Daily Archives: February 4, 2011

DailyOM: Spiritual Being–Physical Experience

 

   
   

 

   
February 2, 2011
Spiritual Being–Physical Experience
Physical Bodies on Earth

We are on this earth in bodies because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way.

We are on this earth, in our physical bodies, because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way. It is through our physical body and the physical world that we can experience life. Purely spiritual beings are just that – they are in a state of being rather than doing – in a place that is beyond the limitations of time and space. But when we incarnate on the physical plane, we are automatically subject to the laws of physics and the world of dualities. In this place, we know what happiness is because we have experienced sadness, and we understand the value and power of light because we have known darkness. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to let ourselves be spiritual beings having a physical experience.

There is no pain in the spiritual realm, because we know we are one with the limitless source of the universe. But here, in the material realm, our sense of limitation and separation allows us to feel our emotions and to learn about love, forgiveness, and compassion. We go from a spiritual state of oneness to learning how to be in relationship with people who are different and distinct individuals. We learn to understand ourselves through our relationships with the world around us—its seasons and landscapes, challenges and opportunities. And through our journey to find our place among so many others, we begin to recognize our own glimmer of light in a constellation of stars.

Once we remember that we are spiritual beings, we can revel in the experience of being human while knowing we are all connected. We can live from the place of oneness while truly appreciating the beauty of diversity, the bittersweet feel of love and loss, and the elation of triumph over challenges and adversity. It is through these opposites that we experience life itself, and we can ride through the dark times with the understanding that it will help us to appreciate the light of life and love and spirit more fully. We are here now because we made the choice to experience an earth life, so now we can choose to enjoy the journey as completely as possible.

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The Goddess Companion

The Goddess Companion       
  

How beautiful Sarah is! Her long soft hair
her bright eyes and her radiant face, her full breasts
and her delicate hands, her round hips and her thighs!
There is no woman more beautiful than Sarah,no woman who ever stood under the canopy
to be wed to a good man. Excellent is her beauty,
fair is she under the wide sky. Yet this is not
why she attracts our love: it is her wisdom,
her prudence, and the graceful way she moves her hands.
~Genesis Apocryphon and Jubilees
  
The Hebrew matriarch Sarah is one of the most renowned of the heroines of that nation. She was nearly a century old when she bore her child, who transformed the nation. But it was not her motherhood that made her great and beloved. It was her wisdom, based on inner strength and knowledge.
  
Wisdom is a quality that is not, today, often acknowledged. Yet in ancient times a woman’s wisdom – gained through years of watchful awareness and inner searching – was important for the health and happiness of all her family and, beyond that, of her entire people. We must reclaim that wisdom, finding it within ourselves and sharing it fearlessly. 

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By Patricia Monaghan
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Pagan Studies -Prayer Stick Spell

Pagan Studies  -Prayer Stick Spell

  
For this spell, find an appropriate stick—it should be about twelve inches long and a half inch in diameter. Ideally, find a twig that has fallen from a tree. If you must cut one, be sure to give thanks to the tree for the gift. Bless the stick with each of the four elements. Pass it through incense smoke for air, through a candle flame for fire, and sprinkle it with salt water for both water and earth elements. Say any words of blessing that you choose. Decorate the stick with ribbons, feathers, beads, and so on by tying them around the top. Hold the stick in your hand as you pray or meditate. You can also stick it in the ground outside and sit before it. On a breezy day the wind will move the ribbons and feathers and you can meditate on this movement. By: Ember

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GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives  
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Today’s Goddess: SHIRATA

Today’s Goddess: SHIRATA

Bean-Throwing Day (Japan)
  

Themes: Luck; Protection; cycles; Happiness
Symbols: A Snowflake; Beans; White
  
About Shirata: This Japanese Goddess embodies the first snow, where she glistens and shines with incomparable beauty until she freely and joyfully gives herself to spring’s warmth and melts away. By doing so, Shirata reminds us that while the year has only just begun, the wheel of time is ever-moving, and that we should make the most of every moment.
  
