The Parasite of Fear & How Our Choice to Believe Lies is Rooted in Survival

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

You know what it’s like to be brainwashed,” someone close to me wrote on my Facebook wall in response to a post about our current political crisis. The words have echoed through me ever since. I lived a childhood, that extended well into adulthood, haunted by lies. I was fed half-truths, skewed truths, and false-truths so often they became my truths.  I know what it’s like to be brainwashed to the point of belief.

My personal story may be unique, but I believe brainwashing is a problem that is spreading like the wildfires across our planet.

The source of brainwashing, like anything that goes against truth, is fear. I am not a mental health professional, but I have learned a few things about fear and its insidious effects that can lead to the brainwashing of its subjects.

Fear takes hold of the mind that looks for something to control its darkness. It seeks dominion above all else, seizing upon our greatest weaknesses to hold fast its power until its subjects succumb to its lies.

Fear=Deceit

Truth=Love

When fear over-powers truth, the mind becomes a haven for lies and the body follows suit. One need only to look at the Tweets flying through the airwaves and the memes plastering social media to realize fear’s struggle for dominion. Right now it looks a lot like fear is winning, along with its lies, as its insidious wave of brainwashing takes over its populace.

So why do we let fear take this type of hold on us? I believe the answer resides in our most basic need. To love and be loved. When this becomes tenuous and conditional, fear sets in at our roots, destabilizing the structure that we rely upon for our survival.

To begin to free ourselves of fear’s hold, we must return to our roots and ask where did  fear begin? What is its source? Who is feeding it to me? And, why am “I” trying to nourish “myself” with it?

When I look at my own path to fear-fed brainwashing, I see similarities in what is occurring in our political system. In both, the parental/governing parties hold the roots of fear. Those that sit atop authority, hold the reins of dominion that promise protection at the cost of our loyalty. It’s nearly impossible not to become a victim of brainwashing, if those that we depend upon for our survival, and for love, are “nurturing” us with lies.

There is, perhaps, no stronger bond that exists than the one between a parent and its child, especially the mother-child bond. This, bond, I believe, is paramount in our current crisis with the truth.

A mother feeds her child with her life-giving blood before birth. If we extrapolate from the mother who feeds and births the individual, to the mother who feeds and nurtures the whole, we arrive at the root of our present day crisis, which is occurring on a global scale.

In the majority of the areas of the world we have labeled “first world,” we have, in essence, de-evolved over the course of thousands of years. What we would label as “progress” has been an uncensored growth of advancements that have occurred through the force of the “parental/governing” ego. A progress that has been fed from the top, but does not often trickle down to nurture the children who are in most need.

Unsettling the natural state of balance even more, is the vast majority of this rapidly progression of unchecked progress has been at the incredible expense of the Mother in the form of our planet. A planet that is designed to nurture and feed all her children, in equal measure to meet their basic needs, but not to serve “man”kind only.

Yet, our most powerful nations were built upon a discontenting from their true source. The life-giving “blood” taken from the Mother (Earth) that feeds us all,  robbing in the process, more than our share, and stolen without reverence. It has been a righteous taking of more than is needed. Reverence and honor of the Mother has been long forgotten for most of our societies. As a result, the Earth has suffered and so have we.

I cannot help but think about the poignant symbolism that is dividing the nation I live in and how it is reflected by the colors of our chakras. Red is associated with the republican party here in the US, while blue is the color of the democratic. Our nation is founded upon polarity, it is part of our roots.

Yet, each side holds fast to its truths, not realizing that a balanced nation is akin to a balanced body.

If we look at the chakra system, we see that red is associated with the color of the root chakra. It is considered the first of our major energy systems in the body, supporting our foundation. The root chakra is therefore associated with our very survival. It is what develops first in the growing human. The root chakra is fed through our connections to our family/clan/nation. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by a foundation of fear and false truths, it becomes us.

A balanced and healthy root chakra, on the other hand, is nourished by the grounding energy of the Mother source. Not our birth mother, but the Mother of all life. Our source of this living-giving “blood” comes from our planet. If we break this Mother-child bond, as we have allowed ourselves to do over many centuries, we become destabilized. We start to cling to other foundations that are false, and that are more often than not, fed by the ego’s fear of not being in control.

