What really is magic and what does it mean to live a magical life? #magic #spirituality

The other day, I found myself chatting with a friend about our writing aspirations. While I was talking about my visions for the Warriors of Light book series, the conversation veered into the subject of magic. I mentioned how most books that use magical elements are placed into the category of fantasy because they are beyond the realms of the realistic. They entertain and enthrall us by encouraging our minds to play with the fantastic in the form of the impossible or unreachable. They stir our imaginations in a way that leaves us wishing for something we will never obtain. Fantasy, though, can also remind the imagination that there is more to life than we often allow ourselves to notice…

This photo was taken at Acadia National Park in Maine. To me the land looks like a sleeping giant. In the area of the heart, you can see an eye. The image embodies magic waiting to be seen. In book 2 of the Warriors of Light series, a giant much like this one appears.

How frustrating it can be to feel as though a magical life is illusive and always beyond the realm of possibility. When I mentioned that a few readers of The Labyrinth had compared my book to one of the most popular fantasy series written, our conversation began to explore the definition of magic and how much it differs in my series vs. the one it had been compared to. The young “warriors of light” protagonists are not wizards or witches, nor do they use wands or attend a school that teaches spells and potions. Instead, their teacher is the labyrinth, a magical maze they journey through individually and together to bring back the light where it has been broken by darkness. Sure there are somewhat fantastical elements. The six young protagonists learn how to shapeshift into their spirit animals. Some of them see ghosts and all of them converse with beings in other realms, but is there really so fantastic?

Magic Can Be Extraordinary

In The Labyrinth, the hexagram star is both an individual and a cooperative journey back to the center/heart of union.

Those how have traveled the shamanic journey will probably tell you that shapeshifting, or communing with spirit totems is not so fantastical. And, I’d wager most of us have had communications with spirits or beings from other realms, whether we realize it or not.

The hidden realms of life reveal their wonder as we open ourselves to the inherent magic that resides in all life. Like young children who have not yet lost their connection to inherent magic, our inner sight and senses re-expand beyond the ho-hum of the everyday routines. A mere walk in nature can stir the cells into a state of blissful union. Glimpses, or perhaps more, of the extraordinary become common, but no less magical. The more connected we feel, the more interconnected we feel as joy arises from our sense of being a part of an infinite web of light.

The Magical Inner Journey

When I journey into the ancient landscapes that still hold the imprint of magic, my cells hum with joy and time seems to collapse and open.

While adding truly fantastical elements to a book of fiction can be fun, the magic of a hero’s journey arises out of self-discovery. It is an inner journey as well as outer journey. This is magic that is not only sustainable, but grows with awareness. The state of joy becomes accessible, achievable, and sustainable unlike a material treasure that is not easily found and can be lost, or stolen away. The gift of inherent magic can only be robbed by the self as it resides within the self.

Magic is an opening to and not a manipulation of energy

True magic arises out of the very essence of life. It does not manipulate the forces of the elements, but opens to the inherent magic that already exists. Herein lies true wonder. The state of joy is accessible through the opening. When we allow ourselves to open to life’s mysteries we find connection, truth, and re-union. Although most of us are not trained in shamanism, or have the ability to shapeshift into our spirit animals like the protagonists in the Warriors of Light series, we do have the ability to connect with and glean wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of union with the animal and plant communities around us. Many of us experience an aspect of this connection with the animal companions that live in our homes, but we can also open ourselves to connecting with the wildlife outside of our homes. Sitting in the presence of a tree and bearing witness to its enduring strength and flexibility, or watching the transformation of an earth-bound caterpillar into a near-weightless butterfly can bring profound insight, peac,e and awe to the observer.

Magic is Living in Wonder

Often the closer we look at life the more wondrous it becomes

This is magic. It is opening to life and all of its wonders that exists and unfold in each moment all around us. It is the knowing that not everything can, or will be known, in one’s lifetime, because life is filled with such complex and intricately balanced beauty that no mind can truly understand creation.

