Saturday, August 29, 2009
One cool lovely evening after taking a walk, Elliot and I sat in the backyard enjoying the breeze. Suddenly, he warned, "There's a strange bug in the grass by your chair!"
I looked down by my feet at an old familiar sight. A locust shell. As I picked it up, childhood memories flooded my mind. Elliot, born and raised in Brooklyn, was surprised at my reaction. His eyes bugged out as I held it in the palm of my hand, smiling, as if seeing an old friend. "A locust? Here at the beach," I murmured. "It's amazing how the locust pushes its old shell off and leaves it on trees. I remember collecting those empty skeletons off the trees on my Grandmother's farm. Its legs are like claws so they stick easily to trees and things. They were both creepy and fascinating."
There seemed to be a message finding it in our backyard. I had written in my book that I felt hollowed out like a locust shell stuck on an old oak tree. "This is the metaphor in my writing," I proudly showed Elliot. The skeleton was still intact...a perfect replica of the insect,right down to the eyeballs.
"What's it called again?" Elliot asked.
I tried to remember. "Locust...but then it could have been a cicada."
Later I looked it up on the web where it was called both. To my surprise, the site linked to another website where I found this message from Jesus. It was timely as we were going through a transition ourselves, shedding our old shells.
"My child: It's no use being capable if what you achieve is not what I had planned for you. It's no use having a beautiful voice if you sing the wrong song. It's no use writing this, if you don't let my thoughts guide the pen. There is no limit to what I can achieve through you, if you surrender your pride and let me use you in My way. Set aside your daydreams and spend your time aligning your mind to mine, seeking my forgiveness for your willfulness, being open to my guidance.
You will feel like a locust shell, all form and no substance, but as the wind can blow through a locust shell, so the wind of my Spirit can blow through your empty shell, can lift it and set it down in a new place, can make it fruitful beyond your dreams.
Surrender comes hard, but I ask nothing less. Do not let fear of loss prevent you. I will reward you a hundredfold. When your substance has been surrendered, your form becomes filled with my Spirit. You will be tasting the new wine of my Kingdom. I want this for you. Do not be afraid. I am incapable of acting without love, and your surrender will bring you into My love."
God and the angels speak to us in our own language. Mine is nature. So if you're feeling a little hollowed out these days, that's a good sign.
Friday, August 28, 2009
My first talk on Angels at the Edgar Cayce Forum was coming up on August 26th. Somewhat nervous about using a microphone for the first time, I remembered an affirmation a friend gave me earlier that week. "Put me with the right people at the right time in the right place saying the right thing in the most favorable way." I kept affirming this whenever my stomach suddenly turned to cold jello.
In meditation, a few days before the talk, guidance came to get a rose for each person attending the Forum. A gift from their guardian angel for coming to the celebration. Roses were a lovely thought, but we were on a budget. How many dozens would I need? My ego dismissed the idea, but I did ask the angels for a confirmation and soon forgot all about it. That afternoon, I was reading a book and came to a passage on pink roses. The timing was interesting, but I still wasn't convinced. Although I was reminded of the many extra large vases Mom gave me on our last visit.
The next morning in meditation, a faint rose essence filled the air. For some reason, I didn't make the connection to the Forum. Although the sweet fragrance was a blessing.
The day of my talk, my husband, Elliot and I were driving home from lunch at the Anchor Inn. "Are you getting anything about my talk tonight?" I asked him, hoping he might mention the roses.
"No, not really."
I shared about my meditation and the roses for the audience.
"Roses are pretty expensive."
"I can find them for $9.99 a dozen. That's what I'm seeing."
"Bloom had roses that were fairly cheap awhile ago. We are getting our angelic signals. "Let's stop by" he said. "If they're $9.99 and in stock, you'll know."
I ran inside the grocery store while he waited in the car. Sure enough the roses were $9.99. As Kathy, the sales girl, went to check for more bouquets, a small teddy bear with a potted flower was on display. "Here to Encourage You," were the words on his balloon. I smile that the Angels are guiding us.
