Twin Forces

Together these two forces are locked in perpetual combat seeking to overcome each other. But this is impossible, for each carries the seed of the other within it. – The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, by Martin Palmer

Twin forces are needed to create life. These two forces are equal – yin and yang. The yin is the feminine force – the mother. And the yang is a masculine force – the father. The balance and blending of these energies create life.

Martin Palmer, in the book, The Jesus Sutras, says, “The Stone spells out the Chinese belief that when yin and yang were created, the lighter vapors of yang rose to form Heaven and the sun, the heavier vapors of yin sank to form the Earth and the moon. The yang sun creates day, and the yin moon creates night.” Both energies support life on Earth.

The mysteries of the moon and its strong connection to women must be honored again. The moon is like a womb – giving birth to new possibilities.

According to Taoism, the Trinity is the yin, yang, and qi (life breath).

Tao Te Ching
The Tao gives birth to the One, the Origin.
The One, the Origin, gives birth to the Two.
The Two give birth to the Three.
The Three give birth to every living thing.
All things are held in yin and carry yang:
And they are held together in the qi of teeming energy.

Namaste world.

Sun Temple

Sun Temple at the Mesa Verde National Park

Two nights ago (during a dream), I received a message about God. The simple message said, “God is light.” I felt at peace when I received that message. I’m still processing the meaning of the message.

The sun was also part of my dream. In my dream, I said, “I knew that the sun was special.” I remember seeing the Sun Temple at the Mesa Verde National Park in August 2021 (see the photo above). It was a very sacred and mystical place.

There’s so much to learn about the Sun Temple. According to http://www.nps.gov, modern Pueblo Indians said the Sun Temple was a ceremonial structure. The walls were originally between 11 and 14 feet high. Modern concrete covers the top of the walls to prevent moisture from going into the walls.

The Sun Temple has many geological features, which I find interesting. The Pueblo people took the time to make this ceremonial site. What did they think about the sun? How does it connect with sacred geometry or the cosmos?

Sun Temple at Mesa Verde National Park

In another part of my dream, I found myself in a deep hole in the Earth. I could see the light at the top. My friend Jennifer (who died two years ago) and I were almost to the top of the shaft. We had to climb up on small metal wire steps. I woke up from the dream before we reached the opening.

Dreams tap into our subconscious mind. Part of our realization is finding out who we really are. It will take time to see our brilliant souls once again – like taking a rough diamond and polishing it until it’s radiant.

Without the sun (light), there is no life on Earth. The sun is like an entity in many ways. Our ancient ancestors celebrated the sun more than we do today. Do modern humans take the sun for granted? How can we reclaim the mysteries of the sun and the moon?

Here are some examples of ancient art with the sun disk:

In ancient art, the sun disk is always near the human head. It can be referred to as a “halo.” According to the dictionary, the halo is “a disk or circle of light shown surrounding or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent holiness.” It can also mean “a circle of white or colored light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.” In both definitions, “light” is emphasized.

God is light.

Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself, God. He created everything there is - nothing exists that he didn't make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness - and the darkness can never extinguish it. - John 1:5

Namaste world.

Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

The following article was submitted for publication – but it did not get published (until now).

Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

By Gina M. Gafford

No matter how much we experience the mysteries of life and consciousness, we will always find there is more, a next step, another doorway, a deeper level. – William Lee Rand

When I travel alone, I call on Reiki to guide me and protect me. In August 2021, I connected to Reiki during a sweat lodge experience at the Traveling Shamans Camp in Hotchkiss, Colorado. The Traveling Shamans Camp is an annual festival for healers, visionaries, artists, and storytellers. While I was at the Traveling Shamans Camp, I attended many workshops and events.

I was a little nervous about doing a sweat at the festival because I was a solo traveler. I decided to go, but I permitted myself to back out at any time. Please note that I was not allowed to take any photos during the sweat lodge experience. Also, I was aware of the risk of getting the Coronavirus. Even though I was in a small group, I took as many precautions as possible.

The sweat was on a Saturday evening. To prepare for the sweat lodge, I only ate a small breakfast and drank a lot of water. I followed the map to the sweat lodge site. When I got there, the man at the house said the map was wrong. He drew a new map for me to follow. However, if I didn’t find the sweat lodge, I would go back to my hotel. But I did find the sweat lodge site at a farm out in the country.

When I got to the farm, people were waiting around for the rocks to heat up. For most of the attendees, this was their first sweat lodge experience (a total of 14 people). For me, it was my fourth sweat. My last sweat lodge experience was 25 years ago.

While I was waiting, I befriended a young woman in her early twenties, whom I will call Sunny. She was feeling scared about the sweat. She said she didn’t like the heat – she was fair-skinned with strawberry blond hair. I told her everything that I knew about the sweat lodge, and I said I would be there for her during the sweat. I found new confidence as a mentor. I couldn’t give up now!

