Divine Mission

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photo courtesy A.K. Brill

 

 

Her mission was to restore the French Monarchy. She cut her hair short and dressed in men’s clothes as an act of rebellion. As a young woman she could not pull off this mission unless she presented herself as a man. St. Catherine and Archangel Michael presented themselves to her at 17. They told her she would rescue the Dauphin, Charles VII, the king of France who was in English custody after England invaded France. She was a warrior in the French army triumphantly leading the charge at the battle of Orléans. January 6 marks the 606th anniversaire of Jeanne D’Arc, Saint Joan of Arc.
January 6 is also the Twelfth Day of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings or wise men arrived to see the baby Jesus. So during Joan of Arc’s journey, she was aware that she was born on the Epiphany – an epiphany she did not take lightly. She believed there was great significance in this shared date and a definite connection with Jesus. They were both leaders and both were captured and eventually put to death – for a mission that they believed was divinely guided. However, Jesus died to save mankind’s sins. Joan died because of her perceived sins: hearing voices of the Archangel Michael and St. Catherine, believing in what she was born to do, dressing as a man to rescue and restore France’s king to his place on the throne and refusing to give in to the Catholic church’s demands.
She was handed over to the English, branded a heretic, cruelly treated in a medieval prison and finally burned alive at the stake – which was prophesied by the voices that had led her the two years since beginning her divine mission. Only her pure heart remained unburned.
Everyday our angels, the archangels, the saints and God (the Creator, the Universe, Source, or whatever God is to you) speak to us. They are answering our prayers or giving us clues to what is next for us on our path or what our purpose is. Are we listening? Or are we waiting for an epiphany?

 

 

Astrology

20170701_211602.jpgI suppose my jumping off point into metaphysics was astrology. As an adolescent I was intrigued and completely fascinated with horoscopes and made a point to commit to memory all the signs and their characteristics, as well as their constellations.  I see a lot of astrology mentions this time of year, not surprisingly, as we are coming upon the season of prognosticators who will be predicting what may be happening in 2018. Let’s hope that it is a better year all around.

“What’s your sign?” was the classic pick up line a few decades ago. When I was learning to be a radio broadcaster,  a fellow classmate asked me if I was  a Gemini, not because of my chosen communications profession (Gemini’s ruling planet Mercury rules communication), rather she said that I was energetic and impulsive. She assumed that I was a Gemini.  She was very surprised that I was not a Gemini and insisted that I must be, the description of the Twins fit me.

However, she wasn’t  entirely wrong. Many years later during my self-education of numerology I discovered that my life path is in fact Gemini. I have learned that our life path zodiac signs are almost as influential as the zodiac sign we were born into.

Although I don’t claim to be a numerologist, or an astrologist, I did learn about numerology from the Astrologist Linda Goodman whose books ‘Star Signs’ and ‘Love Signs’ were very popular. (Her books are still sold in book stores). She says  the name we are given at birth – the letters in our name correspond to a numerical alphabet; the day in the month that we are born,  and our birth date added up as a mathematical equation. All of these numbers and our astrological sign combined represent who we are. So, are we just a group  of numbers?

For example: the day of the month that I was born is 12. 1+2=3. The number 3 corresponds to the sign of  Sagittarius. A Fire sign.

The numbers of the name I was given at birth add up to 33. 3+3=6. According to Linda Goodman the number 6 is the number assigned to the signs Libra and Taurus because they have the same ruling planet, Venus.  So, Air and /or Earth.

Next my life path numbers add up to 23. 2+3=5. The number 5 corresponds to Gemini,, an Air sign.  Gemini represents communication, movement, and intellect.

It was Edgar Cayce who said that we chose the astrological sign that we wanted to be born into for certain lessons and experiences that we wanted to have here on planet Earth.  Everything is planned meticulously: our name, date and time of birth, as well as who we choose to help us on this journey and where our experiences will take place, et cetera.

Apparently,  I chose to be born into the zodiac sign of Capricorn.

 

 

 

Wishes Can Come True

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
~ Walt Disney

 

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*photo by Leslie Sheridan

 

Keep moving forward. I first heard these words spoken in the Disney animated movie, ‘Meet the Robinson’s’ 10 years ago. I now know that these words were prophetic for me. A year and a half later a major life change happened. Alas, I did not remember these three words at the time. It might have helped me a little if I did. Change is constantly happening but I’ve been feeling it with such intensity these last few years. And so, I’m reminded of those three words rather frequently now. They’ve become my mantra.
Keep moving forward. Logically, what other choice do we have? I guess we could stay where we are but nothing new or better would come of it. Although it’s easy to get into a rut, getting out of it might be something like struggling to get out of quicksand. My point is if we choose to dwell on being sad, negative or fearful, three guesses where we’re going to end up – right where we are.
However, if we accentuate the positive or day dream about what we want our future to be, that is, use our magical powers of manifestation, we are moving forward.
This time of the year, as we get closer to Halloween and Samhain (SOW-in, the Celtic New Year) the veil is thinnest. Which means our dreams and wishes can manifest quicker. If we stand still we might miss an opportunity. Let’s keep moving forward towards positive change, towards our dreams despite the fear or worry; let the forward motion get momentum.
It’s the Law of Attraction. What we think about, talk about and do is what we are manifesting right now. What we set our minds to whether it is a career, relationship, a new house or anything we desire will come to us. (If you need a visual to help you get started – vision boards are great!)
Walt Disney was the master of change and positivity. He believed in magic. He believed in his dreams. Let’s all make some of our own magic and keep moving forward towards our dreams.  

Hey, Jealousy

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One of my first visits to a psychic about 25 years ago revealed a past life situation. She told me that I had difficulties making friends with women because in another life – she didn’t say which one – a young woman that I knew then (and was in my current life at the time of the reading) was jealous of me because she liked my brother – in that life – and she wanted to be with him. So, she cursed me that I would never again make lasting friends. I wish that I had known then to ask the psychic for more details. It sounded bizarre and hard to believe, but I was having difficulties with a former roommate around that time. Could she be the young woman this psychic was referring to?
Curiosity got the better of me. Different scenarios played out in my head. My first guess was that this young woman – in that former lifetime – practiced witchcraft. Or this went back centuries before the religious persecutions in the medieval era when, before Christianity forced many people to give up their religious beliefs, all kinds of pagan ceremonies and rituals were the norm. Or perhaps it was after this time, where she clandestinely performed a type of ritual to keep me friendless for all eternity. It really did sound like a story straight from the Merlin era.

 
In the event that medieval curses are not real, jealousy, a fear -based emotion, is the act of being resentful of a rival or being envious, and acting hostile over someone else – is defined as a curse.
I am not a jealous person although my humble beginnings may have given me many good reasons to be envious or covetous of others’ lives. I grew up poor, had hand me down clothes and I did not think myself a pretty girl. I had wavy hair when all the other girls had straight hair; my teeth weren’t straight. I couldn’t do all the things or go to the places that the other kids did or went. Occasionally, I did when it was affordable to do so. I never finished college; I never dated the cute boy in school; never went to the prom.
Why would anyone be jealous of me? It’s okay if you don’t like me. I can live with that.
Jealousy is debilitating to friendships and relationships. It comes from a feeling of being insecure and being envious of someone else’s accomplishments and advantages, because they have something you want. And, it’s poisonous to the body. Yes, jealousy is toxic. And not just for the friendship or relationship, but for the sender’s body. Jealousy is a low vibrational energy. It’s dense energy that can be felt in many places in the body including the heart and solar plexus.
Planet Earth is hard enough to live on sometimes, so let’s be compassionate to one another – let’s open up our hearts! Also, wish lists and positive affirmations are great for manifesting what it is we do want. It works!

 

Taking Back My Power

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The following is one of my past life recalls; names purposely omitted.

 I see a man and a woman in a wooden alcove – is it passion or violence?  Violence. The person I see is a man in that life – who is a woman in my current life. The man is above me. We’re almost hidden but no one thinks anything of it. ‘She’ is speaking low telling me how to behave – to not scream. I’m fearful but listening. This person has power over me. It’s something I have to give in to. He does it to every woman.

