Souls lost and found
Soul retrieval is a term used to describe the process of repairing the soul after any type of soul loss. Soul loss is a spilling of your life force essence. Think of yourself as a glass of water that can easily spill. As you go through life you spill, a little here, a little there, and sometimes a lot all at once. Soul Retrieval is cleaning up the spills.
As we go through life there will be soul fragmentation. It is a natural response to trauma.
Soul retrieval is practiced in some form in all original societies and has been practiced in many forms in many cultures for thousands of years. We live in a time that original wisdom is belittled and the result is that we live in a pandemic of soul loss.
Soul loss is not something that is commonly accepted as part of our society, yet is a deeply explored theme in much of our art and literature; the product of our collective unconscious. How many pop songs are about giving or taking part of me? How many paintings depict people with their hearts stitched up, on fire, or empty? We have many common phrases to the phenomena such as; "I feel like there is a hole in my heart", "He has a piece of me", and "She still has me even though...". An abundance of poetry, prose, and movies all revolve around this theme.
The important thing to understand is that it is normal and healthy to fragment. It is a way of ensuring that in a moment of great pain, we can minimize the damage, protect ourselves, and survive. Most people in our society suffer from some amount of soul loss at one time or another. There is nothing shameful, unnatural, or uncommon about it.
Symptoms of Soul Loss may include:
Feeling not fully here
Severe Anger or Confusion
Types of Soul Loss as I see them:
The Big Chunk - caused by a one-time traumatic event.
The Small Shards -caused by an ongoing traumatic situation in the home, at work, or at school.
Soul Theft - when another person takes part of you on purpose (usually on a subconscious level) to fill a void in themselves.
The Soul Scar - caused by trauma in a past life that has carried over into this one. Informing fear patterns on a subconscious level. These can lead to phobias.
I am here to let you know that there is something that you can do about it. It is my honor to offer you the opportunity for your wholeness.
Soul retrieval is the process of repairing the soul after experiencing soul loss, which is a natural response to trauma that can lead to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and disconnection. Soul retrieval has been practiced in many cultures for thousands of years, but is often overlooked in modern society. Soul loss is a common experience, and there is no shame in seeking help to regain wholeness.
Spring Equinox Gathering
Spring Equinox Gathering
Saturday March 18th 11am-1pm
Join me for a lovely day welcoming spring. Celebrating with Nature this turning of the wheel. We will offer a collective water ceremony for cleansing and coming current with our energy. Aligning with this time and where we find ourselves now.
Location: comes with registration for clear communication email me email@example.com
Cost : Donations appreciated
2022 DayKeeper Calendar
If you wanted to buy some of my art this year but couldn’t choose which one. I made a calendar for you full of my art and important astrological dates for ceremony. Marking full and new moons, eclipses, solstice and equinox points, the Venus gate cycle, Mercury retrograde cycles, Mars retrograde, and other significant dates to be observed.
If you need one of these in your life I am taking preorders. I am happy to print one for you.
2023 Calendar preorder
A calendar of Josephine’s art and astrological/ceremonial days marked beautifully to help you keep the days.
Vesta and the harth flame
Only one week left to see the show at Tiny Town gallery. Thirteen thankyous to all who have bought my work. It means so much to me. If you haven't made it down to see it you have a few days left.Or you can buy them online here.
I have heard a rumor that people like to hear the story of the behind the scenes of the creative process. So…here is some backstory to go with my painting “Vesta Tending The Hearth Flame.”
The inspiration for this painting came as a series I did when I was teaching a class on the astrology of the asteroid goddesses. These paintings were part of my prep work for my class. Art is a big part of my understanding of a subject for my dyslexic mind.
The asteroid goddesses were discovered at the end of the 1800s. Their discovery corresponds with the women's movement. The naming of these newly discovered asteroids for the Roman Goddesses helped to balance the male-dominated naming of the solar system.
Vesta, or Hestia, was Zeus's elder sister who never married. In mythology, she became the protectress of the hearth and the sacred altar flame. The archetypal Temple Priestess, Vesta is a virgin in the original sense of being whole and complete in oneself. In the system of goddess symbols, she represents the principle of spiritual focus and of devotion to following one's calling. The fertile sexual energy of Venus is used by Ceres to birth children of the body, by Pallas to birth children of the mind, by Juno to build relationships with others, and by Vesta to deepen a relationship with the Self or with the Divine.
Vesta symbolizing the energy of the hearth flame symbolizes the primal need for home.
