Category Archives: Energy Work

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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Solstice and Return to the Fey – Part Two

Having pulled my cards and been given the instruction to act the Fool, I simply had to wait for the Solstice to arrive.  I refused to make plans except I knew I needed to go see Grandmother Tulip and wish her a happy summer.  I also knew I wanted to bring her and the Fey some gifts to celebrate Solstice.  I dowsed this for confirmation and asked if I was missing anything.  I was not.  Was I on the right track?  Yes.

With the arrival of Solstice and in a marvelous mood, I let the opportunity arise between a visit to the local farmer’s market, a relaxing breakfast and social time with friends in the Midsummer morning.  Sure enough, without planning, the chance arrived and I headed to the city park where I needed to go with gifts and dowsing rods.  When on the Fool’s path it’s better not to force things!  Arriving at the parking lot, I was surprised to see just how similar of a day it was to the day I had come back to make amends four years ago!

TheField

My wife had said she would go as well so we casually strolled through the sun-kissed field, watched a few butterflies and eventually turned into the tree line.  The narrow path was a bit more overgrown which pleased me because it meant less mundane traffic in the area.  The day was warm but not overbearing and once in the shade of the trees it was very pleasant.  In no time, we were to Grandmother Tulip.

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The Quest, Part Three

feyroomsThe next day was spent in quiet contemplation of my surroundings and watching Mama Nature do her thing all around me.  I awoke before dawn and made a brief morning fire and brewed some coffee while chewing on a handful of walnuts for breakfast.  It was odd having no schedule, nowhere to be and nothing to do.  To be honest, at first, it was not comfortable.

I think anyone in the modern day with a job and a family would have the same exact issue.  I’d say the first few hours of morning was spent forcing myself to just “be.”  So, against the constant barrage of thoughts that wanted me to “go over here and look at this” or “clean up this part of camp” or “go gather more firewood”, I simply sat still and waited.  In time, the thoughts calmed down and for lack of a better term I “floated” in place.

Later in the morning, I felt a slightly different impulse.  I felt what could only be called a tugging to stand up and go somewhere.  It felt natural, unforced.  So I stood up, grabbed my rods and began asking questions.  Can I leave this space and go for a hike?  Yes.  Will it be beneficial?  Yes.  Am I being called?  Yes.  These and a handful more confirmed to me that I was listening to spirit and not some form of mental distraction.  Once decided, the rods swung northward in a solid direction and I strolled out of camp.

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Departure

I leave in about an hour.  The backpack is packed full to brimming with some clothes, a minimum of food, my cards and other sacred items.  I’m still trying to decide if I need to lug the full water weight I’ve got loaded.  I have a destination but I did not get time to scout it out.  I’ve never been there before so I’m sure THAT will be exciting.  I’ve dowsed a location that turns out to be a fairly large ridge top in a nearby State Forest.  It’ll be about a 2 mile hike from where I’m dropped off by my wife.  She will come and get me late Saturday afternoon.  I’d stay a bit longer but I’ve decided to give myself Sunday to recover before jumping back into 21st Century workflow.

Wednesday morning a host of thunderbirds flew over my county.  They crashed and banged and flashed.  It was spectacular and it was the first “big” thunderstorm we’ve had here so far.  The energy felt pure and charging.  I had a hard time not thinking they might be for me and my quest that started today.  The storms have gone now and here, in the few days I dowsed so many months ago, is a set of near perfect camping days in early June; highs of 80, lows of high 50’s at night.  Again, I had to smile when I saw it all develop.  This morning was crisp and clear and felt brand new.

I have no idea what is in store for me.  I am simply answering a summons that I should have answered last year.  I may not report back everything.  I will need to hold something close, sacred.  Others, if I feel it is alright, I will share.  I will try to take pics and some video but I do not want my phone to go completely dead and I have no way to charge it for three days so it will be off most of the time.  I do not think I even have a signal but I will try to bring back some of the magic along the way.

I drew a Wildwood card today as I was thinking about my packing.  I asked what I needed to know the most about my packing.  It responded with this…

9ofStones

Tradition.  Right.  Got it.  This is one of the reasons I’m thinking of losing the water and filtering what I need once out there.  It’s also why I have a large bundle of sage and tobacco and corn meal.  It’s why I’m taking a pendulum and my dowsing rods.  It’s about remembering the sheer basics and no fluff.  It’s why I’m leaving my fishing gear behind and the novel I thought about reading.  It’s not about that stuff.  It’s about meeting with Goddess, not a camping trip.

I drew one other card this morning as I watched the sun begin to turn the eastern sky yellow.  I asked about the quest, about what I needed to know about today, about the hike, about camp this evening, about all of it.  It seemed to give me a smile and replied with this.

WorldTreeThe Wildwood version of the  Universe card.

