Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Hara Line Chakras

I have spoken before about the Chakra points on the body – the energy centres that link our physical, mental and spiritual aspects together, and indeed there is a section on the website that explains the Chakras, from the Root Chakra to the Crown. Now I would like to discuss the Hara line, and the further energy centres aligned with this.

The Hara line Chakras

The Hara line Chakras

The Hara Line Chakras are located in between the major chakra points, along the central line of the body, and I am noticing them more during my Reiki healings.  Outside of the body, above the head and below the feet are the Transpersonal Point and the Earth Chakra, respectively. These relate to heavenly Chi and Earth Chi: the energy that we draw in to our bodies from outside of us. When we draw the energy in, down our bodies from the head, this is Universal Heavenly energy, and it is light, clear, and quick-flowing. When we draw energy in, up from the ground, this is grounding or earthly energy, and it is heavier, black, and slower moving.

Working from the top down, at the base of the skull is the Causal Body chakra and is crimson. It is linked with manifestation. This does not yet seem to be fully open and is what I would call expectant: it is there, but is not strong and does not seem to have much impact yet. Next, between the Throat and Heart Chakras is the Thymus Chakra, and is turquoise. It is linked with immunity, and therefore health and protection. This chakra in particular on the Hara line appears to be quite strong, or perhaps open would be a better description. It seems to attract a lot of Reiki energy. It is also known as the High Heart and spiritually it is linked to joy, peace, contentment, connection to humanity.

Next is the Diaphragm Chakra, and is lime green. It is connected to purging toxins, as well as old emotions. Located between the Heart and Solar Plexus Chakras, it links ego/self-will Solar Plexus with self love and compassion Heart. Thus, fully opened, it will open us, the person, up further to knowing and bringing into our lives only that which is good for us. After this is the Hara itself, also known as the Tan or Dan Tien. This is the seat of original Chi and has been known in the east for a long time, especially in such disciplines as Qigong. This is where energy is stored, where we are balanced and is perhaps the most important Hara line Chakra because of this. It is also the strongest. I believe many healers instinctively know about the Tan Tien – for example, I naturally held my hands flat on my belly, in a diamond shape around my navel when working with energy- around the Tan Tien. This is where I feel the energy gathering, and always have done, even before I knew about this energy centre. It is also a comforting place to hold the hands. When the Tan Tien is active, our energy store increases, we can hold more Chi. It also easily connects – and holds – the earth chi and the heavenly chi as they move through the body. This is where the three forces gather and spread outwards; our own energy, heavenly energy, and earth energy.

For me personally, obviously the Tan Tien is extremely active, and is where I always start with self-Reiki, feeling the energy gathering there before I move on to the major chakra positions. The Thymus chakra too seems very active, and is a chakra point I have found myself unintentionally activating – such as nearly-falling asleep with my hand directly over the Thymus chakra, and feeling the Reiki energy flowing, even though I had not intended to do a Reiki self-healing. I have also sensed this chakra when working with clients.

If you work with energy, or meditate, try meditating on the Thymus Chakra to activate it, and sense what it means/feels/sends to you.Heidi.

via The Hara Line Chakras – Reiki Heidi: Reiki Healing in Norwich.

via The Hara Line Chakras.

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A Rune Reading

After my blog post yesterday, I decided to do a Rune Reading for myself. I haven’t done one for a while and it seemed appropriate. What can I say, except that they did not fail me, and once again, blew me away with their accurate and direct messgae. So much so, that I thought I would share it with you here, so you too can be amazed at their ‘fit’ into current circumstances.

Before you read further, if you have not read yesterday’s post, please do so, as the Rune reading will make much more sense.

The Runes

The Runes

I do a 3 Rune Reading, just about present circumstances, not ‘past-present-future’. I asked the Runes ‘What do I need to know now?’

  1. GEBO. Responsibilities & Obligations. Associated god Njord, ‘the Earth enjoyer’.

    GEBO

    GEBO

     Gift-giving; energy exchange; generosity & hospitality. Element Water, realm of Intuition.                             This is a mutual exchange of energy, whether you are the giver or receiver, honour your oaths and exchanges, implicit trust on both sides, with loyalty and favourable emotional sharing. Relates to celebration and hospitality and that generosity is rewarded.  (NOTE: for me, this relates to my idea of reading the runes for free for 3x selected people on my FB business page.)

  2. ISA. Reduction & Reinforcement. Associated goddess Skaldi ‘Harmful’. NJORD & SKALDI WERE MARRIED FOR A SHORT TIME BEFORE SEPERATING – 9 DAYS IN EACH OTHERS’ REALMS. (Thus the unification of these 2 runes together amplifies the strength of the situation whilst maintaining self awareness & solitude!)

