Twenty Degrees

Twenty degrees


by Maryna Jeanette Johl 

Twenty degrees Capricorn – that’s my moon sign. 
Today amongst other, 
Pluto is exact my moon at 
Twenty degrees. 

The first degree started pre-conception, 
When roughly I was catapulted 
Into existence, 
Evidently without consent. 

Was this the birth of my “consent” activism – 
Before I even had words? 
Consciousness floating in silence, screaming and crying –
Awareness without bliss. 

Next, second degree trauma from my parents’ divorce – 
Caught in the bitter snare 
That births singularity of 
Relationship’s fray….

Twenty Serpentine Rd. 
Mercurial scintillating swirl that 
Swept me mercilessly 
Into Orpheus’ terrain. 

Third Degree happened at five years old, 
When Grandpa died 
(another of my Free Mason Fathers) –
Underworld experience.  

Persephone snatched: 
The seeds spread… 
Bleeding pomegranate juice, 
Oozing ever outward;

And so she became an Orphan Child,
By virtue of her Silence. 
Gretel wandering the forest alone, 
At first accompanied by her brother. 

Round one, they had collected stones – 
and this could lead them home. 
Round two, only breadcrumbs,
an inadequate supply. 

The cake house beckoned beguilingly
Belying the savage inside:
Appearance distorted Reality, 
Rearing demonic heads. 

Ensnared in the witch’s cage,
A prison hold ongoing –
Bone thin fingers claw at bars, 
Til Hansel disappears. 

Left alone amid the darkness,
Imprisoned Spirit set in stone…
Cascading light streams always inward, 
Unfurling colours that Save her Soul. 

Little Tinder Girl arises – Kindling for sale, 
Offering her matches –
Lighting hopes on fire,
Lightening her lucid eyes…

And so the degrees melt 
Into each other,
As time passes 
(Fast or Slow?)

The Moon Tide of illusion 
Ebbs and flows forthwith
As Appearance versus Reality 
Become Related by Comparison.  


A man pushing me into the ocean, way beyond my depth – 
Reaching my arms toward the horizon, 
I stretch and reach safe haven ironically
Through my step-father sailing past…

Next, The Good Doctor fails me – 
Intruding so Deep 
I cannot find Ground Ever Again 
(Only Depths). 

Then, A Friend I thought I trusted
Does the unimaginable: annihilation
And That Is That. 
I’m Twenty Degrees Old. 

Twenty years and still I’m Counting…
Is this the Story of my Life?
Incessant karmic circles
Twisting and twirling my Vulnerable Fate. 

Grand Cross, 
Kite and trines;
Squares and opposition, 
Sextile or conjunct;  

Every year, 
The ceaseless nightmares 
Every day, 
The desperate crawl. 

My life’s a climb up Great Mount Everest – 
Yet, trying to peak with no gas or air?
Avalanches daily mask the crying, as 
Freezing rain solders every tear. 

Every night, 
Beyond comprehension 
I navigate my Dreams
As best I can. 

Having left South Africa 
For traveling elsewhere,
Caught off guard one night,
Shreds my life. 

Whole chunks of me are catapulted 
To different venues seeking help, 
Medical intervention needed – 
I’m raw and in pain, but also crushed

The doctors in France are so rude I swear profusely;
They laugh. Then, laugh and laugh some more. 
I guess they don’t know what to say either, 
This stranger shaped as woman wounded – 

Yet kicking them away. 
David calls through the door,
Desperate to help, angry with those doctors shrinking from my pain – 
I don’t want him there or anywhere –

As I push away 
The helpless Hansel, 
I’m thrust into space 
Yet reeling still –

Traveling brings a familiar comfort,
Although exhausting,
There’s relief in
Moving On….

Burning my papers outside Hitler’s encampment,
Visiting the aged Black Madonna’s Face
Throwing Bluebeard’s Watch inherited
Far, far, far away in Lake Geneva. 

May She Rest In Peace

Back in South Africa. 
I’m met by a man 
Who dreamed of me,
He says. 

Vision Quest T-shirt, an Alien
His head shaven, harsh: 
But his eyes appear kind –
And so I trust him. 

