Philosophy is most powerful when it resolves into story. But story is amplified in power by the presence of philosophy.
"Sophia", from The Byzantine Tarot
"The Wisest Troll", by Brian Froud
Philosophical Counseling is counseling in my teaching: Meditation as an Art of Life.
The counseling happens in connection with forest therapy in Rold Forest, Denmark.
Counseling in Meditation as an Art of Life has a basic part (base magic) and an advanced part (higher magic).
You must start with the basic part before you can go to the advanced part.
Counseling in the basic part is called Shamanic Counseling. This is introduced on my new website (which also is the place where you can contact me):
Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy
However, the site is still in progress of being build. I will announce it here, when I´m opening the new website (probably some time in 2022 - it is all happening during the Corona crisis). You can also follow my Newsletter.
Counseling in the advanced part is called Philosophical Counseling. The below article is about the advanced part.
Contents in this article:
2) Introduction to philosophical counseling
3) Prices and practical information
In my first book, Meditation as an Art of Life – a Basic Reader, I wrote in the Introduction:
Today I travel around in the world as a philosophical globetrotter on low budget. I take simple jobs here and there (mostly as a care worker), and offer philosophical counseling to people, who stumble over me, sometimes in the streets (page 3).
This is in fact how it still happens. However, as I write in my article, Meditation as an Art of Life:
I have later further developed the concept of Meditation as an Art of Life. I consider it to be discovered and not constructed. However, in order to make the whole thing comprehensible, I use a lot of frames of references. Below I will supply the text with a series of links, so that people who want to engage in deeper studies can be helped out. If you are not engaged in self-study, just ignore the links.
I will emphasize, that if your´re planning to visit me for philosophical counseling, it is not necessary to be an expert in all of the texts mentioned below (after all: I´m the counselor and guide). The below introduction is namely also meant as a support for people who are doing self-studies, and want to go deeper into my teaching. But, it is necessary that you have done a little bit of studying and thinking about my work (remember: you´ll need to take the basic part first).
However, the counseling is not complex courses in all this! Philosophical counseling is not a one-way talk, but a dialogue followed by walks in the forest. In reality it is rather simple. So, the texts just function as background frames of references.
You could say that my website functions as a "text back-up" to my philosophical counseling practice. The below introduction is in that way a back-up with extra information and links, so that you can prepare yourself, or begin a self-study:
2) Introduction to Philosophical Counseling
As mentioned: Philosophical Counseling is counseling in my teaching: Meditation as an Art of Life.
The goal is to become a Life Artist, and live a life of freedom, joy and adventure.
The counseling happens in connection with forest therapy in Rold Forest, Denmark. We will interact in form of question and answer dialogues, storytelling, and spending time together in meditative silence.
Before a counseling session you must describe an issue, which you want to be the centre of the counseling, and formulate a so-called "Grail question" about this. Short guide: How to ask your Grail Question (or, read more below under "prices and practical information" and "contact").
I offer four forms of counseling, which are interconnected. Note that 2 and 3 also is offered in the basic part on my shamanic counseling website. In philosophical counseling they are just further developed.
The four counseling forms are:
1) A Dialogue. This is just an informal conversation. It can be about anything between heaven and earth. However, it will be rooted in my teaching, Meditation as an Art of Life.
2) Guidance Through Spiritual Crises. spiritual crises (kundalini, shamanic awakening - bad experiences with cults, "life coaches", psychotherapists, New Age gurus, shamans, mindfulness teachers, etc). Remember that Meditation as an Art of Life from the beginning was created as a tool for navigating in spiritual crises, or, if you´re not in a spiritual crisis: how to avoid it (you don´t need to be in a spiritual crisis in order to seek out this counseling form). This is what makes my meditation mentoring radical different from anything else. In that sense I´m a total outsider in relation to the so-called "spiritual world". In fact, I don´t consider myself to be a part of it at all. I only help the victims of it - also see: The Kundalini Files.
3) Healing and divination. This service is still in preparation. It will be based on The Runes of Rold Forest.
Rold Forest is an ancient place of Freyja worship, and healing and divination with The Runes of Rold Forest will be based on Freyja´s Healing Cosmology and, Freyja´s Oracle, both of which I´m still in progress of developing. I´m also in progress of developing what I will call Freyja´s Moon Runes. This is about how The Runes of Rold Forest works in dreams.
