Tag Archives: wind

Chuck’s Place: Water & Wind

I consult the I Ching, one of my favorite oracles, for guidance as we pause in the destructive wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The I Ching first delivers Hexagram #48, the Well.

Nature’s lessons, water & wind…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The central feature of this hexagram is the pure water that springs from the earth’s depths to nourish all life. In the plant kingdom nature provides roots to trees and plants to channel this vital resource to sustain life. In the human species this archetype manifests in the building of the well that then serves to deliver this resource to support life in human communities.

Emphasis is placed on the quality of construction of the well as well as the social structure needed to maintain its purity, balanced use, and sustainability. I receive a moving line in the 6th place, actually a quite favorable line. In essence, the message is: the truth flows freely; now it’s up to us to decide what to do with it. ┬áLike water raised in a bucket from the depths of the well, the truth is the life-sustaining spring water message of nature, raised to the level of full consciousness.

What are the truths that now flow freely in the flooded waters of these hurricanes? Global warming, climate change, is a fact. The rise in temperature of ocean waters is fuel to hurricanes that are becoming increasingly powerful and destructive. Can we acknowledge this fact, and take actions to change the warming trend?

The social structure that embraces unlimited growth as its imperative results in overpopulation that strains nature’s resources. As well, the high concentration of industrial complexes, with their toxic stores, threaten the purity of natural resources and the ability to sustain life.

These are broader truths presented to our collective species. On an individual personal level the I Ching is telling us that the facts, the changes we need to make in our personal lives, are presenting themselves to us quite clearly. The confusion or ambivalence we ordinarily feel is lifted now; the truth is that we know what we need to do, what is right.

Perhaps these truths are being clarified through symptoms in our bodies, our physical nature, that point to needed changes. Perhaps the messages are delivered from our spirit nature through the powerful emotions or insights we are receiving. Perhaps our truths are manifesting synchronistically in the events manifesting in the events of our personal lives that dramatize obvious need for change.

These truths are staring us in the face. In fact, the I Ching gives the follow-up, Hexagram #57, the Penetrating Wind, to further drive home its point. The wind is the penetrating influence that breaks up the thick clouds that block the truth. These deeply penetrating hurricane winds have been relatively sparing of human life so far, but devastating to the environments that have sustained them.

Nature is asking humans to penetrate the truths revealed. The well represents our modern governance of life’s most precious resource, pure drinking water. We are clearly being humbled, but not destroyed. We must heal our divide by considering the true needs of our planet, by being willing to sacrifice our power and special interest drives in the service of survival. To survive we must respect and uphold the vital balance nature requires to sustain life.

In the hologram of our individual lives we are being shown that the truths we must acquiesce to, to bring ourselves into sustainable balance, are abundantly evident now. The eclipse has passed, the storms have revealed the truths.

Time to penetrate the facts and forge a plan of action. Like the rebuilding of devastated communities progress will be slow but deliberate, but can be built now upon a secure foundation of truth.

The great changes we must make in our individual lives are upon us. Nature in some form has prepared the way for them, what awaits is consciousness to align with and be nourished by the pristine, spring water truths freely flowing to us now.

The truth flows freely; what will we do with it?

Flowing with the changes,


A Day in a Life: Signs Of Change

I notice this happy face smiling at me when I open the milk carton...another good sign perhaps? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
I notice this happy face smiling at me when I open the milk carton…another good sign perhaps?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I wake at 3:45 a.m. to wind gusts that shake the house and rattle the furniture on the deck. I wonder if the umbrellas will blow over. I try to fall back to sleep but another gust comes along. I see the trees against the night sky bending low, pushed to breaking by this sudden shift. The night has been calm. We have our bedroom sliding door open wide to the deck and the night air. We love to watch the sky at night and awaken to the sounds of the birds, the phoebes and cardinals especially. They are our alarm clock. Another gust comes through, and another and another. Now I can’t fall back to sleep. I wonder what’s coming, for I sense that these are winds of change.

