Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dumbo's Feather

Our minds are amazingly powerful forces that so many people overlook. Because I am a herbalist and a healer I often hear people say "Oh, that doesn't work. People who feel better because of that are just experiencing the 'placebo effect'."  And they say this like it's a bad thing.  I don't care how a person is healed, whether it be from an herb or their own mind, all I care about is that they are healed.  The mind is powerful enough that if it believes it can do anything.

To clarify, you cannot force a mind to cannot shame a person into believing that all things will be well if they will only believe.  That is not the way the mind works.  I have often heard people try to shame others into positive thinking.  "If you were only more positive, you wouldn't have cancer."  "If you would only believe, you could lose weight."  How horrible of a person we would have to be to try to HURT someone like that.  Sometimes even the most positive person is overwhelmed and some people suffer from a chemical imbalance called depression.  NEVER try to shame a person into being positive.  First of all, it won't work-shame is not positive, and second of all it is just plain cruel.  Sorry, I had to write this paragraph because I volunteer at a cancer center and I grit my teeth every time I hear those cruel words coming from people.

Back to the topic.

This idea that in belief we can do many things is nothing new.  When I was a child my parents took me to see two movies, both Disneys (that was all there was for kids back then).  One was Robin Hood, where Robin was a fox.  My parents had to have regretted that as I swore I was going to grow up and be an outlaw (and I have succeeded in some ways lol).  The other one was Dumbo.

Dumbo was the story about a little elephant with big ears.  Everyone teased him about his big ears.  Then one night he accidently got drunk (a good lesson for young minds to take in) and woke up in a tree.  Some friendly (and racially portrayed) crows told him he had flown up into that tree.  He did not believe it so they gave him a "magic feather" that was really just plucked from another crow's butt and suddenly Dumbo could fly like the crows.  I won't spoil the ending here for those who haven't seen the movie. ;-)

The point is that Dumbo didn't need this feather to fly, but he BELIEVED he did.  Holding the feather let Dumbo do what Dumbo could do, he could fly.

Okay, okay, I know, this is just a movie.  Pluck a feather from a crow's a** and you probably aren't going to be able to jump off a building and fly, even if you believe it with all your heart...then again, maybe you can.  Though I wouldn't try it if you have even a smidgeon of doubt.

We all have our Dumbo's feather.  We all use tools that allow us to do what we can do plainly without those tools but with them we believe.  Have I confused you yet?  Okay, I'll give you an example.  The big "in thing" for getting in touch with our other senses in the witch world is THE TAROT! <cue mysterious music and add a great deal of hand waving>.  Tarot, for those who have lived under a rock, are a deck of cards with different pictures on them.  Readers lay these cards out in certain patterns, look at the pictures and see with their mind's eye.  It's all very mysterious.  Except it isn't.  Tarot cards are nothing more than little piece of laminated cardboard with pictures on them.  Many of them may even be made in sweat shops in China.  Cardboard is not mysterious, it's compressed paper. 

The power of the tarot does not come from the cards, it comes from the reader of the cards.  The person looks at the cards and then follows their intuition to come up with the answers to questions.  Intuition has been used for many centuries with many other mediums as interpreters.  The rune stones, crystal balls, horoscopes, the I-Ching, tea leaves, palm reading, head bump feeling, what the first animal you see of the day means...the list can go on and on.  Developing the skill to "read" things is nothing more than developing your own intuition.  You are powerful, you have a wisdom none of the rest of us have (because we are not you), you are magic and magical in your own right. 

But most people (myself included) need our Dumbo's feather from time to time.  People feel more in control of their intuition if they are looking into the familiar.  Seeing change coming inside your own head or heart is different than drawing the death card from the tarot.  There you hold the concrete answer in you hand.  The tarot shows you what you already know.  Change is coming.

Now why is this whole conversation being written down?   So we all work with the placebo effect, so what?  It goes back to one of the basic beliefs of my spirituality.  We are all different.  Some may be able to afford 50 tarot decks and they can pick and choose which one suits them at that moment.  Other people may need to save their money to pay for...I don't or food.  The person with many more Dumbo's feathers is no more magical than the person who closes their eyes and trusts in what comes from within...because it all comes from within.  Other's feathers may be home made runestones because they like the tactile feeling of a three dimensional item in their hand.  Others may call to the totems and what ever animal they next see will hold the key to what they need to know.

Then the other thing is too many new people don't trust their intuition.  It's been wrong before.  So instead of looking to themselves for the answers, they try to memorize what the meaning of each of the cards or stones or animals means.  They buy a dream book that tells them what their dream mean, even though the person writing the book is NOT the person dreaming the dream.   No one else can give you your intuition.  They may be able to give you a safe place for you to develop your own intuition, but they can't give you what you already possess inside yourself.

What it all boils down to is that it is YOU that are magical.  Some people have really good intuition, others may not but they may excel in other things.  Some of the people who claim to have good intuition have proven they don't.  I knew a witch the claimed she could see the future and then she and her family lost everything is the stock market crash of '08.  Didn't see that one coming?  I did and I'm not the most psychic person in the world.  Other people, and this is where I fall, like surprises.  I like the adventure of life so I don't want to skip ahead and read the ending.  It will come when it comes.  These people may not practice any reading and they probably get ticked when a dream or a vision forces itself on them (I know I sometimes do).

You are magical in your own right and your magic may lead you down a different path than the more popular psychic one many witches follow.  This does not make them wrong, it does not make you wrong.  Neither is more powerful than the other.  There is no way to compete with magic because you are the most powerful you there ever has been and ever will be.

Oh, and spoiler alert;

 Dumbo eventually lost his feather, spent a few terrifying moments floundering for his life, then spread his ears and flew.  Sometime you go farther and faster without it than with it.  Disney may have been a bigot Nazi, but he gave some good lessons to young children once and awhile. :-)

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