I find that as I listen to others' stories, a theme of synchronicity, magic, and meaning is more easily seen in hindsight. When the seemingly disparate puzzle pieces click into place, we can accept and forgive the delays in having our expectations met. For a moment, many of us can see the soulful initiation we were being offered to live into when it may have seemed that we were moving further away from what we want.
What is life like when we choose a narrative that empowers our fundamental sense of trust in ourselves and the world? How does our personal perspective shift when we open our hearts to honor the interesting interconnections between all of our relations, all we do, and all we leave undone?
I offer a story from my life as an example of interesting interconnections in a personal narrative. Fifteen years ago, I would cry when looking at the website of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. For some reason—finances, dates, or the location—I could never seem to be able to attend their gatherings. I felt such a strong soul call yet so much difficulty in answering it. I would also often cry because I was perpetually heartbroken and living in a place of longing. (See the first few chapters of my book that read a little bit like, "Dear Diary...")
Through my years of tears, I continued doing all of my practices of therapy, daily movement, ritual, prayer, pilgrimage, eating well, and every way I could find to keep my vessel open to receive the guidance I needed.
Four years ago when I went on a first date with my now husband, he shared that some of the most powerful work he had done in his life was supporting the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers gatherings! I can't think of anything else he could have said that would have magnetically drawn me closer to him.
A few days ago when we celebrated our engagement anniversary, I was thinking about that day. He wasn’t planning on proposing and didn’t have a ring. One night while we were camping, we witnessed an otherworldly lightning storm. Nature’s expression was so magnificent, it put us in a space of auspicious awe. He sensed the immensity of this moment and merged with it asking me to marry him. Our engagement felt as if was it orchestrated by our sky family of ancestors. It felt a lot like how I remember feeling in the presence of the prayers of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, supported by a loving lineage of devotion and healing.
We attended my first Grandmothers Council gathering at Menla retreat center in upstate New York together, as my husband supported the event. It was a dream come true for me in many ways. Powerful moments of synchronicity and prayer transported me to a place words fail to describe, just like that lightning storm. The veil between the tangible physical world and the world of spirit became thin and the interconnection between all living things felt visceral.
This thread of interconnection and awe continues through my life as I teach at Menla a few times a year. The last time I taught there, I took a moment to honor the Grandmothers and thank them for the transmission they have infused on to this land. As I spoke, the door blew open and fall leaves blew in!
For those inspired to reflect upon, honor, and inspire interesting interconnections, here are astrological insights from our resident astrologerVirginia Rosenberg to guide you:
The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 15, 2019 (8:30am EST) is interwoven. Strings and beads and prayerful things. Hands reaching towards one another and the materials, bringing everything together. Strands of thread starting out separate. Looping together in rhythmic movement. Becoming comingled. Making multicolored, impossible tapestries and beadwork born from visions. Humxns togethered through circle, sitting on bare Earth. In and of stardusted soils. Encircled, as distinct from enclosed. Visiting Otherworlds and alternate dimensions. Plant peoples as gatekeepers and doorways. Stones as symbol and mark. All of us, populating grounded constellations. Sharing in libraries and commons. Making lace of our want for freedom. Bringing our hearts on-line with self-governing cycles. Recreating heart maps of this Earth, according to the bum drum hum. The slow un-secret rhythm of an everlasting heart, animating All. These hearts know the ways of liberation when they reach for each other across difference and distance. Uncomplicating light. Intertwining unique beams. Weaving voice and breath. We are singing. Sighing. Storytelling ancient futures. Giving light wings. Re-enchanting ourselves with truthfulness. Letting the world dream us awake.
To embody this energy, I invite you into five minutes of Heart Opening. It's been said that one of the longest journeys we ever take is the six inches from our heads to our hearts. From the mind's capacity to organize and separate back to the heart's capacity to include and honor.
In Qoya, we do heart opening in every class to ask the question, "Whatever is going on in your life right now, are you willing to open your heart to it? If so, make your movement a gesture of your willingness." I am always in awe of the transformation that is possible when we move our bodies with intention and notice the powerful effect movement has in increasing the flow of blood, oxygen, energy, and life force! See if this is true for you!
I offer my deep respect to the elders and traditions who have protected and carried these ancient understandings of interconnection throughout time and culture. I am honored to be able to gather in the spirit of this prayer together again with my husband D, who will be holding space again as a producer working very closely with the visionaries of the event, and our son Desmond, who just turned 6 months old!
If you also feel the call, join us to honor the Grandmothers gathering at Menla in upstate New York this fall. Taking place on World Peace Day and the Fall Equinox, LIFT THE EARTH is a four-day event, from September 19- 22, which includes the participation of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, including Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, Grandmother Bernadette Rebeinot, Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura, Grandmother Mona Polacca, Grandmother Rita Blumenstein, Grandmother Rita Long Visitor Holy Ddance, along with Alice Walker, Dr. Henrietta Mann, Chief Phil Lane, Dr. Robert Thurman, and other spiritual leaders and activists from around the world.
Click here to explore how to join this special event and participate in this world-wide collective prayer for outer and inner peace.
Honoring the interconnection between us all,
Want to become a Qoya teacher before the end of 2019?
There's still time! We have several Initiation trainings (including an online training!) coming up in August and September which leaves you with plenty of time to teach your 11 practice classes to friends and family before the Intensive with Rochelle Schieck at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York near Woodstock this November.
Click here for all the dates and details, and please hit reply on this email with any questions.
Qoya and Writing Retreat in Miami
October 4 - 6, 2019
Join Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy for a weekend of Qoya and writing at the renowned Standard spa and hotel in South Beach, Miami.
Initiation Teacher Training will also be offered!
Click here to learn more.
Qoya and Writing Retreat in Bali
October 20 - 27, 2019
Join Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy for a week of Qoya and writing at a lush, newly renovatd private retreat center in the enchanted land of Bali.
Click here to learn more.
To continue diving into the energy of this moon, you may also be inspired to check out the Embodied Astrology: Aquarius course which includes an introductory video to give you an overview of Aquarius's aspects, a Qoya Movement Ritual so you can embody your own personal relationship to Aquarius, an integration video with an exercise to apply in your life, worksheets with journal prompts, and a blessing for deep reflection.
Click here to learn more.
Love this blog?
Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE
Miami Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 4 - 6, 2019
India Retreat with Rochelle Schieck: October 13 - 22, 2019 - SOLD OUT
Bali Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 20 - 27, 2019
Hawaii Retreat with Rochelle Schieck: January 5 - 12, 2020 - enrollment opens soon!
Collective Retreat in Costa Rica: March 28 - April 4th, 2020 - enrollment opens soon!
INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS
French Online Initiation with Claire Garin: August 19 - 21, 2019
Online Initiation with Sara Ballard: September 7 - 15, 2019
Miami Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 3 - 6, 2019
Studland, England with Sonja Lockyer: November 2 - 3, 2019
New Zealand Initiation with Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian: November 23 - 24, 2019
Paris, France with Claire Garin: February 15 - 16, 2020
INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS
Woodstock, New York with Rochelle Schieck: November 18 - 24, 2019
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica with Rochelle Schieck: April 4 - 11, 2020
New Zealand with Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian: October 21 - 28, 2020