As the world awakens and the population gains more and more access and insight to subtler energies of the changing climate, more and more are embarking on the spiritual path. One of the things I see most prevalent in the spiritual community is either a lack of or inability to comprehend spiritual concept outside the finite boundaries if language. It is so important that we as a population learn to move and translate to ourselves what we are speaking and hearing. The reason being that without the ability to translate we are denying ourselves the opportunity to learn (even within the expanses of our own path).
Granted it is not uncommon for an individual to make reasonable attempts to apply new-found knowledge to their current experience and past conditioning. That's pretty natural. However, there is often a level of self imposed restriction that is enacted when this becomes a home grown dogma. Expanding one's horizons and availability to higher energies and experiences becomes a pipe dream when one cannot escape the bonds of their bubble. Whether it be a contemporary / science-like lexicon, Christian rhetoric, or even a more Pagan language, reservation and repeat resistance to semantics is ultimately crippling the process of expanded awareness.
The trouble is two-fold. While yes, these self-imposed limitations and restrictions do inhibit a personal awakening, it can also make a budding student prey for the opportunists and crap-head profiteers looking to cash in. Think about it, how relieved is anyone to find a service or a teacher who goes out of their way to speak in a way they can comprehend with ease and comfort? Yes that is wonderful. But one must admit there are more than a select few out there looking to make a buck copy-and-pasting out the names of the archangels and extra terrestrials. Playing right into that trigger and nostalgic preference, the unsuspecting seeker may fall victim to an unnecessary life lesson about herd mentality and popularity contests. The responsibility falls on the seeker to be independently motivated and disciplined in their efforts if they are to avoid a con. This may seem elementary to the trained, but it is actually a much more difficult thing to avoid if you are brand new. Experienced practitioners should not approach this subject from a place of condescension, but sympathy. Imagine starting down this path on a fresh start after having your first eye-opener. You're still reeling and excited for the experience, but your whole world just opened up to seemingly endless potentiality. Suddenly, there's a safe zone. That man/woman over there is making a serious effort to stay within the confines of one's religious/spiritual upbringing. This must be a safe place. Now before I go any further I would like to turn to the PC and mention "yes, many of them are. I am not trying to make a sweeping generalized attack". Okay, that's done.
The challenge arises when those who are not in any place to teach and instruct are hoisted into the position of doing so. They are hoisted on a pedestal no less. Now some of these people are trying to teach and offer services immediately following their own initial awakening. Not to put down people who are new, but a lot of them will have a limit of knowledge, wisdom, and experience to offer. Many of them will be repeating word-for-word teachings that had recently opened their personal awareness. Going beyond that is too advanced. So nobody does. It can often breed paralysis (since now this teacher has a following and a practice that is taking up so much time and effort to maintain they are unable to further their own efforts routines the way someone who has cemented and grounded their path has). Suddenly the world shrinks. The Law of Attraction and personal development exercises are toted as "the all". Or perhaps it is an order or a temple looking to only go so far as the theories and formulas of the magicians/authors of yore. Where is the emphasis on personal responsibility for expertise and execution of these workings? What about a practice of integrative mysticism anyway (oh so that's why it's called that)?
Ultimately everybody is going to go through their next eye opening experience. They will go through another, and another, and another. These improve and expand on the teachings of the past. Sometimes they eliminate them. The problem with a lack of capacity for diverse spiritual vocabulary is that it increases the span between these moments of increased empowerment and proficiency. Integration is ideal, but integration is not an easy thing to do when there is perhaps such a short and ultimately superficial difference in experience between the way-shower and the seeker. Please note, experience is not measured in time, it is measured in action, performance, mastery, and proficiency.
The advantage in opening up our capacity for language is that it opens up the capacity to learn without the dependence on semantics for comprehension. One person says "energy work". Another says "manifestation". Another says "magic". Another might say "quantum" something or other. One person works with crystals, another with candles, and another with "nothing". Knee jerk reactions rooted in limited conditioning would inhibit the listener from receiving enlightening information because it would prompt a premature rejection. An individual needs the ability to hear and read the wisdom behind the lore and terminology. It does no good for anyone to reject or close themselves to the next level because it's not wrapped in the "correct" wrapping paper. That's just setting up a popularity contest and a dress code. How blocked and stagnate is the individual who will not hear the wisdom of the universe unless it is delivered in an accustomed and familiar lexicon? How long will one wait for the next "upgrade" to their personal power if it won't come from their comfort zone? A long time. Sometimes forever.