I try to find out what country and era I’m in. The Mediterranean area comes to me, possibly during the Renaissance era. He resembles a monk with a brown robe that falls down to his mid-calf, I can see his trousers – or whatever they’re called in that time. He has a bald spot on his head and carries a stick.  I think he’s a shepherd, although, I see him using the stick to push through the water as he walks away.

I ask my spirit guide who is with me why this is happening.  I get “He has no power and he wants it.” Women are powerless in this time and it’s easy for him to take advantage of them. He has hiding spots and a lot of time.

For nearly five years a woman that I had worked with, who abused her power over and over, was abusive to me, as well as to many other women that I worked with.  I would wake up in the morning and my first thought was of her and how I dreaded seeing her. It was toxic. I have felt fear and anger, even when I was no longer working with her, that I couldn’t place and could not let go of. I knew there was something that I had to overcome. I had thought it was realizing that I was not a victim and on a full moon I released that I was no longer a victim. It helped for a time. But the fear and anger persisted.  I knew that I needed to forgive and forget. So I did that. Eventually, the fear dissipated, but the anger was still ever present. I thought about professional therapy; therapy, I thought, would take too long to rid the anger that was swirling inside of me. I wanted to release it with a magic wand.  Instead, I prayed for a solution.

That solution came during this past life recall at a group meditation. That night I thoughtfully chose a question, an intention to understand my situation. I wrote it down and slipped into meditation. As I have shared in previous essays, our souls choose all of our relationships, lessons, and experiences before we reincarnate into another life here on earth. We choose who we want to learn our lessons with; we choose our family and other life lessons that we want to work on in this human journey. We also can choose to work out a karmic contract which is what I had with this woman.

That night in meditation I healed myself. There were no tears, only joy, as my metal shackles unlocked, freeing me from my contract. Finally, the karma was balanced.

No one has power over us. We only think they do. It is an illusion if we could only see it that way. But fear, which is also an illusion, is something that we’ve all learned to allow to control us, to have power over us, life after life after life. Until we learn to break that cycle. And we all have the power to do that.

A Billboard Sign

 

It’s time to take the next step.

These words were part of a billboard advertisement on a train platform that I saw while on my way to Manhattan. When I read the words I knew in an instant that I was meant to see them and they were meant for me. Not that every sign or billboard has to mean something to everyone, but when the universe has a message for us, one that has been given to us more than once — then sometimes a billboard is needed.

 

 

The words were a stark reminder of an experience that I had a year ago; climbing a fire tower in a forest preserve in upstate New York.  I recall how I had been looking forward to climbing the tower to get birds-eye photographs from the top of the tower on that early spring day. And, I recall how I couldn’t make it past the first set of steps. Everyone around me kept saying to just look straight up.  After many tearful pleas of “I can’t”, I eventually made it up another set of steps and then another – just to the height where I needed to be to get the pictures I wanted. They weren’t the shots I’d hoped for, but they would do.

Shortly after that day there was a moment in a shopping mall when I had that same fear of taking the next step, but this was going down an escalator. I felt sheer panic, as if I would fall rather than allow the escalator to gently deliver me to the first floor. Perhaps I didn’t trust the process? I did eventually get down after about half an hour. It took a while for me to go down other escalators after that day, as well. Eventually, the fear wore off when I acknowledged the message. The message was about taking more control of my life; being unafraid to take the next step.

So, on that early spring day that I saw the billboard on the train platform, I thought that I’d come a long way in the last year – on different levels. I felt like I had conquered a giant. I am a warrior goddess slaying her fear.  Or did I speak too soon.

Later that day, as I was shopping in a store in Times Square, it happened again.  I got to the top of the down escalator; fear of taking that next step. I was confused because I thought I’d gotten past that.  Maybe there was one more step to conquer. This time I knew it wasn’t fear that I felt, but uncertainty. How do I make that next step? Is it the right time? I needed clarity.

The universe – God, my guardian angels or deities – was pushing me to my next level or goal. The billboard was a sign: it is time. The spiritual challenges that we face and the signs that we get are different for everyone. For me it’s taking the next step and knowing when to take it.

