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Lost Your Divine Mother?

It’s been three months since mom died from Alzheimer’s. I knew this day would come.

The last few years I traveled 500 miles every six weeks to dance and play with Mom. (I am so glad I memorialized that journey!) Now the pattern has changed and I’ve felt the need to experience my mother as gone, so today I am at Lake Elsinore visiting with George, her partner.

The May weather is perfect. As we reminisce and sort through pictures, I sense Mom growing happier, more beautiful, funnier, and peaceful. I cry every now and then. It is good to miss her.

How do we prepare to lose a mother?

My husband’s mother died from breast cancer when he was 12. His brothers were 9 and 7. Her illness and loss are traumatic. Grief got a front row seat and never left it. I watch these men continuously suffer and survive.

Can no one replace a mother? Stephen and I joke about dead mother shows. Every other film seems to pivot around someone’s motherloss.

I have a crackpot theory that souls cry out for divine mothering yet many of us are bereft of ritualized images or stories of the divine feminine. Not true of male imagery, there’s oodles of that.  As a consequence we easily project our need for HER on mortal women who never fail to disappoint and devastate us. It’s a nasty set-up.

As a wife, teacher, and occasional minister and even to myself I say, “I’m not your mother! Do you know where your divine mother is?”

I knew Alzheimer’s would take mom. I’d be motherless. So one day in Mumbai at a Cathedral named in honor of Mary, I bought a glow in the dark Mary to wear around my neck. I  stood at her shrine, opened to her and asked her to take care of everyone I love. Something in me relaxed. Even now, in the middle of the night I look down at my heart to see her continuous glow.

I miss Mom. And, she’s part of the Great Mother now. Is it Mother Earth? The Divine Feminine? Or the Matrilineal DNA Song line? She offers me Nurture, Wisdom, Fierce Love, Procreative Capacity, and Beauty. I know where my mother is. She’s in my heart, my dancing, and as scientists say  in my very DNA.

“Our mitochondrial DNA comes exclusively from our mothers, and because of this…geneticists and historians can trace maternal genealogies back for generations… Scientists have proposed that matrilineal lines around the world could be traceable back to one woman, called mitochrondrial Eve, who lived in Africa about 150,000 years ago—which would mean that every human being on earth is a descendant of mitochondrial Eve’s.”

Each of us must lose and find Mother. Sometimes we have to do this and also be one. Bless us all. Happy Mother’s Day.

Mom’s image of woman lying down.


NickNames for God….and the winner is?

Rob Brezny, author of Pronoia and astrologist extraordinaire wants us to play! He writes,

The Russian word for God is “Bog.”
The Basques call the Supreme Being “Jingo.”
To purge your psychic dockets of built-up fixations about deity, you might try singing improvisational prayers to “Jingo Bog.”

Here are a few other fresh names to inspire you:
Blooming HaHa
Divine Wow
Sublime Cackler
Chthonic Riddler

Lets give Mystery some nicknames!
Oh! Java my soul!
Oh! UnZipper of the Zumba Lala!

If you find your mystic and psi-kick flags waving and want support at how to play with all of this, Mystic Tech may be for you. Try a one on one session? The packets that I send to monthly members will be available soon. Stay tuned.

The Curriculum for Body & Soul

DANCE—THE SACRED ART: The Joy of Movement as a Spiritual Practice By Cynthia Winton–Henry through SkyLight Paths Publishing

When I left seminary teaching after twenty years I was asked to write a book. I did my best to write down what I learned for anyone interested in healing the split between body and soul by regaining access to the West’s lost sacred art–Dance.

If you’re thinking ‘But I’m not a dancer’ or ‘I feel awkward,’ I hope to reassure you. You don’t need a special talent to move. You don’t need to be ‘graceful’ or especially coordinated. You don’t need a body that’s ‘in shape.’ Dancing helps us embrace all this humanity. Dancing connects us to the holy of life.” –from the Introduction.

Discover movement as a place of solace and restoration as well as an energizing spiritual force. Tap into the spirit of dancing throughout history and in many world cultures. Get detailed exercises that rebuild trust in the body and interpret its physical and spiritual intentions.

• Celebrate your unique spirituality and get in touch with your own wisdom

• Unify body and mind, and push your personal boundaries.

• Work through trauma or crises and restore spiritual well-being

• Deepen your relationships and strengthen your community

• Find spiritual direction

…and much more!

What people are saying about this guidebook…

A dose of joy, like dancing itself! My toes started tapping and my shoulders kept the beat until I couldn’t sit still for another moment. Thank Goodness it’s here!”-Carolyn North, dance healer, author of Ecstatic Relations, and Voices Out of Stone.

The joy of movement leaps off the page.. Sound theology, personal stories, and clear guidelines for dancing alone or in community…invaluable for all who wish to expand their understanding and experience of spiritual practice. -Rev Jane E. Vennard, author Praying with Body and Soul and Embracing the World: Praying for Justice and Peace.

Beautiful and timely… With affirmation and artistry, Cynthia “lays out the welcome mat,” weaving together simple but profound dance exercises and reflections validated by her own search for healing and joy. My whole being was engaged in her search for peace.

-Carla DeSola, Director, Omega West Dance Company, Instructor, Sacred Dance, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, author of The Spirit Moves

A wonderful resource for leaders and participants of all beliefs, giving permission and specific activities to use movement as a spiritual practice. -JoAnne Tucker, Ph.D. Founding Director, Avodah Dance Ensemble

Shows us that the pathway to spirit starts deep in our bodies. Cynthia’s gift and her calling is to share playful tools of movement to light our way.” Mark Metz, Executive Director, Conscious Dancer Magazine

My heart danced with joy reading this book! Cynthia opens for us a released and exciting blending of body and spirit.” Flora Wuellner, minister, author of Prayer and our Inner Wounds.

