Category Archives: Alchemy

When You’re Absolute Beginners…

Zion presented me with a panoramic view and I surveyed her land like a Spiritual broker; hell-bent on laying claim to the buried flecks of gold birthed beneath her stony ground.  I saw numbers in road signs and watched the highway blur beyond hot tears as a desert sunset reflected hot purply-pink across my cornea.  Mining for gold is a fool’s bane, but I was in love with staking land claims.

If cliches are the False Self’s sense of expropriating “knowledge” to bury more of the Soul’s gold, then “the more I learn and the more I experience, the less I truly know,” cliche is not such a bad mantra afterall.  I pondered these thoughts as the Medicine Man placed his vibrational tuning fork to my chest.  The metal hummed and whirred to the frequency of a tiny sparrow.

“You’re an Absolute Beginner,” he grimaced as he replaced the fork, chiming it once again with more verve and gusto.  A slight hum, whirr, and an audible “click” emanated from the device.  Ironically, the handle was gold.  I choked a sigh of relief.

The Medicine Man patted me on the back and whistled as he strode across the park.  His leather shoes made a slight squeaking sound as each foot pounded the earth.

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A Song for a Future Child

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On the day you were born, the cosmos blessed you with the gift of your Self.  Shining like all beings constructed of sacred geometry, you were created from a cosmic soup of vibrating atomies.  These atomies belonged to the past, future and present of all our ancestors and our progeny.  You were given hands to sculpt clay and fingers to hold the hands of small children and elders.  You were given eyes to envision the Light emanating from all Life.  A mouth allowed you to speak your Truths so that others might seek their Truth.  You were given ears to hear the thrum of the Earth’s heartbeat.  From fetus to child to adult, you struggled to cross that divide and bridge the threshold of the “what if” and “who am I” to the acceptance of “it is” and “now”.  You discovered that “Self” could sink deeply into rich soil and you discovered that “Self” could stretch high up into the heavens.  Creation sprang forth from this well.  This is your Alchemy of Creation; a microcosm and macrocosm for your creation of Love, Faith and Hope.  You wrote, loved, painted, baked, pondered and inspired the materials necessary to construct that bridge.  You chose your tools based on your instincts, weaving talents with harmony and insight.  More importantly child, you found joy and passion in your Gift and the World could not help but vibrate with this synchronous harmony emanating from within you.  You are co-creator of the One or Non-Self.  You blessed this Earth on the day you were born, my future child.

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, you rejoice and the world cries.”

White Elk

“Did you see a raven today?”

I was going to dedicate this evening’s post to Blobby the Blobfish, but decided to discuss some more spiritual matters instead (no offense Grace, but Blobby nearly gave me a freaking heart attack…my ticker is still pumping wildly from that scary encounter).  Sorry Blobby.  Life’s unfair….but there is something kinda cute about you…I must admit.  Actually, he kind of reminds me of some weird cartoon character….just can’t think of which one…

Anyway, I have a neat story to share with you.

This afternoon, I decided to take a little break from studying acupuncture points (only 175…pah…piece of cake….–gulp–) and let my eyes rest upon the gorgeous afternoon sky.  Beyond my office window, I could see a very pale pink horizon above the house and tree-tops.  Underneath the pale, milky sky, a flock of geese made a haphazard dive into a far-away pasture.  My attention dropped to survey their roost, but the trees and housetops obscured my view.  My eyes continued to scan this vision – the view from my office window – which seems to change, second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour with the seasons, time, weather….

Then my myopic eyes rested upon the house across the street.  For some reason, I was compelled to hold this gaze.  Like a watcher, a hunter, I held this vision, knowing that something was going to appear and settle into view.  I felt as though I was waiting for someone, for a friend…

A sudden flash of silvery black wings fluttered into view and an elegant raven landed upon my neighbour’s chimney.  The bird surveyed his post and mouthed a raven squawk.  He flitted his wings and postured his arrival.  My friend, my familiar, my eyes…my messenger.

At important times of my life, I have had the privilege of being visited by ravens.  The raven is a symbol of the unconscious and our perceptions of reality.  They have been thought of as messengers.  They allow us to perceive and connect with the emotions and feeling with others [which, as I was to learn later today would be this Raven’s message…].

