Panther Wishes and Casino Dreams…

As promised in yesterday’s post, I wanted to memorialize the most recent Panther-related dream that I was fortunate enough to be treated to — this one went down maybe a bit over a week ago now.  I’ve written up a few of these already, including one that featured a winged Black Panther, and I’m still deeply gratified at each new recurrence of this particular dream imagery…

All these dreams...I'm starting to wonder if it's not so much me dreaming of Black Panthers, as maybe it's the other way around...?

All these dreams…I’m starting to wonder if it’s not so much me dreaming of Black Panthers, as maybe it’s the other way around…?

In this latest dream, I was arriving as one of a new small wave of visitors to some kind of casino — the kind where you not only gamble and gorge yourself at buffets, but you also book a room and spend a night or two in-house.  I was aware that my fellow arrivals and I were each toting or dragging various pieces of luggage, and we were being received by a casino employee, who was giving us some kind of standard welcome shpiel.  This mundane, canned intro speech suddenly seemed a bit other-than-standard, though, when the casino employee informed us that oh, yes, right, this particular floor of the casino that we were on was home to two very large Black Panthers and a Tiger, all of whom roamed the hallways pretty much free and at their pleasure at all times.  And not to worry, the grinning employee continued — the Big Cats were all exceedingly friendly and well-behaved, probably even more so than most of the human guests (ha ha: nervous chuckles all around…).

Anyway, I was still digesting this odd bit of information, when one of those Black Panthers appeared from out of the milling crowds…and it almost immediately oriented on me, and ambled over, not hurriedly or with any active menace about it, but I had definitely been singled out as the object of its focus.  I admit to feeling a bit of trepidation as the magnificent, but also gracefully fearsome and downright HUGE feline creature approached…

Imagine this great beast if it was so large/tall that its head was about even with the bottom of your ribcage when both of you were standing upright -- *that's* what came over to greet me in my dream...

Imagine this great beast if it was so large/tall that its head was about even with the bottom of your ribcage when both of you were standing upright — *that’s* what came over to greet me in my dream…

And then when this semi-enormous Cat reached me, it sort of gently butted me with its head such that I was impelled to seat myself in a large plush chair immediately beside me, and then as the casino employee geared up to resume with the welcome speech, the Panther sat down on the floor next to the chair, and very comfortably and with an air of great familiarity, took my left forearm into its mouth…and just held it there, in this very warm, sweet, companionable way.  It was like the Cat was telling the Universe, “I choose this human.  He has my protection.  We’re now officially bonded.”  It was kind of amazing.

Then, as the welcome tour continued, the Panther would release my arm so we could all walk along with the casino employee, but every time we paused, the Panther would again nudge me to sit down so it could resume holding my wrist or forearm carefully and lovingly in its mouth…

And after a few repetitions of this, I awoke, feeling kind of oddly blessed, and sort of like I imagine a Chosen One in a movie must feel.

I’m not sure why the casino backdrop.  Certainly Siegried & Roy proved to us in tragic fashion that Big Cats and casinos don’t always blend well together, so a case could be made that the dream holds an element of warning.  Then again, Roy was mauled by a White Tiger, not a Black Panther, and none of that incident had actually run through my conscious mind in ages at the juncture when I had the dream.  More likely to me is the notion that the casino represents the world at large: vast, frenetic, clamorous, filled with hordes of distractions and possible dangers…but then the Black Panther seems to be a very clear indicator of a protective Spirit of sorts, asserting its presence, and its willingness to watch over me.  Dreaming that dream was an overwhelmingly positive experience, that’s for sure…

And I also found in the past that whenever I would start to document my dreams here in this space, subsequent night-visions would start to grow more vivid and involved in the time that followed, and I began to remember more and more of their details.  These are more good reasons to record them, and I encourage anyone reading this to try the same exercise.  We spend nearly half our lives in the sleep state, so who’s to say that what happens to us there is any less “real” than what we experience in the waking world…?  With all that in mind…what have you dreamed up for yourself lately…??

Blogging & Blogging…

So I slipped badly in my consistency here as a faithful blogger, then returned to post about how I was back in the game…and then I immediately slipped badly again.  And sure, there have been some worthy distractions here (most of which I won’t bore you with), but I also do feel that I need to be keeping up a much more regular presence in this space.  And events of late here in my corner of Existence have been helping me to circle back in general, and they’ve also been providing pretty good fodder for posts, as well…so in the wake of last night’s Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse, the time feels right!

I figure I’ll start in a small-scale way for now, though, and then swim out toward deeper waters after I get warmed up again.  One of the things I’ve been diverting my energy toward in recent weeks has been the generation of what will be a series of posts for a different blog — one that’s run by someone I met on a Tarot-based website that I like to frequent.  The blog is called Jude’s Metaphysical World, and the owner of that blog — Jude, as you may have guessed — fills it with all manner of fascinating metaphysical work, including posts falling under the umbrellas of such broad topics as Tarot and Crystals.

Go check out Jude's righteous blog!

Go check out Jude’s righteous blog!

Jude’s site can be found here:

http://www.judesmetaworld.com/

For my part in that blog, I’ve begun what will be a series on the Twelve Houses of Astrology.  I’m two posts in so far, and grinding away at #3 as I write this here update.  Please do head on over to Jude’s site to take a gander if you feel so inclined, and then take a tour through the other terrific information on display there — the articles on Crystals are especially packed with excellent information!!

And in coming posts here, I have more dreams to relate (I had yet another fantastic one featuring a Black Panther!), more instances of Synchronicity, more Animal Spirit musings, and some contemplation of the idea that Music and Drumming are either linked with what we think of as “Magic” or are possibly indistinguishable from that concept…  Stay tuned for more!

It's true: I made an appearance in this human's dream.  He wanted to share details immediately following, but he was too verklempt.  Not that unreasonable a response...

It’s true: I made an appearance in this human’s dream. He wanted to share details immediately following, but he was too verklempt. Not that unreasonable a response…

Leopardskin Jasper

I’m a bit of a sucker for crystals and such.  They don’t appear in my every conversation or anything, but I quietly carry one or two along in my pockets with me on most days, and I have probably more than a few scattered around the house.  Metaphysical types will credit different types of stones with different characteristics, and while it can be fun to study up on these, it will also become quickly apparent that as with a lot of metaphysical subjects, the so-called (and self-designated…) “experts” often can’t find very much at all in the way of common ground.  You’ll often find the same stone credited with such a wide array of sorcerous powers, that it will seem possibly easier to start listing out what it can’t do.  So the best approach, then, when trying to suss out exactly what a given variety of crystal can or can’t accomplish for you…is gathering first-hand, empirical evidence.

So, something else I’ve written about in this space before that I also find myself charmed by in an ongoing sort of way, would be the animal kingdom.  I have great admiration for the animals around me in the physical world, and in the more metaphysical context, I also like concepts such as Animal Guides, and I always pay very close attention to patterns of animal appearances around me, whether these be in my waking or my dreaming states.

The Cappy Thompson window at SeaTac Airport. "I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals," is how the artist herself sums up this piece...

The Cappy Thompson window at SeaTac Airport. “I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals,” is how the artist herself sums up this piece…  So, apparently I’m not the only one!

With all of the above in mind…last week, I stumbled across a passage on the internet stating that a certain stone called Leopardskin Jasper is excellent for use in either discovering one’s Animal Guides, or, if they’re already known, firming up ties with them.  This interested me: I have a small bowl full of Jasper, all of which I got quite a long while ago when I found heaps of it for sale at a local Occult shop at some irresistibly low, low prices.  I filled my pockets at the time, trundled home all this Jasper-y goodness…and haven’t done much with it since.  This online reference, though, decided for me that it was time to revisit my Jasper holdings…

Now, like such stones as Agate or Calcite, Jasper comes in a whole slew of specific varieties.  You can’t just start holding forth about “Jasper,” and expect people to know exactly what you mean with any real specificity.  There’s Red Jasper and Yellow Jasper…there’s Polychrome Jasper and Brecciated Jasper…there’s Picture Jasper and Picasso Jasper, and there’s Ocean Jasper and Rainforest Jasper…there’s Cobra Jasper (sometimes King Cobra Jasper), Zebra Jasper, Dalmatian Jasper…there are the intriguingly named Mookaite Jasper and Kambaba Jasper.

