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Skepticism About the Enchantment of Life

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

EnchantmentOfLife

Skepticism and the Enchantments of Life

I get tons of emails filled with great questions.  I got this inquiry from Roger (name used with permission), and had to share it with you.  Roger writes:

‘All of this stuff you write here is very entertaining, but is that all it is? Entertainment? For example, is there proof of earth elementals, magic, and anything else you describe that is out of the norm? I am very interested in knowing this stuff, but I don’t want to delve deeper if I am going to be let down in the long run.’

I think this is a great email.  It appeals to my innate skeptic, and it smacks of a willingness to go beyond the mundane – to reach out for more – even if tentatively.

Well, Roger…I’ll be honest…it takes a certain amount of belief and faith to encounter elementals, or enchantment in life. It takes attitude, that’s for sure.  This is not to say we all frolic willy-nilly into fairy land.

Too much dreaming without substance is all fluff.  That’s why I appreciate healthy skepticism. It’s necessary to question.

In my experience, I’ve encountered things that logic cannot explain, and so my inquiries persist. Science comes close to explaining the enchantments of life, but it cannot fully explain the human-element which deals with attitude, perception and the dynamism of mind/spirit.

So, I guess my answer is circumventing the question, in that I’d say the realness of magic would be dependent upon your perception and reality.

I once wrote: ‘Magic is inherent in every inhalation of life.’ and that really is true. From a studious stance,  science and metaphysics can track down logical, organized connections within energetic phenomenon taking place in every moment of our conscious existence.  From a creative, imaginative stance…magic just “is”.  It’s in every atom, every cell, every nook and cranny of life.  It doesn’t have to be explained, or shoved under a microscope – it’s just present – at all times, and in all things.

It’s the glimmering sword of reason humans must wield in an effort to slice away doubt. But we’ve got to be able to suspend our doubt long enough to marry logic with imagination.

Life requires balance, and living a conscious life represents an endless Q&A between provable tangibles and intangible mysteries.  It’s healthy to be skeptical.  I certainly am.  Believe it or not, I’m hugely suspect of most things I encounter that deny logic.  But I think that makes me a great intuitive.  Why?  Because I’m not mindless.  I pick apart the unexplained.  In that process of picking, I usually come across a loop I can hook my psychic claws into.  Once hooked, I can suspend my analytical mind just long enough to peer into an opening of magic, wonder and wisdom. 

Plus, I can’t help but revert back to my ancestry – and the ancient lineage all humans share.  Native Americans, Vikings, ancient Celts, Aborigines, etc….all the Old People of the Old Ways.  They had old school psychic chutzpah.  They knew stuff that went deep into the core of what it meant to live and be alive.   We can argue they didn’t have the science to explain stuff as we do today.  But does that make their wisdom any less significant?  I don’t think so.

EnchantmentOfLife2

Take sympathetic magic for example.  This is a kind of practice that sees corollaries in nature, and mimics them in ritual to bring about a similar, binding effect.  An illustration of this is the Celtic Druid approach to mistletoe.  Science tells us mistletoe is a parasite on the oak tree.  Druids saw it as a snuggly, symbiotic partner to the oak.  As such, Druids harvested mistletoe and used it in sacred ritual to bind their community.  It was used as an omen or a symbol to keep marriages together, and bind the clan together.  Mistletoe in ritual was used to imitate a clinging, a kinship, a glue to that which is deeply rooted and strong like the oak.  Were the binding rituals effective?  I can’t say.  But I’m certain the divorce rates of ancient Celts were far less than that of the population today. Am I suggesting that all marriages end in divorce because a hand-fasting or a mistletoe ritual wasn’t employed?  Certainly not.

What’s relevant here is the connection and collaboration with nature.  I wholeheartedly feel (and have experienced) the effects of natural energy when profoundly, respectfully connected to it. 

I guess I’m saying we can’t put all our eggs in one basket.   Yes, indeed, there is such a thing as magic.  Look around at the miracle of Earth and our galaxy…that’s proof enough of magic.  Yes, magic can be conjured too.  Is it the end-all-be-all of an outcome?  No.  I don’t think so.  I think magic requires fortitude.  I think tapping into the enchantment of life requires intellect, imagination and a willingness to believe while still maintaining an even mind. 

I rarely make guarantees.  But I promise you this:  There is absolutely a superior, enchanted life taking place beyond our bills, our jobs, our kids crying, and long lines at the grocery store.  There is more to this life than what we see day-to-day. 