    ISA

    ISA

    Isolating the self to preserve integrity, contraction, stillness. Element Earth, realm of Feeling.

    Formation of own personality, awareness of own ego, self protection, retreating into self whilst still maintaining external contacts. Able to act and interact independently knowing own boundaries, knowledge of self-worth, ability to influence others.

    (NOTE: remember what I said in yesterday’s post about retreating, drawing my own boundaries…?!)

  3. MANNAZ. Acceptance & Pragmatism. Associated god Mimir, ‘Mindful/Memory-Wise’.

    MANNAZ

    MANNAZ

    Human nature in all aspects, from Beast to god, superseding Nature’s limitations, adaption to life’s realities. Element Air, realm of thought.

    Intelligence, Wisdom, co-operative ventures, compatabilities.

    Aware of the spirit and not just the physical body, knowledge of potential & limitations, truth of existence, self control, social attitude, intiate seeker, occult power.

    Discipline of the needs/desires of the mortal body through honed intelligence has produced a balanced personality, a nobility of spirit. Understanding of the human condition through self-analysis gives a patient approach to life’s journey. Gift of occult (hidden) reality. Empower yourself and others with this gift. Be assertive, you no longer need fear death, nor can others manipulate or control you. With pragmatism your needs can be fulfilled without undue attachment or aversion, by maintaining a balance between subjective and objetive reality.

    Put together, this reading very neatly ties up, enhances and emulates all that I said in yesterday’s post! It clearly favours my taking up the Runes for Reading for others, my retreating for Winter and feeling of independence, that the path I am following is the right one, for myself and for others, that I am growing, learning and developing whilst maintaining my own boundaries and essence. Also the fact that the first 2 runes are of a god and goddess who were short-term unified suggests a good yet independent relationship – intelligent, self-aware unity, which I believe is an underlaying ‘comment’ on my relationship – Neometheus and I support each other, he has helped and guided me, yet I do my own thing and he his, we have our own paths to follow.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this and are just as amazed by it as I still am!

Blessings,

Heidi. 

Many Plans, Time to Retreat

Firstly, I wish to say a HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of my American friends. I hope you are all having a wonderful celebration.

Hibernation

Winter is always a strange time for me. I hate the cold, with a passion. Neometheus says I must have been a lizard type creature in another life, because I ‘recharge’ with the sun! Winter makes me sad, tired, and I feel like I just want to hibernate – I really would given half a chance! Apart from the ‘S.A.D.’ diagnosis that many will attribute this to, there is actually a very good reason for the way I feel.

Let me explain something first: I am not Pagan because I chose that as my religion/faith/Spiritual Path/whatever you want to call it. I am Pagan because it is the way I FEEL, deep down inside. I was ‘Pagan’ before I knew that word, the term, the meaning. As a young teenager I always felt on the outside of things, different even from my friends, for a number of reasons. I remember on the walk to school ambling along the roads and looking at the leaves, the trees, the sky, the earth, and really appreciating them, feeling them. Then I came across the word ‘Pagan’ and its meaning, and I thought ‘So THIS is what I am!’ And thus my Path was determined. Paganism fits me like my skin, it is what I am INSIDE, heart and soul.

So – what does this have to do with Winter? Well I, and probably most pagans, are very in tune with the changes and shifts of the Seasons. The weather, celebrations, turning of the Seasons have an impact on me mentally and internally. Here is a simplified explanation:

SPRING – Start of growth, beginning to set up plans, gently awakening, welcoming the return of the Sun and natural life.

SUMMER – very active, plans into full swing, inspiration, ideas and doing, action, happiness, bouncing around, life blooming, sun at its peak giving maximum Vitamin D and thus energy to all life (including us).

AUTUMN – Experience from all the plans, reaping the harvest that has been sown, enjoying the fruits of the labour of Summer, beginning to gently slow down, thinking time, gratitude, satisfaction.

WINTER – Slow down, retraction, retreat as the Sun wanes and natural life withdraws/hibernates, plans stop, energy reserved, reflection, going inwards, contemplation.

This is the cycle of the Seasons – and of me. Obviously it comes and goes, I’m not ALWAYS ‘bouncy’ all of Summer and not ALWAYS bleak during Winter… but I have noticed a pattern over the years that runs parallel with that of the seasons. And I think many people also feel this, even if they are not consciously aware of it. The ‘S.A.D’ (Seasonal Affected Disorder) is not counter to this, but rather I think a scientific explanation of the same thing. We are all part of Nature, no matter how far removed we may think we are, and Nature naturally retreats in Winter, storing and reserving her energy until Spring begins to bring her bounty once again.

