~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Monday, February 28, 2011

Before Birth

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Sun rising behind Her glowing, 
heralding a new day.
Feel the beginning in the damp earth
as Her water breaks before birth.
Shivers running up and down spine,
cool breath on this nape of mine.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
When I let go, She smiles with me and within me and joyfulness is everywhere setting me free! How could I ever stress out when She is smiling?! And She is always smiling somewhere, in some way, through one or many of Her miracles of life . . . creatures, plans, landscapes so magnificent that I gasp or so exquisite that I sigh in ecstasy and Her loveliness surrounds and envelops me in Love! Feeling pressure at times that is so unnecessary. Gaia isn't stressing in spite of what we do to Her for She simply IS and she responds to heal self and others perfectly and beautifully and sometimes intensely. Her guiding moon and shining sun beaming energy and life throughout my soul, singing in every cell and dancing within my bones. Silly me, to worry about a little dust on the cabinet or hair under the bed or messy pillows on the couch or dirt on the floor when all is a a part of Her and the wonderful creatures who share my home and kiss away my tears and tug me out of bed in the mornings or jolly me out of a dastardly doldrum that snuck up on me unaware. She is smiling and so am I. Let's laugh through the pressures we put upon ourselves and SMILE. All will turn out exactly as it is meant to be and a little non-perfection is perfect! All I can hum is "zippity-doo-dah" and "what a wonderful world" and skip along among imaginary flowers lining the banks of a babbling brook with its glimmering water from her light of golden rays or moonbeams of silver and smile. For life is what we make it and whether there are pebbles along the path or detours around avalanches of overwhelming obstacles, She is within, holding my hand or singing in my ear and my heart feels lighter for Her presence and before I realize, I am smiling with Her in each moment of total contentment. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Ancient archetype. 
Neolithic Goddess.
Her familiar image is delightful yet also, conversely, always seems a little scary to me--primitive, childish, abstract.
Not birds or the element of air that deters or frightens, but rather this style of representation of Her. Why? What is it about this type of art or this image in particular that I pull away from? What is it that I feel I cannot relate to? How does this image and/or style create a resistance within me?
Does the primitive point to loss of control? To a wild nature? To a deeper freedom of expression? Fear of my wild woman being set free?
Does the childish relate to insignificance? To invisibility? To insecurities going back to memories of pathetic childhood attempts at artistic renderings in pen and paint?
Does the abstract confront my attachment to rules and guidelines? Does the abstract push toward releasing mind and allowing intuition? To open to seeing in a different way? To allow myself to understand an image, object, person, the world in an entirely new perspective?
These concepts break away from my comfort zones, my Safe Self.
To explore Self fully is to open to these parts that feel foreign or frightening.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grandmother Stump

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
I sit upon Her surface, the smooth flat grain a sad testimony to having been cut down in Her prime rather than fallen naturally. And yet, 'to all things there is a season,' who am I to question, and perhaps She would have chosen to give Her life for the good of someone--probably.

So now, as I sit upon Her, I feel the ancient energy channels continuing to plummet deeply to Gaia's core, drinking and feeding, accepting and giving, Her Nadi flowing subtle and strong with creation and participation in the web of life. I sit and feel my own roots join Hers as we allow the Oneness to manifest and bring healing and soothe exhaustion from Her ever-plentiful supply of love and wisdom. Within the roots' patterns, faces emerge slight and ghostly, sharing the knowledge passed through generations. The past can be an exquisite gift when I embrace it for the goodness it brings of love and healing, and transform any painful residue left in it into  a rainbow of honey that flows thick and sweet through my Being and Doing. 

Creating a haven, the roots twist and twine with a cradle here and a staircase there, Her infinite design flowing through life and sheltering, protecting whenever I am needful. Warm and willing, Gaia ever-present.

Bitter-sweet tastes strange upon my tongue as I feel my roots begin to pull away from this specific place, this lovely land I have rested within for many years. Her land that has taught me so much about presence and transformation . . . about letting go and allowing flow to happen . . . about death.  

She has shown me how to embrace my Self fully--Soul as well as Personality and Constitution. For while I am a Spiritual Being using this form in this lifetime, I have come to understand how to honor form in all of Gaia including that which shows me as form. All Her Elementals have come together in a unique and precious package--me--and I honor this gift. A beautiful realization indeed, to know Self and to accept Form. Embrace the experience and share whatever qualities I have for the benefit of others. For this body gives an illusion of separation that I know is not real. We are One. 

As I sit upon Grandmother Stump, she fills me with peace and awe for all experience of form is imbued with love and lessons. Learning is a gift of the manifest world that I open to again and again when it is carried upon the wings of love and within the heart of Gaia.

Deep gratitude for the Infinite ever-expansive invitation to open heart and eyes to realize love and wisdom in form and spirit . . . not to lose Self in seeking Spirit but to embrace the beautiful Wholeness of Being.

Beautiful Grandmother Stump
Gump, Stump and Statue

Thursday, February 24, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
As I lay to rest the past and sink into the present, I feel new life emerging . . . 

