Practice for Peace

Meditation for Peace.

Meditation has many benefits. It can affect our ability to deal with stress, our emotions, focus, clarity, and a number of health issues. It can be also be a great way to gain peace. Throughout this blog series I offer different meditation techniques to help us gain inner peace, but also to foster it out in the world. The meditations in this blog will include passive mindfulness methods and more active meditations using visualization and journey-work.

I start most of my meditation methods with a progressive relaxation of the body, a visualized countdown and another countdown that just takes us deeper, since that is how we do things in my tradition. That countdown is used in reverse to get back out of a meditative state. This method is used in self hypnosis, the Silva Method, the Cabot tradition of Witchcraft, and in my own Temple of Witchcraft tradition to get your mind into a focused, meditative state. Many mindfulness methods do not use this countdown method but prefer to focus on a particular thought and hold it. I have found the mindfulness techniques enhanced by the countdown.

Meditation does not just benefit our own peace but can effect the people all around us. Multiple tests have been done to show that Meditation in 1% of the population of an area can reduce crime rates. This is called the Maharishi effect. Transcendental meditation was done in large groups in this study to see if the crime rate in DC would go down. This group meditation was shown to have the effect of crime decreasing in the area. This brings us to postulate that we are all connected in a field of consciousness and through meditation we can bring peace to those connected to us in that field. The unfortunate part of this study is that they did the study after the effect of a large groups practicing together. Many of us don’t have a large group we can meet up with to meditate. If our theory of a connective field of consciousness is correct, a personal practice done by enough practitioners in different places might have the same effect on the peace of their area.

All the benefit of the meditation practice are from regular use of it. Daily meditation brings about peace within us and can effect the field of conscious around us. This is a hard one for most people to factor in to their schedule. Commit to as much as you can. Sometimes starting small can get us into the habit of doing it more often then an overly ambitious practice. The following meditation is one to encourage peace within you, someone in need and radiate it out into the neighborhood. Make it your practice for this week if you desire.

Sharing the Peace Meditation

Imagine waves of relaxation flowing from your head down to your toes. Focus your attention on each muscle group as you relax. Let any tension flow out of your toes into Mother Earth to be recycled. Relax your mind and imagine all your thoughts are clouds being blown away by a gentle breeze. When you have a clear blue sky in your imagination, relax your heart, letting any emotions or stresses flow away. Let the light within your heart and your spirit protect and guide you.

Now we are going to count down into a meditative state by counting down from 12 to 1 and imagining it on the screen of our mind. Bring up on the screen of your mind the number 12. You can draw it or just imagine it appearing like a movie screen. Now it fades and you write 11 on the screen of your mind. Draw 10 on the screen of your mind. Getting more relaxed with each number. Draw 9 on the screen. Draw 8 on your screen. Draw 7 on your screen. Draw 6 on your screen. Feeling a deepening relaxation. Draw 5 on your screen, draw 4, draw 3. Draw 2 on the screen, draw 1.  You are now in a magical mind set where you have complete control of all of your abilities and powers for the highest good, harming none.

Release your screen and count down from 13 to 1, just listening to the numbers and going deeper: 13, 12 ,11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. You are now in a meditative state where all you do is for the highest good,  harming none.

Imagine the space around you is filling with prismatic white light. This light seems to sparkle like an opal with all the colors of the rainbow. This light is filled with the radiance of all the colors and is a psychically-adaptive energy to fit all needs to bring about peace for the highest good. As this cloud of light begins to fill your surroundings, you connect with your breath. Take a deep breath, drinking in this energy and letting it fill you with peace. As you exhale, allow anything that needs release to be expelled with your breath. The expelled energy is so heavy it sinks into the earth to be recycled. Continue to take deep breaths, using this imagery of breathing in peace and allowing release. Until you feel you are filled with this radiant peaceful light. You may find that your spirit and even your body feel lighter after doing this part of the meditation.

The power of this peace is meant to be shared. Visualize a person you know who needs more peace or allow someone you know who needs peace to appear before you. In your mind ask if they will accept some healing peace to be sent to them. You should get a feeling or have them indicate yes or no. If no, allow another person to appear and repeat the process of asking. If yes, breathe in the peaceful prismatic white light and with your exhale visualize it being expelled from you to the person. Repeat the process until you feel like the person is “full” or they seem to not be absorbing any more light.  Say farewell with a blessing of “may you find peace.”