So, there it is.  It’s time to give everything up, drop any doubts or fears and to wander into the woods and to see what Spirit has to say.

Be a light in the darkness.  Be a channel for the wind and the Sun and Spirit.

Strength and Light,

Rustus

 

 

 

 

 


The Last Few Weeks

Over the past several weeks I’ve been planning for my vision quest.  As the time draws nearer I’ve been finding myself dealing with more and more synchronicity.  I’ll try and detail some of it here but, quite honestly, things are moving so fast that I think I’ll be trying to do some video updates which can cover more ground at a faster pace.

Here are a few highlights over the past few weeks.  I discovered that my good backpack has gone completely missing which has caused me to rethink quite a bit about my load out.   Though I lament the fact of losing a +$300 backpack (or possibly having it stolen) I’m thankful because it’s forcing me to really only bring the bare minimum which is the point of the quest in the first place!  If I can find a decent knapsack then I might go that way but regardless I am looking at a very sparse loadout.  My current idea is to go with a tarp lean-to and basic bedroll.

Other moments of synchronicity – I was wondering how I would be able to find a good woolen blanket.  A good woolen blanket is a keystone of minimalist camping. The type I need can cost as much as $50 and sometimes go into the $100’s  and I have nothing extra financially to support this crazy idea.  I mentioned to my mother while visiting her on Mother’s Day that I’d love it if she would keep her eyes open for a good wool blanket either in her yard sale trips or while visiting a Goodwill store.  She looked at me with an odd look and said, “What about the good gray one that your Dad used to have?  It’s in the garage.”  Fifteen minutes later I was holding a thick Civil War replica wool blanket that typically goes for +$100.  “Is this what you needed?” she asked.

Through pendulum dowsing I was able to finally ascertain where I am to be camping.  It is a State forest that I never would have thought of going into.  The main reason is that particular forest has a history of being “creepy.”  Now, that being said, I’ve known that the area is THICK with some very serious old spiritual activity and I was surprised I’d not thought of it.  It was a week later when I started dealing with a lot of inner fears about stepping into that environment as part of a Vision Quest.  However, as I worked with my guides, I realized that was EXACTLY what I needed to do.

Speaking of my guides, I’ll talk about it further with a video update but I seemed to have lately (in the past few days) passed a very crucial test.  I’ve been attempting communication with them through a pendulum and a letterboard/spirit board just about every morning at sunrise.  A new entity entered the field and professed to be assigned to help me with the coming Vision Quest.  Needless to say, that turned out not to be true and since that occurred things have been happening around me at a very accelerated pace, almost as if the Powers That Be were waiting to see if I would “get it.”  Well, I got it and it’s been fairly fast paced ever since!

Will try to post a bit more and watch this space for some small video snippets.   I’m less than 20 days out and starting to feel an odd mix of frightened and enlightened!

 

 

 

 


A Good Walk

Note – This is a companion piece to my daily draw reading which I did earlier today.  I always like to update my daily readings with what REALLY happened.  I usually use a few sentences and talk about how the cards popped up or effected the day.  Today my day ended with an amazing experience and I felt it would just not do it justice to write a few sentences and leave it at that.  No, I needed to share it and so, this post.

This morning I had pulled two cards for my day – 6 of Vessels/Reunion and Coming To Life.

If you’d like to see the two cards pulled earlier today (8/23/2012) they can be found — HERE.

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I’ve always found it interesting that the material in the reading can sometimes be present throughout the entire day like yesterday’s reading on 8/22/12 or not present at all until the last few hours of the day like today.  All day I was having a bit of a problem trying to mesh my day’s experience with what the cards were telling me.  Nothing seemed to fit.  To top it off I had a convoluted trip home from work and then within an hour was presented with another depressing crunch of finances and reality.  It was getting to be too much.  It seemed like we could not make anything work and the wolves were coming to the door.  I was definitely NOT feeling a reunion and I was NOT feeling like Coming Back to Life.  If anything I was feeling like I should have drawn the Hanged Man and Stuck in the Mud!

Enter my wife who suddenly insisted, no, DEMANDED I come with her immediately.  She would not tell me where we were going.  I had no choice so I relented and got in the car with her.  I was grumpy and not pleasant to be around.  I had been having thoughts of just going to bed early and writing the day off.  Tomorrow, at dawn, it would be a new day and I would have more strength with a good night’s sleep.  She would have none of it and asked me to trust her.  Once she uttered those words I knew I had no choice and so, sullenly, I let her drive me to whatever insane idea had popped into her head.

She drove me to a nearby labyrinth that sits on the grounds of a Christian church.   I’ve mentioned this place before here on this blog.  I try to walk the labyrinth at least once a month, usually around the Full Moon.  It’s one of my full proof ways of reconnection.  Stopping the car, she told me to go for a walk and that she would be back.  I did and with a smile she drove off, leaving me there.

