Blog ~ Ruffled Feathers

Thoughts, ideas, perspectives, ruminations. If we make it through life without ruffling a few feathers, have we really lived?

Note: This blog used to be housed at Blogger. While all my posts have been recreated here, I have kept all the posts at Blogger as well, to retain all the comments that were made. The blog will continue here in the future so please update your bookmarks.

 

“T minus 4” – Point of Reflection # 6 – Vision Quest Tarot

Deck

Today’s Point of Reflection is a selection from what may be my favorite tarot deck: Vision Quest Tarot by Gayan S. Winter and Jo Dose.

After many years of unconscious resistance (a blog post for another day), I’ve come to a place of deep appreciation for and delight in "the Tarot" as a tool for self-awareness and personal understanding. I’ve overcome a gut-level, inchoate fear that had no discernible roots in my experience.

This deck, and one other that I may share over the next few days that helped me move beyond my discomfort, played a big part in my willingness to explore "the Tarot." My fondness for this deck is rooted in its indigenous, Nature-based focus. It just feels comfortable and, even more important, comforting to me. That’s not to say that the messages delivered by this system aren’t universal – and don’t occasionally amount to a kick in the rear-end – for they are, and they do. I just resonate with the symbols and feel at home in allowing them to speak to my heart.

Today’s Point of Reflection?

(You know, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Well, I guess could, but not without it seeming completely contrived and losing all credibility…)

V

V. – Shaman (relates to the Heirophant in traditional decks)

 

"In essence: WISDOM – transcendence – intuition – deep knowledge of underlying forces – clear insight into recurring cycles – supernatural talents – otherworldly, extrasensory visions

Inner message: The Shaman inside you is capable of merging his intuitive perceptiveness with the wisdom of the Elders. Meditate and find out what really motivates you, what your inner core truly desires. Don’t waste time trying to fulfill more superficial desires. They can never satisfy your ancient longing. That is not their task. Shift your attention to what is ESSENTIAL. Most essential in your life is your own being. Without knowing the true essence of your being, your heart will always remain empty and dissatisfied. Without recognition of who you are, without inwardly awakening to that, you stumble like a drunkard through a maze of meaningless limitations. Remember your Self! Take the time and whatever space you need to explore your innermost being. For that, you don’t have to go anywhere.

Outward manifestation: Much of what no longer feels right for you is ready to leave or fall away. Be thankful! You may have to go through the pain of disillusionment, but that’s in fact your liberation. If you want to awaken to Reality, no spiritual entertainment technique can help you. It is time to face yourself. The Shaman merely reminds you of your spiritual heritage. He points to your source, the unnameable, the mystery of your existence, the power that created everything and absorbs you back into itself at the end of this life. Contemplate how to best spend your time!"

© 1998 AGM AG Muller

This is What I’m Talking About!

Talk about a kick in the pants. I cannot imagine that, if you’ve taken the time to visit this blog and read this far, that this Point of Reflection doesn’t resonate deep within you, that it doesn’t poke you and prod you and yet make you want to smile and maybe even laugh – as in, "Yeah, I’m busted."

You’re here for a reason, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide what I mean by that.

“T minus 5” – Point of Reflection # 5 – Runes

Runes

"And now for something completely different." Well, no; not really. Although for once I’m not choosing a card of any kind for guidance. This afternoon, rather, I’m choosing a chunk of plaster with an archaic symbol impressed upon it.

Runes harken back to our Nordic ancestors, particularly those who lived in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Watch The Hobbit and you’ll see them making an appearance on a map critical to the Dwarves.

One of the first efforts in modern times to bring runes back into widespread use as an Oracle was the 1982 publication of The Book of Runes (affiliate link) by Ralph Blum. Since then, a huge number of books and treatises have been published on this ancient means of communication and divination. 

Asking for a "touchstone" for us as we contemplate the wisdom (and inherent risk) in heeding the encouragement of Amaterasu to show the world who we really are, I held the pouch of stones and gently tumbled them over and over. Reaching in, one seemed to jump into my hand:

Laguz

Laguz
Flow – Water – That Which Conducts

"Unseen powers are active here, powers that nourish, shape and connect. The attributes of this Rune are water, fluidity, the ebb and flow of emotions, of vocations and relationships. (…) 

This Rune often signals a time for cleansing: for revaluing, reorganizing, realigning. A Rune of deep knowing, Laguz may call you to study spiritual matters in readiness for self-transformation. Success now lies in contacting your intuitive knowing, in attuning to your own rhythms…"

© 1982, 1987 by Ralph Blum

This feels like an invitation. It feels like Spirit is encouraging those people who may be reading these posts but aren’t sure if there’s "anything to this stuff" to just dive in and see where this call to "revalue, reorganize, realign" may take you. And for those of us who’ve already embraced the invitation?

