When Forgiveness Means Saying “Enough!”

by D. Patrick Miller

Over the years that I’ve been teaching and writing about forgiveness, the most common misperception I’ve heard about this spiritual discipline is that it means taking a weak or non-assertive stance toward the world.

People fear that if they forgive someone who has hurt them, or let go of resentment about a hurtful experience in their past, that they will open themselves up to being hurt again.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Properly understood and practiced, forgiveness is the key to increased clarity, power and creativity.

That’s because forgiveness is really about learning how to make your own mind work more effectively. It may begin with releasing a grievance against someone, but in doing so you also begin liberating your mind from patterns of self-punishment. And nothing dulls the mind more than habitual self-attack.

Many people who struggle with depression or even just a “normal” dissatisfaction with life are mostly unhappy with themselves — perhaps for reasons they don’t even recognize — and are hooked on finding targets in the world to take on the blame. It’s a common strategy that never works. Forgiveness means confronting one’s own malaise, resentment, and self-induced misery and saying “Enough!”

One common but often unrecognized cause of chronic unhappiness is living a life in which useful learning has slowed to a stop. And learning is slowed less by lack of intelligence than by a reluctance to let go of bankrupt ideas and exhausted ways of seeing. That is why some problems never seem to go away even when we can sense that solutions are possible, yet somehow just beyond our grasp.

When you feel cursed by fate, look to your own stubbornness; when you seem blocked by others’ stupidity or meanness, question your own perception and the way you communicate. When nothing seems to work, consider whether you have correctly identified the fundamental problem behind your struggles. The object of your blame will always prove to be less of an obstacle than your decision to blame.

When you’re always ready to blame, you will tend to be fearful. You expect to get hurt so you do, and every time you assign blame you also hand over some more of your power. Forgiveness replaces the need to anticipate fearfully with the capacity to accept gracefully and improvise brilliantly. It does not argue with fate, but recognizes the opportunities within it. If necessity is the mother of invention, forgiveness is the midwife of genius.

A forgiving state of mind cannot easily be annoyed, and does not waste time arguing with the unexpected.

This doesn’t mean that the forgiven life is simple or untroubled, and forgiveness certainly does not prevent misfortunes. With practice, however, forgiveness does reduce the severity and frequency of the misfortunes that we tend to arrange for ourselves.

Thus, you can forgive not with the idea that you are doing a favor for someone who hurt you, but that you are being merciful to yourself. To carry chronic anger against anyone or any circumstance is to poison your own heart, injecting more toxin every time you replay in your mind the injury done to you.

If you decline to repeat someone’s offense inwardly, your outward anger will dissipate. Then you can more effectively tell anyone who hurt you how things must change between you. But you must first learn to say “Enough!” to yourself.


D. Patrick Miller is an author and literary agent living in Northern California. You can contact him at www.fearlessbooks.com.

Magickal & Virtual Egregores in the 21st Century

by John L. Steadman

The high tech, pyrotechnic sci-fi writer William Gibson, in his novel Idoru (1996) envisions a future in which a virtual media star, Rei Toei, or the “idol”, marries Rex, a rock star, and the two then create a virtual place to live in Tokyo, in an akashic-type locale known as The Walled City, constructed from inverted kill-file software codes.  Gibson describes the idoru as basically disembodied information, though her holographic persona is artificially intelligent and creative, and the presentation itself is beautiful in an otherworldly way, at least according to human standards of beauty.

If he [Laney, who works as a net-runner in the book] anticipated her at all, it had been as some industrial-strength synthesis of Japan’s last three dozen top female media faces…. the formula tended to be even more rigid, in the case of software agents- eigen-heads, their features algorithmically derived from some human mean of proven popularity.  [But] she was nothing like that.  Her black hair, rough-cut and shining, brushed pale bare shoulders as she turned her head.  She had no eyebrows, and both her lids and lashes seemed to have been dusted with something white, leaving her dark pupils in stark contrast…. the idoru smiled, lit from within…[i]

What is most fascinating about the idoru is that since she is a pure form of information, she affects the mind of the onlooker in different ways; one of the people at the table where she is sitting – a very basic, unimaginative man, to be sure-  sees her as only a big aluminum thermos bottle.  But Laney experiences a nodal vision which takes the form of a narrative; the narrative intensifies when he looks directly at her face.

