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Two of Wands

Symbol- Boy encounters angel of death.
Meaning- movement

This is the first exchange of energy between the male and the female as they are drawn toward each other. We feel shy, modest and vulnerable in our first encounters with the opposite sex. We are drawn toward the opposite sex but we don’t know if we can trust. We don’t want to be hurt.

Male and female energy is generated and stored within our physical bodies. It disperses itself through the body via the nervous system and circulatory system. As this energy moves throughout the body it becomes bio-electrical energy, nerve energy, sexual energy, emotional energy, mental energy, and spiritual energy.

In our encounters with the opposite sex Spiritual energy is the most volatile and the first type of energy to be exchanged. This exchange of energy can be done simply by being in the same room as the other person. We feel this energy transfer as an attraction. It is an energy exchange and there is an energy flow that is noticeable.

Our physical bodies are capacitive in nature and will store a charge of male or female energy in the same way a battery will store a positive or negative charge. We store the energy that flows to us or the other person gets our energy and stores it.

During sleep this “captured” energy is blended with our own and released from the physical body through dreams. Collectively we call this combined sex energy “Astral” energy.

Astral energy is a perfect mix of male and female energy blended together. It remains connected to our physical bodies and a connection remains to the person we have exchanged energy with. This blended energy is controllable and gives us a sense of being more complete. We are drawn to this person because their energy makes us feel more complete.
Even though both sexes exchange energy and store it within their physical bodies there are major differences in how this actually happens. The male uses this blended energy to create and strengthen “self” or his non physical body. The female uses this blended energy to create a rich “astral” environment. The astral environment is our dreaming environment.

Male experience:

He instinctively recognizes her taking his energy as emptiness and death to him. If all of his energy went to her it would mean death of awareness as he knows it. He feels himself being drawn into her and part of him fears this. At the same time part of him longs for this.

In this first experience his energy flows to her and hers does not flow to him. He gives her energy even though he fears what it might do to him. For the first time he confronts the power of raw sexuality, both his and hers. She is and always will be the angel of death to him as she takes his energy. This is part of her “Goddess” power.

As he gives her energy he realizes “outer” and “inner” realities are intimately connected. His dreams become vivid and he feels emotions that are not familiar or pleasant. His rational outlook falters and he is uncertain where he stands.
He confronts his own feelings of guilt and unworthiness. He is brought face to face with his worst fears and demons. The pits of hell open before him.

Female experience:

She gives all she has to others without thought of self or personal gain. She experiences selfless giving and aspires to spiritual goals. She is the completion and end of all things. She is emptiness. Nature is bountiful and there is enough for everyone. Everything has its place and all is good. While he is thinking of her she is thinking of everyone else.

She is receiving energy from him and in control. She enjoys his attention. She should be aware that in male-female relationships the energy transfer will at some point change and she will loose energy to him. One day she will be at a male’s mercy. She will then give to him as she has received. The balance must be fulfilled.

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The Order Logo2

We enter into this lifetime with plans and goals that we want to achieve. Sometimes we reach our goals and other times we don’t. This particular lifetime is very special because Gaia and all life upon her are going through an ascension into a higher vibratory existence. Light workers have spent the past several years trying to raise humanity’s vibrations so that as many people as possible can ascend to a new level of conscious awareness.

There are many old souls here on Gaia at this time and I’m one of them. I’ve experienced many lifetimes here and have learned to love Gaia and all her life forms. I’m one of the fallen ones that has finally found their way back to the light and this time is a graduation for me as well as for Gaia. We celebrate together!

The symbol I have  posted at the top of this post belongs to me. It is the symbol of the Spiritual Order to which my soul belongs. I have the authority to use it as I have for countless lifetimes. I share it as a sign that my work is finished!

Over the past few months I have shared in my posts the entire western mystery tradition of this Order as I understand it and as it has been passed down to me through the ages. These teachings are ancient, yet powerful and I share them freely, openly and without reservation of any kind. They are the teachings that will guide this next great cycle of human evolution. Take from them what you will and leave the rest.

This was my great burden in the lifetime and I now consider it done! I am released!

Blessing to all of you in the coming days, months and years!

Bright blessings,

Joe E. Bandel FRC

 

 

 

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Today we are going to talk about the hermetic tradition and Rosicrucianism. I’ve been trying to trace Organic Gnosticism through the centuries and we made it to the 13th and 14th centuries and then hit a big mess because that’s where it seemed like everything was happening.

One of the things that we have not really talked about is the hermetic tradition, which is related to alchemy and to the Rosicrucian’s. What I’m interested in is what I call Organic Gnosticism, which is soul development through a combination of mysticism and tantrism.

Traditionally, 1378 is the birth date of Christian Rosenkreutz who was the founder of the Rosicrucian order. That was the 14th century, and there was a whole grouping of alchemists alive at that time.

