Why I’m becoming an adept (whether I want to or not)

Why did I become an adept?

Life presents challenges for everyone, rich or poor, throughout life. In astrology and numerology, the most severe challenges, or tests if you will, tend to happen in one of our major transitions child, young adult, older adult, or when aged. This is (numerologically) predicted by your name and birth date, which then define your pinnacles of major and minor challenges.

For most people, these tests come in older years as many, if not most, people have loving early families with at least one parent that’s emotionally available.  That was not to be in my case.

For me, the path my soul chose was to be born unwanted, technically illegitimate, which in the 1950s was frowned on, and at least by Mother who was an emotionally immature but intellectually “brilliant” woman. I was treated like her a life wrecker. I ‘knew’ or at least felt deep dislike from her, when I was four. She fed me onions and mustard as a punishment and locked me in my room for so many hours I defecated on the floor. She allowed me no dignity.

[I’m sure she wasn’t alone in thinking I ruined her life, in the mid-50s there wasn’t birth control, and she was isolated enough that she couldn’t get an abortion. Many other women shared similar fates. While women then were being messaged that they should go to college, rather than finishing school, and have a career- in addition to raising families and taking care of emotional and physical family life, their own mothers had mostly little or no education. My mother’s mother completed eighth grade and never learned to drive.

Life experiences from mother and daughter were vast. Who provided guidance of how to balance these new choices and lifestyles?  What were healthy boundaries?

That’s right, men dictated what and how these new women should be like as they entered the working world.

That transition period churned out women pitted against each other. “Progressives”, who often contributed financially to the family’ fortune and identified with intellectual stimulation and career, versus more traditional women groomed to be their husband’s chattel and support, emotional anchors, and family matriarchs.]

I bore the brunt of mother’s fury being eldest of three. In our case, family dynamics became progressively dysfunctional as Mother was diagnosed with schizoaffective psychosis. Dad, already in the habit of cheating on women -he impregnated my mother when he was still married to first wife, continued to philander. He was also rejected from his family for 1) being convicted of manslaughter, and 2) possibly being illegitimate himself (that’s still contested but widely believed).

Sure there’s always someone that believes and loves you because without that “someone”, children shrivel and die. For that I credit my father.  I didn’t choose him (at least not in any non-metaphysical way).

Also I ‘chose’ to be born a Pisces, which in the West is considered a joke. Pisces tend to be over-imaginative and strongly intuitive “dreamers”. As puritan values dictate being materially “productive”, Piscean insights are generally scorned.

My family situation was offset by being born in a beautiful location, in lovely Marblehead Massachusetts with pristine air, surrounded by ocean and harbor, and having a perfect four season climate in New England.

I loved nature and the earth, and it loved me back.

I was even lucky enough to be born on an island – Marblehead Neck! There, I could safely roam within the bounds of a road (there were no fences), although I earned the privilege of being tied to a large evergreen tree as a two-year old my roaming was so unnerving! Boy, did I learn how to observe bugs and pine needles!

When Mother really broke down, around age 5, I was child-napped by her and taken to California to live with her parents. This was the beginning of a series of cross-country moves. What broke my heart was Dad hiring a detective to kidnap my brother back- but not me.

I retreated into a protective shell. Having learned early on how to walk on eggshells and observe and predict her moods, still got almost daily corporal punishments. Staying out of trouble, I became an excellent reader and buried myself in books from all genres. My favorites were fairy tales, fables, and Russian literature- all descriptors of often harsh circumstances.

My diverse city school was my salvation. Although once I learned our oleander hedge was poisonous I flirted with eating them (luckily ‘they’ said “no”). I was seven.

Regardless of my trying to soothe her, for the next several years, Mother flew into furious and abusive tirades, which ended with beatings or sexually inappropriate behavior. Despite a degree in anthropology, she couldn’t hold down a job. Frustrated after being fired from the Hearst Castle, she cut off my braid to mid-occiput, while I was reading! Another time stood over my face unclothed, and threatened to pee. She destroyed my art projects. That was hardest to bear.

By the age of ten I was running away and hitchhiking (albeit very locally) along the coast of California. The zodiac killer was on the loose. I was in fifth grade. We became good friends with our local police who were frequently called to find me.

Mother tended to move an average of every 11 months either back and forth across country, fleeing earthquakes (‘71), bad neighbors, or generally trying to win back my Dad (which always failed). We moved often enough so I rarely started or finished a school year with the class. We finally returned to the East Coast as I turned 13 in March.

