Monday, January 14, 2013
It has been almost a year since my last posting here. The previous year has been one of difficulty and hard work. I have had several jobs in the interim, some better than others, but all of them a trial. My free time has been absorbed and I have become like one of those poor male stereotypes that spend all their time in the office at the expense of the rest of their lives. Regardless, this period is coming to a close. All my hard work is going to pay off in that I am about to take a full time massage course in the near future. I have applied for a loan (unsuccessfully) and several scholarships with the idea that they will ease my progress through this next phase. I am also looking into taking up a part time job to help with the schooling and basics. Regardless there is still a feeling of dissatisfaction with my current situation, that something is not quite correct. From this I had a dream last night, which had some interesting symbolism. I thought this would be a good jumping off point for getting back into the mindset of writing and washing away the psychic crud that has accumulated from my hectic work life.
The dream was set in the medieval courtyard of a castle. I was learning to fence, to fight with a sword and my partner stood opposite from me. A teacher of some type, an amalgam of my mentor at work and other elements instructed me on the fine points of swordsmanship. I wasn't proving the best of pupils as I didn't feel particularly enthused about the whole thing and wasn't really interested in the threat of war that proved the backdrop for the dream. At one point, he showed me how slow I was by bringing his blade to the side of my neck. I for some reason was carrying a hunk of wood and it was too heavy and cumbersome to stop the swing with, although it did remind me upon waking of the shield of Thorin Oakenshield from the Hobbit (In the movie the dwarven prince used a chunk of oak to block a blow from an orcish menace, thus earning his name and the respect of his peers).
At first I could see no connection and could not understand what was bring communicated. The first element of the dream seemed concerned with my work and my lack of real interest in what I was trying to learn. Which is true, I feel no connection to my job and am un-interested in the greater picture it represents. The oaken branch runs along with a lot of kingly symbolism I have been seeing over the last few months in my dreams.
The second part of the dream struck home for me when I recognised that it wasn't me in the dream trying to earn money for his family and lifestyle. That I wasn't myself seemed relevant and important. The fine robe Jamal had seemed to speak of a royal connection or some position of standing and I couldn't understand why he was hoping to steal pennies from guardsmen. I didn't see why he didn't just become what the robe seemed to indicate he was. The robe was richly coloured and embroidered with what one would expect from either a fine African prince's garments or a Japanese silk robe designed for royalty.
The dream seemed to be communicating that I wasn't acting in accord with who I really am, that I was doing things that were not reflective of myself. Not only are they unlikely to bring enough to support myself or my family, but they are beneath my standing....if I could only accept it of course.
When I awoke I returned to the dream state to see if I could wear the robe in a more conscious fashion. I found that letting go of the idea of who I thought I was, was more difficult than I realised at first. The garb of the rogue and cutpurse, represented a certain way of living I had learned to adopt. Do I deserve to walk as a prince? The idea of that was scarier than I would have imagined and I had to strip away the leathers I wore as a thief before wearing the robe seemed right. When I put it on in the dream state I could feel my body responding and found myself relaxing to a much deeper state and felt blood flowing through my legs into areas that have been tense for a long while.
Accepting who I am and not what has allowed me to survive is a task I hope I am up to. It is a terrifying prospect and one I hope to be able to hold onto. For the first time I can see that the job I am currently doing is not right for who I am and is not the right way for me to go, it is just where I am now. I shall not judge myself for not being able to feel it, because I would not have been able to see a better way to go until this point.
P.S. The Hobbit is awesome! Go see it or read it!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
The picture on the card depicts a youth, usually one of watery emotional disposition ( a dreamer usually) who is examining a fish he holds within a chalice. The youth is colourfully dressed in red, blue and yellow with lotuses embroidered on the tunic. On his head he wears a whimsical looking hat and scarf which looks reminiscent of a wave, both in colour and shape.
The lotus, we have discussed before is a symbol of the ability to transform waste into beauty and is analogous with the chakras, both in form and function.
The youth is stood in somewhat of a theatrical stance, he almost looks as though he is an actor in a play about to break into song about his fish. In this way we can understand the basic demeanor of the youth within the card. He is playful and doesn't take life too seriously.
The fish for me is a symbol of dreams, like fish they swim just beneath the surface of the unconscious, breaking the surface occasionally and returning to the depths just as quickly. The youth has a good connection with his dreams, both the type of dreams we have at night and the type we hold aloft and aspire to. The former being a form of guidance in order to accomplish the latter.
As with the youth, I have a good connection with my dreams remembering them almost nightly and sometimes more than one if I am on the trail of a particular idea. Recently I have been practicing my ability to journey. Journeying is the ability to travel consciously into the realm of dreams and bring back information from the unconscious, similar to a diver looking for pearls. At first it is difficult in the journey to separate an over-active intellect from the true subconscious material, although even the material your intellect delivers is affected by the tone of the subconscious material it is attempting to convey. In this way even material that seems over-intellectualised or imagined is useful because it is coloured by genuine information.
Recently though I have found that my intellect has taken too direct a hand in trying to classify, objectify and extract meaning from the material brought forth. Like a young actor in a scene I have become overly invested in the reason for a character's actions rather than remaining true to the emotional core of the role. In doing so the energetic core can become lost in the egoic process of examination, forever marginalised to a sideline as it has to be "worked out".
The card is a reminded to return to the whimsical energy of the dream and not get caught up in intellectualising or allowing the mind too much control. This has been a common thread with several journeys recently in allowing the unconscious material to surface without overlaying or submerging it with the weight of analysis. A tendency I fear I have had for too long.
I have found that remaining open to seeing whatever emerged without allowing my mind to immediately begin analysis has been most fruitful. An example being that in a recent journey I perceived what seemed to me to be a feathery wing. Immediately my mind began to try and classify the phenomenon. Maybe it is a pegasus or a bird, maybe a dragon or a feathered serpent. In doing so I began to lose the connection to the genuine material that was emerging and falling into my mind. In learning to meditate and to journey the mind has learned to take a back seat in order to allow the phenomena to emerge, yet all it has done is wait till a later step in the process to attempt to assume control.
The figure of the youth on the card is also symbolic of another situation in my life. A recent journey yielded information about several plants that would be helpful for me. I sat on this information for quite a while, since I doubted it's veracity. My perception that I didn't know anything about herbalism or plant remedies stood in the way of using the information I received. In the journey I was shown snapdragons, a willow tree and then taken underwater to be shown kelp. It was a simple and quick journey and my mind was quick to dismiss any likelihood that it would hold value.
Late last week, Zoe and I were at New Frontiers (a health food store) where I was tentatively looking for the plant mixtures. I was having a difficult time following my intuition on it and had been looking at the blue-green algae instead ( I had been told it was very good for you, even if it was expensive). As I was looking at the suppliments I saw a jar containing Icelandic kelp. This reminded me that it was kelp and not algae that had appeared in my journey.
On a whim I decided to see if there was any of the other plants available (I was pretty certain Snapdragon was not available). Instead I found that all three were available, even Snapdragon in an essence form. A friend of mine who works at the store was helpful enough to print off what all three plants were for and it turns out that it corresponds exactly with several of the issues that I have been working on. As a result I have been drinking down the plant essences and it has really helped. Tensions that I have been working on for a long while are disappearing almost overnight and the domination of my mind wanting a stranglehold over what I am doing is slowly loosening.
I do feel like the character in the card, especially when I often have a cup of whichever essence I am now taking inspired by the journeywork.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
More than 5 years ago now I spent time with a gentleman name Craig Junjulas. He ran classes down in Sedona (as still does as far as I am aware) and I had the pleasure of having several private sessions with him in which he offered insights and helped me open further up in my own practise. At one point in a meditation we were doing he commented that I was like a King in armour sat upon a throne whose armour was covered in vines and roots and had become rusted and inflexible. That I occasionally would stir and break the bindings that had grown up around me, before settling down once more. The imagery stuck with me as it was a very apt description of myself. Upon drawing this card I am reminded again of that peculiar analogy.
The King sits in a garden that has become overgrown and rampant. Branches, frond and leaves all creep up around the dark stone throne he sits upon. Rather than appearing dormant he looks very much aware, even if with his rich gown he appears to disappear into the background. His robes are covered in blue vines, somewhat reminiscent of veins or arteries. Each of these pathways leads to a bunch of succulent grapes a potent symbol of the fruits of life, abundance and the enjoyable things we can partake in.
Looking upon the card and seeing such abundant life, growing free and wild I was struck how in control of it all he seems. He is absolutely secure in his place, almost rooted to his throne. His roots run deep and hold him fast to his base. His sceptre and the pentacle in his grasp show his grasp of the earth plane. He is a master manifestor, able to bring his desires into fruition.
His card is the marriage of earth and fire, of bringing the spiritual fire down to the earth plane and creating what he wants. His robes are a riot of colour and pattern of fecund growth. Behind him stands the city walls and towers and minarets of red and blue. The red being a symbol of passion and the blue symbolising communication and transmission of energy. Beneath his robe hides a suit of armour that can be glimpsed on his left leg which rests upon a stone shape resembling the head of a bull or a dragon. He is ready and capable of defending his ground and self assured in his mastery of his element. The placement of his foot on the stone object asserts his absolute dominance.
Another strong symbol that appears strongly in this card is the bull. Being closely linked to Taurus this card is about a figure who is stable (note the four bull's heads, four being a number of stability). Obviously there is a tendency for this type of individual to be strong willed to the point of bull-headedness and implacable once set into motion. He is not without creativity, but it often applied in a practical manner, his fire applied to earth creates physical objects. Just think of all the objects that need to be smelted or subjected to heat to create their final hardened form.
For me there is a far greater meaning behind this card. It means applying one's fire or spirituality in a very practical manner. Many spiritual endeavours end up drifting around in the ether, never really finding completion. I have known Taurean artists capable of producing a prodigious amount of artwork, by just seem to be able to sit down and produce piece after piece of artwork. They take great pleasure in creating things of beauty, even to the point of shutting the rest of the world out. My problem has been there has been so little earth in my chart that the flood of ideas and creativity that runs through me tends to burn away in spiritual or mental matters without ever touching the earth. Even when I am inspired to create art it is in between all the mental and spiritual things I have going on. I don't know if I will ever be a prodigious producer of art, or even of earthly creations.
What I have realised though is that this attitude would be most beneficial for me to adopt and to apply in my own life. This occurred very recently for me as I was performing a treatment for a client. He has been coming for several weeks and has had some very beneficial results. He was very complimentary about my work and telling me about all that was going on. Part of me felt jealous of this. How does this guy get to change things so fast? But I realised the ludicrousness of the situation. It was through my work that he was making this progress and I just haven't done that for myself on a practical level for a long while. The king is challenging me to apply my own energy in a practical fashion in my own energy system. So very often I get caught up in the theoretical aspect and ephemeral nature of understanding healing that I never actually get around to fully applying that process to myself. Of course when a client comes through the door I am down to business and apply the energy in a very practical way. I don't spend hours umming and ahhing about what the problem could be or ways to possibly fix it. I know I have a limited amount of time and that is best spent pouring energy directly into the situation on a practical level. After that is done then there is time to talk, but not before the work is done. Somehow I have failed to apply this in my own life.
With this understanding I can really start to understand there may be something to applying a level of practicality to my own life. The King of Pentacles is nothing if not a practical man, what I have failed to apply in my own life is the time to sit down and actually do the work. To not spend so much time thinking it over, but to simply get it done. I made the mistake of thinking that because my energy exists within my own system then it is working on those parts that need work, but in reality those parts need dedicated attention. I need to put the time into them, not for them to only get the energy residue that occurs when I perform healings for others.
Part of the problem has been I have viewed the magnitude of some of the issues as insurmountable, while if a client came to me I wouldn't spend time considering this, I would simply do it. Of course I do believe that getting to the point of being able to work directly on myself has not always been available. When I first began my healing work, I could only really pick up on the issues of other, much the same thing happened with readings. For others the readings and healings work great...for myself...not so great. Most people begin with this blockage I feel, they are simply not able to get the level of distance from their own issues to work objectively on them. This was certainly true for me! But as time passed I found that I was able to see some of the problems, but was not able to work on them effectively in the same way that a doctor cannot perform his own surgeries. This caused a great deal of frustration as I had trouble finding people open and aware enough to actually see the problem, let alone work on it..even with my prompting.
Getting to the point where I can actually perceive and then work on a problem is a new thing for me, so I guess I should go easy on myself. For that I have the King of Pentacles to thank, for without him I don't think I would have tried to do it once again!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The Ace of Cups is, like all the aces the beginning of something new. The minor Arcana themselves typically denote an energy present in a situation. In the case of the aces, this energy is primal, new and very strong. I tend to see them as standing above the rest of the minor arcana, although not quite on the same par as the Major Arcana.
Cups is the suit of water (as if the large W emblazoned upon the side of the chalice didn't give it away). As such they symbolise the emotions in their watery aspect.
My expectation when I drew this card was that it would pertain to love as this is the attribution that is given in almost all the Tarot books I have looked over. Of course Love is the grandest of the emotions and naturally one would expect this card to be all about that. But expectations can often prove to be false as I discovered that love was not the subject of the card when I drew it.
In the card we have five streams of water pouring from the cup and returning to the ocean below. The Chalice itself is made of pure gold and has three small bells hanging from it's neck, which one assumes would tinkle when the cup is pouring. Falling either side of the cup are watery yods (symbols of energy), twenty five in total.
The chalice itself is a powerful symbol, it's connections to legends, it's feminine nature and form and that it is a vessel for whatever we choose it to be. Many say the blade or the sharpened stone is the first tool invented, but I may argue that the vessel likely holds that accolade. A cupped hand or leaf was able to bring life giving water to a thirsty mouth well before we grasped a rock to smash something with. Taoism has a great reverence for the chalice and we have all heard the maxims about having to empty one's cup before it can be refilled. Chalices are present throughout the entire Tarot deck and appear not just within the minor arcana, but play prominent roles in some of the major arcana.
The idea of emptying my cup was what the card meant for me. In the last post I talked on finally being able to let go of a great deal of anger and frustration that I had found no place to release it to. I hadn't understood that I was holding onto this and a great many other things.
My life has been a search for how to return to a place of happiness that occurred many years ago. It was snatched away in the cruelest fashion and although I certainly did not want the same situation I have been looking for those same emotions that really now belong in the past. In understanding that those times have gone and with them the feelings that they encompassed. It is time to find new vistas, new emotions and new experiences.
I was finally able to articulate my rage at the universe for its cruelty and with it came a level of peace. In the card we see a dove, the eternal messenger of peace bringing a holy wafer with a cross upon it. To me it symbolises redemption and peace. Only by releasing suffering and emptying our cups back into the eternal ocean of the universe can it ever be refilled.
Beneath the godly hand offering the cup we can see an eternal ocean stretching into the distance. Upon the ocean float lily pads and their flowers. Lilies are flowers that grow from the decay and muck under the surface to create a truly beautiful flower above the waterline. They are a symbol to show that from death and decay, beauty can flower.
The Ace can symbolise that a new emotional beginning is in the offing, that by pouring out the dregs of our old emotional selves we can be refreshed and renewed. Our cups refilled once more and peace renewed.
After a night purging myself of those old emotions I found the new day brought forth a whole selection of different and new options for me. My day filled up with appointments and people offered to pay early for my workshop, along with a host of other offers. It just shows that these things really do work!