Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ke'ia e Kela ... Ho'olewa here and there

Yesterday was a truly blessed day, a New Moon in Cancer and time for new beginnings, uncharted territory and family. Ke'ia in Hawaiian means 'here' and Kela means 'there.' I often balance the beauty of that distance image to make me feel the separation disappear. As I have honed and stepped more fully into my legacy of The Safety Pin Queen, my distinct honor I have to tell you, experience gives me more joy at seeing distancing dissolve. I become adept and flexible with my magic with the pins and share the possibilities.

The pictures below are of my friends listening to the eulogy my son Christopher and I assembled and put onto a DVD. As my friends listened I snapped photos, and listened via the cellphone to the memorial happening on O'ahu.

The amazing thing about daring to cross the borders between here and there is there are no age limitations if you believe ...
 On a small box and a screen (a laptop), a grand crew of friends who have known our family for long, long and short short times listen ... in silence as words tell how symbols can make distance dissolve.
 Food, drinks, a laptop, sacred plants ( la'i ... green ti leaf plant), a purple hibiscus plant (Rose of Sharon) like the ones that grew around us as kids, words safety pinned in memory, and a gourd turned on its side is placed on an 'empty chair' so David is remembered, included and loved.

 There was pie ala mode for topping of a sweet feast.

 Clouds skuttered and cleared to let the blue and the sun bless us with time to be together without cover after a night of rain, and rain the started again when we had kissed our friends good-bye and cleared the table.
 Love is it.

Ho'olewa in Hawaiian means funeral.

Friday, June 27, 2014

David and his Safety Pins ... a eulogy

For Bruddah David Calizar Jr.
December 6, 1949, Full Moon in Cancer - May 14, 2014, Full Moon in Scorpio

Christopher my son sings a requested mele.
Click on this link for a favorite song ... Ku'u Home O Kahalu'u ... "his memory for a blessing"

P.S. Forgive any difficulty listening to the story, or mele... I hope you get the good drift anyway.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thresholds and Gates

This Friday, our family and friends will celebrate the life of my Brother David. The grieving and going through the process of coming to terms with loss is an unexpectedly deep one; I've written a lot about it here, to draw inspiration up and out. Without knowing what it would be like, I have been blessed with the grace of teachers who initiate me. In a very real way, David helps on his end and perhaps, as my friend and medicine woman suggested, I help him with his final rite of passage. Again and again I have acknowledged the teacher-angel who is most present for my initiation: Angeles Arrien. She passed away from complications with walking pneumonia on April 24, of this year. I am reading and studying her work, The Second Half of Life Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. Arrien helps me to feel the symbolism of the valuable recognition of threshold work, the figurative, and spiritual work of 'treading, turning, twisting, or flailing as we do inner work." The first chapter in that book includes this quote from The Sacred and the Profane, in which Mircea Eliade writes, "the threshold is the limit, the boundary, the frontier that distinguishes and opposes two worlds--and at the same time, is the paradoxical place where those worlds communicate, where passage from the profane to the sacred world becomes possible." As I give myself the gift of this inner work, it is the imagery and the practice of recognizing the signs that tell me literally, "You are there! You are here, at the threshold(s).

Again to quote from The Second Half of Life: "Because we live in a society that has lost many traditional initiation rituals, we have lost the ability to recognize the signs that foreshadow transition. We may recognize that we are going through transition, or that we are changing. But because we are unfamiliar with initiatory rites, we do not perceive that we stand at the gate. We do not comprehend that we need to open it and do the required threshing and integrative work."
I asked for help, as is always the protocol for threshold work, to do this inner work most timely during my second half of life: open the eight gates of wisdom. What do the eight gates of wisdom offer me? The Silver Gate "will urge you to leave the safety of your familiar world and approach the inner mysteries. You will be asked to summon the courage to face the unknown. The White Picket Gate, is the place of changing identities and roles. You will meet the masks you have worn preciously in life and find ways to discover your true face. The Clay Gate will teach you to foster intimacy, embrace your sensuality, and respect your body. At The Black and White Gate you must walk through with another person. Here you will be asked to burn in the crucible of relationships. The Rustic Gate requires that you leave behind the work of your life-dream as an offering to others. The Bone Gate demands your honesty and authenticity. Through the Natural Gate you will find deep contentment and satisfaction. All the happy moments of your life are found at this gate, which is flooded by natural light. At last, you will arrive at the Gold Gate. There you will embrace your spirit and learn about surrender and release. The Gold Gate will urge you to let go and trust."