In the 15th century, we see Martin Luther as one of the main figures. Now I’m a Rosicrucian elder. That’s my spiritual school which my soul has found again and again lifetime after lifetime.

I spent over 22 years in the Rosicrucian Order AMORC and according to the first Imperator H Spencer Lewis, Martin Luther was the Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order in Germany during his lifetime. This would place the Rosicrucians in the 15th century. His coat of arms had a cross with a garland of roses in the middle which was highly symbolic for Rosicrucians.

From there the Rosicrucian movement seems to go to England to Sir Francis Bacon in the 16th and 17th centuries. That’s when the first Rosicrucian manifestoes came out in 1616. But it’s also a time of Rosicrucian writers and hermetic writers such as Jakob Boehme, Robert Fludd and Elias Ashmore.

These are well-known names and we want to just throw them out there. But I am saying that the teachings I received had this Rosicrucian movement beginning in Germany with Martin Luther and the Protestant revolution.

Sir Francis Bacon began Freemasonry as a social experiment, especially high-grade Freemasonry in the 17th century according to the teachings that I received through the Rosicrucian Order. Freemasonry continues on into the present day.

Freemasonry exploded and soon there were all kinds of masonic lodges and teachings all over the world. John Yarker tried to unite a lot of these teachings into his own masonic order which became known as the Rite Of Memphis and Mizraim.

Albert Pike was another prominent Freemason who created the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. These men were in conflict with each other. The Scottish Rite was Kabbalistic in nature and the Rite of Memphis and Mizraim was not.

I find it interesting that even though I studied the Scottish Rite and the writings of Albert Pike I was never initiated into the Scottish Rite. I have been initiated into the York rite of Freemasonry, the Rosicrucian Order AMORC, the Traditional Martinist Order and even the OTO of Aleister Crowley.

So my own lineage follows that of John Yarker. Theodore Reuss inherited John Yarker’s position as head of this branch of Freemasonry and of course Aleister Crowley continued the OTO after the death of Theodore Reuss. But Crowley’s teaching were Kabbalistic!

Crowley’s OTO involved the development of the soul and its powers under a Kabbalistic framework and included the secrets of sex magic.

There seem to be three threads that come out of ancient Rosicrucianism.

H Spencer Lewis and the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, which I am an elder in also came out of John Yarker’s school. Both Aleister Crowley and H Spencer Lewis were initiates of the rites of Memphis and Mizraim.

Something else I find interesting is that the OTO continues with the Gnostic Catholic Church which Papus created. But but the Rosicrucian Order AMORC continues with the Traditional Martinist Order which Papus was the head of.

The Rosicrucian Order AMORC is very intent on mystical Christianity and the path of mysticism which leads to the development of Cosmic Consciousness. The OTO is more interested in combining magical and mystical paths together in a Kabbalistic framework.

I discovered a third branch that was previously unknown through my translation work of Hanns Heinz Ewers and Stanislaw Przybyszewski. I call this third branch Organic Gnosticism. This was the development of the soul and its powers through love relationships and tantric practices. It was also known as German Satanism.

Both Przybyszewski and Ewers show the same dark current or black current of sexual energy in their writings that Crowley’s writings have been accused of. I personally believe that it is highly likely that Aleister Crowley was initiated by Ewers in New York during the time they were together there.

Hanns Heinz Ewers had been lecturing about German Satanism [Organic Gnosticism] for approximately 7 to 10 years before he knew Crowley and was well-established. It was widely thought that Ewers was the spiritual successor to Przybyszewski.

Letters exist where Ewers calls Przybyszewski the equivalent of Worthy Master, indicating that they belonged to the same spiritual organization.

Here are a few lines about Przybyszewski’ s funeral.

“He was the author of many publications and a highly successful public speaker. His funeral procession, headed by a four horse carriage with State insignia was 3/4 mile long and included State and Church dignitaries, chancellors of colleges and universities, writers and journalists.”

Anyone that has a funeral procession that large with so many respected people attending was not just some unknown writer!

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What is anger? Is anger good or bad? There are a lot of people that would say anger is bad and they would be wrong. Anger is a healthy emotion that needs to be recognized, acknowledged and guiltlessly accepted.
Negative emotions like anger are warning signs that something is wrong in our lives. They are a sign that we need to take some type of action to make things better. No one can control their emotions. We can not control how we feel and we should not associate guilt with anger.
We can control our physical actions. Only volitional or willful actions can be wrong or associated with guilt not anger itself. We need to experience all of our emotions for real intimacy with others.
We can get angry with a friend or loved one without fearing they will leave us. Real love requires being real with our partner. Suppressing one emotion weakens our ability to share all the others.
An interesting thing about anger is that as anger goes up our reasoning ability seems to go down. Anger is related to pain. Pain in the future is anxiety. Pain in the present is hurt, loss or sadness. Pain in the past is anger. Anger is about something that has already happened.
The Vikings felt anger was a gift of the gods. When it came upon a warrior in the midst of a battle as a berserker rage the warrior was invincible. In modern society a berserker rage is not seen as a good thing. In life of death situations it still might be.
I remember reading about a study done on Vietnam veterans with spinal injuries and anger. According to the study veterans with spinal injuries that left them paralyzed below the waist did not experience anger in the same manner as they used to before the spine injury. Prior to the spinal injury anger welled up from deep inside and exploded like a volcano. After the spinal injury anger was experienced more like a tempest in a teapot. It did not have the explosive force anymore.
This is important evidence that anger is substantial. It is an energy that travels through the nervous system and does build to explosive force within us at times. It needs a pathway and it needs to be released. It is a physical energy with a physical basis.