A great tree fallen in the forest, I lie here. 
I rest. 
I feel my trunk settle heavily into the earth as the tiny creatures take sustenance from that which I no longer need, and whose time has passed transforming, changing me, we become One as bits fall away. 
I rest, fallen, my leaves turning yellow, then brown and crisp as the sap drains away. High winds were more than I could handle with my aged rigidity and brittle roots that no longer sought nourishment in Gaia but rather readied for transition. 
I rest. 
Soft verdant moss begins to spread upon my sides, cushioning my heart as my inner residue leaks out into Mother. 
I rest. 
Thick figures push up next to me, their broad-brimmed caps spreading, the delicate underlining tissues protected; they huddle close in the shadows of my dissolving torso, white and tan, some are food, some poison, all of them innocent and quiet. 
I rest. 
I feel my rough outer bark disintegrate more with each passing moment and I shudder as a large piece slides off and falls to the ground, curving upward in remembrance of what once was before the beautiful beings pick away at it, using sections for their homes, or morsels for food, and the elements cycle in and out wearing me down to the basics. 
I feel my branches crumble, twigs snapping as they dry up, and watch as a bird builds a nest with bits of once-vibrant me. 
I rest. 
And then . . . 
I feel a movement deep within my heart, a churning, a spark of energy. 
I look and see a precious green shoot, barely visible, making its way up from what was to begin anew, slowly, leaning toward the light that filters through the canopy, following the sun, stretching--yearning, growing. 
A slim green wand that bends in the breezes singing encouragement, waving, deeply rooted in experience yet starting over in joyous youth. 
Taller, stronger, I feel delicate leaves unfurl, waxy in their juices. 
And I quiver with delight in the present newness of Life. And then . . . 
I rest.

This image immediately transfixed me, drawing me rapidly into imagining myself as a fallen tree in a deep forest, waiting for what would happen, seeing, witnessing transformation with a blissful calm. How beautiful to see Mother Nature reflect all that is and ever will be. The manifestations may change but all is eternal cycles of birth, death, rebirth--transformation, energy, vibrations within the cosmos. We move in and out of Akash, aware or unaware or in the space where nothingness is All. To know the cycles within and without, we mirror each other, because separation is an illusion we think we see as the reflection but we are One--no mirror, no reflection, we simply Are That.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flame of Knowledge

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Teacher shares the flame of knowledge and I sit gladly in his presence as together we glean the wisdom and burn the dross--a bit here, there. He holds the flame and points to his heart, guiding attention inward, inviting knowledge to be absorbed into body and soul as well as mind. Teacher speaks words of wisdom that can be learned yet encouraging the deepening that comes with Being in the sounds of the knowledge through generations who learned from Gaia how to Be . . . to know on a cellular level, a subtle level, an energy level, a level of memory excerpted from The Field--Akash. And when I accept Teacher's invitation and open, the Truth seeps in, trickling at first like a spring in the desert then gushing into me, and I realize how little I know of Life in spite of all the learning. 

Teacher offers the flame again and before I reach out, I smile, I inhale the gift, open to its warmth, honor the infinite wisdom of the lines of those who share and guide and teach from their hearts that are open to Source. Then, yes, then I feel Her blessing that comes with the knowledge and a sacred pact is created in the giving and the accepting. To share is to honor Gaia and Teacher who bring the knowledge into form--living elemental examples of purity and truth, wisdom of virtue and love, healing all those they touch. The flame of knowledge lights the way, gently warming and guiding.

A unique image of the masculine that I feel able to easily embrace instead of resist, this gentle Teacher. An image of mind and knowing yet one that shows the spirit of the Divine Masculine in a non-threatening, non-confrontational manner. I feel drawn to this gentle, intelligent Teacher who is strong and steady in his carrying of the flame, sharing his knowledge on the trail through the forest, pointing out the gifts to use to build in harmony with Life, not to destroy. He reminds me of the gentle, passionate men I have met since beginning to release my fears of past experiences and open instead to the kindness within the masculine; a kindness different than the easy flowing of Gaia within and without, yet peaceful and pure in sharing, teaching, guiding.

Teacher shares with me the gifts of passion within structure that can create marvelous opportunities strongly, safely and securely:
"Here. Hold this flame. Bring it within yourself and love its richness of form and color and heat and inspiration. It will transform your knowledge into wisdom that you can share and will be embraced by all who feel your warm desire to BE ONE WITH ALL."
Because my teachers are often animals, it was natural for me to invite Pooka the dog and Mo the cat to be the narrators of "Rainbow Bubbles & Whirling Lights" (a children's book I wrote for my nieces that is also available for public purchase). Here is the backstory!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

She Who Soars

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Ghosts of past fly free at last carried upon the wings of change.
I bow before the pure love that fills my heart and soul as peace suspends time and vision is clear and infinity presses Her hand upon my heart whispering that we travel together sharing the glory of present moments steeped in grace.
My heart is light and brings a smile of bliss that echoes through its chambers carrying the warmth of truth and the love of so many souls who join me along the path that unfolds like the unfurling ferns that grow among the stark sentinel pines. 
Know my heart and all is well . . . 
Sweep into the eye of the hawk and She will show me vistas I could not even imagine as Her shrill cry keens across the canyons where all who hear Her pause, look up, and stare in awe at Her power and freedom. She travels and acquires a different perspective than I do as a land creature who can only catch a glimpse of what She sees so clearly and only that by finding an outcrop o rock on a mountain or the cliff of  canyon wall or the high boughs of a tree who invites me to climb hand-over-hand, branch after branch, until I pull myself up through the canopy to see for miles in all directions and feel my breath simply stop from the sheer magnificence that She knows always.
I honor the spirits that inhabit every being and creature and form that experiences the manifest world. 
The hum is all around always and beyond the hum I feel the air rushing through me, as if I had feathers that could lift me up and carry me into the distance where more experiences are waiting, although it may or may not be a distance in miles outside but a journey within that has been just to the side of the expected road. 
I bow my head and take the path of narrow twisting turns to see what my heart can feel already.
I soar with Her and we are free, even if I travel nowhere. Especially if I travel nowhere.
A silver thread is my tether as I go with Her on journeys of soul, learning, growing. 
Her bright blessings stir my soul into a sparkling champagne of life-giving elixir that rejuvenates and fulfills. From the bubbles emerge the essence of creation as they lift and float out into the great beyond toward She Who Soars. With one flap of Her great wings She guides my dreams gently in the direction of love the dawn waking over the horizon of life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
impish sprite 
comes in the night
and closes my eyes
to what might surprise
thus opening the way 
to delights of the day
in every moment--pause

