Meeting New Life

Sophia1On Valentine’s Day (how lovely!) we welcomed Sophia Joie into our family.  She’s impossibly tiny and utterly perfect.

My second grandchild.  My first granddaughter.  Wonderful.

Of course a new arrival sends any family into overdrive, especially when there are also the needs of a wildly excited and exuberant three-year-old big brother to consider, so I stuck around for a few days, helping out where I could.

It wasn’t until my final night there, when her Mum and Dad were in desperate need of a few hours sleep, that I spent a long, silent and special time connecting with her.

It was well after midnight and she wouldn’t settle in her cot.  So I sat cross-legged on a spare mattress in the dark, silent house, cradling her in my arms and rocking her gently.

She’d been crying for ages.  It took a while for her breathing to settle and her heartbeat to return to normal.  Then she gave a couple of miniature sighs and nestled down.

I felt the warmth of her little body and meditated on the magic of a whole new beginning for this little being.  All was pure potential.  She had burst into this world to experience and achieve who-knows-what.  She was only a few days away from having been pure spirit, yet now here she was, in a perfectly fitting suit of human skin, ready to play the game we call Life.

Gradually I became aware that my hands were tingling where they touched her.  I could feel – I don’t know what to call it – Life Force perhaps?  Light?  Love?  The names don’t matter.  All I knew was that something wonderful and powerful was pouring into me from this tiny body and it was moving straight to my heart.

IMG_20150214_151558Perhaps we’d been so caught up in catering for her physical needs that we’d forgotten that she had so much to give to us.

Tiny she may be, but I was moved by the power she holds within and the love she has brought to our physical world.

Perhaps that’s why everyone is so moved by seeing tiny babies; they are still so close to being pure love, pure spirit.

 

 

 

In another life…

Tipis painted by George Catlin who visited a n...

I wonder which side of the fence you’re on.

‘Past Lives’ is one of those subjects that tends to divide people pretty squarely into those on the one side who roll their eyes and mutter, “Oh yeah – always Pharaohs or Native American chiefs.  Why never a road sweeper from Luton in the 1920s?”, and people on the other side who are more than eager to discuss their latest regression to a lifetime in days of yore.

Me?  I’ve been on a knife edge between sceptic and believer.  I’ve always had sympathy with the non-believers, and their point is a valid one.  You never DO find mystics who regress you to road sweeping or pig-farming days, and statistically, there must have been far more of these over the centuries.  On the other hand, I’ve been convinced by too many personal experiences and trusted channelled messages.  I do believe in reincarnation and while I don’t go off hunting my other lives out, they do tend to find me, once in a while.

In the last week, it finally dawned on me why the ‘past’ lives we hear about take place at some pivotal and celebrated point in the world’s history.  It’s so blindingly obvious, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out.  Never mind, I’m there now, so what follows is my explanation.

Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) was a psychic of the 2...

Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) was a psychic of the 20th century and made many highly publicized predictions.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently bought a slim and elderly book entitled Edgar Cayce on Atlantis.  It was written by his son in the 1960s and claims to bring together all his comments on the fabled land, mostly from his ‘entity life readings’ – what would now be called channelled past life information.

The sceptic in me raised a quizzical head when I read in the introduction that over 50% of the people he did readings for had – according to Cayce – past lives in Atlantean times.  As I read on through the book, I noticed that almost all these lives were said to take place around times of huge upheaval – just prior to, during or after one of three cataclysmic events in which vast parts of the Atlantean lands were destroyed, apparently by weaponry or technology invented by the inhabitants.

Cayce’s subjects all seem to have belonged to one of two warring factions.  A sizeable proportion were priests or priestesses, while most of the rest were what would now be seen as engineers, technologists or scientists of some kind – many personally associated with the building or maintenance of the weaponry which caused the destructions.

Obviously we have all heard the legends of the sinking of Atlantis and some will have read other accounts of scientific experiments or technology being tragically misused in various ways in those far-off times.  It seemed to me rather odd, though, that all these people – living in the first half of the 20th century – should have such similar past lives.

Then I thought on.

