Posts Tagged With: Belief

Meditation for Daily Living: Releasing Despair

Meditation for Daily Living: Releasing Despair

At times it is important to do a daily meditation by focusing on things we don’t necessarily like to dwell on. Despair in metaphysics has a much less  forgiving definition than in most other contexts. Despair is the assumption that life has nothing good to offer. In metaphysics, this is a crime. Since the  basic principle is that we attract circumstances in life based upon the tendency of our thoughts, despair will attract extremely negative outcomes. Despair  is considered a sin in some belief systems and from this perspective, it’s easy to understand why.

Despair is an emotional condition in which we choose to believe that there is something within us that is less than worthy of a desirable life. This is a false assumption, and is frequently a “comfort zone” of belief in which nothing else may be expected of us. I know that this may sound harsh, but close examination will prove this out. It is easier to give up than it is to persevere. This is what the emotion of despair is designed to do, to give us an “out” from difficult circumstances.

But how comfortable is despair really? When we are in the throes of it, we need expect nothing of ourselves, yet we continue to attract negativity. That is work. The cascade effect of a continued negative perspective on life, batters us and creates increasing tension. This isn’t comfortable. It becomes necessary at some point to pick ourselves up and carry on. What can be difficult is overcoming the inertia we have built up from allowing the motionlessness of despair to overcome our personal energy.

By meditating you will find yourself spotting the core belief involved which can make this process much easier. Despair comes from the belief that we are unworthy of our good in some way and that good must be withheld from us. Simply denying this belief can make a massive difference. When we see or feel this concept arising, that we cannot receive our good, just say, “That isn’t true. It’s a lie”. These simple statements to oneself and the refusal to be argued out of them by habitual mental patterns gives the process of overcoming inertia a jump-start. The reason is that despair is a created condition, not a natural one. It is a way of explaining the challenges that we experience in life, and is simply not accurate. It makes as much sense as the parent who answers a child with “Because”. As an answer, it doesn’t have much merit. Refuse to accept such simplistic answers and let these negative explanations fall away.

Take the time for a daily meditation to help release any conscious or unconscious dispair. You daily life might get a whole lot lighter!

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Daily Motivator for Jan. 16th – Whatever you think

Whatever you think

If you think the whole world is against you, it might as well be true. If you  think there’s a way to move successfully forward, you will find that way.

What you think about life plays a major role in the way your life unfolds.  Whatever you think is going to happen will inform and influence each action you  take, so that much of what you think does indeed happen.

If you think the task in front of you will be a tedious, boring chore, that’s  what it will be. If you think the job will give you a unique opportunity to  express yourself and create new value, it certainly will.

No matter what the reality of your life may be, you can choose exactly what  to think about it. The more things you think about in a positive light, the more  positive outcomes you will create.

If you generate thoughts of worry, criticism and complaint, you will end up  creating even more things to worry, criticize and complain about. If you focus  your thoughts on how to allow, encourage and enrich, you’ll find much more  richness appearing in your life.

The thoughts you choose to think and hold are the same thoughts that  influence every moment of your life. Choose wisely, and live magnificently.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 1

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 1

“…because if you believe in something, and believe in it long enough, it will come into being.”

–Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

We are created by the Great One to accomplish His will through our mental pictures or visions. Our thoughts are three dimensional: words, pictures and feelings. We create the vision by thinking the words and we create feeling for the vision by feeling enthusiasm, desire, commitment and other strong beliefs. Once we create the vision, we move toward and become like that which we think about. All visions are tested by our self talk; for example, “This isn’t going to happen, where is the money coming from anyway?” When this happens, we need to let go of the test and focus on belief in the vision. Why? Because God said if we believe it long enough, He will guarantee it!!!

Great One, let my beliefs be strong today. Help me to have faith in my visions.

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Daily OM for December 3rd – Keeping Our Minds Supple

Keeping Our Minds Supple
Questioning Everything

by Madisyn Taylor

Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A lot of people feel threatened if they feel they are being asked to question their cherished beliefs or their perception of reality. Yet questioning is what keeps our minds supple and strong. Simply settling on one way of seeing things and refusing to be open to other possibilities makes the mind rigid and generally creates a restrictive and uncomfortable atmosphere. We all know someone who refuses to budge on one or more issues, and we may have our own sacred cows that could use a little prodding. Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A willingness to question everything, even things we are sure we are right about, can shake us out of complacency and reinvigorate our minds, opening us up to understanding people and perspectives that were alien to us before. This alone is good reason to remain inquisitive, no matter how much experience we have or how old we get. In the Zen tradition, this willingness to question is known as beginner’s mind, and it has a way of generating possibilities we couldn’t have seen from the point of view of knowing something with certainty. The willingness to question everything doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t believe in anything at all, and it doesn’t mean we have to question every single thing in the world every minute of the day. It just means that we are humble enough to acknowledge how little we actually know about the mysterious universe we call home.

