Musings

Musings

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What's in a Name

Greetings all,

I've had a week.  I was feeling under the weather, but I'm beginning to pull through.  I've had events and classes for which I am grateful.  When I don't feel well I get easily bored.  There is really only so much a person can rest before they get well restless.

I have been thinking for a while about this post.  People ask me all the time about my name.  I get the, "Is that your real name?" or ,"So are you Native American?" The answer to the second is as far as I am aware I don't think I'm Native American.  I've not had the DNA ancestry test done to see where all my people are from so I can't know for certain, but I was not raised on a reservation or with any of the disadvantages that a tribal heritage brings in this country.  As to whether or not my name is real well that depends on what you mean by real.

A name is a placeholder, a description.  It is a shorthand for identity.  The name Mooneagle was given to me by one of my teachers.  She just walked up to my booth at a psychic fair and said, "You're Mooneagle."  It stuck, I mean she's a shamanic practitioner and she used the power of naming.  I liked the name but was nervous about using it.  At first it felt like I was misleading people, or that people would think I am silly.  What made it stick was that at the time I was being stalked by a group of people I had cut ties with.  I was beginning to teach and offer services and I didn't want them to find me.  So when a flier was made about a workshop I was going to help teach I joked with a friend that they should use Mooneagle.  They thought I was serious and by the time I told them no the fliers were all printed.  The rest as they say is history.

A funny thing happened after a few years.  The name of Mooneagle felt more and more like me than my birth name.  I sort of grew into it.  Occasionally people still try to shame me about it, but I am Mooneagle and Mooneagle is me.  It allowed me to become more than my family's expectations or limits, it allowed me to be just myself.  Plus after I published my book that pretty much sealed the deal.  

What does the name Mooneagle mean.  Well although people think it sounds vaguely Native American it is more astrological in nature.  My moon was in the sign of Scorpio when I was born.  There are 3 animals associated with that sign: the serpent, the scorpion, and when the sign transcends its shadow the eagle.  The moon sign often is thought of as our hidden side or our inner emotional landscape.  I've been sneaky like a snake, sharp like a scorpion, but I want to soar like the eagle taking in the view without being mired in it.  To feel and to understand rather than just react, that is what the Mooneagle means to me.

So how about you?  What names do you claim for yourself? Are they limiting or do they give you space to grow into them? There is a power in a name that most of us have forgotten.  We should be respectful of them and wary of the names we choose for ourselves and others.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, November 5, 2017

En"lighten"ing

Greetings all,

I hope you had a Happy Halloween.  I got into the spirit of it with the local jack-o-lantern spectacular.  It inspired me to carve quite a large smile on my seasonal squash's face.  Scraping his insides felt very cleansing for myself.  I've been sorting through what matters and what doesn't.  October has been one of my busiest months with me gadding about, out in the real world more and staying behind the screen less, well some of that was not my doing but rather the doing of my late laptop.

I have this last week been rather skeptical of social media.  It is a siren song to see what everybody is up to.  The algorithms are designed to be addictive.  I've been drawn in a few times.  However I'm waking up more and more to the fact that Facebook isn't real.  It's been a realization a long time coming.  It started a few years ago attending a party which in my mind seemed less like a party and more like a photo shoot for social media.  "Look at us, aren't we having fun?  Don't you wish your life was like ours?"

This past year and a half social media has been a minefield of political confrontation.  It was nonstop outrage and yet it felt wrong to unplug because of the idea that I had to stay informed.  Well I can say my 12 day break didn't leave me feeling uniformed, but it did bring me a sense of peace and rhythm that I had forgotten about.  I felt so much lighter.  I spent time talking to people undistracted, truly listening.  I have begun and continue to purge my social media feeds of most of the inflammatory posts.  It is not me sticking my head in the sand.  I just realized I didn't want to have outrage on a constant loop.  I make decisions that aren't well thought out when I am outraged. I wonder if that is the real point to keep people outraged and divided while the powerful raid the coffers, to keep people afraid so that they vote for more brutal responses in order to feel safe.

Why am I telling you this?  Well I am lucky to have good people around me.  I am lucky to have had the benefit of multiple perspectives due to the trait of never quite fitting in with any one place.  I am lucky to have the sight of radiant autumn leaves outside my bedroom window to see, rather than just photos on a computer screen.  I am lucky to know the difference between glamour and life.

What about you?  Are you walking in a daze convinced that your screen is reality?  Do you know the difference between sitting in a room together and being together?  Do you remind yourself that people's social media feed is a carefully crafted illusion meant to portray a story of a life rather than an actual life.  Does your inner world take more from your screen or more from your daily habits and interactions with the people you love?  What if you scrubbed your screen so that it really was a vehicle of connection?  What if you made it back into the tool?  What if you connected with people face to face and let photo opportunities slide so that you could be completely present.  Seeing life through a lens separates us from that life, what if you gave yourself permission to live that life rather than just document it?

Peace and Blessings.
Thomas Mooneagle

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Serpent and the Apple


Greetings all,

I haven't written in two weeks.  This is the first time I've taken a break from the blog since 2013.  It was the right decision, and also convenient seeing as how I would have had to borrow a laptop to do it.  I am once more plugged in, and I am not sure how I feel about it.  I should backtrack a little to give you some context.

I was preparing to co-facilitate a class on Self Sabotage and Spirit Animals.  (To be clear the spirit animals were not the cause of the sabotage they were the help).  Part of my preparations was a journey to see Sashamama for a healing dismemberment.  Yes I realize that last sentence had a lot in it that made no sense, let's start with the who first.  Sashamama is the mother serpent of the Amazon, you know her more popularly as Anaconda.  In the South American medicine wheel she is the Guardian of the South.  She teaches us to shed our past as she sheds her skin.  Okay introductions done, now you are probably wondering about a healing dismemberment, how can being dismembered ever be a good thing?  Well in shamanism when an animal eats you in a journey it is considered a healing.  They are taking you apart so that you can be restructured, they can make you better, faster, stronger, and less of an asshole.  I have had many such dismemberments in the past ten years as I have taken my trainings.  In fact if I hadn't had a dismemberment in more than six months I get to it,  otherwise it will happen in dreamtime.  That is not pleasant for anybody.  The spirit has to chase me down, and I'm quite fast in the dream realms.  If they do catch me I will physically feel the sensation of being ripped apart and wake up still feeling it for a second or two.  That little side effect makes me a bit more proactive in journeying.

It had been a while, and I knew that I needed Sashamama's help for this class.  Here's the sticky point, I've never been dismembered by any serpent before.  I am afraid of snakes in ordinary reality.  Remember what I said about me being fast in the dream realms.  Mama Anaconda has tried to catch me before, but she never did.  So I went into this journey knowing it would be a bit uncomfortable.  When her mouth opened to swallow me I had to close my spirit's eyes and pretend I was in a wet sleeping bag.  I went in and she shat me out.  Did I forget to mention how glamorous shamanism can be kids?  So with the dismemberment done she agreed to help the participants for the class.  They would all be getting a taste of that snaky love bite.

All was going well, I did my weekly prayer ceremony mailed it off, and then the computer crashed.  I ran some diagnostics and rebooted and all was fine so I went home for supper.  After supper I was in for a shock, the computer wouldn't boot.  So the next day I took it to the Mac repair place.  Monday afternoon I received a call that the video card failed, but I couldn't get it repaired because it was a vintage model (Apple's term for anything more than 5 years old).  So I had to buy a new computer and they wanted close to a thousand more than what I paid for the previous one to get similar capabilities.  So after I leveled every curse in the tongues, of elves, men, and hobbits  I set out on a quest for a new computer.  This quest took twelve days.

Twelve days I was cast forth from the digital realm, only touching it on occasion with borrowed time on another's window to the blogosphere.  In this time out of time I found myself meditating more, practicing yoga and tai chi for longer periods, getting to bed earlier, and with plenty of time to get where I needed to be without rushing.  Digital distractions had been eating away at my moments of life for a while, but it had gotten pretty bad.  I had begun to sanitize my Facebook feed and declutter, but it wasn't enough.  The computer was always on, in part because I had this fear of it failing if I turned it off (self fulfilling prophecy).  With it always online, any little thought to check messages or see a video took me away from real life and sucked me into digital fantasy land.  So Sashamama ate the element of self sabotage.  It was a great lesson, but a very expensive one.  Truth is with a business I really have to have a computer.  However when this new one arrived I was wary of it.  I have turned it off every evening and waited until after I've gotten things done in the day to turn it on.  This time I am trying to use it responsibly without the addictive behavior I'd developed prior.  I am hoping twelve days was enough to retrain the patterns.

