Visualization & Magic for Spiritual Activism

Lions don’t play. You can look at them and know that. They don’t go around bothering people or starting trouble (like people do), but they are not called King of the Jungle for nothing. They protect what’s theirs.

As spiritual beings wandering around in a world of suffering, the World is ours. We have a job to do. There is no need to force our beliefs on anyone. However, as people fostering a connection with the Divine on a daily basis, we owe it to the people around us to use our spiritual gifts, talents, and capacities (whatever they may be) to leave this world a little better than we found it. All it takes is willingness, a little time, and the ability to see what it is we are trying to create. The ability to visualize what you want is the key to creating anything in the here and now.

I learned a powerful lesson in visualization one day while listening to a motivational video by Tony Robbins. He had the audience do an exercise where they raised their right arm, shoulder height, in front of them. While facing forward, they circled the arm behind them as far as they possibly could, and noted how far they were able to go.

Then he had them rest that arm and go through the exercise again – only in the mind. First, visualize the arm lifting forward, in front of you, then, mentally reach the arm around and behind you, this time 20% farther than the spot you were able to reach physically.

Then you bring the arm back around in the mind, and do it again. This time, reach ¾ around the body, in your mind. Rest again. During the final visualization, you see your arm reaching 360 degrees all the way around your body, like Elastic Man. I had nothing else better to do at the time, so I played along with Tony and did the exercise.

The final step was to raise the arm – not in the mind, this time, but in reality. Lift it forward, then reach around. I was absolutely shocked to see how much further I could go than the first time!

Could I go 360 degrees around my whole body? No, of course not. But I got much further than I seemed to be physically capable of the first time. It was a clear demonstration of the power of the mind, the power of visualization. This is the power we tap into when we do a spell, a healing, a reading, or a prayer. This power is not completely understood, but it is well-documented.

More important than any ingredients we might use in a spell, or the flowery words we might use in a public prayer, is the vision we start with in our heads. We have to start any important endeavor with the end in mind. If we can “see” it, from the beginning to the end, we can achieve it. We can’t dictate how it will show up, but we can get much, much closer than if we don’t see it first.

But spiritual practice and magic are not just for ourselves. Getting a better job, making more money, or entering a loving relationship is wonderful. But, as Light beings, we are here to hold the space for the rest of humanity.

The world is becoming an increasingly violent, hostile place. We cannot bury our heads and ignore it just because we may personally be happy and content.  Our Divine mission and purpose (should we choose to accept it) is to bring the beauty of the Goddess to the planet in tangible form.

There are many ways we can make a difference, depending upon our unique gifts and talents. But it all starts in the mind. We have to “see” a world of love and harmony before we can create it. If we can see it, we can believe in it. Once we believe in it, we will do what it takes to make it happen, to the very best of our abilities.

So, how can we get better at visualization? We have to build our ability to visualize the same way we would build a muscle. Start with the “light weights.” For example, before you get out of bed, see yourself performing your normal routine. Do you make your bed first? Do you put coffee on? Do you meditate? (if so, yay, you!!) Whatever you do, stay in bed for a couple of minutes and see it first. It’ll be easy because it’s nothing special, it’s something you always do. You know exactly what it looks like already. But this practice builds your ability to visualize.

Eventually, work your way up to seeing other outside, routine, activities, such as meetings at work, or dates with your significant other. Imagine what you would like to have happen. See it clearly in your mind. Envision what is said, what is done, and what the mood is.

Over time, you can work up to seeing actual Light energy, moving from your hands, your eyes, or your heart towards someone or something. You can learn to direct this energy towards self-healing. or the healing of others. You will be able to envision things far in the future. Start small and build over time. Don’t strain. Stop as soon as you feel taxed. Ground yourself afterwards by picturing your fingers and toes wiggling in dark, rich soil. You can also ground yourself by eating something like a piece of fruit and focusing on the action of eating it. Grounding brings the mind back to normal, earthly life.

Spells are used to improve life in various ways. We can improve our own lives and the lives of the people around us. But everything starts in the mind.

Be patient with yourself and have fun. Be that king-of-the-jungle lion protecting the rest of the pride. You are absolutely qualified for this position. So, be about it! For all of our sakes.

