Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It Was Just a Dream... or Was It?

Have you ever woken up after a strange dream and thought "where did that come from?" You just had a dream full of people you have never met, things you have never done and confusing events you never thought were possible. So how is it possible to dream about things you have never heard of in your life? Is it just your imagination? Or are your subconscious memories trying to tell you something.

Sigmund Freud believed the foundation of all dream content was wish fulfillment and the everything that happened in a dream could be connected to the events of the previous day. Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams was obviously focused on the psychological elements of the subconscious including the id, ego and superego. To Freud, dreams were simply a representation of psychological problems.

But, then how do we explain dreaming about people and things we have never heard of before? It is possible they are a representation of other people in our lives, but if that is true how are we ever supposed to figure out who and why we are dreaming about them? There a ton of dream dictionaries on the Internet you can use to look up pretty much any symbol you can think of. Check out Dream Moods, Dream Central or iVillage's Dream Dictionary if you are interested.

One question that comes up often when people are trying to interpret their dreams is why do they dream about people who have passed away. The simply explanation is that they are thinking about them and missing them, consciously as well as subconsciously. Edgar Cayce, on the other hand, suggests the deceased person is trying to communicate with you. While you are asleep you are totally relaxed and open to different types of energy, making it easier for spirits to get through.

Edgar Cayce believed in reincarnation and past lives and he claimed to have psychic abilities. These things led him to believe dreams were the subconscious mind trying to tell the conscious mind something. Past life memories might creep into our dreams which could explain why people we have never seen before pop up. Have you ever encountered a person in a dream that looks completely different but you are convinced they are your mother or ex boyfriend or something you know in this life? That might be because your subconscious mind remembers them looking different.

Basically, dreams are another way to look into a past you can't remember. While a lot of the time they are reflecting things that have happened in your current life, some psychological issues stem from past lives.

Dream therapy is something anyone can do themselves if they want to. You have to practice remembering your own dreams first. A good way to do this is to keep a journal by your bed and write down everything you can remember about your dreams within a few minutes of waking up. The details usually fade the longer you wait to write them down so keeping the journal near your bed will remind you to write things down.

Eventually you might begin to see connections in your dreams and that is when you should look up certain symbols in a dream dictionary. A recurring dream is a lot more important (according to your subconscious) than a dream that you have only once. Also, a recurring theme or group of people is common.

With a little effort you will eventually understand your dreams better and therefore your own subconscious.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Children Are the Future: Indigo Children

There will always be multiple points of views that come from different backgrounds and life experience when it comes to spiritual issues. Usually medical and psychological opinions in particular reject anything that can't be explained using practical science. That is why many Indigo Children are being diagnosed with ADHD.

The term "Indigo Children" comes from Nancy Ann Tappe who suffers from synesthesia and claimed to see a high number of kids with indigo coloured auras. In reality, identifying an Indigo child has nothing to do with the aura.

Indigo Children are defined as the following:

  • They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it)
  • They have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are surprised when others don't share that.
  • Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents "who they are."
  • They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
  • They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
  • They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don't require creative thought.
  • They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (nonconforming to any system).
  • They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
  • They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
  • They are not shy in letting you know what they need.
A lot of these characteristics make a child 'difficult' to deal with, at least in comparison to the other kids who sit patiently and follow the rules, never questioning authority.

Author of "The Indigo Children", "An Indigo Celebration" and "The Indigo Children Ten Years Later" Lee Carroll suggests that instead of giving these kids Ritalin to control their behaviour, they should get more special attention that helps them learn according to their strengths. Carroll believes the rise in children who think in less linear ways and are more creative and uninterested in rules and guidelines means that we are witnessing and involved in an actual shift in human nature.

Charles Darwin coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" and that is exactly what seems to be happening. Children are learning to think outside the box and strive to actively change the world, not just passively live in it.

In contrast to the evolutionary theory, there is also the idea that these children are being sent here for a purpose. They have come to guide us in another direction. They will be responsible for a major change in perspective and the understanding of our purpose as a whole. From this point of view, it is interesting to think that maybe there is some higher power that does want to help us. We really aren't alone.

