Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Is Worth Knowing?

You know how it is some days when you log on to the Internet and there are stories everywhere about some over-hyped event or non-event or celebrity thing? Just think how much better off we would be if the media would simply focus on something else. I feel that media attention is often so ephemeral and geared toward short attention spans that it draws our attention away from things that really would benefit from more attention. Something or someone who seemed to take on proportions of incredible importance just a couple of weeks ago will not even be a footnote by the end of the year. And we see this cycle repeated over and over again.

Years ago, in one of his books Dr. Andrew Weil suggested as one of his steps to optimum health not only changing what you eat and getting regular exercise, but also fasting from the news. He did not advocate the news fast for forever, but for a period of time. The purpose of such a suggestion would be to allow a person to focus on being more conscious of what they are doing and also to reduce stress.

Knowledge can be first hand or second hand. First hand means that you actually know something to be true because you have experience with it. Second hand knowledge is when you know something is true because lots of other reliable sources agree on something and it agrees with other second hand knowledge, like knowing someone else who has been there and done that.

Most people develop a strong preference for first hand knowledge as they continue on down their path. Information that has been tempered by experience becomes far more valuable as we go on. It is one way of keeping your head on when you sometimes feel that you are drowning in a sea of information, most of it irrelevant.

Back to the Andrew Weil example. If we are paying attention to what we do, if we are changing our eating, exercise or peace of mind habits and we are noticing changes in our body, that is real knowledge that is coming to us.

If we are interested in learning more about a subject and we study or practice in that area every day, we are again acquiring first hand knowledge, experiencing breakthroughs, weaving that knowledge into our life.

If we are busy trying new ways to build our business, we are acquiring first hand knowledge of what works and what doesn't.

Acquiring knowledge is part of living. We all do it. As we follow our path and heed that which calls to us, that which makes our heart sing, discerning which knowledge is worth acquiring becomes more important. Do you find yourself increasingly aware of that? I know I do.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Information Is Not Knowledge

We get so much information that it even scanning through it takes an enormous amount of time. The only way to cope with it is to choose what parts of the information flow are really useful or interesting to you.

The Internet has changed the world profoundly, giving us access to tons of information. It is like having our own personal reference librarian at our fingertips, yet search results can be bewildering. You know that feeling when you search for something and google comes back with thousands of pages that relate to your search?

Yet, the very speed and ease of circulating information makes it easy for someone to put up information that is false or misleading, and if it circulates widely and rapidly enough some people will accept it as truth simply because they see references to it in lots of places.

So it is up to the person who is searching to survey vast amounts of data to try and determine what is actually true. It often takes a sharp eye and a perceptive mind to distinguish hype from reliable data.

In among the facts will also be some very thought provoking opinions, and there are times when these will be valuable to us.

It is tempting to confuse information with knowledge. Here is how I differentiate. If you have real life experience of how something works because you have the experience you have done it yourself, or you have used a product or gone to an event, this is knowledge. It is information that is combined with your real life experience.

There are times when information is enough, and there are times when it really is knowledge we seek. Have you ever thought about this? Are you aware of when one will suffice and when only the other will do?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall: The Time of Revealing

Our instinct for taking cues from the flow of the seasons is deep and primal. Is it not both symbolically appropriate that we acknowledge our losses at the very season when the trees are stripped bare? How we see the bones of the trees and shrubs at the same time that we hold ceremonies for those whose bodies are being returned to the elements?

Ancient people used this time of year to prepare for the winter. They said farewell to the dead, they stocked up on firewood, food and other necessary items in preparation for the cold, dark time to come. They culled the herds, hunted and hung up meat to dry, smoked it or salted it.

They also looked at their situations with clear eyes, knowing that some of the people they knew and loved might not be in strong enough health to live through another winter. They prepared what healing herbs and potions they knew and had a store of that as well.

This is also the season of soul searching as people consider possible changes in career paths, students consider changing majors in school, seekers of spiritual or metaphysical matters often begin new courses of study.

