Letters from Camp #2

Camp Chesterfield Sign

Meeting Solomon and Charlie

When I went to explore Camp Chesterfield in July of 2016, I went with some hesitation. My past experiences with Spiritualist Camps in particular, and Spiritualist Churches in general have been – well, mixed is the best word to use.

When I was first reawakened almost 30 years ago, Spirit led me into a tiny Spiritualist church on the West Coast, but based on later experiences in other Spiritualist organizations, you wouldn’t know it was a Spiritualist Church. There was a healing service and a message giving time, but both blended into the regular Sunday service. The founder of this little church was a tiny powerhouse of a woman (supported by her delightful husband Jim) with cornflower blue eyes that – with one glance – could pierce you to your very core. Her name was Beulah. I don’t think it was an accident that one of the meanings for this name is ‘lady-boss’. She certainly was the center around which that church revolved.

There is a whole magnificent teaching story with this Master, but I will save that for some other time. The point of mentioning this church was the sense of welcome and warmth I felt when I stepped into this small, close-knit community. Almost a generation’s worth of years later, I walked into a large well-established Spiritualist church and barely made it to the end of the service. I left, trembling, and decided that was not the place for me. I’ve never been back.

I won’t mention the OTHER Camp I visited that left me disillusioned about all things Spiritualist. There have been some changes there since last I worked there, and I am sure they have been only for the better. When I left there, I left feeling that perhaps this Spiritualism thing was not for me in any form. Yet I kept finding myself on Spiritualist websites (mostly English – as in England – ones). Well, when would I ever have the resources to study in England? Probably never, to be honest here.

Then came the repeated hints (I now understand they were coming from my Dr Teacher) to give the ‘sunflower philosophy’ one more chance. This year, 2016, was the time to do that. I recently moved to a state that put me within a comfortable day’s drive of Camp Chesterfield, so the travel obstacle was removed. I discovered they offer a training program that I can participate in according to my means and time schedule. That provides an incentive to explore in that direction.

I took things slowly. I enrolled for a weekend workshop with someone whose books I’d read and enjoyed. I enjoyed the grounds and the overall atmosphere of the place. (Notice I didn’t use the obvious phrase: I really liked the ‘Spirit’ of the place.)

But this Letter is about exactly that: the Spirit of the place. I had the most intense experience while in that brief workshop. The workshop leader guided us through a relaxation/grounding meditation, and then said that now we would have the opportunity to meet one of our Spirit guides, the one we most needed to connect with according to our current place on our spiritual journey.

I’ve never had such a physical reaction to the presence of anyone in Spirit, except for the times when crossed-over loved ones hit me in the heart with the intensity of their love and it makes me want to cry. I have ‘seen’ Spirit guides and loved ones clairvoyantly and ‘heard’ them speak clairaudiently, but rarely have the communications been so clear as they were this day, in this place.

He stood directly in front of me, eyes blazing. Robed and carrying a staff, he just worked with the energy of my 3rd chakra, my heart chakra, my throat, my 3rd eye and my temples as well. I felt all of this in my physical body during the brief meditation. When we came back from the guided meditation, it took me awhile to come back to normal, waking life self. I proceeded to do a sketch of this being, and as I worked, I heard the name Solomon. Right after I finished the drawing, I concentrated on coming back to normal awareness.

In the process of ‘coming back down’, I saw very clearly a smiling red-haired, slightly balding, short-statured man. With this image, I heard the name ‘Charlie’. What the heck? I thought. Who the heck is this Charlie fellow? Is he someone’s crossed-over loved one? Sometimes I see them clearly enough to draw them. No one claimed him. For no apparent reason, I heard an old hymn in my head while I sketched Charlie. I filed that away, too.

Later that day, I had a reading with the workshop facilitator. I wanted to experience her process. Towards the end of the reading, she mentioned the name Charlie and tried to place him as one of my relatives in Spirit. the problem is, I don’t HAVE a relative named Charlie in Spirit. When I said so, she just replied ‘Well, I’ll just leave you with that, then.’ I left a bit confused, but knew that the mention of Charlie was something I needed to pay attention to.

