Friday, October 26, 2012

10/27/12-10/28/12—Keeping Your Balance

Weekend Reading: Temperance from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot. This is traditionally known as a card of balance, but it's really more than that. It's about making subtle shifts (rather than significant ones) to bring yourself into alignment. And it's also about alchemy. So if you have too much on your plate this weekend, but have obligated yourself to do it all, make some subtle shifts. Leave one place early. Save the major grocery shopping for next week and just grab enough stuff to get you through the weekend (and the express lane). Vacuum and let the dusting wait for next weekend. The art of alchemy is knowing just how much of each element you need in order to make the perfect blend. Sometimes it's not our obligations that stress us out so much as the lack of boundaries we place around them. So reconsider your schedule this weekend and do enough to meet obligations, but not enough to lose your balance. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/26/12—Standing at the Precipice

Today's Draw: The Fool from the Halloween Tarot by Kipling West. What kind of "risk" causes you anxiety, but you take it anyway? What kind of risk scares you so much you just can never bring yourself to it? And, for extra credit, do you have any phobias?

As we know from the recent Hello Kitty post, there are exceptions to my "no cute tarots" and "no cats allowed" rules. And while I don't consider Kipling's art to break those rules egregiously, she DID create a cat deck. And this Halloween deck is pretty cute. And it's got lots of cats in it. So I guess what it comes down to is that I'm just a Kipling West fan, following her ouiji board designs and other art, too. Beneath all the cute is a lot of irreverent, dirty minded thought. And I like that in an artist. 

So, anyway, with Halloween coming up next week, I thought I'd break out the most famous, best-selling and most popular Halloween deck of all. And, yes, there are others. At least one other specifically themed for Halloween (yet NOT A SINGLE DOG DECK!!!), then a bunch of vampire, zombie and other dark-themed decks. Kipling's deck is so popular that it transcends Halloween, though. It's been reprinted numerous times and, in fact, one of my students uses it as her main deck. 

The Fool is about taking risks and jumping off into the unknown. This got me thinking about this weekend. I'm dressing as a gypsy and doing readings at a party again. I hate dressing in costume. And while I like to read, I go in and out of wanting to do it professionally. But the part that pokes at me the most is being around people. 

This will surprise some because I come across as a total extrovert. But I'm not. Every time I have to be "on" in a crowd produces anxiety for me. Again, I don't think you'd ever know it, because I seem all confident and whatnot. And I've been teaching, for example, long enough that that particular scenario doesn't usually get me going. But sometimes it does. And I do it anyway. And I end up really enjoying it, just like I'm really going to enjoy this party. The people hosting it seem great. 

But being a "people person" is something I had to force myself to learn. I remember the biggest leap into the unknown regarding that was when I was starting out as a freelancer. I forced myself to go to networking events so I could spread my name around a little and meet others. I usually did something awkward, like interrupt a conversation to introduce myself. But those outings ultimately taught me that I could hold my own with the extroverts of the world. 

Then I could come home and crawl back into my hidey hole, deprive myself of light and feel normal again. Like a mushroom. 

So that's just one of the buttons this weekend is pushing. They didn't hire a mushroom. Dressing in costume is another. And there are other anxiety-provoking aspects, too. But here's what I know about this situation in particular—all the anxiety comes in the anticipation of it. The second I'm there, I'll be a veritable factory of glee and psychic readiness. I probably won't even want to leave. This is one of those leaps that, though it makes me nervous, I can handle. 

Something like singing in public, however...that would horrify me. So I feel like I should probably do it again before I die. It's not like I haven't done it before. I was in all the musicals and talent shows in high schools and took voice all through college. I even sang in my brother's wedding, but it's one of those things that just makes me back away from the precipice. I think we need things that bring us to that limit. And I think we sometimes need to force ourselves to leap. Only then can we discover what lies beyond. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/25/12—Taking Responsiblity for the Energy You Bring

Today's Draw Classic*: Two of Tridents from the Undersea Tarot. Are you conscious of the intentions, energies and subtexts beneath the interactions you participate in? Do you take responsibility for the energy you bring to a dynamic? Or have you never considered it before?