The answer is simple. We must as a community let go of the conditioning and over identification with "grouping" and trying to create the next religion. It's a self damning procedure. Many people don't know they are doing it because they are caught somewhere between "dreaming" and "awake". They're certainly not asleep. But they are not really getting out of bed any time soon either (so long as that condition remains). Multilingual seekers and practitioners are the real masters of their own growth, the pace of that growth, and the efficacy of the work being done. As a community we must let go of the bias and prejudice of language. For if the universe wishes you to learn a truth shown through angels, alchemy, aliens, magic, spells, or the Tao, it will. If one refuses to listen, one can't say the universe isn't trying. Will we?
You'll hear it a lot in astrological, magickal, and spiritual circles, "Thursday's a void moon so I think I'll wait" and so on and so forth. It's a time where one notices that everything carries a certain "emptiness" to it and it can even be visible in public settings. Have you ever gone into the supermarket at an otherwise highly anticipated peak shopping hour only to find that it is completely empty? That's the void moon at work. The atmosphere is noticeably emptier and it almost feels like one is walking through someone else's dream world. It can be a tad strange at times. Fortunately void moons almost never last more than twelve hours at a time (depending on the day and the astrology). You see, a void moon is actually a time when the moon has completed all major aspects and links to other celestial bodies as she moves through each sign in the zodiac (major aspects being trines, conjunctions, oppositions, squares, and sextiles to inner/outer planets, major asteroids, and lunar nodes).
When Can One Anticipate A Void Moon?
As mentioned, more often than not the void moon is an occurrence that lasts most commonly 2-6 hours. There are void moon calendars available on the internet, but it is important to mind one's time zone as it may not be the same as the publisher's. If you have your own way of monitoring astrology, consider the position of the moon during it's 2.5 day transit in the given sign. Do you see any connections to other celestial bodies coming while the moon is here? Yes? Then the void moon won't begin until that has come and gone. No? Then the moon is currently void. As I write this article, we are currently two days passed a New Moon in Aquarius. After which the moon when void for the whole day. That is because for the duration of her stay in Aquarius she had no other "business" to conduct with other planets anywhere else in the current zodiac. It's important to remember that the void moon is always an occurrence in current astrology and is not measured in your natal chart. It is a collective / atmospheric influence. So even though the moon might be getting ready to oppose your Venus or conjunct your Mars according to your personal astrology, if there's nothing going on in the present sky, it is still void.
If you find yourself looking at a chart and find you are in a void moon, it is easy to calculate its duration. The moon travels one degree (also referred to as "orb") every two hours. That is why the lunar cycle is roughly 28 days. It moves quite fast. So look and see where this void moon (sometimes referred to as VoC moon for "void of course") is on the chart. If the moon is void at 27 degrees Aries, for example, it would be approximately six hours until it moved into the next zodiac sign and the void course ends.
Is the Void Moon Good or Bad?
As with the vast majority of astrology (and all spiritual practice), the Void Moon is neutral. There are factors to take advantage of and there are factors to be cautiously mindful of. One of the easiest ways to describe the feeling of the void moon is to say "there will be no ripple effects" to any action or initiative taken during this time. So there may be a need to "hold off" making or initiating new beginnings (especially during a waning void moon) if you want to see them flourish. Here are some lists of do's and don'ts during the void moon. Remember, anything that you want to grow, return, or ripple out should be avoided.
Things That One Can Do To Make the Best of a Void Moon:
The void moon is an excellent time to work unseen and discretely. If you have any business you would like to keep private or from getting out of hand it's an excellent time.
