I haven’t written much lately for a number of reasons. One being I’ve been very busy. Two being there’s too much going on in the world and will continue to be so that reporting it before it happens seems like it will just cause a sense of paranoia and hopelessness. Unless I feel there is information which people can act on to change the future of something, I will remain silent.
I also don’t have an interest in doing personal readings right now because it’s too easy for me to become overwhelmed and worried about people. If anyone desires protection please use the Lesser Pentagram Ritual on a daily basis and know that I have asked my guides to help anyone looking here for protection so even if I don’t respond to you, it doesn’t matter, just reaching out and plugging into the energy of the Universe through whatever means you feel comfortable doing is most important. We all have our own path to God and I encourage everyone to find their own path as this is the way to enlightenment. No one can teach you, no one knows better than your own soul how to connect to the Great Spirit than you do. You are a unique soul – a collection of unique experiences, unique spiritual energy and physical experiences that are both at one and are entirely special to you.
Meditation is the first place to start and once you have found a meditation system that works for you keep at it. My only caveat is to always remember that psychic protection in this polluted world is of the utmost importance and should never be disregarded no matter what tradition you choice to follow. There are some traditions that will tell you psychic protection isn’t necessary, but I have seen first hand a disturbingly high percentage of negative events happening to people who open themselves up in these traditions when all they have to do is add some simple protection. Perhaps when some of these traditions were invented the world was a smaller and more tribal place and not so disjointed and predatory.
It’s important to realize that if you raise your level of consciousness, you will also attract people who are as dark as you are light and will try to hurt you because they will see your loving nature as weakness to be preyed upon. One can be a spiritual warrior, both strong and loving. Gentle with those who deserve it and able to fight for those less fortunate or for oneself without feelings of guilt.
I think this is the primary mistake of many spiritual systems that they have separated enlightenment with survival. Allowing oneself to be a victim doesn’t make one a great martyr, but it is often a period we must pass through in our spiritual evolution as tests can and will come to those with spiritual power.
Let me be clear I do not advocate the use of spiritual power for malice under any circumstances – but this is an issue that most people will never have to really face. I also do not advocate using spiritual power to gain specific material gain in this world (such as in The Secret or other such “New Age” sorts of books.)
I believe one is here to learn and grow and one must surrender to the power of the Great Spirit and the greater good and flow of the Universe. That being said I do believe the Great Spirit can endow people with gifts that are meant to be used and when one follows their heart (this is where the Great Spirit contacts us most easily) our path is full of fulfillment. It isn’t always easy, it doesn’t necessarily bring us great wealth or fame, but it provides us with everything we need and the opportunity to be our best self.
BTW being rich and famous isn’t being our best self and some of the most miserable people on this planet live in the bubble of wealth and fame – they have everything they could ever want or need but no empathy or understanding. This is why over the years as Oprah embraced more and more New Age gurus and now on her network has a “master class” which I find completely offensive, as if because someone has been lucky enough to make some money or was at the right place at the right time and had half a brain as to how to utilize these opportunities they are somehow a “master.” A master of what? Everyone can’t be rich like Oprah, otherwise she’d be the norm thereby making her average.
Life isn’t this fantasy although many people would have us believe it is. The fantasy that if we just think something hard enough it will come true or worse if something bad happens somehow we deserve it. These very complex lines of fate, genetics, place, position, education and luck are not just the result of a single person pulling themselves alone by their own bootstraps and continuing to hold them up by themselves.
In days of old people were well aware of this, but as our culture has become increasingly narcissistic and the need to turn celebrities into demigods has inverted the truth, that no man is an island, and without a very complex social fabric and the right opportunities, breaks and the luck of having been born with talent and/or intelligence what appears to be a singular accomplishment made by one exceptional individual, is actually an accomplishment grown from a community of supportive people and helpful friends, good advice and the luck of assembling a great team of people to help the one front person and or beneficiary of many people’s sacrifice and hard work. It’s not just a magic sentence written on a piece of paper and repeated until one “believes in himself” enough to become a billionaire. Yes, having confidence does help, but it’s just the start of the chain not the chain itself.
Until I have something helpful to say I will keep my Lynx medicine to myself. For now I advise everyone to enjoy their family and friends, get their spiritual house in order and try not to get caught up in the prevailing anxiety that is ever-present. If I have any advice I feel will help people to make a better decision I will share it otherwise predicting things that one had no control over is simply anxiety producing and pointless.
Many blessings to all,
I’m reprinting the information from another site the author is Steve Mizrach. I’m doing so because this information is important to me. I dreamed of lightning and was approached by Thunderbeings who told me, “We are walking in a sacred manner,” the repeated this over and over. I had this dream about six months ago and I knew at the time it was a harbinger of chaos and war. The next night I had a visitation from an angel Yah-Shew-Ah or Joshua at first he came to me in a white tunic covered in dirt and then revealed himself to be an angel. He claimed to be an ancestor of mine. He then gave me a spiritual gift that I have been spending much time using. It is the gift of protection – in the way that those who were spiritually pure were protected during passover.
I had wanted to give readings for people on the site, but my life became very hectic, as I dealt with many friend’s crisis’ as well as trying to work and raise a toddler. So I will do this instead. I can offer this gift. It is the gift of spiritual protection. Anyone who needs it can contact me via this website through a comment or through the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I know it sounds strange but there are many weird things to come and if you give me your name, birth date (time would be good as well as where you are born so I can locate you on the Auric plane) I will put protection around you. My only caveat is that if you ask me to do this I will get information about you and if I can’t protect you I will let you know the reason – for example if you are sick and are ready to cross over I can not protect you from that or if you have done heinous things I can not protect you from your own karma. If this occurs I will contact you via this site in a post stating your initials and place of birth and ask you to e-mail me so I can let you know why the protection did not work – if of course you contacted me for help in post form if not I will just e-mail you back from the email@example.com.
This is a crucial time in human history. It is not the end but it does have the potential to be the end of many things which could lead to major re-adjustments. If you want spiritual protection during this time of transition please do not hesitate. I will make a nightly list and do the ritual for you. This is the most I can offer at this time but in my opinion it is much more powerful and helpful than simply “knowing” what you will live through in the next year.
Please read this very interesting article that I reprinted which was sent to me by my husband due to my connection with the Thunderbird spirits and heyoka. Interestingly my husband is of Native American ancestry (I mean he’s nearly half and a registered member of a tribe – a direct ancestor of those that walked the trail of tears) as far as I know I’m not, (I’m almost entirely Eastern European w/some Scottish/Irish on my mother’s side, but I know nothing about my mother’s father (the Scottish/Irish side) so perhaps I have some Native American roots I am unaware of. Either way all humans are related and all racial memory becomes universal human consciousness that we can tap into. Also on a side note the angel was from the old testament (which I don’t know very well since I was raised Catholic after my Jewish father’s death – despite being raised culturally Jewish – crazy, huh? I guess that’s why I figure all religions are fine as long as they make sense to the person who belongs to them – different strokes and all. Whatever gets you close to the Great Spirit/God-Goddess is great.)
Many blessings to all of you – make everyday count – let the Great Spirit whisper to you through your heart and your life will be complete,
by Steve Mizrach
Thunderbird and Trickster
The Thunderbird is one of the few cross-cultural elements of Native North American mythology. He is found not just among Plains Indians, but also among Pacific Northwest and Northeastern tribes. He has also become quite a bit of an icon for non-Indians, since he has also had the honor of having automobiles, liquors, and even a United States Air Force squadron named after him. Totems bearing his representation can be found all over the continent. There have been a number of curious theories about the origins of the Thunderbird myth – ones which I will show are probably wrongheaded.
In this paper, moreover, I want to examine how the myths and legends of the Thunderbird tie into the sacred clowning/trickster ritual complex of Plains tribes such as the Lakota. I will show how the Thunderbird is intimately connected to this complex, and attempt to explain why. It is the intimate association between these two traditions that may help explain some features of Plains culture and folklore. Aspects of the Thunderbird myth only make sense in light of these associations.
Plains Indians myth and folklore
In order to understand Plains Indians folklore, we have to realize that their myths were not just “just-so” stories to entertain, divert, or make inadequate efforts at naturalistic explanation. Rather, Indian myth functioned in religious, pedagogical, and initiatory ways, to help socialize young people and illuminate the various religious and other roles in society. Indian myth was always fluid, and grounded in the present, which is what might be expected of societies which largely lacked static, written traditions. Storytelling was an art which was maintained by the medicine people with great fidelity, because it was used to explain the development of certain rituals and elements of society. (Hines 1992)
Some have looked at the Thunderbird myths through the same lens of understanding applied to European mythology. The Thunderbird is like the Indo-European dragon or ogre or Leviathan, a huge monster who kidnaps virginal maidens, and who must be slain by the brave hero. Or the Thunderbird is simply treated as some kind of fantastic oddity, like the mythical unicorn or mermaid – an impossible construction borne from the extremes of the imagination. Both these attempts at explaining myth lose the important point of seeing Thunderbird as a personification of energies in nature – those found in violent thunderstorms and such – and his crucial dual nature.
Still, the Indians were not merely “mythmaking” in the pejorative sense. They no more literally believed in a giant bird generating storms through the beating of its wings, then Christians today literally believe in their divine being as an old man with a beard sitting on a marble throne. Thunderbird is an allegory; his conflicts with other forces in nature are then an attempt to allegorize relationships observed in the natural order, such as the changing of the weather. Like other Thunder Beings, he is essentially an attempt to represent the patterns of activity of a powerful, mysterious force in a way that can be understood simply and easily – sort of the way in which a weather map functions today. (Edmonds and Clark 1989)
The Plains Indians believed that everything that was found in nature had a human representative in microcosm. Everything in nature often contained its own opposite polarity, hence the expected existence of beings such as contraries, women warriors, and berdaches. Because the Thunderbird in particular represented this mysterious dual aspect of nature, manifest through the primordial power of thunderstorms, it is not surprising that his representatives were the heyoka or sacred clowns, who displayed wisdom through seemingly foolhardy action. Western thinking has prevented us from seeing the reasons why Indians perceived this connection. Few anthropologists have sought to locate how Thunderbird may have been mythologically linked to Trickster.
