Category Archives: Spiritcaat Writings

Perspective on my Reading with John Edward

by Lisa Larson

evolveI recently had the good fortune to be unexpectedly interviewed by John Edward on his membership show, Evolve. (I have asked for permission to share the segment but have not yet gotten response. I’m hoping to hear back from them soon. It’s no longer available through Evolve.) However, because of this unexpected interview, where I was suppose to have had an on-air reading, I was blessed to get a private reading from him instead.

As many of you know, I am an animal communicator, and a psychic medium myself. I love doing both. When taking an advanced mediumship class with Lisa Williams, I realized not only how much I love doing mediumship, but also wanted to make sure that my mediumship did not interfere with my profession working with animals. There was, in fact, a part of me that wondered if I should be doing just one or the other.

I became a medium because I woke up and literally heard a voice in my head tell me, “You need to become a medium and a healer.” This was at a time when I had no particular connection to or knowledge of either. It’s not like I had just lost someone in my life and become enamored with mediums or anything, I knew nothing about energy healing, I just simply heard the voice in my head. (In fact, when I told John Edward about it, he said, “Oh, okay. I get it. I get it. It’s like being anointed by the mafia. You’re in it for life.”)

And that was the crux of my dilemma. Even though my animal communication practice was taking off, and I love doing it, I wondered if I should be setting the mediumship aside. But I just couldn’t go against, the “Godfather’s” wishes. 😉

When I was having my reading with John, we talked about this. John is not so hot on the number of people he sees jumping on the bandwagon to learn mediumship because they’ve seen him as a TV personality, not understanding the true significance of the craft. I’ve read this in one of his books, and our conversation played that out. (I believe he thought I might be one of those people, before I explained how I got into it.)

There’s nothing about mediumship that I equate with fame and fortune. When I was a professional musician, I dreamed of that, of course. That’s what musicians do. With mediumship – not so much. In some ways, it seems far too personal. Not that I don’t want personal success in my field, it’s just kind of an odd concept to me for what I do.

We talked about the importance of having a specialty, and in all honesty, I agree with him. (I do, of course, understand people needing to make ends meet. They need to offer what they can if they are legitimately qualified. After all, I did tarot for 30 years, so I still teach classes now and again, and still do an occasional reading for my loyal clients who understand how I use tarot and are not looking for me to ‘tell their future.’) But the conversation stuck with me. “Why would I have been ‘told’, in no uncertain terms,” I’ve asked myself, “to follow this path if it were not the path I was suppose to be on?

Having the reading with John was eye opening for me, not only for the reading itself, but for the auxiliary things I have gained from it since. He was every bit as accurate as I would have expected.

dad in uniform(I do wish I had told him I specifically wanted to hear more from the other side, because I really did want to primarily hear from my dad, and feel a little bad that I ‘missed my chance.’ I know, however, I probably got exactly what I was suppose to have. Not to mention that even mediums get ‘psychic amnesia’ when their getting read. He kept mentioning a “P” name and I can’t believe I didn’t tell him it was my cat, ‘Puma’ who was with my dad.) :-p

That aside, in the reading, I learned some great things confirming personal stuff in my life, and some hopeful things about my practice. But what I learned from the experience itself, was so much more.

For one thing, through the years, I’ve learned an awful lot from watching John Edward work. He’s always been my favorite medium, because I feel he has a sense of grounded-ness and ethics that I identify with in my own personal and professional life. That was confirmed for me in the conversation we had, which was a real treat, talking to someone with a ‘professional colleague’ tone to it, which I don’t have much of, because I don’t know that many mediums with similar points of view.

It was interesting to me being on this side of the reading because, while my ultimate goal is always to be as good of a medium as him, my goal has never been to be a carbon copy of him. (Always shoot for the moon, otherwise we limit ourselves). Yet, until I was on this side of the reading, I wasn’t sure how my style really differed, or if I had gotten to that point in my professional development where I had even developed my own style. It was kind of cool to see that I have.

Even though we both have our moons in Aquarius (which, according to him, allows a certain detachment when doing emotional readings) by his own admission, he is not an extraordinarily touchy-feel-y person when he reads. Me? Eh-no. My readings consist of, of course, the evidence and the message, but I’m all about diggin’ down and dirty if that’s where people need to go.

Before he knew what I did for a living, he said, “You seem like a metaphysical person. It looks like you do some sort of counseling or motivating people.” That’s exactly right. Many of the readings I do end up with some real heart to heart exchanges. After my reading with John, I realized, “that’s okay, because that’s me.”

Since every reader filters through their own frame of reference, I have always believed that the universe guides people to the reader which will help them best. This reading drove that point home for me in a way that was very enlightening to my own style. For a long time I questioned whether it was ‘okay’, for instance, to show emotion with a client when one of their pets transitions, or to cry with them, (I feel I know a lot of these fur-kids after working with them for so long), but as many people have told me, ‘that’s what makes you, you.’

I just had lunch today with a mediumship client who I believe was able to find me for that very reason. I feel blessed to have been able to bring her father through in a very significant way. Furthermore, I was able to relate to a very specific situation in her life that her father brought through. It was a situation that many people may not have personal knowledge or awareness of. It doesn’t mean that another medium she might have found wouldn’t or couldn’t have brought her loved ones through, but for whatever reason, I believe, she was led to me because I had a specific frame of reference for what she was going through and what her dad was talking about.

Lisa-and-VidaI had thought about this woman after my reading with John for that very reason. When we had the conversation about having just one speciality, I had to ask myself again, ‘why was I chosen to do this, when I speak to animals so often?’ Thinking of this instance helped answer that somewhat, but what really drove the point home was a reading I had with a dog just a few days later.