Confirmation.

“T minus 6” – Point of Reflection # 4 – Ascended Master Oracle Deck

It’s Monday. I don’t know about you, but it felt like our emotional plates were full this weekend, and to add even one more thing "to do" (even if it was only a requested shift of perspective) might have been asking too much.

So in honor of this being Monday and everyone putting on their game faces and stepping back out into the world of doing and running, I’ll be offering two Points of Perspective today. Shorter ones. Perhaps one will resonate with you more than another. Perhaps not.

First up is the Ascended Master Oracle Deck, (affiliate link), created by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.

Centering myself, I asked for a link to whichever Ascended Master had something in particular to say to us today.

I chose Amaterasu – "Come Out of the Closet" 

Initially, I resisted this choice. I thought, "Oh right. What a dumb card to pick. This will just make this whole process look ridiculous." (Yes, I had this reaction despite the fact that I work with Spirit and my intuition on a regular basis – and have been for YEARS.) But then I read the text:

"It’s time for you to make your real feelings and beliefs known. This card asks you to reveal who you really are to yourself and others. This may involve having a heart-to-heart discussion with a loved one or allowing other people to see your true nature. You will be spiritually supported in this process, and the ascended masters will help you to be lovingly honest. As a result of coming out of the closet, your relationships will deepen because you’ll know that you’re loved for who you really are.

Additional meanings for this card: Let go of judgments about yourself or others; Speak your truth with love; Allow others to get to know the real you; Trust that your authentic self is lovable and likable; The more authentic you are, the higher the energy and success of all of your projects."
© 2007 by Doreen Virtue 

While searching for the image of this card so I could post it, I came across a fascinating retelling of the story of Amaterasu here. I was so moved by the message contained in this rendition of this ancient story that I urge you to read it too. There is a bigger message here, if we choose to hear it.

It just fits. We need to find our voices, and not be afraid to use them. 

“T minus 7” – Point of Reflection # 3 – The Gaian Tarot

I’m never disappointed by how amazingly spot-on the guidance I receive is; that is, when I remember to ask for it. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed with what I’m being told, though. Sometimes it feels as though the Universe, God, Goddess, Spirit, whatever you want to call that Essence that is greater than all of us and somehow both holds and IS the matrix that creates everything, is picking on me. 

I do not feel picked on today.

I feel amazed, awed, and humbled.

Again, I settled myself in my space and grounded myself and my thoughts. I got quiet and still. I opened my heart and asked for a message, something that would speak to our hearts – all of our hearts – as we struggle to maintain our balance in these chaotic, heart-rending times.

"What do we need to hear? What do we need to "get" as we move toward this momentous Winter Solstice?" I asked, with deepest sincerity.

The cards of the Gaian Tarot, a lovely, earth-based, beautifully wrought "modern" tarot deck, created by Joanna Powell Colbert, shuffled effortlessly in my hands. I stopped when I sensed the card to choose was on top.

Our card for Reflection, Contemplation, Celebration, and Connection today?

Justice

Justice – Karmic balance

I encourage you to follow the link, above, to read the excerpt pertaining to this card that is provided by the author on her website. Simply examining the image, however, one can sense the essential message being conveyed to us.
How does this card apply to each of us?

In order to deepen our understanding of how the Justice card applies to us today, we might want to reflect upon the following concepts and how they are, remarkably, swirling around in and infringing upon our collective reality in a myriad of ways, particularly as a result of the tragedy in Newtown, CT. These themes are, quite literally DEMANDING our attention:

  • Karma                  Justice
  • Truth                    Right order
  • Social justice        Cause and effect
  • Responsibility       Legal issues
  • Actions and consequences

It is becoming increasingly obvious that we cannot continue along the path we’ve been trodding without encountering profound consequences. Indeed, we are reaping them in this very moment. The question is whether we will choose to take responsibility – now – for the imbalances that are becoming apparent, in both our own lives and our society, and work together to achieve a new sense of equanimity.

We are in this together.