The Nature of Thunderbird
In Plains tribes, the Thunderbird is sometimes known as Wakinyan, from the Dakota word kinyan meaning “winged.” Others suggest the word links the Thunderbird to wakan, or sacred power. In many stories, the Thunderbird is thought of as a great Eagle, who produces thunder from the beating of his wings and flashes lightning from his eyes. (Descriptions are vague because it is thought Thunderbird is always surrounded by thick, rolling clouds which prevent him from being seen.) Further, there were a variety of beliefs about Thunderbird, which suggest a somewhat complicated picture. Usually, his role is to challenge some other great power and protect the Indians – such as White Owl Woman, the bringer of winter storms; the malevolent Unktehi, or water oxen who plague mankind; the horned serpents; Wochowsen, the enemy bird; or Waziya, the killing North Wind. But in some other legends (not so much in the Plains), Thunderbird is himself malevolent, carrying off people (or reindeer or whales) to their doom, or slaying people who seek to cross his sacred mountain. (Erdoes and Ortiz 1984)
Many Plains Indians claim there are in fact four colors (varieties) of Thunderbirds (the blue ones are said, strangely, to have no ears or eyes), sometimes associated with the four cardinal directions, but also sometimes only with the west and the western wind. (According to the medicine man Lame Deer, there were four, one at each compass point, but the western one was the Greatest and most senior.) (Fire and Erdoes 1972) The fact that they are sometimes known as “grandfathers” suggest they are held in considerable reverence and awe. It is supposed to be very dangerous to approach a Thunderbird nest, and many are supposed to have died in the attempt, swept away by ferocious storms. The symbol of Thunderbird is the red zig-zag, lightning-bolt design, which some people mistakenly think represents a stairway. Most tribes feel he and the other Thunder beings were the first to appear in the Creation, and that they have an especially close connection to wakan tanka, the Great Mysterious. (Gill and Sullivan 1992)
The fact that Thunderbird sometimes appears as something that terrorizes and plagues Indians, and sometimes as their protector and liberator (in some myths, he was once an Indian himself) is said to reflect the way thunderstorms and violent weather are seen by Plains people. On the one hand, they bring life-giving rain (Thunderbird is said to be the creator of ‘wild rice’ and other Plains Indians crops); on the other hand, they bring hail, flood, and lightning and fire. It is not clear where with them worship and awe end, and fear and terror begin. Some Indians claim that there are good and bad Thunderbirds, and that these beings are at war with each other. Others claim that the large predatory birds which are said to kidnap hunters and livestock are not Thunderbirds at all. Largely, I suspect that this dual nature of the Thunderbird ties it to the Trickster figure in Indian belief: like the Trickster, the harm the Thunderbird causes is mostly because it is so large and powerful and primeval.
Origins of the Thunderbird Myth
Cryptozoologists like Mark A. Hall, having studied the Thunderbird myths of numerous tribes, and compared them to (mostly folkloric) accounts of unusually large birds in modern times, as well as large birds (like the Roc) in other mythic traditions, suggest that there may well be a surviving species of large avians in America – big enough, apparently, to fly off carrying small animals or children, as has been claimed in some accounts. (Hall suggests the wingspan of such a species would be several feet longer than any known birds – certainly bigger than that of the turkey vulture or other identifiable North American species.) (Hall 1988) Such researchers feel the Thunderbird myth may have originated from sightings of a real-life flesh-and-blood avian which might be an atavism from earlier epochs (a quasi-pterodactyl or teratorn, perhaps.)
However, the big problem with this theory is that most ornithologists consider it to be quite farfetched. If such a species existed (a situation akin to the folkloric Sasquatch), it would be amazing that to this point it has remained unidentified and uncatalogued. A species of birds that big, unless it consisted of an extremely small number of members, would find it hard to avoid detection for long. Hall does suggest the possibility that maybe, like the mastodon, these large birds were hunted to extinction prior to the arrival of Europeans on the North American continent. Still, the other problem with his theory is that it ignores what Indians themselves have to say about the Thunderbird.
They describe the Thunderbird as a spiritual, not just physical, being. It is not seen as just a large, fearsome predatory bird that people tell stories about. Rather, it’s an integral part of Plains Indians religion and ritual. Only by ignoring this fact could we put our Western ethnocentric biases into effect, and reduce it to a zoological curiosity. The Thunderbird is much more than that; the Indian attitude toward it comes from more than just the mere fact that it is supposed to be really big. To understand the origins of Thunderbird myths, it’s necessary to see how they connect with other elements of Indian belief and ceremony – especially the Trickster complex – and see how they fit into the structure of Plains Indian myth as a whole.
Clowning around in Plains Indian culture
Clowning, like the icon of the Thunderbird, could be found in almost every North American Indian society. In every case, it involved ridiculous behavior, but on the Plains it especially exhibited inversion and reversal as elements of satire. There were four types of clown societies on the Plains – age-graded societies, military societies, the northern plains type, and the heyoka shamanistic societies. The behaviors of all sorts of clowns revolved around a few basic themes or attributes: burlesque, mocking the sacred, playing pranks or practical jokes, making obscene jokes or gestures, caricature of others, exhibiting gross gluttony or extreme appetite, strange acts of self-mortification or self-deprecation, and taunting of enemies or strangers. (Steward 1991)
The age-graded clown societies primarily consisted of older people who had been inducted into their ranks – groups such as the Gros Ventre Crazy Lodge or the Hidatsa Dog Society. These clowns were assumed to simply be playing a role appropriate to their sodality, rather than receiving some sort of supernatural inspiration. They carried out certain expected ritual performances on proscribed days, such as the Crazy Dance or the imitation of animals. In contrast, the military clown societies such as the Cheyenne Inverted Bow String Warriors, often carried comical or ridiculous weapons, but were also expected to show absurd bravery in battle, provoking the enemy into giving up its discipline and cohesion with taunts and insults. Not surprisingly, they sometimes rode their horses backwards into battle.
The northern plains clowns, found among tribes such as the Ojibway, wore masks which made them appear to be two-faced, and costumes of rags which made them appear comical. All of these three types of clown societies practiced a sort of conventionalized or patterned sort of anti-natural behavior. That is, they might do something which seemed strange or contrary, but under somewhat regular conditions. You knew when they might do something weird – and there were times when they were forbidden to perform their antics. Further, they might often “give up” the clowning way of life, and return to a non-contrary state by marrying and engaging in a more normal mode of existence.
The heyoka were different in three primary ways from the other sorts of clowns. They were truly unpredictable, and could do the unexpected or tasteless even during the most solemn of occasions. Moreso than other clowns, they really seemed to be insane. Also, they were thought to be more inspired by trans-human supernatural forces (as individuals driven by spirits rather than group conventions), and to have a closer link to wakan or power than other clowns. And lastly, they kept their role for life – it was a sacred calling which could not be given up without performing an agonizing ritual of expiation. Not surprisingly, these unique differences were seen as the result of their having visions of Thunderbird, a unique and transforming experience.
Testimony of Black Elk: the heyoka and lightning
The Oglala Indian Black Elk had some interesting things to say about the heyoka ceremony, which he himself participated in. Black Elk describes the “dog in boiling water” ceremony in some detail. He also describes the bizarre items he had to carry as a heyoka, and the crazy antics he had to perform with his companions. He also attempts to explain the link between the contrary trickster nature of heyokas with that of Thunderbird.
“When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the West, it comes with terror like a thunder storm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier; for wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm… you have noticed that truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping. When people are already in despair, maybe the laughing is better for them; and when they feel too good and are too sure of being safe, maybe the weeping face is better. And so I think this is what the heyoka ceremony is for … the dog had to be killed quickly and without making any scar, as lightning kills, for it is the power of lightning that heyokas have.” (quoted in Neihardt 1959: 160)
Today, of course, Western physicists describe the dual nature of electricity. An object can carry a positive or negative electric charge. The electron is simultaneously a wave and a particle. Electricity and magnetism are thought to be aspects of the same force, and as is well know with magnetism, it comes in polarities, with opposite poles (north and south) attracting. Though the Indians did not have access to our modern scientific instruments, they are likely to have observed some of the same properties in lightning. Thus it would have been intuitive to link the dual spiritual nature of the heyoka (tragicomedy – solemn joking – joy united with pain) with the dual nature of electricity.
Thunderbird and Heyoka, the Sacred Clown
It was believed among the Lakota and other tribes that if you had a dream or vision of birds, you were destined to be a medicine man; but if you had a vision of Thunderbird, it was your destiny to become something else; heyoka, or sacred clown. Like Thunderbird, the heyoka were at once feared and held in reverence. They were supposed to startle easily at the first sound of thunder or first sight of lightning. Thunderbird supposedly inspired the “contrariness” of the heyoka through his own contrary nature. He alternates strong winds with calm ones. While all things in nature move clockwise, Thunderbird is said to move counterclockwise. Thunderbird is said to have sharp teeth, but no mouth; sharp claws, but no limbs; huge wings, but no body. All of these things suggest Thunderbird (and the heyoka) have a curious, paradoxical, contrary nature. You could become heyoka through a vision of the Thunderbird, or just of lightning or a formidable winged being of power. (Steiger 1974)
While clown societies were found throughout the Plains, the heyoka, or sacred clowns, were usually few in number, but were found in almost every clan. Heyoka were contraries, often speaking and walking backwards. They acted in ridiculous, obscene, and comical ways, especially during sacred ceremonies. They were thought to be fearless and painless, able to seize a piece of meat out of a pot of boiling water. They often dressed in a bizarre and ludicrous manner, wearing conical hats, red paint, a bladder over the head (to simulate baldness), and bark earrings. The heyoka was thought to usually carry various sacred items – a deer hoof rattle, a colored bow, a flute, or drum. His “anti-natural” nature was thought to be shamanistic in origin — and as a contrary, he was expected to act silly and foolhardy during battle (although this was found more among warrior clown societies such as the Cheyenne Inverted Warriors.)
