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Jolinda “Josi” Case is a Spiritual Counselor who uses Tarot and Astrology (among other tools) as forms of divination. She is an avid and vigorous student of the esoteric. Josi has a great deal of experience in assisting people through major life changes such as death/dying/grief through counseling.

Josi’s main motivation is to empower others by assisting them to connect with and express their most true and authentic self. She also strives to give people the authority to feel comfortable in the pursuit of their personal Spirituality.

Josi’s formal education includes collegiate level degrees in Communications, Business and Psychology. She is also an ordained minister. In her free time (HA!), she writes a weekly column for her local paper (The Greenup Beacon), blogs on her site Shock Therapy and relaxes with her husband (“Ox”), three grown boys, two grandsons and pets (Prince, Mercury and Perseus).
Most recently, Josi has bonded forces with Dixie Vogel of A Fool's Journey to produce a monthly show they call Woo Woo Wonderful. The purpose of the live broadcast is to empower others with knowledge of Spirit and Mysticism.

Friday, July 22, 2011

On Judgement

What is judgement, exactly? I’ve struggled with this. I know I’ve judged others wrongly in certain situations. I know that judgement has ALWAYS come back to bite me in the ass eventually. But why? I cling to the proverb “that which you judge, so will you also be judged with the same ferocity.” At first, due my pain surrounding my thoughts on the restrictions of organized religion, I thought this was a threat. Just another sanction imposed by the Roman Catholic Church and the principles of Christianity in order to use emotional manipulation to control their people. That was my thought. And then I was like..well, what the heck would they gain from not wanting people to judge others and saying it is wrong and threatening if they do so the hammer would fall upon them? Didn’t make sense.

It didn’t make sense because this wasn’t a threat as a thought. It was a piece of very valuable information letting us in on a smaller part of a much larger picture. When you are put in a position to judge someone, it isn’t the only other person involved. YOU are also involved. There are many ways you can judge someone wrongly. You can project your own fears upon them. You can perceive that you know how to fix things and start giving advice in that direction. You can feel all high and mighty because you know it all and are not willing to listen to reason. Would you agree? And there are many other ways.

I’ve done this before to others. Sized them up, chewed them up and spit them out feeling totally justified. And then when it comes back to me, and I know it is coming back at me I have to look the Universe (my expanded more inclusive word for God), “why the HECK did you let me do that?”  I have never gotten an answer..until now.

It is not God or the Universe’s job to guide you in a situation like this. It’s ALL you.

When I started in school (kindergarten) I was very young when compared to the other children. Kindergarten was privatized then. Not everyone went and it was not offered in the school system. It was however offered by private instructors. My private instructor voiced her concerns about my age and emotional maturity. She wasn’t sure I was ready.

I proved her wrong. I heard them talking and started drawing with my crayons like they told me too. I thought, “I’ll pass this test, I’ll prove myself to you. Just watch” As I sat there with my crayons I didn’t draw pictures of sunshine and flowers and trees and all that—even though as a child I liked to do that. No, I wrote out the alphabet. Then I wrote numbers from one to twenty with their written name along with the symbols. Then, I proudly took the picture to my mother and my teacher and said, “See, I can do this”

I went to kindergarten that year. My teacher couldn’t say “no” after that. I saw that as a pre-test. A test to see if I had learned what I needed to learn in order to participate in the next lesson.

Now, lets look at someone who judges with the knowledge of WHEN they judge they are going to eventually have that judgement come back to them. Is that just Karma for being an ASS? Well..kind of. But it isn’t referring to JUST judging one poorly. It is also referring to when we judge someone correctly. That will come back to us to. When we are in the position to judge, it is our pre-test. The fact that what we do in the situation will come back to us either way is a given. Now, if we dish out poor judgement we will get that in return and we will realize (hopefully) the error of our own initial misjudgement and adjust. If we dish out good judgement..size things up correctly..then when we are judged in the future we should consider that as confirmation.

The opportunity to judge is the pre-test. What you learn from that time until the judgement comes back to you is the final exam. If we pass or get it right, we probably are not going to encounter that situation again. If we fail, that same set of circumstances are going to come around again. We will have an opportunity to judge. A period in between and then be faced with that judgement coming back again in an effort to evaluate what we learned.

