Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Prayers, Druids and sacred space

I belong to a Druid Grove with 3 wonderful women, and we get together monthly and create sacred space together to help us with our lives, to create positive changes in our world, and to learn more about ourselves, and to enjoy a fine meal together, of course. The method we use is an ancient one, in that we create sacred space by coming into unity among ourselves, and by considering that we are also at one with Creator/ Spirit/ Universe. Into this space we speak our truth, and as we do we learn more about who we are, what we can do upon knowing ourselves, and how that knowledge of ourselves can change us and the world around us: our friends, families, employees, etc. There is also magical things that result from placing “intention” into sacred space. Intention is a purposeful thought, a statement or commitment to a purpose or a plan, a direction of the mind and spirit. Just as the womb is the place of creation of a new life, sacred space is the place where placed intentions are transformed into reality: and that is magic.
A prayer is a very similar thing. If we take the idea of a personal God/Goddess out of prayer, then we are left with speaking intention!
One of the 4 agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, is for the impeccability of my word. Let all my words be truthful, let all my words uplift and encourage, let all my words bless, let all my words be pure.
This is important in intention also. The plans and directions of our lives are important, and what we pray and what we intend is important.
Another way to set an intention is to light a candle. I especially do this for others, when someone needs a healing or a job, when someone needs help or wisdom , I light a candle and let it burn for them, and when I look at the candle I open my heart for their need, and sometimes when I do this the Universe tells me to do something further to help them.
The reason a Druid group is called a “grove”, is because we also study nature together, especially the trees. So since a group of trees can be called a grove, we Druids are a grove. We are planted together in similar soil, and feel the same Sunlight, water through our roots and leaves, and the breezes blowing through our branches. Yes, this speaks to similar experiences which have brought us together, and similar values and beliefs about life, which means that we see the world in a similar way.
It is wonderful to walk through life in community, with like-minded people who trust and enjoy and marvel at life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wacko- right wing churches

Legacy Church here in Albuquerque has called for their members to "fast and pray" in order to stop the Domestic Partner Bill from passing the NM state legislature. (Thank you Paula, for the heads up). Legacy Church is a right wing wacko mega-church, that believes the Bible is literally true, and that some are going to be "saved" (them of course) and some will be damned for all time (us, the homosexuals and transgender sinners). The pastor of the church, Steve Smothermon, told the congregation that the sin of homosexuality would hurt New Mexicans and even the entire country. Yeah RIGHT.

I guess they thought it was much more important to fast and pray against homosexuality, than to pray for the nation's economic recovery, or an end to the Palestinian-Jewish conflict, or global warming, or to feed hungry children in the world. I guess to give same-sex couples the right to visit their partner in the hospital, or to give them the right of medical decision for their partner, or the right of inheritance, means the end of the world as we know it. Honestly, this is an example of people with personality disorders, uniting with the fairy tales from a false religion, to demonize a group of persons they do not even know.

So tomorrow, they will be at the state capital in Santa Fe, to stand up to fight against a bill that will protect unmarried couples. They will think they are doing the Will of the God they serve. Actually, they are perpetuating hate...and seeking to continue the discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, the discrimination that so far, is sanctioned by the US Government.

Transgendered cats

"Transgendered Cats" is written by and is property of Stealthgrrl at www.susans.org


Transgendered cats become a problem.

The females prowl the alleyways all night, fighting and spraying the hell out of everything. Meanwhile, the toms grow their hair long and preen like Grand Duchesses in the window seat.

Clergy become alarmed.

They urge people to buy dogs instead.

"It's all that catnip," says Mrs. Mumbly, deliciously scandalized.

"It's a sign of the end times," says Herbert Straight, with a knowing nod.


The transgendered cats march on Washington.

Being cats, this doesn't go smoothly, but eventually, they all make it.

"Kitty, kitty," says the president.

"Oh please," say the cats.

America and the transgendered cats stare at each other.

Cats never blink, but

Mrs. Mumbly swore that one of them winked at her, and that she'd never seen such brass.

Transgendered cats.

