A Review of the Book and Cards, “Medicine Cards”

I’ve written about love and compassion here quite a bit, so it’s to be expected that I would have to face my own fears and shadow self, and see my own doubts and then, to be honest with myself and you, share them along the way. Though my childhood in this life would not be called easy, I sense that I brought some darkness with me, a darkness that has shown itself as nagging doubts about my self-worth, my spiritual commitment and whether or not I am truly loved by God. In the past, the feeling has come as an overwhelming wave of self-hate. I’m writing about this because this blog is a part of my journey.

Years ago I made a necklace that came into being looking like a simple Native Indian work. It prompted me to pull a box off my bookshelf book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, which includes a wisdom-book and a smaller box of Medicine Cards, painted by Angela Werneke, of a variety of animals. Drawing the cards from the deck with a spiritual purpose, I am tapping into Native Indian philosophy and wisdom.

The authors of Medicine Cards explain,

“Our intention, as shamans and healers, is to begin a process for many people who have never understood their connection to Mother Earth and her creatures … [and] of what it means to walk in balance on the Earth Mother. Our dream animals have asked for our assistance in spreading the understanding that all life is sacred.

When calling on the power of an animal, you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature’s essence. Gaining understanding from these brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom is a healing process and must be approached with humility and intuitiveness.”

I had used this book before and looked through a bunch of files and I found my notes, dated April 24, 2001. That day, I found my nine Totem Animals (guides that remain the same for a lifetime); used the Pathway Spread to learn about life-lessons patterns; and the Moon Lodge Spread, to learn the state of my personal unconscious, to uncover the lies and self-deceptions I had been using to thwart my spiritual growth. I guess that explains why I didn’t pick up the book again until ten years later. Chicken wasn’t one of the totem animals, but, cluck-cluck, it applies here.

I looked inside the book and found another spread called the Medicine Wheel. ‘Medicine’ in the Native Indian way is defined in the book as:

“Anything that improves one’s connection to the Great Mystery and to all of life…Medicine is also anything that brings personal power, strength, and understanding. It is the constant living of life in a way that brings healing to the Earth Mother and all associates, family, friends, and fellow creatures…it is an all-encompassing ‘way of life,’ for it involves walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the Universe.”

Wow–walking on the Earth Mother in perfect harmony with the universe. How many of us walk in this manner, giving thanks to the Great Spirit for everything in our lives and to the animals and plants who give their lives to become our food? It is a worthwhile goal, one I hope is not impossible.

The Medicine Wheel spread is used to reflect on the personality and to see how we learn from ourselves, other people and animals. Sounded good to me. After shuffling, I drew five cards and placed them on a table in the four directions, East, South, West and North and one in the center, which is the Sacred Mountain Card. Each direction has its own meaning.

There are two messages for each card, one if the card is right-side up when you pull it out and one if the card is upside-down, which the authors refer to as ‘Contrary.’ My shadow-self doesn’t want to share the cards I drew, but my Higher Self does:

**The first card, East, represents where our spiritual strengths lie and the challenges to seeing clearly in the present situation.

EAST: Moose. Is about not needing approval, and experiencing the joy of a job well done, about the joy in giving encouragement but also in warning. Moose is about a new sense of self and accomplishment. Contrary Message: Ego can ruin a sense of accomplishment. It is about tooting my own horn and failing to be interested in others. It is a need to recognize that everyone is a teacher for everyone else, and there is a need to grow quiet for a while to let wisdom enter my heart.

**Second is South, with the animal guide helping our inner children learn what we need to nurture and to trust ourselves.

SOUTH: Blue Heron. Blue Heron indicates an unawareness of who I am and where I belong. Follow intuition and begin the journey of self-realization. Low self-worth and self-pity means I will never truly understand my true potential. A lack of courage in facing the critical enemy within. See my motives, actions, feelings, dreams, goals, strengths and weakness. Contrary Message: Too much self-reflection can lead to self-obsession. If criticizing self, watch out! It is imprudent to drown the sense of joy that accompanies the journey of self-discovery. Perfection leaves no room for being human. Our most valuable lessons are learned from our mistakes. Balance the desire to change with gentle discernment. Dive deep into feelings and emerge renewed, not judgmental, rigid, and flat, which breaks the spirit. Do not expect to find the many layers of truth and wholeness in one dive. Don’t hold my breath for enlightenment or let the collective feelings of humanity drown me.

**Third is West, showing the internal solution to present life challenges and what we need to reach our goals.

WEST: Dog. Serving others or humanity in some way. The guardian embodies the loving gentleness of the best friend with the protective energy regarding territory. Delve deeply into my sense of service to others. Have I forgotten that I owe allegiance to my personal truth? Have the opinions of others jaded my loyalty to a friend? Have I ignored someone who is trying to be my friend? Have I been loyal and true to my goals?