pixie dust scattered
to sparkle and shimmer
just as the day
gets even dimmer 
and then in the dark
she shows me the spark--
here and now is the cause

where is the effect 
but lining the edge 
of the rainbow or 
seen in the mist of the milky way?

All around us are miracles and I can call them fairies or spirits or molecules or atomic particles or pixie dust and what difference does it really make? Really? We become so trapped by words and beliefs that our minds shut down and cease to renew. So what happens when I see something I cannot explain? Do I call it illusion or delusion or fake or fraud because otherwise they will laugh? And who are "they" and do "they" matter when it comes to following my heart and allowing peace and love and beauty and healing to come in? Do I blind myself or allow someone else to do so? What happens when I allow a mystic energy to close my eyes and open my heart? I emerge from the dark into the light! Yes! Why is it so hard to see other worlds? Do they exist? Does it matter? Why do we no longer see the unicorn in the woods we roam together? Our innocence is hidden away and locked inside behind a door of iron by a tiny key we have swallowed over and over again like the lies we are told as we grow up. But what if?! Imagine! Stop trying to either deny or to see. Simply reach out and touch the sylph I know is riding the wind and see her! Sink my hands into the soil and clasp the rough fingers of gnomes toiling! Another world . . . and another . . . and another! We are all here together if only we could open long enough and deeply enough to see and feel each other. Within Gaia are myriad mysteries--worlds within worlds. Microcosm and macrocosm. It is the same within my physical body where substance and vibration are synchronized into harmony or shattered by discord. There are those who cannot move past the form. They experience a wondrous moment and yet still cannot open their eyes and heart. Like those who know that sound is vibration yet still believe we have to hear with the physical or feel the vibration to experience the resonance! Yet, whether we hear or touch or not, the vibration still happens! This is a mere single nuance of the myriad flows into and out of the infinite. How do we open? How do we hear? Embrace your child-Self, hold hands with the unknowable, play with the unseen that is always in this moment. Trust. Faith. Open. Accept. Let in the sprite to cover your eyes and then fly to awareness of possibility in the amazing grace of Gaia.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Breath of Peace

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
She breathes Peace.
She exhales.
I inhale.
Incredible peace all around . . . 
peace that percolates up from the ground
and falls lightly from the sky
blessing life with Her sigh.
She speaks and Her words 
fly to my heart . . . deep peace.

Messengers in flight, so many shapes and forms from dove to swift arrow that shoots across the sky focused upon a single goal, a single destination disallowing the circuitous route of the natural patterns that write themselves into the template of existence as I await my turn.

She speaks Her own Truth, Her own Identity . . . not that fleshy bag of water and salts of the earth, but That which wears the skin until it shrivels into dust and is carried off by the wind.

What is my Truth? What is my Destiny? Is destiny simply a destination? Or something more? Yet how can there be anything more than here and now?

Messenger of Peace . . . clear the path and cleanse the palette of life for the pure taste of true peace.

Peace is breathing me . . . 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sacred Grove

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Standing in Her Sacred Grove, I become One with the guardians of eternity, their gentle strength infusing my bones and their soft spring branches sharing sap with my tissues as our blood intermingles in the perfect alignment of channels beyond physical substance seen by mortal eyes. Ours is a forest of knowing and honor. We join together as our limbs entwine, Beloved Sentinels, how I shall miss our connection when I am gone though I carry you in my heart, your seeds a treasure I take on my travels beyond the bounds of time and space, and I know I will visit within our Sacred Space of no-time so that we may be together whenever there is need. Blessed Grove, we have shared so much as you have sheltered me and mine, spreading your arms wide, showers of energy raining upon my heart and soul. Your smile I have glimpsed in the chattering squirrels and your love I have heard in the songs of feathered friends--we all have been gifted with your Presence. Beneath your branches I have walked . . . slow, fast, sad and joyous, yet always comforted by your green fringed shawl and thick brown skirt that bring me home. Your mighty grace did lend a serenity to the labyrinth and ease-filled shade to the flower gardens, shielding us from too-strong sun or gusty wind. Sacred Grove, we are One in Spirit, always, though I may travel far away one day. I feel your roots lift beneath me, cradling me in your loving hands, not form but Spirit hidden from all who see only with clouded vision. My heart pounds with parting sadness, borrowing from the future, until I kindly invite my Self back to the present for we are still together--here and now--without separation and our joy of Oneness is a physical blessing beyond measure. Grandmother Moon rises in Her fullness over our heads as we raise our limbs together, mine pale and fragile, yours dark and strong, as we honor She who is within and without, granting life and love and all that is ever to be. I feel Her warmth coursing through me and yearn to join with you, Sacred Grove, to simply Be. And so we are. So simple. That. Be. One. Hands on heart, mine and yours, we will never be apart no matter how far away I travel, never mind the miles . . . One. Basking in moonlight, I rest in you, Sacred Grove, and know Bliss . . . Peace . . . Love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Candle Flame

