Swimming With The Grace Of Swan, and A Full Flower Moon.

May the animal spirited grace of Swan inspire you to paddle with the current instead of fighting against the rapids of everyday life. Notice the flow of grand moments, and the intersection between the extraordinary in the ordinary, as well as the perfection within the imperfection. If only we can gently allow ourselves to let it go instead of trying to grasp onto it, whatever it is.

Sometimes, all you can do is sprawl out and surrender to the will of the Universe, and trust that its winds will guide you to where you need to go. We all know the curse of this pandemic, particularly on humanity’s plight. But the blessing is also the gift of surrender among our human kinfolk.

A Full Flower aka Sagittarius Moon arrives on May 26th 2021. Not coincidentally, it gets its name from an abundance of flowers that spring forth across North America. When I think of Sag, meditations of fiery energy, mixed with new philosophical ways of intuitive knowing resonates in my soul. Also, this Full Moon is the second consecutive supermoon, and biggest and brightest moon of the year. It is also a Total Lunar Eclipse, meaning that it is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue, which is where the term blood moon comes from.

Moreover, please consider the following Sacred Geometrical Arcturian Wisdom, via the Third Wave Positive Self Talk Mantra: “The energy of the Third Wave makes you aware of your choice to be here on Earth. Accept who you are on this Earth, and your strength will increase.”

Artwork by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

I remember when Grandmother talked about being called “white trash”, during her formative years in St. Louis, growing up in abject poverty during The Depression. In fact, she never saw a dentist until she was 18 years old, when she walked in off the street with bleeding gums, and the kind folks at the dental office followed their “hippocratic oath” and did the right thing. In this day and age, it’s mind boggling that our current healthcare system, in the wealthiest nation of the world, can still be viewed by the Establishment as a privilege rather than an entitlement. In the American political scene, we can at least directly trace this old world attitude to the England’s Elizabethan Poor Law of the 1600s. If you would like to delve further, check out this link: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_for_the_Relief_of_the_Poor_1601

During her childhood and premarital adolescence, Grandmother was a member of what sociologist and Harvard professor William Julius Wilson many years later referred to as “the underclass”, in his book The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. When I read his book in college, I learned also by experience that he accurately noted that this underclass was a growing epidemic in our world, as well as in the US. Grandmother being spoken to in a derogatory way was the kind of racial epithet that is analogous to prejoriative language to characterize someone who is LGBTQ or BIPOC. Negative self-talk is typically not regarded as helpful, but it is less so when it is spoken aloud, with an underlying edge especially. What is with the attitude about the poor and oppressed, that they are deserving of their suffering, should be controlled, and punished accordingly? 

The old world, and the status quo of its power structures are being dismantled, white privilege and white supremacy notwithstanding. In fact, a growing number of white people, including white men are part of this shift in equanimity in consciousness that is of mutual aid to the goose and the gander. We are living in a time when there is too much information, and it does seem to be harder to discover the truth. It is as if we are being asked by the Universe to discover the truth on our own individual basis, which is part of honoring our diversity. The unity piece comes in where we can know a collective truth. To do this, it requires that we are open to relaxing our attachments to the mental boxes that we have bought into.  

Race and class in America are nothing new. But even in this day and age, we still experience cultural denial that we have institutional structures in place that are barriers to personal freedom and liberty. For example, some of our “friends in Congress” are trapped in a “fake news” denial that we have a system in place that is rooted in class consciousness. Dr. King and others fully recognized that we have both intentional and unintentional consequences of discriminatory oppression of certain populations – both vis a vis legal laws and unwritten rules that are perceived as “that’s just the way it is”. It was never easy to move up the socioeconomic ladder. But Grandmother admitted to me that her movement into the Middle Class during the 50s was made easier for her to assimilate into because of the complexion of her skin tone, and white anglo Saxon protestant lineage, in spite of the culture of poverty that she was born into, and converting to Catholicism. If anyone could have chosen to stay in denial about her racial privilege as a coat of armor to hide behind, it would have been Grandmother. But she never forgot about where she came from, did what she could to help others like her get a leg up, and be a good role model for overcoming obstacles. Besides, demonizing the oppressor, whatever he or she looks like, is not the solution. Overthrowing the government or powers that be will only replace the same tyranny and corruption that you seek to dismantle. This is a cold hard fact of life that must be understood. The looting and rioting, militarization of the police, the education to prison pipeline, and bloated military that protects the stock exchange under the guise of puppet dictatorships of dirty energy is a recipe for a widening gap between the haves and have nots.