I don’t even remember what behavior we were working to correct, what I do remember was that the woman’s mother and father would not let me talk to the dog until they said what they had to say. They came through by showing me a car fire and someone who had nearly died. The woman confirmed that her sister had been in a car accident where her car caught fire and she miraculously walked away. Her father came through to tell his daughter that he was there, that he helped her sister walk away from the accident. It was very important to him that she know this.

After we spoke to her parents, I was easily able to continue on with the conversation with the dog. It hadn’t occurred to me before this, however, the number of times a spirit comes through during a communication with a pet, but this instance showed me why I’m suppose to be both animal communicator and medium.

Just as the woman most-likely ended up with me because she and I had a common experience that enabled me to understand messages her father was giving her, I believe there are people who will come to me for their pets when there is also something important that they need to hear from their human loved ones on the other side. Many people will do anything for their pets, even if they are skeptical, but for whatever reason, they may not ever think of contacting a medium, so their pets do it for them.

Furthermore, while I might feel those energies if I were just an animal communicator, just as mediums might pick up animals when they are talking to human spirit, my ‘initiation’ into the ‘mafia’, serves a purpose, allowing me to add another level of connection when the situation calls for it. (That same week, I connected a dog with his departed human father, who was also the brother of the woman who called me, who is now the dog’s new person. So not only was I able to connect the woman to her brother as a medium, I was able to connect the dog to his dad as both a medium and an animal communicator.)

I know that this is not the path that most people take, nor should they try. In some ways, I didn’t really have a say. Once I began communicating with animals, there was no question I was on the right path. But for the mediumship, I knew I was suppose to be doing it, I just didn’t understand why, considering my work with the animals. So while I may not have really been able to hear from my dad in the way that I wanted to from John Edward (not that I needed proof, I just miss my dad) I probably got exactly what I needed, which is what this is all about.

I do believe that, like John Edward says, people get what they need, whether it be a personal message or through watching someone else get a reading. And I believe that they also get what they need by the universe guiding them to the people who might be able to ‘make the penny drop’ for them, for whatever reason, through whatever frame of reference.

My reading gave me some confidence and clarity on my purpose, which is why I was blessed to have been able to get a reading from him. I will always strive to be as accurate and as quick as he is, I will always strive to be the best I can possibly be, but I thank him for helping me accept and understand that my style is my style and, in that respect, I don’t have to strive to be anything else. Thanks John. 🙂

Releasing Patterns

John Edward (http://johnedward.net) recently wrote a wonderful newsletter on releasing patterns. I thought I would present the Huna view.

Patterns are defined by Webster’s as “a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics…” Patterns influence our lives on a very deep level. cracked-dirtThey are an imprinted on our Kus (subconscious) as reactions or behaviors in a predicted way based on memories in the Ku, which is where our memories reside. Patterns are deeply ingrained memories.

Many patterns are good. How many times have you driven home, then realized you didn’t even remember driving the past 3 blocks. That is your Ku taking care of you. You have imprinted a pattern in your Ku which remembers how to get you home when your Lono (conscious mind) happens to wander off.

Some patterns, however, are not so helpful. Consider a pattern that may have been established in you as a child because of an abusive background or from watching imperfect caretakers. Imprinted on your Ku were patterns that helped you survive then, but may not be very helpful to your life now. Those are the patterns we’d like to change.

Since our Kus are very impressionable and cannot discern between reality and imagination (that is the Lono’s job) one way to change a pattern is to “re-pattern” the Ku. In the Huna tradition, we often use symbols. Ku loves symbols. So here’s a little exercise to help you re-pattern your Ku.

• Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed. Turn of your phone, feed the cats.

• Think of the pattern you want to change.

• Sit quietly and start with ‘piko piko’. When you breathe in, focus on the top of your head. When you breathe out, focus on your belly button. Don’t try to push the energy, just let it flow. “Energy flows where attention goes” (Serge King) Do this several times until you are starting to feel relaxed.

• Once you start to feel a little more relaxed, start taking slow normal breaths. Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a path. As you start to walk forward, you see an entryway. It can look like what ever you want it to look like. It can be an archway of greenery, or a distressed gate.

• Walk through that entrance into a garden. What does the garden look like?
What does it sound like? What does it smell like? Are there trees? Water? What kind of ground is under your feet? Sand? Grass? Feel it under your feet. Scrunch your toes into it. Go over and touch what is in your garden. Feel the water flow through your fingers. Is it raining? Sunny? Feel it on your skin. Hear the wind rustling through the trees.

15610003

• Once you have established your garden, create a place to sit comfortably. Ask your Ku to place in front to you a symbol of the pattern you want to change. For instance, if you want to change that fact that you get angry very easily, ask your Ku to show you what anger looks like.

• Now look up and see that symbol. Let’s use the ‘anger’ example. Perhaps your Ku’s symbol for ‘anger’ is a fast moving, erratic waveform, or a large fire. Let’s use the waveform example.

• See the fast moving erratic waveform, shivering out of control in front of you. Now, with your Lono (remember, Lono is your ‘conscious mind’) change that waveform into something else.

• Let’s change it to a calm, gentle rolling stream. Feel the energy. Feel the change in the energy from the waveform to the stream.

• When you have fully experience the feeling of calmness, get up, thank your garden, walk back out your gate and come back to your body.

You have just re-patterned your Ku. Change something within and you will change it on the outside. Know that you can go back into your garden and repeat the exercise at any time, with the same symbols or new ones. Remember, patterns are ingrained, like millions of tiny seagull tracks through the sand on the beach of your Ku. But there are no limits (Kala) and nothing is permanent. Washing away those tracks and replacing them with more effective ones (Pono) is possible if you keep your mind open and accept the possibility of change.

PREPARING FOR THE PASSING OF A FUR CHILD

by Lisa Larson

candle-starfilterComing to the realization that it will soon be time for your fur-child to move onto the other side is one of the hardest things we, as committed and loving pet parents, can go through.

As a long time animal communicator, whose specialty is speaking with animals in spirit, there are things we can do that will ease the transition for both you and your fur child.

The following list has been compiled from both personal experience with my own animals, as well as years of helping clients through the process, and helping them to make the difficult decision of how and when to assist our fur babies transition to the other side.

Consider Euthanasia

First of all, we need to understand something very fundamental when our animal is ill. When we adopt an animal, we adopted them for better for worse, and we took on the responsibility to make certain decisions for them, and about them, as their physical caretaker. In that, we need to talk about euthanasia.

Euthanasia is perhaps the one and only right animals have that humans do not: the right to die with dignity. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that if you let an animal die of natural causes, it will be painless and peaceful. While that may or may not be true in some instances, I can tell you from personal experience, it is not true across the board. I had the unfortunate experience of watching a family member’s cat die a horrible, miserable, death because his human mom would not make the decision to help him cross. It is one of my biggest regrets in my life that I did not encourage her more strongly. From a professional standpoint, I have never, ever, spoken to an animal in the last stages of life who told me they wanted to pass naturally. To the one, they say, “…if I am suffering, please help me cross.”

Euthanasia is one of the most altruistic, selfless things you can do for you fur-family member. Animals have an incredible ability to hang on and on and on when their pet parents are unable to let go … and let go from their heart. I have spoken with animals who have been in such misery that they tell me, “Yes, please, please, please, it’s time!” Yet, because their pet parents have been unwilling and unable to make that decision and let go, I have seen these animals suffer for weeks, sometimes up to 6 weeks, hanging on in misery. Considering that there is relatively no palliative care for animals, this suffering is on profound levels.

Given both my personal and professional experience, what I tell my clients is this: It’s better a day too early than a day too late. If you help them cross one day too early, you will have prevented their suffering, and 10 years down the line what you will probably be left with are the wonderful memories of the entire life you shared with each other rather than that one extra day. On the other hand, if you do it a day too late, 10 years down the line, the extra day you have is not going to make the difference to you, except that you run the risk of having to play that miserable day over and over in your head, questioning whether you let your fur child suffer, or worse, knowing so.

We have the ability to help animals transition with peace and dignity. Don’t take that away from them.

Euthanize at Home, if Possible

Over and over again, when I ask animals how they want to pass when it comes to euthanasia, they tell me, “at home.” They will usually show me laying in a favorite spot looking out a window or laying in the sun.

There are more and more veterinarians who do nothing but home euthanasia. This is a wonderful option, where your fur child need not go into a carrier or be taken into a cold sterile building, but gets to be in the safety and comfort of their own home surrounded by their loved ones. How many of you have heard people say they want the same thing? So do animals.

Be Prepared

Whether you do decide you will euthanize at home or take them to the vets, research your options beforehand. There is nothing worse than having to make a last minute decision of this magnitude, and not knowing who or what is available.

Here in the San Diego area I recommend Paws Into Grace but, to familiarize yourself with your options, you can Google search your area for ‘home euthanasia vets’, ‘mobile vets’, or even talk to your personal vet to see if he/she would offer that service to you. Doing this will also help you come to grips with having to let go on the emotional level that your fur child may need help from you to move on.

Understand the Importance of Letting Go

On a conscious level, you may think you are ready to let go, you may have even told your fur child that he or she can leave. But understand that animals relate to us on very deep energetic levels. If you are not truly there, emotionally … in your heart … they will know, and they will hang on. We don’t want that for them.

If you sense that your fur child is hanging on, do some deep soul searching to see if you might be unable or unwilling to let go, deep down in your heart. Many times, when I do a reading near the end of a fur kid’s life, I find that if I am able to help the pet parent touch that part of themselves, within a few days the animal will take a turn to be ready to leave because they had been hanging on.

Know that once your fur child is gone, you will still be able to speak with him/her and s/he will still be around you.

I spoke with a fur child in spirit at one point, whose mom was having a terrible time with his passing. He showed me himself unzipping his body and stepping out of his body as an etherial mass next to his mom. He said to her, “It’s okay, mom. I’m right here. I’m just not wearing my clothes anymore.”

After your fur child has crossed into spirit, s/he will hear you when you speak to him, be around you when you think of her, and you will always be able to communicate to her through a communicator like myself, if necessary, but often will not be. You will see signs that they are around, they will watch over you and be your spirit guide, and more likely than not, you will have many, many shared experiences (lifetimes) together.

Unfortunately, our animal’s life spans are far shorter than ours. dog being adopted I have always thought that to be some sort of cruel, cosmic joke. But in doing this work, I have had animals give me insights that, while it may be small consolation when we are going through it, may help in the long run.

The insight is this: think about how many homeless animals there are in the world, suffering, alone, out on the streets and in shelters. (I don’t believe in getting animals from breeders. I don’t believe in breeding animals, period.) In a perfect world, we have all of our animals for the full length of their life spans. So if we live the full length of ours, we will have saved at least 4 or 5 generations of animals from the torment of animal homelessness.

Animals come into our lives for a reason. Jamie [name changed], a lovely dog in spirit, talked about the concept of adoption in that we, in human existence, are given the gift of being able to be physical caretakers for these animals who, in turn, become spiritual caretakers for us.

