Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Petrified Wood


There is an amazing amount of Petrified Wood that can be found on this property. I was excited about the tiny pieces I took a photo of for this blog earlier last week but then we found the piles of Petrified Wood Priscilla and Frank have all around the outside of their house, including whole logs of it here and there. Supposedly there are much larger pieces just an hour up the road at the Petrified Forest National Park. Paul and I will have to take a trip out there one of these days.

Petrified Wood is actually a kind of fossil. The actual "wood", the organic material, is prehistoric and long gone, having been replaced with various minerals after the trees themselves were buried under the ground in some long ago flood. The pieces we find on the property here, though, retain the appearance of wood on the outside. You can see the bark but it's hard to the touch instead of soft as actual bark would be. You can't scrape it away with your fingernail. In fact, it's extremely hard to cut with stone cutting tools.

I've been carrying three small pieces in my coat pocket. I don't find myself "attracted" to it in any way but I'm loathe to give them away. I like holding them in my hand and find them soothing to touch. A site I found on the internet suggests that Petrified Wood is useful for grounding and emotional stability. It encourages a practical mindset and is supposed to infer a feeling of physical protection and financial success.

Paul and I are gearing up for our first trip to Flagstaff and Sedona early in the year, probably leaving here January 2nd or 3rd. We hope to find spiritually-oriented spas to work with. There are many such places in Sedona it appears. I'm also planning to bring my Mama Love perfume so I'm prepared should we find appropriate gift shops or stores selling tools for natural healing. I find it interesting that the Petrified Wood and Juniper berries that we're surrounded by here both are thought to have healing purposes in regards to physical well-being and protection. The native peoples in the Southwest sometimes carried Juniper berries in their medicine bags when they went on a challenging trip. We feel challenged by what we're taking on right now, to say the least. I have Juniper berries along with my Petrified Wood in my pockets now, too.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Power On

This photo, taken by Paul, is of the solar pumphouse on the property we're living on. Priscilla and Frank live off the grid by necessity, not so much by choice. They have their own well, pump their own water and make their own electricity by day. They run a generator to take care of their electrical needs at night. It takes constant vigilance when the weather turns cold to keep the water from freezing and a real awareness of the power they use all year round.

When we housesat while Priscilla and Frank were out of town we got a taste of what living this way is all about. And we did alright until the night it rained and snowed, the inverter stopped charging the batteries properly, the water pump froze and everything came to a screeching halt. No water, no electricity....grumble, groan. Paul managed to troubleshoot the electrical problem enough to hook up a temporary solution to get the power working again. Then he used that power to run a blow dryer to get the pump unfrozen. Took half a day and a lot of frustration...but it sure felt satisfying when we were done. We saw the move "Castaway" with Tom Hanks on satellite TV later in the week. In the scene where Hanks dances on the beach yelling "I made fire!" we understood completely how he must have felt.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Guidance

Was sharing an email correspondence today with another psychic/artist/healer. We've been sharing mutual support over the internet for our changing lives.

She mentioned that she, like so many of us these days, feels "pressed down", like everything needs to be scaled back just to the deep essentials. There's a feeling of not being able to do what you want to do right now but my guides say it isn't so. It's fear talking and that's what they want the world to know.

"This isn't the time to play the game of putting your head in the sand. Obviously something's up in the world economy and something significant is being changed. But neither is it time to throw away your most cherished hopes and dreams. It's not time to come out begging either. It's time to pitch in, see what the world needs most, and commit to it. It's time to throw away things that don't work. Time to make the world whole."

"You all have what it takes to play this game. But you need to be told the truth. The world isn't a playground for the rich to pillage and plunder. You haven't been duped; you've seen it unfolding right in front of you. Today it comes crashing down. So be it."

"Let healing happen. Visualize it happening. Intend it happening. Demand it."

"It changes everything and the world becomes better and brighter for everyone and the creatures, fish, plants and trees -- the whole world and everything in it --is helped as well."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tracks


Walking west away from Priscilla and Frank's house we expect to be able to see the rooftop when we look back. That works for awhile then the land shifts a bit and the roof disappears behind the trees. We take a walking stick with us to draw arrows in the sand. "This way home."

The arrows disappear from sight before we've walked a few feet. They're hidden by tufts of desert grass. So far we've succeeded in finding them well enough...but strong hints are being made that we're going to receive a compass for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desert Light


The earth here is the color of terra cotta. And now, driving on the dirt roads, our Jeep is the color of terra cotta, too. The Indians just scooped the clay here from the earth and baked their pots in the hot sun. In the late afternoon light the red clay deepens in intensity and the yellow desert grasses glow.