For example, I remember the cultural context of African American culture in America, during the time period called the Great Migration, when black folks sought personal freedom by risking their lives to escape from the oppressive Jim Crow South. Part of staying alive, and reinventing themselves into a new chapter in life, many secrets were kept to hide from the collective trauma of their shared experiences. A historical debate sprung up about where to focus on the advancement of black people. In the Booker T. Washington camp, blue collar jobs were seen as a way out of poverty and socioeconomic empowerment. Basically, the belief was that black people could get a leg up if they had access to blue collar jobs in the trade industry, production, manual labor, etc. Sadly, but understandably, the decimation of the manufacturing base and labor movement have reinforced the truth of this point to appreciate. Proponents of Dubois bought into the idea of the “talented tenth”, which posited that the focus for black progress would come from the upper echelon of African American society via assimilation into the college educated, white collar world. For those of you that recall the 70s TV show The Jeffersons or the 80s The Cosby Show, you can see comedic caricatures of these nuances play out in sitcom format. Today, the rise of the black middle class reinforces both perspectives, as both camps are true, on some level. The real division was in a segregated either/or mindset that mirrors how divided our country is today. So even in black culture, as in other BIPOC cultures, there are hierarchical structures in place of who is perceived as entitled to privilege, and who is not.

Check out this brief video on “Being 12: What Are You?”

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10Ax4cbZAzVG_BGJQh_MY2fwmwYinVqqL/view

In fact, people that identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ and know their history understand the experience of “passing.” For example, you might see yourself as black, but you could pass as white. Or if you are gay, you could pass as being straight by pretending to be, or a trans person could front as being “cisgender” or in gender alignment with the sex they were ascribed at birth. But at some point in the game, waking up to who you are, and being allowed to express yourself in your true colors is suffocating if you cannot pass as yourself. Meditation on this perspective can help build empathy for another who might walk in different shoes than you do. On the other side of the coin, there is peer pressure to identify as LGBTQ, even if you are not because it is becoming the hip or chic thing to do. In early adolescence particularly, this can be a form of attention seeking, and over reliance on peers for identity development.

Psychologically, Albert Bandura was a behaviorist and father of the social learning theory, as the primary medium of personality development in children. In short, role modeling, or monkey see, monkey do is how we humans learn. Abraham Maslow, on the other hand was known for his pyramid called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with basic survival needs at the bottom and self-actualization at the top, and some other areas of personal growth in the middle. If you don’t have equal access to basic resources, or feel safe or a sense of community connection or belonging, then it’s hard to move into the area of self actualization. It can be done, but you have to work a lot harder. A more fair and just society is created when incentives are in place for “these truths to be self evident.” Of course a child that is raised in a loving home where they feel wanted and loved reinforces this natural belief to a soul that its inner light can awaken and shine through its form. We are all born into this world with a unique blueprint that is designed to love. Yes, we have different temperaments, and our personalities evolve during our life cycle. What matters is how we work with our core temperaments, and evolving personality characteristics. You can be born with an anxious-avoidant temperament, an insecure attachment with your primary caregiver, and without an athletic bone in your body. But you can still learn to relax, feel safe inside yourself, and take up athletic exercise for your own wellbeing. Who cares if you’re bursting with nervous woodland creature energy like a squirrel or never become a famous Olympian. Squirrels learn by imitating, like we humans do, and you can always go to your inner Olympian for building your athletic confidence.

An old friend sent me the article below that reinforces the figure above:

https://www.studyfinds.org/children-green-spaces-adhd-risk/

Additionally, many of you know that Ghandi, who gave up his privilege, stood up to the British Empire, and India’s Caste System at the time. Also, Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha, left his father’s empire that was set up to protect him from suffering, and then he subsequently gave up his privilege to awaken his inner light and know his Higher Self. There are risks inherent in living a life with purposeful attention that is in alignment with the living moment. To trade that for fame, fortune, and complacent personal contentment is a choice wrought with victimhood. That’s why the oppressor suffers just as much, if not more than the oppressed. It’s a heavy cross to carry when you defend the status quo of an oppressive regime. At the end of the day, it’s a lose-lose situation, even though the illusion shows winners and losers, and justification for that paradigm.