He seemed to cross a line.  In the very structure of her face, in geometries of underlying bone, lay coded histories of dynastic flight, privation, terrible migrations.  He saw stone tombs in steep alpine meadows, their lintels traced with snow.  A line of shaggy pack ponies, their breath white with cold, followed a trail about a canyon.  The curves of the river below were strokes of distant silver.  Iron harness bells clanked in the blue dusk…Laney shivered.  In his mouth a taste of rotten metal.[ii]

Obviously, the idoru can affect all of the senses of the imaginative person who is in its presence; Laney sees a group of images that reflect historical events in the early dynasties of Japan; flight, privation and migration.  The description is very well developed visually.  And, additionally, Laney’s other senses are stimulated; he hears bells; he feels cold, and he has the unpleasant taste of “rotten metal” in his mouth (this is an interesting sensation; metal can rust, but it can’t really rot and so, there seems to be an almost organic quality to this taste).

For the magickal practitioner who is reading Gibson’s description, he or she will immediately think: egregore, and this is perfectly right.  Egregores are magickal constructs, “beings” if you will, usually created by magickal practitioners for specific purposes and then, deconstructed by the said practitioner when that purpose is accomplished.  However, it is important to understand two important facts about egregores: (1) these beings, once created, have an independent existence from the magickal practitioners who created them; and (2) over time, if the egregore is not deconstructed but rather, allowed to continue its existence, then it will grow stronger and more powerful.  In occult literature, this outcome is often perceived as undesirable, since the egregore will eventually reach a level of development where it can no longer be deconstructed; essentially, it ends up uncontrollable.  For example, Konstantinos, in Summoning Spirits (2005), argues: “Sometimes, creating an egregore can be dangerous…. the legend of the golem illustrates this possibility in an accurate, yet allegorical way…. I recommend…a very careful reading of the actual story before attempting this type of magickal creation.”[iii]   I would argue, however, that egregores do not necessarily become “bad” or “evil” entities, unless their creators are bad or evil men or women.  Indeed, I would contend that egregore can be more or less equivalent to the idoru that Gibson describes above, i.e. benign entities that are thoroughly real in every sense of the term except the physical, and which, in turn, evolve over time and actually “learn” and become more complex, viable beings.  In fact, these entities can ultimately become repositories of information which magickal practitioners, in turn, can access and experience, often as narrative, even though these latter practitioners did not create the entity and have no connection with it other than the basic connection of seeing or experiencing it.

As a case in point, consider H. P. Lovecraft’s Great Old One Cthulhu.  This is a fictional entity, created by Lovecraft in the tale “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926).  Over the years since Lovecraft’s death, Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones have achieved a level of independent existence and surely, they have grown in power and complexity, drawing energy not only from the countless fans and readers of sci-fi and horror and contemporary gaming culture, but also from a small but dedicated group of magickal practitioners who work with these entities in their magickal rites.  In the popular mind, Cthulhu is usually perceived as being “evil”; he is seen as a monstrous, humanoid creature with wings, sharp claws and teeth, and a face full of tentacles.  But is Cthulhu really a monster such as this?  And is he necessarily evil?  I am not so sure. Like the rest of the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu is rarely interested in humans or human concerns; his interest in humanity is essentially no different than the interest that most humans have in lower, insignificant life forms such as insects.  This attitude might be considered “evil”, but only from a human perspective.  What I find most interesting about Cthulhu and his peers, however, is that they tend to appear differently depending on the perspective and the cognitive level of the person who “experiences” them.  In fact, like Gibson’s idoru, complex egregores such as the Great Old Ones are best understood as experiences, as nodal visions, and even, at times, as narratives that play out the individual minds and the psyches of the observers.  Lovecraft makes this clear right from the onset in “The Call of Cthulhu.”  When Cthulhu’s sunken city R’lyeh resurfaces due to a disturbance in the Pacific Ocean, Cthulhu, momentarily free, is perceived in different ways by a group of sailors: some of them see him as a monster, snatching them up in his claws; others see him as only a vague, overwhelming shape- “A mountain walked, or stumbled”, as Lovecraft puts it.  And one of the sailors perceives Cthulhu in geometrical terms, i.e. as an acute angle that behaves as if it were obtuse.