**Fourth is North, which integrates the other cards and is the key to walking in wisdom by connecting to our highest purpose and intentions.

NORTH: Antelope. Knowledgeable action. Symbolizes the antenna of the hair, which attaches us to the Great Mystery. Action is the key and the essence of living. Antelope medicine gives strength of mind and heart. Call on antelope when balled up. Antelope sends ingenious solutions. Antelope indicates a higher purpose and forces action for self, family, clan, nation and Mother Earth. It is time—do it now.

**Fifth is the card in the center of the spread; it shows how to see the present as a crossroads of spiritual and physical realities and how they have melded, to show whether or not we are in balance and what to do about it.

CENTER: Deer. Deer is the gentle spirit, filled with love and compassion for all. With love, deer moves the bullies away from the door to the Great Spirit. Creates safety. Contrary Message: Means I’m courting my fears by fighting the internal demons of negative ideas. Need to love myself enough to deeply feel my fears and let them go. The balance to power is the love and compassion of Deer, who teaches unconditional love, accessed from the heart space of the Great Spirit who loves us all.

I really love these cards. With them, for whatever the reasons, I can count on honest guidance from the Divine, even if it’s hard to face. This is a priceless gift and I give my gratitude to Jamie Sams and David Carson, their mentors and all of dear Mother Nature’s Creature-Teachers. Thank you, Friends.

Medicine Cards is a book of sincere and profound wisdom, for all who want to see the truth of our personalities and our spiritual natures; and to make more meaningful relationships with nature.

Rudolf Steiner on the Roots of Intolerance

At times like this, when nine people are slaughtered because of the color of their skin while praying in their church, words are hollow. But I remember fifty years ago when it seemed, from the outside at least, that light was being shed on the forces behind racism, and new understanding and acceptance were taking root. I thought it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

I was wrong. For the sake of all the families who have lost loved ones to fanaticism, isn’t it time we identify the root cause of intolerance?’ This dangerous emotion lives in feelings of superiority, pride, fear and hate. Why has racism become so dangerously common? Is it the acceptance and fanning of extremist ideas? Is it mental illness? Why and how have the many facets of human existence—religion, politics, economics, education, health, culture—all become so polarized? Aren’t we responsible for this? Why is it now the norm NOT to cooperate for the higher good?

Ahriman world trade centerThere is a fascination today, and I am not digressing here, with the paranormal: ghosts, vampires, demons, etc., in novels, TV shows and movies. On some level, we humans understand there is more to these stories than meets the eye. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), was an Austrian mystic, philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist who saw into spiritual worlds. He consistently spoke of the battle between light and dark forces and the effects of spiritual beings on the physical world. If we don’t reverse the trend of the ever-expanding problem of violent intolerance, Steiner says life could end in a War of All Against All.


Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)

Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy (a path of insight which leads the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the cosmos), was a deeply devout man and while it may not be fair to him or to the reader to pull out a few paragraphs of his spiritual lingo from the book NATURE SPIRITS, his ideas are pertinent to the heart-wrenching issue of the growing and violent partisanship of our times:

“Matters which have a harmful result on the etheric body are bad laws, or bad social measures prevailing in a community. All that leads to want of harmony, all that makes for bad adjustments between people [causes] the accumulation in the etheric body . . . [of] detachments from beings working in the spiritual worlds [which are] now found in our environment—they are ‘spectres’ or ‘ghosts.’ We see [them] grow out of the life of human beings . . . For one who is able to see things spiritually, [the] physical body is crammed with phantoms, [the] etheric body crammed with specters. As a rule after a person’s death, all this rises up and disperses and populates the world.” Continue reading

Our Need for the Divine Feminine and the Great Dark Cloud, A Guest Post from Michael Brine

By Michael Brine

We have created an unbalanced world because we allow rule by dominant male energy, which so often ignores the nurturing and compassionate energy of feminine energy and the Divine Feminine.We have also given our power to some of the most divisive religions imaginable. By all means, enjoy your own religious/spiritual beliefs but when we attempt to impose these beliefs on others–often creating war in doing so–we cross a line we should not cross. Each soul born on earth is born to choose his or her own walk. We only have to look at the Middle East to see this sad situation at its worst. However, it also exists within our own societies and grows less subtle each day.

Regarding the issue of living in a harmonious word, we also need ask ourselves if it is necessary to kill other life forms to satisfy our appetites. As I leave these ideas with you, I include below an important message from The Aquarian Passion Play.

