Saturday, September 12, 2015

Life Implosions and Celebrations

This is my photo of Garuda (a Hindu and Buddhist version of the Phoenix) and a couple of dragons at the Open Secret Temple 

I had been trying to decide what to do to on the one year anniversary of my life implosion on 9/11/10. The symbol I associate with The Day My Life Changed Forever is the Phoenix, because of the way I rose from the ashes to create a new life and because much of that healing took place in…Phoenix! So I was delighted to discover that The Fourth Annual Phoenix Rising was happening that night. 
The only thing I knew about it aside from the perfect title and timing was that there were famous musicians and sound healing (which sounded good) and that it was happening five minutes from my current home.  
Here the story  that opened the event:
In a land far away there lived a King who had a wise and loyal advisor, who, according to the King, had the most annoying habit of responding to every occur­rence, no matter what it was, by simply saying, “That’s good!”
One day, the King loses a finger in a hunting acci­dent, and when he returns to the palace, his advisor says, “That’s good!” The enraged King dismisses him and has him removed from the palace. On his way out the door the advisor turns and says, “That’s good!”
Several months later the King, out hunting once again, is captured by a group of barbarian tribesmen who plan to use him in a sacri­fi­cial cere­mony. While preparing the king for sacri­fice, the tribe’s shaman discovers that the king’s finger is missing, and declares him “imper­fect” and there­fore unfit to be sacri­ficed. The tribesmen let the king go.
Once safely back in the palace, the King orders that his former advisor be found, brought before him and imme­di­ately rein­stated to his former posi­tion. “You were right,” the King said, “It was good that I lost my finger, for it saved my life today. But why did you say it was good when I fired you from your job?” The advisor answered, “Your High­ness, I cannot see the future, but I have learned to trust that some good always comes from each event. Today I see what that was for me. For as you know, I am loyal to you, and had you not fired me, I would have remained with you when you were captured by the tribesmen. And because I have all my fingers and all my toes, I would have been next in line to be sacri­ficed. So, that’s good!”

The storyteller ended his talk following the story with: "From the ashes comes rebirth. The end is the begin­ning. Yes, some­thing we know will be gone, but some­thing new and inde­scrib­ably deli­cious will take its place. And that’s goooood!" 

Which was pretty much how I felt about the past year and my current life.

It turned out to be an amazing event with several fun synchronicities, including discovering that the star of the show had been my upstairs neighbor’s spiritual teacher.  But the best part for me was all of  the reminders of how we can rewrite our stories and create new lives. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to commemorate the occasion. 

And now, on to the present day with a special New Moon and an incredible couple of weeks...

This is the photo the science teacher with the special camera standing next to me on Mount Shasta took of the Solar Eclipse in 2012

This month's New Moon features features a solar eclipse.  New moons are considered to be good times for starting something new and eclipse’s turbocharge the power! Whether or not you can see the eclipse (and I doubt any of the readers of this blog will be able to) and whether or not you believe the moon has power, why not use the occasion to begin moving in a new direction anyway?
This next two weeks, until the Full Moon lunar eclipse is jam packed with holidays. 
9/13 in addition to being the New Moon and Solar eclipse is the Egyptian Ceremony for Lighting the Fire and Grandparents Day. Both of the latter two include honoring ancestors. So this day is a good balance of new and old as well as dark and light - perfect for this time so close to the Equinox.
9/14 is Rosh Hashanna - A New Year for more “new” energy and some sweetness at the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays.
9/16 is Mexican Independence Day.
9/17 is Ganesh Chaturthi. A Hindu holiday celebrating the Elephant God. ⬇️

Me, a bride to be and our friend at The Open Secret Temple. We co-created a pre-wedding ritual and Ganesha graciously agreed to pose with us.

