Showing posts with label Spirituality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spirituality. Show all posts

Friday, October 26, 2018

KABBALAH of Love: The Secret Power of Ego

THE KEY TO TRUE LOVE 


Do you long for love?

Most of us do. The intimate touch of another soul is the most powerful antidote for the all-too-human experience of aloneness. It may be the most compelling and pleasurable experience there is.

So why do we spend so much of our time and energy avoiding intimacy by defending ourselves, being angry, critical, closed and judgmental – in short, blocking the experience that we most deeply want? 

DEFENDING THE EGO GETS IN THE WAY OF LOVE.

The answer is that we are wired to constantly reinforce our limited ego-based identity, our sense of who we are. 

This ego-based identity plays a very important role in human life, but it does not have the power to love. Ego is all about the self. It can and does experience need, and need is often easy to mistake for love. And it can certainly love how another person makes it feel.

But these things aren’t true love. True love and intimacy don’t come from the ego. In order to experience the power of true love, you have to get in touch with a different part of yourself – the part that lies beyond ego.


THE TRUE NATURE OF EGO.

This process is easier when you understand the true nature of your ego-based identity: It doesn’t really exist. 

Although it functions as if it’s the most real thing about you, in actual fact your ‘identity’ is only a perspective. It’s kept alive solely through the stories you tell yourself about life, others and yourself. 

You could literally say that your ego is all talk – an incessant monologue whose sole purpose is to reinforce your sense of self – who you are and who you aren’t.

Most of the time it goes something like this: “I’m better than he is, uglier than she is, smarter than him, richer than her, worse than I should be. I can do this, I could never do this, I shouldn’t have done that, they shouldn’t be that way. Life is good, life is hard, he’s right, she’s wrong, I’m great, I’m no good, it’s my fault, it’s their fault…” and on, and on, and on... 

Just as a whale identifies its location through bouncing sound waves off nearby objects, your ego pinpoints its own presence – defines itself - by relating to the people, ideas, and objects around it.  

This process is continuous. Your identity must be continuously reinforced or you will quite literally lose the sense of who you are.

That’s why it can be so very threatening to have something or somebody confronting your ego – your beliefs about yourself, others or the world. Since the ego is actually made out of these beliefs, perspectives and opinions, and you identify the ego as ‘you’, when your beliefs are threatened it can feel just like a threat to your very survival.

Quite simply, the more you get to be ‘right’ about things, the more real and solid you feel, and the more you have to be ‘wrong’, the more threatened and diminished. 

WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

This would be really bad news if not for the fact that there is another part of you. This part – your core essence, your authentic self – has an intrinsic reality. Unlike your ego-based identity, its existence is not dependent upon outside circumstances or stories. And unlike your ego, it’s not threatened by someone else’s success, or enhanced by their failure. In fact, the opposite is true. 

You could visualize your ego/identity as like the surface of the ocean; changeable, vulnerable, reflecting the sun, sky, and clouds, affected by every wind. Your core is the vast, calm, still, deep water beneath. Those deep mysterious waters teem with every kind of life and potential, but this life is invisible from the surface.

All transformation involves a process of seeing beneath the changeable surface and connecting with the vast deep life-giving waters beneath. This process usually involves a level of discomfort as your identity is shaken out of its placid solid form and made to expand and reflect a deeper level of reality.

But it’s worth it.

MY LITTLE WAKE-UP CALL

Last year I had a very typical experience from which I learned an uncommon lesson.

I was upstairs in my bedroom. My husband was late getting home and had failed to call me to let me know. I wasn’t really worried about him, but I still began to get more and more agitated by the fact that he hadn’t come home when he said he would.

The later he becomes, the angrier I grew. By the time I finally heard the door downstairs I was in a fury. (I realize that this doesn’t show me in a particularly positive light – but the truth is, that’s exactly what happened.) 

Like a balloon inflating with hot air, I got ready to blow up at him. 

But then something happened. In a moment of unusual lucidity, I saw the future before my eyes. This is what it looked like: 

First, I’d blow up. I’d express some righteous indignation (in a loud voice). I’d persist until my husband (generally a pretty nice, easy-going guy) admitted that his behavior had been rude and inconsiderate. Then, once my anger was properly validated, I’d forgive him and we could be friends again – but only after I’d temporarily diminished his ego and inflated my own.

In that one lucid moment, I realized that I could simply skip the whole thing and go straight to being authentic and close. I saw a new possibility – the possibility of refusing to be a slave to my own ego. To choose from a deeper, calmer, more authentic part of myself.



I was overwhelmed with a sense of how massively stupid, predictable, automatic and ridiculous this whole pattern actually is.

What part of me saw that new possibility? The part that peeked out through the surface of my ego – a little piece of my core.

EGO AND PURPOSE – THE STAGES OF CREATION

The world was created in three basic stages.

In Stage One, G-d’s* Infinite all-pervasive essential light was shining without limit, filling all space. There was no place devoid of it, and therefore nothing could exist aside from it. This is the stage of Infinity.

In Stage Two, G-d concealed His Infinite light in order to create an apparently ‘empty space’ in which other things (i.e., the universe, us) could exist. This concealment of the truth is Stage Two. This is the stage of the finite, where it became possible for myriad creatures and myriad perspectives, each with its own limited boundaries and parameters, to exist.

Stage Three is the merging of infinite and finite. It involves the transformation of the finite inhabitants of the universe. They must move from a state of being which conceals their infinite Divine Source to one which expresses and reveals it.

Like a game of hiding and seek, G-d conceals Himself in our finite world and waits for us to find Him. Through this process He can endow us with the greatest gift there is – to exist as finite individuals and yet experience a truly intimate relationship with our Creator.

Your ego is central to this process.

Like everything in the physical world, your ego hides the light of your essence. It is what allows you to exist as a separate individual. By blocking out your intrinsic connection to 
G-d, your true nature and purpose, and the essential oneness of the universe, your ego allows you to function as an individual. It allows you to have a personal perspective and a personal experience of life. Without it, you’d be simply a part of the whole.

But this is only the beginning of the process. The ultimate goal is that through your ego - your role as a limited individual with a limited perspective, you will find your way back home. 

