Today’s Oracles

For the past couple days I have been asking for signs about things on my mind.

Today I forgot to do that, but because I am open to hearing and seeing signs (see Sidewalk Oracles from yesterday) I recognized three signs.

I hit “shuffle” on my playlist when I drove to work and the first three songs were:

Changes in Latitude, Jimmy Buffet

You’ll Never Walk Alone, Rogers and Hammerstein

Pocketful of Sunshine, Natasha Bedingfield

This is pretty typical of how I receive oracles – through music. I remember shortly after my dad died, I turned on the radio and “My Special Angel” came on first.

Totally not surprised that I was answered,  but I said “yes! thank you!”

I definitely am working on changing my attitude, thank you ancestors and spirits for supporting me, and it is indeed a beautiful sunny day. But even if were cloudy, the sunshine comes from within.

 

 

 

Trolling

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

Managing Expectations

I have a lot of expectations.

I didn’t think that was true, but when I stopped and thought about it, I realized that almost all my assumptions and decisions are based on a set of expectations.

I expect hot water when I turn on the shower.

I expect the coffee maker to work.

Rephrase it, and it’s more like “I assume I will have hot water. I assume the coffee maker will work. I expect to have coffee in the morning.”

I “assume things” based on past experiences. I think we all do (maybe I am assuming here, too.)

When our expectations aren’t met, you get to choose from a long buffet of emotional reactions that, hopefully, lead to a constructive plan of action. Or not. We’ve all been the witness to some spectacular toddler meltdowns over small issues. Small to us, not to the toddler, obviously. Watching such a meltdown can cause a visceral reaction for any spectator.

Anyway, I normally handle things pretty evenly, and I say this, based on the assumption that I have: A) gotten enough sleep regularly, B) eaten normally i.e., regular meals of real food and C) am maintaining some kind of exercise for my body and relaxation for my mind.Shout out to All About Healthy Choices

Losing out on any of those components will throw off my perspective and cause me to mentally make a mountain out of a molehill. And while my meltdowns are not as spectacular as a two-year old’s , they are still damaging to me because I am internalizing a wicked dialogue accompanied by strong emotions. So, I might as well be drinking acid.expections

Case in point: My sister is coming home

My sister lives 400 miles away, and visits twice a year, for approximately 36 hours. This has gone on for several years, encompassing the time my dad was ill and dying. She has traveled world-wide, both alone and with her family, and is not tied down by a job or her teenage sons.

I told her mom really needed more company, and that I was overwhelmed with the many post-hospital appointments that I had to miss work for. Awwww….she felt bad she couldn’t be here to help. I received two Mala bracelets blessed by the Buddhist monastery, and a renewal of the Health and Happiness Candle she lit for me.

Were my expectations met: Yes, my sister lived down to my expectations.

Is this a passive-aggressive post: Yes, I am not above that, Sorry.

Am I having a wicked internal dialogue and choking on my acid reflux: No, because I have done A, B and C above.

Now my buffet of choices is simple: do I carve time out of my day to see my sister, knowing I am making a choice to do so, and to not be an asshole to her? Or do I not worry about this choice because no one else is.

best choiceThe smartest thing someone told me recently was, it was not my responsibility to fix every thing for everyone. So we’ll see. I am not stressing about it.

 

 

 

Liebster Award!

Thank you, Pujjya, from  STAY-HEALTHY&HAPPY, Love Yourself, The Most, for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and I love your posts.

So, Eleven Facts About Me:

  • Catholic education: K-College
  • Ditched religion in favor of finding spirituality/truth/Giant Spaghetti Monster on my own.
  • Love to read
  • Spoil my dog
  • Spoil my husband
  • Not afraid of death
  • Working on a cleaner diet, one meal at a time
  • Love my job
  • Not a big social media person
  • Drove stick shift cars until 2014
  • Redhead

And here are my answers to Pujjya’s questions:

  • Is life short or long??
    1. Life is what you make it. Time is irrelevant
  • Why do you think the color pink is thought to be girly??
    1. I keep thinking of a blush rose, one between white of purity and the red of passion
  • Which is better mountain or sea???
    1. I love mountains, but I like seashores too…
  • Who is your favorite person??
    1. My dad
  • If asked to sing a song what will it be??
    1. Somewhere, beyond the sea ( but I would sing it poorly, so click the link and listen to Frank
  • Do you believe in ghosts?? If so then why??
    1. Yes, doesn’t everyone?
  • What is your favorite drink??
    1. Coffee in the morning, when the aroma is filling the kitchen and the day is new.
  • Who do you think to be a better contestant for USA ? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump..
    1. Headdesk…..
  • How far you can go for your love??
    1. To the moon and back
  • What is your favorite blog post till date and Why?
    1. Working with the Ancestors, Part I , because right now, that’s what I’m focused on.
  • Why did you start blogging?Just to have a place to write out my thoughts. It’s different from the journal I keep, a little broader focused perhaps.

I totally apologies for the short list of nominees that follows, and you can blame me that it takes me forever to figure out how to post stuff, and I am only starting to follow more and more blogs. Sorry!!! There are a million awesome blogs out there, many with less than 200 followers and these are just a few of the wonderful people who inspire me.

Tippy Tales

The Cuteness is Real

Spirit Evolution

In the Autumn of Mu Life

Maia Over Matter

The Heretic and the Holy Man

 

Eleven questions from me:

  1. What are you doing, right now?
  2. Where do you want to be one year from now?
  3. Pets?
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. What thrills you?
  6. What is your superpower?
  7. You can change one thing in the world. What is it?
  8. Morning person or night owl?
  9. Red or white wine?
  10. Guilty pleasure?
  11. What is your dream job?

 

 

RAOK

So… tragic week in U.S. again. Still.

This isn’t going to bring anyone back, and it surely won’t change any laws-gun or LGBT protection – but it usually brings a spark of light into a pretty dismal world. Today, practice a Random Act of Kindness.

Smile at the checkout clerk, pet a dog, pickup some trash, give a couple bucks to the sad-looking teen or oldster who’s sitting by themselves. Offer them a smile too. When you’re heart is breaking, offer a piece to the person next to you.

Last week I was missing my dad. A lot. And out of no where, someone gifted me with a hand-made Hamsa (shaman’s hand, healing hand).Kitchen 2

Several weeks ago, she had heard me say that I collect them, thought of me, and brought it to a meeting. I was really overwhelmed, not just by her kindness, but by the fact that I know my dad was hearing me miss him, and this was his way of hearing me.

So last Friday, a friend posted that it would have been her brother’s birthday, the first birthday since he had died this winter. She had some plans for her mom, because it was going to be a really tough day for her. Her mom, Mary, is my neighbor, and this loss…well, burying a child…there are no words.

Anyway, for some reason I remembered this bracelet I had purchased last fall that had angel wings, hearts and green stones. It was intended as a gift, but never made it out of the house at Christmas. I stuck it in my pocket when we walked Miss Penny, and thought I’d give it to Mary if I saw her out walking. Well, I didn’t see her and had some errands to run, so we we drove over to a small town for some produce. And there was Mary buying apples.

Coincidence? I don’t thinks so. After a hug, I tucked it in her hand. I think we both knew it was from Joe, her son. But we didn’t need to say that. So, my day got 100% brighter, and maybe her grief lifted 1%, but that’s ok.

Here’s my challenge: go RAOK like mad this week. It won’t make up for what’s happened to the Orlando families, but it will make you feel at least 1% better.

 

Working with ancestors, part I

I was inspired by the recent Guardian Gateway Ancestor Telesummit to work with my ancestors. Obviously, I would like to heal my ancestral line, as much as I can. But, I would also like to work with my ancestors in a positive way, and learn their wisdom.

My biggest obstacle to this is, that there is not a lot of Celtic shamanism in the area where I live. Right now, this is where I am drawn to investigate and hopefully embrace and work with. I have some German and some English ancestry but the majority is Irish, so for now, that’s where I’m concentrating my interest.

Jude Lally, (www.celticsoulcraft.com,) was one of the Telesummit speakers. She creates dolls from felted wool as part of her commitment to the divine feminine and in her talk, she spoke of creating a doll to honor the ancestors. So I took my cue from her and created one for myself.

