Monthly Archives: October 2015

Letting go of the Goddess

A woman twirls around a circle with twelve other friends and acquaintances surrounding her. Wearing a thin, gauzy dress with a scarf over her head and a single flower in her hair, she dances in a sort of light trance. She feels supported, joy, and the community around her. Temporarily gone are the thoughts of papers she needs to grade, the emails she needs to answer, and feelings of the impending work day on Monday.

So what is wrong with this picture? It sounds lovely, it in fact can be lovely, and takes place in spiritual communities all the time. Women getting together to act the role of goddess… to dance, eat, and enjoy the company of others who also seek to act the same role.

In some spiritual communities, the idea of drawing in a goddess, or essentially acting out the role of a specific archetype or idea of goddess is done. In rare cases, the separate energy of an archetype or deity is actually drawn in, but in most cases, it is the woman acting out a role in the safety of a sacred community.

So on its surface, there is nothing wrong with this. It makes people feel better about themselves and inspires community. It takes people away from their mundane lives of children and grocery stores and allows for them to dress up in pretty clothes, put flowers in their hair, and to participate in a celebration to make themselves feel better.

But this is just for a moment, and then that moment ends. 

The difficulty with this is that it is play-acting, and it is something considered separate from our daily lives.

Real spiritual work has power. Real spiritual ceremonies have power. People rarely believe this until they have direct experience of it. The difficulty is that most spiritual circles are devoid of any sort of power. Most spiritual ceremonies are devoid of any sort of power.

Many people who know me know I started out going to “core” shamanic classes. I would feel elevated energy, sure, but once you have seen someone “ridden” or “mounted” by an actual spirit, an actual deity or goddess and then go back to the ceremonies of women sharing wine and twirling and acting out hollow ceremonies, the latter will seem like the strange play it is.

I am sure that I will get a lot of flak from people about this, about the fact that once I moved away from this sort of new-age fluff, ceremony, and sort of bubble that I came in touch with power that scared me (at times) and saw and experienced things that I never thought possible, but it is true… and once you experience real power, real spirit, and have direct experiences of a spiritual nature, the hollow acting that many people do in all sorts of ceremonies (not just Goddess ones) is abundantly evident.

But this is actually not my difficulty with the Goddess ceremonies. I think it is fine if people want to act, if people find comfort in this sort of acting, and are largely ignorant that there is anything more powerful or substantial out there.

A lot of people will not come into contact with anything of real spiritual import in their lives, and go to ceremony after ceremony, workshop after workshop, creating their experiences out of psychological need rather than really interfacing with any spiritual power. Because spiritual power would likely scare the crap out of them, the idea that there are people and spirits with immense spiritual power out there most people could not process and are not ready for, and most people prefer their self-constructed universes, quite frankly. Many people never go beyond their own mental constructions, and need to have their experiences fit that framework, and the idea of direct experience frightens them. It certainly frightened me at first.

My real difficulty is that in most of these circles (not all) it is still the weekend retreat mentality, meaning that women will go to these circles and experience their “inner goddess” or act out the archetype of the goddess and will go home to their lives basically unchanged.

It is still encouraging a state of separation, basically. A state of mind where we consider the spiritual separate (and not a part of our daily lives) so that we do not have to have the spiritual, or anything we choose to do in our circles and workshops, affect our daily lives. Most of us do not like change, and so we go to our workshops to feel this community, or some elevated energy and go home, thinking about the next circle or community.

We do not consider that this elevated energy could be a part of our existence, that we could be a goddess in our daily lives, not just on weekend retreats.

And more than that, that we do not need to be goddesses. As women, we are good enough to simply be who we are. We do not need to rely on exterior constructs, to turn into a sex goddess or some archetype of beauty or goddess-ness that we can never achieve in our daily lives.

We can uncover who we truly are, and do this in our daily lives, and that is more than enough.

No play acting, no weekend retreats, no hollow ceremonies, no fluffy pillows and billowing robes and headbands made out of flowers.