HOW IT WORKS

We have entered the Era of Transformation. This means that you can train your ego-based identity to recognize and align itself with the voice of your authentic self. The ego doesn’t have to be defended or suppressed – it can be transformed. Your ego can be used on behalf of the purpose for which it was created in the first place – to allow you to enhance your relationship with your Creator, express the potential of your essence, and fulfill your purpose here on earth. 

Your defensive ego-based reactions will probably not go away for now. But instead of being a slave to them, you can use them as the impetus to connect to these deeper parts of you. The moment you choose to observe yourself rather than react, to question your own defensive instincts, to genuinely see another person’s point of view, to admit where you may be wrong, to connect with something higher, to be generous with your time, money or resources when you don’t have to, you have made your ego your ally.

In fact, whenever you choose to use your body, your mind, your time, your relationships or your possessions to fulfill your authentic purpose - to do something intrinsically good or G-dly - those things, for that moment, is Holy. They have been used on behalf of the purpose of Creation. You have created a bit of light through which the world’s darkness and concealment will be transformed. 

*Since the Torah forbids the erasing of G-d’s name, it’s customary to avoid writing it out in full.



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A General Look at ALCHEMY Part 1

English: The original edition of the Emerald T...
The original edition of the Emerald Tablet, extracted from De Alchimia, Chrysogonus Polydorus, Nuremberg 1541  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Alchemy's Origin

Alchemy, according to esoteric writers, is said to be the invention of an ancient Egyptian sage called Hermes Trismegistus. The "Father of Alchemy" lived in an unknown age of Egyptian history, though he is thought by some Rosicrucian schools to have lived during the time of Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites. If true, being an Initiate of the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, Moses must have been tutored by Hermes himself, which later enabled him to carry out his mission and to realize his I AM Presence symbolised by the burning bush. The various precepts and the Ten Commandments of the Lord of Hosts revealed to the Israelites by Moses are the first alchemical steps of purification and putrefaction. Further steps were later added to the Mosaic revelation by the Nazarene Master. Indeed, the Christ declared that he came not to abolish the previous revelation, but to fulfil it.

It is thought by some that "Hermes Trismegistus" constituted a title assumed by distinguished hierophants of the Mystery Schools, in a somewhat similar manner that Zoroaster, the founder of the "Fire Religion" is regarded by certain scholars. Incidentally, alchemy may also be considered a Fire Religion, or at least a philosophy, because of its symbology of fire related to the alchemical principles, its prerequisite in the art of transmutation, and to the respect and honour paid to it by alchemists.

Jewish mystics identify Hermes as the antediluvian prophet Enoch, or Idris, as the Muslims call him; while ancient Egyptians see Hermes as Thoth, the god of Wisdom, Learning, and Writing. He was given this apotheosis along with Imhotep, the great architect under the reign of King Zoser of the Fourth Dynasty. It would appear that both men were overshadowed by the archetypal figure of Thoth, and were acknowledged as such by both the inner and outer circles of initiates of the Mystery Schools. Thoth, or his Greek counterpart, Mercury, was a messenger of the gods; and as an archetypal incarnation of this god, Hermes lived up to his name by his literary productiveness. Ancient writers declared that the "Trice Greatest" wrote thousands of books on what later became known as Hermeticism and Alchemy. It is unfortunate that very little of Hermes' works survived the conflagration and destruction of libraries and books by Roman and Christian zeal in the early dawn of the Piscean Age. The world as a whole is still ignorant of the great loss, and it will take some time before the invocation is made by the masses for the Greater Light, for disclosure of eternal principles that would shine upon the paths of men, and consequently, for a full restoration and establishment of an occult library of the world, with an archive and database of every known system and tradition of the metaphysical side of life. Although little is known of Hermes, it is evident through the works attributed to him that he was an intermediary of the Wisdom Ray of the Supreme Being.

One of the most famed works on Hermetic doctrine written, and in concise form, is the Smaragdine Tablet attributed to the authorship of Hermes. Its discovery is traditionally believed to have been made by Alexander of Macedonia in a cave near Hebron. This conqueror of nations who had Aristotle for a Master was in search of immortality. Although he failed to attain his personal immortality, Alexander did uncover a philosophical jewel that would have given him what he had sought if he had only applied the principles that the Emerald Tablet contained. Tradition relates that the Tablet was wrought out of artificial emerald, as a result of transmutation, with the Hermetic doctrine embossed on it.

Alchemy, as a philosophy and an art in the Western hemisphere in the past two millennia, existed concurrently in other ancient cultures and civilizations--it was practised intensely by Hindu Yogis and Taoists, in India and China. This parallel growth is probably the result of the Great White Brotherhood's periodic presentation of a spiritual method designed for the development of certain types of temperaments and belief-framework of those aspirants belonging to a certain era and stage of mankind's collective evolution.

Trismegistos
Trismegistos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Based on this parallel growth of alchemy in the Orient and the regions of the Fertile Crescent suggested to some Esoteric historians that alchemy may have had a common origin in that sunken continent Atlan, or Atlantis, as it is more generally known. Esoteric Tradition declares that a handful of the Atlantean Root Race survived the submergence of the land and transmigrated to Egypt, China, and the Americas. It is reasonable to assume that they brought with them their sciences, art, and culture, which influenced the inhabitants indigenous to the regions where they settled. This would explain the similarities in the traditions and beliefs of native cultures to be found both East and West.

Principles of Alchemy are the principles that Nature herself works with, and thus alchemy, scientifically, existed in the inner planes long before it was brought down to the earth plane by Master teachers. A study of Nature's mysteries would reveal to the discerning student that the higher Intelligence, the Elohim, and the Great Architect of the Universe utilized alchemical principles to precipitate the starry bodies out of Chaos, out of Cosmic Root Substance or "Sunyata," as termed by the Buddhist. Qabalists believe that Adam was taught by the angels in Paradise the art of transmutation, to prepare him for his "Fall" and his climb back toward his Monad, toward godhood--his involution and evolution from a Divine Consciousness to Divine Self-Consciousness.

