Category Archives: Autumn Equinox

The Cycle of Life

Autumn for me is a time of introspection and reflection on the cycle of life. Recently I have been going through stored boxes that contain stuff from my deceased parents. The years have made it easier to discard what is no longer relevant, but certain items awaken long buried memories. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing. Part of the healing is making time to read a little each day, varying between fiction and educational works, I have to admit that Manuscript found in Accra is  not the easiest book that I have read by Paulo Coelho.

In fact it is the type of book that I pick up and read a snippet at a time and come back to days or weeks later. The book is in plain view on my desk to encourage myself to delve back into it and am glad that I am taking this approach as the re-reading is delivering greater insights than the first reading. In a way this complements the cycle of life, in that there is no beginning and no end. Occasionally a passage just jumps out from the page and can be immediately related to.

“Does a leaf, when it falls from the tree in winter, feel defeated by the cold?

The tree says to the leaf: ‘That’s the cycle of life. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. It’s thanks to you that I’m alive, because I can breathe. It’s also thanks to you that I have felt loved, because I was able to give shade to the weary traveller. Your sap is in my sap; we are one thing.”

Paulo Coelho – Manuscript found in Accra.

With the autumn leaves turning various shades and creating delicious carpets of colour on the lawns and paths which some will delight in and others grumpily observe as a chore, the leaves once swept and gathered will make valuable compost to add back to the garden at a later time. You may think you’re going to die, but you live on in me. 

It’s not a time to be sad, especially if you look at the vibrant hues of nature’s palette as the leaves respond to the cooler nights. Still, I will miss the warmer days and the summer light, but this heralds  a time to harvest crops and reflect on what lies within and what will come or return after winter. The cycle of life….

Autumn and the cycle of life

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Dreaming

I often wonder what each night’s dreaming will bring….. most nights are very full of activity and adventure and every dream is in colour. Quite often the location is an old house I’ve lived in or a school that I’ve been to. Other times I’m dreaming that I’m in a familiar place but I cannot name where it is.

There are familiar faces in some dreams but more often there is a cast of characters that are not related to any people that I know in this lifetime.

Over the years, I’ve read some books on dreaming, the first was many years ago and was Carlos Casteneda’s Art of Dreaming which I found fascinating. Without using any substances to alter my state of consciousness, my dreams provide me with rich visual and auditory experiences that cannot be found even when viewing a movie. Carlos Casteneda puts forward that there are seven gates to dreaming and to be able to pass through the first gate, one must become aware of the actual moment of falling asleep.

Delving into other books such as Lucid Dreaming by Pamela Ball has expanded my awareness of dreaming even further. It is wonderful to step out of a dream whose script has gone “wrong” and pause and go back to sleep with the intent to change it and make it a more pleasant experience. Pamela Ball writes that “Healing and dreams are closely interlinked” and I’m sure that this is true for the retreat. The powerful combination of the labyrinths and Reiki energy as well as the organic practices used are no doubt having an effect on the land.

The dreams are also affected by my physical location. At the retreat the dreams seem to be set in times gone by and I have woken on occasion to the sounds of sheep and horses passing by then going back to sleep. When I do wake fully from the dream and know that I am really awake, I have had on occasion, needed to check that the troughs and haystacks are not outside the cottage as I had dreamt!

A psychic friend offered her opinion after I had told her of one particularly vivid dream, that I was having historical dreams….. Picking up on the energy of people who had been passing through on the land..

Robert Moss in his course Dream Gates – a journey into active dreaming suggests not only keeping a dream journal (as do many other teachers) to record themes that are relevant to the dreamer, but he gives useful shamanic exercises in connecting with spiritual guides both animal or angelic and how to use dreams in a constructive, healing way.

Frequently remnants of my dreams stay with me for some time during the day, allowing my subconscious mind to process any message that may have been delivered. In one dream, some time ago, I retained the image of a country road and a driveway that I knew was my home. For years as we travelled along country roads and outback Australia, I looked for that driveway, never finding it. When my parents legacy to me was finalized, I began looking for a country property where I could realize another dream … to create a retreat for healers.

