The Hermit’s Life

purplefinchHey folks my apologies I haven’t been on here for a while but I am becoming a writing, reading hermit, truly. If I could go off and live on a deserted island just with books and my MacBook I would probably be doing that but alas I am here in rural Ontario feeding my bird friends and looking out the window at the snow on the ground. My mind is definately off visiting distant lands and often I wish my spouse would read more so we could deeply discuss topics and books I am reading and thinking about. Instead he is a news junkie and deep soul who interprets my dreams. Well we can’t have everything can we.

So instead of writing about some spiritual truth I am pondering at the moment I thought I would share some books and ideas here that have inspired me as of late. I am a library nerd girl. There I’ve said it. Always had a library card and usually have up to 10 books on the go piled beside my bed, now that my beloved bought me an e-reader, I have about 8 books I am reading piled up there on my library bookshelf! Uh really?! How can you read so many books you say. Well I go from book to book and there is something reassuring almost security blanket-like if you will about these book piles in actuality and virtually. I am not some weird cat lady who coughs behind a dusty book pile while your visiting, at which you might exclaim oh hey there you are Lorraine I thought I lost you there for a minute!  No these books are constantly being flipped through and referred to.

I’m reading “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Dr. Gabor Mate; a very enlightening and sensitively written book about Dr. Mate’s encounters with addiction, I found fascinating the chapters on brain development and how the addictive brain develops. It was difficult to read of lab testing done on animals. There is great humanity is this book though, I have worked with vulnerable populations and his first hand accounts are very real and he sees these ones with great humanity.

I remember years ago when I started to do sessions and healing with clients it was shared with me by a fellow seer that I would read about something or become fascinated with some topic and clients would magically appear needing that information. Lately sad to say more and more people are suffering from various forms of trouble with the brain. Personally I believe its because of the society we live in, all the electrical devices we own and unnatural energy waves out there milling about affecting our thinking in adverse ways.

On the plus side and unrelated here are some books I have read and enjoyed over the past year; The Orenda by Joseph Boyden; The Reason you Walk by Wab Kinew (loved this book, I cried alot reading this);  I read all the Harry Potter books again (3rd time); Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda (still reading); The Chrysalids by John Windham; So Much Blood and Star Trap by Simon Brett; The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and If you want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This is just to name a few books I have on the go, and have just read recently. Once I get on to a new author I have to read all their books, this is my first Barbara Kingsolver book and am going to read Prodigal Summer next!

So to all you book-loving writerish types out there, I celebrate you! Read, think and express yourself creatively, there is nothing better for the brain.

© Lorraine Hughes 2016

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Tending Your Garden

whiteRoseRecently (over the summer months) I volunteered for a community garden near where I live. I joined in with the group because I wanted to meet and possibly make new friends; learn more about gardening and the cause was something I could get behind (the food was being grown for a local food bank). I love gardening and believe most ardently in growing your own food so when I was asked to write an article for the local community newspaper about my gardening experiences I enthusiastically agreed. That one article led to a regular monthly column in the paper written by yours truly; I’m called “The faithful Gardener” and enjoy writing my monthly contribution to the paper.

Not long after joining this group, something changed in the group’s attitude towards me. I don’t want to get into the details but I ended up leaving the community garden badly hurt and feeling quite down about my experiences, because of these hurt feelings I stopped tending my own vegetable garden at home. I literally stopped doing the weeding and only went in there to pick a few beans and some tomatoes. My garden suffered from the neglect.

I’ve stared out at my garden for the past month knowing at some point I would have to get back in there and put it down for the winter. Its funny too when all this upset was going on in me over the summer stuff happened in my garden, my beets, carrots and potatoes just didn’t grow this year and my squash got a terrible mold and completely died at the height of its growing time. I only got three puny buttercup squash (my favorite) this year.  If I didn’t know better I would say the garden was reflecting that something had gone very wrong in my world!