Why am I telling you this?  Well as I look around the world, I see people consumed by their tech.  Running around to find charge ports to service its needs, they have become the servant and the machine the master.  We are only given so much time on this earth, and many of us are wasting it on phones rather than friends.  Rather than sit with our feelings we feed our impulses to escape any uncomfortable moments.  I'm not saying we should never numb ourselves or let ourselves be entertained, but it is clear to me that my life was suffering due to my imbalanced relationship with my technology.

So ask yourself?  Am I subservient to my tech?  Do I dodge human interaction, trading it for a digital facsimile? Do I get sucked into digital quizzes promising to tell me who I am?  Am I losing sleep surfing through youtube how to videos?  Do I feel a pull on my attention every few minutes to check in and see if something is happening someplace else?  Well if you answered yes you may need Mama Anaconda's help too, just make sure you back up your data before you enlist her expertise.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Millennials

Greetings all,

I am typing from a borrowed machine.  My laptop is in the shop.  It is currently dead. I only hope that the high priests of tech can resurrect it easily and cheaply.  So no photos on this week's blog post.

Having been cut off for two days from easy internet access I am finding there is so much more time in my day.  There is time for more meditation and yoga.  There is time to give people my full attention.  It can be startling to realize how much we compulsively look stuff up until we are without the means to do so.  I've never much cared for using my phone as a computer except at great need so I am having some flashbacks to the 90s before hi speed internet was everywhere, and google wasn't able to find us anyone and anything instantly.  The other thing that happened in the 90s were the Millennials.

What can I say about this much maligned millennial demographic that hasn't already been said.  Well quite a lot actually.  Being a prognosticator of sorts I take a great interest in up and coming generations.  I think we've handed this one a pretty bad deal.  They are inheriting a world with vastly depleted resources, polluted environments, climate change, antibiotic resistance, and debt.  I technically am part of Generation X, but I come at the tail end of it almost between that and Millennials.  So I feel for them I really do. It seems every article you read about them they are getting slammed.  They are being called selfish and lazy.  Simultaneously they seem to be very active in destroying sectors of the economy.  This is mostly being written by the boomer generation and some misguided X'ers.

While the aging power structure blames them for the wholesale destruction of our way of life I think it is about time to point out all the wonderful things about them.  For starters they are all about diversity. This generation seems to be more accepting of differences among people.  Whether it is ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, gender preference, or economic status, Millennials don't seem to care.  They also are more environmentally conscious.  They want things to be sustainable.  Perhaps they can already see the writing on the wall but the generations before them rapaciously have gone through a good deal of the earth's resources and squandered them for short term gains and comfort.  Our Millennials are also one of the most educated and innovated generations yet, they've had to be.  They also happen to be one of the largest generations.  This is good news since they seem quite concerned with social justice.

Right now our young people need our help though.  They are saddled with debt and limited access to social services.  Instead of encouragement they are often lampooned by the media as incompetent children living in their mom's basement.  What the media conveniently leaves out for the comfort of older viewers is that those basement dwellers are often working full time jobs and can barely afford their student loan payments and healthcare.  We have turned students into profit making ventures for banks thus robbing a generation of resources, then we turn around and blame them for not consuming more to boost stock prices.  This feedback loop has created the perfect scapegoat for society.  Millennial bashing seems to be a daily occurrence in the press and online.  We've changed from, "The children are the future,", to "Screw those lazy brats I paid for my own college and got a job after to buy a house."  What most people don't want to look at is that the social contract since they were in their 20s has been altered significantly.  A person used to be able to land a good job out of college that provided medical benefits that were cheap, they could afford to buy a home, have a pension, and even put money towards retirement.  Now it is generally only state employees that have these magical unicorns known as pensions.  Healthcare even if you have a plan can bankrupt a family even with both parents working and insured.  A part time job that used to cover tuition won't even cover books for a semester.  Is it any wonder that some of this generation is thinking they shouldn't bust their ass to not even squeak by?

Why am I telling you this?  Well I am the Faery Godfather to a few in this generation and they are awesome people!  It's so maddening to see them demonized when I know how hard they work and how well they treat others.  I'm seeing ideas and inventions that they are creating at very young ages that could literally save the world.  As I look around and see all the craziness in our society they give me hope that if they could claim their power, the future would once again be something to look forward to.  We are not lacking in solutions to the world's problems only in the will to implement them.  Millennials have that will, now they just need our help.  So if you're a parent, grandparent, teacher, or in any way involved with these up and coming human beings please do what you can to encourage them and let them know that they are powerful and that they matter.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Monday, October 9, 2017

Inspirational

Greetings all,

I hope your week went well.  Mine was a flurry of activity.  I've been trying to balance it all just like the sculpture above.  Well almost like that, I tend to balance things with pants on.  This week I've been prepping a kiln load of work which is currently firing away.  I also got to goto St. James Art Fair.  I look forward to it all year.  Besides that I had an art opening to attend as one of the local ceramic artists.

As I walked through the fair with a friend.  I breathed in all the energy of creativity.  The court itself is a wonderfully tended neighborhood full of old victorian homes that borders Central Park.  Seeing all the work of so many gifted artists and craftspeople always inspires me.  It fills up my heart and feeds my own inner creative spark.  Inspiration held a special place in some of the old pagan traditions of Europe.  When you trace the word origin, it comes from the latin root inspirare which means to breathe in the divine influence.  We often use the phrase, "Divinely inspired", but that is just like saying divinely breathed in the divine.  I do consider it a gift from Spirit, but not always a deity.  Inspiration can be passed from person to person, leading to one more reason to believe that we all carry the divine within ourselves.

Inspiration is a super power.  The best leaders have it, visionaries, those who bring us scientific breakthroughs, and artists.  When society is stuck in a pattern and there seems no way forward or out of the mess we find ourselves in, it takes someone with inspiration enough to share to help us change.   It is really the only way we can ever change other people.  If you actively try to change people. you will be mostly unsuccessful.  You may even get attacked.  If you inspire someone by your words or actions they choose change.  It is done without coercion because it comes from that sacred part within ourselves which the sacred part in others recognizes.  If you look at the state of our world right now we are in sore need of inspiration.  It is the source of light amidst the darkness.

So why am I telling you this?  Well we often think change comes from a lot of applied force and effort.  It can come in passionate hope and even joy.  Think of when you were inspired in your life by someone.  How did it change your perspective about yourself?  How did it change your perspective on what you believe is possible?  Now is the time for us to act from our heart centered passions, not only for our sake, but for the sake of those we might inspire.  Inspiration wakes the spirit in us to its full potential.  The  world needs our spirits in action right now.  So take time to stoke those inner fires.  Breathe in what lights you up and move with it, for yourself and the ones that follow in your footsteps.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Monday, October 2, 2017

Value

Greetings all,

Yes I know I'm late, but two days in a row I have collapsed in bed soon after the sun has set.  I've actually been looking at my writing commitment which I made four years ago and wondering if it still applies.  I made it in a time of personal loss and transition.  I needed a way to process my experiences and blogging seemed to help.  Lately it has been more of a chore, but that feeling comes and goes.  I haven't made any hard and fast decisions yet about the future of my writing here so no worries.  However, if you do enjoy my musings please let me know by commenting and sharing.  Writing on the internet is like putting a message in a bottle, I never know on which shore it will end up.

So waking up this morning and checking my newsfeed on Facebook I was shown many "Thoughts and prayers", for the people of Las Vegas.  I had no idea what had happened, but 'thoughts and prayers' is generally code for mostly preventable mass murder by guns here in America.  We act sad for a day or two and then go about our business.  Those of us who think that we should perhaps do something to prevent such tragedies are shouted down by the NRA and their spokespeople and the few crazy gun nuts who think firearms should be everywhere.  So we just wait until the next mass shooting and hope that neither we nor our loved ones are involved.

