Letters from Camp #4

beamsinfogNever Too Late to Start

I prayed about whether I was being guided to commit to a training program that most likely would take years to complete. After all, I’m not feeling too much like a Spring chicken these days. Bones creak. I grunt when I get out of the car after driving for a few hours, and it takes me a few steps to loosen back up.

But I am feeling strongly impressed to start walking down this road, and being one who knows that Spirit – my Spirit Guides in particular – understand better than my little personality-Self what is for my highest and greatest good. With a heavy sigh, I make arrangements to attend my first week-long Seminary.

The sigh is not for the information I may glean from the classes, it is for the time and effort it will take to get ready for the trip: the planning, the packing, the loading, the driving, the unloading, the change in time zones, the sleep pattern disruptions…It is really going to take me out of my routine, and so – though I won’t like it very much – it is probably about time for a little routine-disrupting. I learned a few decades ago that the more I can vary my routine, the less likely I am to fall into the density of the consensus reality most people live in.

This time around, I give myself ample time to properly prepare, and this relieves a lot of the stress I sometimes feel when getting ready for a road trip. Fast forward to the week of classes. I am sitting in a class, and somehow the conversation turns to learning, and how when we commit to mediumship, we are best served by continuing to study to improve our knowledge through education and training whenever possible. The message was: there is always more to learn.

An older man is sitting in the class. I notice him because he obviously has more miles on his physical vehicle than I do. He listens intently, and makes the comment that sometimes he wonders if his continued efforts even matter due to his advanced age. The teacher responds by saying that someone once told her that they continue to study not for advancement in THIS life, but in preparation for the NEXT one.

Though this comment was directed at him, it resonated deeply with me, as well. I know now that I will never be too old to be learning about Spirit and the things of Spirit. It is NOT in vain, because it is not for this life,but rather the next, for indeed my Soul is eternal even though this body may not be. Thank you, dear man, for asking that question. I very much needed to hear that message, too. And isn’t that how Spirit works after all? We will all get what we need, even when we don’t know we need it!

Always listen to your heart. The wisdom of your heart is the connection to your authentic power – the true home of your Spirit.                                                                ~Angie Karan

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016 – Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

A Time of Resurrection and Renewal

Photo of green leafy plant

Finally! The days are longer, and I begin to wake from my winter hibernation. The sap is flowing in the trees, there is early morning birdsong as my alarm, and my energy levels are starting to come up again. No more running on empty – at least for the next 7 months or so.

The world makes resolutions on New Year’s Eve, and by the end of January, most of us are back to our old habits or patterns. Working to make changes during a time of hibernation can be extremely difficult, at least for me. I exercise patience. I wait for a time when the energy is on my side. I don’t fight the inertia of hibernation I experience during the deep of Winter – which is a time of slumber for the entire planet anyway.

Resurrection means coming back to life, coming back into practice or use, revival; and renewal means a state of being made new.

The Equinox is just passed. During this weekend of balanced energies, I attuned six people to Reiki Master in a weekend intensive format. These people felt called to bring to life – or back to life – their connection to healing energies.

As I worked with this group, I contemplated what I wanted to resurrect in my life this Spring. I renewed my commitment to certain personal goals I set for myself this year.

I am aware of my human failings. Some things take me more than one attempt. It took me over 8 years and six attempts to quit smoking. I tried more than one method, including hypnosis (didn’t work for me), cold turkey (worked, but I started back up again). It was the worst mistake I ever made because it took me an additional 5 years to (finally) quit. It was  tapering the number of cigarettes per day with the addition of a tobacco substitute to take the edge off the craving that finally allowed me to free myself of the chains of that addiction.

I did a lot of behavior changes before I took that final step. I quit smoking after eating. I stopped lighting up every time the phone rang. I separated the act of smoking from every other activity I did, and made it extra-tough to light up by putting the cigarettes, lighter and ash tray in a room far away from the main part of the house. If I wanted to smoke, I could only smoke. Smoking lost its grip on my life one butt at a time. I am an addict. I know that now.

I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to my herbalist friend Denise in Washington State for her smoking mixture that has no tobacco in it. (www.MountainSpiritHerbals.com for those who may be interested.) She has wonderful personal care products that are chemical free (I adore her Lizard Cream, especially in winter), and a nice selection of loose herbs. This wise woman is a cornucopia of herbal knowledge. I used Shaman’s Blend to wean myself off cigarettes after I cut the cigarettes down to less than 6 per day. The Shaman’s Blend has valerian and chamomile in it, which helped calm my craving for nicotine.

This year, I am renewing my promise to myself to clear out anything that no longer serves me. I sold all my acrylic paints. (I figured out why I had them in the first place, and now no longer need them. I can express my artistic side with pencils and pastels, as I have been doing for decades.) I have donated household items twice, and there will be another large donation after the moving sale that is coming soon.

I am looking at all the objects in my world and am asking if there is value in it for me. Does this thing  contribute to my life or does it drain life force from me? The biggest challenges are with items that have sentimental value for me.  I still have some work to do, but I am renewing my commitment to do this work so I can make room for whatever it is Spirit desires to bring my way.

What are you going to resurrect in your life? Perhaps there are some New Year’s resolutions you’ve already given up on. Now is an excellent time to plant seeds of success for yourself. It is, after all, Spring, the perfect time to plant  what you would like to see harvested come Fall.

Do you want to explore your connection with Spirit? Develop your intuitive connection? Learn how to paint a picture? How about personal training to improve your physical health? Yoga? Martial arts? Meditation? What will you renew your commitment to for your personal growth and development? Do you have something you used to do that you  let fall by the wayside? This is the time to contemplate renewing that practice .

Take some time to find something, just one thing, you can renew a commitment to. Then take the actions needed to plant that garden of positive change. It’s Spring. The Light is with us. Now is the time.

Starting a new way is never easy, so keep starting until the start sticks. ~Tim Fargo

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

 

Musings on Projection

projector2The projective style of dream work has opened a whole new level of perspective for me. The primary tool is projection.  The dictionary defines projection as:the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings or attitudes to other people or objects; esp the externalization of blame, guilt or responsibility as a defense against anxiety.

We are all uniquely blind to our own shortcomings, but are easily able to spot others’ deficiencies. Lately, I have been paying more attention to how I respond to others, and the thoughts I have about them. I know that this is an elegant way for me to quickly identify where in my psyche I still have work to do.

Try this the next time someone irritates you or disappoints you or upsets you, or betrays you. Ask yourself where in my life am I (irritating, disappointing, upsetting, or betraying) myself? It is not as easy a task as it seems. It requires unstinting honesty.

I also need to say that it is not only about the negative things we perceive in others. More importantly, it is often the positive things we perceive in others that we need to see in ourselves. (This is called the Bright Shadow).

Becoming more aware of the thoughts we have about people helps us become more aware of how we perceive ourselves. We don’t have to have someone else tell us, we just have to pay attention to where our mind goes while we are in relationship with those in our world.

Sometimes, I don’t like what I find, but it gives me something I can focus my conscious attention on, and begin to transmute. Intellectually I understand it is all part of the Hero’s Journey,(the part where we slay the dragon) but that doesn’t make it any easier.

The progress of my work with myself  manifests in the dreams I remember. It still fascinates me how consistently relevant these nightly messages from my highest wisdom source are. These gentle ‘report cards’ give me hope and encouragement as I continue my personal journey towards wholeness. I do this work with the awareness that as I do the work for myself, I do the work also for the collective. It is, after all, how we will heal the world’s collective wounds.

Have courage. Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. ~Paolo Coelho

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

The Power of Sharing Dreams

220px-Caveman_5Ancient dreaming societies understood the power of dream-sharing. Often, the first order of the day was for members of the tribe to gather over the morning meal to share the dreams of the night.

Some call dream work ‘New Age’. Humans have been dreaming for  tens of thousands of years,and continue to dream even though there is a disconnect (in the West at least) from our dreaming lives. A colleague of both Jung and Freud, Hungarian Sandor Ferenczi, theorized that ‘dreaming itself is the workshop of evolution’. EVERY dream asks (and symbolically answers) the same question: Who is the dreamer in this now moment, and how did the dreamer come to be this way? Who is the dreamer in the process of becoming?

If you are looking for another way to accelerate your spiritual growth, working with your dreams in a projective format would be something you should seriously consider. It has opened new doors for me, and just when I had reached a place where I thought it was not possible. I am now more conscious than ever of just how far I have yet to travel to reach awareness, but am grateful to my dream Maker for leading me to this path.

Our dreams bring us our ‘next step’. We just have to pay attention to them, and sharing in groups is especially helpful because each of us is uniquely and selectively blind to our own symbolic material (our ‘issues’). Another reason group work is helpful to a dreamer is because of the many layers each dream has. Usually, there will be at least one member of the group that resonates with a certain ‘layer’, and that is often their focus during group dream work.

The primary consideration to keep in mind is that all dreams come in service of our healing and wholeness. Our dreams precisely point out the neglected or repressed parts of our experience that need our attention in order for us to grow in awareness.

There is also always a theme in the dream that deals with the dreamer’s current physical health and condition of the body. Most often, this ‘report’ runs in the background because all is well with the dreamer, but when there is something that needs the dreamer’s attention this ‘track’ will be moved front and center. The scary dreams we call nightmares take the form they do so we will remember the dream, because it is important that we do so for at least a little while after we awaken.

Sigmund_Freud_LIFE

Sigmund Freud

Freud was correct that all dreams do have an element of sexual energy and desire woven into them.

jung

CG Jung

Jung was right when he stated – after having devoted much of his life to intense exploration of archetypes – that all dreams indicate where the dreamer is on their path to psycho-spiritual development regardless of the dreamer’s conscious attitudes about religion. Researchers who conclude that every dream is simply the result of the transfer of random short-term memory traces into the long-term memory banks are also correct.

