Tag Archives: soul food cafe

Cool Mapping

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You will have to click to read about what Chaz Hutton was doing and the reaction he got to this map. And you will have to do the Travels With A Donkey course to find discover the mapping trick that I use with participants.

Connect with Plants and Grow

All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it received its true consequence and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.
I Ching

EnchanteurPlanting

Enchanter’s Dream Seeds

Back in the day, when the Soul Food Cafe was fully operational, Enchanteur used to pass out dream seeds for participants to plant. The seeds were in the bag she gave people as they were setting out. The special bag was filled with talismans for the journey. The bag contained a packet of dream seeds, spectacles, a candlestick, a tiny anchor, a medallion with the imprint of the Unicorn and a set of wings.

When operating classes on terra firma participants have sometimes received a small pot with some seeds ready to plant.

This excerpt from Song Magic of the Papago Indians of Southern Arizona by Ruth Underhill provides the perfect ‘practice’ to apply upon receiving the planter, planting and locating a home where the seeds will flourish.

The Papago….stand at the edge of the field…. Kneeling he makes his hole and speaks to the seed, in the Papago manner of explaining all acts of Nature lest there be a misunderstanding. “Now I place you in the ground. You will grow tall. Then, they shall eat, my children and my friends…” Night after night the planter walks around his field “singing up the corn….” Sometimes, all the men of the village meet together and sing all night, not only for the corn but also for the beans, the squash and the wild things. (Source: Growing Myself by Judith Handelsman)

If you communicate with your plants they will respond and teach you about the inner gardening that promotes creativity. The challenge here is to look after the plant, talk to it, allow it to teach you, keep a journal, preserve your experience and generally grow.

References:

images

Growing Myself A Spiritual Journey Through Gardening Judith Handelsman
An Interview With Judith Handelsman
The Faithful Gardener Clarissa Pinkola Estes
A Gift From the Sea Ann Morrow Lindberg

Make an Offering

Upon returning to the Alluvial Mine, after so many years away, I see my offerings to the keeper of the mine have been archived. What offering will you make?

An eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth

Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend,
Whose time in this realm is done?

Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Teacher, counsellor, advocate, imagineer, friend
Who took but gave an eye, a tooth, a shoulder

Earth to Earth
Ashes to ashes dust to dust

Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Who gave more than she took
Who returns to the source

As light as a feather

Heather Blakey March 29 2005
Drawings by Heather Blakey

How The All-Mother Got Her Cloaks

All-Mother was always her happiest when she was with all of the lovely animals She and All-Father had created for our blue-and-green jewel in a far-flung arm of the Galaxy and Universe.  She would walk through the wilds and Her animals would put aside their daily lives and follow her in growing parade; where wolf and deer, bear, Cougar and sheep walked peaceably with small furry things, lizards, snakes, birds and frogs chatting as they scurried in the leaf-mould.

The larger birds all wished to perch on her shoulder in a friendly manner, but she had to remind them frequently to take care with their talons on her bare skin.  All of the animals knew that they could wound All-Mother without meaning to, despite being as careful as they could.

At night, All-Father and All-Mother rested beneath a blanket All-Mother had woven from bits of the animals’ shed fur that was caught on thorns.  She spun it in the evening, singing a wordless lullaby in time to her foot on the pedal of her spinning wheel.

One such night, while All-Father and Mother slumbered, the animals met deep in the forest.

“All-Mother needs some protection, not just from our claws, but from the weather as well.  In deepest Winter I have watched Her shiver as She scattered food on the snow so we would not starve.”  Bear spoke in his slow, deep-thinking way.

“What can we do?  Any of us would gladly give Her our skin, but She would not allow us to harm ourselves so.”  Wolf’s yellow eyes were sombre. 

“Some of our hides would do less than nothing for our Dear All-Mother!!”  Chipmunk’s busy little voice was barely audible.

“My hide would not protect our All-Mother from the cold.”  Snake’s words were sibilant and hypnotic. 

“Agreed, my skin will only repel water.”  Salamander ‘s words were mournful.  “That would not keep her warm at all.”

“No it would not work for warmth, but she would appreciate shelter from the rain.”  Owl spoke from his perch on a hollowed oak.  “Perhaps what we should do is this…” He laid out a plan all creatures thought was brilliant, and all agreed joyously to participate in.

