Posts Tagged With: meditation

A Perilous Pathway To Inner Quiet

Q is for Quiet.

Quiet.

Quiet is that intangible thing that took me a great many years to embrace and appreciate.
A younger me hated stillness, the silence of being by oneself.
I would go to great lengths to avoid being by myself, much prefering the noise and chatter of being surrounded by action and people.
As I grew older, nothing much changed on that front, until solitude was enforced upon me.

I have written before about my struggle with chronic pain, it was an awful time for me.
Yet, as I emerge from the other end of that hell, having gained some perspective, I can see how something so drastically transformitive needed to happen.
Previously, I had lived a life that was unsustainable.
Too many drugs, drinks and late nights were just an everyday thing for me.
I loved people, needed to be surrounded by them, even better if this was in the setting of a wild party.

Chronic pain put an end to all that.
I went from being a wild and free party girl, to a tortured, depressed, pain wracked mess.
I blamed everyone and everything.
I hated, with a vengence, what I had become.
At the worst stage, I was bedridden, in constant severe pain, and dangerously depressed.
Out of the many friends I had had, only two of them bothered to even give me a call at intervals.
I could see no way out of the mess my life had become, and I was sincerely ready to end my life, what was left of it anyway.

It wasn’t until my doctor referred me to the pain clinic, that things began to improve, though only marginally.
First thing, pain relief.
Opiates have been the only thing that have helped me to get on top of my pain, and though addiction is the trade off, this way is better for me.
I wasn’t entirely pain free, but the pain was no longer all consuming.

When one of the pain doctors tried to talk to me about managing my pain with my mind, I was really pissed off.
It wasn’t until much later that I understood.
He wasn’t suggesting that the pain wasn’t real, but that my attitude to that pain, could make all the difference to my quality of life.
I wish then that I had gave some thought as to what he was trying to say to me.
But, at that point, drugs were all that had even remotely helped me, and that was all I wanted, narcotic bliss.

Back home again, at least now I had some mobility, even if it wasn’t much.
Not being able to take care of your own basic needs is very demeaning and humiliating, so at least now I could do those things.
But now, I found that my nemesis was the deafening quiet that engulfed me.
I was alone all the time.
My Husband worked, my Daughter went to school, I sat at home, alone, all day.
My sleep patterns were a mess, so I was also sitting up for the majority of the night, as usual, alone.

It was at this time that my depression worsened, until I had a complete break down.
The constant silence drove me mad, literally.
I had nothing to focus my mind on, no hobbies, no parties, no friends, no job, I was so desperately alone and lonely.
Worst of all, I hated my own company.
I hated myself and all that I had become, which was everything I had spent my life fighting against.

This was the point I hit my bottom.
If it hadn’t have been for my husband, being so vigilant, I likely would have committed suicide at this point.
I had even convinced myself that I would be doing my family, my daughter, a favor, better that she not have to watch me wilt and waste away like I was.

Then, at the worst of all possible times, my dog, Sid, died.
I had had her for ten years, but she left me suddenly.
Left me with no companionship at all.
Her death rocked me to my core.

My daughter had then decided she wanted her own dog.
We ended up adopting a little white Staffy, who was having a hard time trying to find a fur-ever home.
He came to us, and my life was never the same again.
I love this dog, Leo, like my own flesh and blood child.
It was this dog that saved me, pulled me up and out of the black pit I was entombed in.
It is very difficult to be depressed, with those little brown eyes looking at you.
He at least got me up and outside, in the sunlight and fresh air.

From there, things improved.
Yet, quiet, peace and stillness still frightened me.
Until one day, when I found an old pack of tarot cards, that had been given to me years ago, in the back of a drawer.
I took them out and flicking through them, they kindled something in me that they hadn’t before.
I felt no particular connection to this deck, but felt the urge to find one that I did connect with.
I found the Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot.

This deck is more of an artdeck, a display of the author’s art, than a ‘proper’ deck.
Only the Major Arcana cards are illustrated.
But this was perfect for me at the time, as I became determined to learn the meanings of these cards so I could put them to use.
I have since moved on to other decks, but I keep that deck in a beautiful, ornate box.
It is still so very special to me, as it changed my life.

It was through my Tarot studies that I Iearnt the art of meditation, and this opened so many doors for me, not just physically, but spiritually as well.
Meditation helped me to quiet my mind, control the negative spiral of my thoughts.
But it also helped me to relax and to sleep, getting my sleeping habits back to more workable hours.
A good night’s sleep certainly brightens one’s perspective!

