Celtic Thought For The Day #13: Fear Knocked…

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We live in storm-tossed times: terrorism, disease, crime, money crises, corruption, invasion etc, all grab our attention. TV and newspapers ensure that.

Maybe, it’s always been this way, and we’re just more aware of it?

‘Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.’
(Hafiz)

The answer? Do not give into fear. Fear is a bully that ‘wins’ only if we live our lives in ever decreasing circles before it. So, don’t! Using commonsense , live life to the full.

There’s an old story of someone returning home, after a long absence, only to find seven ghosts had taken up residence. Six ghosts they defeated by exorcism, but the seventh just wouldn’t leave. It was terrifying, annoying, huge and fearsome. The house-owner took advice and followed the somewhat strange advice. He befriended that terrifying ghost. And, being a friend it ceased to be terrifying. It was thwarted, and left.

You are the master of your reaction; can choose your response. Have faith in your ability to overcome fear, and it ceases to be fearsome. It is said that Perfect love casts out all fear.

 Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.

Creating sacred space: A way

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If you’re anything like me, there are times when you need to draw aside. I’m fortunate to live in London and north Wales, and to travel between the two places. In London I meet more people, clients, but I am more time-governed, and like all cities it is known for the hustle and bustle of activity, its busy-ness; and in Capel Curig, Wales I can relax, take my time as time seems slower, and draw aside so much more easily.

The Need

And yet, there are times when I’m in London that I need solitude, stillness, a time to ‘go deep’, ‘recharge my batteries’, and place to ‘get away from it all’, to draw aside.

Are you like that?

In a city, here, of over eight million people it can be, seemingly, difficult to find that peace….but it is not impossible. And, here’s one way of creating sacred space.

I have ‘pooled’ the views and resources of some of my Christian friends, latter-day celtcs, and my druid, wican, pagan and other friends, not forgetting ‘light-workers’ by that or any other name, and my gratitude goes to each one of them for their provision on ideas and information, and their patience with me.

Ofcourse, if you listen to some (other) people, they will tell you that you have to go to the ends of the earth to find that space and peace, and though it is good to travel and there may be some value in experiencing the ‘judder’ of another culture, another spirituality, I don’t believe it’s not a necessity to travel to find that sacred space.

Where?

In a very real and profound sense, the whole of creation is sacred.

A Himalayan mountain-top, Grand Central Station in New York, near the post office in Masod Road in Multai (at the heart of India), at Waterloo Station in London, or in a corner of a room in your house or apartment in Bend, or Glasgow, or Truro or wherever you are; to me, as a latter-day Celt, all places are sacred spaces. What do you believe?

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! ‘. Genesis 28.16-17 part, The Book

And so, in this article I’m looking at creating an awareness of sacred space and intentionality – both important concepts, and both will bring us benefits, as we long to draw aside. Yes, I’ve found that, if I’m aware and intentional, that sacred space can be found even in the City, and so I can forge that awareness of awareness [sic] anywhere.

How?

And, one way of drawing aside, daily, wherever I am (and, wherever you are) is with a home sacred space! Still with me?

In my house, in a small room at the back, in almost total darkness, sitting in front of a small table, I light the three candles on the table, carefully placing the spent match on a little saucer that I had placed, earlier, on the edge of the table just for that purpose.

As the candle-light flicked, throwing a warm and gentle glow on the room’s walls, I could see items I had placed on the table: lit candles, prayer beads, small rocks gathered as a memento of a spiritual pilgrimage to St Nectern’s Glen some years ago, and palm-stones of carnelian and jet and serpentine, a photo of my late-mother, a home stoup (a little trough usually for water, and in this case, containing fragrant oil with little bamboo sticks in it to diffuse the delightful aroma), a ceramic goblet and jug…

I sat cross-legged, back upright, relaxed, quietened my thoughts, closed my eyes (almost), breathed deeply (‘in through the nose and out through the mouth), and waited. This is the first stage, the stage of separation (from thinking about the mundane), and I waited…

For some, the notion of creating (an awareness of) sacred space may seem odd or artificial, or outside their ‘normal’ mode of spirituality. Some would use such times to pray for others and such prayers can easily take the form of a ‘shopping list’ of prayers. There may be nothing wrong with that, but this way of using sacred space, I believe, slows us down, takes us deeper, and is something that we can put our heart into.

It was as though, in the darkness, a delightful, benevolent, positive-energy and loving Presence had surrounded me. I knew if I tried to think about it, to rationalise the experience there and then, that thoughts would get in the way, and it would ‘disappear’. And so, I waited, did nothing, and in the stillness and darkness, basked in that Presence and enjoyed the encounter with the Friend. This is the second stage, the stage of encounter.

And so, I would very much like to encourage you to give the idea of creating a sacred space, say, a special table, a start; to adapt it to your spirituality and needs, and see what happens. I do believe you will benefit in a myriad of ways, some of them completely unexpected.

It may be best to start off with a low, small table in the corner of a room, a place where you can go and not be disturbed.

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. Genesis 28.18, The Book

Think deeply of what you want to achieve.

