Is the Otherworld bleeding through?

I was totally jealous when I read John Beckett’s excellent column The Otherworld is Bleeding Through

On Patheos.com. If you’ve followed this blog or my prior attempts at blogging, you know I stalk the divine. Relentlessly.

So hearing about experiences of the otherworld bleeding through more and more often inspired the typical response. “Sh*t. Why not me?”

Then I remembered this weird thing from last summer.

John and I were sitting in the backyard last summer. It was a Sunday morning, early enough that the sun was up, but still a lot of shadows cast from our house and trees. I saw this brilliant red/orange thing in one of the maples. We were maybe 10 feet away. I thought it was a kid’s balloon stuck there till I saw it move. John saw it too, wondering if someone’s exotic bird escaped. The plumage was so brilliant – was the sun catching the feathers at some angle that made it…glow? Both of us remarked on how big this bird was.

We didn’t want to scare it into flight, so we moved slowly under the tree’s canopy, maneuvering around to get a better look. And what we saw was….a cardinal. A regular size cardinal.

Sounds like we were drinking, right? We weren’t. We genuinely saw a big(ger than a cardinal) red/orange bird. Yet here we were faced with a common but lovely dark red cardinal.
We laughed of course, sort of anyway.

And now I wonder if this was my own experience of the Otherworld bleeding through. It reminds me how subtle spirit energy is, and how often I have dismissed coincidences.  If I *saw* a large orange/red bird, does that explain how people have *seen* other mythical beings? I will be on the look out for more of these bleed throughs.

 

Dream Guidance, a Process

I am following up on an exercise in Robert Moss’s book Conscious Dreaming. I am only a couple chapters into the book so this isn’t a book review, just an example of an exercise and how I am working with it.

One of the reasons I am working more fully with my dreams at this time, is an effort to heal the anger and frustration that is simmering within me. This is a result of parental caretaking over that last two years, dealing with medical and insurance paperwork, and a lifetime of people pleasing/not saying “no”/not believing in myself patterns.

So I am incubating dreams on this subject of healing that pattern. I am boiling the situation down to this phrase “I want direction and guidance on healing the anger and self-deprecating patterns in order to fully enjoy my life.” That actually took some time to figure out.

Let me stop right here and say that in this book, Mr. Moss will do exactly this: state the problem he wishes to receive guidance on, then he proceeds to tell us the symbols and coincidences that validate the dream or answer his questions. He says that the answers may not come immediately, but the answers he receives are clear to him, and provide guidance. What he doesn’t write, is about all the symbols and signs that are false-starts. I am telling you this because I don’t want anyone to think that I get instant perfect answers. No one does, and Mr. Moss doesn’t write about all the “maybe this” “maybe that” signs that appear. That would be boring and confusing.

So, the first two nights of dreaming had a pattern of “tables.” The first night had a black and red one that I loved that was empty, and while I was admiring it, a tall woman snapped at me that I wasn’t paying attention to her. The second night, there were many tables involved in my work, all filled with lovely crafts made by others, but with no room for me.

*My take on this is trying to find “my” table for myself – my space.

Now last night was a horse of different color.

I have always titled my dreams, written them out, then recorded any feelings that they evoked at the time I dreamed them. This is in line with the exercise in the book. So, here is:

Peggy Lost the Fighting Tarantulas.

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My friend Peggy from work, is in a kitchen space that looks very similar to the one in the house I grew up in. The lighting is dim, it feels like evening. I am watching Peggy crouch down. She has two tarantulas, one dark and one that is tan and brown. She wants them to fight. I am hyper alert, but totally still because I do not like spiders and what is she doing with two tarantulas, anyway?

The tarantulas are pretty much ignoring each other, then with her hand, she brushes the tan one into the dark one to provoke a fight. The two bristle and show their fangs and grow to the size of baseballs.

I internally want to scream and feel my eyes growing wide at this.
Something in the other room distracts me. In my old house, this is the dining room area, and I am aware of people in the dining and living rooms. I step out to deal with something, then return. Peggy has lost sight of the tarantulas. “Oh well” she shrugs. She steps away. Now I am very worried. Where are they? In what crevice or dark corner are they lurking?

The people have made these crochet/knitted type of barriers, they are about 18” tall and are to fit across each of the three doorways. I am holding a bright blue one, with three doll heads and strands of yarn hanging down. We hope the tarantulas will come out and get on these yarn barriers and be caught.

  • I am afraid of spiders,
  • My friend Peggy is notoriously unorganized and lets daily tasks slide in favor of reading or anything else. In her defense, she did have a small stroke a couple years ago.
  • I know the shamanic meaning of tarantula includes trusting your intuition, balancing strength and weakness.
  • I don’t care. I am still afraid of spiders.
  • I am highly organized and efficient
  • I am afraid of conflict but will fight for what I believe in
  • Then I will be exhausted and second-guess myself.

