Archive for November, 2012

It is such an honor to offer this reading at the request of my dear lodge sister Carla Goddard, Shaman Medicine Woman, for her virtual Full Moon Healing Ceremony on Wednesday, November 28th.

I held a fire on Friday night, the 23rd, as I opened my mesa with the intention of asking what do those who are called to this fire need to see? My mesa lay open on Pachamama, under the night sky, one that brought rain and fierce winds by morning. All elements were present and accounted for!

There is a beauty and a mystery that burns within every soul that calls us to this fire. One that cannot be known through intellect. A calling that spans through time and space, through any perceived borders or boundaries. A call from all directions on our globe. There is no differentiation of race, creed or belief that determines the arrival of each soul to this sacred destination.

We have come for we are doing the work of the collective. Burning ancient roots embedded in both our personal and collective psyches. Burning mistaken identities of who we are. Burning ideas and beliefs of what does it mean to be spiritual. Burning masks of what we think our spiritual personas are supposed to be.

False and mistaken identities we have come to believe as truth. The limited versions of ourself. The overly nice parts of who we are. We have come to burn the shadows of our soul. Our demons are a part of our humanity that cannot be ignored, suppressed or denied for it is the demons of our darkness that are clamoring to the light. Hidden in fear for centuries, through eons of time.

This is what is deconstructing. This is what is called to the fire now. The longing of the lies to die. Our souls can no longer tolerate the lies we have told ourself, the lies imprinted upon us. We have lived with these lies for so long we are uncertain of who we are. Without these false cloaks of spiritual identity there is chaos. A deconstruction of what we think we know. And this is part of what calls us to this sacred flame.

Yet the fire also feeds our luminous body. It feeds our passions. It fuels the spiritual seeds of awakening just as water nourishes seeds planted in the belly of the Earth. Our spiritual seeds are awakened by fire. We are called to deconstruct. And we are called to rebirth. To become more intimate with the sacred fire that burns within each one of us. To learn the ways of tending our own sacred fire so our fires are not raging out of control. So we have enough resources to sustain and feed our fires. So we keep the eternal flame of our sacred fires burning in our hearts and bellies to feed our sacred purpose and our walk in the world. To feed and tend our relationships both with ourself and with those we are most intimate with. So that the fires within us do not consume the fires of another but rather feed and sustain the fires within every soul.

The shell at the bottom is off my mestana (textile). It speaks to the depths that are necessary. The depths of listening, the depths of vulnerability that we are being asked to surrender to in order to source from the deepest waters of mystery. The strategies we have used to control and manipulate the outcome are no longer sustainable to navigate the course of our life. We may believe we have given up all control. We are being asked to go deeper than ever before. Deeper into the unknown. We must be surprised, allow something new to arise and awaken from our depths or we are holding on to the safety of certainty.

Our vulnerability is the source of our truest power. Any place not in alignment will not be sustainable. This may appear as a crisis and create fear around a loss of control. But the crisis is an agitation of a state of being whose energetic vibration can no longer be sustained.

Our roots have anchored us to our past. Our roots have hidden in shadows. We may be blind to how our demons are informing our actions. We cannot change what has come before but if our roots are tangled in resentment, bitterness or anger we need to clear these channels so our roots are anchored in our power to create. Our channels to source are clear. We consolidate our creative power and channel that life force energy so we may align with our sacred purpose. We cultivate a sacred expression of our life in action.

Our source arises in stillness. Our inner authority is our guide. The direction we travel is one of depth. The depths we reach in silence and stillness are the depths to which we ride the rivers of our destiny.

This is what the kuyas speak.

Karen Chrappa

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Co-dependency: the hallmark of a dysfunctional relationship.

No heavy dose of psychoanalysis is needed to diagnose my relationships as dysfunctional. I am guilty of co-creating malfunctioning partnerships confusing love with sex while haggling my own needs just so someone won’t leave me.

After 50+ years on the planet I have gained enough emotional sobriety to see the dysfunctional threads of co-dependency in my personal life. Now I wake to find them in places where I never thought it possible for them to exist. These threads of dysfunction are so deeply woven in the fabric of our collective consciousness we have become blind to their reality.

I began to think of these things as an image of Christ glared from the back of an SUV during a run through the privileged suburbs of NYC. Christ on the back of a Range Rover triggered ruminations of my own Catholic upbringing.

Ok. Maybe Catholic is a bit of a stretch.

Most of the Bible stories I know I learned from the movies; Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, The Robe, Godspell, Barabbas, Samson and Delilah, Jesus Christ Superstar (is anyone with me or have I completely dated myself?)