Once I got in there this week and began working on my garden bit by bit, turning the soil over and taking out all the weeds and the roots of weeds, so they don’t come back. I’ve been apologizing to my garden about my neglect; I FEEL the forgiveness and I am allowed to forgive myself. Then I think about; in the past, whenever I have been deeply hurt I will associate something that is good for me with the hurt and stop doing it because it brings up the memory.  I wonder if I can apply this philosophy to my creative life. I have suffered so much rejection around my creativity that it is difficult for me to go back into it. Weeds of lethargy have grown around my creative garden. I have to be brave and go in there, do the weeding and turn my creative soil over bit by bit and ask for forgiveness and forgive myself. Its hard; its difficult, but its the only way.

Thanks ladies of the community garden, if this unpleasant experience had not happened this summer I might not have had this epiphany of the heart!

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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Spend time Listening to Mother Earth

toadMany of us on the planet at this time (I include myself in this post) did not get mothered or get our safety and nurturance needs met when we were children. Especially those of us that are very sensitive and creative. We might find it very difficult to be in the world today. A world that still does not truly value or understand a woman’s sensibility. Perhaps this too is why our mother’s could often not be there for us when we were little in the way we needed. Perhaps she abused us, neglected us or abused her authority by invading our space and sense of self. So we never got to understand who we are, alone; to ourselves; and often we are very, very angry about this.

My respite and healing balm has been to listen to the heartbeat of mother Earth. I go to the rivers and lakes for healing and I listen to the wind; trees and birds to heal my ears so I may hear others or hear myself.  An elder I heard teach years ago; he always taught the same thing.  About healing your hearing; I thought, what is he on about. It took me many, many years to understand that the woods would heal me. In my soul were those howls from a baby who never got heard or consoled.  Those baby cries that never got answered, so I cried myself to sleep on many a night; the years took a toll. Its very hard to heal that. The forest and Earth energies will wrap you in her bosom (just as its been for me) and rock that crying baby to sleep in her arms.

When I talk about healing to my sister’s who do the work, they often talk about women who have lost their babies. Who do they cry out for in the heat of healing, their mothers. Just before my sister died of cancer we were having an argument, she was staying at my house. She looked right into me, her grey expressive eyes unyielding; “Don’t you know I am in pain here?” I wrapped my arms around her and rocked her while she howled and cried. That was the most sacred moment I remember having with my sibling. By helping her I healed many things in myself.

During my forest walks I listen to the wind whispering through the pines. Listen, listen, listen and my ears get a little more clear. So I can reacquaint myself with my original nature, who I came into this life to be!

Lorraine Hughes ©2015

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Respect the Woman for She is Sacred

fullmoonSome years ago I was deeply moved by a film called, “The Goddess Remembered” created by Donna Reid and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Here is the link if you wish to view it; https://www.nfb.ca/film/goddess_remembered. It was released in 1989 a few short years before the prolific Studio D (women’s documentary film department of the NFB) lost a good deal of their funding. I think many people still think of this film as obscure, but the message is important and relevant in these times because we are witnessing the return of the feminine on our Mother Earth.

Recently I received spiritual messages that many men and women do not respect the sacred feminine and so do not respect themselves; for even a man has part of the feminine within him just as women have a male side to themselves.  In the dream I was shown men who may in public be presenting themselves to be respectful of women and girls but behind closed doors beat, maim or sexually abuse women.  Abuse has many forms and if a man is not taught by the women in his family what is correct behavior then its up to society to help these men. This cannot and will not be tolerated, I was shown in the dream that many of these men are healers, teachers and spiritual guides. During this time of Earth cleansing, this behavior will be cleansed as well. We must look to our own short comings, our own faults we have branded, help each other; and help our sisters.

The maligning of women-hood and the sacred image of the feminine must be reviewed; for when a man or a woman holds the image of the desecrated feminine within they work against themselves. We must learn to implement a new message, a blessed image of her power and governance over the void that lives within her womb. This place is sacred for it is the source of all life and every woman holds this space within her. I had many dreams in the past week about the pain and suffering of women and messages that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the spirit-world going forward; very strong spiritual messages about this.

To help themselves women are to cleanse themselves in water and as much as possible drink pure water, ask the water to heal and purify you.  I was shown as well that we are to swim in lakes and rivers, somehow our energy will help the healing of the water. We will be shown again, in dreams and visions, the images we need to heal ourselves and make ourselves whole again.