Internally, I feel I have already retreated this Winter: I am doing as much as I need/want to and no more. In a way I have been ‘Letting Go’, of that which is not needed – doing extra things for others, wasting energy worrying or stressing, attempting to please others. Now this may sound selfish, but actually it is not – we need to draw our own boundaries, learn when we need to say ‘no’ and when we need our energy for ourselves. And also in so doing, if we often do things for others, then sometimes letting go of this helps them – it helps them to learn to do their own thing without dependency, to draw THEIR own boundaries, and that you may not always be at the beck and call to help. This can be liberating. For me, it is necessary. My energy is currently very low and I need to preserve it for that which is important, needed, required.

Do not misunderstand me: I’m not NOT doing anything else for anyone, at all, all Winter – I am doing what I feel I can/should/want to do for others. But within limits: basically I ask myself the questions ‘Can I do this? Should I do this? Do I want to do this?’ If the internal answer is ‘Yes’, then I do it. But if I want to spend some time in the evening to please myself, then I will do that, rather than running around after others, or worrying about future tasks. I suppose from the outside view, it is a subtle change. From an internal view, it is a big change.

Plans and activities are still there though, my passion may be muted but it is still there – I am like the banked fire: my coals are still glowing, and will continue to, slow but ever-ready, instead of the Fire’s (Summer’s) high, wild hot leaping flames. Last weekend, I attended my first Mind Body Spirit Fair, offering Reiki. Neometheus accompanied me, for company and moral support, and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was not very busy unfortunately, but I see that as a lesson in ‘The Universe Never Gives You More Than You Can Handle’: Publicly I can be quite shy. One to one and small social groups I am fine, but public scenarios I still have to learn confidence, and ‘putting myself out there’ as a stall holder in an open event falls under that category for me. However, I enjoyed doing it, and I met some wonderful people, other stall holders, and seeing what everyone had to offer. I was very nearly tempted with a past life regression – but the cost of it just overcame my curiosity! However, I did buy some beautiful Selenite Pillars, which are now proudly sitting on my mantelpiece/altar.

Me at the Mind Body Spirit Fair
Me at the Mind Body Spirit Fair

Selenite Pillars

One thing that was not at the fair was Rune Readings. I have a set of Runes and love them, I find their readings to be deep, many layered, sometimes – most times – profound, and sometimes quite blunt, and always extremely accurate. A lady at the fair who advertised herself as a ‘Seer’ obliquely mentioned me reading the tarot/cards. I didn’t have my tarot there, she picked this out of the ether. Now I have never charged for readings, I’ve never done it publicly – I have only read for friends and friends of friends, when asked. Never for a charge, because somehow, it has never seemed right to me. Neometheus mentioned the Runes in idle discussion, and it has sat with me – until I decided to offer this as a celebration giveaway on my Facebook page Reiki Rise & Shine. This has had a huge response, which was a pleasant surprise for me. So now I’m thinking, if things goes well, if the Readings work as well for others as they do for me, this can be another aspect I can bring to the next Fair that I attend.

Plans: I am planning already for next year – how to expand my business, attending as many Fairs/appropriate events as I can, offering the Rune Readings… and possibly more. Though I am quiet business wise at the moment – no surprise with Christmas around the corner – I have the whole of next year ahead of me, and now is the perfect time for planning, thinking, and learning. So I am quietly excited about having this time in which I can reflect, think, draft plans, and learn and explore the depths of myself, my abilities, and take time to develop and learn further – Spiritually, Shamanically, with the Runes, and so on and so forth.

So, although I hate cold, dark Winter, and would rather have the Sun and warmth and energy, Winter brings us much needed rest (if we heed Her wisdom!) and time for contemplation and reflection. I may be quiet and withdrawn, but I am also excited, and ready to develop and learn for next year.

A Blessed Winter to you – unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, I hope you enjoy your Summer!

Blessings be,

Heidi

A Catalogue of Strange Experiences

This post is one that I have intended to write for some time, detailing some unique and strange experiences in my life, that I have never quite been able to explain. I have put this into sub-headings, so please feel free to browse and skip and read only what seems interesting to you! First however, a new experience from today….

