Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Golden Bubbles: A Parable

Colorado was settled in large part because of the gold rush and the silver rush 150 years ago. A great many people came out here actually believing that they could just walk around and pick up gold nuggets that were just laying around for the taking. Of course, some people did find easy pickings, but most did not. A lot worked hard and ended up going back home broke.

Those who set up other businesses went through boom and bust times with the rise and fall of the population and the ups and downs of the mining industry. Mostly those who worked hard and didn't fool themselves about how easy it would be to become fabulously wealthy by just walking around filling sacks with gold nuggets that were scattered all over in plain view managed to build a business. Some ore, of course, was brought to market by miners who did the dirty, dangerous work of digging it out of deep holes underground.

There was money to be made mining and refining ore and precious metals, and there were great opportunities in the early days for those who were willing to risk harsh weather, loneliness and murderous thieves in their quest.

So the gold rushes are akin to what we call bubbles today. Slick operators find a way to game the system until other people catch on. For a little while, some people make big money until their shaky schemes collapse.

We had golden bubbles when people greatly exaggerated the earning potential of new websites or new software. Another bubble was all about exaggerating the value of real estate and then offering loan terms that were unreasonable. Another bubble was all about using unethical trading techniques to run up the prices of stocks. The economy was artificially stimulated for years when banks kept sending more credit cards to people who had not even requested them, but once those cards were in their hands, they could not resist the lure of going shopping for more than they could afford, and then finally being unable to pay for it all. These more recent golden bubbles all made it seem as if there was money just laying around to be scooped up, with no hard work and no consequences.

Today we also have the slick promoters who send out emails every day promising that you can get rich without working. It amazes me that the Nigerian letters are still going around. The fact that they still are circulating with various twists on the theme, is testimony to the gullibility of those who actually believe that a total stranger who just happened to email them wants to deposit millions of dollars in their bank account. Then they get the rude awakening of discovering that instead of money coming into their account, money was taken out.

Then there are the work from home scams that promise that all you have to do is set up your own website and you can have hundreds of thousands of dollars rolling in every day because people will want to buy the stuff that is on your website. Of course they have kits and lessons to sell you about how to do this, but they kind of gloss over the fact that it takes tons of time, energy, money and hard work to let other people know that you even have a website, and get them to come there and buy stuff.

So there is always an opportunity for hard workers who are willing to take risks in order to cultivate opportunities, but just as in the gold rush days, money is not just laying around waiting for you to shovel it into sacks. Not in most honest endeavors anyway.

In this way, I guess you can say that bubbles are not really new. Just remember that old saying that "luck is the intersection where hard work and opportunity meet."

Monday, June 29, 2009

How Does 1 + 1 = 3?

Now this may seem like a silly question to some, but there is a powerful principle involved. Look at a triangle. When two people put their energies together, it brings them to a point, the point of focus, which is the pinnacle of achievement. When two people combine their energies, they can create results that are more than either one of them could do alone.

Look at the Lovers card in a traditional tarot. Did you ever wonder what that symbol was between them? It is the symbol of the energy they create together. The energy of two people working together forms a third force that can do more than either one alone.

Look at the timeless mystery and power of the pyramids which are formed by a triangle on each side. Look at the power of the dome, which is formed by a network of triangles.

One person can do a lot, but when one person adds their strength together with that of another person, together they can do great things.

Consider the way reiki works as another example. When the person requesting the healing opens themselves up to receive it, and the person agreeing to facilitate the flow of energy opens themselves up, then the third force is the flow of the universal energy between them.

One plus one can do great things. Consider the brainstorming that two people can do. One person's ideas combined with another person's ideas can find a solution. One plus one produces great results.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Will Power

How strong is your will power? When you decide to do something do you keep moving toward your goal? If one way fails, do you look for another way? There is a lot to be said for persistence in going for what you want.

Brainstorming with friends, relatives, people you work with and others who care about you can always turn up some interesting ideas for helping you achieve your goal. Even little, off the cuff suggestions could turn into great leads. Thinking outside the box can open your eyes to a path you didn't know was there.

Even the actions you take that are not successful can open another door you did not know was there. When people decline your offer, they reveal something else that is useful.

Will power is focused by clear vision. If you have fuzzy goals, your way to them will not be as clear.

Strong will and self esteem go hand in hand. When you are successful in meeting part of your goal, you feel encouraged, and when you get that, you have a sense of accomplishment, and when you have that, you feel proud of what you have done, and rightly so.

If you are trying to make a better life for yourself, you can simultaneously help create a better world for others by providing goods and services that people really want and need.

One other aspect I always include is to give something back to those who need it. I support the charities of my choice, which always unleashes torrents of good energy for everyone it touches.

Be strong of heart in pursuing your goals. You are worth it. And there are many others who will appreciate your efforts. "Can do" attitudes make every day better. Living in the now and consistently focusing on goals until you magically turn them into realities gives all of us a reason to smile, and to get up ready to embrace whatever it is we have to do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Disappearing Photos

When Kodak announced this week that it would stop making Kodachrome, it was another cultural signal that indicated dramatic changes permeating our lives.

How many of you remember when you were younger, your parents taking photos, getting the film developed at some shop and then everybody gathering around to look at the pictures and recalling what was happening when they were taken?

How many of you ever had the experience of coming across a photo album at your grandparents, your curiousity stoked by the pictures, anxiously asking who the people were in these books?

For many, these were personal links to our past, our memories, our history.