Nearly every revolutionary change in the history of human progress came about because someone questioned some time-honored belief or tradition and in doing so revealed a new truth, a new way of doing things, or a new standard for ethical and moral behavior. Just so, a commitment to staying open and inquisitive in our own individual lives can lead us to new personal revolutions and truths, truths that we will hopefully, for the sake of our growth, remain open to questioning.

The Daily OM

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The Reincarnation Theory Of Otherkin

The Reincarnation Theory Of Otherkin

Author:   Lupa   

Otherkin are a pretty controversial group of people, even within the relatively tolerant realms of NeoPaganism. While we live within the same world as everyone else, working and/or going to school, building and maintaining a variety of relationships, paying the bills, and otherwise leading completely mundane existences, we have other aspects to our personal realities that aren’t quite so everyday. We know/believe that there’s something not quite human about us and we can spend this entire lifetime figuring out just who we’ve been and who we are now.

Some identify as nonhuman, relatively humanoid species such as elves and faeries; others believe there is something of the dragon, gryphon or sea serpent about them; and still others identify strongly with animals native to this plane, well beyond the totemic bond. Yes, it can be a bit of a brain-breaker to try to resolve the conflict between what’s commonly divided into “fantasy” and “reality.” That’s why most `kin spend time trying to figure out just why it is we feel that we’re different in a such a….er…different manner.

One of the most common explanations for being Otherkin is reincarnation. This necessitates a belief in a soul, of course, and the belief that the soul is not species-specific. While some people say that once a(n) (insert species here), always a(n) (insert species here), others maintain that the soul is itself neutral and can be incarnated into any body possible.

Neutral as the soul may be, it still tends to carry material with it from life to life, depending on how strongly the experiences of each life imprinted on it. Some souls are better at keeping their egos intact through each death-birth process than others; this is perhaps why some people have thorough recollections of their previous existences while others have just a few tidbits here and there. It just so happens that for a few people the memories that imprint strongly don’t come from this particular Earth-reality.

It’s debatable whether these lives occurred on alternate Earths or physically different planets entirely. Some Otherkin seem to have a really good idea of where they come from, even being able to pinpoint galaxies or individual stars that correlate to our Sol. I’ve also heard people claim the idea that our world and numerous others inhabit the same basic place, but are layered according to energy resonance (think physical vs. astral plane).

It’d be easy to accuse Otherkin of simply being entirely too imaginative. After all, aren’t elves and such meant to be in the realms of fantasy fiction or, at best, the spirit plane? This is where belief comes into play. Even the most solid cases of reincarnation can’t be thoroughly proven, and sometimes we do have to go on faith to an extent. Consistency seems to be the key to a more likely story. Repeated past life regressions that continually bring up the same people, places, themes and identities are a lot easier to argue for than a single wishful thought that the bearer is afraid to test for fear of being wrong. Some Otherkin, particularly among elves, report shared memories with others, including incidents where the two (or more) parties had not previously communicated with each other on the subject.

The truly skeptical can argue against this all day long—what if one or more people were just saying “Yeah, I remember that,” to go along with the crowd? What if it’s a group delusion? What if? What if?

It’s important to stringently question ourselves and not blindly accept whatever comes our way that looks pretty. Yet if we chase away belief entirely we shut ourselves off from a lot of potentially positive developments in our lives. After all, belief is the basis of spirituality and magic, and Gods know that enough Pagans, Otherkin and otherwise, desire or even need these things in our lives. So while we’ll acknowledge the words of the skeptics and keep close watch on ourselves to make sure we don’t convince ourselves that pixie ‘kin really can fly, we will allow ourselves some belief to explore our possible pasts.

As to why we ended up here, there are a number of possibilities:

Because we needed to learn something about being human. Many reincarnationists believe that we enter into the lives that we do in order to learn a specific lesson. There are quite possibly lessons that only the unique experience of being human can teach. Perhaps some `kin are here to better understand humanity so that they can therefore adopt certain human behaviors. Maybe Earth today has a balance of creation and destruction, Nature and technology, that is unique in the Multiverse. Perhaps some of us came here from someplace better as punishment/rehabilitation for some wrongdoing; or maybe from somewhere worse so we can get a breather (after all, this place certainly isn’t all bad!) Just as a soul may be born as a cougar to learn to be more aggressive or a way to learn patience, the experience of being human might be how some souls learn what to do—or not do—with modern technology, or our particular blend of sex and love, or whatever else it is that makes us human.

Because this world needs our help. Let’s face it—to a lot of folk in the magical and Otherkin subcultures, this place is in trouble. The environment is constantly under siege, millions of humans live in poverty-stricken, war-torn areas, disease is rampant and some days it just seems like the whole biosystem is about to collapse under the pressure. There are Otherkin who feel they came here with the purpose of alleviating some of the pain. There’s the theory that other sentient places in the Multiverse are well aware of us and want to try to help us, if for no other reason than to keep us from destroying everything around us. So souls come from these places in order to help out what is seen as a state of emergency. Take the concept of thinking globally, and expand it across the Multiverse. Predictably many of the Otherkin under this heading dedicate themselves to social, political, spiritual and related causes meant to make a positive impact.

Because we walked in. Walk-ins are a unique group among Otherkin; they’re not really so much a category as another explanation. A walk-in is a soul that enters a body well after birth. In some cases this happens at a point when the original soul abandons it (often at a time of great physical/emotional/etc. trauma, though this is not always the case). Other times the walk-in soul shares the body with the original soul. The souls involved may all have had nothing but human lives, but they show up in the `kin community commonly because it’s a safe haven for them to be open about who and what they are. Walk-ins may come in with a purpose, or simply with a curious desire to have a body again but not wanting or being able to enter a newborn body.

Oops. Species dysphoria does occasionally occur among Otherkin. This means that there are those who fully believe they were born into the completely wrong body. I’ve seen this most commonly among therianthropes—those who identify as nonhuman, Earth-native animals—but it happens in other groups as well. Stories vary as to why the soul ended up in the wrong body, ranging from “Well, I thought I was headed into a fox kit, but I guess I missed” to “I’m here against my will because of something I did in another life” (see the first theory listed above).

I dunno. You tell me. There are plenty of Otherkin who have absolutely no idea how they got here. While some do search for answers, many just shrug, chalk it up to unknown forces and go on with their lives.

Again, it’s entirely possible that we’re all just over-imaginative or even delusional; but then again, the same could arguably be said for anyone who claims to believe in reincarnation, spirits or magic. No doubt there are probably plenty who claim the Otherkin label who probably do need to do a lot more seeking before they come to this conclusion; after all, when you don’t feel you fit into this world, escapism can become an extreme behavior in a tiny fraction of individuals. Needless to say, there are thousands of people in this world who are Otherkin, who identify as such and who live perfectly functional, happy lives with no ill effects from their identities. The theory of reincarnation offers many of us a way to explain this feeling of being Other, so we can find peace with ourselves in our entirety.

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Zealous or Thorough…What Kind of a Magickal Person Are You? (Part 1)

Zealous or Thorough…What Kind of a Magickal Person Are You? (Part 1)
image
Author: Kestryl Angell

When seeking our own personal balance, both as human beings and as practitioners of a variety of magickal paths, it is always wise to ask ourselves several questions about the nature of what we seek to become by their working. For instance, do we wish to be zealous? Passionate almost to the point of losing ourselves entirely in the belief or practice!

Or do we wish to be thorough? Paying all attention in the world to every minutest detail of a rite or practice and being completely bound by its structure, nearly without individual thought or expansion being allowed or accepted.

Do we wish to lean toward revelry or reverence? What are we truly seeking to accomplish by using magick for the task before us? Could the goal be accomplished another way that might not include magickal “pushes” from us or do we need to do the working to illustrate the act of creation for ourselves? Let’s look even a bit more closely at the first of those ever-telling questions above.

For the first, do we wish to be Zealous or Thorough?

We’ve all met our friendly neighborhood Zealot. He’s the one that bashes you over the head with his bible in trying to get you to “share the word of God” or “hear his Testimony!” She’s the one that shoves endless volumes of empirical evidence up your nose to the contrary of what you are trying to share with her in discussions of faith vs. science rather than seeing that, to those that look more closely, science is only the proving of magickal theories that have been called “magick” for so long due to our ignorance that is now being disproved to find so much of what is called “supernatural” is actually just a part of the “natural” we hadn’t seen before.

He is the one that believes only in numbers when it comes to business and not in expanding a “vision” of an overall company outlook. She is the one that staunchly stands on long-disproved “facts of life” as being “correct” because it is all she’s ever been taught and she’s afraid to see anything past her own truncated viewpoint.

He is the one that feverishly swears that “this new product will remove those unwanted pounds in DAYS instead of weeks, months or years, without the need for invasive surgical procedures!” when he knows its really just a vitamin supplement with trace minerals that often help relieve common ailments and inflammations with “miraculous” ease.