My fierce, church-going grandmother (God rest her blessed soul) drove the fear of God straight to my heart. Stick out your tongue was her mantra whenever she thought I was up to no good. Sure enough a black spot appeared on my tongue, a sign straight from God that I had in fact sinned. It did not matter that the divine abberation was only visible to the eyes of my grandmother the voice of God had indeed spoken.

Thoughts of God filled me with fear. His super sonic vision could see every flaw, sin and wrongdoing I was up to from his throne in the sky. The impressions that laid a foundation for my religious orientation were not terribly formal but one thing was sure. In the eyes of God I was not good enough.

Inherent in any co-dependent relationship is an imbalance of power. We lose the voice of our inner authority as we succumb to the needs of our oh so human heart. We are driven by our needs for love, attention, security and approval. When they go unmet we shape our self in ways we believe will make us loveable.

The Catholic ritual of confession is an imbalance of power in action if there ever was one. Inside a dark and musty, smaller than a broom closet booth you begin a conversation with Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It is all downhill from there. Who stands a chance against the priest with a direct pipeline to God?

When we assign someone else the job of loving us, validating us, making us feel safe and secure we get to be rescued. We are off the hook. We get to avoid having to love our self. The savior takes on this responsibility and feeds their own false sense of empowerment.

Once someone has rescued you they now have a measure of control over you. They have established a position where they can influence your behavior. Once you surrender your power to another it is very difficult to take any action. You become a sheep in the herd. As long as we believe God is out there or found through the next spiritual teacher or guru we remain spiritually famished.

What if each individual believed and followed the truth of their own authentic voice? What if the value of individual truth was greater than the dogma of blind faith? Would centuries old traditions still hold merit?

When we believe someone outside of our self holds more power than we do, be it a priest, rabbi, guru, yogi, shaman, monk, (the spiritual title really does not matter) we give away a piece of our soul.

One of the practices I love in shamanism is that of burning your teachers in a ceremonial fire. Our spiritual teachers, from whatever tradition we hail from, can become obstacles on our own path. Anyone or anything that we believe holds more power than we do is where we weave cords of co-dependency.

Weeding out the untruths is how we come to know what is authentic for our own heart and soul. The seeds of religious truth intersect at some sacred junction of the human mind and divine mind. Truth land in our being as a knowing. No doctrine is needed to defend or justify their validity.

Truth is something each of us must find for our self. Just because someone says so does not make it true. Just because it is written in a holy book does not make it doctrine. We must discern if words spoken through a spiritual authority resonate with our own. If we look long enough we get to see the many false idols, false prophets and false beliefs imprinted through a collective consciousness of voices we have been swimming in for centuries.

Upending the throne of the outer authority reveals the seat of the glorious power that is you.








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Is Facebook for real? Or should I say if you knew me at twenty would you still be my friend?

I never believed an authentic connection could arise through social networking. I held fast to face to face, old school ways of relating as the only true connection. Since joining the magical matrix last year a burgeoning soul family has taken root. I have ridden these ethereal connections to Bimini, New Mexico, Arizona, DC, Virginia, Montana, Maryland and Florida to come face to face with friends from the internet.

Authentic, rich and soulful.

Through these serendipitous waves I find myself in the midst of a group of fabulous, midlife, women bloggers! An invitation to blog hop (an online tag game of sorts). The topic?

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

I blow the dust off the grey matter of memory to turn back time. Who was I thirty years ago?

At twenty my biggest character flaw was my two pack a day smoking habit. Along with a heavy consumption of cigarettes I consumed heavy doses of alcohol (it’s in the genes). Occasionally there are blackouts. Intermittent all nighters are fueled by lines of cocaine (can I be arrested for this admission now?).

God I sound awful.

No boyfriends or solid relationships at twenty but I have been pregnant. Taking the no-nonsense wake up call of my best friend I have an abortion way before teenage pregnancies became romantic reality shows.

By twenty I had an Associate degree from a local community college. Without the diploma to look at (it’s been a long time) I am not exactly sure what my degree is in but my career idea was to go into people’s homes and fix their families. This is before I have any understanding of what projection is.

Most of the money I made at twenty came through bartending. The best gig was at JFK until the air controllers went on strike and I lost my job.

What advice do I give my self-deluded, self-destructive, self-absorbed 20-year-old?

For starters it would probably go something like this…

Clean up your act. Stop drinking. Stop smoking. Stop wasting your time with men who do not see your beauty and value your gifts. Snap out of it! 

