Thursday, May 21, 2009
My Thoth card for today is . . . tada! The Lovers! “Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.” This card is seen as the joining of two complete beings in order to create something new. Crowley sees this card as representing the concept of Sacred Marriage. But the energies of this card also hint at choices, important choices with personal consequences, to be made.
My horoscope: Consider expanding your knowledge of spiritual subjects, dear Sagittarius. Without knowing things about the various avenues open for exploration, how can you make an educated choice? Some need the traditionalism of one type of church while others like the more open feel of other spiritual groups. See how you like different churches and spiritual communities and consider trying a new visit each week for a while. You might really love this experience.
Well, that horoscope is accurate!! Yesterday I officially began a brand new certification class being offered at Sacred Mists: Historical Paganism! This exciting class is being taught by an archaeologist whose studies focus on ancient religious practices, and the first lesson is beginning with ancient pre-Christian spiritual rituals and burial practices. Fascinating stuff!! Trying to see the world and its many mysteries through the eyes of humanity’s ancestors is a very interesting challenge. This course will help me to answer my favorite question: “why?”; I will end up with my own opinions regarding why things are done and how we got to where we are now.
I am still working on increasing my awareness of and connection to my mental/emotional aura. Every time I think of it during the day, I focus on my aura and briefly ascertain its current state. I have found that I can sense it, the entire layer, the same way I can “sense” the shirt that I am wearing (but with a deeper connection; I cannot, after all, change the stiffness or temperature of my shirt through mental focus, at least not yet *wink*). I have also found through exploring this layer of my aura that my personal shield exists totally within this layer. This validates my own belief that my shield has grown stronger and more effective as I continue to learn about it; after all it resides within the energy layer that connects with my emotions, my feelings, my thoughts and my beliefs.
I an learning more and more about my “subtle body,” and the interesting thing is that while my focus may be on one specific aspect of my subtle body, much of what I am learning can cross over into the physical realms and have a real effect on my day.
The meeting with the “tax man” did not go well. We will have to deal with his concept of justice rather than our own. But I am seeing this as a positive thing. We will need to “get down to fighting weight” financially, and be smart about what money we spend. But this challenge in the end can also bring us closer as well as make us more financially sound. I refuse to allow money to “rain on my parade,” for life is good, life is filled with all kinds of pleasures, and overcoming this current challenge will be one of those pleasures.
I was told within meditations that dealing with challenges would be a major part of my current growth segment. I have been reminded continuously, throughout the past months, that I am not alone. I have not become disillusioned; on the contrary, I have come to value beyond price those things that do not depend upon money in order to exist in my life. Without these challenges, I might not have such a deep appreciation for all the wonderful gifts that I have within my life. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience them, for they have brought me pleasures that cannot be bought with any coin.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Nine of Swords. “Cruelty” again, but self-imposed cruelty. I need to be aware that many problems end up being problems because I perceive them as problems. Sometimes too much analyzing serves to bring into play the “self-fulfilling prophecy” powers of visualization. Being aware of the lure of worrying is half the battle; applying the energy used to perpetuate the worrying will serve me better if used in a more positive manner.
My horoscope from yesterday: Long-awaited good news concerning money could finally come your way today. Heightened imagination and inspiration, as well as a powerful need to connect with those you love most, could keep your heart and mind fully occupied throughout the day, dear Sagittarius. Don't keep it all bottled up inside; that will only produce frustration. Write down your thoughts, try your hand at painting, ring up your friends and schedule a get-together for the evening. Take the time to enjoy yourself!
Yes!! My son is making progress with his insurance issues, and my husband has gotten in a few more small jobs. Yes!!!
I am so glad that the time has come to look forward with anticipation rather than backward with worry. I have done my best to handle certain events with skill, intelligence and compassion, and then I have released the events from my thoughts with the confident assurance that all will end in a positive way. As I drove to work this morning, I thought about my energy field, the layers of my aura, and how these mostly invisible (at least to me) energy fields can have a startling and long term effect on the events of my day.
While many break down the aura into seven layers to correspond to the main chakras, or twelve to correspond to additional chakras, or even more, I prefer to think of the aura as being grouped into three main layers: the etheric aura, the mental/emotional aura, and the spiritual aura. It is that middle layer, the layer that directly affects and is affected by my thoughts and my emotions, that I am pondering upon today.
I have found that as I increase my “mental muscle strength” through energy work exercises, I am also increasing my ability to affect my physical world directly through the conscious and unconscious adjustments that I impose on my mental/emotional aura. I have discovered that I have the strength and focus to actually change the composition and texture of this layer of my aura, and that often evidence of effects appear very quickly within my physical day. These initial effects are small at first, but because they validate my efforts and prove to me that I am making a difference, that I *can* make a difference, these small effects end up sympathetically supporting my efforts, creating a self-perpetuating cycle that spirals me ever upward and toward the positive. Each time I consciously try to change my mental/emotional aura in order to make my environment more balanced, the process of connecting with my aura becomes easier, and the small moments of evidence that my efforts are working seem to appear faster.
During my contemplations of my aura, I have discovered that there are within me several different “wells” or “containers” of energy; I have managed to find the place where the energy for my mental/emotional aura is stored, and I can touch this place energetically, hold it and interact with it. Being able to focus on the source of this energy has helped me in connecting with it and affecting it. *smile* Notice that I am not saying where this source is located in my body; I believe that everyone needs to find this source on their own and I will not taint anyone else’s efforts in this regard by saying where I found my own source for this energy.
Of course, these successful workings mean that my unconscious and subconscious adjustments are also becoming more powerful. Another strong incentive to continuously live in the *now*, to act with awareness at all times, and to even be aware of the passage of time. Going through the day on automatic pilot or distracted by something can end up having unexpected consequences. I think I would rather be at the controls.
Over the next couple of days, I will consciously connect to this layer of my aura as often as possible, and inject it with a sense of awareness, of confidence, and of compassion. I will be interested to see how much I can direct the “flavor” of my days. I expect to find this to be very positive. I also believe that we leave a “fingerprint” or “handprint” of our aura on everything we touch (and not just the things we physically touch; there are after all many ways of touching), and thus I am also expecting that this experiment will have a positive effect on those with whom I interact in any fashion.
