Saturday, May 28, 2016

Closing Time

Greetings all,

I hope you are having a pleasant week and have some gatherings planned for the upcoming holiday weekend.  Spring is closing up and summer is about to begin.  This spring has been accompanied by a lot of endings for me.  I'm reminded of the song, Closing Time,  in which the refrain is, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

This week I revisited a place I had long avoided.  I returned to a street where some of the worst moments of my life occurred.  I'd been adamant about never going back there, at first it was a choice of empowerment, but later it was more laden with fear.  I was afraid of running into people I once knew.  There is a huge difference between not wanting to see someone and being afraid of seeing them.  My experience no matter how painful had shaped me, made me stronger, and helped me grow. My avoidance of this place was not in congruence with that though,  I was acting like the old me.  I was playing weaker than I am.  I was not acknowledging my own power.

In the South American tradition, Jaguar is the guardian of the west.  She is the one who conquers fear and transcends death, bringing us across the rainbow bridge to the realm of spirit.  She is also a taskmaster.  After learning a friend may be moving to the very street where my trials had once taken place I journeyed to see her.  She was quite clear, "You need to go back least once."  She went on to tell me I was letting the story of what had happened limit me, I had to let go of the story of the hurt to fully claim my power.  It was time to close the door on the past.  Well you can't argue with Jaguar.  (Well I suppose you might, but smart money is on the jaguar).  So I girded my loins (metaphorically), put on my big boy pants and started gathering my energies.

So Thursday night one of my best friends was home for a change, and I called her saying, "Want to go on a little adventure?"  Of course she said yes, she is my friend after all.  So off we trotted with a slight snack detour.  (Adventuring is hungry business).  We then picked up the third member of our scouting party and then were off to see the wizard. Nope sorry, wrong adventure, off to slay the dragon, no let me try this again.  We were off to scatter ashes and pee on the graves of our enemies.  That isn't it either but it is as close to a description as possible.

So we crossed a river and came into that old neighborhood.  I could feel it as we got closer.  Some things looked familiar others had faded.  We stopped got out and looked at the house that the third member and driver for the evening had been considering.  Oddly enough the deal fell through on the house just around the time I had made up my mind to go see it.  (Coincidence maybe?)  So there I was doing what Jaguar told me to do.  She never said I had to go alone, she even told me what magical aid to bring to bear.  So we walked the neighborhood.  I recognized things but everything also seemed so different.  It had been over a decade, but there was a lot I either forgot about the place or just never noticed.  The major find on our tour de no force, was the house of the person who had bullied me the worst.  I almost passed right by without recognition.  It had fallen into bad times, there was a notice on the front door.  We didn't go on the porch to check it, but it looked like it had been condemned by the city.

Night fell we circled the block back to the car and set sail for friendlier ports.  I had said my goodbyes.  The past was dead.  Time had marched on, and now I had seen I wasn't the only thing that had changed.  People had come and gone, the neighborhood was different.  Not all that different though because the moment we stepped out of the car some guy driving by shouted, "FUCK YOU,", at us.  No one any of us knew, just a little welcome back to the worst place I'd ever been.  So I came, I saw, and I decided it was still a crappy place that I didn't need to be, but now it is just because I really don't like the place.  (The fuck you guy buzzed by us again as we were leaving I think he is the unofficial greeter).  As adventures go it was a nonevent, but that really was the point.  Still afterwards there were brownies and netflix, because hey we earned it, we braved fuck you's and inconvenient road construction.

So how does this all apply to you?  Well is there something still holding you in the story of victimhood?  Is there a place that you have avoided because of the past even though it is unlikely that danger still lurks there?  Have you built your story on the sad thing that once happened?  Are you being a pity whore (I totally made up that phrase and I love it but hate being it)?  What if you retraced your steps a little as the person you are now?  What if you could go back and shut the door on the past?  You don't have to go alone. Maybe you need to go back not to confront, but to lay to rest.  Let that old wound know it's closing time.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dream On

Greetings all,

I hope this week has been kind to you.  I've had a lot shift for me personally since my last posting.  Once again I have been thrust into action by fate, action which I wouldn't have ever initiated myself.  As often is the case it began with a dream.

Since the age of 13 I've kept dream journals.  In the beginning it was an attempt to become an oneironaut, a lucid dreamer.  As years passed it became apparent that although I had a few moments of lucidity, I really didn't quite have the dedication for taking control of my  dreams on a regular basis.  I kept recording my dreams because they are useful tools in understanding what is going on around and within me.  I have had dreams that told me exactly what was going on in front of me in a way that I couldn't consciously recognize.  In short, they serve as a door on the subconscious processing that occurs below decks.

