Monday, November 17, 2014

De-mystifying the Jargon Part I

"Knowledge is like underwear. 
It is useful to have it, but not necessary to show it off." 
~Nicky Gumbel 

We live in confusing times. Just when you're feeling confidently smug about the way your life is going, some cosmic force throws you a curve ball and you find yourself in conversation with a New Age enthusiast who is bouncing weird, unfamiliar lingo around at the dinner table or during your colonoscopy.

In order to provide you with greater understanding of what you may be hearing these days, I offer the following:

Definition of terms for the New Age novice

Age of Aquarius: astrological terminology referring to a blissful period of time when humanity will finally find the balance between cigarettes and tofu.

Alignment: hokey, overused word for being in agreement or alliance with the energy of others or unrealistic delusions of peaceful co-existence with All Beings. Example: "Dude, I was so in alignment with that pile of kale at the Farmer's Market, I began to weep as I felt myself being ripped from the ground."

Astral projection: your spirit leaves your body and travels to an all-inclusive Caribbean resort for the rest and cocktail-driven relaxation you can't seem to achieve while plodding through the drudgery of your waking life.

Astral sex: you direct your promiscuous, wanton spirit to the bedroom of George Clooney and/or Jennifer Lopez and demand that they do the bone dance with you. They must agree to it, otherwise it is classified as astral rape and you will be punished to the fullest extent of the Law of Attraction.

Astrology: the stars and planets had a meeting and decided that this is the lifetime where everything will be completely fucked up no matter what you do. Sorry.

Aura: energy field surrounding all living beings. Yours is probably full of holes and/or being drained by an energy vampire unless you are a victim of the zombie apocalypse and already dead.

Automatic writing: taking dictation from a ghost with an agenda. After writing session concludes, expect to have a sudden interest in overthrowing governments, jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge or making babies with Ashton Kutcher.

Bigfoot: gigantic, apelike creature who skulks around the Pacific Northwest fucking with bounty hunters and camera bugs hoping to capture evidence of his existence. Bigfoot recently posted on Twitter about his disappointment in the Animal Planet television series, Finding Bigfoot, stating, "I think the paparazzi might have chased me out of Los Angeles."

Chakra: the seven centers of spiritual power in the human body. Yours are most likely spinning in the wrong direction, jammed or completely defective, classifying you as the spiritual equivalent of a busted vending machine that appears to be full of Snickers and Funyuns but won't give up the goods when someone drops in a handful of quarters.

Channeling: a technique by which disembodied spirits use your voice to communicate opinions, predictions and directives while you are in an unconscious trance. When you awaken, you will discover that you spent two thousand dollars on a whole-house air filtration system and have volunteered to teach a group of effeminate young men to pole dance. Not to be confused with Ambien-induced insanity.

Clairvoyance: a form of extrasensory perception in which a psychic person "sees" (sometimes while appearing to watch a fascinating movie playing inside a crystal ball) terrible events that will be happening to you at some undetermined time in the future. There will be no way to avoid these tragedies, and you will live your entire life waiting for the other cosmic shoe to drop.

Crystals: pretty, overpriced rocks believed to have magical healing powers. Example: "Holding an amethyst in your mouth for a week will heal your abscess." You will choke on this crystal as the dentist is draining the puss-filled cyst you should have dealt with a week ago.

Déjà vu: the feeling that you've made this same stupid fucking mistake before.

Energy balancing: an alternative-care practitioner attempts to fix your energy field which has become severely damaged. Circumstances likely to cause mangled auras include:
~living with bitter, alcoholic parents in a mobile home in Florida after the age of 35
~the video of your drunken night with three frat boys and a horny Rottweiler named Toby goes viral
~your husband's new-found interest in moving to Utah and exploring polygamy with high school-age girls
~discovering that your elderly father has stolen your identity and opened a massive line of credit in order to help a sweet young lady by the name of Cherry through "beauty school"
~addiction to alcohol, Internet porn, ice cream, online shopping, stalking ex-boyfriends, opiates, masturbating in public places and/or gambling away your life savings at the casino while your spouse is out of town.