To Do Today: For happiness, cut snowflake a pattern out of a quartered piece of paper and carry it with you in your wallet as a charm. Make sure to visualize the snowflake being filled with brilliant white light, like that which is seen when the sun shines off new-fallen snow.
  
In Japan, this day is a time to chase away any malevolent influences that might hinder Shirata’s joyful nature within us. People scatter beans and make loud noises to banish evil and carve lanterns with wishes to light the way for a better tomorrow. For our purposes, scatter seeds on the ground or plant beans instead so something beautiful as Shirata can replace any negativity in your life with abundant growth.
 
To internalize Shirata’s happiness, prepare any white beans and eat them as part of a meal today. If you hold any rituals, use beans to mark the magick circle, scattering them counterclockwise to banish any unwanted influences. 

 
 
 

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archive 
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Seasons of the Witch! Ancient Holidays (and some not so ancient!)

Seasons of the Witch!   Ancient Holidays (and some not so ancient!)        

 
Live each Season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)  
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American Bowling Congress National Tournament begins (@)
Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
Blessing of the Throats
Carnival Parade – Aruba
Cordova Ice Worm Day
Create-A-Vacuum Day
Day the Music Died (according to Don McLean)
Dump Your “Significant Jerk” Day
Fasching Sunday – Austria,Germany
Foundation of the Vietnamese Communist Party – Vietnam
Four Chaplains Memorial Day
Heroes’ Day – Mozambique
Homemade Soup Day
King Frost Day
Last day of the Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries
Liberty Heroes Day – Sao Tome & Principe
Magnolia and Fish Jubilee – Fairy
Martyr’s Day – Sao Tome
National Carrot Cake Day
National Men’s Grooming Day 
National Stuffed Mushroom Day
Obscurity Day
Patient Recognition Day
Powamu Festival – Hopi
San Blaise – Paraguay
Setsubun – Japan
Setsubun – Shinto
Setsubun -This Japanese holiday marks the official end of winter, and is the last remnant of the old Japanese festival calendar, before it was Westernized and New Year’s Day moved to January 1st
Setsubun Bean /Throwing Festival – Japan
Sheep Day -The ten days beginning with Chinese New Year are named after animals and plants. The fourth day is Sheep Day.
Shrovetide
Sri Lanka Independence Day
St. Andrew Corsini’s Day (patron against quarrels, sudden death)
St. Anskar’s Day, patron of Denmark – Iceland
St. Blaise’s Day (patron of sick cattle, wool combers; against throat diseases; Western)
St. Gilbert of Sempringham’s Day
St. Isidore of Pelusium’s Day
St. John de Brito’s Day (patron of Portugal)
St. Phileas’ Day
St. Simeon’s Day (Eastern)
St. Werburga’s Day
Thank A Mailperson Day
Torture Abolition Day
Wedding Ring Day
Winterlude
Yuma Crossing Day
  
Carnival Sunday – In Italy, the most recently married couple of the neighborhood scoops out the first trowel of earth and plant scarli, poles big as trees, twined with garlands of heather and juniper. At the end of Carnival, the banner at the top is burned.
  
Theogama – One of the dark-moon, women-only festivals of the Greeks. This festival, celebrated on the 26th day of the Greek month of Gamelion, was also known as the Gamelia, and was sacred to the marriage of Zeus and Hera.
 

 

   Resources : GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives 

 
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NOTE: Because of the large number of ancient calendars, many in simultaneous use, as well as different ways of computing holy days (marked by the annual inundation, the solar year, the lunar month, the rising of key stars, and other celestial and terrestrial events), you may find these holy days celebrated a few days earlier or later at your local temple .  