It's happening now.

Meow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The 81st Academy Awards

I love singing and dancing. I guess that is because my daughter, Jennifer Stephenson, has done it so well ever since she was in elementary school drama. And that is why Hugh Jackman gets an “A” for the opening act. He was really wasted in the X-men. He has a great voice, don't you think?
And here it is, my take on the Oscar's last night. I know you all have been waiting for this!
I watched the gowns closely, because I love to wear gowns, and the most beautiful are displayed and worn at the Oscar's. I judge them by gowns I would love to wear. It makes no difference that I would have to have sizes a good bit larger than those I saw, just the style, colors, cut, and the dazzling expression is a sight to behold. And as a woman, I so like to see the cleavage, oops! Is that a guy thing too? No Kidding! All the guys were dull, white and black, except for Mickey Rourke, big surprise. And Will Smith looked hot in a tux, don't you think? Gowns I would like to wear, were worn by: Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker (she has to do something with her hair), Anne Hathaway (the runway host was tacky enough to ask her if she owned the dress, can you believe that?), and Queen Latifa. Having dressed as a man and a woman in my years, I can say that dressing as a woman is a supreme privilege. The colors, the styles, the shapes are so exquisite I marvel at the presentation, and I so enjoy the dresses into which I can fit.

I like the way they did the screenplay awards. They actually showed the actual screenplay text while they showed the movie nominees and clips. Hooray!
The acceptance speech by Dustin Lance Black for the screenplay for “Milk” was great. Very positive for gay and lesbian and trans youth! And his appeal for federal laws to protect us.... very nice!

The musical number with Jackman and Beyonce was awesome!!!!!

When Heath Ledger won, my eyes were not dry, even though I have not seen the “Dark Knight” yet. But his performance in “Brokeback Mountain”, I will never forget.


I only saw one of the Best Picture films, “Milk” that was excellent. But Jennifer saw “Slumdog Millionaire” and she said it was one of the best she has seen. That is praise enough for me.

Jerry Lewis-
I clapped for his speech. It was in no way pretentious, and was so humble and appreciative. He did not go into his role, but he spoke as a person, and a caring person. Hey, Jerry, Thanks.
Hey, for those of you are saying, “Why are you praising a person who said anti-gay slurs not long ago?”, I say that excellence is exclusive of personal bias, and that loving all, includes those who feel different from us. YES, I mean you and ME, too.


A.R. Rahman “ I chose love” This was a great........speech. A man from India

Queen latifa- “ I'll be seein' you in all the old familiar places” was the best of the songs, I thought.

Congrats to Slumdog!! It is also great to see an indie film win and one made on a shoestring budget.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Christian assumptions- part 3

This is the last and final post (for now) from Buck on how literal Christianity is really the false religion of the day. More accurately, all fundamental religions which take their text literally are missing the real value of internalizing the spiritual truths found within. This is exactly why Jesus was so hard on the Pharisees, because religion to them was dos and don'ts, saved and unsaved, about controlling the masses rather than establishing love and compassion. I thoroughly agree with Buck in these three posts. Thank you Buck!