At twenty I am someone who needs advice. Desperately. But the last thing I would have taken from anyone was advice. Yet whatever advice I would have offered I seemed to have stumbled upon along the way even without the words ringing from the elder voice I had yet to become.

For even in the midst of self-destructive behaviors, underlying longings of health and healing peeked through with forays into yoga classes, staring into candles, attempts to meditate, self-induced fasting regimes.

My healing journey began in earnest just a few years past twenty.

So the biggest advice I would give my twenty year old self is the same advice I would give myself now.


Trust that everything you need is within you. Trust your intuition, the whispers that speak through your heart and soul. Follow the drumbeat of your own two feet. Know you are loved. You are not incidental. You are here for a reason. You have a sacred purpose and the Universe would be less were you not a part of it.

I am where I am now based on advice I would have given my 20-year-old self. Advice never spoken yet somehow heard.

Divine guidance is always at work.


Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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I have been feeling a sensitivity to loss. A deeper sense of grief and letting go as many things have been washed clean from my life over the past year. Truth be told this cleansing started even before then.

This heightened loss is amplified by the ending of a 26,000 year cycle of evolution as prophesied by many traditions, including the Mayans. Heightened by the waves of devastation in the aftermath of the storm Sandy here in New York and along the East Coast.

Endings bring death. Necessary to birth anew. Yet the transition of not knowing what is to come is unsettling. Life loses its anchor.

This longing of heart and soul called me to ceremony. I open my mesa.

What message do you hold to offer guidance during these times of great transition?

At the very heart of this reading sits a kuya (stone) from Ausangate, the holy director of the Apus (mountains) of the Andes. These times call from us the heart of a warrior. The strength and fortitude to stand on our own two feet.

We must embrace both the darkness and the light, the totality of our beings in order to point the way to a new vision. A vision that directs us to our sacred purpose.

We must clear the channels to connect to Pachamama. Listen with our soft bellies to her wisdom. Let our breath feel its way to her rhythms, her cycles, her heartbeat. Learn to move in flow with her life force. In this way we discover our own rhythms and cycles for we are not separate from our Mother.

It is time to listen from the depths of stillness. As chaos swirls around us we must have a haven within to hear the truth of our inner authority rather than be propelled into the whirlwind of fear and anxiety that has fueled our consciousness for so long. It takes a conscious effort to disengage from the addictive patterns of drama and collective frenzy to discover the still silent beacon within.

It is time for an honoring and recognition of our ancestors. A remembering of our roots. Our minds could not possibly comprehend all those that have come before us to bring us to this moment in time. Every step we have taken holds the steps of every ancestor woven through time. We must walk with respect with those who have brought us to this great juncture in history.

The ethereal bridge of faith is needed to connect us in ways where our mind is not able. Our minds have served far too long as masters of our fate. Trust in our divinity, trust in our sacredness, trust in the knowing that we are right where we are meant to be is our salvation now.

We must develop the sensitivity to how every thought, every feeling is reverberating within us and effecting the world around us. Life in one way or another has left us scrambling for higher ground. Where is the lifeline to safety and security? That is not where our liberation lies. Letting go of everything we know about what is safe, letting go of everything we thought would make us feel secure is unraveling asking us to surrender old lifelines to the tidal waves of uncertainty that are purging through each and every one of us.

The mind has enslaved us to a fate of limitation, sacrificing our souls for the creature comforts of modern-day consumption. We are being asked to pay attention to what we are consuming. How are we using and expending our resources? The resources of our planet? It is the shifting foundations of power that are crumbling leaving us challenged to find ground until the rumblings subside and the shifts of the tectonic plates of our identity realign.

Drinking from the wells of stillness, honoring the teachings that have come before us create actions that bring beauty to the world. A sacredness for life rises from the depths of our being as the veils of separation fall away. We know, from the deepest recesses of our Soul, we are intimately woven with all of life. From the roots of the Earth to the illumination of the Stars we are not separate.

It is difficult still to know and live in this truth. The spiritual wound of separation runs deep. This is the truth we are being propelled towards. This is the rebirthing we are waiting for. To re-remember who we are. Not as the diminished wounded creatures we have been led to believe but as the majestic Beings of light beyond measure.

Death is coming to the limited ways of being, of seeing who we are. Fear arises in death. We do not know what lies ahead. Discovering the inner authority as guide without falling prey to the conditioned suppression of our true natures leading us to believe we are less than, bound and chained in fear is awakening.

Faith and trust are the steps to a new path. A path of liberation. A freedom of each Soul rising to the majesty they were born to be.

This is what the kuyas speak.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of  A Structure for Spirit

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