Thursday, 31 May 2007

Doing the Fourth Monkey Tango

...

As a kid I always hated the three monkeys. They gave me the creeps and, more importantly, they irritated me. I could understand the "Speak no evil", but "See no evil"? How could you improve the world, or yourself, if you refused to see evil? To me it sounded too much like saying "Ignore anything bad", which sounded pretty dumb to my serious-child brain.

Looking back on my life I can't help feeling I have spent my entire life struggling to get my monkeys in a row.

The word "evil" is way too harsh, so we'll ditch it and insert "flaws". I see flaws. I always have. Errors, flaws, inconsistencies, irregularities.. I'm the first to notice them. Then I'm left wondering if I sit there with my monkey paws over my mouth or do I tell what I see?

Neither way seems to bring any satisfaction.

I don't like hurting people's feelings or causing conflict, but when you sit with your paws over your mouth too long you tend to self-implode. Especially if you were born an opinionated monkey who sees too much!

And when you do say what you see? The old saying of shooting the messenger comes to mind. I've been "shot" regularly for saying what I see.

Great choices.. get shot or explode.

In my first job I chose to speak what I saw with a co-worker. She was running down another religion. Not my religion, but the belief system of a close friend. Her opinions were based purely on "urban myth" and gossip.. so I told her where her ideas were flawed. By the end of the day she had in turn told everyone at work that I was a rabid member of this religion. When I corrected that and explained about my friend.. she old everyone that I was in love with a person of this religion. Ugh!

My friend thought it was hilarious - both because he was eight years younger than me and viewed me as way too ancient to be girlfriend potential, but also because I had once defended my co-worker's religion to him when he'd made a rude joke about that religion. He admitted that he had thought I was a member of that religion!!

So both sides thought I belonged to the other side religion because I pointed out the inconsistencies in their opinions of each other.

Does your head hurt reading that? Mine did experiencing it, I tell you!

And it's never stopped. I always manage to find myself in the middle trying to mediate.. getting shot by both sides. You think I'd learn, but I never do. I'm the fourth monkey.. you never see him. He's the monkey dancing with his foot in his mouth.

Recently I've found myself doing the fourth monkey one-footed tango on blogger. I pointed out some things that bothered me about religion on two blogs and ended up sounding like I believed things I didn't on one and disbelieved things I didn't on the other. I managed to talk my way out of my own "monkey foot in mouth" on both blogs, but I still feel cross with myself that I did it again.

Why do I do that to myself? Why can't I just "see nothing" and therefore find it easy to" say nothing"?

I could blame it on my make-up, (I'm a bossy "let me fix you" Leo heavily overlaid with peace-maker PR expert Cat/Rabbit) but that opens an entirely new can of flawed worms, errors and inconsistencies. I'm the astrologer that doesn't believe in a large chunk of astrology. That irritates everyone except the seriously laid-back sorts. If I hang out with astrology fans I often say nothing or walk away because I don't want to hurt their feelings that I don't believe what they believe. (except one laid-back friend/astrologer who feels similar enough to understand) If I hang out with astrology sceptics I just get myself into frustrated monkey-puzzle knots because they either think I am something I'm not, believe things I don't - or they don't bother to listen to me at all.

But you know what is really ironic? A lot of the time I like doing the fourth monkey tango. When it works it's incredibly satisfying. I've managed to make fundamentalist friends see each other's point of view, I've healed rifts in family feuds and I've even managed to get a few people to think outside the box.

Admittedly I've also been accused of taking sides, trampled, verbally "tarred and feathered" and regularly mistaken for believing strongly in what I defend. I defend whatever I see as unfair, that does NOT mean I believe in it. It just means that I feel the topic/ idea/opinion being attacked has the right to a fair trial.

Maybe the fourth monkey should have taken up law rather than dance classes?

No, forget that! Dancing monkeys are cute. People like dancing monkeys. I think I'll stick to doing the fourth monkey tango. ;-)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Today is a Good Day

Today has been a good day.