The color blue, in the chakra system, is associated with the area that resides in and around the area of our throat. It feeds our entire communication system as it extends down the neck and out the hands, as well as up to the ears. When it is healthy, the throat chakra enables us to hear the truth and discern it from that which are lies. It also guides us in speaking truth with compassion, love, and trust. A healthy throat chakra knows that Truth is a universal law that supports all life. It is not individually divided, but a web that weaves through and unites all life.

When our throat chakra is compromised, the energy in these systems of the body contract in distrust of “others” and of the self (although this is not usually acknowledge by the self). We are seeing this now. Our media is swarming with information that cannot be trusted due to the fear-driving ego-centric sources that are feeding it. A massive brainwashing of the populace, aka, “children,” is occurring through the false truths of their governing bodies, aka, “parents.” We are at point of extreme polarity. The left half in battle with the right. The red fighting with the blue, instead of uniting with the common good. We have forgotten that we are each halves of the same body, seeking union, true stability, and nurturing. We have forgotten how to discern truth from lies, because we have bi-passed the heart at our center, the place of pure knowing, as we cut the roots off from the Mother-blood and constricted our throats and ears from the universal voice of Truth.

And so it is that chaos has taken the reins, and we are left awash in a swirl of angry, divisive energy. Pointing fingers in accusation, and hurling abuses ate each other as though we are in constant battle with parasites. Instead of realizing that the other we hurt, is actually ourselves. The true parasite: the darkness of our own fear we refuse to extract and transmute into light.

 

 

Entering bliss through the heart

It’s the only way, really. Isn’t it? To enter bliss through the heart. Yet, we try so many other ways. I am thinking of the energy of the second chakra in particular. That womb of creation where energy stirs in fiery red/orange when truly ignited by love. I am thinking about Kimberly Harding of Soul Healing Art (check it out, she has wonderful posts) who often writes and paints about this chakra. And, I am thinking about the many messengers Spirit has sent me over the past week.

Yesterday, there was the hummingbird, a messenger of joy, soundlessly flying her green-gold glory into my gardens to penetrate and retrieve the sweet elixir of life from the open, red flowers of bee balm.

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One may think of sex, in the many ways the womb of creation, with its feminine energy is penetrated by the masculine energy of activation. Sometimes, fertilization occurs and something quite wonderful and new is born. There is the energy that is created when the masculine and feminine energies peak into climatic joy, and truly merge and join in a harmonic frequency of bliss.

And, one can think of the hummingbird, and how penetration of joy need not be overtly masculine and never needs to be aggressive. In fact, it’s the aggression, the over-use of male energy that creates a damping and compression of the feminine fire. Look at that hummingbird making love to the bee balm. The image is beautiful and soft. The bird knows only joy and light, for it is her purpose.

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There is nothing aggressive, nothing forced about her light-body as it silently hums over the flower. The hummingbird, with her green-gold feathers, lives through the heart, the divine path to joy and the opening of creative fire.

Two days before I saw the hummingbird, I found myself creating a circle of green stones around an orange stone. The green stones resonated with the heart chakra, the orange, the sacral, or second chakra. I was, I realized, activating the sacral chakra through the heart, in preparation for an energy healing session.

Spirit often brings me symbols and messages in dreams and visions before I have healing sessions with clients. The eve before this session, I had fallen into sleep with a vision of Mt. St. Helens.  I felt my soul leave my body on the wings of Spirit, as I soured over the exposed womb of a blood-red mountain. I was seeing the energy of the volcanic mountain not with the eye, but with the soul.

There were messages from the goddess of the mountain, some of which I can still recall, others have imprinted their emotional memory upon my cells. It was the energy that mattered. That womb, open and exposed and still working to heal. Gaia’s red energy activated through her green heart. A larger, much more intense, representation of the hummingbird and the bee balm I would see days later.

