Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crystal Surprise

I am, among other things, a crystal healer, so I ought to have known ... but we are all human, prone to forgetting the wonderful tools and techniques we learn along the way.

I've had a painful leg as a result of some heavy lifting. Arthritic, I suspect. At times I've had to walk with a stick. Various ways of trying to relieve it didn't work all that well. Moving around helped a bit. It was always worse if I'd been sitting awhile, and worst of all first thing in the morning, after lying in bed all night.

On impulse, two mornings ago, I picked up and put around my neck a clear quartz crystal on a cord, which I usually use as a pendulum. I have learned to follow my strong impulses, but didn't connect this with my leg in any way — until I realised, that evening, that I had been pain free all day. So I kept it on while I slept, and woke up still pain free. I haven't taken it off since!

I do get a slight twinge if I move the wrong way; the underlying condition is obviously still there, and I am taking steps to address it. (Getting a scan, booking in for physio...) But I can function normally and I don't need to walk with a stick.

It's just a tumbled crystal in a metal coil, but boy is it powerful!

Clear quartz is of course the all-purpose healer in the crystal world.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wear a Big Pentacle Day!/event.php?eid=110031952376384&ref=mf

As the link explains, this event was created in solidarity with an American schoolgirl who was denied this right, although her Christian schoolmates were free to wear their crosses. There is some question about whether the report is strictly accurate — but I have certainly known an Australian schoolgirl to whom the same thing happened!

In the Southern Hemisphere, this event took place yesterday.

I tried to draw a pentacle on my forehead with eyebrow pencil, then with lipstick. But I am not good at drawing, and both attempts looked ugly — which was NOT the idea, so I cleaned them off.

My Celtic knot pentacle, which I wear all the time, is not all that big, and is ambiguous.

My plain, unequivocal silver pentacle is even smaller.

My Mother-of-Pearl star on a piece of coconut shell is big, but is not obviously a pentacle, and I'm sure was not really intended to be; it's just that I choose to use it that way.

So, none being entirely satisfactory for this purpose, I decided to wear all three so as to make a big enough statement. I draped them artistically at different heights on my chest, from smallest at my throat to largest over my diaphragm.

It was a bit of a non-event. I live on a quiet cul-de-sac in a very small town, don't go out to work 9-5, don't socialise a lot, didn't have any shopping to do.... The only place we had to go was a visit to the doctor at 11.30 am, where my three pentacles were not remarked upon and probably passed entirely unnoticed.

We were hardly home when a workman arrived to repair a cupboard. He was a friendly chap who did the job quickly and paid no attention to anything we were wearing, including my tiers of pentacles.

I decided, 'This is silly.' I had on a black top, and realised that the plain silver pentacle would be sufficiently striking against it, and perhaps even more noticeable on its own. So I left it on and took the others off.

After an afternoon spent only in the company of my husband and cats, I needed to do a small errand that involved walking up to the end of the street to visit our Seventh Day Adventist neighbour. 'This is it,' I thought, squaring my shoulders. He's a lovely man, respectful and tolerant of other denominations. We have spiritual discussions in which we find many points of agreement. He knows we don't attend church. However, I have avoided mention of the words 'witch' and even 'pagan' until he got to know us.  He's often seen me wearing the Celtic knot pentacle, but that is not so obviously a pentacle. If he knows what it is, he's never let on. We're good pals now, so I decided to face up to it. He could not fail to recognise the plain pentacle, I thought.

It was dusk. He was sitting in dim light watching TV. We had a nice chat, fairly brief. It was still daylight when we went out to his garden so that I could pick some flowers he'd offered me. I imagined that he spotted the pentacle and looked a trifle pained for a moment — but that could have been imagination only. He said nothing about it, and I found no pretext for opening that discussion. I'll have to wait until the next time religion comes up in conversation.

