Posts Tagged ‘Magick’

Druidcast 129 ~ Philip Carr-Gomm on Creativity, Story and Magic

This afternoon, I finally had time to catch up on the December 18, 2017 Druidcast, which includes a question and answer session with Philip Carr-Gomm from the OBOD East Coast Gathering. Interspersed with lovely and haunting music, the discussion explores creativity, inspiration (aka Awen), receptivity, the power of Story, and the ethics and expression of magic, ceremony and cultural sharing — especially looking at Maori and Hindu crossovers with Druidry. Here’s the podcast link for anyone interested in the talk.

Moving Beyond Discouragement

I had an email catch up with a friend today, and we both thought parts of our exchange would help anyone else facing discouragement. I’ve corrected typos, added paragraphs for easier reading, and removed obviously identifying information like names, location and personal details. Otherwise, the question and my response appear intact below.

This week I’ve heard from enough clients, friends and relatives that I know more than just my friend are dancing a mazurka with discouragement. Whether your challenge stems from money, work, family, health, life path, and/or romance, please know, you’re not alone. You don’t need to know your entire trajectory right this moment. You just need to get unstuck by finding and taking the next step. And then the next one. As J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Little by little, one travels far.”

My friend:

… As an aside, do you ever get discouraged? The reason I ask is because you always seem so confident in your dealings and writings about Faeries, the world beyond the Veil, and all things spiritual/mystical, and that is a tremendous inspiration to me, but Continue reading

Garden and Other Updates

What a delightful, intense, tasty and adventurous few weeks we’ve had! Here’s a little photo update of the garden and life this past little while.

Highlights include a visit from my sister and nephews en route to Evanston, IL to visit my brother and sister-in-law and take in a soccer game and Chicago’s sights and Fourth of July fireworks. Erica and the boys stopped here for a few hours for their first time tour of Faery Hof, Haus Am See, and the gardens. I harvested loads of veggies and herbs for “Uncle Craig,” and we all picked raspberries and drank homemade chocolate mint tea. It was a lovely visit, followed by an evening with David’s sister, who was also in town. That week featured our first tomatoes of 2016 and a red white and blue bouquet for David’s mom:

David and I have spent the past three Saturday’s in Michigan — at Silver Beach, St. Joseph’s, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. These locations are one to two hours and a zillion miles away from Northern Indiana. We’ve feasted on Mediterranean and Ethiopian food, ate at a fair wage vegetarian diner, toured multiple farmers markets, metaphysical bookstores, hiked nature trails, strolled along rivers, viewed green walls and city wide murals, walked with our feet in my beloved Lake Michigan and more. “Kids in candy shop” doesn’t even begin to describe our relief to learn such places exist near here. Ultimately, it would be nice just to live in a much more harmonious location, but while we continue to tie up loose ends in Goshen, it’s nice to know we can spend an hour or two in the car and find fab international food, music, nature preserves, and kindred spirits.

My sweet faery twin, Tania Marie, is never far from my heart or phone. As usual, we’ve been on very different yet synchronized adventures. This past Saturday, we even drove behind a facsimile of her “Magick Bus” just as she and I were texting about our intended next phases. We’ve been planning a visit with her Dave and my David at the end of October, which will feature fun in Michigan locales and restaurants:

Magick bus

The prior weekend, we also took a long delayed trip to South Bend to visit our Buddhist/Druid/poet friend Tim, who introduced us to a magickal tree along the river. His tree, in turn (or perhaps the faeries who live in his tree), introduced me to a five to seven tree grove. It was a total power point, and we each received activations in this five tree grove that features two twin trees, and thus carries both five and magical seven energy. David and Tim both felt the temperature change at the spot I indicated. I got drunk on the energy — a joyful and exuberant gift from deep within Gaia’s realm. Here’s Tim’s tree, who acts as Guardian of the Grove:

Magical tree in South Bend

Meanwhile, back at Faery Hof and Haus Am See, the flowers, trees and faeries are making their own magick:

morning gloriesblue bedFront yard early July 2016frontblue bed and giant sunflower

Note the nearly ten foot sunflower — part of the Squirrel Exchange Program. Those little rascals dig up so much of our yard, but they do occasionally plant fancy tulips and giant sunflowers I’ve secretly wanted but neglected to purchase. The garden also provides even through seeming mishaps. Below you can see some coreopsis that wouldn’t fit in David’s mom’s bouquet, along with a branch of the pear tree that got too heavy to bear its fruit. I’ll be making some kind of baked unripe pear dish, and the gorgeous wood of this branch will make a wonderful new magick wand:

Pears, wand and codonopsis

In a world of all possibilities, regardless where we currently reside, this embroidery David found before we moved here says it all, with real live cosmos, too:

cosmos

Blessed Be

… and continue to be the blessing!