This has a lot to do with our hierarchy of values in America.  I shall make a list from the least to most valued. (This is a list of societal values NOT mine).

10. Muslims
9.   People of Color
8.   Gay People
7.   Jews
6.   Foreign born citizens
5.   White women (if they are Christian and appropriately dressed)
4.   White men
3.    Police officers
2.    Unborn fetuses
1.    Guns

You may notice a few things about that list.  For one there are no children on it.  We only value children (on the societal level) when they are unborn.  Once they are out of the womb they are expected to just deal with things, which is fine if they are born to wealthy white people.  Society is unwilling to invest in education and development.  We are also not willing to stop killing and imprisoning people of color.  America sees their lives as a commodity for prisons for profit or for target practice.  As for Jews, Gays, and Muslims they make convenient scapegoats for politicians.  Notice there are no veterans on that list.  We don't care about our soldiers once they come back as we give them poor support and that is why their suicide rate is so high.  As far as recent citizens we expect them to keep their heads down and thank God (the right one of course) that they made it in.

So let's all talk about the smoking gun in that list.  Here in America guns are valued more than the unborn fetuses that people will blow up clinics to demonstrate the sanctity of life.  This is why we can't have nice things.  We have things backwards.  First off there shouldn't be a different category for people.  There should be one category for human life.  That should go at the top of our list.  Guns should always be behind that.  I used to be a bit more moderate about guns, but the gun lobby has been so rabid to prevent any sort of sane measures I'm thinking it is time that nobody had them in civilian life (police included).  We have proven again and again that we just can't handle them responsibly.  I know this puts me at odds with people I know, even people I like and respect.  I have been in people's gun rooms (for my foreign readers here in the USA some people collect so many weapons they need a room to store them in) and all I could feel was the energy of violent death emanating from every direction.  They were clearly excited about this, I was not.  I've also been around people who had a rifle out for sports shooting and I was completely at ease around them.  I have been threatened by a drunk fundamentalist that they would get their gun because I don't believe the same way they do.  We may glorify it in our movies, games, and television but we must never forget the terror and death that guns suddenly bring.

Why am I telling you this?  Well I am sick of the hypocrisy of it all.  Number two on the list was unborn fetuses.  We wax poetic on the value of the life that might be, but we are perfectly happy to send that little bundle of joy out into a land that is being turned into a shooting gallery for the deranged.  This faux concern for life is even more laughable when we look at the state of healthcare in America.  Notice that wasn't on the list either.  I have insurance that I can't afford to use, and may lose in the next year.  I don't know how far this message in a bottle will go, but if it gets spread I am sure I and my family will get death threats.  Somebody might shoot me.  If I am shot and not instantly killed I won't be able to afford treatment.  Should I die violently before our parasitic healthcare system drains all my assets let it be known that I want my resources to goto the Water Protectors of Standing Rock.  Why you ask, because protecting our natural environment and resources is something that I value.

Okay I'm done ranting, but I must ask what do you value?  Have you got a list of values and their order of importance?  Do your values contradict themselves?  If they do, have you ever tried to reconcile those conflicts?  Do you value some lives more than others?  If so why?  Feel free to leave comments about what your biggest value is.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Flow


Greetings all,

I hope your week was magical.  Mine was certainly eventful with my normal classes, monthly meditation, a public talk, and the quarterly drumming I've been staying occupied.  Right now I have a kiln cooling, fired on the equinox so hopefully the work will be a turning point for me.

The equinoxes and solstices are the turning spokes on the wheel of the year, marking the edges and midpoints of seasons.   The earth's rhythm and our own are joined.  This past year has been one of many changes for both myself and others.  There are some rough waters ahead, but there are also many opportunities to change course and take part in more fulfilling adventures.  Lately I've been discovering the distinction between being grateful and settling.

Now if you are reading this I am sure you have something to be grateful for.  Accepting things as they come is a wonderful skill to develop.  However going with the flow has been a source of great disillusionment.  What if the flow is wrong?  Think of the energy in a mob.  Herd instinct can sing us into complacency.   Our tendency is to accept our circumstances until they become unbearable.  Going against the flow is not easy, so we'll just try and ride it out.  In my life I have settled for less, because I've been afraid to ask for more.  I mean I'm doing okay, not great but okay.  Who am I to ask for more?  Still there is a longing in me, and it isn't being filled.

This is not to say I am not grateful for what I have, I am.  I also realize that I must strive a bit or I'll never be anywhere but where I am.  So striking a balance between striving and accepting, gratitude for what I have, and the desire for something better, isn't easy.  The good things in life take work.  Whether that is career, relationships, or family, they all require effort.  This applies to the energy work I do  too.  It took me years to get to a place of awareness and skill to do it in a way that looks effortless.  When I don't make it harder than it has to be, it generally is, but it wasn't always.  Knowing when to paddle and when to float is probably one of the most valuable lessons you can learn.  (If you learn it please tell me the secret, I'm still guessing).

When I struggle to maintain balance I am lucky to know certain practices centered around re balancing myself.  One of my favorites is Despacho ceremony.  The pictures above are from this week's Equinox celebration.  Besides the usual drumming I had the opportunity to do Despacho.  It is all about showing our gratitude to Spirit and Mother Earth, and asking for what we need in our lives.  It is about reciprocity, giving our thanks and our best efforts, and receiving blessings.  It is a cycle that moves throughout our lives and the lives of all beings.  I like it because it balances that need to honor what we have going for us with the desire to improve our lives.  Plus they're pretty, and there is generally leftover chocolate.

So why am I telling you this.  Well as we reach turning points in the year and our lives, we should take stock.  We can remember what we have to be grateful for, and simultaneously strive to make our lives better.  What about you?  Are you counting your blessings?  Are you simply going about your day to day on autopilot?  Are you afraid to ask for what you truly want?  I invite you to the great work of balancing gratitude and desire.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Google Me Furious



Greetings all,

I hope you had a delightful week.  Mine has been more problem centric in a way.  I got to experience the deep fury I usually keep chained up in the basement.  So fun times right?

As a child I had very intense emotions.  I remember being 4 or 5 and being so overcome by my feelings I'd bite my own fist.  I never did (to my recollection) bite other people, much to my parents' relief.  However, I was often alone in my room when these intense feelings would overtake me.  I also had quite a temper, although to this day my mother swears that neither I nor my siblings ever threw tantrums.  I just don't see how that could be possible, personally I think she just chose to forget those experiences.  My point is that I worked hard to cage the rage or emotional turmoil I possessed.  I am like many men afraid of the rage that we carry within us.

Now when I tell people about my rage they generally begin to giggle.  I am considered soft spoken (if you don't count the swear words), gentle, and calm.  Well I work very hard at remaining calm.  I've seen what happens when I lose my temper.  Stuff tends to break without me even touching it.  I react rather than respond when I let the red rage rule me.  In short, I don't make sound decisions from a long term strategy perspective when I operate from anger.  On the other hand, when I neuter my anger people often think they are in a consequence free zone in their interactions with me.

This week, since I had a day that I couldn't work in the studio I decided to tackle a problem I've had with my website.  For at least the past six months, whenever you google my name you'd get an error message on the search where my homepage occurs.  The link worked.  The page was operating, but it was as if it wasn't there on google.  Now Bing had me show up just fine, but nobody uses Bing.  I mean Google is not just a name it is now also a verb.  So I called my web host not once but about ten times in total to see if we could fix this (The first three calls were placed over the summer).  It turned out I knew more than the tech support people.  When I complained I got stonewalled.  They couldn't help me fix it (they blamed google), but they wouldn't refund me any money for my invisible site.  Well I lost it.  I am proud to say I ruined the day for about six people on Wednesday.  That is not quite accurate, they ruined their day by not honoring their contractual obligations to me and my insistence that they should.  I was shaking I was so angry with them.  If I could have force choked them through the phone I would have, while saying, "I find your lack of technical expertise disturbing."

