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Journey Journal: (1) My ramblings in a blog. (2) back-end thoughts, less editing, more processing. (3) self-indulgent chatter which I really hope you “get.”

I’m sitting in my office listening to the Herbal Highway and inhaling heavy doses of Hyssop (organic) essential oil. Believe it or not, it’s not Young Living! AAAH! I’m a traitor. Well no, just a smart shopper. It was less expensive, still organic, and part of the ingredients for my sweetening spell last week. Speaking of…

In the last week it seems like I’ve been slowly dropping off the grid. Each time I say that to myself I visualize an egg sliding off the side of a car. I’m reading posts and status updates, twitter conversations by friends and my mental grip on the virtual world is… has, relaxed. I’m at the point where I’m questioning the fist and fingers as well as the immaterial connection that the internet offers.

I think that is parable for my life at the moment.

Over the last 20 + years I have spent my life almost entirely to a journey towards the self. Who am I? Why am I? What am I? The path was fraught with dangers, swollen with love, coming together, moving apart, and travels to places I hadn’t thought I would ever see. There has always been an undercurrent of discontent. An itch, something I call my Gypsy Spirit, that has caused travel. And travel has “been had.”

I’ve been around the world and I, I , I… I have found something I called my self thanks to that urge to move about.

Thursday as I showered before work, I thought to myself “Found and Lost.” You see, now that I am (think I am?) finally in touch with what I identify as the true me, I’m realizing that I am lost about my direction. There is a giant sign that says You Are Here but there doesn’t seem to be a signpost of where to go next.

It’s nothing but a bit of confusion, I’m fairly certain of the feeling and texture of that “I’ that I know but the manifestation is about as elusive as a Quetzal. That tiny, gorgeously plumed little bird that I only had the smallest of glimpses of while I was in Guatemala.

A flash of color in the peripheral, through the green and mist of the jungle.

I feel it coming. I hear the whisper of wings. I know the color as a flavor, and a feeling but I cannot define it. Like the Quetzal it feels real and bright, if I could just wrap my vision around it… I guess that falls into this weeks reading.

The path is calling. The draw to move into a new direction, or begin a new project is felt, but just not yet. Test the waters, refine your thoughts, mull over a cup of tea and have a little faith.

Be innocent with yourself.

So… I guess that is where I will unroot myself, to move with trust. To be the Fool. Embrace my spirit.

Temple of Witchcraft Journey

The Living Temple of Witchcraft (ToLW) work is going well. It’s definitely part of the process unfolding. I’ve moved through the first two Chakra Initiations with little issue while integrating the experiences from the Inner Mystery School. To explain that, in the series we create / discover the Inner Temple. Thus the name of the first book in the series, Inner Temple of Witchcraft. In the LToW we focus the energies of our inner temple to become a place of learning or a “mystery school,” where the journey takes place.

For example, the first series of exercises were based around the Root (Muladhara) brought me into connection with life and energy associated with first peoples, or ancient civilizations. I didn’t see Atlantis, Mu, or even Lemuria. I believe I was somewhere in Northern Africa. Who and when that was irrelevant to you but the message was interestingly clear from a two spirit called Aya-ut.

Aya-ut was a weaver. He drew reeds from the marshes and with the use of mud, stone, and plant materials he traveled with his people up and down a river fishing, gathering, living. He was a male but lived and dressed as a female, he participated in the women’s duties. Aya-ut was a spiritual functionary… and that is to say it felt as if everyone had a sense of their place within the spiritual cosmology that was woven but Aya-ut provided the weave for his people through story, song, and the tales woven into his baskets.

Life, he said, is all woven together as one. We are weavers, each of us, part of a great design, a big basket of everything.

It was an interesting confirmation for me, “weaving” together many aspects of my own personal philosophy and many of my creative and intellectual interests. For some time my chant has included “I am weaver.” When I reached the end of this focus on the Root my thoughts turned back to the present and some of the basic issues of the Muladhara, namely survival.

The second journey in the ToLW is the  Swadhisthana. The Second Chakra. If you’ve read along, this particular exploration lined up interestingly with the Light Body Course, meeting my inner Master and expanding feeling and awareness. These were separate lessons by different teachers and coincidentally had the same message. Here in the Inner Mystery School on another journey, through the gate of ancestors and I met a Northern European (I guessed around what we now think of as Germany) by the name of Uli.

Uli, yes I googled the name after, was a female, dark-haired, in what appeared to be Neolithic Northern Europe (I’m basing this on feeling), who’s lessons I am still referring back to and will probably continue to visit since the ideas were so rich and opening for me.

Uli expanded on the tapestry that Aya-ut was crafting for me. Her practice was finding an open space out from the forest, in the wide plane where the moon, stars, and all things could be seen from a vantage. Her world view was all that I see and experience is what we would call “Spiritual.” Uli and Moon were one. Uli and land were one… she was one with all things, and all things were one with her. On the one had that seems very tribal or shamanistic, but that also felt like a very “new age” concept.

I also don’t know much about Neolithic Europe historically speaking and I can’t say that I’ve seen this as a world view. It’s my understanding that things were a bit more Polytheistic then with a spiritual cosmology based around Gods and their hierarchy, traditions, songs, rituals, etc. (Br. Christopher if you are reading this, pip in to clarify). 🙂

I’m not a scholarly buff, I just tend to know something or experience it from a mystical perspective. The moon at 3:00 pm in the sign of Taurus, on the day of Venus, for a love spell… ARGH! I leave that to the (clearly) more qualified. That said, it isn’t that I don’t use correspondences, I just don’t have the mind to track, plot, and enjoy the process of it. Feels like math.

Maybe one day I’ll get there but until then I’m able to do much of my work simply by visualizing, sometimes with Mudra’s or chanting / toning. Candle work, stones, oils, spirits, etc.

Right. So… where was I? Oh yeah, Uli and the second temple.

Christopher Penczak wrote that the “challenge” of this temple was fear, and that the “blessing” was trust. For myself, also true. The lesson plan as far as my journey work, and so mirrored in my life, is fear v. trust as I move into guide, and master work. I find that fear inhibits the very mystical experience of the Light Body Course and the initiatory information that transmits during the meditation. The more I trust in the experience that is being had the greater I receive, the more expanded my experience becomes. This also applies to the temple journey’s, to the magickal process, to my self.

Do I not stand in perfect love, and perfect trust?

Pulling down the thoughts at the top of the page, it leaves me with a feeling of fulfillment and a strong sense of purpose, I seem to be “in the process” but the bigger picture is still hidden. I have less of an itch to leave and more of a desire to fulfill. Being in my process, this is where I am until the way is made clear.

As I move into next week I travel into the third temple, solar plexus, or Manipura, power, I’m looking forward to what other lessons and insights can be learned.

