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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." - Hal Borland

This is my last post of 2014.  I can't believe that it has almost been a year since I left for Earthaven and started this blog.  Time, indeed waits for no one.  I have had a year of discovery; of people, places, things and myself.  It has been a roller coaster ride with ups and downs but plenty of thrills.  I am a different person because of all of life's experiences.

Last Sunday, the day of the Winter Solstice, I had a wonderful pre-birthday day with one of my besties, Octavia Jones.  We had brunch at Kitchen 64: crab benne, asparagus, home fries and a pitcher of Mimosa.  It was delicious.  Then we headed over to the theater to see "Annie".  We enjoyed the movie.  Then Octavia surprised me by suggesting we get dessert.  We shared Tarrant's Upside down Apple Walnut Pie (my favorite).  The entire week leading to my birthday was one I will remember.  On the actual day, Monday, I rested and did ritual to release what no longer served and to bring in what I want to see manifested in this next phase.

On Tuesday I went to DC to pick up my son.  He took the train in from NY.  We then had lunch with my daughter.  It was a nice pre Christmas gathering.  On Wednesday night my daughter came in and she and her brother joked with each other as usual.  Christmas day was quiet and nice.  All of the children weren't here as they were at Thanksgiving.  I didn't do the cooking that I did at Thanksgiving.  In my mind I wanted Thanksgiving to be extremely nice because I felt that maybe I wouldn't be in Richmond next year.  Prayerfully I will not.  The day after Christmas, the children gave me a new laptop, which I am using (smile).  I was overwhelmed with their generosity. 

On Saturday I attended the Kwanzaa celebration with my friend Iris.  A Yoruba priest spoke about the things that as a culture we tend to forget or have never known.  The music and dancers were amazing.  For once, the vendors did not have the usual items.  The atmosphere was festive.  There was definitely a sense of unity which is so important in these turbulent times.  Attending these festivals spark my creativity.  I want to sew and design and do everything that Spirit has instilled in me.  This year will be a year of action for me.  I am determined to "do" in the midst of being.  "For last year's words belong to last year's language.  And next year's words await another voice." - T.S. Eliot. That voice for me is saying, "You can do it!" and "I've got this!"

I've heard about a place in Asheville though my former Medicine Wheel housemate, Devi.  She just moved into it and asked me about moving there.  I am totally considering it.  I love Asheville!  It is so progressive.  It has many of the classes and workshops that support my interests.  In my spirit, I truly feel that this year is going to be a transformative year for everyone.  Saturn is no longer in brooding Scorpio.  It has moved into expansive Sagittarius; a time of learning and openness.  The next 29 year cycle should be awesome.  In numerology, the year 2015 is an 8 year.  Eight means new beginnings.  We are all ready for that, I believe.  We will take with us the wisdom experience has instilled in us and go on. 

Anticipating 2015 fills me with excitement!  This is an intuitive feeling.  I feel this song in my spirit by The Five Stairsteps: "Ooh Child" 
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things'll get brighter
Ooh-oo child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh-oo child
Things'll get brighter
Some day, yeah
We'll get it together and we'll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter
Right now, right now

For me that time is now!  2015, I await your greatness and mine!

Until next Sunday,
Merry meet and merry part again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle


Sunday, December 21, 2014

New York/Richmond VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!


Tomorrow is the anniversary of  my birth. The celebration started with the gift of a one day trip to New York City from my long time friend, Celeste.  We rode up on Greyhound at 1:15am on Wednesday the 17th.  Celeste was wondering if I would have another Greyhound adventure.  We arrived in NY at 8:15am.  After freshening up, we walked from Port Authority on West 42 and 8th Ave. to Macy's on West 34th and Broadway.  There was a chill in the air but it was invigorating.  We went into Macy's and looked at the decorations.  We also went over to the M.A.C. makeup counter, where a marvelous make up artist showed us some beautiful blushes and gave us tips.  We decided to go outside and look at the window decorations.  Macy's always has different, unique and beautiful window displays. 


After enjoying the displays and taking pictures, we walked to find a place for breakfast.  Lo and behold, the place was organic!  Celeste who was raised with organic foods really enjoyed the eggs.  After breakfast, we walked to the subway to go to Chinatown.  Celeste had to get a metro card and I just needed to refill mine.  When I put the cash in and the change came out, it was in coin form.  I wasn't sure at first if they were tokens or money.  While I'm trying to figure that out, my metro card which had ejected, went back into the machine!  I called for assistance and was told that I had to mail in my receipt and payment would be mailed back to me.  The clerk said for me to come to the other entrance and he would let me in to ride.  Moral: get card and check money later.  I usually pay with the debit card so I never had that problem before.  Live and learn!