We know we will miss them. But what better gift could we give them than to help them on their final journey? They, who continue to be our spiritual caretakers, long after our job of physical caretaker is over.

~~
Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at www.pawstalk.net
~~

12 Things You Can Do After Your Pet Passes

missyI was blessed with the opportunity to be unexpectedly interviewed by John Edward last week. He asked me to give him 3 things someone could do once they have lost an animal. I will give 12 here. Some are for the benefit of the person, some the benefit of the other animals in the house, (if applicable) and some both.

1. Remember that your fur-baby is around you. They are just not wearing their clothes anymore.

  • Talk to them. They will hear you.
  • Look and Listen for them. They will contact you. Through a song, through a smell, through a butterfly or something significant to you.
  • Think of them. They will feel your love.
  • 2. Have some sort of ‘memorial service’.

  • Light a candle, play soft music and have everyone around who loved them talk, or someone read a poem. VERY IMPORTANT: include your pets who have lost their pet buddy
  • Light a prayer candle every night at the same time your fur-family member passed, until the candle is gone
  • 3. Create an alter for a specific amount of time. You can include things like:

  • a candle
  • your fur-family member’s favorite toys, collar, etc.
  • perhaps your fur-family member’s ashes until you decide what you want to do with them
  • 4. Create a memory shadow box. You can include in things like:

  • A lock of their hair
  • Their favorite toy
  • Their favorite ‘woobie’
  • Their collar
  • Anything that you would like to keep and will memorialize them for you
  • 5. Go through your photos

  • Create a photo collage or photo album of your fur-family member
  • Create a photo blanket or pillow, through something like Treasure Knit
  • Create a hard back photo book of your fur-kid through something like iPhoto
  • Have a professional painting or drawing done
  • Get a purse or tote made with a photo of your animal HERE
  • 6. Have a cast made of your fur-baby’s paw

  • Some places offer this at the time of euthanasia. If they don’t, ask
  • You can put it in your shadow box
  • 7. Plant a tree (or plant or flower) for your furbaby

  • Plant it in his/her memory
  • You can bury the ashes and plant the tree on top of the ashes
  • 8. Write in a journal

  • Write to your fur-kid
  • Write about him/her
  • Write a poem about him/her
  • Write anything you want, but write. Your baby will hear you
  • 9. Create a website for your furbaby

  • Start a blog or social networking page about your memories
  • Share your photos and memories with other animal lovers
  • 10. Talk to someone who understands. Not everyone understands the depth of what it feels like to lose an animal who is a family member. If you don’t have friends or family who can support you:

  • Join a pet-loss support group
  • Call a pet-loss hotline
  • Find pet-loss forum online
  • There is a list of resources HERE
  • 11. Buy yourself a squishy stuffed animal. (If you know someone who has just lost a pet, buy them a squishy stuffed animal.) 🙂

  • To some of you, this might sound silly, but no matter how old you are, what gender you are, don’t let your ego tell you it’s not ‘okay’, or make you feel ‘silly.’
  • A stuffed animal acts as a ‘physical surrogate bringing you closer to your fur-baby’s spirit.
  • They can feel the emotion and energy when you hug that surrogate, which not only helps us emotionally, but also opens the door to allowing you to feel your baby’s presence in other ways.
  • Stuffed animals are not just for children anymore, they are for the child inside us who needs the love and comfort only an animal will bring.
  • 12. Don’t get a new pet right away.

    Not only for you, but for your animals who have lost their fur buddies. Take time to work through your grief, and allow them the time to work through theirs. dog-smallUnless an animal is placed in your path, which may be a gift or sign from your departed animal, it is usually better to get to a place of normalcy before bringing a new family member into the house. You will more often find that by doing so, you can create a stronger emotional bond with the new animal without them feeling the pressure of trying to live up to another animal’s memory (whether you think you are doing it consciously or not.)

    I started by saying, remember that your furbaby is always around you. Don’t doubt that. They have left an indelible mark on your heart, as you have on theirs. More often than not, they have become spirit guides for you on the other side, and many times they will have left so that they can assist you from the other side in ways that they may not have been able to assist you here.

    It’s small consolation when we are missing our beloved fur-children, I have always thought that it was some sort of cruel, cosmic, joke that animal’s life spans are so much shorter than our own, but consider this: Think about how many homeless animals there are in the world, suffering, alone, on the streets and in shelters. In a perfect world, we have all of our animals for the full length of their life spans, so if we live the full length of ours, we will have saved at least 5 generations of animals from the torment of animal homelessness.

    Animals come into our lives for a reason. And as one dog in spirit explained the concept to me, we, in human existence, are given the gift of being able to be physical caretakers for these animals who, in turn, are spiritual caretakers for us.

    We certainly miss them. But what better gift could we ask for from them, they, who continue to be our spiritual caretakers, long after our job of physical caretaker for them is over.

    ~~
    Lisa Larson is an animal communicator and reiki master. You can find her at www.pawstalk.net
    ~~

    How to Choose: Animal Communicator v. Pet Psychic

    ~~

    The world of animal communication is experiencing a boom. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, not everyone who takes that jump is qualified to do so.

    More and more the internet has been flooded with people calling themselves “pet psychics”. But what is a pet psychic, and more importantly, what is the difference between a pet psychic and an animal communicator?

    In simplest terms, all animal communicators are pet psychics but not all pet psychics are animal communicators. It’s an important distinction, especially if you are in need of not only receiving information from your animal, but sending information to your animal. This critical difference is important because if an inexperienced person tries to correct a problem without the proper training, they may very easily make a situation worse rather than better.

