Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

Herb of the Day for May 23rd is EUCALYPTUS

Herb of the Day

EUCALYPTUS

Do not use on the faces of small children.

Folk Names: Blue gum Tree, Stringy Bark Tree

Gender: Feminine

Planet:  Moon

Element: Water

Powers:  Healing, Protection

Magickal Uses:  The leaves are used to stuff healing poppets and are carried to maintain good health. To relieve colds, ring green candles with the leaves and pods and burn them to the socket, visualising the person (or yourself)) as being completely healthy. Also hang a small branch or twig of eucalyptus over the sick bed.

String the immature (green) pods on green thread and wear to help heal sore throats. Placed beneath the pillow,the pods guard against colds

The leaves are also carried for protection.

About these ads
Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deity of the Day for May 23rd is TALIESIN

Deity of the Day

 

TALIESIN: Clever Wizardy God.

Do you remember the witchy Goddess CERIDWEN and her cauldron of knowledge, and her servant lad GWION-BACH? Well this is him after he got thrown into the sea. He was clever enough to get himself caught in a fish trap and thereby rescued.

Delighted with his cleverness, he decided to re-name himself TALIESIN or ‘Shining Brow’. He went on to become Wizard, Bard and Prophet — now there’s clever.

www.Godchecker.com

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Room for all Genders in Paganism

Making Room for all Genders in Paganism

Author: Maggi Setti

In this age of women’s liberation, we still find a deep wound surrounding gender differences in our culture. How is gender expressed differently in the pagan community? Is there still a use for gender specific ritual spaces? Many of these questions are ongoing with many answers, but it is high time that we see these issues with new eyes as we approach a second generation of Pagan feminists, both male, female, and spectrum of gender identification in between.

At a public class I taught a couple weeks ago on developing energetic and psychic skills, I was surprised that that there was an equal number of male and female attendants. For Wicca, this is a rarity, as you will find the vast majority of Wiccans are women. The easy explanation for this is that women are more hurt by the patriarchal approach of mainstream religions and need the feminine divine more acutely than men.

In a personal conversation, a male Wiccan offered the idea that there are more women than men interested and involved in spirituality and religion in general. He used the example that most church functions, other than the priesthood itself, are run by women and often women are dragging their husbands to church rather than the men being self-motivated in attending. I think that if this premise is true, that women as a group are more spiritually focused than men in mainstream religions as well as Pagan denominations. We can infer that this phenomenon comes from at least two influences as follows.

1. Men are discouraged from being in touch with their soft emotions. It’s hard to be in touch with the greater picture and how one fits in to that greater whole, and at the same time, this suppresses much of one’s internal reality as well.
2. Much of adherence to the Christian religion, as it is currently expressed, depends on guilt and fear. There is more room for men to assert themselves, their ideas, opinions and what they want on other people in their lives. While this may be lopsided, it also allows for a greater development on one’s power and ego especially for men as a group more so than women. Women are more likely to struggle with fear and guilt, and feeling powerless, are therefore more susceptible to the disempowerment and subversion of the religions tenants.

Both of my points above would support that it is not the nature of women or men that make women more spiritually focused, but another example of how our culture is unhealthy and imbalanced. Unfortunately how the pagan community during the past 40 years has approached this is by creating overblown false egos for women and small-scale fiefdoms that breed infighting, confusion, and mistrust. I saw this in Sunday school as a kid, in the choir in high school, and still see it.

Women’s empowerment and healing the gap between the genders is not about the segregation of the sexes anymore though. It’s about building healthy egos, empowerment, self-esteem and ending the war of the sexes. Women’s only spaces were intended to be safe havens in which women felt supported rather than competing with other women. These spaces were meant as healing spaces to use ritual as a forum to connect with the feminine divine within each woman there, as well as the feminine divine of the group, the culture, and the Great Goddess Herself. Therefore these spaces are not about reliving the pain and hurt of what has been wrong with the system, but to encourage alchemical change within individuals so that they can build new paradigms of how they approach and express gender, but power, sexuality, self-expression, and self-worth.

All of this is about self-love and acceptance. Not acceptance that makes excuses for maladaptive behavior that is permissive our faults, but rather an acceptance to be gentle with ourselves so that we can motivate change, growth, and healing. “I love my body as uniquely my own. I am not flawed. I am as I should be.” Affirmations such as these help to let go of the cultural myth of the perfect feminine, youthful woman that does not exist.

