A Guest Post by Ali, of Meadowsweet & Myrrh
Jeff’s last post illustrated very well the kind of divisive rhetoric utilized in most political speeches these days, language that takes for granted an implicit superiority of American citizens and soldiery, and that rejects understanding, compassion and forgiveness for fear that such things will lead to acceptance of and complicity in violence (that is, those forms of violence deemed unacceptable by the State). His post, by reversing the target of this rhetoric, raised a lot of hackles and provoked a lot of feedback, through comments and email, about the basic immorality of justifying violence and excusing killers. Now, with his gracious permission, I would like to try my hand at rewriting Obama’s speech, not by reversing its aim, but by turning the rhetoric itself on its head, and speaking in terms of inclusion rather than exclusion, connection instead division. This is the speech I wish Obama had given, though for reasons that will become obvious, it is not one I ever expect any political leader in this country to give.
A tragedy like the one that claimed the lives of thirteen people at Fort Hood, indeed any tragedy of sudden and senseless death, challenges us to reevaluate our priorities, as individuals, as a community, and as a nation. In our grief, we reach out for meaning, for reassurance and comfort, and for a sense of peace and goodness in the world. During such times, it would be so easy to turn like those before us have done, to familiar words of patriotism and national pride. It would be easy to give these deaths the meaning of noble sacrifice in a greater cause — and to name that cause with words like “freedom” that we have claimed as exclusively our own, though truly such things belong to all people, inalienably, as the founders of this country knew so well. Continue reading On Grief and Connection: A Response to the Fort Hood Deaths
At first there are only confused images. I try to return to familiar places: the Temple, the Forest of Branching Paths, the Sun Prairie… But they slip away without coming into focus. I blink, look at the flame again, allow my frustration to pass. I try to focus on visualizing a single tree, a pool of water with light rippling, a mossy stone… Nothing. I can’t hold on to anything. Again, I breathe, look at the flame, and allow the frustration to pass. Sometimes it seems like 90% of all meditative practice is learning to forgive yourself for not meditating… I try again.
Oh yes! There it is.
Continue reading Feather, Stone, and Light: Meditation Interlude
Like a silent thunderclap
The sun strikes a blade of grass,
— A sharp thrusting blade it is, a defiant green punch
Out of the soil at the sky —
Now struck and smelted with gold leaf,
Humming with new life and power,
Slow and ruminous the photosynthesis.
The Long Hand of Lugh
Has painted it alive.
— Jan 2009
The path to divorce began before I even met my wife; I’d placed my feet on it inevitably, irrevocably, following the stars of my deepest desires and fears. I wanted to be loved; was this wrong? I wanted acceptance, approval, completion; was this wrong? I wanted to care for, and to give affection to, and to love; was this wrong? I sought these, and found these, in her. I loved her, and desired her, and cared for her, and was completed by her, utterly, as I understood love and desire and care and completion. And we loved furiously and ecstatically and laid the beautiful plans that lovers do.
Continue reading Uprooted
Occasionally we stop and take stock of ourselves.
Is our health ok? How about our family, and the other important relationships in our lives? Our education? Our career?
And usually we find ourselves wanting in one way or another. We could be a little healthier, our family could be a little more tightly bonded, and frankly we could be making more money than we do. And so we might draw up a list of goals, or at least join a gym or try to buff up our resume. And we might follow our new plans for a week or a month, and maybe we’ll even make some hard-won progress in these areas.
Frankly, this whole process is ridiculous, from start to finish. Continue reading Dealing With Difficult Times and Transits
Well, first, of course, Obama was elected, and he grew up in Hawaii.
And then my friend Slade (of sladeroberson.com) went to Hawaii for angelic training and, as it turned out, met essential people for his life path.
And then I stumbled onto a fascinating podcast called “Jedi trainer” (hunatrainer.com), which is really a tutorial on Huna, a (the?) Hawaiian shamanistic tradition. The podcaster is on a very good wavelength for me, and with a couple of his techniques, I was able to ramp up my manifesting energy enormously.
And then I saw my very first Hawaiian quarter — absolutely gorgeous, too.
And then, it turned out that one of the people in my work group was getting an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii as a thank-you from the company for basically being an awesome guy.
What on earth was all this Hawaii stuff about?
Continue reading Pele: Fire in the Water
I’ve come to realize that the geography of my inner landscape reflects my personal spiritual journey.
