Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The Cheshire Cat “The Cat only grinned . . .” “Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”
Oh my, I got a little distracted at the most lovely tea party! It's been ever so long since I got to rub whiskers with some of my old friends down the rabbit hole!
And I'm about to take a bit of a journey. Not sure if I will have the capacity to connect in with the realms of On-Line Land. NO . . . it's actually NOT BURNING MAN. Though that is quite the adventure and it does open up so many magical doorways of possibility!
I will be visiting the starry vista of the wild Unicorn and the black Crow. There is an old wise man who has jumped down more rabbit holes than most of us even knew existed and had all sorts of encounters with magical creatures, some delightful, some frightful. He has invited me to sit at his hearth and hear the ancient stories, to remember long lost and forgotten dreams, and to jump down a few new rabbit holes of my own.
So, do forgive if I lose touch for a moment. I should be back through the looking glass by the first week of September.
Until then, this week's card reading feels very appropriate for all of us who are embarking on a journey into the Mystery (and who IS NOT doing that these days?).
The Cheshire Cat has pounced into your life to remind you that being able to step outside your own land of wonder may just be the cause of great contentment. The Cheshire Cat is one of the only creatures in Wonderland who smiles, and seemingly constantly at that. In fact, even while his visible existence fades from Alice’s world, his smile remains as a reminder, (and an incentive), that you are not defined and contained by your current, external circumstances. Being able to step outside of them on a regular basis will help you to gain deeper clarity and a better perspective in regards to your current life events, as if perched up high in a tree. In fact, going to a very high place that allows for a slightly removed perspective is a good idea, or, taking a break from a very intense situation, either challenging or joyous, might be a good idea at this time. Almost any great artist will agree that stepping back from one’s work, physically and energetically, will allow for a deeper understanding of one’s process and product. Looking at your life circumstances as your most current and important piece of art, allow yourself to step away from it and look in as if you are a visitor passing by.
The Cheshire Cat also acts as a gatekeeper, though the passage through is only into madness: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” And in such times, when everything has gone mad, then you are free to step outside the normal responses you might have to a situation.
Take this opportunity to do a head stand (when everything is upside down, it’s truly the best way to gain proper perspective)
You are being invited to take a break to gain insight on your current life circumstances; take the shaman’s path of walking between the world of dreams and the world of reality, keeping your feet grounded and your mind elevated. Allow yourself to be in a place of detached observation, and allow yourself to smile into that which you observe, regardless of the circumstances.
Mediation #1 Sit comfortably and breathe deeply as you imagine that you are in a blank space, where there exists nothing but yourself. Now, slowly invite in imagery of a circumstance that is a current part of your life. You are looking out from your own eyes, hearing through your own ears. What are your feelings and thoughts? Now, imagine that you are another person or object in this scenario looking at yourself. What do you feel and think now? What is different about how you experience yourself in this perspective? Now, imagine that you are like The Cheshire Cat, high up in a tree or other high place, and completely removed from the situation, yet still able to observe everything that is taking place. What is your experience now? Really give yourself plenty of time to feel and discover each new perspective. You might, with practice, find yourself becoming able to simultaneously grasp each of these three ways of experiencing a situation while it is occurring. The reward for this practice is alluded to in the lingering smile of The Cheshire Cat.
Meditation #2 Sit comfortably and breathe deeply as you allow a concern to come to you, or you might feel a place of tightness or discomfort in your body. Take a moment to focus on this circumstance, or this part of your body and allow a smile to come to your face. Allow this smile to gently and smoothly travel to this thought or part of your body. You might even imagine the wide grin of the Cheshire Cat slowly appears on this area of focus. Feel the warmth of the smile moving into this area and feel the powerful shifts that can happen by smiling into the physical and emotional and situational discomforts of your life.
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. catnip
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Alice bounds into the last square, throwing herself down to have a little rest, and immediately finds a golden crown upon her head. She does have to pass the final examination, but it’s gibberish, and before it’s all worked out, the Red and White Queen are calling her “your majesty.”
Even though Alice is surprised at her sudden rise to royalty, “I never expected I should be a Queen so soon--,” it’s important to recognize all that she has been through to get here.
