Candles or Crystals? Candles AND Crystals

(It’s been forever since I’ve written: mom was hospitalized for two weeks then moved to a nursing home, where she’s doing much better. I had a filling and ended up with double vision and visit to the ER. Husband had prostate issues. And then there’s the ongoing political situation in the USA, I am doing my part in calling, fundraising and taking action for a better future in line with the ideals of Liberty, Justice for all and compassion over cruelty and greed. )

I love to light candles. They’re my go-to for honoring deity or spirit, for magick, for meditating and for setting the mood.

more candles

I’ve used votives, pillars, and the kind that come in jars.

The downside for me, is that I normally do my woo woo before I get ready for work, then halfway to work I worry I left a lit candle in the house. This probably speaks to my need to be fully present at all times as well as trusting myself that I did indeed, extinguish the flame.

Soooooooooo many times I’ve turned around and gone home and the candles weren’t lit.

Do you trust lit 7 day candles when you leave the house? This is not a problem outside and it’s obviously summer here in Ohio. I can’t wrap my head around leaving a lit candle in the house while I’m gone.

My current solution is to exchange candles for appropriately colored stones. Fortunately, my husband has gifted me with several wands and pillars that stand upright and serve as taper candles.

minerals

Not my stash, but pretty close.

But I’m not picky – I have bowls of stones that can serve in place of candles. Thanks to Melody’s epic “Love is in the Earth” I have a ready reference for qualities that I may want to incorporate into my intentions as I work.

Love is in the earth

I currently have a pie plate of small candles for a special intention – it’s outside for now- but I want to keep this work going for a year. It may end up in my basement as the most safe spot for it, even though it’s lit for less than 30 minutes at time. As long as I don’t set off the fire alarm. I probably won’t….

Best case on these workings (for me) is to use both outside when I can, for as long as I can, as well as the garden and mother nature. But come winter I may move exclusively to candles unless the working is on the weekend when I can be present the entire burn.

19095310_10156305947368275_5939865369246228343_o

Advertisements

The Power of Three

When I love a character, I want the book to go on and on. That’s the beauty of series. Right now, my platinum standard is Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. I love almost all the characters and could easily move to Three Pines if it were a real place.

Right now I’m enjoying Charlaine Harris’ “Midnight” series – which is a paranormal/mystery series I found after watching the new NBC Series Midnight Texas. I actually like the books more than the TV series, partly because I like Charlaine Harris’s writing style. An added bonus is, characters from her other series’ make appearances.

Which brings me to a question I ask myself, where is the tipping point on a series when it goes on a long time?

Case in point is Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, also known as the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Fell in love with them. But at some point along the way, I started to lose interest and didn’t make it to the thirteenth book. I might’ve committed treason around book ten. It was when an interesting character was killed off to make room for more incredulous characters. I know – I’m talking about a Paranormal genre. Still, good writing is good writing, but around that point, the writing felt forced. Maybe the author lost interest too, who knows?

I blame Tolkien for the expectation of books falling into trilogies – and I know that’s unfair. Lord of the Rings was written as one work and the publisher split it because it was too long. And it was actually six books. Fun fact: I did not like “The Silmarillion”!

After LotR I went for the Shannara Books by Terry Brooks. First three  – great. Now I think there are a dozen, maybe more. The Shannara world appears to be totally mined, but I bet I am wrong about that. I was tapped out at three. How many more swords/elfstones/elfsongs haven’t been lost/discovered?

Same issue with The Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan, that world seemed to grow exponentially. It’s author died before the series was complete and the editor (fun fact: editor was the author’s wife – may explain the never-ending story aspect) hired another writer to finish the last two books, making a total of fourteen books to get through. I actually had a lot of these in hardback – this was when books made great gifts. One gift was the compendium of maps and people. I never finished this series, either.

I am sure this is a tough call on authors who have all watched or read “Misery.” That fan base can be pretty wicked.

