Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Many Me’s

As the snow was coming down two nights ago, a long buried reality suddenly surfaced. Something about the cold dampness in the air, and that first dark of the evening evoked a new state that I recognized as an old identity. It was much more than a memory. Immediately I am experiencing the world as it is shortly before Christmas of 1949. It is actually another reality into which I have accidentally fallen. I feel the heavy wet snow, hear the chains on the tires of the cars moving down Morrison Road along which the snowplow has recently piled up a three foot bank of snow. Our old 1936 Dodge just brought us home from a visit to my grandparents and the snow is coming down hard. My dad is an excellent driver in any kind of weather and as a native Coloradoan; he has driven in snow since he was fourteen.

I love this time of year. Christmas is a time I can go beyond the ordinary without anyone objecting. My cousin Billy and I have two games we play to avoid boredom when we are on the road, one is identifying the model and year of the cars we pass on the road and at Christmas season it is counting the decorated houses and rating the decorations. I’m seeing Christmas decorations in the style of 1949. The big bulbs in red, green and blue with the heavy wires, pinned around windows and hung from eaves, I can see them perfectly just as I can feel the cold air. People with lights on their outdoor trees get extra points. And lighted nativities are awesome. These are usually on wealthy homes. My folks will drive us through these kinds of neighborhoods during Christmas season.

This particular year I finally get through to my parents that I don’t want dolls for Christmas and they give me a toy model of a 1950 Ford. I am both surprised and delighted. I still have that Ford even though it shows the wear of time and use with a bumper tied on with bailing wire. Ordinary memory tells me that next year I will get a dump truck. Wow!

I have fallen back to a previous identity many times, but with this occurrence, it dawned me that it is more than a curious anomaly and I decided to explore the phenomena. It usually happens when a sensory memory is triggered. The particular feeling of a breeze, a time of day, or the sight of a familiar object related to a time in the past. Suddenly I am in that world even though it may be buried under many layers of personal history and represent a self whose identity is long forgotten.

I was recently listening to an interview of Brugh Joy by Jeffrey Mishlove:

Brugh Joy is talking about what could be classified as multiple personality disorder by a traditional psychologist. However, he is saying that it’s something that everyone has. Is this being that is writing this page carrying an illusion of self? The good students of psycho-science will probably get upset with this thought and say that we are really just making a disorder sound cosmic. But my question is, why call it a disorder? Maybe we are just tapping into a bigger order than we usually care to deal with. Also it’s just plain confusing to think multidimensionally. We must trim experience down into chunks we can deal with every day on just one dimension at a time.

I suspect that even though our need to focus requires a trimmed down reality these other identities with their own time/space are necessary resources. But it goes both ways. They need our current time/space surface self as well. This on stage self in the so called here and now is unwittingly working for all of our selves.

You probably know that I don’t believe that creation occurred with a big bang billions of years ago, nor do I believe that a supreme being made it a few thousand years ago. I believe that creation is now, all of the nows; from the tiny now that I’m experiencing, to a place that time can’t touch. Time is convenient and probably necessary for physical existence but it only works on a narrow platform.

We usually think we know who and what we are unless we accidentally fall through a soft spot in the floor of our agreed upon existential stage. Brugh Joy talks about the phenomena that one of our selves can be fit and healthy while another one may succomb to a disease. It’s actually possible to save the physical body by putting the identity that is healthy on stage or transversely a sick self may be appeasing a demon that requires a toll for something from the past or is protecting us from something even worse. What seems tragic may have deeper roots into a dimension and reality that would only make sense if we had eyes like a cosmic eagle that saw the overall picture. This is the reason, of course, that Native Shamans cultivate eagle essence.

All of the different selves from different times in a single physical life are energetically connected with each other as well as with the self we currently claim. They can become a working community or they can lead to chaos. Most of the time (I get nervous anymore whenever I use the word time) we get by without any recognition that we are more than me. But usually the other people in our lives can attest to there being some surprises under our hood. Just as primitive people get a shock when they see themselves in a mirror for the first time, the recognition that I am not who I think I am is both unsettling and intriguing. Let’s see where it goes. There are Everest’s to climb in that other world just as in the one I'm peering from now.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Money, Sex and Power—the Cleansing?

The planet (or dwarf) Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and will stay until 2024. This hasn't happened in 248 years. At the same time we have been getting lots of speculation on the meaning of 2012, the end of the Mayan Calendar. Whether you believe that Pluto is a planet or dwarf it has long been associated with drastic change both personally and historically. Capricorn is the sign of public institutions, authority, social accomplishment and tradition. On an individual level it is expressed as social ambition, responsibility, and love of tradition and is associated with the revered role of the father. On a social level it expresses as the patriarchal ideals and ambitions that have ruled western civilization for several thousand years. Lately the people and issues associated with Capricorn have been under siege. The economic and political arena is undergoing severe functional meltdown and public shame. Shame is the ultimate disaster for all that is ruled by the principles of Capricorn.

A recent example is the firing of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. I sense that the Jerry Sandusky incident at Penn State is going to grow into something much larger. In fact “grow” may not be the correct term. It is more like the tip of a great stone long buried in the earth but recently tripped over. The timing of such discoveries is important. Pluto in Capricorn will eventually indicate the hidden sordidness underlying practically all of our institutions. Outwardly they claim to represent stability, sanity and truth but in reality it is a façade. Beneath the surface our most respected institutions are rotting and putrid.

Not only is the financial basis of our economies turning out to be a mismanaged sham but also the shadow side of all our respected institutions is being exposed again and again. One can only wonder where it will lead. I can think of two fairy tales that address our most pressing issues, “the Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Of course both of these stories indicate that this isn’t a new problem but an ever-present aspect of the social facade of power.

Why are these issues coming out now? It isn’t new by any reckoning. But there is an emerging force at this time that wants to bring the closet doors off their hinges. The skeletons need some light. Politicians are also being swept off their shiny patent shoes to land up close and personal on a vengeful Mother Earth. But is it vengeance or an overriding need to sweep the bullshit off the stage of human drama. Could it be that 2012 is not about cosmic catastrophe as much as a cosmic shutdown on spin?

Losing the Box

We humans look through our cultural glasses in fearful expectation that the monsters of extraterrestrial invasion, natural disaster and out of control war and terrorism will rage on until all of our cultural structures are fatally besieged by some terrible cosmic force. Maybe it means that an asteroid will hit us, or all the fault lines around our planet will catastrophically act up. Or, perhaps the poles will turn us upside down and we will have a climactic catastrophe that will all but wipe us off the earth. But what about the familiar world we take for granted? What if we have been duped all along about the power and importance of human structures? What if they don’t need some cosmetic repairs as much as a total remake. Astrologically the planet Pluto represents destruction and reconstruction. Unfortunately you don’t get reconstruction without first getting destruction. Before we can get out of the box it has to be dismantled. Why? Because we don’t even know we are in it until it isn’t there anymore.

Before we humans are aware of the possibility of jumping out of our boxes, we first try to make them work better in any way we can. Capricorn concerns institutional boxes. It rules our social designs and systems of responsible authority. Modern scientific age humans attempt to find rational, legal and scientific ways to fix whatever is going wrong. This is inevitable. Simply put we first try to improve our box. But as Albert Einstein said, “it is impossible to solve a problem within the system of the problem,”

It seems to me that the greatest human mistake in times like these is to believe that our socially agreed on forms are a reality sanctified by God. Then we project any suspicion that this might not be entirely true onto foreign enemies or cosmic catastrophes. Even God will inevitably fail us because the word and concept is continuously created by we humans, a less than godlike species. God is a concept that must change from time to time to include a larger more high-definition image of the ultimate authority. Since we cannot but be less than our creator is it’s impossible to ever adequately define our “Ultimate Source.”

Pluto the Cleaner

Medieval Depiction of Pluto and Persephone

Pluto in mythology rules the underworld and protects earth’s treasures. Whatever Pluto fingers seem to turn first into shit and last into gold. It is about cleansing the form until its essence is revealed. Here are two quotes from astrologer/historian/mythologist Neil Giles:

Pluto in Capricorn will test the durability and regenerative resources of leaders and governments across the globe, as well as business and the corporate world. Old or staid structures will collapse or come apart at the seams if they cannot redefine their nature and cope with changing conditions and needs. The renewal or discarding of traditional practices or beliefs will play a part in this for Capricorn draws from inherited wisdom and practice. Those traditions that find new life will serve to guide modern leadership while those that are uprooted or outmoded will pass into oblivion. On the one hand, we will see the renewal of traditional power or thinking that can endure while on the other, we will see its displacement by the forces of the new, as leaders and systems find themselves under the pump. No doubt, Pluto in Capricorn will bring service where others will be ruthlessly ambitious and materialistic….

…In such a pressure-cooker as this coming cycle, it may eventually occur to us as a species that we cannot continue trying to solve our problems with a bullying thrust of violent intervention. Just as we will have to look to alternative energy sources, we must also realize that we cannot keep building roads to the future by blowing up everything that gets in the way of our intended path. Obstacles to our desires are there to teach us, not frustrate us. It is time we learned that salutary lesson from Pluto. The sign of Capricorn teaches the proper sense of organization and responsibility required for effective social contribution. With Pluto in Capricorn in the coming era, the imperative is to learn how to make one, how to put aside the power mongering and the drama and do something that works. The destiny that is written in the stars is also in our hands.

