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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some Akashic Wisdom from Jacki and Patty

I am thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour of author Jacki Smith and Patty Shaw whose book DIY Akashic Wisdom, Access the Library of your Soul launches on Amazon.com on Tuesday October 1, 2013.

Jacki Smith also authored award winning Coventry Magic 2011, is a Spiritual counselor, Akashic Records reader and healer, and radio show host of KIMradio, www.keepitmagic.com.  Jacki contributes articles to in Retailing Insight, a trade publication for the new age industry regularly.  Patty Shaw also authored award winning Healers Almanac, Wisdom of the 21st Century Goddesses and is a certified Spiritual Counselor through UCM since 1992, Reiki Master, Akashic Record reader and healer. Patty co-directs and teaches at her School of Akashic Healing. You can learn more about Patty at, www.healingwithpattyshaw.com

The ladies also co-own Coventry Creations, est. in 1992, which is known for its inspirational candles that help us create our own reality.  No matter what's getting in the way of your success, Coventry Creations has a candle for that, www.coventrycreations.com

Just the other day, Jacki and Patty visited Lisa Selow http://lisaselow.com/2013/09/diy-akashic-wisdom/  where they talked about the four step Akashic Wisdom process.
Here’s what we chatted about the other day when I got to ask them some questions about their new book.   I hope you enjoy it.


David: How long have you been a spiritual counselor?

Jacki: I feel I’ve been counseling people since my peer group experiences in High School.  My school counselor invited me in after watching me interact with other students.  She said I was compassionate and good listener.  Basically I got kids to open up and share what was on their hearts and minds.  I thought I was just nosy kid with problems of her own that needed accomplices. As time went by I learned to read Runes, Tarot cards and then the Akashic records. After Patty took the Healer Development program and then started teaching the introductory classes I decided to take the class too.  It trained me to focus my attention on my client’s energy in a way that was different than when I was doing readings. That experience was invaluable, but my first love is doing readings. Now all my reading have this great closure that includes healing and a new plan for their future. I call it creating new spiritual habits. Even though I consider myself a reader, I am always a healer and counselor because it is all so intertwined.  I enjoy helping people learn how to figure out their problems on their own.  Empowering people is the way for me to be the best spiritual counselor I can be.

Patty: Back in 1990 I was a divorced, underemployed, single mother and I was a little freaked out by being thrust into the world so rudely and without a rudder to guide me.  That was the first time I owned the fact that this (meaning my life) was up to me.  So I picked up a magazine looking for inspiration, because I didn’t really know what inspired me.  That’s when I saw the ad for the Healer Development School.  It was different and I knew very little about metaphysics, was afraid of people both alive and dead and not very spiritual at all.  I decided to sign up for the class.  I guess I turned a page at that point and was determined to change.  Needless to say it was one of the better decisions in my life.  I met great people, got a tremendous amount of love and support, and learned I was way more adventurous than I gave myself credit for.  It took two years to finish the course, but I did and then took a long break from it.  I didn’t feel ready to be a spiritual counselor.  I did feel ready to do reiki and yoga. That became my comfort zone.  Near 1999 I got back in touch with the instructor and became her teaching assistant and then started teaching her introductory classes.  It was so much fun and I got a lot of experience as a counselor.  By 2008 I was back on my own, had written a book about healing and began working in the Akashic records a lot in my healing practice. The reiki clinic popped up suddenly in my world on an impulse after space became available above our store The Candle Wick Shoppe. Naturally I started offering Reiki classes.  In 2010 I co-wrote a program with a friend and we now teach classes on developing your intuitive style and healing in the Akashic records they way spirit taught us.  Now there is a book on self healing in the Akashic Records in my life and I am proud to have written it with Jacki.

David:  You can schedule Akashic Readings or healing from either Jacki or Patty at www.coventrycreations.com.     

David: What can I accomplish with the Akashic records?

Jacki and Patty: The easy answer is a lot, but we’ll be honest, you can accomplish A LOT! 
The reason we suggest people use the Akashic records to help them with their life’s challenges is because all the answers to their questions are in the records.  Once they get the hang of working with the records, there really is no problem that can’t be solved.  The secret is in aligning our ego with our soul’s purpose so a higher perspective can open doors (no pun intended) to new ideas and solutions.  When that is done, it’s easier to learn lessons, make course correction in our habits and attitudes and stop beating our heads against the wall of our life. 

Working in the Akashic records can be like working in the dream state.  There are lots of metaphors given to make a point and questions given as answers.  All of this is meant to strengthen our wit and empower our creativity.  The akasha wants us to heal and evolve so we have confidence in ourselves and start solving some of the easier conundrums on our own.

Then, when we’ve exhausted all of our own resources the wisdom from our Akashic records will help us by uplifting our minds. They can help us make better predictions for our future by showing us different scenarios to a decision we’ve made. We can also learn what we need to do to heal broken relationships or understand why we need to let them go with compassion. Find out the root cause of an illness, unhealthy habit, phobia, obsession, or any other behavior that is causing us stress or derailing our life.  And, get insight to giant questions like, why am I still having to struggle with my finances? Or why am I still alone when what I really want more than anything is to be happily married? 

