Daily Om ~ Whole-Self Well-Being

DSCF0386When your body is physically ill, try treating your emotions too and view your body as a whole. Whole-self well-being is, in part, the result of a harmonious flow of energy between our physical and mental selves. When this flow is thrown out of balance for any reason, the body and mind react to one another rather than act cooperatively. Ongoing stress, sadness, anxiety, excitement, and fear can overwhelm the cerebral self, causing traumatic energy to be channeled into the body. The body then responds by taking steps to organically dispel the energy that has burdened it and expressing it by means of physical symptoms such as illness, fatigue, or disease. In some cases, these symptoms can simply be allowed to run their natural course and recovery will come about naturally. In most instances, however, health and wellness can only be restored by a dual course of treatment that acknowledges both the physical manifestations of energy clearing and the underlying emotional causes.

Many of the ailments we experience over the course of our lives can be indicative of the body’s attempts to process intellectual and emotional energy. Swollen glands, for example, can signal that you are going through a period of emotional cleansing. Even something as simple as a pimple can indicate that your body is ridding itself of toxins and old energy. In Chinese medicine, intense emotions are held in the body’s organs as a matter of course. Grief lurks in the lungs, anger inhabits the liver, fretfulness lingers in the heart, worry is held in the stomach, and the kidneys harbour fright. Particular illnesses and symptoms represent the body’s attempts to clear emotional energy. Coughs or bronchitis can signify that the physical self is clearing away grief while a loss of appetite may signal that worry is being actively addressed.

When you feel ill or imbalanced, treating your whole self rather than treating the physical self alone can empower you to determine the root cause of sickness. Since you understand that your physical symptoms may be an expression of emotional discomfort, you can establish a balanced treatment regimen to ensure that you quickly recover your good health.

Using affirmations daily can help to restore the balance between the body and the emotional self. Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Body provides lists of ailments and illnesses with appropriate affirmations.

Being nobody but everybody

Some time ago when I was doing my Shamanic training under mentorship by a very wise and astute woman (a shaman of many years standing) I was asked ‘Who are you?’ Well I thought about this, and thought some more and finally came up with this answer…I am nobody but everybody. She smiled with wisdom but never said anything. Some time later during one of my therapy sessions I said the same thing because the question ‘Who am I?’ came up a lot for many of us. This time however I was misunderstood and rounded on. Now today, as I read Gina Lake’s very insightful book Embracing the Now, I come to exactly the same chapter – Being Nobody and Everybody. I’d like to share this short chapter with you all, my dear readers.

When we are identified with the ego, we feel like somebody. Somebody who likes this and doesn’t like that, who wants this and doesn’t want that, who looks this way and not that way, who has this history and not some other history, who has certain dreams and desires but not others. All these are woven into an idea and a story about who we are, which makes us feel like a certain somebody. We have an image, a history, goals, and an imagined future. All of this seems like who we are. But, as they say, things are not always as they seem.

Ideas about what we like, what we’ve done, what we want, what we look like, and many other ideas make up our self-image. But our self-image is still just an imagination, a picture, an idea of who we are. It isn’t who we really are. Everyone has a self-image but that doesn’t make self-images real. They are just ideas. We pretend we are our self-image and that others are theirs but no one is an image. Everyone is something other than an image because an image isn’t what is walking around and living life. We also aren’t the body we are walking around in. Who we really are is using the body but it isn’t the body.

The problem is that what we really are isn’t an image or even a thing. It isn’t something the mind can understand because it’s beyond the mind and can’t be expressed in language. Who we really are is not an image or a thing but more like an experience of no-thing-ness. The mind would rather not acknowledge no-thing-ness because it is uncomfortable with no-thing-ness, since it was designed to deal with things. Because who we really are can’t be experienced by the mind, the ego considers who we really are to be nothing, which it is, but not nothing of consequence, which is what the ego assumes.

When we drop out of our mind and into the moment and into our Heart, we experience who we really are but not as an image. When we are really in the Heart (Essence), images and ideas drop away and what is left is simply the experience of being, or of being nobody in particular; not male or female, not young or old, not attractive or unattractive, not smart or dumb, not anything we can name. The experience of our true nature is an experience of emptiness. Our true nature is empty of all definition, and yet, it is full and complete, lacking nothing. The experience of being nobody and nothing is equally an experience of being everybody and everything because this emptiness is without boundaries and therefore includes everything; nothing is left out. There’s no me and you but only spaciousness, beingness. That unending spaciousness is who we are.