There is a gossamer veil that divides common experience from uncommon experience.  Luckily, that veil is translucent and ephemeral. Luckily, if we want to, we can venture behind that veil to access otherworldly experiences.  It takes an altered perception, and a balanced perspective to straddle the common and the uncommon.  Am I saying it’s easy?  No.  But I am saying it’s doable. 

Other articles of interest: 

Fan Mail From the Devil

Tapping into Nature’s Energy

Earth Meditation

Moon Meditation

 

 

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Cleansing Spaces

Monday, January 13th, 2014

CleansingAndSmudging2

Stuff holds energy and memory.

Consider cell-memory.  Cell-memory is a theory that suggests a body or geographical area retains the memory of a harsh, tragic event.

Take Gettysburg, for example. One of the most bloody segments of the Civil War in the US,  in which more than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives.  It’s claimed to have an eerie aura – it’s landscape is saturated by a thick, oppressive essence.  I don’t doubt it.

I visited Chickamauga in Georgia – almost 2,000 killed and another 1,000 soldiers wounded.  It made me pass out – and left me loopy for an additional 24 hours.   I don’t dare go to Gettysburg.  I’d love to encounter the history – but my sensibilities would crumble under that cell-memory!

This post isn’t about US Civil War.  This post is  about the scars and marks that are left behind in our personal lives, and how to heal them.

On a domestic scale, we could say that remnants of previous owners might have left some residue behind in your home.  Or – we could say that there are some residual vibrational emanations left behind in our cars, office, or even our storage units.

Life leaves a trace.  Why?  Because life is all about energy.   It’s never destroyed. Only recycled.  That means, there is always a fingerprint left behind.

Should you be worried or concerned?  No, I don’t think so.  If you are functioning well in your environment…if you are happy and feel secure….keep calm, and carry on!

However…for those of you who are uber-sensitive…those of you who feel a need to swoosh out some nefarious badies in your pad, or office space…this post is for you.

Some quick tips about cleansing…

1)  Get the proper music-mojo.  I have no doubt you all have an infinite source of musical goodies.  Something smooth, non-distracting, non-verbal, luscious and wavy.  Consider sounds that connect with your astrological sun-sign (air: wind, fire: crackles of fire, water: whale song, earth: rustling of leaves).  You get my drift….ambient and pleasing.

3)  Ambiance, people.  Light some candles. A total must! :) It would be lovely to have your home in amber waves of candlelight, but if you ain’t got that many…no sweat…just light one – that suffices.

4) Say a few words – be intent, be focused – hone yourself within your words – feel the purpose of your steps and actions within your home.  Know this exercise is valid, virtuous and vital.  Pray to the deities that dig your groove, and express gratefulness in their presence in your essence.  Know that each syllable and consonant you utter is heard, validated, loved and reciprocated by the glorious Universal flow.

4)  Set to smudging.  You’ve got options here….

I don’t mean to get technical, but this is what I’ve written about “what smudging is” on my Tarot site: “Smudging: A ritual purification by means of smoke. A common practice performed by ancient cultures as well as Native American Indians, and modern day practitioners of sacred practices. It is thought that the smoke lifts out any possible negative energy in a space or object. White sage is commonly burned for smudging purposes.”

Technical definitions aside…we also smudge to make a bold statement…to the gods, goddesses, elementals, spirits…and to ourselves.  The act of “smoking out” is spiritual, personal, and relevant.  Not only does the act prove to the Universal energies that we’re serious (demonstrative action), it also makes purification a physical process for us humans here on earth.

Now for your options:  You can burn whatever flicks your Bic.  I use white sage.  I’ve also used stick incense (love myrrh or frankincense or even my stand-by patchouli).  Use whatever is most pleasing to your olfactory palate.

What to do with the ashes? No worries.  Use a vessel that means something special to you to capture the burn-off from whatever you’re using to smudge.  I use a lovely abalone shell.  The opulence and swirly-twirly of the colors kinda set me free as I’m dowsing the place with smoke.  I sometimes use an ashtray my grandma had.  -Have also used a bowl made for me by a 12 year old sweetie – I love that her teeny-tiny hands made that bowl, and are a part of this special ritual.

I’m the queen of incoordination – so, at this point, I would be asking: “Which hand do I hold the vessel, and which hand do I hold the smoke-stick!?”

Depends:  Left hand is yin: Feminine, Receiving, Soft, Mothering.  Right hand is Yang: Male, Giving, Assertive. Lean more about symbolic hand positions and hand meanings here.  It’s your choice.