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Clearly, I am not a crafty person because what I saw in my mind’s eye did not accurately translate into what I made. But, it captures the idea.

It was important to me to incorporate elements of nature, so the form is from my healing tree, and the head is a pine cone. In my vision, I saw a silver spiral coming up from, or down to, the head. My paint job didn’t show up too well, and I wrapped the spiral with silver thread, also very light and not showing up too well.

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The woman in the image had long white flowing hair, and a grey tunic. Her clothes where much more flowing than what I ended up with, but in a way, that’s ok because it sort of reminds me of nun’s habit and there were certainly nuns in my family. Plus, you know “back then” there wasn’t a big fashion craze.

There’s a Claddagh pin I’ve had forever, closing the tunic and a clear quartz crystal gifted to me by a tribe sister.

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This healing hand is from a tee shirt that never quite fit me. Nothing goes to waste! I debated this because it’s not really a Celtic (or English or German) symbol, at least that I know of. But I really liked it and liked the idea of both healing and protection.

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And around her throat is the bracelet that came from Peruvian woman, another gift. This may seem like another odd addition, but a way distant ancestor – a man from the African continent – also showed up for me, and this and the texture of the doll’s hair is to honor that spirit.

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With each element beyond the basic image I was given, I let the matter sit for few days. I never got a “no” on any of these additions, so I felt it was ok to use.

Now, what am I going to do with this beauty?

First, I feel I should honor the sacredness by involving the four elements, so I will carefully bury her (earth) overnight, smudge (air), bless (water) and I’m not sure how to involve fire. But I will figure it out.

My intention is to work and honor ALL the ancestors, those of my blood, those of my spirit and incarnations and those of the very first ancestors, who may not be in human form.

Where this takes me, I’m not sure. This has been a month-long project and one of the very few I will undertake during this Fallow Year. I will post updates.

Gods of Small Things That Make Us Happy

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I have a bone to pick with the phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

This is nothing new on my end, and smarter people than I have tackled this in their blogs. Many blame it on the book and film “The Secret.” It certainly resurrected after that. But I digress.

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A friend told me she felt like a failure because her art hadn’t turned into a viable source of income. Since this was an email conversation, it took longer to express my opinion. But the short version is, just because you love doing something, doesn’t mean you can or should monetize it.

That’s a real short-coming in the American culture – that we need to monetize something to show it’s – or our- worth.

Would she stop creating just because she couldn’t quit her day job to do this full-time? And if she could, would it be as rewarding? That’s a question everyone has to answer who tries to start a business from a hobby they love.

I think the idea is, if you love doing something/creating something/daydreaming etc., it makes the work you do to support that activity, feel less like work.

It’s a shame so many of us feel we have to justify something we love to do, by trying to turn it into a business. For each successful cupcake entrepreneur, there are hundreds of disappointed bakers who couldn’t make it work as a business.

But there are thousands of happy bakers enjoying their creations and sharing them with friends and family.

This is the camp I fall in.

I won’t be quitting my day job, which by the way, I enjoy. It’s highly unlikely I will have some sort of healing or animal communication business. But I am a great resource for my friends and family. Maybe we need to be Gods of Small Things That Make Us Happy, and trust the ripple effect to bring joy and satisfaction to ourselves. And that might be enough.

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A Fallow Year

 

field-196173_960_720I am declaring a Fallow Year.

Several signs pointed me in this direction, including a dream where I had just unplugged my tablet, and the battery was not fully charged. It showed only 43% power.

I know this is true, because despite finally closing on parents house, the last piece in the puzzle to manage since dad died, and mom went to assisted living, I feel really whipped. No amount of positive affirmation is taking root. In fact, I have spent time honoring how crappy I feel.

The sad thing is, I don’t really know how to be fallow. In farming it’s a condition of allowing the soil, the ground, to rejuvenate and replenish after too many harvests. Maybe farmers don’t do this anymore. Crop rotation was something I learned way back in grade school and possibly with chemical fertilizers that’s not done anymore eyeball-17871__180

( looking at YOU corporate farms.)

 

So it was just another sign when my husband went to check on the compost bin and said… nothing had composted over the winter, it was useless.

So back to being fallow.

