Lakshmi, Tinder, Beyonce, the Night Tour at the Karnak Temple, and Psilocybin Mushrooms.

So, last night a woman I've never met before told me not to divorce because I'll never find love. 

Let me back up. There's a lot to get through. This is like five stories in one. Skip ahead if you want to, or if you're a complete dirtbag. (Don't skip ahead.)

Lakshmi

I was at my groovy women's spiritual circle. I've been going to all the meetings lately because it just feels really good, darnit. It's every Friday night and every other Wednesday. This week was a Wednesday week so I'll go twice. I wish everyone had one of their own. Especially men, because honestly, it's not fair that they don't get to express their feelings like at all in our society until they're old enough to do some major pushing back against the status quo and make a space for themselves to be human. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Everyone should have a group like this, and we meet at night so sometimes some of us feel people we know like, hanging out by us while we drum and journey. They're either asleep somewhere else on the planet or they've passed on and they're no longer in a body (like my dead friend who follows me around when he's bored or concerned or when I'm showering because he knows it pisses me off and he finds it hilarious). And since they wouldn't be able to get in if they had bad intentions (we protect the space), when they turn up we just kind of go, "Okay, just sit quietly and don't mess with the candles." So they get the benefits on a soul level, whether they're conscious of it or not.

Yes, we're jumping right in with the woo-woo today, so if you're not ready to go on this ride, this is the last exit with a bathroom for the next hundred miles, I suggest you jump off here. 

Ok, they're gone.

So I almost didn't go last night because the topic was affirmations, and I was like, blech, I already went through my affirmations phase years ago and it's too much like writing Hallmark cards. But the speaker was Donna, and she rockssssss (literally, she was a bass player in LA back in the day) so I knew if she was teaching it, she'd have some cool angle I hadn't considered and I would learn something. And of course she did and I did and it felt very meant-to-be that I had gone. 

Every time we meet, we always do a drummed journey. Some people call them "shamanic journeys" because it's not really just regular meditation, it's like you go within and meet with your spirit guides and it's this whole other thing. It's not detaching, it's engaging. (So much more fun. I'm not a fan of detachment in general, like what is the point, but that's a topic for a different post.) But it's super problematic for white people to co-opt that term when they're not actually shamans, so I usually describe it as "percussive meditation" or something along those lines. The first few times you do it, you might struggle a little to focus, but now I literally can't be near a drum circle without like, struggling to stay in the regular world. I almost fell off my feet at Eeyore's Birthday Party last year, because almost everyone there was on shrooms (I wasn't) and they were really bringing the energy. It's similar to if you're a reiki healer (news that will not shock you: I am) and you start to get visions when you're giving the healing. It definitely makes concerts a lot more interesting, too. 

Where was I?

Oh right! The journey.

Okay, so it's journey time at circle, and I had this really great one with the goddess Lakshmi. I recently took up Sanskrit chanting because a friend of mine who's a professional psychic and goes to circle used to teach it and she gave me some chants to try. You do each one 108 times a day (or more) for forty days. I'm about a week in and I'm actually surprised by how potent they are. Like, I feel things shifting in a big way already. 

So one of the chants is to Lakshmi. She, like Donna, also rocks. She's the Hindu goddess of abundance and beauty and deliciousness. Her whole thing is that she basically just bestows wonderful goodies upon people who ask, and you don't have to do anything to earn it. She just dishes out the goodness forever. 

It's because of this that I never, ever dared to approach her in any way over the years of my spiritual growth and exploration. Because my DNA is half dour Nord, half Catholic guilt. I can't just ASK for something and GET it! Are you insane? 

However, last Friday, I was at circle again (What? I go every week! Shut up!) and I sat next to a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in like two years but we talk all the time on social media. She had placed a tiny statue of a Hindu goddess in front of her in the center of the circle. I kept looking at the statue, and as we were getting comfy to start the journey, I asked her, "Is that Saraswati?"

Now, I knew it wasn't Saraswati. I took an art history class on Indian art in college, if there's one thing I obtained a sizable chunk of student loan debt to be able to do, it's identify a Hindu goddess when I see one. But I couldn't bring myself to say the name Lakshmi, because I had this fear that if I say her name she'll just give me what I want freely, and that's not allowed. So silly. 

Anyway, so my friend said, "No, it's Lakshmi," and I swear I heard, the sound of gold coins being thrown and then it was all over. Now I'm all up in some Lakshmi every day, she's super nice.

