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Do Grimalkins Dream? (Part 2) – Back to the Future – Creating Your Own Reality

In this blog I want to discuss the subject of lucidity (lucid dreaming) and the power to create our own realities within and without.

As I have already mentioned in Part 1 of this blog, dreams can be powerful tools to create our own realities, solve problems, heal, and gain inspiration, get ideas and a whole host of other things that aid personal and spiritual growth. Let’s not forget, we are not just physical beings; we are mental, emotional and spiritual entities that require space to grow and expand our awareness and our dreams are an essential part of this process, even the bad ones. Sometimes we can even see beyond our own realities into those of others and beyond that still.

Lucid dreaming is not some magical skill only a few can do. We may hear a lot about lucid dreaming and how powerful and mind-altering it can be. But it is a perfectly natural occurrence and one that can be learned by anyone. While there are many books and tutorials on how to learn this skill, there is a simpler way and one I found out completely by accident. I had not even heard of the term ‘lucid dreaming’ until after I had experienced several of them and, even then, I happened across the term by pure accident. Accident or intelligent design? We shall see.

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One morning, I had a very vivid dream. It was so vivid I decided to write it down. I went back to the dream in my journal and read it over again, trying to remember every detail. A little while later, I had another. I wrote that down too, making sure I recorded as much as I could about it. I consciously remembered each dream if I could, even if they were just small snatches or fragments and not full dreams, for it is the process of actively remembering and recalling them that builds the connection between the waking mind and the place where dreams are made. The more I wrote down dreams and details, the more lucid dreams I had until they became a regular occurrence, and became more detailed, deep and life-changing. In some dreams I even found myself dreaming of the future and of events I had no knowledge of until later. This happens often.

I will start by describing a dream I had only last week, which I think describes the nature of the lucid dream, to my understanding;

I am standing at a busy junction/crossroads, somewhere like New York, a busy American city. It is a hot summer day, July or August. The heat shimmers up from the road, blurring all that is going on around me. Everything is moving super-fast – the traffic, the people – and I turn on the spot, not able to focus on anything all. Suddenly, an image of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future comes into my mind. I turn back to the junction/crossroads and there it is, its right gull-wing door open and engine purring in the still summer heat. I hear a voice not of this world say in my left ear:

“You thought of it, now you’ve got it.”

The DeLorean is still as stone while the carousel of people and cars go by. It is waiting. It is waiting for me to get in. I knew if I did it would take me to where I wanted, or needed, to go without me asking it to. There is no need to engage the Flux Capacitor or turn the Time Circuits on, for it KNOWS what I require of it. It cannot go back to the past, that has gone. It can only go forward. Back to the Future.  Do I stand here, or do I get in and be the mistress of my own destiny?”

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The DeLorean is a symbol created by the dream for dreams speak in metaphors. Back to the Future is one is my favourite films. I have a diecast model DeLorean on my desk. But it is the concept of time here that is important, and the ability to look at one’s own life and make a conscious decision to change things, change one’s future as Marty McFly and Doc Brown did by the end of the trilogy. The lucid dream is the unconscious way of changing the inner world so that the outer world can make sense of the message and take action accordingly. But why these symbols? Why the DeLorean and why a busy New York junction?

The dream is an extension of you and so, when you dream, you talk to yourself. You are giving yourself visual clues as to what needs to happen in order to progress. Things in my environment are jumbled and a bit tangled right now and so I need to make decisions about where I need to go. The car gave me the escape I need to take myself out of the picture to make those decisions, and to think about where I go next in life for it is entirely in my power to do so. While I would not be the driver (the DeLorean is left-hand drive) it doesn’t matter for I would always be in control of what happens in my own world. While we cannot control the thoughts, feelings and actions of others, we do have control over our responses to them. It is divinely ordained versus having your fate in your own paws. Do you leave your life to fate or do you take decisive action and go after the things you really want and desire in life? Do you stand at the junction and be swept along by the rest of the world, or get into the DeLorean and take yourself off into a future of your own making?