Is there usually the need for peace after a busy day? Would you like to spend time ‘journeying inward’ to meditate? Would you like to use the table as a prompt to pray/send positive energies to those in need? Would you like a book of prayer or chants to hand, or an outline of some form of ritual to do? Be inventive. There are many uses for sacred space, and they’re not mutually exclusive.

After what seemed like five minutes, I opened my eyes fully. Because I wanted to use this time to think of another, I reached out from that seated position, and took hold of the carnelian palm-stone. I moved in onto the little wooden plinth on the corner of the table, and centred my thoughts of this friend in need.

What you put on the table is up to you. I would suggest it should be meaningful to you: photographs of loved ones or pictures of saints, and/or rocks or pebbles that have some meaning to you, oil, anything that encourages you to be more thoughtful, to go deeper, and to encourage spirituality. Some may like to place a small crucifix on the table, others a small plant or a small vase of twigs, still others, might like to place a little statue of a saint etc.

‘Everything is a symbol of something, it seems, until proven otherwise.’ Thomas C. Foster

I have a carnelian palm-stone on my sacred space table. To me, it is a symbol. It is said the carnelian protects against poverty, and the friend I had in mind, as I sat in front of that table, had money worries. Some believe that such stones have magical qualities and that that palm-stone is the right one to use. What do you think? It’s what you believe that matters! That action helped me to focus on my friend in need.

Intentionality is important

It could be that that palm-stone has no magical qualities at all, except that which we give it. It’s intentionality. Being intentional is important.

For me, I try to ‘look beyond’ that palm-stone to the Source of all, and then the  palm-stone is a visible reminder, an enacted parable (the kind you read about in the Hebrew Scriptures) of where the Answer lies, and to remind me of the friend I’m thinking of.

There are no wrong ways of doing this. Enjoy the selection process. It too, is a spiritual exercise.

I half closed my eyes once more and thought of this friend in need. In my mind’s eye I asked the Presence to embrace this friend and to supply their needs. For many minutes after, I did nothing, thought nothing, imagined nothing, knowing that the Source and the Source’s power were sufficient and right my friend was being cared for. I paused for some minutes.

This is apophatic prayer or meditation.

I then deliberately used my imagination – entered the imaginal realm. Rather than just list this person’s name (and others) in a shopping-list type of prayer, I spent some time visualising them. I wanted to slow things down and go deep…

Just picturing them in my mind, and seeing them ‘hugged’ by the presence, and their money problems ‘evaporating’.

This is kataphatic prayer or meditation.

Once, again, intentionality. Is this magical? Is this pictorial prayer? Is it (just) imagination, or more? What do you believe? You decide.

I do believe in the Power at work here, because of our request and intentionality. And so, I could ‘see’ this friend in a better state, and felt as though power had gone out

And then it felt right to finish. But, not too quickly.

Over a few minutes, my breathing returned to ‘normal’, I became aware of my thoughts, I slowly stretched my muscles, and slowly opened my eyes fully.

Even then, I waited a few minutes, basking in the ‘after-glow’ of encountering the Presence. This is the third and final stage: the return.

This is but an outline of one element of creating (an awareness of) sacred space and being intentional in what we do.

Do bear  in mind, action in the physical realm is (still) needed.

Having prayed or meditated, having dwelt in that imaginal realm, what was imagined there, should be ‘worked towards’ in the mundane (always supposing that what you sought was legal, decent, honest and not dangerous).

And of course, in that realm a lot of symbolism takes place. Some work may be needed to put into practice what one saw or felt in that imaginal realm – so, please don’t be too literal about it, in the mundane. If for instance, say, in the imaginal realm you saw your friend, for example, being protected by a brick wall, it doesn’t mean you have to entomb them in concrete in the physical realm! It may mean that you need to surround them with loving acts of attention. Common-sense is needed.

What now?

But, of course, all of this starts with an awareness of awareness, and one good reminder of this is a sacred space in your home that you have ‘built’, that special corner or special table, a sacred space.

Tadhg

 

If you would like more information about sacred space, apophatic or kataphatic prayer or meditation, so please contact Tadhg, direct. Similarly, do please contact him with you views and constructive ideas. We are all on this journey of exploration and adventure, together.

Celtic Daily Wisdom: Liminal Space #1

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If you have ever travelled on the London underground (train system), and especially waited at stations built on the curve of the track, you are more than likely to have heard a periodic announcement as the train pulled in: ‘Mind the gap’.

Such an announcement, encourages due care and attention, lest anyone miss their footing and partially slip, unintentionally, into the gap between the safety of the platform, and the huge and powerful train!

The ‘gap’, then,  is an interesting concept, and as regards the ‘gap’  known  in deep spirituality, it is  a theme well-know to ancient and latter-day Celts and those of other faiths, especially but not only those ancient and/or nature-based faiths, such as my wican, and pagan friends, and fellow-druids etc.

Definition

To many, today, that understanding of the ‘gap’ is known as liminality or liminal space – from the latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold.

