Musings

Musings

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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Out of Chrysalis

Greetings all,

I hope this week was enlivening for you.  I can hardly believe it is June already.  This week was strange with the holiday.  Plus this coming week my teaching schedule changes up again, so I am all turned around.  I also finally am transitioning back into some of my art projects that have been on the back burner.

The picture up above is a polymer cast out of a silicone mold I made from a real cicada.  It isn't exactly perfect, but I was happy with the level of detail that I was able to achieve.  Believe it or not there was no tutorial online about how to mold an insect body.  I looked, if I had a proper camera I would have filmed my process.  For some reason I keep coming up with questions that google has yet to have the answers for.   As happy as I am with the results, I think I can do better next time.

The curse of perfectionism is a difficult one to overcome.  It is probably responsible for more than half of my procrastination tendencies.  I keep wanting everything to run smoothy and get it right the first time.  It took me several years to finally produce this cicada positive.  Now true, some of that time was pondering the problem of how to mold something so delicate and learning about the process and materials of mold making, but I have had the materials I ended up using for over a year now.  The only thing that has kept me from doing it is the worry over screwing it up.  I even planned to meet with a friend who had worked in molds. but I finally just bit the bullet one day and decided now is the time.

When we sit and wait for the stars to line up we can end up missing out.  I am all for people picking their moment, but at some point you just have to go for it or give up.  This simple (or actually not so simple) mold was symbolic of finally emerging. Just like the cicada emerges from it's old exoskeleton and unfolds it wings to take flight there comes a time where there can be no more holding back.  The cicada sleeps within the earth for years before emerging to fly free, which is kind of what many of my goals have been doing.  They haven't been sleeping because the time wasn't right, but because while they slept they could remain a dream without the imperfections of life.

Why am I telling you this?  Well it is easy to stagnate when you get bitten by the perfectionism bug.  There is always an excuse why now is not the perfect time.  Sometimes we seem to be waiting for someone to come along and help.  People can be great assistance, but ultimately it is us who must crawl up from our hibernation into the sunlit world.  When a butterfly exits the cocoon it is a messy and time consuming process, but it has to do it on its own.  If you touch the wings or try and help it, then it will never fly.  We too must muddle through our own mess if we ever want to transform our lives and ourselves.  Life is not an orderly process, nor is it something that can be perfectly orchestrated.  So this week if there is something you've been putting off starting maybe you should just decide to jump in, even if you don't have all the pieces.  You might make a mistake, you might make a mess, but you will have begun.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wasted Lives

Greetings all,

I hope you have had a fulfilling week.  I've certainly been checking things off my to do list.  I've been making choices, and making my schedule for the next month.  It is a good sign that I am starting to plan out my calendar, it feels to me that I am becoming more professional.  It has been a long time coming, but I am finally seeing the investment in my skills and business start to pay off.  Which brings me to this week's topic.

I teach classes in Tai Chi each week.  It is helpful on several levels:  one it is steady revenue as opposed to my flexible earnings from clients and sales, two it forces me to practice regularly so that I can be an effective demonstrator for my students, and three it gets me out of the house to interact with the larger public.  My life can be quite insular, I'm not an extrovert so I don't go out much.  Like most of us I live in a bubble, but mine happens to be a bit out of the mainstream. Occasionally something pops through bursting my paradigm isolation.  This week it came in the form of an old woman who wanted to set me straight.

I never did catch her name so let's call her Florence.  Well I was enlisted as IT help with one of the other senior's phone and Florence and I got to talking about tech.  Then she wanted to show me pictures of her granddaughter on her iPhone which was fine by me.  She was studying in the medical field.  Originally she had wanted to go into psych but Florence had apparently intervened since there was no money in that, but what she really wanted was for her to go into marketing.  That's where all the cash was (because we don't need silly things like doctors).  Well the conversation turned to me and my plans,  well she had plenty to say on that.  For those of you who don't know I hold degrees in art and psychology.  She called it "Lala" stuff and reiterated that money is what makes the world go round and nobody should waste their life on art or service. She then inquired after my age, which was forward, but I told her and she was shocked.  She proceeded to tell me she should have gotten to me when I was 19 or 20 to set me on the right path.  Fortunately for me I had another appointment so I was able to extricate myself.

