Monday, January 27, 2014

Visit my Nocturnal Divination Etsy shop for autographed books, ebooks, AstroCreativity readings, and more!

There are now several more items in my Nocturnal Divination Etsy shop. Everything from a single-card draw tarot reading for a dollar to relationship (synastry) astrological chart readings. I also have eBooks and autographed print books available (limited supply).

Please stop by and have a look! There are several more items that will be added for a total of ten to choose from. From there on, items will be swapped out on occasion and new ones introduced.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NocturnalDivination

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dreams that terrify, haunt, and warn

Quite often, my dreams scare me. They're always intense, always intricate, always complex. Unfortunately, I don't always dream of good things. I dream of horrific things. On occasion, I dream of things that happen in real life. I also dream about things that could happen in real life, but haven't. Still, the thought that they could completely horrifies and haunts me.

An example would be the dream I had last night. In the dream, my husband and I were at a mall. Now, in real life, I avoid malls like the plague. I don't care for crowds, I hate shopping (didn't get that female gene, apparently). If I could order everything online, I would. I'm an introvert, so going to the mall isn't my thing. Too many people, too much noise, too much sensory irritation.

But I digress...

In the dream, we noticed a small, remote-controlled Army-green truck buzzing along through the mall. I looked around, but didn't see who was operating it. I shrugged it off because there were toy stores in the mall, as there always are. Probably someone trying out the truck for their kid or something, I figured.

Suddenly, the small truck exploded, but it was such a massive explosion that it blew up a huge part of the mall. People were running and we were trying to get out of there to save our lives. Apparently, a person had fitted the small truck with some sort of explosive that was powerful enough to detonate and cause bodily injury and massive property damage. In hindsight, after we escaped, we realized it had been a terrorist attack! Needless to say, I was shaken up after the dream. It was too real, and the fear I felt was palpable.

I recounted the dream to my husband upon awakening, telling him that the scariest part about the dream was that it seemed like something that could happen in real life, if some diabolical, heartless SOB decided to do such a thing. This is why I say my dreams are often so terrifying and realistic that I wake up traumatized.

Who wants to dream about such things—and then worry about them happening in real life? I know there's a slim chance that anything like that would happen, but with the constant influx of bad news in the world and not knowing what terrible people are out there and what is brewing in their twisted minds, I DO worry about such things. After all, I live in Colorado Springs, which isn't that far from the Aurora theater where James Holmes decided to maim and kill people who'd innocently gone to see a Batman movie in July of 2012.

I also tend to have night terrors, and my poor husband has been on the receiving end of those terrors one too many times. Instead of running from my terrors, I tend to charge at whatever it is (or what I think I'm seeing) and I try to fight it. As you can imagine, this isn't a safe response for anybody in the same bed or in the same room.

I suffer from PTSD (diagnosed in mid-2006), so night terrors have been a part of my life for a while. They're not fun, and there's certainly nothing funny about them. If you've never felt genuine terror take hold of your body and shake you from the inside out, I can tell you it's not pleasant. It is NOT true that only combat veterans, police officers, or firefighters have PTSD. Civilians and everyday people have it as well.

Having an overactive imagination is a blessing and a curse. When I was a small girl, the pediatrician told my mother I shouldn't watch any shows with frightening or supernatural images. According to her, he said my imagination was such that even watching something as seemingly harmless as Casper the Ghost could frighten me and cause me to have issues. Quite frankly, I didn't care about Casper as much as I did Dark Shadows. Mom would send me for a nap when Dark Shadows was on, but I remember trying to peek around the corner so I could watch it.

Thankfully, I grew up and was finally able to see classic episodes of the campy soap opera that featured vampires, werewolves, witches, and the like. I also grew up loving dark fiction, cutting my teeth on Stephen King's books as a young girl. My husband and I have a huge collection of horror movies, both classic and modern. You can try to take the girl out of the horror, but in the end you can't take the horror out of the girl.

