Lesson 3
Reality, Energy, and the First Oracle Exercise

In teaching, I always begin with doing whatever the exercise is for ourselves. There are a couple of reasons for this—if we don't know that a practice really works, don't know how it feels and how the changes really happen, how can we ask someone else to do them? Everything I teach has helped me. That doesn't guarantee that it will help you, but it at least lets me know that it works. If it is just theory or dogma to us, others will recognize, consciously or unconsciously, that we don't really know what we are doing or suggesting.

More on Being Real

Altering Energy Flow

First Oracle Exercise

More on Being Real

Someone recently said she wanted to take classes about the faeries from me, but she wasn't interested in all that other stuff. What she didn't understand is that 'all that other stuff' is the absolute foundation to every kind of psychic and spiritual work. It absolutely essential that we know what we are doing with energy, with ethics, with our own thoughts. You cannot understand the fae or other humans, spirits, or animals when you don't understand yourself. You need to know your own potential, possibilities, conscious and unconscious beliefs, and ways of tripping yourself up.

Earthing, centering, and connecting are a vital part of this. When we are earthed, we have traction. If someone pushes us (either physically, emotionally, or mentally) being energetically connected to the earth enables us to hold our ground and even push back if that is appropriate. When we are centered, we know how we really feel and what we really want. And when we are connected to the source—thoroughly connected—we know what we truly need, which is not always what we want. When we have all of those things, we can have clear boundaries, clear priorities, and make better decisions.

Signs of disconnection, ungroundedness, and being off-center:
   ▪ things whirl round and round in the mind,
   ▪ thoughts repeat over and over,
   ▪ inability to remember what you were doing or saying a moment ago
          or long enough to finish doing it,
   ▪ chronic exhaustion,
   ▪ garbled, confused, or tangled speech,
   ▪ sleeplessness,
   ▪ restlessness,
   ▪ depression,
   ▪ easily distracted,
   ▪ inability to work under pressure,
   ▪ quick temper (sometimes unjustified),
   ▪ not able to hear clearly what people are saying

You get the idea? In a word: chaotic.

I ask that you practice the grounding, centering, and connecting exercise often (let's call it the Being Real exercise for convenience), even if you are moderately well grounded. Get so you know what it really feels like to be there, to Be Real. It will take more than three rounds of the exercise, so give yourself time to occasionally do it for a much longer practice time. Get so good at it that you can bring yourself back to the calm center, earthed and connected in just one round of three breaths. This is not going to happen right away—it can take months or more. But I think you'll be astonished and very pleased when you get solidly there. The more trouble you've been having with it, with staying focused in your meditation, with sensing your energy, with staying on track in your life, the more you need this.

Altering Energy Flow

Here we begin to do a bit more than just perceiving the natural energy between our hands.

Sit comfortably in a chair, upright yet relaxed, feet flat on the floor. Do the Being Real exercise, three complete cycles so that you are earthed, centered, and connected.

Feel the energy between your hands, the natural subtle energy that is simply there at this moment.

The next steps I want you to do in a relaxed natural way, in time with your breath. Don't push the flow, don't try to force anything.

Now, just be aware of your breath and the moving energy earthing you, centering you, connecting you. Remember the energy pausing at your heart center, some of it flowing down, some of it flowing up, some of it flowing through your arms and hands—all of it coming from earth and from your source.

Be aware of it flowing through your heart, through your arms, through your hands. Play with the energy between your hands—notice if it changes size or texture or in any other way. See if the energy increases as you relax more into the flow. Then try tensing up your arms and shoulders and see what that does to the energy. Play with different ideas in your mind—what happens to the energy if you imagine being in a noisy, busy space with a lot of people? What happens if you imagine sitting by a gentle stream with your feet in the water? The things that happen may not always be what you would logically expect, and there is no right or wrong or way you should feel. You feel what you feel because that is what you feel. Just stay relaxed mentally and physically, stay with your breath, and keep exploring the energy between your hands for a while.

When you are ready, relax back into the normal flow of your own energy, and once again check for any changes. Put your hands in your lap and go through the cycle of the grounding, connecting, centering again. When you're ready, open your eyes. How do you feel now?

If, at the end, you feel tired or depleted, if your subtle energy has gone down, or especially if you have a headache, then you have very likely been trying too hard. Next time let yourself relax more into your breath, coming back to the breath and relaxing often during the exercise.

You're going to be doing a lot with this energy—it will be important when you do self-healing, psychic readings, healing, gardening, soothing a child, calming an animal, holding the hand of a friend in need of comfort, paint a picture, tell a story. This needs to be very gentle—don't try to "push the river" at all. No force. Just allow the energy to flow and notice how the different things you do and think affect that energy.

It would be a very good idea to write your about experiences with this in your journal before you think too much about it. Daily practice of this exercise would also be a good thing, if you can manage it.

If, during the exercise, you find you suddenly cannot feel the energy at all, one of two things is probably happening. The first possibility is that you're tensing up, pushing too hard. Tension blocks energy. Just relax and it will come back. The other is that you've relaxed so deeply into the flow that the 'edge' of the energy has gone beyond your reach. If that happens, just count backward by threes from 100 down, or do some other gentle mental concentration exercise like saying the alphabet backwards in your mind or spelling someone's name backwards. The distraction will bring the energy back down within reach.

Now, I want you to do the above exercise, in addition to your sensing of the energy between your hands. It's important to continue to develop skill in simply sensing what is there without interfering with it. We'll be wanting to use both skills a lot in the future, and neither is a substitute for the other.

First Oracle Exercise

I know that many of you already use various oracles, including the tarot. Like everything else, I'd like us to begin at the beginning (or at least, the beginning as I teach it). You are quite welcome to continue using your usual oracle in your usual way. However! I'd like everyone to begin doing this:

After you mediate and do your earth-center-connecting. I'd like you to pick up you deck, with the cards face down, and hold it quietly in your hands for a few minutes. While you're holding them, please ask, "What do I most need to be aware of today?" (Nothing else—save other questions for another time, any time but now.) Fan out the cards in your hands or on a handy table. Hold your hand above them (the hand that you'd normally use for things), wait a moment, and then pick up a card.

When you turn it over to look at it, wait for the first three words that come into your mind as you look at the picture. It may be something you've noticed about that card many times before, or it might be something that seems quite random—or anywhere in between. Write down those three words (or possibly very brief phrases) in your journal. If you can, also write them down on one of your 3x5 cards to carry with you during the day. As you go through the day, if any insights or relevant information or experiences come to you that seems to connect with the card, jot them briefly on the card.

This is a quick, intuitive listening to the card, just first thoughts, not a reading in depth. Many people find this easier to do if they use a deck that is quite different from whatever they normally use.

It would be good to enter the notes you made about it on your 3x5 card into your journal before you next do your meditation and pull another card, if you have the time.

Like all of our simple little practices, this one may change the way you think about some things and may lead to discoveries about yourself and the world that you hadn't expected. I don't know what your discoveries may be, but I do know they will come in layers and layers, ever evolving, for as long as you do the practice. I draw a Faeries' Oracle card every morning with just this in mind—listening to the moment's unique voice of that card.

© 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.