Later, as I’m drying my hair, the hair dryer goes on the fritz. In fact, it totally blitzes out, shoots a flame, smokes and fizzles out. It’s fried. Change, I think. Yup, change is coming. Am I ready for it and what will I do with this opportunity?

Astrologically, I read that we are in for some interesting energy, so my sense of change feels in alignment with the planets. I look forward to change, to new possibilities, to the challenge of doing things differently and of becoming someone new. I wonder what else, besides the wind and my hair dryer, will be the catalyst. Something else is sure to come along to support me today in my quest and desire for change. I know for a fact though that I must be my own instigator of change. I must be my own arbiter, my own catalyst, and yet I am thankful for the signs that show me that the time for change is now.

The fact that the cicadas are here this summer is right in alignment with the idea that it is high time to make some big changes. They have been singing their way through the days, letting us know that we don’t have much time left. And it’s true, we don’t, they don’t, none of us do. As the Shamans of Ancient Mexico like to say: We are beings who are going to die.

Here it is, trying like heck to turn over... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Here it is, trying like heck to turn over…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I thought about those shamans yesterday. I was just about to check the hot tub water chemistry when I noticed a large bug on the hot tub cover. It was on its back, trying desperately to turn over. A cicada. I watched it for a while, remembering how don Juan had once told Carlos not to interrupt the progress of some critter crossing the road, a snail perhaps. He told him that he had no right to interfere, for he did not really know the snail’s story. I tend to not interfere with nature myself, knowing that nature can pretty much take care of itself. However, it was taking the cicada a long time to flip itself over and I was getting impatient. Of course, I could have come back later, but I wanted to test the water now.

After a while, rather than actually touch the cicada, I blew at it hard enough that it was able to flip over and fly off the hot tub cover. Satisfied I opened the lid and went about my business. A few seconds later as I went to the other side of the hot tub to turn on the jets, I stepped on something that went CRUNCH under my clog. UH-OH! I looked down and in a moment of horror realized that I had just killed the poor cicada that I had tried to help! I was devastated. I had interfered and had caused a death. On the other hand, that cicada, as far as I knew, had been singing its heart out for days that it was going to die. It was right. We are all beings who are going to die. However, I couldn’t help wondering how it would have fared had I not interfered.

Chuck mentioned this morning that as long as we keep the thought of our death uppermost in our minds then no moment is any more significant than another. At the same time, every moment is precious too, but all the moments really carry the same message, letting us know that time’s a wastin’! What have we been putting off? What do we want to accomplish in our lives, in our next moments? Why wait?

I sense that new opportunity arrived on the wind in the middle of the night. It loudly proclaimed its presence. It said, stay alert and grab this opportunity to make those changes that are so badly needed. This is a personal challenge as well as a universal challenge. We are all being asked to go deeper into our inner world and make changes there, while we are being pushed to live differently in the outer world as well.

Doesn't this cloud look a little monsterish? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Doesn’t this cloud look a little monsterish?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The wind is not always good, the shamans like to warn, but it does suggest a stirring of energies. This one, by all accounts, is a good wind of change, bringing us to a new level of awareness. If we are ready to grow, it’s time to latch on, dig in and go with it. Change! It’s the kind of wind that will take us far and we could all use that kind of help in our efforts to evolve and grow, individually and as a human race.

It’s time, the wind shouted in the night. In the most bone-shattering way, it said: This is it! This is the time of your lives! This is what you have been waiting for, so don’t miss the opportunity! Go with the flow of it. Acquiesce to what you know is right, to what must be done to move you beyond the pale, beyond the horizon, beyond the old self.

I wish you all well in your inner work and your outer work. It feels like they will now come into greater and more fruitful alignment. The winds bode well!

Going with the flow,

A Day in a Life: Dreaming of Pie Dough & Desert Wind

I don't want to become flyer food...

