Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Transformational Velocity

You must attend a Homa to truly appreciate one. Without knowledge of Vedic scripture or Hindu ritual, an intuitive person will simply know they are in the presence of a significant event. The preparation is extensive, the vibe is exquisite, and its lasting effects are unpredictably potent on all levels. This was the most intense and final day of my visit with Sri Karunamayi in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has inspired an unusual stream of consciousness, even for me.

There is something in the air that speaks of transformational velocity, as well, a phrase I picked up from Robert Phoenix Astrology. Our existence is pregnant with transformation and the rate of change grows faster exponentially; however, for me, it was the Homa that put the big spin on it.

The Significance of Homas

A homa is a sacred fire ceremony in which various forms of the Divine are invoked in a sacred fire that has been kindled according to the guidelines in the Vedic scriptures. Certain special offerings are made into the fire while Sanskrit mantras are chanted. The combination of the powerful energy of the fire and the Sanskrit mantras creates extremely auspicious and purifying vibrations that are beneficial to all who attend the homa. The smoke that rises from a homa contains a powerful healing energy, and as it rises to the heavens it purifies the atmosphere, both physically and subtly, encouraging a peaceful environment and gentle weather. Even the damaging effects of natural catastrophes can be reduced through the performance of homas. The energetic vibrations that are invoked during a traditional Vedic fire ceremony represent the most powerful presence of the Divine on Earth. The element of fire is associated with the upward motion of the divine kundalini energy and is considered to be the most powerfully purifying element. Every kind of negative karma can be purified by the sacred homa fire, due to divine grace. Source

The Fire Goddess, Agni, is in the Homa fire. We feel Her more than see Her when She is coaxed from the flame with ritual offerings, but seeing Her is quite possible, as well. In early Hindu religion, Agni is a God, a male deity, whose extreme importance comes from the role of fire in sacrifices and rituals. He is the fire that consumes the offerings to the gods, and therefore he is the mediator between heaven and earth. In the Tibetan faith, Agni is a female goddess, a manifestation of the Goddess Tara, a form of the Great Mother, and universal shakti, who embodies the transformative element of fire in all its forms. When we feed Agni our desires, She transforms us. If our heart is open, this manifestation of the Divine Mother will work on our very cells, our karma, that which is written in our bones, to burn away karmic layer after layer.

When I look into the Homa fire, I see a dancing female figure, whose limbs and hair are alight with the creative fire of transmutation. In this photo of Amma’s Homa fire from her recent visit to Memphis, Tennesee, I actually see Agni, dancing there. Look at it closely. Wait. See.

Homa Fire, Memphis Tennessee


As I mentioned in a previous post on Amma’s visit, there is one devotee whose transformation is astounding. The last time I saw her, and I won’t mention names to protect privacy, she seemed frightened, terrified even, as she pushed and shoved her way to get as close to Mother as possible. I’ve seen her crying in corners during programs, her anguish a rupture of spirit that moved me. I’ve seen this in others, too. Her pain was just like my own. This devotee made a trip to India recently to be with Amma, and I’m wagering the trip changed her.

But how?

While I know so much of Amma’s transmutation abilities are unfathomable to us, I also believe it’s about worthiness. It was for me to a degree, and I see a reflection of my own transformation is this devotee’s eyes. When the Living Goddess takes an interest in us, our self-worth is lit with a tiny flame of recognition which gradually blossoms into a full bonfire, giving us courage to attempt more in our lives. We must take the first step toward the catalyst we should embrace to gain release, but it is Her love, Her faith in us as individuals, that gives us the courage to do so. Suddenly, as reflected back in Her eyes, we become worthy. Then, on an accelerated basis and because we’ve opened the door to our hearts, so much more karmic baggage is lifted from us. This is my limited understanding.

If this isn’t transformation velocity, I don’t know what is.

During the Homa, I experienced a moment of grief as karmic cables were snapped with finality. I had a spiritual sister once, when I was young and unawakened, and during this Homa, I wished she were there with me. The longing was poignant and unexpected because I’ve been so upset with her for so long. Objectively, I found this surprising but my feelings were more of the accelerated emotional acceptance I wrote about previously. I watch this individual’s transformation from the sidelines (via the internet because I still can’t tear myself away), and I am filled with warmth for her happiness and creativity. I missed her desperately at that moment in response to the cut ties, and then felt grieving set in followed finally by acceptance, all very quickly.

Transformational velocity.

I found myself yet again pondering the connectivity in all things, the mundane and esoteric, and that which keeps us all intrinsically linked and what it is that can finally break those ties once and for all. The phrase “as above, so below” took on greater meaning. I believe there are numerous explanations for any given thing. Just like there are numerous aspects of Devi, so that we may find one that suits us best. Indeed, there are universal truths, as well, but I believe when dealing with the subjectivity of the human experience, those universal truths are interpreted in a myriad of ways. Intent matters always.

My mind wanders further, and I find myself engaged in a conversation with my DragonGuide, Gregor. Learn more about Gregor and dragon symbolism here.