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
She comes
gentle in the night
Her flame
burning pure and bright
sharing Her light
She leads and guides
Her Spirit ignites

She holds the Salamander and brings the joy of Fire. She is passionate yet peaceful, and carries the will to persevere. She knows the way, Her wisdom a bright and present flare of graceful glory that shines upon the moment in purity and truth. She excites and inspires and does not take 'no' for an answer for Her wisdom comes from deep within. She is the Goddess of the Core of all that ignites and drives and brings ecstasy of being as the flames rise. She simmers and boils, and all is Hers that is the focus of achievement. She holds hands with water and air. She embraces ether and earth. She is the median and the crossroads where radiant transformation results.

Her escort is the Dragon of Empowerment, its colors brilliant and shimmering as it soars near the sun and swoops away, nothing subtle about this glorious creature who cannot be tamed, only partnered with and respected. Together they scorch the old, the residue, creating cleansed ground for new growth and to light the way as the buds emerge seeking the Light that has participated in, even instigated, their rebirth.

She is not always gentle, for Her sister elementals of water and earth carry ease and softness, and so Fire sometimes gets out of control when she talks Air into more fierce games creating conflagration. Yet She is wise and empowering in Her unique qualities when approached in truth, honor and love for Her ability to transform.

I am not at ease with Fire. She can frighten and intimidate me with Her ferocity and determination, as She can take over--and overwhelm--and burn up desire in one mighty blaze. Yet She is here, within, and I can learn to Be with Her. Learn to hold hands, communicate, create, and transform. 

Small steps.
Candle flame.
Become friends.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We Are One Flame

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
I feel the fire in my belly, yet deeper . . . rising flames of inspiration transforming into passionate action. The flame is sporadic, though, requiring constant tending for winds blow and rain falls and it is important to keep some wood dry and safe to lay upon the coals after a storm.

A furnace needing replacement, leaking toxins around corroded intersecting channels of life . . . scattered, depleted fuel draining focus and creating overwhelm by all that needs to be done, all that is needing me, all that is in my mind, all the thoughts . . . 
all . . . ALL . . . overwhelm . . . 

Torrential rainfall and high winds that blow and smother my flame that is fragile to begin with--needing heat, needing warmth--the cold overwhelming the fire.

I can feel myself giving in to the pressure and crumbling like a burnt piece of wood that is a fragile shell of itself. More wood needed--fresh, strong, green, flexible, able to withstand the pressure and be shaped into a new structure, a new life that is calling.

All the elementals come out to play together, but the bullies grab the toys they know will taunt and tease and weaken the susceptible child. Pour a bucket of water on her and make her cry. Blow smoke in her face so she can't breathe. She crumbles into dust, gray ashes of herself that are trampled upon. Where is that fresh wood she asked for? Where is the torch that she needs to re-light the fire in her belly?

Sit. Wait. Maybe it will come if she is still. Step out of the wind for a minute, sheltered by the line of tall trees. Get under a shelter of broad canopies of thickly growing leaves and branches where the rains can't reach. Right now, for a few minutes, she just needs to light the fire from the Source she knows is here somewhere. The fresh wood is here, stacked inside if she can find it. The torch always burning, carried within and without, she does not need to seek it elsewhere. Seek.

She knows an ember still burns warmly and glows with infinite promise. She turns over the coals all ashy, soft and gray as the winter sky at dusk, each one cool and crumbling, gently placing each to the side her fingers leaving prints of past pain and pressure. Ahhh . . . there, a tiny orange glow, see it pulsating--itty-bitty--but that's all she needs as she gathers puffs of dry moss and the most fragile twigs unused by the wrens in building their nests, left as gifts for her use, and the fuel quickly begins to burn from the gentle heat of the ember, bursting into beautiful flames that stretch diaphanous yellow fingers out asking "more, please." And so she adds larger and dryer tinder of twigs, then branches, then trunks who offered themselves in sacrifice to the flame of determination and drive, passion and perseverance, all from the love of Gaia, the Angel of Change, who lights her torch from the fire now burning steadily once more for ours is the same flame. 

We are One Flame.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
New life awaits! 
At the threshold, staring in wonder into the light, into a new life, so bright and shiny and filled with possibility! 
I know the comfort and familiarity of where I am, now, breathing deeply of the safety, the womb surrounding me, here, now, peace . . . even as I feel the tingling begin, and feel the pre-contraction vibrations start to hum, all the subtle signals . . . a gentle poke here, a soft squeeze there, pushing me a bit at a time, as I shift into position. 
Wings are growing out of strong rounded angles, lifting me, barely, just enough to see the horizon . . . to glimpse what might be. 
Tucked away, I've been contentedly curled, healing, seeking Self. I try to stretch out a hand to help but no room and I give up. I attempt to straighten my leg but space is limited and I can't go very far. So familiar and loving. Perfect. 
Yet . . . I hear a call, a Voice, and She sings to me of expansion and exploration, encouraging me to see Her world . . . to reflect what I am feeling inside. 
Rebirth and Balance. 
Life is change and I choose. 
The slippery walls lush with nurture also cause me to slide back into the peaceful dark nest where the soil-- cool and soft as the humus carpeting the forest floor with generosity and abundance--cushions my senses, lulling me into complacency. 
But just as my lids begin to droop, Her Light shines through a gap searching for one who has rested too long perhaps like Snow White ready to awaken and step forward boldly, pushing back the cobweb veil . . . to emerge . . . 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pure Loving Resonance