Weekends were spent scouring the internet for properties for sale and then making a list, travelling to the area to inspect and although one or two seemed attractive in the advertisements, in reality they were not suitable. One popped up, twice the acreage of what I was looking for and a little over budget, but I decided to have a look to see what it offered. After arranging to meet the agent, we made the 2 and a half hour trip to view it. It was on a road we had often travelled on to go to the Easter Parade, but further down than the usual turnoff.

Turning into the driveway, my body reacted…. this was the driveway of my dream.

A strong feeling of Déjà vu as we drove down the driveway to where the cottage was located. An area nearby was semi cleared similar to a drawing in my vision book, convincing me that dreams are a powerful agent in the manifesting process.

Start of Autumn

There’s a sense of sadness as summer draws to a close although here in Melbourne the heat remains – the days grow shorter and there is a certain lassitude in the air. Yet, I find that work has been more productive than ever. There has been a lovely balance of Reiki treatments, Hypnotherapy and Supervision sessions, interspersed with some valuable networking.

The move to Body Balance Wellness Centre has worked out well so far and I’m enjoying being able to wander around the Mt Waverley shopping village. Today I treated myself to a scrumptious vegetarian bento box for lunch at the local (authentic) Japanese takeaway. An added bonus is  that I also get to brush up my very rusty Japanese – they are very patient with me!

The home office is now tidied up again and there is a temptation to open the door and spend a bit more time in the little garden outside it. There are still 7 or 8 pomegranate saplings that grew from the seeds I saved about 6 years ago and they will need thinning out so that they can grow taller.  I thinned the group out last year and took 4 up to the retreat, but one has succumbed to the high temperatures and lack of water, as have more than half the oak trees. Once the weather cools down and these ones lose their leaves, I will transplant them to the retreat as replacements. Hopefully because they are more advanced, they will survive the extremes better.

There are a couple of Casuarinias, some Japanese Maples and a Jacaranda  seedling that I have grown from seed, but will continue to nurture here in the city until they are a little bigger and more likely to survive if they are more established.  I’ve acquired a Robinia seed pod, but am unlikely to plant that as they can grow to be very big and they sucker readily.  I found some interesting seed pods on a council street tree the other evening and might try growing some of those as they look as if they would provide some good shade and good compostable leaf litter.

 

Settling in at the Retreat

Summer has been long and hot and with the threat of bushfires, particularly as we are reasonably close to the Rushworth State Forest, trips to the retreat have been dependent on checking out weather conditions and deciding if we want to be there in the heat or stay home and have the option of a pool to slide into to cool down!
Being self employed gives a little more flexibility and we decided to add an extra day either side of the Labor Day public holiday to avoid traffic and have more time to do “stuff”.
Packing the car has become an art form as necessities (& luxuries) are taken up there and left….

Luxuries like 4 matching banana lounges….perfect for star gazing!
Sitting in a normal deck chair to watch the satellites and stars, results in a cricked neck if you do it for too long, so the banana lounges are ideal, even if they are a little low to the ground…..

The shed has become a cooking area, with gas camping stove, electric frypan, Dad’s old toaster and benchtop oven and even a donated microwave….
A comfy 3 seater lounge and chairs (also Dad’s old furniture) are also stored in the shed.
This last visit saw the installation of a roman blind over one of the shed windows to reduce the sun fading the fabric on the sofa  and there have been discussions about installing a roof vent and insulation to make it more pleasant to be in (hot in summer and no doubt it will be chilly in winter).

About 10 acres of the block is covered with a bush that is locally considered a nuisance, but not a noxious weed. It has grown too high to use the slasher, so the only other option was to attach a grader blade to the tractor.
Only problem was that the blade was seized stuck with rust from being in the open.
With a little work (& diesel and oil mix) and pushing up against a strong tree, the attachment loosened up and Michael and a friend, Rod, began the task of flattening the bushes by driving over them and dragging the blade behind. More comfortable than sitting for some time, twisting backwards as the tractor is reversed over the bushes.
Hot and dusty work and the aging tractor began to make some ominous noises from the gear box.
Most of the area treated this way has stayed flat over a two week  period and is dying off. The flattened bushes can be removed by hand and stacked up, ready to burn once the fire season is over, but this is labour intensive and I’m not so keen on having piles of flammable material, whereas if it is flat it may mulch down.
Another alternative is to find a fencing contractor who specializes in brush fencing and offer them the option to harvest it for free. That way they will get their fencing materials and we will get rid of the bushes!

The composting toilet is working well, using 20 litre buckets, recycled from the local (city) chicken & chip shop, sawdust from the hardware store and we picked up some mulch from a roadside heap that was created after the bushfires near Kilmore. The intent is to leave the sealed buckets for 12 months or more to get rid of any pathogens & then add them to a compost heap to break down further.
This will then be used on the planned fruit and nut tree grove.
I hope to install a second composting toilet in the cottage in the near future and the ceramic pan (which was not hooked up to anything and lacked a cistern) has been removed, leaving much more space in the shower room.
The previous owners left behind a chemical toilet, but that requires some nasty chemicals, water and a disposal pit,  although it has been suggested that a homebrand nappy soaker is more environmentally friendly.

On to more pleasant topics….
The visit at the end of February involved cleaning the lichen off the fibreglass dome. Washing it off also washed off the top gel coat of the fibreglass and we were left with a milky white liquid.
Fortunately, the camper trailer we have is fibreglass and the manufacturers included a bottle of fibreglass polish and wax…. only thing was that we didn’t have it with us on that trip. So Labor Day weekend saw the application of said wax early in the morning, before the heat and flies became a problem. Luckily the dome roof rotates, so I was able to move that around and work in the shade most of the time. The eastern walls had to be polished in the evening!

The idea behind having this place is create a retreat.. both for myself and my family but eventually having a space for practitioners who might need some time out to live simply for a few days.

This requires some preparation… energetically clearing the space, using Reiki and feng shui and adding some comforts.
Using the Autumn Equinox was perfect timing to start some serious energy work.

I brought up some Tibetan Prayer Flags on this trip and installed them around what will be a central gathering /fire pit area.

In this way, their energy will be working for the space even when I am not there.
Their vibrant colours will fade in time and the breeze over the weekend kept them active, adding to the energy.

The colours of the sunset on the night of the Equinox faded quickly, but I managed to capture them on the phone camera as I was having a wander around looking for a site to build the labyrinth.  Originally I had thought that a flattish area to the west would be ideal, but it is just a little too close to the neighbours. Then I thought down between the two dams….. but in winter that area will be quite boggy (if there are good rains).
Trusting that the right place would be revealed as I explored more, I continued to meditate.
Some time alone the next morning allowed me to do a really good energy cleansing of the cottage, which I finished off by cleaning the windows and adding Reiki symbols all around.
 Curiously the sliding door screen stuck fast when I opened it, and I couldn’t move it at all.
Michael returned from his expedition to the Aboriginal Waterhole at Whroo and inspected the damage. It was decided that a visit to the hardware store in Heathcote would be in order, to get new parts for the door.  That done, the door still refused to move freely on the tracks….. Too late for a return trip, it was decided to make a repeat trip the next day.
No part available …. so a road trip to Bendigo was in order to a larger hardware chain. A bit of a wander around and a late lunch eaten in a park, then back to the retreat.
The new parts (hangers) were fitted to the top of the door and just as the door was moved…… crack…. both parts broke.
We had been gone 4 hours on the return trip to get those parts…….
Luckily, Michael can think laterally, so he used screws we had bought from the Rushworth hardware store to install the roman blind, to connect the broken bits together and eventually we had a screen door that opens and closes as it should……. what a day!!

An old yabbie net had turned up on our explorations, so some left over meat was put into an onion bag and tied securely, and the net tossed into the top dam. A couple of hours later, there was a yabbie having a feast…. disentangled and it scarpered back into the muddy water. Later that evening, when we checked with Peter who had come over from his place at Redcastle, all the meat had gone .. & so had the yabbies!!
We had another go on Sunday morning and caught 2 more. One with half a claw missing…. and both back into the water…
Apparently they have to be purged in fresh water for about a week before eating… so the net from home will go up and the yabbies may become an Easter feast……
As I went for a last minute wander on Sunday after packing up, I came across a space that somehow I have missed before.
Towards the Eastern boundary, yet quite private.

 A bit more of a slope than I would prefer, but that could add to the sensory experience…
It feels as if it is the right place for a labyrinth….

 And just a little further to the East ….
…….a small clearing, almost circled perfectly by some trees….

I can see the potential to put benches in the spaces between the trees and a small fire pit to do some circle work……..