Our Community... Your Community!
We have all known the long lonliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
"Our Community...Your Community"
We all know the importance of community. It can be a place where we find hope, love, strength and knowledge to name only a few, in our attempt to be more of who we are and feel that we belong to something much greater than ourselves alone, giving us a sense of purpose. This page of our website is solely devoted to individuals in our community who are making a positive contribution to society and are little by little helping to make our world a better place. We want it to be a resource you can draw on to connect with like-minded individuals for your personal development and friendship. Every few months we will be highlighting an individual within our community as we grow you a garden of resources to pick from!
In joy & light
We are delighted to have Ed back to share with us what's in the stars for us in 2016!
New Year's Forecast 2016
The moment for new year around the world will vary according to local mean time. The procedure for a new year's chart is to take the nation's capitol city and draw the chart for midnight at that local time. For Canada this would be Ottawa, but if you wanted a chart for a region in the country then use the capitol city for the province. I suppose you could even use the city in which you live, however, the better choice is going to be the capitol city as it has jurisdiction over the province and therefore a greater agreement for the importance of the event.
Something interesting takes place this year as The moon for Ottawa's chart is at 29° 10' of Virgo. Normally this would likely create a situation known as the moon being "void of course." A void of course moon is a condition that originates with horary astrology where the moon fails to approach an aspect to any planet before leaving the sign. The void of course moon in horary astrology, where questions may be answered, suggests that nothing will come of the matter, and so the question can be seen as null and void of an answer. Conditions need to change before the question can be asked again.
However, at midnight on new year's eve we find that Mercury is slightly in front of the moon at 29° 26' and therefore the moon is not void of course until it passes the 29° 26 minute mark of Virgo. By the time midnight happened in Edmonton Alberta, and Victoria British Columbia, the moon was found in Libra. However, for Saskatchewan and Manitoba the moon will be void of course in local charts dawn up for those two regions as the moon passed Mercury and there is no other aspect the moon makes before leaving the sign of Virgo.
So, what does a "void of course" moon mean for the regional charts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan? Perhaps I shouldn't be writing about a void of course moon as I'm not convinced that it has any meaning outside of horary astrology, but for those that want something to mull over I will suggest that domestic matters close to home and family may be without meaningful guidance. The provincial governments and politicians of those two prairie provinces could ignore legislature that could provide a decision or closure regarding health and welfare issues. At any rate, the national new year's chart is a better focus and I'll say no more about regional charts.
The Ottawa chart shows a moon in the last degrees of Virgo can be caught up this year feeling the need to complete all the fussy detailed issues that Virgo is known for. There will be an ongoing sense of last minute tweaks and refinements to put detailed plans together before the moon enters Libra. It is an emotional and psychological need to have a place for everything and have everything in its place. We may find that it is the little things that bother us the most and they nag at our consciousness and this may show up as being overly critical of anything showing loose ends.
No matter where in Canada you may reside the thing to take note about this peculiar moon transition is that the fussy details found in Ottawa's chart, or the budding new engagements sought out in the charts of the western provinces will all be more of an emotional force than a factual force. This is to say that Ottawa may have all of its ducks in a row and still be uncertain just the same and government may be working overtime to make everything perfect before any announcements are made. It is even possible that things are actually behind schedule because announcements were made before the logistics were accounted for. You can look at your own life and see if there is a need to quickly update your information and alter the plans you had previously spoken about.
It will be a subtle 'feeling' that may have important consequences for professionals that want to be seen as being competent and surefooted. This would certainly apply to business people and politicians that want to be seen as on top of their game. For the rest of us, that is the vast majority of Canadians, we may find institutions not ready to implement the changes that have been announced and planned for. If the devil is in the details then the devil is a busy guy this year, and if we prefer to say that God is in the details then we can only pray for those promised results. Of course, there's nothing new about this business of waiting for the government to come through with plans.