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I woke up before I got into it but I had already decided; I was going into the future with my destiny in my own paws. No-one can take that from you. Everyone has their own DeLorean, it is just a matter of when you choose to get in it for it will always be waiting for you at the junction, door open, ready to take you Back to the Future.

Yours Friend In Time

Imeldra Moonpaw.

Do Grimalkins Dream? The Magical Healing Power of Dreams (Part 1)

What is a Dream?

  “A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.[1] The content and purpose of dreams are not fully understood, although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout recorded history. Dream interpretation is the attempt at drawing meaning from dreams and searching for an underlying message. The scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.[2] 

  “Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep—when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. REM sleep is revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep. At times, dreams may occur during other stages of sleep. However, these dreams tend to be much less vivid or memorable.[3] The length of a dream can vary; they may last for a few seconds, or approximately 20–30 minutes.[3] People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the REM phase. The average person has three to five dreams per night, and some may have up to seven;[4] however, most dreams are immediately or quickly forgotten.[5] Dreams tend to last longer as the night progresses. During a full eight-hour night sleep, most dreams occur in the typical two hours of REM.[6] Dreams related to waking-life experiences are associated with REM theta activity, which suggests that emotional memory processing takes place in REM sleep.[7] ” – SOURCE – Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream)

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  Dreams, when understood by the dreamer, have the potential to aid self-healing and enable one to discover more about oneself. The dream is often a reflection of the inner world of the dreamer, which is why I will be focusing on this rather than the technicalities of the dream itself. But we cannot discuss dreaming without touching on the types of dreams we experience. They are –

The Physiological Dream – when our dream is telling us something is occurring within the body such as needing to go to the toilet, pain or discomfort, sickness etc.

The Psychological Dream – when our dream is telling us we need to address some issue that is happening in our lives. These issues we may or may not be aware of. It all depends on the dream and its symbolism. Also related to the Recurring Dream.

The Nightmare – dreams that are in response to some sort of stressor in our lives. Also goes hand in hand with Psychological dreams. Pay close attention to what is in the dream as they will often present you with the solution to the problem if analysed correctly.

The Prophetic Dream – a dream in which you foresee a forthcoming event or events that are going on in the waking world that you have no knowledge of but dream about nonetheless.

The Recurring Dream – often repetitive with the same themes or symbolism. It is important to take note of these dreams as they, along with psychological dreams, often point to underlying internal issues that need to be resolved.

The Epic Dream – Dreams that are so huge and monumental you cannot ignore or forget them. Some of these dreams can be life-changing. More often than not, they are LUCID dreams, which I will go into detail with later on. Also known as God-dreams

The Lucid Dream – the dream in which you are fully aware you are dreaming and can control aspects of your dream and what is going on around you. False awakenings often happen in lucid dreams.

False Awakenings – false awakenings occur when you are dreaming, ‘wake up’ then realise you are still dreaming.

  Dreams serve an important function in our lives. When we dream, our minds are free to wander and compartmentalise all that has happened throughout the day. Most of the dreams we cannot remember when we wake, but some dreams we do and these are the ones we need to take note of. The dreams we experience and remember long after we have dreamed them are usually stored in our long-term memory. I can remember dreams I had twenty years ago, as clear as though I dreamed them last night. It is easy to learn how to use our dreams to learn more about ourselves and how they can heal us and how they can help us solve our problems. But first we need to understand how dreams communicate with us.

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  I believe that, when we dream, we are actually talking to ourselves. Our Higher Selves are communicating with us from a higher plane and so the information imparted to us through dreams can be trusted. Dream interpretation can be complex and confusing so let me start by saying that dreams are like picture books. Dreams talk in symbols and metaphors. A dream will present information to you in a way you can understand so long as you have the code. The code will be your own. For example – I often have dragon dreams. Dragons, to me, mean personal power and spiritual ascension. But to someone else, a dragon may be a frightening beast that is to be overcome and slain. Dream dictionaries can be useful (I would stay away from dream dictionaries that ‘predict’ things such as if you dream of a ring it means you will get an offer of marriage etc.). Instead, I recommend books that refer to the psychological meanings of dreams. I have a dictionary by Tony Crisp that is old and well- thumbed. Carl Jung, the eminent psychologist, is also a good place to start. He discussed the Collective Unconscious – the shared knowledge we all have – and the importance of dreams. In time you will build up your own list of personal meanings of your own dream symbols.