Night after night, every animal in the wilds passed by Owl’s tree to contribute to the gifts for their All-Mother.  Every animal gave a piece of hide; each allowed their own choice of where the hide came from.  Almost unanimously the animals chose a place closest to their hearts to show how much they loved All-Mother and Father.

Pride after pride of Lions strode to the secluded glade; those noble kings donated two kinds of hide.  The males shared their glorious manes, and the females shared their bellies, warm and golden. That is why to this day Mother Animals will have bare places on their bellies.

The Zebras all offered either white or black stripes, so that their stripes could be reproduced.  On the soft ground their hooves made no sound as the herds deposited their gifts

Bears all shared their shaggy hide, whether it be black, white or any colour in between, they took the hide from nearest their hearts, to show their love for All-Mother.

The wee rodents also offered their hides; tiny bits could be added together to make a section of squirrel, or chipmunk.  There were also small pieces that fit a place too small for a large animals’ hide.

Other great cats, the leopard and cheetah, jaguar and tiger also gave of themselves happily for All-Mother’s comfort. 

The wee housecats also gifted their fur, and stayed to encourage others when they came, as well as guard the glade from All-Mother during the day.  Their defence consisted of racing through the trees until they met up with All-Mother, and then they tripped her up ecstatic snugglings, silken head-butts and purred cries for attention.

Wolves, by the pack, or the Lone Wolves who forsook their solitary ways to give their coats to All-Mother, even the cubs added their baby fluff to the Wolves’ donation.

Dogs trotted in with their tails wagging and tongues lolling, as happy as could be to be serving the All-Mother.  The ones with the greatest hearts remained to soothe the tender places left after the bit of hide was gifted.  They also set themselves to lead All-Mother astray from the glade; they would easily inveigle Her into a game of tug-of war or chase-the-stick

The horses trotted through, gifting from their long, graceful manes to trim the fronts of the cloaks, they studied the growing pile of gifts and nodded their heads approvingly.  They also offered to carry the hide from animals that could not travel on land.

The seals, sea lions and Walruses gave their waterproof hides to go around the face of All-Mother to keep ice from forming.  Their barks of happiness could be heard in the faraway glade.

When the parts for the gifts were all together the insects took every little piece and cleaned off any mess on the skin, and then combed them with their legs.  When everything was perfect spiders took their turn, as did the silkworms.

Slowly, four magnificent cloaks began to take shape; all of them held a small piece of every animals’ hides.  The spiders and silkworms sewed them together, with all of their eyes focussed on how prettily the pieces were fitted, and how the patterns and colours complemented one another.

Often the spiders and silkworms would stop to exclaim in delight at how well certain pieces of fur would match.  ‘Look here, how the mane of the lions looks with the coat of the panthers next to it’, or, ‘Doesn’t the red of Foxes’ coat look even more striking next to Zebras’ stripes.’

Two cloaks were all of fur, warm and comfortable; and would fit All-Father and All-Mother perfectly.  The second pair was of the skins of snakes and reptiles, and rubbed to a soft gloss with the oils donated by otters, beavers, and other water mammals.

The birds were unhappy about being unable to contribute to the cloaks, until Owl told them what they could do for All-Mother’s comfort and pleasure.  Bird after bird perched next to Owl and pulled soft down from nearest their hearts. 

The Spiders and Silkworms wove soft grasses, and then they were stuffed with the down to form a soft bed for All-Mother and All-Father.  There was enough of the soft grasses and down to make small cushions for them to rest their heads on as they slept.

Finally all of the gifts were ready.  The animals were all in a swivet awaiting All-Mother’s response to their generosity.  The next day as All Mother visited Her creations the animals began to slowly lead her in the direction of the cloaks.

The flowers scattered petals on All-Mother’s path, as they always did, as the leaves on the trees danced for joy when All-Mother came their way.  She would pause to smell a flower here, and embrace a stout tree as She was led by the parade of animals closer to the Glade of Gifts as it became known.

The All-Mother entered the Glade and stopped with Her mouth open; from sturdy branches hung two cloaks in a patchwork of all of Her animals’ fur, more branches held the cloaks of reptile skins; before this was the soft cushions full of down.

“Oh!  My dear Creations, such love is in these gifts!”  She turned to the animals with tears in Her eyes, now She could see the small patches where they had donated their hides for Her comfort. Overflowing with love and reverence All-Mother healed all of the small patches, leaving them bare.

