Sunday, June 18, 2017
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,
Sunday, June 11, 2017
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,
Sunday, June 4, 2017
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,
Sunday, May 28, 2017
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,
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
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,
Sunday, May 14, 2017
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,
Saturday, May 6, 2017
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,
Sunday, April 30, 2017
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,
P.S. From myself and the Faeries, HAPPY BELTANE!
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Welcome to Earth Day. Well truly I meant to write this yesterday, but you know how time is all ripply and wobbly it never sits still. Thank goodness for photographs am I right? So we'll pretend that I got this post out on Earth Day okay, just work with me on this folks.
Seen from space everything looks so peaceful and majestic. You can't see the bird droppings on the driveway, you can't even see the driveway. From a distance all is right with the world. The clouds move, the oceans churn, and the green grows. It's only when you get down in it that things get messy. Humanity is like that too, from a distance you see the cities, the airplanes, the space station and satellites, and if you're another species out in the cosmos you might think, "My what a marvelous civilization, look at all the art and culture." It seems that way until you get in closer.
Earth is our home, our planet provides for us free of charge the elements necessary for life. We are part of Her (yes Her). The elements in our very bodies all come from this planet of ours. We are made up of the Earth. We are little walking talking Earth bodies. Yet there seems to be a large powerful faction that seems to promote strategies that would destroy this large body of which we are made. This would be akin to you or me deciding to cut out several of our vital organs to sell on the black market, completely oblivious to the fact that when we do we shall perish. They say that we own the Earth, which would be like one of our fingers or toes proclaiming themselves lord and master of our entire body while refusing to feed that body or keep it clean. This boys and girls is why we have an Earth Day.
Currently we have two of the self proclaimed "masters" rattling their sabers at one another threatening to start a war without limits. (Nuclear war for the laymen among us). Again to use the body metaphor this would be like your left hand throwing a grenade at the right hand. Right now in the zoomed in view of our species we do not look like sophisticated cultured beings, we appear as monkeys throwing excrement at each other. While we beat and torment those that wish only to protect our water so it is safe for all, we allow companies to take ownership of lands and reservoirs who care only about shareholder profits. While we pass laws that make it more difficult to cut back the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean and thus our seafood, we eviscerate funding for renewable energy research and start ups. We have politicized caring for our world, and because of that we all suffer.
I have been watching for most of my life the wholesale destruction of all that is beautiful and life sustaining. It has been a great weight on my heart since I was 11 years old. I am the reason my family recycles (who now would not even think to throw away something before checking to see if it is recyclable). I care for Earth like I would for a family member. I get angry when I see Her abused, as I would if I saw a loved one being beaten by a spouse. To me the Earth is not just home, She is a person, a Mother of Mothers, She is our Ancestor from whom we descend. When you view Her as such it becomes personal. You wouldn't let someone beat your Grandmother so why would you let them do that to the Earth who is Mother to all? So when people ask me to be calm and realize that politics have to play out, I am less than patient. I tend to resonate more with the words of House Baratheon (sorry Game of Thrones reference), "Ours is the fury!"
Anger is not a bad thing. Anger is a sign that something is wrong. Now that can mean it is our perception or thinking which is wrong, but in this case where we have mountains of data and rigorous research I'm confident this is not a perception error. We are killing our Mother. We are killing ourselves and all our distant relations of plants and animals with us. Yes even I am guilty. I use too much water. I don't eat as locally and responsibly as I should. I try and do better, but working within the system we have it is nearly impossible to not do harm. Which says to me we need a new system.
So why am I telling you this? Well if we need a new system, we need people to dream that new system into being. So my intrepid dreamers what matters to you? Do you like to get out in the water to fish or boat. Dream a system that protects and honors our waters. Do you like to hike through the woods? Dream up a system of land management that fosters our forests, and keeps them vital. Do you like a city life, but hate the traffic, noise and fumes? Dream up a city of the future with green energy, bustling transit hubs, and urban farming knit within the fabric of civilization. The older generations are passing onto us an out of date system that won't serve us. It is up to us and our descendants to dream a better one into being. We start there in the dream, then we bring those hopes and wishes into our plans and actions. This is Earth Day and we are little Earthlings. It is time to make Momma proud.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I hope you had a lovely easter or passover. Whichever holiday you celebrated or didn't I hope the week brought you joy.
This week I sent back a book to the library. This was the first book I had to use interlibrary loan to obtain. It is quite a rare find. I have been tracking serendipity of late. Often when I am contemplating a particular topic information appears where least expected. In this case I went to the dictionary. I was fairly certain I knew what the word meant, but you'd be surprised how many words we use that started out with a different meaning. Words like people can change. Well I was quite shocked to find that the origin of this word started with a Persian fairy tale. The title of which is in the picture above.