Learning to Dream – Lucid Dreaming

  Many people have asked me about lucid dreaming. To them, it appears like some sort of magical ability that only a select few can do. This is not true. Anyone can learn to dream lucidly. I started purely by accident. Here is how I started to train myself to dream lucidly. back in 2001 I had a very vivid dream. Not an epic dream, but one I thought was significant. It stuck with me for the rest of the day so I thought I’d better write it down. I took a new journal and wrote down my first dream. I didn’t analyse it, I just wrote down what I remembered then forgot about it. A few days later I had another vivid dream so I wrote that down too. This time I wrote down every detail I could remember and speculated on what it meant. I did this for a few months (and bought myself the Tony Crisp book) and eventually I had my first lucid dream. It was an awesome experience. I believe that the process of actively and consciously remembering my dreams somehow forged a pathway in my brain that allowed for me to dream lucidly. There was no ‘technique’ involved, no special breathing, no affirmations before sleep. It was the conscious and wilful recollection and analysis of dreams I could remember that enabled me to develop the ability of lucid dreaming. It was as simple as that.

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  During a lucid dream you will experience far more than you would in a ‘normal’ dream. Lucid dreaming allows you to solve long-standing problems and travel astrally to other places. The mind, in this state, can transcend even space and time. We can converse with those in the Otherworld and, indeed, take a glimpse through the Veil and see what lies in store for us when we leave the mortal world. Dreams, as well as being a means of self-discovery, are also a way of transcending the boundaries of this world to the next and to other dimensions. Such wisdom can be gained from such travels. Lucid dreaming is the ticket to other dimensions and to the vast storehouse of the Self.

  Spirit will also find a way of speaking to you through dreams. Loved ones who have gone before find it easier to communicate with you in this state as you are open and receptive. But I will suggest you protect yourself from unwanted attention by sealing yourself inside a sphere of light before bed and repeating the affirmation “only the good and the pure may enter here. I am safe and protected by [your own personal belief system].”

If You Die in Your Dream, Can You Die in Real Life?

  The simple answer to this is NO. This myth has been perpetuated for a very long time. “Death Dreams” are not to be ignored however. It means that you are undergoing a significant change that may involve the letting go of something or part of yourself that no longer serves you. A death dream sometimes involves a false awakening. When you ‘die’ in a dream, you essentially fall asleep, in the dream. After which you either wake up physically, or you experience a false awakening and find yourself in another place, environment or, in some cases, dimension. Death dreams are not to be feared. Examine them closely and see what is going on around you and what is happening in your waking life. It may mean that major changes are needed or are currently taking place. Either way, it is all for the highest good. You may even catch a glimpse of Heaven.

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Taking the Road Less Travelled – As Dumbledore said; a Choice Between What is Right and What is Easy.

  You are wandering through a forest alone. Suddenly you are presented with two paths – the path to the right is sunlit, with neat grassy verges. Flowers grow. There are bees and butterflies. A blackbird trills in the undergrowth. It is pleasant. You have a vague sense of the destination to which this path will take you. You sense the approval of your friends, family and peers should you take this path. It is inviting. Secure. Familiar.

  To the left is another. It is somewhat darker, full of gnarled old pines, yews and hawthorns. Their branches seem to want to reach out and grab you and pull at your clothes. You can smell the damp and the decay. You can hear the hooting of an owl and the rustling of the leaves of an unknown creature passing by. Here are wolves and bears and battleswine. It is a dangerous path. Here, you sense your friends, family and peers telling you  not to go. You see the anger, disapproval and disappointment on their faces in your mind’s eye.