Peace and love,

Raven

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How Can You Stay Spiritual When You’re Surrounded By Jerks?

How Can You Stay Spiritual When You’re Surrounded By Jerks?

Energy is transferable. We often refer to this as “vibes,” but the meaning is the same. We pick up on each other’s “energy,” which is really just the coagulation of thoughts into a tangible expression of multiplied energy.

It all begins with thought. Every thought is a unit of energy. Depending upon its nature, an individual thought can have a large or a small amount of energy. But, in general, a single thought, by itself, tends to have only a tiny amount energy.

But thoughts do not travel alone. They travel in packs, and they follow one another closely, like groupies behind a rock star. The parade of random thoughts that fly through our heads may be fairly weak individually, but, together, they form a mob.

And, in an untrained mind, they do not sachet slowly through the brain, sniffing the roses as they go. They race and rush along at break-neck speeds, tripping over one another. They also march insanely in circles, stomping their feet, mumbling as they stumble along, hoping to attract attention and validation.

These packs of thoughts eventually gather enough steam to procreate. Their energy spreads, first into habitual patterns of thoughts. Then words. Then patterns of words. Then actions and behavior. Then patterns of actions, called habits. Habits create results in the world. These results create our lives as we know them.

So, whenever we interact with another human being, we are interacting with a storehouse of various cliques of thoughts. Think of high school cliques: you have the druggies, and the jocks. You have high achievers, artists, nerds, and dropouts. You have teacher’s pets, loners, abused kids, popular kids, special needs kids, and new kids.

When we encounter an individual whom we call a “jerk,” what we are dealing with someone whose storehouse is full of trouble-making cliques. The cliques in their mind are the dangerous kids, the ones who are negative and aggressive. They don’t listen to authority, and they have no higher aspiration than dominating the weaker cliques.

So, if you are someone who is actively trying to graduate the various cliques in your own mind from high schoolers to adulthood, how do you stay on track when the people around you are “jerks?”

  • First of all, stay aware and awake. Visualize what is happening and why. Bullies will always want to take over the school. Vigilant adults are the only ones who can stop them. But they can’t do it by getting into fist fights with the students. They have to enact policies that identify the problem kids and render them powerless in various ways. They can do this because they are smarter, older, more experienced – and they have the authority to do so!
  • Secondly, have a “mantram” in your mind that you use “in  case of emergency.” A mantram is a short, simple, positive phrase that you mentally repeat over and over. The purpose is to maintain control of your own thoughts. Whenever your thoughts want to race along like fools, the mantram pulls them into a conga line of positivity – distracting them long enough to get them back on track. My first mantram was “Rama” which invokes “joy.” Whenever “jerks” threatened to make me angry and frowny, “joy” reminded me of Who (and Whose) I really am.
  • Speak leanly to jerks. Jerks tend to talk and talk and talk. Their aggressive, frantic thoughts carry anxious energy, which they try to expel by dominating others with their nasty words. Counter this with as few words as possible. The words you do use will be full of wisdom and confidence. This renders their babble powerless over you, and usually makes them look and feel pretty silly. But the goal is not revenge. The goal is to neutralize negative energy.
  • If you slip up and join the jerk in their stupidity, forgive yourself then do the repair work. It takes time and practice to learn how to deal with jerks effectively. Most of your time should be spent with people who uplift your life and positively affect your practice. So you might be caught off guard when you have to deal with a jerk. Don’t beat yourself up. When you get back home or to a quiet space, write about the incident in your journal, congratulate yourself on the things you did “right” (in alignment with your highest ideals) and make suggestions to yourself on what you could do better next time. Meditate on it, pray for yourself, thank the Goddess, then forget about it and move on.
  • Lastly, never regret not getting revenge on a jerk. It’s natural for the ego – after an encounter with a jerk – to suggest all the ugly things you should have said to the person to “put them in their place.” Don’t waste time on this. The jerk may look powerful, but he is miserable. There is nothing to envy there. He did not “win” over you, no matter what happened. He lives in an inner world of anger, insecurity, competition, restlessness, jealousy, and fear. He goes to bed with that, and he wakes up with that. Pray for him and let him be. Your life, as an awakened spiritual being, has endless possibilities. Don’t waste a minute of time wishing you could beat a jerk at his own game. That game is not for you. You could never “win” it, even if you tried, and you wouldn’t want to. Let him go his own way, knowing that karma is real (not revenge karma, but cause-and-effect-karma). Whatever we sow, that we will also reap.