If we took the time to uncover our own femininity, our own essence of who we are, we wouldn’t need to act. We wouldn’t need to draw anything in, and it wouldn’t be limited to the circle, to the weekend retreat, to the ceremony. We could be who we fully are in our daily lives and not need to be or feel or draw in anything else– because to do so (in most cases) is essentially saying that who we are is not good enough, what we are isn’t good enough. We could let go of societal expectations and framework of what a woman is supposed to be, even our own creations and archetypes and mental constructs of the Goddess.

We could let go of the Goddess, and become who we really and truly are.

 

Therapy, Medication, Kundalini, and Spiritual Awakening

So I occasionally get asked by someone to talk about my feelings of “standard treatments” and Spiritual Awakenings, such as Kundalini awakenings.

I am generally a reasonable person, and so my response to the person is that each person is individual and must do what is right for themselves in their own life. Which is the truth. I am not you, and I cannot decide if therapy, hospitalization, medication, and so forth is the right trajectory for you. Sometimes it is. But what is more often the case is that the current treatment options for anyone who is acting out of the “ordinary” and admits to it, or is not functional in their daily lives is medication and/or hospitalization. Basically, if it is not physical, it is mental.

That is where we are as a society, and where we still are in terms of treating diseases. Our society as a whole is just now really (well maybe for the last decade or two) understanding that mind and body are connected, and their are a gamut of new-age authors who were former doctors (or something like that) who say that they truly understand the mind-body-spirit and have discovered how they are connected. Most of them are talking about the mind-body connection, and their understandings are really surface but palatable to a wide, mainstream new-age audience who is just discovering the same surface understandings, but I won’t go there in this blog.

Most of the material about spiritual awakenings that has been introduced to a mainstream audience (well, an audience that has been interested in it, so not exactly mainstream) has been through psycho-therapeutic models. Meaning that psychiatrists and psychologists became interested in the subject and have written books, and done studies and programs about it. A lot of this material is still enormously helpful and insightful, by the way, even if it was written decades ago by this point. I do not wish to castigate this material, suggest it is not important, or that it is not essential readings and understandings for anyone going through a spiritual awakening.

But the psychotherapeutic model has its limitations.

Mainly because it considers anything deviating from “normal behavior”– meaning anything that the “normal” sleeping person (the person that just goes about their life in the repeated behavior/loops and is under a lot of conditioning and never really questions it, or gets upset if they have to) wouldn’t do is considered aberrant behavior because it diverges from that state. Meaning that anyone who is actually going through a spiritual awakening has something wrong with them because they are not acting or living their lives how a “normal” person should act.

There are all sorts of words for this– Qi gong sickness, or Meditation Related Problems, or Problems Related to Spiritual Practice. All diagnosable (some questionable diagnoses by the mainstream of psychiatry still, by the way) issues.

The difficult with this is that the Spiritual Awakening process is an aberration, but it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. In fact, it often means that something is really right. That someone is awakening beyond conditioned reality. And what happens is that the psychotherapeutic model defines this aberration as wrong, bad, medication or hospitalization worthy so that the person can return to “normal”– meaning the sleeper state.

I have read countless studies, for example, of well meaning physicians who became interested in “meditation related problems” who have blamed meditation for the cause of the issues presenting. In some cases it very much is an issue, by the way… we tend to focus on meditations that are too advanced for us (going from A to Z in one leap), make contact with spiritual truths that are too much for us to process, or focus on meditations that open us up psychically (open your third eye!) without processing any of our lower chakra stuff first. But even in those cases, what the person needs is someone to help them process, not someone to diagnose them and put them back to sleep.  

And many times, even if it is the “wrong” meditation, what is actually happening is this… the person is going through an Awakening. It is uncomfortable. It is causing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. It is causing the person to become non-functional in their daily lives, or to realize that their former, sleeping lives are not who and what they want to be now. 

