Empaths: Intuitive, Emotional Warriors

Emotional

Empaths can be warriors – if they choose. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

As an open-hearted and whimsical little boy, I wish this question had dawned on me sooner, “What is an Empath?” Given all the experiences that sensitive children tend to endure, I wish someone had taught me about my nature during childhood, instead of plopping it into my lap when I was a meandering adult. My boyhood battles were hard fought and rarely won. The lessons throughout the years seemed to point to one thing: I had no idea I was an Empath.

Are You An Empath?

I remember the day someone asked me that question. I was 30 years old, sitting on a beach in California, holding a friend’s hand. I felt so badly for her broken heart that I cried with her. When she asked me that very potent question, my tears turned inward, where I immediately found a beautiful and profound clarity. At that moment, I knew I was an Empath. I was free.

In the years to come, I could not only feel the feelings of others; I could see the possible trajectories in their lives. On several occasions, I took on my client’s physical attributes, including the temporary appearance of track marks on my arms when doing a session for a former heroin addict.

Yes, being an Empath can be intense.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

What Is A True Empath?

Over the years, I’ve seen the definition of Empath morph. It used to refer to being able to imagine feeling what other people are feeling. It grew from there to reference people who are deeply and actively compassionate, and in the face of danger or drama, can readily extend warmth and kindness to those in need.

As factions of society became more conscious, the definition of an Empath narrowed and crystalized. It’s clear now. An Empath is someone uniquely open and highly sensitive, to the point of being able to embody and process the emotions that someone else is experiencing. It turns out that Empathy is the older, wiser brother to compassion.

Not only do Empaths grow and heal by processing the emotions of other people, but they can also learn to be inspiring advisors and powerful healers. They can build schools of thought and heal nations. Nelson Mandela was an Empath.

What Does It Mean To Be An Empath?

If you can feel, from head to toe, what others are feeling when they are having a tough day, you might be an Empath. If you feel overwhelmed and personally afflicted when someone else is hurt or broken, there’s a good chance you’re an Empath.

It all starts with a traumatic event for another person and the immediate feeling of being completely overwhelmed, yet unable to describe it. Somehow your voice is shackled, and your energy is restricted. You don’t feel depleted, but you feel limited, maybe oppressed. As your mind fails to land on a clear thought, deep in your heart, you realize something’s wrong. But, what is it?

At first, you try meditation, exercise, therapy, dance, essential oils, crystals, herbs, jogging, sex, tantra, mountaineering and adventure travel, plus every other modality that might help you shed inhibition or come back to life. While some of these things help you find yourself again some of the time, most of them don’t work most of the time. Empaths tend to spend 50-70% of their lives somewhat emotionally restricted, confused, or depressed.

While most now agree that an Empath is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) who feels and absorbs what other people are feeling, there are different degrees of Empathic abilities.

Some Empaths can feel what an object is carrying, and possibly the energy of the person who once held it. The most intensely intuitive Empaths not only feel emotions and energy from most of the people in a room, but they also feel the residual energy and can intuit the personal circumstances surrounding the people who recently inhabited that room. Some Empaths are downright spooky. I’m one of those Empaths, and I love it.

Types Of Empaths

As you can tell, there are varying levels of Empaths. Some can carry collected energy their entire lives, without ever being able to relinquish it. The reason that an Empath might be stuck in this way is that they never learned how to set boundaries, release collected energies, and reinvigorate themselves. This points to one painful fact: most Empaths have no idea how to care for themselves.

An Empath doesn’t have to be a professional clairvoyant, intuitive reader, or life coach. Some Empaths are artists, politicians, or teachers. You can even find Empaths in the military.

We tend to be bright, compassionate, and proactive, although there is also a slight tendency to over-dramatize emotional situations and events. Empaths are not perfect; we’re just open-hearted and absorbent.

Empath Traits

You might be an Emotional, Medical, Intellectual, or Spiritual Empath. Regardless, the traits of an Empath can vary. Here is a list of potential characteristics, according to the newly emerging category of Empath psychology:

  • Often considered a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
  • Materially, energetically and spiritually generous
  • Absorbent to the point of having to shed the emotions collected from others
  • Highly intuitive, telepathic or clairvoyant
  • Sleep is filled with potent dreams that are easily remembered and interpreted
  • Appear to be slightly sad or depressed, more than most
  • Come off as mystical or spiritual
  • Tend to be shy, introverted or avoidant of conversation
  • Able to heal others of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges
  • Easily manipulated or coerced
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Can quickly become the dumpster for every else’s negativity
  • Energy can be rapidly drained
  • Equally helpful to friends and strangers
  • Often feel better in solitude
  • Feel as though they can deeply and genuinely relate with trees, plants, and animals as if they are kin to human beings
  • Able to pick up the disease and physical symptoms of the sick
  • Able to quickly parse the emotions and thoughts of others
  • Attractive to narcissists and energy vampires
  • Attuned to the moment someone is lies
  • Tend to give far more than is required or necessary
  • Tend to have a tipping point where the individual cuts cords with others
  • Might temporarily hate themselves, and as a result, get stuck for a while
  • Might be seen as a doormat or sucker
  • Sensitive to smells, sounds, and tastes to the point of being immobilized
  • Feel full of love and light when they are surrounded by nature
  • Feel replenished during thunderstorms and snowstorms
  • Shocked by event crowds, cocktail parties, and busy department stores
  • Loves to write, paint, sculpt, color, dance or play music

Empath And Narcissist Romances

If you’re an Empath, you’ve probably spent some time in a relationship with an extremely needy person or a narcissist. The Empath-narcissist pairing is alluring because the Empath is always absorbing something palpable from the emotion-addicted narcissist. With their hearts full of light and love, this can be exciting or energizing for an Empath.

With each projection that extends from the vampire-like partner, the Empath will find ways to reflect healthier versions of the projection, with the hope he or she might save the narcissist from yet one more drastic rise or fall.

It’s the Empaths throughout the world that tend to act as the psychic receptacles of emotional and dramatic events. Yes, Empaths can save the universe.

Are Empaths Real?

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Once in a while, I bump into people who reject the notion that Empaths are different from others. They say things like, “You’re too sensitive” or “Why do you choose to feel that way.” As an Empath, you eventually learn to tolerate these statements, without reacting to them. I will often respond, “If I wasn’t feeling things so deeply, I might never have seen your immense value.” Or “If I wasn’t truly Empathic, how could I have seen that subtle event that broke your heart and told you what it felt like.”

It’s an honor to be an Empath, yet it takes time to learn how to maneuver through all the emotional and energetic fascia throughout the environments and relationships that we encounter.

Famous Empaths

There are millions of Empaths around the world. If you’re on the Meyers-Briggs scale as an INFP or INFJ, you might be one, too.

Here is a list of a few of the more popular Empaths throughout history. There are many more.

Look around at your family and friends. Chances are that 10% of them are empathic in some way. Be gentle with these folks and nurture these relationships. At some point in the future, you might need a deeply loving friend to come to your rescue.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

Tarot Cards: Intuition and Empathy

Tarot Cards

Tarot Cards

Every living being is a spiritual being, and we all have magical abilities and gifts. We can step into the other realms with a simple prayer, and we can invoke light, love, and magic at every turn. We are as powerful and aware as we desire.

The idea behind Tarot and other divination tools is to provide clear reflections of our life, relationships, and patterns in the symbology and images on each card. Upon our glance, if we allow ourselves to see correctly, a card’s image and symbols will open subtle doors in our minds and hearts, ones that lead to the answers to our most pressing questions.

“Magical practice offers everyone the opportunity to reinvent themselves from the inside out. Why? Because you are a sorceress who has already created the world you inhabit, whether you realize it or not. Magical practice and tarot give you the tools and opportunities to cultivate, explore, and expand that world, and its boundaries are infinite. Just like you.”
― Sasha Graham

What Is A Tarot Card Reading?

When it first arrived on the scene in the 1500s, Tarot became a favorite playing card game. By the mid-1800s, it developed into a profound divination tool that was used by seers, readers, Kings, Queens, leaders, and families throughout Europe. Today, 3×5” Tarot cards are a standard tool in every healer’s toolkit.

While there are many ways to use Tarot cards, a Tarot Card Reading is one of the most effective pathways to clarity. The process goes something like this:

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  • Pray over your Tarot deck. Bring your emotions, projections, and questions to the forefront of your mind and heart.
  • Keeping these thoughts and feelings in mind, shuffle the cards.
  • When you feel you have infused the cards with your vibration and intentions, select between one and seven cards and lay them out in front of you.
  • When doing a Tarot card reading for yourself, examine each card and read its description (there’s usually a booklet). This will help you derive helpful hints about your life, patterns, paradigms, and dynamics.
  • In Tarot, each card has a unique meaning and value. Try to see the card as a representation of something that you are projecting, embodying, feeling, emanating, or desiring. Specific cards might also represent how other people are influencing your life.
  • Do your best to evaluate the emotional, psychological, and spiritual nature of each card so that you can glean the most value from it.