I took my time in the labyrinth and for the first time I carried my digital recorder.  I’ve been carrying the recorder with me quite a bit lately since I’ve become very interested in using it as a quick way to capture my thoughts and to construct bits of writing.  It’s become part of my “daily carry.”  It’s also handy if I want to do a quick EVP session or record some thoughts for a podcast or a file.  As I started the walk of the labyrinth I began dictating out loud what I was thinking and dealing with as I walked.  It seemed to add to things somehow, deepening things.   I’m thinking of taking the file through an edit and sharing it.  Not sure just yet but I might.

This walk was exactly what I needed and I could feel it immediately.  Walking in I  began to feel the darker stuff slough off of me.  As I walked, the sun was setting and the 3/4 moon shone brightly to the South.  I was reminded of my recent Moon Phase reading and that this time period had been characterized by the Sage from the Faeries Oracle.  Once again, perfect synchronicity.  Right then and there I dubbed it the Sage Moon as I walked.

Halfway to the center and amid fading light, I found a small bird’s egg.  It was whole and with fluid inside but a crack  told me it’s tale.  I knew I was to pick it up and carry it to the center so I did.

I love how I lose my sense of time and place once within the labyrinth.  Sometimes you find yourself wondering, “Shouldn’t I be in the center by now?”  Other times you are caught by surprise when you turn that final corner and there you are.  All the while the input, experiences and connection you can have while doing so can vary in so many ways.  I’ve found bird feathers, crystals, cleaned trash, been visited by a bluebird, felt a hearbeat in the ground and heard spirit voices within a labryinth.  Sometimes I’ve just felt relaxed, worked through a difficult section of a story or organized a shopping list.  Each experience is unique and deeply personal.  Also, just to truly set the scene, this labyrinth is not placed in some serene, pastoral place.  No, it’s directly across from a bank and near one of the busiest sections in town complete with shopping strips and a large shopping mall a few blocks away.  Yet, here in this tiny section of sacred space, miracles have happened.

When I arrived at the center this time I was feeling fantastic, deeply connected.  I was guided intuitively to place the egg to the Southern edge of the center circle.   I thanked all the spirits connected with the egg and placed it there out of respect and as a symbol to a new life, a new way of being.  Then, I simply entered into a conversation, prayer and meditation with the Higher Powers.  Once finished, I realized not only was this a Reunion happening with my heart and with the Earth but there was also a deep sense of “Coming Back to Life” after a long period of chaos and disconnection.  All my fears and concerns and stress were just… gone.

As I stood in the light of the Sage Moon, I gave my thanks.  Many times I had come here brimming with personal energy and placed it into the area and into the Earth for healing purposes.  This time, I could feel the land beneath my feet returning the favor.  As I looked up into the new evening sky and the first star beginning to shine, I thought about the cards I had drawn and how things were suddenly turning out here at the end of the day.

Salvador Romero, red bat

While doing this and thinking about the Coming to Life card, three small bats flew over, whizzed in circles over the labyrinth and then departed.  They came back one last time and the last one circled three times over me and then flew off directly towards the three-quarter Sage Moon now bright in the sky, silhouetting himself in front of it.

Bats.  A symbol of death and rebirth, of coming back to life.   I didn’t need a translator or years of experience to figure out what was being said.

Walking back out I felt incredibly supported and happy.  I wonder why there were not more labyrinths? What an amazing tool for reconnection to spirit, to the divine or even to yourself?  Why don’t more people know about these amazing things?  I wandered back along the pathway guided by moonlit stones and filled with a growing sense of peace.

As I walked, I briefly wondered if my wife would be back in time to pick me up or if I would have to wait.  Suddenly my peaceful mind was on that thought like a hawk on a rabbit.  “Stop it,” I told myself.  “Let it be.”  My intuition told me she would be there exactly as I exited the labyrinth, at just the right time.  I would trust it and fears and worries would not be tolerated.  It was time to leave those thoughts behind me.  So, I did.

At the exit of a labyrinth walk I always feel a deep separation of sacred space and the mundane, especially if my walk has been as intense as this one had been.  I always stop one final time, give my thanks and really think through my intent which I will be carrying through from one world into the next.  This time I knelt in the moonlight and placed a hand on the stone marking the dividing boundary.  I gave thanks and said another prayer.  The moment I was done headlights from my returning wife washed over me.  I smiled and I was done.  I stepped over the boundary and slowly walked over to the car.  I gave my wife a kiss and said, ‘Thank you.  That was perfect.”

She said, “I figured,” and handed me a bottle of water.

I was back to Life.


On C.G. Jung and the Red Book

Shortly after Spring Equinox I stumbled onto an odd statement that mentioned the psychiatrist C.G. Jung and a series of visionary experiences he had documented in something he had created called The Red Book“.   (And here is another good overview link from BoingBoing.)  Containing an extensive record of his psychic adventures, images and mandalas, it had only been published in 2009.   I was struck with curiosity and immediately began to investigate.

