Cardinals: Yes, I see you!

Cardinal (575x426)So, I’m sitting out in the Sacred Garden, just soaking everything up. Listening to the trees, the leaves rustling in the wind. Do they have anything to say to me?

The birds have  been especially delightful since I’ve been putting out some birdseed magic for ’em, and my mind drifts, getting lost in nature’s whispers…

And then there are the Cardinals. I’ve have noticed so many cardinals lately. I mean, the odd Cardinal here or there doesn’t seem out of place, but I’ve never seen them like lately. And again, now. They watch me just as I watch them, eying me from a distance. Alone, quiet, just watching me.

Is that supposed to be a sign? What do Cardinals mean, anyway? I’m considering Googling it on my phone. But I don’t like to. It’s easier to do it inside, on the keyboard. Maybe I should just…

WHAP!! Jolted back into the now by the smacking noise directly in front of me,  accompanied by flapping wings.

Maybe four feet away, a very large, very ruby-red cardinal had hit and perched sideways on the fence. How did he keep from getting hurt, smacking into the fence?

He, whipped his head around, his huge, black eyes aimed directly and intense into mine. It was the same look a mother might give, had she caught you red-handed sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar before dinner.

Okay, okay! I see you, already!!

I acknowledged him. Just as suddenly and dramatically, he swooped down behind the fence amongst flapping wings and just…disappeared. There didn’t seem to be any place for him to fly off without me seeing him, yet he did.

Duly noted. Cardinals demand attention. If I’m going to be thick, they may get very loud!

So yeah. I looked up Cardinal symbolism.  Their name came from color matching the vestments worn by Roman Catholic Cardinals. Regal fellas! The brighter red ones are male, while the lighter colored, less distinctive birds are female.

As I’d expect with that deep red color, Cardinals are associated with energy and vitality. All that read makes me think Fire Element, so passion, creativity and energy would be part of the mix.

A few sources mentioned the Cardinal’s penchant for munching on decaying food and icky insects, which is a good reminder to pay attention to what one “eats,” either physically or energetically. Be kind to the body, be it the physical or the auric body, I guess.

20120526_170739 (423x575)Red is the color of life’s blood, love, and the heart. Follow your heart! Like Cardinal signs in astrology, Cardinals are known for taking charge and aggressively defend their territory. Cardinals initiate and set the tone. They are leaders. Be a leader.

Since Cardinal eggs hatch 12 days after they’re laid, they’re often said to reference cycles of 12 hours, days, months or whatever. Whatever it is, it’s coming. Maybe in a multiple of 12!

Still, I’m paying attention. I always try to pay attention. And a few days after? I spied this little cloth bag on the floor of my office, with what else? A bird appliqué.

I asked my husband about it, because I didn’t recognize the bag. It’s from a Christmas gift to him, a gift card from several years back.  But it had absolutely no business in the middle of the floor, other than to get my notice. I was amused.

Seems the birds are saying, “Hello!” Usually it’s just my cats or the squirrels that do that.

Do birds (or other animals) come to bring you messages?

Scorpio Toad

Old lawn chairs = free plant stands!

The sunshine eventually gets me off my ass every year, to address the front porch. Arranging flower pots, organizing and positioning everything in anticipation of the patio garden season.

I finally tackled out the stack of leaves I’ve ignored all winter as they wedged themselves in between the fence planks and flower pots. I dug them out with an old broom, damp and clumped together due the morning’s rain. But I’ll get ’em!

Sweep, sweep, sweep… Hmmm. They really are sticking, huh? 

“C’mon, leaves. Leave!”

Pleased with my cleverness, I snort and continue. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Sweep, sweep.

What IS that? It’s too heavy. Parting the leaves with the edge of the broom, I take a better look.

Oh! A toad. But not like any toad I’ve ever seen. He’s ALL black, including his eyes, which move oh-so-slowly. Completely and utterly matte black, and I’ve got to say, he’s about the Zen-est toad I’ve ever seen. I’d been sweeping this sucker all over the porch, going, “Why do these leaves feel heavy?” and he doesn’t budge.

He looks up at me, calmly following my motion with one ebony eye. He waits. I nudge him, he repositions himself and waits. Black eye, just staring.

I feel a little guilty, but he can’t hang in the leaves because they aren’t staying in the middle of the porch. I don’t want to offend him, though. Toads by the door are great Feng Shui–they fetch money to your door–and I think, “Hey, maybe he’s a friend of Ganesha.” Wouldn’t want to be rude.

I swept the rest of leaves away. Hell. I didn’t really have a funky Plutonian-toad-friendly hideout awaiting, so I scooted him into a corner behind a couple of flower pots, apologizing aloud and inviting him to hang there. (No, I have no effen’ clue why they neighbors think I’m crazy.)  It had some cover, but also an escape route when he’s ready to go.

