnerable to what we “can’t see,” and because we’ve neglected the psychic/spiritual senses that could allow us to “see” and therefore be safe in any circumstances, we have created an enormous culture of Dark-Avoidance.

We’ve made some real beauty out of our insistence on “light in the darkness.” The candles and holiday lights twinkling inside and outside our homes are often truly inspiring to see. My daughter and I walked the Solstice Stroll at Kruckeberg Gardens yesterday evening, and the light sculptures woven through the trees and shrubs were lovely, even ethereal, gently uplifting to our souls.

But we were both very aware that what made those lights so very lovely was the velvety “blackdrop” of the night that surrounded them. And we allowed ourselves to be enfolded by the stillness, the serenity, the deeply Divine embrace of that velvety Darkness as a beauty of Its own, a gift in and of Itself.

And what if you could simply, trustingly, surrender to the soothing embrace of Divine Darkness? What if you could allow yourself to fully feel the healing power within the “peace and quiet” of the long nights of this season?

In fact, what if this whole season is an invitation from the Divine to experience the deep messages from this tender, nurturing Stillness that can only be perceived when you turn off the busy brightness of manufactured light? What if, by surrendering to the quiet embrace and healing of the Divine Darkness, you replenish your own inner Light?

The Divine Darkness is, in a very profound sense, like a womb of rebirth for us all, and just as many people celebrate one wondrous Birth at this time of year, you can also experience the power of your own soul’s rebirth now–IF you allow yourself to fully relax into the darkness, both physically and spiritually, and receive the renewal that awaits you there.

As you surrender, and open the gifts of the Divine Darkness, I would love to hear what you receive from this other side of Divinity. These gifts are to be shared, and just as I love sharing mine with you, I also love receiving your gifts of insight and transformation! I look forward to how we’ll enrich each other in our journey through this season of Divine Darkness….

Velvety Dark Divine Blessings,

Your Unboxed Oracle


The Healing Space Between




I’ve been following, and talking about, and LIVING, the recent 3-month SuperMoon cycles and their energetic effects. For a bit of review, see my website post.

The SuperMoon “pull up and stir” of old emotions was pretty wild for me–made it a little difficult to take my own advice and “enjoy the energies” :/

It felt to me like a tractor beam pulling up all kinds of flotsam and jetsam from the bottom of my subconscious–old memories, old emotional “triggers” for fear and grief. It was a big bunch of energetic YUCK and chaos, and it took a lot of work with my spiritual tools and outside support to process the intense feelings and keep myself (sort of) peaceful.

I hope you did as well or better in navigating the turbulence and high tides of the SuperMoons! And now, for a little breathing space and healing space….

[Pause HERE to relax and breathe a moment]

…because next comes the infamous Mercury Retrograde!

(The Pre-Retrograde Shadow started 9/14, so we’re already easing into the Retrograde period, which starts October 4.)

Let me just say here that while I am NOT an astrologer, I have learned through some tough experiences that I truly need to pay attention to astrological cycles and their large-scale energy patterns, because when I DIDN’T pay attention, I went clunking and crashing through them, which felt really bad and caused me a lot of unnecessary stress. So I’m sharing this hard-earned wisdom with you to help you flow instead of clunk 😉

This site gives a clear and very helpful overview of the whole Retrograde cycle and its personal applications.

Mercury Retrograde is actually a beautifully logical follow-up to the SuperMoon cycles. The SuperMoons dredged up much of our “shadow” material and strewed it about, exposed and messy, all over our inner landscapes and daily lives. Now, Mercury Retrograde invites us to truly examine this messy stuff and release/clear all that can be cleaned up this time around–so we can replace the mess with Divine order. Sort of like “cleanliness makes room for godliness.”

Remember, these are CYCLES here, so we are not expected to reach total pristine purity after any one of them. Rather, we are to spiral upward with each cycle, examining and cleaning up whatever aspects of our “messes” are most exposed each time.

So these next couple of weeks are a sort of healing space between the two cycles, a time to both rest/reflect AND begin some inner cleanup work. I’ll be sharing some processes to help you in self-care, as well as offering my support in special ways through my services.

Here’s to flowing and not clunking through this next cycle!

