Intention Archives

How To Connect With The Dead

By a certain age, we’ve all acquired a few things:  a credit rating, a droopier ass, an inability to remember why we came into the room.  We’ve also acquired more than a passing familiarity with death and the loss of special people.

Like that droopy ass, this is something we’d rather not have to deal with.  But we do.

Even though I spend a fair amount of time connecting with the dead, it hasn’t made my own personal losses that much easier.  I have felt my mother’s presence many times, but sure wouldn’t mind the chance to hug her again for real.  I know that will happen one day, but in the meantime….

You know, I kinda hate to call them “the dead” because they do indeed continue to live in another dimension.  They interact with us through our dreams, through little signs  (like finding pennies), or by using a medium who is sensitive to their energy.

But I like this exercise, too.

Start by inviting a loved one on the Other Side to meet you in this meditation.

Choose a time when you will be completely relaxed and undisturbed.

Get comfortable and take several deep breaths.  Envision a warm ball of white light surrounding and protecting you. Now settle in and focus on your breathing.

Imagine that you’re at the top of a beautiful marble staircase.  You begin walking down the steps, noticing how sweet the air is and how peaceful and relaxed you are.

At the bottom of the staircase is a path that winds through a beautiful, lush garden.  Step onto this path, noticing the beautiful trees above you, the flowers in bloom and the birdsong over your head.  It’s a magical, peaceful place.

Continue focusing on your breath as you walk along this winding path.  Ahead is a garden gate.  Push the gate open and walk inside.  Amidst the greenery and flowers is a marble pavilion, open on all sides.  The marble columns glow with light.  You can see two comfortable couches inside.

Walk up the steps to this pavilion and settle into one of the couches.  The pillows are deep and soft, and you’re totally comfortable.

As you relax in this special place, you hear footsteps on the pavilion stairs.  Your loved one has arrived.

Look at them as they settle into the other couch.  How do they look? What are they wearing?  Don’t be surprised if they appear younger than when they passed.

Just stay in this quiet place for a moment, feeling their presence.  They’re so happy to be with you again.  Bask in that love.

Now ask them a question.  Go with the first response you get.  It may be a gesture, they may “show” you something, like a symbol.  Or you may hear words.  The most important thing is to not doubt what you get.  This is really happening.

When its time to leave, thank your loved one for meeting you and give them a hug.  Allow this beautiful, eternal energy to flow through you, and know you can be with them any time you want in this special place.

As you leave the pavilion and go back through the gate, you turn once more to see them smiling at you.  Walk back along the path to the marble staircase.  Walk up the steps, coming back into the present moment.  Open your eyes.

It’s a good idea to jot down your experience in a notebook.  This will help you notice any information you got in the meditation when it shows up in real life.

And it will.

One day, you will be able to hug your loved one again for real.  But in the meantime, the Pavilion is a great meeting place.

I’d love to hear about your experiences after you do this meditation.  Leave me the details in the Comments.

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How Your Future Shows Up

So I’m laying out the cards, and I see a change coming.  A new job, new lover, a shift in living situation.  Something awesome and positive.  But then the client leans across the table and starts reciting how they expect their new lover, new job, new fill-in-the-blank to appear.

“Well, I know someone who knows someone like that, and we met at a party last year, so I think its him….” [ It’s not].

“So OK,  my boss is talking about retiring which will make a space for me to move up, so then Sheila will probably go to Accounts Payable and then.….” [Wrong again].

I get it.  We all want a super-clear path to our future, one with no pholes, stoplights or tacky tourist traps.

Like this.

Like this.

I’m happy to oblige as best I can, but most of the times when I read, I see the destination with a fuzzy glow around it.  This is a reminder that the details of how something will manifest have yet to be fully determined.

And the more we cling to our own version of the details, the more we narrow the path to getting there and block out some pretty kickass options.

Years ago, my friend and I were first learning about Creative Visualization.  One of the key tenets is to get very detailed about what you want.   She wanted a new boyfriend, so she wrote down everything – and I mean everything – that she desired.  Four pages worth.  Back and front.