I often pray by the water and offer my prayers to the animals, trees, birds, plants and nature spirits, and of course the water. The water is the governed by the feminine principle and is alive as I have seen on so many many occasions since I have moved outside the city and into rural Ontario.

Be well be strong and be proud of your womanhood!

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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The Call of the Wild

forest1aThere is a wave of energy happening on Earth and it is called the return to the mother, or return to the feminine. Unfortunately there is a big mess to deal with while this is going on and we all must roll up our sleeves and get involved before this is all done. We as a species won’t make it if we do not learn to align ourselves with the wisdom and intelligence of our connection to the universal mother, who is inherently part of us. The feminine represents our intuition, creativity and understanding the sacredness of all life.

When I see garbage strewn along the highway, another turtle smashed into the pavement and stories of illegal fishing I wonder, whats it going to take for us to treat the Earth with respect, to listen to her cries of anguish for the disappearing animals, plants and shorelines washed with fossil fuels.

Do you know why scientist’s have had to create genetically modified seeds? We have depleted the soil, because the demand for food on our planet is too great a burden on the poor conditions of our arable land.

When we first bought our house out here in rural Ontario we were told, when they extend highway 407 the house prices in our area will skyrocket. Now that I am learning to live inter-dependantly with the land I think of this event with horror.  More roads = more people = stress on the environment; what about the trees, butterflies, bees, turtles, deer, wildflowers, martens, indigo buntings, wide open sky, clean air; believe it or not, these beings are my friends and an important part of my environment. I am an important part of my own environment because I hold this all to be sacred. It really means something personal to me, its not just a lifestyle choice. Its political.

It is a call to action. Please educate yourselves people, don’t just sit there and go tut tut, that’s really too bad, there goes the African black rhino ‘extinct’, oh well. Oh its not my problem; its those darn poachers! Get involved, grow your own food, volunteer, make a difference, help the youth for they are the leaders of tomorrow, scream from the tops of the mountain, because its worth it. Even if you make a fool of yourself! Its worth it, its your planet, and its the only home we’ve got, for future generations. Every little bit helps.

When I plant my garden organically, I use good seeds, I plant indigenous herbs and flowers to encourage bees and beneficial insects to inhabit my garden, I welcome everyone in my garden birds, bees and even rabbits. Guess what! I always have a bountiful harvest because I feed the other animals and create a safe haven for them. I wasn’t always this way, I thought I was but living here has taught me and it has humbled me with its austere beauty. I wish this for everyone!

Today Jerry and I were out for a walk, we were talking amongst ourselves throwing a stick for Bear our dog so he would jump in the water to swim and cool off. Suddenly like a grey ghost rising up from the opposite shore the long deliberate flaps of a blue heron silenced us as we watched its prehistoric shape against the sky. “Did you see that?” I said. “He was huge!” Jerry whispered reverently.

I think this is worth preserving for our children don’t you?

I do not believe science is going to save us, I believe that people getting organized at a grass roots level, healing the soil and ourselves; growing our own food and really having respect for (and fighting to keep) what is all around us is whats going to save the day for the generations to come.

Lorraine Hughes © 2015

 

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The Rebirth of Mother Earth

bloodrootWe women are coming alive all over the world at a very important time. During a time when great waves of healing female energy is available for all of us, in the far reaches of our Mother Earth. Women and men are standing up and out everywhere to defend and preserve our Mother Earth and her creatures; our way of life as well as our ability to grow nutritious food.  I read about places where women have been systematically oppressed getting organized and fighting for their rights.  We have to fight for and defend the rights of our animals and plant co-habitants as well. Just because a being does not serve an economic or scientifically proved ideal, does not mean its not an important member of our community. Unfortunately too often, economic concerns and scientific agenda creates a gulf between us and the rest of Earth’s planetary beings who might not be human.

Recently my friend had a spell of vertigo and learned how to adapt to this new energy wave by simple exercises (given to her by her chiropractor) using her vision. The most impressive part of her story to me is that her doctor reported that cases of unexplained vertigo were on the rise and that a high number were reported from menopausal women. This follows my thoughts that menopausal or women going through heightened hormonal experiences (like pregnancy and birth) are on the forefront to absorbing and integrating these new energies that dance and sway on our Mother Earth.

