Tag Archives: Meditation

Shadow Boxing

What is insecurity? By default, of course, it is a lack of security. It is a state of being open, unprotected, and a lack of faith in oneself or one’s abilities. What is security? It is confidence that you can’t be harmed, that you are protected OR that you are backed up by something powerful. You have faith in yourself and in something larger. In this realm of magic and myth, the two are interconnected. An insecurity is believing you are not good enough to do “X”. A security is knowing no matter what happens, you can do “X” for the right reasons and still learn something even if you don’t succeed.

An insecurity will make you confused, anxious or be in doubt if you receive a negative comment. They undermine you. With security, you fall back on your training, you shrug it off as no big deal.

At the Morrigan’s request, I’ve been exploring the origins of my own insecurities. It’s been going on for several days now with reviews of my childhood, my adolescence, what made me me, etc.  It’s a bit like volunteering to dig into your own dirt before the warrior queen standing next to you hits you with the shovel.

In martial arts there is a jumping off point beginners have to learn. It’s not only learning how to hit someone (most people just don’t know how or, thankfully, have never had to) but it’s also learning how to take a hit. How it feels to take a shot to the blocking arm or to the body. It’s learning how to deal with the pain and the distracting sensations. You eventually get to a point where you feel it but it’s not necessarily pain. It’s just a sensation and you keep going. You build up a tolerance. You also build up confidence.

Two mornings ago I had a dream with the Morrigan.  As usual, she was in full black battle armor, dark mail gloves, boots and her black cloak of crow feathers.  We stood on frozen bare earth, in a clearing with dark pine woods encircling us.  There was not so much snow on the ground as just heavy frost.  There was snow in the pines, I remember that. There was a chill in the air, little glitterings of frost in the air and I could see our breath as we spoke.  The ground crunched underneath us as we stepped and moved.

She was punching me.  It was a type of martial training and she kept coming in with these heavy shots of those black mailed fists. WHAM! WhaM! I kept my head covered, taking the shots, feeling their impact on my upper arm, my shoulder as I covered. I could feel the cold metal of her gauntlets hitting me, the cold making the sensation worse. As soon as a punch landed I would attempt to grab, wrap and counter-strike. She would kick me off of or slide out and then bring the other fist around. I’d dodge one or two then WHAM!

Then, we would step back. She would say something, point to my blocking arm, point to me, say something else. She was blunt, direct but I don’t remember her words. All I know is that She wanted me to get used to the feeling of being punched by a hard mailed fist. It was part of the training. I was sore and bleeding but not tired.

Then, we would go again. I’m not sure how long the dream had gone. All I know is that she stopped, nodded and did her disappearing act.

I woke up.

I chewed on the meaning of the dream for some time. Finally, she whispered a clue in my ear, “Insecurities.” And then, I understood. In the dream-time, where symbols are key, she was symbolically teaching me how to shake off the veritable “slings and arrows” that make up insecurities. She was toughening me up.  I was being taught to react to those insecurities as you would take a hit in martial arts training.  Don’t get emotional.  It’s not personal.  It’s practice.

Later in the day I heard her again and wrote this out quickly on a notepad file. “”With an insecurity, you can’t take the hit. You can’t take a negative comment. You’re scared of opinions, you scared of what others think, you allow yourself to be controlled by others and are unable to stand your ground unless angry or mad. When that happens, when emotion takes over, you cannot react with skill. A warrior should react with skill and control.”

“Insecurities bring you doubt. They cause hesitation. They knock you off-balance. In training you learn they are nothing, that they do not effect you and they do not stick. If this is practiced you are then able to act in calm and confidence.  You can stand your ground without your ego interfering.”

“When you can do that, you’re ready.”

My next question was, of course, “Ready for what?”

“Growth,” was her single answer.

 


The Queen of Crows

(This is a very personal post which I did not want to initially publish.  I believe that part of my work with the Morrigan is to show my process with her, to help others to see or understand.  She has told me this isn’t for me.  It’s helpful and is necessary.  To be honest, I cannot guarantee I will keep this post up for very long.  We will see how this goes.)

On Sunday, I took a walk out into a chilly morning right after dawn to have a little sit down chat with the Morrigan.  You know, like you do…  I felt called to shoot a little video before hand which I did.  It’s over on my youtube channel if you want to see it.  I think now it was just a way for me to calm my nerves and to have some record in case I disappeared, swooped up in a dark cloud of crow wings and fury.  (Just kidding…I think.)

