Thursday, 21 December 2017

HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!!

Also known by MidWinter, Yule!

At the darkest moment of the year, light is reborn. From the womb of night is born the child of light who is the returning year.
Solstice reminds us that the Goddess is, beyond all, associated with regeneration. Death gives way to birth, ending to new beginnings. Another reminder that every quality contains and gives to its opposite. There can be no light without darkness, no darkness without light.
Winter is officially here, time of death and conception, the Yin peak of the year in the Taoist calendar, special time for us women, where the yin prevails...!
We dive into the Water Element represented by our kidneys, guardians of ancestral QI/CHI, storehouse of genetic energy, holding the reproductive essence, our life force. Associated with the virtues of wisdom, gentleness and calmness, (and the negative emotion of fear).
  • Jade is a great crystal to heal the kidneys, you've one more reason to keep connected with your Jade Egg!
A Good Tip for this Winter and actually you can apply all year around:

***Keep your kidneys warm, don't forget they look after your life force, (your creative energy which is present in everything you do!...) - give them a good rub everyday. 
*And if you're rubbing your kidneys just bring the movement down and give a energetic rub, and some tapping in your sacrum (the triangle bone in the base of your spine), keep it warm! The sacrum is in the back of your sexual, creative centre, connect with all pelvic nerves, for the Taoist the sacrum is the gateway to the Universe beyond the visible... This is a simple thing to keep this important area of your body healthy and free of tension and lower back pain!
 Here an extra:
**When people ask me what to do if they feel this part of the body cold, I recommend to wear a scarf around their waist, keeping the kidneys and sacrum warm. This can apply to everyone who spends long time in the same position (like sitting with their computers, playing an instrument, etc...)
*And of course, ladies, it is especially good to keep your kidneys warm when you're with your moontime (your period) and if you are cold or tired. 

Another great practice for the above and to keep your kidneys and adrenal glands (a little helmet above them) rejuvenated and healthy, is to do the kidney breathing - for those familiar with this practice, to the others who want to learn, keep posted for next year workshops and evening circles!


© Anamarta

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Happy Gemini Full Moon ~ The Power of the Mind and Communication!

This powerful Gemini Full Moon relates with our ability to communicate; with all our relations (family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, neighbours); with our mind, logical thought; learning and sharing knowledge.
So for me this brings a very interesting insight about the mind and communication...
The power of mind that can create anything we wish and like this can be delusional as well: the most dangerous thing to believe is what one wants to believe.
Communication, which I remember to learn in my first Public Relations class, when doing my BA (looks like another life, but was part of academic journey) that communication always involves two people, a talker and a listener, so one would listen and respond accordingly...
Very well, then through the spiritual journey in my Healing NLP course, made me realise that what people call communication most of the time is actually a monologue... have you noticed how many times people are talking to themselves or not really listening... And at that time this made me think, do I talk more or do I listen more?
Listening is such a yin, feminine quality, and takes me back to my granny saying the wise ones are the ones who listen, starting from within...
Starting with the Taoist Practice which evolved into my creation of the Jade Egg Holistic Practice, I found a very easy and natural way to work with my mind in a harmonious way.
One of the benefits you get from these practices is harmonisation of the the left and right side of the brain, so I trust intuition to be my guide, and have my logical and rational mind working in balance with the unknown and artistic other side of the mind, and vice-verse...

Regarding communication: to express our creativity (which comes from the sexual centre), to express our truth (which comes from our heart), to express our ideas (which come from our mind), are the three energy centres, or the Taoist call Tan Tiens, or organs if you want: genitals, heart and brain.
Are they all acknowledging each other, listening to each other, and agreeing with each other? Whatever is the way (voice, writing, dance, any art, anything!...) you are expressing these.