I have:
- hugged two bloggers,
- been sent an email kiss thank you from an online friend,
- reached a good understanding with someone I had been arguing with,
- recieved three nudges from "above" to remind me of important things,
- and complimented another online person on his wonderful poetry.

Oh! edited to add:
- and have recieved three really wonderful compliments.

I feel as "warm and fuzzy" as a tropical sheep. :-D

How was your day?

Who am I?


Who am I?

I am Crow. :-)

But lately I have forgotten that, until Crow used ShastriX to remind me.

When I first started moving from being a (unorthodox) Christian towards Shamanism I asked God's opinion if the path I was choosing was the right one. In Dance I told the story of how I received a Crow from Jesus in a meditation. I told briefly what Crow means to some Native American people, but lately I'd forgotten what it means to me to be Crow.

Quote:

If you have a crow as a totem, you need to be willing to walk your talk and speak your truth. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and "caw" the shots as you see them. Crow is an omen of change. If he keeps appearing to you he may be telling you that you have a powerful voice when addressing issues that you do not quite understand or feel that they are out of balance.

Crow is the sacred keeper of the law. Crow medicine signifies a firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than that indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.

When you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life’s mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.


Thank you Shastri, and thank you Crow. ;-)

Monday, 28 May 2007

Confessions of a Karaoke Psychic

...
Both my parents have stories of family members who had psychic or paranormal experiences. As a result I grew up thinking psychic abilities were fairly usual and I am aware how lucky I was. I have friends who suffered everything from teasing to punishment for being different. I never had that and I am grateful for that fact, not that I was particularly noticeable as being different. From childhood till the age of twenty I saw two ghosts/spirits. Hardly a spectacular psychic success story!

In my twenties I did begin to realise I had other abilities, but they were frustratingly vague and sometimes downright upsetting. During the 1980s kept a dream journal, to study whether my hunch that my dreams were precognitive was real or not. I was right - I logged about 25 dreams that came true. It seemed a fascinating ability... until the time I dreamt of a violent death before it happened. After that I stopped trying to remember my dreams for a long time.

In my late thirties my job as an astrology advice columnist required that I have email. So, for the first time, I ventured onto the internet. The job was great, but looking back I now realise I am even more grateful for the internet connection. In my twenties everything I learnt came from books, which meant my scope was limited to what the public library and local book stores offered. The internet opened doors I never knew existed. I wandered, and wondered, my way onto several esoteric teaching forums. I was hooked. I stayed, slowly learnt more, and with the learning I was able to strengthen my psychic abilities.

I still dislike the term "psychic" as a label, it sounds a bit pompous and often seems to imply "them" and "us" categories. That's why I invented the term 'karaoke psychic' - I'm just me, singing along as best I can, and trying to never take myself too seriously.

With some friends the fact I communicate with my guides and sometimes receive messages from dead people makes me horrifically (Is that a word?) "different", but with some of my online friends I'm not only "same" I'm the newbie beginner. I have several "real psychic" friends. People who don't need the karaoke machine anymore.)

Recently my singing along to the tune has taken a very quirky turn. When I was in hospital in March the anaesthetic seems to have had a similar effect to the thump on the head that made the man in the newspaper suddenly precognitive. (Which is why I so firmly believe that things like ESP have a physical root.) After my operation I woke dreaming I could see chakras as living creatures.

I dreamt I saw these cute little bug creatures running around the floor. One looked ill, it was all limp and sad-eyed. I asked the other little creatures what was going on and they told me "yellow" was being sent to a place in Ireland to be healed. I slowly realised that all the bug things were different colours. Seven colours, like the rainbow... or chakras. Later I discovered that the woman next to me had links to that place in Ireland - her mom was born there. It was a very weird moment. I didn't tell her about the coloured bugs, I figured she'd think I was mental. When I got home I looked up the yellow chakra (3rd) and found that the illnesses it relates to fitted the problems this woman in hospital had. I was blown away!