- Clear away undesired negativity in one's social / personal life
- Ask for space from those who are crowding you
- File any complaints or grievances (there is much less chance of a backlash/reprisal)
- Conduct any business you are content with never confronting again
- Deliver difficult news or initiate an ending (such as putting in a job notice)
- Enjoy empty traffic, restaurants, and short lines
Things That One Should Not Do During a Void Moon:
The void moon seldom causes havoc and calamity. Even if it does, it's usually not an individual's personal experience. So do not think it will do any harm. However, because of the lack of atmospheric support and no ripple effect, it can be like planting a seed in bad soil. It may never germinate. If you think there is a void moon coming or occurring, you can use the method indicated above to calculate its duration. Sometimes waiting an extra two hours is worth it.
- Ask anyone out on a date (however you CAN go on the date during the void moon)
- Take a test or interview
- Ask for special favors
- Change or alter one's schedule (such as planning a holiday or move)
- Any intense manifestation / energy work . It won't end badly, it just won't work. If you must, please augment the process with more energy from Crystals, Herbs, and atmospheric enhancements to compensate.
Spiritual Activities That Are Ideal During a Void Moon:
While trying to manifest an intention in the physical might be more challenging, spiritual work of a more intangible nature is beautifully supported during the void moon.
- If you've ever wanted to try Lucid Dreaming, Astral Projection, or Out of Body Experiences of any kind it's a great time because of the lack of "interference"
- Likewise, spirit communication such as mediumship and channeling workings are supported if you would like to have a session with the other side.
- Divination such as scrying & tarot are also great
- Clearing space and house cleanings (to be blessed and protected after the void moon)
Halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox begins to the season of Imbolc, later referred to as Candlemas in Christianity and Groundhog's Day by secular sweethearts (c'mon it's funny). This is the time of year where it becomes clearer and clearer the light has returned and the decay of Winter is returning ever the more to the Earth to be transmuted to begin anew. From February to the Equinox, for many a practitioner, this is the true beginning of Spring. As per that thinking, it is also the time of Spring Cleaning spiritually and physically. It is at this time where one returns (depending on where you live) to the outdoors and prepares their garden and homestead for new growth and planting.
This is particularly a special time of year for me because it is the holiday of my matron, Brigid, goddess of Fire, Light, Healing, Inspiration, and the Forge. It is this time of year where I will be working on purifying myself and my space, renewing old energies, ceremoniously destroying old tools, and "forging" new tools for the year to come.
It is a time of year to literally and figuratively begin planting seeds for manifestation and yield. If you cannot yet plant outdoors, consider nurturing new life in the home to be transplanted in March. Remove the dead and gone from your soil and space and begin amending the works and soil you live on. Imbolc reminds us that we must release to create. We cannot keep taking without giving back. It is in the fires of the forge that what could seem perhaps useless, expired, inert, or useless is transformed and given new life. So to must we work as the forge in our own space.
From now until Ostara (the vernal Equinox), we must also be mindful of how we care for ideals, dreams, and other creative "babies" we have not yet birthed. What kind of world are we bringing those treasures into? If the Vernal Equinox is the rebirth and return of the Sun and God energy, Imbolc is the baby shower. Because that energy is gestating within us and being fed and grown by our own experiences, energy, and environment, Imbolc asks us to take February - March to work in conscious preparation and co-creation to make the best of this growing Light.
What Intentions Are Supported By This Season's Energy?
From Early February through the Equinox it is a time to focus on removal of old weights, blockages, and baggage that are starting to expire in our lives. This is a time to consider refreshing and renewing our space by creating a new arrangement or a new environment for the new Spring. Planting Seeds can be literal or symbolic, as the initiation of a new commitment or manifestation will be surely supported if grounded in the season of Imbolc.
Keywords You Should Remember:
Refresh, Clear, Replace, Renew, Rearrange, Re-structure, Purify, Cleanse, Initiate, Empower, Bless, Heal, and Inspire
Honoring the Goddess Brigid
If it is in your way, or resonates with you in anyway, consider paying honors and love to the Lady of the Flame. Whether you wish to maintain the relationship or consider it a passing visit, she will be a benevolent and loving company to you this season. Her power is in opening the mind through art. If you've ever felt lost or perhaps even a stranger to yourself, meditate on her image. If you wish to do any ceremonial workings, consider acquainting yourself with her this day. See offerings to the Goddess and the nature spirits below.