We leave the store with a bucketful of pink and red long stemmed roses. Having followed my guidance, the energy around the upcoming talk has shifted. I'm feeling peaceful. The angels of the roses are with me. At the Forum, beautiful roses surround the podium. During the break, a young woman eagerly approached me. "I have a message for you. My friend got the same guidance about flowers. To bring flowers for everyone she knew who was coming tonight."
Throughout the evening, the atmosphere in the room was one of celebration and excitement. The joyful presence of angels among us, within us, and around us. At the end of the program, a happy audience left with a rose as a reminder of their guardian angel who is always with them. We are never alone.
The next morning while moving a stack of books out of the living room, I find an old pamphlet I got from the freebie box at the A.R.E. library three or four years ago. A colorful floral presentation of slogans by Al-Anon for their 1990 International Convention. I turn to the first page. To my surprise, the words THE FORUM... are bolded, standing out in the second paragraph. A red rose bud is pictured on the page. I am amazed at the synchronicity and so grateful for the guidance of angels. Later that morning on the internet, a flash ad popped up, "Everything's Coming Up Roses."
That's so true, when we listen and follow the guidance of our guardian angels.
P.S. On Saturday, my 86-year-old friend, Hawk, sent an angel card. Enclosed was a check that just so happened to cover the cost of the roses. :-D
Posted by Rae Karen at 10:08 AM
Thursday, August 27, 2009
In July '94, I moved to Atlanta to work on an angel documentary with my brother, Rex. Schatzi, my tuxedo cat stayed in Virginia with two friends renting rooms in my townhouse. When the move became permanent, I sold the house. A good home was needed for my sweet cat since I'd be traveling a lot in Georgia. A friend in Virginia knew a co-worker, Kim, who was looking for a cat for her young daughters. Kim and I had taken a spiritual class together the previous year. They came by the house to meet Schatzi. It was love at first sight. They wanted to take her home that very night. It was all happening so fast. I watched them leave with a big piece of my heart.
Two years later, I moved back to Virginia to marry Elliot. As it turned out, we were living in the same neighborhood as Schatzi, only we didn't know her address. On our daily walks through the neighborhood, I often wondered. Which house? And, was it fair to look her up now? It may confuse her. Often, I pictured her in a bubble of white light and sent her love wherever she was.
A Course in Miracles teaches that we can have a holy relationship with anything we’re in relationship with. Money. Work. Partnerships. So I asked the Holy Spirit for a holy relationship with Schatzi. I had guilt over abandoning her to start a new life in Atlanta.
Once you turn a situation over to the Holy Spirit, results come. Often in the most unusual ways. Months later, Elliot and I were on a walk one sunny Saturday afternoon. We passed a newly painted mailbox with Kim’s name on it. On our street! The long main road into the neighborhood. Many times we've passed by in our comings and goings over the last two years.
No cars were in front of Kim's house, but we stood in the driveway and sent love to Schatzi. The next morning, I returned, alone. No one was home. I sent her light and thanked her for being such a comfort to me all those years. She was the friendly face that greeted me after work. The one who snuggled with me during challenges and heart ache. Welling up, I sent her love and asked her to forgive me for letting her go. I never took the time to grieve over losing her. That's just something I do very well, stuff my feelings and move on like nothing has happened.
On Tuesday morning, the Holy Spirit nudged me to go to the Course in Miracles meeting. An ad was in the neighborhood paper from last month. I called for directions. It wasn't in the development like I thought but at a healing center about twenty minutes away. If I hurried I could make it. The sign on the door was appropriate. Kneaded Touch. In the lobby, I looked for the Miracles meeting. A woman in an outer office at her desk resembled Kim, who adopted Schatzi, only her hair was short. Suddenly she looked up from her paperwork. “Karen! What are YOU doing here!” she gasped. “You're supposed to be in Atlanta!" The weirdest expression came over her. "Schatzi died on Sunday. My girls just asked me how I could reach you."
Her words didn't register at first. Schatzi died.
