Do You Believe In Unicorns?

I’ve been thinking about unicorns. I know a writer (a good writer) who keeps referring to “magical unicorns” as if a) people who believe in unicorns would make no effort at all to help themselves, and b) as if such people are scientifically deluded because everyone knows…

We all have our pet phrases and favorite shorthand issues, but I finally got impatient with this one and want to speak up for unicorns. Those who understand the nature of magic and the nature of unicorns see them differently from other people.

Yes, they are magic and yes, they can do stuff. BUT they aren’t easy. They don’t swan around in flocks or herds (the proper collective noun is a blessing of unicorns, which should tell you something about how rare they are). They don’t lurk in every meadow or behind every tree or even in every vast forest.

Also, you have to realize: they are very selective, possibly even outrageously so.

You not only have to be a virgin, but you have to be worthy. And who knows how unicorns might define “worthiness”? I wouldn’t try to guess that one. (Well, I would, but you’ll have to do your own guessing here.)

Virginity is easier to define, but it isn’t easy either. Not only do you have to avoid rape ‐ which has never been simple in spite of all the stupid advice from people who may well be the ones doing the raping and which is usually about blaming the raped one. If virginity does matter, there is also the whole thing about self-discipline. Yeah. SELF-discipline. In a #mefirst #gimme world, who values SELF-discipline?

(In fact, you may not have to be a virgin ‐ I don’t know about that ‐ but it seems only logical that you need to be something special for certain sure.)

So in the end, it’s about being ready and showing up and doing what you can to be worthy (whatever that is ‐ it may be about doing everything you can to not need a unicorn because you’re already doing the work and the magic) and somewhere in all of that an ultra-rare unicorn might show up. Or in a world with so many miracles needed to just keep on going, all of the unicorns may be elsewhere and desperately busy, leaving you to get on with things yourself.

Meanwhile, you keep right on working. You don’t get to say, “Well, I’m sorry but the unicorn didn’t show up to fix things for us.”

That’s how it is with unicorns ‐ they have their own reasons and we don’t know what they are. So, if we want things done, guess what?

Right.

© 2018 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Conversations with Cats

A few days ago, I wrote briefly on Facebook about talking with cats. I didn’t come anywhere near covering it all and they complained a bit. So, here is more of a day’s conversations, though even this doesn’t cover it all either.

(Yawn!)
Yes, I was asleep!

::prrrt!::

I know, I know — just a minute! Yes, you’re quite right — it’s time for breakfast. What do you want?

Whatever are you doing with your food?

Yes, yes, you’re the most wonderful cats ever!

You’re the one who pushed your toy under there — you get it back out!

Why are there 57 tiny wads of crumpled paper under the fridge? And 11 milk bottle tops?

No, I don’t need to go to the door — it’s not the doorbell. It’s your brother playing the wind chimes on the porch.

What do you want? Yes, that’s a wicked, sassy squirrel in the window. He knows you can’t reach him on the other side of the glass. No, I’m not going to come and chase him away — I am not the official squirrel chaser! There are four cats living here to chase squirrels and mice away. I have other jobs to do, no matter what you think. Tell Duffy — he’s the king of the house.

I don’t know what you did with your catnip mouse, Robbie — you have other catnip mice, you know! In your toy box.

Yes, your toys are hidden in your toybox.

No, it isn’t time for another treat yet.

Who pushed the spoons off of the counter and into the waterbowl? O, yes, Robbie, you scored a hole in one, didn’t you?

Marzipan, why are you looking so innocent? You’re not going to tell, are you?

Robbie, what are you looking so smug about? O, you caught a HUGE catnip mouse. What a wonderful hunter you are!

Thank you for the feather, Marzipan. It’s just what I wanted. O, you want it back? Okay, there you go.

I know, I know — just a minute! Lunchtime snacks! Please let me walk into the kitchen. Here you are!

Sally, you’ve got Robbie’s mouse, haven’t you? That’s why he’s crying and looking all over the house for it. Why are you hiding it under the covers? You don’t really want it at all, do you? O… of course, you might need it later.

Marzipan, please stop eating the plastic bin liner.

Dingbat!

Marzipan, why are you sticking your nose in my ear and whuffling? It doesn’t make me type faster, you know.

Yes, I do love you too! Yes, I love all of you. I agree — it wasn’t well planned for me to have two hands instead of four. Thank you all for the lovely petting session! Does anyone remember what I was writing before it started?

Please don’t hold down the delete key so you can watch the cursor untype things.

Thank you for washing my nose, Marzipan.

May I type now?

You goof! Whatever are you doing?

Yes, that’s a BIG bird at the window feeder, Duffy! True, he’s not as big as you are — but he looks even bigger when he spreads his wings and flaps them.

No, it’s not yet time for another treat.

Marzipan, please, don’t sit on the keyboard.

Marzipan, please don’t run on the keyboard.

Marzipan, please don’t sit on my hands while I’m typing.

Yes, Marzipan, you have the most gorgeous, irresistible tummy ever.

No, you do not need to look in my mouth — please stop patting my lips and trying to pry them open.

May I please have the paper you’re sitting on? No, I don’t need holes punched in it. But while you’re feeling helpful, could you kindly bring back at least one of my pencils?

Thank you for bringing me the feather duster. Yes, we can play with it. O, you brought a nice string too — how kind of you!

Yes, you’re right — it’s time for dinner. You all have clocks in your stomachs, don’t you?

Truly, it’s all right if I take the empty plates away — you shall have them back in the morning. Yes, they do need to be washed in the sink even though you cleaned them very well.

It’s nice to settle down for a while in the evening, isn’t it? Would it help if I read you to sleep? No? I see — you all need to arrange your own and each others’ fur.

Yes, I would like to be sleeping now.

Duffy, do you have any idea how heavy you are?

Do any of you want under the covers or not? Not? Just you, Sally? All right, but don’t anyone else complain later.

Why are you all running across the bed and up and down the hall? O, it’s 3 AM — the Wild Hour. Yes, I know — All Proper Cats Do It. I’ll just cover my head up until it’s over, shall I? NO, it is NOT time for treats, O Mighty Hunters!

The Goddess Walks

I need to mention that something magical happened today. I was sitting in the car outside a small shop in Discovery Bay, waiting for the driver to return. I caught motion out of the corner of my eye, turned my head, and saw the most amazing person walking along the raised wooden sidewalk in front of the stores, about to pass just in front of the car where I was sitting. Without hesitation or pause for thought, I had to frantically fumble the door open before she passed, and say loudly over the sound of traffic, “Excuse me!”

She paused and attentively bent toward me, saying, “Yes?” as she looked at me doubtfully.

I blurted out, “I just have to tell you — you are absolutely beautiful! Your hair… your eyes… your skin… the way you walk — everything about you! I just had to tell you!”