Sometimes, when our creative fires are dormant for too long, when we allow them to build against the walls of a womb without allowing them the freedom to explore the channels of our mind/body/soul, we face the threat of eruption. This happens to Gaia, this happens to humans, as we are all one. We share compression, we share release. When I flew over the volcano, I saw a sacrifice. I saw a gift. I felt the energy of Gaia open and exposed, so that we could learn and receive.

A wise, intuitive friend of mine pointed me to the Gaia Stone after telling her about my dream. It is a brilliant green gem forged from the ashes of St. Helen’s. A heart-stone created from fire. It’s frequency works to heal the emotional heart inside of us, to find the balance lost.

I have found that all fears find a place in the heart. When one is lucky enough to live in the pure state of joy, like the hummingbird, there is no need for violent eruptions of energy, there is only the soft energy of a heart filled with joy. Can we get there together? Can we heal our hearts, and in doing so, heal the wounded heart of the Earth?

The Mystery of Fox

The fox that came in the mail
The fox that came in the mail

How could I not write about the fox after reading Sue Vincent’s post last night, “Foxed.” Her words held the promise of magic I could not resist. Of course there was also the obvious tug from Spirit, who has shown me the fox in 3 different forms over the last 24 hrs.

Yesterday, after playing in the woods behind our home with a friend and our rather fox-like dog, Rosy, my daughter came in proclaiming she had found the remains of a fox half-exposed by the slowly melting snow. She had the pictures to prove it.

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The remains of a fox?

Later, I followed her outside, the entire family in tow as we studied the evidence. The small, strong jaw seemed about right to our untrained eyes, as well as the unmistakable red-orange fur found nearby. The cause of death, unknown, but we all made guesses. My children were willingly to bet it was a coyote (a common predator of the fox), my husband, in an attempt to temper any fears, suggested it may have died of old age.

We had a mystery on our hands that got me thinking not so much about how the remains of a fox ended up in our backyard, but about what the fox as a messenger really means. In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews observes that there are 21 species of fox. 21, as he notes, is the last card in the journey of Tarot. It is often referred to as “The World” card, a card of creation and all possibilities, which makes me think of the color orange that the fox wears both as camouflage and as a symbol of gifts held inside the second chakra.

The fox reminds us to go inside to that place where we create our life’s passions. It is an animal of mystery, rarely seen in the daylight hours, preferring the in-between times that are associated with magic and the fairy realms, when the veil between our worlds is thin. It awakens our passions and our extrasensory perceptions. The fox is a silent predator, able to move quickly with a stealth that is often unnoticed. It hears, sees and smells what most do not.

For those of us hoping to birth new creative energies, the fox can be our guide, helping us grow the magic safely tucked inside our “wombs.” It can guide us into other realms and help us see, hear and smell the more subtle, yet powerful energies around us as we discern with whom and in what to place our trust. When we are ready for “magic,” fox may appear to guide us.

Orange

orange

When you look at the color orange, what do you see? Years ago, before I started working with the chakra centers in the body, I wrote a poem about an orange and compared it to love. Here is the poem, in revised format, with the essence still intact:

Orange

Love should be
like a ripe orange
before it is peeled. Thick,
heavy, sweet

When you turn
its bumpy surface
in your palm, there is
no beginning
no end

Love is the color of the sacred “womb” that resides inside all of us. It is the place where we grow our creative and sensual selves into being with the fire of our soul. The color of passion and love manifested in the form of our unique gifts, it is always present, yet sometimes hides.

I have been thinking and writing a lot about orange these days, as I rebirth dormant gifts held inside the second, or sacral chakra that vibrates in this hue. Rarely do I wear this bold color that tends to overwhelm my complexion, but there I was in a lovely boutique last Friday, buying a dress adorned with orange flowers.

orange flowers on dressOn Saturday I peeled sweet potatoes, carrots and gingers and cooked them into an orange soup. We are drawn to the colors that want to bloom inside of us. There is a reason why our bodies and senses crave certain palettes. I cook with orange to kindle the fire that hides in my belly. Today, my eye is drawn to the flames that warms my house as I nibble the flesh of mango and write, my orange dog staring me down, waiting for her walk.

