Friday, May 25, 2012

5/26/12-5/29/12—Keeping Up With Karma

Memorial Day Weekend Reading: Aventurine (Justice) in the 12th House from Arcana Stones by Rachelcat. The weekend can be summed up in one word: karma. Karma is universal justice—the consequences that come as a natural result of your actions. This has nothing to do with revenge, nor does it reflect any human effort to "equal a score". It's simply what you've earned. And that can be good or bad. Everyone thinks karma reflects only bad outcomes, but when you do good and get good in return, that's karma, too. So if something incredibly good happens this weekend, you probably earned it. And if something bad happens, well, you know. And if it's just a normal, pleasant weekend, then congratulations. You're doing just fine. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/25/12—Moving Toward That Which Makes You Feel Larger

Today's Draw: Higher Choices from Mystic Art Medicine by Cher Lyn. Are you making choices that keep you feeling small? Do you know why you make these choices? Are you ready to move toward that which makes you feel larger?

Recently a friend reminded me of something from a David Whyte CD she'd loaned me years ago. David Whyte is a poet and he did this wonderful CD of his poems and stories of his life. It was all very wise and wonderful. Although the following wasn't from one of his poems, it was from the CD and it's something I need to be reminded of frequently. It was simply this—"Move toward that which makes you larger."

So often we get mired down in muck and the relationships and circumstances that come across our paths that make us feel smaller. I know I do that. It's like I become transfixed...hypnotized by the things that hold me back, pull me into lower energies, make me feel like what I have to offer has little though I don't matter and the happiness and satisfaction of everyone else does. 

I had dinner with a friend last night who got the crap end of the stick from some of her kids this past Mother's Day. She's a good friend and I'm well aware of how much she sacrifices for her family. She gives of herself until there's nothing left to give. And Mother's Day was their one opportunity to put their needs aside and be there for her. And they dropped the ball...without apology. I'm angry inside for her. I also know how it feels. I imagine many reading this do.

Funny thing is that there is a marked difference between my career and personal life. I have my career set up to partner with people and organizations that value what I bring to the table and have no problem expressing that. Honestly, it's enough that my clients pay me on time. It's a business, after all. But my clients never fail to thank me for my work and tell me they're happy with it and let me know how much they appreciate me. I think...hope...I let them know the same in return.

We always have a choice of paths we take in our life. We can travel into the dark toward what makes us feel smaller. Or we can ascend to the light, that which makes us feel larger. Over the past few months, I've found some clarity concerning this. I've discovered people and opportunities in my life that want to support me and feed me. They've always been there, but for some reason I wasn't turned toward them. 

And I've seen the energies I've been turned toward clearer than ever. I see my responsibility in establishing inequitable relationships. It comes from a place of insecurity within me and I feel like I need to give more than I receive which, of course, breeds relationships with those who are much better at receiving than giving. Then, inevitably, I end up disappointed when I need to receive and no one is there to give. I've lived this pattern over and over again and I'm tired of it. Literally. 

And I've finally realized I don't have to do it anymore! There are higher choices all around me. All I have to is value myself enough to walk toward them—and turn away from that which does not value me once and for all.

Is there a situation or relationship that keeps you small or makes you smaller? And can you see the path toward that which makes you feel larger?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5/24/12—Freeing Yourself from the Veil

Today's Draw:  Quartz Crystal in the 9th House from Arcana Stones by Rachelcat. Have you ever awakened to a pattern of false beliefs that you've been holding in your life? Are you fooling yourself about unhealthy behaviors? Can you remember a time when a veil lifted from a situation and gave you the ability to see things more clearly?

Arcana Stones is a new oracle that combines tarot, crystals and astrological houses to give readings. If that sound intimidating, it's not. The companion book has everything you need to understand what you're doing.

Quartz Crystal represents the Fool card, suggesting new beginnings, open mindedness and trust. Clear quartz brings more power and clarity to a situation. It is said to have the greatest healing ability of all stones and can even cleanse other stones of unwanted energy. Finally, the ninth house is the house of meaning and truth...philosophy, education, truth and religion.