They are the Salesmen and women of Hype.

Regardless of whether it is on a magickal path or simply on a path of learning, whether it is about personal moral and ethical belief structures and practices or whether or not science supports or refutes the supernatural as truly “existing” within our sphere of understanding, you will know a zealot by the uncanny fire (see crazy swirls spinning madly in the glistening wideness of their eyes, revealing a depth of passion with little spin on the fullness of what reality might be) in their eyes and their unswerving devotion to their own viewpoint.

You may say to yourself, “but pagans are loving, wonderful, non-judgmental people that would NEVER do to them what others have done against their beliefs after suffering so much difficulty at the hands and beliefs of others!

Oh yes, boys and girls, there ARE most definitely pagan zealots-haven’t you had any visit your local gatherings lately? -Look for some of your wilder nudist types that insist that to wear robes in circle is “sacrilege” or those who staunchly feel “EVERY pagan should stand up in this modern day and age, regardless of personal risk to life, family structure, livelihood, etc. and speak up for the practice of their faith ’til someone acknowledges their RIGHT to practice it publicly without ridicule!”-There are other examples, and this is by no means a “slam” to those that choose to have those beliefs strongly for their personal practice. However, your right to do as you feel is correct is just as important as mine is to me.

Guess what? The time when all people simply have the smarts and compassion to just let one another BE what they are without judgment or ridicule will be a wonderful day-and those guilty of DEMANDING their RIGHT to be heard when they already HAVE these things not only by national law, but by Constitutional Right-in fact, they are exercising them in the very moment they are ranting about someone else’s repression of their beliefs or practices-they are just as guilty of judgment of another’s beliefs and their right to state them freely as those they are rally-crying against for supposedly repressing them.

The general idea of balance in the face of an overly zealous person, regardless of their personal belief structure or practice, is to not necessarily practice yourself what they believe or practice, but simply to ALLOW them to do so. You don’t have to agree. Tolerance is not about supporting some one else’s beliefs or practices by doing it ourselves. Tolerance is about allowing them the God/dess given right to do, be, feel, think and say what they feel is correct or incorrect about the running of the world around them-just as it is ours.

However, in an effort to study balanced practice, which is what we started out to do, we must also look to the other polarity of common practice. Those, that rather than choosing to be purely zealous about their practices, beliefs and such, choose to be thorough in how they study it and use it in daily life. These folk are often studious, sometimes to the point of being reclusive. They often have huge libraries that they have read repeatedly, usually cataloging in extreme detail all along the way so that all their references may be at a moment’s touch.

They are the ones that are drawn to proving what is and isn’t “historical fact” and what is simply the growing mythology of a collective set of belief structures caught under the mutual “umbrella” called “Paganism.” They are what in my old days in the Society for Creative Anachronism were called, the “period police.”

They are the ones that look for just the right number of folds in that Tudor crinoline collar and make certain that you hand pressed every single one of those 50, 000 petticoats before stepping into your period appropriate undergarments and all the other properly stitched and beaded layers that you wish to sit uncomfortably beautiful in for the next 3 ½ hours of court that await your already aching ears.

Now I do not wish to appear here to be saying that an attention to detail is not important. When studying the various paths of magick, I am the first to advocate those that choose to do so with the greatest of possible detail.

However, just as pure zealous response can lead to an opposite response to what we are seeking, so too does too studious an approach lose our purpose, at times, in the seeking to line up all the appropriate signs, sigils, times of day, week, month and year, the appropriate herbs, incense, oils, candles, sabbat oil, blessing oils, and more to the point where the original reason and the passion for it is lost in the expectation of perfection in the tools being used to accomplish the goal.

Magick should always, regardless of the tools available at the time, come from within the worker of it, for it will never come from the tools they use it if did not first come from them…nor will the magick return to them, but to the tools.

For some workings, having all portends correct and every type of power available aligned just so is not only appropriate, but completely necessary to the working’s success.

However, as with the difference between needing a picnic lunch and a full seven course dinner, there is a skill to learning what is what and what to use when…and when you’re just going for complete and total overkill in the details department. Keep in mind, you can ruin the best soup with just one too many spices. The same is true for magick.

Simple is good for many things. Use “complicated” when you must. Don’t use magick at all, if it can be accomplished in another way.

Now I can already hear those out there who are of paths that consider personal gain to be an “awesome and totally acceptable reason to use magick whenever possible!” starting to kvetch and gripe that they “don’t believe in the three fold law so it doesn’t effect them!” and I say if you haven’t seen karma as a Universal Rule on your own, you aren’t looking closely or clearly enough.

It doesn’t have to read in your mind or book of shadows as “the Three-fold Law” or the biblical ten-fold references. But the simple Universal Law of Averages and of “what goes around comes around” are concepts so obvious to enlightened human beings that if all you’re arguing over is the numbers or the particular path stated (i.e. you’re “not a WICCAN, I’M a (enter your chosen path emphatically here—and don’t forget the “!!!” at the end!!!)

In this case, you’re being too detail oriented and not seeing the Universal Brickbat for what it is. That is just one of the lovely ways the Gods find to tell us every time we stumble in our oh-so-human way…”Nope, you don’t have it yet, pup. Keep trying though, you’re very amusing!”

The Key we’re truly trying to discuss here, however, is the balance between being Zealous and being Thorough in our practice and, one hopes, in our overall response to the world at large. So, first and foremost remember, “moderation in all things… including moderation.”

This means pick the appropriate tools or lack thereof for the job. Don’t overdo. Give reverence to the past for bringing us to where we are now in terms of our knowledge and our powerbase in connecting with Deity. But do not be so bound to the past and its rules-which were made for another time, place and set of people’s lives than those we live now-that you cannot take what is beautiful, good and strong from the past and make it into something even deeper and more meaningful to you and to your future generations.

Part of the beauty of our faiths-in my humble opinion-is that they are, generally speaking, growing and living faiths. They are growing from a past that is deep and vast, regardless of whether we carry on family traditions that have been passed down through the eons…or whether our path just became a recognized belief structure 15, 20, 50 or 100 years ago.

Whether they have been passed from blue blood witch to blue blood witch for generations or whether it was practice by our grandfathers and grandmothers, whether it was brought to us by an anthropologist or was channeled in sweat lodge, whether it existed when cavemen painted their sacred images on the walls of their sacred places or whether it was woven together only within your own lifetime of experiences-no one has the right to tell you that your practice is any more or less “Valid” than any other.

That is not their call, nor is it their right.

That particular “mystery” is between you…and Deity.

It is not a viewpoint’s age that makes it valid. Nor is a viewpoint all there is to beliefs of faith. But in matters of faith and religion it is our belief that, for us, how we see things being organized and connected to is the way things are for us that matter.

We’ll look at the other questions in Part 2!

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Life as the Witch – Finding Your True Self


Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

Finding Your True Self

 

Perhaps you are one of those people who know exactly what they want. Or perhaps, you are one who is looking for that just perfect spell to get what you want.

If you are one of these individuals then it is great. But not  everyone is as fortunate as you. Not everyone knows their true heart and mind. Not everyone has the security and perhaps confidence of knowing what exactly are they suppose to be doing. They are unsure what Path will bring them success and happiness in their life or perhaps disaster.

There are several ways for an individual to discover their own Path in life. Most people know deep down what it is they should be doing, but they don’t have the confidence in themselves to take that leap. They just can’t do it, who knows why and I would imagine they don’t know either.

The main issue is to get past those “doubts” and get in touch with your inner self and your true desires.

There is a visualization that is wonderful to try and it will remove all the self doubt:

Imagine you are living in a world where you cannot fail. Success is all around you. In everything you do, you succeed. So imagine what you would be doing? Remember whatever you try, you will be a success. Where would you be living? Job? Lots of Money? Family, kids, dream house or single and having the time of your life? Try to imagine these things in as much detail as you can. Write them down. This is your Path, and these should be your goals.

With the help of magick, you can eliminate your doubts and fears. And start to pursue your true heart’s Path.

Let’s take into consideration, you might have had a problem with what you saw. Then, my friend, take this as a sign. A sign that your true Path is deeply buried in your subconscious mind and you are probably going to need help to get to it.

Don’t stop trying, never stop trying. As you grow in the Craft, you continuously learn each day. Perhaps today, you could obtain your true Path, give it a day or two. Then try again. As we grow we learn new things about ourselves. Also your confidence and self-doubt will start to diminish over time.

Stay on your journey, keep your Faith and the Goddess will reveal what you need to know when you are ready.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 24

Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 24

“…in Tunkashila, there is no time. Everything moves in the blink of an eye. It’s as fast as thought. So there is no speed there. There is no time in between.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

There is a relationship between thought and reality. Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it a result occurs immediately. However, to make something happen it may take a series of 1,000 thoughts before you can actually see it with your eyes. This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately. When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear. When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom. To the Creator, there is no time. For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith. Faith is belief without evidence.

Great Spirit, today, let me act on my faith.

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