Since then I've lined up every friend and family member willing to act the guinea pig to try my new ability out on. It works. No idea why or how, but it works. What I see fits, and what I see has been weird and whacky. Unlike my healer friends and see/feel chakras as glowing energy I see little chakra-coloured critters. So far I've seen everything from bumble bees to tweety birds. It is wild - like going from karaoke to opera in one leap!

I'm not sure where all this is taking me, which is another reason why I started a blog. I needed a place to figure this out. For most of my life I never spoke about any of my psychic experiences beyond close friends and family. On the internet I have found more people with similar (and sometimes stronger) abilities that I can talk to and learn from, but only in these two small "worlds" am I completely myself. Lately I'm tired of being fragmented. I want to be a whole complete ME. I want to be able to talk without always censoring and editing myself inside my own head in case it freaks or annoys someone else.

I don't want to be offensive, I just want to be ME. So... no more apologies, explanations or side-stepping. This karaoke singer is coming out from under the bar stool. ;-)
...

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Small Miracles

...
This blog idea was inspired by a post by Jeff

When I first obtained an Internet connection one techno-phobic friend was horrified to hear that I went onto website forums and talked... to strangers! She said, "Do you know how many weirdoes there are out there on the Internet?"
At the time I burst out laughing and replied, "Do you know how many weirdoes there are in my neighbourhood?"
In a two block radius of our old house we knew of a convicted paedophile, a wife-beater and three people the police were watching for various reasons.. and I lived on the "good" side of town!

Not that I was stupid on the Internet. I picked my websites carefully and read both what people said as well as what lay unspoken between the lines. Even being careful I've had the odd weird encounter, and met a few "nasties", but all in all it's been a fantastic experience being online.

The thing I never expected when I entered the global world of the Internet was the friendships I would make. I'm a loner at heart. You'd probably never believe that to meet me. People in the "real" world bill me as an extrovert, but basically I prefer my own company to group activities. Big crowds stress me and I hate supermakets and shopping malls. I have also never been the type of female to blab her personal life to her girl friends. I've never been the type to have close friends of either gender really, but since I went online that has changed dramatically. I now have loads of friends, in every corner of this planet. Not only that, these are FRIENDS - not just people I share a few fun times with, these are people who I have shared my soul with.

My Internet friends have carried me through hard times in ways I can only describe as miraculous. We have come together to laugh, to share, to pray, to rage and to weep. We have helped members through broken relationships, family deaths, illness, bankruptcy, retrenchment and jobs/bosses from Hell. Two years ago when I had a miscarriage my doctor was surprised when my psych evaluation test results came back showing no signs of depression. I told her it was because I had good friends to lean on. It was true. My husband and I didn't go through those months alone. We were held in the love of our online "family". Those strong internet-friends arms.. what miracles they have brought me!

When I started blogging last month I saw it as a way to soothe my addictive need to write rather than a way to make friends. I have about thirty internet people I already call friends. I wasn't looking for more, but already in the short time I have been blogging I have met several people I would be thrilled and honoured to eventually add to my "friends" list. I've also wandered around blogs watching and reading how people here reach out - to help, share a laugh, give advice, sympathise and/or comfort one another.
Small miracles, taking place virtually unnoticed, every day.
I must confess to being surprised.. and impressed. Yes, there are the spiteful and nasty bloggers. There will always be people worth avoiding, just like those highly unpleasant neighbours in my old home town. It's all about choosing your friendships wisely, wherever that might be.

Another online friend and I once chewed over this topic and came to the conclusion that the reason internet friendships can be so intense is that here we meet through our words alone. No other stimuli get in the way to bias our first impressions. We meet in thoughts and emotions without age, race, gender, culture, or social position in the way. We meet as souls, or spirit, and that is a very intense and personal meeting that rarely happens in the "real world".

Of course you get those on the internet who try to hide behind masks, but I've found very few who can keep their true persona out of their words and thoughts, even if they may make up fake names and identities. Who you truly are shines through.