For myself, I took a photogrpahy course in college, but never carried on the hobby. Remembering settings for shutter speeds, lens openings, development processing and all the rest was simply something I didn't want to be bothered with. Even later on, after cameras were made that took care of all these variables themselves, I didn't start carrying a camera. It seemed that if there was more than one of us on a trip or at a big event, other people were taking photos, and sometimes people would make a copy for me.

But for many events in my lifetime, there is only my memory. There are no photos. Others will have to rely on my storytelling ability if they want to know about it.

Now we have digital cameras. People take photos and upload them directly onto their computers. The immediacy is convenient, although some people may not be aware that unless they actually do some hard copy back up that these may not last as long as a paper print.

I learned that about computers the hard way. Back when I first started using computers to write on, I was under the impression that as long as I saved my work on disk, I would always have a copy. Here I thought that one day in the future, I might perhaps do a compilation of all the articles I had written over the years. Then I popped the disks in the computer and got the message that there was something wrong and the disk could not be opened. When one computer died, I took it to a shop and tried to get the experts to retrieve files from a hard drive and they told me that they could not do it. So make back up copies.

My first cell phone didn't take pictures. It was just a phone that made calls, had voicemail and a directory. I was happy with that. Never had a problem with it. Then I moved across the country and when I went to the phone store to get my number changed they told me that if I wanted to do that I had to get a new phone, because my old phone didn't have a sim card. Of course, that was another corporate lie created to sell more phones. The phone didn't come from the factory with a phone number in. They programmed it after I bought it and I am sure that they could have programmed in a new number if they wanted to.

Anyway, all the new phones had cameras in them. I have never used it as a camera once. Maybe it is just because I like bigger type these days, but I don't really want to surf the web on a one inch screen, and I just don't go around snapping pictures of everything with my phone. It's not the device, it is my inclination. I use the phone to call people or get calls from people. I use my memory to keep pictures.

Do you also feel a shift knowing that actual had copy photos are now moving into the past? Do you feel that something has changed forever when photos will only appear on your phone or computer?

Maybe more of you will become like me, and will come to depend more on your memory than the new technology. After all, from now on you will only have a memory of going to the store to buy a new roll of film to load into your camera.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mentoring, Friends & Sharing

Mentoring is one of the tools that people often neglect, perhaps because they are too busy to think about it. It is what happens informally when we bounce ideas off our friends or relatives. It is what happens when we are brainstorming with other people at work.

Having a mentor can be very beneficial because by definition, we choose someone who has our best interests at heart.

Choosing someone whose success you admire is a good criteria, and I mean that in the larger sense. Someone who is successful in life, not just in business. We may have more than one mentor and call on one person for business expertise, and another for sage advice in other areas of life. In a general way, one person who is a good listener can do it all, but if you need someone who has specific knowledge, then you should go to such a source.

It can be an excellent decision to call on someone who is neutral when you feel like you need a fresh perspective. That is why many people really stop and get a tarot reading at a festival or psychic fair. A reader who does not intimately know the details of your life can offer a fresh insight that is not attached to the results, and in that way will sometimes be more honest than friends or family.

Sometimes that relationship can develop into a warmer one. For example there are people who I taught creative writing to who came back to me at a later time and let me know how helpful the classes were and how they changed their life in a meaningful way.

Other times, I have taught a person how to use the tarot and then they continued on and asked me to teach them other things. After that starting point, they might decide that they want to know more about energy in its various forms. And they feel comfortable in sharing conversations that they might keep secret from others. Each relationship evolves in its own way, in its own time.

A person who senses that the reader is a caring, intuitive, multi-faceted person can decide that those are qualities that they would value in a mentor. Most times, a mentor will be honored to be asked to perform this service because it is an acknowledgment of them. At the same time, a sincere and dedicated seeker can inspire the mentor to give them their best teaching, their best efforts, their most useful tools and wisdom.

Mentors, coaches, teachers, guides. Many different names for the same thing. Rather than take one reading and digest it and move on, think about how useful it can be to extend that relationship once you have had a positive experience with that person. Now that one reading becomes one of many exchanges between the two of you.

Enlarge your view and consider how it could benefit you. A mentor can help you change your life.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cards for Sale

I have found a great deal of pleasure and inspiration over the years in working with cards. Creative artists have come up with a great variety of designs over the years. If you are looking for a special set to work with as a self teaching or meditational tool, or whether you also read for others and would like an unusual deck to work with, consider these.

Here is a list of tarot and other cards I have for sale:

Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsie Tarot, Grimaud - $100
Norse Tarot by Clive Barrett, book & deck - $100
Arthurian Tarot by Caitlin & John Matthews, book & deck, first edition, Aquarian - $100
Arthurian Tarot by Caitlin & John Matthews, LWB, second edition, Connections - $15
Elemental Tarot, by Caroline Smith, book & deck - $100
Mythic Tarot deck & book set, by Liz Greene & Juliet Sharman-Burke - $25

Tarocco della Musica by Osvaldo Mengazzi, full deck, not just majors, numbered and signed limited edition 450/500 - $125
Le Mani Divinatore by Osvaldo Menegazzi, 22 majors only, limited edition numbered 764/1500 - $125
Tarocchi Romantici, 22 majors only, by Giorgio Trevisan Lo Scarabeo 1991 - $75
Tarocchi Delle Origini (Tarot of the First People) by Sergio Toppi, majors only, Lo Scarabeo 1989 - $75
Anna Riva's Mystic fortune Cards, 50 cards - $10
La Carte dell Amore by Paola & Terry Prada (Italcards) $30

Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett, book & deck - $100
Egipcios Kier Tarot Deck - $100
Egyptian Tarot by Esmeralda - $50
Tarot of Transition by Carta Mundi (Belgium), deck & LWB, no box, bag provided 1983 - $40
Egyptian Oracle, by Maya Heath, book, board & hieroglyphs, 1995 - $30 Egyptian Temple Cards, 54 cards, by Andrew Metcalfe, Osirian Enterprises, 1974 - $100
Le Tarot de Isis by Erna Droesbeke (Belgium) 36 cards - $15
Way of the Cartouche, book & card set by Murry Hope, 1983 -$45

Wonderland Tarot, deck & booklet - $100 Enochian Tarot by Gerald & Betty Schuler & Sallie Ann Glassman, 86 cards - $100
Elements Tarot by Gregory John Bookout, 1984, Conscious Games, 80 card deck & LWB, no box, in bag - $40
Art Nouveau Tarot by Matt Myers - $10
Art Nouveau Tarot by Antonella Castelli - $10

Psy Cards - $10
Russian Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards by Svetlana A. Touchkoff - $30 Daughters of the Moon Tarot, 75 card set in black and white no box or book. will include bag - $35
Barbara Walker Tarot (2 decks) - $10 each
Tarot of the Ages, deck & booklet - $75
Native American Tarot by Gonzalez, no box or book. will include bag - $10 Tarot Azteque, 53 cards - $30

Yeager Tarot of Meditation by Marty Yeager 1975, box, no LWB - $40
Secret Dakini Oracle, book & 64 card deck by Nik Douglas & Penny Slinger 1979 - $95
Secret Dakini Oracle, 64 card deck with instruction cards by Nik Douglas & Penny Slinger 1979 - $75
Tiger & Dragon I Ching Cards by Rowena Patee, 1986 - $65
Dragon Mystique Chinese Fortune Cards (Hong Kong) $18
Gong Hee Fot Choy book to be used with playing cards - $10
I Ching Cards, 1971,with instruction cards,AG Muller dist by US Games - $50
Pocket size I ching deck with only colored images and hexgrams, no words.no book or box. bag included $20

Myriorama Landschaften, 24 cards (Leipzig) $20
Wurzelkinder Quartet, German Fairy Tale cards - $20
Marchenquartett, Quartet of Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Eva Maria Ott-Heidmann (German) - $20
Aquarian Rune Pack book & deck by Anthony Clark (Aquarian 1987) - $45
LeNormand (US Games edition) 36 cards - $30
Petit LeNormand (Grimaud) 1976. 37 cards - $40
Concise Fortune Teller or Concise LeNormand, (Grimaud) - $30
Oracle Belline, 52 cards (2 sets) - $50 each
Christian Tarot (France) 36 cards - $15
Arkaes Divination Deck (France) 72 cards - $50
Astrellia Tarot (France) 61 cards - $25
The Oracle of Mercury (France) 42 card set with booklet - $35
Oracle Alma Bose, 67 cards - $30
Constellation Cards, 32 cards, by Uma Mukuna, (Heron, France) - $20

Solomon's 72 Spirits, book & deck by Priscilla Schwei, 1988 - $100 Enochian Tarot by Gerald & Betty Schuler & Sallie Ann Glassman, 86 cards - $100
Elements Tarot by Gregory John Bookout, 1984, Conscious Games, 80 card deck & LWB, no box, in bag - $40
Loracle, by Patrick Herrington (English), 70 cards - $50
Philosopher's Stone, 40 cards in clamshell box by De Es- $75
Power Deck by Lynn Andrews & Rob Schouten first edition, 1991 (2 sets) book & card set - $45 each
Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Deck, 52 cards - $10
Heart Cards - $10
Phoenix Cards by Susan Sheppard, book & deck (non-tarot set) - $35
Mini Course for Healing Relationships by Jampolsky - $10
Shadow Cards by Steven Ihli - $30
108 Paroles de Sathya Sai Baba (108 Names of Sai Baba) $35 never opened. Magical Circle Book & cards by Ramslove, Trout Garden, 1982 $20

Mo Tibetan Divination System, cards & book, no box by Mipham - $15 Oracle of the Bones by Claire O'Neill, 1994, book, cloth and plastic bones set, $15
The Zulu Bone Oracle book by Ulufudu 1989 - $5

Unusual Playing Cards Sherlock Holmes (British) - $20
York & Yorkshire (British) -$20
Hiroshige Playing Cards (Japan) - $20
Greek deck, images of Greece on every card - $20
Schwartzer Peter (German) 2 different designs - $20 each
OH Cards, 2 sets - $50 each
Stargate, the Decision Maker book & card set plus Diary of Discovery by Richard H. Geer, 1984 - $50

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lightning Storms

Recently we have had several evenings where there were tremendous shows of lightning in the sky. While I was out walking the god, I noticed that she was not particularly phased by the constant flashes in the sky. She just went about things as she usually does, chasing rabbits when she spotted one, and always losing the race, but enjoying it none the less.

Lightning charges the air, feeding energy into plant life. It is also energizing for me, with each flash calling attention to the light show in the sky and everything else around. These magnificent natural displays of power have long had the power to awaken primal feelings.

