Can We Make the Term Priestess Respectable?

A prietess is a woman who helps others connect to the divine.

Image via Pinterest.

While surfing on Pinterest I saw a definition of priestess and realized that I am truly one, along with some amazing ladies I know.  It is what I have been attempting to do ever since I began teaching dreamwork and meditation years ago.  Here is the definition:

A priestess is a woman who helps others connect to the divine so that they can heal and/or actualize their soul’s path.

I have found it interesting that women priests in the Episcopal Church are called priests and not priestess.  Perhaps the term resonates with witchcraft, and the wild things beyond the control of civilized constructs such as organized religion.  For sure, the term is connected to what the Hawaiians would call mana, or power.  Such power, no matter if it is a force of nature, or a force of our own souls or the force of a divine power, is indeed outside the control of humans.  Yet, this energy is what drives real spiritual enlightenment, healing, growth and conversion.  It is what religion is truly all about.   In resurrecting the term priestess, we can perhaps also bring back, or let back in again, the sacred life-giving energy that is needed to rejuvenate a person or a congregation.

I think all great priests, men or women, truly act out their calling when they serve this sacred function of connecting people to the divine, especially in a highly personal way such as attending to the needs of a dying person, doing spiritual direction, or healing a community conflict in such a way that it brings out the best in everyone.   However, nowadays,  sadly, emphasis is usually put elsewhere so that people are first more readily to identify priests as the performers of rituals and homilies that may or may not inspire and functionaries of religious organizations, not much different from a corporate CEO.   No wonder people, so many people, have a hard time finding life in a church!

All people hunger for an experience of the sacred.  Perhaps it will take priestesses to do the job, if the priests (male and female) don’t measure up to the job.  If this is the case, organized religion perhaps can expect to see a decline in attendance.

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Symbols for Kundalini in Dreams: Volcanoes

A volcano is a symbol for kundalini in dreams.

Volcano: A Symbol for Kundalini
Image via Pinterest.

A volcano about ready to erupt is a repeated symbol that appeared in my dreams before and after I had a kundalini release. It is not surprising that this symbol should show itself, given the power of a volcano to release energy deep from within the earth, spew content up to the heavens and have it rain down on everything. When kundalini is released it is often experienced as very strong energy erupting into consciousness through the pathway of the spine, going to the head and then descending to the rest of the body. In my case, after the initial rising of the energy, I generally experience kundalini as descending or falling from my head. The whole body becomes animated as the energy surges through it. Blocks to the flow of this energy within the body can cause uncomfortable and even painful sensations and unusual physical reactions such as itching, twitching or for some people, temporary paralysis.

Working with a Dream About a Volcano

Bearing in mind that dreaming of a volcano can mean many things, one has to ask what is going on—what energy is ready to explode in the life of the dreamer—that is manifesting such a power-laden dream. It could be long repressed anger or some other strong feeling. Or it could be some outside energy ready to explode such as growing quarrel between two people or it could even represent a real live volcano ready to erupt. Only the dreamer can know.

In my case, I had had a powerful kundalini release in July of 2007. Because of the enormous physical, emotional and psychological disruption shock this presented to me, I was placed on strong medications. As I came to fully understand what had happened, and that I wasn’t mentally ill, I realized I probably shouldn’t be on the meds. With advice from experts I eventually decided to get off the meds and let myself experience what the kundalini energy had to give me—with all its strong force. However, while still in the safe and relatively quiet stage of being on the drugs when I only felt intermittent and minor surges, I had the following dream in November of 2007:

I am in Hawaii. In the distance a volcano is sending up smoke and gas into the air. I am glad I don’t live near it. We have to go indoors as pieces of ash fall from the skies.

Because I live in Hawaii where there is an active volcano, I interpreted this dream to refer to my awareness of the periodic spewing of Kilauea crater that emits volcanic ash called vog. I was genuinely glad I didn’t live immediately downwind from the volcano since the vog puts a big coating of dust on everything and exacerbates respiratory problems. However, I also understood that the dream was making me aware of my feelings about handling the kundalini energy. The dream was reminding me that while the kundalini effects were suppressed by the medications, the energy was still there sending a bit of smoke and gas. Being glad that I didn’t live near the volcano told me I wasn’t ready to go off the meds. Going indoors meant retreating to the use of drugs to avoid serious effects that might “fall from the skies.”  As a result, I did not try to go off the meds then.  Eventually, I reached the point where I felt comfortable going off the drugs and successfully did so.

NOTE: My website, http://www.healingdreamgarden.com is undergoing changes so it temporarily unavailable.

The Human Body: An Energy Field Connected to Other Energy Fields

Body as transmitter of information and energy

A Connection of Energy Fields

From Asian cultures we learn that the body is essentially an energy field connected directly or indirectly to all other energy fields in the universe. Because all fields are interconnected, they are capable of transferring information and energy. That means we have access to an infinite amount of information. We are all aware of how we receive and send information through the five senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing.  But what about the so-called sixth sense?