In fact, I even found my true love through the internet. We met not because we were looking for a relationship. We met because we both held out a hand to offer help to the other, and from those two smaller miracles a far bigger one came to be..

..but that's another story. : -)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Psychic abilities - ESP or JASP?

...
When I started writing this my idea was simple - take the label "psychic" and figure out what it means. Problem is the more I've read the less sure I am that anyone knows exactly what the word "psychic" is supposed to mean.

The dictionaries say:


psychic (sī'kĭk) n.
1. A person apparently responsive to psychic forces.
2. See medium.

Capable of extraordinary mental processes, such as extrasensory perception and mental telepathy. Or relating to such mental processes.

extrasensory perception
Perception that involves awareness of information about something (such as a person or event) not gained through the senses and not deducible from previous experience.

Knowledge or perception without the use of any of the five senses.

That brought me up short since scientists are saying we have more than five senses. Science now states that we have " between 14 and 20 different senses"*!

* Quoted from here

If scientists agree we have way more than 5 senses, is ESP really extrasensory at all? Are psychic abilities just a group of senses the scientists have yet to add to that now huge total of 14 to 20? Could the extraordinary just be an ordinary we don't have a standard test for yet? Maybe one day ESP will become JASP - Just Another Sensory Perception!

One thing I am certain of - there is nothing mystical or magical about what we currently label as "psychic abilities". I think they are as much a physical human ability as smelling a rose or hearing music. In fact, I'm sure of it.

Years back I read, in a local newspaper, how a man began to have so-called psychic abilities after falling off a ladder and hitting his head. If psychic abilities were "supernatural" why on earth would a physical thump on the head make a difference? At the time I stored the story in my brain under "unusual and interesting" and left it there. It might still be there except for the fact that recently I've read of another similar case as well as having my own personal experience related to this topic.

I think so-called psychic abilities are simply human talents we haven't found names for.. yet. Something no stranger than our abiilty to create music. Most people like listening to music. Some people compose and write glorious music. Some of us can sing beautifully, most of us belt out an average-bearable tune and some of us are tone-deaf dreadful. Just like singing some people are good at these things we label psychic and some are useless, but most of us have a certain basic ability or two. The difference is that schools teach music, they don't teach ESP!

Which, I think, makes me a karaoke psychic. : )

Thursday, 17 May 2007

The Pain of Fame

...
Last night I was talking to my husband about the pain of fame... or to be exact my brief moment of being a "somebody" and how it messed with my head, quite literally.

I mentioned how I once had a writing job (astrologer) on a newspaper. When they first told me I needed a photo for the column I was surprised and thrilled. Me in the paper? Me?? Wow! I must have spent two days figuring out what to wear. That was really daft since the picture was just my head and you never saw what I was wearing anyway, but (typical woman) I needed to wear something that made me feel good. When it was done, I took my photo in to the newspaper offices. Feeling very Important I handed it over with a flourish and told the guard it was needed for the next run.

Next day there I was, near the back, lower left page... ME smiling back at me. Wow. What a rush! What a head swelling ego-smug moment. I wanted to roll in the paper like a cat in catnip. I wanted fireworks and champagne. Reality set in somewhere between having breakfast and going to the local supermarket. Yes, my photo was in the paper… now everyone would see me. It was a small newspaper in a small town, which means any gossip moves at light speed. It would take a very short time for the entire town to know who I was. Everyone would know ME, everywhere I went, all the time.

All the time?

Suddenly I felt as if the universe had placed a flashing sign above my head with a big arrow pointing at me. I felt incredibly VISIBLE and the feeling was not good! At the shops a few people seemed to stop and stare at me as I walked into the shopping centre. I could almost feel their eyes burning my skin. The unspoken thoughts of, "she looks familiar? Isn't she the one in the newspaper?" seemed to scream in my ears.