The experience that the ToW books have brought me are fantastic. If you are looking to explore your inner world, learn the Craft, or tighten up your knowledge I highly suggest them. It takes time, years even, dedication, and a willingness to expand as a living, breathing, being into a magickal self.

Enjoy.

The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Vl. 1,
By Christopher Penczak

Click for more information

Venture deeper into the mysteries of witchcraft and discover within yourself new levels of wisdom, love, power, and responsibility. In the fifth installment of the award-winningTemple of Witchcraft series, popular author Christopher Penczak explores the Descent of the Goddess. In the myth of Inanna, the Goddess journeys through seven gates to attain entrance to the Underworld and learn its secrets. In this unique book on witchcraft, you will parallel this descent by journeying through each of the seven chakras, symbolically evolving from survival to a state of divinity. Each lesson has meditations based on the teachings of this journey, as well as an advanced discussion of a key facet of magick or witchcraft often overlooked by intermediate books:

A pagan exploration of the Great Ages  •  The measure of initiation • The reason for being skyclad  •  Power and the Right and Left Hand Paths • The power of healing  •  Ethics and codes of conduct  •  Working with soul history • Working with your Master-Teacher •  Discovering your own spiritual laws
Receiving your secret names of the Goddess and God

The Living Temple of Witchcraft, Volume One: The Descent of the Goddess is for solitaries, eclectics, and non-traditional witches who are ready to integrate the mysteries and magick into their ministry and share their gifts with the world.

Be well,

– –

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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Welcome to The Journey, Lifencompass.

I’ve savored some ideas for a while about events that have taken place since about mid-December. This by no means a swift spit of writing and by the time this has come to you on the web, via RSS or right to your Facebook page I’ll have spent a good deal of time fleshing and massaging out these thoughts. This Journey Journal is called Fear, light, and healing, because it covers a period of transition and many moments over the last 6 or 8 weeks that are nothing short of transformational.

Between the message of the Tarot Weekly and watching events unfold around me within my circle, on the net, and in the world, I know I am not alone in this shift. I do wonder about the people who are consciously experiencing it. I mean to say, why is it a shared experience with some, even new people who comment, or that I meet, but not others? Well that is part of the exploration I suppose.

There is a bit of hesitation as I write this post. I have a deep intuition that not all should be, or can be shared, and so I’ve had to edit certain experiences to keep the integrity of the telling without spilling every single detail. I think that certain folks might find the details of the journey entirely in the realm of high fantasy, but that’s for them and this is me. This is my journey.

Makes me wonder about past readings (psychic) by many of the great women in my life who steered me to write, and not to speak…

The title of this post becomes my topics.

Fear

 

“When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it.” ~Charles de Lint


We’re in the midst of an awakening consciousness. I know I am, I believe you are, I can see that Egypt, indeed, is a vortex of a change, of ideas and thinking. It is happening now. I’ve been hesitant to write about this new birth partly because there is a voice inside of my heart that would only want to give to that birth and not those draconian regimes that would seek to suppress change, transformation, and light. Light of life. Light of consciousness. Light at the end of a long tunnel that is finally being reached. For the freedoms that people strive for. Freedoms we often don’t really respect or understand here in America.

They are fighting against the inhumanity of Autocratic power. Irregardless of his, President Hosni Mubarak, motives said or imagined, when all the power is in the hands of one or a few, it is not shared. It is not equal in my eyes. This is a macro-cosmic example of several things, political and spiritual. I’m talking about Saturn in Retrograde, in the sign of Libra. Balance. Fairness. Within the restrictive confines of Saturn’s Rings, once protective, once home, now begins the struggle for greater quality of life.

Please understand that this is a momentous event. What is happening now is this country is amazing but look over there at Egypt… and maybe the Muslim world! We are witnessing, and therefore connected to revolution. I do not mean, in any way shape or form, to dumb down or reduce what is happening over there, but “over there” in our day and age has almost become, right next door. This is a powerful, violent, change. My heart is with the people who support a people empowered government. No church. No dictator. Democracy? Freedom of choice. Liberty to choose. I hope that they grow this way in strength and as peaceful as possible.

I can’t think of many revolutions that have.

That said…

I’m personally also talking about the recent shifts. Some of you feel them. They’ve come up and open since sometime around December, near the Solstice, and increasing with intensity. The subtle and refined is open for the sensitive in new ways. I can honestly look back as early as October of 2010 and see the thinning points of high energy and spiritual gateways as points of acceleration. I believe that my friend “E” said that “the windows were opening and at a faster rate, so that we are now living in “real time.” I get that.

In more physical matters it feels to me as if the very elements of life have changed and only some people seem to notice.

Personally, my little microcosm of creation that I experience, I have begun my own birthing process. The world is changing. I am changing. I am changing. The world is changing.

She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes
Changes; Touches;
Touches; Changes

~Starhawk

 

Light

I’ve started something new and in that newness I’ve met my own prejudices against parts of myself…

Last year, in December *smile* I felt the wave begin to rise within me, a flow I watched in the world around me. I made two commitments. One to start the last leg of my Journey with the Temple of Witchcraft series, Christopher Penczak, The Living Temple of Witchcraft. I also, spurred by some lightening bolt, wrote into Luminessence and started the Awaken Your Light Body (which I will call AYLB) course by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packard; Or more exactly, Orin and Daben.

You may think that these are divergent teachings but at this point in the Living Temple series I’m doing more inner alchemy work than comparative study of philosophy… Together they actually work quite well. Witchcraft being the foundation of my practice, new energies and studies that accelerate my energetic field feel quit natural to me. It’s integration.

I said that I had met prejudices tho, didn’t I?

Yes, as I got into the AYLB and I found that the use of the word “light” made me think of what a Druid I once knew called (unedited), “Mambe Pamby White Light Nazi’s.” The use of the word light and my impression from certain factions within society that use it so much that it drove me away from the movement around it. Light. Light-Light. White light. etc. etc. etc.

Not very Witchy of me.

Then as I relaxed into the learning I began to explore what this light, or energy, really is. Wow. I can even surprise myself. Light isn’t the blinding white brilliance that was on every new age movement sticker or advertisement all through the 1990’s. No it was the force that  moves. A light that awakens. A power that loves. A wisdom that shines. It comes in  many colors and vibrations… “Wait. I know this.” What  I thought just got in the way.

Their process is also a quickening. You can study at your own pace as they are audio files (disc and tape versions are still available) and you move with the attunements at your pace. My pace, I felt was relatively leisurely but the transmission of energy from the channeled beings Orin and Daben awaken the light body. It’s different, chakras are a part of it but the body of light they build is something new, familiar and yet alien, and the transmissions are lightening fast.

As I said, I surprised myself. I even had a freak out, which a few people know about as I consulted with some trusted sources. In short what I experienced was fear, as I changed rather abruptly, and then the “wow-we” opening that continually brings a sense of… I don’t know any other word for it but bliss, when I’m truly in it.

I’m still within that process. I have my tea, my oil, meditation, friends and presence to see my through this passage. It’s enlightening, it really is. The world is a different place.

Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.

As quoted in Approaching God : How to Pray (1995) by Steve Brown, p. 94 ~Anthony De Mello

Healing

Much of what changed I did experience in my day-to-day life. I came to a point where I dramatically broke down and I heard again and again the words, shaman’s death. This isn’t to say I am a shaman, and nor am I trying to illustrate some specialness about me. I’ve read a few things on the interwebs, personal accounts, and I just don’t have time for that ego association. I’m in it. If you know me, then you know what it is. If you have gone through it, then you also know what it is. As I posted on Facebook the other day, some  things cannot be expressed, they can only be experienced.

I can tell you about some of those changes.

The AYLB course popped my crown through the birthing channel and I’m not even 1/2 way through. I’m experiencing simple things like noticing the color, flavor, warmth, and feeling of most “light” around me, or sensing the subtle emotions that play through a conversation. My senses feel heightened.

In healing and intuiting I found some great changes. From my perspective I do not feel locked-into (what’s the word here..?) “drama.” I don’t know if that’s what I want to call it but I just can’t seem to respond in the way that some folks would like me to. I’m not asking to be tested (tee-hee!) but there have been some curious expressions as the rise that was expected did not follow.

Healing tho, that is different.

I want to say that there has been hesitation in the past around healing scenarios, although at any given time I would have said I was confident in my trust of the Gods and the Great Spirit but I can see now how I wasn’t, exactly. It’s like the difference between faith and knowing, or belief and trust. There was a moment when I sat here at my desk and I went through a meditation and the energy around me increased. There was something here that has always been with me… and now it is not.

In that moment I consciously affirmed to let it go, I realized it’s purpose and how it had helped me, but it wasn’t Master material and didn’t serve me any longer. Like a paper in a flame, it burned away. It wasn’t very dramatic. It passed that easily but once it had I was different.

Our last healing circle was pretty amazing for me. I know the boys got something out of it but I felt like that [early mentioned] hesitation was just gone. I was passing the energy almost playfully at times with a new sense of trust and knowing. This throws a ball at my teaching process, my materials, everything and I’m going to have to complete these journey’s to come to the place where I am ready to teach again.

Although that could be me just dropping blibbidy-blah and the Life Force Energy could call and I would come to the occasion. 🙂 In a place of trust I listen, and the way is known.

Fear. Light. Healing.

So this becomes the real process. Broken down it’s digestible, as a whole it can feel like a mess. We suffer fear, we wake up, and healing begins. This seems to be the phases that I have experienced and this is where I am now.

I have experienced physical healing before. I have seen things I could only call miraculous as people on the brink bounce back, and ladies with fractures stand up and walk in a healing situation but this was wellness made on a whole new level for me. It’s completion. It is drawing a new circle, spiraling wide, and exploring life all over again.

I think that makes me a born again Witch. Ha. Ha! Ha.

I can only hope that all of those going through a process like this personally or socially open up to the help that is really there for us if we reach out to it. You can call it higher ideas, angelic, god, goddess, whatever you want, but it’s there and in my experience when you trust it, when you open up to that inner reflection of spirit that is reaching back to you like the Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, that things can and do change.

If you can’t find it within you…

“And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.”

~Doreen Valiente.


I am in the midst of my awakening -Yay me!- and having what my friend Chati calls, “the delicious exchanges of energy.”

Yes. Yes I am.

Be well,

– –

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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I was going to wait until I finished this book before I posted a review but I learned that Hank Wesselman will be at the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles this month and I had to get this out to share my excitement at meeting the author in the near future.

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman is a story, retelling the events around Hank’s meeting and growing friendship with Kahuna elder, Hale Makua. Interestingly enough I happen to have a friend who I have in the past gone to for information about her Hawaiian culture and spiritual traditions. Being a granddaughter of a spiritual elder from the islands I feel she’s my “go-to girl” for this type of spiritual information. I had to talk to her about it because, interestingly enough, her Grandfather is mentioned in the book.

So… the two of us are going to the event on Monday, February 14th at the Hilton Los Angeles: Spirit Medicine: An Overview Of Shamanic Healing. That hyperlink should take you to the events page, it’s roughly a 2 1/2 gathering and talk about healing.

Course Description

Join Hank as he examines the three classic causes of illness and the four levels of Shamanic healing and explores the nature of health and illness from the perspective of some of the Earth’s indigenous people. You will learn ancient, time-tested ways of entering the Shamanic state of consciousness where you can connect with your spirit helpers and healing masters and learn how to work with them in your personal place of power and healing in the inner worlds.

From the Conscious Life Expo:

In the Western world today, interest in complementary and alternative therapies is on the rise, and increasing numbers of health care practitioners and laypersons alike are discovering the ease with which the healing modalities developed by the traditional tribal shamans and medicine makers can be learned and practiced. In this workshop, we examine the nature of health, illness and healing from the cross-cultural perspective of the indigenous peoples. This experiential event includes an overview of the three classic causes of illness and the four traditional levels of healing and concludes with a powerful healing ritual.

Note: Please bring hand drums and rattles (if you have them), a notebook, a bandana or eyeshade and a light blanket.

I will be there. I have purchased my ticket as of this morning. If you feel the call, come on out, I’ll see you there!

Now where was I? Oh… right. The book!

I know you know the feeling, reading something that feels right. The Bowl of Light has taken me on an honest journey through the telling of Hank’s meeting with Hale Makua. There are points within the book such as prayers, and answers to, Pele that have caused me to smile and nod. I’m familiar with my spirit connections, these things I understand because I have them. Then there are other tellings -mind you never too much, breaking tradition or revealing that which should not be given away- such as the understanding of what the bowl of light IS, in the Hawaiian tradition, and many other examples that connect the dots [in my head] to other mystical / tribal traditions.

I’m an avid book reader so my “for instances” can contain some cross-pollination between books. I think that’s OK seeing how the references connect.

For instance…

Christopher Penczak, in his latest book by Copper Cauldron Publishing called The Three Rays of Witchcraft brings up into the light the Three Cauldron’s, or foundations, of Awen. This book is a whole review in and of itself but I am still working on some of the advanced exercises contained within the Three Rays of Witchcraft, but I need time to process and digest those. In short, awesome, but now, my point.

The three Cauldrons as Christopher illustrates, are spiritual vessels within the body at the head, the  heart, and the belly. In his instruction with this Inner Alchemy we are filling up and balancing these cauldrons with energy, light. They are balanced by rays, the three rays in fact, and each is a descent of Power, Love and Wisdom, thus the title of the book. What I found interesting as I read there in the working of the cauldrons is a message that I have heard many times over. To channel, one must make the vessel clear, ready to pass the energy with clarity. One of my first references was Frank Fool’s Crow, and his instruction on clearing the body as a vessel for Wanken to heal, “we must make ourselves like hollow bones.”

This message I found in the Bowl of Light. I asked my friend about her grandfathers connection within the story and then excitedly invited her to the event with Hank Wesselman. She  responded enthusiastically describing the spirituality, as Makua had taught Hank, as I read, of the bowl of light…

“At twilight, Makua got up, using his walking stick for stability, and lurched over to his truck to reach for something in the bed behind the cab. He returned to the table under the shelter with a large pu’olo, a ti-leaf bundle that was wrapped  and tied in the traditional style. He presented it to Jill and me with a grin and the simple word makana – ‘gift.’

We eyed the large, leafy bundle with anticipation for several long moments, savoring this time in the dying light of the last day of the year. Then we opened it excitedly and found within a beautiful yet simple wooden bowl made in the Hawaiian style and shaped like the lower half of a gourd.

‘This is your bowl of light,’ intoned the kahuna with a warm smile, ‘the light that was a gift from you ‘Aumakua, your immortal spiritual soul that divided itself before you were born. Each of us comes into the world from the great beyond with our seed of light. This light nourishes us and sustains us as we pass through life-but as we grow in experience and wisom, things happen.

‘Sometimes we lie. Sometimes we steal, and sometimes we injure others through our thoughts, our actions, or our words. When we step into the negative polarity, it is as though we put a stone in our bowl, and some of our light goes out. Slowly through time, our bowl of light fills up with stones, and our light dims until it is nearly gone.’

Makua stopped and looked at us with great seriousness. ‘The great problem in the world today is that the whole show is being run by individuals whose bowls of light are filled with stones. With few exceptions…

(later)

‘Hopefully, we wake up to what is going on and discover what we are doing.’ The elder paused dramatically, his expressive dark eyes luminous. ‘At that moment, we become aware that our bowl of light is almost filled with stones and there is almost no light shining forth. And you know what we do then?’ Makua paused and his gazed turned serious. Jill and I hung on every word.

Gently he took the wooden bowl from me and turned it over, shaking it vigorously. ‘We simply dump it out!’ A huge roar of laughter burst forth from all of us…”

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman, Hank Wesselman, PhD, Chapter 3, pg 47-48.

There is a lot more to this book. Talks about mana, illuminations on the Spiritual Warrior society, and interesting thoughts on polarity and spiritual purpose. It is a gem. More than the overwritten “how to” book. This is good storytelling containing seeds of light for your own “bowl” or cauldron.

I’m going to finish up the stories soon. I’d like to recommend this book to the spiritual seeker or those interested in getting more than just an anthropological perspective on Hawaiian spirituality. It isn’t taken without permission, it has been given and with respect, retold and passed along in a way that I think the spirit of Mauka, and many other ancestors would be pleased.

The Bowl of Light has not yet been released. I’ve been blessed with an advance copy. You will be able to pick up your own copy soon.

The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman
May 1, 2011
Paperback / BK01886 / 284 pp

ISBN: 978-1-60407-430-7
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60407-455-0
UPC: 600835-188685
US $16.95
Spirituality/Shamanism
World

Synopsis: An intimate view into the mind of an authentic Hawaiian kahuna elder—with shamanic insights for connecting with the wisdom of our ancestors and our own divine nature.

I hope this finds you well.

– –

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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Greetings!

With the new year I began a few new projects for Lifencompass, the Journey. Is started a fan page on Facebook. I crafted a new path on my magickal journey, beginning the Living Temple of Witchcraft Series, starting with Volume One: Decent of the Goddess, Christopher Penczak. I also penned a few drafts for some art/craft projects. 🙂

In this posting I wanted to talk about the breath and breathing, through the vein of a few meditations in the Temple of Witchcraft series. This month I have set up a Root Chakra Temple, and started with the Muladhara in my meditations and journey work.

Some of the Temple of Living Witchcraft reviews will appear on my Vimeo channel, for registered and approved viewers. Please contact me there if you would like to view the vlog.

The past three days I’ve woken and done breath work, breathing through my senses.

Opening The Senses

Exercise 3, Living Temple of Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak.

As part of the mysteries of the body, we explore the senses, the root, and the body. I love these exercises, they’ve had a very practical and positive impact on my life, down to my daily routine.

In this meditation we use breath to first draw in healing energy (Life Force Energy, Prana) through each of our senses, and then explore that sense. Meditating on what we perceive. We end by breathing and out through our entire being. If you would like Christopher’s meditation and tutorial, I suggest picking up his Temple of Witchcraft series. Life changing.

After entering a meditative state we breath through our eyes, then ears, nose, skin, and mouth. In each moment we are exploring the power of that breath of energy and opening our senses to the body and the world around us. Sounds pretty simple but you would be surprised at how you have dimmed some of your senses.

I use various methods of moving energy but on the second day of using this technique my mind wandered off the prescribed path and began to piece together other exercises to increase the depth of the experience.

First I recalled that Brandon’s Grand Mother wakes in the morning and does her form of Yoga. Breathing in through her nose, and out through her mouth while stretching and extending her body. Good stuff. At 78 she has done more than most Grand Mothers, including Tae Bo! And she still goes to the gym and looks fabulous!

So as I breathed in and out through my senses I recalled that the breath is healing, enlivening, vital.

I followed through the senses listening and feeling, and then completed the prescribed course at which point my mind jumped off again and I found a few other helpful pathways of breathing.

I recalled a dream from a few  nights ago in which I met a Peruvian medicine person (not sure if that is the proper title of the masculine feminine use of the word). She was breathing in energy of the world and sending it back into the world. It was a startling dream because she was glowing brighter with each breath, powerful with each exhale. She used a few examples, including a friend to demonstrate the power of her breathing technique. During the exercise today she appeared re-illustrating the breathing in and out of Life Force Energy, into the sky, the earth, the body, and the environment. Into each thought that came to my mind.

Then as I was breathing into the earth and sky I began to direct the energy to come through the lungs of the three worlds. Upper, middle, and lower. Each being, one being, myself, breathing in and out the sacred energy of life and breath and returning light and energy to the world. This brought me to the essential self, the awakening of the consciousness of the master within (Awaken Your Light Body, Formless Self, etc) and a new breathing that was an amalgamation of my senses, and levels of awareness.

Breath, is a powerful thing.

********

Muladhara chakra is shown as having four petal...

Muladhara: Image via Wikipedia

You may ask, how are these things beneficial or even practical, as I mentioned before?

Well, I’m finding that a lot of the work done at the Muladhara has brought clarity to financial issues, helped me to organize my house, kept me stable and grounded. This is magick on it’s most practical level. Loving the body and life. Expanding the senses. Becoming aware of our surroundings and making use of the vital energies.

Although I have long worked with my own energetic system the result of re-addressing them from a new perspective has refreshed my outlook, inviting changes and broadening my understanding of myself and my connection to all things.

I’m also reminded of two other points. One, I know that as we shift our awareness we shift awareness around us. Now I do see how that shift could be up or down, meaning positive or negative and how that change can effect those that we surround ourself with. But if you follow me here, and I believe you are, then as I breath I exhale into the world my intention for healing. As I expand my senses to include a deeper awareness of the world around me and my interactive place within it, am I not contributing to some 100th healer phenomena? What was the Peruvian Medicine Person (in my dream) meaning when she instructed to breath that energy back into the world? I have my answer. What would be yours?

The second point that comes to mind is that the practice of meditation, breath work, and of bringing in these subtler energies of healing and light into my life, that they have really changed the vibe around me. I see it in how I interact with those closest to me and how I move through the world. It adds to a fuel of energy within, a little storehouse. It’s very helpful, enough that I would like to share. So here would be my instructions for the breath work. My tweaks to the process.

Breathing Prana, or Life Force Energy

  1. Get into a meditative state. State your intentions.
  2. Start with the Opening the Sense exercise listed in The LToW, Vl. One or another similar breathing exercise to expand your awareness.
  3. Breath in the energy through your five senses. Take note of any feelings, thoughts, sensations, and record them later.
  4. Now that this level of awareness is established, we’re going to go wider. Deeper.
  5. Breath in the Life Force Energy and out into the crown, the heart, and the root. Bring the awareness of your intake and exhale at these points as simultaneous inward and then outward streams of energy. Feel the multi-layered awareness. I imagine my upper, lower, and middle world selves as a linked, unified being. It is sometimes necessary to explore each of them individually to know them. Like understand the had to the arm, the arm to the torso, etc, but for the purposes of this exercise we should be at the stage of having established these points of awareness. If it is uncomfortable, stop, practice something different and come back to it when you feel ready.
  6. Now focus your awareness on the entire being. Breathing in and out into three worlds, through the five senses, the crown, the root, the heart. This is the greater being. Breath in. Breath out. This is who you are in a broader sense, a magickal mapping of mutli-dimensionality.
  7. The power of this being is you. Notice that as you breath in and out into your environment, that the energy is passing through a center in your body. It is moving through a vortex, that is both taking in and sending out the energy. Find that place, should be around the area of your naval. Breath in and out. Breath in the light and exhale the light. See it the vortex of energy glowing with this energy. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Send any excess into the world as light. This is healing energy. Life force. It infuses you, your self, your energy centers, breath and body.
  8. Stay in this place of breath, being, and energy until you are ready to return.
  9. Come back to your normal state of consciousness in your preferred way. This plane. This moment. This time. Stretch and move your body comfortably. Bring your breathing back to what feels like your everyday breath. Wiggle your fingers and toes.
  10. Christopher Penczak says, and I recommend, to “Take both hands and raise them up over your head, palms facing your crown. Slowly bring them down  over your forehead, face, throat, chest, abdomen, and then groin, and “push out” with your palms facing away from you. This gives you clearance and balance, releasing any harmful or unwanted energies you might pick up during your magickal experience. Tell yourself:

I give myself clearance and balance. I am in balance with myself. I am in balance with the universe. I release all that does not serve my well being.” (pg 47, LToW, Vol. 1, excerpt Exercise 1).

Now ground yourself as needed.

I’m getting into the habit of this mediation daily, in the morning when I first wake. You can find the time that works best for you. You don’t have to go as deep every time you do the breathing exercise, simply staying with the senses or moving directly to the whole-being as you feel called. I’ve got a pretty good understanding of my whole system so I can start by breathing into my senses and move rather purposefully into the more advanced and deeper work. Go with what feels comfortable, right.

I’m sure you’ll see and feel a difference. Daily meditation, bringing in light work, adding breathing, these things have helped me to clean up parts of my life where I felt a bit disorganized and to follow my calling at the same time.

That’s practical magick.

See you next time.

– –

Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com
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Hi there.

I spent the morning working on a first draft of Essentials: Acceptance. That brought me to think about the follow up I intend to post, bringing some results of some work with the Young Living Essential Oil Blend: Abundance (featured here). It’s only been a few weeks since the full moon, where I combined Abundance (oil) in a larger working but I’ve already seen a few initial results that came from some unexpected sources.

The nature of spell-work, in my opinion, prevents me from writing in any detail at this time but I’m liking what I am seeing / experiencing. You have my oath that I’ll post the results, ritual, and full details when I reach my goal.

I did  mention that I have a few other things in the line-up, aside from the Tarot Weekly’s. They include a few book reviews, from giving people like the folks at Sounds True, Christopher Penczak and Copper Cauldron Publishing, and another I am considering but still reading. I dont’ get a lot of feedback on the reviews but I hope they continue to be entertaining.

The new year (Julian) is coming and I’m always motivated to find new things, and continue the Journey.

Stay tuned. Say hi. Connect with  me on Facebook, Twitter, or if you know me, just give a call. Oh and look for the next Essential posting this Friday.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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I’ve been looking for the complete movie of “The Line, The Cross, & The Curve” by Kate Bush.

No DVD to be found but I did find some used VHS tapes on Amazon. Fortunately we still have a VCR.

This video in particular, which I think is number 3 or number 5 of seven clips that make up the 30 minute movie, reminds me of the Three Rays (Christopher Penczak, The Three Rays of Witchcraft). I think in part that comes from my recent experience (4 or so months) thinking about trinities, three’s, etc.

Anyway. Enjoy.

Scott

A few nights ago I tried one of the Dream Technique’s from the Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak, called the Lucid-Dream Trigger.

Christopher writes:

Frederik can Eeden and marquis d'Hervey de Sai...

Frederik can Eeden and marquis d'Hervey de Sai...

“The term lucid dreams literally means “clear dreams.” The lucid state refers to clarity and consciousness that we usually lack  in the dream state. You could describe a lucid dream as your mind being awake as your body sleeps. You are aware you are dreaming, and have a certain measure of control over the dream. It can be recalled with greater clarity and feel very real, even though you are aware it is a dream. The term lucid dreaming was coined by a Dutch psychiatrist named Frederik van Eeden, in 1913, in a a paper published by the Society for Psychical Research, of which van Eeden was a member. Though this is a universal experience in almost every culture, he was the first to bring it to the attention of modern academics.

People as me how to have lucid dreams, but aren’t sure why they want to have, beyond “it sounds cool.” Some want to have  clear visualization experiences because they visualize in their dreams but have difficulties during meditations. One purpose of lucid dreaming is to condition your consciousness to remain alert and aware at deep levels of nonordinary reality. Lucid dreams prepare you for deeper journeys, and eventually the experience of crossing form this life to another consciously during the death process. The other main purpose of lucid dreaming is to work on manifestation abilities. In the dream world, time lapse between having a thought and making it a reality is very short. Unlike the physical world, where you can send out a spell and it may take days, weeks, or months to manifest, in the dream world this process is practically instantaneous…”

Cover of "The Temple of Shamanic Witchcra...

Cover via Amazon

I had several thoughts about this and other methods of dream-work, much inspired by folks I know and the idea of working on the dream level to carry out some magickal tasks, healing, and the like.

Generally once I am dreaming, and in the rare occasions I become lucid, I can easily enter the Astral realms and travel. I love to project in this way but I gotta say, I’ve had a hard time with it. That is, until I tried the following exercise.

Dream Technique 4: Lucid-Dream Trigger.

“You can Awaken your consciousness and not your body in a dream through the use of a self-hypnotic trigger. Use your instant-magick trigger (ITOW, exercise 12) or a light meditative state, and suggest to yourself that when you see a particular image (choose an unusual image), it will “shock” you “awake” to the fat that you are dreaming. Then affirm that you will see this image in your dreams tonight and it will trigger your lucid dream. Pick something you never dream of. Many of my dreams are in old primordial forests, with lots of pine, oak, ash, hemlock, and birch trees…”

Christopher gives a few examples and then moves on to other dream techniques.

I wanted to give this a try. My instant magick trigger works “instantly” dropping me into a deeper state of consciousness and I almost use it daily. I began to drift into sleep and as I did I used my trigger to form the image that would work for me, that of me seeing my hands using my trigger. I figured that the fingers crossed in the waking life would be enough to snap me to awareness in the dream state.

I didn’t fall into sleep I sort of slid from one awareness to another. One minute I was in my bed and the next I was in the dream state. It was strange. Not being where I had left and a very definite feeling of sliding into somewhere else. Also I think I was a woman. *shrug*

There was a blue-black color and as images began to form, I felt myself being to astral project. Oops. I startled myself right back into the waking consciousness. My heart was beating, I uncrossed my fingers.

It was a little success, but definitely an achievement. I haven’t consciously projected in years. I’m looking forward to playing with this Lucid-Dream trigger more.

Do you have experience with dreaming lucid? Can you achieve the conscious dreaming state easily? How do you do it?

Curious,

– –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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Cover of "The Temple of Shamanic Witchcra...

Cover via Amazon

Welcome back. I’ve been away. I know but the recent art work and show left me a little beat and in need of some recuperation. I owe you a couple of chapter reviews from Awakening to the Spirit World, and I’ve been itching to post something else. This post on Journey Work.

It’s not ABC witchcraft.

This particular post should fall under the Journal category as I’m really doing my best to illustrate the experience without being too much of an editor, protecting privacy issues and attempting to cover a wide swath of the last month and half of meditation and magickal work.  Bear with me.

GRAARR!

I mentioned earlier that I was interested in practicing a few things before I moved into my third attunement (Water) via the Temple of Witchcraft series, drawing in bits of things that felt left out in my own spiritual / magickal path.

In Lesson Three: The Underworld Path, I found very interesting and helpful exercise that brought me back to some core intuitions about how I deal with dense or heavy energies: Underworld Offering. I am familiar with this type of “energy eating” from other traditions, specifically working with Maria Yraceburu (Earth Wisdom) way back when I was exploring other spiritual practices. Much of that work involved Snake Medicine and many of my dream-experiences explored shapeshifting, shedding, and consuming poisons, transforming them into medicine.

When I was younger in my experience I would have dreams of chases. Things, gargoyles, bees, people who wanted to capture me. These were reflective of my life. It was trying. As are many lives. I learned in life to take the negative and transform it into something empowering. I don’t know how I did it, maybe it was something in the early study of metaphysics or Witchcraft, but it came through in dreams and subconscious tugs, urges, and intuitions. Through these dreams I learned to shift the energy by taking it into me and transforming it. An old practice.

Reading through The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft I came across an exercise that has become one of my new favorite tools in grounding denser energies while filtering out the refined energy for use. The denser energies are grounded down through a stone, a link to a place that I have created in the underworld. There they are recycled. The lighter energies remain and are put back out into the world. This practice is called Underworld Offering. (TOSW, Lesson Three, Exercise 14, page 179. Christopher Penczak).

Christopher writes,

“There are three main ways to release your heavy, dense energy to the Underworld. The first is simply through intent, much like grounding or earthing the energy after a ritual. you can do this by making contact with the ground itself, by kneeling on the ground and pressing your hands into it. You can also funnel the energy into the ground through as staff or sword, or simply will in there through your raised hands in a standing position (OTOW, Chapter 11). You can do the tree breathing meditation (exercise 6) and focus exclusively on the roots. As you ground your energy, simply use your will, and intend  to release all heavy energy through your roots into th earth and then the Underworld.

(Later)

The thrid technique is to create a heavy energy eater. For this magickal device, you will need a stone of considerable size. Mine is a very large quartz-crystal point, the size of a newborn child. It doesn’t have to be that big, or made of quartz, but it should be a fairly large, dense stone. It is not something you will carry around with you…”

I chose the selenite piece that I had previously used to cycle dense energy while working at my office job (in the past) and used it as my link to a cleansing space I had found in my journey work. Let me explain.

My most recent mediations have been a series of psychic body building, traveling into the lower and upper worlds to create connections to spiritual and magickal archetypes and helping spirits. In the lower world we have our animal helpers, ancestor spirits, dark gods, and shadow forms of the lower self. There I found  my Underworld “me” and.

In the upper world are the sky world deities and spiritual/archetypal beings, or higher self. The Upper World “me”. I spent some good amount of time breathing into and from these beings to myself here, in the middle world, allowing my consciousness to exist in three worlds at once, as one. It’s powerful fun stuff, and not without some enlightening thoughts and experiences.

These exercises were the techicolor sign posts of study in my mind and spending time on this type of exploration. I feel that we don’t really have to spend the time asking why as the answer soon becomes apparent to the seeker. I’ll get to that.

I combined two other exercises, Eating Heavy Energy (exercise 9), and Earth Mother Journey (exercise 10)  into what I beginning to understand is a perfect technique. Eating Heavy Energy brought my awareness to the place in my energy field where I could split the dense from the light. Earth Mother Journey lead me to the place in the Underworld, a Cauldron, where I could send these dense energies. The exercise Underworld Offering gave me the tool which I could use to link to this place and cycle out the poisons and retain the medicines.

It’s much more involved in the process of working up to linking these three exercises. I am not sure if it was Christopher’s intent when he wrote it. It may even seem complicated to some but at the point when the three visualizations link the intake of the denser energies through the spiritual stomach, and filtered through the stone I had chosen to act as my Underworld connection, offering the energy through it to the cauldron in the Underworld, worked amazingly.

I’m so infatuated with these exercises I’ve been using them daily in situations that arise with dense energies in my self and in various situations. Today the Trine of lessons came together during a healing session. Though the details are naturally private between myself and the person I am working on, I found that the combination therapy of Reiki and grounding the denser energies through the stone and into the Underworld, to be very useful.

I’m grateful for the aid of the Reiki healer that joined me in today’s session and the patient who was willing and able to let go and allow for the deepest healing possible. The session was probably the most amazing and intense that I have experienced in my lifetime. Tears. Screaming. Shaking. Healing. Healing. Love. I met the energy with love.

I’m very grateful to Christopher Penczak and his formidable body of knowledge, and the aid that it has given me today and in my life. The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, if worked with regularly is a gem of a book. I highly recommend the whole series.

Looking forward to continuing the journey along this Shamanic Path a bit more confident and a lot more prepared.

Got questions? Ask. Thanks for tagging along with me.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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If you are just joining me in these posts you can catch up on the chapter-by-chapter book review of Awakening to the spirit world through these posts:

Chapter 8: Working with Sound and Light

Welcome back. First I want to say that I did finish the project from Chapter 6, Dreaming: The Dream Circle. It is a painting, created to safely access the World of Dream. It was a work in progress and I will post a few photos this weekend so that you can get a better look at it. The Dream Circle will be part of the evolving body of work that I had planned for the collaborative show in August… which is “evolving” on its own and becoming a bit more than I had anticipated. Anyway, as I said, details are to come.

This chapter is about Sound and Light. I assumed that sound would come along eventually as sound, ceremony, and ritual are generally brought together for altering our state of consciousness, bringing people together into a group mind or energy field, and to call in the helping forces and spirits that one wold need. These are a few of the ways in which sound compliments healing or magickal work.

The chapter begins with historical and cultural stories of first sounds and sound healing deities and then moves into topics like:

  • Drumming and Healing
  • Gods of the Harp
  • Power Songs, and finding your power song
  • Singing and Healing Patterns

Tom Cowan, in the Gods of the Harp part, writes:

“This is keeping with other cultures that we see the universe as something vibrational or something created by a voice, song or sacred word.

In an old Irish myth, the goddess Boann (later her name become Boyne, on of Ireland’s sacred rivers) gives birth to three sons who become harpers. As each son is born, Boann’s husband, Uainthe, plays music on his harp to accompany her experience. The first birth is difficult, so he plays a lament or song of sorrow; the second birth is joyful because she realizes she is having another child, so he plays a happy tune; and she falls asleep during the third delivery because she is tired, so he plays a lullaby. When the boys become harpers, each specializes in the type of music he heard when he came into the world. I think of them as the gods of the harp.

(Later) …A simple way to  use this matrix for healing is to hum these three strains of music for someone as a kind of prayer. Visualize the person in distress or pain and hum a low tone, then watch the person’s face begin to smile as youmove up a couple of notes on the scale, then see the person in total peace as you move the hum up a coupel more notes (C, E, and G work well). This can be done in one slow breath as you exhale. Then keep repeating this as a kind of breathing-humming meditaiton for several minutes in which ou send out healing with your breaths and intentions. Not surprisingly, you’ll find that this brings you too into a wonderful state of peace”

~Tom Cowan, Awakening to Shamanism, Pgs 162-163

Although I personally find the harp relaxing, I find the toning to be an interesting of simple sound therapy. I don’t know much about toning or sound therapy as a medium for healing, I have benefited from experience.

My friend Jamie Bechtold is a great Sound Therapist and recently performed at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, during the Autumn, Spring, and Summer Equinox’s. Three powerful planetary gongs accompanied by four crystal singing bowls, and two sound healers. Phenomenal!

I attended the Spring Equinox Sound Bath among revelers, and friends old and new. Initially the sound was overwhelming. I don’t to say it was scary or distracting but the power of the gongs and bowls are overwhelming. It is a “bath” of sound. The beat, pulse, and vibration took me deep, and then into a state of release, before brining me back to (that moments’) present. The only other time I can think that I have experienced something like this was with drumming.

Back in 199*mumble* I attended a small circle in San Francisco. We all had various instruments and I, a small hand held drum. I was nervous about the chanting and drumming because I am a perfectionist about certain things and I didn’t feel that my voice was very harmonious… and I think the last time I had played on a drum, I was five. Irregardless I joined along with the drumming, and kept my chanting to myself. Somewhere in the rhythm we were generating, us four, I got lost. I’m not sure where but I had one of these fall into the ecstatic states. I can recall plains tribes, being an old woman with a long life and a deep sorrow, singing a song for those who had passed.

No wait, I did sing it. I not only sang it but I took the lead in the circle and sort of dominated it with this painful song. I was a little embarrassed but the people I was drumming with, after a moment of shock (which makes me laugh at this point) were pretty supportive.

Sound has a profound and amazing effect on many things, not just me. 🙂

This section continues into something entirely interesting, which I want to call weaving tapestries of sound and light, but it isn’t really an exercise. There are exercises in the chapter to explore the world of sound in making song and working with the “song” of things. One exercise helps us to find the song of a plant. Jose Stevens worked with the Shipibo and their use of healing through song. This is where I draw the feeling of tapestries of sound and light.

“According to the Shipibo, everyone has a song, everyone can sing, and Spirit gives  everyone song upon request. All that matters is that you are willing to sing.”

~Page 166

You’ll need to pick up a copy for his full telling of the Shipibo’s use of song in mystical work, it’s fascinating stuff!

Though you may  not sing or use song in your work, you can use music to find altered states, to accompany your journey. There are albums created for healing, dream, and shamanic work (and more) that you can find to work with. These may or may not be healing songs, but they can provide stepping stones into the world of sound and singing.

(Dead Can Dance is one group of artists that can quickly take me into altered states and I often use them for meditation, sessions, and magickal work).

Personally I recommend finding a rattle, drum, or other hand held instrument that you can use at home. Try some rhythms, find what feels right. It shouldn’t be complex. State your intent and begin to make music with the intent as the meaning of the sound. When you are comfortable with that level of work, trying sining along. It may or may not have words that make sense, it doesn’t need to vocally make “sense”. In moments I’ve found that just singing the language that comes to me can be a powerful thing in cleansing the house, calling in helpful spirits, or vibrating the energy that we wish to bring into the space we are working in.

The later part of the chapter begins to focus on light. Not the light of the Sun, or color therapy, but the light of spirit, the white light, and the light of our spirits.

  • Working With Stones of Light
  • Working With Light
  • Exercise: Transfiguration
  • The Human Spirit
  • Maintaining A Spiritual State
  • A Journey To A Descendant

If you are reading along and you have or are working with the “Transfiguration” exercise I would love to hear about your experience(s). This process involves using the Light to shift, or transform parts of self, illness, or thoughts (for example) into lighter forms of being. Imagine shifting a stagnant form that you find within your journey work that is stuck in pain, in the past, or in the type of darkness that does not serve us.

We’re coming into the three final chapters of Awakening to the Spirit World, The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation. As I wind down I’m going to begin to incorporate more of the experiences and lessons from The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, Christopher Penczak, to continue the work.  I hope that you will join me.

Until then, enjoy the Journey.

– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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Okay so this posting definitely covers several threads in the blog, the Journey, including the Tarot Journey. I feel I have to say it, this is a bit more of a journal entry to record the experience and not so much a blog entry. I did my best to thread it together.

Over the last few weeks I have attuned to the energy of The Lovers, while I’ve been preparing for the Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft (“TOSW”, Christopher Penczak) attunement. This third leg of the Journey is part of what I’ve been calling the re-dedication process, my “welcome back” to the magickal path. I think it, this next path, began when I picked up the book. It’s also possible that this began when I started to receive requests to review Shamanic literature, specifically Awakening to Shamanism, The Path of Direct Revelation.

This morning I preformed some of the healing work and path-working, and performed the rite, The Shadow’s Promise. Trixie, my little black Hekate guardian at the side of my circle, music humming, it was a great way to start my day. After circle I had some time to write and meditate before heading out into the world. I keep thinking I should get up even earlier to accommodate more day-time to work but I haven’t gotten over some night owl tendency. Anyway, with that time I made a few connections. I’m tickled when I make connections out of the abstract or in various circles.

Well. the mind tries. There is a connection to the Shadow work (begun) and The Lovers tarot card from the Journey, and the dream painting-circle that I have worked on. There all sort of working up in unison. I don’t mind what could seem like a slow-down, these things happen in their cycle and season. I could overlook points of discovery if I were to blaze through them.

I do keep in mind that I have deadlines, work, commitments, and I guess that just becomes another reason I like for the passion/spiritual work to open up as it does, in its time.

The Tarot Journey as it is at this point in my life is a movement towards the community, to step back into the local spiritual ecology as facilitator, teacher, artist and healer. I have detailed a huge part of the process here at Lifencompass and (again) I take my time with the opening folds, exploring each new bit that opens up.*(note at end of entry).

The Lovers was an interesting pull. Naturally the cards all come into play, each a doorway into insight about how I move forward into fullness. When I initially pulled the lovers it was the marriage of ideas, Libra, and finding a middle path. As I start the TOSW and explore the lement of Water through the path of Shamanic Witchcraft, the heart has come into play.

One of the first exercises in the TOSW (exercise 3) Emotional Body Training:

  1. For this exercise, conjure up a strong emotion from your past. Think of a particularly difficult situation or relationship that will bring up some reaction in you. Focus on emotional patterns that you consider harmful or difficult rather than happy.
  2. Bring your attention to your body. Focus on the sensation that the emotion conjures up in your body. Don’t analyze it or try to mentally figure it out. Simply scan your body, bringing your attention to your head and then down your entire body. Where do you feel the emotion the strongest? There may be more than one place.
  3. Disassociate the memory or situation from your bodily sensation. Don’t worry about how you will resolve the situation, or worry about what you regret or would do differently. You can worry about resolving it later. How would you describe it? Is it painful? Does it have a temperature? Does it feel electric? Magnetic? Pins and needles? Heaviness? Just describe to yourself. It probably won’t feel good, but that’s okay because you will be releasing it soon.
  4. As you breathe, will this energy from whatever part of the body it is in to move to your chest. Feel it move. As you command, it will move because all your attention is on it. Imagine your heart chakra opening with green or green and pink light. Feel the power of love in your heart. Feel the energy of your trauma pass through the gates of your heart, transmuting it. All uncomfortable sensations cease, and the energy passes out of your heart like a beam of pure light, transmuting into divine love and beaming out to the universe. The love you send out will return to you threefold.
  5. Afterward you can do anything else you need to do to restore your inner balance. You can do the Shamanic Smudging Ritual in Chapter 3 to cleanse and smudge yourself. You can do a chakra balancing exercise (ITOW, exercise 25), or you can simply rest or take a long bath.

~Shamanic Temple of Witchcraft, Chapter 4, pgs 73-74

Wow.

I have practiced this exercise daily. I have shifted memories, deep-seated things, and associated energies that I have carried bodily, in a new direction. At the heart, the seat of Alchemy, I shifted up the energy and felt a lightness. This is the immediate change but I have now begun to see a few transformations within the spaces that these stuck emotions and body pain have sat. The emotional shift became clear in my relationships.

The two main issues were both in my distant past. The first related to digestion and elimination on the left side, associated with my childhood. The later doctor’s visits, medical procedures, and a deal of shame as a child. The second had to do with TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) which I have lived with and moderating for a very long time. Now I’m not going to get to personal here but the images that popped as I moved and collected the energy that I released at the heart was pretty “duh!” at the same time surprising in the emotional relief I felt.

There is another point of interest in the Shadow work, I realized that I invoked Dainichi Nyorai OR he volunteered his time. The Medicine Buddha represented on my altar (below). When I sought my healing guide for this, he answered. I did not, however, realize the kind of changes that have come about internally.

Just before this exercise while I was in the reading and planning stage I felt the tug to cleanse and reset my altar. On some good insight I moved out some tools, and made a water, herb, and fire offering to the Medicine Buddha who sits in my elemental South, home of Air, my guide for this leg of the journey.

Journey Altar
Now the healing work was well and good and I plan to finish what I have begun but there were some interesting repercussions in the last few days, as I said, namely in my relating to others.
The first day I was taking my morning walk with Trixie and I distinctly felt a friends presence. Someone who I chat with occasionally but rarely see. The feelings I had were overwhelming at that very moment. It was as if we were standing together and the water-wave of emotion and energy was enough to sort of displace my head for a minute. Then… Out of the mental tsunami comes the image on the altar, my guide in the south, the black Buddha. My reaction instantly changed. As if meditating on the image of the spirit was staring at the sun, an overlay of the meditating Buddha imagined my heart opening, than closing. I did. I shifted.

The following day I had to take part in some conversation and send some healing, remotely but on site, for another situation. Again my first, and probably childhood reaction shifted. Others have come along, each time I feel a gentle changing, each time at the heart.
The Lovers: Reconciling differences. Choosing between paths. The high road and the low road. Vice and virtue. Above and below. Back and forth this has started to feel exhausting. What if the lesson [for me] in The Lovers is in the middle path? I wonder to myself, could it be that this choice between two things is really hiding the magick in threes? The third way…

When I think of the way of three, or the middle path, it all sort of rings right for me. Awakening to Shamanism chapter-by-chapter review coming soon.


– – –
Be well,

Scott K Smith
http://lifencompass.com

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