Lightning is a powerful symbol. For one brief instant, it unites earth, sky and everything in between. For that reason it is a symbol of power, unity and wholeness. Some people believe that doing rituals in the middle of storms adds power to whatever you are doing. There is a sense to this. Lightning is exciting and stimulates the senses. It has an aphrodisiac power. Why do you think that bands emulate such things with their light shows?

Ancient people also felt that doing rituals at sunrise and sunset were particularly auspicious times because they were able to capitalize on the energies of the shifting from day into night and night into day. That is also why full moons are times when people do rituals, gardeners plant, fishermen fish and romance is in the air. The energies of nature are moving and if your energies are moving with them they combine into powerful forces.

I remember the first time I saw dry lightning and I thought it was strange that it was not accompanied by rainstorms. The light shows of the last few days have been along those lines. It sprinkled a bit, but no tremendous downpours or thunder. The explosions of light and veins of powerful electricity leapt in every direction across the horizon. It felt wonderful to be out walking in it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fabricating Realities

How much reality can we fabricate? Let's take a graphic example. There are people who work the Renaissance Faire circuit, traveling from one show to another year round. For them, this world of period clothing, music, art and entertainment is their reality. Customers may see it as a temporary amusement park that pops up every year, but those who work it get familiar with the other workers, shopkeepers and entertainers. For them, getting dressed in those clothes and talking in those accents is as real as some other person going to a corporate office every day. That is the way they make their living and they think in terms of creating products and entertainments that would reflect those periods. The difference is that instead of sitting in a cube farm tethered to a computer and a phone, they make a living jousting, swordfighting, juggling, or singing to the accompaniment of a lute, flute, guitar, harp or hand drum. Beyond a doubt, those who have created that reality enjoy working in it and living that life.

Take a look at the other example cited here. Is being tethered in a cube farm what most people dreamed of doing when they were going to school? Probably not. But the reality of a workplace where you are anchored in one spot all day taking calls from customers, typing notes into a computer as they speak, changing passwords and flipping switches so that some magic will happen to allow the customer to get their world back in order without the cube dweller ever seeing a customer live and in person. Every call is timed and recorded and every break is scheduled to the minute. Somebody created a very strange reality in those places.

Fans of Star Trek have had conventions for years where they get dressed up and spend long weekends in costumes posing as visitors from other planets. They have even created languages for the characters to speak. Fans of the Greateful Dead have spent 40 years following the band around, going to shows, camping out and creating temporary communities that are focused around going to hear their favorite band play, dancing to the music, making their own recordings of them, and otherwise living in a self contained world where they make and sell tie dyed clothing and other things of interest to them.

How about organic farmers and gardeners? Their idea of planting, cultivating and harvesting food are quite different than large scale commercial farms. Their ways of working are different and their ways of seeing the world are different.

Reading is another way of entering an altered state. People who are big fans of mysteries, romances, science fiction and fantasy find that reading allows them to immerse their senses in those worlds created by the authors even better than movies or TV because their mind has to make the pictures that the author suggests with words.

Are there others you can think of? Is one of these realities more real than another? What is the criteria?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

From the Past Into the Future

One of the greatest misconceptions about past life recall is that it is nothing more than a frivolity or a vanity.

But those are the opinions of people who have never experienced a session and witnessed the benefits.

When I went to have my first past life session, I was skeptical, but curious, so I asked the person doing my session how I could tell whether whatever I came up with is simply a product of my imagination. She answered this way. "If you go through this process with me and you come up with a story, and that story is helpful to you and teaches you a valuable lesson, does it matter where the story came from?"

By staying neutral and helping the person recall their own stories, the guide helps a person identify patterns in their relationships, patterns to the events in their lives. Seeing this common thread then, frees them up from repeating the same pattern in their present live. By prompting them to recognize the identity of a person from a past life, they can recognize the dynamics between themselves and a similar person in their present life.

When a person recognizes these patterns, they are empowered to make changes. Clarity becomes their ally. People who have experienced fears or pains in their present life, upon recognizing the origin of that in a past life, can release that pain or fear once they examine the root. Even if it is not only partially alleviated, at least that is progress and that can continue to improve over time.

Past life stories can be very helpful to a person as a tool for finding greater joy and satisfaction in their present life. Far from being vain or frivolous, it is a way of healing that really works.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kick Up Your Heels

Of all the festivals I go to, Irish music is one that always seems to inspire people to break out into spontaneous song and dance. People who look like they might be too old to get around well suddenly find a way to kick up their heels and do a jig. There is a special quality of life to the music.

Melodies seem both ancient and familiar stimulate people to want to sing along with some of the bands. And some of the bands keep the old vocal traditions going by singing some numbers a capella which only seems to make the music more emotionally powerful.

Young people respond to the call of a great fiddler as well as old people. As will all festivals there are merchants who are all doing their thing, hawking their wares and having a good time, with the music as a constant, and everyone is enjoying themselves, even if business at some of the booths is slow, because the music colors the atmosphere and people are happy to be swimming in it. Working in this environment is stimulating.

Many of the items for sale feature art sporting the familiar Celtic knotwork and themes drawn from mythology and folklore, the craftsmanship colorful and styled with great flourishes. Musicians frequently introduce their songs by way of storytelling, and the whole of the mood is one that is full of joy and life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Other Points of View

Here's something to think about. If the crop circles are simply hoaxes as some people claim, someone was really a genuis to be able to create works of art on such a large scale.

If they are not made by hoaxers, then we still don't know what causes them or how they were made, and they remain an intruiguing mystery. Either way, we have these strange and wonderful creations to consider.

