Monday, June 16, 2014

On divination, meditation, and setting up your own spirituality

(isn't this this most ridiculous picture ever? i sort of love it.)

A few years ago, I made a set of oracle cards that I still use when I need guidance--but I think that all that guidance comes from my own subconscious. I made the cards vague on purpose; each one only has one word, and no pictures*, and the meaning is not written or defined anywhere. I did it that way so that I can always interpret it the way I need to, in combination with the other cards in a draw, to get the meaning that my subconscious is trying to get across to me that day.

I think this is how all oracles work. It's basically nonsense and randomness, but it's nonsense and randomness you use for yourself to make meaning and glean self-determined guidance. 

I think the only guidance that matters, even the guidance from other people, is the kind you filter through your own needs and wants and knowledge and higher / deeper knowledge. It's all what you already know but haven't faced yet.

I've always loved the concept of oracles, but I never really fit with any of the pre-made ones. I have a tarot set that I bought because it's pretty and never use. I made a rune set in highschool and keep it because it means something...I just don't ever know what. I'm fascinated by people who can throw sticks or shells or pig knuckles or stones and know what they're telling them. So I made one that works for me.

What works for you?

I meditate sometimes because I need the calm. I'm not trying to reach Nirvana, and I'm sure that I'm not the sort to reach it even if I was, but there is clinical and proven evidence that meditation works to realign the body and mind, to smooth over anxiety caused by too much not-calming-down, to solve problems you keep getting bothered by, and just to lower blood pressure, stay present, be happy. All of these things work. For me, anyway.

I usually sit for five or ten minutes with a timer running so I don't have to try to be conscious of time**, and just...be. I breathe deeply, I look at what my brain projects against my eyelids, I listen for advise and ideas and new ways to look at whatever is going on, and I practice not obsessing. It's something I really need to practice a lot, but obsessing over not obsessing is sort of defeating the purpose, so I try to bring my calm back out of the meditation space and into my day. 

Some days I just do it to get my back and neck to stop tightening up. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I silence everything. Sometimes I sit outside somewhere nice. Sometimes I pretend to be sleeping and curl up with the cat. Cat purrs are very meditative, and Ninja loves any time when I'm still and warm and she can sit on me.

Most times, I have at least one thing to write down in my journal when I come back, and I write it down and keep it. Sometimes it's an image I can use in art or writing later, or a new idea for some project, or an answer to a question. Sometimes it's nonsense from my subconscious that I need to think about and meditate further on so that I can get the meaning out of it.

How do you create calm and maintain balance?

I'm not religious. I'm not anti-religious, either, because it's obviously working for some people, but I'm not one of them and I'm sort of skittish about religiousness being pointed in my direction. The way I see it, a religion should be discovered on your own through direct intentional searching, not through someone walking up to you and pushing it into your face. 

I haven't needed to look for religion, but I do consider myself spiritual, and I have constructed a list of things I aim for, values I try to support, physical things I try to do--like using cards to get to my deeper self, and meditating to keep my brain clean, and, when I was younger, running wild around bonfires under the full moon***. I've found nuggets of wisdom from all sorts of sources**** and pasted them together into an idea of how I want to be, spiritually, and that's what I aim for. 

I don't think I need any sort of external organization. I know what I believe. I've thought long and hard and tried on lots of different hats to get here. I don't need someone else interpreting the universe for me. I don't need external validation of my beliefs--in fact, I think the specifics should always be kept inside, in your own secret places, unless you're specifically opening up to someone lovingly and spiritually and honestly, like a lover, a best friend, a mentor, a Circle-sister. If everyone kept their beliefs to themselves instead of splattering them all over the world and making them into laws and proclamations they impose on everyone, think how much freer we'd all be!

So how did you find your beliefs? How do you live them and express them each day? How often do you weigh them in the face of new information and adjust them to new realities?

How much nicer would the world be if we all found our own spiritualities at our own pace, and built them to address our won needs, and left everyone else alone?





NOTES:
*I was going to add pictures and never got around to it.
**I have a really weak sense of time, and trying to figure out what ten minutes feels like when I'm intentionally turning inward is like trying to figure out what time means in a dream. 
***I love running wild under a full moon, and I'd still do it every month if my girls lived nearby. It's not as fun alone, and it's unfeasible right now because I don't have a yard and there's nowhere to light a bonfire.
****Spiritual leaders, lifestyle design folk, scientists, philosophers, actors and writers I like and feel drawn to, quotes from books and movies and TV--anything that speaks to me in the most crunchy-granola-hippie sort of way.
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