Hey there everyone! I hope your days are going well! 😊 It’s rainy here in Ohio, the birds are singing loud; it’s the perfect weather for being productive! I woke up at 6, had a cup of coffee, and immediately started making a printable mindfulness journal. Plus, Mercury just ended it’s Retrograde, so it’s a great time for starting projects!
I’ve considered making a printable journal for a while now, but for some reason or another never wanted to actually start on it. I kept telling myself I had to plan it all out first, which really isn’t my style. Thinking things through is important, but after that, I work best by diving right in and figuring things out as I go along. I figure working and editing as I go is better than never starting at all! Almost every time I dive into things on Ambiguous Spaces, things just fall into place. It’s a slow process, but totally worth the effort!
I’ve got a vague vision of where Ambiguous Spaces is going, but it’s still not quite focused enough for me to see the details. It’ll for sure have printables, journals, journaling supplies, tote bags, and probably some hats and t-shirts with the pomegranate logo. But for now, printables!
Like I said, gotta start somewhere.
I just don’t know what it is about today that’s making me so energetic, but I hope it lasts for a while! I finally got around to making a sort of prayer worksheet to accompany the post Prayer and Gratitude: Food for the Soul. In it, I talk about the positive effect a daily prayer routine has had on my life, how to pray mindfully, and some scientifically proven benefits of prayer. Go check it out if you haven’t already!
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when praying, plus it’s important to be really sure of your intentions while you pray. That’s why I’ve come up with the Mindful Prayer Worksheet.
What You Need and Where to Find It
It asks you to think about your state of mind, and how you could improve your mood. If you’re feeling weak, where can you look to find strength? If you’re feeling lost, where do you go for guidance? Answering these questions before you start your prayer help you figure out how to help yourself. Remember babes, G-d helps those who help themselves!
Show and Tell Gratitude
Then, there’s a section for writing out what you’re grateful for. I find that the worksheets work best for me when I write out lists. There’s totally enough room for full sentences if that’s more your style, though! If you only focus on what you need, you’ll never see what you already have. And don’t just write down what you’re grateful for, show it to the world. Write some thank you notes or show your appreciation for Nature by recycling.
Don’t just help yourself, help others too! Be sure to include others in your prayers with the Mindful Prayer Worksheet. It comes with a section to write out everyone you want to pray for. You’re more empathetic than just praying for those in need, you can do more than that! Brainstorm some ways for you to get involved in your community and help make the world a better place.
How to Get It
All you have to do to get the freeMindful Prayer Worksheet is sign up for occasional updates from Ambiguous Spaces! I’ll keep you up to date on all the latest printables, journals, and everything else I have planned for 2019!
Did you get the worksheet? Let me know what you think in the comments! Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I get a small commission. at no extra cost to you, for any purchase made through the links in this post. Thank you for your understanding and support!
Happy Wednesday, everyone! There’s so much to be happy about today! Happy First Day of Spring, Happy Purim, and Happy International Day of Happiness! If ever there was a good day to start working towards your dream, today would be that day. For months now, I’ve seen The Alchemistby Paulo Coelho on the shelf at my favorite bookstore, picked it up to buy, but put it down in exchange for something else. Yesterday I finally bought it, today I finished reading it, and it feels like no coincidence that it happened on such a happy day!
To say that The Alchemist immediately became my favorite book would be an understatement. It’s really tempting to ask myself why, after almost buying this book countless times in the past, I haven’t gotten it sooner. But, strange as it sounds, I don’t think I was ready.
I didn’t have good reasons for wanting to read it, anyways. The cover was pretty and the name sounded mystical. That’s essentially all I’ve known about this book for years now, but it was enough to catch my attention. Every. Single. Time.
Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers! The Alchemist is the story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who has a dream of treasure in a far off land. To quote the inner cover of the book,
“No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path.”
Paulo Coelho,The Alchemist
It’s a classic tale of self-discovery that combines teachings from all three Abrahamic traditions with the Hermetic wisdom from the Emerald Tablets. The three central themes in the book are the Personal Journey, the Oneness of Creation, and Fate vs Free Will, and we’ll look at each of these themes in this post.
The Alchemistis a parable; it’s loaded with wisdom and morals down to the letter. It’s tempting to wish I’d read the book sooner, but I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that yesterday and today were the absolute perfect times for the book to have entered my life.
