Energy vampires

I once blogged about ‘emotional vampires’, but have recently come across the term, ‘energy vampire’, which is a different variation. They are sometimes also known as ‘psychic vampires’. Energy vamps as the term suggests siphon your energy.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

The fiasco at work I blogged about exhausted me so much I took half the day off and stayed in bed past noon. Then I received an email from one of my bosses who made the mess with the report which I had to fix, saying that she is glad we ‘care so much’ and is now ‘reinvigorated’, without admitting a single fault.

As I read it, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and signalled: ENERGY VAMPIRE! I should have picked it up earlier. She drains everyone around her, and then gets the energy to carry on screwing up so she can drain us some more!

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Melancholy baby

swords09 I have been weepy all week.

There. I’ve come out and said it. Ordinarily, I’d wait to process the pain before confessing to it, my Capricorn moon preferring to hide in the basement until it passes, but I have been bolstered by the courage of those like the inimitable Lucy Looking Upward to bear their souls and share mine.

Put it down to the yod in my chart, the Hades Moon, the current Pluto transits, or the once-in-a-lifetime Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction (personally, I prefer Lucy’s more colourful ‘Clusterfuck of Doom’), it doesn’t really matter. In reality, it’s probably all the above exerting tremendous pressure on my 7th house Venus in Cancer.

We are reminded constantly of the message behind this rare triple conjunction: wounding, awareness, healing, and so on. Personally, I wouldn’t mind the occasional dose of Neptunian anaesthesia from time to time. I know I’m supposed to take lessons from it, I know I am being asked to re-assess what I value, I just wish it didn’t have to feel like a botched bikini wax, metaphorically speaking.

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Love and possession

As the Sun (self/ego) opposes Uranus (unpredictability, sudden change) today, bringing to light our need for, and often also our fear of, change, we are given a little taste of the greater struggle to come when Saturn (the planet of discipline, constriction, and conservatism) opposes Uranus on the 4th of November later this year. Yes, Election Day USA — it’ll be interesting to see who wins the tug of war, Saturn (establishment) or Uranus (change), and who/what gets split/torn in the tussle.

But I’m not talking about that today. As the Mercury-Venus-Mars stellium in Libra (relationships, balance) trines Chiron (healing with awareness) and the North Node (collective future) in Aquarius (humanitarianism, individuality), I am prompted to consider the easy substitution, or confusion (Neptune’s there too), of love with possession. Aquarius is, significantly, ruled by Uranus and Saturn, so the Aquarian paradox (of individuality and collectiveness, innovation and fixity) is going to make the Libra work to find a balance. Not easy, but worth trying.

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Recycling toxicity

I wondered a little while ago about getting upset with people who choose to live emotional toxic waste dumps. Last night, my unconscious must’ve been trying to tell me something because the word ‘tonglen‘ popped up in my dream. I know very little about Tibetan Buddhism but I do know a little bit about tonglen, having once made the acquaintance of a woman who was trying to put it in practice.

The core of tonglen practice, as described here, is by ‘breathing in other’s pain so they can be well and have more space to relax and open, and breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever you feel would bring them relief and happiness’, literally using your lungs and heart and body in compassion to purify the negative energy and convert it to joy and happiness.

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The truth of attachments, or attachments to Truth?

Knight of Swords I woke up this morning with an inner agitation that began with yesterday’s encounter and I knew I’d taken the bait, against my better judgement, once again. It wasn’t enough to sit with, feel, and name my anger. It was necessary to act on it. I wasn’t sufficiently present.

This morning, I didn’t have to pull a card from the tarot to know that the card for the moment is the Knight of Swords (though I did). Biddy delineates the Knight of Swords as:

When we are possessed by a pure idea, and wish to manifest that idea in reality, we are often so blinded by the desire for its fulfillment that we fail to see the difficulties we may encounter or the consequences for which we may be responsible. The Knight of Swords is a powerful figure full of life and energy who needs to be balanced with a realization of responsibility and compassion. Pure intellectual energy is a double-edged sword which has the potential for either great good or great evil, and this power must be tempered with feeling and spirit so it doesn’t create pain for ourselves or others.

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Sitting with desire I

The cause of suffering, it is often cited of Buddhism, is desire, attachment or craving. We suffer because we crave what we (think we) don’t have. And we crave any number of things, both tangible and ephemeral — ice cream, a bigger house, a bigger car, someone to love us, we may even crave a more fulfilling spiritual life.

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8 for ’08

I’m excerpting Judith Gayle’s ‘Big 8′ for 2008 here. Couldn’t have hoped to say it better myself.

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Stand-by / by-stand

Can we stop our buttons being pushed? Meditation helps me catch myself out before the situation escalates, but can I stop the button being pushed in the first place? We can’t stop the push-er, but can we stop being the pushed? Can we drain the power and render the button inert? Can we be by-standers to our anger and annoyance instead of stand-by-ers?

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Like, unlike, dislike

Aversion, I am learning more and more, is not the opposite of attachment but is attachment in extremis. One is averse when one becomes attached to that which one is not averse to. The way I am imagining it is like a primary school lesson in magnetism — opposite poles attract, and like poles repel. Aversion appears to repel attachment because it really is the same thing on a deep level. And when one becomes aware of being averse to aversion, it’s time to write a blog post …

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Post retreat pond

I got back from a weekend retreat in a lovely part of the country this afternoon. The meditation was at times wonderful, at times painful, at times plain tedious, but no doubt always useful. It even brought some clarity to some questions I’ve been working on in the thesis.

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Knowing when to give up, Part III

Parts I and II.

Serendipity is wonderful thing. Our Zen group had a visit from a teacher today and somehow the things he started talking about made me think about what I was going to post here though I never quite got to raise it in the discussion.

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Headless chicken

Whoever invented the expression got the right idea. I’ve spent the past week jumping through administrative hoops trying to get my thesis submitted and examined. The UK-wide industrial action boycotting examinations and assessment seems to be more inconveniencing than effective, but I’m much less reactive than I might’ve been, even though the outcome has a direct impact on my current job, and I’m realising that people are using the action to retroactively justify not doing tasks which were to have been completed way before the action was instigated.

These days I’ve figured that things outside of my control just have to run their course. If I’m caught in the maelstorm, I can either glide along with the current and hope to land safely, or try to fight it and risk crackng my skull. Anyway, I’ve done my bit. Written the thing, and sent it in. The rest will have to take care of itself. If the examination is delayed and my current visa runs out and I have to leave the country before coming back in again, fine. Being a foreigner caught in an administrative tangle has made me appreciate the value of citizenship though; there’s something vaguely mystical about how a piece of paper can be a pathway or a barrier to employment, security and social services.

As a result, though, I am very grateful for the opportunity to re-visit old friends and relationships. I am only now realising I have more friends than I thought I did! This is hard for me to say since I always feel alone even in a crowd, but sometimes you need to have gone away to be able to see what you never realised you had. That’s the benefit of detachment, I suppose. What I’m going to try and cultivate is that awareness and detachment in the present, not merely in hindsight.

I wonder how my aloe vera is doing?

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