Yesterday, in the seeing the sun for the first time as the hazy smoke
cleared, I realized I missed it. For a while, I used to greet the sun in
the morning time before I started my day. It is a daily ritual practiced
by some indigenous cultures. Slowly, this practice began to fade away and
become less frequent. I would devalue this simple gesture to nature with a
thought along the lines of, “Well, I will greet the sun tomorrow.”
The fires and the loss that seem to be present in every direction, shatters
this unconscious certainty. It shatters the sense that I have all the time
in the world. That there will be other mornings where I can greet the
sun. There will be other times when I can share what is in my heart.
Opening my heart to this shattering and to this broken world, I feel a
certain intimacy that comes from recognizing the fragility of my life.
For most of my life, I never really got past the initial shock when
trauma, hardships and losses came into my life. I was never taught how to
grieve. Slowly the ‘gravis’ of my unexperienced grief veiled the deep
magic, intimacy and sensuality of life. I searched and searched to reclaim
this magic in other realms and through experiences which transcendent my
humanity. Until I was pulled down into my depths, to finally meet the
wounds of my humanity. To finally meet places within me where my grief
wasn’t fully grieved and I had closed to life. Where I was afraid to open,
afraid of being abandoned and betrayed. Through the alchemy of grief, a
profound magic for life began to spark from the darkness and restore my
experience of divinity as my very own human life.
In my experience, we need our grief in front of us, in an intimate way,
more than ever. Keeping it below or behind us or under some spiritual
concept that we should always be in joy and be happy, veils the grace and
the gifts awaiting in the heart of our grief. As the fires are raging
outside and we are in a drought, I believe nature is calling for our tears
to be returned to the sea.
I invite you to join me in a sacred community space for a grief ritual on
September 19. It is $60 for the day. If you are called to come but are
not able to pay this amount, please email or contact me. Registration is
required. There are logistics and items that are important to bring as a part
of the grief gathering. For more info. visit my website at
www.courtneydukelow.com. Feel free to call me at 541-535-2186.
If you are drawn to receive some one-on one support and bodywork, I am
available at this time.
Please feel free to share this email with anyone you think would be
I just returned from a heart-illuminating journey to Peru. I always experience it to be nothing short of a miracle every year I am able to go. Over the past five years, I have been blessed to bring 3 groups to travel and work intimately with a Q’ero family in Peru. I am always incredibly blown away and grateful how effortlessly the groups come together through the response to my simple newsletters or the happen-stance meeting with a new friend where Peru happens to come up in the conversation.
While we visit some outrageously unique ancient sacred sites brimming with extraordinary energies (that I believe are incredibly important for us to tune into at this time)---what always brings me back is the extraordinary of the ordinary.
One thing I have been aware of every year that I bring groups, is how deeply included and welcomed everyone feels in the presence of the Q’ero. While I consider them my family, I hope everyone who has had the opportunity to meet them (physically or energetically) may consider this as well. Not to create any ‘specialness’ about us or them…but in fact…as a way and means to set a bonfire to scoarch any sense of specialness, so we can open to receive the ancient wisdom of the indigenous heart---the deep inclusiveness which can allow our heart to infinitely expand in a circle of life.
By specialness, I don’t mean our unique authentic expression of Heart. I mean the plague of our Western culture that keeps us striving and wanting power, feeling elite, reaching to the pinnacle at the top while all the while keeping us on the see saw of inferiority and superiority.
In my journeys over the past several years, especially since opening to the Wisdom of the sacred feminine (which in my experience is our intimate connection of our Soul to our Greater Soul…the Soul of the Earth) it has been a consistent dying. A dying to my cultural self-identity. Deaths are difficult even when we are dying to the false sense of self. To the child in me not being special was death. The pain of my trauma and my sense of inferiority kept me wanting power, recognition, fame. All the things that I was conditioned would bring happiness. This response was primarily on auto-pilot fueled by shame for most of my life. To intimately feel the pain of unloveablility and to die to the dreams of my cultural conditioning that I was conditioned would heal or ‘fix’ that sense of not being good enough was quite the opposite direction to turn to. Here, I discovered that which I believe is the only true power that matters…the power of the heart…
Shining out of the eyes of the heart, the extraordinary of the ordinary truly shines. Journeys to Peru always offer this ongoing invitation to the heart. The amazing joys and the causeless laughter that arise from this.
My friends in Peru would call family that extends beyond bloodlines, ayllu. In traditional ayllu, community gathers around a plot of land. Within that land, every part of the life is held in deep reverence. Regardless of roles and status within the community, everyone and all of life, from leaders to the ants mattered. It is a way of recognizing that a community is as strong as the weakest person or creature. Mountains are living deities, the Earth is our Mother and we are even kin to the smallest of small creatures. From what is above, to what is below, what is within and what is without--every aspect of life is vitally essential to the living whole.
In bringing forth the ancient ways of the heart to our culture, how can we tend to our ayllu? Can we honor the sacred nature of creation? Can we extend our hand to someone or something in need? Can we begin to tend to all of life, all of our feelings, everything that arises as sacred?
After a week of rest and integration, I am now scheduling sessions starting tomorrow. Session series are also available.
There are a few spaces left for an amazing circle gathering of women in the upcoming retreat, Reawakening the Sacred. It is on Memorial weekend, May 23-25 (Sat. through Sunday). This weekends are an amazing opportunity to for women to dive into the mystery of Nature. It is a gathering to restore the mystical divinity to our bodies and to the Earth. It is for women who are intimate with their own pain and are ready for a direct experience and approach to the shadow that is alchemical in Nature. It is opportunity to gather together, in circle and open to the mysteries that can emerge when we grieve for Gaia. The magic that can get released when we turn towards the places within us that we have rejected the most. While I have my own offerings that have arisen out of initations in the past years, it is also a time for us as woman to gather together, in a very sacred space to restore ancient Wisdom and ways of the feminine mysteries of love. To learn to notice the symbols, images and world of the imaginal that connect us to the dreaming Earth and be a midwife for the new dream of the Earth to be restored through us.
This year, I was able to bring back a few sacred items and mesa cloths from Peru. They are all hand-crafted with love from my Q’ero friends. For those who work with a mesa or are familiar with cloths, the prices reflected are significantly lower than what most people are selling them for. If you know anyone who may also be interested, please pass this along.
With loving kindness,