Furthermore, in the film The Trotsky, the main character plays the role of  a High School Student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, the late Russian revolutionary. In the film, this Canadian youth inspires his school peers in a way that moves beyond their boredom and apathy into the self evident truth that “school doesn’t have to suck”, and that student empowerment is a real possibility. In a nutshell, the students in the film move from being “sheeple” to empowered youth, in a prosocial power through legitimate means. You know, the only kind of power that is sustainable, vis a vis an externally inspired prompting but internally directed fruition.

Interestingly, some cultures have a common language and shared stories about reincarnation. Basically, the idea is that our souls are real and are recycled as part of its evolutionary process. While this process can be accelerated in a single lifetime, because of the way the established paradigm is right now, the precedent has been set up to take many lifetimes for a soul’s personal growth and transformation to take place. But the flowering of consciousness taking root on the planet right now is flipping the script on all that. Perhaps you lived as a member of a different gender or race in another lifetime. This could leave you feeling more empathic to the plight of the people who remind you of your old self, or it could paradoxically leave you feeling entitled today. Past Lives Matter. Do you have memories of your soul having experiences in another form(s)?

More importantly, a spiritual perspective that aligns with the human potential movement, and a generalist social work perspective understands that basic needs or equal access to concrete resources supports other areas of psychological growth and self-actualization. If human beings are encouraged to harness our strengths, recognize our blind spots, explore what we are passionate about, and what builds their resiliency, then before long they want to be an ally to support others in having this quality of life. Is this social engineering? Yeah, but only in a more mindful, meditative, positive self talk kind of light. Just imagine the possibilities without Berlin Walls, Glass Ceilings, Ethnic Cleansing, Weapons of Mass Destruction or fixed ideas that inhibit connections between new neuronal pathways. When we rework our DNA with “plasticity of the mind”, we open up to new ways of doing things, a relaxation of attachments to conventional boxes in cognition, and emotional reactions to our engrained repetitions. In this space, we observe a calming down of thought forms manifesting as verbal and physical escalations and behavioral traps respectively.

What is more, brain science reveals a false dichotomy” about trying to differentiate between the brain/body, in much the same way as we try to do between mental health and health. You can see this misunderstanding happen in the compartmentalized culture here in the US. The reason that meditation is good medicine is that it literally rewires the brain toward equilibrium so that we can respond to our emotions effectively. Daily practice is a general workout that exercises our social skills because the rehearsal pays off. Self awareness is knowing our triggers ahead of time. When we lean into our pain, and then shift our focus toward peaceful, calming thoughts and mindful breathing, we are putting the spotlight on our emotional centers in a positive way. Can you become more connected, in a way where you could tune into sensing a feeling a sense of ease or unease? For example, might you ask yourself some reflective questions like, am I needing to rest, take care of myself in a way that I haven’t, or am I congruent with my values at this moment? Personally, I like to think of the children’s story The Little Engine That Could for an inspirational friendly reminder. It helps me stay on track and not run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Many of my students (and coworkers) have good “bullshit detectors.” As such, they know the difference between those that fake self confidence (we’ve all done it) versus those who have developed a “realistic self confidence.” And given that we humans have the ability for pretending, we can all learn to “fake it till we make it.” Along the way, we can see ourselves standing in our own personal authority by growing roots in the living moment.

But beyond a sense of entitlement, is a value attached to taking ownership for awakening our personal and collective power. This can happen through currency or any energetic exchange, like bartering. Reciprocity isn’t about the old egoic state of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality. Rather, it is an evolutionary step into and coming from our Higher Selves that embodies win-win situations.