She looked startled. Who wouldn’t after being pounced on by an old woman with hair like a squirrel’s nest? A slow smile spread and lit up her dark eyes. Her skin was a softly radiant golden — I’m guessing perhaps a combination of African and Asian though I’ve never seen that out-of-this-world skin color anywhere before. She was glowing in the spring sun, curls framing her face. Her hair was the same color as her skin but two shades lighter. Her face was uncommonly well-formed — unique and delightful.

My mind was racing, trying to memorize everything about her. She stood poised, like a queen or a dancer, smiled, and said “Thank you!” She added something I couldn’t quite hear over the traffic. I thanked her and leaned back in my seat, stunned.

She walked past, lithe and graceful — like a queen… or a goddess.

I sat back in my seat, took a deep breath and said aloud to myself, “Good Goddess, Jessica — is no one safe from you?”

© 2018 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Kundalini Rising & Spiritual Healing, Part II

This is in two parts: first, how to recognize and take care of ourselves in a kundalini rising experience, and second, some tips on working with a client with kundalini rising. This, the second part, won’t make as much sense as I would hope unless you have read the first part, Kundalini Rising: The Experience, which preceeded this.

These are just some suggestions for those of you who may be inexperienced in doing healing work with kundalini energies on the rampage. Having been through it myself, on both sides of the chair, I think there are some things that you may find it helpful to remember.

First, be sure that you are very earthed, centered, and connected. This is powerful energy — you are working with a surplus of energy instead of the more usual energy deficit encountered in working with illness. If you are in any doubt about your own ability to stay absolutely stable and earthed, leave this work for others. There are plenty of us able to do it, so don’t do something that may put you in need of healing too.

Second, concentrate first on earthing the client’s energy. This is the major need. Many of the symptoms of runaway kundalini are a direct result of excessive and ungrounded energies. The healer’s first task should be to restore the system to a well-grounded balance.

Kundalini rising experiences can be quite violent in nature, very gentle or anything in between. They tend to occur when some kind of inner block, that has been restricting energy flow, is released. When these blocks are released in a sick person with deficient energy, they tend to allow the energy to rise to normal levels, healing body and emotions. When they occur in a person with normal or above average health, they may allow the energy to increase to unprecedented levels. The person will not, at first, be able to adequately earth the energy, and so that becomes the first consideration in healing — get it grounded! A lot of the emotional stuff involved in kundalini rising experiences disappears when adequate earthing is achieved — or becomes much more manageable for the person involved.

These experiences also sometimes happen to healers and meditators whose practices increase their capacity to allow energy flow through them, especially if they are also focusing on clearing their own blocks. A healer who is close to having a kundalini rising experience may find that it is triggered by working with someone else’s kundalini overspill. So take care of yourself, earth and clear your own energy after working with such cases very carefully, and be aware of what is happening to you and your energy as you work.

Third, DO NOT put energy in. There is too much already. Concentrate on earthing, centering, smoothing, calming, relaxing what is already there — but not on adding, which will only make the symptoms worse.

Fourth, if you feel over-energized, unstable, or ungrounded after working with someone in this state, you need to focus on your own grounding and centering until you get back in balance. Watch it!

Fifth, keep the actual hands-on sessions short. Again, 15 minutes is about right. Remember, you DO NOT need to put energy in; you do need to help the client develop sufficiently strong channels for earthing it, which they will not yet have.

Kundalini rising is sometimes a violent experience, radically changing one’s subtle energy field (making it much less subtle!) and consciousness and perception of energy. The experience can be (and often is in the West) mistaken for insanity (usually acute schizophrenia) or emotional or physical breakdown on a fairly large scale.

Therefore, when I spoke above about “grounding” being the primary need in working with a client experiencing kundalini rising, I meant something far more heavy duty than perhaps a visualization and a glass of water at the end of a session. I meant that the whole session, especially for the first several sessions, should focus on grounding, helping the client to “rewire” to handle far more powerful energy than they have hitherto been accustomed. This needs to combine hands-on earthing, possible physical exercises, and visualization — physical body, mind, and subtle body.

Sixth, teach the client whatever they need to know about meditating and earthing themselves. If the client doesn’t meditate, show them a simple meditation exercise, preferably focused on the breath, and encourage them to start. I usually recommend that people sit quietly, count each breath until they reach ten, and then begin counting again, focusing their awareness on the movement of the breath in the abdomen (an important point in grounding!). Five minutes a day the first week, ten the second, and fifteen thereafter. If they do meditate, make certain that the meditation they normally practice is centering and earthing and not merely a means of “spacing out”. Meditative exercises that concentrate on raising the energy are also inappropriate during the integration process.

The client will probably need to be shown some earthing exercises. They will need to learn some yoga or chi gung or t’ai chi techniques (some of the Reichian exercises may also be useful in this context) for physical earthing. They also need to develop skill in using visualization techniques that are especially powerful for them. The healer who works with kundalini-rising clients definitely needs to know and practice both the physical and imagery earthing exercises himself on a regular basis.

The meditation exercise above is a very grounding one, but clients also need some effective earthing exercise that they can do more frequently and quickly. They need to be encouraged to earth themselves often during the day, especially when they feel the symptoms of too much ungrounded energy. These symptoms may be physical (trembling, energy surges), emotional (unusual fragility, strong surges of emotion only partially based on circumstances, or unusual mood swings) or mental (obsessive or other abnormal thought patterns).

A major lesson for most healers is about taking care of ourselves. I am not altogether certain about the advisability of working with kundalini if you have not yourself been through the experience and are not therefore able to operate at the energy level involved. Obviously, it is of great importance to be careful to keep yourself clear and earthed. You can and must evaluate your own needs and situation!

A CASE HISTORY

I’ll briefly describe one case below, but people exhibit a variety of symptoms which confuse both themselves and doctors: symptoms may mimic some of the symptoms of a heart attack, of psychosis, and/or of neurological disease, as well as an almost random selection of other problems, depending on where they are blocking the flow of kundalini, as we all are. They may have sensations of intense heat, intense itching, intense discomfort. They may experience severe trembling or momentary loss of motor control. Other, less predictable things may also happen. It’s very understandable for people to be alarmed and for doctors, who in general know little about the subtle energy body, to be confused!

One of my first kundalini-rising clients had spent two years in a mental hospital prior to coming to me. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. (I have his permission to discuss his case as he hoped others might learn from his experience.) When I first saw him he had been out of hospital for about six months and was afraid that he needed to go back in because his symptoms were worsening again, in spite of the medication, which he hated for its side effects. (The medication suppressed the symptoms by suppressing him) Someone referred him to me, and we worked together fairly intensively for about six months — twice a week at first, then once a week. Later, after about six months, we dropped down to once a month, then only when he felt the need, which wasn’t often.