Receiving and Sending Intuitive Information and Energy

Many of us are not so aware how we can send and receive information and energy through intuition in the form meditation and dreams. The intuitive images, sounds, feelings, and sensations that we pick up spontaneously or receive in dreams and meditation are identifying symbols for unique, relevant information and energy within and without us that can be used to help ourselves and others. Any of the senses can be a vehicle for an intuitive message because our bodies are wonderfully designed to transmit information through the five senses as well as the sixth sense of intuition. Just as we pick up data through touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste coming from outside us, we can register intuitive data coming from within us through those same senses.

Sending intuitive information and loving energy is very much like using our senses to send and receive information about what we see or hear except we do it in an intuitive, altered state of awareness such as meditation, deep prayer or dreams. In these states we intend to receive or to transmit information or energy, and it happens! We can intend to have dreams that will help someone else by giving deeper understanding, clues to resolution or a diagnosis of the issue. While in meditation or prayer, we can send healing energy and even information to someone through the imagination and intention.

When you think of the body as a bundle of energy in addition to it’s amazing physical capabilities, it is truly amazing.

To learn more about dreams, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Toward a Theology of Love’s Energies: A Second Discovery of Fire

Using Dreams and Intuition to harness the energy of love

Harnessing the Energy of Love

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Reading this quote this morning made me more aware that a future direction of Christian theological reflection will be, as it is in physics and medicine, on the nature of energy.  Energy is what underlies everything.  Energy is what make the universe tick (e=mc²), energy is what gives life to the body and creates abundant health, and energy is the active component of both intuition and love.

I personally believe that as we explore the depths of human intuitive capabilities as they are grounded in empathetic love rather than in the showy but superficial distractions of ESP and some other extraneous psychic phenomenon, we will rewrite a new theology.  Just as Thomistic theology and liberation theology represent significant philosophical and political points of view, I believe there will be a Christian theology of energy that may one day unite religion and science.  Developing intuition and observing nature as concurrent and equally important tasks, along with being inspired by revelation, will be the keys for this unfolding.

Everything we have ever learned and will learn will come through our marvelous bodies which are receptors and communicators of healing energy.  As humans we also have the ability to observe and reflect upon that energy and how it works, especially through intuition and dreams.  They tap us into the universal power source and inform of us of this underlying energy that drives us both as individuals and as beings who are connected with every other being in the universe Our challenge will be to integrate our new understandings of energy, especially the healing and loving kind, with divine revelation.  Just as we have learned to harness atomic power, I do hope we learn to harness the power of intuition and dreams and use the insight we gain in the service of love.  Then, we will have harnessed an exponentially greater fire than our ancestors did.

Visions: A Form of Healing Intuitive Awareness

ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation, 1437-46 (2236990916)

Mary’s Vision: The Archangel Gabriel

During times of crisis, especially when serious health related issues are at stake, the occurrence of visions or other paranormal phenomenon is not as unusual as one might expect. Many people have been led to believe that seeing a vision either indicates saintliness or insanity—not a comfortable point of view to hold when an angel drops by! As a result, people tend to be very cautious about sharing their experience of visions. However, I found that quite a number of average people have visions. In my classes, many students recounted seeing visits by supernatural beings like Jesus or angels or the presence of a comforting divine light. For the most part, these experiences come at traumatic or life changing times in someone’s life.

These phenomena can be thought of as expressions of pure intuition, healing energy that breaks through when the veil between this world and other realities is made thin by the magnitude of a mind-bending reality a person is facing. The reality to be encountered can be traumatic such as life threatening surgery, a sexual assault, or death of a loved one. However, it may not necessarily be negative. It could be something profoundly wonderful such as the gifting of a special and life changing calling as Mary experienced with the visit of the Archangel Gabriel who heralded her role to be the mother of Jesus.

At these times, visions come to tell the distraught person that the overwhelming reality encountered is not all there is and will not have to be born alone—that something more abides giving comfort, love and insight. In Mary’s case, she was told she had found favor with God and that the power of the Most High would overshadow her.

The Trusting Intuitive Heart as the Center for Healing

lotus2According to energy healing practices, healing is said to originate in the “heart” as opposed to the head. This is the heart chakra located in the chest, the energy node responsible for sending and receiving loving energy. According to Hindu tradition, it is also the meeting place for the transcendent energies coming from the higher chakras of the throat and head which mix with the lower energies coming from the base of the spine, pelvic area and solar plexus. Some consider it the place “where heaven and earth meet” as in the expression in the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Only when human beings connect with each other from this open, expanding and loving region of the heart center which holds all these energies together can a divine, healing and “making whole” experience, like heaven, be recreated in the human realm.

What I Learned in a Dream

An appearance of my own inner healer, portrayed in one of my revelatory dreams as a towering, well-built gray-haired male physician practicing in New York, told me that when he heals he heals from a space just above and to the left of the physical heart. While I did not understand at the time why I was given this dream, I understood it was conveying important information to me. I made sure to write it down. Not long after, when I was studying intuition under Dr. Henry Reed of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies, I learned that the “heart space” is the receptor and sender of intuitive information which can help heal. I realized my dream had confirmed for me that the heart chakra, the locus for loving energy, was also the location for sending and receiving healing energy either to me or to others.

