Friday, February 20, 2009

Guidance from the Universe

Have you ever sought guidance from the Universe using Runes? I have been using them for a dozen years or so, and they are wonderful. A set of 25 Runes, with an accompanying book describing the significance of each one. We are told that consulting the oracle of the Runes is equivalent to consulting the oracle of the Self.

So this past month I have picked Runes, about once each week. The first Rune I picked, while asking in my mind the question, "What guidance was most helpful to me in my life right now?", was the Rune Dagaz -- the Rune of Transformation, Breakthrough, and Day. Then the next week I picked another Rune -- putting my hand inside the bag and focusing on the same question. And this time I picked .... the same Rune, Dagaz, the Rune of Transformation & Breakthrough. That was remarkable, and it doesn't happen often, but it has happened before.

From the Book of Runes, this indicates the following:
-- Dagaz signifies a breakthrough in the process of self-change, a transformation in attitude;
-- the timing is right, so the outcome is assured, although not from this vantage point, predictable;
-- in every life there comes at least one moment which, if recognized and seized, transforms that life forever;
-- rely on radical trust, even if that means leaping empty-handed into the void;
-- with this Rune, one's warrior nature reveals itself;
-- a major period of achievement and prosperity is often introduced by this Rune, the darkness is behind & daylight has come;
-- considerable hard work is involved in a time of transformation, so undertake to do it joyfully.

This seemed like a wonderful message for me, especially the part about undertaking the work of transformation joyfully, and relying on radical trust.

Then 2 nights ago I picked another Rune, again asking the Universe what message would be most helpful for me to hear at this time. I sat in contemplation, opened the bag of Runes, put my hand in, and randomly selected a Rune from the center of the pile. I opened my eyes, and when I saw the Rune I had picked, I burst out laughing. It was ... you guessed it, Dagaz again -- the Rune of Transformation, Breakthrough, and Day.

It is at times like these that I am grateful for being on a conscious spiritual journey. It was tremendous fun to realize that the guidance I am getting from the Runes not only helps me, but brings joy to my days. I wonder what Rune I will pick next?

For right now, anyway, I don't need any more guidance. I get the message. I will undertake the work of transformation joyfully. And trust the Universe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today's Guidance

As I sat in meditation today, in my mind I asked for guidance in my life, and then I listened.

This is what I heard:

1) Let go of fear.
2) Claim courage to act and be -- in spite of all challenges.
3) Be inspired by the energy of the challenges.
4) Express gratitude and love every day.
5) Pray every hour.
6) Enjoy life every minute.

And so I was reminded that 'e-motion' is energy in motion. And whatever emotion I feel, I can channel that energy for my highest good.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Advice to Myself for Challenging Times

As my spine heals from collapsing due to multiple myeloma, and as my body gains strength from activity, I am growing emotionally stronger as well. And having asked the Universe that my life lessons no longer come through my body, I find that the Universe has granted my request. Yet, I still face some very challenging situations. I am grateful that these situations do not include severe physical pain or limitation of physical activity or the malfunctioning of various bodily systems, and yet these situations cause a great deal of stress, and I feel their impact on my well-being.

So after I did my physical therapy this morning and got out of bed and had my delicious cup of Earl Grey tea, I started to give myself some suggestions as to how to face the challenging situations before me. And after the first 3 things I told myself, I decided to write it all down. I called the list "Advice to Myself for Challenging Times". Here is the list.

1) Speak your truth.
2) Be guided by actions unattached to outcomes.
3) Live in the present moment.
4) Let go of the need to convince anyone of anything.
5) Look around -- express gratitude, see beauty, & feel ease, calm, peace & love.
6) Pray and ask for help.
7) Trust the Universe. Have faith -- that all is as it should be.
8) Let ease be the container within which you live your days.
9) Follow your heart's passion.
10) Meditate -- be still -- and release what no longer serves you.

So during the in between times, when the challenges loom large over me, I read this list to myself and I feel better. I feel stronger. I pray for courage and strength. And I feel joy. And I know, deep down inside, that I am loved, that I am blessed, and that I am grateful to be alive.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A New Perspective

Last Friday night, I was preparing to give a power point talk on the Sunwheel at the first session of the weekend program I led on "Astronomy, Spirituality & the Mayan Prophecy" at the Rowe Camp and Conference Center. I had tested the digital projector in advance, and everything seemed to be in working order.

