The Alchemist

moebius-alchemist-4Once long ago, a tarot card reader told me I was an Alchemist in a past life.

“You were very powerful and quite cruel,” she said as she turned another card over and looked at the spread with folded hands.

“What is an Alchemist?” I asked, which is a bit weird because I was less hung up on the cruel part and more concerned about what an Alchemist did.

“An Alchemist was a shaman of sorts and believed that he could turn base metals into gold, the most precious metal of all.  Many of them were charlatans, but you were able to do very magical things.  This made you mean and cruel, especially to women.  You are still paying this karmic debt in this lifetime.”  At the time I bowed my head, a bit shamed that now I had even more to regret, more to lament, but now years later I realize that psychics and tarot cards are helpful, but they are only part of the message.

In fact, her telling me I was an Alchemist led me to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and the novel changed my perspective about life.  It is a story about a shepherd boy who falls in love, and dreams one night of finding a treasure.  He decides that he needs to journey out to see the world and find his treasure and then he can marry his true love.  He sets out on a boat across the sea.  During his travels he runs into many fine people and many ruinous ones.  You will have to read the book to find out the ending, but I promise, it is worth it.

The part that I want to highlight today is where a King gives him two stones: Urim and Thummin.  The stay in a pouch he carries by his side.  When he has a good clear question that requires only a “yes” or “no”, he is told to consult the stones.imagesstones3

One day he is told by an old man that when you want to achieve something, all the Universe conspires to help you achieve it. This fills him with hope, but it is quickly lost as terrible things befall him and he finds himself lost and penniless, so he consults the stones.  He asks if that old man’s blessing of the Universe helping him with all his desires is still with him.  He took out one of the stones and the answer was “yes”.  He put the stone back in his pouch and he asked if he were going to finally find his treasure, and as he stuck his hand back in the pouch, both stones fell out.  He remembered what the King had said, “Learn to recognize omens and follow them.”  The boy smiled as he picked up the stones and realized that sometimes one must make his own decision and that trust is as important as divination.

I have asked again during my morning meditation for my soul’s path and my greatest passion and again I am met with silence and a gurgling of the word TRUST.  I felt fear and anxiety rise in my stomach and chest, but it was met with the word TRUST again.  Perhaps the answers we are looking for cannot be given until the time is right.  Though the Universe is constantly a co-creator of our desires it determines the timeline and the way things will progress.  Maybe my job is to ask for what I want and then sit back. TRUST. TRUST. TRUST

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Desire and the Empath

My meditation class meets every Sunday. It is a really beautiful mix of women. We are so different, but when they speak about their supposed failings and short comings, I see myself in their stories and their words.

One woman suffered a miscarriage last year and is now newly pregnant, but she can’t help but criticize her body’s appearance now that she is starting to show. Another woman’s husband left her and she is dealing with trying to tell her son and moving into her own apartment. There are ten of us, and we sit in the cream colored room of our instructor. The large window overlooks a park, and when the windows are cracked, you can hear the traffic noises and laughter of children. Our teacher talks to us about some salient topic that needs to be discussed. We listen, ask questions, take notes. When this is finished, we meditate and then discuss.

This week our topic was desire. At this point, I just want you to know I do not take any credit for the following ideas. They are a mishmash of pertinent points that I can recall. First, desire is apparently part of your ego. It causes us to want and grasp at things. This wanting and grasping becomes a thing in itself, and we are fueled by desire and believe that it can be satiated. Our egos would have us believe that this is possible. The Buddhists as well as other enlightened beings say otherwise. Desire is used by the ego to keep our minds busy and create suffering. We become unhappy when we do not get what we desire. When we do get what we desire, we create a never ending cycle. The desire fulfilled, we move on to the next object and the next and the next. This happens because it is not truly the object we want. We want the emotional high that is derived from getting that which we desire. For that emotion to continue, it must be fed. Desire creates the hunger that feeds the ego again and again.

I went home that night thinking about this concept. My own desires are many. They are powerful. That night I am on the couch dreaming about buying a new pair of boots. I need a pair of black boots, I think. I start to search through websites for affordable boots when I pause. This is it. This is desire. At this moment I made a choice. I was going to sit with this emotion. I would not judge it or myself for feeling it. I would allow myself the choice to still purchase the boots if I wanted to when all was said and done. So I sat and I allowed the desire to flood over me. I did not give it a story. I merely sat with the feeling. After a few minutes, I felt like I was stepping back. My desire seemed to me a large hamster wheel twirling in front of me. What a powerful feeling this is over something that is not even tangibly in front of me, I thought. What is that about? So I sat with those questions and no answer for a bit. Then I saw the hamster wheel begin to slow, and suddenly I realized that the whirling wheel appeared solid when it was moving, but now I could see the spaces between the bars. Yes, there was space. Glorious space all around the desire and I felt it all slowly dissipate. The desire was not about the boots at all. I knew suddenly that what was creating that feeling would not be dissuaded by a tall, black pair of boots.

This moment of clarity left me feeling tired and a bit stripped away. I felt like a piece of the illusion had been lifted. If all of this is true, then all must be connected and none of this is real.

Love, Desire, Anger, Hate- Emotions and the Empath

Most-pretty-white-and-purple-flowersAfter addressing love, I thought I would create the juxtaposition with hatred.  First, I’ll address desire. The partner to love is often desire.  Desire is a bubbly, surface emotion that has a very short shelf life.  It is a quick hard-hitting emotion that often hits me in the stomach when I feel it on someone else.  Desire, as another’s emotion, blindsided me.  I often find my own thought forms in the mix.  “Really?  You are turned on by that?”  When someone desires me, it is intoxicating.  As a woman, I can feed into a man’s sexual desire for me.  I have literally felt like what it feels like to desire myself.  It’s pretty crazy.  I have literally turned myself on.  On the flip side, if a person is just not that into the moment, I can feel that too, and there is no going past it.  My own ego will often get in the way and I halt the proceedings.  Well, if You are just not that into me…but I digress.

Anger is the partner of hatred.  Like love and desire, they do not have to go hand in hand, but the most powerful hatred is always backed by anger.  Anger is fleeting and can blow up one moment and be completely cleared the next.  Anger by itself is a weak emotion.  When it is paired with a deep-seated hatred, it is toxic and destructive.  Hatred is like love.  I can feel it running through a person.  It is a thick, dark strip.  Unlike love that feels like solid light, hatred is dark.  It darkens everything around it.  It also grows roots and creates a permanent housing in the core of you.  It will then use anger to feed itself.  It does not even have to be anything that is joined to the original events or person that formed the hatred.  It will feed on anything.  Hatred feels unmovable and hard.  It gets stronger and more entrenched with each angry, hurtful incident. It makes the person have this deluded sense of power and strength. It feels true to them, and my logical mind has to counter with the idea that it is just not true.
A woman in my department has a deep hatred for men that has been built and strengthened over many years. She uses anger to feed it constantly and she truly believes that this anger motivates her to do her best. She says she is motivated by anger to make positive changes in her life and it works for her. The energy created by this feels awful to an Empath and she is difficult to be around. The hatred feels like a mountain of stone that sits in the core of her. The anger buzzes around it like larger-than-life birds. These are the visual images I get when I am around her. She is so entrenched that even when I try to suggest letting go of her anger, she reacts and the birds collectively charge. “No,” she says. “It helps me. It makes me stronger.” But none of this is true. She believes it. It is not a lie for her.
Do not try and see how much hatred you have inside of you with your head. Place your attention to the core of you. You will feel it stop you. It will try and convince you that it must be there. It is a part of you, but this is not true. It only stops love. Love can replace it.