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MORE RECENT HOMO FAMILY: Embrace Tolerance

Nov. 9th, 2012 | 11:06 am

Recent discoveries have uncovered three more-recent Families of Homo who lived at the same time – Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal, and Denisovan – thereby making our view of ourselves more complex. The mystery that these Families present to us is how they interacted with each other. Did They ignore each other, make war with each other, or intermarry? Did They even regard each other as Human?

What modern scientists have uncovered in their DNA studies of modern humans was astonishing. Many people of European ancestry have a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA in their genetic make-up. Because the Neanderthals grew up in the cold climates of Europe, They were stocky and heavy-boned. Migrating from Africa, Cro-Magnons were smaller and slighter. Interbreeding with Neanderthals helped the Cro-Magnons to withstand the freezing cold.

Meanwhile, the Denisovans left Africa about a million years after H. erectus did and half-million years before the Neanderthals appeared in Europe. Living in Siberia, Denisovans used advanced tools such as bone needles. However, what fossils remains of Them that we have were their very large teeth, which were similar to Australopithecus. Migrating to South Asia and nearby Asian Islands, Denisovans also interbred with Cro-Magnons there. Today, people in New Guinea and other islands carry Denisovan DNA in their genetic make-up.

The picture that emerges is that though the majority of these Familes did not interact, some did, and regarded each other as Human. (Scientists claim that the ratio of inbreeding was about fifty Denisovans to every thousand Humans.) As we move forward in time, we see the grove of Humankind dwindling down one by one. We modern humans may be all that is left, but we carry the Others inside of ourselves. We can celebrate our ancient Ancestors by acknowledging their contribution to our well-being. Since They chose to become a part of us, let us be true to our heritage and be tolerant of each other.

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Ethics for Magical People: Divining (2 of 2)

Nov. 6th, 2012 | 10:52 am

In the case history of Diana overhearing a Tarot reading, she noticed that the reader violated many of the suggested principles for diviners. The most obvious was that the reading was not private, since people in the hall could hear it. He did not keep his voice low or advise his client to keep hers down either. This compromised the reading because the bystanders became invested in the outcome. Moreover, the reader used the audience to manipulate the client, who could not make a scene in front of strangers.

Then the reader put on an act for public consumption and to bolster his ego. With a phony accent, he surrounded himself with the air of mystery of an esoteric occultist. He wanted to impress his clients with an “aura” of his authority, so that they would heed his advice. Dishonest in his presentation, the reader wanted to entice clients to rely completely on his judgment.

As the reading went on, it became evident that the reader had a hidden agenda. He was either looking for women to date or wanted to take this particular woman out. He deliberately misread the cards to encourage the client to break-up with her current boyfriend. The boundary between the reader and his client was porous to allow him to manipulate the reading to his advantage.

The reading featured the Tarot cards which were the Six of Swords and the Two of Cups, which have multiple shades of meanings. The Six of Swords could mean relief from recent problems. Instead, the reader informed his client that the card meant that her boyfriend broke up with her. Meanwhile the Two of Cups could mean love or reconciliation, but he told his client that her boyfriend found someone new. The reader then manipulated the client in her distress to achieve his objective of dating her.

After presenting the reading with dire consequences, the reader told his client what to do. Instead of offering any choices, he instructed her how the reading should be carried out. Playing on her vulnerability, he became the final authority on her fate. By manipulating his position, the reader exploited the client for his own ends.

Finally through his actions, the reader showed total disrespect for the act of divination. Instead of acting as a conduit between the Universe and the client, he abused the reading to meet his own ends. He caused undue suffering to his client and her boyfriend for his short-term gain. This will backfire once the client realizes what the reader had done. Also, the Universe will interfere in the reader’s life by convincing others that he is a manipulator and deceiver.

Works Used:
Bennett, Stella, “The Star That Never Walks Around,” Weiser: Boston, 2002.

Carroll, Robert, “Confirmation Bias,” The Skeptic’s Dictionary, 27 August, 2012, http://www.skepdic.com/confirmbias.html.

Chametzky, Marc, “Ethics of Divination: An Exploration of the Wiccan Rede as It Applies to Divination,” Ecclasia, 10 March, 2004, http://ecclasia.com/ethicsdivination.html.