There is no general concurrence among scholars as to the origin of the word "alchemy." The consensus is that the word is derived from the word "Khem," the ancient name for Egypt, added to the Arabic article "al," meaning "the," thus forming the word "al-Khemy." However, Sir Wallis Budge is of the opinion that alchemy comes from the Egyptian word "khemein," meaning the "black powder" or "ore" which is presumed to be an ingredient in alchemy. No matter where it secured its name, the word "alchemy," it would seem, first came into prominence in the Mystery Schools in Alexandria.

Purpose of Alchemy

But just what is alchemy, and what role does it play in the promotion of the welfare of mankind? If alchemy has any true value, it must be based upon eternal values, upon the things that support Heaven's purposes; in other words, upon God's plan of humankind's becoming into the true Elohimic image of the divine. If alchemy simply had an earthly objective, masterminds of the Ages would not have concerned themselves with it. It would have been considered as something so trivial, so transient, as to distract Man from the real work of extricating himself, specifically, from his bondage to the carnal self, the kama-manas, or animal soul; and generally, from samsara. Greed was never the impulse that prompted the invention of alchemy. It was, is, and always will be Man's desire for Truth and enlightenment of his true nature and estate that motivates him to seek through every channel and avenue for that certain something that he subconsciously feels he had "lost" and which is his to re-acquire--call it "the Lost Word," "the Philosopher's Stone," or "the Holy Grail," it matters not. Alchemy teaches Man the principles of regeneration and resurrection, laws of creation and transmutation; laws that would assist Man to regain his former estate lost in "the Fall." This "Fall" from Paradise symbolically represents involution of the human life-wave into physical matter. The way back to the Throne of God is scientifically called "evolution," and the acceleration of the latter is the art of the hermetic gnosis. This Path of Return is esoterically and graphically symbolised by Jacob's Ladder, and the paths of the Qabalistic "Tree of Life."

The drama of Jesus' life is an alchemical allegory of the steps of regeneration and ascension to the I AM Presence within, the "Father who art in Heaven." Orthodox Christianity does not recognize or is unaware of this vital truth, and because of the lack of mystical insight among most members of its priesthood coupled with the absence of esoteric truths in the doctrines and dogmas of the Church, the average Christian is ignorant and unaware of the true message of Christianity--of the Light, the Christ substance, and the true saving blood that Christ introduced to humankind. Esoteric Christianity is fundamentally an alchemical science and religion; its promulgator was a Master Alchemist--being taught in the initiatory halls of the Mystery Schools. It is related in the Gospels how the Master transmuted water into wine, multiplied loaves and fishes, and walked on water--all of which were manifestations of the applied principles of alchemy, the Hermetic philosophy--or perhaps these events were all allegories conveying some spiritual teaching.

Alchemy is defined as an art of transmutation and precipitation--the changing of base metals into gold. The work of alchemical transmutation is designated as "the Labor of the Sun." This "Eye of Ra" symbolically represents the perfection with which Nature is gradually unfolding in her creations. At the physical level, the Sun of Perfection is represented by gold. Alchemy is the science and art which hasten the creations of Nature to attain perfection at their own respective level. Gold is the perfection attain by metals and minerals. Minerals, however, are also following another line of perfection--that of its ability to sustain life and consciousness. And Man, the acme of organic life, is evolving to the state where he acquires perfection in Divine Self-Awareness.

From the above, it can be summarized that alchemy is the art of raising vibrations of an object in order to hasten its development or evolution into a higher expression or state. The result is a perfection of the object of the transmutation.


Alchemy's Transmission to Christendom

Alexandria was the philosophical capital of Egypt, and perhaps of the whole civilized worlds in the early centuries of Christianity. Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Alchemy and Hermeticism flowered abundantly; these philosophies are intrinsically related, and to comprehend the Royal Artfully, the student of alchemy is advised by Master teachers to be familiar with their doctrines. Alexandria's Golden Age of occult philosophy did not last long, for the reptilian mind of the fallen angels had seized control of the rising new religion of Christianity (no offence to our Christian brothers and sisters). The philosophical sons and daughters of Hermes were persecuted and murdered brutally by Christian fundamentalists and fanatics. Fear and hatred were aroused among the masses and the ousting of the so-called pagan religions from the land ensued. One sad event was the cruel assassination of Hypatia, an illustrious daughter of the Mysteries--the Widow Isis, and propounder of Neoplatonism. She hardly had a philosophical equal during her day, and this caused the envy and jealousy of a certain priest who contrived her murder.

During the decline of the Roman Empire, the Secret Doctrine, or the Ancient Wisdom were passed on to the guardianship of the Arabian and Persian mystics. The tenets of occult wisdom were later incorporated into the Muslim faith with its higher aspects promulgated secretly in the traditional oral manner in certain sects, Orders, and mystical groups such as the Sufi and Dervish Orders, and among the community of Druzes in Lebanon and Syria.


In the 8th to the 11th centuries A.D., in the era of the golden period of alchemic-Islamic culture, we hear of eminent names in the field of the Royal Art, such as al-Farabi, Rhazes, Geber and Avicenna. These men studied the mystery teachings and occult wisdom of the Egyptian and Greek schools. They were most notably influenced by Hermetic, Alchemic and Neoplatonic ideas, and the knowledge that they acquired was synthesized with Islamic and Sufic doctrines. The Sufi adepts produced one of the most beautiful symbols of spiritual unfoldment and progression: the rose. Its symbolism is comparable to the lotus adopted by Hindu mystics.

The Knights Templer was an important link between both East and West, between Islamic culture and the world of Christendom. The alchemical doctrine was passed on by the Sufi adepts to these "Knights of the Holy Sepulchre," as the Templers were originally called. Even the mythical Christian Rosencruez of Rosicrucianism is said to have acquired his occult knowledge from the Sufi Masters and adepts in Arabia.

After the days of the disbandment of the Templer Order by Philip the Fair of France and the death sentence of their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay in 1314, the surviving Knights sought refuge in various countries; and in England some of them founded an alchemical Order which later became known as the "Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross." It is said that this Order comprised 33 members and that this group exists even to this very day in our computer age.

When the believers of Allah invaded and settled in Iberia, they brought with them the Secret Teachings. Colleges were established that had mysticism, metaphysics, and alchemy in the curriculum. With the establishment of the various schools, the Ancient Wisdom finally took definite root in European soil, and it spread gradually throughout the other regions of the Continent. This expansion was no doubt the result of the efforts put forth by the spiritual hierarchy of this planet. Man's evolution is divided into certain steps, stages, and cycles, and these have "timetables" or schedules associated with them. It was expedient that the Flames of Truth and Freedom be given to the custodian of the Islamic world if it were not to be extinguished by some of the ungodly minds of Christendom of the Dark Ages which would have caused a setback to the Divine Plan already established.

The deviation from the right use of free will by Christian fundamentalists had made them unsuitable vessels for the Christic wine. In spite of exoteric Christianity's blind attack on the Light that gave it birth, the esoteric circle continued its existence clandestinely, preserving the secret teachings of Jesus and transmitting it to a selected few who had the vision of the divine plan within their hearts and minds.

Idries Shah, the eminent Sufi of contemporary times, mentions in his book "The Sufis," how an Englishman, one Robert of Chester, was instrumentally in 1144 A.D., in introducing alchemy to the Christian world by translating an alchemical manuscript originally written in Arabic. There were many others like him, forbearers of the Flame were not few.


Levels of Alchemy

Most of the principles of alchemy conveyed to the public were made up of images, mandalas, and jargon. These obscure languages were necessary considering the era that alchemical science was struggling--struggling for a recognition from the masses as a system of spiritual development in the midst of ecclesiastical persecution. The mentality of the masses of the Middle Ages was not much different from the time of Jesus. Ignorance, superstition, and fear still ruled the day. The letter of the law, as propagandized by Orthodox Christianity were still at odds, and at conflict with the spirit of the law, as advanced by enlightened mystics. The Inquisition, which lasted for centuries, showed how far the Church had strayed from the original precepts of Christianity. The Christ taught love, forgiveness, charity and kindness; the Church Fathers and Christian leaders only knew personal ambition, with sadism, and egoism set-up upon an unholy pedestal. The personal "I" was worshipped, the "Yekhidah," or the Divine I AM, was forgotten.

Neophytes of the Mysteries were given the keys of interpretation of Sacred literature when they were accepted in the various secret brotherhoods. The candidates of alchemical initiation were noticed by the Masters when they had proven their sincerity and the sacrifices and effort that they had made. To the world at large, the existence of the Masters was unknown and unsuspected, even though their presence in the world of men was hinted at in various alchemical manuscripts. It was only in the last century that Helena P. Blavatsky, among others, who brought their existence to the world's attention; and even then, the world scoffed and derided at the idea. This is a little unreasonable, as people of various spiritual unfoldment and mental development may easily be seen and recognized. If some men and women are more perfect than others, why should not there be men and women totally perfect from our human point of view?

Esoterically, when a Master alchemist gave a student of alchemy the "Philosopher's Stone," what was actually conveyed were the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, and a certain yogic system that when applied and practised would transmute an initiate into a god.

To the public eye, alchemical icons and terminology conveyed no sense whatsoever, but the mystiqueness of alchemical texts and images aroused interest in potential practitioners of the Royal Art, and it turned the average person into a seeker. This was perhaps one of the intentions of the authors of alchemical manuscripts. Modern chemistry, feeling a little perplexed by alchemical ideas, contemptuously considers her sire as a pseudo-science, in the same manner, that astrology is usually frowned upon by the students of astronomy. The modern research will in time change the opinions and prejudicial beliefs of a materialistically-inclined science; already pioneers of quantum physics are hypothesising what the Ancient Wisdom has been teaching for ages.

One key to understanding alchemy is to determine the objectives and the subject of transmutation. Without keeping this principle in mind, one would be lost in the alchemical wilderness. Alchemy is categorized into four levels:

1) Physical alchemy
2) Biological alchemy
3) Psychological alchemy
4) Transcendental alchemy

    Copyright © 2006 Luxamore


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Help Others Find INNER PEACE

Peace
Photo  by Moyan_Brenn 
People with pessimistic attitudes go through their lives fighting their thoughts and emotions every day. If they are rejected for a job position, they feel that they are not good enough to have any job. They start to think that everyone believes they are stupid, and the cycle of pessimism traps them into psychological immobility. In fact, everyone experiences rejection at some time during their lives, but when your mind focuses on the negative aspects of a situation, it is hard to find inner peace.

The first step in finding inner peace is to think carefully about your goals. What are you trying to achieve, and what are you doing that will take you there? Can you realistically reach your goals, or are you setting goals that are far beyond your reach? Do you have any goals? By putting your priorities in order, you will be on the path to peace because only chaos can result from clutter and disorganization of the mind. You can start by setting small goals that can be easily achieved. Then, instead of focusing on failure, you can see the good job you’ve done in reaching your goal. If you fail to reach a goal, use this situation to learn how to do better next time. Don’t wallow in your failure.

When you feel good about yourself, you will have an easier time finding peace of mind. Peace is essential for happiness. If you constantly feel sad, you are living under a great weight that brings you down to a point where you could sink into a permanent state of self-pity. Self-pity only encourages negative thinking. Remember, you are not the only person facing rejection or hurt in life. There are other people much worse off than you are. People with negative thinking miss out on inner peace because they let every little setback throw them off track. They criticize themselves for no real reason and go down a road that only leads to misery.

Sometimes, hearing the word ‘no’ is a good thing. If you’ve lost out on a job, maybe that is for the best. What if you had been awarded a job position only to find out that it was not what you really wanted, or that you couldn’t do it as well as you thought? Of course, maybe you like being involved in situations that may lead you to harm. Maybe someone says ‘no’ to you to keep you from hurting yourself. Maybe they say ‘no’ because they love you.

Every life is full of rejection so we would do well to turn our rejections into positive actions. Taking action can lead you to inner peace because activity makes you feel more positive about a situation. Positive attitudes result in peaceful states of mind. If you are feeling bad about yourself all the time, you need to break the cycle and get out of the habit of doing so. You can train your mind to think more positively. It will take work and effort, but it will lead you to inner peace, and this will be worthwhile.



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

ANGELS and SPIRIT GUIDES

Black and White Angel
Black Angel - Photo by h.koppdelaney 
Even when you feel as though you are completely alone, there are Divine Companions who are always with you. Before your incarnation, they chose to accompany you through your lifetime- from the moment of your first breath- until your last. Spirit Guides are highly evolved beings that have completed the cycle of birth and death in the physical plane and are now serving as teachers and guides to further elevate their vibrations. They are as “real” as you are- they are just vibrating at another level and reside in another plane of existence.

They work to guide you in working through your dreams and intuition. That quiet voice you hear is often the voice of your teachers and guides. They may also make themselves known to you through signs and symbols. For me, when I am at a crossroads in my life or journeying through a personal or emotional challenge- I find feathers everywhere. I also see feather tattoos, hawks and hear certain songs. It is a reminder for me to be still and listen to the guidance of my own personal guides. The feathers are representative of the energy of my guides- one being a powerful Shaman and the others are from the Angelic Realm.

Some individuals have one guide and others have multitudes- much of this depends on the path and purpose of your life. For instance, a teacher/professor may have several guides- one to guide them through the academic nature of their profession and others to assist them with the great emotional requirements of performing such an important task. A policeman, fireman, or soldier will often have a “team” of warriors guiding and protecting them. Much of who your guides are indicative of your own personal journey through life.

Spirit guides are almost never a loved one who has passed away. Although our loved ones stay with us in spirit and we can contact them, they do not serve the same role as a “spirit guide”. Some individuals have Archangels and Angels as spirit guides who are always with them. Yet, the presence of Angels does not always mean they are your spirit guides. Angels can be called in times of distress to assist you for a short time. If you have an Archangel or Angel as a guide, chances are your mission in life is a complex one. Through my experience with being a psychic reader and spiritual teacher- I have found that individuals with a challenging life path often have Angels as spirit guides.

Your spirit guide is always with you, whether you acknowledge their presence or not. You cannot call them to you or send them away- they are part of you and your journey. However, you can choose to gain the knowledge of who they are and what their role in your life is. You can interact with your spirit guides in a more proactive way. If you want to know who your guides are, just ask. Get in a quiet and meditative space and ask that they reveal themselves to you. Do not get discouraged if you do not figure it out right away. Beings from the spiritual realm often communicate through signs and symbols. Once you ask- you must trust your own wisdom. Pay attention to the pictures that appear in your mind. If you see a man in a suit- stay with that- it could be he is a philosopher or scientist. You may see a Native American Indian, a Buddhist Monk or you may see nothing at all. Keep your mind and intuition open. Pay attention to things that keep coming up after you have asked that they reveal who they are. If you are having a challenge discovering who they are you can also contact a professional psychic/intuitive to assist you.





Working with your spirit guides can be an incredible tool for your own personal and spiritual growth. Unlike beings who are in the physical- their wisdom and advice are not influenced by the “world”. They dwell in a higher vibrational plane and the mundane particulars of your situation are not relevant. For example- if you seek guidance from your spirit guide regarding a relationship- they will lead you to focus on what you are learning, what you need to learn, what you are teaching your partner, and what is the true meaning of your relationship. The fact that they leave the toilet seat up or are terrible at budgeting the household finances will be irrelevant. The information that you will be provided with- will be actions that YOU can take to gain more understanding. You can also ask your Spirit Guides to assist you in physical healing. Before you go to sleep, ask that as you are sleeping- you receive healing.

You are never alone. Never. Take faith in knowing and understanding that there are so much magic and mystery in this life. Just for a moment let the “world” disappear. Raise your vibration and allow the beautiful gifts of spirit wash over you. Life is so much more than what we see. Open your spiritual eyes and hearts and you will discover a world of wisdom, beauty, and peace that you never knew existed. Of course, you can always choose to not believe. It is always your choice. But, why not? Why not step into another level of existence? Why not believe in magic? You do not have to announce it to the office, but you can embrace the wonders of spirit in your own heart. It will envelop you in a light of love and understanding- and will mysteriously transform you into a more connected and loving being. Oh, what would they say at the water cooler then?



Paula Picard: Psychic and Spiritual Teacher




Monday, August 27, 2018

The TAROT - An Introduction

Tarot card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, al...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What is the Tarot?

The tarot is a deck of 78 cards, featuring illustrations that can be interpreted in various ways. The deck is divided into two sections, called the major arcana and minor arcana.

The major arcana features the 21 trump cards, and the minor arcana is divided into four suits (wands, pentacles, cups, and swords) each with cards featuring the numbers 1-10, an ace and four court cards (the Page, Knight, Queen, and King).

Origin of the Tarot

The oldest known tarot cards originated in 15th century Italy. The tarot appears to have started life as a card game and was at first restricted to the wealthy upper classes, although after the invention of the printing press, the cards became more widely available. 

Some writers have claimed (despite the apparent lack of evidence) that the imagery of the tarot cards suggests a more ancient origin, and have connected the tarot with such cultures and traditions as the ancient Egyptians and the mystical Hebrew Kabbalah.

Later Developments

It was not until the 18th century that the cards became associated with the occult and mystical activities for which they are often known today. This began in 1781 when the freemason Antoine Court de Gebelin made the claim in his work 'Le Monde Primatif' that tarot cards contained hidden meanings (which he associated with the ancient Egyptians) that could be used for divinatory purposes.

Since then other mystic and magical traditions, such as the Order of the Golden Dawn, have claimed that the tarot has ancient roots, together with hidden wisdom to impart to those seeking enlightenment. The tarot was especially popular among such groups in the 19th century.

The tarot became more widely known with the publication of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot in 1910. Arthur Edwards Waite was a Golden Dawn member, and in this new deck, drawn by the artist Pamela Colman Smith, images with occult symbolism were included on the numeric cards, as well as the trump cards. This deck was very successful (and remains popular today), and since then, hundreds if not thousands of diverse new decks have been published, with many enthusiasts creating their own. 

Uses of the Tarot

The tarot has several distinct uses, including:

1. Games
This was its original use, and it is still used for gaming purposes in some European countries. 

2. Psychology
Carl Jung was the first mainstream psychologist to attach meaning to the tarot cards when he associated them with the fundamental archetypes that he believed to reside in the collective human unconscious. Several therapeutic techniques involving the tarot have developed from this insight.