Customary Offerings & Prayers
It is custom to leave offerings of Milk & Corn to the goddess at night with prayers for healing, protection, and safety of the hearth and home. Some traditions will create a Brigid's Cross (see below) out of organic material and leave it with the offerings to be blessed by the goddess as a protective amulet to be displayed in the home for the following year. Some attest it protects the homestead from disaster, hunger, poverty, & disease.
Leaving offerings for the reawakening earth spirits outside is also advised as to establish a loving and neighborly relationship with the elemental kingdoms.
Other Offerings that Are Acceptable (Though Milk really should be present):
- Liquor (Brandy or Whiskey are best)
Activities, Spells, & Ceremonies Best In the Imbolc Period
Consecration of Holy Tools - In particular, consecration of tools that will be consumed or used throughout the year. This is a great time to charge and bless sacred Candles, Incense, Salt, and Water used for amplifying power and energy in your future workings. This is also a time to consecrate your working candles, meditation tools, healing tools (singing bowls for example), and yes even ritual tools. If you are new to the craft and do not feel ready to charge your own tools, leave them with offerings in a windowsill to be blessed by the Goddess overnight.
Creativity & Art - The Goddess Brigid rules creativity and thus makes a special allotment of energy for the artists, the writers, performers, and creators of the world. She supports all matters of inspiration but also urges the continuation and improvement of talent. This is a great time to bless oneself and abilities for improvement as well as to attract recognition as well as expansion of one's audience/readership. If you are not an artist, creativity still applies to you in many ways. If you feel you are stuck in your spiritual practice, perhaps feeling a block to skills such as visualization or crafting, this applies to you as well.
Reconstituting Old Energies / Spells - If you have old charms, talismans, sachets and tools you carried for the last year (or more), consider that energy and magick are organic things. They will expire over time. Even if fed, no spell is meant to last a lifetime. While magick may expire, it is never destroyed. It will dissipate into the universe over time while some traces remain in your workings. Take this time (especially early February) to consider ceremoniously dismantling and re-charging newer workings with this recycled energy to make the intention and the output all the stronger.
House/Home Protection & Blessing - As a maiden of the hearth, Brigid's time of year is also a time to renew and re-bless the protection and blessings of hearth and home. Perhaps it is time to create a new Witch's bottle or case more salt around the edges of your property? Gridding the home with new crystals as well as protecting your working space (office, studio etc.) are also excellent activities at this time.
Rearranging the Home- Changing the direction of one's bed is well known as a means of halting a psychic attack and to regain ground where one might be "losing" a battle in life. Consider rearranging the entire house and furniture this Imbolc in order to have a brand new year in a brand new home. Study Feng Shui. Bring color into the space to keep the mental and spiritual energies in even step with the season (White, Blue, Red, and Silver are good).
Energy Healing - Any energy healing working will be extremely effective at this time. Because this Imbolc (February 2016) we will be in a waning moon, it will be an excellent time for banishing or releasing illness, Chronic or Acute. After the 8th, the Moon will Wax and it will be an ideal period for drawing in and attracting healing energies to reinvigorate and restore.