If an Intuitive Tarot Reader, Empath, or Medium is reading for you, he or she will use the cards to open doorways into your spiritual and emotional pathologies. Each symbol in each image will represent a unique piece of information about you.

As the Intuitive Card Reader shares information, you’ll feel seen, heard, alive, and awakened. As your anxiety is dissolved and debris is cleared, you’ll make more harmonious, clear, and specific decisions that will lead to improving your conditions, realities, and relationships.

The best readers are also good at sensing, feeling, and reading the energies of people, groups, locations, and events. Knowing the quality of an overall energy can be a little confronting, but it can help us improve our vibrations, which leads to improved experiences.

What Is A Tarot Card Reading?

An Intuitive Reading is when an Intuitive, Empath, Medium, Psychic or Clairvoyant healer looks into the nature of your soul and compares each aspect of the deeper-you to the physical life that you are living. The best readers and Empaths tend to infuse light and love into every reading, hoping to help you shift negative thinking and patterns into positive ones.

Intuitive readings are AWESOME.

When I do intuitive readings for my clients, I see them as the embodiment of light and love. I desire to help them see that all of the fodder, challenges, emotions, and desires resting atop their souls are temporary. My sincere wish is to help my clients clear debris, change negating patterns and live abundantly in every area of their lives.

In trying to help you clear debris, I sense your feelings, often feeling exactly what you are feeling. This helps me see your patterns, choices, relationships, and potential, all at the same time. Doing so, I can offer advice on a variety of topics and guide you to a loving, proactive, empowered life.

Tarot cards can help Intuitive Readers, Mediums, and Clairvoyant healers like me to step into your sphere and clear the energies so that you can experience rejuvenation and rebirth.

“Fear is dangerous, not the tarot. The Tarot represents the spectrum of the human condition, the good, the evil, the light, and the dark. Do not fear the darker aspects of the human condition. Understand them. The tarot is a storybook about life, about the greatness of human accomplishment, and also the ugliness we are each capable of.”
― Benebell Wen

The Imagery & Symbols Of Tarot

The most helpful question we can ask about Tarot is not “what is this specific Tarot card’s meaning,” rather, it’s “What is this card saying about me and my life and how can it help me improve my ability to love myself, forgive others, and live in abundance?”

Every Tarot card image has obvious and hidden symbols embedded in the artwork. The art of Tarot can be deeply moving and inspiring. With one glance, we might shift a lifetime of emotions and negative patterning.

By meditating on specific symbols and their related attributes, we can improve our understanding of ourselves and free ourselves from habits, attachments, projections, and assumptions.

Tarot card symbols are unique to each deck. Every Tarot card deck is a unique system with exclusive images and symbols, yet there are similarities across many decks.

There are several ways to interpret every image and symbol. Always listen to your gut to determine the most helpful message for your growth and transformation.

Here is a sampling of the most potent symbols and personas found within a few of the Tarot decks available today:

  • Fire: Dissolve the old Self, Release negativity, Cautiousness
  • Light: Awareness, Potential, Healthy passion
  • Sword/Hammer/Tool: Forthcoming changes or confrontations, Courage, Decision time, Completion
  • Blood: Family, deception, unruly passion, untempered masculinity, bonds
  • Chalice, Cup or Fountain: Ambition, Purpose, Drive, Desire, Love, Potential
  • Pentacle: Earth, Money, Health, Land, Business, Ambition, Career
  • Water/Moon/Ocean/Rain: Unexpressed feelings and emotions, Love and relationships, Creativity, Intimacy, Femininity, Reflection, Possibilities, Relaxed
  • Ice: Separation, Closed heart, and mind, Completion of lessons, Solitude
  • Tree: Rebirth, Healing, Expansion, Connectedness
  • Knight: Courage, Loyalty, Maturation, Bold action, Relentless commitment
  • King, Emperor, Empress: Sovereignty, Leadership, Decisiveness, Achievement, Success
  • Queen: Love, Light, Compassion, Empathy, Active care of others
  • Fool: Naive, Youthful, Trusting, Vulnerable
  • Angels: Listening to the Divine, Be careful and critical, Meditate, Find your inspiration

Colors have an equally important influence on our lives. Here are a few colors with their corresponding spiritual significance:

  • Black: Protection, Something is missing in the equation, Illness, Stay alert, Death of materialistic tendencies
  • Red: Power, Groundedness, Passion, Anger, Security
  • Pink: Love, Femininity, Forgiveness, Generosity, Compassion
  • Green: Healing, Union, Harmony, Commitment, Empathy
  • Orange: Self Esteem, Joyfulness, Optimism, Abundance, Creativity
  • Gold: Spiritual Achievement, Spiritual Gifts, Protection, Mastery, Divine blessings
  • Blue: Spoken and inner communication, Self-expressiveness, Trust, Sadness, Peacefulness, Lightness of being
  • Purple: Psychic gifts, Passion, Intuition, Spiritual devotion, Reason, Spirituality
  • White: Purity, Connection to the Higher Self, Rebirth, Divine aspirations, Death of the ego

The numbers in Tarot cards can point to something helpful or unique about us. Here is how you might interpret the numbers one to ten in your next Tarot card reading:

  • One: Completion, Oneness, Togetherness, Relationship to Self, Non-duality
  • Two: Partnership, Duality, Equanimity, Balance, Choices
  • Three: Sacredness, Creativity, Expansiveness
  • Four: Growth, Stability, Constructs, Structure, Longevity
  • Five: Growth, Complexity, Time for patience
  • Six: Humanity, Being grounded, Harmony, Physical pleasure
  • Seven: Spiritual growth, Self-realization, Manifestation
  • Eight: Fulfillment, Accomplishment, Subtle understandings
  • Nine: Spiritual gifts, Rebirth, Rejuvenation, Humility
  • Ten: Conclusion, Enlightenment, Temperance

It might be helpful to know that every large number boils down to a number between one and nine. Even 123,456 can be boiled down by adding the separate digits together like this: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 21 = 3. Keep this in mind for birthdays, home addresses and phone numbers. Being aware of the vibration of specific digits can help us make more vibrationally evolved decisions.

In all things Tarot, make sure that your reading concludes with a positive set of ideas and actions. Ideally, each reading you experience, either from yourself or another, will provide you with something specific to consider. Whatever you choose to focus on from your reading, always select at least one image or concept that is vibrationally uplifting. When we meditate on the rose, we become the rose.

“Here is one reason I think we always need new tarot decks being created. I think of tarot decks as similar to myths, and so I think this quote applies: ‘Myths are so intimately bound to culture, time, and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.’ – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth.”
― Barbara Moore

Personal Empowerment Through Tarot

The more we use Tarot to reveal our authenticity and secrets, the more we can create free-flowing, authentic, and empowered lives. Even the subtlest assumption or secret can have an impact on our lives. Use Tarot to clear the negating abstractions and confusion in your life, relationships, and business. Doing so, you can make room for more light. Paul’s cards are awesome – check em out HERE.

Tarot: White Magic and Positivity

Tarot’s White Magic: Positive Incantations And Rituals For Change
Paul’s Personality Cards are powerful, insightful, and encouraging. Click on the image to learn more.

The key to improving our lives is remaining positive and continually invoking love, light, faith, and hope. Prayers, rituals, and incantations can help us with this, which in turn, helps us live in gratitude and improve our vibrations.

When our vibrations are elevated, we become better-protected and tend to attract positive and helpful relationships and experiences. Tarot can be a vital and enlightening tool in this pursuit.

Tarot was originally a card game popularized in 15th century Italy, which spread to every country in Europe. While the original Tarot decks were broad enough to be familiar to anybody, various regions developed their own versions. Over time, Tarot decks could have anywhere from 52-98 cards, most often between 52 and 78. For years, Tarot was also known as Trionfi, Tartocchi, and Tarock.

During the 1800s, tarot cards became useful in prayers, spells, rituals, incantations, and other forms of divination. By the late 19th century, specific versions of Tarot decks were produced strictly for spiritual and occult practices.

“Remember that the Tarot is a great and sacred arcanum – its abuse is an obscenity in the inner and a folly in the outer. It is intended for quite other purposes than to determine when the tall dark man will meet the fair rich widow.”
― Jack Parsons

As various cities became more crowded and as government leadership changed with the wind, kings, queens, landowners, business owners and families used the Tarot for spells and incantations to protect their wealth and children. Tarot card magic quickly became popular among all religions, especially Christians. Most of the early Tarot imagery comes from Christian symbology.

Classic Tarot has four suits, much like today’s traditional playing cards. Each suit has 14 cards, including a King, Queen, Knight, and Jack. This is known as the Minor Arcana. Tarot decks also tend to have a 22-card trump suit featuring The Fool, The High Priestess, The Magician, and more. This is known as the Major Arcana.

Many believe that forms of Tarot existed long before the 15th century, most likely in Egypt, Asia, and within the Kabbalah. While there is little documented evidence to support these claims, using images and artistic depictions of personas has long been useful in spells, rituals, rites, and the like.

“It’s said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That’s of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it’s said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.”
― Charles Williams

How To Use Tarot Cards For Divination

Anyone can use Tarot cards. All it takes is the ability to visualize and a deep intention to achieve a specific outcome. You’ll also want to have a pen and paper to make notes about what you are seeking to achieve.

To use Tarot and similar cards for divination, you must first understand the attributes of each of the Tarot card images you wish to use. Every time you use a Tarot image to conjure a new potentiality or trajectory in your life or to protect someone, you’ll want to consider quoting the card’s attributes during your spell or incantation.

For general purposes, you can light a candle and incense before performing an opening prayer. Your prayer might go something like this:

“Eternal Creation and All Light-Beings, I stand before you with hope and desire. I am using the image of The Fool to help me improve upon myself. I hereby release the attributes of naive, confused, and vulnerable today. From here forward, I refuse to play this role in relationships and business. Please assist me in my evolution and extinguish The Fool from my archetypal construct. This is the way it is now, and it shall always be.”

Whatever your prayers might be, always use positive language so that you attract people and experiences of the highest vibration and quality. A good rule of thumb is: what you speak will surely materialize, either energetically or in a physical form.

For lengthy prayers and rituals, consider creating a Sacred Circle. You can do this with a candle, cornmeal and tobacco. The cornmeal represents the feminine aspect of the universe and tobacco represents the masculine aspect. The candle is a reflection of the light within you and the light that gave birth to all of reality throughout all the realms.

Tarot Card Magic, Rituals, Incantations & Prayers

Tarot cards can be used for a variety of purposes within magical spells, incantations, and rituals. The difference between white magic and black magic is that white magic is solely used for good, and always with the purest intentions to bring light, love, and protection into someone’s life. Black magic, which is never recommended, is used to inhibit another person or entity in ways that could hurt them forever. Black magic will also hurt the person casting the spell on some level.

Here Are A Few Reasons You Might Want To Use White Magic Tarot:

  • A loved one has died, and you want to pray for their protection
  • A child was born somewhat sick and needs healing
  • A relationship has ended, and you want to truly move-on
  • A potential job has emerged, and you want to give yourself the best chance
  • You’re feeling hateful of someone, and you want to find forgiveness
  • You wish to invite a love-relationship into your life
  • You wish to pray for a vulnerable or troubled friend
  • You want to announce protection surrounding your family, business or wealth
  • You wish to pray for your health or the health of someone you love
  • You would like to have a rebirth and improve yourself at your core

You can learn more about Paul’s Personality Cards HERE.

 

Tarot Magic

If you’d like to add a positive charge to a specific relationship or event, it is always best to perform magic on ourselves first. This gives us the highest chance of improving our lives, while also not interfering with someone else’s karma.

​When we involve ourselves in another person’s karma, we begin to take on that karma as our own, which could easily be hurtful to us or cause complete debilitation.

Here Is An Example Of Tarot Magic:

  • Pick a card that you most want to align with, such as The Emperor or cards from modern Tarot decks like my “Personality Cards.” In my deck, consider using The Networker. For this example, we’ll use both of these cards so that we can pack the most powerful punch.
  • Create a circle using cornmeal and tobacco. Light a candle and place it in the center of the circle. This can be a tiny circle on a table or a larger circle in the woods. This is considered a Sacred Circle. You will use this for almost every ritual and chant.
  • Place the Tarot card image of The Emperor and The Networker next to each other, in the center of the circle, near to the candle.
  • Place a picture of yourself next to the two Tarot cards.
    • “Dear God (Universe, Eternal Light, Grandmother Earth, Grandfather Sky), I ask that the noble and strong Emperor become a protector and guide for my family and me. I ask that my image be infused with the social, thoughtful, and brilliant aspects found in The Networker. I pray that I can be blessed with their attributes so that I can become a strong, noble, social, thoughtful, and brilliant participant in this life. I pray that as I become The Emperor and The Networker, I will be doused with light, love, power, and personal protection. I pray this with love in my heart and with the utmost humility. I wish to evolve, and I seek your help. So it is, so it shall be.”
    • At the end of every ritual, make sure that you blow out the candle, place it in saltwater for a moment to cleanse it, throw away the cornmeal and incense that you used, and put any dish or glass used in the ceremony into the dishwasher. Invite a merging of these three living-constructs (each of the two cards’ construct and your personal construct) by praying a humble prayer like this:

As you exit, always bow to the space where your ritual took place.

Tarot Incantations And Spells

An incantation is akin to a spell, which can also be considered a prayer. Incantations can be simple or quite complex and constructed as a magical formula. Incantations, spells, and prayers can create magical effects on people, places, events, and objects. They can be spoken, chanted, sung, or whispered within your mind.

For this category of magic, you will need to have a specific desire. This will allow you to invite the universe to co-create something specific with you.

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Some spiritual magicians choose phrases like these when creating spells and incantations:​

  • I invite the universe to co-create this event or feeling
  • I command the elements to join me in healing my friend
  • I welcome to light-beings in my sacred circle to fill my body, mind, and heart with light

I’m not a big fan of the word “command” as it denotes a single-minded pursuit. Since we are all connected to each other, and all beings are connected to all aspects of every physical reality in this realm and all other realms, we are always in partnership.

Partners do not command, they humbly and lovingly request.

When doing these types of incantations, you will want to use one or more Tarot cards to as your imagery guides. Use these images to inspire and encourage you. You might also research the attributes of specific Tarot cards to give you the best card for each of your requests and desires.

Tarot Rituals

Tarot rituals involve similar elements to basic Tarot magic, but also include a little more ceremony and effort.

Here’s a process you might enjoy:

  • Imagine you’d like to create a life filled with abundance, forgiveness, love, light, and magic.
  • Imagine the personal attributes you would like your life-partner/lover to have.
  • Imagine the attributes you want to embrace.
  • Imagine the types of people you’d like to have in your life.
  • What you need for the ritual: 10 small sticks (no longer than 6” each), cornmeal, tobacco, a candle, incense (if you’d like), and some chocolate.
  • Select 5 cards from a traditional Tarot deck and 5 Cards from a modern deck, like my Personality Cards. You will break these cards into two groups: one group will comprise cards/personas/attributes that you wish to never have in your life, and the other group is for the cards/personas/attributes you wish to invite into your life.
  • Create a Sacred Circle in the woods. You will be creating a tiny fire so make sure there is a protected area in the center of the circle that can house the small fire. When making the Sacred Circle, use cornmeal and tobacco.
  • Place your image in the center of a Sacred Circle.
  • Choose 5 of your sticks as arrows of protection and 5 to request a specific type of life.
  • Assign each of the 5 Arrows of Protection to a specific Tarot card.
  • Assign each of the 5 Arrows of Life to a specific Tarot card.
  • Burn each of the 5 Arrows of Protection, requesting that the universe protect you from these types of people and their attributes. Your prayer might be simple, like this: “Holy Universe, protect me from each of these personas and sets of attributes: (name each of them and their attributes).”
  • Once you have doused the fire with water, climb to the top of a hill and place each of the 5 Arrows of Life in a small pile and place the unwrapped chocolate next to the pile. It might be that each of the 5 Arrows of Life relates to a specific role in your life that you would like filled. If this is the case, you would adjust the following prayer accordingly.
  • Raise your hands to the sky and pray something like this: “Holy Universe, I am your child of light. I pray that only goodness and love come into my life. I leave you for each of these arrows that represent (name the cards related to the arrows, along with their attributes). I pray that I become the best version of myself and that my family, job and partners all be filled with light and love.”
  • As you leave, take a tiny piece of the chocolate that is on the ground. Eat it as you walk down the hill or take it home with you to eat later in remembrance.

“You Are The Secret. Let Tarot Explore You.”
― Shweta Tarot

A Few Helpful Hints About Magic

We are not often taught about our unlimited potential. We are mostly taught coping mechanisms. Remember that you are as powerful and potent as you wish to be. The most important attributes that you can bring to the table are humility and discipline.

Here are a few helpful tips when using Tarot and other tools for magic:​

  • Always use a candle because it symbolized the light in the universe and the light in your heart.
  • If you wish to shun a specific set of attributes, you can use a negative card (a personality or image that you do not want to have in your life), and you can put that card face-down. You might want to consider not using a negative card, even in a light-based ritual, because you are still invoking that persona, even though you are invoking protection from that persona.
  • When using pictures of yourself, always choose ones that show your smile and your eyes. You should never use an image where you are intoxicated in any way.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs, including marijuana, during rituals. Although in some cultures this is permitted, keep in mind that any drug will bring your spirit beneath the mind, not past it. We always want to surpass the mind and reach for our crown chakra. It’s the higher chakras that connect us to the eternal consciousness.
  • In every ritual and incantation, consider praying for someone who needs love. This will always add a measure of love and light to the ceremony you are about to perform.
  • Keep your prayers general because this gives the universe more room to fulfill your wishes. The more specific your prayers are, the less chance that they will physically manifest.
  • Keep in mind that the universe does not need extra help to bring something to fruition. It just requires you to be in alignment with universal principles around light, love, and positivity.
  • When endeavoring to work with magic, do your best to clear emotions and forgive others before the ritual or spell. Emoting and releasing are the most vital actions we can take when pursuing the embodiment of our higher selves.

You are born from stardust and infused with light. You are the embodiment of love. Live as love, always. No matter the mistake or upheaval, forgive yourself, forgive others, and continue to choose the light and improve yourself.

— Paul Wagner

In all things, seek to know yourself through whichever means that uplevel your vibration. Using Tarot card magic can have wonderful effects on the natures of our souls.

Getting Rid of Negative Energy

Negative energy
Prayer and forgiveness can change us. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

A few weeks ago, I was awoken by a disembodied spirit and screamed like a 5-year old boy. My partner nearly pooped her pants and assumed we were being profiled and haunted by a profoundly negative spirit. Digging a little deeper, I felt this spirit to be a humble, old soul seeking love and attention. As we prayed for her and showered her with light, she evaporated within 10 minutes. She even had a smile on her face. Negative energy has been around for a long time, possibly an eternity. Remember Satan?

According to many Christians, he’s a big player in the negativity scene, although some might contest his existence. The embodiment of hatred and darkness, Satan has been referred to as Mastemah, Diabolos (Greek), Belial (Dead Sea Scrolls), Beelzebul, Beelzebub, Typhon, Hades, Ahriman, Hela, and just plain old, “The Father of Lies.”

Negativity is not solely mythic or biblical, and it indeed doesn’t always stem from Satan. Experiencing negativity and its related spirit-forms can be a profound reality. While not often dangerous, visiting spirits can be a nuisance.

As a seer of spirits, I often find it’s impossible to determine whether a disembodied soul, apparition or etheric entity is evil vs. good, negative vs. positive, helpful vs. hurtful, needy vs. vampirish, somewhere in between, or a complex hybrid. Sometimes energy feels uncomfortable to us, possibly because we are preoccupied with sensing it, or we’re bothered by the fact that it’s taking up space.

In the empath, new-age, and pagan scenes, there are a lot of assumptions around negativity. Instead of exploring an entity or energy and then feeling into it, some might jump-the-gun and come out of the gate screaming, “IT’S THE DEVIL!”

It seems some of the sadder, angrier and darker healers and writers in the world like to assume the victim position so they can elicit fear, for which they’ll immediately conjure remedies. Afterward, they’ll chant privately, “I’m a hero of the light!” Um, well, not really.

There are worlds within worlds, realms within realms, worlds within realms, and realms within worlds, and therefore there are spirits of all sorts traversing between and throughout all of them. If we catch a glimpse of a spirit or feel her presence, it’s most often a blessing, rather than a curse.

While there are undoubtedly negative energies wandering around our physical realities, our perception of their negativity and its potential effects are often born from our fears, insecurities, unprocessed emotions, victim mindedness, assumptions, projections, and lack of boundaries. When we are negatively affected by a spirit or energy, it’s not the time to play the victim. It’s a call to improve our vibrations. We only attract, absorb, react-to, and consume that which we are magnetizing to us, unhealthily craving, or do not understand.

Are There Spirits In This World To Be Exorcized? Yes!
Is There A Slight Chance That I Will Be Exposed To, Oppressed By, Or Damaged By Such An Energy? If You Squint, Maybe, But Most Likely, No.

Bumping into and being subject to a variety of harmful effects extending from a negative entity would be like finding a pin in an alternate reality that exists solely within a tiny section of a specific yet massive haystack, and only appearing within a 15-second time slot time, and during a particular time of day, say 4:01:00 pm to 4:01:15 pm.

Given That I’m Probably Not In Imminent Danger, Should I Still Consider Clearing The Energies Around My Body, Mind, Heart, Partnerships, Family, Environments, Home, And Vehicles? CERTAINLY!

Just because energy isn’t harmful, doesn’t mean it’s not blocking the joy, flow, and goodness in your life. Some energies unknowingly block light and flow in our lives because of their natures, not their intentions. This means that even if a spirit appears to be haunting you, they might just be a dark, unconscious knucklehead without the ability to haunt.

My Advice Concerning Negative Energy

Chances are the negativity that you are experiencing is yours, not anybody else’s. Because of this, you can control this experience, and you can monitor your reactions. You can also make a bold and healthy choice to alleviate your stress around this idea and improve your conditions. Relax, take a shower, use essential oils, consume some Bach flower remedies, walk in the forest regularly, meditate daily, forgive often, and be proactive and positive. While you’re at it, pray for your lovers and enemies every day.

What Are Negative Energies?

Negative energies are disruptive spirits and energetic entities that materialize to us in a variety of forms, including but not limited to:

  • Disembodied spirits or people who recently died, but have yet to release their physical realities
  • Ancestors who adopt their prior physical forms to help us, alert us, or bother us
  • Spirits from other realms, worlds, and planets
  • Thought-forms from powerful thinkers and feelers
  • Energy formations from other planets that seek to embrace or learn from our ways of life (think Orbs, Rods, and the like)
  • Detached and embodied accumulations of experienced emotions, stemming from profound, inspiring, light-infused, dense, dark, or unexplainable events
  • Separated auric forms from confused, depressed, damaged, psychotic or sociopathic people, both living or dead
  • Our prior or parallel life forms, either from this reality, previous realities, or realities that we are concurrently co-existing within
  • Life forms that we previously agreed to assist and who exist in tangential realities that are somehow connected to our soul’s current life, lineage, or prior incarnations
  • Important: Personal, imaginary projections that come from our minds, attitudes, and intentions

How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Spirits In Your House

While the spirit might not be a negative or evil entity, he or she might certainly be unwanted in your home. It’s your right to remove them, and it’s your option how to engage them.

The best way to initiate the process of spirit-removal is to engage the spirit with love, light, and positive intentions. Screaming in fear, blaming them or others, or avoidance will not help your cause. Just like any other desire we might have, when it comes to removing spirits, we have to take proactive steps toward our goal.

You can’t always pray away a spirit; it might be a little more complicated than that. To rid your world of unwanted spirits, the most important thing you can do is clean house, which includes learning how to love yourself, discovering how to set better boundaries, saging your body and home, unearthing and releasing trapped and forgotten emotions, forgiving others, and physically cleaning your home.

Burning Sage To Remove Negative Energy In General

Sage is a fragrant, healing herb that can be used to make your home smell pretty while it extinguishes bacteria. As an essential oil, sage is believed to help relieve Alzheimer’s symptoms, reduce cholesterol and blood glucose, and even alleviate menopausal symptoms.

Sage is the herbal Terminator and can reduce allergens like pet dander, pollution, mold, and dust. It’s in this way that burning sage can be a miracle for people who have asthma, allergies, bronchitis, heart problems, and more. You can use sage to do the following:

  • Send prayers and offerings to Ancestors, Gods, Worlds, Realms, and Heavens
  • Eliminate unwanted spirits
  • Extinguish negative energies
  • Unblock chakras
  • Reduce stress
  • Unlock and lighten depression
  • Soothe anger and bad moods
  • Clear the emotional residue on our bodies
  • Clear the energy reside in our homes and cars
  • Release energy and spirit attachments
  • Clean and clear crystals and gemstones

Here’s How To Use Sage As An Antimatter Ray-Gun Against Negative Energy:

  1. Find some living sage in the mountains and make a little bundle. Let it dry for a week. Or you can buy a sage stick online or from a local new-age store.
  2. Fill a little bowl with sand or dirt, or buy an abalone shell.
  3. Light a candle and close the windows.
  4. Use the candle to light the dried sage so that it has a strong flame for a moment.
  5. Extinguish the flame and any flying sparks.
  6. Use a feather or your hand to wave the sage smoke on your body and throughout all of the rooms in your home.
  7. Pay special attention to the parts of your body that feel compromised or vulnerable.
  8. Pay particular attention to the parts of the house that feel burdened by unseen energies.
  9. As you spread sage smoke around your house, you can chant a mantra, repeat a prayer, or talk to the lingering spirits.
  10. Invoke love, light, and joy throughout the experience.
  11. When you’re done, extinguish the smoking sage stick in the sand/dirt bowl or place it under running water for a moment.
  12. After 3 hours of the sage smoke sinking into fabrics, carpets, walls, furniture, auras, chakras, and spirits, open the windows to release the smoke.
  13. Blow out the candle.

