Friday, March 22, 2013

3/23/13-3/24/13—Running Like Hell from Girl Scouts

Weekend Reading: Page of Pentacles in the What to Avoid position from Legacy of the Divine and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Because I'm in charge here, I'm going to ignore what the Page of Pentacles really stands for and go with my first gut instinct about this pair. What to Avoid? Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts and their cheery, little, sugar-pushing faces. Their little green skirts. And their badge encrusted sashes. And their high fat, high carb, high calorie Thin Mints and Samoas. And Do Si Dos. Don't forget the Do Si Dos! When you see them moving your way, cross the street. No....release the hounds! Show them who's the boss of YOU!

Whatever temptation crosses your path this weekend, do yourself a favor and avoid it. It might come shamelessly enrobed in coconut and caramel. Or it might be more subtle, like an attitude or behavior you promised yourself you'd stop, but is nonetheless tempting you back into the cycle. Whatever it is for you, think before you act. Is that a trap you really want to fall into after all your hard work?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3/22/13—Learning Lessons the Hard Way

Today's Draw: Three of Swords in the Lesson position from the Legacy of the Divine by Ciro Marchetti and the Deck of 1000 Spreads by me. When you think on the big lessons in your life, do you remember more of the ones you learned through pain more profoundly? Or do you remember more of the lessons you learned through happy moments more profoundly? Is there something you can learn from that?

It's interesting that this combo came up, because I've been thinking lately about the lessons we learn from heartbreak. If you can't tell by the tarot card (and the spectacular way my spread card makes the fractured heart on the cheek pop) that's what this card is about. 

I often debate the value of the lessons we learn from loss vs. the value of the lessons we learn through victory. I will never misspell the word "committee" ever again because it caused me to lose a spelling bee in third grade. I cried just like the girl in the picture there. 

Looking back over my life, the most valuable lessons I've learned have been the tough ones. That doesn't mean we don't learn from the good stuff because we do. Doing something right the first time reinforces that behavior or system and so you repeat it to success time and time again. But when that's the case, it just becomes the way you do it....a repeatable process that ends in success. Not so much a lesson you've learned, but something you figured out on your own. 

But when you learn something the hard way, it becomes somehow more meaningful, more profound. We define it more like a lesson than just a "way". It seems like the higher the price, the more meaningful the lesson, the less likely we are to screw with that particular thing again. Some lessons we just have to learn that way, whether through our own obstinance, lack of awareness or whatever. 

Can you think of a lesson you learned in the past that you didn't need to learn? Can you think of a painful experience you've ever had that didn't bring lessons? I can't. Pain seems to write on us in ways that both knock us to our knees in tears and then, after time, to our knees in gratitude. It is both toxin and tonic. It poisons and purifies. 

The universe never brings us something in error. If we're experiencing pain, it's needed on our path. If we're on a winning streak, it's needed on our path. Everything is brought to us in love, as a means to lift us higher. That's sometimes hard to see in the moment, but always visible in retrospect. The hardest lesson of all—the one that causes the most self-inflicted pain—is to learn is to trust in that. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3/21/13—Exploring the Akashic Records

Today's Draw Classic*: The Ancestor (Hierophant) from the Wildwood Tarot. Do you believe it's possible that all the answers to all the questions you could ever ask are accessible in one way or another? Do you think you might hold those answers within? Are you curious enough to try and find out?

Traditionally known as the Hierophant, this card represents the bearer of spiritual knowledge. This is someone who often preaches dogma or traditional ways of believing. But in the Wildwood, he's known as the Ancestor and speaks of the ancient knowledge carried within our souls. The Ancestor stands at the entrance of the woods, inviting us on a unknown path, through a gateway to a new cycle in our journey. He advises to us to listen to the knowledge within to help guide us forward. It might seem scary to set off on this new path of discovery, but it is actually an honor. The Ancestor will accompany you along the path. 

In the New Age world there is a concept or place called the Akashic Records. It's like the Library of Congress of your soul. Everything that's ever been written on your soul...and everything that ever will on file at the Akashic Records. Some visualize this as a mystical cavern somewhere outside of us, but I like to think of it as something that resides within. According to Wikipedia, it has no fixed address...haha. It's just out there in the ether, defying space and time.

And the Akashic Records doesn't just have all the information about MY soul in it, it has all the information about yours and about everyone and everything that has ever existed in the universe. So you can visit the Akashic Records, pull a file and look at previous lives and future lives and this life. Regardless whether it exists within or outside of us, it's accessible by us all.

I've been to the Akashic Records a couple of times in meditation and have seen some interesting things there. The last time I led some friends on a journey to the Akashic Records I learned a valuable lesson and haven't taken anyone there since, nor have I been there myself, though really more out of a lack of interest than fear. Anyway, I had each person pull a file from a past life, this life and a future life. And a few of the people ended up a little traumatized by what they saw in their future lives. My future life was fine and dandy...haha. But some had more difficult visions and it was a little unsettling to them in the moment. 

Not every "new ager" knows about the Akashic Records and, frankly, probably more people believe in fairies. As far what I believe, my mind's open to the Akashic Records. I mean, I believe we're all connected. I believe the sum total of everything that exists is God and each of us is a part of that. And, in a manner not unlike the synapses and cells in our body, each individual being is in communion with all others...and with the whole. So if I believe that, then it seems logical that there might be a "brain" of the collective, a storage house of knowledge.

But the nice thing about past lives and the Akashic Records and all forms of psychic stuff is that it doesn't really matter whether they're real or not. You can take the information you get from them and see how it applies to your life and it's still useful. Even if you believe it's just random BS. If you keep your mind open to it, and allow the wisdom to flow, who cares where it came from or even if you made it up? If it turns on a lightbulb in your brain, it turns on a lightbulb in your brain.

So I've never decided for myself whether my friends actually saw future lives or whether they saw their fears about their future lives. But really, does it matter? If the insights from that journey didn't come from the Akashic Records, they came from the subconscious. Either way, it's worth taking a look at because both sources carry wisdom. And it won't be Tierney living that future life anyway. It will be the soul within me...the eternal soul. And that lifetime will be a speck in time compared to the lifetime of that soul. So if it's a crappy life, it won't affect the part of me that worries or has fears...the ego. My ego will die with me. And my soul will choose the crappy life on purpose because of the lessons it holds. 

Anyway, I could go on and on about this. But what I really want to get to is this—whether you believe in the Akashic Records or ancestral knowledge or soul memories or whatever, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where the information comes from because it still has worth. So the next time you have a situation in your life that you want insight on, try asking yourself one of the following questions:
  • If I had all the wisdom of the universe readily accessible inside me, what advice would I give myself?
  • If my highest and wisest being answered this question, what would their answer be?
  • If I already knew the solution, what would it be?
  • If I had a feeling about how Situation X was going to turn out, what would I be feeling?
  • If I could see the outcome of Situation X, what would I see?
You don't have to follow the advice you get. But consider that something other than your conscious mind might be talking to you and take the advice under consideration. That's all. You don't even have to ask about anything of any significance. You can ask about how a ballgame you're watching will turn out or which way the car in front of you will turn when they leave the roadway. This can be an excellent way to build intuition if you give it a chance and observe how things turn out. 

*Adapted from a post made on 10/14/11

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/20/13—Channeling Energy

Today's Draw Classic*: 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?

Today's 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 a 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? The 21 Day Meditation Challenge with Chopra and Oprah is a good place to start and it's not too late to join in. Sign up for it at 

*Adapted from a post on 8/23/12

Monday, March 18, 2013

3/19/13—Uncovering What Lays Hidden in the Unconscious

Five of Swords in the Benefits of What is Hidden in the Unconscious position from the Infinite Visions and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are you capable of harming another creature? Could you ever tell a really big lie? Do you know what you're truly capable of?

The Five of Swords is the "win at any and all costs" card. When I first saw this combination, I immediately thought "shadow side". We all have one. And we tend to shove it as far away from our conscious mind as possible in hopes that it being out-of-sight will make it non-existantant. But that never works. And until we bring it out into the light, we'll never know who we really are. And until we know who we really are, we can never fully understand others. 

Every once in a while, something bad will happen. Take Lance Armstrong's lies, for example....his winning at any cost. People get all worked up about it, because they would never do anything like that. Never! Maybe not. But that doesn't mean it's beyond us. 

For example, I'm pretty honest about things. But I can think of times in my life when I've felt cornered and maybe I lied or denied doing something. And I kept the lie going because I got caught in a trap of my own making and was damned if I do and damned if I don't. Fortunately those humiliations drifted away as quickly as they occurred. I wasn't on a national stage with so many coming forward to prove I'd lied. Stubborn as I am, I can see an earlier version of me standing my ground. I wouldn't do this today, but the capability is in me. It's in all of us, whether we've ever done it or not. 

Another example is those awful videos of predators hunting down their prey...the mountain lion going after a deer or something like that. We shudder in horror when the deer is cornered and the lion goes in for the kill, spattering himself in the blood of his prey. But how do you imagine man got food before farming? That's exactly what prehistoric man would do. He'd hunt a mastodon down, trap it, then hack away it until it was dead, body all bloodied from the attack, smelling of a fresh kill. And we'd all do the same if it meant living or dying. That's in us, too. 

Or how about "going postal"? We've all felt stressed and beaten by life and maybe we respond by driving aggressively on the way home, or taking our stress out on a telemarketer. Now imagine that's how your life has been, not for a day or week, but for a much more extended period of time. You'd lose it. We all would. Some of us would internalize it and shut down. Some of us would act out. Maybe we wouldn't kill people over it, but we'd probably do something reckless or feel out of control. We're not beyond taking that extra step.

These are human traits. To say you've never lied is a lie. We've all lied. You may differentiate between a white lie or a lie out of necessity or a lie to save someone's feelings and therefore proclaim your innocence. But you know what a lie is. Lies are lies. And now we know you're not beyond lying, it's really just a matter of the amount of pressure you're under, what's at stake and how much you're in denial before you start telling a lie like the very first lie Lance told about doping. Because, let's face it. The "big lie" was really a series of much smaller lies told over decades...many of which were told to reinforce the first lie. Then once that's told, the second one is easier, the pressure is greater to keep lying. And so on. Sure. You might have made different choices than Lance. Many of us would have. But you're nonetheless *capable* of going down that rabbit hole. Anyone who has ever told even so much as a white lie understands that lies can be justified...if you want to keep from being called a liar. 

See what I'm saying? None of us are going to shoot a classroom full of six year olds. Much of that is due to the fact we don't have serious mental illnesses. But do you understand how small the difference between mental health and mental illness is physiologically? There but for the grace of God and, in some cases, upbringing, accidents and heavy drug use go all of us. We are all *capable*. It's just that most of us are fortunate enough to never meet the circumstances that take us there.

The reason I bring all this up is because when you can shove the ugliness of our humanness into a box in the deep recesses of your unconscious, you never have to admit to being a part of it. It becomes something separate from you that you don't have to deal with. So these "monsters"—the liars, the murderers, the whack jobs and the mountain lions—are a whole other thing from what you are. They're a species capable of hurting others, of following their urges, disrespecting others, acting self important...of being fallible, sick, imperfect in some way...of losing perspective, control. They're not YOU. You'd never do any of that!

But as long as you're in denial about it, you're doing little bits of it every day and justifying it as needed. Little lies, little disrespectings of others, little bursts of anger. Acceptable amounts that keep you within the bounds of being able to justify your horror and judgment of others. Separating yourself from "that other thing" enough that it has nothing to do with you. Then you don't have to take responsibility for it

But if we dared to understand who and what we were at our extremes, maybe we could see our way to work on it as a society. You know, like get people mental help instead of an electric chair. To have compassion for minds so tortured that they kill. To understand how someone can get so caught up in what others think that they would disgrace the legacy they worked an entire life to build. It's a shifting from "how could you?!" to "I'm blessed this wasn't my lot to bear in this lifetime." 

We've spent millennia separating ourselves from "the sinners" and shaming them and how much have we progressed? Denying the "monster within" so we can judge those whose monster is visible isn't working. So hiding the "win at any and all costs" extreme that is part of the human makeup may benefit us in that we can judge others and deny parts of our nature. But the real benefits come when we can pull it out, see it for what it is and accept it. Ironically enough, if we pull out our ugly sides and acknowledge them, we can experience significant personal and spiritual growth through the heightened levels of compassion, love, forgiveness and understanding we're able to reach by seeing ourselves—seeing the humanity—in the ugliness in others.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

3/18/13—Making the Right Choices for Our Bodies

Today's Draw: Seven of Cups from Infinite Visions in the What Your Body Wants You to Know position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you listen to clues from your body, and do you act on them? Are you a good steward of the vessel your soul inhabits? What is your body trying to tell you?

You could also read today's position pair as What to Know About Your Body. Or even What Your Body Needs to Know. However you interpret that, the answer is there are a lot of options available to you—just don't spend so much time mulling over your choices that you do nothing. 

I've written on this blog before about how I've struggled with my weight for most of my life. While I believe that cutting calories and exercising are really the only natural way to lose weight, there are so many possibilities within that, it's mind boggling. What calories do you cut? Fat? Carbs? Do you cut across the board? The right answer is different for different people. 

Then there's exercise. What kind of exercise should you do? What time of day? How long should you do it for? The options are endless. And no answers are wrong. But it's so easy—and convenient—to get into a situation where you think about it a lot and end up doing nothing. I know this because this is where I've been for years. I've basically told myself that anything I do won't be "enough". Meanwhile anything I do will be more than I'm doing now. 

Just looking at these cards, it seems to be saying "your body wants you to know you've become complacent and indifferent." And this can apply to my healthy friends, too. Let's say you're a jogger and you like jogging, but you're not getting the same results from it that you used to. You can vary the lengths of your runs and your venues. You can lengthen your stride. You can do something to shake yourself out of the routine and up the ante on your workouts. You have many options—just don't get so caught up in them that you just continue with the status quo. 

Let's face it. Very few of us will ever make all the right choices for our bodies. Likewise, very few of use will make all the wrong choices. What these cards want is for us to make conscious choices, as opposed to choosing through inaction, because that's a choice, too. And it's not just about diet and exercise. It's about anything you put into your body and anything you do with it, not to mention the vigilance you put into it through doctor visits and whatnot. 

Another element of this is that our bodies try to communicate with us all the time and we need to listen to that, too. My aches are my body's way of saying, "I need more flexibility and exercise." A craving for OJ, which I have now and again is my body asking for added vitamins. Everything from heartburn to loose stools is trying to steer you toward making a different choice. 

A lot of people in the spiritual world tend to have weight and/or health issues. There can be a lot of spiritual reasons—or excuses—for this. For example, some healers might take on some of the health issues of their clients over time. Or some might say holding extra weight is something people do when they otherwise have issues "grounding" themselves. I used the word "excuses" up above, because there are options to circumvent these issues...stronger boundaries, better protective measures, better spiritual techniques. But by not choosing those options, we choose the unhealthy option by default. We're not victim to our spiritual path. 

So I know this combo has come to tell me to "just do it". And to become a more conscious steward of this body. And maybe it's come to tell you something, too, whether you need big tweaks to the choices you make for your body or not. One thing I know from having a 30-year-old spirit trapped in a 70-year-old body at the age of 50 is that if I don't do something about this now, I'll drag my youthful spirit down with me. And I just have too much I need this body to do.