Thursday, June 28, 2012


Coming or going, where is the present?

 The experts of soul say we should live in the present. 

I can’t find a present just the going back and forth between past and future. 

 Not even a nano-second can hold such a thin slice of time.

 It’s like the fly weaving frantically around the kitchen too fast for my flyswatter. 

 Maybe I’ll stick with what can catch me, the past and future.

I’ve reached a phase of life where time shatters and it’s hard to remember what pieces go where. Did that pot of marigolds sit in the same corner of the patio last year? Is it already July? But it seems like Sunday, are you sure it’s really Thursday?  When did we last change oil in the car? Damn, I thought our appointment was next Thursday! 

Ok, I’m getting old, I know that but I really think there is more going on than a lack of schedule plus memory loss.  This is a new universe and it’s intriguing. It’s a shame I have to be pinned to a board with all those practical earth-bound notes trying vainly to hold me to a present that doesn’t exist.  As soon as clock and calendar lose their authority, anything can happen. Bring it on!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Today, PQ and I were on our way to the grocery store in Sedona and he brought up my name again. He knows that I don’t identify with my given name. The issue comes up often because I still haven’t changed my name since we got married.  Sometimes it really bothers him that my accounts still have my ex-husbands last name on them. I certainly understand his displeasure but I’m stuck.  I want to change my name but feel strange being Marti Standing Deer because Marti is short for Martha a name I’ve never liked. Marti isn't bad but should I make it permanent.  I keep putting a name change off because I don’t know what I want my name to be and I don’t want to keep changing it trying to find out. Now and then, He and I go through lists of names and I just can’t identify with any of them. Sometimes I think I’ll take back my maiden name but it feels like defeat.

I need a real name! My name is a constant bother. The name has never belonged on me.  It feels like an alias tagged on after a bout of amnesia. I’ve always know that my birth name was a compromise based on my Mother’s desire to please, not her preference.  She believed that there was great honor in being self-deprecating. In truth, it dominated her life and consequently my life as well. Earning admiration for her excessive modesty came with a constant struggle.  She tried very hard to avoid any action that might appear selfish or attention seeking and this troublesome concern actually ended up working in reverse (as the Leo nature intended). 
Wheel of the zodiac: This 6th century mosaic pavement
in a synagogue incorporates Greek-Byzantine elements
Beit Alpha, Israel

 Mom was born with the Sun in Leo conjunct Neptune and opposing Uranus. I’ll never know for sure, but I suspect she had Virgo rising, she tried so hard to match a fantasy standard of perfection. Since she was number five among seven children the time of her birth lay buried at the bottom of family events, and I became interested in astrology long after there was anyone left to remember. 

Here is a little basic astrology to bring the previous paragraph out of the clouds. Leo is the ultimate sign of self-importance and personal power and the Sun is its ruler.  Just as the Sun is the center of our Solar System and the other planets revolve around it so Leos feel most fulfilled when others revolve around them. Being highly regarded in the tribe is essential. Self-deprecation darkens and kills the life force in a child of the Sun. Neptune is such a different energy that only insanity or spiritual transcendence could bring them into cooperation. Neptune is selfless, cosmic, and easily attracted to a life of imagination, and spiritual sacrifice. On the down side, it has little tolerance for harsh realities, is prone to addictions and easily consumed by fantasy.  Uranus opposing the Sun is embarrassing. Leos want to be magnificent not weird.  Uranus loves to horrify authorities, is eons ahead of boring social conventions, and is definitely different.  Uranus is the only planet that spins vertically rather than horizontally. Uranians fraternize with ET’s.

Since she demonstrated many Virgo characteristics, I’ll also give my take on Virgo.  Virgo has very high standards. They want to be perfect and have little tolerance for people who don’t have the same goal. However, they sometimes become so frustrated in their pursuit of perfection that they decide, “to hell with it, if I can’t do it the right way, I’ll make a perfect mess of it.” Also, they may become obsessed by little things while neglecting the big ones. While pursuing one pesky mouse all day they may not see that a gang of rats are having their way. In addition, they are attracted to healing because they need to fix things. They are necessary in this world, but not easy.