Clearly, the affinity between egregores and virtual entities such as Gibson’s idoru demonstrates just how close the line between magick and science is becoming in the 21st century.  Skilled magickal practitioners have always possessed the ability to create virtual beings; the presentation is akashic rather than electronic, but the principle is exactly the same.  Scientists, however, are only now in the process of learning how to do this.   This circumstance is a good thing, since it indicates that the two disciplines, science and magick, will eventually become one in a not so distant future, just as they were in a not so distant past.  And as technology finds ways to bridge- at least electronically- the gaps between different dimensions and the diversity of worlds inside and outside of our solar system, magick will have to be there to serve as a philosophical and metaphysical underpinning, helping the scientist/magickian to interpret and understand rightly the wondrous things that are waiting to be discovered.

[i] Gibson, William. Idoru. New York, Berkley Books, Inc., 229-30.

[ii] Ibid., 230.

[iii] Konstantinos. Summoning Spirits: The Art of Magical Evocation.  Woodbury, Minnesota. Llewellyn Publications, 2003, 5.


John L. Steadman is the author of H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.

Preparing Yourself for Spellcasting

by Leanna Greenaway

Some people love the idea of meditating, others think that it will be boring or a waste of time. The fact is that you won’t get anywhere with your spellcasting if you can’t attune your­self, so the following easy meditation techniques will begin to turn your mind, your psyche, and your aura in the right direction for the work that you wish to do.

Before you begin to cast spells, you must try to clear your mind and thoughts and rid yourself of any negative vibrations. Now let us take a look at meditation and visualization. It is impor­tant to focus when you perform ritualistic tasks, because you need to master the art of tuning in to your inner self so that the spells that you use will be effective.

When someone begins to learn the art of meditation, they usually follow the guidelines written in certain books or teach­ings. This is fine as a beginner’s guide, but as you progress, you will form your own methods and exercise your own techniques. There are many different ways to meditate, and I am sure that you will eventually discover the system that suits you best. What suits you may not work for another person, but as long as you practice regularly, you will find you can really can tap into your subcon­scious and become at one with yourself.

Meditation and visualization are not only useful for putting yourself into the right frame of mind for performing rituals, but they are also a fantastic sleep aid. I read somewhere that ten min­utes of good meditation is equivalent to four hours sleep, so it really is worth giving it a try. I usually advise my students to spend a couple of weeks working on their meditation before starting to cast spells.

How to Meditate

Find a quiet place in your home. It is probably best to lie down on your bed, but relaxing in a scented tub can create the perfect setting. Take care, because meditation can make you sleepy; so for goodness sake don’t drown! Surround yourself with scented candles. Ensure that you have complete peace and quiet and that your family and pets are unlikely to disturb you.

Take three deep breaths and clear your thoughts as you do so. In your mind, recite your protection prayer for whatever day of the week it happens to be and imagine that you are looking out through your inner eye. Keep your breathing steady as you do this. In your mind, count down from thirty to zero. Your body should start to feel light, floaty, and relaxed at this point.

