Fear Promotes Ignorance

HolyGrailWitchHunt

Shortly after I stopped being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I was introduced to an amazing tool that has been invaluable to me on this journey–The Tarot. In the three years since I started learning Tarot, I have been amazed how it depicts the ups-n-downs of life, the major life lessons, and the paths that bring us greater success. Its wisdom is incredible and it never ceases to amaze me.

I have traced my entire life’s journey with Tarot and predicted challenging times, including the sale of our house, the death of my husband’s mother, and the breaking of my leg last year. It’s the most valuable tool I possess.

So, perhaps you will understand why I became incredibly incensed by a conversation I encountered on Facebook recently. I just started an advanced Tarot class through Biddy Tarot. The webinar has created a group page for students to interact, trade readings, and post our homework. One of my fellow Tarot readers asked how many of the students hid their Tarot from censuring friends and family. I was amazed, and angered, to find that many did. One attorney can’t even bring his deck into his house because his ex-wife has threatened to take him back to court over child custody if the deck is even under the same roof as their kids.

Is our society really so slow to evolve that people with alternative beliefs still feel they have to hide from puritanical witch hunts?! It’s the 21st Century! How are we, as a society, supposed to evolve to the next level of enlightenment if we keep hiding who we are from narrow-minded Neanderthals?!

People who are judgmental and narrow-minded are the ones who should be forced to hide. Society shouldn’t support their attitude, nor fear their judgment. The world is evolving away from such limiting paradigms. The more we hide, the longer it will take for ignorant superstitious fears to be eliminated by human evolution. We’ve become so conscious of “other people’s feelings” we have become a society of apologizers and doormats. Those of us who actually worry about offending others end up enabling such ones to keep their ignorant, barbaric perceptions. Growth requires change. Change requires exposure to new paradigms. If people who are afraid of change must hide to protect their paradigm, let them. Let them hold onto their ignorance! If we hide from such ones we are contributing to their ignorance. We are hiding our authenticity behind fear of criticism.

Never fear censure, but fear a society ruled by fear.

Me, My Ego, and I

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In the fall of 2011 I started studying Tarot. This in spite of a lifetime of being taught it was forbidden by God and was direct contact with the Devil himself. Many of the books and magazines published by the Watchtower Society show images of Tarot cards and Ouija boards as examples of Satanic practices. (I am now the proud owner of 4 Ouija Boards and 3 Tarot decks.)
One of the first things I learned when I started studying Tarot was how to figure my life and year cards. By adding the numbers of our birthday and our birth year, or the current year, we get a number that coincides with a Tarot card and establishes the theme for our life/year.
I was so fascinated by this prospect that I actually went through and figured out every year card from the day I was born until 2016. It took me hours, but I was intrigued to notice how the cards corresponded with various key moments in my life. Every year now, I carefully consider the theme of the year and do a year-ahead reading to get a grasp on what the year will bring. I was able to predict the exact time in which our house in Oregon would sell and even predicted my mother-in-law’s death.
This year, from my last birthday in September 2013,  I am in the energy of the Death card. This is the first time I have ever had this card as a year card. Rarely does it mean literal death (although it did in the case of my father). It usually means profound change. Something dies so something else can be reborn. It often relates to parts of the ego dying.
I have been interested to see how things would play out this year, and since the year is winding down (Death card energies will end at my next birthday, Sept. 7th), I have seen some interesting shifts. I didn’t even know what the ego was a year ago, but I am beginning to grasp its significance. I had a friend explain it to me and I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now. I liken the ego to a toddler within us who sometimes throws tantrums, thinks the world revolves around them, and obsesses over inane things–like believing the world is way more concerned with what we do and how we look than it actually is.
When we feel persecuted, or forget to appreciate what we have because of the many things we want, we need to remind ourselves that our ego is taking over and we need to reign in our inner toddler. Eckart Tolle calls the ego “a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.” He goes on to say that “to the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only the past and future are considered important…It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it–who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says: ‘One day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.’” (Tolle, 18)
Dwelling on the past, or future, and preventing us from being fully present is a state of the ego, the false self who only makes us (and sometimes others) miserable. If we could focus more on the here and now, we could increase our gratitude and reduce our anxiety and angst.
How do we separate ourselves from our ego? Start noticing its existence. As you mentally stand back and observe its negative reaction to things, notice that a separate part of yourself is detached from the ego–it has to be in order to notice your behavior. (Most of us can remember times in which we have reacted to something and a part of us was detached enough to recognize our reaction as a speculative, or critical, observer.) The more we practice this ability to detach, the more we can control our reactions.
Since I’ve been studying the metaphysical, I have received lots of guidance to meditate in order to quiet the mind. When reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, she encouraged writing three pages of Morning Pages every day. I heard a friend recently refer to these as “stream of consciousness” writing, but I didn’t really get the significance of either. I have tried meditation and Morning Pages off and on over the years but could never see the long-term benefits enough to continue for long.
Thanks to Eckhart Tolle, I finally understand why we are encouraged to meditate and write without necessarily having something concrete to write about. He says on page 19 of The Power of Now, “Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.”  Consciousness, the place where the thinking mind is quieted, is where creativity is born. If you are anything like me, you have insisted that you cannot be creative. But if we could learn to stop thinking, stop the ego from taking over and regurgitating the past and projecting it into the future, or over-analyzing everything we do, say, or write–we could find creativity hidden within us. How do we quiet the mind and tap into the super-consciousness where creativity lives and breathes? Meditation, stream of consciousness writing, anything that quiets the mind and allows it to drift. I can already tell you this isn’t easy. My mind is very stubborn and I have spent my entire life thinking my intelligence was the only thing I have going for me, but now I understand why I should learn to quiet my mind.
I recently read a book on Dowsing by author Joey Korn. He says, again and again, that it’s not the rods, pendulum, or willow twig that does the dowsing–it’s the dowser. The earth’s energies interact with our own and communicate what we are looking for, be it water or energy fields. Since most of us aren’t in-tune enough with our psychic abilities, the rods (etc) give us the answers we need.  If we aren’t getting the reactions we need, it’s the fault of our own mind disabling, or second guessing, the pull of the earth’s energies. So, once again, the thinking mind is getting in the way of our super-conscious mind which knows how to interact with energies, spirits, and our own creative potential. If we can learn to control our thoughts and emotions by quieting our ego and our intellect, I believe the possibilities are endless!
“Enlightenment means rising above thought…In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before.” (Tolle, 19) It’s time we reached out for enlightenment and gained control of our minds. Imagine what kind of world this would be if we were all more creative and less reactive!