It was around this time that I had the urge to construct an altar, something I had not had for many years.
I found the perfect table and set it up in my room.
At first it was more of an elemental altar, then I added God and Goddess, but it still didn’t feel quite right.
Then, Hekate came sweeping into my life.

Hekate taught me to heal myself, to heal my mind, to remarkable result.
But she also taught me to value stillness, quiet and solitude.
Quiet is something that I am thankful for these days.
In the solitude of my days, the peace of my nights, I use this time to meditate, to read my cards, to write, to journey, to let my visions grow and take form.
I have a daily meditative practice and work my growing Shamanistic skills often.

In this quiet, that is now like an old friend, I have sought the root of my pain problems and found many ways around it.
I still have pain, but have many skills to cope with it.
Amazingly, I have even began to walk two kilometers a day.
This amazes me, every day, as I set out on my route, and I give my thanks to my Goddess as I pass by the crossroads.

In quiet and solitude, I have opened my mind, my hidden abilities, my creativity, I have begun the lifetimes work of ‘Know Thyself”.
I have learnt to accept what happened to me as a positive thing, it has changed my life for the better.
I am, for the first time in my life, genuinely happy.
I have lost many ‘friends’ and so-called ‘family, but this too, is a good thing.
I now know who my real friends are.
They may not be many, but I know they will be there through good and bad times.

Best of all, I no longer need people to be happy.
I am most content being alone.
In the quiet of my life, I have found my happiness, my purpose, my destiny, my ‘will’.

Chronic Pain is an awful thing, but in perspective I can see the purpose it has served.
If you struggle with it at present, listen to those wise doctors who try to tell you that the ‘pain is in your head’.
He is not trying to belittle you and trivialize what you are going through, he is trying to give you a key, a key that unlocks the mysteries of the mind, the soul, and the healing powers that you hold within yourself.

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Categories: Life, Pagan Blog Project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Meditations with God and Goddess

The following is one of the most fabulous meditations I have experienced to date.
I used background sounds, beginning with a beating heart and moving into white noise.
My call back was ocean waves with ringing celestial bells.
I find using background sound helps me focus my mind and relax into a meditative state more quickly.
I began this meditation with no particular aim in mind, I just let my mind take me where it would.

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My first perception was a beating heart, the warmth and comfort of being held.
I opened my eyes to see the face of the Great Goddess looking down at me.
I am an infant.
The face of God comes into focus as well.
I see his lovely horns.
They gaze down at me with great love, He lovingly stroking my head.

I realize I myself have tiny horns.
I am the baby God, freshly born at Yule.
Then all is darkness.

Slowly, I gain form, a young deer, wobbly legged.
I struggle to walk on my young, weak legs.
As I learn to walk, I meet another young deer.
We play, frolic, run on our new legs, innocent and playful.

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I become aware of a fire, deep within me, my solar plexus chakra burns with life.
A single small flame.
I breathe deeply into this flame, feeding the fire with air.

I feel myself changing, growing, a young buck, virile and strong.
Ahead of me, a Doe. White, glowing and beautiful.
I feel the need to impress her.
I grunt and snort, I lock horns and  mock fight with the other young bucks.

Again, my fire, growing, burning hot.

I am now in my prime, great antlers and sure-footed.
My Doe appears, beckoning.
I follow her into a grove of trees.
She transforms before my eyes, a beautiful woman, flowers in her hair.
In response, I too change, a muscular and beautiful young man, yet, I keep my horns.
I go to her, embrace her.
I love her deeply.
She is beautiful, glowing and welcoming,
Embracing, stroking, kissing her.
Deepest ecstasy
Flowers fall from her hair and body, the grove blooms, my horns bedecked with her flowers.
I love her, enter her, and the world blooms, all is flowers.

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The ecstasy is too great, too much.
I feel my flame die down, a spark.
This tiny ember winks out and is gone.
I feel myself sinking into the earth.
Then darkness.
My consciousness disappears.

My love, above me, exhales.
Her breath is fire, I am reignited.
I feel myself returning to her, my fire burning once again, hotter and brighter than before.
She has restored me.
My fire is hot, consuming, it consumes us both.

Afterwards, she strokes my face, her eyes are love absolute.
I stroke her stomach, sensing that small ember, my seed, within her.
She takes my hand, leading me away.
Soaring.

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My fire grows hotter, brighter.
I am the sun.
My lover dances below, a crop of growing wheat surrounds her.
She beckons me to her, we walk through the wheat fields, hand in hand.