Now back to the name. Mom wanted to name me Ruth Ann but my father wanted me named for his mother Lillian Martha. As usual, mom wanted, needed, absolutely had to make everyone happy except herself and me.  Especially she wanted to make Dad happy, after all, I was a girl not a boy, and she was guiltily pleased about that knowing that he would have liked to have a boy. So she felt obligated but she wanted to be fair and balanced. (Her Moon was in Libra, the sign of balance compromise and judgment) Her mother’s name was Kate Ruth.  Since she didn’t like the name Lillian, she decided to name me Martha Ruth, thus measuring the balance half and half for both grandmothers by giving me their middle names.  I could have been proud to carry their middle names but perhaps the element of compromise motivated by self-effacement turned into shame on my part.

When I was a child, I automatically disowned my name except for practical purposes. I would have preferred no name.  When a teacher called my name, it frequently took a few seconds to put the name and me together before responding. I was never Martha Ruth inside.  When I was in my early thirties, one of my best friends started calling me Marti, and I was relieved that someone cared enough to rescue me from my dorky fate. Before that, I assumed it would hurt my mother’s feelings and upset the delicate arrangement of our psychic cords.  With that simple act of friendship, I felt initiated into the world beyond my family.  

Words focus the light of our consciousness.  Without words to point here or there, we blindly stumble through an immense psychic forest .  Maybe I need more than one name, or maybe I haven’t taken the initiation that will reveal my true name.  While PQ and I were on the road, he said, “Maybe your name is an ancient name from your original people. Maybe that’s why all the Christian and popular names that we try don’t work.”  That felt right. But am I ready to take it on?

Names have the power to seize our essence.  That’s why the old Testament priests were not allowed to speak the name of God. When a shaman conjures a spirit he/she calls it’s name.   My name doesn't touch me because it alien to my essence. It's a key that doesn't fit the lock.

I don’t mean to bore anyone with technical astrology symbolism, but in my birth chart the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and the Moon are in the 12th house.  People of the 12th house often are born with the key to the family stronghold in their hand.  From the beginning, I experienced my given name as I experienced the clothes forced on me as a child, an ill-fitting costume designed to hide my true nature from the world lest I blow our cover.  Maybe the key doesn’t fit the lock, I’m still trying to open the closet door, or maybe there never was anything to hide in the closet and all that cover up was in vain.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Heading into the Next Decade from the High Desert

 Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
Lao Tsu― 

 My husband, Pba-Quen-nee-e has been a bit concerned for me lately.  I'm just recovering from a cold/flu that took a month to come on and is taking just as long to leave. I recognize the symptoms of a big change in inner landscape. For those of you who have some astrology background, I have transiting Pluto in the 6th house apposing the Moon and Jupiter in the 12th house, and also my Cancer ascendent . There are some other things going on as well but this one is amounts to psychic and possibly physical meat grinder machinery. However, just writing about it is helping to move into it with fresh faith. As a Cancer rising person I process life changes with emotional and physical upheavals. My poor husband is very sensitive  and often reacts to my changes before I do.  I just can't have a private crisis anymore.

I’ve been haunted by images of the past lately. I tell myself that it is an indulgence that  doesn’t make sense and probably isn’t healthy but it won’t go away.  Last night when I crawled into bed, the moonlight and the sound of crickets suddenly brought up a 3D surround sound vision of a moonlit night at our old family cabin in the Black Forest southeast of Denver.  It is gone forever, a time and place I will never experience again. When that place was still a part of my world it never occurred to me that the time would come when it would exist only as a memory. 

Right now, a big hummingbird moth just flew in the front door. I remember that my cat Joe thought they were delicious but he is also a part of the past. This one is too fast and erratic for me to catch (strictly catch and release, in my case) but brings up memories of some other hard to catch light as air beings. Right now, I am desperate to catch those Holy Ghosts flying around my head.  The great teachers from my past and near present are seductively teasing me. They must know that I want so much to renew familiarity with them again but they are diving in and out of inner space too fast to catch.  I’ve been longing to sit again in their secret ashrams. Yet another wished for journey to the past.

These reflections are bringing back the wonder and loneliness of my strange adolescence and beyond to those passionate searches for a wisdom that would load unresolvable paradoxes on an inter-dimensional space ship headed to that place where the wise ones gather on the Astral Plain to mingle and discuss the mysteries of the universe.  Not just this physical universe, but also the one encompassing all dimensions and times. I hunger desperately to time travel again because the present seems suffocatingly tight. 

