Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gathered Thoughts and Meditations - Late Summer

It's been a long time since I updated; and there are a number of insights and meditations I want to gather up and put here.
I've been working slowly through the implications of the body meditation I mentioned in the last blog post. As in so many cases before, the most profound effect of the meditation is not the conscious insights of the meditation, but the release of subconscious blocks or false beliefs, which make things easier (without me always knowing why!). I've found it easier to eat according to what my body wants, despite the stress and hurry of the last 3 weeks. I haven't actually weighed myself since getting back (I haven't felt a strong desire to) but I know I haven't put on (or lost) much weight, despite everything.
I feel strongly that the next step is slow, incremental integration towards raw vegan. That is, something like: week 1, eliminate fish; week 2, eliminate cheese; week 3, eliminate white grains; etc. For exercise, I'm following my body's desire to take a break from running and focus more on walking, yoga, upper-body, and (perhaps before October is out) swimming.
Zion Dream & Meditation
The wedding did not exactly go all that smoothly... So in Zion I asked for some information about that.
Dreams: two stand out. In one, Melanie wrote to us to tell us it would be fine for the kids to stay at Quiet Hills with me over the summer, but we'd need to watch out for a few things -- including the children at the playground with 'contagious' lupus. (Lupus is actually an autoimmune syndrome, either congenital or environmentally triggered. Not sure what that's about.) In the other... David Tennant was giving me acting lessons so that I could be more 'authentic'....!
Meditation: the spirits blasted a tunnel through a granite mountain for us (not unlike the stone towers in Zion). It meant we didn't have to climb all the way to the top to get over; although we climbed a huge portion of the way. On the other side of the mountain is a misty pine forest, and we are advised to proceed, but cautiously: 'moccasins in the mist'. My best guess is that this refers to navigating the journey from Pittsburgh to Seattle. There was other bits too, answering my query about why our wedding was not-really-perfect, and the answer has to do with our attempt to satisfy both the human demands (particularly those of Ali's family) and spirit's demands, and that it was just impossible to do both.
From L's Reading
We checked in with psychic Lumari in Santa Fe. Some of the highlights of the reading, as far as I can remember:

  • The future of the couple:
    • We're a good match -- Jeff as detail-oriented, active, directed, while Ali as big-picture go-with-the-flow. Practical in the sense of seeking harmony in matters, but not 'dull'.
    • Financially we will have nothing more to worry about, but money will have no hold over us.
  • Jeff's career:
    • Leadership position. Helping people be better.
    • Nothing about writing, but she suggested 'playing with words', thinking about apps that allow the user to compose 'spells' based on phonosemantics -- interactive things that encourage engagement with the spiritual underpinnings of words
  • Ali's career:
    • 13 Moons. General advice about how to find inspiration. Asking 'who are you talking to? who your audience?' Ali didn't know. NOT topic, but audience.
    • Ali doesn't do well with assignments, but she's been treating this as an assignments, which leads to procrastination
    • Now that Jeff is doing really well, Ali can afford to relax and focus more on her art(s).
  • The kids
    • She suggested 3 one-month visits rather than 1 3-month visit, suggesting it would be (a) easier on the kids and (b) less traumatic for Emily. Or: allowing Em to pick between the options would give her a sense of control and reduce her opposition. 
    • Em worried about kids education? When they're away from her, will their education be neglected?
    • Also important to start getting the kids feedback on plans, since this is something Emily does not do.
    • More generally: getting kids to think about how they can give back, what gifts they can offer

This Morning's Meditation
Asking for general information... I got a vision of a gully / gulch / arroyo in the desert; I was there, standing next to a stunted tree at the bottom of it. (It was an evergreen with bark that sort of peeled...) My anima said this landscape was sort of where I was now: in a tight spot, the going was a bit rough, but it was the best option for now. Soon the landscape would open out some, but for now it was best to follow the water, even though it meant you couldn't see far. Climbing to the top to get a better view would just be a waste of time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Reading, Midsummer to Lughnasadh 2011

Last night I did a couple of readings. It's been a crazy-busy June, and though I intended to do more meditation and grounding, that really didn't happen. I have done a lot more exercise, and have been eating reasonably, considering everything; but the travel and business have taken its toll. You can tell, because I'm doing this midsummer centering about two weeks late. :-)

I asked two main questions:


How can I achieve optimum health?

5 of Vajras | The Sun | Karma / Justice

5 Vajras.The healer, one who heals, ability to heal.

The Sun.Union of conscious and subconscious; bringing the subconscious to light; dispelling illusions.

Karma / Justice.
Freedom; break with the past; also, at one with divine law & justice. Right action that is earned and deserved.

I wasn't clear on this (of course), so I meditated. Basically, the meaning is this: the healer (5 Vajras) is the body itself. The conscious/subconscious union (the Sun) is learning to hear the body and respond as a single organism. The right action, the divine law (Karma) is the action and law of the body itself.

The MeditationIn meditation, I met a goddess; she identified herself only as the "Goddess of the Body". She had tight, curly, ruddy-brown hair, wore a toga, and had black eyes with star-specks, like Apollo. I met her by an open pool, edged with marble; I had a sense that there was a forest of some kind behind me -- the Forest of Branching Paths, I think. She took a large clay pitcher and kindly gave me a drink from the pool (nb: I was thirsty). The pool was connected to a bunch of others in a rough representation of the body, or at least a spinal column. Water flowed from one pool to another down a gently sloping hill. At the top of the hill was a temple of sorts, with a throne for the goddess, open to the air; there were many birds throughout. Not sure where this 'fits' in my internal landscape; more later, doubtless. She seemed friendly, but a little impatient with my inability to connect with her strongly.