Even entertainment reflects these choices. Traditionally, the movie industry releases their more serious Oscar contending works during these next few months. It is the time of year when symphonies, opera, ballet and theatres begin their seasons anew. Publishing companies traditionally release what they would consider significant titles during this season.

This is the time of revealing. We take a look at what is important to us. What we need to see is revealed. Just as the wind strips the leaves in waves as the trees and shrubs let go and what is not needed is returned to the earth for recycling, and what will go on is left standing, it is the fallen leaves that give nourishment to the roots so that the energy will build up and burst forth again in the spring.

But for now, what we have is the essence. What we have is the panoramic view, seeing through the trees which limited our view when they were in full leaf.

Inhaling the cooler night air flavored with the smoke of the fires that light the hearths, our spirits rise to the occasion and gift us with clear thoughts, powerful motivations, and a sense of our own mortality, which is our truest compass.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Altars of Acceptance

Someone recently remarked to me that she never saw so much Halloween stuff as she has in Colorado. She thinks that people go crazy over it out here, and she can't imagine any reason why since it is nothing more than a day for kids to get candy.

Of course, there is much more to it than that. although in many people's minds, it has been reduced to nothing more than trick or treating and costume parties, it has very deep metaphysical roots and it heralds an important turning in our lives every year. And that is why people really feel drawn to celebrate it for a month. Right now, this is the last of September and there will be corn mazes, hay mazes and pumpkin patches up through the end of October.

The roots of the holiday go back to ancestral times. All of our ancestral times. As far back as caveman days people have felt that it is important to honor the dead and use special ceremonies to mark their passing, remember their lives, and wish them well on their way to the next world.

Why wouldn't they? Birth and Death are the the two gateways we all have to pass through. Our families and friends are always the ones at these gateways. They help celebrate when we arrive, and they help mourn when we leave.

In modern times, as many people have left folklore and ceremonial ways slip from their grasp, some cultures have retained them powerfully, contributing universal traditions that still resonate and help people heal from their grief while wishing the spirit on to what's next for them.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance were the names that Elizabeth Kubler Ross gave to the Five Stages of Grief. Making an altar for the one who has crossed over is a powerful way to get to acceptance.

Birth, death and rebirth. Our gateways. Our inescapable gateways. The certain markers of our journey. These are the portals we pass through, and we cannot choose otherwise. So our only choice is to recognize the gateway for what it is.

We either make altars then warm ourselves at the bonfires, or we carry more weight than we need to for many years to come.

So this is how it happened. Some people chose to lose their grip on the ancient ways and only remembered to serve refreshments to the mourners and those who come to give solace and bring light through the storytelling and the music and the prayers. Except over the years they forgot to do all the other things and just served refreshments.

The refreshments are a wonderful seasonal taste that reminds us of the sweetness of life, after we have done our rituals.

Whether they are large or small, elaborate or simple, we need to make our altars. We need to honor those who have crossed and send them through the gateway on waves of our good energy. Those who make their altars enjoy their peace better than those who do not. It is at the altar that we find acceptance. It is our time and place to express our grief. It is a far more wise, powerful and ancient root ritual than simply giving candy to kids.

Here today, we can feel the strength and beauty of these ceremonies through the Mexican festivities known as the Day of the Dead. The Celtic equivalent, called Samhain, which gave birth to Halloween, are both celebrated on the same day of the year. Two powerful ancient cultures that have continued to set aside time every year to ritually remember their dead in the same time frame as giving thanks for the harvest, and preceding the time when families and friends are drawn together to celebrate and welcome in the future.

Why should we still pay attention to these holidays? Who does not know someone who has died? Who has had trouble acknowledging their grief, letting go of it and moving onward? We need to release their spirits so that they can move on, and we need to release ourselves so that we can move on.

Although the primary focus is on people we know who have died this year, people sometimes use these same ceremonies to say farewell to an animal who was an important part of their life as well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reading Consciousness

After reading at events, the altered state that fills my consciousness stays with me in the evening. There is a certain feeling that stays until the next day.

You can get an experience of what is happening when you do one reading and your mind starts spinning as the cards come out of the pack and the images set many inputs into motion, overloading and sorting, then flowing.