‘I looked for someone among them who would…stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land…’. Ezekiel 22.30a (part), The Book

If you’re standing outside your house, for instance, you’re obviously outside. And, once inside your house, you’re obviously inside. But, you need to move through the doorway, walk across that front step, over the threshold, and that’s the limen; that’s what liminality is all about – partially in, partially out!

The limen or liminal space, then, is that glorious ‘in-between-ness’, and from a spiritual point of view, is one filled with power and potential, and where elements of the mundane and spiritual mingle. It’s from there that we can benefit.

It’s a place that some want to inhabit (occasionally), but some don’t. I’m assuming you do, so I’ll carry on writing. What follows is a brief introduction to liminal space.

The liminal can be encountered accidentally as we journey through life, but also intentionally, and in various ways. For instance:

Accidental Or Planned?

I live not far from Capel Curig in north Wales, and a fifteen minute drive from where I live is a wonderful family-owned bakery. I hadn’t been there for some time (as my ministry takes me far and wide), but upon entering the bakery I immediately happenchanced upon the wonderful aroma of bread being baked.

Immediately, in my mind and memory, I was transported back many years to when I was a small child and would visit my grandmother. She always seems to be baking fresh bread over the open fire, and the smell was absolutely gorgeous. It enveloped you as you walked into her house, in a sort of ‘aromatic hug’. Invitational.

Smell, it seems, can be liminal and transport us in our memory to re-experience wonderful and deep moments. It only lasted a few seconds, and I was ‘jolted’ back into ‘the present’, by the female baker asking me, ‘And what can I do for you, love?’. An accidental liminal encounter! (Though I like to think even these things are more than accidents in the grand scheme of things. Maybe planned by the Other?)

I had the privilege of conducting a number of hand-fasting ceremonies recently, and one only a couple of weeks ago. During part of the open-air ceremony the couple exchanged vows as they held each other’s hands, and I concluded with a prayer, wrapping cords around the couples’ clasped hands, and finally draping the stole I was wearing (or rather the end of it) over their hands.

At that point it was as if time stood still. In their garden, the air temperature seemed to drop ever so slightly, local noise (the coughs, joyful crying, babies gurgling etc) seemed muffled and yet birdsong could be heard in the distance; and it was as if there was an increase of ozone, that kind of ‘electric’-on-the-skin feeling, that one experiences from an approaching storm, and it filled the air. We were, and there was no doubt in my mind, ushered into liminal space – that space of power and potential, and where things happen, where we can encounter the Source in a profound way.

Some who attended, came up to me afterward, and asked what had happened. For many of them, it was an unknown but a most welcome experience. It was an intentional encounter of the liminal kind!

Yes, encountering the liminal can be by ‘chance’ or by intention.

Ways To Encounter!

It can be encountered in various ways. For instance: At the baker’s, mentioned above, it was smell; and part of my work is ushering discerning men and women into liminal space for healing, growth, meditation, transformation, house-cleansing especially and more, involving herbalism, especially of the aromatic kind, or the use of power-rocks ie intentionality.

‘…even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him [Paul] were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured…’. Acts 19.12 (part), The Book

As mentioned, I lead various ceremonies, and ritual and liturgy, because what we do and say can open us up to liminal space, and allow us to step into that ‘mid-space’ by moving over the ‘door step’.

Ofcourse, if ritual and liturgy are just done without thinking then little is achieved. But, if time and reverence is given to the event, and there is intentionality, then things happen and we are ushered into liminal space, that glorious ‘inbetween-ness’.

This is interesting to note when celebrating the Caim (intercessory) prayer – and more will be said about that in the coming days

‘There are things known, and things unknown, and in between are the Doors’. Aldous Huxley

Ofcourse, there are a myriad of other ways to access that threshold. For some it may be poetry, for others it may be music or spiritual writing, an awesome sight etc. And, the depth at which people ‘surrender’ varies. Some may only skate upon the surface, maybe fearing to go too deep. Others surrender to the experience completely, and reap the benefits.

‘The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless’. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Another part of my ministry is to usher people into liminal space and utilise the imagination by creative visualisation/active imagination, wherever they are.

Many often believe that the imagination is not real and not useful – advertisers and others know differently. Whatever we do starts with a thought that comes from afar; we allow it to mull around in our imagination or the imaginal realm as many call it; and it slowly ‘solidifies’ and becomes an physical action, though intentionality.

And so, I work with clients, moving them into that imaginal realm of power and potential, where they can encounter….well, they can encounter whatever they can imagine: archetypes, angels, their Companion or the Friend, the Source etc, maybe imagining exotic and beneficial locations to obtain answers, healing, growth, transformation etc in a wonderful ‘inner’ adventure.

A Metaphor?

Maybe these are metaphors for things so deep our words fail us, but symbolism in the imaginal realm can take us further? Maybe, it’s for that reason that much inspiration, contact with the Other etc is mediated through dreams and the imagination?

‘The man who has no imagination has no wings’. Muhammad Ali

It is in that liminal space, that the gap between the mundane and the Other, that things happen – power and potential, and awesome encounters take place.

Accidentally or intentionally you can enter liminal space; you can ‘fly’ and, you can benefit.