In all good conscience we may have been promised results from corporations, if not institutions, and we wait for the details to get ironed out. However, there is little point in screaming our lungs out as responsibility will all be denied and the real person responsible for a delay may not be a person - it could, instead, be knowledge that is not fully understood and it morphs into a myth or an urban legend. Perhaps what you think is true may be in need of a little tweaking.
By the time we all come out of our dream state and wake up in daylight to check in with reality, let's say about July sometime, we may find that we are of two minds when we sit on the fence. New ideas could bounce back and forth between our two minds like a ping pong ball as we go for one idea only to then be drawn to the other. By October our Libra moon may see us ready to scrap it all for something entirely different, but only if we have not already implemented one of our bright ideas for peace and partnership.
We'll ultimately want peaceful ways and partnerships to replace the sense of isolation and division in our lives. However, we cannot wait for others to show the way because no one is going to do it for us. Getting Started on engaging our dreams to bring them into reality is a process that is personal and not a job to be passed on to others. There is just too much that can be compromised if we don't enact our own dreams for peace in our life.
The problem with keeping the peace this year is that, as a country, we have broken with peaceful means in the past and now a lot of fear, anger and animosity is part of the fix we find ourselves in. There is a need, then, to divert our investment in war (emotional, mental and psychological investments) to other means that can properly channel emotions and ideals. Anger can be diverted toward activity that actually gets something positive accomplished. Fear can be recognized as an acronym that says "False Evidence Appearing Real" that may shift our awareness away from fear that leaves us paralyzed and inactive.
There will likely be two camps with one looking for peaceful solutions in their life, and a second camp that seeks to further solve problems by force. It will not be difficult to see which camp anyone is in, but neither one is going to make for an easy solution. This is because bringing war or bringing peace into your life is not easy to do. Both take energy and purpose. However, either one is just a psychological frame of mind and once you make a commitment of intent the rest will follow.
In this way it is a year for following your dreams and making them real and it all begins with the psychological intent for peace, or for that matter, even more war if that's what you dream about. You have a decision to make because the planets do not make choices - people do.
My life seems to have played out in decades. After a decade of working in cedar mills along the Fraser River there was a decade working in the bush of northern Vancouver Island. A third decade was spent learning about using computers, writing poetry and falling in love with Cheryl Sanderson. This was followed by a decade of teaching myself web design.
And now, the fifth decade is all about innovative web marketing.
Before the cedar mills and all through the many experiences and things that I have taught myself there has always been a love for astrology.
And it was a touchstone for my spirituality having grown up in a secular home. This was probably a better beginning than a heavy dose of religion which is not at all the same thing as spirit.
I have stood on the shoulders of a few giants having read their words of wisdom in astrology text books where I tended to ponder the teachings of the heavy thinkers. It was never the details that interested me so much as the theory and the essence at the core of life. The psychological skills I've acquired in my theoretical travels with astrology stand me in good stead for interpreting the psychological behaviour inherent within all web markets. I am at home with either focus because at the core we are all psychological beings, and this can be proven if one needs proof.
Cheryl is a spiritual teacher who's focus is on peace and love... and don't we all need more of that? We can make a difference in the world, if we choose to "be the change". When you enroll in one of her meditation classes, you will be truly giving yourself a gift of peace as you open your heart more to your authentic self. http://www.soularsystem.net/classes/class1.html
Peace Begins with Me ~ Meditation Classes
We all breath the same air.
I recently watched a video of a Syrian toddler pulled alive from the rubble after Aleppo bombing. It was all I could do to not scream from the hill tops, "Everyone please forgive! And then forgive again! If you can’t forgive ask that the person be blessed."
If I am holding anything against my neighbour then I am part of the rubble that almost suffocated that little baby.
When are we going to get it? Peace begins with me. We talk a lot these days about transparency. Can we be transparent in our thirst for peace?