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Today Is: Freya’s Day

Today Is:  Freya’s Day 

 
Energy: Female Ruler: Venus – Rules lovers and pleasure, affairs of the heart – Use for magick involving love, peace, beauty, gentleness, women’s problems, healing, protection, lovers, ease, pleasure, affairs. Resolve quarrels today!
Today’s Magickal Influences: All Love Matters, Friendships, Affection, Partnerships, Money, Sex
Today’s Goddesses: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wedo, Eve, Venus, Freya, Diana, Aset [Isis], The Witch Of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
Incense:  Saffron, Verbena
Perfumes: Stephanotis, Apple Blossom, Musk, Ambergris
Color of The Day:  Light Blue, Pale Green
Colors for Tomorrow: Black
Lucky Sign: Friday Is The Lucky Day For Taurus And Libra
Candle: Green
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Daily Goddess Devotion

Daily Goddess Devotion

With ice and snow and freezing cold,
Februarys Sun shines bright and bold.
The Wheel turns as bright the fires burn,
Hearkening spring shall soon return.

Lady Abigail
Copyright © 02022011

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Outreach to Christians: A Sensible Pagan Policy

Outreach to Christians: A Sensible Pagan Policy

Author: Priestess Jean

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey finds that 76 percent of the U.S. population currently consider themselves to be Christian. Although that’s down a full 10 percentage points from the previous survey, it seems clear that Christians will remain in the majority for some time to come. Consequently, our relationship with Christians will play a significant role in how our religion is perceived by the general spiritual community, as well as having a major impact on our ability to assist those people who are now leaving the Christian faith.

The ARIS can help us to visualize the changing demographics of religion. While the number of people who consider themselves to be Christians declined by 10 percent, an increase of 7 percent was reported in the group identifying as agnostic or atheist. In addition, various neo-pagan groups and other forms of nature-based spirituality all experienced significant increases, which clearly demonstrates that some very interesting changes in popular attitudes are now underway.

During this transitional period, I believe that it would be very wise to make a special effort to extend the hand of friendship to Christians, whenever we can. Not only will it facilitate our goals, but it is also the morally right thing to do, in keeping with the fundamental principals of our religion, which have always been firmly rooted in the path of peace and cooperation.

Of course, when we consider the historical interactions that our religion has had with Christianity, there can be no doubt that it’s been a terrible experience. Beginning in the fourth century, they burned our temples and systematically murdered our clergy. After that, they suppressed all public awareness of our beliefs and forced our followers to convert to their religion. Eventually they altered the historical record to conceal their crimes, as well as to slander and demonize us… and to some extent that slander is still causing misunderstandings and discrimination against us today.

These acts were not merely isolated instances that might be excused as not representative of genuine Christian doctrine. They were based on the clearly-stated policy of the church, and carried out by many members of the clergy, including high-ranking Bishops… as well as having been ordered or sanctioned directly by various Popes. To make matters worse, as far as I know, no Christian organization has ever publically repudiated these acts, nor issued any sort of apology for them.

When all this is considered, it would not be surprising for modern followers of the Goddess to be deeply angry, and resentful of the status that Christianity presently enjoys in our society today. Yet if we were to allow the tragic events of the past to dominate our thinking, we would be locked into a philosophy of conflict, animosity, and hatred, which is entirely unnecessary and unhealthy. Such a philosophy is very inappropriate, and can lead only to continued misunderstandings and injustice. Therefore, we must not allow ourselves to walk such a path.

Modern Christians cannot be held responsible for what happened in the past. Many of them are entirely unaware of the matter. They are for the most part good people… who embrace a spiritual dimension in their lives, and whose religion teaches many positive values and moral behaviors. We must perceive the reality of the situation, as it now exists, and not let preconceived ideas or negative stereotypes interfere with our ability to build bridges and establish constructive relationships.

In this, each of us has an opportunity to make a contribution. Outreach frequently begins on a personal, individual basis. We should attempt to establish friendship before anything else. Often we can find some common ground, in our concern for our families, the environment, animal rights, and other worthwhile causes. It is not at all difficult to do.

Eventually of course a discussion of theology is bound to occur… and when it does, I’ve found that it’s best to focus on our modern practice, and things like our metaphysical beliefs, rather than on trying to dispel historical misunderstandings. Christians will then be better able to form accurate opinions… and I’m sure they will quickly come to realize that we are good people, with a desire to help others, and to care for the Earth and all life which the Goddess has placed here.

