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After Winter Solstice: Let the light grow

Drawing of a half-moon and half sun sharing spaceYesterday was the Winter Solstice, the point in the celestial year when the days begin to lengthen and the nights begin to shorten. Hopefully you took some time with family and friends to celebrate the survival of another year. Hopefully you did some feasting and loving.

I’d like to talk about what you do to carry the Solstice forward. From a primal perspective, the time leading to the Solstice is increasingly dangerous. The darkness grows longer and longer. The night hunters are dominant. The cold rules. It might seem that this would continue until there was nothing but night. Then, it begins to wheel back. The nights shorten, the days grow stronger. The rule of the sun returns.

Clearly, this was one of the early celestial patterns that became understood, even if they weren’t sure why. Many early forms of spirituality revered this day and it is still celebrated in a number of cultures.

In some ways, our current understanding takes some of the fun out of today. It’s just a far point in our elliptical orbit around the sun. It’s just gravity and easily explained with a few mathematical calculations. But today, I think we would to good to let go of some of that and allow our minds to open to the experience our ancestors had about the solstice

Yesterday we feasted and celebrated, but today is the day of proof. Yesterday was the predicted end of the growing darkness. Today we find if that is really true, if the light will begin to grow again… and it will.

Face it! 2016 has been rough for a lot of people. There have been a number of celebrity deaths, which mark the ends of eras. A number of people have been struggling with making ends meet and finding footing on their path. To many, it feels as though the darkness has been growing and growing and eventually that will be all there is. It’s not true.

Today the light begins to grow. This will be true for the sun, but it can also be true for the light in our lives. I firmly believe that we have a lot of influence over what we have in our lives. We have the power to manifest good and light in our lives, but we can’t be passive about it. We have to be very active.

We can begin growing that light at any time. It won’t be instantaneous. It will take consistent, extended effort. But, we must know that we can do it. We must know that there is no force that can take the light away from us, that we can surround ourselves with love rather than fear. Feast today, but tomorrow begin to do things to grow your light.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Turn away negativity. This does not mean that you bury your head in the sand and don’t expose yourself to problems. We need to be aware of the world and we need to be willing to stand up against those who would harm us and our way of life. However, surrounding yourself with endless interpretation and debate on these things does not help. Get the facts, work them into your vision and move forward. Pay attention to things that are causing you anger, fear, and despair. If they are not driving you to useful action then maybe they are not good sources. They might be news channels, social media feeds, or people in your life. Be willing to limit your exposure or turn them off completely.
  2. Count your blessings. Yes, there’s some rotten stuff going on in the world and for each of us personally. There are also good things. Are you spending too much time with the negative things and not nurturing the good? What we give our energy to grows. Are you ignoring the flowers while you nurture the weeds? Again, this is not pretending that there is nothing bad happening. It’s choosing to give more of your energy to the good things in your life and raising them up above the negative.
  3. Use your power. We all have power to manifest. You have the ability to visualize what you want in your life and to focus your energy on bringing those things to being. This is not just wishful thinking. This is the miracle of our minds. When we look to politicians, bosses, spouses for permission to manifest what we want we let them decide what we can have in our lives and what we can do. When you believe yourself to be helpless, you are correct. Does this mean that we simply sit and think about what we want in our lives and wait for the magic genii to bring it to our door? No! We take action in that direction, but we know that it is our own energy and action that makes the most difference and not what others give us. When we need help we ask for it with confidence, knowing that it is right. When we take our own action, we also do it with confidence, knowing that it is right.
  4. Practice your spirituality. If you are reading this, you likely have some sort of spiritual perspective. Are you acting on it? Are you actually doing the things that you believe make a difference to you? Are you praying, or performing rituals, or meditating, or whatever it is that you believe makes a difference? Spirituality is not something to simply learn so you can win debates. It’s active. You must not only know it but you must do it. If you find that you don’t have time for spiritual things because everything is a mess, consider that you are living out an important part of cleaning up that mess. Start simply, but start. Bring your spiritual practice back to your center and use it to energize all of your other efforts.
  5. Lead with love rather than fear. We cannot eliminate the thing we fear. The hermetic principal of polarity says that opposites will always exist. We can’t eliminate them, only balance them. That’s a tough concept, but it makes sense when you look at the nature of things. Nature is filled with forces that grow and nurture alongside forces that break down and destroy. When the balance is right, new things grow and flourish while dead thing are broken down to nourish the new growth. When things get out of balance things grow too wildly and use up the resources, or things break down too much. Much of what we are experiencing right now is the result of a lot of imbalance. If we can rechannel these energies back to their useful purposes we’ll flourish, just as the garden does. So, we have to not think of destroying what we fear, but reshaping it into its constructive purpose. How do we do this? We do it with love.When we act through fear we are in a fight or flight mode. We are panicked. We do whatever we can to end things. We accept whatever solution that will just make it stop. Our reason is suppressed in exchange for a mode of pure survival instinct. Unfortunately, that animal brain is not always right. Sometimes the right solution is not the quickest end to the situation. Sometimes more difficulty or pain is demanded to correct things properly. Think of an animal that is caught on something. Fear cause the animal to thrash in ways that may do more harm than good. When we help that animal we use love to sooth it and release it safely.

