22 December 2010


To get to where you want to go you have to know what it is that you want. You also have to have a realistic and simple plan and belief in your own talents and abilities to achieve your desires. If you're filled with doubt and indecision or if you live your life without a goal, then you're at the mercy of circumstances. However, circumstances don't offer much mercy, direction or help toward the fulfillment of desires or planning and achieving your life on purpose.

Decide what you want, believe in yourself, put the necessary effort into your plans and follow them through persistently. This is the simple formula for success and attainment. When you control your thoughts, you control your emotions. Your emotions are forces of unimaginable power.

-Dr. Rick Collingwood

16 December 2010

Branch, Ape and Twig

I had a dream that I had 3 daughters, named Branch, Ape and Twig. Branch was the oldest daughter and I thought her name was so beautiful and strong. I was proud of her. Twig was a baby and I didn't like her name as much, but seem to have felt that there were no other names available. It was as though all the names in the world had run out and I was forced to choose Twig. Strangely, I didn't seem to have an opinion either way on the middle child, Ape.

A few moments later I was standing in a grassy yard. There was a rectangular swimming pool filled with stuffed animals. The stuffed animals were overflowing at one end of the pool, as though to mimic a wave crashing on the beach. I thought it was peculiar that the pool was filled with toys and I thought to myself, "I am having lots of thoughts about childish things". I wasn't sure it was meant to be, but I felt that the pool made for an interesting and strangely beautiful piece of conceptual art. I filed the idea away in my memory, in case there came a time that I might need an idea for a piece of interesting and strange conceptual art.

Then there was a lady in front of me, or perhaps I was the lady and there was a small audience in front of me. It may have been only me in the audience. I am unsure. Maybe both. To one side, there was a series of 3 doors. They were miniature, child-sized and made of a rich, dark, heavy wood. To the other side, there was one other doorway. I cannot remember exactly what it looked like, but my memory says that it was more modern, plasticky and it might have been open, or with no actual door at all. This doorway was arched, whereas the series of 3 were standard rectangles. It was larger than the other 3 and it was white/bright. The woman (or myself?) was saying:

"You can choose the three or the one, but if you choose the one, you cannot choose the three".

She pointed to the doors as she spoke. I had a feeling that I wanted to choose the 3, but that I was expected to choose the 1. I contemplated the solidity of the 3 and thought, "why would I choose one, when I could choose three? " Surely there was three times as much exploration, option and space with the set of 3 doors than there would be with only one. But I knew everyone (who exactly 'everyone' is, I'm unsure) wanted me to choose the one. I felt pressured to choose against what I really wanted.

I don't remember making a choice before I awoke. If I did, I know it was the three.

09 December 2010

children of the sun, begin to wake

What direction is human evolution moving in?
I've been speaking to others about becoming strong lately. Everyone wants to be strong. Yet culturally we are moving away from our bodies and toward our networks. Two people drew me pictures about becoming strong this week. One was a lion tearing apart and eating a human body. He lay on his belly and chomped on a bloodless leg while various body parts were strewn around him. The second was a robot shooting another robot with a gun. The robot shooting the gun was a female robot, with breasts.

It is difficult work to become strong. It hurts to do strong things like make conscious decisions, wait, and take responsibility for our tiny lives. Are you attending to the things that will help you be strong? Not just as an individual, but as a member of a culture that needs all the conscious strength it can get.

01 November 2010

“All our progress is an unfolding. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night in the middle of typing a text message that I was unsure whether or not I wanted to send, I was interrupted by someone else coming into the room. I looked away from my phone and spoke to my visitor for a minute. When I looked back at my phone, the word TRUST had somehow been inserted into the middle of the unfinished text. I sent it.

Earlier in the evening I had participated in a Samhain ritual where I banished the deceptive energies of multiple specific people and the deceptive union that had summoned and embodied those energies in my life. I threw my ring in the fire and watched it resist the heat, draw back from the change it was asked to make. Soon it took on the flames and glowed hot pink and magenta with heat. After a moment of rage it surrendered, sagging with exhaustion from the birthing of a new manifestation. And then it was gone, dissipated. No ash, no ember, just gone- exactly as I had asked it to be. Be gone. I called out to the others around me, "it's gone", not sure what to do. No one answered. The one who might have answered was gone with it.

I called in the spirit of trust to fill the vacant space created in me by these deceptions and to guide me on my bold, new, deception- free journey. I called out trust's name and she came to me in a very symbolic place: a text message.

Love and Magic both take practice. My finger wears no ring, waiting.

25 October 2010

today's reading: What was true is no longer true

"My energy is the energy of the universe. My power is mine." -A. Crowley

The 8 of cups arises during periods where you are tired and where there is severe emotional distress. It carries with it an urgent warning to attend to whatever is blocking your energy, and to try to create open channels to get things moving again.

One area that will often be indicated by the appearance of this card is the sort of relationship in which you consistently give too much, and receive very little back in return. Remember, we deserve to receive from others exactly what we are prepared to give to ourselves. So if we give ourselves scant attention, why should anybody else do any more for us? But, on the other hand, if we treat ourselves with love and respect, then we have every right to expect that from those around us.

