Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Eagle's Famous Flight of Rebirth


When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the clouds... 



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If the Shoe Fits, Wear it


Let's go on an epic journey of earthly proportions to a promised land and into the world of fairy tales.  If the shoe fits, wear it!  The Little Glass Slipper (Cinderella) is the shoe I'm talking about here.  

There is a passage from The Way of Kabbalah by Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi that sets the stage for our adventure.
“Stories of glimpses into the promised land abound in world folklore although often in a watered down and distorted form… The tale of Cinderella is another version of natural man’s encounter with the upper worlds and gives a detailed account of the powers and worlds involved. Cinderella, the rightful heiress (or soul) of her father’s house, is made to live in the kitchen (the body) while her stepmother’s (ego’s) ugly daughters (personas) usurp her place. However, with the aid of her fairy godmother (teacher), a pumpkin (the vegetable soul) and some mice (the animal soul) are transformed into a coach and horses (Ezekiel’s Merkabah or chariot) which will convey Cinderella to the ball (the next world). Her rags are changed into a fabulous gown (she shifts from the natural to the supernatural). In this state of Grace she is raised from Asiyyah up into Yezirah, where she meets the prince (spirit of Beriah). After various difficulties with the claims of the ego and the personas, the soul and the spirit are united in marriage, much to the pleasure of the king (Adam Kadmon of Azilut).” 
The passage speaks not to a new concept but a timeless tale of raising the consciousness to that place somewhere over the rainbow. You'll discover where the shoe (the little glass slipper) fits on the Tree of Life first.  Secondly, how do you discover if this particular tale fits your path?  What is your calling? Stories abound with analogies to the process of transformation throughout history and cultures.  However, if you're not familiar with this particular fairy tale, here's an overview from Wikipedia.

Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper (FrenchCendrillon, ou La petite Pantoufle de VerreItalianCenerentolaGerman:Aschenputtel), is a European folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression in Histoires ou contes du temps passé published by Charles Perrault in 1697,[1] and by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales.
Although both the story's title and the character's name change in different languages, in English-language folklore "Cinderella" is the archetypal name. The word "Cinderella" has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of "Cinderella" continues to influence popular culture internationally, lending plot elements, allusions, and tropes to a wide variety of media.
The Aarne–Thompson system classifies Cinderella as "the persecuted heroine". The story of Rhodopis about a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt is considered the earliest known variant of the "Cinderella" story and many variants are known throughout the world.
Plot:
Once upon a time, there was a widower who married a proud and haughty woman as his second wife. She had two daughters, who were equally vain and selfish. By his first wife, he'd had a beautiful young daughter, a girl of unparalleled goodness and sweet temper. The stepmother and her daughters forced the first daughter into servitude, where she was made to work day and night doing menial chores. After the girl's chores were done for the day, she would retire to the barren and cold room given to her, and would curl up near the fireplace in an effort to stay warm. She would often arise covered in cinders, giving rise to the mocking nickname "Cinderella". Cinderella bore the abuse patiently and dared not tell her father, since his wife controlled him entirely.
One day, the Prince invited all the young ladies in the land to a ball, planning to choose a wife from amongst them. The two step sisters gleefully planned their wardrobes for the ball, and taunted Cinderella by telling her that maids were not invited to the ball.
As the sisters departed to the ball, Cinderella cried in despair. Her Fairy Godmother magically appeared and immediately began to transform Cinderella from house servant to the young lady she was by birth, all in the effort to get Cinderella to the ball. She turned a pumpkin into a golden carriage, mice into horses, a rat into a coachman, and lizards into footmen. She then turned Cinderella's rags into a beautiful jewelled gown, complete with a delicate pair of glass slippers. The Godmother told her to enjoy the ball, but warned that she had to return before midnight, when the spells would be broken.
At the ball, the entire court was entranced by Cinderella, especially the Prince. At this first ball, Cinderella remembers to leave before midnight. Back home, Cinderella graciously thanked her Godmother. She then greeted the stepsisters, who had not recognized her earlier and talked of nothing but the beautiful girl at the ball.
Another ball was held the next evening, and Cinderella again attended with her Godmother's help. The Prince had become even more infatuated, and Cinderella in turn became so enchanted by him she lost track of time and left only at the final stroke of midnight, losing one of her glass slippers on the steps of the palace in her haste. The Prince chased her, but outside the palace, the guards saw only a simple country girl leave. The Prince pocketed the slipper and vows to find and marry the girl to whom it belonged. Meanwhile, Cinderella kept the other slipper, which did not disappear when the spell was broken.
The Prince tried the slipper on all the women in the kingdom. When the Prince arrives at Cinderella's villa, the stepsisters tried in vain to win over the prince. Cinderella asked if she might try, while the stepsisters taunted her. Naturally, the slipper fitted perfectly, and Cinderella produced the other slipper for good measure. The stepsisters both pleaded for forgiveness, and Cinderella agreed to let bygones be bygones. 

Did you happen to notice that the glass slipper was an important plot element in this story?  

Since The Way of Kaballah did not elaborate on the missing glass slipper and the prince in search of the owner of the slipper, we're going to drill down a bit deeper.  Let's start with the diagram of the Tree of Life as shown below.  At the bottom of the diagram, in the tenth position, is Malkhut, which relates to the glass slipper in our fairy tale.  Beneath the diagram is a definition of Malkhut from Wikipedia.           