Thank you ,
Michael Brine

The Planetary Deadline  from The Aquarian Passion Play

“If we could look down from outer space upon the Earth with clairvoyant vision we would see the auric field of the planet as a murky ball of seething mist and fog. We might stand aghast at beholding this great dark cloud of subtle matter, which would evidence itself to be of a density and thickness that indicated not only impenetrability but also those conditions that are unfavourable to life and which make all things appear unclear and distorted.

Thus it would be appreciated that there is a pressing need for change and global decontamination, for preparation for all those upon Earth who would be ready to weather well the approaching purificatory storm and, moreover, who would take advantage of it. The effects of the cumulative and harmful thought-patterns and attitudes of humanity are pervasive worldwide, and are sorely evident today not only in the lives of mankind, but also upon the physical planet.

Man has generally treated the Earth with gross disrespect for far too long. He has regarded his home together with its mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms most carelessly, and has repeatedly demonstrated an attitude of negligence that expresses the erroneous view that the resources of the planet are for his own selfish use and exploitation alone. Humanity, as a whole, has completely overlooked the fact that Mother Earth – Gaia – is a spiritual being, engaged in her own evolutionary development, and lovingly endeavours to provide a perfectly balanced environment for the peaceful and harmonious existence of multifarious life-forms, including human beings.”

Have Faith, A Guest Post by M.N. Hopkins

A Poem by M.N. Hopkins

An Angel fell

An Angel fell into a dark abyss

A Human stood at the edge of Darkness and Light

with clear, seeing eyes and said, “Have faith.”

The Angel fell deeper and deeper into the darkness

Again, the Human said,

“Have faith.”

The Angel continued to fall deeper and deeper

closer to the imaginary point of no return

Once again said the Human,

“Have faith.”

The Angel paused and looked up toward the Human and said,

“So, it will be.”

The Angel began his flight upward and

outward of this temporary darkness

back to His rightful Home within the Realm of Light.

M.N. Hopkins

Note: I hope that you get it or at best, enjoy the feeling it can invoke.

Where are the Fallen Angels?

dark angelThis is an interesting paragraph from the book, Edgar Cayce on Angels, Archangels and the Unseen Forces by Robert J. Grant:

“There is a tendency to believe in the fallen angels or demons only when one hears of hauntings or in cases of exorcism. These manifestations are indeed rare and do not account for a large percentage of evil influences in the earth. Evil manifests in a variety of ways, just as virtue appears in countless forms. The important point is that evil or disharmony is a choice; the fallen are only in that state of existence when the choice is made to twist creative abilities into destructive ones. Where there is manipulation, oppression, war, famine, governmental control of religious belief, there exist the fallen ones.”

Grant goes on to say that God put into place a system in which the fallen will bring onto themselves the ultimate destruction. I have come to agree that God/Love will not force anyone into Heaven. There is no Light available to a soul who consciously uses God-given energy to create destruction, deciding, in essence, to compete with the God of Light.

About the “Astrology of Fate” by Liz Greene

Persephone returns from the underworld, Pluto’s domain

I recently bought a copy of the 1984 book, THE ASTROLOGY OF FATE by Liz Greene, at a used bookstore, which was fortunate because it’s $29.95 new and is so packed with mythology and intensity, I believe it was written for astrologers. But I couldn’t resist—what an intriguing title!

I’m only on page 64 of 370+ pages and I find I cannot resist reading it, yet I dread picking it up. It is not a book for the faint of heart. It is, so far, about the planet/god Pluto and his affects on our human natures, from Liz Greene’s learned, experienced, astrological point of view. She tells stories of Hades and other gods and of the unforgiving, grinding nature of Pluto, who strikes at the core of who we believe we are, and what we most desire, so that we will ultimately acknowledge we humans are made of both the light and the darkness.

I’ve chosen some quotes to illustrate:

“The river of hatred and poison that encircles the underworld is like Old Man Willow [in Lord of the Rings] at the heart of the forest, and it is not always conscious in the individual. More often we do not know of its existence, and think of ourselves as decent people who can forgive another his transgressions; but we suffer instead from mysterious ailments and emotional disturbances, and subtly sabotage our partners, parents, friends, children and ourselves without fully recognizing that somewhere we may feel them as ‘destroyers and usurpers’ who must be made to pay.”


Here’s more: “The irrevocable turn of fate, whether toward gain or loss, is characteristic of Pluto. So too is the experience of frustrated desire. That which we want more than we have ever wanted anything before, but which is the one thing we cannot have, or can only have through great sacrifice or the death of some cherished part of ourselves: all this is typical of Pluto. Naturally the sexual arena is one of the most obvious places where this kind of experience occurs. So is the arena of power and position. Power and sexuality, power or loss of power through sexuality, are themes which are intrinsic to Pluto…Confronted with Pluto, we meet our abhorrent compulsions, our unsatisfiable passions: the impossible repetitive pattern of struggling with something, only to meet it again and again…Pluto is therefore a great and divine balancer of hubris. Without him man would believe himself to be God, and would in the end destroy himself: a situation that grows increasingly likely with the passage of time. Faced with Pluto…one experiences the unpassable circle of the limitations of the soul, the limitations of fate. These are not the worldly limits of Saturn, but the deepest savouring of one’s vulnerability and mortality.”