Next, take ten deep breaths, but this time, imagine that with every inward breath you are inhaling all the magical energies of the universe. As you exhale, imagine that you are ejecting the negativity that is within you. This is called spirit purification, and if performed properly, it can give you a wonderful sense of well­being. The next stage is to take a further ten deep breaths, letting the magic that you have allowed in to envelope your spirit. It takes practice to perfect this, so don’t be too disappointed if you fall asleep; enjoy the rest and try again the following night.

Excerpted from Practical Spellcraft by Leanna Greenaway9781571747549


For the past 11 years, Leanna Greenaway has had her own monthly column in Take a Break’s Fate and Fortune magazine. As their resident witch, she answers reader’s questions and offers quick and easy spells to combat problems. She is the co-founder of The Psychic Study Centre and lives in the south of England.

Tarot and Astrology Travels in Italy

by Marcia Masino

There are some “must see” locations for the Tarot and Astrology enthusiast planning a trip to Italy. My suggested itinerary will take you to Florence, Milan and Bologna with a stop at Garavicchio in the Tuscan countryside to experience the world-famous Tarot sculpture garden. I’ve also included an excursion to the world’s most famous zodiac cathedral in the hills outside Florence in the “gotta go there” category along with a Tarot themed restaurant, museum and rare bookshop.

Italy is regarded as the birthplace of the Tarot. The first recognised Tarot decks were recorded between 1430 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna. The oldest surviving tarot cards are from the mid 15th century and painted for the Visconti-Sforza family, the rulers of Milan. Cards are documented in a written statement in the court records in Florence, in 1440 for the first known time.tarot-and-astrology-travels-in-italy

Tuscany and The Tarot Garden

The Garden of Tarot is a sculpture garden based on the 22 Major Arcana cards created by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Location – In the Italian village of Capalbio located in Garavicchio in the Maremma countryside Tuscany. St Phalle, along with love and collaborator Jean Tinguely designed and produced this architectural and archetypal masterpiece.

The sculptures and dwellings are huge, modern, recognizable, trippy, thoughtful and playful. They were made from soldered steel covered with cement then decorated with mosaics of ceramic, mirror and glass. The artist resided inside and worked on her sculpture garden for over twenty years.

St. Phalle stated that her Tarot garden was inspired by a dream she had about creating a sculpture garden. Motivated by faith and her love for humanity, she saw the garden as an “esoteric stroll “and viewed the cards as philosophical trials of self awareness and connection with the Universe. For St. Phalle her large than life Tarot constructions created a direct encounter with the archetypal world and it’s potential to heal and transform those who interact with it.  It is truly a tour de Force and something the Tarot world has to celebrate from this incomparable Scorpio artist.

Address: Pescia Fiorentina, Capalbio (GR)Opening hours:1 April to 15 October from 2.30 to 7.30. Closed: Closed from 16 October to 31 March, one free Saturday per month in winter. Ticket Full euro 12,00, Reduced euro 7,00.

Florence – Il Tarrochi Restaurant

My favorite eatery in my neighborhood in Florence was, ironically, Il Tarocchi, or The Tarot. I received the first copy of the first Tarot book I wrote when I was living in Florence and we went there for a celebratory feast.  The restaurant has Tarot card paintings on the walls above the booths and good pizzas. Very authentic and you’ll find close-by Gelaterias  ( Gelato joints) too. I Tarocchi I tarocchivia dei Renai 12/14r.Florence 50125.

Hillsides of Florence- San Miniato al Monte

Known as the Medieval Astrological Church, with secret symbolism and mystical healing energy. The celebrated basilica was designed with underlying astrological context in 1018 – the 13th Century and is, some believe, dedicated to esoteric sun or solar healing. Think – The Sun Card and The Hierophant when you spend time there and of course the Three of Pentacles.

San Miniato’s relationship with the sun mysteries is profound and my advice is to visit with your head and your heart. The expected elements of arcane design are present in this space – the idea of the interplay of sunlight shafts that illuminate secret meaning within a sacred space through the use of occult symbolism only known to initiates, astrological characters, zodiac wheel and much more await your exploration. If you go with an open heart, you’ll feel the energy of the hermetic wisdom ensconced there and be touched by it.