Put it all together and what rings in my head is "the truth/clarity will set you free." Back when I was a smoker, there were all sorts of false beliefs in my head. Since nobody ever said I smelled like smoke, I didn't think I did. I thought that whether or not smoking killed you was a crap shoot and you were unlikely to die from it. The statistics were all overly dramatic. I would quit if and when it ever started having a negative effect on my health. And since it hadn't, I was OK to smoke.

Arcana Stones is a complete divination system, unlike any other.
One of the things that really bugged me was that one of my boyfriends wouldn't drink from a cup or bottle I drank from. We shared all other fluids, why not this one? He SAID it was because the cup tasted like smoke. I remember being so annoyed by this "attitude" of his...blaming his issue with sharing a drink with me on smoking. Always complaining about my smoking! Typical.

These are just a few of the things that floated around in my head during this time of my life. Then once I got free of the addiction, something happened....I realized I HAD to smell like smoke. People do die of smoking and smoking related illnesses. All the time. It had been having a negative effect on my health all along. It even went so far as to affect my periods. And, now that I don't smoke, I'm not only sure I could taste it someone's glass, I can smell it three cars ahead of me in traffic.

What happened is that when I was able to put my addiction aside, a veil lifted. I didn't even know the veil was in place until it lifted. It was a kind of denial that was totally ingrained in me, I had no idea it was even there. And this doesn't just happen with addictions, it happens in all areas of our lives. For example, I doubted unconditional love existed until I committed myself to my first dog, Passion. Then the veil that told me that kind of love was all a fairy tale lifted and I got it. "The Veil" is any pattern of false thoughts and beliefs that limits you, supports unhealthy behavior, keeps you in unhealthy patterns and stands between you and your higher self.
There's a stone correlating to every card in the Major Arcana.

Because I know "the veil" exists, I'm certain I'm under one right now about my weight and health. Watching my brother die just recently has worked the corner up on that veil a little bit, but not enough to get me to make a change yet. But there is a reality there now that I can no longer deny. And another veil has been lifted in me recently, as well, in relation to the extreme emotions I've experienced over the past couple of months. I can't quite explain it or put my finger on it, but it's already cleared my vision and prompted changes in my life. 

Have you ever had one of these "I can't believe I thought that way" moments of clarity that come from a lifting of the veil? Once it has been lifted, you can't really go back to the way you were. You don't want to. It changes the way you see your life, your thoughts and circumstances in it. You may be embarrassed or even ashamed by the way you were and can no longer go on like that. Does that sound familiar to you? How has that manifested in your life?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5/23/12—Visiting Rainbow Bridge

Today's Draw: Rainbow Bridge by Lisa Hunt. Do you believe your deceased pets still look out for you from above? Do you have connection to someone in your life that you just can't you feel might be based on a past-life experience? What, if anything, do you believe about past lives and soul groups?

Today's draw is an actual drawing, not a tarot card. As part of a limited edition offering of her latest tarot deck, Ghosts & Spirits, Lisa Hunt signed a card, put together a special print and offered a custom drawing for any keyword of your choosing. My keyword was "rainbow bridge" and this drawing is her interpretation of it. 

If you don't know about the Rainbow Bridge, it comes from a poem about the place your four legged friends go to wait for you until you join them again. My dog Passion died a few years ago and on our last night together, we talked and snuggled all night and I told her what a great girl she had been. I also told her the story about Rainbow Bridge and about how one day I'd meet her there. 

A few months after she died, I pulled out my Tarot of Transformation deck to ask if Passion had any messages for me. I chose the deck because it's always gentle and contemplative in its answers. What I suppose I didn't consciously realize is that it's probably the only deck in my collection that has a Rainbow Bridge card—tarot decks don't normally have Rainbow Bridge cards. And that's the first of two cards I chose at random.  Choosing that card of all the 78 in the deck brought me to tears. Because it felt like she was saying she had found Rainbow Bridge and was waiting for me. 

