Monday Message from Merlin 12-28-09

blue-moon

Greetings to you all, my friends and fellow travelers on the Path of Light! I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of my beloved Rose, who writes this blog and works with me for the betterment of us both. It is my great pleasure to be with you today during this sacred and magickal time of the year. So many traditions during these days–so many to learn about, and honor, and enjoy. I hope that you are enjoying your traditions with your loved ones in the physical planes. We here in the realms of Spirit also enjoy these sacred and mystical energies, and we celebrate along with you. Sometimes you are aware of our presences; sometimes you are not. Sometimes you may even forget us because there is so much to do and see and experience at this time of the Wheel of the Year! That is all right; we, your spirit teachers and loved ones, understand your enthusiasm and energy for the physical events that transpire. We enjoy participating in them with you, whether you know of our presences or not. It is appreciated, however, when you can take some time, even a few moments, to re-connect to the divine within you, that spark of Light that thus connects you to all sentient beings, thus connecting you back to us. This warms our souls and lifts our hearts, as we enjoy communing with you and find it to be a sacred and special bond that we cherish.

Another holiday is almost upon us–the New Year 2010. Many Pagans and other spiritual traditions celebrate the New Year at Samhain, when the Wheel of the Year turns at the end of the Celtic calendar. No matter when you mark this occasion, however, the energies of the upcoming December 31 will be significant. As 2009 ends, a new decade begins. What will 2010 bring to you? What will the next 10 years of this decade bring? It is the perfect time for releasing old, outdated energies and ushering in new, fresh energies. A second Full Moon appears on December 31 this year (the first of this month being on the 2nd), what some call a Blue Moon. This beautiful Full Moon energy falls on the last day of your calendar year cycle, and on a Thursday, a day whose energies are ruled by the planet Jupiter and vibrate with success and influence. On this Full Moon, what will you release from your life? What about 2009, or the entire decade, can you leave behind as it no longer serves you or the Higher Plan? Now is the time, in the next few days, to prepare for the sacred Full, Blue Moon energy. Decide what is no longer necessary or wanted in your life, and pledge to release it with love and thanks. Remember that the Universe will fill any void that you create through this release, so also decide what you would like to draw into that space in your life. Concentrate on these energies, and know that on the 31st, you can start an entirely new cycle of energy for the New Year, and for the next decade! What a blessing and a significant opportunity to make profound changes in your life! Won’t you take advantage of these auspicious energies? Know that your own spirit guides and teachers will help you if you desire these changes and enlist their assistance. As you grow, we grow, and we honor the arduous work you do to progress spiritually.

Concentrate and meditate on these things, especially on the 31st. Find quiet time that day, in the blessed energy of the Full, Blue Moon, to honor your life, where you are, and where you would like to be. Know that the Universe will support you in any changes you decide to make, as long as they serve your highest and best and the highest and best for all. Do not be afraid to make changes; you have the strength, the love, and the courage of Spirit to guide and sustain you.

Now, until we meet again, good friends: I wish you love, prosperity, joy, and, above all, peace, as we all move forward in the Light of the Divine.

Merlin

A Good Christmas

Now is the time to bask in the afterglow.

We had a couple of lovely holiday days. Christmas Eve, we went to see the movie AVATAR, and I was completely, totally dazzled. The story itself was very predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen, but honestly, I didn’t care one iota. In some movies, when this happens, it annoys the snot out of me. In this movie, I was so enraptured by my immersion in this new world that I didn’t care. I enjoyed the characters (even though they were all pretty standard–dumb-but-lovable hero; feisty heroine; smart-and-smarmy scientist; bloodthirsty army dude; etc.) and the story itself. Most of all, I enjoyed the beauty of the movie. James Cameron has created the most lush, evocative, and incredible movie I’ve ever seen. Make sure you see it in 3D. I think it might lose a little something without the 3D, and you don’t want to miss the absolutely breathtaking environment as it spins around you. There is also a spiritual component to the movie that really resonated with me: the idea of all living things in a world being interconnected and bound to each other, responsible for each other, and honoring each other. Overall, this was the best movie experience I’ve had in a long, long time. Two thumbs WAY up for AVATAR.