Serendipity is finding something helpful or valuable you weren't actively searching for, and indeed the Princes of Serendip were continually finding something while on a completely different errand. To use video game lingo, they were the masters of side questing. Their island was beset by dragons that attacked ships and their father sent them forth into the world to find a way to defeat these dragons. On the way they rescued a lost princess, kept a king from being poisoned by a vassal, retrieved a magic mirror, and delivered a nation from an evil hand (yep totally malevolent that hand). It should be noted that during this they were tracking down a wizard with the formula for the death of dragons. The princes considered themselves great failures because they always just seemed to miss him. As the story plays out though it was through these acts of service that their main quest was fulfilled, in a way that couldn't have happened if they had attempted it. So they found what they were looking for because they didn't truly know what it was they were looking for.
I have mentioned before that I've been getting signs through dreams. Indeed last fall my dreams of a phoenix over the course of a week led me to co-create a very special midwinter drumming ceremony. I was completely surprised to learn that a phoenix plays a major part in the story of the three princes. Once again it was if the universe ran in and pinched me on the bottom and then ran out of the room while laughing hysterically. When these pieces keep showing up, I think it means I'm on the right path.
So why am I telling you this? There is an undercurrent in our life, beneath the chatter of our minds and plans. If we are flexible and curious that current can take us to unexpected places, somewhere we could never find if we were to consciously seek it out. Some people seem to head right for their goals, my road always meanders. The Princes of Serendip accomplished their goal because despite being on a crucial mission they were always available to do service for others. Here too is a lesson. It can be easy to become wrapped up in our errands and lives so that we don't offer of ourselves where we can make a pivotal difference in the lives of those around us. As you go through this week try loosening your grip on your plans and perhaps just see what else develops. We all have missions, but sometimes the best means to accomplish them is by taking the long way round.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Well we had winter for two days this week, but we seem to be firmly entrenched in spring now. I've had a low key week which is nice considering the flurry of activity that March was. I am doing my best not to overcommit myself this month. Which is lasting about five minutes it would seem. Somehow the pacing in my life is finally picking up. I can't complain, for years my calendar was empty and my phone silent. Now I have to silence my phone. Things do come around.
My big story this week is that at long last my car has a working driver side window again. HURRAH! For any of you who have ever had a window you couldn't roll down you know why I am so excited. I have the wind again. I hadn't been able to roll the window down since early last May, and let me tell you the summer was miserable in my car because of that. So in the early evening I was treated to the feeling of the breeze on my face as I drove towards home.
It is often said that it is the simple things in life you treasure. For the past twenty four hours I have had random upwellings of joy. I was blessed that a friend of mine's husband had the tools and mechanical skills to get the job done. With myself providing the parts and the friends and family discount they offered me, I was able to afford this miracle of modern engineering, a working power window. It is the small things over the course of a life that really add up into something special: cooking a meal for a loved one, leaving a light on for them, a hand of support on a shoulder, offering to pick someone up from the airport, or calling someone to check on them.
We have the myth of the self made man (or woman) in our culture. We value independence, and it is important to learn to stand on your own. However, it is an illusion. Most of us don't build our own houses, grow our own food, make our own clothes, manufacture our own cars, and cut our own roads. We are interdependent. All of us together create the conditions to make it easier for all of us to function in the world. Very few of us go it alone, we are all standing on the accomplishments of those who have gone before us, and thousands of unseen people who's contributions touch our lives. I felt so accomplished yesterday, but all I did was buy parts (which by the way a friend helped me look up). It is a small thing, a window, but it allows us to see beyond our walls. A window that opens is helping me see the connection between people and the interplay of giving and receiving.
So why am I telling you this? Well honestly I'm still riding the, " I have working car window again,", high. Seriously though, there are so many ways that we can help each other, and when we do we see the world in a kinder and clearer light. Right now we may not have all the pieces we need, but odds are someone we know does. More importantly we may have something that they need as well, but are too shy to ask us for. With the ways of the world a door may close on the traditional path to getting what we need, but a window may open instead. That window may take you some place you hadn't expected, and sometimes that is the best place to be. I hope you find the solutions in each other this week.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, April 2, 2017
I hope you had a joyful week. We keep flitting between spring and late winter chill. I was fortunate to attend a new moon ceremony led by a good friend. As things go there was of course a bit of mischief to be had.
I was supposed to be the drummer. I even arrived early by the statue of Pan. There was a chill but I set up and played my didjeridu to pass the time, and then when I was fully winded switched to my drum. It was getting quite late and still I was alone. Well as it turned out the ceremony had been moved to a different hill in the park. I had to hop in my car and zoom around to a pavilion on dog hill. This meant the ceremony was very brief, but as we stood there under a dark sky with a bit of chill, the mists were rising. Afterwards, we took a candle lantern home with us. I stuck around for a bit and let people draw a rune for the new moon.
Several other people who had been at the circle were off in the distance doing some fire twirling, but with lit color changing LED balls. It was a hypnotic dance of beautiful vibrant fractal light. Watching them practice to a trance inducing beat was magical. It reminded me of a book I read a few months back called, The Night Circus. I highly recommend it. In the novel the circus arrives mysteriously and is open from nightfall to dawn. It is called Le Cirque de Reves, meaning the circus of dreams. Each tent is an act of magical creation, in which reality is sculpted as high art. Reading it made me want to use my talents to create wonders.