And then there’s Leopardskin Jasper:

Leopardskin Jasper: not quite as suggestive of the Leopard's distinctive markings as its name might suggest, but this is the stuff!

Leopardskin Jasper: not quite as suggestive of the Leopard’s distinctive markings as its name might suggest, but this is the stuff!

So as it turned out, I had no less than three separate pieces of this rather shamanic-sounding stone in my little Jasper collection.  I decided to give them a mild test-drive by sleeping with them under my pillow, which is often a thoroughly interesting way for me to see if I have any real connection with a given stone.  In brief, here’s what happened:

Night #1: I dreamed at one point that I was outside in a green/wooded area, but still within what we like to think of as “civilization”…so I was under some kind of structure of sorts.  Just ahead of me and a few feet up, at about the height of a standard basketball hoop, was a thick wooden cross-beam connecting one part of the structure to another.  Two birds landed on it, but this was at the upper limits of my vision at that moment, so I couldn’t see them at first.  Tilting my head up, I just barely caught one of the birds stepping along the beam so as to more or less vanish from my sight, the beam itself separating us.  The other bird, though, was eminently, vividly visible: it was a large Raven, glowing with detail.  I could see the slightly down-curving beak, the small tuft of minute feathers where that beak met the Raven’s face, the main body of feathers as glossy and black as ink fresh from the inkwell…  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Raven is a special creature for me, and I wear its likeness in tattoo form on the underside of my wrist…  Score one for the Leopardskin Jasper (and I should note here that I’ve never been the type to be able to successfully “program” myself to dream about anything in particular, so if you want to credit my subconscious or my dream-warrior self with me having this dream on this particular night, you’re free to do so, but I lean toward chalking it up to the Leopardskin Jasper, especially if you factor in…well, read on…)…

Photo by Marcin Klapczynski, not me, but this pretty well captures what I saw in my dream, although my Raven was facing toward my left if you want to get nitpicky...

Photo by Marcin Klapczynski, not me, but this pretty well captures what I saw in my dream, although my Raven was facing toward my left if you want to get nitpicky…

Night #2: I was traveling somewhere by ship, and in this dream, I chanced to gaze out through a convenient porthole.  It was very misty outside, very wet, although not actively raining.  As I looked out at the dark air, guess what happened to be flying by outside…?  It was another Raven!  This one was just cruising along, unbothered by the prodigious dampness of the air, aside from having to flap its wings a bit more than Ravens seem to like to do whenever I see them out in the physical world (like the large Hawks and Owls I’ve seen, Ravens prefer to glide whenever possible, models of efficiency who are much too cool to need to actually exert themselves to get where they need to go — the wind seems to want to do the work for them, for the most part).  So I could probably write up an entire post on the symbolism inherent in the ship, the wet weather conditions, the mist, the active wing-beating of the Raven versus its usual glide…but I feel that the main point to be taken from the dream here is simply the fact that for the second night in a row with the Leopardskin Jasper under my pillow, I dreamed of what some might refer to as one of my “Power Animals.”

Imagine a wet Raven flying along from left to right not too far away outside this porthole, and you'll have the essence of what I saw in my dream...

Imagine a wet Raven flying along from left to right not too far away outside this porthole, and you’ll have the essence of what I saw in my dream…

Night #3: On the final night of this bit of experimentation (I decided to give the Leopardskin Jasper a rest after three nights, regardless of results), I was again privileged to receive a visit from an animal I view as having great personal importance for me: this time, it was a very large Black Panther that came padding up to me from out of the dreamscape.  I’ve lodged several posts in months past about how I first encountered a real Black Panther while scouting a site for a personal artistic video project I was working on, and how I then began receiving visits from the sleek and beautiful beasts — one even with great black wings! — in my dreams after that encounter.  This one was no less impressive and gratifying!  In it, I was standing about kind of idly, not doing much of anything, and in otherwise unremarkable surroundings, when an enormous Black Panther strolled up to me from out of the hazy middle-distance, clearly coming right toward me.  It showed no apparent malice in the moment, but it seemed to be heading my way with pretty obvious purpose, like it felt we had some definite business to attend to together.  As it reached me, I felt the barest twinge of apprehension, but then it turned and leaned its great shoulder into my thighs, causing me to replant my feet for balance, while it basically let me know that it simply wanted me to pet it.  Happy to oblige, I laughed, and then bent forward to work at the task with both hands, doing my best to grant the stunning creature the greatest petting that any feline had ever received.  It twitched its tail with pleasure and kept leaning into me, hundreds of pounds of streamlined muscle and potential ferocity bent toward the joyous objective of receiving some basic affection (and okay, no small amount of awe).  And then I woke up from the dream…

When a Black Panther requests that you pet it...you oblige.

When a Black Panther requests that you pet it…you oblige.

And on Night #4, when I didn’t have the Leopardskin Jasper under my pillow…I didn’t dream of animals at all.

So what does this all mean?  Does it mean that if you, too, sleep with Leopardskin Jasper under your pillow, you, too, will dream dreams of your own Spirit Animals?  Well…not necessarily.  We’re all different, and what seems to work for me may not work for you, and vice versa — like I said, gathering first-hand, empirical evidence is the only way to determine these things for sure.  But on the other hand, my own experiences here do nothing in my own mind to dispel the idea that Leopardskin Jasper may indeed have some shamanic/animal-related metaphysical properties beyond what simple chance might account for.  If nothing else, you should be able to find a piece of this particular variety of stone pretty easily and for a pretty affordable price, and you can then experiment a bit yourself…and if animals do pop out of the dreamscape for you, too, I’d love to hear about it!

Hygiean Dream…

I’ve been having some really interesting dream experiences lately: in several recent bouts of REM sleep, I’ve found myself speaking with someone — usually a person that doesn’t exist in my waking life — and they’ll be impressing upon me the importance of some word, phrase, or concept.  Upon awakening, I’ll remember the dream, and I’ll understand that the thing they were emphasizing to me is something I’ve heard of in my conscious state, but is something I’m overall kind of clueless about.  Then after I hit the internet to research up some details, I’ll discover that this word, phrase, or concept actually has significant bearing upon something that’s happening in my life at that very moment in time.  These experiences kind of add fire to what was already a pretty impassioned embrace on my part of notions such as synchronicity and messages from Guide-Figures.  Here’s the most recent example, which went down while I slept three nights ago:

This one has to do with Hygiea.  I was speaking with someone in my dream, and this person was urging me to investigate the current wanderings of the Asteroid named Hygiea, which was named for a female figure in Greek Mythology.  I’ve known of Hygiea — both the Asteroid and the Greek Myth figure — for some time now, but as mentioned above, the amount of actual, substantial data I’ve retained on either would fill the barest fraction of a very small thimble…so as I awoke from this dream, I couldn’t help but wonder why someone would be highlighting for the dream-version of me that it’s imperative that I now look into what Hygiea is currently doing with respect to my birth-chart…

But before we go any further, here’s a quick primer on Hygiea: Myth first, then Asteroid:

Hygiea, Goddess of Health...

Hygiea: Personification of Good Health…

In Greek Mythology, Hygiea was one of the daughters of Asclepius, the greatest mortal healer known to the Greeks — in fact, it’s the Rod of Asclepius that serves to this day as the symbol of choice for self-identification by such renowned healthcare bodies as the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the Australian Medical Association, the Medical Council of India, the Canadian Medical Association, the British Medical Organization, the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, among quite a few others.  Hygiea was the only one of Ascelpius’ daughters to follow in her father’s healing footsteps, and she became associated with good health, cleanliness, sanitation, and the prevention of sickness.  It’s from Hygiea’s name that we long ago derived our word, “hygiene.”

And then there’s the Asteroid of the same name:

Asteroid 10 Hygiea: she circles us out in the main Asteroid Belt beyond Mars, tirelessly watching over our health issues...

