Friday, July 22, 2011

7/23/11-7/24/11—Finding Hope

Weekend Reading: The Star from the Prairie Tarot. Take heart. The Star comes to let you know that joy, love, healing and guidance is abundant in the universe. In fact, it's in inexhaustible supply. As the woman in the card pours her emotions into the healing waters, her pains are transformed into promise and hope. If you're hurting now, let it out. Write your feelings down. Share them with a friend. Be honest with yourself and others. As long as you hold your feelings in, you'll perpetuate your pain. But when you let them out and start dealing with reality of the release, the healing and hope can begin. Regardless of how you're feeling now, however, know that all is and will be well. The universe has always got your back, even when it doesn't look that way.

7/22/11—Blowing Your Mind

Today's Draw: Ace of Feathers from the Margarete Petersen Tarot. Do you think you are limited to the life you spend here on earth? Have you ever thought about what influence you might have on the universe, if any? What thoughts blow your mind?

The Ace of Feathers (Swords) signifies a time of mental clarity, focus and insight. Margarete Petersen adds to that, saying it speaks to our limitless nature and being one with the universe.

I'll have to remember to write an entry about our limitlessness sometime, but for some reason I'm thinking about something I've mused over many a time. The earth is a closed system. Energy like radiation can escape our atmosphere and enter our atmosphere, but pretty much nothing else can. A meteorite can enter through sheer force and velocity, and a rocket can leave under the same conditions. But pretty much everything else stays here. 

Further, sound waves dissipate, but they never fully disappear. So our individual voices and sounds are always here, just in a form that cannot be heard or measured. This is mind blowing stuff. Google it.

So that which we eat, drink and breathe contains some bit of what the dinosaurs ate drank and breathed. Just think about that. The air is full of you. The oceans are full of you. Wind, rain, dust,'re there. And always will be. And if, one day, the earth explodes, the universe will contain you. Even if only in vaporized form. In that way, you are eternal.

Further, humans radiate energy. And energy can escape our atmosphere. So if you believe that human energy contains intelligence and human thought travels on waves, then parts of us are all over the universe. Now this last part is a leap, yes, but intelligent human energy and things like thought waves are the basis of metaphysical thought. I have no doubt they exist. I don't need to wait for the instrument to measure it and make it scientific fact. I walk around in that instrument every day. 

In some way, however, human thought and ideas travel out into space over electromagnetic waves in the form of sound/radio waves that travel out to satellites and beyond every second of the day. Which is pretty amazing. Our influence goes much further than we know, both in space and time. Which actually circles back around to that limitless thing, though I didn't intend that when I started writing. 

Imagine, some part of us existing a million years from now...and some part of us existing a million miles from here and beyond! So when we think of ourselves as small and insignificant, the fact is, we're infinite. We never quite ever go away. And we contain within us all that ever was and the seed of all that ever will be. 

And if you do believe that any of this contains intelligence...and by intelligence, I mean thought, vibration, coding, influence, energy or similiar...then it's even that much more mindblowing, because we're interacting in some sort of tangible and interpersonal way with all that ever was and will be. Whether you believe it or not, it's pretty cool to think about as you look at the stars on a dark night.

The astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson observes that the same elements that exist in space, also exist within us in identical form—iron, carbon, oxygen, etc. As he says, "we are not just in the universe, but the universe is in us. We are stardust."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7/21/11—Entering the Void

Today's Draw: The Hanged Man from the Awareness Arcana by Beth Seilonen. How well do you deal with silence and peace? Are you someone who always has to have noise on in the background? Or do you look for pockets of silence and nothingness in your day?

The Hanged Man is all about suspension and acceptance of it. It signifies a time of surrender to the flow. No thought or action is needed. It is a time of no thought, no action. Just acceptance. 

The rune symbols that Beth Seilonen has drawn on his chest are those for protection, discipline, suspension, transition and peace. The runes she's chosen to scatter around him—those that are not part of him—are those for creation, movement, joy, hardship, gift. His green color represents retreat into the heart center and healing. So the Hanged Man represents a very neutral, protected, reparative state. It's the opposite of multitasking. It's just Zen. Just being.