And that my loves, is why all of the animals will have a bare patch somewhere on their body.  So now, when you see your animal’s bare spot you will know that the All-Father and All-Mother do exist and that they love us very much indeed.

What has this to do with our Tarot Journey?  The High Priestess is the one that teaches us how to honour the All-Father and All-Mother in everything that we do.

Mysteries are not communicable

Save to those who know.

Call Me The Seeker

Having learned from previous Journeys with Mme. La Enchanteur that doorways to Lemuria lie somewhere between the subconscious mind and the imagination (shades of “The Twilight Zone”!) I closed my eyes to find my doorway.

I fell asleep and my doorway opened wide, to a High-Def, Wide screen vista of Lemuria and her history. I dreamt of a small village, a few talented, hardy individuals carving out a niche in Cyberspace for themselves.

The first tenuous strands attached to the World Wide Web, and sent out more tendrils. Other, like-minded adventurers follower the connexions to their source, and the village grew.

More Webs stretched ‘round the globe, and now connected hearts, minds and Spirits. The village planted Dream Seeds, and grew Secret Gardens to rival the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The villagers each built their own Castles in the Air and saw their dreams gain substance.

Soon the village began to have a tourist trade, with people from the world over coming to see the wonders in the village and carry the word of the village further.

I came to join this village and wondered what my place in this magick should be. No sooner had I thought this than I saw a place, from deep within the fertile earth of my imagination, a place of birth and immortality.

The village gathered round this place of sunlight, constant blossoms, and the smell of ripening fruit. Each member had their own time of labouring, and giving birth to children of great beauty. As each new life was begun, so many members of the village cheered and exclaimed with joy, that soon the village was a bustling city and still growing.

My place in the village, and one purpose of the village was that, to be a nursery to talent, ideas, and growth, not only of mind and imagination, but also of Spirit and ideals.

The village is also a place of great change, new members would stagger in, sore wounded and weary of Spirit and discovered that there would be support and guidance through every step they would make from now forward.

How we each make the journey along our healing road is different for every person, as it ought to be; yet we all know that others have been there and others will follow behind us. We have been gifted with the most precious knowledge of all. We are not alone!!

I hold the bag Mme. La Enchanteur has gifted me with, it has such weight, and the energy contained in such a wee package, pulsing with the life of creativity. In it are so many tiny tools to use in my travels.

And a deck of Tarot Cards, unlike any other deck I had in my collection.

The Packet of Dream Seeds I return to Mme. La Enchanteur, I have been in the village long enough to have my own Dream Seeds to carry with me.

“The Rumi Tarot” created by Nigel Jackson, based upon the teachings of the Sufi scholar, Rumi, full of mysticism, deep wisdom and ageless beauty.

The Fool is, of course the beginning, and he is an innocent young man, unprepared for, and unaware of the dangers ahead of him on his journey.

"Be Foolish, so that your heart may know peace."

The inscription at the bottom intrigued me, “Be foolish, so that your heart may know peace.”

Foolish, the word has so many negative connotations. Someone that is stupid, naive, unaware of what greases the wheels of the world.

Having done the Tarot for over 35 years (O My Gods!!) I know that none of those are what the Tarot’s Fool is made of.

In the Tarot the Fool is someone who is innocent, and does not look either backwards or forwards, someone overflowing with trust and optimism. Here a leopard accompanies the Fool.

Instead of asking why not a dog, like so many other Fool Cards in the Tarot, I asked why a leopard.

My first thought came from the Queen of Wands in the Thoth-Crowley Tarot Deck. The Queen wears flowing locks of reddish brown hair and is accompanied by a leopard.

Legend has it that once upon a time the Queen wore long shining black hair and her companion was a panther. They were purified by their troubles and travels and the queen had flowing golden locks and her panther became a lioness.

The Queen looked back over the path she had travelled and her heart was so moved by those people that were still struggling that she chose to remain where she was instead of continuing on her path, so! her hair became reddish brown and her constant companion wore the dark spots of a leopard as it too chose to stay and help.

Perhaps this is why the leopard instead of the dog is by the side of the Fool, to be a helper and guide to the Fool. Or perhaps the Leopard is A Fool from a Previous Journey, who joyously partners the fool.

Together they may symbolise that we are at once The Fool and The World.