At 60, I am grateful that I’ve passed, to a good degree, through my Pluto-the-destroyer period of life, but I wondered, ‘If I’d read this book and learned of the depth of devastation that must be experienced by each of us who deny that darkness lives within us—would I have seen my own undoing coming?’

Greene explains, “Pluto, it would seem, governs that which cannot or will not change. This is a particularly painful issue in an age of self-help therapies and a growing belief that one can make oneself into anything, given the right techniques, books or spiritual leaders. Humility before the gods is an antique virtue, promoted not only by the Bible but by the Greeks as well. ‘Nothing in excess’—not even self-perfection—was carved before the door to Apollo’s temple at Delphi, along with ‘Know thyself.’ These were the chief requirements the gods asked of men. But it is just this issue that Pluto forces us to confront. It is ironic, and paradoxical, that the genuine acceptance of the unchangeable is often one of the keys for true and deep change within the psyche. But this little piece of irony…does not appear to be learnable in any school but life’s fires. Therefore it remains a secret, not because nobody will tell it, but because nobody will believe it, unless he has survived the fire.”

In 1997 I was re-granted life, to survive a ‘death by fire,’ an exposure and burning of the lies I told myself, and suffered a tearing and rawness in my body that still hurts today. I’ve written here before of the anguish I felt after each of my children was born—how will we protect them, shield them from the darkness that is life at times? Each time I went deep into myself and realized I had no control over what could happen to my children—that the truth was, I had no control over anything. Each time, I gave my children to God because as much as the spark of God lives in me, I have not the power to keep them from their personal, or others,’ Pluto-the-destroyer experiences.

A spiritual teacher once explained to me that our karma, which I’m now certain means the effects Pluto will have on our pretending-selves, is alleviated by giving ourselves over to God, as in becoming a priest or nun or another kind of jumping in. mind, body and heart focused on service. Not that we won’t uncover the lies we tell ourselves in that service, just that it will be easier to live through the process. I hope I’ve got this right, but I believe Liz Greene writes that for some, the Pluto-affect is not as traumatic as it is for others, but that we must all face the truth to some degree.

There is a healing movement at work in our world today—an invitation to become Godlike, to know that we are God. This is a very good thing, because it has awakened an awareness within that as we practice tolerance and loving-kindness, we change our own lives and others’ lives, adding healing to the collective that is us. In Lord of the Rings, all are tempted by the Ring of Power (except Frodo, the hobbit) that belongs to the Dark Lord–even Galadriel, the beautiful and mighty queen of the elves and forest. She rises above her test but had she not, Pluto-the-destroyer would have reigned terror on the elves, through her. I was unable to beat my tests, so my tests beat me!

What within me still awaits the touch of Pluto’s hand? What within you must go if you are to grow into a higher spiritual being? Is an awareness of your cravings and imbalances knocking at your door? Though Pluto scrubs and scrapes away our lies to ourselves and others, with a sharp, serrated instrument, it seems there is no other way to get our attention.

Overcome by Crazy Woman, a Guest Post by Kim P of Afternoon Storm

Note: When I read this post by Kim P at her blog, Afternoon Storm, I thought of my two most-explosive blow ups (one of which my children refer to as ‘The Syrup Incident.’ Yes, it was messy.) When I got to the sentences (I’ve italicized below), I had an aha! moment. Thank you, Kim, for sharing this much needed wisdom and your wonderful painting of the Crazy Woman.

By Kim P.

People who know my family history often tell me and my sisters that it is quite incredible that the three of us have grown up to be such loving mothers. Our mother was happiest when she was travelling and decorating our house. She was depressed, crazy angry, or stoned on Valium much of our lives. She was in and out of the hospital with operations; a few of which brought her close to death. She saved herself by leaving us; for weeks at a time at first; but permanently in the end. She moved far away and had little contact with us when my younger sister was still a teen and my older sister and I were in our early twenties.I look back at my Mom now with a great deal of empathy. She was an Artist stuck in the role of mother in the suburbs in a generation that accorded women little respect and few options. She was also a victim of the medical system of the day. Diagnosed with ulcers, she was given Valium to “calm her nerves” and was subjected to several severe operations. Today, of course, they know that ulcers are caused by a bacteria so my mother would have been spared “the knife” and the numbing effects of a drug that left her stoned on the couch in the middle of the day.