Be kind to your mind when recognizing that there have been abusive matriarchies in place in human history, where men were subjugated. Where do you think the fear of feminine, yin energy or woman’s power came from? Whether realized or not, men have been programmed, as we all have, to have a fear of feminine power, albeit the connection to this fear is often unrecognized and can play out in silly “facebook wars”, cyberbullying experiences, and in person interactions. Of course this also can occur in trans-racial and cross-cultural communication too. So it stands to reason that if suddenly, magically overnight the LGBTQ and BIPOC identified groups were to be in the majority and in control of the hierarchical power structure, we would not be living in a utopian shangri la. Keep in mind that was Hugh Heffner’s vision of the Playboy Mansion. You can see how sustainable that vision worked out, if you can appreciate the sarcasm. 

Finally, in our Civil Rights Teamwork, our students often freely initiate conversations organically. Because we established guidelines early on, they rarely need to be redirected to follow “the rules” of maintaining communication that embodies dignity and respect. For example, in a recent meeting, they initiated a healthy conversation about their respective astrological signs. During that conversation, we had an animated discussion about how you can take 10 people from the same race, ethnicity, ancestry or cultural background, who all might look similar on the surface, but could all have different astrological signs, meaning diverse orientations intrinsically. Like personality characteristics that are unique to the individual, a person’s astrological sign reflects their uniqueness and diversity, on a deeper level. Yet we all share the common tapestry of our humanity. Diversity in Unity. Remember that we are all mostly water in form. But on a deeper level, we are formless, yet luminous, energetic beings. Recognition of this does not discount our diverse expressions of form. If anything, we should honor those differences, as well as highlight our unity.

Take care of yourselves everyone,

Ari

Please feel free to check out my new podcast version of my blog:

Spiritual Hang Gliding In October With Bat, A New Moon In Libra and a Full Hunter’s Moon Classroom Mothership Earth

  1. Spiritual Hang Gliding In October With Bat, A New Moon In Libra and a Full Hunter’s Moon
  2. September Serves Up A Hearty Spiritual Plate with A New Moon in Virgo, Autumn Equinox and a Full Harvest Moon
  3. The Return of Dragonfly And A Full Sturgeon Moon On Sunday, August 22, 2021
  4. A Snake Slithers In July And A Full Buck Moon Rises On July 23, 2021
  5. An Inner Independence Day Revisited

May This Full Flower Moon Awaken the Fragrance of our Collective Air

Some of our ancestors called this Full Moon a Full Flower Moon
because many spring flowers are blooming around this time.

A New Moon arrives on May 22nd.

For various reasons, this Full Moon on May 7th is also being called a Supermoon –
the third consecutive one of its kind in 2020.

This threepeat makes for an appetizing prequel to this
Summer’s polyenergetic Astrological Eclipse Season.

They will be arriving on the Summer Solstice in later June.

Energies intensify more than usual around these times.

But this Full Moon is also called the Wesak Full Moon.

This is symbolic of the Buddha’s Light of Compassion that shines brightly
on the consciousness of our planet at this time.

It’s always good to have a compassionate approach.
But especially good medicine when spirits spring out, and up.

Do whatever you can to ground yourself, so that
your feet stay anchored into the Earth.

In the Northern Hemisphere of the Americas,
many of us remember learning the mantra:

April showers bring May flowers

Today, it’s especially hard to be a student or work at a school
when school isn’t in session.

Many people are out of work, or being told to stay home.
But how do I make a living? What do I do with myself?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are experiencing great adversity –
humans especially, know calamity on the planet right now.

But there are positive signs regarding the environmental impact
of staying home, and consuming less fossil fuels on our ecosystems.

I’m hearing students, and coworkers say that they miss being at school.
This is coming from people that you don’t typically hear express those sentiments.

And I’ve heard stories about areas in the Himalaya’s
that you couldn’t see a month ago.

Reportedly, skies are clearing to show their beautiful vistas
to the world again in that location.

As if we needed any proof that fossil fuels
don’t adversely affect humans, and all Earthlings!

They certainly aren’t good for the multidimensional Universe either.

What you can do with this adversity right now,
is allow yourself to awaken to the present moment,
and sit with what is.

You can become mindful of the energy of your thoughts,
and the emotions that connect to those thoughts.

You can become mindful of your breath, replace your fears,
and quiet your chattering monkey mind with peaceful, calming thoughts.

Do this one step, one breath, and one moment at a time.

On the horizontal level, you can play with the forms, including your own.