Tools and Correspondences
Colors of the Season:
Red - Protection, Energizing, & Empowering
White - Blessing, Healing, Consecration
Blue - Inspiration, Creativity, Wisdom
Gold - Prominence, Prosperity, Good Fortune
Herbs, Incense, & Oil :
For Healing - Rosemary, Lavender, Mint
For Blessing / Consecration - Frankincense, Rose, Carnation
Protection - Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger
Creativity & Art - Lemongrass, Anise, Nutmeg
Stones & Crystals:
Healing - Fluorite, Quartz, Rose Quartz
Blessing / Consecration - Quartz, Citrine
Protection - Tiger's Eye, Black Tourmaline
Creativity & Art - Sodalite, Aventurine
Days of the Week:
Monday - Consecration & Psychic Work
Tuesday - Protection
Wednesday- Creativity & Inspiration
Sunday - Healing & New Beginnings
Full Moons & New Moons
Full Moons are for Culmination, Completion, Evolution, & Endings
New Moons are for New Beginnings, Psychic Work, & Refreshing Energy
February 8 - New Moon in Aquarius
February 22 - Full Moon in Virgo
March 8 - New Moon Solar Eclipse in Pisces
March 23 - Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Libra
Spiritual Community Socially Malnourished. Need More Organic Conversation. Misconceptions of Codependency
The past few months I've always found myself confronting the same issues and complaints regarding the loneliness of the spiritual seeker. Be one a teacher, a service-person, or student, there seems to be a pervasive, unfortunate, and may I say, ironic, disconnect in the communications between individuals and communities on the path. So I always try to do the "enlightened" thing and figure out "well what is going on that makes this such a thing" in so many peoples' experience.
Fear Trends and Self Protection
It's only natural to shelter oneself when overcoming a sensitive and difficult time. It is wise even, to cloister away when one is in need of healing and maintenance. There is no question in that. However, there is perhaps a need to address the unfortunate truth that these periods can last far too long and only serve to pro-port the illusion of separation by enacting it in the every day.
Many modern spiritual teachings argue the heavier and more restrictive the boundaries, the better. Don't talk to people who don't speak your language. Stay away from anyone who might make you feel challenged or tested. Anybody who is anybody worth keeping will say and do everything as you do (therefor truly positive connections have no lessons or education in them?). This expectation, nay, edict of new societal and relationship conditioning is actually nothing more than a pallet swap of our old conditioning. It's not as though churches, governments, and tradition hadn't tried this kind of thing before, right? Many folk wouldn't be on this path if they hadn't seen the failings in those teachings anyway.
So I ask why are we doing it again? Well I think whether one is new to the path or not is irrelevant. One might argue a great deal of teachings from those who have only recently begun their work (recently being 10 years or less) may still be operating from cultural or media conditioning. However there are plenty of "long term" folks on the list as well (10 years or more). So obviously this is not a discussion reserved for the folks who have just arrived. Absolutely not.
One might assert that many of the 21st century spiritual conditions are rooted in attempts to adapt or perhaps accommodate fear based philosophy and survival programs. That accommodation has and is still evolving, however, to fertilize the perpetual self talk of "protect yourself" and "you are not safe" and "trust no one".
Does anybody actually know what codependency really is?
Does a twenty two year old have any business giving advice on how to have a lasting marriage or raise a child?
Why with all the effort to shift away from a corrupt and broken matrix are people still trying to win at a losing game clawing at the sale on twin flames and lottery tickets?
Listening to fear, catering to fear, it's still a marketplace. If one isn't being sold "abundance" as a prescription for winning the grid game, they are being sold on how lonely and isolated they are, and that the only way to stop feeling that way is to isolate themselves further. So more loneliness, more desperation, and more self protection compound until it's just the same computer with an updated graphics card. In fact, it might be even worse than that. Closeness is a commodity even in the spiritual community. I know I'm using many generalities, but if you look and see, many folks are competing with a sense of scarcity. Only now, they are competing for that precious energy in addition to material resources. We are no longer on a journey with each other, but next to each other.
I can't tell you how many truly gifted spiritual folk, both new and experienced, who have the same complaint about not feeling the love in community. Repressed and suppressed, we pull apart for fear of that taboo topic of investment in another human being. Protect yourself and do you they say!
I recall a quote from Sinead o'connor in an old interview with Ruby Wax about mental illness and social stigma in general (I like to play interviews while I'm cleaning house. Yes, spring cleaning comes in January for me):
"I believe we were all put here on Earth to keep each other company... We are a lonely people... frankly, I'm sorry we live in single family houses."
"So true!" I thought. This age of isolation has been gestating for decades, so don't think I'm going to go on a rant about digital communications, cell phones, and social media (I don't think something THAT obvious needs too much mention). We can all agree it takes a village. However we must also acknowledge we have been slowly but diligently destroying that village since the 1980s. Understand as well, if you please, that this is not about the "family unit", divorce, or anything of the sort, there is more to a village than any marriage or nuclear family.