I grabbed a trolley and made a dash for the entrance, thinking furiously…

Try to keep cool. Breath in. Breath out.
They aren't staring at you. No-one is staring.
Oh my GOD, they are STARING at me!
I am VISIBLE! I am this new huge neon-glowing ME and it feels horrible!
I want to be small invisible ordinary me just browsing the shops.
Not this person with the LOOK AT ME arrow above her head.

At the supermarket entrance there was a turnstile with a hole in the railings next to it where you pushed your trolley through into the shop.

Quick, quick! Get in there, get the food and get out.
Be cool. Be calm. Don't look stupid. People are watching…
DAMN.
There's a fat old lady wedged in the turnstile moving slower than a sea turtle. DAMN.
Ok, don't panic. You can get through this.
You are cool. You are in control.
Push the trolley through the gap, duck down and follow the trolley.
Simple! You are short, the trolley gap bar isn't too low.
You can do this…

That's the last coherent thought I remember before someone picked me up off the floor.
Yes, I am short. Yes, the bar across the top of the area where you pushed through the trolleys wasn't that low. No, I didn't duck down far enough. In my blind animal panic to get in fast and inconspicuously I ducked at the wrong moment of dashing forward and smashed my forehead into the metal bar, falling backwards flat on the floor while my trolley happily drifted off into the supermarket without me.

..and EVERYONE stared.

The pain of fame going to your head is indescribable.
...

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Thought on knowledge

I have a cold. My throat hurts, I'm coughing like a dying donkey and my head is too fuzzy for blog ideas. So here's one of my favourite quotes for now:

Scholars get their knowledge with conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic; poets theirs cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books. They stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields.

Robert Frost

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Crow Feet and Elephant Eyes

...

When a Native American internet friend introduced me to the idea of totem animals several years back it was more like reaching home via an unexpected new route than venturing into alien territory. I've always felt a strong connection to animals. As a kid I wanted to grow up and be a vet. The only ghost I can actually remember seeing was an animal. I trust animals. The whole idea that spirit animals might walk with us as teachers and guides seemed perfectly feasible to me. If I can have a guardian angel, according to my school Bible study classes, why not a guardian spirit-animal?

Since that internet friend sent me my first link to animal totems I must have wandered on through a dozen more websites related to the topic. I can't say everything fits my belief system, but it has a natural wisdom that appeals to that die-hard nine year old Pantheist within me. Some places talk about Life totems, journey totems, Power animals and dozens of other variations. Personally I don't think it matters much. Labels and symbols are man-made inventions. If we can use old ones created by our ancestors then why can't we create our own? It is a new Millennium, after all!

I have no idea if Crow officially is my "life totem" or "journey totem". All I know is that when I asked for a sign as to where next to put my feet... Jesus gave me a crow. It made perfect sense at the time. It still does. I can see myself in a crow. Smart, but a bit clumsy, whacky, but sometimes wise. Crow is the bird which some cultures say 'walks between worlds.' Crow is the bird in our back garden who slipped off the fence and got his head caught between the picket fence posts. Yep, I'm a crow! ;-)

As for elephant.. long before crow entered my life there was elephant, or elephants. When I was little I had several toy elephants. Up until recently I hadn't realised how many. A knitted one, a velvet one, a brooch one and loads of plastic ones. I drew elephants, made a collage of them out of felt, and in art college I painted my very first oil painting of the ultimate elephant-symbol - Ganesh.

Our class had gone on a religion themed field trip through churches, synagogues and the brand new temple the local Indian community had just finished building. From the outside it was a square glass-walled building supporting a fresh new pine wood dome. Inside it was a glowing frosted glass meringue filled with marigolds. There, surrounded by other gods I never noticed, "he" sat watching me... Ganesh. Carved in India from the finest marble, now he sat in Africa dressed in silk and flowers. He stared down at me with dark and beautiful eyes; It was love at first sight. This amazing god with the head of an elephant. I couldn't wait to capture him in a painting. I wanted to show how I saw in him the way everything connected. Nature, animals, God and people.