I am often asked what got me into my line of work. I usually answer that it was my own suffering that led me into healing. While that is true, it is really only half of the answer. Wonder and fascination are what makes my heart expand and flourish. Seeking after that child like sense of mystery has been the true driver of my soul's engine. The pain and suffering were simply the shovel to move that fuel of wonder into the furnace of my heart.
Years ago when I began pursuing my dreams with a friend, we worked with the manifesting energetic tools that were being popularized at the time. We were focused on the big dreams and big picture, but we ignored the day to day pieces of living. We didn't get much of anywhere with those dreams and sadly that friendship is no more. These past few years I have made tremendous strides in the small pieces of the dream: setting up an office, writing a book, writing this blog, putting out regular videos, speaking at events, teaching classes, furthering my education, and just taking care of all the day to day steps. This is good and well, but I had lost sight of the vision. I had no big dream guiding those steps, no great passion. As a spirit recently told me, "You don't let yourself dream." Now while my overall work has improved, I'm still not where I want to be. This is because although I am still moving the shovel, I'm not stoking the furnace with the wonder of those big ideas.
We are people of the middle world. Below us is the earth our mother, and we must tend to our needs while we are embodied. Above us is the firmament of stars and heavenly cosmos. We get a lot of contradictory messages growing up, "Reach for the stars," while also hearing, "Get your head out of the clouds." Recently spending an evening out in the country I was able to actually see the stars. Here in the city it is easy to forget the majestic beauty that lies just over our heads. I'd been a good little task master the last few years, but I hadn't been looking up and beyond the day to day to the bigger picture. I suppose it was good, I'd been on the other extreme, all dreams with no action and having realized I'd come to the opposite of action without a direction. You see we need a star to steer our life by, a dream, something that stirs the fires in our hearts. For me it is to connect with that sense of wonder and share it with others. This is what makes me a trickster, I don't accept the world just as it is, but rather what it could be. What could be more radical than that? So it is clear to me it is time to dream big again. I think I have a decent handle on the practical steps so now I have to nudge my focus between the day to day and the overarching vision I have for my life.
So why am I telling you this. Well you probably are in a similar spot. Either you are full of dreams, but are not connected to the day to day necessities or you are all necessities while the secret yearnings of your soul are constantly put on the back burner. We are people of the middle world meant to bridge the energies of the earth and the stars. You are meant to dream big and make an impact. This doesn't mean you have to change the world, just your corner of it. Wonder may be my soul's drug of choice, but yours could be compassion, peace, wisdom, or joy. The actions you take don't have to be big they just need to be fed by a big and vibrant heart. So get out your astrolabes, put on your work boots, grab your gear, sing your song, and step out onto the path. Find your guiding star and let your actions lead you there.
Peace and Blessings,
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Well I have been a busy bee. Above you see pictures from my spring equinox drum ceremony. It had everything a budding thaumaturge could ask for: two drummers for balance, one male one female, a dark and light drum, a clear and smoky crystal, cold and warmth, clouds and sun, and last but not least a man and his dog.
Monday the 20th was the equinox and I was of course dedicated to ceremony, but I was also on a time constraint. For Monday is my do everything day. I clean, I do laundry, I teach, and I goto the gym. It's why I never schedule clients on that day. Shamanic practitioner I may be, but the toilet isn't going to scrub itself, nor the laundry wash itself. So in between loads of laundry I scampered off to a local park. I met with one of my teachers there and I set up my altar space. Just as we were getting started an older man walked by with a little dog, and my teacher a consummate dog lover asked, "What kind of dog is she?"
I have often written about the power of questions, and what they can unleash into the world. I had no concept of what was to follow. I should note beforehand, that I am always a little trepidatious about performing ceremony in what amounts to public space. I never know who will be around, if they will honor the space, or if they will be belligerent and start spouting religious dogma at me. In this case I needn't have worried. The man whom I shall call Mr. J. was extremely friendly, curious, and courteous. He obviously was very kind natured and loved to talk with people. Indeed he kept us talking for at least twenty minutes, and even asked us about what we were doing. I was vague on the details, but simply said we were celebrating the incoming season of spring. He wanted to know more, and so I meted out little bits of information all the while quite conscious of the time ticking away and becoming more and more anxious. I finally gave up and just let him meander on his conversational track until it seemed like he was at its conclusion. I remembered this is ceremony and whatever happens will happen for a reason.
Mr. J. departed taking his little dog home. We very quickly moved into ceremony. Now here is the very interesting bit. When I arrived it was quite raw and wet out. It didn't feel like spring at all. I was regretting not having ear muffs. Well about midway through the ceremony the sun started to peak out. All of the sudden the gray overcast light was peeled back to reveal the bright yellow light of spring. By the time we'd finished the drumming, the temperature had moderated considerably. It felt a good 10 degrees warmer. It was as if spring had arrived at the apex of the ceremony. Perfect in its timing I was glad I had indulged Mr. J., for if we had started when we first intended we would have missed the transformation from winter to spring. Instead our drumming seemed to be plugged into the exact moment when the seasons changed.