Energy vampire: someone you are required to interact with at family functions and office Christmas parties who drains you of your life force and diminishes your will to live. In addition to sucking your energy from you, may also want to "borrow" your money, car, clothing, jewelry and spouse. Will want to tag along on all-expense-paid vacations, shitting all over your good time and probably need to be bailed out of the pokey at least once.

Feng shui: harmonious placement of furniture and accessories in the home. Example: triangulating the vector between the recliner, refrigerator and television in order to optimize your sloth-like tendencies and eating disorders.

Intuition: that little voice in your head that tells you what a bad idea it is to do whatever it is you are thinking of doing (particularly Internet-related activities). Going against your intuition is likely to result in any or all of the following:

burning urination
insomnia or night terrors
fainting in Costco
painful or prolonged erection of the penis

dancing with wolves
sensation of spinning
spiders living in your ear canal
blurred vision
Oscar Meyer wiener

compulsion to wear a dashiki and join drumming circles even though you are white
projectile diarrhea
unplanned pregnancy
gasping for air

eye crabs
pounding or irregular heartbeat
jock itch
belief in a race of intelligent reptilian beings subliminally controlling planet earth through messages encoded in rerun episodes of The Golden Girls
large, hive-like swelling on the face, legs, feet or sex organs
oily discharge leaking from anus
sudden interest in arson
oozing sores in the mouth or on the lips
sweating onions
searing pain in the genital region
court-ordered community service at the Naples, Florida DMV
unusual tiredness or weakness

Karma: destiny resulting from your previous actions. Example: Mary has 18 fish in her fish tank. She transfers 12 of the fish to her brother's fish tank. How many fish are left in Mary's tank? Answer: None. Mary was the Captain of the Titanic in a previous life, so now everything that she loves will die a terrible, watery death right before her eyes.

Law of Attraction: metaphysical boomerang covered in Krazy Glue. Example: you talk shit about your ex to anyone who will listen and post obsessively on Facebook about what a gigantic pain in your ass he is...three days later you have a raging case of hemorrhoids.

Meditation: that thing you can't do no matter how hard you try even though you dropped eight hundred dollars on incense, hemp floor cushions, Buddha statues and elastic-waist harem pants in three different colors. And let's not even talk about that infected-looking "om" tattoo on your foot.

Medium: "I see dead people."

Namaste: Hindu greeting offered in conjunction with "praying hands" which is meant to convey peaceful wishes but winds up making you want to smack the patchouli stink off of the person saying it. When seen as a bumper sticker, is usually on a Prius driven by the biggest jackass on the road doing forty miles an hour in the fast lane admiring his dreadlocks in the rear-view mirror while listening to a CD of dolphin mating sounds.

Ouija Board: occult oracle magnet which attracts every single degenerate spook in the universe. Once they have gained entry into your home, these demons will wreak havoc with your electronics, steal your car keys and rape your dogs. Not to be confused with unemployed drug addict son living in your basement.

Palm reading: an excuse for a hermit with bad breath to hold your hands and pretend that the lines on your palms indicate your tragic daddy issues and that you will have a heart attack when you are 45, which you will probably live through. But try not to worry.

Past life regression: in which you hope to confirm your belief that you were Cleopatra or Mary Magdalene but learn that you were actually a hideous witch who was burned at the stake or Adolf Hitler's event coordinator.

Positive affirmation/mantra: short phrases used to shift thought patterns from negative to positive. Example: (during agonizing root canal) "I love myself too much to eat entire bags of Rolos and Smarties before bed."

Psychic: person with freakish ability to know many embarrassing details about you including sexual preferences and bathroom habits. You will pay cash money for this person to tell you all the things you are doing wrong in your life and how the situation will go from bad to worse unless you get your shit together now. This psychic person will likely go to extraordinary lengths to avoid you on the rare occasions they leave their house to gather supplies or try on harem pants at the mall.

Reincarnation: appallingly grim belief that your soul is reborn in different bodies throughout eternity. Thanks to that punishing bitch, karma, you will keep coming back to earth, trying to fix your idiotic mistakes until your soul finally gives up and moves on to a different galaxy to try its luck in a fresh venue.

