Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lughnasadh 2012

It's been a lovely Lughnasadh, with a full moon coinciding and a heartwarming ritual put together and conducted by Alison. I've been meditating more this past week and gradually getting back into the swing of Seattle life, and reconnecting with my various gods and guides.

This morning in meditation I talked to various guides about various things...

ODIN I had not spoken to since I started exploring the upper landscape. He apparently has taken up residence in the topmost chamber of a tower in the City of the Sidhe, and he's sitting there, drawing maps... Preparing the ground I'll be walking, apparently. I tried to look over his shoulder, and it looked like he was working on coastline up Air and Water of the central sea. He was in an excellent mood.

Anyway, Alison is not in the mood for me to be writing, so I'll be rushing through this... ;-)

Asked him about my writing. He said my goals were doable, as long as I held them lightly; he suggested I get up early and do my writing first thing -- ie get up and on the road 6am, at work by 7, write until 9. Do that before you do anything else...

GREAT BEAR I talked to about health. She said 'eat what I eat': fruit, nuts, fish. Sounds good. And bike three times a week. Otherwise -- I'm in great shape, she said. And indeed, this morning, I'd finally lost a bit of weight. (Fat % went up, though. Anyway...)

AMAZON'S ANDROID actually took me to a tower in the realm of the Garuda, where Jeff Bezos (not 'really' him, I'm sure) chatted with me. For my career at Amazon, he suggested working more on carving out a niche as a linguist. Specific action items:

  • Offer to give some tech talks / brown bags on discourse and predicate modeling from a linguistics point of view.
  • Start some linguistics reading groups. Are there books people might be interested in reviewing with you?
  • See about going to some linguistics conferences to catch up on recent research.

ALISON: here things were more vague; it seemed like she was wandering in some extremely high mountains past the Tangled Wood, trying to find her way, but it was misty and difficult. But I was being carried by an eagle, so I could see everything. The eagle sometimes carried her, too. I was able to locate a map and give that to her, so maybe that will help...

CHILDREN: I asked for a guardian / guide to help them out, and got a huge white crow taller than me. I gave it food and white pearls of gratitude, and it seemed to come more alive as I did so. I asked it to keep an eye on the kids, to tell me how things were going, and to guard them and protect them. It agreed and took me to see where they were in my landscape. They were in the middle of a desert (them and Emily and Jeremy) and were desperately working to make a little oasis there. The only water flowing in was salty, so they had to work hard to clean the water, and everything that grew there was stunted.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Journey Work II: Home

Morning, Monday, April 9:

Thinking about balance between writing & Amazon, and how freaking impossible it is. Both of them demand a lot of time and energy, and I cannot release either one, really. Leaving Amazon is obviously impossible, at least for several years. And if I just stop writing, I go nuts -- slowly, but surely.

My recent plan has been to write in the early morning, and work for Amazon the rest of the day. But I've found that it's an energetic matter -- if I pour too much personal energy into Amazon, as it's all too easy to do, then when the time comes, I can't write at all. And I've found it harder and harder to actually write in the office, especially when I know Ryan is in the next room. The upshot is that I'm left with no time, space, or energy to write, and that's unacceptable.

For today's card, I drew the Magician. Wherever I put my energy, I will achieve mastery. Well, fine, but what am I to do? ...The solution may just be to find energy from elsewhere... Or ask that one or the other of these commitments get dialed back... Or something like that. But it's something I have to decide. I can't go full tilt on both.

