How to Heal When The Monsters Are Real (Part 1)

Given the recent events unfolding in this country, and around the world, it seems important to have a conversation about evil. Evil is not something any of us are comfortable talking about or looking at. It IS something that exists, however, and the emotional trauma and fallout from encountering it leaves scars that can take time and support to heal. Whether we are talking about healing an individual, a group, a country, or the planet itself, having the courage to look at the monsters hiding behind the masks is essential. There is a reason why certain types of books, movies, and TV shows have become so successful, or have become classics when others fade away. The works of Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, Tolkien, William Peter Blattey,  Shakespeare, J. K. Rowling and Edgar Allen Poe are just a few examples of writers whose work confronts and exposes the frightening reality of monsters. The most successful computer and video games along these lines are the ones that allow the players to do battle, vanquish the bad guys, become a hero or warrior, and save the world. While some people might decry these games as being too violent, in a culture where bullying and abuse of all kinds has reached epidemic levels, these games have become a way for young people to feel empowered. They are in direct contrast to the social apathy kids struggle to deal with in their day to day lives.

A number of recent tragedies contributed to my decision to write about this topic. The deaths of black people at the hands of the police, racism, increased violence against women, the slaughter of elephants and rhinos through poaching, the shocking and brutal killing of the beloved lion Cecil at the hands of a trophy hunter… All of these events, plus a lifetime of being a healer, holding a space for clients who are attempting to understand and recover from the actions and choices of the people around them, made it clear to me that now is the time to share some different perspectives on this.

First, I want to comment on some articles I’m seeing on the Internet saying how sad it is that the death of a lion is prompting more outrage and more media coverage than the police killings of black people. What those comments fail to take into consideration are two very important things: Denial and Cognitive Dissonance. It is much safer for many people to access their own repressed fear, grief, and rage through the death of an animal than it is to access those emotions through the death of a human being. No human being that they know has been lured away from a National Park with a piece of meat, shot with an arrow, tracked, and then been butchered as a trophy. It is the impossibility of this happening to them, or to their loved ones, that allows the protective mechanism of denial to be bypassed. In contrast to that, it is the very real possibility of violence directed at them, or someone they love, that prevents many people from breaking through that mechanism, speaking out or taking action against predators of all kinds. It is a type of internal paralysis, shock, a numbness that exists on a subconscious level. It has nothing to do with animals being more important than humans, and everything to do with fear. Fear of being overwhelmed by a lifetime of suppressed grief and pain. It is much safer to get in touch with that reservoir of pain through the death of an animal rather than through the torture, sexual abuse, or murder of a child, a woman, or a man, no matter what color they are. We should not be shaming people who ARE responding to that death by telling them that human suffering should be more important than animals suffering.  All suffering matters. It is not a contest. Allow people the right to access their own pain in their own way.

imageWith the statistics on domestic violence, where an estimated 1.3 million women a year are battered, and that number continues to rise, with not much media attention about those figures, that does not mean people don’t care about women. What it does mean is that people can’t handle looking at it, or pretty much anything else, like mental illness, racism, poverty, climate change, the sexual abuse of children…  and continue to function. The things that are the most heinous are the things most people’s minds are the most defended against knowing. Any therapist understands this, and I always try to respect that subconscious protective strategy in my clients, while gently moving them forward in their healing process. It is very delicate work, where the mind is shielded against remembering trauma. Which brings me to a type of trauma that results from having been in contact with the most difficult type of individual to deal with: people with Personality Disorders.

There are a number of Personality Disorders listed in the DSM V. Some are considered to be a form of mental illness, some are not. All of them share certain attributes, however, with pathological narcissism being at the top of the list. There are differences between them, but many more marked similarities. Some, like Borderline Personality Disorder, have become widely used to describe a pattern of behavior over the past decade or so. Others, like Paranoid Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Narcisstic Personality Disorder, are less well known. All healers end up having to address the flaming wreckage these people leave behind them. Each healer has their own techniques or protocols that they use to help people recover from the damage caused by a personality disordered individual, which can be extensive. Having one of these individuals as a boss, a co-worker, a parent, a lover, a spouse, or a friend pretty much guarantees the need for some kind of healing work. ( Some helpful books on this topic are: “The People of the Lie”, by M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist best known for the book ” The Road Less Traveled”, “Malignant Self-Love”, by Dr Sam Vaknin, “Children of the Self-absorbed”, by Nina Brown, “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psycopaths Among Us”,  by Robert D. Hare, PhD,  “The Gaslight Effect” by Dr Robin Stern, and  “In Sheep’s Clothing” by George K. Simon JR., PhD. )

This complete lack of empathy or conscience is extremely difficult for most people to understand, as is the capacity to manipulate and lie. These people are predators, users, and takers, hiding behind a facade of intelligence and charm. They are very good at appearing to be “normal”.  By not understanding the reality of what is behind that facade, it sets kind and compassionate people up to become targets for what is, in fact, a very dangerous person.

