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

Monday, December 31, 2012

No Treasure Map This Year

Most years, Andrew and I created treasure maps — what some people now call vision boards, since they were popularised on The Secret.  We were both doing them before we met each other, so it was natural to continue. Every year around this time, and sometimes mid-year as well, we would create a big one for both of us. We'd each list beforehand what we wanted to attain, and mostly they'd be a perfect match, so we'd set about finding pictures to illustrate them. We'd add any individual aspirations as well. Sometimes we did small, independent treasure maps for specific goals, but mostly we loved our big, combined ones. (If this idea is new to you and you'd like to know in detail how to do it, here's a link to my blog post with instructions.) 

The one I made on our behalf last year (because he could no longer manage the physical input) is now folded up in a cupboard, waiting to be ceremonially burned. We achieved most of what is on it. The few projects that we didn't complete, we at least began; now that they are set in motion I can carry them to fulfilment. The circumstances in which we achieved some of them were not foreseeable at the time, which is surely a good thing. For instance, all his children did get here from interstate to visit him — but it was because he was dying. (Never mind, he enjoyed seeing them, and they were glad they made it.) 

The recent Solstice was a busy one for me. I wrote some new poems and put the final touches to two new columns for Poets United. I participated in raising energy for the planet — by myself, but connecting etherically with many others. And it was the xmas break-up of our writers' group, WordsFlow. In the evening I stayed up late to watch the third of the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, which I have been seeing all over again on TV these last three weeks. And finally, after midnight, I did my ritual. 

I went outside to my usual ritual place, my enclosed back yard which is like a courtyard, set up a circle of stones, and made connection with the Pleiades and with a particular group of people around the world who were doing the same. I committed myself anew to the service of the Universe. By the time I came inside, I decided it was too late to make a treasure map. I got out my big piece of shiny silver cardboard, but left it ready and went to bed.

In the morning, I re-thought it. I am newly alone, exploring what it is to be with myself. And I have vowed service to the Universe. Instead of going ahead to state all sorts of goals and requests, and create a visual representation of them, I decided to let the Universe send what it will, to be open to whatever comes, to explore and observe rather than preempt. 

Monday, September 10, 2012


My husband, Andrew, died a week ago on September 3rd — as you will know if you also read my 'Shifting Fog', 'Passionate Crone' or 'Stones for the River' blogs.  

Life had become very difficult for him, with pain and physical limitations. Now he is exploring his new freedom. Various people have reported 'seeing' him, feeling his presence, and/or receiving messages. 

One friend, hearing of this, said doubtfully,

'But I don't think he's trapped on this plane.'

'Oh no,' I said,  'I think he's flying free.'

I explained that, in my work as a psychic medium, I have learned that spirits can be in many places simultaneously, and that the dead are only a thought away.

I have been jokingly saying that personally I haven't allowed him to get a word in edgeways yet, because I keep talking to him all the time, often out loud. But tonight I saw him.

I was nodding off in front of the TV. I roused myself, opened my eyes and saw his disembodied face floating in the air somewhat above and to the right of me, with a kindly, concerned look like the one he used to have when he was alive and would wake me from falling asleep in front of the telly. The image was paler than he was in life, and it vanished almost immediately.

After a moment of surprise, I just said, 'Oh.' Because of course I have known he was around; only I didn't expect to see him physically. I'm much more clairsentient and clairaudient than I am clairvoyant — though I do see things occasionally.

I have had other, similar experiences. In a meditation group I belonged to, the host had an old cat which liked to sit on his lap during the meditations. The cat eventually died. One night as I was coming out of meditation, I opened my eyes and saw the cat sitting on the coffee table. It vanished at once. I told the group, and the host said other people and reported seeing it too, and that it looked to them larger and paler than it had been in life. That was my experience also.

When Andrew and I were staying with the family of a deceased friend back in 2003, one morning he got up before me. I woke to see him walking in the door of the bedroom we were using, with the deceased friend following right behind — kinda dim and shadowy, but absolutely recognisable. When I looked at him, he vanished.

But in those instances I saw the whole body, not just the face. In the case of Andrew just now, it seemed as if he was looking through from another dimension.

I did once see another disembodied head. That must have been back in 1993. As I opened my eyes after a nap, I saw a woman's face on the far wall, staring at me. She was a stranger to me. The image was very clear and vivid. When she saw me staring back at her, she disappeared. 

It's almost as if we're not supposed to see these apparitions, but may sometimes catch them unawares. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We Agreed to Communicate via Dragonfly

My beautiful husband is dying. His health has been poor a long time and I have known that he was gradually taking his departure, but he was still very engaged with life. Then he recently suffered a sudden, rapid deterioration and was very ill in hospital for 18 days. Now he is in a very good nursing home with lovely staff and attractive surroundings. He is bedridden but comfortable, and sleeps a lot. He has very little energy, but is aware of who visits him and is always pleased to see them.

The day before he left the hospital, a lovely friend of ours visited, who is very connected to the spirit world. She told him that on her way there she had asked for a message for him.

The message she relayed was that he should arrange with me a sign, so that if he decided to go into another dimension, as she put it, I would know when he was present with me. She said that her daughter (who died young many years ago) sends her butterflies.

'Your sign could be a butterfly, a dragonfly, a flower ...'

After she had gone, I asked what sign he would like to use. He had little energy to ponder the matter, so I suggested a dragonfly. My thought was that, while we do see them in this part of the world, they are not very common. A sign that is something I'm likely to see every day is not sufficiently definite — I could explain it away — but something unusual would work. (Also we both have a connection with dragons.) He liked the idea of using a dragonfly, so that is what we agreed on.

Now, I am a psychic medium, and am often aware of spirits around me. Also, my beloved is an astral traveller. Even though, to his chagrin, he could never bring his travels to consciousness, other people were aware of encountering him on that level. I'm one of them. I have 'met' him when I'm deep in meditation, and I have occasionally seen his image walk through the house when his body was in bed asleep.

I almost said to our friend, 'We don't need a sign; I'll know when he's around.'

But then, I thought that if it was a message she got for him, we should take notice. Perhaps he himself needed to be assured there was a way to communicate 'afterwards'. And it's a sweet notion. I equate it with waving to me, or saying a quick hello — though perhaps it could also be a way of getting my attention for a longer message.

I share this idea for others who may care to use it if they have a need.

‘Six Word Saturday’ emanates from Call Me Cate’s blog, Show My Face.
To read her and other people’s ‘Six Word Saturday’ posts, click the icon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Solitary Imbolc

The moon is bright
and nearly full,
almost directly overhead
when I go out late
to make ritual for Imbolc,
for the coming of Spring.

More and more
my small back yard
becomes a sacred space:
place of daily meditations
and communing with Nature.
The energy gathers and builds.

I cast my circle simply,
with my right forefinger.
Deosil (sunwise)
is anti-clockwise here.

I bow as I name the directions
then open my arms
to call down the light of the moon.
I feel her enter and fill me.

I have some prayers,
I have some praises,
I have some thanks to give.
All this is quietly done.

Then it is time
to open the circle
and free all spirits
which may have been trapped
inadvertently or otherwise,
bidding them go in peace.

I step inside my door

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giving Thanks

From my personal journal:


It is very peaceful here in this back yard, especially after meditating. It's a good place to be on this still and sunny winter's day. The weeds I am allowing begin to flower, purple and pink, with just a touch of white. Some of them are in pots, because the empty pots — empty of plants but full of earth — have invited them. I have even transplanted one thriving specimen into the garden proper, and will do the same for the rest. I can be an old mad lady if I like, lovingly cultivating weeds.

A plane drones over. How often on still afternoons I've heard that sound, in all my homes at all my ages, from the many back yards. I let my mind wander now over those back yards, and I nod off in the midst of the memories and start to have a little dream....

I must find my mosquito coils for these sessions. I have one hovering round. Accept all that comes? Perhaps not quite all, LOL.

Lovely, though, to doze here — and the mozzie seems to have given up and gone away.

A quick circle cast, and I give thanks for the treasured gift of life.

Sitting Still

'As a Pagan, I've found that 99% of my practice and worshipping consists of just going outside, sitting still, shutting up and listening.' — posted by a Pagan friend on facebook yesterday morning. Yes, yes, yes!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Message from Divine Mother

“This is how life on Earth works. You demonstrate by your actions that you are committed to change, and you start to do things. At first you might be working alone. Your commitment, your persistence shows the Universe that you are not going to stop till you reach the goal. Then the Great Ones who have reached the goal assist you. Keep working even when you get their help. Do not go to sleep on the job.”

(This is advice which I for one need to take note of.)

Messages from Divine Mother come via Connie Huebner at this website. I receive quotes in my email inbox every day, and find them valuable.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dark of the Moon

dark of the moon
the night before solstice

I remember
nights of dancing
song and prayer

I celebrate
in silence tonight

a watcher
(not that there is one)
would only see

an old woman
sitting and writing
sipping wine

lifting her head
now and then to gaze
at the dark

she is wearing black
and around her neck
a moonstone

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Pendulum and Its Many Uses

That's the title of a booklet I once wrote for students. You can read or download it here.

I find the pendulum one of the most useful and versatile of magical tools.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Be Careful with Your Words

I have blogged elsewhere about my anguish at having to put my husband into a nursing home five days ago. I write about the progress of his dementia as Shifting Fog, have recently posted on my personal reactions at SnakyPoet, and there are  number of poems on the matter at The Passionate Crone.

Here, I woud just like to point out how careful one must be with the wording on a Treasure Map.

This year's Treasure Map has categories, e.g.'Things to Be.' One of the arrows from that label goes to the word Patient. Of course I meant to refer to the quality of patience — but my dear husband has recently been in hospital and is now in a nursing home! Another category is 'Things to Have' and an arrow goes to a picture of Mount Warning with the words, 'proximity to views of'. I was thinking of our unit, to which that certainly applies. But the nursing home, to which it also applies, is called Mountain View!

PS 'Nothing is set in concrete.' I gladly brought him back home to live, a fortnight after he was admitted.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Being Sent a Blessing

I just came across this bit of journalling, written 6th May 2011, and thought it worth sharing. It illustrates the power of the mind, the power of intention, and the power of love.

I got home a little after seven. I left Andrew in the Emergency Department, looking quite comfortable and tucking into pumpkin soup. I think he was relieved to be there, getting some proper medical attention at last.

When I finally got to bed after feeding the cats and me, doing the laundry, checking the emails, and catching a bit of TV, I finally faced the empty pillow beside me. ‘Dearest Andrew,’ I murmured. Then, as I put my head on my pillow, I felt a wave of love and peace enfold me. I would have been surprised, if I hadn’t felt so calmed.

I mentioned it to Andrew when I saw him this morning. ‘I sent you a blessing,’ he said. It appeared he had purposely done that, thinking of me going to bed on my own and missing him. I had fully expected to miss him and be sad, as I usually am when he goes to hospital, but not this time. It was almost like him putting his arms around me. I slept soundly until morning, my cat Freya sleeping soundly beside me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to Make a Treasure Map

(You can also download these instructions here.)

Sorry, not talking about pirate maps where X marks the spot and you go and dig up a fortune in gold and jewels. Though you COULD use it to get gold and jewels.

A Treasure Map is essentially the same thing that the producers of ‘The Secret’ call a Vision Board. Some people call it a Wish Collage. The idea has been around a long time, under various names. It’s a way of manifesting what you want to bring into your life, whether material objects, achievements, travels, personal qualities, whatever. I've been using them since the early nineties, when he who is now my husband introduced me to them.

They really do work. I don’t always get everything I specify within the time allotted, but I do get most of it, sometimes in surprising ways. There have also been times when things have come about, but have taken longer than the period of the Treasure Map.

You can make them for any period you like. I find that a year is good. This allows time for things to manifest. Some things, of necessity, take time — though others can come about very quickly. It’s not a wise idea to give them indefinite time to happen; you might be waiting decades!

If you want to research what other people say on the subject, don't Google 'treasure maps' or you'll get the pirate kind. 'Treasure mapping' is the term to use. Meanwhile, here is what works for me:


1. Make a list of all the things you want

You might find it helpful to put them under headings for various categories: relationships, wealth, work, holidays....

This year our Treasure Map is strongly influenced by Robert Lee Brewer, who shares his ‘New Year tradition’ in Writing for Life, and calls his version a New Year’s Chart. (Full instructions here.)

His categories are:
  • Things I want to do.
  • Things I want to be.
  • Things I want to learn.
  • Things and people I want to see.
  • Places I want to go.
  • Adventures I want to have

We left out the words ‘I want’ from all of them, so as to bring it more into the present moment. and added another one: Things to have. We also extended the fourth item by adding ‘/ people to keep in touch with’ and making sub-categories: local friends, online friends, friends elsewhere, as well as more specific groups such as ‘children and grandchildren’.

2. Collect pictures that illustrate the things on your list

Magazines are a good source of pictures. Any that you bring into your home are suitable, as they will reflect your interests and priorities. A friend who loves travel recommends National Geographic. Some people cut out likely pictures all year, so when they come to make their next Treasure Map, they have a box full to choose from. You can also find printable images from those freely available online. (Best to save to your computer, paste to a Word document, and then adjust the size.) Or you could use your own photos if applicable.

If you can’t find realistic images, look for symbols, e.g. a heart for love, a dollar sign for wealth. You could draw these yourself with colored markers.

You can also use powerful words and phrases you come across, either instead of pictures or to label your pictures.

3. Get a BIG sheet of cardboard

Coloured is nice; something to make it special. Gold or silver is very special, but you can’t write or draw directly onto a shiny surface. (You could always write or draw on ordinary paper and then stick that on.)

4. Work out the basic design of your map

Instead of bunging things any old where, you might like to use some underlying ordering principle and arrange your pictures accordingly.

Many people use the feng shui baqua, which you can find by Googling. They feel it creates balance and encourages prosperity. I have sometimes used an underlying spiral or pentacle, to give powerful positive energy to my manifesting.

When I use the pentacle, I take note of what the points represent in terms of the elements. I also know what the elements stand for, e.g. earth = the material/physical level including money and the body, air = the mental realm, and also sound.

5. When it's done, put it up on the wall where you can see it every day.

(Check the dimensions of the proposed wall area first.)

Simple Variations

You can also create single item Treasure Maps for individual things you wish to manifest, e.g. a holiday in a particular place; a specific job you're after; the ideal relationship.

You can go into a lot more detail this way than on an all-purpose Treasure Map, e.g. with pictures of the desired holiday location. Or you could have one central image with a lot of arrows going from it, either to words or more images (or both).

A simple picture on the wall can act the same way.

He Who Is Now My Husband was once married to someone else. In that time he saw a picture spread in a magazine of a house he really liked the look of, cut it out and put it up on the kitchen wall. Weeks later his wife phoned him at work and said, 'You've got to come and look at this house for sale.' He did, they fell in love with it and bought it. It was only after they'd been living in it some time that it dawned on him it was the same as the house in the magazine!

Unfortunately the payments proved too costly and they ended up selling it again. This financial stress contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. Be careful what you wish for! But the point is, the picture on the wall did work as a manifestation tool.

Hints and Pitfalls

1. You need to be very specific

One year, wanting to lose weight, I found a ‘before and after’ picture: two images, one wide and the other slender, of a woman’s back view in just her white bra and panties. I didn’t noticeably lose weight that year, but my husband did buy me the most beautiful white underwear for Christmas.

Another time, I thought I’d love to have a trip to Paris. I found a picture from a travel ad: the Eiffel Tower, crossed with the words ‘Allo Paris!’ I imagined myself joyously greeting the city. I have not yet been to Paris, but that year my younger son unexpectedly went to live there for a time, and I received phone calls from Paris.

2. Use coloured pictures

There is a story of a couple who wanted to manifest a holiday, and used a whole lot of black-and-white photos they found of the place they wanted to visit. They did get the holiday, but they said it was disappointingly flat and boring — it lacked colour.

3. If you change your mind about something, remove the picture (and any words attached to it)

E.g. if at first you wanted to go to Queensland, then later decide on Tasmania this year instead; or if you cancel the idea of lessons in belly dancing, in favour of yoga lessons. In these cases, of course, you would put up new pictures.

But you could just have a change of heart without wanting a swap. You might decide that, after all, a puppy would be more trouble than it was worth; or that you are not yet ready to live in New Guinea.

Either way, you don’t want to risk bringing in something you no longer desire.

4. Be careful what you wish for. (You might get it.)

This stuff does work. Think things through before you go blithely ordering them from the Universe!

The Universe Moves in Mysterious Ways (or, Nice Surprises)

Can it be a surprise, if something manifests that was on your map? Isn’t that what it’s all about? Well, sometimes the way things manifest can take you by surprise.

There was the year we lived in a place with a really good view of the heavens. My darling was always wishing for a telescope, so we put a picture of one on our Treasure Map. Some months later we were invited to lunch at a friend’s, and the subject came up in conversation.

‘I’ve got one I can lend you!’ she said. It turned out she was minding one for her brother, who was in no hurry to get it back. We had that telescope for years and it got a lot of use. She did eventually contact us to say her brother would like it back now — just after we had moved to a place without that clear view of the night sky.

Even more far-fetched was the Mercedes. Himself always had a hankering for one. I would not have thought of it for myself, but once it was suggested I wasn’t averse to the idea. By the time we became Pensioners, it seemed highly unlikely, but one year he decided to put it on the Treasure Map anyway. Which he did, and then we promptly forgot all about it. (It was right in the centre of the map, but it was only a small picture, not eye-catching.)

In due course our car started giving trouble. We were going to have to leave it some days at the local garage, and would not have a vehicle. At the time we lived way out of town at the end of a dirt road with no public transport. We were even a good long way from the local village; much too far to walk. There were no car hire places handy either. We asked at the local store if they knew of anyone who might be able to lend us a car. They did — a guy we’d never heard of, with coincidentally the same surname as ours. It seemed he owned a few cars, and was willing to lend them. What kind of cars we didn’t know, but we’d be happy to take anything that worked. We phoned him and he agreed.

