The Hazel’s Song
By Jessica Rose
What does it mean to be wise?
To know the secret names
of all the blessed things
Who live under the sun
and sing under the moon?
What does it mean to be wise?
To know the answers to
any spoken question
or to be like the old god
who sacrificed his eye
So he could truly see?
What does it mean to be wise?
To eat the sage hazel
and wear a braided crown
upon my own brow filled with
Perhaps to be wise is
Knowing which well to drink,
And which cauldron to stir
And how to live and love
So that I flow through life
like holy, sacred waters
Shaping my world to the
container of my soul.
Spring, the season of new beginnings, sweet childhood imaginings and the rebirth of soul. We, the Spinners are the ones who awaken the gentle stirrings of magic, hope and potential. We nurture the-oh-so tender first steps of new life, new dreams, new ways. This is the season of hope, of small fingers braiding wishes and memories into deep roots. In this moment we literally breathe life! Our word is Inspire. Do you feel it? The stirrings of the birds and the wild longing of the wind as the earth wakes.
By Jessica Rose
Through the curtains of willow boughs,
Uncoiled my unmade heart.
Her leaves touching the tears on my face,
A gentle gift of communion.
These coursing tendrils of emotions,
The rivers of my waters flowing to my soul.
Willow guides my heart like a current carries a boat.
To the shores of release and then Emergence.
Through the veil of transformation,
I pilot with fluid intuition.
Each point of navigation a way to make whole this weary heart.
A dream is the brave spark of creation that lives within you. It takes courage and imagination to fan the trembling light into a roaring fire with life and power of its own. Anything goes in the realm of dreams - limitations serve as mirrors to the ways you hold yourself back in life and the challenges you face beyond your control. Curiosity and imagination are the only true currencies in the bank of dreaming. It is possible to approach dreamtime with purpose. To use the process of dreaming to unfetter your mind and roam the hallways of possibility, to dance in the dark mystery, to bring to conscious mind the hard won gold of demons whose secret names you have uncovered.
Dreaming brings balance
The sleep phase where dreams occur is called REM or Rapid Eye Movement. On average you spend around 50 percent of your total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, which happens about 5-15 minutes after first drifting off. You spend about 20 percent in REM sleep, which is the last and deepest of the sleep cycles. The remaining 30 percent is experienced cycling through the other sleep phases. The sleep phases repeat, one after the other, during your whole rest period. Infants, by contrast, spend about half of their sleep time in REM sleep.[i]
REM sleep is important for the retention of learned skills and metal abilities. It is thought to support creativity and problem solving.[ii] Many dream experts suggest that dreams help reduce depression and can elevate your mood by keeping you in balance.
“Conscious Dreaming” Soul Challenge
Conscious dreaming is a practice that allows you to navigate your dreamscape and be both the guide and the follower, in an attempt to unlock unconscious potential that your awake mind does not allow you to fully realize. When you lay down to fall asleep, consciously put yourself in a place you want to be in your mind, you choose the setting. Then allow your mind to take you down roads and only follow without judgment or fear. As you are drifting off, following your conscious mind down a dreamy path and ask your higher self to reveal visions that will help you be inspired or live out your destiny throughout your sleepy time that night. In the morning, immediately write down all dreams and visions you can remember. Do this exercise everyday for a week and see what unfolds. Conscious dreaming is a practice, and you can work this unconscious muscle like any other in your body, with focus, intention and will.
There are many ways to honor the dreamtime space that lives within you. Take some time to allow yourself to drop into the medicine of your personal brand of dreaming and flow with whatever presents itself to you.
Lucid Dreaming Oil blend for a diffuser
What You Need:
How To Make + Use It:
Mix oil and witch hazel or glycerin together. Add to water and shake well to emulsify. Add about 10 ml of this solution at a time to oil burner or diffuser.
Omit mugwort essential oil if pregnant or nursing.
Sweet Sleep Bath Soak
What You Need:
How To Make + Use It:
Mix everything together in large jar and use about ½ cup -1 cup per bath.
PS. My Expanse Elixir is specifically created to promote lucid dreaming cast your all-seeing eyes on it here.
[i] Understanding Sleep, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, July 2014. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm
[ii] "REM, not incubation, improves creativity by priming associative networks" Denise J. Cai, Sarnoff A. Mednick, and Sara C. Mednick. PNAS. 2009 June 23. Accessed December 5th 2013.
"Sleep and Dreaming" Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Accessed December 5th 2013.
Sleeping Beauty and the Rose
A retelling by Jessica Rose Booth
Once upon a time there was a beautiful child, named Flora. She glowed with life and vitality. Her laugh lifted the heart of any listener, her song soothed the soul of those most sorrowful and her presence offered a healing balm to any by her side. She didn’t need to work at this magic. It came to her naturally, with ease, just by being who she was in the world. She lived her days dancing in the meadows, feet dusty, speaking the lost language of bees and columbine. Some say she was a little wild and a little soft all at the same time. It was a golden time when the she lay beneath the brilliant sun, light kissed and wind- tousled, soaking into all her being the world around her. She never left the bright cottage by the edge of the meadow. She never went down the twisted path into the dark woods. She never stayed up late at night and knew the expanse of stars or the midnight whispers of the spiders. And in this life, all was good. Time passed in this place and her first blood came. The last day of her childhood was finished.