So I powered up my computer and the projector, and began my introduction to the talk. I was explaining that back in 1992, I went to a 2-week long camp for women led by Brooke Medicine Eagle in western Montana, and there I found a Sunwheel on former Blackfeet Indian territory. And as I spoke, the digital projector went blank and the screen became dark. "Oh no!" I cried. So I kept talking, and fiddled with the projector at the same time, hoping the images would return. As I spoke, I went on to explain that back in 1992 I was active as a research scientist, yet I knew there was more to the Universe than meets the eye. I wanted to experience the larger picture -- that part of the Universe that science cannot explain -- so I was headed for a vision quest during this 2-week long camp. And as I said this to the group last Friday night, the picture returned on the digital projector -- but this time it was upside down! "Oh no -- I've never seen this before!" I cried.

Now, as I faced this inverted picture, I knew it was slightly better than a blank screen, but was still not going to work for giving my talk. And for a fleeting second I noted to myself that the Universe was playing with me -- showing me that there is more to the Universe than meets the eye, and that sometimes it can even be upside down! Here before my eyes was a shining example of something science cannot explain, which was exactly what I went on my vision quest to experience. And I kept speaking, and Gene turned off the projector and turned it back on again -- and the picture was fine.

For the rest of the evening, and for the rest of the weekend, there were no other problems with the digital projector. Just during my introduction that first evening. I will never forget seeing the image of my power point slides upside down. I did jokingly attempt to turn my computer upside down, hoping it would re-invert the image. And for whatever reason it temporarily misfired, I am grateful that the projector ultimately worked. After all, I had a lot of beautiful pictures to show the group. And I will never forget the sense that I was experiencing the magical, even for just a moment, when my words about why I was headed off for a vision quest were matched with a never-before-seen upside down picture on my computer.

But there was a lesson in it, also. Humor is an important teacher, like having images upside down. And even though I rely on the computer in my talks, I would have been able to survive without it.

And in seeing the pictures upside down, we were being given a unique perspective. After all, sometimes it takes a new perspective for us to get the whole picture.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rave Reviews!

Well, I am just back from Rowe Camp and Conference Center, after presenting a weekend workshop on "Astronomy, Spirituality & the Mayan Prophecy," and it was wonderful. I taught about Sunwheels, the Mayan calendar system, Mayan numbers and writing, the Sun & Moon & stars, along with my favorite spiritual teachings and wisdom. Those in my workshop were a set of very special people, and the group was a wonderful size (11 in all) -- big enough for good discussions, for a wide variety of questions and for feeling that my effort was appreciated, and small enough that every person had a chance to speak and be heard.

Here is what the participants wrote in their evaluations:
"I found the Astronomy, Spirituality and the Mayan Prophecy seminar to be utterly fascinating, fun, and enlightening. The science was clear and well defined and blended nicely with human aspects of spirituality. Judy Young was enthusiastic in her penetration of the mystery of the Mayan calendar and presented the material to us in a clear and wonderful way. Judy was very accessible to the class with answering our questions. She created a sense of community and camaraderie in the group. The seminar was well paced and energetic. Thank you so much, Judy. I really enjoyed meeting you. I had been looking forward to this for many years." (Richard M.)

"This has been a wonderful workshop, very love based (in contrast to what seemed to be a fear based one going on at the same time). I appreciated learning more about astronomy which I have never understood at all. I love the various ways to access guidance and the knowledge from many teachers and paths. Fascinating to learn of the Mayan number and astronomical systems."

"Thank you kindly for your invigorating workshop. I found it intellectual and soulful. You were professional, grounded, fun, energetic, knowledgeable, and peaceful. I am leaving with new knowledge, positive action and balanced joyfulness." (Kristie K.)

"This program was great. It fulfilled the hopes and expectations I had for it. I am very interested in spirituality, the Mayan prophecy for 2012, and stone circles. Thank you, Judy. I appreciate your teaching and your excellent, calm, but passionate, teaching style." (Carolyn J.)

"Another outstanding program from a wise and knowledgeable teacher. Thank you, Judy." (Gene S.)

"Your astronomy classes must be awesome. You made the astronomy come alive. Things I knew sort of from books I now understand in my being, and have a new excitement about looking at the stars."

