Ash Talks LGBTQ Spirituality and Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet with The Big Seance
A couple of weeks ago, I got together with with Slade Roberson of the Shift Your Spirits Podcast and Patrick Keller of The Big Seance Podcast and we had a three-way “triangle table” discussion on LGBTQ spirituality, coming out of the (spiritual) closet and how to make spirituality more accessible to the elusive straight male.
I’ve appeared on both podcasts previously (and you can catch those episodes here). This was by far my favorite podcast interview, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Some background on how this episode and conversation came about. 2:16
How are Patrick and both of our return guests connected? Ash is a connector. Slade is a matchmaker. 3:43
Patrick met Ash online during the “information gathering phase” of his “spiritual shift.” Ash then introduced Patrick to Slade and his work. 8:31
Ash brought the team together for this “triangle table.” The topic started out as a joke in a planning discussion, but ended up being something everyone decided to roll with. What’s up with the lack of straight men in the spiritual/metaphysical community? 11:51
Slade’s take on the initial question. Reincarnation, witch trials, and where the term “faggot” came from. 13:25
The suppression of the feminine: Susan Grace and the 2,000-year reign of men that ends in 2020. 15:58
The feminine archetype 19:23
Those who are excluded from a social order have to become more resourceful. 21:28
Straight men who are allies of the feminine and the spiritual are the real deal! Unfortunately, they’re all married. Ha! 23:15
Those of you in my Facebook group or who follow my page may have joined me on Facebook Live along with my friend, Misty Pennington, as we participated in a full moon releasing ceremony a few weeks ago. The audio quality on that video didn’t turn out so well, so Misty shared a write up of her ceremony with us in the group. Misty and I are working on putting together some better quality videos and how-tos on releasing and intention ceremonies in the near future, so stay tuned for that.
We didn’t have time to get together this week to do that for the upcoming new moon on Saturday, so Misty wrote up a nice guest post on putting together your own ceremony for Saturday to manifest your intentions.
New Moon Manifestation Rituals
by Misty Pennington
In a follow-up to the Full Moon Ceremony earlier this month, it’s time to look at the next significant moon phase – the New Moon.
At the last full moon, we released and let go of heavy or dark thoughts, behaviors or emotions that we felt were holding us back from achieving our greatest/highest potential. The new moon is an ideal time to bring awareness and intention to the things that we want to invite into our life. New projects, new behaviors, plans, relationships, work, abundance; you get the picture!
The New Moon offers us a time of hope, a time of faith and renewal of our commitments. It’s the beginning of the next lunar cycle. A time to start anew.
What is is that you’d like to see come to fruition in your life this year? The new moon is a fertile place to start fresh and to remind us there is always rebirth waiting on the horizon.
There are several ways to have a new moon ritual – actually, I like to call it a New Moon Celebration. But if you are following the cycles of the moon and are working consistently on letting go of heavy and dark energy at the full moon and inviting or manifesting lighter energy during the new moon – these are rituals. I find great comfort in the practice of the rituals.
Establishing a ritual or a routine to work on being the best version of myself feels really good to me. It keeps me focused on the positive things in my life. Here are some practices that can be used during the New Moon either separately or all together to create a powerful ritual!
CLEANSE & SMUDGE
This removes any built up negativity that has accumulated and cleanses the environment and the self for what we are going to have flowing into our lives in the next cycle. I don’t know about you, but I personally feel an energetic difference in the room when I smudge.
I use sage – but you can opt for many different items to cleanse your space if sage does not appeal to you. Sweet grass, cedar and/or essential oils used in a spritzing bottle are often used, too. I like to say a blessing to Mother Earth, or Gaia, and thank her for her support of our life on this planet. You could say a prayer – any prayer – that appeals to you.
I usually light the sage and then blow it out so it has an ember like incense, I use a shall or fire-safe bowl to hold under it and waft the smoke of the sage with a feather to all corners of my room in a circular fashion. Or, if I’m outdoors, I waft the smoke in a circular fashion surrounding me in the area I am holding the ceremony. Don’t forget to waft the sage towards the floor and the sky as well. Of course, be mindful of the embers and don’t start a fire!
