Category Archives: Spirituality

Forest Yurt Retreat Day Three: Walk the Labyrinth

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walk the labyrinth photo ©2013 kimcrayton

After a long sleep with some very intensely vivid dreams, I woke up and wrote my dreams down, ate a light breakfast, and headed out for one last walk  before catching the ferry home.

I set out to walk a labyrinth.  The first time I walked a labyrinth was about 11 years ago at a retreat center while participating in a workshop on Touch Drawing through an expressive arts course during my undergrad studies.  Ever since then, any time I have the opportunity to walk a labyrinth, I always do. This one was especially lovely because it is right off a forest path, and you can tell that it is infused and created with loving intention.

After the labyrinth walk, I returned back to the Grand Forest for one more quick hike up and down the trail. This time I took a different route and ran into a beautiful collection of cairns arranged atop a mossy boulder. What a treat!

I’m glad I went back to the trails before leaving the island and heading back home.

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mossy rock cairns @2013 kimcrayton

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Connect to Springtime Energy

light plant spirits @2011 kimcrayton

light plant spirit self @2011 kimcrayton

As much as I love the blooming flowers and the beautiful transformation into springtime, the surge in springtime energy is challenging for me.  The increase in light can become disorienting, as I wake up earlier and fall asleep later, and become very allured by all the warm invigorating sunshine.  I have to ground myself with earth energy to align my personal energy with the land.  I connect with my healing master, and give myself healings daily and listen to my body.   The urge to go out, be active, and connect with friends and kindreds is strong, and my energy gets very accelerated.  The plant beings call me outdoors all the time! There is such joy in the songs of flowers!

In tarot, this year is my “Sun/Wheel/Magician” year, so there is more outward and connecting activity going on this year so far than all of last year! In the Wildwood deck, the 1 card is The Shaman.  Although the transition from this year from last year (The Hermit year) is a bit bumpy, I definitely feel aligned with these.  The Shaman card is very relevant, since this spring I have focused on healings as a daily practice, using healing tools that I have gathered.  As an empath and intuitive, healings are essential for me to call my own energy back into my body, and it feels really good!

My Tarot Year 2013

If you would like to figure out your tarot year cards, as well as personality and soul cards, read Mary K Greer’s “Tarot for Your Self.”  I constantly go back to this book as a reference for really soulful readings for myself and others.

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Sedona

Sedona’s beauty is breathtaking and powerful. It doesn’t take long to leave the crowds of tourists and head out into the desert and stand in awe and honor the red rocks that rise from the earth.  I enjoyed the Boynton Canyon Trail, which I hiked barefoot on soft red pebbles and sand.  It was soothing to open my foot channels and let warm, grounding earth energy flow and energize my legs.

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One thing that struck me about Sedona (aside from the obvious magnificent red rock formations) was the juniper trees.  The junipers were really dynamic and sometimes stood twisted and bare in the sun. The trees were remarkable to sit by, with their warm, dry bark. In this picture, I am sitting with a peaceful twisted juniper, and feeling an immense sense of joy.

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Wise Grandfather Saguaro

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One of my favorite places is the desert. When I run my earth energy for grounding, the desert is my source for that earth energy. The sun and sky is so beautiful here in Tucson. I am here rock hunting at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show.

The great saguaro cactus always amazes me. It can live to around 200 years. The saguaro also stores up to 200 gallons of water, and expands when fully hydrated. When I see all the plants together, they look as though they are waving hello, and they joyfully want to embrace with their welcoming (but prickly!) arms.

When I stand with this plant being, I feel a wise, masculine, benevolent earth energy. Grandfather Saguaro tells me everything will happen in it’s own time. He reminds me there is plenty of time to get things done, and to honor all steps on my journey with patience and love.

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Do You Dream? My Adventures in Dream Journaling.