Drury, Neville, “The Tarot Workbook,” Thunder Bay: San Diego, 2004.

Ellison, Robert, “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids,” ADF, 2007.

Hrafn, “Weaving Wyrd,” blog, http://weavingwyrd.com/.

Matthews, Caitlin, “The Celtic Wisdom Tarot,” Destiny: Rochester VT, 1999.

Wild Leon, “The Runes Workbook,” Thunder Bay: San Diego, 2004.

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Ethics for Magical People: Divining (1 of 2)

Nov. 5th, 2012 | 11:02 am

People who do divination have a set of responsibilities to both their clients and to the act of divination itself. Since many people have a desire to know the future, they become open to suggestion when they consult a seer. Moreover because the diviner acts as an intermediary between the questioner and the Universe, divining becomes a sacred art. To address these concerns, many seers and diviners have a code of personal ethics.

The practical root for these ethics is that the questioner will remember the reading. Even if the reading was done at a party, people look to see if the good news will come true. Meanwhile, they try to dismiss any bad news, but will find ways to confirm that it is going to happen. This is known as the “confirmation bias” (looking for a confirmation of personal beliefs by the questioner). In addition, the questioner will regard any future event within the matrix set-up by the diviner during their reading. Therefore, people will remember the divination that confirmed their beliefs about the future.

The esoteric root is that, throughout history, divination has been practiced to discover the will of various Gods. The Runes of the Norse were obtained through a sacrifice by Odin, their All Father. Moreover, many Tarot readers regard the Tarot as a spiritual tool for connecting the Self with the Universe. To keep a clear channel to the Divine, many of these readers will safeguard their cards from “stray and negative energies.” Therefore, many seers do not approach the act of divining in a casual manner.

In his book, “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids,” Robert Ellison, Archdruid emeritas of Ar nDaiocht Fein (ADF), outlines ADF’s suggested principles for seers. The first principle is to regard that all readings as confidential. The only exception is if the client is going to attempt something dangerous. Even in public spaces, seers need to set up ways of to keep the reading private.

The second principle is that the seer should not exert any undue influence over the client. A person consulting the diviner is usually in a vulnerable state. He is open to suggestions from the seer, whom he unconsciously regards as the final authority of his fate. Hence, if the seer has a hidden agenda, she can easily manipulate the unsure client.

The third principle is that the seer needs to impress upon the client that he has options. An experienced seer knows that the future is never fixed but is usually in flux. The seer should act as an advisor to the client, and not as the final authority. Moreover, a seer is never the arbitrator of her client’s fate.

Adding to ADF’s suggestions, Stella Bennett, an experienced Tarot reader, claims that using the Tarot as a fortune-telling game will tempt the Spirits. Since she regards divining to be spiritual, Bennett endeavors to show respect to the Tarot cards, herself, and her client. She believes that showing any disrespect will cause a blowback from the Spirits to either the reader or the client. Bennett does not want any negativity brought into her life or her clients because of her actions.

Bennett stresses that since many clients are going through trying times, she needs to be positive in her reading, and usually ends her reading in a “uplifting tome.” Furthermore, she believes that the ethical diviner should not predict death or any other dire event for her client. Bennett counsels that the seer should caution her client about basing any life decisions on their reading.

Caitlin Matthews, Celtic shaman and druid, regards divination as the “mirror of the Living Truth in the present.” Because of this, she sees a cause and effect to her reading, which she should not manipulatively change. If Matthews does not interpret the reading as it is laid out, the “web of the Universe” can be impaired. Since the information comes directly from the Living Truth to the client, her task as a seer is simply to relay the message. Matthews has no responsibility to see it carried out.

These particular diviners emphasize that their readings lay out likely scenarios, which are based on the past and present of their clients. Since the future is fluid, their readings are never absolute. Each diviner knows only a portion of the future, and not the whole story.

In his blog, “Weaving Wyrd,” Hrafn, Northern-Tradition spirit worker, discusses the boundaries that a seer needs to have. The boundary between the diviner, the Universe, the reading, and the client needs to be formed. First, he must establish where the information of the future comes from. The seer needs to ask himself whether it is from the Divine or from his own ego. Then the diviner acknowledges his own emotions and reactions to the reading itself. Without boundaries, each will bleed into the other and the seer will make errors based on hidden biases.