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  And yet, you know there is something just beyond the tangle of thorns and grasping branches. Here the nights are dark and moonless. Here are deep caves and steep ravines. Here be hags and spirits and ghosts of the past you thought had long gone.

  You notice two marker stones – the marker stone pointing to the right is in the shape of a unicorn. The one to the left is in the shape of a dragon. You look to the right and you can hear merry music and smell delicious food. It is enticing. But you know this is an illusion as, when you look to the right, to where the dragon is pointing, you know that is where the truth lies. You see, the unicorn represents magic;  to be precise – glamour, illusion. The dragon has always represented old magic and treasure and, in particular, the treasure of the soul. You cannot simply happen upon this treasure. No – you must earn it.

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  It would be all to easy to take the path to the right, follow the unicorn and satisfy everyone around you, to be safe and secure in all that you know and love. But to what cost? At some stage there will come a time when you will experience that yearning deep inside your soul as to why you are here, what your purpose is, what is the truth to your situation if any. Facing the dragon is always terrifying but taking up the sword and trying to slay it is not, and has never been, the answer. The dragon lies in the deepest parts of  your inner world, but to get there you must take the path to the left, and leave all of your previous assumptions, ideas, fears and follies aside. Yes, to take the path you must even go against those closest to you if they do not approve for they, in many cases, have kept you blinded by glamour and illusion for whatever reason. Sometimes, for their own selfish reasons. Blinded by the  false glamour-light of the right hand path, they have kept you blind to the truth of who you are.

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  You move forward and, as you pass the dragon marker, the trees close behind you for there is no going back once you have awoken. Once your eyes have opened to the truth of the false light, there is no going back. You must go ahead into the darkness and face all that has haunted you throughout your life. Only then will you see the truth, bring it to bear and then be free as a result of it, whether it brings you joy or sadness. For this path, too, has an end, but it is an end of your choosing.

  Ultimately you will face the dragon at the end of your journey but instead of taking  up arms against it, will you converse with it? Confront it? Befriend it? What will you do to convince it to relinquish the treasure it holds for you? Well, that all depends on your journey through the dark forest and what demons, ghosts or creatures you fight. Will it be the ghosts of childhood trauma, or the monster of your own ego or fear that you will face?

  It is important to remember that this journey is a soul journey, one that leads to enlightenment and a happier, more fulfilling life if that is what you choose. But old wounds that have long been neglected all lie along the left hand path and all need addressing. The first foes you will meet on the road are fear and ego. Overcome these and the rest is merely a journey of discovery. Embrace the darkness for it has much to teach us – The gnarled old yew holds the Ogham oracle, the wolf will act as your guide along the road, the hag will impart wisdom, the ghosts will give you messages from those who have passed on, the battleswine will forge a path through the brambles so you can find another route you wouldn’t necessarily have taken. With each fear comes a new opportunity to learn and grow as a person and as a Universal Being. These trials will help you connect with the Source.

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  If you do not already do so, learn to meditate. Or, at least, set time aside each day and be still, even if it is only for five or ten minutes. There is much wisdom and guidance to be had in those moments of silence and inactivity. Take each day as it comes. Taking the left hand path is not easy, but it is right for there lies the truth at the end, whatever that truth means to you. But it means walking through darkness first for in doing so, can we really appreciate the true light, not the false light presented to us by the way of quick fixes, social media, meaningless cliches and self-styled lifestyle gurus who claim to have all the answers. YOU have all the answers you will ever need if you look within. But you can and will face opposition from those who want to keep you blind, keep you tethered, bridled. You cannot bridle a dragon. Follow it no matter what those around you say. Do what you feel is right, not what is easy and, more importantly, easiest for other people.

  Live this life in truth as much as you can. Fear not the dragon or the darkness. Do not take up arms against the dragon. Befriend it and earn the treasure of your soul.

Yours in Love and Light

Imeldra Moonpaw

 

The Grimalkin Oracle – New Oracle Deck in Production (finally!)

