Thunderbird and Heyoka

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: astrologyandpsychicpredictions@gmail.com. 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 astrologyandpsychicpredictions@gmail.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,

Denise

 

by Steve Mizrach

http://www2.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/thunderbird-and-trickster.html

Thunderbird and Trickster

Introduction

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)

Conclusion

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.

Bibliography

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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Thunderbird and Heyoka

Answering a Reader…

Sineade wrote:

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.

Best wishes,

Denise

Answering a Reader…

Eris – Rulership and Rehabilitation

After an astrologer friend suggested the notion that Eris was the true ruler of Libra I thought about it (for a very long time – about a year now). It was her opinion that Venus didn’t seem to be the true ruler of Libra but rather Taurus and we talked at length over the course of this year about the legend of Eris and some of the qualities that really don’t fit Libra. First of all there are more Libra generals than pretty much any other sign, they are amazing tacticians and well-known for being fierce competitors, and in my experience they are the most competitive of all signs. They are creative and visual, no doubt which is why they fell under the purview of Venus for so long. However they are not sensual like Venus, Taurus however is. Taurus loves great food, fine wine, beautiful things, and has a curvy sensuality that Libra is missing. Libras are more intellectual, more in their head and often disconnected from their bodies. While it is true that they like nice things as long as they are intellectually stimulated they can do without them. Taurus however needs to eat a great meal no matter how little money they have they will use what little they have on the perfect gourmet spice or amazing wine. They are also willing to work for other people without taking this on as their identity. They can separate work, seeing it as a means to an end – the end being a nice lifestyle where as a Libra would rather be a pauper who works for himself doing what he loves than a rich man who works for a paycheck just to support himself in a luxurious lifestyle. Now I’m not saying all Taurus people live a life of luxury, I’m just saying that work is work and their lives are not defined by it in the same way – it’s just a job. To a Libra its time wasted when they could be busy daydreaming or working on something of value to them personally.

At first I resisted the idea that Eris was the ruler of Libra after all she isn’t really considered a very “nice” Goddess and Libras are generally thought to be very nice – they avoid conflict, they don’t like disharmony and I have Mars in Libra and have many Libra friends so I felt sort of bad thrusting this sort of odd ball Goddess on them. However after much thought I think my friend’s observation is correct. Eris is the sister of Aries. Aries is the other side of the astrological coin to Libra. And in many ways she fits the Libra traits if we strip away some of the judgment put upon her by the ancients.

The legend or myth basically tells the story of a wedding in which all the Gods were invited except Eris (due to her association with disharmony). She was upset by this and came up with a strategy to get even in a very clever and covert way, she threw a golden apple into the proceedings which read: To the fairest. Of course all the egotistical Goddesses thought it was for them, Hera, Aphrodite and Athena. The three women fought over it and then asked Zeus to judge who the apple was for, being the father and husband he decided it wasn’t a good move to judge such a competition and asked Paris to do the honors. Each of the Goddesses offered him a bribe. Aphrodite’s won out and he was given the most beautiful mortal woman in the world to take as his wife Helen of Troy. This of course caused the Trojan war.

Now on the surface this is kind of a nasty thing to do, however one must admit that Eris was prejudged and instead of internalizing the hurt she turned it around in a clever way to make a point. She waged a war against those who had castigated her. If she had been a man, this would have been a sign of strength – she was in fact a warrior. Her strategy used psychology and surprise – very modern war methodology, in fact it very much resembles the Trojan horse that was to come in the wake of this supposed event. She used her enemies vanity and megalomania against them and in fact they are the ones who chose to respond with bribery and promises in order to win this imaginary and empty competition. She used her understanding of psychology to manipulate those who had hurt her, in order to teach them a lesson – after all they had been unfair to her.

Now her strategic genius would make sense in relationship with Libra. It would explain why there are so many generals who have been Libras and (I believe famous chess players as well). It would also explain the competitive spirit Libras have – the challenge they find and need to fuel them in their work, whether it is competing with themselves to do better, or with a rival they want to show up.

I was told by a prominent astrologer I studied with early on (many, many, many years ago) that there were more people born with Libra rising in the US than any other sign. He said it was something close to 50 percent (or something of that nature) totally out of balance with what one would expect, due to the fact that we are far north, and Libra rises for the longest period of time during most of the year. And we are by far the most competitive people on the planet, we take great pride in our work and love being entrepeneurs and working for ourselves.

In many ways Libras have much in common with Aries people, except Libras, instead of being direct and straightforward, work behind the scenes, get their ducks in a row and then strike. They don’t like being in the center of an arguments especially prolonged ones. They prefer to plan their attack and then let nature take its course. This can upset the apple cart, but that’s OK as long as they aren’t there when it turns over (much like Eris).

So instead of seeing Eris as the Goddess of Discord I prefer to take her back to what I imagine was probably her proper place – before her power was taken away due to the change from a matriarchal society into a patriarchal, and think of her as a supreme warrior and brilliant strategist capable of winning even when all the odds and all the Gods were against her!

I’ll dissect how it affects people as individuals and what it means in people’s charts in the next post on her.

Best wishes and many blessings,

Denise

Eris – Rulership and Rehabilitation

Karma (part 3)

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,

Denise

Karma (part 3)

Karma (part 2) new

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…

Karma (part 2) new

Regarding A Few Posts from Readers…

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.

Many Blessings,

Denise

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.

Regarding A Few Posts from Readers…

An Interesting Question about the Universe from a Reader…

Here’s the question from a fellow reader who e-mailed this to me:

Here goes, if I can express my question lucidly:
Most of physical matter appears to be contained within something else. For example, protons and electrons are contained within atoms, and atoms are a part of all matter. All organisms found on this planet are contained on this planet which itself is contained within the solar system which in turn is contained within a galaxy which is considered a part of the universe which is thought to be INFINITE. So, going with this theme, in what is the UNIVERSE contained? If it is contained in something bigger than itself, then the universe is FINITE. If our UNIVERSE is contained in something else, then is that SOMETHING ELSE contained within something else, and so on and so on?
Is this a different paradigm for analyzing our ‘UNIVERSE’ around us or Am I Just Being Silly?!! 🙂
Here’s my answer:
There are some interesting new theories about this very question and some answers have come from String Theory. I’ll try to do a descent job of explaining what I’ve read on the subject and of course it will be in layman’s language and hopefully I won’t butcher any of the ideas too badly, so here goes. The first thing about string theory is the ideas in it are complicated and require something like at least 11 parallel dimensions in order for the theory to even work. The string part of string theory is derived from the notion that beyond the smallest known particles like quarks (which behave very unusually and in many ways prove some esoteric ideas, but that’s another story) are the tiniest of the tiniest bits that make up all known things. And once clumped together into something they take on certain characteristics. These strings are ubber tiny strings that vibrate and it is through their vibration that they attract other like strings and make stuff. I love this idea as the universe would literally be made up of inaudible music created from the tiny strings. So these strings vibrate at a certain pitch and collect to make different sorts of bigger compounds.
But the most interesting part of String Theory is the question that it set out to answer which was the notion of how did the Big Bang happen? Or what came before the Big Bang? And something to note here is that the Big Bang is a more complicated idea than most of us are taught, here’s a brief synopsis. All of a sudden space-time blasted into being, it started out very hot and very close together and has been pushing out since then. The part that we often misunderstand is the notion of space-time which is a complicated idea. Literally everything that exits in the Universe, all of time and space was created in that one moment which came from nothing. That’s a pretty heavy and strange idea.
Now the beautiful thing about String Theory, and in my opinion where it dovetails with the metaphors of all religions and the notion of “as above so below,” is the idea that what created the Big Bang was a bunch of universes all sort of floating around in what is now called a multiverse and two of these universes happened to collide into one another thus creating our universe (sort of like sex or the idea of the Goddess and the God or in esoteric Judaic and Christian traditions, the notion of God and his female soul Sophia or the feminine side of God co-creating the Universe).  Of course one then asks where did this multiverse come from and so on which is the appeal of the easy answer/creationism/intelligent design.
Here’s the thing from my own personal experience that leads me to believe String Theory is about as close as we’ve in come, in science, to the truth. When I was 12 my back was fractured and I had a herniated disc. I was put on bed rest for about 7 months. My father was dead by this time and my mother worked, so I spent 95% of my days alone. Besides watching Oprah on my little black and white TV there wasn’t much to do so I spent a lot of time, reading, thinking and meditating. A lot of my meditation was spent on God and how the Universe came to be as I was always psychic and very fascinated by this question. I had started my search for answers at about 9 when I began reading astronomy textbooks to learn about what made up the universe and peer into any clue I could find about how it worked. I found a lot of information about dwarf stars, black holes (which were still theoretical at the time) and approximations of how many stars were in our galaxy (about 300,000) but not much about how the universe came to be which I found very frustrating. I then searched through my  occult books, the bible, mythology, etc.
Again nothing satisfied so I thought about it and spent many days and nights meditating on the question until I came to the knowing that the Universe was like a circle within a circle within a circle. There was no end and no beginning, these circles went on for infinity in every direction. There was no end to how many parallel dimensions as that was infinite as well. Perhaps the greatest epiphany was that God was always and forever, meaning God had no beginning and no end. God was also not a “designer” but an energy source present in everything and everyone and there was no true beginning of time or matter, it just transformed as we did when we die. Hence we as human beings are both finite and infinite as our souls are eternal and part of God’s energy and our bodies are part of the earth which has a finite beginning, middle and end as do all physical things. The energy that makes them is infinite and forever but they have a finite period of time to “live” and develop until the next set of lessons and/or individuation process unfolds.
Of course this brings up the notion of why God would want or need to expand Him/Herself. The answer I came up with was to experience Him/Herself and allow each piece of Him/Herself to individuate and ascend infinitely, reuniting with the Self/God after a period of expansion and learning. This theory would of course mean we reincarnate for as long as we want and perhaps in some cases for as long as we need to.
I hope this makes some sense and is not to confusing.
This is why ancient religions stated “All Gods are One,” and the spiritual seeker is to always see the God/Goddess in everyone he or she meets (-Namaste). This is sometimes hard when dealing with people who are asleep spiritually or run their lives as if they are worker drones or zombies. Those who have yet to awaken to the power and truth of our collective Oneness. Or what some call “conservatives.” I’m not going to go on about the health care zombies right now who basically argue that they have theirs so f everyone else. This is a sad state we are in and one I’ve thought a lot about lately. Is it that there are too many of us on the planet and there are the same percentages of selfish people? Or is it that we are so many we are starting to act like too many rats stuck in the same cage? Even simple courtesy seems to have dissolved into the whole “me first” way of our current world. Not only is this sad on a spiritual level and hurtful to our emotional and psychic development, but it also freaks me out because it makes me think we are calling down the worst possible fate by our behavior and sadly we are all going to have to suffer under it whether or not we partake of this intensely rude and mean spirited selfishness. We are all linked and we will all have to answer to the loud mouths who would rather let a stranger starve on the street than help them. I have to admit that my natural inclination toward feeling most human beings were ultimately good has been replaced by the feeling that there is a range of goodness and most people are heavy into the middle section of gray. I know there are many good, great loving people in the world, it’s just that their voices are often softer then those who are rude and mean spirited, this has always been the case. I wish there was some way to change it.
Many blessings,
Denise
An Interesting Question about the Universe from a Reader…