Mythologicaly, Pluto is also a caretaker of great treasures. What are the treasures that Pluto may have been protecting? Perhaps it is the cosmic power of evolution and deep healing. While we are getting a lot of attention focused on the meaning of 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar, I’m thinking how so often different sources of occult information support each other and these two seem to be synced. Death and birth continually follow each other in the reality we occupy. Generally we are more aware of what is dying than of what might be going through birth pangs. Energy never ceases to exist but the forms it takes do change.

Creation is continuous. Pluto and the astrological sign it rules, Scorpio is known for hidden power. In a sense they represent the shadow side of life. The part that is generally denied disowned and suppressed. With that suppressed power is the power of regeneration, historically and prehistorically the realm of the goddess. She is just beginning to rise from thousands of years of repression. When something of elemental significance is repressed it takes on an ugly, destructive humiliating form in society. Eventually it will bring us down. Only by recognizing in all humility that we are not gods and it is even more dangerous to pretend godliness will we ever hope to fulfill our divine purpose. Money, sex and power are all realms of Pluto but we must be willing to pay our due. The goddess energy symbolized as Mother Earth can turn it to gold if we don’t try to trick her or remove her from the creative process. It is now time for the God and Goddess to make peace with each other. That is the only way to move from destruction to reconstruction.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.

Secret societies are not necessary for hiding advanced ancient knowledge considered too dangerous for naïve minds. In most cases if the recipient is not ready to
receive it there is no way it will stick in his/her mind. Most hidden knowledge is actually hiding in plain sight. It will simply slide “like water off a duck’s back,” as the saying goes. It seems to me that the only time secrecy is truly needed is when it is the evolutionary time for a revelation or major spiritual/social upgrade to emerge and those in power are threatened and consequently attempting to prevent it. It never works but they always try and the results are generally bloody.

Many advances in consciousness are completely lost to most of the public because they haven’t got their perceptive tools honed to receive it. They are still conceptually supporting an outdated paradigm. Habit is very powerful. As Einstein said, “it is impossible to solve a problem within the system of the problem.” Of course most of the time we are unaware of being within a conceptual system. Hidden ignorance is much more prevalent than hidden knowledge.

Nevertheless, I’m amazed at how quickly knowledge and social advancements can be forgotten after one generation. I’m sure it wouldn’t have vanished had it actually penetrated the outer layers of perception. I can’t help wondering if there is a formula for mass brainwashing. For those of you who can remember the enormous social and spiritual openings of the 70’s and 80’s of the 20th century it seems as if a magic spell of forgetfulness overtook the masses. I’m not saying this is a totally bad thing, however. Sometimes changes come too fast to integrate. Although many ideas and concepts that had been hidden for centuries came out in the open as if a long hidden door had suddenly become visible, many people where not emotionally or spiritually prepared to maintain these concepts or use them appropriately. The essence remained hidden.

The latest in communication technology is moving through our world faster than we can assimilate it. While the delivery system grows ever faster and more sophisticated the content seems to be more and more simplistic. Too much turns out to be the same as not enough if it is delivered faster than it can be processed. This may be the best way yet to control consciousness. Just deliver information so fast that it can’t be processed and it’s more effective, way more effective than censuring it.

I remember the power that a single idea in a single book had when I first began climbing outside the box I was born in. Now ideas come in so fast there is no time to integrate them. What if the real revolution comes as an entirely different way of processing information? What if we really do begin to look outside the box (sometimes literally a box shaped device such as TV, smart phone, or Computer). Maybe we will wake up and notice such contradictions as “fighting for peace,” and going to war to impose democracy by force on other countries. Although these terms are just rhetoric many people haven’t learned to recognize the contradictions because they choose to trust authority when it tells them their box is safe and righteous.

Most people on earth right now sense that major change is in the works with economic collapse, war, exposure of high level disfunction and deception, etc. But its very common to look for guidance and reassurance to ideas that are products of the very system that is failing. Nevertheless, there will always be a few people who fall out of a disintegrating box and find it liberating after the terror passes. It is for these individuals that genuine secret knowledge will become available. Not because they are on an ego trip, join a secret society, or are smarter than anyone else, but because the painted curtain covering the window of perception is torn and the world outside is revealed. It won’t come all at once because the curtain tears away bit by bit, but it will come.

If this knowledge fills you with the power of love and compassion it is truly hidden knowledge and it comes truly from the Creator. Authentic knowledge comes from the integration of head with heart and if the heart is missing you have been deceived again.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


By Marti Fenton White Deer Song

In the beginning we see in the other a reflective mirror of all we desire to be
And fall in love with the beauty of our own potential in another.
This sweetness lures us into the magic mirror and onto the path.
The spirit of love has a scheme for this sweet attraction
To mold our souls into a unique configuration of the divine,
Bringing differences into new recognition. Seducing us with hope
Of what gracious treasures lie along the road.

Then comes the fall from paradise, or so it seems, when the mirror shatters from
The shock of our imperfect reflection and this path seems dead-ended.
We see only weeds where flowers grew.
Many end their story here, tear up the memories and begin again
Always seeking the beautiful in anticipation of a new beginning.
Like a too high flying balloon, the dream bursts
Drifting to the dense earth in torn shreds.

Yes, we live in an imperfect world and when we feel the
Cruel hardness of the ground that breaks this fall and our dream
We feel deceived, betrayed by the one being we thought
Should free us from our fate and lead us to our dreams.
Torn apart, alone, betrayed, the dream shattered,
Each of us seemingly deceived by a false image of the other.
Many end their journey together at this harsh fork in the road.

But this isn’t a rightful ending for those with heart.
The trickster god of the crossroad, Hermes, Alchemist,
Magician of turning lead to gold is testing
Readiness for the next stage of this adventure,
But do we have the courage?

Love is not a game but a perilous journey.
Many souls die along the way deteriorating where they fell
While only their ghost drifts on lost in self-deceiving dreams.
If we survive this test we discover that we are able to walk through
Many broken mirrors, then meet in a new reality where we become
Co-creators in our shared future.

Those who survive into this unique partnership called marriage
Are as a pebble dropped in the sea of the world,
Waves spreading out in all directions as
Fractals of the human potential.

For in love lie all the dangers, challenges and powers of
Our human adventure on earth. We build this road to the future for those
Who continue the journey when our adventure has reached its final destination.
In true love, two into one have the strength of many.
And we are not lost to ourselves but recognized for who we are yet to be.

On September 24th Standing Deer and I were married. This turned out to be a greater step than I anticipated. Perhaps the degree and intensity of the event is in proportion to everything leading up to it. After all we’ve known each other for 19 years and been lovers much of that time. Our relationship has continued to develop through two marriages and many girlfriends and it has been beyond understanding for most of our friends.

I think the last phase began about two years ago but I’m not sure about the time. I had finally decided to give up on any future us. It wasn’t the first time but it was the best time. It came after another drifting out on his part. He had sworn undying love, said he would never hurt me again, apologized for what he put me through and then began to fade out. Before long he was dating someone else but didn’t say so. I just knew the signs by then. I couldn’t stand to see all that I put in his house being used by another woman so I removed my paintings and the small pieces from my mother’s house. We had worked together for weeks to clean decorate and paint his house. My mother had passed a few months before and it was comforting to have her furniture in the home of my love. Now I felt betrayed. He reacted by having me take everything out. I rented a large storage space at Hinds & Hinds next to Smith’s grocery. I met him there and we unloaded the furniture silently. The tension was as tight as a piano string.

Even through grief and disappointment I felt a surge of renewed energy. I moved all of the things in my garage to that storage space and every load I took lightened my soul and linked me to the person I was when I first came to Taos. My heart was both shattered and renewed at the same time. I remembered just how the air felt and saw the leaves in the trees become greener and the sky cleared. I was back to my beginning in Taos. My first husband and I used this storage space when we first arrived. Everything came back as if no time had passed. Excitement, grief, anticipation of the new adventure, as well as the people who became part of our new life, all were here again just as they had been. I looked at my mother’s furniture. The new furniture that she and I picked out when she moved to the senior apartment that was her last home. It was beautiful and truly her own in every way. I felt sad that this phase had already ended and yet she was complete in her own way. Now it belonged to me as well as the memories that went with it. The emotions were so big that I couldn’t contain them all at once and I came back again and again. I prayed, I cried, I remembered and remembered. I knew that my old life was over and though I didn’t know what was ahead I was finally ready to find out with no expectations of the future.

For the first time in years my life force was awakened and I was ready to move on. That same spring I went to Denver to see friends and family. My dear friend Rachel and I ate at our favorite Italian restaurant and I told her that I realized that Standing Deer simply couldn’t do a relationship and that I finally recognized that it was unfair of me to expect more than he was capable of. I could care for him as an old friend and important person in my Taos experience but I needed to move on and be well when he did the same.

On the way home my cell phone rang at the top of La Veda pass. My first instinct said that it was Standing Deer and it was. We had been on the same plan and he gave his phone back to me when we broke up so I knew he didn’t have a phone. I surmised that he was in a bar and borrowed someone’s phone. I soon lost connection because reception only works on the top of the pass. When I got to the bottom I called the number recorded on my phone but the man that answered didn’t know who or what I was talking about. So I let it go. When I arrived in Taos he called again and said he had another piece of my furniture that he wanted to return and asked me to meet him at the storage unit. I said I’d take my luggage home first and meet him in an hour. After unloading I remembered that I had the cell phone he’d returned to me in a drawer. Since I was responsible for the duration of the contract whether or not he used it I decided to take it along and offer it to him.