Asteroid 10 Hygiea: she circles us out in the main Asteroid Belt beyond Mars, tirelessly watching over our health issues…

I’ve written before about the wandering Planetoid called Chiron, and discussed how astrologers attribute to Chiron governance over such things as designation of our deepest “soul-wounds,” how we might heal these wounds in ourselves and then subsequently in others, and how we might be suited for other various healing and shamanic practices.  I’ve also made mention of some of the well-known Asteroids that some astrologers like to place importance upon in a chart, including Ceres, Pallas, Vesta, and Juno.  Here’s an interesting fact, though: the four Asteroids that I just named are not, in fact, the four largest in the Asteroid Belt.  The first three of them that I listed do qualify for that categorization…but Juno does not.  It’s actually the much less-celebrated Hygiea that weighs in as the fourth-largest chunk of matter in the Belt, and yet for some reason, she gets less press than the smaller Juno (and this is not to downplay the importance of Juno, but rather to maybe suggest that astrologers might consider starting to…um…”up-play” the importance of Hygiea…)…

At any rate, the Asteroid named for the Greek figure Hygiea would also speak to health-related issues in the astrological realm, but with perhaps more emphasis on cleanliness as it affects health, and on continued good health once good health has been achieved.

So that’s the primer — now for the intriguing parts that popped up at me from out of my dream…

When I went to look at my own birth-chart after the dream, curious as to where Hygiea might be placed in it, I was shocked-yet-not-at-all-shocked to discover that she lands right in my natal Twelfth House in Scorpio, another participant in the very busy Scorpio cluster that already includes my Sun, my Ascendant, three other Planets, and my South Lunar Node.  I was a bit more purely shocked to note that the real Hygiea out there in space between Mars and Jupiter was due in no more than a day or so, to be perfectly, absolutely, down-to-the-second, 180 degrees opposite to my natal Hygiea.  I had my dream about looking into Hygiea’s placement in my chart less than a day before the real, transiting Hygiea reached a position of perfect opposition to her natal counterpart.  And I’d never before checked into transiting Hygiea, so it’s not like my subconscious could have known this to somehow be imminent, and stashed that factoid away like a nut in a squirrel’s growing storehouse of winter provisions.  I never knew anything about transiting Hygiea, so my inclination here is to believe that this was a Message of sorts, from some external Source of whatever nature.

But why would this matter, aside from the uncanny bit of cool timing?  Well…in terms of healing news, this all happened the night after I received the final attunement that saw me graduate to the level of Master in my Reiki practice (I’d been holding steady on the plateau of Level II for about a year and a half before this).  Would an energy healing modality such as Reiki fall within the province of Hygiea, astrologically speaking?  Well, Reiki can arguably be used not only to heal, but to specifically remove blockages and restore proper flow — in the energy context, this could arguably be taken as “cleanliness” and “sanitation” activities, without too much stretching and squinting at it…

But wait!  There’s more…

The glyph, or symbol, that astrologers use to represent Hygiea...

The glyph, or symbol, that astrologers use to represent Hygiea…

It also turns out that Hygiea requires 5.5 years to traverse her full orbital path around the Sun.  So out of what I thought was idle curiosity, I worked backwards to see when the last time would have been that transiting Hygiea was perfectly opposite my own natal Hygiea in my chart.  Turns out that this would have occurred right toward the end of the first week of September, 2008.  And as luck — or something else…? — would have it, it was on September 7, 2008 that I finally set aside what I’d have to honestly characterize as something that had been an active and ongoing addiction of mine for 20+ years.  In other words, I would have gone cold turkey on something that had claimed a part of my very spirit for my entire adult life, and this had happened within no more than 24-36 hours of transiting Hygiea perfectly opposing her natal counterpart in my chart!  How’s that for cleanliness and sanitation??!  They (astrologers, I mean here) say that when a transiting body opposes its natal self like this, this placement represents the end of a cycle, the point at which it’s revealed that either a critical lesson was indeed learned — in which case the native graduates to a new level of being — or it’s revealed in glaring spotlight kinds of ways that this lesson was definitely not learned, and the native is then forced to endure the collapse of a lot of false structures and other associated mayhem, before trying to pick up the pieces and then start in on learning that same lesson at that same level all over again…

Happily, I feel like the addiction-kicking and now the Reiki advancement are indicators that I did manage to learn my current Hygiea-flavored lessons, and I’m now beginning an all-new cycle.  I’m excited to do so, and especially now that I’ve been given such a personalized and intensely meaningful primer on the ways that our charts can help to steer us along in these matters.  And I’m comforted to feel that while skeptics may go on being skeptical about such concepts, I personally believe in the presences of my various, very generous, Guides…  So if my case is any kind of example…check your charts, people!!  There’s so much to be learned and gained!