Tadhg

PS: Over the next few days, we’ll return to the theme of liminal space, and look at its various stages, examples of how it can be utilised by you or for others, and how it can be expressed (in liturgy, ritual, mediation, visualisation etc).

 

–oOo—

Do contact me regarding liminal space. Part of my work as an anamcara [gaelic/Celtic for ‘soul friend’] is to work with discerning men and women who want to obtain answers to questions, discover more (about themselves),  grow, mature and/or be transformed though creative visualisation/active imagination as a ‘vehicle’ to be ushered into liminal space via the imaginal realm, and/or who would like to enquire about a ceremony, herbalism etc – all forms of liminality..

The Voice…

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From an interrupted, shallow sleep I awoke early,
and walked into the night, as if called by a Voice deep within.

The Voice?
An elemental? An ancestor? My imagination? Bat kohl?

The air was cold and damp,
the darkness seemed to envelope me,
the trees ‘closed in’, and all was quiet.
Nothing stirred.
Nothing at all.
And with some trepidation,
into a forest clearing I slowly strode.

A fallen tree provided a seat,
and I sat, and waited.
The air felt ‘electric’ as though something would happen,
like a ‘silent storm’ approaching.
And I waited. And shivered.
Waited. And got damp.
Waited.
And then from within, or without,
almost undetectable, a quiet, loving, voice was heard.

The Voice.
Slowly, unhurriedly, powerfully, the Voice said:

“As above, so below,
there are things you should know.”

“Human words are powerful, they are a door,
your actions are effective, they are pure metaphor.”

“And so I speak of humanity’s cosmic task,
To be revealed, evidenced, enjoyed, without any mask.”

“And so, don’t just sit, but take heed and do,
these are worded-actions-prayers for many, and for you.”

“And so, again I say, as above, so below,
remember these things; they are things you should know.”

“Through prayer, does that which is unseen, unmanifest,
reveal itself and take form in the blessed.”

“And so, I mention,
with your hands at your side, walk humbly,
take seven half-steps forward, its a journey of intention.”

“And now, raise your hands in simple ‘surrender’,
and point both to Heaven, that domain of awesome splendour.”

“Widen your arms, and so scoop, and harvest
pure energy, pure ‘gold’, and be prepared to be feel blessed.”

“Draw in that power, by folding your arms like an ‘x’ on your chest,
and feel its benefits, its warmth; you’re at peace, at one, ‘at home’, at rest.”

“Then stretch forth your arms, and mould with your hands
as if a ball, that ‘globe-like’ power-blessing from the ouranic meadowlands.”

“With one foot leading, and with knees part bent,
sway back and forth, in preparation for that ‘goodness’ to be sent.”

“In your mind, name the loved-one, the recipient, the friend,
and in your heart, see them, imagine them, to that end.”

“‘Push’ with your hands, that power-blessing from you to them,
and sigh the sound of the ages, the ‘so be it’, the ‘amen’.”

“And then, your hands drop to your side,
power has gone out; but there is no lack,
for the power-blessing that went forth, also comes back,
in another way and at another time, and so you, too, are blessed.”

Having done everything as directed,
I stood there in awe.
The air was cold and yet I felt warm,
the night so dark but in my mind’s eye it seemed to glow.
The Voice had gone.

The Voice? An angel? The Deity? Awen?

The ‘Inner’ You [Part 3]

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Part 3: To boldly go….: In this last post on this theme (for a while) we’re looking at how you can access the imaginal realm (via liminality), what to expect and how it can benefit you. So, it is rightly subtitled. ‘To boldly go…..’, as we journey into that imaginal realm of power and potential.

If you haven’t read the previous post, please check here: The ‘Inner’ You [Part 2], but if you haven’t read part one do clock here: The ‘Inner’ You [Part 1].

As regards clients entering into that imaginal realm, Tadhg organises one-to-one sessions ‘in person’ or via Skype (wherever they are), and leads group workshops.

Here’s an outline of the steps of a typical one-to-one imaginal session, and benefits – they are brief – and it is just one way of accessing that awesome inner realm. Important words and concepts used are in italics.

‘Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.’
Albert Einstein

Liminal entry protocol: In one sense we are always ‘in’ that imaginal realm, especially when dreaming or day-dreaming, and so the ‘clue’ to access it purposely is intentionality. That is, to put ourselves in a purposeful restful state. We always seem to function better when our minds are focussed and so Tadhg uses ritual as an initial starting-point, as a focus, and this could simply be that the discerning client holds a palmstone loosely in their hands throughout.

Tadhg guides each client – so, throughout the session a conversation can ensue and encouragement given. Tadhg uses specified words to encourage clients into that imaginal realm, that is to move them through the area of liminality, that threshold between here and there.

The ‘intersection’/location: Depending on the client and their wishes, Tadhg suggests that each client imagines an ‘intersection’ location, where they can orientate themselves in that ‘inner realm’ and from there explore and encounter.

For some, this could be a field with a signpost pointing in different directions, for others it might be a room with many doors through which to pass, for others it might be a stage where they can move about and so encounter, and for others there are a myriad of initial locations from which to start. It is the starting point for ‘inner’ experiences.

