Daily Archives: July 27, 2012
By Terry Lively, MA
IMU IA 512 Tarot Instructor
From times reaching back to the very beginning of our species, mankind has worried about the future and fretted about the past. According to the five stages in the classic theory Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by Abraham Maslow in 1943, all beings have basic needs. Understanding these needs offers glimpses into the psyches of others.
Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a behavioral guide, our earliest ancestors sought to discern the future availabilities of food, water, safety, health, children and to explain the mysteries of death through those first millennia. Where the deceased’s life force went was of major concern then as today.
At the base are physiological needs, such as food, water and shelter. Early man started here, foraging for the basic necessities of life.
The earliest wise men and women most likely studied their environment, learning not only the seasons, planting cycles and hunting tactics but how also how best to manage the sparks of spirit, invention and intuition arising in humanity. As humans began living longer and passing on oral traditions, the elders used their experiences to identify similar situations and intuitively picked the best solutions.
Nature proved to be a place of awe for early man. So much was not only frightening, but also deadly. Lighting killed along with the lions, floods took children, as did disease and favored elders often lost their lives to hunting-related accidents. As his awareness and intuition grew, his appreciations and fears concerning the unknown grew.
Basic symbols begin arising, etched in bone and stone. Wavy lines even today evoke water. Jagged lines still represent electricity. The stars have always fascinated mankind. They were carved in many an early settlement even as they decorate today’s houses, hoping to bring good fortune on a place.
With the harnessing of fire in Chinese caves nearly half a million years ago, according to Richard Rudgley in The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age, mankind reached Maslov’s next level of needs for safety. Humanity soon learned the value of structures that could keep them warm, dry and safe from wild animals.
This development gave society more time to intermingle and socialize. With the time and luxury of quiet time, spiritually gifted people learned to listen to their intuition, that still, quiet voice from within.
There were individuals, then as now, more gifted in the psychic arts whose advice, warnings and information proved beneficial to the early Stone Age populace. Society recognized these gifts as comparable to a great hunter’s skill or master potter’s wares and encouraged their cultivation. These early shamans created and used talismanic devices to aid in premonitions, future events and dream interpretations.
Shamanistic traditions stretch from the poles, from the East to the West. All cultures had men and women whose intuitive knowledge saved the small tribes again and again. These early seers observed the portents and consequences of the weather, treated wounds, helped with childbirth, hunting, finding water and shelter. In addition to being psychically gifted, the shamans were intelligent, observant of the surroundings and focused on the moment.
Early bone and rock carvings from the Upper Paleolithic period nearly 40,000 years ago show our ancestors creating transformative art, instilling an idea or desire in a concrete totem to ask for or obtain good luck in obtaining the real object. The images represent magic by which the early hunters hoped would be soon replaced with a successful hunt for the real beasts.
The 30,000-year-old painting on the Chauvet cave, Ardeche, France portrays a large mixed herd of valuable food animals. Bulls horses, even a rhinosaurus thunder before the viewer, perhaps to allow a glimpse into the future, to a time/space where such a herd passed the hunter, a modern-day test run. The animals represent, on the most basic interpretation, food, hides, supplies and barter items but on a higher level showed creativity, teamwork and ritual.
With these group activities, society began, as mankind reached the social needs in the Hierarchy of Needs. Once better weapons were available, such as the spear and attlr, meat was easier to obtain so a new symbol appeared. And she was beautiful.
The ‘Venus of Willendorf’’ is one of the most famous Upper Paleolithic female figurines. A carved limestone figurine less than five inches, she represents the thousands of female figurines found by archeologists over a great geographic range and encompassing tens of thousands of years.
Looking back to that time, there are no easy answers as to what any of the figurines symbolize. Lust, protection in childbirth, sex, teens, maiden, mother, crone or the worship of the goddess are all viable answers.
Self-esteem needs arose, as did society. The Tao te Ching (400 BCE) by Lao-tzu expresses the consequences of this behavior:
‘When people see some things as beautiful,
Other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
Other things become bad.’
When personal ornamentation, peer approval and laurel wreaths began marking individuals, people began to judge themselves against others. The Tao te Ching warns this type of behavior muddies the waters of clear, objective thinking and brings about discrimination.
Mankind reached the top level of Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization with the building of large temples, monolithic structures, statues, and other earth modifications (Serpent Mound, Ohio, USA), Great Wall of China, right up to today’s skyscrapers, ships, manufacturing and internet.
Many individuals now have the time, energy and resources to seek their personal passions and needs. As you study Maslov’s theory, remember each person you meet can be at any of these stages with different needs.