Malkuth or Malchut ("kingdom"; ملكوت ;מלכות), or Shekhinah, is the tenth of the sephirot in the Kabbalistic  Tree of Life. It sits at the bottom of the Tree, below Yesod. This sephirah has as a symbol the Bride which relates to the sphere of Tipheret, symbolized by the Bridegroom.
Unlike the other nine sephirot, it is an attribute of God which does not emanate from God directly. Rather it emanates from God's creation—when that creation reflects and evinces God's glory from within itself.
Malkuth means Kingdom. It is associated with the realm of matter/earth and relates to the physical world, the planets, and the solar system. It is important not to think of this sephirah as merely "unspiritual," for even though it is the emanation furthest from the divine source, it is still on the Tree of Life. As the receiving sphere of all the other Sephirot above it, Malkuth gives tangible form to the other emanations. It is the negative node of an electrical circuit. The divine energy comes down and finds its expression in this plane, and our purpose as human beings is to bring that energy back around the circuit again and up the Tree.  (Grounding)
Some occultists have also likened Malkuth to a cosmic filter, which lies above the world of the Qliphoth, or the Tree of Death, the world of chaos which is constructed from the imbalance of the original sephirot in the Tree of Life. For this reason, it is associated with the feet and anus of the human body, the feet connecting the body to Earth, and the anus being the body's "filter" through which waste is excreted, just as Malkuth excretes unbalanced energy into the Qliphoth. Another way to understand this is that when one is sitting, as in a meditative state, it is the anus that makes physical contact with the Earth, whereas when one is standing or walking, it is the feet that come in contact with the Earth or Malkuth.

The highlighted aspects include "the sephirah has as a symbol the Bride, it is associated with the realm of matter/earth, and the feet connecting the body to Earth."  What is not included are other various symbols used to describe Shekhinah such as female, Moon, or rainbow.  As stated in The Essential Kabbalah by Daniel C. Matt, "In Kaballah, Shekhinah becomes a full-fledged She: daughter of Binah (the Divine Mother), the bride of Tif'eret, the feminine half of God."  "...these figures of speech should not be taken literally; they are organic symbols of a spiritual reality beyond normal comprehension." 

It is important to note there are only two unions on the Tree of Life.  The upper union between Hokhmah and Binah, called the man and women, king and queen, father and mother, and the lower union between Tiferet and Malkhut called prince and princess, or bride and bridegroom.  The essence of "As above, so below, as within, so without" applies here.  

Now, it's not hard to figure why a woman would obsess over shoes, or why the fairly tale Cinderella uses a glass slipper as a plot device.  The reason I asked the question what's your calling is that the word "calling" will assist in the process of discovery. Lynyrd Skynyrd expresses the heart of the matter (if the shoe fits, wear it) in the song What's Your Name - Little Girl.      

However, I'm going to show you how to find the path of destiny in numerology, which is derived from your name.  I'll give an example using my name to demonstrate the process.  The number value will then be placed on the tree as shown below.

"The biblical books of Ezekiel, Enoch, and IV Ezra contain mystical revelations of hidden knowledge, including speculation about the mystical import of numbers and letters."  

Numerology and the Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker are the source for the above passage and for discovering my path of destiny.


"Your personal numbers are determined by the numbers in your birth date (life lesson) and the letters in your name you are given at birth (and the names by which you are called) to arrive at the numerical vibration of names; each letter in the alphabet is given a number value."  The alphabet contains 26 letters and requires reducing the double digits to one number.  For example, the number 12 is then written as 12/3.  Master numbers such as 11, 22, 33, and 44 are not reduced when determining the total value.

Betsy 2+5+2+1+7 = 17/8     Ann 1+5+5 = 11      Malone 4+1+3+6+5+5 = 24/6

8 + 11 + 6  =  25/7 are my path of destiny numbers, which does not fit for Malkhut but is placed at Netsah.                  

Use the double-digit number if you want a more in-depth look at the path of destiny as shown in the Synthesis of Numerology, Astrology, and the Tarot below.


Dwelling on the spiritual side of life is my true calling.  Life is happier when you are on the right path. I'm currently working on the way to assist others in finding their personal fairy tale using a synthesis of elements.  More to come...    

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Joyous


Commentary on the I Ching or Book of Changes

"The West's foremost translator of the I Ching, Richard Wilhelm thought deeply about how contemporary readers could benefit from this ancient work and its perennially valid insights into change and chance.  For him and his son, Hellmut Wilhelm, the Book of Changes represented not just a mysterious book of oracles or an important source of the Taoist and Confucian philosophies. In their hands, it emerges, as it did for C. G. Jung, as a vital key to humanity's age-old collective unconscious."   Understanding the I Ching 


The Joyous

In choosing a different approach to viewing art, I allowed the mind to unfold while concentrating on the visual aspects of the hexagram.  