I miss the big pentacle I used to have, which I ended up giving away some years ago.  It was a whopper: plain, heavy nickel. It had a flaw, though; it wasn't quite circular. One section of the circle, between points of the pentacle, was straight, not curved — if it had been a drawing, you'd have thought the artist's hand had wobbled just there. It was hardly noticeable, however. A Pagan acquaintance loved this pentacle so much that, when I felt like a change, I gave it to him. Now I'd like to find another as bold and solid as that!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Put On the Spot

I was speaking to one of my new neighbours.

‘What’s that?’ she asked, pointing at my chest. I thought she meant the crystal pendant I was wearing and began to tell her about it, but she interrupted. ‘No, the other one.’

Oh — the pentacle.

 ‘It’s a Celtic knot,’ I said.

‘What does that mean?’

I held it up to show her. ‘It’s endless, so it symbolises eternal love. If you look closely, you can see a star in it, and also a stylised rose.’

Her expression softened. ‘Oh, it’s lovely.’

Wasn’t that cowardly? All true, but by no means the whole truth. I didn’t want to risk it with someone I’m going to be living near for the rest of my life. I don’t think they burn witches in this street, but some might have funny ideas about us as many people do. I’d like them to get to know me before giving them any cause for alarm.

What do you think? Should I have been upfront?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Say Her Name

© Michele Vassal (from her MySace blog, with permission) 

I heard her calling from folds of dreamt 
cupped for solstices and fossilized stars
the cairns of her nubile breasts
and the flece of her mound welcoming
I heard her roar rivers and hurricanes
soft saplings and pebbled beaches
teacher of dancing heresies
guardian of dark bestiaries
where she-wolf and seal mate
with the sins of men
witch of wrens and frosted sloes
sassy whore giving herself
to the impotent and the poor
nurturer of bog blackened bodies
feel her rip
feel her burn
feel her veins
her flesh
her blood
dark harvests
and say her name
like you mean it

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dealing with the Common Cold

Even Reiki Masters can get sick. We're all human, handling our lives and circumstances as best we can, and sometimes manifesting illness or injury in the course of doing so. Spouse and I have had head colds the last little while: very sneezy and a bit of a cough in the throat, nothing on the chest.

Along with my Usui Reiki, I learned about the metaphysics of illness. It's not, strictly speaking, a necessary aspect of Reiki; but a knowledge of what thoughts or emotions might be involved in the condition can help with any kind of healing.

Colds, I learned, can be an expression of grief. Just think of the symptoms — runny nose, streaming eyes, gasping, spluttering, choking; very similar to an outburst of hearty crying. If that's the case, best deal with the grief consciously and express it directly. It might be time to 'have a good cry' for real, not in a disguised fashion. It could also be helpful to write it all out. (You don't have to show anyone afterwards, if you don't want to.) You'll probably be well aware of what's causing you grief. If it's elusive, look instead for something external that upsets you (domestic violence, floods in Pakistan) or some past source of sorrow, and feel into that in order to release the tears.

Or a cold may be an excuse to take some time out, to 'have a bludge' as we say in Australia. If we're supposed to be at school or at a 9 to 5 job, we may well need a legitimate excuse — unfortunately. How much better if we could just give ourselves permission. If you need time out, you'd better take it if you can, hopefully without having to make yourself sick first.

If we know all this, how come we still got these colds? First of all, we're still human and fallible enough to forget what we know, or not to take enough notice of our needs in the first place. I'm far too inclined to push myself to get things done instead of taking life a bit slower and easier.  Then, sometimes we want a break from things we're stuck with.

My Spouse is 81 and I'm now his official carer too. Doctors and friends tell us he's 'amazing for 81' and indeed he is — but he doesn't have the strength, stamina or concentration of a younger man. I now do a lot of things that he used to handle, from putting out the garbage to balancing the budget. And I'm 70 myself; one gets slower. At times I resent the fact that there's less time for what I call 'my own life': reading, blogging, movies, meditation.... He'd probably like a bit more of that kind of thing too, but he needs his daytime nap these days. We shouldn't complain, and we're not; many people younger than us have lesser quality of life. However, as I keep saying, we're human — there are times we'd like out of all this. I don't mean dying; we don't feel the least bit ready for that yet. But it would be nice if someone else would take over the hard work.

