One to Ten and Back Again

APRIL 28th, 2016


When I was just a wee lad, part of our testing in kindergarten was to determine how well we could count. We started out counting to ten and then from ten back down to one. I did this accurately and extremely quickly… faster than anyone else in the class, in fact. You may be asking yourself why, exactly, I am telling you this. No, it isn’t to brag about being a numerical wunderkind (did I really just say that?) but to simply point out how ingrained the act of counting to ten and back to one was in my household.

My family was not a highly religious lot; nor were they convinced of the paranormal (other than myself). I won’t say that these things were completely out of the realm of possibility for them but they would not claim to be believers. One topic that was not to be tempted however, was that of superstitions. Ma Carbon would never allow such a thing.

How often did we sit for a meal and I accidentally knocked over the salt shaker and was told I had to throw some over my left shoulder? If we had perhaps dropped a piece of silverware, we always knew that a guest would soon be coming our way (not that I ever remember anyone actually showing up). We were also not allowed to sing at the table, whether it was mealtime or not. When we asked why we couldn’t sing, the only reasoning we ever received was that it was bad luck. We did have our chance at good fortune too; if we managed to sip up the bubbles from our tea before they could reach the rim of the cup… that meant that money was coming our way (not drinking tea = broke).

It wasn’t just at the table where we had to watch our actions. No, no, no… There were the more infamous situations to avoid such as walking under a ladder, opening an umbrella indoors and (the granddaddy of them all) breaking a mirror. Yes, almost everyone has heard of these unlucky situations…but it didn’t end there.

I am quite fond of holding hands. If you ever were to see John and I, there is an incredibly high possibility that we would be holding hands. Even this loving gesture has its risks. Apparently, should we dare to interlock our fingers, we would be tempting the Fates into causing a fight between us. It hasn’t happened yet but perhaps it is all building up into a doozy. I should probably just apologize now, in advance. (John doesn’t consider herself superstitious but she just told me that I’ve gone and jinxed us now).

Speaking of hands… make sure you take note the next time your hand begins to itch. If it is your right hand, then you will soon be receiving some money but if it is your left hand, you are about to lose your hard earned cash. The link between itches and superstition doesn’t end there, either. Quickly get rid of that itch on your nose because that means you are about to kiss a fool. Ha! No wonder John is always scratching her nose.

What, you may ask, does all of this have to do with counting? Let me answer by asking another question. Have you ever grabbed a shirt and, while rushing, accidentally put it on backwards or inside out? Have you ever rushed out the door only to realize that you had forgotten something and been forced to go back to get it? Did you know that these, too, are examples of bad luck and the only way to counteract the inevitable is to count to ten and then backwards from ten to one? As a forgetful person, I did a lot of counting in my younger days.

Even being raised in a superstitious household (well with a superstitious mother at least), I don’t have much faith in these old beliefs. If a black cat crosses my path, the only bad luck is that it wouldn’t come over for me to pet it. I have killed my fair share of spiders and not once did it suddenly start to rain. When I’m walking down the sidewalk and I see a crack, I just keep walking… okay maybe I step over the crack. Sometimes you can’t be too careful. My point is that, so far, nothing bad has happened as a result of ignoring an old superstition and I doubt it ever will… knock on wood!

Trees Can Be Creepy

APRIL 25th, 2016


John and I went out for a walk the other day in a park close to our home. We love taking pictures as we stroll along and I thought this beauty was creepy enough that we just had to share.
We will be back later this week with a new post so please stay tuned.

A Ghosty Tale of John's AKA John's Twofer (As Titled by Lana)

APRIL 13th, 2016


With Lana’s encouragement, I have decided to share a wee ghosty tale of mine.

About 14 or 15 years ago, I was studying Shiatsu Therapy at a small clinic within a building that was well over 100 years old.

As part of the school requirements, everyone wore white uniforms and we typically sat on the floor in a semi-circle formation, facing the front of the room where the instructor was situated.