3. Inspiration
Many artists and writers have produced works inspired by the tarot.

4. Divination
Fortune telling is perhaps the most common use associated with the tarot. The images on the cards may help the person seeking the reading to tap into their own subconscious knowledge. Others believe that the cards themselves hold some kind of inherent divinatory power, which may be read by a skilled person. For this reason, handling another person's cards is generally frowned upon in occult circles, as their energy could become contaminated. 

Doing a Reading

There is no set method for performing a divinatory tarot reading. However, there are several popular layouts or 'spreads', with perhaps the most well known being the Celtic cross. This is usually the first method taught to beginners, although it is by no means the most simple.  Experienced tarot readers will often invent their own spreads, with their own means of interpretation.

Tarot card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, al...
Rider-Waite-Smith deck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once the cards are selected by the person receiving the reading, the reader lays them out in a spread and analyses them, taking into account the positions relative to each other, the symbolism of the individual cards, and their position (upright or reversed).

Meaning of the Cards

There is no generally agreed upon interpretation of the tarot cards. They all have imagery of varying degrees of compexity, and the wide range of decks available makes the situation even more difficult.

Nevertheless, there is a huge amount of writings available on the symbology of the tarot, and on the most basic level, the 22 major arcana cards are thought to represent the journey of the Fool from ignorance to enlightenment. 

In addition, the minor arcana cards have their own symbolism. The numbers are most obviously associated with numerology, and the suits are linked to the four elements (Swords=Air; Cups=Water; Wands=Fire; Pentacles=Earth). The tarot has also been linked with other mystical and occult systems such as the I Ching, astrology, and the Kabbalah.

Choosing a Tarot Deck

There is a huge range of tarot decks to choose from. The symbolism-rich Rider-Waite deck remains extremely popular, as does Crowley's Thoth deck. The early Marseille deck (used by Gebelin to illustrate 'Le Monde Primitif') is another important deck, also. There are also many less conventional decks to choose from. 

Feminists, for example, might like the Motherpeace Tarot with its round cards and exclusively female imagery, whereas some of those interested in Paganism might enjoy the Witches deck or the DruidCraft Tarot. Tarot decks can be found representing animals too, as well as various sports, natural imagery and other common activities. In fact, there's a tarot pack available to suit every taste, and most can be bought online as well as from bookstores, new age shops etc.

Where to Start?

If you're interested in learning more about the tarot, I recommend checking out some of the numerous excellent tarot-related sites on the net, as well as online and local bookstores and new age stores. One thing's for sure - there's no shortage of information available!



Monday, July 30, 2018

Learning and Growing

Khalil Gibran (April 1913)
Khalil Gibran (April 1913) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Greetings self-help readers,

I am amazed by the many opportunities that we have to learn on a daily basis. I am speaking of the chances we get every day to learn about ourselves. We can learn from the bad things that happen to us as well as the good things. I believe that everything and everyone can be a teacher. The Bible itself talks about how God works for the good of those who love Him in all things. 

I believe this. Mr. Kahlil Gibran talks about how we can learn kindness from the unkind and yet how we are ungrateful for this teacher. Yes, mean people can, in fact, teach us to be nicer. When we see how ugly mean words and actions look from a spiritual standpoint we can make a decision to be nice. No one wants to look ugly physically or spiritually.

When I focus on learning rather than reacting I will make much better decisions. You see when I simply react, my decisions are based on my emotions rather than my intellect and spirituality. I have learned that when I respond in a meaningful manner to a mean person, it is like matching fire with fire. In these cases, both people are likely to be burned. I can instead choose to match their fire of unkindness with the water of kindness. We all know that water puts out the fire. It is up to me as to how I will respond.

How do you respond when you are challenged to be spiritual? Do you match meanness with meanness or kindness? hate with love or hate? If we take the time to learn and not react we will grow into the people the creator of the universe has called us to be. We can grow quite tall spiritually and eventually dwarf the demons of unkindness just by not responding in kind and learn how to deal with situations. The same situations will most likely repeat themselves. Once we learn how to deal with them correctly we should be able to handle them better when they come around again. 

Much continued positive attitude success,

The creator of "Positive Attitude Secrets"



Saturday, June 30, 2018

A brief history of DREAMS and their interpretation

English: Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream ...
Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream book. The book is solemnly named The Dream-Book, or an Interpretation of Dreams by Sundry Egyptian and Indian Savants and Astronomers.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The interpretation of dreams by dream experts may be almost as old as dreaming itself.  We know that all humans, and many animals, dream every night, and humans have always been fascinated to learn what causes dreams and what they mean.

The interpretation of dreams dates back at least as far as 3000-4000 B.C.  We know that because the interpretations of dreams were recorded in permanent form on clay tablets.  It is thought that many primitive peoples were unable to initially distinguish between the real world and the dream world.  In many cases, these people looked at the dream world as an extension of the physical world around them, and in many cases, they saw the dream world as more powerful than the waking one.

Dream interpretation was such an important field to the ancient Greek and Roman world that dream interpreters often accompanied generals and other military leaders into battles.  Dreams were taken extremely seriously, and the Greeks and Romans in particular often viewed dreams as messages sent by their gods.  

Dreams also had a religious content in ancient Egypt, and priests they're doubled as dream interpreters.  Dreams were among the items recorded by the ancient Egyptians in the form of hieroglyphics.  Those whose dreams were especially vivid or significant were thought to be blessed and were given special status in these ancient societies.  Likewise, people who were able to interpret dreams were thought to receive these gifts directly from the gods, and they enjoyed a special status in society as well.  

There are over 700 mentions of dreams in the Bible, and people in biblical times saw dreams as very significant.  Dreams and their interpretations are mentioned in many of the most significant books of the bible and other holy scriptures.

In many cases, dreams were often seen as a form of prophecy.  People often interpreted their dreams as omens or warnings and adjusted their activities accordingly.  Dreams were often thought of as omens from deities, as messages from spirits, or as messages from departed souls.  In some cases, dreams were even seen as the work of demons, meant to confuse and trouble the dreamer.

