Friday, August 2, 2013

Tara's Magic

"White Tara" (Photo courtesy Gather the Women ***)
To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.

The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you

Put down the weight 
of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation.

Everything is waiting for you.

  Everything is Waiting for You
  by David Whyte
Sometimes I get a glimpse of the seamlessness of our lives, the grace that is present when we ask for what really matters.  And even when we don't realize that we are asking, the answers we need are still given - but, of course, we also have to be listening.  One of the pleasures of being over 60 for me is that my capacity for humility and awe has deepened, which seems to allow me to notice a whole lot more of the circles we move in. I suppose, in my case since I'm restless and travel as much as I can,  that's literal as well! 

So here is a beautiful Circle.  At the beginning of this trip,   I commented that I had decided to leave for the summer because I felt stale, depressed, and unsure of what to do next.  I lack community in Tucson, and needed to return to my "source" in the East, to revisit friends and places I love.   I decided before leaving I would make a point of also visiting Jewell, the energy healer I worked with when I lived in Brattleboro, Vermont 17 years ago.  Jewell lives in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, a small New England town that can be devilishly difficult to find among winding forested roads with very few road signs.

Jewell begins her healing sessions with prayers to Tara, and it was through her that I first heard of the "21 Praises to Tara."   I wrote in previous posts about my  "meeting with Tara"  while working with Jewell just before I left New England to move to California.  This is the most profound visionary experience I've ever had, releasing me ultimately from the past, and giving me the courage to move forward. I wrote a poem about that experience which still speaks to me on many levels.  I think only now do really understand it. **

 Om Tare, Tu Tare,
Your touch cools hatred and grief.
From you, the demons of delusion fly
Praise Tara, whose fingers adorn her heart
Light radiates from a wheel in Your hand.

Jewell is also a playwright.  She taught me much about ritual theatre with her "Theatre Alive!" Workshop, which I took that year - in fact, that was where my first "Spider Woman" performance manifested.  So, in many ways, working with Jewell was right at   "the Source" for me, a gathering of energies waiting to manifest.

So, getting ready to leave this year, I was pleasantly surprised by a synchronicity just before I left in June, when I received an order for a Greenman mask from a man in Shutesbury - what are the odds? Yet I saw this as an affirmation, because synchronicities, for me,  are increasingly about guidance.  They are living metaphors that, like dreams, can be touchstones as we wander through the forests and deserts of our lives.

I also recently posted that, en route to Starwood, I  received an email from Prema Dasara opening the possibility of going to Bali this winter to create 21 sacred masks for her "21 Praises to Tara" Mandala Dances.  It's now August 2, and it's going to happen now!  As soon as I return to Tucson I'll begin the research I will need to prepare for this wonderful project. 

Jewell didn't have much time for me yesterday - she met me  wearing black.  Her best friend, as she described her, her "spiritual partner" had died just 9 days previously.  Jewell was preparing to  leave for a few days to grieve.  Still, she was delighted to see my books about the Goddesses and Spider Woman, and I was happy to be able to show her what had followed those experiences with her so many years past.  She is a true mentor to me - I was pleased to be able to honor her.

Jewell's friend who had passed was artist Joan Bredin Price.  It was she who initiated Jewell into Tara practice - and although I had never heard of Joan, she was well known for her beautiful devotional Buddhist paintings - among them, the 21 Aspects of Tara!.  In fact, the portfolios and  paintings were soon to be sent to a museum in Colorado for a memorial show, and what portfolios were left  of the collection would be sold there. 

Hearing this left me speechless.   Jewell was able to get one of these portfolios for me, which I now have as a treasured resource for my future work, not to mention a blessing from an artist  I wish I had been able to meet.  Here's the Circle  of the Goddess.  Thank you Jewell, thank you Joan, thank You Tara.  I will do my best.

Here's the link to Joan Bredin Price's paintings and writings about the 21 Praises to Tara.  I won't be able to reproduce any of these paintings on this Blog as Jewell informs me there are copyright issues with her estate.

Reflections on Synchronicity:

For me,  because I'm not good at remembering dreams, and because I am, frankly, too lazy to meditate effectively (although my art practice is a form of meditation for me).......synchronicities are a real form of guidance.  I can theorize on what they  are, but really, physicists like David Peat, writers like the MacGregors, and psychologists beginning with  Carl Young...have done a much better job of it than I can ever begin to touch, so I'm content to experience and record synchronicities for myself, and because I believe it's important to share the grace we receive in our lives.  Because as we see the Circles we move in, we see how truly interconnected we all are as people, as living planet, as souls.   Only joy can flow from that realization.  
And, I might add, in my experience, spirit expressing through dream and through synchronicity has a poetic twist and a great sense of humor.  Leaving Jewel and driving north to meet my old friend Ro for coffee, I remembered that when I met Ro some 18 years ago  she was the Director of the now defunct "GAIA'S WEB" center in Brattleboro, Vermont. Alright!   Weavers unite! 

And it's good to touch Vermont soil again, to breathe the sweet air, to see the beloved Green Mountains.  I left my heart here long ago.  Circles.


            I went to meet that savage creature
            I have run from, lifetime after lifetime
            the shape within the shadows
            a creature of smoke and bared fangs.

            I went to meet it at last

            It took me into its vast arms,
            and I kissed its terrible face.

            And I thought I would die.
            I thought I would be swallowed,
            but I was not swallowed.

            For that creature I thought
            would devour me
            returned my embrace.

            I looked into eyes
            soft and liquid, filled with tears
            the eyes of a lonely child,
            my own lost child,
            my brother, my sister,
            my lover, my mother.

            And with great tenderness
            Fear lay upon my breast, and slept.

            What bound me for so long
            flowed out of me,
            my heart expanded,
            and I found I could hold

            the world entire
            in my open arms.

            I will make my arms a circle
            I will make my heart a circle

            I will walk all my sorrows,
            all my fears Home.

            I will walk
            circles around them
            until at last I find
            that bright and spacious center

            Come with me. Take my hand.
            We will do it together

            We will walk Home.


Gather the Women Global Matrix
About Gather the Women Global Matrix

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Powerful, all the way around. And Bali?! Wow. Can you imagine the synchros that will swirl around that place for you?