Archive for the ‘Becoming Crone’ Category


The Last Post

October 6, 2011



The stories we live in, my stories and yours,
knit from the wool of our ancestors,
spun on family helixes,
hold our worlds together – for a span.
Garments of swaddle and comfort,
patterns set in warp and weft,
bequeathed by “her” story and “his”
name, tribe, role and fate.

Graciously they wear thin, these stories;
shiny with overuse, one strand tears, and another,
until the fabric falters
under the weight and stock of incarnation.
Stories that once held worlds together
rip and split so that we can fall –
shredded and unraveled –
into mystery.

Here there is nothing;
nothing, but to wait
in the expanse of silence.
Wait until new fibers accrue
and the cosmic force returns
to thrust a greening axis
into the center
and possibility is reborn.

I used to prefer the old stories
with familiar beginnings and ends,
comforted by convention;
the liminal darkness, the unknowing averted.
But now, at last, I am curious
or exhausted,
or perhaps have simply lost my place.

I slip between worlds,
into the darkness,
into the spacious silence,
to wait for the opening line
of a story that has never been told,
a story that begins with a smooth round
circle of breath –
the story that truly begins with

… Joyce Pace Byrd,
Poems From The Labyrinth


CAution LIve aniMAls

August 31, 2011


 Image Credit: Violet Hour Muse

Doc Ebersole lives with the ghost of Hank Williams – not just in the figurative sense, not just because he was one of the last people to see him alive, and not just because he is rumored to have given Hank the final morphine dose that killed him.

In 1963, ten years after Hank’s death, Doc himself is racked by addiction. Since he lost his license to practice medicine, his morphine habit isn’t as easy to support. So he lives in a rented room in the red-light district on the sough side of San Antonio, performing abortions and patching up the odd knife or gunshot wound. But when Graciela, a young Mexican immigrant, comes in search of Doc’s services, miraculous things begin to happen. Graciela bears a wound on her wrist that never heals, yet she heals others with the touch of her hand. Everyone she meets is transformed for the better, except maybe for Hank’s angry ghost – who isn’t at all pleased to see Doc doing well.

A brilliant exploration of an obscure piece of music history, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive is also a wonderful novel in its own right, a ballad of regret and redemption, and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.

I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive


Central Mischief

August 28, 2011

I used to believe in nature's holy plan, but now I keep geese ~ Elizabeth Jolley

Image credit: Living on a farm in Slovakia

Many people in Australia have come from somewhere else. This must, over the years, have influenced the kinds of characters and incidents described by Australian writers. As well as the effects of the sights and sounds of the strange new country there has been the uneasiness of being the stranger, the newcomer. Most people try to overcome feelings of strangeness by making a tremendous effort to belong. The effort is made to own some land, to  have a house on it and a reputation and then, having those things, to reproduce, to populate. The effort is made too, to be friendly and helpful and to tell other newcomes somethiing about the place they are coming to. So we get stories about the ways in which people live and improve their ways of living.

The whole world can be seen to be reduced by a sameness of design in concrete and glass, covered with nylon foam, to become any universal hotel in any universal city. Wherever the traveller goes in the world, Singapore, Sydney, Bangkok, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, New York ~ and even here in the wheat ~ all motor hotels have a sameness so that it is hard for one to remember where one is when one wakes up inside the concrete.

The writer looks for the minute detail in the landscape.

Extract from Central Mischief: Elizabeth Jolley on writing, her past and herself


A 1000 Bars Create Amaze

July 29, 2011

My Native American teachers tell me that we are in the midst of earth changes that will culminate around the year 2013. They say the earth changes will bring heat, and floods, and upheaval on an enormous scale. I am struck by the fact that 50 million women will have achieved menopause by 2013. Since we, as women, are one with the earth, is our massive, collective change Her Change as well? Can we moderate her hot flashes? Give her ease from flooding? Soothe her emotional uproar? Emerge transformed together after our changes? How will we do it? With drugs, against the problems? With nature, blessed by all we are given? Will it matter to the Earth, Gaia, what choices I make in my menopause? What stories I tell myself? What I tell other women? ~ Susan Weed New Menopausal Years ~ Wise Woman Way

From The Muse

Well….if Gaia’s Change is going to be anything like mine has been……we are all so in trouble.  Seriously, just throw the booze, cigarettes and chocolate through the door and rrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnn. 

May as well, get some exercise cause there’s going to be no place to hide.

Achieved menopause…..yah, I gotta put that on my next job application.

Relax and enjoy your hot flashes. Ride them like waves, feel them in your spine, ski the edges of your flushes, honor the volcanic heat of your core. ~ Susan Weed

 STFU Susan!  Really.  Did our Grandmothers have to put up with this crap?  NO. They got on with it.  In corsets!


The Lemon Orchard

April 14, 2011

The Satisfaction of Solitude

Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness. The act of living in solitude, or being a loner, is not a very popular lifestyle, but is one that some people truly enjoy…….