We tend to think that if we're not doing, we're not living. We're not playing our role. Not contributing. Not carrying our weight. But somewhere in the midst of any change I've ever experienced, there's always been a time of stasis. A time of non-change. A readjustment period. But because we're so used to go-go-go, this can often make us feel uncomfortable. So we look for things to do. Or we look for dramas. Not consciously perhaps, but we court things to occupy the silent spots. 

A month or two ago it seemed like I had all sorts of exciting things happening in my life. Now it's just kind of deadly dull. And I'm feeling a tad "down" because the noise has abated and I'm not producing. But the Hanged Man comes to us to tell us it's just a time for gestation. And feeling and appreciating that peace is as valuable a part of life as running around like a chicken with its head cut off. In fact, it's more like sitting around like a chicken with an egg to keep warm. It may look like nothing is happening, but the egg is developing and that's a very precious and necessary stage of life.

To answer my questions from above, it's usually deadly quiet in my house. Unless I have the TV on. I rarely listen to music. Not even in the car. I prefer silence. And if there's neighborhood noise—construction or road work or something—I wear ear plugs. That's how much I like silence. I like having thoughts issue from the void. I do watch a lot of TV at night, though. But like right now as I finish this entry, it's not on. And later tonight before bed I will meditate in silence for 10-15 minutes just to settle myself and draw a line between wake time and sleep time. So I make sure I get a little of that kind of thing every day, but the longer periods of day-long and week-long ebbs do get me concerned. Like most people, I guess, I feel like something's always gotta be going on...I've always gotta be thinking of the next new thing. And this card is my cue to just embrace the silence and go with it.

While we're here, though, I thought I'd give a quick plug for meditation. I used to be someone whose mind raced all the time and I couldn't get to sleep at night because my head wouldn't shut up. But meditation changed all that for me. Not right away, because a person with a racing mind has a hard time meditating. But through practice over time. I started meditating in college, so I have a lot of practice. If you try and stick to it, even if you're not "good" at it, it will pay off. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7/20/11—Spreading Happiness

Today's Draw: The Knave of Coins from the Minchiate Firenze. Do you ever consciously do things to raise your energy? How about doing something purposely to raise the moods of others? Do you realize the impact you have on those around you?

Minchiate is a Medieval card game with a deck similar to tarot. It has 97 cards, as opposed to tarot's 78. This particular deck is a reproduction of one created in 18th century Florence. The book describes the Knave of Coins as being "a young woman who creates situations that bring happiness."

One of the things on my facebook feed yesterday was a flyer one of my friends saw in her Starbucks. You know those flyers people make with the little pull-off strips that usually have their phone number on them? Well, it was one of those. Only it didn't have phone numbers. 

The flyer itself looked like a wanted poster. It had a picture of Lionel Ritchie and the headline "Hello. Is it me you're looking for?" And the little pull-off strips each had a different phrase from the song written on it. "Are you somewhere feeling lonely?" "Or is someone loving you?" And so on...haha. So there was absolutely no reason to post this flyer other than to give someone a chuckle. And some of the strips had been torn off, which made it even funnier, imo.

Doing something like this not only makes other people smile, but doing it also makes you smile. It's a win-win situation. I'm more inclined to one-on-one random acts of kindness, like complimenting a stranger on their clothes or anonymously picking up a stranger's tab at a restaurant. But that post today reminded me that we could go global with something like this. Well, global might be a little ambitious, but say that flyer affected only 20 people this morning. And those 20 people smiled at three random people because the flyer raised their energy. And those 60 people were given a little hope from that smile and passed that energy along to three people. Now we're talking hundreds of people a little high on happy juice. And the snowball keeps rolling.

This is the second post this week (out of two) that talks about raising your energy. And what that means is starting wherever you are and taking it up a few notches. If you're depressed, lift it up to "a little blue". If you're a little blue, raise it up to so-so. It's a misconception that we're slaves to our emotions. We've all experienced the way music, taking a walk or talking to a friend can lift our spirits. You can probably rattle off a dozen other things that do that for you off the top of your head. Lifting your spirits even just a notch has the same exponential effect as that flyer on others. Think about it. Everyone you come into contact with is colored by your energy and vice versa. Change your energy and it changes everything in your path. And if someone's energy threatens to drag you down, resist that with the same tools you have to lift your spirits.