By this point you will probably feel full of energy still. To return us to a level full of peace but not overwhelming, as you breath in focus on the light you now contain. As you exhale, imagine any extra light you don’t need is released from your body like a misty, sparkling spray sending particles of the prismatic white light of peace out into your home. The next breath out into the street and area around your home. The last and third breath out into your town or neighborhood.

Begin to count yourself up to waking consciousness by counting first from 1 to 13: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13. Begin to wiggle your toes and hands as you begin to come fully back. Count yourself up again from 1 to 12 coming more back into your body with each number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. You are now fully awake and refreshed. Bring your hands up above your head and sweep them down the front of your body and out away from the body saying. “I give myself clearance and balance, I am in balance with myself, I am in balance with the universe, I banish all that does not serve.”

May your practice bring you peace.

Blessed be!

Blessing Cord

Stillness

The thirty-first bead on the blessing cord is the blessing of stillness. It is the blessing of earth in Kether. Stillness is a feeling of centeredness and active peace. From this “place” of stillness we can see how things in our lives are going to move. We can see the rhythm and cadence of all that is going on in our lives without being unbalanced by it.

I am not sure where I heard it or read it, but when Shiva lord of the dance was described he was said to be the stillness of the center and the whirling cosmic dance. He was both in motion and centered in stillness. This has always stuck with me. I know that ecstatic dance has sometimes put me in this place where I could move my body, yet my spirit was feeling centered stillness. Stillness is that clear, uncomplicated awareness of being. Some people feel this in passive meditation when the mind is clear. The dancing Shiva has it while his body spins and his center is calm like the eye of a storm.

The Wheel of Fortune, one of the major arcana tarot cards, depicts a wheel going round. One of the things I council with the Wheel of Fortune is that where you place your focus changes how the wheel affects you: If you are focused on the outside of the wheel, you experience a roller coaster of experience. On the high part of the wheel you are lucky, your life couldn’t be better, everything is coming up roses and you get so excited you just can’t stand it. At the bottom of the wheel, you are at your worst: life sucks, you have the whole world on your shoulders and you are at your most depressed. The wheel can make us feel like we are almost bipolar with highs of mania and lows of depression.

This is what we experience on the outside of the wheel. In the center of the wheel is the axle around which it rotates. It is the stillness in the center of the dance of this cycle. From the center you can feel the up and the down without it moving you out of your center. You can have the luck and adversity and neither shakes you out of your equilibrium. You are part of the dance, but you have the stillness and centering to deal with all the twists and turns of the wheel. All of the cycle pivots around you instead of the other way around. The center of the wheel is the stillness we need to maintain to learn all that the Wheel of Fortune, of life, has to teach us.

When we act from this place of centered stillness we are like Shiva dancing. We find the rhythm of the dance and are not unbalanced by its motion. From a place of stillness we can observe and predict the next steps. All our parts are aligned in stillness and we feel greater unity with all of creation.

Meditation of Stillness

Hold the thirty-first bead of the blessing cord, the bead of Stillness, the earth of Kether.

Count your self down into a meditative state.

Visualize the screen of your mind expanding into a sphere around you. You feel a sense of rising as your sphere begins to fill with radiant prismatic light. Resonate the God name of Kether: “eh-heh-e-yeh”

The radiant light flows through you, making your spirit body feel fluid as you become one with the light. This place is timeless and yet contains with in it all times. Around you images flash of your past, but you feel a disconnection from these experiences. You are a silent observer on the outside of your time-stream. Focus your mind and intention to see a time where you felt the stillness.

See the time you felt stillness before you. You are an outside observer of yourself. Observe what you are doing. Look at your posture and even observe the energies that emanate from you as you feel stillness. When you feel satisfied that you have observed enough from the outside, merge with this past self. Feel what they feel. See what they see. What are you thinking about? What are you feeling? Where in your body do you feel your stillness the most? How are you dealing with the current situation? Draw your spirit self into the place of stillness within this past self. Observe how it feels to be completely one with this stillness. Feel how everything around it flows and dances while it remains the pivot point of it all. Now that you have found this stillness, know that you can return to it at any time.

