Month: January 2017

Book Recommendations

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One thing people often ask is what books I recommend to a new practitioner, and this, of course, depends on what practice we are talking about- parapsychology? Magick? Paganism? … as well as their age, what they’ve already accomplished, what their needs are. The panel each year at the Changing Times Changing Worlds convention on book recommendations is popular, and I have my favorites of course. I’ve had to replace my copy of Richard Cavendish’s The Black Arts five times, because when I loan it, it never seems to come back to me. I think that says something about the book.
But there are so many ways to learn about stuff! There are classics like Drawing Down the Moon, and Spiral Dance, and Cunninghams Solitary Practitioner. I have fantasy books I think can teach you a great deal- from Robert Asprin’s Myth Inc series, to Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni series. There are books on Paganism and ethics from Wood’s When Why …if? to Tsivia Rabinovich’s An ye harm None. Catherine Kane’s books on Palmistry and Empathy are fantastic. So yes, I have favorites and will try to cover as many books and subjects as I can, giving why different books are better for some people than others.
I’d love for you to call in to ask about topics or make your own suggestions. Call 619-639-4606 between 8:05 andn 8:50.
 
If you just want to listen (while doing other stuff on your computer), you can open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.
 
If you want to chat, you’ll need to go to the top of the home page on the extreme right and click “Join” to set up a personal account (it’s free but takes a few moments, so you might want to do this in advance) If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.
 
If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: http://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/
 
Hope you can join me Wednesday night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com
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Joy

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“INSIDE OUT” (Pictured) JOY. ©2014 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I just rewatched Disney Pixar’s lovely movie Inside Out, and once again was struck by it’s brilliance. (If you still haven’t seen it, do- and wait for the scenes in the credits!) The idea is that inside of all of us are emotions that direct our actions, and there are islands of traits that fuel our personalities.

This story follows the activities of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust as they experience Riley, the eleven year old girl they form, deal with moving. I think one of the major points in the movie is that while Joy understand that Fear keeps Riley safe, and Disgust keeps her from being poisoned, and Anger is useful, she doesn’t see the need for Sadness. But as things develop, they discover that while Sadness can make even the most joyful memories sad, that this also leads to empathy and closeness, and is more necessary than they realized.

I also appreciate that even Joy- the very personification of happiness, often has to force herself to find a way to choose Joy.

Sometimes, especially when everything is going wrong, the advice to “Choose Joy” can feel both simplistic and condescending. This is advice only suitable for giving to oneself. Using it as an affirmation, or a reminder to put in the effort to look at the bright side of a situation is a personal choice.

This can be especially hard when those around you are ignoring all the input from your other inner feelings, acting as if they are not valid and haven’t been created as responses to what we experience. There are situations where “If you aren’t outraged, you’re not paying attention” is a valid response. Certainly one person’s rights don’t justify them abusing those of others. First, stop the abuse, then work to find a compromise solution. But first stop the abuse. While healing a bad situation does feel good, it is not “joyful” to be aware of one.

But whether making lemonade when life gives you lemons, or chucking them at the bozo who thought it was fun to give you lemons instead of the grapes (or even the onions) you’d requested, we live in a constant cycle of what happens affects our emotions, and our emotions affect our responses and actions. (BTW this lovely chart is from an article about this interaction and using the system eft to deal with it – click here to read it.) When we accept these reactions and learn to work with them, rather than just ignore the ones we don’t like, we do better. I’m sure we’d all like to never feel uncomfortable, but each emotion has its use (as the movie showed graphically).

But we’ll be exploring Joy this year, so plan to come in November, and keep checking the blog!

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Ethics with Thor Halvorsen “When, Why, If…?”

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1-25-2017 Thor Halvorsen Ethics

Please join Tchipakkan and her guest (and CTCW speaker) Thor Halvorsen on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

If you miss the show the link to the archive is here.

We’ll be talking about ethics this week. Some folks just assume that anything you do with magick, manifestation, or even prayer is suspect. It goes along with the idea that if there’s nothing wrong with it, why would you “hide” it? We’ll be referring to the most excellent workbook When Why If…? by Robin Wood (perhaps better known for her art and Tarot Cards). While aimed at helping Wiccans understand how to decide what the Wiccan Rede (“An you harm none, do what you will”- which IS really ambiguous) means, the Rule of Three, etc. Of course, not everyone is Wiccan, but Robin’s book leads the reader through chapters on Honesty, Self awareness, Love, Helping, Harming, Sex, and Will (is there anything more ambiguous than “do as you will”?!). More importantly, it’s also a workbook, with exercises that will help the reader figure out the answers to ethical problems for him or herself which is much more powerful than simply doing as you are told, and taking it on faith that whoever told you must be right.

But not everyone is Wiccan, so we’re going to go beyond some of that, although embracing the philosophy behind it. Thor is a Norwegian-Welsh Pagan, Wiccan, Poet, Musician, Diviner, Deaf Educator, with a fond appreciation for history, mythology, religion and social structure and sociology.