The I Ching or Book of Changes is traditionally thought of as a metaphysical philosophy blending Taoism and Confucianism.  Within sixty-for hexagrams of the, I Ching there are sixty-four typical situations one encounters; each having a picture that corresponds to a condition, i.e. winding road lined with trees makes a sharp curve to the right, or like the picturesque image portrayed above that I will be using for my meditation. I will briefly give the commentary for the hexagram fifty-eight which was selected by tossing coins to pick the yin or yang sign for the lines.  (I Ching page 223)

Under “The Judgment,” is a commentary on the lines:

“The Joyous:  Success.

The joyous mood is infectious and therefore brings success.  But joy must be based on steadfastness if it is not to degenerate into uncontrolled mirth.  Truth and strength must dwell in the heart, while gentleness reveals itself in social intercourse.  In this way, one assumes the right attitude toward God and man and achieves something.  Under certain conditions, intimidation without gentleness may achieve something momentarily, but not for all time.  When, on the other hand, the hearts of men are won by friendliness, they are led to take all hardships upon themselves willingly, and if need be, will not shun death itself, so great the power of joy over men.

Under “The Image” is the commentary on the picture:
 
“Lakes resting one on the other:  The Image of The Joyous.”

“Thus the superior man joins with his friends for discussion and practice.  A lake evaporates upward and thus gradually dries up; but when two lakes are joined, they do not dry up so readily, for one replenishes the other.  It is the same in the field of knowledge.  Knowledge should be a refreshing and vitalizing force.  It becomes so only through stimulating intercourse with congenial friends with whom one holds discussion and practices applications of truths of life.  In this way, learning becomes many-sided and takes on a cheerful lightness, whereas, there is always something ponderous and one-sided about the learning of the self-taught.”  (pages 224-225)

In establishing the common and pertinent information on the background and symbolism, I use two art forms, the lines, and picture, because I have a familiarity with the hexagram and will envision both aspects even if only looking at one.

I will describe the process I will be using in the mediation. I am sitting in front of a coffee table, which is clear except for a candle holder and the picture.  There are three candles with no other light in the house. And there is no noise.  The image is centered in front of me.


After a few seconds of trying to focus my thoughts on the picture, a vivid image emerged from my past.  It is an image of me sitting on a knoll on a warm, breezy day looking down upon a creek.  I recall feeling joyous at that moment, however, lonely too.  I seemed to be in meditation upon the creek in front of me at that time.  Images flash in my mind of different aspects of my life and the theme of loneliness I held during that time.  The feelings were not of sorrow but longing.  I lived very much like a hermit at that time.  I was alone in every way; however, I enjoyed the peace and serenity of nature and felt joyous within.  My energy seemed to flow like the creek, and that was all right.  I smiled to the heavens and took a deep breath. 

Once I lost the feeling and image, I began to reflect upon what I had drawn from the past by meditating on the hexagram.  It appeared to be an overview of my life and the changes I had made.  First, by tossing coins, I choose the hexagram about joy and fellowship, and go back, through meditation to a joyous time in my life, but one without fellowship.  I firmly believed during that time in my past; I could gather knowledge from nature alone and lacked faith in humankind’s words.  I did not read books or exchange ideas with others.  However, change and chance moved me forward to a time of enjoying fellowship.  My experience of attending college and participating in various groups brought me joy.     

Today, I have the same enthusiasm and joyous feelings as I did when I had communion with nature, but in a very different way.  I interpret the creek as rapids running free and endless, and the lakes flowing into one another as a calm contained reserve.  This feeling shows me that I have learned limits and sharing within society. The fellowship is a way to connect with the collective unconscious. Truly, this brings joy.                      





Friday, July 25, 2014

The Secret World of Nature




COMMENTARY ON ANIMAL SPEAK

“…realizing that visible bodies are only symbols of invisible forces, the ancients worshipped the Divine Power through the lower kingdoms of Nature… The sages of old studied living things to a point of realization that God is most perfectly understood through knowledge of His supreme handiwork – animate and inanimate Nature.  Every existing creature manifests some aspects of the intelligence or power of the Eternal One… From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall, 1977

I find intimacy (knowledge) with God through observing nature and understanding “animal speak.”  Animal Speak – the Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews gives one a glimpse into the secret world of nature seldom sought after in the humdrum of everyday life. The dialogue with God, the Holy Spirit, or however, you may describe the Ultimate Source of being, is through a symbolic language.  The knowledge gained through experiential learning goes beyond a relationship with the unknown because it also pushes me to know myself.     

In my opinion, Communion with nature is synonymous with Communion with God.  There are three aspects of Communion fellowship, partnership, and intimacy.  Fellowship is sharing of knowledge in a dialogue that is frequently considered prayer in religious beliefs. Partnership defines how this relationship is a vital part of life. Moreover, intimacy deals with the desires, intentions, and thoughts of the heart.  Typically, we all learn these aspects of Communion from relating and forming bonds with other humans.  

To “know” something implies a theory (concept) has been tested (practiced) and a strong feeling or attachment to that experience provided a foundation (intimacy.)  The symbolic language could be seen as the building blocks forming that foundation.  Experiential theory in psychology would describe two different ways of grasping experience: Concrete Experience and Abstract Conceptualization as well as Reflective Observation and Active Experimentation.  There are also individual preferences to consider, which are categorized into three expressions of thinking, feeling, or doing.  For most people, one expression will be predominant.  However, we reach the secret world of nature through the combination of all three.  This experience is similar to the secret world experienced between humans. 

