Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meditation relieves depression

Several days ago I felt a depressive sadness, and then I remembered not to collapse into the feeling, but to meditate on the arising feeling itself, therefore dismantling my reactive emotion to it, as Ken McLeod describes in Wake Up To Your Life. What happened is this.

I had sent a video email of an amazingly complex musical instrument to my brother, wanting to share my wonder that such an object was in the world, and he sent back the reply, “isn’t it amazing what they can do with computer animation these days.” This seems like a simple exchange, but I watched my joyful belief in the usual magic of art crash into self-doubt and then self-criticism as I felt such a fool to believe in magic at all.

I appreciate that my brother’s comment didn’t have to be understood as a judgment, but since we don’t talk much, what I hear when we do can easily become distorted. Then I read in Joseph Goldstein’s book, A Heart Full of Peace, that “sometimes we feel the painful aspect of experience is a mistake.” With the awareness that all experience is a valuable teacher, I asked the Journey Oracle Divination Cards to show me what my lesson in this exchange with my brother was.

The card I drew is the most unusual one in the deck. It represents fate and is much like the blank rune in the runic alphabet or the Fool in the Tarot. Each person answering life questions with the divination cards must name the meaning of this card for herself as it has no statement, question or number like the rest of the deck. I have named this white side, with its full moon shining on a journey through spring and summer: “Plenty to eat in every direction.” This means to me that whatever meaning I assign to my conversation with my brother has a lesson for me, and that this lesson is coming to nourish me. As I realized this I regained my joy. To me the amazing musical instrument is playing magic, and that is enough to believe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Advice for successful relationships

This free reading from the Journey Oracle will give advice for having a more successful relationship with someone or something. Think of a relationship that needs improving. It may be with your partner or child, or with someone at work. This relationship could also be with a creature or person met in a waking dream or during sleep. This is the card I drew to describe insights about your relationship as it presently exists.

In this relationship I see many different perspectives or points of view. Some are more clearly defined than others. Although there are possibly intense or passionate actions to be taken, the largest energy available to you for movement is presently not doing much. The higher levels of this relationship are reflecting white light, but seem precariously balanced on the lower energies. How does the question; “Do I have my own story to write?” apply to this relationship at this time? Consider that when we begin a creative action like writing, we must make choices which move us toward certain directions and away from others. Do you think that this relationship needs choices that create movement at this time?

This is the card I then drew to receive advice from the Oracle about what next steps will improve this situation. I am shown two halves coming closer together. The action side of this relationship has the ability to speak. I see what appears to be dramatically differing backgrounds having a shared power that connects the dissimilarities. The receptive side of this relationship is more openly spacious and uncomplicated. What does it mean in this relationship to be “in my process?” Consider that a process implies an unfolding in time. Do you think that this relationship needs time to unfold?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The power of dreams

One of the nice things about writing a weekly blog that very few people are reading is that occasionally I can say outrageous things and no one will notice. I am now beginning to think that Marc Bregman is the dreamtime Antichrist, spreading evil by disempowering the dreamer’s ability to receive meaning through her own knowing, thus necessitating the sending of dreams to strangers in order to receive revelation.

I acknowledge that in recent blogs I have praised Bregman’s radical non-interpretive approach to dream work, as described by Roger Kamenetz, and I am still impressed with many of the points made: that the meaning of our dreams are manifest in their images and our feelings rather than in hidden layers of encoded symbols; that often “bad is good and good is bad” when understanding our dream characters and their actions; and that dreams present a fracture in the logic of their structure or sequence (i.e. waiting to board the ferry while seeing there is no ferry or terminal) which allows an entry for meaning.

Instead I am disquieted by the apparent belief of Mr. Bregman and his followers that I, the dreamer, am the least trusted to see the true meaning of my dreams. I feel deeply that the giving away of my faith in my ability to understand my soul’s progress in my dreams is the beginning of the darkest night of the soul that I can imagine.

I asked the Journey Oracle to show me about this situation and I drew this card. This fantastic turkey is the image of the Celtic tree month Ivy. I was especially drawn to the four themes of meaning associated with the tree month suit: Connection, Exchange, Intuition and Power. This is my relationship with my dreams. At some point, as a child, I walked out on my imaginary companions. I must have because I can no longer remember their faces or call their names. Sometimes when the dark is cold and quiet I feel I still hear that slamming door. But I cannot walk out on my seeking meaning in my dreams. The sound of that door shutting would be the death of my spirit.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Choosing a life path

What helps us to radiate the energy of the life path we choose to walk? While at a community event last night a young friend said, “You are certainly looking shamanic these days.” He quickly qualified this by saying there was something in my manner and my energy that felt shamanic, and not that I was wearing something or behaving in a way that could be labeled shamanic. I smiled and said, “Lots has been going on,” and then later wondered to what I was referring in that brief exchange.

Many projects begun over the stretched-tight dry days of summer are now coming to fruition. Drums that seemed to languish have found their names and faces, a painting that felt stalled has moved to the framer, clients for shamanic work are returning like the rain who’s blessed sound drums on these days of autumn. Yet other projects are going quiet from a summer’s heat of effort. My promotion of the Journey Oracle deck is not so public right now, because these divination cards in their hand-crafted cases are undergoing changes in printing, which will make the price more accessible. I am also beginning to gather the earlier spirit-directed layouts for reading the cards into an exciting advanced workbook.

And the answer to this question? I think we radiate the vitality that the energy of making a choice gives us. When doubt and indecision plague our awareness—our physical, emotional and spiritual energy is blanketed by a fog that chills through our bones like the grey light of November. It seems that what matters is to choose, to decide; what matters is to act. Why am I looking shamanic? Because I am acting shamanic.