Taoist and Shamanic traditions have had protocols for helping people to heal from the emotional and psychic after effects of being exposed to the toxic energies of these beings for thousands of years. One of the first places that I start, when working with a client who is, or has been in a relationship with one of these beings, is restoring the structural integrity of the Root Chakra. The Root Chakra is where we connect to our bodies and to the Earth plane. The psychic and emotional abuse by these people can leave one feeling anxiety and exhaustion. We can have difficulty trusting others, but more importantly, trusting ourselves after having been taken in and fooled by these master manipulators. I use guided meditations and visualizations to help people reconnect with their inner wisdom, and I work towards removing the shame and self-blame that goes along with having been exploited through one’s compassion and kindness.

My next step is restoring the structural integrity of the Third Chakra. ( The Solar Plexus Chakra). This Chakra has to do with identity, self-worth, and self-esteem. The rampant narcissism of the personality disordered individual includes a competitiveness, a need to demean and diminish others in every way, in order to feel a sense of power and control. Humiliation is part of their arsenal. After even a limited exposure to this, even a very strong person can be worn down by it. Again, using inner work, meditation and visualizations, stones, essential oils, herbs, we work together to restore the awareness of the authentic self.

Another Shamanic practice is teaching people to have strong psychic boundaries. When dealing with narcissists, the word “no” needs to become your best friend. They tend to bully, wheedle, cajole, manipulate, or cry to get what they want. Learning to say no, and mean it is essential. Learning to develop shields around your energy body is also essential, because these people are energy vampires, in the truest sense of the word. You can feel drained and depleted after a brief encounter with one, without understanding why.

Narcissists tend to gravitate towards jobs that fulfill their need for power and attention. Most workplaces have people who have maneuvered their way to upper positions. Working for or with one is a nightmare, as they tend to take all of the credit for the efforts and ideas of others, and do as little work as possible.

An important thing to understand about dealing with them, is refusing to engage with them. Confronting one gets you nowhere, since they are masters of deflection and spin-doctoring reality. Avoid them whenever possible. Read some of the books I mentioned for tips on handling them while preserving your sanity. Understand that these people thrive on chaos and drama. That is food for them.

I believe now is the time to have this conversation, because we are seeing the damage these entities are creating absolutely everywhere. No species is safe, no economy, no country, and certainly not the earth itself, because narcissists don’t care about anything or anybody but themselves. Becoming the spiritual warrior is about living from empathy, compassion, and courage. The courage to look at what is being done by them, and what will happen if we stay silent and frozen in the trauma they have created. There is no time to debate about which species is suffering more, the entire planet is at risk. By coming together as a community of heart-centered people, we can heal each other and the planet. Earth Mother is counting on us. Our hearts are huge, and together, there is room in our hearts for every living thing. We can love the animals, the children, all races, the trees, the water, there is room in our hearts for all. Love can push back the darkness. It always has.  Blessings, Judith

( On the advice of one of my daughters, Hope, I will be adding a part two to this teaching down the line.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace, Cecil the Lion

imageI was shocked and devastated to hear about the brutal slaying of a beloved male lion in Zimbabwe named Cecil. Since it has been all over the news and social media, with officials in Zimbabwe releasing the grisly details of what they are terming an ” illegal hunt”, I’ve decided to say something about it.

I will never understand trophy hunting, or “big game” hunting. I will never understand what is missing inside of a person that allows them to feel delight or pride in killing. It seems twisted or evil, on some level, for someone  to feel a thrill while killing something. Bragging about it, posting photos of themselves alongside of, on top of, or holding the bloody body of a leopard, a lion, a grizzly bear, or an endangered species like the white rhino or bighorn sheep, to me indicates a level of narcissism and psycopathy that defies belief.

According to the news reports, an American dentist from Minnesota, Walter Palmer, ( he has openly admitted to being the man who killed Cecil ) is a big game Hunter, whose many trophies include all of those mentioned above, with numerous photos prominently featured on his website. Details provided by officials from the Zimbabwe National Park state that the safari hunting company used by Palmer baited the lion,( who was wearing a radio tracking collar, and was part of a study ) luring him off of the protected National Park grounds, where Palmer shot him with a bow and arrow. Cecil did not die immediately. No, that took 40 hours, where these depraved humans tracked him, shot him, then beheaded and skinned him. They cut off the collar and tried to destroy it, according to these officials. Two of the men leading the hunt are facing charges in Zimbabwe, the court date is 8/3.  Officials say they are looking for Palmer, who left the country.