First of all, she took that first courageous leap down the rabbit hole to begin with, she did a great deal of growing (and shrinking as well), had all sorts of encounters that, though they may have been disconcerting and disorienting, she came through no worse for the wear. She held her own with the blood-thirsty Queen of Hearts, engaged quite charmingly with a disappearing cat, swiftly escaped the dangers of the Large Puppy, rescued the Baby Pig from being butchered by the hot-tempered Cook, drew the line with the Mad Hatter and his crazy entourage at the tea party, and held her own quite impressively with the multiple kings and queens with which she rendezvou’d. Yes, Alice has most definitely earned this right, and it may well be that you, too have earned a promotion of sorts.
In a way, this royal reward has been here all along, just waiting for you to claim it. What it is, exactly, may be obvious, and if it is, then allow yourself to really enjoy it. Take a moment to look back at all that you’ve gone through to get here. Remember who you were before you jumped down the rabbit hole, and recognize the regal being you are now.
Meditation #1: With eyes closed, and letting the breath find a steady, natural rhythm, allow yourself to really drop in to the journey you’ve been on. See what you’ve learned, what you’ve accomplished, the challenges you’ve faced and overcome. And once you’ve taken the time to review your journey, look at where you are now. Take in all the rewards and resources that are available for you now that you have come to this place of completion. It doesn’t mean you’re done growing, and it doesn’t mean the adventures are finished, it’s just a mile-marker on the continual road of life, and it’s time to celebrate how far you’ve come. If you’d like, you can turn around and face forward to get a sense of where you might like to head next, now that you have the golden crown and a few new tools and talents to help you navigate the mysteries of Wonderland.
If your upgrade is not so apparent, then take a moment to check in and find what treasures are sitting in front of you. What celebratory feast is laid out just for you?
Meditation #2: In a quiet place, allow your breath to bring you into a sense of deep calm. Ask yourself what you hold within you that is worthy of being celebrated at this time. What challenges have you survived, and what skills and wisdom have you gained as a result of your successful navigation of the madness of Wonderland. Remember that having challenges, and running into obstacles isn’t a sign of failure; it is only proof that you have been on the training course for something better. No muscle is developed, no talent fine-tuned, no wisdom gained without some sort of confrontation and work, and the more you face, the more you stand to gain, so take this moment to find the treasure that may have been hidden in all of those battles and barriers that are now behind you. Really allow yourself to revel in how far you’ve come.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Before I dive into today's Go Ask Alice Oracle card reading, I want to make a special announcement . . . Go Ask Alice Oracle has expanded beyond the limits of the on-line world! You can start collecting the Go Ask Alice Oracle as an actual deck you can hold in your hands! Yes, it's true! Suspiciously similar to the way that the Cheshire Cat (I'm pretty sure he had something to do with it, too) can navigate between the dream world of Wonderland into the nether realms of beyond the beyond, the Go Ask Alice Oracle has found its way from the 2 dimensional realms of cyber-space into your hands! You can be the first to start collecting this deck by purchasing these 1st edition prints here.
The artist, Olga Lopata, is a classically trained artist from the Ukraine who's dedicated her life to bringing the magical realms of the dream time to life.
Now, without further ado . . . The Lion:
The old poem goes . . .
“The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown;
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town . . .”
Though the White King starts out with great confidence in his ownership of the crown, (“and the best of the joke is, that it’s my crown all the while!”), when confronted with the power of The Lion, he seems to shrink with worry. The alabaster aristocrat doesn’t paws (excuse the pun) for one moment when the king of the jungle orders him to sit down: “ . . . the Lion said, lying down and putting his chin on his paws. ‘And sit down both of you’ (to the King and the Unicorn).”
Having that kind of power must feel really… well… empowering at times. And it works great if you want what you’re given out of intimidation or fear. And it’s a great rush to walk with the strength and pride of a lion, but then of course you couldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to get too close, either.
Maybe that’s the fear. Maybe it is all a show; this fierce veneer is, just maybe, a way of keeping danger at a safe distance. That can be a great tool as well. The only drawback is that it can keep wonderful things out too. So many really delightful things can be quite delicate and quite unable to withstand the tremendous threat that is imposed with the bullying stature of a dominating beast like The Lion.
It is likely that you have had experiences that have required a protective and sometimes fiercely tough exterior. Now, however, is an opportunity to see what strengths emerge and blossom as the protective layers are removed and the raw self is allowed to engage with the world around it. It is vulnerable, but oh, so rewarding!