And this is certainly an aberration– a deviation from the norm. But we have a tendency to want to put back to sleep anything that is uncomfortable, anything that causes pain or dis-ease or difficulty in our lives. 

And many times what is happening in spiritual awakening is a healing process. A rapid, uncomfortable, healing process. 

But that is not how it is treated in the psycho-therapeutic model. 

We are so used to medicating anything that makes us feel. Any emotions that are coming up (and there will be a lot in the awakening process) that we cannot define as “our own” are treated as dysfunctions, and something to be medicated or treated.

This is because psychotherapeutic methods have only “awakened” to the family system level. It is still news, and not accepted– that ancestral patterns, past lives, societal, world, cosmic patterns (for example, there are others… you can read about them in my book) live within us and can be expressed, processed, worked through. So when someone is coming upon a pile of rage, or a huge amount of grief that does not come from early childhood, psychotherapeutic practitioners do not (by and large) have the knowledge to know how to identify these patterns or work with them. So typically what happens is that the person under their care will go through therapy (talk therapy) to go over their early childhood again and again to solve the mental aspects of this (which certainly can be helpful) or to give the person some tools to help them in their daily lives be a bit more functional… or in some cases medication or being told they will “just have to live” with things.

Because most psychotherapeutic practitioners typically have a great deal of ignorance about the spiritual awakening process, or about anything beyond early childhood type trauma or energies. Some do, by the way, and are exploring ancestral work (family constellations) or spiritual awakening (transpersonal, some jungian, for example) but even many of those still define the spiritual awakening process not as a process of growth, of unfolding, and of healing… but of one of deviation from societal norms that must be stopped. 

We do not like to feel, to experience, to grow. Growth can be painful, it can be brutal in fact. And our current society, our current cultural mindset is to make anything painful, out-of-the ordinary, or difficult simply go away. To sweep it under the rug, to put it back to sleep, to drug, drink, and screw it away until we no longer remember our existential pain.

SO I WILL SAY WITH A LOT OF CAVEATS: I am not a physician, I am not a therapist. I personally do not find those models helpful, and never particularly have. Personally, I have needed much more work on a spiritual level vs. a mental level, and have worked far beyond the context of any early childhood pain that I have experienced… and don’t feel the need to talk about it much anymore.

BUT I WILL SAY THIS: There currently is not a model in place to keep people in Spiritual Emergency safe. This is, unfortunately, the hospital systems and psychotherapeutic models. It is the limitations of our current cultural mindset that causes this. But I digress. There are some points in the spiritual awakening process that someone may need hospitalization or medication or they will harm themselves, or someone else. They are so broken down that they need someone to watch over them, and their family or friends are not able to.

I very much understand this. I also wish it was different, but for people who are in such a state of emergency, this is their only option, and it is often life-saving.

The difficulty with this option is that it goes on your “record” and you are given medication. Medication that is hard to titrate off of (despite what clinicians might say, all anti-depressants and/or anti-psychotics are extremely difficult to work your way off of, some more than others… but Acupuncture can really help with this by the way if you are wanting to do so in concert with your physicians knowledge). Once you are on medication it is intended to be for the long-term, and you are also expected to be in therapy for a long time (typically).

All of these methods may be life-saving, but medication in particular stops the spiritual awakening process. It just does– again, some more than others (I work with plenty of people on medication, by the way, and don’t pass judgement on people who are taking it, as I have mentioned, these are simply my thoughts). This may be exactly what you want or need if you are reading this, by the way. I do understand that, I have compassion for that. I talk to people weekly who I tell truthfully that I cannot help– they are too far gone into an emergency state that they need someone local (at the very least) because I work through teaching people tools and understandings to work through their stuff, and if they are not in a place to be able to process something (or anything) that I say, there isn’t much, quite frankly, that I can do.