Rosy, the orange dog

Multiple Messengers

Sometime Spirit likes to hammer the point home until we get it.  I find this happens when I am really being called to shift and get rid of old energies and systems of belief that are not serving my highest good. Since my mind likes to work with symbols and metaphors, I often get these messages in the form of animals and vividly detailed dreams. When I put all the pieces together the puzzle becomes complete and I really “get it.”

I’ll share my most recent series of messages as an example. It’s rather amusing when one lets go of self-frustration. Two nights ago I had a series of vivid dreams, of which I would now recall in more detail had I written them right down after waking. But, I think what I retained was enough to get Spirit’s point across, especially when combined with the other messengers that ensued.

In the dreams I found myself in a landscape of water (the element of emotion). The water was an ocean, and it was rising. As I made my way though the water I encountered a large (too large) seal. It was alive, but unmoving, floating like a buoy with its bloated belly turned toward me.

The seal as an animal messenger beckons us to awaken our imaginations and creativity. In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes, “If a seal or seal lion has shown up as a totem, it is time to do some questioning. Are you getting out of balance.” (pg. 311). Considering that my seal was bloated and unmoving, I would have to say yes.  Since I am a writer and my soul needs this form of creative nurturing, the seal was a “gentle” reminder to find space to feed this part of my soul.

What of the bloated belly though? One mind say that the seal in my dream was over-fed. Now, let me tell you about the other vivid image that stayed with me from that night. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was on a toilet and a lot of waste was moving through me. Our physical bodies are responsible for storing, processing and getting rid of the energy we take in. Sometimes, when we harbor fears, these energies find a home within us and grow – they quite literally bloat our bellies, or cause dis-ease of some kind. As a former sufferer of IBS, I know too well this type of energy retention and the body’s struggle for release and balance. Although, two nights ago, I was not literally having an episode of IBS, spirit was showing me that it was time for a release of fears.

The following day, I went for a walk with the dogs and my eyes were pulled to the side of the road where a black snake lay curled in the sand. Again, my animal messenger was unmoving, although alive. The snake as a messenger seems to make an appearance in my life when I am in the process of, or am about to undergo, a big shift. As a totem/messenger, the snake awakens the dormant energies inside of us (it’s associated with the awaking of the kundalini energy at the base of our spine), and, through its ability to shed its entire skin, calls us to release our old self and rebirth.

The snake energy is associated with the 2nd chakra, where we house our sexual and creative energies. A chakra area that has been calling for attention and healing in my body.  The point of Spirit was really starting to hit home, but there were still two more messengers to consider.

Over the past few days I have, much to my dismay, encountered more than a few ants in my house. Through much investigation and cleaning, I discovered the lure – a jar of honey with a loose lid. Now I must confess that the ant is not one of the animals I tend to spare when I encounter them in my house, so I did my best to thank the universe while I sent the messengers down the drain with a good dose of that element water.

It’s likely the message here was multifaceted. The ants were lured to honey – a sweet substance of life (and there may be an indirect message from bee here too, see below). Ants, as most people are aware, are quite industrious. They work in a complex social unit of cooperation and order. Andrews writes in his book: “The ant is the teacher of how to build, how to become the architect of your own life. It can show you how to construct your dreams into reality. It will show you that the greatest success comes occurs with persistence.” (pg. 336). I can safely say I have a few dreams I’d like to manifest into reality, some of which are directly related to writing.

Now let’s side-track a little and look at the bee, because we really should consider the lure of honey. Andrews states that “Bees are long-time symbols for accomplishing the impossible.” (pg. 337). Of course one might say that the impossible is only impossible inside the confines of our minds. Could it be that I am being called to actually enjoy, and find the sweetness inside, the process of manifesting my creative endeavors into reality (yes, there is a tone of irony here)?  Sometimes we do forget that life is supposed to be fun and filled with light and joy.

There’s just one more messenger I want to consider before I end this blog. The catbird. I seem to have a resident catbird outside my home that likes to make itself seen in my presence at the most telling of times. The catbird, with its talent for a wide range of songs, is a messenger of communication. This morning, when my friend the catbird appeared before me, I was quite literally thinking about my own communication blockages (related to the throat chakra in particular).