IMG_1252I have been using dreams as information for as long as I can remember.  At different times in my life, I have kept dream journals to recognize patterns in my dreams, and to access all the rich information and wisdom in my dream life and travels.

For the past 4 months, I’ve been keeping a regular dream journal, where I write down my dreams every morning (or in the middle of the night.)  Even when I cannot remember my dream the night before, the next morning, I write “I don’t remember,” instead of “no dreams,” since the dreams had happened, I just couldn’t remember them at the time.

Last night I was in Greece, swimming in crystal clear aqua teal waters.  I was underwater the whole dream, swimming with sharks and manna rays, and other fish.  I swam deep near the floor of the sea, which was covered in a pale coral.  When I looked up to the surface from below, I could see the outline of white washed buildings made of stone, and a clear blue sky with the sun shining through the water. I still wonder if I was in my human form, or if I had shifted into a jellyfish, or an eel. Either way, it was a very playful, serene and vivid dream.

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There has been a big water theme in my dreams lately, which for me, usually means I want to return to mother-earth-womb-lightly-floating-intuition-healing realm.  I really do have a strong desire to be in the ocean right now.  The morning before I had this dream, I pulled the Water Dragon card from the Druid Animal Oracle.

I  love the water, and once I get to a beach and in the ocean, it is really difficult for me to return to land.  Just writing this makes me want to go take a bath!  Or, take a trip to Maui.  The first photo in this post is from my trip there a little over a year ago.

Or, maybe I could actually go to Greece, which is a place I have not been yet.

In the past, I have overcome my fears in several dreams that started out as quite frightening.  Most times if there is something I don’t like in my dream, I will change it (after all, it is my dream.)  However, there are some dreams that happen repeatedly that just stick, or I feel “stuck” in.  That “sticking” or “stuck-ness” carries wisdom that needs attention.  I find dream journaling helps give those repetitive dreams a “voice.”  The dreams are brought to the light, and the light shows me the way to work within the dream.

Do you have a dream journal? How do dreams help you?

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The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

I’m not sure what made me think of this book today.

Perhaps it’s the frost on the trees this morning.  Seattle has been cold and clear these past few days.  The sky and lake are beautiful, colored in pastel blues and pinks. The clouds above the Olympics dust the mountains with glowing white sugar snow.

After gazing in the distance, I looked at Cedar (the tree next to my bedroom window) and asked “How are you today?”

Cedar said, “Cold, but good.”

After I asked Cedar this question, I thought of trees in general and all the seasons they endure in the same spot.  I tried to remember the first time I was exposed to a tree with consciousness, other than my own direct experiences as a child.

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Then I remembered when I was read the book “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf.” It must have been after my great-grandfather died that this book showed up in our family.  I think I was 5 or 6 years old. This is a wonderful book on life cycles, death and dying, and the seasons of life, through the eyes of a leaf.

Here is the whole book read aloud, split between four lovely videos from youtube.  If you are not familiar with it, then I highly recommend listening to Freddie’s story. It is truly beautiful.

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Bones of the Earth

agate beach2I really love beachcombing.  I can spend hours on a beach looking for treasures and interesting objects from the sea. These photos were taken one afternoon  at a spot where I usually take pictures of trees along the shoreline. But the stones called to me and wanted some attention.  How lovely and smooth each stone is here on this beach.  It is always a gift to be able to spend time here.  Each color and shape is so smooth and pretty.  Recently, I heard the saying “stones are the bones of the earth.”  It made me think of this beach and how with each step I gently walk upon the bones of mother nature.agatebeach1