Now just stop for a moment and answer yourself:
  • How can you improve your ability to communicate based on the above?
Going back to the Full Moon you can use this time of sparkle, bright, ideas, jokes, laughter and repartee to: bring light and life close to you as Yuletide approaches, make arrangements, swap ideas, improve communication, work with impartial and detached thinking, travel short-distances, heal the lung! (arms and hands too - any movement on them as Qigong, Tai Chi, Dance will do!;).
In the Taoist Calendar we are still in the season of the lungs, the Autumn, the Metal Element. 
The lungs negative emotions are sadness and grief. We can look upon them as a process of letting go... And its such perfect time of the year to do so!  Look at Nature, trees getting stripped, everything dumped in the Earth, preparing to enter the dark, the Winter, the Yin peak, time to Be!  
"The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities." Jamie Sams

To help you in your process of letting go, here is the lungs' Healing Sound: 
  • Become aware of your lungs resting within your chest. Take a deep belly breath to slowly fill your lungs, breathe out SSSSSSSSS as you release sadness, grief, loneliness, depression. Allowing the sound to vibrate in your lungs, breath then in the crystalline white light of courage, self-confidence, uprightness, and self-esteem.*
*Adding the lung meridian stretch: as you breathe in, raise your arms overhead, elbows slightly bent outwards, hands palm up and extend your arms above your head. Let your eyes follow the movement.

The Jade Egg Holistic Practice is a continuous invitation to turn inward and get in touch with one's body (and organs), teaches us about the Inner Alchemy, starting with the first practice of the Inner Smile meditation.
Let the moon too inspire you to look within - the Lunar Alchemy.

Alchemy was more than attempt to turn base metal into gold, it was a spiritual quest. The alchemist's power came from the conjunction - the union of the God and the Goddess. The God was symbolised by the Sun, the Goddess the Moon. This is a reminder to look deep within ourselves, to the balance of male and female internal energies, yin and yang. By attuning ourselves with to the needs of our male and female sides, we then can work towards healing the parts of self that need assistance.
Without balance there is no place to creativity, without true awareness of ourselves there is no place for progress. By looking deeply into ourselves we grow.
As in all the Full Moons, you have the opportunity to energize yourself with the power of moon yin energy and unite with women from all over the planet, here my suggestion: let's meditate at 10pm in the moonlight; by your window (or outdoors if is not too cold where you are) or use three candles or one large silver candle as a substitute for the moonlight. (If you don't have any of these, no worries, your intention is what matters, just put your heart into it!) 

 © Anamarta

Sunday, 27 August 2017

How to Embrace Abundance?


We are now in transition of seasons: in the Taoist approach we just left the Heart season (the Summer, the Fire Element) to the Spleen season, the Earth Element, Harvest time, also known as Indian Summer, time of abundance, gratitude and enjoyment for the sweetness of life!

And in this time of abundance, here's an invitation for you to reflect upon:
  • What abundance means to you?
  • How does abundance manifest in your life?
  • Which areas of your life would you like to bring more abundance?
  • How can you manifest the abundance you wish for?
From my experience I felt to embrace abundance in all levels in my life, I needed to create space in my whole being and for that to open wide my heart, my mind and my soul to everything the Universe can provide! And with this came a sense of trust, that everything I need is provided in the right time. Also, besides this it's obvious that I had to do everything I can in the 'mundane dimension', to work and give my best, in order to achieve what I want. And last, but not least the Great Mother Earth, being such an inspiring and wonderful teacher, by observing Her perfect cycles and tune with her as a source of continuing learning and empowerment.

 And today, by chance (if exist such a thing!!...), I came across this "When we approach our lives with trust rather skepticism, we are allowing our minds to be fertile ground for enrichment." by Jamie Sams in Sacred Path Cards.

Do you know Jade is associated with Abundance and Fertility?
Actually not only physical abundance, but opens the path to open our heart to Divine Abundance and sharing with others in affirmation of plenty. And I mean just not fertility to create a baby, but to create the life you want as well! To reinforce this: the shape of the egg is being worship as a symbol fertility since ancient times.
 The Jade Egg after eleven years of deep personal exploration and sharing with other women I found it to be an amazing tool, jewel and talisman! And indeed to support abundance in all levels of my life... And create the fertile ground to live my dreams!

© Anamarta

Thursday, 27 April 2017

New Moon Cycle: Beauty, Grounding and Sensuality

Yesterday Taurus New Moon brought a new cycle with beauty, grounding and sensuality.
Beauty being in the eye of the beholder, it's everywhere when we open our heart to it.So I ask you:

  • What is beauty for you?
  • What makes you feel beautiful?