She holds my face, sadness in her eyes.
In her hand, a sickle.
“Now, it is time.”
She slashes me open, a deep cut from shoulder to hip, across my chest and stomach.
The cut is deep.
My blood soaks the ground, red poppies bloom in the scarlet pools.

Celtic Goddess & Horned God

We walk hand in hand.
I feel my fire dying down, guttering.
A small flame, an ember.
Falling to my knees my strength flows out onto the soil.
My love, tears in her eyes, kneels before me.
She holds me as I breathe my last.
I sink to the ground, the soil envelops me.
My fire is no more,
I descend, embraced within the earth.

For a while there is nothing, all is black.
Then there is awareness.
I am a baby, a fetus.
Contained in the womb, I am at peace, a deep comfort.

MotherGoddessEarth

I now pull back, leaving the embryonic God.
I see the Great Mother, her belly heavy, swollen with child.
Her stomach is opaque, translucent.
Within is the Earth.

Then, outward, back further and further.
The Earth becomes the solar system, the galaxy, the universe.
All this, everything, held within the womb of the Goddess.
I feel so tiny, so insignificant, in this, such vastness.
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The Goddess sees me, looks at me, and opens her arms.
I go to her embrace.
I feel them both, Goddess and God, encompassing me.
I am overcome with such great love and acceptance,
I feel the love of the Universe, the love of The One.
I wish I could describe the way I felt at this moment, but words fail.
Some things can only be experienced, never described.

Again, fade to black, nothingness.

Awareness.
The ocean.
I am form, but not thought, nor feeling.
I am growing, changing, evolving.
Floating to the surface, bobbing with the waves, until I am washed ashore.
I am me, fully formed, but youthful, energized, reborn.
On my knees, I get to my feet.
The waves, gentle, wash ashore.
I feel the sand between my toes, washing out from under my feet, as the waves ebb and flow around my ankles.
I feel the sea breeze on my face, soft against my nakedness.
I turn my face upwards and feel the light and warmth of the sun on my skin.

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Surrounded and balanced by the elements, I feel my connection to all four.
I open my eyes and see two faces, sun and moon, smiling down at me from above.
I wave, then turn around and walk slowly up the beach, and my meditation comes to an end.

Within this meditation, I experienced the life and death cycle of the Horned God.
I experienced a turn of the Great Wheel, through his eyes.
One of my goals for this year is to deepen my relationship with the God, and I believe this experience was initiated by him.
I am very grateful for this, as the experience has given me a deep connection, an empathy, for his part in the natural cycles of life.
Without him, The Goddess does not bloom, nor ripen or bear the harvest, the food that sustains all life on this planet.
God and Goddess are both separate, yet so definitely, infinitely one.

This experience is one that will certainly stay with me.
I can only hope to experience more meditations like this one again.
An experience given to me by God and Goddess themselves.
I am in awe of such beauty and power.

Categories: Inner Worlds, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Tarot

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The cards of these last three days have a strong spiritual calling. The Queen of  Pentacles and The Empress spoke to me of connecting with the natural rhythms of the earth. Combine this with The High Priestess and there is a connection between the outer world and spiritual development.

There is a calling here, a chance to tap into the subconscious, the intuition. To connect with nature is a way of developing our own inner worlds. Meditation, dream work and shamanic practice will be very enlightening at this time. There is an opportunity for spiritual growth and development.

The High Priestess is magickal knowledge. This knowledge is not taught, it is intuited, found in nature, developed from within. Take the time to be still, reflect, hear your subconscious speak to you. What you discover will be profound, with the potential to elevate and grow spiritually.

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Daily Tarot

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Steampunk Tarot

Combined with yesterday’s card, The High Priestess, The Moon holds a lot of power today.

Like the night sky, the landscape of The Moon is a dark and shadowy place. Nothing is as it seems, in the moonlight, so tread warily. Beware of making any lasting commitments or decisions at this time, as there is a lot of mystery surrounding the present circumstance.

Read with the High Priestess, here is a great opportunity to work with the subconscious mind. Pay attention to your dreams, meditate, work with shamanic trance, perform moon rituals.

Trust your instincts over all. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.

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Daily Tarot

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Highly feminine, the High Priestess encourages you to seek answers within. Strong and calm, she knows well the deep inner strengths of women.

Don’t be rushed into making decisions today, take your time, meditate, sleep on it.  The answers you seek are already known to you, you just have to trust yourself and your intuition. So give yourself time to hear, and listen to, that quite little voice in your heart.

