Shamans and Psychics and Coaches Oh My

My rolodex, once filled with the names and contact information for CEOs, executives, very wealthy individuals and philanthropists, movers and shakers, influencers, and other supposedly very important people, is now painted carefully and colorfully with the names and contact information for intuitives, energy healers, Reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, psychic channels, life coaches, and the like.  I meditate at a Buddhist Monastery, I attended service at the Spiritual Living Center, I go to talks at the Self-Realization Fellowship and Unity Church.  I talk about things like Energy Medicine and Karma and animal totems.   And I put on nice clothes and conservative earrings everyday and I go to work after I drive my daughter to a private school.  Funny the way my life has turned out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this fact as I prepared to see a Shaman, which I did last night.

I made my sister go with me because like me, she’s a seeker and embraces these non-traditional forms of spiritual guidance.  And because unlike me, she’s not even a little afraid of them.

I am.  I’m a little afraid of them because I don’t want just anyone going and messing with my energy.

But off we went, to see a Shaman.  In Stone Mountain, Georgia.  He has a strong southern drawl, heavily trained in Peruvian Shamanistic traditions and influences.  He’s probably in his late 60s and sports a long white ponytail, jeans and a t-shirt.  His home is hidden behind an overgrowth of bushes and weeds. There’s old furniture cast aside on the front porch, which is also covered in cobwebs.

I’m a little freaked out, but too exhausted by my own life and my own mind to argue with myself anymore about being afraid.  The truth is I’m not afraid in that moment.  All that’s left in me is some instinctive level of self-protection, and that’s okay.  I’ll keep that.

He greets us both with a big hug, he remembers the story I told him over the phone when we talked, the story of how we were orphaned, the story of what’s happened since then, that life seems never to give us a break, the kind of breaks we really need by now, the kind that mean just a long moment of comfort or peace, of knowing that you can handle most, if not all, of what comes your way, that life might include health and prosperity instead of constant suffering and sickness and loss and reminders of loss.

He calls me by my name and pronounces it correctly.  And he calls my sister by hers. This amazes me because so few people, especially ones that we’ve just met, can do this.

He takes us to his healing room, the smell of burning incense or something I can’t quite place is strong and the room is filled with animal skins, spears and swords, a carefully arranged Mesa, or altar, filled with rocks and statues and crystals and animal skulls and more spears.  I’m wondering what he’s going to do with those spears.

He invites us to look around and ask if we have any questions.  What I want to ask is what do you do with all those spears and swords and where the hell did all these skulls come from.  Instead I politely ask about the objects on the Mesa, about what the healing session I’m there to experience will entail, imagining that he will come at me like a crazy man with one of those damn spears, but then I remember that’s part of the reason I have my sister there.  She will either stop him or at least bear witness to my untimely demise.

I tell him I have some anxiety, that I’m feeling very protective of my energy right now, that I’m feeling especially vulnerable what with being an orphan and my recent gut wrenching break-up and abandonment issues and all.  I think about Greg and wish so much that I could tell him about all of this.  He would like it here.  He would have a million questions.  He’d want to rearrange his altar at home to include some of these influences.  I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to tell him about Sam, the Shaman in Stone Mountain.  For the first time in many weeks, maybe months, I feel a sense of peace and love when I’m thinking about Greg, and my desire to tell him about all of this.

Sam suggests that we break the healing session up into a few different visits so that I can gauge my own comfort level.  This sounds pretty good to me.  I only like a half dose of any kind of medicine I’m taking, including the energetic kind.

I sit in a chair in front of the Mesa and he asks me to notice a few items that call out to me.  I do this without knowing, of course, what my selections will mean, and then we review them together.  The items I’ve selected:

a beautiful ornate conch shell that’s had intricate designs carved into it

a statue of a woman, looks like a Peruvian Goddess, I noticed her when we first walked in

a beautiful crystal with a pointed tip that reminds me of something from my childhood

a pendant that I think has a seahorse on it, but turns out it’s a mermaid

another statue of a woman with a full belly and breasts, she’s painted in blues and greens

and another statue, that has its back to me, but for some reason is calling to me so I include it

And so here’s what they all mean.  Here’s my diagnosis.  I am in a time where I will reach my full potential.  The women, all of them represent the manifestation of one’s full potential. The crystal represents a bright star (opposite the crystal I chose was a selection of dark stars, but I liked the shiny beautiful crystal bright star.  Yay.)  The mermaid, a Goddess of the water, she communes with dolphins and whales, and the evolution of mankind.  One of the feminine statues says she will take great care of you but don’t go messing with her.  The shell with the ornate carvings represents full balance in all things. I am coming into a time of great balance.  True dat.

