I’m Back

Good morning everyone. I’m back.

Had a little hiatus as life happened. Work was busy and I’m preparing for my upcoming relocation.

On our journey, we went to our friends’ wedding. I thanked the Christian God for welcoming us into his church for the wedding and I asked the God and Goddess to join in the blessing of their union.

As I watched the ceremony, I reflected on how misunderstood my beliefs are. Both faiths have their rituals and both ask for blessings from higher powers. The main difference is that my faith belongs to a father and mother instead of just a father.

It reminded me of my purpose and why I started this blog. To open communication and spread understanding. To help people realize that we have a lot in common.

I thank all of you for your patience with my haitus as I rediscover my path.

I hope to spread the message of unity and community as I move on. Hopefully I can help people learn about the spirits and themselves as I go. I thank you all for the opportunity.

If there are any topics about paganism or shamanism that you want me to cover, let me know. I will be more than happy to help.

No thoughts to meditate on today. Just be grateful for life.

The Flowing River

Our world is a wondrous place, both the “real world and the spiritual. While each culture is unique, spiritually they have many similarities.

The flow of information in the modern world is amazing. Once, spirituality was ruled by geography. A person was shackled to the local beliefs. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It gave something to believe in and a process to learn. Now the whole world is open and we must progress with that.

I follow celtic  paganism,  but my shamanic practice opens me to the practices of other cultures. I am able to mix things into my recipe of practice that deepens my connection to the spirits. I acknowledge and work with the chakras, I believe in reincarnation and past lives, I work with chi. I connect with the spirits of the Native Americans, honoring their spirits as well as the deities who speak to me. 

I honor Thor and his strength and Odin and his wisdom. This mixture strengthens my connection. I am able to swim deeper in the river.

Just as I can sample different foods from all over the world and add them to my pallet, why not test parts of their spirituality?

That is one of the glories of our modern world. Do not give in to fear and ignorance. Do not wall yourself off. Let the air flow freely and be open. Greet your new spirit guides. Honor and learn from them. You will be amazed at what opens.

What are your beliefs? Are you willing to share?

Creating worlds

Ever feel that the Earth is sleeping and we are just her dream?

As a child, I had a wild imagination that I often ran away with. Even as an adult, I am still guilty of this. I have always loved science fiction and fantasy. I would escape to these worlds of heroes and adventure. I am constantly working story ideas in my head, but never quite getting to the point of putting them to paper. These characters, these people, become just as real to me as anyone around me. Just how real are these works of fiction?

The original druids were story tellers and history keepers. They began as bards and worked their way up, passing down the old stories from generation to generation.

Now we have new bards and new stories. Stan Lee, Steven King, George R.R. Martin. I list modern creators and authors because they are the source of our “new mythology”. Where does their creativity come from? Sure, there is a lot of influence from earlier authors. What if they are tapping into their views of the spirit world? What if the reason people get attached to characters and stories is because they are real. 

The creator pours his or her energy into the work, be it art, music, literature or even video game production.

Who doesn’t feel some connection to Mario? A simple plumber transported to a fantastic world to save a princess.

Maybe authors and artists are opening the window to their spirit world. Helping others see it. Isn’t it our calling to share the wonder we feel?

Just thought I’d share this idea. Maybe it will help you see your favorite work in another light.

The Shaman

So let’s put it all together. In an earlier post, I said what shamanism was to me, now I want to tell you what the shaman is.

So I have talked about awareness and the spirit world and energy and matter. So we, all of us as normal human beings, live in the physical world and we exist also in all the other energetically realms that overlap it. The only difference between the shaman and every other person just living their life and drinking coffee and stuff, is that the shaman is aware to the other energetically realms. Anyone can open their mind and spirit to it, they just need to be ready. And some are more sensitive than others.

The shaman is a conduit for those who aren’t ready and a teacher for those who are. 

There is a lot of focus on ritual. People get to wrapped up in it, we need the order. Ritual simply acts as a focus. We believe in it, or the result of it, so we practice to get it perfect. Freeing the spirit and working our spiritual muscles doesn’t need perfection in ritual, just the belief that what you are doing will work. The free spirit doesn’t require a script.