So I used my words.  Now I have somehow repaired the problem on my own.  Unfortunately I had to strip my site down to the most boring minimum.  At least I appear when people search me.  Still I am unsatisfied with those folks who helped feed my rage beast.  I mean he almost broke the chains.  Anger is a sticky emotion.  We can't live without it, but finding a good way to live with it is tricky.  I've had it save my life once or twice.  I've certainly had it change my life on multiple occasions, sometimes for better and other times for worse.  The problem that I had was that there was nowhere for this energy to go.  It wasn't solving my problem it was just pointing out I was dealing with jackasses.  I felt trapped by it, as there were no solutions and I couldn't kill the jackasses.  (Not that I would actually kill them....just hurt them real bad...this is why I keep the rage beast caged).  This is why I don't have rocket launchers on my car, because let's face it I'd use them.  Most of us would.  I mean you've seen how some asshats drive.

Recently someone suggested I look into writing for Elephant Journal.  I was sort of intrigued.  I was skeptical that my more racy or explicit posts (search for the 'Healing Power of Fuck Off' as an example) would be acceptable material.  I like my voice.  I like that I can scream explicit swear words on this blog.  I am trying to remain honest with my writing.  Honesty seems to lull the rage beast into slumber.  Do I want him gone, absolutely not.  He is necessary.  I want him as an option if I or a loved is in danger, so I can scream, "RELEASE THE KRAKEN!"  Anger is a part of the spectrum of emotions if we lose him (or her) all the other emotions just get that much more muted.  Joy would be less intense and who wants to live in a faded world?  Besides that anger is great fuel for getting you out of your funk.  You just have to be very careful that you let it fuel you and not rule you.  Those brain chemicals energize us but they aren't meant for long term usage  I felt pretty bad after being angry all day.  I can only imagine what people who live in that state must feel like.

So why am I telling you this?  Well I was pissed off and wanted to vent a bit for sure, but beyond that this experience really held up a mirror to show just how much further I have to go on the emotional maturity spectrum.  Dealing with emotions particularly the stickier ones like anger or fear really determine how much we can enjoy our lives.  Emotions underpin everything.  They color how we see ourselves.  They define our relationships.  How well we navigate them governs how well we deal with our successes and challenges.  Our education system is very concerned with literacy and mathematical ability,  but we barely scratch the surface of emotional literacy.  So this week I invite you to tune into your emotions, especially those that you keep locked away.  I'm not saying you should let all your emotions out to roam the village freely, but you should at least check in to see if they have all the necessities.  If you don't do that occasionally there will be a larger mess to clean up.  Acknowledge what you feel even if it is just to yourself.  Emotions, even the darker ones give meaning and context to life.  Schopenhauer once said, "Life without pain has no meaning."  Well ladies and gentlemen I have good news, if that is true, your lives will certainly have plenty of meaning.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Monday, September 11, 2017

Season of Dreams

Greetings all,

Yes this post is late.  I was at the point of sleep when I remembered I hadn't posted it, but at that moment the pillow's call was stronger than the keyboard's.  Sleep and dreams have a gravitational effect on us, and for me at least a seasonal one as well.

The weather has turned cool here the past two weeks.  There is a slight briskness in the air, and the scent of fall is upon us.  Although the real indication for me was the shift in my dreaming of late.  My dreams seem to be more fleeting and distant in the summer months.  Autumn begins the deepening of dreams in my life.  This is not to say I can't have detailed or meaningful dreams at other points in the year's tapestry of weather, but the remembered occurrences are higher in the fall and winter.  The psyche at its most unconscious level is in sync with the earth's rhythms.

Dreams often are dismissed by serious minded people.  Adults in our society don't have time to muss over the implications of our night wanderings.  I find this attitude very damaging to our wholeness.  For me, dreams offer a chance to operate without the stranglehold of the ego filtering my perceptions.  My agenda is not often considered and I get to peak beneath the hood of my personality to see what is really driving the car.  I have made decisions and changed my mind on topics because of dreams.  I give them weight, and in return they give me insight.

Why am I telling you this?  Well so often we're in such a rush to start the day, we don't consider the second life of our dreams.  The nurse from Romeo and Juliet said, "Seek happy nights for happy days."  Now while she wasn't referring to dreams her advice has merit.  If we've been suppressing a need or ignoring a problem, odds are it is going to show up in the nightly light show.  Beyond that, we may get to see bits of information that were filtered out of everyday perceptions.  Those bits can give a greater understanding of the motives of ourselves and others.  Dreams can also show you where you are at odds with yourself.  They are a goldmine of inspiration and information.

So are you minding your dream life?  Do you notice shifts in it across the seasons?  Do you notice how changes in your life affect it?  What could richer dreams be trying to tell you?  As the autumn mists roll in and the space between waking and sleep grows thin, pay attention.  Hold onto the wisps of story as you wake.   They may bring you a gift.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Monday, September 4, 2017

Break Up, Wake Up, and Breakthrough

Greetings all,

I hope you are doing well.  The hour is late here.  I fell asleep before writing and now I am racing the sunrise.  It's been a weird week for me.  The tail end of the summer always brings with it a great deal of nostalgia.  The school year begins and for someone who spent so many years in academia I still find it odd to not be involved in it.

So you may be wondering what's up with the mug?  Well I got accepted into a  juried art show, and yes I did make that mug.  For those of you who are new readers I am also an artist.  It is part of my profession that has been on the back burner for a few years.  You see I'd hit a wall with my art.  Well actually I hit several walls, repeatedly, or rather constantly.  After I graduated back in 05, I didn't have the equipment I needed to make work.  Then I worked as a studio assistant in exchange for equipment use.  That went well for about a year or so and then that studio closed.  I then helped someone set up their home studio in exchange for firings.  They backed out of the deal after I finished all the heavy work for them.  So I finally got my own kiln and equipment, but then I couldn't get the glazes to work.  After much frustration, I got a few colors the way I wanted them, but was kept out of a national show by a former professor. About three years ago I got into a small gallery in Gatlinburg.  This for me was a godsend as I had run out of shelf space and couldn't make anymore work.  Unfortunately, the gallery sold my work then neglected to pay me and tried to make off with over a thousand dollars of my work.  The final straw came as I found out that the clay I had stored had dried out into brick hard material.  I literally broke my body trying to make the clay work.  To sum it up for more than 13 years I have hit nothing but setbacks and disappointments.  The good news is that I'm stubborn.

As I look back on what I just wrote I realize how much I needed an outlet for my frustration.  I didn't mean to go into such detail.  In fact I missed the one piece of information I meant to convey.  I've been working in porcelain since about 2004, and it has been kicking my butt the entire time.  Porcelain was once valued up there with precious metals in the west, and after working with it for so long I can see why.  As pretty as it is, it is quite the diva to work with.  This week I switched to a different clay body.  I basically got tired of the abusive relationship it has had with me.  It seems to think I am beneath it, and do I really want to hang around with something that has such a low opinion of myself? Now it certainly didn't cause all of the problems stated above, but I can tell you that working with material that insists on fighting you every step of the way is exhausting and demoralizing.  So imagine my surprise when I opened a fresh bag of new clay and started prepping it for wheel work and finding that it didn't push back at me.  I set it on the wheel and had it centered in thirty seconds as opposed to five to ten minutes.  It responded to my touch like an ardent lover.  Now I am grateful to porcelain for making me a better artist, but I consider this blog post as my Dear John letter to porcelain.  I'm not sorry it's over, I'm only sorry it took me this long to figure out that you are not long term relationship material.

So why am I telling you in intrinsic detail about my feud with self important clay?  Well I imagine that many of us have something in our life where we keep banging our heads against the wall.  Perhaps we think it is all due to our own failings, but maybe it is just the circumstances.  Maybe we think we don't have options.  I am amazed that changing this one thing has opened up the horizon.  We can get fixed into an approach in our heads that keeps us from trying something else.  For you it may not be clay it could be a job, a town, or even a relationship.  Stop trying to make something work that isn't going to.  It is okay to occasionally admit defeat and move onto something else.  I stayed in my dysfunctional relationship with a material because it looked so beautiful, particularly in my mind. It is easy to idealize how things should be and what the "right" way is to get to our goals.  I'm telling you now save yourself the pain, snap out of the delusion.  There is no right way to go about your life. Stop trying to squeeze yourself into something that is not a fit for you.  Look for what works for you because, you're a much better master to your life than anything or anyone else.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, August 27, 2017

So Little

Greetings all,

It has been an exciting week.  We started off with a nation spanning total solar eclipse.  I myself was just out of the path of totality.  Had I not had two classes to teach that day I would have traveled the few hours to see it.  Lucky for me there is another one in just seven years, and I have glasses that will last that long.