Anger causes somatic responses. Our body responds to anger in different ways. What kind of body language expresses anger?

Do you clench your jaw?
Get a stomachache?
Raise your voice?
Refuse to speak?
Want to hurt someone?
Want to get away?
Become verbally or physically abusive?
Sweat or turn red?
Get sarcastic?
Does your tone of voice change?
Do you cry?
Do you shake?

How does anger make you feel?

Do you procrastinate in doing things?
Are you always late for things?
Do you have a sadistic or ironic humor?
Are you sarcastic, cynical or flip in conversation?
Do you sigh frequently?
Are you over polite or “Nice”?
Do you smile when hurting?
Do you have bad dreams?
Do you have trouble sleeping?
Are you bored with things that are usually fun?
Are you more tired than usual?
Do you get really picky and irritable with others?
Do you get tired when you shouldn’t?
Does your anger make you feel guilty?
Do you feel anxious?
Do you feel ashamed?
Do you feel withdrawn from others?
Do you know when you are angry?

What is your anger like?

Does it last to long?
Does it flare up frequently?
Does it express itself even when you are trying to suppress it?
Does it go away quickly?

What does your anger do?

Does it interfere with your jobs or relationships?
Does it contribute to physical problems?
Does it lead to accidents?
Does it get you into legal problems?

Knowing your own anger and how you respond to it is very important. You need to know when you are angry so you can safely do something about it. Take a few minutes going through this list and determine if any of them apply to you. Try to decide if you have a problem with anger or not.

There is a need to use up anger and get rid of it. One is left feeling purified:

Unsafe ways to use up anger:

Stuffers:
Stuffers are conflict avoiders. They are people that will avoid conflict and confrontation at all cost. This makes them easy targets for more aggressive people. They have a lot of stress under the surface and never really confront the issue or problem. People that stuff their anger may become depressed or physically sick with stomachaches or headaches. The only way they know to find relief is to let things get so bad everything falls apart. Then they can start over.

Withdrawers:
Withdrawers are passive-aggressive in dealing with anger. They don’t address the issue or problem directly. Instead they might spread rumors or gossip. These are subtle and not obvious ways of showing anger. Often these people hurt themselves the most by missing out on closer relationships or being misunderstood by others. They often feel guilty and responsible for things that are not in their control. People who withdraw miss out on the power of having their anger work for them.
These people withdraw emotionally. They give others the silent treatment. They might become ill or anxious. They feel they don’t have the right to become angry. They feel anger is not appropriate. They fear they might lose control of their anger and hurt somebody. They can’t cope with strong feelings and avoid them whenever they can. They think people will dislike them if they show anger. They are afraid of losing a job or a friend. They don’t want to hurt or offend anyone.

Blamers:
Blamers express their anger by name calling, attacking, or by putting other people down. They never take responsibility for their own problems. This may cause the people that live with them to have low self-esteem if they believe what the blamer is saying about them. They might also become blamers and never take responsibility for their own problems either. It is very easy to get sucked into a vicious circle of negative behavior around a blamer.

Trianglers:
Instead of dealing with their anger directly trianglers get someone else mad at the same person so they can be mad together. This creates a lot of tension and the victim knows something is wrong but doesn’t really know what it is.

Exploders:
Exploders use violence to express anger. They may push, shove, kick, slap, beat or even kill someone. These are all harmful behaviors. It is not safe to be around an exploder because it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. The exploder is often unpredictable and no one really knows what will set him off.
People that live with expoders are often hyper vigilant, wondering when it is a safe time to do something or bring something up. They often have self-esteem problems and think the exploder might be right in treating them the way they do.
Blamers blow up at people and use intimidation to get what they want in life. They might break things. They might fly off the handle at small things or keep bringing up old grievances. They need to be the boss. They are afraid of getting close to others. They can’t stand to be wrong and don’t know how to communicate calmly when they are angry.