Regarding the subject of history, Christians will usually tend to focus on the late Roman period. As we know, that can be problematic for several reasons… The Romans imported our religion from Pessinus, where it was not properly practiced. In addition, by the advent of the Common Era, Rome had become quite decadent, and our religion had lost much of its original character. Finally, Christian scholars often replaced accurate accounts about our religion with biased and offensive ones.

Proper understanding of our religion must include an awareness of the historical difficulties mentioned above, yet these sorts of issues are perhaps not the best place to begin. The deliberate destruction of many ancient records, and their replacement with disinformation and slanders (now well-attested in the academic community) is nonetheless potentially embarrassing or offensive to Christians. Pursuing that issue could result in a rather lengthy and unproductive debate, or even worse, create a confrontational situation.

One possible way to deal with that matter is to try to focus on an earlier time period. Certainly a story should begin at the beginning, and there is ample evidence which suggests that our religion may have originated during the Paleolithic era… or, at the very least, in late-Neolithic societies such as found at Catal Hoyuk. Since Christianity didn’t exist at that point in time, there is little potential to cause offense. In addition, such a discussion can also lead to an awareness of the Kurgan invasion, which provides a critical basis for many insights into the evolution of organized religion.

In general, our religion is not very well-known to the average Christian, and as a result you can expect them to ask some interesting questions. Do we think Mary is a goddess? If we don’t believe in heaven and hell, what makes us behave properly? What is our bible called? Do we sacrifice animals?

We must try to keep an open mind, respond to what is said, and avoid making any pompous speeches. When we speak, we should remember that demonstrating respect for others during a discussion is more important than any point of logic that we might hope to make. That is what the other person will most remember about the conversation, and will make our ideas much more likely to receive some genuine consideration.

There may be times when you encounter certain exclusionary attitudes… that is, assertions to the effect that no other religion besides Christianity can have any validity or merit, or that without Christ you will be condemned to hell. While it’s rather unlikely that you’ll have a productive conversation with anyone like that, you still might try to make a worthwhile point by asking “Doesn’t that sort of thinking rather limit your ability to relate to others?” or something to that effect.

Perhaps the most challenging type of attitude that you may encounter concerns the idea that a religious belief justifies taking various types of oppressive political actions, which can interfere with the rights of others. Some examples of this involve the passage of laws relating to abortion and same-sex marriage.

In a democracy, the majority gets their way… and when a religious group that happens to constitute a majority uses their influence to tell people how to vote, in elections and referendums, it is quite possible for them to impose their beliefs on others. Ultimately however, the courts must decide what is just and lawful under the constitution. The process is rather slow, but eventually a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy was established there, just as I’m certain that the right to marry, without discrimination based on gender, will also one day be established.

As these sorts of civil-law cases play out, it’s tempting to argue with those who advocate denying others their freedom, based on some fundamentalist clergyman’s interpretation of the doctrine of their religion. However, confronting such persons directly will only tend to alienate them, and become an obstacle to our overall goal of spiritual outreach. Therefore, we would be wise to bear our priorities in mind, avoid unnecessary confrontation, and simply wait for the courts to do their job.

For the most part, the trend that I see within the various denominations of Christianity is towards a more liberal outlook, rather than a strict conservatism. Many churches have a very sympathetic policy towards the GLBT community, have female clergy, and are even taking a more enlightened attitude towards the bible itself… no longer regarding it as the absolute word of God, but rather as a book written by human beings, and which does contain some problematic material.

Overall, the evolution, which is now occurring within various Christian denominations, is very encouraging. In many ways their definition of deity is approaching our own, as a loving and benevolent entity, rather than the violent and jealous war-god of the Old Testament. If Christianity is to endure, such progress is clearly essential… and will greatly enhance their ability to coexist with people of other religions as well.

Religious affiliations in our society are now undergoing some revolutionary changes. The membership in our own temple continues to increase at a more rapid pace each year. We are at the beginning of a new global renaissance, and if we recognize what is happening, and act wisely to facilitate it, then the golden age that we seek will arrive all that much sooner… and obviously, a well-defined and sensible policy of outreach to Christians can play an important role in that transition.

Bright Blessings,

Priestess Jean


Footnotes:
This is an opinion type of essay

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