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MEISTER ECKHART A Mystic Warrior for Our Times

mystic-warrior-1by Matthew Fox

Meister Eckhart was a late-thirteenth- and early-fourteenth-century preacher and mystic, yet like Rumi and Hafiz, he remains relevant today. He speaks to so many and touches people’s hearts.

As we grasp the heart of Eckhart’s teachings, we find that they take us away from sterile and external religion to a deep spirituality, one that imbues every dimension of our conscience and consciousness. His teachings put Christ back into Christianity and offer a “Christ Path” that is far deeper than institutional Christianity has put forward for centuries. They also offer a living bridge between all world spiritual traditions, without which the human species cannot, it seems to me, survive.

Eckhart leads us to the land of the mystic-warrior, to the land where our action flows from being or nonaction, from contemplation, from love — from the Cataphatic Divinity. And, yes, also from our brokenness, our wounds, our grief, as well as our silence — from the Apophatic Divinity. This is one reason today that so many feel a calling to go deeper, travel deeper, take on spirituality as distinct from mere religion. We all feel the call, consciously or unconsciously, from Gaia, from Mother Earth, from our children and grandchildren and ancestors to come, from Spirit, to change our ways. To undergo metanoia — or conversion, rebirth, waking up, or all of the above.

To do this we need to be lovers again who are more in love with the world than ever. More grateful for existence, for the nourishing and beautiful Earth, for her marvelous creatures, for her suffering, than ever before. More struck by reverence and respect for the miracle of our being here, the gift of existence in this amazing universe with its 13.8-billion-year history — “isness is God,” says Eckhart. Eckhart takes us there, for he is a lover and a traveler into the deep. He is both mystic and warrior.

What distinguishes a warrior from a soldier is that a warrior is a mystic, a lover, one possessed by beauty, one alive with radical amazement, one seized by the Cataphatic Divinity, the God of Light and Creation. It takes a warrior to become a mystic, for the mystic cannot survive in denial; the mystic hunts everywhere in search of his or her beloved. “Where have you hid my beloved?” asks the lover in the Song of Songs. This lamentation also begins “Spiritual Canticle,” the love poem by John of the Cross: “Where have you hidden, Beloved, and left me moaning?” We search the highways and the byways, as John of the Cross did, and we eventually come to this holy awareness. “My Beloved is the mountains, / and lonely wooded valleys….”

Like the historical Jesus who derives from the wisdom tradition of Israel (a fact that Eckhart knew well and today’s New Testament scholarship is finally rediscovering), Eckhart, too, is steeped in the wisdom or creation-centered tradition of the scriptures wherein all of nature is revelatory, a “book about God,” as Eckhart puts it.

So it is with us at this precarious moment. Are we sustainable? Only if we “become sweet lovers,” says Hafiz. Only if we become mystic-warriors. Only if we not only fall in love but develop the astuteness to defend our beloved, the Earth, with all of our resources at hand. Our left brains of analysis and rationality are essential; as Eckhart says, “We are compassionate like the Father when we are compassionate, not from passion, not from impulse, but from deliberate choice and reasonable decision….The passion does not take the lead but follows, does not rule but serves.”
Our right brains of intuition, imagination, creativity, and mysticism are essential, too. We need to create learning centers and wisdom schools where both are honored. We need to resurrect common values — which is not that hard, since atheist and Buddhist, Jew and Muslim, Christian and Goddess worshipper, indigenous and Taoist, can recognize four things: 1) the Earth is sacred, and 2) the Earth is in trouble, and 3) we humans are greatly responsible for the latter, and 4) we can, with imagination and work and strength, do something to positively change that.

Eckhart helps to carry us to this new level of evolution, this deeper expression of what it means to be human at this time in history. He asks that we live in depth, not superficially, whether we are talking about religion or education, economics or ecology. “Deep Ecology” is a phrase coined decades ago to name an ecological movement that was not merely about switching the hats of power but of going deeper into the land of the sacred, the place where in our deepest intuition (Eckhart would say, in the “spark of the soul” from which conscience is born) dwells the Divine and all the angels and spirit helpers who can assist us in this shamanistic vocation to heal so that the people may live. We need all the resources we possess as a species — science and technology along with our varied spiritual traditions.

We need what I call in the conclusion the four Es: we must awaken Deep Ecumenism, Deep Ecology, Deep Economics, and Deep Education. Deep Ecumenism is in many ways the starting point, since without a spiritual depth and practice it is unimaginable that we will have the energy or the vision for the letting go and the birthing that survival will require. Eckhart is a leader like none other in Deep Ecumenism. Who else has worked out of the depth of his own tradition (his Christianity) and has been named a Hindu by Hindus; a Buddhist by Buddhists; a Sufi by Sufis; a depth psychologist who discovered the self by a depth psychologist; a shaman by students of shamanism?

Not ecology as we know it; not education as we know it; not economics as we know it; not religion as we know it — none of these things is currently up to the task at hand. We need to go deeper. Just as Adrienne Rich and Meister Eckhart tell us, diving deep and also surfacing. Moving inward and outward, but always deeply. Deep where the joy resides; where the darkness, pain, and grief cry to us; where creativity is unearthed; where the passion for justice and compassion return again.

We need ecological mystic-warriors, ecumenical mystic-warriors, educational mystic-warriors, and economic mystic-warriors. There is where Eckhart is leading us. Down and deep and dirty, in the sense that we are on new terrain, that there will be trial and error, but it is better to be in the dark than overly confident in a diminishing and damaging light.


Matthew Fox is the author of over 30 books including The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics, and most recently Meister Eckhart. A preeminent scholar and popularizer of Western mysticism, he became an Episcopal priest after being expelled from the Catholic Church by Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI. You can visit him at matthewfox.org.

Excerpted from the book Meister Eckhart: A Mystic Warrior for Our Times ©2014 by Matthew Fox. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com

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Do the Unexpected

do-the-unexpected-3by Bernie Siegel, Excerpted from the book 101 Exercises for the Soul

If you can bring variety and childlike humor to the everyday situations in your life, it will definitely make your life more interesting.

For instance, when I go to Ernie’s pizza to pick up an order, I always ask if my Chinese food is ready. The boss knows me and laughs, but his staff always tells me I am in the wrong restaurant and tries to help me figure out where I should be. Well, guess what was waiting for me the last time I went to pick up our pizza? Right! Three containers of Chinese food, and the whole restaurant was in an uproar.

Love and humor benefit both the giver and the receiver. Creating a situation that makes others laugh lifts everyone’s spirits. Finding ways to do the opposite of what people normally expect keeps life from getting drab and dreary. Playing the trickster is good for the soul.

So keep the child in you alive, and for this exercise, do three unexpected things. These could be small things – like sitting down with your child to draw and coloring only outside the lines or throwing a dinner party and serving breakfast. Be creative.

The street where I live is a dead end, and on the sign that says, no outlet I hung one that says bring batteries. Do what Bernie would do: get a kick out of your day and bring out the child in everyone.


Excerpted from the book 101 Exercises for the Soul, copyright 2010 by Bernie Siegel. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.

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Humor Will Help You Finish No Matter What Race You Enter

humor-helps-2by Bernie Siegel, M.D.
excerpted from 101 Exercises for the Soul

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. – Friedrich Nietzsche
As we get older, it is important to maintain a childlike sense of humor and to let your inner child express itself; otherwise, life can become oppressive and difficult. I know from experience how easy it is to focus on what is troubling me rather than on what heals and sustains me. Our souls are light, and we must be willing to see the light side of life and to encourage laughter on a daily basis.

When we are children, humor comes naturally. As adults, it can take effort to inject humor into our lives. I have tried to cultivate a childlike perspective when I am out in the world, seeing things as if through the eyes of a child. I follow directions exactly as they are given. When I am asked to sign here, I write here on the slip. That keeps things light and in perspective. When I buy lottery tickets, I always ask the woman selling them if she will marry me if I win. Some of the answers have been very interesting! I also ask for senior discounts no matter what day they are offered, telling the clerks that seniors can’t remember what day it is anyway, so I want my discount.

It takes courage to be a clown. One must have self-esteem and not worry about what others think of you. Another example is the mailbox at the bottom of our driveway, which is fifteen feet in the air. Painted on the side are the words, Air Mail. Everyone knows our house at the post office.

Most of all, when you act like a clown, you meet and encourage the clown in others; you discover children of all ages. I once entered an area that said, Nobody allowed here, saying to the guard, I am a nobody. The guard earned my respect and a hug by telling me he was making me a somebody – and so I had to leave.

One time I even dressed as a nurse at a surgical department dinner. I wore a white nurse’s outfit I borrowed from our office staff, plus balloons for breasts, a wig, and makeup applied by my wife. And like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, I got up and gave a critical impassioned speech. I was amazed by the positive comments I received the next day at the hospital. Humor makes everything easier to digest.

It is wonderful when your ability to laugh brings out the child in another person; you both then experience a much better day. At my post office recently, the clerk told me some jokes while he processed my package. I told him I was going to mail empty boxes just to come in and hear his jokes.

Humor helps us get through even the toughest of times.


Excerpted from the book 101 Exercises for the Soul, copyright 2010 by Bernie Siegel. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.

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Attitude is Everything

beautiful woman in poppy fieldby Bernie Siegel, M.D. excerpted from 101 Exercises for the Soul

Others can stop you temporarily, you are the only one who can do it permanently.
Maintaining a positive attitude, no matter what your circumstances, increases the likelihood of your finding future happiness and fulfillment. Why is this true? Well, if your attitude is negative and your mind is filled with worry and fear, it takes its toll on your body, mind and spirit.

In fact, by spending all your time creating a vision of an unhappy future, you help create that future. Remember, your thoughts guide your decisions, and negative thoughts lead to negative decisions. Nothing is solved by visualizing the worst outcome, but much can be accomplished when you desire and intend to achieve the best possible result. Optimists may not be more accurate about life – whether interpreting the past or predicting the future – but they live longer than pessimists.

Over God’s desk there is a plaque that reads, If you go around saying I’ve got a miserable life, I’ll show you what miserable really is. And if you go around saying I’ve got a wonderful life, I’ll show you what wonderful really is. A positive attitude can open many doors for you and help create the life you desire.

A negative attitude affects you first by ruining your moment-to-moment happiness. This truth was brought home to me many years ago. One of our children, then aged seven, had an X-ray that revealed a bone tumor. The odds were that it was a malignant tumor and that he would not see another year of life. I was very depressed by what I thought was going to happen, and my attitude showed it. I also tried to get my wife and his four siblings to understand and develop the proper depressing attitude. After all, how you can you laugh and play when someone you love is going to die?

One day our son walked into the room where I was sitting and said, Dad, can I talk to you?

I said, Sure, what is it?

He said, Dad, you’re handling this poorly.

With his talk, my son reminded me of what every child and animal knows instinctively: Today is the only day that exists. And as for my son, I was wrong about what was going to happen; he survived and is very much alive and happy today.

The future is unknown, and we should never let our fears, worries and negative attitudes prevent us from enjoying the day and finding fulfillment, no matter what tomorrow seems to hold.

When disappointments and setbacks occur, learn to view them as events that will redirect you to something good. My mother taught me this, and it creates a positive shift in your attitude and your view of the future. Cultivating a hopeful approach to life is an important part of your soul workout. [It will] strengthen your outlook and help you to create the life you desire.


Excerpted from the book 101 Exercises for the Soul, copyright 2010 by Bernie Siegel. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.

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Dreams: What Are They Trying to Tell Us?

what-dreams-tell-us-3by Maria Shaw

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

What is your subconscious trying to tell you? One good way to find out is through your dreams. When we sleep, our subconscious doesn’t need to battle with our conscious mind. Our emotional side is not challenged by our logic, so it’s easy for our subconscious to break through barriers. But it isn’t always easy to understand what it is trying to tell us. The subconscious relays messages in the form of dream symbols, or sometimes even bizarre dreams in which we are participants or observers. Think of a dream as a private movie screening of a film in which you play the leading role, or perhaps just sit in the front row of the theater.

Dreaming is one of the best ways for the subconscious mind to get your attention. Many people get psychic impressions from their dreams. Others may only dream when being forewarned about a situation. Some people think they never dream. They do, but probably can’t remember. In some dreams, our friends and family members may make an appearance. Even loved ones who have passed on can show up from time to time to say hello.

Prophetic and Recurring Dreams
There are two distinctly different types of psychic dreams: prophetic and recurring.

Prophetic dreams are those that give us a glimpse into the future. These dreams you will want to keep record of and attempt to interpret.

My friend Mona had a dream that I was in Italy and being followed by a handsome, young Italian man. She told me she dreamed of me going into a store while this man was watching me. She didn’t feel good about this guy, and described him as creepy. Her details were pretty vivid: I was all alone, it was during the day, and I was definitely in Italy.

Weeks later, my friend Julie asked me to go to Italy with her on a business trip. I was very excited and had completely forgotten about Mona’s dream. While Julie was busy with her meetings all day in Milan, I was sightseeing by myself. I went into a huge department store to shop and that’s where I noticed this older Italian man staring at me. I felt uncomfortable and went into another department. He followed. I casually walked into another department to see if I could lose him. He was right behind me. Then I got on the escalator and went downstairs. He made his way to the escalator, too. Off I went into another department. He was there! I made a bee-line for the front door of the store, pushed my way through a crowd of people, got on the subway and lost him. My friend’s dream was pretty accurate. But her description of this “stalker” was off. He wasn’t handsome at all!

This is a good example of a prophetic dream. If someone dreams about you, ask them for details. It may be nothing. Perhaps it’s something silly, but it could be important.

Recurring dreams are ones you have repeatedly. The same theme or series of events is always played out in this type of dream. If you experience a recurring dream, there’s probably a psychological or emotional reason for it. Your subconscious mind is telling you that there is an issue, fear, or worry you need to examine within yourself.

Other Types of Dreams
Here are a few other dream categories:

    • Precognitive Dreams: These are psychic dreams that can foretell the future. Make special note if you have a dream that feels precognitive. Even if the details are a little off, they may be close enough to alert you to upcoming events.

 

  • Warning Dreams: These dreams alert us to possible danger or problems ahead. These dreams help us by giving us prior knowledge so we can be prepared or a crisis our even stop it from happening.

 

My friend Char had a warning dream that scared her. She dreamed of a school that had yellow police tape all around it—the kind you see at crime scenes. She said it worried her because it was very real, and she was shaken when she awoke from the dream. She described small children running out of the building and dozens of police cars circling the school. She was frustrated because she didn’t know exactly where the school was. She felt helpless without more information. She wanted to be able to warn someone, but didn’t know who. About two days later and twenty miles from where Char lives, a first grader shot another classmate. The little girl died. The tragedy made national news headlines. The events that occurred later had been revealed first in Char’s warning dream. It could be considered a prophetic dream, too.

 

  • Factual Dreams: We have lots of these! They don’t last long, and we’re more apt to get bits and pieces of information than tangible knowledge. However, they can be very helpful. For example, you could dream of being interviewed for a new position or of talking with a friend about something that is actually happening in your life.

 

 

  • Inspiration Dreams: If you are going through a personal crisis, perhaps having a difficult time at work or worrying about something, an inspiration dream offers a solution. It can give you insight to handle a situation. These dreams leave you with good feelings when you wake up.

 

 

  • Visitation Dreams: Sometimes, deceased loved ones want to visit us, and the best way for them to connect with us is through our dreams. When we’re asleep, our subconscious is open to receiving messages from the other side. But how do you know if you are just dreaming of a departed family member or experiencing an actual visitation?

    A dream is something you’ll remember when you first wake up. It fades over a few hours and eventually you’ll have little or no memory of it. A visitation is an actual visit from the soul or spirit of someone. It seems like a dream, but you will remember it vividly. It stays with you all day, or sometimes for weeks and months afterwards—maybe even forever. During holidays and around anniversaries and birthdays, loved ones seem to make more visitations. It’s as if they want to share these special days with you. If you have lost someone dear, know that you can still connect with them. Ask them to come to you in a dream. Many times, deceased family and friends come to us when we’re involved in a major crisis to offer support and guidance.

 

Dream Journals
Many people are keeping dream journals these days. A dream journal doesn’t have to be anything expensive or even fancy. A spiral notebook will work. Keep the journal next to your bed along with a pen. If you don’t have time to write when you wake up, keep a tape recorder handy so when you wake up you can record what you remember.

Date the journal and write everything down that you can recall. Write it in sequence, or in bits and pieces—whatever is easiest. Colors, numbers, faces, places, people, discussions, times, and seasons of the year are all meaningful. Specific details are important. Throughout the day, if you think of anything else, write that information down too. No information is insignificant, though some bits may turn out to be more important than others.

Dreams are made up of many elements. There’s always a main theme in every dream. Pick the one thing that stands out in your mind as being the most important, and analyze that first. I tell my clients that they are the very best interpreters of their own dreams.

Ask yourself first: What does the dream mean to you? Then look up meanings for individual symbols in a dream interpretation book, if you have one. If your dream is full of detail, this means it is very important. If you only remember fragments and it fades quickly, it’s probably not as important. It may not have much meaning unless it is linked to another dream you’ve had in the past.


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004. All rights reserved.

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Dream Interpretation for Everyone

dream-interpretation-2by Dr. Michael Lennox

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

When out and about in the world, people find out what I do, I am immediately branded as someone interesting to talk to and I am asked a variety of questions. This may be one of the reasons I was drawn to devoting my life to dreams in the first place; this universal fascination with dreams has offered me a lifetime of turning small talk into an opportunity to express about what I’m most passionate. There are several questions that I am always asked with great consistency. The first is usually, “Does every dream mean something?” to which I always reply, “Only if you ask.” The second most frequent question goes something like this: “I hear that everyone in your dreams is really part of you. Is that true?”

The answer to that could be looked at as foundational to not only my approach to dream work, but also to the notion that there are many different ways to approach the dream—and all of them are valuable to consider. These distinctions have led me to create an image that best describes the various levels of interpretation that one can do when faced with a dream. I call them the Three Circles of Interpretation.

Simply put, the inner circle is the one where the dream and dreamer are one whole entity, and everything that appears within the dream should be considered as reflecting a part of the dreamer; scenarios are landscapes within the dreamer’s psyche and the people found there are character aspects of that individual’s personality. The second circle of interpretation is home to the way in which dreams interact with and reflect the dreamer’s personal life. In this approach, the people and situations that appear in a dream may also be reflecting the dreamer’s waking life circumstances and relationship dynamics. In this circle, the movie you watched before you went to bed shows up in your dream and the fight you have with your spouse is playing out some of the daytime dynamics that are occurring. The third and outer circle is where the dreams we have as individuals are connected to things happening in the collective or the world at large.

My work operates exclusively in the inner circle of interpretation. This is partly due to the fact that many of the people I work with I only interact with for a very brief time, and without more information about their lives, working in the second circle is, essentially, impossible. However, this is also where I work with others with whom I share more intimate knowledge as well as where I place my own focus in my personal dream work. This is because I have a personal belief—based on years of satisfaction derived from working this way—that the inner circle of dream interpretation offers us the most, in a sort of time-spent-value-gained rationale. Having said this, I feel almost like we’re back to the original question: Does every dream have a meaning?

Dreams can reveal so much. They emerge from the depths of our soul under the veil of sleep. Inside them are hidden treasures both wondrous and terrifying. Looking inward is not for the faint of heart though, for sometimes dreams expose much more than you might imagine possible.

I’m reminded of a joke I just love to tell about Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna when she was about eight years old. Of course, it works best when I do it with my best little girl’s voice and German accent, but here’s how it goes. Little Anna came down to the breakfast table one morning and sits on her father’s lap. “Oh, Papa! I had the strangest dream last night!” “Really, little Anna?” Sigmund replied. “Tell Papa your dream.” “Well,” she starts, “it was with you and me. First, you bought me an ice cream cone. And you licked it and then I licked it and then you licked it and I licked it.” “And then we went for a walk in the woods and you had a very big stick and I asked you if I could hold it and you let me hold your big stick. And then we were on a train and the train went though a long, dark tunnel…and then there was this BIG explosion, and then we both smoked a cigarette!” “What does that mean, Papa?” Freud thought for a moment, then grumbled uncomfortably as he hid behind his morning newspaper and grunted, “Ah…nothing!”

This joke exemplifies the notion I mentioned earlier that if you choose to ask your dreams if they have anything to offer you, the answer is always yes. At the risk of being redundant or overstating the obvious, I love dreams. I love having them, I love hearing them from others, I love interpreting them, I love working on my own dreams and I love (perhaps more than anything else) that moment when a dreamer looks at me utterly flabbergasted by the insight they just received from the process of interpreting a dream. I wrote Dream Sight to share this love with anyone open to having even the slightest bit of the experience I have with the dream world. And, so here we are at the nuts and bolts of it all.

There are several things that are really important for you to know about doing dream work. First and foremost is that there is no single way of working with your dreams; there are, in fact, many. There is no way of working with your dreams that is better than any other. Different people and different schools of thought may present themselves in such light, but I think this does a disservice to anyone interested in using their dreams to gain insight and self-awareness. Any consideration of a dream, no matter what the perspective is and what specific tools you use, is valuable and important. I am presenting the work that I do because it is just that; the work that I do. I would be hard-pressed to present work that I haven’t practiced myself. And I would be egregiously presumptuous if I told you that my way was the only way of value.

Secondly, there is no such thing as a wrong interpretation. That’s why it’s called an interpretation. In fact, I detest the phrase “dream analyst” and much prefer “dream interpreter.” Ironically, no matter how many times I have told people in the media to please refer to me as a dream interpreter, more often than not, I am introduced as a dream analyst. It may seem insignificant, but to me there is a huge difference.

An analysis is the separation of the whole of something into its parts. It is finite. If you analyze something, you find out exactly what is in it; no more no less. To interpret is to present the meaning of something convoluted in understandable terms. There is nothing finite about that. An analysis is complete when every part is discovered and labeled, and then it is done forever. An interpretation is complete when some level of understanding is reached, and new levels of meaning can be reached over and over again by going deeper with your exploration. Can you see why I love the one and loathe the other?

Like most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of your dream work. I like to think that there are five different steps, or levels, of working with a dream, each one slightly more beneficial than the one that precedes it:

    1. Remembering a dream brings it into consciousness, thereby elevating the value it can offer in the search for personal understanding.

 

  • Thinking about and processing the information it presents by ruminating on your dream will deepen the experience.

 

 

  • Writing your dream down will reinforce the impact of your effort and lock the unconscious expression in your conscious mind.

 

 

  • Discussing it with another person is going one step further, as an objective viewpoint is always going to help you see something that you would be unable to see on your own.

 

 

  • Responding to your dream with a creative endeavor, such as drawing or writing a poem takes this to its highest level. The unconscious mind expressive itself through creative means and this kind of dream work is the most powerful there is.

 

It is not necessary to work with every bit of a dream. Whatever fragments you remember or choose to work with will always lead you to the perfect level of insight that you are currently ready to examine. Feeling frustrated or doubtful of your accuracy only undermines your sense of well-being and is in opposition to the way in which unconscious material becomes conscious. Do not try and over-complicate the process. Go slowly if necessary. Be open-minded. Be patient with your dreams and, most of all, be patient with yourself. And remember, how you interpret the dream becomes part of the process itself. The scenes you remember, the words you use to describe them, and the way you choose to work with it is both significant and revealing.


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011. All rights reserved.

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5 Tips for Remembering Your Dreams

remember-your-dreams-1by Ana Lora Garrard

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

You think you’d like to remember your dreams more clearly. You sense they might have something valuable to tell you—something that could help you in your spiritual growth. Your friend Bernice keeps recounting wild dreams she’s had about painting trees different colors or having sex in Bermuda with five of her male neighbors. You wonder why she has such colorful dreams when all you can remember is an occasional image of buying orange juice at the store, or arguing with your mother.

How can you go about improving your dream recall? Here are five tips to get you started.

    1. SET A CLEAR INTENTION. With dream recall, as with everything else in life, the trick to getting results is to focus your mind on what you want. Before you go to sleep, tell yourself something like, “I am remembering all my subtle, crazy, and magnificent dreams now” or “I am now welcoming my dreams into my fiercely loving heart.”

 


  • SET OUT TOOLS.
    Give your intention to remember your dreams some physical support. Plan to record your dreams in one form or another in the morning, using either a notebook in which to write them down, a sketchbook in which to draw them, or a tape recorder with which to describe them out loud. Choose whichever recording device seems the most fun to you and put it by your bed.

 

 

  • KEEP A CLEAR MIND WHEN YOU AWAKEN. For many of us, the experience of waking up is like entering an early morning rush hour in our brains. As soon as our eyes fly open, we start thinking about something a lover, husband, or wife said to us the day before. We begin mulling over what’s on tap for the day—how we’re going to fit a trip to the drugstore in with all the other things we have to do. In other words, we immediately start reviewing something that happened yesterday or worrying about something that’s going to happen today. We go back and forth, back and forth, thinking about the past and the future. One thought bumps into another and pretty soon our minds are jam-packed.Our dreams can’t compete with our early morning thought traffic. The single biggest reason most of us forget our dreams is that we instantly focus our attention on one or more aspects of our physical, human experience as soon as we awaken and we don’t leave any room for our dreams to come in.

    If we’d like to recall our dreams, we need to commit ourselves to giving them space in our minds as soon as we awaken. Making space for our dreams is like making space for ourselves, our real selves, the part of us that’s behind everything we choose to do in our lives. When we pause and listen to our dreams carefully, with no distractions, it’s as if we’re listening deeply to ourselves.

    To do this, we need to awaken in a gentle way, just letting ourselves be and breathe, while we remember our dream experiences. We release the temptation to jump right into thoughts and plans for the day and instead just pay attention to the dreams that float softly in our awareness.

 

 

  • GO OVER YOUR DREAMS. Let your mind replay any dreams you can remember while you keep your body in one position. Then turn over into any other positions in which you may have been sleeping and see if you can recall additional images. Don’t ignore anything—note even the faintest image or feeling that comes through.

 

 

  • RECORD YOUR DREAMS. Record whatever little wisps of dream images you can recall. Often you may not think you’ve remembered much, but once you sketch, write down, or talk about one memory, suddenly you recall a whole string of images that you didn’t remember at first!If you are writing your dreams down, be aware that you can do this in more than one way. You can describe each event in detail in the order in which you remember it occurring, jot down quick notes on it, or portray the dream in a more free form way. For instance, if you dreamed that you were trying to escape something unknown by running up a grassy hill and you had to dodge all these snakes underfoot, you might write, “I was running up a hill, trying to escape something below. I can’t remember what it was. There were all these yellow and black snakes in the grass and I was really afraid of stepping on them, but somehow I didn’t. I felt really relieved and free when I made it to the top. ” This is probably the best way to record a dream if you’d like to explore its meaning later.
    However, a second choice, if you are short on time, would be to write something like, “Escaping … hill … snakes … afraid …safe.” A third choice, if you have an intuitive sense of what’s going on in the dream and you’d like to write in a more fluid style would be to record something like, “Running through the fields to freedom as fear slithers through the grass … I’m listening to the yearnings of my heart.”

    No matter which way you choose to write, always be sure to record the feelings you were having in each dream if you wish to explore your dreams later.

    If you are sketching the dream, you can do it in one of two ways—either draw images that directly represent the dream (in this case you might want to draw a picture of you running up a hill, dodging snakes in the grass)—or just sketch the feelings that the dream brought up in you. Again, the more detailed way is probably the best choice if you want to examine later what messages this dream carries for you and your life.

 

All these tips for recalling your dreams may take some practice before they come to you easily—particularly the one about keeping a clear mind when you awaken. Just remember that establishing a relationship with your dreams is like starting a new friendship with someone who’s a bit shy. When you first spend time with a new friend, you want to give them your complete attention and encourage them to expound on any little thing they start to tell you. Once you do that, your new friend will start to warm up and reveal more and more to you.

Dreams are the same way. Listen to them and cherish any little messages they send your way. If you wish to explore the spiritual guidance they are offering, try using some heart-centered tools like those in my new book, Your Dreams: Spiritual Messages in Pajamas. In a very short time, your friendship with your dreams will deepen and you will remember them more clearly.


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2010. All rights reserved.

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How Blissful Are You? Take the Quiz!

how-blissful-are-you-3by Tess Whitehurst

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Author’s note: at the end of this article, you’ll find a simple quiz that assesses your holistic happiness and wellbeing with the help of nine essential life keys. But first, let me introduce you to the wisdom behind these nine life keys, which is the guiding force behind my newest (and perhaps most exciting!) book, The Art of Bliss: Finding Your Center, Getting in the Flow, and Creating the Life You Desire.

When I first started practicing metaphysics, I thought of it as a process of adding something, or tacking on something extra. You know, my normal everyday existence, plus a new romance or a new job (or whatever it was that I chose to manifest). In time, however, I began to notice that if I was out of alignment with prosperity consciousness (for example), a prosperity ritual would not merely bring forth riches out of nowhere. Rather, it would help align me with the energy and the feeling of prosperity, so that prosperity would naturally begin to flow into my life experience. And, if there were aspects of my habitual thought/feeling stream that weren’t in alignment with prosperity, something would arise that helped these aspects fall away. I might “happen to” discover a book such as Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, or “inadvertently” vocalize a limiting belief (such as, “We always live to the edge of our means”), and someone would notice and point it out, helping me to see that it didn’t always need to be true.

So I began to see that it wasn’t about adding. It was about opening up to, and tapping into, the generous flow of prosperity that was already in existence. Like finally beginning to hear, and then dance to, the music of prosperity that was already playing on the radio.

I also noticed that when I worked on manifesting something that really brought joy to my heart, that joy always fueled my success. The more joy, the more success—and the quicker it flowed. So this led me to understand something else: that our truest desires are not something extra, but a part of our true selves. When we remember that we are energetic beings, we see that we are not just a body and a mind, but a unique flow of divine energy—like a pattern, a blossom, or a song.

Consciously manifesting things that bring us joy, then, is a process of opening up to who we really are and aligning with the divine energies that naturally want to flow through our life experience. It’s like how water wants to flow through a river in a particular way, or how an acorn wants to become an oak.

What’s really fun to me about the wisdom in The Art of Bliss is that it’s a framework for helping us clear the way for this flow, and to get in alignment with it, in the most ideal and natural of ways. So it’s not just about doing a prosperity ritual or a love spell, but rather about opening up to the already existing flow of prosperity or love, and seeing how this nourishes everything else that’s going on in our life. Once we make a habit of interacting with the conditions of our lives in this holistic way, our life experience begins to spiral like a glittering galaxy into greater and greater levels of harmony, wisdom, and joy.

To introduce you to the nine life keys that provide the framework for The Art of Bliss (which are derived from the feng shui floor plan and the wisdom of the I Ching), and to help you quickly assess how each one is currently flowing in your life, I’ve prepared the quiz below. In your journal or notebook, number 1 through 27. For each quiz item, write a number between 1-5, a five meaning “strongly agree,” a three meaning, “sort of agree,” and 1 meaning “strongly disagree.” After the quiz, you’ll find a key.

  1. Most of the time, no matter what is going on in the outside world, I feel a sense of stillness and calm at the center of my being.
  2. I exercise regularly, and feel good about my exercise habits.
  3. I enjoy spending time alone.
  4. Regardless of my current “job,” I feel that I am constantly flowing into deeper and deeper levels of joy and satisfaction when it comes to my overarching career path.
  5. I regularly follow the path of my passion and spend time on the things that interest me.
  6. Even though it is beyond words, I feel that I have a strong sense of myself: I know what I want, and I feel grounded in authenticity.
  7. Everyone always seems to be helpful.
  8. I often find that I happen to be “in the right place at the right time.”
  9. I feel that I have a lot of support in my life, from both seen and unseen realms.
  10. I creatively express my uniqueness.
  11. I often feel playful and imaginative.
  12. I take good care of my inner child.
  13. I am comfortable with my body, and enjoy the feeling of being present in my body.
  14. I am a sensual person: I love slowing down enough to really enjoy things like scents, massages, beautiful landscapes, music, and yummy food.
  15. I am happy with my current romantic situation.
  16. I love being seen and appreciated.
  17. I regularly shine my light and share my talents with the world.
  18. I am well known and well respected in the ways I would most like to be.
  19. Everything I need is always provided for me.
  20. It feels natural for me to receive an ample supply of money and resources.
  21. At least somewhat regularly, I let myself enjoy the things I really like to enjoy: going out to eat, taking vacations, etc.
  22. Even if I’ve endured hardships in the past, I’ve healed from them, or I am currently moving toward healing from them.
  23. I have a positive relationship with, and feel supported by my family, or a family-like group of friends.
  24. I feel connected to, and inspired by, my genealogical and/or spiritual heritage.
  25. I feel grounded and centered, at least most of the time.
  26. I feel like my life is—generally speaking—in a healthy balance.
  27. I feel like there is a healthy connection between the various aspects of my life experience. For example, my partner gets along with my family and my job is in alignment with my passion.

Key

Numbers 1-3: Serenity. This is the key that has to do with exercise, study, meditation, self-improvement, and that sense of stillness that allows everything else to flow more smoothly and enjoyably.

Numbers 4-6: Life Path. This key is related to your sense of authenticity, and your alignment with your truest inner self. It often manifests as an overarching career path, and it infuses everything with a sense of purpose and joy.

Numbers 7-9: Synchronicity. This key has to do with things flowing smoothly, easily, effortlessly, and auspiciously. Things like finding parking spaces, procuring employment, and catching your plane fall into this key, and it also has to do with your connection to all your helpers in both seen and unseen worlds (i.e. angels, friends, and people you don’t even know).

Numbers 10-12: Creativity. The Creativity Key governs your relationship with everything you create, whether it’s children, cookie recipes, or paintings. It is the most playful key, and is related to laughter, spontaneity, and the wellbeing of your inner child.

Numbers 13-15: Romance. This key has to do with your love relationship and your ability to appreciate your body and sensual pleasures. When this key is activated, you’re more receptive to all the gifts of this life experience.

Numbers 16-18: Radiance. The Radiance Key is all about the way you are seen and known in the world. In many ways, it’s about the full realization of the Life Path key—the generous, outward expression of your deepest inner joy.

Numbers 19-21: Prosperity. This key has to do with resources, blessings, and gifts of all sorts. In our culture and in this present time in history, it is closely related with money and finances.

Numbers 22-24: Resilience. My favorite key, this key is aligned with our ability to weather the storms of life and to reap the blessings that they bring. It also has to do with our physical health and family relationships.

Numbers 25-27: Synergy. The key that falls into the center of all the other keys (imagine a tic tac toe board), The Synergy Key is about balance and flow, and about the way all the other keys interact with, and nourish, each other.


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2012. All rights reserved.

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10 Tips for Giving Dynamite Tea Leaf Readings

dynamite-tea-leaf-reading-2by Caroline Dow

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Chances are that you are reading this article because you are a tea buff captivated by the pretty patterns made by the leaves left at the bottom of your favorite cup of Darjeeling. You know that tea leaf reading has been practiced as a form of divination, probably ever since the first cup was brewed, and you are intrigued to try your hand at it.

In the many tea cup reading workshops I have delivered over the years, I’ve found that my students eagerly listen to my explanations, can hardly wait to prepare their first cup for reading, and then . . . .stare in consternation at the soggy mass left at the bottom of the cup and lament, “How am I supposed to make sense of that?”

To help lift you over the hump—that clutch moment when you fear you’re floundering in a red sea of Rooibos—and onto the path toward giving dynamic readings, here are 10 easy-to-put-into-practice tips. When putting these tips into practice, remember that your objective is to tell a good story to which the person you’re reading for can relate.

 

  • You don’t need to interpret every image you see.
      The clump opposite the handle that looks like something the cat left, and from which no definable symbols can be extracted, probably means you put too many leaves in your inquirer’s cup. Since leaves plump up a lot after they steep, a half teaspoon of dry leaves is plenty. (The inquirer, by the way, is the person for whom you are reading.) If you get involved with trying to include every image you find in your interpretation, the tale you tell may veer off course, and your inquirer will become mystified about what you’re communicating. So, at least initially, only talk about the images that fit the story you are putting forth. If your inquirer broaches other questions or seeks a clarification, then you can point to some of the other images.

 

  • Only interpret the images that relate to your inquirer’s question.

The best time to ask your inquirer to share concerns is while the person is drinking the tea so that these thoughts more thoroughly infuse the leaves. Also, when you have the question in mind before you take a peek at the cup, your intuition will guide you to elicit the significant symbols. Once when I went for a reading for myself—not a tea leaf reading, but an intuitive reading—the psychic waxed on and on about my husband and how intelligent, kind, romantic, and athletic he was. Now I happen to think my husband is rather wonderful, but I was going for a reading to find out about my own professional concerns, not his. Needless to say, when my stated question was never answered, I left unhappy.

 

  • Ease yourself into the interpretation by concentrating on the larger, well-formed images.

These are more important than tiny, light, sketchy looking ones.

 

  • Develop a systematic plan for finding symbols.

First, see if you recognize any special tea leaf reading symbols. These images occur frequently in cups and hold special significance for tea leaf readers. For example, a single dot, which when coupled with an image emphasizes its meaning. Blobs warn of disappointment (unless you put in too many leaves!), an arrow indicates a message forthcoming, lines harbinger journeys, and dashes indicate movement in affairs. Next, look for images that represent concrete, realistic things—the sorts of items that surround us in everyday life. Houses, cars, dogs, hats, human profiles, apples, birds, computers, feathers, trees, and flowers represent typical items that appear in cups. Only after you have identified common objects should you move on to discovering more complicated images such as numbers, letters, words, geometrical forms, and universal symbols.

 

  • Don’t try to memorize a dictionary full of symbols.