You don’t have to have an altar to perform a New Moon Ceremony, but I think they are wonderful to have. You need somewhere to set down the tools you are using – and why not use some things to significant to the meaning of your ceremony?
I usually find something to represent each element for my altar. Such as: a candle for fire, a seashell for water, a feather for air and herbs or flowers for earth. I often use crystals, too – their sparkly presence always has a magical feel and they’re just pretty. Keep in mind, that crystals usually have metaphysical properties and enhance and support certain emotions or feelings. If you want to get very specific – you can choose crystals for these properties – or you can simply choose them because you think they are beautiful.
Your altar needs to be personal to you. And, after all, this ceremony to me is a version of your personal soul church, so if it has meaning to you – use it. You can have a statue of a goddess, or a picture of Jesus, or a Buddha statue, anything you like. Pictures of your family – anything you hold sacred is fair game, in my opinion.
Often, I include a vessel of water, or a small cauldron of fire. I do this because I like to send my intentions of the ceremony up to the universe. Water and fire at the perfect ways to give these to the universe. If you place your intentions in the water, they will dissolve into the earth and you will have her helping hand for them to come to fruition. If you place the intentions in the fire – they will burn and the smoke will deliver them to the earth through the air.
You will also need something to carry the energy of your intention. I have used so many things. You can simply write these intentions down on a piece of paper to slip into the water or fire. I have used rose petals, fallen leaves, acorns, etc. Really, your imagination is the limit to what you can use – and it’s a fun project to put this ceremony together finding things in nature that represent what you are wishing to accomplish. (Remember – if you do a search in nature for items – take only items that are not being used anymore – do not take a birds nest or something that is in use by one of your outdoor friends!)
In this ceremony that I am going to recommend, I am going to use seeds. We are sending out thoughts on this new moon that we want to grow into fruition and become our reality. What better represents that, than a seed? You can use a flower seed, herb seeds. What about a mustard seed or the acorn? All appropriate. As I said – your imagination is your limit! Use what feels right to you – there is no right or wrong in doing this.
Alternatively to releasing these intentions – you could have an intention journal. If you do this – you’ll need your journal for the celebration.
YOUR MANIFESTATION RITUAL
Here is where the personalization of the ceremony goes a step further. You can do this in a group, or you can have an individual ceremony. You have your altar set up, you have smudged and cleared your space, you have said a prayer to bless the space and declare the space as a sacred area for which you are going to hold a ceremony of intention.
I like to start off with a meditation. Sometimes I will write my own meditation or sometimes I will listen to a pre-recorded meditation. I like to take time to do this so that I can quiet my mind and focus on what it is I really want to set into intention during this celebration. After I have performed a meditation, I get to work on the actual intention portion.
I will use the item I wish to infuse with my intention: the piece of paper that I write on, a seed, a petal to communicate this intention out loud. If you are doing this ceremony individually – saying these intentions as you write them is helpful. It can be distracting if you’re in a group and you’re all saying them out loud – so do what best suits the forum of your group. I will write these intentions on the paper; or I will hold a rose petal, or a leaf, or a seed to my forehead and I will focus on pushing the feeling of that intention into that item. I want that intention to be infused into the item I’m using. After infusing the item with intention, I then blow the breath of that intention into the item. I will then carry that item to the bowl of water or put it into the fire to give it to the universe.
(This is where the journal comes in if you are choosing to keep an intention journal. You’re going to write down these intentions in the journal. You will not want to put the journal in the fire or water – you will keep it so that you can continue to write about your work through the year as you cycle through your releasing and manifesting celebrations.)
You infuse several items or write down more than one intention. Often, we are working on more than one thing in our life. However, don’t do so many that your intentions get diluted and you lose your focus. We have 13 cycles in the year to continue our work for the year.
