Later in the day as the evening darkened into night, Alice and Clara sat in the living room. Alice began to relate the stories of her younger friends in Montreal. “Doesn’t seem you will have time to read the stories I left for you Clara, so let me tell you about the women in my Montreal coven.
“Usually a coven is a group of pagan witches but in our case we were simply a group of women devoted to spiritual unfoldment. And you may meet them one day. Their stories are interesting because they illustrate spiritual principles in action
“I’ll start with Anna, she became the first member of my little group.
Anna was walking down a back alley in the middle of town. One street lamp illuminated the fall of glistening snow. Anna could barely see beyond the blur of snowflakes. She trudged the dimly lit alley; the wind blew a small scrap of paper against her parka. It was an old flyer announcing psychic readings. Anna, muffled against the snow and wind, clutched the flyer in her mitted hand. Under the street light, she read the contents which seemed to waver before her eyes: “Madame Jeanne tells all,” it said in French, “Introductory Offer just $25!”
Anna arrived at home. She checked her voice mail but there were none. Anna fed the cat and made herself tea in her favorite blue chipped cup. She sat in her bed, the duvet piled like soft snow around her. It was warm and comfy but something in her felt sad and anxious. “It’s the same old thing,” she thought to herself, “my lover isn’t in love with me; I’m short on cash and my life is going nowhere. And this keeps happening,” she prayed for guidance. There was only silence.
The telephone rang, it was her friend Carly. “I went to see this psychic, Madame Jeanne. You have to see her. She mentioned your name and said she had a message for you.”
“That’s odd, I found a flyer this evening with her name on it when I took a short cut home. I don’t know what made me go down a dark ruelle, alley at that time of night but Montreal is usually safe. Guess, I felt the call of darkness, my life seems to have hit a real stuck place…perhaps I should go see her.”
Madame Jeanne gave her readings in a building on Mount Royal, several doors down from an overpriced greasy spoon called Beasties or Les Bêtes in French. Anna went up to the third floor of the warehouse space and found a grey metal door marked 302. Her knocking was answered by woman in her fifties, long black hair and hooked nose. “Well she looks the part,” thought Anna.
The shapeless woman with the dark intense eyes looked at her. “You’re late.”
“Isn’t it just five past one?” This wasn’t the greeting Anna expected.
“Why don’t you come in.” Madame led the way into an almost empty room, sunlight flooding through the large rain and dirt marked windows. Two folding chairs were set up next to a small wooden table covered by a piece of white fabric. “Please sit down. You are Carly’s friend, a very nice young woman. What can I do for you? I sorry my English not so good.” The woman paused waiting for Anna to respond. Anna, however felt anxious and just wanted to take in the situation for a moment.
“Is this your studio? Do you paint?” She asked buying time.
“Yes,” said the psychic without disclosing anything further. “How can I help you?”
“Carly said you had a message for me and I have been feeling stuck. So I came to hear what you might have to say.”
“I tune into my guides,” Madame Jeanne closed her eyes and then said “You have a deep capacity for essence energies but also you holding ideas, judgement which not serving you. You need to let go of fear because that how you create it. You need trust life.”
“But I don’t know what I am doing,” answered Anna, “I keep creating the same pattern over and over.”
“It not about doing, it about being. You ask yourself, what is life asking me?”
“I don’t understand,” said the bewildered Anna. She thought she was here to get some positive information like a lucky lottery number or told a tall dark stranger was coming into her life. She did not expect a sermon.
“It not much about understanding; it more about experiencing and trusting whatever happening to you, is perfect in this moment. And confusion is good. Not knowing excellent. There are no certainties. Future never certain. I help you find what is possible if you willing. Let me clear aura.” Madame held her left hand above Anna’s head while right hand radiated light energy which sent shivers up and down Anna’s spine.
Anna the found herself closing her eyes and feeling a vibrational shift her being. The tension at the back of her neck released.
“How does that feel?” asked Madame.