As with any big change, it will take time, but that is the point in sending help down in the form of children. These kids could be the key to a future full of more open minded and non judgemental individuals. It kind of reminds me of Noah's Ark and Natural Selection combined. We can choose to change and take the help we are given, or we can just drug these kids like they are abnormal and ignore their potential. It might be a test, do we have faith or will we die off because we couldn't accept that maybe our way isn't the only way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Numerology: Your Birthday

Numbers can affect our life in many ways. Numerology has been used for decades to gain insight into personality, challenges and purpose in life. Just like in astrology, numerology can offer some information about about the most important things you will have to face in this life and how to deal with them. You can see it as entertainment or follow it seriously, either way, no harm in finding out what your numerology chart says about you.

The difference between numerology and astrology is that astrology attempts to predict the future while numerology is more of a guide to how to navigate your own life. It provides insight into your personal struggles and can help you overcome obstacles.

Your birthday can tell you what your Challenge Numbers and Purpose Numbers are. I'll use my birthday as an example for how to find these numbers.

July 8, 1986 = 7+8+1+9+8+6 = 39. So my Challenge Numbers are 3 and 9. My Purpose Number is 3+9= 12, and 1+2= 3. Using your birthday for numerology is much easier than using your name I find and it can be a lot more accurate as well. Sometimes it is hard to know what name to use because of marriage and adoption among other things, but with your birthday, it never changes and there is no confusion.

The things that are associated with each number are as follows:

1: Creativity/Confidence/Starting Anew
2: Cooperation/Relationship/Balance
3: Expression/Communication/Sensitivity
4: Stability/Foundation
5: Freedom/Change/Discipline
6: Humanity/Acceptance
7: Spirituality/Openness
8: Abundance/Power
9: Completion/Wisdom
0: Inner Gifts/Intuition

A lot of websites call different Numbers different things so it is good to stick with one or two books or websites in order to keep it all straight and consistent. One good website for more detailed descriptions of your numbers is Numerology Essentials.

Numerology definitely isn't as popular or easy to find as astrology but if has it's own insights to offer. If you are really interested in it, I would recommend getting a book or two because it will be explained a lot more clearly. Some good ones are:

- Hanz Decoz
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Numerology - Kay Lagerquist
Number and You: A Numerology Guide for Ever Day Living - Llyod Strayhorn

There are many more books available, just check out the New Age or Spirituality section in Chapters or any other bookstore. Just another way to find out more about yourself, Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Numerology: Your Name

Since I have pretty much said all there is to say about astrology by now, I thought I'd move on to my second favourite way to find out secrets about your own personality, and better yet, everyone you know.

Numerology can be done using your full birth name or your birthday, but in this post I'll be focusing on the name. Each letter is associated with a number so all you have to do to is add all the numbers together for your first, middle and last name and then reduce that to a single digit. The chart below show which letters are associated with what number.

I'll use James Dean as an example to demonstrate how adding and reducing the numbers works. The exact name on his birth certificate (which is what you should use if you want the most accuracy) is James Byron Dean.

There are three different numbers you can get from your name. The first is called the Destiny or Expression number and it is the sum of all the letters of your name. James adds up to 3, Byron to 11 and Dean to 6. The 11 is not reduced because it is a Master number. All of these added and reduced ends up being 2. Check out this website to read about your Destiny number.

The next number, the Soul Urge Number is just the vowels. James Byron Dean adds up to 5. The Y in Byron is considered a vowel in this case because there is no other vowel in that syllable of his name so the Y acts as a vowel. Look here for an explanation of your Soul Urge Number.

Finally, the consonants represent your Inner Dreams. Dean's adds up to 4. Here is a list of the Inner Dream numbers.

Numerology can be a little confusing at first but it's pretty easy to figure out if you have the chart. There are tons of websites you can look at that explain it better than I can, as well as books. It is kinda of similar to astrology in the fact that there are a lot of different levels and ways to look at it.

In my next post I'll explain how to use Numerology for your birthday. See you next time!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Little More Astrology

I know I have already posted a couple times about astrology, but it's such an interesting topic that I thought I'd do one more. In my other posts I gave links for websites that you can check out to get more information on your astrological chart but sometimes the Internet doesn't go as in depth as you'd like it to. There are hundreds of astrology books out there, and they all give different perspectives.

Miss X, a fellow blogger, mentioned that she likes Linda Goodman's Sun Signs. There is an online version here if you want to check it out. It is pretty detailed and separates the explanations for each sign into 'women', 'men', 'child', 'employee', and 'boss'. This focuses only on the Sun signs and I have mentioned before there is a lot more to astrology than that. Linda Goodman also has a book called "Love Signs" that goes into compatibility using the Sun sign.