    This applies to both behavioral and emotional problems. The process between just connecting to an animal psychically, and actually communicating with, them carries stark differences in technique. I, myself, will certainly use some psychic ability within readings, but its really more to fill in the blanks more than anything else. It is not the focus of the reading.

    Don’t get me wrong, there may, indeed, be many pet psychics who are very competent and have vast years of experience, but what many pet psychics fail to understand, those who have never had any formal communication training, is that animals can be very suggestable and it takes great care, training, experience, and understanding the animal psyche, to give suggestions to them without creating more problems than you are trying to solve.

    Animals who are not communicated with properly may increase behavior such as aggression, inappropriate elimination, or even start exhibiting emotional problems because of lack of the proper way to send information.

    Even those speaking to animals in spirit, while not making a situation worse, may not deliver the same types of messages from your pet. People who study the art of animal communication have a certain understanding of animal behavior, and an experience with the types of messages animals in spirit send. In other words, they know what questions to ask, more so than those who have just simply hung up a “pet psychic” shingle.

    Think of it this way, would you want your primary care doctor to do open heart surgery on you? Of course not. It’s a specialized field. So is animal communication. When you want to speak with loved ones on the other side, you want a true medium who has studied the craft, not a person who may be a good psychic but has no mediumship experience. When you want to get information about your life, you want an experienced psychic, not someone whose only psychic experience is stocking the bookshelves at a psychic book shop.

    It stands to reason, then, that when choosing someone to assist with your pet, that innocent family member who trusts and depends on only you, you want to choose a qualified animal communicator, who has studied the art specifically, understands the dangers and the pitfalls, and has had years of experience speaking with animals, lots of them, rather than someone who has really just jumped on the “pet psychic” bandwagon, to add money to their coffers, because it’s now the “in” thing.

    So when choosing someone to assist you with your pet, here are some questions to ask:

    Do you ‘communicate with animals’ or ‘read’ them?

    Are most of your sessions with animals or with humans?

    Who did you study with?

    How long did you practice before going professional and how many animals per week or per month did you talk to in that time? (I would look at around 3 years as a minimum amount of time to practice extensively before going professional.)

    How long have you been speaking with animals professionally?

    How many animal sessions do you perform per week/ per day?

    Is this a “full time” profession? How many hours per day do you work specifically on your business? (This does not necessarily connote an ineffective animal communicator if they are not full-time, some people are just getting on their feet, but it does give you an idea of how much experience they have.)

    Do you have a website and testimonials to look at? (People taking this seriously should have a dedicated professional looking website to help people understand what animal communication is and how it works.)

    These questions will not guarantee you a good communication, but with them you should have a more clear idea of who to hire and who not to hire when wanting to communicate with your most precious fur-dependent, be it in body or in spirit. And why would you want any less than the most experienced among them?

    For more information on animal communication please visit Pawstalk Animal Communication & Reiki.

    Symbolism of Lion, Witch & Wardrobe

    The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
    Allegory of Christ & the Symbolism Within

    What do a talking lion, who is both feared and revered; an evil witch, who casts spells; and a wardrobe, in an otherwise empty room all have in common? An unlikely combination? AslanYes, but they do have something in common: they are all part of a literary allegory written by C.S. Lewis (a born again Christian and literary scholar who wrote many such Christian allegories) and serve as symbols relating to enlightenment and the coming of and rebirth of Christ.

    THE CRUCIFIXION
    One does not necessarily need to be Christian to recognize the allegory in the story, “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe;” One need only have the most basic understanding of the story of Christ. In fact, Lewis is very blatant, in one respect, as to his religious intent in the fact that four of the major characters, the children, are called the sons and daughters of Adam & Eve. This sets up foreshadowing for later points in the story in that traditional Christianity views Adam & Eve as the original sinners; therefore, their sons and daughters carried those sins for which Christ eventually died for.

    The story’s metaphor of Christ dying for their sins is not quite as linguistically blatant, but certainly clear. The exposition for this begins after Aslan the Lion, the Christ figure, speaks privately with the White Witch, who symbolizes the Devil, or the embodiment of evil, to negotiate the release of Edmund, one of the children who had turned himself over to the White Witch. Edmund symbolizes the sins of man. After this conversation, Aslan becomes very quiet and solemn. What follows is his slow and somber walk up the hill to the Stone Table. This is representative of Jesus’ walk through the streets of town carrying his cross and being followed by his disciples, just as Aslan was escorted by characters Lucy and Susan.

    Once arriving at the Stone Table, Aslan, courageous and majestic (the traditional connotations of a lion) is tightly bound with ropes and muzzle, and beaten unmercifully. Aslan has the capability to resist, but doesn’t because of his code of honor and is killed while Lucy and Susan watch. This is the metaphor for Jesus dying for the ‘sins of man.’ The fact that Aslan is killed on the Stone Table is significant because the Stone Table, with it’s carvings of an unknown language, symbolizes the Ten Commandments. Aslan The fact that the White Witch and her followers, representing the Romans, killed Aslan on this table signifies the breaking of those commandments, particularly that of “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” It is also interesting to note here that in this story, as in much of children’s literature, the evil force is represented as a witch. In the days of Jesus, the Romans worshiped pagan Gods. Witches are self-proclaimed Pagans, and even though the Gods that Wiccans follow may be different than those that the Romans followed, it makes a statement on the religious aspect of many of these stories: the statement that in Christian belief, Pagans killed Jesus, therefore, all Pagans are evil. This is a stigma that, to this day, those of the Wiccan faith carry.