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Early Homo Family: Discover Your Inner Fire

Nov. 3rd, 2012 | 10:03 am

The next Family to come after these Earliest Humans, was the Homo family (of which H. sapiens (Modern Humans) is a later member), about 2.4 million years ago (mya) Meanwhile, the Families of the Earliest Humans - Australopithecus and Paranthropus lived near the Homo family. However, these earlier Families had little interaction with the Homo Family. About two mya, several distinctive members (who had larger brains than the previous Early Humans) of the Homo Family appeared – H. gautengensis, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis. With his larger teeth, H. guatengensis specialized in eating plants. Slimmer H. habilis (“Handy Man”) could make simple stone tools, while stocker and heavier H. rudolfensis ate grass roots.

About 1.8 mya, H. ergaster and H. erectus of the Homo Family appeared. These Early Humans developed a complex tool making culture, such as using hammer stones to break open nuts. Furthermore because of the hot African climate, their bigger brains needed more cooling. Therefore these Humans possessed more sweat glands and was less hairy.

Then H. erectus did something remarkable: She migrated out of Africa to Eurasia, adapting to the new places with strange plants and animals. Since the seasons in Eurasia were more pronounced and cooler, H. erectus was forced to become more inventive: She discovered fire. From the evidence found in the campfires of Peking Man of Asia, H. erectus built and used fire about 1.8 mya. This gave Her a means to cook food and keep warm, which meant that She could master the environment.

The Early Homo Family urges us to leave the safety of our homes and venture out in the unknown. They will show us how to meet the challenges of new ways of living. With their help, we can discover our own inner fires, thereby changing our own lives.

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Early Human Family: Honor Diversity

Oct. 21st, 2012 | 11:31 am

EARLY HUMAN FAMILY

Long ago, the Earth was populated by many kinds of humans. Today, we modern humans (Homo sapiens) are alone on the Earth (except perhaps for the “Hobbit” (H. floresiensis) of Indonesia). The development of Humankind from prehistory to modern times is like an orchard of fruit trees. Some of the trees continuously bore fruit, while some of the other trees cross-pollinated with the fruit-bearing ones. After a while some trees died off, while the other trees flourished wildly. However, eventually all the trees died off out except for one (perhaps two) lone tree.

Tracing the Human line, back in time, is difficult, because the fossil records are incomplete. Since it involves humans, we react to our history as we would with our own families. Like all families, our Early Human Family is full of quirky and long-lost people. There are those relatives we would rather not think about, as well as those relatives who we are proud to be related to. For example, consider the difference between Cro-Magnons (H. sapiens) and Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis), in our Early Human Family, and how we react to each.

EARLIEST HUMAN FAMILY: Honor Diversity

Four to two million years ago (mya), several Families of Early Humans roamed Africa. As the climate became drier, the forests transformed into grasslands. The Early Humans walked upright, but still regarded trees as their homes. Walking upright gave Them an advantage because They could see various predators lurking in the grass. (One predator, Dinofelis (a saber-toothed cat) had often feasted on Early Humans.)

The Earliest Families of Humans were Australopithecus, Kenyantropus, and Paranthropus. They all could manipulate small objects, which would allow the next Family to make tools. The most famous of these Earliest Families was Australopithecus. “Lucy” (Au. Afarensis) was once thought to be the “missing link” between apes and humans. The only Kenyantropus was K. platyops who was named for his flat face. Meanwhile, Paranthropus, nicknamed “Nutcracker Man”, had strong jaws to eat nuts and hard plants. However, only Australopithecus developed into Homo, the next Family of Early Humans.

Fred Spoor, a noted paleontologist stressed that, “East Africa was a crowded place with multiple species.” Imagine a world of different Families of Humans, with each with their own sphere of influence possessing special talents. Simply because one Family seemed “less advanced” than another Family, did not mean that They could not survive at all. These Earliest Humans could successfully cope with the particular challenges in their lives.