(And So It Begins…)

A whole other cycle 
Of violence, and trauma, and 

Birthing babies through this portal
Can only be a bad idea 
(What was I thinking? 
Clearly not thinking, yet)

As years liquify my embodied form
And sap collects from tearing trees
Sticky with residue
(I Behold The Stain)

I reach for my husband 
Who’s lost again. 
In our shattered mirror,
All hell breaks loose. 

Kids crying and the house burnt down,
Death wishes with D. Day “divorce” –
Coupled clearly within  
The Abyss. 

Degree after degree
The clock ticks closer
To the bone in my wrist,
All veins pulsing life force…

Alive inside, but screaming still
Blood curdling sounds of
Silence, sex and suffocation 
Attempting to breathe (life goal)

Freedom eludes me
Yet I’m here on 
The Wheel of Fortune, 
Doing Time. 

(Not doing Well yet, 
In case you wondered, 
But still treading water 
Keeps my head afloat). 

Twenty degrees Capricorn,
Pluto conjunct my moon. 
Today is an anomaly 
As words embark the page. 

Hansel has reappeared now,
In form of a different guise:
My soul guide and Dream Diviner,
Magician near my heart. 

Hermes and his Caduceus 
Can have my soul tonight
Over-lighting Presence
Means I will be alright. 

The stone trail once laid bare, 
Now softens in sea shell trails 
Awaiting interpretation (lifelines)
Revealing what must be Known. 

Begin, my transformation
Set sail, unleash my Self –
Journey on, intrepid Traveler –
I’m home, within myself. 

{And, Breathe}





​Note: references to Ophelia
1. Millais, Pre-Raphaelite era painting, entitled Ophelia: image above. 
2. Natalie Merchant song, Ophelia.. 







Good Grief, and other wisdom…

This article is filled with wisdom about what I will describe as “good grief”… Allowing transition to move through our Being in healthy ways. Nourishing life and processing grief is so much more than only confrontation with death. I hope these handy tips bring a spaciousness to your journey which supports integration and peace. Much love and Grace, Rain.

The One Thing No One Ever Says About Grieving

(And a 4 step plan to move through your grief.)


Another way to say that you are grieving is that a part of you is stuck in a moment in time.

Sometimes the cause of the stuckness isn’t the grief itself, but the fact that you don’t even recognize that you’ve lost something and that you need to grieve.

Grief is a word that is used interchangeably with bereavement, but grief is not exclusively about the physical death of a person.

Grief doesn’t fit in a box, either. Some forms of grief take years to work through, other types take a few solid months, some take a single moment of deep acknowledgement.

Everyone grieves differently and for different reasons, but one thing remains constant in the process. It’s the one thing no one has ever said about grieving:

“I did it right on time.”

Grieving is marked by a lag, a delay, a freezing, “Wait. What just happened?”

Grieving is also not a linear process.

One moment you feel you’ve fully moved past something, the next moment it’s right back in front of your face.

That’s because grief is insidious, imposing and demands to be felt. Even if you’re able to somehow avoid it all day long, grief comes back to you in your sleep. It’s laying right on your heart as you wake up.

Grief doesn’t say, “I’ve been here long enough, I think it’s time for me to leave.”

No. Grief crowds the heart, eats up all your energy and chronically imposes upon your peace.  But grief isn’t some evil force that’s only there to cause pain, grief is escorting up an even deeper feeling, a truth about your life, what you value and what you need.  Perhaps how much you wanted something, how deeply you care about someone, how far you’ve come from where you were.

As Mark Nepo so beautifully puts it, “The pain was necessary to know the truth, but we don’t have to keep the pain alive to keep the truth alive.”

Still, grief isn’t necessarily a depression. People can be grieving and heartbroken about something and not even know it.

Here are some examples of events that cause grieving:

A break up

The selling of your childhood home

What you always wanted but never got

A person who died

A person who is still alive but is electively absent in your life

The loss of a dream



Loving someone who is self-destructive

The loss of a pet

The end of a friendship

Job loss or the end of a career

The typical route for grieving begins with denial, and that’s actually a good thing.

