Expanding Consciousness Through Symbolism: Ants

As anyone who practices Magick is well aware, symbolism is a very powerful tool. Spells and rituals employ a wide range of symbols to charge and direct energy. Today I will demonstrate how we can expand our consciousness through symbols and our associations with them.

Oftentimes when reading books on spirituality, or in other areas such as psychology, a list of symbols will be presented and we are asked to give a list of things or ideas that we associate with that symbol. In this article I will focus on a symbol that at first may seem peculiar, the ant.

When asked what one associates with ‘ant’, many will say such things as ‘small’ and ‘insignificant’. They may think that because the ant is so small compared to them, that it is essentially meaningless and holds no great power. I will argue that this view is flawed, and by looking deeper into the symbolism of the ant, one can expand their perception of the world.

Although ants are indeed small in size (at least when compared to ourselves or other, much larger animals), this does not mean that they are simple or insignificant. Ants are in fact complex beings with their own functioning society, or colony. Colonies can be small with only a few dozen members, or very large with millions of members. No matter their size, ants work with one another to make their communities thrive. They will skillfully coordinate with one another, leading other worker ants to food, or alerting others to danger, such as to a group of ants from another colony or an animal who may be there looking for food. They also work together to build their colonies, which often include a complex, practical tunneling system. By doing these things, ants are able to create a thriving society, just as humans do.

As we can see, ants are far from being mindless beings who wander around aimlessly until death. Much can be learned from recognizing this. By appreciating the complexity of something that we may otherwise view as insignificance, our perception of the world widens. We acquire a deeper respect for the world around us and everything that it is made up of.  This can be applied to all areas of our lives. By understanding that things are much more significant than they appear to be on the surface, we expand our conscious understanding of the universe and everything in it.



Meditations for Sleep & Dreaming

Dreaming is a wonderful way to explore higher realms of consciousness. For thousands of years, various cultures have been aware of the power of dreams and the insight that they provide. Here I will share with you a few meditations to enhance your dream-life. The foundations for these meditations come from Penney Peirce, an influential teacher in both dreams and spirituality. These meditations are meant to be done just before going to sleep.

Meditation I: Dream Temple

In ancient Greece, dream temples were erected as places where pilgrims could travel to. They would meditate and fast before dreaming, and then have their dreams interpreted by a Shaman. In this meditation, we will visualize such a pilgrimage as a way of enhancing our dreams.

Close your eyes and become centered. Imagine yourself in a calm desert or a grassy meadow, whichever you like. Out in the distance is a temple, with a white glow surrounding it. Make your way towards the temple. As you get closer, you see more and more detail. Your dream temple can look however you wish it to. Perhaps the walls are stone carved with various symbols, or are made of exquisite marble. A gargoyle may reside above the door, keeping any negativity from entering. It is somewhere you will feel calm, relaxed, and safe. You approach the door to speak to the dream guardian. Tell him your intentions for dreaming tonight. Perhaps you seek insight for a problem you face or would like guidance in a certain area of your life. Maybe you simply wish to go on an adventure in an exotic land. Focus on your intention as you relate it to the dream guardian. If you are sincere, he will allow you to enter the temple. The interior of your dream temple can look however you wish it to. Perhaps it is decorated with flowers, fountains, or statues. Most importantly, it is somewhere you can relax. Inside, there are priests and/or priestesses who are there to assist you in tonight’s journey. There is also a bed in your temple, the most comfortable bed imaginable. Before lying down on the bed, the priests/priestesses bless you with sage to clear any residual negative energy. They then guide you to your bed. As you lie in your bed completely relaxed, they anoint you with essential oils. Again, tell your intentions for dreaming to the priests/priestesses. They will help to manifest them. Focus on your intention as you drift off to sleep.

Meditation II: Energy Orb

This is a simple, yet very powerful visualization exercise. In your hands, imagine a ball of pure energy forming. Now that the orb of energy has formed, focus on your intention for dreaming. Feel the intention moving from your hands into your energy orb. Once this is accomplished, take your ball of energy and put it into the back of your head. The energy that you have charged with your intention has now been put directly into your mind. It will manifest itself in your dreams tonight.

Meditation III: Dolphin Raft

Dolphins are an animal commonly associated with dreams. In this meditation, the dolphin will assist us with our dreaming.

Imagine yourself floating on a raft on the ocean or a large lake. The water is still and calm. Dolphins emerge from the water and pull your raft out to the middle of the ocean/lake. Focus on you intentions for dreaming as the dolphins surround your raft. While you sleep, they will dive into the depths of the ocean/lake to bring hidden information and insight to you in your dreams. Lie on your raft, completely comfortable and relaxed, and drift off to sleep. Trust that the dolphins will assist you in your dreams.