In other words, I need a tighter connection with my body's messages, and it will tell me what I need. In particular, I need to ask the body what I should eat, RELEASING ALL EXPECTATION -- otherwise I'll color it with expectation or desire and drown it out. There should be no pressure to eat what I 'should' eat, or what I 'shouldn't' eat; just let it be what it is.

I think the 'releasing expectation' thing is the key; and focusing on the Goddess's face may help me out here, too. That seems to help me focus and 'hear' the body. But I'll need to try it, practice it, to see how it goes.

Another note here: I think it's most important to keep track of what I'm eating on average. When my average raw % climbs up into the 60-70% range, that's when I start losing weight.


Tell me about work / life balance, and advice for the coming weeks (ie between now and Lughnasadh).

Garuda (Animal of Double Vajras) | The Fool | The Sun

I had no idea what this was about -- except that the Garuda appeared before when I was working on setting boundaries, so it was great that it returned to help me again. I dipped into meditation immediately.

The Garuda I returned to the Garuda's eyrie, and he led me up on past it along the staircase up the World Tree. To my surprise, we went just a bit further and the stairway petered out and faded away. Going beyond this point, he said, you have to fly (ie relying on another spirit generally in my case, or merging with Apollonian energy in some way) or build the staircase (which requires extraordinary focus on a particular goal). This is

The Fool...Launching yourself without a goal in mind, or without a firm grounded center, leaves you without a staircase. The Garuda said that when scheduling, or setting boundaries in life (whether in time or in personal relationships) it's important not to build fences, but to create centers. The edges will take care of themselves if you make the centers solid. So instead of saying "I'll work on the novel between 830 and 1030", say, "I'll center my novel work around 930." And instead of saying, "no", you focus your activities on what's important, and the other matters will fit around them -- or not.

The SunThe Garuda flew me up into the branches of the World Tree to visit some of the worlds there. We came to the 'higher' world I think is associated with my fiction writing career, and I realized that the reason I can never see things 'properly' up there is that I'm short -- I'm literally a child.

I don't think I've described this 'world' in detail before, except to mention it briefly here. Basically it's a whole 'nother landscape at a 'higher vibration' than the old one; it's usually very misty, and the colors less vivid. Also, as I mentioned, it's harder to 'see' things; and I have less freedom of movement. It makes sense that I am a 'child' here -- I can't see the tops of things or around them without a lot of work, and there are some areas I simply can't go at all.

There are two areas here I've explored. One is the Delta area, which I've described before. If I get on a boat on the sea here, I'll arrive at the second area. This is a wooded region (pine trees I think mostly, with a forest floor coated with pine needles -- I think it's influenced by the area around my grandparents house in Norwood) inhabited by beings I think of as 'elves', with slate-white robes; some are bearded, some have long white or blond hair; they are kindly, and they care for me. They have a home, or complex of homes, here in the trees, which are much like the house at Rivendell in the movie LotR. A perfect place for relaxing and recuperating; and I get a sense that part of my spirit spends a fair bit of time here, doing just that. There are rooms with cozy fires, and somewhere in it I have a small bedroom where they often tend to me...

By the lake, the complex of homes has a dock or pier area, made of marble. I do not know if vessels ever visit here.

Beyond the forest is an open meadow (again, a lot like Norwood) with a complex 'henge' of large white stones. It is definitely astrological in pattern. In the center of it is a tall white stone, which I think has carvings on it -- though the mists are always thick here, and I can never visit without my tall white guardians. The tall white stone is directly 'above' Apollo's temple below.

Beyond that, I can't see much of the landscape. I get the impression of forests and mountains beyond the meadow in the direction of Air, and away towards Fire I think there are bona fide deserts, perhaps with tall stony towers like one finds in the American southwest, but I'm not sure. I know it is a region of horse somehow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts at the Angel Oak

Some random thoughts I had while walking around and under the Oak today:
  • Most trees are a tall trunk, from which spread the branches in a halo. The human body is much the same. Slightly different theme for most animals: a horizontal trunk, supported by multiple limbs. Human architecture tends to follow the animal form, oddly enough. Exceptions include Fuller's house, and the yurt.
  • The Angel Oak has multiple support points, like an animal; but the overwhelming impression is more like an atom or an amoeba, with a central pillar that branches in all directions.
  • Time. Time is measured in changes. Something that changes little... time moves more slowly. The Oak moves slowly compared to humans, but it still loses and regains its leaves each year (in the spring); it is not changeless. Humans tend to come and go quickly, rather than lingering under it.
  • It is a sculpture carved by gravity, light, air, time, and the forest around it. The branches curve and twist in unexpected ways, echoes of obstacles the tree once faced, now long-gone. For some reason, it hasn't grown to the east. Maybe there was a building there, or another large tree, now vanished?
  • The tree has grown to become an axis mundi. It exerts its influence on the land all round it, physically and spiritually, so that it echoes the oak; and the oak reflects the land all round it, too. Of course, this is true of all things; it is only our manners of seeing that pick out axes mundi.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reading, Beltane to Midsummer 2011

What advice do you have for Jeff between now and the Solstice?

