Friday, November 24, 2006

The Red Stone

Someone from another site has asked me why I use the Red Stone for my logo? The short answer is that it symbolizes a value that is fundamental to my worldview.

I had taken a workshop at Elk Island National Park (near Edmonton, Alberta). A local Shamanic practitioner, (I don't think she calls herself a Shaman) holds an annual retreat to teach people how to get in touch with the natural world and the non-ordinary reality, (some people refer to this as the Spirit Realm).

The weekend was full of rituals and celebrations and we did half a dozen exercises that were geared to increasing awareness, trusting intuition, and opening-up to a broader definition of spirituality.

For me, the most significant activity was this:

We were asked to wander away from the camp and dowsing with a pendulum, find 7 stones - 4 to represent the directions and 3 for any intentions that came to mind while we were undertaking this task. We spent the next hour or two gathering stones, thinking about the presence of Spirit in all things and anticipating what would happen next, (the Red Stone was not one of the stones I found that day).

When we returned, we were asked to prepare the stones by washing them and decorating them with paint and then blessing them with rattles and incense, (I chose not to paint mine).

Next we were given a demonstration on how to do "Intuitive Readings" by listening for the symbolic messages that the stones would reveal to us. Then finally, after the demonstration we were asked to pair-off and start doing readings for one another. This step, of course, made many people uncomfortable or at least brought-up doubt, but I was moved to embrace it.

The Red Stone was the first stone I added to my original set of seven. I found this lovely red stone when out walking with my children, but had some strange feelings about arbitrarily adding it to my "Spirit Stones." So, I carried it around with me as I tried to discern what to do. I also had questions about how I would discover the meaning of the stone, because I had had an intention in mind when I found each of the others.

Within a week or so, I realized that I should include it with the others and I decided that because of the redness, it would stand for "passion." But when I started doing readings with it I discovered that it really represents something more like "motivation" and that it actually has 3 subtly different meanings, the most powerful of which is "the best outcome for all concerned."

I feel completely at ease doing these readings and I now understand that I have a gift. In the intervening two years have done more than a hundred readings and people are continually impressed with the information that is revealed to me by the stones and through intuition. The original set now consists of 12 stones, two bones, and a little metal wedge, (and I use another set of six stones for energy work).

Interesting to note is that one of my closest friends and a man who is quite clairvoyant recently said to me that "I sense there is a Shaman archetype emerging through you (me)." It's a weird thing for me to comprehend, but I'm trusting that by following this path, I am indeed moving towards
that intention - "the best outcome for all concerned."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Communicating with Light

I called a friend on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, just to catch-up on things. At the moment I called him, "Cole" needed a solution to a "situation" he was experiencing.

When I called he was having a heated discussion with a collaborator about the details of a project and she was getting a bit ruffled by his tone and his insistence that there was a need for closer examination of some of their core assumptions. I called at that precise moment, explained to Cole's colleague what his issues were and therefore deftly averted an all-out argument.

He was thinking about me. I called. How does that work?

I'm reading "Urban Shaman, A Handbook for Personal and Planetary Transformation Based on the Hawaiian Way of the Adventurer" (Fireside/Simon & Schuster - 1990), by Serge Kahili King Ph.D.. He describes how in many cultural traditions, what is experienced as daily life is actually believed to be a dream (consensus reality). They believe that if you don't like what what you're experiencing you need only change what you're dreaming.

For example, I can hit a wall with my hand and I can tell it's solid because I hear a "THUD" and anyone present might also hear the sound... but science shows us that the wall is really made-up of atoms which are vibrating energy particles with a lot of space in between. Radio waves and other energy patterns can pass right through walls so what makes me believe in their solid form?

What if I were to practice seeing a wall as a special pattern of energy? Could I learn to walk through walls like a spirit? Maybe, maybe not. But what if I practiced on less persistent illusions? What if I start seeing the glass as half-full instead of half empty? What if I choose to see opportunities where I used to see problems?

I spend a huge portion of my time on the computer, chatting, planning, e-mailing and researching... all the while pushing keys with my fingers to activate patterns of light energy on a plasma screen. I imagine electrons going out into the energy field and manifesting as patterns of light somewhere else.

Look at that. I think; the ideas jump into existence as sparks in my brain; those sparks shoot out through the nerves in my fingertips and into the world of the electronic communication; are perceived as patterns of light on a screen elsewhere and gathered-up into sparks in someone else's brain.

Did I actually "do" anything?

If everything is made-up of atoms (energy patterns), do we really need computers to "do" that?

Did I somehow know that Cole needed me to call when I did?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Reading Between the Lines

I do intuitive readings. I listen for intuition to help me read the symbolic language of my "Stones." The resulting "story" is like a snapshot of the energy and influences in one's life. These are special stones and each has a very specific and often subtle meaning, much like Tarot cards.

I use the words "special" and "symbolic language," but everything comes to us as symbolism. After all, we're stuck in our heads or in our perceptions. We have this consensus reality and we all pretend that we understand each other but we rely on mostly assumptions and this thing we call common sense. In reality, do we really agree what makes sense and how much is actually common? There's this anthropologist, Michael Harner who has described two realities: Ordinary Reality (OR) and Non-ordinary Reality (NOR) and it's worth considering how this assertion effects our view of the world we live in.

I know a woman who at age 50 still believes in faeries and gnomes (NOR). This seems uncommon, (almost weird), but it might be more common in our collective consciousness (OR) if we weren't so critical of people who stand-out. I mean, if we didn't say "sheesh!" every time someone said something we couldn't get our heads around, there might be more people who shared their experiences - you know? Like children do.

The fact that most of us operate on this single level we call "reality" proves nothing. What about priests, rabbis and psychic mediums who make it their "business" to understand spiritual matters? Who would deny that they actually believe in another "reality" and that we can participate in it on the spiritual level?

Are we just avoiding the signs that invite us to experience a mystical dimension? This is an important distinction and an important paradigm for thinking about what we think we know "for sure."

As for me, I'm relying on my intuition, which tells me there's more to know about consciousness than our consensus reality can explain.