The Need for Authentic, Honest Care & Input in Everyday Communication has Become Critical
Do you like it? I don't. I think it's funny yet not at the same time. I was actually having "angry giggles" of frustration as I made this image because it is so sad yet so true. Who hasn't spent time wishing they could be closer to people and share in some real dialogue only to be hit with a copy & paste job of somebody else's repeating inner monologue.
So many modern spiritual teachers, authors, "visionaries" (ugh), and coaches are also operating from this space of "protect yourself, conserve your energy, and avoid this and that". For those in any place of recovery and vulnerability, this can be very necessary. That I will attest. But keeping an individual in that place, nay, keeping a community in that place of always healing yet never healed, is actually a symptom of conditioning begetting more conditioning. Some predators may desire it of you just as any pharmaceutical corporation would want you to keep taking the pills. In both cases, ask yourself, is this new Prozac really the way? It's almost as though there is yet another market hoping to make a living off of the unwell staying so. Why would anyone get hooked on it? Because it works for a little while, but not for all time.
Trendy Lies : Closeness = Codependency
Let's talk about the fear of being seen as codependent and what codependency is and is not. The reason I think this needs to be discussed because so many individuals fear closeness and social intimacy because they are in deep fear of repeating the past. People risk getting hurt when they get close to anybody. This is not just about love and romantic relationships, it happens in family and platonic relationships as well. It may be tempting to assume age, gender, status, and orientation are a factor in these situations, but they are not. The scars and scares can be found anywhere and everywhere if one pays attention outside their personal statistic (see we're already breaking the rules).
What Co-dependency is:
Attitudes or actions that may actually DEPEND on a partner, friend, adult child, or parent to somehow depend on the co-dependent individual. Co-dependent individuals often need to feel like they are the line of defense between the other in their lives and disaster.
Example: An individual feels threatened when their partner/child/friend no longer needs them for running errands because they are taking steps to accomplish these tasks on their own.
Being a conscious enabler of toxic behavior in a partner, friend, child, or parent in the attempt to maintain the attachment/relationship and to feel loved, secure, and useful.
Example: A man provides alcohol for his alcoholic brother because it will earn him appreciation, attention, and loyalty from him.
Fear of health, recovery, or advancement in the other for fear of being "left behind".
Example: An insecure and codependent young woman may fear losing her boyfriend because he is trying to expand his education and further his career when she has become accustomed to being "more educated" .
Possessiveness of another individual's time or attention for fear of loss due to previous experience with abandonment and betrayal.
What Co-dependency is not:
Seeking comfort and affection when one is feeling frightened, hurt, or anxious.
Example: A woman calls her friend because she found out her job may be compromised due to a recent buyout by another corporation. She wants to talk it out and brainstorm with her friend and constructively plan her next steps in the worst case scenario.
Giving time, empathy, and energy to a friend/partner/child who is having a hard time.
Example: A young man reschedules his dinner meeting to comfort his friend who just found out his father has a terminal illness.
Making a sacrifice, compromise, or contribution to a friend/partner/child who is in need:
Example: A couple agrees to delay their holiday vacation to help their neighbor repair their home after a weather disaster.
Spending time, energy, and effort considering an individual who is not present:
Example: A girl takes time on her lunch break to help her friend shop around for a new home after learning her friend needs to move in a hurry.
This is not pop-psychology, this is psychology. Considering these things, couldn't one attest that any person enabling the fear of closeness as actually acting as a mass co-dependent? The illusion of separation is fortified in its strength and intensity by encouraging more isolation and more scarcity philosophy. Who has time to give any care when there's so much self care to be done? And how much is ever enough? Perhaps the new industry is ensuring the attention and investment of the individual's willingness to stay alone, withdrawn, and withholding.
Treat Yourself to Raw, Organic Conversations & Relationships Please!