When we judge someone what do we do? We base our opinion on observation, past experience and our personal morals. If any part of that is ill or not useful the universe will do it’s best to strip it away because it is of no use to you in the grand plan. It wants to take that ill part, that defunctioning part and get rid of it. But, you have to let go of it first. When you do, you can choose a better way of observing, a better way of looking at your past experience and a more refined less restrictive set of personal morals. If all of that is in line when we are put to the test NEXT TIME to judge a person in the same set of circumstances we judged a similar situation before..we probably won’t pass judgement at all.

Say you judge something as “just another drug death” inaccurately. You will be judged eventually as “just another…” whatever and it will piss you off because “it just isn’t true” right. Pay attention, because you are going to see “just another drug death soon” and be set with an OPPORTUNITY to employ what you learned from being judged as “just another…” or not. If you have learned something, you will say, “there may be more to this than I know, I really can’t give an opinion yet. I need more information before I decide what is going on in mind” You may never get the information you want. But in making that decision, you have shown you have learned and you won’t be judged as “just another….whatever” again. BUT, if you blow it off again and say, “just another drug death” then AGAIN you will be judged as “just another..whatever.” This cycle will continue until you get it right and those restrictive small minded opinions and mentalities will be washed away. While you continually get it wrong, you will continually be given opportunity to learn. But if you refuse to see that you will be confused, frustrated and in extreme circumstances may spiral to depression, extreme anger and have very destructive feelings that you may never even connect with what’s going on.

So, “that which you judge, so also will you judged upon with the same ferocity” was a clue to the inner workings of the universe. God, or the Universe, is our guiding father. He isn’t here to smack you around when you are bad. He is here to deliver consequences to help us learn, adjust and grow. Those words are not a threat. They are a promise. And now, I understand.

Monday, July 18, 2011

2+2=4; Or, How I drove my math teachers nuts.

2+2=4 seems like such a simple premise. But for me it never has been . First of all, I do accept the principles of math. However it really ticks me off that the instruction of theses principles are presented in such a narrow minded and limiting way.

We are taught these principles of logic, forced to memorize what they are but given no direction regarding how these can be applied in real life. The fact that theses principles go beyond calculators and spread sheets, counting money, paying bills, figuring dimensions or NEVER introduced. Or at least they were not for me. And, I'd say that sentiment is common as my feelings were reinforced each time I was in a math class and heard the echoes of "Why do I have to learn this? I'm never going to use it!"

Have you heard that before too?

First let me point out the principles of math ARE important and valuable. Otherwise, the universe would have ditched the premise itself a long time ago. But, for some reason, people have a hard time taking the achetype symbols of logic and applying them also to emotion and everyday life interactions. But, I'm here to tell you that they do apply. And I think I may be able to give you at least one example (although simple in premise) which will make what I'm trying to say a little more clear. And I'm not talking world problems here. I'll never find a point in those.

First Grade Math

Teacher: Can you tell us what 2+2 equals?

Me: No

Teacher: Why not? This should be simple.

Me: Yes, it should be but I don't have enough information. 2 and 2 of what?

Teacher: Ok, lets say you have 2 apples and Susie gives you two more. How many would you have?

Me: Zero

Teacher: No, you would have four.

Me: No, I wouldn't because I don't like apples. I don't like them, so if I had two to begin with I would probably give them away. And, when Susie gave me 2 more I would give hers away too. So, in the end, I would have zero.

Teacher: Ok, what if we used something you like as an example.

Me: I like bananas.

Teacher: Ok. Lets say you have 2 bananas and Susie gives you 2 more. Then how many do you have?

Me: I don't know.

Teacher: You would have FOUR! Everytime! You would have FOUR!

Me: No I wouldn't. I could, but that isn't necessarily always the case.


Me: Well, first of all, who IS this Susie persona dn why is she continually giving me fruit if I don't know her? I'd be pretty skeptical of that.

Teacher: Let say its not Susie. Lets say its somebody you know. (You know she couldn't tell a group of first graders it was ok to take fruit from strangers no matter how hard she tried)

Me. *thinks about it* Well, I'd probably STILL wonder why everone was so focused on bananas at the same time and had so many that they were running around giving them away. WHY in the world would I even NEED two more bananas if I already had two? I can't eat that many. I might eat one, but not two and definitely not four. That makes no sense.

Teacher: *sighs* Ok. Lets say you went to the store and bought two bananas to make banana pudding. But two is not enough. So, your mom has 2 more. She gives them to you. Then what do you end up with.

Me: ONE! One killer bowl of banana pudding!

Teacher: You are being difficult.

Me: No, I'm not. I'm not even pointing out the fact that I can't go to the store by myself and I can't buy them to begin with because I use my allowance to mostly buy gum and Laffy Taffy at the store. So, my mom would have to drive me and buy them to beigin with. AND given the fact I don't know HOW to make banana pudding and she would be teaching me, she would KNOW how many we needed before we went.

Teacher: Ok, she would. Lets start over. So your Mom has two bananas at home. She wants to make banana pudding with you and knows you need two more. So, she goes to the store and buys them and brings them home. How many does she have when she gets back?

Me: Are they brown bananas or green bananas?

Teacher: brown

Josie: The ones at home too?

Teacher: Yes!

Me: Good! because I like to eat the green ones and I'd probably do that while she was at the store.

Teacher: Well, we are going to assume in this situation, that all the bananas are the same. 2 identical brown bananas at home and 2 identical brown bananas at home.

Me: WOW!! I don't know that I've SEEN 4 identical anythings before! I've never experienced that! WOW! That would mean they were all four the same size and color and everything. And they would have to be from separate bunches even and that makes it MORE cool! I'm not sure if I'd want to even make pudding out of such a phenomenon! So, with that , I would have to say it would depend on a lot things. How bad I wanted to make pudding; How long I was fascinated by 4 identical bananas and what day of the week it is, because they have banana pudding here on Fridays. So, I wouldn't even want pudding shortly after or before. So..I still don't know.

Teacher: We assume that all theses factors are given.

Me: daddy says assuming makes an ass out of you and me. So, I don't do it. Until you bring me 4 identical bananas so I can expereience them and find out for myself what thats like you are just going  to have to keep "ass-youing" and leave ME out of it!

She didn't want to talk to mae anymore about it after that. But, she figured the principal would, I guess, because that's where she sent me.

Now, let me boil all that down for you. In logic and on paper 2+2 always =4. But, we are human. We don't live completely in logic and on paper. The variables involved are rarely, if ever identical and the circumstances in which we encounter them are always dynamic. In order to really make use of the principles of math, that has to be undood before we are going to be able to apply them in real life outside of a mundane accounting function.

Libra is predisposed to attempt that. The archetype of Libra is the scales of balance. But, as a SUPER Libra, I can tell you I'm not naturally balanced so that premise never really made sense to me. BUT when I correlated the fact that the archetype of the scales is supiciously similiar to the mathematical addition (+) symbol, it began to make more sense.

Libra strives for balance as a goal but the qualifier is "IN RELATIONSHIP TO." What happens when you mix two variables of the the same or different type is dynamic.

It isn't as simple as 2 things coming together with 2 things to provide a simple matter of 4 things.

This group of two things has a nature and dynamic all it's own as a stand alone identity as well as that group of two over there. Put those two groups of two together and those individual group dynamics change. They discuss what they are trying to accomplish, choose a new leader, debate and formulate a plan and the types of personalities involved with the group will influence how easy or hard or if the group can survive. The individuals affect the whole and the whole affects the individuals. BECAUSE the individual is different in realtionship to a group. When acting alone, there is just you and the goal. It is YOU in relationship to the goal. So, you can base your decisions on that alone. BUT, when YOU are with THEM you can't just call all the shots. There is a little thing called cooperation. In order for something to be cooperative, the importance on the goal (although the individual reasons for the importance my be different) should be close to the same level. EVERYONE has to agree what you are working toward, not just you. THEN, if you add in circumstances and purpose of the union you will see that the outcome is going to be variable and dynamic as well.

I'd also like to point out the fact that astrology is tied to mathematic priciples and probably gives the BEST example of what I was trying to say in my math classes.

If you don't believe me you can take a simple look at both the basic symbols of math and the basic symbols used to reflect astrological aspects.

Simple math symbols include plus, minus, multiply and divide.