But I am my Mother’s Daughter. While I am a loving mother, there is a Crazy Woman in me who emerges from time to time. When I am feeling like I cannot get control over my life, she emerges with a fury that is frightening to behold. She rages at everything and everyone around her. She rages against the limitations of motherhood; the ineptitude of men; the drudgery of housework; and the monotony of work. The Crazy Woman wants to break the bonds that bind me; she wants to destroy the limits that circumscribe my life.

The Crazy Woman is the dark side of the Artist; that side of me that longs for time to write; that needs freedom to express her Self; that needs access to beauty for inspiration; that needs space for meditation. But she serves a purpose. When she emerges, I know that I have gone too far; to accommodate the needs of others; to fulfill my responsibilities; to meet the expectations of others. When Crazy Woman rages, I know that I have abandoned my Self; that I am out of balance. I know that I have failed to make my needs known; to protect my time; to care for my spirit.

The Crazy Woman saved my mother’s life. She stole our mother from us; robbed my dad of a wife; but she helped my mother to save her Self; to create a life that fed the Artist within. The Crazy Woman is an agent of destruction; the death bringer; that inner force that helps us to bring death to patterns that no longer serve us. The Crazy Woman may be frightening and uncontrollable, but she just may save my life!

An Explanation For Why We Humans Suffer, from “Autobiography of a Yogi”

I am reading a worldwide bestselling book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, the beloved guru who came to America in the 1930s to establish the Self Realization Fellowship (as in the Realization that we are made of light); and to show that the universal threads of the teachings of the great masters of the Eastern world are one with the non-manipulated teachings of the extraordinary master of the Western world, Jesus Christ.I first read the book when I was 23. I was astonished, on the one hand, by the stories of the Indian swamis, saints and gurus who, among other things, appeared in two places at one time, levitated, and manifested objects from ‘thin air;’ on the other hand, I was struck by the rigorous discipline and profound devotion to God that was prevalent in India. (Attendance at our American weekend church services is mere fellowship in comparison.) Reading the book again in later years I thought, “Is there any human who loves God more than Paramahansa Yogananda?”

I have long struggled with accepting that all the suffering in the world is an aspect of God’s teaching plan; and with the idea that Mother Nature (who, at the very least, provides us all with our sustenance) is an illusion. Every time I stand in awe of a sunset, make friends with a critter, or hug a tree, I am blessed. I want to share a passage from the book here because it is the best explanation of what is real and what is not that I’ve ever seen: Continue reading

Our Suspicions Are Nearing Absurdity

I’ve decided to avoid any political debates or news reports about the coming elections. I mean, why bother? Politicians, pundits, lobbyists and expert-journalists are already so sure of their stances, there’s no room for hearing, for learning something new or learning from someone else. (You’re not listening if you’re thinking about what you’re going to say as soon as your opponent stops speaking.) A mindset of conservative vs. liberal is strongly in place and not just in America. But we Americans are really good at it–aren’t we?–so certain of ourselves and our opinions.

There was a time when people knew how to be civil, how to cooperate, how to care about everyone, how to respect others and how not to be so suspicious of the ‘other side.’ A friend of mine, a Christian conservative, believes that his difficulties are happening because God is making him stronger. People who have work and health insurance may have sold their souls, or some variation of this, to keep their jobs. In times of his personal prosperity, he is blessed by God; those who are suffering then should have been paying better attention to God’s laws. This is no way to live, so certain of our own convictions that we throw everyone else to the gutter, unwilling to see our own reflections in them.

Our opinions, our suspicions, are nearing the point of absurdity. The truth is, we are all so caught up in survival and/or acquiring and we spend so much time thinking about what is important to us, we can’t see the picture that is larger than ourselves. There are other people in the world!–each a child of God/Love/Great Spirit, each and every one loved by God, deserving respect for that reason alone. We are sisters and brothers, made from the same gene pool, cut from the same cloth, with only surface- variations like the color of our skin. We are created to embrace each other, to heal each other, to support each other. We are created for peace and togetherness but we have forgotten. Will any of our leaders hear the stories of our lives? Not in the current mindset, no, they won’t.

The Struggle Within, a Guest Post from the 11:11 Progress Group

“The Struggle Within” is inspiration from George and Sunny Barnard, of the © 11:11 Progress Group. Here is a link to their website: Akashic Contruct.

Queensland, Australia, January 12, 2007
Gabriel, the Bright and Morning Star
Subject: “The Struggle Within.”

Received by Anne.