And so, it seems, spirit is calling me to the two chakras in most need of my attention – the 2nd and, and also the 5th. Two chakras I feel are intimately connected. For when we manifest our creative gifts, we want to be sure we sing them in the clear, beautiful and enduring voice of our truth.

Salamander, Tarot and the Element of Fire

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Those of you who study Tarot will know that the image of the salamander appears on 3 cards of the Rider deck, all in the suit of wands – representing the element of fire. The salamander, though, is shown only on the “royalty” cards, and not on all 4.
Rider Page of Wands
In the Page of Wands, we see a young person contemplating the growth that is sprouting from his wand, which he holds like a staff, ready to embark on a journey.  He wears a yellow tunic (symbolic of the 3rd chakra – the power center),  which is covered in salamanders curving toward circles. Under the tunic, the Page has on orange leggings, the same color as the lining of his cloak.

Rider Knight of Wands

The next card in the line of royalty, the Knight of Wands, depicts a knight riding a steed, presumably toward battle. Again, we see a yellow tunic with salamanders, some of which are now forming complete circles, connecting tails to heads. The figure has moved from the point of contemplation that we see in the Page card, to action. The color orange, symbolic of the 2nd, or sacral, chakra, appears on the steed, as well as in flaming plumes emerging from the knight’s back and head.

The 2nd chakra is where we house the energy of creation, both sexual and artistic. From this energy center, which exists between our tailbone and our solar plexus, we give birth to our unique gifts. When our 2nd chakra is healthy, we  glow with the fire of creation. We have a healthy, and satisfying sexual life and are manifesting our innate creative gifts.

The salamander itself, has long been considered the animal symbol of fire.  Some species of salamander, the type we associate with the elemental symbol of fire, are a bright orange. Often we see them appear in the woods, or in our walking paths, after it has rained and the earth is still damp. These silent, harmless creatures, look like curls of flame on the forest floor, and we must watch our step carefully so as not to trod on them.

The lithe body of the salamander also evokes the element of fire, with its ability to bend and twist with a stealth-like ease as it crawls across the ground.  It’s moist skin reminds us that fire often needs the element of water to temper its heat. When we have too much fire energy inside of us, we can literally feel a burning in our second chakra. Sometimes this burning is a call to put our creative gifts into action, sometimes it reminds us of a balance lost.  When an individual has suffered sexual abuse, or is sexually obsessed (which can be a side-effect of sexual abuse) the second chakra will often appear over-inflamed.

With the second chakra, as with any of our energy centers, it is always a question of finding that healthy balance. An over-expressed chakra can create havoc, while a stagnant chakra can lead to lethargy and, in the case of the second chakra in particular, a loss of appetite for pleasure and a lack of vibrancy in one’s aura.

When I opened up my deck of Rider Tarot cards I was initially surprised to see that the image of the salamander appeared on the Page, Knight and King (image later in post) cards, but not on the Queen.

Rider Queen of Wands

Unlike in your average deck of cards, the King in Tarot does not “trump” the Queen card, in fact, I often find that the Queen cards symbolize a more balanced energy representative of the suit. In the Queen of Wands in the Rider deck, we find a woman/queen sitting on a throne with her legs relaxed and spread out to the sides. Her “relaxed” posture shows us that her 2nd chakra is unrestricted.

The animals featured in the card include the lion, fox and cat. Two of the three lions are yellow, as is the robe and crown of the queen, symbolic of the 3rd charka, the seat of our inner power. The fox is red/orange, evoking the 1st and 2nd chakras – another indication of the comfortable, fearless aura of the queen. In her hands she holds her wand (in bloom) and a sunflower – a symbol of the birth of one’s creative and sexual self (the fertilized seed’s growth into a flower). Then there’s the black cat, sitting at her feet. When I was at Goddard College, I took a tarot workshop with Rachel Pollack, and I remember her telling us that she associates herself with the Queen of Wands card.

Once, when Pollack was giving tarot workshops overseas, a black cat suddenly appeared and sat at her feet while she spoke, then, just as quietly, left when she was finished. The cat, especially the black cat, is associated with feminine mystery and magic. One can’t help but feel the feminine and creative power of this card, yet it is not over-welming or threatening.