This card equates to the Two of Wands, which is about control and strategy and dominion. In the little white book for this deck, it words it as "influence over your surroundings," which made me think of something I heard once. 

Many of you might be familiar with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, who is the neuroanatomist that wrote My Stroke of Insight and gave a TED talk that went uber viral. The story is that she had a stroke that, in conjunction with her existing expertise, helped her and the world better understand what happens during a stroke. One of the side effects of her stroke (based on where the damage happened) is that she now has a greater sense of peace, spirituality and understanding about the energies around her.

While she was in the hospital, without her ability speak and just basically in a bad way, nurses and visitors would come in her room and they might be having a bad day or being negative or sad about her condition and inside of her, she'd be thinking, "hey, I'm doing all I can do to recover here and am being bombarded by the negativity of others." What she wanted, but couldn't say at the time, is "take responsibility for the energy you bring to me."

Taking responsibility starts with being aware...of your mood, of your words and of your intention. Many times people are unaware of these things. But an interaction between two people has two intentions and two energies riding along with it. And our intentions pretty much always have to do with serving ourselves. If you're going to the hospital to comfort a friend, for example, chances are, beneath your desire to comfort your friend is another desire to assuage yourself and your feelings about your friend being sick. If you visit them, you'll feel like a good friend. You won't feel guilty. You'll soothe your feelings of helplessness by trying to help...there are a number of reasons that could run beneath it. 

But bottom line, we don't do things that have no payoff for ourselves. At least we don't do them more than once. So, because we often feel we spend all our time serving others, it's important to understand that we serve them because of what we get out of it. Just that understanding alone can change our perspective the choices we make. And it's also important to understand that your intention comes with an energy attached. For example, if you visit a friend because you feel you have to, the energy will be different than if you really want to be there. And when it comes to energy, whether the other party is attuned to it or not, it has an effect on them.

A number the entries here have to do with being conscious of the way we walk through this world. The reality is, we'll still move through unconsciously much of the time. But the goal is to start becoming aware. In some ways it's like breaking a habit. There will be times you'll conscious of yourself acting in a way that is incongruous with who you are and who you want to be. And you'll keep acting that way anyway. 

The other day I was in a conversation with someone who I consider fairly enlightened, but she was playing the victim about something. And I could tell that halfway through our conversation she realized she wasn't being honest with me or herself. But she kept up the ruse anyway and her responses became lamer and lamer and shorter and shorter until she finally just backed out as gracefully as she could. I didn't confront her about it. Or judge her. I just listened. But I also didn't say anything that supported her self deception. So she knew. And I knew. She *wanted* to feel the way she felt. And hopefully she asked herself why. This is how we move toward toward taking responsibility.

Once you start becoming conscious of your intentions and energies, it becomes harder and harder to deceive yourself. That's both good and bad. Bad because it's humbling and might bring up some pain. Good because it moves you closer to your authentic self. And it all starts with being aware of what you're bringing to those around you and taking responsibility for it. 

Bottom line is we could all use to be kinder and more generous with our intentions. And while we may like to think we're doing it for others and the world, ultimately we're doing it for ourselves. We can come from a place of healing energies, neutral energies or toxic energies. And whichever we choose dictates what kind of energies and chemistries we want running through our veins. 

That doesn't mean you have to let things others do to you slide, rather it means you can confront from a loving, compassionate place or you can do it from it an angry toxic place. A person who acts unconsciously lets the other person decide, because they are reacting to the others' energies. The conscious person stays in the drivers seat by having the presence of mind to take responsibility for their own energies and actions. 

*Repeated from 12/5/11 to add to our energy discussions this week and give me a break after writing for 11 hours straight today. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10/24/12—Applying Dog Logic

Today's Paw: The Sun from the Dog Tarot. Do you feel safe knowing you have a plentiful supply of kibble and water? What do you wish your forever parents would change to make your life easier? Or are you happy with things the way they are?

As I'm sure many of you would think, I should be shaking with pure joy and posting through my tears because I finally have a Dog Tarot in my midst. But I'm really just mildly atwitter. Because it's not a tarot deck. It has 18 Major Barkana cards and 12 Minor Barkana cards. Which means it's nothing like tarot at all. But it's called The Dog Tarot, so that makes it closer to a dog tarot than any other EVER!