I feel a great sense of relief about this diagnosis, both because I’d actually gotten essentially the same diagnosis from an intuitive I’d met with just the day before and also because it’s opposite from the diagnosis I might have given myself which would sound something more like I’m all fucked up and sad and lost.  But that’s a different story I will tell at a different time.

He had me stand while he held a huge condor feather, he took three bottles of liquid, blew into each one, sipped out of them, and then spit the liquid all over me.

No for real.  That’s what he did.

I really wished he had warned me he was going to do this before he did it.  But hell by this point I didn’t much care, except I did wonder for a minute if it was poison liquid or if it was going to make me hallucinate or something.  It didn’t and it smelled interesting. Then he took the feather and swatted away the negative energy, even stopping for a moment to suck out some remaining dark stuff from my 3rd chakra.  My eyes were closed and it was a good thing because I’m not sure how I would have reacted if I’d seen him leaning into my solar plexus and inhaling so hard to suck out the bad stuff.  He’d in part been casting off any witchcraft or evil spirits that might have been put on us, considering all that we’ve been through and infusing me with more contact with the spirit world.  I’m good with that.  Thank you, Sam.

Then my sister went through the same process.  He gave us each a small carved amulet to take with us so we could carry the good spirits with us and so that he could continue to send healing to us.

He called us by name.  He hugged us goodbye.  We would return soon for the next part of the healing session.

We both feel very relaxed and peaceful.

We’re not sure which roads to take on the drive home so my sister turns on the GPS which is directing us in a way that doesn’t seem right to me.  My sense of direction wants to take us in the opposite direction than the GPS is pointing us but I decide to go with the GPS and see what happens.  My internal compass is broken right now and I know it.  I’m having to rely on other kinds of machinery to lead me where I need to go.  I’m having to rely on messages I’m getting from other places, not from my own mind, to remind me where I’m heading.  And so the GPS leads us straight to the road home.

Which, as it turns out, is exactly the opposite of the place I’d been heading.


Prove It, Plutocrat

It isn’t cute anymore, Willard.  In fact, it’s getting tiresome.

Doesn’t he, or anyone around him, understand that the more he insists on the uprightness of his tax history while pissily withholding the evidence to support the claim, the more hilariously mendacious he looks?  Who the hell is advising him?

Just release the goddamned returns, Mitt.  Like everyone else who runs for president.

Mastodons Bellowing In A Tar Pit

It’s a comfort to know that in 30 years, this image:


will be classed with this one (if it isn’t already):


Herman Cain: A Postscript

Proving yet again that the campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination is just a macabre circus of cruelty that will permanently diminish us as a species, Herman Cain yesterday proposed building an electrified border fence to kill Mexicans who try to enter the U.S. illegally.  I guess the Great Wall/alligator-infested moat plan was just too candy-assed.

Update:  Cain said this morning on Meet The Press that his proposal was a joke.  Ha Ha Ha!  Oh, Herman, you are a panic!

Fuck off, autocrat.

Update II:  Cain now says that he wasn’t joking.  Which is it, you goddamned clod?  Reasons to take you seriously were scarce enough yesterday…

The Great Orc Alliance: Herman Cain And The Tea Party

After a long day of tramping across the hinterland (and putting the odd gay/Muslim/socialist hobbit village to the torch), the Uruk Hai of the Republican base finally lay down their scimitars, unbutton their gore-spattered leather jerkins, and gather round the campfire to discuss which cruel, all-powerful necromancer they’d most like to serve in 2012.  Perry?  Hmm…given the chance to turn a family of illegal immigrants into dog kibble with Apache gunships, he could hesitate.  Next!  Bachmann?  The complete package, sure, but…she’s a girl.  Romney?  If you speak his name again, we will flay you alive.  Santorum?  You ever Google…?  *snort,* never mind.  Cain?  Cain…

Cain.  Yes.  A growing number have begun, with rising menace and ferocity, to chant the name of Herman Cain.

ABOVE: A Tea Party voter contributes to American civic life.