Later on that day as I was busily seeing to my chores before teaching I realized something else about our encounter. Mr. J. had been the living archetype of the Fool from the tarot. Now don't misunderstand, I'm not insulting him. I don't mean fool as someone who is ignorant or stupid. I am referring to the open innocence that the Fool card can possess. It is the wild card of the major arcana. It is the zero card, the void, and is one face of the divine. The Fool is also lucky. Often in the card he (or sometimes she) is depicted with a little dog heading off into the world beneath the sun, innocent to any dangers on the path ahead, and so they are open to new experiences. Looking back I can't even be sure Mr. J. was actually there and not a spirit in disguise meant to test our courtesy while helping us to be in sync with the energies of seasonal transformation. I have been told that the old stories still walk amongst us in our world.
So why am I telling you all this. Well are you ever in such a hurry or so tied to a schedule that you miss the magic that is trying to happen for you? Do you treat others as an inconvenience rather than an invitation? Are you aware of those moments when the balance changes and something new begins? Well maybe it is time to slow down your agenda and greet what is coming to you right now. Here we stand at the doorway of spring. What unforeseen forces are stalking you for your higher good? Will you snap out of your controlled routines to see the mystery that hunts for your heart? Will you capture the magic by letting go of the reins to your plans? Try just for a few days, and maybe one of the old stories will find you. Maybe you'll meet dear Mr. J. and then, well that's another story.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, March 19, 2017
I hope you had a great week. I'll be honest the time change really punched my clock in more ways than one this week, and the next ten days for me is going to a blur of activity. I'll be teaching my normal four Tai Chi classes as well as hosting the monthly Local Chapter of the Monroe Institute meditation, speaking at local meditation group, teaching another Qi Gong class at the Louisville Salt Cave, and facilitating a four hour workshop on runes. This whole month has been that way with clients too. I'm grateful for the sudden influx of opportunities, just hoping I can space them a bit more wisely in the future.
I"ve been trying to reconnect with my deeper mysteries this year. People keep coming to me with more complicated and heavy issues and so I'm upping my game by returning to my magical roots. What I am noticing as I delve back into my divinatory tools and otherworldly interactions is just how much I actually pick up on subconsciously. There are many times I will do something in a session, or in my life spontaneously for no apparent reason. It is only in looking back after the fact that I realize I made the perfect move for what was about to occur. This has shown up as I review old dream journals too, as I am realizing part of me at least is very in touch with what is going to happen beforehand (sometimes by years).
This unconscious preparedness should have me more excited, but truthfully it would be nice to know what I know more often. For one thing it would improve my confidence level and lower my anxiety. Intuition is a subtle thing, and in my case it likes to fly under the radar. There are reasons why I use cards, runes, and other divination tools to focus. Having a little bit of structure actually gives me the freedom to range out with my senses. A starting point is kind of important if you're trying to get someplace. Now I have random bits of information pop into my head all the time but stringing them together into a coherent reference of meaning is where the work comes in.
Now I don't mean to complain about running on the equivalent of psychic autopilot. I'm actually rather pleased once I figure out that I did something on purpose, even if I didn't know it at the time. What I realize is that my need to make all these senses more conscious is part of my effort to be "in control". Of course we could just as easily call it my addiction to the illusion of control. Oddly the more I let go of control, the more things flow, and the more access I have to my intuitive faculties. So the only reason to try and look in control is for appearance sake....basically marketing. I really should give that up, marketing is not one of my strong points.
So why am I telling you this? Well perhaps like me your guidance is just fine and you're not aware of how pervasive its positive influence is on you. Many of us have such a strong image in our heads of what being psychic or intuitive means we may be blocking our natural tendency to find our way in the dark. What if we let go of trying to prove to ourselves over and over again that we're plugged in? If you are part of this world, you're connected even if you don't know it. How our guidance shows up for us is going to be very individual thing and trying to compare how it shows up to for you as opposed to anyone else is futile. I suggest we all just chill and run with our natural inklings. We can always analyze after the fact. Once we start to trust that some part of us knows what it's doing, it becomes easier for us to access more pieces of the puzzle. So as you move through your week, keep stock of the things that turned out right. How many of those happened because you just did one thing that you didn't think about until later? You may start to see the patterns of awareness hidden beneath the surface of your everyday life. You may start to see yourself living both within time and outside of it. You may even see down the deep well of the self to the light you carry within.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I hope you had a blessed week. I've certainly been hopping. I've had many meetings, clients, and classes to keep me on the go. My next goal is to get started in the studio again so that I can get my hands in clay.
This week has not all been about building though. As has been happening across the land, violence has come to my home. For those of you that aren't aware there has been a rash of bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish community centers across the nation. I myself happen to teach one of my Tai Chi classes at a JCC in my city. There seems to be a concerted effort by white nationalists (American Nazis) to terrorize the Jewish community. They are not alone in receiving this kind of treatment, mosques have been similarly threatened, and at times even destroyed. The only point of light in this has been the response from both Muslims and Jews who have reached out in support of one another.