September Energy Outlook: Self-Care + Support = Smooth(er) Sailing

Wow! I don’t know about you, but August for me was “the best of times, the worst of times” (apologies to Charles Dickens). Best birthday cake EVER, followed by most intense personal challenge EVER. I’m coming out of the woods on the challenge now, and I am frankly bowled over by the spiritual help I received to take care of every single need along the way. Whoever’s been sending positive energy and intention my way, I’m here to tell you IT MADE A DIFFERENCE. And thank you ❤
And now, here we are in September–a new month with new promises (and probably new challenges). Not to overemphasize the SuperMoon, but September holds the final Moon phase of the three-month SuperMoon cycle for 2014. So we can expect a final round of SuperMoon energy impact that intensifies each phase of the Moon’s cycle this month, plus a sort of “bonus” culmination of all that the three-month cycle has brought up for us.
As you may have learned from other SuperMoon info, the Moon has a metaphysical or energetic influence on our emotions and intuition. As part of the overall Pluto/Uranus square “clean up your act” astrological emphasis, I’ve felt the SuperMoon cycles putting out a sort of energetic tractor beam that has relentlessly hauled old, painful or negative emotional patterns up to the surface of our awareness, along with a heightened intuitive awareness of the emotions of OTHERS. So if you are energetically sensitive or empathic, you are not only getting a megadose of your OWN stuff to deal with, you are also getting a megadose of the conflicts, pain, and resistance from OTHERS working on THEIR stuff! Yowza. Not fun. And it’s just going to keep happening this month. But stay tuned for the good news!
The impact is major–but the intent is benevolent, if you can take a moment to step back from the swamp of emotions and crazy thoughts, and tune in to Spirit’s guidance. We are being called, again relentlessly, to clear out what has obviously NOT been working for us energetically and emotionally. Only by releasing this energetic gunk can we open up our inner spaces to receive the pure, loving Divine energy that is supposed to be in us instead, so we can create lives that truly fulfill our soul callings–and that actually feel a lot better in the body, too!
So how do you get there from here? Two fundamentals will make for smoother sailing this September:
==> Self-Care–managing your own energy and keeping it clean throughout each day
==> Support–getting new input and healing energy to clear out old stuff more quickly and easily
About self-care–one thing I’ve learned from my dance training AND my spiritual practice is that you never stop needing to work the basics. In dance, you never stop needing those warmup exercises–and you often need to fine-tune or change them up so they help you more as your skills develop. In spiritual practice, same thing. You never stop needing to follow basic spiritual or energetic hygiene routines for yourself, and you may need to rework or upgrade your techniques at this time to stay afloat in the sea of everyone’s stuff.
And about support–there’s only so much anyone can do for him/herself. Humans are social creatures, and we truly NEED the contact and new energy that others can bring to us. A trusted friend or healer can do wonders to get us out of our own mental ruts and into a new state of being that allows change to happen with much more ease. There are many types of no-cost or low-cost energy support available. Ask to be guided to what will help you right where you are, and opportunities WILL show up for you!
Here’s what I’ve found most helpful to me in navigating the often stormy waters of the recent SuperMoons:
1. Frequent and regular grounding, in my personal elements. That’s the first step in my 5-step psychic safety process, and it is essential to discharge your own excess energy/emotions as well as those of others that worm their way into your fields. This step and the whole 5-step process is in my miniguide for subscribers,  SpiritWalking 101. Click here to visit my site, and sign up on the right to receive your free copy.
Note: to remind myself about grounding, and to give myself added support, I keep a grounding talisman with me–a stone from the local beach (I’m finding these days that a plain rock is often better for basic grounding than a crystal). Depending on your preferred Earth elements, you may want a different talisman with you to help keep you grounded.
2. Honoring my body with good food, rest, simple movement–and laughter! I can handle tough stuff much better if I’m rested and fed and had a bit of exercise–all truly basic, but often neglected in times of stress. Plus, I REALLY need to read/see/hear stuff that makes me laugh or at least smile. The physical benefits of laughter are well-documented, and laughing is a powerful way to get back into the present moment–the ONLY place of true power.
3. Seeking and taking in what is beautiful around me. I have talked with many weary warriors, both physical and non-physical, and I find that what they most need to restore their souls is a fresh encounter with Beauty in whatever form they most appreciate. The gifted writer John O’Donohue wrote a book titled Beauty: the Invisible Embrace. And that is how beautiful music and landscapes feel to me. Nurture your own soul with beauty, and you will feel revived physically and spiritually as well.
4. Receiving healing energy from others whenever possible. I’ve found some places in Seattle that offer spiritual healing clinics or special events on a donation basis or even as a gift to the community. And I have had profound benefits from these healing times. Also, I regularly seek distant healing from others who offer it to me–and that has made a significant difference–subtle and gentle, but definitely apparent!