However insulting or sacrilegious heyoka actions might be, they were tolerated, since it was assumed they were acting on the higher and more inscrutable imperatives of the Great Mystery. Heyoka were freed from all the ordinary constraints of life, and thus were usually not expected to marry, have children, or participate in the work of the tribe. Despite their bizarre acts (such as dressing in warm clothes during summer or wearing things inside out), they were trusted as healers, interpreters of dreams, and people of great medicine. Whenever they interrupted the solemnity of a ceremony, people took it as an admonition to see beyond the literalness of the ritual and into the deeper mysteries of the sacred. Like the flash of lightning, the heyoka’s sudden outbursts and disturbances were thought to be the keys to enlightenment – much like the absurd acts of Zen masters in Japan. (Hultkrantz 1987)
Thunderbird and Trickster
Part of the link between heyoka and Thunderbird comes from Iktomi, the Trickster figure. Iktomi is said to be heyoka because he has seen and talked with Thunderbird. Iktomi is the first-born son of Inyan (rock), and is said to speak with rocks and stones. Like Coyote and other Trickster figures, Iktomi likes to pull pranks on people, but is just as often the victim of tricks and misfortunes. This makes him at once a culture hero, and a figure to be feared and avoided. Iktomi was thought to be a hypersexual predator, one who frequently pursued winchinchalas (young virgins) who bathed in streams, through various methods of deceit. Yet his pursuits and antics often wound up with him inadvertently getting hurt or winding up in trouble.
Paul Radin suggests that Iktomi and other Trickster figures are akin to the Great Fool or Wild Man of European folklore, who often shows up in the Feast of Fools and other ceremonies where the social order is turned topsy-turvy. (Radin 1956) Jung, following his lead, claims the Trickster as an archetypal part of the collective unconscious; and his “crazy wisdom” as emblematic of humankind’s earlier, undivided, unindividuated consciousness. Iktomi and other tricksters seem to be at the constant mercy of their desires; yet their blind luck always seems to protect them from the consequences of their missteps. He is dangerous primarily because he is so powerful, yet so rarely has the forethought or good judgment to use his power wisely. Radin and others proclaim him the representative of untamed, unpredictably wild nature, within the confines of culture.
In other cultural traditions, thunder and lightning are connected with the unexpected. We talk about a “bolt out of the blue.” In American folk culture, there are a host of legendary stories of mysterious cures or transformations wrought by someone being struck by lightning. It’s at once dangerous, and a symbol of sudden, shocking revelation and inspiration. It’s also the primary weapon in most pantheons of the chief sky god (such as Zeus in Greek mythology.) For the Plains Indians, thunder and lightning symbolized the vast, uncontrollable energy of nature. It’s not surprising, then, that the Thunderbird is connected with the strange, uncontrollable force of the Trickster figure, and his avatar, the heyoka.
Significance of the Trickster Figure and “Contrariness” in Plains Society
Psychological anthropologists, especially those oriented toward psychoanalytic theory and depth psychology, point to the Trickster figure as a sort of important cultural “release valve.” He represents the “return of the repressed,” the Dionysian aspects of life only temporarily held in abeyance by the Apollonian forces of civilization. The carnivals and feasts held in honor of fools in Europe, suggest some anthropologists, are “outlets,” allowing people to invert the social order temporarily as a way of promoting its continuity in the long run (avoiding its ultimate collapse.) The ruler is dressed in peasants’ clothes, and some ignorant serf is crowned king. Symbols of authority normally held in extreme reverence are mocked and desecrated.
Clowns and contraries in Plains societies do not just come out once a year, however. They are permanent parts of the society, and are seen as continual reminders of the contingency and arbitrariness of the social order. Long before French theorists came on the scene, the heyoka was reminding his own people about the social construction of reality. By doing everything backwards, the heyoka in a way is carrying out a constant experiment in ethnomethodology, showing people how their own expectations limit their behavior. Like a good performance artist, the shocking behavior of the heyoka is supposed to confront people and make them reconsider what they may have arbitrarily accepted as normal. It’s to “jolt” them out of their ordinary frames of mind. (Steward 1991)
More importantly, as a representative of Thunderbird and Trickster, the heyoka reminds his people that the primordial energy of nature is beyond good and evil. It doesn’t correspond to human categories of right and wrong. It doesn’t always follow our preconceptions of what is expected and proper. It doesn’t really care about our human woes and concerns. Like electricity, it can be deadly dangerous, or harnessed for great uses. If we’re too narrow or parochial in trying to understand it, it will zap us in the middle of the night. Like any good trickster, the heyoka plays pranks on others in his culture not to make them feel embarrassed and stupid, but to show them ways they could start being more smart.
The Account of John (Fire) Lame Deer: Heyoka and ASC
Lame Deer calls the heyoka the “upside-down, forward-backward, icy-hot contrary.” He describes in detail one particular heyoka trick which may give some clues to the nature of their antics. Apparently, they would grab pieces of dog meat out of a pot of boiling water, and fling them at a crowd of people, without being burned or harmed in any way. (Why dog meat? Lame Deer gives a clue when he says, “For the heyoka, he says god when he means dog, and dog when he means god.”) Lame Deer suggests before doing this they chewed a grayish moss called tapejuta. I suspect that heyoka were able to perform this feat through going into trance, an altered state of consciousness, by utilizing this and other psychotropic plants on occasion.
More importantly, I think they induced trance in others through their contrary behavior. Psychologists have noted that trance does not always occur through rhythmic repetition. Another way in which it occurs (the “paradoxical state”) is through a sudden shock to the nervous system. Ethnomethodologists have often noted the blank, glassy stares and strange states produced by violating peoples’ expectations – by, for example, getting into an elevator and facing the other people in it. It’s in such “paradoxical states” that people often may assimilate new information quickly, without filtering. They also may be able to “abreact” psychological trauma. For these reasons, the heyoka may have been seen as a source of wisdom and healing.
Lame Deer seems to suggest the power of trance is connected to the power of Thunderbird. As a paradoxical state of consciousness, it ties into the paradoxical energy of thunder and lightning. The crash of thunder can startle us and wake us up out of dreaming sleep. The trance of the heyoka comes from sacred power. He ties it all together in a way that’s fairly succinct:
” These Thunderbirds are part of the Great Spirit. Theirs is about the greatest power in the whole universe. It is the power of the hot and the cold clashing above the clouds. It is blue lightning from the sun. It is like atomic power. The thunder power protects and destroys. It is good and bad; the great winged power. We draw the lightning as a forked zigzag, because lightning branches out into a good and bad part… In our Indian belief, the clown has a power which comes from the thunder beings, not from the animals or the Earth. He has more power than the atom bomb, he could blow off the dome of the Capitol. Being a clown gives you honor, but also shame. It brings you power, but you have to pay for it.” (quoted in Erdoes 1972: 251)
The Thunderbird’s association with heyoka clowns is not simply serendipitous. The fact that the Thunderbird displays many paradoxical and contradictory attributes links it to Trickster figures and to the contraries of Plains Indians culture. This culture complex probably resulted from Indian beliefs about nature and the ways in which thunder and lightning exemplified the manners in which it could be at once capricious, beneficent, and destructive. The Thunderbird’s own link to the original Great Mystery suggests that the role of the sacred clown was seen as one of the highest in Plains society – like wandering fools in Europe, they were thought to be touched by the Divine power itself. Like Thunderbird himself, the heyoka was thought to be a conduit to forces that defied comprehension, and by his absurd, backwards behavior he was merely showing the ironic, mysterious dualities that existed within the universe itself.
Edmonds, Margot, and Clark, Ella E., Voices of the Winds: Native American Legends, Facts on File, New York, 1989.
Erdoes, Richard, and Ortiz, Alfonso, eds., American Indian Myths and Legends, Pantheon Books, New York, 1984.
Fire, John, and Erdoes, Richard, Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions, Washington Square Press, New York, 1972.
Gill, Sam D., and Sullivan, Irene F., Dictionary of Native American Mythology, ABC-CLIO Inc., Santa Barbara, 1992.
Hall, Mark A., Thunderbirds: The Living Legend of Giant Birds, Fortean Publications, Minneapolis, 1988.
Hines, Donald M., Ghost Voices: Indian Myths, Legends, Humor, and Hunting Stories, Great Eagle Publishing, Issaquah, 1992.
Hultkrantz, Ake, Native Religions of North America, Harper & Row Publishers, San Francisco, 1987.
Neihardt, John G., Black Elk Speaks, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1959.
Radin, Paul, The Trickster: a Study in American Indian Mythology, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1956.
Steiger, Brad, Medicine Power, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1974.
Steward, Julian Haynes, The Clown in Native North America, Garland Publishing, New York, 1991.
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Interesting post Denise and Tina. I’m especially interested in getting your opinion on if you think the internet enhances ones psychic ability or disables it? I feel that people are becoming increasingly psychic and intuitive and I wonder if we will ever reach a point, where everyone just becomes psychic and it becomes a normal ability.
Also on another side note. Do you recommend any books or practices to enhance ones intuition?
I do think people are becoming more psychic. Or at least more open to it. I believe this is due in part to new technologies, more people with access to capturing types of technology – such as video, audio and photo equipment. It has also become OK to share ones experience, people are not just written off as crazy and more people are acknowledging their own brushes with the supernatural as information gets out there about what to look for.
If 2012 is going to be a marker of anything positive, it will be that we are more awakened. There is some very interesting moves technologically that are bringing us closer to opening ourselves up to understanding what is beyond our 5 senses. Some of them have to do with using a sense to trigger other senses, some are theoretical like string theory. All of the breakthroughs science is engaged in are actually prove out the vastness of our multiverse and supporting the notion of an animating force of which we are all a part.