Alison did this reading for me:
Judgement | Hanged Man | Page of Pentacles


A call to new beginnings, restoration and wholeness, absolution and forgiveness. New life arising from death, a time of joy and rebirth. The trials and tribulations have passed and you are called, by destiny or a greater purpose, into renewed life in the light of a new dawn. Also, a time to reflect on the past and understand how the actions of yesterday have helped to shape today.

Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, especially for the greater good. A time of release and surrender, letting go of the effort and will normally exerted towards concrete or practical accomplishments; instead, withdrawing into solitude, contemplation or more mystic/"spiritual" pursuits. "Turning the world upside down" to gain new perspective. This may be a period of difficulty - it depends on how willing or unwilling the sacrifice is.

Page of Pentacles

Opportunities for new growth and prosperity, a spark of initiative and potential offered. Grounded in earthy qualities like diligence, responsibility and practicality - relying on the tools and resources at hand - there is still a certain lightness and playfulness that accompanies every new beginning or intriguing opportunity. Also suggests an enjoyment of physical pleasures of the five senses, possibly in particular an engagement in nature (perhaps a literal garden?).

The Story

The energy of the cards doesn't seem to have one clear direction. The Angel of Judgement faces to the left to sound her call, but both the Hanged Man and the Page seem to face forward or out of the card (though the Hanged Man's body is turned to face towards the right, his head hangs down so that he's looking almost behind him). Considering the association of the Judgement card with the events of the past and the Page of Pentacles being associated with new opportunities, there is some indication that the energies should be read from left to right like a simple past-present-future spread. In this case, Judgement might be strongly indicative of the transformation and new life of spring (associated so strongly with Beltaine, especially with the undertones of death and "breaking free"). The Page of Pentacles might be associated closely in time with the Solstice, then - perhaps in a very literal way, as a time when your activities and projects are "bearing fruit" in the form of new opportunities or potential being realized… but in a way that still demands continued steady work and commitment in a very practical, grounded way. In the meantime, there's a suggestion, by the Hanged Man, of acceptance or surrender, perhaps a period of rest and release, turning inward to seek the inner wisdom of spirit… or perhaps simply in preparation for the work to come, in order to gain some new perspective or insight that might be useful for taking full advantage of those future opportunities when they arise.

My Commentary

This echoes a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling the past few days. I feel like I need to retreat a little, find my bearings and my touchstone. To that end I've decided to join DOTR and work on their aspirant path for a while. I also feel strongly called to get back into exercise, and commit more firmly to eating better. None of this is particularly creative or groundbreaking work; it's more about stepping back and shoring up the foundation, making sure I know where the ground is, so that I have a place to stand.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Guides and Planets, Temptations, Hermits, and a Cup

I did an exercise in which I tried to pair my spirit guides with the planets, and came up with this:

  • Odin: Mercury, possibly Saturn?
  • Bison: Earth, possibly Saturn? (Note: association between Bison & Odin, too.)
  • Dragon: Jupiter
  • Apollo, Great Bear: Sun
  • Buddha: Outer Planets
  • Anima/Bel: Moon, Venus (and Sun?)
  • Cernunnos: Mars

Interestingly, I had trouble placing Saturn. And I wonder if I should get a 'fetish' for Carnunnos? I have one for all the others (except technically Apollo, although theoretically someone is making us some symbols...)

I have an idea to ask a guide for their 'big message' once per night for the next six nights. Something I could perhaps repeat on a weekly basis.

I then decided to do two readings, one for Odin and one for the Anima. In both cases I did the reading last night, and the meditation this morning.


2 of Double-Vajras <- Mara -> The Middle Path (Temperance)

A tricky reading! Odin is shooting for the deeper lesson, since I already know he wants me to work on Mere America more. My first guess at this deeper lesson is this: fear can lead to two errors: dividing your time between too many projects, and trying to moderate and temporize your writing habits too much. Writing is something that you cultivate with daily practice, but when the inspiration starts flowing, you don't cut it off. Ok, and I think the plan I'm hatching (to work on different projects based on the moon phase) is a good shot at that.

The meditation: I spoke with the Old Man of the Delta; we sat on the top of his little tower and watched lights in the sky. His message essentially was: Don't allow your fear of not finishing the book interfere with your spiritual connection when writing & revising & marketing it. It WILL happen, in its time. Relax and allow it to do so.


9 Vajras <- Hermit -> Ace of Double-Vajras

Fascinating -- this is almost exactly the same reading as I got about a month ago, which led (in meditation) to associating the Hermit in the tower with the Old Man of the Delta. The Ace of Double Vajras is different (it was originally the Father). Interesting, since I'm specifically asking my Anima, not Odin, who I normally associate with the Hermit.

In meditation, I spoke with the Hermit in the Garden of the Anima. He showed, just as before, how allowing myself to try and bear the weight of the world would only lead to age and death. Instead, I need to let the gods bear the weight. The Ace of Double Vajras (Ace of Cups) was a huge chalice of water I drank from, and I felt the deep connection and love flowing between all of us there in the garden.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Garuda

I was doing a reading on relationships -- specifically with Emily, since she threw an email-fit this evening -- and setting boundaries. She asked me to do her a big favor, trying to downplay the size of the favor in her email; I refused (reasonably, I thought); she got snippy. Alison advised me not to answer again, or try to argue, or justify my position: I was in the right and I should simply act that way. I felt she was right. In doing the meditation, I felt called to think about what I really wanted from relationships in the future. Messages in the past have indicated that I have been too accommodating, self-esteem too low.