Later that evening, there was an All-Medium Message service in the Chapel. I thought the extra donation would be worth the experience, so I went. Messages were flying to people all around me, and some were getting more than one. I was curious as to whether anyone was going to come to me. The demonstrations were drawing to a close. There was only one medium left, and she was going to do flower messages. The hymn chosen to introduce her was the same song I’d heard in my head earlier that day.

OK. NOW I’m paying attention. Then she asked anyone who had not yet received a message to raise their hands. Up went my hand. I told Spirit in my head which flowers I wanted them to impress her to choose for me so that I could know she was for real listening to Spirit. The vase began to empty. Then she reached for the flowers I had chosen for myself. She pulled them out, and gave a message to someone else. ‘Bummer,’ I thought.

She gave another couple of messages before she turned to me. She reached for the flowers from the vase, and struggled to free them. All of them started – and kept – trying to come out in a clump. Even she made the comment that they were fighting her. Inside, I smiled. Spirit was letting me know they TRIED to impress her to pull those particular flowers for me. She literally had to use both hands to wrestle the ones she’d chosen for me from the vase.

I don’t remember the exact words she first spoke to me, but it had to do with my willingness to Serve Spirit. Then, as she was winding down, she mentioned Charlie. Here it was AGAIN. When things come to me in threes, I pay very close attention, especially when they are so close in time. OK. So I don’t have a loved one in Spirit named Charlie, but someone named Charlie is definitely trying to get my attention!

I went home with a lot of questions but knowing that, as always, when I am supposed to know something, I will. I have been living with the knowledge that the Universe does not waste energy. I will know what I need to know WHEN I need to know it, and not a moment sooner.

I’d been sensing for months that I was in the middle of what can only be termed a second awakening on the level of that re-awakening I’d experienced in my 30s. And now, with this trip to Camp Chesterfield, came the awareness that this sense was on track. I could hardly wait for what would be coming next.

Life is a series of awakenings.                                                                      ~Swami Mukeiji

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

Letters from Camp #1

Camp Chesterfield Sign

Remember when, as a kid, you wrote letters home while you were at Camp? Well, I never went to camp, but do know about the practice of writing home while away at camp for the summer. Later in my life, I am finally having the ‘Camp’ experience, though not in the most traditional sense of the word. My insights and experiences will be sent to you in this series of Letters. I hope you will find them of value to your spiritual journey…

Just when I think I have a handle on what is coming next, the nudges from Spirit happen and I am off and running in yet another direction, down what may – at first glance  – appear to be a deviation from my path.

Such is the case with my recent ‘obsession’ with pursuing yet more spiritual education via an extended formal training program in Mediumship through a Spiritualist Camp in – of all places – Indiana. So, in addition to it being a long program, it’s not an easy thing to manage the scheduling and traveling arrangements.

Six months or so ago, I found myself ‘wandering’ online. (When this happens, I just allow it because it is a way that Guidance brings me information I’m not consciously aware of.) This day, I found myself on the Camp Chesterfield website.

I remembered I’d found myself here before, some years ago. I mention this because often people worry they might miss an important opportunity on their spiritual growth path if they make the ‘wrong’ choice. Not so. If it is part of your Soul’s intention for this incarnation, trust me, Spirit will find ways to keep bringing that opportunity around for you to choose – or not choose – until, I suspect, you draw your last breath.

Last year, I’d begun the study of Projective Dreamwork with Jeremy Taylor, and now I find myself looking at this Mediumship program. What was up with this, anyway? I have a dear friend who is an incredibly gifted, accomplished Astrologer with over 40 years’ experience. She is also a Scorpio, which makes her very intuitive. I asked her for a favor. I asked her to look at my chart to determine if there was any ‘higher’ vibration I might be responding to.