If there is a tendency for a person to embrace the sheer pleasure of being human, it can be found through the Beauty Way. If our thoughts, actions, words, and manner of being harmonious, we are Walking in Beauty. To find the blessings of the Beauty Way, all we need to do is to make every act of life sacred. That may be a stretch for some people, but is attainable. By making everything in our lives as sacred as possible, we learn to notice that the intricate steps of life’s process are all blessings. Some steps may be challenging or may contain distressing feelings at the time, but there is always a hidden opportunity for growth.” Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine – Ancestors’ Ways Of Harmony For Many Moons.
 
Grounding, so important to own our existence in this mundane dimension, to open to the pleasures of life here and now. To cultivate being center in our power, which gives the clarity to act for our highest good.

  • To get grounded is to be in touch with Mother Earth, from feeling Her in the soles of your feet, simply by standing in nature, also through movement as Qigong and Tai Chi, Dance, Gardening (super grounding and related with this Taurus New Moon), etc.

I special love the Womb Healing and Rooting practice, so simple and effective. For those who learned in the Jade Egg Initiation Workshop, a remind to do it.  Here the audio download which everyone can follow, just click and scroll down. For the free sample click here in which you can hear more information about this practice for healing and empowerment, energy and grounding.
 
Sensuality is how our senses relate with the world.We women are gifted with a sensual body with our curves, with our power to create life, and the whole shape of a woman's body is for me a piece of art; whatever size or shape. Sensuality is very different from glamour, or being slim and skinny. Of course I agree in a healthy body, in which you feel comfortable in your skin, to contribute to your confidence and enjoyment.

  • What is sensuality for you?
  • How sensuality is present in your life?
  • What means for you the sacred sensuality of your whole body?
A few things for you to reflect and get inspired. All these aspects of beauty, grounding and sensuality are cultivated, explored and embraced with the Jade Egg Holistic Practice; which of course the Jade Egg is part of it and it's why this affirmation about it came to me many years ago: 
"I am healthy and whole in my body, mind and soul. I love to live, a life of plenty where abundance continually flows; and my inner wisdom shows where to go."
 
For me, this is the path of sacred beauty and sensuality, which indeed includes the sacredness of our sexual/creative selves. To support me in this process the grounding and sense of being rooted into the Earth, strong and steady, yet gentle and flexible, is essential.

 © Anamarta

Saturday, 28 January 2017

***Happy Rooster Year: Focus your Power***

With New Moon, the new beginning in the Lunar Calendar the Chinese (Taoist) New Year begins: The Fire Monkey swings away and the Fire Rooster crows in!

Yes, another fire year!... Fire creates, fire destroys, fire connects with the heart the place of love and compassion, impatience and hatred, as light and dark coexist.

"The Fire Rooster, specifically, is an already-intense sign with an extra side of focus and drive. Rooster years are rarely ever boring, so it'll be a year with a lot of action." 

But different from the monkey's unpredictability, the rooster is more predictable, so this brings some stability, indeed wrapped in action, which can be taken to be productive and fulfill accomplishment.   After all rooster is characterised by confidence, optimism, courage, hardworking, being observant, resourceful and talented. The Rooster is also sensitive, so drama can accompany the year; although I believe is not about what is happening but the way we respond to it. So if you make a priority in keeping yourself in a good space, which for me means keeping the inner peace in our heart and mind, feeling the harmony within, which will spread to our outer world, can really support you in managing your life and all the "arrows of outrageous fortune" much smoothly.

"The Rooster favours those who put in the hard work and stick to a plan. Also respects those with strong opinions and a good work ethic. Be thoughtful about what’s in your heart and go with it." Adopted from Chinese Astrologist Laura Lau

This Rooster year according to some Chinese Horoscope is Female Fire Chicken aka Red Chicken year. I'm bringing this up as I would like to mention the feminine, yin importance; as it's great to keep focus and organise to accomplish goals and all that, but that's pure yang, masculine, the rational and doing; so keep a good eye on equally relaxing, to be open without expectation, to cultivate the state of simply being. Otherwise you might find yourself out of balance or totally drained by exhaustion!...