I personally believe this is exactly what God is. It was always my supposition and actually I was literally kicked out of my high school English class – a Great Books style class, when the teacher asked the question, “Is there a God?” My answer to her was perhaps for those who believe there is the experience of God and for those who do not their isn’t. I was going to go on to say that it was my belief that the Universe or God is eternal, without beginning or end and we were all a part of it, some unaware, others conscious when she said, “Either you’re pregnant or you’re not.” My response to this was, “How can you apply physical rules to a supernatural being?” And that was it for me. I was literally told to speak to her after class and not allowed back. I don’t think she’d ever had a student give her an answer that was quantum before. This was many years before quantum theory was really mainstream and I hadn’t even heard of it, and I was a geek who read science magazines and astronomy textbooks, so…
Anyway back to my point, God is not just in the heavens, in a spiritual home/heaven we go back to, but also in all things – all things, like an artist who leaves His/Her mark (I believe God is genderless) on all things, on the very quarks and electrons that make everything possible and I also believe all sentient beings have eternal souls and it is that eternal soul which is a piece of God thrown out (at our choosing) so we may learn, grow and individuate in other words evolve. At that point we know (but don’t really understand like a that a child) that with this choice will come suffering, despair, pain, love, joy, ecstasy and everything in the middle, yet when we make that decision it is just intellectual we haven’t experienced any of it yet, and that is why we decide to incarnate, to experience all of this – the darkness and light, good and evil so we may find who we are among all the many colors and shades of creation.
As far as getting in touch with your psychic ability there is something that I really want to caution anyone who is interested in exploring this realm about. It is actually a theme I’ve heard repeated now over and over in weird places which is why I bring it up because for me, much of this was dealt with many years ago and I sometimes forget how intense the awakening process is. I experienced it throughout my childhood and young adult life and still continue to do so however I have learned ways to control the worst of it. One quote I heard went something like this, “When one gets closer to God one gets closer to the Devil,” or something like that. What this means is when you open to the divine, within it lies both negative and positive energy. God is neither “good,” nor “evil” God is energy. I believe God at the core of connection, the Creator aspect of God is divine pure love, however in order for us to learn we needed a binary system. And their is a destroyer aspect, some call it the Devil – others yin and yang.
God or our universe was set up with oppositions, light and dark, good and evil, black and white. There are demonic forces without a doubt. I’ve had my run ins with them. They are very frightening. They do not respond to traditional religious spiritual paths, meaning they will not go away by asking for help from Jesus or getting a priest to bless one’s home. The only way to keep them at bay while one is opening to the light is to learn (very rigorously) psychic protection and the best there is, is the lesser pentagram ritual which I have written about on this website. You have to be in control and you must be the one to exorcise them, no one else can really do this for you. It is part of the path, the choosing, facing one’s fears, one’s demons and you must rise above them and cast them out. No other force can do this for you except you can keep them away with the lesser pentagram ritual. I can tell you that as soon as I learned it and performed the ritual in my mind every night before I went to sleep, I have never had another demonic encounter. Even spirits stay outside my home. I often go outside to talk to people who are trying to get a hold of me because the force of this protection is so intense that even benign spirits of people who have passed on can not enter if there is anything less than absolute purity which of course no human being possesses even on the other side. One has to invite those spirits of ancestors in, sometimes they can come in to protect one, but mostly they don’t disturb the circle. I would first learn this protection before anything else and do the lesser pentagram (just search my site for the words and info, I also have a link to someone doing it on u-tube, you can probably find others who do it as well). And then start with meditation.
One must clear the mind and have control of the mind to tell what is one’s own thought from what one is receiving from elsewhere. It’s a rigorous process of keeping notes often of dreams, patterns, and finding ones own spiritual metaphorical language. It’s worth it. However it is a life long process, many lifetimes long, one that we all will eventually engage in if we are to awaken. I’m just warning you that as you open yourself up, you open yourself up to everything; love, pain, suffering, healing, anger, the dying earth’s energy. It’s not always easy to deal with. I believe this is why I have always had many health problems as this energy overwhelms me at times.
Any type of clearing the mind sort of meditation is the first step. Then find what things you are attracted to. Have you always been fascinated by Buddhism? Or by a statue of Hanuman you saw in a museum? Or perhaps Diana or Jesus, Mohammad, whatever your calling. These are the deepest recesses of your past life work and it’s best to work with the system or pathway you have already been on for many lifetimes. Just find the place in that system that best fits you. Or perhaps you are like me and all those religions call to you in different ways. Well, you can take what you need from them and navigate as best you can through many paths. I think though starting out, it is best to have one path you dedicate yourself to entirely and learn that before opening to other things. I’m not saying one should ever dismiss anything, just commit to one thing so you can find your center and go from there.
Hope that helps.
See Part 1 & 2… (continued)
So back to how I believe the Universe works and how “karma/darma” operates. The Universe is intelligence beyond our comprehension. Ours is one of an infinite number of Universes and ours is one of an infinite number of dimensions. The best way to describe it is a circle within a circle within a circle forever smaller and larger than the circle we occupy. The Great Intelligence is infinite in every direction without beginning or end. It does not directly create, have judgment or take sides.
Actually, it is my belief that the Great Intelligence (I don’t want to call it God or Goddess because these terms are to anthropomorphic and loaded) is an energetic field in and part of all of creation – meaning each of us carries a piece of this animating force known in occult literature as the Higher Self or in religious vernacular, the soul.
So we literally have direct access to the Great Intelligence. All of us are equally connected, equally a part of this Great Intelligence as the Great Intelligence experiences/learns and grows through our processes of individuation which is also and equally a part of the Great Intelligences’ individuation and growth process – in other words we are one and the same, all of creation is directly linked to the Great Intelligence.
This being said, conversely the Great Intelligence is eternal, all-knowing, pure unconditional love. And I don’t mean love as an emotion, but love as a beingness or energetic glue of oneness which in our language is best expressed as love. The Great Intelligence is in a constant state of creative evolution and experiences all of Itself (of which I’m including you, I, and everything in the Everythingness) as an extension of itself. The Great Intelligence does not possess human emotions, motives or anything we can remotely wrap our heads around. This is where karma/darma comes in. Each Universe is set up with a set of rules and conditions that those who occupy that Universe must abide by. Our Universe is dualistic; we have light and dark, good and evil, black and white, man and woman and all that lay in-between these opposites.
In our Universe we can not know one side without experiencing the other. It is through contrast that we learn and evolve, for whatever reason this is the path our soul took in this lifetime to learn whatever it needed to in order to further our own individuation and add to the collective growth/knowledge and self-understanding of the Great Intelligence. Or, hey, maybe we just like it and find it fun and entertaining.
We know through science that time is an illusion and actually as quantum physics evolves (through string theory) the notion of parallel dimensions has become a primary component, without this string theory is rendered useless. Just by extrapolation of this theory (which dovetails well with ancient occult teachings) there are endless versions of our world where: you are born, you are not born, you decide to marry, not marry, have children, not have children, etc. And of course you are but one component of the endless possibilities and how all these things coalesce to make for the current universe we inhabit. In a sense karma helps to keep the balance among all these possibilities, without this law our souls could not make the connection between the light and dark or between action and reaction.
Karma in other words is the connective tissue between the call and the answer. I don’t believe it is punishment or favor. It is nothing more than a universal law set up so we may understand how our actions create and effect our world, loved ones, future trajectories, and really everything.
In eastern religions it is thought that we are on a wheel of Samsara or suffering. That our world is a kind of purgatory from which the ultimate goal is to ascend. I don’t believe that either. In this version of karma the idea is to reach a state of karma-lessness through meditation, and never causing injury (or help for that matter) to anything whether it be ant or human. The problem with this idea is (of which there are many in my opinion) is in order to live someone else has to die, be that plant, animal or even microbes that one breathes. There is no escaping the impact one will have by the very act of being alive. And hiding away on a mountain to meditate all night and day, eating only things without faces is a form of escapism (in my opinion, not that one doesn’t learn a lot about the soul and ones connection to the Great Intelligence this way, one does, and there is great wisdom to garner from a lifetime spent in meditation, but it won’t get anyone off the wheel).
I have this opinion because I would like nothing more than to spend all day in a tower meditating, having someone else put some bread and a bowl of soup at my door for me to “evolve” off the wheel of Samsara. But from my own memories I’ve spent many lifetimes doing just that, and I’m still here. And we have the example of the Dali Lama who keeps coming back despite leading countless ascetic hermetic lives. I’ve had to make a conscious effort not to hide away in this lifetime because I realized life was and is meant to be lived, mistakes are meant to be, and one moves off the wheel, or off this planet whenever one feels he or she is ready. It’s really that simple. What isn’t simple is our souls are far wiser than we are and hold us to a standard not easy to pass until we are truly ready and have exhausted all growth needed to move on
….In other words I believe we participate out of choice, a choice to grow and become greater than we started and whatever it is in the human experience that moves us forward, it is one of many experiences our soul will have in its eternal life. And we can choice to incarnate here or there or wherever. We have to play by the rules of the game we get into and that is that. Let’s face it hanging on the astral plane and reading the Akashic records all day would get pretty boring after awhile and one would hunger for a new way to experience the self just as the Great Intelligence hungers to grow more intelligent and to experience the self through all of Its many facets and pieces.
In part 4 I’ll talk about heaven and hell…
Best to all,
So in my opinion karma/darma is one in a set of governing laws provided as boundaries/laws which evolved to move us and the Great Intelligence (of which we are one with) forward. Christ said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within,” a quote often overlooked and in many ways misunderstood. What he meant isn’t you can find internal peace or happiness inside, but that the way to Heaven (or the Great Intelligence) is through the divine part of the self, the part that is at one with the Great Intelligence, the part that returns to the eternal oneness, the part that is itself eternal just as the Great Intelligence is, sometimes referred to as the soul, spirit, higher-self.
We are like innumerable sparks taken from the Great Intelligence, cast out by It on myriad of adventures to expand, grow and bring back greater knowledge of the Great Self.
I had a knowing in my early 20s that we were all Individual and all One at the same time. That the nature of our dualistic universe does not allow us to see beyond Ain Soph to Kether. These restrictions are placed on us so we will stay grounded in our agreed upon time and space, so we may interact in order to learn the lessons we feel we need to learn in order to grow.