My last caveat (I promise): Again, I am not a physician, but as someone who has gone through a difficult process I know that one of the biggest difficulties in this world is that people think that their own experiences, their own opinions and insights need to be had by everyone else. Basically, what this means is that (like I mentioned above) I do not personally suggest medication for people going through Spiritual Awakening, and I think that therapy is helpful only to a certain limited point (see limitations above) because the Spiritual Awakening process is spiritual, not mental… But I am not you. I cannot decide for you what you should do with your life. You can read my thoughts to family members of people going through Spiritual Awakening here, but I am not living your life and cannot decide what the right trajectory for you is. I am the first to acknowledge that hospitals can be life-saving. That is what they are there for. If you are at that point, that might be the best decision for you. But if you are not, you may want to consider things a bit more deeply.

Ideally, some day there will be treatment centers focused on giving people who are experiencing Spiritual Awakenings a place to really process what is coming up for them… instead of pushing it back down to the depths of their subconscious (Anyone want to give me funding for this?) But until that day, we must live in a world that all of us have co-created, and do the best that we can. There are ways to work with Spiritual Awakenings so they are not treated as a diagnosable process, an aberration, or something to be put back to sleep. There really are. The Spiritual Awakening process, despite its difficulty, allows for you to release what is not whole– what is broken, traumatized, and conditioned in you– so you can awaken to who you truly are. Just imagine if we could have that basic understanding… or if the whole world could (or at least the allopathic world could).

If you are interested in working with me, you can contact me

Psychic Attacks

I approach the subject of psychic attacks with something of a delicate touch. Due to our natures, we often believe the worst to be true, and as many people as can be assisted by openly and honestly approaching a subject like this, there are just as many who have a vested interest for personal reasons in this subject being talked about a specific way.

I will caution that this blog post may cause you to think differently about the world around you, and in particular about this subject. I mention this because if you have a vested interest in thinking about this subject with a rigid cosmology with new-age overtones, a serious introductory discussion about the topic may not be the right thing for you at this time in your life.

By this I mean that nowadays most people (especially in mainstream spirituality and new-age circles) think of the Will as being absolute… and when we talk about something like psychic attacks, those not in the know, or those really not wanting to be in the know will claim that the Will is absolute… and that nobody can attack another person psychically or otherwise without some sort of permission on the receivers part.

Taking this a step further, some people in the mainstream will also state that if someone is genuinely being psychically attacked that it is their fault, and that they must have done something to deserve it.

All of this, of course, preserves the new-ager or spiritual seeker and the safety net that they have created for themselves. If they create such rules for themselves and the Universe, and they venture out of their illusory safety net, or hear of anything else, they will refute it to again return to safety… and in their fear they will blame anyone who is being psychically attacked (or has specific diseases, life happenings, and so forth because they must have attracted them through negative thinking).

This sort of “blame the victim” ideology always bothers me, because if you bother to think about it for a moment these types are blaming homeless, hungry five year olds for not having food and shelter because they must not have thought positively enough, or women (or men) who have been raped or have various medical conditions or spiritual conditions because they must have secretly wanted such occurrences… otherwise they wouldn’t have “magnetized” them to themselves.

All of this is complete bullshit by the way. We certainly have Will, and positive thinking certainly helps, but we are not the center of the Universe (not even the center of our own Universe, really) and we certainly do not have control over every aspect of our lives, spiritually, physically, mentally… or on any other level.

But we love to feel this sense of control, and create vast illusions about it because below the surface we realize that we are not only not in control of the cosmos, but barely can control ourselves with all of the conditioning and fears we are under.

The other reason I hesitate to talk about this is because there are some people who truly wish to think they are being psychically attacked when they should be focused on trauma and inner work which is where their real struggle is. It is easy to blame things on the outer in spiritual culture, and while there are certainly people being psychically attacked (and many of these people may not even know about it), there are also many who will do anything to not deal with their own psyches, blaming outer constructs, demons, and living humans psychically attacking them… and not wanting to hear any different about the situation.

What is the “truth” in my experience is that psychic attacks are fairly common. We live in a sea of energy, of thoughts, and of spirit. These “unseen” energies (I use that in quotes because there are some of us who can see some of them, or a fraction of them) influence us more than we think.