Sunny and I joined a small group of women standing near the sweat lodge. A Native American woman, whom I’ll call Wolf Woman, was a shaman in New Mexico. She asked us if we were on our period. Wolf Woman said that women on their menstrual flow shouldn’t join the sweat lodge. She said that women are already in a purification process – they don’t need to do a sweat. Also, during a woman’s period, she is suffering for the people. If she joins the sweat lodge, people may feel sick or get pain in their abdomen. Sunny and I reassured her that we were not on our moon cycle.

As the sun began to set, we lined up to go into the dark dome. I asked Reiki to guide and protect all of us. In my mind, I activated the Reiki symbols by thinking of their names, and I envisioned a blue light of protection around the sweat lodge. I told myself, “Here we go,” as I followed the line around the sweat lodge, and then at the door, I put my head to the Earth and said, “All my relations.”

As I settled on the blanket, I could feel the heat of the glowing rocks. The rocks are “grandfather rocks” because they are so old – older than human beings. During the sweat, the assistant who stayed outside helped bring in the rocks. The Cherokee shaman who was leading the sweat lodge asked the attendant to close the door.

It was dark. I closed my eyes to settle my nerves, and I took three deep breaths. Several fears flashed before me. I was afraid that I might faint, have to go to the hospital, or even die. I had to work through those fears. To come back to the present moment and refocus, I told Sunny, who sat next to me, to only breathe through her nose. Also, if she got too hot, she could curl into a fetal position or put her face close to the ground.

The Cherokee shaman poured water on the rocks and the rocks steamed. Wolf Woman sprinkled sage on the rocks. I could feel myself start to sweat as the smell of sage filled the lodge. The sweat lodge is like a womb – it’s dark, warm, and wet. Once inside, everyone prays, sings, and chants. The shaman uses a drum or a rattle to kick the brain into an altered state.

To start this sweat, the shaman shook his rattle and sang in Cherokee. Everyone sang with him – even if we didn’t know the words. Then the shaman passed the rattle around so everyone could have a chance to pray. When it was my turn to pray and sing, I sang the Gayatri Mantra three times. I expressed the need for people to have hope, even amid chaos – just like I saw in India. I said we need hope in our hearts, even when things get tough. Other people sang, prayed for their loved ones, and prayed for the world – especially for world peace. We passed the rattle to seven people, and then the door opened.

The door is lifted four times during the two to three-hour sweat (along with adding more hot rocks). The number four is important because it represents the four directions (North, South, West, and East). The sweat lodge is for purification. It is to let go of things we don’t need and to have a fresh start.

After the door was closed, the shaman poured more water on the rocks. It started to get very hot. The rattle was passed to seven more people to pray. I stayed in the present moment and listened to each person sing or pray. I could handle the heat if I just stayed focused.

The shaman poured more water on the hot rocks, and it was hard to breathe. I went inward to meditate. Many of the participants put their faces closer to the ground. At one point, a young man shouted out to open the door. The shaman listened to the man and opened the door. The assistant gave each of us a bottle of water.

I drank my water and chatted with Sunny, who was doing well. I thought the sweat was over. I felt so relieved! Well, the shaman ordered more hot rocks, and the assistant closed the door. Oh, man! It was already too hot! I went back into my meditation and added a mantra. I was at my edge – where things were getting tough. I told myself I could do it.

Finally, the shaman did the closing ritual, and we each crawled out of the lodge. We were wet and warm like a newborn. The air felt refreshing, and I could feel the weight of my soaked dress. I felt calm, light, and clear-headed.

Before we all departed, everyone stood in a semi-half circle as each person took their turn to shake hands (like a wedding reception line). When it was my turn to shake hands, I gave each person a message. When I saw Sunny, I told her that she was glowing like an angel. I was so proud of her for finishing her first sweat! She told me that I was a blessing, and she thanked me for helping her.

I learned from my past sweat lodge experiences to give the shaman a gift. So, I gave the shaman tobacco and money for his travels. I thanked him for leading the sweat.

When I connect with Reiki, I get a key (Ki) to open the door to self-realization – just like the door to the sweat lodge. Then I need to ask myself, “Am I brave enough to step into the dark and the unknown?” I know Reiki keeps me safe and helps me connect to the unified field of energy. William Lee Rands says, “Over time, you will learn from experience that the guidance of Reiki is worthy of your trust. Once you have surrendered completely, you will have entered The Way of Reiki.”

I am grateful to Reiki and for the sweat lodge experience. Participating in sweats encourages me to stay on my spiritual path. I also realize how brave I am! Even though the unknown is scary sometimes, it also holds an opportunity for spiritual growth. Now I can’t wait to open another door!

Namaste world!