As odd as it seems, it’s been my experience and belief that to a lesser or greater degree we are co-creators of our lives. I do not believe in The Secret‘s idea of this. It is far more complicated, delicate and random than the New Age has sold this idea. I do not believe people born into poverty or to terrible parents did awful things in their past lives. Chances are better that these are highly evolved souls who choose a more difficult path, one they knew would be fraught with sacrifice and hardship in order to learn far more than those who live an easy life.
I do not believe being wealthy, famous or born into those privileges are a blessing. Instead I believe they create distortion, a bubble of isolation, misunderstanding of the world around, often a lack of empathy, a feeling of aimlessness and self-absorption. Faust sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune and indeed this metaphor is apt. In our narcissistic culture it seems everyone is all too ready to sell even their children soul (such as Balloon Man) for a taste of fame – a tiny rush of power and a chance at prosperity.
Yet all that we seek here in the west, fame, fortune, power over others – those things that have become hallmarks of being “special,” actually take us away from the true experience of life and those things that are actually precious. It is no accident that Christ said, “It’s easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of heaven.” And what he meant was: the more one looks outward for reward (through riches, power, fame) the further one gets from their connection to God/Great Intelligence as they fall into a bubble of narcissistic power tripping that others are all to happy to indulge due to their own ego driven narcissistic tendencies.
Take for example the recent example of Andrew Young’s book The Politician which exemplifies this idea. From Young’s interview (I haven’t read the book yet) he seemed to lack insight and of course this was and is to his benefit. He sold his soul to be close to power. John Edwards may have been his devil, but Young was surely Faust, and his attempt to purge his conscious and clear his name lacked the same insight. He didn’t seem to understand the position Elizabeth Edwards was put in, or have much compassion for her – a woman who was diagnosed with cancer and had her husband lie and cheat on her. I suppose this was because his ego was bruised from his participation in her injury and the fact that she took out her anger on him in her desire to believe her husband. I’m not saying she was perfect or that she didn’t have issues. But it’s clear that she was a typical woman, she’d been in love and married to the same man (faithfully) for 30 years. Gone through the loss of a child with this man, supported his dreams and sublimated her own desires for his. Young mentioned that they had an “odd” relationship, that Elizabeth was more like a mother than anything else to John.
Well, this is often the case when both partners are in love with the same person – in other words she was in love with a narcissist, but I’d hate to give narcissists such a bad name, I think we can go several steps farther and say this man was more likely a non-violent sociopath (they do exist – an excellent book on the topic is called The Sociopath Next Door). John Edwards not only lacked empathy, he was pathological in his lack of care for those he “loved.” His crazed narcissistic high was so great he was willing to throw everyone, under the bus, including his dying wife, his best friends, his mistress and the whole of the Democratic Party for his own selfish ambition. Let’s face it if the dude had gotten the nomination and his affair and love child came out then, well, hey we’d have 8 years with Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the red button. That to me proves he is at the darkest levels of selfishness besides his pathological lying, cheating and general douchbaggery.
Part 3 of karma tomorrow…
Hi I got one comment from JoJo who was mad at me for talking to much about other things like religion. Oh, well, in my opinion all things are related and I like to push the envelope in regards to our assumptions about religion especially because it is often used as a crutch to do horrible things. It is also something most people are afraid to examine because of the “FEAR OF GOD!” which is a terrible ridiculous idea. One that serves organized religion well, keeps their 10% coming in and people’s minds shut off from having a relationship with God which is very sad.
Religion is also so often used to destroy others with, to invade countries, to feel righteous – all very bad things that lead to suffering and are the antithesis of spirituality. I think it’s sort of funny that people want me to just be a psychic and predict things. Where do these people think I get my information? I was given the gift because I have spent most of my lifetimes trained in different religious traditions. If anyone spends the vast majority of even one lifetime meditating and doing trance work they will get psychic information. I have memories of my past lives and believe me I earned these abilities both in other lifetimes and in the circumstances of this lifetime.
In this lifetime I have been trained in a religious tradition and have a ministerial credential. I have performed quite a few marriages in my years. It’s a strange idea that some people separate spirituality from psychic ability. It is impossible to have the “gift” and not connect with spirits, inter-dimensional beings (angels, fairies, guides, the higher self or whatever one wants to call it) and have flashes of God/Goddess’s love. Being a psychic is a modern form of shamanism. And shamans are in direct connection with the divine. Seriously, where else would the info come from? I guess that’s why some super right wing Christians think psychics are in league with the devil because their preachers tell them they are the only ones who can spread the TRUTH, while they misquote and misunderstood the bible (mostly Christ’s message, they seem to do well with the damnation part aka the Old Testament aka the Torah which isn’t supposed to be the Christian part but I guess I’m just getting fussy) and it’s perfectly fine to be like a lame parent and “Do as I say not as I do,” for many of these leaders, being major hypocrites (to say the least in many cases). Many of these “preachers” have the energy of a used car salesman on meth like Ted Haggard. Jeez, way before he came out he seemed strung out on coke and I would have better the deed to my house that he was getting some man action. Not that there would be anything wrong with him being gay or even having drug problems if he wasn’t running around damning everyone else to hell for having the same problems. It’s just disgusting the things these people do in the name of religion. They are so hateful to gay people and people with drug problems or any sort of problems which is so NOT CHRISTIAN! I know there are many really great Christan people who follow the words of Christ and who are loving and kind and pure. I wish they would speak up against these nut-jobbers who seem to be using the religion to just get rich and take advantage of people by dignifying the lowest human traits like racism, anger, hatred, war mongering, fear, etc. and find these bizarre ways to elevate this low level behavior to a spiritual club (this behavior is anything but spiritual or God-like unless one’s conception of God is that he’s a jealous, evil, mean-spirited, blood thirsty father figure who likes to create people to have sexual desire only to punish them for it, talk about Sadistic!) Christ said things like “He who is without sin cast the first stone, love thy neighbor as thyself, etc.” I mean we all know his teachings, they were not my Dad in heaven’s gonna kick your ass with his oozy if you don’t do what I say!
And anyone can be psychic if they want to spend a few lifetimes meditating and praying all the time. Or even if they want to devote a big chunk of this life to knowing and understanding God/Goddess through meditation and trance work.
In modern organized religions God is often so formalized, intellectualized and distant that many priests and preachers don’t get to actually experience God directly but rather go through the prescription of the bible or other holy books. I have met priests and nuns who have a beatific quality, it’s obvious they are very connected to Spirit (most Buddhist monks and nuns are like this, they spend the vast majority of their time meditating). But western religions are not big on shamanistic practices or on forging ones own connection to the divine, but rather we are taught to blindly believe the bible and those religious figures who teach it. History has proven this to be problematic from the burning times of Europe when 25% of all women were murdered to our current crisis of Christian Crusaders blowing up abortion clinics, terrorizing doctors and building Mega Churches with our tax dollars for the military so they can get pumped up in their fight against Muslim extremists. Does anyone see the problem here? I’m sure 99.9% of you do.
So for those who don’t like the theological side of me, well, I’ll just have to say I’m given information by a greater force than myself and that includes where my spiritual beliefs come from, they come from a lifetime of connecting and praying, meditating and giving myself over to the Great Spirit to channel the truth. If it doesn’t jive with a book written more than 2,000 years ago, oh, well. And if it you’ve meditated on your own connection and what I say doesn’t feel right to you, I completely respect that as we all have our own spiritual paths. But the one thing I will never respect is paying someone else to do your spiritual work for you because not only does it not work, it actually causes spiritual devolvement. It is the most dangerous thing about organized religion which is why, ironically, I have more in common with most atheists and agnostics, in this regard, than I do people who blindly follow a specific faith without using their own higher self to guide them on that path.
All religions are the truth. It’s just the truth is buried inside the faith, and one must do the digging on his or her own to progress down the path. This is because religions become like a millennium long game of telephone, and by the time the information is given to you via multiple interpretations of the scriptures and political events that color or even edit either the meaning/tone or actual information in the scripture. Try reading all the different versions of the bible. Now imagine all those versions came from early translations that were translated from early translations that were passed down through oral tradition for thousands of years. As you can see the truth soon becomes a needle inside hundreds of tangled haystacks. Many of these haystacks manipulated (say sprayed different colors or covered in chemicals or whatever) by the culture and those in power at different points in history. The only way to find that needle is to close your eyes, meditate upon it and plug into the part of you that is one with God. If you do, you walk right through all the thousands of haystacks, right to the center of the one that has the needle inside it, as if it was never lost.
Oh, and to John who posted about Lincoln,
I’m from Illinois so I’m sure I didn’t get the whole story of Lincoln. I don’t know enough so I can’t argue with your information. I’m sure he was corrupt in some ways. But he did end slavery and that took some pretty big balls.
I had heard someone in passing say he was racist, but I think everyone was back then. People were segregated and whites had no real contact with African Americans and those who did would have had contact with either slaves or extremely poor and/or undereducated African Americans thus adding to people’s stupid assumptions.
The moral argument against slavery wasn’t that they believed in the equality of the African Americans, it was about the immorality of slavery itself. I think it’s a bit much to believe anyone back then was really that advanced in regards to their understanding of race or gender. I’m sure Lincoln was a total sexist, too. As the vast majority (99.99999999%) would have been because it was the culture they were raised in where women and minorities were not given the same opportunities and of course if you limit people then they can’t help but live up to their culture’s limited expectations. It is only the rare few that are able to rise and then they are considered the “exceptions.”
There’s always a way for people to protect their ignorance. I thank you for your information about Lincoln. I’ll have to do more research about him.
Here’s the question from a fellow reader who e-mailed this to me:
As Grace mentioned the connection between Michael Jackson and Karen Carpenter immediately came to my mind at the time of his death as well. I have a feeling that the real killer here was his anorexia, the drugs just made it worse.