This interaction got me thinking.  I have devoted my life to honing what gifts I have and acquiring the skills I use with my clients.  It is quite true that if I had used that time in other areas that today I could be  much better off financially.  Still for those who think only money matters they never stop to ponder what they would buy without those who spend their lives creating.  They don't think about all those who toil to bring them their savory dishes.  If all of those people just went into marketing there would be nothing to market.  There would also nobody to take care of the sick, invent new technologies, compose music, or produce the media to entertain the rest of us.  When people only value money they just consume until there is nothing left.  Money is a means to an end, an energy exchange, it is not the end.  Right now we are seeing the follies of putting profits over people. Here in America most of us cannot afford healthcare.  Around the world freshwater supplies are being polluted.  The very air we breathe is being tainted because some people value money over protecting our home for ourselves and our descendants.  The only reason money makes the world go round is because people have agreed that it does.  Those agreements may change, and indeed they must if we wish to have a sustainable way of life.

I really shouldn't have let it affect me, but this encounter was one in a series I've had over the course of my life.  People have praised what I do, while simultaneously grumbling over the price.  Don't get me wrong I love what I do, and I can't see myself doing anything else.  It's what I'm good at, and I have a hard time putting my energy into anything that doesn't provide something of true worth to people.  Selling plastic crap that people don't need would leave a huge hole in my soul.  Still it sucks when people tell you that you're wasting your life.  What sucks more is that it wouldn't affect me if some part of myself didn't agree with that.  It can be difficult seeing myself struggle to meet my material needs while knowing that what I do is valuable.  It can really lead to some serious self doubt.   When I get into that downward spiral I have to remind myself that my needs are met in this moment, and that I have changed people's lives for the better through my work.

So why am I telling you this?  Well it can be hard to pull away from the herd mentality and walk your own path.  We may watch movies about mavericks and rebels, but we are conditioned by family and later by schools and institutions to not dream too big.  It is hammered into us that we just need to keep our head down and take care of our obligations.  Many of us spend the precious moments of our lives toiling in places we hate for things we can't enjoy.  Yes we need to have some place to live.  Yes we need clothing and food.  Yes we need to be able to get around.  You know what we also need desperately?  We need lives of purpose and meaning.  Without that everything we do is hollow and scripted.  Not everything we do will bring us great wealth, but that shouldn't be the only measuring stick we use.  So this week start to become aware of those yearnings you've ignored because they didn't serve the greater cultural narrative of material success.  Look to what lights you up, not because it will bring you profit, but because it will bring you the most valuable thing of all...a life worth living.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

P.S. That picture was of my Mesa prayer this week; the focus was to have the strength to walk our own path.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Kindness



Greetings everybody,

I hope you had a pleasant weekend.  I got out and about.  This weekend is the second time I participated in a local festival called the Mighty Kindness Hoot.  It is an artistic festival centered around kindness.  It's just a one day even and both times I have really enjoyed being a part of it.

On such special occasions I have to break out my horns.  Walking around the fair I got to feel the energy of the event quite viscerally.  It felt pretty good.  I've been to my fair share of holistic, healing, and psychic fairs.  This had some elements of those but also elements of a street fair, a wellness fair, an art fair, a local business fair, and an social cause event.   Now people often confuse being nice with being kind.  I have worried of late that I am more nice than I am kind.  I see that as a problem.  Nice is a behavior, usually one that is self serving or manipulative.  In my mind it doesn't come from a clean place, but one of calculation and strategy.  Kindness comes from the heart, it is more innate and more pure.  It comes from the desire to do good for another simply to do good, not for the hope that it will put you in a good position later.

Are you still fuzzy on the difference?  Well it is a significant one.  The easiest way is to give you an example.  If I were to give a reading to someone where there is some unpleasant news to deliver if I am being nice I will try and sugar coat it, or make it sound like something it isn't.  If I am being kind I will give the person the information without trying to make it more palatable and then see if there is something that can be done to help them deal with the situation.  Nice is all about appearances and seeming pleasant.  Kind is all about service.  It is not great service to put on a fake smiley face and feed someone sweet delusions so they keep coming back for more.  Kindness is healing, nice is just covering up the symptoms.  Kindness is hard to do in certain circumstances, nice makes us feel like we are good even if we're not doing good.

Some people are just very kind by nature.  Now most of us start out that way, but somewhere along the road of life we've had it beaten out of us.  We armor ourselves against the hurst of the world and genuine kindness can be hard to come by.  As I said above I often worry that I am more nice than kind, so I try to ask the question, "What would be the kind thing to do?"  I ponder it for a moment, see what answer I get, and sometimes I even do it.

It is my hope that lost kindness can be relearned, because kindness is its own reward.  There is an ease in the kind heart that is not found in the false projections of the niceties.  Manners are all well and good, but intent is the key to all.  In this world of broken dreams and shattered promises it can be easy to overlook that the solutions to many of the world's problems are available to us.  The only thing stopping us is our ability to work together towards a common goal.  The lost art of getting along is more important now than ever.  In this time a little bit of kindness could go a long way to creating a brighter future.