The Right Time
As I’ve said in other posts on Ambiguous Spaces, I was raised in a Christian house. At around 10 or 11 years old I had abandoned religion, and through my early teenage years, I openly condemned it in favor of secular philosophy. After that, I didn’t really think about religion all that much. But college is tough and a place for experimenting, and soon enough I found myself in the world of New Age spirituality, which got me interested in religion again.
I started learning about Buddhism, which brought me to Hinduism, which I studied for a long time and still like to visit. Then I learned about Sikhism, and then the Bahá’í Faith. I started exploring Judaism, learned there were 613 commandments to follow and quickly left to read about Islam instead. Islam’s tortuous Hell brought me to Hellenic Polytheism since their vision of the afterlife was so different. Hellenic Polytheism directed me towards Hermeticism, then Sufism, then Kabbalah. Now, I’m back at the root of my roots, trying again to learn about Judaism. I read about all of these paths over the course of a year and a half and can tell you a little bit about each one.
To be honest, it wasn’t until I started blogging that I really started to feel the kind of faith in G-d I had as a little kid! And I have no doubt that G-d kept me from reading The Alchemist until after leading me to explore so many different kinds of faith.
That’s not to say that the lessons in The Alchemist can’t be understood without first exploring so many religions. You don’t need any religious experience to understand the lessons in The Alchemist. But if I would have started reading the book before now I don’t think it would have impressed me so much. It would have been like lighting a match without having any kindling on hand to start a fire.
The Alchemist and The Personal Journey
The first theme introduced in The Alchemist is Personal Journey. Paulo Coelho puts it best when he describes it in the book:
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny… It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and you will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”
The Personal Journey is about following your heart. But, even before that, it’s about learning how to recognize what is even is that our hearts want! We can’t go chasing a dream if we don’t know what the dream is, after all. And part of following our hearts is learning to follow omens!
There are omens everywhere, if you just stop to notice them.
For example, I used to work at a fast food restaurant. On the first day that I started researching one of the religions I mentioned earlier, I got an omen that the religion wasn’t for me, but I ignored the omen. What was it? Well, some way, somehow someone defecated in the middle of the floor in the restaurant without being seen! To this day I don’t know how the mystery pooper did it. It was right in front of where I was standing, while I was stirring the food in the buffet to keep it evenly heated.
I thought to myself “hmm, maybe this is a sign,” convinced a co-worker to clean the mess, and later that day I went back to learning about that religion. Now, I wanna be clear that the sign was an omen that this particular religion wasn’t good for me, not that the religion wasn’t good at all. And the more I looked into it, the more bad omens I got and ignored.
Omens are sent to help us. I didn’t start believing in omens until recently, but now that I’ve been following them there’s no turning back.
“God has a prepared path for us to follow. We just have to read the omens he has left for us.”
The Oneness of Creation
Believing in omens sounds superstitious if you don’t understand the unity of everything. See, if G-d is infinite and limitless, that means that nothing can exist outside of G-d and that everything is G-d because everything comes from G-d in some way or another.
This idea is a non-dualistic understanding of G-d and the Universe. Sort of like “As above, so below,” this is the idea that we aren’t separate from the Divine. It can be found in the mystic teachings of most of the spiritual paths I’ve looked into, and it’s a life-changer.
Being able to see Divinity in everything really has a way of changing how you interact with the world. In The Alchemist this is called the “Soul of the World.” Following your Personal Legend will lead you to realize the connectedness of all things. Regardless of whether or not you’re religious, following your Personal Legend will help you to be better, you’ll end up helping others to be better, and they’ll help others, too.
This is why alchemy exists,” the boy said. “So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold. That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.
We all come from the same source, we’ll all one day return to the same source, and until then, that source will be using omens to try and help guide us along our paths. But it’s up to us to listen.
Fate vs Free Will
So if everything is all a part of the same thing, how are we supposed to believe in free will? I won’t get too much into it here, but quantum physics tells us that things can exist in multiple possible realities! So if you’re approaching a crossroads that you haven’t yet seen, there’s a future where you choose the left road, there’s a future where you choose the right road, and there’s a future where you turn around. There’s a future for every possibility!
This means that it’s totally possible for fate and free will to co-exist! Free will is what happens when we make our own decisions about our future; fate happens when we just let life happen to us.
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
It’s like life is a multiple choice test, but there’s more than one right answer. But how do we find the right answer? Well, we look deep in our hearts to discover what our Personal Journey is, and then we listen to the omens we get along the way! But remember, the choices are our own to make.
