The Secret of the Golden Flower is . . .
That you are hOMe.
When Dorothy set off on the yellow brick road to face her fears and find her courage and her brains and her heart, what she didn’t realize was that the power to return home was always just three heal clicks away.
Heal . . . Heal . . . Heal
The secret of the golden flower is the Squaring of the Circle, the merging of spirit and matter and tethering and awakening from duality to the Light of the Eternal Way and the Essential Self ~ the King & Queendom of Heaven within. The Secret of the Golden Flower manuscript is what guided Carl Jung’s work of re-turning the soul to psychotherapy and to his final personal attainment of luminous harmony.
On the liminal bridge between spirit and matter, Soul knows before, beyond, beneath, above, within and outside of mind. Soul speaks to us through synchronicities, synchronizing spirit and matter, and through in-tuition – intuition that is beyond pattern recognition; through exquisitely irrational knowing that transcends probabilities – the unquantifiable, numinous, ephemeral, ineffable-knowing beyond what is known. Here one stands on the bridge, within the Gap – between time and the eternity of no time and all oneness (aloneness) – the Zero Point of Light – the Source, the Force, that from which we come and to which we re-turn with every breath and every birth and death and everything in-between the seen and unseen – known and unknowable. And each time we awaken on the soul’s bridge of the Zero Point of Spirit and Matter, our eyes and our hearts open a little wider and we are able to bridge and bring the light of Spirit . . . of our true hOMe to the temporal world, lightening and enlightening and enlivening the base matter within the alembic of Being – – the cooking, heat and pressure, water and fire and holding the tension of the opposites with the elixir of Love from which the wholly and holy realized Self emerges . . .
The Opus of Creation
of union with the Divine
the golden balm of healing for all manner of suffering, of imbalance and division and dis-ease. And the golden balm of Self realization, of awakening to the inner Light and sharing the anointing is the Golden Goal of each soul, knowing there is only One Soul, and that as we
Heal . . . Heal . . . Heal . . .
All Beings re-turn
merging heaven and earth, integrating, creating and recreating with the One Verse, the Source, the Force . . . that from which we come and to which we re-turn . . . turning, turning, turning as The Great Spiral – the Fingerprint of God extends
beyond the beyond
with the joyful celebration of the Great Imagination unfolding and enfolding simultaneously.
Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains
and the maker of canyons and pine mountains.
All seven seas are inside
And hundreds of millions of stars.
We are not journeying into wholeness. We are awakening to the wholeness that we have always been. In the core of our being, underneath all the personality trappings, the physiological enhancements, and the mental abstractions of our illusory “self,” we are WHOLE, COMPLETE, PERFECT and joined to all others in an indelible, irrevocable, ineffable bond we call life.
The circle is the most important symbol of our wholeness, of the Self (with a capital S which differentiates it from one of its parts, the personality, ego, or self without the capital s.) It is also perfect symbol for God, the Creator, Divinity, the Holy of Holies, THAT WHICH IS everywhere equally present and timeless with no beginning and no end. Everything within the space delimited by the circle is SACRED. Therefore, it follows: the Self is both whole and sacred.
The circle is a container, a cauldron, a holder that encloses space and protects its contents from harm and negativity. Within that space sacred work occurs that is healing, transformative, alchemical. Because its nature is to hold, shield, purify and order whatever it contains, Marigold Methods uses the circle as its primary way of being in the world. We acknowledge the Mystery of our work and pledge that only That Which Is holy, sacred, benevolent, and true will emerge out of work done within our circles.
Members of our Marigold Community have individually and collectively reached a point in life where we know that none of us can travel any farther alone. We must join together in thought and outer work, while listening to guidance offered us from deep within. So, we come together intentionally committing to
• join each other in strength and wisdom
• be informed by the collective wisdom from the circle’s center
• consciously and courageously enter the circle and discover its transformational power in our lives and the lives of all human beings whom we serve.
When we sit in a circle—actually or metaphorically—with Light as its center, in an attitude of openness to possibilities, something is called forth within us by the circle. We may not yet fully understand what work we are to do, but the calling, the pull from the circle, to the Work is clear. We at Marigold Methods will wait and wait and wait, not knowing, until we can clearly see by the light of our “hundreds of millions of stars.”
by Nancy V. Gedney, Ph.D.