It's beautiful and incredibly peaceful when I'm not stuck in negative thinking and fear. Nothing has prepared us for what we have found out here. Everything is unfamiliar but we've been guided to think this is not the end of the journey we're on in coming out here, only the beginning. My guides say that we're in process of changing into something we need to know. They try to remind us that all is well. That even in the desert God's bounty is abundant. They say the desert is here to teach the world to pay attention to the gifts in every rock and tree. It's easy to miss the beauty in the small details of life when the senses are overstimulated by excess. And today the world, the balance tipped toward financial crisis and fear, needs to remember the importance of every gift we receive.

We're surrounded by junipers in this strange world we inhabit now. Those are juniper trees in the photo accompanying this blog. I felt compelled to research the uses of juniper trees on the internet and I feel compelled to make use of it. Today I discovered a site that said juniper berry essential oil was an invaluable ingredient in emotional, gastro-intestinal, and overall detoxification. It clears the mind and helps heal people who are exposed to emotionally toxic or draining people and life situations. It's especially uplifting for people coping with great emotional challenges and upheaval. Sounds perfect for what so many of us are going through these days.

We're going through an enforced period of emotional and physical detox in the world today. The financial excesses of greed and intoxication are being forcibly swept away. People who thought they could depend on their 401Ks might need to rely on family and friends instead. And on community, real community, not just the social comfort of shared interests, shared politics, shared beliefs but the community that comes from reaching out past presumed differences to heal our greatest common concerns.

As I said before, when Paul and I walk in the desert we can't take our eyes off the ground. Why? We're afraid we'll miss something precious and unusual.

In our lives back in Santa Cruz there were rocks and landscapes equally amazing and beautiful. We noticed the oceans, the mountains, the larger vistas...and yet we rarely if ever noticed the tiny stones beneath our feet.

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Juniper oil is now a featured addition to my Mama Love for Troubled Times body, bath and massage oil. Check it out!

Discovery


Paul found an ancient Native American pottery fragment walking along a dry river bed, a wash that runs through Priscilla and Frank's property in the "monsoon" season. We both have been finding lots of petrified wood pieces. Rare items in other parts of the world. Rare items for us to see. Now neither one of can keep our eyes off the ground. We have to tear ourselves away to remember where we are.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Solstice Evergreen

Years ago when this book came out it was labeled "the definitive book" on the origin of the Christmas Tree...yet for a long time now, every year at this time of year, I forget to promote it!

I guess I feel like I've moved on to many other interests... but it's certainly still relevant.

I've always had a fascination with the spiritual significance of plants and trees (and everything else). The research I did for this book pretty much cemented that curiosity for life. The more I found out, the more I wanted to know. At the time I wrote this book I knew nothing about the healing significance of evergreen plants. Now the healing and spiritual uses of flowering plants are a big part of what I do as a flower essence practitioner and healing perfume designer. Many evergreen plants are associated with Christmas -- I use several of them in my Peace and Goodwill perfume.

I just unpacked my Solstice Evergreen books and, if you act soon, I can autograph them and send them out in time for you to receive one in time for Christmas. Here's an excerpt from the introduction I hope you find interesting and here's a link to one of my favorite stories (also from the book).

FYI: The book features my artwork on the cover. On request, I'll infuse it with Reiki for you or the intended recipient at no extra charge. :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Juniper Berries


Juniper berries are more than abundant here. This picture wasn't taken in the snow but it looks that way. The "big, scary storm" scheduled to hit hours ago hasn't arrived yet. Priscilla and Frank just left to go to a Christmas party. They're not worried about the storm at all.
Paul and I feel like such California wimps!

We Have Both Kinds of Music Here

Country AND Western.

Still reeling from culture shock and still coping with simple tasks of day to day living. Notice no photos up on our blogs. Dial-up with a 28k modem (most of the time) is just too slow.

We got snow and mud tires today. Discovered that our wimpy city slicker tires were just ridiculous when it rained and the dirt roads out here turned to mud. We also discovered that our Jeep Grand Cherokee -- a vehicle we think is HUGE -- is just a "cute little Jeep" out here. People have economy cars...but they're not too common. Luckily, gas is $1.49/gallon. I don't remember the last time I saw a price that low.

Paul gets a kick out of some of the songs we've heard on the radio. His favorite is one where the lyrics go something like "I'm not like the other guys. I want to take you out to the sticks, walk with you through a wildflower field, and then check your body for ticks!"

We hear mostly anthems to cowboy and farmer life. "My grandpappy lived here all his life but I moved away. Now I have a wife and kids and I'm back on the farm to stay."

Not as many "he done me wrong" songs as we expected to hear but I heard one sung by a woman that made me laugh: "I hate your stupid pick-up truck that you wouldn't let me drive anyway. The only good you are to me right now is as a photo to burn and throw away."

