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Playing … an exploration of surrender May 26, 2019

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I was born magick in a world of logic and reason. Creativity was tolerated in children in the context of play, but the real world was the ultimate arbiter of life. When I was a little girl, I may have been allowed to draw moons and stars on my forehead with blue paint and golden glitter, but these kinds of antics were not tolerated in my grown-up self. “Play” was frivolous and must be put aside. I would have said then that I surrendered to authority, giving up on magick and settling into the mundane. But now I know, to have followed the magick would have been the surrender. All I did was give up on my true self. It was not surrender but betrayal. The worst kind of betrayal. And I have been working since then to make it right. To win back the trust of the one who should have been … always … the most important in the world to me. Myself. Once you lie to yourself, it is so much easier to lie to others. Once you betray yourself, betrayal becomes your imprisoner, your signature, the mask you wear, the face you show to the world. Others do not call it that – betrayal — for most wear the same kind of mask. We call it reality, the real world, just the way it is. And we are told we might as well accept it. Life is not fair. Surrender. Give up.

But true surrender is not a giving up, it is a giving in to a higher calling, a purpose. It is a type of courage that calls one to live from the heart, serving the voice within that tells us that there is infinitely more to life than what we can see. That magick still exists. That we ARE magick, and our magick serves a powerful energy that can only emanate from spirit. So, rather than weakness, rather than loss, to surrender is a means of service above and beyond any we thought capable of. Surrender calls us back to our essence, and there …

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed, in my imagination, into long, black waves, thick and abundant. My skin has darkened somewhat and my bearing is regal. I feel exotic, different, and I relish my differentness. On my head sits a golden crown in the form of snakes, their heads rising above my forehead, where I used to draw the moon and stars, proclaiming to all my worth. I wear a long white gown, so that I feel as if I am enrobed in clouds, my power as wide as the sky. In my right hand I carry a long sword, but it is gripped casually, a relic from the past that I treasure for what it has taught me, but it is not the source of my power. It is not who I am. Some have called me princess, but I am no prince-ess, no lesser-than prince. No priest-ess. No god-dess. None of these. I am neither s\he nor fe-male. I am simply who and what I choose to be in the moment I surrender to my choice. Nameless until such time a name is possible. Until new words are created, new vocabularies formed, new tongues proclaimed throughout a land revived and reborn.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened and my body broader, huskier, more muscular than before. My voice has deepened and drips with authority. I carry no weapon, and yet I feel that the moon and stars would bow at my feet, were I, priest of all that is sacred and holy, to command it. A channel of energy rises through me, and I have a choice: to follow that which is seductive and promises the kind of power and authority that most men dream about. To be the saver of souls, the changer of lives, the maker of rules, the arbiter of life … mine and others. Or to surrender to the unknown. The unseen path that draws me with the power of the soul and the dread of responsibility. The path of service. The path of the change rather than the changer, giving way to the moment with acceptance and a willingness to act when it is time to act, to be when it is time to be. The path of vulnerability. The path of courage.

Playing … I am as a child again. My thin, straight red hair has been transformed and my head is topped with tight black curls. My skin has darkened even more and my body is long, lean muscular. Around my head, a white halo-band of beads and tassels. Strung beads hang from my neck, crisscross my breasts, and shells encircle my waist and my feet, marking me as a dancer. My weapon, if you want to call it that, is my joy. If I could, I would use it to bludgeon others into surrendering to this celebration, giving in to the exuberant persistence of life. But surrender can neither be forced nor coerced, and so I dance. It is no more than an invitation, but it is what we know to do, we mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters of the world and the spirit. This is the story we carry within us, the story we use to paint the sky with rainbows, to draw the moon and stars on our foreheads, to tattoo our bodies with the scars that mark us as courageous in the face of our failures and steadfast in our vulnerability. We dance a reminder of the blessing of surrender and the power of choice.

— Linda Maree

Stone Bear July 26, 2018

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Story Tellings.
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Did I ever tell you the story about the time I met the stone bear? It happened countless lifetimes ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was on the hill where the old stone circle ruins now stand. Back then, the circle had not been constructed yet, and wouldn’t be for many generations, and the hill was higher, less rounded by time. The surface was covered with dark, jagged rocks and stiff, course grass; it was not the gentle, comfortable place it is now. On one side of the hill there was a very small cave, which was well hidden and said to be unendingly deep. In fact, the ooooold stories said that one could see the other side of the universe from the mouth of that cave. Of course, no one in my lifetime, then … or now, really, had ever seen such a vision, but I decided that I must do just that.