Ultimately, your defense mechanisms are there to protect you. Denial kicks in when it would otherwise be too overwhelming to feel it all at once. Ideally, denial slowly fades away and the grief is felt. (Ideally.)

More typically, you swallow your grief.

It comes up in small spurts when you’re not paying attention, then you numb yourself to it somehow, then it jumps up more forcefully, then you numb yourself more heavily.

That is the path of staying stuck in grief. The path loops. People lose themselves on that path.

Is there a better path?

The answer is yes. But you don’t have to walk it unless you choose to.

Some losses are so exquisitely painful, in a way that no one else could ever fully understand, that no one would fault you for staying in the loop.

If you do choose to get out of the disorienting, dizzying loop of grief, here are 4 ways to begin:

1. UNDERSTAND – That your heart is broken, even if it’s not visible to others.

Keep in mind that there’s no ‘right way’ to grieve and that grieving is not a linear process.

Just because its been 6 months, 4 years, 15 years, whatever – none of that means anything to your grief. The clock starts when you begin to recognize your grief. In other words, when you genuinely begin to address what happened (or perhaps what never happened).

2. RECOGNIZE – Before you can grieve, you have to recognize that you need to grieve.

Something happened, or didn’t happen, that burdened you.

Ironically, when you’re burdened, something is given to you and taken away from you at the same time. What do you feel was taken from you? What do you feel you are burdened with? The answers to those questions help you recognize what you need to grieve.

3. TOUCH – You have to touch the loss (as well as all the anger, sadness, bitterness, resilience, compassion and any other feelings you encountered during your loss).

You’re in touch with your grief when you make space for the feelings your loss brought into your life. It may feel counter-intuitive to go back to the feelings that you want so desperately to let go of, but there’s simply no way to move through grief without making contact with it, without fully touching it, without fully feeling it.

You have to pick it up, hold it, feel the weight of it in your hands, on your heart and within your life. You have to feel the whole loss. Grief demands to be felt with an insistence that needs no sleep.  You either allow yourself to encounter the feelings or you remain encased in a shell of yourself under a misguided sense of self-protection.

4. MOVE – The feeling of grief can linger for so long that you almost befriend the grief.

The grief becomes oddly soothing in its familiarity and its predictability. Dealing with the grief means letting go of this familiarity and moving towards something less predictable and less familiar, which is scary.

Still, if you want to genuinely address the grief, you have to continue to move through the peripheral, familiar parts of your grief and go right into the epicenter of your grief. As the classic hero’s journey goes, you have to get inside the belly of the whale.There (and only there) you will find the door to the unpredictable pieces of life that are patiently waiting for you on the other side of your pain.


Understand your heart is broken.

Recognize why it’s broken.

Touch the grief.

Move towards the epicenter of your grief, as it’s the only path to other side of your pain.

Please remember, the grief you’re experiencing is yours, and you can carry it with you for as long as you like. Let go of it only when you feel ready-enough, and if you never feel ready, that’s okay. If you do feel ready to move through it, recruit professional support here, or here, or here. Navigating through grief is unpredictable, dangerous terrain. You don’t have to do it alone.

Katherine Schafler is an NYC-based psychotherapist, speaker and writer.  For more of her work, join her newsletter community, read her blog, or follow her on Instagram


The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!



Please click on the links above to be taken to the original article, and note all copyrights belong to the original publishers / author and their contractual agreements; this post is entirely quoted – please observe all due respects. Greetings, Rain ~



Of Rilke, and other imponderables

Dear Rainer Maria Rilke, who cropped up first during my University days in relation to a special friend, has the most marvelous quote of which I wish to remind us all, today (Good Friday) –

hearth fires

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke


easter egg

image credit: unknown

I hope that this adds meaning in the places and spaces which might at present lack “value” or make any sense – and together we traverse the necessary “imponderables” towards a different tomorrow, perhaps beyond anything we have yet dreamed.

Blessings for a nurturing time this Easter,  and plenty of soul warmth.


Rain & Co.