So why am I telling you this?  Well take stock of yourself and be very honest.  Are you more kind or nice?  (You know you could be neither, but you probably wouldn't be reading this in that case).  Have you forgotten how to be kind effortlessly?  Is your heart light with joy and compassion or is close and calculating?  Look at your own motives, make sure you are aware of the energy that is moving you.  There is often a fear that if we allow ourselves the freedom to be kind that we will be taken advantage of by others.  There is that danger, but if you are aware of yourself and the spirit of Mighty Kindness you will often feel when others don't resonate with it.  You don't have to be blind to the evils of the world to choose to be kind.  Just keep your eyes open, all three of them, and remember most of all, be kind to yourself.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Deep Moons

Greetings all,

This week the full moon graced the sign of Scorpio.  What some of you may not know is that in my birth chart my moon was in that sign.  That is actually the origin of my name Mooneagle.  There are 3 animals associated with Scorpio: the serpent, the scorpion (obviously), and lastly but less well known the eagle.

Scorpio is one that peers into the depths, and is aware of the deep currents of the psyche.  This week we had a glimpse into our often buried passions and pains.  There is a misconception that meditation and spiritual practice will always leave you feeling better.  Let me just burst that bubble for you.  Sometimes you are left feeling very raw and vulnerable.  As we grow up we learn to suppress our feelings, or at the very least not to let them show.  When we slow down and sink into our minds and hearts those feelings rise up longing to be heard.  The more we've shoved those feelings down the more uncomfortable it can be for us to move deeper into ourselves.

Now I rely on my feelings in the work that I do.  It is an asset to me, but for many years it was a liability.  For whatever reason it seems common that when people know you are sensitive that they will provoke or attack you.  Now usually a bully is projecting their feelings onto their victims.  They hate those vulnerable parts of themselves so when they see them in others they attack to free themselves of the discomfort.  They get to feel strong, for a moment.  That is one coping strategy, another is to retreat into the self away from other people in a mental realm.  This second strategy can lead to creative leaps or inventiveness, or it can lead to delusions and a fracturing of reality for a person.  Yet another common strategy is to numb the self, and in fact this one is actually celebrated in our culture.  We call it toughening up, and in truth a certain degree of this is necessary so that we don't become paralyzed by our own emotions.  However we often take it to an extreme where we barely allow ourselves to feel them at all.

I realized in the past few months that I haven't allowed myself to feel deeply in my own life.  I don't allow myself the space to want what I truly desire.  This is a real detriment when it comes to creating a life that I love as I can't get the emotional energy needed to power such a change.  As I moved into healing some of this scar tissue I have been put in touch with a lot of the pain I shoved down into the depths of my consciousness.  This is a weight I carry everyday, but for the most part I am unaware of how much it has weighed me down.  Transmuting this pain and wounding will take a lot of focus and effort and will leave me feeling quite exposed.  If I don't heal it and transform it though I will never move into that life that I've pictured.

So why am I telling you this?  Trust me it's not to throw a pity party.  Spirit repeatedly has told me I'm not special.  If you are reading this I'd say there's a great chance that you are unconsciously carrying around a wound or pain that you have encased and tossed down into the subconscious.  You carry that with you all the time like extra ballast.  Over time that extra weight makes it harder and harder for you to move forward freely.  This past week's moon had the potential to reveal what we have tossed in the bottom of our awareness.  It would not be a pleasant revelation, it may be quite traumatic in fact, but it is necessary if we want something different in our lives.

As we move forward into the next moon, get in touch with what you are still carrying.  Just begin to acknowledge it.  It will probably be uncomfortable it may actually even hurt quite a bit, but we need to feel that if we are to truly set it down for good.  Be gentle with yourselves, be forgiving of yourself first and then others.  Look within and see what is there and do your best to still love yourself in that place of vulnerability.  One thing I learned is that the more we accept ourselves as we are the more we change.  It is quite counterintuitive, but once you grasp that it can be quite liberating.  Here's a toast to the depths and the treasures it can bring back to us.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Trust in Me

Greetings all,

I hope you are enjoying the first week of May.  For most of this week I've been without a voice.  Which is very difficult when you teach 4 classes. This came on the heels of a very powerful ceremony.  Maybe the universe is telling me to be quiet.  Well it didn't say anything about blogging so here I am.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks I encounter with myself and with others is trust.  It holds us back.  For without trust we cannot move ahead without constantly looking behind us.  This is particularly true in the work I do.  Unlike Hollywood I don't get a huge special effects budget for my work.  Sometimes my clients see instant changes and other times they unfold gradually in a way that could almost be coincidental, if it didn't keep happening.  There are other times when after I do my ceremonies or transformational work where things seem to get worse, until something new enters the picture.  It is at that moment right before the change occurs where trust is needed the most.  Suspending our fears is key to allow something new to come into being. The more we can trust, the more we can have happen.