Displaced and distorted anger often causes:

aggressive/overactive sexual activity
violent dreams/misfortune to others
identify self as aggressive
victims/getting even
tiredness/tenseness/pains
over aggression/bullying
over sweet “nice guy”
self-destructive behaviors
subtle sabotage to others

Unhealthy Anger Components:

confused awareness
denying, disguising, prettying up
difficulty/guilt accepting anger
rationalizes, justifies all the time
delayed response-suppressed or diluted
too intense
not intense enough
destructive/manipulative intent
long lasting and corrosive anger
drug abuse
over eating
depression
criticalness
gossiping
anxiety
over exercising/sports
pursuit of perfection
physical ailment/over working

Safe ways to use up anger:

Expressing anger directly:

Write an angry letter. Keep it for a week and then burn it, bury it, or shred it up releasing the anger as you destroy the letter.

Write the person’s name in big letters on a piece of paper and then rip the paper to shreds as quickly as possible releasing the anger as you destroy the paper.

Write the person’s name on the bottom of your shoe and grind the name into the floor with every step you take until the energy is released and you feel better.

Go to a closed room and yell, scream, cry, or beat your pillow until the energy is released and you feel better.

Go to the gym and exercise. Imagine the punching bag as the source of your anger and let go of it wit each punch. Let the energy out and you will feel better.

Pick up the phone and dial the person that you are angry with. When they answer the phone disconnect the phone but continue talking into it about what you are mad about. Often hearing the other person’s voice will help provoke your anger and you can release it completely.

Imagine the other person is sitting in a chair in front of you and really tell them off. Let them know exactly how you feel. Then sit in the chair and pretend to hear their response or lame excuse. Finally, stand back up and really discredit them. Tell them how they are completely wrong.

Split wood, clean the attic, clean the garage, paint the house and scrub the floor. When you are exhausted you will have a feeling of being purified.

Take a walk in the cool air or take a cold shower.

Ridiculous imagery. Imagine them in a rubber duck suit or something.

Don’t blame your anger on another person. Only you can make you feel angry.

Express your angry feelings honestly and assertively so that no one is hurt in the process.

Don’t put the other person on the defensive if possible.

Use “I” statements so others don’t feel attacked.
“I am getting angry.”
“I am getting very upset.”
“I really don’t like what you are doing.”
“I get mad when you do that.”
“I get angry when you are fifteen minutes late every time we get together. I would really appreciate your being on time from now on.”

Dealing with the anger of others

The louder and more angry they become the quieter and calmer you should try to become.

Problems Solvers:
Problem solvers can admit they are angry and then look at why they are angry. They put thinking between their feelings and their behavior. They use their anger creatively to solve the problem or to make needed changes. If they can’t use their anger to solve the problem they will express the anger safely and then let it go. People around problem solvers feel safe and learn to make their own anger work for them.

Healthy Anger:

Be aware of and in touch with your own anger.
Admit your anger to yourself and to others.
Accept your anger as a natural thing.
Think about your anger later. It is all right to be wrong.
Express your anger when you feel it. Don’t let it build up.
Only get real mad over important things.
Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
Try to use your anger constructively.
Your anger is energy, express all of it. You will feel better and clean.

Fight Rules:

Learn to speak up when you are angry. It is your right to have angry feelings and to get angry when something is not right. Let the other person know that you are angry.

Fighting between husbands and wives is natural. So is fighting between parents and children. Don’t be ashamed of fighting.

If someone is angry respect his or her right to be angry. Don’t be afraid or run away. Don’t tease them or make them feel worse.

Listen to what the angry person is saying to you and make sure you understand.

Be certain the reason you are fighting is a good one. Attack the behavior or problem and not the person.

Don’t attack the other person. Attacking the other person will hurt and make them more defensive and harder to reach.

Learn to recognize when you are letting off steam. Learn when the other person is letting off steam. Don’t get into a fight unless you need to. Don’t take things so personal.

Don’t keep reminding people of how bad they have been to you.

Don’t say things you can’t take back, things shared in trust or past mistakes.

Don’t fight or try to solve problems when you are tired, hungry, drunk or unstable.

Be able to admit to the other person that you are wrong when you are wrong even if saying so will be embarrassing or painful. It is needed for personal growth.

Anger Management

Study your anger. Make a list of the things that make you angry.

Visualize yourself in the same room with the person you are angry with. Write down what you would tell them.

Choose a time to talk with the other person that is good for both of you. Maintain eye contact and keep a calm voice when talking.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Let yourself be wrong some of the time.

Avoid blaming, attacking or bringing up old problems.

Use “I” statements.

Can this situation be changed or avoided in the future? What has been learned?

Remember you can’t control how other people will act but you can control how you respond.

Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or slowly counting to 20. Focus on a peaceful place or thought.

Use positive self-talk. I’m angry but I can leave it and get on with my job or my life.

Know your limits. Seek counseling if anger continues to be a big problem in your life.

Importance of recognizing anger and owning it:

All pleasure and happiness are expressed through emotions.

Negative emotions are a warning that something is not right and we are acting contrary to our well being, happiness and true nature.

We must accept sole responsibility for our anger, for understanding it and dealing honestly with reality.