When I began to receive, write and tell the medicine stories from The Safety Pin Cafe, I knew one thing for sure: symbolism would feed my soul with remedies logic could not. My mother was The Safety Pin Queen who unceremoniously held things together with the common magic of that bent piece of metal. I watched. I learned. I became schooled and initiated into the border lands. Story would fill in so many of the cracks, the unthinkable, the profane. They, all my First Family, my people of the Valley, are together on the other side of The Gold Gate. I feel the value of the safety pin as it opens, to release and then reattach to another something yet to be. My work of threshing at the eight gates will take me some time ... How much time? I'm not sure, but I have begun and commit to doing what it takes to make my way through the second half of life initiations.

One thing I feel in my bones: those medicine stories will take on a whole new meaning when I get back to writing them done. What magic this life is. What a mystery.

Photo Credit: This Old House

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Grateful Today: Healing and Chiron and the Full Moon, June 12, 2014

" Venus, Saturn, and Chiron are all at 17 degrees 44 minutes of their sign with Chiron in sextile to Venus and trine to Saturn. This is ridiculously uncommon and impossibly positive. So if you wish, give a thought today and tomorrow to what it is within you that was once broken and now holds you back from giving and receiving what you desire. It may be something you once held, but to which you have lost access. Or it may be something you never had but always wanted. This is not a momentary thing but a process. Resolving it helps not just you, but everyone you will encounter..." - Satori

"Healing takes place at Nature's Rhythm. Nature's Rhythm? Medium to Slow." - Angeles Arrien

For a very long time, at least it feels like a very long time, I have reflected and considered what wounds, emotional-psychic breaks held, or hold me back. The archetypal character Chiron, the centaur, half-man, half cloven hoofed being, who was a great teacher and healer but could not heal himself appears in an astrological natal (birth) chart. From that (astrological) point of reference, each of us human's have wounds or breaks that repeatedly challenge or fester over time, healing or fixing being almost impossible to do independent of others. Satori's writing today fuels me with gratefulness, as I see and experience the slow to medium rhythm of healing deep wounds or complicated wounds that really are more than personal; the healing is collective, legacy-based, and forward moving.

Tonight's Sagittarius Full Moon is the one-moon anniversary of my Brother David's passage. Through the mechanism of symbols and my deeply connected relationship with the Moon healing comes. Chiron is natally positioned in my 10th House of Public Reputation, or Career. It's the way I appear to the public that has been wounded at a deep or complicated way.  My brother's chiron is in the 6th House of Healing and Creativity. Poetically I witness in myself, the powerful transformation that is coming through the journey of our life as sister and brother. It's a long shot, to some, but feels to me very real, and reassuring. In our very early lives we were wounded deeply by family drama and abuse that hurt us both. Publicly, I was the older sister but only by less than two years. But even at a very early age, I knew my job was to protect my brother even though he was bigger, stronger, and more agile and quick than I could ever be. The wound of my brother's 6th House Chiron placement reckons for me the struggle he would experience most of his life, that of seeking/escaping/running from a hurt that could not be fixed without complete surrender.

Through the month between the Full Moon in Scorpio, and tonight's Full Moon in Sagittarius I have weighed and wept deeply as my public reputation and career as protector has hung in the balance. How well have I served my brother, as protector, and does that remain my role now that he has gone home? Both Satori and Angeles Arrien provide me with mirrors into which I reflect on the answers to that question. The question and the answers have been on my 'to do' list for a very long time. Funny but time is relative, and when I do not separate myself from all of Nature, the very long time may really but be somewhere between slow to medium. There is a sense of renewal that is mine today, that was not there just days ago. The work of exploring and reflecting on a maturing nature is good and valuable time spent. The forecast for tonight's moon rise is that there will be a cloudy sky; not likely to see our companion Mahina. Fortunately, that is just a forecast, and does not account for magic, or a momentary and well-placed breeze. Not all healing is done on the surface, and even clouds light up on a full moon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grateful Today: The Gift of Eulogizing