The trouble is, no-one's going to. We're not actually ready for the nursing home, either. We very much like our autonomy, thanks. And our children all live interstate or overseas. So here we are, wanting a bludge and not able to get it. What are we to do?

Have one, that's what!  During the course of this cold, we have been having days in bed. Mostly in bed, that is. One does have to get up and get a meal now and then, but we've made them easy meals, like opening a can of baked beans. When I was kid, comfort food was tinned tomato soup with brown bread broken into it; we've been having that too. It feels like mothering myself. We've brought the laptop to bed and watched movies, while ignoring our email. We've caught up on our reading.

My domestic mentor (and thousands of other people's) FlyLady has been reminding me for years that 'you can do anything for 15 minutes' (not IN 15 minutes, please note) — after which you are supposed to spend the next 15 doing something for you, such as putting your feet up and having a cuppa.  If only I would do what she says, I would be taking my time out every 15 minutes! (I must set my timer, I must set my timer, I must....)

FlyLady also teaches that 'housework done imperfectly still blesses your family', giving permission for the proverbial 'lick and a promise' when that's all there's time or energy to do. So why have I been feeling stressed for lack of time? Why am I resentful at not having enough time for 'my own life'? I've been being a martyr, that's why. Pushing myself beyond my limits, being perfectionist about things that don't warrant it, failing to get to bed at a decent hour (another of her precepts) and so on. FLY Lady is about Finally Loving Yourself. Time to put that into practice!

If you have a cold, perhaps it's time to take a vacation, or maybe you could drop some of your responsibilities for a little while. Maybe your parner could walk the dog; maybe the kids could water the plants. Perhaps it might be as simple as getting to bed a little earlier. That's when our bodies do their healing and repairing, when we rest.

What about Reiki? Metaphysics is a big part of the story, and you can speed up healing by addressing the metaphysics, but let's not neglect actual physical treatment of your ailment. Of course go to the doctor if you feel the need. What you think is a cold might be the precusor to something more serious; it's useful to get a diagnosis. If your doctor gives you advice, take it. It won't conflict with Reiki; they will enhance each other.

The place to Reiki yourself for the common cold, or anything infectious, is the thymus. Place a hand on your upper chest, with your thumb touching the collarbone; that will more than cover the right area. It's a very good idea to make a habit of Reiki-ing your thymus even if you aren't sick; prevention is so much better than cure!

If you listen to what your symptoms are telling you, and take care of the metaphysics, and consult your doctor, and give yourself Reiki — who says the common cold is incurable?  If you just do the Reiki and nothing else, that will certainly help — Reiki is powerful stuff — but the full works shoud clear it even faster.

We've had our echinacea and zinc tablets which the doctor recommended. Spouse has just gone to lie down and have a rest. I'm going to get comfortable and do a bit of reading, holding one hand over my thymus while I read.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Truths in Fiction

Great fiction can be a source of great truths, truths which go beyond mere fact. I have just been re-reading Ursula le Guin's 'Earthsea' novels. If anyone who sees this hasn't read them yet, do! They are masterpieces in the fantasy genre.

Great truths are not necessarily new, but bear contemplating anew, particularly in the words of such a gifted writer. Here is a piece from A Wizard of Earthsea, in which her main character, Ged, integrates his shadow into himself:

'... had made himself whole: a man: who, knowing his whole true self, cannot be possessed by any power other than himself, and whose life therefore is lived for life's sake and never in the service of pain, or hatred, or the dark.'

It is the suppressed and/or unrealised parts of the self which, remaining unintegrated, can cause trouble.

First, we have to know they are there. It helps, I think, to accept that 'we all carry within us' — as my old shrink once said — 'the ape, the savage and the child.' That gives us some power to notice these aspects, reassure them if necessary, and to decide when it is appropriate to indulge them or refrain.  Good wizards, good witches — indeed, good people — are those who understand what we are all capable of, who do not exempt themselves from the horrifying truth, and who choose deliberately and wisely.