It is possible to experience nobody-ness or everybody-ness in any moment because our true self is always here – it’s what is living life! The reason the empty spaciousness that we are isn’t experienced more often or for longer periods of time is that the ego isn’t comfortable with it. The ego runs from the experience of who we really are and draws us into its arena – thoughts – where we lose awareness of our true nature.

Whenever you experience who you really are, notice how the ego comes in with a thought to bring you back into its world of ideas about life and out of the experience of life. Who we are – nobody or everybody – is experiencing life, while the ego just thinks about life and makes up stories about it. What a different reality the ego’s reality is than real life! When we give our attention to thoughts, those ideas and beliefs become our reality; and when we give our attention to the experience of the present moment, our true nature becomes our reality.

The more we notice the effect that paying attention to our thoughts has on us – contraction, stress, tension, unhappiness and negative feelings – the more we will choose to turn our attention away from the world of thought and onto this simple moment. The Now is full and rich and has all the peace we have ever wanted. What the Now doesn’t have are the problems and drama created by the ego, which the ego wants because problems and drama keep us attached to our thoughts. Are you ready to exchange your problems and the drama of the ego for peace, contentment, and the experience of being nobody?

Extract from Embracing the Now by Gina Lake

Immrama – Part 2: The Voyage of Maelduin

To begin my work with The Celtic Book of the Dead oracle deck, I first should explain something about the immram that it’s based on. Caitlin Matthews has chosen to base her deck on the Voyage of Maelduin. This text dating from around the 1st century was probably transcribed in the 6th or 9th centuries and it is the earliest known immram story, which is actually a very long poem. It is attributed to the poet and sage Aed Finn, a person about whom we know next to nothing about, except he was the original story-teller.

There are many editions of this immram, as well as poetical workings such as Tennyson’s The Voyage of Maeldune. The poem is rather long to write out but I’ve listed some worthy sites at the end of this post where it can be read.

But firstly, who was Maelduin? Mael Duin was the son of the warrior and chieftain Ailill Ochair Agha and an abbess from Kildare, who was raped by Ailill on one of his raiding adventures. Because of the shame of having an illegitamate child, let alone one born from rape his mother called him Maelduin or ‘bald one’ and sent him to be fostered by the Queen of the Eoghanacht of Ninuss (probably Munster), who raised him as her own son. Under her protection and tutelage Maelduin grew strong and good-looking and outstripped his friends in every endeavour. However, his friends were jealous and taunted him about his lack of parentage. As far as he was concerned he was the son of a king and queen, so confused he went to his mother and swore he would not eat or drink until she told him the truth.

In the end the Queen took him to his mother, the abbess, who told him who his father was and that he had died. So Maelduin returned to his father’s tribe and was welcomed among them. One day he was moping about in a church yard when one of the monks began to shout at him, telling him to avenge his father rather than crying over him. From the monk Maelduin learned that his father had been murdered by raiders from Laighis (in the province of Leinster) and so avowed to avenge his father. However, he had to decide on the best way to approach his enemies and decided to go by sea. He seeks advice from the druid Nuca, who tells him to build a special magical boat and cover it with skins (most likely a large currach), which Nuca then enchanted. He is told to only take 17 companions and Maelduin chooses his closest friends, German and Diuran, to be amongst these. They are about to set sail when Maelduin’s three foster brothers swim out to join the crew, although Maelduin asks them to return they do not. He cannot watch them drown so allows them to come aboard but the additional numbers to the crew messes up the strict magical advice of Nuca and the causes the adventure to go awry.