Have you read The Alchemist? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I get a small commission. at no extra cost to you, for any purchase made through the links in this post. Thank you for your understanding and support!
Do you have a hard time making decisions? Maybe you overthink things too much and lose sight of what you really want, or maybe you can see both sides of something and can’t seem to choose one or the other.
I’m right there with ya, friend.
So when I first learned what pendulums were I was super excited. But the more I read about them, the more it seemed like they were a gimmick or a useless novelty.
Filled with doubt, I kept researching.
What is a pendulum?
Pendulums are super simple tools. Like, crazy simple. It’s just a weight attached to a string at a single point. That’s it.
They’ve been used for ages for all sorts of stuff, from answering questions to finding fresh water. Clocks and Newton’s Cradles are good examples of common pendulum uses, too!
Pendulums will help you make decisions from the heart.
Well, from the subconscious mind, but whatever. See, pendulums work by tapping into your subconscious knowledge and desires.
There’s the belief that spirits communicate with people through pendulums, or that pendulums are just used for witchcraft and magic. While they can be used for those sorts of things, they can also be used for more secular and practical purposes!
So there’s nothing inherently magical about using pendulums; using one for secular reasons won’t make you a witch or condemn you or anything like that.
How do pendulums work?
When you look at delicious food, you can’t help it when your mouth waters. When you get cold, you can’t help it when you get goosebumps. The human body has all kinds of subtle and uncontrollable impulses!
The subconscious mind has a mind of it’s own, but it doesn’t know anything that you don’t already know.
A similar, uncontrollable subconscious reaction happens when we think of different questions to ask the pendulum. When our subconscious mind automatically answers the questions we asked, it sends a bunch of imperceptible nerve impulses through our bodies and, ultimately, through our fingertips.
hese tiny impulses are strong enough to influence the way the pendulum swings.
For example, say I can’t decide if I want to name my newest plant baby Lucky or Dusty. Let’s ask the pendulum for help!
How to Use a Pendulum
It’s almost easier than flipping a coin. You just take the little bead/holder thing at the end on the chain and let your pendulum hang down naturally.
Hold it as lightly as you can without dropping it, and set your elbow on a table for stability. Then ask your pendulum to show you which movement means yes, and which means no. Be sure to let it come to a rest in-between questions though!
It’s good practice to “calibrate” your pendulum for the first couple of times that you use it. But what is calibrating, you ask? It’s just the process of asking your pendulum yo show you yes, no, and maybe even maybe!
You Make the Rules
Once you know your pendulum well enough, you can start asking more than just yes or no questions.
Instead of asking my pendulum which direction means yes for Lucky and which direction means yes for Dusty, I can just tell it which directions to go and watch what happens.
Swing left and right for Lucky, and forward and back for Dusty.
And the winner is…
See how easy that was?
Simple Tools, Simple Answers
Pendulums can’t give answers as in-depth as, say, Oracle or tarot cards can, so don’t expect all that. They’re good for yes/no questions, for this/that questions, and for finding the answers to things that you probably already know.
For example, say you’ve lost your phone. What’s the first thing people say to you when you lost something? Usually, they’ll ask where the last place you remember having it was and if you’ve retraced your steps, right?
And of course, if you could actually remember the last place you had your phone it wouldn’t be lost to begin with! Lucky for you, your subconscious mind probably remembers!
Finding Lost Objects With a Pendulum
“Okay Pendulum, swing forward and backward if my phone is in the house, swing side to side if it’s in my car.”
forward and backward
“Okay Pendulum, swing forward and backward if my phone is upstairs, swing side to side if it’s downstairs.”
side to side
“Okay Pendulum, is my phone lost in the couch?”
You could also draw up a floorplan of your house and hold the pendulum over it while asking where your phone might be. Then just go to wherever the pendulum moves to on the map!
Not artistic? Experiment! Instead of a map, just write room names in different squares on some paper and it should work just the same. But wait, whats that? You don’t have a pendulum?
I’ve got your back, babe!
Pendulums are so easy to make. Just tie something at the end of some string or a chain and you’ll have your very own pendulum. Or if you’ve got a necklace that’s only attached to the chain at one point, that’ll work too!
Maybe its because I’m a Gemini, but I’m really indecisive. I’ve struggled with making decisions for my whole life. But I don’t anymore! It took a while, but I found 3 extremely easy to use tools to help me get through life without stressing over decisions!