I wonder if suffering is part of the job for Amma? I know it is for Ammachi. I mean, She sits for up to 24 hours at a time, and bears a perpetual bruise on her face for all the hugging she does. Then, I worry. If Jesus gave his life on the cross to absolve us of our sins, then why are Amma and Ammachi here? Which one will be the sacrifice for us this time?

“You worry about things you can do nothing about,” Gregor rumbles in his deep, baritone voice.

I am in the car again driving down Highway 280, and Gregor is spinning pinwheels in the fog that lay gracefully over mountains to the left of us. I am reflecting, and he responds telepathically, which has become second nature to me. He rather enjoyed last weekend’s blistering heat, as much as I despised it, but is infinitely more fond of cloud cover and the way his gigantic, beating wings leave patterns behind him as he spins.

Amma is an incarnation of Saraswati, who has a special affinity for rivers and water. Then, at work recently, I was involved in doing an Earth Day mini-expo, and researched the Great Garbage Patch in the Pacific. I mean, have you looked at that? If Amma is in rapport with the Earth, and she states Mother Earth is screaming with her burden, then what does it do to Her? Is part of Her reason for being here to bear the burden of our stupidity? Oh goodness, I don’t know if I can stand that.

“Mmmmm,” Gregor begins, “Ssssssshe knowsssss what Ssssshe is doing. The Great Mother would think it sssssilly that you dwell on this, child.”

He is right, of course, and he goes on.

“Yet Sssssshe asssssks you to throw up your hands to laugh out loud for nothing, and then laughssss outloud Herself. Mother tellsss you the ssssame stories again and again in the event even only one of you needsss to hear it just so to be inspired.”

Indeed. She will nod at me and shake her head, “yes, you are good” and “no, I will not leave you” as I approach her for individual blessings time after time. She is there for us one-on-one and globally. She is one aspect of many on earth, both hidden and visible, at this unique and accelerated time in our spiritual history.

Gregor is finished entertaining this stream of consciousness and retreats into the mountains, into the back of my head. My grandfather. My dragon.

I miss him immediately.

My visit with Amma and the Homa wrapped up with yet more animal symbolism, taking me back again to the card reading my friend Avia did for me. Squirrels followed me everywhere, reminding me to dig up those nuts I’ve put away for safe keeping. Then, I was poking around the book store and found a beautiful picture of Amma with a squirrel. As I was purchasing two (one for Avia, and one for myself), one of the guys behind the counter said, “Hey, you caught that, too, hm? I saw a black squirrel just over there,” he declared pointing outwardly.

There was also one curious duck, a water bird, which simply couldn’t stay away from the Homa fire, which I thought was interesting given the polarities involved. She was a mallard, and kept circling the fire to land on the roof top just above Amma, where she bobbed and weaved, peaking at the activity. I received interesting messages from that little girl, there. There were many, many bees about. Those sacred messengers took Amma’s message far and wide in their unstoppable way, some with wings that are physically too small to carry their body’s weight … yet they do. There was one very determined crow, as well, the symbolism for which followed me from home, where one very serious black, feathered messenger perched itself on the front fence to holler at me with determination. Maybe it was a raven. So many birds. Animal symbolism is the common thread in our lives if we pay attention, but animal symbolism in the presence of the Divine Mother takes on even greater significant assuredly.

Back to the now …

Yesterday, we were in Daly City still looking at houses in a very frustrating real estate market. Our real estate agent is exactly who we need at precisely this moment in time. She and my Leslie share a wonderful rapport, which makes sense given it was Leslie’s fathomless and innate real estate magic that drew her to us. The woman works from a large heart obviously, is very loyal to her clients, and has no intention of leaving us even though she’s investing huge amounts of time for what will be a minimal pay off. The Mercury Retrograde is making this a long process the chief ingredient of which is patience, clearly something Leslie and I are still working on in this life. Yet it doesn’t seem to bother this stalwart and long experienced woman. She is a strong, enduring Austrian, who hikes with 40 pounds of brick on her back to prepare for mountain climbing season. Her cell phone ring is a yodel. No lie. She’s made of stronger stuff than impatience.

I’m feeling that ping, as well, which tells me I’ve met this person before, in a life before this one, which hasn’t happened in some time.

As we were driving through Daly city, there beside the road and in the middle of a hill, was one very tall Great Blue Heron. It was completely out of place, and there was no body of water in the vicinity. I took a deep breath, feeling reassured, as the Great Blue Heron is a long standing and very familiar animal marker that even Leslie recognizes. It never, ever appears out of coincidence.

I mentioned seeing the bird to our mountain climbing, Austrian real estate agent, and she looked at me like I was bonkers.

Clearly not the superstitious type.

I’ll keep myself reigned in.

Ah well.