He had attended a public lecture where the speaker described a kundalini-rising exercise and told people that if they did it, interesting energy things would happen. Geez. Talk about irresponsibility from someone who presumably should know better! He practiced the exercise for an hour, sometimes two or three hours, a day, which tells you something about his then-obsessional traits. This precipitated a kundalini rising experience for which he was totally unprepared, both emotionally and energetically/physically.

When he first came in to see me, he said, “I’m crazy – I hear voices.” I replied, “Well, I hear voices too, and I get paid for it.” We both thought about this for a moment, and then I added, “What’s crazy is if you believe everything they tell you.” That was apparently the right note for him, and we proceeded from there.

His “voices” were very intense. They followed him around all day and woke him up at night. They cursed and screamed at him, they told him to do horrible things (which he fortunately didn’t). He thought they were demons. He feared that they could do the things they threatened to do to him and to the people he knew, although of course they cannot.

We worked at first almost exclusively on earthing him, helping him to develop stronger subtle energy channels, better grounding, and skills in closing down psychically when he wanted to do so. Since he spent a lot of time in bars when we first started working, the latter was very important. As we were able to move from first aid to longer term concerns, we began to work with the psychological issues which had been blown into awareness and energized by the kundalini energy. He worked very hard (the advantage of being obsessional, even moderately!) and within six months he was functioning normally most of the time and had begun meditating and pursuing spiritual studies. Good outcome!

One of the advantages I had over the therapists and doctors who had worked with him before was that I could take the “voices” seriously. Some of them were certainly disassociated parts of himself in need of healing and integration, and we could identify and work with those therapeutically. Others of the “voices” were other entities, not “demons” as he thought, but just really nasty people without bodies. Once he understood that they had no power in this world unless they could get him to act on their behalf, he began to accept responsibility for his own inner space and for who he allowed in there. He learned to listen, evaluate, and deal with the voices appropriately.

It took longer, but in a fit of exasperation one night, he finally learned that he could control that inner space as well. I had been telling him for some while that, if he told these entities to GET OUT! and meant it, they would have to go because it was his space. He didn’t think he could make them go, but finally one night they woke him up several times running. He’d had a hard day at work, he was expecting another hard day the next morning, and he was tired and irritable. He sat up in his bed and roared, “Get out of here, you fucking bastards!” And they did. He said it was the first time he experienced having an empty space around him in years. He was very pleased with himself. Exorcisims need not be fancy. 🙂

Catch 22 situation: A disassociated part of oneself masquerading as another entity cannot be “cast out”, but can only be dealt with by therapeutic reconciliation. Another, separate entity cannot be dealt with by therapy, and can only be offered healing. If they don’t accept the healing, as they may not (it’s their choice, after all), then they can and probably should be banished. This is simple, but the person saying GO AWAY! has to really mean it, and that is harder. So here we can see why therapists find some of the “voices” intractable, resistant to therapy, and why mediums and ministers bent on “casting out devils” find that it doesn’t work on some of them. One has to be prepared to work in both worlds in order to be effective in these situations.

In most cases, the arousal of kundalini does not produce such severe psychological/psychic problems. However, occasionally, especially in the case of a “spontaneous” arousal of the energy where the person had not been doing the spiritual/psychological and energetic/physical groundwork, they may occur. For someone who hasn’t done the groundwork, as this client hadn’t, the psychic and psychiatric problems are much larger. I’d say that he became wide open on a psychic level, and a pretty low one at that, able to hear and communicate with whatever was around. Like attracts like, and he was fearful, bullying, and obsessional when we began working together — not very nice energies/entities to attract and live with. By the time he had worked on himself for quite a while he was attracting an altogether different kind of being and getting some valuable teaching.

If a person has done the groundwork — the personal growth, the strengthening of subtle and physical bodies — the more psychotic episodes are very unusual and the emotional disturbances are much easier to deal with just by earthing oneself. Also a person who has that kind of background is not going to rush off to an allopathic doctor for either emotional or energy symptoms. They are much more likely to go to their teacher and/or spiritual peers, who will probably recognize what is going on.

Some people seem to think that doctors “should” understand and properly treat such psychic disturbances. I think this is asking a bit much of them. MDs usually do what they are trained to do reasonably well — sometimes extremely well. The big mistake in what we expect of them is ours — as a society we make them into little gods, and if they assume the mantle, believing the propaganda, and then we are stuck with only their limited knowledge when we really need something altogether outside of their field. However, it really is important to not expect more of them than they are actually trained to deliver. I would want an MD to treat my broken leg; I would want a healer to reduce the trauma and to help speed the healing of that leg; and I would want a suitable person (probably a spiritual consultant rather than a conventional therapist) to help me look at what may have led me to break my leg in the first place.

All of these people are specialists, and it would be very difficult for any one person to skillfully combine all of these aspects – there is just too much to learn. I’ve been studying and practicing healing for almost 60 years now, and I don’t begin to know the half of it. I know some things about psychotherapy and am reasonably competent in dealing with some things and at recognizing others that should be referred to other therapists. I certainly would never have had the time to learn medicine as well. People (including doctors) need to be educated to the alternatives so that they can refer appropriately — and that education, I feel, is best done by the people experienced in the alternatives, if only doctors would listen. Some do.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the kundalini rising experience is a good thing. Yogis work for years to achieve it. It is the energy that carries us through to the next natural phase of human evolution. It is there to clear and strengthen our systems – physical, subtle energy, and psychological. Handled well it makes us both both stronger and wiser.

This article originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1997, a small bimonthly magazine published by Jessica Macbeth.

Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
Your comments will be read with interest.

Kundalini Rising: The Experience, Part I

I wrote this article many years ago, and am reposting it here just so I can find it to include it in my WooWoo pages (classes on healing and psychic and spiritual development) when I get a chance. However, some of you may find it useful so here we go.

This is in two parts: first, how to recognize and take care of ourselves in a kundalini rising experience, and second, some tips on working with a client with kundalini rising. I’ll post the second part soon after this one.

It has been many years since I went through my own kundalini rising experience, but it isn’t the sort of thing one forgets. An explosion of energy in my root/sacral center hit my feet and the top of my head hard enough to throw the masseur who was working on me against the wall. He clung to the wall with both hands, I clung to the massage table with both hands and all my toes – and I think I remember biting the sheet. Have you ever put an Alka Seltzer or other effervescent tablet in your mouth by mistake? It foams madly and has to run out because you can’t swallow fast enough. Well, I felt like that everywhere inside, and there didn’t seem to be any place for the wild energy to go.

John, the masseur, spent the next hour holding my feet, trying to earth us both, while I lay there and fizzed and fizzed and fizzed. It was months before people stopped getting electrical shocks when they reached out to touch me. And other exciting things happened as well — books leaping off of shelves, lights turning themselves on and off, that kind of thing. Nothing harmful, just a lot of busybody activity from ungrounded psychokenetic energy.