Negative Entities And Other House Pets

Negative entities are not always harmful to us. Some energies might not even know that we’re in the room. They might be completely clueless and contained within another dimension. We might also consider getting used to some of these spirits, especially if they do not harm our lives, hearts, souls, or minds.

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Negative energies can become long-term guests and house pets, but only if you do nothing to encourage their abdication. They can become accustomed to our energies and environments, just like we fall in love with our favorite restaurants. They might even become addicted to us.

Even with all that, we still might not be in danger. Just because a disembodied spirit is penetrating our walls and furniture doesn’t mean that he or she is harmful. It might merely be a fascination.

How To Get Rid Of Negative Entities

Just like your house plants and pets, it’s vital that you be kind and loving to the energies that provoke your fears and discomfort. When you sense entities wandering through your space, tell them that you love them. Ask that they respect your home, spirit and physical body. If you can see them, sage them. Once they disappear, repeatedly sage the space where you first saw them emerge. That space might be their little portal or entryway.

Pray for all of the entities that you sense, see, and feel. Pray for the protection of your spaces. These spirits are no different than your puppy, kitten, goldfish, or plant. They are conscious energy-forms or souls who are attracted to you and your world. If you shift, they will shift. If you can detach, they might detach.

Be Gentle, Loving, And Proactive. Repeat These Procedures Often.

If a spirit becomes a nuisance, look within your heart to see if there is someone who needs your forgiveness or apology. By focusing on the love in your heart, you can release and detach from trapped emotions. This will change your vibration and frequency, thereby shifting your connection to the entity. This process might also heal you on some level.

How To Get Rid Of Negative Energy Attached To You

While negative energies are not always conscious, and not all conscious, negative entities will attach to a physical form, it doesn’t mean that a negatively-charged attachment is not possible. Let’s Say That It’s Possible. Now What?

Here are a few things you can do to release a negative energy or entity that has attached itself to your body:

  • Pray for the energy. Imagine it to be protected and infused with white and pink light.
  • Pray for your spiritual evolution.
  • Forgive people who have hurt you.
  • In the quiet of the morning, apologize in your mind to people you have offended.
  • Set better boundaries with the people in your physical life.
  • Ask that the energy leave your body.
  • Meditate regularly.
  • Do 1 hour of Kundalini yoga, every day, for 40 days.
  • Use sage, gemstones, and crystals as jewelry to shift your vibration.
  • Ask the entity to reveal themself to you so that you can learn more about them and then offer love, guidance or prayer. They might be an ex-lover or friend from a prior life!

A Ritual For Release

Like I write about in my books, rituals can help us “physicalize our prayers and shift our realities.” If you enjoy performing simple rituals of transformation, try this one on for size:

  1. Gather the following: a small candle, some loose, dry sage, a handful of cornmeal, some organic tobacco, a bottle or two of water.
  2. Venture into the forest and meditate on infusing your life with light and love.
  3. Find a flat stone and place your candle on it, so that if it spills or tips, you and the forest are protected.
  4. Light the candle and sit on the ground next to it.
  5. Sprinkle a light circle of sage, cornmeal, and tobacco around you.
  6. Invite all of your ancestors, helpers, masters, and light-beings to fill your heart with light.
  7. Tell the negative entity or attached spirit that you love him or her, but that it’s time to say goodbye.
  8. Ask your etheric tribe of light-beings to help you heal the negative energy and remove it from your life for all time.

If you would like other suggestions for rituals, you can email me at paul@paulwagner.com. You are a light-being infused with love and stardust. You are the only controller of your life, experiences, magnetism, and vibration. Every time you elevate and improve-upon your vibration, you increase your awareness and change your reality.

Plant Consciousness: Do Plants Sense, Feel, And Communicate?

Plant Consciousness

Plants and trees communicate, which demonstrates their consciousness. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

Just like the love we receive from our mothers and grandmothers, nature is a life-giving, lovable, and powerful healer. Is this interconnectedness and interdependence born from nature’s pre-engineered biology, or is there a type of plant consciousness? Are they sentient beings, with the ability to sense, feel, fathom, and communicate? The answer to this is more remarkable than you might imagine.

When we wander in the forest, we might be conscious of the abundant life around us. If we allow ourselves the opportunity, we might understand that when we walk among flowers and trees, our bodies, minds, and hearts are healed in some way. As we absorb the luscious beauty around us, somehow, with limited effort, we feel cleansed from head to toe. This is not just a feeling, it’s often a reality.

We see a robust and majestic pine tree, drenched in sunlight and surrounded by wet earth. Thirty feet away we see its equally vital twin in the shade, surrounded by dry soil. Scientists say that it’s not only that the twin tree has roots that will reach to the nearby wet ground for sustenance, it’s also that these two trees share nutrients and messages via an intricate underground network. This is why the tree in the shadows is as healthy as her sunlit neighbor.

“You Know What A Lima Bean Does When It’s Attacked By Spider Mites? It Releases A Volatile Chemical That Goes Out Into The World And Summons Another Species Of Mite That Comes In And Attacks The Spider Mite, Defending The Lima Bean. While We Have Consciousness, Toolmaking, And Language, Plants Have Biochemistry.” — Michael Pollan

Can Plants Feel Pain?

As far back as the 1980s, researchers like Frank Kühnemann at Germany’s Institute for Applied Physics at Bonn University, have worked to understand how plants communicate and about plant consciousness. It’s not airy-fairy curiosity that gave birth to this pursuit; it originally began to help farmers understand why their crops soured when stored in local silos or during intercontinental transport to foreign nurseries.

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Originally developed by scientists at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and later improved-upon by The Institute for Applied Physics, a unique acoustic device was built to evaluate plants’ stress levels by measuring the energies of ethylene gas molecules provoked with lasers.

During harvesting, cultivation, drought, and after exposure to salt, poor ozone quality and cold air, plants emit ethylene gas. While they emit the gas when being eaten, attacked, or cut, they also emit the same levels of ethylene when their fruit is ripe.

That amazing smell after you cut your lawn?
It’s the result of the grass reacting to being cut.

The German acoustic device determines the stress level of the plant by converting the levels of ethylene gas into corresponding sound waves. This helps us understand the levels of “pain” and stress the plants are experiencing and about plant consciousness.

Acoustics-based research surrounding plants has given farming a boost. More specifically, it’s helped farmers understand that storing apples with other crops can damage the other crops. This research also points to the stress that plants experience during travel, given certain types of plant-based traveling companions.

The results of these experiments, and many since, have shown us plants can respond and react to their experiences. They can also remember and learn from their experiences and can make adjustments based on what they’ve learned. Plants emit gases and chemicals into the soil around them, and send messages through their roots to nearby plants. Suffice it to say that the world of plants is mind-blowing.

“Never Go To A Doctor Whose Office Plants Have Died.”
— Erma Bombeck

Do Plants Have Feelings?

When hearing that plants react and feel “pain,” your heart might fill with compassion and empathy. You might want to start a new organization aimed at protecting plants from cruelty! Certainly a noble pursuit.
While there are similarities among humans, animals, and plants, it’s important to consider that a plant’s purpose and systems are mostly dissimilar to those of humans and animals. When a human feels pain, they cry.
When plants are cut or stored alongside rotting apples, they emit ethylene gas. This doesn’t mean the plant doesn’t feel pain, it means we have a lot to learn about the nature of plants, especially as it relates to the notion of suffering.

It’s probable that plants don’t suffer in the same way humans and animals suffer and plants don’t feel the same way humans and animals feel. It’s certainly a lovely notion that at least one part of the earth’s ecosystem might be saved from a measure of suffering.

While humans, animals, and plants all have unique systems for connecting and each has a distinct cry for help, plants don’t have the same cortex and therefore, do not think and feel in the same way humans and animals do. It’s within thinking that emotions arise. And it’s during the expression of emotions that we understand when a creature is in pain. That said, plants clearly have their own thinking and feeling systems, many of which we have yet to understand.

It begs the question, what is a vegan to do? If my cucumber can feel my bite, should I become a Breatharian? For now, vegans should probably continue to eat vegetables, but feel free to be more loving and grateful when you bite into them!

Can Plants Communicate?

Although it started with the exploration of what seemed to be an insane premise, plants, just like humans and animals, can be shy or aggressive, connected or reclusive, and givers, receivers, or both. Upon certain conditions, plants will also warn their neighbors about impending attacks, problems, and the abundance and depletion of nutrients within the plant’s network.

Science seems to agree. According to Velemir Ninkovic, an ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, “Plants … use signals to avoid competing situations and to prepare for future competition.”

“God Sleeps In The Minerals, Awakens In Plants, Walks In Animals, And Thinks In Man.” — Arthur Young

 

Are Plants Sentient?

