Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it! This phrase has been going around in my thoughts for weeks now. It has been echoed by Mick Jagger’s voice, singing:
“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”
The other night, I dreamt of flying over the Valley of Death, a dark landscape of half-exposed corpses stuck in a black bog, thousands of them rotting away in the stagnant scene below me. From my perspective I did not perceive the rotting corpses as horrifying or nightmarish, but as a natural consequence of being human. At one time I might have startled awake, shaking in fright, but this time I calmly noted: “Yes, our bodies will become like that, corpses rotting in a bog when we no longer need them. They are carcasses that will one day reside in the black Valley of Death, but our spirits will live on.” Indeed, as I thought this my dreaming spirit heard a voice that said: “Go toward the light, turn always toward the light.”
I know that once the body’s work is done, we must leave it behind and, without attachment, go into new life.
The Buddhists and the Shamans alike suggest that we create our own reality. If we focus only on negativity, in thought alone, we keep ourselves stuck in negativity. Negativity and negative entities will attach to us, as we become feeding grounds where they know they will find sustenance. We actually compound the situation, bringing more on ourselves, one bad event leading to another as we energetically attach to crisis upon crisis. If we constantly bemoan our state of affairs, crying that our lives are terrible, that nothing goes right for us, that only bad comes to us, then that is what we will get.
I have experienced this myself. In fact, I once believed that I had to accept everything that came to me. “I can handle anything, good or bad,” I said to the universe, feeling powerful, “bring it on!” But one day I got fed up. “I’m sick of bad,” I said, “I only want good now!” And with that simple though hard-earned declaration things began to change significantly for the better. My whole outlook on life began to change too as a result of a new, more positive attitude.
As good began to arrive in my life, the negative slunk away. I learned in the process how to accept goodness from the universe, from others, and, most significantly, from myself. I softened and began to learn how to love myself. I learned the lessons of the Buddhists and Shamans: that I am largely responsible for the world I live in, in fact, that I create it.
In asking for good, I also had to confront what that meant. I got what I needed to propel me forward as I reconnected with my spirit and listened to the truths it told me. I had to leave a lot of my old life behind, leave it to rot in the Valley of Death, without regret and resentment. Those were some very challenging times, but they were also the most transformative times of my life as well.
The biggest challenge of that transformative period, during which I did my recapitulation, was learning how to face myself and my life lived without fixating on having been bad. I learned what it meant to be without judgment. I learned that everything that had happened in my life was necessary. I had to get to the point where I could view everything from a different perspective, as I did in my dream the other night, and clearly see how everything fit together, how everything was meaningful and significant and absolutely necessary for me to get where I am now.
As I turned away from the Valley of Death in my dream and looked into the light all around me, I knew that our spirits always seek the light. They seek what lies beyond the negative, nightmarish outlook we tend to attach to with fear. In the light there is no fear.
If we shift our focus, as the Buddhists and Shamans suggest, to focus on the light, the darkness will shrink away from us. If we change our thoughts to thoughts of joy and peace, love and kindness, as we reject the entities that seek to siphon our energy, we will begin to understand the necessity of their presence in the first place. Shifting our perspective begins with closely and honestly looking at our fears. Rather than focus on them as frightening, and on the Valley of Death as a horrible outcome, we must question the meaning of such symbols in our lives. Where are they leading us? What are they showing us? What are they trying to tell us? Eventually, as we face the darkness within ourselves with curiosity rather than fear, the darkness without will sense our disinterest. It will loosen its hold on us, and our attachment to it will diminish as well.
We may not be able to control how our lives unfold, but we can certainly control how we react. We create our world with our thoughts and what we choose to attach to, but there will come a time when our spirit will ask us to shift our perspective and it will be up to us alone to accept responsibility for doing so.
Accepting responsibility for our lives is perhaps one of our biggest challenges. We may spend a lot of time blaming others, blaming our circumstances, the raw deal we got, the universe colluding against us from the moment of birth. But living life that way, steeped in victimhood, gets pretty stale after a while. Eventually, we learn that our life will not change if we do not make a move on our own behalf.
Today, I wish that joy and peace may be yours, that goodness may come your way, that your thoughts may turn positive, that you may turn toward the light, and that self-nurturing healing and transformation may always be yours,
I dreamed all night about writing this blog, achieving many aha moments as ideas and thoughts came together, as I connected with the bigger picture of who I am, where I am, and what I have to face ahead of me. All of this converged into a big interconnected web of awareness that we are all facing the same issues, the same challenges, the same inner and outer dilemmas. And so it feels right that I explore some guidance I received earlier in the week, as I turned to the Tarot with some requests.
Request for guidance number one was as follows: Please may I pick the card that is most meaningful and important for me to receive on this day as I seek balance and calm knowing in my life. Please direct me to pick the card that is in alignment with my heart’s intent.
Here is the card I picked: The Magus
I use the Tarot as a daily guide when I feel the need for clarity, if I am swimming in inner discourse that I cannot quiet, or if I just want to center myself. On Monday, when I sought advice from the Tarot I was mostly interested in grounding myself, in beginning my week fully present. The Magus or Magician “represents the universal principles of communication. The golden figure of Mercury, the winged messenger from Greek mythology, represents communication that is inspired, resilient, and well-timed,” Angeles Arrien writes in The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols. In addition, the Magician is surrounded by ten tools, each one of them representing a means of communication, suitable for different situations and contexts; the challenge is knowing which tool to use when.
I was immediately struck by this card showing up in my hands, for personal reasons, as well as for our times; for all of us. I have been personally challenged for the past ten years with using language and my personal abilities to communicate in many different ways in the world, to use communication in all of its many forms as a means of growth. On a universal level, I immediately noted that in the time we are in now communication is so easily accessible, we all have so many tools available to us, and lately we have been using them to great advantage. Take the revolutionary situations in the Middle East, largely orchestrated and carried out through the use of modern tools of communication: cell phones and facebook. The fact that we all have these tools puts us in a unique position but also a rather precarious one as well.
We must be more thoughtful than ever, I believe. We must be careful in how we express ourselves and selective in what we say. In order to fully embrace the meaning of the Magician in all of us, we must be in proper alignment with our times, the energy of Mercury that is flowing and firing through us all, asking us to change, to revolt, to grow now beyond any stage we have previously achieved, but it also asks us to do so from a new base, from the spiritually interconnected, heart-centered place we all have within. We all feel the energy of revolution and the speed with which things are happening, but we must stay in alignment with the far greater truth that this kind of energy can destroy us as well as evolve us.
We must be in balance—our timing must be right. Our sense of purpose must be clear and well thought out, from the proper perspective, in alignment with the greater interconnectedness of all things. This is what Chuck and I have been trying to write about in our blogs, what Jeanne conveys in her messages, that we are at a crucial time in the history of the world, that we have more tools available to us for communicating now than ever before, but we must use them wisely, for the right reasons, with commitment to endeavors that evolve us now to a place of understanding, kindness, compassion and love for all human beings and the planet as well.
This is what Arrien says as well: “The Magician organizes communication patterns by picking the appropriate tools or content and combines it will well-timed delivery. Blunt communication is communication which lacks correct timing. Confused communication is communication which lacks appropriate content, yet may be well-timed in delivery but poorly organized. The wizard-like quality of the Magician is to artfully combine good timing with clear content and appropriate context.” I believe this is the challenge for all of us now. The truth must be spoken, the revolutions must be waged, the world must change, but all of this must be done properly now. We may not have another chance to get it right.
My second request was for guidance related to all of us, especially the readers of these blogs. I asked for clarity on how what I personally write is being received and what I must be aware of as I continue to express myself in this very public forum. I asked that this guidance show me where we all are now, as we take in the truths of the world and as we grasp the deeper meaning. What must we be aware of next?
Here is the card I received: The Five of Wands: Strife
Strife, as Arrien writes, “is the symbol of the state of strife, anxiety or frustration. Anxiety is an energetic experience caused by holding back… It is the state of having abundant energy but not knowing what to do with that energy, or it’s a lot of energy that’s being contained or held back, which will produce anxiety or the state of strife… The astrological aspect that’s represented on this symbol is Saturn in Leo. Saturn is the planet of discipline, of knowing what your limits and boundaries are and being able to set limits and boundaries. Saturn is the planet that reminds us to do things step-by-step. Leo is the astrological sign of creative power that does not want to be limited, restricted or restrained, and desires full expression.”
So here I see the direct correlation to the Magician card in the energy that is now present, the energy that is revolutionary, in us all, asking to be expressed, allowed to live. Yet we are also held back by old patterns of behavior and what we have yet to face about ourselves, personally, as a nation and a world. We are asked to set limits, which in one sense can offer us the sobriety of thoughtfulness, leading to proper timing, yet also adds frustration to the mix. In holding back we build up anger and tension, which may block our availability to our true knowing, to awareness that is growth-oriented for all of us.
We must be careful as we go into the next five weeks and months, as we face our truths and the world’s truths, as we release old patterns of anxiety and frustration within ourselves and in the revolutions now taking place outside of us. In addition, our energy may get stuck in the frustration of this tension, which sets up the potential for problems and we must be aware that we can easily fall back into old patterns and old complacencies. Even while we bask in this energy, it may be difficult to fully access its power properly.
As Arrien writes: “Any holding back or self limitation will move you into that state in alchemy which was known as leaded consciousness. Leaded consciousness is symbolically represented by the greyed-over areas of this symbol. The lotus blossoms are grey, which means that in states of anxiety you have difficulty in opening or unfolding.”
“In the next five weeks or in the next five months would be a good time to move towards creative endeavors where you feel that you can express yourself fully instead of binding and restricting yourself in any way… This symbol reminds you that in the next five weeks or in the next five months, you are no longer willing to be the lineage bearer of family anxiety patterns.”
This then becomes the challenge to all of us, as the weeks and months unfold, to notice our old patterns of frustration and how we handle them. Are we going to truly change now, embracing this energy in a good and heart-centered manner, or are we going to let the old status quo return and bury us in our inner tensions? Are we truly ready to embrace the power of the energy of these times and change ourselves too, while we watch the rest of the world embrace it, dealing with the strife in all of us?
My third quest for advice revolved around how to deal with people in the world outside of me. How do I apply the energy of the Magus and the power of Strife properly, so that I do not fall into old patterns of personal behavior as regards the people I meet as I elect to change, to take this journey that the energy of this time I live in guides me to take? How do I deal with what comes at me as I seek to transform myself?
Here is the card I pulled this time: Ace of Wands
Arrien states: “The Ace of Wands is a symbol of spiritual self-realization, awakening, and is associated with the principle of truth and authenticity… the torch of fire, a symbol of the uncontainable life-force that’s within. The lightning bolts are a symbol of awakening to the spiritual truth and authenticity of who you are… you’ve awakened to the unconscious and irrepressible inherent Being within.”
This card, for me, wraps up the challenges suggested by the two previous cards: we must all stand in and speak our truths. We must be honest and authentic, upholding what we have learned about ourselves as we have journeyed through our lives. We must not hold back who we have evolved into. We know who we are now, and we must fully embrace and become that person. Especially, we must embrace the energy of our times to fully mature into who we have worked so hard to become, but we must balance that energy that wants to burst forth, and declare itself, with the pragmatism and sobriety of the great communicator that resides within us, our ancient spirit self, our knowing wisdom mind, as the Buddhists call it.
As the seers of ancient Mexico will remind us always: we are beings who are going to die, so the question to ask, as we face our death is: How do I want to live?
I feel that these three cards, The Magus, Strife, and The Ace of Wands offer us the balance and guidance we need now, for the times we live in. They offer sobering and at the same time invigorating guidance, encouraging us to stay connected to the energy of life, to plowing ahead, accepting and resolving what we have buried in our pasts that so frustrates and angers us, while we fully embrace our greater potential and our inherent truths. It is time, I believe, for all of us to become more than we have ever dared to become before, but we must do it right.
The tools of communication are not in question; the means are available to all of us. But what we say is of utmost importance, how we say it, and where we elect to speak our truths. We must, I believe, stay in our heart-centered truths, but at all times be mindful of where others are, of the impact our actions, thoughts, and language have. In the media now we hear and read such vitriolic and hateful language, strife between the talking heads, but does it really have any meaning? The same thing can be asked of the language of “the experts” regarding the nuclear disaster in Japan; are they speaking the real truth, or are they “greyed-over” platitudes in an attempt to keep the energy from fully empowering us all now?
We can use these examples by questioning our own speaking tongues, both in our inner world and in the outer world. Are we caught in old patterns of inner and outer strife, in lies that no longer serve us or the energy that is boiling inside us all? It is indeed time to revolt, but it must be done right, both within and without. And you know what, it can’t be stopped. We are in it, we are all responsible for the outcome, as Jeanne mentioned in the most recent message. So the question is, are we going to get it right this time? Everything is available to us, everything is in alignment, everything is already in action.
I awoke from a dream the other morning hearing this: “Yes, good, good,” I heard a voice saying. “You get it, you understand how energy works, you know what you are talking about, but now it is time to not only embrace it and to become it, but to go beyond it.” It’s time for all of us, and the entire world, to go beyond now.
If you wish, feel free to share or comment in the Post Comment section below. And don’t forget to check out our facebook page where we share pertinent quotes, photos, and comments, from us and others, at: Riverwalker Press on facebook.
Thanks for reading and passing these blogs on to others! Sending you all love and good wishes,
References: The Tarot cards I use and that are pictured in this blog are Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck and the book referenced is The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols, by Angeles Arrien. Both are available through our Store.
Dear Jeanne, Last night, I dreamed this question: Who is really in charge? In my dream I felt that it referred to integrating all the parts of the self, by first identifying those parts and how they operate. Is this the next step in our inner work?
My Dear One, inner work requires taking full responsibility for the self and, yes, that includes all aspects of the self. One must fully understand how one operates under many circumstances and in many different roles, taking full responsibility for each of these separate aspects of self, those who are known and those who are unknown. In order to more fully explore this process one must understand that this is very deep inner work. It is a process that is mostly played out innerly. As each part of the self emerges it plays its role, most assuredly innerly, having its way there before it ever emerges in the outer world, before it shows itself in an outer way.
The inner process is most intriguing in this manner. Your inner self may shift and a new self emerge long before you are aware of it. And, yes, it may be triggered by what is happening outside of you, but more often than not it is triggered by your own inner workings and this is where your task must focus: on determining who is really in charge inside you. This requires taking full responsibility for the inner self, for all the parts of the self, those who are most often present, those who slumber, and those who attempt to emerge and live in your worlds, both inner and outer.
Who is in control? Who is making you do what you do? Who is creating the havoc and the dilemmas that you face? Who is responsible for your attitudes, moods, feelings, emotional states, and your choices and challenges? Well, who do you think? You are, of course!
Being able to accept full responsibility for the self requires taking responsibility for the inner self as well as the outer self. It requires identifying and studying who you are and how you operate in the world, but more thoroughly how you operate inside of you. And you are really the only one who can do this because you are the only one who is present inside of you.
You may think that you are infected with energy of another, and for all intents and purposes you may be, but that does not relieve you of the fact that your own inner energy, of one sort or another, has been awoken by such an invasion. Do not dismiss any coincidences as merely that, as merely passing things of insignificance, for if you do that you will lose an important point that must be noted. Inner work requires just that, inner work. And who better to do such work than you, the inner you.
I suggest, in order to get to the bottom of the inner process, that you make note of all the parts of the self that emerge. Note how they appear, how they seep into your inner world, how they act once there, and how you feel as a result of their presence. Then you must find a means of acceptance, because this person you may suddenly find yourself to be is in fact you, as odd as that may seem.
You can have many parts without being crazy. You can have many parts and, unless you pay attention to them, you may not know they are there. But once you turn inward and investigate how they operate inside you, you will recognize them and know they are indeed part of you. This process is a process of taking full responsibility for all aspects of self. In so doing you are learning the first steps in integration of self.
I do not ask you to love all these parts of your self, for I do not find that possible until you really get to know them and allow then to speak up as to why they are there and what message they have for you. Only in fully understanding their role in your life will you one day be able to love them, but until then you might as well accept that you may not even like them, so loving then is not an option either.
Find out who you are inside the self. Take full responsibility for all aspects of the inner self by acknowledging the fact that you are really quite mysterious, especially to your self. Allow your self to investigate the true meaning of each one of your inner parts, their roles and their processes, how they work inside of you and what they are showing you about your self. Treat each part with reverence and wonder, for they have found ways to present themselves to you through all your defenses and pretensions, through your oblivion and your denial.
Be amazed at the process that you confront each day, for each day is different. You are different each day too, but you must find out just what that means and take full responsibility for being that new inner being and fully explore the possibilities and potential being offered as you do your inner work.