Has everyone had other lives? How many have we had?  This is the reply Neale Donald Walsch received in Conversations With God, Book 1:

“It is difficult to believe there is still a question about this. I find it hard to imagine. There have been so many reports from thoroughly reliable sources of past life experiences. Some of these people have brought back strikingly detailed descriptions of events, and such completely verifiable data as to eliminate any possibility that they were making it up or had contrived to somehow deceive researchers and loved ones.

You have had 647 past lives, since you insist on being exact. This is your 648th. You were everything in them.  A king, a queen, a serf. A teacher, a student, a master. A male, a female. A warrior, a pacifist. A hero, a coward. A killer, a savior. A sage, a fool. You have been all of it!”

That makes sense to me.  Given this plethora of past lives to select from, then, and the era in which Cayce was working, it’s unsurprising that these particular lives were pAble, atomic bomb detonated in 1946 by the US ...ulled out of the psychic bag.  In the twenties, thirties and forties, weapons technology was developing at an alarming pace.  The first WMDs were created.  Of all the lives these individuals had experienced, surely the cataclysmic destruction of a civilisation provided them with exactly the warnings they needed.

There is no way for us to know whether some of the people Cayce spoke to in his ‘sleep’ went on to avert another series of catastrophes, but I like to think they did.

If there is any value in hearing about our past lives, surely it is to find the events that can help us to make positive and informed decisions in our current lifetime.  That has certainly been the case for me.

 

 

 

Minglish!

English: William-Adolphe Bouguereau's La leçon...

Sam and I invented Minglish.  I teach him for an hour a week after school and as we only have that short time to build up his skills in both maths and English, I sometimes have to find ways of combining the two in a single piece of work.  Minglish is – obviously – a hybrid of maths and English.

Right now, I’m being tasked with teaching him his four times table, improving his reading skills and expanding his vocabulary so that he uses more exciting and adventurous descriptive words in his creative writing.  I’ve spent most of today dreaming up a way of combining the ‘three rs’ in a way that should appeal to Sam (inasmuch as the four times table ever could).

Since that leaves me little time for blogging, I thought you might like to join Sam on the adventure I’ve planned for him.  Hopefully as, over the next few weeks, he reads the words, finds suitable vocabulary to fill the gaps, answers sums and memorises the numbers, he may make progress in all three targets.  Not exactly the style of teaching I’d choose, left to my own devices, but needs must when the National Curriculum drives.

If you’re an educator or parent, feel free to copy or adapt, although a mention of the originator would be kind and obviously passing it off as your own work or making a profit from it would not.

 

Sam was wandering along the ______________ path, when a _________________ dragon swooped towards him.

“What on earth…?” _____________ Sam.

“I am Foraytes,” the creature ____________. “I have come to help you with a problem you’re having.   I have come to teach you your 4 x table.”

Sam groaned ______________.   “Thanks, but honestly, please don’t bother.”

Foraytes let out a _______________ shriek and grabbed Sam’s shoulders in his _______________ claws.  

 “I will teach you, whether or not you choose to learn!” he cried _______________.

 “Right, okay, fine,” said Sam ______________. He decided it would be best not to annoy this creature.   Miserably, he sat down on the _______________ ground.

 “Can you count in twos?” asked Foraytes, settling down in front of Sam.

“Sure – easy,” said Sam, and did so. “___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___.”

 “That will do,” said Foraytes ______________. “Now say them again, but this time miss out the 2 and every alternate number.”

This was harder, but Sam had a go: ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___.

 “Oh!” ____________ Sam.   “I just counted in fours, didn’t I?”

“Indeed you did,” ______________ the creature, with a reptilian smile. Then it pointed a wing towards the distance and said something that sounded like ‘Fort Ooze.’

“Huh?” said Sam.   “Where?”

Foraytes hopped up and down in ____________. “Say 8,” he shrieked. “When someone says Fort Ooze, you must reply 8. It’s the password.”

“Oh, four twos!” Sam ___________ . “I get it! Yeah – Fort Ooze. Eight.”

 “That’s better,” ____________ the creature. “Now go to Fort Ooze and remember the password.”

Sam thanked him and headed in the direction Foraytes was pointing. He didn’t much like the sound of Fort Ooze, but he still wanted to ______________.

“By the way,” Foraytes called after him. “Do you know Fort Ends?”