As I sexually matured, her dis-ease progressed. She became more unhinged and sexually assaultive or at least violently suggestive, trying to put fear into me about sex and men. To soothe myself, I turned to drugs and alcohol and chronically running away.

For much of seventh grade, I brought a backpack to school to check behind the principle’s front desk. I slept in graveyards, abandoned cars, and the clothing recycling box. After panhandling for a one of several episodes in Cambridge, to enter an abandoned building I needed to check to see if the knife was there – otherwise saying aloud, “TD sent me” while ascending several flights of stairs (otherwise be stabbed as an intruder). Sometimes I slept on complete strangers’ floors.  Difficult years to be sure, but I also learned that most people had goodness. I learned to be resilient and rely on myself. I was a survivor.

Eventually, this lead to an arrest for trespassing and being placed into foster care when I was 14.

Unfortunately, I was wild and life is convoluted. By the age of 16, I became an emancipated ward of the state and moved to an apartment with several nice young men. But I was relentless in trying to create some semblance of family. I kept contact with everyone- both biologic and foster parents celebrating and sharing holidays with each group. I fell in love and lived with a man who was as kind as I was crazy, (may he RIP he died by his own addictions), although I broke his heart too going to college.

It also signaled the end of my most challenging pinnacle to date (Inshallah).

How did I straighten up?

Not being religious, as ‘Jesus loved the little children but certainly not me’ (!), I became Buddhist (in nature). I learned astrology and from that, my strengths and weaknesses – my karmic debts and potential rewards. I accepted that in a past life I must have done terrible things to deserve this childhood. Accepting it intellectually didn’t cure the emotional pain. Reading about my personality and challenges, in the black and white of an astrology chart, was eye-opening. All of what I had experienced to date, was predicted in the natal chart.

Laugh if you must, but that gave me great healing.

I’d been feeling increasingly suicidal, age 16, and felt living was useless even though I knew it wasn’t an answer (for me). After a particularly turbulent week, I received a dream that would change my life. I dreamt of entering a large ultraviolet spiral that transported me to an alternate universe. Black and white with a lot of shaded grays. A temple stood nearby with wide marble stairs and ornate railings. Wearing temple garb, I ascended to be greeted by the Holy Mother. I begged her to let me return but she said, “no, your work is not yet done… you must do your work as a teacher”. Obediently (OK maybe I shrugged a little), I returned down the stairs and woke up in ordinary reality.

As a result of this dream, I started to sober and began applying myself more responsibly in school.

None of that made me an adept, but that’s the ‘back story’ that presented my challenge of what most needed healing.

By 16, I knew I must learn to forgive all those who had hurt me: especially my parents, by whatever means necessary.

I knew of no road to assuage my pain and grief, even if I could identify it. In my twenties, while I was still addicted to anger and raged at anything that reminded me of unkindnesses I’d experienced (in some ways becoming like my parents), I was also open to receiving healing from serendipity.

Early on I sought counseling and kept at that whenever I had the means. I sang in choirs. I danced and especially loved ballet class. Music, especially the evenness of Mozart and intervals of Bach, became life rafts.  In my 30s discovered the twelve step programs. I became a doctor at the state school (paid for by BEOG and learning contracts) thinking I could help others with Medicine. “Doctor” means to teach. I traveled to the mountain- literally visiting the Himalaya and winter camping solo in the Rockies. The Taj Mahal showed me what the finality of death could look like.

The pit in my heart finally started to soften with marriage and the birth of my sons, especially the needy one (you know who you are) needing me. But in the end, as my kids went through challenges I wasn’t well prepared for, my back really hurt. Medical treatments and massage barely managed my discomforts. While yoga gave me some relief, monthly exacerbtions lead to the use of narcotics. Additionally, I still had fear of going to sleep and frequent inevitable visceral nightmares.

It was my direct revelatory experiences with Reiki that opened a conscious door to the Divine, while I was still in the flesh. And that made my back pain manageable.

During a meditation led by William Rand, a well-known if not controversial Reiki master, my ‘guides’ brought me to another place than where Mr. Rand was leading us. I was deeply relaxed, and still yet had the strong sense of spinning and being lifted skyward. As I rose up, I felt ‘goo’ or thick tarry substance peel off the outer and middle edges of my being. There was a lot of ‘goo’ that flung off. I felt lighter and had a clarity I’d never felt before. Even though I “knew” I had more to release, I was permitted to rise up to a ‘star’.