Interestingly, the coverage of both Fawcett and Jackson’s deaths have been very odd, in my opinion. Very few of those who gave statements in the death of Jackson seemed very real, instead they focused on his career and their connection to it. Quincy Jones made sure to give the number of records sold and which records he worked on before saying he felt like he lost his “brother.” I don’t know about you, but that’s not the first thing I think about when I have tender thoughts of family members. Most of the celebrity “grief stricken statements” seemed more of an opportunity to show off their accomplishments and boil down the whole of Jackson’s life as if he were a cartoon. It’s no wonder one of the lawyers who represented him during the case against him for child molestation described Jackson as “one of the loneliest people,” he’d ever met. The only celebrity statements that seemed remotely like normal human reactions were Lisa Marie Presley, Brook Shields and Elizabeth Taylor’s.
I have to admit that I am cringing through most of the coverage of his death which seems to vacillate between extreme hyperbole (Ann Courie saying there might not be any MTV without Jackson) and turning him into a convenient way for certain celebrities to plug their own talents and importance. To say it is crass is a far too great of an understatement and the fact that the media (which itself seems to have gone the direction of placing its own head so far up its own butt that it hasn’t seen daylight in 20 years) is fanning the flames of this hyperbolic narcissistic feeding frenzy, at least hear in NPD central, Los Angeles.
And the sad documentary (which is made only that much more sad by Farrah Fawcett’s death) also seems a strange macabre ego massage. While I feel very sad for anyone who has health troubles, it seems an odd way to gain celebrity status, which has been happening as of late, some woman in GB did her death as a reality show, another dude the same, and then it seemed, in an effort to rekindle her celebrity, Fawcett allowed the documentary to be made. I’m not sure what is sicker people watching these other people suffer during the last moments of their life or the desire to be watched while walking through death’s door.
For some reason (being under the weather with nothing else on TV) I found myself watching part of the Fawcett documentary which was an odd mix or sadness, beauty (Fawcett’s journal writing about her experience was engaging and poetic) and twistedly narcissistic. She insisted on going home after having major surgery back from Europe to the US despite doctors’ warnings which I found oddly arrogant. After facing a deadly disease, going to another country for expert help, and one can only imagine facing your mortality squarely, she did the unexpected, she ignored their advice in characteristic stubborn star fashion. the normal comforting blanket of celebrity became a strange disconnect from reality, a retreat into her specialness which she paid the price for on the flight back as the doctors had warned.
It’s odd that we’ve now had a 96 hour news black out because two celebrities have died. One more infamous in recent years than famous, the others most memorable moment in the past fifteen years a bizarre seemingly drug addled interview on Letterman with “art” made by her naked body, published in Playboy when she was 50 years old, well past the expiration date on the public’s appetite for her nudity. She then came home after the expert doctors she’d gone all the way to Germany for who told her not to fly home early, which she did anyway (a typical sort of celebrity knows best sort of attitude which I’ve seen a lot here in LA) to her apartment with a giant Andy Warhol portrait of herself in the living room. She claimed to desire her privacy and was angry about people finding out about her health problems – so why the documentary detailing the nitty gritty of it? The answer to this seems to be a pathological need for attention, which appears to be the bane of the famous/infamous’ existance. Farrah’s diary entries, written and read by her in the documentary were very well written and moving, revealed a lot about the sheltered and privileged life she led when she wrote an entry about never having gone through any real sort of health problem and how she wanted her life back. While she did count her many bliessings she also infered her specialness was given by God instead of understanding that her life, as all lives have lessons and one can not rise above being human to be anything other than as special as anyone else. She seemed to lack the insight of her connection to the whole of humanity and there was a constant feeling the reason for the documentary was an indignance with her own mortality, that somehow fame which had made a goddess out of her, could not give her the one thing that a real Goddess would have, immortality. She seemed to be beffudled by the idea that she was human and had an odd percpective that her facing death was somehow anything more than what we all share. We all die. We all have pain. We all suffer. There is no escaping this, yet there seemed to be a part of her that came through that actually thought she would somehow escape the inevitbale almost as if she had never considered it until she was staring it down. And although she seemed mildly humbled when she was feeling her worst as soon as she got good news she abandoned her inner quest back to her throne. It was very odd.
I live in Los Angeles and at this point I’m not sure if this sick fascination with the “famous” is a function of the bizarre and twisted culture of Hollywood that is warping my greater view of American culture or whether American culture truly has become a tabloid, insanely obsessed, strangely narcissistic fish bowl.
As a way to escape the onslaught of Jacskson and Fawcett endless non-news stream, we turned on Bill Maher. Ironically, he actually did talk about Michael Jackson with Billy Bob Thornton, however when that interview was done MJ would still have been alive. But what struck me like another hammer over the head was the first interview with Cameron Diaz promoting her new movie, where she plays a mother who has a second child to save her first one from cancer (she needed a donor match). Interestingly, Diaz revealed a lot about the strange curse disguised as a gift, known to us commoners as “celebrity.” In her comment she mentioned that people (the public) expect her (or any celebrity) to stay the same as when the public “fell in love” with them. That said celebrity, in her case was when she was 22, which she used as an example. She then went on to talk rather candidly with Maher about her feelings about marriage and children which she said she understood (only and purely) as a biological need to procreate. Seriously, that’s what she thought marriage and family was about. And she said she didn’t believe anyone who got married thought they would actually stay married and anyone who married held onto the security blanket of a possible divorce down the road.
Wow, I thought, she sounds like a 22 year old girl who was very immature for her age.
In a strange way she harkens back to the ancient archetype of the virgin (not what the virgin became but what it was initially which was a woman who had no need of family or men and was considered complete onto herself – she represented the girlhood phase of femininty just as say the bacholor or Peter Pan represents eternal boyhood. However virgins were dedicated to the Goddess and spent their lives in service to the spiritual path of the maiden).
But back to the point I was making about Diaz’s understanding of, let’s be honest, love. Bill Maher also suffers from the same affliction as she, an inability to really connect with others and have true empathy. You may wonder how I jumped to such a conclusion based on the interview and her rather shallow portrayals on film. Well, I’ll break it down. Firstly, there is partial truth to the need for procreation and for most people this is how they leave their mark on the world through their family. However more important than that basic primal desire is what is masked underneath that desire, and that desire is the desire to be one with another living being – to find connection. Sexuality in most ancient cultures was actually seen as a way to connect with the divine through feeling the oneness and the living spirit of God/Goddess in your partner. Sure, now sex has been turned in on itself to control people with, turning their most primal and spiritual desires into something to be disgusted and embarassed about so the 3rd party religious institution can rid a person of their sin and make them holy again through disconnecting them to the very source of the spirit of the Creator. It is through sexuality that we become divine/co-creators or potential co-creators (at least in a physical/symbolic way) in the ever expanding universe.
It was interesting to see Maher and Diaz, two sides of the same coin, sitting across the table from one another, each wearing a different mask but unknowingly of the same distorted viewpoint. Diaz representing what she said were the many “opportunities” she had been presented with unlike her parents and Maher, who I suspect never got past some twisted Freudian relationship with his mother, both so empty and insecure and afraid to be vulnerable to anyone, preferring to stay frozen in time and in control at all costs. I say this because one of the greatest gifts of romantic love is being out of control, losing your mind and then seeing yourself through the mirror of your partner who challenges you to be a better human being, not neccessarily richer, or a bigger star, but a more evolved soul, something most of Hollywood is completey unconcerned about. It’s interesting here as an aside to note, that the card representing the film/TV industry is the Devil card in the tarot. I had been told this by several readers and then put it to the test only to find it was true. When reflecting on why this would be I realized that the grueling work schedules and focus on material things and status are the greatest fixation for the vast majority of people who participate in the industry. There is a one-upmanship unprecidented in any other field and a vaccous need to be the most famous of the famous, which of course is born of great insecurity, shame and narcissism (which by defination is a shame disorder but that’s another aside).
I’ve seen (because again I lived in LA for a very long time and you can infere what you want…) a pattern among celebrities or people who attain a level of fame. The best metaphor I could come up with was imagine that these individuals are flowers in a field and plucked and pressed in a book, dried to perfection and kept forever in this state. Their life stays frozen. Their spiritual growth frozen, because no one will confront them anymore for fear of their status (by being friends/lovers or whatever of the famous person) will be lost by a blow off. Even the most evolved souls who truly seek out ways to improve their spirits suffer under the weight of being plucked and pressed, losing their roots and being isolated, stared at, admired from a far for appearance only, and being under a constant microscope.
Fame is a killer, like heroine it is addictive and intensly destructive yet most Americans suffer under the delusion that it’s something to be desired and like a magic potion will solve all of their trouble if only they could be rich and famous like the celebrities they adore. So many people that go into the performing arts do it for the sake of fame and believe the lie that life will be fixed on the other side. A belief I’m sure Kurt Cobain had as so may other rock stars before him, only to find that wherever you run there you are, and being famous doesn’t change you, you just have a thousand eyes watching every move you make, judging, reporting and admiring, heightening the insecurity and shame felt pre-fame. I’m quite sure this is why so many celebrities (especially musicians who carve their own path and whose success is more dependant on their ambition than actors whose fates are more at the whim of circumstance) die horrible premature deaths, hooked on drugs, unable to enjoy a decent salad due to body dismorphia, completely alone because no one is willing to be honest (although most celebrities would just rid themselves of anyone honest so that’s a self-created problem) and confused, taken advantage of, but hey, they get to live in houses so big they probably only use one percent of the space they own, and wear clothing that costs more than some people’s homes. Seems like a fair trade.
I want to say here that I don’t believe in romanticizing people after death. Perhaps because I know the souls of all individuals proceed and are eternal, I don’t feel there is any use in lying. When Nixon died he became Saint Nixon, Reagan an Angel. We learn nothing from the lives of those we have had the privelage to watch if we do so dishonestly. I am not criticizing these individuals. I am criticizing the disturbing way our culture fixates on certain individuals to the point of their destruction. I truly feel pity for those who spend their lives chasing fame, fortune, and status. It all too often leads to a lonely life spent chasing a phantom carrot. For the souls who have crossed over, all of them, not just those whom we have seen on TV, may their spirits be guided to the light as peace and love consume them.