Your inquirer, who is probably your cousin, co-worker, or friend, doesn’t expect you to become a symbols maven overnight, and won’t mind if you need to look up something. While it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the significance of some common symbols, such as a crown for victory, a heart for love, and an apple for knowledge, you’ll find that you will instinctively be aware of many definitions, as they often follow common sense. Besides, the more readings you perform the more symbols you will remember. Note that there is a danger in overemphasizing precise, bookish symbolic meanings. Such inflexibility can interfere with your interpretation and cause your inquirer to say, “What?” “Come again?” “I don’t quite understand you.” Along the same lines, if after you have exhausted every possible way to explain the images in the cup, and have given every possible meaning for the symbols, and your inquirer still requires more information, you might try using another form of divination to clarify the issue. A woman once came to me with a complex question about her ballet studio. She didn’t know how to drum up more business. Should she advertise more, if so, where? Was her business partner the right one or should she rely more on her manager, or even change managers? Would it be better to sell the studio? If so, who would be the best buyer and when should she do it? Obviously, the tea leaves couldn’t unravel all these complexities in a single cup, even though I read from China Black tea leaves, which render more images than most kinds of tea. After I completed the reading, I brought out my tarot deck and drew three cards for each question that the leaves had left unanswered. The cards showed my inquirer’s past experiences, the current situation, and the probable outcome. If you feel it is helpful, you may also add a pendulum to your tea leaf reading, especially when the inquirer has many questions that can be answered by “yes” or “no.”

 

  • When you see an image that puzzles you, try to view it from all angles, even upside-down.

It may look like a woman’s profile from one viewpoint, and like a cat from another perspective. Both images are valid, and interconnected. In this case, the interpretation might be to watch out for a woman of a jealous, gossipy nature.

 

  • Still stuck on a symbol? Don’t hesitate to describe the image to your inquirer, and get their opinion of its significance for them.

We all have our private symbolic language and individual interpretations. For instance, if somebody were reading a cup for me and found a frog, they might interpret it as meaning a sudden move, possibly a change of job or residence, both of which are standard definitions. However, for me, a frog is a very positive symbol; in fact, I consider it my totem animal. So to see a frog in my cup means fertility of body, mind, and spirit, happiness, and success in my endeavors. Once I distinguished a scorpion, symbol of vicious criticism, in cup that was otherwise filled with positive signs, including a flying bird, a dolphin, the number 2, a bouquet of roses, and two birds cuddling in a nest. I asked my inquirer if a scorpion meant anything to her. She smiled and responded that she was in love with a man born under the sign of Scorpio, but that he had been studying abroad for the last year. She missed him very much and although they corresponded frequently, she was worried that they might drift apart. I assuaged her concerns with the following interpretation: Soon (because of the position of the flying bird near the handle, which represents present time) she would receive a message from her lover that he was coming home. After a safe journey (the dolphin), perhaps as early as in February (the second month of the year), he would return and declare his love for her (bouquet of roses). The couple would enter into a partnership (also the number 2), that would culminate in domestic bliss (nesting birds).

 

  • Use your intuition.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many neophyte readers get hung up on dictionary definitions for symbols, and suppress the intuitive right brain. If, while you are examining the cup, your inner voice whispers that you should interpret a symbol in an unconventional way, go with the flow. Remember the woman’s profile and cat in tip #6? Those images may not point to an envious woman at all, but to a friend with well-honed psychic abilities who will help the inquirer solve a personal problem. It’s even better if you can find nearby symbols to support your interpretation. Your initial impressions are what strike you from the very first moment you gaze into the cup. Your intuition may even cause you to visualize something in your head that does not appear physically in the cup. Mention this to your inquirer as you progress with the reading.

 

  • Remember that you need not interpret every image in symbolic terms.

In other words, a breadbox may literally refer to a breadbox and not to the inquirer’s economic state. Once I really did see a breadbox in a gentleman’s cup. When I mentioned this to him, he told me that he had been looking high and low to buy one to no avail. The breadbox in his cup was coupled with a computer, so I advised him to go online with his search.

 

  • My final piece of advice is to relax!

Novice readers tend to worry too much that they’re going to be confronted with a blank wall when they gaze into the cup. This attitude sets up a mental block that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’ll always find something to talk about in the cup. And if you don’t, perhaps it’s because your inquirer already knows the answers to the questions.

 

Tea leaf reading is one of the most satisfying leisure activities you will ever enjoy. It makes an entertaining, inexpensive, and tasty way to relax and in the company of friends and family. You will find that spending time with others in the informal, cozy environment of the tea table will do wonders for you as well. Through reading the leaves, you can put yourself and your inquirer on the path to better health (because tea is good for you), expand your social network, and at the same time, perhaps discover nuggets of wisdom about your character and clues to your future. In this sense, tea leaf reading provides a user-friendly tool for self-growth and self-realization. If you are able to come up with ideas for your inquirer about how to deal with current issues and draw up plans for the future, so much the better. May your experiences unraveling the mysteries of tea leaves be as rewarding for you as they have been for me.


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011. All rights reserved.

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A Tarot Diva’s Guide to the Ultimate Sleepover

Pyjama partyby Sasha Graham

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

My book Tarot Diva teaches you to ignite your intuition, glamorize your life, and unleash your fabulosity using the tarot. Nothing helps a girl glow with happiness and contentment more than a deep connection with her soul sisters and female friends.

In Tarot Diva I help you embody the ecstasy of the Three of Cups tarot card by explaining how to create a secret society with your closest girlfriends. Secret societies, while subversively fun and super powerful, require long-term commitment. For a quick jolt of gal power, return to the glory of your younger days with a sleepover.

Nothing beats the good fun of a pajama party. Remember how great they were? Donning your coziest jammies with a night of fun stretching ahead of you? Staying up until all hours giggling with girlfriends? The euphoria and excitement of whispering and sharing your deepest secrets with your best pals? The gentle midnight knocking on the window when the neighborhood boys caught wind of your sleepover…

Who says you can’t relive the old days? Just because you have a family, full time job, or other very grown-up responsibilities doesn’t mean you couldn’t or shouldn’t relive the good times. Treat yourself to a girlicious evening and empower yourself and your friends with a night you’ll never forget.

Remember, the power of a great sleepover stems from gathering a group and collectively focusing your energy on a desired goal. Your goal may be to have a rockin’ good time. You and your ladies might like to achieve some magical goals for yourselves. Whatever your ultimate vision, my Tarot Diva’s Guide to the Ultimate Girl’s Sleepover will send you heading in the right direction. Adjust my suggestions to meet your specific needs.

