Venturing Down From The Mountaintop, And Into The Valley Ahead With Lion As A Spirit Guide

Images Created by Aunt Barbara Merlotti

A Full Beaver Moon on November 30th reminds us to set traps before a long wintry freeze.

Beavers are doers, and they really know how to produce.

May this metaphor warm your soul, and rekindle an attitude of gratitude during the accompanying price tag of stress that the holidays typically bring.

Thanksgiving is also a good time to marinate on gratitude.

But cat consciousness reminds us that there is time for sitting with non-action, and just being curious with an empathic watchful eye is just as important.

After a long, and winding road, we make our way down the mountain by coming down into our souls, and gathering around with our peeps.

Haven’t we all had to come out of our own personal/collective bubbles during the last year especially?

Pretty sure for most of us, it has been uncomfortable at best to step out of our respective comfort zones, break out of our boxes, and find new strategies to replace old ways that no longer serve us.

What once worked, no longer does.

Doesn’t 2020 feel like the year the turtle flipped on the backside of its shell, and the world as we know it stood still?

While that is a naked feeling, there is great release in surrendering to the divine will of the Universe.

In this way, perhaps we are receiving an invitation to attract more energies of vulnerability into our lives that are seen as strengths.

This experience can be hard on the ego, but freeing to the soul.

Like it or not, the global pandemic gave humanity a swift kick that we needed to turn inward, and change the way we operate in our outer world.

I have an old teacher friend who used to follow the saying, “change is bad.”

But in his own transformative process, he has come to see the pandemic, while not the preferred outcome, as a catalyst in changing the way we do Public Education.

There are other teachers, and people who have come to see the virus in this light, even though they wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone.

Humanity has been forced to deal with an inconvient truth of examining our business as usual ways that have largely skimmed the surface, and gone underexamined in the collective dream that we have all cocreated together.

This has not relaxed people’s anxieties!

But with Mountain Lion as a spiritual guide, we can leap into a New Year with a renewed sense of curiosity, mystery, and magic.

After a long December, may we celebrate the darknest day of the year on the Winter Solstice on December 21.

After that, we begin to coax back the light, as our ancestors did many moons ago.

Many people do this by circling around fires, and express what they are feeling gratitude for, and what they want to let go of.

This form of communication can be a powerful way to release old energies that want to be released, and transformed.

In their wisdom, our lineage connections knew to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Picture your spiritual DNA, and see its old traumatic tears healing themselves into a new figure 8 sign of infinity transformative wholeness.

From this perspective, we have the awareness that even in darkness, like the small circle of yang within the larger half circle of the yin, there is light.

Speaking of moons, a New Moon on the 14th, along with the signpost of the New Age of Aquarius marks the end of an old Pisces world fading further into our rearview mirrors.

And then at the end of the month, a Full Cold Moon on December 29th is the last Full Moon of 2020.

A New Earth is going through a rebirth.

But this transition is not without its labor pains.

Out of the ashes, the Phoenix Rises.

Relationships that become stagnant need to either transform or sometimes they need to end.

Open communication about these issues can help us work through these changes, hopefully with the grace of a swan.

But sometimes you just have to let nature take its course because mutual attraction cannot be forced.

People have a right to their reactions, including not being pleased with you for living your life in the way that you need to.

For those of you who have struggled with the disease to please, like me, this can be a tough pill to swallow. And the digestion process can be quite bitter.

It is also wise to remember that other people’s opinions are none of your business.

Looking ahead, the Chinese Year of the Ox arrives on February 12, 2021, shortly after the Imbloc or the modern American holiday known as Groundhog Day on February 2nd.

Of course, the Chinese Zodiac still follows the Lunar calendar, which is different from the Sun based Gregorian Calendar.

Sometimes, I wonder why we humans changed from a moon based calendar to a sun based calendar.

And then I remember that we are shifting from a dying sun based patriarchy to a budding new moon based sacred feminine age.

In the New Year, it would behoove us to acquire, and access oxen traits of humility, hard work, and emotional regulation.

Their energies also remind us of the good medicine for everybody to do their part, and that sometimes, it is better to stay in your lane.

In a nutshell, this wisdom can help us have good boundaries with self, and relationships.

Those insights can be particularly challenging for those of us that have strong oppositional streaks, like to march to the beat of our own drum, and have strong free spirited streaks like woodpeckers, and me.

But it can be freeing to accept that whatever “leash” you are dealing with in your life is really about making friends with that on the inside, than resisting whatever outer circumstances make you feel that way.

