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The tyranny of excellence

20th January, 2018 Members Community
Celosia Red Velvet with thistledown, c. Judy Hall

Celosia Red Velvet with thistledown, c. Judy Hall

Self-development is the basis for magickal training. The process of self-actualisation is often slow and arduous, filled with dark nights of the soul, but also brings bright days as well. It tends to follow cycles wherein we think we know nothing, then something, then everything – then nothing again. Do not despair that the road seems long or allow yourself to be trapped in the tyranny of excellence.

Ives Domingues, Casting Sacred Space.

I found the above quotation in a chapbook sent to me by Weiser Books to celebrate 60 years of esoteric publishing. It seemed apt as it arrived as I was about to set off for the Crystal Dragon Mountain, one of the most sacred spaces I know. The mountain is an old lead mine. The spiritual basis for alchemy was turning lead, the unleaven soul, into gold, the self-actualised soul.

Having written Crystals and Sacred Space and also Earth Blessings, it chimes so well with one of my most powerful ‘missions on Earth’ (my soul purpose). With a North Node (the indicator of that soul purpose), in sun-empowered Leo conjunct Pluto the great transformer, my intention is to find and shine out the light within. To reveal my magickal self. Standing in my true power. Bringing out that power in others also. And, thereby, assisting in raising the vibrations of our world. But that intention could easily become a tyranny, Leo is an autocratic sign that can quickly become a despot.

Weisers are one of my longest standing publishers. They brought outThe Hades Moon: Pluto in aspect to the Moon way back in the nineties and have kept it in print ever since. Which delights me because it remains my deepest and most insightful astrological book, one which throws light on one of the most karmically challenging aspects for an astrologer or non-astrologer alike. An aspect that also has the biggest potential and carries the greatest soul gifts within it. It’s not just for astrologers either. It was written from deep experience of my own and my clients’ struggle to work with the planetary connection’s many manifestations. Since then, I’ve realised just how many soul gifts I have developed out of that struggle. Much more recently, Weiser also published my Crystal Skulls, an introduction to how these amazing beings can assist us in our journey.

Spot the metal dragon. Pure lead in Celtic Quartz.

Spot the metal dragon.
Pure lead in Celtic Quartz.

The spiritual basis of alchemy was turning lead, the unleaven soul, into gold, the self-actualised soul.

self-actualised soul

Making connections

The most surprising of incidents can show us how far we’ve come on that journey of self-development and soul expansion to which Ives Domingues refers. I have hypersensitive hearing – which I put down to the fact that I listen to many dimensions and states of being, not merely the physical. Since childhood, I could not bear loud background music and found it impossible to sleep through noises of any kind. In the past, noisy hotels have reduced me to a blubbering, incoherent heap desperately begging to be moved to a quieter room. So, when I arrived in Corfu at midnight and found the hotel in the midst of an overloud, incredibly distorted ‘Greek Night’, I reiterated the request, made on booking, for a quiet room. It was grudgingly granted.

After a couple of days, the hotel was ‘invaded’ by a group of Eastern European students who ran amok down the corridor shouting and screaming to each other at 2am while their teachers enjoyed the quiet haven of the third floor. Two phone calls complaining to reception had no effect. So, down I went, accompanied by Janet the old friend with whom I was holidaying, in a kaftan over my pyjamas – I didn’t bother dressing. I insisted, several times, that we be moved to the top floor. We were, the next morning. After I’d refused a couple of equally noisy rooms that night. Can you imagine being next to the lift when you have sensitive hearing? Eventually I was given a room at the back overlooking both the sea and the mountains; a great view and a haven in which to retreat.

I was surprised when, the next morning, Janet told me how well I’d handled the change of rooms. ‘So calm and assertive, quietly insistent, and so different to how whiny and moany you used to be.’ (She’s a straight talking Capricorn with Mercury in Sag and we have been friends for almost thirty years). ‘You became the grounded adult when dealing head on with the noisy kids.’ Later she reminded me, ‘Thank them kindly for assisting you.’

Seeking out calmer waters

Seeking out calmer waters

Confirmation of the breakthrough came after we’d switched off the ‘noise phobia’ whilst lying on the beach – a great place to transform. Discussing it later, we came to the conclusion that only a certain amount of external factors can be controlled and the rest is about how you respond to them emotionally. The confirmation came when I was asked, ‘Did they keep you awake last night?’ a couple of days later. This was by one of few English people in the hotel, who had a top floor room. She’d previously taken great delight in telling us how quiet that floor was.

‘No,’ I replied. ‘What was going on?’

‘More students arrived and were allocated the third floor. They were out on the balcony below me drinking, shouting and playing music at 2am. Complaints made to reception made no difference.’

‘I didn’t hear a thing,’ I was able to reply, although my new room was close to hers.

I’m trusting I won’t have that particular challenge again. I’ve moved on. But if I do, I won’t beat myself up about it. I’ll practise my ‘quiet assertiveness’. It hasn’t removed my detestation for noisy ‘background music’, but I’ve learned to choose a quieter place to be. Shops or restaurants that blast my ears simply don’t get my custom.

