I love deer. My neighbors may complain that they eat everything in the yard, but I don’t care. No matter how often I see them nibbling in the dusk light, I hold my breath with wonder. The other night, I was blessed to have them respond to my invitation to eat the corn I placed gently on the ground. It was magical.
I’m not alone in my love of deer: every culture has its tradition related to this beautiful animal. In China, deer are associated with abundance. The Celts believed that fairies trailed behind them, as they cut a path through the forest. Native Americans prayed to deer to ensure a good hunt.
Animals cross our path for a reason. When you see a deer (even in a picture), it’s a reminder to tune into your gentler side. Nudge rather than push. It also encourages you to step away from the noise and busyness of civilization, and go deeper into the “forest” of your own intuition. Expand your awareness of what’s going on around you. Do more listening than talking, and you’ll find a new path through whatever blocks you.
Honor your deer sighting with a solemn nod in their direction, and a “thank you.” And maybe some corn!
There’s something about the number “7.” Lucky seven, the seven seas, Dance of the Seven Veils, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers….you get the drift. Seven has some righteous energy. Traditionally, “7” is the number of wisdom, of the mystic and the magician. According to numerology, it’s the number driving this brand new year, 2014. Not for nothing, I happen to be writing this on Jan. 7th. Coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, 2014 is gonna pack a pretty powerful wallop – in a good way. So here’s what you can do in a 7 Year to take full advantage.
1) Study anything psychic or metaphysical. If you’ve ever had the hankering to learn Tarot cards or how to talk to dead people, this is the year to take it up. With all the positive vibes in the air, your progress will be much easier. Here’s a starting point. And this is a fun exercise, too.
2) Undertake any form of healing – including surgery. If you’ve been feeling funky, the 7 energy is gonna make whatever you do to get healthier a lot more effective. Your body and mind will respond and repair way faster. Note: bad plastic surgery is excluded from this. No amount of cosmic juice can undo a face from looking like it was caught in the G-force simulator at NASA.
3) Offload people who aren’t meshing with you. As long as we’re talking healing, you know there are some folks in your world who drain you, frustrate you, make you want to punch a wall. If you’ve done everything you can to make things work and they’re still behaving badly, you need to ditch them. The 7 energy will make it easier to say – once and for all – “buh bye.” I wrote about a technique that can help here.
4) Change any behaviors that don’t work. In a 7 year, fixing bad habits is a breeze. Well, almost. If you want to lose weight/stop smoking/give up your eBay addiction, make a plan….but then let the magic 7 smooth the way.
5) Take advantage of enhanced intution. You’re gonna be standing in line at Starbucks, just minding your own bidness, when – POW! – something will pop into your head about someone you know. Hopefully, its not embarassing. But at any rate, the 7 energy really cranks up the volume on our natural intuition, so pay attention to what you’re getting. Write down your “hits” as a way to track and develop your unique psychic style. And remember to protect yourself while you’re experiencing this new energy.
6) Reflect on your life purpose. All this mystical energy has a point: it leads us to ask the big questions. “Who am I?” “Where am I headed?” “Why can’t Kim Kardashian find a top that fits?”
This year, you may find yourself feeling more inspired and introspective than usual; allow yourself the time to just hang out and take stock of how your journey has gone so far – and where you want it to take you next.
7) Write in a journal. A journal is a great way to log all the “aha!” moments and adventures the 7 year is going to bring your way. By the time Ryan Seacrest announces the ball dropping again in Times Square, a lot will have happened. You’ll want a record of it.
One of my favorite movies of the holiday season is almost any version of A Christmas Carol. Dickens wrote the story of Scrooge as an indictment of the greed and heartlessness he witnessed firsthand in Victorian England. Scrooge is the ultimate hard case, selfish, materialistic and cold to the core.
But despite the titanium-like armor over his heart, he had a revelation. The overwhelming goodness around him won out; in fact, he practically had a seizure from all that joy.
