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yin yang

Book Review: We Are Magical Beings by Paola Collazos, LMT

July, 2018

Book Review

We Are Magical Beings: A Healing Guide for Earthlings

by Paola Collazos, LMT

We Are Magical Beings is a book written by Paola Collazos, LMT. It is published by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House. Paola Collazos is a Reiki master, energy medicine practitioner, a licensed massage therapist and now, a published author.

We Are Magical Beings takes us on a magical journey. First through Paola’s life and then through the journey of energy work.

While this book is not an autobiography, we get a glimpse into Paola’s life starting with her childhood. We see how situations and experiences can shape a person and affect, not only their life, but also, their energy. This made me rethink my life, the situations, and experiences that I have been through. I can see how life has shaped me into the being that I am today. But I am a magical being, that can change the energy that is going on in my life.

The body is a wise self-healing structure”. We Are Magical Beings goes over numerous different areas of energy work. Paola not only explains the different areas of energy work but she goes into detail on how you can incorporate these practices into your daily life. Some of these areas of energy work are chakras, meridians, auras, yin and yang, along with the elements.

Paola explains why it is so important to treat our bodies like a temple and to keep our thoughts pure. “I am talking about the wars that exist within our minds, the ones that some fight with every day in order to get by with ease”. This statement helped me realize that I am not the only one who battles with their thoughts. It also makes me (and anyone who reads this book) realize that we can change this mindset!

Paola is able to explain how the body and energy work together. She explains this not only in Yin and Yang but also in the meridians and the elements. It’s amazing to read how these energy systems control the different areas of the body. She also explains how we can use our thoughts and yoga poses to put these areas back into balance.

One of my favorite chapters talks about the perfection that comes with imperfection. I have dealt with anxiety my whole life. I have always been a perfectionist and when I cannot reach it, I suffer mentally. I was amazed to see that the imperfections in my life are truly perfection. “Believe in yourself, have fun, and don’t be so hard on yourself”. This statement has helped me release some of the anxiety. For once, I am able to live without worrying about being perfect.

I shared this book with my skeptical mom. By the end of the book, she was asking for more reading material on this subject. Not only did this book help her see a new way of living but she has been able to incorporate energy work into her daily life. Her health has been improving and I truly believe that “We Are Magical Beings” started it all.

I would encourage anyone who is curious about energy work to pick up this book. Give it a read, practice the exercises and incorporate the energy work into your daily life.

We Are Magical Beings: A Healing Guide for Earthlings

Rebel Rede

October, 2010

Yin Yang: Finding the Balance-Part II

Last month I wrote about the Chinese concept of yin and yang. I was inspired to write that article based on my own journey from a masculine-based religious practice to a female-based spiritual practice. One way Pagans try to find balance within their spiritual practice is to work with both male and female deities. This is only way example of balance though. Being a balanced witch does not simply mean working with both male and female deities. In fact there can be Dianic witches who are much more balanced than their Pagan counterparts.

We need balance in all areas of our lives whether mundane or spiritual. I often find myself so focused on one area of balance in my life that I let the other areas of my life become unbalanced. What good is it to be balanced in one area of your Pagan practice, but completely unbalanced in another? It is not easy to find balance in our lives. It takes focus, discipline, and practice. It also takes harsh honesty, honesty with ourselves and each other. If we are to find balance in our lives we must be willing to hold up a mirror and to be completely honest about what we see in our reflections. Do you see equal amounts of light-dark, positive-negative, masculine-feminine etc., when you look at your life?

It is often the fear of being unbalanced that leads us to actually being imbalanced. For example, if you are too afraid of becoming one of those “fluffy bunny-rainbow loving-the world is a perfect happy place” witches, you run the risk of allowing too much negativity and darkness into your practice. All the same, if you are too afraid of becoming one of those “scary-dark-sociopathic-goth” witches, you can become out of touch with your darker emotions, among other things. We cannot be afraid to embrace the “other” side if we are to become balanced. In order to do this, we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to push ourselves to experience new things and new ideas within our mundane and magickal lives. Remember the concept of yin yang; the idea that two opposing forces come together in equal amount to make a perfect whole. What do you need to start embracing to become a balanced or “whole” witch?

Rebel Rede

September, 2010

Yin Yang: Finding the Balance

Yin Yang is the Chinese philosophical concept of balance. It is the idea that there are complementary opposites in everything and that those opposites come together to exist as a whole. It is the concept that you need the light and the dark, the feminine and the masculine etc. to function as a complete whole. Unfortunately this concept of balance has been lost in most the of the world’s major religions. For example Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all patriarchal religions. Their religions are based solely on male dominated spirituality. This is not yin yang!

I use to be a Conservative Christian and my spiritual practice was definitely dominated by male-only concepts. I wish I could say that now that I am a Pagan witch I have complete spiritual balance, but that would not be the truth. The Pagan community is not immune to spiritual imbalance. In fact, it is often the patriarchal world religions that are to blame for our imbalance. Many Pagans come from a Christian background before turning to Paganism and witchcraft. They are often so burnt out from the male domination in their spiritual pasts’ that they turn to a female dominated practice as a counter balance. This is exactly what happened to me.

I was so angry and tired from all the male dominance in my religious upbringing that I only worked with Goddesses and the Sacred Feminine when I first became a witch. I will admit I still mostly work with female only deities. I have started to notice that this is not healthy for my spirituality though-I am unbalanced. I cannot create balance by only working with the feminine, just like Christians cannot have balance by only working with the masculine. I must accept the God side of the yin yang as well.

Admittedly, I am a little scared to do this. I have so much bitterness built up from working with God (Yahweh) in my past, that I am tentative to begin working with male Pagan deities. It is important to remember that the concept of God in Paganism is not the same as the concept of God in Christianity though. I do not have to fear the Horned One!

The little work I have done with the Pagan Gods has been amazing already. Pagan Gods are strong passionate warriors. They protect us, love us, and give us strength and vitality. They are an important part of our Pagan spirituality! One of my favorite things about working with a Pagan God is that unlike Yahweh, Pagan Gods are sexual beings. They bring passion and lust into all that they do. At first their sexuality made me uncomfortable, after all, in Christianity having sexual thoughts while praying or meditating with God isn’t exactly kosher. I am learning to accept the sexual energy they bring though and to see it as an integral part of my spiritual practice.

We all need to have yin yang in our spiritual practices.  If you do not have balance in your spiritual practice, if you do not work with the male deities, be careful they will find you eventually. The Gods won’t hold back. They will find a way into your practice.  Don’t be afraid when this happens-embrace it, enjoy it, and learn from it. As SJ Tucker says in her song Hymn to Herne, “You best be ready when the Horned One comes!”