Séance: when you and a few of your drunk friends decide to make contact with the spirit of Marilyn Monroe but instead conjure up the ghost of Mickey Rooney who won't shut up about the glory days at MGM. Always attracted to inebriated women while alive, the soul of Mickey will linger around the house long after the séance is over, rattling wine bottles and groping your breasts in the middle of the night.

Spirit guide: the entity in charge of watching over your dumb ass while you blunder your way through life, screwing up everything you touch. Similar to a guardian angel but bossier and judgmental in an annoying know-it-all way. May ride in the car with you and dick around with your radio.

Tarot card reading: someone wearing too many jangly bracelets pulls cards from a deck and tells you about your pathetic mommy issues and that you should eat more carrots to avoid colon cancer. She may assume a crestfallen look as she informs you that your spouse is having intercourse with a blonde he met at the gym.

Third eye: refers to the (hopefully) invisible eye in the middle of your forehead. Symbolizes an enlightened state of consciousness and the ability to "see" what your spouse is doing on the Internet at 2:00 a.m.

UFO: unidentified flying objects from outer space linked to conspiracy theories, government cover-ups and poorly-faked alien autopsies filmed in someone's garage with an 8mm camera found on eBay. Currently a trendy way to get national attention on the History Channel after being anally probed by a short, grey fellow with long fingers and dead eyes.

Vibes: the atmosphere created by someone's emotional state. Example: "Did you feel the bad vibes coming off of Dirk when he found out he has cancer in his nut sack?"

Yeti: large creature resembling a peevish albino Chewbacca residing in ice caves of the Himalayan mountains. Distant cousin of the reclusive Bigfoot, but more likely to make appearances at Disneyland on the Matterhorn bobsled ride.

Yurt: a glorified tent used by self-proclaimed gypsies and nomads who need to be able to pack up and leave town quickly when the "healing treatments" (comprised mostly of mushroom spores and cow poop) they are selling backfire and clients experience violent allergic reactions such as believing they can jump out of a fourth story window and fly to Paris naked.

Yoga: your downward facing dog pissed on my tree pose.

Zombie apocalypse: belief that zombies (a corpse brought back to life through witchcraft, voodoo or Black Friday sale at Walmart) will somehow band together to engage in an assault on humanity, feeding on the brains of the living and creating more zombies as they make their way from town to town. Possible metaphorical ties to the downfall of western civilization, voracious consumerism and the Bush administration. Discuss.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

De-mystifying the Jargon Part II

“It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands 
 and they'll do practically anything you want them to.” 
~J.D. Salinger

More definitions for those who are seeking guidance during these puzzling days of the New Age:

Atlantis: a fanciful, utopian ideal, once smiled upon by the gods and blessed with prosperity and the love of all mankind, becomes morally bankrupt and attempts world domination through force (see: Justin Bieber).

Coffee enemas: highly-addictive practice of injecting espresso up your ass, ostensibly to clean out your large intestine. Side effects include a strong desire to cram biscotti into your rectum and shitting your pants every time you pass a Starbucks.

Conscious uncoupling: closure counseling for couples who can no longer stand the sight of one another and have enough extra cash lying around to work through a 5-week process of harmoniously slashing the zip ties of marital bondage. Works well with soul mates. Fails drastically with twin flames.

Crop circles: complex patterns mysteriously appearing in grain fields since the Nixon administration. Theories of their origins include the following:
1. Two drunk British dudes using a plank of wood and some rope have been traveling around the world for forty years, proudly defacing the crops of innocent farmers.
2. Psychic people who have grown bored with gazing into crystal balls are broadcasting their brain waves onto farmlands of the English countryside in an effort to demonstrate cerebral superiority.
3. Vigorous sexual activity of horny hedgehogs produces precise, mathematical designs, especially near Stonehenge where their passionate frolicking creates artful motifs of multi-cultural symbolism.
4. Bigfoot's preferred method of communication.
5. Random wind gusts can create the face of Elvis in less than 45 minutes.
6. Punk-ass extraterrestrial kids are doodling on our walls.
7. Team Satan.

