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    Door to the Beyond

    When you can run with the river… It’s the same Door, but we’re making more changes this month.  Why don’t you walk through it again with me? You’ve changed your diet.  You’ve changed your lifestyle.  You’ve changed your habits.  Maybe you’ve even changed your clothing selections.  Your life is still a mess. So what’s left? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to change your friends.  I’m sure you have some good ones, maybe even great ones… but what about that one (or more) that always leaves you feeling worse than before you met with him/her? There are many kinds of toxic friendships.  Here are nine basic types: The User:  This person…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Breaking the Blame and Shame Game This month, I take you through the Door into my past – and, gods willing, your present and future. I happen to be one of those people who tells anyone who seems interested about who I am and how I got here.  You probably know that already from reading this article. At some point in my childhood, my mother revealed herself to my father as being crazy.  He took her to the doctor (after patching the walls where the pots and pans struck them after missing him), and the doctor’s reasoned suggestion was, “throw her in the State Hospital and lose the key.”  (My…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Getting Through Thank you for joining me in another walk through the Door.  Going through it can and has been exciting over the years… but there will always be those times when walking anywhere will be a matter of just plugging along. We may call this “boredom”.  We may use choicer terms, such as “perseverance,” “dragging along,” or “the blahs”.  Nonetheless, no matter what we do with our lives, there are times when we don’t feel the magick.  Many of us with diagnoses tend to fixate on these times, to where it may seem as though all the time is this way.  But we know that is not the case.…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Getting CHEESy …and written over the Door are the words:  Choice.  Hope.  Empowerment.  Environment.  Spirituality. This is the door we walk through together this month. I spent two weeks in school this month (January 2009).  The class was called Peer Employment Training, and the end result was to be a certificate as a Peer Support Specialist, making the twenty of us in the class eligible for employment in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. The twenty of us walked in with our Superman capes and bulletproof Spandex, waiting to be empowered to lift and carry all our charges into a new world.  We were very disappointed, but in…

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    Door to the Beyond

    New Beginnings – Candlemas I get the feeling I’ve been through this Door before, but let’s do it again…  I know Candlemas (or Imbolc, Oimelg, or what have you) isn’t until next month, but our Gracious Editors have asked us to write our Imbolc articles for this month… soooo…. Most of the year, we Labelled Persons feel we are burning our candles at both ends.  In February, we get to burn them all out, get new candles, and start over.  In essence, Candlemas is the Pagan version of Mardi Gras.  We should learn to have fun at it, like the Cajuns, Brazilians, and others around the world do. “Insanity: doing…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Hope and Audacity Ah, my friends, the door once again beckons.  Let us push on. “The bad news is, there is no key to happiness.  The good news is, the door was never locked.” – Swami Beyondananda Hope.  With it, we can do anything.  Without it, or with the perception of being without it, we feel lost, and many of us choose this time to attempt to “end it all”.  Sometimes we need attention, sometimes one of our friends catches us and kicks our ass and we get back to it. There is hope around us.  For some of us, it may be the first time we have allowed ourselves…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Stars & Dung I tend to read my horoscope every week.  Not the silly one in the daily papers, but Rob Brezny’s Freewill Astrology. It’s amazing how close to home he hits, although I often get the idea he’s talking about what I just went through, not what I’m about to go through.  Here is the one for me (Sagittarius) for the week of October 15-22: “Be humble for you are made of dung,” says a Serbian provers. “Be noble for you are made of stars.”  I expect that you’ll soon be getting vivid evidence of that truth, Sagittarius.  Your challenge will be to resist the temptation to believe that…

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    Door to the Beyond

    Rest & Recovery Last month we talked about action.  In this month’s walk through the Door, we are walking to our campsite, blowing up our air mattress, and climbing into our sleeping bags, in the company of our Family. There are two things to remember about community action – 1. Always work FOR something, and 2. never do more than you can, which includes resting up.  If you have pagan Family or good friends to rest up with, you get a double recharge over doing it alone. I’m writing this on a tiny Netbook in my tent.  My closest friend is getting handfasted tomorrow, and I’m “best man”.  The Drum…

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    Door to the Beyond:Mental Health and Paganism

    Come with me in our fourth monthly walk through the Door. Look up the words, "paganism", "ritual" and "mental illness" (or "mental health"), and you will find a vast number of websites and articles. Look them up together, however, and you will start seeing stuff about "satanic ritual abuse", "obsessive-compulsive rituals", and a number of other dark issues. Let me state categorically that there either is no such thing as "satanic ritual abuse" or it is so rare that the police cannot find anything. The people who are running workshops on the subject are simply in it for the money, whether they call themselves "seminar presenters", "ministers", or whatever. (If…

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    Door to the Beyond: Mental Health and Paganism

    Thank you for welcoming me back for another walk through the Door. Our next question is, what is the relationship between "madness" and Paganism? Quite simply, the answer appears to be that the special gifts which others view as "madness" and those which others view as "psychic abilities" appear to come from the same place – our Inner Child. Do you hear "voices"? They could be your spirit guides, or bad experiences with your family "environment" repeating themselves as though the person who first said those things was saying it right now. The following is an extract from website information on "The Icarus Project" (The Icarus Project – HIGHLY recommended):…