The raven croaked his throaty call and fluttered his wings.  I projected my intention onto my friend and asked him for his guidance and help.  I could have sworn that he bobbed his head, as if in agreement, before flexing his strong legs and catapulting himself into the netherworld of the afternoon sky.

Later today, I received an unexpected phone call from one of my dearest friends.  I hadn’t heard from her in some time…I was supposed to be heading out on a road-trip for business and really had to get going….but, something told me that I needed to take the time (however long it might take) and give her….my time.  She told me that she had been having some troubles lately and that she had battled a few health and spiritual issues over the last few months.  This woman and I are very close friends.  She is my female soul mate, I’m sure.  Even our mothers get us confused for one another and joke about us being “twins”. 

Wow.  This was alot of information for me to take in.  My friend had been hurting and going through a difficult time, and I could only hear about the aftermath now (because she is alot like me – she loves people so deeply that she can’t bear to burden her friends with her problems).  Then, thinking of her timely phonecall and our empathic soul-mate connection, I asked her one question.

“Did you see a raven today?”

What do you think her answer was?!

Wonderful….mysterious….and enchanting. 

-Namaste

[D.  This post is for you my friend.  You are courageous and strong.  You are a Nature Child, you are already an Earth Mother…and our Spirit Friend, the Raven has spoken for you…xoxo].

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The Tao – Part 3 (TCM Tidbits)

This entry is the last in a series of articles discussing the concept of the Tao and it’s relevance to the practise and philosophy of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  For those of you that are interested, I wrote about the Tao and it’s symbolism here, and it’s relation to health and TCM here.  Today, I will discuss the validity of TCM as it applies to acupuncture theory, health, and surprisingly – culture!

Recall that the body’s organs are typified as either Yin or Yang, according to their action and location in the body.  It is also interesting to note that these organs typically work in “pairs” inside of the system of the body (for example, the liver and the gallbladder are connected as Zang – Fu organs).  Zang refers to organs that store life giving substances (they have Yin energy) and Fu refers to hollow organs that interact with the environment (Yang energy).  In this case, the liver is the Zang organ and the gallbladder is the Fu organ and the pair function to circulate and move blood.

There are, of course, other Zang Fu pairs within the body (Kidney-Bladder, Spleen-Stomach, Lung-Large Intestine, Heart-Small Intestine, Pericardium-Triple Burner).  Now, our Western thought processes can certainly rationalise some of these pairings, but wait, what is this Triple Burner thingie?!  Good question.  Now, we are referring back to the alchemical principles of TCM.  The Triple Burner (obviously!) has no Western medical equivalent, but it is perceived to be a sort of internal axis (combustion engine) that moves Qi and fluids from above (Lungs, in particular) to below (Kidneys).  I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s suffice to say that a fine balance and harmony is required to keep the entire bodily system chugging along smoothly.

So now that I have confused you with a tidbit of TCM physiology, what scientific evidence do we have to suggest that any of this is plausible?  The answer to that lies on and in your skin (and within your nervous system).  Trigger points are areas of the body that correspond with about 70% of the known TCM acupuncture points.  These areas are made to be found!  The skin overlying these areas is thinner and more sensitive.  These points may even twitch when irritated, thus encouraging their owner (ahem…that would be “you”!) to rub them!  Here’s an experiment to humour yourself with – place your right hand in front of you and gently place pressure in the web of your fingers between your thumb and index finger just in front of your thumb-joint (you are now stimulating the approximate area of Large Intestine 4!).  This is a wonderful point that is great for general well-being, gives you an endorphin release and can help moderate many ailments (headache, neck pain, abdominal pain just to name a few). 

Ancient humans have known this secret for milennia!  Otzi, the ancient Tyrolian mountain-climber (circa 3300 BC!) had a variety of tattoos placed over various trigger points on his body that corresponded to actual pathology that had been confirmed by scientists (arthritis etc.).  The most interesting thing about this “acupuncture hypothesis” is that Otzi (and presumably, his clan) presented evidence of early acupuncture practise a few thousand years before it was documented by the Chinese (suggesting that the practise of acupuncture arose spontaneously amongst a variety of cultures – including non-Asian cultures many thousands of years ago).  Rather intriguing to say the least.

Today, modern acupuncture is a complementary therapy that is slowly integrating it’s way into the health and well-being plans of many patients.  Increasingly more clinical studies are being performed to support it’s usefulness in a variety of cases (especially in the realm of pain management).  I say “complementary”, because there are certainly limitations to any one form or modality of healing and this must be considered in the best interests of the patient.  The theory of TCM helps open-minded practitioners of Western medicine to “think outside the box” when treating dis-ease (which is a very well organised process according to TCM philosophy).  It helps practitioners view the body as an ecological system that requires harmony and balance to function properly.  With TCM, organs are “facilitated” and systems are opened.  Qi and energy movement, balance and harmony are re-established (with a proper TCM diagnosis) and the body can “re-wire itself”, thus promoting better health.  I would like to think that TCM is a nice way of “helping the body to help itself” (as opposed to fighting it solely with Western medical practices).  Practitioners of modern medicine have much to gain by engaging a TCM practitioner in the health and wellness plan of their patients.

I hope that a few of you have found this information useful.  I am forever intrigued by the parallels between TCM and other theories (alchemical, osteopathic) as I journey along my healthful and spiritual path.

Namaste and Good Health to you all.

-PM

La Cle

After retrieving her treasure, she makes her way down the mossy path, back to the small, thatched hut nestled against the rim of the Ancient Forest.  A waxing crescent moon rising above the tree-tops greets a few transient stars that struggle to ignite themselves in the sunset afterglow.  The old lady raises her staff to the moon and whispers a few unintelligible words to herself as she makes her way to the wooden door. 

“Did you find it?” the old man asks as she closes the door gently behind her.  Her eyes glint grey in the dim candle-light of the room.  The smell of baked bread and stew greets her nose.  Her tummy grumbles a tiny growl of appreciation.

“Ay,” she answers wistfully as she moves towards the hearth and extends a wrinkled hand to the man.  One by one, her fingers slowly uncurl, revealing the golden object on her ageing skin.

“Ah, yes!” exclaims the man thoughtfully.  His eyes shine and glimmer as he takes the weighted object into his own grasp.  He is amazed at the weight and robustness of its composition.  “And, what is this?” he continues as he stares down upon her hand.  Another object, this one smaller and rough, remains in her palm, at the very tip of her life-line.

“Oh that” murmurs the woman, as she turns the glistening object about in her hands.  The candle-light shining through the object reveals that it is golden-red in colour and crystalline.  “I found it lying next to the key amongst the ferns and moss.”  Her forced tone of complacency almost betrays her, “I’m sure that it’s nothing,” she sighs wistfully at the man and closes her hand.  She is surprised by the tingling sensations in her fingers as she holds the object.

“Hmmm…You might be right” the old man states as he turns towards the burning glow of the fire, key in hand.  “It looks like nothing but a dried up piece of tree sap,” he states in a rather distracted manner as he studies the key with myopic eyes.  “Oh, and there is stew on the hearth, I thought you might be interested in a hot meal upon your return.”

The woman carefully places the amber-coloured stone into her velvet satchel and attaches it to her braided leather belt.  Her fingers tingle and tremble as she reaches for a pewter ladle handle within the stew-pot.  She serves herself a steaming bowl of broth and vegetables and sits down at the long, wooden table, situated in the small, darkened kitchen.  From behind the rising steam, her eyes shift to the man.  She senses an uneasiness and tension in the room.  She reaches for the stone, feeling for it within her satchel, before continuing to consume her meal.  The old man takes a seat in a rocking chair beside the fire.  His eyes transfixed upon the key.

“Let him have his key,” the old lady whispers to herself as she takes a bite from a rye bread roll, “I have discovered something much more important,” she continues whispering, her hands reaching for her satchel, “besides, he didn’t even bother to ask from where I obtained it…”

***

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L’Arbre de Vie

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Fallen leaves crunch beneath her feet,

A wooden staff

Supports her frame

As it samples the mossy forest floor.

   

A firefly lantern glows in her hands,

Illuminating and

Directing her passage

As it shines upon the mossy forest floor.

 

A shining object glints amidst leaves,

Glimmering and

Beckoning her hand

As it rests atop the mossy forest floor.