And with the new political elite aligning themselves with hate groups, with anti-gay and alt-style uber-Christianity being supported, Paganism’s emphasis on equality of women and acceptance of GBLT lifestyles may put us in the crosshairs of their attention. Even if we are too small for their attention, our ethics may lead us to stand between others to protect them from harm; we must look at the issue of protecting ourselves in conjunction with advocacy and social justice. How do we as a nation and as individuals decide when, why and if one person’s rights violate those of another?

Want to catch join the discussion, call in with questions or just listen to the show? Open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.
If you want to chat, you’ll need to go to the top of the home page on the extreme right and click “Join” to set up a personal account (it’s free but takes a few moments, so you might want to do this in advance).
We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: http://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join Thor and me Wednesday night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

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We live in interesting times

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One of the challenges of living in the 21st century is dealing with the change. We can see changes we’d like to make: wouldn’t it be great if in the next generation people simply accept that humans are psychic? That we have the ability to connect with others on an energetic level? That we can heal ourselves? That we can connect with other invisible realms and spirits? Won’t it be great not to have to justify our belief in what we’ve experienced for ourselves, and try to prove it?

Yet, while some changes seem appealing, when we experience changes we are often more afraid than relieved. Even with divination giving us glimpses into the future, sometimes it looks like we are headed for disaster with such force that nothing we can do can change it. There are many things we can’t change- like the weather * , so sometimes our choices are simply how to react to it, whether to change how we’re dressed or whether to take shelter. But along with those practical responses, we sometimes need to remind ourselves that we attract what we focus on, and our response can shape our experience.

Sometimes, even if we can’t push the storm clouds along, we can dance in the rain, and focus on trying to change the way we feel about it to a positive one.  Accepting that weather is one of the earth’s balancing systems, and maybe rain is a good thing- however inconvenient or uncomfortable- may help.  These “interesting times” we’d rather not be living in may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise.

As a healer, I remind myself of how a fever may not be just a symptom, but the mechanism by which an infection is cured. Others may prefer the analogy of the grain of sand which provides the impetus for the oyster to create a pearl. Probably every discipline can provide its own analogy. Many of discomforts we are now experiencing may be the mechanisms through which the changes we wish for are being accomplished. Our job is to look for those mechanisms and help them to our desired ends.

Some of us remind ourselves that we chose to be born in these times, to be a part of these changes. Others take comfort that another, wiser force has put us here to give us the opportunity to make the best of this point in history. Or, you may feel (as Terry Pratchett’s “philosopher Didactylus it:) ‘Things just happen. What the hell.’”  In which case, you may as well make the best of whatever opportunities present themselves, whether storm, drought or wonderful weather.  Take what comfort you may.

* yes, some of us do seem to be able to change the weather, but that’s a different theme!

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Appreciating the Crone

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Please join Tchipakkan on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 8-9 p.m. edt.

If you missed the live show- the archive is here.

Remember the exchange: “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”

“Witches are old and ugly!” responds Dorothy.

Women are said to go through three stages: Maiden, Mother and Crone. Let’s face it, not many of us are eager to embrace that third stage. We don’t have a better word for Old Woman: Hag, gorgon, harpy, fury, harridan, witch, biddy… beldam is the best the thesaurus was able to provide.

The image of the old witch, while it does carry an aura of power, knowledge, and wisdom, also includes significant baggage of frustration, infirmity, and ugliness along with implications of jealousy and bitterness. Many of these do NOT have counterparts in the image of elder males. In folklore the Crone is linked with death and change- Baba Yaga is described in similar terms to corpses. In modern fairy tales, before the beautiful enchantress does anything evil she becomes old and ugly.

What a pity that we should still be bound by such mental fetters when we are able to accept so many other things we’ve come to understand are just other ways of living in the world!

In honor of the Women’s March, I thought we could look at how we see women, where these archetypes come from, and what we can do to change them- first within ourselves, and then for the rest of the world.

 

Want to catch this show, call in with questions or be part of the live chat happening during every show? 619-639-4606

If you just want to listen (while doing other stuff on your computer), you can open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, click the “Listen Live and Chat” listing under the “radio-listen/chat room” heading, and click “LISTEN HERE” next to “the New Normal”.

If you want to chat, you’ll need to go to the top of the home page on the extreme right and click “Join” to set up a personal account (it’s free but takes a few moments, so you might want to do this in advance) You can ask –Name- questions in the chatroom, or
We’d love you to phone in with questions: 619-639-4606 (live only). If you know you’re going to listen later but have a question, look on the facebook events page and leave a question there. We’ll try to answer it during the show.

If you can’t tune in 8-9, Live Paranormal.com archives its shows by date, and I archive them by date, guest, and topic on my website: http://tchipakkan.wordpress.com/the-new-normal/directory-of-podcasts/

Hope you can join me tomorrow night from 8-9 at the New Normal on liveparanormal.com

 

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