For example, a man will “know” instantly what the quick glance from his wife of forty years means without any words spoken.  This “sign” conveys much information locked into a glance and a brief expression. To achieve this level of understanding some dialogue took place over the years that brought the couple into communion.  We can have a dialogue with God through nature and over time achieve such a rapport with our Creator.  One way to understand the signs and symbols in the unspoken dialogue with God is to observe nature. 

Let’s define intimacy before we examine a couple of important aspects to the new language of animal speak.  It is important to understand all aspects associated with intimacy to fully grasp what occurs in our relating to others as well as nature.  

Secondly, let’s discover why the Griffin has a long history in art and lore.  These images associated with Griffon are a great example for us to learn the techniques for recognizing and interpreting the signs and symbols. We will also explore how animal speak works in discovering self.  Please note passages directly from Animal Speak will be under the bold titles below. 


The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions (in some traditions it guards the tree of life).  

Intimacy
Intimacy - An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy characterizes by romantic or passionate attachment or sexual activity. While the term intimate relationship commonly implies the inclusion of a sexual relationship, the term is also used as a euphemism for a relationship that is strictly sexual.
Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These relationships involve feelings of liking or loving one or more people, romance, physical or sexual attraction, sexual relationships, or emotional and personal support between the members. 
Intimacy refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other.  Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. The verb "intimate" means "to state or make known."
In human relationships, the meaning and level of intimacy vary within and between relationships. In anthropological research, intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction, a process of rapport building that enables parties to disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings confidently. Intimate conversations become the basis for "confidences" (secret knowledge) that bind people together.
To sustain intimacy for any length of time requires well-developed emotional and interpersonal awareness. Intimacy requires an ability to be both separate and together participants in an intimate relationship.  Murray Bowen called this "self-differentiation." It results in a connection in which there is an emotional range involving both robust conflicts, and intense loyalty.  Lacking the ability to differentiate oneself from the other is a form of symbiosis, a state that is different from intimacy, even if feelings of closeness are similar.


From a center of self-knowledge and self-differentiation, intimate behavior joins family members and close friends as well as those in love. It evolves through reciprocal self-disclosure and candor. Poor skills in developing intimacy can lead to getting too close too quickly; struggling to find the boundary and to sustain connection; being poorly skilled as a friend, rejecting self-disclosure or even rejecting friendships and those who have them. There are psychological consequences of intimacy problems found in adults who have difficulty in forming and maintaining intimate relationships. Individuals often experience the human limitations of their partners and develop a fear of adverse consequences of disrupted intimate relationships. Studies show that fear of intimacy is negatively related to comfort with emotional closeness and with relationship satisfaction, and positively related to loneliness and trait anxiety.
Scholars distinguish between four different forms of intimacy:  physical, emotional, cognitive, and experiential.
·         Physical intimacy is sensual proximity or touching; examples include being inside someone's personal space, hugging, petting, kissing, and other sexual activity.
·         Emotional intimacy, particularly in sexual relationships, typically develops after a certain level of trust has been reached, and personal bonds have been established. The emotional connection of "falling in love," however, has both a biochemical dimension, driven through reactions in the body stimulated by sexual attraction (PEA) and a social dimension driven by "talk" that follows from regular physical closeness or sexual union.
·         Cognitive or intellectual intimacy takes place when two people exchange thoughts, share ideas and enjoy similarities and differences between their opinions. If they can do this in an open and comfortable way, they can become quite intimate in an intellectual area.
·         Experiential intimacy is when two people get together to involve themselves with each other actively, probably saying tiny amounts to each other, not sharing any thoughts or many feelings, but participating in interactive activities with one another. Imagine observing two house painters whose brushstrokes seemed to be playing out a duet on the side of the house. They may be shocked to think that they were engaged in an intimate activity with each other, however from an experiential point of view, they would be very intimately involved.
Distinguishing intimate (communal) relationships from strategic (exchange) relationships may also be a factor. Physical intimacy occurs in the latter, but it is governed by a higher-order strategy, of which the other person may not be aware. One example is getting close to someone to get something from them or give them something. That "something" might not be offered so freely if it did not appear to be an intimate exchange and if the ultimate strategy had been visible at the outset. Mills and Clark (1982) found that strategic (exchange) relationships are fragile and easily break down when there is any level of disagreement. Emotionally intimate (communal) relationships are much more robust and can survive significant (and even ongoing) disagreements.


Love is an important factor in physical and emotionally intimate relationships. Love is qualitatively and quantitatively different from liking, and the difference is not merely in the presence or absence of sexual attraction. There are three types of love in a relationship; passionate love, companionate love and sacrificial love. Sacrificial love reflects the subsumption of the individual self will within a union and is said to be expressed within the Christian Godhead and towards humanity. Companionate love involves diminished strong feelings of attachment, an authentic and enduring bond, a sense of mutual commitment, the profound feeling of mutual caring, feeling proud of a mate's accomplishment, and the satisfaction that comes from sharing goals and perspective. In contrast, passionate love is marked by infatuation, intense preoccupation with the partner, throes of ecstasy, and feelings of exhilaration that come from being reunited with the partner.  – Wikipedia 

Your Personal Growth: Requires A Tender Heart



"...the day we wake inside a secret place that everyone can see."