Evening, Monday, April 9:

Diane Sylvan: "The story begins at Card 1: Home.  This is where the hero is at the beginning of the tale--the querent's mindset, life circumstances, or current situation.  In most stories there are two ways for a hero to leave home--either he is comfortable there and is shaken out of that comfort by what comes next, or his life is already somehow intolerable and he is seeking a way out. "

I expect this card to deal specifically with the City of the Sidhe, and circumstances there that are dissatisfactory in some way, or unsustainably comfortable...
  • Primary card (current situation): 4 of Wands. There's a lot of pent up energy around (wands), but it's structured (4) in a way that makes the "fire shine even brighter". Space is carved out for celebration and action.
  • Secondary card (impetus for motion): the Chariot. Marshalling forces that appear to be contrary. Once you've settled on a direction, not much will stand in your way.
  • The structure put in place by the Sidhe (who prepared the ground for this move, and have been guiding events) is collapsing, as it should. It is time to begin to replace that structure with one of your own devising. ... As the work at Amazon becomes more chaotic, less predictable, and less supportive in some ways, it is time for you to step up and provide a structure and ritual of your own -- to take to your feet and establish what you want, here in Seattle. The structure is unravelling because they (the Sidhe) are not here to guide your whole life; now that you've arrived, you need to decide what will happen. (Echoes of the Magician card from this morning again.) ... The Chariot indicates the new structure you're going to put in place, which will carry you far and fast.
  • Images. -- The controlled energy of the City of the Sidhe is shown by energetic currents running through the white marble throughout the city. It's like the marble is flowing with electricity; it's almost like water. I got to see the central library, which wasn't very large, but impressive in scope, square, with a central short pillar with a crystal ball on its top.
  • Lots of work activity around the Bee and the docks. Short, friendly exchanges with all the members of the crew, except the engineer (Amazon), who remains distant and polite and smiles knowingly to herself. This situation with her is unacceptable -- I need a handle on her, she's too important to the journey to remain an enigma. Some insight into the workings of the Bee itself: it flies by balancing gravity against an attractive force from the sky. Again, as with the Chariot, balance of opposing forces generates motion.

Journey Work I: Preparation

This is a brief log of a 12-day session of meditation, regular exercise, regular rest, and semi-fasting (raw vegan). I've been feeling a bit frustrated, rushed, and rudderless, as if I was being pushed around by events and people in my life, rather than feeling grounded, centered, and in-myself. That feeling is understandable, given that we just moved across the country, but now I need to get a handle on things and get my feet under me, and get a clear view of the territory. Like our plane has landed, we've disembarked, and it's time to take stock.

The procedure is to use the Storyteller Spread (as outlined by Diane Sylvan) just as I did about a year and a half ago, drawing a card each evening and building up a complete story. The issues I'm trying to get clarity on will be represented by companions or objects that accompany me on the meditative journey. I'll work on doing more to establish a true meditative journey rather than meditating on each card separately -- I think that was a weakness of the last time I tried this.

Morning, Sunday, April 8. 3 of pentacles. Auspicious beginning of a project of manifestation; union of spirit, logic, and physical into something of great beauty. Nice quotes from the card description (p. 209-10).

Evening, Sunday, April 8.

I. Draw a card for the 'stage', the landscape in which the story will take place. Meditate on it.

Knight of Wands. -- A woman with a sword-cane, standing in what's obviously an Egyptian temple. ... Meditation showed that across the ocean from the docks by the City of the Sidhe, in the direction of Earth and Water, the World Tree rises out of the water in a knotted mass of roots; and built on those roots is a half-drowned city, Atlantean in origin, empty, moss- and seaweed-grown, its stone pillars carved with hieroglyphics. I am the only one who will be able to decipher them.

I decide to use the Difference Engine (Steampunk Tarot, p. 288) to give a twist to this basic premise. The four cards are Knight of Swords, Ace of Wands, Queen of Pentacles, and Four of Swords; I decide to go with the Ace of Wands.

Under the Ace of Wands there is: Three of Pentacles, King of Pentacles, King of Wands. These are really powerful cards. I am set to wondering about Kings and the extent to which they represent the influence of Jeff Adams, his boss Bill, and my friend Bill, and the extent to which they might affect the course of this journey... I'm also wondering whether and how they represent parts of myself. To the extent they're Bill, Bill, and Jeff, my gut feelings are: I fear them, they are Other, they will never support me, they will knock the wind from my sails. To the extent they are myself, I am confident of their support, and know that I can meet any challenge...

I will set aside the question of their actual identities for now, external or internal, and assume that they are spirits that are available to assist during the journey. For example, maybe they'll supply me with a steam-ship to get me to the lost city. I think they'll do so if I promise to assist them in some way, or if they're headed that way anyway...

Yes. In medtation, they provide me with a gigantic bronze and glass bee, which will be our transportation. It glitters in an ethereal unearthly way, as if surrounded by a shimmering lace network of force fields.

II Draw one card for each of the five 'issues': Alison, kids, health, Amazon, writing. Meditate on it to determine what kind of companion / object / steed it will be.

 - Writing - Queen of Wands. Forceful, skillful, driven, she is the pilot of the bee, and the inspiration of the journey.
 - Alison - Page of Wands. Powerful, driven, but not yet skilled, she is the assistant to the Queen of Wands. (And now all four Court Wands have appeared in the spread.)
 - Kids - Six of Wands; this was unclear to me, so I drew another card, the Page of Cups. It seems like the kids are being portrayed as people who look up to me. I think that I will be bringing along a small bag of wooden fetishes (wands) to represent their good wishes as I embark, but otherwise I don't think they're coming on this part of the journey.
 - Health - Seven of Cups. Again (this theme has appeared more than once recently in my occasional readings) I'm presented with choices. I think I'll pick the dragon in the cup, and bring along a golden Fire Lizard that rides on my shoulders.
 - Amazon - the Queen of Swords. She's the judge. I think she'll act as engineer for the bee-flyer, but I'm not certain. She will come along, and we'll see what she does.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seattle Spring

I didn't realize it had been almost five months since I've updated here! Things have been very busy.

In November, I took my first trip to Seattle, a business trip. The trees were still red and gold, and the temperature was perfectly cool and breezy. Thanksgiving we spent in Lancaster. December was very busy with preparing to move and Solstice and so forth; we spent Solstice with the kids in Pittsburgh and Lancaster, and then on Christmas itself we spent a few days relaxing at the Inn on Negley. Looking forward to doing that again in the future -- a perfect place to spend Christmas. Then the 2nd week of January we flew to Seattle and found our apartment; the third week I had to go to Las Vegas for a business trip; and then the next week we moved out. The final week of January we were driving across the country. We spent two nights in Albuquerque, and I particularly felt the landscape there; it was like I'd tipped over the edge of the world at last and was coming to the Glittering World, as the Navajos call it... And on Feb 1 we rolled into Seattle.

Then there was a lot of unpacking and cleaning and whatnot, and both Alison and I have been a bit off-balance since we arrived. We've gotten in touch with some local friends, and taken some long walks in the neighborhoods and parks, and we're starting to get our bearings and establish some routines. The last of the packing materials were taken away on Wednesday, and then Friday Ali got sick -- as though her body were waiting for a chance to do some spring cleaning.

The biggest psychological trouble has come from trying to work out division of child visitation with Emily. I'm not going into all the details here, but basically we spent a lot of money, Emily did not budge, and we're out of money for getting a court of any sort. The lawyers milked us and we got nothing. So there's no change to our custody agreement. I've felt badly betrayed by the lawyers.

There are a number of meditations and dreams I've been meaning to include here:

The higher-level country I've mentioned before -- I don't have a name for it -- is strongly connected with Seattle. The forest by the water, with the elvish city and the stone quays, this is the landscape here. The trees are exactly the same as what I saw in meditation -- not just in how they look, but in how they feel. The grassy field out beyond the trees: not sure what that is yet, but the white standing stone is some sort of hub, a spiral / web connection with all things. Not the World Tree itself: that I've located further in the Earth direction. In general I've gotten more of my bearings at this 'higher' level; I found Apollo, too, and he's in a lower marshy area (!) with a fountain, a very watery temple, but with taller columns and a tall fountain.

Some notes from a meditation around Dec 1:

First card: Wheel of Fortune / Reincarnation. Divination: this is a time of change, and a time when things can happen by chance. Seek the center, seek balance; take care of yourself.

3-card reading: Page of Pentacles / Horse, Animal of Jewels: prana, motion, energy. Facing right, towards... The Hanged Man / the Invalid: suffering, sacrifice, for yourself or others. The invalid is facing towards... Siddhartha's Visit / The Chariot: again, motion, but with ideas of balance, curiosity, self-examination.

Overview: there is so much motion here, and again a warning that I need to seek balance and take care of myself. I think I need to insist on doing more zen reading and more meditiation. I like's Steve's advice ( about how to listen to the heart. I find that when I focus I can hear it very strongly, and I realize that I'm sort of always listening to it, even when I'm unconscious of it. It usually wants things like Rest, Exercise, or Food of a certain kind (often juice or fruit, but sometimes nuts -- never cheese, grain, sweets, etc. It's my brain that wants those things, to give it energy to focus on what *it* wants to do rather than focusing on Rest, Exercise, or Food. :-) Interesting to think of Light as not just a realm in its own right, but also that which serves to illuminate and clarify the other realms.

4 cards, one for each child: Savanah: Empress. Keying in to 'the beauty for which one sacrifices'. The potential of great beauty and love. Jerilynn: 2 2xVajra (2 Cups), 2 fish; piscean imagery. The two fish are the two eyes of the Buddha. Subconscious becoming conscious (more Pisces / 12th house stuff... interesting!) Josh: Peacock: Animal of Lotuses / Knight of Wands. Transforming poison into beauty. Fiona: 6 Jewels. Charity.

I think I should set up four homes for the four kids in my inner landscape, and charge my anima with checking on them and alerting me to problems & solutions (& preventing problems). Josh I think goes on the edge of the Forest of Branching Paths, not far from Apollo's temple; Savanah goes on the opposite hill; Jerilynn down by the garden by the sea, and Fiona at the edge of the Sun Prairie.

Alison: Pretty remarkable: Dakini of Vajras (Page Swords) -> Sakti of Lotuses (Queen Wands) -> Sakti of 2x Vajras (Queen Cups) Moving from air, through fire, to water. Reawakening Alison's watery self, to take up Queenship of water. A very vague message. Specifics: patroness of generosity. Refrain from taking what is not offered, and be generous; reflect on the impermanence of life. She is the one who guides from birth and death to Nirvana. She is the darkness after sunset.

Emily: Lovers (Sidd. leaves Yasod.) -> 2 Jewels -> Chariot (Sidd. sets out). My interpretation: remember why you left Emily: not just for you, but also for her. She has had a lot of trouble letting go, and at present things are still frozen (2 Jewels), but it's the final stage: you will soon be off on your chariot. Remember this and it will help you to be strong if there is any trouble. You are doing this for her as well.

Work / Bear / Amazon: 10 Jewels -> 9 Jewels -> Sakti Lotuses. Moving from a time in which I was being foolhardy with wealth, to a time of proper abundance and luck, and coming up on a time of creativity, contentment, protective white light, wisdom of love.

Health / fitness: From a place of abundance (but, notably, not overabundance -- I am being praised for what I've done so far) (9 Jewels), I move via balance, curiosity (Chariot) and introspection (Ace Vajras) and to a place of healing (5 Vajras) through deep wisdom (Sage). The final outcome is physical manifestation of what has been envisioned (4 Vajras).

The move itself: 3 Lotus: renewed energy and freedom via compassion. Writing: Karma / Justice: walk with destiny; divine forces are arrayed with you.

Visions / Dreams:

Dec 26. On the cliffs above the sea, feeding body fat to the golden lizards.

Feb 1. Surrounded by mountains, white-capped. They are gods.