Even some of our friends that have done hard time in prison came to that spiritual awareness while they were behind bars.

But then again, part of why we incarnate into a mortal body is to know the experience of form, and to play with forms while we are here.

While this is a blessing, it often feels like a curse.

A soul can feel trapped.

Like stagnant water, blockages can lead to getting stuck.

We all get stuck.

“For inside the woods: the poet was renewed and anxiety- stepped aside.”

Here in America, we have elected a new President.

But about half the people voted to keep Trump in office.

For those of you who feel good about the change, and say good riddence to Trump, please remember how bad you felt when he was elected in the first place, and how much you hated that feeling.

Try to remember that’s how many people are feeling now, and see if you can find empathy for those souls who feel differently from you.

You can disagree with someone else’s politics or beliefs. But however radically different they are from your own, they are not to be taken personally.

We are all in this boat together.

We really need to appreciate our differences, and find civil ways to coexist peacefully.

Our survival depends on it.

Till we tweet again peeps,

Ari

Back to School

A Full Sturgeon Moon already passed us by, and it’s back to school,
back to business is in the air . . .

But summer hasn’t ended yet,
till Autumn begins in less than a month on September 22

The eclipse season might be over,
but its aftershocks are still alive . . .

Changes in ages are like changes in seasons

Everything is ephemeral and transitory
But all life is energetic and sacred nonetheless

Have you noticed the squirrels, and chipmunks scurrying about,
and foraging like mad in their preparation for winter stockpiles?

It must run in the family, because groundhogs are gorging before
they go to sleep when consistently colder temperatures arrive

Perhaps I’m making erroneous assumptions, but in their industry,
they don’t seem preoccupied with the impending dark and stormy days ahead

Are you someone who looks forward to the crisp air,
dimming light, and colorful foliage?

Or do you dread saying good-bye to summer because fall
reminds you that winter is too close for comfort?

Like the weather, these emotional realities are fleeting,
and opposite sides of the same coin.

Might as well allow yourself to have these experiences,
observe them without judgment, and take them in as learning tools!

Like the current political climate,
resisting them isn’t going to change anything.

But you can get in alignment with the changes,
and harmonize with your environment.

“Agent Orange” in the White House is a cold, hard fact of life

But the current markets are likely to crash regardless of
whether or not he remains the President

The will of the people marches to the beat of a more
equitable, fair and just global economy

Yet wouldn’t it be ironic if We the People
were to say, “you’re fired.”?

People have been conditioned to believe that
maximum economic profit is the only way to live

The puppet masters want you to believe that private means better, and
that you should compete against your neighbor for a bigger piece of the pie

But a vibrational shift in the direction of an awakening inner peace
doesn’t mean you just sit around doing nothing, and not taking action.

If you see injustices, be like Dr. King and
connect with them head on with love.

When you become a beacon of love, light and laughter,
you are effectively dismantling the Military-Industrial-Complex

But not when you are complaining incessantly about Trump, the woes
of the world, and the abusive charlatans in positions of power

I hardly think that blue jays could spin greater
master illusionism than the fake news and quackery out there today

May we all do our part by being true wizards by
becoming the change we want to see in the world!

These internal shifts can be powerfully action-oriented,
like not feeding into spreading rumors and gossip.

Internal martial arts are intentional acts of
civil disobedience and non-violence.

When we practice in this dimension, you become a role model for a New Age
that is predicated on being your own unique diverse expression of a unified whole!

I know a lot of people who are feeling the
rapid pace of living in the world today,

It can be hard to respond to the hurry up offense
But you aren’t giving up when you surrender to the will of the Universe

Rather, you find the courage to rise up, and stand in your own personal
authority to show what the New Age of Aquarius can look like

You reveal this reality to people as it reflects from your energy field
toward someone else, even a stranger on the street

Don’t get caught up in who is or isn’t conscious or appreciative of it

Just being in this space will naturally inspire others in your orbit,
if not now, then when the time is right for it to awaken in them

Many folks are going through changes in latitudes and changes of latitudes
Relationships are part of those energetic shifts . . .

A family member that you once felt a close connection to
now might appear like an effort to get along with in the way that you want

Even more trying could be a rift in a marriage or domestic partnership

Are you burned out in a job, or feeling like you need
a fresh start in a new location?

Full Moons, changing seasons, and new ages bring these
issues to the forefront

Spiritual awakenings, and growth do that too.