Now, sometimes we need to feel sorrow or anger or fear. And some people like to live in misery for one reason or another. But most of the time most of us would like to feel better and it's important for us to remember we have that choice. And the choice we make not only affects us, but everyone we touch and everyone they touch and so on.

What do you suppose would happen if more people walked around like they knew this? What do you suppose would happen if YOU walked around like you knew this? You can't expect to always be conscious of this. But now that the seed is planted—or you're reminded—try it out today or sometime soon. It's amazing how powerful just looking someone in the eye and smiling can be to set off a chain reaction of goodwill—for others AND for yourself.

Monday, July 18, 2011

7/19/11—Flipping Your Psychic Switch

Today's Draw: The Queen of Cups from the Smith-Waite Tarot, Centennial Edition. Have you ever "known" something you couldn't have known? Do you have experiences you can't explain? Do you consider them coincidence or odd occurrences...or do you think there's something more going on?

Most tarot readers have a card that signifies them. You can light upon that card many different ways, but I chose mine consciously. The Queen of Cups is that card for me. I chose her because she's creative, dreamy, spiritual, compassionate, mysterious and loving. I could have chosen to be really sharp, smart and witty; passionate, fiery and sensual; or earthy, business-minded and rich. Or I could have selected a number of other cards that signify things like hope and happiness. But I chose the Queen of Cups. She's got the watery feeling this Pisces enjoys.

One of her mysteries is that...thing...she's holding. It's supposed to be a cup, but all the other cups in the deck are much simpler vessels. But hers has a cross on top and two angel's like a sacred, spiritual relic, more elaborate even than her crown. Arthur Waite writes that she has a "loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision." So perhaps the possession of that vessel is tantamount to possessing the ability to communicate with spirit in all its forms. 

I also think it's interesting that Waite ties the gift of vision to loving intelligence. So today I feel drawn to ruminate on psychic awareness. First of all, we all have psychic ability and intuition. I doubt there's anyone reading this that can't recall ever knowing something they couldn't know. Or having an experience like thinking of a song and having it on the radio when you turn it on. The only difference between someone who develops that gift further is that what is going on is more than just coincidence. 

I think there's a lot of misunderstanding of what it means to be psychic. It may as well just be classified as being human. In some ways, it's literally a sixth sense. It's feeling that there's someone standing behind you or something else in the room that you don't have evidence of. It's having "a sense" about something that turns out to be true. It's having good "parkma" (a talent for finding parking spaces). It's knowing you'll either like or dislike a person at just a glance. It's feeling drawn to someone for one reason or another. It's knowing who's calling the minute the phone rings. It's "feeling" another person, even if they're on the other side of the world. It's getting a flash of insight out of the blue. It's all those things you've experienced at one time or another that are "weird"...that you have no logical explanation for.

Psychic ability is also closely tied to mediumship, but they're different. Mediums talk to dead people. Psychics talk "to the wind". A voice, wisdom or image just pops into the brain. Some might consider it talking to their higher self. Some might see it as communing with God or a spirit guide. When certain religious practitioners talk to Jesus or God for guidance on things, they're doing exactly what psychics do...connecting with a source of infinite intelligence for wisdom or in reverence. I believe the source is the same for all, and the names change depending on the spiritual beliefs, just as with religion.

Regardless of who or what you're talking to, the ability to communicate with it is a capacity we're all born with. Evolutionarily speaking, we needed this extra sensitivity for survival in a wild world for which we were not as well equipped as other animals may have been. Our "instinct" helped us find food, sense when we were in danger and know how to respond to unfamiliar situations. It's not unique to humans as many pet owners will attest. It is as much a part of our mammalian makeup as any of the other senses. Over time, civilization has moved us further away from this instinctual way of living, but we still use this sixth sense whether we acknowledge it or not. And although some people are born with a sharper sense, the difference between "a psychic" and you is simply trust in the ability. And, of course, practice. 