I was fortunate. I knew things about kundalini energy; I’d been reading about it for some months (intuition tries to guide us, if only we will follow). Since then I’ve worked with a number of people going through this process, and learned quite a lot both from them and from other sources. The experience itself is rather like waking up one morning and finding yourself on a roller coaster just headed down that first long dip. Exciting! It certainly can be alarming if you don’t know what to expect, and if you don’t realize that this is a part of a healthy evolutionary development process.

Kundalini usually rises as a result of different events or processes. First, and most likely, is the strengthening of the subtle energy system through meditation, yoga, the practice of healing, some martial arts, or other practices aimed at developing that kind of psychic energy strength. The second most likely cause of arousal is as a result of releasing emotional/structural blocks in the body/mind that have served to repress the energy. Either of these things may, by themselves, result in the rising of the “serpent power”. There is a third possibility as well. Sometimes kundalini rising is triggered by trauma or misguided exercises in a person completely unprepared for it. This can be an extremely difficult experience, as you will understand from the explanation below.

Kundalini rising experiences vary a lot from person to person. They can happen in a sudden, drastic whoosh, or in repeated bursts extending over a longer period of time. Or both. The important thing about recognizing it, is to remember that it is very powerful, a radical change in one’s energy. If a person has managable energy surges and can cope with them with a little extra earthing, it probably isn’t kundalini — or they have been practicing one of the disciplines like kundalini yoga , which often make the process more managable. If they think that they may be having heart failure, becoming psychotic, developing a severe neurological disease, or similar symptoms, it may be kundalini rising. On the other hand, it may be heart failure, psychosis, etc. Tricky.

Often the “main event” of the rising is preceded by a series of “precursor dreams” and by the experience of strong, but unstable energies. The dreams are usually symbolic of the sudden movement of vast energies — such as tidal waves, earthquakes, burning heavens, et cetera. The unstable energies are often powerful surges. They may be experienced first in the legs and pelvis, resulting in strong sensations there. Sometimes this triggers powerful sacral center energies, which may be interpreted by the unprepared as strong sexual drives (that one, as you might suppose, can create a whole range of problems and confusion all on its own). On the other hand, there may be a temporary loss of interest in sexuality while the process unfolds through the higher chakra. There may be sensations of intense heat and/or moments of loss of motor control. There may also be emotional disturbances (see more on this below). What is happening is that the energy in the root chakra, awakened by meditation or healing or whatever, is trying to move upward, where it encounters a block (often in the sacral or solar chakra), and it earths itself through the legs until the block above is released. At that point, the energy may rise explosively and very powerfully.

In traditional yoga, a balanced program was followed to prepare the adept for the kundalini rising experience, which they consider to be an evolutionary step forward for the human nervous system and subtle energy field. Several yogas (body, emotions, mind, and devotional) were all practiced under the close supervision of an experienced teacher. This meant that the student was prepared for the radical changes that occur and also that they were more clear — there was less emotional and mental and physical “pollution” to be stirred up by the rising power. Unfortunately, in the West many have not yet fully accepted that healing, meditation, and practices like yoga and other exercise systems that affect the subtle energies also require continuing personal growth work in order to avoid the worst of these emotional disturbances with the precipitous rising of kundalini.

When the energy rises through the subtle channels and the chakras, it tries to radically open and cleanse the chakras. If a person has been prepared for this by the resolution of emotional blocks and traumas and by the strengthening of the subtle energy channels and physical body, the process is simply a very wild, but often enjoyable ride. However, if the personal growth work has not been done, great emotional disturbance can result — in some cases going so far as to appear to be an acute mental/emotional breakdown or psychosis. If the strengthening of the subtle energy channels and of the physical body has not been adequately accomplished, there can be alarming physical and energetic symptoms, especially in the heart and nervous system. Modern Western medicine is not prepared to cope with any of this, and in fact, may offer treatments (aimed at relieving the symptoms) that work against the real needs of the client. For example, people experiencing kundalini rising will not usually be helped by tranquilizers, beta blockers, anti-depressants or sleeping pills.

There are some standard, routine things we need to do to take care of ourselves in this situation. Most of them are common sense, but a couple are less well known. It helped me to think of what was happening in terms of electricity. Suddenly there was 220 v. running around in a 110 v. system — and the grounding was inadequate. Whatever you have been doing for centering and grounding yourself needs to be done a lot more, and you need to do it repeatedly during the day and when you wake up at night. You may even need to learn or invent some new and better earthing techniques. I spent a lot of time paddling in the sea, which helped wonderfully but is not necessarily practical for everyone.

In such an experience we can expect all sorts of bizarre sensations of energy, trembling, shaking, muscle spasms, et cetera. Dreams of earthquakes, tidal waves, and so on are also common and really have nothing to do with our psychological state. Also, we must expect all sorts of emotional disruption. Don’t take this too seriously (I know it’s hard not to!) because much of this is quickly alleviated when we become more earthed. There is a kind of wackiness (technical term) that goes with unearthed energy that can seem like real psychological disturbances, but disappears as soon as we are grounded again. That is stuff that doesn’t have to be dealt with, because it isn’t “real”. What remains once we are grounded probably is real, but until we are solidly earthed, we won’t really know which is which.

As I said above, this process is very individual, so some of the things I’m suggesting may not be appropriate in specific cases, but this article is just suggestions for first aid.

First, one of the important things is meditation. It is very helpful to meditate 15 minutes a day. This helps to earth and stabilize the energy, especially if you begin and end your meditation with centering and earthing. For this purpose, I recommend a meditation that focuses on the breath as they tend to be inherently grounding.

The “15 minute rule” is very important. That gives just about maximum relaxation, stabilization, and integration. After that, the energy in the system starts to increase, which is just exactly what you don’t want. So 15 minutes, no more, and preferably no less each day helps a lot.

Diet is also important. Are you a vegetarian? If so, it makes it a bit harder, because meat is grounding, and you will need to include more earthing vegetables in your diet. We need to avoid stimulants like sugar and caffeine. Using minimal salt is also a help, because salt and acids (like vinegar in pickles and salad dressing) stimulate the adrenals. Red meat does too, so the lighter meats like poultry and fish are better in general. I’ve been told that a vegetarian should eat a lot of root vegetables — at least, that is supposed to help. (I can’t say from personal experience because I am carnivorous and didn’t have to pay a lot of attention to the grounding qualities of vegetables.)

Exercise helps, but it needs to be moderate and regular. A rule of thumb in dealing with kundalini is to avoid overdoing anything. The system is already overdoing things, and it needs moderation and calmness.

The primary requirement in dealing with this experience is to learn to earth and to integrate this enhanced energy flow. To do this we may, especially at first, need help with earthing the sudden release of these powerful energies. We may also need help with the emotional/mental patterns and malfunctions brought into increased activity and under increased pressure by the rising of kundalini.

