Friday, August 24, 2012

PBP 21: Quiet ('Typhoon')

I really tried to write you guys a factual account of shadow work for Q, for Quiet, because it puts you deeply into your own head, but the past week has been the equivalent of living in a meat grinder of stress and terrible feelings, so instead I gave up and wrote a metaphorical account of shadow work and how it feels. I hope you like anyway.

~*~



I am in the eye of the typhoon.

The waves swirl around me, and the current tries to drag me under, but I won't go, I see the shore and aim my compass for it, but the storm gives no ground.

I am in the eye of the typhoon.

Upheaval, the waves overtaking and claiming, over and over. The roar of the winds sobbing over lost ships. All of these things converge, in the center.

I am in the eye of the typhoon.

Hands, fingers, tedrils of foam and seaweed wrap around and pull, dragging and ripping open. My insides are spilled to the dark water; bracken let free. Black water made of salt and sand and 20 years bad luck, unleashed back from whence it came.

I am in the eye of the typhoon.

All rivers converse here, and though I can't see I know this. There is no separating us. I was born of She and She born of me, a symbiosis of the senses. Her, our waves are trying to drown us, whispering of untold stories beneath the waves.

She tells me, let go, child, I Will sing you melodies in the old tongue, and when you wake you'll be so much cleaner than you began. Let me cradle you and in your rest take what you cannot have.

I am the typhoon.

The selkies will sing melodies to their children of our power, of how we rended ships and sails and sent their bannermen to oblivion. They will tremble, and love us both, all at once, judge, crone, executioner.

I am the typhoon.

~fin~

{Image from cruisecritic.co.uk}

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vocabulary for Spirit-Walkers

It occurred to me based on a question on the Tumblr I just got that hey, not everybody understands what the fuck I talk about when I rattle on about spirit-walking this and x-walking that.

So I have compiled a list of what I mean by various phrases I throw around.

Spirit-Walker is the umbrella term I use for anybody (pagan, not pagan, whatever, yo) who actively works with Spirits in a service capacity.

By Spirits I mean:
  • Human Entities (Alive and non)
  • Non-Human Entities (Lightbeings, Elementals, Higher realms)
  • Animal Spirits
  • Land Spirits
  • Demons/Void Critters in whatever that entails to you
  • Fae of any capacity
  • Ancestral shit (non-human too) counts too
  • Totemic Critters
  • Deities (I consider them another class of Spirit)
Anddddd whatever else you can think of.

So Spirit-Walker: An individual who works with Spirits in a service/relationship capacity.
Now I divide Spirit-Walker by function, for ease of description.

Death-Walkers are individuals who work primarily with psycho-pomping, death stewardship, and literally walking said Spirit through death/the void and out the other side. This might include doing Death Rites for said Spirit, and in many cases literally holding their hand through the moving on process, often when the Spirit is scared, confused or hurt. (Recently or non) dead humans and animals fall under Death-Walking/Deathwork. Generally working with Spirits who were once alive, but now have Dead status. A lot of Deathwalkers work so closely with Death it accidentally claims them a couple times. I’ve heard that happen with my wife, when you suddenly accidentally stop breathing, or have a lot of close-calls.

Void-Walkers are individuals who routinely take up Death-working, but for all manner of Spirits. It’s like a subgenre of Death-Walking to me. It’s like being on-call. It involves slogging Spirits, Deities and Whathaveyou through the Void to help them shed their baggage/old selves, and it’s often thankless. Whereas Death-Walking usually involves the recently dead being confused/angry/whatever, Void-Walking involves dragging things, sometimes Entities that were never alive but became imbalanced due to fuckery, through the void. In a word, sometimes they don’t strictly speaking want to go, because they’re crazy. So you can expect to get punched more in this discipline. And getting so close to a Void space risks your entire being as well, so it’s one of the more “risky”, shall we say, paths to take.

Alternatively, I sometimes use Void-Walking to refer to those who partner with Demon entities/forces just because my wife does both of those things so in my head they kind of morph. (And I feel like Demons often get roped into Void-Walking anyway.)

Hedge-Walkers I consider specifically individuals who traverse the veil in liminal spaces or work heavily with Spirits of Place/Land Spirits, which can include local or large land Spirits, Elementals, Fae-like creatures, Animal Spirits ‘round the place, and Deities connected to said place. So Hedge-Walking I suppose you could say takes place primarily in your backyard, whatever that entails. I consider working with the Spirits of plants and trees to be hedge or veil-walking too.

Shadow-Walking is what I say when I don’t want to say Journey or refer specifically to Shamanism. (I consider what I do, even though it’s Spirit-Walking by my definition, to be Shamanism because the duties I have taken on match, on the whole, the duties an individual of that description is expected to perform. FYI, I am well read on the mundane history of Shamanism, the word Shaman, and its usage and issues between core and non. So trust me, I know in what context I use these terms.) That aside, Shadow-walking is what I mean by traveling to the ‘Underealms’, which to me “feel” animalistic and chaotic. It lacks the structured rules of some of the higher realms/planes. It generally is a chaotic landscape of natural formations, and often contains animal or part-animal Spirits and guides that err to the side of off their rocker. So Shadow-walking refers to going specifically to the Shamanic Underealms and carrying out business there. (Generally my business there happens to be Shadow-Work, or extreme work on the Self and Spirit death, which is where I yoinked that term from. Other business includes getting bitched at by animal spirits.)

Alternatively, Shadow-Walking can be used specifically to refer to walking your own personal Underworld; your own personal shadows, and using them as a method of transformation.

Life-Walking is the other “side” of Death-Walking, and often you have both tasks, since it takes one to understand the other. Life-Walking involves aiding unborn souls or energies to get where they need to go to be “created”, more or less. It involves a lot of formless lightbodies and watching universes expand and contract. Probably one of the trippier things to be called to do. Also, very difficult. Creating things on the Astral in general requires a perfect balance of several forces/considerations at once, so learning to do it isn’t exactly easy. I personally consider energy healing work on the living to be a subset of Life-Walking, since I feel like it’s also concerned with sustaining life once created, not just pushing it along.

Grave-Walkers are my term for individuals who work heavily with Ancestral (human) Spirits. I differentiate this from Death-Walking only because usually they’re already dead, they don’t need your aid getting there. (USUALLY.) Alternatively I know a few people that work with other people’s Ancestral Spirits too, and help pass on their messages to the living family members and etc etc.

Dream-Walking is my term for those who do most of their Work in the Dream state. Generally that means journey, Spirit-interaction, Guide-centric and Deity-centric shit, and potentially everything listed above. The only difference is the amount of time you spend doing those things awake vs. asleep.

Heart-Walking is my term for those who journey specifically to a Deity's particular place/world with the intent of working for/with that Deity for their own purposes. So it's like a Deity-focused type of Walking, versus the other types that don't necessarily have to involve Deity at all. So people who work only with Hermes or something, and nobody else, and journey only to get to him and work with him on shit, I consider that Heart-walking. (The term comes from my flowery British writer guide, blame his ass.)

Complicating this, I consider myself Spirit-Walker, but at different times take on the role of Death-Walker, Life-Walker, Shadow-Walker, and Hedge-Walker. These terms aren’t mutually exclusive. One individual can do several of these at once, and in fact they tend to overlap and expand. And my terms are flexible: the definitions are meant to be general so they can conform to the individual.
I hope that helps explain some of the words I throw around.

Back to regular posting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Frog Lessons: 1


Lessons from Frog come at a price.

Any Guide lessons come at a price; some you don't know until later. The moment you accept help from a Guide or what-have-you, you can think of it as losing some of yourself in the process. A little bit of ego death, which is not a bad thing. The losing results in your gaining progress in exchange. The lessons necessitate you change, and when you change, the old is cut away and the new given place to take seed.

Frog's lessons are happening in Dreamtime, so I go to visit her beforehand, and she teaches me, prepares me for the dream, and then...I'm supposed to actually dream.

That's not really happening.

It's not really a surprise to you guys, probably, that I have some sleep issues. Nothing horrific like nightmares that some are plauged with, just annoyances. Every once in a while I have a night with no sleep. My brain isn't working in overtime, like people say, but I just can't sleep. And I spent 8 hours trying, knowing I won't be asleep until the sun comes up. And I'm right, every time.

Sometimes I'll be trapped in a state when I see colors, images, or swirls that have no particular meaning, but whenever I come out of that, I have a seriously bad and uncomfortable feeling, physically and mentally. I still don't know what that's about.

Whenever I "sleep" over another person's house/hotel/not my bed, the first night of sleep contains NO sleep. No matter how tired I am, I can't sleep the first night. At all, ever. The exception is when the sun comes up, I usually pass out from exhaustion. And if I'm away from my house for a period, and then come back, the first night back is a sleepless one.

And if I try to nap during the day, no matter how tired, it results in being locked in a twilight state where I'm not asleep or dreaming, but I'm not awake, and when I come out of it I can't remember where my soul was for the past 40 minutes. I can't remember the last time I actually napped during a day.

I've tried dream magick stuff before, repeatedly, and it never works beyond remembering. I had a lucid dream once in my life, and not when I was actively trying. The few prophetic and Shamanic dreams I've had were not my own doing. So dream magick has frustrated me and I've pretty much given up on having it mean much of anything.

And then Frog shows up. And apparently the price of being able to focus and have specific dreams is less sleep, in general. For the past 3 nights I've had so much trouble sleeping it's ridiculous. I'll "come to" in the middle of the night and realize I haven't been sleeping. It's slightly driving me up a wall.

But when I finally do sleep at 7 AM, I have really significant dreams. Last night I was an underwater Atlantean explorer. The night before, I witnessed a product I sent to a company being developed, in real-time. The dreams feel different. They feel substantial. I can see colors (which is weird, that I usually don't) and I can remember vivid detail. Obviously, what she's doing, it's working. It has a purpose. The first night I dreamt of an altar of wicker, and dragons, and prophecy.

I only have one memory from last night's interrim, in which she gave me 1-2 word "rules" to follow, if I wanted to enter the dreamstate.

to sleep
to be silent
to dream
to focus
to feel
to watch
to breathe


Each one of these she illustrated for me. I went through each step and got to breathe, and focused on that. That's when I entered the dream.

She uses Pain to teach me. She gives me raging third eye headaches, and that's when I know to go there. If I don't go, it gets worse. This is effective, because pain I can't ignore. She witholds Sleep, so I learn to Dream right on my feet. She knows me so well, already.

I'm not used to having a Guide like this.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Poisons Post: Lily of the Valley & Laburnum



Lily of the Valley

Scientific Name: Convallaria majalis

Folk/Common Names: Lily of the Valley, May Bells, Mary's Tears
Toxicity Level: Extremely poisonous, especially the berries the plant produces.
Poison Type: Over 40 different cardiac glycosides have been identified in this flower, so you take your pick. {Glycosides impact how much and how hard the heart pumps}
Where is the Poison: The entire plant, again worst in the berries.

Symptoms: Generalized stomach pain, nausea, intestinal distress, graduating into burred vision with possibility of seeing 'halos' around objects, abnormal heart beat, rashes, depression, headaches, fainting, and potentially death.

Interesting Fact: The way the plant grows is by forming an elaborate network of roots underground, and spawning several strings of flowers from the same underground network.

Folk Info: The name Mary's Tears come from the Christian belief that the plant formed from the tears of Mary following the crucifixion of Jesus.

The Pagan version of that? This plant was considered to be sacred to the Goddess Ostara, who was also a virginal Germanic Goddess...oh, you get the picture.

BOTTOM LINE:

It's really pretty but really terrible to think about eating. For some reason I find the fact it's used in weddings yet is super toxic hilarious.




Common Laburnum

Scientific Name: Laburnum
Folk/Common Names: Golden Chain


Toxicity Level: Reports differ on how toxic, but most reports claim it's not so deadly that it will kill anybody who eats it.

Poison Type: Cytisine
Where is the Poison: Mostly the seeds of the plant, that again look like berries.


Symptoms: Nausea and vomiting, intestinal distress, headaches, vision issues, convulsions, heart pain, and in extremely high doses, death.


Interesting Fact: Cytisine is actually considered a positive agent in many countries because it mimics the effect of Nicotine. So it can be used to help a person quit smoking.

Folk Info: This tree has a strangely bad reputation by most people's assumptions. Apparently the reason this tree is considered horribly toxic is some (probably false) reports of children dying from ingesting the berries, that look like peas. In reality, the reports we DO have show a range of effects, from nothing to severe, but most end up recovering. The records of deaths we do have from the plant is non-existent. But would I personally risk it? No.

BOTTOM LINE:

Just pick up a cigarette because in this case it might be safer.

Info not evaluated by the FDA, not meant to replace advice by a doctor or other licensed herbalist, not a recommendation to eat or handle poison or do stupid things. Educational use only, thanks, etc etc

Back to the Master Poison List?

Poison Post: Korf's Gyomitra/The Gyomitra Mushrooms


I went with a real image from Americanmushrooms.com for this post so you could really grasp how not-delicious looking this thing is.

Korf's Gyromitra/Gyromitra

Scientific Name: Gyromitra gigas

Because this K poison topic is so narrow, I'll be talking generally about the mushrooms in the Gyromitra Genus. These mushrooms are commonly known as the 'false morels'.

Folk/Common Names: False Morel, Bull Nose
Toxicity Level: Extremely toxic. Good chance of being fatal in raw form.
Poison Type: Gyromitrin
Where is the Poison: The entire mushroom, especially the head/spores area.

Symptoms: The general stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, graduating into complete central nervous system failure, terror, headaches, seizures, coma, delusions and a slow death. The neurological symptoms result because the toxin inhibits normal brain receptors. Symptoms usually set in 6 hours after consumption.

Interesting Fact: Most of the species under genus Gyromitra are completely toxic if eaten raw, but some can be cooked and eaten as a delicacy. I guess if you like to gamble with your food, that is. Recent evidence shows even cooking doesn't inhibit the toxin, which will latch on to the system anyway and slowly cause kidney failure and or liver failure.




The most toxic species (and most infamous) of Gyromitra is arguably Gyromitra esculenta. {Click the link to behold a gross photo of it, and learn more.} Though several US species of false morel are less toxic overall, the problem is lookalikes. So don't risk it, man.

Folk Info: Though we have extensive records of poisoning, nobody seems to be able to figure out why the poisoning varies so much from person to person. Some can walk away unharmed, while others who eat the same mushroom end up dead. It's like the russian roulette of poisons.

BOTTOM LINE:

Yeah seriously don't touch really ugly looking mushrooms.

THAT SHIT SHOULD NOT STRIKE YOU AS TASTY-LOOKING.

More info on Gyromitras:

 http://www.mushroomexpert.com/gyromitra.html

Info not evaluated by the FDA, not meant to replace advice by a doctor or other licensed herbalist, not a recommendation to eat or handle poison or do stupid things. Educational use only, thanks, etc etc

Back to the Master Poison List?

Wherein I Finally Take a Clue x 4 to the Face


SOMETIMES, the universe is trying to give you advice and you need to stop fighting it and bend over and take it. This is one of those times.

I've been getting frog signs for weeks, people.

It started during a garden trip to Longwood Gardens, where there were frog statues everywhere. I felt a tingling in my heart of hearts, but ignored it.

Then there was a real frog in the lilypad area at said gardens. Just one, but he was adorable.

Then, there was a weird prevalence of frogs on my feed. On the internet. In pagan stores. Frogs. I brushed it off.

I go to another large garden park, and there's another single frog in the lake near me. I begin to realize some shit is up.

Then, frog signs. On cards, on books, mentioned in books, and I finally broke down and bought myself a little gemstone frog, because I realized maybe I have a frog guide or something. I was done with it.

I went to the Zoo on Wednesday. As soon as I get to the frog exhibit, pictured above, the frog started spazzing out, twitching like crazy, then going dead still. Over and over for like 15 minutes. I said, Duly noted, and forgot about it.

Fast-forward to tonight. I'm down the shore, it has rained for 2 days, we have a 3 inch lake in my backyard, which is just dirt and rocks. Then, a frog literally started croaking hours ago. Regular croaks, every few seconds, for hours. I have never seen frogs down here, this close to the ocean, with no lake around. How the fuck did a frog get into my fenced in shore house backyard?

Then came the third eye headache. Oh no, I thought. I know what this means. Forcible Journeying.

Then, my guide K came in, way too excited. Which only happens when he's drugged somebody or fucked up really bad, neither of which was good. I put two and two together.

"Okay, I'll talk to the frog," said I. And then my fate was sealed.

Next thing you know, I notice the huge fucking white Spirit-frog outside my window. And it's all 'GET ON MY BACK!' So I do, and then the seeming-cocaine-filled-journey began.

I suppose I was asking for this with the earlier post I made. It was like a roadmap to ridiculous.

I should also point out it's been a long, long time since I've actively worked with a guide on my own shit other than K. I never really had Animal guides for long, because K was the constant. I just don't think there was need. So for a Frog to specifically call me to HER and say, you, you're mine, we have things to do? That's rare. This is some big business if she's calling me to her.

Basically, I went/got forcibly journey'd to Frog Kingdom, which is like its own pocket of the Underworld. Which, apparently, in Frog Kingdom, people are caterpillar sized. Everything was MASSIVE. Alice in Wonderland style. Blades of grass were tree sized compared to us. The only thing bigger than the landscape are, well, the frogs.

Basically, I was told to go consult the King Frog before attempting to find my guide. Out of politeness, you understand. So, now you're caught up, what follows is the verbatim part of the journey I'm allowed to share.

~*~

There was much walking, eventually across a lake filled with giant lily pads. I rode K {in arctic wolf form} across, and through another grass-clearing was Sha-man, chilling in front of a fire.




{Sha-Man is an artfully named Human Shaman guide of mine. The only one I know of, to date. But he shows up when my life needs some putting in order, then usually ducks out.}

He basically told me the same thing about my Guide in this place, and that the Frog would bring me into the next phase of my work, because the last phase was coming to a close. He then said I’d see him again, and promptly disappeared.

More walking, eventually into a forest littered with patches of sunlight. On the way there we passed through a cave that glowed with drawings on the walls, from the crystalline inside.

The clearing in the forest was a large lake surrounded by 3 stumps. There was a huge King Frog, and a bullfrog on either side of him. They didn’t speak, just croaked, and had to be interpreted.

I stated my Shamanic Name, and my purpose in finding my Guide, who I was told was marked for me and waiting. They agreed to my purpose provided I left two mushrooms at the exit before I left. At that point, a stone platform appeared across the water from beneath the King Frog. We bowed to the other, and parted ways.

K and I entered another cave, a multi-level cave containing rivers, outlets and small waterfalls and pools. It also seemed to glow from the inside, and had a skylight in the ceiling. K told me, this is where I leave you. She’ll test you now. See you on the other side. And next thing I knew I had to enter the water.

I tried going Snake (Shapeshifting-style), and I heard her voice telling me only a Frog could navigate water like this. I became a frog. I tried to swim. She admonished me, saying no, you must be absolutely still. Frog means knowing when to keep still and let the current carry you. Then she said, Breathe. Being Frog means having faith the forces that carry you will not crush you. So I listened and began to feel the currents, completely frozen like a frog the entire time. The currents carried me to the bottom waterfall pool. She said, very good. Now, Rise. And I opened my eyes, and I saw the skylight at the top. I had to reach it.

I read the currents and nudged myself into the currents that would take me higher. I rode the caverns to the top, and when the currents shoved me into walls, I didn’t fight them. I worked with them to get into the correct currents. Eventually, I was in the top pool. I saw light above the water, and I dead swam towards it. I broke the surface, and saw that sky met pool in an ocean of stars, so close you could touch them.

The frog was made of star-matter, she looked like universe made material. And in that moment I thought the perfect form of matter was Frog shaped.

She sat on a large lily pad, in the darkness-that-wasn’t-dark. The lake was a mirror of the cloudless sky of stars. She called it The Lake of Stars. The heart of frog-land.

She held a glowing white ball between her forearms.

“Do you know this?” She asked me, of the ball.

“This is the soul. The soul is raw material. This is the soul, tempered into Infinity. Tempered by suffering, and war, and adversary, it becomes strong. It becomes unbreakable. That is why souls suffer.”

She told me “I will be your guide. I will teach you to trust the forces that guide you will not harm you, as the Frog trusts the river currents to not drown it. I am the voice of that-which-is-outside-you, and I contain many voices within myself. All of this, I was give to you. See me again at The Lake of Stars.”

And then she said, “Wake up.”

~*~

I consider myself bitch-slapped.

Tell the Universe you're tired of your work-phone being off the hook and ye shall receive, apparently.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

On Not Having 'Work'



Work, of course, means the Spirit-kind. Spirit-work.

If you've been Called to any path of service (Spirits, Humans, Gods) you're probably aware that, generally, you get handed Work. Sometimes forcibily, sometimes willingly taken. Sometimes sporadic, sometimes round-the-clock work. If you become a Shaman, the work is, generally non-stop.

Here's something that has distinctly bothered me since the day the Spirits told me I could call myself by the title 'Shaman'. (Following a long and harrowing year long shadow work process.) I feel like I don't have 'Work', and when I do, it's sporadic at best.

It's not for lack of wanting. I really would like to do some good, every day, for those I work with and for. I see many writers on the 'net who are engaged in constant Spirit-work. Sometimes it's positively draining and everything else stops for it. Sometimes your life changes to accomodate the Work. But, generally, at some point, you have Work.

This has been bothering me since I began this path, and only now am I really putting it to paper.

Eventually, the Work finds you. You have Land Spirits come to you and say, hey you, do this for me, and we'll forge a partnership. Human Spirits find you, asking to be helped. The Land itself finds you, showing you your duties on this path.

I feel like my Work never found me. At least not like that.

I know certain parts of my Work in this life in general. I know my role is Teacher. I know my role is partner to Animal and Land Spirits. I know my role is between the worlds, an astral life and this life. I know my role is (to be) Healer. I know all these things, but I feel like I'm missing the Work. The Spirit-work.

I feel somehow I'm missing the point somewhere on my path. Why aren't Spirits finding me, left and right, asking for help I could provide? Why aren't things seeking shelter with me? This might sound crazy to some, to ask for a burden, but it's a burden I dedicated myself to when I began this path. So the fact so many are engaged in Duties, but I'm not, almost makes me wonder at the legitimacy of my own practice.

I have to wonder...is it Spirit-blindness? Do things need my help, but can't get through? Am I too blind to follow the signals? These things I wonder.

I don't regret not having Work. It's given me freedom to build my own foundations at my own pace, with my own tools. But it continuously makes me wonder 'Should I be doing something now, that I'm not doing...? Why does nothing need MY help...?'

I partly know the answer to that. My guide, K, is what I like to call my Shamanic secretary. Sometimes he does things for my own good that end up bothering me. I know he essentially owns my Shamanic datebook. I think the major reason things aren't coming to call all the time is his influence. He tends to go off and handle things for me, just to allow me to live a freer life. But this is something I feel I have to do. I feel the next step in my path is opening to the Work.

I know that work will majorly be healing people and animals on this plane. But I also feel the Call to aid Land and Animals on a global scale.

A few months ago, I actually went to my Shamanic guide and asked for Work, myself. And she basically said 'All you had to do was ask.' And I had to complete 7 global tasks, and after that items and more of my purpose was revealed to me. But no Work has come through since then. And, to me, it seems weird that I have to ASK for work. Like there's silence on my Spirit-line, and that silence is disconcerting. Moreso than if it were buzzing.

Before I knew what Shamanism was, when I was 18, Spirits were all over me, all the time. Animal spirits in my room, 24/7. All sizes and species. A zoo around me, all the time, everywhere. And I know it was a signal to somebody Spirit-blind they needed to hurry up and figure out their path, because time wasn't going to wait up.

Now that I have been on this path for a while, I realize the question I always had: Where did they go?

I think many people can relate to feeling much more jazzed and connected to Everything when they first began their path. My senses were sharper, I spent more time in Journey and meditation, and things were really alive. I think a large portion, for me, is lacking stability right now. A college graduate with no stable job, trying on her own to start up a small business or two, still living at home, with a family of Roman Catholics who look at me askance. Not ideal conditions. When I was beginning, I was in a fertile, small community of other Spirit-workers, so in a sense I came from the best possible conditions. I wonder if having that comparison reflects on my work now.

I wonder, recently, whether I will ever have 'Work', in the typical sense. I never felt Called to work with a Deity in a close relationship, offerings and all that. Even my 'Shamanic Patron' is not a close Deity relationship. All of my relations feel distant, and I don't know how to go about fixing that. Because doing offerings and typical things feels wrong. But not having anything feels wrong too.

Satsekhem spoke of Fallow Times in our Spiritual practice. Now I'm forced to wonder if the past year has been one giant Fallow Time in Spirit-work for me, or if I'm doing something significantly wrong that I'm not seeing.

In any case, I hope somebody out there can relate. When everyone else is swamped by Work, and you're left in silence, it naturally makes you wonder if maybe somebody cut your phonelines.


Monday, August 6, 2012

PBP 19: Psychic Surgery: What it is, How it works, and Why it works

In my last post on Shamanic Healing, I mentioned a technique of energy healing much different from most of the ‘mainstream’, teachable ideas. I called this technique Psychic Surgery. I was asked to elaborate some on this technique, so why not make it a full-out mammoth post like I always end up making?

Because I like my definition of psychic surgery, imma quote it here.

Original Post: Shamanic Healing & Soul Landscapes

My way of healing I have seen referred to as 'Psychic Surgery', which is the process of locating chunks of energy blocks and removing them from the body. Often I scan the body first, and pain feels like a hot, spiky ball of black gunk to me. Pretty, is it not. Then I project my astral body through the skin (usually just my hands), reach around the block and physically wrench it out. Either I do this astrally or in extreme cases I have to actually pull my hand away from the body to get it out quickly and in one piece.

So, essentially, Psychic Surgery is so-named because you can go so far as to remove physical pains (and in some case actual tumors and maladies) inside the physical body utilizing nothing but energetic means.

But how does that work, Dusken? You say. Chances are, if you were born into a country that’s big on Western medical procedure, this sounds crazy or impossible. There’s a good reason for that. Western vs Eastern medicine have a few key differences we need to discuss before you can understand how energetic healing can affect the physical body.



Western Medicine

+Believes the symptoms one experiences as a result of dis-ease in the body are the result of physical problems/abnormalities in the body.

+Believes to treat physical symptoms one uses physical substances. These drugs/substances are extracted from herbs and other synthetics, combined in labs, and administered to the physical body to stop said symptoms.

+Rejects the idea of a subtle energetic body because it can’t be measured yet by medical instrumentation.

+Has its uses in situations where the body is in crisis and is more or less incapable of saving itself. (When the body degredation is very high.)



Eastern/Alternative Medicine

+Believes the symptoms one experiences as a result of dis-ease in the body are the result of mental, physical, energetic, or a combination of these, sources.

+Believes to treat these problems we can use a variety of things. Herbalism, for instance, uses the whole plant, unaltered or synthesized, and helps the body heal itself. The body is regarded as the healer; the herb is the upholder of the healer. Western medicine says the body must be ‘forced’ via drugs to handle itself.

+Accepts the existence of energy pathways in the body (called ‘meridians’) that can become blocked and, when blocked, can cause physical and mental symptoms. Methods like Accupuncture and Accupressure seek to cleanse these pathways to alleviate pain and other symptoms. Chakric cleansing also falls under this idea.

+Excels in preventative medicine (healing the body before anything gets the chance to get to a crisis point), however if you ask ME energetic healing can heal things Western medicine deems irreversible like advanced stage cancers etc etc.

So as you can see by my beautiful diagrams, the big element missing from Western medicine is the idea of the energetic/Spirit as present in healing. So if you look at psychic surgery from a Western standpoint, you’d be like, that makes no fucking sense.

Look at it from the Alternative/Eastern standpoint, and you’ll understand the triangle of healing. The body, mind, and energy all contribute to dis-ease and all can be utilized to take dis-ease away.

Tons of people from the West love to scoff at Eastern/Alt medicines and their idea of Spirit/Energy as having a part in healing. I dunno, I'm a fan of the idea that if a healing method has been around for thousands of years before your method of healing, it probably works and you probably need to actually try it before you discount it for not fitting into your ideas, which are much much younger.

Let’s take this headache diagram I made, for example.


From an Alt. Medicine/energy healing standpoint, this is what a headache is to me. 

It's physical head/neck/eye pain, it's mental slowness/hard to think, plus emotional irritability because of the other symptoms, and it's nasty blocks in the energy pathways of the third eye, throat and crown chakras, depending on type of headache.

As it was taught to me, Dis-ease has to exist in all 3 planes of existence within the body at once. (Energy, Mental, Physical) If one of the corners of the triangle is targeted with treatment, the pain can no longer exist, because everything on Earth itself exists in that capacity. (Mind-Body-Spirit) Everything on earth has a measurable energy field and a physical body at the very least.

So, following this logic, Western medicine can treat this headache from the lower right corner--with drugs to stop pain, and this works, because it's removing one point of the triangle. Remove a point and the pain collapses.

Alternatively, one could treat this from a combined mind-body approach, with Yogas. Yoga could both calm the mind AND remove the bodily pain through stretch and practice. The pain collapses.

The way I work, with psychic surgery, and the way Reiki works, more or less, is focusing on the top of the triangle. If I remove the energetic frequency of he pain, or I locate the pain in the correct spot in the energy field, and I can successfully remove or unblock that pain, the pain collapses. It no longer can exist in the mind or body because I have removed a point of the triangle, the energetic signature/component of the pain, and so the pain collapses.

So, that's why I can "rip" blockages from a person's head, and their headache will dissipate. I hope the idea makes more sense now.

So, moving on. How do you do psychic surgery/learn it?

The problem is this method is sort of no teachable. You need to be kind of shown how to do it via Spirit. But it's very hands-on. You need to sort of keep trying and failing at it before anything is learned. It's not something I can transfer teacher to student or anything, it's very individual.

I think I gravitated towards this because many Shamanic cultures practiced a variation of psychic surgery. It makes sense to me to directly zero-in on a problem and remove it, rather than flood the body with non-specific white light and hope it works or something. 

So, steps to Shamanic healing.



1. Familiarize yourself with Energy pathways.

Above is picture of Energy Meridians as understood in Chinese medicines, courtesy of Wikipedia.

I think there's definite value in understanding and looking into the energetic ideas of the body from many cultures. The Chakra system and the Chinese systems are just two. Many different Shamanic cultures had ideas of the body/soul/energy structure too. Find ones that make sense, and experiment with your own body. Sense how your energy moves and directs itself.

2. Familiarize yourself with Anatomy too.

Yes, you need to have a working knowledge of where shit is in your body to know how to heal it. Common sense, yo. I need to know which Chakra corresponds to intestinal problems vs stomach problems to know how to approach that better.

3. Do Energy exercises.

Very important, people. Start out small, by creating energetic balls and throwing them at people. Feel the tug of energy between your palms. Then, try to sense energy in your own body. Sense your aura. Sense other people's auras. Get your hands accustomed to feeling energy. Generally, when I heal, I know it's happening because my hands will get extremely hot, especially if on another person's body. This is how I know my energy is leaving the body in long distance healings. Familiarize yourself with your energetic cues.

4. Learn to ground really well.

The added danger of psychic surgery as compared to other methods is that you're drawing blockages "into" your hands, more or less. You're pulling out, instead of pushing your own energy in. So if you're not careful you're going to block up your own energetic paths in the hands. Learn to ground very well, and to dispel energy from your hands into the ground/black crystals/clear crystals.

5. When you're ready to try, start small.

I will say when you start experimenting, it's really much easier to try psychic surgery on somebody else. Will it be awkward? Yeah, probably, bro. I practiced on other people's headaches. Why headaches? I don't know. I have always found them easiest to remove. That, and nausea. 

Why is it better to use a friend? If you're in headache pain and you're trying to focus enough to direct and pull blockages out, it's not going to be a fun time. It's hard to think with a headache already, and you're creating a sort of feedback loop by trying. It's much easier when you're not in pain to begin with.

I recommend finding a pagan friend with a headache, and asking them if you can practice psychic surgery stuff on them.

6. Listen to your body/intuition.

This is where it gets tricky. Depending on the pain, I will get the urge to place my hands upon and body differently.
 

 As you can see from my utterfly wonderul depiction of hands (haven't drawn them in ages, yo) these are how I'll approach headaches differently.

Sometimes, I feel the urge to hold my left hand (that's my drawing hand) 6 inches away from the third eye, and draw blocks out that way. Sometimes, I want to draw from the base of the skull, sometimes from the back, sometimes from above. (I have made spiral circles to show you the points I like to draw from.)

This is the part where I can't teach you where to place hands. Depends on what you feel is right. Just focus on the pain they have and feel out where to put your hands.

7. Begin psychic surgery.

There is where I try to describe to you what I visualize when I perform psychic surgery.

I focus on Chakric healing, mostly. So for a headache, I hold my hand/both hands a few inches from the third eye. Then, I close my eyes and focus. I visualize my "astral" or energetic hands reaching INTO the skull, through the third eye, and I can "feel" blocks like giant handholds of nasty energy.

I "grab" these blocks with my energetic hands, and I visualize pulling them from the skull, out of the third eye. Sometimes I feel the need to drag my hand away from the skull in a real pulling action. The energetic pull feels more or less like dragging thick taffy away from a surface.

Sometimes I have visuals of the third eye being a door into someplace like a giant room, filled with black clumps of nonsense, and I have to clear the room. What you use doesn't matter. What does matter is that you "see" your energetic hands reaching into the body and you feel the pulling sensation of grasping and removing those blockages.

For whatever problem there is, I visualize a door, visualize going inside the body itself/the chakra, and then pull clumps of gross blocks out until I feel I am finished. This can take a while, be warned.

During the block removal process, YOU might feel tingling or unpleasant "spike" feelings in your hands. This is from the block energy. You might want to "throw" these blocks away from yourself, or better ground them into a stone you hold in the hand you draw with. The stone will create a barrier between your body and the block, so you don't have accidental blocks, too.

During the block removal process, THEY might feel a tugging or unpleasant sensation while the block is being handled. This is normal. Especially with severe headaches, forcibly removing the block might temporarily increase pain. This should abate after the healing is complete.

If done right, you removing the last traces of energetic pain will remove the pain. For those who assume this is placebo, I've performed this technique on people who were not aware, and also on complete and total atheists who asked me to prove that this works. If anything, they were resisting and I succeeded in removing a huge migraine from the back seat of a car. (2 feet from her) So yeah, there's some real shit to this technique.

8. Optional step: Flood the newly opened chakra with energy.

This is the opposite of psychic surgery, but I'll sometimes push cleansing energy into a pathway I just opened, to make sure it's good. I'll usually do this for specific types of pain/cramps too. Just make sure you're drawing from another source's energy and you're not using your own.

9. Ground some more!!!!

For real. Psychic surgery can be dangerous if you let blocks sit in your hands. Ground that shit.

I hope this explains the process a little better for you guys. As always, feel free to comment/email with questions and etc.


Relevant Posts

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Sea Travel Altar


They just seem to expand, don't they? This is my recent sea shore altar for the next week, including my gay unicorn oracle cards. My shore altars are geared toward very zen and relaxing stones.

Candle is a Soy Synergy Candle (Venus) from Terra Essentials. Highly recommend them.


New stones featured here: golden healer quartz, stillbite, Lavender Flourite, green obsidian, and red Aventurine.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Working WITH (not ON) Crystals in Grids & Healing



{My hands are inside my crystal grid. I relax, I breathe in, out, three times. I close my eyes and I focus. I feel the grid, and myself, and I feel us integrating, twisting vines and threads of energy around each other. Feeling the other out. I keep the target in mind, and I open my crown chakra. I begin to flood the grid with energy: slowly, at first, then my hands warm as it becomes more energized. I push my energy through the grid; in this way I show the crystals how to move. I follow each path between the stones. Halfway through, we switch. I begin to pull from the top of the grid into the Tiger Iron sphere I'm holding. Inhale, pull. Exhale, push. In this way I lose myself; crystal and human and crystal, we are one entity, breathing and pulling and pushing. We rock, I rock, They rock, all of us on an energetic see-saw, as we remove the blocks. Eventually, I remove my hands. The Grid can continue without me now.}

If you have no idea what I'm on about go check the Crystals 101 Post and the Crystal Grid 101 Post.

I realized this week that although I had already written a post on how crystal grids work (in energetic terms) I didn't really stress or write about how to interact with them, the Crystals, as living beings themselves, within the Grid.

I didn't realize I was weird in what I did until I went on youtube and searched up 'crystal grid' videos. And every single person did this thing I considered very strange. Upon setting up the grid, they took a point of some sort, usually a clear quartz, and "activated" the grid with that crystal. As in, they would draw energetic lines through the air from crystal to crystal, showing the energy how to move. And that would be 'activating' the grid.

Now for some reason I got very indignant at this idea. Why would you need to force the energy to move with an outside crystal? I thought. Crystals know how to move energy through a grid. They have Will. 

Upon further analysis, I think I consider this method working "on" the crystals. Using them as energy points and forcing the activation on them. I've always worked "with" the crystals. I don't 'activate' my grids without literally getting inside them, joining into more or less One with the entire grid, and sharing my Will with the crystals themselves. It's like a "soft" activation compared to lazer-ing energy through a grid.

I use crystals primarily to aid me in energetic healing practice. I may place them in a grid or on the body, but "behind" the scenes I'm planting my hands in the grid or on the body to align myself with the crystals and carry out the purpose as one entity. This is hard to describe because it's a mix of strong meditation and letting the ego fade enough to become a Channel. (As my guide says "Fade, become a Channel." This has become a sort of mantra.) Your job isn't to DIRECT the crystals. Your job is to, as one Entity, carry out the Work.

 Just sticking crystals in a grid isn't going to help you, with no Intent. And I don't really think just "activating" a grid is going to necessarily do much either. You need to form solid relationships,  built on trust and repeated use, with each crystal in a grid before you can really maximize the effects of using one, or the crystals themselves.

Which brings me to my next point. How do you proceed to work with crystals you intend to use for Healing purposes, and how do you go about the healing Work?

Basics on Crystal Usage

When you first bring a crystal home from the shop, you generally have to cleanse it. However, not always! I've brought crystals home a gorgeous, well protected/zen Metaphysical store near my house that never need cleansing. The energy in the place is kept zen and circulated enough the crystals tend to self-cleanse. That's also the mark of a store that knows what they're doing.

But sometimes you have a crystal that's full of spikey energy nonsense. I prefer to leave them out in the sun to cleanse because I'm petrified of guessing wrong in the "will this rock dissolve in water or salt"? game. Selenite, for instance, dissolves in water. By the same totem, Red Coral loses color and stains in water. But Amethyst will fade with repeated exposure to direct sunlight. You need to know how to handle that.


{photo of new crystal grid}

So anyway, when I bring a crystal home, to the window it goes to acclimate to its surroundings. Sometimes I place them in a grid of only new crystals (as pictured above), to "get to know" the area. This is just a good practice when introducing new shit to your home. I don' let them "play" with my other stones for a few hours-days usually. It's like a quarantine period.


{photo of green obsidian}

The next step after that for me is taking the stone in my left hand, individually, and focusing on the energy feeling. I can pretty much pick up a purpose from the signature along. For instance, I picked up a piece of Green Obsidian and felt my energy being forcibly channeled and my hand pathways being opened up. I then consulted the Crystal Bible as a secondary resource, and the internet too, and found that's an amplification stone specifically good for Reiki purposes. I check energy first and resources second, and usually they match up. But always hold the Crystal energy of your individual stone above written explanations by others. Stones have very individual spirits and purpose.

Once I connect with the stone energy, I sometimes ask to talk to the Spirit of the stone. In some cases connecting with the energy is enough to give me "visions" from the stone on how to utilize it in healing and where to place it on the body. For instance, I asked my crystals for a channeled grid to use for stomach ailments. They showed me a 6-pronged circle grid and informed me how to carry it out. Crystals will tell you how to utilize them, and for what, if you take time to connect with the stone.

Just like my Consent posts, Crystals have consent. Be sure to ask before your intended use.

People speak of "charging" crystals for a purpose. I don't "charge". I show the Crystal spirit what I would like it to accomplish, and wait for an answer. If yes, I ask for a formal acceptance of what I would need it to partner with me for. If yes, that's it. The stone doesn't need to be formally "charged" with your will. It has its own will. You just need to explain what you need and formally ask it.

All that's involved in formally asking is sitting with the stone in the hands for meditating purposes, focusing, and asking. Even a pendulum can be employed.


{Picture of pendulum divination on a crystal}

Pendulums can also be employed for the Spirit-Deaf to divine if a stone cants to work with you/what it should be used for. 

Hold the pendulum above the stone, ask to speak with its Spirit, then ask if it even wants to work with you, first. Sometimes they don't. If it does, go through a list of purposes. "Are you good for healing? Defense? Balance? Channeling? Meditation?" and write down which answers you get a yes to.

In any case, before you formally use a Crystal, as I said, it's excellent to sit with it in meditation, or even carry it around with you. I do this with most of my stones. I take one with me a day when I really need that energy or assurance on me. This, combined with asking for consent from the Spirit and getting to know the stone, improves your use tremendously. This way, when I go to heal with that stone, I have a wealth of experiences with it to draw upon, so I can better use it. 


{Red jasper picture}

Example: This is my red jasper. It's the first crystal I ever bought. It has been with me for years, been through the wash many times, got lost, found, and came back repeatedly, and has always been a stone of comfort and courage for me. We have a history. So when I use that energy to heal, it's like employing and engaging with an old friend. The energy is much improved.


{Hematite necklace picture}

This was the first stone somebody else gave me. A hematite on a necklace, it used to belong to a Reiki master but she told me I needed to have it. This stone literally taught me to heal. Just holding it close to the body, it would "rip" blockages out and remove pain. I used this stone, focused, and channeled its energy, and eventually I began to be able to "rip", or perform psychic surgery, without the stone. I KNOW I can use this stone whenever I need to draw and it will work for me, without fail.

Building a history with your stones is as easy and using them in the ways they want, many times over. Practice makes perfect.

Some notes on 'cleansing' & Energizing

I disagree, obviously, with several popular crystal books/methods in this post. Here's another way I'm odd. None of my crystals need to be cleansed most of the time. I don't know if by virtue of placing them on my altar in a specific way they self-cleanse, or I just do a good job of keeping my room nicely energized and protected. But despite using them, they rarely need cleansing. I thought I was doing something wrong because all the books warned me about that. But not so. Sometimes you just don't need to.


{Picture of Clear Quartz on windowsill during storm}

At the same time, my favorite thing to do is match crystals with their 'like element'. My Quartz stones all carry very strong 'Storm' energy. They feel like cracks of lightning made solid. So I place my clear quartz points and stones on the windowsil during large thunderstorms, to absorb that energy.

I'll take my soft, calming stones to the beach to sit with me by the ocean (NOT IN IT LOL) to absorb that feeling. I'll leaving green stones in plants to aid growth but to also absorb that feeling.

I find this supercharges the stones and gives you another element of energy to utilize in healing practice.


{Picture of Anubis being Stone Guardian}

You can also place stones on Deity statues/near charged items to pick up some of that energy. Bast guards all my green stones (emeralds and calcites and Unakites) and Anubis guards my Shamanic red stones.

Utilizing this knowledge for Grids

Once you gasp the basic personalities/signatures of your stones and know their use, you can begin to build your own grids. (You can reference my original Grid post for how energy works in grids.) My grid choices are based on the energies of stones that I know will work well together. My high vibration Jaspers would not play that well with my low vibration, calming Blue Aragonite. There is an inherent energy impasse in that match.

By the same idea, if you're making a dream grid, stones that are purple (influence the third eye chakra), clear (crown chakra), and potentially orange (specifically for creativity and sometimes good dreams) are probably good choices. There are some stone conventions that make sense.

Using grids is a balance game. Too many conflicting energies and the grid will be confused and unstable. Too much of the same and it might lack purpose. What follows is an example of testing a grid and tweaking it due to imbalance.

This was meant to be a dream grid. The first night, the Lemurian Point pointing straight at my head was not fun. I turned the grid inward instead, added a Carnelian for certain elements of dreams, and activated the grid again. It worked better the second time.


First.


Second.

Grids and Healing

There are a couple ways to use grids for healing. You can actually grid crystals on the body, depending on ailment. I usually have various grids streamed to me from the Crystals themselves based on where they need to go. I like to have the person lie face down and grid the crystals down their spine/back. Alternatively, for specific pains I grid the crystals around the area and sometimes on the floor.

You can dedicate a small floor grid to heal yourself or work on your own issues, too. I like to place something of mine I charge with my energy in the center of the grid, and then arrange the grid around that, so there's a consistent link to my energy field for the grid to do its work. Alternatively, you can always sit in a giant crystal grid. I recommend doing this for 30 minutes at a time at first or else you'll probably be high.

Grids and Long-Distance Healing

I personally utilize long-distance healing methods a lot, but I have trouble without using an 'anchor' for that energy. In the absence of having an item of the person/being that I can use, I came up with this grid. I "anchored" the person's chakra points to the star points on the healing cloth I use, and placed the corresponding crystal there. (The top is the throat chakra, and bottom is the root, and below that, a hematite.)

The purpose of this grid was to detoxifiy the body, so I sat at the bottommost edge of the grid, held a sphere of tiger-iron, and with my own energy "drew" toxins from the chakras from the top down into the ball. The little description I wrote at the beginning of this post is from this ritual.

These are just examples of how you can absolutely use grids for long distance and constant healing.


Crystal Healing and Grounding

The problem with using healing in conjunction with grids is if you're drawing your energy from the wrong source, you'll know almost immediately by virtue of being exhausted and drained. Why? When healing WITH crystals, you're asking permission to add their influence to channel, direct, and amplify your energy. So if you're using your own energy to heal, you're going to feel it a looot faster since the work is going much faster and much more powerfully.

When healing with hands or stones, I advise opening the crown chakra and drawing down energy from the higher planes. Earth energy works too. But make sure you are consciously drawing from a source other than yourself, else you drain your own chakras of energy and need a healing yourself! It takes practice to know what you're drawing from.

Sometimes I overcharge a grid with my own energy, and I ask the Crystals to take it from there because I'm accidentally drained. This is valid. In the case of inevitably fucking yourself up I suggest bathing in hematite. Not literally. Just stick that shit everywhere. And remember to ground.

Working with Carved Gemstone Animal Spirits 


{Picture of my gemstone Seal & Frog}

I dunno about you, but my gemstone animals have serious Spirits. The Seal has actually acted as an anchor point for a personal Shamanic guide of mine, and the Frog also has a strong Shamanic spirit attachment. I only buy gemstone animals when I'm very drawn to work with that Spirit.

Alternatively, gemstone animals can act as anchor points to guides, totems or servitors.

The same theory applies here. Ask if there IS a Spirit in the animal, and if it would work with you. Ask it what lessons it has to teach you. There can be many.

I find the carved stones has a much more specific purpose and energetic frequency than non-carved ones, as if the carving lends it pointed purpose.

As always, leave all questions and comments in the bottom. I just felt the need to elaborate a little more on my process for healing and such. And Blessed Lammas, by the way.


Relevant Posts on Crystals: