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Entertaining Angels
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

HAVE YOU SEEN any angels, lately? There's a lot of flap, no pun intended, about them these days. I've long been a fan of most all invisibles, and angels especially, as they are reportedly in service to humankind. We get by with a little help from our friends, seen and unseen.

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Sun Rider. Photo by Eric Francis.
It should be mentioned, however, that as often as angels are antirecessionary visitors during emergencies, they are also described in terms of what they bring us -- direction, attitude-adjustment, insight. In my experience, some are more welcome than others. For instance, unless you're interested in wrestling an angel, don't pray for patience; you will likely end up instructing yourself, and the hard way.

Patience is, after all, a learned skill that can't be avoided forever. It's a concept not easily understood by young children, whose traveling mantra is: "are we there yet?" Some kids are predisposed to be less demanding than others, but I don't think patience is a natural inclination; we're hard-wired to get our needs attended to as quickly as possible.

Learning about patience requires a certain amount of tedium, self-denial and, eventually, an ability to appreciate it. While some find that hard to deal with, there is the concept of workaround that can short-circuit tedium and make it less unpalatable; it can even become a bit of an art form.

It's interesting how we learn to meet our own needs. Prisoners in isolation, for instance, create a mental landscape where they can move freely even when they are captive physically. If necessity is the mother of invention, then tasks requiring inordinate amounts of patience can lead us to discover creative solutions we might not have been forced into finding. Even the most boring task can become something of a game, if we approach it with our creative sensibilities.

Is patience an angel, then? I think it must be. Situations requiring patience act as an e-brake, slowing our rush through life and diverting us into growth and self-discovery, as anyone who has journeyed the internal landscape of a Saturn return might tell us.

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Girl sits for a portrait outside the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Life offers us a lot of lessons like patience; we cannot discover who we are without the strong cyclic energies that shape us. We begin a slow, steady erosion of unfettered egocentrism from the cradle. Babies are allowed to cry until it's no longer seemly; we are socialized, and then we spend the rest of our lives shaking off the results of that training. Like newly unearthed gemstones, we arrive on this plane and enter the tumbler that will knock off all our sharp edges and polish us until we gleam and sparkle.  

Prayer is one of those ways in which we manifest our desires; and most often, where we meet those better angels. We quickly learn that prayer isn't Santa Claus, delivering on schedule; there are subtleties to discover. What can the mystical do to influence the material plane? How does it work? Sometimes what we pray for will not bring us what we want, but rather what we need; what will develop abilities that, ultimately, serve us as developing souls. That feels as though there are angels at work.

Where we set our intention is the secret of life; what we determine we want to learn, to have, to experience. A Course in Miracles tells us that is the question we must constantly ask ourselves -- what do I want? Refining that question, and coming to grips with the dynamics of growing our soul, is the journey toward releasing our internal power and ability, and coming to peace with our life experience.

The Secret, the book, movie and movement that deals with positive thinking and capitalizes on this truth regarding the law of attraction: I'm not entirely sold on it, as it's packaged. As usual, we haven't applied our experience of reality to this experiment. Affirmations will only work in our conscious mind; our subconscious mind will bat them back like ping-pong balls unless we've created fertile ground for mind-changing notions to take root. Self-sabotage is only a subconscious thought away.

As well, focusing on only the positive and ignoring the negative does not bring balance to any situation; in fact, it may make us overly optimistic when we need to remain pragmatic and reality-based in order to bring in the requirements to make something positive happen. We can summon mystical tools to deal with life, as long as we have taken the hand of that angel-of-instruction, patience, and done the internal homework that allows us a balanced focus.

If any given action produces an equal and opposite reaction, then purposefully remaining aware of both halves of the whole is a more workable experiment than shifting every thought toward effortless achievement.

Finding ways around what impedes us then allows us to move forward with all the information needed; case in point, one could argue, is our current economic situation. What we didn't choose to acknowledge, as the optimistic Sagittarian energies of the last decade kept expanding markets beyond the breaking point, has hurt us badly.

