Archive for February, 2014

26
Feb

The Knight of Cups

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

The Knight of Cups

Sometimes I select the card I want to reflect on for the card specific tarot meditations I include on this blog. Other times I let the cards tell me what to write and what to reflect on.

Today the tarot told me to write about the Knight of Cups.

Knight of Cups

The knight is on a horse in a place one can only assume is far from home.
He looks into the goblet in his hand reflectively.
He may be using the water as a scrying device, seeking guidance or direction.
He is questing and the light that gleams from the goblet in his hand speaks to me of divine illumination. God is working through his imagination and dreams to spur him onward in his quest.

For this knight, this moment pictured on the card, is a time of reflection.
Maybe he is looking for focus.
Maybe he isn’t sure where he is going or what he is looking for or maybe he is reflecting back on what he left behind.

Always before us the road divides.
Either we take the one path or we take the other but we cannot take both and as the saying goes, “we can never go home again.”

Oh we can retrace our steps and try again but as each moment passes to the other we change and we are forever changed never again to be the people we once were.

The knight may be reflecting back but I like to think he is forward thinking.
What is behind us is a canceled check.
It was but is no more.
The most productive reflecting we can do is on the road ahead.

Will we take this road or that, how will we invest our time, and is that which we devote the moments of our lives to worth exactly that – the moments of our lives, the very breath of life.

He is looking to see – is this road that I am on the right road for me.

The most wonderful yet most challenging gift of life is that we can do, be, or have almost anything we wish but we cannot do, be, or have everything we wish.

And, it is impossible to focus on two things at the same time.

Our focus must be singular.

To choose one is to leave another.
So it is with our knight, so it is with each of us.
We must decide.

I get the sense as I look into the card that the time of day is dawn, our knight is just beginning his journey. The road is not straight before him but windy and perhaps meandering leading to the snow covered mountains in the distance.

Over his shoulder is a branch, it looks like autumn leaves which means as he travels the days will grow shorter, colder, and darker, leaving him with less time and harsh conditions, and yet he travels on.

When you have made a choice to travel a road, do you see the harsh realities you might face along the way, do you pause to reflect, to count the cost, to see if you have sufficient to finish what you begin?

This is a card that challenges us to make a choice, set our focus on a road, and travel it.

Much love and many blessings,
David

9
Feb

The Christian Bible and the Spirit Board

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

The Christian Bible and the Spirit Board

One of the things I love most about paranormal research and investigation is the non-sectarian atmosphere of the community. From the very begging in 1848 people of every faith and persuasion and those of the scientific community have come together with one common aim: the quest for understanding.

We might not always agree on how to interpret a particular phenomenon but we embrace each other as a community without the confines of dogma or the limitations of a sect or denomination. Dogmatism can provide the illusion of security but it can also limit understanding and the potential for growth.

Most of my colleagues, Spiritualists, paranormal investigators, fellow Ouija enthusiasts, choose to simply ignore the fundamentalist religious right and their bible thumping. I am a seminary graduate. I once dreamed of spending my life caring for a congregation of people who, at least on some level, value the bible as a rule of faith and conduct. I don’t find it easy to ignore the alleged biblical mandates against the very practices I engage in.

bible-Sunlight

One of the most severe of these mandates is found in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, “When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God gives thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God for these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”

If you really don’t care you might want to skim over or skip this article but if you have ever been concerned that maybe God has an issue with mediumship I would like to address that now.

I have a master’s level degree in theology and another in education. My degrees don’t necessarily make me smarter or wiser and they don’t make my opinion more valid than anyone else’s however I have spent decades studying the Christian Bible in depth and I am reasonably proficient in both ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew.

I will not pretend to have all of the answers. I won’t even pretend to have some of the answers. Wiser people than I have been debating the meaning and application of the bible since the bible was written and so far there is little agreement from camp to camp. I can only offer my opinion subject to error as it may be. In the end what you decide to believe about Ouija is precisely that, a decision, it is a matter of conscience between you and your god or Infinite Intelligence and I would encourage you to always follow your conscience.

The mandates listed above, like most of the mandates in Deuteronomy, were given at a particular moment in history to serve a particular purpose. I don’t believe they were intended for all time and every person.

The issue in this passage is whether the people of Israel will seek guidance from their neighbors who practice other religions and worship other gods or whether they will listen to God’s spokesperson, the prophet.

Many Spiritualists believe that the prophets were themselves mediums. I am inclined to agree in that they had the sensitivity to hear from Infinite Intelligence or Spirit and relay that message with accuracy to other people. They were, by definition, mediums in the sense that they delivered a message from an immaterial god to a material people. So God is not prohibiting mediumship. God is instead being selective about which mediums Israel, at this point in time, may listen to.

The leadership of the tribes of Israel had to make some effort to separate and distinguish themselves theologically from their neighbors. In their attempt to do this they identified specific religious practices of the cultures surrounding their own and they prohibited these practices. It seems a sensible thing to do at that time and in that context.

Another concern I have about biblical condemnations is that those who employ them are selective in what they condemn. For instance:

Leviticus 11: 7 – 8 says, “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.”

That, in case you do know, is a strict prohibition against eating pork. How do you suppose our evangelical friends would feel if we put their morning breakfast patties in the same category as the Ouija board?

Deuteronomy 15: 1 – 2 says, “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lends to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S release.”
In this passage lenders are commanded to cancel debts at the end of every seven years.

I could go on ad nauseam.