I'm not that familiar with Chinatown.  I only know a few streets so we walked to find the area that Celeste wanted.  After walking for quite some time, a young woman told us where to go.  Most older Asians will not help.  In Chinatown, women and men are in groups on street corners. It reminds one of prostitutes except they are all trying to get people to buy their wares not their bodies.  "Psst, psst", they say as you walk by.  They become annoyed if you ask to see an item, which is on the phone camera, and then not want it.  We continued to walk until we saw some items that caught Celeste's eye.  There weren't many vendors set up outside, perhaps it's a weekend thing. 


Our next stop was Harlem.  We took the train and transferred to 125th Street.  There weren't many vendors out on the streets there either but it was warmer.  We did manage to see a pair of earrings we liked.  Then we were able to get some oils.  We also went into Nicholas, Sonya, your favorite store for all things health related.  We decided to have lunch before heading to 116th Street.  We saw an Applebee's and had a lunch combo, which meant we could eat the other half on the bus later.  We walked off the food as we walked to 116th and Lenox Ave.  The Harlem Market is there and full of amazing African items.  I mentioned to Celeste that the vendors expect one to barter.  Most Americans don't however.  If you say no to the price and begin to walk away, the price will come way down.  Celeste wants to go back in the Spring.


We took the train to head back to Port Authority.  Every transit clerk let me in to ride once I explained what happened.  That was a blessing.  As the train approached for 42nd Street, I said to Celeste, we can catch either of these I think.  A man who had been sitting on the bench said, "Follow me, I'll get you there."  We knew where to go and where to get off but he insisted and sat down beside me.  This man pulled out a bottle of Brandy and asked if I wanted a drink.  I politely said that I didn't.  He then began to loudly talk about the people on the train.  But he didn't stop there, he spoke about himself as well.  His name is "Silky" and he said he was a "NY hustler".  He said he was an alcoholic, a drug addict, an intelligent man, a handsome man and a well dressed one.  I asked him why didn't he change his life and he said he was trying, as he pulled the whiskey out of the bag again.  No judgment, it takes time to change.


He asked my name and I told him.  He seemed to want to engage in conversation.  I didn't want to set him off, having seen him go off on a man who placed himself in our conversation.  When we reached our destination, he walked with us to Port Authority.  On the entire walk he tried to put his arm around me and he asked for a kiss.  I had to draw the line, even if he cursed at me.  I told him that we didn't know each other and that his behavior was not permitted.  He laughed and then asked for money saying he was homeless.  This was probably the crux of the entire situation.  Celeste and I finally ditched him.  We walked around to satisfy a sweet tooth and then headed down to the bus.  We sat inside a restaurant while waiting but then I decided we needed to stand in line.  Our tickets were number 1 and number 2 and we were the first there.


As we waited a young woman, who spoke French, appeared to be ill and the bus clerk said she would place her on the bus first.  After waiting for awhile everyone could see that she was only "ill" when it suited her.  Our bus was scheduled to leave at 6:15pm but the clerk placed us in another line for the 6:30pm bus.  She said it was an express and we would get in sooner.  Finally we loaded the bus.  Celeste and I wanted to sit in separate seats because we were exhausted from ALL of the walking.  We were able to get the seats to ourselves and Celeste kept checking to see how many more people needed to get on.  We thought we were in the clear. NOT!  A woman who had gone past me, turned around and asked if she could sit next to me.  I gave her the seat and went over to sit with Celeste.  This woman had 1900 bags; how she thought she was going to sit with anyone, I don't know!  The remainder of the trip was uneventful.  We arrived in Richmond at 1am. 


I awoke the next morning and could hardly move!  My arms, legs and everything else were sore.   I couldn't get comfortable on the bus and it showed.  Later I had a mammogram and all is well, thank God/Goddess/ and All That Is!  That night some friends joined me in a pre birthday celebration.  It was great fun!  Today, I am being taken to brunch and to see "Annie".  Tomorrow, on my actual birth day I will rest and reflect on this past year, which brings me to the Winter Solstice.  Today is the Solstice.  It is the shortest day and longest night of the year.  It is a time of stillness and reflection.  As we release with love and forgiveness, what no longer serves us, we can then move forward.  Because this is a new moon solstice it is a great time to set intentions for the coming year.  What do you desire to bring into your life, what do you want to see manifested, what gifts and talents lay dormant in you?  Bring these desires into your consciousness and allow them to become embedded in you. 