This is a dark time in the USA. Those that have kept to their dark corners feel emboldened to gather and attack minorities. I have seen articles with footage from rallies that are calling for a liberal genocide, and the deporting of Jews and Muslims. People around me who are conservative are telling me it's all being blown out of proportion, but most of these are white Christians who haven't had their places of worship threatened, or worse burnt down. In the midst of this all we keep hearing from on high is more chest thumping and spouting of militaristic and violent rhetoric. People are aligning behind the, "Might makes right," argument. With our country's love affair with firearms and recent shootings of immigrants I am to say the least, a bit disgusted.
There seems to be some misconception that the ability to destroy makes someone powerful. Well it doesn't. Any idiot can blow something up, or shoot something, or light a fire, or smash a window. It takes no imagination, skill, or innate strength to destroy. Destruction is easy. Destruction is for wusses. If you want to impress me, build something. Create something elegant. Look at the picture above. The glass canopy is exquisite and delicate. As challenging as it was to make that canopy, it would be extraordinarily easy to break it. Creating something takes at least ten times the energy and skill that ruining it does. Small minds can't conceive, so they attack and smash.
I am finding it harder to muster up any respect for those in this world who take pride in what they can smash. They strut around thinking they're better because they know how to kill, maim, or take something apart. Perhaps I am being a bit judgmental, but I really feel that we need a change of culture. We need a new idea of what a warrior is. Back in the long ago, the warriors were the hunters and guardians of our tribal ancestors. Their strength was used to preserve and protect the people and what they had created. We revered that ability and strength not for its own merit, but for what it provided the community. Now we have separated physical ability from service, glorifying it for its own selfish use. Whom do we honor most, firemen or athletes? Do we honor our veterans or do we worship mixed martial artist champions? Who is stronger, the weightlifter, or the woman giving birth? The warrior archetype has been co-opted by the cult of masculinity, and has lost much of its original meaning and power.
So why am I telling you this? Well we all have a piece of this culture within us. We must ask ourselves what we honor? When we think of the warrior are we worshipping power over others, or the power to protect others? How do you define strength? When I asked that question did you immediately think of a tall well built man? Do you think of women as strong? I'll be honest with you most of my examples of strength came from women I have known. So this week as you walk through the world spend time acknowledging the strength in the hands that have grown your food, that have taught children to read, that have cared for aging relatives, that have woven the cloth in your garments, and that have solved problems with the skill of their minds. Warriors are needed in this dark time, but warriors need to impress us with what they can create.
Peace and Blessings,
Saturday, March 4, 2017
I hope you've had a good week. I've just been running trying to keep up with rate that things are changing. The more things change, the more things change. Ah you thought I was going to say "The more things change the more they stay the same." Well I used to think my life moved in cycles, but now I am beginning to think it moves in spirals. I have yet to discover if those spirals are going outward or deeper within. However considering the complex physics of my mind and dreamscapes I wouldn't put it past my destiny to do both.
Innocence, a force that is simultaneously as powerful as a waterfall and as delicate as butterfly wings. It is what we treasure and idealize in children. Innocence in our culture is something we lose, indeed it is with great relish that some people seem to go about grinding that trait right out of those that don't abandon it quickly enough. We also for some unknown reason seem to pair it with sexual awareness and experience, because natural processes are somehow impure and suspect. (I know what gives?) I really don't define innocence in that way, I see it as more an open heartedness to the world, approaching life's experience with a degree of wonder, love, and gratitude. Innocence is not ignorance in my book it is a simplicity of interaction.
Now when I came into magic working with others I was innocent. I was trusting and open. I wanted to get along with everyone and share all the wonders I was seeing. It was the same reaction that I had when encountering beings in spirit. I was walking around in wonderland, well just like Alice I got into some trouble. See when you're really innocent, you're not very discerning of people. I had several years where I was repeatedly taken advantage of, and outright attacked and abused within the magical community. The bloom was off the rose by then and I sort of retreated into myself. I still encountered many people, some very good, but I wasn't very open with many people or indeed open much at all.
Some of you may think that this is all part of maturing, and learning to discern intent is definitely part of that. Finding out where you belong, or at least where you don't belong is totally part of the growing into adulthood journey. I don't think we should be wide open to every person and situation, because quite simply too many people (and beings) do not have our best interests at heart. Still lately I've been thinking that I need to return to some of that simplicity and trust. For one thing innocence is essential with working with the energies of Faery. WAIT don't stop reading yet. I swear this shit is real. (Oh yeah my innocence is not exactly measured by how clean my vocabulary is because I can be a mouthy son of a bitch). Working in the natural energies of Faery has for me been some of the most sacred and powerful magic I've ever experienced. It is just so me, and yet as I have trained in more human systems of energy work I've spent less time with my dear cousins in the green realm.
Now to work with the faery you have to be in the right place in your heart otherwise it won't go well. You can't have ulterior motives. You have to hold innocence when you're doing the work, or at least good hearted mischievousness, and really if you can manage both those things you'll be a rockstar in the toadstool circles. People always ask me well what is faery magic good for which always struck me as odd. To me the point of it was to work with them and to feel them with me as I moved through the world in a magical way. That's not to say that it isn't useful, because they are masters at healing, manifesting, protection, and illusion. They also inspire and delight. To me they just make the world a better more awe inspiring place.