Approaching the star, I could see wriggling like it was alive or a bag of worms. Coming closer, individual forms resolved and I could see there were light beings. Exactly like the light beings I would later see flying over the Northern lights at the North Pole. As I started to merge with this pod, I would ‘touch’ here and there. Parts of me combined with the other light beings’ forms as if corresponding to individual chakras. With each touch, I experienced exhilaration. Like when you have an intense heart-to-heart, or mind-to-mind, gut-to-gut sharing with a complete stranger (entailing no emotion of  expectation). After we would ‘share’, I would detach and move on.

There was that one being who merged with me completely! Wow, that left me nearly orgasmic for several days.

Finally there was one being like Teflon. Experienced as a ‘she’. She wanted nothing to do with me, or my energy, at all!

Felt just like the experience I was having with my Boss, a woman 15 years my junior, but few others. This boss seemingly had (no doubt still has) a deep dislike for me, which I couldn’t fathom, as I have done nothing in my conscious awareness to offend her.

That really opened my eyes to the energy of rejection as an incompatibility of frequency. Funny how all those seventies phrases seem so apt now.

In the “real” world, there was no one in the current room in which I was sitting, that shared any of those energies or resonance.

IN reflection of the experience, I could see that other incarnate beings were stuck in or emerging from thick and oozing tar- Each still with sparks of the Divine.

My take away – We are all light beings, even the worst of us. That however doesn’t excuse us from consequences of our free will. Karma is a Bitch and a Blessing.

Second big episode that challenged my rational mind, left-brained thinking, and logic, was at a yoga retreat, which I really didn’t want to go to, but felt I “must”.  Please recall that I was a math and science major at McGill University and Honors physics major at UMASS amherst. LOL.

The retreat was being held at beautiful Harmony Hill on the Hood Canal- free for anyone with metastatic cancer. Man, one would think I believed cancer was contagious, I didn’t want to go so strongly!

Anyway, arrived the evening before, after a light meal with two oysters and a glass of wine, went to bed. I mention the oysters because, you know, they cause problems in psyche sometimes.

I woke early the next morning with a vivid dream about a young man interrupted me on my path of life. Somehow a wood chip flew into his left eye and he became blind. I accompanied him to the doctor and argued with the surgeon about the procedure since, if he had better insurance, it might have been possible to save his sight. In the end, he could barely see any light from that eye. Waving his hand in front of his face, he was shattered to have lost his vision.

The dream was upsetting. I had never seen any eye injury before nor attended any eye surgery or enucleation. I didn’t know anything about procedures that could have saved his eye-even if he had the money.

As these dreams go, it troubled me throughout the day of the retreat. I wondered if a child had stayed in the room and had lost his eye to cancer! What was that about? I planned to ask the nurse manager first chance I got.

Afterwards, I invited the woman from across the hall, I’ll refer to her as H. to have a glass of wine with me. She said, “sure”.  Exiting the building together while descending the stairs, I said, “wow, I had the weirdest dream last night”, and proceeded to briefly mention the details, including wondering if a child might have had an eye cancer in the room.

She looked at me and said,” Oh my G-d, that’s my life!”

WHAT???

This was H’s story:

H was trying to break off an affair with a man whose son had had an injury to his left eye while he was chopping wood (without eye protection).  H had accompanied him to the surgery and argued with the physician about the procedure begging him to save the eye even though the insurance wouldn’t cover it. On that same day as the injury, the boy’s mother was giving birth to a new baby- so mom was completely unavailable to support her son. Leading my new acquaintance (another Pisces, it turns out) to feel obligated, to advocate, and support him. Of course the boy’s Dad was distracted with the new baby and all.

This interrupted with her life plans, as she wanted to break off her affair with this married man, but couldn’t since she felt she’d be abandoning his son.

There. How does one explain that?

Or really, mansplain, since anything that’s accepted for reality seems to need to be endorsed by men. I had not overheard any conversation or phone calls. My neurology friends haven’t “heard” of this.  What do you think?

There have been several other experiences maybe not as dramatic, but certainly life changing as those two, which I’ve related. Must I still be ashamed to have “left” medicine?

Today, I feel love in my life. I experience the love of family and little by little am learning to be OK with emotional discomfort. My boundaries are healthier without guilt or resentment. My cup is filled.

Am I completely healed? Of course not. But I do know what it takes to come from the depths of darkness and despair, out into light and love- WHILE living amongst the planet (rather than in a monastery).

Will my approach help everyone, I can’t say. I know what has worked for me. Medications, surgeries, and pills, booze and shopping do not heal, they stave off our psychic pain and foster co-dependence.

Listening to intuition from dreams, meditations, and synchronicities guide us along our paths.

Everyone has intuition. Our  paths are like snowflakes, no two alike they can, even must, all be honored.

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