So this time in the journey, she showed up again. I tried to avoid her because of the weird genetic guilt, but she's so charming, like you literally can't. She was all, "Hi!" and dressed in red and gold and coins kept spurting from her hand like arterial spray. I could hear them falling. She was so smiley and giggly. 

So Donna had recommended that we go into our journeys with a problem we wanted some help with to maybe help us write a really legit affirmation afterwards, so I asked Lakshmi about this one that I had in mind. I was like, "Blah blah blah, here's the thing, I'm not gonna write it all out here, so, what can I do to like, deal with this issue?" 

She laughed and she goes, "Well, I'll tell you, it'll take a miracle!"

And I go, "Yeah, okay." Spirit answers are super annoying most of the time, so I didn't think much of it. 

Then she leaned closer (arterial spray coins still clinking in the background, so trippy) and goes, "Hey, look at me. Look me in the eye."

Looking a goddess in the eye can really freak you out if you let it, but I managed.

"Do you want one?"

Do I want one? Uhhh... What? I tried really hard to figure out if this was a trick. If you know anything about Norse mythology, you'll understand why. Our gods don't just like, offer you miracles, usually. It's almost always a trick.

But she was so adorable. So I said, "Um. Yes?"

"Okay, there ya go!" and she threw something at me and I caught it. I'm not going to say what it was because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want. Then she laughed like the tinkling of bells, because she's a delightful creature. And she said, "Inga, look around you. This whole UNIVERSE is a miracle! If you want one, just ASK! It's so easy!"

This is how I know journeys are real, because she was so far from anything or anyone I've ever experienced in this lifetime. I kind of sat there for a moment looking at her, wondering, "Where did you come from, lady?" She just laughed and sprayed coins and looked beautiful.

Then I thanked her and I was getting tired because by this time it would have been about 10:00 and I'd been there since 7:30, so my mind started wandering to how I'm going to decorate my bedroom now that I have one of my own again. (Obviously, the theme is "Bohemian Sex Den: A Velour And Beadwork Retrospective.")

Tinder

Don't skip this one! It's not what you think.

A friend of mine recommended I try Tinder because she said it would boost my self-esteem. I thought twice because this friend of mine has a very different approach to dating from me. Namely, I don't approach it at all and she requests dick pics from every guy she talks to. 

So, I was skeptical. But it's something to do on the toilet, so I went ahead and tried it. If you think people are swiping through Tinder anywhere other than on the toilet or in bed, think again. Maybe in waiting rooms, too. It's like a hot-or-not video game. Super dehumanizing, super addictive. Just like meth.

Apparently in the 30-40 crowd, I'm kind of a MILF? My ex downloaded it too, and he said that the selection he's got to choose from is not awesome. We compare Tinders all the time. So far I'm winning. It's not a contest, but if it were, I'd be winning. I mean, winning at Tinder is not exactly wining at life. I've only gone out once and when I came home I was like, "Oh right, now I remember why I was single most of my life." It wasn't bad it's just like, kind of a waste of makeup and gas money. I don't think I'm actually going to meet anyone on there, and I think this will be my last month because it's not really worth paying for, but it does give you a little boost, and there are a few DILF's on there.




My milkshake brings all the DILFs to the yard. 

That's why I was pretty surprised when, after circle last night when I had shared my Lakshmi story, this woman who was a first-timer walked up to me and handed me a little piece of paper with her email address scribbled on it and some other stuff and the words, "Your miracle!" on it.

Pretty presumptuous that she assumes to know what my miracle was about. She was dead wrong, as it turned out.

She proceeded to tell me that if my divorce is amicable and we already have separate bedrooms, that I shouldn't get divorced at all and just stay married and sleep with other people. She said a friend of hers does that with her husband, and that she actively lies about their relationship on facebook then has some boyfriend she goes and sees on the side. 

This woman's ex-husband "ran off with a girl from accounting" five years ago, and she's been having a hard time. Her eyes were full of pain, so I just stood there quietly and let her finish. She needed to say her words more than I needed to hear them. 




She told me that he was a narcissist and their marriage and subsequent split had been pure hell, but that if he would take her back, she would marry him again so that she wouldn't have to share custody of her kids.

Now, on one hand I hear what she's saying, because not being away from our child is the whole reason why we're still living together and will always live in close proximity going forward.

But getting back together with a toxic person? I feel really bad for this woman.

I started to explain my situation, that we've already worked out the whole custody thing, and that we won't move apart until one or both of us gets a new partner and we naturally reach the time of wanting to set up a new home with a new person. (People ask me about dating other people while living together, but having him around is also added protection for my daughter and I, like a predator filter.) We had also talked about having an open marriage a few times over the years, but it didn't feel right for us. I thanked her for her concern, but I was doing fine.