At the storage we were a bit stiff but after unloading the piece I offered him the phone to use for the rest of the contract. He seemed a bit reticent but decided to take it. I could feel something else on his mind. After several awkward seconds he asked if I would like to have a glass of wine before we went home. We considered a couple of places in town and then he suggested the Steak Out. This was a place where we used to watch the sunset over the entire valley from the patio. This was the beginning of a new chapter. Everything changed that evening.

I felt free for the first time. I no longer cared what he thought of me or what our past had been. I just felt comfortable listening to what he’d been doing and sharing my Denver trip with him. He said he wanted to do some travelling and felt he wanted to stay out of relationships until he was clearer. We drank way too much wine. There was an Indian man at the same bar from San Juan Pueblo and we discovered we had some friends in common. We talked to him and shared a couple more bottles. Finally it was dark and late. Neither of us said anything about it but he came home with me.

After that night we were together. There were a couple of minor glitches when he decided to live alone in his house for a few days. But it didn’t last and gradually those times went away. This was the first time we’d actually lived together on a daily basis. But always there was something between us that wouldn’t go away no matter what we intended or who we were with.

So much has changed since that day at the storage space that it’s not easy to remember how we used to be. He insists that it was that particular day at that particular place that everything in his life changed. He did exactly the opposite of what he’d intended to do because at that moment he realized he would regret it forever if he didn’t.

The next spring we visited Cottonwood and Sedona Arizona, scheduled a workshop for the following September and made several more trips. Because of Standing Deer’s lung problems we decided to move there for the rest of the year. We found a charming little cottage in Cottonwood. It was a blissful time. We enjoyed furnishing it, visiting friends, painting in the covered porch, hiking and getting used to living together. We grew very close because it was our home rather than his or mine.

We are in Taos again taking care of our homes here but we hope to be in Arizona this winter. It will be different this time. I find that we are so much freer together now. It is quite a surprise because I had a meltdown two days before the wedding. A dark cloud was hanging over me and I felt that all the demons of my previous lives were ganging up to create some disaster. Fortunately I’m old enough to recognize a panic attack. It’s not easy to accept the realization of one’s hopes and dreams. There is nothing left to anticipate and reality presents the possibility of disappointment. Standing Deer was so happy and full of joy that I felt guilty for these feelings but decided I had to share them with him or risk sabotaging everything we were about. After that crisis everything was smooth and the wedding itself was a beautiful experience. It became a wonderful gathering of friends. I must say there is a glow that is still sending energy to everyone within range.

Update: I’m finishing this piece in Cottonwood, Arizona. We are house-sitting for a dear friend, and hoping to find a place for the winter. Yesterday we weathered our first major crisis. Standing Deer had his melt-down post wedding. Later I realized how important it was. His oldest demons decided to put us to the test. We got through it together and came out better than before but it made me realize that “happily ever after” is shallow. This partnership is about transformation and the fulfillment of a contract made before we met in this world we now share as partners.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


After a week of media saturation around the tenth year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center I’ve been aware that something didn’t feel right. As I thought about it, I recognized that actually several things were bothering me about the way the media was using this emotionally charged anniversary.

First, was the sense that reminders of this disaster were being used for propaganda by the media to re-open the wounds and direct the pain of Americans against “the enemy” that caused this pain. I remember having a very similar reaction at my Grandmother’s funeral. For years I’d been feeling swindled at funeral services but that was the first time it emerged to consciousness. The minister was using grandma’s funeral as a chance to sell his agenda to people who wouldn’t normally be his audience. It didn’t seem to be bothering anyone else, but then they were desensitized to this approach just as I’d been. Is the American public desensitized to efforts to stir up an intended reaction for an ulterior purpose or are we just naturally naïve?

One of the best ways to package propaganda is to wrap it in gold and present it as sacred and thus above question. The World Trade Center attack and the two planes that were involved in other attacks that same day were certainly victims of a terrible and tragic attack. Of that there is no question. The idea that it was not a military engagement but an attack on innocent civilians was at the core of the outrage. However, the preferred interpretation of and reaction to such an event is often slipped in secretly along with the facts. When people are emotional they are not analyzing the logic of an interpretation.

It could be argued that the war that ensued as a supposed act of revenge has killed many more innocent civilians than were killed in the 9/11 attacks. One can’t help but wonder about the motives in making a tragedy into a weapon of war. Who is it really serving?

Another issue concerns me. Is America so sacred and special that we should expect to be divinely protected from the tragedies that befall other nations? I’ve often suspected that such naivete would one day cause us to fall victim to reality. We are taught that we wear the white hats and those who don’t like us wear black hats. It’s a simplistic adolescent belief and the powers that be use it for their own ends. I’m suggesting that the victims of 9/11 were twice victimized. Once by the conspirators that crashed the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and second by those in power in their own country who use their tragedy as a political tool. Some, more cynical than I actually believe that the tragedy was secretly engineered within our own government. I’m more inclined to believe that it happened because the agencies that should have been protecting us were too smug to take mounting evidence seriously and that they were also victims of the belief that America is invincible.

America’s greatest weakness is to hide its weaknesses from itself. Group consciousness frequently seems more primitive than individual consciousness. Groups on the whole operate at a lower moral standard than individuals and often the individual members accept attitudes and behaviors on a national level that would be considered criminal on an individual level. Modern warfare is a good example. Dropping bombs on civilians is acceptable and at the same time we often go to great links to save a premature infant. Joseph Stalin is reputed to have said about the horror of his political purges, “the death of one man is a tragedy but the death of thousands is a statistic.” The euphemistic military terms intended to deliberately remove the emotional impact of destruction and death are effectively based on the same principle. Here is a list of common examples:

  •  "Take Out" - Destroy
  •  "Wet Work" - Assassination
  •  "Area Denial Munitions" - Land Mines
  •  "Physical Persuasion/Tough Questioning" - Torture
  •  "Operational Exhaustion" - Shell Shock
  •  "Department of Defense" - Department of War
  •  "Neutralize" - Kill
  •  "Collateral Damage" - Civilian Deaths
  •  "Target of Opportunity" - Assassination
  •  "Regime Change" - Overthrowing of a government
  •  "Shock and Awe" - Blitzkrieg
  •  "Surgical Strike" - The use of guided munitions
  •  "Caught in cross-fire" - Innocents shot dead by soldiers
  •  "Ethnic Cleansing" - Genocide
  •  "Protective Custody" - Imprisonment without charge or trial
  •  "Generous Offer" - Demand for Surrender
  •  "Incursion" - Attacking with heavy metal
  •  "Air Campaign" - Bombing
  •  "Friendly Fire" - Death caused to one's own troops
  •  "Prohibiting Transactions" - Economic embargo
  •  "Soft targets" - humans
  •  "All out strategic exchange" - Nuclear War
  •  "Open up on" - Fire upon with all available weaponry
  •  "Frag" - Kill a friendly soldier (now extended to enemies as well)
  •  "Greenbacking" - Hiring mercenaries
  •  "Monitoring" - Eavesdropping, spying
  •  "Conventional weapon" - Non-nuclear weaponry
  •  "Clean bomb" - Neutron bomb, only kills people leaving infrastructure intact
  •  "Nerve agent" - Poison gas
  •  "Strategic movement to the rear" - Retreat
  •  "Pacify" - Lay waste to, destroy
  •  "Pre-emptive strike" - Surprise attack
  •  "Second strike capability" - Ability to retaliate with nuclear weaponry

It is emotion that motivates humans. To enhance the emotional impact of an event or remove its emotional impact is the most powerful of political tools.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Another challenging life event has presented itself. The little house in Cottonwood, Arizona that we lived in during the winter of 2009/10 is for sale. It is actually affordable if we should decide to buy it. However, then we would own three houses. I put three houses on my want list two years ago but felt a bit like a greedy profligate when I did so. I envisioned being able to move around from one home to another, and to rent out the ones we didn’t happen to be using. Since I also believed there was an energy flow between Sedona and Taos that I wanted to connect it seemed meaningful. But my old self thought that was humbug. Perhaps the primary lesson is about which values I’m going to represent publicly.

I never let go of the little house in my heart. It represented another layer of being. I felt excruciating sadness when I looked at the pictures we took while decorating it and remembered our morning coffee on the porch, watching the lizards and birds, the neighbors roosters crowing at 2:00 AM, the view of the mountains to the west and how close we became while living there. The loss of the furniture inherited from my mother and PQ’s mother still haunts me. We had everything we needed plus the things we found at Saddle Rock Barn and the second hand stores of Cottonwood. All were intensely infused with the joy of our first adventure as a couple. This was the place where our new life began. Although I loved my Taos house, this little house was not his, or mine it was ours. I see that it marked a significant life shift that began with great hope. But we ran into glitches early on such as the truck blowing a rod on one of our trips back to Taos and the failure of our plans to rent out our Taos houses to cover expenses in Cottonwood. Yet we had a wonderful time in that house making it our home base and exploring the area. When we had to leave it was heartbreaking and we knew we wanted to come back. We couldn’t find help to get our furniture out of the house and back to Taos and we both still regret selling and giving away everything. I feel guilt as though I'd committed a crime against the spirit who led us there and our parents who provided our furniture. How can this be healed?