These Earliest Humans show us that it is good to experiment, and to encourage diversity. Though some of Them died off, all of the Earliest Humans contributed to the whole of Humankind. We need to honor the efforts of these Earliest People in becoming who we are today.

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Ethics for Magical People: Healing (2 of 2)

Oct. 19th, 2012 | 11:12 am

The other thing that novice healers may forget is that the sender and receiver are connected by an “energetic cord”, since this is how the energy is send and received. If the sender is not careful, they could end up syphoning off the receiver’s energy later on. It can also happen in reverse with the recipient depleting the sender. For these reasons, Wintersong Tashlin adds that the energy body is just as inviolate as the physical body.

The Eden Energy Medicine Institute has an ethics committee to outline their code for energy healers. One section from this ethics code states that, “EH practitioners closely monitor their needs to be liked, to be admired, to achieve status, and to exercise power.” The Ethics Committee explains that these needs interfere with the healer’s discernment and judgment. Also the Committee stresses that these desires prompt the healer to make unrealistic claims of effectiveness, which in turn raises the client’s expectations. To avoid this from happening, the healer should be mindful of their own hidden desires.

Clarifying these desires is necessary. John Coughlin, author and occult magickal practitioner, suggests asking yourself the question: “Are you sure the intent of your decision is from vested interest or ulterior motive?” He continues, “Are you helping your friend for purely selfish reasons?” Therefore, Coughlin counsels before you offer any type of magickal healing, you need to be crystal clear about your motives.

In the case study of Tracy and Jennifer, they are two fourteen-year olds faced with a traumatic situation. Because her grandmother is dying, Tracy wants Jennifer, her best friend, to do magickal healing for her grandmother. Neither has the maturity to deal with this dilemma. Tracy cannot let go of her grandmother, and Jennifer cannot disappoint her friend. Meanwhile Tracy’s grandmother wants to be left in peace to die.

As a compromise, Jennifer suggested doing a healing ritual where they would ask the grandmother on the astral plane. She believes that if Tracy’s grandmother consents astrally, then the girls can send magickal healing. This ritual is problematic since the grandmother may be unconscious and unable to consent. Moreover, according to John Coughlin, contacting people on the astral plane is difficult even for the experienced magickal healer. He stresses that this option is the “the escape clause” for doing magickal healing without the recipient’s permission.

The other ethical problem the girls have is Tracy’s intense desire to have her grandmother not die. Since Tracy’s grandmother is adamant about not receiving any treatment, the ritual would make Tracy the final arbiter of her grandmother’s fate. This would deny her grandmother, her final agency.

Furthermore, Jennifer’s “healing ritual” would be a violation of Tracy’s grandmother’s stated wishes. Moreover, the ritual would compromise the grandmother’s religious beliefs. As a Christian, she would be aghast to discover that she unknowingly participated in a “witchy healing.”

Jennifer could do the following instead. In the ritual, she could ask Tracy to envelope her grandmother with her love, since they have a natural bond. This would affirm her love for her dying grandmother. By doing, this Tracy would begin to understand that she needs to let her grandmother go. The focus of Jennifer’s ritual would be Tracy, instead of her grandmother.

Works Used:
Coughlin, John, “Magical Ethics and Pseudo-Metaphysics”, Author’s Website, 2004, http://www.waningmoon.com/jcoughlin/writing/pseudometaph.shtml.

----, “Ethics Code for Energy Healing Practitioners”, Eden Energy Institute, 16 September 2010, http://innersource.net/em/images/downloads/EEM_Ethics_Code.pdf.

Feinstein, David, Douglas Moore, Dale Teplitz, “Addressing Emotional Blocks to Healing in an Energy Medicine Practice: Ethical and Clinical Guidelines”, Energy Psychology 4:1, May 2012,
http://efttappingexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Feinstein12.pdf.

Harrell, Kelly, “Intentional Insights: Q&A From Within”, blog, http://www.intentionalinsights.com/.

Kaldera, Raven, “Wyrdwalkers: Techniques of Northern-Tradition Shamanism”, Asphodel Press: Hubbardston, MA, 2006.

Morningstar, Sally, “The Art of Wiccan Healing”, Hay House: Carlsbad (CA), 2005.