Most people are interested in the more "psychic" aspect of dreams though.  These are the dreams where maybe we are visited by loved ones that have died.  Sometimes we truly do travel to other worlds and realms in our dreams meeting with fantastical beings who impart gifts or knowledge to us.  Then there are those dreams that tell us of the future.  I have had my fair share of all of these types of dreams.  The only problem is that I am not usually aware that is what they are until the events have passed (with exception of the time I dreamed of test questions I was pretty sure that it was predictive and it was, A+).  I have noticed that psychic dreams tend to come in groupings for me.  I'll have a series of these dreams close together for a time and then they will fade into more normal dreams.

Besides using dreams to help ace tests, I've also used them to decide to take a trip, sever an energetic connection to someone, journey to a particular spirit, and even help choose a course of study.  Last week I had at least one prophetic dream.  In it I was back on a street I used to have friends on.  I was teaching a class and worried that I would run into the people I used to know from that neighborhood. I should point out that I am no longer friends with them.  In fact, I burned every bridge and connection to them.  I banished people from my life that had any semblance of familiarity with them. I also firmly intended to never under any circumstances go near that street again.  Fate it would seem has a twisted sense of humor.  The following evening I spoke to a friend of mine and he told me he was looking at buying a house.  Then he told me where it was, and you guessed it, the very same street which I had recorded the name of in my dream journal that morning.  Subsequent shamanic journeys confirmed that I do need to return to that street to lay the past to rest.

 I did say at least one prophetic dream right?  Well I did have another dream a day or two later and there is no way to tell if it was prophetic because I decided to change the outcome.  In that dream I was working at the store where I've held a part time position for the past 8 years, and as the dream unfolded I was held up at gunpoint.  So this week I handed in my apron and quit.  It was something I knew I needed to do if I was going to focus more on my own business, but the dream was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I had not been a regular employee since October, just on call, but I was afraid to let go of the security of a "normal" job.  There is no way to tell if the dream was warning me of actual danger or if it was just giving me the clear signal that I needed to be done with it.

So all this talk of my dreams I know can be boring, but hopefully you can draw parallels from your own life.  Most of us have had dreams that came true, or that warned us of what was going on under our noses.  We spend a third of our lives asleep, and if we pay attention to our dreams it gives us a whole other life.  There are places, people, and situations we may never encounter except in our sleep.  Dreams offer us potent symbols, deep inspiration, and a clear mirror of ourselves and feelings.  Beyond any psychic phenomena they link us to the quiet self that sleeps in us during our walks in the waking world.  What we experience in them may disturb us or enlighten us, but the choice is ours.

So how about you?  Do you remember your dreams?  Do you ever let them guide you?  Do you ponder the messages and meanings in them?  Have you ever flown?  Have you made a daring escape?  Have you rescued the princess (or prince)?  Did you walk around a house that seemed to contain all the houses you've lived in or will live in?  Do you honor your dreams and their impact on your waking life?  How do you know you're not dreaming right now?  Sink deeply into your slumber and wander far into realms of reverie.  Let me know what treasures you find there.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Off Hand

Greetings all,

Originally I intended to swear a lot in this week's blog post.  However I just saw Deadpool at the cheap movie theater (love 3 dollar Thursdays and 2 dollar Tuesdays)! If you aren't offended by graphic language and even more graphic depictions of murder porn, you'll love it.  I do have a sick twisted sense of humor, so it is okay for me when I'm in a certain mood.  I mean I did canonize Bitch Pudding in the Church of the Mooneagle.  She's the Patron Saint of Kicking Ass and Taking Names (or more like calling names).

In a bizarre way that diatribe about language and swear words is related to this week's musing,  the power of words.  Once uttered words have tremendous power.  (Or typed on a blog for instance with an international readership).  This week I have been thinking about how few words it takes to start an avalanche of change in our lives or the lives of those around us.  Believe it or not I once changed the focus of a national ad campaign with one sentence.  The person who got the advertisement revenue still has no idea it was me who led them to their door; they don't even know who I am.  As the Mooneagle I sometimes like to operate mysteriously (magically and with meaning too if I can fit it in).

More than what I've done is what has occurred in my life because of a few off handed comments by teachers or other figures of importance in my life.  My book was the result of something one of my shamanic teachers said at one of her potluck gatherings about the runes.  Fast forward about five years and you have my debut book Drumming Down the Runes Walking the 24 Roads (totally not a plug I swear...well maybe a little one).  My method of ancestral healing was the result of another comment about the dreamtime.  The subsequent journeys that came out of that later evolved into one of my healing practices that I am most proud of.  A presenter and colleague demonstrating the Blessing Way to us at a meditation group, just quickly mentioned that we could create our own ceremony and voila my weekly prayer rattling ceremony was born (now over 3 years strong rawr)!