So, what accounts for Cain’s popularity among the dribble-stained unfortunates of the lunar Right (yes, I know I just compared them to orcs, but this is a new paragraph, and now they’re dribble-stained unfortunates.  Just trust the process.)?  For one thing, Cain is a former CEO, and nothing triggers the primitive bootlicking reflex* of exurban reactionaries like a Promethean Ubermensch capitalist who tells carping peasants to go fuck themselves to death.  For another, he is always in thrilling voice when singing from the anti-immigrant hymnal:  just listen to Cain here as he advocates for a barrier along the Southern border modeled on the Great Wall of China – only, his Wall would be tricked out with an alligator-filled moat.  Cain is even better known as a virtuosic hater of Muslims, and that, of course, will cost you exactly zero support among the Teabaggers:  back in March, he pledged that, if elected, he would combat the (completely hallucinatory) “creeping attempt” by Muslims to incorporate Shariah law into U.S. law by never appointing a Muslim to a Cabinet post or judgeship.  In July, Cain declared that communities are legally free to ban mosques.**

Jesus Christ.  Do I even need to mention that Cain, in vintage Teabagger fashion, considers himself a “strict constitutionalist” even though the U.S. Constitution – the real one, not the Applebee’s coloring placemat version preferred by Cain and his supporters – expressly forbids a “religious test” to hold public office?  This same document, as you may have heard, also proscribes any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  It is sheer futility to point these things out, however, since the Tea Party’s habit of truculently claiming the country’s founding documents and institutions as their personal property while loudly insisting on their diseased understanding of them is so deeply ingrained by now that they will never be broken of it.

All well and good, you say (or all unutterably vile and horrid), but wait a minute:  isn’t Herman Cain a bit, ah, too dark a Dark Wizard for the neo-Confederates Uruk Hai, if you catch my drift?  They tend to despise anyone unlike themselves, right?  Well, yes and no; I mean, yes and yes, but you must recognize Cain’s specialized role in the wingnut ecosystem to understand why he is given a pass.  The beauty of Cain’s blackness is that it gives chronically aggrieved, rice-white, pants-pissing nativist hysterics and bigots permission to share in his inexhaustible loathing of (certain) dusky enemies.  Cain isn’t just their Black Friend Who Proves They Aren’t Racist (no matter how many images of President Obama with a bone through his nose they brandish at their rallies); he makes it OK to hate those other people.

If the U.S. had more than the tattered remnants of a democratic culture, authoritarian ignoramuses like Herman Cain would be mercilessly ridiculed, then instantly forgotten.  As it is, sadly, it looks as though Cain, and the Sam’s Club goosesteppers who love him, are going to be with us for a long, long time.

GOP Logo

GOP Logo, Updated

* I have been tempted at times to say that the conservatism of middle class Americans is almost nothing but a primitive bootlicking reflex, i.e., support the Alphas (whoever has the money and the guns), or the entire ape troop will die.  A caller on Limbaugh’s show a while back said he hoped his boss’s tax rate was lower than his own because he thought that might enhance his chances of getting a raise.  What can you say to a scraping slave like that?  I’ll take that up in a future post.

** Cain has since issued a quasi-apology to Muslims, though he continues to cling to his phantasmagoric ‘creeping Shariah law’ horseshit.

Dirty Undies All Over The Lawn

At the urging of a few readers (and with Cacky’s kind blessing, of course), I reproduce here a slightly edited version of my response to a draft sent to me last night by Cacky of her ‘Home Grown Tomatoes My Ass’ post.  The Editors are pleased to offer our loyal readers this rare glimpse into the byzantine inner workings of the Tactile Peggy empire.

Dear Cacky,

Oh, my. I have so much to say about this, I hardly know where to begin, so I’ll just jump in:  please bear in mind the enormous love and respect I have for you as I ask, what did you expect?  [G] has certainly demonstrated to my satisfaction that he is a romantically/emotionally retarded douchelord; are your evidentiary standards really so much higher than mine, or are you just that hopelessly in love with – forgive me, [Cacky] – this colossal, puckered asshole?  How many buckets of grit are you going to haul up from this well before you throw up your hands and look for a man who doesn’t conditionally, grudgingly, parsimoniously ladle out his love for you, but rather gives it freely, joyously – who is, indeed, unable to help giving it to you? At this time in your life, after all you’ve survived (and are surviving now), you deserve no less.  I may as well tell you now that I will keep saying this until it actually happens.

Oh, and can we now add megalomania to his ever-lengthening list of personal failings? I’m referring, of course, to the Steve Jobs comparison – I mean, dude, you gotta be fucking kidding me. Does he really take such an ultra-serious view of himself?  When he designs an iPhone, or a Sydney Opera House, or gets appointed to the fucking U.S. Supreme Court, then sure, I guess we can grant him a license to be a grim, towering rock of Greatness against which people who love him may unavailingly dash themselves while he thinks Deep Thoughts and does Great Things – but until then, he really ought to shut the fuck up about the commonalities he imagines he shares with Steve Jobs (and no, his saying “not to compare myself to Steve Jobs” immediately before comparing himself to Steve Jobs does not absolve him of egomaniacal overreach).

