Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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Words make things happen. In most cultures spoken ceremonies are repeated verbatim purposefully. The sacred nature of both written and spoken language is celebrated around the world. The Torah, Koran, and Bible are viewed as sacred texts to be studied, read and taught. Art depicting religious stories was used to teach in the times before reading was common. Art and design of a religious nature is preserved to demonstrate to future generations the devotion the ancestors had to their beliefs. Sites that are sacred to people for thousands of years become inundated with the energy of pilgrims and believers who have visited throughout history.
In the fast paced and highly saturated language designed to sell products we experience subliminal suggestions buried beneath images and characters. Appeals contain images and voices that speak to our deep unconscious. The investment and energy required to sell Coca Cola around the world now is probably greater than investments in creating sacred art and literature. Political campaigns burn resources and overwhelm the public awareness. Messages bombard the audio and the visual landscapes. The plentiful access to information is both miraculous and sinister. The power of the published word, once reserved for exclusive use by a small group, has been granted to a much wider population. This expansion has created a deluge of spoken and written language available in the blink of an eye on the internet. The cascade of words never ends.
I think it is important to remember that everything we read, write, say, hear, and repeat (or retweet) is power. How do you filter the words you give and receive? I limit the number of ads I see by not watching much commercial television. I don’t buy magazines, and rarely buy papers. Most marketing messages reach me by internet. This makes it simple to delete, unsubscribe, block many of the unwanted communications. The companies that continue to fill my mailbox with catalogs after I ask them to stop sending them invoke my ire. I decide they are too rude to have my business if they will not manage one simple customer service request to stop bombarding me with glossy paper. The world has changed, and so should the unwanted advertisers who think they are reaching me by mail.
Lately I have discovered the vast selection of poetry available free on-line. This filter, which includes several apps for my phone and the voca library, has changed the kind of words I receive on a regular basis. The essence of the poets who crafted those words is portrayed in print and audio. I am making the acquaintance on-line of poets writing now that I like to read. It is fun to be able to comment in real-time on a poet’s blog. By shifting my attention to poems and the use of words to capture time I am pleased to report that my own world is richer and more creative. Words are magical, indeed. My magic words for the year 2015, patience, persistence, and poetry are proving to have the ability to open new realities to me. The are providing a portal into a place of poets, and are just the medicine I needed. Do you believe in magic words, gentle reader?
Carl Jung carved a Latin inscription above the door of his house in Kusnacht, Switzerland: “VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT.” This means: “Called or not called, the god will be there.” To actively call and later, be still and know is the heart of meditation. The call can be music, nature, yoga, chant, movement, or poetry. The goal is emptiness gained through insight. This free time beyond the word, beyond the concept, and beyond imagination is free time with no boundaries of space and time. The ultimate reality is unlike the one in which our ego goes and does and consumes all the time. It has infinite qualities, at which words merely take a stab at defining. Words and chants are used to create liturgy and forms of reverence. Group voice has a magical quality that lifts spirit and satisfies the soul. Words and sounds resonate as well as drive the memory deeper, creating more meaningful images of past and dream life as a collage.
Rarely do direct and useful insights arrive like lightning bolts. I notice that visual cues stimulate my contemplation, but often a single word has great and continued meaning. Last week I heard the sound of a name I have often read, Hecate. I noticed that my mental pronunciation had been incorrect. Perhaps for this reason the name and her meaning came back to me a few times over the weekend. As we learned discernment between soul and spirit, her name was mentioned as the night goddess of magic. Her meaning is all about soul, in the living and the dead. She stands at the crossroads and is a guide to the underworld. At the end of our group’s time together we got to gaze into Tom’s obsidian mirror to stimulate our intuitions. The small shiny mirror was passed around from student to student as we said our goodbyes to each other. I moved about with my reflective image, finally settling on a shot of the ceiling , which was covered with acoustic tile. I gazed for a few moments and again Hecate came faintly into my mental focus. Days later I remembered the image of that cross of the intersecting ceiling tiles. This time the metaphor of my question as a crossroads, and Hecate is the ruler of the place was clearer.
All decisions are not life or death. I take from this contemplation on my own soul and spirit the idea that life is finite, but the soul is not. Hecate is a symbol of darkness, death, and magic. Called or uncalled, she will be there at the crossroads.