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Tracings . . . a river of blood.
I hold the light and see the red pulsing flow of life.
Tracings of memory and mystery that run through me and all life.
My arteries and veins, red and blue, renewing and returning, carrying not only nourishment but the sensation of connection to the world of form. 
The rhythm of Gaia's beating heart in me. 
And I see Her channels of life that flow in the rivers and streams, in the lovely veins of ores within stone creating patterns and colors that weave within the solid, in the thin delicate veins of a leaf ever so fragile, vibrating, singing of Love, all of us together. 
On the currents of air we become the invisible flow of life, soaring and sweeping. 
Within the fire we are the seared etchings of past and future transformations. 
I feel the flow of all life when I know my own flow, rhythms, patterns. 
The template that is resonance of being brings these channels into forms infinite and finite. 
Imagine onion-skin templates from the world we cannot see with our tissue-eyes but that require that I look beyond substance, beyond form that is illusion, to the Real that pulses and vibrates in perfect harmony. 
From that space, beyond the veil, I know Her and She is the weaver, Creatrix of all patterns, using gossamer threads of sound to shape each glorious delicate auric template. 
Imagine bringing form, life as we view it in the manifest realm, into creation as the blood flows and the rivers surge and all the elementals begin their dance to the rhythms being created. 
As the pen allows the ink to flow in cursive upon the page, creating shapes similar to others yet entirely unique--a signature, a template, a pattern. The lines and curves join and part forming an image, a world, a representation of one fragment of infinite pattern and form. Her patterns grow and become and are fluid yet shaped so that we can recognize Her in them just as we recognize worlds and sounds in the flow of ink-shapes from the patterns within my hands. The tracings and patterns within me are reflected in the world and I am a reflection of all the templates that I experience on the journey. I hold up my hand and see the wrinkles, the veins and arteries, the skeleton, and ligaments, all creating a wondrous form that began as a thread in Her loom, and before that as an etheric pattern of vibration spreading across the vastness of the infinite expanse of space--Akash. 
That vibration of Oneness where I was not I but simply That. 
Patterns of Being. 
Pure Loving Resonance. 

Navarre seven years ago -- Pure Love

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Siren of the Southwest

SoulCard(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Fire and Air beckon, together they bring me out of my comfort zone--the quiet nest--wherein contentment fills every ounce of being to the point of immobility . . . a beautiful space in which to rest and renew and nourish but stay too long and stagnation moves in.

Fire and Air call out! Nothing soft about these two Elementals. They speak to movement, passion, action.

When the Siren sings, how can we resist?!
I accept the torch and feel my wings grow! 
Deepest gratitude to the Angel of Change . . . 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Helping hands 
gentle hands  
to hold or to set free
Open hands 
welcoming hands  
to offer and to receive 
Creative hands 
transformative hands  
to imagine and to witness
Blessing hands 
release me to fall away into the cleansing waters . . . 

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Pause

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
A moment paused in prayer and contemplation, I feel Her hand reach down to mine. 

I am only half the prayer for She is my other half, for body is nothing without Spirit and Spirit desires the body to be in the world. We are connected as our palms touch; feel the bliss that flows, warm and cool like the ginger and mint who share energies yet manifest uniquely in their subtle essences. 

She is the angelic chameleon as She comes within, and yet has always been here, just as She is ever near in each blessed being I walk with on this earth path. I feel Her shift within and I witness Her transformation in the cycles of seasons and the wisdom of the animals who show Her always projecting through them her miraculous movements of meditation. She is the calm I feel on the in-breath and the smile that glows on the out-breath as peace descends in ethereal rainbows. Each moment in contemplation is a gift from Her to Be and I welcome Her with open heart as She moves within, releasing . . . . Balance settles in and the others sense our shift into presence, moving nearer, relaxing in their own skins and souls. A warm, soft ear lays lightly upon my thigh, a cool wet nose tucks itself into my upward-facing palm, a warm breath kisses my lips. All settle into stillness until we are One without separation, energies flow as One and we become Her field of knowing. Perfect peace and stillness.

Points in meditation when all the the world falls away and only She remains as we pause in prayer. Not to pray with purpose or ask for attachments in their forms that arrive with desire, but prayer of presence, an honoring of Her as She moves within and invites me to experience Her world of love and compassion and beauty, and She offers me ways to share Her with others that are insignificant to the outer-world ideas of purpose yet profound within my own heart and soul. When I feel Her and open my eyes to see Her all around me in form I feel deep love and blessing. What a gift She offers! I embrace the animals and hug the trees and thank the elementals for allowing themselves to be molded into new creations as I sip tea from a ceramic cup. 

Our hands touch. Our palms meet. I pause in prayer of Presence.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
We are family, the voices in me; we share our thoughts and visions. All are blessed. All are important little children of mind, all lined up like daffodils in a row with their faces glowing and colors showing. Within the dreams we share, our energies merge and separate as cream rises unique each time in subtle ways. Who is yearning to be heard? Who wishes to reveal a secret wish or an idea or to solve a problem? I sleep with them growing from my mind, wrapped around my head like the nightcap of blue-flowered flannel Grandma made for the child-me, warming and comforting. We are family.