I was invited to be part of a small group at a local Episcopal church for a “conversation.” Seven of us met in a parlor with comfy chairs. Before we began, we moved the chairs into a circle pulled close in. Nice! The convener, Stephen, the parish priest, had laid out as best he could a rather nebulous reason for our being there: to have a conversation and see where it led.
After his welcome, he suggested we begin with a prayer. I interrupted him and asked if, before we prayed, I could make an observation. I had noticed that we all had wanted to form a circle before we started. So, I spoke about the circle as a container, a “cauldron”, in which important, sacred work was done. In fact, circles were historically known to be spaces where magic took place. Although we didn’t formally “call a circle”, we seemed to sense we needed to be one. I told them that when a circle is called, each member agrees to hold the rim of the circle firm the work, whatever it was, was being done inside the circle.
When I finished talking, Stephen laid aside his prayer book, and said, “Well, now we can start with introductions.” (I think he was acknowledging that what I had said was akin to a prayer.) But I answered, “No, please offer a prayer “
“I was just going to read the Collect for today,” he said. He read the Preface for Epiphany, the season where Light shines so brightly:
“We are gathered together,” he began.
“Because in the mystery of the Word made flesh, you have caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of your glory in the face of your son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
[from the Book of Common Prayer]
It was perfect! What a way to call a circle!
For the next forty-five minutes, we introduced ourselves and shared varied and complex faith journeys. Then, it was time to go. Stephen thanked us for our willingness to connect and be together.
At this point, I saw him gesture with his hands: his arms were rounded in front as if holding a bushel basket; then he swept both hands over the top of the basket as if outlining and caressing something soft and fluffy mounded above the edges of the basket. This gesture seemed incidental and unintentional, but I knew it was coming from somewhere deep inside him. I’m almost certain he had no idea he was making it. But as a priest, blessing with his hands is his gift, whether conscious or unconscious.
When I got home I shared the scene and Stephen’s gesture with my former-pastor, now-Buddhist husband about this gesture. He remarked simply, “It’s merachepheth!” Merachepheth is a Hebrew verb found only twice in the entire old testament in Genesis and Deuteronomy. In Genesis 1:1-2,
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
This “hovering” is likened to a dove spreading its wings over its young for protection. One commentator tells us that the hovering stirred up the waters with an intense vibrating pulse, an energy that ignited the act of creation into livingness. Another commentator explained that merachepheth expresses a tremulous motion made by the hen while either hatching her eggs or fostering her young. Deuteronomy 32:11 uses merachepheth to express an eagle’s hovering or brooding: “like an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters (or hovers) over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, and bears them on her wings.”
I have always loved the image of “the Spirit of God hovering (or brooding) over the deep. I hear the soft crooning sounds of doves as they tend their young. What I never put together was that this action was followed directly by the command, “Let there be light!” and, Voila’, there was light. A consummate act of creation.
Could it be that Stephen in his brooding gesture, was physically tending to his fledgling circle and empowering the collective to create something through our common union? Might he by his gesture be mystically conferring upon us a mantle of clarity to reach into the depths of our beings to co-create with him “in the unity of the Holy Spirit?”
Stephen’s mudra of sorts prompted me to observe that something extraordinary was happening. We had come together with open hearts, willing to trust, not knowing why or wherefore. In our “collect,” our collective prayer, we acknowledged “a new light” shining in our hearts. Might we be called to be individually and collectively courageous, to be intuitive people who give voice to whatever comes up from our depths as we commune within the safety and warmth of our circle? Perhaps we were to hear and attempt to put into words whispers that would come to us out of sacred Silence. This is, after all what a circle does: unites hearts and gives language to That Which Is unutterable. Might there be some kind of revelatory purpose in our coming together?
We continued to meet for six or seven more Sundays. Each time our circle seemed to spin inwardly, like we were caught in the centripetal force of mandala moving inexorably toward our collective wholeness. Our toes barely touched the ground when we walked out of that room.
I still don’t know why we met, or what it means. But I do know that I was a willing witness to the power and alchemical cooking of the circle. I wish I had more to tell you.
Perhaps after we hear and see by the Light of the Circle, of our collective, united Heart, we will perhaps then be bold enough to offer new revelations to the people of our greater community. Who knows? Might this be the why of our little circle?” I’ll keep you posted.