Again, we love to feel like we are in control. But most of us are only aware of a slim fraction of this sea of energy. Even the most psychically inclined and aware of us are only aware of a certain segment of it. When we begin to become aware of how much we are surrounded by, and how we are a very small part and relatively small energy in the cosmic whole, the reaction is one typically of understanding that however much we know, we cannot know everything. This is why I caution so adamantly about “gurus” and “teachers” who claim to know the totality of the cosmos– they do not, and they are typically making up illusions to make themselves and their “followers” feel better. 

But back to psychic attacks…

Generally the most common form of psychic attack is that of thoughts and thoughtforms. Thoughts are things, and some of us are aware of this, or becoming aware of it. When we think negatively about someone, speak poorly about someone, gossip, malign, or become jealous of someone we send them negative energy. If we do this often, or we have a certain amount of spiritual skill this easily turns to spiritual attack. 

Most people who do this have no idea what they are doing. Interestingly, I have been spiritually attacked this way by several new-age “love and light-ers” who had difficulty with the fact that I have studied and work with “darkness” and out of their particular form of typically uptight puritanical construct for what spiritual work entails (complete with misogynistic, and oddly racist overtones sometimes despite their love and light oneness type words). It was not a big deal for me, as I just deflected their words/thoughts towards me, and I harbor no ill will towards them because they really know not what they do, and are just playing at the surface levels of spiritual work where they are comfortable and self-creating for the most part.

But this can do some damage. Again, words are things. The “good” aspect about this form of spiritual attack is that it is rarely strong enough to be physical, meaning that it can affect your mood, your thoughts about yourself, but it rarely affects your energy or physical body enough if you are on the receiving end of this to do anything. Also luckily, in most cases some cording work as well as simple clearing methods work wonders.

The other form of psychic attack is done consciously by someone adept at such things. As much as we would like to believe that our Wills are absolute, they are not… and there are people out there who can and will interfere or even attack others. 

The good news is that these people are fairly rare. Again, most people are at the surface level of things, whether it be in shamanic, spiritual, or magical work, so the chances of you running across someone who will attack you are minimal, especially if you are in new-age circles and simply don’t interact with anyone outside of your own comfort zone. The other good news is that most spiritual practitioners who have any power have no interest in you or attacking you. Really. They don’t– they have much better things to do with their time, and most (not all, of course) are balanced enough to realize that, even if you upset them, that it would be stupid of them to do anything about it, or to waste their time in doing anything about it… even if you really piss them off.

But it does happen. Most people in this world do not have sufficient power, and even the verbal/thoughtform attacks will not take root (and may, at most, interfere with your mind, basically, as a sort of hypnotic suggestion) because their power has not been even minimally developed. When power develops the amount of simple people thinking nasty thoughts about you can be recognized and deflected. But if you are weak, depleted, or simply don’t know much about anything it is a battle of the minds. And the strongest and most aware mind wins.

But in the case of actual psychic attack, where a practice has been done, a pact has been formed between a practitioner and another energy, or the practitioner has developed themselves to a certain point, even their words or thoughts can have a physical impact… let alone any other work they might do against you.

So what does a psychic attack look like? In most cases, as discussed above, a change in mood or an awareness of someone thinking negatively about you may develop. You also may think poorly about yourself, or feel depressed in some way because their thoughts and emotions are overlaying yours (basically).

If we take this a step further, and we are dealing with someone who has a lot of power or know-how, a psychic attack will begin to affect your mind more strongly. Similar to hypnosis, you may begin to believe certain thoughts stemming from someone else. When a strong psychic attack is launched mentally, you may even blank out or have little memory of certain moments (or hours).

Psychic attacks then begin to affect your sleep. For reasons I will not get into here, we are more vulnerable at night. We are most open in our sleep and dreams. Our subconscious will begin to tell us that we are under attack in some way (this is typically what happens first), and then we may begin to have odd dreams that seem frightening or malicious, or awaken tired as if we were in a fight or were active all night (there are other reasons this can happen, just so you are aware).