The bible is full of commandments and prohibitions that are simply ignored to a greater or lesser extent depending on the particular religious sect in question. Most matters are best left to the conscience of the individual. The spirit board is no exception.

If we are going to use the bible as some sort of esoteric rule book, then we should also consider the following:

Why would John tell us to, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God,” (1st John 4:1) if we weren’t expected to be interacting with the spirit world?

Why would Paul tell us that God has given the gift of “discerning of spirits,” (1st Corinthians 12: 4 – 11) if the expectation is that we will have nothing to do with the world of spirit?

Finally, why would Jesus consult with two dead prophets in front of his most loved and trusted followers if he intended to forbid them from doing the same? (See Matthew 17:1–9).
Let your conscience be your guide.

If you believe in God then He/She will see the purity of your intention, the kindness of your heart, and by these you will be judged that is assuming you are judged at all.

I cannot confirm or deny any of the “bad press” that the Ouija board has received over the years. I can only speak from my experience and in this book that is what I will do.

I can’t say there is no such thing as hell because I don’t know nor do I know if there are any clear criteria as to who does and does not go to hell. I do know that hell exists anywhere people do not love and respect each other and I do know that, for me, love and respect includes religious and ideological freedom.

I can’t tell you that you won’t encounter unpleasant entities of a human or non-human nature while experimenting with the board. What I can tell you is that there is more evil in the hearts of people who hate than in any spirit I’ve ever encountered.

If I truly believed that the entity I acknowledge as God disapproved of the board or spirit communication for any reason, He/She would not have to threaten me with hell fire to get me to stop. I would stop out of my love and devotion to Him/Her. Obviously, I don’t believe that my God stands in opposition to the use of the board or to spirit contact in general. If I did I would not have written this book.

As to unkind spirit entities, I believe in non-human spirits that lie, cheat, steal, and do all kinds of assorted wicked things that people are also pretty good at doing. Can they gain access to my life through Ouija? Absolutely – if I let them. They are not welcome in my home, on my board, or in my person.

The Spirit Board, like anything else should be judged by its finest moment rather than by its worst or even worse than its worse moment – the moment that fiction and myth ascribes to it.

The notion that you can become possessed by a demon by using the Ouija board is, in my opinion, a work of fiction. On the other hand, Hester Smith, Pearl Lenore Curran, Jane Roberts, and Gina Covina have had remarkable experiences with the board that have reshaped their lives and the lives of countless others for the better.

If your approach to the board and for that matter life in general is to ask, “What is the potential?” rather than “What is the risk?” you may find yourself in hot water a time or two but you may also live a much more exciting life.

Much love,
David

1
Feb

Patience Worth

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

Patience Worth

On July 8, 1913 Patience Worth used the tool of the Ouija board to make herself known to Pearl Curran. Over years of interaction, Patience remained mysterious about her life while on earth. What she did say is that she was an English woman who immigrated to Nantucket in the late 1600s. In Nantucket she was killed by Native Americans.

Patience Worth

Patience told her medium Pearl that for three centuries she searched for a resonate soul that could help her realize her dream of being a writer. In Pearl Curran, Patience found the perfect medium.

On the evening of July 8, 1913, while Pearl and her friend Emily were enjoying an afternoon Ouija session, the planchette spelled out, “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come. Patience Worth my name.”

Over time it was ascertained that the connection Patience preferred was with Pearl. Over a period of roughly 24 years, Patience and Pearl produced literary works that to this day confound the imagination.

Pearl Curran

In an article for the Smithsonian Magazine entitled, “Patience Worth: Author From the Great Beyond – Pearl Curran, a St. Louis housewife, channeled a 17th-century spirit to the heights of 20th-century literary stardom,” Gioia Diliberto, said that, “Braithwaite anthology listed five of her poems among the nation’s best published in 1917, and the New York Times hailed her first novel as a “feat of literary composition…In addition to seven books, she produced voluminous poetry, short stories, plays and reams of sparkling conversation—nearly four million words between 1913 and 1937.

“Some evenings she worked on a novel, a poem and a play simultaneously, alternating her dictation from one to another without missing a beat. “What is extraordinary about this case is the fluidity, versatility, virtuosity and literary quality of Patience’s writings, which are unprecedented in the history of automatic writing by mediums,” says Stephen Braude, a professor of philosophy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a past president of the American Parapsychological Association, who has written widely on paranormal phenomena.”

We could engage in endless debate about the authenticity of Patience Worth. Was this person who she said she was? Was she a creation of the subconscious mind of Pearl Curran? Or was she a spirit being with an over active imagination?

We may never know the answers to these questions with absolute certainty on this side of the veil. What we do know is that the life of Pearl Curran was enriched by her relationship with Patience Worth. We do know that that relationship produced numerous works of literary merit many of which are in the public domain and may be found and read with a simple internet search. And, we do know that it all happened because of a spirit board.

The so called negative experiences with a spirit board are always reported and sensationalized or otherwise embellished but when you research the facts behind the reports you find a labyrinth of rumor and misinformation. But when you research the good stuff, the Pearl Curran’s of history and of today, you find facts that are mystifying to say the least and proof of the continuity of life at best.

I have no reason to believe that Patience is anyone other than the person she claimed to be, a sixteenth century woman from England. She found a resonate soul in Pearl Curran and together they created works of wonder.

I hope this brief introduction to the marvel of Patience Worth inspires you to deeper research. It gives me great pleasure to say don’t take my word for it. Have a look at the facts for yourself and see if you aren’t convinced as I am of the proof of the continuity of life.

Much love,
David