Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Stringing Along - Intuitively

What to write...what to write? When straining for inspiration some recommend following William Blake's "golden String":
"I give you the end of a golden string
Only wind it into a ball.
It will let you in at Heaven's gate
Built in Jerusalem's wall."

(Beginning Chapter 4 of Jerusalem (Erdman 231)

Over the years, all manner of interpretation has been proposed for these lines of Blake - religious, spiritual and non-religious. This may or may not have been the poet's intention, though on the face of it it wasn't - or was it?

Some say the poet and mystic was seeking to provide a golden string to help guide the reader through the labyrinth of experience - or perhaps through Blake's own poetry? Artists of all stripes, writers, poets, musicians have used these lines as advice on how best to navigate towards their individual "Heaven's gates" - creation of a piece of music, literature or artwork from inspiration arrived at by following the golden string of - what...intuition perhaps?

My own method of finding something to write about often favours stumbling down an internet "rabbit-hole". Blake's golden string is a more appealing metaphor, I guess - a lot prettier too, and less frequented by Mad Hatters!

Intuition - it does lend itself easily to the metaphor of a golden string. Wikipedia's definition of intuition -
Intuition (Mind), a phenomenon of the mind described as the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.

Intuition, or a sixth sense, is something many of us rely on for snap judgments and often life-altering decisions. But what exactly is it? A 2008 study in the British Journal of Psychology defined intuition as what happens when the brain draws on past experiences and external cues to make a decision -- but it happens so fast that the reaction is at an unconscious level. But that's only part of it, says Judith Orloff, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and author of Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness. "Just like the brain, there are neurotransmitters in the gut that can respond to environmental stimuli and emotions in the now -- it's not just about past experiences," she says. When those neurotransmitters fire, you may feel the sensation of "butterflies" or uneasiness in your stomach. Researchers theorize that "gut instinct," which sends signals to your brain, plays a large role in intuition.

My own thoughts (extracted from an archived post)
I suspect that there are various levels of intuition, ranging from a quite rational but rapid analysis of a situation or person, based on minute details subconsciously perceived by extremely sharp observation, processed in a nanosecond. That'd be at one end of the scale. At the other end of the scale, truly psychic insights arising from exceptional, almost clairvoyant skills. [Astrologically] Both levels, and all those inbetween, will involve Mercury, that's for sure. A strongly placed Mercury, challenged by few or no difficult aspects must surely be a basic requirement. After that, I'd say a lot depends on the sign/element placements of Sun and Moon, maybe ascendant too. Water or Air are going to be the easiest elements in which intuition can blossom well. Earth and Fire seem too direct and outwardly active. Yet the analytical skills of Virgo might be instrumental in that first level of intuition, the kind arising from minute, almost unrealised observations.

Chatting about this subject with husband brought the comment that females are generally more intuitive than males. He thinks this stems from a male dislike of being thought "limp-wristed" or overly-feminine. Intuitive ability can be masculine too, I pointed out. Think of jazz musicians improvising, they intuit what others in the group will play and how to complement it. And any sportsman in a sport involving others can, and probably does, gain considerable advantage by using intuition. Perhaps these men just don't call their intuition...intuition.

It's more than likely that we all have the potential within us to be intuitive, but some don't accept this, so fail to use it.

An old friend to this blog, Gian Paul, who lives in Brazil commented, back in 2010, as follows:
Intuition, be it in business or astrological consultation or sports (an excellent, earthbound comment you make) or religion and meditation is, I believe, always linked to destiny. Given that all is related to destiny, closely or not so closely, depending mostly on ones perception.

I state here my personal beliefs, tested so to say out of necessity. In no way can I today imagine that astrology could "function" without the reality of destiny or the small building blocks like intuition or faith or hope which make this all up.

Taking hope as an example: if it's illusionary, or totally unrealistic, it deserves not to lead to success (the "Tower" in the language of the Tarot). If on the contrary hope is linked to some intuition (your Halliburton post, Twilight), it can be a mighty energy leading to the fulfillment of somebody's destiny. This, easily with hindsight, may then be explained by astrological interpretation....................

Instinct - Intuition: If the frontiers there appear sometimes blurred, it's that our level of perception, or of consciousness is often quite low.

Instinct is "animal", serves survival. Physical and not much more than that.
Intuition and insight, both are related, have an inward orientation, non-material. A difficulty arises here for whom believes that Heaven is "up-there". Not so for whom conceives that Heaven might be within ourselves.

The astrological element of a given sign, under this perspective, has in my view little importance, other then to influence the way intuition may be recognized and expressed.

If Water appears more intuitive, it's that being more sensitive, it recognizes intuition probably in it's finer stages.

Earth (have to think of Moon in Virgo or Mercury in Taurus) may have very penetrating intuition/insights, much firmer than a water oriented person.

Fire no doubt has as many intuitions as the others, only it might "burn the signposts" instead of following them, particularly Aries (me).

Air oriented: Needs to listen to his/her intuitions and believe in them. Too much thinking or analysis is obstructive.

A favourite American poet, William Stafford (1914-1993) wrote this - I wonder, was he inspired by Blake's golden string?

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.


Sonny G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonny G said...

Intuition and using it for good is so important.. Its what I have called since 5 years old,as the "Knowing Thing"..
I need to listen more to the whispers of my higher self so there isnt the need for another "smack up side the head" like I am making my way through now..

Sonny G said...

Mike ,
I read your comment as to the taurian-ops couldnt find it this morning :( so unable to spell it correctly here.. wow my brain is aa bi foggy.. anyway, I also did buy tumeric several months ago- just never took it.
so started that this morning along with a magnesium tablet. 200mg mag and 250mg of tumeric.. now off to hunt down your other comment and link for the other T you suggested..
thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with me..

mike said...

Moon, Uranus, and-or Neptune seem the more likely candidates to lend intuition, which is essentially other-worldly. Mercury is too centered on mental faculties: input, process, output of reality, plus Mercury is closely related to the Sun (consciousness) in terms of never exceeding 28* elongation. As mentioned in prior posts, I think the more gifted astrologers rely more on intuition, utilizing the natal chart as a tool for divination.

Astrology works within the domains of inherent rules, but can be stretched by incorporating a flow of intuition. I suspect this is true for most endeavors, whether painting, writing, exploring problems in mathematics, physics...virtually anything. The chemist, August Kekule, proposed the benzene ring structure as an intuitive daydream:
"...Here Kekulé spoke of the creation of the theory. He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is an ancient symbol known as the ouroboros). This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds."

Many famous individuals have described their creative processes as something that comes through them and not of them, they are the middleman. Particularly in music and the arts, the individuals often comment that THEY are the instrument...LOL.

Synchronicity is an interesting side discussion of intuition, too...those quinkydinks that align and knit segments of reality into something more substantial.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Perhaps Mercury in aspect to Moon, Uranus, and-or Neptune is required, since the ethereal does have to be consciously interpreted to be meaningful.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ "The Knowing Thing" - I like that - it's a great description of intuition! :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ Mercury is worldly, sure, but linked to Uranus and/or Neptune by aspect would encourage use of intuition I'd have thought. (Ah I now see your 2nd comment - you agree) Uranus and /or Neptune linked to other personal planets would be good for intuition too, but might not manifest as clearly/easily, depending on planet and sign.

I agree, astrological interpretation is very likely to be enhanced by intuition - signs and aspects can have such a variety of interpretation, intuition can act as a guide as to which is most relevant in a specific case.

I don't know whether one can access intuition deliberately or whether it's something that has to arise, unbidden, as it were. Maybe sometimes it's one, sometimes the other. Flashes of inspiration can come unbidden for no particular reason at all, but also, if one is wondering, searching for an answer to something intuition can lead in response to that wondering.

Yes, synchronicity is something that always fascinates me - spooks me occasionally too. Whether it's linked obliquely to intuitive senses or mere coincidence is hard to say.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Interesting post.:) When people ask me to describe my gifts, I usually keep it simple and tell them I'm an intuitive.

As far as the astrology of it, I suspect it's a combination of things, as well as my willingness to embrace the 'whisperings' Sonny mentioned without trying to rationalize them.

Could be my Aquarius Moon square my Scorpio Neptune-Mercury-Jupiter in Scorpio, with my 3H Mercury sextile and in mutual reception with my 12H Pluto in Virgo. My Moon's dispositor is my 12H Uranus; the dispositor of Scorpio planets is my 12H Pluto.

Or maybe it's my 8H SN trine my 12H Uranus and 4H Saturn, all in Fire. Recently, with transiting Jupiter conjunct my 12H Uranus and opposite my 6H Chiron, I've been super sensitive and have had a series of amazing experiences, one right after another.

I love it whenever a former skeptic tells me our interaction has made a believer out of them.:) I've seen people become emotionally overwhelmed at the realization there's something more connecting us all.

Sonny G said...

hi LB..

just wanted to thank you for your comment yesterday.

I'm off to a lawyer- would ya'll surround me in a bubble of light.. thanks

mike (again) said...

Sonny, the magnesium, taurine, and curcumin will be beneficial to your physical health and won't harm you, but I think they might assist with your anxiety, too. Your sixth house (Aries) is currently highlighted by transiting south Node, Venus, Mars, and Uranus, with Sun and Mercury transits soon. It would be helpful for you to understand what the sixth house represents and attempt to change any negative representations associated with the sixth house. Basically, shape-up...LOL. Health and dietary corrections, physical exercise, appropriate use of daily activities, etc. This is an opportune time for you to advantageous changes to sixth house concerns. Review the link below:


Twilight said...

LB ~ You're right - there'll be more than one indication in a natal chart - and perhaps, even if there were no indication at all in their chart a person might still be intuitive. We can't be sure how this "knowing thing" as Sonny named it, really arises, but we can surmise.

In my own case I find it hard to distinguish any intuitive sense from retentive memory - I suspect there's a bit of both going on most of the time, along with that analytical trait from Aquarius Sun. Without Cancer rising and Jupiter in Pisces semi-sextile Sun I think I'd be a skeptic!

LB said...

Twilight ~ Just read your last comment about synchronicity and wanted to share something related.

Been reading several books written by a Jungian psychotherapist (and Buddhist) with a focus on integrating the spiritual with the psychological and getting a LOT out of them. Told my husband it's better than being in therapy!

Anyway, we were out to eat the other day and seated next to us were two women, long-time friends. I struck up a conversation with one of them, and immediately began to pick up on all kinds of details about her and her life, which she welcomed and validated. It ended up she was also a practicing Buddhist and psychotherapist. Not only that, she personally knew the author of the books I've been reading! How's that for wild?

The very next day (yesterday), again while my husband and I were out to eat (different café), the same thing happened with two older men seated at the table next to us. Long story short, one of them was a psychotherapist.:)

In both instances, the therapists were visiting from out of town. And both came across as being warm, open-minded and open-hearted individuals, not at all standoffish.

Afterwards, I bought a book titled "There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives" by Robert H. Hopcke. While at the bookstore, I ran into a former student from when I worked in Special Education, also searching for books in the same genre. He's someone I last saw more than 25 years ago. Though still autistic (and a bit shy and lonely), I saw how far he'd come since then.

I realize there's a message there for me in all my encounters, one I believe I understand. In doing the inner work, it's allowing my own (inner) therapists to come forward so I can befriend them and make use of their insights as well as their (my) shadows. There's more, but that's the general idea.:)


Sonny ~ You're welcome. All the best!

LB said...

Twilight ~ Just read your last response and I agree, there's no astrological formula when it comes to predicting intuition.:)

I do think an over attachment to intellect (or pride?) can squash intuition. There's value in both.

Btw, I own a book written by the author you mention in your post, Dr. Judith Orloff. Bought it years ago and still occasionally recommend it to fellow seekers looking for validation.

LB (again) said...

I think a healthy dose of skepticism combined with (divine) discernment is always wise!

True intuition, which is different from other spiritual gifts, can help us to discern.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Interesting and amazing synchronicity going on for you there. I bet it felt "goose-bumpy" at times!

Yes, skepticism ain't all bad, closed-mindedness is always bad. True, honest skepticism leads us to question, but we must accept the answer arrived at, even if it contradicts what we'd like to have believed.