If you are reading this blog, you fall into that category; I hope that my words bring you at least for one moment the visualization of the one place that you would really like to be right now. I hope that momentary connection to that place brings you balance (and maybe even one step closer to that place).
Monday, May 18, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Queen of Pentacles reversed. Today I am being told that I will not find easy access to my kind and affectionate self; instead, I will be tapping into my intellect, for better or for worse.
I feel as if I have turned a major corner. Saturday night I just allowed my brain to shut off. I did a lot of sleeping, and not much else. When I woke up yesterday morning I felt numb, which is a good thing. I spent my day cleaning inside, and then finally, once the rain let up, I planted the things that my brother-in-law gave me. I ended up in mud up to me elbows, but there is something cleansing about literally immersing myself in earth. As I lovingly put the plants into the ground, I also allowed the emotional detritus of the week to move from my center, out to my pores and then to drop to the earth where the negativity will be converted into fertilizer.
Once I came back inside, I sat for a while, thinking about my Tarot cards of the past few days. I realized that I was mostly throwing Court Cards and Cups. The cards were telling me how to be, how not to be, and how to feel! I had thrown the Princess (Page) of Cups, the Knight of Wands, the Page of Pentacles, the Queen of Wands and the Page of Cups again. Interesting layout there! I was told that I need to start and finish with a pure and innocent awareness of my own senses and feelings, I am told that ethics and honor are as important as passion, and in the midst of all those passions and feelings, I am being told that without a supporting foundation, there will not be balance. Very good advice!
I also realized that despite all of my efforts to cleanse myself from all negativity, to focus on harming none as much as I was able, and to visualize positive outcomes, there was one thing that I did *not* do as I worked through and processed the events of the past week. And so, as Sunday came to a close and I prepared to shut the house and head North, I took some time to connect with the Goddess. I thanked her for her support through these trying days, and I acknowledged to Her my understanding that these troublesome events were gifts from Her that allowed me to give a very real test to my newfound strengths. I acknowledged to Her that while I was mostly pleased at my ability to deal with the past week without going off the deep end, I needed to let the dust settle and then examine my “mental muscles” for any weak spots. Finally (and it turns out, most importantly), I offered up to Her my hurt, giving it to Her as a gift, as evidence of my trust in Her.
Yes, many weeks ago after several difficult meditations, I was warned several times that if I chose to go onward with this process of self-discovery there would be challenges to be faced. I knew I was ready to move forward, and I felt confident that my knowledge of myself and my deep and powerful relationship with Deity would see me through any challenges, and I knew that I would emerge at the other end as a stronger, more confident person, sure of her own ability to deal with the twists and turns of life with honor and ethics, and sure of her relationship with her Gods.
I was correct. On all counts.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Three of Swords/The Fool reversed. I am being told that today could bring me pain or betrayal or disappointment; my emotions may be harmed through words, gestures, a turned back or a deaf ear. There is also a danger of some kind of appearance of innocence or of the potential of newness to be not as trustworthy as appearances indicate.
My Thoth card for today is the Seven of Swords reversed. Crowley calls this card “Futility” and considers its energies weaker than the Seven of Wands. This card is ruled by the Moon (the planet, not the Major Arcana, although the meaning of the Major card applies). But it is reversed, so I am being told that my efforts will bear fruit.
Betrayal is not fun. Making every effort to bring healing and compassion through offering ethical guidance, and then having my efforts twisted and sullied and used against me is momentarily debilitating. I have never been comfortable with conflict, but this is so beyond conflict. I am being buffeted by hatred!!! I have never felt such hatred before, hatred that is mixed with what feels like terror. This hatred is being used as both an offense and a defense, and I am thankful that my shield is efficient. I am sending this ugliness to the Earth Mother so that it can rot away, allowing it to slide off of the outside of my shield and into the ground so that it can decompose and transform into fertilizer. I am transforming the negativity into something positive, into pity for this person who is wasting intelligence on vengence, and into healing for myself and the others who have also been attacked. I am taking the high road, as my dahling says. I will not allow myself to be dragged down into the ugliness.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Four of Swords reversed. Crowley calls this card “Truce,” and there are all kinds of truces. Most of them happen when two sides of equal strength agree to pause, but sometimes a “time of calm pause” can even be itself used as a weapon. We can define the concept of truce as agreeing to not attack. Perhaps this card is reversed because today I am being told to turn a truce upside down and *use* it as an attack.
As a side note, this may not be a traditional interpretation of the Four of Swords reversed. I am tailoring this interpretation to several specific events in my life.
In that regard, I have been thinking about my personal shield. I am completely amazed at the effectiveness, ability to respond on its own, and “awareness” of the shield that I have created and supported over the past 5 ½ years. I began with a simple concept: a fluid entity that flowed like liquid mercury yet could solidify into an impenetrable container or absorb negativity like a sponge. Very quickly I began to build upon this initial thoughtform. I added a sort of symbiotic nature to the shield, and allowed it to feed on the things that are harmful to me, such as negativity and illnesses. I began to actively increase and decrease its strength, kind of like imposing an exercise program on it; my awareness of the sensations surrounding that tighten/relax cycle became more and more detailed, and thus the process became stronger and more efficient. I began cleansing my shield every morning; then I added “feeding” to the cleansing process by bringing energy down through my crown chakra, through my third eye chakra, and into my throat chakra (for sound is after all the means of communicating with the connections brought to us by the heart chakra), where I absorbed some of the clean and strong “blue” energy, which I then brought down to my heart chakra (the bridge between myself and the energies around me) and emitted from my heart chakra onto the front (representing all that is outer and active) and the back (representing all that is inner and receptive) of my shield.