Then a warm understanding enfolded me me. Was Schatzi waiting for me to say goodbye? I told Kim about sending love to Schatzi over the weekend. She agreed the timing was pretty amazing. Her little girls had held a funeral service and buried her by a pine tree in the yard. I was touched and grateful for the loving care she received. I thanked Kim and went to the Miracles meeting down the hallway. Feeling numb. During the opening meditation, tears suddenly began flowing. Walls that kept me from letting love in were being washing away. I remembered the quote, Tears are a sign of a frozen heart melting. I realized what a wonderful gift Schatzi had given me with her passing. The gift of knowing love never dies. Love extends beyond time and space. Love is eternal. And somehow everything that happened was okay. The facilitator said, "Kim rarely works here anymore. It's divine timing you came this morning." Silently, I thanked the Holy Spirit.
A month later at a Reiki Healing Circle at home, I am asked, “Do you have a cat?" I wonder if perhaps the question is about allergies. But then, he said, "I keep seeing a cat on the stairwell.” A friend told me a comforting thought. Schatzi left the physical to be with me in the etheric.
Just last year, Elliot and I were gifted with a tuxedo cat from the shelter. We named her Angel. One morning I hear a thud in my office. I go to see what Angel's up to? A dictionary fell off the desk. Angel is sitting beside it, looking up at me.
“What are you telling me?” I laugh, playfully looking for a clue. The book is opened to the last page. A blank page. SHOTSY is written in red ink. I don’t recall writing it. The pronunciation is like Schatzi. But it makes me wonder. Do our cat friends return to us?
Later, to my surprise, I find an old photo of me. A toddler sitting in a wooden chicken coop on Grandma's farm, clutching a cute little tuxedo kitten. Again, it makes me wonder? Do our cat friends return to us?
Working on this blog, Angel cat is stretched out on my desk by the computer. As I finish writing, it is early evening. She looks at me with bright green eyes. On a whim, I ask, “Are you Schatzi? Have you forgiven me?” I kiss her pink nose. “I love you.” She looks deep into my eyes as if she understands perfectly. Then lets out a MEOW. It makes me wonder… Is it déjà vu? Or dinner time? In truth, it could be both. Thank God for our wonderful angelic pets.
Posted by Rae Karen at 2:11 PM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Like this dandelion we are sometimes forced to bloom in a tight spot where we're planted. If we stay positive and do our best, God will take care of the rest. Nature is a great teacher. It's amazing how a dandelion can thrive between brick mortar on this front step. Born from a tiny spore, it bloomed under the worse possible conditions. No soil.
Most people think dandelion is a weed to get rid of, but it is filled with minerals and vitamins. I often drink dandelion tea to purify my system. It is also a plant of lore that can be used as an oracle. As a child I would have fun with dandelion. I picked a dandelion puff from the yard and made a wish. Then I would blow on it with all my might, how many spores were left on the stem represented the number of children I would have.
In his book Nature-Speak, Ted Andrews shares that "Dandelion teaches us that there is worth and beauty beyond what is visible and apparent. It teaches to look beyond the surface of things."
Isn't it interesting that a plant with so much nourishment is called a weed. Kind of makes you wonder who was labeling all the flora?
Posted by Rae Karen at 7:16 PM
In 1999, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) was having its annual Congress in June. Elliot and I just moved to the beach. When Elliot read about the Congress, he was guided to write a theme song for the gathering called Love One Another. He played it at the opening of Congress. When he finished, a woman sitting nearby wiped her tears. “When I hear that song, I cry.”
Another woman asked, “Is he your husband?”
I nodded proudly, and she gave me a bookmark she made for the Congress. I thanked her and put it on my lap. I told her about the vision I saw when he played it for the first time at home. "High in the heavens in a beautiful blue sky with white fluffy clouds, I saw a joyful red celestial rose dancing around in circles. Her leafy arms swaying to the melody."
“I saw a rose for the Congress, too!” The woman smiled. “Look at the bookmark.”
I looked down to see a rose imprinted on purple paper. We both laughed.
Later that evening Elliot and I returned for the talent show. It was early so we went to the meditation garden. A young woman on a bench by the waterfall was praying. Her blonde pony tail stuck out of her baseball cap. Her head hung down as if in deep pain.