By working through anger we develop competence and gain self-esteem.

Emotions are natural. Only actions can be right or wrong.

Recognize your own mood swings and take responsibility for them. Tell others you are not in a good mood and maintain a low profile.

Remember it is your resistance to what “IS” that is causing your anger.

If you are angry with any part of your life your beliefs must change because a belief or expectation is not in accord with reality.

Your mind will refuse a boring life and create a crisis unless you create something more exciting instead.

We get angry when we want things to stay the same. All things change. We must befriend change.

We act upon what we believe. The consequence of our actions is reality.

Using anger creatively or constructively:

Dealing with anger:

Learn to recognize feelings of anger. Accept them. Everyone feels angry at times. It’s ok to feel angry.

Explore why you are angry with someone else.

Explore when you are angry for no apparent reason and try to discover the hidden reason certain behaviors make you angry. You may be “over reacting” because of something that happened in the past.

Find alternatives. Are your expectations realistic?

Risks involved in expressing anger:

Fear of rejection
Fear of losing control
Fear of being counter attacked
Fear of hurting others
Fear of being hurt by others
Fear of repeating bad experiences
Fear that the anger is not acceptable to others
Fear of feeling guilty after expressing anger
Fear that others will see us as weak if we express anger

Solutions

Understand what anger habits and patterns prevent you from getting what you want in life.

Don’t waste energy on things you can’t change.

Focus on things you can change, not on other people.

Do something you can get excited and feel joy about.

Your viewpoint determines if your life is hostile or pleasant.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Many people work best in a well defined, structured environment in which expectations are clear. There is not a lot of uncertainty.

Don’t tease or mock people when they are angry.

Give frequent compliments to others when they do a job well.

Be matter of fact when correcting others. Don’t rub it in.

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There is a normal cycle that should be followed in communications: First the speaker brings up a subject. The listener acknowledges by nodding, saying yes or in some manner indicating they are listening. The speaker pauses or stops. The listener gives feedback or acknowledges. Perhaps by rephrasing in their own words. “Is this what you mean?” “I agree.” or “I disagree.”

The speaker acknowledges, listens and gives feedback on the listener’s feedback. “Yes, that is what I was trying to say.” “No, I was really trying to say this.”

When the subject is closed it becomes the listener’s turn to begin a new subject as speaker and the cycle is continued.

Verb Matching
We each process information differently. Some people use visual verbs, some use auditory verbs and some use kinesthetic verbs or feeling verbs. When we use the same type of verbs we feel like we are in tune with each other. Find out what kind of verbs you like to use and learn to use other types as well. Listen to others and learn to match the verbs they are using. It will make the communication better.
Visual: “I see what you mean.”
“It is not very clear to me yet.”

Auditory: “That rings a bell.”
“I hear what you are saying.”
Kinesthetic: “That doesn’t feel right to me.”
“Get a grip on things.”

Obviously phrases like: “I see what you are saying.” are not good practice even though we hear them all the time. We can’t see what someone is saying. We hear what they are saying.

Beginning Conversations/Ending Conversations
As strange as it may sound many of us don’t know how to begin or end conversations. We miss out on making good friends simply by not being able to introduce ourselves. At other times we become trapped in conversations that we don’t want.
Practice beginning conversations and ending conversations with a partner until it becomes natural and smooth. Better yet practice all of these skills and keep them handy just in case you need them.
“Hello, my name is…”
“Hello, may I help you?”
“I would really like to hear more later when I have time.”
“Can we talk again sometime?”
Forcing Conversations/Avoiding Conversations
With a partner take turns playing each role and have some fun with it. One of you try to force the conversation and the other try to avoid it. See who wins and why.

“Excuse me. I need to talk to you for a minute.”
“Hey you in the red shirt.”

“I don’t have time right now.”
“I’m busy right now, perhaps we can talk later.”

Changing the subject/Returning to the subject.
This is perhaps the most powerful technique available. Learn how to change the subject to one that you want. When someone avoids talking about your subject keep returning to it. Most people talk in a random manner with one unrelated thought leading into another.
Random association is the rule. By deliberately choosing the subject you control the conversation.
“Don’t you have a car like that one?”
“But what about …”
“I don’t see what this has to do with …”
“Weren’t we talking about …”

Interrupting the conversation/not being interrupted.
Practice these with someone until you get good at them and see how fun communication can be.
“Excuse me, I have a 2:00 appointment.”
“I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”
“Let me finish what I’m trying to say first.”
“This will only take a minute.”

Expressing Joy/Dealing with joy
“I’m so happy I could scream!”
“We could have so much fun!”
“Let’s do it!”
“You look really great today.”

Expressing Sadness/dealing with sadness
“My car just broke down and I don’t know how to get home.”
“I just can’t seem to stop crying.”
“Here’s a Kleenex.”
“Do you have anyone to talk to?”