    This allegory continues with Lucy and Susan crying, as did Jesus’ disciples. They go to a lifeless Aslan and remove the muzzle and the ropes (after being gnawed away at by the mice). This symbolizes the disciples preparing Jesus’ body for burial. In their grief, they turn and watch the sunrise, representative of a New Day (Easter). At that moment they hear a loud sound and turn to see the Stone Table broken and Aslan is gone. This represents the bolder of the tomb being moved and Jesus rising from the dead. Aslan goes on to ‘save’ his disciples by removing them from under the witch’s spell.

    THE SEARCH FOR ENLIGHTENMENT
    The basic theme that this story follows is that of the battle between good and evil. This is shown, not only in the death of Aslan and the ensuing battle, but throughout the story, on other expeditionary levels as well.

    The children, who are symbols of Jesus’ disciples, stumble into the world of Narnia, quite by accident, through a wardrobe in the house they are staying in. The house is huge with numerous hallways and empty rooms. This represents the confusion and searching that people experience before “finding God.” In fact, at the beginning of the story, there is a segment alluding to their ensuing, if not sub-conscious, future journey. They hear a noise and all make comments on what it might be.

    “It’s and owl,” said Peter. “This is going to be a wonderful place for birds…Did you see those mountains as we came along? And the woods? There might be eagles. There might be stags. There’ll be hawks.” “Badgers,” said Lucy. “Foxes,” said Edmund. “Rabbits,” said Susan. (Lewis, 1950, pg. 3, ¶5.)The significance of these symbols are as follows:

    Owls are associated with being wise and they traditionally sit “in the East, the place of illumination.” (Sams, et al., 1988, pg. 121, ¶1.) This relates to the fact that in several areas of the book, once the children met Aslan, they looked to the East. This symbolizes their illumination and enlightenment through their association with Aslan.

    Birds represent freedom; the freedom from evil the children strive for and eventually attain.
    Mountains represent attainment; attainment of their goals of enlightenment.
    Woods are made up of trees. This stands for the tree of knowledge and the protection the children receive.
    Eagles represent spirit; the spiritual association and guidance they seek.
    Stags represent strength, endurance and stamina; the things that the children need to overcome evil.
    Hawks are thought of to be messengers; this represents the message of Christianity.
    Badgers represent aggressiveness; the aggressiveness needed to stand up for conviction.
    Foxes represent camouflage; in camouflage they take flight from persecution.
    Rabbits represent fear; the fear that they will be overtaken by evil.

    This may be an appropriate place, also, to mention the significance of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Beavers are builders. The fact that the Beavers take the children under their wings, so to speak, is symbolic of the fact that the children are building character by taking this journey to God and spiritual enlightenment.

    The first plot point for the children is the decision to explore the house, which ultimately leads them to the wardrobe. This wardrobe stands for the gateway to their enlightenment, as symbolized by the lamppost upon their arrival in Narnia.

    The characters of Lucy and Edmund are more major, hence, more complex than the other two. We know that Lucy is the youngest, so it is fitting that she is the first to enter the wardrobe because younger children are more trusting and believing. And by Edmund lying about his first individual adventure, we find he is dishonest and self-absorbed, seeking only his own immediate gratification. All of the children are dynamic characters; their adventures lead them to maturity and a spiritual awakening. However; Edmund (symbolizing Judas) is the most dynamic of the four in that he is the one who “loses his way” and betrays the others by going to the castle of the White Witch, then finding his way to “salvation,” so to speak.

    The other theme that is very evident here, is that of the monomyth. One aspect in which this is evident is in the use of the moon as a symbol. Not only is the moon circular in image, to this day it is widely regarded as cyclical. It is interesting to note that the moon doesn’t make it’s first appearance until some time into the story. Once it does, the frequency of it’s appearance, in reference, is directly related to unfolding events. The more fervent the events, the greater the reference to the moon.

    Another indication of the monomyth is the use of the seasons. The fact that it is always winter (without Christmas) in Narnia, then turns to spring when Aslan arrives, symbolizes not only the state of mind of the region and characters, but the rebirth of a new day. In a way, it is also a foreshadowing to the rebirth of Aslan after his death. In fact, the scene in which Kris Kringle arrives, prior to the appearance of Aslan, and bestows gifts upon the children, is symbolic of the three wise men bearing gifts for Jesus at the time of his birth, as well as that things are changing. Additionally, the use of seasons make the comment that before the birth of Jesus, life was dark and dreary because evil ruled the world. It was not until his coming that people became enlightened (springtime) by his example, guidance and teaching. Such is the role of Aslan.

    So we can see, although Lewis succeeded in writing a highly successful and fantastic tale for the enjoyment of children, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is much more. It is a highly multi-dimensional tale that weaves Lewis’s own personal convictions into a tale of adventure and insight that can be appreciated by adults as well. Where children may learn these intended messages on a sub-conscious level, adults can look at Aslan, the Christ figure who died for other’s sins; the White Witch, the embodiment of evil that must be overcome; the wardrobe, the gate to a new world; the lamppost, a guide to enlightenment; the animals, representing the qualities needed to overcome adversity and grow with change; and at the cycle of life, represented by the light of the moon and the change of the seasons.

    Finally, although all who read this book may not believe in the teachings of Christ, the theme of good vs. evil stands as the mountains people must climb, and the choices they must make.

    REFERENCES

    Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: NY, 1950.

    Sams, Jamie, and Carson David. Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Animals Through the Ways of Animals. Santa Fe: New Mexico, 1988.

    Adopting a New Kitty

    HOW TO INTRODUCE A NEW CAT INTO A HOUSEHOLD WITH ANOTHER CAT

    Many people come to me with the question of how to introduce a new cat into the household where there is an existing cat. It’s a time that can determine, from the outset, how your cats will perceive each other and get along for the rest of their lives, so it’s critical that you understand how to do it before you ever bring your new little one into the house.