    Acting through love rather than fear is very difficult at first. With practice it becomes easier, though it may never become perfect. However, acting through love rather than fear probably does more than anything else to make a difference.

Today is a great day, because today the light grows and the spring is coming. The wheel of the year turns. Let today be the day that your light grows as well. Manifest what you want and spread that to the people who surround you. This ripples will echo out and out and out and they will make a difference.

Happy after solstice!

Meet them in the in-between

I have two areas to the work that I do. One side is the readings, ritual work, and energy work that I do. The other side is what I call paranormal entertainment, an exploration of the strange, odd, and unusual through interactive theatre. (If you are curious about that side of things, contact me.) It’s intended to be a show, symbolic of the deeper work that I do, but even so I end up tapping into deeper things with some people.

Photo: A young woman cheerfully leans in over the shoulder of a happy elderly woman. They are smiling at each other.Probably the most dramatic events are the ones where someone make a connection with a loved one who has passed on. I don’t ask people to think of dead relatives, I invite them to think of anyone they can picture. They could think of movies stars, comic book characters, but many of them end up focused on someone personal. Sometimes I’m not able to connect with more than a name, but sometimes a lot of detail comes out. When that connection happens it can be very emotional. I’m not trying to demonstrate mediumship, I’m just relating impressions as I work my way toward the person they are thinking of, but sometimes it acts like mediumship and specific personal details come through. My intuition work has taught me to go with what I’m given and worry later about making sense of it.

So, this moment of entertainment takes a sudden and shocking turn. There are tears. There is a powerful sense in the air for those who can feel it. It’s not something to be ducked or laughed away. These things happen for a reason and they usual seem to do good for the person thinking about the loved one. I’m always deeply honored to be a part of that moment.

Once I got accustomed to that moment I realized I needed to share something with those people. I share it in every event where this occurs and I’m going to share it with you now, because it’s something we can all do. You don’t need a ghost hunter or a psychic medium or any special person to make connections with people you love who have crossed over. Yes, these people may be able to use their experience and discipline to help do specific things, but we all have the ability to make connections. If you miss someone and want to have another conversation you can do it by reaching them in the in-between.

Vintage painting of a woman reclining on a couchThe idea is pretty straightforward. It’s loosely connected to astral travel and the fact that when we sleep we have the deepest access to our subconscious. Begin by thinking clearly of the person you want to reach. Think of a place that would be good to meet them. Maybe you want to have a conversation over dinner. Pick that place that you know they’d love to eat. Perhaps you’re just going to walk beside that lake that you find so peaceful. It doesn’t have to be a place that they would know, but it’s helpful if it’s a place that you know well. The more vivid it is for you the easier it will be for you to connect with it and call them there.

Once the person and place are clear for you, do these steps:

  1. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine for the night. These will affect your natural body rhythms. Surely this meeting is more important than the little stimulus you receive. Try a little warm milk with honey or chamomile tea instead.
  2. Turn off the TV and try to leave your phone alone. These electronics affect our brain and keep us from having a restful sleep. (read more) Also, try to refrain from taking any sort of sleep aid, though something like melatonin would probably be OK. Your goal is to prepare yourself for a relaxing night of sleep.

  3. Just before you go to sleep, imagine the place and person you want to meet. Picture it all clearly and invite them to join you. Make it as vivid as you can. Try not to think of it as a sad thing, even though you might miss them terribly. Think about how joyful it will be for you to see them there.