I watched with family members from my backyard and driveway.  We passed around the eclipse glasses.  At one point I practiced Tai Chi, just to have the experience under the odd light.  In my area, the eclipse got to 96 percent coverage.  What struck me the most was just how bright only 4 percent of the sun's light was.  There was a noticeable temperature change, the wind picked up, but on the whole I was expecting it to be much darker.  It looked more like late afternoon than midday.  The shadows were odd, as the gaps in the tree canopy showed the thin crescent of light of the sun overhead.  The sun waned and waxed like the moon, changing their roles in the sky.

There has been much written on the symbolism of the eclipse, astrologically and energetically.  For me personally I found it to be a very emotional event.  The fact that only the smallest sliver of sun still had the power to light up our world was the biggest thing I took away from it.  In a way it gives me hope.  In dark times no matter how small the source of light may be it still has the power to push back the darkness.

As I look back on my many failures I wonder if they matter.  If only a small amount of what I attempt succeeds it may be enough to make a big impact.  So this week as you think about your life, decisions, regrets, and your occasional accomplishments be a bit more mindful of how a small shaft of light can make all the difference in your world.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Story Themes

Greetings all,

This week I've been mulling over the kinds of stories we tell in our culture.  I've noticed a trend, and I think it says a lot about us.

The classic tales of the past often see our hero (or heroine) begin in their home.  They are then forced by circumstances to leave and travel out into the greater world.  They encounter both allies and obstacles.  At some point they find power either in an object, an ability, or a piece of knowledge.  They then return home to set things right and settle back into their community.  This is not all tales, but it is the template for many of them.  The uniting factor is the return home.

Modern tales often concern people's struggle to get out and escape from their origins to make it big in the larger world.  These tales don't focus on the return home or to community, only the exit strategy.  The change here is of course the belief in the rugged individual, and exceptional qualities that our would be heroes possess.  In the old stories the return revitalizes the community and lifts them up and the hero becomes enmeshed in the continuity of society.

As we look around our world the state of many of our communities are in disarray.  No matter where we live there is always "that part of town" or county where you steer clear if you are smart.  Every city has the place where the homeless gather, where the junkies hide out, where the working girls ply their trade, and the place where the gangs run the streets.  It's no wonder that so many of our stories focus on making it out and making it big.  I wonder though that in making that the focus of our stories if we haven't ensured that those dark places will continue to thrive and consume those of us not lucky enough to make it out.  Some places are predatory, they feed on the hopes and dreams of people consuming them a bit day by day.  It is natural to want to run from the lions, but not many will ever out run them.

In escaping we save ourselves, but lose our community.  I wonder if the stories changed again back to  themes of returning home to save it if our attitude would change.  If the focus became less on our heroes and more on the relationships that drove them on and back to where they began would that change society?  It is easy for me to write this, I've been blessed in my point of origin.  Still I see the damage that occurs when the individual is taken out of community. That damage works both ways, the loss of emotional support to the individual, and the loss of skills, drive, and care taking to the community.

So why am I telling you this?  Well there is so much pressure to be a personal success, to be an individual.  There is quite a bit less on being a good community member.  As I observe the events of the world I become more convinced that our tunnel vision concerning our lives as individuals is at the root of many problems.  When our communities break down that affects our families, and when our families break down it affects each person.  That effect is then recycled back into our community creating deeper fissures.  Then the idea of being on your own becomes more than an idea, it becomes the shared reality.  When people are on their own they are much easier to manage and control by larger societal forces.  It is also easier to sell them on half truths, or to use scapegoats.  If you don't have connections with the "other" it is easy to believe what you are told about them.

I don't have answers.  I work with individuals or very small groups.  I'm not a big social person.  I tend to be wary of communities as I have been for most of my life a convenient scapegoat.  I do however see the need for community, and the damage the lack of it creates.  So I start small trying to build relationships a bit at a time.  I try to create value where I am, because there is very little in this world that cannot be solved by people coming together.  We may have to go out into the world and fight our dragons, but eventually we all long to come home.  For you I wish that the road blesses you with good companions and that you find a way to bring what you have gained on your travels back to your point of origin to share.  Communities outlive individuals, skills like stories can be passed down.  So I hope your story brings you safely home.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bless Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Greetings all,

I hope you've had a blessed week.  I'm still reintegrating into my life from the peak experiences on my travels.  I'm doing my best to bring those insights into my daily existence and embody them.  An old saying goes, "Enlightenment is not found on the mountaintop, but rather in the marketplace."  Meaning, it is easy to be all grand and wise when you're all alone in your meditation hut, but society is where the test of your training will be.

Unlike many people on vacation I bought very little on my trip.  The little figurine above was one of the exceptions.  She was one of several in a gallery my friend Jodi and I walked into.  For some reason when we're together we shop.  We just find the coolest things when we go anywhere.  The little statuette is titled 'Self Blessing'.  I bought her as a reminder to be good to myself.  Too often I am rushing about getting things done, using my talents to help others, while neglecting to channel my own energies in service to my needs.  Taking time to renew my own resources has been viewed as selfish or indulgent.  Time away from the rush and my normal environment has shown me that it is a necessity.

When I left on my trip I was in pain.  I was exhausted.  I was pretty much done with people.  I had nothing left to give.  This was entirely my fault.  I let myself get pushed into that pattern.  Now that I have returned I am pushing back.  So even if it is just a minute I am taking the time to bless myself.  I am putting myself first in prayers for that moment.  I had forgotten there was a difference between being of service and being a servant.  So now I am committed to giving myself a good turn when I can.  If I don't treat myself well how can I expect anyone else to?

Why am I telling you this?  Well, self care can be hard to come by in our society of productivity and the competing demands of multitasking.  A quiet moment has been made into a luxury that we best not take because we've been told we're replaceable.  I say fuck that.  Yes we have obligations, and we should honor them.  However, never confuse another person's comfort with their needs.  We cannot live up to everyone's expectations, and shortchanging our health and sanity to try is foolish.  So I suggest you begin blessing yourself each day, maybe more than once.  Say no to what you have to in order to really take care of yourself.  Will you always be able to do that, probably not, but I am quite sure you don't avail yourself of your personal veto power anywhere near often enough.  In the meantime, bless yourself before you wreck yourself on the rack of societal expectations.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Best Unlaid Plans


Greetings all,

The best laid plans and so on and so forth.  All my plans used to share one trait, they never worked.  As I reintegrate into my daily life I'm having to let go once more of how I thought things should run. Still I have come back to a more centered view of plans laid or unlaid.

For many years I made plans, and then life came through and destroyed them all.  The one piece that I needed as a linchpin all of the sudden would evaporate so I'd go on to Plan B.  Plan C and D were shortly to follow.  I got through most of the alphabet when I decided to stop making plans.  I drifted.  There was much less disappointment, but I also didn't really get anywhere.  I would say I almost became afraid to hope for anything that I wanted since all my plans to move towards it always fell apart.  I mostly spent my time learning during the plan free era.  In some respects it was  a very useful time.  If my plans had worked out I never would have learned all the skills I employ now, both in my day to day life and in my chosen professions.

Eventually you have to choose a direction or have it chosen for you.  I've learned it is better to choose consciously whenever possible.  At least that way you have a vote (even if Fate overrules  you).  So I tried making more flexible plans, and they were less abysmal failures.  They weren't total successes, but some strides were made, they just seemed to be at a glacial pace.  Two steps forward, and one step back is a dance I have become familiar with.