"The Taurus-Scorpio opposition is exactly where my North-South Nodal Axis sits natally. It’s a powerful time for me as I grieve my brother’s death, write and record his eulogy, and experience what comes when one weighs up a lifetime of knowing, loving and losing. What counts? In the end … it is all about how well I have learned to love, and be loved.-my comment on Elsa Elsa's blog post  Venus Opposing Saturn, tomorrow, June 12, 2014

How like the North Node Symbol is the Logitech USB Headset !(run your cursor and link)

This weekend Pete and I took a wonderful Sunday drive. The bright yellow Scotch Broom has finally bloomed their heads off, and I can travel with less difficulty. I had a goal in mind as we headed north to Freeland, and Radio Shack. "I'm gonna need to kick up my technological know-how!" I told my sister in law. The mo'olelo, the story of my brother's life, was written. The words, the symbols, the memories and the value of a fully lived life were all there on the cyber-paper. To get those words to my family for the memorial service later this month would require creating an audio file on my computer. Not a difficult thing for many people, I however, had never done that. I asked my son for directions. He gave me some, and it helped. I 'googled' and that helped; I found the steps to do the recording, found the software on our computer. All I needed now was a microphone with a USB plug. The young Asian man, who has helped me before when I needed to buy a zip drive, took me to the wall of two kinds of headphone mics. The two mics were encased in that hard plastic, so I couldn't feel them. One of them, a Logitech USB Headset was one of the mics I'd researched on the internet. Of the two it was the more expensive, but my sense was that'll do. The young man with the very cool white decorated eyeglass frames commended me on my choice, and said, "Two to one, that's the one most people buy." Good customer service. He was not pushy, but offered information, let me choose, and reinforced the choice I made. In my former career life customer service training was my gig. I paid, and thanked him.

Once out of that hard plastic packaging, Pete helped me start the off-gassing process. Stuff has lots of chemical residue ... it's all chemicals! For an afternoon, and overnight we let the Logitech H390 air in the bright sun, and breathe a little. Monday morning, I sat at the computer, pulled up the mo'olelo and made a few additions and pulled together the flow and the wording for my brother's eulogy. Safety Pins hold the story together as the symbol and metaphor that bridges and connects the people, choices and gifts that are the life I remember as my brother's. Once the written story was done, my technological challenge was hanging on a hook. Was I ready for this? I wasn't sure, but took a step. Then I took another step, plugged in the jack, found the audio record program, put the mic over my head. The written file could be read off the screen. The morning was quiet, and I adjusted the mic.

The story written and recorded for the telling of my brother's fully lived life starts with ...

"Hi Kalani, Kawika. It’s Aunty Titi. Richie and Keke, you have never met me, but I have a safety pin on my shirt to keep you attached to me as I get ready to tell a story -- a short one, about your father-in-law, and your Grampa. You might not know how important safety pins are in the Calizar Family. I hope this story will help..."

The recording was done in one reading, and is fifteen minutes long. Technology allowed me to show up, be present, and do what I know has heart and meaning. My husband Pete, and my son Christopher have listened to the recording and we agree It's a wrap. There are other pieces that need to be added: a beautiful rendition of a favorite song my son is recording, and a few photos for a slide show to accompany the story. We have time to assemble those parts. All the while the astrology of a Venus in Taurus opposing Saturn in Scorpio sky gives me the opportunity to weigh the wants and needs of what is truly valuable. Creating a Rite of Passage such as we are doing for my brother provides a gift to be truly grateful for. In the eulogizing of someone who I have loved, and been challenged by, all my life I come closer to loving fully myself. The technological device I hunted for, and found, the headset microphone perched upon my head is that North Node symbol, the bridge perfectly suited to take me where my soul directed my hands and my feet. Now that is magic in practice. A gift to acknowledge, a bridge to walk with a full-face smile!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Grateful Today: Recognizing the Rites of Passage, Initiation and Closings

These are the 'Ole Moons (those phases of the moon when reflection, weeding, mending, and rest are called for). Between the Full Moon in Scorpio, on May 14th when my Brother David made his transition out of the body and into Spirit, there is this time. This time is what I am recognizing as a time to prepare the Initiation or Rite of Passage we call "Death." In the YouTube included here are snips of conversation with a great teacher, who made her own transition in late April. I refer to her often in the past several weeks, as she is someone I was led to, I believe, because I would need her guidance and mentorship to create a Rite of Passage for my brother. It is not an easy rite to create and as I listened to Angeles Arrien in this YouTube, I recognize that I am going through the process of integrating and growing my character. That character has matured slowly ... over time. When I have rushed to take short-cuts, my body or some environmental event has slowed me down. Angeles Arrien says that we, in this culture, love things that are 'NEW' and are great at starting things up. We aren't so good at prolonging interest especially when things get hard. And she says, we are really not very good at closing things or ending things well. I can relate to that description as apt for my own life. I think I've chosen my life so I would experience the journey of staying, and closing/ending relationships.