In London (where I'm from) there is a bookstore called Mandala downtown that has an enormous selection of astrology books as well as anything you could ever think of to do with spirituality. And if they don't have it, they will order it for you. This is where I realized astrology is pretty complicated.

Even though a lot of information is available on the Internet, I would recommend getting a couple good books to have on hand. I don't know about everyone else, but I don't like constantly being in front of the computer screen and it's nice to have a physical copy of the book instead of an electronic one.

So that being said, I thought I'd list a few of my favourite astrology books in case anyone is interested in looking deeper into their chart. These are just a few examples, just go to the astrology section at Chapters and you'll find lots more. Also pretty much anything is available to order on amazon.ca. So I guess the Internet is pretty useful after all.

The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need
- Joanne Martine Woolfolk
The Secret Language of Birthdays - Gary Goldschneider
The Secret Language of Relationships - Gary Goldschneider
The New Astrology - Suzanne White
Lovestrology - Phyllis Vega

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oujia Board.. Just a Game or Truly Dangerous?

It's Saturday night. Your parents have gone to bed for the night, leaving you and a few of your friends alone with scary movies and a bowl of popcorn. Thunder and lightning along with torrential downpours complete the scene. What better time to pull out the Oujia Board? I know I did it a few times. We even lit candles and turned out all the lights to make it seem like a real seance.

I didn't really take it that seriously back then, but in the back of my mind I still hoped something would happen to convince me that spirits were real and they wanted to communicate with the living. But the candle flames didn't mysteriously go out, there were no strange sounds, and certainly no one was ever possessed by an evil spirit. I guess I should be grateful for that.

I have heard multiple times that Ouija Boards are extremely dangerous. Every psychic I have talked to has told me to stay away from them because if you don't know what you are doing it is very possible you could open the door to another realm and let things into our world that should not be here. Of course, I can't help being a little skeptical about that as well. Out of all the times my friends and I used a Ouija Board, we never had a single encounter with anything supernatural, or even slightly unusual. So, why the warnings?

The video above is pretty eerie and so are these stories of weird experiences people have had while using a Ouija Board.

There are a few explanations for the whole Ouija Board phenomenon. First, scientifically, it has been suggested that people are subconsciously moving the planchette without even realizing it. So when it seems like it might be inching towards the M, everyone kind of starts to push it that way together. This is possible, but depending on how many people are playing, the planchette would be attempting to move in a lot of different directions at once causing a lot of confusion and misspelled words.

Second, spiritually, mediums have said it is not the board itself that holds power, but the people that are using it. It is just one form of divination among many. They also believe that spirits use the eyes of the person they are talking through so by blindfolding the person it takes away their ability to speak to the spirits. This would mean than any experiment in which a person was blindfolded would be inaccurate.

Lastly, many skeptics have just said that someone who is playing is purposely moving the planchette to play a trick on the other people who are participating. It is more like a joke that people can pass on to others who have never played before which I think is the purpose Parker Brothers had in mind when then marketed the game. I'll admit I did this a couple times when I was younger, and people fell for it.

Anyway, whatever you think the Ouija Board really is, game or serious divination tool, keep in mind that there could be more to it than you know, so be careful!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When It's Your Time It's Your Time

There are advancements made in medicine everyday, all over the the world. Which means while twenty years ago someone whose heart stopped would be pronounced dead, today, they can be revived, even after a half an hour of being clinically dead.

The ability to bring someone back when technically they were gone raises some pretty interesting (and complicated) questions. Most obviously, where did they go? Most often, this is called a Near Death Experience or NDE.

One researcher, Kenneth Ring, separated the NDE into five stages:

1) feelings of peace and contentment,
2) a sense of detachment from the body,
3) entering a transitional world of darkness (rapid movement through a long dark tunnel: "the tunnel experience"),
4) emerging into bright light, and
5) "entering the light."

In his research, however, he found that 60% of people who reported having an NDE experienced stage one, but only 10% experienced stage five. The idea of going through a tunnel towards a bright light is one that most people have heard so it is possible it could just be an expected part of the experience. But, I think, the reason only 10% of the people entered the light is because once you enter this light, you have crossed to the other side, making it impossible to return to your body. It is also possible that the experience is different for everyone, and some people simply never enter the proverbial light.