3. A casual scholar might assume that the mystery schools ( for example the Egyptians and the Essenes)
which were active in the world up to about 300 AD were antithetical to the teachings of Jesus (i.e. heathen institutions), but we stated earlier that all the teachings attributed to Jesus were well known before the time of Jesus to those who were initiated into these mystery schools and to many others in many different religions (see references in 2) including the many Christians. A more plausible assumption is that the teachings and initiations of the mystery schools became the gospels, hidden away from public knowledge by the claim that they the actual history of a man called Jesus. A corollary to this alternative assumption is that Jesus is the common name given to candidates admitted into a mystery school. Thus when a Jesus successfully completed the training and the initiations of the mystery school, he became a Christ, a Son or Daughter of God.
Notice that this alternative assumption allows any person who aspires to know “God as one with themselves” can be called Jesus. Thus it means that Jesus is the self in active pursuit of finding god/goddess within. If the words of the Biblical Jesus are taken in from this alternate point of view, a whole different understanding is experienced by the candidate. For example, “I and my father are one.” If taken as a historic record, means that this man called Jesus, 2000 years ago was one with God. If taken personally, means I am and can experience being one with God. Another example, “The kingdom of heaven is within.” If taken as a historic record, means that this man called Jesus had the kingdom of heaven within himself. If taken personally, means that if I want heaven, I’d better look inside of myself. As the many sayings of the Biblical Jesus are taken from the point of view that I am a Jesus or an aspirant wanting to know God then their meaning becomes real internal knowledge and experience -- an initiatory experience.
Notice that the original assumption, that Jesus in this historic character has given rise to such ideas as a belief in Jesus can save an individual from going to hell. This assumption implies that hell as an external place. For those who accept the alternative assumption hell is a living state for which the candidate feels separate from God and must take the responsibility for getting themselves into the joy of being one with God. In other words there is no savior except for the self. Like hell, heaven is a living internal state and getting to this state is an individual responsibility – the responsibility of each candidate or every Jesus.
Notice that the original assumption of a historic single individual Jesus includes believing that Jesus died and went to heaven and furthermore that by believing he did this for us we can get to heaven too. This places that responsibility outside of the self; negating redemptive powers of the individual -- the Redeemer is none other that the self.

Christian assumptions lead to problems, post #2

Another excellent post from Buck. The importance of this is that many of our thought systems, mores and folkways, and cultural assumptions are based on the incorrect belief that the Bible is literally true. But when we can internalize the allegorical truths for our own spiritual enlightenment, we discover who we are, as well as our divinity. Thanks again Buck, for this outstanding explanation.


2. Electing Jesus as god and making the New Testament history rather appreciating it as allegories which teach spiritual truths, gave rise to Catholic and fundamental Christian beliefs which are often contrary to the teachings of Jesus as reported in the Christian bible. These erroneous ideas began to gain major importance with the selection of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine and the actions taken by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Sigmund Freud recognized that the Christian Bible was total plagiarism [Tom Harpur, The Pagan Christ, Walker and Co., NY, 2004, p.5] Detailed historical research has clearly shown that the stories in the bible were taken from ancient religions often thousands of years before the beginning of the Christian era (0 AD) [Alvin Boyd Kuhn, A Rebirth for Christianity, republished in 2005 by Quest Books, Wheaton Il, and Lost Light, An Interpretation of Ancient Scriptures, Filiquarian Publishing republished 2007; Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World, Cosimo republished 2007; Acharya S, Suns of God, 2004, Adventures Unlimited, Kempton, Il, 2004; Kersey Graves, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, Christianity before Christ, Adventures Unlimited, Kempton Il, republished in 2001 and many others]. The early Christian church and the Roman Empire tried to rid the world of Gnostic and mystic Christians by burning their books, killing or banishing their leaders and punishing those who wouldn't agree with the official interpretation of Christian doctrine.
In making Jesus God and Savior they transferred the divine outside of the Self. Not only is this contrary to the teachings attributed to Jesus himself, but it allows for external authority over individuals and justifies rule of humankind by political and religious authorities. This idea gains credibility by assuming that humans are basically animals where the packs or herds are lead by an alpha individual, usually a male. This idea negates the concept that we are all sons and daughters of God/Goddess. Animals fight to maintain control; sons and daughters of God/Goddesses love each other, all belong to the same family and the need to control is diminished. Exalting the animal nature of humans leads to hatred and war; exalting the divine nature of humans leads to love and peace. The dominating authoritarian Christians have taken the baby Jesus outside of us limiting our potential to mature into divine beings.
In making the Bible into history, the power of the lessons contained in the stories is often dismissed rather than applied to the individual who is learning the story. If we assume that the teachings in the Bible and in the gospels in particular are allegories of our own life stories, then we can experience them as initiations and get their individualized meanings more deeply than as just an intellectual understanding; they become personal and self-awakening experiences which can profoundly change our lives. This results in the internal infant Jesus or magical child maturing into the Christ. God therefore becomes an internalized experience. And we therefore become self reliant not expecting some outside god to save us. We have to take on the responsibility of Savior.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Christian beliefs resulting in problems

My friend Buck and I have been having conversations for many weeks about the nature of spirituality and our involvement in truth-telling and compassionate action. Today, Buck begins a series of posts on the subject of:

Christian assumptions that have created major problems for Western Civilization.