The shaman follows the ritual, but if his energy differs each time, the result may differ, just like following a recipe.

Anyone can be a shamanic practitioner. Some have more natural talent than others, but your spiritual muscles can get stronger with practice. 

All it takes is belief, an open heart and an open mind.

I give many thanks for my shamanic teacher, Steve Wilson. Thank you for opening my mind and heart to this world.

A Measure of Reality

Have you ever dreamed and not known it was a dream until you woke up?

Of course you have. That is normally how dreams go.

Are you dreaming right now?

What is your measure of reality?

I had a discussion with a friend not long ago about differing truths. He is a staunch Christian with whom I have had many similar conversations with. He doesn’t understand or believe my idea of differing truths. The ironic thing is, I think that is proof of it. He believes whole-heartedly that Jesus is the son of God and therefore I do not see the truth. I do not believe there is a single God. I don’t even believe that I understand what my dieties are yet, but I accept that his truth is his. I accept that atheists believe in just the physical.

So, if everyone has a different perception of reality, what is real? How do you deacribe color to someone who was born blind?

Reality is beauty. Reality is ugliness. It is happiness, sadness, anger, and hope. 

It is said that people measure their reality through misery. “Pinch me, I must be dreaming”. The pain of the pinch is supposed to return you to reality.

In the end it is all just energy and matter. The name of the energy differs, but it is what holds us together, physically and spiritually. All of our crazy chemical mix of hormones that make our emotions. They all produce different energetic reactions.

Total awareness of all around us. Pick up your reality and see it from every point of view. Think about what it means to you and how others perceive your reality. Learn about their realities. 

Open communication is free moving energy.

Reality is what you make it.

The Spirit Realm

A common misconception is that the spirit realm, the after life, heaven and hell, and other dimensions are separate physical places. It is true that they are other realities, but it must be thought of in a different aspect.

Once you think past the physical, you realize that the other realities are energetically superimposed over our physical world, in constant flow in and out of our matter. These other realms can be perceived as we work on having total awareness. Through meditation and working in the dream time, our awareness expands. 

You begin by feeling the spirits that surround you, the spirits of place. See the auras of the people and things around you. You can see and feel the energy of the intention that went into the creation of things. See the tree as the perfect conduit of energy from the Source coming down and the Earth going up. Understand the basic science that the tree lives through by photosynthesis of sunlight, the absorption of carbon dioxide that we breath out, and nutrients that come to the root from the Earth. We live interconnected, in symbiosis, with all other things. Our matter and energy flowing. We are born, we live, we die, even stage a transfer of matter and energy.

Many are born empathy and can easily feel and see the energy that flows around and through everything. Others whose minds and hearts are open can be trained to do the same.

Because of many things, energy can build or be held to the physical anchor of our reality. In places of worship, the many years of faith and belief can create a pocket of energy where one can feel their holy spirit. Battlefields, cemeteries, or even hospitals where energy transfers en masse will be a place where spirits will gather, either holding on to their past lives or to absorb some of the energy for themselves.

In the deep forest, spirits will gather for sanctuary against the heavy energy of civilization. Our measure of reality is misery, making our energy dense and uncomfortable. Many people find sanctuary in the energy of the forest. They find concentration of human energy uncomfortable. Others are uncomfortable in the energy of the forest, because it is something that they are not used to. The unknown can be frightening and they are not ready to experience different energy.

My energy is different. People often look at me with uncertainty, with my obvious tattoos, displaying symbols of my faith. Those depending which region I am in, I definitely feel the discomfort coming from others, especially when I am in the South. I lay on manners and a smile fairly thick down there just to catch people off guard. I don’t look like everyone else and that can be frightening.

Our fears tend to subside when we learn about something. If we are fearful and ignorant, maybe we should learn about what we fear, i.e. other beliefs. If we are fearful and knowledgeable, maybe we should avoid what we fear, i.e. bears.

You should learn to feel your local spirits and the spirits of your ancestors. Even if you do not worship them, maybe a little acknowledgement. Be thankful to the spirits of air for that first breath when you wake up. It is permission to be here and bring goodness to the world. Open your mind and heart to the glorious beauty in even the most mundane task. Realize that it is all a beautifully choreographed ballet.