To my amazement and delight, I have had three separate occasions where I felt the shield come into play on its own to offer protection from a random event that could have harmed me. One time, I fell forward while holding a glass vase, which shattered into sword-like shards all around me. As I fell, time seemed to slow down for me, and I could feel my shield rolling down the front of my body as it offered protection. Another time, another fall (LOL), with a witness this time, I was walking besides a friend and twisted my ankle. Once again, I felt time slow down and my shield power up as I fell. My friend told me that it looked like I had fallen in slow motion, which leads me to believe that my shield *did* slow me down, at least enough to mitigate any potential injuries.
My recent class on “instant magick” has reminded me of the importance of awareness, and of the powerful effects that awareness can have on everything that we say and think and do and desire. I feel strongly that once we come to understand and believe in the power of consciously choosing and of awareness, we have a responsibility to control and school our very thoughts so as to cause no harm. Don’t get me wrong, I am not espousing a literal interpretation of the words “harm none,” for I believe that depending on how you define it, “harm” happens all the time, and is a tool within the cycles of life and death. The harm that I am talking about is the unnecessary sort that is perpetuated through such emotions as anger or fear or greed or insecurity. While my personal shield has protected me from physical harm, it is mostly this aetheric harm against which I am protected.
In part, this protection happens because I am aware of the threat itself. The more I understand the threat and how the threat works and where it originates, the fewer “loopholes” I will have in my shield. LOL, kind of like putting together a contract, isn’t it?
Knowledge is power, but wielding this power requires a system of ethics. Imposing that system of ethics onto ourselves takes awareness. Awareness brings and reinforces knowledge.
The circle is complete.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Prince of Swords. LOL, the polar opposite of The High Priestess in many ways. Crowley sees this Prince as being the most intellectual of intellects, intensely clever and admirably rational to the point of being unable to differentiate between ideas because they each have their good points. The danger for him is that he will render everything unreal because in his effort to reduce each idea or concept to its purest form, unsullied by emotions, he ends up removing all valuable substance and balance. Perhaps this Prince is showing me how *not* to balance separate extremes!
Another great study hall last night. I really do enjoy interacting with my fellow Sacred Mists students within the chat rooms. I find that at the very least I have my own skills strengthened and validated by putting together these classes, but inevitably I am presented by one of the other students with at least one new perspective or shade of meaning. That is what makes teaching classes at Sacred Mist so absolutely awesome!!
And it continuously amazes me how well a system of learning such as the one in place at Sacred Mists can work, how well it maintains itself. I could not see it before, even while I was in Second Degree, because I was only viewing the system from one dimension or direction: forward. But now that I have begun to teach with regularity, I can also look back, and what I see makes me feel good inside. The system works! The system is producing confident, knowledgeable and well-spoken witches who not only are able to find a deep spiritual fulfillment for themselves through their personal connection to Deity, but they are also able and encouraged to take their fulfillment to another step by sharing it with others who want to learn. *grin* This sharing is not always easy, for as teachers we are sometimes asked to reduce to words sensations and experiences and abilities which do not easily lend themselves to sufficient description and understanding through words. But even that effort, the effort to describe the indescribable, has its benefits!!
So much of what I am learning within my responsibilities at Sacred Mists is permeating the other segments of my life. I am indeed living my spiritual path, thanks to my own hard work and the opportunities for education and enlightenment presented to me by Sacred Mists.
I have also been giving thought to connections, connections to others and what those connections bring to me. I like to think that even the ugly experiences are worth something, even if the only lesson they bring me is how *not* to be. For example, I think of how far I have come in a very short time since I stopped trying to change my boss and started trying to change my own choice of how to react to my boss. Instant magick!! Each time I successfully prevent myself from loosing my temper, I also prevent myself from loosing control of the situation. No matter how ugly someone is to me, they only have power over me if I choose to allow them to have this power. LOL, I know, I know . . . these words have been said before, even by me. But sometimes it takes real challenges that are forced upon you by others, no matter how unjustified they are, to test one’s strength, to see what we are *really* made of. Now I don’t only *know* the words, but I also *understand* them and *believe* them, with my heart and my mind.
Part of this tough lesson is learned through introspection, but part of it is learned through interactions with others, both positive and supporting interactions and negative and ugly interactions. If it were not for both the supporting connections and the ugly connections, I would not know what I am capable of dealing with. And knowing what I have already dealt with in an ethical and effective manner gives me the courage to step forth into the unknown. To boldly go where I have never been.
Today, I dedicate this post to all of my connections!
On a more grounded note, I received my first commission. My son wants a quartz pendant, and he has asked me to make one for him. I will be looking at crystals tonight. Yay!!
Monday, May 11, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Nine of Wands reversed. Called “Strength” by Crowley, in an upright position this card tells us that change is stability and stability is guaranteed by change. Balance is possibly being made difficult for me today because I am not allowing myself to grow and change. Sometimes life moves quickly, and we must remember that we can’t fight this quick movement or there will be hell to pay. Let go, and work with the currents!!
Oy. Just as we think we are okay, financially, before we even get the check in the mail from the refinance, we get notified by the IRS that REA must pay unemployment for its independent sub-contractor workers. *heavy sigh*
In keeping with my new-found mental focuses, I have managed to successfully short circuit my usual M.O. when being hit with distressing news: brooding. I am not brooding about this, and after a few moments of shock, I quickly adjusted. I am visualizing that things will end up to be handleable, that the results will be just and equitable, and easy to manage as far as possible payments are concerned, and since we have just passed a wonderfully powerful full moon and are at the beginning of the waning stage, I will be putting together a “lessening of the impact” spell. Yay, me! The only real way to test my progress and growth is to have a real event thrown at me, and I am responding to this one in a completely positive manner. As I said to my husband this morning, we have each other and our love for each other. No one can take that from us unless we allow it to happen. The rest is about money, and if we stand together and work together, this, too shall pass. We will be closer and our bond will be stronger because we dealt with the issue together. LOL, my cards for the day have spoken!
I am very, very pleased with how my “instant magick” class went yesterday. I will be presenting the same class this evening (at Sacred Mists we try to present classes so that anyone can attend, and we have students from all over the world), and I hope that tonight’s students will offer discussions that are equally stimulating as the discussions from yesterday’s class.