And another thing: this is relatively unimportant, but just for the record, I have never actually conceded that [G] is smart – though I guess I should, and do, what with all the fancy book-learnin’ he has. My comparison of him to Rain Man was based more on his staggering emotional ineptitude than anything else.

Buckets O’ Love,


PS   Oh yeah, the point I originally meant to make is that I love your post, and think it definitely belongs on TP.  Hostility becomes you.

If you were not convinced before that I am the last guy to look to for romantic advice, you should be now; and with that, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run along to deal with a terrible backlog of uncracked Republican skulls.

Home Grown Tomatoes My Ass

Last night I went to a lecture with the Douche Bag (aka semi-retired boyfriend person, also formerly known as Rain Douche, a title bestowed on him by none other than Pap Finn himself, a kind of combo Rain Man and Douche Bag).

Anywho, Douche Bag and I went to listen to this lecture given by a monk at the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF). (An editorial blog about these jokers and also about my recent run-in with a Catholic priest is forthcoming.  Stay tuned.)  At the end of the lecture, Brother Joker Jackass told a story about a woman he’d counseled.  She really wanted to pursue enlightenment via some Kriya Yoga techniques the SRF people tout as a kind of scientific, proven route to enlightenment.  The woman was having difficulty finding the time in her day to work in the practices.  Brother questioned her about her schedule and as it turns out, she spent her time each morning before work tending her garden of home grown tomatoes.  She was reluctant to give up that practice, she really loved those tomatoes, and so Brother’s response was something along the lines of “You have a choice between enlightenment and your home grown tomatoes.  The choice is yours.”

I’m gonna have to call Bullshit here.

I mean seriously, what the fuck?  Really?  In my book, that makes these jokers no better than all of the other religiously insane idiots wandering out there preaching salvation, but only to a precious chosen few.  Give me a fucking break.  Give the poor woman her tomatoes.  She loves her damn garden.  Not to go all Life Coachy on everyone here, but if I were Brother Fuckhead, I might wonder about her resistance to carving out the time.  In reality she could easily carve out the time if she wanted to.  She doesn’t need to be told to give up her damn tomatoes.  Maybe tending those tomatoes is her meditation.  If she wants to do the Kriya yoga, she’ll find a way.  Or maybe Brother Asshole could talk to her about what she really wants to do, what brings her joy, what brings her closer to her version of God.  She probably wants help figuring out her own resistance, she just doesn’t know to call it that.

Okay so the tomatoes led to another one of those conversations with me and Douche Bag about his “priorities” and once again, it was made clear to me that my rank is low on the list.  Yes yes yes yes YES Douche, I know I come after God, art, and probably a bunch of other stuff on your now famous “list.”  After way too much discussion, I decided to take a new route and just see if changing up the language might help, or at least make me feel a little less like pulling out his eyeballs.  So I suggested that instead of pointing out to me how important to him I’m not, he try giving me some verbal feedback about something positive.  In other words, instead of focusing all the damn time on me not being first, share with me what he does value about me and our relationship.  Give me some props damn it.

The next words out of Fuckhead’s mouth?  “Not to compare myself to Steve Jobs, but do you think he was a very present husband and father?”

Oh for real.  I’m not shitting you, this is what he said.  He insisted for the next 10 minutes that he was sure Steve Jobs had neglected his wife and kids in the name of progress, in the name of all he’d brought us, in the name of his “purpose.”  And Douche really wanted me to understand that that was okay, in fact that was the model of what a strong, purpose driven man is like.  And let’s not overlook the really personal affront here.  I just got through asking for some props, asking for something that didn’t include reminding me that I’d never be at the top of his priority list.  Literally the words had just come out of my mouth.  And his response was to launch in …again… about how unimportant relationships are to important men who are doing things.

I don’t need to hear, again, about how unimportant I am.  I pretty much have that one ingrained in me now, thank you very much Douche Bag.  And let me say it one more time: home grown tomatoes my ass.  I frequently find my God doing all kinds of things that have nothing to do with meditation or yoga or church or synagogue.  I have, in fact, frequently found my God while tending a garden.  And I really do wonder if God and enlightenment are so important to the dude, where it all fits when he’s sitting me to down to explain to me that there is no God to be found between us, what since God is first on the list and I’m third on a good day.  I wonder what God would have to say about that, and also about home grown tomatoes.