The Runes of Rold Forest is combining Nordic runes, the Celtic "Ogam Tree Alphabet", and the "Celtic Shaman´s Pack".
This is what I call "base magic". This base magic will furthermore be combined with what I call "higher magic". Higher magic is Meditation as an Art of Life, but in this counseling form (healing and divination) there will be a focus on icon mysticism. Read more in my booklet: The Runes of Rold Forest. Read more about how base magic is combined with higher magic in the below counseling form, the Godgame, and further below under "Prices and Practical Information".
Healing can be healing of yourself, of others, or of places. This is something I do on my own after the counseling, since this, in my context, requires time, meditation, sleep, prayer, and choice of which runes and/or cards, should be used in a healing ceremony. I only do rituals and ceremonies on my own.
Divination happens in combination with the counseling.
4) The Godgame. This is the counseling form you should choose if you want to have a dialogue about my cultural criticism, hereunder the general concept of The Matrix Conspiracy and the underlying occult structure: The Godgame (full explanatory article). It is a kind of role-playing game, or, a storytelling game. This is the most "advanced" counseling form in that it requires familiarity with my concept of The Godgame. When that is said, this counseling form is also a kind of children´s game, which requires an ironical distance to yourself. It requires no more "homework" than getting yourself familiar with, for example, the Dungeons and Dragons board game. It is inseparable connected with forest therapy. You play a role as a Grail seeker or forest wanderer. If you already are familiar with my cultural criticism, and share it, it would be easy for you to fall into the Godgame. As suggested in my article Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold, you are a character trying to awake from The Matrix Conspiracy and The Godgame. You are trying to become a member of the resistance, a "Godgame Hacker". On this journey we will discriminate between base magic and higher magic. For base magic (divination, shamanic journeys and healing) we will use some tools, such as Hallowquest cards and runes. For higher magic we will use Meditation as an Art of Life. The whole thing is in other words paradoxical: we use tools of base magic in order to understand the delusional aspect of base magic, and in this way enter into higher magic. As I wrote in my first book, Meditation as an art of life - a Basic Reader:
[...] an important part of the opening in towards the Source is the realization of what hinders this opening. Unless you know, for example the Ego´s, fundamental essence, you can´t recognise it, and it will deceive you to identify with it again and again. But when you realize the hindrances in you (for example through the question Who am I? as Ramana Maharshi did it) then it is the Source itself - the Good, the True and the Beautiful - that makes the realization possible (page 11).
Base magic is in other words a "Gatekeeper". Central in this counseling form (The Godgame) is the healing art of storytelling. Background story and Godgame resources: Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy. Also see my article, Meditation as an Art of Life: Exercise 3: Critical Thinking; Level C.
All the counseling forms overlaps; that is: The Godgame is included in a lighter form in counseling forms 1, 2 and 3 (philosophical counseling is about discovering, examining and re-structuring delusional views). This also means that I use "The Grail Tarot" as an introduction to philosophical counseling, and "The Celtic Shaman´s Pack" as a main guide during forest therapy. And, I use Hallowquest cards (tarot, oracles) and runes in all counseling sessions. But it will be combined with Meditation as an Art of Life (higher magic).
A central part of Meditation as an Art of Life, is, as introduction to my teaching, the study of texts. This of course only applies to people, who not are in an immediate spiritual crisis, or are ill, but who want to start an actual spiritual practice based on my teaching.
Reading about the practice leads to contemplating upon it, which leads to meditating on it. By reading and thinking about this material, you will be engaging in the first initiations. In our voyage this is like getting a good map, and stocking up on all the necessities for a big trip.
I suggest that you use the following linked text material (as mentioned: it is not a requirement that you have read all this before a counseling session - I just add it as something you can use in your practice as a long term support - or, perhaps, if you are doing self-studies).
In a nutshell, my teaching consists of three aspects:
1) Critical thinking (spotting thought distortions created by dualistic unbalance, both in oneself and in others). I also call this aspect The Navigator, or the philosopher - see my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions
2) Investigating the Shadow (ignorance, the unconscious, the painbody, the cause of suffering, your own dark side, the ego). This aspect I call Learning to see with the Heart, or Heartmeditation (Tonglen) – see my articles The emotional painbody and why psychotherapy can´t heal it, and Suffering as an entrance to the source). The Heartmeditation is described in the supporting exercises in my book: Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader.