No surprise, there it was. For the next two years or so, I am in a cycle of learning. This allowed me to relax into the flow of where the energy was leading me. I hedged my bet by traveling up to the Camp for a weekend workshop just to get the feel of the place.

There is a supportive energy there that allows for a lifting of the vibrations of the physical body. (I will share about this weekend in a separate letter.) Simply walking the grounds can bring calm and a sense of peace.

Grotto at Camp Chesterfield

If you look for the goodness, the blessings that are available here, you will be rewarded. Go in with a positive, receptive attitude, and Spirit will respond in magnificent ways.

When I returned from that weekend, I prayed about that next step, until I felt I’d received clear guidance about what I needed to do next in order to improve my ability to serve Spirit. I had the impression I’d be well served to record my experiences as I had them, that I would be learning some important things during this time. I did not keep as good a record of my early teachings that were given to me by my Spirit teachers almost 30 years ago, and I know I missed some important insights. This time, I vowed to do it differently. These Letters are a part of that promise to myself.

The Universe is always delivering to us what we need for a spiritual awakening.            -Erin Fall Haskell        

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

 

 

 

 

Brother Crow – A Full Circle Moment

When I was on the West Coast recently visiting my daughter, I had a powerful experience that I know was a full-circle moment. I know there is a powerful message there for me, and I wait for it to be revealed in the fullness of time.

CrowbywaterYes, it involves another encounter with one of my closest Spirit Animal allies: Crow. You can find the story of my first encounter with crow here. Over the years, I have had more than one luminous, unusual encounter with the power of Crow Medicine. This month, I encountered Crow in the very same fashion as when I first walked past the crow that was lying dead in the gutter by the curb.

I threw my back out while visiting my daughter and needed to drive to Tacoma (the town I lived in when I was opened back up to the Voice of Spirit). The chiropractor that used to treat me when I was in the military still practices there, and is always happy to squeeze me in if needed. Now, I could have gone with my daughter and her boyfriend, but if I had, I doubt I would have had the experience I did.

I arrived in Tacoma early for my appointment, and there was a Starbuck’s across the street, so I went over to the store to get a coffee and something to snack on. I didn’t want to sit in the store because it was a wonderful day and I didn’t want to sit in the parking lot, either. I got in the car and drove slowly – I now realize I was following Spirit -until I came to a place behind a box store where there were some trees and some shade where I could eat my breakfast sandwich.

As I pulled up to park under the trees, I was shocked to see a crow lying in the parking lot. It had obviously been recently hit as the blood pooling underneath the creature was still bright red. I was overcome with a full-on sense of time wrapping back upon itself somehow, and knew this was NOT an accident. I finished my snack, then used the bag the sandwich came in to pick the bird up and put it in the ivy growing under the trees  where I was parked. I apologized to the bird that I could not do more in the moment. It was better than leaving the bird lying on the pavement in the sun.

As I drove away to the appointment, I felt as if I were in two times at once, pondering the odds that I would 1) be in Tacoma, 2) go to the chiropractor while I was there, and 3) find a dead crow that needed my help. Again.

If I hadn’t thrown my back out, I would not have needed to drive to Tacoma. If I hadn’t arrived so early, I wouldn’t have had time to kill. If I hadn’t been hungry, I wouldn’t have stopped at the store, I would have waited in the office. If it hadn’t been such a nice day, I would have eaten the meal in the store. The timing was perfect, and I did follow the subtle current of energy that was gently leading me.

To the crow that gave its life so I could receive my message, I give thanks. And I will do my best to hear it so that your sacrifice is not wasted.

Since our waking life can be worked in the same way or sleep dreams can, I will share what I learn when I work this experience with my dream Teacher next month. Until then, thank you, brother Crow, for your constant companionship on my spiritual journey.

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

We do not create our destiny; we participate in its unfolding. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny.                                         ~David Richo

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.

 

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.