Thursday, October 17, 2013

10/18/13—Journeying To A Past Life

Today's Draw Classic*: Judgment/Petrified Wood in the 12th House from Rachel Mann's Arcana Stones. Have you ever had a past-life regression? Assuming you believe, have you ever daydreamed about what one of your past lives might have been? What are some of the interests you have in your current life that might shed clues as to a past one?

Petrified wood is a compelling stone to me. "Petrified" comes from the Greek petro, meaning stone. So "petrified wood" literally means "rock turned to stone". Over time the cellulose in the rock breaks down and gets replaced by minerals such as quartz, while still retaining its look. If you were to hold the piece to the right in my picture in your hand, it would be a precise representation of what it looked like when it was wood. Only now it's stone. And heavier.

But that's not what fascinates me about petrified wood. See that oval shape at the lower middle of the sphere? That's called a window or a portal. And if you meditate on it, you might get swept down the long tunnel into a past life. If you believe in that sort of thing, that is.

Petrified Wood corresponds to the Judgment card in this oracle and the Judgment card is about rebirth. So that fits into the past-life theme. As does the 12th House, which is the last house before you get born again. So essentially we got the past life stone in the past life house of the zodiac. So we're ending our journey-themed week with past life journeys.

Many years ago I attended a past life regression with a woman who is known for regressing Civil War reenactor types. See, sometimes our hobbies and interests are this-life clues to our past lives. Other clues might be a style of music you like, a style of clothing, a period, place or art, architecture or literature...any fascination or odd connection with another era.

Anyway, this past life regression woman would often guide these guys through their past lives to come up with names. Then they would research those names and what do you know? They find the soldier they once were!

So the night before the regression with this woman I thought of all the possibilities and eras. And what happened the next day surprised me. It turned out I was a sheriff in a Wild West town who got shot in a duel. This immediately set my bullshit meter off. I mean, how many people actually got shot in duels?

The regression took me through all areas of the sheriff's life...his home life and professional life, his hobbies and, finally, his death. Let's just say he thought a lot of himself, was not well liked and his funeral was not well attended. Then we followed his soul as it went up into the ethers to meet his guides and ask what lessons he was supposed to learn and they said, "Let. Love. Live." So he needed to learn to "let" or allow because he was too controlling. He needed to love because he was too self-centered and dispassionate. And he needed to live because he just had too many rules for his life.

Like I said, this was a long time ago, back near the beginning of my spiritual journey. So I didn't know what to make of this. Was it real? Or not? Finally, I decided it really didn't matter. Whether it was real or a dream-like metaphor, the message was still profound. Chances are I've had a couple of lives between then and now, but I see how those three things are things I'm still working on. And, really, it's a universal message we can all learn from. I can't tell you how many times in the past, say, 25 years I've thought of that lesson.

Since then, I've done other past-life regressions and Akashic records (entire soul history, past and future) meditations, spirit guide meditations, shamanic name it. And each time I've emerged with highly relevant and revealing insights. I do believe we've had past lives and I do believe they are recorded in our soul memories.

I'm still not sure about being that sheriff, but other journeys I have been on since feel more correct to me...some sort of priestess in ancient Rome, an early man who died of starvation, a woods-dwelling woman with way too many children. And we don't always come to this earth or take human form. I imagine in the spaceless, timeless world of the soul, we could even live parallel lives on other planes. There are many ways to reincarnate. So it's interesting to think about, no? And even if it's not rea, the choices the subconscious makes in concocting these visions are very revealing—even healing in terms of understanding phobias and bad habits, etc.

If you ever have a chance to do this kind of journeying, I recommend it. Basically you just go through a guided meditation and visualize your past life. Maybe you're accessing your timeless self, maybe you're using your imagination, who knows? It really doesn't matter. It's the insights that come from it that are important. If your mind is making it up, then that reveals something in and of itself.

Assuming you're mentally healthy, you can buy CDs on Amazon. You don't have to spend the money to go to a professional, though you may have a stronger journey. The professional is there to help manage your experience in case you have a particularly bad past-life journey. And some people find it easier to slip into a subconscious state in a clinical setting. Many past-life regressions will have you witness your past-life death, too, so some may find that disturbing. But my experiences have not been disturbing at all.

Or, if you prefer, you could always choose a shamanic journey where you meet your power animal or a journey to meet your angels or spirit guides. Our subconscious holds so many clues to the things that dog us throughout our lives. Why not get swept down its long tunnel and see what it holds?

*From  7/27/12

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10/17/13—Remembering Who We Are

Today's Draw Classic*: The Dancer/Water from Tarot of the Sidhe from Emily Carding. Do you ever think of yourself as a spirit having a human experience? If so, how much of you is spirit and how much of is human while you're here? And do you think your spirit ever misses being spirit?

So I have this thing where I cry when I'm watching TV. I cry at Secret Millionaire when the millionaire has that moment when they change from "I'm really rich and want to give money to poor people on TV" to "these poor people are better people than me and I'm humbled." I cry on America's Got Talent when someone gives a performance that is clearly channeled from God. I cry on Shark Tank when someone gets a good funding deal for their brilliant invention. I watch every week and cry and cry and cry.  

Introspective person that I am, it drives me crazy WHY I cry. Is it because I'm a sap? I don't really think so. Is it because I sit on my arse watching TV while those people are out there actually doing things? Well, no. I manage to run my own freelance business, teach twice a month, do some professional tarot reading and write books on the side. So it's always vexed me. Why?

Well, today I think I found the answer from a conversation I was having with an old colleague of mine. And also from today's card. The Dancer is connected to the universe. To the sun and moon. To earth, water, air and fire. To the rhythms and cycles of the universe. Like the water from which she arose, her spirit conforms to fit its container. She is in the world, but not of this world. There is more to her universal connection than meets the eye.

Being human means forgetting who you are. We let our bodies define us and our boundaries. We let our minds define what is possible. And we forget that we are spirits having a human experience. We forget that we are spirits, born of the god energy, at one with all that is.

Based on that, I've decided why I cry. I cry because, in those moments, those people are operating as spirit in human form. If even just for that split moment, they've remembered who they are and its as if their body disappears and their spirit comes through. I cry, not so much because they've remembered, though, but because I recognize them. I remember who I am through them. Perhaps not consciously, but on a spirit level.

When we hop into a body with an ego and all of that, we become an individual. We don a personality. And we tell ourselves we are different from the person next to us. But in spirit form, there is only one...we are all part of the one. It's as if we pinch ourselves off from that whole when we become human.

We walk the spiritual path to find our way back. We seek that reunion and catch longer and longer glimpses of it, but we inevitably return back to remembering that we're here to have that human experience, with all the stresses and frustrations and separation that comes with it. The older souls may be able to experience more oneness here on earth, but they're also cursed with the wisdom of knowing that spirit...that just part of who we are when we're here.

Like the lady in the card, we're spirit, we're human, we're everything at once. That's the part of our journey the cards want us to consider today.

So I'm thinking maybe when I see people having moments where they step into their highest selves, I remember. I recognize them as myself, from when we were the whole. And I miss that iteration of me that didn't have to remember because I was always there.

*From 7/26/12

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10/16/13—Coming Home

Today's Draw Classic*: Island of the Falcon from the Celtic Book of the Dead. When you've been away on a trip, what do you see, smell, hear or sense on the return trip that tells you "home is near"? Do you feel like you energetically connect to your home before you arrive there? And what about your soul's home...what do you suppose it sees when it's time to return to the place from whence it came?

The Celtic Book of the Dead is a story about a hero's oceanic quest in search of the otherworld. Through his journey, he encounters 33 islands, each of which delivers a lesson through mystical creatures and experiences. As the hero approaches the Island of the Falcon, he sees a familiar creature—an Irish falcon—giving him comfort that he is nearing home. Indeed, the Island of the Falcon is the last island on the trip. 

The story of the Island of the Falcon comes to tell us that whenever we've been on a mystical or spiritual trip, it's important to reground ourselves back in our everyday existence and reconnect with our purpose on the way back home, otherwise we may fall prey to cruel reality when arrive. The book says all journeys ends are marked by some landmark or familiar symbol to help us do just that. It's also a way of assimilating all we've experienced during our time away. 

In human terms, this is like when I come home from the mountains. I'm out in the country and I don't have to work. I don't have to be anywhere or do anything. Everything moves slowly. I live a different version of my life for a short time. Somewhere along my trip home, usually when I hit the first major highway (and nearly get sideswiped by a car doing 95 in the slow lane), I start "coming home" in my body, mind and soul. 

When I've just been gone for a few hours, there's a layer of "arrival" I experience when I get within a mile or so of my home. That's when I tune into my waiting dogs and get anxious to see them. Anytime I'm away from my physical home, I feel an urging to get back. Since I work at home, leaving the nest isn't an everyday thing, so I'm very connected to the comfort of this space.

The phenomena works the same in the opposite direction. On my way out to the mountains, for example, I leave my everyday world and feel the energy shift when I exit from the major highway and hit the one-lane roads. There's an imaginary line you cross when you leave the dense energy of the metropolitan area and start hitting the lighter energy of the countryside. It's something you can feel physically, psychically, emotionally...every which way.

I'm guessing we all know what I'm talking about and all know that landmark or symbol that "brings us home". But since we're talking about bigger journeys this week, so I'm about to get all heavy on you. What do you suppose is the first thing you see when your soul makes its journey home after you die? Most people report a white light or tunnel. Do you think that's the landmark or symbol your soul recognizes as a cue to reground itself in spirit energy? Or do you think it's something else?

What might be even a harder question, though, is what do you suppose your soul saw on the way to inhabit your body before you came here? What might it have seen, felt or experienced to say "OK, it's time to ground myself in earth energy and be a human again"? And what if your soul has never been to earth before? What might be a more universal symbol that gave it the cue to prepare to take form?

The book for this oracle says the landmarks of your physical home are also the landmarks of your spiritual home. So what might those landmarks be?

*From 7/25/12

Monday, October 14, 2013

10/15/13 —Choosing Your Life Before You're Born

Today's Draw Classic*: The Life We Long Ago Chose from Illuminate! Life Journey Cards by Linda Clayton, Part 2. Do you believe it's possible you chose exactly the life you're living long before you were even born? Why might you have chosen this life, with both its struggles and its gifts? What did your soul come here to learn?

What I'm going to talk about today is something not everyone is going to believe in. But it's something that's interesting to consider nonetheless. It requires believing we all have souls that may have been alive as humans before.

People who believe in souls generally believe that the soul comes to earth in human form to learn lessons for its own growth and/or healing. If that sounds like a reasonable belief to you, then it's not far off to consider that your soul (or some other force) might have a hand in choosing the lessons it would learn while in your body in this lifetime. I mean, they don't just come down here to learn a lesson-free life, right? That would boring. And, besides, have you ever met anyone who had nothing to learn in their lifetime? Of course not. So it's logical to assume that souls might come down here with some sort of agenda or lesson plan to complete.

Looking at the image above, imagine you're the soul on the right and you're just about to travel down into some lady's pregnant belly and be born on the earth plane. What happened in the moments before you made your journey? What agreements did you make? What lesson did you say you were willing to learn? What tradeoffs were you willing to make to learn those lessons? And what lessons did you NOT come down to learn? What was that "life you long ago chose?"

For example, I don't think I came here to learn any lessons about poverty. I'm by no means well off, but I've got a life I'm very comfortable with. I've been like that every day of my life and there's no reason for me to believe that won't continue. My situation may not be enough for a lot of people—I'm not someone who's into extravagant things, so I don't require as much as someone who is. I can easily live without the things I can't afford. I don't overspend. And when things are a little tight, money or opportunity always shows up for me. So struggling over monetary or material concerns doesn't seem to be on my list this time around.

But what might be on my list is learning different avenues to love beyond the romantic form. Romantic relationships haven't worked out well for me in the past, meaning the cost felt greater than the value received. The longest relationship I've had was just shy of two years. After that, you can count the string of others in months apiece.

I just don't think I'm made for it, frankly. I like men. I enjoy sex. But some key ingredient in having a good, solid relationship with a man eludes me. It's probably because I'm a loner at heart. And I don't want to be tied down to anything that might limit my options. I'm sure most people don't see love in that way, but I do. And even though the highs of life are higher when I'm coupled than when I'm not (and, I might add, the lows are lower), overall I'm happier without a man in my life. I'm more balanced. I'm more "me".

That said, I feel more love in my life the way it is now than I've ever received from being coupled. I pour my own love into my dogs and my work and my dreams and hobbies and friends. And all of that gives right back to me in palpable ways. I believe that, because I'm not dependent on—or distracted by—the dynamics of romantic love, I've become more attuned to some of these other forms. In short, I'm not missing anything in the love department, and looking around me, I thoroughly believe I experience more love on a daily basis than the average person does. It's just not romantic love.

And let me clear here...I fully acknowledge that other peoples' experiences of romantic love are different than mine. For some people the dynamics are effortless. For others, being alone leaves them feeling like something's missing. I get that and I'm not making comment on others' choices. I'm just speaking of my experience and what I have and haven't come here to learn. Self-reliance, finding new avenues to love, feeling okay with being different in that regard—all of these are things I'm here to learn.

Which brings me around to say it hasn't always been easy. It's hard when every decision rests firmly on your shoulders. And trust me, my choices are frequently misunderstood. People think I'm asexual or a lesbian or afraid or have never experienced love. For most people, being the way I am is outside their frame of reference. Either they think something's wrong with me or they're convinced I'm unhappy.

So another lesson I've come to learn is allowing others to feel and think whatever they want about me in this move beyond the ego need of fitting in to others' ideas of how I should be. Truth is, when I meet a man who can add more than he subtracts in my life, I'll be happy to meet him. But in the meantime, I've built a nice nest o'luv for myself through other means. So nice in fact, I'm not motivated to go looking for him. And because like attracts like, he's probably not looking for me either. And we're good with that. ;)

Anyway, those are just a few of the lessons and tradeoffs I figure my soul might have made before coming to earth. Thinking this way works for me, because I figure if we made an agreement about something before coming here, then we might be more agreeable to the things we just can't seem to try to figure out.

Entertaining this line of thought is great for introspection, but it's also interesting to consider when you look back over the life of someone you've loved who has now passed on. From that final perspective, it's interesting to see how their entire life might have led to that final moment. We all have a story like that...a trajectory upon which our life moves. Sure it may all be random. And there may be no such thing as soul or an agreement or a past or future life. But whether you believe in that or not, musing over the "life you long ago chose" in this manner can teach you a lot about the life you're choosing now.

*From 7/24/12

Sunday, October 13, 2013

10/14/13—Choosing Different

Today's Draw: The Life We Long Ago Chose from Illuminate! Life Journey Cards by Linda Clayton, Part 1. Is there a choice you made a while back that you thought you could honor, but now you've changed your mind? Do you think couples can or should promise forever, or is that part of marriage unrealistic? When it comes down to a choice, would you rather choose to honor a previous commitment or would you rather choose your future happiness?

You might have noticed that I use this deck every few weeks. I'll tell you why. I'm a very verbal person and the phrases on the cards are very evocative for me. This card in particular made me think of a couple of "big things", so I'm doing this card in two parts. I'm not sure if I have a theme this week or not. We'll try for "Looking Back" week—things from our past, including past lives—and see what comes up.

So the card depicts a group of people and the person on the far right seems to be falling away from the pack. This can happen with people and also with things and dreams and other stuff that once worked for us. For example, very few of the people I was friends with in my 30s are still in my life. I changed or they changed. Whatever happened, the life I long ago chose is no longer the life I choose.

A bigger example of this is seen in my career as a performer. I know you're all thinking, "huh? A performer?" But if you knew me from, say, 12-22, that's how you'd know me. I was in all my school plays and musicals. I was in all the talent shows. And I studied voice and theater throughout college.

Acting and singing were huge passions of mine. In fact, I wanted desperately to go to a performing arts school at one point and my parents wouldn't let me. By the time they came around to my way of thinking, however, I had seen the wisdom of their choice and decided to stay in the school I was in.

While I was always a writer, back then I was writing for performance. In fact, I won a national award for a play I wrote in college. Up until just before my 22nd birthday, the whole advertising thing, while something I really enjoyed and earned my degree in, was merely a good fall back in case my acting career didn't pay off.

It sounds so foreign to me just writing those words right now. By the time I did graduate from college, I was full-on advertising and have had that passion ever since. But back up to really my last semester of college, I was still entertaining thoughts of the footlights. The desire for that had been slowly slipping over time, but it was still there.

So what happened? I've asked myself that a number of times. And while I can cite certain things that disillusioned me, the real reason is that the life I long ago chose was no longer the life I was choosing. It's as simple as that. Something that I thought was going to be my life, ended up being something I would set down and never revisit again. I never acted again after I left college. And I only sang in public once more after my brother's wedding.

Whether the life you long ago chose is with a man you now cannot stand, or whether it's your career, friends, or even sexuality that no longer fits, it's OK. We are both amazingly adaptable and changeable creatures. There are some things that will never change. I'll always be dramatic and expressive, I just won't give voice to those qualities in the same way.

There's this thing in society that says once you've chosen a direction you need to stick with it. You've chosen this man, so you have to stay with him for better or for worse. You've chosen this career, so you have to work in it until you retire. But all of that is BS. We change. We grow. We change our minds. And to deny ourselves the room to change and grow and explore our constantly evolving selves, is like leaving a seedling in its little seedling pot. Either you give it the room it needs to grow, or it will just wither away and die.

Is there something in your life that you once enthusiastically chose that you just can't tolerate any longer?

*From 7/23/12