Morning pages…

Quite a few years ago now, I was put on notice about this book you may have heard of: The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.  It’s a self-help book designed to enable people with creative impulses to get in touch with their inner artistic selves and become more artistically productive.  Ms. Cameron comes at the process from a standpoint of holding that creative inspiration and divine inspiration are essentially the same thing, or at least flow out of the same source, and she provides some exercises that the would-be productive artist can work through so as to gain in self-assurance, as well as begin growing their output.

"The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity."

“The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity.”

It’s been a long time now since I tried my hand at the program, and what I remember most from those long ago efforts are two exercises in particular.  One was something Ms. Cameron called the “artist’s date.”  Basically, the budding creative person was to take herself or himself out on a “date” — kind of like the ego-self romancing the artist-self — and the idea was to go take in something that would inspire the inner artist.  It could be anything at all, too: actual artwork by someone else (as in, say, a showing of paintings or photographs in a gallery, a trip to a museum, a concert, a play, a film…), or it could be something as deceptively “simple” as natural wonder (go watch the sunset from some great vantage point, visit the ocean, hike through the woods or up a mountain trail…).  The point was to take in beauty, wonder, and spectacle, thereby adding it to that internal reservoir of creative potential that we can all draw upon when we’re in creator-mode.  Unless I misremember, the artist’s date was to happen once a week (more often than that, and the person in question would risk simply becoming a consumer of artistic fare without actually producing anything of their own, while less frequency than that might lead to a drought in creative fuel).

And then there was the other exercise: the morning pages.  This concept is just as easy and straightforward (to convey, if not to do): you sleep with a pad of paper and a writing implement by your bed — not a laptop, but something with which you’ll write by hand — and then when you wake up, you immediately take up that pad and pen/pencil, and you write out three pages of free association, longhand-style.  That’s it.  The goal isn’t to write “good stuff,” or to write it well.  You needn’t worry here about mechanics — you have full license to not get hung up on things like spelling, grammar, punctuation…the intention is just that you write, and better if you can do so without slowing down enough or waking up enough to think about it, and censor it, and let your conscious mind take over the show.  Just basically vomit forth three pages of text while you’re still semi-groggy, and then you’re done.  If you can’t think of anything to write about, then write about how you can’t think of anything to write about.  But no matter what…you write.

It may feel like torture at times, but you *work* that thing!  (public domain image by Javad Alizadeh)...

It may feel like torture at times, but you *work* that thing! (public domain image by Javad Alizadeh)…

So I ended up doing the morning pages for something like two months.  I can’t say that my creativity enjoyed a boom in production during that time, but I did notice something very interesting about the morning pages I generated during that period: they were angry.

Now, mind you, this all took place at least 15 years ago (and that’s a very conservative approximation — it may be pushing almost 20 at this point…), and I was in a very, very different headspace and emotional place in my life back then.  I was stuck in a job I despised, and I wasn’t ready to accept a few basic truths about myself and about the world around me.  And wow, did all the accumulated, pent-up frustration resulting from all that come pouring forth onto those morning pages!  Rarely, if ever, did a session consist of me expressing things like gratitude or appreciation or admiration — for anything!  It was just all angry, all the time.  Looking back, I’m kind of surprised that all that venom and vitriol didn’t curl up the pages in my journal, and blacken the wood of my nightstand!  I griped in those pages, I complained, I accused…I moped, I whined, I raged…I forsook, I bemoaned, I bewailed.  It was not pretty.  But the effects were twofold: for one thing, I was stunned at just how much anger I was carrying around with me as a constant companion without my ever consciously realizing it…and for another, as I spewed forth that bile every morning, after a few weeks, I did start to get the sense that I might not just have been pointlessly and fruitlessly wallowing in misery and self-pity and resentment during those writing sessions — I started to feel like I may have been actually letting go of some of it.  As gross as this analogy may be, it was a bit like lancing some monumental psychic boil or something, and letting the horrible build-up inside finally begin to leak away…