avatar3

After seeing the movie, we went to my husband’s sister’s house to celebrate Christmas with his family. It was a lovely night, although my niece didn’t get off work until late, so we were there for quite some time, waiting for her to arrive. No worries. My husband’s older brother is getting married in September of next year, and it was nice to spend some time with his new fiancee. My oldest niece also has a new boyfriend after spending several years with her troubled ex, so I was happy to meet him and see what their energy together is like. I wish them both well. We always pick names on that side of the family for our gift exchange, and my sister-in-law got me this cool Tarot deck to add to my collection:

Circle of Life Tarot

It’s a really cool circular deck with loads of great imagery. My younger nieces, especially the youngest, seemed very interested when I received it, so we spent some time looking through the cards and talking about their meanings–a short, simple introduction to Tarot for them. It was fun, although I’m sure I would’ve made more sense if I hadn’t had 2 glasses of wine by that time. Oh, well. No matter what, I always enjoy spending time with my husband’s family, and this year was no exception. As we drove home, my husband mentioned that we should try to get together with them more often, and I totally agree.

On Christmas morning, we got up to find both of our boys already eating breakfast, so we waited until they were finished to start our Christmas cheer. They emptied their stockings first, which were filled with a stainless steel water bottle, a wooden brainteaser puzzle, a winter hat, and video tapes for the movie camera they constantly use to film their stop-motion animation movies. They also received a gym bag (filled with underwear, LOL!); handkerchiefs; heavy hoodies to wear during these colder temperatures; several Lego sets; and the game DJ HERO for the Wii. They received iTunes gift cards and the new Lego Indiana Jones Wii game from their cousins, and another Lego set from their aunt, so they seemed to be very pleased with their Christmas acquisitions. It’s always so much fun for me to watch them open their gifts–quite a gift in itself.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive from my husband an iPod Nano (purple!) and an iTunes gift card, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’ve been tossing around the idea of buying an iPod for a while now, especially because I’d like to be able to create playlists of music for my work environment and not have to rely on my old, cranky CD player. I just hated committing to the purchase, so Keith made it easy for me. That was very sweet of him. I also received Tori Amos’ new Midwinter Graces CD, as well as volume 2 of the GLEE soundtrack. The boys got me HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE on DVD, too. Keith and I bought each other the Wii EA Sports Active game set so that we can try a new way of getting in shape (which kicked my thighs this morning, thank you very much!). I think my favorite present from my husband was this, however:

Lunaea’s Goddess Rosaries

The one Keith got for me isn’t pictured, here or on her SOLD pages, but I love it! It’s perfect for me, containing an Edward Gorey image of a woman in the prow of a boat, with the message “prophetic voyages” on the back. It is strung with gorgeous black crystal beads and accented with clear and aquamarine crystals. I have been wanting one of Lunaea’s magnificent creations for a long time, and I was certainly happy to receive this one. I feel like it was made just for me!

After presents yesterday, Keith and I got to work, preparing the meal we served to my family. My older brother, his wife, and his daughter came for dinner, along with my father. I always enjoy my family as well. My brother and I have grown closer over the last 10 years or so, and I do love spending time with him and my sister-in-law. It was great to see our niece, too, who lives with her mom near Columbus and doesn’t get down to visit too often. My brother brought an ENORMOUS bottle of riesling with him, which we laughed about but ended up drinking most of throughout the day. We enjoyed a nice meal with plenty of desserts (which is why I’m glad we go the new Wii workout game!), and my father gave us a very generous Christmas gift, and we’ll have to figure out what we’d like to spend it on. It was an extremely enjoyable Christmas day, and I’m glad my whole family (small as it is) was able to be together.

So today, I’m catching up on chores, straightening up the house, and putting new things in their places.

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas, if you celebrate it, and that your weekend is filled with beauty and blessings. Thanks for spending some time with me today.

On the Eve of Christmas

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Here we are again, on the eve of Christmas. It’s a busy day for us–plans to see the movie AVATAR with my husband and boys (a Christmas Eve tradition in our family, to go and see a film), some baking in preparation for tomorrow, and then a celebration with my in-laws tonight. Presents and fun abound, and I’m excited about it. But I wanted to take a moment to stop by the blog and send greetings and good wishes to you all.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, something else, or nothing at all, I wish you every happiness during this sacred holiday season. May the Light that guides us all bring you fulfillment, inspiration, and upliftment, and may you know and understand the compassionate Presence that surrounds you with love every moment of every day.

May peace be yours, now and always. See you soon. xoxox

Aimless Drifting

I am currently going through a bout of aimless drifting in my life, and I find it rather disconcerting.