She didn't want to hear it. She asked, "How old are you?" 

"Thirty-six."

"Thirty-six, okay, you might still have some time. My friends and I are in our forties. There's a group of us who all got divorced at the same time. We all thought, 'Oh, we'll find new love!' It's been five years and none of us have found anyone, we're all alone. You'll never find love. You either just give up and focus on other things, or you end up lonely, like me. It's a really tough age to divorce, don't do it. You got a miracle in your journey? This is it: just stay married. Email me, I'll put you in touch with my friend I told you about."

That's exactly what she said, and then she walked away.

My friend who was standing right by me and who is an Aries immediately said the exact opposite and more supportive things besides, because she is a good friend. Aries people can be annoying (as can we all), but when you've got a good one they're the sh&t because they are true ride-or-dies. They support you with all of their crazy fiery energy. The only better ride-or-die would be a Scorpio, because they have that dark side. My dead friend is a Scorpio. See? He's DEAD and he's still got my back. I should start introducing him to people. "This is Steve, he's dead, so you might not be able to see him, but he has feelings too."

Anyway, back to that lady.

Her ex must have really done a number on her. What a prick he must be. 

If I were a different kind of person, I could have said, "Or maybe instead of not getting divorced, I could try just not marrying and breeding with a narcissist." But at the time I wasn't even thinking that, I could just see how raw her pain still is. And I get it. It's scary to leap out all on your own. 

But I'm a bad mothaf$cka, I ain't scared of sh&t.

Beyonce

Even Beyonce got her heart broken, Jay-Z cheated on her. Now, she is someone who would do very well at circle. She channels the Sacred Feminine like nobody's business. (This is the part where I remind everyone that I'm one year younger than her to the day, which means I basically am her and I'm waiting for my royalty checks to get here but there's some kind of hold-up, apparently.) Listen to the Homecoming album and tell me she doesn't get it. Start with "Welcome" and listen through "Formation," then skip ahead and listen from "Drunk in Love" through "Flawless," at least, and make sure the volume is all the way up. She brings it and she does. not. quit. That whole album is positively dripping with Divine Vagina energy. (See what I did there?) 

And Jay-Z friggin' cheated on her. My September 4th sister! Unbelievable. 

But not entirely.

It's not her, it's him.

See, that lady at circle who told me I'd never find love doesn't realize that like, I've been working under that assumption for a number of years now. This planet is a strange place, and our society is ass-backwards and the predominant capitalist culture is like this toxic hologram that's got everybody blind. 

Everybody except the people outside of it, like the indigenous people who haven't been completely wiped out, because they really do have shamans, and they utilize the Plant Teachers (psilocybin, ayahuasca, marijuana, blue lotus, etc.) to help them see through the illusion. 

And some of us who weren't born into those cultures are like, a half-step outside the rest of the world. If we had been born in the right time and place, we probably would have become real shamans, but instead we're sort of wandering around this modern world, very confused for a long time, until we figure out why things seem a bit off. 

We recognize each other.

When I did AmeriCorps (I can't remember if I mentioned this before, I volunteered in a literacy program run by these amazing nuns in Redwood City, CA, it was fun), one of the other gals in my program befriended a Native American woman who worked at her school (she was a mix of multiple tribes and I can't remember their names so that's why I'm not being more specific, sorry!). She used to have us over for dinner, we were slightly older than her daughters and she was super nice. 

In Palo Alto, which is a few minutes (and millions of dollars) away from Redwood City, they have a beautiful Powwow every year. It's under the trees, and the vibe is friggin' glorious, and that friend and I drove down there every day that it was on and just sat on the ground watching the dancers for hours and hours on end, eating fry bread and buying wares, including some moccasins that I still have, they're so well-made. Even after the powwow was over, we used to go to the spot where it had been and just sit around under the trees, soaking up the energy. There was this little circle in the middle of that area that was kind of fenced off and someone told us later that it was considered sacred space, so the people who put on the powwow tried to keep it protected that way.

Anyway, when that lady found out how much we had loved the powwow, she thought that was really adorable, and she talked to us more about how she had never known about her own heritage until she was older. Growing up, she thought she was just Mexican, I guess she was on her father's side. But her mother kept up with her tribes' ways, she used to go out on her balcony outside her bedroom and give tobacco to the four directions. "We thought she was smoking pot out there, because the tobacco had a really strong smell." It wasn't until they were older that her mother told them the truth, because she hadn't wanted to interfere with their Catholic upbringing (sigh), and her brother went on to become a spiritual leader in their tribe. I told her about how I was so interested to learn more, and I told her about my own spiritual life, and she said that next time he came over she'd invite us and I could meet him.