"This workshop has opened me up to the beauty that is in and around me."

"Judy’s delivery was superb. A highly recommended experience. She knows her stuff. As a scientist, she is so serious in combining her spiritual knowledge with the scientific, she is truly an inspiration." (Kettler C.)

After a weekend of teaching, I am now exhausted. But I did it! I took care of my back, rested when I needed, and was able to enjoy and even thrive during the weekend. I consider it a great achievement to have maintained the strength and health of body necessary to lead such a workshop. And because of this success, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for my healing and a feeling of excitement over knowing I will be leading other workshops in the future.

One participant had chosen my workshop over attending a program elsewhere with Starhawk, so at the conclusion of the weekend I asked her if she was happy with her choice. Her response was, "Off the charts, baby!"

Monday, February 2, 2009

Astronomy, Spirituality, and the Mayan Prophecy

I am so excited -- I am preparing to lead a retreat this coming weekend at the Rowe Camp and Conference Center on "Astronomy, Spirituality & the Mayan Prophecy". I led a weekend retreat here 2+ years ago, so the experience is not entirely new, but the subject matter is expanded and I am creating something that I have never done before. I do not know where this adventure will take me -- combining astronomy and spirituality and leading retreats around the world -- but I am filled with excitement over the newness, the potential, and the sharing in small groups of subjects that are dear to my heart.

I have even been contacted by people from across the ocean who are interested in these retreats! I have planned another weekend retreat here in at the end of May, and a 5-day retreat at the end of the summer in Montana, "Astronomy, Spirituality, and the Mayan Prophecy: Living the Sacred" .

I am working hard -- collecting materials, creating the plan for how I will present the complex astronomy and interweave meditation and discussion, learning about the Mayan calendar, and the truth about Dec. 21, 2102. I am loving the learning and creating. If you are intrigued by the topic and interested in attending, check out my calendar to find out when and where the next retreats will be.

I also know that leading the retreat will be a challenge physically -- to honor my need for rest and self care. Luckily, each meeting will include meditation, sharing, and food for the soul, along with the astronomy. So even if I am tired, I will become rested and energized.

I am very excited about the upcoming retreat. This will be a weekend to remember!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thoughts on the Economy from a Revolutionary

Well, here are my thoughts on the economy.

Most people I know have been touched by the economy -- some deeply and radically, some less so -- and I expect the same is true for you. The problems are serious, and I know they will take time and thoughtful action to repair.

I have never thought much about the economy, but I am thinking about it now. And it is clear to me that there is fallacy in the notion that the economy could continue to grow, year after year, when much of the profit is based on a finite Earth with finite resources. What we really want is to create an economy based on sustainable practices in a society which lives sustainably within the available resources.

That means using energy from the Sun -- not drilling and exploring and mining. Those practices are not sustainable, not good for the environment, and not good for our health in terms of the byproducts of using oil, coal, and gas.

In fact, just 2 days ago Exxon Mobile reported record profits of $45 billion for 2008. In October, they had also reported record profits for the 3rd quarter of 2008 of $14 billion, with income in that period of $137 billion dollars. The $45 billion profit in 2008 is higher than the previous record of profit for 1 year (their frcord of $40 billion for 2007). These numbers are profit, mind you, not income. They have already paid all the employees, paid all the bills, paid for all the equipment they want to buy, all the exploration they engage in, and that was up in 2008 as well.

I say they should be taxed heavily. Like a windfall profits tax of 99%. After all, I get taxed on my income -- my income, not profit -- so why shouldn't they? Why should they be allowed to continue their practices that harm the environment? The environment that we all live in, breath the air in, drink the water in.

After all, corporations do not have a natural right to exist. They have a legal right to exist, granted by states when corporations incorporate. That right to incorporate is not guaranteed. Imagine insisting that corporations act in the public good and the good of the environment in order to exist.

Maybe it's time for us as a people to consider whether we want companies which exploit the environment to continue to exist. After all, do record profits at a time of economic disaster reflect the public good, or public exploitation?

The Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts is short $45 million dollars for the current fiscal year, and I know similar disastrous situations are present at other universities as well. I do not know the resolution of these difficulties, but I do know that record oil company profits at the same time just do not fit into the same reality.

I repeat -- I believe we need to tax the oil company profits heavily. After all, they will go a long way to providing the funds for the economic recovery in the US.