Expressing Anger/Dealing with Anger
“I’m warning you.”
“I’ve about had it with the people around here.”
“What are you so mad about?”
“Did I do something to offend you?”

I’ve given some sample ideas to get your thoughts moving. Practice some of these with a partner and get good enough at them to use them in conversations at will. Each one will be a valuable tool that you can take with you. It will be there when you need it.

When we see a person at work or on the street do we know if they act that way at home? Do we always know how our kids act away from home? Do we act differently at home and when we are away from home?
Each individual is very complex with many hobbies, interests and life experiences. Even if we know someone very well we can still be surprised at the things they do.
We use the limited knowledge that we have about people and form images or stereotypes. We use these images to help us understand and deal with every person in our lives. Because of these images or stereotypes we are sometimes surprised when people don’t respond the way we are expecting them to.
We may even need to re-evaluate others and treat them differently as we learn more about them. One of the most powerful ways to achieve our goals and to experience the things we want in life is to act, dress and live in a manner that will create the image or stereotype appropriate for achieving our goals.
Through repeated exposure to the image we are projecting others will stereotype us in a manner that is consistent with our goals and treat us the way we want to be treated. When people don’t recognize the image we project the will create one of their own and we probably won’t like it.
Who wants to be labeled as a loser or a freak? We have to give people clues about how we want to be treated. First we create a general image or stereotype that is recognizable to others. Then we can create a sub-category that is unique and individual that reveals more of our true inner self.
We must be true to the stereotype that we project and at the same time be true to ourselves. Remember an image or stereotype tends toward self-fulfillment because everyone else constantly reinforces it. It is up to us to choose what we want to be in life.

Body Language
Body language communicates far more than we ever do with words. Some estimate that as much as 90% of all communication is non-verbal. Anyone interested in true self-empowerment should have a basic understanding of their own body language and the body language of others.
Here are some simple things to notice when you are around other people.

Are the legs crossed? (Is there tension?)
Preening-patting hair, smoothing shirt or dress, straightening tie. Constant movement-can’t sit still, ill at ease, is not giving you their full attention.
Hand movements-what are the hands doing, clenched or open, in pockets or hidden.
Nervous movements-tapping pencil, moving leg.
Movement toward or away from you.
Arms crossed on chest.
Ankles locked.
Relaxed or tense.

These simple things will tell you a lot about a person and what is going on with them. We learn by doing. Practice some of these things with a partner to see how they feel. Take turns doing each position and become aware of how they make you feel. What things are uncomfortable? Are they things you can’t do?

Eye Contact/No eye contact
One person tries to maintain eye contact and the other person tries to avoid eye contact while having a conversation.

Hand Shake
Firm handshake
Finger handshake
Two-handed hand shake
Limp handshake

Slumped shoulders/Erect posture
One person tries to maintain a slumped posture while talking and the other an erect posture.

Proximity Boundary/Too Close
One person moves in too close to the other person deliberately while talking. Some people find this very disturbing.

Proximity Boundary/Too far away
One person moves too far away from the other person deliberately while they are talking. See if the other person moves closer.

Standing/Sitting at desk
One person is standing and the other is sitting behind a desk.

Standing/Sitting
One person is standing and the other remains sitting in a chair.

Turned Away
One person remains turned 45 degrees away from the other person while talking.

The object of these exercises is self-discovery. Learn how they make you feel and learn how they make others feel. Practice them and use them consciously and deliberately to be more effective in your communications with others.

The Will to live
There is an instinct or primal will to live deep within each one of us. It is the collective will of the human species to survive into the future, to grow and to expand. There is something within us that wants the human race to be alive billions of years into the future when our sun goes nova or dies out. There is something within us that wants the human race to explore the stars, build cities beneath the oceans and on top of the highest mountains.
This something wants us to go ever onward in the face of overwhelming opposition. This is the force that we need to tap into when we wish to assert ourselves in life. We need to believe in both the human race and in ourselves and in our right to live the type of life we each desire.
Assertiveness is the taking back of personal power. We choose to create the type of world we want to live in and we believe in our ability to make a difference.

Manipulation Traps
Manipulation traps are unfair ways we try to take advantage of personal relationships and force people into giving us what we desire. Understanding manipulation traps and how to avoid them is vital in reclaiming our personal power and being assertive.

Guilt
“How can you treat me like that?”
“I’ve been waiting all week for you to call.”
“It’s your fault that I’m upset and can’t get to sleep.”

Making someone feel guilty is a common manipulation technique. It weakens and destroys a person’s self-esteem. No matter how upset you are with someone or their behavior you don’t need to make them feel guilt. There is no reason someone should make you feel guilty. Guilt destroys our sense of who we are.
Instead of making a person feel guilty focus on the behaviors instead.
“I don’t like it when you treat me like that.”
“I have been hoping to hear from you all week.”
“Our argument got me upset and I can’t sleep.”

These responses communicate the same feelings or information without making the other person feel guilty. When a person feels guilty they feel attacked and hurt. They are also put on the defensive and may fight back in self-defense.

Anger
Yelling and intimidation to your face. Unfortunately making a scene in public does work for many people. I’ve seen a Lt. Col. Plead with an outraged Sgt. asking her to calm down and stop yelling.
Being considerate and respectful is expected public behavior. People that yell and throw temper tantrums to get their own way are deliberately being rude and disrespectful to cause discomfort. It makes people back down simply because they are uncomfortable.
This is unfair. You can not let someone get their way by intimidation. Once you give in they will constantly take advantage of you in the future.

Criticism/Insecurity
You don’t want to play bingo. Your spouse accuses you of never wanting to do what he or she wants to do. You go play bingo. This is a variant of the guilt trip manipulation. Compromise is an important part of any relationship.
“If we go to bingo this week can we go bowling next week?”

Obligation
If I do this for him, he’ll have to do something for me.
“Here is a free sample; can I have a minute of your time?”

In my mind this is one of the worst manipulation traps. Someone does something for us that we are not asking for or perhaps even expecting and they demand some type of payment or response for what they have done.

“Well I do all the cooking and cleaning around here. The least you can do is take out the garbage.”

The problem is that solutions are not negotiated. Everything is one way, the way the manipulator desires.
What is wrong with:
“I’m going to do the cooking. What are you going to do to help?”
“Can we take turns cooking and cleaning?”

Give the other person a chance to take part in the decision making process. Let their opinions count and their feelings be heard.

Withholding
“If you do that I’ll never talk to you again.”
“If you are going to do that you might as well never come back.”

These are obvious strong-arm tactics to get what you want at any cost. You have raised the stakes so high that there is no negotiation or discussion at all. This is totally one way and grossly unfair. Such extremist behavior can not allow relationships to grow.

Helplessness
“You’re the only one that can help me.”
“How do you expect me to wash the dishes and still get my homework done?”

Pretending to be helpless when you are not is all too easy. At first people are willing to help but later this behavior builds deep resentments and may even cause people to avoid you. Learning to do things and becoming competent is one of the greatest joys in life even if it is hard at times.

“Will you show me how to do this?” is a lot better.
Hurtful Teasing
“That looks like you.”
“You must be related.” (The idea is that the teasing hits too close to home and is hurtful not playful.)

Questions
“Why did you stop at the bar last night?” (You already know the answer but just want to watch him or her squirm and try to get out of it.)

Double bind
“Are you still driving that old wreck?”
“Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

This manipulation can be very frustrating because either way you answer the question puts you in a bad light. This is the kind of manipulation that makes people look like fools and no one likes that.

Solutions
Manipulation traps are not fair. There are healthy ways of getting your needs met within relationships. They are win-win solutions that allow personal growth and respect for each other at all times. Instead of needing to be in control ensure both of you have choices and that the choices are mutual.
One person can not be making all of the choices in a healthy relationship. All to often the helpless manipulation comes up. Teach each other how to cook a meal, clean the bathroom, start the lawn mower, and check the oil.
Allow each other to become successful in more areas and take joy in their successes. Getting even is a form of revenge. It doesn’t belong in relationships. Replace getting even with justice and fairness. When things are unfair talk about them and find solutions that work for both of you.

Antidotes to manipulation traps

Repeat Technique
Ignore trap and repeat what you want in a calm voice until they give up. This may take 4 or 5 repetitions. Don’t get drawn into the trap. Stay focused and repeat the same words. They understand, you don’t need to say it several ways.

I Statement
Without putting yourself down or apologizing state what it is that you want.
“I want to stay at my current job. I don’t want to move closer to your parents.”

Clouding
Respond calmly, acknowledge there may be some truth yet you still will continue to do what you believe is best. Don’t apologize-continue to do what you want.
“I understand that I could find a better paying job. I like the one I have. Money is not everything that is important to me.”

Negative Declarations
Ask questions about the problem until the complaints are exhausted. Admit a mistake or fault without apologizing for it.
“I said I would take out the garbage and I forgot. I will do it as soon as I am done with the paper. Is there anything else you are angry about?”

Compromise without loss of self-respect
Relationships are two way things. Both people have needs to be met and they are not always the same needs. It is important to finds ways to be supportive of each other’s needs and allow compromises when needed. At times it is important to give in as well. Which is more important that tie or the relationship?

Side tracking
changing the subject to something more interesting. This is a lot easier to do than most people would think.
“Is that your dog?” or “I need to go to the bathroom.” can derail most unpleasant discussions.

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Today were going to introduce the subject of alchemy. It’s a big subject and an important subject. The best that I can do is just give a little bit on it and people can follow up on their own to their heart’s desire.

Following the 12th-century there was a Renaissance and it was produced by translations of Islamic works of science for English-speaking Christians. People were emerging from a dark age while the Islamic countries had advanced knowledge of the sciences.

There are actually three branches of alchemy and I’d like to say that alchemy can be looked at in several different ways.

One way is the study of the physical sciences like chemistry, healing, medicines, and things like that.

A second way of looking at it is in the development of the soul. This includes the development of nonphysical energies and ways of working with those energies. This type of alchemy is very symbolic and subjective.

A third way of looking at it is changing base metals into gold. What that means is simply the transformation or transmutation of black energy or negative energy, poisons or toxins into good things. This is how to take the things that are bad in life and turn them into empowerments. It’s a form of mental reframing.

There are also three schools of alchemy.

Chinese alchemy is founded on Taoism and what I’ve read of it is based upon five elements. It gets into acupuncture and the energy channels within the body. Kung Fu and the other martial arts all deal with some of these things and it is very powerful.

Mantak Chia is extremely effective in explaining a lot of these things. I really enjoyed his books and would recommend them.

The teachings of the East included the development of the immortal physical body. It could be tangible to a degree and awareness existed in it beyond the death of the physical body. This sounds very similar to Organic Gnosticism and the development of the soul.

There is also Indian alchemy. This of course is considered the origin of Tantra. The left-hand path of tantric Buddhism taught the development of the thunderbolt body or diamond body.

This is the same thing as what we see in the east which is called the immortal physical body.

These schools taught the development of a soul body that was very substantial and existed on all levels of the astral planes.

Contrast this with Christianity which taught Sophia and how it involved creating the soul out of mental energy. This was done by totally renouncing the lower levels.

Western Alchemy began with Greek and Roman philosophy. This crossed over into the Islamic culture and after the crusades it started moving into medieval Europe.

Everything was formed from only four elements, earth, air, water and fire. You might think this is entirely symbolic, but here’s a thought. What if you said solids, liquids and gases and plasmas? That’s a different story because there are four states that each element can exist in. So let’s not be too quick to judge these things.

Alchemy coexisted with emerging Christianity in the fourth and fifth centuries and by the middle of the seventh century most of Christianity was alchemical, meaning that it was mystical. It was talking about the marriage of the Christ and Sophia. It was talking about the marriage of the heart with the Christ spirit. So it was taking on religious connotations.

Another favorite topic in alchemy was turning lead into gold, the transmutation of the base into the pure, but also about eternal life. Those were the main things that led to mystical Christianity which came out of this movement.

Here we have the philosopher’s stone which was also the elixir of immortality that flourished in 12th-century Spain. In the 13th century Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon were monks who taught alchemical subjects and they taught a fairly structured system of alchemical processes that could purify the soul so it could be reunited with God.

In the 14th and 15th centuries you have the beginnings of the Rosicrucians with the mythical life of Christian Rosenkreuz. The Rosicrucian manifestos were written around 1607 to 1616,

They were alchemical in nature, and thought to be written by Michael Maier, Robert Fludd and Thomas Vaughn.

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You have the choice of being affected by negativity or not being affected by it. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we do have this choice. When someone is pushing your buttons to get a reaction they know exactly what they are doing and we fall right into it. This is following old behavior patterns unconsciously even when we don’t want to.

When someone pushed my buttons I used to mentally tell myself that I would not loose control of myself to someone else. I would not allow someone else to yank my chain. I reasoned that if they could yank my chain that meant they had a certain amount of control over me. I was not going to allow this.

The result was a tough armor that I needed to call upon time after time. People sensed that I was blocking their attempts and tried harder. I put more armor around myself. People tried harder to push my buttons. It seemed that I was caught up in a vicious circle where I was withdrawing from human interaction.

The final result was I was left alone and lonely. Not exactly what I wanted but it was at least peaceful. After I centered myself and calmed down I was ready to start relating with people again. It was not so easy. I noticed it most with my wife. She would try to pull me into arguments. She complained that I would only relate with her when things were going well. At soon as things got bad I would emotionally leave the relationship. She wanted me to stay and confront the issues so we could work them out. I was very uncomfortable doing this. We were at a stand still.

Gradually I learned that being affected by negativity happened by not confronting it when it occurred. It was an emotional charge and if I confronted it right away I lost energy but felt better. I was a lot better off just getting it over with and moving on. When I let my wife discharge her frustration she felt better. I didn’t try running from it. A side effect was that I started expressing more of my frustration as well.

Being free to express small frustrations and negativity prevented the build up of anger and resentment that produced many of the big blow-ups. This was an important step.

Being able to armor myself was just as important. Imagine being in a restaurant or public place and someone butts in line and starts screaming at you. This is the type of negativity you can block with your armor. Don’t block the negativity from your loved ones. Try to understand it instead.

The only way you can choose is if you are capable of both options. Knowing when to accept negativity is as important as blocking it. The sharing of pain and sorrow is an important part of our important relationships. We need to be supportive of others if we want them to be supportive of us. At times this means accepting their anger and resentment.

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