How do you relate with these animals: the rooster and the chicken? Any experiences you have with them? What comes to your mind?
Part of tuning in into the energy of the New Year, is understanding the animal, and knowledge follows understanding, which gives you the support to make the most of it! How do you think Chinese Astrology started?...voilà! And specially when the energy in the air is strong, the better you understand it, the best possibilities you have to deal with it and even end up to ride it for you own advantage. But with misunderstanding and fighting against it, a hard time is guaranteed!...

Before I share some of my relationship with Rooster and Chicken, here some facts and interesting curiosities about them:

"Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning is exorcising evil spirits."
Well, just not in in Chinese culture they are used to 'magical purpose': in Greek mythology Rooster was thought to have the ability of divining the future. In Africa and Brazilian-Afro cultures they are feared for their use in 'black magic'.

Recently in Bali I learned the feathers of the roosters are used in their sacred rituals, and each part of the island (east, west, north, south and center), uses different colours according the the feather coat of their local roosters. While there, one day my curiosity pulled me to a crowed of men shouting holding money in the air.  As I got closer I just saw a rooster jumping on another.  Shocked, I asked "Did he kill him?" The shock was from the men, as women are not allowed in rooster fights (which I didn't even know about it)! As you can imagine, being an animal lover, I was horrified; but this to say that this animal is indeed courageous, when it does stand for himself it does fiercely! Something to bear in mind (and not to be taken literally) for this coming year. I also had the opportunity to observe some wild roosters, I can definitely confirm that:

"Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion". 

I had a special episode with this rooster you can see below, he was big and strong, and as I came close to him and asked to photograph him, he didn't run away as most of his fellows, but actually posed to the photos.  I chose the best two, but was literally a photo session; he loved it!
In ancient times rooster was regarded as a mascot because they ate harmful insects. 
The "Barcelos Rooster is the unofficial symbol of Portugal" originating from a Medieval legend from the lovely Minho, a region of the north of the country, where this Barcelos city is located. So:
Once upon a time a men was accused wrongly of committing a crime, stealing some silver from a
landowner. He was a pilgrim in his way to Santiago de Compostela (still today a route for the "caminho"). He was taken to this landowner who was holding a banquet with some friends, but even after pleading his innocence, he was condemned to death, so he shouted: "It is as certain that I am innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang me." Well, with laughter they let him go, but afraid or not nobody ate the rooster. As the pilgrim was being hanged, the roasted rooster stood up on the table and crowed. The lord in panic for his misjudging ran to the gallows, and to his surprise and relief the innocent man had been saved from hanging thanks to a poorly made knot in the rope. The man was immediately freed and sent off in peace.
Besides being Portuguese I confess that I just learned about this symbol of "faith, justice and good luck" last Summer, as this location is just nearby where we hold our annual Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher Training in a manor house belonging to the same feudal family for hundreds of years.


And do you know the shape of China on a map is often likened to a rooster? 
My relationship with rooster and chicken started when I was a baby: we used to spend holidays in my grandfather's small village, a valley in a mountain surrounded by countryside, and he had many animals, including chickens and rare white roosters (they are not afraid to charge into humans if upset), so apparently when I started to crawl I used to disappear and be found in the chicken coop!... The problem was then to take me out of  there, as the roosters won't let it happen easily!...
A few years later I was given an Indian chicken (a small size chicken), which I remember very well to be my companion. I was to carry her everywhere under my arm, feed her and play with her.
Many years later, so just a few years ago, I encountered this same breed of chicken while camping in Hawaii, they lived everyday with us, we shared food with them, but they were really keen on my beloved partner Kris actually, as they always followed him wherever he went.  This was hilarious, and believe me we tested a few times, and they were many, as you can see in the photo below.


Rooster (or Chicken) ranks tenth among the Chinese zodiac animals.  This just reinforces the "1" in this year numerology: 2+0+1+7 =10 is 1+0= 1. The number one is the fresh start, new beginnings, rebirth, is associated with the sun: life force, creation, fire element!
"The most important themes during a “1” year are flexibility and resilience so that we are mentally, emotionally, and physically able to effortlessly accept and adapt to the continuous change that is constantly floating our way." Alex Myles
I wish you an amazing Rooster New Year: Focus your Power, cultivating the energy necessary to do so! Grab the opportunities and make the most of what this Fire Rooster/Chicken and 2017 brings you!***
 © Anamarta