As a professor of dance for 37 years and a minister of the Gospel, I have danced in the spirit with intention… I now have a guide to give to others who need the dance in words. Cynthia has captured the Spirit of the dance and it moves from the pages to the soul.” Rev. Dr. Albirda Rose Eberhardt, Professor of Dance San Francisco State University

My other books include What the Body Wants: an InterPlay Practice book published by Woodlake Press and Chasing the Dance of Life: A Faith Journey, about the incredible rewards and daunting challenges of staying faithful to the mystic path, published by Apocryphile Press.

Purchase these and other resources at http://www.interplay.org

Relationship of InterPlay and Mystic Tech

I am proud to have cofounded InterPlay with Phil Porter. Since 1989 InterPlay has served as an active creative approach to unlock the wisdom of the body. It is applied by individuals and groups in dozens of cities around the world.

Facts: InterPlay

  • is comprised of twenty-six creative forms and ideas.
  • cultivates five means of soulful wisdom: movement, voice, story, stillness, and connection
  • helps to playfully reintegrate body, mind, heart, and spirit
  • fosters health, peace, and community.

Through classes, retreats, and a Life Practice Program, participants learn how play may be more effective than working on issues as they apply InterPlay’s 8 Body Wisdom Tools.

  1. Easy Focus: Wheeeee
  2. Body Data, Body Knowledge ,Body Wisdom: Notice, Notice, Notice.
  3. Inner Authority: Believing What You Notice.
  4. The Physicality of Grace: Noticing the Good and Have More of It
  5. Exformation: Getting Rid of the Icky Stuff
  6. Body Wisdom Practices: Practicing More of What You Want
  7. Incrementality: We Get Into Trouble Into and Out Of Trouble In Tiny Steps
  8. Affirmation, Affirmation, Affirmation.

With this foundation diverse people at all levels of ability discover how to

  • dance, sing, act and speak on behalf of others
  • open and close as bodyspirits
  • welcome one another with open hearts and minds
  • attune to “higher” wisdom
  • cultivate gifts
  • make life and healing more fun
  • affirm people to be exactly where they need to be

These abilities correlate to historic spiritual and religious practices used around the world. It may not be surprising then that as individual body awareness increases, InterPlayers can become more sensitive to unique capacities.

Additional skills are desirable if we want to develop as intuitives, artists, dreamers, healers and wisdom keepers. We want to discern

  • what is our purpose and how can we stay focused when our purpose is difficult
  • how are we to engage with challenging energies?
  • how are we to play with suffering, grief, rage, and injustice?
  • when does an individual need self healing and when is community support required?
  • when do we need to call back lost parts (soul retrieval)?
  • what is the path when we’re in over our heads?
 Mystic Tech is designed to support to those desiring further study, play, celebration, tools, rituals, and grounding as wisdom keepers and artists of life.
Mystic Tech is not a program of InterPlay or its non-profit, Body Wisdom, Inc. Mystic Tech is a platform for sharing ongoing research and practice in creativity, spirituality and bodywisdom.

Shadows passed over the mesa… by Gary Young

“Shadows passed over the mesa, and I saw six eagles sail across the
They rode thermals until they were almost out of sight,
then dove, and swung back in circles over my head.
The air seemed insufficient to their size—one eagle is enough to fill the sky. Two of the birds veered toward another, and when they met, shook their open beaks and tumbled for a moment before swinging back into an easy glide. They made graceful, abrupt turns, and when they did, the sun hit their backs like a mirror and reflected a fierce copper flash. The sky behind them was so severe that spots of white light began to dance in my field of vision. I don’t think I could have watched them any longer if they’d stayed, but they drifted off, with no other purpose, it seemed, than to fly.”
from Even So: New & Selected Poems

I am dreaming of a desert alive with mystery. December 3-8 outside Santa Fe.

Thursday April 5, 5pm Pacific: Mystic Tech Live and Free!

Creative license AS Divine license

I will show you mine. Will you show me yours?
Thursday I am going to attempt, drum roll please……a Powerpoint presentation. And, If I got no Powerpoint at least I will point with power to share

  • a recovering workaholic recipe for modern mystics.
  • why divine license authorizes Playing and Resting as key to mysticism.
  • why we need each other to be mystics.

Judy Collins said, “Creativity is a voice that calls us from dreams, that peeks out of the corner of our eyes when we think no one is looking, the longing that breaks our hearts even when we think we should be happiest, and to which we cannot give a name. When I was young, I heard the voice, the ticking, had the dream, but I didn’t know what it was and only felt the pain, the longing that the voice inside brought me.”  Source: Voices (Thanks Anne Sigler)

Speaking of voices, I heard a voice say to me last week: There are 500 human qualities in danger of being lost. I have been thinking about that ever since.

Have you received any messages that have you wondering?
1.  Please join my meeting, Apr 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM PDT. Once on Go2Meeting find instructions on the chat area on the lower right.
Don’t want to fiddle with any of this? Use the phone number only.

2.  Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – headset is recommended. Turn off other applications.

To call in using your telephone.
Dial +1 (267) 507-0003
Access Code: 874-364-334
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting (you shouldn’t need this)

Meeting ID: 874-364-334