I haven’t read the book you’re reading. But I spent 27 yrs going to a “new thought” church, & reading books that claimed to have all the answers, such as “all you have to do is believe” or “think positive” or “visualize”,or “send love”. I felt so bad that I was not becoming a “master” who had achieved whatever I wanted, etc. My final conclusion: free will of people is the bottom line. We cannot control what others choose to be, or do. And how others choose to be or do, is a big part of what affects everyone, in families, at work, everywhere.We can get some spiritual helps, & little or big miracles here & there, but it is not the way the self-help authors of recent yrs tend to paint things.Earth is not paradise. I think it is meant to be a school.And I think we all have our own “karma” or soul lessons to learn.We don’t all have the same problems, losses, hurts,or opportunities. Many opportunities are blocked by those who have positions of power. Most gov’t leaders are “power” people,rather than “love” people. It’s a mixed bagof souls on earth. It’s about individual soul growth, which could lead to collective soul growth, but it has seemed to me that most people are content with material well-being, and disinterested in the anguishes of others,as long as they are not affected. Selfishness is pretty typical of most. Not on your website, maybe, but it is prevalent. Do most Americans ache for what has happened to the innocent in Iraq,or our own military, or Afghanistan or now,Pakistan? I think not. I’ve not had the desire to be “negative”. When you get to be 58, and have tried what most of the books preach as the “way” for many years, you have to, if you have any sense, look at what the results are, and examine your experiences. We are all affected,for good or for bad, by the free will of others. I wish I believed differently, but I have had to look at realities,based on experiences. Love,love,love ,does not work with many people. Many people are not “run” by desire for love and peace and good for all. I think we’re meant to learn and grow in wisdom,as well as compassion. Our country is in a sorry state. People prefer denial to learning. People want to believe it is all about pol. party platforms. It’s bigger than that.All individuals have the choice to choose good,or evil. And they choose daily. Where we are now, is a result of individual choices. It’s very sad. I wish people would want to have non-denominational prayer groups going, all over the US and world. I hope you feel better and get well soon. You must be a strong person, to have had such high fever, yet still write. Blessings……..
Man I couldn’t have said it better. Or woman I couldn’t have said it better. You are so right. This is exactly what makes me so very angry about the New Age medicine show. There are some insidious things you touch on which I’d like to go into detail here about, firstly, many of these books have a (truly goofy American) “blame the victim” mentality. Let’s take the Louis L. Hay books in which she basically says that if you are sick, it’s your fault! So if having cancer isn’t bad enough, well that’s because you didn’t speak your truth you fat bag of lard! That’s the general undertone of it. I’m not saying that there aren’t symbolic things in illnesses that speak of troubles in our lives but that still doesn’t make it the person’s fault. Is it a child’s fault if they are severely abused? Well, I guess Louis L. Hay would have to say hey, yeah, for sure! Because as it turns out people with abusive childhoods are statistically proven to be much less healthy and die at an earlier age than those who had happy childhoods. Those damn little brats, I guess they did something horrible in their past life to deserve it. This is just so idiotic. And horrible. This is exactly why the ancients did not reveal their teachings to morons who would do exactly what many in the New Age community are doing to these ancient philosophies, taking them out of context and making everything black and white when the universe is so complex it can’t even be boiled down to the color spectrum we can see with our eyes, there are wave lengths of light we can’t detect, sounds we can’t hear, and ideas we obviously can’t comprehend.
Clearly if all we were doing was paying off old karmic debts we would be off the old wheel in no time but that’s not really how it works. I’m not even sure if the idea we have about karma is correct. I believe we can transcend karma through forgiveness which is much easier said than done and lets not forget that old debts were once created, meaning we are unfortunately constantly creating new karma that has to be corrected. So when is it old? When is it new? Does it even matter?
No. It doesn’t matter. Because karma is just the new way of saying, “it was their own damn fault!.” And failing to become Oprah or Jim Carey (who carried a 10 million dollar check in his wallet until he got one as some kind of weird New Age attraction ritual) because you haven’t been able to manifest incredible fortune, wealth, fame and perfect health through visualization is just the New Age replacement for the old American Puritanical idea that rich people were intrinsically good because God had blessed them with wealth. As it turns out God did not bless Jesus with wealth. I guess He really must have hated him.
All of this nonsense is justification for why the rich should be allowed to get rich without guilt and why the poor should just lay down and die because they didn’t really deserve anything anyway. I have a close friend from India who was a member of the Shadow cast. His father was a famous author and his mother a scientist but when people found out they were of the cast they wouldn’t allow him in their homes anymore. It’s the same idea in that case.
The thing I most want to say in regards to all of this crap is, it’s CRAP! And the universe, God/Goddess/Creator is far too complex and our personal evolution and how it interacts with the collective evolution are far too complex for any of this simple minded BS. In this world their are victims, their are criminals, there is evil, there is good, mostly there is a mix of all that goes between these things that is so tangled up it would take a billion forevers to entangle it. It is not our place to judge ourselves or others. It is our place to find compassion for ourselves and others and to fight against injustice and point out wrong headedness so we can all evolve and grow.
Well, Denise, I agree with you again. I also have this book and could only read a portion of it for exactly the same reason.
We are all so individually hardwired by our own childhoods that many of these “archetypes” just aren’t in our brains. I suppose this is where I disagree with Jung. I don’t think that there is a collective consciousness as strong as Myss and Jung have proposed.
Or, how about this? Maybe there are two separate collective consciousnesses. And maybe that is the reason that people like us simply don’t understand the seemingly missing spirituality of what appears to be the majority of Americans today.
Possibly, the people that are on what seems to us a less spiritual path, have more archetypes or less than us.
Maybe these people have an archetype that favors the propagation of their own race, especially their own offspring at all costs – similar to other, less evolved beings that we share the earth with. Maybe they cannot understand the idea of our “tending” the planet, as they cannot get past the concept of their main purpose being to propagate. And anyone: homosexuals, pro-choice advocates, anti-gun legislators, birth control enthusiasts. etc. that could possibly get in the way of their or their children producing offspring are considered “evil” in their eyes. This is the survival of the fittest.
And maybe some of us have another archetype (maybe a God or Mother Earth archetype) that favors the love of all species and the planet above all else. I must admit that there are times that I could see that the earth could be better off with the human race. But then, I love feeling nature and talking with my spirit guides (angels, arch angels, power animals, spirit guides, healing angels, healers of the universe, the Universe, Nature or Mother Earth, God, Jesus) so much that I know that we have a wonderful place on this earth. We are here for an important reason that is probably so vast that we couldn’t begin to comprehend it.
Well, maybe this is the dilemma. Maybe this is the question of our times. Maybe some of us are missing or have extra archetypes.
Thanks for your post, Denise!
You maybe right. I have often felt that there are two halves to the human collective consciousness. There are two halves to our brains, the right and the left, so maybe we have a split here as well in the over-soul. It does seem like one side pushes us forward and the other back, one is patriarchal and one matriarchal and compassionate. So you may very well be onto something. Like I said earlier, I’ve felt us at a crossroads for a long time and have felt us flipping back and forth. This would explain it.
As a parent I find myself thinking about my son’s future and what it might look like. Denise, you mentioned in a prior post about the feeling you were getting that we might be past the “tipping point of no return” in terms of the environment, and that the Bush administration was holding back information in that regard. I am not psychic like you but I had a feeling like that about a month ago. The feeling washed over me out of no where.
Do you get a sense that a shift in energy policy will be a successful part of the Obama administration?
Thank you for your compassion and caring wisdom you bring the days I read your Post.
I’ve had visions of our demise since childhood but I’ve always had the feeling they were warnings and not absolute. I really feel we don’t have much time, maybe 5 years to be realistic in order to radically change our ways or we will leave our children to inherit a horrible, terrifying place. Honestly, this was a very difficult thing for me and a reason I worked hard not to have a child for many years despite my personal desire to have one. I’m so thankful that my daughter chose me to be her mother however I am terrified for her and sometimes just break down weeping at the potential future she may have to deal with. That being said I have always done everything within my personal power to change things, and everyone doing everything within their personal power is not and will never be enough. Our governments have to change, our industry has to change, the wealthy and powerful have to change in order to save the world for our children. And I think they are betting on having an escape hatch. I do feel Obama will make changes but I feel he’s distracted by the economic situation which is understandable. Bush left our country stabbed a thousand times, bleeding from everywhere while being dragged by a Brinks truck. First we have to get stabilized, stop the bleeding, detach from the brinks truck and then after we live through that go and save our kids. I think this is how Obama sees it. We just have to keep putting pressure on our government and stay involved in environmental issues.
To comment on what Denise and grace43 have said about what it takes to chnage — it seems humans need to face extreme pain and/or sustained discomfort before they will change. What’s spooky is that we are on the same wavelength again, Denise, because I was in the library 2 days ago and Stephen King’s The Stand fell out of the stacks when I was walking by and I checked it out. I am halfway thru it and if you have not read it it is about a killer flu virus (99% mortality) that the Army has created that is accidentallt unleashed. It depopulates the U.S., laying waste civilization as we know it. Not so far fetched as when the book was written 20 years ago. Gaia may beat the U.S army to the ELE, tho…
That is spooky especially since I have the flu!
Any ideas on how to get people to listen? I have been on this mantra for over 25 years – writing letters to Congressional Representatives, signing petitions, starting recycling programs at work, talking to people, etc and I don’t think I’ve gotten very far. I can’t imagine how the folks who have been saying this exact same thing since the 60s must feel. Sometimes I think the only thing that will make people listen is if a major catastrophy happens in someplace wealthy. Not a tsumani in Southeast Asia or a tornado in China, but in someplace western and wealthy. I believe a majority of the rapidly declining middle class and the rampantly increasing poor are mostly convinced but without convincing the profiteers global change is worth it, I fear we won’t get very far.
I am sad to say that rampent, out of control gas prices may have done more for the environment than most environmental efforts in the last 20 years. I can’t afford another car, but we could do more getting away from using gasoline to run cars than anything.
I do have some hope because after many, many years of protesting against one of the nation’s worse polluting power plants, our efforts finally paid off. New air scrubbers have been installed and that plant is now over 98% emission free! In addition, the new system requires more upkeep so an addition 340+ workers were hired in this economy in a poor area that despritely needed the jobs.
We are looking for ways to find employment for people when it is as obvious as the nose on our face that there is a major industry waiting to be born in cleaning up the environment and restoring lands destroyed by strip mining and other disasterous practices.
After over 25 years of trying, I haven’t found the answer. But now even my father, who never really cared much before, is starting to care. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Everything you have done has made a difference. It may not feel like it sometimes but it all does make a difference. The fact that your father has started to shift proves my point. He represents thousands if not millions of people like him.
Denise, I think you are absolutely right. We are at a cross roads. I am in the process of learning past life regression therapy and I believe in past lives. If all of us understand that we will have to come back to this world and home, we would take care of it better. The analogy that I think of is that the roads we can take are already marked, but which road we choose is up to us. The destination may change midway, but more often than not, we are set on a particular course. The older I get, the more I believe that free will comes into play if we break our karmic issues, otherwise we are destined to stay on the road we have agreed to be on. The truth of the matter is, if we plunder our resources, there will be nothing left. It is very obvious that we are on the way of destroying ourselves. I am ashamed of the garbage and CO2 I produce daily. Thank you for imploring all of us to do better. It is time for a change in mass consciousness.
You are absolutely right. We can break our karmic cycle, it’s actually not as hard as we think. And free will is true, there are thousands of time streams that are possible if even a few of us change we can actually change the whole of things maybe not entirely but enough to shift the future. That is the feeling I have now. I feel people are waking up and there isn’t a defined time stream. We still have a chance to change our world but once we get past a certain point it will be too late.
I believe in free-will, but there three books written by Hank Wesselman about his experiences when he went into involuntary trances for a period of his life that are worth reading. I picked up the second book (“Medicinemaker”) at a Border’s in Deerfield, Il in 2000. The author tells the story of a person from the future that he has a type of vision with. He is actually able to see through this man’s eyes. They share the same power animal, and the author believes that he is the man’s ancestor…anyway I highly recommend the books because they give a glimpse into the distant future of 5000 years from now in which the humans are sparsely populated and technology and even metals are non-existent. The first book is called “Spiritwalker: Messages from the Future.” The author is an anthropologist and approaches his experience from a scientific viewpoint, if that is even possible.
There are actually a lot of books that make those claims (and a lot of scientist/shaman combos who have come before him) also a lot of psychics who have for years been saying that we are going to go through a period on earth were there aren’t many humans. I don’t think this is absolute at this point. I think it’s a bit lazy. We are here for a reason, not to just give up to the powers that be but to change the stream for the betterment of our children and children’s children and for the betterment of all the Creator’s creatures.
The get the truth must listen to those who know. Nisargatta, a spiritual teacher stated the following: To help others one must be beyond the need of help. Everybody sees the world through the idea he has of himself. Great teachers know the world is not coming to and end, mother earth will continue, there is no karma and no need of fear.
The mind has no capacity for truth….none.
Ramana Maharshi is also a great wisdom teacher who confirms the above. Fear is nonsense. Let it go.
Firstly I would guess you were born before 1957, My guess is Pluto in Leo because I’ve had this argument with countless seekers in your age group. First of all I am not of the belief that gurus are possible or spiritual leaders. I have been put in that position before and rejected it out of hand. The reason being I believe everyone must find their own path to God/Goddess/Great Spirit and anyone claiming they are more holy than anyone else is full of crap. I do believe that we can teach each other a great deal and that is what we are here for. Anyone elevating themselves to the level of “Great spiritual leader” or “Great teacher” is delusional at best, at worst all I can say is Jonestown. I think by your comments you are missing the point of what I was trying to impart. Fear has nothing to do with the issue. In the universe stars, planets, galaxies, you name it, they all die, they all have a shelf life. To believe that the earth is somehow immune to the laws of nature is inane. In the physical world everything has a beginning and and an end. The idea that humanity can’t kill the earth is just a lame justification for our stupidity, it’s equivalent to saying that cancer can’t kill human beings because it’s not big enough, the body, humanity is too great, too powerful, too intelligent to be killed by a lowly disease. I don’t mean to diss your spiritual teachers but this is the problem: when we let other people think for us we lose perspective, our own connection to the universe and our own personal spiritual development. You have perfectly illustrated why I think following any guru is a horrible idea and why we as human beings should always take what we can from wherever we can, analyze it (that’s why we were given this sophisticated hardware) and find the meaning in it for ourselves. Quoting other people is as empty and meaningless as giving me a math problem to the question, “where does the soul go after death?”
There’s a reason we spend so many lifetimes here on earth. Our brains are wired to follow. We are social creatures but our soul’s goal is to individuate and at the same time find it’s way back to the One, bringing with us new insight and elevation to add to the One/Creator’s being. That’s my belief.
I have been extremely psychic since I was born. After my back was fractured and my disc herniated when I was 12, I spent most of a year laying flat on my back, no school, just meditating on things and reading. I began learning meditation at that time. Of course I taught myself. I tried to become a Roscicrucian through the mail but I was too young to join. I had amassed a huge library of occult books by this time as I had noticed that I seemed to scare people and was often asked how I knew things about people. After a lot of telekinetic events like the radio dial turning on its own while I sat in front of it, the TV flipping on and off and the garage door going up and down all day I started to think that there was something odd going on, this was when I was about 10, before my father died. I’m not going to go into all the other bizarre things that happened but anyway lets just say I had some very intense and scary experiences mostly because I wasn’t trained how to control my ability and other people’s fear made the situation much worse.
After my father died. I made if my mission to become Catholic (my father was Jewish, my mom Catholic and the Rabbi felt it was best for my brother and I to be raised in her religious tradition). And so I read the bible, attended CCD was confirmed, baptised and full on for a couple of years. When I realized this religion had a lot of confliction and that it didn’t suit my needs as a psychic/sensitiveve I looked elsewhere. I went to every friends church or temple in search of the perfect thing. I had Mormons do presentations, went to Buddhist temples, searched nearly every organized religion available in the Chicago land area and nothing stuck. Oddly during this period a woman of the western shamanistic tradition wanted to teach me but being afraid of this because I was still Catholic I refused. I gravitated eventually toward the western esoteric tradition of high magic because it had roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition, called upon angels, used the cabala or tree of life as its basis and used the names of God I was used to.
When I went off to college and learned more about the Judeo-Christian mythos and history I became increasingly turned off to it. Besides my own personal experiences that led me to believe it wasn’t for me personally. I had already started coming to the conclusion that too many of my lifetimes had been spent in other traditions that I couldn’t start all over again with that one. My soul just didn’t connect in a deep way with it. I was drawn toward ancient western shamanism very akin to Native American, Aboriginal and all ancient shamanistic practices actually. I studied with a woman who supposedly (I say this because it’s not like she had a certificate on her wall) studied with a group of people who had kept the ancient traditional Celtic religion and shamanistic practices alive. I studied to be a priestess. The study involved about 8-12 hours of trance work several times a day, outside and in rugged conditions from sundown until sun-up. Doing crazy stuff that seems reckless to me now but I was 18 at the time and fits very much the ancient shamanistic traditions. I came by my religious/spiritual experience through very hard work that had started long before I came to this teacher.
After a year of studying in that situation I started to feel the idea of a hierarchy was wrong because it played upon the human weakness of ego and led to abuse of power. I tried to convince the two young women I had brought into the situation with me to leave but they were too involved and as one was my best friend, the other her sister, I felt I couldn’t leave until I convinced them to get out. After a trip to Big Sur in Northern California where were sleep deprived for about a week, not allowed to wear shoes or socks, made to walk alone in the forest at night on visonquests and on one occasion were made to walk on a ledge that was about 8 inches wide with about a 500 foot drop, I finally convinced my best friend that there was some power tripping going on and it boarded on a cult. She agreed to leave with me. Unfortunately her sister did not. The two never spoke again. They have been estranged now for more than 20 years. They were very close and I felt and still feel very badly that I got my friend and by proxy her sister involved with this “teacher.”
I studied with other people who were not power trippers and they truly just wanted to impart their knowledge and I thank them for that but they also would never have called themselves “spiritual leaders” nor would they have considered themselves anything but a simple teacher passing along what they learned for the next person to make what they would of it. They didn’t make money on it, actually none of my teachers did including the intense/head trippy one.
So fast forward to my early 20s out of art school when I began to work professionally as a psychic. I somehow figured out how to channel and was very accurate in terms of my information. About a dozen or so psychics who I worked with ended up wanting me to teach them how to channel as well. Actually what they wanted was for me to channel and they wanted me to be their “spiritual leader.” I can’t tell you how many of these well meaning and good hearted psychics looked at my palm and told me I was going to be “a great spiritual leader,” and I looked each one in the eye and said, “no, I’m not.”
The reason I was so sure about this was because I don’t believe in spiritual leaders. I don’t believe anyone should lead anyone in that area of their life. Teaching people to get closer to their own truth is fine, helping others to get in touch with their higher self, OK. But anyone who claims to have a direct line to God that you have to go through, watch out! That is just the biggest scam in the universe. We are all part of God and NO ONE! NO ONE is more connected to God than anyone else. Absolutely. There are some people who have worked harder on listening and being in touch with God. Some who have a better understanding of the signs given them, some who understand signs and are more psychic. But no one is more spiritual than anyone else. That’s akin to saying I’m more real than you are because I’ve got more muscle so that makes me physically denser so, I’m more physical hence I’m more present and real in the world. How ludicrous! I can’t tell you how the whole thing makes me sick and angry, more than almost anything else because it just leads people to feel, once again, powerless, less than someone else and enables people to unscrew their brains from their heads and let other people fill the space between the ears with their thoughts. It’s awful! Even in what has become 2 of the world’s biggest religions based on the teachings of masters or in Jesus’ case, saviour, if you actually read what they themselves said, they never claim to be anything but human beings who are nothing special and tell their followers to look inside and live their life with compassion and find that connection to God themselves.
I could go on all night about this and I’m sure I will at some point but I have to go to bed, I still have the stinkin’ flu!