In following up on your dreams – since this was less than clear to me, probably because of my throbbing fear of tarantulas – I stated my intention that the first odd thing I saw, would be an answer to what the dream meant.  This is where it gets tricky. I am now alert for signs. On my dawn patrol walk I encountered:

  • A nice looking young man running with no shirt on. Very unusual but not at all sure this meant anything.
  • Man teaching his German Shepherd to fetch and come. My first thought “You have to leash your dog in this park, glad I didn’t bring Miss Penny.” Only fit my OCD problem with following rules.
  • I wore tan outfit to work, I just realized this as I am writing, am I the tarantula?

 

I am going to marinate this for awhile and see if my dream is showing me that I have gotten pushed into some “fight or flight” adrenaline over home stuff or old stuff. Tonight I will ask for clarification on this. I appreciate the dream showing me what is, but I want to see the guidance. It’s a process, so I am not giving up on this theme. I really want the Universe to show me some Out-Of-Box thinking to get my life back on a joyful track.

 

Sidewalk Oracles

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I want to recommend  Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss. I first heard about him through some friends, who were also interested in the messages we receive from dreams. Mr. Moss has studied dreams and dreaming,  and based on my friends’ recommendation, I read Dreamgates earlier this year.

And because I tend toward OCD on subjects, I ordered several other of his books. (Book-aholics! Please check out Better World Books for free shipping and to help their literacy project.)

I have always been a strong dreamer and have kept a journal that includes my dreams, for many, many years. Dreams have always fascinated me and I often receive helpful, albeit sometimes cryptic, information from them. I will let you know how the two other books are when I finish them.

So back to this one.

Sidewalk Oracles is an easy read, I was able to finish it over a weekend. There’s a lot of Mr. Moss’s personal story interspersed throughout the book, but it gives you a framework for the information he presents. The meat of the book, for me, was the chapter on asking for, and recognizing, the everyday oracles that are available.

If you’re into this kind of material, you won’t be too surprised by the content. But, I learned new things and new ways of receiving information and validations. If you’re on the cusp about this, check out Robert Moss’s blog and website. He is also on Facebook and posts some of his blog material there.

 

 

A less bitter post

Bitterness and being run down, ran through my last post. Sorry there.

So today I want to talk about cursing and soul loss

Your words have power. So do the images you see.

This week, I encountered two versions of this. download 2

 

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In the first instance, cursing – as in cursing someone – I got in the way of someone else’s anger and hostility. It doesn’t matter why or who they really should have directed this at, they directed it at me.

We’ve all been there. People project, they’re scared, whatever. But they lash out and you’re the target. Sometimes you can walk away from this, sometimes it follows you. In my case, at this time, it felt like a dark cloud of stinging bees in my chest.

Now, this is not some Woo Woo thing, this is the power of the spoken word, backed up with emotion. Very high emotion. To the point I felt I was vibrating with it. Since I was at work, and thankfully not operating heavy machinery, i.e., my car, I tried to get myself to ground, to breathe deeply and to let go.

If you’ve been involved in any type of body work: yoga, reiki, chi qong, you know that breathing correctly, fully and deeply, is very important part of getting centered and being in a place to let go. In other words, release the fight or flight feeling.

Now, I’m fully aware of all the right things to do, but I am blessed to have a shamanic community to reach out to, and so I did. I texted Lisa, and she sent healing, calm energy. Between her energy help, and my practices, I could function at work within a short time.

What if I had not done this?

I would have sat with this energy-that-did-not-belong, all day, all by myself, reliving the words, the feelings, what I should have said, blah blah blah. And even though I was pretty ok after a short time, for sure the experience stung. It was misplaced, I did not react or respond in kind, but it still had a bad effect. And this is what cursing is. You’re sitting with energy that was flung (or taken or however it came to you) at you and IT IS NOT YOURS. Now, imagine being so scattered by the emotions that you get behind the wheel of a car. This is recipe for an accident. See? curse.

The second incident – soul- loss, happened to a friend.

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He saw an online petition to stop animal cruelty, and when he clicked, a video of two young kids torturing and killing a dog, played. The adults filming were laughing and egging them on. (For the record, this was a FB video that a rescue group was trying to find the source of, to arrest the people involved, however, that was not clear on the site.)

Anyway, my friend experienced soul-loss. He was so deeply affected by the images that he could not get himself together. He couldn’t get warm, he couldn’t eat. He was deeply distressed. He also has had a lot training, and couldn’t overcome this by himself. He did ritual with his own rescue dog, to honor the soul of the dog in the video, but he was hurting.

He also reached out, to our group and to other practitioners he as worked with.

So, this is a cautionary post. Watch how you feel. Check in with yourself, especially if you spend time on social media or watching the news. What you see and hear does affect you – it affects your cells as well as your emotional well-being.

There are a zillion awesome and loving souls out there, but it only takes a couple zingers to send you into a place you don’t want to be. Find your center, find a community and be well.

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Do pets grieve?

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A friend emailed me after her much-loved dog had crossed.

“Do the other dogs miss her?” she asked.

I thought about this for awhile, because, you know, death and grieving don’t really have words. They are States of Being. And I wanted to honor those States of Being. I went to my guides for information.

I told her that at this time*, I believe that dogs live in the present moment. They are very much aware of “now.” And in her household, her other dogs could still smell Lily, but they could not see her physical presence. When I checked in on them about this, they expressed confusion. “Lily is not here, but we smell Lily.”

