Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prairie Flower - The Crocus

The Crocus is the official flower of Manitoba. They symbolize beauty and endurance.
Some while back I wrote a little poem that had these elements in it and I came across it today in some files.
I feel like putting it up on the blog because this is also grad season; a lot of students starting a new chapter in their lives and for a lot of teachers, some much earned rest before going back to the grind.
When I wrote this, I thought of the teachers I know that love what they do.
This is for them:

The Crocus

She stands and looks at the row of desks
Like the furrows on her father’s farm
That she left nearly 40 years ago
Moved to Brandon
Got her teaching degree
And for the last 4 decades
She’s planted in these furrows
Some years it was a hard crop
The year Randy Benson
The terror of the middle school
Landed in her back row
She understood though
That he sometimes slept because he worked nights
He reminded her of her brother Frank
All feet and calloused hands
She knew better than to read aloud to the whole class the poetry
That came in like a late harvest in November
She had a way with the roughhousers
“If it’s under my classroom door when I get here on Monday, I’ll grade it as Friday”
No one ever thought Randy would be one of the ones to go on to brighter things.
Yet there he was off to Winnipeg and then Toronto.
She’d rarely taken a day off sick
Farmer’s daughter that she was
Crops and cows don’t know the word “burnout”
There had been the years she’d thought of giving up
Usually round about February
But always by the end of spring she’d renew her contract.
The new principle just might stick,
Fresh ideas but a good respect for “if it aint broke don’t fix it”.
She moves through the classroom now straightening desks
Preparing her furrows for another year.
Mr. Hoglund the caretaker will  be repainting this summer.
There’s rumors about computers but the board has to approve the budget.
She notices on her desk what she had not seen before
A little clay pot and in it
Gently taken from the prairie earth and living still
A treasure for her garden
A crocus
The little flower that comes every year
Small and sturdy
Roots running  into the prairie earth
All the sweeter having come through winter
Delicate and yet enduring
Back for another year

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Three Of Wands

Once again, time has gone by since my last post. Lots of activity around community events and such. Things that have taken me away from blogging, but good just the same to get out of my usual routines and participate in areas where I can be useful in other ways. I am following the suggestion of a friend who read my post on the three of pentacles and asked about my take on the three of wands. In some ways, my busy-ness has been a kind of three of wands experience.

I generally approach interpretation in a reading on not just the card itself, but what it is saying in relation to the other cards and also what it fits with in what I am receiving intuitively. Sometimes I find that the overall reading is summed up in a particular card and will go into that more in-depth. I always find a richness in Pamela Coleman Smith's illustrative skill (she was the artist who created the Rider Deck, under the guidance of Arthur Edward Waite).

When we look at the details of the card somethings become quickly apparent. The figure wears a circlet and a tartan. This lets us see that he is a ruler of a particular domain. He has climbed to a vantage point, with the aid of the staves, to look out beyond his known world at a vast sea, which has three ships sailing upon it.

In the Rider Imagery, the "great sea" is often representative of life beyond our comfort zone. The realm of the future, full of risk and potential. Lets remember that in the medieval period that is used in illustration, going to sea was a great life risk. Entire fortunes could be made or lost on just a single voyage. So for our little clan chieftain this is an area of great concern. It means going beyond the idea of  being a big fish in a little pond. risking commerce and trade with the wider world. No matter how big we think we've become, there's always an experience that's greater. A truly great person is someone who is willing to acknowledge what is greater than themselves and learn from it.

So my usual take on the three is to see it as an opportunity, a doorway into that experience. If what we have attained thus far has given us useful tools we will be able to negotiate through the challenges. It's a reminder too that success is an ongoing process, we don't stay fit on yesterday's exercise. Our growth involves ongoing challenge. Sometimes too we have to let go and let a process work itself through, once we have begun to venture forward it is very hard to just go back to our old ideas of limitations.

A big part of all of the threes is interaction and the emergence of patterns, putting our concepts into action and relating our internal consciousness to the outside world. In the Celtic cross spread the third position is often seen as a start or the first emergence of an idea into actuality, often the basis of a question.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paranormal / Energetic Disturbances

*Please note resources specializing beyond what I presently offer professionally in this area are mentioned at the bottom of this article. I will add to this as I become familiar with, or have further contact with other resources. I base these mentions on good feedback from others I trust, or my own firsthand connection with them. There are many approaches and beliefs that practitioners work with and I hope those in need find what works for them. I value feedback on these or other local resources and hope this is helpful. - Trev

Occasionally I am contacted by people who are having energetic disturbances in their homes (and lives). It seems a natural assumption that as I am a reader of energy I might be able to help. Although I am not what you could classify as a clairvoyant or medium (I'm more of an extra large), I have some sensitivity to these things and an objectivity to other possible causes that are more often the case. I only recommend treating the possibility of something being "paranormal" once all other causes of disturbance are ruled out. Sometimes I am able to be helpful in identifying these causes that are more a result of our own issues. Where these things might be more the result of something beyond our own explanation I encourage people to carefully seek out those who might specialize in that field (more on that later). Even then I would suggest that inner work is paramount to re-establishing our own well being. What my work is more tied into is the stuff we can change within ourselves. Often when we take care of that the rest falls into place. If you don't want to explore the possibility of inner work as a solution  and would rather just automatically blame an external "entity", or "bad luck", I'm not the reader for you.