Have you rebelled against convention, and traditional relationships,
and are now wondering if you should open up to explore them with an open heart?

Conversely, have you bought into doing things
conventionally and traditionally, and are now feeling moved to
become more free-spirited, with a strong desire to explore other ways of
expressing yourself in relationship?

Wherever you are at on your soul journey . . .

Be there with a compassionate heart,
and gentle softness along your communion with fellow travelers

Beaming much love, inner peace, and happiness to all of you as
you travel along the trails of your life,

Ari

On Life, Death, and Rebirth

My Grandfather died sometime around the last New Moon.
He was my surrogate father, and provider of much Sun in my life.

Big Frank carried a strong presence, albeit with a penchant for being stoic,
and was a bit of the strong silent type.

Then again, the brother was a gifted storyteller.

As a first generation Italian-American,
I think about how these qualities helped him successfully assimilate
into mainstream American culture

But he was proud of his roots, and never forgot them.
Later in life, he became more pursuant of exploring their historical depth.

A dear friend expressed to me recently that
he was there when I needed him, and he had me too.

Authentic relationships are based on reciprocity.

Before he left this Earth, he talked about looking forward to
whatever his “new program” would look like.

He wondered what it would be like, in the spirit realm –
what loved ones he might see to greet him there,
and other related inquisitive sentiments about making this transition.

His attitude about viewing every day as a gift was inspirational.

I remember when I was a kid, and I learned that he was
orphaned before he became an adult.

That parallel connection has helped me get through my own troubled times.

As such, he shared with me that he never thought he’d make it past 40 –
on account of the plight of his parents dying young.

I believe that trauma motivated him to play every down like it was his last.
But not without investing in a sound long-term game plan.

My Grandpa was 47 when I was born,
and was given a second chance at fatherhood.

He taught me some of the positive aspects of the old school.

I liked hearing his mantras about not believing that
anybody else is better or worse than you.

He was a good role model about sucking it up, and to keep on trucking,
in spite of whatever obstacles you have to overcome.

I do feel sad about the loss that the void of
a loved one who passes on leaves behind.

But I also look forward to having a deeper and higher spiritual relationship
with him as we make forward progress on the playing field together.

And I wish that way of looking at it for others who survive their
friends and relations who have left them behind.

Yeah, abandonment is traumatic. It is painful to digest,
and often not without suffering.

Yet there is great joy in focusing on the good memories, and
celebrating a soul’s release from its entanglement with form.

Seems pragmatic to relax our entanglements while
we are still breathing, and living in this realm.

When they made this guy, they really broke the mold.

He wasn’t without his faults because he was a human being.
But he was a good role model, especially with his humility, and wisdom.

The dying process, like moving from one residence to another location –
seems like everyone has their own unique way of going about it.

Although we called him Chronos, Grandfather took his time with this change.

But during most of his years, he was the epitome of running the
hurry up offense, to use an American football metaphor.

If you weren’t five minutes early, then you were five minutes late.
He was notorious for pacing, and jingling his keys when waiting impatiently

I’ve often joked with folks about how he would’ve really struggled with
that reality in the business of Public Education.

His progressive embodiment about how the competitive business world should
embody fairness, honesty and integrity still makes too much sense to me.

In any organization, everybody in it, should be valued and appreciated.
I know that has informed my work as a social worker in Public Schools.

A child might be identified as Special Education, Gifted and Talented,
Vocational, College Bound, privileged, homeless or living in poverty . . .

Their parents could be pillars of the community, mentally ill, incarcerated,
lost a job, divorced, or dealing with addiction . . .

The point is that if we are family, or strangers out in the street,
we all need to look out for each other.

We are the General Welfare that the Preamble to our Constitution speaks of.

Good workers, make a boss look good – Grandpa was outspoken about that.

When questioned about his politics about life,
he emphasized that he felt thankful for having an attitude of feeling satisfied –
regardless of what setbacks or good fortune were in the cards dealt to you.

Ciao Old Buddy – looking forward to hearing stories
about your new program development!

Ari

Toad the Dry Trail Hopper

Toad hops along the trails . . .