1. Believing that the story of creation in Genesis is true history has created the enduring and unproductive controversy of evolution versus creationism and has caused many to ignore the huge amount of evidence for evolution, and caused some to even doubt the validity of science in general. But even more important is the presentation that evil is a force directed by a powerful being called the Devil or Satan. What the Genesis story is really presenting is two different basic philosophical ideas represented by the images: (1) The Tree of Life and. (2) The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life world view is the foundation of monotheism or the oneness of all creation and promotes peace. The other world view based on the image of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil generates dualism promoting the Devil to a godlike position in Western view and generates right versus wrong thinking which in turn leads to conflicts and wars. This idea has also led to the assignment of evil to women (Eve offering the fruit to Adam) further promoting conflict and inequality. Not all Western thinkers have taken this dualistic point of view. Some Kabbalists in Judaism, the mystic or Gnostic traditions within Christianity, and the Sufis in Islam overcame this limitation and promote more peaceful ways of being in the world while the literalists in Christianity, Islam, and Jewish religions often think and act in ways that lead to wars. To explain further, if some are “saved” and some are doomed to Hell, and “I” am one of the saved, are not the “doomed” to be feared, ostracized, and possibly defeated? On the other hand, if we are all “family” and I realize I share the common human experience with all people, then will I not first look to peace and love in my dealings with them?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guest blogger today



Hi everyone! My name is Persia and I am Virginia's new cat. Virginia saved me at the Humane Society yesterday....Whew, I was glad to be rid of that place! The cage was so confining.
Anyway, I am a siamese mix, tabby Point, 3-1/2 year old, female. My last family had some problems and did not think they could care for me any more, although I was kept very well fed ( I weigh 12 pounds!). My first day with Virginia was yesterday, and I settled in right away, checking everything out.
The high point of the day for me was sleeping in Virginia's bed last night. I think I surprised her at how quickly I warmed to everything.
One of my past lives was as a lap cat to an Egyptian queen. Well.....you didn't just think I was some ordinary cat, did you? Although Virginia has encouraged me not to show any elitest behavior.
So anyway, being in Virginia's house gives me somewhat of a throwback to that life, Virginia being a queen and all!
So I find life absolutely satisfactory at the moment, although I am still working on the cat pan thing.
I have to keep some excitement in Virginia's life, don't I?
So well met, everyone. Here I am in my new place. And I like it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cats

Well, I lost my last cat today. Cinders was 17 years old and was a joy to my home for these last years. She was Jennifer's cat and Jennifer gave her to me about 3 years ago or so. I have lost 2 very old cats in the last 5 months. My long time friend Velvet (19 years)died in Sept of last year.
I am a very good keeper of cats, in that a cat in my care is treasured, fed well, played with, and stroked and massaged and rubbed to their heart's content. They have always slept with me, purring through the night, and yawning with me as I arise.
So, all life passes, but now I look for other pets.
2 kittens would be nice, or perhaps to rescue an adult or 2 from the fate that awaits them at a shelter.
I went by "Lucky Paws" today, the city adoption store in the Coronado Center, and I was really impressed with the care they give the animals. I did not meet a cat to take home, but they have some lovelies there. So this weekend I think I will make the rounds of the shelters and see if I can find a new baby, or babies.
But now I need to thoroughly clean house, as Cinders, the Goddess rest her soul, was quite messy in the last days of life, poor thing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sec. Clinton

