Ripples on the Ocean

So, I was unable to get a post out last week which means that you get two posts this week!

First off, let’s talk about staying flexible in the middle of your practice!  After all this talk of “staying in the present” and no future/no past in your oracle readings, a very interesting video came across my “virtual desk.”  As these things often happen the minute you try to solidify an approach, this video, from Eckhart Tolle, talks about the mindset needed when you engage planning and looking to the Future.  Not only that, further along at the 4:35 mark, he talks about the importance of reviewing your Past.  In all of this he talks about the mindset necessary to NOT get off track of where you are in the Present.

All in all, a very helpful teaching.  It was if the Universe, as a beneficial instructor, was adding a bit of commentary to everything I had said previously.  As if to say, “Well, you’ve ALMOST got it right.  Now, add this into your recipe…”

Take the things I have said previously and give yourself the gift of thirteen minutes to watch the video.  Go get a coffee, or a tea and a snack.  He says it all a lot better than I ever could!

So, then, how do we apply this into readings?  I could jokingly say, “very carefully.”  However, in review, the key concept is not to fall out of balance with your Mind and your thoughts (which is what I was saying originally.)

What I have to correct is my early feelings that the Future and the Past are dangerous tools of the Ego.  Well, they are BUT I believe it could be better said that they are dangerous tools if you let them stay in the power of the Ego.  Otherwise, they are simply tools.  A hammer is a dangerous weapon if placed in the wrong hands but an amazing and effective tool if used properly and then placed back in the toolbox.  So, yes, I am correcting things from my previous statements.

We CAN use the Past and Future in our readings.  See, flexibility in practice.  The key, after watching the video, is not making them overly important!

Now, again, this gets tricky if you draw a card that is overly dire for the Future spot!  The wisdom we can apply here comes in at the 6:20 mark where he talks about how projected outcomes no longer effect who you are in the Now.  He goes on to offer some very powerful wisdom over the next minute or so and I’ll simply let you listen to it, gain what you need from it.  After the 9:00 minute mark it tends to get off the mark but watch it till the end for the absolute joy of watching him come THIS close to to dropping the F-bomb.

So, where does that leave me?  Well, to be honest, it leaves me at a point of being happily derailed.  Perhaps this is why I did not post last week because I’ve been processing the information?  I still feel very strongly about the Past and Future placements being illusionary but I feel that with this new information they can now be used sparingly and with caution.

More to come later this week as I try to put together a spread that captures this new information.

 

 


The Tarot of Now

In my previous post I spoke about doing card readings with no sense of past or future, using the cards to get advice on a subject while staying as much in the present as possible.  This was inspired in me after reading Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now.”  If you are new to this, I recommend checking out that post to get my full thoughts.  This concept took me several weeks to get my brain around due to habit and good, old-fashioned stubbornness of wanting a timeline.  I simply had the hardest time letting go of concepts of Past and Future when doing a reading!

For this post I’m going to talk about a simple one card reading with no talk of “spreads” or placements.  A lot of it could be considered pretty basic, simple steps to a reading.  It’s funny how we always come back to the simple things, isn’t it?  If you’re a more advanced reader I imagine the next few paragraphs may be boring…

Let’s get started.

The first thing necessary is to quiet your mind and gain a sense of Being.  Isn’t that what is recommended before every single kind of divination and energy practice in all of existence?  Gosh, I wonder why that is?   Regardless, it is not as difficult as it sounds.  Remember what I said about returning to simple things?  We seem to think that getting connected to that sense of Being needs to be complicated.  This is simply the Ego trying to make something more complicated because by doing so it makes it more important, right?  It is, in actuality, not complicated at all.  I often use one or two of the practices offered in Tolle’s book and I’ll cover my favorites very briefly.

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The Then, There and Now of Divination

As it should be obvious by now, I’ve been interested in  oracles and divination systems for a long time.  I’ve worked with them for so long they have become a central part of my daily life.  One of the first concepts anyone who studies divination learns to work with is the basic, 3 card Past, Present and Future spread.  Matter of fact, it becomes a foundation of any reading from there on out.  It takes different forms.

“What I need to know from the past?”
“What experience from the past is influencing the issue now?”
“What can I expect of the issue in the future?”
“What should I know a month from now?”

It is, after all, what oracles are for, right?  They are there so you can learn about things in advance, so you can prepare for them, right?  Right?

You take those three ideas, Past, Present and Future and, as you become skilled, you build a reading around them with other questions or ideas in order to get a clearer “image” of the issue.  Those three questions became a tripod of support for nearly all the work I’ve done with divination in all it’s myriad forms.  I’ve done it this way since I picked up my first rune stones.

You can imagine the upset to things in my sandbox when Eckhart Tolle came along with new wisdom and kicked over the Past and the Present and informed me they carried no weight! No matter what the cards might say those sections of past and future simply did not exist.  The cards and the moments of Past and Future were simply illusions, curtains of the Ego.

I might have dismissed his information simply out of habit or out of a deep set sense of Ego, of not wanting to, in effect, “start over” or “be wrong.”  Matter of fact, I know I would have done all of this if not for the fact that almost immediately it was proven to me he was right.  The Present is all we have AND all we will EVER have.  It is hard, simple, elegant, and sacred Truth.

So, what is someone like me to do when they’ve built up a skill set with tools based around the principles of Past and, more importantly, Future?  The cards still exist.  I still have a connection to them.  I cannot ignore the experiences I have had with them, the deep conversations and insights gained.  Yet, if one is going to stay in the Present what is the point of divination?  Trust me, I came around to the answer but first, an example.

10swordsHow many times has the following occurred to you as a reader or as someone who has had a reading?  Let’s say it’s the weekend and you are doing a reading to see ahead to an upcoming week.  You are using the Tarot.  The deck you are using is very good or perhaps the reader you’ve been consulting is very accurate.  You feel connected and in sync and you shuffle.  You draw a card for the past and it seems very spot on.  Your card for the Present is something pleasant like, say, 4 of Wands.  You’re starting to get psyched up for the week, right?  Then, for the future card, you draw the Tower or, perhaps, the 10 of Swords.  Uh-Oh!

Quick, damage control!  red Alert!  Maybe you draw a card or two to get a better angle on what might happen?  What will help me?  How can I alleviate things?  How can I avoid the lightning blast of the Tower?  Oh, sure, the first of the week looks good with that 4 of Wands but what is going to happen at the end of the week?  As the week progresses you walk on eggshells. You’re constantly on guard and alert for the results of that card.

In the meantime, what has happened to being connected and, more importantly, the faith of that connection?  The minute you see the negative card in relationship to the Future what happens to your energy? To being in a receptive state?

Maybe you get to the end of the week and nothing happens or if something does it’s minor like an argument with a co-worker that makes you rethink your job?  Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it?  Or, maybe, the Tower does happen.  Now what?  Did it help to know in advance? Possibly.  Did it help to waste all that energy looking for it to happen?  Did it help prove anything?  Were you REALLY any better off to handle the situation while worked up to a fever pitch of anxiety?  Perhaps you over-reacted to the situation because you were on edge in the first place?

A similar scenario can be played out when looking at a Past card to a present issue.  Does a Past card bring up those memories of being hurt?  Of betrayal?  Does it trigger an emotional response that perhaps give you focus but more often than not brings up anxiety and possibly even a sense of pain or vengeance?  Not necessarily healthy, right?

With this example I’m pointing out the crux of the problem I have been working on.  As I said previously, the Past and the Future are illusions and, honestly, they have a way of causing trouble.  Is it possible to even continue working with an oracle if one removes the Past and the Future from the equation?

The short answer is, of course, “Yes.”

The idea of this is new to me (and I’m still proceeding slowly through it) but it comes down to this for me.   Prognostication needs to be cautioned against, observed and, if possible, removed from any layout.   The other curveball?  Oracles should be used as a conversation on the present issue in the present tense.  Everything else needs to be carefully watched for too much connection to either past or future issues.

DocBrownTime

Due to the numerous habits I’ve built while working with oracles, this is both easy and difficult to do.  For instance, my Questing Path Spread breaks down as it relies heavily on what is going to transpire as you move forward in time.  On the other hand, my Triskelion spread does not use any sense of time and, instead, talks about and interconnects three related subjects with no sense of past or present. (A spread I think I will be going back and revisiting soon.)

Needless to say, this has been a large turning point for my work with oracles.  One of the reasons why I was not posting here is because I was trying to work through this very issue over the past month or so.  As I did, I worked on using the cards from the single vantage point of the Present.  The oracles were used as conversations but with no sense of “how will things work out” or “What thing from the past is causing problems now.”  All of that has been removed.  The result?  A reduction in stress when a negative card pops up and an amazing amount of clarity in the readings.

There are two components to this style of reading.  The obvious one is no placements in the spread for Past or Future.  The less obvious one is the question being asked!  I no longer ask, “What do I need to know about Issue X in a month?”, “How will the project idea work out?” or “What does my upcoming Summer look like.”  I avoid those questions all together.

The Future, I am finding, will take care of itself.

The idea is to have a conversation with the cards while, at the same time, being very aware and careful of the trickiness of your Ego who, by the way, absolutely adores the Past and the Future and essentially cannot function without it.  They are, in effect, the Ego’s playground.

In my next post, I’ll be going through a full reading with these new ideas fully in play and hopefully illustrate what I am talking about further.  In the meantime, I would like to hear your thoughts on the ideas presented. Can oracles function without using any sort of time stamp?  Also, give it a go yourself.  Do a reading with no placement for Past or Future, just what “is” and let me know your results!


A Decision at Imbolc

Saint_Brigid's_crossIt took me a while but I’ve learned that the more simple you keep a project the better chance it has of getting done.  As the new calendar year gets underway, I’ve decided that I want to be posting at least weekly to this blog.  One a week, whether I have something to say or not!   Hopefully, I can follow through with it.  I had hoped to start this in January but it was not to be as life and things in transition kept getting in the way.  However, it’s Imbolc and I’m hoping to leverage some of the fire of the day to rejuvenate things here.

From here on out, expect a post from me at least once a week.

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Consider this a bonus post as I already have a post lined up for this week in addition to this one.

The end of the year/ beginning of the year was a huge deal for me.  After completing the last Questing Path on the Winter Solstice, I found myself knee deep in manifestation with not only a new job but a new outlook on life which then spilled over to my work with Earth energy, the divine and my divination tools.  I know, I mentioned this all before in my last post but now that the new year is underway and the insanity of transitioning between jobs over the holiday season is over, I want to go a bit deeper and explain what I’m talking about.

In a typical moment of synchronicity, I was referred by a dear friend to a book in late November.  (I believe it synched up very nicely with a few other things and combined together to be the Pole Star from my last Questing Path spread.)  I mentioned in the last post that this book basically worked as a “key in a lock” for me.  You’ve probably heard of the book and possibly even passed it by.  “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  Within it, Tolle speaks of the present moment and that it is the ONLY real thing you have to work with it.  It speaks of the overly active mind, the Ego and coming into awareness of not only  the Present but what I will call a divine power within that moment.  He calls it “Being.”

Tolle Plaque
Going through November, my mind was at an all time peak of overexertion.  I had fallen prey to some pretty dire thinking as I struggled in my previous job.  I was waking in the middle of the night due to stress, finding myself caught in waves of depressive thinking.  The book was a perfect recommendation and I devoured it.  Within days of reading it,  practicing it, and combined with my previous three decades of knowledge and experience, I began to gain solid footing on this dark, grimy way of thinking that had started to get a grip on me over the past year and a half.  I also began to have intense experiences which took me up to and through the Winter Solstice.  It was if my whole life I had been doing sacred dances around a fire, sometimes leaping through it, sometimes just sitting next to it but always orbiting it.  Then, after reading the book,  I realized that once you truly quiet your mind, let the past and future fall away that fire is not longer separate from you.  It is within you and you now longer have to dance around it.

You dance WITH it.

I will share one experience.  It was mid-December, perhaps a week or so before the Solstice.  After a very long, anxiety filled day at work I’d finally fallen over in bed.  My wife had already retired and so I laid down quietly and began doing some of the awareness exercises from the book, simply becoming still and aware of the present moment.  I began to calm down and then I felt a wave of peaceful energy wash over me.  I laid there with my eyes closed in a totally dark room and focused on my breathing and enjoyed this respite from my stress-filled day and my overactive mind.  Then, I started to notice a dull, gold light through my eyelids.  I took it to be an inner visualization and I smiled and decided to stay in the Now to simply be with it and enjoy it.  I watched the light and it was if someone had a light on in another room, near my head and to the right of me.  The only thing that was that direction was the edge of the bed and our small bedroom closet with a shut door and an off light.  The glow would pulse and hold steady and then pulse again.  It stayed faint but present.

Eventually it faded after a few minutes and I felt peaceful, warm, and content.   That was about the time my wife moved from her position and said, “Honey, turn your cell phone off and go to sleep.”

Her words jarred me out of my meditation.  I told her very simply that I didn’t have my cell phone on and she stated that she had woken up to a faint light through her eyelids and she thought I had been messing with my cell phone.  I explained to her what I had just experienced and we both simply laid there in the dark with no answers.  Our bedroom is on the second floor with the blinds fully drawn.  No physical light had come into that room yet we both experienced what we experienced.  All I had was how I had “felt” at the moment and what I retained from the experience, a deep feeling of calm and happiness.

Since starting to practice the methods in this book and it’s follow-up, “The New Earth,” it has changed several, if not all, of the ways I interact with Earth Energy, with Spirits, with… Everything.  One of the things I will be focusing on currently will be HOW this has changed, what, if at all, it changed into and my thoughts on how the ideas within Tolle’s work can be incorporated into Earth based spiritual and magical structures.  I have not been able to find much on this internet wise and it seems the “now” mindset and the “pagan” mindset seem to be passing each other, both talking about the same thing but from different angles.   I think that it can all be combined, that it’s all variations of the same song.  The process of living in your Now is a very personal thing.  All I can do is offer mine and see how it matches up to the experiences of others.  As I move through it, I’ll be exploring it and discussing it, processing my thoughts here as I work to combine the different elements of my previous practices; dowsing, divination, spirit communication, earth energies and more.

Onward, then, to Spring!

 

 

 

 


Solstice, The Questing Path Spread and Rebirth

So, before I try to sum up the end of my last Questing Path Spread, I need to say that I will not be doing another one for awhile.  I think it may need a label that says “Use with Caution.  This spread can cause immense change.”

Perhaps it is because I designed the spread and so have more of a connection to it?  Perhaps it’s just the timing and synchronicity of everything that goes all the way back to the Summer and my Spirit Quest?  The main reason I won’t be doing it again for awhile is that, well, I need a break!  The last two have also been very intense and life changing.  This last one, done in the middle of a Samhain night, has been even more of the same.

I am beginning to think that the spread holds a considerable amount of energy and potential which can really drain a person who tries to do a Questing Path over and over again. I feel that the Questing Path Spread might only need to be done once a year at most.  I will need to go back and add an addendum to the explanatory posts!

I finished my Questing Path today and you can go back to look at the initial post here and the only follow-up here.  I had started a post to talk about the second marker of The Lovers, The Pole Star and the Guardian but, well, I ran out of time and energy.  The sheer amount of change and intense realignment that has come about since Samhain has been very hard to describe.  In the interest of time, I am going to assume you’ve read the other two posts and I will hit the high points that have occurred since the first marker of the spread.

  • I initiated a career change shortly after Thanksgiving
  • Found a new job at a location I’ve been trying to get into for five years one week later.  Better hours, better pay, benefits and, eventually retirement.  The job will free my energy up as well to get back to my writings and work here.  I start at the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Was led to a book that worked, essentially, like a key in a lock which unlocked numerous and different spiritual ideas and beliefs and gave me a solid footing to engage them all.
  • Began the ideas of the book, including it into my daily practice and spiritual work on December 1st.
  • Finally identified the Lover’s card on my path and realized it was about something much, much larger than I had expected.  It involved the eternal dance between living in the physical and the spirit.  About the dialogue between the higher self, yourself and Source.
  • Call it the Universe, Spirit, God, Wakan Tanka, Higher Power, Buddha or Tao but I became connected to my Pole Star card and was led through the dark, tangled wood.
  • Identified and confronted the Guardian in a very big “leap from the Lion’s Head” (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).  During it, I was terrified but knew that as long as I stuck to my connection to what I knew was right and true that I would be alright.  I think I went through around three panic attacks during this time period.  Regardless, I stuck to what I knew was True, had Faith and I succeeded.

lions head

And, today, on the Solstice, standing in a stone circle underneath cawing crows and watching the sun rise over a distant hillside on a beautiful and cold winter morning, as expected, I hit the Eight of Vessels card.  Rebirth.

I had written this about the spread back on Halloween.  “This was going to be a very powerful time IF I listened.  A time of great potential.   Themes included Rebirth, Love, Water/Emotional energy, Feminine knowledge and guidance.”  Well, I listened.  I applied what I learned and what I saw coming from the spread.  I paid attention.

Solstice

As I stood on the hill this morning (making it to the location I wanted to be at JUST as the sun crested the far horizon) I cried joyful, gratitude filled tears at the beauty of the world all around me.  A world that I was a part of and that was a part of me.   And, I was more than just happy, I really did feel reborn.

I was also absolutely exhausted.

I will be returning here to talk more about the past several weeks.  There is a lot of change to discuss, not only with my work with Earth energy but with my work with divination tools.  Everything is different.  I have a lot to digest and to share but, as it’s officially the holidays with family and friends and I am in the middle of a career transition to boot, I may have to wait until the first of the year.  Till then, as I continue my conversation with Source, I will share what I can and when it is allowed by energy and time.

Be well and a blessed Solstice/Yule/ Axial-Tilt Holiday season to all of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enter the Swan – The First Ally

It’s always inspirational to me how Spirit reveals itself once you start down one of these Pathways.  It shows itself in side comments, chance occurrences.  If you are not paying attention you can, and will, miss them.

It was only one day after the Pathway spread that the Swan showed itself.  I was watching a television show on one of my favorite subjects, the Oak Island Mystery.  A guest on the show was stating that he had tracked clues from several sources including the constellation of the Northern Cross also known as Cygnus or… the Swan.  It caught my attention immediately.  The guest went on to talk about the Kabbalah Tree of Life and how the cross was placed within it and would thus give clues to marker or treasure locations.

After the show I immediately began to research Cygnus and found this interesting tidbit on the Order of Ovates, Bards and Druids website. “Among Druids, the Swan represents the soul, and is associated with the Festival of Samhain. (That would make two cards in the Path Spread directly related to Samhain!)  The swan aids us in traveling to the Otherworld. Swans are also sacred to Bards, and their skin and feathers were used to make the tugen, the ceremonial Bardic Cloak.”

Most importantly to me was the fact that the White Swan was one of the symbols of Brigit or Bride.   I did not know this previously.  It is with her that I have a significant relationship after an event that occurred to me with her on the night of Imbolc.  At some point I may tell the tale but suffice it to say I dreamed of her visit that night before I knew she did such things on Imbolc.

Other interesting pieces was from the Native American side of things — “Swan tells Dragonfly in legend, “I learned to surrender my body to the power of Spirit and was taken to where the future lives. I saw many wonders high on Sacred Mountains and because of my faith and my acceptance I have been changed. I have learned to accept the state of grace.” Swan is the bird who may enter the Dreamtime and bring back knowledge and healing to the tribe. Swan medicine “teaches us to be at one with all planes of consciousness, and to trust in Great Spirit’s protection.”

Now, go back and re-read that with the added reminder of the Pathway card for my current path being the Mirror or, in classical Tarot, the Hanged Man.

And, obviously, I also found a significant bit of information connecting Cygnus, the Swan, with early Christianity.  To top it all off I found some references to cosmic rays coming from the direction of the Cygnus constellation and bombarding Earth since time began.

Cygnus_plate11

What was I being told here?  The spirit of Swan was most definitely making itself known to me and this, in turn, went hand in hand with my first marker, the Page of Stones and with my first challenge The Seer.  To put it all together I decided to write out a passage of dialogue.  What was being said to me.  This is what I came up with…

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Renewal and Reset at Samhain

Has it really been since July?  It seems to be a blur  which tells me I was undergoing quite a bit of change and education.  A bit of catch up…

At Lammas I used the Pathway Spread again to help me understand what I was to work on up to Samhain.  I decided after doing it I would not put the spread up as it was very personal and, to be honest, unnerving.  It was if the Universe had decided, “Yes, you’ve graduated.  Now… prove it.”

In short, I was to walk a pathway of Insecurities (7 of Arrows, Insecurity) with several hard tucks and turns along the way.  Even my helpers along the way were the kind of “hard love” helpers that left me exhausted at journey’s end. August was, indeed, pretty bad.  September was not much better as I was put through several ringers all focused on my insecurities and some old, negative habits. I’m not sure I did everything I was supposed to do and I’m pretty sure I did some things very wrong.

At the end though, was the Knight of Stones, a horse rushing madly through a brightly lit field.  I felt it was a destination of Independence, of Strength and of Connection.  By the time October rolled around I was fixed very firmly on that final card and yes, at Samhain, things went wonderfully and I felt renewed.  Things lightened up around October 20th and I was able to “coast” into those final days.  In the end if was if I had been that after the Spirit Quest and the “graduation” I was to be torn down, ripped asunder.

I almost did not do another Pathway spread.  Talk about insecurities, right?  I asked myself if I was ready for another period of time, from Samhain to Winter Solstice, which could prove to just be an extension of what I had just gone through.   Why would I do that to myself?

In the end, of course, I saw the folly in this thinking and late at night on Samhain, I began a new Pathway Spread that was started on Oct. 31st and finished early in the morning on November 1st.  As I did it I decided to add a new position to the spread as well making it a full 8 card reading.

QuestngPathSpread_Update

Updated 8 Card Version of Pathway Spread

Which brings us around to the NEXT Pathway Spread which I started late on All Hallows!  A spread I am going to share because I feel it is a foundational thing that I hope to use in the future for other blog posts.

Pathway_Samhain2014

I did this spread with the help of my dowsing rods, letting them chose the cards for me.  I wanted to be very particular with my question and asked for guidance on my sacred path.  Mainly, how do I move forward from the previous destination of the Earth Knight?

My first thoughts upon turning the cards over was “Look at all the Major Arcana!”  A full total of 5 out of 8 cards.   My second thought was “Look at all the water and feminine energy!” I also did something very unusual with this reading.  I spent about ten minutes looking over the cards but as it was very late, I decided to leave the spread out all night and to actually “read it” first thing in the morning.  It turned out to be very productive.  My subconscious and unconscious must have been chewing on it all night because as I poured my first coffee of the day I couldn’t wait to get started.

In short, this is how the cards broke down for me.

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