Image of comforting visions, reminding me of the gratitude I feel for the family--chosen as well as given--I have been blessed with in this life. Sorting photos into piles, removing the pictures from albums that create linear memories. I am reminded of how much I liked going through Grandma's photos all jumbled in boxes, without organization. That's how memories arise or thoughts of past ideas . . . without proper place . . . or how dreams come up and we wonder where they developed from . . . the mysteries of origin. I enjoy not knowing what image my fingers will touch or turn over next, to skip years and decades, easily hopscotching around from place to moment to space, a smile here, a landscape there, a furry familiar face blurred by time, a park we visited so long ago followed by the trees from last fall. We are family.

Gaia wears each soul, each being that has come into form, each consciousness that has become manifest. She wears all of us upon Her and within Her, and we are all as uniquely beautiful and valuable and loved as any of the voices in my mind or the members of my family or community or friends or colleagues or those I meet during daily living. And Gaia wears us with a smile of love and compassion for we are family, all life, all beings. She wears all of us from the cats and dogs to the cactus and the redwood, to the cosmos and the tulip, to the orange and the green bean. We are the many voices of Gaia. We are family.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reach Out to Fear

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Sometimes I hide myself away, my essence occluded by the darkness. The weight can come heavy upon me like a mudslide, thick and sticky. I hold my hands in defense yet resistance only increases the stagnant energy sucking the life from my marrow. And yet, all around me, I can still sense the clear air and the sea-green foam of Her waves . . . in and out, in and out . . . the rhythm eases into me and I feel myself absorbing, taking Her in, accepting, opening, and through this I feel the darkness recede through the clogged channels and the mud thins, Her cleansing tears washing through me, dissolving the weight of the coagulated earth. A grotto beckons, a luminescence from within, blue and green and gold shimmering within the mirror of Her womb where She waits to cradle my battered soul.

I see Fear inside myself, its dark body cringing and cowering, trying to pull away, to hide from the world, from decisions, from taking risks. Sneaky little devil that slinks around in the mud, or pops out of it from the rising gas and heat and air trapped beneath the surface. And Fear can appear without warning, even in the midst of exciting adventure and opportunity, teasing with its dark secrets of past mistakes or tugging and nagging to beware the doom of the unknown with its "I can't" or "What if" that poke and prod with sharpened stick.

Yet Fear is not to be stuffed down or hidden away or treated with anything less than compassion. Fear is a child of Survival, yet it can grow into knots and become misshapen if we don't soothe it and nourish its soil. Allow Fear to be present, feel it, see it, look at the muddy face hiding behind hands raised to shield itself from "trying" something new or being courageous in the onslaught of someone else's attempts to control. Gently call to Fear as to a wounded animal or child. Softly but firmly wash away the grime from fear's cheeks and begin to reveal the truth. Poor little thing, hiding and cowering, not knowing where to go or how to heal or even the source of its behavior. 

Reach out to Fear with the Light of Compassion . . . 

A drawn card can elicit memories, inviting me to visit the past as this one did . . . such a precious journey . . .

Monday, February 7, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
She stands before me simple and wise, 
soft serenity in her gentle eyes, 
offering me Her gift of seeing that which sustains. 

From out of the depths of the forest, She brings all that I need, sharing with open heart and stirring the energies of Life in Her precious bowl smoothly carved from ancient tree fallen long ago. Between the slender trunks behind Her, the Light shines brightly, illuminating our sacred space. I accept Her offering for my own nourishment and to share with others. From beyond the rim of the trees that protect lay open spaces and infinite possibility. I need never hunger in the journey before me, stepping out into those unknown lands of future because She will be with me, nourishing, offering her Love, and She will sustain me. No matter where I step, She is under foot and touching skin and nourishing from within.

She stirs the soup and the ingredients are those I need in the moment be they courage, strength, discernment, acceptance, love, detachment, enthusiasm or passion. All are welcome; the ingredients are there . . . a pinch of perseverance, a cup of compassion, always balancing to the taste of Now. And I learn to make the soup for myself and others, as the recipes fade and intuition becomes luminous.

She is Woman of the Woods with green hands and brown feet, her fingertips yellow from pollen, her blue eyes reflecting the deepest lake, and her rose-red lips that speak of compassionate care for Self and form and all those who are in need. She is Willow-supple and Oak-strong, her hair cascading ferns and flowers, while she carries lady-slippers gifted by the fairies for when she dances in the moonlight. She moves with the grace of the deer and her touch is soft as bunny-down and her voice is lilting with the songs of a thousand birds in perfect symphonic joy.

She is always with me wherever I go. All I need is to be still and She will reveal herself within the elements and the qualities of Gaia as I taste of Her essence and am nourished in soul and substance . . . 

As so often happens, a song comes that enriches my experience of this day's Journey of Soul Inquiry. And I'm not surprised that John Denver is the artist for this one . . . as I invite you to pause a moment and listen to "I Want To Live" . . .