Dreams were so important that they often dictated the actions of political and military leaders, affecting everything from the prosecution of a battle to the outcome of a political decision.  Dreams were also thought to provide vital clues to healers, and they were used in the diagnosis and treatment of all manners of illness.

Dreaming was often looked upon by indigenous peoples as a way to commune directly with gods and spirits, and dreams are still used in this way by cultures around the world.  Many people believed, and some still do, that during dream sleep the soul leaves the body and communes with the spirit world.

The Chinese were one culture who believed that the soul left the body each night during dream sleep.  They believed that if the dreamer were suddenly awakened the soul may not be able to return to the body.  That is why some Chinese are still leery about the use of alarm clocks.  This is just one example of how ancient legends can linger into the modern world.


Some Mexican and Native American societies share this ancient view of the importance of dreams and share the belief in a separate dimension that is visited during dream sleep.  These people believed that their departed ancestors lived in their dreams and that they were able to take forms like animals and plants. Thus dreams were seen as a way for them to commune with their recent and ancient ancestors, and to gather wisdom and knowledge that would serve them in their waking lives.  Dreams were also seen as ways to gather information about their purpose or mission in life.

The respect for dreams changed radically early in the 19th century, and dreams of that era were often dismissed as reactions to anxiety, outside noises or even bad food and indigestion.  During this period of time, dreams were thought to have no meaning at all, and interest in dream interpretation all but evaporated.  This all changed, however, with the arrival of Sigmund Freud later in the 19th century.  Sigmund Freud stunned the world of psychiatry by stressing the importance of dreams, and he revived the once dead art of dream interpretation.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Expressions of SYMPATHY

Lady Vengeance accident
Photo  by Debs (ò‿ó)♪ 
Even the most talkative and eloquent among us are often at a loss for words when it comes to helping people deal with the death of someone close to them.  We want to express our sympathy, our sharing of their feelings, but we don't know how to do it.  Words can be comforting, but they're also fleeting.  So we turn to more tangible expressions of sympathy.

Sympathy gifts come in many forms.  A card with a thoughtful message is often the first thing we seek.  There is a surprising array of choices to be made when selecting a card.  The natural inclination is often to pick a card that reflects the giver's beliefs as opposed to focusing on those of the bereaved.  Some sympathy cards contain short generic messages and are appropriate for acquaintances such as co-workers with whom one does not have a close personal relationship.  Other cards reflect religious or spiritual themes, which may bring great comfort at such a difficult time.  The final type of card emphasizes the friendship between the giver and receiver.  These cards assure the receiver that a true friend will be ready to provide support in any way possible.

We shouldn't underestimate the long-lasting impact a sympathy gift will have on the recipient.  This point was driven home for me when I gave a plant to a co-worker.  (It was spring and I was transplanting recently rooted baby spider plants to share with friends and acquaintances.)  The next day she told me that she had cried when she brought it home and put it on her table.

It turned out that her father had died several years earlier.  At that time, someone gave her a plant as a sympathy gift.  Watching the plant grow and burst into life over the years always comforted her by reminding her of the energy and enthusiasm for life her father had displayed.  Did that gift giver have any idea of the power of that simple condolence gift  - that it would console her for years? 

Unbeknownst to me, a couple weeks before I offered her that new little plant, her old one had died and she had to dispose of it.  It upset her to see that empty place on the table every day.  She told me that when she brought home my plant and placed it in its spot, it was like that life and energy returned, once again reminding of her in a positive way of her father.

Though it may be difficult to express our sympathy at times, we should all take comfort in knowing that the gestures we make and tokens we give in sympathy are gifts that really will comfort the hearts and souls of the recipients.



Friday, April 27, 2018

How to Become a SHAMAN

Copper carving depicting a Sámi shaman with hi...
Copper carving depicting a Sámi shaman with his magic drum (meavrresgárri).
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you called to be a shaman? If you are how do you know? If you aren't how do you know? If you don't want to be a shaman but would like to take advantages of some of the shamanic practices and techniques. Can you? Are you allowed to or not? Do you have to be initiated to be a shaman? These are all questions that I once had after I finally submitted and embarked upon this quest. And I will share what I have learned with you from my experience.

First, it is important to understand, that every world culture has an individual or group of individuals that has acted as a mediator between the spiritual and the physical. These eccentric individuals have been called medicine man/woman, viziers, spiritual healer, witch doctor, etc. but the most prevalent term used today is a shaman and the practice is called shamanism. Shamanism is the general term that has been used incorrectly to describe any person that feels that God, the Great Spirit, the ancestors, spirit guides and/or guardian spirits have called them to help others through spiritual means, which has contributed to the confusion of the term. So to clarify, it must be understood that a shaman can be a preacher, psychic, counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists, priest or priestess, medical intuitive, psychic healer, etc. but a preacher, psychic, counselor, medicine man or woman, herbalists, priest or priestess, medical intuitive, psychic healer, doesn't necessarily have to be a shaman. The key difference being that a shaman usually has a unique perspective about life whereas the other healers do not.

The reason the shaman's viewpoint is so different from the other healers is that he or she have undergone either a formal initiation (e.g. apprenticeship, ceremonial rites, etc.) or informal initiation (e.g. life-transforming event via gross misfortune, illness, etc.). During this (formal or informal) initiation, the initiate is forced to overcome old traumatic issues, including their anger, fear, hatred, feelings of abandonment and other emotional wounds, in order to learn how not to be controlled by their emotions but rather guided by their intuition. During this transformative period, the initiate comes face to face with death, where they learn that death is not "the end" but simply a stage in the cycle of birth-life-death and rebirth. In this unique experience, which cannot accurately be intellectualized, but has to be experienced, the initiate usually meets her or his ancestors, spirit guides or spirits, which leads them to adopt a new perspective about life reflective of this experience. This new perspective on life that the shaman initiate adopts usually becomes the cosmology or cosmogram that the initiate follows.

