March 20, 2008
"Within you is the divine capacity to manifest and attract all that you need or desire."
Both "bad" and "good" things come to us in sets of three. Urban legend, folklore and story telling, as well as superstitious practices, urge us to look for and act in threes. From the genie in the magic lamp granting us 3 wishes, to tossing 3 coins in the fountain, to visiting Marie Leveau’s grave and asking three times for what you want, we give our power to external forces and hope for a trinity of positive outcomes.
The Magic Lamp
Countless jokes, often repeated and reworked for local appeal, use the time-honored storyline of the genie and the magic lamp. After rubbing the lamp and unknowingly engendering the release of the captured genie constrained within, a puff of smoke exhausts out of the spout of the lamp (depicted more as an oil receptacle than a lamp). A magic man dressed in folkloric attire, emerges in the cloud of his exhumation. Now obligated to repay the lamp-holder for his release and relief from purportedly countless years of cramped incarceration, the genie proclaims, “your wish is my command,” and modern legend limits the number of wishes to three.
While jokes entertain the ironic outcomes of sloppily worded requests, the genie displays his acumen in assessing what you want and giving it to you in a literal way. So, too, is the case with spiritual requests and manifestations. We casually declare we "love" that or "hate this" and our world continues to reflect our words. The adage of "be careful what you wish for, for you will surely get it," applies not only with the wish-bestowing genie, but our powers for attracting desires into our lives, as well. We must take special care to craft our affirmations and visualizations so they accurately reflect what we truly want. The Universe moves into action by correctly (or incorrectly) assuming that "you asked for it, it must be what you want," and brings forth into your life a "self-fulfilling prophecy." A genie with a playful sense of humor equates to our literal subconscious mind – neither takes a joke! Whatever your program into your subconscious, you create in your life.
Coins in the Fountain
Drinkable water, the source of life, clearly runs as one of the most precious necessities for our existence. Throughout history, water filled the cisterns of folklore and the casks of superstitions. People of old, throughout Europe and the world, once believed the Gods either provided the supply or inhabited the water itself. In turn, homage, sacrifices and gifts from the faithful appeared near or in the source of water. Terms assigned to the fresh water supply, range from watering hole to fountain, to spring, to well. These sites and more, informally receive traditional tokens of appreciation, even today. The most popular spot in the world to enrich a fountain, sits in the center of Rome, Italy at the meeting of three roads (hence Tre – vie). The glorious structure built in 1762, catches coins from tourists all day long. Tradition promises that if you throw coins using your right hand over your left shoulder while facing away from the fountain, various good fortunes find their way to you. One coin “guarantees” a return to Rome, while two coins ensures the thrower will fall in love with a good looking Roman, and three coins promises the marriage with that same Roman in the city itself.
When we cast a discerning gaze at our gratitude for spiritual grace, we find that while one hand tosses the coin of appreciation, the other stretches out, asking for something in return. How many of our tithes or love offerings originate out of a need or desire rather than true gratefulness? Throwing 3 coins in the fountain of prayers to our Creator, we ask mostly for money, love and health, in various derivations. Spirit listens to our wishes and watches as we go through silly machinations to earn credits toward their fulfillment. Like blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, the act of wishing forces the requestor to formulate an idea and then make a request or claim. Neither the fountain nor the candle or even the coins hold the miracle of manifestation. You contain within you, all the tools you need to make your wishes come true. But a trip to Rome would be nice, in any case!
X marks the spot
Marie Leveau, the voodoo priestess in New Orleans, was born a Free Woman of Color in 1794 and died in 1881. An astute business woman, Marie’s abilities led her to begin the first commercialized voodoo practice, specializing in finance and romance troubles for the answer-seeking public. Called upon to minister to the sick, Marie used indigenous herbs with notable success. Her obituaries depicted her as beautiful as well as beloved, with an aura of mystery. As the mother of 15 children, Marie no doubt gained proficiency in meeting the needs of others, and to this day, American folklore continues this tradition for her. In a white crypt, whose nameplate long ago wore away, Marie’s legend stands resolute in its symbolism to all who visit. Legend holds if the visitor offers some token of appreciation such as money, cigars, white rum or candy in particular, uses a red marker of some sort to write an "X
" on the side of the tomb, and turns around three times while reciting a wish the same number of times, that Marie Leveau grants the wish, even from beyond.
The practice of Voodoo, elusive from doctrine and dogma, comes to us from West Africa and the Caribbean. More closely equated with the occult at first glance, than Christianity, Voodoo often loses favor due to the fear of the unknown. Passed on for generations through oral traditions, the mystique of healing or intervention, stabs at our ignorance and penchant for danger. Can Marie still hear wishes from visitors and does she view their antics with amusement and acquiesce to fulfill their desires? Granted, this tradition, just like the fantastical magic lamp, and coins in the fountain, provides no guarantee, rather offers an entertaining distraction from our everyday preoccupations.
Yet, a casual ice-breaker at a party or in other social situations, asking the question, "If you had three wishes what would they be?" provides an insight into a person’s hopes and dreams as well as their self-esteem. We playfully suspend reality while we drift into possibility when we identify our wishes. And God empowers you to verbalize them, believe they already exist, and express gratefulness for their impending fulfillment.
So, release the genie within you, throw away societal expectations of your abundance and make your mark on the world. The magic lives within you!
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