Map of Irish provinces

County Kildare, Ireland

River Kenmare, Munster, Ireland

The poem goes on with all kinds of disasters, adventures and dangers besetting Maelduin and his men, as the come to various islands. As the text is very long I have listed them in the order in which they appear:

The island of ants, from which the men flee because the ants’ intention is to eat their boat  The island of tame birds  The island of the horse-like beast who pelts the crew with the beach  The island of horses and demons  The island of salmon, where they find an empty house filled with a feast and they all ate, drank, and gave thanks to God  The island with the branch of an apple tree, where they are fed with apples for 40 nights  The island of the “Revolving Beast”, a creature that would shift its form by manipulating its bones, muscles and loose skin; it cast stones at the escaping crew and one pierces the keel of the boat  The island where animals bite each other and blood is everywhere  The island of apples, pigs, and birds  The island with the great fort/pillars/cats where one of the foster brothers steals a necklet and is burned to ashes by the cat  The island of black and white sheep, where sheep change colors as they cross the fence; the crewmen do not go aboard this island in fear of changing color  The island of the pigherd, which contained an acidic river and hornless oxen  The island of the ugly mill and miller who were “wrinkled, rude, and bareheaded”  The island of lamenting men and wailing sorrows, where they had to retrieve a crewmen who entered the island and became one of the lamenting men; they saved him by grabbing him while holding their breath  The island with maidens and intoxicating drink  The island with forts and the crystal bridge, where there is a maiden who is propositioned to sleep with Máel Dúin  The island of colorful birds singing like psalms  The island with the psalm singing old man with noble monastic words  The island with the golden wall around it  The island of angry Smiths (Blacksmiths)   The crew voyaged on and came across a sea like a green crystal. Here, there were no monster but only rocks. They continued on and came to a sea of clouds with underwater fortresses and monsters.  The island with a woman pelting them with nuts  The island with a river sky that was raining salmon  The island on a pedestal  The island with eternal youth  The island with red fruits that were made as a sleeping elixir  The island with monks of Brendan Birr, where they were blessed  The island with eternal laughter, where they lost a crewman  The island of the fire people   They find a man in the sea from Tory. He was cast there as punishment. He asks them to throw their wealth into the ocean. He prophesies that they will “reach their country, it will be sage thus; though you will meet your enemies, you will not slay them.”  The island of cattle, oxen, and sheep   They finally make it back to the original island they were on where there was talk of murdering Ailill. Máel Dúin expresses the marvels that God has revealed to them on their journey. They all make peace. It should be noted that this is a tale of Early Celtic Christian spirituality, although the ancient Celtic traditions and mystical motifs shine through.

References

Prose texts for the Voyage of Maelduin:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/saw/saw04.htm

http://sejh.pagesperso-orange.fr/keltia/immrama/maeldun_en.html

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Wonder_Voyages/The_Voyage_of_Maelduin

The Celtic Book of the Dead (book & oracle deck) by Caitlin Matthews

Saturday 12th December 2009 ~ Waning Crescent Moon in Scorpio

Well, here I am again. Not really feeling that great actually. My moods have been swinging around a lot recently and I’ve been feeling very tired. One minute I’m feeling ok, then the next am in tears and feeling quite low and then feeling ok again. Very disconcerting! Plus my money has run out again and I don’t get my next disability check until next Tuesday. Food is non-existent for me and I’m feeling hungry. Sometimes it gets like this, not very often but sometime everything just runs out and I have to subsist on very little for a few days. But I’ll get through it – I always do!

I’ve passed Lesson 16 (2nd Degree) and now have permission to move on to Lesson 17 – to do with Dreams. This should be interesting. I used to always write down my dreams and study them but this is something I’ve not done in a long while, what with everything else I’m working on. Some things just get crowded out I guess. It will be good to begin to work with them again. I always seem to have very vivid dreams and dream lucidly practically all the time. I need to begin to pay attention to them again.

Sometimes I think – oh no, not something else I have to do!. It seems I’m always working on so much, a never ending learning and doing process but that’s what life is isn’t it. But I get all screwed up that I won’t be able to accomplish it all. That’s my biggest fear. silly I know as I have the rest of my life and it isn’t a race. But I still get myself a little bent out of shape over it sometimes.

To be honest the past few days I’ve just been finding myself vegging out in front of the TV, or reading some fiction book. right now I’m reading Algernon Blackwood’s ‘Weird Tales’. My favourite authors are him and Lovecraft. Maybe I just need this time out. It’s only been a week or so since my operation and I guess I just need to recuperate a little more perhaps. Everything is fine where that’s concerned though. The ‘holes’ have healed nicely and no scabbing or anything. However, a couple of the wounds have a tiny stitch in them that don’t seem to be dissolving.

