April 2, 2016 Dear ones, In these strange times when two eclipses have just drawn their breaths cleansing many of our individual and collective stor


April 2, 2016

Dear ones,

In these strange times when two eclipses have just drawn their breaths cleansing many of our individual and collective stories, I want to look inwards, where the paths I've taken converge with the paths I want to take.

the path to infinity by hubzay

Image: Hubert Lebizay

Here I find many of you walking with me.

I think about the interplay of water and fire — time and space to let our inward energies shape into birdcalls and blooms within us — time and energy to take these birdcalls and bloomshapes out into the world. The time for deep listening. The time for acting out of the depths of our vision and passion.

I think about balance, and how to know it is time to restore ourselves by taking in more or less of one energy in comparison to the other.

May we remember who we are, letting our actions be guided by the fire within that is always looking into its eyes the waters we come from and return to.

May we remember to balance our needs!

As I sit in my bed after three fire days, comforter around knees, my moon cycle has finally caught up with me. On day four, I am finally letting my moon time determine the shores of my waking day.

I am letting the patience of wind sift through my hair, my bones.

It is a perplexing and joyous beginning of understanding, this: tending night and day, dreamer and builder, moon and sun, water and fire, feminine and masculine, Shakti and Shiva within me so each may feel honored and appreciated. So each may contribute to the expanding, becoming self that is me.

This is how the heart sees.

This is how the heart knows.

Both yes and no at the same time, encompassed in a larger Yes.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Coal and ash, each one a state of the other.

The magic of alchemy lies in synthesizing all parts of ourselves, so that we may know ourselves as larger than we have ever done before.

A trickle becomes a fluid drop of colors.

It is rainbow that comes together to create clarity.

In this world of many schisms, my part is to heal the schisms within myself—
so I don't react to and reinforce the schisms "outside" me.

And so I trace my fingers over my scars and let them drop
love over scars until
scars change color.


Anger & love.
Freedom & accountability.
Earth & stars.

This thing of relationship, this ampersand!

The end of last year reminded me that to walk my North Node (soul growth) path of Leo, I must embrace more of the attributes that fall outside my Aquarian South Node conditioned/comfort zone: not hiding in a crowd or a group but shining, playing and sharing my joy — joie de vivre, not staying outside a situation I am not liking but calling on my ability to intervene and make a difference. Participate, not detach! Let yourself be seen, don't hide! All "sun" qualities that it feels exhilarating and a little scary to my water-soul to choose to grow consciously.

These new parts in me need tending. They need spaces in which to show themselves in all their colorfulness. The inner child needs spaces in which to play with unfettered joy.

Slowly, as I build these muscles and find my way to yet unfamiliar shores, I am realizing it is time to heal my relationship with the communities I had stepped back from. It is time for me to stop feeling and acting like an outsider in the communities that do work that matters to me. The more I look for them, the more I find foremothers and ancestors, elders and peers whose words and work reflect the knowing that activism and healing go hand in hand, that poetry and art spring from the source of spirit, from a sacred place!

It has been hard for me to take my place amongst art and activism communities out of a fear that parts of me will be rejected or judged, that my relationship to the sacred will not be understood. These fears, which reflect personal and cultural schisms and wounds, I am slowly realizing, don't need to hang around me anymore—don't need to govern my choices of involvement anymore. I can discern and will discover spaces that celebrate, not just accept, all parts of me! And if they don't, I can still give permission to me to be myself in all my multiplicity and ampersandness.


The key unlocking this place of ease within me is self-love. Since December in particular, I have been drenching myself in self-love and self-care, and may this rain never cease! A rain that purifies one from the inside out, filling the soul with the ability to be truly present to others.

don Miguel Ruiz's teachings of The Four Agreements have also helped profoundly in helping me remember to not take anyone else's opinions or judgments personally. This has been tremendously freeing in me trusting and revealing my truth and claiming sovereignty over my own story.


It is not always easy for me show up when the old stories, old fears, old judgments crop up. The new story I will speak is that I know how to navigate my way back to the love of self (and others), self-knowing, and empowerment by soothing my fears and re-remembering the relational pathways to spirit, where the truth of my being rests.

Whose permission are we waiting for to know that each part of us—each particle, atom, and element in the cosmos—wants to come into a delicate, passionate relationship with the totality of ourselves?

When dualisms move together in us and not on opposite sides, imagine what we can begin to perceive. Imagine what we can create! New realities, new zones of connection, new functioning wholes, holiness that works us from the inside out and outside in!

There are many models of being a poet, diviner, scholar, activist out there, and better still, I can fashion my own model uniquely suited to me and my life purpose.

At the borderlands, it is all possible.


Movie Recommendation: Embrace of the Serpent


Go watch the astounding Embrace of the Serpent—on the big screen if you can!

The movie has been widely hailed for its mesmerizing black and white cinematography and two-journey mythic narrative structure, both of which prove to be apt vehicles for its central theme: conflict between worlds and spiritualities and how to know worlds and how to use this knowledge. It depicts colonialism-propelled changes in and destruction of biodiversity along the Amazon river, which were accompanied by profound human and cultural losses—the decimation of entire communities and knowledges.

What I appreciated even before I went to watch Embrace of the Serpent was how it was filmed in ways that were consonant with sacred indigenous worldviews the movie juxtaposes against the destructive impulses of western logic. Director Ciro Guerra talks about inviting the indigenous communities to participate, and asking permission from the jungle to do the film. They did not just show the living spirit of the jungle as a presence in the movie, they honored that spirit in its very making!

...And the shoot, apparently, was unprecedented in its being protected from the kind of mishaps that usually affect other crews filming in the Amazon. Such are the ways of the spirits.

primeras-imagenes-de-el-abrazo-de-la-serpiente-de-ciro-guerra-estreno opt2

Photo: Liliana Merizalde

What also struck me in the movie was the myth of the "chullachaqi": that an empty and hollow look-alike of a person may be walking around like a ghost. Karamatake the shaman's idea that forgetting the old knowledge and ways of our ancestors and of nature turns us into chullachaqis, recalled the cry of the Asur Adivasi poet Sushma Asur:

"Now that we have no language
Now that we have no culture
How do we call upon you
With which ritual technology do we remember you"

(Here is my full translation of this amazing poem.)

This cry is a cry in each of our hearts. Our hearts in modernity are crying out for connection and remembering: that we may remember who are; remember our souls; re-member all parts of our selves that have been lost or suppressed by the traumas of isolationism and separationism, rationalist and materialist thinking, imperialism, colonialism, oppression, neoliberal capitalism. May we remember our connection to the wholeness of life and to the web of interexistence and the power and resourcefulness this belonging brings to us—and rise!


Mural in Gaza

May we hear the songs of the ancestors. May we sing them knowing that the ancestors wait for us to weave into the songs our unique seeing, voices, healing, heart, earthstar medicine.

With that, this is


मोनिका \Monica


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Monica Mody is a poet, writer and diviner. For more information, visit www.modymonica.com | www.artofdivinations.com. To book cowrie shell or voice divinations with her, click on the button below. Sessions are available in person or via phone/video call, and offered on a sliding scale.

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