Early evening, the garden was so beautiful, landscaped in such a natural way. We enjoyed the peacefulness and closed our eyes as we sat on a bench under the trees. Opening my eyes, I saw a lone red rose still in bloom across the path. "Look, Elliot. There's the red rose again." I got up to smell its sweet essence and thank it for its beauty.
"Let's send some peace to that young woman," he whispered.
"Do you think she needs an angel?" I surprised him by reaching into my goodie bag and pulling out a small wooden angel box.
“At the last minute, I was nudged by the angels to bring it along.”
"Follow your guidance," he smiled.
I watched, waiting for the right time to present the gift. Meanwhile, Elliot went to smell the rose.
When the teenager stopped meditating, I walked over to her. Surprised, she looked up, a little annoyed at first. "The angels want you to have this," I said, handing her the angel box.
She gave me a quick look of complete understanding and her mood became brighter. "Thank you."
Elliot and I went to get our seats for the talent show. To our surprise, the third contestant was the young woman in the meditation garden. She sang In the Arms of An Angel from the movie, City of Angels. I found my eyes filling with tears. She sang softly and sweetly with great feeling, just like an angel. I could almost see her wings.
Several days later at Congress, I felt a tap on my shoulder in the auditorium. I turned around.
It was the angel singer.
"I wanted to let you know what was going on with me in the garden. You see, I was very close to my grandfather growing up, and miss him very much. I used to feel his presence around me after he died several years ago…but I can't feel him anymore…So when you handed me the box I had been praying about it. And it was as though the veil was very thin."
I was so happy I followed my angel’s guidance. The little angel box came from the dollar store, but the present was priceless.
May we always be willing to help the angels,
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The Zohar teaches about a vast system of angels which make up a communication network traveled by both positive and negative influences. This network is an interface between the physical world and the Upper Worlds. Everything in the physical world is governed by angels, including every blade of grass, every creature in the sea, and mankind as well.
Because our five senses are so limited, the presence of angels is invisible, but their power doesn't go unnoticed. In Kabbalah, we learn positive actions bring positive angels. Likewise, negative actions (all blockages, turmoil, and distress) attract negative angels. The good news is we have a choice. How we behave determines which angels are aroused in our world. Whenever we react, we are opening the door to negative angels. If we can remember to stay positive and pro-active, we draw positive angels to us. It's as simple really as like attracts like.
Knowing this is helpful, especially when confronted with car trouble on the highway. Often it can bring out the worse in me, especially if a passenger in the back seat is my dear eighty-six-year old Mom on one of the hottest days of the summer. And on the first day of her vacation. She was coming to spend a week with us at the beach. We left Alexandria early and were making great time. The trip had all the ambiance of a perfect day unfolding. Mom was humming Rock of Ages in the backseat to the music playing in the tape deck.
Half way home, the car began making a strange noise, slowing down on Interstate 64. An exit was coming up at Toano near Williamsburg. Immediately Elliot pulled off and we cheered the car onward, calling on the angels. Somehow it coasted into the McDonald’s parking lot and stopped in a parking place.
After calling AAA, we ate an early lunch inside air conditioned McDonalds. If we had to have car trouble this was a cool place to be. An hour later, the driver showed up to tow our car. His morning was a busy one, but he was friendly and helpful. Our car needed towing to a garage. There was only enough room for two of us in the cab of the truck. So, Elliot sat in our car (Goldie) on the flat bed truck. Curious, folks in the parking lot gathered around. We decided to have fun. I snapped a picture of Elliot on the Rocky Road Tow Truck with the window rolled down, waving to the smiling crowd, but the camera didn’t work either.
“I can hardly wait to see the good that’s going to come from this,” I said, climbing inside the cab. Mom somehow maneuvered the high step, too. I think the angels must have given her a boost. Zooming along the back road to the repair shop, windows down, an angel ornament danced in the wind on his rearview mirror.
“See Mom, the angels are with us.” I was so thankful we weren’t stranded in the hot sun.