This is where most things stop, but in rare cases symptoms will continue to escalate…

You may begin to feel a presence with you or sitting on your chest, especially at night. You may have increasingly odd dreams and awaken with bruises or imprints on your skin. You may hear rustling in your bedroom or see shadows around your house at night. Hearing strange sounds, such as bells, whistles, and other noises begins to occur.

You will become increasingly fatigued. Physical symptoms no doctor can figure out will happen (again, many other reasons for this other than psychic attack) and you will feel like sleeping through most of the day. A strong psychic attack will render the person unable to function, or really unable to get out of bed.

So I do not mention this to create a state of fear… Psychic attacks happen, but typically they are of the first sort, with our thoughts and jealousies simply going out in that sea of energy to the other person.

And then typically they are of the second sort, where we have a fractured psyche with a history of abuse or other difficulties and it is much easier to believe that we are being psychically attacked than to heal from the sort of brutal attacks we can do on ourselves in an unhealed state.

But sometimes people are being psychically attacked. It is a real phenomena. It is much more likely to happen, of course, if you are way beyond the surface level of spiritual or shamanic work, witchcraft, or occult/magical studies. When you have a certain amount of power spiritually it emanates from you. It attracts others who have that same power to you, it makes them notice you… and most people really don’t have to worry about this, despite any of their claims to the contrary. On rare occasion, you may upset someone (typically by being an idiot, unfortunately) who has the ability to psychically attack someone… or someone is naturally very talented (typically has power from ancestral sources) who doesn’t realize that their thoughts are going out into the world and creating havoc for the people they are landing on.

By the way, it isn’t because the receiver in these cases isn’t thinking positively enough, and if the attack is strong, they cannot just say that they have will and sovereignty or call on their faith. In many cases, this may work (battle of the minds and such) but in some cases you are dealing with someone who has cultivated their power and has understandings beyond you to the point that they can interfere with your Will, and can attack or overshadow you. 

In rare cases, it is worth mentioning, you have visited a place with an elemental or other energy that is conscious and you will bring it home and it will begin to attack you and other members of your household. Again, this is rare, but it occasionally happens.

I am not discussing this to promote fear. If anything, we should approach this topic in a really logical fashion. If we feel we are being spiritually attacked, and we express our own Will, our own sovereignty, and perhaps learn how to properly take care of our homes and selves energetically and spiritually (you can read about my five week course here on energetic hygiene/how to properly cleanse yourself and your home), most spiritual attacks will stop.

If you are also willing to look at your own needs, your own traumas and emotions, and to think about your own self-healing, even more attacks will stop.

But on rare occasion you have upset someone who is attacking you (or a family member has) and is simply too powerful, too overpowering for you to release yourself from. It is a difficult situation, and not one that is easy to work with. I only take limited cases like this currently, and require a one question reading (you can purchase here or contact me if you are outside of the U.S. to process payment) to figure out if I can help, and what kind of spiritual attack, if any, you are undergoing.

In closing, I have done this blog in particular to make people think beyond the surface reality that is currently being presented in most new-age and spiritual communities. There are no hard and fast rules in spirituality, and anyone who is claiming that you “just have to” do anything, or that you just have to think positively or that it was your fault for “x” happening to you is just saying and believing what they need to… they do this to feel comfortable, to feel safe, to feel like they have control.

Most spirituality is self-created for our own intrinsic needs, and it is a rare person who is willing to look for truth instead of making themselves feel special or in control. I commend you if you are able to actually process this blog and think about it consciously, whether you agree with it or not… it is the conscious thought process that matters… and in being able to consciously think about a subject as difficult as this that we grow as people and go beyond the surface illusions that are being fed to us by mainstream spiritual circles and teachers, and that we grow out of spiritual immaturity and into our own power.