It is through this cosmogram the shaman initiate is able to move beyond their personal preferences and societal imposed prejudices, which allows them to see everything (plants, animals, human beings, etc.) in the universe as an interdependent part of a whole. It is here the initiate begins to see him or herself as a microcosm of a greater Macrocosm and learns that all is composed of divine energy. The life cycle the initiate soon learns is based upon a natural exchange between the spiritual and the physical. It then becomes apparent that in order to implement any positive change. They have to learn how to petition the right the force that will bring about the type of change that they desire. The shaman learns about this exchange by observing these forces in nature and seeing that just like the right conditions are needed in order for a wild game to return to a particular area. The same conditions are needed to make an individual prosperous and so on.

It is this observation that makes the initiate take responsibility for her and his actions. This is how the true shamanic journey begins because the initiate is not perfect by any means, but is expected to perfect his or her character. This is the reason why shamans from all over the world may not profess to be Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any one religion. They will easily practice the tenets of major religions like loving their neighbor as themselves and acknowledge that seeing ourselves separate from one another will lead to our ultimate demise. Where shamanism differs from major religions, is that it is not governed by religious dogma but by the calling, which is dictated by the laws of nature.


These laws are taught to the shaman initiate by the same one(s) that called them per that individual's culture. Therefore, violation of these laws may not be punishable by man but they are punishable through God, the Great Spirit, ancestors, spirit guides, or the guardian spirits that called the individual to be a shaman, because the rapport that the initiate has developed with his or her guides through the initiation process is very strong and personal. So when a true shaman breaks a taboo they make amends as soon as possible, and try to live in harmony with others, because it will weaken their spiritual power, connection with their spirit guides and may result in them losing divine blessing or grace. No true shaman would risk jeopardizing this for a quick selfish, monetary thrill.

Because shamanism differs in every country, culture, region, etc. what may be the norm in one area may be completely different in another. For instance, in South America, Amerindian shamans use entheogens like peyote, whereas Amerindian shamans in North America do not. All shamans don't engage in "vision quest" just to get an answer nor do they have to use a drum and rattle to enter and maintain an ecstatic state of trance. Clearly, all shamans are not created equal but there are some general norms that exist about shamans. For one, they are not chauvinistic nor are they feminist either. They see the purpose of both natures. True shamans also do not have on their walls their list of accomplishments. They do not sit back and brag about their accomplishments or drop names to prove how strong and powerful they are to impress people. One look into their eyes and you will be able to see if they are for real or a charlatan.

Now, don't get me wrong, all shamans are not extremely humble or meek individuals, nor are they all eccentric individuals either. They do boast but their boasts, which may come off as arrogance is not meant to impress the living. It is to glorify their spirits, on one hand, cause negative spirits to tremble and flee on the other, and strengthen their own faith. Another thing, true shamans don't go looking for trouble or imbalances. Trouble or imbalances seem to find them (at least this has been my experience), and they use the situation to create balance.

Overall, I must admit that the shamanic journey is a wonderful and rewarding journey because a shaman helps him or herself by helping others. This is why it is said that shamans wounded healers because most shamans specialize in healing situations that they have or had to overcome themselves. This is what makes shamans exceptional over other healers because they are a reflection of what they have accomplished and believed. If a shaman will heal a relationship between a husband and wife, it is because they usually have done the same for their relationship and so on.

As your intuition develops, you will know when it is time to help others because you will find yourself (with no effort of your own) being asked to assist another in resolving a situation. You may be walking down the street to the park and get a hunch to say a prayer to bless and protect the children at the park from harm. Then, you may get an idea to solidify your prayer by building a small makeshift altar out of sticks and rocks. These are all signs that you have been called to put your skills to service.

The great thing about shamanism is that it is honest and a powerful universal practice full of wonder. True shamanism doesn't lie and tell you what you want to hear just to get your money, participation and membership. It is a real gut practice that presents to you the problem and helps you to find ways to resolve it so that the problem never occurs again. It tells you what you need to hear (in the gentle or harshest way possible). In order to get you to do what you have been called to do, which is fulfill your destiny or purpose in life. These are some of the things that I have learned in my own journey, which by the way is unique per individual. It is through this shamanic walk I also discovered that if you are called and ignore your calling. You will wish you hadn't, not because your spirit guides will punish you, but because the next stage of your development requires that you accept your calling in order to advance forward. Another thing I learned that just because you accept your calling, it will not eliminate humiliation, misery, pain and suffering out of your life. Shamanism will, however, help you to develop the peace and power needed to navigate right through it, thus making you a more resilient and strong individual.

But, the shamanic journey is not an easy path to follow because it can be very challenging at times. Not to mention that finding a true spiritual teacher in these contemporary times can be painstakingly difficult. And, if you have been called to become a shaman or just to partake in the practice. It can be a bit confusing especially when there is no one to help you. So to help ease a headache, here are some recommendations I have compiled based on my experience.

Instead of wasting your time and money, borrowing and imitating another's cultural practices without being sure if you have been called or not. I suggest that you begin by investigating your own spiritual heritage. For instance, if you come from a Christian tradition, try to understand how you or your family got into that tradition and why you are or are not in that tradition today. Ask yourself the hard questions like are you involved in the religion because you were raised in it and know nothing else? Are you not in this religion because you don't agree with their political or social views? In other words, you don't like what they said, etc. This will help you to clarify your purpose of embarking on the shamanic path. Far too often, many of us jump around from faith to faith because we don't know what we are looking for.

Once you have done that, then I would recommend that you research and learn about traditional practices of your ancestors. If you cannot do this then learn about the traditional practices of your distant ancestors. For instance, I being of African and Native American descent in the United States, was not able to learn about my ancestral path due to slavery. I was, however, able to learn about the Kamitic (ancient Egyptians) civilization, which was the greatest, longest standing and most influential African civilization that has existed. That many scholars have culturally tied to Sub-Saharan Africa. It was through my research, Kamit became a gateway that led me to discover that my family has a heavy Kongo influence. Through this, I discovered the shamanic path that I walk today, which is why I refer to it as Kamitic shamanism.

So, research your distant ancestral path because through it you will discover your Way and find if you have been called to be a shaman or a "keeper of the flame" sort-of-speak, which is someone meant to help their family, friends, and others they come in contact versus being a shaman who services an entire community. When you have honestly completely these two steps. If you have been called you will have a stronger conviction of your calling because you will find yourself being initiated (formally or informally).