The inner landscape I visit most often in meditation consists of a number of consistent regions. I’ve described them in detail in other articles, but in brief they are:
The Abyss of Fear
A bottomless chasm that radiates terror. It is always dark at its edge — although no stars are visible in the sky — but everything is lit by an unholy blue light. A path, unevenly paved, leads away from its edge into…
The Forest of Branching Paths
The path gradually becomes completely unpaved, lined with springy fallen leaves. It is a wood of oak and birch. The forest is pitted with hidden dells and valleys, waterfall-fed pools frequented by goddesses, nymphs, and less pleasant things. A web of footpaths weaves among the trees, and one can frequently find souls wandering along them – I have encountered ancestors, minstrels, a band of thieves, and hidden realms of other people entirely. But if you follow the right paths, you will eventually come to…
Continue reading Mapping the Inner Landscape
When I first laid eyes on the Dream Master, he was Death.
In meditation, I had rowed my boat out to the Island of Smoke (a place in my Inner Landscape where I frequently go to ask things of gods and spirits), and docked it in its usual spot along the rocky, pine-forested shore. It’s a short walk up the sandy path to the clearing where I light virtual fires and give virtual sacrifices, calling to the great ones to hear my pleas and grant my prayers.
Who is the Dream Master? Easily told — he is the one who brings dreams. Maybe you know him better as the Sandman. He decides what dreams you will have, and when you’ll have them. He is your guide through the one third of your life you spend asleep.
I’ve had an odd relationship with sleep for the past few years. I tend to do pretty well with it — I fall asleep easily. Then I stay asleep a good long while (usually eight or nine hours). I can frequently “program” myself to wake up at a time of my choosing (though not so reliably that I can give up my alarm clock). I can nap for fifteen or twenty minutes and wake up completely refreshed. For about 15 months, I was polyphasic, getting by on as little as three or four hours of sleep per day.
However, I don’t do much work with my dreams — I’m not a lucid dreamer, and usually the meanings of my dreams are pretty mundane. I get a lot more out of meditation.
Nevertheless I had been wondering about the Dream Master for a while, off and on, before it occurred to me that I could try to meet him in “person”.
Continue reading Meeting the Dream Master
A few weeks ago I had a meditation unlike any other I’d had before.
In the visualization, I was walking out along the high ridge that looks out over the sea. It was very early in the morning — the sun had not yet come up, but the sky was ruddy and growing lighter every moment. Suddenly, at the edge of the ridge I saw a strange black figure, wearing a robe and hood, and carrying… a scythe.
Continue reading Become Death
Afflictive emotions – our jealousy, anger, hatred, fear – can be put to an end. When you realize that these emotions are only temporary, that they always pass on like clouds in the sky, you also realize they can ultimately be abandoned. — the Dalai Lama
Warning! I give lots of unsolicited advice in this article — unsolicited, unprofessional, inexpert, etc. I am in no way a trained psychologist. All I’m doing is relating my own experience; so proceed at your own risk.
Fear, anger, worry, jealousy… These are some of the nastiest things we deal with in life. Why? Where do they come from? What are they for? And what can we do about it?
Continue reading Dealing with Anger and Fear
[Disclaimer: while I am a linguist, I am not an expert on Celtic languages (ancient or modern), and I cannot vouch for the translations offered below. Most of the information in this article comes from the book The Lost Zodiac of the Druids by Gregory Clouter, and it should be noted that the views in the book are not those entertained by most scholars.]
That the ancient druids practiced astronomy and astrology is beyond doubt. It would be amazing if they did not, since practically all ancient cultures did. But beyond that, their astronomical knowledge is specifically cited by many of the Roman, Greek and Irish authors that describe them; and there are even a few archaeological finds that suggest it.
Primary among these is the Coligny calendar, discovered as little more than a pile of bronze fragments in 1897 — most likely smashed by Roman authorities during the suppression of druidic practice — and painstakingly restored piece by piece. Less than half of the calendar remains, but there is enough to clearly see a beautiful time-keeping system that aligned the sun and moon into a single calendar, and listed dozens of holidays, rituals, celebrations, and the like.
But if Gregory Clouter (The Lost Zodiac of the Druids, 2003) is right, the Gundestrup Cauldron puts the Coligny calendar to shame.
Continue reading The Druid Zodiac
A few weeks ago I gave some examples of my recent successes with magic (or “intention manifestation”). The method I was using had three basic steps:
- Make sure you really want it.
