Archive for Meditation

Exercising the spirit

Posted in Meditation, Psychic with tags , , , on May 14, 2012 by cheshirecatman

Last night I tried the first two segments of Shannon Knight’s “Manifest Your Bliss” recorded workshop.

In the first meditation, I was guided to listen to my body to reveal my heart’s desire. At first I had trouble focusing, but when the images started to come it was a big blurred jumbled mess. Which reminds me of last year, when my friend Angel fused my multiple conduits for me to help clarify my psychic reception.  (Curious readers can check out that post here.) Now I am wondering if the conduits are fraying again. Or perhaps the information had just built up over time since I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my spiritual work.

I kept seeing images of plants and things in the shape of sprouting plants or exploding fireworks, along with human figures and faces. It was not making a lot of sense. Then I began to suspect that this jumble somehow represented my spirituality and as I thought that the images calmed down a little.

I guess I was kind of expecting that my heart’s desire would be producing art, but apparently my spirituality is more important to me. And when I thought about it, I realized this is true. I think I just misunderstood the question—I assumed that the meditation would be focusing more on mundane desires.

Yeah, yeah, I know what they say about assumptions.

I dozed off during the second meditation (dang your soothing voice, Shannon!), but am looking forward to trying it again to see where it leads me.

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Legba for writers

Posted in Dreams, Legba, lwas, Meditation, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by cheshirecatman

For the past three weeks I’ve been putting off starting a short story for an online class. It’s due this week. I wasn’t sure what the problem was—I had a well-defined main character in mind, based on someone I used to work with. I had a good original story concept and some idea of where I wanted the story to go. What I didn’t have were clearly defined scenes and conversations or a strong ending.

Yesterday was Monday, Papa Legba’s day. I lit a candle on his altar and gave him some hot freshly brewed coffee, Then I did a meditation exercise with him, followed by a request. I asked him to help me flesh out my story. Legba is, among other things, the lwa of communications, and he loves languages. And books. I’d been reading a conversation on the Spellmaker.com Facebook page, and many people give Legba books as offerings. I’d never thought of doing that, but it does make sense why he would be with me. My home is crammed with books.

After working with Legba, I went to bed, and had busy dreams with vague “Wizard of Oz” themes. I should have written notes when I woke up at 3 a.m., but at 3 a.m. all I wanted to do was use the bathroom and go back to sleep. I am left with dim memories of wandering around some abandoned warehouse with my girlfriend, searching for a vehicle.

I woke up a couple of hours later to get ready for work. Then my usual bus ride, while reading a couple of short stories.

I exited at my usual stop, and then started my 10-minute walk from there to my workplace. And then, eureka.

Inspiration, in a rich flowing stream. Not only did a strong ending come to me, but two other characters who were not in my original story plan. And snippets of dialog.

When I got to work, I sat down with a cup of coffee and some scrap paper and furiously jotted down notes. I am ready to write it out after work.

I will be going downtown on Thursday and plan to pick up a bottle of Barbancourt Rum, all for Legba. I’ve been meaning to anyway, but this time he outdid himself.

Ayibobo!

More altar upgrades and interdimensional conversations

Posted in Animals, Divination, Dreams, Erzulie, Legba, lwas, Meditation, Ogoun, Psychic, Religion, Ritual, Sekhmet, Spirit Guides, Spirits, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2011 by cheshirecatman

Last Thursday I stopped in at Gargoyles Statuary to pick up my new Sekhmet statue. On Friday, a Sekhmet pendant I ordered off of Amazon (at a very reasonable price I might add) arrived in the mail. This morning I purified both of them and placed them on Sekhmet’s shrine, infusing them with the intention of aligning my energies with hers.

Sekhmet altar

Sekhmet's new statue from Gargoyles Statuary

Sekhmet closeup

A closeup of the wonderful detailing. A droplet of water is visible on her solar disk from the purification ritual.

(Note: If anyone wants one of these, there was another statue in stock at Gargoyles as of Thursday.)

Needless to say, I LOVE this new statue. The sculpt of her face and the texturing of her clothing and throne are quite beautiful.

This morning was also my last session of the Intuitive Bootcamp with Shannon Knight. I am sad the classes are over, but at the same time I am looking forward to working with these new tools and strengthening my skills. This session was all about communicating with guides and the angelic realm.