This new energy absorption and integration can be uncomfortable and emotional I have found. If we spend quiet time on a regular basis through meditation, contemplation, prayer and creativity we find that we get closer to the heartbeat of mother Earth, her throbbing pulsing rhythms which activate and inspire us. The earth is changing, she is in peril in a way as she gives birth to herself. During times of deep transformation a being or a system is most vulnerable to predators; this is the way of nature, and some of the preying can come from the other side. The best way to be on this transformational ride is to go inward, be your own guru and develop a solid relationship with God or Creator. You know yourself and your relationship with creator best.

I have been shown that when we embrace our changes, especially our hormonal changes we will be led to where we need to be. If you are going through some emotional, hormonal changes embrace them, dance with them, don’t be so quick to silence the wisdom of the body. Learn to deeply listen to yourselves. This new energy especially engages the non-rational brain, that is why we can have vertigo; feelings of being spaced out or forgetful, sudden flashes of understanding, precognition, profound dreaming, hunches, or sudden emotional outpourings from the deep self. So take care of yourself, make time to go inward and try to integrate your changes. Deep breathing is a wonderful way to engage the energy and become more aware and conscious of your body changes.

So hug a tree, spend time in nature, love your friends and paint a picture. Mother Earth is a wonderful and wondrous place to be right now, and we are all here together riding along on this spaceship called Earth.

© Lorraine Hughes 2015

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December 2014 Winter Solstice

decsolsticeHere we are, as the wheel turns we are back at a familiar point the winter solstice; where we have been before but what are the lessons this time around.

For me as I consider the return of the light; this year I dwell on the concept of darkness and its place in my life throughout the year.  The lessons it has taught me, in my own life journey and my experiences working with my clients.

Evil or unconsciousness is simply a place where the light is inaccessible. When a person or situation comes into our lives, how we react to it says a lot about us.  When we do battle with these forces we reclaim part of ourselves that was lost to the darkness either through trauma, hurt or violence.  If we blame and condemn the people or situation and try to avoid it; it will search us out again and again like a heat-seeking missile.  Only tuned to “our” vibration.  This battle and examination must be with ourselves.

From the I Ching a Chinese oracle and book of philosophy.

Hexagram 43

“In a resolute struggle of the good against evil there are certain rules which should be followed. The resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second a compromise with evil is not possible, evil must be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Finally the struggle with evil must not be carried on directly by force.  If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves have become entangled in hatred and passion. Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. Nor should we wrestle with our own problems for the same reason as they become stronger.  The best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.”

Try to understand; why is this coming into my life, what does it say about the broken off parts of me that I haven’t reclaimed and love about myself.  What did I discard that was important so long ago. What part of me is in the darkness; am I allowing myself to be human. What can I learn about myself so I can move forward in a positive manner, in a creative manner.  The absence of conflict is creativity; a positive moving wave of energy which influences others and heals me.

The December 21st winter solstice is here. This year I have been dwelling on my problems, my demons if you will, the lessons I am here to learn this time around and they have really been in my face in the last six months. Don’t be afraid to face yourself, your inner darkness, the boogeyman if you will; we have to take time and clean out the skeletons every so often so the light can get in there.

A very wise friend counseled me once when I began working as a psychic/healer “Lorraine, always approach every thing you do with the mind of a beginner, then you will be safe. Watch your ego and always keep an eye on it.”

The winter solstice is the promise of the return of the light.

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The Click when Seasons Change

IMG_20141108_133539You know what I am talking about don’t you? Its that moment when something is in the air and you can feel the seasons are about to change.

Right now we are preparing to hunker down into our caves for the winter in Canada. As a newly transplanted country gal find I notice the seasons more intensely now that I live in a rural setting. A far cry from my prior 25 year city existence of rushing from subway, to streetcar, to cappuccino, to appointment with a client or making my gym class on time. Now I have a different set of priorities, which include taking care of my ever expanding vegetable garden, making a rug, canning and preserving my garden goodies and taking care of our small patch of land.