According to Kenneth Worth, Ph.D., “Plants produce serotonin, GABA, and melatonin, which act as hormones and neurotransmitters in animal brains, though it’s not yet known what they do in plants. Intriguingly, drugs such as Prozac, Ritalin, and amphetamines can disrupt these “neurotransmitters” in plants.” Putting all the pieces together, here’s what plants can do:

  • Grow with proper nutrition
  • Send messages and friend requests
  • Sense the need for nutrients in other plants
  • Share nutrients with other plants, even as far as 30 meters away
  • Send out electric distress signals
  • Sense light
  • Encourage neighbors to grow in ways that will help save them
  • Communicate using gases and chemical secretions in the soil
  • Emit measurable sounds
  • Send out signals to denote proximity to other plants
  • React, Remember & Learn
  • Produce Serotonin, GABA & Melatonin, which act like hormones in human beings

Related to the above, if we can give plants even the slightest benefit of the doubt, it must be probable that plants are sentient.

What Do You Feel Around Plants?

While the scientific and hippie ideologies surrounding plants might not always be aligned, what’s most important is what we each feel and sense around plants. Do you talk to your plants? Do you touch them with love? Whether you’re an academic researcher, holistic healer, or magical wizard living in another realm, plants give us oxygen, life, colors and vibrations, all of which provide measurable benefits.
Plant Research In India And China

In 1962, Dr. T.C. Singh, the head of Botany at an Indian University, concluded that plants exposed to music experienced accelerated growth. He also found that the violin provided the most value in this area. Other scientists over time have concluded that classical music has a profound effect on plants’ health. Dr. Singh also found that barefoot, traditional Indian dancing in the same room as the plants caused them to flower two weeks earlier than previously recorded.

Physicist and Indian plant physiologist Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, concluded after decades of researching the effects of environments on plants that, like humans, plants are sensitive to noise and nurturance. He also concluded that plants feel pain and understand affection.

In China’s Fujian Province, farmers claim their crop yields increased, and grain size significantly improved when using sound systems to play Buddhist chants in and around their fields. It seems undeniable that plants are sensitive in similar ways to humans and animals. Even with gaps in scientific research, there appears to be consensus around the notion that plants sense, feel, fathom, and communicate.

It’s humbling and exciting to learn about the expansive natures and abilities of plants. It’s also surprising and illuminating to learn about the parallels between plants and human/animal behaviors.

Enjoy and connect with your plants, receive their rich abundance when wandering in the forest, and share your love with all living Beings in your life.

The Heart Sutra – English & Sanskrit

The Heart Sutra

The Heart Sutra. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

This is a prayer for liberation and peacefulness.

By chanting it, you help heal for all Living-Beings, in all the realms.

The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra

Translated by Tang Dharma Master of the Tripitaka Hsüan-Tsang on imperial command

 .

ENGLISH

When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound prajna paramita, he illuminated the five skandhas and saw that they are all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty.

Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So, too, are feeling, cognition, formation, and consciousness.

Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced. Not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor diminish.​

Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, formation, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or dharmas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness; and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death or ending of old age and death. There is no suffering, no accumulating, no extinction, no way, and no understanding and no attaining.

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Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on prajna paramita, is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid, and he leaves distorted dream-thinking far behind. Ultimately Nirvana!

All Buddhas of the three periods of time attain Anuttarasamyaksambodhi through reliance on prajna paramita. Therefore, know that prajna paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequalled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false.

That is why the heart of sutra of prajna paramita was spoken.

Recite it like this: Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!

​
~~~~~~~~~~~~

SANSKRIT

oṃ namo bhagavatyai ārya prajñāpāramitāyai!

​ārya-avalokiteśvaro bodhisattvo gambhīrāṃ prajñāpāramitā caryāṃ caramāṇo vyavalokayati sma: panca-skandhās tāṃś ca svābhava śūnyān paśyati sma.

iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ. evam eva vedanā saṃjñā saṃskāra vijñānaṃ.

iha śāriputra: sarva-dharmāḥ śūnyatā-lakṣaṇā, anutpannā aniruddhā, amalā avimalā, anūnā aparipūrṇāḥ.

tasmāc chāriputra śūnyatayāṃ na rūpaṃ na vedanā na saṃjñā na saṃskārāḥ na vijñānam. na cakṣuḥ-śrotra- ghrāna-jihvā-kāya-manāṃsi. na rūpa-śabda-gandha-rasa- spraṣṭavaya-dharmāh. Na cakṣūr-dhātur. yāvan na manovijñāna-dhātuḥ. na-avidyā na-avidyā-kṣayo. yāvan na jarā-maraṇam na jarā-maraṇa-kṣayo. na duhkha- samudaya-nirodha-margā. Na jñānam, na prāptir na- aprāptiḥ.

tasmāc chāriputra aprāptitvād bodhisattvasya prajñāpāramitām āśritya viharatyacittāvaraṇaḥ. cittāvaraṇa-nāstitvād atrastro viparyāsa-atikrānto niṣṭhā- nirvāṇa-prāptaḥ.

tryadhva-vyavasthitāḥ sarva-buddhāḥ prajñāpāramitām āśrityā-anuttarāṃ samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhāḥ.

tasmaÌ„j jñaÌ„tavyam: prajñaÌ„paÌ„ramitaÌ„ mahaÌ„-mantro mahaÌ„- vidyaÌ„ mantro ‘nuttara-mantro samasama-mantrahÌ£, sarva duhÌ£kha praśamanahÌ£, satyam amithyataÌ„t. prajñaÌ„paÌ„ramitaÌ„yaÌ„m ukto mantrahÌ£.

tadyathā: gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā. iti prajñāpāramitā-hṛdayam samāptam.

​

How The Broadway Sensation “Hamilton” Pulls At Our Hearts And Reinforces Our Love Of Debt

Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was obsessed with using debt to grow – just like most Americans. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

While starting a nation is a huge undertaking, our nation’s founders were a little hasty. The real Alexander Hamilton would have hated today’s Federal Reserve. Jefferson, too.

After seeing Hamilton in several cities, including on Broadway in its early days, I continue to be insanely obsessed with the play’s story and music. I love every nuance, character, and song. I adore the portrayal of Hamilton’s unrelenting drive to succeed. I love the images my mind conjures related to how he overcame oppression.

With every whack, tap, lyric, beat, and swipe, I feel inspired to be young, scrappy, and hungry. And while I’ve certainly jeopardized an opportunity or two, I’ve never thrown away my shot. I relate with Hamilton on every level.

When it comes to Hamilton, I’m an obsessed super-fan.

I listen to the Hamilton soundtrack a few times per week. This helps me remember the play’s tableaus and themes, like: the thrills of a seemingly justified war, a bold and defiant patriotism, the pains of self-discovery, and the emotional journeys born from crushing disappointment and death.

But something has been bugging me, and it’s not the price of the tickets.

 

When Hamilton rose to power in the colonial United States, British-Americans had fragile self-identities. They saw themselves as caught between two divorcing, alcoholic parents. For years, most Americans struggled with their perspective on the scuffles and impending war. A farmer might go to bed a fervent patriot and wake-up a loyal, defender of the crown.

In the midst of all the mayhem, people had to work 3X harder in America than they did back home. While there was more opportunity in the states, not every promise turned to gold, and there was a lot of crime. More than ever, you had to know who your friends were, and no matter where you wandered, you were always worried about your family’s safety.

In Hamilton’s first act, theater-goers enjoy “My Shot,” which brings to life the newly emerging idea that America can be much more than it is. It’s a powerful song filled with hope, aggression, and dangerous ideas, fueled by a massive ego. This is where the play “Hamilton” and the real Alexander Hamilton part ways.

While it’s tough to fit every tidbit and theme into a biographical story, the play leaves out the aftermath of Hamilton’s vision – the greed, politics, maneuvering, cheating, stealing, and outright insanity of how the Federal Reserve came to be.

During his life, and in the years that have since followed, almost everyone has misquoted and misrepresented Hamilton’s ideology. Check out this quote from Alexander, which is often cut-off after the first sentence:

“The proper funding of the present debt, will render it a national blessing. The creation of debt should always be accompanied with the means of extinguishment.” — Alexander Hamilton

 

Every patriot, including all the Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Congresswomen and state representatives that followed Washington and the founding Fathers and Mothers, began to depend on this newly fangled idea that “debt creates security and wealth.” This could not be farther from the truth.

While the musical immortalizes Hamilton’s brilliant financial and banking scheme, the reality is that debt inspires dependencies and secret, exclusive systems that oppress. In addition to the most conservative Republican politicians, the most liberal and conscious leaders of today have ideologies that are not in balance.

In an ideal federal debt system, there would be a conscious, non-salaried, non-incentivized, board of directors who were somehow forced to make decisions that would nurture all factions of society, not just the wealthy, and not solely the poor.

In the case of the United States, the saddest aspect of our system is that most people in power expect to be paid first, which has resulted in the faulty trickle-down system in place today. By the time Hamilton created The First Bank of the United States, greed had already dismantled his original ideology and turned it into a hierarchical system of debt as the oppressor.

Hamilton is powerful, but it skimps on the levels of eternal greed born from Hamilton’s ideology.

Fast-forward to today, and it appears we’re in trouble.

Is our untended debt Hamilton’s fault? Maybe.

 

During the Revolutionary War, the emerging United States was accruing huge debt. Including foreign, domestic, and the newly acquired state debts, the United States owed $80 million, mostly born from the upkeep of the Continental Army.

While he was clearly defiant against the Royal Family’s history of control of the colonies, when he became the first Secretary of The U.S. Treasury, Hamilton created a kingly position for himself. For a time, he had exclusive management of the U.S. government’s finances.

“No one really knows how the game is played. The art of the trade, how the sausage gets made. We just assume that it happens, but no one else is in The room where it happens.” — Aaron Burr in Hamilton

Acting quickly, and getting more than he gave, Hamilton negotiated for the establishment of the “Bank of the United States,” which included the promised plan to expand the U.S. government’s fiscal and monetary power, and the creation of a federal mint, along with a drastic increase in excise taxes. While it appeared that all states would greatly benefit, this new system initiated the north-south divide that would eventually lead to civil war.

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At the time, the astute representative from Massachusetts, Fisher Ames, claimed, “A debt-compelling government is no remedy to men who have lands and negroes, and debts and luxury.” Somehow Ames was able to see the dangers in unchecked debt.

Hamilton had substantial opposition in his quest, including James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson argued that the enumerated powers of the federal constitution did not permit the creation of such extraordinary debt, especially absorbing every state’s debt (without limits,) or the creation of a federal bank.

“This financial plan is an outrageous demand, and it’s too many damn pages for any man to understand … Stand with me in the land of the free. Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky. Imagine what gonna happen when you try to tax our whiskey.” —  The character of Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton

Jefferson wrote passionately to Washington stating that this type of bank “represented a boundless field of power and constitutional overreach.”

While we might never know what would have occurred had the U.S. continued to solely borrow money from other countries, today’s trends in government and personal debt, financing and fiscal responsibility are not looking very positive.

Check these out:

  • American’s are overburdened by debt, which collectively has hit $13.3 Trillion. Even the country’s debt is at $22 Trillion

  • The Federal Reserve reports that the average American has $38K in personal debt, which includes credit cards, auto loans, student loans and personal loans.

  • 28% of all Americans have more debt than savings.

  • 20% of Americans spend 50%-100% of their monthly income on debt repayment.

  • In a conscious effort to divide the country and marginalize America’s most pained and oppressed citizens, the President speaks with xenophobic rhetoric, reminiscent of an 1800’s Southern Plantation Owner.

  • Given all the personal debt in the United States, it would make sense that the government would place pricing limits in a handful of sectors. For example, pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Merck & Co Inc, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Novartis, and the #1 beast Pfizer Inc, all continue to rape the public with inhumane prices on medicines that should be free.

Given all the hooplah over the remarkable musical, “Hamilton,” the play’s program should come with a mandatory debt-management class immediately following the show.

Before You Relinquish Your Ego, Relish It

ego

Love your ego before you toss it. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

When I first met Dr. Vasant Lad, he had just arrived in Cambridge, MA from India. One of the most beloved authorities within all of Ayurvedic medicine, Dr. Lad is a loving healer and deeply inspiring oracle.

We sat on pillows in a tiny room where Vasant told me that I was tridoshic. He prescribed some herbs, mantras, and meditations, and he encouraged me to look deeper into my spiritual gifts. Moments later, he directed me to tell my best friend where her engagement ring was situated. He had known me for 2 minutes. The ring was behind the night table.

When we truly relinquish our egos, or, at the very least, nudge them aside, we begin to see beyond our limited, temporary self-identities, and into eternity. This miracle is always available to every living Being, throughout all the realms, in all of creation, and throughout all the universes.

Dr. Lad’s intuition and light-based nature is the result of years of having chosen to relinquish his ego, in service to humanity. While Vasant’s state of Being is admirable and exemplary, It’s not easy to expand, without first being thrust into a variety of fires. Some of these fires are more enjoyable than others.

When I first asked Dr. Lad why my ego was so challenging to wrestle and release, he said, “The ego is the I am. Without the ego, you are not.”

I cried for an hour.

No other spiritual teacher had phrased this idea so succinctly. Everything he said to me that night was so wonderfully simple, precise, and relatable. Dr. Lad set me on a unique path, and I was forever changed.

Some new-age “prophets” can be so intensely focused on the relinquishing of ego, they fail to reveal the implications of giving up something we may have never known.

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If each of our soul identities and spiritual imprints is at least partially represented in our egos (for the purpose of our experiencing three-dimensional reality), how can we evolve without first embracing our egos, at least for a period of time?

After all, whether it was Gods, aliens, or biochemical explosions from other realms, each of us is unique and remarkable.

When we fully embrace our egos, we might understand our motivations, intentions, gifts, talents, and attributes. In the pursuit of these understandings, we might also experience an expanded appreciation for the mechanics and infrastructures of this physical world. In doing so, we begin to deepen our respect and gratitude for every cog, player, mechanic, operator, assistant, and creator who works to bring our physical realities to life.

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Throughout time, there have been multitudes of religions and spiritual movements that sought to mislead millions of people.

In many cases, dark souls with selfish intentions intentionally misrepresented the masters they once followed, all in the name of greed and control. The result of this misuse of power resulted in the manipulation of the masses and included theft, rape, and abuse of the Earth’s most vulnerable minerals, plants, and living Beings. At their best, religions and spiritual movements give us lexicons and pause, while they relegate us to confined intellectual and spiritual prisons.

What is the ego?

The ego is your platform for evolution. It’s your calling card. The ego is how the world uses you to evolve itself. Your ego was born to help creation give birth to more light. Allow the ego to enjoy itself. Allow its imperfections. Permit it to explore itself. In that journey, we learn how to see ourselves more clearly, relate with others, forgive flaws, and make our boldest moves.

Yes, you are most likely imperfect, but only perfectly. Within your unique imperfections live desires, emotional curiosities, and the trajectories that will lead you through your individual unfoldment. Find safe ways to let it all live and let it all out. While the truth will set you free, you first have to allow yourself, as you are right now, to be part of that truth.

Many of today’s religious fanatics and spiritual phonies are living from narcissistic self-identities, behind which they hide.

From their self-righteous perches, too many spiritual leaders hate LGBTQ people, judge angry men, and resent masculine constructs, even the ones that produce safe environments, jobs, and sustenance for their families. It’s from these narrow-minded positions that misguided souls also judge themselves.

The tragedies don’t stop there. With each of their judgmental thoughts comes a myriad of negative frequencies and vibrational elements, which then attach to the individual. These attachments act as magnets for experiences that will naturally confront these individuals with their shadows. With each problematic experience that emerges, we have the option to either evolve or seek more of the same.

How does this all relate to me? What does all this mean?

  • If you’re an angry man, begin by honoring your anger, then nudge it toward sadness, which is the most accurate state of anger. When you’re ready, see if you can convert your tears into actionable boundaries, knowledge, and strategies. This is how you can improve your life and serve your family.
  • If you have deep-seated issues stemming from abuse, first honor hour anger, and see if you can express it healthfully and without hurting others. Following that, if possible, try to convert it into knowledge, forgiveness, and grace. Work through every aspect of every emotion related to this horrible event. While this is unfathomably difficult, there is always a pathway to love and light.
  • If you’ve been screwed-over in life, love, or business, find ways to honor and release the related emotions. From there, you can invite forgiveness, knowledge, graciousness, and rebirth. If that fails, regularly write in your journal until your current self-identity breaks and allows for change.
  • If you feel drenched in ego and greed, be gentle with yourself before ripping open walls and terminating the structures that have served you.

Upon each painful experience, we have two options:

Rot in pain or burst toward the light.

Regardless of what you’ve experienced, never new-age yourself out of your feelings. Never Buddhify your pain. Never forsake yourself. Even if you have to forget Jesus’s teachings for a split second, never reject the YOU that you’ve come to know and love. Never push yourself out of the way. If our selves are not involved in every step, we’ll eventually regret it.

Most importantly, after each negative experience, honor your mind and heart as they process what has happened. From there, you can forgive, let go, pivot, and expand. Over time, negative experiences begin to feel like encouragement.

When you’re ready, you can re-embrace your ideologies, religions, and spiritual movements. At their cores, these things are not bad for humanity. The trouble begins when spiritual leaders and teachers tell us to forsake ourselves before first honoring ourselves. After all, we are created by an unlimited, forgiving, and ever-expanding universe.

To save ourselves and the planet, consider pausing before spreading a doctrine or religion. It might also be helpful to learn to love and honor ourselves before relinquishing every aspect of our identities and lives.

Before we toss anger out the window in self-judgment, we might want to experience the anger and learn more about it. In all things, we must first look in the mirror and love without threatening punishment. From there, we can make conscious and fair assessments. Embedded in the bosom of love, we can nurture ourselves into forgiveness and expansion.

Harvard Meditation Study: Resilience, Tummo, And Inner Peace

Harvard Meditation Study

Tummo is the rage, Harvard Meditation Study. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

Long before Harvard’s recent studies on meditation and mindfulness, the science around the subject has been disputed. Regardless, meditation lovers, mindfulness experts, monks, and prayerful people of all types regularly report a variety of benefits resulting from these practices.​

Whether avid meditators or not, most of us have reported positive experiences when meditating. Benefits include stress reduction, feeling more peaceful, feeling better about ourselves, feeling less judgmental, and improved relationships and creativity.

“Surrender To What Is. Let Go Of What Was. Have Faith In What Will Be.”
— Sonia Ricotti

Many couples who meditate together during Harvard Meditation study, report feelings of deepening and connectedness that were not present before meditation. Teachers who introduce meditation to their students find that everyone has better attention spans and the majority tend to get along better.

Many doctors report that mindfulness techniques and positive visualizations help to calm their patients. Some doctors have said that regimens of meditation have improved conditions associated with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Meditation and mindfulness are taught and practiced by prisons, sports teams, and even the U.S. military to improve resilience, clarity, presence of mind, and feelings of connectedness.​
Also, the vast majority of meditation studies have shown that meditators tend to experience regular states of selflessness and emotional clarity.

“The Real Meditation Is How You Live Your Life.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Science Of Meditation

Traditionally, meditation and mindfulness studies have been poorly designed and executed. Of the over 400 clinical trials aimed at determining the benefits of meditation between 1956 and 2005, only 10% were constructed from quality theoretical perspectives and methodologies. This included studies by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the American Heart Association.

When it comes to happiness and emotional well-being, some studies show that people who meditate have higher levels of happiness than control groups. Similar studies have shown that people who meditate for 20 minutes per day have higher levels of happiness than those who rested for 20 minutes per day. The challenge with these types of results is that they haven’t included data related to meditators being better at self-care than non-meditators.

“The Present Moment Is Filled With Joy And Happiness.
If You Are Attentive, You Will See It.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

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The Harvard Study On Meditation And Mindfulness

A neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Sara Lazar, sought to explore the benefits of meditation and mindfulness via brain scans while doing Harvard Meditation study.
What did she learn? Meditation and similar practices can improve, expand, and change your brain. Lazar’s findings of meditators were profound:

  • Over time, their senses become enhanced.
  • With regular meditation, they experience improved executive decision making. Whether younger or older, participants have shown increased gray matter in the prefrontal cortex.
  • The brains of new meditators thickened after eight weeks in the areas of the brain that cater to self-relevance, learning, cognition, memory, emotional regulation, adopting perspectives, empathy, compassion, and the production of regulatory neurotransmitters.
  • The areas of the brains of new mediators related to anxiety, fear, and stress became smaller over time.

While there isn’t robust data about how much and how long someone must meditate to achieve benefits like these, Lazar said that meditators would probably need to practice at least a couple of days per week, at an average of 30 minutes per day. That said, there is no definitive scientific data in this area.

Tummo Meditation

While meditation science has been unable to prove every benefit for every niche and category, Tibetan Monks and Himalayan yogis have been meditating for centuries, and with consistent, miraculous results. Tummo Meditation, (gTum-mo in Tibetan, or g-Tummo), which translates to “inner fire,” is regularly taught and practiced by Tibetan Buddhists throughout the world.

Wrapped in cold, wet sheets, Himalayan monks can heat their bodies through Tummo meditation, and in the process, dry the wet sheets. This astounding ability has kept academics, doctors and regular folks stupefied for over a century. Truly, Tummo meditation is the holy grail of meditation neuroscience.

This ancient technique combines meditative breathing with visualization and results in a deep state of inward connection. Monks report being able to increase and control the heat in their bodies.

While their body temperatures rise during the meditation, they can transfer the resulting heat to any organ or extremity, including their scalps, hearts, kidneys, fingers, and toes.​Tummo meditators report a variety of benefits, including improved concentration, memory, and mental clarity; improved breathing, including the depth of breaths; improved lung and heart health; improved confidence; and of course, improved control over the body’s heat.

Given all this, meditation should be a no-brainer, right? RIGHT!.  

How To Tummo

The purpose of Tummo is to reach a high yoga tantra (or state) and gain control over the body’s processes.
Here are the steps to achieving Tummo Meditation and the psychic control of your body’s heat:

  1. Sit comfortably, with your back straight; cross-legged is ideal.
  2. Imagine your spirit’s kundalini (channel) “tube” up and down your spine.
  3. Imagine that each nostril is a tube connected to your kundalini tube.
  4. Imagine your body being hollow, sacred, and filled with light.
  5. Visualize a hot ball of fire inside of your body, around the belly-button.
  6. Focus on your breath and inhale slowly.
  7. Imagine each breath to feed your fireball of light, making it hotter and hotter.
  8. Imagine that your fireball is safe and healing, continuing to feed it with the breath.
  9. Try to hold each breath for 10-30 seconds, then exhale.
  10. You can repeat this breathing process for up to 30 minutes.

“What Day Is It?” Asked Pooh. “It’s Today,” Squeaked Piglet.

“My Favourite Day,” Said Pooh.

— A.A. Milne

Types Of Meditation And Mindfulness

Meditation can take many forms. Some meditate on their breath. Others find that mantras and tones are helpful when attempting to detach from the mind and be fully in the present moment.
Here are a few types of meditation that you might find helpful.
Mindfulness Meditation (Also Breath Meditation)

  1. Sit comfortably with your back straightbook-live-intuitive-reading-with-paul-wagner
  2. Focus on your breath and how it moves in and out of your body. Feel the sensations in your lungs, chest, and belly. Notice the air as it enters your nose and mouth. Pay attention to your breath as it leaves your body.
  3. Allow thoughts to come and go. Become the watcher of your thoughts, whether they are based in happiness, hope or anxiety. Simply allow them to be and then let them go. Remain calm as you feel the results of your thoughts. Refrain from suppressing or ignoring them. Over time, your thoughts will naturally bubble up and disappear at will.
  4. Without judging yourself, allow your mind to wander or get carried off into a thought-path. When this happens, effortlessly return your focus to your breath. Throughout the process, be gentle with yourself.
  5. When you experience a period of peacefulness, try to maintain it.
  6. When the time feels right, bring your meditation to a close. As you come out of the meditation, sit quietly for some time. Become aware of who you are in the moment, and where you are. Be gentle with yourself as you return to the present moment.
  7. When it feels right to you, stand up and carry on with your day.

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Mantra Or Tone Meditation

Start with 5 minutes each morning and try to increase the length of time every day.

  1. Once you’re seated comfortably, either in a chair or in lotus position on the floor, choose a mantra or tone for inhaling and exhaling.
  2. As you inhale, silently chant the tone “Maaaaa” in your mind.
  3. As you exhale, silently chant the tone “Ommmmm” in your mind.
  4. Throughout the meditation, allow your attention to return to these tones continually.
  5. When we tone within our minds, we dissolve our mental chatter and bring healing vibrations to our brains, hearts, and bodies. 

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Meditation In Action

Whether we are exercising, walking, or doing the dishes, an activity can quickly become a meditation. Focus on your feet pressing against the earth or your hands stretching out as they touch a tree. Bring your attention to the activity, without judgment, anticipation, or stress. See things as they really are, without trying to reduce them to something else. Bring your mind’s attention to the resulting sensations within each activity.

This type of meditation allows us to detach from our minds and identities, and immerse ourselves in the spirit of the action. Throughout the process, we experience moments of liberation.

There are many types of meditation. You might consider studying the true nature of reality through Vipassana Meditation, a 10-day silent retreat.

Research what feels best to you and try to build meditation into your daily habits and routines.

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Ongoing Scientific Efforts

Research perspectives and methodologies aimed at proving the benefits of meditation and mindfulness have drastically improved.​
Thankfully, an ongoing effort in this area is occurring at a variety of universities and hospitals, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
  • The Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Harvard University
  • The Mindfulness Research Collaborative
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Miami
  • Georgetown University
  • Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
  • Many other institutions and organizations

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Mindfulness Leaders

Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Tibetan Buddhist monk, taught thousands of people how to meditate. Jon Kabat-Zinn, his worthy student, memorialized those teachings in a variety of profound books on the subject, including “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” “Mindfulness For Beginners,” and “Meditation is Not What You Think.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.