The Path of the Pyramids: Keeping a Promise to a Dragon and a Stone Part 2 #VThikes #dragonlines #pyramidstones #sacredsites

A little pyramidal cave in the rocks

There were at least as many pyramids as there were hearts along the journey that led us to one particular stone pyramid at the crown of the dragon. Too many to count, and probably a lot that were missed by our eyes. It seemed, though, like the hearts, more than a coincidence… Pyramids carved into the faces of stones, stones opening to their portals such as the one above, and rocks that had somehow fallen from Earth’s openings into perfect pyramidal shapes.

A “portal” pyramid in the boulders

Guides continued to appear as we ascended the mountain. Soon after the chipmunk, a call rang through the canopy above. “It sounds like an eagle,” Sophia remarked, “I was told an eagle would be here today.”

We did not see the eagle, but days before I had seen an eagle twice in my travels. Three times in total this summer.

Followed by the eagle, was a yellow butterfly spotted by Deb. It was becoming a little uncanny. Not only were these common guides in my personal life, the eagle and butterfly are two of the totems in my Warriors of Light series. And it would get stranger from there…

This beautiful wolf-like dog appeared at an uncanny moment for us. His name was Ari, the eagle-boy in my book series, yet he resembled Lupe, the wolf-boy.

Worlds started to collapse as the mountain watched us walk its body. So many watchers, I would later remark that I was grateful I did not take this journey alone.

So many guardians in the trees

After that rather shocking encounter with the rock face that looked like the head of a galactic being, we were constantly aware of being observed. Ents appeared in the taller trees and trolls below them. Some seemed happier than others about our presence and it was clear we were walking in a land that did not really belong to humans.

Dragon wing?

A land, we would feel every-increasingly, that was guarded with a purpose. And, was alive with forces that, well, seemed other-worldly. Unlike in many of the places I have visited in England, where the magic of the land was enhanced by an ancient sophisticated society that moved and placed stones with deliberation, here mighty stones formed uncanny alignments by the forces of Earth.

We couldn’t help but feel the body of the dragon as we neared the summit

Yet there were so many similarities. The feeling of dimensions collapsing and realms mixing. The feeling of forces dormant and waiting to be reawakened…it was more than obvious a dragon lines ran through this land, and the three of us could not help feeling and seeing that the stars also had a special alignment with this serpent mountain.

Although this may not be the best depiction, there are curious carvings in the rocks of this mountain that made each of us think of the stars.

And, even though we had not chosen to walk the path of the water lines, the feeling of the element was present. It was held in the body of the stones with whale beings seemingly embedded into the body of the dragon. Fire and water. Alchemy. I couldn’t help but think of how the magical hexagram was here. And I could only hope that the lines were still alive here, even though there were obvious disruptions. Most notably, the towers of metal we could not bring ourselves to linger near for too long (much less photograph) that several feet (thankfully) away from the crown.

One of the whale stones we encountered

Memory and intuition brought us to the crown even though we were walking an unfamiliar path to get there. The increasing pulse, pulling us to our destination to place our offerings and heed the land’s calling, whatever it may be. And if it were not for the wren, we may never have seen the eye…

To be continued…

Taking the lead

Recall the Bird of Spring who appeared to me on the the 24th of January. I have not forgotten her, nor have I forgotten how she appeared in the days before the 11th. She often watched in silent vigil from the bush filled with winter berries in the neighbor’s front yard, while I waited for Alex to get off the bus. You were usually inside.

There was the flock of robins, Dad said there must have been 20, if not more, outside his office. Did you send them after you came to him in a dream, telling him you were leaving? Of course, I already knew. How could I not? I felt you release the tug on the orange nylon that bound us together months before you finally let go. I knew last summer you were patiently urging me to take the lead, knowing well before I did, that I was ready. That you had, in the heart-beat of 5 and 1/2 years, shown me how to walk the path of love, and to take the lead. The last 6 months were a gradual letting go, your final gift to me in your physical form.

