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The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.) are thrilled to have our good friend and guest blogger Steve Nelson return to share his wisdom on The Carnival-Lent-Easter Season. Prepare to be amazed! Steve is an astrologer who follows a Jungian mythological tradition. He was raised by a part Cherokee shaman Aunt Maude who learned much of her lore from Molly Runningwolf, the mother of Amanita Sequoyah, the last Cherokee medicine man officially recognized by the Eastern Tribe. Steve’s Indian name is Steven Red Wolf, his lineage is of the wolf clan, one of the 7 tribal groups of the Cherokee. Steve follows many of the Cherokee traditions especially as these relate to celebrations, the use of ritual fire and star lore. For more information about Steve Nelson see www.GaiaAstrology.com
Carnival-Lent-Easter Season: Awakening & Taming of the Dragon
Preparation for Spring rebirth is a key part of the annual cycle of celebrations in all ancient traditions. A mid-winter Carnival is followed by a Lent period, a time of abstinence and spiritual discipline.
The Saxons and Angles of ancient Europe observed fasting and sexual abstinence during the two weeks before the Spring Equinox. These practices were well established in Europe long before the advent of the Catholic church.
It was their custom to apply ashes to the head during this time. Wood ash applied to the brow during Lent stimulates this center and helps raise the vital energy awakened in the lower chakras during Carnival.
According to the old formula, the ‘primal Dragon’ is awakened during Carnival and tamed during Lent. Many of the ancient practices and later additions of the church are designed to serve the purpose of psychic awakening and transformation.
Meditation, prayer, and vegetarian diet help heighten sensitivity to the joys of the natural world. The Lenten practices can also help in deepening self awareness and gaining more freedom of self-expression. Freedom of choice is always possible when an impulse first begins. Meditation at this time helps lower the lumen of consciousness so that undesirable psychic energies can be more easily be brought to awareness and released.
Many celebrate Carnival and ignore Lent. Others follow the customs of Lent but have forgotten Carnival. By observing both it becomes possible to move beyond the old duality of repression or obsession.
This “noble middle way” is ultimately more energetic and brings great benefits. And the bigger the Dragon awakened during Carnival and tamed during Lent, the more psychic power is available for creative works in the Spring and Summer seasons.
The forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness is the prototype for Lent in the Christian tradition. When he meets the devil on the mountain Jesus doesn’t say “Get off my mountain.” He says “Get ye behind me.” That’s hardly what would be said to a real enemy.
This biblical encounter suggests an integration of the shadow at this time in the annual cycle. And Sunday is the weekday best suited for psychic integration.
It is common in the old Catholic tradition to exclude Sundays from Lent and to allow oneself on Sunday what is otherwise given up for Lent. This can act as a relief valve and may also bring more consciousness (Sun) to the particular issue at hand.
Lent is the ‘scapegoat season’ favored for stirring people to war. ‘Projection of shadow‘ is the psychological term for scapegoating. All who repress the shadow are subject to being manipulated through this mechanism!
Shadow projection is happening on all fronts now; it is something to be cautious about. No one is all light and no one is all shadow, demonizing conjures demons, giving energy to the good brings out the good.
Personal liberation is the primary purpose of the Lent tradition.
Dragon Taming Methods:
A good psychic yoga for “dragon taming” is to allow perception of what is disturbing or distracting while breathing more deeply and giving attention to the light above the crown of the head.
First, do neck rolls to relieve the tension in the neck that tends to keep the head disconnected from the body. Then sit with the back straight and focus on the light and on the ideals that you want to make real.
It will be natural, when the neck and abdomen are tension free, to feel energy flowing from the sexual center. It is important not to repress this perception nor to give it undue direct attention.
In the old esoteric school, focusing directly on primal energy was called “looking the dragon in the eye”. Then, of course, the primal “dragon” can take over and the charge of energy is apt to be lost. However, if the focus of attention continues to be on the ideal,
then that is what gets energized.
The light above the head is sometimes called “the soul star”. Full incarnation of this soul light is a goal of our spiritual evolution. Attention given to the soul light over the crown of the head
allows positive thought forms to take shape there.
Conscious direction or”ìsublimation” of primal energy in no way diminishes personal sexuality.
All natural systems are strengthened in the raising of the primal current. This is the electricity that runs all other systems and there is an abundant supply. It only needs to be conducted to where it is needed.
Lent is more about opening to the joys of the world than it is about self denial. Only addictions and other habit patterns that inhibit personal experience and Self-realization are to be eliminated.
The time for psychic weeding continues until the first Spring Full Moon (Apr 18, 2011, 2:45 am UT). Easter is then on Sunday, April 24, 2011.
We are called to become like the flowers of Spring and unfold the petals of our creative self-hood.
As sap flows upward through plant stems all around, so vital energy is flowing upward inside us now.
The appreciation of natural beauty helps in unfolding the subtle powers of the higher centers.beautiful and elevating, the more will there be an experience of natural ecstasy. And the easier will it be to let go of whatever keeps the soul from being free. The more the windows of perception are opened and attention is given to what is
Happy Lent! Happy Easter!
Steve Nelson, Mythological Astrologer (with The Shift Doctors – Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.)
Steve Nelson is a professional astrologer, cycles researcher, and mythologist living in Charlotte, NC.
You can learn more about Steve at www.GaiaAstrology.com
Thank you Steve !