Please note that I am referencing cultural expectations. Our culture oversimplifies definitions of qualities into white and black categories. If you can’t label someone, force him or her to go into a category until you are comfortable that you have him or her pegged. Much of the path of the witch embraces the grays of twilight and dawn and the myriad of shades of gray within continuum of many things. Where we fall on the continuum for many things including how we express gender, sexuality, our relationships, our connection to the Gods, will be different for all of us.

As Pagans we embrace our differences and still are able to work together, to manifest a new humanity. We need to be very cognizant of embracing each individual’s true expression of himself or herself: whether it be the gender labels they use for themselves in this case, or other expressions of self.

We can’t just look at women though. Women are not the only ones that have suffered from the imbalance of this “war of the sexes.” At Fall Frolic in Milford PA, I’ll be teaching a women’s empowerment class and leading a women’s only ritual. I’ve suggested to the organizers of Fall Frolic that we also run a men’s ritual at the same time. In fact, these rituals can do real magick upon the higher planes to interact in a spiritually fertilizing and polarizing way in order to heal the gender schism of the group mind of humanity. In my opinion, this magickal healing is the next step for building bridges for healthy intragender relationships.

How do we interest men in a way that retains their sense of strength, self-worth, respect, and power? How do we incorporate men into a religion that includes sparkly purple fairy glitter and witch Barbie? (Not my personal taste, but still an active stereotype) . How do we rebuild the archetype of the warrior for both men and women, working, fighting for a cause, and protecting their tribe?

I hope that there are Pagan men interested and willing to forge the way for answering these questions. We need all genders working together and creating new ways of relating to one another so that we can create a balanced future for our religion, our children, and our culture.

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just a Dream?

Just a Dream?

Author: Lady Sindy Aine

I went to bed like any other night; troubles had been weighing heavy on me the past few days and I sometimes can’t rest my mind enough to sleep. I asked the Goddess Aradia to help me on my journey. I felt a warm tingling encompass me and I felt at ease enough to drift off to sleep. I want to share with you just a small glimpse of the journey that followed.

I find myself sitting in a picturesque garden lush with green plants and sensuous flowers heavily scented rich in color and allure. Stone pathways with smooth detailed statues and strangely shaped sculptures. Each are filled with complicated rhymes and puzzles connected to them that allows each one to come to life if I am able to conjure up the answers, every one of them needs to be opened in a specific order it is all part of the puzzle.

I first start with a statue of the Goddess Aradia after several acts of respect I tried to bring life to her, then with a simple kiss on her foot she comes to life. So joyous to be in her presence her green eyes sparkled she was divine. She held me in her embrace a feeling of safety and home filled me. I felt I had been in the presence of a mother figure and I her child.

She began to spin in a circle laughing and full of life she relieves me from all my hurt and pain, allowing me to let go, to truly let go. All the feelings inside of me, anything that was holding me down were lifted with one touch from her hand. My beloved Goddess gives me strength to face all of my fears with no fear. My body feels weightless in her company and my mind open and free able to start fresh and new anything is possible. Her face grew solemn as she steps away from me.

Sadly, I leave her as she directs me to my next challenge. With great respect and gratitude I move on, to a very unusual sculpture in this spectacular garden. Made up of three large round tapered objects with the middle one being the largest, a red darkened brown with horizontal ridges carved into the heaviest section at the middle of this. Smaller versions lie at the top and the bottom. A finished piece much like a lid of some sort sat upon the very top.

With a simple spin to each of these objects much like a prayer wheel, life inside of me was ignited Secrets flowed into me about life and its answers I have long awaited. Having had a life changing experience I took a moment to absorb it all.

Rising to my feet I continue to a fountain large as a lake. The water shimmers and rings from the splashing fountain, all visions are obscured and all knowing is absent until I am able to see through it all. The colors not looking like anything, but everything all at once. Then I see and feel. I know that with just one sip from this sacred water of life I will begin a journey into my very essence. Cold to the touch this crisp water clear of any flavor begins to flow into me. I feel it warm inside of me and vibrate to all parts of my body, knowing all that is important in my life and all that is not.