Practical Application in Healing

After prayerfully requesting or intending a healing for myself or someone else, I use a simple meditation that will get me into the relaxed, open and trusting heart space like that of the intuitive small child. While I feel the expansion of the positive energy which occurs in this state, I imagine healing energy coming from an infinite source above my head, and allow it to enter through the top of my head. I visualize it flowing down to the heart and then mixing with the expanding energy of the heart chakra where it can ride on the wave of expanding energy. Then I release it, by either imagining it going where it needs to go or letting it go where greater wisdom determines.

Expect a Response

At this point, I may expect a response, knowing that it will come in any number of ways. The answer may come in the way of an event totally outside the body such as a serendipitous phone call or an accidental meeting. When the response comes through intuition it can come through sensations in the body, memories, thoughts, insights, an inner voice, or a dream.

Luke 7: The Empathetic Power of the Open Intuitive Heart

Empathy

Energy of the Empathetic Heart

Veronese

Christ and Centurion – Paolo Veronese Courtesy Wikipedia

Luke 7 contains stories that show intuitive understanding at work in the world and show where it is not, and what happens as a result. As the Master, Jesus Himself was capable of a great deal of intuitive love. His empathy, which is the driving force of intuition, picks up on the devastated state of the Widow and compels Him to bring her son back to life.

Consider the stories of the Centurion and the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet. How did they get the insight that Jesus could help them? Luke doesn’t tell us. Theologians would probably say it was the gift given in time of need. This defines intuition exactly—a gift of understanding and awareness given when needed, either for one’s own self or to help another. This gift comes from a source beyond the capabilities of the waking mind and rational thought and it comes when the heart is in the right place: open, caring and loving.

Empathy Sees Into the Heart of the Matter

The Centurion and Woman who washed Jesus’ feet were remarkable but very different people sharing two things in common: somehow they knew that Jesus had miraculous power to help them and their hearts were in the right place.
In the case of the Centurion, from his line of work he understood the nature of authority and command. When an order was given by one authorized to give it, the order was done. But that doesn’t explain how he knew that Jesus had authority like no other, so much so that he didn’t feel qualified to see him anymore than he would feel qualified to stand before the emperor of Rome. However, he was a good man who helped build the synagogue. He had a sick slave he cared a deal about and wanted to help. It may have been the open goodness of own his heart that empathized with Jesus, recognizing in Jesus a commanding goodness that was able to help in a way that he himself would help if he had the power and authority to act in such a way.

In the case of the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet, again we are not told how she knew Jesus was someone in whom she could trust her whole being. We only knew she sensed her sins were forgiven by Jesus’ love and understanding and responded accordingly with great love and gratitude. Her actions show her uninhibited expressions of love, unlike the closed, tight actions of the Pharisee that hosted Jesus. Hers was a heart that was utterly open to love. Perhaps the Woman empathized with the power of Jesus, seeing in Jesus someone who loved and forgave as she was capable of doing.

The Superficiality of Judgment Replacing Empathy

Where empathy is absent, casting judgment based on superficial input rules the day as in the case of the Pharisee who only saw the Woman washing Jesus’ feet as a sinner. It is not surprising then that this Pharisee also did not open his heart warmly to Jesus as his guest. By his own heart not being open, he could not see into the heart of the Woman or the heart of Jesus and acted much like the Pharisees who refused to accept John because this prophet was not dressed in silks and living in a palace.

Luke 4: Faith Healing and the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Jesus Healing the Sick

Jesus Healing the Sick

The first hearers of Luke’s story of Jesus would have the stories of healings and exorcisms (Luke 4:31-44) to be a normal part of life. What do they mean for us in today’s society?  Is there room for healing in our faith?

In mainstream Christian traditions like Catholicism and Anglicanism faith healing has not been emphasized, perhaps reflecting modern society’s bent to prefer a scientific approach to healing. While people have always prayed for good health and blessed themselves against evil, these were “back burner” practices, not given center stage importance as Jesus did in his ministry.  This attitude may be changing, however, with the recent popularity of energy medicine and notions of how energy heals in Asian traditions.  These practices may become the bridges that can help westerners understand how faith healing works, and thereby open up the possibility for a more general acceptance of it.

What is Faith Healing?

As a “hands on healer” in my own church, I can see a need to educate people about faith healing.  It is not “magic,” and certainly nothing to be afraid of.   It is energy that flows because love desires to help someone with a need.  When Jesus healed, He healed energetically.  For example, in Luke 8:48 Jesus even says he felt energy go out from him as the woman with a hemorrhage sought his healing.

The Power of the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Modern day faith and energy healers recognize this kind of energy flow that can go from one person to another.  Many take the compassionate intuitive heart to be the locus that draws and directs this healing energy to other people.  This was verified for me in a dream when I saw a physician who told me that healing comes from what can be called the intuitive heart, a region he pointed out to be just above and to the left of the physical heart.  Healing energy then goes out from there.  From my own experience and observation I have seen that a developed sense of intuition provides an empathetic inner knowing of the other person’s state thereby initiating and inspiring an open heart to help someone who is suffering.  The heart’s intentionality to help sets and directs the energy on its path.