And I suppose that may be part of Julia Cameron’s aim with the morning pages: by working before your ego-self can rise up and stop you, you can let loose some of that which doesn’t serve you.  Again, I got sidetracked from this project after the first couple of months, and never returned to the practice, so I never actually saw that rise in my productive output that the program was designed to help its practitioners achieve…but I did start to mellow out a bit in general.  And happily, I was later able to make great strides in healing myself in other ways, so that the vast, roiling sea of anger is no longer there, bubbling poisonously away just below the surface.  But the point of all this is that the morning pages can be useful in that way for you, too, if you similarly carry around a lot of rage…or they can be used for other purposes.  Some people are fortunate enough that they don’t actually have a lot of natural anger…but maybe they have sorrow…or longing…or dissatisfaction…or maybe they could just use some kind of more tangible barometer to see what they do have inside themselves, because without such a mechanism, they’re just too close to the source to see things for what they are.  And that’s the gist here: if you could use a change in your life, or you just want to be able to better and more honestly check in with yourself, consider giving morning pages a go for a couple of weeks.  You’ll at the very least build up your hand and forearm muscles (because three pages of furious longhand is no joke!), and you may even gain some real wisdom from the exercise…

“Scotty, beam me up…”

I’ve written here before about how sometimes overlooked, but how very powerful twilight time can be.  Twilight, in this context, means that sort of in-between state that separates full day from full night, generally occurring just before sunrise and just after sunset.  It’s a fleeting phase, and can be seen as largely transitional, but it also carries its own identity.  Twilight time is marked by a sort of half-light: too dim to be wearing sunglasses, but too bright for flashlights.  Those driving at twilight have to ask themselves if it’s time yet to switch those headlights on or off, and lights set to timer switches will generally be triggered during twilight, so as to shuttle over to the opposite setting from where they’d been fixed for the last eight to twelve hours.  Animals migrate for the coming day or night at twilight, preparing to settle in or rouse themselves for the next stretch of hours…

And as I was standing on the roof of my house a few nights ago, watching the sun go down, quietly basking in the warm glow of the dusk-flavored variety of twilight, it occurred to me that there’s a pretty slick analogy we can draw between day and night on the one hand, and our own waking and sleeping states on the other…  The major thought here is that just as we have two intervals of twilight time separating day from night, and then night from day, we also have a similar interval separating wakefulness from sleep, and sleep from wakefulness.  That interval…is that brief phase during which we’re lying in bed, either waiting to fall asleep or waiting to fully wake up.

Philip IV of France shows us that even Royalty must travel from the waking state to the sleep state, and back again...and our bed is where most of us make the journey from the one to the other.

Philip IV of France shows us that even Royalty must travel from the waking state to the sleep state, and back again…and our bed is where most of us make the journey from the one to the other.

So if we think of the waking state and the sleep state as these two sort of psychic landscapes that we inhabit, then the “twilight” interval between them — that lying-in-bed phase in which we’re waiting to fall asleep or to significantly come awake — can be viewed as a journey of sorts.  We’re essentially making a voyage from one realm to another very different one.

Which brings me to the title of this post: it further occurred to me that we can envision this brief but tremendously powerful transitional state as akin to issuing a request to the Star Trek transporter room, so as to either get beamed down to some external destination, or to be brought back to the ship from same.  And when the crew members of the USS Enterprise make use of their advanced transport technology, they never do so without respecting the gravity of the undertaking, and they always make plans and preparations for transport to the greatest extent possible.  No one beams up or down lightly, and no one goes joyriding via transporter beam, or jaunting around carelessly or at random.  There are grave consequences if the technology is misused, and the results can be exceedingly dire.  If engaged properly, however, the transporter beam can serve as a ticket to almost unimaginably profound experiences…

The transporter room's fabulous machinery in action -- isn't this pretty much what we do with our consciousness every time we fall asleep or wake up...?

