Last night while we headed out for our second wind of the night’s outings, just as we turned the bend at the tip of the forest, a raccoon caught my eye to the left. It was no more than a day or two ago that we were having a conversation with friends where Dave mentioned not ever seeing a raccoon, opossum, porcupine, etc. and I told him – “Oh they’re out there, they just don’t show up when you want, plus you’re usually asleep when they’re exploring about. They slip through the veils when needed.” And then she did.
When asking Astrid to think about what she wanted to share for today’s message of her blog, she told me to go ahead and go out first to enjoy the snow and more snow shoeing, while she thought about it and would send me her ideas while out in the forest. And, of course she did.
While out in the forest I received two messages from her. One, was the image of the raccoon and the second was some sadness – my own – and some words “illusion of loss.” I continued snow shoeing, wondering about the tie-in and why she wanted me to go out, but it then hit me while the snow was coming down all around us and all of the forest was deep in blankets of white.
Everything around me had changed pretty much overnight since the eve of Thanksgiving, going from Fall’s warm colors and brittle leaves, to a slumber where signs of life are dormant and the purity of snow infuses its own cleansing alchemy.
It might appear like life is no where to be found, but in fact it is never gone and is in process of deep renewal – the kind you believe in, but won’t answer to your hopes until you’ve all but forgotten your dreams.
Astrid reminds me that the holidays can be very beautiful and warm times because of the love in our hearts the magick kindles, but they are also full of nostalgia, memories, and in many cases – a sense of loss, emptiness, and loneliness.
These are times people reflect on dear ones who are no longer physically with us and Astrid knows that lately we’ve heard of many souls moving on, which makes it challenging for those of us left behind with our feelings that are magnified now.
She reminds me that I, too, am one of those souls who deeply misses my dear ones and she brings this up for me to impart a message from her she knows won’t immediately take away the pains any of us feel, but assures us can be the alchemy we desire.
She prompts me to share what I’ve learned through my “losses,” while she helps channel her message through my processing. And by “loss” she means, having experienced my dearest friends that resided on Earth in animal bodies with me, returning to the stars.
So I reflected on the snow, bitter wind, and the blankets of white draped over the once colorful landscape and the feelings that flow through watery tears and sometimes cast a frozen burn upon my heart. They are one and the same….an illusion of something we think we can’t see or touch anymore in the same way, but underneath it all, remains and is ever-renewing, expanding, and preparing to blossom again and again.
She reminds me how much I LOVE the snow and its magick, even though it can be harsh and even take lives away from the creatures of Earth when her presence is thick with icy illusion.
Yet, I have not thought of snow and Winter as wrong or hurtful. It simply is another form of beauty that transforms and kindles a spark of inspiration in my heart and brings me closer to pure grace of being.
The same is how I’ve experienced physical death – when I allow myself to go through the flow of icy tears and memories, I’ve arrived at the magick of pure and simple love that suddenly drops into the true experience of eternal spirit that inhabits the vortex of my heart.
The loss is no longer truth because the gain is far more permeable and returns me to essence.
Winter. Death. They are both passing cycles and they are both ironically beautiful. Inherent in the state of each, is a remarkable alchemy that draws forth the depths of our hearts to feel things we normally want to run from or put a coat over to keep the chill out. But if we run our fingers over an icicle, we can begin to feel the burn.
This is the flame of life – the fire that raises the ashes – the burn of Cosmic love – the inferno of eternity.
Astrid knows I go through this burning continuum every time waves of memories and winds of spirit flash through me of my loved ones gone. They are a merging of then, now, and beyond, and once I move through the reminders of then, inherent is the presence of now.
The bridge becomes the heart and we become One.
I am seeing eternity through the eyes of loss and death. Just as I am seeing promise and inspiration through the eyes of Winter’s veil.
And so, raccoon reveals herself.
No longer to be hidden away in the dark, striking behind the shadows.
I/we come face-to-face with the truth.
Raccoons are known as great shapeshifters and tricksters.
Some may even refer to them as thieves, stealing away or hiding things from you in the dark of night.
Caroline Myss has written about the thief archetype saying that he, “sheds light on the potential wealth within you that can never be stolen.”
Our dear ones, our dreams, the things we think we have lost and can’t touch or experience the way we used to love, were never truly taken from us.
The only thing we ever lost was our understanding of real love.
Love that truly sees.
Love that truly feels.
Love that truly is eternal.
Love that bridges all illusions and boundaries.
Love that knows the inherent beauty in all things.
Love that brings everything into the now.
Love that expands and renews, over and over again.
Astrid reminds us that we have the strength and courage, just like fearless raccoon, to see through any difficult situation with ingenuity, flexibility, and possibility.
Like Spring inevitably comes after Winter, it is also inherent in Winter’s embrace.
They aren’t a one-after-the-other experience, but part of each other right now.
You experience things as beautiful because inherently your spirit recognizes the totality of something even if your ego and conscious mind only sees one thing.
Just as Nature recognizes our true nature and hopes to remind and reflect back to us the totality of who we are at any given moment – every cycle, every experience, every emotion, and thought are all of who we are now.
Our loved ones are all of who we are now.
They are eternally here behind the veils we erect.
And when you catch those glimpses of their spirit moving through the wind, when you feel their breath send the hairs on your arm and back of your neck to stand on end, when you see a shadow and spark out of the corner of your eye, or simply when your heart swells with enormous floods of love…you’ve pulled down the veils, removed the masks of slumber and judgment, you’ve turned on the light in the dark, and opened a locked door.
Those we love are with us and in everything around us.
We’re ready to experience the multi-dimensionality of life and open to new potentials and great change.