Shortly after filming I sat there and talked to her.  Well, I talked, she mainly listened.  Sitting on a log, nestled by some sheltering cedar from the cold breeze.  I was alone in meditation.  My eyes were closed, focused on my inner vision.

Unlike other spirits or visions, contact with her is crystal clear.  There are no “halfway” ideas of what I saw or didn’t see.  I don’t have to stretch for anything.  It’s typically in high-def.   Unlike the unclothed and long-maned Dark Lady from the Faeries Oracle, she was dressed in bulky, weathered, black leather armor, crow feathers and dark fur at her shoulders.  Her hair was black and unruly, cropped short falling just above her eyebrows and just below her ears. It looked like it had been cut with a knife.  On her back draped a long cloak that shimmered between dark blue, black and crow/raven feathers.

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Dark Blue Fire

It was shortly after reading a post entitled “Be The Dark” by Druid John Beckett over on Pantheon that I was hit with the visualization. During a break at work I took a moment, closed my eyes and focused on why I felt his blog post had hit me so hard, why had it resonated so strongly with me?  I knew I had been holding back fears, processing angers and doubts.  I also was aware of the information passed on to me from the tarot readings on the recent super moon.   Maintain your center.  Be aware of emotions at full tide.  Balance.

I highly recommend you give it a look.  It’s focus is on what to do if you’re just not feeling connected to the Light?  What if you are still angry, upset and just plain mad?  In the post he talks about how, if you can’t be the Light, you should be the Dark.

Now,  I’m not known for my dark side wanderings.  I shy away from my anger and try to process it.  I typically stick pretty close to the Light and to my connection with nature in the daytime.  Flowers instead of thorns.  However, as I’ve grown older I’ve had an increased urge toward the thorns. As I stopped to think about the Dark, I was reminded of my first encounter with a dark nature spirit which occurred over twenty years ago.  It taught me that all was not as it seemed.

I would consider it a “dark Fey.”  Many, many years ago, I was fortunate enough to live in the country and to have a garage.  I had set up an altar in the garage and I used it as a ritual space for oracle work or meditation.  Two to three times a week, oftentimes more, I would sage and purify the space.  It was a good place.  We would have nearby nature spirits come by for a visit and some took up residence.  Many people commented on how “safe” they felt in that sanctuary.   We would have dinner in there with friends on the nights the Wheel turned.  One night, unable to sleep, I wandered in there to settle myself down for some quiet meditation/visualization at around 2 AM.  Just as I flipped on the light I felt this “whoosh” and had the sense of a dark, flowing spiky thing dashing underneath the cover of the altar table.  I also felt/sensed some of my Fey friends yell,  “turn the light off!”

I did so quickly but immediately went on the defensive.  Though I wanted to immediately go on the defensive, grabbing my sage and calling up shields, I did not.  I didn’t feel it was necessary.  I KNEW the wards on the space were solid and in place.  Whatever it was that was there, it had made it through the wards which meant, by default, it was okay.

I talked to it.  I coaxed it out of from underneath the table.  I asked if it was ok to light a small candle and was told it was.   The spirit felt dark as night and, as I said, spiky, like an odd mix of a goblin, spider and a scorpion.  It was also scared.  I did a quick card reading in hopes of learning more and I pulled the 5 of Pentacles.  Poverty.  Exhaustion.  It was just looking for a place to “warm up.”

With caution, I allowed it to stay the night and to return as needed.  I began to leave it offerings on the spirit plate I kept at that time.  I agreed that the lights in the garage would never come on after midnight or before 7 AM or dawn, whichever came first.  It did return and was always respectful and quite gracious.  It brought a few friends and the energy up there in the middle of the night was incredibly intense.  It was not for the faint of heart.   Over time, I found a friend with that dark spirit.

Now, do not misunderstand me, there is a distinct difference between Dark and Malicious.  Something may be Dark but not malicious or, as much as I hate to use the word, “evil.”  Another way I’ve been told to look at it is to say that some things do not appreciate the light of day time.  Though it may make them fuel for our fears it does not make them evil monsters.  My encounter that night  many years ago and the ones that followed changed the way I look at “shadow” things.  The spirit I met that night was no more evil than a black fox, a panther or a creepy looking spider.  Just because it was “of the dark” did not make it malicious or vengeful or any other stereotypical attributes some might jump towards.  I was reminded of the Batman or The Shadow from my youthful comic book days.  I learned that not all things dark and spiky were negative or evil.