Peace and love,

Raven

Happy Samhain!

Happy Samhain!

On this day of recognizing the thin veil between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead, it’s a good time to take stock of our lives.

In America, we generally live lives that completely ignore death. This is beginning to change as life here grows more and more violent. However, for many people, death is still just something we see on the news, or experience occasionally with the death of an aged relative or random accident.

In former times, death was more frequent. Babies often died of diseases. Women were more likely to die in childbirth. People in general were more subject to infectious disease. And the human life span was shorter.

In other words, death was a part of life. It was something that had to be acknowledged and dealt with. Now that we have eliminated so many diseases and improved medical care, life is longer and healthier. This is a wonderful thing. However, death is still a reality – only one we are often unprepared for.

Death, and its handmaiden, old age, are realities that no one wants to talk about. People do their very best to remain in their twenties. They don’t care how many bizarre, painful, or expensive procedures they have to endure to mask the arrival of old age and death.  The focus here is always on Youth. Older people are often ignored, forgotten, hidden away from society’s camera lens. We want to forget all about the fact that this ride called life eventually stops – or, rather, changes.

And that’s the point. There is no actual “end” to life. But it does change. We will one day interact with existence in a new and different way. We will not breathe in air or take in food. We will not have bodies that get sick or damaged, or that need to be fed or cleansed. Our spirits will take over, leaving the body behind. There will be no separation – real or perceived – between God consciousness and human spiritual consciousness.

The only catch is that we do not instantly become enlightened at the moment of physical death. The level of consciousness one has now is the level of consciousness that carries over into the next plane. So, you may or may not be ready to join forever with the One Presence. You may have to return to the planet in a different form in hopes of perfecting your connection to Divinity through new lessons learned in a new life. Each time you get a little closer, ideally. The people you affect on earth – in positive and negative ways – carry a part of you with them as they continue their own lives, now and forever.

So, let’s use today, Hallow’s Eve, to remind ourselves that:

  • Life is precious and never-ending
  • Each day is a new start.
  • Death is merely a transition
  • Life is meant to be a learning and training ground; let’s not waste time on worthless things
  • The legacy we leave behind – the people we’ve affected, the difference we’ve made, the connection we’ve made with Spirit – is all we really get to keep. But it’s also the only thing that really matters.

Peace and love.

And Happy Halloween!

Raven

How to Train as a Spiritual Soldier

How to Train as a Spiritual Soldier

Being a true spiritual warrior in the world today is a serious and challenging prospect. Some people view spirituality as simply going to yoga class, eating organic fruit, and referencing “the Universe” in conversation.

All of those things are fine and wonderful. And, in a broad sense, we are all spiritual beings living in mortal bodies. So, it is legitimate for virtually anyone to call themselves “spiritual.”

However, a spiritual warrior is something different. How do you know if you are a spiritual warrior?

In my opinion, to qualify as a spiritual warrior, you need two things: 1) An awareness of your innate gifts, talents, and capacities – or at least an awareness that you probably have some. And, (2) The conviction that your life on earth is not just about acquiring things to make yourself happy, but it’s about service to humanity, even at personal cost to your own comfort and convenience.

If you have these two qualities, then, congratulations (or, my condolences, which I will explain later), you are not just spiritual – you are a spiritual warrior.

I say “my condolences” because there is fine print. The fine print is this: spiritual warriors will have more difficulties than those who simply use the Law of Attraction to make their earthly lives more plush and comfortable. The reason for this is Resistance.

There are two forms of Resistance. I’ve spoken about human Resistance in past blogs. This is the innate laziness that we all feel when confronted with things that require a lot of energy and effort, especially those things which will cause us to stretch and grow in positive ways. That’s why the easiest path to success is just to do more than other people. Most people will not fight Resistance; they will do the very least they can get by with. This is garden-variety Resistance.

But the other form of Resistance is spiritual Resistance. The Bible says this: “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). So, in other words, we’re not really fighting  other people. It may look like that. But, in reality, there are structures of dark energetic power in the unseen realms that influence what people do on this planet.