Last night, I gave quite a bit of thought to ethics, and to the many levels of responses to perceived attacks of all kinds. There seems to be a protocol of sorts, at least within my own mind. First comes shock, maybe even a few tears. Then, that shock rapidly turns to anger, and that anger always hits a threshold beyond which it turns into a counterattack. That counterattack is usually about finding fault with the attackers in an attempt to corrode the attackers’ stance or objective, or dismantle the attackers’ defense.
It is at this threshold that my awareness needs to kick in so that any further movement or response is done with consciously chosen actions and with an awareness of consequences to all.
I think the instinctive act of defending one’s position is what has allowed humanity to survive as a species; and don't get me wrong, I have no problem with self defense. However, unless our actions are taken consciously and our thought processes are balanced, and unless we have a healthy love for and acceptance of ourselves that is attained through learning about ourselves and accepting with love and without blame whatever we have done and felt and thought and experienced, these defensive acts seem to transform themselves and become about *us* rather than about our attackers. We seem to impose our own worst fears about our own justifications and validations onto our attackers, and thus strive to make our attackers appear to be what we most fear and loath about ourselves.
Understanding this has done two things for me. First, it has made it easier for me to feel less hurt from the recent attacks against Sacred Mists and against those who work to keep Sacred Mists a safe and positive place (that would include me). Second, it has underscored for me the importance of awareness and focus, and of learning about myself. I don’t like being blindsided by ugliness, no matter where it originates. Whether the ugliness comes from someone else or from within my psyche, it hurts equally. Being ethical is very important to me, and thus I know that in order to be ethical, I need to rise above the ugliness and I need to rise above the primitive and instinctive response to attacks. I need to consciously decide upon and choose my response. This is not an easy task. But it can be done.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Two of Swords/The Fool reversed. This Two is often seen as evidencing a closed heart or a stalemate between two equal but opposing forces, more importantly, unlike the Eight of Swords, which is more about allowing oneself to be imprisoned by these concepts, the Two of Swords seems to indicate a choice to be surrounded by these concepts an by the darkness they bring. The image on my Llewellyn Welsh Tarot shows a blindfolded woman holding two swords across her chest, with her face turned toward the left, standing at the shore of an ocean whose waves are sending up spray, with a full moon, partially obscured by clouds, in the sky. To me, this card is speaking to me specifically at this time (especially because my "time of power" is visualized at the beach with the full moon in the sky because that is where I was when I first anchored this power within me), and is telling of my choice to shut out the world in order to look within and examine my Shadow. I am choosing to do this; I am not being bound against my will by the darkness. In that vein, it is appropriate that The Fool be also reversed, as The Fool is seen as the Divine Child who does not hide himself from the light because he *is* the light. Yes, there are other interpretations of these two cards, and to some they could be saying that I am being blinded by the lure of darkness at the expense of light and new beginnings, and in some ways that is true. But I believe that in order to be a balanced and whole person, I need to understand both sides of my life force, the dark and the light.
My Thoth card for today is Ten of Cups reversed. Crowley calls this card “Satiety,” and he does not mean that in a good way. The energies of this card tell of one who has gotten everything that he wished for and found that he actually did not want all that stuff after all. The perception of having it all can lead to stagnation; after all, if you have everything, there is nothing else to try for. This card is reversed, and I see it as an indication that I am not finished, there has not yet been a completion to the cycle of feelings and emotions that are the suit of Cups.
I attended the Sacred Mists Full Flower Moon Esbat last night, and it was a fitting end to a magickal day. The sunset on Friday presented to me a “personal time of power” as sunset and moonrise were within minutes of each other. This lovely energy “zap” is still with me, and added to my day on Saturday. I spent the day in my garden, lovingly caring for the growing things around our cottage. As the sun lowered in the sky and the transition began from day to night, I was treated to a marvelous example of the beauty of Nature.
A cold front came through late in the day, moving from Southwest to Northeast, along with some thunderstorms which dumped a short but heavy rain upon the ground as the air was filled with flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. I love storms, and so I poured myself a glass of wine and went out onto my front porch, which faces Southeast, to enjoy the fireworks. As the last of the rain and clouds passed overhead, suddenly from the West came the light of the sun. I knew what to look for at these times, and sure enough, there it was: a rainbow. It arced across the sky over the ocean, a perfect half circle of glorious colors! I stood there watching for the entire time that the rainbow arched across the dark clouds, feeling privileged to be standing out in the rain when my neighbors were all inside, and feeling a connection to the Goddess, who wears the robe of Nature so that we can sense Her presence.
The Sacred Mists Esbat, which was led by SummerStar (with Soreenstar as the Ritual Response Leader) seemed to continue the energies of connection and of a sense of well-being that filled my day. The pre-ritual meditation set the stage for a very fulfilling ritual that combined an awareness of self ~and~ an awareness of the connections that make our community much greater than the sum of its parts. SummerStar showed us through her words (both her own words and the words of traditional sacred texts of Wicca) that we are connected to each other, we are connected to the Elements that are the building blocks of all life on our beloved world, and we are connected to Goddess and God. We are each indeed a part of an “oceanic oneness of being.”
I am off to do some research about earwigs *shudder*; then I will be teaching my Second Degree Study Hall on "instant magick" and then heading for my garden.
Happy Mother’s Day!!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Six of Wands/Three of Wands reversed. Today as I look back on the past few days, I am filled with a sense of accomplishment, for there is evidence that I am finally making some progress in bringing to life some long term goals. Important work still lies ahead, but I am being told that it is more important for me today that I validate the presence of personal strength, new connection to my own ethics, and the validation of friendships and the support of others that have been brought into my life with more intensity of late.
My Thoth card for today is Nine of Swords reversed. In an upright position, this card, called “Cruelty” by Crowley, tells of the agony of the mind. It is reversed (*whew*), so I am being told that any mental anguish being experienced should be fading away.