So here is another life challenge. I actually put this whole arrangement on my secret want list some time ago. It has manifest as a possibility exactly as I desired. Not perfectly however, desired and perfectly are not the same thing. The house is under lease until January 2012 and the realtor says it is a short sale, for me a new real estate term that means it is being sold for less than is owed on it. However, it brings up one of my core issues. Do I deserve it and is it real, or a trickster’s tease? Or is it a phantom that belongs to a time that has now passed? Although it is of great interest, I realize that I must not plunge into a new commitment that is beyond our means, and at the same time it may not be possible to pick up where we left off. That sounds like two issues but they are welded together.

When I moved to Taos almost 20 years ago I manifest the whole situation exactly as it turned out. But this doesn’t mean it turned out perfectly. Some things blew up in my face. In retrospect I can see that the reason for this was that I was trying to make two opposing life agendas work together. This has been a lifelong pattern that I wish to be rid of. Taos does not permit that kind of nonsense. Less charged environments, like the one I'd come from, allowed such prolonged impasses and the ensuing stagnation and consequently I didn’t fully perceive the absurdity of trying to stop and go at the same time. Each confirmation or realization of a hope or dream comes loaded with karmic lessons. I’m not being negative when I say that. In fact I believe that one of the faults in the currently flouted teachings on manifestation is that it usually fails to acknowledge that everything has two sides and when we acquire something we seriously desire we also receive a lesson on the hidden motives for placing importance on this desired object or situation. In addition the universe operates on a higher level than individual desires. The good and the bad work in tandem and we don't have the perspective to see the big picture. Often these seemingly small issues are a doorway to a karmic healing.

In my case the karmic issue is, “do I deserve it,” and if I don’t will I be punished for manifesting it? I believe I need to break this down even more. I don’t generally believe that I deserve anything, because I don’t believe in my right to be here in the first place. Am I breaking some cosmic law by existing? I suspect that this is related to my baby sisters death and the events surrounding her death when I was three years old. This period of time marked the beginning of my alienation from the people around me. Her death also triggered the sicklyness my mother experienced for years after my sister’s death. I on the other hand was a perfectly healthy child, brimming with energy, curiosity and life force but I came to feel ashamed and even embarrassed about being who I was and for being alive. I’m sure in retrospect that I actually felt responsible for the death of my sister and the ensuing suffering of my mother. My mother dramatized her sicklyness in an attempt to activate some kind of compassionate response from my father and her friends. Instead they withdrew and left her feeling abandoned.

To enforce this situation my parents seemed to find most of my enthusiasms and passions totally unacceptable and inappropriate. It was comparable to making jokes and playing games at a funeral. I embarrassed them just by my childish existence. On the other hand I acquired some importance by being independent and helpful. My own needs and desires, however, didn’t fit into the arrangement. My central conflict is about what to do with the life force and if one can live correctly in a world with other people.

Is a good life, a creative, passionate and influential life possible when surrounded by the pain and failure of others? I set out to fail in my hopes and desires from the beginning to avoid the unbearable heaviness of guilt. Now I’m trying to sort the real from the neurotic. But I’m no longer a perfectionist. I’ve learned that there are many ways to get to the right place and its better not to become obsessed by just one.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My constant and primary lesson in life is about taking responsibility for being myself out front in the full light, without pretending to fit somebody else' s needs and expectations but honestly taking on my own place in time. But this is about more than just me. A long line of ancestors hid in the safety of agreement and mediocrity. Not because they were socially or mentally challenged but because they believed it was safe and virtuous. We didn’t know it but we insulted the Creator by assuming he wanted yes men and women. I had to lose my faith before I realized that our so-called obedience was actually an insult to the Creator. What kind of God depends on followers to flatter his ego?

Stay Big,
Don’t Shrink.
Be in the Sun,
Avoid the dark.
Talk strong don’t whisper.
And above everything,
Honor your heart’s desires.
Speak and act what you believe,
Especially what you want to believe.
Make the dreams real and constantly
Lie this truth until it becomes real on Earth.

The first card in the Tarot.
Stepping into the unknown of life.

This poem came to me a number of years ago when it seemed that everything that I valued was losing its light and life. The world was shrinking to the size of my little adobe living room and each day was lost in the predictable monotony of the little shop where I worked. I didn’t have enough money to make a change and all of my loves were waiting for the space of time I never had. The world was closing in, and I was beginning to forget why I came to New Mexico, the vision and hope that caused me to take a leap of faith. Of course nothing worked out as I hoped it would but that isn’t the point. I didn’t know enough about the destiny of my world to hope in the right way. Taos is a harsh teacher with more than a little trickster energy. Dreams are never allowed to rest in peace, nor are they given form easily. And so the testing went on backing me into the corner until there was no room to hope and then one day I realized that waiting for someone to have faith in me was a lost cause. I was being shown the results of my safety tactics of keeping a low profile, being very modest, self effacing and avoiding trouble.

I also deceived myself by believing that taking that one risky step off the edge of my safety zone would last the rest of my life. But was it really a risk? The safety zone is the true risk and the lesson was that life and safety are not compatible. Life demands, and Creator demands that we step off the edge again and again. That is the engine of creation. Yes, sometimes its necessary to catch one’s breath, dust off the dirt and stand up before plunging over the next precipice but that is no place to stay. We must keep taking chances and facing the unknown or our license for residency will expire. Unfortunately we often don’t notice when this happens. Gradually everything begins to fade out and before we know it we are dust.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I used to love the process of tie-dye.  I even went to the library and checked out books on African and Asian tie-dye patterns and techniques. It was a great medium because it combined planned design with interesting accident, or chaos, if you will.  This was the source of its fascination as far as I was concerned. I would dye layer one, sew and tie a pattern and then repeat this process several times layering many patterns and colors.  The part that made it so much fun was the unexpected and usually gorgeous outcome.  Although I planned the design and very carefully separated the various colors the final result was always a surprise and in my opinion an act of nature as much as it was a personal creation.  In that sense it reminded me of both a kaleidoscope and fractal geometry.  That is the visual result of a marriage of planned design and unforeseen consequences. But I find that it’s a good metaphor for my usual approach to life.

It seems to me that this is how life and creation really do unfold within the dimension of time.  Behind all of our plans there is an overriding fractal law that at first seems chaotic but is actually the matrix of all patterns and rhythms.  Lately I came to the realization that this special gift of surprise is what moves me artistically and in life.  Although both my life and art are inspired by the vision of a particular form there is always something beyond my own imagination that imposes a variation on the original theme. Frequently several variations come to mind and through my fingers before I sense that the design is complete for a particular project.  But I’m always aware of several other options that could have been. 

It’s true that we often impose our little intentions on something that is beyond our understanding such as dividing the heavenly bodies into constellations.  But might it also be that the greater patterning function of the universe works within us even if we are the small fry’s within the cosmic ocean.  True, it’s backwards, the small trying to design the great, but it’s also within the nature of all that is.

Perhaps we have a hard-wired desire to complete each design pattern and that each pattern in life is much like a phrase of music that will only be finished when a certain note is struck. The completion of a composition must end with a particular rhythm and tone that defines and fulfills its existence. Meaning itself seems to depend on certain sequences within time.  Even our life cycle has a pattern and rhythm.  For this reason I don’t believe that immortality could ever succeed.  That would destroy the very nature of life’s essence.  Without an end note, a frame, or the edge of the fabric there could be nothing that we define as life.  The beginning is defined by the ending.  Probably the universe itself and the Creator also have endings and beginnings and we as products, or more appropriately as holographic cells within the Big Body and its song and dance are one of those remote tips of an ongoing fractal phrase. Endings and beginnings are as much an aspect of creation as the endless universe that supports them.  What an amazing dance between something and nothing and it all depends on pattern and design. And pattern and design depend on nothing. Nothing at all! This is why I believe both the Theists and the Atheists are right.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


PQ and I have been in Cottonwood, Arizona one month now. Finally the monsoon has arrived though late, and those huge cumulous clouds typical of the desert Southwest fill the sky. It started with a down pouring hail that knocked leaves off of trees, trimmed the flowers back and filled the patio with water but it was welcome nevertheless. Now it has settled into a shower each afternoon. I have a break from watering the garden and keeping the shades drawn against the sun. And nature is a much better gardener than I am.

PQ on Fay Canyon Trail
We sit each morning on the patio and watch the hummingbirds fight over the feeders, their sentry's perched on the top branch of a mesquite waiting to dive bomb rivals while lizards do pushups on the wall. Now and then we see one of the tiny striped snakes that live under the rocks. A falcon flew by very low and almost touched us with its wings. The Mourning Doves are shy. I watch them waiting in the neighbor’s yard for us to go inside so that they can drink from the birdbath. It’s all very simple, quiet and healing. I watch a drama unfolding. Two large black beetles collide in mid air. One falls to the ground and a lizard zooms in to attack it. They tumble around for awhile but the beetle is too big and finally limps away, but it is probably fatally wounded. Meanwhile a group of ants are struggling to get a crumb of toast torn into manageable sizes and then carry it across the rocky ground. It’s a formidable task but they never give up. Is this any less important than the workers across the street who have been downing a large pine this week, and loading it into their truck piece by piece? The world is very busy and it all seems like a fugue of motion, all sizes and species of beings playing their own part of the earth song and dance.