Hollow Bone

In memory of those who have past, passed on…

remembering crow

“We locked up our wisdom into our bones                                                                              And swallowed the keys
They sank in our rivers of blood
And we forgot the maps
Because we had to forget the mysteries
To keep them safe.
We wove our hair into brooms
And swept over our paths
And then burned the earth with our rage
We didn’t teach our children
It was the only way to protect them,
we thought
But in them we planted seeds, seeds and keys
And told them stories and riddles and songs
With no roots, just tangled threads
That would take years to unwind
Just enough time
For the rains to fall again
and put out the fires
For the dams to break
For the rivers to flood
For the paths
to be walked again
For the soil to breathe
And as the old bones crumble
Deep beneath the rubble
We find we’ve always had the keys
Our stories and our maps
Our paths are revealed to some
And the seeds grow again
The threads are unspun
And woven again”

~Amara Bronwyn Hollow Bones

Found first at this link on the Facebook site of Katharine Krueger, entitled Journey Of Young Women… with full gratitude and respect. Kindly follow this link for the full picture…. Aho! Rain & Co.

remembering crow.jpg

Art by Lucio López Cansuet

In Loving Memory of Franziska Blochliger on the first anniversary of her brutal death by gang rape and strangulation. #RIP #FranziskaWeRemember 

Happy New Year! 2017

15726629_1819496151644064_6294929850314234509_n.jpgimage courtesy of Planet News by Zoe

As another year turns upon the clock of time, I wish you well.

May you find one task today, to infuse with a greater light of hope toward the future of your dreams.

And here is a suggestion for holding on to what counts, when the tides turn and we wish to remember some of “the good ol’ times”….

Aho! Rain and Co.

image courtesy of Power of Positivity


PS I am migrating my posts to (my website) more deliberately this year…. I am growing the magnitude of my work in the world, and planning to take strides in greater visibility around what I do. I hope you enjoy that lens of perception… blessings!

Closure, 2016


Early this morning I was awakened to hear from my closest staff member, of the passing of her son – unexpectedly, he was stabbed and died from the blood loss and injury upon arrival at the hospital. She was by his side.


How does one meet such an unexpected turn of events, when mere days ago one was celebrating Christmas as a family, in trust and cohesion of the greater good?

butterflies vase

The dimensions of pain on our planet right now, are so intense and relentless – it seems futile to try find words of meaning or comfort. Yet, we are human – so much like the deepest recesses of Pandora’s box – we find hope.


We strive for meaning, and perhaps that thread, so indelibly “red”, is what keeps our souls alive, and allows our Spirits to thrive, despite everything.


Here are words which brought me comfort today – written merely hours ago, by a dear friend of mine named Shakti, on the survival of her own love loss toward the tail end of this year:

well, well, well!

“When grief comes

Like a cold wind in the night
An army rises up in me
Ready to defend, avoid, distract –
Any tactic to avoid

I take command of the army.
Be with this
Tears speak the language of water
Not of words
The medicine for heartbreak
Is not abandoning this heart
But staying
Close and intimate
While this cold wind blows
Through the open gates
Of my undefended

by Shakti Malan



For myself, this month has been a quiet one as I regroup from the fullness of 2016, and work towards clarity and readiness for our entry into 2017.

counting 2016

I hold hope, despite everything. And I hope, many dreams and wishes will come true. For me, for you – and for all of us, plus this planet’s highest good and potential.


May your year end be blessed, and the birthing in your awareness of the New Year summon all the strength, meaning, and grace needed to sustain you.


Carpe Dieum. Rain and Co.


Synchronized Prayer & Action Campaign, Standing Rock

We will gather to hold quiet intention of blessing, gratitude, and support for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, praying for the successful conclusion of this situation as soon as possible:
That the good of all water protectors is upheld, human rights are honored and sanctified, indigenous ethics are respected as sovereign, and the integrity of life on this planet is held with utmost dignity and value.
#PraywithStandingRock is a synchronized moment of Prayer across the world giving thanks for Mother Earth, Clean Water and the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
For all our Water… Into this crucible we pour our love… Rain & Co.