When the session began, I told Shannon about an inspiration I’d had earlier in the week. I’ve been wanting to work more closely with the lwa (and now, Sekhmet as well) and I know that I need a lot more practice with some of the techniques I’ve learned during the bootcamp. So I thought that I could involve the lwa and Sekhmet as I hone my skills with these techniques. For example, since Sekhmet appears frequently when I clear my 6th chakra (corresponding to the third eye), then I can work with her when I practice divination techniques. When balancing my male and female energies, I can work with Ogoun and Freda. When focusing on past lives, I can work with the Gede and the ancestors. Legba can help me communicate with my guides. And so on. As I explained this to Shannon, she said that the spirits around me became excited, as if saying, “We’re here and we’re ready!” This made me happy.

After a brief opening prayer and some basic grounding and energy clearing, Shannon guided me to connect to what she calls “the God of your heart,” or the supreme being. I was able to ask any question I wanted, so I asked for clarification on the sci-fi disguised dream I’d had recently. I still felt that the dream held spiritual significance in spite of its fanciful imagery. So I presented this question and waited, and almost immediately some pretty wild images began playing across my mind.

I saw a pyramid with the eye of Horus design (this seemed like it was a key to something), and then saw a ship floating through space, but it wasn’t your usual science fiction ship. This ship had ancient designs all over it. Like old seafaring vessels, this ship had a masthead–the face of a regal lion, possibly Sekhmet herself, in shining gold and black. (Comparisons to “Stargate” crossed my mind, but let me say here I am not a fan of the movie and cannot get into the series.) The ship was massive.

My view switched to the interior of the ship, which had spacious triangular corridors with many people walking around inside. Some of these people did not appear to be human, but had animal heads instead, much like the depictions of ancient gods you see in old Egyptian art. It was not clear whether these were costumes they were wearing or their actual bodies. During the entire time that I was viewing this ship, I was aware of a very powerful energy weighing down on me. It had an almost audible hum and reminded me of the feeling I’ve had when I’ve been inside electrical plants and stood near large generators.

All of my spiritual mentors keep telling me to accept what I see, and it’s this acceptance that enables me to move past the psychic block I’ve had for years. However, I know these images seem strange and I do not claim to fully understand them. Are they symbolic or literal? Personally, I suspect a bit of both, as can be the case with spiritual visions. More on this later.

Next I got to call upon the archangels, who are a group of beings I’ve never worked with before. These are not the angels of holiday cards, but powerful beings capable of both help and destruction, like the lwa. It’s not too surprising that some Vodou practitioners use images of the archangels to represent various lwa. This was an interesting experience and I found their energy to be very protective and strong. The archangels do not seem to require much from you in return, other than acknowledgement and gratitude, which is different from the lwa. However, serving the lwa in the physical realm (giving them offerings, performing rituals, etc.) is part of what I love in Vodou. I find the physical actions function as constant reminders of our connection with them. I don’t necessarily prefer one way or the other, and plan to work again with the archangels and of course to continue serving the lwa.

We moved on to the ascended masters, and Shannon asked me if there was any particular master that I felt drawn to. I decided to talk with my Zimbate healing guide, a spirit I’ll refer to as “A.” When I first learned his name, I did a Google search and found that it might be Hawaiian in origin, but I wasn’t sure. Today I wanted to know more about him, and as I thought that I saw images of what might be pre-Columbian art and then a spotted cat which could have been a jaguar or leopard. Then I got other, vaguer images of him wearing outfits that could be either Hawaiian or Central American in origin; I wasn’t sure. Shannon thought he felt more Hawaiian, but then there aren’t any jaguars in Hawaii. Then again, perhaps the cat was a leopard and he showed me that just to indicate that he was talking to me.  He also showed me a metal bell and I heard a ringing sound that made me think of Tibetan singing bowls. Tracy Ann had mentioned to me before that I should be working with sound. Another area to explore.

Lastly, Shannon helped me connect to my spirit guide. She asked me if I’d had contact with my guide before, and I did not think so (at least not consciously). I asked her if she thought we had one guide or many, and her beliefs were similar to those of Sylvia Browne: We each have a main spirit guide assigned to work with us before we are incarnated. We can have other guides as well that work with us at various times (such as healing guides, creative muses and such), but our main guide is with us always. So naturally I was very interested in meeting this person.

I was not sure at first whether it was a man or a woman, but then the image clarified into a slim, slightly androgynous young man, seemingly of Indian origin (this is Indian as from India, not Native American). This made me smile, as I love the music, art, dance, food, mythology and spirituality of India. As I got a better look at him, I saw that he had long black hair in a braid down his back and possibly a mustache. I asked him his name and got something that was similar to “Alan” but wasn’t Alan. At one point he changed briefly into Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god, and then back into himself again. Remember earlier when I mentioned that spiritual seeing can be both literal and symbolic? Shannon thought that perhaps his changing into Ganesha was to validate that yes, he was indeed from India. This made sense to me, rather than thinking he actually was Ganesha.