Oh, but you knew I would weep and rage. You knew I would cling fiercely to the memory of  the brown silk of your fur pressed against my lips, and feel of home when I wrapped my arms around your body. You knew, even, that I would miss the tug-of- war, the constant test of who was in charge.

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You knew I would hold on, even after I let you go. So you sent me robins and hearts. I saw the love that you wore on your face everywhere, in the days before you left, and even more now that you have crossed the rainbow bridge without me. One thought, and you are back. I see the symbol of your love burned into snow, etched in ice on windows and carved into the life-lines of wood. I saw your love two nights ago, when you sent me the barn owl (with face of a heart) in the cypress tree. I see it each time I remember your face.

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Your rebirth into pure spirit, was my letting go. To become my own spring and bloom new. Even though I still shed the waters of sorrow, my garden is ready to birth strength. How many nights, as I was preparing to let you go, did I dream of a home, my home, surrounded by the rebirth of life? I woke happy, filled with hope. Filled with promise.

Even the 3 crows that caught my eye, circling the invisible wheel, made me think of the magic of birth and not death. You were the 3rd, though, in a close trinity of passings. My days and nights were filled with the numbers 3 and 7, even when they appeared with the numbers 10 and 11. The 10th was the day I knew for sure you were leaving, the 11th, when I opened the door to let you go.

On the 8th, two days before I decided it was time, I saw two robins. That evening I fell into dreams of rebirth. I played through the game of life, recording scores, which reduced to the number 9 – the complete cycle for birth. I searched tables of food and ate. I took the driver’s seat and drove, with the top open, over a bridge, where above me a green wheel turned. I watched my child (who looks so much like me) let go and felt only peace as he released his hold. I turned back time and became a young woman again. It was summer, 74 degrees (reduces to 11), and I was among a crowd of peers heading down a hill to swim. At the intersection of paths, I decided to walk alone. I went to the rocky shore, instead of the sandy, sun-filled beach, and stripped bare of my white shorts and flowered blouse, before I lay my body on the pebbles and let the water wash me clean. Here, I felt freedom. I felt release. I shouted back, fearless, to the girls who taunted me, calling them out on who they really were. I swam away from the boys who followed my naked form through the water, and pulled my clothes over my wet body before I walked back up the hill, alone. Later, in another dream, a messenger hugged me and told me it was time to surrender. To let [you] go. So I did.

 

 

My Guardian (Angel)

For six months my body has held the tension of an attachment so strong its feared letting go. In many ways, our life journeys are all about letting go of our earthly attachments, those things that keep us bound and tethered, preventing our souls from soaring through the clear air of our truth. Yet, some attachments, those formed by love, are so fiercely imbedded into our being that we cannot imagine taking another breath without them. When the physical body leaves, though, love remains.

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That is the concept that has held me up for the past six months as I have wondered each day if one of the greatest teachers and loves of my life will survive her next birthday. To tell you how she has transformed me from a life filled with fear to love, from dis-ease to healing and from the limited sight of the ocular, to see through the eyes of the soul, would take me hours that I cannot now count. She is still here. She will always be here, I know, even when she is not. We are bound together beyond the corporeal. Together we share love in the purest form.

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What a gift it has  been to share this part of my journey with her, to yield the leash and allow her to guide my hand. She is like no other love I have known, and I will, inevitably, miss her form when it is time for her to return to the home where all souls one day go. My face will miss the silky down of her fur, my eyes, the soft wisdom of her gaze, and my hands will hold onto the feel of her pull, urging me forward.

These past months, I have struggled to hold the finite limits set on life, to reign them in and never let them go. I have attempted to deny the inevitable giving way, even though my heart knows that together, Daisy and I have traveled the end of our life path together. The rest is bonus time. The gifts we have shared cannot be measured through time and its limitations. They will continue when her body returns to the earth. She was my guardian for 5 and 1/2 years of this life, and I have no doubt I will feel her love long after she travels across the rainbow bridge.