Hours later, that state of consciousness is still intact and operating forming a sort of aura around the reader that touches vision, imagination, perception and heightened awareness in a gentle way.

There is abundant energy that pulses through my body and the reading state of mind is still in place all through the evening.

I always affirm before I do a reading for someone that what I bring through will be useful to this person at this time. So in some way, it seems that in addition to something useful for them, something incredible happens that is useful to me as well.

This same state of consciousness is not the same as the one that comes with meditation or alcohol or smoke. It is something far different, useful because the ordinary mind processes are reconfigured.

Stuck in an awful traffic jam on the way home from the fair yesterday, the mellow feeling just kept the ordinary stress associated with such a situation at bay.

It was easy to just let my mind flow while we waited for the traffic to flow itself.

Getting into that reading state of mind is useful and, for me, desirable.

At the beginning of my learning to read, I did not know that it could lead to this. So here is another example of something that sounds simple but has profound results, and at the beginning, the process looked like what it was about was finding meanings to pictures that were constantly changing positions and evoking great varieties of meanings through the motions of shuffling and rearranging.

Yes, every picture tells a story, and every set of pictures tells a different story and every day spent interpreting these stories invokes an altered state created to serve the community of people who need or want readings, much as the shaman in primal tribes and villages invoked the altered state to read for their people who wanted or needed readings. They expected him or her to be somewhere out there in order to bring back useful information.

Sometimes healing comes through pictures when I read. Sometimes flashes of illumination. Sometimes confirmation. Sometimes insight, wisdom or humor. You never know. It all depends on the cards that come up and who is asking for the reading. It all comes into play. The asking of the question is part of answering the question.

It is still true. I go somewhere out there to bring back something for you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Clap Your Hands, See What Happens

Sometimes when we act in a positive way, we do not know what effect our actions will have, although we feel it will be good.

Sort of like the classic image of the Fool in the tarot.

For example, I did an unannounced give away of tarot decks while giving a talk at the recent Celebrations Fair. I just felt like it would be good to give them away to people who did not have a deck and would like to have one, and also giving decks to people who felt like they were ready for a new one.

Who knows what good will come of all that. I am sure that the recipients appreciated their decks.

There has not been a flood of feedback from those individuals, so we will see what is revealed in time.

This week, there was a surge of interest in some hard to find decks that I have for sale. And that interest came from far away, not locally. Interesting. I was wondering when I would see some activity there again.

One school of thought is that it is a form of the law of return. What you put out comes back to you. And so on.

So now, I keep looking ahead absolutely certain that I will find a way to make my reading/healing/teaching metaphysical business full time. How exactly? I don't know all the answers to that. I just keep plugging away, repeating the things that work, and dropping the things that don't.

There are times when it is not clear whether an effort has worked. Participation in an event or group could take time to yield results. Then of course, there are some that never will. In those cases, it is simply a matter of deciding when the experiment has gone on long enough without definitive results.

Then sometimes you decide to do something just because you feel good about it, feeling that it is at least a gesture of good will toward the world or whoever receives it.

That may appear to be foolish, and it is one aspect of being a fool. Sometimes we feel moved to do things without knowing why. Sometimes we don't need to know why before we do something.

When I used to be real active in drumming circles, there was a saying. Sometimes people wait to see what happens, then they clap their hands. But there are other people who clap their hands to see what happens next.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Constellations of Remembrance and Joy

Once again, we are on the threshhold of the fall, the autumn, the most deeply felt season.

We begin it by giving thanks for all that we have harvested this year. While for some of us, that may be crops or gardens that we grew that gave us wonderful gifts of flowers, herbs and vegetables, for others it may have been the gift of new friends, new jobs, a new place to live, the recovery of health, and new opportunities.

We are surrounded by the magic of seasonal change as we observe the leaves turning color, and those that don't have much color going from green to brown, trees being stripped of their foliage by the wind to reveal their bones, their skeletons, their stark outline against the sky.