David: Can I use the records to communicate with spirits?

Jacki and Patty: Absolutely you can.  The Akashic realm is the playground of the gods.  In fact you will meet lots of spirit beings whose job is to help you access your records.  There is a lovely hierarchy that is designed to get you acclimated not just to the records but to the information and how it’s being presented.  There are Record keepers, back in the stacks who manage the flow of information.  They make sure you are given what you need and in the right amount and protect you from getting overwhelmed, lost or fried.  There are spirit guides who are there as teachers or healers. They will endeavor to help you understand what you are experiencing and when it comes time to heal, they will facilitate that. They are the guides who will bring in other spirits you’d like to talk to, like loved one’s who’ve passed and historical figures we admire.  They can also arrange a visit with your favorite super hero or villian.

The guides you experience first when you enter your records are the ones who hang close to you all the time. They are the first to welcome you, give you a beverage and make sure your chair is comfortable.  These guides are often close personal friends in spirit who have been following your soul’s journey and are dedicated to helping you when you need it. 

If you desire to connect with a loved one that’s passed, that can happen right in your Akashic room. You can even talk to someone who’s still alive.  This is helpful when there is a conflict and both parties are being stubborn.  A little chat in the Akashic records is a safe place to speak and listen.  
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Jacki Smith and Patty Shaw and you’ll check out their new book DIY Akashic Wisdom, Access the Library of Your Soul at http://diyakashicwisdom.com.
Here’s why you’ll want to do that:

When you visit their page and sign up for their newsletter you’ll receive a free recording of their Introduction to the Akashic Records with a meditation that will take you right into your own Akashic record room.

When you buy DIY Akashic Wisdom on launch day (October 1, 2013) from amazon.com you will also receive three more recording from their Akashic Wisdom workshop series.
Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love getting your feedback.


AND… be sure to follow Jacki and Patty on the next stop on the Blog Tour is Lisa J. Smith, who will be discussing how Akashic records help us. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://www.tumblr.com/blog/lisajsmith

Friday, July 26, 2013

On Tragedy and Activism

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do."
Edward Everett Hale, Unitarian clergy

This post is based on part of my "daily practice check-in" this week that I felt compelled to share with a wider audience. It is mostly for me, to hear what these thoughts sound like out loud. It is also to have community bare witness to the commitment to love and justice. May this fuel that work.  Part of what I wrote:

"My practice was steeped in gratitude this week, as a way to cope. Earlier this week my mind was so focused on the tragedies of the world, and sometimes that makes me feel so overwhelmed. All I can do is touch my hands to the Earth, send power to the Mother, and ask her to take my light and send it to the places She needs it the most. To the families of Trayvon Martin, Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Anita Gay, Gary King, and so many others who have felt the terrible sting of racism and police violence. Of the Divine Twins, gratitude is the Twin to tragedy and we look to both to reconcile and seek a wiser way. My prayer this week: "May I recognize my own privilege, because change has to start with me. May we all some day become better." And we will become better. We will become better than the Florida "justice" system. We will become better than Monsanto. We will become better than Russian fascists. We will become better because there is no other option. May our search for greater power, wisdom, and love meet this work and bring it into being." [end]

The activist struggles to hold these things in a deep place while still trying to be effective. When I used to work at PETA and was exposed to sick and abused animals all day long, I learned to keep a place for the heartbreak within me that didn't get in the way with the work I had to do. I think most people who spend the day-to-day working around injustice and grief have to find their own way to do that. It is difficult because there is no time to remain crippled with pain for long periods of time. There are no easy solutions to it all.

What we can do is the work in front of us right now. Yes, that's the greater "Work" of our souls, but also the work of our daily practice, our careers, our tending to families, and so on. Today I responded to a letter from a young teen Wiccan, struggling to express her desire for the work of the Goddess to her extremely conservative Southern Baptist parents. I wasn't curtailing a murderous tragedy, but it was a conversation that I hope was helpful for the time being. I believe this "smaller" work to support freedom and connection feeds the larger arch of freedom and connection the world over. As Hale says above, I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I can answer emails, I can earn a living for my family, I can make kind choices. And sometimes I can protest in the street, or visit my Senators, or work at the soup kitchen. It's all important, it is all powerful, and it is all absolutely fucking worth it.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Ancestors of Witchcraft

Reposted from my blog at Moon Books>>

I’ve been on this huge history kick lately. Although anyone who knows me well can tell you that I’m always on a “huge history kick.” But the past 5 months or so have been different. While I normally enjoy reading about Witchcraft history from a historical and knowledge-based perspective, I’ve recently been making a conscious effort to incorporate those learnings into my regular spiritual and magickal practices. I’ve been doing that by honoring all of the amazing leaders and teachers in the Craft who have gone before. 