Gabriel: “Heed the injustices of the events in the world around you as you watch the news, read the paper, listen to all that is said of the goings on around you.  Contemplate this for a moment.  Reflect on how this makes you feel, and how you have felt in the past about such news.

“Now I ask you to look deeper inside yourself, to know that these worries of the world’s struggles are also your own struggles, simply because these same wars, these same struggles, go on inside you, daily.  They are simply struggles of a different nature as your mind argues with your heart.  The mind constantly goes to battle and conducts war against the true wants and desires of the heart.  You fight against yourself, just as the world fights against itself.

“When you think of world peace, how calming and wonderful that would be, know too, that you can have this peace within when you stop the raging war against yourself.  There is a great need to accept and understand that the inner battle is only prolonged when you continue to dislike or even hate yourself for all your perceived faults.  Know that there are no faults within you.  There is a purpose to everything within your experiences; that you be continuously guided to find the truth within, to the path that is your journey — one of constant pleasure, not of pain.

“To suffer the emotions of guilt, shame, regret, all bring about the inner war. Let go of the grip these emotions have on you by allowing the peace of your heart to shine. Have an understanding of these emotions; that you have them in your experiences, and therefore you have the true appreciation of all that is available to you in the way of positive-ness. Then, do what it takes to move yourself to a deeper, more meaningful place within.

“All war with negative emotions is wasted experience.  Allow them to be felt, acknowledge that the feeling is there, and know it is not necessary that you hold onto them.  The negative is only ever experienced so that you can be shown the way to truth and love.  Let the past be the past, for even yesterday is past.  Let your today shine forth that you can be all you are within this moment of your time.

“Always know from your heart that the only person you can control is yourself. Control is not power over the self; it is simply having the understanding of your experienced emotions.  Treat yourself always as you would treat others.  Forgive yourself for all your perceived wrongdoings, as you would another. Be forever kind and gentle with self as a new babe in this time of reconciliation with your heart. Love yourself as I love you, in the forever gentleness of pure, unconditional love.  Forever peace, my dear ones.  That is all.”

© 11:11 Progress Group.
“Always at the Service of our Beloved Michael.”
 – Gabriel of Salvington.


Tug of War

I settled, again, into a funk a while back, feeling old and cranky and lost. Posting for 365 days (from June 2009 through June 2010) kept me focused and more peaceful, though if you had read them all, you’d have seen where I sank into pride or judging others or wrote while in bad mood. Even so, feeling called to the computer to write for a spiritual purpose released inner joy and I felt connected to my higher-self. I generally meditated before writing but often had trouble quieting my ‘monkey mind’ to listen for Love. In spite of the difficulties, because of an inner push and commitment and sincerity, the healing words came–for me and perhaps for someone else who happened upon Notes Along the Path.

After the year, I stopped writing for a while and was surprised at how quickly I lost the awareness of joy. So, I gave myself permission to come back to the computer whenever I needed to. Ever since then, I’ve been writing here and there and, interestingly (to me anyway), on those focused, centered-in-my-heart days, I feel better, more like I can cope with all that’s going on. On the un-centered days, the funk sneaks up on me. Apparently writing about God = Love = Higher Self = Compassion is now necessary for me. Is it because I feel a primary obligation to meditate on those days? (I must also ask, after all these years of meditating, admittedly on and off, why don’t I meditate every day? I suspect it has, as always, to do with not wanting to see the ‘stuff’ that is exposed.)  

 The word ‘reconciliation’ came to me this morning. If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll see definitions like:

  1. The end of conflict or renewal of friendly relations;
  2. The making of two or more apparently conflicting things compatible;
  3. The sacrament of penance in the Catholic Church whereby a person’s sins are absolved through confession and penance.

I love the second one: ‘The making of two or more apparently conflicting things compatible.’ This one fits with my lower-self/higher-self tug of war and does give me hope. Eventually it will all be reconciled. I will give up self-pity and fall into the soft arms of God’s Love, made whole at last.

The Tea Party, Alien Invasions and Miracles

A friend came by today and we visited for half an hour or so. I love him, but we look at the world through two lenses about as different as they could be. It is funny because while he’s been listening and reading online about a second, impending revolutionary war, I have been writing about making peace with ourselves and others and about us humans acknowledging we are all God’s children, equal in our Creator’s eyes and, for that reason alone, deserving of equal respect. While he’s been reading about possible alien invasions, I have been reading about great beings who are coming from higher realms to our aid. We did agree that whatever it is that is happening around the world (with governments and businesses failing) has a higher purpose and that some kind of change is coming.