 

*all photographs taken by Leslie Sheridan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Books

 

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I’m a book addict. I love books.  I collect books. I own a library card. I carry a membership card to a well known book store and I use it often. Thomas Jefferson once said “I cannot live without books.” I concur.

In fact, I generally have four or five books going at any time. That is I’ll read a book for a bit, put it down and then repeat the process with about 3 or 4 other books. They’re not all just random books or the newest books that I cannot keep up with. There really is a method to my madness. But, a couple of months ago I realized that the madness had taken over and it needed to have an ending.

And so, I made a goal this year to finish any books I had previously started.  Two of the books for research purposes have post it notes riddled with arrows, notes and punctuation so that I can go back to them as needed. Two of the books were inspirational memoirs sprinkled with humor. And still another was a tome by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

About five years ago I saw an exhibit on Thomas Jefferson’s book collection at the mother of all libraries – the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. This exhibit consisted of Jefferson’s bookshelves with his 10,000 book collection! The founding father had a variety of books on all topics. There were the books you would expect to see on the shelf of a farmer, lawyer, politician, and Declaration of Independence author.  Surprisingly or not, there were books by Voltaire and Moliere; Homer and Shakespeare; as well as books on Plato, languages, astronomy, philosophy and religion.  I wonder if he read his books sporadically.

But, it was still time to finish my current collection of unfinished books. Cold, winter nights and snowy weekends are great for curling up with a good book and I took advantage of the cold nights next to a warm fire. At around the moment I committed to this, I realized that I may not have been alone in my decision. I felt a nudge from the universe, a reminder, that it was time to get ready to move forward. Was finishing the books a metaphor for finishing goals? Books equal knowledge. Lessons have been learned.  It’s time for me to let go of the past and move forward to the next level in my spiritual awakening.

 

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The Detour

A recent hike with my camera in hand led me to a beautiful spot with a little leftover snow from a recent snowfall.  The path was an off shoot or smaller trail, of the main path, with the early morning sun filtering through the trees. Click. It was a beautiful shot. What I would not find out for another three and a half miles was that the picture I just took was a clue.
It was a perfect mid-winter Sunday morning. And so I went along the path, looking at the trees, the snow covered rocks and frozen stream. Being on this trail that early morning was just what I needed: cleanse my aura, get fresh air, and really just being out in nature – my favorite place to be. The trail has hills, gorgeous trees, and a stream running under a wooden bridge. It really is picturesque all four seasons.
One of the great things about taking an early morning hike is that there really aren’t many people on the trail.  It’s not anti-social; rather this time is spiritual – Sunday and the other six days of the week.  I don’t really think about things while I’m hiking. I allow myself to just be in the moment, although occasionally my mind does wander, as it did this day. The funny thing is I have daydreamed before on this trail, so I don’t understand how I lost my way. I was walking along the path for a while before I realized that the texture of the ground beneath the inch or so of snow left did not feel right or familiar to me. I did not recall there being small mounds of fall leaves or rocks jutting up through the ground. This path was lumpy; not clear or smooth like the path I had started out on.
The nearly three mile hike became a four mile hike. I wondered if there was a reason I subconsciously took a detour. Perhaps it was a route I chose to take to avoid something –on a metaphysical level. Was I meant to go off the path or was the universe allowing me to have a choice (free will). Or, I wondered, was it a reminder to stay aware while I’m on my path, to discern, to not be led by anyone or anything that might take me off the path. There is a reason for everything. Maybe if I had paused and listened to my inner self when I’d taken the picture, I may have heard “Stay on your path.”

 

 

 

 

….to forgive, divine.

Forgiveness; The act of forgiving or being forgiven. 2017-01-23-13.49.27.jpg.jpg

Forgiveness is for us – to forgive someone who has hurt us . To forgive is “for giving” to ourselves. We don’t have to forget what was done to us. We are not responsible for the burden. Forgiveness is getting rid of that burden so that we can move forward. Without forgiveness we remain right where we are.

A few years ago I went to see James Van Praagh at the local civic center, getting tickets as close to the stage  as possible – as soon as they went on sale. I didn’t get the meet and greet passes, just the tickets to see and hear what the famed medium had to say up close and not miss any wisdom he could share. He talked about the other side, his experiences, how he got started- his whole bio – pretty much everything I had already read about him.