I asked him to show me my life’s purpose, and he showed me an aerial view of a lush beautiful rainforest. When I asked for clarification, the view remained the same. I think this is because part of me consciously knew the answer to the question.

I’ve been feeling a pull to do more for ecological preservation. This pull originates in my desire to save the big cats from extinction, and was intensified by reading Linda Tucker’s “Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God.” However, saving any part of nature is part of a larger picture of saving the planet and ourselves. Mainstream industrial culture seems to be suffering from a sort of self-destructive mental illness that will be terminal unless more people wake up and stop allowing such wide scale destruction to continue.

I am not sure yet how I can help, but for now I will take baby steps, beginning with awareness in where my money goes and where my votes go. The rest I will have to figure out as I go along, with the help of the lwa, the spirits and the deities.

Illness, intuitive bootcamp and interconnectiveness

Posted in Dreams, Meditation, Psychic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2011 by cheshirecatman

I am a bit behind on writing about my intuitive bootcamp progress (an over-the-phone workshop with Shannon Knight, see link on the homepage of this blog) due to some health problems, which seem to be connected with spiritual growth and an overall “self-makeover” of sorts.

Early in May I decided to go on a 3-week, somewhat extreme diet to shed some unwanted pounds that have piled up since I entered my 40s. While the diet is highly effective, it also exhausted me and left me open to other health problems. I sometimes grind my teeth when I sleep and, during the second week of the diet, woke up with nasty pain on the left side of my jaw.

The worst of the pain lifted after about three days, but then my allergies hit full force and, between the inflamed nerves and my exhaustion, a very nasty sinus infection developed. Thanks to some healing work from Angel (her blog is also linked on the homepage, “Walking by the Light of the Moon”) and techniques learned from Shannon and my Zimbate teacher, I am now close to fully recovered. I mainly note this process here because the diet and the bootcamp began around the same time, and both seem to be ending around the same time. And this seems right somehow. It really does help spiritual development if one’s body is in good shape.

Last Sunday Shannon taught me how to read auras. Of all the exercises I’ve done so far in the bootcamp, this one proved to be the most difficult for me. We went through each chakra to see what images or colors came up. Some were straightforward. For instance, when reading my heart chakra I saw a very tall forest tree, which for me means good health and grounding in nature. Others, however, were very confusing. When I read my throat chakra, I saw this weird jumble of images, black on red, that resembled woodblock prints of historical characters or playing cards. I am not sure what that meant. I need a lot more practice in this area.

Today she taught me how to balance my energies, which I knew would be an important one for me. I remember Mambo C telling me that my male and female energies were unbalanced. Shannon explained what this meant very clearly to me today. Basically, male energies are about receiving and female energies are about giving, and having some empathic ability I am more of a giver than receiver, to the point that I have made myself into a martyr in the past. I’ve mostly recovered from this in the last 10 or 15 years, but there is still room for improvement. Shannon said this is not uncommon for introverted people. After running through the balancing exercise with Shannon, I felt more balanced and it motivated me to make a phone call I’ve been putting off (I hate making phone calls, unless it’s someone I really want to talk to).

During this session,  I told Shannon about my recent spiritual dream in sci fi guise, and she mentioned that, since working with me, she’d had a number of galactic-oriented dreams (not common for her) and kept running into information about human-animal consciousness. I always find it fascinating when people reach a connection that goes beyond a conscious level. Just one of those times when you know you’ve found a teacher who is right for you.

Next week is my last bootcamp session. I will miss these when they’re gone. I hope to take another workshop with her in the future, but likely it won’t be this year, mainly because I need to save my money for the lave tet this summer. But that’s okay, Shannon has given me some new tools and techniques to work with, and it would be a good idea for me to master these before taking the next step.

Footnote to previous post: Sekhmet

Posted in Art, Divination, Meditation, Religion, Sekhmet with tags , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by cheshirecatman

In the excitement of writing my previous post, I somehow forgot to mention one important detail.

During the meditation, I was visualizing gold light (which K described as “sunshine gold”). Images of Sekhmet kept popping into my mind. She is associated with the sun, according to some sources.