As such, you could start your intention cycle in January, using a broad scope of what it is you want to accomplish and then on the new moon each following month, work in detail on specific portions of your grand intention. You could wait and see how your intentions are coming together and create supporting or different intentions the following months depending on how you feel it’s going. If you’re not working on a big intention that requires focus of more than a month, you can set completely new, unrelated intentions each month. Again, this is all a personal journey and so there is no right or wrong way to do this! Trust your instincts and do what feels good to you.
You just need to be aware, that when you are setting these intentions, they need to be for YOU. You cannot control what others do. You’ll want to focus on YOUR happiness, your goals, what you would like to see happen in your life.
After my intentions have been delivered to the fire or water, or recorded in my journal, I usually like to have a closing prayer or poem that represents the sentiment of my celebration. Something inspirational and meaningful to me. Sometimes I might play some music or a song that supports those feelings as well.
If you placed items infused with your intentions into water – make sure that you take the bowl of water outdoors within the next 12 hours and pour it onto the earth. If you put your intentions in the fire – be mindful of the fire and try to let it burn out naturally – you don’t want to “squash” the energy of your intentions by putting out the flame before it burns out.
ALTERNATIVE OR ADDITIONAL CELEBRATION – A SACRED NEW MOON BATH RITUAL
In addition to the ceremony above, or as an alternative to it, you can choose to celebration with a sacred new moon bath.
Designate a special journal to be your New Moon Journal. Write your intentions in this journal. Next, run a bath – and make it a sacred ritual that you do at the time of the new moon – add salts, essential oils, herbs or flower petals. Pamper yourself. Submerge yourself into this bath with the mindset that you are immersing yourself within the energy of rebirth.
You can also create a sacred altar space with candles, crystals or statues if you like the altar element of the celebration above. Some people even take a vessel of water outdoors and let it soak up new moon energy on the night of the new moon – then they pour that into the bathtub the following morning and bathe in the new moon water and hold their celebration at the beginning of the day to symbolize the new beginnings they are intending to cultivate.
These are merely suggestions on how to hold a New Moon Celebration. There are a lot of suggestions on-line and even in Pinterest. Take a gander at what’s out there. Or you can use my guidelines as your template. However you choose to celebrate the cycles of the earth and use them for your releasing and manifesting powers should resonate with meaning to you.
Good luck creating the life you desire using the natural cycles of the moon as your energetic friend!
Misty Pennington is a compassion mentor, Eden Energy Medicine certified reiki practitioner, intuitive, crystal singing bowl alchemist, and all-around witchy woman. She is the owner of The Garden of Common Ground in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, visit Gardenofcommonground.com.
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I‘m sitting on my couch about to cry because I’m SO TIRED OF COUGHING. I’ve had a little something for about 6 weeks now, which was just starting to get better when my husband came home with the flu on Thursday and promptly passed it along to me. I’ve got a Z-pack and a steroid inhaler, neither of which seem to be bringing me any relief. We’re supposed to be going on vacation Tuesday (it’s Sunday evening as I write this) and right now it’s not looking good… send me all your good juju. I really want to go on vacation. *sad, awful, pathetic, sick face*
In the meantime, here’s a guest blog from Mindfulness Mentor Molly Knight Forde.
Do you find you go through surges and waves of productivity? What stops you from getting things done?
Sometimes I figure out that some of my most productive days are ones where I let go of pushing toward a goal and relentlessly trying to make it happen. If there is too much resistance and everything is going all wrong, I know the timing is not my timing but divine timing.
I must push against my tendency to get distracted or procrastinate in order to fulfill an aim that I had for the day.
I now understand that divine timing means the presence of….The Third Force, and may have nothing to do with timing at all but my awareness of the interaction of three important forces.
Being blind to the Third Force can create a lot of havoc in our lives.
We can try all we want to make something happen, but if there is no recognition of the Second Force, a reaction to the action, that pushes against the affirming force, plus a resulting Third Force of reconciliation, we will not get the results we want.
For any endeavor to have a result, an outcome, a new direction or level, there must be three forces present, the affirming, the denying and the reconciling.
The First Force is known as positive, masculine, yang, active or affirming.
The Second Force can include negative, feminine, yin, passive, receptive or denying.