So we consider the possibilities of other life in the universe. Again, we don't really know what is out there, so our imaginations are free to create explanations and make up stories. Perhaps the stories lots of ET fans favor about grays and reptilians are just fabrications from people who love mythology, fairy tales, fantasy and science fiction. So we have interesting stories to stretch our minds.

Some authors have put together fascinating theories about how visitors had an influence on ancient civilizations. True or not, I do not know. Interesting, yes. Perhaps one of the intriguing aspects at the root is that so much is beyond our comprehension that we are like the tribes in Mexico who saw the Spaniards ships approaching and had no point of reference for them. They did not know what they were looking at, so they made stories up and related them to their mythology.

We may be looking at things we do not understand and trying to create explanations for them. I do not know the truth about all this. Probably no one does. But our space stations and Hubble telescope and shuttles keep expanding our views of the possible. And looking with our eyes and our minds and listening with our ears, we explore the world we live in, expanding, exploring, embracing whole new concepts.

What happens to us when our vision is larger?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walk In, Walk Out

Like many other people, I am curious about subjects that have to do with ETs, UFOs, ghosts and so on. These aspects of life on the edges of consciousness are fascinating. Last night, I went to hear a speaker who claimed to be a "walk-in." Walk-ins are people whose bodies are inhabited by an ET. The soul or energetic body of an ET simply walks into the human body. She made an interesting comment. She said that many people who are walk-ins were misdiagnosed in the past as multiple personality disorders or bipolar. She said that when the soul of a human who wants to leave makes an agreement with an ET, one soul leaves and the other comes in.

Whether this is true or not, or whether it works this way or not, this concept is fascinating. No doubt, many people will dismiss such a theory as "way out there."

But consider this. Many people have a life which is not happy. They are not fulfilled by what they do. There are those who have had abusive childhoods or abusive marriages or other extremely disfunctional relationships. If they have no hope, and see no way in which their life will get better, their mind can go in some unusual directions. If a person decides to check out of ordinary consciousness, modern pharmacology offers some amazing drugs to let a person who has gone bonkers come to work and function, although other aspects of life are way out of whack. It is not so far fetched from the Philip K. Dick novel which was made into a movie about how people in a science fiction future would go and get a "treatment" that let them think they had been on vacation, when in fact they had not. They could have the feelings and memories of being on vacation while they still went to work. Wonder drugs, yes. Prozac? Lithium? Ritalin? These things are not exactly that, but they do alter behavior and change thinking patterns.

I believe, for example, that what many people now call multi-tasking is not a good thing. On my day job, for example, our managers insist that we can have more than one task be our number one priority at the same time. We work on dual screens, working on problems sent in by email while simultaneously taking calls from customers. Of course, they are wrong. A person can only focus on one task at a time and do it well. You cannot have more than one thing be the number one priority at the same time.

They also offer a shift of four 10 hour days a week, with starting times at 5 or 6 in the morning, which of course, would mean that a person would have to go to bed about 8 pm in order to get enough sleep to get up at 4 am. And that, of course, would interfere with having a life. I mean, when you get into that kind of rhythm, you won't have much time for socializing in the evenings. You wouldn't be able to go out and hear a speaker, see a play, go to a concert, or go out after work for dinner and drinks and conversation with your friends. Oh yes, and they did away with those pesky paid holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, July 4, Memorial Day and Labor Day. So all days are the same. You can just come in and do the same old grind without any extra pay while your family and friends are all getting together. Your life will be about going to work and sleeping. Yes, you will have a three day weekend, but your body clock will be reset to go to bed at 8 pm and get up at 4 am. What else would that do to a person's mental state? Road rage is one of the minor social aberrations that come from people venting inappropriately from being expected to do more work for less pay and having to drive in congested roads just to get to and from there. We are seeing what happens when such expectations become the norm.

Whether or not you think the whole walk-in concept is true or not, it poses fascinating questions about human development and evolution.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How "We" Act When "We" Win

Once again there are riots in cities where sports teams have won championships. I have to admit that even though I am a guy and even though there have been times in my life when I have watched sports, this behavior seems alien to me.

There is a weird psychology to it all. In recent years, for example, it has become normal for announcers to say when the teams are taking the field "Here is YOUR team." Really? I am the team owner? Are these players all from this town? How is this "my" team?

If they win this ball game does it make me richer? Does their winning or losing have any influence on whether I have to get up and go to work tomorrow? Well, let's see. Maybe if I had huge bets on these games and I won a tremendous amount of money. But no. I do not care enough about who is playing a game tonight to bet on it.

Is there a joy or a pleasure in watching a very well played game? Yes, if you care about the game and understand the rules. If you do not understand the game, you can be completely baffled by watching these people running back and forth and you will wonder what the cheering is about.

So why do people riot when their team wins? Possibly they are just troublemakers who look for any excuse to act up.

I have never accepted the rationale that cities or counties should pay for stadiums for privately owned teams. I am aware that the theory is that they will generate jobs and taxes. But when you think about it, there is no sense to locating a team away from a population base, so the teams will locate in or near major cities anyway.

Why is it that people get so worked up over sports teams? Do those cities who have a first class symphony orchestra organize parades for them when they return from playing an out of town engagement? Why not? What is the difference?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Powerful Essences from Dreams

Movies can convey a powerful impression on us that stir the emotions and tell great stories within a very compact amount of time. Images stay with us for a long time and make a deep impression. That is why sometimes we can recall a great movie we saw years ago, but forget things we have done in the years between then and now.