So why I am telling you all this? Well whether you're in with the fey or not, it might be time to set aside those jaded reactions. We are living in times of great change and upset. These are the times when the legends can walk amongst us again. If we wish to walk with them we'll have to shed some of the cynicism. That doesn't meant we ignore our sense of things being fishy, but it does mean we should suspend our mindset until we get a clear feeling. Instead of instantly rejecting something or someone, perhaps just thinking, "Well let's see which way this goes,", is more appropriate. If you like me constantly find that you are holding yourself back then maybe it is time to let what is in you flow. Don't be shy about the yearnings of your heart. Now is not the time to accept mediocrity, now is the time to return to the innocent expectation of great and good things. If not now then when? If not you than whom? Just let your heart love, let your mind heal, and above all hold yourself like the shining star your body was forged in.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Well it seems lately we are all being given opportunities to test our skills in centering, releasing, and walking our talk. We are also being given the chance to brave our fears. As I often tell people there is no need to seek challenges, life shall provide them free of charge.
As I look back on my life I am sad to say that one of the greatest shaping forces has been fear. It has been the reason for not speaking up, not joining in, pulling away from others, and for not boldly pursuing my dreams. Beneath my calm seeming exterior there is often a battle raging to maintain my mellow. I get very upset when people set out to harsh my mellow. Don't harsh my mellow, I'll take it personally and I'm patient. (See I can employ fear too).
What I have noticed in this past year or so is the heightening of fear to epic proportions in our culture. With social media, a twenty four hour news cycle, and Neo-nazis in the White House, there is plenty of reason to be anxious. Yet let's be honest, we've had a love affair with fear for quite some time. To be fair fear is useful. It warns us of danger and prompts our fight or flight systems to get us out of trouble. For the past sixteen years though fear has overruled any reason or argument in the United States. Any time we are about to try and reclaim some of our surrendered liberties, the invocation of, "But the terrorists will get us if we don't let government shred the Bill of Rights,", is trotted out to the masses. Once home of the free (if you were a white male that is) is now the leader in prison populations, and we're asking travelers about their religion as they enter the country. Now some people will sound a call to arms about radical Islam, but where is the cry against radical white Christians that bomb abortion clinics or gun down people of color in their own houses of worship? Imagine if the police or border patrol was asking you if you were Muslim, now maybe you think it's alright because there are terrorists that claim that as their religion, but what if they were asking you if you were a Jew? Is that alright? What if the police started asking what political party you belonged to? Is that okay with you?
I'm sorry to be political, really I am that's not what I want my blog to be about. There are plenty of bloggers that are more qualified to talk politics, but the climate we have showing up in our politics right now is one of fear. Fear has been force fed to us since the dawn of this millennium. Sure there were scary things that happened, but then we just went bat shit crazy with them. We have actually created an environment through our reactions and overreach where we are more likely to experience the things we fear. This didn't happen overnight. We allowed ourselves to wallow in our terror and lead us by the nose. We allowed the loud voices to overpower the voices of reason. We allowed compassion to be gagged, while we stoked our anger to quell our fears. Of course what we have now are angry scared people, quite a lot of them.
Mindful of patterns I see the way history's wheel is turning, and I am making sure I can get out before we start building public "showers" for our detainees. Perhaps I am being led by my own fears there, but I am reminded of something the Tai Chi Grandmaster used to say, "Fear is a tremendous servant, but a lousy master." It's a sound motivator for sure. If you see me running I'm not working out, I'm evading danger. In this it serves me, but if I am always running I will eventually collapse. Fight or flight is only for immediate threats. We have adopted it as our entire strategy for moving through the world. We are building walls, while our roads and bridges crumble. We are provoking other nations instead of building partnerships. We are abusing the migrants, while produce rots in the fields. We are afraid and looking for an enemy to project it upon so we can exterminate that fear. We have been so conditioned by the power structures to be in a constant state of anxiety that many of us never even stop to see if our scapegoats make sense anymore.
I think we've been afraid of the wrong things. We've been afraid of the other coming to destroy us, while ignoring the enemy within ourselves. The terror of uncertainty that rules us has come to collect its harvest, and we're it. We've become the terrorists, because fear is what we now spread. There is such a loud angry part of me that wants to lash out and attack, but that of course is what is expected. That which you oppose, you uphold. Anger and fear go together. We feed one to suppress the other. It is okay to be afraid, but it is not a good place to make decisions from.
Why am I telling you this? Well so many of you are feeling the fear right now. You are angry at the direction we seem to be heading. I'm not saying don't be afraid or angry. I'm mad as hell right now, but I can't live in that space. We have to come out of the fear reaction and start thinking and feeling clearly again. We cannot let fear guide our hands or we will only create more fearful things. The world is scary enough as it is, it doesn't need us to help it along. We have to ask what kind of society do we want? Do we want a society that has police grabbing our genitals outside of restrooms because we're afraid of sexual assault from the people peeing in the next stall?