I performed a Shadow meditation on the way down to Cape May last night that lasted well over an hour. Last night presented a personal power time for me, one of those Full Moon days where the sun is ready to set and the moon is rising at the same time, so I thought that this would be a good time to perform a difficult meditation. The meditation began with me standing on the top of a dune, close enough to the ocean that I could see it in the cleft of two overlapping dunes ahead of me, with my spirit guide of over five years, Ailm, standing next to me. She and her people spend the Summers at the ocean and the Winters at a village in the forests on the foothills of a mighty mountain range, the village of her mate, Bear.
Ailm hugged me in greeting, and said that she and her group were anticipating reaching the ocean today. We both stood for a few moments, watching the sun, low in the sky, and the gulls and osprey as they swooped and glided overhead in the evening breezes, and then she said good bye and headed back to her group. I followed a path through the grasses and stunted trees, toward the ocean.
I climbed the last dune and stood for a moment, breathing deeply, and then moved toward the edge of the water, where I stood, waiting for the sun’s bottom edge to kiss the ocean. As I waited, I cast a circle around myself and called to my Elemental Companions, asking them to accompany me and protect me as I meditated. I waited, watching the sun as it gradually disappeared below the horizon; just as the last bit of orange flashed above the waves, to the East there was a blinding flash of ivory white at the horizon. My moment of power had arrived, and I closed my eyes and opened myself to the energies that were gifted to me from both the Sun Father and the Moon Mother.
After the reds and oranges of the sunset had faded, and the full moon was chasing the Belt of Venus higher in the sky, I turned my back on the ocean and followed the path back into the dunes. Soon enough I came to what looked like an old fashioned cellar door, the kind of door that Dorothy’s family went down into in the Wizard of Oz. The door was painted the same color as the surrounding sand and mud, and there was a black circle upon it, representing the dark moon. I took a breath to steady myself, and then reached down to the latch, and pulled.
The door opened, revealing steps that quickly disappeared into the dark. The air that came out was damp and cold, and smelled earthy, like the floor of a forest that does not see much sunlight, but it did not smell evil in any way. I began descending the steps; when I got to the bottom, a hallway stretched out before me. The floor and the walls and ceiling were lined with dressed stones, and again, while things were damp, they looked in good repair. Far ahead of me, almost out of sight, a single torch burned in a wall bracket, providing just enough light to see.
Behind me, the door slammed shut with a loud bang that scared the shit out of me; I jumped about a mile, and then stood there, laughing at myself as the echoes faded away. Then, I began walking forward.
Shortly after I passed the torch, the tunnel turned gently to the left and downward; the path continued to circle, with torches placed just often enough so that I wan not in total darkness. After a bit, the tunnel walls began to look less maintained, and once or twice I had to hop over cracks in the floor. Then, I came to darkness: no torches ahead. I stood there, wondering whether I had the guts to keep walking in the dark.
Then, I saw movement ahead; something was coming toward me, and it was glowing with a phosphorescent light. It was a robed and hooded figure, moving smoothly and quietly forward; he (I will say “he” for easy telling, but in truth I did not know if this figure was male or female) stopped at the edge of the darkness. After a long moment of the two of us standing there, looking at each other, he waved me forward, indicating that I was to follow him, and then turned into the darkness.
He and his robe glowed enough for me to see him, but not enough to light the floor and walls, so I had to completely trust that he would lead me safely, even though I could not see his feet and it seemed as if he floated without touching the floor. Soon enough, we turned a sharp corner and then entered a small chamber. There was a fire burning, and there were two branding irons in the fire. Before the fire there was a wooden chair with a high back and arms; he indicated that I should sit. He went into the shadows, and came back with a goblet, which he gave me and indicated that I was to drink, which I did. The liquid was cool, yet it burned a fiery trail down my throat and into my belly. Suddenly, the room began to spin, and all went dark.
When I awoke, I found myself blindfolded, tied to the chair. My legs were tied, my torso was tied to the back of the chair, and each of my wrists were tied to a chair arm. I started as I felt a hand press lightly on my left shoulder; my robed guide was still with me. I heard him step around me to the fire, and I heard metal clink against metal. Then he was back, opening the fingers of my left hand so that my palm faced upward. “Be silent; no sound,” he whispered to me hoarsely. I stiffened then, because suddenly I had an idea of what was to come.
Two separate times during meditations I had brands placed on my palms, once during the time that I was working on my Sacred Mists Third Degree Assessment (which involved quite a bit of soul searching, and involved pentagrams being branded into my palms), and once last year, when I was working with Archangel Uriel and experiencing some very difficult meditations (flaming suns were branded into the centers of the pentagrams).
He gently squeezed my fingers as a warning, and then pressed the brand into my palm. It burned just as much as I remembered, and just when I thought I would have to moan, he lifted the brand. He repeated the process on the other palm, and then I heard the brands clank together as he placed them back into the fire. He removed my blindfolds and untied me, and I saw that my flaming suns were now mostly covered by a dark circle, and each had become a solar eclipse on the verge of reaching totality. I can still see the sigil clearly, and plan on drawing it later today.
He then led me to a crack in the wall, a dank and buggy crack, and indicated that I was to enter it. Ugh. Bugs in dark, damp places are a phobia of mine, and I guess this part of my Shadow work will be dealing with bugs. I took a deep breath, grit my teeth, and slithered in. It was tight, and I could not see my feet or where I was walking, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t feel the bugs crawling on me. I shuffled my feet, sliding the bugs out of the way, and moaned as I felt one slide down the back of my shirt and crawl on my back. Oy, I am getting the chills, just remembering this.
Suddenly, the way got so narrow that I got stuck! For a moment, I panicked as claustrophobia and bug phobia erupted, but I began to breathe slowly as I forced myself to calm. I relaxed my body, allowing my legs to go limp, and I felt myself budge the tiniest of bits. Slowly I breathed, and as I relaxed completely, my body slid downward. I came unstuck all at once, and to my horror I slid down a ramp and suddenly shot out into darkness.