We never hear much about the Third Force which is the reconciling and neutralizing factor and all three must be present for actualization of a process. We just don’t notice it and keying into this can change everything for you.
If you look at an Enneagram, a symbol of process, the triangle represents the Sacred Law of Three. These are points 0(9), 3 and 6. This law can be studied unto itself and can work in conjunction with the Law of Seven, represented by the hexagram superimposed on top.
In context of the Law of seven, this triangle indicates points of reception from Forces outside of a process.
Of course, many people have come to know the Enneagram from the personality enneagram, and if you look it up in Wikipedia, you unfortunately only get that definition. This has nothing to do with the Enneagram brought to the West by G. I. Gurdjieff. It was an ancient symbol used by Wisdom Schools and Central Asian Brotherhoods for the very purpose of studying process and Sacred Alchemy of Transformation.
￼The Law of Three unto itself works everywhere in our lives. Have you ever noticed when you push and push to make something happen and get nowhere, but the minute you give up, let go, and accept, it somehow miraculously comes together? That is the Third Force in action.
You can’t remember a word or name and it comes to you the minute you quit trying. Writer’s block, that gives way to a flood of ideas.
A relationship that begins to flourish after much misunderstanding and fighting. Money that appears where before there was none.
Dissipation of reaction, anxiety and worry.
The Third Force comes in if both the Affirming and Denying forces are present. If we can become familiar with these first two forces and use them properly, the Third Force is activated.
We must learn to be present with the yes and the no, seeing both the positive and negative sides of our nature pushing against each other in the same moment.
One of the most important things I discovered was that Self Observation can be the Second Force to push against my “comfort zone”. That comfort zone may be defined as how I constantly judge myself and others. It may be how I work myself to death in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. It may be procrastinating to the point that guilt overwhelms me.
I know that sounds more like misery than comfort, but that is where I am caught if I don’t observe it. My habitual unconscious behavior of constantly evaluating my actions as good or bad is where I live unless I push against it with the effort to observe these shenanigans.
Learning how to observe, through conscious effort creates an intentional Second Force. It is the quintessential definition of Mindfulness.
That buzz word, Mindfulness is omnipresent right now, but is there an understanding of how to do it, what it is, and how it works???
We believe it is to relieve symptoms of suffering like worry, insomnia, anxiety, but we don’t really know how to be present and make that happen.
It isn’t about keeping your focus.
It is an expanded awareness and the ability to objectively observe without trying to change anything. This way you stay in the feeling you think is “bad”; that you think you shouldn’t have; or that you must change. If you go to the place of needing to change it, you have stepped out of the realm of Observation and remain in the First Force only.
When you stay with “negative emotion”, it is “uncomfortable”, and that very discomfort, that intentional suffering, creates the exact cocktail for freedom from it. It is the thing that will enable you to manifest. It is the thing that will put you in the right vibratory dimension to attract abundance.
This is how to co-create your life.
This is the presence of…The Third Force.
This is why Luke Skywalker had to learn to understand his anger in order to let go to a higher order for the Force to become effective.
Our Self Acceptance is created by an effort to accept what we see in a present moment without trying to change it. When that is achieved, the Third Force moves in and one experiences freedom from the fight.
Pick an aim each day tat may be a little difficult for you. Start to notice and identify what you think are the subtle denying forces that come into play. It may be your procrastination or distractions. Notice how the Third Force comes into effect and what you did or didn’t do to allow it.
Let me know in the comments below your experience with “getting things done” and what the Third Force looks like to you.
Molly Knight Forde, professional classical pianist and spiritual mentor, leads people to personal freedom using wisdom teachings and unique mindfulness methods practiced out in the world, not just on the cushion. As founder of the Awareness School, she teaches the Art of Self Observation and facilitates global retreats, courses as well as one on one mentoring. Her greatest wish is to contribute to the New Epoch by assisting individual transformation through expanded awareness, meditation, Sacred Dance and music. Click here to download Molly’s free ebook, The Abundance Mindset. For more information, visit www.mollyknightforde.com.
