Two words: Pay attention.
Our topic for summer solstice is unseen protection.
And I think this is very apt. I don’t know if our wrangler, Jay Cassels, in addition to the seasonal themes, had in mind what the news has been like lately, or 2022’s astrology, but I think it is very apt. It’s not just about being safe during a reading, though that has been on my mind for the last two years, in which I’ve refused to do in person readings, for the sake of everyone’s safety.
Protection, in general, is a topic about which we could say a lot or a little, so if you want the nutshell version, I’ll say it again: Pay attention.
There’s a Zen story I read somewhere, about a man who went to see a Zen master and asked for some wisdom. The Zen master wrote the one word: Attention. The man kept asking for a wise teaching, and the master kept writing the word, Attention. He wrote it three times in a row. Finally the man asked, “What does that word, attention, mean, anyway?” And the master responded gently, “Attention means attention.” (If someone has a source for this story, please let me know!)
Attention is what protects you from getting hit by a car, because you look both ways before you cross the street.
Attention is what protects you from Covid, because you read the news so you got vaccinated and you’re masking up with an N95 for in person interactions.
Attention is also the person who sees danger coming and steps out of the way.
I used to study martial arts, and I remember the advice a senpai once gave me: “When a punch comes in, don’t be there when it lands.” In other words, step out of the way. That’s unseen protection: The protection is unseen because the danger was seen.
Protection doesn’t have to be complicated.
When it comes to protection, I tend to be overprotective, just as, when it comes to thinking, I tend to be an overthinker. I spent ten years studying martial arts. I spent the last two years paying VERY close attention to all the science around the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And I think tracking all the details is good, sound methodology (yes, I have Mars in Virgo). I also very much recommend Ivy Bromius’ risk mitigation methods (go find her site if you’re interested in risk mitigation, which you should be).
What does this have to do with protection during a reading? Listen. Protection starts with being grounded and centered. Which should be how we all start our readings as well as many other activities in our day. Of course, sometimes you’re not grounded, at all (ADHD anyone?), and that’s why it’s good to have multiple layers of protection so there’s something in place even when you’re a scatterbrain like me. (As a mundane example, I live in a brick apartment building; that’s at least a good start in protection against tornados even if I didn’t look at the weather forecast and didn’t see the tornado warning).
The next step, though, is awareness, turning on your antennae, looking, listening, paying attention to details, just as a matter of course. These are your routines: You look before you cross the street (even the Fool looks before leaping), you observe following distance when driving (no, you don’t, BUT YOU WILL NOW, RIGHT?!), and you pay attention to the room you’re in and the person sitting with you, even if that person is on your computer screen.
Some routines are protective even though we don’t know they are. Almost all of our regular habits, things like bathing and housecleaning, preparing meals, sleeping, and our self-care habits, like knitting, are meant to keep us safe and/or well, even if we don’t think about those routines in that way. Not only does cleaning one’s home result in a cleaner home, but the repetition of it is grounding and centering.
Lots of us have other layers: We light candles and incense, we clean (or purify if you want the fancy word), we wear turquoise or red coral or a lucky sock, we wear essential oils, we wear black, we say prayers, but, I’m going to say this: The best protection is something that either you don’t need to remember because it’s inherent to who you are and how you operate in this world, or it’s something you couldn’t forget anyway because it’s your routine. In other words, it’s not just for emergencies–most of the protective things we do will be done when no emergency is happening at the moment.
Turn on your brain.
Turn on your heart.
Activate your intuition.
Track the details.
Make it a routine.
And always remember that intuitive knowledge gets filtered through you, through your brain, through your heart, through your preconceptions, so know what your own preconceptions are as fully as possible so you recognize them when they come up.
An innocent, well-meaning heart is safer than one that is interested in the outcome, and maybe that’s also why so many people will say that the most accurate reading occurs when one first reaches a place of not caring about the outcome. Why is a pure, sweet, innocent heart safer, so safe that they say angels watch over children and fools? I think angels do watch over children and fools (of which I probably count myself as both!), but, it’s also true that the innocent heart, fundamentally, doesn’t go first to the preconceptions but instead just pays attention and thus, saves valuable time when seconds count.
You don’t have to pay attention every second, but you certainly should during a reading. And I’m not just talking about mystical protection, I’m talking about mundane protection.
And here’s what you don’t need for protection.
You don’t need a gun. (Unless you have a special circumstance that means you do but that is not most of you.)
You don’t need sage or any other endangered plant.
You need your good honest heart and your good honest brain to pay attention and you need to ask yourself, what do I know for sure right now?
You do not need a theory or whatever other flight of fancy just flew into your head.
You need to start with being honest with yourself.
What do you see? What do you hear? What needs your attention right now?
Make that a habit, and you will be safer.