Being able to project a field of calm energy is essential for me in my work.  I just don't always have the best luck when it has to do with my own life.  It is easier to know for someone else that things will generally work out alright, than it is to accept that for yourself.  The more personal something is the more charge we attach to it, but that is the real test for ourselves.  When we overcome that fear and begin to trust ourselves and the Universe, that is when we really step into our true power.

So why am I telling you this?  Well lately myself and those around me have been having challenges with trust.  We see the worst happening even though it isn't a sure thing. Once we get locked into that spiral life becomes a series of imagined tragedies stealing our power, our peace, and our joy.  We forget to be grateful and often forget to be kind.  This is the forging process of the soul.  In the coming week see if you can suspend your tendencies to focus on what could go wrong and instead work out your trust muscles.  What if things go right or turn out better than you hoped.  When we work with spirit things have a way of turning out differently than we planned but ultimately better.  Keep that in mind, and remember trust me.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Bundle of Joy



Greetings all,

It's Beltane!  I've been making my rounds.  Yesterday I led my first despacho ceremony for the year.  It won't be the last.  If you have a fire pit, I will do despacho.  It really is that simple.

I know I have explained what they are before, but for all the new readers just tuning in I will recap it. A despacho is an offering to spirit.  As you can see in the picture above they are quite colorful affairs.  We make a bundle out of pretty paper and fill it with goodies for the Pachamama (Mother Earth).  Into this bundle we place sugar for sweetness, because we all need a little sweetness in our life.  We also put some wine, because apparently she likes to kick back and enjoy a glass or two.  There is also candy and chocolates.  We certainly must remember the flowers and sparkly things.  This almost sounds like courtship doesn't it? Well we are trying to show our love to Spirit, because we also put our prayers into the bundle.

We breathe our prayers into every piece of the despacho.  The bundle of three bay leaves that we pass around are called Kintu.  Now if we were down in Peru we'd be using coca leaves but the government frowns on that so we raid the spice aisle at the grocery instead.  The first Kintu bundle I pass around is always for gratitude.  We start with thankfulness with what we have, most of us have quite a lot to be thankful for when we stop to consider our lives.  In that gratitude bundle we also always thank weather, because without the cooperation of weather we can't complete our ceremony.  After that first bundle goes around I send a few around that are what I call "freebies", they're for asking for the things that you want or need.  I usually send one around for our loved ones and what they need.  The final Kintu which will go on top once the despacho is sealed is for anything we have forgotten to ask for or for anyone we forgot to include.  I put a 3 day window on it, because sure enough I always go home that night and think I forgot to ask for so and so to get their promotion.

After we have sent the bundles around we all beam our energy from our hearts into the despacho.  Then I get out my tinkly bell and bless it with sound.  We then seal it up tied with pretty ribbon, the prettiest flower, and the final Kintu bundle.  So you're thinking we take it to the fire now right, but you'd be wrong.  Before we do that everyone gets smudged with the despacho bundle to take our heaviness from us to be burned away so we can feel light in our hearts again.  Now we take it out to the fire and if you're like me you're going to want to drum as it burns.

I always feel great after despacho.  I love making them.  It's a process and ceremony that really speaks to the innocence in me.  As I think on who I am without all my defenses, adaptions, and scars I remember the loving self I came into this life to be.  Despacho helps me to reclaim some of that, to be easy in my heart, more hopeful, and less defensive.  For someone who can be as distant and secluded as myself that is extremely important.  I relish any opportunity to either lead or participate in these ceremonies.  This time I was hosted by the Louisville Spiritualist Center.  They were extremely welcoming.  They even purchased a fire pit so that I could do this.  I've been really blessed to find people to share ceremony with, and the space in which to share it.  Being on a healing journey can feel solitary at times, so it is good to come together and burn our cares.

So why am I telling you this?  Well ceremony is a powerful thing, particularly when done in a group. All of us need support.  There are no lone wolves on the healing roads.  We all need our circles now.  The world can be a scary place full of dark corners.  So we light the fires of spirit with each other.  Sharing our own light.  It can be hard to see our own flame, but when we share we get the chance to see it reflected in the hearts and eyes of our loved ones.  Creating a bundle of prayers that we birth with fire is just one way to call in our joy.  There are many other ways from many other traditions.  So in the coming season of fire I suggest you gather with some folks of like heart and hold your own ceremonies.  If you're not too far off a Mooneagle might fly in and create a bundle with you to gift into the sacred fire.  Who knows what could happen, it's magic after all.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas Mooneagle

P.S.  From myself and the Faeries, HAPPY BELTANE!