Our journey continues as we honor those we knew who crossed the veil this year, savoring the powerful holidays of the Celtic Samhain (Halloween) and Dia de los Muertos (the Mexican Day of the Dead). These are always moving celebrations, as they should be. We celebrate birthdays, and we should take a day to remember those who have moved on to the next plane of existence, who were once an active and influential part of our life.

When we come to the civic holiday of Thanksgiving, it is really an extension of the celebration of gratitude we begin at the Autumn Equinox, which arrives tomorrow, along with a full moon. Both the seasonal holiday and the civic holiday are part of the same spiritual tide, that of remembrance and acknowledgement.

By the time of Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, we have moved past our mourning, our remembrance, humility and gratitude, and now we are in full blown celebration with many gatherings of friends, family, festive music, special foods and drinks, joking, storytelling, music and dance. And we celebrate the return of the light, the Sun, heralding the new year, the return of hope, the triumph of joy.

There is no constellation of special days of this magnitude anywhere else in our year. As we journey through it, let us be conscious of the ceremonies of thanks for the year past and omens of the planting the seeds of power for the year ahead.

The portrait of our human journey is now painted in saturated colors, and we are privileged to walk once more through this living gallery where the most fantastic images come to life, and we realize that they are us. We are both radiantly alive, sensitive and sensuous, rich with feelings, wisdom and whispered intimations of destiny. We are now in the sacred space where we look both forward, backward and become more centered in our present.

Greetings to autumn and the onset of winter! Light the fires to welcome them and ourselves, home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dry Lightning

Dry lightning is something I have only seen out here, in the west. It is a strange sort of sight because mostly I am used to seeing lightning preceding thunder and rain. It seems so natural that these are linked that to see one without the others still seems odd, even though I have seen it many times. I guess that in the span of my life I have seen lightning with thunder and rain lots more times than without.

Tonight I saw dry lightning again. Several times there were flashes in the sky, and I looked around for what would follow, but nothing did. The temperature and humidity now are still the same as they were.

Where are the other places in our life where there is dry lightning?

How many times does something happen and we expect something to follow right away. What happens when it does not? What happens when the dry lightning comes and something completely different follows?

How long does it take to get used to it?

Life is full of surprises and to me, dry lightning is one of those ways that the universe just gives us a start and yells "Surprise!"

Notice what happens next. Our senses are more alert, our awareness expands, and we pay attention.

Next time the universe goes "Surprise!" and tosses out a flash of dry lightning, notice what happens next.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Gratitude, Big Gratitude

I am sure that the people whose houses were not burned are grateful, and having gratitude for something that big is a given.

But every day we have a chance to be grateful for little things, ideas that we acted on and turned out well, the $1 winner on the lottery ticket, the news that our car really won't cost much to fix.

When we follow a pattern of gratitude for little things, the big things just follow.

Our successes are rarely made up of one big lucky hit. More often, our successes come as a result of all the little things we did right, all the people who helped us think of those little, beneficial, creative ideas we found useful.

Each day, as we take another step toward building a successful business and making our dreams come true, a little bit of gratitude primes the pump for big refreshing flow to come.

What we discover is that all the little things we have to be grateful for adds up to bigger successes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where the Fires Were

Today I took a ride up into Sunshine Canyon to see what it looked like now that the fires were out. There were whole mountainsides that looked like charcoal.

Then there were the places where the earth was scorched but some trees still stood and some even still had pine needles, although the needles were brown instead of green.

Two weeks ago you could see the night sky tinted orange above the mountains and in the daytime, smoke obscured the ridgelines, obliterating the usual profile against the sky.

It is funny the way the fire works. There was one house on top of a charred ridge that was made of wood, and it was not burned or even marred by smudge. Yet, just around the bend, there was just the remnants of a brick wall where another house once stood. There were odd contrasts like this all over, where the house on one side of the road was not burned and on the other side of the road, maybe a washer and drier and maybe a piece of the roof by the chimney was still there.

Was it that some guardian energy protected those that did not get burned? Was it prayer that saved some, not others? Was it a sudden shift in the wind that made the fire burn all the way up to a house, but not take the house? Was it luck?