Moving on

The whole Corfu experience was one of a ‘moving on’. Initially I’d booked a Nile cruise to do research for a novel. When I had found out, 5 minutes after booking, that they intended to bus us for five and a half hours across Egypt from the Red Sea rather than flying direct to Luxor as shown on the website, I immediately tried to cancel. (I know that route well from the days when Egypt was a much safer tourist destination.) But to no avail. No cancellation possible. They would not refund. The only option was to transfer to another holiday. So I chose Corfu as it had the shortest journey time and, as I thought, the easiest flight. Not so, we were moved to night flights at the last minute. And the (very) small print says you have to accept such changes no matter how inconvenient. Such a con. But, rather like incarnation. Do we always recognise exactly what we are signing up for? Or that it’s how we negotiate the obstacles that matters.

View from my sunbed. Air dragon watching over us.

View from my sunbed. Air dragon watching over us.

The food in the hotel was truly dreadful. Janet and I decided to make the best of it and to have fun regardless. We found a lovely beachside cafe with a Greek god to bring us coffee on our sunbeds. And one of those amazingly strong Greek goddesses delivered our lunch and chatted happily to us. We laughed so much with her – and watched with the greatest respect how she handled an extremely disturbed young woman using her grace, charm and wisdom. ‘You can only find love outside yourself when you have love for yourself within’, she told the girl, who was bemoaning her lack of a lover. I’d said that in The Soulmate Myth some years ago. It was good to hear it reiterated on the beach.

You can only find love outside yourself when you have love for yourself within.

For the evenings, we found a traditional taverna with excellent food and a family of tree-climbing kittens to entertain us. They lived on the restaurant roof and the tree was their access route. The whole trip really showed us the value of steadfast friendship and loving support for each other in dark times.

tree-climbing kittens

The tyranny of excellence?

Let’s go back to that quote above. I meet many ‘new-agers’ who are working so hard to perfect themselves that they put themselves through hell for not being superhuman. They don’t see ‘failure’ as a learning experience, out of which great gifts come, but something to be atoned for. Or, at the very least ‘something to work on’ (cue loud inward groan). It is possible to become obsessed with  therapising your life. The tyranny of excellence is feeling that you always have to work on yourself. Beating yourself up instead of seeing yourself as the wonderful soul that you really are. Resting in that joy-fullness.

As I walked amongst the crystals on the Welsh dragon mountain, I was pondering the deeper meaning behind this. ‘Deep and total unconditional love for self is required.’ I was told. ‘Look down’. Obeying the instruction, I found one of the clearest and most beautiful crystal points from that trip. ‘Deep unconditional love for self is the whole point,’ I was told. ‘If you have that, there’s no need to clear, nothing to work on, you unconditionally love – and accept – your whole self. And that’s where your inner security comes from. Unconditional love for oneself is a state of being.’

But it’s not a cop-out. When self-development work is needed, it still has to be done – with loving kindness to oneself. The key is recognising when enough is enough. It’s rather like the karma of grace. When sufficient work has been done to clear a karmic blockage, or where another person simply will not cooperate in clearing the karma, then it can be let go. Time to move on.

Unconditional love

Unconditional love for oneself is a state of being.

So, as we approach the new year why not resolve to make 2018 the year you are kind to yourself? Love yourself as you are, with all your flaws and foibles – and acknowledge your gifts and how far you’ve come on this human journey. Be prepared for those switchback loops in the road that seem to take us back to our starting point, but which ultimately lead forward. Let go the tyranny of excellence. Enjoy the road trip!

A road trip to remember

Oh yes, and speaking of road trips. On the way, over the bridge to Wales, Susannah Rafelle and I were passed by an empty hearse. We were doing 70mph at the time and it zoomed past like a bat out of hell. No time for a pic, only to read the number plate, 000003. We were discussing my future plans for leaving the planet at the time. I was saying I didn’t intend to hang around in an old people’s home. As Susannah pointed out, there went my transport! In the next town, we were overtaken by… an invalid carriage. From such things are memorable road trips created!

And moments like this. The close of the ‘thank the dragons’ ritual on the mountain. Dragons have such a sense of humour. Following Kieron’s extraordinarily powerful and deeply moving dragon chant, one of the younger dragons asked Terri-Terri (centre) to sing ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’, saying. ‘We can have too much of this seriousness’. So, after the song and gales of laugher, Terri-Terri said, ‘Clown hands.’ And here they are.

Beautiful, tiny, crystals offered themselves from the mountain. They so want to continue going around the world. In addition to the Celtic Gold planetary healers, the white ones assist with emotional healing and the ancestral line and many carry the Lumi beings. So Terrie Celest is offering them as a free gift with crystal purchases from Each carries a dragon blessing and releases you from the tyranny of excellence. Enjoy!

The Hades MoonMy very first book cover, a collage created in the days before I discovered I could paint. There is always a way!

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The Soulmate Myth5 out of 5 stars

By Allouraon 25 December 2013 – Published on

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I have been researching soulmates for several years. This book, without a doubt; has the most in-depth information on soulmates that I have ever found. If you are looking for the fairy tale version of soulmates, don’t look here. But, if you want to truly understand the depth and breadth of the range of relationship soulmates can take – this is the book for you I found myself with pen; marking passage after passage and having to pause and reflect on what I had just read.
I know I will come back to this book over and over in the coming years.

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