There's a good chance I'll keep dreaming horrifying dreams. I'll wake up terrified—and sometimes crying—but I doubt my mind will ever stop conjuring up intense stories, characters, or plots. I try to remember some of them and jot them down, especially if I think those stories might lead to a viable short story or a novel. Other dream tales I don't care to remember because they're too traumatic or distasteful. Most of all, I can only hope that the other dreams I have—of tragedies about to happen or those that could happen in real life—don't occur at all.

Yes, I know it's not healthy to live in fear, but I think it's wise to be aware of our surroundings, to take note of anything that seems out of place, and to report it to authorities if you have any suspicions. We are all busy, we all have lives to lead, we all have errands to run. But in this day and age, vigilance is imperative; we must look out for one another. We all exist in our own microcosm to some degree, but we should make an effort to remember that we are also connected to others and to the larger world in general. We are all responsible, to some degree, for what happens in this world while we're in it.

With that said, I hope my dream never comes true. Maybe by writing this blog post, the potential for this dream-horror will be snuffed out, never to manifest into reality. I pray it never does.

In my oddly optimistic way, I wish more people would evolve, stop engaging senseless violence, realize we are all connected, and begin to act in a more self-actualized way. I want my children to grow up in a world that's kinder and more thoughtful. Unfortunately, that's one pleasant waking dream I'll probably never see realized. But one can hope, right?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Serve your own plate.

Night before last, I had an intense dream. Nothing new, since most of my dreams are intense. The thing is, right before I woke up, I was given advice in my dream—not sure by whom—and it echoed in my mind upon waking and for hours afterward.

The advice, as told to me in my dream, was this: "Serve your own plate."

It is a metaphor for life, and for choosing what's best for you in your life. The meaning behind it is simple: when you go to put food on your plate (perhaps at a smörgåsbord or potluck, for instance), serve your own plate. You alone should choose what items you put on your plate. Do not give your plate to anybody else, and do not let anyone else determine the things you will have on your plate. Select items you most want and desire, because it is your plate (your life). Since you'll be eating those things (experiencing those things in life), you alone should determine which choices are best for you.

The advice in my dream was simple, but profound. I really had to sit with it and think about it for a while. It still resonates with me days later.

It's not uncommon for me to see names, words, phrases in my dreams—actually written out so I can read them. This has been happening with me for the past several years. It's a new development, as I have not had it for most of my life. However, in this dream, the advice was not written out, but spoken.

Again, I do not recall who gave me this advice, but I am grateful for it. I felt the need to share it with you all, because I believe it's something you, too, need to hear.

So, this is your plate. It's called life. Serve your own plate!

Friday, December 27, 2013

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Shun the vampires

"Vampires cannot be cured. They cannot be taught, they cannot learn the error of their ways. Most of all, vampires will never understand how much damage they're doing to you and your work. Pity the vampires, they are doomed to this life.

Your garlic is simple: shun them. Delete their email, turn off comments, don't read your one-star reviews. Don't attend meetings where they show up.

Shun the ones who feed on your failures."

—Seth Godin

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Follow me on Tumblr, too!

Are you on Tumblr? Follow me and I'll return the favor:http://elementalmuse.tumblr.com/

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Is there a demonologist in the house? Yes, there will be soon.