Sam thought for a moment.   “OH, you mean four tens,” he ____________. “It’s ____.”

He heard the flapping of wings as the ______________ creature rose into the sky.

Sam walked ______________ along the path leading to Fort Ooze. Eventually he came to a wide river.   The only bridge was broken and had a huge gap in the centre.

 There was a rowing boat tied to a post on his side though. Next to it was a tall ______________ box with this notice on it.

Five Oars.

Insert correct change in the slot.

 

Sam was getting used to this by now.

“I think it means Five Fours,” he _____________. He took a _____p coin from his pocket and put it in the slot on the box. The door swung open ____________ and Sam grabbed a couple of the oars and started to row across.

He tied the boat up _____________ at the other side and kept walking.

After half an hour or so, he heard something above him. At first he thought it was Foraytes again, but he looked up to see a ____________ dragon who looked much younger and more friendly.

“Hi,” called the small dragon, “Are you Sam? I bet you are. You met my uncle Foraytes, didn’t you?”

Sam managed to nod before the creature carried on, “Thought so. Can you work out how old my uncle is?   If you can, I’ll tell you my name.   Then you’ll be able to figure out my age, too. Isn’t this fun!”

Sam smiled in a ____________ way. “So your uncle is called Foraytes. That sounds like four eights. So I’m guessing he is ____ years old,” he replied.

The little dragon clapped all of its wings together. “You’re clever! Now guess my age. Go on, go on! My name is Wunfor.”

“Then I think you must be ____ years old,” ____________ Sam.

 “Oh you’re VERY clever!” squealed Wunfor. “Tell me all the bits you’ve learned.”

Sam sighed. “OK. I know Wunfor – one four is ____. Two fours, I mean Fort Ooze is ____. Then I found five oars – five fours – was ____, Foraytes – four eights – that’s ____ and Fort Ends, wherever that is, is four tens, which is _____.”

“Fort Ends is quite near here,” Wunfor told him. “Do you want a lift? I could carry you on my back, you know.   I’m ___________ strong!”

By now Sam’s legs were aching __________, so he was happy to accept a lift. They flew far above the treetops and the lands below looked like ________________.

“See that place with the four tall pine trees over there?” Wunfor shouted. “It’s called Four Trees.”

“That makes sense,” said Sam. “Is it ____ miles away by any chance?”

 “Wow! You’re magic!” _________ the young dragon. How did you know that?”

“Four Trees sounds like four ___s,” grinned Sam.

 “Well you’re going to do fine on the rest of the journey if you’re that __________,” Wunfor told Sam. “Here we are now. This is Fort Ends.”

They landed by some ruined stones.

“There was a _________ fort here once,” said Wunfor ___________, “but it ended ____ years ago. You need to keep walking in that direction, Sam.   Oh, and if you run into my grumpy Uncle Sevenforce, just shout 28 at him as loud as you can, then he will leave you in peace.”

“What if I forget?” Sam asked _____________.

Wunfor shook his head.   “Well you know most dragons breathe fire? He does that with a force seven gale thrown in, so you’d better remember!”

 Sam thanked the __________ dragon and hurried down the road. “Sevenforce 28, Sevenforce 28,” he kept muttering under his breath.

He noticed a gate across the road ahead. A very posh looking man stood next to it.

 “Hello,” said Sam, _____________. “Please can I go through the gate?”

The man had the poshest accent Sam had ever heard. “Fwar Fwars,” he said.

“Er, sorry?” Sam ___________.

 “Fwar Fwars!” repeated the man crossly.

 Suddenly Sam understood.   “Oh, you mean four fours! That’s ____.”

The man stuck his nose in the air and walked across slowly to open the gate.

“Thanks Mister,” Sam __________ and he carried on along the ___________ road.

By this time Sam was getting hungry and thirsty. He’d been travelling for ages.  He saw a small cottage ahead, with brightly coloured chairs and tables outside. There were red umbrellas over each table.   ___________ he went and sat down at one.

 A smiling waitress appeared almost immediately. “What can I get you, Sir?”

“I’d like a lemonade, please and slice of chocolate cake.” Sam __________.