But what change will it be? Will it be fear-based or love-based? If most of us give in to fear, it will get ugly out there. My friend believes if Tea Party candidates are not elected in November, rioting will start. At this point, I believe the solutions to our problems probably are not going to come from a government that is already imploding on itself. Though I can’t fathom the amounts of money borrowed by our government, I am certain it was done in an attempt to save our economic system and the government, and to stop the talk of collapse, revolution and armed resistance. I was thinking of my 12th grade history teacher while making oatmeal tonight, the teacher who taught us that Hitler got his toehold in Germany during an economic depression. That same teacher explained that after the war, every country involved measured the destruction of life and infrastructure and vowed, ‘Never again!’

My friend sides with the Republican candidate in our state on every issue. Basically, shut down the federal government, including the EPA, Social Security and the Department of Education. Stop unreasonable taxation, which tends to be an issue for the well-to-do more than for the working poor. The Republican candidate says, ‘No mercy,’ for people like me who break and can no longer work and others who have no education and end up homeless. Her beliefs are born of her own status; she cannot even see those who are hurting and hungry and homeless. She simply doesn’t care. Would she have the ‘least of these’ used in experiments, jailed, or killed? That is what Hitler did. Has he been reborn in our world, waiting for the rising sense of rage to reach a climax?

I admit, I believed President Obama would lead our country out of the quagmire created by President Bush, but doing the best he can with polarized political parties hasn’t been effective. My friend believes the election of a black man as president has brought about the separatist attitudes of some Americans. Really? Still? Will racism never die? If there is another planet where people are not judged by the color of their skin, or lifestyle or religion, I want to go. I believe the profound problems of our country (created by a white president, by the way) were already too far-reaching. I will grant I could be wrong about my beliefs, but I am not wrong about following my heart.

My heart says, The time for war is over. The time for peace is now. The time for rage has become the time to be healed. The time for suspicion and name-calling is old and rotten; the time for mutual respect is born. Our Creator made our universe, including the world we occupy and gave life to everything upon it. We humans are not doing so well on our own. We need an intervention on a level that is far beyond anything we know now or can imagine. We need miracles and I, for one, am expecting them.

Profits and Respect

I was thinking this morning about production and how proud I was of us Americans, especially through my twenties. We are an innovative people who tend toward rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. Our forebears left Europe and made the dangerous journey to improve their lives; in an uninhabited land they would establish communities with the right to worship as they chose, to speak and write freely, and to bear arms. But an important motive for settling the New World was leaving behind unreasonable taxation–to work, to produce and to keep the profits. That’s an instinct, I believe. Who wants to work hard and give a large portion of his earnings to a tyrant or government?

The first settlers sent back stories of the unending potential of the New World and more Europeans came, by the droves. The motivations of grabbing unclaimed land (the natives believed God/the Great Spirit owned the land) and silver and gold called them like a Siren beckons sailors onto the rocks. Noting the profit-orientation of our country’s foundation, our economic problems caused by unchecked, rampant greed should come as no surprise.

As I grew older, I learned more of the spiritual connection of the indigenous peoples of this bountiful land, to the Great Spirit and to Mother Nature. Their stories, of being murdered, tricked and pushed off the land from which they had earned their livelihoods, is a period of sobering shame in our history. That same profit motive/misusing thread is evident in our second great inhumanity: stealing indigenous peoples from another continent and forcing them into slave-labor in the colonies/first states.

Why not produce, produce, produce/profit, profit, profit? Without balance, profit becomes a dangerous, for others,  incentive. Production without benevolence swamps our connection to our Higher Purpose and to the people we misuse on our frenzied climbs. Our true purpose for being born on Earth is to try our hand at living, to have our intentions tested, to know ourselves and our connection to the Great Spirit. We have so far to go at times it seems any kind of loving change is impossible. Yet the energy of our times is to drop selfishness like a hot potato, to open our eyes to Light and Love and to find ways to live that do not destroy ourselves, others, other forms of life, or our world. We are designed for relationship—with all.

Commonly Accepted Lies


My children and I debated the subject of telling lies as they grew up. I felt bad when I told lies and they thought I was too sensitive about it. “Everyone lies!” my sons said. “Not true,” I answered. “Not everyone lies.” “Yes, mom, they do, for sure on their taxes and other stuff, too. You just don’t know how much people lie.”

There are commonly accepted lies, like when someone calls us and we tell the phone-answerer to say we’re not in. I’m assuming that teens’ lying to their parents is pretty universal. Then there’s calling in sick at work or taking home office supplies. We humans hide the things we buy if a loved one would get mad about it–I definitely prefer to avoid confrontations. Or we may lie to protect another’s feelings. If we find ourselves straying from our current situations we might lie because we feel dishonorable, or because we don’t want to lose what we have. Then, as my sons’ proclaimed, there’s the IRS.