    PLAN ON TWO WEEKS OF SEPARATION
    First of all, many people think they can bring them in and keep them separated for a day, and all will be well. This is NOT the case. 1 day, 2 days, even 3 days is way too short of a time. The last time we did it, I think the vet recommendation was a good two weeks. That’s hard, but you need to do it way longer than a day. For one thing, you need to make sure that the kitten has no hidden communicable diseases that might show up.

    GIVE THEM FREQUENT ‘SNIFF TIME’
    You need to give them plenty of time, day after day, and night after night, to sniff each other under the door and get accustomed to each other’s smells and the idea that this is not temporary, but this is someone they’re going to smell every day, every day. This is especially important for the established cat.

    LET THEM SEE EACH OTHER FROM A DISTANCE
    Once you’ve given them a few days to do that, start bringing the kitten out by hand, one person holding the kitten on the floor, the other the cat and let them look at each other from a distance. Do this several times throughout the day. After that when you do it, let them get a little closer and closer, still holding them, until you can let them get close enough without hissing to smell each other. (Again, this is more for the cat than the kitten.) (If you live alone, either bring in a friend to help you, or just hold the new cat and let the established cat take his or her time coming up to sniff.)

    GIVE NEW CAT SHORT PERIODS OF ‘INVESTIGATION’
    Once that has been accomplished, start letting the kitten out to run around, for very short periods of time, when you are home and can watch over things. Let the kitten investigate, by this time, hopefully, the cat will look at it with curiosity, rather than jealousy and animosity. Again, do this several times throughout the day, extending the number of times/day every day, and the length of time out as you go. Doing it this way, you are increasing the chances of their getting along. The transition has been gradual and monitored.

    GIVE EACH PLENTY OF INDIVIDUAL TIME
    Make sure during that time that you spend plenty of time in the bathroom (or a spare bedroom if you have one — that’s even better) with the kitten giving it plenty of love and attention, as well as giving extra attention to the established cat. If there are two of you, don’t both go in to spend time with the kitten together. Each needs to feel loved, not excluded.

    USE YOUR INTUITION TO DETERMINE WHEN THE NEXT STEP IS
    Remember that there is no “set time limit” to do this. It will depend on how quickly the cats (or cat) adjust. You don’t want to rush it. You need to use your intuition and be highly conscious of their emotions and reactions and let those guide the time apart or together, rather than having any kind of set time limit. For instance, if you feel in a shorter time that they are doing well and can take more time or more contact, move closer or to the next step. But if the cat is still hissing and such, you need to move more slowly.

    I think our last two it was a week and a half before the kitten was out and about a large amount of the time, maybe two weeks by the time he started sleeping with us, maybe a little less. But it’s really important to take as much time as it takes so they have a good relationship.

    I remember it being really hard to try to take so long, the kitten really wanted out of the bedroom, but our cats are *great* friends now, so it was worth it.

    Introducing cats takes a lot of effort, care and being in tune with how the animals are reacting and feeling. Make sure you plan out, in advance, how you will introduce them and you can foster a long and loving relationship between them. Congrats on your new addition. May you all live together in peace, harmony and happiness for many, many years to come.

    Spiritual Lessons of Remodeling

    CREATING THE VISION, AND KNOWING IT WON’T BE PERFECT

    Perhaps this is a little late in the process, but as I sit here in my bedroom, hunkered down with my cats, loud power tools – very loud power tools – buzzing and vibrating right outside of the door .. I thought this would be the appropriate time to start some blog posts on ‘The Spiritual Lessons of Remodeling.”

    Okay, I know you must be saying, “There is nothing spiritual about remodeling.” This is especially true if you’ve ever been through one. But if you have been through one, you also know what a challenging experience it is, and if we are not learning our spiritual lessons from the challenges in our lives, where are we learning them?

    I only wish that I had some insight before I started this journey, to know what to expect. If there’s one thing I’m understanding today, now that I am seeing the pantry is way bigger than I envisioned, and the counter way smaller, is that we tend to fall into the idea that since we are making the decisions and doing it ‘our way’, it will be perfect. Remodeling tip #1. It will not.

    The spiritual lesson here is acceptance. The entirety of your remodel is not going to be perfect, just as the entirety of your life is not perfect. You designed your new kitchen (or bathroom, or living room or whatever) just as you designed your life.

    But as we look at our lives we can choose to focus on the points that aren’t perfect, and obsess about how this little thing about our job or our spouse or our social life is not perfect, or we can choose to look at the things that are.

    We make mistakes. We make decisions we regret that can’t be changed …. windows and doors can’t be returned once ordered, cabinets can’t be made smaller once the doors are ordered (unless you have a heck of a lot of money and don’t care how many more weeks your refrigerator will be sitting in the living room…), just like we can’t go back to a relationship we left or a house we sold. You can never go back. And even if you did, it would never be the same. The best we can do is visualize how we see the remodel of our lives, and know that not everything is going to be perfect, no matter how hard we try. Some things we catch in time, other things we don’t.

    For those things we don’t, we learn lessons. In shamanic terms, if I were to look at my pantry as a symbol, I can look at it as it’s taking up too much space and looks odd. OTOH, if I look at food as a symbol of knowledge, then there is just that much more capacity to store all of the things that I’ve yet to learn in my life, and a place where I can store all of the blessings that I know I have in my life, so that when the noise gets a little too loud,and the walls shake a little too much, I know right where to go to open the pantry and count my blessings.