My F*REE  distant healing session for all subscribers is coming this Sunday, September 7, from 6-7 pm PDT. So once you subscribe and opt in, energy support is on the way to help you with the Full Moon and final Moon phases this month! At least one good dose of support! 🙂

But I’d like you to consider this:
What if you could get DAILY energy support, to help you KEEP your energy clear, and also continually bring in more Divine energy for long-term, gentle healing? What if those old patterns could simply be melted away by a continuous flow of healing energy calibrated just for you?
If that feels as good to you as it does to me, check out this NEW possibility now open to you! And let me know what comments or questions you might have about it or about distant healing in general. I’d love to share with you!

The 2014 SuperMoons–Enjoy the Energies!

I always love getting energy/spirit news from alert subscribers, and the August SuperMoon prompted two of them to notify me of the energetic and astrological significance of this unique Moon moment.

Since I’m not an astronomer, I really like learning more about the planets so I understand what I’m seeing. Click here for some astronomical info on the SuperMoons of summer 2014.

AND, since I’m also not an astrologer, I especially appreciate astrological insights from subscribers or others on the energetic implications of planetary movement and activity. Click here for several astrologers’ interpretations on The August SuperMoon.

As always, stay open to the insights of others, but listen most attentively to your OWN inner promptings and knowings about what this SuperMoon energy is meant to bring to you.

Often, a full moon energy activates and empowers culminations–which can mean releases of what is old, stagnant or toxic, AND/OR completions and manifestations of what has been waiting to emerge. This would be “supercharged” by the SuperMoon, so if you are sensitive you will feel a sort of “gravitational pull” (like a tide!) toward either releasing the old or finishing something new. Plus, you may also be feeling extra “stirred up” by emotions or memories that trigger you into either releasing old energies or completing an energetic/spiritual task.

I’m definitely in “release” mode–some very old, very toxic early childhood conditioning that keeps me feeling constantly afraid that I am “failing” somehow (either not doing enough good stuff or doing something “wrong”) has come up to my awareness to process and really, truly LET GO of so I can act from my inner spiritual truth instead of my family programming. So I’ll be doing some very specific inner work–including Soul Contract Revision, Karma Clearing,  Akashic Record review, and some focused Tarot readings along with my usual detoxing procedures! Can’t wait to see what I find I REALLY believe after this! 😀

So what can YOU do to best harmonize with and enjoy this SuperMoon?

1. Go out and SEE it! 🙂 It will truly look spectacular–I got some views yesterday over the Seattle skyline that were breathtaking. Putting your attention and appreciation on the Moon helps reconnect you with the wonders of Nature and our Earth, which can open your heart to greater gratitude, appreciation, peace, and joy.

2. Get quiet and ask yourself, “What do I need to release or complete at this time?” Then make it an emotional and physical priority to follow through on what you receive.

3. Share what you learn/do with family, friends, or ME! 🙂 This helps you anchor the energies and continue to follow through to manifest your spiritual growth into physical reality.

4. Be aware that these energies do NOT end tonight! They carry on for at least two more weeks, and some astrologers are indicating that the full “culmination” aspects will actually show up in about 6 months. So keep tuning in and following through, and you may be amazed at what you and the SuperMoons of 2014 create together.

SuperBlessings to You 🙂 !

Once in a Blue Moon….

blue moon

On August 20, we saw a Blue Moon rise (or a Green Corn Moon or a Full Sturgeon Moon, if you prefer one of the Native American monikers, helpfully supplied by The Huffington Post). Blue moons are unusual events, and I felt a surge of synchronicity with this one (which is happening a lot to me lately!), because I’m about to write a few pretty unusual posts….!

I’ll start with a question. Have you felt like you’ve been through some GIANT shifts and shake-ups this year? Uh-huh, me too–it’s been the most challenging AND most exciting year I’ve ever had! And we are all getting shifted and shaken because the Universe is requiring us to stop tolerating stuff and start transforming it–and ourselves. But maybe you’ve noticed when you get on board that ride of transformation, it can sometimes feel more like a runaway train, or a roller coaster without safety bars, or maybe even a sudden fall off a cliff…only just as you feel sure you are crashing, you end up somehow flying instead.

soaring woman

Can you relate? That is certainly how I have felt, stepping up to serve the world in a livelihood that I had no idea even EXISTED up until about a year ago. The work I realize I am called to do has taken me and everyone I have served on absolutely amazing journeys of transformation, many of them quite dramatic. I’d like to share some of those True Tales of Transformation with you in my next post, with these words of wisdom by Rainer Maria Rilke (slightly adapted) to prepare you:

~~Have the courage to embrace the strangest, most unusual, most inexplicable experiences.~~


Soul Snack: A Poetry Tidbit


“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only those who see take off their shoes…”