“T minus 8” – Point of Reflection # 2 – The Ocean Oracle

Today’s offering is from an extremely rare set of cards that encourages our connection to Source via the symbols of the sea: The Ocean Oracle.

This deck is rare because it is currently only being distributed via word-of-mouth, with each deck lovingly hand-crafted by a dear writer/healer/friend of mine who lives in Australia, Susan Marte. In an exciting development, however, the deck will be available as an "app" for your mobile device within the next few days.

Centering myself and quieting my mind, I plant my feet firmly on the floor in front of me and just sit for a moment. I set my intention to choosing a card "for all of us." I ask to receive a card that will have meaning and provide guidance to all who are joining me on this journey to the Winter Solstice.

Today’s Point of Reflection:

Mussel

"Mussel" – Tenacity

The Story:

The ocean is its own unique ecosystem. What resides in the water is dependent on the ebb and flow of the tides; as well as what else lives in and around the water. In all of nature, there are some things which can be both a pest and a predator. Most of the time, the delineation is a matter of perspective. Mussels attach themselves to that which is inactive, unlikely to move. What it anchors to is something which cannot generally escape. Many times mussels can be found attached to rocks, their fine filaments holding them safe against the tides, allowing them to feed on the abundant nutrients which freely pass by them. This relationship is not one of harm. But when mussels attach themselves to something like an oyster, the relationship is harmful. The mussel’s presence could eventually kill the oyster because its tenacious grip renders the oyster unable to move away from the toxins which are exuded from the mussel. These toxins are unhealthy for the oyster’s well-being, and ultimately its survival. The mussel is not deliberate in this harm, but nonetheless, it still endangers the oyster.

The Messages:

What are you holding onto and not letting go of? Are you holding it, or is it holding you? Tenacity can both free and bind. Is what you are holding onto nourishing you in a symbiotic relationship, or is your grip, your attachment, squeezing the life out of of one of you? Is your tenacity poisonous? Or is it a lifeline? Be aware of that which you hold too tightly, or that which hold you. Sometimes letting go that tightly held job, relationship or idea is the way to free your energy flow for something more life enhancing to enter into your ecosystem.
 © Susan Marte 2012

Ah, tenacity. I can definitely see how, for some of us, this may be one of the gifts we bring to our lives, our work, our journey. I might also confess how my tenacity can sometimes easily work to choke off my creative flow and growth.

Just my efforts today, in attempting to get this post published, was a painful reminder of how my tenacious insistence that I understand exactly how to insert text and photos into my blog posts almost completely derailed my best efforts and intentions. As I approached a personal meltdown this afternoon, I realized the irony of how I was reacting to my frustration. The text of this card, which I was trying to "link" to as a pdf (similar to yesterday’s post) instead of typing out in its entirety, reminded me that I really needed to stop clinging so dearly to my idea of how this post would look. So here it is.    

 Is TENACITY a trait you need to celebrate in your life? Is it one of your gifts? Or is it an aspect of character that holds you back from exploring new opportunities and adventures?

“T minus 9” – Point of Reflection #1: Medicine Cards

Medicine Cards

The first point of self-reflection I’m offering for your consideration focuses on the use of Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson (affiliate link).

These cards are a staple in my life. As I’ve written many times over the years, in a variety of venues, it is an extremely rare day that goes by that Karl and I don’t "pick a card" on our day as we sit and have coffee together each morning. 

I sat quietly this evening, centered myself, and asked Spirit for guidance for myself and whomever chooses to embark upon this journey with me: "The 9 Days of (Winter) Solstice." Planting my feet firmly on the floor in front of me, I asked what card would be the perfect start for us in this time of Connection, Celebration, Reflection, and Contemplation.

The card I chose? Grouse.

Grouse

To me, the choice is a lovely one. I urge you to read the full text of Grouse provided above, and consider what Spirit is telling each one of us.

Could it be that we are precisely at the beginning of a nine day Vision Quest (without, luckily for us, the requirement of fasting)? The symbol of the spiral, which is associated with Grouse Medicine, is a metaphor for the very human endeavor of going within in order to gain personal power and enlightenment

If that is not an "invitation to the dance," an encouragement for all of us to make a commitment to ourselves to engage in at least half an hour of internal reflection per day over the next nine days, I don’t know what is. 

Read the card. Allow it to speak to you. Let it form a basis for some reflection tonight – and tomorrow – (until I post the next Point of Reflection!). Perhaps this is a message giving you a strategy (movement) for connecting to what’s important. Maybe taking a walk outside and really paying attention to nature would help your process. Use your imagination. Listen.