Or was it simply that there was some invisible grid line in nature that said to the fire "You can burn up to here, but do not cross this line."

The fire crossed stone and water and consumed whole large areas of earth, grasses, shrubs and trees, but then there were stands of trees that are still standing, still green.

The forces of nature can work in mysterious ways. It was fascinating to see where the fires were.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Visionary Persistence

A trait of all people who start their own business is persistence. It is not enough to have a vision. You have to stick with it until you either succeed or fail.

It is when you are holding on to your vision that you try everything in order to get there, even the weird ideas, because sometimes it turns out that those off the wall ideas are really inspired and they produce results.

It is far better to have a goal and find all kinds of ways to get there than to get stuck on one method and insist to the universe that that one way produce the results.

Every creative thinker and entrepreneur experiences some techniques that fail as well as those that succeed. You have to be willing to try all kinds of things in order to discover what works.

That is why persistence is a trait. We keep trying even when others have given up. It could be that the long shot, the crazy idea, their weird thing are going to be exactly what it takes to take you to the top.

Try again. And again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heart Centered Healing

Why is it that some healers are more effective than others? I think it has to do with how much heart a person puts into it.

Often times when a person goes to a healer, what is happening is that they can sense the open hearted attitude of the healer and simply being in their energy field begins the healing process.

The person asking for the healing can tell when the healer is really compassionate, and that begins to open them to receiving the healing energy before the healer touches them or does anything else.

The beautiful thing about reiki healing energy is that it really comes through the heart, rather than being mechanical. The reiki healer does not need to know which muscle connects to which tendon. Different kinds of healers, like massage therapists can address pain and healing in that way.

So when the reiki healer is bringing through healing energy for the person who is asking for it, it is the openness of the heart that really amplifies the flow.

And from the perspective of the person seeking healing, opening the heart can be a very big step. For some people, healing the heart is one of the things that they need even though they may be asking for it to relieve stress or alleviate some body pain. For some people, opening the heart is easier than for others. Some are reluctant to open the heart because they feel that they want to keep it closed to protect it.

Opening it is necessary to let healing energy come in. Since the heart is in the middle of the body, in the center between the three upper and three lower chakras, and so once the compassionate, loving heart energy of the healer helps to fill the heart of the person seeking healing to overflowing, their heart will pump that healing energy to whatever part of the body, mind, spirit or emotions it need to go to.

If one person opens their heart to be receptive and the other opens their heart to help facilitate the flow, the circuit is complete like the two polarities on the battery of the engine that powers your car.

In heart centered healing, love becomes magic as the two hearts help bring healing in ways that are at the same time intangible, yet readily felt.

If you have never experienced this, and you would like to, I will be happy to share this with you.

Healing is sometimes about things we ingest and things that other people do to us. Healing energy can be very subtle and very strong. We can increase the flow of it by simply breathing it in. So in a way, we are ingesting something and someone may be said to be doing something to us, but that something is with our agreement and at our request.

Heart centered healing is not exactly the same for every person. It works a little differently for each person.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Remembering and Forgetting

It seems as though our life is often punctuated by episodes of remembering and forgetting. It's sort of necessary, like rebooting your computer, cell phone or your wireless router every so often.

We remember the long list of things we have to do every day, but sometimes we have to reboot to remember what is important to us. An example of that? When a person loses their job and has to reinvent themselves. Sometimes we have to search our memory for what it is that we might like to do, and how we might go about creating a way of making a living with that. Sometimes it is about remembering what it really is that makes our heart sing, rather than the career path we were on.

Sometimes we forget where we left our keys or some other thing that we need, and after turning things upside down we remember and find them again.

Other times when we rediscover something we used to like to do and haven't done for a while, we remember what it was that gave us so much joy. We remember, we forget, then we remember again.

We remember the important people in our life, and sometimes we need to be reminded why they are important to us. Sometimes they remind us and sometimes we remind ourselves. If we forget, something or somebody will remind us.

