top of page

Playing by Ear

Happy belated 12th day of Christmas, 1-6-21. Cool Yule for those who just love to keep a good thing going!


Last night I dreamt

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart.

And the golden bees

— were making white combs

and sweet honey

from all my old failures.

Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly

(From newsletter: Rob Brezsny, 12-29-20, “Free Will Astrology”)

“We require your presence rather than your presents.” (anonymous)

What is the story you tell yourself about your value? Are you content with your content?

Self-worth involves a set of more solid, reliable emotions than self-esteem. Self-esteem moves around and is malleable- it changes as our situations change, depending on our assessments in the moment- it is acquired from direct experience. Self-worth comes from the well of deep self-knowledge, which is another important Winter and kidney related theme in 5 Element Theory. It can provide important markers to what we need to change or do; for instance, your self-esteem could temporarily plummet if you did something you know was not quite right. But, if your sense of self-worth is intact, you will seek to address the issue without feeling as if the entire definition of your character, abilities and worthiness is altered. Your spirit doesn’t break, but you may take a pause to reconsider your actions, thoughts, or beliefs. Your worth isn’t challenged or enhanced by who you hang out with, how much material wealth you have or what you are able to do or not, but your self-esteem might be. As Adia Gooden, PhD defines it, “Unconditional self-worth is the sense that you deserve to be alive, to be loved and cared for. To take up space.” If you are here, you have a fundamental mandate to take up space, you deserve to breathe as fully as you can, to dream and yes, to completely screw up from time to time. Your resilience doesn’t change just because you make mistakes- your ego and your self-esteem may suffer a (hopefully) temporary setback, but your human worth stays more valuable than gold.

Homage to Ears and Bone - More on Winter and Kidney System Qigong

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” Rumi

Think about how it is to look inward, using your three inner "xing" (lights). These are: inner eyes- the sight xing- eyes to see; inmost ears, the sensitivity xing- ears to hear; and heart/mind is the courageous xing- open, kindly sovereign, intelligent, humble- fully present. Gift yourself a present of your presence, just standing and breathing. As you breathe, inhale gently expanding, large as the universe and exhaling contracting, condensing all your power smaller than an atom. For our winter practice, we acknowledge first the bones that give us the gift of posture-hold us aloft, that steady and balance us, that are the very containers of new cells, our capacity to regenerate. We understand things deeply in our bones- we know the truth in our bones. We can be chilled all the way to them. They form a pattern of connectedness- thigh bone connected to the knee bone and all- as we are gracefully put together; our bones like our mother’s, our fathers and the whole genetic line, but also the bones of a diverse community- the structures from which we move and are at home in. We hear sounds resonate within them- the pulse, the beat, the rhythms of life and movement and the not so silent inner voice. Our dear, dear bones include a set of ear bones-those little guys amplify vibrations to sound so we may even hear at all. The ears in Chinese medicine are energetic portals to the kidneys that transform qi delivered from the lungs/breath into essence- the jing- into structures, to liquids, to water and wisdom derived from memories both ethereal and worldly. The capacity to know ourselves, to hear and listen to our own insightful will- to know our destinies and that of the divine Will are all part of the this critical life preserving system. Balanced, the energy informs us of the proper use of fear (hint: handle only as long as is needed, then let go) and acts of will. The deep sinking water element pulling and stretching the qi from the lungs to make more of us as needed, providing gravity when the spirit flies to close to the fire quenching the thirst of parched still bones. The ocean that reflects the sun of the heart- ourselves- back to us. We know.

Pictured at right is an angelic script that caught my eye recently; it is called "rikumana" which means, listen within. Highly appropriate for Winter energy practices where we come to know ourselves better by practicing more meditative forms and mindfulness practices. Moving forward this year, I will be featuring a few spiritual symbols, information about guides, immortals, animal guides, the Yijing (I Ching) and more as inspiration occurs to me in this blog and on my website. I would love for you to check in often to see what's new. Click here for adventure!

Reference to the author and book of angel scripts, Debby Almstedt (Zibu angel symbology) is listed below, or you can click on this link to visit her website.


“Zibu: The Power of Angelic Symbology”, by Debbie Zylstra Almstedt, ATP. 2nd Ed., Self-published- P.O. Box 55751, Shoreline, WA 98155. (2007)

Rob Breszny's wonderful "Free Will Astrology" and Pronoia website:

"How to Cultivate a Sense of Unconditional Self Worth" by Adia Gooden, PhD;, November 18, 2020.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page