As you may guess, it is very helpful to try to avoid making a huge drama about this. The more we can be calm and grounded, the easier, swifter, and more smooth the passage is through all the dreams and other exciting things.

In cultures where kundalini is known and understood by many, people undergoing the experience will usually be encouraged to work closely with a teacher who understands the process and probably to take time from their ordinary life for a retreat while the energy rebalances. In our Western society, we often do not realize that we need to do this and attempt to carry on with all the demands of ordinary life while we try to integrate the kundalini changes. This can be done, but it requires special attention to the things mentioned above like diet, exercise, and meditation. It is also very helpful if we can get time for mini-retreats — occasional days of solitude and quiet. Things like long outdoor walks or working in a garden also are helpful, as is paddling in an ocean or a river. Time spent with nature is never wasted and you may well discover new aspects of nature with your enhanced subtle senses.

The one thing I can say for sure is that the kundalini rising experience is worth having (but I like roller coasters), and the end results of enhanced psychic strength, increased stability, and greater healing ability are well worth going through the turmoil of the transition period. Full integration may take several years — two or three is not excessive.

This article originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1997, a small bimonthly magazine published by Jessica Macbeth. Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Your comments will be read with interest.

Gabriella Suzanne

Gabriella Suzanne.

What’s in a name? Anything? Everything?
Gabi Su would say it only matters if it matters.
But she is a cat. Or she was a cat,
who has now been promoted to Cat Spirit,
Cat Mother, Cat Goddess,
Wild Cat who roams the forest
and who sleeps so lightly on my bed
in the tenebrous night.

When Gabi Su first came to me
she was called “Susan” —
much too ordinary
for who she really was.
But when I asked her True Name,
she said, “Who, Me?
I’m no one at all. I don’t have a Name.”

That just couldn’t be right. Even I,
a mere human, knew that and we humans
hardly ever even know our own True Names.

Her sister Sally was so emphatically a Sally,
diminutive royalty, that no one ever got it wrong.
Brother Samuel was not a Samuel at all, but
he knew he was Robbie,
Round Robbie, if you please.
But “Susan” — who was she really?
It took years to find out.

She was sitting on the arm of my chair,
half talking, half singing about something
complicated and long. When she paused
I said, “You should have been named “Gabby”.
She looked astonished and pleased
and head-butted my nose. Suprised,
I said, “Really? Your Name is Gabby?”
She turned her head away, a clear cat “No.”

Thinking about it, then asking, “Could it be
Gabriella?” Still turned away,
she looked at me out of the corner
of her eye and waited. “Gabriella Suzanne?”
Head-butts, pat-a-cheeks, nose kisses, all in a flurry.
We had it at last!

“Gabriella Suzanne, would you like a treat?”

The turning away of the head. Not right.
I sighed. Thinking again, saying, “Gabi Su?”
Another nose kiss and, tail high,
she led me to where she knew
the best treats lived.

But, now, today,
today,
when I mark the stone
for her grave, it will be
Gabriella Suzanne.

Copyright © 2018 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Cù Sìth? The Black Dog

This is the first of a series of small pieces that I’ll tag as “plot twists”. Not long ago, in a writing class, we were asked to write a few paragraphs about an incident that changed our lives — something that changed the way we see and approach the world. My first response was a totally blank mind, but then I realized that there were many such incidents but most of them would seem quite minor to others. There is a thing called “the teachable moment” when we are ready to profoundly get something, even something that seems unimportant to the people around us. Those moments matter forever after. If we think about them later on when we can see the effect they have had and still have on us, we may understand ourselves better. Hopefully, if I tell you a few of mine, it may help you remember and make better use of your own. I call them “plot twist moments” because they alter the course of our personal stories. For example:

About two in the morning, after an argument with my husband, I was too restless and agitated to sleep, so I went out for a walk. This probably wasn’t a wise thing to do in Glasgow, especially on the long, deserted Kelvin Way as it passed the dark, silent Glastow University and then through the even-darker Kelvin Park, empty except for homeless people, perhaps sleeping, perhaps not.

There was a thick hedge between the park and me. I wasn’t really thinking about where I was or the risks of a Glasgow night; I was just hotly simmering and trying to calm down. About halfway along, a tatty black van approached from the other direction — and slowed and stopped about 30 feet in front of me. A brawny, rough-looking man got out.

“Hey, missus! Want a ride?” Hard voice full of innuendo.

“No, thank you.” When in doubt, be polite.

“Och, come on!” He was still approaching, now about halfway to me. This was getting scary.

At that moment, a huge, hulking black dog materialized out of the hedge bordering the park. The dog stepped in front of me, facing the oncoming man and snarling.The man stopped abruptly, holding out both hands as if to push the dog off. The dog took a slow step toward him, and then another. The rumbling growl grew deeper and louder as he continued to slowly pace forward.

“Hold your dog, missus! I’m going!” He fled toward the van, jumped in, and reversed hastily up the street to the nearest corner, disappearing with a squealing of tires.

The dog stood still, but rumbling until the van was out of sight. Then he started to turn toward me and I wondered, “Now what?”

He faced me, the orange glow of the street light reflecting in his eyes, happily wagging his tail, his tongue lolling. He was clearly saying, “Aren’t I a good dog?” I thanked him fervently, and he turned and vanished back into the hedge.

Still somewhat shaken, I went home.

Months later, when I finally told the story to some Scottish friends, one asked hesitantly, “Was that dog real?”

The others all nodded.

There are many legends in Scotland about black dogs who appear when needed to rescue or to harm people. I hadn’t thought of the stories until then and, indeed, the dog had seemed utterly solid, but… I wasn’t certain. I answered, “He was real enough.”

Do I believe the dog was “real” or was it one of the cù sìth, the faery dogs of Scottish legend? I tend to swing both ways. But what I got from this as it settled into me was that I felt protected — and I continued to feel protected. I still do. And the way we feel, the energy we project matters. That alone is a kind of magic.

He was real enough.

What plot twists do you remember way back in your life? And how did they change things for you?

Interview About Faery

Recently, I was asked by Isabella Baucco if she could interview me about Faery for a paper she was doing for her folklore class in university, and I agreed. She also said that it would be fine for me to post it here. I may add pictures later. It was rather rushed, but here it is:

Subject: Fae interview questions

Hello! Feel free to answer as many of these as you are comfortable with, in whatever order you would like! Thank you so much for your time, and I’m sorry about the rushed deadline!

When was the first time you came into contact with the fae, and what was that like?

I don’t remember. It seems like they were always there. I suspect it was something like my granddaughter. I watched her pull herself up at the window and look outside when she was about six months old. She peered around out there and finally saw what she was evidently looking for. She giggled and waved at what she saw and promptly fell down, unable to stand up without holding on with both hands. She laid there, giggling and waving her arms and legs for a bit and then got back up. When she caught sight of what she was looking for again, she laughed more and bounced as well as she could, making little crooning sounds at what she could see, her eyes following it (or them) around. She was definitely seeing something, batting her eyelashes at them, and babbling as babies do when they are happy, with an occasional delighted shriek thrown in. I like to think that it must have been much the same for me. Now that she is 15 she doesn’t remember that any more than I do.

How would you define the fae?

They are beings, as far as I understand it, who live at a different frequency than we do. Like the difference between ultraviolet light (and higher frequencies of radiant energy) and the light we see by. The same planet viewed at different “levels”. I’m not a physicist and can’t even begin to figure that out, but I take the faeries word for it as they seem to think they know. I just know that they are there, and I have to be quite quiet inside myself in order to perceive them. However, I see them with my eyes like I see human auras simply as light. And like human auras, sometimes I see them, but mostly I sense them in other ways — scent, voices, sounds, melody. People vary in how we perceive these things, and I’m personally less clairvoyant than I am clairaudient and clairsentient. They seem to live much longer than we do for the most part, and they come in as many varieties as what we think of as “normal” earth creatures, plants, and other living beings.

Because of this, they perceive the world differently than we humans do. They have tried to explain and show me, but I suspect it’s rather like me trying to explain mathematics to the cat. One of my cats is quite sure that she is due two crunchy treats before each meal — she knows that one is not enough and that three are exciting and special, but two are what she clearly expects. I get very accusing looks if there is only one left in the jar. Does she count 1, 2, 3? Or does she just know in some other way?

Sometimes I feel the frustration of the fae when they are trying to explain something to me, and I regret being so “hard of understanding” but it’s how humans generally are. Fortunately, the fae don’t give up easily and may try to explain things later in incomprehensible or funny dreams or other ways.

How are you able to tell when you have come into contact with fae?

For me, there is usually happy, bubbly, yet peaceful feeling or almost as if there is a lot of static electricity in the air. (You need to understand here that nearly everything I say about them is a sort of metaphor for the actual experience. It’s not static electricity and it doesn’t make sparks that sting, but that’s the closest I can come to a description of it.) The air is buzzing without a sound? There may be a sense of presence akin to someone standing close behind you — you may not see or hear them, but you know that they are there.

It’s tricky to maintain the necessary quietness inside myself when I’m sensing that exuberance around. At the same time, I may see lights or hear voices or music or other sounds. There may be light touches to get my attention or the hum of healing energy. Often they tell me something I didn’t know but needed to understand. Sometimes they make jokes — occasionally visual puns or other kinds of faery humor. It’s hard to explain this — often their communications arrive as a burst of insight that is a mixture of emotions, words, and energy. To them, these bursts are the normal way to communicate, but to a human, they may require some mental unpacking to grasp all the layers of meaning, if in fact we ever do get it all.

How would you describe your emotional state during the experiences you have had? Are there any extremes/outliers?

Variable. It depends on what is going on. Is it serious or purely fun? Deep or playful? We humans tend to separate these mental and emotional states, but to the fae, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, we have had long discussions about the way humans limit themselves to a linear one-thing-at-a-time in our perceptions while faery communication/perception is more holistic. A burst of faery insight may contain joy and sorrow both. They have argued that we miss the point of doing things when we separate play from work, insisting that all purposeful activities are both, and if they are not, we’ve got something quite wrong about why and how we’re doing it.

How would you describe the fae you have encountered?

That’s difficult too. An individual faery may make the impression of being nine feet tall, but to them (if I understand this correctly), it’s more about intensity of presence than it is about physical size. In fact, they seem to find it confusing when I say something like “nine feet tall” as if they were limited to a specific size, space, or shape when really that isn’t so. There is another thing here — let’s take the human “aura” as an example. “Auras” are very fluid and changeable. They are the bioenergy field that exists through and extends beyond the human physical body — and the bodies of animals, insects, and all the other things we consider to be living, physical beings made of matter. But if the physicists are correct, matter and energy are the same thing, but slowed down and compacted or faster and more free. If E=mc2, this must be so. Nuclear weapons suggest this is true and a little bit of “matter” can quickly be converted to a great deal of “energy”.

Apparently, while humans perceive matter and energy as different things, the fae don’t. It is all one thing. I just realized something! In many belief systems about the fae, they are regarded as the “Elder Folk” and much older than the human species. We human and other earth beings could be a sort of Faery larva (or prenatal embryo) and may eventually (though the millennia?) grow up to be fae ourselves. That’s a mind-boggling thought! Anyway, back to my previous line of thought about trying to describe the fae and how they explained that to me.

I could try to describe an individual fae. I could even draw a picture of one. BUT, as they have been quick to explain, that picture is just a metaphor for who they really are. What we “see” is a watered-down version of their personality and/or character. What we “see” as bodies or faces is a meeting point somewhere between our conceptions and their reality. We see a particular kind of face/body that represents their character or personality as we (as individuals) would see that being. Another human might project a different face on that same person. For a simple example, I have heard a few people say that brown eyes are “warm” and blue eyes are “cold”. Having blue eyes myself, I don’t agree, but I have heard it said more than once, usually by brown-eyed people. To a person who believes that and is perceiving a warm personality, they would see the faery eyes as brown, whereas I, not believing, might see them as blue or even some color unlike normal human eyes. The same thing is true of all the features — we perceive personality in flesh, but we are not always correct. A human may be quite ugly but be kind and friendly, a lovely person — or they may be physically beautiful and yet narcissistic or psychopathic. Yet often the way we perceive the fae is that we project the features and expression on the personality the fae are projecting. Confusing? Well, yes it is. Communication with faeries is frequently fraught with confusion, resulting largely from our own limitations and projections. If we want to see someone as scary, we will project that on them, true or false.

Have you encountered different types of fae? How did these experiences differ?

Yes, I have. They may differ vastly — differing as much as experiencing a human versus experiencing a rock or a tree. This question either requires a book in answer or can’t be readily answered at all. I hope the rest of my answers here will help compensate for the absence of one here.

How would you describe the energy of places where fae might be/where you have encountered them?

Again, they differ a great deal, depending on what is going on there. I need to say here that there are places we may experience the fae more easily, but the fae are, in fact, everywhere. But in places that are noisy, unpleasant, distressing, violent, we tend to be overwhelmed by these loud things and miss out entirely on the much more subtle presence of the fae. But they are still there.

Have you had any experiences that have stuck with you or changed your life?

Many, many, many.

What do you think the origin of fae is?

I really don’t know. Even they haven’t tried to explain it to me. If the legends have it right, they have been around a lot longer than we have. I’m even less certain, if possible, about the origins of gods and goddesses and the universe. We humans are just babes blundering about in the universal woods. I’m not even certain about our own origins.

Are there any experiences that you would like to talk about?

Dozens. Hundreds, in fact. After all, I’m 80 and they’ve always been a part of my world. But I won’t. Well, perhaps one or two.

One was a series of conversations I had with a couple of them about money. On first of the month, I was writing checks to pay my bills. and a couple of them asked what that was “really” about. They didn’t like, they said, how I got all tangled up when I was doing it. We got into a long discussion about money. Eventually, I tried to explain money as a sort of “crystalized energy” which represented what we received from and gave to others. They seemed doubtful, but agreed to study it from that point of view.

The next month as I was paying my bills again, they expressed disagreement with my explanation. They had been watching this “money thing” and had found that “some people gave a great deal of energy in exchange for little money while others might receive a lot of money in exchange for very little of their energy.” It didn’t, they said, seem fair at all, especially as one only needed to look at the aura of a human to tell if they were giving more than they were receiving and how they felt about it.

I explained that, although this was probably true, we humans weren’t good at perceiving auras clearly enough to do that. They said, “Well, you could be if you practiced!” This is a remark I’ve heard from them in other contexts like teleportation, telepathy, astral travel, and other borderline things people sometimes do. I had to admit that this could be so, but as yet we hadn’t got that good at it. This seemed like a standoff, so I went back to paying my bills, and they agreed to study it some more so we could talk about it next time.

The next month rolled around and again I was writing checks to pay bills. They hovered in front of me, watching. Finally, one said, “We still don’t think this makes any sense.” I should perhaps mention that I am not at my best when I’m dealing with money and bills and numbers, and without thinking, I snapped, “It’s a game we are playing, and money is the way we keep score!”

“Oh! Why didn’t you tell us that before? It makes perfect sense!”

They promptly vanished, leaving me thinking, “It does? Really?” It didn’t make sense to me, did it? And yet I was afraid that it actually did. All that angst and suffering people went through was just for the counters in a game? Yet, over the years I have come to agree with them more and more. But it’s still a bit unnerving.

Hmmm. I could go on and on. That was an easy tale to tell, but many happenings are much more complicated, perhaps even profound. Yet, though I’d like to tell them, and even though the fae insist that “doing good in the right way” makes us stronger, it’s quite late and I’m tired and almost falling asleep on my keyboard. The cats have given up and gone to bed and the fae are looking a bit disapproving — they, too, seem to have enjoyed this, but enough is enough for the moment. They even look a little smug about it, possibly because of the embryo thing. Or something else — I don’t know. But I do need to get to bed before the birds start waking up and making a musical ruckus in our forest here.

Good night, and good morning, Bella. And thank you.

Faery blessings to you,

Jessica

Rainbows

I just saw Wesley True Lee’s cover photo on Facebook. He didn’t explain it, but it reminded me of something I’d forgotten. Once upon a time, long ago (as my own years are counted), I was working in Glasgow, Scotland. I needed a holiday, and hopped on a train, thinking to go to Oban — or somewhere in that direction, wherever my feet wanted to go. As we pulled out of the station, I saw a rainbow in the direction of Oban. My passing thought was that I must be on the right track, headed, as I was, for a wild rainbow.

I settled in to read my book. Every time I looked out of the window (often) the rainbow was still in the direction of Oban, but I was in the habit of travelling with faeries so I knew then that I might wind up anywhere…

This went on until we reached Crainlarich. The train I was on was headed for Inverness, but the rainbow held unwaveringly in the direction of Oban although it was now to the west instead of the northwest. I changed trains there and followed it. At every station, I checked the rainbow — still steady for Oban. When I arrived there and walked out of the station, the rainbow had shifted and was out over one of the Western Isles. I checked the landmarks I could recognize, went back in the station (a Brit would say “on the station” instead of “in” but I don’t climb on their roofs). There I bought a map, and then going outside again, found that my rainbow was over Lismore. I’d always intended to go there someday, and this, apparently, was the right time.

 

The Lismore ferry and a rainbow
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Gordon Browngeograph.org.uk/p/4256095

Back in the station, I bought a ferry ticket for Lismore and went to the tourist desk to book a bed and breakfast room. They also did dinner because they were rather remote from any village. This suited me fine — I just planned on walking idly and gently resting and happily communing with whatever/whoever I found willing, and perhaps writing or sketching.

The promised car from the B&B picked me up, and … the rainbow had moved again and we were travelling straight for it. I said to the driver, “That’s a lovely rainbow.”

He looked at it thoughtfully and said, “Aye, it’s bonny. It’s just about over the house.” So it was — in fact, as we got close enough to see the house, it was right over it. He gave it an odd look and added, “I’ve not seen it just over the house before.” He grinned at me, pleased to have such a gift to offer a stranger. It still held steady, arched over the house, and disappeared just as we pulled into the long driveway.

After a good dinner and a sit by the fire with my book, I went up to my room and slept soundly, the only guest in the house just then. In the morning after breakfast, I set out with a small backpack, holding my sketchbook and pencil, an apple, a sandwich, and a bottle of water. As I walked out the door, I looked all around up at the sky (this is a habit that old sailors have — the first thing you check as you come out of the hatch is to see what weather is coming at you from all directions).

Rainbow.

I took the road that went toward it. North. After a couple of hours of sauntering, I came to an old stone bench, half collapsed but still strong enough to sit on. I sat, leaned back facing the sun, and sighed happily. The air was sparkling with the presence of faery, the way it often does in Scotland. As I sat there, quiet, a feeling that I’d forgotten washed over me — perfect calm, perfect peace beyond measure, timeless.

I sat there every day for a week, and every day that magical feeling swept over me there. It might be ten minutes; it might be hours. Between sittings, I randomly rambled around the island. Never far, just far enough to see whatever I needed to see to delight and teach me.

Somehow, since then, I’ve always known that, however it feels, I’m always in the right place at the right time, especially as long as I follow guidence given instead of trying to lead myself.

Inner Journeys May Gang Aft Agley

 

I wrote the first part of this over a year ago,and will update it at the end.

My question for this inner journey exploration was “Why am I finding it so difficult to lose weight?”

The Topsie Turvets suggest…

Things need to be looked at from a different angle. Back out of your emotional entanglements, take a deep breath, and look anew. Much of the apparent confusion about your current situation is caused by a faulty point of view.

Get the honest opinions of sensible others, and then re-look at your own. Defensiveness and denial may be causing much difficulty.

Try imagining that you are looking at the situation from the viewpoint of each of the others involved. This is not an exercises in seeing how others “ought” to see things, but in simply understanding what they feel. Words like “he ought to see that…” are not useful at this time.

And don’t be angry with yourself if it turns out you were missing something and need to change your point of view. It shows you are learning and growing and to be congratulated!

Faery blessings on your little toes, for they will carry you into wonderful things!