As I connected to this idea it was very clear that the energy of Vesta began long before the Roman Empire. So I chose to paint her in the Lascaux caves in France. Showing her as an original ancestor. As I was exploring the cave paintings and trying to emulate them in my painting it was very clear how skilled these prehistoric artists were. The grace and curves of the bull are so lovely. I greatly enjoyed studying these OG masters. This portrait of Vesta is my interpretation of the primal energy of home that we all need in our lives in order to thrive.
The astrological energy of Vesta invites us to understand the fire at the center of the home that can transform and transmute the pain of the world. She teaches how to tend that fire so that no one can take it away from you.
Understanding Vesta's placement in your chart will help you understand how to honor and tend the hearth within your heart.
Show your work
I just came across this idea of showing your work as the the thing to break through obstacles. Sharing the struggles and giving the behind the scenes truth of the process. In that vain I begin to offer, with very little editing. So forgive my dyslexic writing.
I feel it is impossible to set dates for offerings. I do not feel safe in creating anything that will likely be torn down, cancelled, dumped. Covid is a great ruiner of creative inspiration.
I fondly remember the days when I would set dates for offerings willynilly, No Biggy.
Now, an in person class feels rude. Yet an online one feels like torture.
I did offer online, I did try. Technology failed me. I have a bad attitude.
Yet it is very clear that if I do not try to enjoy online I will just not be teaching. That is even worse. I love teaching and sharing what I do.
Teaching online is so different than in person classes and workshops. There is a learning curve on how to really engage with your students through the screen that I haven't learned. I find zoom very overwhelming to my nervous system and tracking students in different locations makes me twitchy. And yet...I miss the connections between people, the profound transformation that can take place.
I hope to read this someday and remember how I found my way through this. I believe I will.
Faith, trust, and pixey dust
As I sit here
I am amazed
that the answers are still so simple...
The truth is that we are all precious
November 07th, 2019
Jupiter conjunct the galactic center
Today Jupiter is conjunct the galactic center and will be all week. Giving us an opportunity to plant seeds of intention into the infinite yin. Jupiter is asking us to clean up our intentions. To create on purpose. There are many unavoidable unintended consequences of creation. Every thought, word and deed resonates and has the potential to sprout into existence. We often accidentally plant seeds of intention.
Accidents happen. It is important to clean up afterwards.
I offer a suggestion for ritual practice of clearing energetically as well as physically those things you didn't mean to make.
These are places we generally create from without meaning to. The intense focus of worry is a conflicted place of creation.
When the ancestors call
I write this to remember. I share, just in case, you need the inspiration to give yourself permission to go on an ancestor pilgrimage.
Beauty can be so hard to put into words. I received so much of it in my journey to Italy. I went in search of fresh perspective, and have returned overflowing.
I traversed the physical world to reach the land of my Grandfather and experienced family in a whole new way. I was humbled to be embraced by strangers who called me family. This Journey was for my ancestors, who kept calling out in the spirit world that I must come to visit my bis bis Nona (great great Grandma). She never got over her daughter and grandson leaving and never returning. She told me so with a feeling of such deep heartbreak and longing it was clear I must make the journey.
And so I did.
My Grandfather left Orsara de Puglia when he was 5 years old. His memories of the place were of starvation and suffering through World War 1. Back in the days of our living conversations, he would tell me he didn't recommend going there, because it took a week in an ox cart to get there from Naples. For him, It was a place of trauma, that he had no interest in returning to.
Almost exactly 100 years later, I began my journey of returning, on a 14 hr flight. I ate ice cream in the sky, binge watched movies, and recognized the miracle of this time I live in. The rest of the journey took a little more effort, and a little discomfort, trains, and rental cars. But no ox cart, or boat across the ocean.
When we landed in Orsara, after many adventures to get this far, my friend Valerie and I arrive at our Air B&B. As we were getting settled, the host asked why we were there. As I was telling him the stories of my Papa, he stopped me, asked for names. "Micheal Bolza" I answered. He knew someone in town had the last name Bolza. Then he wanted other names. "Rocchina Mastrophiri was my Great Grandmother" I said. This got his attention. It was one of his family names. He called his Grandma over to tell her. She got so excited and gave me the hug of an Italian Grandma with a kiss on each cheek. Masterphirie you are my family! I had never felt so instantly accepted and wanted in my life. It was truly amazing. That hug alone was worth all the money, and time, and travel.
TThe Wedding Creepers
The next day Val and I left the air B&B to explore this town.
We drove through the narrow streets and came to the natural stopping point of the church of Archangel Michael. I had discovered info on this church when doing internet research. It is built over a cave that several people had direct experience with Archangel Michael aka Abbazia di Sant'Angelo. When I first read about this online several years ago I was struck by the connection. Archangel Michael is a strong guide for me and I named my son Michelangelo long before I knew anything about this place.