HummingbirdAnimalTotemHummingbirdMeaning

Chakras and Totem Associations

I have recently begun to see particular images, or ‘Totems’ at chakra points as I do self-reiki. The first I saw was at my throat chakra, and was a Koi carp, which symbolises good fortune, prosperity, and also the Yin-Yang symbol (apparently the yin-yang is said to be actually be made up of two Koi, male and female, in balance). The second image came to me at the Crown and 3rd Eye chakra, and was the Copper Beech tree. This represents learning, knowledge, crossing barriers, communicating knowledge – very apt, for the chakra points. I knew nothing of the meaning of this tree – I didn’t even know what the tree WAS when I saw it, but it was so vivid that I looked it up on the internet and found it, and of course was suitably stunned by the symbolic meaning. And today I saw a Totem at my Heart chakra – a Hummingbird. After the session, I was discussing with my partner, Neometheus, about my use of energy at the moment and how I feel depleted, and some of this depletion is coming from ‘thinking’ too much: thinking of all the jobs that need doing, that I should be doing, the pull in different directions of my energies. Then I looked up Hummingbird – and was, yet again, hit by the synchronicity of Hummingbird meaning: one site says:

Hummingbirds are also a reminder of how we expend our own energy. When hummingbirds show up in our lives, it’s a good time to take a look at ourenergy-stores and resources. hummingbirds warrant an honest look at how we are maintaining our vibrational frequencies. Are we frittering away our energy on needless issues (ie: worry, fear, lack)? Or, are we in a state of well-honed, regulated balance when it comes to our energy and resources?

Hummingbird is very much linked to the Heart – it is about Lightness, fun, joy, clearing negativity. I am enjoying this chakra/totem association, discovering the many-layered aspects interwoven in the meanings, what they mean to me and how to use them wisely, knowingly, understanding the meaning and pattern developing in my life.

Death dreams

I know this sounds morbid, but it is true. In a 7 year period from age 15/16 to some time in my early 20’s, I had 3 death dreams. They were so realistic I could FEEL my death for days afterwards. I remembered the dreams, the experience of dying, the fear, that these feelings are still with me today, 10+ years later.

White flower on black

Dream 1: Sarajevo war. I have no idea why, I was quite a young child during the time of that war and this dream was years later. I was sitting in a cafe filled with people, when soldiers came in and started firing automatics. I remember ending up on a heaped pile of dead bodies, me still alive, playing dead and hoping against hope the soldiers would leave… but they didn’t, they fired into the bodies, the bullet hit me… life bled, faded from me, I felt life leave me, turn to black… I felt that bullet. I felt death come for me. It was real. And it scared the hell out of me.

Dream 2: English-German council of peace after the war. Both armies sitting at a table discussing moving forward in peace. I was at the head of the table, the diplomat, the ‘neutral’ or aligned party, on both sides and neither side. A soldier burst in through the door, yelling, aimed his gun – at me. Again, the bullet hit. Again, I felt the disorientation, the draining of life, knowing I was dying, seeing only blackness… felt death begin.

Dream 3: I found myself walking down a corridor… and knew it was towards the electric chair. I was walking to my own execution. Panic gripped me: I had to escape. I ran into the bathroom, breathing hard, looked at the window, the walls… no escape. Nowhere to run. I was really going to my execution, there was no denying it, no choice. This was it. I had 5 minutes of life, and then – death. This time the dream ended there, not actually at my death. But the panic, the knowing of death to come… when I awoke, that panic was still with me.

I still, to this day have no idea why I had these dreams. There was no obvious trauma in my life at those times – I remember questioning the dreams at the time. Some subconscious forces were obviously at work, but I never did uncover them. On the same sort of theme, I have several times woken from dreams and found myself actually crying. This has not happened for some time, but again, some strong subconcious actions happening to induce such a physical reaction, and again, not something I ever discovered the ‘why’ of.

Abundant Spiritual Connection

At the age of around 14/15, I was walking in my local town, on a normal day, in a normal way. Suddenly, noticing the people around me, walking, talking, being normal, I felt this amazing connection with them all – suddenly I could not understand how they could just walk past me and disappear from my life, as if they did not exist. To every person I felt this spiritual connection, and had an almost panic-reaction to their coming-and-going in a blink of an eye, that they did not acknowledge this connection with each other. spirit connect The feeling lasted for seconds, literally, but was so profound, it has stayed with me to this day. I have never been able to reconnect with this feeling/understanding, and I don’t know why it happened that day. It was totally out of the blue, came from nowhere, and disappeared again. Leaving me with just a glimpse of absolute, total, inter-connectedness.

Beside myself, quite literally

I have saved the weirdest, the strangest, the most unique experience in my life until last. There are very few people who know this tale, and of those I have spoken to, I have not yet come across anyone who has experienced anything like this. Comments, suggestions and thoughts particularly on this will be very welcome indeed.