I hit water, and came up sputtering. I found myself in the ocean, with a dark vault of stars and the full moon above me, and with silvery moonlight illuminating the cliff face, complete with the dark hole of the cave that I had shot out of a few moments ago. I swam to shore, and once on dry land, I spent some time examining the events that had just transpired. Then, I said good bye to my Elemental Guardians after thanking them for their assistance, and allowed the meditation to fade.
I will be thinking about this meditation today, and the two phobias of mine that were presented within it. I know that the time of the Full Moon is not a logical one to most for Shadow work, but to me this is a time of personal power, especially because yesterday sunset and moonrise were almost simultaneous (my own personal time of power). And I need power and confidence to deal with my Shadow!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
My Thoth card for today is the Ace of Wands. This card is described as a “solar-phallic outburst of flame” on one website of Tarot keywords for the Thoth Tarot, and this certainly makes sense to me at this time, as the Sabbat of Litha approaches. This card tells of the presence of the first seed of Fire, not yet manifested yet filled with potential.
More positive ramifications of the class focusing on instant magick that I just finished putting together. I am finding that even though my day has been already sprinkled with several irritations, I have been able to deal with each of them by choosing my reaction. Increased awareness is a good thing!! It prevents those instinctive and often damaging reactions to the irritations and little hurts that present themselves to us on a daily basis.
Today is 5/7/9, a day of odd numbers. How fitting is that!! Odd number are a bit more prickly than even numbers; they are the “ups” and “downs” that separate the “even as the horizon” energies of the even numbers. Within dear Uncle Al’s system called the Naples Arrangement, the number 5 upsets the stability (read “stagnation”) of the number 4; this initiation of motion can sometimes be uncomfortable. The number 7 in the Naples Arrangement is seen as the beginning of the degeneration of the dynamic balance of the number 6 (which to Uncle Al was the perfect number, balanced both vertically and horizontally); through the number 7 we are reminded that change *is* stability. The number 9 is the number of initiation and the third number that offers the concept of completeness or full impact of a Tarot suit (360 degrees, 3 + 6 + 0 =9); the number 9 always reproduces itself (3 x 9 = 27; 2 + 7 = 9), or always bears fruit. Motion which will bring some concept past its peak or pausing point, and which will bring the understanding of some concept that has been in the making for a while. Sounds like it will be an interesting and possibly unsettling day.
I have to finish by saying "Hi, Jim!!" LOL, just in case you are checking my blog out.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
My Thoth card is the Nine of Cups. Called “Happiness,” this card tells of a perception of completeness and fulfillment. Others may not agree, but I am convinced, at least for today, that all is well and that I have everything I need, including both luck and love. However, nothing stands still and remains healthy, so tomorrow I must begin again to apply luck and love, in order to achieve tomorrow’s Happiness.
These cards really do sum up where I am right now in my life. I have done great things since the beginning of the year, and I really feel that I have been successful in implementing what I have learned into my everyday life. But I seem to be taking this time between Beltane, the culmination of the building of the masculine and feminine energies around me, and Litha, the peak of the masculine energies of light and warmth, to solidify my position in preparation for the coming darkness of the waning year. I know so much about myself, so much more than I did at this time last year, but there is a vast part of my psyche that is relatively untouched: my Shadow.
My journey across the Abyss has been preparing me for this next phase; I can see that clearly now. I was not ready to really see myself before this time, and I would not have completely understood what I was seeing if I had looked. But now I am strong enough, intelligent enough, courageous enough; now I have been shown the procedures and given the tools to journey into the dark and perilous unknown that is my Shadow.
I am glad that my next step has been revealed to me; I have sensed an intense buildup, but often in the past the purpose of that buildup was not immediately revealed to me.
I think in part this revelation has been facilitated by my projects at Sacred Mists. Putting together the Second Degree class on “instant magick” has made me put into words the particular methods that have worked for me as far as magickal workings, methods that are sometimes difficult to describe to those who have not yet experienced them. But like my overall journey through this life, I see that I was not ready to teach these concepts until now in part because I did not understand how I was accomplishing the particular workings, and in part I was not believing in the effectiveness of my own skills. When I finished putting the final touches on my script for the class, I was exhausted. Pleased at the results of my efforts, but exhausted as well because I worked hard at choosing the words that would best describe a pretty much indescribable process. I think I did okay, but we shall see after the class this weekend.
My Tarot class was very easy to put together because I was presenting concepts that I had already discovered for myself, but putting them into words that others could understand has served to crystallize in my own mind the dual nature of each of the Major Arcana cards, and in fact the entire Tarot deck. Basically, this class shows the students that even the most terrifying Tarot card has positive ramifications; they only need to be brought to light.
I am working on another project, an entirely new program. I can’t say much about it yet, but it will present an opportunity to mitigate (or maybe in many cases, eliminate entirely) a recurring issue at Sacred Mists. I have done the preliminary work and set up draft documents that describe the program and address the steps that I can anticipate; the documents were posted yesterday so the Council members can offer their comments. This program will be a tremendous undertaking for me, and it may end up redirecting my focus at Sacred Mists somewhat, but I have already thought about this possibility, and I am fine with it, should it occur. I look forward to implementing this program.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
My Thoth card for today is Lust reversed. “Mitigate Energy with Love, but let Love devour all things.” This card tells of inner passions, and more importantly, of inner magick and the use of magickal powers (and the inner strength necessary to make use of magickal powers). But it is reversed, and I am being told that today is not about my magick or about a focus on my abilities; today I should not be thinking like the Magus!
My horoscope is validating what I have already realized: “Sometimes life just isn't fair, but that shouldn't stop you from trying to see justice done today. It's not silly to believe in fairness, it's admirable. Hang on to your idealism with all your might -- it will help you adjust to any unexpected situation, be more self-sufficient, and keep you safe from people who don't like to play by the rules. Everything cannot be completely equitable in every situation, but you can work to make it as close as possible.” I can’t hold myself responsible for the actions of others, only my own. Yep, this has been my major growth focus since the end of 2008, and I find that it is easier and easier to remind myself of this simple yet empowering fact. Plus, because I am changing the energy patterns of my brain and the way I visualize myself and my place in this world, I find that I am more and more attracting to me situations that I can handle in a satisfactory manner.