As you sleep, when you are most openly connected to your subconscious you will go to that place and you will meet this person. You will want to keep a notepad next to the bed because as you awaken this memory will fade as quickly as any dream does. Even if you have no conscious memory of the connection you will have a though about this person in the day that is not a memory. It will be about something current, something they could not have experienced in their own lifetime. That memory will be from your connection.

Some people experience this as a single event. They have the one conversation. Others find that they can visit and revisit with loved ones.

Of course, you can also use this technique to connect with others, but you may not have the same success that you will with a loved one who is likely also seeking connection.

Try this. Make notes of your experience and share them with me.

Tell them that I said “Hello.”

Choosing a tarot deck

I’ve had tarot cards in my life for more than 20 years. In that time I’ve worked with a number of different decks, some which stuck with me, some which did not. Recently I was asked for my recommendation of a tarot deck and I realized that the answer was not so simple. I decided that there were probably more people out there considering the same question. Rather than just tell one person, I should tell you all.

It should go without saying that these are my own practices and opinions. If you have a different perspective this is not intended as an argument, just a starting place for people trying to learn. In matters of metaphysics I think it’s generally good to follow your instincts and intuition. If you feel guided differently, go with what works for you. If nothing else, this made you consider what you think.

Historic vs modern?

People have different reasons for wanting tarot cards. Some are just curious. Some like them because they are different and mysterious. Others want them for spiritual guidance. They can even be used for magickal workings.

By Havang(nl) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Havang(nl) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Many don’t realize that tarot cards are connected with various games since the 15th century. (If you’ve never played any of these you might give them a try.) If your interest in tarot is more historical there are some excellent reproduction decks. Many of these do not have pictures for the numbered cards and are easier for playing games. Alternatively, they make it more difficult for divination as the five of cups will just have a pattern of five cups rather than a symbolic scene. If you are beginning divination you may not prefer an historic deck.

Most people asking about tarot want cards for divination. In that case, a deck with picture scenes for all the cards can be very helpful for to engage your intuition as you can feel the scene in the picture rather than trying to memorize keywords. The most popular tarot deck of this type is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

Different themes and styles

Major Arcana of Rider-Waite-Smith tarot
Published on December 1909 by William Rider. A collaboration between the artist Pamela Colman Smith and Dr Arthur Edward Waite.

Most beginners will end up with a variation of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. These are certainly the most common, and many decks with other themes will use scenes from this deck as their foundation. These are also the images that are most familiar to the public. This is an excellent deck for general purpose and even as you move on to other decks you will probably want to keep one of these in your collection.

Most books that teach tarot use this deck and speak to its scenes and symbols. Starting with this deck will connect you with many decades of tarot wisdom and traditions. I still make use of these cards from time to time.

Of course, there are thousands of variations on the tarot. An enormous sampling of cards currently available and out of print can be found at the Aeclectic tarot site. A quick look will show you the diversity of the tarot universe! Each deck listed shows a selection of cards with information about the status and where to by the deck. I have a few cards in the major arcana, such as Death, The Devil, and Judgment, that often have interesting variations in a deck. This site lets me browse through these perspectives and track down cards that use scenes that speak to me.

Browsing on a web site, however, is no substitute for getting cards in your hands. If you have a metaphysical bookstore in your area that provides sample decks this is the best way to see how a deck feels to you.

How do I know the right one?

When you are just beginning to work with the tarot you are learning the basics of how the cards work and what you can do with them. For this, it’s probably a good idea to start with a basic Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Any forum or guide that you seek will likely be using this deck as their foundation, so it will be easy to find information as you learn to work with the cards and begin to develop your own intuitive sense of them.

Once you’ve gotten past your training wheels, you may find that there are certain cards that don’t speak to you directly. You find that your connection with the card is not really reflected in the picture. You may also find that you are more inspired by a particular idea like dragons or high Gothic art. When this feeling hits you its definitely time to go shopping for a new deck.

Ideally, you should not have to look up the meanings of cards. Even experienced readers have moments where a card’s meaning seems a little obscure and a review helps reveal lesser-known aspects. A deck that is a good match should speak to you, like a graphic novel. It should reveal its story through its characters, symbols and actions. This will let you make the most use of your intuition.