I appreciate Greg Braden's definition of prayer, which requires us to bring the totality of our feeling to any desire. Unless we can step into a genuine knowing that what we want is not only possible, but on its way to materialization, we are only offering up our hopes.

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Perself. Photo by Eric Francis.
Authentic prayer comes straight from the heart and demands access to all contained there; this is likely why our prayers often produce mixed results, coming as they do from mixed desires. And desire is prayer; we are in a constant state of prayer, bringing into materialization whatever we have focused our emotional state upon.

It is in the patient tending of our own internal garden that we make progress toward a fruitful harvest and productive manifestation. I once had a chiropractor/kinesiologist who would identify blocked emotions when he did manipulations. After some months, he seemed unaccustomedly silent on my routine visit; when I asked him what he was doing, he told me he was weeding my garden. We can only bring forth into manifestation what we are, what we hold within us. If we want that to look differently, we must do the internal work.

So what angels are we entertaining, then? We have asked for change to visit us. We've felt a longing in our souls, a need to make the world a more loving, equitable place, and which has only made our current reality more poignant.

We have intensely desired change after staring down long years of governmental influence and oppressive policy that has made life more difficult and discouraging, and seemingly farther from our vision. In all ways, I think, we get the government we deserve. That may seem harsh considering the upheaval produced by these corrupt Enron years, but just as politics is personal, so are the results.

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," goes the old saying. We asked, by our inattention and desire to leave decisions to others, to focus our attention on our own lives and fortunes; we're reaping the whirlwind of having ignored our pragmatic responsibilities as citizens. And the world we'll take back, when we do, will not look like the one we gave away. Still, if we hadn't given ourselves opportunity to become this disenchanted, we would not have come to the place where we can no longer tolerate the status quo.

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Voyager Tarot. Photo by Eric Francis.
We've welcomed in the angel of change, and she's here now. I don't suppose many of us expected change to look like this; as so often happens, what we thought we wanted isn't exactly what we got. If doing the same thing over and over and expecting different outcome is insanity, then the human thought-process is bonkers. By now, life should have instructed us that we never get what we want in the way we expected it to show up, except maybe at Burger King.

That's the problem with our literal brains; over half the nation, for instance, expects Jesus to descend from the clouds, rather like Tinker Bell rides down the cable to Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland, replete with fireworks and dreamy music. The slow, constant and, yes, patient work that allows the Christ consciousness to descend into our hearts and thought-process just seems too complex and not nearly dramatic enough to suit us.

But that's the way it works, here on Terra. We are the change we're looking for; yet before we can be that thing, we must welcome in the higher angels that precipitates change within self and allows us to trust our own intuitive path.

Fear stands in our way, most often, and it's a straw man. I'm not sure why fear remains so powerful, when you consider that in most of our lives, the fears we've embraced were seldom what nailed us, in the end.

It is the literal, dramatic fears that drive us, yet it's the unexpected that usually takes us out, unforeseen variables that we'd have seen/felt coming if we'd learned to rely on our intuition and insight. That means that all our investment in what can only be called negative thinking, and a form of prayer for what is unwanted, was a waste of energy that only muddied the outcome.

Humankind does not like change; it prefers routine. Whatever wobbles that routine makes them feel unsafe. Yet change of any kind can be defined as doors closing while windows spring open all around us. We must accept that change brings with it a certain kind of destruction, sweeping away what was to leave only a pregnant sense of what comes next. The necessary cycles are bringing us opportunity to listen to our Better Angels. I ran across a quote by Denise Levertov that sums it up:
Meanwhile the angel,
dressed for laughs as a plasterer,
puts a match to whatever's
lying in the grate: broken scaffolds,
empty cocoons, the paraphernalia
of unseen change.
The angel of change is here. Entertain her. Along with all that's painful, she brings opportunity, growth and wisdom. Let go of what was, attend to what is and intend what will be. We can either allow circumstance to define us, or we can insist on authenticity and learn to be patient witnesses of our lives and manifestations.

Trust your instinct, find the workaround, and depend on this truth; when we stand for peace, plenty, kindness, love and all that inspires our heart and delights our desire -- then we won't fall for anything else.

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