We arrived to an empty church. There was a flyer on the wall saying there was going to be a wedding that day. We thought "That’s sweet, we will just go in and be gone before that happens". As soon as we entered the church, people started arriving. We were being wedding crushers! We decided to get out of the way real quick. We found a stairwell that was out of the way. We could see and hear everyone arriving. We watched what I believe was the whole town arrive to this ceremony. All wearing their Sunday best. We listened to the babies crying with Italian accents. MaaMaa
After a long time of being in our hidey hole it seemed that the flow of people had slowed and we could escape without being seen. The ceremony was starting and it seemed safe. So we got up and started towards the car, and promptly ran into a big group of latecomers. We put our heads down and scurried out of there.
Of course, the car was blocked in since we were the first ones there. So we started walking.
Giggling about that experience we walked for a little ways down a random street and walked straight past city hall. We turned around and walked in. Val asked for the “Anagraphe” office. We had learned that word the night before from the Air B&B host. I suppose it translated to family records.
There were two people in the office clearly working on things. The woman was on the phone for several minutes before she hung up. When she saw us she immediately started talking in Italian, telling us her stories of who she was just on the phone with. The gist of it was that some German guy was wanting her to look up all kinds of info that was way more work than she got paid for. I don’t know how I understood that. But I did. She did not pause for breath for at least 5 minutes. Finally, she paused and we expressed that we did not understand Italian.
Val did amazing at speaking enough Italian to get the idea of why were there across.
My goal of going to this office was to find out where my ancestors might be buried so I could leave an offering for them. The goal this woman heard was to connect with my living relatives. I had no idea this was what was happening.
She got on the phone and made a phone call to what I thought was a coworker who spoke more English or something. She had us sit in the hall after introducing us to who I think was the Mayor. We sat there for a few minutes and I started feeling antsy. I was hungry. I was only there for the day and I really wanted to see more of the town. Mostly I had no idea why we were sitting there. I told Val I wanted to leave. She told me she thought we were waiting for someone maybe related to me. What! I felt completely unprepared for this. I didn’t even speak Italian. I really wanted to leave then. We got up to go. We tried to tell the lady that we were going to leave. The look on her face was of complete disbelief. "Why would you not want to meet your cousins" is what I now understand it to mean. She went and pulled a file that was yellow and hand written clearly at least 150 years old. The official record of the family Bolza. Just as this came out the people she had called showed up. As I look back on it is now clear that these people had responded to a call from city hall saying your long lost relatives are here come down and meet them, and so they did. At the time I really didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. Just some nice people looking at old records with me asking for details of my family tree.
There were many things lost in translation. What is clear to me is that Family has a different meaning in Italy. It means you are willing to drop everything and come down to city hall and meet a random stranger who might be part of your family. I am so touched that I experienced this connection.
Solar ECLIPSE 2019
The astrological story ark of the next 18 months sits in the axis of home and work / Cancer and Capricorn.
(Astrological sentence: Solar eclipse in Cancer sextile Uranus in Taurus opposing Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn)
This is an amazing invitation to clear deep family karma. Imprints of the past are being given a chance to be completely shifted. Like a cosmic vacuum cleaner ready to suck up the rubble of our cracked foundations. Engaging with this work can feel overwhelming and hopeless. It is not until you know that there is something that can be done that you can trust yourself to enter in to the process of ancestor healing. I offer you the knowing that there is something that can be done that it is highly effective. It takes time and effort and is so worth it.
It is advised to engage with your ancestors on purpose. Being poked by your unwell dead ancestors is no fun. If you do find yourself with unexplained inclinations powerful urges to play out behaviors that did not begin with you, it is time to begin your journey of ancestor healing.
Let me know if you need help with that.
Other themes that will be up for people at this time:
This eclipse story begins at the end. Venus naked and unafraid steps off the precipices into the abyss, to go spelunking in the cave of death. To die, curious what that feels like. She lets everything go to see what will return, if anything. Only mastery can survive death and be nourished by it. Many deaths are required to achieve mastery.
So, when you find yourself betrayed by life remember it is part of the agreement. To forget your divinity so you can find it again. Playing peekaboo with the Divine Mother, hide and seek with Great Spirit.
The agreement of life is full of death. This was always so. Death and change are not betrayal. They are required plot twists. Yet is hurts. For that pain I offer you soothing aloe for the heart space. A beautiful light of compassion, love and solidarity in this time that no one is getting out of unchanged. We are in this together. We grow strong and resilient when we choose to be connected. Of course, you should always maintain the right to disconnect, after all, freewill is our greatest gift.
Josephine Thomason is an artist, healer, teacher.