I’m thinking that perhaps in this case “others” may refer to different aspects of myself — it might be useful to think of them as body, mind, spirit — or perhaps as the chakra system with each chakra an individual entity, linked though it to all the others. I don’t know — it might be something else.

I also am not certain who I need to ask to speak to. I think I’ll draw another card and see if it suggests someone.

The Faery Who Was Kissed by the Pixies, Morna, says, “The answer to your question is, put simply, love — love given with wisdom and compassion, love without selfishness or possessiveness.”

Morna tells us that giving and receiving love and intimacy in a wide variety of relationships is important at this time. She gives you notice that this is a time to open and heal your heart.

Different aspects of life may well be flowing happily together, healing separations and hurts from the past. Bonding may take place and deep feelings emerge. Changes for the better may occur in all aspects of life, but especially in relationships which are deepening and becoming richer.

You are experiencing love therapy for your heart.

Faery blessings on the loving!

So perhaps it is about Morna. Perhaps it is about loving — loving myself? The best I can say about where I am with that is that I’ve overcome my antagonism with my body, and my body and “I” are currently on moderately friendly but distant terms. I try to take care of myself — but things like nurturing and sleep seem to come after everything else. Right now I’m doing a typical thing. I’m quite tired, having trouble staying awake, but at the same time, here I am trying to do an inner journey because it’s important to know why I don’t take better care of myself! Is this ridiculous or what?

I shall close the computer right now and sleep. And if I awaken during the night, I shall go back to sleep until morning. Then I shall think about this!

But I didn’t do that. Instead I went ahead on to the inner journey:

There is a small garden. I know that Spring lives there. She is waiting for me to come out of winter into her garden. Her other name is Aurealia. There is a prickly hedge around the garden — hawthorn or blackthorn. It has buds, but is not yet blooming. A cold wind blows across the back of my neck. I walk around the garden looking for a way in. No gate. Is it a magic word I need?

I say, “Please, may I come in?”

The hedge pulls apart in front of me, and I walk through. It rustles impatiently. “Thank you,” I say. It closes gently. My grandmother’s “magic words.” The fae love them too.

There is a winding path, edged by tall banks of flowers — hollyhocks, delphiniums, sunflowers, other tall ones I can’t think of the names of. Or don’t know them. I follow the path and from the turns begin to feel that I’m in a maze — not a maze, you can get lost in them. There are no choices to make here — this is a labyrinth instead. One path to the center. It’s a long way, a lot of walking. I’d like to sit and rest, but there is no place to sit down. I look behind me and the path has disappeared, the flowers drawing together. There is only one way to go.

I’m still walking. And thirsty. I don’t see how it can be so far — O, silly me. Of course it can be as far as it wants. Wait. A hollyhock whispers, “It is as far as you make it.” I stop again. My fingers are sticky. I touch one with my tongue to see why — it tastes like honey. Odd. I haven’t touched anything. “No,” a sunflower says, “but that doesn’t mean you haven’t been touched.”

I don’t know what to say to that. I lick the honey off my fingertips. It makes me more thirsty. I should quite like a glass of apple cider vinegar and water. Lots of water. Or cool tea with lemon. I just discovered I am wearing two pairs of glasses hanging on strings around my neck. Did I think that would help me find my way? My way is very plain. I remember that usually I ask an animal to come and guide me to whoever I’m going to meet, which may be Morna, the Faery Who Was Kissed by the Pixies. Or it might be Spring. Or they may be the same person.

I wonder if I need a guide on this one-way path? As I hesitate, an ostrich steps out of the bushes beside me. “Bother!” he says. “Bless my tail feathers — don’t touch them! Naturally you need a guide. That’s how you know where to go.”

I point out the one-way nature of the path. “Right!” says the ostrich. “Naturally it is one-way — all paths are! So how will you know when to get off the path without a guide? You’ve already gone too far.”

I stop. “Too far? Then why are we still walking? I’m tired and thirsty. Shouldn’t we go back?” I hurry to catch up with him; he’s going quite fast.

“Don’t be silly — it’s one-way. I thought we’d established that — and that all paths are one way. You can never really go back the same path — it is always changing.”

A philosophical ostrich yet!

He stops abruptly and I run into his tail feathers. “Eeeek!” he shrieks and jumps ahead. I didn’t know ostriches could jump that far. I apologize profusely. He grumbles and mutters to himself. “You tell them and tell them, but do they listen? NO! Now my tail feathers are probably crumpled. Botheration!”

“NOW!” he squawks, jumping sideways into the delphiniums.

Theflowers quickly part, obviously annoyed. “No, no,” the ostrich says. “Not my fault. She forgot to call me and missed the proper path, and now we must take a short-cut through here or we’ll wind up on the other side of the moon!”

The delphiniums hiss at me. I didn’t know flowers could do that, but why not? The ostrich and I take a few more steps and we’re suddenly in a small clearing — just big enough for a bench and a chair and a tall lady standing beside the chair, her lovely pale green skirts flaring out around her. I feel quite scruffy in my jeans and with sticky fingers. I hope she doesn’t offer to shake hands.

She has one hand up in front of her face. She is snickering and trying not to let me know it. I would like very much to sit down. I am quite tired and hot and puffed. But I stand there saying nothing, waiting for her to speak.

“Sit,” she commands, between giggles. “Sit. There is a glass of apple cider vinegar and honey and water behind the bench for you. Drink!”

Obediently, I sit and drink. Then I thank the ostrich for being such a good guide. He goes out the other side of the clearing, still muttering to himself.

“It seems like I have not made a very good start here,” I say with my head down and my hair hanging in front of my face.

“That’s all right,” she says. “You’ve made it to the end anyway.” She bops me on the head with a wand I hadn’t noticed before. I immediately go to sleep. I wonder if I’ll dream…

**************

I woke up in my bed at home in the morning. I’d hoped I’d dream, but if I did I could not remember it. At the moment I have no idea what that was all about. Perhaps it will come to me later?

More than a year later, in the wee hours again!

I just read this again, and at last, I get it. That took a while. I have discovered just this moment that when I relax about diet and don’t do anything extreme or be critical, my weight goes slowly down. Also, it makes a difference to get as much sleep as I need, which is more than I think I want or should have.

Both of these things are a surprise — counter intuitive. The reason she bopped me over the head and put me to sleep a year ago was that she was trying to show me something, but I was too tired (and dim) to get it until now.

The reason I finally got it is that I weighed myself this morning and found five pounds gone since I checked a few days ago. And what have I been doing? Sleeping a lot. And eating things my body wants. Not stressing. Hmmmm. I wonder if I’ve finally got it? We’ll see. I’ve been feeling sleepy for a long while, but not letting myself sleep, even though the cats clearly think I’m silly. I guess I’ll go and try it. I’m grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Good night, dear hearts!