One is greeted by a zodiac mosaic floor in the main entranceway of the church. A Latin inscription lies on the pavement nearby and when translated it states the time, date and names of the planets involved with a rare celestial event that the astrologically informed founders used for the date to set the mosaic onto the cathedral floor. It was a rare constellational astrological event of a new crescent Moon with the planets Venus, Mercury, Jupiter with Saturn hidden behind the Sun in the constellation of Taurus in May 1207. At sunrise in May the sunlight aligns with the Taurus sector on the zodiac pavement and illuminates it. For those who love an occult mystery this church is a must see.

Bologna – Tarot Book shop and museum. Museo Dei Tarocchi – Via Arturo Palmieri, 5 40047 RIOLA di Vergato, (Bologna) Italy.

Milan –  Tarot Museum Milan, il Meneghello Via Fara 12, 20124 Milano, Italy. Italian Artist Osvaldo Menegazzi has art, decks, rare items, and more at his shop. By appointment.

Best times for travel – April, May, September and October, avoid the summer months if possible. Each of the locations are places to savour so allow ample time to really engage with the energy each offers. You may find significant memories, dreams and thoughts are evoked by these very special locations and a second inspired visit may end up on the agenda.

Good Journeys or Viaggio Sicuro!


Marcia Masino is a certified Grandmaster of tarot and author of the tarot classic Easy Tarot Guide. She has lectured at numerous tarot conferences and is a popular speaker for the Lily Dale Assembly workshop program. Her articles on metaphysical subjects have appeared in Fate and on the Web at http://mmasino.wixsite.com/tarotbooks. She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.

BestTarot

Bookstores We Love – Namaste Bookshop

We are very excited for our latest addition to the blog, Bookstores We Love, a feature dedicated to our independent bookstores! Our next store featured is Namaste Bookshop!


Namaste Bookshop is such a wondrous place filled with spiritual books, crystals, candles, oils, music, statues, jewelry, incense and so much more. The most extraordinary gift of this shop though, are the people that work here.

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The moment you walk into the shop from 14th Street, which is one of the most bustling streets in Manhattan, you can feel the difference immediately.  The tranquility and soothing music envelopes you and puts you at ease, as you are embraced by the attentive staff, who are more than eager to help and assist you in what ever you need. This staff is comprised of passionate teachers of Reiki, meditation, crystal energy, Tarot, Numerology, Theology, Esoteric studies and again, much more. There is love and sincere consideration for the clientele of Namaste.

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These amazing services and contributions are not only offered in the shop on 14th Street but also at the Namaste Bookshop Healing Center, which is just around the corner on 5th Avenue. There are book signings, lectures, meditation circles, Reiki treatments and classes, the Spiritual Book club, crystal classes and psychic readers giving their services every day of the week.

Namaste Bookshop is not just a spiritual book store but a family of passionate teachers, inspirational instructors, located in an oasis of peace and enchantment in the incredible city of New York.

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Connect with Namaste Bookshop!

Website | Facebook  | Instagram

2 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10011

Random Acts of Kindness Week – February 12 – 18

Random Acts of Kindness week is a seven-day celebration showing that kindness is contagious. It is a chance for those participating to the leave the world a better place and inspire those around them to do the same. Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website to learn more!


Here are a few stories from Random Acts of Kindness to inspire kindness this week (and every week).

A Bouquet of Flowers

When I graduated from college I took a job at an insurance company in this huge downtown office building. On my first day, I was escorted to this tiny cubicle surrounded by what seemed like thousands of other tiny cubicles, and put to work doing some meaningless thing. It was so terribly depressing I almost broke down crying. At lunch—after literally punching out on a time clock—all I could think about was how much I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t because I desperately needed the money. When I got back to my cubicle after lunch there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk. For the whole first month I worked there flowers just kept arriving on my desk. I found out later that it had been a kind of spontaneous office project. A woman in the cubicle next to me brought in the first flowers to try to cheer me up, and then other people just began replenishing my vase. I ended up working there for two years, and many of my best, longest-lasting friendships grew out of that experience.

Kindness from a Stranger

A few winters ago, I was at a particularly distressing dinner with a friend who was having a difficult time with her then boyfriend and was considering leaving him. I was getting very worked up because the man she was dating was a very close friend of mine and I was torn between loyalty to her and my friendship with him. She got so upset with me that while I was in the bathroom, she paid her half of the check and left. I was dumbfounded and hurt and so I rushed outside in a weak attempt to reason with her. But she was out of sight and I was so confused that I began to walk without thinking toward the bus stop a few blocks away. I was so lost in my troubles that I started when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I whirled around and to my surprise, there was the waitress from the restaurant holding my purse and coat which I had left in the booth. Without a word, she handed me my belongings and gave me a hug. I burst into tears. She smiled and said, “I have been through that before, and I know how it is. Go home, take a hot bath, and watch Casablanca until you fall asleep.” I laughed, thanked her, climbed onto the bus, and never saw her again.


Do Something Nice

  • Buy a roll of brightly colored stickers and stick them on kids shirts as you walk down the street
  • Spend a week just being aware of things in nature that befriend you
  • Visit a neighbor with a bouquet of flowers for no reason at all.
  • Let the person behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead of you
  • Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously
  • Next time you go to the ice-cream parlor, pay for a few free cones to be given to the next kids to come in.
  • Make a dedication on your local radio station to all those people who smiled at strangers today.

For Your Reading Inspiration

Random Acts of Kindness

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Random Acts of Kindness by Animals

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Random Acts of Kindness Then and Now

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Visit here for more reading inspiration.

Online Dating Spell for the Perfect Partner

by Lilith Dorsey

Many of us have had to kiss a lot of frogs before we found the Prince, or Princess, of our dreams. I had one friend who was out at a restaurant with her online date and he got up in the middle of things and started to proposition someone who was sitting at the bar. Did I say there are a lot of frogs out there? Keeping that in mind, there are many things you can do to help improve your chances of finding the perfect partner online as soon as possible.

There are other things to consider too before we take the plunge into the romantic internet pool. Maybe, until now, we have been working on ourselves, building our empire, raising our children, finding ourselves, healing ourselves, or otherwise too busy to start looking for the right partner. We must take all of this into account as we ready ourselves for a big step into a wider world. That is why the following spell includes elements for finding honesty, communication, healing, joy, passion, and last, but certainly not least, love in your new relationship.

Online Dating Spell Bath

Take this bath before you begin your online dating journey, if possible. It is best performed during the full moon.

Ingredients

3 drops carnation oil
3 drops ylang-ylang oil
3 drops rose oil
3 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops myrrh oil
3 drops gardenia oil
Pinch of dill
1 cup Spring Water

Combine all ingredients in your bathtub along with enough warm water to make you comfortable. Sit in the bath and say the following words:

I seek happiness, honesty, love and joy, 

May the universe guide me to my perfect (enter here what suits you best!) 

As you soak in the water, envision all the obstacles to love draining away and washing off you. Then inhale deeply, and absorb the positive energy of new beginnings created by the herbs and oils in the bath.

Best of luck and love to you on your journey!

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Lilith Dorsey, MA is a magical practitioner/voodoo priestess with training in several traditions, including Celtic, Afro-Caribbean (Santeria and Vodun), and Native American spiritualties. Her traditional education focused on plant science, anthropology, and film. She owns her own magickal consulting business, Branwen’s Pantry, and is editor/publisher of Oshun-African Magickal Quarterly. She is also the author of Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism and The African-American Ritual Cookbook. She has a degree in anthropology from the University of Rhode Island and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.