~~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Mmmmm! I savored these lines as I remembered the bushes in my own neighborhood bursting into bloom–after what seemed an overextended and deeply dreary late winter. I truly felt the fiery life force of God within them shooting out into blazes of blossoms! And I wanted to revisit that moment of awakening, even as spring turned to summer.
And so, I invite you to find such a bush–on this page, in a park, or within your own inner landscape–and then, to take off your shoes and savor a soul snack of your own….

              flowering bush white

lilac bush

flowering bushes anderson gardens flowering bush and bench

A Blessing of Deep Peace

Prayer by Fiona McLead (1855-1905)

Prayer by Fiona McLead (1855-1905)

In turbulent times like these, we can feel beleaguered, buffeted and battered by events and energies swirling around us. The bustle of the holiday season; the ongoing proclamations of global and personal economic collapse, terrorism, war, and crisis in government; the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut on 12/14/12 which have left all of us reeling in shock and grief; the list of man-made traumas seems endless. Add to that the upheavals in nature, and the inevitable cleansing chaos of death and rebirth surrounding the end of an Earth era on 12/21/12–and as it all crashes into our minds along with our own personal struggles, we experience truly formidable challenges to our souls. We can feel overwhelmed, awash in uncertainty, confusion, pain and fear.

And yet, even when the turmoil seems unbearable, there is still, both Within and Beyond us, a place of Deep Peace. Within, it is as close as our next cleansing breath, as we pause to exhale stress and inhale “the flowing air.” Beyond, it is as near as a spiritual song, a glorious piece of art, a loving encounter with an animal companion, a gentle walk on “the quiet earth.”

If you find this Celtic Blessing part of your own way in to Deep Peace, this site offers other lovely scenes and a link to one video where these words are made into spiritual song. I’ve been inspired to create my own personal song from this blessing, and the creating is one way into my own Deep Peace.  Here is another sung version of the blessing that I find refreshing.

Wherever and however we find it, our own place of Deep Peace is always waiting for us, ready to enfold us in a loving embrace. May you enter yours as often as you have need for it in the days ahead.

A Solstice Gift in the Forest

A dappled Light in the woods

I honored the Solstice on the 20th by playing my 3 Native American flutes in the Forest Preserve, under a 6-trunked tree next to a clear-running stream.  Just after the last note died, a doe approached from across the stream, apparently drawn by the sound.  She nibbled leaves off various branches, and slowly, silently drew closer, unconcerned by my presence.  Because I was aware that in the shamanic tradition, the unbidden appearance of an animal usually has something to teach us, I sent a thought to her, “Do you have a message for me, Lady Deer?”

Her head swung round sharply (though I had not moved or spoken and the wind had not shifted) and she gazed at me motionless for long moments.  Finally, “No, I don’t think so,” was the gentle response.  “We are just sharing the space.”  And then, some moments later, she turned and melted deliberately back into the forest.  Apparently she had completed her share of sharing.

And yet I DID perceive a message in the encounter.  Long, long ago, before things went so terribly wrong between humans and Nature, this equable and harmonious sharing of space was so simply and utterly normal as to be unremarkable.  It was always, as it is still, a Gift, like Light and Air, Earth and Water, and Life itself.  And like these other Gifts, it has been subjected to human indifference and mistreatment ever since we decided we were separate from Creation and the Creator and therefore could exploit Nature rather than tend it with no cost to ourselves.  But just as on the Solstice we reach a tipping point in the year, in this decade we are also reaching a tipping point, when the energy of the Healers will outweigh that of the Exploiters, and Earth will find a new and more wholesome balance.

And so I believe that ultimately, these moments of  “sharing the space”  will return to being normal, like clean air and water.  But perhaps we’ll feel deeper appreciation because they were lost and are found again.  Our appreciation, actually, can begin right now.

Balance: It’s Like Surfing, not Stillness

Ah, the zest of dynamic balance!

When I thought about “balance,” it usually involved symmetry and always meant holding still (as in yoga postures).  Even spiritually, balance seemed to be some kind of ideal stopping place that once achieved, must simply be HELD, for any further movement risked losing balance and maybe even FALLING (from grace!).

But the Fae knew better and gave me a lesson–a fun one, naturally!–in the dynamism of balance last week in the forest.

They guided me (by inner voices) down a narrow path along a creek, and directed me to a spot where a weathered board was laid over a raised tree root. “Hop on!” they urged.  “See if you can keep both ends off the ground!”