The Spiritual and Magical Roles of Nature

There was a time when humanity recognized itself as part of nature, and nature as part of itself.  Dreaming and waking were inseparable realities; nature and supernatural merged and blended.  People used images of nature to express this unity and to instill a transpersonal kind of experience.

In the past shamans, priests, and priestesses were the keepers of the sacred knowledge of life.  These individuals were tied to the rhythms and forces of nature.  They were capable of walking the threads that link the invisible and visible worlds.  They helped people remember that all trees are divine and that all animals speak to those who listen.

The first priest/ess-magicians would adopt the guise of animals – wearing skins and masks – to symbolize a reawaking and endowing of oneself with specific energies.  They perform rituals by the natural rhythms of the seasons to awaken greater fertility and life.  To them, every species and every aspect of its environment had the power to remind them of what they could manifest within their life.  It was an aid to bridge the natural world to the supernatural, awakening the realities of both within the environs of their lives. 

Though these rituals and behaviors may seem primitive and even silly to the rational minds of modern society, they are no less powerful today.  And the laws which govern them – physical and spiritual –are no less viable.  Different cultures expressed these laws in their unique ways, but probably the most distinctly shown is the ancient Hermetic Law of Correspondence “As above, so below; as below, so above.”

This principle teaches that all things are connected and have significance.  We cannot separate the physical from the spiritual, the visible from the invisible.  This Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox and the hidden secret of Nature.

Terrestrial animals have always had a strong symbology associated with them.  They have represented the emotional side of life, often reflecting qualities that must overcome, control, and re-express.
  
Birds have often been considered the symbols of the soul.  Their ability to fly reflects the ability within us to rise to new awareness, bridging the earth and the heavens.  

Water is an ancient symbol of the astral plane and the creative element of life.  Various fish and other forms of aquatic life symbolize guidance to particular expressions of intuition and creative imagination.  They can reflect the feminine side of our essence.


The Masked Sorcerer – a common symbol associated with Shamanism, its image is taken from prehistoric cave paintings.  Early man, surrounded by mysterious forces, responded to them through imitation.  The man attempted to bring the divine in accord with humanity.  Priests used totems and images to assist in coming face to face with the mystery.

The true shaman, the true naturalist, works to reconnect conscious human life with Nature and Spirit through totems and ritual.  The images of the animals and the expressions of Nature help us to transcend our ordinary, waking consciousness so that we can more easily attune to ethereal realms and beings.      

The Lesson of Responsible Relationships

The intricate web of connections of all life – whether predator or prey – is reflected most strongly through trophic or the feeding process.  Solar energy is transformed by plants into food which then goes through the food chain.  Plants manufacture food from the soil and the sun.  Grasshoppers eat the plants.  Frogs eat the grasshoppers, and so on.   Most ancient societies recognized this interaction.  Rituals and ceremonies were performed before, during, and after hunting.  These rituals grew out of recognition of the intimate relationships between an individual and the spirit of the animal. 

People are beginning to recognize the interconnectedness of all life. Contact with a diversity of life expands our vision of life.  As we start to see the expansiveness of life, a greater, more spiritual vision opens up.  We must understand the repercussions of our life upon all other lives.  We are not separate.  We are related to all things. 
This higher vision is the magic of this lesson of predation.  It is also why the element of air and its direction of East are associated with it.  Air and the East are related to creativity, inspiration, and higher awareness. 

The element air is often representative of the powers of the mind, of new wisdom, and higher intuition.  Air links the heavens and earth.  It is a symbol of the unity of all things.  It is what ties all life on this planet together.  It is the subtle influence of relationships.  The links are not always visible, but they are always present.  Before a major decision was made in many Native American societies, the long-range relationships and effects had to be considered.  

This kind of vision goes beyond mere foresight.  As you learn to recognize connections and repercussions in your life, you can learn to follow the ripples of actions and events to the past and future.  Most psychic activity can be tied to this lesson of predation.  Most psychics that make accurate predictions can do so because of their ability to see relationships. 

Let's take a look at the relationship and characteristics of the two animals associated with the king of all creatures the Griffin; These two are the lion and the eagle.    
      

Lions
The lion has been symbolic of a variety of energies through the years.  It has been a symbol of the sun and gold.  It was a symbol for the sun-god Mithra.  The Egyptians believed that the lion presided over the annual floods of the Nile.  Early Christians believed it to be the human opponent of the eagle. 
The lion is unusual among members of the cat family in that it will live in groups called pride.  If a lion shows up as a totem, you can expect lessons and issues dealing with community and groups to surface.  Within the pride, the females are the best hunters.  The lion cubs lead a relatively care-free existence.  Their parents are patient and affectionate with the Cubs, and most individuals with lions as totems will find those same qualities developing within themselves. 
The lion does not fight for the sake of fighting.  It avoids confrontations and will leave the scene of danger if possible.  Lions also hunt primarily by stealth, and the most common method of killing is strangulation.  This technique is something for those with this totem to practice developing when pursuing new endeavors and objectives in any area of life.  Be stealthy for the greatest success.  Since the females of the pride do most of the work, it reflects the idea of the rising of the feminine energies.  The sun has not always been a masculine symbol.  It does give birth to new days, and it nurtures and warms life.  Thus, it is not stretching the correlation to see the lion as the assertion of feminine energies to bring forth birth and new power.  Trust your feminine energies – creativity, intuition, and imagination.  Don’t be afraid to roar if you feel threatened. 