Hrmmmnnnnhhhhh… that sounds like a whole ‘nother post, for another day, perhaps even an author other than myself!!

My Soul Cloak

My Soul Cloak? Hrmmmmnnnnnnnhhhh… I must ponder this, not for long though, my instincts usually don’t steer me wrong.

To me, Soul and Spirit are rather interchangeable, despite nit-picking to the contrary. Soul means the eternal something we all had when we were born, that part which idenditifies with your chosen Diet (ies).

I think the distinction betwixt the two words is this; the Soul is attached to a physical form for the span of that lifetime. A Spirit can exist on the physical plane of awareness, to a degree, without a physical form.

So… Does my Soul Cloak have any relation to my Scar Coat? I should think so, the scars were earned in the trenches, as it were, and my scars are an integral part of my personal beauty.

Had I not experienced things that would create lasting scars, I would not shine like I seem to be doing frequently these days.

And what about my Dream Coat? Surely I cannot forget that! Dreams are what keep you going when nothing else will, not even promises. Dreams allow us to retain innocence and joy. I’d need all the accessories I use to do what I do, so this has to be an enormous cloak!! Blessed with delightful pockets and small bags, with intriguing shapes tucked into them. And I would make it with an oversized hood, so that I could create a wee spot of privacy whenever and wherever I wished.

The cloth for my cloak would be spun of stardust and glamourie. I would dye it with dewdrops and snuggles, soften it with sunshine and the scent of favourite flowers, lavender, chamomile, alyssum, and roses, and the smell of well-loved earth.

I would lay it out and cut it with an eye towards the future, and sew it with ties from my past. Sparkling like the finest diamonds, the magical days of my life decorate the cloak that swirls around me, from my shoulders to my feet.

Hiding in the shadows of the cloth are the darkest times I have known, the times that taught me some of the most important lessons of this lifetime. For decoration I have sewed in favourite films, old jokes, and family not-too-exaggerated legends.

The outside of my cloak feels like a high-quality Plushy Animal, the sort of texture that dares you and begs you to bury your fingers in the downy pile. Since Soul Cloaks are often used in comforting the shoulders are padded with Gore-Tex so they dry quickly after being cried upon.

Soul Cloaks are frequently used as a shelter for someone needing a respite, so the inside must be light and pleasant, so they are comfortable. The cloak will be lined with smooth linen, line-dried and fresh-pressed, the fabric is embroidered in dainty satin stitches, all sort of interesting minutiae to get a conversation going when someone needs to talk, but doesn’t know where to start.

My cloak also needs to rest lightly, so as never to be burdensome, and strong enough to last all the lifetimes I am blessed with. It also needs to be well provisioned with laughter, hugs and kisses, and encouragement.

There is always a warm pot of hope and the back of the stove, and there are plenty of mugs for everyone. I can play music for you, whatever genre, and volume you desire (within reason on the volume, please).

Last but not least my, Soul Cloak must reflect my faith and ideals, loving, honest, honourable, and straightforward. And that is how I made my Soul Cloak.

Just Wait

The Message

They are the words that flow within my veins; the reminder again and again to lay low, hide, stay invisible, don’t get noticed. They are the words my dad spoke every time I made a new friend or accomplished something of great value. They were a reminder always a reminder:

Just wait till they find out who you really are…

He spoke cruelly quite often but these are the words that stuck to my skull only to be peeled away later and dispensed into my veins in the form of fear and shame. They are the words that have imprisoned me, kept me from moving forward, stuck to one place with no power to move.

Just wait till they find out who you really are…

I realized just recently that these words hold no truth. How can I be ashamed of who I really am when I don’t know who that is? I never got the chance to learn. I only knew myself through my parents’ eyes and that was hideous enough. I never looked any further.

Just wait till they find out who you really are…

I wrote these words and placed spaces between them, colorful spaces, alive spaces. They turned out to be just words. They have lost their power, their meaning, now that I have placed them atop their own little island – just plain, simple words. I can float around them now in my own sea of creation, free to remove my feet from the muck that has bound me to them, free to go wherever I want. Free.

Just wait till they find out who you really are…

No, you do not hold your power anymore because I have the strength to rewrite you now.

Just wait till I find out who I really am, dad.

I will be UNSTOPPABLE.

Sarah – This Dreamers Life