Tag Archives: Now

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.

 


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.


Transitions and Cycles

For the past month or so I’ve been struggling with the fact that, for all intrinsic purposes, this blog is dead.

It’s no surprise to subscribers here and I have been accutely aware of it for awhile. My run of posts regarding the Glen in the Spring were an attempt to not only talk about my experiences there but to also put some life into the blog, to use the Spring energy to renew things. For some reason it did not stick. I wandered off. I stopped writing. I started to beat myself up by reminding myself this blog is over 5 years old and yet it never really seemed to go anywhere, never seemed to grow.

During the harvest festivals thoughts of the blog would come and go. What did I want to do about it? Was it worth keeping? Should I simply close it down after so many years? Up until Samhain I could not get a clear answer.

During Samhain and more importantly, the days immediately afterwards, I always do several readings. For my readings this year the weather was wonderful and so I ventured back out to the Glen. Even though I’ve not posted here, I’ve continued my visits to that magical wood. I go to refocus, to commune and to give back to the spirits there. It’s been a wonderful, evolving relationship.

With a wonderful chilly, Fall breeze playing amidst the branches of the sun-lit autumn forest, I took to the woods and brought my cards with me.  One of those spreads was, of course, about this blog. For it, the pendulum chose the Faeries Oracle and the reading is below. For this reading I chose a “conversation style” of reading. I ask a question. The deck responds. I ask another and so on until the conversation is over. Even as I was shuffling I felt that the conversation would be three questions total.

BlogReadingSamhain2015The first question? What do I need to know about this blog? Death. Well, nothing like cutting right to the chase, eh? Of course, Death is speaking of where the blog is currently. All things come, grow and die in time. It is important to acknowledge the fact. A point of transition as well as a point of acceptance. The blog as I’ve known it is done.

Second question: I don’t feel it is right to shut the blog down. (I actually tested this with a bit of dowsing and the answer was a very solid, “No way!”) So, what should I do next? Mickle a’ Muckle.

Mickle has always struck me as two things, being merry and being in the Now. This, in turn, reminds me of my work with the writings of Eckart Tolle and blending them into my work with the cards, spirit and magic. Mickle says to “lighten up” and to look at the Now and to something unusual or adventurous that is coming around because of the Death card. See how he is facing the Death card?  “One thing leaves, another arrives, it’s the way of it!” Mickle says to me.

Final question: I heard the wisdom of those two answers and asked, “So, for the betterment of myself, the blog and my subscribers what is the very best next step to do?” Lady of the Harvest. Ah-hah! Another “transition” card but more importantly this card spoke to me about the rituals involved with transition, with moving forward into something new from something old. The Lady of the Harvest is about releasing the past, all that has occurred (or not occurred) and moving forward to the next new phase. I also felt very strongly that in order for this to happen, a ritual needed to occur. A ritual to help acknowledge the omega and the alpha.

I needed, within myself, to let the blog go. Not to really turn it off, not to stop posting but I needed to internally acknowledge that whatever I had hoped for with this blog, whatever I had been trying to do, whatever I had been attempting to express was over. It was this energy, this acknowledgement that I had been resisting and which, in turn, was causing the energy blockage.  The energy for the blog had swirled and slowed and stopped. There was nothing wrong with it.  It just was.  It was time to let it go and to work on something new.

Now, since I’ve had this blog for five years, it took quite a bit for me to work through the energy of the Death card and that full reading. I’ve been circling it and fighting it since Nov. 1st and here we are, fourteen days later! After another wonderful stroll through the Glen today, I found the words I needed to write this blog and to take the first steps needed.  Hence, this post!  ( I also had to acknowledge the fact that I began this blog with the Faeries Oracle and it I would now be ending it as well with them!  See my second post here which was the reading I did for starting the blog.)

To be clear, I am most certainly not done here. This is not a “Bye and thanks for all the fish” moment. However, things will be a bit different around here.   How?  Well, I’m not really sure.  When the muse comes back to me, when I understand what I am supposed to be doing here the second time around, you’ll see it here. Oh, and the Muse will come back because, most importantly, I’ve done what was necessary by letting the transition begin. (I also have asked real nicely a couple of times which always helps!)

 

I want to thank every single person and spirit that has interacted with me here. If I have, in some way, added a bit of magic to the world with the telling of my stories and my readings, then I can call the past years a success.  I really hope you stay with me for another 5, or  6 or, dare I say it, 10?  I also hope you enjoy the upcoming transition.

The blog is dead.

Long live the blog.

Blessings, Peace and Light!


A Final Answer

At the end of my last post I stated that I was “happily derailed.”  This proved more true than I realized and as I continued my practice of staying in the Now and working with Earth Energy and divination, an odd thing occurred.  I ran out of things to say!  Well, not so much that I was out of things to say but I ran out of inspiration of HOW to say it.  I became stuck with how to put those experiences into words accurately.  For the first time I truly encountered what I had read in other books and research, that the Way cannot be described with words.  It can only be felt, experienced. I think I ran through at least five different attempts to write a blog post and each time it became more and more frustrating.  To laugh at myself even further, it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth time that I realized what was happening!  I finally understood that Spirit/God/Universe/Being/The Way can only be shared or described through our stories and myth.  So, in staying true to the practice, I observed my frustration and let it go.

As it often goes, the minute you let something go you often get a lesson to sink the point home.  As a bonus, by working through the lesson I was then given fodder for a blog post!  First, a bit of back story and then I’ll bring it around and I think you can see how the puzzle pieces all fit together.

Last week I again began to draw a Wildwood Tarot card at the beginning of my day.  I had stopped doing this for several months but I had started a new journal and I realized I missed the experience and meditation of drawing a card in the peacefulness of the pre-dawn hours with a warm cup of coffee and my dowsing rods.  The first few days went very well and the cards offered a nice reflection before starting my day.  Life, for the past several weeks, had settled into a peaceful and enjoyable pattern.  Something that, for most of my life, I am not used to having but have recently been trying, successfully, to materialize.  Then, on Tuesday, the challenge occurred.

theguardianI pulled the Guardian.

In the Wildwood Tarot the Guardian is a bit of a stand-in for the Devil card.  It indicates a challenge arriving in your life, a breaking away from bondage created either by yourself or an outside source.  More importantly, “… now is the time to take control of your fears and deal with the insecurity with courage and integrity.”   However, after a series of pleasant weeks, seeing a card like this took me off guard.

Immediately upon pulling it I realized it for what it was, a test of everything I had been writing about here!  As stated in previous posts, what do you do when you get a card that rumbles an ominous portent for the rest of a day that appears to be going very well?   Well, here was my chance to practice!

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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!