Death is a subject that is on everyone's mind at one time or another considering, eventually, we are all going to die. It is only natural to wonder what is going to happen when that time comes. That may be why there is an International Association of Near Death Studies. It was started in 1978 by doctors and medical and psychological researchers who wanted to know more about the phenomenon. Now, there is more research and information on the subject than I can even begin to describe or fully understand.

There are scientific explanations for NDE's. Some skeptics believe they are only hallucinations the brain is creating in response to a trauma. I suppose you have to belive in the existence of Heaven and God if you are going to believe anything at all happens when you are dead so a lot of atheists are more likely to think NDE's are nothing but a dream.

I think Near Death Experience's can give us insight into the afterlife but it is also hard to know if the information people bring back is accurate. We will never truly know what death is like until it happens to us and maybe it is better that way. I'm not sure I really want to know all the details before it happens. It's not something we can control, why worry about it?

I don't know about anyone else, but death is one thing I don't need to know everything about before it happens. I'm more than happy waiting sixty years before I enter the light.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maybe in Another Life

The idea of reincarnation originates in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. I am not personally religious, but I find the possibility that our souls come back multiple times, into multiple bodies fascinating.

Some kind of belief in a higher power or something resembling Heaven is kind of a prerequisite to a belief in reincarnation. There has to be some kind of organization involved in the passing of souls from body to body. But maybe that is just the logical part of me kicking in. When I picture it in my head I see a huge office, kind of like where you go to renew your license. Each soul has a number, and when yours comes up on the screen, it's your turn to be born again. Do we even have a choice when or how it happens?

There are some unexplained phenomenon that people have associated with reincarnation. Xenoglossy, when someone can fluently speak a language they have never been exposed to, or a child prodigy, a young person who exhibits extraordinary talents without practice are two things that could be explained by the existence of past lives. Also, deja vu, (which I talked about in a previous post) could indicate memories that only exist because our soul never dies.

The Skeptic's Dictionary entry on reincarnation raises one important point. What is a soul? We can really only speculate, since we can't remember what it was like when we weren't in a body and on Earth.

But the mystery is what makes reincarnation such a popular topic. There are lots of movies about it such as What Dreams May Come that also addresses the idea of soul mates. That is one thing a lot of people like to imagine is possible. You see someone on the street and you just know you have met them before and you absolutely need to talk to them. You have coffee, you fall in love. You must be soul mates. For this to be true... you had to have lived many lives before your current one.

I definitely believe in soul mates. But I think you can have many. A soul mate is someone who has had a positive affect on you in any way and you learn something from during each lifetime. They may be a very good friend. They may be someone you know for only a very short time. But somehow, they are important to what you have to learn in this lifetime.

To believe in reincarnation is to believe we are all here for a purpose. Our souls are evolving everyday and even the difficult things in life are teaching us something. Without the opportunity to move on after we die, what is the point in learning anything in the first place?

As with most spiritual issues, it is difficult if not impossible to prove the existence of the soul and reincarnation. It is a matter of faith, and I personally prefer to believe everything happens to teach us something, and nothing ever goes to waste.

"Faith is believing in things when common
sense tells you not to"

-George Seaton

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Oooomm"...Step Away From the Caffeine

With midterms in full swing, pretty much everyone is stressing out over the pile of work that just keeps growing. I wonder if anyone even takes a minute to take a deep breathe and let themselves relax. Tim Horton's is even busier than normal (I know, I didn't think it was possible either) because people have convinced themselves they can't focus without that jitter inducing caffeine skipping through their veins.

I have one suggestion. Meditate.

Now, doesn't she look relaxed? Wouldn't you rather do that for a few minutes than stand in line with the other frazzled students at Tim Horton's?

I truly believe the energy of other people affects the way you feel. If you are surrounded by people who reek of stress, you are only going to feel worse. Not everyone is good at handling the stress brought on by school and every other thing they have going on in their life. Sometimes you feel worse just from spending time with certain people. These people are referred to as "energy vampires", not only will they emanate negativity, but they will suck all the positive out of you in the process.

I know I like to spend some time alone everyday to recharge. And meditation is the perfect way to do that. There are many different techniques so it is best to try a few and decide which one is best for you. It is difficult at first to get the hang of it but it just takes practice. The video below might help as well.

It is important to take care of yourself (especially during busy exam times) since stress can lead to short and long term health problems. Even if you feel like you have no time, taking a few minutes every day to sit back and just relax will help in the long run. Meditation reduces stress, teaches you how to calm down high stress situations (that biology exam worth 40% of your mark) and helps you focus when it is most important.