Storytelling is powerful, and combined with sounds and images, the magic of storytelling is amplified.

How many inspiring moments come to us this way? Yet, all of this is not to discount reading and personal storytelling. Those have been important in my life as they have been to people for generations and millennia.

At its heart all movie making is really just storytelling with all the modern equipment being able to do create worlds of illusion and illumination with a sense of immediacy.

Movies constantly involve metaphysical processes and philosophies. Concepts like karma past lives, ghosts, spirits, apprenticeship, wisdom, heart and soul are all there in popular movies, whether or not they are openly discussed in the dialogue. Have you noticed that? Some of the movies with a lot of this going on are not some of the ones that tout it up front. In the illusory world of movies, we often engage in consciousness raising realizations. From these dreams come powerful essences.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Celebrating Aging

As we live longer, we have come to appreciate the value of remaining active, keeping our bodies moving, whether it is going to the gym, yoga, tai chi, dancing, hiking, walking, swimming, whatever.

We also have set aside that notion that retirement means sitting around waiting for a check to come, just watching TV and whiling away the time. We now look at continuing to do things that generate income because we enjoy doing them. Yes, there are those who will have to work as long as they can because they have lost everything, but still, we will be very active longer in life.

Have you ever noticed how the definition of old keeps moving. I remember thinking that 30 was old. I remember when I was a kid, looking at my grandparents when they were in their 60s thinking that they were old.

But now my mother and some of her friends are in their 80s, approaching 90. She does water aerobics and yoga and gets around with her friends, living an active life.

Old keeps on looking like some place beyond where we are. As long as we keep doing things and enjoying ourselves, it can keep looking farther away. Our happiness is here and now. True, our skin may not look as tight and smooth as it used to, but who is to say that beauty always looks like that? Beauty can also be skin that someone has been comfortable living in for a number of years, inside a body that has known many experiences. Smile. We are not old yet. Old will always be more of a state of mind. We can also consider ourselves aged well, like a fine wine.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Divining Away Our Fears

People have always sought out those who can divine the future as a way of quieting the fears caused by uncertainty. No reading can remove all uncertainty.

Our likely futures include a number of possibilities. It is how we use our free will in choosing our actions that alters the flow of the energies and shapes our future. Those who can help us see can help us recognize patterns and omens so that we can be more aware of our opportunities and choices.

Some people say that the word tarot itself means "royal road" another term for our grand journey through life. Tarot helps us see that it is not the destination but the journey itself and how we negotiate our path is most important. Life is what we make it. Love is what we make it.

Tarot can teach us important lessons that will help us read the sign posts along the road and read the omens that are not presented to us in the form of sign posts. It is how we journey that determines the quality of our life.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ghost Towns

Funny how peculiar old phrases can take on new meanings as we consider them from new perspectives. Ghost town is one of these.

The familiar understanding of this term is a town that once was flourishing, but now is abandoned. No one lives or works there any more. One day when its main industry went out of business or went away, so did the entire population. Except, of course, if they have a caretaker or two who serve as tour guides if the place has now promoted itself as a tourist attraction.

Old gold rush towns fit this description, as do old railroad towns, mining towns or mill towns.

We have a slightly different understanding of the term haunted house, which usually has a more sinister connotation. Often the references to these are about people who died tragic deaths there. So in a funny way, we have differentiated between a ghost town and a ghost house.

Both are about the need to move on. The individual spirit needs to move on from the place where they were murdered or died in an accident. In a ghost town, some of the same may be necessary, but there is also a collective hold on our imagination. Probably a lot of people who visit ghost towns assure themselves that abandoned towns are a thing of the past and that we would not make those same mistakes again. But, of course, history does repeat itself. When major employers leave a town, those who remain have to do something to create new work if they are going to continue to live there.

Ghosts try and hang on to what was, but in order to survive and thrive, we must look toward what can be and what we would like to have happen, and then move toward it. Visions of the past are instructive and serve to raise our consciousness to new levels of possibility.

We have to consider what kind of world we want to live in, rather than focusing on what kind of world we used to live in. It is good to appreciate the past. Then we need to use the lessons of the past to help create our future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knowing That We Don't Know

When we turn ourselves over to doing the work that spirit guides us to do, there is a peace in knowing that we do not know every everything. When we are the vessel for inspiration, we may not know exactly what we are going to do before we start, but once we get going, the flow is there and the confirmation comes from others.

Have you had feedback from others that confirm that you did something well? Have you ever just felt like writing something or playing something or making something, and it turned out beautiful even though it was not intricately planned? Did that surprise you?

Sometimes we place a burden on ourselves because we think we need to know everything. Some people, for example, are just natural healers. Other people go to school for years to learn about healing. Some people, of course, hold the opinion that you can't be a good healer unless you go to school. Some people are wonderfully creative artists and they never went to school for that. That is part of the reason why some people feel a need to know.

Really, though, sometimes what is more important is the ability to sense, and to simply know through our senses and act from intuition. We may find ourselves doing and saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time without knowing why. That's why they say that sometimes in life, knowing why is just the booby prize.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Does It Look Like?

So if we are imagining the world that we want to live in, what does it look like?

In the short space of our lifetimes, (those of us of a certain age) we have gone from telephones with party lines to private lines with answering machines to cell phones in our pockets. We have gone from black and white TV with three channels to cable and satellite with hundreds of channels. We have gone from air travel being a special occasion to an every day thing.