That night she dreamed a strange dream. In it, she walked down a long corridor of stones and secrets. It felt cold and filled with the grey weight of shadows. At the end of the corridor was a great wooden door. A streak of light snuck out from beneath the frame. Curious, she pushed the door open and found an old woman inside.
“Who are you?” asked the girl.
“You may call me Grandmother Spider, for I spin cloth and stories and dreams” the old woman’s voice crackled with sparks and possibilities.
The young woman knew this was a magic place and a magic dream. ‘What can you tell me, please, dear Grandmother?’ She queried, hopeful for some precious wisdom.
“Only this, child of my child, dream of my dream, you have a choice in the path you walk ahead. Some will say you are under a curse. That you are destined to prick your finger and stay sleeping until true loves kiss comes 100 years from now. And that may be so. And if you choose that road you will be safe and golden, going to sleep in one moment and awaking in the next, in a new world and time with a love you do not yet know. As if by magic. That path takes a certain kind of bravery. To seek new worlds and times. Or you can choose a different path. One I will show you now. In this path, you choose to go willingly into the dark. During your sleep you will walk the shadows, become intimate with the dark, learn the song of the night owls and the wolf. In this path you will walk the dreaming time learning yourself. You may not return from the dark because I cannot see what happens on the other side of mystery. On this path, there will be no true loves kiss or guarantee of waking. It will be up to you, to come through on your own. Think and Dream on this beloved daughter of my daughters and you will know what to do, when you have chosen. “
The next morning, a great carriage rumbled down the twisted path from the dark woods. It stopped at her cottage and she was asked to return to the palace, for indeed she was the cursed princess and it was time for her to choose a suitor.
As she climbed into the carriage there was a small spider spinning a web in the corner, and she was reminded of her dream. She felt the call of new worlds and new times. She could see herself in the life ahead content with children and a partner. Beloved and Loving surrounded by bliss and light. And yet as the carriage rolled deeper into the loamy woodlands, the scent of moss and pine, filled her carriage. She saw the beauty in the dappled light; she heard the whispers of spiders and the strange calls of birds she did not know. There was much to learn in this place she thought, as she spied the red-jeweled glint of wild berries and the orange flash of a fox running. She wondered what she would learn in the dark dreaming and even though she was afraid and could see the full way ahead, she knew which path she had to take.
That night there was a great feast to welcome her home and men and women from all manner of places had come to court her. Uncomfortable in the spotlight, Flora wandered away from the gathering, down the spiral, labyrinthine curve of wide stair steps leading downwards.
She felt the cold and the grey weight of shadows. And found her way to a great wooden door with a streak of light sneaking out from beneath the frame. With a thrill of fear and hope, Flora pressed her body against the door and pushed. It swung open, ponderous and silent. Inside were two spindles and two spinning wheels. One was spinning fine gold cloth as light as air and soft as down feathers. The other was spinning black silk. The shinning gossamer of spider webs twined with the celestial blackness of the sky at midnight. Mesmerized she knew. She walked to the spindle and gave it a willing offering of her blood. As soon as her blood soaked into the wood, a deep bell began to ring, a door opened before her into the underground. As she stepped towards it she turned to take one last look behind her and saw herself lying asleep on the ground.
Touching a gentle hand to her own sleeping cheek, she said farewell to herself and stepped into the dark unknown.
Sometimes she travelled with a spider who taught her of dreams and weaving. Sometimes she travelled with a wolf who sang the song of the wild and the moon. Sometimes she travelled with an old woman who taught the ways of priestess and the ways warrior. For a while she travelled with a band of Fae who taught her the arts love in the most delicious ways. And yet with all the things she learned, she did not know how to get back or how to break the spell. She did not know how to bring her wild, sovereign, shadow self back to her light, healing and vital self. Or even if she wanted to. The dark was so intense, intoxicating, revealing, seductive.
Finally she asked the spider who laughed and told her to ask the rose.
And so she sat with the Roses. Surrounded by the thorns and the prickling leaves, playing with the delicate petals, her breath fragrant and fingers thorn pricked.
She sat with the roses and drummed for the roses. She sang to roses, watered the roses and fed them with her tears and blood and laughter. And finally she saw what had always been there for her.
The rose is both. She is light, vibrant, beautiful, and healing. And she is dark, protective, rooted and fierce. Sometimes she hurts, sometimes she heals. When taken as a whole, flower, stem, roots and thorn- she is complete. All facets and shades of her make up the complexity of her wisdom.
And with this knowing, she walked back to her sleeping self and kissed her lips with loving acceptance of all parts of her.
She claimed her name Rose and simply lived whole. And that is the happiest ending of all.
photo Jennifer Liston @Flickr Creative Commons