Hey- have any of you been wondering what Sec. of State Clinton is doing these days?
Well no, because there has been no press at all of what she is doing. All the news is economic recovery here at home.
Let me take a guess.
I know that she wants to make a splash in her new job. And she has many contacts from her husbands stint in office, so...... the possibilities are numerous.
Suppose that a deal could be made to supply the Saudis absolute security in the Middle East for a share in their OIL revenues, or suppose that Iran would like the same.
Suppose that they are trying to broker a deal to keep everyone happy.
Israel you say, they want peace too, but only on their terms.
How is it going to come down?
I guarantee that this year, Sec. Clinton will be involved in a major deal there. Syria and Israel? I do not know.
The palestinians, they must be cared for?
The elections in Israel today? how will that affect the balance?
Is she working with Pres. Obama. Yes, of course. But is she pulling strings with all of Bill's contacts. You bet.
She is a bright lady, and from what I have seen, she has the State dept on her side BIG time.
When employees want to work for their boss, they DO. I think things are in FULL swing there, and everyone is distracted by the economics here.
Hey, I could be all wet, but I don't think I am.
Hold on, it could get bumpy.

The Grammys

The Grammys 2-8-09

I'm a fuckin' Coldplay fanatic. They are so great. And U-2 rocked the house to start.
I love jennifer hudson, her song brought tears, and Kid Rock was awesome....and Radiohead with the band.....and the MoTown medley was awesome!!!! A Neil Diamond looking and sounding so old.

Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. “You are my sunshine” and “Here comes Santa Claus...” and “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” and “Frosty the snowman”. He received one of the Lifetime Achievement Awards..... I used to watch his movies as a boy and being so captivated by his singing in a western venue.
When I was small, I was in my Father's church. He was a Southern baptist minister, and in Salisbury, NC he was pastor of the largest church in town. He spoke to over 1000 people every Sunday and I admired him and loved him. When I was 5 or 6, he was preaching a sermon (this was in 1957-1959), and I was sitting listening with my Mother, and he came to a point in the sermon where he spoke of people who excelled at their professions, and he said if one could speak like Abraham Lincoln, or if one could sing like...... and he hesitated. (My Father never spoke from a script, he always spoke from an outline, and he was searching for the right entertainer.) Well, apparently I was listening, because I spoke up outloud in the church and yelled, “Gene Autry”. Well, of course the audience thought that was so cute and laughed and applauded, and my Father , not one to miss a moment, said, “Thank you son, yes, Gene Autry......”
So yes, even then I recognized the magnificence of his talent.......and my need for drama.

Allison Krause and Robert Plant- I can't help wondering if they are sleeping together. I am so bad.

The Bo Diddley memorial was great. There were so many great guitarists up there they looked scared to upstage the other.

All the speeches were rather simple. No one stood out.

Album of the year----ROBERT PLANT AND ALLISON KRAUSE
No, I don't think they were sleeping together. She is so much more ahead of him.

The Grammy's...they are so magical, we get the see and hear the songs we have loved, and the songs we did not know we loved, and discover new songs and new groups that are so outstanding.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My cat prepares to transition.

I am battling what to do about my last cat today. My last cat does not mean I would never have another, but for many years I had 2 cats, Velvet, my long time friend died last September,at the age of 19, and my other cat is Cinders, who has been under my care for a number of years as she is my daughter, Jennifer's, cat.
Well last week Cinders became ill and was not eating, so Thursday I took her to the vet and found out that she has progressive kidney failure, the same ailment that Velvet died of.
So for three days I have been giving Cinders "sub-Q" injections to keep her hydrated.
The procedure involves having a bag of "ringers lactate" solution, and a needle and tube, and sticking in the needle under the skin of her neck, and giving her 100mL of the solution twice daily.
The problem is Cinders is not responding to treatment, so I fear we will have to put her down tomorrow. Jennifer has been very supportive in the process, telling me she was fine with my decision, and she wants to be with Cinders tomorrow when I take her in. I feel sure Jennifer wants to support me by being there, as much as in sorrow in seeing Cinders pass. And I am really glad for her support.
Having a pet who is a friend and part of the family and giving them up is hard. I have never been one to stoically endure the deaths of pets, they always hit me pretty hard and I have to cry for a while to get over them.
So I am spending my last night with Cinders, who is about 15 years or so old herself.
Be blessed little Cinders!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Course in Miracles

