On my mind or out of my mind

17 Jun

Paying attention to intuition-it sounds so damned easy. But is it?  How do we hear that little voice and then when it becomes a big voice, what does that mean?  Are we nuts?  Where in the hell does that voice come from?  Is it the voice of God?  The voice of the devil?  Who’s voice is it?  Why is it yapping at me at anyhow? 

I’ve asked a hundred people a single question-What does the voice of God sound like?

What kind of answer did I get? Usually, its been a rather odd look.  Apparently, not many people are asking that question, and yet, maybe if they did, we’d have a much different world to live in. 

I have had some interesting  conversations lately, ones that made me think.  It’s even odder when the conversations occur during the radio show.  A bit over a week ago, Sue Frederick, a career intuitive, was my guest, and I have to admit, while I don’t regard my programs as containing an interview per-se, in this case, I often felt like the interviewee rather than the host of the program.

She asked questions I’d never been asked before. About my spiritual beliefs, about what I think, about what I wanted to DO. I had to THINK, and the put into words, and the whole time, it was like I was in the hot seat. 

Spirituality, a lot of people in my life have accused me of being everything from a devil worshiper to an atheist, and on a few occasions, by the same person in the same breath.  I’m not.  I definitely believe in a Creator, in a universal source of all, and the name isn’t particularly important-its the same concept to me whether its God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, The One, The Source, or Fuzzywuzzy.  I just don’t think the name is the same as definition of the concept.  Do I attend a church?  No, my church is wherever I am, because my spirituality is part of who I am.

I have to admit, my moment of great revelation occurred as the result of sticking my nose into the bark of a familiar Ponderosa Pine on the Mogollon Rim of Arizona.  We often stopped at that location, and that particular day, we had stopped and were wandering about.  There had been logging in the area, which always distressed me–it really disrupts the whole feel of an area when the trees are cut and carried away, the earth torn apart by the weight of the machinery.  This time, the logging had been across the road and a couple of hundred yards away.

Normally, a Ponderosa pine smells like chocolate or vanilla when sniffed in that manner, depending on the person.  To me, it was a very vanilla-like scent.  On that particular day, when I stuck my nose into the bark, I smelled something very different.  I smelled a fermented fruit sort of odor, radically different from the normal one.  Calling for everyone else to sniff, it was noticeable to everyone. What did it mean?

There is no way to deny it.  There was only one logical progression from this observation.  The odor (I later confirmed it at other logging areas.) was ONLY associated with ponderosa pines in an area that was being logged or was otherwise suffering dramatic losses of trees.  The trees with the altered odor were not damaged or otherwise being affected, they were not in the path of equipment where their root systems were being altered by their movement.  Therefore, these trees, despite their lack of apparent sensory input by our standards, were somehow aware of the change in their vicinity.  Awareness means that there must be some form of consciousness, some sort of spiritual connection.

Therefore, it was my conclusion that the ancient assertion that all things have a spirit was based on Truth.  It’s undeniable, there is some sort of consciousness/spirit with everything.  I have an odd connection with trees, I’m not sure why, but trees call to me in a strange way.  Here in Louisiana, I just don’t understand the dialect, and I’m left wondering what they are really saying.

Its funny, but in Arizona, it was as though everything talked to me, if I would just stop and listen.  Was it in words? No.  It was different, but it would tell me all sorts of things.  How high was I?  Certain plants only live at certain altitudes.  How much rain typically falls here?  Micro climates in Arizona are everywhere, and vary dramatically sometimes.  Its affected by everything from the terrain to typical wind patterns in an area.  Has this area had the ground disturbed?  There are vast areas in Arizona that have never had the ground disturbed, but in other areas, the disturbances can tell you things-like was there a homestead here once?  Native Americans living here?  Did someone dig here for some other reason?  Do animals dig here for some reason? It can tell you how the water moves through or collects after a storm too, and this can be critically important knowledge during monsoon season when flash floods are frequent occurances. 

In the South, I’m a tenderfoot novice.  I know nothing.  I can recognize a few plants and trees. I know there are monsters (alligators) in the slow moving bayous.  I see tree frogs and lizards.  I smell interesting aromas on the breeze.  I know a few of the edible plants, and virtually nothing of magical or medicinal ones. 

Ahh…that word that has caused me so much aggravation.  Magical, magickal whichever you prefer.  To what do I refer, you wonder?

Magical herbs are herbs that are used for non-culinary or medicinal purposes.  Their “magical” properties can be scent, texture, smoke, or shape.  What are they?  They are symbols, and symbols have a very real purpose.  Symbols help us focus our minds, and through focusing our minds, we achieve goals.  Period.  I have a strong affinity for plants, and they like to grow for me.  I use plants for many kinds of personal “magic”, in the kitchen and elsewhere.  But, despite accusations in the past, my use of cinnamon in baking does not a witch make me.

There are two kinds of “magic” in my world-passive and active.  I don’t see things as black and white, left or right, wrong or right.  I understand that there can never be construction without destruction, and sometimes its a painful process as we see our lives being destroyed as things are being prepared for the birth of the new.  We resist change, and sometimes we resist it fiercely, even when its in our own best interests to change.

Passive magic is a slow kind of magic.  Passive magic happens like a tree or other plant grows, in a slow process that takes time to notice the changes.  It is a more gentle kind of change, without the drama of blowing up buildings and shaking the earth.  For many of us, its easier.

Passive magic happens when I plant a garden, even a tiny kitchen garden in a raised planter.  I select a few plants, I place a few seeds, and here will grow the few things to dress up meals over the coming months.  Here I will keep a connection with the earth, and here I state that this is my place for the coming season.  The world smiles upon me, and I have roots.  I have few direct intentions, I have merely put a few things in place.  What might be contained here?  It might be nothing more than a basil plant or two, maybe a garlic that sprouted, perhaps some ginger, and a few flowers are tucked away in their midst such as a sweet violet or roses.  Maybe I’ll plant a banana plant or two, and a plantain is always a nice addition too.

When is it active magic?  With herbs and plants, active magic occurs when you do something with intent.  Some people call it “charging” the object, but whatever term you choose, it gives the action and object meaning.  Certain plants are associated with certain actions, and by seeking out the specific plant, there is more effort and increased intent.  That is where the real power lays, not in possessing a blob of pinon pine pitch or a chunk of dragon’s blood.  This intent can be placed on herbs and plants that are not suitable for consumption, and then they are used in alternative ways.  Personally, I despise the flavor of lavender in teas and tinctures, but the aroma can be quite pleasing.  I’ll use it in situations where the aroma is the “active ingredient” rather than in food.  Rosemary and basil, on the other hand, are both suitable in food or as an “aroma” type of situation, and offer me options in either direction.  Why food?  I’m a cook, and I’m good at it.  By putting intent into food, I can effectively offer a “prayer” for my family and friends’ health and well being in a way that goes directly to their core, and quite literally.  How do I choose what herbs/spices to include?  I use a variety of methods, but I guess it all boils down to intent.  I know how herbs smell, I know their basic properties, I know which ones combine and which ones clash.  With that basic knowledge, I then let intuition lead me.  Sometimes its through dreams, sometimes someone will have a craving, sometimes it’s just THERE.

For me, a lot of this so-called “magic” happens through food and its consumption.  Good food, good presentation, and good conversations with a dash of intent can lead to great things, I’m sure.  Fast food, tv dinners, and meals gobbled in front of a television screen with everyone focused on that creepy blue flashing light (ever look towards a house where the television is on and most of their lights are out? It is a weird blue flashing light!)  is probably not the most “magical” of experiences.

At the other end of the spectrum is food raised by you, prepared by you, from fresh, wholesome ingredients filled with all of the magic and intent you can muster up, then dined on by people focused on the event itself while indulging in relaxed conversation about real topics leads to real magic.  It’s too bad that too often we are all focused on eating quickly and going on to do other things, rather than on what we are doing right now and right here.

In my conversation with Sue Frederick, I was asked questions that were hard, that made me THINK, and it wasn’t over when the program was over.  I’m having to look at who I am, who I have been, who I should be, and who I will be.  I’m going over things consciously, and for the first time in a long time, I’m going to have to make conscious choices about where I am going and why I am here and what I am SUPPOSED to be doing.  Having Sue confirm that I am an oddball of sorts, doomed to never quite fit in with the “normal people” kind of takes the pressure off.  I hated trying to conform anyhow-now, I have the freedom to be as different as I choose.

The funny thing is, I always had that freedom, and simply chose to ignore it, instead trying to take the same roads as everyone else, chafing at the traffic, you might say, when in reality, I would have had a much easier trip had I chosen an alternative route.  So, it seems I’m always doomed to walk the dirt road, but at least I like the feel of the soft dust between my toes, the cool damp sand under my weary feet, and standing on smooth warm rock as the sun sets and the air grows cold again.

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One Response to “On my mind or out of my mind”

  1. MapMaker Mike June 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    I like this. Very good relevant questions about spirituality. If you get a chance, you may enjoy my website – http://www.themapmakers.org…I think we agree on a lot.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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