So what do we do? Well we have to start questioning everything. We have to decide if perceived safety really is working for us, or is it just a farce to keep us in bondage. We have to ask if we're coming from fear or compassion in our dealings with those different from ourselves. We have to ask what our ideals are, and are our actions lining up with them? This doesn't mean we don't pay attention to actual threats, but it does mean that threats don't get to live in our hearts and minds all day everyday. If we allow that seed of fear to germinate, it shall burst forth from our spirits in all manner of miserable harvests. So plant something else: curiosity, creativity, love, or wisdom. Then maybe we won't have to fear the reaper.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, February 19, 2017
I hope your week was peaceful. There have been waves of energy this week that I have noticed have been quite disruptive in my own life and the lives of those around me. Perhaps it is the climate we live in, or it is just one of those energetic eddies that swirl about from time to time.
So lately I have been thinking about power, magic, and all the little pitfalls that come along with its use. People are constantly coming up to me and telling me how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing and how much they want to do what I do. First off I am lucky to have the support that has allowed me to develop my gifts, but this didn't just happen overnight. I acknowledge I am blessed with a certain degree of inborn talent, but it pales in comparison to other people I have met. The largest net effect has been from my own consistent efforts to improve what I am able to do. I practiced readings for literally a decade before I did them professionally, and there are days where I still feel like a newbie. I had at least half a decade of practice with various healing techniques before I started charging for sessions. The other skill I make my way with is Tai Chi, which I have practiced for 20 years but only started teaching in facilities (i.e. not just private classes for people I knew) four years ago.
I am still clearly aware of the areas where my knowledge is lacking, and I want to keep it that way.
Don't take what I just said the wrong way. I don't mean that I don't wish to improve, far from it. However, I want to keep in perspective that all of my experience is quite small in the grand scheme of things. This does pose some challenges on the standpoint of confidence, but I prefer that to the alternative. I was remarking recently to someone that the local magical community can be very cliquish and even aggressive. It all comes down to the ego. Again not here to lambast the ego and suggest murdering it. (We have a catch and release policy at the Church of the Mooneagle). When you first start to experiment with magic or consciousness techniques it is exciting. There is expansion, you start to realize just how many possibilities there are for you and your desires. It is a huge rush, and it feels amazing. Still we end up butting heads with others especially those who are also implementing power because we live in a universe of consensual reality. We have to be pretty well balanced and emotionally clear as we continue along, otherwise it is just like giving the ego cocaine. See the crazed picture of the Mooneagle Ego above, just add a dash of cosmic power without including soul searching and self reflection. Most people want to leave that bit out. Hell I would if I could, it isn't the fun part. It is difficult to really look at yourself. It hurts to peel back the layers of encrusted wards we have raised around our vulnerability. To access the deepest power in yourself you have to go that place. The place where you dare not look is the place you must look.
Why am I telling you this now? Well I did need a blog topic for the week, but beyond that many of us are feeling the call to awaken to our own power right now. We wish to be more effective and empowered. I think that's awesome! I do want to murmur a bit of caution to you as you flex your new found psychic muscles. Keep looking at yourself and your motives. Find what you are hiding from the world and yourself and really examine it. If there is healing work to do start with yourself. That is not to say you can't help those around you, but don't conclude that the paint is dry on the canvas of your psyche. We are always growing and having our deep hurts rise to the surface, not to assail us but to be healed by us. We must be humble as we embrace our own brand of magic, because we are all beings of light.
Peace and Blessings,
Sunday, February 12, 2017
I hope you had a good week. Mine has been interesting, not in that Chinese curse way, "May you live an interesting life,", but just in the acceleration of feedback from dreams and omens.
In fairy tales things come in threes. Three bears, three little pigs, three rooms filled with straw to be turned into gold, three gifts or blessings, and three witches (or wise women if you prefer). For me when something appears three times in a relatively short amount of time it is a signal that it isn't just a coincidence. Somebody somewhere is trying to tell me something. I have a somewhat tentative relationship with coyote. As a fellow trickster I really want to trust him, but you know there are a lot of stories about him. So far he's laughed at me, helped me extricate myself from my jobs (it's funny now), and right now I've actually petitioned him for help. Yes I know, insanity, but these are not normal times.
Last week I dreamed I was on a walk heading to a dream meet up place (a location you meet with other dreamers to dream walk silly). On my way I encountered a mother coyote and 3 pups. The three pups wanted to play with me. So my attention was grabbed. Animals in dreams tend to peak my interest due to my shamanic training. I can hear my teacher in my head saying, "You should journey on that." I will I promise, but that's not all that happened. Yesterday I went for a walk. It's been unseasonably warm and even the dim February light is preferable to staying indoors all day. So I went through my neighborhood and down into a narrow stretch of woods, and I do mean narrow like 30 yards tops in width. As I was meandering on the path I saw movement ahead. At first I thought it might be dogs out for a run with their owner, but it was soon apparent there weren't any other human beings with these canids. These were coyotes, three of them to be exact. Now here I was out alone, and while cautious I wasn't exactly afraid. I did have a big umbrella with me for one so I was armed. (Hey a good umbrella can be an effective striking and bludgeoning device). The coyotes also appeared well fed and playful rather than aggressive. We've had a mild winter and there are plenty of deer about. Which brings me to my next encounter, the night prior to that I was driving home from a rather enjoyable game night and I came across two deer on the road home. Now lucky for me I was driving at a reasonable speed otherwise we'd have had a much more intimate encounter and by intimate I mean blood and guts splattered across my windshield. I did say fairy tale tropes tend to come in threes yes? During my nightly wanderings which some call dreams I encountered a crow. This crow wanted to get in my lap and have me pet him (or her I'm not good at determining gender of individual crows). So there you have it. I'm pretty sure something is up and somebody has a message for me.
