It’s Magick…

The Norns of Norse legend and the Moirai of Greek legends spun and wove the threads of human lives. In some native and early cultures, the weavings of threads to make cloth, rugs, and other artifacts were often equated with the weaving of lives and the paths that lives followed. Other societies and cultures think that a type of magick can be done through the art of needlecraft (stitchery, sewing, knitting, and the like). Knotting, braiding, and weaving can supposedly render a man impotent, bind his affections to you, or keep him from wandering from your side.

While we all like to think of ourselves as more sophisticated nowadays, the reality is that these legends, stories, and beliefs all hold some truth. Objects imbued with the emotions of the person who created them can (and do) affect the recipient.

As I’ve said before, thoughts are energy, and those thoughts coupled with the intentions of the person thinking them can become embedded into a focus object—sometimes without you even realizing it. If, for instance, you feel obligated to create a gift for someone, yet you are angry with this person or with something that they have done, that anger can leach into the gift you are creating. The recipient of the gift may then find themselves reluctant to use or wear the gift, or perhaps they just become uncomfortable every time they touch the object. This is because they are picking up the emotions that you “magicked” into the object.

Or perhaps you focus love and warmth into the object. This, then will most likely cause the object to become the recipient’s favorite, even if they don’t know why. However, even if they don’t recognize the “magick”, every time they hold it or wear it, they will feel the love imbued throughout it.

The more you handle something, the more likely it is that it will become imbued with your emotions, whether you focus a particular emotion at the object or not. However, by focusing a specific emotion at something, you not only ensure that that specific emotion becomes embedded throughout the object, but you also ensure that the emotion will last a long time.

The emotions embedded within objects—emotions such as infatuation, unconditional love (such as the love of creating the object or the love for all creatures), hate, or sorrow—can be so strong that they make the recipient feel smothered, accepted or happy, disgusted or fearful, or even despondent.

Most people create this type of magick without even realizing what they’re doing, just as many people tend to ignore the feelings they get from objects, putting it down to their own moods, their feelings towards the gift giver (if it was a gift), or something about the object’s design or materials. However, if they were true to themselves, they would recognize that many times their initial reaction to an object comes from a more internal place, a place that is recognizing the magick for what it is.

The most common type of magicked items are, of course, those that are handmade, the knitted sweater, the crocheted afghan, the quilt, the woven or hooked rug, or the embroidered hanging. That’s because these types of objects take time to create, and it gives the creator time to focus their intentions and their emotions into their work, whether that intention and emotion be positive or negative.

So, the next time you pick up a handmade quilt or sweater, close your eyes, and take a moment to see what your emotional response is to the object. Don’t think about how it looks or fits (if it’s wearable), or what colors were used in it, but “listen” to the object itself. Does it make you feel warm and comfortable, or cold and uncomfortable (as if you can’t put it down quickly enough). Do you feel as if you want to have it around all the time, or do you want to get as far away from it as possible?

Your responses to this object aren’t crazy or neurotic, they’re normal. It’s the same way you would respond were it a person standing there focusing warmth and love or cold dislike at you. Emotions are strong energies, and because of that, they can remain behind. They become like an invisible stain that permeates all types of materials—even glass, metal, and stone. But unlike stains, they never solidify completely. So, when you touch something, part of that stain rubs off onto you, and if you let yourself, you will notice it.

This staining, this magick, can be subtle especially if the maker of the object wasn’t really focusing on a specific emotion, or it can be very strong. However, either way, you should always be aware of what you are receiving or buying, because whether the magick was intentional or not, the magick exists.

Note: Magick indicates a paranormal ability to manipulate energy, as opposed to Magic, which is another term for prestidigitation.

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Being Human

“You are not a human being having a spiritual experience; you are a spiritual being having a human experience.” Pierre de Chardin

If we could just remember that, I think we all would have more compassion, more understanding, and more acceptance of ourselves and each other and the things we do.