Get plenty of rest, practice self-care, follow a routine,
nurture your creativity by writing, making art, music
take photojournalistic pictures, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy foods.

On a vertical level, unplug from the gadgets,
travel inside your body into your formless dimension,
and notice what awakens within you in the quiet darkness.

What comes up for you in this empty space?

Can you come down into your soul into this unknowing,
and unmanifested area of you that might want to become conscious?

This is a place beyond ingrained thinking, and robotic habits.
It is a space beyond linear, clock time, and schedules.

Yet paradoxically, you can access this space within the
mundane tasks of your daily routine.

This is where the magic wakes up by allowing your
consciousness to see the light of day.

This is the place where the
darkness of night walks out in the sunlight.

It is a commingling partnership with our masculine, and feminine beingness –
inside of ourselves, and outward bound with each other.

Till we tweet again peeps,

Ari

A Full Bellied Buddha Flowering Moon

Has anyone else out there been feeling the powerful effects of
the current events of this Full Moon cycle?

Have you noticed your dreams have been alive, and symbolically reflective
of where you have been, and where you are going?

Yesterday’s Full Moon is considered the most powerful
Full Moon of the year, spiritually speaking.

Our ancestors and contemporaries call it
Wesak, Scorpio, Flower, and many other names.

Of course, they all captured the sentiment of the rising tide of our
collective consciouniousness, as Hall of Fame
psychologist Carl Jung speaks to us from the Dreamtime.

But with these powerful energies, I like to remember
the wisdom to be a defensive driver in life, and not
throw caution to the wind.

I saw a Racoon the other day, and the encounter reminded me of
how the internal martial arts uses leverage in life to
show us the way.

What matters is how we respond to the energies that come our way,
and how we respond to them with love or hate.

It is said that the Buddha returns to Mother Earth
to spread the light of compassion on our Planet.

Meditate on that when you gaze at your himalayan salt lamp,
cook with this spice, or bathe in pink himalayan saltwater.

The Christ, along with many other spiritual light team members
accompany this new spiritual year with the power of love.

Might as well bask in love as much as possible, and not get sucked
into you own fears, and the fear mongering of the corporate media.

It is a good time to revisit and release any past spiritual contracts,
and then meditate on you soul purpose you want to focus on
in the year ahead.

But you don’t have to label yourself as a
Christian or Buddhist to do that.

In fact, these energies affect all of us.

And we can use a healthy dose of their love and light –
now more than ever!

Are you functioning robotically in your doings –
dreaming your life away, and lulled to sleep by your gadgets and playlists?

Might as well take the invitation to
wake up to the present moment, and
be here, right now.

Many of you see beyond the shadowy veil of the
bullying, narcisstic and sociopathic gangsters peddling violence, and other
pyramids of segregation and hate in our world today.

We are all sons and daughters of God, and it makes sense to me that we should
be celebrating our diverse expressions, and yet also shared oneness.

Look at a straight-laced conservative as a part of you,
if you identify yourself as otherwise.

Or if you see yourself as a new edition to the liberal left,
LGBTQ, etc. mind-set – understand that we are all
equal rainbow children, regardless of our identifications.

Anarchy and security/order and chaos
have a natural impetus to learn a new dance together,
like the yin and the yang are always seeking balance.

As the Moon darkens, the Sun Rises
As such, your inner cubs want to
come out and manifest their potential.

Keep in mind the masculine energies of the light of yang
reach their peak on the Summer Solstice in later June.

You don’t need to necessarily be having sex to
express yourself sexually.

Nor do you need to identify with any label
that you feel pulled to identify with.

At the end of the day, we are meant to go beyond
our identifications so that we can transform into
a place of authentic identity in the better
angels of our Divine, soulful expressions of this lifetime.

It is the deeply sensuous place of inner peace
that connects you to your Higher Self.