The Nine Days of Solstice – Points of Self-Reflection

You’d have to live under a rock not to have at least some awareness of the significance, real or imagined, of Winter Solstice 2012. Among other things, December 21, 2012, marks the end of the Mayan "Long Count" Calendar, and as the Mayan Calendar is based upon complex astronomical calculations, it signifies an alignment of planets, our sun, and other heavenly bodies with the actual center of our galaxy, referred to as the Grand Galactic Alignment.

The "end" of the Mayan Calendar is not the only "big event" scheduled for 12/21/12, which is probably why so much attention is being paid to this date. Almost every indigenous culture that has passed down prophecies through the millenia are expecting something major to occur at this moment in time. December 21, 2012 is also the culmination of a major Hopi prophecy, as well as the next anticipated "Pachakuti" of the Q’ero people, the descendants of indigenous Peruvians who pre-date the Incas.

Although I have studied a number of indigenous shamanic traditions, the lineage of the Q’ero is the one with which I am most intimately familiar. I am far from an expert in Q’ero prophecy or tradition and do not claim to be one. However, I resonate with the traditions of the Q’ero, and I am honored to be initiated into the lineage of mesa-carriers, which enables me to work in service with Spirit through the auspices of the techniques and ceremonies taught to me by Q’ero wisdom-keepers, known as "Paqos." Essentially, their teachings are that we are evolving – within our generation – to becoming a new expression of human, one that resonates to a higher vibration.

The Q’ero Suggestion for These Times

With so many indigenous cultures considering this to be a time of great import, my thought is: Why not remain aware and be open to the possibilities? Why not engage in a little preparation? To that end, I’d like to share a message one such Paqo, Dennis Alejo, has brought from the elder Paqos who continue to reside in the highest reaches of the Andes, the altoplano, of Peru. Essentially, they’ve stated that 12/12/12 (yes, yesterday), was to be regarded as a very special day, one that marked the beginning of the end of our preparations for "the new time to come" on 12/21/12. It was a day to return to ourselves, get quiet, go deep within, and connect to the beauty of the Universe. It also was (and continues to be) a time to release our fears from the past, those we carry around with us from one day, one month, one year to the next, as well as our fears for the future.

The Paqos encourage us to make wise use of the next nine days to make important final preparations for the arrival of whatever energies are coming our way on December 21, 2012. They specifically entreat us to focus upon and engage in the following:

  – Connect with our own unique gifts, those abilities, "big" or "small," that we bring to our families, communities, friends, customers, and clients, that make us precious;

  – Celebrate all that we have to give of ourselves, and recognize these gifts as our purpose for being here on Earth at this time;

  – Reflect on who we are (to ourselves, to others), and accept whatever Life is presenting to us, including the changes necessitated by these times;

  – Contemplate the "bigger" questions that we often flirt with but usually avoid: 

      – Why am I here?
      – What are my goals (or put another way, what would I regret not pursuing or accomplishing the most if my time here on Earth was complete)?
      – What, if anything, do I need to change – right now – to be more in alignment with my heart’s desire?
      – What can I do to strengthen my connection to Source and most effectively be my greatest self?

My Invitation to YOU
   
The purpose of this post is to invite you to engage in this self-reflection with me. Let’s do it together. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, or even have a frame of reference within which to begin.

So I thought I’d bring together a collection of various "divination" or "guidance tools" for us to use each day. I’ve used all of these tools at one time or another, some of them ending up being more my favorites than others. By introducing you to a different tool each day, maybe you will resonate with one or more and decide to use them on a more consistent basis…on December 22nd – when we face a whole "new" world – together!

You in? If so, watch for the first Point of Reflection, which I will post shortly. Yes, we’re playing a little bit of catch-up, with only this evening to reflect upon the first Point. I figure it takes the pressure off of all of us to be perfect.

Look for my next post, and above all, don’t be taken in by all the doomsday baloney!

Milestones and Messages

Last Saturday, my husband Karl and I addressed the elephant in the room. It was time. And lucky for us, the weather cooperated on that lovely day of 5 May, enabling Karl to lug the two ungainly cardboard boxes out of our living room and deposit them onto our front lawn. It was much better to spread Karl’s clothes and sketch books, camping gear and toiletries, out onto a big blanket than do the deed in the confines of our living room. And even though there wasn’t much, it somehow felt more appropriate to give each item its "space" to nestle in the grass of Karl’s home, and to allow the spring breezes to disperse the dust of a Traveler’s life.