In the meantime, I can definitely recommend Louise Penny’s works, and this particular series by Charlaine Harris. Oh, and Lord of the Rings.

 

 

 

 

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.

spider-1232384_640

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

sidewalk-oracles

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.

 

 

Trolling

Looky what I found! A Troll Doll.  Throw Back and good memory.

13729183_10155036629223275_799269819353812816_n

For no good reason, Troll dolls popped up in my memory several months ago. I remember them from the 1970’s. You could get pencil topper trolls, and by the end of the fad, they came dressed in various professional garb: Doctors, nurses, etc.

Every once in a while I’d think about Trolls, more from nostalgia, like “oh that was a carefree time wasn’t it?” (Ignoring that I was an insecure teen and scared of most people.)

John and I stopped at an antique shop on Friday. He always finds cool little things. Or big things like the milk container on our front porch. Anyway, I was wandering through this maze of a store, and I found this Troll doll. I was nearing the end of my interest in walking around and looking, and for some reason remembered about Troll dolls. In the next cubby, was a pencil topper troll, and on the other side, four Troll dolls.

Ok, it’s a neat coincidence but why bring it up?

About a month ago, the shaman-study group did some ancestor work. One of the exercises came from Frank MacEowen’s book “The Spiral of Memory and Belonging.”book In the exercise, I stepped back in to four successive generations of my ancestors” my dad, his father, his father’s mother and then her father. The purpose was to feel what those people felt, to learn something about their motivation or their lives, in order to see our own lives a little clearer.

What I learned from this, was there was an overwhelming sense of duty to support the family. I felt my great-grandmother Christine scrubbing clothes on a washboard while her child played in a field. There was a sense of not being able to “look up” from her work. I felt my grandfather walking the street home from a job, burdened with trying to feed eight children during the Depression. The focus on work to sustain the family. I felt my Dad being one of eight, and the need to do better, make sure we were fed and sheltered. There was such a sense of working to ensure survival.

And then there was my great-grandmother’s father. This man’s energy was bright and hopeful. He loved horses, and dreamed of escaping the town for the country.

What does this have to do with finding the Troll? I believe it was a gift from my ancestors to remind me that I don’t have to work to survive. That this legacy of determination has served me well in the care of my dad and mom over the last several years, and in my drive to always have a job, even when my husband was laid off. I can always draw on that.

13512187_10154987699618275_1326423396505250008_n

Ancestor Barbie says “Hi!”. Someone in the line was a comedian.

But, they are reminding me that it is ok to play and be whimsical now and then.

This is the second time a toy like this has crossed my path. About five years ago, for whatever reason, I found a Kangaroo Beanie Baby at a flea market. I walked past it, and went back because when I was a little kid, I had a kangaroo stuffed animal, just about that size, named Matilda.

You may be getting some nudging too. I’m telling you, these things are really subtle and easily dismissed. It does take tuning into yourself to listen to those quiet thoughts, and that’s a practice. It is totally worth it though.

 

 

Who are you listening to?

I was following a conversation on social media (lurking). The writer expressed concern over the tone of our political process. Could this mood of fear and anger be released? Is there an answer ? How do we move forward?

90% of the replies included aspects of “think positive” “embrace love” and “good triumphs.” A small minority felt that while positive thought was a good thing, it needed to be backed up with action, that simply wishing away the “bad things” didn’t make it happen.

film-1296110_640

I am in the small minority section. Keeping peace in your heart and compassion in your soul is 100% “a good thing” and not just for your blood pressure. But stopping there is like blessing the spoiled milk in your refrigerator and then drinking it. It’s still going to make you ill. Because it’s spoiled milk.

forest-411491_640

This attitude, that if you’re perpetually IN THE LIGHT, that all will be well, ranks right there with my opinion of “do what you love and the money will follow.” You have to make a difference. It’s the same with magic, yes intent is 90% of the work, but there’s that 10% that you have to actually get off your rear-end and do the work. That might mean, networking the heck out of everyone to get the job that you will love, or it might mean fertilizing and weeding the garden you planted or it might mean working at the grass-roots level of a political process to ensure the change you want to see.

the-eleventh-hour-1156776_640

So back to the conversation. There were many thoughtful replies, but there was also a die-hard person who insisted that even talking about this, brought in negative vibrations. This person insisted, in shorter and shorter replies, that anything remotely dark or negative, should be avoided at all costs.