Project yourself back out to be an outside observer again. Move back into the white radiant light of the place of timelessness that is all times. Set your intention to see a time in your past, where you had lost this stillness and the dance was swinging you out of control. See this time before you. Again you are an outside observer. Watch your past self loose their stillness. Observe what your past self is doing and going through. Feel and observe the energies that emanate from you. What are your posture and expression like? When you feel ready, project yourself inside your past self. Observe and experience what loosing stillness feels like. Why is this happening? You are just an observer, so you can disconnect from these feelings and reconnect to your intuition. What is it saying to your past self? What is the lesson of this time?

Now feel your past self’s body. Even in this time of unbalance can you find the stillness? Where is it now? Connect deeply to the stillness and allow it to spread from this place where you found it. Change the scene of you loosing stillness until your past body and your present “body” are in the stillness once more. Feel things calm as you regain your equilibrium. See and observe how the scene changes when you are in alignment with your stillness. Move again outside your past self, leaving behind the sense of stillness. Observe how everything you experienced from the outside has changed. The energies flowing off you and your posture have changed. You have not changed the past, only the way your present self interacts with it.

Step back into the white radiant light that is timelessness and all times. Know that you can find your stillness in any situation by taking a deep breath and focusing your mind to where your stillness lives within your body. The images of your past selves fade and the light grows more intense. Then it begins to fade and you feel a slight decent as your screen of your mind returns to its natural color. The screen recedes to its normal size.

Count yourself up into waking consciousness.

Give yourself clearance and balance and ground, as needed.

Contemplation

When do you most feel the stillness? What throws you out of your stillness? How do you regain stillness after you have been thrown out of it?

Blessing Cord

Surrender

The twenty-third bead in the blessing cord is the blessing of surrender. This is the blessing of water in Binah. When we talk about surrender it always makes me think of cowboys raising a white flag of truce made out of someone’s nickers tied to a stick. This surrender is not the one we are talking about, however. When I say “surrender,” it refers to surrender to the Great Spirit’s direction and flow.

In the previous blessing of flow, we recognized where the flow was taking us and went with it or against it. We decided to go one way or another. In surrender, we open up to the Great Spirit’s flow and surrender to it. Surrender is the act of opening up and letting the flow of spirit move through us and guide us. We surrender control and expectation. We accept the divine’s energy and blessings, trusting them to lead us where we need to be.

When we hold to tightly to what we want to be or to an idea, we can strangle the energy for its growth. The energy of spirit can be much like water through a hose: If you hold the hose too tightly or pinch it off, the water can’t flow. We have to surrender our tight hold to let the water flow, as it needs to.

In the Wheel of Time series of novels by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson there are two ways to connect to the One Power that is the source of the magic in their fantasy world: One for the male side of this force, and one for the female side. The male side enters a visionary void where there is nothing but a flame in the center, representing the male side of the One Power. The void brings detachment, but also awareness. They reach out a grab the flame in the center and the more forcefully they grab it, the more energy they can fill themselves with. The detached awareness they gain from the void is their surrender. They let go of all attachment and feeling to grab their source. The feminine way to get energy from this source is to visualize they are a flower with their source above them. Their flower relaxes and opens up to the source, drawing in that energy and letting it flow through them. Their relaxation and openness to this source of power is their surrender to this energy. This fantasy series gives two great, and different, examples of how to surrender to gain energy and wisdom. I have personally used both in meditation and found them both to be interesting exercises. They inspired my meditation of surrender.

Meditation of Surender

Hold the twenty-third bead of the blessing cord, the bead of the water of Binah, the bead of Surrender.

Count yourself down into a meditative state.

Allow the screen of your mind to expand to create a sphere around you. Feel a rising sensation as the sphere begins to lose all illumination, until you are surrounded by a black endless void. Resonate the god name of Binah: Yod Heh Vauv Heh El-oh-heem.

Allow yourself to relax deeper as you float in the inky void. You are weightless here, as if you were in the depths of space. Surrender any tension or thoughts to the void. Allow any emotions to dissipate into the void. Release your expectations and find the peace of detachment that comes from the void.