So while it's fun to make jokes about "then why don't you predict the lottery numbers?", it's not like that at all. They call it "clairvoyance", and sometimes it *is* clear, but it's not omniscient or absolute. And it often comes in symbols or images that are subject to interpretation and, thus, error. As a species, we're still honing this sense to be something we have more of a command of. Technology and modern life don't help that happen...they actually replace our need for some of it. So if we want to sharpen it within ourselves, we have to do so consciously. Just like the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves and electricity) existed for billions of years before someone came along to harness it, I believe that future man will discover another spectrum...or another part of the spectrum...that has to do with psychic capability. Because that's what it feels like to me. It feels like my body is both an antenna and a receiver, sending and capturing information on a wave. In fact, when I meditate and get into that relaxed and open state, I often find myself swaying back and forth, as if upon a wave.

But back to "loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision." It seems such an odd statement that loving intelligence would be a condition for the gift of vision. But in psychic circles, we call it "raising our vibration". The higher the vibration, the clearer the channel to that divine and infinite intelligence. While anyone can access this channel, it's a muddier connection if you're depressed or negative. In fact, if you're angry or vengeful, you're more likely blocking it. Conversely, the fastest way to raise your vibration is love. Love for your fellow man. Love for life. Love for yourself. Love for your god. Love, love, love. So the Queen's loving intelligence...her unconditional openness to universal or divine wisdom...leads to her gift of vision. 

So trust, love and practice. That's what it takes to sharpen the gifts you were born with. What kind of experiences have you had in this vein? Have you ever *tried* to be psychic? What do you believe about all this?

7/18/11—Feeling Nostalgic

Today's Draw:  The Six of Cups from the Anna K Tarot. Has something pushed your nostalgia button? Are you wistfully thinking of a happier time? Or has someone from your past returned to your life?

The Six of Cups has a number of meanings, depending on the context of the reading. It could signify puppy love. Or a lover or friend returning from the past. It could signal a time of nostalgia. Getting lost in memories of the past. Or even fooling yourself that everything is fine when it's not. 

Facebook often brings me back to my 6th, 7th and 8th grade years. That's because I have a good 40 or so friends there from that time of my life. Most of them I only got to know on Facebook, but we share memories of the same places and times of our lives. In a couple of weeks we'll all be getting together for our high school's 30th reunion. 

There are a lot of gifts that come from this group of people. To begin with, we all have similar backgrounds. Many of us are from military or government families. So there's a common bond in our upbringing. Without exception, these are very smart, funny people. So there are lots of laughs. And I've grown to have a good deal of affection for many of them. And I'm pretty sure at least a couple of them think I'm pretty neat, too. 

It's also interesting because different people hung in different cliques in Jr. High and High School. But all of those bounds have dissolved with maturity. I had to move early on in High School, but even if I had stayed, some of them are people I never would have known back then. Some are people I would have known of, but with whom I wouldn't have shared anything more than a few classes. And one of them was my best friend...a woman I hadn't spoken with in 30-some years before re-connecting on Facebook, but we were able to pick back up right where we left off. We meet for lunch monthly.

But it's more than just rediscovering friends from the past. Back when we were kids, life was so easy. Of course there were all manner of dramas and heartaches, as is typical with teenagers. But there were no bills to pay. Careers to build. Children to feed. Spouses to navigate. Lives to manage. It brings us back to a time when all we had to be was kids. And that's what the Six of Cups is all about. 

Let's face it, being a grown-up is hard. And having the opportunity to go back and remember a time that felt safe, carefree and limitless feels good. Going to that place even changes brain chemistry while there, refreshing us to our manage some of the less than stellar parts of our real lives. Assuming we don't get lost in it, it's a very good thing.

So what can you recall today that brings you back? The other day someone posted a picture of our community swimming pool and, for a moment in my mind, I was there swimming laps at swim team practice, sucking on a watermelon Jolly Rancher. What takes you there? It can be as subtle as a certain breeze or a faint scent on the wind. Who can you reach out to to share it with?