*heavy sigh* I have no idea why this is so hard for tarot creators to do. Really, people...8000 cat decks and NO dog decks? *heavy sigh*

Anyway, the thrust behind this deck is that we can use it to read our dogs. Whatever. I was really excited about it because I thought it would be an actual dog tarot, but it's not.

But let's not let that get us down. Because the important news is that The Sun card means your doggie loves you and is happy to have you as a mommy (or daddy)! Hooray!

This is something I've been wondering about a lot lately, because I'm not really sure Mystic is 100% on board at our house. Sometimes I think she's just using this situation to her advantage. Sometimes I think she sees me as the person who was hired to feed her and keep her in water and treats. Whenever I've missed one of my say the water bowl has gone dry...that's when she misbehaves. And I also think she doesn't think it's fair that she has to be crated when I leave and the other dogs don't.

I remember wondering if Magick was on board when she first came here, too. She was a different kind of insane and troublemaking, but still a struggle. There's a lot to be said about adopting dogs that are, like, four years old. The younger dogs are, the more crazymaking they are. Regardless, at any age it takes time for them to settle in, get used to house rules and bond.

But with Magick I learned something interesting. The dog will commit when you commit. They'll come on board when you come on board. They'll let down their walls when you do. So clearly I have some work to do. I mean, I'm committed to her forever. That's not a question. I take that responsibility seriously. But that's a responsibility commitment. It takes some time to develop the "I will love you like I birthed you from my own loins" commitment. It's inevitable that's going to happen, but it hasn't happened yet.

And it doesn't make it easier when I go out in my back yard and find my plants knocked over and my planters with holes in them that are suspiciously the size of puppy fangs. Sometimes she finds water in the bottom of the planters. And the water bowl was dry. I'm usually on top of these things, but sometimes I fail.

That's another thing Magick, in particular, taught me. There's usually a behavior of mine that I can change, instead of expecting the dog to change. With Magick, it was easy to keep her from chewing shoes when I put a baby gate between her and all the footwear. Likewise, if I make sure the well never runs dry, after a few months of plentiful water, Mystic probably won't freak if it ever goes dry. She still doesn't know I'm her forever mommy. She still doesn't know she no longer needs her scavenging skills. She still doesn't know that her life has changed forever. It all comes with time.

Applying dog logic to your life, what might the people in your life not know about the security they have with you? What behavior can you change, rather than expecting someone else to change? What would happen if you hopped "on board" first, rather than waiting for someone else to?

Monday, October 22, 2012

8/23/12—Channeling Energy

Today's Draw: Princess of Wands from the Rohrig Tarot. Do you often forget that there's an unlimited source of healing and energy for you to access? What is your practice for drawing that energy in? What do you most need to channel right now?

While yesterday's post was about the sending and receiving of energy between humans, this card illustrates the energy exchange between humans and "source", most specifically the receipt of that energy.

The words on this card include optimism and new beginnings. And the tiger in her hair is meant to signify sexual passions. But the crystal that's channeling light, along with two other phrases on the card—"enlarged perception" and "setting aside fear"—make me think of that channel that's always available to us to us from source. 

In one of the many Oprah/Iyanla shows I watch, one of them said something about how, if you have faith, you can't have fear. Think about it. It's true. Faith is the absence of fear. Faith puts trust where fear used to be. 

So how you do channel faith to replace your fear? Well, you could get nekkid in a G-string, arch your back and put a long, phallic crystal at your third eye, like the chick in the picture. Or another, more socially responsible way, would be to close your eyes and imagine a white light coming in from above into the crown of your head and down through your body. When you surround yourself in God's light like that, life feels safer. 

But what is really going to get you past fear is making a decision to believe in the notion that God brings you just what you need to fulfill your purpose here on earth. That everything is a lesson. There is no wasted experience. You are not brought to the edge of a precipice it wouldn't serve you to leap from. And there is a plan in place to serve your highest good and you can't possibly thwart it. Once you agree to that, then you just need to stop yourself every time you have a fearful thought and remind yourself of your commitment to that notion. 

