My magic castle

My magic castle

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Magic Of The Still Small Voice

Our intuition is a powerful friend. In the context of the skill set I have trying to teach the magic wand would be 'listening to our intuition' or still small voice. The magic wand is something we choose to use. I recently did that (listened to my intuition) and I believe it made my life better. Let me share the story with you. Several days ago I was thinking about wands, which lead me to the concept of tools. My research had brought up the black handled ceremonial knife, the athane, that is used to cast spells and perform rituals. I was thinking about lessons to be learned from that and I couldn't get beyond 'drawing a line in the sand' (one of the uses of the athane) and 'cutting things off.' My intuition told me that setting boundaries and cutting things away or loose are both legitimate activities for a wise magician but that I didn't really have my lesson yet and that I should wait. So I set that to one side and wrote about other things such as the wonder with which to approach the New Year. Then today issues came up between me and a person very dear to me. I thought about our communication and realized that in the past I had used 'cutting off" as a method of dealing with people with whom I had strong differences of opinion. But this person is too important to me to use old methods. Because I had been thinking about the athane I was able to see my old patterns of shutting down or cutting off, and talk with the other person about not wanting to revert to old patterns but that I would rather go deeper and discuss the loves and fears that were intertwined in our communications. Now I feel like I have another tool. I now feel comfortable with the athane. It is for protection, for setting boundaries, and for cutting away thorny fear based reactions. It is not for attack. Mine is not, that is. My sense of being comfortable with loving is stronger and thus my life is better. May your intuition guide you to your own helpful insight. Use the magic wand of listening to your still small voice. It will make your life better. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Magical Phrase

There are many magical phrases. They all can cast a spell over us and help us become more than we were before they were uttered. One that I think is particularly appropriate now that we are coming into the beginning of a new year is: "What if...?" Relax in whatever manner is good for you. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out in a wondrous freeing way. Now begin to explore the ideas of 'what if'. What if situations that have been irritating you could be changed? What if you have more resources inside yourself than you have yet realized? What if you are surprised in wonderful ways tomorrow or this coming week? What if you are meant to understand something more fully than you have before? What if your sense of beauty, humor, joy, contentment kicks in more often than it used to? What if you suddenly come to appreciate family and friends on a deeper level? What if you are a wiser magician than you realized before? What if there are unlimited possibilities for change for the better? As you explore the ideas of 'what if' it is good to let any visualization come that wants to come to you. Let your senses help you enjoy the idea of 'what if..?' Let your sense of wonder help you explore the idea of 'what if..?' This phrase can become one of your magic wands. When you get into the right mind set it can open up your creativity for many wonderful ideas. So enjoy the idea of possibilities it opens up and enjoy the practical way it can help you decide what changes you need to make in your magical life. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Magical Gifts

It's Christmas Day and I had a wonderful Christmas. I received many gifts. One of the strongest, one that made a great impact, was the gift of tears. It was almost dusk. I was leaving one great gathering where I had been very happy to be among friends and driving to another home of friends. As I drove through the heart of the city I looked over and saw a homeless man. We have learned to recognize them in Denver by dress, amount of activity and location. He was bundled up but not moving. He had a small shopping cart like you can buy for home use, behind him, full of belongings, as well as a backpack on his shoulders. He was standing absolutely still with his head down towards his chest. He was in a part of town where the homeless are fed for the holidays. He probably had to now decide where he would spend the night. He may have been younger than I am but he looked as old as the ages. And hopeless. I had to cry. I didn't know what else to do. But the experience strengthened my desire to encourage people to find the spark of magic inside themselves. To be able to reject the insults they have received from parents, friends, society in the 'name of helping them do better'. All lack of love and acceptance damages us. Then that radiates out and damages the community. Thus we end up not able to give acceptance to ourselves or others. We do this without even being conscious of our inability in this way. Acceptance is the greatest magic there is. I hope, but doubt, that this man was saying to himself "I am a wise magician. I am well bundled. I know where I can spend the night in comfort. Tomorrow I will find ways to improve my life." The result for me from this experience was to strengthen my plan of finding ways to help others find the magic inside themselves. This was the result for me from my 'gift of tears'. I hope this day had wonderful gifts for all of you and that you found ways to give unto others. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Magician's Cloak-Part Two