The above are just a few examples of the exponential power that words can have once they leave our lips.  Unfortunately off hand comments can also wound as deeply as they can uplift.  I remember one of my first teacher's off hand comments in regard to happiness.  They called it a stupid pursuit.  Unbeknownst to them at the time I was suffering from deep depression.  It did not get better, well not for a while.  Other off hand comments from various important folks in my life had at one time or another convinced me that I was: ugly, unloveable, worthless, and that my feelings didn't matter.  So there is a dark side my pretties, a very big one, and we've all contributed to it.

With my reflection on how much simple unplanned statements affected my path and vision of myself I began to wonder, how have my words shaped others?  What have I said that has created more healing in someone's life?  What have I said that has crushed someone's spirit?  Too often we speak without thinking, to sound clever or witty.  We don't always consider the impact of our words.  We can't really control how our words will be received, but we can at the very least put a clear intent in them.  If someone chooses to take them in a hurtful way then it is on them and not us.  How many of us though really reflect on the energy of what we're saying to our loved ones, our colleagues, the public, and those in our care?

In my life I have said things, terrible things, that I wish I had never spoken out loud.  They can't ever be taken back once spoken.  I thought in horror, and those are only the things I know about, how many other things have I said that have torn someone apart. When I didn't mean to, occasionally I have to verbally tear someone a new one.  We all sometimes have to tell someone where they can get off.  I hope that the good in my words outweighs the bad.  I want what I say to inspire and help people find the wonder in their world.  I don't want to discourage, I want to uplift.  Still unless I take a vow of silence it is unlikely that I can avoid doing harm with my words.  So I have decided to try and start a new daily practice, a short prayer when I awaken so that my words will be filled with my desire to cause ripple effects for the common good.  It isn't a failsafe, some people will still choose to read wrongly into what I say, but I figure if I set the intent each day it is more likely that the energy of my words will be healing.  It will also serve as a gentle reminder to myself to be mindful of what I say.

How about you?  Has the slightest comment from others set you on a new road of exciting growth and discovery?  Has a snide remark sent you into a spiral of despair and self doubt?  It is often not what people are aiming for that sets us off one way or another.  That is what makes it so powerful, it is the energy of new possibilities that can light us up or conversely burn us down.  How aware are you of how your words affect the people in your world?  Do you ever give thought to how you will be received and what may arise from that?  Ponder that in silence for a bit, and then leave a comment below and we'll see where it takes us.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Blank

Greetings all,

In the past week we've seen quite a number of special days: Beltane, Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, Oaks Day, Derby Day and Mother's Day.  Ironically with all the motion going on around me, I've felt like a ship caught in the midst of a calm.

There are times in life when directions seem meaningless.  The ship has no wind in its sails, and if it did there would be no destination calling.  I am between projects and without any clear goals at the moment.  In such times a blank space on a screen, on paper, or on my studio shelves can seem like an accusation.  "Why aren't you filling me?"  Right now my inspiration has run dry.  For someone like me that is a terrible thing.  Inspiration is like oxygen without it my life fades into shades of gray.  It's not that I don't have interests, I do, but right now nothing is currently firing my imagination.  My emotional tie into any ideas is lacking.  I am left with a blank affect on the dashboard of my consciousness.

Some people would call this depression, some would call it a dark night of the soul, but I call it rebooting.  I've had a lot happen in the past year and all of it happened at once.  I think I am just now starting to really let it all sink in.  Sometimes you must lie still before you can move forward.  In our culture constant frenetic activity is the norm.  So much so that when we stop, it can feel off putting.  The cult of the busy, and the cult of the planners is very intertwined with how we picture a full life.  I know I want to create something special that elicits wonder and healing.  I just am not sure what that is anymore.  I thought I knew but right now I have no clue where I want the wind to take me.  The thing is I don't have to know just yet.  Society may always demand that we have a coherent plan and vision for our life, but if I've learned anything it is that you can really miss the sweet stuff if you're too focused on "the plan".  I also learned that I was not a very good planner, mostly my plans all fell apart, but I was very good at back up plans, and back up for the back ups and so on and so forth....

Maybe I am trying to avoid feeling.  Maybe I am uncomfortable with setting out in a new direction.  Whatever the reason I am finding it challenging right now.  So I haven't made any plans, or any back up plans for that matter.  Currently I am just trying to see what life would like to show me at this moment.

So how about you?  Does emptiness fill you with dread?  Do the comings and goings cease to have meaning now and then?  Does the rudder of your life seem to only have one setting?  Well maybe you're in a blank space.  What if it just isn't your move right now?  What if the ball is in the other court?  What if right now you are supposed to just observe before you make some decisions?  I don't offer this advice for you to feel better, just merely to feel.  You don't have to always know where you going or what you're doing.  Getting lost is sometimes the best opportunity we have to grow, so don't despair unless you need to.  Go about your life and see what floats your way.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle