The Field of Reeds was the name of the heavenly afterlife in ancient Egyptian mythology. It was a place of eternal bliss, with no strife or sadness in sight. In order to reach it after death, the traveling soul first faced the afterlife “judge,” Osiris. Osiris posed a test, asking the departed to hand over the soul so he might place it on a golden scale, weighing it against Ma’at, the white feather of truth and harmony. If the scale tipped, showing the heart was lighter than the feather, then the traveling soul was freely admitted into the bliss of the Field of Reeds. If one’s heart was heavier, it was devoured by the crocodile-faced God Amenti and the soul no longer existed.
What’s interesting here is that one was expected to work on one’s “heavenly” experience first, before entering the heavenly afterlife. One’s soul had to be “lighter than a feather” prior to admittance in the bliss realm. And even if we’re not of Egyptian spiritual lineage, the practice of turning our attention toward what makes us happy and blissful is a key practice for us in this life.
There are lots of things that drag our attention toward the “dark side,” toward sadness, anxiety, depression, anger and the like. Witnessing the chaos of the world day in and day out can cause us to chronically and habitually stay on “high alert.” What’s going to happen next? Am I or my family in danger? Questions like this plague us. And they keep our bodies continually releasing protective chemicals (intended to maintain brain cell integrity, but I don’t mean to go all neuro-psych on you). The chronic pumping of these chemicals ultimately does not serve us, and, in fact, it keeps us feeling tired, sick, and emotionally wrecked.
Some people, striving toward self-healing, have learned how to tune out all of this uncomfortable white noise. But they sometimes choose the wrong remedy, and create a new set of troubles. For example, some people turn to illicit substances, sex, over-spending, or other addictive behaviors in their efforts to tune out the chaos of life. Others might turn to a life of fantasy or to spiritual practices that they hope will soothe them and bypass it all.
But I’ve found that the simple practice of intentionally turning my attention toward what makes my heart feel lighter helps to combat strife in a productive and spiritually whole way. It’s really become an obsession of mine, now. As I encounter a difficulty, I do not hide from it, but once I am not within the immediate difficult situation itself, I turn my attention toward what makes my heart light. It acts as a magical antidote to the poisons I encounter during the day.
It is a real balancing act, to be sure. But it is one that has long-term benefits. We don’t need to wait for the Field of Reeds, for the place of eternal bliss after this life. We can be there right now by simply shifting our attention. Try it, only for an hour, and see what I’m talking about. Do you even know what makes your heart lighter? Is it music? Art? Jokes? A particular person? A pet? Try shifting your attention to that uplifting experience for a good 10-15 minutes, right now. See what I mean?
On a related note, what I am promoting here this isn’t to diminish anyone’s experience of true depression or anxiety, or of difficult or strife-filled life-experiences. What I propose isn’t as simple or easy as the damaging, victim-blaming words we’ve heard thrown around in the New Age movement: “happiness is a choice.” In fact, happiness may NOT be a choice. But how heavy your heart feels moment by moment can be assisted by intentionally turning toward what makes it feel light.
During a waxing moon cycle, find a 4” x 4” square of virgin parchment (or just plain old white paper), and on it, draw a circle using dragon’s blood ink. You can also use a red pen if you don’t have dragon’s blood ink. In the center of the circle, draw the astrological sigil for Capricorn, the sign of heaviness, seriousness, and weighty matters. Draw another smaller circle around just around the Capricorn sigil, in order to magically “wall it off.” Around this, place four Sun sigils, above, below and side to side around the Capricorn sigil. (See image below.)
Between the Sun sigils, write four things that uplift your heart, using the dragon’s blood ink or the red pen. Anoint the outer edges of the 4” x 4” paper with a magical oil that has the oomph of fire, including:
- Black Pepper, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Cypress, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Peppermint, Rosemary or Sandalwood
Carry this with you at all times. When you encounter a situation or a person that draws you into a dark spiral, take out your anointed charm, gaze it the design, and intentionally shift your mind to what uplifts it.