Our magician's cloak may seem too thin at times or even threadbare. Thinking of the cloak as self-love or self-acceptance it must be admitted that those traits in our character can be stronger or weaker at times. We may even wonder how to develop them. Here are points to consider about self-love. *Giving into our appetites is not self love. While at times a glass of wine, a bit of chocolate, a good book, or a bit of good loving can be a celebration of life at other times it can be overboard. Too much of a good thing can be destructive. *Being careful about the promises we make to ourselves and then keeping them can be a great way to develop self love. *In tapping, when the tappee says 'even tho' I have this problem of....I accept myself deeply' the inner self will eventually develop a lot of strength and feeling of self acceptance. *affirmations of self acceptance are also effective. *Even tho' both tapping and affirmations bring up self doubt the ultimate result is less doubt and more acceptance. *Bragging is not a sign of self love. We may get a great idea but it is better to say 'I am going to consider putting this idea into effect" than to say,"I am going to do this great thing.' Bragging is a sign of weakness. It is great to say 'I feel good about what I have done.' but that is simply truth. This is different from saying "I am really hot stuff because I did thus and so." *Self acceptance can also grow through introspection and meditation. *I have found that when I face a problem and succeed in dealing with it I like to stop and thank myself for coming through for me. This little pause and thank you has added to my belief that I can be there for myself. *Grandiose labels are not needed. Self acceptance feels strong and sure and comes from within. Labels are supposedly needed by the outside world. *If your cloak is not enough for you stop and pat yourself on the back for accepting that you want it to be stronger or fuller. You have gained in self acceptance. As you design and weave your cloak let the magic that surrounds you give you help and ideas. May the spark be with you.

The Magician's Cloak In Winter

In winter we are concerned that we keep our core warm so that we can survive the cold. Let us follow this as a metaphor. In the cold of life, emotional warmth can be lacking. So we really need to protect our core with something warm. Our core, or essence, is what drives us to make the decisions we do. We are all involved, whether we realize it or not, in a hero's journey. We are living a life that moves towards the goal of the happiness of living true to our higher nature.
First we start out slightly aware of ourselves, mainly through the perception of us by others. If our mother doesn't gaze lovingly down at us when we are babies we are blocked right there. But let us suppose that we grow to the point that we recognize ourself by name, in the mirror, and by some sense of self identity. When we get that far along we may think we need to wander down the paths ( in our winter walk)of identifying ourselves by labels or go down the paths of experimenting with what entertains us. Those are not necessarily bad paths. But they are not complete. The junction of the pathways is where I was thinking of the importance of the "jacket" or "cloak" which nurtures the core. The core is that which must make the "I am" decision, the part that is at home with itself and happy with self love. Part of that development might take place in the learning to keep track. We are aware of our body, where it fits in space. Then we become aware of what is outside of us. We learn to count and keep track. That evolves in learning to take responsibility. I Am. Then "I Will". We go through stages of perception and behavior. First it is "I am as others see me" until we can get to "I am as I see myself and it is in self love and acceptance". We also go through the behavior stages of "I act as I think others want" until we can get to the stage of "I act as I choose and I stand behind my actions." The way we nurture and protect ourself as we go along these paths or stages is with a jacket, or cloak, of self acceptance, which becomes self appreciation and self love. The magicians of old wore wondrous cloaks. Your protection and nurturing can take any form you want. Soft red velvet. Golden silk. Bright woolen plaid. Imagine what you will. It is yours to help you work your magic. Wrap yourself in a wondrous cloak and go forth. May the spark be with you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Use Of Power