 In Beauty before me I walk

In Beauty behind me I walk,

In Beauty below me I walk,

In Beauty above me I walk,

In Beauty all around me I walk,

It is finished in Beauty,

It is finished in Beauty,

It is finished in beauty.

 Dine Beauty Way Chant

If I were to categorize this period of time I would say that it is a time of learning to live. I am separating myself from dis-empowering and alienating attitudes and beliefs. Its not about saying affirmations and thinking positive thoughts but instead its about seeing through false beliefs to a degree that I’ve never experienced before. This life is becoming a balanced circle in my perception and I am a part of it standing in the middle of my personal world. Whether I have high or low self-esteem doesn’t matter anymore. This doesn’t trouble the ants. Balance is comfortable like a dance where the dancer and the music are completely in synch. The world isn’t any better, in fact it may be getting worse but the futility and narcissism of fear, worry and despair has been exposed.

Things aren’t perfect. That’s not the point. Maybe there is no perfect. I don’t know how I’ll pay all the bills much longer; PQ has a potentially fatal disease and I haven’t had a decent place to paint for over a year but the moment seems perfect and that is all there is. And this may be spiritual dessert and when its gone bitter medicine may replace it but it’s a taste that becomes stronger and sweeter over time and now I know this sweet taste and use it as a guide. Perhaps this is the key to meaning and to co-creation in the universe. It’s not about struggle and duty but about harmonizing with the life force within and without. The rest must inevitably click into place.

I was brought up to believe that everything of value should be a struggle and that pain was purifying. The world was tainted by Adam's and Eve's fall from grace and we had to put up with it until God destroyed this evil world and took us away to a better one. Although I tried very hard to believe this it never took for me. I won’t go into it here but I now have a completely different way of interpreting the very teachings that were used to make life on earth so ugly.

I’m not fixing my life anymore, nor anyone else’s, for that matter, and I certainly don’t have the power to fix the world. I dance as I go, just as I duck under branches and climb over rocks on a hike. The body and mind adapt to the trail in a fluid and practical way. It’s good to work at the rhythm of season and environment, taking responsibility for what is mine to work with and leaving the rest to God and other beings better suited. Yes, I still have hopes and dreams but they are go-by patterns and I can alter them to fit a sharper view or a more complete understanding without feeling failure. I don’t know what the goal is anyway. It keeps changing and evolving and I like that.

I’ve come to believe that our real work is participation in the magic of incarnation. Creation is happening all around us and we are in the midst of its process. Pain is a sign that something isn’t in synch, and sometimes that our attention needs to be altered, refocused or a wrong turn is asking to be corrected.

. . You never find happiness until you stop looking for it. My greatest happiness consists precisely in doing nothing whatever that is calculated to obtain happiness: and this, in the minds of most people, is the worst possible course... If you ask "what ought to be done" and "what ought not to be done" on earth in order to produce happiness, I answer that these questions do not have an answer. There is no way of determining such things. Yet at the same time, if I cease striving for happiness, the "right' and the "wrong" at once become apparent all by themselves. Contentment and well-being at once become possible the moment you cease to act with them in view, and if you practice non-doing (wu wei), you will have both happiness and well-being.
Chuang Tzu (c.360 BC - c. 275 BC)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Travelling Through Life: The Alchemy of Time

Since arriving back in Arizona, after a short visit to our home in Taos, I’ve noticed changes in my stance toward life and the future. Perhaps a change in location encourages a different perspective. When I’m at home in Taos I am whom I am used to being. Habit saves energy and time but it has some serious drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that we become habituated to using the same mental and spiritual tools for every personal discomfort even when they obviously don’t work. I suppose it has to do with the secure feeling of familiarity. It is powerful medicine to step outside one’s accustomed identity. Too often we forget that we are part of the environment of our existence and have much to do with making it what it is. On the personal level we really do create our own reality even though this phrase has been seriously compromised in the New Age market.

I’ve noticed recently that even casual encounters with old enemies no longer carry the punch they used to carry. By old enemies I’m thinking of those pressures to conform to some external ideal. Also, I recently had a birthday and even though I don’t consciously think about it, getting older is bringing new perspectives just as a road trip moves one through a constantly changing landscape. Appeals to vanity are losing their, well, appeal. When I see an add for a new miraculous product or technique for reversing age, removing wrinkles, flattening the tummy or losing pounds I notice that it no longer stimulates curiosity. Much to my surprise I’m now OK with the way I am and not particularly interested in meeting standards of perfection set by the fashion and marketing folks. In other words I now see these manipulations for what they are, ploys to make money for someone at the expense of my self-esteem. Perfection is an empty word because nobody really knows what it is. This vagueness leaves the word wide open for manipulation.

We are organic beings that go through many stages during our journey through life. To become fixated on one stage of this journey is unnatural and it is done to meet the standards of someone, even possibly an imaginary someone who has convinced you that they have the power to pass judgement on you for failing to defy nature.

It’s not that I don’t want to change anything about myself however. It’s that the reasons are different and are beginning to fit like a well made shoe. We are part of the entire universe and what we do and especially who we are is either in sync or out of sync with the whole. Or less cosmically put, to my surprise and delight I'm acquiring the ability to feel the natural rhythm. Instead of an uncomfortable dissonance the inside and outside are in communication even if not yet in perfect harmony and its easier to correct a bad note.

I tend to be a background person. Astrologically with four heavenly bodies including Sun and Moon in the 12th house I started out way back in the shadows. Much of my life has been a fight to get out of the shadows and into the light of recognition. Now I’m facing the fact that this may never happen and it’s not entirely a bad thing. After all the shadow turned out to be merely a perception. After years of envying people who expressed themselves easily and charged out into the world to accomplish their dreams, I’m learning that much of this is secondary in value to awareness and self-knowledge. I’m referring here to Self with a capital S not the ego self we generally believe we own, although it is an amalgam of pieces acquired here and there since birth. The upper case Self is the part that is connected to the process of creation and leads us beyond expectations, hopes, dreams and whatever we can’t yet imagine.

The distance between inside and outside, near and far is gradually closing as I recognize that it is all about perception and how that perception is applied.

Friday, June 17, 2011


We live in a world that has arrived at the brink of a cosmic developmental crisis. Those in power over the human world literally have the future of this world and its inhabitants in their hands. There is a lot of talk about the need to preserve the environment, the dangers of uncontrolled expansion, the evils of political corruption, and the ever present danger of war with weapons of mass destruction. Even space is not safe from human manipulation. Although it is popular to promote the protection of endangered species it is still obvious that humans have an anthropocentric bias resulting in lack of consciousness beyond the immediate time and their own species.

Kazimierz Dabrowski

Before an evolutionary concept can actualize into social recognition it must have a conceptual description that can serve as a psychic handle, or so it seems. Kazimierz Dąbrowski provided just such a mental structure for the process of moral development.  Dabrowski was a Polish psychiatrist who developed a theory of moral development called Positive Disintegration that ventured into the social moral and creative development of human psychology.  His theories are still not well known in the West.  They are primarily used in presentations about both childhood and adult giftedness.  I was first introduced to Dąbrowski by a Jungian oriented therapist in Denver.  The aspect of his theory that gripped my attention was a concept of levels of moral development that seemed far more enlightened than the routinely taught theories. One of Dabrowski’s greatest influences was Plato;  "Mankind will not get rid of its evils until either the class of those who philosophize in truth and rectitude reach political power or those most powerful in cities, under some divine dispensation, really get to philosophizing.”

Very little has changed since Plato’s time except external technology. By now its obvious that philosophy alone is not enough. I often wonder why this is so. Why is there such a gaping chasm between true wisdom and the fruit of intellect? They seem to be two dimensions that seldom connect within the human mind. Humans are very clever and some are capable of amazing mental and technical achievements. Nevertheless there is so little progress of soul and spirit beyond a few enlightened individuals. I watch Science Fiction movies that are built on incredible and fantastic technologies of the future but the characters and their motives are as ancient and primitive, as were those of our first ancestors. The same applies to scary aliens. Although the media presents them with superhuman abilities and they are way more technically advanced than we are these movie aliens only excel technically or biologically. The assumption seems to be that this is all there is. I think it is obvious that philosophy is not enough. It may lie out the map but it can’t get us to the destination.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

At times it seems that the world is controlled by the mentality of a 14-year-old male geek. There is passion, technology, cleverness, creative imagination and hubris. The spirits of both power and experimentation are well represented but balance and wisdom are totally lacking. It is the problem of “the sorcerer’s apprentice.”

The modern human world seems seldom to notice that intellect and wisdom have a different source. One can be a genius intellectually and yet be emotionally and spiritually undeveloped. Dabrowski called attention to the absent developmental steps to Wisdom. We have come to admire a powerful intellect but IQ tests don’t reveal anything about emotional or spiritual powers and very little about creative powers. I am suggesting that there are many levels of intelligence but MIT educates on the first two levels. The problem with this is that it is this limited kind of intelligence that is ruling our present and determining our future and it is creating a world out of balance. The emotional and spiritual abilities are still undeveloped and it is these that are expressed in the shadow side of power.

