Shadow, Light and Redemption: Explaining Evil

Sometimes, people find my ideas bothersome…

…because I say that we should keep striving to use EVERY mistake as a lesson–even if people end up dying as a result. Hello, manslaughter?

…because I say that whatever happens is “right” by the nature of the fact it happened. What about rapists and murderers? Am I not telling their victims to suck it up and accept these events as “learning opportunities?”

Maybe you won’t agree. That’s beyond fine! At the core of my philosophy is considering the human spiritual journey as a highly personal and ever-evolving event. My ideas will change over time. Hell, if I’m living right, they SHOULD change. But I speak to where my thoughts are now, because this site is a chronicle of my own journey.

I consider “God” to be the essence of the Hermetic concept of “the ALL,” the unknowable spiritual force that comprises the sum total of all that is. You cannot pick and choose what has “God” within when you deem everything as part of the same whole, with divinity running throughout all existence.

I don’t believe in accidents, coincidences or mistakes in the sense of random mishaps. Instead, I believe certain, significant life events are chosen by a soul before a given incarnation as a path to mastering specific lessons. This is why different people have different astrological charts, different gifts and challenges. For me, this conceptual structure bridges the philosophical quandaries about when the Law of Attraction appears to fail and why God (however you perceive God) would allow evil.

Does that mean I’m endorsing and excusing evil? Of course not!  But I do see darkness as part of the whole of how Spirit sometimes manifests. In my mind, this is the answer to the elusive WHY evil exists. The darkness only makes sense if serving a purpose.

I find truth in the Hermetic principle of polarity.

“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are  identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet;  all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” -The Kybalion

If your concept of “God” is the spirit that encompasses all that is, then ugly as well as beautiful is part of the same whole. There is no light without shadow. If you see human life on the physical plane as a sort of “soul development school,” you’ll see a function for the dark, even if you choose to walk in the light.

Love is a very high vibration. The most compassionate and loving people I’ve met throughout life are usually people who’ve suffered the greatest pain. I could see it as horrific injustice (and it IS, in many senses of the word), but I can also see this as a manifestation of their higher self’s decision to master advanced lessons in the current physical incarnation. Which perspective is more empowering?

I want to be part of helping people find ways of living BEYOND pain. What good does victimhood do? Yes, there is evil perpetrated but if you define as a victim, anger and despair become chains to whatever it is we do not want to experience. Why reinforce bondage?

When I encourage a broader view of harsh experience, my hope is to find relief and grow the light through the process. The more extreme the experience (on either end of the light/dark spectrum), the more power it inherently contains. I aim to redeem shadow by transmuting it to light, utilizing the power residing within deeply impacting experience. There are lessons at the edge of Hell not readily available elsewhere. It’s with the choices made of Free Will throughout this life that such intensely powerful energy gets expressed in ways we define as good or evil. That’s Karma and an entirely different discussion.

This perspective allows me to sometimes talk to people who have moral codes far differing from my own without judgement. I’m human, not 100% able to manage this. But I strive. I do not know the path anyone else is on–I don’t know the mission of their soul. I only encourage the redemption of pain and shadow through transforming it into wisdom and light. To me, accepting the reality of life as it IS as being inherently and cosmically “right” without having to understand the full functions of each expression is a working definition of “faith.”

I’m not saying anyone else need accept my views. If something I say prods you to question what you see as “reality” in your own life and on your own terms, if something I say helps you gain some perspective or redeem an ugly experience into something lighter and more empowering, then I’ve performed a service.

How do you explain evil?

Fluffy Bunny Psychicism (Right Does NOT = Light)

If psychic abilities come from God/the Universe/Source/Insert-Deity-of-Choice-Here, then it’s good and only good, right? If you play ugly, you’ll lose the gift?

A LOT of people feel that way.

I get the reasoning. The implied argument is that if someone CAN do this “psychic gig,” they must be good and upright and just. Gotta be from Spirit and Spirit is always loving, right?

That right there is how people get conned out of thousands of dollars, man! People also say that a beautiful voice is “a gift from God.” But we don’t automatically trust somebody because they can sing pretty, now do we?