Contemplating the Precipice

As we approach October’s full moon–otherwise known as the blood moon– I have been noticing my dreams are becoming very active. The Blood Moon, or Hunters Moon, is the first full moon after harvest or the autumn equinox.  It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead. There is a greater significance to this moon if you are a witch/pagan. As we approach Samhain, otherwise known as Halloween, the veil between the worlds of the living and dead is at its thinnest. This is a very good time for divination, for contacting the dead, for sensing the shift in energy, and for paying attention to dreams.

All last night I dreamed of falling. Initially, I was at a huge amusement park where people were jumping off a very high tower and screaming as they fell. At first I thought it was a ride, but then I realized they were just hitting the ground. I was appalled and couldn’t figure out why they were doing it. Next thing I know I am standing on the edge of the tower looking down. I am terrified of heights and there was nothing between me and the ledge. I slipped and fell only just managing to catch myself. Someone nearby helped pull me to safety.

It doesn’t end there, however. I was on a narrow bridge walking along the edge. The great void pulled at me.  Once again I fell over the edge, catching myself on some sort of plastic netting that hung from the bridge. I was barely hanging on, but no one could help me. Through much struggle I managed to slowly pull myself up and reach safety.

I went to My Dream Visions online and found that such images could mean:

  • A point of transition, such as within a process or between phases
  • A feeling of being forced to change, adapt, or take action of some kind in your life
  • The idea of limited options
  • An obstacle or challenge
  • A sudden loss of support from others (perhaps giving you the opportunity to “fly” on your own somehow in your life)
  • Feeling pushed to an extreme or limit
This basically coincides with the tarot cards I have been pulling recently. Like the II of Swords indicating my own denial that changes are coming in my life, whether I want to hide from them or not. (Hence the woman with the slipping blindfold and her back turned to the rocky shores.) Also the III of Swords which depicts a heart pierced by three swords indicating painful awareness or betrayal. Finally, the IV of Swords representing a period of rest before one returns to a challenge they must cope with. I am getting the impression the universe is perceiving me as an ostrich with my head stuck in the ground. I am hoping for more time, which my massage therapist calls bargaining (at least I’ve moved on from denial).
So what am I going to do about it? Nothing. I’m still bargaining.
How about you? Have you had any interesting dreams this month?
      

Psychic virgin

I had an extremely interesting and unique experience–at least it was for me. I went to my first psychic today. I am in Vegas doing all the things my religion prohibited–well not all. I have gambled–that’s a no-no. So while strolling the strip and exploring I came across a psychic in one corner of the Flamingo. I had been feeling a little lost recently. I have spent my whole life with my faith being true-north. Now I feel like I lack purpose and direction. College gives me those right now, but I feel like I need something more. I am so burned out on religion I don’t want to re-engage in that madness, so I hoped the psychic might tell me something I could use to focus my life.