- Believe it can realistically happen.
- Feel the gratitude for it.
A simple method, and some good results can be achieved with it. I gave four examples in my previous post, in which I generated some quick cash, repelled mosquitoes, improved my performance at pool (and caused my opponent’s performance to suffer), and located my lost beard trimmer. In this post I’ll share some other recent successes, and discuss in some detail the question of what it means to really want something, which extends into the areas of the collective subconscious, dueling wizards, free will, and — what the heck! — the role of the Twin in mythology. Continue reading What Do You Really Want?: Magic and the Collective Subconscious
Over a year has passed since my first post on spiritual weight loss, and it has been, frankly, extremely difficult — and at times harrowing. At first, things went very well; but then I began to lose ground — slowly at first, and then rapidly. In the spring, my health quickly became much worse, and I began to fear that I had serious problems.
But let me be clear: this was not because the spiritual weight loss program was failing. On the contrary — without the principles of the program to guide me, I would probably have been a lot sicker, and I certainly would not have made the complete turnaround and nearly-full recovery I achieved in July.
But I’ll begin at the beginning.
Continue reading Spiritual Weight Loss II: the Abyss
In the last month or so I’ve turned some kind of corner in magic / intention manifestation (whatever you want to call it), and I’ve gotten markedly better at it. I’m not talking about manifesting thousands of dollars (yet) or a house or anything, but I’ve had some successes that blew me away nevertheless. Gather ’round, and I’ll let you in on the secret…
How to Do It
It’s a three-step process.
1. Make sure you really want it. You don’t actually have to be specific about every detail, you don’t have to have a clear picture in your mind, or any of that; what you need is a very clear, simple, positive desire uncluttered by any doubts. This can be tricky, because sometimes you have hidden doubts. I’ll give some examples below.
2. Believe it can realistically happen. This can be kind of hard, depending on what it is you’re trying to manifest, and what your level of faith is. But if you don’t believe it’s possible… well, it won’t be. I’m finding it easier to practice on more believable stuff first.
3. Get yourself to believe that what you want is, in fact, about to happen and wrap yourself in the gratitude and happiness that you’re about to receive it. I found it’s very helpful to say to myself, “I’m so grateful that X is about to happen!” I repeat this a few times and imagine the feeling… And then I really am feeling it.
Now, watch it happen!
Below are four examples of this technique in action.
Continue reading Step By Step Magic: Simple Intention Manifestation
In meditation, in my own personal inner landscape, Cernunnos most often finds me in the Forest of the Horned God; he emerges from a patch of dappled sunlight like something hidden in a puzzle-picture, his twisted horns reaching up among the tree branches, tall and dark, with twinkling eyes. Last October I begged him for guidance with my finances — I was at my wit’s end. Things were only getting worse and worse, with no end in sight.
“Are you expressing your will?” he asked.
I was caught off guard. “What do you mean?”
“Well, what does money do?” he said. “It lets you do what you want, yes? It allows your will to be carried out. It allows your will to be expressed.”
“But I don’t have any money.”
“Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?”
“I — well, yes,” I said. “Mostly.”
“Then you alone are responsible for the amount of money that you have. You’ve made yourself broke.”
“It wasn’t on purpose!”
“Nevertheless. You’ve effectively made it very difficult for your will to be expressed. You’ve prevented yourself from acting freely. You’ve hamstrung yourself.”
“Money can be thought of as a measure of the extent to which you believe your own will should be carried out. The more money you have, the more confidence you have that what you want should be manifested. If you don’t have much money, you must not believe that what you personally want is important. You’ve made it difficult to express your free will. You’re sabotaging yourself.”
Continue reading Reflections on Intention Manifestation
It’s been over six months in the making, but I finally finished it: a brand-new set of eight downloadable guided meditations, which can be purchased separately or as part of a big Relaxation Package along with a 20-page Guide to Relaxation and Peace. In keeping with my philosophy of donation-based offerings, all meditations are available for a donation of any amount. So that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting, I’m providing transcripts of all the meditations in a free PDF.
I had a great time making this package, and there’s no question in my mind that these are the best meditations I’ve ever put together. If you enjoyed the Meet a Guide meditation, you should definitely consider checking these out, since they’re designed to provide gentle visualization practice and a deeper connection with Spirit along with deep peace.
Let me know what you think!