Carl Jung defined intuition as an ‘irrational function using perception via the unconscious.’ The word ‘intuition’ comes from the Latin word ‘intueri’ which can be roughly translated as ‘to look inside.
Some scientists have associated intuition with innovation in scientific discovery.
It is known by countless names: artistic inspiration, common sense, cognition, déjà vu, ESP (extra-sensory perception), insight, instinct, intuition, religious experience, synchronicity, and the unconscious mind. It is an unbidden thought bringing inspiration, warning or premonition.
Countless records exist where a dream, a phrase, an image sparked the fire on new inventions, even when society pooh-poohed the inventor’s light bulb or flying machine or lasting art work. Steve Jobs, inventor of Apple computer, reported after a trip to India, the main thing he had learned about is intuition. Most likely he had been tapping into it, perhaps unconsciously, while building his new computer platform. Intuition has grown with mankind and is accessible for those who will listen.
What does it sound like? Most texts agree it comes most readily to a calm, rested, accessible mind. Generally, a small, quiet voice floats from the unconscious with specific instructions. Hard to distinguish from the normal mind chatter, the student often misses the message, only to recognize it later after an event has occurred.
Images, dreams, synchronicities, smells, feelings and symbols may also appear randomly, leaving students wondering what they mean. After receiving and recognizing the message, the student should give thanks as it is indeed a gift and try to act on the message.
Religious texts speak of prophets, mystics, sages, and normal people receiving instructions via the spiritual channel. It is and has been happening since the beginning of time so these messages should be respected and acted upon. Intuition can be understood as a blending between earthly knowledge and spiritual knowledge and appears as a flash of understanding and/or illumination. A more mundane definition would be a ‘gut feeling’ when a person or situation is signaling danger.
Often, intuition gives out warnings about a particular person’s fate. Is this person’s fate carved in stone? No, and if the seer is given a message about an individual and can safely, calmly share that information with them, an accident can potentially be averted.
That being said, the old saying, “When it’s your turn to die, it’s your turn to die” is often true. A recent example concerns a woman who was scheduled on an intercontinental flight that unexpectedly went down, killing all onboard. Oddly, the woman was killed the next day in a mundane traffic accident. So while free will does exist, there is evidence that predetermination also exists. This can safely be filed under the Will of God, Allah, Tao, Heaven or any other personal deities’ name.
Intuition can be dulled by allowing the physical body to lapse in bad health, through an excess of food, lack of physical exercise, alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal. Using substances will almost completely shut down dreaming, thereby depriving the intuitive with additional wisdom and guidance.
A word of caution to the student as he/she grows more attuned to using their intuition and psychic power. This universal psychic power is very real and many have successfully tapped into it for negative purposes. Remember this, the intuitive power is to be used through the psychic, not by the psychic.
Using this power against others or to satisfy base desires is not only morally wrong but dangerous. When the adept uses these powers in a negative way, i.e. curses, love spells, prosperity spells, the adept invites a negative reaction from the source many times more powerful than what was sent out. It is a hard lesson but the student must realize with great power comes an even greater responsibility.
In the Diskworld series by Terry Pratchett, the wizards at Unseen University are constantly reminded that their power is not to be used. Karma definitely works, crafting retribution for misuse.
For a cautionary tale, read about Aleister Crowley, the so-called Beast. Born into a wealthy family, he died sick and destitute after a lifetime engaging in dark rites and spells.
Shamans, seers, oracles were singled out by their families, tribes, cities, countries for their ability to sense not only the future, but also the past, contacting the deceased on the astral plane and the present, asking a benevolent guiding spirit to find a lost object or person or complete a difficult task by tapping into the psychic source for assistance.
This universal psychic power channels electromagnetically through the person who rolls the dice, reads the palms, deals the cards or peers into the crystal ball. The power doesn’t belong to the diviner anymore than to a healer. Basically, those who can bring their vibrations into a certain threshold become similar to the lighting rod, attracting and channeling the spiritual force.
There have been and are hundreds of techniques for fortune telling throughout the past half million years. Most have been lost in the mists of time due to their perishable nature such as bone or wood.
As weather is an elemental force, resplendent with colorful sunrises and sunsets, bright bursts of lightening in the dark night, loud thunderous noise, rain, floods, droughts, heat and cold, early humans were faced with understanding, remembering and categorizing this data.
An early human who possessed good pattern-recognition skills could, with some degree of accuracy, predict weather outcomes, thereby guiding and protecting his family, tribe, city or country. Even with modern meteorologists, after a million years, weather still catches mankind by surprise.