We have gone from reading newspapers to getting news online or on the radio. We have gone from suits and ties at work every day to casual wear every day in many different jobs.

Computers have gone from being big clunky things to something the size of a notebook, and they will work anywhere, even in a coffee shop, restaurant, bookstore, parking lot or airport. Many people work exlusively though their computers and many others find substantial business and social contacts that way. Yet a mere 20 years ago, it was not much of a factor at all.

So what will our work look like in the future? What will our living arrangements look like in the future? What will our playing look like in the future? How far ahead are we looking?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Imagination & Inspiration

The words imagination and inspiration are effective, and still serve us well. Although people today might use terms like creative visualization or guided imagery. Channeling might simply be another version of what we know as inspiration.

Every child with crayons and paper can use their imagination to draw something. Every actor can imagine themselves as another person, as a way of being able to play the role of that character. Every good writer can imagine a character and a setting and a story and put it into writing. Archaeologists and anthropologists use their imaginations to piece together their finds and picture what life might have been like in another time and place. These are all just different applications of the same ability that we all have. Some of us use it more than others.

Today, people write channeled books. Others say that they channeled music or paintings. Yet, is that significantly different than musicians who say they were inspired to write a song or inspired to write a book or paint a different way? I think not. Perhaps the people today who channel are different in that they are believed to bring through some personality from way back, who is reputedly saying these things. Of course, people who do seances are directly relating messages from people who have died too. Sometimes what is channeled might only be wisdom drawn from that individual's higher consciousness, and that wisdom might well be worth gleaning. How can we tell the difference? Maybe sometimes we can't. So we simply have to consider the value and content of the messages or information coming through to determine whether it is useful to us.

Using these abilities are key to creating better futures for ourselves. How? Imagine what your life could be like if you could do what you love. Now what steps do you need to take to get there? Are there any signs from the universe that open doors for you to step through and turn your imagination into your reality? Are there any ways that you are inspired to speak, act or look in order to manifest your heart's desire?

Inspiration and Imagination are still valuable tools for creation. Someone had to imagine a phone small enough to fit in your pocket, travel anywhere with you, remember phone numbers and take messages for you before they could go about making one.

So too, we have to imagine what we would like to do before we find a way to do it. Inspiration stirs the imagination and encourages us to reach for our dreams. We all have these tools. We just need to use them more.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Can You Really Do What You Love?

With the rapidly evolving world of work these days, it is reasonable to ask if the old axiom "Do what you love and the money will follow" still works?

I'm sure that there are people who can answer the question either way. So maybe another question is necessary to refine it. What if what you really love to do is not possible where you are? Is there something else you could learn to love? Is there something that you could learn to love to do over the internet?

What if there is something else you could learn to do that is a variation of your first choice? What if you could invent another choice?

Once upon a time, I made my living as a magazine editor. Then opportunities in that field started to dry up. So I just accepted the fact that business is changing and decided that my attention and energy is best served by placing it elsewhere.

So I looked at the fact that I learned do readings and healings and decided to apply myself to really expanding that part of my life. It is growing and I love it.

Other people will have other shifts. Perhaps my choice was a little easier, although my transition is still a work in progress, because I had other things that I liked and was good at. But if you really take an inventory of the things you are interested in, a new career opportunity could be created. No, it is not always easy, but we all have more possibilities than we thought. We have to keep our eyes and ears open and extend our network of contact outward.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Dyad Moon, Mead Moon, Sweet!

The full moon tonight goes by a few different names. One is the Dyad Moon. One more interpretation that aligns with these definitions refers to the marriage of the god and goddess at this time of year.

The Farmer's Almanac Calendar calls it the Strawberry Moon. Talk about fertility and abundance. If you have ever grown strawberries, you know how they can spread. Sometimes you may be competing with birds and squirrels or other critters to get some, but they do produce abundantly.

This year, although my garden space is limited to containers on the patio, instead of herbs and flowers, we are focusing on herbs and vegetables. Simply practical and a refreshing change. This year, tomatoes, green beans, peppers and cucumbers are taking the place of flowers. There is a beauty in every plant, including watching a vegetable grow where that little flower used to be on that green leafy stem. Among the herbs this year are basil, parsley, chives, oregano and thyme.

The seeds of the new are growing. The old has been cleared away. Just as we have turned the earth and removed the dead plants and debris so that the new has room to grow, the seeds are expanding their reach into new shoots in new directions.

Another name for the moon this month is the Mead Moon, which is also the root of our word honeymoon. Spring, with its greenery and flowers has long been a popular season for weddings. The newlywed couples were given gifts of mead, the sweet wine made from honey. During this phase of intense sexual activity, the new couples spent lots of time enjoying each other, and the aphrodisiac drink was to facilitate that.

Another use of the term holds that during late June and early July, meads, or meadows, were mowed for hay.

There is a balance between the masculine and feminine at this time of year, and this moon celebrates that. Reflect on these ideas as you gaze at the full beauty of the moon tonight.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Choices and More Choices

Too many choices? 7 Cups shows a person with many choices. Having choices in life is good. We can choose different careers, places to live, different lovers, different hobbies or activities. But sometimes when we so many that we are overwhelmed with our choices, we can become lethargic. It becomes hard to choose.