The incredibly beautiful Passion the dog.
The second card I chose showed a spirit bear keeping watch over a mommy bear and two cubs while they slept. Passion's nickname was Pashie Bear. So this card was showing me that she was watching over me and Kizzie and Magick Moonbeam. I mean, what are the odds? I felt that Passion's spirit guided me to that deck so she could communicate precisely what she wanted. And I have no doubt of that, because I've never met a dog with a larger human vocabulary than her. If you could measure dog IQ, she would be considered a genius...not because she was trainable, but because she had communication, discernment and reasoning skills far beyond other dogs and beyond many humans as well. Anyway, that's her in the picture Lisa Hunt drew.

This past weekend I had an aura photograph taken and a reading. I'm not sure what I believe of all of that. And the lady doing it was a little out there. But one of the things she said was that there were 144,000 individuals in my soul group. A soul group can be considered the group of people you encounter over and over, lifetime after lifetime. This lifetime's favorite grocery clerk might be next lifetime's childhood chum. 

While Rainbow Bridge is a place where you reunite with pets, I imagine there's a place where you reunite with members of your soul group and come to know and understand the roles they played in your various lifetimes. Sometimes it's fun to think about someone you know and assess what role they might have played in another lifetime. Like my sister who calls me by her daughter's name....maybe there's a past-life reason for that. Or my real-life faux boyfriend...maybe he wasn't so faux in another lifetime. And my girl, Passion...I'm pretty sure she wasn't always a dog. I think she came back as one to teach me the valuable lesson of how to love. 

So what do you think of all of this? Can you figure out who some of the important people in your life might have been in another life?

Monday, May 21, 2012

5/22/12—Removing Your Armor

Today's Draw Classic*: Knight of Cups from the Victorian Romantic. What kind of armor do you wear as you walk through this world? What might you miss out on because of this? And what are you afraid might happen if you were fully exposed to those around around you?

The Knight of Cups is the ultimate romantic. A dreamy sort of fellow who often lives in a world of his own. This particular knight represents Parsifal, one of the Grail Knights of Arthurian Legend. All these nekkid sirens surround him, trying to distract him from his quest. But he sees nothing but the vision of the grail.

One thing I've always found interesting about this depiction is how shiny his armor is. It reflects everything around him, yet doesn't give us a clue as to what's underneath it all. We've all known people like him, right? Always doing and saying what they're supposed to. Always reflecting back to the world what the world wants to see..or what they want the world to see. But inside, it seems, nobody's home. Or, if someone is home, they've been playing a role for so long they don't even know where the facade ends and the real person inside begins anymore. 

Another thing that stands out is how all encompassing the armor is. Maybe you have someone in your life that only lets you in so much. Or erects so many boundaries that others can't in. Or sets up their lives to keep others at arm's distance at all times, only peeking out on their agenda or when things feel safe. In armor like this, little flows out and little flows in.

The armor the knight in the card wears is quite constricting. It puts a cold, hard layer between him and the rest of the world. He's so caught up in his own world and his own mission that he doesn't even see all the nekkid babes around him.

Armor isn't just something "they" wear, it's something we all don at times. And the more of it we wear, the less we allow ourselves to connect, feel and offer to others. Armor is made of many different materials. An alcoholic holds people at arm's length with their substance abuse. People use technology and its conveniences to avoid dealing with others face to face. A friend who always invites you out to see a movie could be using a setting where discussion is discouraged to keep you at arm's length, as well as to limit their time with you. Being "too busy" all the time protects you from ever stopping and connecting with another. A friend who is a great listener, may actually listen so they never have to share.

Armor manifests itself in many ways and, from time to time, we all wear more or less of it to protect our time, emotions or energy. The problem comes when people get so comfortable in that land of theirs that they can't even see how much their ability to feel, empathize and relate to others has atrophied.

The interesting thing I've learned about armor from my own use of it, is that no matter how much of it you wear or what it's made of, there is nothing on earth that will protect you from pain and heartache. In fact, it's surprising just how much pain the armor itself can cause not just to yourself, but to the people in your lives. Sometimes the armor causes the exact thing you're protecting yourself from.