Being of both the light and the dark, she also advices against making rash choices, as there is another side to the situation you are unaware of at this time.

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Eight of Swords

Eight of Swords is a card I can personally relate to, I have overcome its restrictive energies.

I have posted before about my battle with chronic pain, this card is how I beat it. Well, not quite, I still have it, and still struggle with it at times. But on the whole, I now live a relatively normal life. It took me a long time to get to this point, to realize I held the key all along.

Eight of Swords - From the Witches Tarot.

Eight of Swords – From the Witches Tarot.

Chronic pain is pretty well summed up in the Eight of Swords. She is bound, blind and helpless. If she moves, she will be cut and experience terrible pain. Here she has two choices: She can stand, frozen, frightened, and remain trapped, stuck in place among the Swords. Or, she can gather her wits, unlock the powers of her mind and find a way out. Notice behind her, there is a gap in the Swords, that seemingly surround her. It might take a long time to work herself free of the ropes that bind her, but even so, it is better than being frozen in place.

The rope represents the mind. It is the way that you think about your circumstances, that decides how bad it will be for you. To remind yourself of those that are so much worse off than you is a good start. Someone, right now, is breathing their last. Little kids with terminal cancer, but still with a positive attitude and a smile on their face. Children in third world countries that are starving, but are still so happy to receive the smallest of things. There are plenty more examples. Take a look at these things, and you realize that maybe, just maybe, things really could be worse.

The blindfold represents willful blindness. She refuses to see a path out, a future for herself. Behind her is a castle, shrouded in fog. If only she can find release, the castle, no doubt, will be hers. The castle here, is all her wishes and wildest dreams for herself. But she doesn’t see this, nor the gap in the Swords. She doesn’t want to. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself and blaming others for her predicament. She could also be using drugs or drinking heavily to numb her pain, but this is only helping to distort her predicament.  We also see a lake in the background, it is calm and clear. It symbolizes the emotions, and the emotional state she needs to reach. Only then can she achieve the mental clarity she needs to be able to see her way out. When your emotions are in turmoil, everything seems so much worse than it truly is and it is impossible to think clearly and decide the way forward.

Meditation is a big step now. Focusing the mind, clearing it of all the negativity and defeatist thinking. This is what helped me gain control over my pain levels. I can now tune out, relax, and actually get some sleep. Being sleep deprived is no help at all, it all just becomes a vicious cycle.

If our heroine can achieve these things, find some faith in herself, her ability and her body, which has seemingly turned on her;  she will then find she is able to slip her bonds and walk away from the restrictions of these eight swords.

Only then can she begin her journey towards her castle.

Her castle, her healing.

Categories: Minor Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nine of Swords

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Like a lot of cards within the suit of Swords, the Nine is not a pleasant card.

Here are those sleepless nights, filled with endless worry about things you cannot do anything about at three o’clock in the morning.

Those nights when your mind won’t let you rest.

You lie in bed, the release of sleep eludes you.

Unable to settle and still your mind, which runs amok with negative thought, even to the extent of clinical depression.

You are filled with a deep, black despair and feel utterly helpless, unable to better your circumstances.

Any sleep you do manage to snatch is rife with nightmares.

Your nights are filled with endless and excessive worry.

You become caught in a vicious cycle, anguish and depression leads to insomnia.

In turn, chronic insomnia amplifies the anguish.

Every night becomes a hell to be endured.

You feel isolated and alone.

 

Only you can break this cycle, you need to regain control over your thoughts.

Understand that your mind is creating this grief, anger and fear.

You are likely being very hard on yourself.

If your best friend was in this situation, what would you say to them?

 

Look at your worries objectively, try to put them into perspective.

Will any of this matter in ten years time?

Or my favorite, go outside and look up at the stars.

Our concerns seem so small in the face of such vastness, such timelessness.

Learn to appreciate the small things in life, the everyday things we take for granted.

 

Swords are symbolic of thought and communication.

So try talking to a trusted friend, get it all off your chest.

If that isn’t possible, start a journal.

Any way in which you can unburden yourself will help.

 

I have chronic knee pain.

I have lived this card and know it’s energies all to well.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it, and a long time to learn to deal with it.

I am in a good place with it now.

Pain medication helps, but more so does positive thinking.

 

I was in a really bad space.

I had gone from a healthy young woman with lots of friends and a job I loved, to being completely isolated and bed bound.

I was in unrelenting pain.

It got to the point that I wanted out.

I wanted to die.

I could see no other way through, I had no quality of life, nothing to live for.