3) The Spiritual Practice (going beyond all ideas and images; or, said in another way: this is about going beyond The Godgame). This aspect I call The Compass, or Hara Awareness. This is the actual meditation practice. It is also called "Spiritual Anarchism". Spiritual Anarchism is described in my book, A Portrait of a Lifeartist, and, in a simpler form, in my book, Sûnyatâ Sutras (the latter link is also a link to an updated decription of the Harameditation, which is intimately linked to Spiritual Anarchism). As a short poetic introduction to how spiritual anarchism is linked to everything presented on this page, read my blog post: "Everything is New" - Morning Meditation. A central frame of reference will be the philosopher Krishnamurti (read more below).
These three aspects are described in detail on my page: Meditation as an Art of Life. Here in the form of five basic exersices.
The following five links will also guide you into the central texts:
1) Meditation as an Art of Life (the basic text is of course my book Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader. The basic exercises are the supporting exercises described in the end of the book, especially a) the yoga exercises, b) the Relaxationmeditation, and c) the Harameditation. Ultimatively central is the Harameditation. Hereafter, look at the "Updates" in the end of the article - here you will, for example, find the yoga exercises).
2) Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy (This article is a back-up to, especially, The Godgame. The article descibes the difference between base magic and higher magic. In The Godgame, I use a combination of base magic and higher magic. The article also describes the concrete storytelling/forest therapy aspect of philosophical counseling. Besides my ground text, The Godgame, and the main background story of Rold Forest, have a look at the text material suggested in the end of the article under "Links to the Implied Shamanic Philosophy". Some of the texts are the same as the above-mentioned, but other, more shamanic texts, are also suggested. Moreover, you´ll find a list of "Godgame Resources": Hallowquest cards and runes).
3) The Art of Pilgrimage (In this booklet I describe the art of pilgrimage seen in the light of the pilgrimage narrative in J.R.R. Tolkien´s The Lord of the Ring. I also see the art of pilgrimage in relation to Joseph Campbell´s concept of The Hero´s Journey. In the booklet I have a chapter called “The Map of the Inner Journey”. I see the tarot cards from Hallowquest as wonderful maps over the spiritual journey. They can show the Grail Seeker (or Forest Wanderer) pathfinders and trail markers, as well as dangers and pitfalls (however, always only as frames of references – the map is not the landscape). In the same chapter I also talk about progressive karma (special providence), as an invisible script underneath the history of your actual life. This could refer to “Freyja´s Moon Runes” as described above under “Healing and Divination”. In the end of The Art of Pilgrimage you can find some suggestions for relevant travel literature. As a practical companion to my own philosophical description, I suggest you use The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred, by Phil Cousineau. He namely also uses The Hero´s Journey as a frame of reference, and in this way you can make a concrete pilgrimage out of the whole thing).
4) Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien (central Ebook. As the title indicates, then Tolkien is a frame of reference during the whole of the counseling. It is therefore also important that you are willing to participate in this storytelling game. It is this book that gathers all the threads in my way of counseling).
5)The Philosophy of Krishnamurti (I use Krishnamurti as a central frame of reference in connection with the third aspect of the spiritual practice: spiritual anarchism. Krishnamurti teaches the highest form of spiritual teaching, a kind of direct pointing out the enlightened consciousness. It reminds about the Tibetan Dzogchen practice, but is without any preparatory practice. The common experience with Krishnamurti is therefore, that it is easy to understand in theory, but impossible to practice. Philosophical counseling with me offers a European oriented preparatory practice (supporting frames of reference). In the sidebar to this article, you can download his entire work for free. Read a short presentation of his teaching here: The Core of the Teachings).
As mentioned: it is of course not a requirement for a personal philosophical counseling meeting with me, that you are an "expert" in all these texts (I will guide you), but a certain familarity with them is a requirement. Or, said in another way: when we meet, it should not come as a surprise to you that I teach Meditation as an Art of Life, and not something else (and, that Krishnamurti, Tolkien, Hallowquest cards and runes are central frames of reference). However, even the most advanced counseling form, the Godgame, doesn´t require more "homework" than getting yourself familiar with, for example, Dungeons and Dragons.
The journey truly begins when you start to meditate, when you actually turn the ignition on and engage the exercises that take you within (start with the above-mentioned supporting exercises in my book: Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic reader). This is when you´ll replace the map with the territory, save the uniqueness of this trip, and make your own discoveries as you travel into the core of your being.
3) Prices and practical information
The counseling is free of charge. The idea is based on the philosophy of Gift Economy and Donations.
Eventual fees for food, transport, entrances, etc., must be covered by you.
What time a year is best? The counseling follows the Wheel of the Year, and can therefore happen all year round. But of course, the summer half year is generally the best time to visit Rold Forest. As the local witch, Dannie Druehyld, says, then the Elves comes from the Grave Mounds (the Underworld) on Walpurgis Night, April 30. Here the forest awakes. They return to the Underworld on All Saint´s Night, October 31. This describes the summer half year. And, as you can see in my article, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy, then The Mines of Thingbæk is an important part of forest therapy, and the more shamanic aspects of the counseling. But the mines are only open in the summer half year (except on holidays during the winter half year). It is also at The Mines of Thingbæk (Rebildcentret) you´ll find Dannie Druehyld´s workshop. So, if you have a special relationship with certain times on The Wheel of the Year, and want to come during the winter half year, I suggest you come during the festival times when the mines are open. In fact, during these festivals, the mines have a degree of magic, that even surpass the summer time. Click here for opening hours (they more or less follows Druehyld´s description).
I offer 1-day, 2-day and 3-day programs. Each daily session (which is a mix of dialogue and forest therapy) last 3-4 hours, or more. Have a look at my page, Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy: on this page, forest therapy, and the different walks I offer, are described.
Before the counseling, you must describe an issue, which you want to be at the centre of the counseling, and formulate a so-called "Grail question" about this. here is a short guide: How to ask your Grail Question.
In the article, Nordic Shamanism and Forest therapy, you can find a longer description in how to aks your Grail Question. You can find the guide in section 11: List of Godgame Resources: A) The Hallowquest Cards (related to the Gundestrup Cauldron). Under A, you scroll down to: 1) The Hallowquest Cards and the Grail Question. However, the whole article is a good background source for the Grail story.
You can of course ask a lot of other questions, which might pop up during the counseling.
Each session will start with a meeting in my apartment, where we will have a short talk. This aspect of the counseling will be more formal, in that it will be an introduction to the whole storytelling cosmos, which is a central part of philosophical counseling.
In that connection it is important that you understand that I don´t use base magic (The Hallowquest Cards and runes: healing, divination, shamanic journeys) in a traditional way, but as entrances to higher magic: Meditation as an Art of Life. Divination, for example, will be related to the "Four Philosophical Openings and Hindrances", as described in the introduction to my book: Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader. Divination will furthermore be related to the Socratic enquire technique described in the supporting exercise: The Philosophical Diary (in the same book). This will again lead to the art of asking philosophical questions in a meditative-existential way. And the art of asking philosophical questions in a meditative-existential way will finally be related to Krishnamurti´s teachings.
But why use base magic when critical towards it? That´s precisely the paradoxical, because it also contains elements of truth. There is an element of aesthetical meditation in it, which lead to the third level of critical thinking: flexible thinking - (creative thinking, storytelling, mythic imagination, etc.) - as described in the Meditation as an Art of Life article. This is the ability of looking at your issue from all kinds of alternative viewpoints, to open up your stagnated reality tunnels, to make your thoughts flower - shortly: to become a life artist! I have already mentioned the healing art of storytelling in my article, Counseling in the Mythic Forest of Rold. You could also read my essay: The Connection Between Shamanic Healing and Creative Unfoldment.
As mentioned: the talks in my apartment will be a bit formal. I will use cards, runes, and books. And I will be reading from texts, both my own, Krishnamurti´s, and texts related to runes and Hallowquest cards. The reason for this formality is, as mentioned, to ensure the introduction to the storytelling cosmos. Furthermore, and that´s also quite important, it is also done in order to ensure that the dialogue doesn´t disappear into irrelevant chat.
However, after this, we will start one of the walks in the forest. The dialogue will here be more informal and free-flowing, and you can ask all the supplying questions, you want to.
Rold Forest (information about Rold Forest)
Rebildporten (Tourist information. Rebild is the name of the National Park of Rold Forest, Denmark). Watch this video:
Photography from Rold Forest:
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