Eagles
The eagle is one of the greatest and most admired birds of prey.  It has served as an inspiration to many societies.  Their ability to soar and hunt amazes and thrills those who are a witness.  Eagles, in fact, are so good at getting the food they spend very little time hunting.  The fact that they are still good at feeding themselves from the land and still soar to great heights in the sky reflects much about the unknown significance of the eagle who comes as a totem.  They will teach a balance of being of the earth but not in it (the wings of life).  Both the bald and the golden eagle have come to symbolize heroic nobility and divine spirit. 
There once was a belief that as old age approached, the eagle’s eye would grow dim, and the eagle would then fly so near the sun that it would become scorched.  It would then seek out a pure water source and dip itself three times into the clear water, and its youth would be destroyed.  
This reflects much from a mystical point of view.  It hints at resurrection, but it also hints of alchemy.  The fire of the sun and the clear water are opposite elements brought into harmony in a manner that elicits a change.  

It reflects several needs for those with an eagle totem. 
1.      There must be involvement with creativity.  Three is the number of new birth and creativity.
2.      A willingness to experience extremes in a controlled condition and thus facilitate the alchemical process within your life.
3.      A willingness to use your passions to purify (flying into the sun) and to use your abilities even if it means being scorched a little.
4.      A willingness to seek out the actual emotional aspects of oneself and immerse yourself within them, and by doing so rediscover the lost child and awaken a higher sense of purity, passion, creativity, healing, and spirituality.
For those with eagle totems, a new vision will open.  This vision will be far reaching to the past, within the present, and to the future as well.  The mating ritual of the bald eagle is one of the most mystical and intriguing aspects.  A powerful form of sky dancing occurs.  The birds soar, loop, and plunge into deep dives.  At a certain point, they grab each other’s feet and lock talons, rolling, and falling, until the mating is completed.  Then they separate and soar upwards to repeat the process over and over again.  This reflects some of the mystical joy, danger, excitement, and power of the sexual energy experienced by those with eagle medicine.  It can open them to new heights and thrills.  
Eagles don’t always swoop down to kill.  They have tremendous control over their powerful wings, and they can glide slowly and silently down so that the prey does not hear them coming.  They are also known to be able to stop their movement and just hover in the air for brief moments to make the strike more accurate.  A new sense of timing and movement will begin to develop with those of eagle totem.  Eagles are a sign of great power, a power that goes beyond their actual size.
To align oneself with Eagle medicine is to take on the responsibility and the power of becoming more than you now appear to be.  From a karmic aspect, it reflects that the events will now fly faster, and the repercussions for everything you think, do or say (or fail to think, do or say) - positive and negative – will be stronger and quicker.  To accept the eagle as a totem is to receive a powerful new dimension to life, and a heightened responsibility for your spiritual growth.  However, only through doing so do you learn how to move between worlds, touch all life with healing, and become the mediator and the bearer of new creative force within the world.   
Don’t we all want the remarkable qualities of the lion and eagle?  It’s not hard to see why the images of the lion and eagle have been very popular over time.  What if the animal you connect with doesn't seem so incredible?  Let’s say a rat, for instance.


Rat
The sight of the rat usually distresses most people.  Rats often carry contagious diseases, and though rats don’t have a very elegant reputation, they are tremendously adaptable.  In Chinese’s astrology, the first year is assigned to the rat.  A legend tells how at one time Buddha summoned all the animals to him.  Of all the animals, only twelve showed up, and the first was the rat.  To honor each of the animals, Buddha named a year after each one, giving the first year to the rat.  People born in the Chinese year of the rat are said to be success-oriented, sometimes restless and nervous, but always very shrewd.  No matter what type of animal energies one connects with there are positive and negative aspects to learn from and grow. 

Western astrology uses animals as totems as well.  For instance, the fixed signs of Taurus (the bull), Leo (the lion), and Scorpio (the eagle), are animal totems while Aquarius is the human sign.  These symbols are also used as biblical references.  The Latin root fixus means "to latch on to," or "to fasten." They fix things in place, and are able to engage in sustained activity over a long period of time. The gift of the fixed signs is that they can stick with something to the end.  However, it's hard for them to let go, even when something appears to be a lost cause.  They're not known for their flexibility, and have a harder time with change than the other qualities.  On bad days, they can be dogmatic, rigid, stubborn, petulant and severely patronizing.  Usually, there's a mix of qualities in a birth chart, so nobody has to bear the weight of all those nasty traits.  I've personally worked diligently on subduing these negative qualities and focusing on the positive qualities, since I have (three of the four fixed signs) Aquarius, Leo, and Scorpio in my chart.  