Tashlin, Wintersong, “Invoking Consent”, Huginn Journal 1:2, Midsummer 2011, http://huginnjournal.com/issues/v1i2/.

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Ethics for Magical People: Healing (1 of 2)

Oct. 18th, 2012 | 10:36 am

An examination of a case study of people who want to send unasked-for "magickal" healing. I was a victim of this where well-meaning people send me "Reiki" energy to heal my brain injury. I ended up being more harmed by the input of this energy healing.
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"First, Do No Harm"

Since magickal healers are not considered to be a part of the medical profession, they do need to be informed of the ethics of informed consent. When someone is in distress, it is common for their friends to send Reiki (and other forms of healing energy) without asking the person first. Simply because these friends have good intentions does not mean that the Reiki will alleviate the person’s distress. For example after my traumatic brain injury, I received unasked-for energy healing. My friends thought that they were helping me, but they did not know that the brain has its own energy fields. Their magickal energy overloaded my injured brain, instead of helping to heal it.

Since then, I have urged people to ask me before doing any magickal healing. For me, I view sending unasked-for healing to be a violation of my person. My doctors and I know what is better for my recovery than the “do-gooder” healer. Many casual workers of energy healing believe what they do is benign, but do not consider that they need to grant the distressed person their own agency. An important part of my recovery is to take back my own power in deciding my treatment. Wintersong Tashlin, activist and shaman, calls the practice of sending unasked-for energy to be “benevolent harm”. It takes away the person’s consent, and makes the sender the final arbitrator in the recovery process.

Moreover, several magickal healers have emphasized that sending unasked healing could be a violation of the Universe’s plans for the suffering individual. In her blog, Kelly Harrell, neo-shaman and author, cautions about the modern attitude, in Western medicine, that every broken thing must be fixed. Because of this attitude, the desire of the healer to cure the illness becomes more important than the “Highest Outcome” for the client. The Universe may decide that death is the answer for ending the person’s pain. She says that an ethical healer must be a part of “All That Is the Universe”, since the healer’s job is to connect “the Universe” with the client. The ethical healer balances “the Light” and “the Shadow” of the Universe to achieve the best outcome for her client.

In “The Art of Wiccan Healing,” Sally Morningstar, a Wiccan healer, writes that it can be morally wrong to interfere with a person’s suffering. She explains that “the Law of Karma” governs how people are supposed to experience their life. To send unasked healing could subvert a person’s Karma (Fate). The Universe decides what the Highest Good is for each person, and that may include suffering.

Raven Kaldera, a Northern-Tradition shaman, discusses this doctrine of Karma from a Northern Pagan point of view. In his book, “Wyrdwalkers,” he explains that everyone is interconnected within the “Well of the Wyrd” (Web of Life). If he interferes with someone’s Wyrd (Fate), he may weaken other Threads in the Tapestry (Web) of Life. Therefore, it is not the healer’s place to end the pain, without checking with the Gods first. The Norns (Fates) may have dictated that the person has to work through the pain.

The conclusion of these various healers is that the Universe may have planned for the sick person’s suffering. Therefore, the main task of the healer is to align the person with Will of the Universe. A healer does not dictate how the person heals, only the Universe. In concrete terms, in order to treat measles, you kill the germs, not cover up the rash. Doing magickal healing may only cure the rash.

When sending magickal healing, many novice healers believe that they do not cause distress. However David Feinstein, clinical psychologist and energy-healing ethicist, points out that energy sent to alleviate pain does impacts the body. (I experienced this phenomenon with my brain injury.) Feinstein stresses that this flooding of energy overwhelms the emotions of the distressed person. This energy will often break through emotional blocks that the person may not be aware of, thereby causing a traumatic breakdown. Feinstein counsels that the most ethical approach is to do the healing in a structured setting with the recipient understanding the risks.

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Navigating Deep Time (4 of 4): Sources

Oct. 10th, 2012 | 12:28 pm

Works Cited
Note 1:Geological Society of America, “2009 Geologic Time Scale”, http://www.geosociety.org/science/timescale/timescl.pdf.