Open your eyes.

Believe…

Believe.

Probably the most powerful word in any language.

It is the first step of anything. Faith, success, love, friendship, truth. Believing is what creates it. It is the energy, the intention. 

Let’s look at a few secular examples. The first is medicine. People believe in their doctors and the doctors believe in their treatments. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t go to them. Doctors would not research potential treatments to aid the sick. Believing gives hope. Without the energy given by belief, the treatment would lose potency and the sick would wither.

The most obvious secular example of belief is the democratic process. The people cast their vote in the belief that the system will work or they cast it in the belief that their vote can fix the system. They vote for the candidate or the law that they believe in, that they believe will make their situation better. Their intent and belief is poured into the box they check or the letter they pull. The belief is guiding their hand when they make protest signs.

Belief.

When the teacher stands in front of a class and passes knowledge to atudents, it is done with the belief that the knowledge will be passed to the student and the student will use that knowledge to better them self or others. We have all had a teacher that didn’t actually believe in the lesson. It has no potency. The teacher doesn’t care, so why should we?

In our spiritual lives, belief is the core. I believe that meditation will bring me something, be it knowledge, comfort or a closer connection to the spirits, I know that when I close my eyes, something will happen. Do I believe that there is an actual man in the Sun or a woman in the Earth? Of course not, but when I connect to them, the spiritual avatars of the energy are what I see through my third eye. It is a constant over all faiths that what you believe you will see when you connect with that energy is what you will see. With practice and an open mind, you can see the faces of the trees, hear the voice of the wind, and feel the warm protection of the Sun. You can look at the flame of the candle and feel the passion and inspiration that burns there. If you do not believe it, you will just see light. But if you did not believe that you would see the candle’s light, would you? No, you would find another explanation.

Belief can be misguided, but it does not make the belief any less potent. Many of my Christian friends believe that my faith is misguided, but does that make it any less potent for me? As long as I do not hurt myself or others, my belief is equally justified. 

Even atheists believe. They just believe that there is only the physical world and that is okay. As long as they are happy and content with that, good for them. 

I write this blog in the belief that I can share my views. I believe in people enough that I feel I can open communication and hopefully share some of my energy. I believe that I can help bring people together and maybe make someone’s life a little easier by letting them know that they are not alone.

I believe that with communication, we can change the world.

The Journey

Lao said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

The most difficult things we attempt usually start small, be it continuing education, getting in shape or even conquering addiction. 

The path to the energetic source is the same way. There is no express elevator to “enlightenment”. Some people have an inherent gift for seeing, feeling, and working with energy and some people have to work at it. Just like the muscles of the body, the spiritual muscles can be exercised. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.

So, where am I going with this, other than laying out some sweet quotes. 

I said earlier that shamanism is a total awareness. Knowing that the spiritual and the physical are in a constant overlap. Energy and matter are interconnected. Stepping into the spiritual world isn’t so much a journey to a far off place, but opening awareness to what else surrounds you. It kind of like scuba diving and instead of watching the colorful fish, noticing the water. The water is clear and you can’t see it, but it is what keeps you floating.

Again I digress slightly, the first step into any world is through a door, a nexus. You are the connection of the material and the energetic. Total awareness of the universe starts with the total awareness of the self. Start with journeying into yourself. Be truthful and honest with your intention to yourself. Understand the physical and spiritual reasons for all of your little aches and pains. Know what fuels you. 

It is your journey.

Keep God out of it…

Some people may have a problem with the title of this post. You may wonder, if a higher power is part of everything, how can you separate it?

Many may be surprised to find that I have an issue with public breastfeeding feeding. Bear with me and I will get to the point. It isn’t because I find it obscene, it is a natural part of life. It is because I feel that it is a very intimate personal act. It is a great connection between a mother and child, one that I feel belongs in a personal space. I feel the same way with my spirituality.

I don’t hold my cards close to my chest. Anyone who is curious and asks me about my unorthodox faith will learn about it. Gods forbid we have a lot of time, because I can be a talker, but I don’t go into detail. How I interact with and honor the spirits of the world and my ancestors is for them and I. I read books about paganism so I can learn histories, make connections and did get ideas. I mold any rituals I come across to reflect myself and my connection. The spirits are always flowing, so I follow their lead.