So, when you set out to do Good, you will attract the attention of those beings who want nothing to do with what’s best for humanity. The greater your potential, the more Resistance you will have to deal with. I’ve come up with the following ways to take care of yourself so that you can continue to grow and make a mighty difference on this planet:

  1. Take care of the physical. Make sure to shower, sleep eight hours per night (or however much you need), eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water, and get regular check-ups. The physical, the emotional, and the spiritual all interact. What affects one will affect the others.
  2. As much as is possible, do one thing at a time. Divided attention scatters the consciousness and reduces spiritual power. The current trend towards severe multi-tasking works against serenity, competence, and even mental/emotional stability.
  3. Prioritize your spiritual practice. If you are a spiritual warrior, prayer and meditation can not be emergency procedures. They are not things to squeeze in, if you have the time. They are your armor. You probably lock your front door and/or your car door when you leave, right? Not praying or meditating before you go out into the world is like leaving your doors open. Don’t let it happen. Even two or three minutes is better than no minutes.
  4. Spend time with other spiritual warriors. If you don’t know any, set your intention to find some. You will find your tribe. In the meantime, get comfortable with spending time alone. Solitude is not deadly. On the contrary, spending too much time with negative people (and, let’s face it, a LOT of people wallow in negativity) is spiritually deadly.
  5. Saturate your mind, your thoughts, your surroundings, your music, your life with beautiful, positive, high-vibrational things. If you meditate for an hour, but then forget about the Goddess completely until the following day, you will not make much progress. Training the mind is a 24-hour-a-day proposition.

In short, begin to view spiritual warfare the same way we do physical warfare. Soldiers do not just show up on the battlefield scratching their heads. They have spent weeks, months, and years training and preparing for every eventuality. Their bodies are finely-tuned instruments. Their wits are sharp and their teamwork is strong.

How much more important is spiritual warfare?! In fact, once spiritual warfare is taken more seriously by our society, physical warfare may one day be obsolete.

Let’s call this world to a higher standard!

Peace and love,

Raven

Are Your Relationships Helping or Hurting Your Spiritual Progress?

Are Your Relationships Helping or Hurting Your Spiritual Progress?

I posted on Instagram the other day about the power of relationships. It was a Les Brown quote: “What am I becoming because of this relationship?”

It got me to thinking. We often think of “relationships” only in terms of dating relationships. But, all of our relationships play a role in our lives. Sometimes, we are absent-minded about our relationships – meaning, we do not always think deeply about how they started, or how (or why, or IF) they should continue.

We meet people at a certain stage in our lives and, sometimes, due to nostalgia, or fear, we hold onto them long after they have ceased to feel nurturing or satisfying. It is good mental, spiritual, and emotional housekeeping to occasionally do an inventory of our relationships.

Asking the question “What am I becoming because of this relationship?” is a good starting point. If you ask this question, you will get answers. Here are some possible answers:

Because of this relationship, I am becoming…

  • More success-minded
  • More physically fit
  • More relaxed and cheerful
  • More optimistic, happier
  • More and more in debt
  • More stressed out and suspicious
  • Drained and unfocused
  • Angry, sad, and negative

Obviously, the way you answer this question can, and should, affect how you view this particular relationship. If your answers were more negative than positive, ask yourself why you are still involved with this person. Are you afraid of being alone? Are you afraid of the person (afraid of making them mad, or having them think less of you)? Do you carry the limiting belief that being in ANY relationship, regardless of how toxic or unsatisfying is superior to being single?

If so, why do you have that belief? Who told you that? Is it actually true? Can you think of examples where it might not be true? Are you willing to sacrifice your future success – being all that you were created to be – just to avoid (temporarily) making someone mad (they will get over it, believe me). Are you insecure and overly dependent upon other people? What amazing things might be possible in your life if you were willing to distance yourself from negative or unproductive  relationships?

Asking yourself these questions requires bravery, honesty, and character. This is the beginning of wisdom. After a certain age, we ourselves are responsible for how our lives turn out. We alone will reap the consequences for our life choices. It is no one else’s fault, ultimately. You cannot blame your family, friends, lover, or spouse if you’re not succeeding, even if they are toxic and negative.