“I feel much better, thank you, as if my problems are less serious, less overwhelming.
“What was your message for me?”
I sensed through your friend Carly, you in trouble. You need to trust, god has a purpose for you. And it will be known. We look at cards.” Madam unwrapped a deck of Tarot.
Anna’s long fingers shuffled the cards, feeling a tingle as if the cards were alive. She chose six cards.
Madame took them and laid the cards out. “You chose ‘Queen of Swords’ to mean yourself. It signify wise person but one often alone. Accept aloneness, it necessary for art. You are artist?”
“Yes,” murmured Anna
Madame continued, “What challenges you is ‘queen of cups’ or some say hearts. You have many desires longings and feelings you want to fulfill, perhaps too many. But true issue it is six of disks, fulfilling your destiny as artist.
“In past you have three of swords.” Anna looked at the image of three swords piercing a heart. “This disappointment and therefore cause sorrow. It time to let go and let new energies in. You worthy of love. First look to loving self.” Madame Jeanne closed her eyes as she held up her hand directing invisible energy toward Anna.
It seemed to Anna she was luminous and light filled inside. she felt suddenly more positive about her life.
Madame Jeanne continued, “Must take care of body, what to feed it, exercise to take, and being playful, and fun, must have fun! It also mean be responsible for thoughts and emotions. This most difficult because you feel anything you think or feel is OK. That it real. What you no realize you identify with your thoughts and feelings, you creating mood. Child in you is having tantrums and needing attention. Need to learn to nurture not indulge.
“Take care of self and also grow up. Identify with awareness, that part is always well. It is part connected to spirit, the invisible way.
Madame paused for a moment, “My English little better now,” She smiled and almost alien grimace, “Perhaps guides helping.”
Madame looked again at the tarot. “Influence of moment is ‘sun’ which means creativity. It is positive card. Much will be accomplished at this time.
Immediate outcome is ‘moon’, meaning revelation through dream states and events you are yet unaware…. solutions coming. Trust in god and go on with your painting. Let life live you. Truly have faith. Madame closed her eyes when she opened them she glanced at the clock sitting on the table. “It late now past 2: 30pm, we finish.”
Anna was startled. The time had moved so quickly.
“Is there anything else?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Anna’s mind was blank.
Anna walked home as yet another snowfall began, the world had darkened yet her steps felt curiously light. The answering machine was blinking when she arrived, there were messages waiting. Her cat, Puss came to greet her. Her heart was lighter though outwardly nothing had changed.
Keys to Consciousness
Alice sighed…then Clara spoke “Madame sounds like you in East European clothing.”
“Well, I did learn a lot from Madame Jeanne. And I am telling the story. And it is true,” Alice’s eyes sparkled “There was a time when I was into shape changing, however Madame Jeanne was real. She and Neelam taught me a great deal about the Tarot Keys.”
“What do you mean keys?”
“The Tarot are keys to consciousness. Each of the major arcana, picture cards represent a Hebrew letter. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet represents a state of awareness. The same is true for Sanskrit; each of its 52 letters represents an aspect of consciousness. You can unfold your spirituality by embodying and meditating on the letters of these languages or the Tarot.”
“Oh! I did not know that.” Clara delighted by this revelation clasped her hands just as her daughter Janey might. Alice pulled a deck of Tarot from her pocket and flipped over the first key, the Fool, the image of a young man seemingly about to step off a cliff. “This is letter Aleph, it represents Ruach, the life breath. Gaze at the card, this is a kind of meditation, in the East they call it Tratack. There aspirants meditate on pictures of their spiritual gurus. Take a few minutes just to be with this card and then when you are ready close your eyes and see what happens.”
Clara drank in the colors of the key. She had never seen a deck quite like this one. It was hand painted much like a child’s coloring book. The image was clearly one from the early part of the last century. Clara barely closed her eyes as a vision subsumed her. She found herself floating off the cliff into the emptiness beyond. The little dog in the picture barked from high above as her mind chattered ‘this can’t’ be happening’. Down and down she floated through clouds and rain, and streams of sunlight penetrating through the dark emptiness. She landed with a thud back in her body.