I no longer remember all their names but feel their personages, master Lao Tzu was one of the first I met.  During the most lost and desperate of times, around age 16 I was wandering through a second hand bookshop on 15th street in Denver.  There isn’t such a neighborhood anymore and I’m sorry for those who will never experience it. I love the internet, it is delicious magic and appeals totally to my mercurial Gemini self, but these old second hand shops were an entirely different level of magic with a touch of the Harry Potter ambiance. I can remember two particularly whose owners were definitely fey and a bit shadowy.  These places were dusty and dark with books piled on the floor and in the corners as there was never enough space to shelve them all. I stumbled (literally) on “The Story of Oriental Philosophy,” first copyrighted by L. Adams Beck in 1928. This was one of my introductory first steps through the enchanted door to a larger, cosmic mind.  I was hooked on mysticism and the arcane. 

This was true treasure hunting, a search for the elixir of life and an antidote to the poisoned teachings of my childhood.  In those bookstores, I found a world sequestered in secrecy lifetimes ago, and the path to my real identity. My life depended on these excursions into forbidden magic. I’m not using the term “magic” metaphorically. Frequently I would venture downtown, always alone, attempting to be invisible while searching for something that might guide me to the next step through my fascinating adolescent existential horror show. Whether in the library or one of my favorite used bookstores, I would pace back and forth in front of the shelves until a particular volume said, “it’s me you’re looking for.” Thus I was unerringly guided to the next step, and a path revealed through the current impasse. My very life depended on it. I've come to believe that emotional intensity and focus are the elixir of magic.  In other words, it helps to be desperate.

Today I’m watering my garden, yet between sentences and hope that the big cumulous clouds above will take pity and lend a hand, I find myself time traveling to another important memory. With bare feet squishing through mud and wet grass, I’m transported to an entirely different dimension of the same past or so it seems. I am now searching through a book possibly on comparative religion, mysticism, philosophy, anthropology, history, psychology, etc., while sitting under the shade of our family’s biggest apple tree, working the irrigation ditches between paragraphs through the strawberry rows, and vegetable garden. I still have these two dominant personalities, one-half, is nature girl and the other half gets quite heady. After dropping out of school to pursue the things I really needed to know, (actually I think I had some very wise spirit guides) I also decided I should learn to cook and sew.  I didn’t have enough money to buy clothes, so sewing came in handy, and I was home while my parents were at work so it seemed natural to take up cooking and gardening. On my first two years off the grid, I went barefoot winter and summer except for my forays downtown. Apart from the meat, soup or stew came directly from the garden and I loved pulling carrots and onions out of the earth and picking beans or peas off their vines. One year I made 50 apple pies and froze them, apples donated by that dear friend who generously sheltered my dual selves’, seeker of the keys to life and gardener.

I was much better back then at everything except living.  The books I read were way more scholarly and arcane than those I read now. I became a gourmet cook, and could even make my own coats and jeans. At one point I learned how to tie dye African and Asian patterns, took up classical piano, learned music theory and ethno-musicology, and finally took ballet lessons since dance was one of the activities forbidden by our narrow spirited religion when I was a child. School was a concentration camp in my experience, so I drew my fantasy world on ruled papter in class, and studied what I wanted to know instead of the curriculum. Of course, I got very bad grades and frequent punishment, but I didn’t really care. School wasn’t leading to any world I wanted to live in, and after my disappointment with the first grade, I decided that the system wasn’t interested in teaching us anything worthwhile. But when I finally cut myself adrift I developed a passion for art, especially abstract art, as well as the more arcane fields.  Now I’m a good cook but not so fancy, and I’m not really a scholar anymore but I have a much better relationship with life. My art isn’t as sophisticated or driven now but comes from the heart. Life gets simpler as I take off one pack after another along this mysterious winding trail called life. And another thing, I have no idea where the trail is headed.  It’s just that I’m curious by nature and will always wonder what’s around the next bend.

Maybe the past has been hanging close lately because I’m going to move into another decade on June 14th and its recap time. I don’t recall going through this the last time I started a new decade but I sense this one is going to be a big crossing to a country I haven’t seen advertized in the psychic travel literature.  It doesn’t feel like a step forward, or backward but maybe off the trail entirely. I suspect my review of past times and places is a way of taking stock and prepping for whatever is out there waiting to surprise me. 

A powerful clap of thunder just shook the house, and now rain is pouring down after a long dry spell. I Take this as a sign that nature's power and abundance are unleashed on all dimensions. Yes! I believe in signs.