You guessed it. When we got there, he said, ‘I think I’ll let you have the Mercedes.’ All he wanted in return was that we fill up the tank when we gave it back. It was an old model, but it was a fair dinkum Mercedes, and very comfortable. It was a day or two later that I happened to be standing where I could see the centre of the Treasure map close up, and went, ‘Omigod, look at that!’ as I pointed out the picture of the Mercedes.

So my darling got his wish, and after two weeks of driving around in it, he wished for it no longer. An imported car, and a luxury car moreover, spare parts would be expensive. Our dirt road was hard on any car; we were always terrified of what it might do to the Mercedes. We realised that owning one would be far too stressful. We handed it back happily. We’re still amazed at the way it manifested, both the unexpectedness of the circumstances and the kindly way the Universe didn’t saddle us permanently with something we only thought we wanted.

Bad Behaviour

Of course you should never use your Treasure Map to manipulate people, much less interfere with other people's maps! But I did that once.

When I was dating He Who Is Now My Husband, it came about that I had occasion to spend time in his bedroom. I noticed the Treasure Map on his wall. It was a simple one with just one picture in the centre, of a couple dancing. The man was him, beaming with joy. The woman's face had been whited out. Arrows were drawn from the picture, each one culminating in a word or phrase. The two I remember now were, 'Likes sex' and 'Highly spiritual', both of which certainly applied to me.

As a joke, next time I visited I surreptitiously stuck a cut-out of my face, from a photo, over the blank face of the woman in the picture. I also added a few arrows leading to very specific items that identified me, e.g. 'Grew up in Tasmania'. I crossed out his specified age range and substituted my exact age at the time.

I didn't, of course, understand then how powerful Treasure Maps are. You will note, we ended up married. That's fine; it's lasted 18 years so far and our love has grown and deepened. But I was unwittingly playing with fire, and can only be thankful I was so lucky.

The funny thing is that he never noticed my alterations to his Treasure Map! By then, it had become part of the background for him, not consciously perceived. Which brings me to my next topic:

How do they work? (My theories.)

On the face of it, Treasure Mapping takes Creative Visualisation a step further. If consciously imagining good stuff happening to you is effective — and our champion athletes and successful business people can attest to the fact that it is — then surely having actual images to focus on physically is even better?

Yes, I think it does work that way for a while. But then, as related above, your map tends to fade into the background and you stop consciously noticing it any more. I believe that is even more effective, because it is still within sight and you will still be taking it in on some level, repeatedly, on a daily basis. I believe it then goes straight into your subconscious to work its magick. The subconscious cannot distinguish between what is imagined and whats real — which is how Creative Visualisation works in the first place. This just speeds up the process. Or so I think.

Anyway who cares, so long as they do work? LOL

What If You’ve Got Everything You Want?

Ha ha, who has? Well, me, surprisingly enough. OK, not EVERYTHING, but a heck of a lot.

‘How do you want to spend the rest of your life?’ my darling asked me last night. I didn’t have to think about it very long.

‘Just the way I’m already spending it.’

I am fortunate, at 72, to have done and experienced a lot. I have travelled extensively, within and outside my own country, and although I haven’t been to all the places I ever thought I’d like to see, I don’t have a wish to travel any more at my age. How blessed are we all, that TV has made armchair travelling so much more realistic and exciting! It is the same with many other things: I’ve either done them or have reached the point where they no longer entice — or a bit of both. Just as well I went camping in Kakadu when I was much younger; camping anywhere doesn’t seem like fun now. If the sex life isn’t as athletic as it once was, mellowness is nice too, and it’s not like I’ve missed out on much. And so on.

This made it very difficult to create a Treasure Map for the coming year, which is one reason for deciding on Robert Brewer’s list, particularly with removal of the phrase ‘I want’. Instead of going after a whole lot of new things, we’re opting to keep what we’ve got — the home we love, the friends whose company delights us, the car that feels perfect for us, etc.

There are a few things I’d like to learn, and a few things we’d like to have. They are included, as words or pictures or both.

The big goal at our age is health — in my case the maintenance of, in his case the improvement of. ‘Healthy’ is in our ‘to be’ category, with subheadings such as ‘Massages’ and pictures of heathy food and fit bodies. Our ‘to do’ category includes Walking’, and I drew a stick figure in the act of doing just that.

Well, you get the idea. Have fun!