Simple astrological aspect symbols inclued conjunct, opposition, trine and sextile, and the square.

Plus in math adds to something much like the conjunction. Two planets are brought together.

Minus or subtraction separates much like an opposition. Two plantes sit separate in polarity but continue to affect one another.

Multiply enhances and expands much like trines and sextiles. 2 planets enahcne and expland eachothers priciples and abilities.

And division cuts away much like the square. One planet cuts away partial influence of the other.

Everyone really knows that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4 off paper. It only makes sense that we pay attention to that fact too if we are truly going to ever gain from the principles of math.

In conclusion, I don't hate math or the men and women in this country who are attempting to help mold our children for the future. But, instead, I truly admire both. What I don't like is the overall tendency to encourage the restriction of the entire application of math and the destruction of individual thinking. That hindrs and limits maths purpose. Lets use it fully, says I.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Emotional Manipulation

AKA: Emotional Blackmail

I'm facing this right now and I had to study the interaction very closely because I have a great deal of Neptune interplay in my chart which can often result in recieving and delivering projection.

When this situation arose, there was a bit of my own shadow in it. I have been guilty of using this tactic before. And I do recognize that. However, it was a learned behavior. I was not conscious of my tendency to do this for a very long time.

I do not want to be manipulative. And I surely do not want to be manipulated.

From what I understand and can gather, emotional manipulation, emotional abuse, or emotional blackmail are characterized by a person's attempt to control another's actions by soliciting a certain emotional response. It sounds confusing. But to give you an oversimplified example, think if you have been ever guilted into doing something you really would have rather not done. Or, consider if you have ever made someone feel guilty in order to get them to do something.

This is totally ineffective behavior. The response solicited may be received, but the means are deceitful putting not only the relationship at risk if it continues but also your own Karma. Direct communication is the way to go instead of this passive/agressive technique.

I've isolated a few planetary energies that can contribute to this such as Neptune and also I align the tendency a great deal to Virgo and Libra. Whenever I hear passive agressive, I automatically think Libra and Virgo. So, we could be talking someone with Sun, Moon, Asc, Mars, Venus in Virgo or Libra or either rising. Also look to the Libran and Virgo houses for placements ( 6 and 7). But, since we have to include Neputians, I would imagine the trait would also ally with Piscean tendencies.

At any rate, dealing with it and recognizing it is the challenge. What do you do when you realize you are being emotionally manipulated? What do you do when YOU realize you are doing it?

In dealing, the best way I have found to deal so far is to align the facts. If you think your emotions are being manipulated, take them out of the equation. Lay down the facts you can PROVE. Concrete evidence of some sort that reflects the true situation. Recognize the emotion that is emerging from the action and see if you can find it's trigger. This must also be dealt with.

If you are doing this, there is introspection to be done as well as a study of effective communication techniques. Why is it hard for you to ask for what you want? Chances are, once you answer that question, a great deal of information will be revealed for you to deal with. Of course, this is good because it means growth. But I cannot promise you it will be easy.

I warn you, as well, if you decide to confront someone you believe may be emotionally manipulating you. This will take patience and skill, if it can be done at all. The person may not recognize what they are doing and depending on the intimacy level of the relationship, you may not be the person who can be pointing it out to them. However, if you are able to show concrete examples and display the interaction to them it may bring something to light for them. I personally would not recommend this unless you were very close with the person and had established some sort of trust. There is a big chance they could become defensive very quickly.

Your main problem will be deciding on YOU deal with this phenomena on either side of the spectrum. You cannot control change within someone else. But, you sure can direct your own.

In response, avoid passive agressive techniques. Do not reward the behavior. When in the immediate situation (if recognized at the time) stick to facts and present them in the conversation. Calmly and slowly. I would imagine this communication technique is something that carries over from inherent family styles of communication of which the person is unaware. For example, someone who was raised in a co-dependent family dynamic has most likely been exposed to this. If not recognized as a debunk behavior patter in childhood, it will carry over to adult relationships.

Emotional manipulation is an attempt to control. You have no right to attempt control over anyone and in return, neither does anyone have the right to attempt to control you. But, in truth, if the pattern is recognized in interaction with the "other" it will be up to you to decide if the relationship is worth working to resolve this problem or if the arena is too toxic for this show.