Focused on and what needs to be done and what needs to be let go I fear the separation of these things will be difficult. I begin to feel the cold spray from the fountain’s water caressing my skin as a way to awaken me the fountain and its lake are alive to me and I struggle to pull myself away and continue my voyage.

Now to another figure, that of an elderly man, whose aura vibrates in vivid color. There is just an enormous amount of energy flowing from him you can hear a faint humming sound that I believe is resonating from this man and amplified by a boulder he is resting upon. As I make my way towards this man in the middle of this deeply wooded pathway I am humbled by his presence.

He stands before me; his white hair is long, wavy and thick tied back at the base of his neck. His arms reach out to me as his heavy brown robe falls in folds around his body. I look into his deep brown eyes; they are welcoming and full of wisdom.

I follow this path with him side by side. I am drawn to his eyes I could not turn away even if I wanted too. He speaks to me without words. I feel everything he is conveying to me and I give myself to him quite willingly with one last embrace of safety, warmth and belonging I knew this is where I wish to be forever but I also know I cannot stay here.

Finally, off in the distance I observed a path undisturbed for many years, quiet and still. I see a beautiful woman in a flowing silver gown as she makes her way effortlessly through the brush and fallen limbs of the old oak trees standing in much majesty throughout this forest on the edge of such a beautiful park. She beckons me to follow her, I feel hesitant, she seems so distant and unworldly I gazed into her eyes with some fear of what I would see.

However, her eyes gleamed an ice blue she reached out her hand and it was soft and supple she was so beautiful I allowed myself to be washed away in her and I followed her. She was not like anyone or thing I have ever encountered, she glowed just simply glowed. She had almost a gravitational pull I couldn’t break free no matter how unsure I was or scared even. I felt this was a test, a test of facing the unknown. The feeling as if the blessed Goddess Diana herself was giving me her blessings with every step, was imprinted on my very being.

This was a divine destination, a voyage where I have encountered every element, and my most valued and treasured Gods and blessed Goddesses. I have been waiting for this moment for a lifetime. My destination was shown to me. After several moments of trial and error, learning the rhymes and puzzles to this path and having figured out the pattern and order. I have found this journey most enlightening and successful.

Now on to my next path obviously one less traveled. I am excited to move through this world and onto the next with great certainty that I have chosen well. I have accomplished much within myself. Whether this was just a very healing dream or something a bit more I woke having a much better grasp and knowledge of why I am here. With this gracious gift bestowed to me I will never suffer again. I am most grateful to not have to worry about such things I have spent so many years doing that. Now I can focus on what needs to be done without much effort of why things need to be done.

I am filled with enlightenment that will flow throughout my blood like the warmth of a running river. I dream of Magick that has not been thought of for many, many years I feel it deep within myself.

My message to you is simply to allow yourself to open your mind and just touch the energy that will lead you too, on your own wondrous journey.

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Make a Magical Focus Board

How to Make a Magical Focus Board

Author: Deborah

A focus board has been called a lot of different things in a lot of different places. The (in) famous Secret calls it a Vision board. A lot has been made of The Secret‘s many flaws and issues. As Kathy Griffin said when her assistants made focus boards and then attributed her recent uprising in success to said boards, “I’m so sure it was the two of you and your Secret boards that did this, not, like, my many years of constant work.” So besides taking away that you should never get into a sweat lodge with these people*, as my friend and fellow blogger Gordon said, visualization is not enough.

On his blog RuneSoup.com, he calls it a success map. A focus board is not a replacement for solid magical spell work, which should include consistent mundane work, consistent magical work, divination, reachable goals and regular progress check-ins to ensure that what you’re doing is working and you’re not inadvertently missing the forest for the trees. But what a focus board will do is keep your eye on the prize and in my opinion, that’s the real purpose in having one.

You might be easily distracted like myself and get sidetracked from all the important things you’re actually supposed to be doing and instead watch back to back episodes of Bridezillas in your pajamas and/or drinking too many French Greyhounds and getting sucked into Facebook for nine million hours. It’s easy to get completely and utterly off track.