She laughed, holding down her windswept hair. Riding along the country road, we sang a few lines of “Country road, Take me home to the place I belong.” At the repair shop, we got bad news. The transmission was shot. It was a case of just accepting what is. My brother David who lives in Richmond came to the rescue. We spent the night at his house and had a wonderful dinner out with his family.
A few years later, while searching the web for angel pics,I found the Toano Angel! The synchronicity was amazing, reminding me that by staying positive, we can have a smoother, happier ride through life with the angels. Not that there won't be bumps, but the angels make good shock absorbers.
Happy trials and trails,
Driving down Holly Road, we passed an unusual sight. A tree topped off by Hurricane Isabel last fall had gone through quite a surprising transformation.
By the hands of a master wood artisan, the old tree was crafted into a work of art; a wonderful metaphor for weathering life's storms. It may look like we lost a big part of ourselves, but something deep within is birthed. Our spirit. And we find ourselves in the world in a creative and different way. No longer ordinary, but extraordinary because the Master has left His mark on us.
Trees are symbols of grace and great strength. They remain firmly rooted to the earth while reaching toward the sunlight. Shaken by winds and storms, they fulfill their purpose.
I have always loved the trees wherever we have lived. Just seeing them gives me a wonderful feeling of comfort and peace.
I love this poem by Dorien Israel.
Nature is the most powerful presence on earth
Because it is feminine,
Because it is secure,
it allows all things to evolve and does not interfere.
The feminine overwhelms
the masculine with patience.
She wields more power,
because she can yield more gracefully.
Since she can stay still,
her energy is never wasted.
All her movements
Be like a low lying field
full of potential and growth;
Open and receptive,
attracting elevating energies.
Be ever constant and conscious to
the changes that are coming.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I love this painting by George Bleich called Beyond Moongate. From this photo it's hard to see the beautiful blue morning glories covering the portal. In 1992, it crossed my path while visiting a childhood friend in California. I had come for a visit after going through a major life challenge. I needed a pause before starting a new chapter of life. One afternoon we were shopping in Carmel when Viola discovered Beyond Moongate in the window of an art studio. Irises were like my breadcrumbs from God showing me that I was on the right path.
"Not only does it have irises, there's a poem with it," she smiled. I was comforted and amazed how perfect both the painting and the poem fit my life and the timing couldn't have been better.
The harmony of indigo
Give way to pastel shades
Pains of yesterday dissolve
With the dawn of each new day.
Revelations raise around you
Perfumed flowers in the mist
A tear clarifies and crystallize
To a healing dew drop kiss.
When the secrets of your garden
And all the mysteries there within
Reveal themselves,*** unto yourself
Your new day will begin.
Your garden awaits in beauty
With love you’re meant to share
Like unfolding morning glories
Far removed from care.
Life beckons you with joy
To press on and not to wait
For the path unfolds before you
The path beyond moongate
Night flowers bloom in secret
***Bearded Iris sway
The silence of the Cobblestones
Await the sounds of day.
Like blossoms await the morning sun
Pathways the sound of feet
Your heart awaits to pulse with joy
When night and day do meet.
--George J. Bleich
I really wanted that print in the beautiful gold frame but the price was beyond my budget. Circumstances had recently changed. We left the studio and walked down to the beach. An unsettling feeling gnawed at me. Watching the surf, I couldn't get my mind off Beyond Moongate. It did seem like it was meant for me.
We turned around and I went back to buy it. That was the beginning of my gifting myself. Listening to the whispers of my soul. Before my divorce I had no money of my own. So this was part of my healing, feeling worthy. Now, that painting hangs in my living room. Looking back through the years, what a wild and wonderful journey into the light it has been and continues to be. One where I met many of you along the way and we journeyed a distance together, sharing joys and sorrows on the road home. Sometimes I look down the path in the painting and wonder what's waiting around the bend? The morning sun lights up the path as I begin my meditation in gratitude for all the experiences that led me to where I am today.