Their energies remind us to use what resources are available

Trust the signs and synchronicities to show you where to look

Last week’s Full Sturgeon Moon wanes in concert with sunlight

Paradoxically, Fall Eclipse Season is blowing in the wind

Picture Toad to relax any fears you might have about
the times that are changing before your eyes

At the end of the day, there is security in the knowledge
that the only constant is change

There is no need to push the river or hang on to the shores

Toad is good medicine for conflict resolution
It is possible to confront your fears without being too confrontational

Sometimes, you just have to lay your cards on the table and
let the chips fall where they may

Autumn Equinox is not far off on the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere

In later September, Light and Dark energies become equally aligned

Right Tao, we are preparing for moving Yinward

Pretty soon, feminine energies will gain momentum and then
climax on the Winter Solstice after a long December

See you along the trails,

Ari

Climbing the Trails with Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion hides in caverns, cracks and crevices
Their energies reflect silent leadership and strong feminine power

Yin is rising toward Autumn’s ascension

Feminine power is strongest when cultivated gradually
through a gentle and soft approach

A Full Sturgeon Moon floats
into our stream of consciousness on August 18th

Humans have been programmed to be afraid of the dark
Which is why it is tempting keep the blinders on and go back to sleep

But the light of consciousness wants to shine on
what we were once blinded by

That could be learning something new about yourself or someone you know
Perhaps that new information does not sit well with your preconceived notions

In that light, maybe the shades of your worldview has been forced to lift

But Nature reflects storms brewing that require us to pay attention
to the subtleties of the changing seasons

Cats remind us of the magic, mystery and synchronicity
that lurk behind shadows and dark areas

What self-evident truths want to leap out into the waning sunlight?

The Autumn Equinox is coming soon in later September
Between Tao and Zen we will experience an astrological eclipse season

At that time, light and dark energies will be fleetingly equal again
Masculine and feminine energies will be in alignment with one another

What winds of change are brewing in the air up there?

When I think of how maddening it is to hold onto the shores,
I remember the wisdom of letting go and letting God

Because what we resist will persist

It does feel less crazy to float with the current
and trust the process without throwing caution to the wind

See you further on up the trails,

Ari

Saying Peace Out to Spidery Entanglements with Form

Feminine energy slowly spins it’s web with Spider rising
Isn’t it tricky not to get tangled up in shady dark edges?

Symbolic of Grandmother Moon, may we be inspired by Spider
to weave new program designs into our dying old paradigm . . .

This reflects correspondence with a forthcoming New Moon
Time for new solutions and novel ways of looking at beginnings

Walking in balance within the center of a circle . . .
Awakens a paradoxical spiritual and practical challenge and opportunity

Like the tracks left in Buddha’s wake . . .
There is a Middle Way!

A Middle Way, in the current American general election looks like
a write-in vote , voting for a third-party candidate, or not at all

Instead of following the commercial that tells you to vote
for the opposite sides of the same coin based on fear-based incentives

Buying into the lesser of two evils only strengthens
the grip that Big Money and the Military Industrial Complex
has on your mind-set

Remember that you have a choice to stay on the path without getting too swayed
by the seductive pull of life’s tension of opposites

See how polarity consciousness plays out by pushing you to
think, feel and behave in a way that
echoes the dominant voices that the corporate media wants you to buy into

Try not to chase your thoughts and react emotionally to those thoughts
in a extroverted trigger happy way with others . . .

What would it be like for you to stand in the empathic shoes
of your so-called competition or adversary?

We nurture creativity by paradoxically staying grounded in Infinity
Dream weaving into the material reality should not be
without entertaining unintended consequences . . .

If you are wearing a predatory mask,
isn’t it obvious that you might not have the stomach
for empathizing with your victims?

Just chew on that for a moment . . .
Isn’t that a mouthful?

See you further on up the trails,

Ari

If you would like to see my first interview, check out the following link:

http://www.tolivefor.org

For information about my first published book, please see the following links:

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

Snake, Rattle and Slither

Stoking the fire burning within
A passing Summer Solstice
Gently nudges us closer to feminine yin

A Full Buck Moon arrives on a Thunderous July 1st –
Revealing new antlers pushing out of male deer’s foreheads

A poisonous snake-bite releases toxicities into our systems
What past firecrackers do you need to process and let go of

If it feels like you are headed for an urn
Try to tune into a healing tonic working underneath the burn

Meditation on Snake awakens medicinal transformation

The time is now for heartfelt connections
But don’t forget to mind your head

Venomous toxicity is released from a snake bite
Might as well breathe in Divine air in the form of crystalline love-light

Disasters leave a crematorium of ashes
So that a new Tree of Life will grow

Pain and suffering are hellish tragedies of Life
Sometimes it’s hard not to refrain from tracking
Downbound trains of unwanted emotions

Are you ready to surrender to inner state strife?