9/20 is The International Day of Peace - something for everyone to celebrate.
9/22 is the eve of Yom Kippur.  
9/23 is The Autumnal Equinox (otherwise known as Mabon by the Pagans/Wiccans) and the beginning of the eight day Ancient Greek celebration of The Eleusian Mysteries.
9/24 is the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha (not to be confused with did Al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan).
9/25 is a Full Moon (the second of three Super Moons) and should make for a spectacular Lunar Eclipse that most of us will be able to see.  It is also The Asian Moon Festival as well as the eve of Sukkot. 
So that covers quite a few ethnicities and religions in a short time. Asian, Mexican, Greek, Egyptian and International secular holidays, as well as Pagan/Wiccan, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish religious holidays. 
Nothing specifically Christian (unless you count the fundamentalist group that calls this lunar eclipse the Blood Moon and is celebrating Armageddon), but Michaelmas is on 9/29, shortly after this busy 2 weeks. 
As a celebration geek, I am “over the moon" excited!!!

If you are inclined to create a ritual or need an excuse for a celebration, you couldn’t pick a better time. Cook up some, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Asian, or Indian food - or plan a fast on Yom Kippur (excellent time to begin an Autumnal cleanse). Get outside and look at the night sky - whatever you do, enjoy this powerful time! 

If you or anyone in your family is experiencing abandonment due to a loss, here is everything you need to plan an Eclipse Party  - complete with a template for an invitation.  I put this together for a previous eclipse and am offering it as a free gift.

Or if you would like me to customize a ritual for any other transition in your life, you can schedule a session  and take advantage of The Labor Day Special that is still running.

Another view of the Garuda and Dragon statue. The Sparks & Leaps Dragon and Phoenix logo is much friendlier!

I once took a 4 year old boy there and he ran right up to this fearsome creature and excitedly exclaimed "That's Garuda - he lives at Grandma's house too!" He wanted to hug it. Obviously a Marin child.


  1. Loved the "that's good" story --a good example of the Pollyanna Principle. The problem, as always, is how to get to this place of positivity? Even the story suggests that the positive aspect was only revealed over time. So perhaps the lesson is not simply to be positive but to wait for, and be open to, change?

    Then there's the question "Positive for whom?" Perhaps the king's son and heir viewed the lost finger and subsequent events more negatively. What if the king were a tyrant but the prince believed in making his subjects prosperous and happy? For the subjects, then, the king's survival was not good news. It's precisely such unknowns and complexities that demand more than simple and simplistic positivism. But I still loved the story because for me at this time in my life reflecting positively on the past is a lot less boring, unproductive, and redundant than wallowing. However, there's still a place for righteous indignation--just read the news.


    1. Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book I think you would enjoy called "Bright-sided - How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America". I may not agree with all of it but she makes many valid points.

      Although much of what I write is about finding the gifts even when things look their darkest, that does not mean I think that we should have sunshine and light all the time. Darkness, destruction and death are vital parts of our experience.

      Certainly much of what is happening in the world is heartbreaking. Anguish, anger and all other emotions are all valid responses. We absolutely need to fully feel all of the pain that accompanies difficult life events. It is in resisting or wallowing where we get stuck.

      I would never advocate banishing what we feel and hiding behind a positive smiley face. But one thing that does help when adversity strikes, is to be willing to trust that ultimately there will be something good that will come of it. And when we shift our thoughts to looking for the positive, we are a whole lot more likely to discover or create it then if we don't believe it's possible.

      I just learned a place I love dearly burned to the ground tonight, so the implosion theme is very alive for me right now. It is hard to imagine what good can come of that, or to all the people who have lost their homes in the fire that is still raging - only a couple of hours away from me. As you said there are "unknowns and complexities". I do not pretend to have all of the answers. But I am willing to ponder the questions and wait for the truth to be revealed over time.

      Thank you for your comment, I am glad that your reflections on the past have taken an upturn! That's gooood! *

      *Although placing a value judgment of "good" or "bad" about thoughts, people or events is also unproductive, but we can leave that for another day...


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