As an adult, you get to choose who you spend your free time around. If you insist on spending time with people who belittle you, put you down, let you down, waste your time or money, laugh at your dreams, or encourage you to stay the same rather than evolve into the person you were meant to become – that’s “your bad.”  It is your responsibility to take your life seriously, and do for yourself whatever you need to do. If you don’t support, respect, and value yourself, please don’t expect anyone else to.

On the flip side, once you take the brave action of stepping out alone (or with fewer people) – even though you might feel lonely, afraid or insecure – the Universe rewards courage. Once you are free from any emotional or spiritual anchors, you will be surprised at what you can achieve! Some of those lingering bad habits might start falling away. You may shed all that procrastination and start working towards your dream-life. At the very least, you will no longer be limited by the mindset of your environment.

Don’t sell yourself short. You are a powerful being. You are the Greatness of Spirit living in human form. But as humans, we are sensitive to our environments. Our environments consist primarily of other people. We can love people where they are, for who they are, without allowing them to infect our own mindset, and limit our potential. It is important to be mindful about who we spend our time with. We need to consider what seeds they may be inadvertently planting in our consciousness.

People mean well. But, if they are unconscious, they are subject to the prevailing negative, toxic mental attitudes that flourish in society. If you want to break away from mediocrity and do something different, you have to do something different.

Take the brave step and set the boundaries you need to set. Allow your greatness to shine unhindered and undimmed. You’ll be glad you did!

Peace and love,

Raven

What the Hell is a “Balanced” Chakra?

When you receive a Reiki session, the practitioner’s goal is to “balance your chakras.” But what does this mean?

Chakras are centers of energy in the body. This energy is the Life Force that animates all living things. It is the difference between being alive and being dead.  The second a person dies, their body is still warm, but the Life Force has separated from the body; it has begun its transition towards a new and different realm of existence.

But, while we are alive, the Life Force within us has several central energy points, called chakras. There are many, many chakras. However, seven are commonly recognized: The root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye, and the Crown chakra. Ideally, these energy centers are in perfect balance with one another. No one chakra is more important than any other. All are interdependent and necessary for life on the planet.

However, internal and external forces can affect our body’s Life Force. When we are sick or injured – physically, mentally, or emotionally – this can distort the flow of life energy in the body. Trauma – physical, emotional, and mental –  can cause areas of stagnation, or stuck energy. This stagnant energy can register as actual pain, or as something more subtle. Subtle, stuck energy can proceed to quietly damage the area of stagnation until, eventually, it manifests as a chronic emotional problem, or an area of limitation in one’s life.

For example, the root chakra controls our connection to the earth. It affects our ability to use the earth’s resources and our own inborn talents to make a living. It is most associated with ego, the survival instinct. If the root chakra is damaged and weak, a person’s life may be very out of balance.

The person with a weak root chakra may be highly spiritual and very sweet. But they may be unable to hold down a job, make a living, or thrive independently. An unhealthy root chakra can make someone incompetent at the skill of daily living. They might even become physically unhealthy, as their connection to the planet is often weak or dualistic. They subtly disdain the things of the earth in lieu of “heavenly” things. They embody that saying “He’s so spiritually minded, he’s no earthly good.”

On the other hand, a balanced root chakra is one in which the ego is healthy and strong. There is no perceived separation between spiritual matters and earthly matters. Making money is viewed neither as an obsession, nor as something to fear or push away. Money is, therefore, used for the benefit of the person’s physical and spiritual well-being. And, because they are healthy and balanced, they can turn around and help others. They can be a beneficial presence on the planet, and not a burden.

People are negatively affected when the chakras are out of alignment. Each of the chakras has a pathology if they are not all balanced and integrated with one another. There is no “good” and “bad” in the natural order. The “higher” chakras (heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras) are not better than the “lower” chakras (root, sacral, and solar plexus). All are one. All are necessary. All must be in flow and communication with one another.

Aside from receiving a Reiki attunement by a practitioner, you can balance your own chakras through meditation. If there are areas in your life you recognize as being “stuck,” you owe it to yourself to give those areas the love and attention they deserve.

You’ll be glad you did!

Peace and love,

Raven