But where life is different now is those moments of wonderment while observing mother earth as she unfurls herself; season after season; year after year. Each spring I observe in amazement as flowers, baby plants and leaves on the trees emerge from dense soil and what is grey dead arms sticking out from tree trunks laden with heavy snow.  Green doesn’t seem possible in February.  The lovely wild flower in her variety; she parades forth as the last snow drift disappears until the first flake of it whispers “time to sleep”.

These memories and experiences are what get me through the Canadian winter. I feed the dark-eyed Junco who visits my bird feeder deep into the winter, his fine feathered suit doesn’t go unnoticed on me. Behind my house the majesty of the pines and spruce laden with snow are obvious now that the other trees have lost their leaves. This scene is the poetry I await after a heavy snow dust up. The great horned owl who sat in my tree for 2 hours while I observed his haughty peering into my binoculars helped me wait through the rest of February. For spring to return.

So I give you, city dwellers advice, do what I did only rarely when I lived in Toronto. Listen for the goldfinch because he exercises his voice in the city parks. The wild flower and wooded areas are to refresh your spirit and is the voice of god manifest in form.

©  Lorraine Hughes 2014

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June Odiimin Strawberry Moon

IMG_20140618_152225This is the month of the strawberry moon, in Ojibway odiimin gisiss; the words strawberry and heart are closely related in the language, so the teaching goes that the strawberry is the “heart berry” and is believed to have healing properties.  The bear is the healer, he is the carrier of medicine as he digs up the healing roots with his claws.  The seeds of the strawberry are on the outside of the berry signifying that through forgiveness and reconciliation we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, its about letting go of old resentments and judgement.

Today I was out walking around the Millbrook prison grounds nearby where I live; it was a minimum security prison that is closed now but a friend was showing me the grounds as a good place to walk Bear my dog because of the open rolling fields and view up top of the surrounding area.  As we walked I could feel how heavy the energy is there, very heavy and dense.

To my surprise on a section of the grounds close to the edge of the forest I found a patch of wild strawberries.  I had a little feast of the juicy berries, they were so sweet; much sweeter that the ones you buy in the store.  I pondered how this beautiful, sweet healing energy is moving into a place where much pain and sadness must have lived.

The sweetness of the strawberry is a reminder of how once we let go of pain, anger and resentment, forgive and heal circumstances from our past we can move forward and reconnect with the sweetness of life.

© Lorraine Hughes 2014

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Keeping It Wild

swanflowerThis is my third year in my new home in the country.  As a former city gal it hasn’t always been easy and it helps that the small metropolis of Peterborough is only 15 minutes away and my city girl roots get watered in Toronto about two or three times a month when I go to see my clients for in person sessions.

As time passes though I take in more and more the way my soul seems to be expanding by living a rural existence. It seems each year while I witness the change of seasons something new happens.  Something unexpected.

This year its the sounds, sights and smells of spring as a way too long Canadian winter burns itself out until next year.

The male robin is the first to fly back home from the winter migration and scout out a suitable nesting ground.  Then he designates it as his territory by singing his multi-layered trilling tones up and down throughout the woods surrounding my home.  All day.  All the different birds are busy, busy, the frogs peeping; today alone I was overwhelmed and tranced out by the waves of sound that continuously beat on the shores of my ears all day.  Wow.  Needless to say I had a difficult time focusing on anything mundane, I gave up and drew outside until the black flies mobbed me back inside the house.

But what I love the most about the spring is the rise and fall of the delicate wildflower.  There are so many wildflowers surrounding my home and in the nearby walks with Bear my dog its astounding.  Some of them are here too briefly, only for a week or two.  There was a little family of white heads a bobbing last week, I went by the next day to see their austere beauty, but they were gone.  Its like experiencing the world with the soul first and allowing it to live inside you.

When I first moved here, still living “on city time” I did not notice these vulnerable, quiet beauties.  I’ve realized how caught up we can become with ourselves, our lives and our Facebook accounts; we don’t notice what is just nearby.

Now when I am in Toronto I notice and hear the goldfinches song on the wind, the delicate turn of the wildflower petal, the south wind messing with leaves on the trees, all reminding me of my real self (the part that is holy) and the interconnectedness of all life.

©  Lorraine Hughes 2014

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