In her book, The Tunnel and the Light: Essential Insights on Living and Dying, a compilation of lectures given by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross from 1976-1989, Kübler-Ross shared with audiences the lessons beyond her famous 5-stages model that she learned over decades of working with dying and grieving people. She stressed the necessity of learning to listen artfully and to join in the symbolic communication that takes place in the liminal realm – the space of spirit between life and death, whether literal or figurative. Regarding this topic, Kübler-Ross (1999) explained:
“There are two kinds of symbolic language: the symbolic nonverbal and the symbolic verbal language. Both are universal languages that you can use all over the world. And once you understand this language, which is the language that children use almost exclusively, you will never have to guess, you will never have to gamble, and you will begin to understand what every single child and every single adult knows, not always consciously, but subconsciously, and they will share with you the one thing they need to share, which is their unfinished business” (1999, p. 7).
Words create a bridge that allows us to enter the interior landscape of another’s experience. Capturing thoughts and feelings with words allows us to clarify and make meaning on a personal level, however, language is also very limited and can be imprisoning when one is not able to articulate unconscious or preconscious experiences and emotions. The story of a life takes shape and grows well outside the construct of words, yet we rely on words to share the experiences of life. Words connect feelings with thoughts, bridging spirit and matter, and creating connections that allow us to not feel alone on this solitary journey. But what happens when memory and emotions are lodged in a part of the brain that is not accessible to language, and one is not able to find, let alone articulate, their inner suffering? Belleruth Naparstek, a clinician, brain researcher, and authority in the role of imagery in health, explains that language can be a trap for people who have experienced trauma. She stated:
“If a traumatized person is prompted only to speak and think about the events that created his distress without enlisting help from the imaginal, emotional, sensory, and somatic capabilities of his right brain, his symptoms can actually get worse instead of better”. (Naparstek, 2004, p. XVIII)
According to Naparstek, the reason symptoms worsen is because language-centers in the brain become impaired by a cascade of bio-chemicals that are triggered through biologically driven survival reactions during the time of a traumatic event. This biochemical response can be life preserving but can also leave an individual with short-circuited memory and impaired speech when it comes to thinking and talking about the specific trauma.
Effective interventions for healing infractions to the psyche require whole-brain approaches which access both verbal and non-verbal areas of the brain. Bonnie Badenoch addressed the integrative power of Sandplay therapy in her groundbreaking work on interpersonal neurobiology, by explaining, “The physical sensation of touching the sand facilitates neural integration, connecting the body, limbic system, and cerebral cortex in the right hemisphere” (Badenoch, 2008, pp. 221-223).
In her final written work, On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss, which Elisabeth Kübler-Ross co-authored with David Kessler, Kessler stated, “I saw in my own loss that it was hard to separate out the grief from the trauma, since grief has elements of trauma in it and trauma has grief in it” (Kübler-Ross & Kessler, 2005, p. 223). Work in the field of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) has revealed that certain experiences are stored in areas of the brain which cannot be accessed verbally, and that through the imaginal route, via guided imagery, art therapy, Sandplay and sand tray therapy, MARI and other forms of non-verbal expressive processes, trauma can be accessed and treated.
For more information about learning symbolic language, accessing other-than-conscious-knowing, aka the “deep mind” and methods for engaging wholeness, please visit: www.marigoldmethods.com. You will also find a comprehensive Bibliography, Recommended Reading List, and Yummy Sources section on the Marigold Methods website.
As a child Dr. Karla-la-la lived with her family in the Aurora Historical Museum, an old Victorian mansion in Illinois where her mother was the curator for a collection of curiosities ranging from mastodon bones to gramophones. Around the time she learned to talk, she began whispering poetry in her mother’s ear and insisting that she write it down. As natural as her freckles and bright red hair, poetry and the crafting of stories has been a part of her life since the very start. A world traveler and lifelong student of creativity and consciousness, her writing bridges the numinous and ineffable with themes involving time and space, the magic of bees and the mystery of grace. Her published dissertation explores the phenomenon of grief and transformative power of symbols, synchronicity, and the intersection of spirit and matter, topics which she continues to explore in her research and writing.
Triggadora is both ancient and ageless and carries the heart-wisdom of the elders and children who have been my teachers and guides. She believes in freedom of the heart . . . freedom of the mind . . . freedom of the imagination to experiment and examine and explore. She knows that the uni-verse is one verse filled with infinite variations of rhyme, and poetry, being her dominant discourse, is the way that she expresses her love of life and her love of the Source of all life.
Look with your fingers, taste with your toes
there’s more than one way for the knowers to nose
and the yes-rs to guess and supposers to pose.
