Monday, July 28, 2008

Some time ago, I complained that any messages I was receiving in my dreams were too cryptic, and that I would appreciate if they were stated in simple English prose. Well, I haven’t gotten that far, yet, but there is progress. Hebrew, not English, and certainly not prose, but I get a sense that something is being spelled out for me.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been having dreams that take place in high schools. These are not, thankfully, your standard nightmares about not remembering locker combinations or math tests. In each and every one of these dreams, I am an adult, walking through schools that while in use, are complete dystopian wrecks. Since the beginning of July, these dreams have become even more frequent, coming every second or third night.

Late last week, I finally made it into one of the classrooms. There was a huge board on the wall, but not a blackboard-it was an orange board. It was filled with Hebrew letters that kept hopping and moving around. The only letters I could make out were Aleph and Shin. I woke up annoyed that I couldn't read any more of the letters and that they wouldn't stay in place-I was trying to make out and read words.

Two nights ago, I found myself staring at the same board, this time the only letters I could make out (and they kept shifting order) were Ayin, Nun and Yod (DH’s comment was “No Resh?” No, no Resh).

Some thoughts on this. If I add up the values of the letters for each of the nights, and then reduce that to a single digit (yes, yes, I know that is mixing methodologies) the value is the same for both nights 4. Which is Dalet. Dalet is on the 14th path, between Chokmah and Binah, it does not touch the Middle Pillar. The Tarot card for the 14th path is key 3, the Empress.

If I take the Tarot key associated with each letter, and add up the numbers of the Tarot cards for each night, and then reduce that, I get 3, which is the Empress card, Dalet. So I suspect that there is something here that I should be paying attention to (but no simple English prose, yet!)

Another thing noted. In the last month or so, we have had flocks of sparrows around our house-an inordinate amount. The sparrow is one of the birds associated with the Empress Card, along with the Dove and the Peacock.

And one more thing before I go off to bed, hoping for information. All of these letters that have shown up in my dreams are on paths that touch the Middle Pillar of the Tree. But not all of them-Yesod is not represented here. Is that because I am Lavanah? (insert small smile, here)

Good to go away, even better to come home.

My sister and I go away together for a couple of days, every summer. Our routine stays the same: walk, talk, shop, and eat, but not always in that order. Some things have changed over the years, though. We spend much less time talking about children and husbands, although the amount of time spent talking about in-laws hasn't changed (we are human, after all). The clothing we buy has gone from Betsy Johnson to Kenzo to Max Azria (whose clothing I still love-but I have gotten too old to fuss with clothing that requires written instructions on how to put on) to Reiss, Nicole Miller and Rachel Pally.

Our eating and drinking patterns have changed over the years, too. When we first started going away together, sans husbands and children, we drank. A glass of wine at lunch, 3 cocktails and maybe champagne at dinner. This year? Iced tea with our lunches and 1 cocktail each at dinner, which we requested to be made weak, and we still didn't finish. Otherwise, we drank water or tea. In the beginning, we ordered full meals for each of us at lunch and dinner, but would share a bowl of berries with our room service breakfast. This year? We shared the fried calamari appetizer at lunch (but ate our own lobster salads). We each had our own bowls of berries with our toast and coffee at breakfast.

What did we talk about? Art, fashion, politics, religion, the economy, blogging, travel and society, in general. I find it highly encouraging that the longer she and I go away together, the more we find to talk about the isn't tightly wound about our homes. She and I are interesting people-at least to each other.

I love going away with my sister. But as much as I enjoy it, I love coming home to my life, again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Strange Visitor

I’ve had the ability to see auras for several years. The ability, or the vision is not there consistently, but it has been there. Lately, though, the ability is more frequent, and more informative. Not only (when it happens) can I see the auras of living and “non” living things, I can see the way that the auras interact. Sometimes, they seem to just pass through each other. Other times they create “waves.” When that happens, I am reminded of the wave tanks from high school physics, or what happens when you drop two pebbles into a pool so that they fall close to each other. The waves intersect, some bounce off of each other and some “go through” each other. And, I have to admit, when I have the privilege of seeing such things, I am entertained, and I can find myself playing with my hands and watching the effects.

A couple of nights ago, DH and I had a conversation that touched on a tender subject for me (tender as in bruise, not tender as in romantic). This kind of thing can happen when you live (or work) with someone closely for nearly three decades; the conversation was really of no importance, but for what happened afterwards, or may, have no bearing at all on what happened afterwards.