Encountering Inner Characters: In one-to-one sessions many discerning clients come with questions, requests for guidance, maybe the hope of healing, some wanting energy, and others come to experience inner growth and see these sessions as part of their maturation process.

And ofcourse, angels can appear in different forms with that imaginal realm – forms to put us at ease.

‘All God’s angels come to us disguised.’
James Russell Lowell

Many discerning clients come expecting to encounter characters of power, wisdom etc to supply answers, guidance etc.

Those whose ‘theology’ accepts angels, come expecting to meet their guardian angel(s), perhaps, or a specialist angel depending on their requirements. No prior knowledge of angelology is required as we can suggest, encourage and guide you. Such clients are rarely disappointed, and return to revel in these wonderful experiences of peace and harmony, and gain wisdom and understanding. In some cases, the presence of angels can assist clients working through trauma and tough circumstances. In some cases, client report wonderful feelings days after an encounter session. We call this residuality.

Others come to encounter their ‘higher self’ and through representation they can engage and learn from that ‘higher self’.

‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.’
Carl Jung

Some, and it does seem to be a greater proportion of men, come to encounter the archetypes that make up each one of us – our inner ‘psychic’ energies that denote our skills and traits, and of which we have, at least twelve. They can be encountered as characters of what they represent eg the sage, the shadow, the child, the magician, the wise lady, the trickster etc. Clients quickly become aware of their skills and attributes, and in some sessions they learn how to ‘borrow’ the attributes of other archetypes.

Experiencing Inner Locations: Whether its the ‘higher self’, angels or archetypes it seems these wonderful entities love to use symbolism – maybe that is the deepest kind of language that they know for what they want to convey to us. It certainly is the stuff of dreams, and is deep and moving, and memorable.

And so, apart from the straight interview technique with an angel, or ‘higher self’, or archetype – which is very beneficial and direct – do not be surprised it, as in a dream, you experience other locations.

Some clients wanting knowledge or guidance have been taken to a library and found the answer on in a book title. Others discovered inspiration for their dancing, writing or painting, which appears as a precious gem revealed to them by digging deep, whilst others have obtained energy by attending an ‘inner’ gym which is great for sportspeople or those convalescing.

Liminal exit protocol: Using a prescribed forms of words, Tadhg would guide the client back to the ‘inner’ starting point and then back into the physical realm. The palmstone, as a ritual, would be placed on a table by the client and the imaginal part of the session is ended. But, that’s not the end!

‘Unpacking’ and application: Because much of these sessions are a symbolic encountering and exploration – and as Tadhg can converse with clients throughout these session, he has made copious notes – the next step is a discussion to ‘see’ what it means to you. It could be that strange symbols, encountered has great meaning to the clients daily life.

‘Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.’
Philip José Farmer

For instance, at the end of an inner encounter, a client was given a lettuce! They had come with the express intention of finding out whether they should do something or not – whether to take a lucrative job. Although, there are no easy answers – forget anything like a ‘dream dictionary, they don’t work – with the discussion that followed it transpired that a bold granparent who had had a smallholding, and whose motto to this client when she was a child  was ‘do it, little one’, also grew a lot of lettuces. This was confirmation to her to accept the job. Tadhg also shared how, sometimes, in that imaginal world ‘word games’ are played to give a double-affirmation, and a lettuce could be ‘seen’ as affirmation – lettuce equals ‘let us’. It is saying yes! Ofcourse, Tadhg closed the session by urging the client to see this session as part of the ‘shall I take thsi job’ exercise, and she should also check details with professionals, friends and family, perhaps, as well as weighing up the pros and cons, herself.

Gifts, affirmations & residuality: In some cases, a physical gift is given by Tadhg. This might correspond symbolically to any ‘gift’ given by a character in hat inner realm, or treasure dug up. In one case, a sportsperson encountered an archetype in an inner gym, and latter, was given an amber-coloured orb about the size of a golfball. In discussion with Tadgh, after the imaginal experience, Tadhg deduced this was infact carnelian – good for physical strength and endurance, and just right for a sports person. In giving that person a carnelian palmstone, Tadhg showed them how to use it symbolically and uses affirmations when they needed an energy boost.

In all cases, Tadhg seeks to unpack the symbolism and apply it to each persons daily life, work etc.

‘When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.’
Carl Jung

Benefits: The benefits are many and varied. Some come with deep wishes and desires, others come for information or wisdom or guidance, some for healing, others for energy, strength, resolution of some tough problem, or to rekindle a friendship or relationship etc. These sessions are that versatile. And, Tadhg makes no charge for one-to-one sessions. It’s done on a donation only basis.

‘The imagination is man’s power over nature.’
Wallace Stevens

Even more!: One aspect of this imaginal realm not mentioned so far is the ‘blessing zone’. This exciting and amazing topic, including practical exercises, ritual and more, will feature over the next few days. Find out what your cosmic task is.