Posted by Rae Karen at 5:35 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I’ve seen angels before. Mainly in captivity. On the printed pages of books and greeting cards. Or hung in galleries and museums. The ideas of artists. The promise of power but not the power itself. And then I saw one in the wild. It was three in the morning. A tap on my shoulder pulled me from sleep. I blinked, expecting to see one of my children in need of a glass of water or refuge from a bad dream. There was a figure standing over me. "Too tall." My logical brain assessed to be either of my offspring. I leaned up, on one elbow, clearing my head, blinking the sleep from my eyes.
Standing at my bedside was a woman. In the darkness, I could only discern her oval face, smiling down at me. I rose up, not physically, but my energy surging from sleep to alert. My brain scrambled to assemble understanding. Her smile brightened. She raised her hands to her waist, palms up. On her face was the peace and the beauty and the power that artists and earthlings have tried to grasp throughout human time.
She rose as her smile brightened, growing taller and more lucent even as she slowly faded altogether. Some instinct within me swung my feet over the side of the bed, onto solid ground. My brain sorted through its choices. A ‘dream’ seemed the most reasonable explanation. And offered some antiseptic comfort. The world was not crumbling. Angels were only ideas. Only dreams.
But try as my logical brain would, it could not undo the tap on my shoulder. The first contact that shook me awake. Ten years later, I never tell the story without wondering was I dreaming, and then immediately feeling her hand on my shoulder, as if it is always there.
For years, I wondered if I would ever have another encounter with a spirit so immense. And then my wife and I traveled to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We thought we deserved it and after eighteen years of marriage, our confidence was high that we had chosen our partners well.
I’d met, over the internet, a woman named Nancy Sweatt who lives in Kona on the big island, Hawaii. She’s a transplant from the mainland. One of those people who asked for divine help and when the divine answered, with what could have been interpreted as pretty improbable directions, she went ahead anyway. During her five years in Hawaii, Nancy has become a master diver and boat captain. She takes people on her thirty-foot cruiser to encounter dolphins.
I’ve seen dolphins before. Mainly in captivity. Performing in the tanks at Sea World, or on the TV news, beached on familiar sandbars and dying for reasons no one can name. Entertaining. Endangered. The memory of power, but not the power itself. And then I saw one in the wild. Actually, I saw a pod of one hundred.
They rode the bow wake. Every few seconds, one would erupt from the water, twisting like a gymnast, for a glimpse of our world, before disappearing back below. And then we donned wetsuits and entered their world. They were neither interested or intimidated by our presence. They streamed by in surges of ten and twenty. Muscling each other for position. Intertwining and streaking free. Flying grace. And sound. They chattered to each other, calling with clicks and whistles. This thousand feet of royal blue ocean might as well have been another dimension.
The dolphins I had seen until those moments had been visitors to my world. A dorsal fin rising into the sun. Now I was visiting theirs. I watched in reverence. Deep in the blue. More awake than I could remember. Grateful for a ringside seat to the actual act of living.
That night, I lay awake thinking of the things in the world that are rare. The parts of nature that humans have pushed to the edge. The endangered species. Three thousand varieties of plants and animals listed by the EPA are in danger of disappearing.
But there is an endangered species not on the EPA's list. It is my own. Humanity. I may not be in immediate danger of physical extinction, but there are too many parts of myself that I have dimmed or have been downsized. Patience, humility, imagination, compassion, joy, gratitude, faith. It is one thing to disappear with one’s habitat, and quite another thing all together to become extinct by choice.
I’ve seen faith. Mainly in captivity. Starched in a Sunday suit. Petrified on paper. And held tightly in my own hand, protected, as if it were something I could lose. As if my meager answers could not survive in the wild. I actually saw an angel, and though I did not deny her, neither did I embrace her. Given the choice between sanity and salvation, I chose sanity. And thank God, I have lived to regret it. And in a new moment, choose again. So I tell you, years ago, I saw an angel. And what’s more, I see them now. Everyday. I see them in dreams and in daylight. They speak to me in whispers and music, and in clicks and whistles. I find them virtually, everywhere I choose to look.
Posted by Rae Karen at 2:41 PM