Anyway, this weekend I plan on doing my 2nd Shamanic journey. This time to meet my Guardian Spirit or Power Animal. I need to remember to keep an open and receptive mind when doing this journey because the Guardian Spirit who presents itself may not be the one I expect, or want. No room for the ego here! There are certain animals who I have been strongly attracted to, most recently Fox, but this doesn’t necessarily mean Fox is my Guardian Spirit. Sure, Fox is definitely a Spirit Helper but, well we shall have to wait and see. So watch this space…LOL

Next week Meadowhawk will be here and I’m SO EXCITED! We go to Heathrow Airport next Saturday to meet him. Then 6 weeks of his wonderful company. I’ve missed him so much these last few months and it will be such a huge blessing to have him with me for a while. And to spend Yule and the New Year with him too. I’m greatly looking forward to it all.

Blessings
Deep~Glade

Thursday 5th November 2009 ~ Waning Gibbous Moon in Gemini

Have finally completed all the practical exercises for Unit 1 of the Shamanism course. I really enjoyed doing them and have posted on the relevant boards but am awaiting Instructor feedback still.

Breathwork & Meditation

I have been doing this exercise each day for about 20 minutes each time. I feel I have been able to do it successfully following your instructions, which are very similar to what I usually do in my meditation practice anyway. Each time I have been able to achieve ‘quiet mind’. However, for different lengths of time. Sometimes for only a couple of minutes but at other times for at least 10. Then I find a thought intruding into my mind and I then just go back to focusing on my breath (exhalation) and can then achieve ‘quiet mind’ again. I’ve also notice that any external noises can just be noticed and not thought about. For example, if I hear a dog barking outside I notice the noise but don’t ‘think’ about it. I have also noticed that when I breathe from my tummy I can achieve the meditative state far easier than if I am breathing from my upper chest. If I’m breathing from my upper chest it means, for me, that I’m not relaxed enough and need to spend time just focusing on my breathing for a while. I really like the Taoist method of breath work and the concept of ‘microcosmic orbit’ makes a lot of sense to me. I have been utilising this in my breathwork and feel it really helps to achieve ‘quiet mind’

In Taoist Yoga, the concept of the energy cycle is less complex than that of the Hindu System of Chakras.  There are similar energy centres, however.  These energy centres are comparable to the Chakras in location, but in Taoist Yoga, the breathwork moves the energy of one’s generative force or fluid of sexuality which it calls ‘the inner fire’ and pushes the energy  along a cycle called the ‘microcosmic orbit’.  The microcosmic orbit has four points, the first is comparable to the base Chakra, but it is really located behind the sexual organs.  From there it moves up the spine to the point between the kidneys.  Then it moves upward to the top of the head and this completes the inhalation.  From there, as one exhales, the energy moves down the face to the chest and finally, it settles in the dan t’ien (point behind the navel) and returns to the place from which it arose.  This method of breathing, which we learned in our meditation work this week, allows for all the Chakra points to be activated by a concentration of the breath in conjunction with a focusing of the mind.  This purifies the inner fire and cleanses it so that energy is produced within the physical body.  And there you have Taoist Yoga breathwork in a nutshell.

Tracking Exercise

My face began to morph almost immediately into older ‘Caucasian’ faces but with pig-like features; a snout and small eyes. Then a full image of Pig came followed rapidly again by older ‘Caucasian’ faces, mostly female but some male too. I also kept getting glimpses of a Lioness or Puma but just the nose and mouth. After which I had a whole string of ‘Aboriginal’ faces, older but a few younger and also male and female. The Lioness/Puma image kept morphing in and out and then suddenly and very quickly an image of the whole face. Definitely a Lioness because there was no mane, or it could have been a Puma but it was very quick. Then the morphing images became harder to see and my eyes were getting very squinty because I was getting tired. So I stopped. I did this exercise for 45 minutes.

I finished reading the Introduction to The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner. He asserts that it is possible to learn the basics of core Shamanism from a book but I don’t really agree. I guess one could learn the basic methodology but you have no feedback do you. although having an instructor online isn’t the best ideal I do at least have feedback of some kind. Obviously the best scenario is to have hands on instruction from a Shaman. But obviously this might not be available to many who are called to learn about Shamanism. I’m very lucky to have WhirlingThunder to help me and at least to have another Shaman as my instructor online. Of course each persons ‘experience’ in the ‘Worlds’ is going to be different from someone else’s but without some kind of feedback it would be hard I think to learn completely from a book.

On a more mundane level – still no heating or hot water in my house. I’m having to wait until tomorrow for the new part to be ordered. So hopefully it should be all fixed by the weekend. It’s ridiculous though being like this for over a week now. My point about British workmen holds true – a lot of them are crap!!!

Blessings
Deep~Glade

Monday 12th October 2009 ~ Waning Crescent Moon in Leo

Wow! So much to talk about. First, some GREAT news; Meadowhawk is coming over for Yule! He arrives in England on the 19th December and doesn’t go back until the 8th February 2010…six whole weeks. I’m so very excited. It is going to be wonderful to see and be with him again. I’m so happy he can be here for Yule. We plan on having our own Yule Ritual and celebration. Now he actually has his ticket the count down is on.

The second exciting thing is that I’ve been accepted on to a Shamanism course, starting November. This class was quite hard to get into and I had to write a short essay on why I felt I should be accepted onto the class. It’s being taught by a Shaman of 25 years experience. I’m really excited about this but also a little nervous too because to be honest I don’t know what kinds of experiences I will have but I feel sure that this is what I’m meant to do in order to know myself better and to heal…journey into the dark! The course entail reading the book The Way of The Shaman and using a drumming cd as well as one’s own drum (if we have one – which I have so that’s great). It’s also quite demanding and intensive but only lasts for 9 weeks. I’m not sure I can learn everything in just 9 weeks but it is a beginner’s class. There is an intermediate class afterwards that I can sign up for if I want to continue.

As this is the time of year where one begins to look inwards I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the goals I wanted to achieve this year. To be honest, I haven’t achieved too many because I know I’ve gone off at tangents and haven’t remained very focused on them. Something I read in the book The Cauldron of Memory by Grimassi is pertinent here:

In ancient tales there is a theme about being ‘fairy led’ into a thicket and becoming lost. It is all too easy to drop our work and chase our delights. But when the hero is mindful of purpose and intent, and is not willing to give in to distraction and temptation, then he or she bypasses the pitfalls and arrives in good time at the desired goal.

This seems so true of me this year. I made my goals but got distracted and unfocused thus becoming ‘lost’ and as a result I haven’t really achieved what I wanted to. so I need to bear this in mind for the coming new year. To make my goals achievable but also focus on them and not allow myself to get distracted by life and new projects that seem enticing.

I think another problem of mine is that I tend to expect outcomes almost immediately. I forget that knowing myself and healing is really an ongoing task and not one that will be realised in a couple of path workings or a few weeks. I need to have the patience and stamina needed for such things. I know I am a person who always tends to want instant results. I’ve been told this is a symptom of having a personality disorder and my mother always used to say to me that I never finished anything I began. I do see this as a fault of mine and need to somehow get passed this. How to do it? Well, if I set myself smaller, more achievable goals then I’d see the results quicker wouldn’t I and then maybe I wouldn’t get bored and side tracked and go off at tangents.

In working on myself I know this isn’t going to be over in a short while…it is a journey, so there’s no point in setting a time limit on that. But maybe I can set interim goals, like the Shamanism class which is only for 9 weeks. This is why I’m looking forward to the next New Moon ritual so that I can reflect and perhaps set myself some smaller, achievable goals for the coming year.

I’m not doing to great on the physical front. My gall bladder and ulcer are really playing up and causing me considerable discomfort and pain. Yesterday I was in so much pain that it was hard for me even to do the Oracle Study chat. Still no word on when I’m going to have my operation but I truly hope it’s soon. Mentally I’m having good days and bad days, which is usual I suppose. I feel my moods are swinging around a bit and am not sure when I need my meds readjusting. Or it could just be that I am more open to working on myself internally now. I know I’m still always so tired but this could be due to the fact that I find it so hard to get out of the house…I’m more or less a recluse now and only venture out when I have to (eg. to therapy) and that is really hard enough. I hope I’m not like this when Meadowhawk comes over but I don’t think I will be because I wasn’t before. But as soon as he went back I became a recluse again. While he was here I didn’t really have any big problem going out and about with him and it was really good, although mixing with a lot of people made me rather anxious. This ‘recluse’ side of myself really frustrates me.

Blessings
Deep~Glade

Friday 4th September 2009 ~ Full Moon in Pisces

I’m feeling a little better today. My flu/bronchitis thing seems to have eased thanks to the healing energy of my brothers and sisters here, the herbs I’m taking and of course getting enough rest. I’m still getting quite a few headaches though and sneezing plus the wheezing and cough hasn’t entirely gone but I am feeling better, which is great

scan0006-2Today I again pulled the Crimson Moon card and I really feel this has to do with my changing relationship with my daughter. As a few wise sisters have pointed out I am going through a kind of grieving process over the loss of my old role and to be honest I’d not even realised this. All I knew is I was feeling angry, frustrated and sad. But on contemplating this now I realise I am grieving. I am no longer the mother of old but have a new role as friend and perhaps mentor (if she’ll allow me to be). I wanted to protect her from making mistakes and from making the same mistakes as I made when I was young but I realise I cannot do this. She has to make her own way now and take responsibility for it. In addition, protecting her probably isn’t so good because I’d not be allowing her to make her own choices, which of course would be tampering with her own free will and that my friends is breaking the Wiccan Rede. I only just thought of that too in the last few days. I can’t believe I’d been so blind but of course I think it was a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.

Now I’ve settled back and released my grip things are going a little better and we are doing ok. However, having her and her boyfriend living here is something I really didn’t want and had hoped to avoid but plans changed and it couldn’t be avoided. I’m glad though that I put some ground rules down and limited his stay here to just a year – a temporary measure until he can get his own place fixed up at his parents house. I find it hard having them both live here because we are like two different units, them and me and want to do different things. They are young and don’t always think about others besides themselves. I guess that comes with age…LOL

Yesterday I received a book I’d bought about Nature Spirits – what a wonderful book! Here’s a short review I write about it:

A Short Review on the book ‘Nature Spirits and what they say’ ~ Interviews with Verena Stael von Holstein, edited by Wolfgang Weirauch

This is an amazing book! I received it through the post yesterday and finished reading it today. It isn’t hard as it’s written in such an engaging and sincere way.

The book consists of a series of interviews with nature spirits and Wolfgang, channelled through Verena. Here we meet elemental beings, house spirits, plant and animal spirits as well as tree nymphs and even a paper spirit. Their dialogue with the interviewer is engaging and very enlightening. Through these interviews we learn how to engage and communicate with nature spirits, what they are and what they do, what they like and dislike, and we learn of their place in the universe as well as that of humans and the future of the earth.

However, this book is slanted towards the beliefs of anthroposofism as both Verena and it seems Wolfgang are well versed in the works of Rudolf Steiner, and Verena herself is an anthroposofist. There is a definite ‘Christian’ flavour to the book. However, don’t let this put you off reading it. It is my belief that the elementals and nature beings communicate with us in a way in which we can understand, and that of course is individual and unique to each person. There is plenty in the book that is comprehensive no matter what one’s viewpoint, as long as a person is open minded and enquiring.

Reading this book has been very enlightening and in some places I felt as though a mirror was being held up to me – I didn’t always like what I saw but it’s probable that I needed to see that reflection in order to change. It has encouraged me to further my efforts in getting to know nature spirits in all their myriad forms.

*********

Today I got my first crystal skull, a clear quartz one with rainbows in the jawline and cranium. Immediately I held it I had an amazing experience, and this was even before I’d cleansed and consecrated it. I was holding it in my hand and stroking it when suddenly I envisioned and angel with outspread wings. not a clear image but an angel nonetheless. I felt very protected and the skull became quite hot to the touch. I know intuitively that I’m going to have some wonderful experiences with this skull and that I am meant to be its caretaker.

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I haven’t as yet done any actual meditations with it, nor discovered its name or its purpose with me but I’m sure I shall in the days to come.

Blessings
Deep~Glade