One of my Facebook friends posted that she was rushing to put stamps on all her Christmas cards before the post office closed. A complete stranger came over to her and took half the stack to help her finish in time. We hear about people who surprise those in need with a new furnace, or fix up their car. Those Toys for Tots commercials make me tear up, when we see little kids waking up to find gifts under their pathetic Charlie Brown tree.
These kind of impulses are what make the holidays so wonderful. When I look at the lights up and down my street, I feel peaceful. They serve as a beacon out into the Universe, reminding us that we humans have an endless capacity to shine. Every tiny act, every smile or small courtesy affects both the receiver and the giver, and has some pretty positive blowback: it’s the antidote to a bad day, bad news, frustration and despair. Kindness of spirit is literally magical.
So, like Scrooge, lets try and remember that this beautiful season should live in our hearts 24/7, 365.
This is from my girl, Joni Mitchell. A reminder to send out a little light even when its not Christmas.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Winter has had a white-knuckled grip on us this year, hasn’t it? My sister in Minneapolis reports more snow….in mid-April. But here in New Jersey, I can FINALLY see things starting to pop up and I’m making my list of magical plants to add to my garden this year.
Lavender is one of my favorite perennials. It smells wonderful and is good for helping you chill out. But it’s also good for attracting love; rub some of it on your clothes to send out the vibe.
Rosemary has protective properties, so I keep a pot of it near my front door. I also make a bundle of rosemary and hang it on the front door to attract prosperity.
Sunflowers. I sooooo love these flowers. They are pretty magnificent in all their Shaq-sized glory. When I read and sunflowers appear in my mind’s eye, I take it as a sign of spirit. They are a seriously lucky flower; let them keep watch over your yard, then bring them inside to lighten the heart.
Marigolds are easy to grow, and they are a good flower for anyone who wants to further their career. They bring prosperity and success, but they also help keep negative energy away. Traditions says they’ll also repel pain in the ass neighbors or visitors (hear that, Guy-Who-Keeps-Placing-Chinese-Menus-In-My Door?)
Morning Glory draws happiness and tranquility and Hibiscus draws love. And of course, I have Catnip for the boys to roll around in.
I have a couple of Holly around my front door, mainly because they’re so beautiful. But they also serve as protection. I’ve heard that putting a few holly leaves under your bed will ensure a good night’s sleep.
Dandelions usually fall victim to the weed spray, but I’m learning to make peace with them. They’ve been used for centuries for purification and healing, and planting them in the northwest corner of your property will help bring about positive change. I don’t plan to actually plant the little buggers, but will let them co-exist with the grass this year.
My father and grandfather had a green thumb when it came to roses. Me? Not so much. But I keep trying. Roses raise the love vibration (no wonder we give them for Valentine’s Day) but they are also welcoming to the nature spirits. If you place some random rose petals around your home, it will take down any janky vibes. Will it make your teenager less sulky? Um, can anything do that?
Speaking of roses, I have a metal archway and plan to train them over it. Legend goes that walking beneath a bramble-covered archway will cure just about any ailment. Except maybe hangovers.
Making a garden inviting to the nature spirits will bring a wonderfully peaceful energy. I keep one small corner of my yard a little “wild.” No weeding or lawnmowing allowed. This is where those little guys can hang out. Every so often I leave a little fruit or some crumbled cookies out for them. Whether its the fairies or raccoons snarfing them down, no matter — the point is to let those entities know they’re welcome.
For this same reason, don’t get too cheesed off if the birds eat some of your fruit plants. Sharing your harvest is good karma.
Some of the other elements of my magical garden this year will include a simple do-it-yourself fountain (sounds nice and the birds like the water), plenty of windchimes and birdfeeders. But the most important of them all? A hammock, where I can take it allllll in. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand.
Let’s face it: no matter how spiritual you try to be, at some point, you will encounter people who are — to put it bluntly — pains in the ass. They push your buttons, work your last nerve, make you want to punch something. They can be a co-worker, neighbor, boss, family member, client. They are someone you can’t easily get away from. Here’s how they dealt with it on Seinfeld:
Other than “Serenity now!”, there are some practical tricks you can try. Like the Ice Cube method: write your personal PIA’s (pain in the ass) name on a slip of paper. Put it in any small container filled with water and stick it in the freezer. Their ability to interfere, aggravate or otherwise drive you nuts will be sharply curtailed.
This is an old bit of sympathetic magic that doesn’t harm the person, which is very important. According to the laws of nature magic, whatever you put out will come back to you “three times three” — this is why Wiccans include “with harm to none” in their workings. So as much as you’d like to punch them in the snoot, please control yourself and head for the ice tray.
My sister has a boss that would make the Dalai Lama lose his shit. She had tried everything to make their working relationship better, but he continued to belittle, insult and interfere. I told her about the freezing method; she went home and stuck his name in her big downstairs ice chest. Guess what? The next day, he started heading towards her in the hallway, with that look on his face indicating that he was about to deliver his usual morning beatdown- but all of a sudden, she saw him stop dead in his tracks, turn around and go back to his office. Since then, he’s largely stayed out of her hair.
There’s a variation on this technique involving water. If there’s a PIA you need to sit near, say for a meeting or event, put a glass of water between the two of you to block the negativity. I read about a fellow psychic who did outdoor fairs. There was one other reader no one ever wanted to work near; she was a raging PIA and her negative vibes kept customers away. Well, our psychic found herself stuck next to the PIA, and there was nothing she could do about it. So she poured a cup of water and set it between their tables. Guess what? She got more business than any one who’d ever been placed in that slot before.
If you have a really irritating neighbor, put water in mason jars and dot a few along your property line. If you live in an apartment, put it against a common wall. Just make sure to dump the water down a sewer drain and NOT in your home’s system. Don’t want that janky vibe coming back into your domain.
Crystals are another helpful tool to block the aggravation of a PIA. Wearing them or keeping a chunk in whatever space they may show up in works. Rose quartz has a gentle, loving vibe that will increase your understanding of why a person is being so obnoxious.
If you need to up the protective wattage, black obsidian will absorb the bad juju coming off that person. One of my friends who read in bars –not something I recommend — used to keep a giant piece of black obsidian in her bra to protect her heart chakra. Kinda made her look like she had a third breast, but it did the trick.
For that matter, wearing something black will also have a shielding effect.
These are all stopgap measures. Over the long term, consider that when someone in your life is rubbing your fur backwards, they’re giving you a chance to learn something — if its only to learn creative ways to swear silently. “Serenity now!”
There are tons of “do it yourself”-er shows on TV these days, where experts are making over homes, restaurants, relationships, bad hair — whatever. And this is the Tarot card that sums up all that creative energy.
The Magician is the card of the entrepreneur or, for that matter, anyone who wants to give something in their life a fresh paint job. Take a closer look:
On the table are all four of the symbols that show up in the Tarot deck: the cup, wand, sword and pentacle. He’s about to use every resource available to him. The cup are his emotions and intuitive insights; the wand his practical abilities; the sword represents his ideas and intellect; the pentacle, his earthly resources and physical energies.
He’s pointing down towards the energy of the earth and up towards the power of the unseen worlds above him. That squiggly figure-eight shape above his head is called a “lemniscate” and represents being tuned in to the universal power during the whole process. In a word, he’s about to get jiggy wit it.
Speaking of magicians, here’s one of my all time favorites: Tim, the Enchanter!
Our Magician is not so much about throwing fireballs from his finger (although that could come in handy); he’s about doing something more useful. I like the idea of engaging ALL of our abilities and talents in pursuit of a goal.
It gives us an opportunity to take stock of the many gifts we have at our disposal. Do this right now- make a list of your gifts, from your amazing smarts and long list of friends, to your ability to juggle. Really dig in, and see all you’ve been given to run your life. This is the secret of the Magician.
Here’s mah girl, Chrissie Hynde, to sing us out. She’s running down her own list of tools: “gonna use my arms, gonna use my legs…” Work it, honey.
I just learned about something called “The Trickster.” Not to be confused with T-Rex, Jeepster (love this song).
The Trickster is just what it sounds like: an entity with a slightly warped sense of humor. Your keys go missing, your reading glasses vanish, your checkbook was JUST THERE and it disappears. Some of it may be age-related (or in my case, blonde-related) but there are times when its The Trickster.
According to Wikipedia, the Trickster appears in a ton of other cultures, such as “Loki” in Norse mythology or “Anansi” in African lore. “Br’er Rabbit” in American folktales is another representation. Bottom line, we’ve got a very deep familiarity with this kind of energy, the kind that likes to break rules, mix it up and generally tweak easily-frustrated humans.
I believe that every home has a House Spirit — and The Trickster may pay a visit when the House Spirit isn’t looking (probably folding laundry — which I wish MY House Spirit would do). The best way to deal with their naughtiness is to call them on it. I read of one woman whose bag of pearl onions went missing as she made dinner. They had been there in her produce drawer, then they weren’t. She called out — loudly — “I want those onions back, and I want them NOW.”
Believe it or not, she heard a “thunk,” opened the drawer and –you guessed it — there they were.
So it goes to show you that the Trickster isn’t evil — they’re just a little twisted. Like your weird Uncle Bart. Or Rick James. And recognizing what they’re up to is your best weapon. I want to learn more about this entity, so share any stories, myths or family tales you might have!
There’s been this thing going around on the Inter-webs, about “hosting” five of the archangels in your home. You invite them to kick back with you for five days, before sending them on to visit 3 of your friends. Kind of like a heavenly chain letter. Anyway, all sorts of cool things are supposed to happen, so I figured, what the hell [oops — “heck.” They ARE angels — so a little respect…]
Before they arrive, the house needs to be clean. Makes sense; I mean, if the President were coming to visit, you’d clean the cat hair off the sofa, wouldn’t you? So out came the Swiffer and Scrubbing Bubbles.
Then you set up a makeshift altar with some white flowers, and a candle that will burn the whole time they’re in residence. I opted for one of those battery-powered ones. They look kinda tacky as they “flicker,” but if it keeps my house from going up in flames in the middle of the night, I’ll deal. You write out 3 wishes and put them in an envelope, also set on the altar — and the last touch? An apple, which you eat after they leave. Good thing it’s not a brownie — I would not leave THAT alone for five days.
Then, you wait. At 10:30 PM on the night they’re scheduled to arrive, you light the candle and open your front door to “welcome” Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Metatron. [Is it just me, or does “Metatron” sound like a creature from a Japanese monster movie?] I pictured five very tall angels, tote bags in hand, checking out the digs like some old lady visiting her grandson’s girlfriend for the first time.
It DID feel like something “shifted” in the house. One of the cats ran upstairs, but he does that whenever I open the door. I was suddenly tired and got the definite message, “Go to sleep.” Maybe it was just because it was a little past my bedtime, but I didn’t question it. I fell into a heavy, dreamless sleep.
For the next five days, I didn’t notice anything dramatic. However, there seemed to be a lighter feeling to things. I did get some “insights” out of the blue. I was a wee bit nicer to people. But the squirrels in my yard didn’t start talking to me or anything.
Once it was time for the angels to move on, I thanked them, burned the envelope with my “wishes” to release the energy to the universe, and ate the apple. I was kinda hoping it would give me superpowers — but so far, my attempts at seeing through walls haven’t worked out.
I’m told by others who’ve done this to keep a watchful eye for my wishes coming true, and to be aware of any little synchronicities that may occur in the coming weeks. Fair enough. Who am I to argue with how angels work? I have to admit, it was fun to have a little magical ritual going on; and it was comforting to think I had my own NBA-sized protectors hanging about (and they didn’t even need to be fed). While I partly expected miracles of the Biblical variety to occur, maybe it works on a subtler level. Maybe being aware of the “little magic” that goes on, just out of range of our overloaded senses, is what its all about. So I’m lowering my gaze from the heavens to my own backyard. Thanks for the reminder, angels — and for kicking in beer money for the week.