Now, if you’re familiar with pagan circles you know there’s a strong element within most traditions of acknowledging that there is darkness, (not a devil, that is a Christian concept). Period. It exists in many forms. (John Lasher Lamb wrote of archons  for more information see “Not in His Image”)

Shamanism works with energies and spirits, and encountering a dark or angry spirit is just a reality. They exist. But you don’t ignore them and hope they go away. You go to someone who can deal with them. Or you do it yourself.

By the end of the conversation, the die-hard was telling people to ask The Council of Fire and another entity, I don’t remember the name. Because they had given him the instructions and all could benefit from their answers.

circle-1276243_640

This comes to my second point. Who are you listening to? There’s a ton of channeled information out there, from the Seth Material to Michael to  A Course in Miracles. Not all channeled material is equal or of a high vibration. It’s like your TV, lots of channels, various content.

I surely support each of us on our path, whatever deities we may embrace or compassionate allies may walk with us. But there are tricky energies out there and they can be smooth operators. They’ll tell you what you want to hear and lead you down the garden path. And they’re not all discarnates. We’ve all met a snake-oil salesman in various forms. No different on the spirit plane.

 

“The Life Changing Magic…”

I went through the self-help book craze awhile ago, like in my forties. Then a couple weeks ago a friend posted this title on her FB page.

It is a very irreverent look at how good, responsible people get so caught up in other peoples’ perceived obligations (to those other people), that their own lives are shunted to the side, or worse, lost altogether.

Read an excerpt

I have been feelng under-water with my life. The past 18 months have been wrapped up in parental care and the bureaucracy that follows death. One of the tasks is to sell my parent’s home to ensure funds for mom’s care.

I am one of three kids. Like so many parents did, they tagged each of us with what they thought was our dominate trait. The Smart One, The Funny One and The Responsible One.

Guess which one I am?

I didn’t actually appreciate having to clean out a large house (filled a 5 ton dumpster) or manage mom’s care with only my husband to help. I did however get a lot of neat excuses.

“It’s not possible” to the request to come home and help me move mom.

“oh dear” to the night I spent in the ER with mom

“…..” That’s a zero response after I called out The Funny One on his promises, that he didn’t keep – to mom, not to me.

I read the book for the laughs. But guess what? I actually found some useful information including a flow chart and several diagrams.

THANK YOU SARAH! I keep this in my purse.

What it boils down to, is you only have so many cares (replace with F word) to give in a day – or a lifetime. Those cares represent time, money and emotions.

Think about that. How much emotion or time or money can you give to other people’s stuff? It depends right? And how guilty should you feel when you say no? Answer: You should never feel guilty about saying “no.” But we do. I do.

So it is all about prioritizing what YOU can afford to care about.

This was the value for me: I found a way to draw a line in the sand, without equivocation or backing down. Did I still have to do all the work myself? Yes. Did I have to roll over be nice about it? No. I wasn’t an asshole about it, although The Funny One didn’t think so, but The Funny One is the one with his crap still in the house-that-is-listed-for-sale.

Is this related to shamanism? Yes, in the sense that we all have to reclaim our personal power before we can attempt to help others. Yes, because I have ALWAYS had problems with boundaries and it ended up either with shame (“good girls are not selfish. You are selfish for not doing as I ask”) or with me in a simmering passive/aggressive mode.

And I don’t like either behavior.

So, New Year, new attitude.