Nothing like sifting through the meager possessions of the man who was our son to mark the six month anniversary of our loss – and his rebirth.

Within 10 days of Karl’s accidental death in a hot spring in California, I’d traveled with his youngest brother, Sage, and cousin Ellen, to gather his possessions, reclaim his car, and visit "the Slabs," where he’d been visiting, and the hot spring where he drowned under a full moon. He’d only been in Niland for a couple of weeks, which was usually about as long as he could take the idiosyncracies of that place and its inhabitants. As with many things in Karl’s life, he had a love/hate relationship with "the Slabs." He loved the avant-garde creativity and "Mad Max"-esque wildness of "East Jesus" and the performances that would be staged every Friday night on the Range. And yet the jealously guarded privacy and professed love of freedom of its residents was often surprisingly and severely restricted by their own harsh judgments and beliefs about the world. The irony and potential for hypocrisy – even here – disappointed, but didn’t escape him.

Suffice it to say, for now, that our subsequent trip to the junk yard where Karl’s car had been towed was yet another kick in the teeth, another irony shoved into the white hot fire of our grief.

The totality of Karl’s life – except for the electronic music equipment and accessories that had been blatantly stolen by the tow truck company – were hastily shoved into the back of our rented SUV and then packed, the next day, into two 8 cubic foot cardboard boxes for shipment back to Pennsylvania. And no, we didn’t get to donate Karl’s car, or do anything Karl would have wanted us to do with his talisman of freedom, because that very same thieving tow truck company claimed to be owed $2500 for towing the car 25 miles and storing it for less than a week.

But I digress. The details of what transpired on our trip to California and the ironies that continue to pile upon each other will have to wait for another day to be revealed in full.

Thus, the boxes that arrived at our home in early December were more a depressing reminder of what was NOT in them, namely, and most importantly, the electronic synthesizer he’d been obsessively learning to "play," composing music with, and inputting audio bits and pieces into, memorabilia of his experiences as a Traveler both across the country and up and down the west coast of the United States. The Korg Electribe, which had been temporarily housing Karl’s artistry and creativity, which he affectionately referred to as his "girlfriend," and into which he poured his passion for cutting edge music and visionary, edge-of-consciousness exploration, was gone. And so those boxes sat, for five and a half months, the elephant in the living room, until last Saturday, until the sixth full moon since Karl died.

Moon

In the end, it was all about us. It was our ritual. Our goodbye to the son with whom we’d been enchanted from the moment we met him, almost 31 years ago. It was our farewell to the #3 of "the three of us," which we’d always uncannily felt we were ~ even after his two brothers arrived six and twelve years later, respectively. It was our obligation to sift through his belongings and see what had really mattered to him: tattered copies of The Holographic UniverseA Course In Miracles, a hardback book on Tai Chi that was his father’s. Sketchbooks, pens and pencils, letters and photos. Toothpaste. Lots of toothpaste – and hand sanitizer. 

We shed some tears. We toasted his life with some Jameson’s that a friend had given us in the days soon after Karl’s death. We laughed at the bitingly sarcastic cartoon figures lurking in all the sketchbooks, many book margins, and on loose pieces of paper in odd zippered pockets. We laughed at the enigma he was: A Traveler ~ and yet a homebody ~ and a fastidious one at that. 

As we wrapped things up and chose what mementos to keep, at least for a little while longer, I decided to ask Karl (the Son) if he had anything he wanted to say to us. A tarot deck, the Wildwood Tarot, a gift I’d sent him for his 30th birthday, was one of the things he’d cared enough to keep and carry with him. From the looks of it, I could tell he hadn’t been blowing smoke when he’d told me that he was, indeed, using the deck. I was glad for that.

I held the deck to my heart, blew my breath into the cards, and asked for a message. And this is what I chose on the 6th full moon since the night of his departure:

World Tree

Position on the Wheel
The World Tree sits at the heart of the cycle, in the quadrant of Fire.
It encompasses all the different aspects of the Wheel
and the human aspects of the Major Arcana

 

"Description:  The great World Tree marks the end of the Wanderer’s journey…

Meaning: As the symbol of the conscious bridge between the living macrocosm and the inner universe of the human psyche, the World Tree marks the end of one journey for the Wanderer and the beginning of another. The Wanderer began the journey around the Wheel with an innocent and childlike curiosity, but the subtle growing process experienced on the way has brought inner gifts of wisdom and awareness. The final step is to follow the path through the living maze and enter the heart of the World Tree to become one with the wholeness of the universal mind.