I often come across some things in these areas of disturbance that can prove helpful and I will share a little of that here. I should mention that there are many different types of disturbance or activity that people can be experiencing. What people often assume to be a ghost or "entity" can, in many instances, be a projection of their own energies or trace energies left behind from other people. This is a lot like when you get squirrels in your attic and it can get dramatic and harder to clear if it is left uncared for or made worse if it starts playing off other conflicts in the environment. In the instances of something elemental or atmospheric being the cause, this often draws off these issues. The more we don't take responsibility for ourselves in these situations and let fear play out, the more the situation can escalate.

In many of theses instances, people are dealing with issues that are repressed BEFORE the odd activity starts. There are sometimes relationship issues, trauma, grief or conflicts around beliefs that contribute to the disturbance. Sometimes treating these things is all it takes to clear up the problem, a lot like if you leave crackers laying around you get mice, clean up the crumbs and the pests move on. Having your own healthy energy is like having a cat that scares off the mice. If you clean up the unresolved conflicts the energy patterns often clear themselves.

Sometimes what I call  a "stuck" energy pattern is playing off our own stuck stuff and it starts going back and forth. For some who are religious, by all means I'd say seek help from your particular faith path.  If however you aren't of a particular faith or have conflicts about it, then using these resources could just create more tension. A person who has had negative experiences in a particular faith path, reading aloud scripture or dogma they disagree with or feel intimidated by is sometimes only going to get further conflicted. Frankly you'd be better reading Winnie The Pooh (again just my experience).

If you have others in the home that seem to be dramatic about the problem, they may be (in all fairness unconsciously) holding on to whats going on. I have encountered a number of situations where the person this is centering on is, in a way, actually holding others hostage by being a victim to the situation. I'm certainly NOT saying this is always the case, but I've come across this as an explanation many times over the years.

If children are involved in the environment, it is highly important to not play into drama around them, likewise with people who are otherwise impressionable. The more people react to this, the more it feeds the negative pattern of things. For some emphasizing that we all have our own guardian energy and  being conscious of that creates a positive current. Sometimes this can be a great turning point for a person to get on track with positive things. If you watch a lot of scary movies or read murder mysteries and the like all the time you might want to refocus your attention. Are there things in the home that are positive and inspiring? Trying to treat energetic disturbance when anyone in the home is hanging on to unhealthy distraction (or addiction) or is dealing with any form of imbalance is only going to treat the surface of things (like spraying air freshener on a backed up sewer).

Again, I am not discounting what others experience as their truth about manifestations of energy. There are a lot of varying experiences out there. This is the realm of the living though and we DO have the right to our space. You wouldn't let a stranger walk into your home and throw things around or cause a fuss. Just because something seems to manifest in spirit doesn't give it the right to disrupt your life.

Unfortunately there are some who react to these situations with an immediate response that has a vested interest in finding something where there's nothing or very little. Ever notice that you never see the "Rescue Mediums" say "I don't think there's anything here". I will say that I LIKE that show, I'm not knocking it, in all fairness maybe they don't bother making a TV show out of those instances. But I also find "Paranormal State" and a lot of other TV shows frustrating in that they have people on them that seem to mean well, but my impression is they often make way more of things than they need to. Adding scary music and "dramatization" doesn't help and (in my opinion) only discredits those who DO energetic clearing and work conscientiously.

If you DO feel the need to call in a resource, as with any professional service, check around. Just as there are mechanics you'd take your car to when you hear a noise, there are some who have a great reputation for taking care of a small problem and not overcharging, (this is generally what I hear of in terms of good resources here in Winnipeg). There are others that will give you a whopping bill for stuff that really wasn't needed ( see the post on avoiding scams: "Curses, Foiled Again!"). Also I should mention that just because a person doesn't charge doesn't necessarily make them genuine. They could (again I'm trying to be fair) with good intention, be playing into their own need for things to be there that aren't or in some instances, their own aggrandizement. Be cautious. Straighten out as much as you can on a practical level. You just might find you're not as haunted as you think.