With this 'Ole Moon Phase of Four days and nights I am grateful to remember there are two things we(humans) cannot do in the 'Fast Lane": we cannot integrate our experiences; and two, we cannot grow or deepen our character. Living my life by the moon has reconnected me to the natural cycle. Forcibly, if necessary, but sometimes as a result of learning and practicing life lived in the medium to slow range/pace, I get to know myself, and my unique place. I have been asked to give a eulogy -- honor my Brother David's life. It is an initiation, and a rite of passage that must be infused with ritual. It comes to me, in the natural pace: slow to medium. These 'Ole Moons end with Friday's moon.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grateful Today: Experiencing the 'Journey' of the Moon's Nodes

" Taurus North Node/Scorpio South Node
Those with south node in Scorpio have come from lifetimes of deeply understanding others’ pain and suffering, including their own. They, like Libra south node, have always thought of themselves as a part of a duo, rather than singularly. But with Scorpio south node, the ante has been upped. The experiences aren’t just about relating, its about relationships of unusual intensity and most likely, crisis types of situations in relationships that truly test the soul’s resilience...What is the ultimate evolutionary purpose for these people? SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY. From complex relationships to the simplification of their own spirit. How is that done? By first eliminating (good Scorpio word) as many complications as they can, and find the still, simple life of just BEING, without all that drama added. If everything is so intense emotionally, from the Scorpio south node, it would stand to reason that perhaps this lifetime is just finding a place to settle down, within oneself? If they can separate themselves from their own and others’ very demanding dramas, they can learn the ultimate lesson: to be at ease and totally comfortable."- Eileen Grimes for
This depiction symbolizes the circular journey of the Dragon/Serpent (often the archetypal creature of death/rebirth), and the evolution or journey of a human being based on the position of the Moon's Nodes at the time of birth. The earphone like symbol (to the left in this drawing) is the North Node. The symbol opposite it is the South Node. Eastern astrology often describes the journey of the soul's journey as that of moving from the Tail of the Dragon (the South Node) toward the Mouth of Dragon (the North Node), which in metaphoric turns offers the human being and her evolving soul the journey (life) of feeding the Dragon.

I was born with the signature of a Scorpio South Node, and Taurus North Node. For many years now, especially since the years of diaspora my ongoing quest has been to simplify my life, and my self, from the intensity of crisis after crisis. The irony and the reality of that quest is that in the settling down to root, old habits and old projections die hard! Perhaps it is in that recognition of 'die hard' while I sort through the grief process today, that is the gift and the charm hidden in the difficulty.

Surrounded as I am by the Tribe of Thousands (the Tree People of Fir, Pine, Cedar and Alder) I live with the beings who ground. 24/7 the Tribe of Thousands 'speak' to me, and give me the lesson I so need to integrate. Simply, simply, simply ... ground. The chain saws may come and cut us down. Simply, simply, simply ... ground. People will burn us down.  Simply, simply, simply ... ground. Over, and over the trees show me as they stand with roots out of sight and heads in the heavens how it is done. Their trunks grow daily, they sway in the wind. Their branches make music and make homes for the seen and unseen. Music starts with their presence, ends with their grounding.

Though I struggle even with all this tree wisdom feeding the mouth of my Taurus North Node, the trees teach me. They don't judge my flailing, but they do remain constant: rooted, reaching, touching the heavens, bringing the heavens down to earth. My gratefulness is in the awareness that I do struggle and I do suffer. That is the truth; but it is not everything. Many moments of calm feed my soul. My relationships test me even in the calm, there is a choice I think. Will I be calm enough to communicate and speak truthfully without judgement? I am hopeful. My Brother David's death, and passing is offering me the window of hopeful. Hope, that tiny creature last in the chest of chaos when Pandora's Box was opened. That's the one creature I put my faith in .. Grateful to notice she is there!