Note 2: Bakker, Robert T, “Prehistoric CSI: Texas Red Beds: World’s Largest Dimetrodon Cemetery”, Houston Museum of Natural Science, blog, http://hmnspaleo.blogspot.com/2007/10/texas-red-beds-worlds-largest.html.

Note 3:
Blakely, Ron, “North America: Middle Permian (275 MA)”, Library of Paleogeography, “Reconstructing the Ancient Earth”, Colorado Plateau Geography, Inc., http://cpgeosystems.com/namP275.jpg, 2011.

Works Used
Alden, Andrew, “Mapping Deep Time”, Geology, About.com, http://geology.about.com/, 2012.

Bakker, Robert T, “Prehistoric CSI”, Houston Museum of Natural Science, blog, http://hmnspaleo.blogspot.com/, 2007 – 2008.

Blakely, Ron, “Library of Paleogeography”, Colorado Plateau Geography, Inc., http://cpgeosystems.com/paleomaps.html.

Corrigan, Ian, “Exploring Celtia: The Primary Division”, ADF, http://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/primary-division.html, 2012.
“Into the Mound”, blog, http://intothemound.blogspot.com/, 2012.

Geological Society of America, “2009 Geologic Time Scale”, http://www.geosociety.org/science/timescale/timescl.pdf.

Helasdottir, Lydia, “Journey Tips From a Cosmic Diplomat”, Northern-Tradition Shamanism, http://www.northernshamanism.org/shamanic-techniques/journeying/articles-about-pathwalking/journeying-tips-from-a-cosmic-diplomat.html.

Kaldera, Raven, “The Pathwalker’s Guide to the Nine Worlds”, Asphodel Press: Hubbardston, MA, 2006.
“Wyrdwalkers: Techniques of Northern-Tradition Shamanism”, Asphodel Press: Hubbardston, MA, 2006.

Little, Richard, “Dinosaurs, Dunes, and Drafting Continents: the Geohistory of the Connecticut Valley”, self-published, Hartford, CT, 1986.

Lupa, “DIY Totemism: Your Personal Guide to Animal Totems”, Megalithica Books: Stafford (U.K.), 2008.

Various, “Prehistoric Life”, Dorling Kindersley, New York, 2009.

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Navigating Deep Time (3 of 4)

Oct. 7th, 2012 | 02:37 pm

Preparation is the key to traveling safely in “deep time”. By studying a geologic period, you can prepare for the animals that you will encounter. For example, the early Paleogene epoch (65 – 56 mya) saw the rise of temperate and rain forests. It was the “Age of Birds,” when Gastornis and Diatryma (“Terror Birds”) ruled the forests. According to “Prehistoric Life,” these apex predators hunted mammals and reptiles.

Knowing something about paleoclimates will also assist the magickal person in planning her trip. During the Paleogene Period (65-23 mya) (which was the time after the demise of the dinosaurs), the Earth went through dramatic climate changes. The Ice Ages came when the Earth changed her orbit. However in the years before the Ice Ages, during the early Paleocene (65-56 mya), temperatures shot up creating a “greenhouse” Earth.

Since landscapes change overtime, there will be few direct correspondences between modern and ancient features. Other hazards concerning “deep time” travel include finding yourself in a raging volcano or unexpectedly adrift in the vast ocean. According to Dr. Richard Little (University of Connecticut, Geology), continents drift across the Earth’s surface, colliding and pulling apart. Meanwhile, the ocean floor rises and falls, while new mountains emerge and erode.

Kaldera points out that many people often end up visiting “Disneyland” and interact with the “puppets” there. Designed for tourists, this artificial world is safe to explore. Kaldera thinks that starting at “Disneyland” will teach the novice how to navigate other unfamiliar worlds. But in the future, the beginner should not mistake it for the real thing.

In his journeying, Kaldera stresses preparation beyond grounding and shielding. He suggests using divination before and while traveling. For him, divination is the key to uncovering which world the traveling magickal person actually went to --both in their initial and home journeys. Furthermore, do a divination before going to uncover any problems that may arise. Kaldera also counsels seeking help from experienced magickal people before going on a journey.