Magic is very concerned with the use of power. Magicians are taught to guard their wands carefully so someone else can not steal it and use the power of it against them. In that context the wise magicians know not to give their power away. Yet in everyday life it is all too easy to give our power away without realizing it. We give up our ability to decide for ourselves in food, fashion, fads, and politics more often than we will admit. We can regain that with a little thought however. But the power we give away that I caution against is the power of self-esteem or image. We can get our feelings hurt, our souls wounded, by valuing what another person says to or about us if we have given them power over us. This is natural in a way. A child learns his self image from his care givers. But we must develop our own image of ourselves and accept ourselves. If you feel pulled down by judgments from others or by yourself notice that. Being pulled down is the operative idea here. I have actions I am trying to eradicate from my bundle of habits. But that is my choice and I don't need the extra burden of being pulled down as I notice them and work to change. If you have phrases in your vocabulary like: "She made me so angry." or "He hurt me so much." instead of "I became angry at what she said" or "I felt hurt at what he did." you are in danger of giving others power over you. Your feelings are your own, as well as your reactions, and you do choose them. Many people don't believe this but I might suggest an experiment to try. Find someone who speaks a language you do not. Ask them to say a loving thing and an insulting thing to you without any facial expression and without telling you which is which. Because you perceive the words as only sounds you will not react to them with joy or hurt. When someone is lashing out at you it is possible to tell yourself they are simply making sounds. We all have much more power than we realize. Not only should we not give it away, we should also look to use it wisely. We have the power to influence, to encourage, to educate, to persuade, and to witness. Those are powers that can change the world. Guard your power and use it wisely. It is magical. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Magic of Choosing Your Omens and Portents To Nurture Hope

I have blogged before about the importance or magic of happy feelings. There is one feeling in particular that is very important but vulnerable. That feeling is 'hope'. It has been noted that citizens of countries who have hopeful attitudes about their countries actually do live in more financially successful countries. It is important to keep hope alive. One thing to remember about hope is that it can start out very small. If you need to have hope about a large thing you must first learn how to think hopefully. Sometimes you may be only able to hold on to hope for a second or two and then about a very small thing. That is okay. You managed to be free from crippling fear and to think hopefully for that much for that long. Thinking hopefully leads to hopeful actions. Then those actions are seen as proof that is was good to be hopeful and a wonderful spiral begins. Sometimes you may have to start by hoping for something that you believe is a sure thing. That is fine. Start somewhere. Learn in baby steps. One thing to do is look for signs to encourage you. You are hoping to learn to read. You see a picture of a book, or find that there is a library nearby. That is a sign that your learning will be encouraged. In the biblical story of Noah it is told of the dove coming back with a bit of green. That was a sign that the waters had receded and plants were growing on dry land. Signs are open to recognition and interpretation. What is a sign to one is laughed at by another. It is up to you, the wise magician, to find ways to nurture and guide your thinking. Your mind is your ultimate magic wand. Friends who listen to you about your projects, articles that suddenly appear, ideas that come to you; these can all be seen as the success that is waiting for you once you learn how to reach out for it. Do what you can to keep yourself going on your pathway to a better life. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Magic Of Story

The wisdom of the past handed down to us about magic was done in the form or fairy tales or folk lore. Now days we might mistakenly believe that the purpose of such tales is for entertainment. Story by its very nature is much more than entertainment. But in order for us to understand the message it is well that it does entertain. Story is more than just a collection of events or facts. It is a telling of a problem, need or desire that needs to be solved or met. Then the person or people involved with that problem has to solve it. This is not done easily. There has to be some creativity and struggle involved. When the solution is reached life is better. It is not a story to say, "I was low on milk so I went to the store and bought some". The basic change in that narrative is the amount of milk before and after. But in a story there is change of circumstance and personality. If you realize that you need to go on a hero's quest and become the hero of your own life it will be easier if you can frame it in the shape of a story. A story has a beginning (a situation that needs to be changed) a middle (attempts to make the change with harder and harder obstacles cropping up) and then the hero or group manages to make the needed changes and the story comes to a satisfying end. To tell your own story do more than look at the need for change. Look at the reasons why the uncomfortable situation developed, the things that make change difficult. Also look for the ways help comes from outside. That is from the magic that surrounds you. Happy stories are ones where there is greater love and or satisfaction when the needed struggles have been undergone. Try to write a happy story for your self. Love and appreciate yourself for being willing to undertake the needed struggle. Become your own hero. May the spark be with you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why Flying Is Part Of Magic