Tadhg

End note: Because we care, we always remind clients that, as regards healing, this is not the same as cure. Healing may be the acceptance of the way things are, an increase in positivity and determination, assurance of resurrection/ascension, of ‘overcoming etc. This work is complementary, and so those attending with ailments etc are requested to continue taking medical advice and medicines; and those gaining knowledge or guidance etc in sessions etc are requested to (still) consult a professional especially, but not only, in legal and financial areas. In all cases, common sense should prevail.

An Experiment In Time

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Tick, tock! I’m sitting here wondering whether I should treat myself and go out for lunch! Tick, tock! I think I deserve it. I’ve been busy, extra busy over the last few days. Tick, tock! We live in a society where time is of the essence. Indeed, that phrase is the legal phrase in the UK that you need to utter (or write) when issuing a contract where different processes are important to getting the work done.

Time? We have the best of it, we use it, we mark it, we even kill it, but whatever we do with it, the clock inevitably ticks away, and time marches on. Tick, tock!

Here’s a quick question for you. Imagine you’re in a small village, deep in the heart of the English countryside in the autumn of 1752. It’s a glorious day. You’re relaxing. It’s Wednesday, 2 September. And, someone asks you, ‘What is tomorrow’s date’? What would you say? Why, you would probably say something like, ‘It will be Thursday, 3 September’. And, ordinarily, you would be correct. But, ‘No’, says the questioner, ‘You’re wrong. Tomorrow will be Thursday, 14 September!’. And, that’s a fact.

The UK calendar was adjusted to change from the Julian calendar (which was ‘slow’ and inaccurate) to the Gregorian calendar (altogether much more accurate) in September 1752, and people ‘lost’ eleven days. Some people were a tad upset by this, believing they had been robbed of eleven days of their life, some petitioned parliament under the banner of ‘Give us back our eleven days’, and some were so incensed they even rioted, violently,  on the streets!

Time? It seems is something we can even lose.

Do you have the sense that you rush around too much?  Especially over the Christmas period, any feeling on being so hectic that you didn’t have…..time….for yourself?

Feel controlled by the clock?

I had a dream about you. We were racing to be the slowest person on earth. You were winning which meant you were losing. You were gloating because you were a winner and I was taunting because you were a loser. Jarod Kintz

If, like most people, and if you’re anything like me, then you do rush around far too much. It’s easy to slip into that fast-paced action, unaware. We can almost be frantic in our adherence to time. Maybe we’re like the author Umberto Eco. He does everything at double speed in the hope that he can cram twice as much into his lifespan as other people.  Twice as much, twice as fast! The problem is, that in doing so, I think, he has become a human ‘doing’, rather than a human ‘being’, and is missing out.

The trouble started when, as a society, when we moved away from marking time in hours to minutes. Medieval clocks marked time in hours only. However, by the year 1700 most clocks had minute hands, and the marking of time began to move towards ‘the frantic’, and ever more precise, and some would saying annoying, marking of time. Can you feel the pressure building? But, it didn’t stop there. About a century later the second hand was introduced, and a century after that wristwatches were invented. Much more pressure now!

Bit by bit we have became ‘handcuffed’ to observing time in ‘extreme’ ways. And so, today, we can ‘live by the clock’, too, if we’re not careful, if we’re not aware! But it need not be this way. We don’t always need to rush around, bound by the time on the clock. Maybe, sometimes we do, but not always.

The remedy is to ‘slow’. Learning the art of ‘slowness’ or slowing is difficult but it can be done, and there are benefits, and that is the challenge proposed.

Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we’re frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful.
Marianne Williamson

I’m not suggesting that you adopt a ‘timeless’ lifestyle completely, but in part, sometimes, occasionally, to do so. Why, you still need to observe the clock when going to work, meeting a loved one or friend, or cooking the meal for the family etc. It isn’t an all or nothing ‘challenge’, but a ‘bear it in mind and act on it occasionally’ challenge.

So, more about the challenge. Here it is. Your challenge is: Maybe once a month or two, spend a whole day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, without observing the clock, wristwatch etc. Infact, leave your wristwatch off, cover over the clocks, and estimate time, and when you should do something by how you feel and by observing the sun. If you watch tv or listen to the radio, you might inadvertently come across the time, but that’s okay. Just ignore it. It’s nothing to be afraid of!

I do believe you will benefit, but you may find it strange, even disconcerting at first. Eat when you want. Rest if you need. Meditate or pray when you feel like it, and for as long as you require it. Pick up a good book and/or go for a walk and appreciate nature, really appreciate nature  (even if you’re in the city), but do it because you want to. You can still do mundane things like cleaning or going shopping etc, but don’t be too upset if the shop is closed. Sadly, they, not you, may be observing time. Infact, it’s a forgone conclusion that they will be living by the clock.

You may feel ‘out of the loop’, but rest assured, you have entered the ‘loop of the natural’, and strange though it may feel, it is benefiting you. Why, you might even want to write about some of the benefits and your feelings in a journal at the end of the day – whenever you deem the end of that day to be! Even, as an exercise, of not living by the clock, it will be beneficial. It’s an exercise in, with, time. Nowness.

Nowness is the sense that we are attuned to what is happening. The past is fiction and the future is a dream, and we are just living on the edge…. Chögyam Trungpa

So, do try it. Choose a day, and go for it. Record the outcome, and let me know. Tick, tock! Right, that’s it. It’s time for lunch!

Be An Undercover Agent For The Day

pixabay wall-e-933315_640 copyHave you ever had one of those days when nothing seemed to turn out right?

One of those days when people annoy you – could the bus driver care any less as I got on the bus, or did that car driver really have to cut in like that and at great speed? Blame!

Or what about when  events conspire against you – did those birds really have to ‘bless’ my car with the contents of what they ate? I blame the birds or the council department that planted so many trees in an urban environment. Blame!

Or, what about when you turn on the tv news program – was that right, that someone, a sportsperson and so much fitter than me, and two-thirds my age had just passed on? I blame competitive sports councils or God? Blame!

The problem with blaming others is that it is a very real, and very potent form of attack, and it doesn’t solve anything. Infact, it probably makes matters worse.

And, on top of that, at the end of the day, you relax and reflect, and then you have a sneaking suspicion that it just seemed a bad day because of your perception. There’s a nagging feeling of…something amiss!.

Somewhere, deep inside you, there’s a voice that so wants to recite all the good things that happened – you can just feel it – but you oppose it. And, why not, you say to yourself, after all, you’ve invested so much time and effort  in one point of view, the negative, that you’re just not going to change your mind.  It was an awful day, you say to yourself.

It was an awful day, or was it? Someone else should be blamed, or not? Was it just that we were looking for the negative things, and didn’t even notice the good. And, if we’re honest, it’s more than likely that lots of good things did happen, but we were just suffering from the twenty-first psychological ‘ailment’ that we’re all subjected to, of ‘mean world syndrome’.

Could it be that what we saw, all those negative things, was a reflection of how we felt deep  down inside, or maybe it’s an unwelcome habit or tendency we’re prone to? Why, then might start to blame ourselves? Blame!

The problem with self-blame is that it is self-attack, it enhances that negative cycle as we misperceive the world around us, and it doesn’t solve anything. Once in the cycle of negativity and blame, it’s difficult to break out of it – but not impossible.

What if there was another way to react?

Here’s one spiritual exercise you can try – and that I sometimes use in group workshops, usually at the end of the session, so it’s like homework, but good homework. It’s about stopping the blame game, forgiving and blessing because we ‘see’ the bigger picture (but sometimes forget).

I think you’ll enjoy the exercise – it’s a bit of fun, too.  And hopefully you’ll benefit from it, so I do heartily recommend that you try it.

So, sit back, relax, enjoy, read and imagine…

— o0o —

Here’s one exercise, from many. This one is about you forgiving other people and forgiving yourself in the process, and blessing others. You can it try right now. Imagine:

You come from a far off country, and the Ruler of that country is called The Celestial Toymaker. And he or she has sent you on a mission, here. Yes, you’re an undercover agent. A good one.

Everyone here, everyone you will meet today is a toy robot, made by the Celestial Toymaker, and that includes you. And, all those robot toys you meet today will provide you with endless hours of amusement – that’s what toys do – unless they’ve forgotten that they are toys in which case their programming may go awry. Then, you may find they don’t provide you with any entertainment at all, and some of them, on occasions, may irritate you.

You might find it easy to react badly back to them, but you know two things. Firstly, they’re only acting that way because they’ve forgotten they are toy robots and so misbehave. And secondly, you know that you’re a toy robot and so know that you don’t have to ‘misbehave’ back to them because you know you’re a toy robot – though you also know you sometimes forget (and that affects fellow toy robots that you then come into contact with).

The Celestial Toymaker has asked you to contact him (or her) with a progress report as you encounter all those toy robots, today.

There is only one thing to do, well two things really, and these form your mission, today. Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.

  • Firstly, if you come across a misbehaving toy robot, one that annoys or upsets you – remembering that this behaviour is only because they’ve forgotten who they really are, and have forgotten the Celestial Toymaker – you are to report to the Celestial Toymaker using certain code words. And these are, ‘I forgive you’. This can be done as a thought-communication, rather than out loud, so no one (apart from the Celestial Toymaker) will know. He (or she) will then know you are forgiving a wayward toy robot, and will work on that misbehaving toy robot in the most gracious of ways.
  • Secondly, if you come across a toy robot that pleases you in any way, then the coded report to the Celestial Toymaker that will alert him (or her) to the fact that you’ve encountered a well-behaved toy robot is, ‘Bless you’. The Celestial Toymaker will know that you have found a well-behaved toy robot, and will bless them, too.

Ofcourse, once you’ve sent that coded message you can interact with those toy robots in any appropriate way – working well with the behaved ones, and extending forgiveness and understanding to the wayward ones. After all, the Celestial Toymaker is ultimately in control.

And, you’ll also notice that the Celestial Toymaker will bless you, because of your faithfulness, and because he (or she) loves all his toy robots. Every single one of them. Even the ones that go wrong. Bless them!

So, fellow agent, fellow toy robot, do you accept your mission? I hope so. Try it for twenty-four hours. Imagine, a whole day of ‘forgiving’ and/or ‘blessing’ fellow toy robots.

 

Abducted By Aliens: An Exercise

pixabay 111 ufo-782655_1920 copyLiminality is about the ‘gap’ or threshold between Here and the Other, and much of the work Tadhg undertakes encompasses this. Using guided, imaginal sessions and events, he encourages clients to step into that ‘gap’, and benefit from that liminal power and potential. You can benefit, too.

So, sit back, relax, enjoy, read and imagine…

— o0o —

Here’s one exercise, from many, that Tadhg uses with clients. This one is about you blessing other people and being blessed in the process. You can it try right now. Imagine:

Last night as you drove home, on one of those lonely roads where the bright lights of alien spacecraft often shine down – well, they do in the good movies – a bright light shone down from just such an alien craft.

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Friendly aliens…

Fortunately, they were friendly and had your best interest at heart, and so beamed you aboard their craft. Yes, you could say you were ‘abducted’ by aliens. Once in their spacecraft, they explained what they would like to do, and as you agreed, they invited you to lie down on a bed. They then performed a painless and beneficial surgical procedure on the crown of your head.

Some minutes later, as you sat up at the end of the bed, and looked in the mirror that one aliens was holding in front of you, you noticed on the top of your head a ball of spinning white light.

They said that only you (and they) could see this. But, it was so bright, and spinning for fast, and was the size of a golf ball levitating about an inch above your head, you wondered how on earth (pun intended) anyone could miss it.
They explained that where they came from there is an unlimited power to do good, and some of that power was being ‘siphoned’ off and would appear as a ball of white light above your head. They called it a ‘power-blessing’, and said this was quite a natural occurrence on their planet.

They gave you instructions about what is was, how to use it, and how it renews itself after use.

They continued: When you want to bless someone, near or far, for a specific reason eg healing, guidance etc or for no reason at all, all you had to do was to appear to ‘scratch’ your head to release one golfball-sized power-blessing. These power-blessings are a bit ‘sticky’, they explained, and so as you bring your hand down you would have to ‘flick’ it in the general direction of the person you wanted to receive that power.

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A power-blessing…

They could see the look of concern on your face, and went on to explain: In public, they mentioned, try to do this without being noticed, for obvious reasons.

You could for instance, pretend to scratch your head, bring your hand down to the table, and nonchalantly flick that power-blessing like a foosball in the direction you wanted to bless.

Or, instead of a ‘flick’, you could do a pretend cough in the direction of the person you wanted to bless (with you hand or fist to your mouth) – always supposing that they weren’t just inches away from you – and propel the power-blessing as if by air.

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…is instantaneous

Ofcourse, if you’re alone, you could be more ‘melodramatic’. After releasing a power-blessing, you could then allow it to drop to the floor and kick it, like a professional footballer, in the direction of the person you wanted to bless.

Or you could let it fall to chest-height, and with both hands – palms facing outward and thumbs overlapped– push it ‘zen-like’ to the person you wanted to bless.

It’s a well-known fact that power-blessings can travel anything from four feet to four thousand miles instantaneously, so don’t hold back. And, you can bless people, building, events, even pets. Anything!

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..is powerful

And what happens after you use one? They explained that you immediately get another, and another, and another. Infact, you get an inexhaustible supply. And, there’s more. Whenever you use one to bless someone, immediately a ‘copy’ comes back to you from that direction, and you get a blessing, too. Everyone ‘wins’ the aliens explained.

And with that, you found yourself back in your car. Moments later, the radio came back on, and off you drove.

The remaining thought in your mind as you drove home, obviously, a telepathic ‘implanted’ thought was this: ‘Don’t hold back. Bless those you think deserve a blessing, and bless those you think don’t deserve one. Because, you get blessed, too!’

— o0o —

For many people, a blessing might happen only after someone sneezes. Or if we do it for another reason, it is a one-second word spoken, maybe uttered in a somewhat embarrassed manner, and then often forgotten, or part of a long prayer list that can be a bit tedious. And, then we might fall out of the habit of blessing others.

Ofcourse, blessings – a ‘sending’ of power and potential to another, and invoking the power of That Which Is Bigger Than Ourselves – shouldn’t be so complicated that it is a chore, or so staid that we’re embarrassed to do it, or exhausted by it.

This exercise seeks to find a balance, and to introduce some physicality and intentionality into the workout blessing. It’s like an enacted parable found in some ancient sacred texts. So, in using it we can bless others, and do so in a methodical, thoughtful, ‘directive’ and innovative way.

You may think this is not a useful exercise, but if you do like, or want, to bless people and don’t want to just sit, close your eyes and mentally or verbalise from a list of a lot of names, parrot-fashion, I think this is a good way to liven things up, start a good habit, bless others and get blessed at the same time.

This is just one exercise among many that Tadgh uses. Do contact Tadhg for more information.

Some like to use Tadhg’s imaginal, guided sessions to encounter angels, others use it for archetypal mapping, and still others use other forms of liminal exercises to grow and mature, seek answers, seek healing or transformation etc. There is something for everyone.