 

The Power of Wholeness

“Beyond anger, beneath fear, past numbness and alienation, there rests within each of us the possibility to be more than we are now. Magic is available. Wholeness is just around the corner. The power of wholeness is the power to change the world.”
― T. Thorn Coyle, Kissing the Limitless: Deep Magic and the Great Work of Transforming Yourself and the World

 

A Few Updates

Blue House Nearing Completion:

Five months into the happy detour of taking over the house next door as a writing office/community space/larger classroom/guest house, along with expanding my garden into another yard, including the planting of 1,000 spring bulbs this fall, everything is now finished except my writing office and the back laundry roomed turned indoor garden center. Those will continue to progress, but the main public spaces are finished except for some very minor details. This feels like a milestone, because I’ve finally finished enough of the setup to return to some of the exciting projects I initiated shortly before life opened up in that highly expansive way.

First order of business: finishing my Permaculture Design Course so that I can officially share my permaculture knowledge via classes and consultations.

Permaculture Education Center is one of only two accredited online versions of the original 72-hour PDC created by Bill Mollison. Although many people prefer to take their PDC in person, for me, the online option works well — no travel complications, no need to worry whether or not a locale can meet my dietary preferences/needs, no concerns about fluorescent lights in a classroom, no need to be away for two weeks or several weekends, much lower cost than in-person classes, plus the ability to work at my own pace.

Since I already have a lot of experience gardening, designing, and visiting various permaculture set-ups, I didn’t feel like I needed another in-person experience if that meant I’d need to wait for perfect timing to begin. When I first signed up, I thought I’d jump right in, but with the wonderful, yet unexpected late summer through fall detour, I really appreciated the flexibility to put studies on hold until fully able to concentrate on them.

Dr. Enzo contacted me back in 2014, recognizing I’ve been using permaculture design principles in our yard since I began transforming it in early 2013. He explained how the PDC would offer expert feedback on those designs, as well as additional, more in-depth permaculture information than what I’ve learned through books and mini-courses. So far, I’m enjoying the course, and I can attest to the thorough critique of homework and excellent response time for emails! As mentioned before, Dr. Enzo has also offered a $50 discount for any of my blog readers who wish to study through Permaculture Education Center. Just use coupon code LauraB when you sign up. (I’m not an affiliate — just passing along the discount to my readers.)

Writing Update

Some people might remember that I originally became interested in Haus am See (our name for the Blue House), because I wanted a writing office with better views. The downstairs bedroom overlooks my extensive gardens instead of staring at a wall, factory or blank field. I had given up on writing any fiction in our lovely home, because the only spaces I could write in here either have offensive views or are filled with the energies of phone sessions, blogging and/or everyday living. In order to create something inspired and new, I knew I needed a very different space that allowed for my soul to exhale the everyday and inhale Awen.

Earlier this year, pre-blue house, I had begun OBOD’s Bardic Grade course as a jump start to my writing and inspiration. I actually credit those initial studies with the spark that led to the magical intention that drew forth the new opportunities via expansion next door; however, the appearance of that intention in real form resulted in me putting a serious delay on continuing those studies. As the winter months settle in and we make our way past holiday guests and travels, I will be taking advantage of weather imposed restrictions on gardening projects and teaching large volumes of in-person classes so that I can spend more time as a student, completing the courses begun earlier this year.

What This Means for the Blog:

When I first began my studies, I had announced a conscious inhale and reduction of posts and outer commitments. After a very quick inhale, the sudden, unanticipated new direction of the exhale resulted in a surge of larger in-person Reiki classes, house guests, and hosting community events, plus all those new gardening projects! All my creative energies focused on setting up Haus am See, researching plants, finding decorations, manifesting more furniture and bargains, and designing the yard and sacred indoor space. Blogging felt like a still-productive and creative chance to sit down, so after a short respite ,I ended up continuing nearly the same level of blogging as before.

While I do enjoy blogging and view all the support I offer here as a sort of tithe, blogging and excess email correspondence remain the easiest, most logical areas from which to draw extra time for other creative projects. I will still continue a regular load of coaching and intuitive clients; however, please don’t be surprised that frequency and length of blog posts will drop into hibernation-maintenance mode for awhile. I need to reclaim that time and energy to focus on coursework over the next few months in order to be able to offer those things I feel led to share in 2016.

New Website in the Works:

As further preparation for the expanded direction, I also feel led to consolidate old websites and create a new website that focuses much more on gardening, permaculture and in-person, local classes, along with a shorter bio and vaguer descriptions of intuitive services palatable to the local customs and consciousness levels here. This blog will remain, but some of the free time I would devote to blog posts will get funneled into creation of a new WordPress hosted website, which I’ll announce when ready. I’ve already shut down two eBook websites and redirected them to the books page on this blog. If you’d like copies of my novel Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, or my non-fiction books, The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide and/or If I Only Had a Brain Injury, please contact me for purchase details.

The new website will include a new newsletter signup, as well as standalone information about classes and offerings. Since my international blog readers and clients appreciate far greater depth and breadth of topics and discussions than what most of our local community finds comfortable or comprehensible, it seems wisest not to try to be all things to all people via a single web presence. The new site will also provide clients with a chance to refer people to me or my services, without requiring new people to wade through the blog.

Wishing You a Blessed Winter Season:

‘Tis the time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere) for going indoors, hunkering down, reading, dreaming, incubating and nurturing seeds and bulbs that won’t reveal any evidence of themselves until spring. I wish you all a creative, productive and joyful season. You’ll still hear from me, but in order to preempt concerned emails about my seeming incommunicado or a deluge of “must post” links, I wanted to share the new direction now.

If you have must share links or information, please find ways to share that through your own channels. I’m not currently looking to host my own radio show,  become a news aggregate website, or list every single article available on faeries, permaculture, growing your own food, Putin, geoengineering, magick and/or countless other things I’ve blogged about. I’ve always envisioned this blog as a springboard offering — a place from which to bounce as your own interests and passions lead you to respond to the many challenges and opportunities facing our world today.

If you would like my personalized attention or discussion of various issues, then please contact me to book a session. This blog is a public service, but the income from private sessions and classes is what allows me to offer so much here for free. It also allows me to model how local volunteering and local projects help to ground effective and empowering changes in our larger world.

I know many wonderful, informed and creative people through this blog, but in order to create deeper and more informed, wonderful offerings, I need to focus my time and energy on the projects at hand. You are powerful. If you believe I need to post a link or become aware of some new topic, please step back and ask yourself what you feel called to do with that information. Please let your growing awareness of our crazy world inform and inspire the actions that you take, as I follow my inner guidance here.

Blessed Be … and be the blessing!

 

Volunteer Community vs. Collectivist Tyranny

This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read illustrating the extremely important differences between volunteer communities that naturally coalesce around shared interests and goals, in direct contrast to forced collectivism. Please familiarize yourself with how volunteer community supports freedom, whereas forced collectivism supports tyranny. I think it’s a fabulous piece, but I do have a three five paragraph add on of my own in response to Brandon’s final paragraph, along with a Joanna Macy video, which I believe adds some important context and additional ways of empowering and healing ourselves and our planet.

Methods For Fighting Back Against Collectivist Tyranny

By Brandon Smith

(First published on Activist Post, which encourages sharing with attribution.)

In any examination of historical precedence, it is easy to see that the sheer number of collectivist and tyrannical systems have far outweighed any experiments in individual liberty. I have explored the reasons for this in numerous articles, including recent pieces such as “How To Stamp Out Cultural Marxism In A Single Generation” and “The Tools Collectivists Use To Gain Power.” To summarize, there is a driving desire among weaker-minded people to seek control over other people in the name of arbitrary standards of safety as well as arbitrary standards of “civil” conformity. While such people proclaim publicly that they do what they do for the “greater good,” in reality they seek only to satiate a private lust for power.

In the darkest corners of their souls, many people have personal aspirations to attain godhood in their own little worlds. And if they cannot achieve such godhood outright on their own, then they will join a mob with similar aspirations so that they can at least feel omnipotent through vicarious tyranny.

This is why collectivism and individualism are mutually exclusive. A collectivist uses force or manipulation to compel the masses to accept a society that follows his personal ideology. An individualist adheres only to the tenets of natural law and the non-aggression principle. He believes force is justified only when the personal liberties of an individual are threatened by others. And he demands that if he participates in any society, it be voluntary. Collectivism is society through coercion. Individualism promotes society through voluntary cooperation. The two philosophies cannot coexist.

I’ll say it again because there are some people out there with severe reading comprehension issues; the definition of collectivism requires the prioritization of the group over the rights of the individual.  Collectivism by its very nature denies or destroys individualism and individual choice in this prioritization.  Collectivism therefore requires the engineered organization of individuals predicated by COERCION, or force.  Period.  If a group organizes voluntarily, then it is NOT collectivist.  If a group is organized through force and manipulation, then it IS collectivist. Period.  Bananas are yellow.  Oranges are orange.  The sky is blue.  Two plus two equals four.  And, collectivism compels participation by force, while voluntary community does not.

There is no rational debate to be made against this clear dichotomy.  It is truly amazing how some folks cannot seem to grasp the very obvious difference between collectivism and voluntary community; the same people that will likely still attempt to argue that collectivism and individualism are “not mutually exclusive” after reading this very article.

I certainly would never make the claim that most collectivists are intelligent…

The collectivist threat is not merely due to environmental factors alone. As the psychologist Carl Jung outlined in his collected papers titled “The Undiscovered Self,” at any given point in history at least 10% of the human population has inherent (but often latent) psychopathic tendencies. Less than 1% of these people will actually act out their full psychopathy under stable social conditions. However, in times of great distress or political and economic upheaval, the psychopathic 10% are given a kind of playground in which to let the devil out; Jung called this the “collective shadow.”

As I have explained in the past, these are the “useful idiots” within any society. They are the reason why there will never be a time now or in the future in which collectivist oppression will not be a potential threat, and why individualists will have to remain forever on guard. That said, they are only a part of the bigger problem. In almost every instance of mass tragedy or despotic government, an elitist minority pulls the strings of the useful idiots, aiming them like a shotgun at individualists in order to clear a path for total centralization. The elites are another horror altogether.

These are the men and women who EMBRACE their psychopathy. It is not latent or subconscious; it is a fully integrated and accepted part of their psychological life. They have found that psychopathy can be an effective tool for gaining power and influence when average people around them are less vigilant or less confrontational due to fear or apathy. And contrary to popular belief, psychopaths CONSTANTLY organize into effective working groups, some of them vast and global in scope, as long as there is the promise of mutual benefit involved.

This is not to say that they organize around “gain” alone. Elitists have their own pervasive ideology and their own rationalizations for seeking control of others.

They see themselves as “philosopher kings” as described in Plato’s Republic, exemplary and “special” people who are born with the inherent genetic capacity to rule over the masses with the utmost clarity. They believe they know what is best not only for you, but for the human experiment in total. Their goal is to construct a sociopolitical apparatus that will allow them to have complete overreaching influence over every aspect of every individual life, up to and including the erasure of that life if they think it serves their ends.

“…You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner…” — George Bernard Shaw, Fabian socialist, from The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism

“My conclusion is that a scientific society can be stable given certain conditions. The first of these is a single government of the whole world, possessing a monopoly of armed force and therefore able to enforce peace. The second condition is a general diffusion of prosperity, so that there is no occasion for envy of one part of the world by another. The third condition (which supposes the second fulfilled) is a low birth rate everywhere, so that the population of the world becomes stationary, or nearly so. The fourth condition is the provision for individual initiative both in work and in play, and the greatest diffusion of power compatible with maintaining the necessary political and economic framework.” Bertrand Russell, member of the Fabian Society, from The Impact Of Science On Society (Note: Russell believed that individuals should be given at least the illusion of choice within minor aspects of society in order to maintain their willing participation.)

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. … [I]t remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons… It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.” — Edward Bernays, father of modern propaganda, from Propaganda

Elitists are rarely as open about their true intentions as the men quoted above. They often entice the public with fantastical promises if collectivist systems are supported, including: equality of wealth and prosperity; reduction of labor and increases in leisure time; incredible technological advances; universal education; universal healthcare; the end of nationalism, resulting in the end of war, resulting in infinite global peace; etc.

When they are not able to sell the public on a particular aspect of collectivism, they will create artificial divisions and artificial crises in order to engineer chaos. As per the Hegelian dialectic, when we are thoroughly tenderized by fear and disaster, the elites return to the scene with a “solution” to their original crime, a solution that usually involves more collectivism.

So how do individualists fight back against collectivism, elitists and the useful idiots they exploit? Here are some practical strategies that anyone can employ in his daily life.

Stop Participating In False Paradigms

Yes, in the everyday world there are leftists and right wingers, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. People subscribe to particular ideologies and philosophies backed by fundamental differences in belief. These divisions between regular people are indeed real. However, it is important to realize that at the gatekeeper level in these systems, the leadership in both parties subscribe to the same goals. They are not divided. They are part of the elitist structure. And while their rhetoric differs cosmetically, in policy and in action they will always work to destroy individual liberty and promote collectivism, whether they claim to be on the right or the left.

This reality also applies to supposed conflicts between nations. If two nations appear to be at odds with each other, yet the leadership of each nation remains in league with the same international elitists (bankers, Fabians, globalists, etc.), then their conflict is a sham designed as theater for the masses.

Refuse to participate in false paradigms. Point out the inconsistencies of BOTH parties or sides and identify how each works against individualism and toward collectivism. Do not affiliate with any group or institution that has a demonstrated history of antagonism towards individual freedom or that partners with known collectivist (globalist) organizations and frontmen. If you are going to fight for any side, make sure it truly represents liberty through its actions and associations.  Rhetoric is meaningless.

Decouple From Dependency On Corrupt Systems

As our economic situation becomes more and more dire, people are much more apt to become dependent on the system for survival, and this is an intentional result. I would not expect, for example, that the 94 million people in the U.S. who have been unemployed for so long they are no longer counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics should refrain from government aid or cut themselves off from welfare measures and become immediately self-reliant. They should, however, consider working toward that goal over time; and so should everyone else.

Secret blueprint for surviving the economic collapse (Ad)

This is not quite as impossible as it seems. Can you produce or repair items that act as survival necessities? Can you teach a necessary skill? If so, then you are already well on your way to independence. Once you have a necessary skill, trade is possible outside the controlled economic framework. The more individuals involved in an alternative economy, the more diversity of skill sets will be available and the more prosperous that voluntary community will become.

The ultimate achievement in my view would be similar in aspects to the American agrarian models of the past with the integration of helpful technology: completely voluntary communities in which free trade is the foundation; the existence of grid water and grid power is unnecessary; food production is local and ample rather than reliant on national or international freight systems and the artificial scarcity of corporate farming models; and security is provided by each individual for himself, as well as for the community, through voluntary neighborhood watches or militias.

All of this starts with each individual taking action to become a producer, rather than a wage slave or welfare slave.

Organize Locally With People Of Like Mind

Again, organizing voluntarily is counter to collectivism.  Collectivist systems cannot be defeated unless you are willing to establish a competing model that works better while maintaining freedom. This is not hard to do, considering collectivist models are failure-driven machines that devour people and use them as fuel to move society as a whole towards a “greater good” which is neither great nor good.

As outlined above, independent localism is the answer. It is a voluntary structure that encourages self-reliance and preparedness, while making production and innovation the mainstays of a healthy society. It rewards personal success and achievement, rather than punishing it. And, it helps a larger percentage of wealth to keep cycling locally, rather than being siphoned out of communities by governments or government-chartered and protected corporations.

Localism always starts small, with families, friends and neighbors. But as your organization continues to make life better for those involved, it will inevitably attract more participants.  The redundancy of localized economies would also protect people from economic collapse.  In fact, without the forced interdependency of centralized collectivist economic models, large scale financial crises would probably become a thing of the past.

Educate Children Privately

I’ve been saying it a lot lately, and I’ll say it again: Public schooling as it stands today is an apparatus for brainwashing, nothing more. With the dismal world ranking of U.S. students in math, science and reading, I hardly see what service public education is actually performing in America. The only service public schools do seem to excel at is indoctrination, with children now being immersed in collectivist lessons through Common Core and being conditioned into pacifism and fear through insane zero-tolerance policies.

The only working solutions available for parents today are to decouple from the federally dominated public school system and place their children in a well-vetted private school or to home-school. Any sacrifice, financial or otherwise, is worth it to save American children from a vicious system of propaganda and conditioning that could conceivably suppress their individualism and warp them into collectivist monsters.

Arm And Train For Self-Defense

I think it should be pretty obvious that there is a simple reason behind the collectivist habit of attempting to disarm common people: Armed people are harder to manage or control.  If an armed population was not a threat to collectivists then they would not keep trying to disarm everyone. Therefore, if you are not armed and trained in self-defense, then you are not a threat to collectivists.

You can be the most brilliant of thinkers with pristine logic and truth on your side; but without the means and ability to destroy an attacker or tyrant, you are nothing in the grand scheme. Intellectual warriors are not really warriors. And as a writer, I will say in all honesty that the threat of the pen is not mightier than the threat of the sword.

Keep in mind, though, that it is not enough to merely purchase a firearm or shoot at the range. Team tactics and training are essential for free people, which is why they are so admonished by collectivist elements in our society. Train with friends and family or with your Community Preparedness Team, as I do through Oath Keepers; but learn tactical methodologies and how to fight with others. Present a viable danger to collectivists, or be subsumed by them.

Remove The Elitist Hierarchy

Eventually, the fight between individualism and collectivism will become physical rather than informational. There is no way around it. The more individuals begin to decouple from the corrupt system and construct their own alternative framework, the more violent collectivists will turn in response. The virtue of self-defense requires that tyrants be cut off from their means to project violence onto others.

While it is impossible to stop the inherent nature of psychopathy other than to participate in communities where psychopaths are not welcome or encouraged, there is the matter of organized elitism to deal with.

Any fight for freedom from collectivists will require the removal of command and control. This is the only way that humanity can be given breathing room to rebuild without remaining under constant preplanned threat. There are, in fact, many organizations that openly work toward collectivist oligarchy, from central banks (this means central bankers in ALL nations, not just in the West), to the Council On Foreign Relations, to Tavistock, to the Rand Corporation, to the International Monetary Fund or the Bank for International Settlements, to Bilderberg, to the Fabian Society, etc. These institutions need to be dismantled by any means necessary and the participants removed from positions of control. Make no mistake; it will take a war before such people give up the reins of power. This is the inevitable cost of individualism and the inevitable cost of freedom.

You can read more from Brandon Smith at his site Alt-Market.com. If you would like to support the publishing of articles like the one you have just read, visit our donations page here. We greatly appreciate your patronage.

You can contact Brandon Smith at: brandon@alt-market.com

* * *

Laura here again: I found myself agreeing with this entire article until the final paragraph, which speaks to the “inevitability” of a coming war. Anyone who has become aware of the TPP, TTIP, geo-engineering, weather warfare, false flag psyops, GMO poisons and thuggery, rigged elections, Common Core, the push for mandatory vaccination, reduced working conditions, forced large scale illegal immigration, calls for depopulation, brainwashing through music and television, CPS kidnapping children for globalist pedophile rings, destruction of our environment from every angle, the transhumanist agenda, dual citizenship in Congress, Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the White House and US military, CIA creation of the New Age Movement that waters down and neutralizes any real traditional Wisdom teachings, not to mention the aggressive 2,000 year push to destroy the Divine Feminine and indigenous societies — anyone who has become aware of some or all of these situations knows we are already at war. And not a war that we began.

I don’t argue the war part, but rather the kind of war we could actually win. I’m not a Bible thumper in any way, shape or form, but I always come back to the verse, “Become wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Most people focus on the dove part of that expression. Based on years of successfully freeing myself and helping many clients free themselves from individual narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths, I focus far more strongly on the “wise as serpents” part. If you know what’s happening in our world and you don’t have it in you to play shoot ’em up, then you still have a responsibility to defend our Earth Mother, Her people, and the very principles of Life.

I understand why people feel that you don’t protect life by causing death. You don’t invite peace through war. I get that in the sense of not starting a new and violent war. But we are already at war, and there are many other weapons than guns and grenades. Despite the physical manifestations of war, this war began in the mind with perversions of perspective that have allowed and encouraged all manner of atrocities to flow from those distortions. Those of us who refuse to contribute to violence do not just get a hypocrite’s free pass to let others do our fighting for us. Rather, we have a responsibility to fight in ways that do support our commitments and to dedicate ourselves to seeking for and finding ways that work.

For some people that involves physically standing in front of bulldozers, attending political meetings, and/or rallying against whatever military/industrial psychopath poses the greatest threat. For some people that might mean educating, protecting and empowering the children — becoming fierce Mama Bears in care of cubs. For some people, it involves educating, protecting and empowering ourselves and others with the very old, suppressed ways of living on and with the Earth — including ritual, song, and magic(k). For some, it means “who cannot hex, cannot heal.” For each of us, it means not being afraid to be and do what we came here to do.

At the very least, we have a responsibility to delve into our own Shadow so that we’re not adding to the Collectivist Beast attempting to devour our world. The more conscious we become, the more effective warriors we become. Consciousness does not simply mean “awareness of the real issues,” passing along a Facebook or Twitter post and calling it a day. True consciousness also involves the creation of a new reality, because true consciousness embraces the tools, wisdom and skills which support that process. I leave you with one of my favorite Joanna Macy videos:

Blessed Be … and be the blessing!

Zhenna ~ Tips and Techniques for Living a Magical Life

Today’s post comes from guest writer Zhenna, who at my request has compiled a list of some of her favorite techniques for shifting reality from a life of restriction to one of joy, expansion, authenticity, and abundance. I met Zhenna through a comment stream on Zen Gardner’s site and appreciated her words and energy so much that I invited her to write more here. As I’ve gotten to know her through email, I can tell she really does live what she shares in today’s post. Although some of this information might seem simple, it’s incredibly powerful. I’ve used some similar methods for decades, but I love Zhenna’s imaginative and fresh perspective! Her techniques regarding the “Alter-Altar” and “The In-Between” are particularly valuable, imho. I hope you enjoy this post — definitely one to print or bookmark as you continue your own joyful experiments. Thank you, Zhenna!

Tips and Techniques for Living a Magical Life

by Zhenna (aka “The Winged Witch”)

Journey to your essence, meeting your power, setting your mind free of control

I have taken many turns on my life’s journey, exploring many options, some of which I was conditioned to and others out of curiosity.

My most profound experience happened one day when I was washing dog bowls. I had no particular belief system and wasn’t looking for one when suddenly I felt like something had descended on me and around me. I knew everything was as it should be. Colors were more intense and they appeared to be alive. I felt a level of serenity and bliss I had never even imagined could exist. It was like I saw the world for the first time.

Over the years I lost the feeling but never forgot the day. It took many years of wrong turns and dead ends to bring me to the point I pleaded for that feeling to come back. . . and it did.. . .that fast. Who knew that all I had to do was ask. Once I at least started down a better path for me, I received what I call my life-guides. I got them one at a time over many years. The changes they made in me were nothing short of profound. As soon as I had some level of mastery of one, I received another one. I share them with you and hope they have some value for you. I have never shared them before.

The Three Truths:

(1) The power lies within, always keep it near, always be aware of it.

Of course we all know that on some level. It is maintaining the awareness that is the problem. We do not live in a world conducive to “the power lies within”. Rather we live in a world where we are conditioned to believe the power always lies without, be it religion, politics, family pressures, authority figures, the expectations of society, or cultural conditioning. Someone or something is always draining us of it. But without it, we will forever remain hostages.

For me a simple practice helped. I sit in a comfortable chair. I look down at my body and keep looking until I become really aware of myself and only myself. Often we are somewhat disconnected from our own bodies. I existed, not in a theoretical detached from my body way, but a personal loving way. Why love? Because if I don’t love myself, no one will and there will be no ability to grow. My body is OK just the way it is and deserves and appreciates my love. Then I will wait for my power to return to my body until I can actually feel/see it again within me.

I practiced this faithfully every day when I was alone. I reminded myself of it every time before I went out, until I could go out in any situation, including emergencies, and feel in control. I had conditioned myself to “the power lies within” and it was life changing.

I can say ‘no’ with ease and void of guilt. I expect to be treated with the graciousness I treat others with. If people don’t treat me that way, it is just a learning experience and I move on. I will not ever beg someone, surrender myself, or bribe someone to love me. I have found my selfness through this simple exercise. This is my life and it matters to me and it should.

(2) Live in the eternal now, this is all there is, within it is eternity and the gift of creation.

The day you walk past a beautiful crab tree in full bloom and don’t notice it because you are rushing to work or to run some errand, that is the day you know you don’t live in the ‘now’. And again, we live in a society that abhors the now. We are conditioned to always be on our way somewhere, out there, in front of us, wanting something we don’t have yet. We are always heading somewhere we are not. It is easy to be in the now on that trip to the mountains, but on a daily basis, it is not.

So here is my trick. I call it grace in the moment and the funny thing is, time will accommodate you by slowing down. I have found that I get more done in less time when I stay in grace in the moment.

Pick any physical activity relative to your life like washing dishes, folding clothes, dusting. It doesn’t matter although it is best if it is not a noisy activity. As you are washing the dish notice the color, feel it, enjoy it and don’t rush through the process. You know what, you bought that dish. What do you really think of it? How do you feel about it?

Chore by chore, get to know every single thing in your life again. Do you know why? Because part of our not being able to fully live in the now is due to the burdens we heap on ourselves. You are going to notice everything now, all the time. You will know what is and what is not connecting with you. What belongs in your life now and what does not. And, like magic, you are going to want to purge. You will stop buying stuff that doesn’t resonate deeply with you, but you will have more things around you that bring you joy every time you see them or use them.

This just doesn’t work for the things we have in our lives, but also our lifestyle. Once you unburden yourself physically, you will start the emotional process of setting yourself free. Just think how much time you are spending supporting what isn’t working in your life, but has become habit. If your mind is consumed with racing through life, never slowing down, and always pushing yourself, your creativity can’t flow and your soul can’t bloom.

When we come to the end of our lives, it is the now moments we will cherish. The times we were fully aware and fully alive and even time was our friend.

(3) Mind Magic is the key to creating your life. Freedom is living it.

You have found your power and you have unburdened yourself, now it is time for the fun. Look around you. Your life is exactly what you have created on some level through your thoughts and actions. Your life and surrounding are a reflection of what you thought (and thus did) yesterday.

What you are thinking right now holds the gift of creation. I am not saying that we don’t get some unpleasant, even ugly, things thrown at us because we are at best co-creators along with everything else in the universe so I don’t want to turn this into some simple minded erroneous blame statement. We have the power within ourselves, we just need to fine tune it.

This is where meditation can be helpful. It helps you control your mind.

Another trick is to spend an hour a day for a week (or more) and note what thoughts run through your head during that hour. At some point you have to come to grips with the endless repetitive noise that runs through your head along with your emotions and what triggers them. I am pretty sure there is an abundance of negative self thought in there somewhere. Keep putting that low opinion of yourself out there and you can’t help but draw that reality to you. You will be surprised by what you find out about yourself by noting everything you think and feel.

Until you have some mastery over your thoughts, you can’t effectively direct them. This is what spell crafting is. It is learning to use focus and props to assist your desires and needs. But. . . let me add that I have also found a level of emotion free of negativity but rich in intense desire, pristine and/or pleasant surroundings, an area you have conditioned to be the temple to and reflection of your essence, fantasy, and times of high energy (like electrical storms) to be extremely helpful, extremely.

This is something you will have to play with to find your own best combinations, but first you MUST gain control over your thoughts and get to know who you really are, not who you might think you are. You are going to have so much fun with this one and practice makes perfect. Never forget to push the limits because you really can’t know if there are actually any limits. Everything you have been told isn’t necessarily true.

The Wisdom:

Observation is creation. The design is wisdom.

There is a difference between being a watcher and an observer. Observation takes thought as interaction, watching can be totally passive and even mindless. This is why figuring out who you really are, is so important. Only when you know who you really are and where you really want to go, can you start down the path to get there.

You are the writer, director, and actor in your life. Here you must see yourself a bit out and above yourself (to either side) until you can watch you interacting with yourself like you would play a doll. This is what you do every day or someone else does for you every day. You are just taking conscious control of who you want to be.

Now write the script for that day. It probably won’t go exactly as written (but what script does?), but you will have a good start. Most importantly, you will play a really big part in producing your own adventure from now on.

The Alter-Altar:

Build an Altar to yourself. Worship is the act of altering your reality.

This is probably going to catch in your chest with a gasp. After all, since we were very small, we have always been conditioned to “worship” something outside ourselves, something greater than ourselves. It is sacrilegious to worship ourselves or even ridiculous to think about it. But actually it is not because “worship” can also mean, according to Webster, “extravagant respect or admiration for an object of esteem.” You, being the object of esteem here.

Your body, mind, and soul have given you a gift of experiencing life, maybe not a perfect life in a perfect body, but life. And because you are alive, you have experiences, through experiences you can choose to learn, through learning, you transcend. It doesn’t get any better than that.

The second result of your alter-altar is that you see yourself in the whole out in front of you, sitting right there on the altar. It helps to place positive images of yourself on the altar. Those that represent something you most like about yourself or a time when you were in control and feeling your best. Feel free to add any props/tools that bring you mentally back to a “I was at the top of my game” feeling.

When you are really looking at yourself (who you know and see clearly now) and you have written a really great script (sitting right up there on the altar next to you), you can visualize yourself morphing into who you always wanted to be. Pulling the best from your past and adding your desired future to your image.

You just made a plan you can proceed with in the physical. Your Alter-Altar should always remain a central part your home and life. Enjoy it.

The Throne:

I am sovereign in my own kingdom. Live like it. Behave like it. Know it.

If you have worked all the exercises proficiently up until now, you have realize who you really are, you know you have power, you know you have worth, and you know you have magic. Congratulations, you have just escorted yourself to your own throne. Sovereign in your own kingdom. No one will ever take it away from you again.

That throne is the throne of your true essence which you finally realize was your birthright all along. Of course this is not the silly, arrogant, egotistical, snobbish, fools ‘throne’ of the royalty of the mundane elites. No, this one is elegant, serene, powerful, gracious, and wise.

A great line from an old song, Sunshine Superman by Donovan “you can just sit there while thinking on your velvet throne about all the rainbows you can have for your own.”. . . and that is how you make magic from a place of authority.

The In-Between:

Released from the past. Not entangled by the future. The pure point where anything is possible.

As shocking as the Alter-Altar was to our conditioning, this matches it in difficulty to maintain. The best way I can explain it is to imagine you left a life behind fraught with stressful and difficult conditions and relationships. You finally broke free of the chains and you have no way to communicate with anything in your past. Relief. You are on your way to start a new life but haven’t arrived there yet so you have no real idea what the future might hold.

That in-between time is the most free you will ever feel and probably be remembered as the time you most want to live again. Nothing from your past is pulling at you and nothing from your future has entangled you. Just pure possibility. Just you on your terms.

If you have ever experienced it, you know it is as close as you can come to freedom and bliss. If you haven’t, it might be hard to realize how glorious it can be. The trick is to stay there as often as you can and there is no easy way to do that.

Virtually everything in our modern world from cell phones, to mortgages/loans, to careers, to relationships, to religion is designed to entangle us. You almost can’t function in modern society without stepping in a trap.

Here are a few hints for some escape time. Do you really need to be connected all the time to the outside world? Make your residence including your yard a holy temple and sanctuary. Get out of debt and stay out of debt. Live below your means. Make savings a priority. Become self-sufficient. Spend some alone time in nature as often as possible, make time. Keep the demands in relationships reasonable for you. Have a cottage industry so if you lose your source of income, it will not destroy you mentally or financially. All this will give you various levels of freedom from entanglement. You can walk away much easier if you need to and that is a great feeling.

When you feel yourself getting entangled again just visualize yourself flying above the earth and notice all the pointless frantic racing around humans do. It is almost comical.

You have to free yourself to find the In-Between.

Surrender:

Captivity reversed to never happened. Innocence restored. Magic released.

I believe much of our need to “control” situations or people comes from our desire to be free ourselves. The more we have lost control in our lives, the more we want to control the world. I can’t give you a trick here, but you are far from needing one now anyway. Only your essence or subconscious can guide you on this one. Once you have found yourself and your power, most likely you will still need to take a trip back in time to release some bondage that only your subconscious is aware of.

For no particular reason, you will mentally be taken back in your life to relive an experience. It is probably a mundane moment which may not seem terribly memorable or important, but it is. It is where you made one of the wrong turns into captivity by relinquishing your power.

The surprising thing is how the smallest most insignificant mundane incident can have the most colossal negative effect on your life and cause the strongest entrapment. You may have forgotten the moment or experience or if you remember it all, it seemed average. That is why the hook was set to deeply within you. You never even noticed it happening and never realized what was happening.

You will relive the experience mentally and consciously, only this time you see yourself in the scene, in control of the situation and what happens is on your terms. There won’t be anything forced or emotional about this. It will be a detached experience. More like watching a movie.

Something strange happens here, the wrong turn has been righted in your subconscious, the chains broken, and its power over you neutralized. I have wondered if in some mystical way that past no longer exists, at least not as you lived it. You are that free of it.

You can’t get to the In-Between until you can surrender your attachment to your past and you can’t surrender your attachment to your past until you find those wrong turns and write a new script more to your advantage. Your subconscious and essence will help.

This has been my journey so far. I am sure there is more to come. Every time I think it can’t get any better, it does. Blessed Be to all of you on your journey to find your essence, power, magic, and freedom.

Zhenna, The Winged Witch

Bio: “I have had many adventures in my life and lived many of my dreams. Right now I am involved in creating a sanctuary for mystical people and animals in a green oriented community. Over the years I have watched ridiculous rules imposed on people as cities have become more and more overcrowded. Rules made by government that make no sense and are restrictive and soul crushing. So here in my remote corner of the U.S., animals and people are welcome to come for a vacation or to live full time and enjoy clean air, open spaces, world class birding, astronomy, trail riding, hiking, parties, lectures, events, and we can even help you arrange world eco tours. The vision is a new concept for what a community should be that inspires people and lives in harmony with nature.”   www.caballosresort.com