If you get a chance this post is definitely worth reading – Lupa has done a great job with this essay. I definitely agree on a few things.

– I’ve recently overcome the need to be right all the time and I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing! I must admit it took some serious self reflection to realise that the reason why I felt too nervous to ask questions or blog about my experiences was because I was scared of being wrong. How will I grow though?! I talked myself through it by writing in my journal. There is nothing wrong with being wrong – it’s all experience and it will help you grow.

– I’ve never had problems with accepting people for their different beliefs but one of my friends and I always get into arguments about why I believe in a spirit. Lupa paints the perfect picture to represent him with the dog tied to a dog house. While I accept that he just doesn’t agree with me (but still think it’s ludicrous. Can’t he feel it inside of him?) he’s just not happy with agreeing to disagree. He’s constantly trying to make me see that I’m wrong and that it’s cognitive dissonance that’s making me believe it. So much so that we haven’t even got past the ‘spirit’ thing – there would be so many ideas to discuss if he could just get past that.

– And here we are – at the point of rightness or wrongness again. In this instance there is no such thing. How can you be wrong or right when it comes to experience? It’s important to keep an open mind and heart especially on this subject. As Lupa states “There is absolutely no incontrovertible proof that any religious belief is more objectively and measurably true than any other, and the number of people who adhere to it does not increase its truth.”

– On the subject of potential fundamentalism – I was not raised in a strictly Christian or Catholic household and my parents are very accepting of everything and everyone so I have no first hand experience of strict religious views. I have, however, definitely done my fair share of reading. It’s a good point that Lupa is raising because once these things get momentum they’re hard to stop.

Therioshamanism

A caveat to start with: No matter how well a writer writes something, inevitably someone will misinterpret what they were trying to say. Such is the limitation of language. In that spirit, allow me to make one thing very, very clear before this essay even starts: I am not equating hard polytheism with religious fundamentalism. I am concerned that because of certain patterns I have seen among some, not all, hard polytheists, that this may, not necessarily will, in the future give rise to a form of pagan religious fundamentalism. Additionally, the “You’re wrong, I’m right” attitude that I’m observing is not limited to debates regarding polytheism, but other areas of paganism as well, and any of these could also give rise to a form of fundamentalism given the right circumstances. Polytheism happens to be the topic of the moment which finally gave me a chance to voice…

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19/1/13 – Dreams

Last night I had a dream of the end of the world. I remember that we all knew it was going to happen and there was definitely a lead up. I was doing something, trying to get something done? Either way I was by myself when it happened. A big light appeared in the center of the horizon and I looked at it on a hill over a meadow (but the meadow seemed unusually devoid of any plants – maybe it’s an Australian meadow haha). The light went up in a column to the sky and then expanded to engulf the world and I saw it coming towards me. I remember saying to myself “I love you so much Brian” – I found it unusual that we weren’t together.

Instead of the world just ceasing to exist, time stopped and I was transported to another dimension (?). It seemed I was in a cave or under the Earth, either way there was a lady that had dark skin and big hair – she had long black nails and wore the most gorgeous black flowy dress (kind of a silky material), I didn’t think she was human. There were other creatures there that I didn’t recognise. I kept thinking that we were in hell and she was the devil – I don’t believe in the devil but maybe she was where to story had originated. She wasn’t there to hurt us but to change us. I think there were other humans there; here’s where it starts to get blurry. I feel like I was with someone I knew at this point but I can’t remember who. She was talking to us about making changes to the way the Earth is and how we treat her. There was a big long speech, a discussion and compromises. I wasn’t involved in any of this but a spectator.

After that it moved to a party. It seemed like an other worldly party. I don’t remember much of this party a part from a man walking past me who had something similar to a smurf hat on – it was all colours though and had written across it ’empath’. I remember looking at it and falling in love with it. I said I wanted one. He took it off and threw it away. We then started talking.

That’s all I can remember.

Divination

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Here is a sneak peak of what I’m working on at the moment.

As part of my healing through art project I’m trying to make art a more integral part of my practice.
And since I can’t do anything the easy way I’ve decided to create my own ‘rune’ set (I realise it may not be referred to as ‘runes’ if it is not the traditional Elder Futhark Rune set but I have no other word for it yet). While we were on our road trip I collected some stones from various beaches which I planned on using to create my very own rune set (based on the Elder Futhark system). However, when I researched them they just didn’t click with me – I’m not of the Heathen faith and I don’t believe in their Gods. Since then I’ve felt a little lost because I was so sure I was following the right path by collecting the stones and creating a divination tool from them. For a while I persevered and tried to fit what I felt the stones represented into this already established system of runes – as you can imagine I wasn’t getting anywhere.

I then saw someone using a set that was of completely modern make with different symbols and I thought “I can do that.” At the moment I’m just brainstorming but as I collected them I already had a meaning shaped in my mind for each stone, I just need to figure out a symbol for each meaning – that’s the easy part. The hard part will be establishing a system to allow me to use the runes for divination purposes. I’ll need to play with them and try and figure out their meanings and then write a booklet to keep track of my findings.