The Zimbabwe government is acutely distressed over the death of Cecil, because he was a huge draw for their tourism industry, which Zimbabwe depends on. There are numerous YouTube videos people have posted about Cecil over the years, a magnificent male lion in his prime. The $50,000 Palmer paid to hunt and kill this lion was far less then what people have paid over the years to photograph him.

The finger-pointng that is going on, now that this has been made public, is unbelievable. Palmer is blaming the company he hired. I guess he didn’t realize they used the body of a dead animal dragged behind their car for half a mile to lure Cecil away from the safety of the National Park. At night. I guess that even though he was aiming his weapon at this animal LIT UP WITH SPOTLIGHTS he didn’t notice a radio receiver collar. I guess he didn’t see anyone attempting to destroy the collar afterwards,  either. The company responsible says they had the permits necessary. Not according to the Zimbabwe officials, they didn’t.

The blame game will go on, but from a spiritual point of view, this extreme type of cruelty must be addressed and stopped. The idea that anyone who has the money can pay for the sick thrill of murdering an animal, cut off it’s head, and mount it on a wall somewhere, must be rejected by all of us. It cannot be tolerated any longer. As painful as this is to look at, only by looking at what is happening can we change it.

Only when we come together, and speak with one voice, one heart, will we be able to stop this. My heart feels like there is a storm of grief and rage inside of it. No Indiginous culture person would ever do such a thing, kill for fun, kill for sport. There is too much reverence for life, for the Earth, and all living beings to allow that.

The photos of this man smiling into the camera next to a dead body say it all. Who celebrates the death of any living thing? Who sees being the bringer of death as an achievement to be recorded, savored, enjoyed? Only the spiritually bankrupt would be capable of something this heinous.  ( This capacity for aggression, violence towards other living things, the flouting of laws, planning, lying, and the complete lack of remorse, all falls under the heading of Antisocial Personality Disorder, in the definition of Psychopath. See the DSM V.)

As I said earlier, I don’t understand that. And I’m glad that I don’t. What would it say about any of us if we did? To all of my four-legged Relations I say to you: I am sorry. I send you my prayers. To the winged ones, the Standing People, ( the trees ), I am sorry. I send you my prayers. To all of those that share this Earth Walk with me, I send you my prayers. And I give you my word that I will continue to fight for you, and for Earth Mother, that all who walk upon her may be treated with respect and love. And finally, to Cecil. My you rest in peace, in the loving arms of Spirit. We will remember. Blessings, Judith

Some Fire Element Stones

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My office.

For those of you that are interested in working with Stones, I thought I would add some photos of the main Fire Element Stones, including a photo of those in my office, behind my chair that I use in my work with clients. Those are my helpers and allies. You can find the others on my website, there are so many to choose from. Each type offers something different, both physically and spiritually. Trust your intuition when it comes to choosing Stones, they are living beings. The one that calls your name is right for you.

The vivid green Egg is Malachite from the Congo. The Warrior of the heart, Malachite heals old grief and pain. Wonderful. The group of Hearts is Bloodstone, which is also called Heliodor. From India, it is a combination of green Chalcedony and red Jasper. It has been used to help strengthen the Liver, the blood, and to support detoxification. Holding it and meditating with it is all you need to do.

The palm sized Stone is Fire Agate. The dark peach sphere with tiny black flecks is Sunstone, often used to alleviate depression. The black flecks are black Tourmaline, which offers protection. The red egg is red Jasper, which adds warmth and passion to life, as well as increased vitality and energy.

The clear Quartz with red sparkles is Lepidocrocite on Quartz. This Stone always feels like a party to me. It adds joy and vibrant life force.

The dark magenta Stone is raw Ruby, from Mysore, India. Ruby is a Master Healer, both of the Root Chakra and the Heart Chakra.

The red, yellow and pewter Crystal is Realgar with Orpiment, Galena, and Quartz. The Master Alchemist.

The burnt orange Heart is Carnelian, very powerful. Used in Chinese Medicine to support the Lungs.


All of the Stones featured here are available on my website. For further teachings on the Fire Element, the Second Chakra, and the Stones, go to The Crystal Cave Teachings on my website, enter the Cave, and click on the Second Chakra. Blessings, Judith