It’s a bit early to go to bed, but I’m tired. Something’s bothering me and I don’t want to wake up in a few hours with it still on my mind. I don’t want to lie awake for hours, my mind crawling with thoughts, becoming what the shamans call flyer food. Shamans see flyers as entities that feed off human agitation, and thoughts generate agitated energy. As I drift off to sleep, I ask the universe and my dreaming self to take the “bothersome something” from my mind so I can sleep peacefully.

“Please give me something so I can get through the night without disturbance,” I ask.

Immediately, I am standing in a windy desert. I look down and see an aluminum pie plate in the sand at my feet. I put my thoughts into it, in little bits and pieces like rolled bits of pie dough until the pie plate is filled. The wind, already strong, grows stronger now. I watch, as first one and then another bit of pie dough blow away, then another and another, until all the bits of pie dough have blown away. Then the aluminum pie plate blows away too.

“Oh,” I say, “that’s how I’ll do it. I’ll just keep putting bothersome thoughts into the pie plate and let the desert wind blow them away.”

I go into the desert many times throughout the night and each time I do the pie plate is lying at my feet, once again returned for use. Dropping little thought-clumps onto the pie plate I watch them pile up and then watch as they and the pie plate blow away in the wind. Each time I do this, I am aware of the power of intent to create exactly what is needed. I remark to myself in my dream how well it works and how calm and peaceful I feel. In addition, I notice that the contents of the thought-clumps never materialize in my mind, not even for an instant. I am so intently involved in the process of rolling them up and watching them blow away that they never become real. Thus, my mind is totally empty and at peace.

I sleep deeply. When I wake up in the morning I am calm and well rested. I tell Chuck of my nighttime process.

“It really worked, I slept so soundly,” I say. “I was able to not only sleep deeply but my mind was perfectly empty and calm even when the “bothersome something” arose. I just went through the process as it came to me and let the wind take it. It’s really an excellent mindfulness practice.”

Chuck reminded me that I had mentioned to him the other day that Byron Katie spent a lot of time in the desert after her awakening in 1986, listening to her inner stories, letting the winds take her thoughts, thoughts that came out of her, both her own and those that did not really belong to her personally. Although I live far from the desert, the desert winds appeared just when I needed help too. Who knows what else lies waiting to help us, just for the asking.

To be clear, there’s a huge difference between ridding the mind of bothersome everyday thoughts and what goes on when one is engaged in deep recapitulation. As Byron Katie discovered, she had to encounter her own darkness; in order to heal she had to face everything that came up out of her. In contrast, I just didn’t want useless thoughts interfering with my sleep last night. I had no intention of inviting the flyers to a feeding frenzy.

In addition, I had no intention of going back to or revisiting any thoughts that might arise. I sensed them hovering about, waiting to see if they’d find an opening, and set my intent to do exactly the opposite, to not become available. Instead, I encased them in pie dough, letting them know that they were inconsequential thoughts of no significance and I would give them no energy whatsoever. In letting the wind take everything, including the pie plate, nothing was left behind for the flyers to feed off; no crumbs even to lick clean.

Peaceful healed mind enjoying life...

We have to accept that thoughts naturally arise, seeking a place to land. In meditation practice, it’s the eternal process of letting go of thoughts that eventually allows us the experience of peaceful mind, as they drift through our mind without attachment. I see the pie plate and wind of my desert dream as a natural meditation tool. Give it a try; it really does work!

It’s even often appropriate to send thoughts away during recapitulation, but we have to be aware that some of the issues we’re trying to push away will return, no matter how far the wind blows them, until we are done with them. This is because the intent of recapitulation is to heal, totally, and total healing takes many forms, painful and blissful alike. However, I could see using the same practice as a recapitulation tool to send interfering thoughts away that are blocking the truth, or for sending away self-defeating thoughts, old scenarios that are no longer true, as well as the voices of others. It may also help in dealing with the onslaughts of messages from the deeper self that we are just not ready to acknowledge yet.

Once we’ve healed, the flyers leave us alone for the most part, and we are free to dream new dreams.

