I've been slow to update because this has been an emotional week with large high and deep lows . . . not to mention what is happening with Toronto. My emotions can get the best of me to the point where they are almost debilitating. I have some problems with depression which I try to work through in many ways . . . but I don't like to bitch about that, even though I know its a reality that I have to work through. As an artist, I also tend to overreact quickly. I also have to remind myself to step back from the situation, take time, and then re-approach it more logically. Its a hard lesson to learn and it takes a long time to figure out how to do it. Sometimes I just want to start screaming and yelling and I know that it won't help the situation at all. As a witch with a meditation practice this is where it should kick in to help . . . but that's the last time I want to do. Usually I just sit and stew! I'm not sure how to get over this.
The energy in Toronto is horrible right now. I'm sure that no matter where you are in the world, you're seeing our city due to the G20. Violence to this extent is very unheard of in Canada!! I'm embarrassed for our city and our country. I'm watching our local news station and I feel like I'm watching sensationalist CNN!! I was worried about how the rest of the world is perceiving us as we're usually seen as a very peaceful country. However, some of the world media (e.g., France, Britain, USA) is saying that they are used to much more violence, so this is really nothing to them. I'm still not happy with that. You can really feel the oppressive energy of they city. It's already hard to be a Wiccan in the city . . . this makes it worse. Maybe I should sit and try to focus some positive energy back into the city.
As I live downtown, I decided to step out for a bit when some of the violence was done and I got some of these pictures. It's really sad! To be really honest, I don't see either side of this. How can the G20 really get any work done in 2 days? What message are the protesters, whether they are peaceful or violent, expecting to get across? Can they really get a message out? Why can't the leaders make some deal with Microsoft where they get a super-secure video conference line where they can really discuss issues . . . or at the very least . . . why not a meeting in Antarctica? The penguins probably won't protest . . . i think :)
My husband is going to be away for my birthday which is still a while away so he decided to take me out early. He was so sweet to surprise me with a gift. I wasn't expecting anything. The best part is that he went to a spirituality store that has Wiccan items and books and picked out a gift himself. Now, what you need to know about my husband is that he's very supportive but he thinks some of my Wiccan practices are a little odd. He's from mainland China and did not grow up in any religious traditions . . . and, for that matter, he thinks all religious traditions are a bit odd. He has been to a few church services and always says, "What are they saying and why do they keeping singing 'Alleluia?'" Which he pronounces wrong and imitates them singing it over and over in his funny mocking voice with a Chinese accent.
Anyways, he went into the store and pronounced to the store clerk that I was a Wiccan and that he needed a present. He turned down books and CDs because I have "too many" and told the woman that I have trouble picking up negative energy from other people . . . which is true. So, he bought a black candle which smells amazing because it has cloves and frankincense in it. I used it this evening in meditation and spell casting.
Then he decided that he was going to buy me a piece of jewelery. He looked at the pendants and said that he didn't want to buy one of "those stars" because I already had too many of those. So he decided on a moon with a sun because he remembered that we carved that into a pumpkin at Halloween. I asked him if he knows what they symbolize and he said no. Poor guy :)
He's so sweet and I love him to pieces! :) It's so wonderful that he stretched himself to do something so thoughtful for me!
If you read my previous post, you'll know that I had a recent run in with a music store over an owner's failure to train her employees properly around the costing of items. After she accused me of trying to trick her employees, I became enraged and refused to pay any more for a transaction that was completed in the store. The whole situation has left a bad taste in my mouth and I've decided that I'm going to rectify this with magick and ritual. I need to transform the negative interaction based on money into something positive. So, I'm donating the money that she says I owe her to charity. If I financially benefited from someone's mistake, then I figure that I'll send that energy (and financial benefit) back into the universe.
I've been researching different charities and trying to figure out where to send it. My partner thinks I should send it to a charity that deals with music. I know there are some inner-city initiatives that give students free music lessons which I think is wonderful, so I will consider that. However, with the recent oil spill I feel that I should do something to help that. Mother Earth is crying out for healing! I found a wonderful American Charity Matter of Trust that is collecting human hair because it can easily absorb oil. There are Canadian hair salons that are helping and I figure that this American charity must need money to help transport all these materials. The only down side of sending to an American charity is that I don't think I can get a Canadian tax receipt for that . . . but I don't think that should matter when I'm doing it for my karma.
Please feel free to suggest what you think I should do or suggest any other charity. Here is a video that shows how effective human hair is separating oil from water.
Being a professional musician I have quite a few instruments in my collection. Purchasing a new instrument is usually an exciting venture . . . but sometimes awful things happen to me . . . as happened just recently. Let me explain what two purchases and then I'll explain my recent incident and I would like your opinion. I feel that Karma is trying to teach me something but I'm not sure what.
1) I was a young university student at the time and I was visiting a Celtic Festival. I wanted to purchase a harp but didn't have a lot of money. I negotiated with a harp builder explaining I was a student and I worked a church musician (at that time). He agreed to sell the harp for a lower price of $3000 because he wanted to help me. Also during that festival I met a lovely bodhran (Irish drum) builder. She had some amazing drums and offered to sell it to me for $60. I borrowed some money from my mom and picked that up as well. When I got home I had an email from the harp builder telling me that he had spoken to the bodhran maker and I was cheating him out of money. He was angry and told me that I didn't seem "Christian" at all . . . as I worked in a church. I was angry and wrote back and explained the situation.