There is a general sense of dissatisfaction arising from a realization that the things we have fought and struggled to attain may not be as satisfying as we had hoped they would be. It is time to ask yourself what you can do to bring a deeper satisfaction and joy to your life beyond the obvious pursuit of material satisfactions and/or physical enjoyments.

Nothing is permanent in life. Sooner or later, everything slips away...or we slip away from it. The eight of Cups stands for those moments when we realize, once and for all, that the past is gone. What was true is no longer true. Become more aware of the physical, mental or emotional sacrifices that are or will become involved in the present situation. There may exist a cause more worthy of your efforts and sacrifice. You need to heal. Release old patterns, especially those that have dominated thoughts and emotions. Don't be afraid to leave the past behind. There's plenty more in the world to see. Take a break and make a change.

The eight of cups is the decline of efforts made toward the attainment of something desired due to disappointment in the results received thus far. Whether you see it or not, you're being given the opportunity to rise above your habitual or instinctive response patterns and if you make a conscious attempt to do so, they will lose their grip on you.

You're on the true path, so try not to regret the sacrifices of your decision.

09 October 2010





* just realized that anthem 3 references anthem 1! How's that for full circle?

05 October 2010

today's reading

Position 1: The Universe: myself in synthesis with the world

Position 2: The most crucial aspect of the Current Environment:
Interference- a prison, too much attention to detail at the expense of principle and more important points; great ease in some things balanced by equal disorder in others. Wisdom applied to small and unworthy objects.

Position 3: The obstacle:
The 3 of Wands- Virtue, realization of hope, success of the struggle, pride, wealth, power, arrogance and conceit.

Position 4: The goal:
The Empress- beauty, happiness pleasure, success, luxury and sometimes dissipation.

Position 5: The foundation of the current environment:
Art- Union of opposites, moderation and self-restraint, realization, action for either good or evil.

Position 6: The past:
Futility- In character untrustworthy. Vacillation. Unstable effort. Journey, probably over land. Partial success, yielding when victory is within grasp, as if the last reserves of strength were used up. Inclination to lose when on the point of gaining through not continuing the effort. Love of abundance, fascinated by display, given to compliment, affronts and insolences, and to detect and spy on another. Inclined to betray confidences, not always intentional.

Position 7: The immediate future:
The Hermit- Divine inspiration; Wisdom sought for and attained from above.

Position 8: The future environment:
Completion- Settlement. Arrangement completed. Perfected work. A completion of a thing built up with trouble and labor. Rest after labor. Subtlety, cleverness, mirth, beauty, success in completion. Reasoning faculty, conclusions drawn from previous knowledge. Unreadiness, unreliable and unsteady, through over-anxiety and hurriedness of action. Graceful in manner. At times insecure.

Position 9: The influence of Society:
The Magus- skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, and sometimes occult wisdom.

Position 10: The nature of the challenge that confronts me:
Ruin- Ruin. Death. Failure. Disaster. Undisciplined warring force, complete disruption and failure. Ruin of all plans andprojects. Disdain, insolence and impertinence, yet mirth and jolly therewith, Loving to overthrow the happiness of others, a repeater of things, given to much unprofitable speech, and of many words, yet clever, acute and eloquent.

Position 11: The outcome:
Debauch- Lying, deceipt, illusion, deception. Error, slight success, but not enough energy to retain it. Possible victory, but neutralized by the supineness of the person. Illusionary success. Deception in the moment of apparent victory. Lying, error, promises unfulfilled. Drunkenness, wrath, vanity, lust, fornication, violence against women. Selfish dissipation. Deception in love and friendship. Often success gained, but not followed up.

23 September 2010

tacitus tolero

Y died today. My first patient death.
RIP Yannick, you are now free.

18 September 2010

sorrow waited, sorrow won

sorrow found me when I was young
sorrow waited, sorrow won
sorrow they put me on the pill
it's in my honey, it's in my milk

don't leave my half a heart alone, on the water
cover me in rag and bone sympathy
cause I don't wanna get over you

sorrow's my body on the waves
sorrow's a girl inside my cave
I live in a city sorrow built
it's in my honey, it's in my milk

don't leave my half a heart alone, on the water
cover me in rag and bone
cause I don't wanna get over you

30 August 2010

betes noires

"I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones."
- John Cage

"When the lambs is lost in the mountains, they cry. Sometime come the mother. Sometime come the wolf."
- Cormac McCarthy

I've been reflecting on the collective shadow, all those things we cannot rationalize as individuals. The "why mes" and the "how could God do such a things" of our conscious reality. I know that in dreams I am finally free to see without the cloak of my ego pulling me towards safety. In my dreams I get to see others upon whom I perpetually project my shadow as lovers and those whom I perpetually project goodness upon as demons. Where is the dream world of the collective unconscious? And how do we tap into it?

24 July 2010

as darkness descends across the earth...

Shocking! I've heard the numbers and seen the cultural changes, but sometimes it takes a piece of art for me to fully understand....