Passing it on,

#681 Chuck’s Place: Must be the Season of the Witch

This week, I was drawn to pick up my least favorite of Carlos Castaneda’s works, The Second Ring of Power. In retrospect, I now know why. I had had the audacity to write about the knowing of the womb last week and the witches came to repay the favor.

When I first read that book, thirty plus years ago, I hated it. I was horrified and confused by Carlos’s lethal encounters with the witches. These were encounters with women who had lost, or were losing, their human form and were capable of anything. When one loses the human form one becomes an energetic being untethered by human roles or conditioning.

The condition of my copy of The Second Ring of Power is decrepit, an old hard cover, still with its original jacket, but with a broken binding, whole chapters falling out, brittle pages that peel off as they are turned. I thought: Well, this is a perfect not-doing. As opposed to the normal pattern of reading a book by turning its pages and holding it together, as I read each page, I peeled it off and placed it in a separate pile.

At some point in the week, I was pulled to put on another of my wedding rings. I stared into a small dish of jewelry on the dresser and selected a ring. In keeping with the practice of not-doing, I placed the ring on the wrong finger on the wrong hand; my wedding ring with Jan snuggling up with my wedding ring with Jeanne. It never dawned on me that I was inviting in the energy of the second ring of power!

In The Second Ring of Power Carlos describes the winds of the four directions and how all female sorcerers draw power from the winds of one of these directions. The winds were wicked this week. Several times they blew open the consulting room door at the office. Sudden wild winds of tornado like intensity appeared out of nowhere, knocking out power lines and just as suddenly shifting back to utter calm.

As abrupt as a sudden wind, Jan and I had a forceful exchange. In an instant, the human form of our relationship dissolved. Reactions shot forth out of both of us like lightning bolts, completely unexpected and totally out of character. Our discussion was around our children. In The Second Ring of Power, the witches speak of completeness, for a sorcerer, as requiring the retrieval of their edge, their energy lost to the children they had borne. In fact, on an energetic level, these sorcerers see those children as their mortal enemies.

For years, I have known and written about the need for all to detach, to break the energetic bindings of the archetypal roles of the human form with its holy days of family obligation, specifically in Your Family is Not Your Family. I notice that I write today’s essay on the eve of the holiest of holies, Mother’s Day. This was completely unintentional. It’s either a synchronicity or the witch’s sense of humor. Ultimately, mothers, fathers, and children need to be freed of the energetic bindings of these human form roles, if they are ever to gather in their energy to individuate or become energetically complete.

Jan and I exchanged verbal blows, confronting each other around these energetic entanglements with our children. The power of these archetypal roles runs deep. As we each held our ground something else took over. Neither of us was prepared for what came through us; it was the energy of the witches, carried on the winds, blowing us out of the human form. This was a decisive shift. We became beings unrecognizable to each other. At the same time we each landed in a very personally familiar place of energetic calm and clarity, utterly detached. We shifted into a formless state without definition or attachment to any roles. For a good twenty-four hours we shifted out of the human form of our marriage with its own set of deep energetic entrapments. We became two warriors, solitary beings, well aware of each other’s power and utter willingness to deliver a lethal blow to the other’s desperate clinging to the human form. Synchronistically, this happened on the day Jan wrote her blog about guidance she had received from the witches of don Juan’s line in her dreaming.

The winds have subsided now. We have “safely processed” our experience. Rationality is restored. Our energy has receded back into the forms of contented husband and wife. We joke about it; we enjoy it, our experience of the human form and our shift beyond it. Neither of us has any illusions about our true formlessness and our ruthless intent upon energetic completion. Archetypal roles provide structure for human completion, but if we cling too tightly we invite the wicked winds of the season of the witch.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

NOTE: We have nervously added The Second Ring of Power to our STORE under Shamanism. Watch out when you open this book! The witches will come to get you too! Also, listen to Vanilla Fudge sing Season of the Witch, my favorite version.