Nothing is hidden and no misleading or cunning diversions are set to lead the unwary off the path, but to gain access to the tree one must walk the path and complete the journey. The unicursal labyrinth has no dead ends or false routes but leads on one wandering pathway from the entrance, inexorably to the centre. Perhaps symbolizing the passage of the sun or guarding the souls of dead ancestors and spirits in their place of repose, it remains a pathway to the core of the mysteries and an easily recognized image of the human journey. Though the doorway at the base of the tree is clearly visible and nothing stops the traveller from directly approaching it, walking the labyrinthine pathway is a ritual requiring patience and insight and enabling contemplation and meditation on the meaning of the journey.

What may be found beyond the door is both individual and universal, for encompassed within the branches of the World Tree are the four seasons of the cycle of life. Through the restful healing of winter to the fertile freshness of spring, the power and joy of summer and the wisdom and maturity of autumn, the cosmic light of universal understanding shines from the heart of the tree, creating a bridge to the source of all consciousness and life.

The World Tree represents all individual life and all knowledge in one holographic field of consciousness and, paradoxically, remains as one entity, whole and complete. This complex concept is not only stranger than we think; it is stranger than we can think!

Reading Points: The universe and all its blessings are available to everyone who seeks knowledge and wisdom with a sincere heart. On every level, the cosmos has a generous bounty and gives freely of its rich nourishment and fulfillment. No matter how long the journey of life may be, however many twists and turns the maze may offer us,in the end, if we persevere, we will reach the point of fulfillment. This may relate to material gain and wealth or to spiritual happiness and emotional security, but after the long process of learning, responsibility and rebirth, it is now time to bathe in the light of renewal, attainment and personal triumph. Breath in the rich air, drink of the sweet water and rejoice in the warming fire of the universal life force." (emphasis added)

Could we have asked for a more personal or thoughtful message from our son? I don’t think so. And the coolest thing about all of this is that this is only one example of how Karl does continue to speak to me. His "death" has only confirmed for me that there is so much, much more than our limited view of "reality."  And that’s what we’re going to continue exploring – together.

Oh – and as a last little nod to "the three of us" that is no more (at least in the physical), the card that was on the bottom of the deck when I chose The World Tree was this:

Three of Arrows

Rather than the keyword associated with this card, the image instead – to me – acknowledges not only our pain, and the pain felt by Karl’s brothers, but also that our family’s heart, which encompasses a profound love for each other, is on fire. And while we bleed tears over our separation, these same tears ultimately serve…to feed The World Tree.

Karl D. Weikel

Karl D Weikel

Karl Daniel Weikel of Tinicum Township (Pipersville), died on Friday, November 11, in Niland, California. He was 30 years old.

Karl was born in Williamsville, New York, but grew up in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, graduating from Palisades High School in 2000. 

During his twelve years in the Palisades School District, Karl entertained many – on stage and off – and was a reliable source of laughter, inspiration, witty comebacks, and playful irreverence. Karl won awards for his drawing and visual artistry, especially his original pen-and-ink creations which he humbly referred to as “Nothings.” He was a staple in all Palisades musicals and dramatic productions, from PALMS through high school. 

Beyond using his gift for comedy to gain attention and notoriety, he also managed to entertain the sporting crowd by playing striker for Palisades High School’s soccer team all four years of his tenure. He was a District XI champion in the 110 hurdles and a state qualifier three years running in that event.

He was a Rotary Exchange Student to Norway in the fall of 1999, where he attended high school, became adept at “DJ’ing,” and began composing electronic music. He also played soccer for a semi-professional “futbol” team. Upon his return to Pennsylvania from Norway, Karl published an independent-label CD of original trance-dance/electronic compositions, “Crazymaker,” under his DJ name of Ray Jookie.

Karl attended the Atlantic Acting School of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and was profoundly impacted by his personal experience of September 11, 2001.