In the past year or two, my style has shifted yet again.  Plans, even flexible ones, seem to be too structured for the chaotic happenstance in which the world operates.  Now I don't make plans, I plant seeds.  I have goals, I take an action here and there.  Planting the intent wherever I find myself.  Some of those seeds will never germinate, some won't germinate for a long time.  Some shockingly planted years ago will all sprout up at once.  Rather than trying to be a king over my life I have attempted instead to be a gardener.  I tend the seeds of possibilities as they sprout. With this approach I can be more flexible and responsive to the world around me, partnering with opportunities when they appear rather than trying to find that one perfect set of circumstances to move forward.  It is a strategy that involves a lot of letting go, and a lot of trust.  I'm not saying it is a perfect strategy, but in the past few months I have seen amazing things happen with very small efforts.  Rather than pouring enormous amounts of energy into bending the world, I am simply cultivating the bit of earth where I find myself.

So why am I telling you this?  Well many of you are in the process of manifesting the life of your dreams.  That's all well and good, but ask yourself if are you approaching it with a rigidity of mind.  Are you waiting for the perfect variables to make your move?  I'm all for picking your moment, but any time we find ourselves in will have both challenges and opportunities.  Plans fail when they don't take into account the changing tides of life around us.  What if instead of trying to control the world we planted the seeds of what we love where we are?  What if we concentrated on tending the seeds that sprouted?  What if we paid attention to which seeds sprouted and under what conditions, so that we became better cultivators of the gardens of our life?  When we plant a seed we don't keep digging it back up to see if it is growing, we have to let go and trust that life will unfold.  So I would ask that in the coming months you plant a few seeds and trust that some of them will germinate in their own time.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Long Way Round

Greetings all,

I hope you have been enjoying the month of July.  For me it has been eventful.  My trip home from the Monroe Institute had as many turns as my trek through my inner psyche while I was there.  Each time I have gone I have meandered a bit before returning home.  It helps to soften my re-entry.

So by way of Baltimore, Mechanicsburg, Utica, and Columbus, I slowly made my sojourn back to day to day life.  I visited old friends in new spaces.  I held ceremony with new people.  I laid the groundwork for future travels and opportunities.  In each place I tried to be fully there, not looking too far ahead or behind.  It is difficult when you pack several trips into one to center yourself where you happen to be.  I just try remind myself that when I look back I'll be wishing I was there again.  I had minimal social media and I tried to stay off the phone once I arrived at each destination.  My mind did stray to absent friends, those that I really wanted to share the story of my travels with as I had in the past.  The return through Ohio brought that into sharper focus, as I was going through a friend's stone collection to help their wife sort through it.  The picture above was an unexpected find, gem grade green tourmaline in quartz.  This was something I never knew my friend had; I found many unique pieces in my short stay there.

When we lose people in life we often wonder if we honored the time we had together.  Maybe we have regrets, and for those of us who are fortunate we simply miss them.  It's funny how we sometimes only understand a relationship in the rearview mirror of memory.  Another friend I often thought was kind of spacey was simply experiencing chemo brain as she had cancer for most of the years I knew her.  It isn't just relationships we see better in retrospect, it is our journeys.  That is why the return home is vital.  It gives us a chance to think on where we began as we head back towards it.  I choose to take the long way round so that I may come to a bit of understanding before I settle back into the familiar.

So why am I telling you this?  Well, often we rush through our experiences, so focused on getting there and back that we don't stop to ponder and reflect.  We water down our interactions by not being fully present, playing on our phones while our friends and family wait for our reply.  The siren song of 'what's next' can be irresistible, and yet it keeps us from truly living.  We cannot live anywhere, but in the moment we are inhabiting.

As I rode home I noticed the roads ahead became like mirrors in the distance.  I am puzzled how asphalt can turn into a reflection.  How can the road reflect the sky?  I knew this observation was somehow profound, and I also knew I would have missed it if I had spent the whole trip back on my phone (I have a headset I'm not suicidal).  In the coming weeks, I suggest you take some time to be alone with your thoughts.  Think about where you have just been before moving ahead into where you are going.  Be present with your loved ones, because time is precious, and while media can wait, people cannot.  If you miss ones that have gone on, take heart.  You'll meet again.  You're just taking the long way round.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Within the Eyes




Greetings all,

Here I am in lovely Baltimore amidst old friends after making several new ones this past week in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  My experience at the Monroe Institute is still so fresh in my mind I don't know that I can really interpret it fully.  I do know that it was the right choice for me in this time.

Guidelines was the program I attended.  It is focused on opening more deeply to our guidance.  This time back at the institute I experienced more during exercises.  I felt as if I could really open my mind and my eyes and see images.  I did see them clearly even if I didn't understand what they meant.  I call this progress.

Now I sit in the dining room of my dear friend Sherry Tuegel after a day of joint teaching.  We come from different traditions and yet our ways flowed into each other creating a deep synergy.  It is within the past year that I feel I really am relaxing into the role of teacher.  Knowledge needs a living mind or else it dies.  Teaching is way of wisdom for it grants knowledge a kind of immortality passing from mind to mind, and with each passing also a bit of the teacher moves on into the student. It is heartening to see the wisdom that I have treasured light up the eyes of another.

Today Sherry presented as part of her section of our class, eye gazing.  How often do we look directly into the eyes of another?  How often do our eyes slide over a person refusing to see them?  How often are we seen?  I remember years ago at an art fair I was shocked that one particular artist 'saw' me.  He looked right into me and I was recognized.  This frightened me.  For many years, I had protected myself by being unseen or mis/seen.  All the veils I had cast upon myself were ripped away in their gaze.  It is a startling thing to be seen.

Most times when we are seen by others they merely see a reflection of themselves or some aspect.  If they are generally at peace they will see their own good reflected back at them.  If they are unhappy with themselves they will see what they hate about themselves in us.  The illusion is that they think it is us that they find repulsive.  In actuality, it is themselves they cannot bear to look at.  To gaze deeply into another is to also to be gazed deeply into.  This is not comfortable for many.  I'll be honest I felt sorry for whomever drew me to gaze into.  People tell me I shape shift.  My eyes have done funny things in the past.  Once I glamoured them and someone looking at me saw me as if my eyes had gone all black with no whites or iris.  It only lasted a moment, and I have never been able to recreate that effect (I think spirit just wanted to show me it was possible).  At other times people have said that my eyes seem to look through them into their soul, and still others have seen their deepest fears reflected back at them.  I take no credit for that, I only reflect the energy that people bring.

After today's exercise my gazing partner told me they saw my eyes change.  The round pupil became a slit like the eye of a cat, or a jaguar.  Now I do have a spiritual relationship to the black jaguar.  He has been a guardian, friend, and giver of sound advice(sometimes I even follow it).  I felt honored that the jaguar would manifest visually through my eyes.  It also made a lot of sense of why some people could never meet my gaze, particularly if they'd been up to no good.

So why am I telling you all this?  Well they say eyes are the window to the soul.  After a week of exercising the visionary ability I am pondering the nature of seeing and being seen.  So many people come to me who want to open their third eye and become a seer.  I often say, "It's $50 to open your third eye...it's $500 to close it.  So basically I'll be making $550 today."  People want the benefits of perfect vision, but they don't want to look too deeply at things.  If they do they begin to see the cracks in the facade of the world.  How can we open our third eye if we refuse to really look with our physical eyes?  How can we learn to see with spiritual sight, if we cannot even look at one another?  Use your eyes, observe, really see what you are looking at.  Don't chase fantastical visions, but rather come awake to what is already before you.  You might be surprised at what your eyes can see.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just One Word

Greetings all,

Yes it is an early post this week, as I will soon be in the wind.  My long awaited trip to the Monroe Institute is finally upon me and I can hardly believe it.  I've been in a flurry of activity to get ready and fitting last minute clients in before I am unreachable.

As I was packing up at the office yesterday I put on an album I hadn't listened to in quite some time.  It was sort of a Celtic tribute album that an artist had done to honor their Scottish ancestry.  Years ago I had made a mix tape of the album to play in my car on the way back and forth to school.  (Yes a mix tape, I know, so ancient).  There was one particular song that always struck me as very sad, and at the time I was struggling with my own melancholy.  To this day I remember one of the main lyrics, "Some are born to sorrow, some are born to pain, some are born to laughter and joy.  We were born to live again."  Of course being a depressive pity whore at the time I figured it meant some were just fated to be born to sorrow.  I wish I could tell you I snapped out of that phase within in a season but it has taken almost two decades and sometimes I still spar with the shadows of the "poor me" identity.  These days it doesn't stay around too long, but it still visits.