We don't know whether to laugh or cry sometimes. We wanted to go to Sedona and start checking out retreat centers and spas where we might bring our work this week but a set of winter storms is blowing in. They expect more than a foot of snow up in the hills, not sure what we'll get here but the weather reports on the radio include the warning: "Do not drive! If you have to drive bring extra blankets, a cell phone, extra batteries and drive really slow. If you don't have to drive, stay off the roads!"

Welcome to country life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Abundant Prosperity and a Healthier New Year

Oh, the trouble in the news these days. I can hardly stand to watch. Rising unemployment (up to 10% in parts of Arizona), record foreclosures, businesses failing. But is it ALL the news that's fit to "print" or report about? Depends on where you sit.

According to recent statistics, 10% unemployment in some locations looks really bad. That does, however, mean that 90% of the population or more IS employed. Mervyn's closed its doors. "Wow! That's bad!" But had you been in a Mervyn's in the last few years? They were on the brink anyway. Record numbers of people who were given a chance to "afford" a home they never would have been given a home loan for before losing those homes to foreclosure looks really rough. Never having been in a position to afford to own a home on my own before, I'm not sure how to think about this myself. And guess what? Falling home costs (back to where they were not that long ago -- before greedy real estate investing ran amuck but still when things were healthy enough) now makes home ownership a more healthy reality for thousands of people who haven't been able to think about buying a home for a long time. Home sales are up! In some places, like Arizona, they're selling at record rates.

I'm not trying to make light of this situation. Some people's fortunes have fallen, many people are hurting in terms of their 401Ks. Almost everyone has been frightened into tightening their belts and reassessing their financial choices. And a lot of us are looking for opportunities and new ways to make ends meet.

Today, I'm writing this from the high desert of Arizona, a place I never thought I'd associate with "prosperity" in any way. And it certainly isn't the most luxurious spot on the planet in terms of worldly possessions, flash and glitz.

But I've been thinking about what does survive out here and what it takes. The place is hopping with rabbits! Lots of small cottontail bunnies and a very large jack rabbit with long ears that Priscilla and Frank have named Harvey. I've written in numerous other blogs that rabbits are a symbol of prosperity. What are they doing in the desert? Having a very good life it would seem!

Living in the desert takes a certain amount of grit and determination. You can't survive without it. But there are plants that thrive out here. Junipers, cedars, cactus. Numerous desert plants I'm going to have to learn more about. I only use a few desert plants in the flower essence perfumes I make but I realized that the only one I used on purpose happens to be in my Abundant Prosperity perfume. It's called the California Peony and it's used to help release stuck energy in the area of personal safety so that true recognition of the abundance and prosperity we share with the world all the time can come forward.

It's hard to feel prosperous when you're feeling scared. Abundant Prosperity perfume was formulated specifically to address this issue. It contains Lemon essential oil and Zinnia flower essence, both known for their ability to promote feelings of light-heartedness and joy. Think of bunny rabbits hopping about and playing. Happy to be alive and joyful. That's the kind of prosperity this is all about.

But I also add to that Iris flower essence for increased creative inspiration (you need that when the tired and no longer "true" approaches to making money let you down) and Madia flower essence for disciplined focus. This isn't just a pie in the sky (just think happy thoughts) approach to making a healthy happy life. It's about thinking big and having the focussed attention to follow through.

Shameless self promotion: Buy some Abundant Prosperity for Christmas! Peace and Goodwill, too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding "Home" in the Desert?

Well, we've arrived! And what a strange arrival it's been.

First, imagine our surprise to find ourselves 30 miles away from the nearest town--tiny tiny Republican Mormon Snowflake. Most people are nice to us but for a couple of New Age spiritual counselors with pretty liberal Democrat ideals, it's a strange feeling indeed. I wanted to run away screaming before we even unpacked but today something even stranger happened.

Paul and I went for a walk after breakfast. This time we brought a whistle, our cell phone and a walking stick to draw easy to follow tracks to find our way back with. The first time we went for a "walk" we walked and walked for miles, completely lost, and Paul's mother honked her car horn and called to us through a megaphone to help us find our way back when it became dark and it became clear to them that we must be having trouble finding our way home.

Well, you know, all those juniper trees look alike, the unmaintained county roads can't always even be found on a map, and there are very few sight lines to navigate with. Newcomers get lost here all the time. It's kind of an expected thing.

Oh yeah, the strange thing. After days of thinking "oh my God, what have we done? We HAVE to get out of here!" we went for another walk and it was so QUIET and peaceful and beautiful I found myself exclaiming "I LOVE it here!" I wish I had photos to put up. We've been taking them but I need to drive several miles to use a decent internet connection and forgot to download them to the computer.

We're both quite confused about this. We felt certain when we first arrived that we needed to leave as soon as humanly possible. Maybe we still will...we feel we need to be shouting distance to some population base that can support our work...

But it is SO peaceful here. A person just slows down breathing the air (which is crisp and clear for miles around).