But the lady in this picture isn't just channeling faith, she's channeling energy, too. And that's something I often forget...that I can replenish at any time, simply by surrounding myself in light and receiving it. Whether you call it God, source, the light or something else, when you draw that energy into you, it has significant powers to help you overcome fear, access energy, and heal yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally. That's why so many call it simply "source". 

When I get done writing this, I think I'll channel a little peace and contentment. How about you?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/22/12—Turning Energy Off and On

Today's Draw: Madrone of Coils from the Ironwing Tarot. To what extent do the energies of those around you affect you? Have you ever taken stock of how much your energies affect others? Do you know turn your empathic abilities on and off as needed?

The Ironwing is one of those decks you can't translate to traditional RWS suits or meanings. She is a court card. And she is water on water, which means she's all about the emotions and relating. The sea turtle speaks of her ability to swim any ocean and dive to any depth. Her shell reflects the swirling lights of the night sky. She can connect to and feel everything. 

Most of us know that as the description of an empath. I'm guessing many who read this blog are empaths...people who can sense and feel the pain and joy of others. I sometimes have have difficulty in crowds because I feel overwhelmed by "input". While not something I've ever worked on or developed, I feel like I can embody another person and "read" them from the inside out. This is something I very rarely do, though, because I think it's intrusive and just really not something I'm interested in. 

A couple of months ago I went to a conference and a woman pulled me aside and said, "did you know you're a projective empath?" I had never heard the term before, but it's a person who projects their emotions outward so that others can feel them. Well, in that case, yes I did know...haha. I just thought I was "dramatic". But what it really is is someone who can both send and receive effectively. 

I've often said that people love to be around me when I'm happy, but not when I'm sad. In fact, I've attracted a number of people in the past who were "fair weather friends"...friends who like to be around when my energy can lift theirs, but who disappear when I'm the one who can use the boost. These are people who are always set on "receive" and don't have the control over their inner antennae to flip the switch to "low" or "off" so they can be there for others. Ultimately they just offer half of themselves to others and hope it's enough. For a long time it was enough for me, but the more this side of me develops, the more I need energy to flow both ways. 

Likewise, I've also come across people who are closed all the time...whose switch is perpetually at "low" or "off". And the interesting thing about those people is that they're usually closed around some shade of sadness. So these are people you know who rarely smile, complain a lot and have low emotional energy, despite how much physical energy they may have. A lot of times when we're depressed we close our receptors in order to protect ourselves, but these are people who are always closed. And, if not depressed, they're energetically dim/dull most of the time. 

While you might call them under-feelers, I'm an over-feeler. But the spectrum between the two isn't as wide as you might think. It's really all about what you project, what you receive and how well you're able to limit the two things. 

I think I've gotten good at "receiving" the energies of others in a measured, conscious and controlled way. So it's easier for me to be in crowds than it used to be. I bounce back quickly from being around someone who's down in the dumps. And I can use the "gift" for focused purposes. Sure, sometimes my door isn't solidly closed or consciously open, but I'm so much better at absorbing anything and everything floating around out there than I used to be. 

I don't think I have as much control over "sending", however, and this is something I've been thinking about ever since that woman said that to me. Although I knew my emotions affected others more than "normal", I had never thought of it in quite that way before. There were times in the past where I was sad and tried to cover it up...unsuccessfully. So it's not like I haven't tried. And I haven't quite hit on too many situations where I would want to turn it off or tone it down yet. So I don't yet have the command and maturity over the toggle switch that I have on receiving. 

There is a responsibility that comes with these empathic abilities, I think. There's a moral obligation to use them for good and not to use them to manipulate others or intrude on their privacy. And there's a personal responsibility to be aware of them and learn to use them so that you're not open all the time, not projecting all the time and not closed all the you can effect a balanced flow of energy to those around you. 

You may have not even been aware of your abilities or the way they affect others until this post. I wasn't fully aware of what I was doing until that woman told me about the projective empath thing. Like any other "type" I suppose it has its positive and negative attributes. Now being more aware of what it's all about, I can learn how to toggle in a way that serves me and those around me best. Where are you in all of this?