Imagine my surprise when as I was listening to this particular song and I heard the actual lyric.  "Some are born through sorrow, some are born through pain, some are born through laughter and joy.  We were born to live again." For years I had misheard the word through as to.  That one word changes the entire meaning.  Instead of something we are born to, we are born through experiences.  For some of us our becoming is through sorrow and pain, for others they are wakened by laughter and joy.  These are the experiences that lead us deeper into ourselves, not some rigid destiny that we just have to endure.

The power of just one word to change the entire meaning of a song is simply amazing.  What's even more amazing is the shift in perspective that had to occur to allow my filters to even hear the actual word being sung.  (If indeed that is the actual word, maybe I'm still not hearing the right lyrics).  This really hammers home the point that our perspective and preconceived notions have a very strong influence over our experiences, even to the point of altering our sensory perception.  For me personally,  it was a sign of growth.

So why am I telling you this?  Well perhaps you are filtering out the positive messages in the world around you. Maybe your pre-existing bias is coloring your senses.  Now this happens to us all, but it can be more or less extreme.  If you find yourself in the grip of powerful beliefs and emotions they will act as a gatekeeper for the senses, continuing to reinforce the status quo.  If you're happy with that then no worries just go back to your lives.  If you are unsatisfied you are going to have to do some work to deprogram yourself.  Meditation is one of the best tools you have to descramble those filters.  We all think that our thoughts about ourselves must be true, because we thought them.  However our self image is rarely founded on logic since most of it was formed in the earliest stages of our lives, long before we ever gave reason a chance.  So this week pay attention to your thoughts, start to wonder what they might be keeping you from sensing.  Remember a single word misheard can change everything.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Patterns Unfolding

Greetings all,

I hope you had a good week.  The summer is passing and this time soon after the solstice when the light is not quite yet noticeably less always brings a sense of melancholy.  This year especially I have been in love with the light.  I have noticed it in all its colors and splendor.  This season though like all seasons is part of a larger wheel and it is turning.

Summer it seems brings with it nostalgia for days gone by.  As time marches on for the personal clock my life it is in this season I think of my youth the most.  For me it is not so much a longing to be there again, but regret for the missed opportunities.  My youth while mostly untroubled (particularly in comparison to a majority of souls on our planet) was not a happy one.  I suffered a profound sense of isolation and loneliness.  It is only within the past few years that I have built any decent relationships with people. My life did not follow the pattern that most people's lives follow.  Hiding my differences had me coming to myself much later.  Sometimes I think that I was simply more aware of the illusory nature of the self that we present.  So many of us become our roles completely and we live under the delusion that they are the real us.

It is no easy task to find our place in this world.  Blessed are those who come to themselves early and stay true.  Lately I have noticed that many of the goals I set forth in the past few years have come to pass, and yet I feel largely the same.  Don't get me wrong I am grateful that things have been working out well as of late. As I strive though I have to ask myself if I am doing it because it excites me or because I think it will change me into who I think I should be.  I mean exactly when did being Thomas Mooneagle become not good enough?  The pattern of perfectionism continues to unfold for me and I have to work through it, or is that just another form of the delusion? Perhaps it is navel gazing.  Certainly previous generations would look at it as such.  They were more focused on action, but if action serves no deeper purpose why act at all?

One of the most helpful things I heard a teacher say was about their own mentor.  The Grandmaster I learned Tai Chi from was quite a character, and he loved to share the occasional anecdote about his teacher, a living Taoist Master.  (Except technically now he is a dead Taoist Master).  He told us one time as we were sitting in his office after practice that his teacher came to him crying and said, "Why am I so fucked up?"  So when I am holding myself to impossible standards and feel like a complete failure I try to remember this story.  If the Taoist Master felt like a mess odds are I'm due to feel like one too.  Which is great because so often I do feel like a mess.  I'm not sure it is something you get beyond, or if it is something you just learn to accept and honor.

Our lives are composed of patterns, both large and small.  Sometimes the tiniest motion can have larger consequences.  Knowing what patterns we are running in the calculations of our lives is key if we wish to stop living the same life over and over again.  We tend to run patterns in the same time or place we first encountered them, so things like nostalgia and even regret can be useful markers if we pay attention.

So why am I telling  you this?  Well, while we can't escape patterns, we should be more mindful of which ones we allow to shape us.  If we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes, or the same heavy thoughts and feelings then it is time to take action.  Sometimes a small movement is enough to shake the pattern loose or bring it into sharper focus.  So this week as the summer skies fill with the warm light take some time to reflect upon where you've been, where you are, and if you are going in the direction you desire.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Behind the Eyes

Greetings all,



I hope you had a good June.  I can hardly believe that we are already into July, and that in less than 2 weeks I take to the road again.  It still feels a bit unreal.  Lately my months seem to fill up with happenings and I am grateful for that.  Recently I spoke at the Sanctuary of Eternal Truth.  I always love the Q&A portion of any talk.  I seem to speak more naturally when answering questions, and get to slip into my conversational mode.  You know like I do here.

Anyways one of the questions I was asked after the event helped to crystallize something I have been thinking about for a long time.  Somebody asked me if I ever felt like a fraud. They weren't doing it to be mean (at least I don't think they were), but my honest answer was, "Gods yes all the time!"  I mean I have blogged repeatedly about my own chronic self doubt so my answer should come as no surprise.  I don't truly think I'm a fraud, but do I sometimes feel like one, oh hell yeah.

My answer surprised the querent.  They wanted to know why I felt that way if I'm the real deal.  As best I recall this was my answer.  "Well when we see other people in our field doing what we do, we only get to see the end result.  We never get to see the struggle that goes on behind their eyes.  So we assume that they don't have one.  Which is of course total bullshit.  Almost everyone you ask if they are being truthful will admit to having self doubts and inner turmoil.  We tend to forget that especially when we're self conscious or feeling anxious about our own worth and abilities."

I used to have a friend that summed it up with this saying, "Never compare your inside with someone else's outside."  It's probably best really to stop comparing yourself to others in general. That way is the road to madness.  I know you will continue to do so because it is a very human thing to do, but just remember you have no idea what is going on behind someone else's eyes.  They like me could be quietly freaking out on the inside.

So are you comparing yourself unfairly to others?  Do you assume that person you look up to moved through life without their own inner self critic?  Does it help you to accept your own struggles to know that each of us has that inner voice telling us how much we suck?  What if we accepted that voice as part of the deal of getting stuff done?  What if we stopped penalizing ourselves for having that difficult passenger in our psyche?  What if we remembered that each of us has our inner conflict and burden that we carry?  Sometimes it will be lighter and quieter, and sometimes it will be louder and heavier.  That is life as a human being, so let's stop judging ourselves for having that inner judge.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Receiving

Greetings all,

I hope you had de"light"ful week.  It was the summer solstice and for me that means ceremony.  Yes I got my drumming on.  I also got my despacho kit out, and the lovely bundle you see above is the result.  I love ceremony, and it forms a nice cornerstone in my practice.  Despacho for me is about gratitude for what I've been blessed with and asking for what I need in the moment.  Asking for blessings and receiving them are two different skills.

My life is filled with mostly unbelievable chains of events.  I still have a hard time believing half the things that occur, and I was there for them.  You'd think that doing the work that I do I would be totally chill with things showing up just when I need them.  I apparently have a high subconscious threshold of incredulity. Some of it stems from control issues and the fantasy version of reality we are sold by culture and media.  It colors so much of how we perceive our lives and the "natural" paths that we think lives are supposed to take.

I spent many years metaphorically banging my head against the wall trying to get things to happen.  Only thing was, I was following the logical script of how things happen.  We have a false perception of how the defining factors of our lives come together.  This is all enforced by countless movies (I'm looking at you romantic comedies...liars) and television shows.  We on the surface know that it is all fake, but when it is all we are feeding our subconscious mind, well that is what it builds the lens of our perceptions with.  This is why talking to real people who have found a path to the life they dreamed of is so important.  You get to see how much luck and chance had a hand in the recipe of their story.  That chaos that is life seems to weave in and out of all of our experiences like the currents  of the ocean.  Each tendril carrying us across the sea of time in a pattern too complex for most of us to comprehend.