Right now, simply stating this position is giving me some peace. I am not dropping responsibilities for mom, my job or my home. But, I am recognizing that the time of frenzied activity and worry is past.

First off, I am not planting a garden. How’s that for literal interpretation? I have some large pots we can put annuals in, and I will plant a couple small basil plants. This gives me some beauty in the yard, and less clean up in the fall and next spring.

Second, I can stop timing everything I do.

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Last year I lived in my car – taking dad to treatments , mom to doctors, making sure they had groceries and maintaining their house. Now, I can go back to being a daughter, and visit mom in the assisted living where she gets a lot better care than I could ever give her, in her home.

Perhaps allowing this as a fallow time will restore my intuition and spiritual capacities. That might not be the right word. But both aspects of “me” have been seriously burned out by the past year.

 

 

 

 

Too Much Light…?

 

 

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A friend who has studied shamanism much longer than I, went to another practitioner for help. During the session, the practitioner told my friend that part of her problem, was that she was “shining her light too brightly.”

He left it at that, with no further guidance and I’ve wondered about this since it happened.

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Can you have too much light?  I have an issue with New Age usage of “light” and “light worker.” It’s been used to death by the same people who discredit the ego, to choke off any human emotion that is “less than” a high vibration, and (IMO) to support a dualistic world-view.

But what exactly did this mean? and what guidance or help could have been given? If like attracts like, wouldn’t we attract more light (if you hold this belief?) He implied that she was drawing entities – well, he didn’t say what she might be attracting, I am extrapolating – because she had too much light.

My friend is still going through some rough stuff. She (rhetorically) asked if she was supposed to dim her light? Was she supposed to abandon shamanic studies and practices to “save” her health and emotional well-being? Her frustration is so palpable, and it’s worse because there are physical issues at play as well.

But I wonder too. What did that mean? Is it good practice to leave someone hanging with that question and worry? Is that even a real thing, “too much light?”

As her friend I can only listen and offer sympathy. And hold sacred space for her. As a student myself, I question whether this session was of value – and what does that mean for me as I continue to study and live in a shamanic viewpoint. I personally don’t consider myself a light worker, and with hold judgement as much as possible on labeling. Some things just “are.”

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I wanted so badly to tell her, “I think you should step back from all this because you are thinking over every angle of every person you might what to help, of how you want to teach but worry about doing it right (and not wrong), of how you took on a job that is draining you, and that your body is exhausted from all the physical problems you have at this moment.” And yet, I couldn’t. She strongly feels the Spirits are pushing back at her for what she is trying to do (“shining too brightly”) and blames herself for being unable to accomplish what she wants.

I wish I had the answers and I don’t.

Names and Labels

I belong to some Facebook groups about shamanism

There’s a great deal of information posted in these groups and I’ve learn a lot, particularly from comments shared.

Shamanism has really come forward as a healing modality, and with it has come some territorial issues. There is little argument over the basic tenet that the word “shaman” originated with the Mongolian people, and that indigenous people in South America and the American Southwest had and have, healers with similar skills.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of divergence over what is a shaman today, and who may call themselves “shamanic practitioners”, “shamans” and what is cultural appropriation.

It reminds me of the time when there were territorial spats about Wicca and Witchcraft and who was “more” true to the path.

I am not qualified to weigh in on any of these topics, since I too, am relatively new to the shamanic path, but I am not new to my path, which has wound around a lot of spiritual practices, healing modalities and life in general. So I pretty much lurk and read and learn.

I surely do not with to offend anyone with portraying myself as something I am not, yet people who have put the term “shamanic practitioner” on a business card can receive some pretty nasty remarks.

So what is this about? Are there proprietary issues with using the term “shaman”? Does it need to be trademarked? Is it about keeping a pure lineage? Is it about having to pay a lot of money to receive a certificate from a well-known teacher? or keeping the marketing sharks at bay?

I don’t know. People in the real-life group I participate with have studied with “name” teachers and have humbly shared with those of us who cannot do so. Others share teachings they’ve learned from other places. We offer healing to the community and each of us, in our own way, bring healing to those around us.

Maybe it’s our culture that wants to label everything, so it can be categorized for easy reference. And maybe what we do, really doesn’t have a label.