“What happened?” asked Alice, although she clearly already knew. Clara described her experience. “What does it mean?”
“What does it mean to you?” replied Alice
“The whole experience was like watching a movie only I was the awareness perceiving it and also not wanting to believe it. Also I felt a lightness of being beyond anything I have ever experienced.”
“Very good! Why not take this Key and meditate on it when you wake in the morning. More will reveal itself to you. You have just begun your esoteric studies in Western Mysticism. It too is a path to enlightenment.
“Ricardo and Pablo have had you traveling in the astral plane, perceiving other places and events happening elsewhere. The Tarot is also another type of traveling but up the planes of consciousness or in this instance with the ‘Fool’ card down into manifestation, the world of matter. This is all happening on the screen of consciousness. Pay attention to the awareness of consciousness.”
“I don’t quite understand and also I will do what you ask,” sighed Clara. She sat back on hot pink velvet couch. Then she turned to Alice and asked “So how did you meet Anna?”
How Did You…?
“She came to study with me not long after her meeting with Madame. In fact, Madame referred her.”
“Anna is a well known artist and a part of my inner plane coven.”
“Tell me one last story and then I will go to bed. I feel just like Janey wanting a bed time story,” Clara laughed “When you tell these adventures, I see all the images like I am watching a movie. It is not quite as intense as my visions. It feels like I am almost there…and yet as you would say I am the awareness of the movie and at the same time present here in my body.”
“Very good, again my dear! You are a fast learner. Ok, I will tell you a story about a young woman I thought of as the Princess of the North and save the magical ones for later.”
“Magical?” Clara’s ears and eyes became alert.
“It goes like this” said Alice ignoring Clara’s interest in magic.
Another Story within the Story
Marie-Andrée was a dancer who embodied the goddess but in those days she was not so lucky in matters of the heart. I remember Marie-Andrée telling me how she sat in a small café, tears running down her cheeks. The man beside her had ignored her tears. Finally Marie-Andrée gathered up her coat and said “Perhaps we will talk later,” though the dark lump in her belly said “no…not ever.”
She left and walked to her dance studio where she could set aside her vulnerability and once again feel like the Goddess incarnate. Here she could be a dark haired Kali/Tara, a Buddha, come alive, breathing new meaning into mudra, the spontaneous dance of the Divine. She enveloped herself in the archetypal passion of the dance. She became a warrior woman taking large and lunging steps, body bared in the thinnest of costumes.
Marie-Andrée was a woman of skill, intelligence and uniqueness; underneath the power was a little girl. “Are women always little girls beneath their competence and Art?” Are we, am I going to eternally pretend to need a man to take care of me. Is there no growing up?” mused Marie-Andrée as she felt her hurt and insecurity. “I don’t know,” she answered herself, moving her hands delicately and sensually across her lap. She looked into the mirror in the dance studio. She was alone but the voices inside her, like the energy which moved through, pushed her to the limits of her research, her art, her life.
Marie-Andrée did Isadora proud; she traveled the city streets in her fake leopard skin coat and towering conical hat, booted and piled high with scarves. A symphony of wind and snow swirled. Marie-Andrée walked and dreamed, such is the way of artists.
She dreamed that she was young again, a child and four or five. Marie-Andrée remembered wearing a pink tutu, nothing could be further from her attire today. She remembered how she’d love to watch rain drops and motes cast by the sunlight streaming through the window of her childhood bedroom. It seemed to her that she passed through the window of consciousness to another dimension as if the raindrops made this possible. She became the child always watching within her, the child who moved with the elements, a princess of light and sound who today was trudging through a landscape of snow. It was always snowing in Montreal, city of Winter.
Marie-Andrée came back to herself. She remembered feeling so inadequate and ugly as a child, a child was never able to please, to make things right. She could never make her mother happy when her father left and she could never make her lover truly happy. “Can anyone make another happy,” the voices whispered. ”One needs to want to heal oneself and let the love in. You were not responsible.”
“But I feel responsible”, Marie-Andrée thought.
“How do I hold the love away from myself?” she asked.
“Now that’s the real question,” the voices said and the wind blew snow tornadoes down the street.
Suddenly Marie-Andrée stood before her house. The window was open, the snow blew inside. She climbed through the window. The house had been robbed. The goddess cried to lose her lover and her belongings in one day. And still the window of conscious hung open. “Let go,” said the voices. The wind swept through the house. Marie-Andrée called the police and a carpenter from down the street. She went through the house a witness, remote and numb, pencil and paper in hand. She noted the losses, they were small electronic equipment easy to pawn. The robbery was probably done by a junkie. It wasn’t her lover of the past year gone with her heart but not her possessions. She was glad he was gone and it hurt.
“Relationships, do they always resolve into pain and co-dependency? Will I always want to make it better for some man who can’t feel his feelings except when he is angry?”
“Who loves but is too trapped in himself to really care about you?” the voices said, “such is the paradox of life.”
“Aren’t we all trapped by our limitations?” asked Marie-Andrée.
“A few have other possibilities,” chimed in the voices.
The doorbell rang, the police arrived. Drawn back into the present, Marie-Andrée answered their questions. The doorbell rang again. It was the carpenter. They were all gone within an hour.
Marie-Andrée sat by her kitchen window, the one which was not boarded up. She hugged herself tight. Marie-Andrée knew she was beautiful, bright and alive. She valued herself. And she knew she would love again, just not now.
A dance unfolded in her vision, of lovers wandering a desolate field, meeting and leaving without meeting. She saw herself appear on the stage, goddess, weaver of fates. She wove threads of connection between the dancers with her movements, bringing them closer into a dance of life, into a rite of rebirth. It was snowing outside the kitchen window, her heart was frozen. She sat there a long time.
The next morning as they had their coffee and Clara waited for her children to return, Clara commented “I love your stories Alice. When you speak, it really is like watching a movie. And the women you spoke about last night, they seemed to have essentially the same issues…and they both were losers who picked themselves up.”
“It’s true. One needs to lose to find the deeper truth, the truth about Self.”
“What you said about enlightenment. That wasn’t the whole truth…?”
“How can anything be the whole truth. It was the one that needed to be spoken in that moment.”
“Alice, you live in many worlds. Are you fully self-realized?”
“I don’t think anyone is fully self-realized. It is a matter of glamour. The Glamour of what others believe. Although there aren’t levels of enlightenment, there are degrees of call it insight. In a way it can be anything you want it to be.”
“What do you mean?”
“There is a level of pure awareness where everything is perfect as it is. Where nothing need change, yet change is always happening.”
“You seem to be speaking in riddles.”
“Everything is truth, the all is in everything and also we live in paradox.
“And you Ms. Alice are a magical creature, unlike anyone I have ever met or perhaps will ever meet.”
Alice smiled and the angel’s danced around her eyes.
A horn honked outside and the children came running into the house. A chaos of sound ensued as both Janey and Kevin proceeded to talk at the same time. All the while hugging and kissing their mother and Alice. Pedro came in with them and hung back with a smile on his face.
“No problems?” asked Alice. “None at all,” responded the bronzed skinned young man.
“Hmmm,” responded Alice suddenly sensing danger.
“You know Clara, it might just be the right time to travel to Mexico with the kids. And there are three weeks before school starts. This would be just the right time for a visit South to visit Ricardo and Carlos.”
If ever you want to become a magical healer like Alice join in Kyra’s Body Being & Heart, Healing for Body and Spirit Courses!
P.S. This episode of the Adventures of Alice Wonderbar is a completion of ‘Heartache’
You can see all previous chapters listed in the OverView
P.S.S. You can always share your comments with me at Kyra@bodybeingheart.com
Sending Light, Kyra