  • Send non-invitees packing.

Plan your sleepover on a night where you can send the husbands, boyfriends, and significant others away and the kids packing. The fewer interruptions for you and your gals the better.

 

 

  • Sleeping Beauty’s Chamber.

Where will everyone sleep? Extra guest rooms are great for the in-laws, but it’s more fun for the girls when everyone crashes together. Do you have a groovy finished basement? Throw a couple of mattresses on the floor and cover with sleeping bags. String up some fairy lights, put out some glossy fashion and gossip magazines, and be sure to have plenty of candles on hand.

 

 

 

  • Fabulous Foodstuffs.

Plan your menu out ahead of time. You want to join in the fun, not be stuck in the kitchen. Ask each guest to contribute their favorite dish. Feel free to theme the dishes and ask guests to provide copies of the recipes for everyone to take home. Maybe you have an appetizer-only meal. Perhaps you just order pizza and while everyone ogles the delivery boy.

 

Whatever you choose to dine on, be extra indulgent with at least one course. This may mean extravagant cheeses or devious dark chocolate desserts.

To create fabulous favors à la a candy shop, request each guest to bring a bag of their favorite of candy. Set the candy out in cute bowls and provide colored Chinese take-out containers. Each friend can create a custom take home candy box. Sweet!

 

 

  • Drinks.

Have plenty of tasty beverages on hand. Top off your evening with a signature theme drink.

 

Offer your guests a Pomegranate Mango Goddess Cocktail. Pomegranates are sacred to the goddess Aphrodite and the High Priestess of Tarot. Mango leaves denote a vibrant life and are used in Hindu divine blessing rituals. Mix one part pomegranate juice to 3 parts mango nectar.

Caution. Be sure to hold off on consuming booze and alcohol until any magical, divinatory, or ritual work is finished.

 

 

  • Evening Activities.

There are any number of fun and exciting activities you can plan for your sleepover. . .

 

    • Get Crafty. Spend the evening crafting vision boards. Your vision board may contain a specific lifestyle. It may represent your dreams and goals. Your vision board may refer specifically to love and romance. To freshen up your wardrobe, create a fashionista style vision board.

      Ask each guest to bring old magazines, a pair of scissors, a poster board, and glue stick. Spread the materials out and begin selecting images. Choose images with qualities of what you’d like to attract into your life. Secure these images to your vision board. Don’t reject the abstract. You may also choose appealing words, colors, or textures. Remember your subconscious always follows the dominant suggestion.

 

  • Get Cinematic. Kick-start your evening with a screening of your favorite film. Watch a law of attraction movie like What The Bleep Do We Know or The Secret. Host a discussion afterward about how these attraction and manifestation themes have applied to your life. How does it work for you? How does it challenge you?

Perhaps you watch an old school witchy fave like The Craft or Practical Magic. Maybe you find a documentary based on the life of your favorite occult figure, such as Aleister Crowley or Harry Houdini. Become scream queens by opting for your favorite cheesy, scary flick with the lights out. Be sure to have plenty of popcorn on hand!

 

 

  • Get Divinely Witchy. Ask guests to bring along their favorite deck of angel or tarot cards. Pair off and offer readings for each other. Read each other’s palms. Cast some runes for a friend. Try your hand at tealeaf reading. This is a great time to experiment. Don’t feel you must be an expert in any one form of divination. Use whatever tools you have at hand. Let love and your intuition be your guide. Be sure to offer only uplifting and helpful advice.

 

 

 

  • Get Your Game On. Dust off that Oujia® board to discover if any passing spirits have a message for you.
    Rekindle your inner twelve-year-old with the classic game Light as A Feather. Historians find reference to the game of Light as a Feather as far back as the Seventeenth Century.

 

To play Light as a Feather, you must have at least five people present. One person lies down with their back on the floor. Two people sit on each side. The four “lifters” place their index and middle fingers underneath the back of the person lying down. Everyone closes their eyes and begin to whisper “Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” together. Repeat and repeat, louder and louder as you slowly raise your friend up and of the floor.

 

 

  • Get Victorian—Hold a Séance. Select one guest to act as head medium. Spread fabric over a table with guests seated round and have everyone join hands. Raise the energy and invite spirits to join you. Ask aloud if there are messages for anyone. Listen for raps and knocks. Feel for rushes of cold air. Allow any guest at the table to pass a message along from the departed.

 

Attempt table tipping. To table tip, sit the group around a lightweight wooden table. Dim the lights or plunge the entire room into darkness. Have each guest place their hands on the top of the table. At once and together have the entire group attempt to raise the table with the power of their thoughts and intention. Be aware of raps or knocks.

 

 

  • Get Beautified. Indulge everyone in mashed avocado facemasks. Avocado is a food sacred to Venus and its rich oils are used in hundreds of beauty products.

 

Magical manicures and pedicures match the polish color to your guest’s desired intention. Red polish for passion, sensuality, and excitement. Pink for healing and peace. Black for protection and shapeshifting. Blue for good fortune and wisdom. Silver for telepathy, clairvoyance, and intuition. Purple for psychic ability and hidden knowledge. White for spirituality, peace, and purity.

 

  • Delicious Daytime Outing/Activities.

In addition to your sleepover, plan a daytime outing and make it a weekend to remember.
Your activity may take place the day of the sleepover or the morning after. Adventures tend to be the most rewarding experiences. Find a local haunted house, abandoned castle, or beautiful graveyard, or plan a hike to a breathtaking vista. Be sure to receive any required permission before venturing onto private property.

 

Give your adventure a magical metaphor. Select your magical metaphor by deciding collectively what the metaphor of your trip is. By doing this you shower your adventure with magical intention. If you are exploring a haunted castle, is this act a metaphor for venturing into the deeper parts of your subconscious? If you are hiking up a mountain, does it represent the elevation of your consciousness? Ascending to new spiritual heights or simply moving onward and upwards in your life?

As you begin your adventure, offer a gift to the spirits of the property or the guardians of the mountain. Ask for permission to enter and assistance for your journey. Offer sweet cookies or nuts as a gift to said spirits.

Upon arrival to your destination, pull a few tarot cards, cast some runes, or open sacred space and hold a group meditation or ritual. Punctuate your adventure with your choice of magical activity to make it that much more special.

When you leave, offer another tasty gift of thanks to the spirits of the place you have visited.

Good luck and have a fabulous time!


Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011. All rights reserved.