I was aware of “what” C.G. Jung was and his impact on modern psychology but I did not know “who” he was.  I knew only what I might have learned in a basic psychology course and even then I would consider myself rusty.  I knew he had dubbed the term synchronicity and had an important influence on some of the more revolutionary thought concerning inner experiences. I knew that he had worked with one of my favorite of oracles, The I Ching. In investigating what was called the Red Book totally caught me off guard while at the same time shoring up several different levels of my personal foundation towards psychic activity.

Within the Red Book, Jung chronicled his adventures with what he dubbed “active imagination.”  Different from most forms of reflection and meditation, these encourage one to enter into a reflective, quiet state with the full intention of making some form of contact with the entities of your Unconscious.  In short, he was doing what shaman’s call “entering the Underworld” or the Dreamtime of the Australian aborigines.  The Red Book was kept from the public and academia for fear it might put an ill light on his his professional work.  In these days such a thing, though not unheard of, would still place a psychologist in a different vein.  During Jung’s time it could have easily ruined him and all of his groundbreaking work in the eyes of not only the public but academia as well.

Unfortunately, the Red Book is currently quite expensive and going for around $150 on the internet.  What is not expensive are copies of his other work!  I looked for his book that he had written expressly on active imagination but it was not in my local bookstore.  There were a few by other authors but I wanted information from the original source.  I wanted to read HIS words, no one else’s.

What was, however, was a copy of “Memories, Dreams and Reflections.”  It proved to be the right choice.   I highly recommend the book to anyone with an interest in inward (or outward) journeying for it is almost entirely what his life was about.  He says as much in the initial pages of the book!  It showed me how his work was the initial springboard that propelled my other hero, Joseph Campbell and his work into the Hero’s Journey and mythology.  What is the most interesting is how Jung, throughout the book, oftentimes states dream encounters or active imagination journeys which he feels were aided by an “outside intelligence.”  It was these journeys that caused him to press further and state terms and theories concerning the Universal Unconscious.

What surprised me more was to learn that Jung, later in his life, dove headfirst into the study of alchemy and gnosticism.  His personal  library was considered to be one of the most thorough collections of antique alchemical wisdom and lore!  Alchemy is something I am coming towards slowly and it’s depths, frankly, intimidate me!  There is truth there, however, and I’ll sail those shores eventually.

Discovering that one of the original cornerstones of modern psychiatry was, in fact, a shaman was incredibly grounding for me and my own life!  I’ve been researching Jung and taking his theories and placing them over my own work, my own meditations.  After more research on the web and through reading, I went through a handful of active imagination sessions.  (You could call them conscious lucid dreaming sessions.)  When successful I cannot stress enough how powerful they were upon me.  However, there is a warning for these sessions.  They are not to be taken lightly and it is recommended they be done with the utmost respect and care.  When you do you tap directly into the mysteries and flow of your personal Unconscious and the denizens that live there!

After a few very intense sessions, I decided to dowse for more wisdom and learned that a break was necessary before continuing.   In short, as I began to gaze into the Underworld it, in turn, began to gaze back!  I’ve come to learn that this is all part of the process and integration, the hero’s journey, but it was, nevertheless, shocking.

During this time, I took a break from writing on this blog.  I did not stop intentionally, mind you, but it became increasingly difficult to put into words what I was experiencing.  These experiences though internal began to also ring and resonate on the outer world as well.  It has taken me many months to work with the information and education given, to sort things out, to understand how it might be worked with and, finally, to come somewhere close to verbalizing them.

What I have found is that they interlock and mesh wonderfully with psychic/energy work.  In fact, they ARE psychic/energy work.  My reading and work with it has given a new clarity to my third eye, my visualizations, my communication with Spirit and Nature.  When I read of others having meditations and inward visualized journeys I can see the same anchors, cues and symbols found in active imagination sessions.  I want to yell, “Get ye a copy of  ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections!’ ”  What is the most rewarding is knowing that although MOST of the time we are simply having a deep and immersed conversation with ourselves there are times we are, most definitely, speaking to something outside our the realm of our physical senses.

And, so, this is where I have been since Spring.  I hope to post at least one of my active imagination sessions but I will not post many.  They are to be considered personal treasures, revealed to few, and I intend on holding that promise.  However, it might help to give an example of the type of experience one can have when doing them.

I will be posting more on tarot, oracles and nature work soon enough.  My work with Jung has only underscored my love of the symbolism in the cards and what they can communicate not only to yourself but in broadening one’s connection to the spiritual side of Nature.  Now that the most recent stage of the deeply personal voyage has slowed I can hopefully share more with you, the reader.

As I am fond of saying from time to time, “The past is simply prologue.”  Thanks for reading along and more to come!