Spirituality is a choice. I have a friend who will be getting married soon and he has chosen to take his future wife’s name. Following their story, I have seen this cause much turmoil with his family. My choice to follow the path of paganism has caused the same. They are unorthodox ideas, but they come from a very personal place. Our ideas to follow what feels right must be as respected as one who follows the normal path.

That’s why I say to keep God out of it. Our nation was created on the basis of personal freedom, whether the choice of a name or to follow what Gods we will. We are not a “Christian nation”. We are a collection of individuals, of free men. In the 50’s, God was thrown all over symbols of our nation as a propaganda tool to differentiate us from the supposedly atheist communists. 

Using your faith to make secular public policy is opression. The public cannot be ruled by policies created because the individual views birth control, abortion, or homosexuality are religiously wrong because the other person is also an individual. We all have the personal, intimate connection with our creator that is tailored to ourselves. We feel it in our heart and spirit.

You may think I am going to hell because I don’t follow your savior. We are all swimming in the sea, but we aren’t all drowning. We don’t all need a savior. We need to swim with our current until it delivers us to where we need to be.
Nuture and love your own connection until you see how it blooms and let others do the same. Maybe water their garden a little with support, understanding and communication. You may find your own flower watered as well.

Faith

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.

Patrick Overton, The Leaning Tree

My favorite quote about faith. We all have faith in something. Pagan, Christian, Jew, Muslim one thing that we share is faith. It may not be the same gods or prophets, but we have faith that there is a higher power to comfort and guide us. Even an atheist has faith in himself, that he will be able to overcome what ever trials and obstacles are put in his way.

I have had had a few ideas about what to post, and I decided on faith.

This decision came after attending a monthly workshop on shamanism. There is a member who believes, but when it comes to journey work, he rarely journeys. He has a very intelligent, deeply inquisitive mind and always wants to know the reason for things. This is good. It helps with the higher awareness you attain as you do spiritual work. I asked him if he is trying to see, knowing what conclusion he would come to about my question. When he said of course he was, my response was to stop trying.

I don’t want him to give up. I never want that. Sometimes you simple have to not fight the current of the spiritual energy. Just lay back and have faith that the spiritual river will flow and will show you what you need to see. Have faith that it works.

Everything is an act of faith. You go to bed at night with the faith that you will wake up in the morning. You get in your car to go to work. Even if you do not understand the beautiful ballet of the internal combustion engine, you have faith that your car will start and bring you to work. You have faith in yourself that you will be able to accomplish the day’s tasks.

When you have the basic faith that the process will work even beyond your control, then you can work deeper to understand it. 

In the political spectrum, you may not understand the circus that is shown to us every day, but have faith that either there is an amazing endgame or that someone will stand to make it better. You may even be that someone, just the catalyst isn’t yet the right one. 

It is easy to lose faith. All faith is based on the belief that the desired outcome will be attained. No matter how many prayers that are offered for someone who you love that has cancer, they may still have an adverse affect to a particular treatment . It is easy to blame the higher power and turn your back. Instead, we should re-explore our options and try to find one more suitable.

I am reminded of a favorite joke of mine.

A preacher is in his church when it starts storming. The police drive up and tell him to evacuate. “God will save me” he says and stays in his church. A few hours later, the rising flood waters force him into the second floor. A boat pulls up to the window and they say come with us. “God will save me” he says. A few more hours later and the preacher has to escape the flood to his roof. A helicopter hovers overhead, “let us help you” yells.down the crew. “God will save me” he says. Finally, the flood is too much and the preacher is washed off the roof and drowns. When he gets to heaven, he asks God “why didn’t you save me?” God shakes his said and says “I sent a car, a boat and a helicopter, what more do you want?”

The preacher’s faith wasn’t misplaced, he just didn’t have faith in the process. He expected some grand act when the spirits, God in this case, where acting the whole time. The energy constantly flows. We all may interpret it a little differently, but it is still energy that fills us and drives us. Makes us want to be better people and leave a better place for our children.

Don’t necessarily try to understand all the details of how the process of energy works, simply have faith that it will and understanding will come.