  The Grimalkin Oracle has been in production since 2013 but due to other book commitments, it has been on hold until now.  Some of the cards have already been created and the guide book is now in the early stages of being written. Hopefully it should be completed in 2019 as there are many illustrations that need to be created from scratch. The oracle cards created so far feature illustrations from Dance of the Fire Cat and The Ocean Lord, as well as mixed media and digital images relating to the first three books in the fire cat series. All of the cards relate to the Clowder of Grimalhame and the world of the fire cat.

 

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  Even though the cards will be fantasy in nature, they will also have a Jungian feel; I have read some of Carl Jung’s work, a particular favourite of mine is Man and His Symbols which focuses on dreams. I have kept a dream journal all my adult life so know the importance of dreams and how it makes up our beings as a whole. Dreams can also be used as a tool for healing, something which I am trying to incorporate into the meanings of the cards and the guide book itself. If one is familiar with Jung, one may recognise some of the archetypes.

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  Creating the cards and applying the meanings to them is not as easy as it looks. I am trying to think of every eventuality while also attempting to keep it as simple as possible for both the sitter and the reader. The project is still in the early stages but I have created a few cards based on artwork already in the books to give the reader a reference point, and also an opportunity to refer to the books to find out more about the characters and their history.

  I am looking forward to starting on some new illustrations for the deck but in the mean time I am pulling together all the ideas I had for the guide book and putting it into some semblance of order. I will be posting updates on the website, on WordPress and on Twitter as I go along.

https://www.grimalhamepress.co.uk/the-grimalkin-oracle

Winter – Time of Deepening Darkness and the Black Horse of Winter – excerpts from the Winter Almanac (coming soon in 2018)

For many, winter is a testing period, especially for those who are old or infirm. Winter, the Time of Deepest Darkness, the time when the world sleeps, is also a time of healing and regeneration in preparation for the rigours of the coming of spring. During the Deepest Darkness, Grimalkins retreat into the safety of the clowders and settlements, to roaring hearths and hot meals. At Deepest Darkness, when Shamash’s supremacy is diminished by the Black Horse of Winter, the power of the Sun-Cat is not completely weakened by the loss of his magnificent mane of sun-rays. In these most shadowy of days, we are not forsaken but even the mighty Sun-Cat must rest and regain his strength. For now, The Black Horse of Winter and Inghira Moon-Cat rule these long nights and starry skies.

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  Winter is a productive time even though the earth seems to be sleeping. While the ground is covered in a deep quilt of snow, seeds are germinating below the earth and, like the seeds, Grimalkins are busy making do and mending. While the hard work of harvesting and gathering is at an end, the more creative pursuits of making Yule/Mordrach gifts and decorations begins.

  Hibernation and retreating into the safety of the clowders and settlements is not just practical and life-saving, it is also a symbolic act – all must return to the earth, the body of the Great Mother, once a year, for regeneration and rebirth. We may lament the passing of the warm, heady days of summer but we rejoice that the toil of the past two seasons is over and we can finally enjoy the fruits of our labours.  Winter is the final act in the great opera of the year, a time when we gather together with family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers and reaffirm our bonds of kinship with one another and express our gratitude for all that we have.

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Shamash Sun-Cat and the Black Horse of Winter

Every year, at Oliach (autumn equinox), a great battle begins between two forces of nature. The astronomical observance of the autumn equinox last for three days and, on the first day of Oliach, Shamash Sun-Cat begin his epic battle with the Black Horse of Winter. This battle lasts until the final day of Oliach when the Sun-Cat is defeated and overcome by the Black Horse. During the battle, the Black Horse tears out the Sun-Cat’s mane and so his power wanes. As his mane is destroyed, the power of the suns wane until they almost disappear from sight at the midwinter solstice, at Mordrach. It is during this time the Black Horse reigns, bringing the snows and ice to the world. Shamash, his mane now gone, retreats into the belly of the earth until it starts to regrow. On the third day of the midwinter solstice, the first golden hair appears on his forehead and this heralds the return of the suns. Now his strength begins to return. But it will be an arduous process and the winter is long; he must rest and regenerate so he can fight her once more and bring light back to the world once more.