So, one morning in mid-summer, I woke before all the others and crept away from our encampment. We were nomadic, then, remember, but we would be in this place for some time yet, at least another turning of the moon, for food was plentiful and we could fill our bellies and put on necessary fat stores for winter. Though morning had just dawned, the stars still shone overhead as I made my way… they were much closer and brighter back then … and the spiky grass was damp with dew beneath my feet. I knew how to creep as silently as an owl moves in flight, and I am sure I disrupted no living creature’s rest, nor drew the attention of any of the nocturnal predators returning to their lairs with whom we shared the brightening landscape. I had just reached the path that led up the hill, where the cave and its mysteries lay silent and hidden, when I saw the stone bear.

He snuffled in front of me on the path, moving and breathing like any other living creature, but it was obvious his great hulk of a body was created entirely of stone. Even for the time it was back then, so close to the dawn of humanity, as we call it now, I knew that it was not usual for stone objects to move and breathe thus. This was obviously no carven object, such as the mage’s made, but a living creature made of stone.

I followed the creature, fascinated, and it seemed that, a time or two, it turned its great stone head to see if I was still following, as if it expected me to do just that. I seemed now to be captured by its hard, earthen energy, and felt that even if I were compelled to do so … and I was not … I could not have left the beast’s influence.

Of course the stone bear led me directly to the cave, which, from my vantage point a few steps back along the path, appeared gaping and dark, an abyss into which one might be swallowed whole and alive, to live out one’s allotted time in abysmal nothingness. But the stories promised something greater, a wide expanse of universe that would make the magic and majesty of the star-filled sky over my head seem ordinary, mundane. So I stepped closer to the bear, wanting the promise it seemed to offer.

“You must leave them behind,” I thought I heard the bear whisper when I found I could get no closer. There seemed an invisible field of force about the creature that repelled me, not in the sickening way, but in the true physical sense of the word. I simply could not come closer, no matter that I tried.

“You must leave your most precious thoughts, your fears and inhibitions, your expectations and disappointments, all of them. Leave them here. The others will not find them. Strangers will pass by without noticing them. The treasures of the mind are such that they cannot be recognized once abandoned by the thinker. Even you, upon your return, will not be able to pick them up again, not as they are now.” All of this the bear said without words, but I heard the message nonetheless and vow that this is a true telling.

Be this a curse or a gift? I wondered, and got no answer, and so I came to see that it was neither, but rather a choice that hung on the balance point of my desire. For good or ill, if I wished to see the wonders of the cave, all must be left behind, and the leaving must be understood to be undoable.

The great bear turned away and moved toward the dark entrance of the cave as if certain of my decision.

 

 

© 2018 Linda Maree

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Queen of Doves June 23, 2017

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QUEEN OF DOVES

Once upon a time, when Earth was still but a tender infant, a call went out to the great queen, asking for her blessing for the emerging new life on the blossoming little planet. The queen, delighted, put on a cloak of white feathers over her ruby-heart gown, unfurled her strong wings, and flew across the universe, ready to shower the infant Earth with her most potent star-shine and breath of love.

But the queen, being immune to the particularities of time, arrived an eon or two too late, for duality had already settled onto the tiny blue orb. The great queen was saddened to see this and cried bitter tears, for she believed her gift would not be accepted in the face of such reality. Luckily, magick was still alive and well, and the queen’s tears became a flock of doves that flew about her head, beseeching her to grant her blessing in spite of the seeming futility.

Appeased, the queen agreed to hand over her blessing to the doves, who, in turn, vowed to share with any who were ready to listen. The queen’s words of blessing were as numerous as the stars: kindness, compassion, unity, wholeness, and so on. When the doves had collected all her words, the queen again donned her cloak of white feathers and flew back to her distant realm … and the work of love on Earth began …

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Goddess Journey: Bast June 18, 2017

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logoGoddess Journey: Bast

Intuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 2:00-5:00PM

You gather in circle, the rising quarter moon sharing the night sky with uncountable stars. An ornate alabaster jar is passed, and you anoint yourself with fragrant oil, calling on ‘she who protects,’ remembering that the only difference between a protector and a warrior is choice. You close your eyes then and become still, opening your arms wide so that you feel the power around you and revel in your own strength, the independence of your own heartbeat, and the wonder of the melody your circle of hearts create as one …

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to call on Bast, she who protects, to guide us on a journey of independence, strength, and beauty … together.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously and joy-fully, according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can attend. Hope to see you there!

Goddess Journey:Kwan Yin February 12, 2017

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logoGoddess Journey: Kwan Yin

COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, February 18, from 2:00-5:00PM

Pink petals rain down on a vibrant landscape, where all those assembled turn their faces skyward and allow themselves to be washed in the beauty and magick of the moment. Neighbor smiles upon neighbor, and it is understood without words that this day, at least, all will be nourished, all blessed. Voices, raised in a song of gratitude, merge with a gentle wind whispering its benediction and the sweet name of compassion: Kwan Yin … Kwan Yin … Kwan Yin …

Come join us in the hive as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to call our own inner Kwan Yin of compassion to blossom, nurturing us, our world, and our creative process.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously and joy-fully, according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can attend. Hope to see you there!

