Thoughts on the natural and supernatural

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis marks a new journey I am taking, well actually not so new at all but now in the company of like-minded and good people who share thoughts in common. I am honoured to be participating in The Faerie Ring and posts with this logo will share my journey and thoughts with you all. I’d like to talk today about the natural and supernatural, or reality and fantasy as some might put it.

For me there really is no difference, or rather the supernatural and the natural permeates and blends with each other so there really is no demarcation line between the two. I suppose this might be because of my shamanic practice, where spirits abound everywhere [all that is…is alive]. This even extends to the human species – we ARE spirits in human form, and not humans with a spirit if you see what I mean. So, for me the spirit world (or supernatural as some call it) is very much a reality. Of course some might call it fantasy on my part and that’s ok – each to his or her own understanding.

However, I do believe in fantasy over reality too. For me, fantasy abounds when I do not think or act in my best interests. A really easy example would be to think that relationships always stay in the ‘honeymoon’ period and don’t need working on – that’s fantasy. Another fantasy would be to think I can just work a spell and not act in accordance with it. For example, to work an abundance spell for more money and then to spend frivolously. For me reality is that we need to be working and acting in accordance with our intention, whatever they may be.

Much of what the world sees as fantasy these days has its roots in the collective unconscious (Jung) and has built upon what our ancient ancestors once believed to be true. Everything has a kernel of truth in it. What we do with that truth is entirely up to us.

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Fire and Water

fireandwaterAs I sit here slowly basting in my own juices in this HEAT I’ve been thinking about the fire element. Right now in England we are officially having a heat wave, that is 5 continuous days with the temperature at least 2 degrees below 30 degrees. Seeing at it’s been hitting 30 degrees here in Kent for the last few days then yes, a heat wave it is. What makes matters worse is I am unable to have my windows open because of my escaping cats, which means my house is like a sauna. I’ve got my bedroom ones cracked but that’s as far as it goes. I’m thinking of doing something with some chicken wire to make some kind of screen.
Anyway, back to heat and the fire element. not only is it very hot here but I was also thinking of all the terrible fires that have been occurring in various parts of the world, not only the USA and Canada but in Australia and Europe too. It seems Gaia wants us to notice something – transformation by fire. Will we, can we transform? I think the human race depends on it.
But then in other parts of the world they’ve had terrible floods – Pakistan and Bangladesh with thousands drowned and killed.
Two elements – fire and water – reeking havoc on us humans. It feels like the earth is convulsing and I think it will continue to do so because it cannot take much more of our crass stupidity (am talking about the human species as a whole here, not individuals).
Yet, it is well known amongst pagan and metaphysical circles that there IS a shift in people on a fundamentally deeper level. Not just pagans but people from all different persuasions and spiritual paths. However, right now I think WE as a group are in the minority compared to the billions of people who inhabit this planet.
Fire and water. You’d think they are incompatible and yet, as elements, they work well together. Fire burns and transforms and water cleanses and heals. A very simple example is how terribly hot I was on Saturday when I visited my daughter – hot, a bit sunburnt and heat exhausted. Then I came home to a beautiful cool shower. Both very different experiences and yet they both did something important, not just physically but mentally too. The joy of being out in the sun and the cool calmness of the shower – both lifted my spirits but in different ways.
Of course when fire and water seem to be out of control (OUR control) as in the fires and the flooding throughout the world it seems a vastly different picture. But there is a message for us here, a lesson to be learnt. I do hope mankind will learn it!

The Hungry Ghosts

the hungery ghostsToday’s card is The Hungry Ghosts from Collette Baron-Reid’s beautiful deck Wisdom of the Hidden Realms. Who are the Hungry Ghosts? Anything that keeps you from being in the present – thoughts, memories from the past, attachment to things gone, attachment to things you haven’t yet got, worries concerning your future, feelings of lack, striving for unobtainable things etc. The list can be long but I hope you get my drift.

We all suffer from these hungry ghosts and yes, the word is suffer. By not allowing ourselves to be fully present in the moment we suffer as these hungry ghosts do their work. We keep them alive, feed them with our sorrows, our depression, our anger, our negativity. We feed them and thus empower them and then become trapped in their web. Sad to say we are our own worst enemies aren’t we. But you knew that didn’t you. Quite often we just throw up our hands in despair and ask ‘but what can I do about it?’, while the ghosts gorge on our sufferings.

But oh, they do look pretty don’t they? That is the trick of our minds. We become lovers to our suffering; to the point that we think it’s natural and real. We don’t want to let them go do we? We say ‘oh but it’s not easy’ and that’s our excuse for allowing them in to wreak havoc on our lives.

I speak from experience, and yes, I do allow these hungry ghosts to sup from my table at times, It is the human condition to want to engage with them. However, I know from experience that when I’m fully in the present, without thinking about the past or the future, I send these ghosts away for a while and allow my true self, spirit, to be present and then the joy and happiness is revealed. Of course it still means I might have lack, or sorrow or whatever, but I sit with these things and accept them just for what they are. They have no stranglehold on me.

Performing the Despacho ritual the other weekend was an important step in letting go of the food that feeds the hungry ghosts. Of course they are still there but they have no hold on me, at present. And I have the power to allow them back in or not and I choose NOT!

There is always a possibility that I will feed the hungry ghosts again but being aware of this allows me the power to not feed them – a choice. We do have a choice in how we walk through life. There is always a choice.

F is for Flipping the coin over

liberty coinFor this post I’m doing for the Pagan Blog Project I’m kind of redressing my earlier post Just Meanderings, although I am not saying my thoughts there were invalid but just a reflection of my current state of mind as it was then. You see, there are times when I think dark thoughts, as does everyone. We all have a shadow side but I’m glad I can accept mine and see it for what it is. When I feel depressed (and I do suffer from mental illness) it is very easy for me to give into the shadow side and see things from a certain hopeless perspective. In this post I’m ‘flipping the coin over’ and looking at things from a different, hopefully more positive, perspective.

When I’m in the throes of my dark thoughts everything seems rather bleak and my judgemental side comes out – I dislike human beings because they are greedy, selfish, thoughtless etc. But I’m only really seeing my own self reflected back at me through them. The parts of me that I like to hide, or even worse, pretend to the outside world that I don’t have. The truth is I AM selfish, greedy and thoughtless…at times. I believe these traits stem from an unchecked ego state. None of us like to admit that we can be these things. We like to see ourselves as good and kind and thoughtful. Well folks, we aren’t! We all have the capacity to be shits! It’s only in awareness and mindfulness that our real selves – or rather our totalities can be realised and inspected.

I guess the truth is rather than hating the human species, it’s more a case of hating what SOME humans DO! Let’s take an example…war. I hate war! I hate the needless destruction and killing. I hate what wars do to people, the environment, the planet. It breaks my heart to see refugees, children, suffer in refugee camps. It breaks my heart to see mothers sobbing over the dead bodies of their children, their husbands, their brothers etc. It breaks my heart to see people suffering when so many other live in the lap of luxury, in safety, and give no thought to the suffering of others. Dwelling on such things can easily make a person cynical and end up hating the whole human race.

However, in my clearer headed moments I thought about this (with the help of a few dear friends who gave me another point of view) and I realised this – not ALL human beings wage war, not ALL human beings want to destroy. There are many, many people who, through personal awareness, have flipped the coin over, and do things differently. However, there are still many who are not aware and still act through unchecked egos. Should I hate them? No I don’t think so. How can one hate someone who isn’t aware?

There is no doubt that humankind is going through a great transition. There are convulsions, not just natural ones, but ones caused by man too – this is plain to see. But I kind of see it as a birthing. When women give birth to a new-born child we go through terrible convulsions (I should know LOL). The pain is great, it hurts and sometimes it’s hard to know when it will end (unless you’re one of the very lucky few who seem to pop babies out like shelling peas). However, for the most part nothing new comes without a struggle. I do think this is what mankind is going through right now. A kind of massive, earth-wide struggle with the collective ego. However, there are many who recognise this and are doing things differently; walking their soul path with integrity and forging new paths. I hope I can be one of them.

Something that was sent to me as a gift really helped me to get back on track and I’d like to share it with you. It’s only an hour long but it is really well worth listening to.

The Source of True Power

I don’t know if the human race will become extinct in the future, it’s not for me or anyone else to see. It certainly is possible as we are animals albeit ‘higher’ ones apparently. But what is more important is living in the present moment and seeing the good amongst the bad, and even more importantly living authentic lives.

Just meanderings

For some reason today I feel a little depressed. Not the bone crushing, suffocating depression I used to have (thank you medication) but just a little and contemplative. The universe has sent messages for me today and the topic of suicide keeps cropping up in my mind. Thankfully not my heart…yet but who knows the future. I’m not saying I’m getting channelled messages from out in the ether to kill myself…no, no! Just ideas and thoughts floating around, considerations if you like.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like the human race! I don’t really like being part of it. That doesn’t mean I don’t love, or want to leave my loved ones; friends and family. I’m just stating a fact – that I don’t much like human beings. I think that as a whole we are a greedy, thoughtless lot. Yep, me included. Of course we have large brains and you’d think by now we’d have learnt how to use them for the common good of all but sadly no.

Quite often I wish Mother Nature to cause us all to become extinct. It’s not so unreasonable or far-fetched is it? I mean other life forms become extinct, we are animals just the same as the sabre tooth tiger and the dodo, so why not us too? Don’t you think this world would be better off? No more wars, no more starving mud-encrusted refugees, no more pollution, no more poverty, no more sexual abuse, no more violence, no more…no more!

Yes, there are enlightened human beings and thank the Universe for them but we have to be extremely naive to imagine that every single human being is going to become aware and enlightened. The human race is fighting a losing battle, at least that’s my sad opinion. But I bet there will be folks who say…’but where is your hope?’ Good question! I do have hope but not really for us humans – it’s incredible how sad the news makes me. We perpetrate our own demise, in small ways and in big; maybe not for us alive today but for future generations.  There comes a time when one has to bail out of a sinking ship.

Sometimes I long for death – my passing on from the world of the material into the world of spirit. But there is something in me that keeps me hanging on (wasn’t that a song?). Why? Not because of human beings that’s for sure but for the joy I receive unconditionally from Mother Nature and from the universe. I derive more pleasure from watching a little bird sing on a branch than from an orchestra. Actually, that’s not quite true because sometimes, just sometimes human music can touch the soul and it makes being human worthwhile.

My spirit is having an experience while in this frail mortal body – I only hope it is worth it.

I’d rather be insane

Here’s a quote for you:

“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ve read this many times over the years and have had all kinds of ideas about it, some of which in my formative years were quite pretentious. However, wisdom comes with growing older (they say…and I certainly hope so). So I thought I’d have a little ponder on what these words mean for me today. Now, I have absolutely no idea about what Nietzsche meant for them to mean. I think he’s one of those philosophers who is a bit misunderstood actually but I won’t get into that here.

I think these words are allegorical – the music and the dancing are something to do with our inner selves and how we look upon life. We all have our own inner music but not all of us can, or choose, to hear it. Sometimes, like me, it takes a long time to attune to our inner music. Although, having said that I was always a bit ‘different’ and this either got me into trouble, or shunned and made fun of. At the time this really hurt and only made me more rebellious and different, which lead to more shunning and bullying. It’s only been in later years, and through a long time of therapy and my spiritual path, that I’ve learned to really listen to my own inner music and dance to it. However, to some I seem strange and probably a bit ‘kooky’; and I have been described as having a schizoid personality before. This makes me laugh – because it no longer matters to me what the world thinks.

Society, especially Western society, likes people to fit in. At least it is beginning to embrace those who dance to a different drum beat but for the most part I think we still live in a society that fears difference. This may seem odd given the amount of individualism we seem to espouse or believe we have. but we only have to look at the hate crimes that still go on – the prejudice that still exists over spirituality, colour, race, religion etc. Look at all the fuss that was made about people wearing jewellery that portrayed their religious beliefs at work for example. That’s just a mild one – in many countries people are actually murdered because of their religious and spiritual beliefs. We as human beings still don’t like the status quo rocked.

Learning to dance to ones own inner music, whatever that may be, takes a good deal of awareness about oneself and a great deal of courage. It means making a choice too – do you take a risk on having a more fulfilling life, or stick to the safe path that possibly brings with it blandness at best or resentment at worst (or maybe even worse!). The truth is though that even by choosing to dance to the beat of your own music you are never alone because there are many more who are doing the same thing – and in choosing to do so we bring about a community of souls who are enspirited.

In response to a writing prompt on Nostrovia

D is for Definitely Blessed

380652_127183204108979_809008307_nI was thinking about events going on in the world today, and that got me thinking about how very blessed and fortunate I am. Today I am thankful for my warm home, the food I eat and can get so easily. My lovely daughter and my furchildren all of whom bring me so much joy and many laughs at all their antics. The fact that, despite a certain amount of ill-health, I can still do the things I want to; hear the birds sing, see the lovely colours of nature and enjoy life. I am also thankful for the fact that I can follow my spiritual path openly and safely without having to be afraid of persecution. I am thankful for my friends who all bring their own different symphonies to my life, and without whom my life would be so dull. I am thankful for the fact that I have free speech and live in a country that is democratic. It’s so easy to see the negatives in our lives, and we all have the hard parts but if we take but a moment to turn the coin over we can see that, in our various ways, we also have a lot to be thankful for.

Take a few moments today to think about your blessings!