“Certainly, Sir,” the waitress ___________. “Our lemonade costs six times four pence and the cakes are all nine times four pence. We also have coffee and walnut and lemon drizzle cake.”

“Your prices are very good!” exclaimed Sam, hunting in his pocket for the money. He took out ____ pence for the lemonade and _____ pence for the cake. “I’ll stick with the chocolate cake, thanks.   I __________ chocolate.”

 “Thank you Sir. I hope you enjoy your rest at the Fourpenny Café.”

 Sam had just taken a mouthful of the ____________ chocolate cake when there was a rushing sound behind him and the fiercest dragon you can imagine landed beside him.

Sam was so startled, he sprayed cake crumbs all over the table. “_____” he said, as soon as he had stopped coughing.

“So you’ve heard my name!” __________ the dragon. “Yes, I am Sevenforce. How much is the cake?”

“Er, it’s nine times four pence,” Sam said.

“Which is…?” The dragon’s eyes narrowed _____________.

____” he replied ___________. And the lemonade was six times four, which is ____.”

“Hmm, not bad,” said Sevenforce. “I may pop back for some later.   Right now I have some burning issues to attend to.” And to Sam’s relief, he flew off in another direction.

 After his snack, Sam found it was an easy downhill walk to Fort Ooze.

“Password!” shouted a familiar voice.

___” replied Sam, ___________.

 “Well remembered,” smiled Foraytes, peering down at him from one of the battlements. Let’s see what you’ve learned.”

Sam smiled. “I know how old you are, Foraytes. You’re _____. And your nephew Wunfor is ____. You have a scary brother and he’s called _____________. I had to shout ____ to stop myself getting burned by him.”

“Excellent,” Foraytes replied. “How many pence did it cost to hire the five oars?”

“Well I only used 2 of them, but 5 x 4 is ____. And I had to get past that posh bloke who said ‘fwar fwars’ by saying ____. Oh and the cost of lemonade is ___x 4, which is ____ and the cake costs ____ x 4 which is ____.”

“Superb,” __________ the dragon. What places did you see?”

 “I got a lift to Fort Ends, which is 4 x 10, which is ____. Oh and we saw Four Trees ____ miles away.”

“Congratulations.”   Foraytes bowed before him (32 times).   “Here is your prize, young Sam.”

And to Sam’s delight, the dragon gave him four wings, which fitted perfectly, so that he could fly straight home.

 

 

Imbolc – Stirring Stuff

English: Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals...

It would be difficult, living where I do, not to be aware of Imbolc.

I’m neither Wiccan nor Pagan.  I’m not anything that has a code of beliefs, special days, rituals or particular observances; I’m simply a soul, part of which is being human for the time being.  That, though, doesn’t stop me from enjoying aspects of the beliefs others hold and Imbolc is one of my favourites, because it resonates deeply with my own feelings at this time of year.

It lies midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and marks the first stirrings of the year, as the Earth wakes from its winter sleep (at least, here in the Northern Hemisphere it does).

English: Catkins

That stirring is evident all around Glastonbury.  Catkins, snowdrops and new lambs – even a few early daffodils can be seen, despite the biting winds and frozen ground.  All of them signals that winter is passing, days are lengthening and spring is not too far away.

Surely I’m not alone, though, in feeling that same stirring within myself.  A month ago, when everyone was heralding the New Year, new beginnings, resolutions and the like, I’d cheerfully have snuggled up in bed, content to dream the days away – happy to hibernate and mirroring the Earth in its need for a deep slumber to recover from a frenetic year of growth and build strength for the times to come.

Now, though, I’m restless.  I want to read – make new discoveries and connections.  I want to travel, internally and externally – visit unfamiliar places or find new routes to the old ones.  I want to study, learn and share new ideas, visions and insights.

The cottage is a chaotic mass of new projects – everything from knitting a fantasy rainforest (to decorate an empty hallway 🙂 ) to scribbled notes on Atlantis; from exploring crystal technology to fine-tuning my ideas for educating Version 2.0 children.  Nothing has blossomed yet or come to fruition.  It’s far too early for that, but beneath the surface, all is seething movement and activity.

In my heart, body, mind and soul I’m marking this magical time of the year and celebrating these stirrings that welcome the new, as the seasons turn again.