 

A golden key of magnificent lustre and weight,

Entangled and

Hence detached by probing fingers

As it is released from the mossy forest floor.

 

Camphor scent and tree roots exposed,

Reaching and

Growing from a grand trunk

As they sink deeply into the mossy forest floor.

 

That which is above, is like that which is below,

Branches reaching and

Roots sinking deeply

As they channel energy into the mossy forest floor.

 

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Phew!  I just returned from my Holiday, and I am feeling absolutely rested and wonderful.  The salty air and ocean did wonders for my soul and mind (my hair, on the other hand, was a completely different story – it tends to have a mind of it’s own in 100% humidity and salt air, but who cares!).  Woo hoo!  Glad to be back and I’m now happy to post my answers to some of my previous, pre-Holiday questions: 

“How do you feed your spirit?”

Honestly.  I just spent a few bucks on iTunes prior to logging onto my blog.  [Gnarls Barkley is fantastic!  “Crazy” sums up my feelings for life…].  Anyways, music has to be one of the ways in which I feed my soul.  I can always count on a great playlist to feed that hungry soul groove of mine.  I listen to all types of music too.  Each genre or song contributes so much to my mood or feeling at the time (you know what I’m talking about).  As I’m typing this, I’m listening to OMD’s “If You Leave”, a great 80’s classic.  Wow!  The potential for music to feed and nourish one’s spirit should never be underestimated. 

Another way in which I enrich my soul is to ensure that I am growing spiritually by supplying myself with the essential tools that I feel are required for *my* journey (you know – little items to place in that velvet satchel as I journey through the mossy woods and glens). I will frequent local bookshops or import stores/spiritual stores and pick up books or items of interest.  Alot of what I purchase depends on the “signposts” that I have seen on my spiritual path.  Just today, I picked up some Goddess Guidance cards for a friend and spoiled myself with some amber incense and a very clear and very powerful chunk of smooth, clear quartz.  I like taking this time out for myself – either shopping at these types of stores, or enjoying a coffee by myself or with a friend, as I watch the world go by.  Time for oneself is so important.

Friends, family, pets, plants.  Anyone or anything that I might be able to wrap my proverbial or physical, loving arms around.  Giving and receiving love and a smile daily are essential for well-being.  I also find it wonderful to smile as I walk about in my community – sharing my love and light with others as I go about my day.  It’s amazing how it makes you feel when you make someone smile when they pass you by, because you are smiling.  It’s darned contagious I tell ya!  I also like to show my love with little acts of kindness.  Little gifts of appreciation, hugs, smiles, notes, phonecalls and other such things never go unappreciated.  Plus, it makes you feel wonderful to show and give your appreciation for the gifts that the Universe has to offer.

*** 

“If you are not taking care of your spirit now….How will you change this?  Do you want to change this?”

The only time I seem to have problems with taking care of my spirit, seems to be when I am off-balanced and stressed.  Emotional, mental and physical stress can wreak havoc in my day to day relationships with myself and others if it builds up to the point where it becomes a problem (this usually occurs because I haven’t had time to ground myself with enough “me” time).  Often enough, a short trip or journey into the great outdoors (mountains, lakes etc.) is enough to reset my spirtual clock.  I have been resetting my spiritual clock in this manner for some 20 years now and it seems to work for me.  I seem to gravitate to water – lakes, rivers, oceans and the like.  Mountains also hold special significance for me too.  There seems to be a connecting energy in nature and I seem to be able to connect with this on a regular schedule to help ground myself.

Lately too, I have found myself in the company of many spiritual people.  Some of them are friends, some are more like mentors and some are both.  I believe that all of these people are in my life to help guide me along my journey – and I believe, too, that I am likely there to teach these people a little something about themselves.  Funny enough, these people are not always adults, nor are these people always “people”.  Some of the most influential spirits in my life have been those of children and animals.  Perhaps, the energy channels seem to be a little more open and connected with some of these innocent beings.  Regardless, I believe that, although we are all on our own spiritual paths, many of our lives are woven and interconnected in a rather intricate manner.  I believe that we all have much to learn from one another.  The key is to remain wide-eyed and open-minded, empathetic and non-assumptive.  There is potential to see the god-like nature in everyone – that is essentially the meaning of the word “Namaste” afterall…

Love and Light!

-PM