I had convinced myself my Husband and Daughter would be better off without me.

 

Then something happened.

I was on the phone to an old friend.

He is addicted to Meth, and has a very hard and sad life.

He told me how depressed and alone he was.

I asked him what kept him going.

His answer was so simple, I didn’t really understand it till later, what it really meant.

“We just have to be happy we are alive. Just be happy to be breathing. Every morning I wake up is something to be happy for. “

Those words were the beginning of my turn around.

Once I had begun to think like that, everything started to improve for me.

Eventually I realised that my negativity and self-pity were making the pain worse.

 

The power of positive thinking, it really does change things.

I also learnt to meditate.

Meditation is learning to control your thoughts.

Being able to shut off the endless chatter of the mind.

If you are in the midst of the Nine of Swords, learning this art will be of  immense help.

 

Categories: Minor Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

0 The Fool

The following is my personal meditations on The Fool.

I use the term ‘she’, because that is how I identify with this archetype, but The Fool has both male and female elements.

So Below Tarot

So Below Tarot

Young, energetic, innocent, naive, full of wonder, excitement and a lust for the experiences of the world.

The Fool slings her pack over her shoulder and sets out to begin her journey, her loyal, faithful and trusty dog by her side.

She has a white rose tucked behind her ear, symbolizing her purity and innocence.

As she sets out on the road in search of experience, wisdom and all the world has to offer, she is bursting with excitement, her head full of the possibilities and adventures that lay ahead.

Whether she sets out to travel the world, or embark on a new path of learning, she is full of optimism and the spirit of adventure.

She is ready and willing to experience all that life has to offer.

She is young, free, wild, and rebellious.

Even a little revolutionary, she is as ready to leave her mark on and change the world, as much as she is eager to explore it.

She is random and intuitive, following only her heart.

She is full of promise and potential, with all life’s options laid out ahead of her.

She can do anything, be anything, her heart desires.

Every day is a new adventure, to be lived to its fullest potential.

She sets out secure in the mindset that ‘everything will be fine’.

She puts her trust in the universe as she takes her first steps out onto the open road.

The Sun shines down upon her, a symbol of her joy, happiness and the beginning of her journey.

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In her naiveté, she sees not the possible dangers that may lay ahead.

Oblivious to all that could potentially do her harm.

The snake in the grass, the stranger in the dark, the treacherous and steep cliff edge, are all overlooked in her youthful inexperience and trust.

At times, she unwittingly flirts with danger, dances right along the edge of the precipice.

Yet she sees no danger, feels no fear, absorbed as she is in her dreams, hopes and plans for the road ahead.

Captivated by the beauty that surrounds her, blind to any inherent threat.

 

Her lone protector, her little dog, watches out for her as best he can.

He barks a warning, nips at her heels, hurries her back from the ledge.

Her furry little comrade keeps her safe, he also provides her company.

He is her only attendant on this long and sometimes perilous journey.

He represents her instinct, her intuition, that little voice that pipes up inside, that says there is danger afoot.

That something is amiss.

At times she will heed that little inner voice, that feeling that something is wrong.

At other times she will ignore it and carry on her way.

She will learn the hard way, to heed her intuitive voice.

Anne Stokes Tarot

Anne Stokes Tarot

The steep and rugged mountain range behind The Fool symbolizes pilgrimages and spiritual paths.

Intrinsically dangerous and treacherous, yet so very rewarding when, if, we reach the summit.

Mountains are also a metaphor for being close to the Gods.

In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was the home of the Gods and Goddesses.

 

The Fool carries all her worldly belongings in a cloth tied to a staff.

She has with her all she will need for her journey.

What is in that bag?

The four elements.

The raw, undefined power of each suit.

The Aces.

At this stage of her journey, I don’t think she knows how to use these supplies, or even what purpose these life skills will serve.

But she does know, when the time comes, she will acquire the guidance and wisdom to be able to put these items to good use.

0 Initiate

The Fool is the only Tarot card that is not numbered.

This card is zero, infinity, unending.

We could slot this card in anywhere among the Tarot.

The essence of The Fool is in every card of the deck.

Each archetype is a teacher, a guide or a lesson she must learn.

Zero is infinite, never-ending, a loop, signifying re-incarnation and the infinite nature of our souls.

 

As The Fool takes the first steps of her spiritual development, there is an inkling in her soul, a knowing.

A sense that she has been here before, that she already holds, deep within, the answers that she seeks.

She only needs to be reminded, to re-discover her soul.

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