Solstice Blessings Magikal Friends,
Today darkness relinquishes its force back to light and so begins a time of renewal. On this sacred Winter holiday, we can do profound spiritual and emotional purification by consciously examining belief systems that block our path from living in authenticity. This is a day of release, completion, reflection, and transformation, but also a celebration of illumination and intention setting, as we welcome back the season of light. Regardless of our experience, it has been an unforgettable year charged with raw emotion, uncertainty, uprising, and above all, global change and transformation. We will never forget 2020! What follows is a very personal review of my year.
My 2020 Journey From Loss to Gain
2020 began by taking my first trip to mother India, a land and culture that was strangely unfamiliar, profoundly impacting and forcefully awakening. During my visit - a study trip for devotional classical singing - I saw the ancient, sacred world parallel to the destruction of modern day psychosis. Though I left India deeply touched and forever changed by the land and its people, I had sorrowfully concluded that humans had gone beyond the point of return and there was no redemption. It became brutally evident to me that we were truly in the age of Kali and would soon have to face the consequences of our devastating western ways. On the day I flew back to the US, I heard about a serious virus that was alarming the world. It was the end of January 2020.
Upon my return to my desert home, my beloved Siamese buddha cat - who had been my closest companion and familiar for 16 years - began the process of shedding life. For the subsequent five months, I spent every day with Pancho being more present than ever before. As we watched every sunset together as if it were the last, I was gravely aware that it was time for me to intently face my greatest fear - losing those I love. Pancho gave me the opportunity to prepare for deep loss, and begin to trust in the cycle of life, death and rebirth. He showed me the miracles that are possible when consciously preparing your body, mind, spirit, soul AND loved ones for death, as we call it. This feline master was and always will be one of my greatest teachers.
Simultaneously, I received a serious health diagnosis. It was discovered that I had spinal fluid leaking out of my brain. I needed a big operation that included taking bone graft, reconstructing my skull, lifting my brain and cementing it all back together. Before sunrise on June 29th 2020, I said my final goodbyes to Pancho, knowing he was planning to pass after I went into surgery. He had consciously stopped eating the week before, trusting that his mission had been completed and that witnessing his actual passing would be too traumatic for me at this juncture. I had my surgery that morning and though it was ultimately successful, I spent the next five months in a challenging recovery with patience and balance serving as my greatest teachings. Pancho passed the day after I went into the hospital while I was pumped full of morphine. Interestingly enough I had always said, “They’ll have to take me out when this one goes.” And so it was.
At the end of October, our 14 year old Goat Zizou passed while I was learning to walk again on a beach in Mexico. The bay filled with dolphins as his body was being laid to rest. Another miracle in the age of COVID.
Today I write to you from my childhood home in Bern, Switzerland. During all this, I was determined to visit my beloved mother in Switzerland once I was well enough to travel. With my newly acquired Swiss passport and a negative COVID test, I got on a plane and flew into her loving presence. As I packed oils for the trip, Anubis Perfume kept falling into my hands. I decided to trust it and bring it along. The day after my arrival, my step sister shared that her grandmother was getting ready to pass and was lying in hospice at her mother’s house. Anubis - he who watches over and guides the souls of the dead on their journey from the physical realm to the afterlife. I was glad to have trusted to bring it and even had the honor to sit in the presence of the dying 98 year old woman. Mimi passed peacefully on the morning of December 16th.
So here we all are at the end of an unfathomable year. I still have a ways to go to full recovery but I feel a new balance and above all, a far higher level of appreciation for every day of my life, the lessons and the blessings! Master Pancho lives inside me now, as does Zizou and my cherished grandmother who passed in 2016. I feel my ancestors more strongly now and am committed to going deeper into the healing journey of embracing death as part of life. I also have gained a deeper connection to the living. There is inescapable loss ahead and we best learn to integrate it because one day we too shall transform. But I have learned that with loss comes gain.
May I invite you to take some moments to recall what 2020 brought for you. Your loss and gain. Think back as the observer reviewing the beautiful, the honorable, the frightful, the messy, the divine and the magikal. We truly are here to experience life.
Today we celebrate the turning of the season as we honor darkness and light, death and birth.
Blessed Winter Solstice!
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