My friend was disappointed, because of course she was heartbroken over Lily’s death. She wanted confirmation that this loss was also felt by the other dogs in her house.

“They will be able to see Lily when she is present in spirit-form,” I told her. You’ve seen dogs and cats just stare off at something, they have a more refined set senses than we do. So for them, it is not the same emotional trauma. They understand loss, as in “not here” but they do not dwell on that.

This is a tough subject – well, death is always so, in our culture – but with pets, we really want to imprint human characteristics on them. Believe me, I do it all the time. In many ways, they are so much more advanced (spiritually) than we give them credit for.

I wanted to reassure my friend that everything and everyone was ok, (they were and so is her beloved pet in spirit), and that she shouldn’t judge her other pets’ behavior based on her very raw emotions.

  • This is my disclaimer: My beliefs are always evolving. This is what I believe now, based on my experience up to now. Someone else’s experience may be very different, so please honor everyone’s perspective.

 

Penny from Heaven

Many years ago, I lost a beloved companion animal, one that took my heart – she was my heart. She was just a special soul, in a special way, at a very important time.

Her presence was so meaningful for me, and the loss so keen, that I contacted another animal communicator to reach her and see if she would one day return to me.

The conversation was a long one, and the upshot was, when I learned the lesson of Lassie’s life, and death, then she would reincarnate with me again.

So. There was work to be done to see what those lessons were. And they are irrelevant to this post. What is relevant, is that the bond of love never dies, whether it’s a pet or a person.

Several years ago, I felt it may be time to touch Lassie and see if she was ready to come back to this plane. In my mediation, she showed me a dog that had half of it’s face shadowed by darker fur, and she showed the tail as short or darkened somehow at the base.

I really really wanted her to come back.

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Rhett Butler and me in 2009

We currently had a senior rescue coonhound that we loved dearly, Rhett Butler, an amazing soul who would probably have tolerated another dog. Rhett was so afraid when he came to us – and me being me, I wanted him to have a name that would give him dignity and respect when uttered. So, Rhett Butler he became.

Rhett collapsed in our house during the Super Bowl last year. He couldn’t use his back legs at all, and it was a horrible Monday morning that we released him to spirit at our vet’s.

Meanwhile I was caring for my dad with cancer, and my mom with dementia. And working. So why was I trolling through rescue sites looking for a dog, when the last thing I needed was another soul to care for.

I journeyed to my Wise Tree. “Why am I obsessed with this, what can possibly be a good outcome for bring a new dog into our home in winter?” And Tree showed me playing in the yard with a small dog.

Playing. Something I hadn’t even thought of since my dad had gotten sick, when my days were spent at hospitals or my parent’s home and my nights were filled with worry and anxiety and tears.

A month after Rhett crossed, I applied for a beagle at a rescue. They were so sorry! that dog had been rescued, could they interest me in a little mix? Cattle dog and Rat Terrier?

We emailed information back and forth, and almost didn’t consider her, even though her picture, well, it was really close to what Lassie showed me.

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Penny Lane

 

She had been abused, was dog aggressive, her previous owner said she tore up stuff. Almost the exact opposite of Lassie’s behavior. But the rescue *knew* we could help this little girl. They tested her at their house for destruction – there was none. They let us have a trial run. So of course, we fell in love. Her name was Penny.

There was a lot of synchronicity in this story and I’m afraid I haven’t told it well. You may ask, well if this is Lassie, why is she different? My answer at this point in my understanding is, there is part of the soul-of-Lassie, and other parts of SOUL as well. Lassie was a shy dog, one who went nutsy during storms. Penny is not shy, very protective of her (and our) space. So, I see balance – for and for me.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in reincarnation or not. But I know a lot of people who grieve for their pets so deeply and so badly want that pet to come back. This is my story, and I hope it helps someone.

 

Losing a pet

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment is to compose a post, based on a comment I made yesterday.

 

Cammy’s furkid transitioned to spirit. When I read her post The Dignity and the Mystery, I was really touched, because we lost our Rhett Butler this time, last year. He was a gentle soul, a rescued coonhound of middle age back in 2009, and dearly loved.

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Rhett Butler, October 2009

There are no greater optimists, then those who love an animal and bring them into their homes. You know they will leave you one day. And despite this heartache, we do it again and again.

Why is this?

Everyone will have a different answer. For me, it is because I cannot imagine life without a dog.Their love is unconditional. And a rescue dog, well, you save a life and that will allow another dog to be rescued and find their forever home.

I was with Rhett at the end, and before him, with our basset hound Aerosmith.

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Aerosmith, summer 2008

This is sacred time. And through the tears, we told each of them how loved they were, and how we would miss them, but that we understood. When Aero passed, I felt his spirit lift and a sense of a gold/yellow presence ran off to go chase a scent. Through the tears, I realized he had given me a great gift, the gift of feeling his spirit run free, and the knowing that life never ends, it just changes.

 

And from their lessons, I learned to cherish the sacred time I had with my dad, before and as he transitioned. We should all have this gift, this reverence for life, as it comes in and as it transitions forward.