The emotions were splendid... the painting wasn't. :-( Ganesh ended up a very frightening neon pink. The only thing I got right were the eyes. Those lovely deep wise god-in-elephant eyes.

Over the next twenty years I can't remember thinking much about elephants. Now and then I'd stop to admire a statue or painting of Ganesh at the shops in the Indian section of town, but that was all. Then one day (five years and one week ago) I stepped onto an airplane on the most important journey of my entire life. I was very excited and also very nervous. Not because I was taking the first long-distance flight of my life, but because I was also taking the biggest leap of faith of my entire life. I was on my way to visit the man I was to marry. A man I had never met before.

As I went to sit down I saw that there was a magazine on my seat, it had been left behind by another traveller. I picked it up and it fell open at an article on photography and Art. Below each photo there was a famous quote and on the page the magazine had opened at was a full page photo of a statue of Ganesh. Below the photo was this quote...

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."


..and I knew I would be fine.

After that I started reading more seriously about Ganesh. I still only know a tiny fragment of all there is to know about this wonderfully embracing Indian god. I wouldn't even dare to presume to write about him. All I can do is write how that wise elephant-eyed god brought me one step closer to my love.

A few years later (married and moved to the other side of the world) I dreamt that God came down to earth as a real elephant, unlike Ganesh with his elephant head. In my dream I was told that to look at this elephant-god would bring about instant death. Everyone fell to the floor, or closed their eyes, when he entered the room, but I tripped and fell. Even in dreams I have the grace of a crow! He put out his trunk to catch me and I looked up... into God-as-an-elephant eyes. I did not die, instead he stared into me and I felt such peace.

I met an elephant in another dream a few months after that. This time I asked, "are you an Indian elephant or an African elephant?"

The elephant looked at me with those deep brown sad clown eyes and said, "All elephants are family. We are One."

For the believer God IS and for the atheist God Isn't.

For some God is an old man with a beard or an earth mother with a swollen belly.

...for me God lies in elephant eyes.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Same? Different? Same difference.

I was the different girl who believed that God and everything was connected. Different for believing there are no real differences! Kind of funny really.

I wrote that at Kombai about one of my childhood memories of being DIFFERENT

Back then I was just a kid who wanted to fit in to a new school and new country. To be accepted. Back then I wanted teachers to stop nagging me and getting annoyed by the fact I was different. I wanted friends. I wanted to be "same" - not "different". I tried, but it never really worked. By the end of my high school years I became the girl who refused to be "same". In my twenties I think I fought to be "different", then in my thirties I accepted I was "just me".

When I immigrated to Scotland I reverted back to being nine again. I was back feeling lost and DIFFERENT. I reverted right back to wanting to fit in. This time it has taken me four years to reach the "just me" stage. It took me two decades the first time around so at least I can say I am learning things faster now!

There are people who fight their whole lives to be "same" or "different". So many of us never learn how to be happy being "just me". As an astrologer I know for a fact there are about 298 5984 different possible "me" combinations so why on earth we expect to all be "same" is beyond me! It's not even fun being "same". Everyone being the same would be so boring.

Yet we all fear "different" in one form or another.

DIFFERENT is that person from another country who has moved into your neighbourhood. Not the SAME religion. Not the SAME race. Not the SAME language or culture.

DIFFERENT is the man down the street with that disease, the woman with the mental health problem, the girl who is physically disabled, or the boy who stammers.

The Christian standing in a church, then standing in a Mosque - first "same", then "different". Every day we all flow through various, often subtle, permutations of being same and different.

DIFFERENT is what makes life interesting. Understanding how we are SAME in spite of being DIFFERENT is the biggest, most exciting, miracle of being human.

DIFFERENT is you.. depending on where you stand at any moment. Just as every single fact I tell you on this blog about myself will make you see me as SAME and DIFFERENT depending on a million different ways you choose to define those two words. By my culture, my age, my gender, how much money I make, how thin I am.. or not!

SAME?

DIFFERENT?

Same difference.