It was my first interaction with “The Dark.”  Over the years, I would have many, many more.

blueflame2

So, today, after reading the post I  mention above  I sat back, centered and, focused on my feelings regarding “being the dark.”  It felt fine.  It felt comfortable.   How odd!  It’s been some time since I had thought about that other side.  I could not ignore the resonance I was feeling.  I’ve known for some time that in order to grow and evolve I would need to look into the darker side of myself.  Was this what it was about?  Is this what the recent events, both at Samhain and the weeks following, were preparing me for?

As I sat and meditated on these questions an image sprang directly in front of my eyes with great power.  It was nothing that I had ever seen before; a single, large dark blue flame with light blue defining it’s flickering, burning edges.  It simply sat in front of me.  I saw nothing else but I felt much more.  I felt strength and, surprisingly, comfort and peace.  Though I felt a presence I heard or sensed no other communication except the sensations I was receiving.  It just hovered there, waiting, until I came out of trance and needed to get back to work.

So, now, I need to look into this further.  What was that Blue Flame all about?  What does it mean?  What about the Dark?  This evening and tomorrow I will be delving into it further as I have time to do so.  If anyone reading this has information on the aspects concerning a dark blue ball of flame with light blue fringes, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

blueflame


Tonight 11-11

A quick post before more time goes by.

In light of recent events over the past few days, this evening at 11:00 PM EST I will be sitting down in peace.   I will be taking time to focus on peace, care, illumination and healing for any and all  who may need it.   This is a turbulent, historic time and it stands to possibly get worse.  It feels as if the whole country and the world is holding it’s breath.  If nothing else, it is a little positive energy focused onto a weary world.

Please join me for whatever time you have available in whatever way suits you the best.   This morning at 11 AM I simply took a quick break and stood in a stairwell, focused on my breath and asked for the above.  It only took 5 minutes.  Tonight, I may go longer but there is no time limit.  Do what you can.

Peace.


On Being Responsible

Cloud SpiritAn interesting thing occurred to me on the way to the next post.

I had spent a handful of days writing up a very lengthy post about my last session in the glen.  I knew I wanted to share that wonderful visit but I had also decided that I would go into lengthy detail about my initial communications with the fey and spirits there.  I had the post all done, had entered the final pictures and was doing a final edit.  I typically like to write up a post, edit it a few times while taking lengthy breaks between.  Yesterday, I had wrapped everything up and would give it a final read in the evening then post it.

Then I got home.  I went to sit down and as the post came up I was hit with a massive wave of “do not post this.”   Now, I’ve had the blogging equivalent of stage fright  before and this was not it.  I wanted to post it.  However, something else was telling me “it’s no longer a good option.”

I did a bit of dowsing and the sticking point seemed to be the details I was including.  It was, basically, too much info.  This then  struck up an interesting internal discussion for me because it has made me consider what should or should not be posted publicly online.

As I meditated and delved a bit deeper into the “why” behind the push back I got a bit more information.  Now, I want to stress that I’m still digesting all of this.  This was the first time I had written that detailed of a post.  I did feel that it could make for an interesting topic for either discussion here or, perhaps, internally with a reader.

It came down to these key points…

  • The writing is not a waste as I can use it for my own records.  It may also prove to be later fodder for a book. (Thanks to a long time friend for that suggestion!)
  • The internet is a very, very big and open place.
  • I am a fan of posting information on the internet.  I have learned immense amounts online about subjects I’m interested in, from camping skills, to crafting, to organization tips.  I think it is important to add to that pool of knowledge with whatever skill set you have.  However, this interesting analogy came up in my inner vision.  There is a need to be responsible about what you post.  There is posting the instructions on how to start a fire in the woods and then there is posting information on how to make fireworks.   I thought it was a bit ridiculous but I was being told that my latest post, with it’s included details, was more along the lines of the later.  I still don’t understand it but that is what I kept getting.
  • I was under an obligation to remain responsible for what I put out there.
  • Some things, it appears, are meant to stay secret until one is ready to experience them for themselves.
  • I could post about my last visit, of course, but I would need to omit and edit with a different focus.
  • Mercury retrograde is, as always, hilarious.

And, for the record, this is not some epic lead up to “but you can buy my advanced blog post for eleventeen dollars…”  That is not what this is about.  This is about dealing with responsibility and the ethics of this level of work.  My next step is to possibly do a reading on this.  If I get more insight, I will share it.  And, also, it would appear the next post for the glen will be a little delayed.  I have a re-write to do.

I am curious to hear other’s thoughts.  Has anything similar ever happened with your writing or with your work?  Were you ever told, “No.  You cannot share that.”

If you wish you can, of course, comment here or you may email me at alongadifferentpathATgmailDOTcom


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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