To “know thyself” more intimately through observing certain characteristics in animals that reflect aspects governing your own behavior could bring you to a greater understanding of God.  Animal Speak has become a classic reference for anyone wishing to forge a spiritual connection with the majesty and mystery of the animal world.  As Manly P. Hall stated,
“…realizing that visible bodies are only symbols of invisible forces, the ancients worshipped the Divine Power through the lower kingdoms of Nature… The sages of old studied living things to a point of realization that God is most perfectly understood through knowledge of His supreme handiwork – animate and inanimate Nature.  Every existing creature manifests some aspects of the intelligence or power of the Eternal One… From The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall, 1977
To experience the secret world of nature is to know every existing creature manifest some aspect of the intelligence or power of the Eternal One.

For animals to speak to you... they must be free to roam the land naturally!  
© July 25, 2014  Betsy Banfield-Malone aka 3rd Dog

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Poetic 4th of July

                       

                            Time to Feel the Earth Move Beneath my Feet

Love, beauty, freedom, and truth are all that you stand for and what you bring to me.
It is a joyous time to feel the earth move beneath my feet and the depths of the sea.
Long have I searched for the combination to the universe, and now I've found the key.

The love and beauty of a conscious being create a harmonious environment for sure.
Like a magnetic force which brings the heavens down to earth for your love is pure.
Yes, giving all people the one thing they long for in life to make them feel secure.

Together we open the door to the future and usher in a brand-new beginning for life.
Brazenly we leave a trail for the walking dead to see and to follow out of their strife.
We'll sever the illusions of this polluted world with the precision of a surgeon's knife.

Love, beauty, freedom, and truth are all that you stand for and what you bring to me.
It is a joyous time to feel the earth move beneath my feet and the depths of the sea.
Long have I searched for the combination to the universe, and now I've found the key.

Dare to imagine the impossible dream of another world forming before our very eyes.
We understand the illusion of current reality hath built upon a foundation of lies.
The power of love purifies the soul, and the knowledge of the universe makes us wise.

There is a great mystery of creation; life and death are no longer a secret and fearful thing.
To the contrary, the MYSTERY has become a celebration and occasion for one to sing.
A paradise of heavenly proportions manifesting out of the raw material life doth to bring.

Love, beauty, freedom, and truth are all that you stand for and what you bring to me.
It is a joyous time to feel the earth move beneath my feet and the depths of the sea.
Long have I searched for the combination to the universe, and now I've found the key.

For that conscious being which brings new life and love, this poem is for you.
You bring the warmth and happiness to my life that suddenly gives me a clue.
What matters, brings something into material existence, is a heart that's true.

(c) July 4, 2014  3rd Dog  aka Betsy Banfield-Malone



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Slavery and the Promised Land

                      Slavery and the Promised land 


"The position of Jacob before he became Israel was that he possessed the birthright, but had yet to establish it in the higher Self.  For seven years, he worked in his uncle Laban's employ, not just for wages, but for the beautiful Rachel.  To his surprise, he was given Leah, her less desirable sister: that is, he had to accept the disagreeable as well as the agreeable part of his training.  However, because he loved Rachel so deeply, he was prepared to work another seven years and complete his covenant.  In this way, he also paid the debt incurred by having taken Esau's place as firstborn.

Jacob's journeyman-ship was not unprofitable from his point of view.  While he had to contend with the domestic problems of his wives, that is, psychological crises of both an inner and outer nature, he did become wealthy with the Lord's aid, despite Laban's efforts to swindle him.  His parting from his father-in-law began the initiation of his mastership, which symbolized in his wrestling match with the angel.

On his return to Canaan, Jacob faced with a meeting with his brother Esau.  This meeting was part of his test. He called on God to protect him and sent his family on ahead, leaving himself utterly alone.  That night he wrestled with a man.  The Bible gives no description beyond this, but it was obviously no ordinary mortal. They wrestled till day-break until the man said 'Let me go,' but Jacob replied, 'I will not let thee go except thou bless me.'  The man asked Jacob his name and said, 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Isreal: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men.'  ...The name and title of a prince are not given lightly in the Bible.  A person has to be what he is called. Israel, after the initiation was over, named the place Peniel, 'the face of God,' because he had met his Maker and still lived."  - Z'ev Ben Shimon Halevi

The biblical accounts of slavery in Egypt and the Promised Land are shown to be allegories of the fundamental human condition.  The exiled outsider in the story of the brothers Jacob and Esau - who symbolize the psyche and the body - and the spiritual crisis represented by Jacob's encounter with the angel are all struggles and turning points of inner growth.

We must go through our personal struggles to reach the Promised Land and transform into our Higher Selves.  To start on this journey, you must possess your birthright as a human being.


- 3rd Dog aka Betsy Banfield-Malone
   





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ART AND THE CREATOR



"Physical science is a thing on the outskirts of human life... adventurous... exciting... and yet essentially fanciful."  - G. K. Chesterton 

 The Subject of Science - A Tool or A Toy?

"The realm of science is limited.  To have a view of the complete universe, you have to have a view larger than the universe.  A comprehensive view of the universe involves the natural and supernatural (Science and Superstition).  The realm of science is the physical natural world; you could say the mechanical world, in the sense that, the world is a machine. Science looks after the machine, studying it, understanding how it works, using it, and taking care of it.  Science is practical, not philosophical.  It either adds up, or it doesn't! We can use science to predict how the physical world will behave, but we can’t use it to predict how we will behave or if we will behave.