Are you working?

The universe has a way of correcting itself, not that it doesn't hurt.
But who doubted that capitalist greed would indeed fall hard, leaving an avalanche of foreign manufactured goods to bury us alive beneath our gigantic, media manufactured egos?

03 June 2010


Humans create patterns...or "pattering" as one of the many astute preschool teachers in Los Angeles was recently teaching a client. But I digress, the point is that patterns are a fundamental element of human consciousness. Our genes form patterns and when our patterns deviate too much, we either become unrecognizable as a member of the human group, or we cease to exist. Our language is made up patterns of sounds and patterns of letters that we assemble together to create meaning. As I learn more about physics and astronomy and biology, sometimes all I can see are theories of patterns: If this means this, then that must mean that; If that happens, then this is sure to happen.

So, we can come to the logical conclusion that our relationships and perhaps even our consciousness is created based on assumptive patterns. This idea is not new. In fact, this is the fundamental belief behind the ideas of so many thinkers throughout history- but the only one I can think of now is the Shakyamuni Buddha and subsequently, the abhidharma. The more awareness I bring to life, the more aware I become of my own patterns and the patterns of those around me. We all do it, this is how stereotypes come to fruition. The Debbie Downers and the Wounded Healers and the Rebel all arise from collective awareness of a human pattern. Jung called these archetypes and some believe that we all must carry bits of them inside ourselves in order to perceive them. All is one and such.
Either way, I ascribe to the belief that all we are is an amalgum of bits and pieces of each other temporarily assembled into a "self." I also ascribe to the belief that we have access to everything at all times, but that we do not easily understand how to access it. If only we had a knowledge tree that whispered to us with the voices of our ancestors. Instead we have a subconscious and altered states and DNA to silently carry our knowledge underground.

My ultimate question becomes, how can we gain awareness into the patterns that we carry which don't serve us well and what can we do to change them?

Today I made my first video of myself trying out Visual Understanding with some clients. I really can't believe how well it works. I have a client who is 4 years and 2 months old. She has been removed from her mother's care three times during the past year, which means she has had 3 different households/families and been removed and replaced in 2 of them 2 times. Her mother is an alcoholic, so she has been told that her mother is "sick" and can't care for her. Today, I showed her this picture:

The painter is Balthus. The title is "Joan Miro and his daughter Dolores". It was painted in 1937, but my client doesn't know any of that information. She just sees the picture and the following emerges:

Client A: Why she's putting her face like that?
Me: Why IS she putting her face like that?
A: Maybe she's worried, too.
Me: Maybe she is worried, too. What do you think she could be worried about?
A: Her mommy....And her daddy, too.
Me: What do you see that makes you think she's worried about her mommy and her daddy, too?
A: because... they left....home. Yeah, this is the social worker (pointing to Miro).
Me: This is the social worker (pointing to Miro)?
A: Yeah, taking care of her.
Me: because her mommy and daddy left and they are not taking care of her anymore?
A: Yeah, because the daddy and mommy are sick.
Me: They are both sick.
A: Yeah, because they went in the hospital.
Me: They are in the hospital! They must be really sick. No wonder she is worried! Who will take care of you if your mommy and your daddy can't do it? Some strange social worker? That would make me really nervous.
A: long pause (looking directly into my eyes).

And the camera runs out of batteries! But I think this is a great example of utilizing visual arts images to support increasing awareness of the patterns we have internalized as reality. For example, "this girl has a sad face while standing with a strange looking man, so she must have been abandoned because her parents due to sickness" can easily generalize to indicate a belief system such as "if I feel sad, I will be abandoned" without opportunity to create awareness and process alternative perceptions. This client is not one who would say "Well, I'm feeling anxious because my mommy and daddy left me with a social worker and went off to take care of themselves". Instead she would be whiny and act as a victim. I'm satisfied with the first tape, but am so excited to keep gathering responses to the model. I'm ready to see more work that transcends the awareness stage and enters the transformative stage.

**Details have been changed to protect the innocent/victims. Any familiarity to real persons is entirely coincidental.

07 January 2010

you are the beat of my heart

This world is so unsafe for so many of us.

This afternoon a white dog caught my eye. He was standing in the grassy median on York, a big street for a dog anything less than street smart to get even half way across- as he had. He was tall, an all white malamute or husky. His head was down. Initially, I thought he was eating dog food from a can. The voracity with which he ate made it hard for me to tear my eyes away.

I soon realized that what he was eating was not food at all, but the plastic wrapper from a slim jim. I noticed his ribs and his pelvic bone, I noticed the tiny circumference of his waist and his neck. He smelled the beef on the plastic and was so hungry that he didn't care that what he was eating was plastic. It smelled like food and it would do.

I have been that hungry.

He turned and stared at me with icy blue eyes. He kept chewing. He kept staring. I felt penetrated by his stare. As I diverted my eyes, I noticed my thoughts:

"I need to harden my heart," I thought.

In the face of sadness, of disappointment, of helplessness I felt vulnerable and I berated myself for being tender and penetrable. This world is so unsafe for so many of us.