Even though some people are only important in our lives for a time, remember to express gratitude for them too. Some events and people are better forgotten and some are better remembered. Yet, it is important to express gratitude for it all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tarot Healing

Tarot readings can also be healing although people don't always connect those two things. As a Reiki Master, I also put healing energy into the readings I do for people. I affirm before every reading and every healing that I am here to help bring through something that will be useful for this person at this time.

So whether a person is shown in the reading various energies that are moving in their life, they can then identify problems that need to be addressed and opportunities that are present.

When a reading confirms things they already know, that reassurance brings a supportive energy.

Sometimes identifying something that they had been overlooking that had been at the root of the problem is healing because now they can turn their attention to what needs to be addressed. People often overlook those factors that are hidden in plain sight.

Looking ahead in a reading, there is a healing energy coming through to the person to support them as they make their choices. Energy to bless them as they go on their way. Energy that is for their healing, no matter what choices they make.

I also remind people that they can pull cards out of a deck and place them where they will see them to support them in their efforts. Simply choose the images that tell the story of your success, in whatever way you are seeking or defining. It is a positive reinforcement, and a person can draw healing energy from the images. Visuals are a tool for transmitting healing energy.

Energy flows where vision goes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mirror Images

The dynamics of reading for another person are fast moving and ever changing. They shift as rapidly as the light refracting from a mirror of the facets of a gemstone.

The person requesting the reading immediately scans the images on the cards in a layout, connecting the images in ways that make sense to them.

The reader, meanwhile, being unattached to the same feelings and information, uses his intuition to pick up the connections. from among all the possible connections.

The art of the reader is to pick up the subtle energies of the seeker and follow the prompts of the spirit guides he works with, being guided to discern from among all the possible combinations of meanings, which ones are pertinent to this situation.

The seeker then may often find themselves taking the pictures apart and reassembling them to find different ways to tell their stories and different ways to extract meaning from them.

The reader, because of their neutrality, can also help spot new patterns, since they are not attached to any associations the seeker may have in mind.

So the process is really a unique way to hold up a mirror to our selves and get a fresh look at what is really happening, sometimes casting it in a whole new light.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Testimonials

I love doing the work that I do, and appreciate the opportunity to be of service to others through my readings, healing and teaching. Today I would like to share with you some recent testimonials from my clients.

"Thank you so much for your patience and kindness while teaching me. I learned a lot from you, and also realized how much more depth there is to the Tarot and myself." --- Lisa

"I got some wonderful insight from a tarot card reader, Dan :) It was so unbelievable, insightful and really brought clarity to me :) I highly recommend it!!" --- Lindsay

"Hi Dan, Thank you again for the reading. I am interested in getting another reading." --- Marianne

"How very sweet of you to follow up our visit. I enjoyed your reading and was very happy to get a new perspective using a different deck. Thank you for that." --- Leslie

"Excellent! I enjoyed my reading and I'm going to give my daughter a 30 minute reading with you." --- Marja

"Thanks for the email. I really appreciated the reading the other day." --- Anna

"Dan, I really need to talk to you tonight. Need to make decisions fast. Thank you!" ---L

"Thank you for your time and reading this evening. I am excited to do a reading with my new cards later, and this deck already started speaking to me as I cleared it; it's neat to see different perspectives on cards we've seen and known and to see such amazing artwork. Thank you for introducing me to the deck and book." --- Erika

"I have been telling all of my friends about you all day today ... I was hoping you didn't mind referrals because I gave your info to two of my good friends. I have one specifically that is really in need of a good reader." --- Erin

"I think having another reading would be fun. My life seems to be strange these days and I could use some insight. Thanks!!" ---Pam

"I just want thank you once again. It was pleasure meet you and have a reading with you." --- A

"I appreciate your kind suggestion to make an offer. THANK YOU-THANK YOU-THANK YOU-THANK YOU--you are too kind and generous! I'm so excited and cannot wait to receive the deck--WOW! The cards ARE TO DIE FOR! You can trust that I will take good care of the deck which WILL no doubt bring me many-many hours of pleasure!" --- Linda (who bought a hard to find deck)

"I would love to get some energy work done soon. It has been a really busy and hectic month for me!" --- M