So, what are some ways easy to make decisions when you can’t decide or just don’t care?
Tools: A coin Lenormand cards(or app) Planetary hours clock(or app)
There are a couple of tools you can use to make decisions. One method is better for getting yes/no answers, one is better for getting longer answers that are more open to interpretation, and another is better for planning and scheduling. The first 2 methods rely on chance, while the 3rd one is more of a lifestyle.
Making Decisions Using a Coin:
This one may be a little obvious, but it’s easy to overthink things and forget about this simple solution. Coins are easy-peasy to use, carry around, and interpret. Heck, you’ve probably already got some loose change in your coat pockets or at the bottom of your purse!
Just decide which side of the coin is yes and which is no and give it a flip! Don’t have a coin?
Need more than a simple yes or no answer? Keep reading to learn more!
Use Lenormand Cards for Open Ended Questions:
First things first, what even are Lenormand cards, anyway?
The cards were a parlor game in Napoleonic Era France and gained popularity due to Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand, France’s most famous fortune teller.
There are 36 cards in a deck, and each card represents some sort of universal symbol or archetype. You can use these cards to decide how to go about doing things.
For example, when I was trying to figure out what this blog should be about I decided to ask my cards for some help.Usually at least 2 cards are drawn for simple questions like that, but more complex readings can be done using larger spreads, too.
So what did the cards say this blog should be about? The clover and the home were the two cards drawn.
There’s lots of ways to interpret this card combination. I chose to read it as encouragement to start a lifestyle blog and talk about finding joy in the little things while working from home!
It’s not like Tarot, when you invoke deities or spirits to guide you to the right cards(though that can be done if you want!), it’s just a game of chance. All of the cards are beneficial for self growth and can be great tools when you need some advice!
Ambiguous Spaces is in the process of designing our own Lenormand Decks for all you lovely folks out there, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get updates about when they’ll be released for sale!
No now that you’ve decided how you’re gonna get things done it might be a good idea to figure out when to get things done.
Use astrology to create a plan.
More specifically, use planetary hours. Astrology involves so much more than just looking at your birthday! It integrates planets, Zodiac signs, their location in the sky, and their relationships with each other.
Ambiguous Spaces will have an introductory course on astrology out soon enough, too!
But if you want to start usingastrology in your daily life ASAP, try starting with the planetary hours. You’ve heard how the moon controls the tides, and probably something about the moon controlling our emotions too, right?
The phases of the moon coincide with the average person’s hormone cycle, which can explain why people often act strange on full moons!
Planetary hours runs on a similar principle. We can feel the energy of each planet strongest at certain hours during the day. Or rather, the planets represent archetypes within our psyche, and those archetypes tend to manifest in our lives during specific times of day cyclically.
A Quick Overview of the Planets
I’m writing this during the hour of Mars right now. See, I don’t have a job at the moment, so I’m extremely driven to make Ambiguous Spaces a success, which makes Mars time a great time to work on making it happen!
Can you guess which hours I set aside to work on designing the Lenormand cards mentioned earlier?
Did you guess the Sun and Venus? Since designing cards takes creativity and the ability to express various ideas, the Sun is a great time to focus on them! And designing is an art after all, so Venus is a great time to polish up sketches and make them more beautiful!
Think of each hour as each planet’s own Happy Hour.
It’s the best time of day to do a certain type of activity, but that doesn’t make it the only time to do something.
Oxbridge Academy recommends focusing on one thing for 50 minutes, followed by a 10 minute break. That 10 minute break is perfect for checking the next planetary hour!
Planetary Hours is a nice free app for easily checking when each planet is in effect. It provides keywords associated with each planet to help you with your planning, and the pro version comes with a widget for only $1.29.
These three tools can help you decide whether or not you should do something, how you should do it, and when you should do it.
All that’s let to do now is to do it!
Have you tried any of these methods? Tell me whether or not they helped with your productivity in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe! Thanks for reading, and good luck!
Both art and science seek to understand and express what it is to be human by exploring, defining, and redefining our relationships with everything around us, be it people or space.
A painting expresses our attitudes, feelings and ideas, whereas a formula expresses the laws of nature. Both are forms of expression, yet we treat art and science as opposites; one emotional and one logical, one expressive and one factual.
When humans set boundaries it’s an expression of our will, our autonomy, our wants and needs. We learn those boundaries by being in relationships with people, by experimenting and experiencing life together, hopefully with mutual respect and love.
Aren’t we in a relationship with the world around us? We’re constantly interacting with our surroundings, collecting things that we “own” as extensions of (and expressions of) ourselves that we seek to impose our will over. Why shouldn’t we consider physics to be an expression of the will, autonomy, wants, and needs, and boundaries of a personal Universe, that which some call G-d?
Empathy, Objects, and Us
For example, the water bottle that I use is metal and expresses my will to be eco-friendly; it says “BE KIND.” on it, and it keeps my water cool for hours without wasting plastic. I like having it around, so it goes wherever I want it to go. I control it.
It was made to store and give water, and does it’s job wonderfully, so I take good care of it. I make sure it’s clean and try not to let it get dinged and scratched up, and I hope that, if it had a will then, it would be happy under my care. It was made with a purpose, and is fulfilling that purpose wonderfully!
But why? Why do I care whether or not the water bottle would be happy? Because, as I stated earlier, we’re in a relationship! No, not a romantic relationship. Any time we interact with anything that isn’t ourselves, we engage in a relationship with a perceived “other.”
We know that people and living beings can be objectified, controlled, and abused. And indeed, just like objects, living beings exist outside of ourselves, as a perceived other. If I got in the habit of abusing and disrespecting all of the objects around me, who’s to say that controlling attitude won’t eventually affect my relationships with all perceived “others”?
The reverse is also true; when we make kindness a habit while interacting with objects which don’t seem to have a will of their own we’re practicing being in a respectful relationship with others who do have a will of their own.
After all, despite all our differences, the Laws of Physics affect us all equally. What harm can come from being empathetic towards that and taking notes?
Art, Physics, and Boundaries
When we create art, we’re expressing our thoughts, feelings, and ideas about our relationship with the world outside ourselves as our own personal truths; assertions of who we are and what we want to be, as well as what we think of the world is and how we want to change it.
Physics, on the other hand, is an expression of universal truth. It tells us how the world works, and what we can and cannot do. Sure, we may move about freely and communicate as we please, but we’re just water bottles in the eyes of physics.
One could say that to be spiritual is to recognize that we’re in a relationship with the whole universe. We all have our own personal truths, and it can only make our relationship with the world around us better if we pursue those truths wholeheartedly. If I can give the water bottle respect enough to recognize that it was made with a purpose, then why is it so hard to believe that I, and everyone and everything else for that matter, were also made for a purpose?
Exploring and Understanding Relationships
Our personal truths are just that, personal. They’re subjective and often emotional, but they’re still truths to us nonetheless. To explore art is to explore our own personal truths as well as the personal truths of others.
Though the exploration of this personal truth is often branded as emotional, spontaneous strokes of genius, creating art involves just as much as a process as solving a math problem. It can be, and often is, formulaic. Artists search for a process, a formula, that best expresses their own personal truths. Then they follow that formula, tweaking and experimenting as they learn and grow. Just like science.
We are the painting. The world, the whole Universe is a painting that follows a formula, an expression of uniqueness, of autonomy. Artists seek to discover their own formulas of expression while physicists seek the Universe’s expressive formulas. This search for understanding Universal formulas, in my eyes, is the same as getting to know who wrote those formulas in the first place!
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Let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to like and follow for more! 😊
They say that faith is blind, but I see Your beauty every day in life and in death, too. I hear Your voice all the time in nature. I feel Your presence wherever I feel love.
You’re like the Sun, and I’m the Earth; my life revolves around You, my life is because of You; You bring life to All! My life is for You, ________. I don’t need to see it to be able to feel your lovingkindness. Let Your sunlight wash over me so that I may grow closer towards you!
Like the Sunflower, I keep my face towards You always! I will imitate Your warmth and keep reaching towards You. I will stand tall in Your glory.
Thank You, _______.
You are resilient, infinite, strong. I’m limited, and I fear that I’m starting to reach my limit. Grant me some of Your wisdom so that I may extend my limits and grow stronger. I am determined to get stronger.
Thank You, _______.
I need help. Please help me to help myself. Give me the strength to ask for help when I need it. I know nobody can do everything alone, but sometimes I forget.
Let these words be a reminder when I need it, that I am never alone. Let these words be my comfort, my guidance, my home.
I am here to help the world with my actions and my words. Remind me often, lest I forget. I can do it.
I can change the world.
These letters/prayers/invocations can be used by anyone, regardless of religion or belief system. I hope they can be of some use to you!❤
The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), all have holy books that prohibit certain types of magic and witchcraft in general; and for many reasons! Some say that to use magic is to interfere with the Divine Plan, others say witchcraft is equal to idolatry, some even say that magic comes from the devil. I like to think the answer is a little more wholesome!
There are many hidden aspects of the Universe and a whole world of metaphysics attempting to explain their existence and function. For example, astrology is the study of the relationships between earthly affairs and celestial affairs. Since celestial matters can be mathematically determined, it makes sense to think that the stars and planets can be used to predict the future.
A confused individual might even start to think that the planets and stars are in control of the world; that our decisions don’t matter. So, in that sense, astrology can easily lead to idolatry because it can lead people to worship the stars. But, when used responsibly, it can be used to help guide our decisions, sort of like a weather radar.
Similar things can be said of numerology, spirit work, and other forms of divination and magic. Just because we don’t fully understand it from a secular point of view doesn’t mean it exists any less; it just means that some things in the world are more hidden than others. Like buried treasure, magic is often hidden for its own protection.
Witches Work With the Laws of Nature(Not the Devil)
Magic can’t make the impossible possible. It can only work within the laws of nature towards the actualization of . . .well, something or another. This means that magic and witchcraft can both exist and be used in line with the “Divine Will”, if a person knows whatever that may be.
Now there’s an interesting topic. Used to justify all sorts of atrocities, what exactly is the “Divine Will,” anyways?
It’s pretty self explanatory, but Divine Will basically means G-d’s plan for us, the Earth, all of Creation, etc etc.
But if there even is a plan for us, why were we given free will? Wouldn’t that let us stray from the plan?
It does! We have the freedom to make our own choices! It’s up to us whether or not we’ll choose to get to know G-d; G-d respects boundaries. What good is a relationship if it’s forced, coerced, or otherwise fake? We have to consent to the relationship. As for the people who choose not to get to know G-d, perhaps G-d has also refused them for the time being; respect that as Divine Will and don’t proselytize.
Respect the Right to Say No
Which brings us to boundaries. Even consensual relationships have them, and a Divine relationship is no different. And, it seems, that one of the Creator’s boundaries is with witchcraft and magic. Could this be because using magic is satanic or some type of evil?
In my understanding, the Universe is One, and we’re all a part of that One. That means I don’t really believe in the existence of a great battle between Good and Evil, where there’s a Devil who’s the complete opposite adversary of G-d and all of the Universe. I believe in a non-dual G-d. So the question of whether or not magic is evil is irrelevant for me, personally.
Forbidden Doesn’t Have to Mean Evil
That still doesn’t mean that magic is entirely good for us, though. Perhaps witchcraft is like spiritual alcohol, cutting us off from G-d. But couldn’t it be said that the prophets used magic to perform miracles? How can learning the inner workings of the Universe be bad? Is gaining a better understanding of G-d’s creation really forbidden to us?
If a person can responsibly practice magic and divination without turning to idolatry, and if witchcraft can help a person live a righteous life, then why would G-d ask them not to be a witch? Done respectfully, and in praise of G-d, what harm could come from practicing magic?
Magic is Veiled, and Veiling is Okay
One could say that magic is veiled under layers of reality; it’s not easy to access. That’s because magic is hidden knowledge.
All of us have things about ourselves that we keep hidden, things we’ve never told anyone, things we don’t show to a person unless we really trust them. It can be secrets, or it can be physical, but we all have certain things that we just want to keep private.
For example, whether a person chooses to cover their hair or not, or whether a person decides to trust us or not, is not something that we get much of a say in.
When looked at that way, it appears that G-d is practicing modesty by veiling the workings of the Universe to humanity. Learning and using these magics could be seen as using free will to unveil G-d, the Universe, without consent. It’s a violation of trust and privacy.
A relationship with the Universe is just that: a relationship. Which means communication, trust, love, and consent are key.
We Don’t Need an An Explanation
Sure, we can always ask someone to tell us their secrets, but they don’t actually have to answer us. We have the freedom to ask someone what their hair looks like under their scarf, but it can be rude and they can always tell you no.
Imagine you have a friend who keeps a diary, and they tell you that they don’t want you to read it. If you respect your friend, then you’ll listen to them. If you don’t respect your friend, you’ll read their diary anyways.
Or maybe your friend doesn’t keep a diary, but wears a hijab or some other sort of covering. Just because we’re curious about how that person would look without their covering doesn’t give us the right to move the covering without consent, right?
What if you read someone’s diary, used the secrets you learned for your own personal gain, and took all of the credit for yourself? That’s sort of what witchcraft looks like! Not only is witchcraft revealing what G-d had concealed, which is super disrespectful, but its often also done with the claim that all of the power came from the individual witch instead of G-d.
We don’t read other’s diaries, or tear off people’s hijabs, or even go through people’s phones because we respect their right to privacy. To me, magic and witchcraft is banned because G-d wants some privacy!
So are we ever allowed to use magic? Didn’t G-d let the prophets use magic to perform miracles? Remember, they had close relationships with the Creator!
It’s not up to me to decide whether or not someone is allowed to use magic!
So do I think witches are sinners? Not at all! I actually think that learning magic can help people enjoy the wonders of the Universe in new ways, it’s just important to be respectful about it!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and follow Ambiguous Spaces! 😊
Thought you all might like this lovely little story! ❤🙂 Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, I got a new job and we’ve been short-staffed. Hopefully I’ll start working fewer hours soon so I can get back to writing for you all!
Did you know that the Moon changes every day? Peoples of old knew, and they would go out and spend time with her every night to make sure that she was okay. They were friends, and the People called her Luna. If Luna had a name for the People, they never knew, but they knew that she listened to them; and that was enough.
They knew when she was feeling happy and full of energy, and they noticed when she felt sad and empty. The People had empathy for Luna. On her darkest nights, the people would light somber fires for her to try and lighten her burden, and although it never really worked, Luna appreciated the Peoples’ efforts as much as she could.
To return the favor, she let the people believe that they were leading her out of darkness, hoping that she could teach the People how to rise out of their own darkness, too.
And day by day, they saw how she got happier and happier, until she lit up the sky with joy. Luna’s joy made the People glow with happiness until they felt like bursting, and burst they did! They threw big parties to celebrate, they ate big meals and danced all throughout the night to show Luna how much they loved seeing her happy.
Then, as always, Luna would get tired and let the darkness overtake her once more. She felt drained after shining so bright; even the moon needs to rest. All things have their ups and downs, after all.
Eventually, the People noticed that she had a cycle. They learned to count into the future and see how Luna would feel on any specific day. Because of this new knowledge, they stopped checking in on her every day. They knew she would be fine, and kept showing up on her best and worst days, but only spent one day a week with her. That day a week is called Monday, in honor of the Moon.
As the People spent less time with Luna, they began to spend more time with Sol, the sun. He was big, strong, and full of energy. Every morning he chased away the darkness, and every night he rested. The People wanted to be big and strong like Sol; they wanted to conquer their darkness.
Weekly visits with Luna shortened to monthly visits until they stopped visiting her altogether. Like Sol, they rose in the morning and rested in the evening.
And so, the people stopped spending time in darkness, too. They began to fear it, to hate it, and they used all of their energy trying to chase it away. For a while, it worked, too! But as time passed, People started getting confused. Now, they weren’t chasing the darkness away; it was chasing them.
So they ran. And they ran, and they ran, and they ran. But they could never outrun the dark.
People grew ashamed of their darkness, they thought it meant that they were weak. To hide their shame, they buried their darkness deep within themselves and hid it from the light. They pretended to be strong and bright, and each person believed that they were the only weak one among them.
Slowly, the people shut one another out of their lives. They had lost their empathy. You see, darkness is a part of everything, but all of the People pretended not to have any, and their shame grew. Unable to see the darkness in anyone else, People began to believe that it was unnatural. People started to believe that they were unnatural.
And, in a way, they were right. They were all pretending to be something that they weren’t, and in doing so they isolated themselves from each other. Luna watched on in the darkness. She could finally see just how much she had helped her old friends, and every night she hoped that they would see it too.
Luna doesn’t light up with joy anymore. Now, she’s trying to show us the way, the same way we tried to help her all those years ago.
Hey there everyone! Sorry that I’ve been gone, I had to take a few days off for my mental health. After a couple of days in the sunshine, I feel recharged and ready to write! During this past week, I found myself thinking about the story of the Tower of Babel a lot. If you’ve seen the news in America these past couple years, you’ll know that fascism, racism, Nazism, and a whole boatload of other evils are on the rise here.
There are groups of people out there who very literally want to commit genocide. So they force the rest of us to play divisive politics, creating an “us against them” attitude where our only options are to stand up and fight or to sit back and watch them commit atrocities against humanity. And so I’ve been thinking a lot about strength in unity lately, and about how bigoted politicians are trying to divide and conquer the USA. It’s truly terrifying, to say the very least. Their hate and bigotry unite them.
Hatred and manifestos claiming superiority circulate online at unprecedented speed. Misinformation and bile are spread through social media which divides, weakens, and silences minority groups. Division weakens groups, and the story of the Tower of Babel is all about how the people of Earth were divided.
Why Would G-d Divide Us If Division Breeds Conflict?
The current American political climate is divided and hostile, so why on Earth would G-d separating peoples be good for us? Well, I guess I should backtrack a little bit. So let’s look at a brief explanation of the Tower of Babel story.
The children of Naamah and Noah multiplied after the flood. People united both geographically and under the same language. To show the power of their unity, they decided to build a tower to reach into the heavens. Upon seeing this, G-d struck the tower, scattered the people over the land, and confused their languages to ensure that they could never unite like that again.
There are varying interpretations of why G-d would do this. Some say it was because the people were building the tower in an attempt to overthrow G-d. Others say it was because the people didn’t spread over the Earth as G-d had instructed. Was G-d scared of being overthrown, or annoyed at the peoples’ insubordination?
Since the text has no clear cut answer, it’s open for interpretation. It could be a story used to explain the history of the ruined Mesopotamian ziggurat Etenenaki, AKA the Tower of Babel.
I don’t know about you, but the above interpretations don’t really do it for me. Fear and punishment as the moral takeaway? Seems a little cynical. So what other reason could G-d have had for scattering and dividing the people of Earth?
The Tower of Babel Is a Protection Story
Suppose the builders of the Tower of Babel really were trying to overthrow G-d. If they succeeded, imagine the amount of power that they would have had. Can we be sure that they would be responsible, just rulers? Can we be sure that it wouldn’t turn into a dictatorship, authoritarian regime or fascist state?
Language barriers and national borders separate people and ideas. Sure, they can breed conflict, just look at the world today. But they also help protect us . Think of how fast information can be spread in today’s day and age. The internet gives us the ability to transcend geographical borders, right? We can send information halfway around the world in an instant!
It’s wonderful but dangerous. People spread misinformation and fear-monger, they live stream massacres. They write hateful doctrines advocating genocide and destruction of anything that’s different from them. Lucky for us, these doctrines aren’t universally available. Language barriers limit our ability to engage in intercultural exchanges, but they also slow the spread of hateful ideologies. Not to sound dramatic or anything, but it will be hard for a single authoritarian to gain control over a divided world.
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems like a global empire could turn hegemonic and homogeneous. It seems like the scattering of the people and the confusion of languages helps safeguard against that.
Celebrating Our Differences
Did people actually get thrown from a tower and develop distinct languages? Evolutionary psychology says probably not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from the story!
We can see by reading the story that homogeneity leads to feelings of superiority and pride. What exactly do I mean when I talk about hegemonic and homogeneous societies though? Hegemonic means ruling or dominant, and homogeneous means to be made of all the same things. It’s basically what the Nazis wanted: a worldwide culture with one particular group of in power. Clearly, G-d didn’t want that for Earth.
Diversity is beautiful! It gives us a reason to be proud of our culture, and it gives us reasons not to get too prideful of our culture; diversity keeps us in check. Nothing’s perfect, and diversity reminds us of that fact. Especially in language diversity.
See, there’s no language that’s 100% perfect. You’ve been misunderstood before, we all have been at some point or another. That’s just life. What you think usually comes out different than what you say, and what people hear is usually different from what you mean. College speech class talks about those differences on the first day of class. That means that each different language presents a new way of talking about, seeing, and thinking about the world! This means we’ll always be able to find new and unique ways to appreciate the beauty of life! It also makes it more difficult for hate to spread.
Separation is A Good Thing
So yes, being separated by language and by country creates conflict, but that conflict is a necessary evil. Conflict teaches us how to be better, how to work together and grow together. G-d scattered the people in order to make us more neighborly, preventing anyone from successfully taking over the world. We shouldn’t look up to any mortal ruler. G-d is Love, and Love should guide us. We learn empathy by putting ourselves in our neighbors’ shoes, not by looking down on them. Empathy is what makes us strong, understanding despite our differences and embracing our differences makes us strong. We need a global community, not a global empire. That’s what I think the Tower of Babel story is all about.
What do you think is the meaning of the Tower of Babel story? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 😊