All senses have their sense-ability, but the challenge is for us to see
through many lenses and impart a way of seeing with the heart ~
a vision of the whole that includes both mind and soul.
The best thing about Triggadora is what she has to say. Her bubbly expressions always begin in an adoring way with a clever pet name, expertly fitting and never the same:
“Oh my Hummingbird!” Triggadora will sing when you are fast and flittering. Or “My precious Pebble!” she may call, when you’re quietly sitting thinking of nothing at all. If you’ve scraped your knee she’ll have a look and whisper, “Sorry dear Bumble Snook.” Then she’ll patch you up proper with glittery-glue and a pat and a peck and a smiling “Good as new!” If you’re up early she’ll declare, “Oh Birdy, are there any worms left out there?!” And if she finds you up late in the night, she’s sure to squeal with delight, “Opossum” she’ll say, “what a brilliant way to stretch in and out of a glorious day!”
Triggadora stories have been read at the California Institute of Integral Studies Transformative Education Intensive, and the Wisconsin Writers Association Conference where they were enthusiastically received by adults in the audiences. The stories appeal to a broad range of readers, from young children to elders, and fit squarely within the genre of ‘adult inner-child’.
The following is one of nine short Triggadora story-poems.
Stay tuned for more Triggadora musings.
Triggadora has studied many subjects, some that are rather obscure, and others that are quite common and dragged on for year after year. She has degrees from prestigious colleges, and certificates from outer space, and admits that some of her knowledge is quite impossible to trace.
Of the many things Triggadora enjoys contemplating, triangles are at the top of her favorites list, for she finds them most captivating. She knows that within them is contained the wisdom of angles and dangles, as well as knowledge yet unnamed that is waiting to be untangled. There’s a triangle in everything that you can see, and touch, as well as things that are invisible, but that matter very much. It is for this reason, as you shall see that Triggadora adores the art of trigonometry.
“A triangle” Triggadora postulates, “is indeed a most stable form, but often their assistance is taken for granted and leaves them feeling forlorn. Has it ever crossed your mind,” she asks, “when sitting on a folding chair, to thank the triangles under your behind that are balancing you in the air?”
The laws of trigonometry reveal the unchanging fact that there are consistent rules by which all triangles must act. Presently we do not have to guess, thanks to a fellow named Pythagoras, and can accurately deduce the length of the hypotenuse. This is achieved with the application of his clever rule, that A squared plus B squared equals C squared, which you may have learned in school. Because of this discovery there is no longer any reason to doubt, and by applying his helpful theorem one can confidentially plan the shortest route.
With the assistance of trigonometry one need not be a giant, or spend hour after hour calculating the width of a lake or the height of a towering tower, but can measure indirectly, with ratios in place, and locate precisely where objects are in space.
When performing trigonomic ratios Triggadora is never complacent, and always takes care to place the opposite dimensions over those of the adjacent.
A ruler and a compass are often required for determining hidden triangles, and the discoveries that this discipline has inspired have untangled some remarkable tangles. They’ve guided the course of explorers and the calculations of mathematicians, as well as careful carpenters and very clever magicians.
Carrier pigeons are born with the knowledge of trigonometry and so can successfully deliver their message when flying from point A to point B. Honey bees can do this as well, when they return to the hive to tell, by doing a vector dance, where their friends are sure to find nectar and don’t leave it up to chance. By wagging their bee-hind at an angle, in relation to the sun, they relay the coordinates that their fellow bees will not forget.
Airplane pilots use trigonometry too, with take-offs and while cruising and landing, but most don’t call it trigonometry, for to them it’s just “plane understanding”.
It’s no surprise that butterflies use trigonometry to lift and flutter and float, and although they are the masters of poetic coasting, they are quite averse to boasting and you’ll never see one gloat.
“Yes,” Triggadora says with a glow, “I look for triangles wherever I go, and pay particular attention to those in the snow – for it’s a very big mistake to overlook a little flake! Of course there are grand pyramids that get a great deal of attention, but there are many less popular triangles that also deserve mention. There are triangles perched on the tops of trees and kites made of triangles that float in the breeze, triangles on wingtips as well as the masts of great sailing ships. There are triangles that are consistently right by degree and other that are obtuse, and although they are not pointed and lack sharp wit, they are equally of use.”
Judging triangles in a pageant can be difficult indeed, but with the help of sine, cosine, and tangent, one can do this with accuracy and speed. “To be a-cute,” Triggadora points out, “has nothing to do with size, for with trigonomic astuteness we are able to realize that weather mammoth or minute, all triangles contain dimensions with which one may compute.”
And beyond the seen there have always been triangular thoughts and positions which influence group dynamics and personal dispositions. For example, when flying in the air and looking down below, there may be someone on the ground looking up and waving hello. The angle of depression from one point of view is elevation from another, yet both are equally true. Only by knowing the observer’s position could we ever hope to uncover a relational perspective that is truly objective.
It is clear as air, and whether we see them or not, triangles are everywhere and they matter a whole lot! I hope the power of what they do will be inspiring for you. Who knows, perhaps one day a triangle will lead the way by synthesizing left and right or up and down or outside-in, so that even from opposites sides, everyone can win!
My favorite book as a child and still on the top of my list of in-spirational sources. I always read sections of Hail Stones and Halibut Bones when introducing my MARI students to the archetypal meanings of colors.
A treasure box of poetry and images and a charming resource for those interested in deepening their understanding of the language of color or color psychology. Highly recommended for Art Therapists, Sandplay and Sand Tray Therapists, Grief Counselors, MARI Practitioners and other Expressive Therapy Counselors, Coaches, and Healing Arts Practitioners.
Counting buttons? No, career titles. Just glanced over a catchy headline entitled ‘Head Worm Wrangler & Other Odd Job Titles by Rachel Farrell. Rachel highlights, you guessed it, unusual job titles:
· chief wiggle eye gluer
· director of chaos
· head worm wrangler
· director of storytelling
· chief imagination officer
· marble lady
· magic maker
· chief fun officer
· overseer of order
· director of first impressions
· chief fitlosopher
There were a few others, but I was attracted to the above because they were so whimsical. I mean, I really like the idea of them, the pictures they conjure and the stories they suggest, just in their titles. “They tickle my Nancy,” as my husband says.
They took me way back to the eighties when I was an academic adviser at the University of Arizona. I loved to help undecided students think about possible areas to major in. If someone liked music and science, we tried to find ways that they could study both subjects, put them together and create majors like “The Science of Music” or “The Music of Science.” Now these weren’t actual majors, but when the students could see the possibilities of combining seemingly paradoxical subjects, a career in acoustics wasn’t far behind. How do you think “sound men” (or women) got to do what they do?? They followed the possibilities presented by their passions.
That’s how I got my most favorite job title ever: Resident Fairydust Sprinkler.
Fairydust sprinkler – except my breast was covered.
Outside my cubicle was a string of little glass bells that when touched would brrrringggg! One student gave me a lovely glittery silver wand. And over my desk was my framed title. I was in heaven, or wonderland, or never-never land. No, not la-la-land.
Since that time, I have held official (officious) titles such as Director of Student and Career Development, and Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Lots of status, little pay, and sometimes boring job descriptions. Although I got lots of experience dealing with people, none of those jobs (careers) (none lasted more than 3 years- I’m not your typical straight arrow) held a candle in my heart as did Resident Fairydust Sprinkler.
From time to time, I’ll hear some wind chimes or a telephone, “Brrrringggg!” and I know someone, not necessarily me, just sprinkled a little magic. I look around for a little sparkle somewhere, and guess what? I always find it. You can, too!
Take this moment, right now, to look around. Hear the “Brrrrringggg”? It’s in your heart, silly. And see how many bits of glitter, shine, sheen, lustre, sparkle, effervescence, iridescence, or twinkle you can see right now. Makes you smile, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what we fairydust sprinklers do: bring mirth, and smiles, and tingles, and joy, and tickles, and sweets to life – just for the tasting — just for the sipping.
Are you a fairydust sprinkler? If not, why not? You can be, you know! Just smile, and think good thoughts about others, and enjoy what you see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and taste with your mouth, and smell with your nose, or feel with your skin. Sweetness, like strawberries, or a cool May wine. Or a rainbow, or fuzz on a peach or a baby’s shoulder. Or copper highlights on a dogs head. Or the smell of coffee perking, or cookies, or new-mown hay. Or leaves clittering in the breeze, or shushing pine trees. This is the stuff, the food, the sustenance of Fairydust Sprinklers.
There is one requirement and one requirement only for this profession: It’s the “Let it be” rule. Let tears come if they want to. Let yourself chortle, giggle, guffaw, play, wriggle, wiggle, snuggle, pucker, toe dance, skip, whistle, yodel, yowl, hiccup, snort, toot, and scoot. Let yourself take the joy — it’s yours. And if you don’t take it, it’s no one’s loss but your own. But if you do, you’ll find you have cupsful, and bucketsful, and glassesful, and bowlsful, and saucersful, and pocketsful — even truckloads — of fairydust to sprinkle, dribble, tinkle, plinkle, pickle, snickle, scuttle, pitch, toss, broadcast, rain, drip, or drool. You’ll be happier, much happier, than Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds — honest!
Fairydust is its very own high. And the sprinkling thereof makes it the best profession in the world. Its remuneration is simply the sum total of the riches of the universe. As you grow in the profession, you are taught all you ever need to know. If you travel, you are compensated for absolutely everything, and your benefits cost you nothing. One of the perks of this life’s work is that by performing your talents and doing exactly what you’ve always wanted to do, you are not taxed! There is never anything taxing about sprinkling fairydust. It’s the perfect employment. There is no job description; no one to tell you who to sprinkle and who not to sprinkle; no deadlines; no pressure; no evaluations; and no layoffs. You can set your own goals, timelines, and hours. And you will always have a job!
If you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, it won’t. Shoes are not required. We sprinkle barefooted, or not. However you like it. And I guess by the above picture, some sprinkle bare breasted. That however, is not required either.
I’ll leave you with a chance to choose for yourself:
· If you will be a fairydust sprinkler, what will YOU sprinkle?
· If you’d rather choose your own profession, what will it be? How will you title this wonderful way of life?
Thank you for your indulgence. Now go indulge yourself! Indulgence is ambrosia to the joyful!
“In human beings it is not the center of the body, nor is it the center as opposed to the outside. It has no location, no fixed position. Look for it and you cannot see it, listen for it and you cannot hear it, try to grasp it and you cannot find it.” I-Ching Mandalas’ Translated by Thomas Cleary
There are many names given to the Center most of them expressing a sense of balance and potential: the crossroads, the main square, intersection, the gate of the celestial, the mysterious feminine, the opening, the house of life, the pass of death, the essence, the cosmic womb, the cauldron of being, the furnace of creation, the gate of all wonders ~ The Great Imagination.
What does it mean to “step into the Center” – to engage the center – to be centered? Asking the question and then allowing for the spaciousness of not knowing ~ the sublime Silence of no questions and no answers ~ one enters the space outside of time and space. In Taoism this is known as the Way, The Frameless Door, The Gateless Gate, the stillness that flows.
In the hustle and bustle of doing, of work and worry, the in-tentional seeking of Silence provides access to the center. Here we embrace and are embraced by the Divine, by the Self ~ the Source from which we originated and to which we return with every turning of the Great Round of being and becoming the eternity of that which IS.
The marigold is a humble flower, yet rich in symbolic meaning and medicine, both literally and metaphorically. Connected to the Divine Mother, early Christians named the flower “Mary’s Gold” and placed it at the foot of statues of the Blessed Mother in lieu of gold coins. The marigold is often used as a token of veneration and praise in festivities honoring Mary and is offered on the Feast Day of the Annunciation (March 25th), celebrating the conception of the Divine Mother.
The marigold is a heliotrope and represents companionship, mentoring, protection, and encouragement. The name marigold is equivalent to the number 7 in numerology, signifying deep understanding. Combined with the solar qualities of the sun, the marigold also represents a coniunctio or sacred marriage of the divine energies of spirit with the earthly energies of matter. The mandala of the marigold symbolizes passion, courage, and creativity, and represents a perennial challenge to new adventures of mind and spirit in service to the Divine.
Marigold flowers are used as sacred offerings in many cultures including Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Aztec, and Pagan religions and are recognized as a symbol of resurrection and connection to the spirits of those who have crossed over. The Welsh believed that rubbing marigold water on the eyelids would induce psychic visions of spirits and fairies.
Marigolds are one of the most easily recognizable symbols of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead which is celebrated from October 31st to November 1st in Mexico and other places populated by peoples of Mexican descent. It is believed that at this time the souls of loved ones and friends who have passed on to spirit visit the living and that the scent and bright blooms of the marigold, known colloquially as “the flower of the dead”, help to guide the spirits to their respective family altars or ofrendas.
One of the great Indian mystics of the last century, ‘Mother’ (Mirra Richards) said that the marigold signified ‘Plasticity’. Describing the spiritual significance of Plasticity, she explained: “When you come to the Divine, you must abandon all mental conceptions. The only true attitude for a Yogi is to be plastic and ready to obey the Divine command, whatever it may be.” Mirra Richards believed that if peoples and nations could achieve the spirit of the Divine Mother whom this flower commemorates, all life would take on new meaning and purpose.
Medieval physicians listed the marigold as a medicinal plant. Boiled with sugar, it was used both internally and externally. A medical book dated 1578 declared, “The conserve that is made of the floures of Mary-goleds cureth the trembling of the harte.”. It was also recommended for sprains, wounds and skin maladies. Marigolds are antiseptic and antibacterial and are known for their wound healing properties. One can also make a poultice out to the flowers of the marigold for bee stings, burns, and skin infections. Since it is also useful in easing circulation disorders, marigold compresses can be applied to treat varicose veins. When its leaves are taken in as vegetables, they also prove to be medicinal as a remedy in treating tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands. (Wikipedia)
The silent message of the marigold flower is to heal, mind, body and soul ~ to know spirit ~ and to blossom by sharing the divine beauty you have inside of you with the world.
I have been thinking about my spirituality a lot lately and find myself floundering and naturally you were the first person I thought of. I was hoping you could suggest a book or website that could help me in my search. I am looking for something more woman oriented that focuses on what worship is instead of how we worship. Something that is about inclusion.
I poured a cup of coffee and sat to think about books. I closed my eyes and this is what came:
Worship is the outpouring of one’s heart in the direction of Creation Which is the Creator.
This requires expansive thinking – if we think at all. (Often this expansiveness comes when the thinking processes are not engaged in cogitating, ruminating, intellectualizing. Rather is comes when we wonder, expect, delight, love.)
We expand our thinking to include All That Is: The Creator and Creation are One and the same Thing: Light.
As we open ourselves to the possibility of Light being That Which Causes All Things to Be and is at the center of all things, hearts, atoms, quarks, etc., then our hearts expand to hold more. And more. And more. And as we gaze upon the More, we respond – in Joy. Our very Being quakes and quivers to give song and voice to That Which has thrilled us so. This is Love — pure and simple. This is the magnetic response of Beings to their Creator of Whom they are simply an extension – like a wave is to the ocean, like our breaths are to the air. This is not something we DO; This is something we ARE.
Let there be Light and there was Light.
It has taken deliberate effort on my part to move from the God of the Old Testament to a God who is Creation Itself. Not God in creation, God as Creation. Indelibly, indivisibly linked to and expressing as Itself outwardly in manifold, diverse forms.
So, with each bit of light that reflects off of something in the world (like snow!), we catch a glimpse of God. This is what is good and true and of good report. And this is what we think on and embrace – with all our hearts and minds and souls. This is worship.
All forms of worship, no matter how big or little are designed to give homage to This. Poorly designed, ecstatic, orgiastic, minimal, exorbitant, or extravagant. “Holy, Holy, Holy . . . heaven and earth are full of your glory.” So in the fullness of our ecstasy, we cry, “Hosanna in the Highest.” Alleluia!
Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High.
This Which we call Most High is not a person; This is not one being, grand and glorious, with all the attributes of a parent, loving and nurturing, strict and punishing. This Is Creation, created in the fullness of glory to be the Body and Blood of Everything. This is Godhead, Son and Spirit as the very one and the same, and we are It.
We live in glory with the Creator as the Creation, beloved and beautiful, whole and shining. The only separation between It and us is when we separate ourselves from It and try to exist without It – on our own as gods in our own separate realms. We really cannot. It is impossible – although our minds and hearts may convince us it is so. We cannot. For even a droplet of water – thrown up as spray, evaporated into mist, must fall as rain and eventually be reunited to the Source.
This, my dear friend, is worship, and no book, no person, no thing can lead you to this, except communion with Yourself. It is an Inside Job. Pure and simple. What is good and true – think on these things. Seek God and you will find; ask and It will be given. Knock and Whole worlds of Godness and God expression will be opened to you – clearly and brightly and fully. This is the Love that has been given to us – to show us that when a piece of the Creator God is pushed into personhood, through a tortuous process of incarnation, and separation, it will ultimately and completely return to the Source in glory. This is the Why, the What and the How. Hold these things and ponder them in your heart. This is worship.