"Dan, I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me during the reading on Sunday. I had a few readings since my accident but no one but you gave me advice on how to bring back my intuition. I have been debating for a long time to tap into whatever abilities I have but I am not sure what path to take or where to begin. I see from your card that you teach tarot perhaps we can discuss it further and see if it's something for me. I am a very shy person and sometimes have trouble stating what I feel and want." --- L

"Thanks Dan it was great meeting and talking with you too. Thanks for the follow-up. I'm sure we'll work together again in the future. I'll refer people to you for sure. I liked your energy." --- Tracey

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Named

Then somewhere along the way, as our ancestors contemplated the forces of nature and other people, the stories of gods and goddesses emerged.

Interestingly, these characters embodied all aspects of personality, from courage, pain, heroism and sacrifice to love, beauty, nurturing, compassion, healing, curiosity, kindness, violence, cruelty, vision, magic, wisdom, competition and cooperation.

When we apply one of these names of the gods and goddesses to ourselves, we are invoking that energy that the name represents to aid us in our quest.

We invoke them as forms of protection and we also invoke them as guides on our path to greater aspirations.

So as we go through different phases of our life, we sometimes choose different names and different guides. You have probably met people who have taken on different spiritual names. Perhaps you have even done this yourself. Even when a person changes their mundane name, it is a reflection of this principle.

As the name of our gods and goddesses inspire us and elicit responses from others, we begin to understand the power of the magic of the spoken word as well as the power of naming.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Unnamed

Among our spirit guides are those ancestors so far back that we do not know their names. Yet, I feel that these people, as well as relatives or friends we knew in this lifetime who have crossed over, are looking out for our best interests. These people figured out how to survive on this planet, and since we are their offspring, they would like to see us succeed too. They prompt us through our gut instinct.

They may have had different ideas about family and tribe than we do, but they certainly did master the art of getting food and shelter. Today, we always use the phrase of necessities as food, shelter clothing and medical care. Clothing for sure was a different concept. In the early days, they used furs or skins to protect their bodies from the weather, and if the weather was pleasant enough, no clothing was necessary.

Medical care and healing were more like a subset of food. Discovering that certain plants could help alleviate pain, make symptoms of illness go away, or induce states of euphoria, calmness, aphrodisiacs, dreams and visions, these were certainly intertwined with their search for plants that were good to eat.

Yet, our illiterate ancestors, relying on their gut instincts and observations of nature, figured out what they needed to know. It is this power, this ability of knowing how to know that we are tapping into when we develop our psychic and intuitive abilities. That knowing, and our connection to the unnamed continues to this day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nature Nurture

Who hasn't been fascinated with this question? How much of our lives are shaped by whatever we were born with, and how much is our life shaped by our education, work, and training?

There is no unanimous answer to this question. I think that they shift back and forth at different stages of our life. How so? When we are in a school, we are influenced by our classmates as much as by whatever subjects are being taught. When we have jobs that have certain expectations of us, from uniforms or dress codes to how many clients we need to see in a week to required attendance at business associations, we find our behavior following the rules. There too, there is the peer group pressure that influences us to go for certain goals or certain kinds of entertainment.

In the nurture department we have not only the shape of our bodies, but our genetic makeup which predisposes us to like certain tastes, smells, visual effects, music. Some people grow up in touchy feely environments where it is natural to hug and kiss, while others grow up in colder environments where PDAs are frowned upon. Some people feel that our genetic makeup is how our sexual orientation is determined.

I picture the yin/yang symbol in 3D like a ball that is always spinning, sometimes showing us the nature side, sometimes showing us the nurture side.

So the bottom line question comes down to how much do we have the ability to shift these two spheres? How stable is the combination?

Consider, how easy was it when you lost that job where you had to wear a suit and tie, and now you can go to work in a jeans and T shirt? Didn't take long to get used to it, did it?

Same as when you suddenly developed an interest in mantra, tantra, drumming, dancing, herbal remedies, crystals, reiki, tarot and past lives. Gradually, you found that many, maybe most of your friends have changed, the kinds of entertainment, food, music and clothing you choose, all fits in a different scene.