Till we tweet again,

Ari

Swan Swims Gracefully into New Age Waters

Imagine the old story of the ugly duckling growing into a beautiful Swan
inspires humanity to undergo a similar transformation in consciousness

Perhaps it looks like an unlikely story, but then again
these are the days of wonders and miracles

A Full Flower Moon rises in the skies this week

It is also called a Wesak Full Moon
when Buddha’s light was born into our world

A flowering spiritual awakening is everywhere

But where there is light, there is also dark
There are many growing dangers out there

Keep in mind it is easier to judge and hate
than to love each other and find common ground

Fear spreads like wildfire . . .
and you always fear what you don’t understand

So doesn’t it make sense to be curious and empathic
in how we approach our differences?

Remember that where there is yin, there is yang
masculine energy lights the path toward yin’s darkness

Next time you find yourself sizing yourself up to someone else –
making a comparison about why your position is right,
and someone else’s is wrong

Or just putting yourself up on a pedestal by demonizing someone else
based on your belief that your way of living is preferred
and therefore should have dominion of another

Take a deep breath, and a break from that mind-set,
whilst just considering the opposite viewpoint for a moment . . .

Allow yourself to see the opposite side of the same coin
from both your head and your heart

This is how we move beyond us and them segregation,
transition into we consciousness, and brings balance to our Earth

See you up the trails,

Ari

Waxing Gratitude Following a Waning Fragrant Full Flower Moon

Thank you to all of you who have supported the energy of this blog.

It has been a process, and I could not have done it without
your encouragement and co-creation.

In fact, this forum has inspired the recent publication of my first book,
accompanied by my Aunt Barbara’s beautiful animal pictures.

And I would like to thank my wife Kristen, for her Earth. I deeply appreciate her grounding force in my life!

For more information on the arrival of my book, Something to Chew On . . . , here are the links to access a copy if you feel so moved:

http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-001055991/Something-to-Chew-On.aspx

As such, I have chosen to take a break from this week’s posting to
allow us to sit with and celebrate the arrival of this walking meditation.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you up the trail head next week with new material,

Ari

Co-Piloting with Hummingbird into the Inner Space of Joy

Hummingbird guides us into the realm of joy . . .

Lighten-up and follow your bliss!

Be inspired to drink in the sweet nectar of a waxing Full Flower Moon
that springs into action on Saturday, May 21st

Part of happiness is the wisdom that we are not always going to feel happy
Plenty of other thoughts and emotions will fly into our energy fields

It is painful to ponder the 10,000 ways we might enter the valley of death
Are you familiar with the ring tone of the negative beats that
rap through the vibrations of the lower chakras?

But you can just sit here watching the wheels go round and round
Let go and watch the world turn

Perhaps you are enraged by chem trails or heavy metals in squirrels
Maybe you are grieving dying trees, institutionalized racism and class warfare

Or do those that bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich cook your grits?

If only we harmonize with our conflict,
then we heal the trauma of duality

Open up your eyes to seeing oneness in Nature’s totality

Hummingbird guides you into a most sweet and satisfying celestial seasoning . . .
A space of inner peace where you can swim in the waters that madness drowns in
Might as well suck it up and hum through your more painful moments

The New Moon in the past had a strong gravitational pull
Earth-centered folks probably felt a greater tug of war than
their more free-spirited birds of a feather

But that’s OK, it just reminds us to deepen our empathy for our diversity
and temper our sensitivities through compassionate understanding

Look to Nature to show you that everything is fleeting and transient
The only constant is change

Humming is a powerful mantra, especially with Mercury still in Retrograde
It is a good time to hover over right-brained, mysterious,
illogical, unpredictable and meditative systems of thought

Intuitive, spiritual realms of alternate realities abound . . .
Trying to mold circles into square pegs will drive you crazy

Hummingbird reminds us to stop and smell the roses
Because life is what happens when you are busy making other plans

Meditation on Hummingbird’s ability to fly in all directions
Awakens multidimensional maps for heightened perception

Stop on a dime and hold your position for a moment
Examine any fixed-mind thought forms and relax with flexibility
for a sensuous spell of the eternal now

Effectively weathering Climate Change requires a shapeshifting of
adaptability and mutability

May we harmonize with our environment

See you up the trails,

Ari

My first professionally published book, Something to Chew On: Digesting Healthy Spiritual Food for the Soul in the Calendar Year Ahead, is rapidly approaching its release date to the public. This book is a collaboration of my writing and my Aunt Barbara’s artwork. I look forward to sharing this trail guide with you in walking meditation.