Sunday, February 6, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
I sit within Her elemental shrine, vistas of diversity inspiring me to open in new ways, encouraging me to break out of the mold of desire and to embrace the moment before desire when I am fully and joyously present. I release expectations of exactly how all should be and open to infinite possibility. Her tendrils spread and grow within, sharing Light and Love in Life. Peace envelops me as I sit in quiet contemplation of this perfect moment. I am the soul of the sands trickling through the hourglass of life, gracefully allowing the natural beauty to show me the unexpected. No need for pretense or to be someone I am not for Gaia is within and shares Her unique manifestations as I gaze wide-eyed in awe and wonder at green and brown alike, at stone and dark rich earth, at forests and deserts, each glorious and perfect as is. I feel Her essence coursing up from root and ground, carrying my Self on a journey of discovery that is not only of me but of all with whom I come in contact be they human, animal, plant or mineral. We are One. We are Connected. This sensation of energy, this vibration, this Light is for all and with all. We can know incredible joy in Her when we sit in Her center, feel Her core that glows out of every pore surrounding our living experience. I sit with Her, deep in the canyon shelf, sheltered and safe, cooling from the heat of action that sometimes beats down so brightly upon my mind and body that I scarce can see from the glare. And I allow the glow from within to warm and cool, nurture and inspire, all at the same time. When I return to center--stillness--Gaia--an incredible lightness grounds me. Bliss.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Spider hovers at the edge of her web, the center a deep dark hole, and Spider crouches . . . waiting . . . to go within? or for something to emerge?

And then, like those pictures that shift into something entirely different, my perception wavers and

I turn the image upside down . . .

or right-side up . . .

Her Soul is crying out, calling for help as she spirals downward into an abyss, downward into the lost world. "Help!" She is caught in the slow sinking depression of being trapped and she feels herself circling the drain, clinging white-knuckled to the edges. Just when she thought that all was perfect, the foundation dropped out from under her and she was sliding off the edge of the world, so maybe ancient beliefs were actually right and we can fall off the edge of the world into oblivion . . . .

Maybe not but it can seem that way at times, even if that sensation is only for a nano-second it can still come up, it can appear when we least expect it. This is the journey, the human experience. 

A web can be secure, safe, holding Spider so she doesn't fall as she creates from within.
A web can be a trap, where we become stuck and unable to set ourselves free.
A web is perception come alive.

A whirling spiral can sweep us into oblivion or it can take us into new journeys of Self.

She can bring a new world into creation or continuing crying for the one that is lost, clinging . . . .

Touches of yellow . . . the bile of resentment and anger or the sparks of willpower only waiting to ignite from their ember state . . . from their embryonic state . . . perception.

What do I really see before me? What do I perceive?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Scattered Sparks and Blazing Eyes

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Go deeper ! 
Seek ! 
Wonder ! 
Explore ! 
Open ! 
Heat crackling within . . .
     We are pulsing, knowing, consumed by flying embers shot out in scattered sparks.
As I pass my Self, She is eagerly burning with passion, truth.
     The fire rises and continues to burn, blazing across the sky, steam rising from her ocean, lifting, rising.
Rising . . . what is rising . . . ?
     Burn away the dross !
Ignite the ember embedded within the seeds !
     Fire is friend not foe, yet Fire is frightening with Her blazing eyes and burning will.
She empowers and inspires, fanning the flames.
     Some seeds need fire to grow into their own magnificence.
Splendor of seeds spread far and near, waiting for their chance, that one conflagration that will crack the shell and spill their hearts into the Mother where She will nurture and together they bring change and awakening.
     Fire cannot be ignored or She may burn out of control, across all lines, yet sometimes this is vital to transition and transformation.
She cooks her wisdom, perfecting, stirring the pot until it is hot, bubbling, and ready to nourish.
What do I see when I look into Her fiery eyes? A glow. Passion.
Through the fire comes renewal.
Cracks appear like threads of light that are woven into a tapestry of flaming will. The will to Be or Do or Stay or Go. 
The flaming sword of discernment wielded with care and grace.
Light breaks through the fire, brighter, more intense, and I fall into the Light knowing it will not harm.
Within the cauldron swirls the infinite potential of Soul, resting in water, contained within earth, tempered by fire, and lifted upon the air to rise into ether--to pause in space and know the Oneness of all within the Cauldron of Life. Over and over . . . 
Swirling cycles of becoming, rising.
And the flame of eternal being is here. 
Feel the heat rise.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Transformative Serpent

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
Warm Stimulation
Subtle Action
Mesmerizing Beauty

She comes to me in so many forms, Her essence expressing what I need to hear, see, feel, or know. She is the Transformative Serpent, bold in Her wisdom and subtle in Her action as She brings intensity to the fore. Am I ready to go with Her on this new journey? 

She lies coiled as a spring, preserving energy until just the right moment to act. Shimmering before me, I feel Her strength and my own timidity in face of it. Yet I also feel that Her love and intensity is without judgment or expectation for She simply IS and will embrace me no matter how confused or hesitant I am. Serpent comes to be with me in this moment as a blessing and offering . . . and also as a reminder of the spiral in which I travel with others as our lives intertwine when we least expect it. 

We meet in this open space, in stillness, and the stark landscape presents a new image, a different perspective, a mirage of reality. See the subtle and feel Her energy in incremental movements of life, where the tiny is profound and calls to a place within where specks of dust have laid undisturbed for decades or eons. See the trail She leaves in the dust, in the sand, in the dry riverbed? 

Follow the trail with its almost invisible signature of what has passed before, barely there, yet powerful. Follow the slight upheaval of a spotted gray pebble shifted onto its side, lifting a minute wave of sand in its wake as Serpent leads the way through a wasteland that is only illusion, merely dormant awaiting  the rain that always comes. And the rains are in the distant rumbling sky as I continue along the trail following the essence of what was . . . 