In other words – it’s going to be a long and difficult journey.

18/1/13 – Journal Writing

High School Memories

High School Memories

A couple of days ago my dad found a box in storage and it was full of all my old diaries, letters I wrote to my friends and photos from high school. When I opened that box I felt like I was transported back to then and became that person again.

I had been thinking about where all my old diaries had gone because I knew I would never have thrown them out and I was interested in looking at them since I’d started writing again – I wanted to see if I wrote about the same kind of thing.
HELL NO is the answer to that question.

I guess you never really realise how much you change and man, I know exactly how much I’ve changed. All my old diaries from high school as you can probably imagine, are about what boy I liked and the last thing he said to me and what I thought it meant. I wrote about how every one of my friends annoyed me and exactly why they annoyed me but then continued to speak to them (and even wrote about them 2 or 3 days later saying how grateful I am for having them as a friend).

When I look back on high school now, I sort of don’t really know what I’m looking at. I feel like it’s just a jumbled mess and that whole chunks of it are missing. I guess what I learnt about this is that well, it WAS a big mess and I’m not surprised I forgot chunks – I pretty much did the same thing day in and day out.

There was this one diary that I avoided until the end though because I knew what was in it and I guess I never truly moved on or forgave him for what happened (let’s call him Shadow). We’re both completely different people now and I don’t really see him as the same person anymore (we’re still friends) so I don’t blame present Shadow, I blame past Shadow. The thing is I know I can’t go back and talk to past Shadow and sometimes I wonder if he really is all that different or if my role in his life is different. Either way, this diary was hard for me to look at but in the end I read the whole thing – cover to cover. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be although after reading it I was bursting with questions. I know all the people involved back then had most definitely forgotten it all – I seem to be the only one who cares enough about conversations and body language to write a 3 page diary entry about it.

It took me a couple of days to think about what all this may mean and if I should talk to Shadow about it or if I talk to my fiance. I even considered making Shadow a playlist of all the songs that reminded me of that time to try and convey how I felt — wot? I finally decided to do an oracle reading which was mostly focused on developing myself as a person as opposed to what I should do about my nostalgia towards people who hardly even exist anymore. As always, they come out with the answer that’s been circling around in my life for a couple of weeks now which I refuse to see – I need to stop taking life so seriously and to be more grounded and practical.

I then realised I don’t know how to be practical or grounded – I’ve never been like that. I’m a dreamer and I like it like that. You know what they said? Confidence. Confidence in that everything I have right now is exactly what I need and to be grateful for it.

Sometimes I still get surprised. I still smile to myself and think “Why didn’t I ask you to begin with?” I guess I wouldn’t have seen the answer.

Becoming Vegetarian

Being an animist I’ve never really considered animals different from the plants, rocks, oceans, etc – they’re all working together to create Earth. They all have energy that runs through them and that same energy runs through us. This is why I’ve never really considered being a vegetarian – because I can’t separate animals from fruit and vegetables in terms of their pain and suffering.

Recently though I’ve decided to take the step to become a vegetarian for a number of other reasons:

  1. It’s better for me – it’s pretty clear that not only does eating red meat increase your likelihood of developing bowel cancer but also the fat content of red meat is just not good for overall general health and well-being.
  2. I’m against factory farming – it’s cruel to the animals and bad for the ecosystems immediately involved in the raising and slaughtering of the animals.
  3. Environment – becoming vegetarian will reduce my carbon footprint.

I’m not very good with change in this kind of an area – I mean, I’ve changed my eating habits before successfully but it normally takes me quite a long time before anything happens. Anyway, I just thought I’d share that because no doubt I will be having thoughts and writing posts related to that.

The Current Book I’m Reading

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I bought this book for my sister about a year ago – she still hasn’t read it. I was looking for something to read the other day and stumbled upon it again, I thought it would help me with keeping up with my dream journals, my observations and my entries on here. So far its been great inspiration.

Could This be a Sign?

Could This be a Sign?

I’ve been wanting this book for ages – I’ve been pining over it since I first saw it on Moira’s Etsy shop (Ariom Designs) but I just couldn’t justify spending $122 on a book that I didn’t actually have a purpose for.

Recently my fiance and I have been getting a little bit of extra money so that we could both have some spending money each week and I chose to buy this as my first ‘thing’.
I know what I’m going to put in it now – it will be my new ‘Book of Shadows’ (that’s not what I want to call it but I don’t have another name – I guess I will have to think of one!).
The significance of all this is that when I contacted Moira about setting up a payment plan she told me that it was an important piece to her and she was glad it had finally found a good home. On inquiring to what she meant (I love good stories that go with artworks) she told me that it was something she created during a major turning point in her life. She said it was “where I realised almost wasn’t enough and I was deserving of setting my skills to something truly worthy” to do what made her happy and to just allow it to happen. I feel this describes exactly what I’m going through right now with my job and my art – I want my art to be an integral part of my life but I’ve never considered making money from it. Could I?
Either way I have a feeling this piece could be something that helps with my healing through art project I’ve just undertaken.