Being alone is a positive and constructive state of engagement with oneself; a state of solitude where you provide you own wonderful and sufficient company……


Image Credit: Realbirder

Studies have shown that during social situations, specific areas in the brains of loners experience especially lively blood flow, indicating a sort of over-stimulation, which explains why they find parties so wearying. Studies also suggest that introverts may be more attuned to all sorts of positive experiences as well. This added sensitivity, studies show, could mean that people who are reserved have an ability to respond quickly to situations—such as coming to your aid in a moment of need—or show unusual empathy to a friend, due to their strong emotional antennae. People who prefer being alone typically have very high sensory acuity……..

Image Credit: Henderson State University

We need to end the bad stigma that aloneness is a negative position that’s similar to loneliness. The relief provided by solitude, reverie, contemplation, being alone and private times is very enriching.

 [Full article can be read at CHAT]

Image Credit: Creating 365 Days of Photography


Living in a Shell

April 13, 2011
Nautilus House

Read More at Geekologie

 “There is,” Gwin writes, “such a thing as crazy-mother bonding. This can occur unexpectedly anytime two women who have crazy mothers are having a conversation. . . . There are more crazy mothers than you might think.”

~ Wishing for Snow: A Memoir ~ Minrose Gwin

About Daughters of Madness

June was 9 years old when she came home from school and her schizophrenic mother met her at the door, angrily demanding to know, “Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my house?” In another family, Tess repeatedly saw her mother wait outside church then scream at family friends as the emerged, accusing them of spying on and plotting to kill her. Five-year-old Tess and her 7-year-old brother would just cry, begging their mother to take them home as onlookers stared. These are just two of the stories gathered for this book as psychotherapist Nathiel conducted interviews. The children, now adults, grew up with mentally ill mothers at a time when mental illness was even more stigmatizing than it is today. They are what Nathiel calls “the daughters of madness,” and their young lives were lived on shaky ground. “Telling someone that there’s mental illness in your family, and watching the reaction is not for the faint-hearted,” the therapist says, quoting another’s research. But, she adds, “Telling them that it is your mother who is mentally ill certainly ups the ante.” A veteran therapist with 35 years experience, Nathiel takes us into this traumatic world–with each of her chapters covering a major developmental period for the daughter of a mentally ill mother–and then explains how these now-adult daughters faced and coped with mental illness in their mothers.

While the stories of these daughters are central to the book, Nathiel also offers her professional insights into exactly how maternal impairment affects infants, children, and adolescents. Women, significantly more than men, are often diagnosed with serious mental illness after they become parents. So what effect does a mentally ill mother have on a growing child, teenager or adult daughter, who looks to her not only for the deepest and most abiding love, but also a sense of what the world is all about? Nathiel also makes accessible the latest research on interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, and the way a child’s brain and mind develop in the contest of that relationship. Some of the major topics addressed include:

    * Feelings of guilt in the child – Is it my fault?
    * Keeping the secret
    * Role reversal – when child acts as parent
    * Fear of the same fate
    * Building resilience and accepting help
    * Insights from daughters of mothers who were schizophrenic, psychotic, severely depressed, paranoid, and personality-disordered.

Manic Depression by James Hammons

You talk about the importance of the connection between mothers and daughters because daughters identify with their mothers, and the mother is the first model for how to be a “woman.” What impact does having a mentally ill mother do to a daughter’s sense of self?

Susan Nathiel: There are two parts to this answer. First, when a child’s primary care-giver (usually mother) is impaired psychologically, this has an overall effect on the child’s developing sense of self. A core sense of self is strongest when the caregiver can be reasonably attentive, can have many more positive interactions than negative with the child, and can mirror the child’s expressions and experiences. No mother is perfect, obviously. But a child’s sense of the world and her place in it, and her place in her own body and mind, is formed in the web of interaction with the mother, hour to hour and day to day and year to year.

Manic Depression by neogothic-jam on deviantart

The second part of the answer has to do more specifically with being the daughter of an impaired mother. For a young child, “how mother is” and “how women are” can be one and the same. So if mother is volatile, mean, depressed, or neglectful, this can be confusing to the daughter. Being a woman may seem to be a bad thing, so a girl may do her best to be not-like-her-mother. Many women I interviewed said they didn’t really know how to be a “woman” – they didn’t admire their mother, or want to be anything like her. It was very hard to separate what was the illness, what was the person, and what was the woman. So if a girl doesn’t want to be anything like her mother, where does she find a role model? “Being a woman” is something we learn most easily by identifying with a woman we want to emulate – it’s not something we naturally know how to be.

Nautilus cutaway

Shell Essences

Fossil Nautilus: Connecting to the Love Within. Remembrance of Forgotten Gifts

Totemic Energy

Nautilus – A symbol of beauty and proportional perfection. When a nautilus appears in a dream or meditation, it is there to teach you how to make your living environment a safe and comfortable place to be.  Nautilus teaches you to sense, intuitively, the sacred geometry of any environment.



The Nautilus

Artist: Lynette Shelley, Curious Creatures


Neptune: trapped by archetypes

April 8, 2011

I’m not another cinderella
Waitin’ for a Rockafella
If the shoe don’t fit, then that’s it
I don’t need a storyteller
~ Shakaya

Image Credit: Freeonlineserver

Trapped by Archetypes

Researchers have found that our minds naturally create narratives around the facts of our lives, and the way we tell our personal stories strongly influences how we see ourselves as well as how we behave.