To find such a deck, look through a sampling, either in person or on-line. Select a few cards that you especially connect with and a few that you find difficult to interpret. Look specifically for these cards and see how they feel to you. If you find yourself repeatedly saying “Yes! That exactly right!” then you have probably found a good deck for you.

picture of Robin Wood tarot box and three sample cards: Strength, King of Cups, and Queen of Cups
Robin Wood Tarot, available at Llewellyn and other metaphysical outlets

My own favorite has become the Robin Wood deck. (Wood was an illustrator for several of Scott Cunningham’s books on magick.) I discovered this deck at a store that used to be in Austin, Texas called Whole Life Books. (It’s now a parking garage. 🙁 ) I wasn’t actually shopping for a new deck that day, but I was looking through the sample decks that they had. The first card that caught my eye was The Magician. It was such a joyful, virile version of the magician that it made me laugh out loud. As I continued to look through the deck I found that The Devil, Judgment, and a number of the other cards filled me with that same joy and clarity. I shortly realized that I needed to take this deck home. It’s now the deck I use most often.

I know others who have a similar connection with cards themed after angels, fairies, and any number of mythologies and cultures. When the cards speak to you, they speak to you! They’ll connect with you like a new friend or lover.

Collecting decks and letting decks go

It is absolutely appropriate to work with more than one deck. Some readers offer a choice of decks, letting the client be drawn to what appeals to them. I find that some kinds of uses seem to work better with one deck than another. The decks won’t be jealous. Find what connects with you and enjoy it.

Often people who work with tarot find themselves collecting and experimenting with a number of different decks. This is fine. Feel free to incorporate as many different styles and visions as you like, though you’ll probably find that, like any tool, there is one that is most reliable that you use when doing something that really matters.

What about when a deck doesn’t feel right any more? You lay the cards and they just confuse you, or maybe you’re not so much into fairies any more.

Ideally you should give the deck to someone who appreciates it. I spoke with a reader who was phasing out a deck that she used to use regularly. She was giving it away, one card at a time, to clients. They would take a card home with them after a reading. In many cases you’ll know someone who is attracted to the cards. A personal tarot deck is a powerful gift and can inspire someone to go deeper into their tarot work.

If you don’t know anyone who would enjoy the deck, pass it through some sort of charitable venue. While the cards will likely be sold by the charity, your act of giving frees the cards to reconnect with someone new.

Should you just sell them on eBay? Technically, there is nothing wrong with this. If you happen to buy cards on eBay that doesn’t mean that they are tainted or anything. If you never connected with the cards (you find an unopened deck) then this would be fine. If you have used the cards, though, you should probably consider this carefully. Meditate on the sale and make sure that it feels right. If you get indications that the sale is OK, spend some time cleansing the cards, as you would any magickal tool.

Have fun with your cards

Whether your interest in tarot is artistic, historic or mystical you should enjoy the cards that you have. Even if someone else swears that a deck is powerful for them it may not be right for you. If you’re not sure which one to pick, start with a basic Rider-Waite-Smith deck to get you started. You’ll likely grow beyond it, but it’s a great foundation. When you’re ready for a new deck you’ll know, and you’ll know what you’re looking for. Trust your intuition to guide you to what is right for you.

Connecting with tarot I a wonderful experience. The right deck will speak to you openly and increase your confidence. When a deck is not right for you, it’s OK to let it go, but do so gently, like an old friendship. Send it on to do good work for others.

If you want to explore tarot more deeply and want some personal guidance please reach out.


Sun and Moon Celebration

Old line drawing of sun and moon figuresToday is an unusual day as celestial celebrations go. It marks Midsummer, the summer solstice which is the longest day of the year. It’s also a full moon. Astronomically speaking, the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. From here forward the days will get shorter until we reach the winter solstice and the pendulum begins to swing back the other way.

Today also marks the full moon. It is a rare occurrence for both to happen on the same day.

From a witchier perspective, Midsummer is a celebration of male energy, the god. The full moon recognizes the female energy, the goddess. The harmony of both of these energies, male and female together, is a profound moment, and very appropriate for our times. As our media is hungry for the debate about gender and focused on the differences I look to the 7th Hermetic Principal from the Kybalion, the principal of gender.

This principal acknowledges that gender permeates everything in our world. All of us have male and female aspects within us. Celebrating Midsummer with a full moon is a beautiful acknowledgement of the dual natures within everything and the importance of both.

Do something outdoors this evening. A back-yard cookout would be perfect. Spend some time running and jumping and dancing. Think about the good things that you have in your world — you have some! Think how these resources are growing and developing into a bountiful harvest later on. Gather friends and family of both sexes and appreciate how much we all really have in common with each other.


Dark entities in your home

dark_entity Some entities seem nice but hide something darker. If you experience negative signs, don’t ignore it!

Because I help people explore paranormal ideas I get a lot of people’s stories about weird things that have happened. Honestly, I really enjoy them. Some of them are funny. Some are spooky. Often they are things that aren’t told to just anyone. I feel privileged to hear these.

From time to time I’ll hear something that really catches my attention. I’ll hear a story that resonates pretty strongly with what I’ve studied. Every once in a while I hear something that makes me concerned.

More people than you might imagine have some sort of entity in their life. Some are bothered by it but many enjoy this connection. Those connections are good and if you have a friendly spirit I would encourage you to coexist, much as you might do with a favorite squirrel in your yard. It’s a good thing for us to have connections with the unseen world for no other reason than it helps us to appreciate that there is a world outside of our regular perception.

Not all entities are good things, though. There are things that have never been human. There are spirits of people with troubled lives that seek to continue that trouble. These are bad news and should not be tolerated any more than you would tolerate a dangerous animal living in your yard.

What are signs of a dangerous entity? Here are a few key ones:

  1. It makes you uneasy — Humans have a pretty well-developed sense of when something is not safe. Modern society has dulled this a little by causing us to focus on tools other than our own intuition, but it’s still pretty good. If the entity makes you feel uncomfortable, beyond just the little thrill of experiencing something unusual, there is a problem.
  2. It’s unresponsive to your requests — In general, the kinds of entities that you want around are positively responsive to you. If banging the cabinets at 3:00 in the morning messes with your sleep and your children you can explain that this is a problem. They don’t necessarily experience time the way that we do so it might not have even occurred that the activity was troublesome. You may need to re-explain from time to time, but it will feel generally cooperative. If your requests are met with an angry or contrary response then there is a problem.
  3. It tries to interfere — We all have things that we need to do on this plane. We work, learn, eat, create families, have friends, etc. It’s life. A positive entity will respect your life. It won’t be jealous and it won’t try to create conditions that prevent you from living your life normally. Now, it may play games with you, like hiding the keys for a bit to remind you that you don’t always need to be running around. It might push a little from time to time when there is someone that might not be good for you. Ultimately, however, it needs to respect your needs and wishes. If conditions are keeping people away and making you more isolated, there is a problem.
  4. It tries to influence you to do harmful things — An entity might try to encourage certain styles and activities, much like a live-in grandmother might try to influence your clothes and music. However, a positive entity will not do things that make you feel more depressed, more lonely. It will not manipulate you and make unreasonable demands of you. When you are targeted by an entity like this it’s usually pretty hard to tell. It’s much easier to see when someone else is being affected. If someone in your home is showing signs of darkening moods, depression and a lack of personal interest or care, especially when they point it back to the entity, there is a problem.

Now, you might experience degrees of these things that is just a matter of moodiness. An entity will respond to changes much as anyone does. It won’t always be positive. Sometimes new friends or activities will generate a little chaos. They are life forces and as prone to imperfection as any of us. Life with an entity demands a certain level of toleration for disruption.

There’s a boundary, however. The entity should accept the new boyfriend after he’s shown himself to be a decent guy. The entity should accept the changes in your schedule or your need to have certain things on your desk left alone. When the behavior becomes uncivilized you will need to take some action.

So, what do you do? A lot really depends on the actual situation. Is this a troubled spirit that needs help? Is this an inhuman entity that is attaching itself to your child?

First we must have some understanding. I think it’s important to maintain some sort of communication with an entity you allow in your home. Talk to it. Include it. Don’t ignore it. It may feel like the dialogue is all one-sided but you will likely notice that there is a sort of two-way communication that evolves as you each learn what works for you. You’ll see positive and negative signs and perhaps even more elaborate communications. If you are getting a danger sign, communicate and explain that this is a problem. A positive entity will respond in a positive way.

Let’s say that the basic communication isn’t working. Now what? Now it’s time to get someone in who has some more experience with this sort of thing. Depending on your spiritual practices you may have a medium, a shaman, or a pastor who is open to these things. Let them come and see what they get from this entity. If something is wrong they will likely be able to tell.

If you don’t have a spiritual connection, you might reach out to a paranormal group. Here is a listing of groups in different areas. Here is a resource for finding groups in your area. Please be very careful in connecting with these groups. They vary in skill and experience and you will be sharing some personal things with these people. Check out their web site and learn more about them. If you can work with a group that is personally recommended to you that is always best. At least give them the same due diligence you would give someone doing home repairs.

Once you know more about the entity and, hopefully, why it is being negative you can take some action. The actions range anywhere from banishing or exorcism to simply making a few changes about how you maintain your persona space and how you interact with the entity. Ideally it will just be a temporary phase or a misunderstanding that clears up and returns everything to normal.

If you have a positive entity in your life you should feel very special. It’s an experience that relatively few people have and it can be a wonderful part of your life. If things start feeling wrong, though, don’t do nothing. Some entities that seem to be friendly are actually deceptive. Unchecked they can cause a great deal of harm. Ignorance is their greatest ally.

I’m always opened to talk with people about these kinds of experiences. If you have something to share, please reach out.

Grounding and Shielding

When participating in any activity that could put you in touch with unpleasant energies there are two important practices that I think should always be undertaken: Grounding and Clearing. What kinds of activities? Any sort of encounter with haunted items or locations, any sort of séance or attempts to connect with paranormal entities, even situations where you are going to be dealing with people who you find aggressive or draining are all situations where these techniques could make a big difference. They help you release the negativity that you are bringing into a situation and to put a protection around yourself.

These are simple techniques that can be done any time, anywhere. They are also subtle, so you can do them without drawing a lot of attention.


The purpose of grounding is to stabilize your energy and put you in a more neutral state. When working with energy or going into a location that interacts with energy (like a haunted building) you want to be as much in control of your state as you can. Negative emotions and energies that have accumulated throughout your day can be amplified or, even worse, turned against you. Just as grounding your self will discharge the static electricity that has built up walking across the carpet in your socks mentally grounding your mind will help remove the emotional build-up.

In addition to helping with energy work this is an excellent exercise to perform whenever you are dealing with challenging situations at work or with other people. It doesn’t take long to do this and you will find yourself calmer and more at peace when you are done.

  1. Put yourself in a quiet place where you can sit comfortably. This is not absolutely necessary as, with practice, you will be able to perform this exercise standing on a crowded bus. To begin, however, quiet is helpful.
  2. Sit down with your feet planted flat on the floor. Your back should be straight but relaxed. If you have problems achieving this posture try rolling your shoulders and letting your spine settle into it’s naturally straight position. (I had a theatre teacher who called this “stacking your bones.) Rest your hands loosely in your lap.
    If you need to stand, stand straight with your hands resting naturally at your sides.
  3. Close your eyes and imagine yourself transforming into a tree. Imagine roots shooting gently out the bottoms of your feet and branches coming out of your torso and spreading out far above your head. Your branches reach high and your roots dig down deep. You are planted in the earth. You are one with the earth.
    You may be tempted to stretch out your arms to simulate the branches, but this can become tiring. You don’t want that distraction. Let your arms and all your limbs rest while your mind reaches out to make the roots and branches of this tree.
  4. As your roots reach deep into the ground, imagine all the negative energy, all the frustrations in your mind, all the anger and sadness and anything else that you consider toxic falling down through your roots and going deep into the earth. The earth can take it all. It will absorb these toxic thoughts and emotions and nurture them into new life. Let them go, deep down into the earth.
  5. As your branches reach up into the sky imagine a bright white light that you can feel at the top of your head. It is warm, pleasant, and nurturing. Imagine all of the toxic things flowing down into your roots making room for this warm light. Let that light fill the spaces and infuse you with a glowing feeling of good energy.
  6. Continue to go back and forth between flushing negativity deep, deep into the ground and absorbing the bright nurturing light from above. Do this for as long as you need. If you’ve never done it, or haven’t for a long time, you may have a lot to cycle. Don’t rush it. Enjoy it. With practice you’ll find the process happens pretty quickly and automatically.
  7. Once you feel like you have grounded the negativity it is time to withdraw the tree elements back into your self. See the branches shrinking back down and the roots pulling themselves back up to the bottom of your feet. When all has come back together you may feel an actual release as your feet are no longer connected to the ground. Be careful if you are standing as this can affect your balance.
  8. Shake your body out as needed and enjoy the fresh feeling of being grounded.


Once you’ve managed to clear out that negative energy you want to try to keep it out. Shielding creates a barrier that protects you from negative energy. Just like grounding, you don’t have to wait for a ghostly encounter to use it. Shielding works for other kinds of psychic attacks and influences. Many people that make you uncomfortable are engaged in psychic attacks, though most of them don’t even know that they are doing it. Once you learn this technique you’ll be surprised at how much more comfortable you feel in various situations by using it.

  1. Close your eyes. Imagine a golden light in front of your eyes that gets brighter and brighter. (Sometimes it is difficult to imagine this light. As you learn to visualize it you can turn your closed eyes to a bright lamp or to the sky on a sunny day. Of course, never look at the sun. Once you get a feel for what this light should look like it will be easier for you to bring it up.)
  2. Let the light grow in intensity until it obscures everything else. The light is not harsh. It does not hurt. It has a pleasant warmth to it. You enjoy the light, even when it is at its brightest.
  3. As you picture this light, know that it is not just in front of you, but completely surrounding you. It is as though you are standing in the middle of a small sun. The bright, golden light is before you and behind you, above you and below you.
  4. Now, imagine that you have a dimmer for this light. You are going to turn down the dimmer, further and further until the light is no more than a little candle flame, just out of your view. It is there and you can still feel its warmth, but it no longer obscures your view. This is how your shield will be when you are going about your business.
  5. Go ahead and turn the light back up. Let it grow brighter and brighter until it outshines everything around, until you can see nothing but the golden light. Again, it is not harsh or uncomfortable. It is calming. This is your shield turned up. Know that harmful energies cannot penetrate this shield, that this golden light, while comfortable to you, is unpleasant to negative influences. They do not want to enter into it. They are repelled by it.
  6. Turn the light back down to a candle flame again. If you wish you can imagine something that makes you uncomfortable, then turn the golden light up until it is obscured. Now turn the light down again and imagine that the negative thing is gone. The light has sent it away.
  7. When you are comfortable that the light surrounds you and obeys you, you can leave it as a candle flame and continue with what you need to do. Know that you can bring that light to bear whenever you want. Turn it up a little when you feel like you are with negative people or in negative space. You’ll find that some of those things just simply avoid you or ignore you.

Bear in mind that your shielding will not necessarily tell the difference between positive and negative energies. You can repel friends as well as enemies. Use the dimmer to turn things down when you are with people you trust. Your shield does draw upon your own psychic energy, so it may make you feel drained if you use it for long periods of time. Rest will replenish you as will positive connections.

Thoughts on being

Author, Neil Gaiman, known for his darkly comic novels and comic books, recently posted an apparent question from a reader on Tumblr:

asker30seasons asked: Dear Neil, I am a horrible person. How to be kinder, please?

Neil’s answer is wonderful. Just fake it.

“Because there isn’t actually any difference between doing something nice for someone because you are naturally saintly and perfect, and doing something nice for someone because you are secretly demonic and trying to cover it up. It’s still an act of kindness either way, and you still made their lives better.”

“Fake it ’til you make it” is an idea I’ve heard often…and it has some wisdom. Though, I think that many people never get over the idea that they are faking it, while others they see as more successful are the “real thing.” Perhaps everyone is faking it on some level.

Sometimes when I read for people I will see a quality that they don’t recognize in themselves. I will see the potential for creativity and artistry, or leadership and entrepreneurship. They’ll shake their head because even though they want that in their lives they don’t see it. They compare themselves to famous and extreme examples of that quality. They don’t see themselves as sufficiently skilled or accomplished so they reject the idea. Even worse, when someone recognizes that quality and compliments them they reject it. “I’m not really an artist, I just draw a little…and badly!”

The universe makes us something…we are that something…we do that thing…then people recognize us as that thing. Whether we gain fame or fortune through that quality we get to enjoy being it. So, take that quality that you would like to have in yourself. Imagine what someone with that quality would do. Do those things. Be forgiving and compassionate with yourself as you stumble. Pretend that you really are that. Realize that some that you admire are doing exactly the same thing.