If we are not at peace we can ask ourselves in meditation what can I do to bring about peace. "But I can’t meditate," you say. Do you worry? If you can focus on worry you can meditate. All you are doing is changing the focus to peace. And Peace is catchy. You get it, your spouse gets it, the dog lives it. It’s in the air and we all breathe the same air.
My father is the most peaceful person I know. Others may say he has no back bone. Peace does not look as powerful as war and it is not the absence of war nor is it the opposite. Peace is an innate part of our nature. It has no duality, nor is it a dichotomy.
When we were kids, we often said hello by holding up our peace fingers, “Hey, Peace man, Peace.” What happened to that? Even if we were being flippant, it was in ‘the air.’ Now we are embarrassed to look like an old hippie. Our so-called celebrity status is at stake. Lets take a risk, look foolish and believe in the power of peace. Let our peace be transparent and pass the peace. When we pass the peace we create more peace.
Class 1 Basic Spiritual Tools focuses on many spiritual tools that will relieve your stress while focussing on Peace and Love.
for more information about the class and location please see website.
Cheryl’s Bio: Cheryl's astrological and spiritual practice began in the ‘70s. She has been facilitating meditation groups for the past 20 years. Please see her website for more information. http://www.soularsystem.net/classes/class1.html
Tricia Keith welcomes us into conversation about a subject that most of us are not very comfortable discussing: Death & Dying... Tricia has a beautiful heart and somehow makes this subject very approachable and sacred.
Death and Dying Guide / Home Funeral Guide.
Both of these roles are re-claiming an old tradition.
The first, a Death and Dying Guide, re-claims the non-medical support that every culture has offered their dying throughout the ages. Its really only been in the last 100 years that the experience of dying has become the medicalized event we see today. Not that Palliative Care does not seek to care for the whole person, but what used to be bound within community is now institutionalized. Even with the best of intentions, institutional care often lacks a consistency and completeness in its emphasis on the medical treatment of symptoms. Historically Death and Dying Guides were known as Death Midwives or Anamcara, (Gaelic for “Soul Friend”). A Death and Dying Guide is a non-institutionalized, non-medical alternative guide or companion to those at the end-of-life.
Each Death and Dying Guide has his or her own training, background and set of tools. But what we all share in common is an understanding that death is a natural process, not a failure and that living at the end-of-life marks a poignant transition with abundant potential for healing, wholeness and inner transformation.
The second, a home funeral, is a family centered response to death. Again, how we did death 100-150 years ago is how it had been for thousands of years prior. Families (all loved ones included as family) took care of their own dead, preparing the body of their loved one, with washing and dressing, then laying out the body for a family vigil and a viewing for the larger community. All of this was done responsibly and as final, sacred acts of love. The only people who touched the body were those who knew (and loved) the person.
Unlike today, 150 years ago deceased bodies were not embalmed. This was a fad which arose during the American Civil war, set off by affluent Northern families who wanted their boys brought home. In order to do this, in the heat, on a train, those bodies required “treatment”. That embalming treatment has stuck until today, though there is no positive public health reason for its usage.
A home funerals is different from the conventional funeral by its emphasis on minimal, noninvasive care and preparation of the body, on its reliance on the family's own social networks for assistance and support, and on the relative or total absence of commercial funeral providers in its proceedings.
Today many families are re-claiming the tradition of home funerals because they are more affordable, more family centered, more environmentally responsible, more emotionally healing and more creatively expressive.
When we hire people to take care of these sacred arrangements, we cease to participate in own lives and miss the opportunity to effectively move through life altering experiences with others into more connectedness. It is healthy for the family’s grieving process to participate in this journey together, as far as they can. A Home Funeral Guide, supports the family through their process, along the family’s own timeline. Most every family who has taken this route has claimed that the experience was a deeply transforming one; one that connected them, rather than tore them apart.
For more information on my services please visit:
The Weaver http://tricia-keith-ik37.squarespace.com/
For a view into Home Funerals, watch the trailer to the upcoming documentary:
In the Parlor: http://intheparlordoc.com/
Our Natural Passage
A workshop designed to help people become prepared for the shared human experience of dying and being with, one who is dying and to encourage people to get more out of life by clearly speaking about death!