Crystal skulls: controversial carved quartz artifacts believed to be imbued with mystical powers. Certain legends say that these skulls were created by prankster extraterrestrials (with access to a drill press) visiting planet earth in the pre-Columbian era. When all thirteen skulls have been found and are gathered in the Hyatt Regency conference room, it will be revealed that God is actually a Catskills comedian by the name of Morty who really loves dirty jokes, mindless groupies and one too many vodka martinis.

 heralded as the wise, interdimensional mascot of the New Age and generally thought of as compassionate, smiling, volunteer healers who want nothing more out of life than to help humans fix what ails us. Disturbing current research shows that dolphins are actually the gangsters of the sea, killing and maiming for pleasure when they are not involved in vicious gang-bangs, masturbating with decapitated fish and credit card theft.

Doomsday preppers: folks who are confident that the world is coming to an end are preparing for the arrival of the Antichrist by stocking up on firearms, duct tape and hard cheeses encased in wax. Oh, and sugar. Don't forget this essential item, because when the shit goes down and you are sequestered with your repulsive family in an underground bunker for a year, you are going to need some goddamn sugar. And nudie mags. And maybe a few gallons of morphine to distract you from the dismal reality of your new life.

Dream catcher: Native American crafty doodad that catches more dust than dreams. Large, enterprising spiders see it as a ready-made web (with bonus feathers and beads!) and move right in, happy to drop mosquito carcasses into your open mouth as you sleep.

Family bed: contentious issue also known as co-sleeping. You either believe in keeping the kids in your bed (and sneaking out to the tool shed to have awkward sex bent over earwig-infested bags of mulch) until they graduate from high school or insisting that they sleep in their own rooms (and sneaking in every twenty minutes to make sure they are still breathing). Whichever way you choose, there will be judgment from smug Earth Mothers, shame, fear that you've made the "wrong" choice and misery. Welcome to parenthood!

Global warming: ongoing cage match between Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh about the validity of climate change. Al states that too many decades of carelessly tooling around in our fossil fuel combustion machines while spraying Aqua Net and Glade into the atmosphere has produced a situation in which we are all slowly cooking to death in our own toxic waste. Rush disagrees and contends that global warming is a hoax manufactured by the Democrats, giving him carte blanche to pollute our environment even further with his own brand of noxious gas.

GMO: stands for genetically modified organism and is the current axis of evil/Death Star piloted by the Monsanto syndicate. Example: "What the fuck, dude! I knew that tomato was GMO when I cut into it and found a fish head."

Indigo children: refers to the deep blue color of certain children's energy fields. These are the obnoxiously precocious tykes who aren't afraid of consequences and refuse to follow your "rules", insisting that you think of them as magical superhumans who are encouraged to get away with murder. Indigo children gravitate towards starring roles in television sitcoms and/or tyrannical dictatorship of blended families and small countries.

Inner child therapy: your damaged, egomaniacal nine year old self is still calling the shots in your adult life as is evidenced by the way you eat like an unsupervised kid at a birthday party, shoplift nail polish from Walmart and fly into a tearful rage when you are even the slightest bit inconvenienced. You are likely to attract a similarly unstable partner who is emotionally frozen in a troubled childhood and unable to make rational decisions. Examples: Billy Bob and Angelina, Courtney and Kurt, Lindsay Lohan and anyone. Seek help now.

Justin Bieber: gender-confused Hobbit escapes Canadian Shire, visits fancy salon, attempts to take over world with catchy pop tunes, promptly implodes before a live audience. File under cliché.

Personal growth: the practice of spending most of your time examining what's going horribly wrong in your life and feeling pleasantly relieved when someone else is screwing up worse than you.

Quinoa: a gateway grain substitute used by trendy-disease-following glutenphobes and those who actually experience explosive diarrhea after ingesting wheat. It has been proven that consuming quinoa leads to experimenting with amaranth and buckwheat, escalates rapidly to bean flour and culminates tragically with the uncontrollable compulsion to score millet from overpriced health food stores and neighborhood bird feeders.