A brilliant star of light bursts into life within the void. This star is a representation of the Great Spirit. You can feel it calling to you. As its light hits your crown, a beautiful flower blooms within your head. Surender all as you open up to the Great Spirit. Your mind clears even more as you open, as you connect to this infinite light.

As this bloom begins to open, another blossom opens in the center of your chest at your heart area. It opens and drinks in the light of spirit. You may feel a sensation of bliss that comes from surrendering to spirit. Your heart grows lighter the more it opens.

A bloom opens at your pelvic bowl’s root. Right where your body meets a chair. As this flower opens, you surrender any tension as a wave of healing strength flows from spirit into this flower. as you surrender, the light flows into this bloom and from this bloom the light spreads to your whole body. Relax and surrender to the energy of the Great Spirit.

At this point, open to any messages spirit might have for you. Surrender and accept what comes, in voice, vision, or knowledge. When you feel like you are ready, send a breath of gratitude up toward the Great Spirit.

The void and star begin to fade as you feel a gentle descent. Know that this place is always there when you need it. Your screen returns to its normal shape and size.

Count yourself back up to waking consciousness.

Give yourself clearance and balance. Ground if necessary. Write down your experience.

Contemplation

What do you need in order to surrender and be open to the plans of the Great Spirit? What are you holding too tightly? Now that you know what the connection to spirit feels like, review some of your choices: Do they make you feel alive and filled with the divine or do they feel diminishing and constraining?

Blessing Cord

Incarnate Spirit

The twentieth bead in the blessing cord is the blessing of incarnate spirit. This is the fire of Malkuth. The earthy sphere of Malkuth could not move and live without the spirit which animates it. Every flower, every animal, every human being is a part of the Great Spirit that has inhabited a body to have an earthly experience. Each one of us is an incarnate spirit that has come into this world for a reason. Some of us have done this many times, if you believe in reincarnation. We emerged from the well of souls and returned to the earthly plane to learn, to grow, to experience and, at the end of our lives, return to that well to share our experience with the Great Spirit.

If you are reading this blog, you have chosen to become an incarnate spirit for this time. This gives you different options on how you can affect the world than, say, a spirit guide.

I was asked by one of my students recently why spirit guides would want to work with us. Spirit guides want to work with us because we can affect this world. We have more power in the world than they can easily manifest. We can tap into the very soul and nature of this world, which spirits have a lesser ability to do. Just as spirit guides can channel energies form spiritual realms to us, we can in turn channel physical plane energies to them to use for their benefit. We are spirits just like them, with our own access to wisdom of bodily experience.

A powerful technique is to work in concert with these spiritual guides to mix spiritual energies with the material energies of nature. When we run energies with a spirit guide, we can build up power to make changes in our lives.

Meditation of Incarnate Spirit

Hold the Twentieth bead on the blessing cord. The blessing of incarnate spirit, the bead of fire in Malkuth.

Count yourself down in to a meditative state.

Allow the screen of your mind to expand around you, forming a sphere. Feel the slight shift as a garden begins to grow up around you in the sphere of your mind. Resonate the god name of Malkuth: Ah-do-nai Ha-ah-retz

Explore the garden of Malkuth around you. Take off your spiritual footwear (if any) and allow your feet to connect to the earth. As they touch the earth, you can feel the energies of the manifest around you. Allow the energy centers in your feet to open gently and begin to cycle this energy of the manifest world. The earth’s energy begins to flow up your legs. Into your pelvic bowl. Up into your belly. Rising into your chest. Overflowing into your arms and up into your head. Filling your body with this manifest energy.

Put out the mental call to your spirit guides. See them come into the garden. Ask one of them to exchange energy with you to show you the reciprocal nature of the energies of spirit and the energies of the manifest. Choose a guide you trust and have worked with before. As your guide comes before you one of their hands (if they have them) begins to form a ball of energy around it made of the highest spiritual vibrations. This is the energy the spirits use to make changes on the spiritual levels.

Like them, you raise your hand and a pulsing ball of manifest energy comes into being around your hand. Your guide reaches out with their other hand, then the one with the energy to touch your hand with the energy. You reach out with your other hand and touch their hand with the energy. Once you have both connected, the energy begins to flow in a circuit between you and your connected hands. You feel the pure energy of the spirit world flowing into you and the material energy flowing out of you into your guide and then back around. The energies begin to blend. Feel the power you are sharing with your guide and your guide is sharing with you. The longer you hold it, the more intense it feels.