Astrid walks between worlds…between being grounded and on Earth and far-off in the Cosmos and although she understands the challenge we have of grasping these concepts, it is her desire to help open the portals to our hearts so we can walk with her into the realms of possibility. When we see only half the story, we are choosing to keep our lives compartmentalized.
We are choosing to remain small and separate.
We are choosing to keep those we love away from us, rather than with us.
Creatures of the night, like raccoon, can help reveal the truth of the heart and bring us the gifts they’ve been hiding away – into the light.
And what was lost can now be found.
Those that left, we’ll discover just tucked themselves away in our hearts, revealing the greatest magick trick there is – the power of love to unlock everything.
Astrid sends her love to everyone and hopes the seeds within her words take root.
Over the last two nights it seems our late Winter started to take a turn, providing us a Winter Wonderland to explore and immerse in. The last two nights have also amped up magickal dream time and visits through the Forest Portal here. Seems completing Wonderland was the activation for it all. Wonderland inside and out! Interesting, too, that the snow came right after that as well. We’ve had dustings of snow 2-3 times since we moved in, but this is the most we’ve had so far and not just at the higher elevations. It’s a huge contrast to last year’s mega Winter – the biggest in like 40+ years, but any variety Nature wants to throw our way is a gift and gorgeous, nonetheless.
It made for beautiful hiking yesterday and will be fun to explore snow shoeing in up at the higher elevations.
Faery T was able to get her Snow Bunny on yesterday and this morning I thought it would be a perfect introduction for Astrid to see if she, too, is a Snow Bunny and if she likes snow as much as mom.
I’m happy to report that she does.
I’ve always said she reminds me of the Snowshoe Rabbits I fell in love with in Montana and Canada and felt that was in her spirit strongly.
There wasn’t a whole lot on the deck outside of my office because the morning sun hits there warmly first. But it seemed the perfect amount for her to get her feet “wet” before going big.
I took a video of her very first snow day experience, which was adorable to watch.
I’d gone out, barefoot (hence my foot prints alongside hers in the snow) to set up a protective pen barrier so she felt safe and didn’t wander off into the great outdoors. She’d probably be fine, since this area is fenced off, but she may not want to come back in. 😉 She exhibited her curiosity right away in finding the small hole I wasn’t diligent in closing off, sticking her nose through near the end, but luckily I caught that before it turned into Astrid gone wild.
It was fun because I told her what was happening before it did and she was very curious, listening with bright eyes and alert ears. She played coy for a while, exploring her house and licking her gnomes and mushroom next to the open sliding door I left that way for her to go out.
Then she went for it, cautiously, but courageously.
I love the little happy thump she gave at the threshold of the door.
I can tell there’ll be many more snow days for miss Astrid, as she seemed to really like it. I can’t wait for there to be a lot more snow so she can play in it and get in deep. I’ll be sure to capture those sweet memories and share.
Two Snow Bunny peas in a pod we are.
Here’s Astrid experiencing snow for the first time – at least this life!
Yesterday the snow storm stopped and left an incredible otherworld of snowy wonder all around us. Perfect for snow shoeing and immersing in winter’s majesty. We have the Tahoe Rim Trail just a minute’s walk from our place so away we went into the deep, powdered, snow blanketed forest on the edge of the mountain. The stillness and magick was breathtaking and such a gift, as the snow was untouched, leaving this enchanted realm all to ourselves to explore. Even the braids that I wore had come undone and became frosted over making me feel like a true Snow Faery. At one point I catapulted myself backwards into the fresh snow and left my mark as such. I hope you enjoy this walk through another world with beings all around.
The first couple of photos are of the banisters to our stairs just outside our front door covered in snow like long pine cones and a glimpse of our snow covered car. The last photo is this morning’s sunrise of hope and promise.
Yesterday we went on a hike that took us through the realm of the ice Faeries where ice castles, ice crystals, and ice beings dwell. I even found a beautiful Sun-lit Nature’s Christmas tree – all to enjoy in solitude, as no one was around. It was fantastical. It was magickal. It was my home. I hope you enjoy a stroll through the icy world we discovered and that enchanted this Winter baby a little bit more. Keep believing!
This week has been full of beautiful snow time and family visits, coming full closure today.
There’s something about snow that just takes me to a pure place of being…both connecting to my inner child and the inner mystic.
It’s been a fun week and I will miss my family, as it’s also been a quick visit due to proximity of our out-of-snow campground needs without a winterized RV. I will definitely be returning to spend more time with my parents and brother.
There’s been a lot of big shifts for both families and the dynamics that are playing out now, versus the past. Powerful stuff to both experience and witness in reflection.
It’s also been very supportive for my own life transitions right now in seeing the reflections of my changes being mirrored before me and receiving Nature’s guidance and love for what is in my heart that I must follow.
Here are some photos from our snow shoeing and skiing time spent in the winter wonderland of Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood Ski Resort, and Silver Lake, just South of Kirkwood.
Winter has definitely become my playground over the years, as I’ve truly embraced the season’s gifts of which I was born in.
Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. ~Andy Goldsworthy
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~J.B. Priestly
A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. ~Susan Orlean
There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance. ~William Sharp
Farewell for now magickal winter wonderland! Grateful for your clarity and heart connection.
This is one of my favorite photos I took while in Sequoia National Park of a naturally released leaf gently resting in stillness and peace, cradled on the sparkly crystalline snow….it reflects so much of myself right now.
All that has been, all that you’ve been attached to, or that no longer serves you, can be a gentle process of letting go.
And while these things have had their place in your life at some point, with release they do not have to leave a footprint upon the now and the future you are creating – yet are evidence of the work of art you have woven as your life.
It is all but a whisper upon the journey you have taken, alchemically transformed with the embrace of your nature and cycles of life.
New growth and creation will emerge from where you’ve let go and the things left in peace will help the next cultivation of what’s to come.