None of us start out as pessimists. In fact, most of us once believed that we could enjoy a Disneyesque tale of wonder and joy, with endless fun all day and fireworks every night. But then life happened.

If we examine the stories we tell as adults, we almost always find that they’re variations on ancient themes that have been represented throughout the ages in fables and fairy tales. As we grew up, we unknowingly became trapped in one of three archetypal stories, all of which promised us joy but ended up delivering misery.

The three fairy tales that become core scripts for our bad dreams are:

1. The story of King Midas, which turns into the nightmare titled “I Don’t Have Enough.”

2. The story of the Lion King, which turns into the nightmare titled “I’m Too Old and My Time Has Passed.”

3. The story of Cinderella, which turns into the nightmare titled “I’m Too Wounded to Have Power.”

Once we recognize that we’re living according to one of these archetypal scripts, we can consciously choose to rip it up and start over with a new story. But first we have to be honest about just how much we’re conforming to a fairy-tale fantasy about what will make us feel happy and fulfilled.

~ Words: Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D; Courageous Dreaming – How Shamans Dream the World into Being

"Here is the stuff of which fairy-tales are made; the Prince and Princess on their wedding day", 1981

So said the Archibishop of Canterbury — with all the 600 years of Chaucer’s anglophone word-coining power behind him — to start his homily at the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles. ……. Kate Middleton, like Diana, now has what Umberto Eco called the aura of burnt flesh — referring to martyred saints — about her, sporting Diana’s own sapphire of death by paparazzi, along with all the other rivetting attributes of being struck by lightening, chosen by God and Prince William, and being Captain of the Girls’ Team. Diana was, and Kate is now. [Read more]

~ Words:

What’s Your Story?

I wasn’t aware of the Power of the Fairy-Tale until I read Women Who Run With the Wolves in 1992/1993. There I learned about fairy-tales that were entirely new to me;  as they were to most of us who had childhoods parked in front of the TV, anxious to get home from the Sunday Drive in time to watch the opening credits of The Wonderful World of Disney.,….. with the castle and the fireworks.

There are more than three core scripts. There has to be when you consider all the stories we have soaked up, via all the storytelling mediums that are available to us.  And there are way more interesting scripts than the three that Villoldo has nominated ~ they’re too easy, and they are the most prevalent because they are effortless. No-brainers.

I mean, if you are going to have a Nightmare Script running, make it a good one. One that forces you to work, to break into a sweat, and to give you such a seismic scare, that your Higher Self  just pops right out, slaps you upside the head, grouching:

Read THIS One!!

I had to really think about the fairy-tale that I liked the most as a child, the one whose script has been covertly running behind the other operating programs.  There are the usual suspects: Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin – and the latter would fill me with a sense of outrage, that the dwarf had been stiffed. An early indication of the Devil’s Advocate archetype having a front-row seat in my consciousness. I had to grow up some before I recognised The Miller…..and that’s another story. 

As an aside: Just as the Greek myths are full of clumsy gits who trip over arrows, get wounded and die, I have noticed that children’s fairy-tales seem to be abundant with deadshit dads.  Were these Wicked Stepmothers really wicked or just POQed with the mythology that says the good guys are always taken, so they believed a Widower was a good guy back on the market? 

I mean, I never bought it that Cinderella’s old man didn’t know how she was being treated…………so what is this fairy-tale really about? The Power of Denial?  Never leave home without it.  Or does it covertly show the shadow archetype of the Ambivalent Care-taker…..

However, it is the Grimm story of The Gallant Tailor who killed seven with one blow, that has been  hissing the lines from off-stage; rich with totemic symbology and the parallel with the seven chakras is just too delicious not to Estésfy.

It is also a very intriguing medicine story for a little girl who grew up to develop an Anxiety Disorder, the seeds of which had already been planted……and that reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk,  an analysis of which can be read here.

I’ve never particularly cared for Jack, yet there have been plenty of times in my life when I have made a poor trade – losing my cow for beans.  A regular conflict in my childhood, was the Broad Bean War: I hated them, dad insisted I clean my plate, and mum deliberately gave them to me, because she liked using me as the pawn to aggravate her husband.   The sadomasochistic script that my parents played out, with me in the middle, was not the stuff of fairy-tales and, sadly, this sort of emotional abuse is all too common-place.  It’s a Virgo-Pisces thing for the evolutionary astrologically inclined..

So with that early background, you betcha I was going to hop away with the first Frog-Prince that turned up; from one swamp into another….and another….and another.  And nobody buys the cow if they’re getting the milk for free ~ and that cuts both ways.  I didn’t want to really marry them either but the test drove me into a brightier and shinier relationship ~ with myself.   I made my own  happy ending! 

The High Priestess

High Priestess imaged sourced from celticradio

About Shakaya

They were a two-piece girl group from Australia, that consisted of Simone Stacey and Naomi Wenitong, two Cairns, North Queensland based songwriters and performers. The two met at the Atsic Music College in 1999 while studying an Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander music course and they had both been writing individually before they met each other