We may not usually think of talking as a need, but there are few things that cause us more unnecessary difficulties than bad communication. It’s easy to think “wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all telepathic?”. But that requires a lot of good blocking so you don’t get everything at once. Just think how hard it is to block only our own intrusive thoughts! Can you imagine the chaos if we heard every stupid thing that went through everyone else’s mind that they would NEVER say out loud? I’m certainly happy that people don’t hear everything that goes through my mind! (and so are you!)
I’ve learned a bit about communication styles and have learned that not only do men and women speak differently, different cultures speak differently, but also there seem to be inherent personal differences, such as the speed at which you speak, all of which can hamper rather than help communication. I tend to speak fast, two of my kids speak slowly. They are constantly pointing out that I’ve cut them off- even when I thought I’d given them what seemed to me excessive time to start the next sentence, or reply. Even now that we know about the issue and are trying to work on it, we end up being cross with each other for simply how fast or how slowly we talk.
Add to this cultural variation in posture and facial expressions, and our American “melting pot” can result in serious miscommunication. One culture sees meeting your eyes as a challenge, while another sees it as a sign of honesty. One sees a giggle as an expression of embarassment, while another sees it as a sign of disrespect. One employee will say he can do something when he means he thinks he can learn it, while another will only say so when he has mastered the skill. How’s a boss to know which one he’s dealing with? One thing is certain, we often cannot tell what the other person means, even without mind reading!
Still, talking is the best technique we’ve got for understanding each other. Here at CTCW we are hoping to get people from different backgrounds to share their knowledge and experiences in the fields of the “Paranormal”. But since we’ve been keeping it discrete (occult) for so long, each group has developed their own way of talking about it. If someone speaks of totems and another speaks of spirit guides- will we seriously misunderstand each other if we equate them, or can experiences with each inform the others? How do we know?
When Witches speak of working with “shadow” energy, some New Age practitioners become nervous, having been trained to work with only “the light”. Can the witches explain how the shadows are aspects of the whole, and not evil in any way that could be understood? I bet there are at least a dozen ways to describe that work. Or can ghost hunters with their gadgets communicate with spiritualists and their impressions? I hope we can. We need to respect each other, and stop assuming that our group contains the only stable people, while others who deal with the supernatural are nuts. We need to explain our specialized vocabulary and not use jargon unless there are no other words (and then definitely explain them). We must not make fun of each other, no matter how easy it seems, and how much it gets a laugh. That laugh can separate us.
Respect is the key to communication, whether between men and women, between fast and slow speakers, and between investigators of the occult. All humans have these experiences, but until we can talk about them freely, we are not going to be able to combine our resources to study them. Isn’t it worth it to give up our smug egotism about OUR group in order to learn more? We need to talk- so we need to learn how to talk.
Mostly I yell at the climbing rose that seems to want to send runners out into the garden where I want to put my feet, rather than up the perfectly wonderful trellis we for got her. I’ve tried pruning and tying, but she doesn’t cooperate, so I have been known to yell. In the large picture, I’m more often likely to thank plants for their help, or compliment them, or ask them for favors, but I should be honest about not getting along with all of them.
It’s been decades since scientists started studying what some of us (animists, and practical magick users) already knew, that talking to plants can help them grow. The Secret Life of Plants came out in 1973. Now they have learned that in their own ways, plants talk to each other. These days even “normal” people talk to their plant. It’s a popular science fair project because the results are so dramatic.
My daughter had a friend who named her houseplants after her friends. (My grandmother’s Christmas Cactus is named Fred.) As time passed, she noticed that when one of the plants started getting sick, the friend for whom it was named was having problems too. This is a standard trope in fairy tales, so it isn’t going to surprise those of us who read them. Quantum physics (as well as the Emerald Tablet) has shown that once two things are connected, whether they know it or not, they can become, in some ways, stand-ins for each other. So, in that situation, by caring for your plant, you can help your friend. You can do Reiki on a stuffed animal and have the healing go to the friend who needs it. This may be why people like to tend the graves of their beloved dead, since this care will somehow communicate itself to the ones they love who are beyond normal communication. This is energy transference, not just a sop for the one worrying about a sick loved one.
I’ve also been known to talk to animals, and “inanimate” objects. If you listen hard- with your spirit, not just your ears, you can often hear what they need to tell you. I was told once by a plant well know for healing, that it was going to become non-therapeutic because it was being over-harvested. This is not something I considered as something plants had under their control. Another point this brings up is that each plant has it’s own spirit, and there’s also a spirit of the species – St. Johnswort or Elder, you will probably be talking to the individual or the Oversoul depending upon toward which of them you direct your thoughts
I will comment that, in my experience, rocks live so slowly that it’s hard for me to hear them; I tend to be rather impatient. Rocks are patient, and willing to support things. I doubt when people put marks on rocks (for divination) they change the energy of the rock itself, however I think the rock is willing to carry the energy of the symbol. Shaping a rock doesn’t change who it is.