I am working on two classes, and enjoying myself immensely in the process. One is a chat for the Sacred Mists Second Degree students, on the concept of “instant magick.” Talk about empowering! Once we become aware of the powers that we have at our fingertips and once we learn how to tap into them, magick becomes easy. LOL, I don’t want to give too much away!
The second class I am working on is for the Tarot Class on the Sacred Mists, of which I am one of three Facilitators. I just love these classes, because I always learn something new from at least one attendee. That is the best thing about working with the Tarot! You don’t need years of experience in order to offer to others some epiphany!
This class will be about what I call “The Terrible Three,” Death, The Devil and The Tower, and why they are not quite the terrible predictions that most Seekers see them as.
To me, the opportunity to learn about these concepts, and then to share what I have learned with others, is one of the immensely satisfying segments of my long association with the Sacred Mists forums. I feel that not only am I benefitting my Coven, but I am benefitting those who are learning about my Tradition. What is fulfilling about this is that I never, ever give without receiving. What is exciting about this is that often I am presented with some new way of viewing a concept about which I believe I have learned quite a bit already. It is through the setup of Sacred Mists, of being encouraged as I advance through my training to share what I have learned with those who are coming after me, that has allowed me to crystallize my own belief of what is true and what is valuable.
I correspond with Joe, a Lieutenant on the New York Police Force. LOL, how did I meet this wonderful man? That is a long story for another time, but I will say that it was an amazing chain of synchronistic events that ended up connecting us, which tells me that we have important things to share with each other. When I take in mind the concept of wyrd, and of some of the concepts presented in the book, The Celestine Prophecies, I know that it is important that I identify the thing(s) that we are meant to exchange. Often, through an exchange of emails, Joe offers some concept that directly addresses something in my “field of vision” without even realizing that he is doing so. For example, in a recent email, Joe explained to me a book that he had read called “Effortless Power,” written by Peter Ralston. Mr. Ralston is a martial artist who has perfected the skill of being able to anticipate his opponent’s movements, practically before they are initiated. He has learned the skill of being able to recognize the “now”; a concept that I will be presenting in my Second Degree class, a class which I had not even begun to write when Joe sent me this email.
I look back to the beginning of 2009 and before, and I see that there are others, other persons who have come to prominence for me, persons who have had some positive impact on my life’s journey thus far. My husband, my son, my sisters-in-law, my dance partner, this groovy baker that I know, my nice-in-law (who is only 10 years old), are just a few. Some of them have offered insights to me directly, and for some the personal insights have come through my giving something to them. No matter how the insights were initiated, they have changed me. How cool is that?
I have had official confirmation that the rock tumbler is tumbling. I can’t wait to see the results, but in the mean time, I’ve got work to do!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I have been striving to keep this blog as a completely positive space that is focused in many respects on my efforts to get my new business launched. However, a series of events that began last year have built to a point, a horrible and hurtful point, and I am feeling that I need to document my feelings.
First, let me proudly say something about myself. I am a proud member of a wonderful online Wiccan community called Sacred Mists. I have been a member as of this date almost exactly six years, and I came to Sacred Mists after experiencing several other online Wiccan communities at a time when I was searching for structure and opportunity to learn, and a community of like-minded people. I did not want the concrete structure and responsibility of membership within a real life coven; rather I wanted a source of information, not a narrow source that would be found within a real life teaching coven (for I did not yet know what particular tradition I would be drawn to), but rather an eclectic collection of information and lessons that would offer the give and take of written answers rather than multiple choice questions, and that would not require me to limit myself to one tradition. Out of the communities that I sampled, I chose Sacred Mists as the community that I would join.
I am now a Third Degree Dedicant and Second Degree Initiated Priestess at Sacred Mists. I had no intention of initiating when I first joined the community, but found that the community had become a home to me and so I chose to initiate. I have grown so much, much more than I had ever thought possible, and I am spiritually fulfilled yet still striving for more. Not only am I still learning, but I am also teaching within the school associated with the coven, and I am proud of the material that I teach and the caring that I offer within my classes. I have worked, worked very, very hard, to get to where I am right now. Anyone who really knows Wicca and lives Wicca will understand what I am saying, for Wicca is about self growth, connection to deity, and connection to the world around us. No one can teach me or anyone else exactly how to achieve these goals; they can only describe what worked for them. No, these things cannot be done by reading lessons or listening to others, for sooner or later we each have to do the work and find our way, on our own, in the dark; it is through finding our own unique way that we succeed. I have found my own way.
I am also proud that I was asked to be a member of the Student Council of Sacred Mists. I have gained so much through the opportunities presented at Sacred Mists (opportunities that required much hard work in order to manifest, but the opportunities are there just the same), and I relish the chance to pay these gifts forward.
Now, I understand that no community will be perfect for everyone. I understand that like any other community, there are parts of Sacred Mists that need improvement. Like the spiritual path it embraces, Sacred Mists is an evolving, growing and changing entity. The needs of the members of the community are always changing, and most members of the community each work hard and do their part in making Sacred Mists better and better. But that does not mean that everyone is happy as a student of Sacred Mists. Despite the fact that the intentions of most are to cause no harm, harm happens, even to the most careful person.
However, there is a Student (I will not post a name) who seems to have made it his duty to cause harm and to continue an ongoing persecution, at every opportunity presented to him. This Student is posting at every turn exaggerations and mistruths on other websites, and is misusing the power of words and the implicit assumption of truth only to be found within anything that anyone posts on a forum board. Not only is this Student putting forth untruths and twists of the truth regarding the community that I value, but because I am a part of the governing body and a teacher (a teacher who paid her dues and worked hard in order to be qualified to teach) at Sacred Mists, this Student is putting forth untruths and twists of the truth about me.