When you and your guide feel like you have built up enough energy let your hands release and send the energy out like a shower above you both. This technique can be used to raise energy to be sent out for a desired change. For your first time, just feel the release, without any focused intention.

Thank your guide for their aid. They may also thank you for the experience.

Return to where you entered the garden. Become aware of the garden around you in your sphere. Allow it to fade as you feel a slight shift. Your screen of your mind returns to its normal size.

Count yourself up into waking consciousness.

Give yourself clearance and balance and ground.

Contemplation

Why did you incarnate? Why do you think spirit guides want to work with us? What advantages do you offer to the spirits and what advantages do they offer you in partnership?

Blessing Cord

Breath

The tenth bead on the blessing cord is breath. This is the manifestation of air in Malkuth. Malkuth is the physical world, where the inspiration that started out in Kether comes into manifestation. Our breath is a powerful blessing from the gods. Not only does it allow us to survive it can be used to regulate our emotions, change our consciousness, and gather energies for change.

There are many different breathing techniques to master, but in this meditation I have chosen one of my favorites, which is Pranic pore breathing. Prana is a Sanskrit term from India which means the energy that is in all things. It is associated with the breath and the power of air. Pranayama is the practice of different breathing exercises that raise the Prana in your system.

The exercise that follows for this bead in the blessing cord can be used in multiple ways. Just on its own with no intention it can fill you with the vital energy of prana. It can also be focused by intention to gather a frequency of prana that matches your intention. So you can breathe in the prana of love, peace, joy, harmony, or some other ideal. You can also use it to breathe in energies of cabala spheres, planets or elements by using their corresponding colors or visualizations of their energies. When I set an intention for it I like to say something to evoke that energy around me so that I can breath it in. An example would be:

“By the infinite divine manifestations of the two who move as one. I surround myself in the energies of (planet, intention, element etc). May they fill this space so I might breathe them in.”

You could also tailor this meditation to your intention using incense corresponding to your goal. I like to do this exercise outside because I feel like the Prana is clearer and more energized by nature. It will work inside too, but it really rocks outside!

Pore breathing concentrates on your skin and pores to breathe in the energy that is all around you. This meditation can be enhanced by wearing light clothing or going sky clad but works perfectly great clothed. I have done this one in the middle of a snow storm in January in northern New England with all my winter layers on and it worked perfectly, so don’t get too worried about what clothes to wear (or not wear).

One of the dangers of this exercise is that you can overload your body with prana. Using the grounding and centering techniques at the beginning of this blog will help make sure you don’t blow your circuits. If you are working with one of the elements or one of the planetary energies it is recommended that you don’t work with one energy too much because you can unbalance your self and your relationship to the other planets and elements. This exercise can also be used to gather energy to fulfill a spell or creative visualization. To do this at the end of the meditation, imagine the energy you have gathered being sent from your hands, third eye or heart too your visualization of your end goal until it glows with the energy of the prana you sent.

Meditation of Breath

Hold the Tenth bead on the blessing cord. The blessing of breath, the bead of air in Malkuth.

Count yourself down in to a meditative state.

Allow the screen of your mind to expand out around you forming a sphere. Feel the slight shift as a garden begins to grow up around you on the sphere of your mind. Resonate the god name of Malcuth: Ah-do-nai Ha-ah-retz

Bring your focus to your skin. Imagine the pores of your skin are becoming more open and porous. You may feel a slight tingle all over your skin as it begins to open a bit more.

You can evoke the energy or intention you are working on now with this short evocation while visualizing the energy filling the room.

“By the infinite divine manifestations of the two who move as one. I surround myself in the energies of Vitalizing Prana (or you can enter intention here). May they fill this space so I might breathe them in. So Mote it be”

Begin to breathe in the energy around you from your newly opened pores. Imagine the energy filling you as you breathe in. Hold your breath for the count of three to let your body absorb it. As you release your breath you are breathing out the opposite of the energy you just breathed in. As it leaves your body, it is dissolved and flows away from you. Breathe in again of the energy of your goal and repeat the process until you feel “full” of the energy of your goal.