I'm sure some of you have heard similar stories about immigrants going shopping in supermarkets for the first time and having so many choices of brands of products that they don't know where to start. Sometimes having less choices or more stark contrasts in the choices makes it easier for us to choose and act. Artists, for example, create with found objects when they cannot afford all of the best tools and supplies, and often produce amazing results. Many a time, I have improvised a meal with foods, herbs and spices I had on hand, without planning the ingredients and created a tasty meal. Men typically have a different approach to their wardrobe than women. Men may have less items and wear the ones they love best all the time, until they are worn out. Women seem to like to have lots more choices with many items being worn only rarely.

That also happens in other areas of life. When you are out of work and looking for a job and you start looking at everything, it becomes bewildering. If there is nothing in your field, you start applying for everything, and your focus is gone.

Daydreaming can produce good results as a creative incubator. So after the free flow of ideas, you want to carefully consider all your options and choose as well as you can.

There also comes a time to make your decision. If you have many choices, there are ups and downs to each choice, but at some point you just have to choose. Remember that not choosing is also a choice.

Interesting how that choice manifests in the 7 Wands, where the person who has been working hard in their garden is now looking upon his work and knowing that he will be able to reap the fruits of his labor.

The choice in 7 Swords is that the mischievous character is stealing other people's swords while they sleep so that they cannot fight when they get up. He keeps his sense of humor as he disarms his adversaries.

The choice in 7 Wands depicts a person holding the high ground, able to defend his position, whether it is about sparring over ideas or protecting himself from attacks of other kinds. Once a person has chosen and takes action, they are in a good position to handle whatever is next. Choosing well and acting on it is well rewarded.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Sudden, Slow Crossing

Today, I found out that my old friend Riverhawk crossed the veil. He was an amazing person. I met him years ago when I was teaching metaphysical classes and conducting public rituals to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

He had been a long time student of the martial arts and was in very fit condition. He was a quiet, soft spoken person, and had a beautiful singing voice. He worked in computers, but his loves were many. Not only could he sing, dance and play the recorder, he was also an excellent writer.

Riverhawk and his wife could not have children, so they adopted two orphans from the war in the Balkans.

Then one day about five years ago, he started getting these strange sensations and muscular spasms. After many tests and doctor visits, it was determined that he had ALS, which is known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Gradually, this wonderful, kindhearted, intelligen and very fit person, started to slowly lose all control of his body until it finally ceased to function. He was far too young and vital for this. Yet it happened.

At first, I could not believe it. As it progressed, he did what he could, but there was no hope of a cure. Finally, he is released from the gradual deterioration. I am still amazed that the person who I met who was so alive and healthy could suddenly develop this slow death.

Riverhawk was a great man. We never know when we will cross. Now he is free to fly again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Temper, Temper

Temperance is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. In the tarot, I often see it as a person who learns how to mix things in just the right amounts to create. A good cook knows how to do this. So do healers.

I also see a person this card represents as a mediator, one who knows how to get people to reach agreement. That role can be fulfilled by a good friend or relative in addition to a person who has a professional role in that capacity.

When we temper steel, we make it better, harder, stronger. When we temper our remarks, we try and maintain an even disposition, saying what needs to be said without saying anything hurtful or unkind.

In the tarot, it comes between Death and the Devil. After death, which usually means the death of an aspect of our life rather than the end of our life, a rebuilding process is necessary. Once we have removed old, outdated or negative patterns of thought and action, we need to replace them with others that are more positive and empowering. We search for ways to make ourselves whole again. We do a balancing act in searching for just the right mixture of things that we need and want. It is a symbol of healing, action and vision.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How Are You Traveling?

Speaking of travel, there are certain cards in the tarot deck that immediately suggest travel, 6 Swords being one of them, Chariot being another.

Looking at the 6 Swords, who do you identify with? The guide helping the passengers across to their destination, or the passengers being transported, who need help? Could the guide be a mentor as well as fulfilling the role of a chauffeur or a guardian? Or could this be the power of attraction, drawing you to your goal? Could this be a pilgrimmage to a sacred site or to participate in a sacred ritual or reunion of some sort? Could it be the beginning of an apprenticeship? Certainly journeys can be internal and/or external.

When you are the driver of the Chariot, are you able to harness the energies of the horses or other creatures that pull your cart? Can you get them to take you to your destination with speed and power? Can you get your team to work together? Are you picking up speed as you move toward your goals?

Is there someone in your life who really moves you? Are you moving powerfully toward your goal? If this represented a powerful adversary, what would it suggest about your strategy? Does your career or home life need to move in a new direction? There is movement in your life, but are directing the movement, or at the mercy of other energies? Are you ready to set the pace and the direction?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Traveler

Traveling always opens a person up to see with fresh eyes and hear with fresh ears. That is why sometimes when people come to visit us, they point out things that we had not noticed, and then we see it for the first time, when previously we just passed it by without note. We look at how things are and ask why when we see something new. Being familiar with a place often encourages us to forget or not notice because we are busy simply getting to work, going to the store or doing the routine things. We do not notice unless the changes occur on our daily route.

Travel also opens us to universal experiences, such as the kindness of strangers. We get a real sense of how large the world is compared to our own neighborhood. We appreciate each moment a little more when it is unpredictable.

We do not need to travel to far, exotic places in order to experience the opening of the psyche, or the increased awareness of our environment. We can travel to other towns within a short drive from where we live and be greeted with just as many surprises.

Expanding our view of the world, even a little at a time, enhances our consciousness.

If you have ever found yourself in a different place and been disoriented even for a moment trying to find your way around, you know just how easily you can feel like a stranger visiting this planet and looking around for the first time.