Then the sky begins to darken and the wind picks up her pace creating small dust-devils that are spirals of a different energy that throw sharp-edged sand to sting my cheeks and blind my eyes if I am unaware. 

Serpent has paused and is waiting, coiled once more, Her stare asking a silent question. The rains are coming. Are you ready? Is this where I want to be when the rains fall and flood the landscape? Do I want to be trapped in the dry riverbed to be washed away in the torrential sweep of overwhelm? Or do I want to be on higher ground with wide open vistas before me, soaking up the droplets of inspiration with every fiber of my being?

A message from the future? A gift of divination? 

The rains of creation and inspiration and action will come, they always do, but where and how do I want to BE when they fall? 

Serpent is showing the way. She is guiding and divining. All I have to do is open . . . 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In The Belly

SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
I dance in joy among the green 
where fairies fly yet are not seen, 
where as a child I used to go 
to play with moss and rocks . . . to know. 
Here within the green I see 
the truth of what's become of me, 
and some of this is crisp and fair 
while other parts are stripped and bare. 
How do I light the glow within? 
How do I start, begin again? 
She picks me up and twirls me 'round 
and we sashay upon the ground. 
Not the surface portion, no, 
deep within is where we go. 
And see the greening, waiting peace, 
among the gnomes who toil for a piece 
of gold, they mine Her treasures to share with us 
in love and harmony and trust. 
Not the gold of glittering cold 
but the warm molten glow 
of souls who grow and shine 
. . . yours and mine. 
She twirls me 'round and we laugh, 
She lets me fall into Her lap.
Goddess pure and loving, strong and full, 
and from within I feel Her pull. 
I kick up my heels in joyous dance 
and fling out my arms embracing chance.
I feel Her in the greening below, 
waiting, we are One beneath the snow. 

From within lies all the wisdom, 
love and truth I need in this life, 
I open and Her waters 
wash away all strife, 
for it only stays if I do cling, 
so I shall lift my voice and sing! 
All awaits me now--and then--
as I feel Her singing begin again! 
This cycle of birth and death is reflected every second in me 
and in Her gifts of Nature if mine eyes do see. 
Really SEE. 
This is the moment--now. 
To awaken and ask--how? 

"Seek and ye shall find." 

Open and She is here.

The storm twirls outside, crazy laughter of the wind, 
and burning cold within the frigid air, 
the crystals falling like the sparkles of a million 
snow-globes all shaken at the same time, 
a blanket deepening yet within and below, 
far beneath the stark white snow, 
we dance in our rooms of warm brown and gold, 
hugging the seeds, feeling no cold, 
dropping nourishment bit by bit, 
rocking them in the roots 
of ancient beings who share their wit 
without hesitation. 
All around a softening as the dancing calms, 
the party lighter, as we rest in the pause, 
and I feel Her always, 
see Her aura in my reflection in 
the newness of life waiting to be born--again.

After I began writing this morning, I realized (although I already knew it on a deep level) the significance of this day--Imbolc . . . "in the belly."

A beautiful cross-quarter day to celebrate the spark of pregnancy. What a perfect Soul Card I drew (blindly, as always) to represent this day and to remind me of all that lies within just beneath the surface waiting to be born.

And, ever the curious soul, I googled to see if I could learn something fresh about this day. Sure enough, I came across what this day means to many New Englanders at BeliefNet.com:

Here in New England, where I have lived since 1967, the land now lies under two feet and more of snow, with another snowfall due in a few days. Yet if you know the land beneath the snow, this is perhaps the most *formidable* of all the four cross-quarter days. The old Yankee saying about this day runs: "Half your wheat and half your hay / and you may yet live till the First of May." (thank you to the commenter Rober Mathiesen for this; the entire post was informative)

I had never really thought of this day as "formidable" but now I can clearly understand how it could be! Not only from a physical survival aspect, but also for my soul . . . how can I birth anything in the Spring if I haven't spent time nurturing that which I wish to manifest into creation?

With these thoughts in mind, I'm off to brave the snowstorm and make a ritual offering of milk to Gaia!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


SoulCards(c) Deborah Koff-Chapin
I slumber in stillness.
I feel a presence before I see her waiting for me to awaken.
In this form, she is light on her feet and fleet in her journey, innocence surrounding her with the simple joys of each moment. She peers at me curiously as I shudder, the chill seeping in, the dark of twilight descending upon us.
What does she want to share with me?
     "Look around."
I hear her words and struggle to open my eyes again, heavy lids resisting.
She has a voice so pure that it drifts like sage, cleansing, purifying, awakening and inner glow.
And then I know that I am to renew the journey now that I have rested.
     "Now is not yet the time to remain still for long."
I realize that I have much to do and share. I feel time passing quickly, bounding, leaping; my cells dying in massive numbers, tissue breaking down. The process of aging. Each life journey of every soul precious to the whole.
     "Yes. Purpose."
I hear her voice, see her elegant brown form so simple yet incredible as she moves with a grace that only the most gifted ballerina could hope to imitate and still not quite be the fluidity of the one who is at home with the perfection of every movement in the moment. Her presence, her gentle love, her inspiring agility, are breathtaking in their effortlessness.
And I feel her essence move within me, her acceptance of unique purpose, her release of tension.
She lowers her face toward mine and we gaze into each other's eyes and are One. We merge and I feel her peace well up inside me until I overflow with love and purpose of Being.
I within her and she within me, a grace comes in, a fluidity of movement, a lightness that Deer teaches in her perfection of Being.
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