He stayed there while I finished sweeping and coffee, bidding him farewell before coming in to Google his ass. What kind of toad, and what do black toads symbolize? You know, I couldn’t find a single damn picture that looked like him, nor did I see an all-black variety listed on any regionally appropriate wildlife guides.

I have no idea what kind of toad he was, expect that he seemed to have a very Pluto kind of vibe.

The first thing I run across web searching the symbolism was Toads as witches familiars, and I laughed out loud. I’ve been getting a lot of witch references lately, so perhaps I was being reunited with a familiar or from a former life.

The black toad is evidently also a symbol in alchemy for Plutonian process of fermentation.  Evidently, frogs and toads have quite the symbolic history. Transformation is not a surprising recurring theme, considering the whole tadpole-to-frog metamorphosis. Toad secretions have been used as both poison and medicine. The Toad has been viewed as auspicious and evil and everything any between, depending on who and when you asked.

Me and my Scorpio can relate. But regardless if they were revered or feared, it seems they credited with powerful magic. Scorpio can still relate.

My astrologer just told me, I AM Mercury touring the Underworld. She suggests I work my Pluto. Maybe my black toad friend came to remind me of that. You think?

Or not. I don’t know. I speak cat fluently, but not Black Toad.

Do animals bring you messages?


Messages at the Right Time

I didn’t get very far in. But far enough.

I was so nervous! I had the brochure in hand, grabbed a little sheepishly from the networking table at the last psychic fair I’d gone to. Some there advertised having been trained by this lady, so that counted as credentials to me. I’ve figured out by that point I could sling a Tarot card to reasonably good effect but had no idea what I was doing. I wanted background, guidance, ideas. I was looking for some clue, as to what I should be doing.

I’d read every word in that light brown brochure a dozen times, maybe two. I’d done Tarot readings on going, asked for signs, prayed. Everything I could think of, looking for some kind of guarantee, this was what I should be doing. All systems were go. I was simultaneously mesmerized and terrified.

The brochure said the teacher was one of the “Ascended Masters.” I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Really? How on Earth would you verify such a thing, anyway? Do you just wake up one day and realize this? Is there a certification committee? Is this indication she’s very spiritual or very full of it?

I decided it didn’t matter, anyway. Whether there actually existed ascended masters or whether she was one was ultimately irrelevant. Only if there was something for me to learn there. I had just gotten a decent car. So the drive over to her house was feasible, if a bit long. The costs were reasonable and per-class, so there was no ongoing roadblock to going. Basically, I had no real-world excuse.

I was still pretty green, out-of-the closet. In that place where you know there’s something there, you feel it in your gut, but you’re still scared to mention it to others. Because YOU already feel kind of insane, and you’re not looking for a damned second opinion! My husband did a lot as far as encouraging me. He could see my interest, and suggested I get more involved. Had he been dismissive or acted as if I were being ridiculous, I don’t know how long it may have taken me to dip my toe back in. But he did encourage me, and so I showed up.

There were maybe 15 people, in a big room upstairs, at the teacher’s home. I wasn’t sure what I was expected–but that wasn’t it. She felt warm and kind, though, and I liked the environment. Even the folks there that sound kind of nutty (and there were some) were kind and mostly pleasant to be around. I fit in, as much as I do anywhere. There were lectures, discussions, and a guided meditation. I enjoyed myself.

At one point during the evening, went around the class, asking why were all there. God, I was nervous. I knew so little about all this stuff. Just bits and pieces. Mercury-Saturn was terrified of saying something incredibly stupid.  And I thought, hard. Why was I there? Really, why? What did I hope to get?  I want to find out I’m not crazy. I want to learn to be a better person. I want to…understand. I want to know whatever they’re willing to tell me.

“Messages,” I settled on, as it came to be my turn. “I’m looking for ways to hear the messages.”

The teacher snorted, waved her hand and said, “Of course! That’s why were all here,” as if I were saying the sky was blue or water’s wet. She’d already moved on as my face hotted up.  Not so obvious to me. Just the idea we CAN get messages without legitimately qualifying for a psychiatric diagnosis still was recent news to me. But I knew the issue was mine and took in the confirmation.

At the end of the night, to close we pulled little affirmations papers out of a hat. Kind of the first official message, right?! I reached, exited as my turn came…out pops “Forgiveness.”

Damn it! Really? Forgiveness? FORGIVENESS?! Is that the best you can do, Spirit? I felt utterly deflated. On the other hand, the teacher was thrilled.

“Oh, that’s a good one!” she piped up with pleasure. I’m sure I must have looked at her as if she’d grown three heads. “It frees us to connect with spirit! Forgiveness is a very. very high energy. That’s a very powerful, wonderful affirmation to draw!”

Or something like that. I have trouble remembering exactly. I was too busy being pissed off, over being reminded of the hurt I carried around; betrayals and rejection and pain I’ve been working so hard to numb. So I could stop feeling like such a bitch for being so bitter and just be happy again, you know? I wasn’t there to remember all that. I was there to forget.

I had right to be pissed, mind you. My wounds were real and well-earned. To just release all of it without fanfare seemed akin to donning a “Doormat” T-shirt and splaying myself on the ground. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but that teacher sure acted like it was important. So I resolved to open myself up to the idea, and go about my business.

I kept trying to go to more classes, but unexpectedly started having problems with the car I’d just bought. I’d signed on to the “you create your own life” concept, but sure the Hell couldn’t figure out why or how I was somehow creating obstacles to continue attending these classes that I liked. I also didn’t understand why it seemed so clear I was led to going, to only be able to attend a minute. Was I that useless? Why didn’t the Universe help, if I was supposed to be there?

It took me a while to integrate that message. But it was there, exactly when I needed it. Holding on to those wounded feelings IS what stood in my way. Being able to transcend the energy meant I didn’t have to carry it. I could access a higher vibration and feel better. And each time I can achieve the same for hurts big and small now, I get the same lift of love and higher vibration that clears my channel just a little more. That’s the only real message I got out of the classes because, at that point in my life, that’s the message everything else hinged on. That’s the lesson I needed.

Everything comes clear at the right time, don’t you think?

Ignoring Spirit Messages? I try.

Ignoring Spiritual Messages

I don’t want to hear it! 

Sometimes, I just don’t want to hear it. “La-la-la-la-laaaaa!”

Like a week or two ago, I got an email that I didn’t want, addressing a situation that I’d prefer to erase. Easier, less painful that way. I don’t want to even go there.

Except it came in, from a cell phone, in a batch of 3 copies sent at exactly the same time. Crap. It triggered my “three times and it’s official” rule, and I KNEW it wasn’t accidental. As soon as I saw the three copies in my inbox, I got immediate goosebumps.

That’s another one of my triggers, the goosebumps. I get them when it’s something important to pay attention to. It’s like a poke, drawing my attention and confirming the message, “Hey Dixie! Your ass should be paying attention now.”

“Damn it!” I said to myself.  I did listen. I managed it, but it took me a few days to be capable of hearing it. That’s how long it took, for my emotions to simmer down enough.

The latest message I’m avoiding is one I’ve put off for a LONG time now…that I need to clean out my house. Not clean like vacuum, but go through belongings, dig through closets and under beds and in cabinets. And remove whatever doesn’t fit anymore. But my monkey mind with it’s monkey schedule can always find a million and two things more pressing, more appealing, and just more compelling.

It’s coming. I know better than to fight it, and yet, I still do. I just know it’s going to shake a lot of stuff loose–like maybe something I didn’t even know was in my head and/or energy field–and while I want the benefit, the impact, well…the process is just not so very appealing. Le sigh.

Do you ignore your messages? For how long and to what ends?

Sign of…confusion?

I’m always looking for signs. So it caught my attention, when I got a weird phone message on the tech support inbox for my business line Sunday evening.

“Hello. This is Maxine Crazylady. Call me back at 555-1212. I’m calling about…[insert full 30 second pause here]…I don’t know why I’m calling. I-found-you-or -something-mutter-mutter…anyway, call me back…..Maxine. Crazylady. Call me at 555-1212….Call me back………I like karma.” Click.

The funny thing is that for a few minutes, I actually planned on calling her back. Seriously. The woman says she doesn’t know why she called me and winds up with the declaration, “I like karma,” as if she were saying “I like oatmeal” or something, and I’m feeling an obligation to call her back?! What kind of crazy is that I’ve got there anyway? And can I get it off?

Maybe it’s a sign I need to mind my boundaries. Or maybe she had the secrets of the universe to reveal, and I was too short-sighted to call her befuddling, crazy ass back.

Or not. Probably not.

What would you think this is a sign of?

Recognizing Spiritual Signs?

sign from god

Is this a sign?

I’ve mentioned my “three times and it’s official” policy before–how many times I have to notice something before I declare it on my radar. But really, anything I take notice of counts.

Maybe I am writing about something, and get an email on the same topic. Maybe I see the same word, phrase or idea repeated within a few minutes. Maybe it’s a theme, or an image that pops up that brings something to my attention.

Getting signaled, I sometimes feel a kind of internal “click” of recognition, a release of tension, or just a sense of knowing. If it’s an especially important realization, I might  get goosebumps. I’ve established all this as indications to pay attention.

How do you recognize your signs?