Today, as I struggled through a morning of inconclusive exams at the veterinary office, then brought Daisy home to watch her eyes hunger for food that her throat would not swallow, my body gave way the trappings of tension I had been holding. There were tears, there still are as I write. There will be more. That is how we heal. But for now, Daisy is still here, barking her guardianship for the surrounding world to hear. And that is enough.

Before I wrote this post, I walked into another room and the feather shown below dropped from the ceiling from an unseen source, directly into my path. Although it is small, there was no way I could miss it. As Doreen Virtue often reminds us, the gift of a feather is a sign of love from our guides and guardian angels. What a perfect gift for this day.

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The cat & the heron

This poem came out of two recent dreams, one with a cat messenger, the other with heron.

Bast, scratch memory back into skin

I walk the Hall of Two Truths

searching for rebirth. Bennu, shed

the gray for white with a ribbon

of blue. Lonely hunter of voice

speak to me of silence. I wade

between worlds seeking balance

to bend with willow’s grace

is the gift of sorrow

Crow – A Trickster Totem? #crowtotem #crowsymbolism #crowmessenger

Frequently, during healing sessions with my clients, animal energies will appear as messengers or totems. Recently, a crow made its presence known by appearing on a woman’s left shoulder. I felt a chuckle escape from my mouth, clearly this one was a bit of a trickster.

Often, our bird totems will perch themselves on our shoulders and travel with us throughout our days. They offer us guidance and wisdom even when we don’t know they are there, much like our spirit guides do. In fact, I view them as spirit guides specialized in the energetic characteristics of the particular animal they represent. As I told my client, sometimes they come and go as needed, sometimes they are with us for the span of our lifetime. I think crow, in her case, was what you might call a primary totem animal. Her shoulder was even fatigued from its weight.

Although she could not “feel” the fatigue and muscle strain the way I could, it was significant that it was there. Crow as a totem animal guide can be a bit complex and mischievous, much like its counterpart appears in nature. They are smart survivors, and will go through any means of trickery needed to get to their desired goal.

Watch for crows in nature. You will often find them perched on the top of trees as sentinels, looking for opportunities. Their black, feathered bodies evoke the energy of mystery and magic. Their piercing eyes mirror wisdom. They are adaptable birds. Crows find the means to survive in any situation they encounter. When needed, they work together to locate food sources, even if it means stealing from another animal. Their diet is not limited, they’ll eat pretty much anything at hand. They’ll even turn on each other, if a circumstance threatens their individual survival.

At other times, crows act together, using sentinels and messengers to relay information regarding food sources and danger. Listen to the crow’s voice and you cannot help but feel its power. It is not a pleasant sound, like a songbird’s, but it holds an undeniable strength. When a crow passes overhead, even if it is silent, one may feel the impulse to shiver. Yes, there is mystery in the crow, which often pulls us to the place of magic and secrets.

Black is considered the color of creation, and the feminine energies of the universe. As Ted Andrews points out in Animal Speak, black represents the womb where new birth occurs. The crow, as a totem animal, can help us with this aspect of ourselves, showing us how to go within to find our inner magic and to pull out hidden gifts.

In the case of my client, the crow on her shoulder had been with her for some time, helping her to survive, but not always ethically. It was time to shift the crow’s energy, and I urged her to shake the crow off its perch from time to time, and let if fly around, switch shoulders, etc. Since she has already done much healing, I have no doubt my client will start working with crow in a new way, using its energetic gifts to delve into the truths of her soul, and use her intellect in ways that will bring light to not only herself, but to others.

Crow can draw us into the mysteries of the womb and stir it to life, but we must take care to ensure that we bring those gifts into the light in a means that will offer more than personal gain.