“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Magnificent Mile

My best friend, Bernie, came from Canada last Monday to visit with us for the week. We hadn't seen each other for a few years, but it was as if we hadn't been parted. Being friends for 45 years, we know each other inside and out, forwards and backwards, and everywhere inbetween. She's been my anchor through some pretty stormy seas, helps me to see that life really is 'that simple', and makes me laugh so hard that my belly aches.

It felt like a whirlwind kind of trip and by Friday we were on our way to Chicago to take in the sights. Thank the Goddess for the GPS . . . how did one ever survive without one? I'm a small city/town kind of girl and driving through Chicago, not knowing where I was going, was almost more than I could bear. We did, however, make it safely to the hotel. That night we had a lovely dinner and a BIG glass of wino!

Saturday morning we leisurely got up and got ready to head out to the Magnificent Mile. It was cold and the wind was blowing, but we headed out bravely to face the day. We did some shopping at Macy's (where we had our brows shaped . . . yeeouch!) and the Hershey store (yummy!). I bought some lotions at the H2O store and Bernie bought a couple of hats from Eddie Bauer. We got Green Tea Latte's from Starbucks and took a picture under an enormous Marilyn Monroe statue.

We walked the mile up and down. There was Tiffany's and Cartier, Nordstrums and Saks Fifth Avenue. I can see why they call it the Magnificent Mile, but honestly, unless you're rich the likes of Oprah Winfrey, it can be a little intimidating and well, not quite so magnificent. One day maybe, but for now it's Target and JCPenney for me!

Afterwards we hopped in the car. We had a few hours before it was time to take Bernie to the airport so we decided to check out Schaumburg and have some lunch. Getting out of Chicago was harder than getting in and after taking a few wrong turns we ended up at the mall in Schaumburg. Ours hopes at eating at the Cheesecake Factory were soon dashed as there was a 30 minute wait, so we ended up eating at McDonalds, looked around a bit and then headed back to the airport.

Bernie caught her flight and got home safely and my trip back to Madison was uneventful. We're already planning our next visit . . . which will hopefully be in Maui next year! Aloha!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Imbolc/Welcome Spring

This year is decidedly different from last year. The energy feels different. And the way I'm viewing certain aspects of my life is different. Rather than focusing on a single idea, I find that my mind is stretching farther - out of it's limits you could say. I'm expanding, growing and learning things about myself I didn't know before. And part of that growth and change includes my beliefs and spirituality.

While I was clearing away my Yule altar and thinking on what I wanted my altar to represent for Imbolc, I decided that while I respect and admire Brigit, setting up an altar to her this year didn't seem to fit for me. I was quite perplexed and at one point thought that setting up an altar for this Sabbat was going to go the way of the Dodo. And as usually happens in these moments of uncertainty, when I clear my mind of any thought on a thing, is when Divine inspiration hits. 'Spring' said inspiration - set up an altar for spring.

And while it seemed a little early to be celebrating spring in my neck of the woods, I heeded inspiration's voice and started setting up an altar for spring. And as usually happens when I start working on an altar, I am led by Divine guidance. I never know how an altar is going to turn out until it is done and I'm lighting the incense and candles. I stand back and look in awe and amazement and what has been created. Not of me, but by me.

I had originally thought that I'd be placing one of my Goddess figurines on the altar, but as happened last year at Ostara, Mary called saying that she wanted and needed to be on the altar. And as I always do, I listened to Mary's gentle urgings and placed her on the altar.

And so whether you're celebrating Imbolc, Candlemas or Spring, tune out, listen for Divine inspiration and get ready to set up your own altar in whatever way inspiration leads you. You can't make a mistake . . . Inspiration won't let you.

If you're looking for more information on this Sabbat, I came across a wonderful website by Mara Freeman. She elaborates deliciously on Brigit, Imbolc and Candlemas.

Happy Imbolc! Happy Candlemas! Happy Spring!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve at Bluff Trail Labyrinth

Last night my friend Carl, Brian and I went out to dinner and then headed out to the Bluff Trail Labyrinth to celebrate New Year's Eve. Melanie, our hostess, guided us through three meditations, one of which was with 13 crystal skulls. Each meditation was unique and profound in their own way. I especially enjoyed the Crystal Skull meditation and connecting with these amazing and knowledgable creatures. I was downloaded with information and when the time is right for me to know what it is, it will come into my consciousness.

Just before midnight, the twenty of us gathered there, headed out single-file to walk the Labyrinth. It was amazing . . . Once in the center we stood in silence, reflecting on the year that was soon to be behind us and at the stroke of midnight, I threw in my good-bye to 2011 along with some letters I had written for releasing what I didn't want to bring into 2012. As I watched the letters burn in the fire, I was grateful to put those issues and concerns out to the universe to heal and take care of for me. I felt a physical release in my body as well.

With all the energy gathered in this amazing place, we were all delighted when the roar of thunder crossed the sky behind us. It was a fitting end to a wonderful evening.

May each and every one of you experience the energies of this New Year with anticipation, excitement and joy. It is destined to be your best year ever!

Happy New Year 2012!