Ancient Abraxas gem
Today I turn 49, and I have a different sort of announcement to make. I'm excited about it, and Paul is completely supportive as well. In short, I am embarking on the path of becoming a demonologist. Yes, a path of study and research I have already touched upon before and considered for a long time; however, I never voiced it to anyone (not even Paul).
The path is a natural one for me, given the experiences in my life with studying various religions, pursuing a minor in philosophy (with particular emphases on religion and the philosophy of death/dying), and a long history with the paranormal (both the study of it as well of the investigation of claims).
If you've been on my FB page for a while, you already know that, although I was raised Presbyterian and my adopted dad was originally Mormon, I've been pagan for 30 years and have been pagan clergy for over ten years now. In the past, I have acted as a High Priestess and performed numerous rituals. I've also been an avid practitioner of various forms of divination most of my life, casting my first astrological horoscope at a young age and progressing into studying numerology, cartomancy, graphology, palmistry, tarot card readings, and runes, among others. I've always harbored odd fascinations and was, undoubtedly, a weird kid. Needless to say, I have grown into a stranger adult! But I'm okay with it. This is who I am.
Ironically, although Paul was raised Catholic and I wasn't, he often jokes that I'm more Catholic at the core than he is because my inherent guilt often eclipses his. I also enjoy watching Latin Mass on the Catholic Channel. I find Latin an enchanting and magickal language. Also, as mentioned before, I enjoy rituals, and many pagans who are drawn to Wicca start out as Catholics. I'm not Wiccan, but I USED to be. Perhaps I was Catholic in a previous life. One never knows!
But, I digress...
When I was seven years old, I wanted to be a nun—how's that for a surprise?! When my daughter was about three years old, she matter-of-factly informed me that she had been a nun in her previous life and had died in a fire. This girl had never been to church, had never been around nuns, and did not grow up in a religious household, mind you.
Paul will also tell you I have a longtime, odd fascination with nuns. All very strange for a veteran pagan who loves rituals, finds the Catholic church interesting, is drawn to the architecture of Catholic churches, has a Mother Mary figurine to the left of her computer (a nod to the Divine Feminine), but gets livid over how human involvement in organized religion has caused it to be used as a tool for violence, and other such perversions and crimes against human beings. If you want to screw up a belief system, hand it over to human beings so they can use it for THEIR selfish, myopic purposes, and not for Divinity. This is one of the reasons why I have issues with organized religion, first and foremost.
You also may know Paul and I have been team leads for a paranormal investigation team for eight years now. If you've been reading closely over the past couple years in particular, you will have noticed that I've mentioned that, since the age of about ten, I've been fascinated with occult subjects—exorcism in particular (yes, at such a young age I was reading about such things; I'm glad my mom didn't hinder me from reading about things I was curious about).
It's possible you'll also recall my dream from a while back where I saw the word "Abraxas" written out in heavy, black script. Until I saw the word written out in my dream, I had no idea what it meant. Needless to say, I was taken aback when I researched the term. It depends on the source, but Abraxas has been referred to as both a god and a demon. The info on Abraxas is extensive, if you ever read up on it. The dream has puzzled me for a while, but it also inspired me to explore the history behind it as well.
In essence, here is my main point: I'm finally ready to reveal to all of you where this has been headed, and how I plan to combine my ongoing studies in psychology and spirituality with a special emphasis on demonology. It makes perfect sense to me, given my extensive history with the paranormal and occult. Rather than a sole framework of the Judeo-Christian belief system, I will be approaching my demonology studies from a more expansive vantage point, gathering information from all cultures and time periods (as well as analyzing famous case studies). I will not limit my approach to one theology, as I feel that would do the subject an injustice. It's important to delve into this intense subject through a wide-angle lens, if you will.
So, there you go. A long explanation, but it's a big decision for me and this is how I want to share it. Sometimes when you're drawn in a specific direction, you have to honor it, which is what I'm doing. It's not a decision you make lightly or without a tremendous amount of thought. I have mulled this over for quite some time. This path requires studying psychology (which I'm already doing, and have done for years), theology, mythology, folkloristics (yes, it's a real term), and science—yes, science.
Instead of simply dropping a quick sentence like, "Hey, I've decided to become a demonologist," I figured there needed to be more of a discussion. This is a good way to address the reasoning behind my decision upfront. Mind you, you may approve or disapprove, but neither will affect my decision. I'm simply letting you know that, should you see me post interesting bits of historical info or thoughts, there will be a reason why. If this sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, I'm giving you a heads-up so you can unsub or ignore those posts. What you decide to do is up to you, of course.
Now that I have that out of the way, thanks in advance for reading this announcement, and for your support!  Back to our regularly scheduled program.
:-D