One should not tolerate artificial ingredients, preservatives, and other "protective" poisons in their food, why should they accept it in their relationships? Spirit implores us to find connected-ness at this time and get back to our natural communal and togetherness state of being. Illusions need energy to maintain themselves. Any school of mysticism will tell you that. So stop feeding the need for that illusion and ditch the contrived notion of societal conditioning and separation. Tell your loved ones how you feel about them. Tell someone you love them ESPECIALLY when it makes you feel uncomfortable to do so. Love is the only truth. Hide not behind doctored quotations and correspondence, give your own honest and thought out feelings from the heart. Ditch the transactional nature of the norms rooted in alliances of convenience. The time for closeness is now and the need has only grown as the years go by.
The notion of loneliness and separation only exists because we allow it to. Take some courage and attempt oneness outside of the safety of a cloistered bubble, ethernet cable, and bloated boundaries. How's that for self care? I love you all, and what I would love nothing more is to see you all openly and honestly love each other in action.
Click Below to Contribute to The Crowdfund Campaign!
I had a thought today while I was scrambling to catch up on forum discussions (I'm trying guys! haha). In the past I (and Chris) have tried a crowdfunding campaign or two to raise funds to promote affordable and accessible spiritual events and centers. The topic of crowdfunding always intrigues me because it is both inspiring and nerve-wracking at the same time. One the one hand, I don't want to be a pest. On the other, it would take such an effort to make these kinds of services and events more accessible to the people who are dedicated. Have you ever checked the prices on some of these retreats? 800 dollars to participate but room and board is not included. Add that retreat, hotel, transport, and flight together and you may have yourself a 2000+ three day weekend.
The mission I've always had while facing this occurrence, is to make intense and dedicated spiritual work accessible to the people who want to do the work. There are people in the world who practice and work and don't approach middle class, much less have the financial or schedule availability to drop over 2000 on a weekend event. But there ARE people who are in the higher income brackets who will make that drop in the bucket to take a casual tour. That is so backwards.
I, and those I know to be true friends and colleagues, are dedicated to spiritual growth and progress, development and empowerment, knowledge and experience. These things shouldn't be out of reach for people who are working their hardest with what they have. Retreats I've put on have been AMAZING. I cannot stress that enough, and they're done with very little (less than 20%) profit on the event (by the way the Collaborative Consciousness retreats include room, board, and food in the cost). And I love it. But there is just not enough to make them happen as frequently as would be nice for people. Wouldn't it be great to know that there was an affordable retreat location that was available 4-6 times a year as opposed to the 2-3 times a year that are permissible at the current cost/time investment? Different retreats for different crowds? Longer retreats?
I've been mulling this over in my mind. If I could somehow fund a place that I could maintain, a center, I could make that happen. From that center, prices could drop considerably and time / flexibility would be dictated by me (the hypothetical landlord). In fact, the more that could be done with less, the more that could also be funded into other services like more classes.
Currently, retreats (depending on location and venue) are priced between 300-500 dollars (again, food and lodging included) and that's still a steal. However, this does cost time. After all overhead expenses one could not anticipate being able to just stop working for a week or two with no financial backing. But what if retreats were to cost 150-200 dollars? What if instead of hoping and praying one will become available when you get your time off or one come close enough to your town you could justify the expense, you were able to know "yes, I am planning to go in April" or "shucks, I missed the retreat for Summer Solstice, but I know there's one coming up in September" as opposed to "oh , due to conflict in scheduling and availability this even has been postponed indefinitely".
It's a lofty goal, and an expensive one at that. I am at a point where I must decide if I want this to happen sooner than later. It was ALWAYS in the plan to have a brick and mortar centre for healing and the spiritual arts. Living on-site would route the inevitable discussion of "should I be focusing on this or that?" but it does not make me stop thinking about what it would take to properly set this up. However, I want to.
My plan would be to accrue enough funds to make a sizable enough down-payment on an appropriate property (so that I might be able to afford paying off the mortgage with my own earnings), furnish it, and manicure the land for use. Not only could this be a centre for retreats, but even local recurring events and classes. How long would this take? Or how many attempts I should ask? Would it take 1 year? 5 years? One try? Ten Tries? I think I need to consider this more... seriously :)