To work magic we need to be able to imagine flight. Fairies and angels have wings. Think of all the times the idea of flight is mentioned when we talk about achieving our goals. We want our projects to take off. We want to transcend our problems. We want to fly by the seat of our pants when we talk about letting our intuition guide us. Flight can also be frightening as can success. In our past we may have been punished or discouraged from being experimental, successful, or showing our great gifts. They say that fear of falling is a basic fear. Sometimes we succeed at something in our dreams but old blockages come up and we dream of falling. I suggest that you use the imagery of flying to open up your mind to freedom from blockages and to new ideas. Let me guide you in this imagery. Get comfortable. Think of a small area in your life you would like to change. If this brings discomfort let your beautiful wings grow and fly above this area. Now soar a bit just for the joy of soaring. When you are ready you can fly near the place you placed your problem. Look at it, listen to it, wave a wing at it. Check it out from many different angles. If any ideas occur to you accept them. Is that truly a problem or does it fit in a bigger or different context? Do you need to simply pick it up and fly with it to a canyon and throw it away? By being able to look at this "problem" in different ways, including from a great distance, you may have lessened the feeling of pressure you had about it before. While you were soaring near the heavens you may have also seen other resources you could use to help you. Let your imagination take flight until you have discovered or invented several good solutions. Then choose the best and try it. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Magic Of Counter Spells-Part Two

You may be developing, or have developed, skills at blocking the negative feelings that well up inside you to zap your energy and self esteem. I wrote about the power of 'tapping' on meridians or acupressure points to help with this. These feelings are often there because of wounds from the past. It is also good to develop skill at preventing those cutting words from impacting you in the present. Some people use anger and defensive methods to stop people from spouting their anti-magic, such as shouting them down or saying 'talk to the hand'. I would like to suggest a couple of other techniques, derailing and fogging. Fogging is when you fog up the speaker's thinking by confusing them. One example is to show that you don't take their 'stuff' seriously by looking at them and saying, 'You may be right'. When they can't get a raise out of you it takes the air out of their sails. Example: 'You will never be any good,' 'You may be right'. There really is nothing they can say and you can just walk away. Derailing also messes with the other person's thinking but in a more subtle way. People tend to operate in certain sensory modalities. A visual person will speak and think visually: I see how we should do this, I view this as something we should see eye to eye on. An aural person will speak in terms of hearing or sound. A kinesthetic person will operate in terms of feeling or movement. If you can do something to derail them or switch their channel while they are running on with the hurts or insults they will lose their train of thought. A common derailing movement is to wave your hands quickly in front of their eyes. Once I was a waitress at a hotel dining room where many of the patrons wanted to tell me things, not necessarily important things, at great length. I found that if I waved my hand in front of their eyes as I served them or took away their plate they would stop talking for a minute and I could move away to serve the next patron. They would be lost in the past and my hand movement, in the present time, broke their train of thought. Many times parents manage to stop a toddler's tantrums by a quick smile and hug. The surprise and switch is very effective. Distractions can be a very effective counter-spell. So if you have people in your life who are throwing barbs and arrows at you find ways to deal with it. You are too precious to be wounded. Strengthen your armor of self esteem and self love. Then find ways to keep the barbs from piercing you. You don't need to react with insults or anger. That can back fire on you. Find counter spells like a smile, a hug, fogging or derailing and use them wisely. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Magic Of Counter Spells- Part One

A lot of adults have a good time watching Harry Potter movies so you may have noticed that each year Hogwarts school must have a teacher who instructs in 'Defense Against The Dark Arts'. In these classes the students are taught about counter spells to protect themselves from evil. In our own life there will be times when dark things, (anti-magic) such as stress, hopelessness and insults come at us. Counter spells to block or shield us are good tools to have. Sometimes we find ourselves telling someone "Don't go there." or putting up a hand or finger to stop them. But that doesn't always work. We need to have more than one 'interrupter' to use. Not only must we be able to interrupt the darkness that comes from without we must also be able to interrupt the darkness that comes from within. Today's post will focus on a counter spell that interrupts the darkness that wells up from within. Bad habits, dark moods and pain can be interrupted by a simple technique known as tapping. I have mentioned this before but I will go into more detail here. There are certain points or meridians that correspond to the ancient Chinese medicine points of acupressure. The ones most often mentioned in lessons about 'tapping' are: on the top front of the head, the inner point of the eyebrows,just under the nose,just under the lower lip, the outside of the hand, on the bone just under the middle of the eye, at the base of the throat on the collarbone, just inside the shoulder bone joint where it connects to the front ribs. There are other acupressure points and they can also be effective. At times I have had to interrupt dark moods or deep pain within myself and I have found it to be effective to tap on any point of the body that seems to call out. Tapping is what it sounds like, a tapping with the fingers. Usually you will find you are using the middle two fingers of either hand. As you tap you will speak a 'spell' something like this: 'Even though I have this problem (you can state the problem) I accept myself totally'. In cases of dealing with pain I have found it helpful to chant, 'even though I have this pain I accept healing'. As you work to make your life better you may have to push away or interrupt the bad. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you and learn how to do this. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Magic Of The Quest