True confession time, I call mine a “serial killer” board. This is not due to aspiring to become a serial killer or advocating for others to become serial killers but because I watch a lot of crime dramas and inevitably if a fictional serial killer is involved on one of my shows, they tend to have a board that resembles a focus board, even on GossipGirl when it was just a run-of-the-mill single white female stalking problem. Juliet still had the Miss Martha level of organization and where-with-all to be sure to have a board neatly outlining all her plotting against poor Serena VanderWoodsen.

For some reason on television or in a movie, a serial killer always has an extremely high level of organizational skills even though they are also completely unhinged. Personally, I attribute that to word count issues for writers and a team of television writers who would like to hold onto their jobs as long as possible by making the main ‘big bad’ hang around for as long as possible, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. But yeah, while my board is a very benign corkboard with pictures with scrapbook cut edges, pink yarn and a font with hearts in it, I can’t help but think about the crime procedural shows I watch, which gives merit to the argument that television does rot your brain though admittedly no real desire to do anything about it.

Anyway. For an example as to how to make sure you’re approaching your goals holistically, I’m working to bring more money in my life by mundanely working on my freelance writing career as well as a small Internet crafting business. Magically, I have a honey jar that I work with in the hoodoo tradition as well as some Feng-Shui work I do. I constantly make sure I’m working with my honey jar by inscribing words and symbols into candles I burn on it weekly and I make sure to keep my eyes open for new writing opportunities in various places. But, as I’ve said, I get distracted. So when I find myself getting into a massive Twittering frenzy, talking about things that have nothing to do with work, a quick glance to my focus board in my office reminds me when I see a picture of a typewriter and the word “Create” to get back to making sure I’m following through on my work mundanely.

Magically speaking, it gives your subconscious something to focus on to bring about things you would like in your life. I wanted more serenity and a yoga practice, randomly a few days after making my board I noticed a local yoga studio and got up the courage to email the owner to ask about a “work/trade” agreement where I would trade her administrative work for yoga classes. After a very successful interview (and I made sure to do a charm so I was charming) , we’re hammering out the details for the work/trade.

How to Make a Focus Board of Your Very Own

1. First, think about what you’re trying to accomplish in your life. For me I started by thinking of words because my brain sees words before pictures. My words are: Aspire, Create, Live, Serenity, Serve and Want.

2. Now find pictures that you feel are good representations of what you’re trying to accomplish. Some examples of my pictures include candles, a bank vault and the Eiffel Tower.

3. Get a smallish corkboard and push pins. Pick a font if you want to print words. I also used good quality heavy paper for my pictures and scrapbooking scissors to cut out my pictures so they had pretty edges.

4. Arrange. This is an awesome meditative stage where you get to play god of your own life and arrange all the pictures in a way that makes sense to you. I grouped my pictures according to each word.

5. Using yarn or string, carefully weave the thread between your pushpins. Magically speaking, it’s useful, as weaving the yarn through the push pins and connecting them together can be a magical act that’s as simple or elaborate as you’d like to make it. Spinning has long since been thought to be a magical act in many cultures. Grandmother Spider does it, The Fates do it and now you can weave together your goals for yourself. You should also think carefully about which pin to connect to which pin. For me, it was even more magical because I got to use the (pink) yarn that I had handspun myself for this.

6. Place the board in the right position. If you’re constantly glancing at it for a quick second at a time, it gives your subconscious food for thought. Mine is in my office, just out of direct eyesight but I can see it just out of the corner of my eye. When I get bored working, I tend to look around a lot so that adds to the occasionally seeing it but not seeing it too often aspect.



Footnotes:
*Sweat Lodge Deaths Investigated as Homocides http://articles.cnn.com/2009-10-15/us/arizona.sweat.lodge_1_james-arthur-ray-sweat-lodge-spiritual-warrior?_s=PM:USIn

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Neo-Paganism: What is it?

Neo-Paganism: What is it?

Author: Crick

Neo-Paganism. What is it?

There is an old adage that no one is an island unto himself or herself. Which I believe is a prelude to the adage that misery loves company.

As a witch I walk this world as one who truly feels alone. Am I an island? Absolutely not, just a tired old soul who sees the world as it truly is.

I see the same level of hypocrisy within the pagan community as I see in the organized religions perhaps because so many who call themselves pagan today were members of those organized religions yesterday. Or perhaps it’s just because people in general tend to be apathetic when it comes to any real effort to grow spiritually.