Tumbled Crystals vs. Natural Crystals And How To Store Them
Question from a reader:
“Do tumbled/polished crystals have the same strength as raw/natural ones? Also, does it matter if you keep them in an enclosed container like a small box or should I place them in an open one like a tray?”
I think of crystals and stones much like I do tools, rituals, magick, etc. – they are as good as one’s belief in them and intention with cooperation when working with them. Kind of like anything else, you have to believe in them for them to work, and they will work however you believe they should – or how you’ve been taught to believe they should.
I do believe that stones and crystals hold their own specific vibration – everything does, and generally speaking those vibrations can be similar to certain emotional vibrations that humans give off which can be healing, but again, I think belief is the most important factor. That being said, I would say that tumbled crystals vs. natural crystals – it doesn’t matter, on a surface level, what type of stone it is.
Additionally, I don’t avidly work with crystals on a regular basis, so I thought I’d ask Tara from Crystalline Dreams, since she is far more familiar with crystals and crystal healing. Here’s what she said:
I think about it like I think about food. Some people prefer organic/raw, and some take whatever is available. I don’t think the vibration of a tumbled/polished stone is less than raw, but it might have additional/different energy when you first get it, depending on who tumbled it and the process used. But because crystals can be cleaned and charged, no, I don’t think there’s any real difference in strength between tumbled crystals vs. polished crystals.
For the crystals you’re not currently using, it’s really up to you. I have some in a briefcase type thing under my bed. My alter is full of dusty stones I’m not using right now either. The ones you are using, however, should be kept on or near you at all times, however you want to do that.
Ask your stones what they want in very simple questions. Do you want to work with me? Would you like to be on my bedside table? Then patiently listen. You will hear yes or no, or something unclear, which basically means wait or not yet. That’s when I put them aside for later use.
As for me, I like to keep my crystals out, just because they are sparkly and shiny and pretty! I did a blog post last year on some really beautiful wooden crystal storage shelves that are perfect for keeping your lovelies out of the way, but still the center of attention.
This is a milestone for In My Sacred Space. It’s my 100th post (and it hasn’t even been a year just yet!). I started this blog last summer and it’s one year anniversary is coming up pretty quickly. It’s grown so much in such a short time! I don’t know what I imagined it would be, but I never thought hundreds of people would care to listen to what I have to say on a regular basis. 🙂
Today, my friend Tara Olowoye of Crystalline Dreams. is going to talk a little bit about energy healing. Tara and I participated in a little distance healing experiment a few weeks ago that you might be interested in reading about over on her blog once you’re done with this one.
In case you are unfamiliar, the type of energy healing that Tara does can be done from a distance anywhere in the world, and be just as effective if she were right there in the room with you.
Energy Healing 101
by Tara Olowoye
The Law of Conservation of Energy states that, “Energy can be neither created or destroyed; it can only transform from one form to another.”
Energy is usable power.
Healing is simply remembering who we are and where we come from…remembering our Divinity. So energy healing, then, is working with the body’s energy field to help it remember its Divinity. Sometimes, this can bring about deep physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental healing.
Types of Energy Healing
Energy healing comes in multiple forms; the two I work with are Reiki and Crystal Healing. Reiki is an ancient form of healing where the practitioner channels healing energy through her/his crown chakra and down through the arms and hands, placing the hands on or just above the recipient’s body. Often, the recipient will feel the practitioner’s hands turn very warm.
Crystal Healing is working with gemstones or crystals (I use the terms interchangeably) for the same purpose: to bring about physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. Crystals are a Mother Earth-created, all natural way to work with our bodies. With no side effects and different ways of using them, crystals are a perfect addition to any wellness regimen.
How do crystals work?
Each stone carries a particular vibration, just as the energies in and around the body carry vibrations. Crystals resonate with those energies and help balance them. I often use the chakra system and its colors to determine what needs to be used where. For example, if someone has a sore throat, I will find a light blue, calming stone such as Angelite or Blue Lace Agate to place on the throat.