Before you set your fire stick aflame…open a window.  It may be a wive’s tale…but baby, that’s some of the best wisdom, EVER!  The idea of opening a window before smudging deals with having an opening for negative energy to exit.  Smart advice!  Thank you old wives!

Now…In honor of nooks, crannies and Fung Shui…we have to consider where to start and how to swirl those smoke tendrils around your home (or other orifices).

CleansingAndSmudging

I’m sure there are other ways to do this, but I like simple.  Start north, and move clockwise.

Stand in the center of your space- arms spread with fire-stick and ash-capturing vessel in hand.  Move north.  Say a devotional for the awesomeness the northern energies provide.

From north, you’ll go clockwise to east.

Here is a cultural run-down of directional symbolism which may help with your devotionals:

In Chinese Feng Shui, each direction correlates to the Chinese zodiac animals:

•North =  Rat: Adaptability, charm, creativity, sociability, wit.

•East = Rabbit: Trust, sincerity, love, compassion.

•South = Horse: Physical strength, health, adventure, loyalty.

•West = Rooster: Confidence, business, energy, persistence.

In ancient Celtic symbolism and tradition, the cardinal directions were acknowledged in several ceremonies and festivals.  Hand-fasting ceremonies and other earth-based belief systems (pagan) still honor the directions today.  Here is a brief outline of these directional representations:

•North = earth, home, security, fertility

•East = air, communication, new beginnings, new growth

•South = fire, energy, passion, creativity

•West = water, emotion, psyche, movement

In certain divinatory practices the directions represent time phases:

•North = Infinite Possibility (no-time)

•East = Future

•South = Present – Now

•West = Past

Native Americans have their own meanings of cardinal directions.  The Lakota, for example hold to the following guideline:

•North = wisdom/thought

•East = salvation/spirit

•South = beginnings/purity

•West = conclusions/fullness

The astrological zodiac provides yet another aspect of the four directions and their symbolism:

•North = Air corresponding with Aquarius

•East = Earth corresponding with Taurus

•South = Fire corresponding with Leo

•West = Water corresponding with Scorpio
Don’t get caught up in these segmented definitions of compass assignments.   What matters is you feel the jive in each direction.

Pay special attention to corners.  Negative-nellies love corners, for some reason.  Smudge up and down in each corner.  Continue moving clockwise

When  you’re done, dowse your fire-stick (sage stick or incense) in a bowl of distilled, purified water.  I use holy water from Our Lady of Fatima Shrine.  This action is a “hat’s off” to the fire, smoke and energy that helped to contribute to a nice, clean space.

Store your fire stick in a sacred place too.  Use it again when you feel the urge, or every equinox and solstice.

If you liked this, you might also like a few other offerings I have for you.  Check out the links:

Nature Symbolism

Seasonal Symbolism

Color Meanings

Native American Meanings

Celtic Meanings

Aura Meanings

Bright blessings, as always,

Avia

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Walking A Labyrinth

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Walking A Labyrinth

Tips About Walking a Labyrinth

The idea behind walking a labyrinth is to move out of one perspective into another one.

A labyrinth is a metaphor for our point of view, so the process of walking a labyrinth is about shifting our awareness and consciousness

It’s no coincidence the labyrinth shares symbolism with the spiral.

The spiraling labyrinth is symbolic of:

  • Balance
  • Progress
  • Direction
  • Initiation
  • Centering
  • Expanding
  • Awareness
  • Connection
  • Journeying
  • Development

When we partake in the ancient process of walking a labyrinth we become intimate with all these attributes inherent to spiral symbolism.

The Hopi, a Native North American Indian tribe viewed the labyrinth as an underground maze in which the whole race of humankind sought liberation from.  At first, humankind was created within the inner earth-womb (called a kiva, a cave-like sanctuary underground).  There, humans were nurtured by the earth.  Through a process of evolution, understanding and growth, humans emerged out of the underground labyrinth and ascended above-ground to embrace a new dawn of awareness.  This process of evolution is reenacted today by making a ritual of physically walking a labyrinth.

Walking the labyrinth is also synonymous with moving through the trials and tribulations of life.  We all know every life is replete with twists and turns of fate and fortune.

We could say our very lives are labyrinth-like.  Walking a labyrinth is a way to see the revolutions of life, and gaining composed control over what might otherwise seem out-of-control scenarios.  But walking our way through the labyrinth of life with calm determination and faith, we know our destination is always enlightenment – always expansive.

Give it a try for yourself.  Do a Google search on labyrinth walks offered in your area.  You will find this experience to be incredibly soul-expansive and mind-broadening too.

Other articles of interest:

 

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