Friday, December 30, 2011

Once Upon a Dream

Mood: Not off to my best start today. I feel relatively happy though, so that is good. Physically though, I'm not doing my best.


When I was a child, I wanted to be an archaeologist. There was nothing more appealing than the thought of hot sand, a warm sun, a tropical breeze, and uncovering vast hidden treasures. To imagine the feel as I knelt in the sand, my knees covered in the soft grains, the sound of bristles of the finest brushes scraping over the rock. Bit by bit, sand would give way to the most fascinating of wonders; fossils, pottery, skeletons, buildings, tombs, an entire frozen sitting at the tips of my fingers waiting to be unearthed. It was a discovery that called to me, the thrill of adventure, the knowledge of an ancient past riddle with secrets.

It sounds romantic, doesn't it? It's enticing, enthralling, and a siren call. If you close your eyes, perhaps you'll be able to feel the warmth of the sun, the hot wind brushing sand against your cheeks in a gentle caress. Your muscles are tired, fatigued is seeping into you, your tongue begs for even the smallest bit of water but it's rewarding. To discover something new to this world, something no one has laid eyes upon, you found.

If this calls to me so much, why am I not striving to be an archaeologist now? Why do I not have brushes in my hand, boots on my feet, a hat on my head, and why am I not trekking through ankle deep sand?

As most people grow older, they tend to lose their sense of wonder. Suddenly, a rainbow is no longer just colors in the sky, there is an actual reason for a rainbow. There is a scientific fact as to what exactly a rainbow is. Suddenly gravity exists and it is impossible to fly without a plane. Rain is no longer tears from the sky, it becomes hydrogen and oxygen. It's suddenly no longer logical to want to own your own tractor trailer because of how much fuel they take. Becoming a race car driver is no longer something attainable to most because of the break neck speeds, how hard it is to become sponsored, or how difficult it is to obtain a car. Becoming a famous sports player grows more difficult because of the sheer statistics of who succeeds at such and how rare it is to get scouted.

Now, becoming a race car driver, sports player, or owning your own tractor trailer isn't an impossible dream at all. There are people every day that accomplish those exact dreams. What makes those dreams so difficult is not the statistics, or that you need natural talent for them, or how much it costs to achieve those dreams. What makes dreams difficult is that people grow discouraged.

Let me tell you a reoccurring story:

I wanted to be an archaelogist with every fiber of my being. It was the biggest dream I had, it was the career choice I wanted, and to this day, I still feel the appeal for it. I had always loved knowledge, I love learning, I loved studying, just processing new information was something I loved and still to this day actively seek out. With my heart set, I proclaimed my career choice happy. I wanted to be in Egypt. I wanted to find tombs. I wanted to see their pottery. I wanted to press my hand against one of the pyramids. I wanted to travel through their small markets and look at herbs and trinkets. I wanted to study their Gods. I wanted to learn as much of their language as I could -both ancient and modern. I would spend hours as a young child watching documentaries on the tombs, mummification, I would pour over as many books about the wonderful place as I could get my hands on.

It was when I was about seven years old that dream was shattered. When I told my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up, the results were not pleasant. I was informed by her that it was a terrible career choice. It cost an extreme amount of money to secure dig sites, that I'd be out in the hot sun for hours on end. I'd catch diseases from opening tombs, that there would be nothing for me to discover because most of the artifacts in Egypt had already been discovered. That I would be stuck on the same dig site for 20 years at a time. That no one would take me seriously because I was a woman and in Egypt women were not respected and I would get no where in this field. That because I disliked bugs I would not be able to dig because I would be digging in the dirt and come in contact with them. To sum up the very long conversation, she told me I was not suited for this job and it was foolish to do.

Please note, all those views above are of my mother's, not my own. But at the age of seven, such a conversation can be heartbreaking. Children at that age still believe in Santa most often. It was a bit much to tell me my dream was pointless. I took my mother's words to heart and decided to settle on a new career.

My choice now was to become a veterinarian. I had always loved all manners of creatures. I was fascinated by exotic ones; snakes, frogs, lizards in all shapes and sizes. I had a love for bats, canines, felines, hamsters, ferrets, (I still have a massive dislike for all rabbits though), and so much more. I even loved horses, sheep, cows, all manner of farm animals. Since I enjoyed them so much, I thought that caring for them would be the best profession for me.

Once again, my mother discovered my new choice of career. She has an intense dislike for all animals, from cats, to dogs, to snakes, to even the smallest of creature. She always has hated animals and made it well known. When she discovered my new career choice once again I was hit with a great amount of disdain. Again I was told how this was a terrible career for me. That since I had a slightly squeamish stomach and my own blood bothered me that I would never be able to be a doctor. I would not be able to handle caring for the animals, giving them shots, or doing surgeries on them. To be a veterinarian it would require at least ten years of schooling. This career was also completely impractical for me.

I think the similar trend is starting to be noticed. For years, this was a continuing cycle, every career I would find, my mother would scorn and offer no encouragment at all. Exactly opposite, she would do all she could to discourage me from my path. The only career that suited her for me to be was a college professor of either Philosophy or English. Neither of those careers suited my interests. I wanted something fascinating, something that was similar in methods but the results were constantly changing. I didn't want to repeat the same thing day in and day out. I wanted new discovers, I wanted the change to continue learning as I worked.

To this day, yes, my current career choice is of no interest to my mother, but then her and I do not have much to say to each other. If you are curious, I am striving to become a botanist, a research whom's main focus is genetic engineering and plant breeding. But that is merely a stepping stone. My true desire is to someday own a natural medicine shop.

Looking back on those careers, are they truly so impossible to achieve? I don't think so. No doubt, every career has challenges that are needed to overcome but nothing is impossible. The true error is to give up before even starting. I was told once, "if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain."

I think yes, my mother probably wanted the best for me in her way. No parent likes to see their child struggle through difficulties, but without mistakes, we would not learn. There is only so much advice you can give before you have to step back and let someone make their own choices, for it is their life to live in the end.

Why is something considered a dream? Are dreams something unattainable? Are you also guilty of thinking, "this isn't rational to do. I can't achieve this. I am setting my goals too high. I need to find something more logical to attain. It's only a dream."

Are you settling? Are you assuming that with the best of your abilities you cannot achieve something? That your best is not good enough? That there is no point in truly striving to get what you wish of life?
There is no 'can't'. There is only the disbelief in yourself. The doubt that your all is not good enough. We are our own worse critics.

Pull that dream out of the closet, take a good hard look at it. Examine it from all angles. Perhaps take the time and read up upon that career or that dream you once had. Why was being  race car driver impossible again? Read some stories of the people who have accomplished it and why they did so. Find out who truly encouraged them, not who discouraged them. Perhaps that dream is old and forgotten. Put it back in the closet again and let it rest.

Now take this time and make a new dream, and it doesn't matter how outrageous to you it seems. If you truly want it, dream of it. Set a goal, and make it happen. Take small steps if you need to, but each step is a moment closer to achieving your dream. Perhaps you always wanted to write a book, if you wrote a page a day? How many pages would you have done in a year? Maybe a paragraph a day even. You would still have your dream finished in only a few years.

Dreams seem impossible because they seem so large. They are meant to be. If something could be achieved in a day, would it really be a dream?

I hope you enjoyed reading, as always.

Blessed Be.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Mood: Strange as it seems, I feel a burst of silly energy. The result of such is causing me to randomly pause at times, sing loudly, and gather strange stares from my dog.


"Don't take that tone with me!!" Admit it. How many of you are guilty of having a parent, guardian, mate, or friend accuse you of having a tone when speaking to them? And be honest, how many of you would reply, "I don't have a tone."

I hated that. I was guilty of it enough when I was growing up. It seemed like I could never have a civil discussion with my mother without her bringing up my tone when addressing her.

Now that I'm a little older, I've taken the time to pause and really consider just what is 'tone'?

Tone is a certain pitch which words are presented. A musician would tell you tone is a certain octave, or note, but I am not a musician. I'm not truly seeking out the scientific meaning of tone, I'm searching on a deeper level.

It finally struck me after some careful thinking, when someone accuses you of 'taking tone' with them, it is that they are hearing a certain volume, pitch, and way you are speaking which they perceive as offensive. Tone is all about perception. I was told once that the world is 10% fact and 90% our own personal perceptions of that fact.

So when you are in an argument with your mother, am I saying that you don't have a tone with her? That you aren't being disrespectful at all? Or that your mother is truly at fault because she is perceiving you in the way she is? Absolutely not.

I think of all the times that I would be so angry with my mother because I didn't hear my own tone at all. How could I have a tone with her if I didn't hear it? That is exactly it, she was hearing the tone through her own perception of the way I was speaking.

I suppose my true question for today is not 'what is tone?' But more specifically 'why is tone such a bad thing?'

Perhaps some of you are parents yourself and you are all too familiar with the rebellious child tone. It occurred to me that the reason that tone is so offensive is the fact that it's hurtful. If you are arguing with someone and you detect they have a tone, perhaps you perceive it as rude, ungrateful, angry, unfair, etc, it's hurtful. Tone is usually why arguments grow. If your mother is telling you to do the dishes and she detects a rude tone from you, wouldn't that hurt her feelings? She is perceiving that you cannot be bothered with what she asks you to do, she could also take it as that you truly don't respect her or you are ungrateful for all she has done for you.

The problem is, most people do not put themselves in someone else's shoes. Say you are asking your mother to do something for you, say make a doctor's appointment. In return, she also answers in a impatient tone, implying that she'll 'get to it when she has time.' How will you take her tone? Perhaps you'll believe that your problem is not important enough to her, that she is far to busy to care about your health, or that perhaps she cares nothing for you?

Ah, now are you seeing both sides of things? I am a very sensitive person as is the person I am mated to. It has become very apparent to me how by accident, we can hurt someone with nothing more than a tone. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me? Sometimes a simple word delivered a sharp way can render someone silent. A slap may sting, but it is the words that follow the slap that continue to repeat after, for days, perhaps even years. I am quite sure that all of you can think of something that was said to you, harshly or angrily, that you have never forgotten.

By using a tone you are consciously, or perhaps unconsciously inflicting pain on someone else. One sentence said wrong can destroy dreams, crush hopes, and cause a hurt that may not be visible. It is said that anger is never a primary emotion, that it is secondary. Anger is a mask for many emotions: disappointment, hurt, sadness, pain, and so much more. The reason most arguments spiral out of control is because of tone. Which is what in truth? The act of consciously or unconsciously hurting someone through the way you dictate your words. If someone is hurt, who truly is at fault? Both sides. It takes two to make an argument. Two people, with two out of control tones, both unconsciously hurting each other.

So the next time someone accuses you of having 'tone' truly stop and consider what they have said to you. In some way, your pitch, the way you said the words you were speaking has hurt them, not for a fact that words you said did. And in such situations, I would apologize, and try to continue at a more reasonable tone to them, not a tone I find suitable. Control. I believe everyone can control their emotions, tones, and their ability to hurt someone. I believe you can.

I hope you take this to heart, perhaps this could help in your next disagreement.

I hope you enjoyed reading, as always.

Blessed Be.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pet Peeves...Literally.

Mood: Blank today. Burned my last stick of incense. The picture you see is a before picture of my dog Khaynin when I found him.


My inspiration for this topic today would happen to be a loving nuisance in my life. That nuisance would be the dog I rescued as a puppy, Khaynin.

Khaynin was about four months old when I found him, he was in quite the sorry state too. This small almost completely black puppy was probably about seven lbs or so, he looked frail, his body was thin, his ribs were showing vividly through his fur, he was matted in dirt, and over his entire body he was covered in ticks and fleas. I remember rubbing my fingers over his ears, not a single centimeter of his skin was smooth.

The small pup was hiding under one of my sisters' van. It took over an hour to coax him out, but once he was out, we took him inside, laid him down on a pillow. I laid next to him, he was trembling, and I rubbed his head. I cooed softly to him until he finally calmed down enough to sleep.

My life was devoted to him, every two hours exactly I would take him outside to use the bathroom. The first two nights, I did not leave him. I didn't want him to sleep in the kitchen alone (it was the only place without carpeting), so I stayed awake the entire night, watching him to make sure he didn't have an accident on the carpet. He slept soundly through the night. I repeated that until finally I needed sleep, I had my father watch him during the day for a few hours and I crashed. After about a week of this, I knew I couldn't keep it up. I was reluctant, but I finally tied him up in the kitchen for the night and went to bed, sure to take him out before I slept. His wails for me tore my heart, but I ignored them while my dad hushed him, and I slept.

Khaynin was house broken very easily, which surprised me a great deal. When I was a child my birth mother always complained that we could never have a dog because they were impossible to house break. This little puppy only had two accidents in my father's house, and it was only pee. After several months, we had a routine of times, he steadily grew to hold it longer, and he knew to go outside. He would only whine when he needed to go out. Other than that, he was clearly attached to me. It took awhile for him to play with my siblings or father. I remember that my one sister got disgruntled at the fact that if I even walked into the room or in the sight of Khaynin that he would ignore everyone else and whine for me.

The bond he and I had grew extremely, it was summer time, he had a large yard in Mississippi to roam, almost no neighbors, and I was not working or in school. Almost every moment of my time was devoted to him. Perhaps I spoiled him too much, but I just felt that he had been through so much that I didn't want things to be hard for him.

I was the one who fed him every day, only I took him outside, only I gave him treats, only I bathed him, and only I disciplined him.

Some dogs love water, others hate it and fight terribly during baths. Within the first week I found him, I bathed him twice. He was covered in so many fleas and ticks that he must have been in agony, itching terribly. I did not have gloves, so I did so bare handed. I have quite the squeamishness with bugs, so it was difficult for both he and I. But I knew in my heart that his welfare was more important than my fears of the little critters. I was also the one who rubbed in the flea and tick medicine through every inch of his fur. That was done several times because his need was so severely. He honestly hated that more than the bath, the smell was extremely strong, it must have been near unbearable for him. But he learnt something valuable from those experiences. Even though he detested them, he found that no matter how unpleasant the task he would have to go through, I would never harm him. This shows in our present encounters, such as trimming his nails or filing them down. He hates the noise, but he never bites, he never growls, he may squirm a little and whine, but he always is well behaved. After any baths, he is sure to run to me and lick my hand in gratitude.

This little puppy has a great deal of personality, from his features, he appears to be half whippet and half pit bull. His intelligence is very high, a trait of pit bulls, along with his eyes. Since he is intelligent though, he tends to push his limits. Instead of just accepting 'No!' he decides to wait until he thinks we don't notice him, and then he pushes his luck.

Khaynin is now about 7 months old and doing fine. But he is the spark of my topic for today, pet peeves.

Everyone has them, whether it's that person sitting next to you jiggling their leg next to you, someone biting their nails, people who slur their speech, talk too loud, someone scrapes their nails down a chalk board, it's just something that gets under your skin.

Some of them aren't able to be explained, most people when questioned about why it annoys them in return reply, "it just does!" Most of these irritations are acceptable by others, it is just one act of behavior usually of another that seems to spark a trickle of annoyance.

How do you solve a pet peeve?

That is the tricky part, you can't. Now you can take the incentive to speak to the person who is causing the irritation. Say a friend or mate has cold hands, to be touched with them borderlines pain almost to you. The friend or mate can't really help if they have cold hands, but you could speak to them to see if they will try to remember to warm their hands up before touching you. Problem solved right?

To most people, these little quirks are just embedded so deeply in them it takes a conscious effort to change the behavior and truly, some aren't willing to bother with it.

As humorous as it is, my pet peeve is being caused by my adorable little rescue puppy.

I noticed about a week or two ago he seemed to be constantly itching. He's already been treated with his monthly flea and tick medicine for this month, treated for worms, and since his itching could not be caused by that, I figured it was just dandruff. As a puppy, he has a horrible case of it, but it's manageable. So my mate and I went through the difficult adventure of bathing our now 25-30 lbs puppy. After his bath, he was brushed and sent on his way.

It seemed that for a week or so, that cured his itching, his dandruff was no longer visible, I figured the problem was solved.

It wasn't.

He has started itching again. Now most people would say, 'well, everyone itches, dogs too. It can't be that bothersome.' It actually is. I've started following him around with his brush. Every time he itches, I make sure to brush very thoroughly the spots that he has been so focused on itching. His itching has gotten so bad, that we have taken to leaving his collar off when he is in the house.

Now I am sure some of you think I may be over reacting, but my father used to show dogs in competitions and cure 'troubled dogs' he said he actually had a dog that had a genetic disease that was chronic itching. Now that itching got so bad, that the dog would actually itch to the point that he would rip out fur and bleed. Eventually the dog had to be put down or else he would die from infection from the cuts he had inflicted from itching.

That puts a slightly more serious spin on things. Not only does the fact that he literally is itching about every two minutes or so, or that he itches so loud and hits the side of the bed at night and wakes us, it is also out of concern. I am worried this may develop into something worse if not carefully watched.
It is not as if I can take the civil route and ask him to stop itching to relieve my irritation, but I'll have to discover for myself how to cure his itching and relieve his own troubles. I imagine itching like that would drive me insane if I was on the receiving end.

An interesting spin on pet peeves, so perhaps before you allow one little thing to make you angry, why not put yourself in the other person's shoes? Perhaps they are unaware they are doing something that drives you up the wall. Take the time and try to communicate. Because in some really can't.

To the left is a picture of Khaynin now.

I hope you enjoy reading as always.

Blessed Be.

(For humors sake, here is a list of Pet Peeves)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Mood: My energy hasn't felt right since the holidays.

Update: I noticed a lot of Yule posts about how hard several people had Yule and Christmas. It's a bit disappointing to see such a familiar trend. My Yule was quite well, a little teary because I miss my family, but my mate truly made it the best for me. Christmas was also quite weepy for me. Since the holidays began, my harmony I have been so kindly seeking seemed to desert me completely. The last few days have been very trying, but I am attempting to regain control.


Since I am lacking inspiration today, I want to share a story with you all. This is a story of my inspiration, a story of a girl I know and love.

Have you ever met that one person who has an extremely difficult life but they are so cheerful? That you seem to step back, put yourself in their shoes and wonder how this can be? How do they hold such strength? How can they be so giving, so loving, so filled with the desire to change the world? How is it...that they continue to go on?

I'll admit, I keep a lot of myself private, but I had a bit of a troubled youth. I wasn't the type to do drugs, or steal, or have sex, or party, or do vandalism, etc. But the life at my home was another story. Perhaps someday I will say more, but for now I will merely say, I was trying to escape from my home, and as much as possible. I wound up going to a college group about an hour away from my home. I was only a high school student, but there were no youth groups available in my town and I was more than welcomed there. It got to the point that I would leave my home for more than half the week, staying with some college friends who ran the group. It was almost like I was a college student, I used their library, lacked the classes, and went to their group events.

It was there I met someone who changed my life. When I first met her, she scared me. She had a disease I wasn't quite sure what it was, later I discovered it to be Cerebral Palsy. I saw that she was in a powered wheel chair, her arms spasmed at times, and she was tiny in size.

I'm naturally quite terrified of new people as it is, but what intrigued me most about her was the big smile on her face, you couldn't miss it. It was warm, she laughed a lot during the meetings. She was quiet, but she shared when something really spoke to her.

I was very shy, so was she. I can't remember exactly how we started getting close, but I learnt several things from her. I found out that she wasn't breakable. When I first met her, I remember worrying a great deal that I may hurt her if I was too rough with her or touched her. Once I discovered it didn't hurt, I took that fact to heart. I would plop right down on her in her chair. She loved it. I remember the times when we would race through the snow to get ice cream. I never cut her any slack, I knew that she was faster than me. I had to jog to keep up with her chair, those things have some serious power!

My favorite memory was when we were in her dorm room, she would always encourage me to get in her chair, I loved that thing too. I remember that her chair was getting repairs so she was borrowing one that could tilt upwards. She told me to tilt the chair backwards then spin in circles. She did it herself then encouraged me to try it. I swear to goddess, I almost died. She controlled it with such ease. I was so sure that I was going to fly out of the chair, those things don't come with seatbelts!

I learnt so much from her, I realized during our friendship that she was no different than I. She taught me so much to look beyond the appearance and see that she truly had no limitations at all. I would often as her questions about her life, about how she had to have assistance with dressing or showers, and how it made her feel. To her, she was used to it. It was just something she had to do, it was normal. Now, she was not without her depression, anyone would be, but more often than not, she possessed a spark that I never had. She had such love, such drive, such ambition. She was beautiful.

As scared as I am of people, she was not. When others would look at her and judge, she was a shining beacon. They too would have fear and not know how to react, how to treat her to not offend her, etc. I realized that she is not like everyone else, but she is better. She is unique. She possessed an inner strength that I could never imagine.

To this day, she is my inspiration and one of my dearest best friends.

Her story is not mine to write, the tales of how hard her life has actually been and how she has grown and dealt with it is not mine to share. It is up to her to reach the world with her life and she is. Through poems, writing, short stories, videos, and more. She is an artist.

I tell you of her only to reassure to myself...of how much I value what she has taught me. She is the minority. She battles hardship every day and wins. To her, every problem holds as just as much importance as her own struggles. She is never spiteful, she values what she has been blessed with. To this day, I stand back and wonder...


As I continue to learn, love, and grow, she will always be an inspiration to me. I value her and all she has taught me. I strive for her spark, I strive to be like her, to possess that motivation, kindness, and love. She is a beautiful gem in a sea of sand.

There is so much I could say about her, to her. But all I can think to say is,

'I love you. You know who you are, I value you, and you always have a place in my heart. I know you'll achieve your dreams.'

And to everyone, I hope you all can take perhaps a little inspiration from this story, learn to see beyond limitations, race, gender, and age. Look beyond the outside and see the soul, the spirit. See what beautiful people are truly out there. Be blessed, and learn to love.

Thank you for reading, as always.

Blessed be.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Mood: A bit tired and in pain today, trying to regulate my body into agreeing with me and feel better with a lot of positive energy today. I am truly trying to make the best of today with a good foot forward.

I thought about discussing this topic last night, it is strange that I am feeling so keenly, but it just encourages me more that this is what I should discuss today. Let's discuss sensation, the six senses.

1. Sight.
2. Smell.
3. Touch.
4. Taste.
5. Hearing.
6. Spirit.

Most people only believe there are five senses, those are the ones medically listed as senses. Usually when one sense is taken away, say a little girl is born blind, those other senses will increase in sensitivity. This little girl will become better at hearing, she'll be able to smell better, she'll be able to hear more keenly, taste greater. It seems the lack of sensation heightens the rest.

I refer to six senses, I include spirit or the spiritual sense as something all humans and even animals are born with. The reason I say animals is because I have a dog of my own, I've noticed he is more aware of mood shifts, his own energy is influenced by my own, and how he behaves. It is said that animals or familiars have the ability to see spirits and beings from other planes and they react to them. It's been shown often enough in horror movies about cats or dogs going haywire around dark spirits or staring at them. In my belief there is always a grain of truth even in the most fabricated of tales.

My curiosity is stemmed in how the body reacts to sensations. Such as when the body is beginning to freeze, suddenly it registers the sensation as growing comfortably warm. Or how you can stub your toe and gain this strange sensation in your teeth. Or how you can scrape nail and feel it in your mouth. Or even for example, someone not used to sexual pleasure and how the body reacts to it almost in a sharp stinging sensation even, not attempting to be crude at all. There are even cases in which people are born without the ability to feel pain at all. Such cases are extremely dangerous, for a person could break a bone, cut themselves, and never know of such an injury.

Also there have been cases where someone is born in the conditon of Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute. Most of those cases eventually die, their brain activity ceases because of the lack of sensations and recognizes the person as dead.

Or they're the cases of shock, where the trauma of an event is so high, or perhaps adrenline is so high that a person is unable to feel the extent of their injuries, such can occur from a car accident, a fall, the list goes on and on. In most cases of shock, a person usually shakes and feels cold, but they don't seem to feel extremely bad injuries. There are some cases where people end up being horribly injured and not know it till later, usually this occurs in cases of impalement or gun wounds.

I've focused mainly on physical sensations, now I would like to bring up spiritual sensations. This happens to be an area I do not have much personal experience in but it intrigues me greatly. In Shamanic practices, usually a medicine man or woman of a tribe, they would pursue astral journies to gain wisdom. They would accomplish this process by overwhelming the senses. They would do this by chanting, drumming, burning herbs or incense, fasting, or perhaps other extreme methods I have not heard of. I haven't really heard any cases of them using extreme pain to gain enlightenment, but I have heard cases of painful rituals used to progress into adulthood. In some practices, I have heard of cases of people being suspended from hooks or impaled in which they gain a state of nirvana and serenity. I do not know if Shamans also experimented with this practice, that will require more research, but I will keep you informed on my journey to discovery.

Returning to Shamans, it was said that by overwhelming the senses by whatever method, they would be able to project their spirits from their bodies into other planes. I had heard rumor that this was very dangerous, as it left the body unprotected to be possessed by other spirits and sever the ability to return to the body. I have heard otherwise that it was impossible to do so, as even though projecting into other planes, the spirit or soul was still connected to the host body by a thin strand that prevented this.

The only experience I have had with an attempt of astral project still baffles me to this day. I'll share the story with you now.

It was during a time in my life where I was full of unrest, very chaotic in thought, stressed beyond belief, but I was extreme spiritual at the time. Even though I did not know the right path, I was praying constantly and seeking inner peace even then. This was during a day when I was extremely frustrated, I felt at a complete loss and I was unable to truthly understand anything. I laid down on my bed and closed my eyes, fully closed, no intent to sleep at all. I merely allowed myself to drift. This was the only time I can say I ever fully succeeded at complete mediation. As I laid there, I let the room fade from me, I let the sensation of my body fade from me. It got to the point where I could no longer even feel the bed underneath me, nor even move my fingers or legs to even feel them. I kept urging myself to wander, to escape my confinement and allow myself to go. I was allowing myself to drift further and further away, visualizing my spirit escaping my body and heading towards the forest, it was only when I touched the wall of my room, attempting to leave my home that my body jerked with alarm. My eyes opened and I was staring at the ceiling, and promptly fell about 2 feet downwards onto my bed. This absolutely terrified me, had I been standing up? My heart was pounding and I could find no explaination.

 To this day I still have no idea what really happened, I can only assume I was starting the path to a successful astral projection. If anyone can come up with an explaination as to what happened, I would be more than happy to hear it. Since that day, I became fascinated with the fact that the shamans were stated to have a safe method to achieve astral projection, no matter how scary it seemed to me, it also intrigued me because of this experience.

The senses are part of our daily lives, but it is amazing how we tend to forget them. For just a moment, imagine not being able to see, closing your eyes to the room and not allowed to even peek...ever. To lose the sensation of color, the sight of trees, never again to see the face of your loved one. Perhaps to lose all hearing, to never again be able to hear a spoken word, to never hear the wind, the rain, to never hear music ever again...Imagine for a  moment never being able to speak again. To never tell someone 'good morning!' To tell the people you cherish and care for the most that you love them. To never be able to ask for a glass of water, to never offer a word of comfort when needed. Visualize not having hands, not being able to touch the faces of your love ones, to never feel the dirt beneath your fingers, to not grasp a glass, to not be able to turn the pages of a book. Imagine never smelling the scent of roses, the smell of freshly cooked bread, the warming scent of your mother, father, a lover. Now...imagine never having the sense of spirit. To feel nothing when speaking to the Goddess. To never feel a twinge of intuition, to never perhaps feel emotions swirling in a room. It is little reminders like that, that remind me of how blessed we all truly are. Perhaps you know someone or you yourself even lack a sensation. Cherish what you have.

When I was three years old, the doctors informed my mother that since the nerve in the back of my eyes were shaped a certain way it was almost a sure fact that I would go blind. Every six months since THREE I would have to see a doctor, they would put drops in my eyes, and examine them. It slowly became a routine thing. As the years went on, my vision steadily grew worse. It finally came to the point at sixteen that if I knocked my glasses of my nightstand I would have to go get someone to help me find them on the floor. Even if my glasses were bright red frames, it was impossible to see them on my blue floor. It was at that year the doctors finally told me I had nothing more to fear. They had determined it was merely the shape of the nerve in my eyes, a uniqueness, and that I would not go blind. For years it had been a constant worry and it was a little reminder to cherish the sight I have for it could be so much worse. I see people who grow upset when their perfect vision alters slightly and they begin to need glasses. I can understand that it can be upsetting, but truly, I hope you cherish the sight you still possess, for there is also a risk some may lose it, and some are even born without it.

Currently to this day I can still see, I will lose my glasses if I drop them, so I cherish them. I value the fact that I can read the words I am writing, I adore seeing the faces of my loved ones, and I cherish the fact that I can see the sights of the world we live in. As it is though, I do lack one sensation almost completely. That would be the sense of smell. I can barely smell at all. I can almost smell no flowers, my incense has to be extremely strong to the point that my mate even complains sometimes. I cannot smell food cooking. The few scents I can smell and find pleasant are usually the smells that are overpowering and most hate -the smell of skunks and manure. But I cherish those scents because exactly that, they are the ONLY smells I can truly smell without straining really hard or sticking my nose directly in something.

So as strange as it is, I want you to cherish even the smallest of sensation. You never know that what you may be able to experience someone can only dream of feeling. Take the day and truly FEEL.

Not matter what your beliefs, I hope you enjoyed reading as always.

Blessed be.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dream Interpretations

Mood: LOTS of balancing and calming incense. I feel like I'm fighting off an extremely large amount of negative energy. I want to walk out of the room away from myself, but I seem to be stuck, how inconvenient.

My topic for today was spurned on by what I experienced this morning; A nightmare. Not the most pleasant of things, but even then, I believe nightmares are learning experiences, perhaps challenges to overcome. I've often heard that nightmares are our inner demons, our fears, insecurities, and uncertainities from our subconscious coming to...haunt us? More like test us is what I believe.
I've also heard the belief that dreams are gateways to other realms, different planes of existance, perhaps even different planets. Do our dreams transport us to another time or place? Do they send us spiraling into the Weird? Maybe we are observing the lives of another? Watching millions of people in their own waking worlds, and experiencing their day to day life -no matter how odd.

Another belief is that dreams are memories from past lives. Little glimpses of what used to be before reencarnation. If that is the case, in one past life I was an evil conquering king, traveling to other planets and enslaving to my ways, able to travel through the past and foresee the future, so strong that I was able to pluck the moon from the sky and hold it within my palm before sending to back to the stars.

No matter what your beliefs are, today I'm going to be focusing on dream interpretation. Now there are countless books out there on this subject. This is a topic that there is no right or wrong answer. The best advice I received was to find a book you like and stick to it. The book I received as a gift was 1001 Dreams by Jack Altman. The book focuses on two different views: The Freudian view and The Jungian view.

In simple terms, here is each view:

The Freudian view - Established by Sigmund Freud, he believed that dreams were in a sense, wish-fulfilment. He believed that in dreams we acted out desires that were in our subconscious mind.

The Jungian view - Established by Carl Gustav Jung, he believed that most dreams shared collective similiarities, based on myth and culture to which he formed archetypes based on the figures that seemed to be reoccuring in some way, shape, or form in dreams. Such as "The Old Wise Man", "The Trickster", "The Great Mother", and so forth.

This book is exactly what it says, 1001 different symbols that are interpretated in both views. A bit of a different twist for today, I'm going to interpretate my nightmare from this morning using both views.

The nightmare was this: I was with my mate, we had moved back to the old state I lived in, to my sister's old home. My poor laptop which has been breaking for awhile finally decided it had had enough and was done for good. My mate and I were shopping for a computer which appeared to be in a shop in the house, to look into getting me a desktop computer.  I noticed it was several years advanced in the future, virtual reality now existed, and we were expected to wear these clear head gear, it sealed around the face and the image was projected in the air in front of us. These were being used so that I would be able to see a 3-D complete model of my computer and the software as it was being made, it was for ultimate customation. I recall looking at the red computer screen and choosing it. Well as my mate and the sales man began to talk I noticed something alarming, I couldn't breath. There was no air getting in through my head gear. I began to panic so I tried to speak, I could get no words out, I didn't have enough air to do so. I ripped off the mask, and everything went haywire. Everyone was demanding I put the mask back on, but suddenly I noticed I couldn't even hear them. The silence was deafening and drove my terror higher. I noticed that without my mask, even though I could not see it, the room was filled with water. It looked like air was in the room, but with each breath, I was drowning. My mate had disappeared from the dream at this point. I was blind with panic at the loss of air and the loss of hearing. There was a door that lead to an alley way. I ripped it open only to see a man running for the door. For some reason that terrified me more. I slammed the door shut and had to force him out so he could not get in. It was then that the sense of sound returned. The man hit the door with an extremely loud thud and began to scream. The scream was so intense it sounded like some sort of monster was flaying the skin from his bones. I let go of the door and turned away, racing back to the other room, I could hear the door fly open behind me and the agonized screams of the man grew louder. As the screams came upon me, I lowered my gaze to my arms. I repeated to myself 'This is a dream. This is a dream. My mate is going to call me and wake me up. This is all a dream.' I then started pinching my arms, attempting to wake myself up. I could not feel the pinches. Frantic with fear, I started scratching my nails down my arms, no effect or feeling even though I saw my nails cut myself. I finally managed to turn my head, in my dream and real life apparently, and I opened my eyes to the pillows.

Quite eventful for a dream, but it was a bit tame to some of the ones I've had. Usually I have an issue figuring out if my dreams are actually reality, they seem to blend together in most cases. I find it rare and an accomplishment that I managed to recognize this as a dream and succeed in pulling myself out of it.

I did shed a few tears over this dream, mostly from the fear, but I figure as I intrepretate it, it will purge it from me, end my fear of it, and give me a greater understanding of what is behind this dream.

The dream book I have is split up into several catagories; Our Inner Lives, The Self and Others, Activities and States of Being, Transactions, Environments, and Imaginings.

There are dozens of subcatagories but I won't list all of those. What I am going to do is pull out key symbols from my dream, put them in a list, and look up the meanings of each one. By the end I should be able to piece together a greater meaning of my dream.

All these definitions are directly out of the book, 1001 Dreams by Jack Altman.
1. My mate
2. An old home I used to live in - A symbol of the self, the house oftens more specifically reprsents the body. An abandoned house in disrepair may indicate the dreamer's neglect of physical or emotional health. At a mental level, a house all shuttered up can suggest that we are blind to what is going on in the outside world.
3. The new red computer screen -The computer may have replaced the typewriter, but the keyboard remains a Freudian symbol of female sexuality, as do the slots for disks, CD-ROMs and DVDs. Jungians focus on the screen as projection of humankind's knowledge dispatched through cyberspace.
4. Wearing a mask(head gear) -Relates to the appearance we present not only to others but also to ourselves, we often cannot remove the mask or are forced by others to keep it on. this may be a warning that we are at risking of losing all contact with our true self.
5. Drowning -suggests floundering in  the depths of the unconscious. As with dreams of pursuit, we may experience uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that we are not yet to bring to the surface. In extreme cases the feeling of being unable to get back to the surface may indicate the dreamer's fear of the onset of mental illness. At the very least the dream alerts us that some areas of our unconscious needs to be examined.
6. A doorway that shut but opens regardless of my attempt to close it - While Freud and Jung agreed that a house symbolized the body, they differed about the house's doors. For Freud, doors are dream images of a body's orifices. For Jung, doors express the dreamer's relationship to their inner and outer worlds. A door opening outwards, according to the Jungian view, suggests the dreamer's need to open up to others. Opening inward, the door could mean a wish to explore the inner self.
7. The monsterous force attacking the man -Not knowing who or what is out there the darkness is perhaps the most universal of all anixety dreams. It is experienced particularly frequently among people embarking on a course of psychoanalysis or any other therapy that will reveal hitherto unexamined areas of the self, Like conscious terror of the dark, such dreams may be rooted in anicent fears acquired when our primoridal ancestors were prey to large, nocturnal carnivores.
8. Being chased -Aspects of our personality which are repressed but demand to be dealt with.
9. Scratching self- seeing yourself as a victim of self-inflicted violence suggests guilt and self-blame, perhaps related to the death of a loved one or the break up of a relationship, which we feel -probably wrongly- may have been avoidable if only we had acted sooner. Such dream-violence may also express low self-esteem, even self-loathing, manifested in unconscious destructive urges that we should deal with before they erupt into our waking lives.
10. Blood -A symbol of life itself, but if it suddenly pours out or appears as a stain it may reprsent violent emotions or excessive self-sacrifice: are we exerting an effort, perhaps in a relationship, that is not truly appreciated? Blood draining away may represent the loss of life or consequent bereavements. appearing with a female figure, the blood may be that of menstruation and in male dreamers may point to a fear of women's physicality or even to feelings of sexual aggression.

Some of those intrepretations were really interesting to me. What I took this dream to be was nothing I expected. A few items I couldn't find, like the meaning of fear, or the loss of sensations, it seems a bit unclear what it could be, or even my mate. I will put my intrepretation with all those clues and with a twist of my own.

My mate is someone who I have always viewed as my protector, once he and I started living together most of my nightmares had vanished, so I will assume him as a protective symbol in this dream. The old home is a place where I grew up, a place I was harshly sheltered and am trying to escape from. The computer represents the fact that I have been so heavily delving into internet research, blogging, just connecting and trying to learn more about different beliefs. The mask or head gear in my dream I view as societies view of trying to get me to basically just conform to their rules and hide my true self. I see that the fact that I was able to remove the mask as my success in speaking on who I am and showing my inner beliefs. A lot of the notes in my dream are very true to my current situation, as I just recently moved to a new town, a new state, far away from my friends and family. I have been pouring a lot of my efforts into making this holiday season special for my mate's family and friends. The blood, my self-sacrifice and my efforts into pouring all my resources to consider everyone I possibly can. I'm a bit of a recluse, so I find it difficult to speak to others and open up, which protrays the doorway, fearing others will enter my inner self with their views (the monsterous force). The one thing I cannot place is the man trying to enter the door and the screaming. But a lot of this reflects on a more personal level about my fears of being in a new place, my self-esteem, and such. To me, this dream speaks very loudly to me.

I hope this interested you, if you would like, in the comments or my inbox please share a dream or nightmare you would like me to intrepretate for you I would be more than happy to. I like the chance to make something unclear or even terrifying make sense and maybe it will cause you to do a little soul searching of your own. I know I am.

It's been a pleasure as always.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spiritual Guides

 Mood: Odd to say, my incense is being currently used in an attempt to counteract it. I'm burning some traditional Japanese incense, Kyo-nishiki or known as Kyoto Autumn Leaves. This scent is intended for reflection, inspiration, energy, and insight. I definitely need a pick me up this morning, plenty of incense, cocoa, and zen music for me today before I attempt my Yule ritual.


Today, my topic is going to be Spiritual Guides. Many tribes and religions throughout the world believe in these guides.

A guide is exactly that - a GUIDE. It is not a deity you need to give yourself over to, it is not a being who's will is law over you. In my eyes, a spirit guide is merely a friend from a spiritual plane who is here to watch you, urge you towards the path you are seeking, to aid you and hold you up in your times of trouble. I am aware that my beliefs may vary from another, so keep what YOU believe, I am merely offering my view.

Many people view spirit guides are angels or divine beings, or any symbolic creature that to them, is what pertains to protection or guidance.

The first time I had ever heard of a Spirit guide was in the Native American beliefs, a common aspect of shamans or shamanic religions. I only had a vague bit of information to run on. A spirit guide was an animal, everyone had a different one, that guided them through their life. The animal was said to be an embodiment of an ancestor. In most tribes, it was at the age of adulthood that they would discover what their guide was, usually paying homage to them through sacrifice and amulets to help focus their guidance. The adorable movie Brother Bear, is very good at showing a glimpse of spirit guides and a certain view of them.

To me, to discover your spirit guide, you are to look inside yourself. Strip away all things that make you who you are. Take away your birth name, take away the material things you have, your appearance, all the things in life that we are so attached to and look at yourself. Look at those primal and basic needs that all of us have but we have made ourselves so refined from. Imagine yourself in the wildness, no towns, no noise, no humans, nothing but your survival instincts and nature. What animal do you feel calls to you? What can you visualize yourself running through the forest as? A strong wolf? Protecting your pack and family, loyal, fierce, infinitely beautiful? An eagle, soaring above the skies, not bound to the land, caring for your young, a vicious and noble mother?

Another way I've noticed is to focus on the experiences you've had, some will view them as spiritual, some will not. If there is a constant occurrence of a specific animal in your life, take in consideration the connection you have to it, your feelings when you gaze upon it. I'm sure there are other more accurate ways to discover your spirit guide, but these are the ones I stand by.

I'd like to share a story with you all, a story of personal growth and a step towards a better life.
I had recently suffered a bad relationship, it had ended and there were hurt feelings still there. I was at the point where I was ready to move on though. I was ready to forgive, forget, and to expel the hurt feelings from me. This was even before I had stumbled upon anything about Pagans or Wicca. I had done a ritual of my own. My intent was that since I was planning on moving away, starting a new and deep relationship with another, that those hurt feelings could not come with me. It was not just the hurt feelings of the old relationship, it was the hurts of others from where I had grown up, the bullying, the hardship I had gone through with my family, I intended to leave all the hurts behind, take the memories, but not the emotional attachments. I would no longer allow it to hurt me.

There was a small creek not even a five minute walk from my home, I grew up in a rural area in Pennsylvania. I gathered what I needed, which was myself and a ring that was given to me by someone who had hurt me. I took the ring and headed to the creek. When I arrived at the creek, I went to a place I referred to as my 'spot'. It was a natural made bench of rock, a tree had it's branches hanging over the small slab of stone, hiding it from prying eyes and making it a warm niche. I had come there several times before to mediate. Before the stone slab the creek ran in front of me. I stood before the water, the ring held tightly in my fist and closed my eyes. I then thought of all the pain, the hurts, the memories, everything I wished to purge myself and leave behind. I did this for several minutes...and then I threw the ring as hard as I could into the water, banishing it from me, along with the thoughts.

I knelt down and washed my hands in the water, it was autumn, it was cold, but it felt cleansing and purifying to me. I left the water on my hands to dry as I left, feeling the chill, but knowing that it was refreshing me. The path back to my home was a long hike, I preferred to take the forest path, a very steep climb upwards, over logs, rocks, it would be a task in itself to climb, but I wanted it. This would be proof to myself. The ring was now in the creek, this climb would represent to me my journey to my new life, it would show the trials I would overcome before finally reaching my goal at the top.
Well, the climb was harder than I thought. I struggled, fell several times, and by the time I got half way I was extremely discouraged. I stopped in the middle of the path and stared at how much more I had to climb. I didn't know if I could do it and I was extremely upset.

It was then I heard a rustle in the bushes nearby me. A beautiful small orange, brown, and white muzzled fox appeared next to me. I was so close to the creature I could have reached out and touched him (I'll assume it was a male). The fox and I locked gazes, it never occurred in my head to be afraid, that there was a wild animal with very sharp claws and fangs inches from me. It felt like the fox and I stared at each other forever. My distress that I had been feeling quieted, even the forest seemed to grow quiet. I was calm, at peace. I felt a connection. He knew me, and I knew him. The fox then broke his gaze with me and raced away, up the path I was going. He stopped once, half way to the top and looked back, to see if I was following him. He then disappeared into the forest without another glance once he saw my gaze.

I was awe-struck. It was the only way I could describe it. I didn't know what to make of it, so I began with new energy up the rest of my path. The climb was still just as steep and difficult, but I had confidence I could do it, the fox had shown me the way. Almost as if he was saying 'come on, don't give up, you are almost there.' Before I knew it I was at the top of the path. I glanced back once into the forest, seeking out my furry friend, but he was no where to be found. I headed home with my head held high, peace in my heart, and a spring in my step. I was ready for whatever chapter of my life was opening. All the hurts had vanished in the bottom of the creek and sunk away from my thoughts, I made the climb with a little helping hand.

Since then, foxes have always been endeared to my heart. That incident made me believe that fox was my spirit guide. When I take that event in account, when I strip away all my thoughts and head into the primal side of myself, I see myself running through the forest, orange fur and all.

I hope that this as opened a door to maybe finding your own spirit guide or given you something to think on, or merely you just enjoy the interesting story.

Blessed Be.

Tis the Season, to not forget.

Tis the season! It's a term of phrase I hear all the time during the winter months, but tis the seasons to be what? Jolly? Filled with merriment? To be giving? I find that as the days wind down towards any holiday; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, etc. That people slowly seem to stop being jolly...stop being so merry...stop being at all...cheerful. Why is this the case?

As simple as that. There is usually so much to be accomplished during this season. Shopping, holiday cards, baking, cooking, wrapping gifts, visiting friends and family, decorating, and keeping a watchful eye on how much you are hurting with finances. As people get so consumed with how BUSY they will be, with how MUCH they have to do, and how LITTLE time they have to do it, they tend to forget what this season is truly about.

I'll admit, the season can get overwhelming, I've even shed a tear or two in frustration but then it hit me and I stepped back. Stress has ruined every holiday that I can ever remember, from birthdays, to Halloween, or Christmas (when I would spend it with my family), even Thanksgiving, on a day then we are supposed to be thankful and appreciate what we had, all I would ever see was foul attitudes, ungratefulness, and snapping voices. Days that were meant to enrich our family and friends were turned into terrible memories of fights and unhappiness. I realized that by stressing myself out, there was a risk of repeating history.

I took it upon myself to encourage not only myself, my mate, and my friends, but all of you to try to remember not to stress. The holidays are hectic, but don't forget what they truly are. No matter what faith, what you celebrate, remember, a celebration is a happy time. A time to make new memories. Not to say, I got the best gift, we had the most prepared feast, opened the most presents, but instead to be able to say....I got nothing, but I had the best MEMORY of all.

Don't forget to give, don't forget to love, don't forget to be thankful, and don't forget to relax and have a good time. There are things more important than worrying if you are ten minutes late to dinner, bought the wrong present, or even weren't able to give someone a present. Give them more than something made, store bought, or last minute.

Give them yourself, in your best spirit.

Happy Holidays, and Blessed Be.