How fast things can shift, you know? See what I mean about the nature nurture slipping around? So maybe instead of one or the other winning, they just keep changing places at unpredictable intervals. Kind of ends the whole argument, doesn't it?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Destiny, Destination

Destiny lays out maps for us, and by following them, we reach our destinations. It is like looking out over the landscape and feeling drawn to go this way or that. Sometimes when we are lost, we simply get a feeling that we should turn left here, or turn right. We always have free will and we use it every time we make a choice or a decision. The two do not cancel each other out.

When we feel that something is the right thing for us to do, we may not know why until later. That is where we see the panoramic view, rather than the little street or road we are currently driving on.

Destiny is also what gives us a sense of larger purpose in life. Can we look at the larger patterns in our life and see themes that repeat themselves? Do our decisions keep leading us in the same direction? Do we see our smaller movements and decisions fitting together? Do they lead where we think they are leading? Does the map look familiar? Does the terrain look familiar? Can we sense what is ahead?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Celebrating Magic and Mystery

I have always thought that the most intriguing thing about this whole realm of metaphysical matters was the magic and mystery that are constantly unfolded before us, offering life adventures that delve straight into the heart of the unknown and exciting.

Curiosity has always driven my desire to learn. It just seemed like the next natural step when presented with something as mysterious as tarot, past lives, reiki, tantra, gardening, herbalism, aromatherapy, drumming, dancing, shamanism, witchcraft, I Ching, tai chi, runes, dowsing, mythology, ghosts, remote viewing, psychic phenomena and more. Perhaps it was not way for everyone, but when introduced to mind expanding, mysterious concepts, I wanted to know more. To me, these are endlessly fascinating topics. Once I had an experience of a thing, I was drawn into the mystery and these enlivened my life.

Metaphysical fairs are a great way to explore these topics and indulge your esoteric tastes in the company of friends, seekers and other open minded people.

I am glad to be an active participant in such events. My life has certainly taken some unexpected turns because of all this, and I am glad I did it. If you were to ask if there was anything I would like to change if I had a do over, yes, there is. I just wish I had started all this even earlier. Life is fascinating, and there are so many ways explore it. The doors to excitement and exploration are only limited by our willingness to journey on these paths.

There are so many choices, any entry point that calls to you will be a great place to start. Or if your journey has been interruped or sporadic, a place to resume your quest to get the juice out of life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Her Name is Tarot

Public speaking terrifies some people. Not me. I love it, and I have done a lot of it over the years. I decided early on that getting familiar with the material and then speaking from the heart was the most satisfying way to do. I have seen other speakers who are so dependent on their notes that they would really freeze up and stumble if they lost their place. In my experience, one of the key differences is being in touch with your spirit guides as well as the spirit of the occasion.

More than once, I thought I knew the path my talk would follow, then I suddenly felt prompted to take it in a different direction. That did not throw me off. It felt good. I definitely picked up on something spirit wanted me to say.

This Friday, for example, I am speaking at the Celebrations Fair, at 3 pm. As I have been doing a little reading and thinking about it, mulling it over as I relax, a new thought suddenly came to me, and as a result, I will be doing something I have never done before in this talk. I will not say what it is until Friday. I have always felt that the energy of the talk must be held close to the heart until it is time to let it out.

There is magic in spontaneity. There is magic in the spoken word. Being connected to spirit keeps the presentation fresh. Yes, I know my material because I have had years of experience with it, but sometimes spirit has a suggestion for delivering the magic in a different way.

This talk will be different from others I have presented. It is all coming together in a very inspired and playful way, with gratitude, grace, magic and mystery.

I do not have notes, but I do have plenty of inspiration. My spirit guides are very active so I know they are preparing me for an especially good event. Knowledge is a ground for the seed to grow in, then comes the flow of the moment, the flash of insight and the arising of joy.

This path is a journey of discovery. Be prepared to embark not on fortune telling, but fortune creating. Fortunately, spirit speaks, and her words are enchantment. Her name is tarot.