It was a little like this.

It was a little like this.

I’m all for having a clear vision – but too many details or expectations can drag it down.

To me, drilling down to the core of what you want simplifies that process.  And to get to that essence, think about how you want to feel with that thing/goal/person in your life.

Feelings are like lighter fluid to a dream.

Get cookin' on your dream -- and make it well-done.

Get cookin’ on your dream — and make it well-done.

Experiencing the emotion of a goal provides a potent, simple beacon that helps the Universe bring it your way. Conversely, trying to maintain a million details in your head only mucks up the works.  It’s like herding cats.

My girlfriend could have made her man-hunting job way easier by thinking about how she wanted to feel in that new relationship: safe, loved, appreciated for her wicked sense of humor.  Maybe the brown hair, build like Jean Claude Van Damme and penchant for collecting African art wouldn’t be so important if she got the emotional outcome that she wanted.

My philosophy is, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting alone; keep the simple essence in mind, gently hold onto the feeling and let the Universe meet you halfway.  Let it surprise you.

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This requires letting go of the handlebars.   Remember how scary that felt?  But when you did, and the bike flew along on its own, it was a total rush.  And you got where you were going having had a whole lot more fun.

Got questions of your own?  Hit me up at the website.

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Simple Moon Spells

My given name is “Cynthia.”  Which I’ve always hated.  The family story goes that my sister picked it out of a baby name book ‘cause she thought it “sounded funny” (bitch).  But my parents liked it and I was stuck with it.  That’s what sucks about being a newborn – no say in anything.

"As God as my witness, I will cut you when I develop hand-eye coordination."

“As God as my witness, I will cut you when I develop hand-eye coordination.”

Anyhoo, I’ve since done some research and found that the name means “Of the moon” which, given my metaphysical bent, seems appropriate.   I’m fascinated by the ancient, timeless passage of this glowing orb through the night sky.  It has its own rhythm and definitely its own power.  Anyone who’s worked with the public can attest to the effects of the “full moon” – people get crazy, irritable, a little nuttier than usual, amiright?  So Moon Energy is a real thing.

Wiccans and pagans drill way down into the subject of moon cycles. But for the rest of us, a simple working knowledge of the energy that’s right over our heads is enough.  Check the weather report for the current moon phase. Let it help you with the daily workings of life.  And you get a do over every 28 days!

THE NEW MOON

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The dark of the moon is the perfect time for planting the seeds of something new.  It’s that empty space where a project, plan, dream can begin to take root.  The New Moon gives a little “oomph” to anything that’s just beginning.  It’s a good time for planning a project, making a move or learning something new.

Here’s a little ritual to try.  On the night of a new moon, write out your goal on a piece of paper.  Light a candle and visualize it coming true.  Look up at the moon and ask that it be granted, then burn the paper in the candle flame (be careful!).  Repeat this over 12 nights (if you miss one, you have to start over).

THE WAXING MOON

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As the moon “grows,” so does the energy of anything you want to “increase.” This is a great time to try to get pregnant, look for a new lover (or start counseling with your existing one) or ask for a raise.

To “grow” more money, cut out a picture of a frog, tell it what you need, then keep it in your wallet.

THE FULL MOON

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The moon is at its most potent, so when you need extra power, this is the time.  The full moon helps with legal issues, looking for work or healing.  Because the light of the moon is so bright, this is also the time to focus on anything spiritually-related (like developing your intuition or praying for world peace).

To help someone (or even you) heal from an illness, take a white candle, a sprig of rosemary and a photo of the person.  Light the candle and envision its healing light streaming into that person’s body.

THE WANING MOON

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As the moon begins its journey back to the dark, use this dissipating energy to let go of something.   I once timed a surgery to the waning moon to help the doctor rid my body of an unneeded tumor.  This cycle will help you gracefully wrap up any relationship that’s run its course, or a part of your life that no longer works.

