************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Friday, January 28, 2011

Shaman and Boundaries - Part One

I’m  having a very hard time staying in my adult self, and keeping myself out of the heavy emotional angst that is obscuring the truth. I want to write the letter to my parents. I want to get a clear picture of what these boundaries should be and of how to inform my parents of my boundaries.

This morning, I sat to meditate, an attempt clear my mind of all the debris that is preventing me from this course of action. As I took deep breaths, I saw the little ones inside and consoled them, again. I promised, as C suggested in an email last night, that I would not send anything to my parents until every one of my parts felt ready.

Then, suddenly, I thought of the oracle cards. I’ve been experimenting with the Shaman Oracle cards since Christmas, trying to learn how they can work for me.

I feel as if there is guidance in drawing cards, as there is in many contemplative activities. It makes sense that when we sit quietly and listen openly we are more likely to hear what is already known in our hearts. These ultimate truths are always there, but they are often hard to hear because a cacophony of chaotic mental noise is ever-present.  

There are many ways to read cards, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of decks one could choose. My first deck – the Osho cards – were a wonderful opening for me into the world of tarot. One could assume that the spirits/angels/guides/gods are directly moving my hand to choose the proper cards. It honestly does feel that way, at times. Whatever beliefs you have or names you choose to use, if you believe in a guiding force of any kind, why not believe that it is there for you when you look for it?

If this is not something you could believe, you might instead assume that the answers I seek are drawn out through association with generalities written about the cards. It’s true that there could be infinite interpretations, much like with astrological predictions or palm reading or even biblical passages. However, I believe the inner wisdom is always there, under the surface, and for me I’ve found that drawing cards helps me tune in to that which I already know, somewhere inside.

I have fine-tuned the Shaman Oracle cards to my own needs and meditation style. The cards come with a glyph page, a “map of the Shaman’s world,” according to the book. There are five “caves” represented on the glyph page, one for each digit of the hand painted in the center. Each cave corresponds to a different aspect of life.

In my method of using the cards, I draw two cards which correspond to myself (the journeyer) and my spiritual guide (the companion). Then I begin drawing center cards. I draw a card and place it over the corresponding cave. I continue picking cards until I select a card which corresponds to a cave I’ve already covered. Consequently, I may draw only two more cards, if I draw two for the same cave, back-to-back, or I may draw up to six more if I draw one for each cave first. The final card (the repeated one) is the one which corresponds to the spirit world.

I don’t know how clear that is, but I think it will become clearer as I go through the whole process. It’s like reading the rules for a new game. It’s a lot easier (and more fun) to just play the game and figure it out as you go.

This morning, I had a hard time coming up with a specific question. The noise in my head was still very loud, even after quite a bit of quiet meditation. I knew I wanted to find out something about the letter I intend to write to my parents, but I couldn’t get a clear picture of what I wanted to know. Finally, I wrote a question on a piece of paper and placed it in my lap.


Shaman Oracle Meditation

I open the glyph page and smooth it out in front of me.

I pick up three objects: the black stone, the white stone, and the heart charm.

The white stone is a symbol of connection with God. The heart charm symbolizes connection in this world. The black stone has gradually begun to change meaning over time. Just touching it’s cool surface seems to give me a kind of inner strength. It has come to symbolize a completely integrated “me”. (This “me” in quotes is how I identify the part of me that feels most like my adult self. It is the part into which other parts are integrating – sort of the mother ship of personalities.)

To the left of the glyph, I place “The Journeyer” card. I close my eyes and pick up the black stone. It’s like holding all of me in the palm of my hand. When it warms, I place on the left of the glyph, above the card.

To the right of the glyph, I place “The Companion” card. The companion is meant to be my spiritual guide.

I am still in the early stages of understanding this method of reading, but for me, at this time, “The Companion” is C. She is the one who has opened up my spirituality, given me permission and encouragement to explore what my connection to the world and the universe is, and what it means to me.

I hold the heart charm until it’s warm, and then place it above The Companion card.

I hold the white stone, and when it feels right, I place it above the glyph.

I sit with my left hand on the hand painting on the glyph, and my right hand on the deck of cards. I read the question out loud.

 “Am I on the right path as I prepare to set these boundaries with my parents?”

With eyes closed, I hold both hands out, over the spread-out deck of cards until I feel drawn one way or another. I feel a pull to the left and slowly move my hands until I know which card to choose.

The Shaman of Purification

I place this card over the journeyer card. This card will reflect what I need to know about myself. I like that it has come from the Cave of Shaman.

Again, I hold my hands over the deck. I feel pulled to the left, again.

The Dancer of Frustration

I don’t like this card, in this position. I’m nervous about the interpretation as I place it over the companion card. The fact that it is from the Cave of Dancers feels right on… but frustration?

I clear my mind, waiting to interpret until all the cards are drawn and I can read the book. I close my eyes and again hold my hands over the deck. The next cards I draw will represent how this question affects various aspects of my life. This time I’m drawn to a card in the center.

The Shaman of Reflection

I prepare to draw another card. This one comes from the right side of the deck.

The dancer of Joy

I draw another card.

The Hunter of Paths

And another.

The shaman of Foresight

Since I’ve already covered this cave of Shamans, this will be the final card. I place it at the top, near the white stone. This will represent what I can glean from Spirit.

So, I have a total of six cards to help me determine if I’m on the right path, at this time. Since I feel most connected to the Shaman cards, I feel as if drawing three of them out of the six is a good omen. Still, I’m worried…

What is the Dancer of Frustration about?


(to be continued)

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