    Remodeling Tip:
    — You may have designed it, it doesn’t mean it will be perfect. Don’t expect it to be.
    Lesson:
    — Accept the things that can no longer be changed. Focus on the things that did turn out right. Look at the beauty in the ‘right’ decisions.

    A Time For Reflection

    With the death of Osama bin Laden this past week, I thought it a time for reflection on the events that inalterably changed our nation almost a decade ago.

    Mr. Caat had a childhood friend perish on that day, a Port Authority Officer by the name of “Bruce Reynolds“, who gave his life trying to save others.

    I have been fortunate enough to connect with him and his mother, who is now also in spirit, on a couple of different occasions, while doing mediumship readings.

    This poem is for him and all those like him.

    IN MEMORY OF HEROS

    I didn’t know him,
    But I know his name.
    Like the thousands of other names on the list,
    He had a story.

    He cared, he loved,
    He laughed, he cried.
    He was the innocent child,
    Who grew up to be a man;
    A man respected, a man admired,
    Who didn’t have to go, but did.

    In the smoke and haze,
    One by one,
    He helped them out of disaster,
    Back to safety in the arms of their families,
    Then turned around to do it all over again.

    His father planted flowers in a garden for him,
    He hopes they will bloom by spring.
    It would be appropriate for this child,
    Turned into a man,
    And that man, who turned into a hero.

    For us, who never knew him,
    But heard the stories of his youth,
    Our hearts cry, for this man turned hero,
    And all those like him,
    Who died in the line of duty,
    On one September day…
    One very dark September day…

    In the year so many are relieved to have passed,
    The year that changed the world…
    The year that changed our lives…
    The year that took so many heros…
    Next spring, a flower will bloom.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In Memory of Bruce Reynolds,
    Port Authority Police Officer, NY, NJ. —
    And all those who also perished on that fateful day.

    Lisa Larson © 2002

    The Pelican

    A Surfer’s Understanding of Animal Communication
    By Lawrence Larson, Esq.

    I just finished riding a small, waist high wave, that collapsed in front of me. My attention was diverted from the wave, to a pelican about a hundred yards north of me. pelicanThe bird rested in the water about 25 yards directly seaward from the end of a small Northern San Diego County jetty. One of the Pelican’s wings was stretched out from his body, at a 45 degree angle. It was in a deformed position, as if it had been broken or disjointed.

    It was early in the morning and the sun was just squinting over the hills, which were awaking and exhaling an autumn chaparral scent. I became entranced by the whole scene. The ocean stood motionless, a dark limpid ink shade with the texture of grey-blue tiffany glass. The sea’s surface was imbued by chimeric shadows which made me altogether unsure of what I was seeing. As I stared, trying to account for the vision, there was a feeling of disconnect, the creamy adorned feathers of the pelican, it’s disfigured stance, contrasted eerily with the darkness of the ocean.

    Near me, there was one other surfer in the water. Beyond him, outside of the line-up, was akayaker paddling through the bay, I watched the pelican for another minute in his haunting pose. The realization hit me. A shore fisherman on the jetty had hooked the pelican on the wing and was holding the line taut, extending the bird’s wing. I yelled about three times, each time more insistently for the fisherman to cut the line. Reluctantly, he reached for his sheathed knife and cut the fishing line. The birds wing fell, and laid straight out from its body on the top of the water.

    I began to paddle in the direction of the bird. The other surfer, who noted that he was a biologist, warned me about getting too close to the pelican, as they are fierce fighters and their prehistoric beaks have evolved into formidable defensive tools. The kayaker sensing my curiosity, paddled in a swing cadence toward the animal. His swifter water vehicle neared the pelican before I did. As he cautiously approached the distressed bird, the pelican ranted and employed his strong neck and long beak as a weapon to threaten and fend off the interloping kayaker. The outburst sent the kayaker quickly back to the bay. I knew the pelican lashed out because he was terrified. He did not know why he was maimed. The kayaker and myself were the only people near him and it was a small leap in reason for him to think we were the marauders intent on his capture.

    As I approached the magnificent creature, I slowly, smoothly and quietly slid off the surface of my surfboard, trying to leave the water and the pelican undisturbed. I slowly dog paddled toward him, talking in a calm voice. In Hawaii, we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha. As I got within a few feet of this feral being, I looked at him and said “Aloha”. When one is graced with Aloha they are blessed with the divine light or in Hawaiian “Mana”. Mana is the abiding Hawaiian faith in the sacred divinity of man and nature. I came to the point were my face was a foot away from his face and I was looking straight up at this magnificent creature of God. I was treading water in the middle of the ocean, my surfboard a distant object bobbing to the undulations of the ocean. I was in his world, his domain and his imperial posture said as much. Again i said “ Aloha”. With that simple word Aloha, I assured him that I was a fellow traveler of the ocean and the divinity in me saw the divinity in him.

    I have never had the patience, skill or manual dexterity to untangle wires, strings and things. Divinely guided this time, things were different. I cradled the wing in my hands and with the transcendent illumination, I decoded the hopelessly tangled fishing wire. It took about ten minutes to free the bird. The beautiful animal never took his gaze off me. He never flinched his wing. After his liberation, he slowly drew his wing into his body and even more intently fixed his eyes on me. Renewed, he slowly turned his body toward the sea, He swam about twenty feet without spreading his wings. He turned, looked at me and whispered “ Aloha my friend”. The Phoenix, renewed and restored; he spread his wings and in a magnificent arch, gracefully took flight into the heavy salt air. As he flew away, I wished him the same Aloha. The pelican was gone. The fleeting episode: a memory.

    Pelican landing image: (C)2006-Stephane TOUGARD. Permission is granted for copy and use.