Beside myself

Again, this started at the age of about 15 (In writing this post, I am beginning to see a strange pattern!) And again it stopped sometime in my early/mid-twenties. It always happened when a) I was alone, & b) when I looked in a mirror… something ‘shifted’ inside me, and I was no longer quite myself. I felt myself to be, literally, ‘beside’ myself, overlapping my body side-wise; half in my body and half to the side of it. I looked in the mirror and knew it was me, but also felt like a stranger. I became uncomfortably conscious: super-aware of myself, of every action, that it was extremely unsettling. Simple actions, such as brushing my hair, picking up items… felt like someone else was in control, was doing it, with me kind of watching. Yet it felt like ‘me’, it felt like a stronger, wiser, better me, somehow. Me, but a different me who was in control of my body, whilst Me me watched, terrified, wanting to be back to just being me. This sensation could last anything from 15/20 mins up to maybe an hour or so. It really did terrify me because it was such a strange feeling, and I had no idea how or why it was happening. It didn’t happen on a regular basis, but often enough that it was more than a handful of times over that period.

I don’t know why it started. I don’t know why it stopped. And I sure don’t know what the hell it was! I have never been able to find an answer to this.

And Finally, back to dreams…

Last night I had a dream about my right hand having to be cut off (I am right-handed). There was nothing wrong with it in the dream, but I knew it had to go. At first I was terrified, I didn’t want it to be amputated (especially with the stanley knife that was the tool in the dream!). But eventually, I surrendered, choosing to accept the fate, and told them to do it now & quickly. Then it no longer needed to be cut off… as if in the surrender, I had ‘fixed’ the problem, or maybe passed a test. I had a similar dream some months ago about my forearm or perhaps whole arm, accept I had 2 chances in that one, the first I chose to allow my arm to be cut off, which then regrew, the 2nd time I chose to keep my arm and not have it cut away. I am not entirely sure of the theme here but there is definitely something deep going on, and I and Neometheus believe it has something to with ‘control’ and ‘letting go’.

If you have stuck with me so far – wow, thank you! I hope you enjoyed this rather strange trip, and please feel free to share your own strange experiences, or to comment on any of the above – any and all thoughts welcome!

Light & Blessings be,

Heidi 

http://www.spiritanimal.info/hummingbird-spirit-animal/

http://mara-gamiel.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/hummingbird-symbolism.html

http://www.whats-your-sign.com/hummingbird-animal-totem.html

http://feng-shui.lovetoknow.com/What_Do_Koi_Fish_Symbolize

http://www.wikisymbol.com/115/280/sobi2details

http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Beech.htm

A Meeting In Time – Cosmic Retrograde Challenge

Mercury Retrograde 2

Linda at litebeing chronicles invited her followers to take part in her Retrograde challenge: with Mercury in retrograde, she came up with the idea of reintroducing something from the past still in your life – an old cd, item of clothing, jewellry, anything that you have had around for a long time but has been left untouched. The idea was to see how this item from the past now makes you feel and if it engenders any feelings or new associations/experiences.

I thought this was a great idea, though initially I did not think I had anything relevant to partake in this interesting challenge – I tend to throw things out quite ruthlessly. However, as I sat looking at Linda’s article, I turned to my bookshelf… and my eyes fell straight onto the Carlos Castaneda books. Bing! Went the lightbulb in my head… this seemed perfect: given the new spiritual evolution happening with me right now, and the fact that I had been meaning to re-read these books for a while, it all seemed to tie in quite nicely. It has been many years since I read Castaneda, so it would be right for the Retrograde challenge.

However, rather conincidentally, I had, just the day or so before I read Linda’s article, picked up another book that I

Look to Windward by Iain M Banks

Look to Windward by Iain M Banks

had not re-read for some years: Iain M BanksLook to Windward. I found that I just could not set this aside in favour of starting Castaneda. I was already enjoying it too much, and there is a particular poignancy with this book which fits nicely itself with this challenge: Iain M Banks passed away earlier this year. He is the ONLY ‘celebrity’ – sorry, ‘famous person would be a better description – that genuinely made me very very sad when I heard that he had died. Banks is in my top 5 authors, I truly believe he was a Master of his Art. No-one can write like him, and the loss of such a genius touched me to the core. I have not read any of his books since his passing – until now.

I remember that the first time I read this book, I actually cried at the end, I found it so poignant. There are only 4 books I have ever read – and I am an avid reader – that have made me cry, they were that good. So I continued to read Look to Windward. I remembered nothing of the plot line from the first reading, so it was, in a sense, like the first reading. Now, I don’t know if it was the knowledge that Banks is no longer with us, or just his superb writing, but I did not just read this book: I savoured it; I thrilled in it, I took every line, every paragraph into my heart. In terms of writing style, plot, imagination, emotional depth – this book is… dare I say it?… perfect! The complexity, the depth, the scope of the mind to write such a thing… and there are some truly profound lines within the story as well, that touched me deeply. I am so pleased to have read this book, at this time. I didn’t cry again at the end, but I FELT the story, the concept, the message. And that depth of feeling was exactly what I needed in my life. I cannot explain why; it was just something left me with a kind of happy whimsy.