Still Following the Bee: Sweet Sanctuary December 3, 2016

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LogoStill Following the Bee: Sweet Sanctuary

Intuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Ave, Sarasota

Saturday, December 17, from 2:00-5:00PM

You gather in the Sweet Sanctuary of the winter hive, you and your sisters, preparing yourselves for the eagerly awaited descent into the dark of the longest night, the night of visions, a time when you can see what is invisible in the light. You hum and dance your way into readiness, savoring the buzz of excitement that permeates the hive and fills you with gratitude for the present moment of communion and the deep desire that is the magick that creates what comes next…

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process as well as simple creative writing prompts to enter our Sweet Sanctuary and ready ourselves for the descent into the longest night of clearest vision.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you plan to attend.

End of the Road November 6, 2016

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End of the Road

by Linda Maree

 

End of the Road I

You have come to the end of the road. Behind you: the path and steps you’ve taken, in front of you: nothing. This is not a crossroads filled with choices, with numerous paths to follow. If you move from here, it will mean stepping into the unknown. Perhaps you will step off a cliff and into the abyss. Perhaps you will fall forever. Perhaps you will grow wings and fly. Perhaps a path will be created by your footsteps, leaving behind your prints for others to follow, so that the end of the road turns out to be not a finite point, but movable and malleable, a knotted rope of beaded ‘ends’ strung together to make something of nothing.

 

End of the Road II

You have come to the end of the road. You expected something more, but what you see all around you is so ordinary: tables, chairs, food, people. Piped-in music blasting from speakers in the ceiling, right over your head to judge by the strength of the vibrations you feel jolting you to attention. Ordinary. The end of the road is ordinary. A sunny day in a bright and noisy café. Nothing to indicate the end of anything, except your sense of it.

 

End of the Road III

You have come to the end of the road and here, just as you’d heard it would be, you discover a new beginning … along with a bucket full of hope, handfuls of strength, and a firm, feathery belief that takes flight, disappearing into a clear blue sky, carrying you, wingless, with it.

Still Following the Bee: Great Hive of BEEing November 6, 2016

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LogoStill Following the Bee: Great Hive of BEEing

Intuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, November 19, from 2:00-5:00PM

You close your eyes and listen to the still aloneness that seems to envelop you like a soft, warm blanket. Your body quiets and you imagine yourself entering the great hall of the great queen, creative sovereign of this sacred realm. She has summoned you, and you honor her with your presence. When you open your eyes, you find that you are not alone after all, for the great hall is filled to capacity and you are caught in the crush of all that is supportive and wondrous. The queen offers her communion, and all present in the Great Hive of BEEing accept her gift with gracious gratitude …

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process as well as simple creative writing prompts to enter the Great Hive of BEEing and enjoy the communion of our inner queen, calling us to BEE.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can join us!

Still Following the Bee: Crown Your Queen! September 25, 2016

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Honeycomb MoonStill Following the Bee: Crown Your Queen!                      

Intuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Ave, Sarasota

Saturday, October 8, from 2:00-5:00PM

You sleep and dream, and in your dream you see a broad door with a heavy brass handle. When you turn the handle, before you appears the vast landscape of your imagination, the gateway to “possible,” to all that is magick. You dance into this dreamscape and a pathway opens up, straight and true, and you follow it to a massive throne, intricately carved and highly polished, which beckons you to sit. When you do, a golden crown, the color of sweet honey, appears and you place the crown on your head, declaring yourself Queen, sovereign of all you can imagine …

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process as well as simple creative writing prompts to discover the throne of our imagination and crown ourselves Queen of all that is possible.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Please let me know if you can join us.

Still Following the Bee: Sweet Honey Rain September 2, 2016

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Honeycomb MoonIntuitive COLLAGE Workshop for Women

Saturday, September 17, from 2:00-5:00PM

Still Following the Bee: Sweet Honey Rain

The day it rains honey you are caught in the deluge, and as you close your eyes and lift your face to the sweetening clouds, you open your mouth and drink in the glistening golden drops. The honey rain coats your throat and you find yourself humming a tune that is at once familiar and yet unknown. The hum turns into a melody and the melody finds words, until you are singing the song that has been within you since the first beat of your heart. Now, it sings you into sweetness. You smile as you swallow the precious gift.

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process as well as simple creative writing prompts to brew up a storm of Sweet Honey Rain and drink in the song of our soul, savoring the sweetness that sustains us.

Open Pricing *   Please pay generously, from your heart, according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Please let me know if you can join us!

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

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