Right now, work is slow for me. I don’t have many massage therapy clients wanting to come in for bodywork, and my usually busy reading schedule is full of holes. I am grateful in many ways for the time off–it’s nice to be able to relax a bit and not feel overwhelmed by client needs. This, however, also makes me feel guilty at the same time. I have a strong work ethic, and I often feel as if I’m not contributing when I’m not working. This “not contributing” feeling encompasses not only my family but society in general. I’m in service professions; I chose these fields because I wanted to help others. When times are slow, I not only feel like I’m letting down my family but that I’m not upholding my sacred contract to support others in their life journeys.

No pressure, right?

These are the times when I know I should focus on the business end of my work. I should look into better marketing techniques, prepare new materials to attract new clients, plan strategies to increase my income, etc., etc. The problem is, I don’t like doing any of these things. I find no satisfaction whatsoever in trying to market myself. The business end of owning and operating my own business is the part of things I’d rather never have to face again. Quite frankly, it makes me even less enthusiastic about my work. And then I feel guilty about not spending time developing my business!

I’ve been through cycles like this before. I try not to worry about the gaps in my schedule and attempt to count my blessings rather than obsess over my shortcomings. And I do have quite a few blessings. I have lovely clients who are loyal, even if they are few. I have a new book coming out in January (pre-order now here), and I hope to schedule some booksignings where I can meet new folks and answer questions. I have an exciting schedule of workshops coming up (register here if you’re interested), and I even hope to be able to offer these long-distance via Skype. Overall, I feel good about what I’m doing professionally.

My personal life couldn’t be more blessed. A wonderful husband; two smart, handsome, healthy sons; a loving extended family; supportive friends–who could ask for more? So what’s my problem, right?

We all have periods in our lives when we feel restless, bored, irrelevant, or void. I like to think of these periods as “the in-between times.” They’re normal –we have these times in the natural world, and our human lives are reflections of these natural cycles. Magickal thinkers actually believe these in-between times–dusk, dawn, the moments before falling asleep–to be the most mystical moments of our lives when truly great and wondrous things can happen. Some magickal people will plan their rituals and spells to take place at these moments to tap into the sacred energies present in these spaces in between. Mediums talk about “standing between the worlds” to communicate with Spirit, and Pagans and Witches create a space between the worlds in which to do their mystical work. In these moments, we feel the energies pause, and the air crackles with promise and hope. It is, as Gandalf says in the movie The Return of the King, “…the deep breath before the plunge.”

There is something coming for me soon. I can feel it. A new book project, a new idea, a new path–I’m not sure yet what it is, and still I know it will appear in its own good time. For now, I feel scattered, upset, untethered…

Can you relate? If you can, how do you handle these feelings?

For myself, I try to be patient, and I try not to dwell in negative thought patterns. It’s easy to fall into bad mental habits when you’re unsure of your next step in life. Fear comes along and tempts you to resist the movement forward. I find that concentrating on myself at these times helps. When I sense a wave of panic over the future breaking near me, I close my eyes and breathe. I concentrate on my breath, and I visualize the color blue, which represents spiritual peace to me. I may sing an upbeat song or recite an affirmation like, “I am a divine being, perfect just as I am. I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in my life. All is well.” And then I try to occupy myself with something else: wrapping Christmas gifts, folding the laundry, watching a movie, listening to music. I attempt to live one moment to the next instead of focusing on my future. When I do my formal meditations, I ask for my spirit guides to gather around me and to support me in my quiet time. I ask for direction to be given to me when it will fulfill my highest and best progression, and I ask that I be open to receiving that guidance and that I understand it when it comes. I know by intending these things, they will happen.

And I know that this cycle will end. Sometime soon, I will be very, very busy again–so busy that I’ll probably be pulling out my hair and cursing my luck. So, for now, I try to allow the aimless drifting to take me where I need to go. I just keep my head above the water of my negative thoughts, and I realize all is in divine order.

How about you? What do you do when you’re feeling unfulfilled? What brings you a sense of peace when things seem off-kilter?

Monday Message from Merlin 12-7-09

Greeting to you this fine day! I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of Rose, who is the vehicle through which I am able to communicate to you. I am blessed to have Rose as a part of my spiritual journey. You, too, have teachers and guides who consider you a blessing to them in their spiritual awakening. Just as you wish to learn and grow as spiritual beings, so too do your teachers and guides. We are all in a place of continuous evolvement, no matter whether we are in the physical body or in the spirit realms at this time. Our journey to enlightenment is constant. Sometimes it moves slowly, sometimes changes happen quickly. Always remember that all is happening at the perfect time for your soul and your pathwork. Never say, “I wish I was like that person” or “If only I was further along.” Stop and remember that you are perfectly aligned right now with your evolution. Prayers to Creator can bring you more opening and more work to do, and your guides will help you if you desire this. But do not compare yourself to another soul, for you are unique, and your journey is yours and yours alone.

I had the great pleasure this past weekend of accompanying my spiritual partner Rose on a shopping expedition. She went to peruse a collection of crystals and gemstones at the home studio of an acquaintance and teacher of hers. What a delight for her to spend some time surrounded by the powerful vibrations of these beautiful and wise gifts of Mother Earth! Crystals and stones hold sacred energy vibrations that can be used by any human being for healing, for spiritual growth, and to enhance the understanding of deep, important spiritual knowledge. Stones speak a language that all people can learn to understand, and Rose was delighted to commune with these benevolent and uplifting energies. She brought home several new stones for herself as well as some to give to others. She claims that one particular large stone mass was purchased because I prompted her to do so–and so I did! I whispered in her ear as soon as her eyes fell on this cluster that she needed that particular piece, and as soon as she picked it up, the stone itself hummed to her, confirming what I already told her–that it had healing and guidance to share with her. This was an extraordinary piece of amethyst. Here is a picture of amethyst which Rose found to show you what it is like:

amethyst

Such an extraordinary and rich purple color, with a heavenly vibration to match its glorious hues! Amethyst carries a very high sacred and psychic energy — a perfect stone to work with if you wish to connect to your own guides and teachers and your own intuitive abilities. It has long been associated with spiritual work, and its many lighter and darker hues correspond to the 6th and 7th chakras of the body–the third eye, seat of clairvoyance and psychic sight, and the crown chakra, seat of connection to the divine. What better stone to wear or carry if you desire to enrich your connections to Creator and Spirit? For this reason, I prompted Rose to bring this piece home.

I also told her that she should place her new cluster on her nightstand next to her bed so that she would be directly in its incredible vibration during sleep. Sleeping with amethyst surrounding you or with it nearby increases psychic and spiritual connections in your dreams. Rose slept very well last night–because she was out with me in the spirit planes, learning and journeying for her soul’s great development! She may not remember this (although she does seem to remember some vivid dreams she had), but this is partly due to the influence of the amethyst energy she put next to her bed. I encourage you fellow students of the Light to find an amethyst stone and sleep with it under your pillow or next to your head if you’d like to make stronger connections to your own guides, or if you feel you need more spiritual knowledge or an increase in your intuitive abilities. For years now, I have been instructing Rose to meditate in “the crystal cave,” her term for the special place she goes in her meditative states. You, too, can surround yourself with this type of energy in your meditations. Visualize yourself entering a cave, and see the walls around you lined with deep purple, amethyst stones. Sit in this space and soak in the energy of the amethyst. It will increase your psychic connections and enhance your own personal energy vibration. Enjoy the feeling of the amethyst. For some new to it, it may be intense to surround yourself completely with this energy. Start, then, by facing only an amethyst wall, and work your way to completely surrounding yourself in your vision with amethyst. It is a gentle stone but a powerful and instructive vibration. You may also choose to wear an amethyst necklace or ring to increase your connection to its energy. You will find a good friend in this stone if you choose to work with it. You may be surprised by the ancient and powerful wisdom that you discover when working in amethyst energy.

And now, I take my leave of you. I bid you peace and the abundant blessings of the Universe!

Merlin

Metaphysical Movie Review: SUNSHINE CLEANING

SUNSHINE CLEANING

Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin

Directed by Christine Jeffs

At first glance, SUNSHINE CLEANING may not look like an understandable choice for a metaphysical movie review. The tagline for the film is “Life’s a messy business,” and no one’s life is messier than Rose Lorkowski’s, the protagonist of the movie. Rose is the single mom of an inquisitive and impressionable 7-year-old son (Jason Spevack) who keeps getting into trouble at school. She cleans houses for a living–not a very lucrative profession, and a far cry from the aspirations she had for herself during her overachieving high school days. Rose is having an affair with her old high school boyfriend (Steve Zahn), who is now a married father, and she is constantly trying to help out her younger sister, Norah (Emily Blunt), a young woman who appears to drift through life without any passion at all. Their father, Joe (Alan Arkin), is a down-on-his-luck salesman who’s always looking for the next big money-maker. This foursome makes quite a dysfunctional family, one still reeling many years later from the death of Joe’s wife, the girls’ mother, when they were small. When Oscar, Rose’s son, is kicked out of school for licking the walls and the teacher (yes, there are some very funny moments in this film!), Rose must find a way to pay for a private school education. After receiving encouragement from her cop boyfriend, Rose decides to start her own business, Sunshine Cleaning, specializing in scouring and disinfecting crime scenes. She drags her reluctant and unemployed sister along, hopeful for good things to come.

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Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) and her sister Norah (Emily Blunt) take on their first job in SUNSHINE CLEANING.

I loved Amy Adams in Disney’s ENCHANTED, where she played a wide-eyed, fairy-tale, animated princess who somehow ended up in modern-day New York City. She’s been nominated for 2 Academy Awards and has talent galore. In SUNSHINE CLEANING, I loved her right from the start. Adams made me ache for Rose’s character: for her perky attitude in the face of devastation, for her quiet resolve and her determination to be responsible and to achieve her dreams, and for her vulnerability in her scenes with her son and her lover. Here was a woman who was still resolved to believe in herself despite the lousy cards she’d been dealt in life. Sure, she made choices, and some weren’t very good ones; every time she met her boyfriend at a sleazy hotel and put his needs first before her own, I wanted to beat my head against a wall. But I still wanted Rose to rise up, to be better than that, and to really connect with the powerful woman she knew she was inside. In one late scene in the film, Rose goes to a baby shower where the other women, people she hasn’t really seen since high school, ask her about her work. Rose explains cleaning up crime scenes while the other ladies paste frozen, incredulous smiles on their faces. But in that moment, Rose also has an epiphany–that she actually likes her work, and that she feels connected somehow to the people she is working for–the families left behind by those who died, and the deceased person himself. She understands in that moment that she is helping in some small way, and this makes her feel fulfilled.

I was also very impressed by actress Emily Blunt in this movie. I have never seen any of her other work (probably best known in America for THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA), but she was a revelation in this film. As Norah, she perfectly captured the apathy and depression of a young woman with no direction in her life. It was apparent to me that Norah had been this way since losing her mother; a slow, silent scene where Norah digs out an old box of her mom’s treasures and sits with them illustrates the incredible void her mother left when she took her own life. When Rose starts the business and Norah is enlisted to help, Norah also finds herself connecting to the stories of the people whose lives have ended. In one case, Norah takes this a bit too far, but her desperation to connect with someone in the living, someone who can understand her yearning for a mother, drives her to make her choices. Norah’s character is a catalyst for significant change in the movie, and she herself receives some of that very magic.

The movie clips along at a good pace, and it’s not a long film (1 hour and 42 minutes). There are some scenes, however, that give you pause, and several where I had tears in my eyes. One particular scene, where Rose sits with an elderly woman who has let them into her home to clean the room where her husband took his own life, will stay with you for a long time. And the funny idea that Oscar has, that he can use the CB in his mom’s cleaning van to talk to God and people in heaven, packs a wallop when Rose decides to use it to speak to her own mother. Poignant and powerful are two words that come to mind.

Don’t be afraid to try SUNSHINE CLEANING. The crime scenes are not too horrible (something that I was a bit afraid of when considering renting this movie), and the story and the evolution of the characters are well worth the time. From a metaphysical standpoint, it reminded me of something that I’ve always felt was true: we are all divine beings with unlimited personal power. Rose’s struggle and journey to recognize her own really resonated with me. I often have people ask me how I can possibly like doing massages for a living. I feel it’s a great honor to be able to touch someone in a loving, compassionate way and to be a part of their healing process. I think Rose feels the same way in SUNSHINE CLEANING about her contribution to society. And this movie treats the transition we call death with dignity and respect. No matter how someone dies, they deserve to be treated this way, and Rose brings this to her job. It doesn’t matter than she is not rich or famous. She understands that what she does is important. It’s a good lesson for us all to remember.

SUNSHINE CLEANING star rating (out of 5 stars): ****


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