If you have read fairy tales and such stories about magic you will have noticed that these stories tell about the hero going on a quest. In real life we also need to take on a life quest. Sadly many fail to do this adequately. We manage to meet many of our needs but get caught up in fear and seeking safety and don't move towards becoming our own hero. The hero takes on a quest and, as a result of this quest, grows and is able to contribute to the community. The wise magician will realize that failure to take on the hero's quest has a great cost. The failed hero doesn't meet his potential and the community doesn't get the benefits the hero would have brought back to them. When we are stuck in the failure to go on the quest we often move into addictions and other problems as we try to deal with the nagging awareness that we are failing ourselves. How can we identify our true quest and step up to this wonderful journey? One way to get an idea about it is to look at the talents and interests that we have let fall by the wayside. The soul speaks out through our creativity. If the old interests were meant to fall away new ones came to take their place. The soul never rests. It always has something to say. If you reach out for strength and energy to the magic that surrounds you there will be help for your quest. Magic will help you find ways to move forward. You need to stop spinning your wheels. Being stuck at the start of your journey has us running back and forth across the road like a chicken. We will try different moods and actions to stay stuck, swinging from (perhaps) depression to anger, or from brilliance to dependency. Only when we count the cost of staying stuck at the starting line will we realize the need of claiming our quest. But each person has a hero inside. Let your hero out. Chose your quest. You may have to travel along part of the road making discoveries to truly understand your gift. Don't hold back. You are special. Take some steps towards your quest. It will open up to you. The first step is to stop running back and forth across the road, going nowhere. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Magic Conversation: Dialogue, Give and Take, Rock And Roll

Magic is that which is used to bring forth truth from the occult, or the hidden. Sometimes that truth has to be teased out by a series of back and forth sorties or runs. It is common for a relationship to have misunderstandings that get cleared up over time when the people engage in give and take, when questions are asked and answers are searched for. I often share experiences I have in my struggles to be a writer. I have been working on a book about a modern day teen boy. I had hit a snag and put the work away for several weeks. Yesterday I decided to have an imaginary conversation with him. The dialogue that ensued between me and my imaginary character actually worked some magic for my novel. I came to understand his character better and some plot points I had been struggling with fell into place. I couldn't figure out the plot very well before and now I have a good outline of it. When I approached my hero as if I really wanted to understand him magic happened. A deep conversation between two people or principles has to be between equals. The give and take cannot be between one side of power and the other side of weakness. Sometimes we have to have a conversation like that with ourselves, as well. We may be exhibiting a behavior that we don't like. Or have a problem that seems insurmountable. If we talk it over with ourselves with understanding the way will open up for needed changes and a gain in self-love. Equals shape and learn from each other. The worlds of the sacred and the mundane are not separate. If you have changes you need to make talk it over with yourself. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to do this. You will be surprised at what will open up for you. Your life with rock and roll. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Magic Basics-Part Three- Focus on Function

Wands(any tool you use such as your mind) and spells(actions to focus the use of your wands) are meant to make changes for the better. If they are misused the result can range from nothing to disaster. It is important to be clear about the purpose of any tool. Leaders are meant to lead. Yet we sometimes elect people to be admired or receive attention and they make poor leaders. Shovels are meant to dig. Guns are meant to shoot bullets at a specific target. Food is meant to satisfy and nourish life. The substances we ingest that fatten us and bring ill health should not be considered food. If you do something or make something that you want to use to bring about a certain result it is wise to think about how that thing is likely to function. A letter that is meant to bring closeness will not function for that purpose very well if it is full of insults and confusion. Many times we need to create a tool or ritual to burn off our anger, disappointment or regret before we move towards the result we want. Anti-magic (what some call black magic) is caught up with the negative emotions, with lashing out. Negative emotions have a purpose. Their purpose is to alert us to the need for a change. They don't need to cloud our judgment or make us mis-cast our spells. Love binds people to us. Manipulation does not. When we are strong and sure is is easy to give out to the world our songs, our spells of goodness, our joy. Then we will receive magical benefits in return. Cause the changes you need in your life by using your wands and casting your spells as they are meant to be used. May the spark be with you.