When I work on a client, I use both Reiki and crystals to help her/him transform stagnant energy into well-being. Clients have seen a reduction in headaches, better sleep, and more overall happiness. They also report that, during our sessions, they feel energy moving through them, whether it be waves of warmth coursing through their bodies, a feeling of being levitated, seeing images, colors, or deceased loved ones, or feeling their bodies spin in circles.
In our work, my clients and I do not create or destroy energy, we merely transform it for their well-being and helping them to remember their Divinity–and I often learn something new in the process, too!
Tara Olowoye is a wife, mother, healer and the Owner of Crystalline Dreams. She uses a unique combination of Reiki and crystal healing to help clients with various issues, including insomnia, stress, and general mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Tara earned a certificate in Intuitive Wellness from the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center in Rutland, Vermont, in 2013. For more information about Tara and her work, visit www.crystallinedreams.co.uk.
Guest Blog: Peeling the Onion vs. Cutting Out the Core
A few years back…well actually more than a few… I practiced traditional therapy. I used to call it peeling the onion. It took months, even years to slough off layers of denial, misinformation, myths, fears and get to the often forgotten root cause of an issue. Although my clients’ efforts were highly productive, the process seemed laborious. There had to be a better way, a more efficient method for accessing what lies beneath in recesses of the subconscious.
While I had dabbled with hypnosis in grad school 30 years ago, I had no formal training until I found an excellent training center a few years ago. Learning how to access the subconscious mind made all the difference. Finally, there is quicker way to get to the core of a problem.
The path between the conscious mind and the subconscious is vigorously guarded by, for lack of a better word, a gatekeeper. Imagine what our lives would be like if we could easily penetrate the subconscious where all memory is stored. We would be bombarded by visions of times, places, and events which could overload our emotions, whether they were pleasant recollections or not. It would be too much, which is why many memories, recorded much like data on a hard drive, can only be brought forth though hypnosis and therapy. The key is getting past the gatekeeper.
Therapy provides a method but takes time. Hypnosis gets there quickly. Therapy holds a valuable and esteemed place in healing and problem solving and I highly recommend it especially when addictions are involved. Hypnosis, however, answers specific questions and finds root causes in one’s current or past life more rapidly.
What about phobias? One of my clients had an irrational fear of horses. A Past Life Regression revealed he was trampled, leaving him in pain and crippled for many years. His soul did not forget the experience. Once the memory was reviewed in hypnosis, the fear of horses dissipated. In Many Lives, Many Master’s, by Past Life Regression pioneer, Dr. Brian Weiss, he recalls a patient with a phobia about wearing anything around her neck. She felt panic if she tried to wear a necklace or turtle neck sweater. Her Past Life Regression uncovered death by strangulation. Dr. Weiss helped her to recall the experience under hypnosis and her phobia disappeared, a phobia that had been resistant to two years of traditional therapy.
Karmic relationships are another area hypnosis addresses. Have you ever met someone with whom you had an instant attraction or dislike? Ten seconds into a first encounter and you know there is something powerful about your reaction but you don’t know why. Chances are you interacted with this soul before either in a positive or negative way and it left an indelible impression on your soul.
Clients have told me of flashes of memory that make no sense in their current life and knowledge of places both foreign and domestic they have never visited before. Yet when they visit these strange cites, they are inexplicably familiar with the streets and easily find their way around. Theses are possible indications of a past life.
Even one’s talent or affinity for certain careers and hobbies can be revealed under hypnosis. Many souls have been involved in similar work for centuries. Knowing past skills or avocations and pursuing them has brought income and joy to many who were uncertain about career paths. Hypnosis and Past Life Regression answers many questions from the bizarre to the mundane and can be a rapid method for finding clues to life’s mysteries. The answer, as the sages say, is not without but within.
Elissa Bentsen is a Board Certified Hypnotist and Certified Soul Trauma Healer. Her educational background is in Mental Health counseling. She is a former Executive Director of United Way Agencies in Florida and the founder of the West Boca Raton Community Center and a recipient of the Palm Beach County Commissioners award for community service.