Her name was Kileen and she was thin with straight brown hair and the right kind of clothes befitting her position. I bought 30 minutes which cost $80–figured if I was going to do it, I better do it right. After stepping through the beaded curtain, we sat down in a small room papered with jewel-toned faux velvet.  She then took both my hands in hers and led me through a short meditation. Then she asked me what I wanted addressed first. I told her I had recently learned, in Psychology, that I have an oral fixation. Which explains why I chew my fingernails, have a caustic wit, eat/drink to drown my sorrows, have a tendency to be gullible, and–yes, ladies and gentlemen–I bite. Freud felt this was caused from some problem that occurred in my first year of life.  Since I have a hard time remembering back that far, I hoped Kileen could help. She drew out a deck of well used Tarot cards and after shuffling them, laid 7 or 8 of them on the table in various directions. She immediately started in on how I have a gift for seeing things as they truthfully are and stating my positions or feelings openly and sometimes abruptly. But, she says I have grown tired of people not listening to me so I have decided to clam up. She says I need to find my voice because in many of my previous lifetimes I was an instructor. This perked me up. Previous lifetimes?

So that was my next question: how many previous lifetimes have I had? Hundreds, she replied. After shuffling and re dealing the tarot, she said I am actually coming to the end of my journey. She said in most previous lifetimes I was a man and a warrior. I didn’t like fighting but was always called upon to fight. She saw stone castles and green fields and hills in my past. She told me I had died young in many of my lives, perhaps due to the wars I was involved in. My soul took a two hundred year rest because I was tired of all the fighting and when I decided to be born again I chose a woman, hoping that would keep me from fighting.

Many of these things truly resonated. I thought the initial things she said about my oral fixation could have been said to anyone (altho she did manage to correctly ID me as being opinionated). But as to the lives, I have always felt like I had an old soul–and this was before I even believed we had souls. I am a lot more serious and sensible than a lot of people and I have always been like that. I have an obsession for Scotland even though, in this life, I have never been there. But I have always felt that if I do go there, and set foot on the highlands outside Inverness, I will feel at home. I have never felt at home anywhere I have lived. I have also told people many times that I do not expect to live to a ripe old age. I have always figured I would be dead before 60. Could that be a residual thought from the lives I’ve lived that ended early? And as to me being a man in previous lifetimes: I am almost 6 feet tall, strong, with wide shoulders for a woman, and the ability to work as hard as a man. I am an INTP (Myers-Briggs), which is a personality profile few women possess. I do not flirt, wear feminine clothing or jewelry, cry, or manifest most other traits most women possess. What is more,  I have also had the sneaking suspicion I could be bi if I wanted to be.

After the revelations re: my many lives, I asked her about my father. He died a couple months ago in my home. I had taken care of him for most of the year. He died while I was in the other room, so I wondered if he was afraid. If his passing was hard. In my father’s faith (and mine up until a few months ago) we were taught humans have no soul. So there is no immortal afterlife. According to those beliefs, dad went to sleep and is unconscious. I don’t think I believe that anymore so I wondered what she would say. I didn’t tell her anything but his name. I didn’t even tell her he was my father. I just said, “I lost someone a few months ago and I am wondering where he is.” I told her his name and, after shuffling and re-dealing the Tarot, she sat back and started describing someone who wasn’t ready to leave his life. She said he still had some things he wanted to wrap up. She said his passing was very climactic because he didn’t want to go and was afraid of the unknown. He thought he knew what was going to happen but was surprised at what actually happened (I had not told her anything about his beliefs). She said she sensed he had been cared for in the last months of his life and found that difficult (again, I hadn’t told her anything). She also felt he died before he should have. I asked her what she meant and she said that she sensed he hadn’t taken care of himself and so died before he really needed to.   I have documented that in my other blog (see: www.forsakingrestraint.com). She said he hasn’t moved on to another life but is only resting now because his passing was so traumatic. She said he is doing fine.

That was my first reading, as I mentioned previously. I told her nothing but my name and my dad’s name and would volunteer no other information the whole time. I wanted to see how accurate she was. I tried to keep my face blank and my reactions neutral. I went in a skeptic and came out a borderline believer. Was the $80 worth it? Yes, I think so. I got a perspective on life that broadened my vision of the world. Upon leaving my childhood faith, I felt resentment for giving up so much of myself and the best years of my life. As I said previously, I have never felt I would live a long time so I felt I didn’t have much time left to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. But the idea that we have multiple lifetimes, and no matter what I accomplish in this life, it is going to be okay because I have already accomplished so much. Whether this is my last life or not, it will go on. She even told me that I shouldn’t regret anything in my life for everything happens for a reason and it is part of my journey.

One more thing she mentioned, organized religion is for young to middle aged souls who still like taking direction and being a part of a group. Old souls lead and have grown beyond organized religion. She said she can guarantee 100% that we have souls for she has seen manifestations of them. She also said, “Once you leave the highway, there are five different ways to get to my house. Why would God only have one way to him?” I thought it an interesting point.