Landscaping the Woods

Such a wonderful post! Reminds me of an article that I read years ago about restoration ecology…that humans who are deeply connected to the earth intuitively act as her stewards, just as unconsciously as creatures such as bees and beavers, working to propagate and improve the landscape in accordance with her design…

Apotheosis ~ Drinking from the Holy Grail


Apotheosis: from Late Latin apotheosis “deification,” from Greek apotheosis, from apotheoun “deify, make (someone) a god,” from apo- special use of this prefix, meaning, here, “change” + theos “god” (see theo-).

In his book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell writes that the Hero must pass through a stage of Apotheosis. According to Campbell, apotheosis is the expansion of consciousness that the hero experiences after defeating his foe.

To continue using the Grail as a metaphor for the Soul, as it was  given to me in the dream that I recounted in my post, “The Quest for the Holy Grail”, to drink from the Grail would be to heal the divide between one’s ego and one’s Soul. To be languishing in the wasteland is to be separated from one’s divinity; to drink from the Grail is to experience the divinity of one’s Soul.  To be healed would be to put aside the inauthentic life one was living and to embark upon the true purpose of one’s Soul.

How does this divide between the ego and the soul arise?  Presumably it could arise from a variety of causes, but perhaps the spilt is engendered by the very foe that must be defeated. In my case, which is likely not that unusual, it arose from the treatment I received from my father.  The inherent abilities I possessed, my interests, my values, and areas in which I lacked ability, these were all constantly disparaged.  This degrading treatment caused an internal estrangement of me from my own higher self.  I disowned and discounted what was devalued by those around me. Over the years I have sought healing for this in many forms, with varying success.

Recently, another person has entered one sphere of my life whose attitude toward life and whose treatment of me is remarkably similar to that of my father’s. Though it is painful to experience being treated in such a demeaning fashion again, this time around it also easier to not take it personally as one unavoidably does as a child.  And it is also easy to see the pain that this man carries that causes him to approach life as he does.  Rather than causing me to become angry, he elicits sympathy.  Rather than causing me to divorce my own self, he gives me an opportunity to dive in more deeply to maintain my center.

Campbell also writes that an integral part of the apotheosis process is to achieve atonement with the father.

So it is clear that this troubled person who has entered my life is a purposeful part of my present quest to connect more fully to my Soul and to live out my Soul’s purpose.  Through my encounter with him I can heal the old wounds from my father, reconcile the estrangement from my Soul, and thus experience apotheosis. May it be that I drink deeply from the Holy Grail.


Beer, Mud, and the Lotus Blossom


Another interesting synchronicity in my present journey ~ On my walk yesterday morning I discovered that this mural for Schell’s Beer, a brewery that is located in my home town, is found just a few blocks from my new home.  Though presently it is only about 90 miles away, I have not visited my hometown for 30 years.   And here I am confronted by this “sign” ~  I am living just a couple minutes walk from an homage to my hometown heritage.


In the past couple of months I have also been confronted by repeated requests that I finally, after all these years, make it to high school class get together; there is one scheduled for this summer.   It rather seems that the indications are that I should indeed attend.

The word “inescapable” comes to mind.  As does the phrase, “You can run but you can’t hide”.   Rather like being haunted in this lifetime by the karma of a past life.

Which is what it feels like, looking back, a past life. Though I live relatively close now, my life’s journey has taken me so far geographically, spiritually, and intellectually, from who I was.   How much I am still that person is a fair question.  My personality has not changed that much, I’ve just become more of it.  As the old saying goes, “The boy is the father of the man.”  And I have sought to live by the admonition coined by Nietzsche, “Become who you are.”   Nonetheless, I am not at all relishing the prospect of revisiting the chapters of my youth.

However, this morning I did encounter a nice counter point to this reluctant dredging up of the past.   Reading Laura Bruno’s blog, she has a post entitled “More Signs of the Lotus”  [].    In it she briefly recounts a dream:  “in which people kept mentioning and pointing to the calendar date 6/14/14.  At the end of the dream, someone handed me a lotus, in bloom, but still dripping with mud.”

Her blog brought to mind a lotus dream of my own from my days as a wilderness guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area ~ a dream from 31 years ago.

The dream occurred at the end of a night paddle that I had led – an excursion that lasted the entire moonless night that included a grandiose display of the northern lights, the calls of loons reverberating around small bays, the making of hot cocoa on a gas stove on the floor of a canoe to take the edge off the chill of the night, and the howls of animals engaged in mortal combat emanating from shadowy islands.

I had successfully navigated by the stars and led the group through a chain of lakes without having to land, but just before dawn we encountered a lengthy portage.  Carrying all of our gear across the portage to the next lake in the dark seemed hazardous, (but of course canoeing through unfamiliar lakes in the dark didn’t seem hazardous at all!) And so we stopped to wait for the sunrise, and all drifted off to sleep in our drifting canoes.  Here is the dream that I had in my gently rocking canoe:

Surrounded by the dark, I am held in the palms of two immense hands, that are gently rocking me to sleep. I have never felt so secure.  After long moments, I slip through the gap between the two little fingers of the cupped hands.  I fall through empty dark space.  Beneath me, a lotus begins to blossom. I fall into the lotus, pause just for a moment, then continue falling.  A second lotus opens beneath me. I fall through that one.  A third lotus opens beneath me.  I fall into and through that one as well.   Then I stop falling and am simply suspended in the dark, and begin slowly turning circles.  Myriads of voices emanate from the dark, from all sides of me, calling my name over and over again.  I am immersed in a collage of the sound of my own name. 

When I awaken I am surrounded by mists swirling over the water and through the trees. Through the mist, over the tree tops, is the planet Venus, still visible in the light of the dawn.


Doing a search just now, I found this website:  …that has the following quotes about the lotus.   I could spell out the conclusions that I draw from these quotes as they relate to Laura’s dream and to my dream, and to the muddy past from which I emerged, but better to let what readers find this to draw their own…


“A pristine waterlily undiscouraged by its surroundings, rises from the depths of a murky pond. It’s lotus petals perfume the air, as it flowers and blooms brilliantly, purely, divinely, despite and probably because of its origins. Becoming a spiritual person does not mean you to leave your prior life behind, but instead you integrate, learn, remember, and respect what brought you to this point in the first place.”

Jacquelene Close Moore


“Like the lotus, you experience three primary stages of evolution. The first is marked by ignorance and darkness, when you lie below the dense mud – a closed chrysalis – which, by nature of existence, will eventually be pulled upwards by the warmth of the Sun. The second is exemplified by the climb through the clouded waters of your emotional experience, yet still the flower reaches to the Sun, knowing no other destiny … no other purpose. The third brings full illumination in the splendour of the light. The Lotus flower blossoms, baring its exquisite beauty to all those who are aware, enough to recognise God unfolding.”

Patricia Cori
Source: The Cosmos of Soul: A Wakeup Call for Humanity


“The one who wanders independent in the world, free from opinions and viewpoints, does not grasp them and enter into disputations and arguments. As the lotus rises on its stalk unsoiled by the mud and the water, so the wise one speaks of peace and is unstained by the opinions of the world.”

the Buddha
Source: The Sutta Nipata


“The Self is hidden in the lotus of the heart.
Those who see themselves in all the creatures go
day by day into the world of Brahman hidden
in the heart. Established in peace, they rise
above body consciousness to the supreme
light of the Self. Immortal, free from fear, this
Self is Brahman, called the True. Beyond the
mortal and the immortal, he binds both worlds
together. Those who know this live day after
day in heaven in this very life.”

Chandogya Upanishad



Shrine of the Goddess


The nigh lands of Kingfield hold so many sacred sites…I encountered this one on my walk this morning.

Though the statue is of an angel, it seems to hold the Goddess energy.


I was just gifted this poem from a friend; it feels appropriate to couple it with this image:


If you want to change the world… Love a woman – really Love her. Find the one who calls to your soul, who doesn’t make sense.

Throw away your check list and put your ear to her heart and listen. Hear the names, the prayers, the songs of every living thing-every winged one, every furry and scaled one, every underground and underwater one, every green and flowering one, every not yet born and dying one…

Hear their melancholy praises back to the One who gave them life. If you haven’t heard your own name yet, you haven’t listened long enough.

If your eyes aren’t filled with tears, if you aren’t bowing at her feet, you haven’t ever grieved having almost lost her. If you want to change the world…

Love a woman – one woman beyond yourself, beyond desire and reason,beyond your male preferences for youth, beauty and variety and all your superficial concepts of freedom.

We have given ourselves so many choices we have forgotten that true liberation comes from standing in the middle of the soul’s fire and burning through our resistance to Love.

There is one Goddess in every woman. Look into Her eyes and see-really see if she is the one to bring the axe to your head. If not, walk away. Right now. Don’t waste time “trying.”

Know that your decision has nothing to do with her because ultimately it’s not with who, but when we choose to surrender.