Sacred marriage between energetic masculine and feminine kin
Awakens magical rebirths by shedding dead skin

See you further on up the trails,

Ari

Butterfly Magic In The Air

butterfly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Float as joyfully as a Butterfly
Spread spiritual seeds of love as Honeybee

Becoming a future self in the here and now
We are creating ourselves anew

Summer Solstice peaking our spirits with summer’s energy
Butterfly floats
Reaching atop Masculine-yang’s summit

Nature now holds up a mirror
So paradoxically we should remember to
Swim in synchronicity with receptive femin(y)in waters

Butterfly’s position in our ecosystem gets us to reflect
How we treat ourselves and our planet
Waking up to the realm of possibility . . .

Summer is a good time to nurture outward growth and
Be playfully social like Butterfly

We all need to breathe through these times
by exhaling the force of fear
and inhaling the power of love

Butterfly is opening up our Hearts to smile!

This could look like being gentle on
yourself and others with your judgments and prejudices –
While at the same time having the courage to examine their grip on your own identity

We are all One, albeit colorful and diverse expressions of that oneness

Butterflies are pollinators of transformational seeds of growth into our souls

See you further on up the trails,

Ari

Climbing the Mountain with Lion

King of the Mountain Lion represents the gentle roar of leadership
Leaving behind power without force in its tracks
Sometimes, being a leader means silently relishing in the growth of others

Climbing the final leg of the trail
Head on with graceful powerful balance of mind-body-spirit
Brings powerful intention into our physical world

Darkness ascends on the Winter Solstice meeting its zenith
Also coming soon we become a New Moon beacon of light
Resurrecting Christ Consciousness in our souls symbolizing new beginnings

Responsibility is a panic-free zone
Awakening to the ability to respond to any given situation

Do you remember the power of our tribal African shamanic brothers and sisters?
Fly away and meditate on the elemental forces of water and darkness for a spell . . .

How many times have we feared our own primal, dark and feminine nature?

The power of the internal martial arts is cultivated gradually
A cumulative effect of simmering softness of Yin energy

Particularly in America . . .
The heat of race relations is rising to the surface again
As is class consciousness and a desire for protective security
Stoking our embers and trigger points

Have you bought into learned helplessness
Or do you see an opportunity for transformative healing?

Yes, in terrorist fashion this land was squatted from our indigenous people
and then free labor was unjustly imported from the Motherland
And still today, a greedy minority balks at playing fair ball

We have discussed in this blog that the
dominant majority prefers to go unexamined
Picture the leaders of the Empire
coming clean and welcoming the rest of us to the bargaining table
in the spirit of trust and authenticity

But getting stuck in our own hate will consume us
so that we feed off this energy like the Walking Dead
Cannibalistic as that might sound
We are what we eat – spiritually speaking

We need to release our hate and set ourselves free of the bondage of slavery
Economic strangulation and unequal access to resources is a form of genocide

Our subconscious minds are lulled into repetitive negative thoughts
But we have the power replace our cognitive distortions
with simple positive affirmations
Believe in and feel them walking into our Being

We are mindful and diligent in our daily footsteps
Helping our Planetary and Universal consciousness internalize
a positive New Earth worldview
Becoming the change we want to see in the world

See you further on up the trails,

Ari

Feathering Our Cosmic Ripple Effect with Duck Paddling Our Boat

Do you remember Duck’s medicinal power?
Feathering our memory . . .

We are all travelers here.
Waking up to an understanding that we are
Living in a deeply sacred and mysterious Universe.

Journeying through symbolic and archetypal energies
Streaming through our individual beings
binding us together as One.

Duck’s presence loosens up our resistance to untangling from
internal emotional webs during our changing tides.
Opening up our Hearts to systemic equilibrium.

Are you in balance?

“Oh Captain My Captain”
Duck paddles through Life’s muddy waters . . .

Mindfully exploring our surface and depth.
Singing the blues amidst flat energy _
Learning musical high note security by staying afloat with grace and comfort.

Returning to innocence –
Somewhere in time . . .
To a familiar place where we feel safe and comfortable.

Conversations with Duck remind us that
“Birds of a feather, flock together”
In like mind and spirit.

Do you need to be more adaptable?

Nurture you emotions as you would water other areas of life.
We are emotional beings!

Do you need to pay more attention to your emotions and close relationships?

Dig in to grounding New Beginnings with New Moon in Virgo.

Movement toward Autumn Equinox means waning light
bringing us closer to fine with balance of light and dark.

See you further on down the trails,

Ari