I understand well that to respond to certain kinds of rants is only to feed the rantor. But that does not mean that I can sit back and not put my feelings out there. And so, I will document them here, on my own blog.
Sacred Mists is a great place to learn and to connect to others. There are many opportunities for all who seek. But like any other school, you only get back what you put into your experiences at Sacred Mists. Garbage in, garbage out. If you come to Sacred Mists carrying baggage that you cannot control, you will end up not only sabotaging your own experience, but most likely you will end up hurting others.
There is a small monthly fee to belong to Sacred Mists. What is wrong with this concept? Should everyone who feels the desire to share Wicca with others work for free? Maintaining a large website, a shop associated with the website, and a Student Services office with live, full time employees, takes money. Sacred Mists also offers scholarships to those students who are particularly needy. That money needs to come from somewhere.
All who are associated with Student Services, Leadership and the Student Council understand the concept of confidentiality, just like the employees at a doctor’s office understand confidentiality. But that does not mean that only one person is going to know about issues of particular students, especially when a student is being assisted with a scholarship. This would be unreasonable to expect.
The people who teach at Sacred Mists have themselves gone through training (whether at Sacred Mists or elsewhere), and have exhibited the trait of immersing themselves into their lessons and of sharing what they have learned with others. Part of what Sacred Mists teaches its students is how to lead their own group, if that is their desire. Second and Third Degree students are given the opportunity to teach First and Second Degree students as part of their training. Of course, the final say in choices of teachers is our High Priestess. After all, she will receive the flack if there is a problem.
Accusations are flying regarding supposed conversations between this Student and my High Priestess, accusations which seem to be gradually getting twisted and embellished with every telling. These accusations are also very much out of character with every other interaction that I have had with my High Priestess and with those within Student Services over the past six years.
I have done my best to see both sides throughout this situation, but this Student has continued to move further and further away from an ethical standard that he should be living by as a Wiccan. I am disappointed and angry and hurt, for myself and for the community to which I have dedicated myself.
And I have learned a lesson. Perfect Love and Perfect Trust is not a sure thing. Words have incredible power. I will be even more careful that my words are spoken with Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.
I have absolutely no problem answering questions about Sacred Mists.
Ace of Swords/The Emperor. The energies that are offered by the Ace of Swords are those that I have the power to effect, for they are related to the use of the Will. I am being told today that this kind of potential may present itself, and since this card has appeared twice for me since Friday, I am guessing that this potential is on the verge of manifesting. I must be very aware that my thoughts can and will shape my world, and thus must actively choose what I am holding in my mind at any one time. This is where ethics and justice become very important.
My Thoth card is The Universe reversed, again. Two cards out of three that have reappeared in past days. I am being reminded that even though I am making progress connecting with my four selves (body, emotions, mind and spirit), I am not quite ready to pass through the gateway that leads to a new level. But the gateway is in sight!
The weather was better than expected yesterday, and I spent the entire day outside, cutting the grass and doing more Spring cleanup in my garden. My garden is at Spring peak for sure, the flowers (including the wisteria flowers, yay!!!) are beautiful, and everything has tiny light green leaves. All of the iris have flower buds, and my clematis is blooming already! My roses actually have buds on them!!
I have found that the “tension” within the energies of the past weeks has been transformed into an intense awareness of the animals and plants around me. I find that right now, I am most content when my shoes are dirty, my knees are wet and grass stained, and there is dirt under my carefully manicured nails, as I putter in my beloved garden. The Empress of the Tarot is my significator, and today I indeed feel like her!!
Friday, May 1, 2009
My Thoth card for today is Nine of Wands reversed. This card in an upright position acknowledges that change is stability, and that and stability needs change in order to remain healthy. If stability stops changing, it becomes stagnation, and in order to prevent this negative transformation we must be capable and confident enough to attain strength through the maintenance of balance (the kind of strength exhibited within an isometric exercise). This card is reversed, so I am being prevented from maintaining my strength today, and this prevention is happening through a lack of balance. Either I am pushing too hard, or I am not pushing hard enough.
Blessed Beltane! I can understand completely the message of my Tarot cards today. I have been feeling a rapid building of energy within me all week, and than buildup is being augmented by the energies around me. I need to be very cautious, because this energy is not my own energy, called and infused with a specific purpose, it will take the easiest path, which may not be my first choice. That Ace of Swords is telling me that I had better claim and control and direct this energy or I may not be pleased with the outcome of the day. That balance being hinted at in the Nine of Wands is what I should be seeking. Forewarned is forearmed!!
I gave blood last night, as part of my personal Beltane celebration. How fitting is the gift of life on a day that celebrates the union of the Goddess and God in the name of life? After giving blood, I sat and had a glass of juice while I talked to an older gentleman, his wife (who sadly had the blank stare of one suffering from Alzheimer’s) and his wife’s nurse. I was impressed by two things as I talked to this man. One was the obvious love, trust and interaction between him and his wife. He treated his wife with gentle compassion, without an ounce of resentment or sense of unjust burden, and as he spoke to me he would unconsciously take her hand, or gently lay his hand on top of hers. The second was his upbeat, caring and giving nature towards everyone, right from the first moment I saw him. I was filling out the paperwork when this man and the nurse came into the building, and he was smiling and joking right from the beginning. He told me as we sat together after our donations that he comes often, and can measure his blood donations in gallons!
I don’t even know this man’s name, for we never introduced ourselves, but he made such an impression on me! I can still feel the calm and serene yet intense love flowing from this man to his quiet and childlike wife. What a gift these two have been given, and the coolest thing is that they both seemed very aware of what they had. Yes, even the wife, with her blank eyes, would occasionally turn to her husband and put her hand softly on his arm for a moment. He would turn to her with a gentle smile, and place his own hand on top of hers as they experienced some kind of private connection. What an unexpected manifestation of the uncompromising and eternal love the Goddess and God have for each other!! Not what I would have expected at the time of the peak of the energies of new life and fertility that is Beltane!
Finding balance, indeed! There are all kinds of strengths, and not all of them are “in your face.”