I do keep an ancestral altar in the middle of the living room in my home. It’s filled with photos and momentos of loved ones and blood relatives who have crossed over as recently as one year and as far back as 250 years ago. For a long time this reverence felt so substantial all on it’s own. But the more I worked with the dead over the years, the more I felt compelled to honor those who I may not be related to, but are still part of my “Witch Family.” Sure these include iconic characters like Gerald Gardner, Robert Cochrane, and Doreen Valiente, but they now also include lesser known Witch leaders from my local area and those connected to my tradition in some way. Aha, I had found the missing link!
 
In the first chapter of his book Witchcraft Today (1954, Rider & Company), Gerald Gardner mentions the ancestral Witches when discussing how his Witch contacts view the afterlife:
 
“It would seem to involve an unending series of reincarnations; but I am told that in time you may become one of the mighty ones, who are also called the mighty dead.”
 
The comparison of these beings to “saints” clearly shows that they are not what we would normally think of as familial ancestors or the spirits of loved ones who have crossed over. Instead, these “mighty dead” seem to be a type of ascended masters, Witches who have achieved some kind of great status in the world beyond and have decided to play a role in guiding the living Witches of the present day. It’s also pretty clear that although the series of reincarnations seem unending, you may “in time” qualify to be among the mighty dead yourself! So in this case, the great Witch ancestors are not only beings that may be revered and called upon, but are also a sort of spiritual standard that we can look up to in some way. This is not unlike the idea of the Bodhisattva in Buddhism.
 
So what is the point of working with the great Witch ancestors and how can you do it? Well to start with, it seems that an immediate benefit is the transference of great personal gnosis in the areas of magick, lore, and the like. Although I do know others who have had other types of personal benefits, depending on which being is worked with. The “how” is something that in many ways can be left up to the imagination.  In my tradition, one simply does the same sort of workings for the Witch Ancestors as you would all other ancestors, although you may involve them more in formal ritual activity. For example, many in the Anderson Feri tradition will brew up some black buttered tea for Victor Anderson or bake a pie for Cora Anderson.  These are both things they enjoyed in their life and appeal to their sense of fondness for the physical plane. It’s not a teasing beckoning to draw them near, but a show of respect and appreciation for their attention and guardianship. The Witch ancestors are NOT goetic-style spirits that are “commanded” into task. They are the enlightened dead and should be approached with a sense of gratitude and admiration.
 
My spiritual practice has greatly improved by working with the Witch ancestors. I’ve already mentioned the feeling of magickal gnosis that comes from learning from them, but they can also provide a feeling of companionship and loyalty that a lot of Witches who aren’t in a coven structure might desire. This could be part of the meaning of the popular phrase “A Witch is never alone.” We are never alone because we are constantly surrounded by our beloved teachers and leaders of the Craft. They stand on the edge of the circle, waiting for an invitation to join in our rites, aiding us in the great work of keeping the old ways alive. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

The star in the mist


I write this on my way home from Roanoke, Virginia where I attended my very close friend's grad school graduation. Roanoke is a beautiful place with its rolling mountains covered in misty clouds. It was the first time I've been in a mountain range in quite awhile. Mountains are very healing for me.

One of the places my friend took me was an overpass that's well-known in the town. It's called simply "The Star" because of the bright neon star sign that can be seen by the whole town. You could not see the star last night though because of the incredibly intense fog that blanketed the area for an entire day. In fact, we couldn't see this massive glowing structure until we were right underneath it. My friend pointed to the overpass before us where all you could see was a dark wall of fog. Usually, she says, you can look out and see for many miles that stretch onward to the horizon. But not that night. That night we stared out at the inky blackness, swirling with grey mist.


We walked down a trail from the overpass that was so dark and fog-dense, I had to hold my phone towards our feet so we could see the path before us. The winding trail made me feel like we were walking through space, with spiraling galaxies of clouds making up some of the only textures we could see. We had to walk slowly and gently, mindful of every step but taking care to appreciate the scenery around us. The wind whistled through the trees with the occasional drop of water landing on our faces from the condensation on their leaves. It was so quiet, so still. "We're between the worlds right now", I thought curiously.

Walking back up the trail I knew we were close to "the star" because the fog became brighter, although you still couldn't see it's shape until it was right in front of us.


This little experience made me think of a few things. First of all, it reminded me of the curious nature of the soul and the importance of alignment and connection with the Divine Self. The Star is like that Divine Self, sometimes obscured in a dense mist until we seek it out and present ourselves fully right in front of it. As we make our way through the winding trails of our beings, sometimes pitch-dark, we must trust that every step is important in the process regardless of how much we can see before us. Do you know what your "star", your divine nature looks like?


On the other hand, it's also helpful to explore those parts of ourselves that may not feel so shining and divine. We walk the dark fog-dense path of the mysteries because some things just aren't visible until you put yourself right before it. But when we remember that star, that divine nature, we know that there's always a beacon guiding us back. The more you walk through the mist the more visibility is gained along the way. This paradox of the foggy night, the dark and bright complexities of the soul, are among the most fascinating of mysteries to me. They remind me of how important it is to walk with purpose, with desire, and with connection to our "star."

We are both the fog-dense darkness and the shining star. That's the beauty of this human experience. We get to be all of these things at once; the dread of night and the joyous awe of the brilliant dawn. Aren't we lucky?

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