Thinking of the challenge also guided me to start wearing my Nan’s ring. Now, I don’t know why there is this pattern, but my Nan is also an entity who is no longer living. She passed away in 2008, and it was particularly poignant as I was pregnant with my first child – what would have been her first grand-child. She never knew I was pregnant as she had been very ill for a long time. My Nan had given me her ring a few years before this, insisting that I have it. It was her engagement ring, from her husband oh-so-long ago. Yet another poignant point: her husband died when my mum was 2. So this ring my Nan had carried for many years in memory of her long dead husband, and had chosen to give it to me.

Nan's engagement ring

Nan’s engagement ring

Normally I keep the ring in my jewellry box for fear of losing it, but I chose to wear it now, in light of this challenge. And this is what I learned: I am not sentimental about things. I love the ring for what it represents – but my Nan is in my heart… wearing the ring did not engender any special feelings in me, it is, to all intents and purposes, just a ring. I wore it for a few days and was actually quite surprised by the lack of feeling – but it just showed me what I already knew (I think) – that my feelings come from my heart, from within, and not in regards to physical items.

During all this, I was also going through a high-irritation phase that I just could not shake off for days. Finally, when I had a day completely to myself, I did something I have not done for a long time, and indulged in myself for the sake of it. I brought out my girlie side by painting my nails and putting make-up on just because, and I played some cds, very loud. These are cds that I have not played for a long time, mainly because they are ‘adult content’ and the kids are usually around, but also because I tend to think my music tastes have changed. Do I tell you? Ok, rap music. Yes, me, rap. This goes back to my teenage days and into my early 20s. So, for the first time in several years, on goes Eminem’s 8 Mile (from the film), up goes the volume…. and lo and behold, an hour or two later, I am feeling really, really good. My irritation has gone completely. In allowing myself to indulge whole-heartedly in things that I generally tend to categorise as ‘Not Me/No Longer Me’, I released an expectation of myself… I shifted the habit-patterns… and thus made room for new responses, which was healthy and definitely needed!

So… book; ring; cds… what has this Retrograde challenge meant for me? Well, bringing old things back into my life didn’t engender feelings of sentimentality, melancholy, past memories… but I did enjoy revisiting some of these old things (whilst learning that I really am NOT sentimental!) and sometimes, it really is good to drag things out of the ‘Past’ cupboard, and give yourself an old/new space, because you just never know what the experience will bring to your life!

Tomorrow’s post on the Retrograde Challenge is by Shree at The Heartsong Blog. Please visit her to see what this experience has brought to her, and if you want to catch up from the start, you can visit Julianne’s Blog here. Linda’s Blog here shows the full schedule.

So a big Thank You for Linda for inspiring and encouraging this experiment… and maybe soon I WILL get around to reading those Castaneda books!

Blessings be

Heidi.    

Touched by Pashupati

For some time I have been researching the winding historical trail of the Horned God. This journey has led to many deep and fascinating insights, not the least of which is the identification of the Western Horned God with his Hindu equivalent Lord Shiva. The Harrapan or Indus Valley Civilisation lived along the banks of the Indus river in modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and India between 3300 BC and 1300 BC. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia this was one of the most advanced societies in world at that time. The Indus script used by these people is still undeciphered, as such their beliefs can only be inferred from archaeological remains. A number of seals have been discovered one of which depicts a horned figure surrounded by animals, the figure possibly has three faces and is seated in what appears to be a yoga pose. There is debate among academics regarding who or what this seal depicts however one interpretation is that the figure is a representation of the god Pashupati. Lord Pashupati or Pashupatinath is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and His name means ‘Protector of Animals’, He is revered by Hindus and is unofficially the patron deity of Nepal. Lord Shiva is an important God to me personally since I believe him to be the origin and source of Reiki as well as the originator of Yoga and the patron God of the arts and sciences.

Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva

This is not to mention His metaphysical role within the Trimurti as ‘the transformer and destroyer’, followers of Lord Shiva (Shaivites) believe Him to be the Supreme God or Mahadeva. Lord Shiva is generally acknowledged to be the oldest of the Hindu pantheon, in His earliest forms He was worshipped in his horned form as Pashupati. I have come to believe that the Horned God and Pashupati are one and the same entity. I have a number of reasons for this conclusion which I am not going to cover at this time. However these pictures demonstrate at least the iconographic similarities between Cernunnos (a European Horned god) and the Indus Valley Pashupati.

Depiction of Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron c200BC -300AD

Depiction of Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron, Denmark c200BC -300AD

Pashupati Seal from Mohenjodaro, Pakistan. c2500BC-2400BC

Pashupati Seal from Mohenjodaro, Pakistan. c2500BC-2400BC

Recently I have attempted to call upon Pashupati/Horned Shiva during Reiki healings. My reason being that if the Horned Shiva is both the source of Reiki and my primary deity He may lend me aid. The first time I attempted this was when healing myself, I was amazed to feel a slow welling surge of energy. It is difficult to describe the difference between this energy and the usual Reiki energy, whilst Reiki often comes on instantly like a light switch and usually heals over a relatively small area, this Shiva Reiki wells up more slowly but seems to spread further and feels more ‘expansive’ for want of a better word. I soon had permission to try this energy out on Heidi during a healing, she found the experience to be very similar – a great up-welling of energy filling her head with tremendous heat. Despite the volume of energy that is channelled it seems to be just as gentle as a normal Reiki healing. I injured my back at work the following week and asked Heidi to do a healing for me, knowing my affinity for the Horned Shiva she too called upon His aid and was granted it, she described the ‘feel’ of the energy in the same manner as I had experienced it. It is interesting to find that this energy has been lent to both of us, without any kind of initiation or attunement. I would be very much interested to know if this energy is available to adherents of Lord Shiva or the Horned God who are not Reiki attuned, or even to anyone who asks.

These experiences were nothing compared to what was to come. Heidi carried out a distance healing in which she was attacked by an unfriendly entity. Between her, the angels and her spirit guardians she managed to defended herself and the person she was healing and rebuffed the attack. The entity that attacked her was trying to place hooks into her aura, and although these were stopped Heidi asked me to perform a healing on her to make sure none had reached her. When I did this I scanned her aura and found a very small hook had reached into the fringe of her aura. When attempting this sort of healing I make sure to call upon my animal guardians, the Reiki guides and angels for protection and guidance. In this instance I called also upon the aid of the Horned Shiva and asked Him to lend me His strength. After finding the hook and cleansing Heidi’s aura I was guided to grasp the hook and use it like a fishing line to draw in towards me the entity it belongs to. This sounds risky but I have learned to trust such guidance, I started to wind the hook (which appeared to me like a dark filament) around my arm with great speed, which dragged the entity towards me. As the being got close what I can only describe as a great warm wind of energy rose behind me, it felt much like the Shiva healing energy, steady and powerful but gentle. The wind passed around me and pushed against the creature who I was still holding. I was guided to release the filament I had been holding and it snapped back to the creature, the wind of energy then blew the creature into the distance, it seemed like a great space was placed between myself and the entity and it disappeared into the distance, following that a barrier of energy was placed preventing the entity from getting near us again. This whole process took no more than a about twenty seconds, though in retrospect it feels much longer. I knew instinctively that the Horned Shiva had been responsible for the creatures’ ensnarement and banishment, so I gave my thanks and returned my attention to cleansing Heidi’s aura. When I felt the cleansing was complete I again thanked Lord Shiva for his assistance and asked if there was anything we could do to defend against such attacks in the future. To my astonishment I was given a golden trident or trishula which seemed to crackle with some kind of energy, I knew this was the main symbol of Lord Shiva, I instinctively knew that this could be used as both a healing tool and weapon, and that it is an extension of Lord Shiva Himself, I was also given another object, which I could not identify.  It looked like a rounded golden barbell that was to be held in the middle, it was channelled that the object could be used like a shield to absorb energy and also to emit powerful bursts of energy when shaken or twisted. Needless to say I was stunned, and shocked, this is the most dramatic and bizarre healing experience I have ever had. After the healing I explained what had happened to Heidi, but I had difficulty believing it, it was so fantastical. Later on that evening I was reading about Lord Shiva, still in a kind of shocked disbelief after what had happened when I saw a picture of Lord Shiva’s drum, the Damaru, I recognised it immediately, it was the other object I had been given. I read in fascination that the Damaru is a kind of double headed drum, common in India which is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. Apparently the instrument is known as a power drum and is believed to generate spiritual energy when played, its sounds where used as the basis of the Sanskrit language and it is used by Lord Shiva in the Cosmic Dance. Needless to say I was in awe, this is was a confirmation that what had occurred during the healing was not a figment of my imagination. I have not yet had the opportunity to use these gifts during a healing, but I await the opportunity with anticipation.

Damaru Drum

Damaru Drum

Golden Trishula and Damaru drum, the divine tools of Lord Shiva

Golden Trishula and Damaru drum, the divine tools of Lord Shiva

If before this experience I was drawn to amazing similarities in iconography and function between the Horned God and Pashupati, now I am mesmerised and humbled. This will be a new focus in my ongoing spiritual journey.