After doing the Middle Pillar exercise, I noted that I was seeing auras in several clear and colorful layers. When cupping my hands, I got a remarkable swirling of light. And then, something strange. The light turned red. Sometimes it was a fiery red, sometimes closer to a blood red. And it got very, very hot. I also got the sense that whatever “it” was, it wanted me to open my hands and let it out. I said “I don’t know what you are, I am not letting you out until I know what you are.” (that could have been foolish, in retrospect, since the phrase implied that all I needed was to know what it was to let it loose, even if it were something that I would then know shouldn’t be let loose). The sense of agitation in my hands grew stronger, as did the sense that my hands were burning. The red light also was quite bright. I repeated, “I don’t know what you are, tell me what you are.” But I got no reply. The “thing” grew little arms and hands (at least four of them) and tried to pry my fingers open. Again, I said, “No, I don’t know what you are” and didn’t let it out. By this point, my hands were hurting and I was getting tired. But I guess whatever “it” was, was also getting tired (or bored, or something). I just sat there, grimly fascinated, and determined to not let “it” loose. Eventually, it started to fade, in color (paler and paler reds and then pinks) and energy (less visual definition, swirling, and heat). Then, it was gone and my hands were empty. I felt completely drained.

So, the question is: what was it? And, did I do the right thing by not setting it loose? It felt, and feels, like that was the right thing to do, but this was a first experience of this type for me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just to clear up any misconceptions...

When I said that I wasn't ready to work with emeralds, I was referring to the creation of ritual tools. If anyone wants to drape me in emerald jewelry, I would be happy to comply.

Believe it or not

This is a menu from a real restaurant. Just in case you were hungry for some FooKing chinese food.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

And, the other post I had intended to make (Pre-Revenge of the Weeded)

I finished the curriculum in “Learning Ritual Magic” in June. By the end, it was nearly full time work. DH, in fact, commented that he didn't have that kind of time, day after day, to dedicate to such a program. I agreed, and thanked him prettily (I hope!) for the opportunity. At the same time, I knew that it wasn't the kind of effort that I could keep up for long-it was only the fact that I knew there was an end point that allowed me to do it.

At the beginning of this month, just after the New Moon, I performed the Self-Initiation ritual from the appendix of the book. (I had help with the astrological timing of the ritual from some one who choked at the idea of “self” initiation-but that is what JM Greer calls it, and I was working with his text. However, self initiation or self dedication, the help with the timing was greatly appreciated.)

I think that it’s fair to say that I was completely blown away by the intensity of the ritual. Surprised. Floored. Shocked. Amazed. There was some serious Presence in my presence (or maybe it was the other way around?) Hours later, when DH came home, I still wasn't fully grounded-that didn't happen until the next day, with the full-blown poison ivy symptoms.

Since then, I've suffered from (in addition to the poison ivy, and the side effects from the medications) a sense of let down, loss and “now what?” Probably a perfectly normal set of reactions. After the Full Moon, I will start the work of figuring out the”now what” and the “what next.”

I am also going to get started on that pile of books, waiting to be read. RO was highly amused by my describing the pile as being as tall as I am. (being somewhat vertically challenged, it is possible to stack the books up to my height, they totter, but the tower holds.) Well, that was old news, Brother Red, there is a second pile now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Gal asked why Peridot?

I guess the first and most obvious answer would be, because I couldn’t afford 49 emerald cabachons. I know, I priced them. Even the lab created (but still true) emeralds were far out of my price range.

But the stones also have different “feels” to me. To me, the emerald is the Empress Card. The stone is lush, ripe, here and now, in your face. The emerald is a perfectly ripe peach, on a late summer afternoon. It is a perfectly aged Bordeaux on a mid-winter evening. It is the perfume Opium (as it was originally formulated-not the “lite” version). It is a fur coat, turned inside out so the fur is against the skin, on a cold day. Emerald is almost, but not quite, too much.

Peridot is all that in promise, but not yet. It is one of the Princess or Page cards (of Wands?). It is one of the brightly flavored spring fruits, early strawberries or perhaps the rhubarb that grows so well for me. Plenty of sweetness there, but tart, too, to make your mouth water for more. It is a glass of champagne, and the feel of a breeze, that brings the smell of far off flowers. It is silk chiffon, not silk charmeus. Peridot is the promise that is delivered with the emerald. It is late spring, as opposed to late summer, waxing, rather than full, moon.