My heart sings, as I share with you the new parents of our Lighten Up! candle division, Betty & Norm Eady! I feel so blessed that they care so very much about the candles, their customers and the true essence of Lighten Up!
Betty & Norm Eady
Lighten Up Candles Inc.
Lighten Up Candles has been a family affair for almost 25 years. Holly Steiner founded Lighten Up Creations in 1991. Having grown up on a farm in the countryside, she has always had a love of nature and its unassuming beauty, as well as a love of candlelight. But it was even more than that – she saw the flame of a candle as that of our inner light. So she merged the two together and with a spark of light, and the flicker of a flame, their first candle was born! It was Holly’s vision to bring more light into the world…and her company did that one candle at a time, finding their way to over half a million homes throughout the world. With a desire to follow her passion for creating one-of-a-kind healing jewellery, Holly sold the candle division in late 2012 to Betty and Norm Eady from Thunder Bay, Ontario.
It was a lazy summer afternoon in late July that Norm Eady was reading an online classified posting on a trade website and saw the posting for the Candle division of Lighten Up Creations. Betty and Norm have always had a love for candles and owned the first retail candle store in Thunder Bay for many years. A spark of an idea and Lighten Up Candles was born. A sign from the universe, a new friendship with Holly and the Eady’s began the family tradition of adding more light into the world. Lighten Up Candles started in October 2013, now headquartered in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Sometimes you find the perfect path and the universe guides people together, which is just what happened with Holly and Betty and Norm. From the time that Norm sent the first email to Holly saying that they might be interested in purchasing the candle division, it seemed that everything just fell into place and within 6 weeks of that first email, Holly was arriving in Thunder Bay to spend a week of training and inspiration to the Eadys. A year and a half later, Lighten Up Candles creates the beautiful hand crafted candles in the traditions started by Holly over 25 years ago. Out of a deep respect for the designs created by Holly, Betty and Norm have kept many of the candle collections with the Amethyst and Canadian Maple leading the way as the most popular collections. They have also made some changes creating some new products, additional sizes and always exploring new treasurers found in nature to add to the candles.
The process of creating hand crafted candles such as these, produce surplus unusable wax which would normally be disposed of, however with the intention to reduce waste, Lighten Up Candles turns that surplus wax into beautifully scented, hand poured 15 hour votives. These votives are available in 20 different fragrances.
The candles are inspired by nature and contain many of nature’s treasures including Amethyst, Dried and Pressed Maple Leaves, Seashells collected from beaches around the world and all lightly scented with the beautiful fragrances of nature.
Spas, wellness Centres and healers love the Light Energy Candles which are sparkly vegetable wax in a contemporary glass jar and come in 7 vibrant colours of the rainbow, relative to the Chakra Wellness System. These creations not only bring the receiver more light but also the healing powers of the Chakra System
Lighten Up Candles can be found in retail stores across Canada and the US and last summer went to Japan. Betty and Norm work with retailers to provide selling information so that their staff are up to date on the selling points of the candles. To ensure a healthy selling opportunity they limit retail outlets in any given market and they always work to find promotional opportunities to help the retailers maximize sales.
Norm commented that one of the main lessons learned from Holly was that creating the perfect candle doesn’t start with a unique design or a vat of melted wax; it starts with a pure intention of your heart to create a piece of art and hand craft that piece of art with love. Every candle created by Lighten Up Candles start with that. We add the melted wax, beautiful fragrance and hand crafted care but each candle is truly made with love. These candles go on to light the homes and lives of so many people around the world and it is our sincere hope that this light will shine into the lives of the people they touch for years to come.