Thank you for reading and blessings be,

Neometheus )O(

Post Samhain Post

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Yesterday was is the Pagan festival of Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-wain’) , this is one of the eight major Neopagan festivals and is considered to be New Years’ Eve by many Pagans. Due to the festivals’ significance to the pre-Christian peoples of north-western Europe it was Christianised as All Hallows Eve, later abbreviated to Hallow’een/Halloween. Many of the popular Halloween traditions observed today have their origins in ancient Pagan practices.

The significance of Samhain must be understood in terms of the Wheel of the Year. In the Neopagan cosmology the Horned God is a Solar deity who undergoes a birth-death-rebirth journey every year. The Triple Goddess represents Mother Earth (as well as the Moon), transforming through Her Maid, Mother and Crone aspects with the progress of the seasons . Together the Triple Goddess and the Horned God in their joint journey provide the mythological basis for the changing of the seasons.  At Midwinter the Horned God is born, and the Goddess is renewed as the Maid, by the spring the Horned God has matured to be the Young Hunter pursuing the Maiden Goddess, at Midsummer the Goddess and God are lovers, the Goddess is pregnant with the bounty of summer and the God is in his prime. In the autumn the God transfers his strength and virility to the ripening harvests, whilst the Goddess transforms into Her Crone aspect. At Samhain the Horned God’s strength is spent and He dies, passing on to travel the underworld until He is reborn again at Yule.

Artwork by Margaret Ellis

The Wheel of the Year artwork by Margaret Ellis

As such Samhain represents the death of the Horned God, the end of the Year, the end of the Summer bounty and Harvest and ritual preparation for the descent into the cold dark of Winter. The death of the Horned God gives the day its association with the dead, it is the day at which the veil that divides this world from the other-worlds is at its thinnest. Traditionally it was believed that spirits of the dead and otherworldly entities would walk abroad. Many Halloween traditions were originally directed at tricking or appeasing these entities, wearing disguises and collecting communal offerings have gradually transformed into trick or treating. It is possible that these practices are part of the folk memory stemming from the distant past when Pagan priests and priestesses would have been dressed as deities and represented them on Earth, receiving offerings and sacrifices in thanks for the years’ bounty and in promise for the return of the Sun the following year. Since the veil between worlds is so frail this is the ideal time for practising divination, which was often done communally and evolved into practices like apple bobbing.

To me the significance of Samhain rests in its main spiritual aspect – the descent into the Underworld. The Horned God has a great many aspects, included in these is the Lord of the Underworld. The Pagan Underworld is not the same as Christian Hell, it is the abode of the Dead and the realm of the ancestors. However, it is neither limbo nor a realm of suffering, it is more a repository of spiritual history and wisdom, the place where deep and ancient knowledge can be obtained. In His role as the Lord of the Underworld the Horned God plays the role of psychopomp (guiding the spirits of the dead to their spiritual resting place), the master/teacher of arcane wisdom and the holder of knowledge that is by its nature a mystery to living. The Triple Goddess in Her aspect as the Crone represents much the same thing. Both deities can be appealed to for assistance and wisdom throughout the year however their winter aspects lend a harder edge to their personas. Winter and death represent literally and symbolically the subject of destruction and endings, this can be frightening and has ‘dark’ associations though there is no element of evil involved. I find myself drawn to the unknown and unknowable and have a love for autumn and Samhain in particular.

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There are ritual formulas for observing Samhain, usually involving the lighting of a bonfire as at Beltane, communing with the ancestors and divining the coming year. This year we took a relaxed approach to our celebration, we carved a pumpkin and bought sweets for the local trick-or-treaters, when they had finished their rounds we set up our altar and circle with each of the four elements and representations of the Horned God and Goddess, sealed the room and cast our circle in the same manner we always do. We gave our thanks to our ancestors known and unknown for all that they have done and given and poured an offering of mead in their honour. With the formalities over we could have done a vision quest or journey, engaged in shamanic drumming or divination but instead we chose to start working our staffs. Reikiheidi had gathered a number of fallen branches over the past months with the intention of working them into ritual/magickal tools such as staffs and wands. We felt that Samhain would be a nice time to cut them to size, whittle away unwanted pieces and sand them down. This is the first time we had worked wood with ritual intention and we both found the exercise to be very calming and engaging, like any activity that requires full attention it has meditative qualities, and the satisfaction of seeing the item take form. I had not intended to do anything specific but whilst whittling away at my staff I found myself carving the top of my staff into the head of an eagle (one of my power animals). We ended the evening and the ritual with a meal.

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It was a relaxed and understated evening, we both enjoyed ourselves and gave our thanks for an exciting and interesting past year which was full of change and growth and are looking forward to what the new year has to bring.

 

Samhain blessings,

Neometheus