Soul mate: the Simon to your Garfunkel, the nut to your bolt, the binge to your purge. Basically a kindred spirit who shows up to make your life more interesting while annoying the shit out of you. Does not usually end in homicidal rages or theatrical suicide attempts (see: Twin Flame).

Space clearing: removing the negative energy imprints left on your home and work environments by ass-clowns, creeps and hostile shrews. You will need to gather a variety of tools to clear the contaminated space in question: bells, chimes, gongs, sage bundles, mirrors, essential oils, sea salt, brightly-colored fabrics, candles, incense and an assortment of crystals and stones. You should dress in loose clothing, wear way too much jewelry and try (at least for today) to be in a pleasant mood when you order the bad vibes to leave your space through the open windows. If you have acquired Jeffrey Dahmer's cardigan or the throw rug from Ted Bundy's house during your serial killer/eBay fascination phase, now would be a good time to let those items go.

Sweat lodge: a dome-shaped hut made from natural materials for the purpose of ceremonial group steam baths where you will eventually pray for your own death. Even though you join in the Native American ritual with a jovial sense of adventure, you will soon want to claw your way out of the oppressive, airless enclosure. Escape is not possible because there will be an obese white man calling himself Iron Snake wearing only a skimpy purple loincloth blocking the exit and reminding you of the "sacred commitment" you made to the sweat. You will become acutely aware of your level-ten Caucasian claustrophobia, but your sniveling requests to be excused will not be heard above the chanting.

Tantric sex: the ancient art of forcing yourself to be in the present moment so completely that you experience blissful, luminous sexual ecstasy and orgasms that last for three weeks. This will never actually happen to you because you are thinking about the past-due water bill, the busted hinge on your bathroom door or why the dog keeps humping the couch cushions as you are going through the motions of tedious, obligatory sex with someone who smells like a bean burrito smothered in ass sauce.

Tofurky: a symbiotic relationship between processed soy and wheat protein formed into a dense loaf and served as a vegetarian alternative to the delectable Thanksgiving turkey the rest of the family is enjoying. Devout vegans will gasp, cringe and perhaps shed distressed tears as the electric carving knife saws into juicy breast meat and crispy-skinned drumsticks and wings are ripped off of the bird. The vegans at your table will choke down their sad little meal of fabricated mock meat while glaring self-righteously at the carnivores.

Twin flame: best case scenario: "you complete me." Worst case scenario: "I will take great pleasure in murdering you while you sleep and burying your corpse in the desert." Erroneously believed to be the pinnacle of romantic relationships, but only if you enjoy living with an unrelenting, full-length mirror reflecting your broken, ludicrous self back to you every day of your miserable life.

Vegan: the arrogant buzzkill at your bacon-themed holiday party. This wet blanket will pull out his iPhone to display a ghastly slide show of slaughterhouse nightmares to your cornered guests making them lose all interest in the delicious pork goodness you have painstakingly prepared. Will make sure everyone sees him chomping on the homemade granola he brought with him in a burlap sack, explaining in sanctimonious tones that gorillas don't eat meat, but seem to be surviving just fine.

Wicca: neo-pagan nature-based religion which has nothing to do with summoning demons into your bedroom (unless you are also using Those who choose to join a coven should brace themselves for the following:
1. You will cease wearing undergarments and learn to speak elvish.
2. There will be no shaving or waxing of body hair. Plucking eyebrows to resemble a startled wood nymph is encouraged, however.
3. You will immediately invest your life savings into Stevie Nicks-inspired hooded capes and swirly skirts, pentacle tattoos the size of dinner plates, crystal wands and black eyeliner.
4. Once a month naked twirling under the full moon as someone plays an autoharp is mandatory.
5. You agree to engage in lively group discussions about your "moon blood".
6. It will be necessary to modify your uninteresting spelling of mundane words to include the telltale "k". Example: "I ckonstructed a magickal ckauldron for mystickal inckantations."
7. Trading in your PT Cruiser for an enchanted flying broom and ill-tempered black cat is a non-negotiable requirement.