What Motivates Us?

Perhaps the core problem is the fact that humans are actually motivated by emotion not by intellect and yet emotional development is the missing link to wisdom. One can be a creative and intellectual genius and still lack good judgement and developmental balance. It is significant that there is a recent interest in indigenous cultures that are rooted on the concept of maintaining balance with the natural forces. How ironic that after hundreds of years of attempting to force indigenous people to adapt to our ways the so-called civilized world now looks to the often demoralized remnants of these cultures for guidance. To quote from the New Testament in the gospel of Matthew, “In the coming kingdom, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” Iconoclastic psychologist Fritz Perls often reminded patients that in a conflict between top dog and underdog, underdog always wins. By this he meant that the part of a person that is least conscious and often denied holds the energy cards. It plays the part of trickster and undermines one’s conscious intentions because the conscious intentions don’t represent the wholeness of being.

Although we are nagged by environmentalists warning us that the world as we know it is on the way out, due to global warming, destruction of natural habitats, etc., we are caught in a political economic merry-go-round and are afraid to jump off. The momentum of the spin is huge. But I would like to suggest that we might not be as totally in control of the fate of this planet as we think we are. Here again our anthropocentrism skews our perception. We are still children of mother earth and citizens of the stars. Our organic origins bear down stronger than either the individual ego or the social ego. Mother Earth and the laws of the universe will prevail even if life and human identity as we’ve come to know it is sacrificed in the healing process.

Is This The Kali Yuga?
The 10 of Swords. Final defeat before the dawn

Dawn is already on its way at the darkest hour and the creation process involves destruction of the previous form before re-construction begins. I’m reminded that we are already in the Kali Yuga, the final age of destruction before the cycle of creation begins again according to the Hindu tradition. And yet I don’t see the world as a continuous circular repetition of stages in the classic Hindu tradition rather I see it as a spiral in continuous developmental expansion just as the universe is expanding.

MANIFESTATION: More Lessons on the Cosmic Waves

In the previous three weeks there were several forest fires in New Mexico and a fire in the White Mountains of Arizona blowing east into New Mexico. This is very hard on PQ’s lungs so we stayed inside with the doors closed most of the time.  And yet my Taos garden was doing well and I thought the wind that has been blowing since mid February and the fires surely would be over soon and I could enjoy my summer gardening.  Every morning that the weather permitted we had coffee on the flagstone patio in my backyard and PQ talked to the birds.  We gave leftover tidbits to the local magpies and watched them enjoy our cafeteria.  The Starlings that live in my bathroom vent stand sentry on the neighbor’s roof and they also talk to PQ.  These birds have an amazing vocabulary and he is trying to learn it. In response to his efforts they flap their wings and cackle. We were trying to make the most of living in Taos this summer even though the altitude and smoke were a problem for PQ.

Nevertheless we were longing to be in Cottonwood Arizona again.  I couldn’t see how this could happen in the immediate future but among my secret fantasies of possible scenarios a house-sit entered my daydreams here and there. We didn’t bring up this topic often because we had resolved to make the best of the current situation but sometimes we updated each other on our fantasies. I began to accept that once a good opportunity like the one we had last year comes and goes its lame to keep trying to make it happen again. But I’m being pulled in two directions.  One day I feel that for myself there is little to keep me in Taos.  The wonderful energetic sparking of 10 years ago has been gradually falling away and Taos feels like a plastic flower that is beginning to fade. But I’m not sure if it is Taos or me. I was stuck in a rut and didn’t know what would change this. Where had the old magic gone?  Nevertheless, there were many good things, too.  Our favorite restaurants, running into old friends and of course my garden. For PQ there was his kids and grand kids the 42-inch TV and Netflix.
Century Plant blooming on Soldier's Pass trail

During this time back in Taos I was also examining the paradoxes of my desires and the results of those desires. It seems that there are areas of life that flow very easily and other areas that dead-end over and over.  What am I doing wrong?  What makes the difference?  Where are my guides now? But perhaps I attend too much to what I think isn’t working.

Then two weeks ago our friend Carol called and asked if we would be interested in house-sitting at her home in Cottonwood. She needed to go back east to help her brother find a better housing arrangement for their mother.  She knew how much we liked being here and she knew her own little garden would expire in the heat if no one took care of it.  In addition our friends who moved to the Taos area from Cottonwood last fall had reached a fork in the road.  Having spent the winter in a dark overcrowded cubbyhole they each needed more personal space for their work and private life. I asked Todd if he would be up to staying in my house while we were gone and I could see right off that it was going to be of mutual benefit.  He is almost the ideal house-sitter.  All of these things fell into place immediately.  I’m once again aware that when wishes and prayers manifest they generally sneak in so organically that they are easy to miss. Of course as is the case with many direct answers to prayers and wishes we ended up here without really grasping how magical it was. Four people had a simultaneous synchronistic manifestation experience and it all seemed simple and normal.

The items that grab our attention aren’t necessarily the most significant events but expose the personal deficits we focus on.  We’ve connected with old friends, took some walks among the red rocks, saw the Century Plants blooming for the first time, ate in our favorite restaurants and enjoyed freedom from smoke and wind.  This is manifestation on a fairly small level but that is a judgement that the greater consciousness, that which theologian Paul Tillich called “the ground of all being” doesn’t make.  After all nature doesn’t judge between the big and the small and nothing is important or unimportant from a cosmic perspective.  I’m learning to be.  I don’t really know anything but its fun to anticipate whatever is around the next turn because each new view changes everything about all the previous views but not in a negative way.  Its much like turning a kaleidoscope, the same elements have infinite combinations.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Manifesting Beyond the Shallows of the New Age:

Last year we dreamed of living in Cottonwood, Arizona but I was afraid of running out of money and we did run out of money. There are two elements at work here. First, I knew that I might not have enough money to sustain us over a long period of time unless two unknowns came through (which they failed to do) but went ahead and made a lease commitment before synching the needed arrangements. I called it acting on faith. Actually I sometimes get lucky and I was hoping the gamble would come through. I’m a natural chance taker, but I was raised in an excessively cautious environment, which is still a chain around my neck. But I keep trying to get loose with plenty of mercurial energy on my side via my four planets in Gemini sooner or later I expect to trick the manifestation police. But an external situation is the best way to become aware of what is going on internally however well hidden.

Since I didn’t have a firm idea of where the necessary funds were coming from I doubted the wisdom of committing to a lease but enthusiasm prevailed and I did it anyway. Now we want to come back this summer and recreate successfully what we left behind. I feel guilty for lack of faith on one hand and lack of responsibility and realism on the other hand. Clearly I’m trying to please two masters with opposing belief systems.

I often attempt to force a new outcome when I feel I have betrayed the gods of opportunity. In this sense I still feel attached to the way things were last year. I have largely forgotten the worries. I’ve also discovered that once a time has passed it can’t be recovered. Nevertheless there is such a thing, as completing something that hasn’t been fulfilled. But it’s important to recognize that one is going forward with a creative process not attempting to relive the past. Sorting this out is crucial to moving forward.

Although manifestation still seems partially a pipe dream I have also experienced it many times. I am actually very good at manifestation and still I doubt this when it comes to the particular areas that are covered by my personal negative conditioning. Do I, on some level, still carry a childhood obligation to remain loyal to my family by not surpassing them? This goes back to the family belief that all the grass must be cut to the same height. I also worry that the Master of the Universe hasn’t forgiven me for not following through on a more enlightened commitment and may not allow me back into the program. And then I worry that all this is just a narcissistic personal fantasy anyway.

But why do I push on when I feel something is spoiled? Perhaps it’s exactly because I believe that I spoiled it and don’t want to accept that possibility. Now I recognize that I’m dealing with several levels of beliefs and they are clashing with each other. But I’m still counting on surprising those mischief making tricksters living in my psychic garbage bin who think their clever cover will keep them concealed. They actually believe they are helping when they conceal this over-the-hill smelly stuff.

Nevertheless, I believe there is a GPS guide to wholeness in every heart and mind. It is a hardwired memory of our true state and we instinctively desire to return to it. This is just as true of humans as of birds migrating with the seasons. Is that wrong? Only if it takes a perverted form reminiscent of having a dead bird stuffed and mounted. A stuffed and mounted yearning can be remembered but it will never substitute for the real thing. The key is to continue within the process rather than trying to recreate the way things were, or more accurately the way we remember them to be. Memory can be a powerful tool of self-deception.

Navigating out of the Maze

Truly my greatest dream is to realize my dreams. I fear that my dreams are out of sync with the timing of this world and are like stillborn babies. This has been my experience but perhaps this experience is the result of some thought, belief, fear, or externally imposed lack of faith. The road out of this dilemma is also the road in reversed. If I track my way through the fear and negativity I should reach the source of the road to a beginning before any preconceived beliefs were in place. Jesus said that one must become as a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven. I believe that to mean being free of constraining, externally imposed beliefs. Faith is perhaps the most important component in manifestation. What do I have faith in? If I don’t believe in my own validity I can’t possibly believe in manifesting my dreams. It has always been easier to work for someone other than myself, and to realize the dreams of someone else and at the same time I’ve never given my heart to someone else’s project. It’s as if I lived my outer life in a cardboard and plastic pretend world. But nevertheless this false world seemed impenetrable as well. I never knew how seriously I should take it so wavered back and forth between slavish obedience and barely touching it. Never did it feel like genuine participation. I assumed this was normal and that other people simply didn’t trouble themselves or else were better informed than I.