If you want to change the world… Love a woman. Love her for life – beyond your fear of death,beyond your fear of being manipulated by the Mother inside your head.

Don’t tell her you’re willing to die for her. Say you’re willing to LIVE with her, plant trees with her and watch them grow.

Be her hero by telling her how beautiful she is in her vulnerable majesty, by helping her to remember every day that she IS Goddess through your adoration and devotion.

If you want to change the world… Love a woman in all her faces, through all her seasons and she will heal you of your schizophrenia-your double-mindedness and half-heartedness which keeps your Spirit and body separate-which keeps you alone and always looking outside your Self for something to make your life worth living.

There will always be another woman. Soon the new shiny one will become the old dull one and you’ll grow restless again, trading in women like cars, trading in the Goddess for the latest object of your desire.

Man doesn’t need any more choices. What man needs is a Woman, the Way of the Feminine, of Patience and Compassion, non-seeking, non-doing, of breathing in one place and sinking deep intertwining roots strong enough to hold the Earth together while she shakes off the cement and steel from her skin.

If you want to change the world… Love a woman, just one woman. Love and protect her as if she is the last holy vessel.

Love her through her fear of abandonment which she has been holding for all of humanity.

No, the wound is not hers to heal alone. No, she is not weak in her co-dependence. If you want to change the world…

Love a woman all the way through until she believes you, until her instincts, her visions, her voice, her art, her passion, her wildness have returned to her …

… until she is a force of Love more powerful than all the political media demons who seek to devalue and destroy her.

If you want to change the world, lay down your causes, your guns and protest signs.

Lay down your inner war, righteous anger and Love a woman…beyond all of your striving for greatness, beyond your tenacious quest for enlightenment.

The holy grail stands before you if you would only take her in your arms and let go of searching for something beyond this intimacy.

What if peace is a dream which can only be re-membered through the heart of the feminine, in man or woman?

What if a man’s Love for Woman, the Way of the Feminine is the key to opening Her (and His) heart?

If you want to change the world…Love a woman to the depths of your shadow, to the highest reaches of your Being, back to the Garden where you first met her, to the gateway of the rainbow realm where you walk through together as Light as One,to the point of no return,to the ends and the beginning of a new Earth…”

by Tantric Goddess Artist Lisa Citore

A Vision of the Holy Grail





Our Knight, who had lived as though entombed in an eternal gloom…




…long had he wandered in the winter of his wasteland…




…trudging through the desolation, his erring steps inexorably betraying him more and more, he was at last brought to his knees by overwhelming grief.  As the winds of anguish howled through his chest, they blew upon the embers of his withering soul, kindling them within their blanket of ash.




In the dark before dawn, his wakened soul urged him from his slumbers, to venture into the chill darkness.  Clad against the cold, his guided footsteps led him to the hallowed lake, and there the rising sun revealed that still, after his long neglect, there was yet a path out of his frozen waste.

Sunrise over frozen Lake Harriet


Henceforth the knight resolved to rise each day to greet the sun and secure what succor might be found in the promise of each new dawn, and to demonstrate to what gods there may be his commitment to his re-found path.

A faltering spring struggled against the grip of the relentless winter, as though the claws of cold might once more ensnare the world.  But the sun prevailed and the knight, rewarded for his faithfulness to his pledge,  was  charged with a quest –  to slay the shadows that lurked within his soul.

Thus the erring knight became the Knight-Errant.  Upon his quest he wandered the environs around the hallowed lake, undergoing adventures fantastic and extraordinary …until one day, sufficiently purged, the scales fell from his eyes and he saw in the rising sun  a vision of the Holy Grail…




And recalled his sullen poetry from his days of desolation..

“The sun shines upon the Moon,
The Moon shines upon the Water,
The Water shines upon Me.

A reflection of a reflection,
of a reflection of a reflection,
of That which shines within the Sun.

But I see only the reflection in the stream,
not the Moon that shines upon the Water
nor the Sun, that shines upon the Moon.
nor That which shines within the Sun.

A lost soul, a mere reflection,
bereft of my fount,
untethered from my Source.

So many layers of beauty to ponder,
Such sublime distances to travel,
to reach the Source of all that is.

Yet, in a moment,
in an instant,
we are there.”


Though he had yet to grasp the Grail and drink from its lips, this bear glimpse of its glory ignited the flame within his chest,  and once again he felt the Source that burns within the sun burn within his Soul.  And the light of the sun shone upon the face of the knight.





“And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
― Joseph Campbell


“If you are falling…dive!”
― Joseph Campbell