One night, about one and a half months into the program, I sat on the floor in the semi-circle and waited for the instructor to begin the class. I was at the back of the formation, slightly off from centre, calming my energy while everyone settled in for the evening. As I sat there, I watched someone in the white uniform – these legs in white pants – walk across in front of me. I felt the person go around my left side and stand behind me.

For some reason, I knew it was a man (I only saw the legs – I never did look up to see who it was) and I honestly thought it was the teacher for that class. After a few seconds I realized that I felt like that same person was standing behind me, watching me. You know that horribly annoying and uncomfortable feeling of someone staring at you? Not bad or negative, just awkward. What bothered me was that while it felt like the person was standing a few feet behind me staring, it also felt like he was directly behind me almost breathing down my neck – like when someone stands and reads over your shoulder. Not in a menacing way, just like someone who isn’t aware of personal space. I still can’t figure out what made me feel that it was a man or at that, why I thought it was the instructor. I suppose the instructor might have been an obvious deduction at the time and I guess I also felt a male energy. Nothing specifically occurred to make me to think it was a man.

After a couple of minutes of being uncomfortable, I looked around the room in front of me, noting who had arrived and who was seated versus standing. I realized that the instructor was actually standing at the front of the room, about to commence the class. So, once I realized it wasn’t him behind me and that everyone else was now sitting in formation, I whipped my head around to see who was behind me.

No one was there.  

The men’s change room was behind me but it was empty and had been for some time. No one had been standing there. No one was standing there at that moment but I knew that someone had been there and I could still feel him there. Not really knowing what to make of it however, I decided to put it out of my mind and focus on the lesson (not telling anyone of my experience).

During the break, the daughter of the clinic’s owner (who was also a student in the class) told us that we should know that if we were to ever experience anything strange in the building or see anyone who wasn’t ‘really’ there, not to panic. She told us that the building was haunted and it was just a man and a woman who occasionally liked to hang out and watch what was going on but they wouldn’t actually do anything.

I felt the blood instantly drain from my face and it took everything in me to stay seated and not run out of the building. I’ve had ‘paranormal’ experiences my whole life but for some reason – I guess the way this one happened – it really shook me. However, I remained where I was and never said a word to anyone there. My breathing may have been a bit unsteady for the rest of the evening but I never said a word. (I did tell Ma Lilies when I returned home that night. I had to tell someone and I knew she would understand.)

*Illustration may not be an accurate representation of the real ghosty

*Illustration may not be an accurate representation of the real ghosty

Cut to about seven months later (I still hadn’t told anyone there about my experience).

Class had ended for the night and a friend (Keegan) and I were in the change room, getting back into our street clothes. Once we were changed and had our bags packed up, I went ahead of Keegan and opened the door to leave the change room and go up the stairs to the main entrance. I had my backpack on and started up the stairs with Keegan a few paces behind me. On the third or fourth stair, I fell forward. I had no reason for falling and I remember in that split second thinking, “Why did I fall?” Keegan asked if I was okay and I embarrassingly mumbled something to her about ‘me and my big feet’ and continued up the stairs.

About another month or so later, Keegan and I were chatting and we somehow landed on the subject of ghosties and ‘paranormal’ events. We each shared some of our stories and that was when I finally opened up about the experience I’d had in the classroom at the beginning of the school year.

Keegan then decided to tell me about an experience she’d had at the school.

As it turned out, the night we were leaving the change room together and I’d fallen up the stairs, Keegan saw a ghosty. As she told me, I opened the change room door to leave and she saw a man’s face turn to look at us from the doorway. Apparently his face expressed great shock when he realized he’d been seen and he took off up the stairs – just a hair after I’d started up the stairs myself.

Keegan said that the very moment I fell forward on the stairs, was the same second the ‘apparition’ rushed by me; she said he bumped me as he was passing and knocked me down. The ghosty briefly paused, looking apologetic and worried, and then continued up the stairs as I made my excuse about tripping over my big feet.