All this being said, I do respect that there are good resources out there - Again, Winnipeg seems to have quite a few that I have heard good things about, but not having had direct contact with some of them I cannot mention them here. These are people that I respect in that they seem to have helped a lot of people and deserve the good reputation they have. I have only offered here my experience on my own perceptional level.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Conferring on the Three Of Pentacles

I was talking with my friend Charley (Foxtower Photography - check him out on the left if you haven't already) a while ago about experiences around the Three of Pentacles. This is interesting as the Three of Pentacles itself is about sharing experience!

As I have mentioned before, I often study the relationship of numbers as well as elements. I look at what the threes all have in common. I also look at what "threeness" means to me (this is covered very nicely as a concept in Gail Fairfield's book "Choice Centered Tarot", it's in the "books on Tarot" link, under "Useful Resources" on the left of this page).

Threes overall to me are the first evidence of a pattern. I refer often to folk tales and the stories we hear as children, as these are an indicator of our patterns of awareness that are passed along. Often in a story we are given three examples, three lessons or, as in baseball, three strikes and your out! Threes are where we see connections and associations. These patterns continue and are arrived at again in the sixes ( a second cycle of three) and visited again in a very powerful, often imprinting way in the nines (the third three cycle).

The three of Pentacles is fascinating in how a concept is illustrated in more than one way. I often associate Pentacles with the inner business of ownership and accountability. The most mundane aspect is our material possessions and resources, but inwardly it is what has worth to us, what we truly "own".

This card shows three figures, a monk, an artisan and a merchant (his robe is an indication of his class). Each has his own sense of ownership in the work going on. For the Merchant, it may be his financial contribution, the limits of what he can spend or the recognition he may want in contributing. For the monk the building represents a physical manifestation of his faith and also the place he would be working in on a day to day basis. The artisan, is concerned with his own take on the process, perhaps the resources he has to work with.

In order for the work to go on, each of these elements has to have a point of agreeing. None can tell the other how to do his job exactly but they can have a common ground. This may be challenging, what looks good on paper (the blue print they are holding) may be more than they thought in the actual carrying out of the task, but if they can remain centred they each will grow from the experience and that's part of the inner building that goes on.

All of this is illustrated again in the structure itself. Notice the three concentric rings that have the pentacles themselves in them. They are within what looks like a delicate arch, but is in fact holding up a great deal of weight. they don't intrude on one another, if they did the structure would collapse, but they do have a tiny ring in the centre of them. This is the unifying concept that holds it all together.

In a reading this card can be an indicator of interactive work, sometimes a job that opens up new experience, or a ground floor opportunity that allows someone to share in an entirely new way. We can't get too "uppity" in our experience, an artisan can't tell a monk how to do his job. There has to be mutual respect of differing ideals but common principles. I always like to remember that one of the first words they teach kids in school or on Sesame Street is CO-OPERATE!

I've noticed some of my greatest growth experiences aren't necessarily where Ive been with people who entirely agree with my ideas or my take on things, but rather in a spirit of fellowship, different perspectives come together around a concept. There is a Fraternal or brotherly feeling to this card, (this is interesting as there is a Sororal or sisterly energy to the Three of Cups, which I will talk about anon). I often find this energy around collaborations, say a group getting together to work on a community concept. Someone has a vision, someone has a practical outlook and someone has some experience with the carrying out of things. Maybe it's like some charitable stuff I've been involved in where someone wants to do some work to serve a need, someone has connections and someone just wants to write off a surplus they have. If these things can come together, not necessarily in complete agreement but in a tenuous vision, then we have something to work with.

This is a lot like how some systems of government have to work. Here in Canada we have a parliamentary system where different parties have to have a majority on an issue in order to get things done, or work issue by issue to work out agreements.

Maybe it's unintentionally timely that I am posting this on the eve of Britain's elections where their  parties are in a precarious balance. What we call in Canada a "minority government",  they call a "hung parliament" as the winning party does not have Carte Blanche to do what it pleases, but rather must work out and negotiate on an issue by issue basis.

Let's hope that they, like the rings on the card I am talking about, can remember how much rests on their agreement.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Catching up with this...

It's been a busy month. April flew by and with one thing and another I've been remiss in posting. Not a single thing since March! Probably the latest news is that CBC Information radio did a series on "Urban Myths -psychic neighborhoods" and profiled a number of people in the city and I was honored to have been contacted. There was a lot of discussion about various forms of reading and some things about paranormal activity that are outside my realm of work. I can only comment on my own experience and am not familiar with some of the other things that were under discussion.

For my own part it went well, I found the reporter open and comfortable to talk to. I was asked at one point about people being skeptical and I think that goes with the job. I have to be open to skepticism, I also dont encourage blind faith. I think it's always best to approach reading as "food for thought" and as something that works in compliment to a person's own intuitive awareness. I'm glad that came across.