The rational side of my brain says that this is because I recently bought a beautiful print of Sekhmet at an art show, and was reading about her to create an informational tag for a sculpture I made of her. However, I had no plans to start up any Pagan practices again and want to just focus on Vodou.

But I think it unwise to ignore intuition.

So…. now I have to figure out where to put this shrine, and how to go about serving Sekhmet (back in my lazy Wiccan days, I focused on Bastet and Anubis, although not very seriously). I also recently bought a copy of Linda Tucker’s Mystery of the White Lions, not so much because I intended to but more because I was trying to fill up choices for a book club offer and it was one of the books that was of some interest to me. Synchronicity? Maybe.

Shrines are taking over my house. One of the challenges of working with the spirits, I suppose. Fortunately, I already have the print and a small statue of her to place there, so that’s a start.

Working with a new mentor

Posted in Divination, Legba, Meditation, Psychic with tags , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by cheshirecatman

This morning was the first time I worked with a new mentor (whom I will refer to as “K” for now) and I have to say….wow.

I love the internet, telephones and skilled energy workers. I first contacted K via the internet, she worked with me via the telephone and, like my friends Angel and Tracy Ann, is skilled at what she does so the fact that we live far away from each other seems to make no difference. All of them are able to connect with my energy and my guides.

When we first began connecting energetically, she mentioned that her hands and feet were buzzing, which she feels when connecting with those involved in healing work. This made sense because I have done some Zimbate work (although not as much as I should be doing) through my animal communicator/medium friend Tracy Ann and also received an attunement and training from Tracy’s teacher (see Zimbate link at the right side of my home page, if interested).

K proceeded to teach me how to ground myself and then clear my chakras. She sensed that I was very connected to the earth (she saw crystals and rocks, and had the impression of planting my feet in the earth) and sensed a Native American energy. I then told her that I am half Inuit. During this process, she also picked up on the fact that I am a writer (both by hobby and, at one time, professionally) and teacher (never in an academic setting, but I am very good at training people on the job).

I was particularly impressed at one point during the chakra clearing. K had told me early in the session to let her know if I felt any physical discomfort. While clearing either the third eye or the crown chakra, I started to feel slight discomfort/pain in the stomach area. Before I could even say anything, K said she was picking up something in my lower chakras.

Throughout the session I started to feel a bit giddy and happy. Afterwards, when I went downstairs to get some coffee, I realized that the sensation I felt was very similar to the way I felt years ago when I had a particularly good meditation. During that meditation, I had visualized boxes within my body aligning themselves, and I must have aligned my chakras without even knowing it. I look forward to practicing this alignment more so that I can feel this way on a regular basis.

I am so looking forward to working with K. more. After the phone session ended, I thanked Legba for clear communication and placed some coffee in his shrine.

Sacred geometry

Posted in Art, Meditation, Religion, Sacred Geometry, Spirits with tags , , , , on June 5, 2010 by cheshirecatman

During a session with my animal communicator friend on Thursday, the topic of sacred geometry came up. This wasn’t the first time we talked about it. She suggested I google it, and the first link I checked out was this video on YouTube featuring artist Charles Gilchrist.

In the video, he mentions that sacred geometry appeals equally to both left-brained and right-brained people, and that this is very unusual. When I heard that, it suddenly made sense to me why the spirits keep bringing this to my attention. For one thing, I am one of those people who uses both sides of his brain equally. Neither is particularly dominant–as an artist and spiritual person, I am always in touch with the right side, yet I am also a “think ahead/planner” type person, and use the logical side of my brain regularly. It comes in handy for the engineering aspects of sculpting.

The video shows a montage of Gilchrist’s work, which stirred up memories of two visions I had. The first happened when I was in my late teens/early twenties. During a quiet solitary morning, I had a vision that I felt represented the “workings of the universe.” Sounds grandiose, I know, but it’s not meant to be. It was more like looking at the inside of a clock. What I saw was a series of glowing rings, and I had the impression that the circle was the base shape of everything.

The second vision happened maybe ten to fifteen years ago during meditation. I saw a series of squares that formed a sort of tunnel. As I watched, the squares slowly aligned themselves. For those of you familiar with the 1979 film “Alien,” the vision was similar to the computer display as the Nostromo is preparing to land on the hostile planet. (Yes, I am a sci fi geek.) I realized afterward that the squares were a visual representation of my energies or chakras aligning themselves. To date, that is still the best meditation session I have ever had. It left me with an energy high that lasted for several hours.

My friend Angel suggested I look into the Flower of Life teachings, so that will be next on my agenda.