To go back in time, choose a period that interests you. My favorite period is the early Permian when the ancient ancestors of mammals lived. By going to the early Permian (about 275 mya), I could witness the emergence of land ecosystems. Dimetrodon, the iconic sail-backed predator, ruled the land at that time. Since this animal is deterred by excrement, I can escape by throwing fresh poop at it.

One place where a slice of the early Permian is found is the Texas Red Beds (Seymour, Texas, U.S.). The noted paleontologist, Dr. Robert T. Bakker wrote an extensive blog about his dig there from 2007 to 2008. He describes the Texas Red Beds as being full of bones from the Cambrian (583 mya) to the Permian periods. Dr. Bakker writes of the location as it exists today, “Now, as in Cope's era, the Red Beds are a harsh environment- unfailingly hot and dry, with ground water in the summer that's a nasty brew of alkali and pink mud, heated to the temperature of afternoon tea.” (Note 2) However during the early Permian, the Texas Red Beds was a swampy lake, in a sultry humid environment.

At the “Library of Paleogeology” site, maps of Ron Blakely, noted geologist, are featured. (Note 3) The map for the middle Permian shows the land at that time with modern boundaries superimposed on it. Once you have this map, carefully examine the landscape for outstanding landmarks. Put each landmark on your magickal travel map as a GPS signal. The time portal for this period will probably be the (former) swampy lake bed. While you are exploring this lost world, you should note how far you are from the gateway. Animal guides for this period could be Shark or Diplocaulus, an amphibian with a boomerang-shaped head, which lived in the Permian.

With Dr. Bakker’s blog, you find the areas around the Red Beds where the fossils are. As you explore, you add his observations to your map. Like the ancient explorers, you combine Dr. Bakker’s information with your own, thereby increasing the pool of knowledge for other magickal explorers. As you go back in time, be mindful and note everything you see. Upon returning, you should do a standard cleansing of your magickal and physical bodies.

When the magickal person goes into “deep time,” she is best prepared by pouring over the writings of paleontologists. By reading their observations about the period she wants to explore, the magickal person will be able to have a meaningful journey. Listening to more experienced travelers will ensure that her journey will be safe. Finally, having a map to record her journey will make her experience more wondrous.

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Navigating Deep Time (2 of 4)

Oct. 6th, 2012 | 11:26 am

In his various writings, Ian Corrigan (Archdruid Emeritus of Ar nDriaocht Fein (ADF)) explains how the Celts mapped their universe of “Land, Sea, and Sky”. Corrigan posits that each culture has a basic map of the universe and their place in it. Among the Indo-European cultures, Corrigan states that the Vertical Axis of the World Tree is usually the Center of the Universe. Shamans would travel up or down this Axis to visit the Lower, Middle, or Upper Worlds.

In voyaging through “deep time”, the Geologic Time Scale (Note 1) can be the Axis. The eons are the trunk with the eras, periods, and epochs branching off from each. Magickal people can use the Geological Time Scale to pinpoint where they can safely go. Hazardous times include those of mass extinction – the most famous being the demise of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period (65 mya). Also, for most of the Precambrian Supereon, the Earth was a ball of flame.

Traveling to “deep time” can be done in a variety of ways. One method, which I discovered by accident, is going through a time portal. To find such a portal, look for places of fossil discoveries. Dowsing with a modern map will also uncover such a portal. Kaldera suggests “pathwalking,” a form of walking meditation while beating a drum, around a portal, that the magical person constructed.

Another way of venturing into “deep time,” suggested by Lupa and Paleo, therio-(animal/human) shamans, is with fossils. Lydia Helasdottir, a shaman of Northern-Tradition Paganism, has a rock from home that she carries with her. Helasdottir says that focusing on the rock at your home location is also effective. She advises that the traveling magickal person place a homing beacon on his own time. Furthermore, since he will be roaming through space, he should also set up a magickal Global Positioning System (GPS) beacon on his place.

In addition to using a fossil, Lupa and Paleo also suggest asking an animal to guide you. The modern day shark is a good choice, since this animal first appeared in the Silurian Period (about 440 mya). To journey from the times of proto-humans to recent prehistory, elephants make excellent escorts because they evolved alongside humans. If you can, ask an animal of the time that you are planning to go to. Paleo stresses that “deep time” travels requires a team of guides to keep you safe.

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