So I did get on, and found that was quite a challenge!  The old Susan would have been VERY EARNEST and gotten VERY UPSET with how often a board end bumped down onto the path–was I such a total failure at such a simple task?!  But the new improved Susan (who likes feeling age 5 better than 50+) was more giggly than grieved.  And as I dipped and tilted and swayed, I discovered not only some physical skills but also some spiritual insights about balance.

First, the farther you are at either extreme, the more work it is to get and stay balanced.  When my feet were spread wide, I really had to struggle not to clunk the board down.  But when I positioned my feet just a LITTLE on either side of the center spot, it took virtually no effort to adjust the board’s position to “float” above the ground.  Too close to center, and I couldn’t get anywhere; too far away, and I was wildly unstable.   “You see?”  the Fae commented.  “If you’re far over to an extreme in your beliefs or attitudes, you can easily be “clunked down” into negative emotions or reactions.  But if you give yourself a LITTLE room on either side of what you see as center, you can make adjustments with minimal effort.  And it’s more FUN!”

Second, balance is always shifting, not static.  “Notice,” the Fae whispered, “even if you hold your muscles perfectly quiet, YOU are still in motion–lungs breathing, heart pumping, blood flowing–and so you must constantly, slightly, alter your stance.  AND there is motion all around you!  Feel the breezes, see the bugs landing on the board, sense the animals tunneling under the ground.  All of THIS affects you and means you must shift, too.  Everything moves, everything changes moment by moment, and to stay balanced means responding to those changes, not holding yourself rigid against them.”

Chaos theory, anyone?  Their point was that stillness, zero point, perfect balance, is fleeting at best, and mostly an illusion!  Whether it’s in nature or our daily lives, true poise–true balance–is all in adjusting and moving and responding with ease and grace to inner and outer shifts.

As the Fae reminded me after I hopped off the board and started back up the path, “If you’re perfectly still, you’re DEAD! (giggle, giggle.)”  So here’s to living balanced in perpetual motion. Surf’s up!  🙂

A Weekend of Wonder: Celtic Shamanism

The weekend of April 28-29, I took an excursion into Celtic shamanism with Tom Cowan, sponsored by Animal Spirit Network, that was literally life-changing.  Being new to shamanism (even having done the reading and taken an online intro to shamanic journeying), I was a little unsure of what I’d experience.  I discovered that the synergy of Celtic lore and Native American shamanic practices, shared with other seekers, was wondrous, joyous, and almost overwhelming in its power!

Tom did a marvelous job of leading us through a truly sacred series of discussions, journeys, dances and ceremonies to bring Celtic shamanism to life in our minds, spirits, and bodies.  His depth of knowledge and love of story and poetry (each direction had its own story and poem, every one an exquisite gem of word art), along with his deep shamanic wisdom and engaging teaching style, created the perfect atmosphere for us to find our way into the heart of Celtic spirituality.

AHA moments:

  • The Irish “spirit wheel” is much like the Native American medicine wheel–4 directions plus center, serving as a spiritual pathway and practice.
  • My “home” direction was South, the place of music, poetry, dance, storytelling, and all kinds of ART.
  • Sovereignty (Center) is about self-rule, standing in your own power AND understanding how to yield it when that is best.  It’s like a Celtic version of Kwanzaa’s Kujichagulia.  Spirit Truth is Truth in every language!
  • There are people–LOCAL ones–who appreciate and UNDERSTAND my recent mystical experiences.

WOW experiences:

  • Helping a fellow student make a deeply personal breakthrough to honor her own shamanic gifts and experiences.
  • Receiving a spiritual healing  (a thawing out from old “frozen” ways and beliefs) from fiery Brigid in the East.   (Before the journey, Tom casually mentioned that this healing could take the form of dismemberment–a real deer-in-the-headlights moment for a novice journeyer….)
  • Journeying into the West with the Cailleach (as Crane) to watch the river of my life flow in peace, beauty, love and abundance to the eternal sea, and hear words from her of such deep compassion and comfort that I was brought to tears.
  • Dancing the spirits of Boann, Salmon and Sycamore in ceremonies.  This started one life change for me; I’m dancing  almost daily now as a way to meditate and manifest Spirit into Earth reality!

Personal breakthrough:

  • Shamanism is a powerful, beautiful spiritual path that I am meant to claim and practice for healing myself and others.

I had a lot of fears about shamanism–it seemed so alien, so primitive, almost violent with its tools of animal bone and hide, and its focus on earth deities who routinely dismember, disembowel, or otherwise destroy the seeker in order to rebuild him/her purified.  But I was given a very personal gift of tender, overwhelming LOVE in my rebuilding, from spirits who are now like family to me.  And I emerged renewed and filled with wonder that still echoes in my heart.