In other areas, I was pretty busy helping with some community things. Did some backstage work for some events that friends were involved in. I serve on the board for a community group and volunteer around a social club, occasionally doing readings for charity that I mention here when they are coming up. Between all that and an early start on my garden (Lola helped of course) I've been fairly busy, but I hope to catch up on some tarot  and inspirational posts soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Smidgens Of Serenity

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference". -Reinhold Niebuhr

Most people don't know who wrote the serenity prayer, or think it is entire in the form above (it's not, theres more to it which you can find in the link above ) and consider it non denominational (when you see the entire form you see it's not). Some think it is a magic mantra to be riding above it all, then think they've failed somehow or that it doesn't work. It's universal popularity though points to a great value in it.

I love this prayer, I have been saying it most of my life but I have come to understand it in my own way. I like to read the fine print before I sign a contract and I'm careful what I ask the universe for, cuz it just might be listening.I am by no means an authority on prayer. This is just my own take, please take it constructively, if you care to at all.

If you've been saying the serenity prayer and are feeling you just arent getting it because you aren't serene, courageous or wise, stop and read the thing again.I don't know anyone who can entirely claim to be serene, courageous or wise.When I say the serenity prayer, the idea is that I am asking for and may be granted (granted, as in LOANED) just enough serenity (maybe a smidgen) to have the sense to accept what isn't in my power to change (like the weather, or where others are at in their lessons), enough courage to be self accountable enough to stop seeing myself as stuck and maybe see that others are going through similar things and then to be interested in how and ultimately to be motivated to do something about what I can (which usually proves to be rather satisfying, even fun) and finally just non stupid enough to not bang my head against a brick wall about it all.
Bear in mind that the alternative to acceptance is denial, the alternative to change (however scary) is stagnation and the rest is really a no brainer.

So if you aren't in too much denial, are willing to work with what might be growing out of an experience and not wasting too much energy feeling like you have to have it all figured out immediately, just seeing the next few right things to do, then you're getting it.

No doubt there are others who are better and worse at it, but we make our own prizes every day. I try to see the things that make me reach for the desire in this prayer as opportunities for compassion, things that wake me up and say "what's really important" and as the cornerstones of some of the best friendships in my life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Random thoughts on "The Star"

When our expectations have been rattled, when our status-quos fall short, what then? In the previous post on The Tower, I mentioned the Star. This is a beautiful and inspiring symbol. We think of a star on a dressing room door, "when you wish upon a star", "thank your lucky stars", when you do well in elementary school you get a gold star on your work.

All of these associations are bits of what the star card can refer to on a superficial level. They're nice things we don't need to dismiss, but there's something deeper that I often see to it. As I mentioned before, the stars from ancient times have been used for navigation. They are a reference point beyond our worldly conditions that tell us where we are at and a reminder of things. Science tells us that the light from the stars we see may have long since burned out at it's point of origin, but who can say how far that light will travel before it is ever unsee-able? Ok I might be getting a bit too deep here, but in the context of a reading the Star card is like a flash of insight, a higher "nudge" that helps us move forward.

The saying that "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience" comes to mind. When we can, however briefly, put aside our egocentric ideas of what we are and what's important, the star symbolizes that recognition of not just what we can become but what we truly are. For most of us this is a fleeting insight. C.S. Lewis (who I have blogged about before and respect) tells us that most vision is usually followed by a sort of trough period. From his own experience and that of many others who have known both the preceding trials that led to a vision as well as the struggles afterward he concluded that living with a vision didn't always necessarily have the luxury of a certainty in it, but rather that we have to live "as if it might be true".

In William James "Varieties Of Religious Experience", the theory is that a spiritual experience is not measured in it's drama or sensationalism. It's validity is in what it motivates us to do. Sometimes this can be an earth shattering vision, more often it is those little glimpses that move us to be part of great things that need to be done. In the film "Schindler's List" the title character does not initially set out to be heroic, he starts out as a capitalist who sees an opportunity in using concentration camp inmates in his factories. Along the way though, something in him wakes up and what some see as a miracle goes on, a bit at a time. Later near the end of the story he laments that he could not see it sooner, "how many more could I have saved" he asks. But remember what he was up against. Would it have worked had he known? I believe Creation  can work though our foibles. We are often best just given the little glimpses.

 Another way to look at it; have you ever tried to look directly at a star? Sometimes we need to see it out of the corner of our eye. Even when you can focus on it clearly, how well do you think you could walk through a dark forest while looking at a star? You would trip over every root and branch. What we often have to do is glimpse and travel, glimpse and travel. The saying "be in this world, but not of it" comes to mind. We are here for an important experience, we need to at times get caught up in things, go to the fair, eat too many corn dogs, go on all the rides, but not get so caught up that we get lost in it. Sometimes we have to go through the Tower's upheaval, like falling off the Ferris wheel before we come back to this awareness. Hmm a Wheel Of Fortune reference? Perhaps, but that will have to wait til another post!