One day she did just that. They had a little family celebration because she finished her master's degree, and my friend and I were invited. When I walked in, I saw two men sitting at the dining table, and my friend and I sat down. The one guy kept looking at me and my third eye was like [insert blow torch sound effect here]. So I was like, oh that must be the brother. She walked over and put her hands on my shoulders and said, "This is the girl I was telling you about," and he replied, "I know. I can feel her."

See?

We got to talking, and he couldn't believe the thing about us going to the powwow, and he was the one who told us it was a sacred spot, so then I guess he felt that even though we're white and we're part of this whole shit-show, he could speak a little more freely around us. He also low-key freaked out when he found out I was Icelandic, but he never told me why. *shrug*

Anyway, we were talking about dreams, and how they sometimes contain messages, and I said that I can always tell the difference between a dream and a message. And then he shared this with me, which I now share with you:

He said, "There are dreams and there are visions. As you become more aware, you learn to differentiate between the two. Then you start to have more visions than dreams. Then one day, your visions and your reality become one."

... 

Right?!

The Night Tour At The Karnak Temple

So if Beyonce can forgive Jay-Z, then so can I. Like I said about four hours ago, the men-folk have it harder than the women if they're remotely evolved in any way. They're not supposed to talk to each other about their feelings. I think that's why a lot of them become artists and musicians, because it gives them an outlet. And why a lot of artists and musicians become addicts. Because it's not always enough and they don't have any place to put their vulnerability. They need to come to circle. So when we womenfolk sense their spirits sneaking in and sitting down while they're out on the astral, we don't snitch. They need it, too, maybe more than we do. Because we have each other, and they don't. They need us. 

And I think Beyonce gets that, and I think she knows that like, just because Jay-Z has whatever it is that he gives her, doesn't mean that he showed up in her life at her level as far as relationships go. He was probably scared shitless of her Shakti energy. A lot of them get scared shitless of us. So you have to decide if you're going to settle or just go it alone for a lot of the time. (Gee, I wonder if I'll settle. Pssh.)

I once saw this video of her singing a few bars of "Ave Maria" inside a pyramid in Egypt. I wonder if I can find it... 

Omg! I did!




I've been there, but I didn't go inside. 

But I did go on from Cairo to Luxor, and my dad and I took the night tour of the Karnak Temple at his insistence, not that he needed to insist, I was pumped.

(Wtf was I doing there, anyway? I was stuck in college in Oklahoma, which is Algonquin for "Hell," or it might as well be, and my family was living in Budapest, where plane tickets to Egypt are cheap. So they all went on a trip to Cairo without me, and I started crying when I heard because I'd always wanted to go there, so when I went "home" to Budapest for the summer, my dad took me to Egypt for a weekend. I accidentally ate a tomato right before getting on the plane to go back to Hungary, even though you're not supposed to eat the produce because of the Nile bacteria. Same rules as Mexico, in other words. But I had a weakness for lightly grilled tomatoes caprese back then, and they had some at the breakfast buffet at our hotel. Take my advice: DON'T. EAT. THE PRODUCE. Just... trust me.)

Here's the Karnak Temple: 



I loved those columns.
How the tour works (or worked back in 2001) is that after nightfall, you join a big group of tourists, and gradually you walk from one end of the temple to the other. They stop you in each section, and they light up that section, and a booming voice comes over the loudspeaker and tells you all about it. Then they turn the lights back off and you walk to the next section. The best part is when the lights are off.

If you can get through that thing without shedding a tear, you're dead inside. 

If you go, look up at the sky during the dark parts. Ugh.

No words. 

Psilocybin Mushrooms

I said I'd talk about mushrooms, but I have to work now so I'll save it for another time.

But, here's a picture of me at Redondo Beach that one of my soul sisters took while we were both on them on my birthday trip to LA in 2017 (we didn't drive that night, don't worry). We had gone to this bar called "New Wave" to dance, and then we wanted to go sit by the ocean, because why wouldn't you. It's blurry because I think it's actually a frame from a video she took. The ocean and I were dancing, some old men were fishing on a pier a few hundred yards to my right, and my friend was softly singing, "Song to the Siren" while filming from where she sat on the beach. So it's really a picture of all of us, together. See, that's why they make the plant teachers illegal. Imagine if we all took them. Just imagine...



The message that comes through for everyone, eventually, is always the same: 

You are not alone.
You are loved.
Everything is going to be okay.


























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