Transformational Velocity.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dolly Momma Rides the Peace Train



"PEACE TRAIN" DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER CICCONE
WRITTEN BY CAT STEVENS AKA YUSAF ISLAM LYRICS

LYRICS
Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Something good's bound to come

For out on the edge of darkness
There runs the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Hoo-ah-eeh-ah-hoo-ah
Come on the peace train
Peace train's a holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
Hoo-ah-eeh-ah-hoo-ah
This is the peace train

Get your bags together
Come bring your good friends too
Because it's getting nearer
Soon it will be with you
Come and join the living
It's not so far from you
And it's getting nearer
Soon it will all be true

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Hoo-ah-eeh-ah-hoo-ah
Come on the peace train

I've been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

For out on the edge of darkness
There rides the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Hoo-ah-eeh-ah-hoo-ah
Come on the peace train

Come on, come on, come on the peace train...

Friday, May 15, 2009

DRAGON SYMBOLISM


My friend, Avia Venifica, of What's Your Sign and Tarot Teachings has posted a wonderful blog on dragon symbolism. She's also used my beloved Gregor as her graphic! I'm so thrilled.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Day in Paradise


Originally posted in Multiply on April 11, 2007 … revisiting Connecticut and Convalescent Home Memories. I guess I'm thinking about my grandmother for some reason.

We went to visit my grandmother yesterday at the Regency House in Wallingford. She’s been sick lately, an infection, so we were hoping she would be awake. It’s always scary for Elizabeth to see her great grandmother when Thelma isn’t well because her illness makes her more explicative than usual. Senility. Dementia. There are a couple words for it. Bottom line, she tends to loose touch with reality. Thelma yells for her mother (who is long gone), acts overly cautious about everything – loudly – and says her A B C’s a lot, a long standing habit that is a very much like a chant. Imagine this, “A B C D -- Hurry UP!” Once, she called out to her sister, Phyllis (also dead), and then looked up from her trance bewildered, and said, “I just said Phyllis,” as if she were bewildered by her own self. To Elizabeth, this strange behavior is frightening, and concerning, and means that her great grandmother is either really tired or getting sick. When Thelma is well, she and Elizabeth have somewhat of a relationship. They say hello, good-bye, Thelma asks about school, and when Elizabeth ventures closer to Thelma’s bed, Thelma watches her as closely as she can, despite being almost blind. Thelma rarely can remember the name, “Elizabeth”, and has referred to her as Betsy, Brigitte, or most common, “the girl”. Their blood connection is an amazing thing, reaching out over four generations between my daughter and my grandmother.

We walked through the front door of the Regency House and many of the patients were in the front room soaking up the warm sun through large windows. The room was toasty. There were octogenarians in wheel chairs, old Doris in the corner mumbling to herself (and who announced she would be following us around – she didn’t), Irish Peg, who has teeth that are brown and scary and much too big for her head and a rather disconcerting smile, and spouses that are there faithfully and regularly. Coco was there, all scrunched up crooked in her wheelchair, long hair and a face full of make up. We went by the nurse’s station and just as we were approaching Thelma’s room we heard a loud, barking, very German like command. It was Helga in a rowdy mood. Helga is a very nice German woman, who has a thick accent, and spends a lot of her time in her wheelchair sort of scooting around the A Wing. Once day she scooted into Thelma’s room when we were all watching television, and we got into a conversation about how she came to America by herself and stayed with her brother, whose wife was good to her. Today she seemed wound up tighter than spring, barking every once in a while as though she couldn’t hold it in. Leslie and I strolled by, “Hi, Helga, how are you?” And she yelled back, “HELLO!” and took my arm. I patted her hand, and she told me she liked me. “Thanks, Helga, I like you, too.” There is a patient there who was a weaver and her husband of over 60 years visits her almost every day. As we passed on by, this husband was in the hallway waving his hands over Helga’s head, grinning like a fool, getting a rise out of her, as the pool nurse dispensing pills said “Don’t egg her on,” disapprovingly. Helga kept grinding her teeth and wagging her finger at the man, which only proved to amuse him. Is this a rest home or grammar school, I wondered. The parallels are amazing.

Thelma’s door was closed – time for an “oil change” – so we hung out in the hallway. Before a moment passed, Suzie, another patient who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and is always in her chair, starting moaning loudly and reaching out for us. Suzie likes us, too. But, I mean, she can really get loud, and the whole hand outreaching thing is a lot like Frankenstein.

All this commotion was going on in a little hallway, and there we were in the middle of it. I can’t remember the last time we were there and everybody was so awake! I looked over at Elizabeth, who had her face crammed as deeply as she could into her video game, and I held my arms out. She came to me, put her head on my chest (she’s getting taller), and took a deep breath. The whole thing can be so taxing on a child. But she hangs in there.

What a trooper.

It’s just another day in paradise.

FROM OUR WORKSHOP: Edward Cullen



Fully colorized portrait of Edward Cullen on medium weight drawing paper, completed and signed on May 1, 2009.

(c) May 1, 2009, by Elizabeth Faber ... All rights reserved.
And here is the black and white line drawing, before it was colored in.

Chibi Edward

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