The worst lies, though, are the ones we tell ourselves. ‘I’ll only eat one cookie or one scoop of ice cream now,’ or ‘I’ll start eating better tomorrow.’ Are we desperate to be with a certain someone or will anyone do? We tell ourselves this person is perfect for us, or that he (or she) will change for us, when deep down we know—there’s an uneasiness—and our friends have told us, ‘You’re gonna be sorry.’

We all have an honesty meter within. My parents took us to the drive-in theater to see Pinocchio when I was little. I remember how I sang along when Jiminy Cricket crooned, “Let your conscience be your guide.” I believe lying has the same effect on us as not managing our financial affairs well: We can’t be trusted with more responsibility until we work through the confusion generated by our desires or slip-ups. After all, growing is our main purpose for being born on Earth.

I guess lying to ourselves is the hardest on us because we’re ignoring our own still, small voices, our consciences. The good thing is, we can’t go on forever disregarding that we are meant to link up with Love and Goodness within and without, and bottom line, we will learn our lessons easily or with great difficulty. None of us would have it any other way.


If I was a man, I would've looked like this:)

I had an ‘attachment’ incident in 2008 when my middle son was playing football at a junior college in California. It was not pretty. I listened to most of the games online on the radio station that broadcasted them, but near the end of the season I got an unbelievable surprise. The station was broadcasting a high school game—high school!—at the same time the JC game was on.

I couldn’t believe it. I closed the browser and signed on again, certain it was some kind of crossed-wires problem. “Okay,” I thought, “it must be late in the fourth quarter,” and I listened for the announcer to assure us JC listeners this was true. “I’ll bet it’s overtime,” I thought. The quarter ended and he announced the score at the end of the second quarter. “HALFTIME! HALFTIME? Are you kidding me?” I shouted at the computer. I went to the programming schedule and on that day at that time, right there in black and white, it said they would be broadcasting the junior college game.

That’s when the name-calling began. “You idiots! Buttheads! Incompetents!” I even fired off an angry email. (And, yes, I’m not proud of myself.) The worst part was that I knew from the first second that I was out-of-control—that I was throwing a fit—and I didn’t stop myself. It was hours until I could meditate and calm myself and, shamefaced, I apologized to God/my Higher Self/the Universe. I vowed I would never again lose control like that and that I would be on guard for other ‘attachment’ checks. As hard as it was to acknowledge the truth, I decided, “That was a great lesson in realizing that I, and what’s important to me, are not at the center of the universe.”

Author Dan Millman explains the principle this way in The Laws of Spirit,

“Surrender means accepting this moment, this body, and this life with open arms. Surrender involves getting out of our own way and living in accord with a higher will, expressed as the wisdom of the heart. Far more than passive acceptance, surrender uses every challenge as a means of spiritual growth and expanded awareness. Learn to surrender by shifting your perspective, shifting your energy and attention from the desire of a smaller will to the wisdom of a Higher Will. Be like water, flowing and flexible, to blend with life’s forces, rather than struggling against them. The more you let go of attachments, the more you expand into greater freedom and peace.”

Good stuff from Dan Millman. It’s a special book.

Then last Saturday night rolled around and with it a football game between the University of Arizona, where my middle son is a linebacker, and Cal Berkeley. I added a sports channel package to our cable service for $5 a month because the game was being broadcasted on Fox College Sports/Pacific—channel 404 where I live. My son had said the game started at 7:07, but the programming guide said 7:30. I tuned in at 7:00 just in case, as did my eldest son who also attends college in another town. Another game, Michigan vs. someone, was on.

7:07 came and went. My eldest called and we agreed the game must be at 7:30 then. Meanwhile, one of the teams scored a couple of times and the game was tied. 7:30 comes and goes and play goes into overtime. My eldest calls again and he is as upset as I am. “Are you kidding me?” we shout at our TVs. “Michigan isn’t even in the PAC-10!” (You can probably figure out the rest of the story here. Except for the surprise ending.)

Then, adding insult to our injured psyches, the Michigan game went into a second overtime. “You idiots! Buttheads! Incompetents!” and by the time it was over it was after 8:00. The Arizona/CAL game had started at 7:07 and we had missed the first hour. I cried and my son used loud expletives. I knew, again, that I was throwing a fit but I was so mad, this time I didn’t care. “They are idiots!” I told myself. It took me until yesterday to find my center again.

Why am I telling you this story? Because the universe is so obliging when we choose a deeper, know-ourselves path that whatever lessons we need about being crazy-attached to someone or some plan of ours truly are gifted us, shown to us through our behaviors, our acting-out our parts in the ‘upset’ play. Hammering home the point was the fact that my brother and his family, who live across town and have that same sports-channel package I do, watched the whole game on channel 404 beginning at 7:07. Hmmmm.