I received as a gift for my 40th birthday, a star named after me. This gift was given to me by my dad and stepmother. I remember the day it arrived in the mail. Well, not the star itself, of course, but the certificate and the map of the cosmos showing exactly where this star is precisely located. I even have coordinates. I recall thinking, “Wow, what a cool gift to have a star named after me!” Me! I was touched, and excited about it, but not sure what to do with the certificate and information on where to find this star. At the time, I kept it stored in the box in which it arrived.
In the meantime, though, I can contemplate this “stardom”. The star named after me is called “Leonis Stefani”, which is pretty nifty and appears be the Latin version of my given name.
It makes me think, though, about being an “Earthling” and the human-centrism, or Earth-centrism, or whatever it is called when we think that we on this planet are the only ones who exist and have domain over the naming of stars. And then there’s the thought that we can officially “name” a star. What if someone else from some other galaxy already has that particular star? I suppose stars can be shared, especially if the likelihood of the co-‘owners’ of the star meeting is so slim. Or perhaps, by some non-coincidence, I AM one of these other co-owners… now that’s stuff for another blog… It IS a very creative endeavor to name the stars, I suppose part of the human experience as we like to claim and name; I admire that and feel privileged in the Earth sense to have this particular one named for me. It would be fun to go visit it, and maybe I will in my astral wanderings.
This naming a star business also makes me contemplate the naming of God, and how even the thought of “limiting” God, or the vast Universe of the known and unknown, by a name strikes me. I know it’s traditional in our human experience to have labels and names for things so we have a common base with which to communicate our ideas and conceptualizations. I have listened to, and meditated with, Wayne Dyer’s “the Sound of God”, where the main *sound* is the “ahhhhhh”, the common sound in all the names of God. Allah, Yahweh, God, etc. In the meditation he goes into the space between the words, which, to me, makes the most sense. It’s very powerful, and wordless and connected.
Now, somehow on my walk I had an aha moment that connected all of these stellar ponderings with puking. Let me see if I can get it back.
Maybe it will help if I go back to where throwing up has recently become significant. It was in early December as I had completed my first sweat lodge. We had done five rounds, instead of the traditional four, which was quite unusual I learned later. The experience was phenomenal and very life changing. During the lodge we transcended the physical body, experienced direct connection, said and sang many prayers for healing of others, healing of self, releasing the aspects of self that no longer serve us, and in that fifth round, for healing all persecution of all forms for all religions and non-religions, for all peoples. As part of my mind was occupied with the thoughts that I was probably going to burst into flames with the heat and steam, the greater part breathed in the cooling breath of the Grandfathers, which allowed for the transcendence of the physical discomfort. After several hours of these rounds of ceremony and prayer, we were finally allowed out of the lodge, to dress in the darkness and the cold. This was a very difficult endeavor for me, as I groped for my clothing in the dark. I was suddenly overcome with an intense pain in my abdomen and the urge to vomit. I was quite surprised. I had survived the lodge, and now all I wanted to do was throw up.
Well, I didn’t. I hate throwing up more than almost anything. I recall throwing up at age three when I had the chicken pox, and it terrified me so much that I refused to vomit until I was about twenty-two years old. In a later discussion with a co-lodger, she enlightened me about the fears that children have when they lose bodily substance, that it’s as if they are giving up a part of themselves. When I heard this I realized that the best thing I could have done was to go ahead and throw up (instead of pushing on all of the acupuncture points I knew that might help – and they did!), thus releasing the parts of myself that I had prayed to release in the sweat lodge. I know they are still released, but through different means than the vomiting and it has probably taken a bit longer than it would have and has prolonged the discomfort than had I just been all right with throwing up then and there.
Vomiting is a way of releasing toxins from our body, and I fully correlate that need that evening in Santa Fe as a release of the toxins, both physical and emotional, and probably mental, that no longer served me. I was very unwilling to do it in that manner. Throwing up is not very “star-like” behavior, however I see clearly now that it was a means of more directly connecting to the star and the vastness of my being, the transcendence of this physical vessel, the continuation of what the lodge was used to heal that afternoon. It’s okay, because I know I have been purging these things anyway, because it is my path to learn to transcend and ascend, and find compassion for all beings, including myself.
Leonis Stefani, the Crowned Lion. The Brave Lyonhearted, the Stephanie Lyon. Pretty powerful however it’s spelled or said. Each day may I embrace this power even more, and more fully follow my Divine Path with always greater understanding and love.