But I talk to my computer, my car, stuffed animals, even my food. Even places. It’s a fun game to reach out to the genius loci (the spirit of the place) as you travel and see if you can feel the difference from one town to another as you go through them. (It’s a lot easier to get to know them when you actually stay there for a while, but it works as a car game.) I believe that everything, living or not, has a spirit, and that means I’m an animist. What you believe may not matter, but what you do does. If you try, and learn how to, you can communicate with spirits, and that often gets them to cooperate with you. As a recent example of a genius loci, I feel that the outpouring of love when Notre Dame burned may have strengthened the protection around it, and I could feel the love from around the world during the fire, and in the week that followed, each day brought news of something else that had come through better than we’d expected, from the windows, to the organ to the bees kept on the roof.
The world I live in is as alive as I am, and I do try to communicate with as much of it as I can. As far as I know, while being an animist is associated with primitive cultures, it’s not associated with any particular religion, and I know folks from many religions who all subscribe to an animistic view of the world now- in the 21st century.
One of my favorite holidays is the Shinto Holiday for Broken Needles, on February 8th, in which women bring the needles that have broken during the year and place them to rest in blocks of tofu or jelly at a shrine, thanking them for their service. Other household tools are also shown gratitude at this and other ceremonies. How lovely to show respect for something with which you have worked to make your life better. We try to show respect for all the things in our lives. At the same time, this awareness of closeness and connection results in the familiarity that also is expressed in more casual interaction such as yelling at a recalcitrant plant.
How do you talk to the things around you? When you notices that you are talking to yourself, make a hole in your inner monologue, and address something with which you are interacting- your computer, your car, a tool, plant or animal, then listen for something that doesn’t sound like your typical inner voice. It’s “in your head”, but not saying things you would expect. You may discover that your monologue can become a dialogue.
Are you a beginner, or an experienced reader who would like to deepen your understanding of the symbolism that make the Tarot such a wonderful tool for divination and spiritual practice? Tune in on your computer Wednesday evening and listen. Call in if you like: 619-639-4606 between 8:05 an 8:50.
We hope you will join Tchipakkan and CTCW Speaker and vendor Kirsten Houseknecht on the New Normal: 8 pm Wednesday, 5-18-16, 8-9 p.m. edt.
Last week Kirsten called in when we were talking about tarot spreads, and I’ve asked her back to talk about how to understand what the numbers mean in the Tarot lower arcana. She will share her insights on finding numerical and other patterns in reading Tarot. If you missed last week the archive is here: http://tobtr.com/s/8838083
Kirsten studied Tarot both formally, with teachers, and informally with self study for years. After researching the symbols and number meanings used in the original Tarot images of the “Rider Waite” deck, she finally moved past the difficulty of reading the minor arcana, and also found new ways to get overall answers from a spread.
Please call in with any stories or questions: 619-639-4606
To listen live: open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, shows are archived by date on LiveParanormal.com, and they’re (mostly) organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .
Please join Tchipakkan and Chris Kimball on the New Normal 8 pm Wednesday, 8-26-15, 8-9 p.m. est.
New to CTCW, but well known in the Connecticut Pagan Community, especially fans of CWPN Harvest Gathering, Chris Kimball will join Tchipakkan on the New Normal.
At the conference Chris will be presenting workshops on the heathen background to the Grimm fairy tales, how and why people can connect with the spirit of the forests, and the spirits that are even older than the gods. We will probably cover these subjects, and other topics as well.
Please call in with any stories or questions: 619-639-4606
Christopher Kimball is a National Council of Geocosmic Research certified level 1 Astrologer, published fantasy author of “Battle Priest” and “Succession Wars” and has been a member of the Connecticut Pagan community for more than twenty-five years. Currently he is a Anglo-Saxon Heathen and lives a varied and geminian life, having fought in the SCA, learned equestrianism and fencing, white-water canoed the Pine River in Michigan, piloted a research vessel in the Atlantic, hiked the Grand Canyon and the lower Colorado River and grown up in the woods and fields of rural New England. Chris has also hiked the farms and undeveloped land of Connecticut for the better part of the last 50 years and has been the Hike Master for the CWPN’s hikes.
To listen live: open a window on your computer to www.Liveparanormal.com, sign in, and click on Shows, and the New Normal to listen. To listen later at your convenience, shows are archived by date on LiveParanormal.com here, and they’re organized by date, topic and guest on Tchipakkan.com .