Venus Temple, 18 Big Tree Lane, Kuthumba Eco Reserve, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, 6602, Western Cape, South Africa


#WaterProtectors #IstandwithStandingRock #NoDAPL

anchoring by tree



Times have been strange, uncomfortable, and pressured to give voice in the light of blatant injustices, both local and global. This poem, for now, sums it up….. {Thanks, Alice – you so often say what I cannot}. RM

On Stripping Bark from Myself
(for Jane, who said trees die from it)
“Because women are expected to keep silent about
their close escapes I will not keep silent
and if I am destroyed (naked tree!) someone will
mark the spot
where I fall and know I could not live
silent in my own lies
hearing their ‘how nice she is!’
whose adoration of the retouched image
I so despise.
No. I am finished with living
for what my mother believes
for what my brother and father defend
for what my lover elevates
for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes
to embrace.
I find my own
small person
a standing self
against the world
an equality of wills
I finally understand.
My struggle was always against
an inner darkness: I carry within myself
the only known keys
to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut
forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the color
and the sun, I am happy to fight
all outside murderers
as I see I must.”

-Alice Walker, from Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” ~ Rumi


Sometimes, words fail me (or I, words).

Today, these visuals are to bless your screen in the absence of words…. For Rumi states it so well:

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” ~ Rumi











Rest well in these trying times, and may the Light Within Guide your way home. Always, Rain ~

there’s a Black Moon on the Rise….

balancing the scales yeah.jpg

Hey there, World! 😉

Just to alert everyone to this fantastic, rare “Black Moon” astrological event taking place this day / night…

Nothing sinister, in fact if anything – truly potent, magical, and sacred.

Interesting how “scared” and “sacred” share the exact same letters, with merely one, small letter changed.

Hmmm. #FoodForThought

A description on “what the Black Moon is” can be found in the excerpted article below.

What amplifies the significance and transformative energy of this Black Moon, is its arrival straight BANG! after this trio of eclipses we just experienced. #BOOM.

It is said that the first New Moon following an eclipse season, is especially powerful in setting intentions for change, growth and transformation.

To boost these positive features – this particular Black Moon is occurring in the astrological sign of LIBRA, the medicine of relationships – and finding balance.

YAY! That’s the good news 😉

Furthermore, the upcoming Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) Festival taking place in the next few days, creates a potent portal for processing these intentions and renewing oneself through traditional practices (or whatever yours might be):

Self-appraisal and assessment is a dedication which garners our momentum for impending change and to signify a meaningful contribution going forwards.

balancing act III.jpg

Here is an article indicating a more Pagan – influenced perspective, also valuable in harnessing the energies of this New Moon portal period:

Please note this article is to be found in its entirety, posted by its author @THEHOODWITCH  and this is merely an excerpt.

Black Moon ~ September 30th, 2016

“What hurts you blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.”
― Rumi”

Friday September 30th, 2016 we’ll see the second occurrence of the New Moon in a single month. We’re all familiar with the second full moon called the “Blue Moon” but the second New Moon also has a special name, she is called the Black Moon, doesn’t that just sound powerful and majestic? well that’s because she is!

*The New Moon is a time of initiation and new beginnings. It is the time to plant the  seeds of what you want to grow in your life. Making a wish, intention, a promise, or a vow is a common custom. It is believed that as the moon grows, that your intention or goal will too, usually by the time the moon completes its cycle and returns full circle to new again.*

Utilize the energy of the black moon for constructive magick pertaining to: *Beginnings, New projects, ideas, inspiration, vitality, freedom, Love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, and protection.*



New Moon offers us her energy of intention, to rid ourselves of the negative habits in our life. The energy of the new moon aids us in ridding our minds and bodies of toxic thought patterns as well as eliminating toxic substances like excess alcohol,  processed foods, caffeine & tobacco usage.

Starting a new project, or discipline should be substantially less difficult to stick to when started during the new moon. it’s important to come up with a ritual that has meaning for you, instead of trying to follow any set guidelines (unless you’re already part of an established ritual group).


Astrology expert  Molly Hall has some wonderful insights as to creating a personalized New Moon Ritual.


*Gather Sacred Supplies:*  Your altar is where you collect your sacred objects — pictures, found objects and the like. Using herbs with healing or symbolic properties adds to your ritual. Stones and crystals are another powerful ally. Candles are magical, and in its form contains all four of the elements. A small journal on hand allows you to keep a record of your intentions.