I like this little ritual for ending a bad habit:  take a piece of black string and tie four knots.  The first is the mental aspects of the habit, why you keep it. The second represents the actions around this habit.  The third is the emotions around the habit, how you feel about it – and about giving it up.  Finally, the fourth knot represents the practical aspects of the habit – like how much it cots for those cigarettes.  During a waning moon, untie one knot each day, symbollically ‘releasing’ the habit.  Then destroy the string when you’re done.

Any questions?  Hit me up in the Comments section.  And remember to check out the website.

Now to sing us out, Karl Wallenberg and the Waterboys with one of my faves.

There’s a house up the street that’s stood vacant for the last 25 years.  I’m told that, on his deathbed, the owner made his wife swear she’d never sell it.  She didn’t.  Instead, she moved to Georgia with her daughter, leaving the house to rot.  The weeds grew up, raccoons were spotted inside.   My neighbors and I complained, and every so often, someone would show up to cut the grass.  But it was a sad little sight, and I figured that one day, the house would just be leveled.

Yeah, it looked kinda like this.  A hot mess.

Yeah, it looked kinda like this. A hot mess.

Last week, some trucks showed up.  They began cutting away the overgrown shrubs.  The roof was repaired, the shingles scrubbed.  I can see painters working away inside.  This poor little house that everyone had given up on is getting a second chance.  It makes me smile.

This Extreme Makeover is a reminder that its never too late for any of us to make some changes.  I have so many clients who feel that the ship has sailed, that their situation — whether its a job they hate or a relationship that’s dead — is a done deal.   Not true.  Maybe our brains have gotten used to covering the same tired tracks, but that’s essentially the only thing holding us back: the way we think about the situation.

I love this particular card:

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The Hanged Man looks pretty pathetic; he seems trapped, but look again:  by hanging upside down, he can see his situation from a different perspective.  That’s why there’s that “glow” around his head — its an “aha” moment that comes from flipping something on its head.  Literally.

Everyone on our street had gotten it into our collective heads that no one would buy that broken down property. But someone else thought differently.  They saw possibility and began taking the steps to turn things around.  Each day, they come closer to realizing that vision.

What part of your life needs a makeover?  Now don’t go to that default impulse that you can’t change it:  take another look.  Then start clearing out the weeds.  If that raccoon camp up the street can be turned back into a home, anything is possible!

Cut down some weeds and see your situation differently.  Get to it!

Cut down some weeds and see your situation differently. Get to it!

Death — It Ain’t What You Think

My best friend lost her father this week.  I stopped in to give her a hug, and over coffee, she shared her story.  One of the things she was struck by was  how fast he went, shortly after entering the hospital.  She said it was like he had made the decision to leave and had surrendered to that path.   “Surrender” is a good word for death in all its forms.

It put me in mind of this Tarot card:

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Whenever the Death card comes up in a reading, I make it a point to tell the client that its not as scary as it looks.  Death is riding a horse, with people bowing down in front of him.  They are allowing him to ride over them, pushing them back into the earth where they will become part of a new cycle.

The dude in the yellow, however, is trying to stop Death in its tracks.  Guess what? Not gonna happen, and the more he fights it, the harder the process will be.   Don’t be a little bitch, Yellow Guy.  Get with the program.

Anyway, the white rose on the flag represents the purity of the new state they will enter into. The river running nearby symbolizes the endless and enduring stream of Life.  The sun is rising in the background, signifying a new beginning.

I take this card to represent the need to let something “die” in order to move on ( I will also read it as someone who may have died recently, but I don’t take it as a harbinger that someone is about to kick the bucket.  I don’t believe that’s for us to see — just my opinion.)

When someone is hanging on to something that has run its course — a relationship, a job, a habit, an ideology – things get “stuck.”  You feel like you’re covering the same stale ground and getting nowhere, and guess what?  You ain’t.  So maybe you need to surrender to that fact.

When you acknowledge that something is done, finished, kaput, you clear a space for new energy.  It’s like a big cosmic garage sale.

I’m not saying that letting go  is easy.  But get the ball rolling by recognizing that something is played out and is serving no purpose other than to make you frustrated, bored and unhappy.

By  focusing on the idea of letting go to make room for the new, you’ll facilitate the process.  It may happen in stages, it may happen all at once.  That may create some anxiety (after all, its familiar), but breathe through each moment.  Always remember that you’re not “losing” something so much as gaining a new opportunity to move forward in your life.  To me, this is the big lesson of the Death card.

Surrender.

How to Do An Instant Tarot Reading

The Tarot has been around for centuries; judging from the amount of info about it, no shocker there.  For that reason, learning this ancient art can be off-putting to the newbie.  So much to take in:  meanings, reversals, context, spreads.  It’s enough to send you running for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Law and Order: SVU marathon.

I’ve put plenty of time in to the Tarot, and I do believe it’s worth it to learn the traditional meanings of each card.   The study of Tarot packs its own enlightening punch. However,  learning the card meanings is not a rule: there are some  readers who just don’t bother. My friend Sandy never cracked a Tarot book or took a class, but the girl could throw a spread and be dead-on.   What she did was let the cards “talk” to her.  She paid attention to the images and impressions that flowed to her, and put them together in her own way.

My other friend, Janet, says she “falls into” the cards, not worrying so much about “book larnin'” and simply letting them tell their own story.

No matter how well-versed you are in Tarot language, the ability  to let the cards do the talking is what every reader must master.  Many times, I throw the  traditional meaning of a card out the window and just go with what I’m seeing.  And it’s this angle that works just as well for someone just starting out.

Below is a fun exercise that will help you start working with the cards, even if you just picked them up 20 minutes ago.  It does a couple things:  1) helps you get familiar with each card itself while 2) honing your instincts.  So its a two-fer.

Try this exercise every day for a week and see how much more ‘familiar’ your Tarot deck feels at the end of it.  And how much more tuned in you are to your own intuitive style.  Got questions?   Leave them in the Comments.

5 Must-Have Spiritual Stones

I first got turned on to crystals back in the 80s (didn’t we all?).  At one point,  they were everywhere in my tiny apartment.  My roommate would just roll his eyes when he saw another added to the collection.  I was about 4 stones away from officially being declared a hoarder.

All these years later, I still have plenty of beautiful little stones, but there are a few in particular that I work with the most.  They’re my go-to crystals when I do any psychic work.

QUARTZ  CRYSTAL;  Like a Chanel suit, this stone goes with everything.  It’s the kind of crystal that can serve any purpose you assign it.  Yup, you can “program” it so that it’s electromagnetic properties help attract whatever your intention is.  Just hold it in your non-dominant hand, envisioning your goal uploading into it.  When you feel a “click,” you’re done.  You can re-program it for something else, by envisioning that you’re clearing it, then repeating the upload process.

I keep these on my reading table, simply because of the positive energy that seems to flow from the little buggers.

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ROSE QUARTZ:  The soft pink color aligns with the heart chakra.  I love the gentle vibe surrounding rose quartz.  It’s not throwing off hot monkey-love vibes, more of a gentle, patient energy.  It’s the kind of love vibe you have for your pet, or your grandma has for you.  Unconditional, sweet, giving.  It’s the Aunt Bee of crystals.

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This is a good stone to work with when any sort of grief or loss is going on.  It heals the heart, which makes it great to carry after a breakup, a death or anything that makes you feel like you’re walking around with a giant hole in your chest.

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LAPIS:  I can get lost staring at this gorgeous blue-gold stone.  It’s powerfully spiritual, used to help connect with higher realms and energies.  th

Lapis throws off a really strong metaphysical energy and really helps open up my channel.  It turns up the volume in a major way.  Nigel Tufnel (all hail, Tap!) breaks it down for ya….

AMETHYST:  Like lapis, this is a spiritual stone.  The energy of amethyst, however, isn’t quite as macho.  Amethyst resonates with the crown chakra, helping us connect with the channel of enlightenment and awareness.  It just makes me feel good to have around, ’cause its so purty.

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OBSIDIAN:  Of course, when I’m having trouble staying spiritual, this repels/absorbs any negative energies.  When a client requires some seriously heavy work, obsidian is like an anchor in turbulent waters.  The dark color works like a super-magnet for grounding me when my head is all over the place.

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Not for nothing, obsidian is helpful for blocking someone’s icky vibe from affecting you.  I had a boss who was, shall we say, an idiot with a heaping side of Pain in the Ass.  I hated going to work, but once I put a giant chunk of obsidian on my desk, he didn’t come around as much — and I   stopped wanting to punch him in the throat.

This was what I wanted to do all damn day....

This was what I wanted to do all damn day….

At any rate, these particular crystals are must-haves for the spiritual life.  As Bob Dylan once sang, “Everybody must get stoned.”  In a good way.

A Secret About “The Secret”

I’ve recently been revisiting that book, The Secret.  It’s not quite as trendy as it was about 5 years back, but its discussion of the Law of Attraction is as relevant as ever.

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The book’s thesis – that thoughts are magnetic –feels right to me, and is being backed up by science.  Focusing your mental and emotional energy on a particular goal helps align it with the creation energy all around us.

Buutttt….how do you focus all that awesome energy when you don’t really know what you want?  Or your “wish list” changes from week to week?  Let me tell ya, as a kid, writing my list out for Santa was a bitch.

"Wait, I also want a Barbie...and, oh, wait, maybe not that, but...."

“Wait, I also want a Barbie…and, oh, wait, maybe not that, but….”

Needless to say, when your goals change as much as Madonna’s face, the Law of Attraction is just busy trying to keep track.

Yeah, I went there.

Yeah, I went there.

So here’s an awesome exercise I learned from Miss Oprah:

1)  Pick an area of your life you’d like to change:  your body, your lovelife, your work,  Whatever.

2) Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.  On the one side write “What I Never Want Again.”  On the other, “What I Do Want.”

3) Now think about your goal.  Let’s say it’s a better love life.  Think about your last (or current) partner.  What about that relationship really, really bugs/bugged you? Go for the first things that come to mind:  the fact that he/she drank more than Snooki?  The way they clammed up whenever you really needed to share your feelings?  The back that had more hair  on it than a Yeti?

"I never want a girlfriend who maintains a blood-alcohol level of 3.0."

“I never want a girlfriend who maintains a blood-alcohol level of 3.0.”

Don’t drill down into every pesky little annoyance; stick to broad strokes to begin with.  Write them down on the one side of your list.

4) OK, so the things that you NEVER want to experience again?  The exact opposite is what you DO want.  Example: “I never want someone who drinks ‘til they puke” leads to “I want a partner who’s sober or only drinks a little.” Example: “I never want someone who ignores me when I need a hug” becomes “I want someone who is affectionate and attentive.”

This is a really fascinating exercise.  I find that it really helps you zero in on the core essence of what you want.  Its kinda like a dose of Ritalin for a jumpy brain.

And it will help the Law of Attraction know where to find you.

Magical Driving Tips

I live just outside of New York City, where driving is a ninja-skill.  Crazed commuters on the West Side Highway, distracted moms in mini-vans, stressed- out shoppers in mall parking lots; trust me, this is Driver’s Ed on steroids.

Welcome to my world...

Welcome to my world…

So I take certain steps to ensure that I’m not unneccesarily sideswiped by some idiot in a Hummer (yes, people around here still drive those annoying behemoths).

The first thing I do when I get in my car is to buckle my seat belt, turn on the iPod and then envision a big bubble of white light around the vehicle before I pull out of the garage. Its my own little force field.

I keep a piece of black obsidian in the glove box, as a way to ground the energies of the car and ward off any negative energies from other drivers.

Traditional New Jersey greeting.

Traditional New Jersey greeting.

I also have a little Celtic cross hanging from the rearview mirror, but I’ve seen other cars with small dreamcatchers to capture any bad juju wafting from the other guy flipping you off.

Driving isn’t the only challenge around these parts:  finding a parking spot has its own skill level requirements.  I have circled one particular ginormous mall for 40 minutes (I timed it), seeking a slot.  That’s 40 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

"This sucks. Suuuuucks!"

“This sucks. Suuuuucks!”

So now, I envision a helpful spirit running ahead of me to my destination and sitting his ass down in a great spot, right near the entrance.  Eight out of ten times, it works like a charm.  As for those other two times, guess he’s busy returning a pair of shoes at Nordstrom’s.

Here’s another spell to find a spot.  It involves invoking the name of “Squat,” the Parking Fairy.  Yes, there really is one. Anyway, touch your thumb to your ring finger, and say “Squat, Squat, find me a spot.”  Keep doing this until you find your spot, then thank her by saying, “Squat, Squat, thanks a lot.”  If there’s no parking meter involved, drop a penny as an offering.  This mini ritual is HUGE in New York City!

Essential driving/parking tool.

Essential driving/parking tool.

Speaking of pennies, there’s a tradition around here of tossing some loose change into a new car.  The first time someone did it to my little Honda Civic (RIP), I was all like “WTH?”  But it brings you luck and safety as you cruise around in your awesome new wheels.  Remember to leave the change where it lands.

Granted, these little rituals are no substitute for being a safe driver.  Don’t be a jackass (we have enough of those on the road already).  But personally, I find them a helpful addition to my AAA membership.

Happy driving.

Why Bad Stuff Happens-An Opinion

Let me just start this blog by saying that I need a good foot massage. And a drink. Or three. The last few days have been spent with either friends or clients, all of whom have had some bout with serious illness.  Lyme disease, cancer – the biggies.  I’m wiped.

Their struggles have been epic, and it was painful to hear just how difficult their lives have become.  In one case, a dear family member didn’t survive her cancer.  In another, my friend’s work life has been completely derailed by her illness.  It has been unbelievably rough.

Needless to say, each of these clients/friends had one question in common, namely, “Why?”

I do not pretend to have the answer to that one.  That’s waay above my paygrade. But what I DO know is that people who have a major issue in their life —  an accident, death of a child, special-needs kid, serious illness – have taken on a brave karmic challenge.

The way I understand it, before we incarnate, we decide that we need some “extra credit” in the Karmic School of Life.  By willing to live out an especially hard experience here on Earth, we make up for lost opportunities in past lives – or for having been a soulless putz.  It’s the mother of all summer school courses.

Clearly, making that decision to live through such a hard experience takes major cojones.  But it doesn’t mean that it makes it any easier once you get to this side and actually undertake the journey.

The point is, such an extreme experience is bound to lead to some form of enlightenment and understanding.  Its not just for you, either – all those around you that are affected by it will also have a chance to up their game.

My friend with the Lyme disease shared a lot of information about what she was going through, information that I knew would be helpful for another person in my life who was dealing with the illness.  In two hours over sandwiches, she had turned her problem into something helpful for another.

The client who had lost her sister to breast cancer realized that the experience of going through those devastating few years had brought positive change to her otherwise dysfunctional family.

Someone like Stephen Hawking has shown that, while his body isn’t under his control, his mind soars free, free to make astounding discoveries in science.

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Still smarter than you.

There are others: the mother who lost her child to a drunk driver and started “MADD” or John Walsh, who suffered the loss of his son Adam, yet turned that horror into a crusade to find other criminals through America’s Most Wanted.  Talk to the parents of a special-needs child, who will admit that the practical realities are difficult – but how that child has been a gift in what they teach them about love and endurance.

I’m not trying to minimize the difficulty of surviving or living with a tragedy or tough situation – but when you consider the sheer bravery of the soul willing to take that on, well, thank yourself for being such a badass. And offering us all a chance to grow in profound ways.

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