Giving true meaning to the term “free spirit,” Karl was, at his core, a Traveler. He reveled in moving from place to place, making music, creating art, and connecting with and learning from people of all walks of life and from many different backgrounds. He loved listening to his friends – and after speaking with Karl for ten minutes or so, most people considered him a friend. Karl never tired of engaging in challenging conversations on subjects ranging from the nature of reality to the latest episode of “Cops,” or simply playing around with his peculiar sense of humor or offering quirky, yet stunningly perceptive, perspectives on life. His wit was beyond compare; his humor was devastatingly sarcastic, often off-color, yet never mean-spirited. He could defuse intense situations with a spot-on imitation or a sleight-of-hand card trick leftover from his “magic” days of adolescence. He hated confrontation. He was a master mimic, amazing man, and brother to many.

Karl is survived by his parents, Karl C. and Lisa JG Weikel (nee Guerke), his brothers, Maximus (presently of Baltimore, MD) and Sage (at home), and Katie (presently of Baltimore, MD). He is also survived by his grandparents, Frances and Joseph Wondoloski of Elysburg, PA, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends-who-were-family. Karl will also be desperately missed by his beloved Sheila, Spartacus, Princess, Precious, and Gandalf.

All who knew or loved Karl are invited to a gathering in his honor, which will be held at 

11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at

Tinicum Park
963 River Road
Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Doylestown Food Pantry (in support of either food or shelter), 470 Old Dublin Pike, Doylestown, PA 18901 or the Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic, 595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901. Karl believed that food, shelter, and healthcare are fundamental rights to which we are all entitled.

Happy Samhain

Samhain (pronounced "sow-when") is the time of year traditionally linked with the Celtic New Year. The harvest has passed, our larders are full, and the nights grow ever darker, beckoning us to retreat into the warmth and comfort of our homes and hearth-fires.

We are called to go within, to retreat from the gathering darkness outside and take stock of all that we have accumulated and stored inside – in our homes, our psyches, our dreams. We are called upon, from deep within ourselves, to reflect upon the year’s blessings and burdens. We are asked to decide what we would like to plant in the rich loam of our past year’s experiences; what we would love to harvest – perhaps for the first time – next year?  

What have we learned, either easily or ‘the hard way,’ that will influence which seeds we plant in the days and weeks to come? It’s time to reflect, time to decide. For it is in the fields that will lie fallow for some months to come that we plant the seeds that will slowly stir, quiver, and ultimately thrive – first in that darkness, then bursting forth into the sunlight’s strong spring rays across our consciousness.

In the darkness, these seeds will germinate. They will mull over themselves and decide energetically either to begin the journey upward, toward the light they instinctively know is there, or not.
As we give ourselves permission to sit quietly amongst the falling leaves, permission to sit with our reflections upon this past year of new and old growth, birth and loss, sudden and slow, drawn out experiences of change and transition, we give ourselves permission to plant the seeds of the dreams we intend to nurture through the coming winter and then fully express as the year unfolds.

In this time of retreating within, we also give ourselves permission to joyfully celebrate our abundance, to give full-throated thanks for the many blessings we’ve enjoyed ~ including surviving some of the hardest lessons we may have been asked to learn thus far.

It is said that at Samhain the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. In our western culture, we’ve taken that idea and run with it to the extreme, focusing on all of the scariest things we can imagine, and relishing in scaring the daylights out of ourselves (or numbing ourselves out in sugar-induced comas). Rarely, if ever, does it occur to us to honor the abundance of both what we’ve reaped and what we’ve lost. Rather, we intoxicate ourselves with the superficial, the masks, the excess.

Perhaps this year, as the veils thin, we can instead look at our lives over the past year and see what we may have said or done or experienced that, in retrospect, was terrifying, either to ourselves or others. Maybe we can see or comprehend those relationships or experiences that have died ~ or maybe were already dead ~ a state of being we just refused to see until now. Maybe we can allow ourselves to honestly reflect upon what lies within our hearts out of obligation and what is within our hearts out of simple joy. What do we keep? And what do we bury in the Earth, asking the Mother to mulch and break down into elements so that it may feed and nurture All Life instead of slowly serving to choke the life out of us?

Perhaps we can loosen the death grip we’ve had on our ‘vision’ of our lives and actually see that some of the seeds we keep insisting will sprout this year never germinated, never took root. It’s time to let those old ghosts go and shift our focus, instead, toward a vision of creating something completely new and different, something beyond anything we’ve allowed ourselves to dream before.

What old ghosts are you ready to release, with compassion and kindness, into the night?  What new dream seeds will you plant in the dark, rich soil of your life experience? 

Happy new year…