Garuda of Double Vajras -> 10 Jewels (Cock) -> 9 Lotus (Sacrifice)

The Garuda is an animal guide of healing, destroying evil monsters and the like. The double vajras are water, but the Garuda is obviously a creature of the air. ... The 10 of Jewels is about the 'cockiness' or greed that comes from material satiety; and the Sacrifice is cutting away something that is of value.

In meditation, I felt drawn to the Forest of the Horned God. At the base of the World Tree, wooden steps rose in a spiral around the trunk and ended at a sort of tree house poised right above the tallest branches of the surrounding forest. The tree house -- the residence of the Garuda -- was semicircular, rather like one of those huge flat fungi you see growing out of the sides of trees. Structurally it was basically a big semicircular porch with a wooden home in the center of it. I didn't see much of the house (though it seemed to echo Odin's World Tree home in some ways -- wood and glass and brass, elegance and comfort, airiness. The porch appeared to be of some kind of stone, decorated with precious metals and stones in some kind of astrological pattern, like an astro chart carved into the porch.

The Garuda was tall and dressed elegantly in red, and looked like a man with vaguely animal features -- a beaklike nose, deep eyes, and a sense of profound comfort in his own skin. He offered me tea (a nod to the watery associations of the Double Vajra, he said). I asked him about my issues, and he said that as I get closer to my ideals of life and profession (10 Jewels), my relationships will change profoundly; and I'm going to have to give some of them up (9 Lotus). As in today's fracas, it's going to be a matter of me not acting the way I used to, and that rubbing some people the wrong way. There's going to be uncertainty about the right thing to do. But there is always a source of guidance: the Earth -- and in particular, calas, stone. He reminded me that when I first got the question from Emily about the favor, I immediately felt like it would be wrong to say yes. I wanted to help her, I wanted to help Fiona, but these desires were operating against my intuition. This intuition is my rock, my connection with the Earth.

When Mara cried to the Buddha and said, "What gives you the right? Who are you to claim this mantle of enlightenment?" the Buddha touched the Earth, his mother, and the Earth spoke up for him. In the same way, if I keep one hand on the Earth, I will not go wrong, even if my universe of friends is upended.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Novelist and Linguist

For this evening's meditation (April 4th), I wanted to know what I could do to make sure my two careers were on track. I have no strong ambitions for my linguist career right now, other than to make sure I continue to give Yap everything they need in the fastest and best way I can. I have a vague sense that my career track with Yap isn't all that secure -- after all, as a linguist I've been laid off twice now -- so I'm trying to ramp up the novelist career in the background, so that it will be there when / if I need it.

So tonight I did two readings & meditations:

The Novelist.

Where does it need to go? How can it get there?...

I feel definitely called to work on Mere America, and yet the sales are quite stubbornly failing to go anywhere -- it's not unrolling effortlessly. What needs to happen?...

I know how it feels when things unroll effortlessly. It happened with Alison. I've got so much stuff going on in the sky now, all this energy -- and I feel like perhaps I'm blocking it or something.

9 of Vajras <- Hermit -> The Father (Heirophant)

In this deck, the Hermit is 2 figures, the Old Man and the Monk. The Old Man looks & comments towards the 9 Vaj, and the Monk towards the Heirophant.

9 Vajras (swords) is traditionally a nasty card, the dark night of the soul, the despair that comes from loss of all hope. The Old Man leans that way. I'm not sure what part of myself that represents, unless it's the part that is afraid to quit my job, or afraid that I will never be a successful author. I'll meditate there. The 9 vajras in this deck is a snake eating the sun and moon, which may echo the 'eclipse' imagery I got back in Feb.

Meanwhile the Monk is looking towards the Father. The feeling I get here is that the Father energy is something I'm very comfortable with, that I have no problem bringing to bear on the problem. Witness for example the email I wrote to KL this evening, in which I gave her 'fatherly' advice about her writing services. The question then is exactly what the Monk is up to. ...It seems like I might get to visit the Hermit again in meditation. :-)

So that's what I did. I returned to his tower in the Forest of Branching Paths (which I'd first visited last summer, when I was working on that whole 'deserving success' issue), and he introduced me to the old man first. The old man was old because his energy was spent moving from task to task, never setting his burden down or allowing the gods to carry it for a while. It ran him to age and thus to dust. Definitely a warning. :-) The alternative: the monk (who was a young man, dressed in red, with black eyes dotted with stars), who has infinite strength because the gods do his heavy lifting. It's a matter, he said, of taking the time to rest, recharge, and allow the gods space to work.

He showed me a doorway that led to a room where sunlight was falling from high, high above. This room was at the bottom of a tall tower. All up the sides of the tower spiraled a wooden staircase, and I started climbing it. I climbed forever and ever... Flying wasn't going to work. At last I arrived at the last place I expected -- the top of the tower mentioned in this meditation, the Man of the Delta. Everything was pretty much the same there, but now I understood it to be a very 'high vibration' place, at the same level as some of the other landscapes I've been visiting recently (more on that another time). My sense was that I should visit this area more often, and work with the two men here (who I now understand to be reflexes of the "two" hermits in the tower below).

My big take-away is to allow the father energy, Apollo's energy, to work through me. With rest, exercise, and meditation, the energy will flow and everything will unfold the way it should.

MAN I feel so much better after doing that!!

The Linguist.

Then I did the meditation on Yap. I expected the readings to be related, so I did nothing to wash the older energies away, but went directly to the new reading.

Buddha of Double Vajras <- 1st Sermon -> 5 Jewels

The pictures give an impression of the discerning teacher between two options -- the Buddha of Double Vajras, which is a watery father figure that I often instantiate, and the 5 Jewels, which I take to be myself dragged down by stress and toxins (as usually happens after a research conference). Yap's greatest purpose is for me to help people with my watery goodness, which I take to be linguistics here, while not allowing it to drag me down. The 1st Sermon (in which we talk about release from attachment and the 8fold path) helps us out here. It's a matter of discipline, but more deeply, a matter of breathing life / spirit into the work.

In meditation on this I was pulled immediately to the Bear's temple, which I felt moved to relocate: I realized that the place it was planted was basically unhealthy, and had too much rot and disease in the forest around it. Not sure what can be done to fix that, but in any case I felt a better place for the temple was directly over the Bear's original cave, on the grassy sward! So now the bear has her own temple right over her home. An excellent place to go and feel the Bear's energy there. Again, rather than getting action steps, by connecting with the energy I felt that the direction would be shown when the time comes. I just need to connect more. I can instantiate the Bear (especially in its fertile / protective aspect) for Yap by maintaining my connection to Spirit, and acting as Yap's connection when necessary.

As a result of these, I was definitely inspired to work on regularizing my daily schedule and doing more exercise and consistent sleep and meditation.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dieting and Chakras

My meditations and readings for the past few days have been focused primarily on my dieting. As of today (March 7), I've lost 4 pounds, 2.5% fat, and 7 inches, and am 18% towards my goals (about 3% behind schedule). It's been relatively successful overall, but two things stick out:

1) I have all kinds of trouble actually sticking to a fully raw vegan diet. I've been about 60% raw vegan overall, but there's still at least one meal every day where I have something cooked or fatty.

2) I tend to get stuck at certain weights, and can't push past. I know what to do to push through -- sticking more strongly to raw, or exercising, will work every time. But I can't summon the willpower to do that, even for the one or two days it'll take to make the breakthrough.

However, I think I have a conceptual breakthrough here, based on these readings I've done. Here are my notes:

March 5:

Bison is the guide here.
The Empress, the Star, the King of Pentacles
(Yasodhara, the Chakras, the Buddha of Jewels)

Flow of energy *appears* to be towards the center, although it seems possible that the Star is blocking energy moving from the Empress towards the Buddha of Jewels.

I'm having a very tricky time with this reading, showing that there IS a major blockage or illusion of some sort here. If it's a central destination pattern, then perhaps... perhaps it's telling me I need to give gifts to... the star? does it represent my body here? I'm looking more and more at the kundalini / snake image in the Chakra card, and thinking more about energy blockages. Is it a matter of using Yasodhara and Buddha / Jewels energies to break the blockage, wherever / whatever it is?

Running seems to help with the blockage, slightly. Yoga does, too, but even less. Long hikes, lots of time outside, that really helps a lot. Getting fired up creatively, that helps to. Relaxing, getting lots of sleep. What does this tell me about where the blockage is, ultimately?...


Ok, I'm opening it up. NINE more cards to give me more insight here. What is the Empress? What is the Star? What is the King of Jewels here???

Buddha of 2xVajras; two of lotuses; 8 of lotuses. Reading here clearly has to do with merging of energies, a central destination. From the left comes the King of Cups, which is basically my emotional core, generosity and watery mutability; from the right comes the harvesting of growth; they meet in the middle with two jugs being poured into a cauldron. So the Empress is my emotional and practical fecundity and generosity.

The Dakini of Vajras dances between Mara on the left and the 3 of 2xVajras on the right. The Dakini here is my mind trying to solve this issue, I think; she's quite the dancer, and tries to use reason to separate Mara from... What? Teaching, especially effortless teaching. perhaps this is teachers like Tim Ferriss and the 811 people -- teachers my mind puts faith in, tries to escape Mara by running to them.



The Fool, the Mother, 7 Lotus. Energy flow is definitely from right to left, but the Fool is facing the direction of the flow. 7 Lotus is anger, and the dispersal of anger.


March 6

Beginning to think this is related to my 2nd chakra (variously said to be ruled by Pluto & Jupiter & Mars), which is somehow blocking energy from above? and my 3rd chakra is picking up the slack and so I have weight gain there.

If it's the 2nd chakra, then this is one prescription I found online:

HEALING STRATEGY: Movement therapy, emotional release, inner childe work, boundary work, assign healthy pleasures, develop sensate intelligence


I accept and acknowledge my sexuality. My physical health is strong and pure.

I deserve pleasure in my life.

I absorb information from my feelings.

Life is pleasurable.

I move easily and effortlessly.

This seems related to the sensual and sensate messages of the Empress and the Buddha of Jewels.

Something about increasing *fluidity* in that area?

How does this relate to the stuff I pulled up on the Star: Mara, Dakini Vajras, and 3 2xvaj?

Fool -- elephant -- remembering

Thinking on those three cards again... Perhaps something to do with moving away from 'fear' and towards curiosity or a positive goal. The best teacher is the teacher-by-example; the teacher who IS what he's teaching, and therefore teaching is effortless. Think more on what your goal is, then: focus on who you want to be, not what foods you should or should not be eating.

This advice, perhaps, reflects the meditaiton this morning in which the Mother figure talked about the false dichotomy between who I am and what I eat!

Sooo -- focus more on who you want to be. ?? Hm.

March 7

Now beginning to think this is most powerfully related to *grounding*.

My weight issues began to really take off when I started spending less and less time outside, and more and more time with cerebral friends playing games.

The times I've lost weight most successfully have been times when I spent hours outside each day, either jogging or walking to and from classes.

Looking back, it seems to me that the times I've been able to keep to diets most are times when I've spent a lot of time outside. The theory would be that eating actually *helps* *me* *ground*, by literally physically consuming part of the earth. So...


The big take-away here is grounding. If I take my time to rest during the day, meditate regularly, and especially to ground myself in my body, I can much more easily resist the urges to eat heavier foods. Yoga, bare feet, stimulation of the feet, walking and jogging... All these things help tremendously.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diet and Desert

Starting today, I began to look at dieting in a slightly different light. In the past there are three main ways I've tackled (and succeeded) at dieting...

(... I have failed at dieting in many different ways, of course... )

1) Raw willpower. This works only if I'm super-motivated, and only works for a few days. Usually only works the first time I try a diet; after that, the motivation (which comes from curiosity) fades a great deal.

2) Excarnation. What happens here is that I sort of disengage from what's going on, and keep my mind elsewhere, leaving my body to deal with the diet as best it can. This works for long periods of time, but I actually tend to lose less weight on these diets as the time goes on. This may be because I'm not mentally experiencing the diet. Also, I tend to get grumpy. This is what happened last September during my 10-day fast.

3) Gradually easing in. Since November or so, I've been gradually trying to increase the amount of raw fruit and stuff I've been eating, and that made it easier to step into an all-raw diet in February. Of course I still cheat most days, one way or another; and I take a day off every week and eat whatever I want. According to my records, I've been eating about 65% raw overall. This isn't great, but (a) my percentages are still improving, and (b) it's still meant 9 lb of weight loss (and 3% fat and and 9 inches) since we began Jan 31st.

However, reading the book "The Solace of Fierce Landscapes" has me thinking about a diet as a desert. What is going on here is a feeling of lack-as-fullness: the emptiness is so profound that it becomes a presence; and this nothing-as-something is an experience almost religious in character. I wonder to what extent this kind of attitude can help me with cravings?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Reading on Profession

This reading was concerning my profession -- how I make my living. I know what I want to do: write! The question is, how to I transfer from Yap to writing full-time? I did a three-card reading:

Sakti of Lotuses, the World, the Future Emperor.

The flow of energy was very clearly right-to-left, starting with the Emperor, moving through the World, and ending with the Sakti of Lotuses. General reading is: Go for it. Draw back your bow and shoot. The World is ready and waiting for you. She gestures towards the union of opposites, the Sakti of Lotuses, the breath of the Lotus Buddha.

This is the second time that the Sakti of Lotuses has come up (referenced as "Queen Lotus" in the Imbolc Reading). In that reading, I took it to mean Druid Journal (as opposed to Pagan+Politics or Mere America). Since that time, I have felt new life breathed into Mere America by the prospect of publishing it in sections as an e-book. What this reading is saying, though, is that Druid Journal is still an essential part of making my writing pay: it is the largest platform on which I can build anything, and represents a foundation that synthesizes all of my interests. If Mere America is going to get a lot of readers, it's going to have to be launched with rocket fuel from there.

I asked about more information concerning the World card, and got this:

Horse (Animal of Jewels), the Eight of Jewels, and the Fool.

Reading: Focus on skilled action as a yoga, as a healthy practice. This will lead you away from the Fool, who leaps without looking, and towards the great horse who carries the jewels.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Pool in the Woods

Did a meditation tonight -- no cards or anything, just sitting and meditating. I thought vaguely of trying to contact the "Star Lady" of Appalachia, or asking Apollo about the "Eclipse" of my earlier meditation, but instead I was drawn downward. I started in the Forest of Branching Paths and took a path that led down from the main ridge into a valley. Where the path bottomed out, there was a marshy area and a pool of clear water running between damp mossy banks. I felt there was the presence of a woman here, some forest spirit of kind, but I could not see her clearly.

I felt drawn to find the source of the water, so I followed it up a little ways. It almost immediately dwindled to a trickle, bubbling out of a small close damp cave in the side of the hill. The sexual symbolism was not lost on me, especially with the presence of the woman still nearby. I still felt called into the cave, so I went deeper, until I was well in. The walls were wet and mossy and the smell was of rich earth and lush growth. There were flowers here, too -- small star-shaped pink things.

I felt like there was something I was supposed to do... I couldn't figure out what, for a while, until I decided to leave a gift. I reached into my heart and drew out a flower -- a lily, of course. I placed it right by the small crack where the spring emerged from the rock. To my surprise, the flower grew roots and attached itself there, and immediately began to grow.

Meaning: not sure, but I think it has to do with the fertility between Ali and I, and the possibility of us having 'children' -- not literal children, but children of the spirit or of craft. I'm a little excited about that possibility. We've successfully worked on projects before -- just yesterday I helped her with her new web site, for example. In a way, actually, our wedding is our first 'child' together. That's a nice thought.

Anyway, I didn't get a sense that I was to do anything about it; it was just a message Spirit had for me. I'll keep it in mind...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Traveler's Rest

Peregrin: from Latin peregrinus, "foreigner", from per (beyond) agri (country; related to acre.) Latin peregrinus became pelegrin in Old French and pilgrim in English. Tolkien borrowed the word for the real name of "Pippin" Took...

This is a place where I'll put records of my meditations, Tarot readings, and the like. As I travel through life, I'll occasionally visit this resting place to take stock and get a lay of the land. I keep finding that I forget some offhand comment made by a guide, or some striking image or thought I intended to come back to and think on. This is to help record and organize these things so that I can come back to them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imbolc Reading

Notes from my meditations tonight:

Spoke mostly with my Anima. I worked in a garden near the Axis Mundi that included a large pool with three 'monuments' around its edge: a huge stone, a wispy spidery 'network', and a floating ball of fiery sunlight. Kind of hard to describe. :-)

First I spoke with my Anima directly about the issues below, and then I went to each monument and 'communed' with each one for the Imbolc "what do I need to know" reading.

1) Money. I was told money issues will disappear once I have an income stream I feel I really deserve. Agreed to pay more attention to the nudges they give me about keeping on top of the money, i.e. listening more to intuition. But I also pushed back that I did deserve one, now, and negotiated for a new vision: a bottomless stack of dollar bills. What, do they think I will not spend it well?... Later I refined this vision / spell to be a 'money tree' with a layer of bills on the ground that I can gather at will. Further refinement: other people are gathering money, too -- anyone can come and gather money here. (Allays issues with 'deserving' money.)

2) Trolls. These guys come because I'm at P+P and can't control the comments properly. P+P, I was given to understand, is either a temporary gig or one I'll come to have more control over. Ride it out for now -- rely more on intuition to accept & reject comments. ("Odin told me to delete your comment.")

3) Winter. Problems are because of a lack of connection with the landscape. More walks outside, and / or connecting at Phipps, or possibly meditation on the Star Lady.

4) Raw veganism. Again, rely more on intuition. And indications this could have far-ranging effects on my personality over time. Strange...

Imbolc Reading

5) Stone. Thinning, strengthening. Yay!

6) Feather. Situation with kids and Emily continues to improve. Relationship with Ali is a continuing source of inspiration and light / guidance.

7) Light. Here I got an ECLIPSE, which weirded me out a little. Indications were that it will definitely be temporary, a sort of "down for maintenance" kind of thing, but it's curious. It's not a lack of guidance or anything, just a blackout of 'some services' sort of. More info desired here. Tarot reading:

Two Swords -> Sun -> One Swords

So currently energies are divided; they will converge (note how Buddhist Sun card includes both Buddha and Sakti) and return with One Sword, unified, new beginning.

(Why swords? Intellectual effort?)

More on the 'eclipse' (Sun card):

5 Cups -> Queen Lotus <- 3 Swords

This speaks more of the convergence of things. The 5 Cups intuitively speaks to me of Mere America, where I feel like I'm spilling my creative effort to no avail. The 3 of Swords feels like P+P to me, where I strike out intellectually and end up emotionally hurt! These things merge with the Queen Lotus -- which feels like Druid Journal to me, somehow. It's very fiery, and much more *me* than the other two projects.

So perhaps the 'eclipse' refers to breaking down MA and P+P and refocusing the energies there at DJ.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Animas and Dragons

Meditation on the 11th house and relationships. Moving away from Mother towards the Knight of Swords. Fascinating... Sacrifice of sin (of some kind -- 9 Lotus) to facilitate this. Meanwhile, I'm getting the 3 Vajras, Reincarnation, and Heirophant in the associated houses.

Overall feeling I get is one of moving away from my usual relationship attitude, which is a very caring and supportive role, towards one rather more prickly, the Knight of Swords. This is necessary because the Mother energies are coming from some kind of sin / unhealthy place.

I want my Anima to help me out here.

Meditation: I went and spoke with a beast in the Abyss of Fear, who I asked to tell me what his beef was. He said he was afraid I was growing too attached to Alison, that everything could blow up in a nasty mess, not just for myself but even more, for her and her family, and I wasn't preparing myself for that. I understand that he's a part of my subconscious that is worried about hurting her. I considered what he said, and I think he was right.

I can't control everything that happens, but I can do the magical work to help make sure no one gets hurt here, no matter what happens; and I can work on myself and this marriage and do everything I can for it. But for now I am extremely thankful to have this issue brought to light, where I can work on it and keep it from blowing up in a nasty way!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reading for 2011

This is a pair of readings I did on January 13th. The first was 12 cards, one for each astrological house; and one was nine cards, three for each of the druid elements (for me, they are feather, stone, light).


Overall tonight I feel like my energies have been dissipated, and I need to gather things up, regain my strength. I don't know if it's the lack of alone time, the lack of meditation time, the near-raw vegan diet, the sense of impending doom :-) or what, but I feel worn, stretched thin. When I think of time alone, I think of rest, recuperation, and renewed energy. I need some direction and insight.

One feeling I get: take more meditation time during the day. Really release the attachments -- they're what's really getting to you.

12-card Meditations:

1st House: Buddha of Jewels (King of Pentacles). Guides: Bison; Gnome. I appear to be a very solid, strong, healthy individual, lord of domain and all that.
Prosperity, wealth, giving, generosity. Good, good...

2nd House: Sakti of Jewels (Queen of Pentacles). Guides: Bison; Gnome. Another sign of prosperity. Also sincerity, empathy; truthfulness; overcoming conceit. The presence of Neptune near the cusp means truthfulness is even more essential. I have *got* to make sure I keep on the up-and-up in ALL things. No little white lies for saving face. Absolute humility.

3rd House: The Father (Hierophant). Guide: Odin. Note that Jupiter dashes through this house in 1st half of year. Uranus also enters in late spring. The Buddhist deck indicates a blockage of creative energies, but I'm not sure that's what's intended here. In my own interpretation, I take the Hierophant to be will & authority, which are not themselves negative qualities.

4th House: Buddha of Lotuses (King of Wands). Guide: Great Bear. Jupiter coming and sitting here in the second half of the year. This is about kingship, the crowning of the Bear, in particular the fiery associations with her. Love, love of love, mastery of feeling.

5th House: Flaming Disk (Tower); Element Rosary. Further info: Ace of Double Vajras (Cups). This indicates the end of some project, or some way of thinking about my projects, and beginning something new. Must be careful not to get too attached to ways of working, or particular projects, etc. Something new, from the waters... The final defeat of the ego; shattering illusion; Courage and Truth. I wonder if this is the end of Yap, and the beginning of a more watery project (writing)? The key here is, again, non-attachment, rolling with the punches, and touching the Earth as the Buddha does in the card: this is the source of all wholesomeness. The Element Rosary reminds me to stay grounded.

6th House: Nine of Lotuses (9 Wands). Guide: Element Rosary. Sacrifice: especially sacrifice of the sins, ie sacrifice of lying, stealing, violence, and so on. A call, I think, to daily discipline and meditation.

7th House: Reincarnation (Wheel of Fortune). Take a larger perspective; things may go from bad to good and back again, but step back and feel the love, feel the Law. Nothing big is happening in this house except when Mars goes through it in September and October. I'm a little concerned because I'm getting married ;-) and that's a classic 7th house thing. A reminder, perhaps, to keep a steady course and practice virtue regardless of outrageous fortune?... ...Or... maybe this is connected to the Luck Dragon? Surprises are not always a bad thing. Expect the unexpected.

8th House: Peacock, Animal of Lotuses (Page of Wands). A card of transforming poison into beauty. Very interesting! I have no guide here... yet. Maybe I should consider getting one.

9th House: Dakini of Lotuses (Knight of Wands). Guide: Cubicle Buddha. Saturn at play around this house cusp, trining Venus and Saturn, conjunct Uranus, all in October. Energy and equanimity in the work for Yap, I think. A fun project? Or, if Yap goes wahooni-shaped, excellent energies for launching a new career. Good. :-)

10th House: Dakini of Jewels (Knight of Pentacles) Earthy energy coming into play in the realm of the career. Bringing dreams to earth, I think.

11th House: Three of Vajras (3 Swords) The larger social sphere? ...I have no guide on this one. I think I need a clarification card. (Is this connected to the Tower in the 5th house across the chart?)

12th House: Four of Vajras (4 Swords). Guides: Luck Frog, Bison. Pluto is here this year, flirting with my True Node; and since Jupiter will be hitting it a couple of times (especially when Jupiter is in Taurus) I can look for unexpected bounty from this direction. The card indicates rest and recovery, so I can look forward to that. :-)

So I think things are pretty clear, except for what's going on in the 11th house.

Feather, Stone, Light

Stone 1: Health. 1st, 6th house. Hanged Man -> 8 D-Vajras -> 10 Lotus. Suffering, sacrifice leads to creative endeavor & wake-up call, and finally rebirth, renewal.

Stone 2: Workflow & balance. 6th house. 2 Jewels -> 7 D-Vajras OR Q Vajras. Choose the Sun (compassion, charity) or the Moon (compassion, nonviolence). Compassion is called for either way, but it's not clear to me what is going on here. Some kind of stagnation is present, and it must break one way or the other. Hmmm... Perhaps the daily meditation will help there.

Feather 1: career, finance. 2nd and 10th houses, 5th. 7 Lotus -> 5 Swords -> 1 Sword. Movement away from anger or excessive fire, through healing, to a new beginning. I think this is good, overall, especially given the largely excellent readings for the 2nd and 10th houses, but care will be needed.

Feather 2: relationship. 7th and 3rd and 11th houses. High Priestess (Mother), 9 Lotus -> Knight Swords. The idea here seems to be to move away from Mother energies towards Knight of Swords energies, using the sacrifice of sin to do so. This looks like a kind of rough situation, most likely having to do with getting a firmer grip on the real truth, and speaking it, rather than being a listening post. ... Tricky. I'll want guides and help with this one.

Light 1: spirit. 12th house, 9th. 6 Vajras -> 3 Lotus -> Karma. Becoming one with your justice, your karma, through (1) protection from a higher power, leading to (2) compassion, renewed energy and freedom. Call on the protection and you'll be delivered, and it's your destiny, man -- you deserve it. This is the biggest news here.

Light 2: travel. 3rd house. Q Lotus, Nirvana, the Sun. An appropriate sequence for all the travel going on this year...! The ultimate reward is Nirvana; relaxation into the better self. Travel, I think, with Alison (the Q Lotus (-: ) into realms of the Sun. Relax and enjoy...

Upshots here. I need to think & work more on the 11th house and relationships. I need to more consistently meditate and touch earth, to make sure I'm headed in the right direction and not off chasing shadows. I need to discipline myself, or I will be disciplined. :-)

Tomorrow I will read over this and do a meditation.