Our dreams also always contain a level of collective significance. In other words, they give a report about the current state of the society and culture in which the dreamer lives. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine that we can change the world by working with our dreams.

mirrorMost importantly, all dreams are reflections of our native creativity. Dreams are like the magic mirror of the fairy tales, the one that never lies. Our dreams always tell the truth. This applies to the truth about our shortcomings, but also about our positive traits. The more willing we are to look in the mirror, and accept all that we see, the more self-aware we become.

If we live completely, we surrender to the lives (of the ancestors) and redeem them. ~ CG Jung

 

All original material posted to this site (c)2016, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

It Was the Morning of the First Day

Life happened. I apologize for the long delay between these installments. I’ve actually lived another, profound chapter of this very story since last I wrote here. And now, as they used to say in the old days, back to our story…

Let the Games Begin

The first exercise seemed innocent enough. We did a short drumming and then drew a picture of whatever came to mind when we came out of it. I worked with the person who was sitting close by. I didn’t notice who my daughter worked with. When we were back in the room at the end of the day, she did mention that she’d told a woman something and that the person had reacted in a strong way. I wasn’t paying attention because I was tired from the long journey to get to the workshop. The brief lapse in attention would turn out to be pivotal, but I didn’t understand this until after the adventure was over.

We shared in circle, and crow medicine made a first appearance. There was a flock of them. Many people had crow medicine, or were introduced to crow medicine this first day. Crow came into my life under unusual circumstances, but that is a story for another day. I ran from crow for years, until I finally surrendered to the medicine of crow, and the patient invitation I received from the Crow nation.

One of the best books on animal totems is Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews. Some of the most important things – things also relevant to this story – that he says about crow is that the crow has a certain aura of magic, of mystery about them. Black is the color of creation, of the Great Mother.

CrowbywaterCrow has a dominant place in many mythologies. One of their primary qualities, in addition to their intelligence, is their watchfulness. When one is traveling between the worlds, what better companion can we have than crow?

As I re-read Ted’s words about crow, I come across a sentence I’ve underlined in my very dog-eared copy of  the book: “Crows have long been considered magical, and my grandfather once told me how even finding a dead crow was a sign of good luck.” Well now, I forgot that little piece of information.

Wherever crow visits, there is magic. The crow is a messenger calling to us about the energy of creation and magic that is alive in our world every day. Crow started on the first day here, calling us  all – if we had the eyes to see it, the ears to hear it – to the magic that can be accessed whenever humans gather in groups with a sacred purpose.

This was such a group, and I for one at least, was there for a sacred purpose, I just didn’t understand it at the time.

We made another journey that first morning, and then it was time for lunch. In the afternoon, we journeyed to find an afterlife guide for our journeys.

akhenatenandhisfamilyI was most interested that my journeys, no matter where we were to travel as a group, tended to have a distinctly Egyptian flavor to them. That was not the focus of the workshop, but it was where I kept going, and I had no control over it. By the middle of the second day, with this distinctly Egyptian theme continuing, I began to have the sense that something was going on. These ‘off the reservation’ trips I kept taking seemed to have a purpose. It was almost as if it were being orchestrated from another level, by a higher consciousness if you will.

I surrendered to the process, but was distracted by the drama that seemed to unfold at the human level of things. While I was moving through the experience, I was often confused and distressed by what transpired. Every day, every night, I asked for guidance, for clarity, for I know that if we are to understand something, then the Universe will bring us that gift.

If I had one traveler’s tip for you fellow seekers of Truth, it would be this: Just live through the experience to the best of your ability. Remain aware. Take advantage of every moment, noting as much as you can about the circumstances, for you know not what will be important to your understanding later.

And don’t forget to rewind the experience a few times. You will often find you glean more insight in the process.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. ~Mother Teresa

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2014, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credits: Wikipedia

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Morning Coffee – A Writing Burst is Coming

EinspaennerI know it has been quiet here for some time. I’m still deliberating whether or not I need to just shut this down. The answer from the Universe is obviously “Not yet…”

I recently endured one of the most perplexing and intense weeks I’ve had in a while, which means there is much insight for me to harvest there. It comes best when I write it out, or talk it over. This time, I choose to write it out, so you who still visit here will be the beneficiaries of that endeavor. Lucky you. There are insights here, I can feel it. I just don’t know (yet) what they are.

I will now employ a well-used technique to get you to come back to read all about it: there were great Mother Bears, and huge snakes. Crow and raven flew. Ancient wounds were re-opened, and an old story played itself out on a modern stage. The ultimate result was different this time, however. We will dance between ancient and modern times, so you will have to remain on your toes. I will do my best to keep the players and the timelines straight.

This is an epic tale, a mythic one, with many nuanced twists and turns. There is intrigue, there are struggles for power, and there is the proverbial Tipping Point. Hopefully, in the telling and sharing, you will find grist for your spiritual mill, something to contemplate and perhaps even something to apply to your own life. We must use all the tools available to us. It is time. With this tale, I call you to Stand.

For now, I will leave you with this: there are always gifts and blessings in any experience. We just need to stay focused and look for them.

For now, the coffee cup’s empty, and I have much to do this day. Thanks for sitting with me for a while.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2014, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Wikipedia