2) I had acquired my first full-time job and decided that I had to have a piano. I answered an ad in the paper and visited an elderly man who wanted to get rid of his piano that his deceased wife had played. I decided that it seemed reasonable and gave him a cheque for the full amount of $500 and would send movers later at a mutually agreeable time. We agreed on the weekend but then the man phoned me screaming and yelling how I didn't leave enough time for the cheque to clear and that I was trying to cheat him out of money (they cheque had cleared). I had to get the police involved . . . I finally got the piano but the old man gave the movers a big sob story and the movers thought I was a criminal and asked me many embarrassing questions.
3) I recently wrote to a store asking about the price of a harp. The store owner told me the harp was one price and the case was another. I had also been talking to other stores across North America about their prices. Since this store was in Toronto I went to try it out. I really liked it and thought that I would just buy that one. The store owner wasn't there but the two sales people told me that the case came with the harp at no extra cost. I did not remember the price quoted in the email and I had no reason to dispute the employees, so I paid for it and left. The next day the store owner emails me that the employees had made a mistake and she wants to invoice me for the case. I write an email explaining the employees should know the costs of the instruments/cases as anyone could have come in and bought it and the transaction has been completed. This was a mistake on her part for not putting price tags on the cases and not training her staff properly. I explain that this is a really bad business practice. She then writes and tells me that it was unacceptable to "test her staff" like that. Now I'm furious!
Two questions: (1) What is the universe trying to teach me in terms of karma? Why does it always involve instruments? (2) What would you do in case scenario #3? All of my friends have given me the same answer but curious what you think.
I have been a vegetarian since I was 16. As soon as my parents would agree to it, I stopped eating meat. This was for several reasons. The first and most important is that I hated the idea of eating animal flesh. I did not like the idea of animals suffering so that they could become my food. Now, I'm realistic about this and I realize that some cultures and civilizations need meat to survive . . . so, in some ways I'm not like those militant animal rights people. In fact, I appreciate that some Aboriginal groups give thanks to the animal for giving its life for their sustenance and then are sure to use the whole animal. What I am not okay with is people mass producing animals in horrible conditions and torturing them for their gain. All around it is harmful . . . even for the planet.
One of the other reasons that I gave up meat was that if animals are put through this torture, what kind of energy are they giving off? If they give off negative energy, am I putting that into my body? Do I want to consume an animal that has been made to suffer psychologically, scared to death and then slaughtered? As I've said in previous posts, I am very sensitive to energy and I believe that those energy signatures are left in the meat. Why wouldn't it be? It would explain the many problems that people have with depression, anxiety, fear, and a multitude of other conditions that seem to plague this mass produced society.
The first time I have every really heard anyone talk about energy as it pertains to meat was today when I watched this interview with Ellen Degeneres. In fact, she mentions energy a few times in this interview and talks about how she feels it. It would make sense that she senses it clearly because she is a very successful and empathetic entertainer and interviewer. I have always enjoyed her work but now I have a deeper respect for her. The interview is about 30 minutes long but it is very insightful.
Whoa! What a busy week! I had a big concert to pull off this week that I was in charge of that included over 100 people. It was quite successful and included diverse genres of music from all over the world. I love putting together concerts that really keep people's attention because styles of music keep changing. In this particular concert we performed Motown, rock, jazz, Brazilian folk music, Tibetan folk music, and a lot more . . . even Bollywood!
Even more interesting for me, beyond the genres, is how to move energy in a crowd! Because I grew up with professional rock musicians for parents, I learned at an early age how to choose music to keep an audience's interest. My mother (who's practically a witch and jokes about it but never commits to it) was an expert at moving energy in an audience and commanding attention through performance. She would always choose the right mix of music. If I did something on my own or with another group where the audience became bored or disinterested, I could definitely feel it. Until I figured out how sensitive I am to energy and sensing emotions, I never fully understood it . . . but now I am starting to. The most awful feeling in the world is when an artist is losing their audience. There is a saying that people say they can feel something in "the pit of their stomach" but I think it is the solar plexus chakra. That's where I feel the emotions of others quite clearly. In a situation like that I wish I could jump up and intervene to keep the audience engaged. If it is something that I'm performing musically that makes people feel that way (and I can sense it) . . . I'll change what I'm doing on the spot.
What was great about the concert this week is that I was able to program the music in such a way that the audience got really excited. My musicians were shocked about the energy that came from the crowd and how that helped them performed. I told them that I learned that skill from my mother but they should be careful that they know the music really well because it can also work to your detriment. In this situation you often run on adrenaline and if you don't have a good handle on the music you'll get lost because your brain isn't functioning like it normally does.
I was also able to raise energy like this in Christian churches when I worked there. I knew how to pick hymns or other praise music (especially gospel) in such a way that I could raise the spirits of my congregation or bring them into a contemplative state for prayer. As a solitary witch I wonder how that would play out if I were part of a coven and used those skills to produce magick in a circle. I've started to experiment a bit on my own when I cast circles and raise energy through song and drumming . . . but this is nothing like working in a group. I'm curious!
Oh, and I also bought this small harp! That's not me playing it though.