For more information on Lighten Up Candles, please contact
President and Candlemaker
Or visit us on the web at www.lightenupcandles.com
Or Like us on Facebook: Lighten-Up-Candles-Inc
Joanne Finlay, a very talented artist who shines her light so richly, as she inspires us in new ways to breathe beauty into our lives and our homes. http://www.joannefinlay.com/gallery
Joanne draws and paints for the sheer joy of being able to experiment with texture in pen/ink, graphite, acrylics and watercolor/mixed media.
She became much more observant in her life in the early 1990's. She moved back to the West Coast after being away for quite a number of years and was amazed by the beauty that she had left behind. Joanne started to see rock formations with a more curious eye, ocean beaches from an observer’s camera (with their never ending tide pools) and the wonderful variety which is part of the urban garden and rural landscape.
The Fraser Valley of British Columbia is like an open pallet with colors and textures radiating from the blueberry fields, gladiola farms and the ever colorful farmland which changes with the seasons. Her current work is primarily impressionistic realism, especially in her paintings of the Gulf Islands and local landscapes. She has a special fondness for pen/ink and graphite which is where she started her journey a number of years ago.
Joanne is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists (Fraser Valley Chapter). She loves to learn and enjoys attending all types of workshops and classes to meet others who can’t live without creating! Joanne was delighted when her pen/ink piece "Sandstone In David's Cove" was juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists International Exhibition, Painting On The Edge in 2013. This year she was again fortunate to have her piece "On the Edge of the Rainforest" selected. Her work can be found in collections both locally and nationally and she is always thrilled when someone falls in love with one of her paintings or drawings.
Joanne is an honourary member of the Drawing Society of Canada. She is an artist who believes anyone can make art (which takes many different forms) and that it is ultimately the most intimate form of self-expression and joy. Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. Visit website
Ocean Floor in Abstract
This month (March) our community guest is Merrill Masson. Merrill is a self-taught artist and shares with us her love and passion for creating mandalas - and they are mesmerizingly beautiful! You may wish to visit her website to see her full range of products: Merrills-Mandalas.ca
What is a mandala and how did I come to creating them?
In 1989, I was living on Quadra Island in a small cabin on the beach, when my friend put a pencil in my hand and suggested I start drawing. I had never drawn anything in my life so I began very hesitantly with a small sketch of the cabin we lived in. Somewhat satisfied with my very first drawing, I soon found myself swirling my pencil into spirals and geometric designs. I fell in love with the new world of colours and shapes and endless possibilities. I was finding comfort in this new medium of expression and very quickly gravitated to ‘the circle’. I discovered that my artistic birth was safe and very inspired with this art form, this magic circle, wheel of life, sacred circle, which I learned was called MANDALA.
Where does “mandala” come from?
First of all, the actual word comes from the Indian Sanskrit meaning ‘circle’. It has been traced back to the 12th Century, drawn by Hildegard von Bingen, but is also used in many other religions and philosophies, particularly Buddhism. Mandalas are created all over the world and are used for different purposes. Native Americans created the medicine wheel, and the Aztecs used a mandala calendar for keeping time. The “yin-yang” symbol by the Taoist represents opposition and the intricate Tibetan mandalas rich in religious symbols are used in meditation. Both the Navajo Indians and the Tibetan monks create sand mandalas demonstrating the impermanence of life. You can even find mandalas in nature – flowers, snowflakes, crystals, and see them in stained glass windows, labyrinths, dream catchers and Celtic art.
My creative process
I love making mandalas. I love the form, shapes, designs, symbols and the richness of colours. It is a way for me to discover peace and joy with extreme focus and diligence. There is harmony and precision and more importantly imperfection and impermanence. I also enjoy commission work as I learn more about what the person is seeking. The ‘magic circle’ speaks to me as I never know how the circle will be transformed. It’s always a great spiritual journey into the unknown.
Fiery Threads was inspired by my daughter, Cari, as she directed her vision through me. She stood by my side every step of the way and together we created this piece, which became her birthday gift for 2012. I came to enjoy the experience once I got out of my own way as she took me totally out of my element, challenging me to create something very different for both of us.