You can send this energy out toward a goal or just absorb it into your body.

When you are done, focus on grounding any excess energy into the earth to be recycled. When you feel more grounded. Imagine that your pores are returning to a normal amount of openness.

Become aware of the garden around you in your sphere. Allow it to fade as you feel a slight shift. Your screen of your mind returns to its normal size.

Count yourself up into waking consciousness.

Give yourself clearance and balance and ground some more if necessary.

Contemplation

In all types of situation bring attention to your breath. Is it relaxed? Is it hectic? Is it appropriate for the situation you are in? Does changing the breath change your experience of this situation?

shamanic temple

Seasonal Journeying

Journeying to meet with the spirits of a sacred time or season makes us more attuned to the energies of time. My journeying was a little late in the cycle of classes and I went to work on the journey not in spring, but summer. I tried doing a combined journey to the spirits of midsummer and then to the spirit of summer. In retrospect, I feel like having more then one intention for the meditation through me off a bit.

The part to journey to the spirits of midsummer brought me to the eternal fire circle. That is my way of saying the eternal sabbat or where one might see the Hidden Company. In many of my sabbat meditations it seems like the journey really isn’t about me and is more about the energy of the sacred time. The lesson of the journey is usually so universal it seems beyond my “little pond”.  This one echoed one of my journeys in the past, where it starts as the bonfire and expands to be the solar system and then the galaxy,  all circulating around a central focus. The lesson for me is “as above, so below”. We find so much comfort in dancing around the central fire because it attunes us to the great cosmic dance around its central point. The turning of the wheel.

The summer season part of my journey took me to the beach. There on the surf with the gulls calling in the background, I began to feel a presence all around me. The heat became too strong and the sand burned my feet. It is hard to explain, but the whole environment of this summer beach scene began to speak with me. I would have to say it was telepathic, but more from every direction instead of having one point of origin. The spirit of summer seemed to be this place and I was inside it.

The spirit of summer showed me images of my past summers. Showing me how at peace I was with the sumer season when I was younger. How I would go out on bike rides, go to the beach, go camping, or just play outside. The images as I got older seemed more out of balance with summer. The boys joke that I am “not a hot house flower” meaning I wilt and get cranky when I have had too much heat.

Summer advised me to find a way to become at peace with the energies of the season. Others seem to love summer where I think of it more as a bother: It is hot and my day job pays less, making any fun we have a financial trial. The spirit didn’t really give me a clue on how to make peace with summer. Perhaps my future journeys will enlighten me further.

shamanic temple

Spirits of place

I grew up in Vermont. It has always been “home” to me. I have lived in Hartford, Connecticut and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Each place has its own unique energy and spirit. I can’t say that I meditated on the spirit of place for both of those cities but being intuitive I did have to read there energy. Hartford has a very busy energy  and  has the taste of fire but not as much as say New york city. Minneapolis is all water and air energy. Perhaps because of the amount of lakes and the windy planes around it. I thought since the class is at chapter about the middle world I would do a journey to meet the spirits of my home now in New Hampshire and my home from my childhood Vermont.

I did this meditation when I up visiting my mom to celebrate the holiday. I was surprised when I opened up my crochet bag that I had my witch bag with me and my cord since I didn’t remember packing them.  So I incorporated them to get me into the right frame of mind to go journeying. Placing my cord over my shoulders like a stole and opening up my witch bag and creating a mini altar with the objects found within.

I went to the world tree in my meditation and asked to meet the spirit of Vermont. I found a path to a field that I had cross country skied through that morning. There in the middle of the field full of snow was a Green woman in a white dress that seemed to change when I looked at her. From native american dress to victorian wool to greek toga  and so on. All of the clothes were white. Perhaps to show that Vermont was cloaked in snow? She greeted me and we sat at a table that was placed in the middle of the field. She spoke with me about my family. About the qualities that we all had grown up with because of living in Vermont. We spoke of other family matters.

At the time I was snowed in with my mother in Vermont and I asked if there was someway that she could effect the weather so I could go home the next day. She was happy to arrange it for me. We then said our farewells and I thanked her. She told me that even though I lived in New Hampshire I could return to the field to talk to her again.