*Preparing for the Ritual:* This is the most important part of ritual, since your commitment is the key. Take a ritual bath with sea salt to clear your field of any negative energies. Sage is an herb used to clear a space, and make it sacred for ritual.

  • Light the end of the sage wand and blow on it until there is a smoldering glow. Use it around your own body, and in the space of your ritual. Clear your mind with meditation, using music or just quieting down in your cleared, sacred area.

*Grounding:* This is something that’s important anytime, for staying connected to earth energy. Signs that you’re not grounded are mania, nervousness, racing thoughts and the like. Too often we forget to feel the earth under our feet. I’ve mentioned Starhawk’s grounding meditation a few times on the site, and her tree grounding exercise is one of my own daily rituals. In a nutshell, it’s visualizing the roots going down into the Earth, through the layers, into the core, and then drawing that energy back up through your feet again. It moves through each chakra, coming out the top and down around you. Try this or another variation of grounding before you set new Moon intentions.

*Your New Moon Wishes:* After you’ve cleared a sacred space and settled your energy, you’re ready to set your intentions. Make a list of what you’d like to draw into your life, and Dream Big! The new Moon is a moment to conjure what seems out of reach, and creating the vision is the first step to making it a reality. But these are not just words on paper. As you write them down as intentions, you are committing to doing your part to make them real. Some call it co-creating, since you’re opening to universal energies to set dreams in motion.

*Dreams of the Soul:* Your intentions come from the longings that keep coming up. In the days leading up to the new Moon, give some thought to those longings, and see what images, dreams and streams of thought come up. Use symbolic associations to go along with your intentions. Weave in the element for the new Moon, and think about the houses and planets that are affected by it. For an earth new Moon, for example, you might plant seeds that represent your intention. Rituals are a way to work with universal energies, and draw attention to the particular life lessons, or arena (house, planet, etc) that it illuminates for you.

*Symbolic Acts:* Here’s where you get to be creative. If your intentions are to write a book, or broadcast your ideas out to the world, tie them to a helium balloon and send them off. Write them on a stick and offer it to the fire. To open to love, put lavender and a rose quartz in a small pouch, along with the qualities you’re seeking. If you’re inspired, add a symbolic act to your intention-setting ritual.

*Keep them Alive:* 

A big part of success with new Moon intentions is what comes after.

Find ways to keep them in the front of your awareness.

Put them in a visible spot, or keep them in your wallet.

Make notes in your journal about your progress.

At the full Moon , find ways to take action on those intentions, and *celebrate any signs of change.*



Basil is the botanical most associated with attracting wealth and prosperity. Large, fresh, vivid green basil leaves are believed to resemble cash bills. In addition, basil is strongly identified with various spirits of wealth and good fortune. The presence of the botanical beckons these spirits, together with their blessings of prosperity.  Basil belongs to Maitresse Ezili Freda Dahomey, Vodou spirit of luxury and is featured in many of her rituals.


  • Water
  • Fresh Basil
  1. Boil enough water to cover basil.
  2. Pick off about a handful of fresh organic basil leaves.
  3. Place the basil leaves into a bowl and submerge them in the boiling water.
  4. Allow leaves to sit in the water for about 15-20 minutes. Strain the basil and add the liquid to your tub of water.
  5. Soak in the tub while floating the basil leaves in the bath water.

May your portal of power be beautifully beckoned forth, and all good wishes kindly come true!

To close, I wish to mention an upcoming event, hosted by Christine Arylo entitled “crazy wisdom” –

A Gathering for Women Who Courageously Dare to Follow Their Heart & Do Things Differently & Would Love a Boost of Courage + Wisdom to Light the Way.

Join our free livestream on Saturday, October 1st.
Crazy Wisdom: Super Powers for Conjuring Up Courage

“Our power ends precisely where our fear begins” – Melissa Etheridge

“If you were fearless and knew you wouldn’t fail,
what would you be doing differently right now?”


I hope to see you all online soon. Blessings on this powerful portal – #WeAreTheChange with love and gratitude, Rain & Co.