The transporter room’s fabulous machinery in action — isn’t this pretty much what we do with our consciousness every time we fall asleep or wake up…?

The question then presents itself: if falling asleep or waking up is like riding a transporter beam…then shouldn’t we likewise make preparations for the psychic journey at hand, and set our intentions?

In the field of hypnosis, it’s held that the real work we can do on and for ourselves…occurs during exactly that transitional, twilight state that lies between full wakefulness and full sleep.  This is why hypnotists help their clients to enter trance states before instilling suggestions into the subconscious minds of these clients…this is why hypnotists will record suggestions so that the clients can play them at night when they’ve climbed into bed, ready to drift off to sleep.  The idea is that suggestions received in this threshold state will take root, and the subconscious mind — which many metaphysicians insist is the part of us that can truly change ourselves and the world around us, and can work actual magic — will accept those suggestions, adopt them, and begin to manifest them.

So my point is that it might be a very wise practice to create a small but focused mental ritual of sorts that you can run through each night as you’re drifting off to sleep, and each morning as you’re first emerging from that same slumber.  The twilight mind isn’t as structured or orderly as our waking mind, nor as scattered and amorphous as our unconscious mind can be, so the most effective tactic might be to avoid involved phrases or complex chains of related thoughts.  Instead, maybe try to hold to a simple image.  What are you trying to manifest for yourself?

Do you want better health?  Then create a mental image of the healthy you that you want to be — see that healthy you from the outside, and feel what that healthy you feels like from the inside.  Be that you — feel it as if you’re already that version of yourself.  Invoke that mental image repeatedly each time you start to fall asleep or begin to wake up…  Or…do you want to be wealthier?  Envision the prosperous you that you want to be — conjure feelings of security, of generosity toward others, of the serenity that comes from knowing that all is being provided to you…  And you can do the same with respect to anything else you desire in life: love, luck, romance, achievement, skill, recognition, fame…  You may not necessarily succeed in manifesting these things in cartoonishly great degree, but if you work at this practice consistently, you may at the very least realize some definite gains in your areas of choice.

And the great thing is that you have the opportunity to plug away at this undertaking twice a day, every day (or more, if you’re one for naps…).  Gear up properly, positively, and proactively for this incredibly lush and magical interval, set your intentions, and then issue instructions to the transporter room — new frontiers await!

1-2-3, Go!!

Just a quick post here today, but maybe a worthy one…

If you adhere to — or can at least accept the existence of — the American way of writing out dates, you’ll see that for us here in the US, today is kind of an interesting date.  January 23 is written out here in numeric form as 1/23.  Or if you want to look at it in a slightly different fashion, it might be taken more as this sequence of numbers: 1-2-3.

This strikes me as having a lot of power.  We repeat this particular sequence throughout our lives, and it pops up all across our society, all the time.  Little children cling to it like a lifeline when first learning the basics of numbers (it’s the numbers equivalent of our alphabet’s A-B-C).  Parents invoke it warningly when their young ones aren’t being quick enough to comply with some request or other (“Alright, I’m going to count to three…1…2…”).  We use it to synchronize actions by more than one person, just like people in a race will use the “Ready, Set, Go!” sequence (for instance: “Okay, We have to cut the wires at the same time, or the bomb will go off, so you do the white one, and I’ll do the red one, on three…  Ready?  1…2…3!”).

1-2-3 is the beginning of things, and it’s the commencement of action.  It’s exciting, and it brings change and advancement.  1-2-3 is the trigger, the launch, the galvanizing force…

Ready...Set...

Ready…Set…

So the point of all this is that if today (1/23) can be seen as being especially in tune with that spirit of “1-2-3,” then maybe even more than other days, this one will be especially well-suited for launching ourselves into something.  And maybe that’s something new, something that’s maybe even a bit scary for us…but then again, the simple act of counting off those three beats before taking the plunge serves to bolster our courage and psych us up for action.  1-2-3 incites and it excites.  It’s the clarion call that electrifies and catapults us.

What can you possibly launch into today?  Think it over, and I’ll even be here helping you to count off when you’re ready…