In addition, the people you surround yourself with affects the way you deal with certain situations. Support and encouragement are important qualities in friends, but I'm sure you all know that. If you prefer to be social, try out a meditation DVD with a friend. You can lean on each other in your caffeine withdrawal.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Have I Been Here Before?" Deja Vu.. More than Memory Rewind

How many times have you been somewhere entirely new and you suddenly get the feeling you have been there before? It only last a second before it is gone and you can't even remember what triggered the feeling in the first place. Deja vu is very common, over 70% of the population report experiencing it at least once.

There are a few different scientific explanations for deja vu. It has been connected to psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. There is even something called 'chronic deja vu' where people get that confusing sensation every single day of their lives. Can you imagine feeling like you had already done everything, all the time? Weird.

I definitely think a lot of the time, a buried memory is what triggers the familiar feeling, but why not, for the sake of argument explore the more supernatural theories that are floating around out there in cyber space.

Often, deja vu is associated with clairvoyance and precognition and is thought to be evidence of psychic abilities. But that would mean 70% of the population has psychic abilities, which I find hard to believe.

The most interesting explanation, and one I plan to explore further in future posts, is the idea that deja vu is a form of past life memories. This could explain why no matter how hard you think, you can't seem to remember what it was that triggered the feeling at all. A certain smell, or sound could have reminded your subconscious of something you experienced in another life.
"Parapsychologists support this argument as being connected to wish fulfillment from a past life in the present"

Obviously, a theory like this is pretty much impossible to prove. Most of the time, deja vu is probably just a coincidence. It is often the topic of movies (such as Denzel Washington's movie Deja Vu) or skits, like the one below.

Whatever causes deja vu, it is a fascinating phenomenon because it gives the impression we have memories buring deep in our subconscious that we aren't ever aware of. We can't even guarantee we our fully conscious of our own past. The feeling of not being in control of our memories forces people to look for a scientific explanation for these things but what if someone somewhere is trying to tell us something, how do we really know? Can't hurt to pay more attention to things we don't understand.

Kind of goes back to the title of this blog. Choose Your Own Adventure. Maybe, like in the books you used to read as a kid, you are getting another chance to do something you didnt quite get right in another life. Woah, deja vu...eventually we'll figure it out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sylvia Browne.. Gifted Psychic or Talented Fraud?

You may or may not have heard of Sylvia Browne, but chances are if you have ever been stuck home with a cold, you have channel surfed past an episode of Montel Williams and decided to find out if she was the teensiest bit legitimate.

Sylvia Browne claims to be able to see angels and a wider range of vibrational frequencies than most human beings. On the Montel Williams show, Browne takes questions from the audience often about loved ones who have passed away or are missing. Most of the time she is vague or very general but the people just want to be reassured their loved ones are in a better place so they choose to believe her. This could also be interpreted as the Forer effect. In the video below, Browne was not so accurate.

To be fair, Browne never claims to be 100% accurate, but she had been doing this for years. She knows how to read people. One famous skeptic, James Randi believes Browne is just very good at cold reading. But I don't know, she wouldn't have gotten this famous just because people want to believe her.

The biggest problem with Sylvia Browne is the fact that if she is a fraud, she is not only taking hundreds of dollars from people, she is putting them through emotional turmoil for no good reason. In 2002 she told a couple their son, Shawn, was dead and exactly where to find his body. He was found four years later, alive. There are a lot more examples of Browne telling a family the person they are looking for is alive only for it to be revealed they have been dead all along. Look here for more details.

Browne claims to have helped the police solve hundreds of cases over the years. To give her the benefit of the doubt, skeptics do tend to focus on the negative. Confirmation bias occurs when people choose to interpret new information in a way that confirms their own preconceptions and avoids anything that contradicts what they already believe.

It is important to be careful with information psychics give you, even if they have a good reputation. A certain level of skepticsm never hurt anyone, right?

If you are still convinced Sylvia Browne is the real thing, check out her predictions for 2009 here.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hey.. What's Your Sign? ;)

I don't know about you guys, but whenever I meet someone new I want to know when their birthday is. That is really all you need to find out if you are astrologically compatible. With Valentine's Day coming up, this is the perfect time to wonder how compatible you are with certain people in your life.