This energy that some call fate, luck, or providence doesn't exist in a vacuum.  Our actions, reactions, and basic nature steer us in that current.  Some days we are barely treading water and other days we are cruising along at top speed towards the summer isles.  I've had some really good turns from the luck wheel lately.  I'm super grateful for it.  Oddly enough though it has made me nervous.  I've had a hard time accepting this good fortune.  Yes I know it is a good problem to have if you have to have a problem at all.  Again let me repeat I am grateful, and I am not complaining.  I am becoming aware of my own inner resistances to receiving the good that I've been requesting in my ceremonies.  The manner in which some of the blessings have shown up have me asking the question, "Do I really deserve this?"

Why am I telling you all this?  Well sometimes blessings come to us in ways that we don't expect.  When they don't follow the societal script of how things should arrive we can somehow doubt our worthiness to receive them.  I will point out that if you are judging yourself in this manner, you are likely judging others as well.  So stop it already.  Learn to take the compliment, and receive the gifts that you are given.  When you have a run of good luck, make use of it and be sure to spread it around.    There is no one "right" way as to how things should happen for us or anyone else.  When we get caught up in the cultural fantasy land of the way things should be we miss out on the miracle of the way things are.  So loosen up, relax, and count your blessings without worrying over whether or not you deserve them.  I assure you that you do, and by extension so does everyone else.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dark Gifts

Greetings all,

What a week!  I found myself back in the studio revisiting some old ways of working, and my oh my did the gifts flow from that.  Here is to hoping this week has gifted you with something of value whether it be tangible or not.

One of the tangible gifts I received this week was the orb you see above.  I had to consult with some people to find out the identity of the stone, but our best guess is gold sheen obsidian.  The spiritual  properties of the stone are quite revealing as to the focus of my journey at this time.  Some of those include: healing from the abuse of power, learning to use your own power to manifest more effectively, and scrying that reveals the core of a problem or pattern.  Receiving this as I move back into clay work is quite apropos.  I have had problems with authority.  Yes I know, shocking.  Without going too far into the backstory I had an extensive feud with an authority figure when I was in the process of getting my art degree.  I had four years of public humiliation and backstabbing by authority.  It really put a crimp on my creative output and belief in myself.  Subsequently I have had just about every obstacle you could think of come into my path as I have tried to make and sell my artwork.  It has been exhausting.

Dreams, I have often remarked, show us what is going on behind the scenes.  Sometimes they also hint at the future, but peering behind the scenes I find to be more valuable.  That was the intangible gift of this week, one I believe this dark orb helped to unlock.  I have been out of academia for more than a decade, but I have hundreds of school dreams each year.  I'm back there again and again without a purpose, feeling out of place, and always missing either a physical item or vital piece of information.  For you readers of omens out there, you may be starting to see where this is going.  Well pardon me if I am sometimes just a wee bit dense.  The latest back to school dream finally crystalized it for me.

So I'm back at the university post graduation, but I still have some work to collect that was fired in the kiln.  I try to sneak in the studio and the authoritarian adversary is there.  As I am trying to carefully extricate pieces off the shelf I accidentally knock one off and it shatters.  I am sad because it was one of mine that I thought might be good, but also relieved that I didn't ruin anybody else's work.  Upon making the noise Mr. Authority figure looks at me, and says, "You aren't being very amiable to me.  You know I am taking on a bigger role in the art community and if you're not nice to me your work won't go anywhere."  I look down at my work and I don't like it, I feel it is amateur and not good enough.  As soon as I recalled the dream in the morning I had a lightbulb go off over my head.  The reason I keep dreaming myself back at school is because I left a big part of my creative power and personal authority there.  My consistent doubting of my talents, skill, and worth began in that place.  I now know that somewhere in that place a piece of my soul essence and true power was lost.

Here's the good news, I've had shamanic training that's all about reclaiming lost pieces of the self.  I have the clarity and vision now to go back and retrieve those lost bits.  I've already seen a change in my studio work.  When I run into problems I am starting to see the cause and also the solutions.  The combination of the obsidian's energy, my decision to return to clay work, and my own spiritual work I've been doing has come together to show me what I need to do.  Right at the same time I've been invited to submit work for a juried show.  What an astounding coincidence....

Why am I telling you this?  We tend to circle around issues until they are resolved.  The mind will send us coded messages in our dreams. Many of us don't pay heed to our dreams or even remember them.  This was not a comfortable dream.  None of my school dreams feel good, they've always felt off.  I just assumed it was a general anxiety that most of us carry over from our days as students.  What if it isn't that for anyone?  What if we all left vital pieces of ourselves in the educational institutions.  What if the more we dream of school (assuming we aren't currently students) the more of ourselves we have left behind.  These dreams could be dark gifts from our lost ones.  I know what I intend.  I shall ride the wind into the dream world and mount a daring rescue.  I shall return with the prize of the light of my spirit.  What will you do?  Will you seek to remember what you have lost and sing it back to you?  Will you chose to forget and resign it to the dark space between dreams?  The darkness waits for us all, but perhaps it is waiting patiently as it lovingly holds what we treasure.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Coming Together

Greetings everyone,

I hope your first full week of June was fruitful.  Mine has been full of change.  Right now I'm still catching up to it.  If you're wondering about the odd little character in the pictures above I was only responsible for his lower half.  That glorious head was the contribution of another artist.

I took part in a surrealistic game this weekend called the exquisite corpse.  Basically people were divided up into two groups, one group made bodies and the other made heads.  Each of us had numbers that we were to keep secret while we worked.  I was hoping for a head.  I've sculpted heads before, I was fairly sure I could make one.  I drew a body.  I had no idea what to do.  Well there just so happened to be a circle cutter in front of me in one of the tool baskets.  So I rolled out a slab of clay and started cutting out circles.  I thought maybe I could do a turtle shell or something.  As I worked and made the piece to stand up, I realized it was no turtle.  It was a bit wobbly so I added a tail to stabilize it.  As I looked around the room I noticed that everyone was making quite large heads so I added the weird webbed feet for a little balance.  So now I had a godzilla tail and platypus feet.  I could tell it needed something for arms and I went with flipper-like appendages similar to a penguin.  Now all through this exercise I was certain that my creation sucked, I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of joining this clay community.  The growing surety that I would be exposed as a fraud with no talent was slowly rising.   Time was called, and us bodybuilders got to meet the headshrinkers.  When I saw the head I was amazed by it.  I was sure the other artist was feeling gipped that his head got such a rotten body.  I was wrong.  He loved the body's quirkiness, and to top it off it fit perfectly in the opening I had left.  When we put them together they just worked.  Could my body have been a tad bit more streamlined, of course, but it did create quite a character.

I share this story because it is good to note that comparing our efforts to others' is a losing game.  My persistent self doubt in my abilities could have completely tanked the evening.  Instead I had a wonderful time.  The critic in me didn't silence, but I put him in the corner while I worked, laughed, and visited with the other artists.  My experience wasn't unique, there were other people who were doubting their efforts as well.  Yet we kept working and when we came together we all created something that brought us great joy and surprise.  

Life is the exquisite corpse game.  We never have all the pieces we need ourselves to make the whole picture of life.  We often don't even know what those pieces are until we meet the others who bring them.  Just as they don't know about the piece of their lives that we've been building.  We can worry about our little bit and cry and say it isn't worthy, but if we decide to just smile and nod to that inner critic while we carry on, miraculous things may happen.  I've been away from clay for a while, and though it now shares the stage with my healing work it is just as necessary.

So what does this mean to you?  Well I am sure you have disparate parts of your life that seem to be out of place, but somehow they fit together in just the right way to make you who you are.  You may be working away on one half of a life thinking it is meant for one thing, meanwhile a wildcard creation will come along and fuse with that life in chimera-like fashion.  So when that happens don't go looking for why it shouldn't work.  If it works together just let it be, appreciate it's oddity and uniqueness, and stop  doubting the value of your own contribution.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle