Category Archives: Jan’s Blog

Welcome!

Currently, I put most of my energy into the weekly channeled messages, the daily Soulbytes, and the completion of The Recapitulation Diaries. An occasional blog does still get written when the creative urge strikes. Archived here are the blogs I wrote for many years about inner life and outer life, inner nature and outer nature. Perhaps my writings on life, as I see it and experience it, may offer you some small insight or different perspective as you take your own journey.

With gratitude for all that life teaches me, I share my experiences.

Jan Ketchel

A Day in a Life: Dreaming with Jung

Speaking of dreams, as Jeanne does in her message today, I had a second dream encounter with C. G. Jung. Once again we were sitting opposite each other with the enormous gray boulder hovering between us, about five feet tall and oval in shape, that I wrote about in my blog the other day. I have been puzzling over the meaning of the boulder, in waking and dreaming life, since I first dreamed about it and I have a pretty good idea of what it might mean.

In this second dream, I am asking Jung if I got it right: “Have I figured out the meaning of the boulder?” He suggests that, yes, it might mean that, or it might mean something else, it could mean many things. He repeats what he said in the first dream: “It may not be what it appears to be!” He does not give me a straight answer and I am slightly frustrated, but curious at the same time.

“Look again,” he suggests, and as I peer closely at the boulder it turns into a gray balloon, equally as huge and imposing as the boulder. I instinctively know that it is filled with liquid emotion. “I get it!” I say, but then the balloon turns into a gigantic papier-mache pinata and I instinctively know that it is filled with trinkets of meaning, symbolizing many things in my life, past, present, and future.

“You see,” Jung says, “it can be anything that you need. Each day it may be something different, depending on what you need.” And again he suggests: “Look closely. What is it?”

At this point I wake up and I understand that the boulder is indeed no different than the mirrors, reflecting exactly what I need, and that, yes, as Jeanne suggests in today’s message, patience is a most necessary component of inner work, taking each dream, each day, as it comes, with whatever it offers.

Have a great weekend! Look for Chuck’s blog tomorrow. I am sure he will offer something interesting to add to our dreams.
Jan

A Day in a Life: Mirrors Again!

I must say, when Jeanne began talking about mirrors again yesterday, in Message #643, I was disappointed, to say the least. To put it bluntly: I am sick and tired of mirrors; totally bored with them. When she replied to Soul Trecker in Message #640 that she did not need mirrors anymore, I thought: Yahoo! No more mirrors! Because no matter who Jeanne is addressing, the message always pertains to me. (I know many of you also feel the same way.) But then I was left with the dilemma of what would replace the mirrors if, in fact, I did not need to keep using them as a means of doing my inner work. So last night, before going to sleep, I sent out a dream intent, asking to be shown what to do now that I am bored with mirrors, projection, and reflection. This is what I got in dreaming:

I am in a room talking with C. G. Jung. I am telling him that I do not want to work with mirrors anymore, that I am bored with them. Suddenly, a large, gray, oval shaped boulder appears between us, hovering in the air a foot or so off the floor. “What?” I say, “A boulder! What is the significance of that?” Jung says: “Man and his Symbols!” referring to his book of the same name. I am clearly disappointed by this enormous and ugly rock and Jung, seeing my disappointment, says: “It may not be what it appears to be!” I reply: “What does that mean?” I peer closely at the stone and in the upper right quadrant I see a tiny white shell embedded in a slight indentation in the boulder. I wake up.

Clearly I am being shown something. At first, I thought of the boulder as a symbol of some insurmountable blockage or issue, or perhaps representative of something that I perceive as ugly or disturbing in my life. Then, I thought that perhaps it represented the archetypes and I found this more to my liking, feeling that I was being given the answer to my dilemma around working with the mirrors theme. Jung was telling me to look into his book for the deeper symbolism and meaning of the stone, but I also thought that he might be suggesting that I now turn to studying my archetypes more deeply. I also thought, as Chuck mentioned when I told him this dream, that perhaps there is a diamond inside the stone, but that remains to be seen.

Fortunately, we have a copy of Man and his Symbols, which is written by Jung and several collaborators. The chapter in which I found the symbolism of the stone discussed is written by Marie-Louise von Franz. The stone, she states, coming from many different sources, can symbolize the SELF, the experience of something eternal at man’s innermost center, something that can never be lost or dissolved, and the psyche of man, among other things. There is the alchemical stone, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Blarney Stone, to name a few, and, personally, I have always been a collector of stones, special stones with special meanings. Basically, in my dream, I was given an undeniably direct answer to my quest for something to work on: The Self! Of course, this is the same thing that Jeanne constantly guides us on as well, and I am always grateful for her guidance, but I have felt a need to shift away from the mirrors, but I wasn’t sure what else I was looking for. Now I know what I have before me.

I can still see Jung chuckling at the sight of the giant boulder he had conjured up, laughing at his cleverness. I know that he didn’t really give me anything new to work on. It’s still the same work, and I know I still have to deal with mirrors, but for a while I can take a closer look at the tiny shell embedded in the stone and I can find out what else the boulder holds. Is there more on the surface to discover, before I chip away at what is possibly inside? Or is it going to be my job to polish the surface of that boulder, until I can see my face reflected there, the self revealed, once again, in a mirror?

It will be interesting to see what Jeanne has to say tomorrow, because I am going to confront her on the mirror thing. In the meantime, I’m going to see what else my dream is trying to tell me.
Until tomorrow!
Jan

A Day in a Life: Facing Fear

I am finally getting time to sit and write about a recent experience of inner work around a particular fear issue. The process unfolded quite nicely and I thought it might be helpful to show the myriad ways that the people in our lives, circumstances, and our guides challenge and show us what we need, asked for or otherwise.

My week began with a question from someone else, through Chuck, suggesting that I might channel Jeanne for information on the whereabouts of a particular person. Now, normally, when I am asked to channel for another person I am immediately faced with doubt and concern that I will not be able to do it and the person will be utterly disappointed. This happens all the time as my first reaction. Generally, I push away my fear and go ahead with the channeling, and thus far no one has been even the tiniest bit disappointed, in fact, quite the opposite. You would think this would help me in my indecision and doubt, along with the fact that this website is largely based on the fact that I channel, which I do often and thoroughly, receiving quite incredible information and guidance. But alas, I still have to face my utter black fear, which quickly turns to anger, at being placed in the position of being asked to participate in something not of my own design. This is very old stuff for me, going back to my childhood when I was sexually abused, forced into experiences that led to not only a total lack of control and loss of self, but having to endure the commands of a madman. Although I have done a complete recapitulation of my experiences, the deepest fears reappear in very subtle ways. And yes, I can push them aside in order to function and do as I am requested, because I really do want to accept the channeling challenge, but when I elect to go deeper and sift through my inner reactions and get clarity I also find resolution and, in turn, I subtly change and grow. It can be a slow and painful process, but it is also extremely gratifying. My challenge is to accept this new me, the one who channels, and find ways to not just include her in my life, but allow her to lead me where I am going next.

There is a field I pass by everyday and as I turn the corner I generally look out over the expanse of field towards the mountains in the distance and the open sky. The other day as I turned the corner and drove alongside the field, I noticed a deer sitting in the field, quite a distance in from the road. She was sitting straight up, looking back toward the road, an almost wistful gesture in her elegant pose. I wondered at the strangeness of this deer quietly sitting in the middle of the snow covered field on this bitterly cold day. When I returned several hours later on my way home I noticed she was still sitting there, in the exact same posture. Then it dawned on me that she must be dead. I was flooded with emotion, feeling such sadness for this creature, wondering about her end. Most likely she had been hit by a car and staggered to her resting place. Perhaps she was gazing back toward the road trying to figure out what had just happened. Perhaps she was taking in the damage to her legs that had given out beneath her. Perhaps she was facing her fear, turning to replay, recapitulate the incident that was causing her death. Perhaps she bravely and stoically sat up as death overtook her, knowing that she was passing into new life, afraid or unafraid, she was going anyway. Four days later she still sits there, frozen in the pose of recapitulation, still looking back, but definitely having moved on.

What is the meaning of this frozen deer in the field? Why did I notice her on the same day that I attended to my own nagging fear? What am I supposed to learn from her regal acceptance of her destiny, chosen or otherwise?

I began to look more closely at my reaction to being asked, on the spot, to channel. What am I afraid of? Failure? The request came quite gently, though I heard it as commanding, almost as if Chuck had said: Do this channeling or else! But the request was very delicately presented. Of course, I should have complied, but I was immediately dealing with a whole host of my own inner issues and conflicts. When I channeled Jeanne on Monday morning as usual, I gained some clarity in her Message #635. I knew I had to confront my own fears around being snatched out of my comfort zone and made uncomfortable by the demands of another. I decided to follow up what Jeanne had suggested in her message by opening The Red Book to see what Jung had to say about the issue. On page 303 this is what I saw as synchronistically significant:

“He who has the luck and misfortune of a particular talent falls prey to believing that he has a gift. Hence he is also often its fool. A special gift is something outside of me. I am not the same as it. The nature of the gift has nothing to do with the nature of the man who carries it. It often even lives at the expense of the bearer’s character. His character is marked by the disadvantage of his gift, indeed even through its opposite. Consequently he is never at the height of his gift but always beneath it. If he accepts his other he becomes capable of bearing his gift without disadvantage. But if he only wants to live in his gift and consequently rejects his other, he oversteps the mark, since the essence of his gift is extrahuman and a natural phenomenon, which he in reality is not. All the world sees his error, and he becomes the victim of its mockery. Then he says that others mock him, while it is only the disregard of his other that makes him ridiculous.”

I interpret this that a natural gift, such as channeling, should not be attached to my ego, but simply accepted as natural or I can be destroyed by it. In order to truly use this gift I must do my inner work around my fear and doubt of being a failure too, especially since I cannot truly attach to this gift. It does not belong to me, or to anyone. In order to get to a place of really flowing in my life, accepting what I am afforded to evolve, as Jeanne suggests: I must acquiesce to the inevitable without fear. I am not special, so why do I feel that I can reject a request to channel? It is natural, not a special ability, nor one to be afraid of, but one to acquiesce to. It has nothing to do with me. If I cannot allow for this truth I am caught in ego, deflated or otherwise, and subject to judgments by self and others. If I can become egoless, through more inner work, I will be able to truly channel. Fear is attached to ego and that is what I am fighting. Ego is constantly trying to reestablish its dominance and reassert itself as all-knowing, but this kind of knowing is false knowing.

Next, I turned to my Tarot cards around this issue of ego self and my feeble attempts to tap into the natural flow. Am I right that I must get beyond ego to accept that I am nothing except energy and as energy I have access to all knowledge, but I can only truly achieve this if I let go of fear, without ego’s constant demands? I shuffle the deck and pull one card, the one that feels right as I place the deck over my heart center. I pull the 9 of Disks, Gain, and the first thing I read is: hitting the mark, the bull’s eye. I immediately accept this in answer to my question; I am on the right track. Even though other insights are offered I take my question next to the I Ching and ask: Did I hit the mark in my assessment of my ego/energy dilemmas?

The I Ching answers with hexagram 40, Deliverance, with a moving line, six in the third place. I am in a good place, the burdens have been removed, resolved, and eased, but ego brings misfortune! My fear come like thieves to steal my jewels, my ability. I have them as a natural gift, but I must use them appropriately, or not. I fell into childhood fears. The catastrophe of doubt resulted in my falling into the hands of thieves, my old fears. When I am in a good place there is no ego interference, inflated or deflated, and I am truly a channel, freed of fear, pure energy, the two Me’s in balance. This hexagram turns into Duration in the future, perseverance furthers. So if I can work on my issues related to letting go of ego, which in this case are feelings of doubt and failure, I may be in this for the long run. This leads me to recall my horoscope for this year as written by Eric Francis for Chronogram magazine and Planet Waves. I am a Cancer and it clearly states my ultimate dilemma, my inferiority and low self-esteem issues and how to achieve balance with ego so I am not sabotaged by either.

So, in the end I have learned that I must maintain my self-confidence and let go to the energy of what is natural, which is channeling. I don’t own this; it is not my ability to own. I have access to it, but at the same time it forces me to confront my issues of low self-confidence and my inner fears, which are all tied in to my early experiences. Can I continue to face my innermost fears, however subtly or brutally they approach me? Can I look back as the dying deer obviously looked back and still move forward where the energy is taking me, as she did? Can we all?

Thanks for reading. Perhaps this has offered an insight into one way of tackling the inner process, which, depending on the energy of each day, unfolds in so many ways. What I find most often is that, at the end of the day, no matter how many oracles I ask, the one that I must always return to exists inside myself.
Happy Inner Work!
-Jan

A Day in a Life: Giving Up Having it My Way

I thought I’d follow up on last week’s blog with a quick update. Tomorrow, I’ll have more time to post a lengthier monologue on confronting fear and the process I engaged in using the guidance that is available.

Today, I discovered that I am going have to give up my Wednesdays as sacred days. It’s a new year after all and so far I can’t seem to recreate what I had worked so hard to establish last year, a day mostly dedicated to me and my own work. If I am truly going to learn to flow I have to give up my expectations and desires to have it my way. So, I acquiesce to the truth that Wednesdays no longer belong to me in quite the same way. However, this morning (a Wednesday) started off very nicely with a computer upgrade, so everything is chugging along at a much faster speed and my frustrations with my beloved but aging iMac have simply disappeared.

Since I wrote about her last week, our old dog, Spunky, has really slowed down. We no longer take her for walks, but simply let her out to roll in the snow and sit on the front porch. Last weekend she scared us by falling each time we took her out, her back legs too weak to make even a short trip up the road. (I just had to run out and get her because she was strolling over to the neighbor’s house. She came limping back as soon as she saw me, saying: Yes, Jan, I’m coming, but you’re no fun anymore!) She doesn’t seem to be in pain and we’re trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. The slippery wood floors in the house send her skittering and falling and we’ve laid small rugs down to aid her so she can safely get to her favorite resting spots.

What I have been learning today is that if I am going to flow, which also means being brave enough to face my fears, I have to give up some of my wants and desires to have the day go according to plan. It isn’t enough to carve out a sacred day either, because then I may not look for the sacred in other days, for the meaningfulness in the mundane. My intent for tomorrow is to offer a peek at my process of inner work around a particular issue, only because I think it might be helpful as I continue to channel Jeanne around the subject of fear. Fear comes up a lot, in every day, in some way, in my personal life and in the lives of those around me, with people I work with and with those closest to me. I continue to find it to be at the root of all action and inaction, underlying all my decisions, offering me options if I am ready to accept the challenges of them. And the other day I had quite a lot of help in seeing just how I should confront my own biggest fear of the moment.

Take a look at Jeanne’s Message #636 of today with more guidance around working with our fears. I look forward to blogging tomorrow. Unless things don’t go as I have planned!
Until then,
Jan

Go Where it Takes You

As I work on my recapitulation book I find the following guidance from Jeanne, given to me in January of 2004. I think it jives nicely with the themes of the recent questions and answers.

At the time, I am struggling with old memories and trying to get to a calmer, more balanced place so that my daily life will flow more smoothly. I am divorced, living with my two children who are twelve and fifteen at the time and working as a freelance artist, muralist, and writer. I ask Jeanne for guidance on what to do and how to proceed. The answer is this: Let it all go.

And then what? I ask.

Nothing; you don’t have to do anything, just let it go, and go where it takes you. Let yourself be carried into that tunnel of ocean. (This refers to a recent dream where I had swum out into the ocean, representing all knowing, the universe, into perfect calm.)

Is it safe?

Of course it’s safe. It’s your destiny; it’s where you belong. Just go there; you’ll see.

How do I deal with this world, the bills to pay, the kids to raise?

It will all happen on its own, you just have to allow it. Let go. Go with the flow. Let yourself be taken on your journey. You are going there anyway. Make it easy on yourself by not fighting. You are going there anyway.

But what about making decisions?

The end result will be the same.

And what is that?

You have to go there. You have to trust and allow yourself to go.

As usual she gave me enough encouragement to keep going, but I still had to do the work and get myself there. And I can certainly say that I’m very happy I did!

Have a great weekend! And keep flowing and daring to go where you have to go.
-Jan