Rider King of Wands

Now, maybe it’s just me, but the figure in the King of Wands card looks a bit disgruntled, and dare I say a bit angry. Although he is seated, he appears ready to stand, his gaze turned toward an unknown source that may be troubling him. His left hand (the hand that held the sunflower in the Queen of Wands), is partially clenched and the arm is pulled back as though readying itself to support the king’s posture to stand.

The element of fire is everywhere in the picture. The King’s hair is a red/orange, as is his dress. His yellow crown bares the tips that look like flames, and the salamander has reappeared. Instead of a cat at his feet, we see a salamander off to the side. On the back of his throne and on the outer layer of his cloak, there are salamanders curled into circles. One can’t help but think that the king has not only mastered this element, but perhaps has over-mastered it to the point where there is an imbalance – or too much heat in the second chakra.

Twice in recent days, an orange salamander has appeared on my path. It’s small, flame-like body reminding me to go within and assess what 2nd chakra energies are calling for balance, for voice and for healing. It’s a reminder that sometimes  we need a bit of fire to burn off the emotional element of water, and to spur our desires into action. My salamander, after all, came after rain.

Robin: The Bird of (Re)birth

Robin

The American Robin is considered by many to be a harbinger of spring. When the robin returns to its summer home in the spring, it gets to work building a nest with its mate and laying a brood of beautiful, sky-blue eggs. It is also one of the first birds to sing at dawn, harkening the new day with its melodious voice.

The robin, in many respects, is a bird of beginnings, of birth, and of the rebirth of the true, creative self. Upon its proud chest, robin shamelessly displays the color orange. Although robins are considered to have a “red-breast,” the color is really a deep orange, the vibration of the second, or sacral chakra. Orange and the second chakra are symbolic of our creative and sexual drives, this ball of energy that stirs us into action, and when balanced and healthy,  enables us to live our creative truths without worry of how we will be received by the world.

When I see robin, the bird always inspires a sense of awe and reverence. Standing erect and confident on the ground, where it digs through the body of Earth for sustenance, robin appears a master of self. The robin has no doubt who s/he is, unafraid to sing in full-throated beauty the first song of the morning.

The robin births eggs in the spring the color of the sky, another element the robin is master of, and the color of the healthy throat chakra. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra in the set of seven primary chakras in the body. It is closely tied to the second chakra, for when we are able to create freely from that seat of orange energy, we need to be able to bring it up through our throats, where we express or sing our truths with compassion and confidence.

Near the end of last summer, on the first day of returning to school for my children, I experienced a day of magical peace and communion with nature. It had been a difficult summer for me, not because the kids were home, although that presents its own set of challenges and gifts, last summer was a time of transition for me. I was emerging into the field of energy healing, and was getting ready to finish up my memoir and start sending it out to the world. Spirit, in many forms was calling me to release old fears and habits that were no longer serving me. I had to let relationships go that were no longer in alignment with who I was, and my upper back, neck and shoulders were suffering the struggle to release an old, heavy load.

feather

That day at the end of August, after I sent my children off on the bus, I was able to decompress and live in the moment in a way I had not been able to for a long time. I spent the beautiful sun-filled day with my dogs walking in the woods and sitting outside. Many birds appeared to me, including a hummingbird, flicker and robin. For a long time I watched these individual birds and took in the energy they had to offer me. Robin sat in a maple tree in my front yard, toward the middle of the afternoon shortly before the kids were due off the bus. I had my camera with me all day, and I captured robin on the branch, then watched as the bird released a single feather, which swirled with gravity toward the earth beside where I sat.

Spirit sometimes speaks to us with feathers, offering them to us as a gesture of hope and reassurance that we are a part of a great, universal love that is so vast and infinite we can hardly comprehend it in our human form. I am often reluctant to take feathers from the Earth when I see them, for there is also the belief that one should not take from the Earth what one does not need, or belongs to someone else. Sometimes, though, the gifts are so overt one is pulled to accept them. That day, as I gently lifted the fallen feather, feeling the vibration of the robin’s energy still humming inside, I knew I had been given a gift from spirit. A gift of new births and beginnings. It’s been quite a journey.