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  While the black horse of Winter may maim, defeat and banish Shamash Sun-Cat to the bowels of the earth, she is not an evil creature. She is an aspect of nature and creation like Shamash or Inghira. While many lament her coming, she serves an important purpose; she brings the winter, the dark, feminine half of the year when the earth must rest otherwise it will wither and die. Too much warm, masculine energy depletes and exhausts. There must be a balance of the masculine and feminine and the battle of Shamash and the Black Horse represents this. It is the balance of life. The earth and its creatures must rest. The Black Horse may seem harsh, but she is just and wise.

Black horse run in the snow

  The Black Horse also represents the Great Mother Goddess in Her Crone aspect – deep, powerful, strong, introspective. She goes paw-in-hoof with Inghira Moon-Cat, the bringer of sleep, dreams, and healing through darkness. The Black Horse also brings these things but on a larger and longer scale, of days, months, years and aeons, rather than the minutes and hours by which we live by. The continual cycle of wakefulness and hibernation the earth must endure ensures it and its creatures regenerate and renew endlessly over many ages. This has been the task of the Black Horse and Shamash Since the Creation in the First Days of the New Dawn.

  She is not a force to be feared even though she may bring death to many. But after the winter solstice, her power begins to fade. Shamash’s mane begins to grow and the world is preparing for the re-emergence of the light. At Falia, the vernal equinox, Shamash returns to the world and defeats the Black Horse of Winter and drives her back to the high north where she will stay until Oliach. As Shamash’s mane grows the suns become warmer and climb higher in the sky until, at Adrach, the summer solstice, it is fully grown and he, and the suns, are at full power.

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https://www.grimalhamepress.co.uk/dance-of-the-fire-cat

The Owl and the Night – Reclaiming the Crone And the Light from the Dark

  For those who spend time following certain lines of discussion both in the mainstream and  the alternative medias, there has been a great deal of discussion about the owl and her symbolism. We are living in a period of great change and upheaval and it appears that those who dwell in darkness are now being exposed to the Light. This, my friends, has long been foretold and awaited by many, especially by those of us who dwell within the Light.

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For those of us who work with esoteric signs and symbols, I believe it is high time we reclaimed the signs and symbols that we have used benevolently for generations, symbols used by sections of human society for ill intent. I refer to my own symbol as an example, the symbol of my house – the Owl of Moonpaw – one of many symbols used and turned backwards to mean something evil, dark and corrupt. While every symbol has both a positive and negative side, the bastardisation of esoteric signs and symbols from the swastika to the pentagram has reached its peak. It is time to neutralise the evil and take back the ancient symbols of wisdom, knowledge and protection and say to those who do evil “no more, you have taken enough and you will have no more.”. Let’s take back our symbols and our heritages, my friends, my brothers and sisters. Let’s take back our swastikas, our pentagrams and our owls, our lions, our snakes, our dragons, and our winged gods and goddesses. It’s time to bring them all home and back into the Light and take away the power from those who choose to dwell in darkness. Their time is over. The polarity is reversing. Their black sun is setting and a new dawn awaits those who want a peaceful and just world for all, not just a self-appointed few.

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   The symbol of my house – the owl – has some negative connotations. She is associated with death and ill luck. But without death and ill-luck how can one appreciate life and prosperity? The owl dwells in darkness but does she not also bring sleep and dreams and healing? Does she not also teach one how to see that which is hidden, that which hides from the Light, those who wish to do ill and bring evil upon others? In order to find the wicked rats who hide in the shadows, doesn’t one also need the ability of the owl to see in the dark to find them? She harsh but she is wise, she kills but she also teaches tough lessons – the best lessons of all, as we will always remember them. The owl in her hag-nest sees all, even into the darkest corners of your soul. She sees the truth and speaks it too, no matter how uncomfortable. We need the owl so let’s retake her power from the wicked and the cruel and learn from her positive aspects. We can see Light even in the darkness.

Peace and Blessings.