What kind of armor might you be wearing? Is the armor working or causing problems of its own? What is it keeping you from in your life?

*This entry was adapted from one written last year.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

5/21/12—Revering the Whispers of God

Today's Draw: Reverence from Mystic Art Medicine by Cher Lyn. Have you had an experience recently that you consider reverent? What sacred messages have your life experiences been bringing you? Is there a special ritual or practice you have to honor your most reverent moments?

Mystic Art Medicine is a beautiful deck of Oracle cards that I found on my own "reverent" journey this past weekend. For deck hounds like myself, I'll say the stock is flimsy. I don't like flimsy stock if I can avoid it, but I'm not sorry I got these cards because everything else about them is top quality. The art is very spiritual and symbolic, the printing quality is good and the cards are well oversized, making them harder to shuffle, but easier to see and read. They really are beautiful cards. 

Reverence is about honoring the god in you and honoring life by showing deep respect for what comes. It's about seeing and acknowledging the sacred within you and your life. It's about both the special moments and the mundane. There is nothing within us or without us that is not sacred.

Today I happened upon a young neighbor boy that was in his daddy's arms getting his bottle. As I rubbed my finger on his tiny, new feet, there was a connection. He gave me a smile as his formula dribbled down his cheek and suddenly his bottle became less important. He stared into my eyes, let go of his bottle and basked in whatever he saw in me. That, of course, was a blessed experience and gave me a smile. I softened my voice further when I spoke to him and the sound of it delighted him further, which delighted me. 

I like to think of babies as special beings that can see and register things that adults can't. So it makes me feel good that, up until about the age of three or so, children are transfixed by me. Because they're seeing something in me that's more beautiful than the way I see myself.  I would think I would get the opposite reaction from the tiny ones, because I'm a big person with a big voice. I'm also not really a kid person. I only like them when they're not crying or making noise. But toddlers and below seem to see past all of that to something more basic and they can see the light of a person's connection to spirit or something like that. 

Once kids get past three, all bets are off in regard to me. The neighbor kid on the other side is around 7 or 8 years old and he is intimidated by me, as is his younger sister. The poor kids occasionally have to come over to ask a question or deliver a message from the mother. You can tell it's a horror show for them. They've heard their parents talk about the weird lady next door, along with whatever misconceptions they might have about me. Since most people assume I'm a witch, that's probably what they think. And, traditionally, children's stories that feature witches don't necessarily go get baked into pies or turned into lizards or suffer an outbreak of warts.

Anyway, the poor neighbor boy comes over the other day to retrieve a lacrosse ball that has sailed over the fence and you can see the worry in his eyes. Will this be the day Hansel gets captured by the witch and locked in a cage, fattened up and made into stew? He thrusts a jar of strawberry jam into my hands, hoping this will grease the wheels and secure his future. The worst part of it is that it was a wasted trip. I had actually seen the ball earlier in the day and thrown it back into his yard. I could tell he didn't quite believe my story. The anxiety was palpable.

Two different neighbor boys from two different neighbors, bringing two different energies to the table. But each was pretty precious in its own way. Each brought a lesson—a message from God. Each revealed the truth of a side of me that I don't often get to see from the outside. There's that ability within me to be a magical being like the infant saw, one wrapped in an aura of light. Then there's the byproducts of what happens when you believe and practice outside of the realm of Judeo-Christian religion in this country. Things are assumed, misunderstood and wrapped in fear. And if I'm going to be who I am, I have to take responsibility for both sides. 

Reverence is not only taking responsibility for who we are and what happens in our worlds, but it's also in seeing, acknowledging and taking action on the divine wisdom of short, giving life's experiences the respect they deserve. Even the worst situations come to show you who you are, where you've grown, how you've changed, where you need to change, where to find your responsibility and how deep the layers of your onion go. The same is true of your best moments. Though it's sometimes hard to remember and realize, both hold the whispers of God and should be equally revered.