What we have here is a not a failure to communicate. What we have here is spirit sending a text, a voicemail, email, and a Facebook message. It's all tied into a greater trend these days of a bleed over between dreaming and waking life. I'm not complaining. It keeps me engaged. Hell I feel like I'm on a quest. This is better than a video game, for one if I find treasure it's more than just ones and zeros, secondly it's exciting! Still three animal encounters, two of which are trickster spirits this is going to be big. I am glad there was some deer energy in there too, perhaps to gentle and bring in the love. I'm all about compassionate trickery. Something big is about to go down in Mooneagle town. I'm still not sure what it is, but the good news is I have help. I'm pretty sure I am the main character in this caper too.
So why am I telling you about this? Well it's fucking magical! Life is not just drudgery and obligations. It is vibrant and full of wonder, but too often we forget that. I'm not saying we should all drop our responsibilities, but I am saying we should make space for that touch of magic to get through to us. The story we're sold is that the world is a dark and terrible place, and I am not saying there isn't malice and danger out there...because there is. What I am saying is that there are powers older than you and me that tend to balance things out. There are allies that we don't even know about, secrets that only we can unravel. We have to let those possibilities in, and not block all the access points with our expectations or mindset of only looking for the next disaster. Right now with what is going on in the world we are in the dark woods. We have to decide what kind of story we're in, is it a horror story or a fairy tale? In a horror story the only options are death or survival, but a fairy tale gives us the opportunity to end happier than we began. A fairy tale reveals who we are deep down, are we good or are we the big bad wolf? Now in truth we are both, but just like in that old story with the two wolves within us that fight, who we feed will be the wolf that wins. I'm feeding that magical wolf of compassion and faery dust. I suggest you do the same.
Peace and Blessings,
Friday, February 3, 2017
I hope you have had a good week. We now trudge through the long dark of February, like the mines of Moria there are worse things than orcs in the deep places of our psyches. This week I am talking about responsibility.
Some people will sigh, and go, "Oh no not responsibility, ye Gods save us from that!" I hear you and understand. I'll never forget the time when I was working retail when a manager wanted to make me responsible for another employee. No increase in my pay mind you, just more duties and liabilities. I've had a rather dubious relationship with responsibility in my life. I've tried to have the bare minimum of it that I can muster. This is in part due to a general misunderstanding of what responsibility is, and I believe many people have similar misconceptions. We often equate responsibility with culpability. Now to be sure they are related, but they are not equivalent.
If you ever watch television you probably see a ton of ads for attorneys. Some call them ambulance chasers. I call them harbingers of doom. We here in America have become a highly litigious society. (That means we like to sue...a lot). So we have come to associate the one being responsible with the one who is to blame, and by default the one who will be bankrupted by the lawsuits. This is exacerbated by our overly complex legal code. Most of us are breaking the law everyday. You may be breaking one right now, I'm not sure which one but it is highly probable.
Now I don't want you to think I'm just out to blame all the lawyers. I've known some really good ones that were genuinely interested in helping people and standing up for the rights of those who have been victimized by either individuals or the system. This sue happy culture is actually a side effect of something deeper. We have an unrealistic expectation for people to behave perfectly. This goes double for ourselves. We who are not blind to our own shortcomings will want to avoid being the one responsible, because we know we aren't perfect and we wish to avoid blame for that. This often leads us to pointing fingers at others and scapegoating. When people are presented as the ones responsible it generally means they are about to take a fall. So in our society those with the least get blamed for the most, and those with the most take responsibility for the least. If you continue to the watch horror show called the news you will see this again and again.
Now the reason I bring this up is that I've been pondering personal responsibility lately. I've been wondering what are my personal responsibilities when it comes to my clients and students. I want to do right by them, which is not always easy to pinpoint. Making things easier for somebody is sometimes the right thing to do, and sometimes it is not. Knowing when to let someone face consequences is one of the hardest things I have to deal with in my line of work. People constantly want me to take responsibility for their decisions in there life, and while I advise and support I refuse to do it. If I take the responsibility for their life then I become their personal scapegoat. Not only that, if I take responsibility for their life, I take their power from them. This is the opposite of what I intend for the people who come to me. I want to empower not disempower.
So how about you? Are you relinquishing responsibility because you think it is the same as blame? Are you giving up your power to someone else? Are you taking someone's power and not allowing them to take responsibility for their life? Well the best of us have done that. Cut yourself a little slack, and then maybe cut some for your neighbors too. As we look around the world in its brokenness we must learn to put the pieces that are ours back together and cheer on those that do the same, and have patience for those that are not yet ready to do so.
Peace and Blessings,