Monday, November 22, 2010


Now, in the light of day after the land has been blessed by the fullness of the moon, the sky is full of promise. Now, comes the evidence that the act of emptying our selves has made room for fullness and abundance.

We do not need to wait for the season to change; we choose the cycle of emptying out and filling up, and we choose the velocity of the process. The planets are moving faster and the Earth’s rotation is accelerating so I choose a personal evolution that matches.

We are in haste, but still we honor the season of the Via Negativa. We do not forget in our joy that we are moving in the Yin time, the sacred feminine, fluid and soft. A piece of this honoring involves the act of noticing. My situation calls for me to notice small things – the little things that speak to our hearts and souls, that at other times we may not acknowledge.

Recently, I went out onto my rocking porch in the morning to have a little cigar and to connect with Oneness. On this day I was sending up my prayers with the smoke for a loved one who has taken on a rigorous curriculum.

On the railing there was a lady bug. I've been seeing the red ones but this one was yellow, which asked me to face the east. I couldn’t see what it was pointing me toward; the sky was dark and cloudy and there were no sounds except for a dog in the distance and the caw of a crow.

All I could see was a vast and desolate emptiness but I continued. I didn’t know where the sun should be because of the dark clouds, and then there was a tiny spot of light against the dark canopy. The spot grew to show the whole circumference of the sun; it did not light up the earth, but it let me know it was there; it is always there behind the clouds.

Suddenly the trees, mostly bare branches, became alive with the movement and sound of tiny songbirds (one of my spirit animals). The land that had been so silent and bare was unexpectedly alive and vibrant – in spite of the darkness. I knew my friend would be alright and even thrive.

I am learning to pay attention and the Universe is speaking to me; sometimes quite softly and sometimes with thunder. The winter is literally the time between the thunder, so it is time to pay attention to the little things. God and Goddess are always speaking to us and they say, “We are always here . . . behind the clouds.”

I wish you all a time of plenty at Thanksgiving. Take the hands of your family and loved ones around the table and notice the abundance of small things coming to fill up all your empty spaces.

John Berry Deakyne in Asheville, NC.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My visit to Isis Cove last week, home of the Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts, was extremely transformative. It was great just to be on the land, to visit the sacred sites, tour the facilities, and spend time with my soul-brother Brad.

When I sat down to dinner with Brad and Star Wolf I did not know what I was in for. It came up in conversation some mention of the Tower Card from the Tarot, and Star Wolf remembered that I had drawn the Tower at the onset of my first breath-work session with her several months ago.

I remarked that it felt like I was still in a “Tower” cycle of death and rebirth, and that it was becoming tiring. She looked straight into my soul and said I had been in the fire for a good long time, and if I was going to fully embrace my soul’s purpose I would first need to surrender. I was not surprised; I knew she was right, but I did not exactly know what I needed to release or what might receive me.

Complete and utter surrender, which is a touchstone of every major religion, means you allow to come to you whatever will come, without any management or willing on your part.

It became apparent to me on my drive home that night exactly what I had to surrender. It was my attachment to another, to circumstances, and to desired outcomes. I needed to surrender my attachment to my desires. So, the previous week that opened for me the Via Negativa ushered me now into my literal “dark night of the soul”.

I lay on the bed in my Airstream, because the house still smelled like wet dog, and stared at the ceiling until the sun came up. I tried to sleep, but that is not part of the process. I came to learn in the light of day what the night had told me. It was time again to set my desires on the fiery altar and hope for abundant ashes.

Then I stepped into Jubilee services on Sunday and the theme was: “letting go”. I laughed out loud.

I need to frame this by explaining that in the last year I have learned to cry. It has been part of my own breaking and opening and it has been extremely cathartic and beneficial. So during my “dark night of the soul” and the following day I had tried to gather up the tears I knew would greatly assist my surrender, but all I had was kind of a dull empty feeling, and dry eyes.

Then at the beginning of the Sunday service, when they call in the directions, the dam broke. It wasn’t blubbering – it was just little man tears that I could dab with my fingers.

Then there was a song about letting go and I closed my eyes and saw my beautiful beloved floating away from me on Oak Creek dressed in a burial gown.

All the mucus in my head became quite liquid and my hands could not soak up all the moisture. Just as I had deposited a copious amount of mucus from my upper lip to my hand, Pastor Howard said, “Take the hand of the persons next to you.” I thought, “God has a sense of humor.” I wiped my hand on my pants while the lady next to me looked on quizzically, with hand outstretched.

Keep in mind – I don’t know these people. Even when I don’t open my mouth I think they can tell I’m a Yankee. I’m new here, and I want people to like me. Oh well.

Even though I have been in this position before, this is a big one.  And whatever follows will be big.  I don't know what it is, and accepting the "not knowing" is key. 

Sometimes it seems that I won't take the big steps unless my ass is kicked.  The lesson is:  move before you get pushed; take a running start and jump naked from the tower window before the lord of the manor flings you from the parapet.  It's time to let go; it will be okay.

By the way, I plan to wring the last drop out of the Via Negativa before the season changes on the Winter's Solstice, even if some people think I'm morose.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


In Asheville we received a cold front that brought freezing rain and snow flurries. The downy flakes were beautiful against the backdrop of still turning leaves, scarlet red oak and the last orange and yellow of the maples. And all I can say is, “Holy shit I’m freezing my ass off.”

This new moon has spun me into a bout of dark moodiness. Grey clouds are hugging the ground and from the back door of my new townhouse I can see mist rising out of the distant valley like smoke. The weather calls for introspection and I have dropped my remembrance of the vibrant summer like a stone into a very deep well.

And for my first trip to church in Asheville the theme for the service was “The Via Negativa”. Are you kidding me! It’s all about the Yin aspect of the Yin/Yang; you know, those happily spooning opposites representing the eternal in and out, up and down, light and dark.

Pastor Howard calls us to go inward; to pay attention to our inner life. No more sun and summer; now we are of the moon and winter. The Yin is feminine, fluid, and soft – sometimes dark and cold. And if we did not have the emptiness of the Yin we could not experience it being filled up.

There’s a song in my memory by David Wilcox called “That’s what the lonely is for.” He suggests that we have empty rooms on purpose that call us to begin their filling. Pastor Howard rejoins with, “Without the doo, you ain’t got no Whoop-de-doo.” This guy cracks me up. I’ll be back.

The Via Negativa comes originally from Thomas Aquinas but is brilliantly re-imagined by Matthew Fox (not the “Lost” one).  He explains that it is often at our lowest points, in the darkness and the silence, that God speaks to us most profoundly.

So I am primed for profundity. I miss my friends, and I received news this week that one of my best friends has breast cancer. The prognosis is good, but I am devastated to be unavailable to her.  I can send her words of love and encouragement; I can float my prayers to heaven on angel’s wings; I can project love and light; but what I really want is to hold her in my arms.

And my friend is the inspiration for this blog. She was the first to recognize the call to go inward; to be quiet; to become soft and fluid in opening to the learning. My feelings of loneliness are miniscule in comparison, and she becomes my teacher once again.

So, today I embrace the Way of Emptiness and Longing. And I will be quiet and wait for guidance. The weather forecast promises warmer days ahead, and I will take this cold-spell as early preparation for the long winter yet to come.  Adyashanti says that in this life “struggle is not optional, but suffering is.”

So we move into the cave because we are called to do so; but we will not loiter here; we will keep moving and step through the darkness into the promised light of a new day.

At the end of the road, in Asheville, North Carolina.