I see the same insecurities in folks regardless of their chosen beliefs. By insecurities I refer to the way that folks claim to be individuals and yet they live and die each day by what others are doing and/or say. Such folks spend more of their time making judgments about others then they do asking how they can better themselves spiritually.

And so in general, we as a species continue to mouth the words and yet do just the opposite.
There are those who claim to be pagan and yet spend most of their time increasing the artificial lifestyle they have created for themselves. They do this knowing full well that such an artificial lifestyle comes at the expense of Mother Gaia. Raping and pillaging Mother Gaia is something that the human species is very adept at. If only so much time and effort were directed at improving the condition of our world. But then to do that we as a species would have to stop being so self centered and selfish and actually live up to the values that we claim to engage.
And so exactly what defines Neo-Paganism in today’s world?

Is it simply a way of being different in ones mind and yet the same in ones actions? Much like the teenager of every single generation who seeks to establish an individual identity even though in all reality they are following the same trail already unfolded before them.

Is Neo-Paganism, which in all reality is a revival of that which existed openly before the advent of organized religion, a true attempt to break away from the established mode of society as it presents itself today?

Do those who call themselves pagan in today’s world have the desire and discipline to break away from the established mindset?

After all, such folks come from a society where no one is to blame, unless it is the other guy who is at fault. They come from a world where the ego seems to reign supreme over human humility. Even though such displays of egotism is simply an acknowledgement of ones personal insecurities.

In some parts of the pagan community, paganism is used to control the hearts and minds of others in much the same way that organized religions attempt to do so. There are certain pagan groups who seek to set themselves as above others who reside under the same pagan umbrella. Is such personal control over others and elitism the definition of Neo-Paganism?

Do folks in today’s mystical society have any established concept of what it is that they believe in as pagans?

Judging from all of the maneuvering to be seen as the “master” by so many who really have no clue, and judging from all of the infighting amongst various pagan individuals and groups, one has to wonder if there is any coherent concept that one could apply to the description; Neo-Pagan.

Such a general concept should apply not only in description but in action as well. Granted there are “individuals” who walk the walk, but these folks are often set upon by those who claim to follow the same tenets as they apply to the general parameters of paganism. And so the hypocrisy continues unabated, for these folks are within the minority of a minority belief system.

And so one has to wonder if Neo-Paganism is truly an effort to establish a nature based belief system which is empowered by a people who actually put forth effort to acquire a higher sense of self. Or is it just a continuation of the same lack of principles and personal discipline that defines modern society, albeit under a different title.

I personally believe that the jury is still out on this last musing. In my personal opinion, if one is to follow the path of paganism in whatever form, then one needs to develop a sense of unbiased honesty. For in my mind, true paganism begins with one’s own spirit. There are no masters in this weary world of ours. We are all simply students of life, each seeking the lessons that befit them. Perhaps once we realize this we can begin the real work of identifying our own faults and worry less about the faults of others. Only then will we be able to separate ourselves from the status quo of today’s world and perhaps then we can add a real meaning to the definition of Neo-Paganism.

Are you one of those who believe that Neo-Paganism is all about Light and Love? Are you being realistic to yourself? For in all reality our pagan ancestors were quite adept at mayhem and war. One has to realize that there has to be dark in order for there to be light. This is polarity in its truest form. And even the various pantheons around the world contain those who were of an unsavory nature. It is how we balance these two aspects that define our lives regardless of which path we choose to follow. But one without the other is simply an empty facade.

In closing, how many hours this past week did you sit in front of a TV or a computer? How many hours this past week did you walk amongst the trees and listen to the birds sing or gaze up at the moon at night with unadulterated love? It is by these simple actions that we as “individuals” contribute to the definition of Neo-Paganism.

Are you content with your contribution?

Blessings

Crick

Categories: Daily Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Affirmation for May 23rd

 I believe in my own power to save me from pain.
~from Manu

Categories: Daily Posts | Leave a comment

Feng Shui Tip of the Day for May 23rd

Feng Shui Tip of the Day

Monday, May 23, 2011

To discourage people from barging into your work space, place a small mat or rug on the threshold of your cubicle.

Categories: Daily Posts | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,135 other followers