My Life as an Illegal Alien

This comes down to my central personal issue. My very being has been in question since before birth. I still look to someone who is licensed to exist on this planet to recognize me as a valid resident. Much of my life has been lived as if I was a temporary visitor on someone else’s planet. I have never truly believed from the heart that I was on the same level as other earthlings. I’ve known since earliest childhood that it didn’t matter how smart, creative, hard working, honest, or well intentioned I was, I didn’t have a visa to be here and that meant that anything I manifested was automatically invalid. I had no rights by the very circumstances of my entrance into this life. A tinge of guilt lay behind everything I had. It always seemed that it would be taken away as soon as some cosmic authority noticed that I wasn’t licensed to participate in creation. I know that my parents loved me but they too didn’t believe that I was licensed to be here. This was especially true of my mother. She also felt less than a full citizen of planet Earth but she shared this with the rest of her tribe, whereas I didn’t feel part of a tribe. I often think of this when someone criticizes a minority group for their lack of focus and responsibility. People must believe that they are connected organically to the society that controls their outer life circumstances or else they become a destructive element toward that society. This is something that domineering groups just don’t get.

Creation, healing, transformation, rebirth, evolution, and manifestation are all related. We are constantly creating and evolving as we progress through life on this dimension. However we have the choice of being either manure in the garden of life, or seeds. Reverse development also has its place. We never limit the process of creation except on the level of our participation. A society, a group, or an individual may chose to serve the goddess Kali the destroyer but the real power is in the fact that the matrix of existence uses all forces for creation. It’s a matter of whether one chooses the path of a conscious co-creator or an unconscious tool to be ground up for fertilizer or mulch. Manifestation is the constant master and teacher.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

NIGHT JOURNEY - Sleepless in Taos

Last night I didn’t get to sleep until after 4 AM.  This kind of night is all about a life review and personal database backup.  For this purpose I venture far back into my past and work up to the present.  Along the way many elements of my life are given a new form.  Birth is what you make of it, and rebirth isn’t that uncommon. I’ve come to believe that I absolutely must do this work now and then.  And it really is a review of now and then. While I’m indulging in this ritual I gather up pieces that have fallen off my database of defining experiences unnoticed and forgotten. Here I must change the metaphor to something more elemental like earth itself. They reappear lying along memory lane like the shiny quartz crystals I used to gather from the gravel of my hometown road on the way home from school.

And why would anyone bother to do this?  Outwardly it seems like a waste of time if not a dangerous and potentially painful indulgence. Over and over on this memorial journey I find myself headed into a box canyon with apparently no way out.  Something that I have put all the energy of heart will and muscle into accomplishing comes to an impasse and I feel defeated trapped or doomed.  This brings up the most primal negative issue in my existence.  “My life will never work.” That is my personal key to wisdom. I know this doesn't agree with the New Age trend of positive thinking but negative thinking taken all the way tends to flip to its opposite. Carl Jung recognized this as Enantiodromia wherein the superabundance of any force inevitably produces its opposite. It is equivalent to the principle of equilibrium in the natural world, in that any extreme is opposed by the system in order to restore balance.

My favorite teachers are ruined in a scandal, my boss goes under or runs out of money, I toil away hoping that patience and persistence will prevail and time and again I get to the end of another road and look up at shear impassable cliffs.  When I take a course or a degree program I run out of funds or the school goes under, or both.  Usually I leave with the hope that someday in the future I can pick up where I left off.  But that never happens or, if it does it is never effectively the same.  The saying, “You can never go home,” is paradoxically both true and untrue.

I’ve always identified with the foxes in a foxhunt.  Like them I try every clever trick I can think of to escape to freedom but am literally hounded into submission.  I’ve studied a number of passions that I hoped would lead to a career but each path arrives at a dead end and I have to abandon it.  Then I take up something else with the hope that perhaps this is the one that will finally workout but it never does.

The few things that have worked out in my life have come so late that much of the original potential was lost in the limits of time.  Last night I was again wondering if my entire life would come to nothing but a series of failed beginnings and unfulfilled hopes. I wish I knew which astrologer to attribute this saying to, "Cancer must occasionally indulge in a binge of awful expectations," but having Cancer rising Moon and Jupiter in Cancer I've come to appreciate it. Sometimes instead of trying to curb self pity or negativity its best to plunge in full on and get it out of the way.

To continue; many promising circumstances arise.  When I inherited the money from the sale of the family home I had a chance to quit a deadening job and investigate new possibilities.  But now the money is almost gone, I may have to go back to work before long, and the possibilities in this Town seam bleak.  I’m always attempting to escape from bleakness.Yes! Now I’ve found the keyword: bleak.  The 12th house is astrologically the house of imprisonment and as long as I can remember I’ve felt either imprisoned, or just recently escaped, with the Bloodhounds baying on my trail. And then it’s back to prison.  But what is the true dynamic of this imprisoning experience. I’m always yearning for that which lies beyond the prison.  There was a time in my life when I would visit the natural history museum when I was feeling most imprisoned just to view a particular diorama of the plains just west of my hometown.  I would unleash a fierce passion toward the curled buffalo grass, cottonwood trees reaching toward the open sky, and the great expanse of land rising up and spreading out beyond the warm familiar clay dust. The reward was a nostalgic and almost unbearable longing.

With all my heart I wish to find the source of this deadening groove looping back again and again to the same entrapment.  Truly I feel cursed and tricked, as if my life was never to be and never could become.  In some way my very existence seems to not be approved and authorized by the great authority of the universe and nothing I do can ever make it a real life.

Everything I most value seems to out of reach.  I get a taste here and there and that is what keeps me going.  But full participation is always out of reach. And so I have looped back to the Monkey Bar experience as my first awareness of hopes and abilities that will always be out of reach.

Paradoxically, I feel that I can take on anything I want to take on and learn to do it.  But there will come a time when I hit an impenetrable wall and must return to my old prison.  Is this merely family conditioning, personal karma, or circular thinking?  Whatever it is I haven’t found a way beyond it, although I find bits of insight here and there.  One of the most recent blocks comes in the form of our desire to be in Arizona again.  We experienced good energy, friendship and a feeling of protection there however it was financially a disaster. I lost my recently gained financial freedom, and many items that would be expensive to replace, and yet we both keep our hopes up that we can return soon.  When I let the furniture and the little house go it was with the hope that I would soon be able to return and replace them.  But that possibility seems to be getting further and further away. However, our connections with the people continue to deepen and I'm actually writing this at The Heart of Sedona Coffee shop. Now its out of my control but I'm still here.

What are the skills other people who have the life I want have that I don’t have?  How do they find their way up the Monkey Bars? Remember the Monkey Bars?  I believe that I’m a survivor and able to be quite resourceful but I reach a powerful block about entering this world. Yes, here I am again with the belief that I’ve never been fully born into this world and more significantly what such a failure implies to me.  Somehow I came to feel that I’m not a real being or a real member of the earth population.  Dear God you know that more than any peripheral acquisition or accomplishment I want membership in this world.  I want to know the secret of life on earth.  I want to unlock the prison door and explore what the dimension called life is all about and then I want to be able to share that which has been hidden in a dark corner as long as I can remember.

This may be the key to why I still feel connected to my ex-husband.  He has always been in a similar situation.  It’s as if we were lost and abandoned children together.  To leave him behind forever was to abandon the possibility of healing this broken connection in my own soul.  We shared the same penal Desert Island and I understood his confusion, pain, and frustration and his loneliness as well.  But in reality our goals were incompatible. Thus he tried to pull me back whenever I attempted to move into the world beyond our shared prison.  Originally we made a pact to move into the greater world together but his taboo is even greater than mine and in the end he hung onto our shared alienation fiercely.

This situation seems to become more poignant as time runs out.  A vast network of images flooded my mind last night.  Many things I’d long forgotten came back and I felt sorrow and regret for my forgetfulness. The things that were forgotten were things of meaning and value, things that when forgotten make you less. I felt that I was now living with a simplified cartoon picture of the life I’d once known.  Where is the passion, the depth, the subtle shadings and details?  They fell away bit by bit as if there was too much to carry in my worn out psychic backpack. The container of the conscious mind is neither as large nor as strong as that of the unconscious mind and must be mended frequently lest its few fragile contents slip out through the holes.

But now there is an unfamiliar sun just emerging on the horizon barely illuminating a new unexpected world. Unsolvable life patterns are much like Zen koans. These unsolvable dilemmas are the material with which we work out our individuated form. From our conscious social mind we charge forward with our understandings and successes, all things that define the known world.  But it is with the unsolvable frustrating and unmanageable themes that our souls are formed. The known world always first emerges from the seemingly unsuccessful unknown.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Is it OK to be out of the ordinary? But more to the point how safe is it? That is always the central and core question of my life from which all else radiates. I yearn to stream out into the world in the fullness of totality yet feel obligated to honor something too vague to grasp but that nevertheless reigns me back from moving full out into life. There are always limiting adaptations such as being a bit overweight, but not actually obese or dressing in a generic style but not too generic. Attracting too much attention either positive or negative still seems dangerous. I want to express my unique view of life but I fear drawing attention to myself. Paradoxically being too obviously shy of attention is also something to monitor. What is the problem with being noticed or even acknowledged? There is a mysterious apprehension involved. Actually it’s a type of agoraphobia. A deer in the forest is safest if its color blends in with tree trunks and earth as well as other deer and to come out of the forest only at night when visibility is lowest. A white deer, for instance, is at risk. Its stand out coloring makes it a target for predators.

Camille Flammarion
"A missionary of the Middle Ages
tells that he had found the point
where the sky and the Earth touch..."

The sense of never being fully born into this world certainly fits with the need to be almost unnoticeable. These issues are powerful remnants of the past. I used to complain that my family believed in cutting all the grass to the same height. Nobody was supposed to stand out and in fact it was a cardinal transgression to call attention to oneself in any way. Another reason to avoid attention is that  grass that can’t be seen can’t be cut. Yet another function of this rule is keeping harmony in the family. To call attention to oneself was considered inconsiderate if not cruel to someone else who might suffer from being pushed into the shadows. This was a continuous background concern. All actions and even thoughts that could put one ahead of any other person in accomplishment, talent, wealth or looks was to be avoided. To do otherwise was to be disloyal. But in hindsight I believe that much of the danger involved drawing unwanted attention to the family itself. And this is an exhausting responsibility. Much internal envy was generated. Anyone who didn’t fit in generated fear in family members and might encourage unfulfilled longings to do the same.

Predictably, I’ve always been drawn to people who were quite the opposite. My honey with his painted pants and boots, traditional native hair tie and big earring certainly stands out. Plus he has a big vibrant personality. My first husband stood out by being involved in all things esoteric, an attraction to unusual people and by being extremely bipolar. My mother’s fear of standing out from the crowd came as a reaction to the feeling like an alien. From our family’s perspective being alien was the worst social disaster possible. Of course everyone wants to belong but somehow belonging required that we not be unique individuals. We lived in a very dangerous world. Astrologically, speaking there is evidence in my birth chart for something hidden very deeply in my ancestry. I have four planets in the 12th house, the house of restrictions and secrets. The 12th house is where the skeletons in the closet are usually found. Included in the 12th house lineup are Mercury, Sun, Moon and Jupiter. To add some oomph to this situation as a Gemini Sun sign Mercury is my ruling planet and the Moon/Jupiter conjunction rising in Cancer is also a powered up situation. The Moon is ruler of Cancer and Jupiter is exalted in Cancer (This is old astrology terminology that still has a medieval tint).

I was just noticing how I always stop short of dressing in a real eye-catching manner, decorating with a unique touch or doing anything OUTSTANDING. That is the taboo word, “OUTSTANDING.” Being original is also a way to be outstanding. Of course I’ve fought all of my life to express that which is both outstanding and original. Both come naturally but then I tone them down to avoid attracting too much attention. It never occurred to me that I had a right to be here on this planet as much as anyone else. A therapist once told me that I was like a train conductor that shoveled in more fuel and put on the breaks at the same time.

Thus living in the shadows has two advantages despite the many disadvantages. First one can avoid detection and enjoy quite a bit of freedom to explore the taboo, and second it makes one harmless to other people because no one really knows you and they can project whatever they want onto your blank screen.

I’m aware that it is my next and most powerful lesson to genuinely, from the heart, believe that I have the same right to be as anyone else. It is a concept that still feels heretical. I know I have unique talents and strong character traits but I still have the feeling that coming from me it is inappropriate. I don’t feel genuinely born into this world yet. I have much work to do on rebirth! I remember about 20 years ago when Rebirthing was a trendy therapeutic modality. I suspect it died along with many New Age modalities but there was indeed a need for it even if the technique was somewhat naïve.

I’m taking more notice of the many ways I avoid calling too much attention to myself. “Too much,” is the operative word. One should look good, be competent, be hardworking, pay one’s bills and be responsible but not be too talented, too good looking or make more money than one needs to survive.

Recently I’ve come to the realization that my problems with work and money are the result of this foundational belief that it is dangerous to stand out from the crowd. When standing in a queue one should not be either in front or in the rear but somewhere toward the end of the middle. This is a difficult role to play in a world that encourages competitiveness and the drive to reach the top of the social ladder.

This unconscious belief explains the mystery of why I’ve pursued but never been able to work in an environment that I would thrive in or make enough money to go beyond basic survival. I fear buying beautiful things for the house, or myself because it’s a dangerous indulgence that I’ll be punished for. Of course I often buy things I want anyway but it is like an act of rebellion and I feel that it will have consequences. It’s a rush of freedom to go on a spending spree. It feels wonderful. I’m like an escaped dog in a fast trot pulling its broken chain through the neighborhood, refusing to think about the consequences at the end of its spree. Even so I don’t go on truly extravagant sprees. That would be way too dangerous.

I strongly believe that anything that ancestors have not finished or resolved is the living generation’s inheritance. Whether or not one believes in karma doesn’t matter. The ancestors rule the unconscious. Sometimes the ancestors go so far back that they are not even included in the story we are told. This applies to cultures, tribes and nationalities as well as families.

I will probably never know just who my ancestors were. Too much was hidden and misrepresented. I know that my mother’s father was very sensitive about race. My grandfather gave us an Irish name but I suspect this was only the storefront. The Irish part is undeniable, but I’m pretty sure there was more to the story. He had a great sensitivity about color and culture. He didn’t like my mother to spend too much time in the sun because she tanned very dark and with her straight dark hair looked like a Mexican or Indian child. He also became upset with me, when in my early teens I developed a fascination with Mexican and Navajo style dresses. I was always drawn to everything coming from parts of the world our family was supposed to reject. My first school friend was Mexican and Catholic and my parents didn’t approve. Their disapproval didn’t faze me. I always secretly did what I wanted but didn’t argue. Avoiding attention was also a way of having what I wanted in spite of taboos. This wasn’t about rebellion, however. It just had a right feeling and I’ve always done what felt right. My grandmother, on the other hand, didn’t even want to be Irish. She insisted that her ancestors were Scottish and English. However, when I looked on the map for the European town they were reputed to be from, it was in Ireland.

I have always suspected that My grandfather Connerly’s family may have once moved from the Appalachians to southern Illinois before emerging in Northwestern Nebraska where he met my Grandmother. He played the fiddle and guitar and had a wide repertoire of old country music. The light bulb came on a few years ago while watching a PBS program on Appalachia’s music. I instantly recognized some of the songs. It is also likely that they also had some native ancestors.

On my father’s side the official family stance is that we are purely whitebread people of the working class. We are Protestant, average in every way with European ancestor’s and nothing particularly interesting in our background. Our family image was painted with deliberation using the blandest palate. My folks always bought practical and plain vehicles and lived a conservative, stable life in a house that my father built himself room by room over many years. But things keep popping out of cracks in the closet door. I especially remember an excursion we made to Divide, Colorado. I was a teenager at the time and I loved to visit graveyards in Old Mountain towns. The stories that are buried with the dead continue to fascinate. On this particular visit I came across two gravestones side by side bearing our family name. One was of an infant and the other a young child. Since our family name is not that common I called my parents over to have a look. My father, always understated, quietly approached. Then he stated, “this must be what my cousin was telling us about.” And this is how I learned that these graves were the purpose of our trip to this lonely old graveyard high in the Colorado Rockies. As it turned out my father’s father had a previous family held secret from my father, his mother and his siblings. A cousin had revealed the story to my father’s oldest brother breaking the promise to never tell the family about these graves until my grandmother was gone. Since she was approaching 98 years this cousin feared her children might die before knowing their father had a previous family.

Although few of us know the story of ancestors several generations behind us, especially in America, it is still imbedded in our psyche. The story comes out cryptically in our everyday life and the struggles we encounter. The study of Anthropology and Paleontology has held fascination since early childhood. I don’t believe I really have the patience to meticulously uncover and clean bones and artifacts from the past, but the enchantment of what is hidden in surviving fragments of ancestors and their tools has a strong pull. We are the products of the past and the past is fulfilled in us or dead-ended in us. We have a very real control over the past to the degree we are aware of the past within us. In fact there is no real past, present and future. Does our language not deceive us? Time is another system for organizing experience. In our culture we tend to visualize time in a linear way. But it can also be experienced in vertical layers as well.

The destructive power of apparently harmless family secrets is awesome. However there is a creative paradox hidden within them as well. Healing is an act of creation and creation is an evolutionary process. Sometimes psychic surgery is necessary but drastic procedures may be a sign of failure to transform an apparent disaster into an act of creation. The separation of dimensions and realities may only be perceptual after all. We all exist in a universe that we barely know. The fractal patterning within realities both physical and beyond physical are potential paths leading both forward and backward in time and space and one can catch the road to creation at any point in these intricate unfolding patterns. My ancestors in their attempts and mistakes dropped me off in a strange place but to paraphrase a common saying all roads lead to home.

I don’t know just what my ancestors feared. Perhaps they carried a racial or cultural association that it was expedient to hide in the name of survival. I’m sure they meant well and had no idea of how it would play out for us all down the road of time. Things change and what was once a cause for shame can become something to be proud of. But either way these social obstacles are potential soul fertilizers to a gardener of the soul.