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January 7, 2013 · 4:43 pm

The Spirit of a Tree

photo-8I have been visiting this specific tree regularly for over a year now.
Yesterday, I went to visit this tree.  I asked if it would help me feel more relaxed and centered.  I stood with my back fully against it, and placed all my body weight onto the trunk.  I stood with this tree for about 20 minutes.  This tree was very kind to take my excess energy (ie anxiety) I was carrying, and bring it into the earth.
Once this tree asked me to bring it water during the drought season in September; it was really dry, as were other conifers around it.   I also bring it songs, as a gift of gratitude.
I think this tree is really beautiful.
It possesses a generous spirit I have experienced during many of my visits. I don’t have accurate words to describe how I experience the tree’s spirit, which I do sense, however, “generous” is the first word that comes to mind.
It makes me think of this exercise by William Bloom on how to sense a spirit of a tree:

Sensing the Spirit of a Tree

Stand close to a tree and let your awareness go down into the root system where it absorbs nutrients from the earth. Follow the flow up into the trunk, the branches and then the leaves. The leaves are open to receive the light of the sun. Hold your awareness of the whole tree and then expand your focus slightly to be aware of the whole energy body of the tree. Stay quietly with this sense of the whole tree, and its spirit may become quite clear to you.

-from Working With Angels, Fairies And Nature Spirits (p. 59)

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January 1, 2013 · 6:47 pm

Gratitude and Love for 2012: Many Thanks, Many Blessings

On New Year’s Eve, I am reflecting on the past year in awe and wonder.  It has been a beautiful, gentle year, with a lot of my time spent on intuitive work and quiet listening of nature and spirit.

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My 2012 tarot year card was 18 “The Moon,” and my personality card for 2012 was 9 “The Hermit.”

The Moon Over Water (named in The Wildwood deck) speaks to my delving into my intuitive development. I prioritized my dreamwork, reiki healing, and shamanic journeying, strengthened my relationship with tarot, listened deeply to messages in nature, and cultivated relationships with some very wise trees.  You could say the moon and I were very close in 2012.

I am grateful to have experienced such stillness in my “hermitage” (and those who have seen my latest home know it has space for peaceful retreat!)  I call my hermit space “up in my nest,” as an owl’s nest of intuitive work.  I was indeed “The Hooded (wo)Man,” but at the same time, had time to take part in joyful gathering in celebration throughout the year.

I also had my first close encounter with an owl this year! A barred owl dropped out of a tree and landed on the grass in front of me.  I sat with that owl for about 40 minutes, and watched it and another owl up in the tree communicate with each other and just be owls.  As an amateur birder, this was so awesome.  I also visited wolves at Wolf Haven, and saw my first wolves, and heard them howl.  That was a sound I will never forget.

My two tarot cards for 2012 could not have been more accurate to my experience of 2012.  I experienced many quiet walks, a lot of grounding meditation, reading, and energy work.  I tuned in deeply to stillness, and I am so grateful for this year of rest and quiet moments.

 

I am truly grateful for the beauty revealed to me this year from spirit guides, nature, tree beings, wise human beings and angels. Thank you. I am blessed.

I wish many blessing to all in 2013.

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December 31, 2012 · 6:31 pm

Hugging More Trees in 2013

Placing the heart against a tree is a humbling experience.

I love this Gaia Oracle card “Intuitive Communication,” illustrated by intuitive artist Toni Carmine Salerno. Notice thephoto-4 tree has a heart radiating.  I love the choice of heart centered, intuitive communication, because it realizes the relationship we can have with trees, plants, and other beings if we just open our hearts and listen.  The woman in this illustration can sense the tree’s radiating heart, with her eyes closed. This card resonates deeply with me and my calling for 2013.

As the new year approaches, I reflect on the trees that have touched me during the 2012.  All the wisdom I have received from the trees I have immense gratitude.  Thank you trees!

Looking towards 2013, I am being called to bring more tree people to the trees and practice intuitive listening with trees and in nature.   This is a purely heart-centered act that I am guided to facilitate in the next year, and beyond.

There are so many ways we can connect to the earth and at the same time, to our wisdom and intuitive guidance.  Starting with a heart centered practice is a way to ensure that future actions are centered in the heart, with intentions of loving and peaceful connections.

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Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, Spirituality, Tarot, tree