Keegan never said a word until the night we shared our stories and even then she was afraid to tell me, thinking I’d either not believe her or I’d be scared. I definitely believed her and strangely it didn’t scare me. If anything, I was relieved to know what had caused me to fall and it validated the feeling I’d had at the beginning of the school year, sitting in class and feeling a man watching me from behind. I must admit however, that I was not very comfortable in the change room after that. From the way Keegan described it, the ghosty must have been walking by the door or just standing outside of the room when I opened the door. I hoped that was truly the case, and that he hadn’t been watching us while we were changing, but it was always in the back of my mind after hearing the story. I also hesitated each time I opened the door to leave the change room, wondering if he was there. I think by that point, I was too aware of ghosties in the building to see them again, though I felt them fairly often.

So there’s my ‘twofer’ for you. It honestly still gives me chills when I talk about it and to my knowledge it is the only time I’ve been knocked over by a ghosty. I must admit though, that I am happy it was a ghosty and not my big feet that took me down.

By the Book - A Look at Karen A. Dahlman's The Spirit of Alchemy: Secret Teachings of the Sacred Reunion

APRIL 6th, 2016


I don’t read nearly as much as I once did. Between working on Carbon Lilies, trying to keep up with social media, fulfilling my need for cinematic stimuli and just life in general, one of my favourite hobbies had fallen almost completely by the wayside. This past weekend I managed to finally delve into a book that I have wanted to read since ordering it nearly a year ago. This book hit home for me so much that I felt as though the author had looked deep into my psyche and shared what she had seen. The book was The Spirit of Alchemy: Secret Teachings of the Sacred Reunion by Karen A. Dahlman.

Sharing more teachings from her “Esoteric Ouija” work, Karen explores how we might find harmony in our lives by balancing the receptive Divine Feminine and active Divine Masculine that exist within us all. Karen then takes us through the journey of self-reflection, detailing our darker impulses (the Nigredo), the insights and positive attitude necessary to overcome (the Albedo) and finally connecting and committing to our Higher Self (the Rubedo).  

Following along these mysterious traditions used by alchemists in their attempts to transmute one object into another (the most famous example being how to change lead into gold), Karen shares with us how this process can be used on our own selves to lead to a personal transmutation into a better way of living. Karen makes the book extremely relatable to the readers by using experiences from her own life. By following the techniques Karen details, she shows us how it is possible for anyone to find their own Philosopher’s Stone through finding their spirit guides and their higher self. Karen expertly accomplishes this in the terms the alchemists use and interpreting it into plain language that even I could understand.

If you have seen some of my posts on social media you will know that I have an interest in talking boards and believe they have an undeserved bad reputation, so I originally wanted to get this book simply knowing that Karen A. Dahlman is a Ouijaologist. Well, that and the fact that we own her other books Spirit of Creativity and Spirit of Ouija. On many levels I am so glad that we ordered this book. As I said in the opening paragraph, this book hits home to such an extent that it really does feel like Karen is directing her words specifically at me (even though I know this obviously isn’t the case) and I am confident that many others will feel the exact same way. That is the magic of Karen’s writing.

As I read page after page, there were often moments when I could see the events in the book playing out much like they had in my own life. This experience made me realize that I am currently in the stage of Nigredo, contemplating the darker elements of my life and trying to come to grips with the things that have happened and are still happening. I feel that I am coming close to moving on to the second stage by handling situations in a more positive light.

You do not have to be a Ouija lover at all to enjoy this book. As you may have guessed by this point, I strongly recommend this great read for anyone and everyone. You can get your own copy on Amazon or from Karen’s site Creative Visions Publications (even an autographed copy if you ask for one).

If (or should I say when) you get your own copy or if you already have one, let us know. We are anxious to hear your thoughts. Tweet us @carbonlilies ,tell us on Facebook or comment below.