I know I struggle with that every day, especially on those days that my impatience/intolerance rears up and starts wreaking havoc. If there’s one thing I have found, is that my Achilles heel (my impatience) is a great humbler. When I start to think of myself as “more aware” than the next guy, of having evolved further (spiritually), that ol’ impatience kicks in and I realize that I’m no better than anyone else.

I’m still learning; I’m still human. That’s the part that is hard to forgive ourselves for—the fact that we are human. Not that it should be used as an excuse to do harm, by any means, but we aren’t saints; we aren’t super beings. We’re human beings, with human emotions, and human foibles. We make mistakes; we stumble and fall, but we keep on trying.

So many people spend time striving to be more spiritual (raise your hands ), instead of striving to be more human. We’re already spiritual—it’s how we started out and how we’ll eventually end up. So, why do we spend our human lifetimes striving to attain that which we will automatically have once we leave the physical plane? Why can’t we enjoy what we have (physicality) while we have it?

I’ll admit it; I’m as guilty as the rest of you. Instead of enjoying the life of physicality, I struggle against it, trying hard to be a being of spirit rather than a physical being. I give myself all sorts of reasons, too—life (meaning physical life) is too painful; it’s too mundane; it’s too easy to see through the “games”, the “man-made dramas”, that entangle most everyone else.

Yet, the whole purpose of physical life is to experience this world. That doesn’t mean I have to participate in every “game” and “drama”, but it does mean that I need to understand them. And if I really understood them, if I really could see “through” them, then why is it I can’t always keep myself from flying off the handle in a fit of impatience-filled temper? Is it because, just perhaps, that I’m still having some human experiences of my own?

Maybe I’m not so adept at seeing through all the “games” and the “dramas” as I’d like to think. Why else would I continually find myself in those situations just guaranteed to push my impatience into overdrive? Situations like the need-to-be-someplace-but-can’t-get-the-traffic-to-move situation, or the just-need-one-thing-but-there’s-a-mile-long-line-at-checkout, and similar situations.

I’ve always said, that if you find yourself in similar situations over and over again, it’s because there’s something you’re just not getting, there’s something you’re not accepting or understanding. Based on my own situations, maybe, this spiritual being has a few more lessons to learn and few more experiences to have as a physical being.

The experiences of patience and impatience may seem trivial, but trust me when I tell you that words hurt.  And when impatience is running loose, the words and emotions that spill out can (and do) push everyone near you away. I’m working to recognize the beast so that I can accept it and tame it, but every time I think I have all facets of it catalogued, it sprouts a new set of horns, another tail, or larger set of fangs.

So, I will continue to be a spiritual being having the human experience of pursuing my beastly impatience, and maybe, someday, I will capture the beast long enough to recognize it the next time it shows up.

Keeping in Touch

I hastily put the finishing touches to the house, then scrambled to put the finishing touches on me and my hubby. Our friends would be here any moment and I so wanted things to be right. We hadn’t seen them in over 20 years, so the anxiety and expectations were high. It wasn’t that we hadn’t stayed in touch, we had—we emailed several times a week and there was the occasional phone call, but we hadn’t actually seen them since my hubby and I moved out of the state so many years ago.

As I took one last swipe at the kitchen counter, I thought back to one of our regular get-togethers years ago. We’d get together at least once a week and visit. We’d talk for hours about anything and everything. All topics were fair game, even politics and religion. But our favorite topics were science, philosophy, art, literature, and movies. We’d start out at lunch, and usually wouldn’t break up until early the next morning. We’d get so wound up debating and talking and discussing that we just never noticed the time fly by. And the stimulation from the conversations kept us wide awake into the wee hours without the need of caffeine. We’d bop from topic to topic, with barely a break—it was glorious.

The doorbell’s ringing snapped me out of my reverie. They were here. Hugs and how are you’s were exchanged, and we started on a quick tour of the house. When no comments were forthcoming, especially in regards to my husband’s drawings, I put it off to travel weariness. After all, they had just come from the airport, and through several time zones.

Back in the living room, the silence grew even more deafening. I threw out one topic and then another. The responses, when there were any, were short and sounded like quotes that they might have read somewhere rather than their own opinions or thoughts. I asked her about her job—art student joins graphic design company. During our emails back and forth, she had said the job was only to help them out financially, and that as soon as the bills were caught up, she’d go back to her studio and work towards having a show of her own. However, listening to her talk now, I realized that the studio was a dream. She loved her job. She was now some executive something-or-other that rarely did any drawing anymore (no time, she said).

As for him, well, he couldn’t talk about what he was doing—theoretical physicist working at one of the big accelerator labs. Everything was “top secret” all of sudden. Okay, but what about some of the other published theories, like the latest discoveries in the world of cosmology? Surely, he had opinions or comments about those.

A shake of the head and the conversation stalled again. During the silence, I glanced at my husband and he at me, and I knew we were both wondering what had happened to the friends we thought we knew? The friends we had spent hours with discussing everything under the sun and then some? Where had they gone?

Obviously, the emails hid more than they revealed, because all the time we were “communicating” with each other, we had totally lost touch with each other. The emails had given me the illusion of closeness while making it too easy for me to retain that mental model of my friends from 20 years ago. If we had actually been visiting with on another or maybe even speaking to each other on the phone more, I don’t think we would have found it so easy to fool ourselves. I think we would have realized years ago just how far apart we had grown. Instead, we waited 20 years, and by then the gap was a canyon, a canyon too wide to bridge.

The afternoon ended early, much to the relief of all involved, I think. But it did teach me one thing—emails hide more than they reveal, and personal contact is a must if a relationship is going to survive.

Listen to the Love

We all stumble down our life paths, making our choices, and living our lives. But how many times do we agonize over those choices? How many times do we tie ourselves up in knots, unable to eat, sleep, or function, as we try to decide what choice to make, and sometimes it’s over the simplest things. Should I change jobs? Should I go out with Sally/John? Should I eat this donut? Should I send this note or not?

What if you knew that no matter what action you chose, what path you selected, that you would still end up where you want to be? Would that help relieve any of that agonizing?

It’s true. If we would spend half as much time listening to our own inner voices, as we do agonizing over what we think we should do or not do, we would find that we really do know what’s best for us, we really do know what choice to make. It’s only when ego (fear) starts pushing or pulling and trying to lead the way that we get bogged down.

How many times have you thought, “Wow, everything is going so well; no problems, no hassles.” And then a month later, you start agonizing over some choice in your life. Well, that’s an indication that you’ve stopped listening to yourself and are letting ego (a rabid fear mongerer) fill you with doubts.

You see, ego’s whole motivation is fear. It just loves to cause doubt and anguish. It’s like that little devil on your shoulder just itching to fill you with self-doubt. It may not seem like it, but if you truly listen to what ego is whispering you’ll see the truth. Maybe you have one little run in at work, something that on any normal day you would simply accept and move on. But here comes ego making you feel undervalued, whispering in your ear that they don’t appreciate you, that maybe you’d do better somewhere else. But deep inside you really like your job and the people you work with, so you start to agonize. Should you look for another job, should you just stay where you are; do they appreciate you or don’t they?

Always conflict, always agony…that’s what ego does for you.. Ego loves to find your weak spots, your vulnerabilities, and then feed into your fears. It looks for and seeks out that niggling bit of self-doubt, that fear, such as your fear of being alone, of never finding someone to spend your life with. So, ego starts whispering that you should probably accept the proposal from Sally/John or you’ll always be alone. But, again, deep inside you know you don’t really like Sally/John and trying to build a life with them will be unfair to them and to you. So, while your soul (essence) tries to talk you into doing what your heart wants, ego plays on your fears.

So, what happens if you give into the fear, if you listen to ego and you go ahead and change jobs, or you go ahead and marry Sally/John? Well, you may become quickly disenchanted with the new job and wish you hadn’t left, or you may actually find you like it. The same with the proposal from Sally/John. Who’s to say? Although, doing something out of fear rarely finds you on a happy path, you can always make other choices that alter the unhappy path and turn it into a happy one. Making a choice is never a mistake…a learning experience, sure, but never a mistake.

But it’s the agonizing and the way we torture ourselves that ego loves. So, if you find yourself agonizing over some decision, tying yourself up in knots over something, put a muzzle on ego and try to listen to the softer voice of essence. See what advice essence has to offer. It’s not always easy to shut ego up—it just loves to hear itself talk—but if you try you can tune it out. If you really try, you can hear essence’s voice speaking to you.

Just listen to the quiet voice of affection, the soft echoes of encouragement, and the strong feelings of self-assurance—that’s the voice of essence talking, that’s the voice of love.

Being yourself

I saw a Maxine comic the other day, and it reminded me just how liberating it is to be getting older. I’ve always spoken my mind (even when I shouldn’t have), but as I’ve grown older, I’ve found it’s become that much easier to let go of the fears that always held me back. It’s much easier now to be the person I really want to be, whether other people approve or not.

I’m not afraid of being “the right kind of person” or of not doing “the right thing”. I’ve come to realize that no matter who I am, I’m the right person. And, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else (physically, emotionally, or mentally) and what I’m doing makes me happy, then that’s the right thing. 

I’m not saying that I’m going out of my way to be offensive or hurtful—I do care about other people’s feelings—but I’m no longer willing to be or pretend to be what I’m not (not that I ever really did). However, now, more than ever, I have come to recognize that allowing myself to be who I truly am is what makes me happy. And if I’m not happy, then why bother? Life is too short to spend it being miserable, so I choose Happy.

Yet, it still amazes me how many people aren’t happy because they are living a false life. Most people go through their whole lives being what they think other people want them to be. However, there is nothing so tiring as maintaining a false face, and tired people are not happy people. Just think about it…just imagine how tiring it must be to go through your life pretending that you enjoy being a stay-at-home mom, trucking 3 kids to and from their various activities, when what you really crave is to be is a dress designer. Or maybe you’ve got a fancy office on Madison Avenue working in advertisement and what you really crave is to be a stay-at-home mom. But instead, you each continue to plug away at your lives, telling yourselves you’re happy and if not having fun, at least making a life for yourselves.

But what’s wrong with telling yourself the truth, out loud instead of in those little whispers that we all mumble to ourselves as we get ready to face another day. Tell yourself to be happy. Tell yourself to stop pretending. If you don’t want to be the person you are, then let yourself change. Drop the façade. Drop the pretense.

Maybe you can’t just stop being a mom, but it doesn’t mean you have to be something you’re not. You can still design and make dresses, you might even build a career out of it (if that’s what you want). But it only works if you’re honest with yourself. You have to recognize the lies that you’ve been telling yourself. You have to recognize whether you’re trying to make yourself into something you’re not and why. Is it to please your family, your lover/spouse, your boss, your church, your friends, or someone else? What about pleasing yourself?

Be like Maxine, and know that your opinion counts. Who you are matters. And it’s much easier to be happy when you’re not so worn down pretending to be someone you’re not.

Utopia

I have a friend who every once in a while gets disgusted with the day-to-day stresses, and the news filled with violence and starts on her tirade of wanting to find a place where the people act more like grown ups than little kids.

A utopia, she says, that’s what she wants. A place where people don’t kill each other because their politics or religions differ, or because they want the shoes that someone else is wearing, or just because they feel like it. A place where everyone lives happily ever after, with no strife, no stress, and no worries.

I also abhor violence, and wish that we could all live in a world where everything is clean, beautiful, and peaceful; where there’s no illness, no war, and no discord (sort of a Disneyworld on steroids). But I also know that while it’s a great fantasy, it’s not really the point of our being here.

Everyone is here because they want to learn, they want to experience all the things that physical life can be. Earth is like a giant school, filled with students from every level, and let’s face it, schools are tumultuous, especially when everyone is learning different lessons at different speeds. That means there’s going to be discord—but that’s okay, because without discord, there’s no change, and without change, there’s no growth. There’s also going to be stress and strife, after all, you’re talking human beings here.

In this vast school of ours, you have grammar school kids mixed with middle school kids, mixed with high school and college kids, and along the way you’ll probably also encounter one or two student teachers.

The youngest kids aren’t really much trouble. They pretty much keep to themselves, exploring the surroundings, and getting used to the whole concept of being here and figuring out what is expected of them.

Then there are the toddlers. They squabble and fight, bicker, and act like your typical kid. It’s all “mine, mine, mine” and “no, no, no”, and teaching them to share and to resolve issues without hitting or biting becomes a full-time responsibility for some of the older students. Some of your best soldiers are toddlers. And some of your worst political leaders are also toddlers.

The middle school students have replaced the overt bad behaviors of the little kids with more subtle, manipulative behaviors. They’ve figured out how to subvert the rules, manipulate the players of whatever game they’re participating in, and find the loopholes. They know how to get their own way, even if it takes years. It’s like walking into a house to find the lamp broken, the plants knocked over, and while you’re focusing on that, you don’t even realize that someone has taken all the money you had hidden in the cookie jar. (Sound like most of the politicians and bankers you know?)

The high schoolers are enamored of the stuff they can get on the physical plane—beauty, power, money, fame—these become their goals, and they will try overt tactics and subversive maneuvers to attain these goals. They’re the ones scrambling to become super models, big league ball players, and corporate moguls.

The college students are aimed at finding some peace (and quiet). They work at monitoring the playground, breaking up the squabbles, reinforcing the rules, and just trying to keep everyone happy (including themselves). But they’re not all perfect, either, don’t make that mistake. Even adults (young, middle aged, or older) squabble; we argue; we bicker, and sometimes we totally forget that we’re supposed to be watching the younger kids and setting a good example for them.

The student teachers are the those who make appearances every 1000 years or so, leaving behind their words of wisdom, deeds of love and altruism, and the hope that we can all reach their level. People such as Yeshua, Buddha, Gandhi, or Mohammad have all left their mark on our little school.

But the most important thing we need to remember is that we’re all human, and humans learn best by trial and error. Therefore, as long as we’re using the world as our playground and learning center, it will never be a Utopia, because you can’t learn in a world that’s already perfect.

Ever been to the 13th floor?

Since I was kid, I’ve been fascinated by anything having to do with time travel and alternate realities. (Of course, as I’ve gotten older, and read more and traveled outside of this reality more, I’ve come to realize that what we term “time travel” isn’t very likely simply because of what time really is—but that’s another posting.)

But alternate realities, well…they’re all around us, everywhere. And we’re creating more of them every minute of every day. Every choice each of us makes, creates alternate realities, some that last lifetimes, and others are there and gone in a nanosecond. It all depends on how long it takes to complete the alternate choices—the choices we didn’t pick.

Virtual reality is also fascinating, but I must admit a virtual reality that allows you to do more than “fool the mind” into thinking you’re part of something intrigues me more.

The 13th Floor is a movie that combines virtual reality with alternate reality and creates an Escher painting for the mind. The title refers to the floor on which two tech nerds have devised a way for people to merge their consciousness with the virtual reality that they have created.

Using machines similar to those depicted in Avatar (although the movie The 13th Floor came out a decade earlier), your body remains in one reality while your mind moves to a different one and is housed in a different body (an avatar). However, as the two conduct their experiments, the realities begin to blend together, overlapping the realities even more.

Soon it becomes almost impossible for them to distinguish between what’s created (by them and the computer) and what’s real. After all, they can be hurt or even die in any of the worlds; they can feel and experience emotions; and they have form and can function. Aren’t those all markers for indicating what experiences are real and what experiences are merely “virtual” or “dreams”?

As the criteria for distinguishing between reality and non-reality becomes more muted and more untenable, so does their (and our) ability to distinguish between which character is the “real” one and which reality is the “One”.

To me, the 13th Floor is a great attempt to show how all our various realities flow into and around one another. It also shows that our consciousness, our awareness, that essence of us, can easily be in several realities at the same time.

We are not merely the physical form we wear; instead we are much more than that. And because we are much more than that, we are able to exist in multiple realities, living multiple lives that all somehow blend and mix together just like one of Escher’s drawings. We are traveling through many different realities that fold into and around one another, until it becomes impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends.

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