Of course there are many different kinds of compatibility. You might be great friends, but be terrible together in a romantic relationship. Or you might be great together in your personal lives but you could never ever, in a million years, work together.

Here's a compatibility website a lot of people might be interested in. All you need to know are your sun signs.

Most websites like the one above will give you a short explanation that is based only on your sun sign. As I suggested in my last post, there is a lot more to it than that. To understand all aspects of a relationship you have to look at all the planets and how they go together. First of all, every sign is also an element:

FIRE: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
WATER: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
AIR: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
EARTH: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo

The signs in the same element group are the most compatible. Another website you might want to check out for sun sign compatibility is at Tarot.com.

Sun signs definitely offer insight into relationships but the planet that rules love and
relationships is Venus. You can find out what sign Venus was in when you were born easily at Astrodienst.com as well as the signs of the rest of your planets. If you and your partner have compatible Venus signs it is even better than just looking at the sun signs. Check out this website to find out more about your Venus sign.

Just like in individual astrology, when it is used for compatibility, it is important to look deeper than the surface to get truly helpful insight.

Don't get too discouraged if you aren't compatible with someone according to your charts. When you know the things you have to work on as a couple it is much easier to recognize why you might be having certain problems.

Just another way to use astrology and get to know yourself and the people close to you. So for now, Happy early Valentine's Day and happy dating!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hidden Potential Revealed by the Planets

Would you like to understand yourself better? Make sense of the way you react to certain situations and be able to develop certain aspects of your personality that might otherwise lie dormant? Well, those are just a couple of the things astrology offers. And I'm not talking about the mini horoscopes you read every morning in the newspaper.

I have heard a lot of people say something like "No way every Gemini in the city is going to have a misunderstanding at work on the very same day. Astrology is total crap." But the thing is, those horoscopes are purposely written in general terms in order to encapsulate all Gemini's who will be reading it. They are meant for entertainment, not to give you any insight into your own personality.

This may seem obvious, but no two people are the same. It is the same in astrology. No two Gemini's are exactly the same. And that is because your Sun Sign (which is your main sign) is only the tip of the iceberg. To truly find out who you are, you have to address all the planets as well as house positions. This is where it starts to get complicated. This is also where most people decide to brush astrology off as "nothing more than entertainment".

If you don't know your sun sign, that is a good place to start. Look here for a list.

If you only look on the surface of astrology, of course you are only going to get superficial information in return. There is no way for newspaper horoscopes to personalize the information they give you in two sentences. To judge astrology based on this is like judging a person based on how they answer the phone.

So, basically, when you are born, all the planets are positioned in a zodiac sign. Each one affects a different aspect of your personality. For an in depth explanation of each one check out this article.

I'll use my astrological chart to give an example of how this works. Mercury rules anything to do with communication, such as speaking and writing and your communication style. When I was born, Mercury was in Leo which means I have the ability to organize my thoughts well and concentrate for long periods of time. I have an easy going disposition but have the tendency to be opinionated and stubborn.

If you would like to figure out your own astrological chart, the best website is Astrodienst.com. They also offer some free interpretations.

I realize there are a lot of people who look at astrology and see no value in it. But it is so much more than half-assed predictions in the morning newspaper. It is more about understanding your own personality. That way you can work on your weaknesses and promote your strengths. I see it as a way to improve yourself by being more aware.

In my next post I'll talk about how to use astrology for compatibility. All you have to know is the person's birthday and you can find out who they are. Better than googling them and hoping for the best, that's for sure.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The 'Secret' is Out

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of
life's coming attractions"
-Albert Einstein

The Secret was all over the place in 2006. Oprah couldn't stop raving about it. And everyone trusts Oprah, right? She made an appearance on Larry King to talk about her own experience with The Secret and she seems to really believe in it. But judging by the comments under this youtube video, she may not know as much as she thinks she does.
Basically, the Secret is the Law of Attraction. If you think about something you want all the time. If you believe you will one day have it and that you deserve it. If you live your life as though you already have this one thing you really want, then eventually you will have it.
The movie, which was released in 2006, is a bunch of interviews of supposed 'experts' explaining how all you have to do is think positive and believe and you can have everything you ever wanted.
According to the Law of Attraction all thoughts have frequencies that send out magnetic signals to attract things back to you. If you are sending out positive signals, you will get positive things back. If you are constantly worrying about your problems, you will only continue to get problems in return. Makes sense..
At the very least, there is no harm in thinking positive. Right?
One example, shown in the video below, is to visualize and believe that you have enough money to live the perfect life.