I have been through most of the wookbook from A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and find it to be the closest formal statement I have seen to what our spiritual nature is like. It teaches one to assume our true nature which is sacred and holy, and allows us to envelope the world, and our neighbor, and our families, and our enemies, with our holiness (love).
ACIM is not a religion, but it could be easily placed into any of the major religions as a practice. In fact, knowing most of the major religions very well, I believe all of them could benefit by ACIM teachings.
ACIM teaches gratitude, generosity and forgiveness. It teaches one to find our true holy nature, and to be able to act in the world with integrity and blessing.

Here are 2 quotes from ACIM:

I have indeed misunderstood the world, because I laid my sins on it and saw them looking back at me. How deceived was I to think that what I feared was in the world, instead of in my mind. (p. 418)

Let every voice but God’s be still in me. Today we let no ego thoughts direct our words or actions. When such thoughts occur, we quietly step back and look at them, and then we let them go. (p. 411)

Be blessed today.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

left brain and right brain

On my facebook page, I announced that I was pondering the left brain right brain connection, and my friend Mary Ellen wrote and asked me "what have you figured out?"

Well I thought about that for a while and answered with this:

Oh no, someone has asked me for an explanation. Well, shall I answer it in the rational, or the intuitive? Well, since i was born in the rational, I shall try the intuitive.
I think this is like changing operating systems on a computer, it is hard work. It is like knowing a language and trying to speak another.
OK, Here is what I will answer.
... the left and right brain connection is like......
cooking with recipes, and cooking and throwing in whatever, it is like gardening by the book, and gardening with what feels nice on that day, it is like making love as I have always done it, or..... being receptive to .....alternative responsives.
It is like stroking my cat, or talking to her.
I am still learning what it means, but I am sure it means to cross an ocean on a raft, or flying high on a moonbeam, or sitting for hours waiting for the sunrise.
I am also sure it means to look at the world as much larger than it is, and to look at my place in the world as much larger than I thought.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Michael Phelps....and other thoughts

Poor Michael Phelps. The hero of the Oylmpics was caught in a picture smoking a bong. I immediately thought several things. What a betrayal for the idiot who took the picture to use it to embarrass or hurt Michael. And Michael, you probably weren't too wise either to smoke pot around people you don't know.....well.
But the kicker is when some idiot public servant in South Carolina said that if Phelps smoked pot in S.C. that he would prosecute him. What? Is this the end of the world as we know it? Please. Let poor Michael alone. It was embarrassing enough that he had to apologize for smoking pot, yeah, we know that was a heart-felt apology.When are they going to end all these non-sensical prosecutions for drugs?

Another thing that really pissed me off this week, was here in NM, where a Domestic partner Bill failed in a Senate committee. Of course the right wing had all the crazies here, especially people from Legacy Church here in Albq. I heard that Christian talk radio gave a "Praise God" that the DP Bill was defeated, and I thought, how much God (whatever God is)is sick to death of so-called Christians giving him credit for all kinds of hatred and discrimination. Not to mention the assumption they make that no gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transgender person can be a Christian. I will say more about religion later in another blog, but we are seriously messed up in this country by false religions influencing our institutions and culture. Oh yes, we have a right to believe what we will, but to use our sacred writings as a weapon against others, and to seek to establish laws based on "our interpretation" of those sacred writings, is not only nonsense, but it is dangerous to our democracy and our Republic.
I good example is Prop 8 in CA, which passed last year and outlawed same-sex marriage there. The legislation of discrimination against sexual and gender minorites is tyranical and unconstitutional, mean-spirited and a shame and a sin against humanity. There.....I feel better.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

For the first time in a long time, I care very little for who wins the Super Bowl. I will just be glad to get back home after 4 days in Denver. Oh, I enjoyed the conference, met some good people, but I am tired and ready to be at home.
So, let Arizona and Pittsburgh battle it out, may the best team win. But i will probably watch the game for the commercials!!