Many assertions made in the name of scientific research without any proof of authority. What is the philosophy of the scientist?  Since our culture has given science authority, we look to it to solve all our troubles.  We've come to expect concrete solutions to spiritual problems.  What we have suffered from in the modern world is not physical knowledge itself but merely a stupid mistake about what physical knowledge is and what it can do.  It is quite as evident that physical knowledge may make a man comfortable as it is that it cannot make a man happy.  It is as certain there are such things as drugs as there are no such things as love potions.  Physical science is a thing on the outskirts of human life adventurous, exciting, and yet essentially fanciful.

You see. It has nothing to do with the center of human life at all.  Telephones, flying ships, radium, the North pole is not in the ultimate sense good, but neither are they bad. Physical science is either always one of two things it is either a tool or a toy.  At its highest and noblest of a cause, it is a toy.  Now a toy is a far greater philosophical grandeur than a tool.  And for the very simple reason that a toy valued for itself and a tool only for something else.  You see.  A tool is a means, but a toy is an end.  You use a hammer to make a doll house, but if you tried to use a doll’s house to make a hammer, you would soon convince you selected a somewhat clumsy instrument.  When we look through a field glass to spy on the enemy, we are using science as a tool.  When we look through a telescope at the tremendous planets and their remote systems, we are using science as a toy.  But, in either case, can science be anything else except for a tool or a toy?  It can never be the man using the tool.  It can never be the child playing with the toy.  It can never, in short, be the thing that has natural authority over the toy or tool for the child is the kingdom of heaven and the man the kingdom of earth.” - G. K. Chesterton  

Let's define science and superstition with the understanding that the ultimate authority is God.

Science:  The systematic study of the nature and behavior of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms.  Any particular branch of this knowledge: the pure and applied sciences.

Superstition:  A belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. An irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.

PHILOSOPHY 

“Philosophy is not the concern of those who pass through Divinity and Greats, but of those who pass through birth and death. Nearly all the more awful and abstruse statements can be put into words of one syllable, from ‘A child is born’ to ‘A soul is damned.’  If the ordinary man may not discuss existence, why should he be asked to conduct it?”  “The Philosopher,” George Bernard Shaw (1910)

ABOUT ART 
"Man is the only one of God's creatures who is an artist."  Because we are created in the image of God, we are also creators.  What makes a work of art great? Or, survive through the ages? The thing that survives is that which has a certain combination of normality with distinction.  It has simplicity with a slight touch of strangeness.  It is a tale sufficiently unusual to be worth telling yet immediately intelligible when told.  Art is the signature of man." - G. K. Chesterton 

"I resent your being upset by the vulgar rant of common mortals who deny the powers of poetry and art because they are incapable of experiencing them." - Leo Tolstoy
          IS IT A TOOL OR A TOY?
Unified Field Theory: "The root of the kaballahistic tree of life becomes the singularity. The vacuum is truly the thing that connects or unifies all things.  It solves the science problem in quantum physics and is proof science and spirituality (science and superstition) can coalesce."   - Nassim Haramein 

Haramein, who has spent his lifetime researching fields of physics from quantum theory to relativistic equations and cosmology, will lead you along a fascinating discussion geared to a layman's understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe and creation that includes black holes, gravitational forces, dimensions, and the very structure of space itself - all of which are integral parts of his now-complete Unified Field Theory.  
My poetic interpretation of existence at age twenty-two is expressed in the poem FALLING LEAVES below. The poem describes the above picture and the tree of life. I did not possess the words at that time to articulate the fundamental nature of our universe as eloquently as Haramein.  However, I felt all the concepts he talks about in his Unified Field Theory.  It is the season for me to speak and gain my sight!

Art has a way of expressing the eternal even when the creator doesn't fully understand the meaning. The only thing I would add currently is to know what direction you are moving in... and move toward freedom:
    
"he arranged as upon a sphere with 231 gates, and the sphere can be rotated forward and backward for good or evil. From the right comes real pleasures and from evil naught but torments."        

FALLING LEAVES

I sat upon the summit to muse.
And of this earth, I do believe.
We are of the towering trees.
We Wait like the many leaves.
We fall Fall one by one to the ground.
Many branches they do come.
From a root that makes them one.
Showing when their time is done.
With different shades of brown.
And in spring when green appears.
New cycles form for the coming year.
As those past and of now are bound.

July 1985

"If the ordinary man may not discuss existence, why should he be asked to conduct it?"  
My true education occurred back in 1985 when I was a metal arc welder and not from my college classes a decade later. College, however, gave me the tools to articulate what I discovered under the welder's helmet; the way the arc of how human life works. Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence.  I was so fascinated with the process of bonding two metals together that I decided I would become a metal sculptor.  Of course that didn't happen!                  
                               Man in the image of God
I challenge everyone to move toward freedom!  TAKE ON ME... and create.  We are all creators!
First step: "To have a view of the complete universe you have to have a view larger than the universe." Are you ready to explore new ideas?

Find more information on G. K. Chesterton The American Chesterton Society as well.

- 3rd Dog aka Betsy Banfield-Malone
screenplays by 3rd dog script

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