My meditation to talk to New Hampshires spirit was in january after I got home. I did the same process of going to the world tree but this time my owl showed up and I followed her north into a snowy path. As I slogged through the snow I became aware that there was a presence all around me. I looked up to see that theMountain cliff in front of me started to shape a face and speak. The face seemed male and it’s energy spoke to me of the very male projective powers.

We spoke of how the spirit of NH was affected by the white mountains. We spoke of the strong and Granite like people of NH, how they seemed to project out energy more to go get things they wanted where as Vermont didn’t seemed more into being. We spoke of an old friend from college and how the spirit of place had affected her own personality. I could feel her presence in the aura of Nh.  He encouraged me to do more elemental journey work on my own.

Looking back on the two journeys I can’t say that I am surprised that either state showed up in the way that it did. Perhaps the journey was effected by my own preconceptions about the energies of these states. It is not lost on me that NH appeared to me as “ the old man in the mountain” or that Vermont took on the look of Ceres goddess of agriculture. Both of which are state symbols. The man on the mountain is gone now but it’s spirit seems to live on. The Vermont state house has Ceres on top of it.

Whether my own preconceptions tainted the journey or my journey showed how my preconceptions were right I guess I will never know. I believe though that the spirits take the form that you can relate to them in.

All in all an interesting experiment. Oh and by the way the weather did clear up for me for my drive home.

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A walk to find my Tree.

This morning I decided to go to the park to perform the exercise finding your world tree. The Shamans world view is vertical instead of horizontal. They believe there are three (or more) worlds: The upper world, middle world(where we live) and the underworld. The axis that moves through these three worlds is the world tree. Some Shamans have used other images to represent this axis like a mountain, fairy mound, or some modern city shamans use a skyscraper.  The point of this exercise is to form a bond with a physical tree that would represent your world tree and be a sacred spot to be the “center of the world”.

I brought with me some cider to offer to the fey of the park and to my new tree friend. As I walked into the park I crossed my fingers to activate my trigger of instant alpha state and even counted myself down to alpha. In this altered state of consciousness I followed my instinct and intuition on where to walk. On the path down to the river bank I stopped to offer some cider to the spirits of the park and the fey there in to ask them to guide me to my world tree. I looked up and down the path and all around to make sure no one was watching and then I said a prayer to the spirits and poured out my offering at the base of the tree. Immediately after I finished my offering I felt the feeling that I was not alone and that some one was watching me. The feeling of fear and shame flooded my senses, thoughts about how I would explain my actions to a passer by. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark silhouette of a man standing to my left on the path watching me. Thinking it was a person I turned putting my cider bottle in my pocket and choosing a path away from the person to avoid any questions. Once down the path I looked back to find no one there.

I was still filled with a unsettled feeling of fear. My mind shot back in time to a sleep over  with my friends and circle mates in my teen years. That night I first experienced my shadow psychically. Thank the gods my friends were used to an amount of psychic experiences  as I faced a spirit only I could see. My friends could only feel me all around them. Where I was looking at what I called the dark man. The same fear flowed through me, the feeling of being watched  and the fight for control was all there as it was in the park in the current day.

To combat the feeling of fear I used the Emotional body Training exercise and immediately it subsided. My mind felt more clear and I could marvel at something I haven’t experienced in years. The night of the sleep over brought on many more contacts with my shadow until we were more integrated and it didn’t appear to me in the physical only in meditation. Why now would it appear again? My only answer is the focus of the year long quest of shamanic witchcraft is to meet with the shadow and partner with it. My shadow seems to hear my intent loud and clear.

I wandered the park some more picking up some white pine needles for a couple of smudging bundles. I wandered the park and ended up where I have done rituals in the past. I could feel the tree calling me. The tree was white pine. I slipped deeper into meditation and conversed with the tree. I offered the rest of the cider. The tree told me of its powers to purify and protect.  It also told me of how its roots grow out more the other trees, and how its Branches spreads out at the top to gather the suns light. It told me of its strong trunk that gets longer and longer. It also reminded me that it is so easy to topple over if you don’t have strong and deep roots.

I took pictures of my tree, both to connect with it from far away and just incase I got turned about in the park and needed help finding it. We said our farewells and I counted myself up to return to normal consciousness. I have a feeling this will be an interesting year.