While a medium and a meteorologist are not the same disciplines, they were for many eons. Much of weather folklore is verbal pattern-recognition information passed down through generations.
Astrology arose from ancient man’s intimate study of the night sky. Comets, eclipses and strange night lights were early on linked with earthly events. “As above, so below” echoes down through the ages as recognition that there is an unknown force above influencing all below. Still popular today, astrology offers guidance according to studies linking certain possibilities, such as travel, love, health with certain celestial bodies and their movements.
Animal/bird movements, animal entrails and bones were also studied for their predictive powers. As man depended on these foodstuffs for existence, their influences were taken very seriously. This practice can still be seen in the African and Voodoo traditions.
Using dice for divination is called cleromancy. The earliest known dice were excavated along with a 5,000-year-old backgammon set at an archeological site in south-eastern Iran. Dice show up throughout recorded history with mentions in the Bible, the Mahabharata and Rig-Veda.
The I-Ching has traditionally believed to have been revealed to Fu Xi, one of the earliest legendary rulers of China, around 2800 BC. As with all early texts, it has undergone considerable revision over the centuries. Today the I-Ching uses 64 sets of six lines called hexagrams to offer oracle statements. The divinatory device is still widely used in China and elsewhere.
The Oracles of Delphi (900 BCE – 392 AD) in Ancient Greece were renown for their prophetic abilities. As such, their services were in great demand. A stream ran under the main temple, releasing fumes that supposedly allowed the temple priestess to prophecy.
Perhaps most telling of the power of their words is the story about when Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) rode to Delphi to get his fortune told. Upon arrival, he was told that the Chief Priestess could not be disturbed until the following day.
The young prince got up, went to her house, took her by the arm and started dragging her to the temple when she yelled out, “My Lord, you are unstoppable!”
Alexander laughed when he realized what she had said, and then thanked her for her oracle. This is a perfect example of when intuition, synchronicity and destiny meet.
Though the knowledge of palmistry most likely arose in the Far East, Aristotle (384-322 BCE) is said to have found a tablet about palmistry on the altar of Hermes. He then presented it to Alexander the Great, who studied it and used its principles to analyze his officers.
“Lines are not written into the human hand without reason. They emanate from heavenly influences and man’s own individuality,” Aristotle said.
Celtic druids are cited as the earliest users of crystal balls. These crystal or glass balls are believed to aid clairvoyance in some people. Known as crystallomancy or crystal gazing, the reader quiets their mind, allowing images to appear in the crystal or in the mind. In past times, it was known as a shew stone. Water, either in a bowl or on the ground, was called a scrying pond.
The Romani people are most likely responsible for perfecting the art of fortune telling with Tarot cards, palmistry and crystal balls. As they moved from the center of India to the northwest Punjab region of India around 250 BC, before migrating in waves from 500 to 1000 AD, they esteemed their psychics. The Roma went west into the Byzantine Empire and Egypt. Their migration from Egypt to Europe earned the lasting but to them derogatory nickname of ‘Gypsies.’ The Roma finally ended up scattered across Europe, America and South America.
Reading tea leaves or tasseography sprang up in the seventeenth century. The British Isles, perhaps due to their love of tea, developed this type of fortune telling from splatters of molten material such as lead and wax to the tea cup. The reader must find and interpret the images in the tealeaves to the seeker.
This form of inspiration or divination when we see things that aren’t really there is called pareidolia.
Leonardo de Vinci spoke about looking for images and patterns in wood and stone. While he was looking for artistic inspiration, perhaps the practice inspired him intuitively in his artwork.
Edgar Cayce, (1877-1944) renowned as the Sleeping Prophet, often spoke of the Akashic Library, a universal or divine source of meaning, for want of a better word, where a recording from every instant that did and didn’t happen in time is stored. He credited it with giving him access to the past, present and future. This source is also referred to in the Bible as the Book of Life and Fate and in Eastern books as the Hall of Records.
Five days a week, Cayce would go into a trance and answer questions from around the world. Most were people looking for answers concerning their own or a loved one’s illness.
Thousands of times, he would prescribe unusual medications that healed. He had a secretary who asked the questions and wrote down the answers, leaving a library of records at the Association for Research and Enlightenment at Virginia Beach, VA.
While few people are gifted as Cayce, who left a mountain of written records, documentation and verification, we are all capable of tapping into this information.
In conclusion, humanity has been tapping into divination from the very dawn of civilization. Stay mentally alert for any messages that come your way to aid you and those around you.