The Lion, in many myths, symbolizes courage. The word courage comes from the word “coeur” which has French, and even earlier, Latin origins. It means “heart,” and it’s interesting how such an emotionally vulnerable organ can also be the center and catalyst for profound acts of heroism. Maybe it isn’t so paradoxical that the tender heart is the place where one can generate great strengths. My 2 cents addition would be that the most courageous lion is one who is willing to let down that tough exterior and be truly “coeur”-ageous; open-hearted and vulnerable to the emotional food chain like the rest of us. It’s humbling, but it also allows those exquisite and fragile people, creatures, experiences and feelings to get closer to us.
Whether this is you, or someone in your query, the following meditation may be helpful.
Meditation: Close your eyes, and start to focus on your breath. As you do, imagine your query, and notice if there’s any contractions in your heart. Imagine bringing the breath directly into your heart; right into the place that’s feeling tight and resistant. Imagine that the breath is bringing in something really helpful, like love, understanding, wisdom, or even courage. Keep breathing that quality into the tight places in the heart until it starts to feel a little relaxed. Keep bringing the breath into your heart until there is a sense of expansion within the heart. Notice how the rest of your body feels when the heart is open. Notice how good it feels to breathe that deeply into the heart. If you want to keep the practice going further, you could imagine challenging aspects of your query, and keep breathing into the heart until there is a sense of being able to be in the presence of the challenges and still keeping the heart open and expansive. You could also add in a mantra of the heart: “Yahm” (rhymes with “mom”) is a good one, or simply “My opening heart is the ultimate act of courage.”
Meditation #2: Close your eyes, and after you drop into a deep focus on the breath, allow yourself to connect with your query. Notice any feelings of superiority over those in your query. As you breathe in, allow a sense of equality to come in, and with the exhale, allow yourself a to feel powerful, yet equal to those in your circle. Notice something of value in each person you are connected with. Keep doing this until your heart feels open to the idea that everyone can share the same respect and value. This one can be hard for lions that have seldom faced “worthy” opponents, but sometimes those worthy opponents and friends go unseen and unappreciated until the playing field is even. Being able to see others this way while remaining in one’s own power can offer freedom from chains that were almost invisible before.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Dreams are so very powerful. There are almost as many ways of looking at dreams as there are dreamers. Most of what we experience in our lives was dreamt up by someone at some time, and yet we probably know less about this mysterious realm than we could ever imagine.
The whole of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and through the looking glass (including the dreaming Red King) exists inside the dreams of Alice, which came from the dream-world of Lewis Carroll. This oracle, as well, is the result of a dream that was cast with the intention of serving the collective consciousness.
Dreams live inside the creative realms of the imagination, and it is from here that we receive the inspirations for all that we manifest. And whether we are actively participating or fully aware of it, what we dream of (at night and during our waking wanderings) influences what we create in our lives.
Despite this, we seldom give ourselves time to explore what exactly is in our own Wonder-land (the world of imagination that is). It is provoking to think what we, as a collective, might manifest if we allowed ourselves more time getting to know and developing our dreams. There isn’t anything that exists in the human-made world that didn’t first exist as a dream, a thought, an inspiration. So, it makes sense, then, that spending some time really developing our dream landscape might yield more inspiration and more powerful manifestation (see the manifestation loop from the Alice card).
The Dream has materialized in your query to inspire you to take some time getting clear on what it is, exactly, you want to manifest for yourself. If you don't know where to start and would like some support, I have many joyful ways of waking up the sleepy parts of the imagination that I would love to share with you. Please take advantage of this special offer: a f*r*e*e phone consultation to get you started on a path of creative flow to find YOUR visions and manifest YOUR dreams: 415-717-2963. Offer good through August 24th, 2011.
The following meditation (and the Alice meditation) may also be helpful in this quest.
Meditation: Bring something to write with as you settle into this meditation. Take some time to get comfortable in a place you won’t be disturbed. As you settle your focus onto your query, ask for inspiration from your deepest wisdom to guide you on your journey. Now, just allow your mind to wander. With each thought or image that arises, take a moment to be with it. What are the details? Does it make sense in regards to your query? If not, accept that it may have meaning that will arise later. Write down each thought or image that comes after you have had some time to really sit with each one and get the fullest picture possible. Keep going until you feel complete, and then just take a moment to let your mind become as blank as possible. Take a moment to connect with what you’d like to feel when your dream has become real. What does your body, your mind, your heart feel like when the dream has moved into the tangible world? Get as clear of an experience as you can. After your meditation is complete, look at your list of images, and assume that ALL of them are relevant to what you are creating, and play with them: map them out by how they feel connected or disconnected, draw them all together, do some free-writing on what each image means to you. Take all the time that is needed to work with the images until a bigger picture emerges. Collage can be a great way to bring the meditative visions into concrete images, or a diorama. Continue this process until you have manifested your dream.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
It is hard to imagine a caterpillar without also considering his special journey into his silky sarcophagus that has been a symbol of magical transformation throughout time. It is like a great exploration into the mythic underworld. The place of darkness from which one emerges with new abilities and wisdom.
Our dear Caterpillar, the one who challenges our very sense of self, has in front of him a shift in identity that is of epic proportions. Who are you, indeed!
As The Caterpillar goes deep into The Cocoon, he slips into a deeply restful state, and after a complete surrender of mind, body, and spirit, he dissolves into almost nothing. Of course, knowing that he will emerge with a beautiful set of wings and the ability to fly makes it all worthwhile, but this brave little creature doesn’t have a clue what lies ahead. He’s simply following his instincts, his pre-ordained path, and allowing the natural flow to take place. (I just recently learned that caterpillars produce antihistamines in reaction to the chemical process that takes place when they start to dissolve. So, don't feel bad if you have a bit of resistance to your dissolution. It's perfectly natural, and yet still unavoidable).
Have you ever taken the time to really check out a cocoon? What about a Monarch butterfly cocoon? To me they look like some beautiful ancient Egyptian sculpture (check out the image below). No wonder they call them Monarchs. If this is not an indication of transformational technology, I don't know what is.
Now, think about some of the challenges you’ve faced in your lifetime. If you’ve really been on your toes, then they’ve all lead you to someplace better. Deeper wisdom, more compassion, greater insight into the world and the self. In the middle of the uphill trek, we can’t see the amazing view, breathe in the fresh air and hear the silence, but once we get there, all the hard work melts away and we are immersed in the beauty we took the journey for to begin with.
You, too, are being called to undergo a transformational process. There isn’t anything that you need to do for this to happen except to let go and allow what is taking place to follow its natural flow.
Eat well, rest well, and take good care of yourself and allow The Cocoon to work its magic. Don’t fear the darkness. Use it as a time for renewal and rest.
Remember: when everything starts to dissolve (this can look like the loss of relationships, possessions, jobs, old limiting beliefs, health, and other opportunities & resources), allow yourself to see beyond the immediate fear of letting go. Instead, take a step back and entertain the idea that you are simply being asked to take a break and allow for something completely different to manifest in your life.
In the moment, it can feel like utter disaster, but from that perfect hindsight perspective, it’s well worth the disruption of the status quo.
Assuming that the death of something in your life is the end of the road is to cut yourself off from the great rewards that lie ahead on the path. If the caterpillar never allowed himself to dissolve, he’d never know the miracle of flight, and some caterpillars who resist change while in the chrysalis never make it out again.
So, take it easy. Be good to yourself and simply focus on letting go of the fear that comes up when facing the end of a cycle (no matter how old, we do get attached and it can be hard to say good-bye even to the things that no longer really serve us).
When you are complete, you’ll be a new person with new abilities.
The following meditation may help.
Meditation: Sit in a dark, quiet place. Get really comfortable and if it feels alright, wrap yourself up in some cozy blankets. You may even want to lay down. Call your query into focus. Notice the places that feel like they need to be fixed. Notice the places that you are holding on and resisting change. Notice the elements that are moving away from you that you are clinging to. With each of these, take a deep breath (imagine bringing the breath into this area of your query) and as you exhale, imagine releasing any worry or need to fix/change/cling. Just let it go completely. Imagine that everything that happens naturally is for the best, and you can let go of all sense of needing to do anything. Keep breathing in and with the exhale, letting go of all thoughts and feelings that you need to make something happen or that things need to unfold in a certain way. Just keep letting go until you are as restful as possible. Now, if you can, allow yourself to sink into as deep a state of relaxation as possible. That may mean taking a little nap, or simply slipping into that luxurious day dream state. Whatever you can do in the moment, allow. When you are complete, take some time to journal about your experience. Keep up this practice until the circumstances in your query have come to completion. Don’t rush the process. Really let it come to fruition in its own time. If you feel impatient, that is a good time to return to this meditation.