Toward the middle of his appearance he was going to deliver messages from loved ones on the other side for a lucky few in the audience.  Before ending his monologue he wanted to preface the readings by stressing to everyone in attendance  in the auditorium the importance of being non-judgmental. He talked about why we should not judge people who have hurt us or wronged us and the reason for that is because of the Life Review.

When souls cross over to the other side they go through a life review. Every soul sees their life in review: the good, the bad and the ugly. Every soul that chooses to have a human experience  has a lesson or lessons to learn on planet earth. So, the purpose of the life review is to review our souls experience in that life. Did the soul accomplish the lesson or lessons? If not, the soul can choose to learn it in it’s next incarnation.  I can say I have finally learned one of my soul’s lessons after several life times. (My guides and I will be high-fiving in my booth!)

Sylvia Browne, Shirley Maclaine and others have written about the Life Review. There is a scene depicted in the 1991 movie “Defending Your Life” starring Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks. Both of their characters have crossed over and they and others enter their respective Life Review booths.  Shirley Maclaine has a cameo in the movie to explain to those who have just crossed over how to operate the Life Review machine.   

James explained  to everyone that when each of us transforms – from the physical world to the spirit world –  what the soul sees from this review is much harder to watch than having someone judge them harshly or any regret they have for what they should or should not have done during this lifetime.

Being judgmental is what humans do. I believe it is a habit that is learned in childhood and  through peer pressure and before you know it, it’s become an unhealthy, negative, and hurtful habit.

And the thing about being judgy is that it doesn’t only hurt the person we’re judging, but like a boomerang it comes back to us. So, in effect we are hurting ourselves when we judge others. It’s one of those universal laws that what we put out comes back to us.

I have forgiven a lot of people in my life, including myself – it is a good feeling. Sometimes I still judge (my human-ness) but I try to be mindful of the importance of not being judgmental. I really don’t want my Life Review to hurt too much. Life as it is here on earth hurts enough.

 

Inspiration

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”  ~ Vincent Van Gogh

 

Like a lightning bolt, I never know when inspiration will strike.

Nature inspires me every day. I love the hues of blue and gray -whites on a really cold winter morning. I love how the sun dances off the water, glimmering sparkles of gold after a summer thunderstorm. I love the reds and golds of the fall foliage. I’m inspired by the textures of scenery – I love how it all comes together. I am always photographing it.

I’m inspired by a film with good, no, passionate acting and the cinematography. I love the beauty of film.

I’m inspired by art in the form of music, painting, drawing or photography, a play or musical. I love the passion that people exhibit through their work, their art.

I love a good book, not just a good book: literature. I love works by Tracy Chevalier and Patti Smith.

I’m inspired by people. People who live their lives with passion, a sense of adventure, an apparent acceptance of self so much so that they are content and able then to live in the present.

In high school I took a Humanities elective out of desperation. There was one other option that I would not take, the subject I don’t recall. So, I signed up for the comprehensive art class and was reluctantly accepted by the teacher. The class consisted of mainly art students and future art history majors. The teacher was refined and knew by looking at me that I didn’t deserve to be in his class – I was a bit rough around the edges but determined to stick it out in the class. Early on in the class there was a slide show of various paintings and other art pieces. One painting was Thomas Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy. He asked everyone in the class what we thought about the piece  and offer a description of it. I had seen this painting before and when it was my turn  to comment I said “I like it.”  The teacher said my answer was unacceptable. He wanted to know why I liked it.  

What I learned in this class stayed with me. It wasn’t the teacher, but rather the subject that inspired a love for the arts. When I go to art museums I really look at the piece, the colors, the subjects, the smallest details. What was the artist feeling, what did the artist wish to convey to us, or did the artist create it for themselves?

When I take photographs I don’t just see the scenery. I see texture and colors and light and I feel the emotions it evokes within me. Those are the elements of an art piece whether it’s a film, book, an historical piece in a museum, a painting, drawing or photograph. I am always interested, curious, grateful and inspired by life.