In the movie, they discuss something called the "Creative Process" which has three steps:

STEP ONE: Ask - Let the universe know what it is you want.
STEP TWO: Believe - Have faith in the power of the universe. Do not concern yourself with how you will get the things you want, just believe it will happen. Do not have doubts, they lead to disappointment.
STEP THREE: Receive - Be open. Begin to feel the way you will feel when you get what you want.

It is important to be grateful for what you already have and not constantly worry about what you don't have. Whether or not this will get you the new car or your dream job is irrelevant because appreciating what you have can only be a good thing. In the end, thinking positive should be automatic, not a chore you have to force yourself to complete everyday.
Even if you don't believe in the universe listening to your thoughts and giving you what you desire, how can anyone say there is anything wrong with hope, gratitude and optimism? All you have to do is choose to be happy and you will be.

"If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm,
you'll never enjoy the sunshine."
Morris West

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Psychic Fairs.. Not Exactly Cheap

I went to the Psychic Expo in London this past weekend thinking I could get come cheap five minute readings for fun. I was surprised to find out there wasn't a single reading available for less than $30 and that was for ten measly minutes with the woman in the corner booth who could barely look you in the eye, let alone into your future (supposedly).
I decided to skip the psychic readings and just went to a couple lectures some of the psychics were putting on. One was about how to choose a psychic. She mentioned why readings were so expensive which was because these psychics were traveling all over the country. They had to pay for hotels, transportation and food in a different city every weekend. Which I guess is understandable. Still, $120 for a lady to look into a crystal ball and tell me there is money and happiness in my future? I'm on a student budget here.
Crystal balls were only one of the techniques being used. There was also tarot cards, aura reading, palmistry (or chiromancy), reiki, numerology and something called Russian cards which I had never heard of.
All the psychics had a specialty and during the lecture, we were told to know what we wanted before choosing a psychic because if we asked for something that particular psychic was not capable of doing, well of course, we wouldn't be getting our money's worth. Convenient.
Overall, the most important thing when choosing a psychic is to use common sense and be reasonable. There is a little thing called professionalism and a good psychic will follow basic social guidelines by not answering the door in a bathrobe. They are running a business too and they want you to tell your friends about how accurate they were, not that they were disorganized and unfriendly.
They all had pamphlets as well to advertise what it was they do and where you could reach them. A couple examples at the top and to the left.
So, I guess my expections were a little bit unreasonable. I wanted inexpensive readings more for fun than anything else. But it turns out, the people that go to these conventions are seriously looking for guidance. They want to know if they are going to change careers or meet their soul mate in the near future. And these psychics capitalize on that. It's their job. We all need to make a living right?
Of course, the organizers of the fairs guarantee that the psychics are the best in the business, and it is by invitation only. Not any old fortune teller can set up a booth and start charging $100 for a 15 minute reading.
So, in the end, the psychic convention is a good way to find out what all the possibilities are and decide for yourself what kind of thing you are willing to pay your hard earned money for. Better than looking in the yellow pages at least.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Beginning.. Or Something Like It

Remember those books you used to read when you were younger where you would be given a choice at the end of every chapter.. OPTION 1: follow your friends into the dark forest or OPTION 2: turn around and call your Mom to come pick you up. You always chose option one, or else what is the point in reading the book at all?
The same goes for every day of your life. You might know you are making a choice that will lead to situations most sane people would choose to avoid but you do it anyway. If only to add a little excitement to an otherwise boring existence.
The only difference between those Choose Your Own Adventure books and real life is you can't go back and change things. You can't flip back a few pages and decide to eat the green ice cream instead of the blue ice cream because, whoops, turns out the blue stuff is poisonous.
So what's the harm in looking for a little help along the way? Maybe a psychic reading or two. An astrology chart or a numerological interpretation of your birthday and full name. As long as you take it for what it is.. one possibility carefully selected (according to the way the planets were aligned when you were born of course) out of thousands of possibilities.
I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but who can? And who wants to know their future without a doubt anyway? The point is, there is always a choice.
I'll be talking about things that reveal not only aspects of your own personality, but ways to become aware of the most important thing there is, your own future. You decide how much or how little you rely on these things, just like you decided when you were a kid if you wanted to follow the path or take the creepy, yet shorter detour.
You'll get through it, but what will you see along the way?