I’m really happy I’ve finally gone through with this – it took me a while but I got there in the end. Hopefully I will eventually say the same for a few of the decisions I need to make in my day to day life.

Dreams – 9/1/13

Last night I had a few dreams – the first one was about my old childhood home. I was there with all these strangers, they were mean and were making me feel really uncomfortable so I tried to gather up all my things to leave. I was driving down the street to escape when I saw Simba (my pet rat) running down a drain. I stopped to pick him up and then half way down the street realised it wasn’t him but another rat – then I couldn’t remember where Simba was.

I drove over to my friend’s place but he told me I was too early (at this stage my fiance was with me – he may have been with me the whole time but I didn’t see him). My friend was drinking on his front porch with another one of my friends.

It was night time and we were driving along a brightly lit road – something happened here but I can’t quite remember. There may have been a warehouse or something.

I then started dreaming about Cockatoo Paul, who’s this guy we met on our road trip – he has a pet cockatoo on his shoulder all the time. We turned up to his place (in a van with a bunch of other people) to do the bush tucker course we were planning on doing with him on our road trip but never ended up going to (we went out drinking instead haha). When I turned up there, Brian was already there and was going to the toilet. Cockatoo Paul greeted me and asked if I was ready and I said that I was – that I was relaxed because I was on holiday and didn’t have to think about anything until I go home (and I really was!).

Then I was at the shopping center where I grew up. I was in the supermarket and I was trying to avoid seeing Jessica (my used-to-be best friend from high school) but when I did run into her it was like I wasn’t there. She was asking the girls at the registers if any of them needed her to work but they all said no. I felt like I should talk to her and make amends but I really didn’t want to speak to her – we went out into the car park and I’m not sure what happened.

Note: The writing of my dreams from now on will be rough as I’ll be writing them as soon as I wake up so that they are accurate.

Welcome to an Australian Summer – 8/1/13

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Yesterday morning

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Today 41C

It’s January and it’s one of the hottest months in Australia – in my region anyway.

Today is sunny, there is no wind and it’s about 41°C – basically it’s really hot and I’m loving it. Not so great when I’m in bed trying to sleep but I know it won’t last forever so I’m enjoying it while it is here.

I haven’t heard or seen much of any animals (I can see mostly birds from where I live).

It’s been fairly hot the last few weeks but there has been the occasional temperature drop which is pretty common with this kind of heat.

Of course there is the fear of bush fires hanging in the air and everyone has been given warnings and links to down-loadable evacuation plans. I’ve seen my fair share of bushfires but the fear never fades.
 

My Animal Totem

Yesterday I watched Lupa’s video on Animal Totemism (you can watch it here) and whilst I kind of already knew a lot of the ‘basics’ already through my own practice with animals I found there were still little bits and pieces that I found very useful – it’s now conscious.

When I say that ‘it’s now conscious’ I’m referring to Jung’s concept of the shadow and the ego. I’ve not read this guy’s books but I have read a thing or two about his theories (more through other authors who expand on his ideas). Basically, I work in two ways – my subconcious and my conscious. My animal totems were more of a subconscious or ‘shadow’ part of my practice meaning that I’ve never really used them for any particular purpose, I mostly just felt comforted when I saw them. Sure I have ‘rituals’ dedicated to them but they’re mostly on the I’ll-wear-a-kookaburra-feather-in-my-hair side as opposed to the let’s-meditate-and-talk side. I’m aware that this is probably a really poor way of explaining it because some people would argue that meditation is a subconscious thing – but hey, that’s where I’m at right now and that’s what I’m doing here so for now that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway, Lupa’s video has inspired me to get more in touch with my Totem which is the Kookaburra. I’ve been observing Kookaburra’s since I was quite young and have always felt comforted and safe whenever they were around. I’ve never actually done any meditations to find out that they were my totem – one day in high school they started appearing during times of great stress and anxiety. I hated high school and I felt like they were always there protecting me because they would always turn up when I was making a big decision or thinking about something important.

Today, I started sketching a Kookaburra from a photo I took of one not that long ago – during that time I went into a bit of a meditation. Kookaburra’s have been seen as a symbol for healing and I’ve never really understood that until I was drawing this picture. The thing is, art used to be my life – I remember saying to a friend in high school that “I don’t know what I would do without art” but since graduating I’ve hardly even done a thing. I’ve attempted a few works but never finished. I was lazy with my photography and always thought too much about what it was I was doing. During this sketch I realised that the thing I loved most about art was that I could disappear into it – I meditated and my whole world was consumed with whatever it was I was painting/creating. It’s probably the first time I’ve done that (sober) since I graduated high school and I definitely think I’m on the right track.

Basically: Kookaburra = Healing Through Art

I’ll continue to blog about this part of my life – I need to paint, draw and create more.