Why do people assume all Spirits are of the light, kind and benevolent variety? And that we, in our uber-fairy-magical-rainbow-wonderous-energetic-specialness, can ONLY connect to love and light and goodness?

“Why, evil only exists to those who believe,” they’ll tell you–“and if you don’t believe, it cannot hurt you.”

To that, I respectfully say, “Bullshit.” That belief serves about as well on the astral plane as it does on the physical plane, man.


We readily accept the idea that there are all manners and varieties of PEOPLE on this planet, but not the same of Spirits. We attribute the idea of specialness to those who have “the gift,” sometimes forgetting that WE, too, have the same birthright to the psychic senses as anybody else. We are ALL psychic. Some of us are just better at it naturally–or often, just work harder at developing it–than others, no different from any other gifts humanity shares.

I DO believe if I were to misuse my abilities, I’d run the risk of losing the knack of tuning in the same way I do now. But that’s not because I think the only source of spiritual help is soft, baby-faced cherubs who bask in the light of my inherent goodwill. It’s because I am trying to DO something meaningful and hence, can attract a higher vibration of spiritual contact than, say, four drunks with an oijii board on Halloween.

If I went seriously south by my own choice, it’s my belief “the flow” as I can access it  currently would dry up in a New York minute. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t find any Spirits to help. Thing is, we attract what we ARE. If we’re con artists, we’ll attract spirit helpers that are con artists, too. If we’re liars, we’ll attract lying spirits. If we’re well-intentioned healers, we’ll attract spirits that are well-intentioned healers. I know what I want to be, and what I want to attract.

I’ve MET con artists who can do readings. Being a good reader doesn’t make someone a good person. Free will and all, y’know?

Don’t equate accuracy with goodness. Always, always, always listen for the ring of truth in your own heart. That ring of truth trumps any aura of righteousness anybody tosses around. NEVER give away your power. That’s the bottom line.

What do you think?

How can you make somebody change?

I work with  a LOT of people who are unhappy in interpersonal relationships. Be it mate, child, parent, friend, coworker, whomever, there are issues. People want to know how make somebody change, although it’s not necessarily verbalized as such. The wish is still there.

Here’s the thing: you don’t make somebody change. You can’t. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. You can pitch, persuade, threaten, manipulate, cajole, shame, pray, encourage, reward, ignore, deny, or do whatever else comes to mind. Your efforts may or may not have an impact, but even if they do, it’s often temporary and it’s never YOU making the changes happen. It’s always, always, always a choice. We call it “free will,” baby! Everybody’s got it, damn it.

But it’s NOT impossible to change a problematic relationship. In fact, it’s remarkably easy. There’s only one sure-fire way to do it, though.

Change yourself.

Now, hear me out.

It doesn’t matter who’s “right.” It doesn’t matter if you “get it” or not, although understanding can sometimes aid in the search for compassion and patience. (Be careful what you ask for. Compassion and patience sound great on paper, but they are advanced life courses!)

Here’s the thing: the stuff that makes you unbelievably angry, or hurt, or crazy, or confused…all those things are inescapably a byproduct of your thoughts, your beliefs and your choices. The feelings always come directly from YOUR energy. The behavior of others is not your choice, but your response to that behavior is exclusively under your control. So your subjective experience of a relationship is also firmly within your own control, like it or not.

I’m not saying it’s easy! I’m not saying it’s your job to stick to the bitter end in any situation. Sometimes, bailing is the best scenario. I’m saying no matter what actions you decide upon, take responsibility for yourself completely. It’s an incredibly empowering act.

Because the followup lesson here is vital: the stuff that makes you the craziest? It does for a reason! That crazy-making stuff one way or another reflects your own shadow self. And those relationships that constellate around us? They also do so for a reason. You can dump the relationship (and the next sixteen after), but you still have to wake up with yourself and your own state. That doesn’t just go away.

That Five of Wands from the Legacy of the Divine always reminds me of this particular lesson, because all the conflict stems from the same tree. Every time you want to go ballistic, look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How do I see myself in these triggers?” I can promise you, you’ll almost always be able to locate a self-reflection.