One of these days, I will work with emeralds. I (and the budget!) just haven’t gotten there, yet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

And, the post I intended to make (sort of)

This is my new wand. It is made from a piece of rose that was harvested last year. Since then, it has sat on my altar, while I waited to know what to do with it. I began to get a good idea toward the end of the year, but didn’t actually start working on it until this spring. I stripped the bark off the wood, sanded it and then laquered it. There are seven rows of seven stones, starting tightly clustered near the tip and spreading out as they descend toward the middle of the wand. The stones are peridot and it was quite a process getting 49 perfectly matched stones. Of course, when I ordered them, I didn’t specify that they be perfectly matched-that was the decision of the gem dealer. The copper wire divides the wand in two. First, it wraps around the wand three times, and then spirals, with three full rotations for each spiral. I still need to laquer the copper so it stays bright.

I’ve never worked with gemstones before, and their size (3mm) was a real challenge. Even using fine pointed tweezers, it was hard to hold onto them. In fact, the day I started work with them, I lost one. I had been holding it with tweezers and the tweezers snapped shut. The stone flew in the air. My daughter and I both looked up and said “uh oh.” But neither of us saw where it landed. For that matter, neither of us heard it land. We both searched for it, we crawled on the floor; we took rags and swept everything before us. No peridot. When DH came home, I told him the story. His first comment? “Did you look in your hair?” Well, no, I hadn’t, but by that point, I had pulled my hair up, put it down, ponytailed it and took it down again. If it had landed in my hair, I figured it was gone. Well, you can guess how this story ends; the next morning, when I was combing my hair, I found it. Somehow, through all the messing with my hair, with sleeping, the stone stayed put until I was able to retrieve it. I was very pleased to tell DH that he had been right.
I started using this wand with this months New Moon. It feels very different from my ebony wood wand, but since I intend to use them very differently, thats fine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Not the post I intended to make but…

I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned in a discussion group that I found the LBRP to be helpful with the itching from the poison ivy. It didn’t help for all that long, but any relief was a wonderful thing. Usually I could count on being “itch-free” from the time I concentrated and “got into position” to twice as long afterwards, as it took me to do it. That is to say, if it took me 4 minutes to do the LBRP, I would be itch free for about 8 minutes afterwards. The effect was similar with my evening ritual, although the relief from the itching didn’t last quite as long as twice the time of the ritual. This knowledge has become very useful, as I time my medications!

Now, as for why this should work this way, I am not entirely sure. I suspect that it has more to do with the fact that I’ve been working steadily with the LBRP for months now, and it’s the regular use of the ritual that is the effective part, rather than the specifics of the ritual, itself. It’s entirely possible that if I had been using the Sh’ma or a Goddess chant the same way, I would have gotten the same result.

The LBRP was referred to as a “Jewish lullaby” on one of the discussion groups, today. But really, can you come up with a more soothing image? To this jewitch magician, it certainly is more reassuring than “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord, my soul to keep…” That passage always makes me think of Patti Smith “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine…my sins, they only belong to me.”
OK, obviously, the meds are kicking in-time for me to go find the hammock…

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Injection

and three prescriptions later, my doctor tells me that I should get some relief from the poison ivy sometime...well, maybe tomorrow. It seems that one of the effects of our changing atmosphere is the increased virulence of urushiol, the part of the plant sap that causes the reaction. Increased CO2 in the air is also causing it to grow faster and larger. :(
Alas, even if you are not one of those "get your hands in the dirt" kind of people, you might still be affected by the increased CO2 Another effect is that ragweed is creating more pollen, so airborne allergens are getting worse as well. (just in case you thought the reports that claim every year is the "worst yet" for allergies was hyperbole) A link to an article about scientists who are studying the effects of CO2 on plant and specifically weed growth:


At this point, I am not even sure what has been the worst part of all of this, the actual physical reaction (disgusting rash and mad itchiness), or that the physical reaction has caused me to not sleep well, and is so distracting, that concentrating for any period of time is difficult, and reading to retain content impossible, or lets face it, that the rash is intensely ugly and disfiguring. (ahh, vanity!)

Coincidentally, DH and I planted more than 65 trees this spring-what are you doing to help combat the rise in CO2 levels?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Stuff to Report

and pictures to post. But it will have to wait. Between a bad case of poison ivy (DH is outside, spraying BrushBGone even as I type) and a "call back" from the mammogram people, concentration is a bit hard to come by, today.