Many people are not aware that the Solstice or Yule has been celebrated for centuries and pre dates Christianity.  It honors the returning sun as days will become progressively lighter from now until Summer Solstice.  Jesus was not born in December but in September.  I believe it was Constantine who combined the festivals, as a way to satisfy Pagans and Christians, when he converted to Christianity.  The Christmas tree has its roots in the Yule Tree.  The Yule log was burned at Solstice to release the past year.  Food and drink prevailed during this celebration of the returning light.  I researched this back in the nineties and was astonished at how many Christian holidays have their roots in paganism.  This season is a time of light for  many spiritual traditions. As an Interfaith/Interspiritual minister, I honor them all regardless of my path.  


It doesn't matter what month Jesus was born; it matters that he was and that he brought a message of love and peace.  The old ways have given us many blessings and the baby should not be tossed out with the bath water.  I value truth above all else as I seek to follow the light of love, peace and hope.  Happy Holy Days, however you celebrate this season of light!


Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Monday, December 15, 2014

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of light and love!
"The principle of resonance suggests that 'like summons like'. ...When something is of us, is for us, it sets off the tuning fork inside us. ...resonance is the surest guide to finding our own path. ...Resonance is the deep resounding of our truth, when we find it, or it finds us.  To hear it, one must be attentive, faithful, courageous. ...the willingness to open to depth is the chief way in which dignity and purpose return to life." - James Hollis, Creating a Life


Several years ago I read the book, The Red Tent.  The story is told from Jacob's only daughter's point of view.  It was my first introduction to the red tent.  It started me on a search for more of the ancient ways of women.  I've been following that path since.  I sat down to watch the movie version of the book last week and a quarter of the way in, I began to cry.  I felt a connection with these women as if I had been a part of that tent.  My reaction was so visceral that I couldn't continue to watch.  I didn't have that reaction when I read the book.  My friend Whitney said that we as humans, will respond in different ways to different things.  Seeing the story was more real than reading the story.


The ancient ways of women resonate with me.  There is so much that I want and need to learn about this.  I'm sure that there are other women who would like to know as well.  I like technology and the information we can now receive faster than a speeding bullet.  However, I don't believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water.  The ancient path is my path, my truth.  The "tuning fork" has been set off inside me and I am listening.  "Like summons like", is stated above or as we would say in spiritual circles, "deep calls unto deep".  When we hear our truth, we know it.  We don't all follow the same path nor would we want to do so.


Years ago there was a show called, Journey to the Center of the Earth.  That's what I am doing now on this leg of my journey.  We are the earth.  We were created from the earth, Gaia, our mother.  So I am traveling to my center in order to discover what I've forgotten and what I've never known.  As I wander through the peaks, rivers, valleys, mountains and the deep, dark places of my soul, I reconnect with my ancient self.  Spirit leads me to a place and whispers, "Stop here, rest awhile and look at this."  Sometimes I don't want to see what's in those places.  It's not always pleasant to see yourself; but it is always necessary.  After I've traveled to where I've been led, I hear Spirit telling me to visit another place in  my soul.  It's been quite the journey.


I am discovering more and more about me.  I'm finding places in myself that I never knew existed.  I'm clearing out some other places; releasing the dust and debris of what no longer serves.  I know what I will and will not accept from myself or others.  I have decided to be true to myself and follow the path before me.  As we approach the Winter Solstice, I have been reflecting upon the light returning and what I want to bring into the light.  This is a time of deep introspection as we enter the caves of hibernation to await the light.  When we awaken from our sleep, the seeds that have been planted will begin to sprout.


I am about to embark upon another physical journey in addition to this spiritual one, which is ongoing.  My time here has come to an end.  Things are ending that needed to end.  I don't know where I'm going exactly, I just know that I'm headed West.  I didn't need to be in the car to hear Spirit tell me which direction to travel.  The answers to my questions are waiting for me and I'm ready to receive them.  I have an altar that I sit before daily.  It is grounding for me and centers me.  I am clearly more focused than I have been since landing in Richmond.  I'm so thankful to Spirit for always teaching me.


On Thursday I asked Spirit to reveal some truths to me and over the course of four days they were revealed.  My spirit is at peace because I can trust what Spirit says and shows me.  And no one pours new wine into old wineskins.  Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins. - Mark 2:22 NIV   The new me does not fit into old relationships or paradigms.  If I try to make me "fit", I and the relationships will be ruined.  The ancient ways of women are not old wineskins.  They are the truth of my being and the pulse of my life.  They are as relevant today as they have always been.  Those ways are the new me.  May the returning light brighten this path that I must walk.


Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be!,
Gypsi Mama Michelle










   

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously." - Steve Maraboli

In February of 1986, I was on an annual forty day fast with Temple of Judah, which was the church I attended at the time.  I was praying in my youngest son Jason's room.  While praying I heard these words: "The LORD is in his holy temple.  Let all the earth keep silent before him."  I felt that the voice could not belong to God or anything having to do with God.  Why?  God certainly wouldn't interrupt me praying and I was praying in tongues, no less!  So I did what any legalistic, self-righteous Christian would do; I ignored the voice and kept praying.

The voice came back again stronger than before: "The LORD is in his holy temple.  Let all the earth keep silent before him." I knew I was the earth and THIS time I thought I had better pay attention.  I was very nervous.  I'd heard the voice of God before so that wasn't it.  It was the intensity of the voice.  At this point, I had a vision and an impression.  I "saw" two men dressed in the garb of an old English castle blowing the long horns with banners hanging beneath them.  I heard the sound and the impression was that a king was entering the court room.  I was extremely nervous now.

A different voice than before spoke (I assumed this was God) and said this to me: "I want you to go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let my people go!"  My reply was: "When you said that to Moses, You really meant Egypt and Pharaoh.  What is Egypt for me?"  God said, "The hearts and minds of my people."  I asked, "And who is Pharaoh?"  The answer was, "Anything that keeps my people in bondage.  I want you to go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let my people go!"  The presence and everything associated with it left as quickly as it came.  I pondered these things and kept them in my heart for sometime before I shared with anyone.  I kept asking, as did Moses, why me?  To ask that question when God has given a mandate is not humble.  I think it's more arrogant than anything.  It is ok to question God, but if God tells you to do something, it's because God knows you are able.  God doesn't call the qualified, God qualifies the call.

Later that year, in September, I was directed in prayer to Luke 4:18. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free." (NIV) That was a confirmation of the vision I had been given.  I still had no idea from what I was setting anyone free or where I would speak.  In 1988, I was in a charismatic church and the Prophet/Pastor of the church gave me the Isaiah version from King James.  It speaks of "binding up the brokenhearted" and "the opening of the prison to them that are bound.".  The recurring theme is freedom to those who are enslaved, wherever that may be. 

I have known for quite some time that I am called to the empowerment of women.  I wasn't sure what I would be setting free, so to speak.  I wondered was it from abuse since I've experienced it. While that would certainly be a part of anything that I undertake, it didn't feel like it explicitly.  Sometimes I don't consciously think about the call from God but it is always with me. I am a seeker, which means I seek.  I always want to know more of God. Reading Iyanla Vanzant, in the nineties, led me to New Thought; Science of Mind and Unity Churches.  I know that some people, including my own children at times, have thought that I had gone off the deep end because of my current beliefs.  What I have discovered in life, is that when something resonates with us as truth, it is because it was in us all along, just unmanifested.  

Last week I started a Facebook page, Wild Women Gypsies.  A friend, Brenda, said to me that my page started her thinking about living life fully.  At first she said she didn't quite get it because of the way we, as a people, have been conditioned to think.  It occurred to me that some other women may have the same problem.  When I say, wild, I don't mean it in the sense that we normally associate with the word.  I am speaking about being the you that you were/are before patriarchy told you what is acceptable as a woman. We have been told most of our lives how to behave and act.  We are concerned with the opinions of others and even ourselves; yet we applaud women who are free.

Wild for some women may mean painting their lips and nails red, going to the theater and restaurant alone, speaking in front of a group, lounging all day in pj's, etc.  Everyone will not take a picture on or by a pole.  Leave that to me, lol.  It is doing what one normally wouldn't do or think they couldn't do.  It is living authentically.  It is living boldly, whatever that is for you.  So I am beginning to think that the "setting free: that I am to do, is to help women recognize who we are inside and not be ashamed of that. Also being a gypsy doesn't mean leaving hearth and home.  It's the gypsy spirit that matters; the spirit to live free.  Take day trips or spend a weekend in an exotic place or a place you've never been. Explore in the way that my friend Cher does.  

My friend Whitney did a Shamanic journey for me in October, 2012.  She saw women thanking me for being an instrument that aided them in living their truth.  As the quote above says, I have to live my purpose and do it courageously.  If I can cause one woman or person to think about being, then I am doing what God/Goddess asked, nay, told me to do! Selah!  Be you;  the bold, beautiful, freedom loving, free spirited person that you were created to be.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be!,
Gypsi Mama Michelle