We attract people and situations who match our own energy, our vibration.  In a physical-world sense, we attract teachers of our own needed education. You can ditch the messenger but you cannot ditch the message. You can only do the homework or skip out, only to repeat the class until you graduate it.

This is how to break patterns. Once you shift your own energy, the relationship itself changes as a result. You’re always part of the energetic mix of any relationship involving you, eh? So when your energy shifts, so does the whole. It may shift to suit you, or it may fall away if it’s no longer required for your evolution. Maybe your shift causes improvements. Or maybe you don’t care any more, having dealt with your own stuff that brought you there. However it shakes out, though, you’re leaving stronger and wiser than how you started. At that point, it’s served it’s purpose and no longer has to be endured as-is.

The thing that keeps you chained to the pain is the lesson that’s lurking there.

Have you found this to be true?

Zodiac Spread – Forecasting into 2013

What’s the next year hold in store?

The title of this post is your first clue, I expect to be around December 22, 2012. Ha!

Being all about the free will, I don’t generally do a lot of heavy forecasting Tarot work. What’s the point of picking up the cards if you have no power to alter your course? I pride myself on helping people find their OWN power, not handing out fate-heavy prognostications from on high. Not my gig.

But I still see the value in peeking ahead–maybe for birthdays or the coming year, or during a demanding period in general–because it’s an opportunity to prepare to make the most of what you’ve got on offer from the universe. It’s like planning for a trip by penciling in the itinerary. It’s preparation to make the most of the experience.

I really like the Zodiac spread for general look-aheads, mainly because it covers a whole lot of ground.

 Simple Zodiac Tarot Spread

There are much more complicated versions, but I like to focus on the message instead of flourishes.  To do a basic Zodiac spread, pull a card for each of the 12 houses around the wheel, and read the card in the context of the Astrological house.  I always like to add a “take home” card as overview to identify a primary focus and pull it all together. That’s it!

Well, and the interpretation, of course. That’s sometimes the tricky part… I especially think it would be interesting to compare with your natal chart to see how your energy and the forecast compares.

I don’t do the Zodiac readings on a routine basis, because most of my folks have specific concerns they want to address. But I thought they would be a nice addition for the Holidays.

So, through January, I’m offering a Holiday Peek Ahead: Zodiac Tarot Spread, covering each of the 12 houses via email so you can review it over the year to come. Like all my email readings, I’ll send pictures of your cards. Let me know if there’s a special deck from the Everyday Tarot column you’d like to see. I’ll accommodate you if I can.

:present: As my gift to you, I’ll include a natal chart astrology report to compare with your reading.

Ho ho ho! And in keeping with the holiday spirit, I’d also like this little look ahead to stay affordable. So I’m charging $40 for the whole shebang.

These will only be available through January (and maybe never again at this price).

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Do you use any Astrological Tarot spreads? Tell us about them!

09/14/12: Release for Peace | 8 Cups

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“What you don’t release drags you down.” –Zen Proverb

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do the first time you trie, but once you master the notion the world is not ABOUT you, but merely host to you, it becomes easier.

You kids, your parents, your friends, even the strangers you meet, can indeed be whomever and however they please. Just because you occupy the planet at the same time, just because you have a clear indication of what’s “right” by your standard does not give you the moral authority to tell another sentient being how to live.

I don’t care if they are killing themselves. Once you’ve tried persuasion, move on.

Let go of the need to be right. Let go of the need to save. Let go of the desire to control. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Let go of the fear. Let go of the pain. Let go of the certainty. Let go of it all.

What you’ll find, ironically, is that by letting go if everything, you end limits. You become one, with all that is. Like the water that no longer clings to this leaf, you end your separateness to merge with eternity. This is the same as surrendering the monkey mind, hell bent on control, to the greater vastness of nothing. It’s connecting with the divine, an act of absolute faith and absolute beauty.

Let go.

What do you notice about letting go?

Osho Zen Tarot Set
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Tarot Tidbits: The Cards and Free Will

People are sometimes afraid of becoming involved with Tarot, worrying they will “muck up” destiny.

What relationship do you see between Tarot and Free Will?