Posts Tagged With: Spiritual Growth

The Path of Wisdom

The Path of Wisdom

Author:   Crick   

As I walk along an unexplored trail through the forest, I take notice that there are no obstructions in my way. There are no brambles waiting to snag me with their thorns. There are no fallen trees to stumble over. There is no wayward stream forcing me to forage across. There is only the solitude of the woods and the associated sounds of woodland life.

Above me in the branches of an old Elm tree are a couple of birds that are singing a morning duet. It is a song about joy and the happiness of life. Could this be a romantic tryst? Up ahead of me a King snake goes slithering quietly across the path. He emanates an indifference to his surroundings as he ponders solitary thoughts. Alas, a creature of stealth and mystery that one is.

In the creek that runs parallel to the path, are shiny black salamanders, gleefully enjoying the gentle currents of cool water. It glides over them, while they undulate like strands of dark grass beneath the surface of the shallow stream. Their thoughts may be minute but their existence is in tune with their surroundings.

As I pass an old Oak tree, I can see the tracks of a raccoon leading to a well-used hole situated in the base of the tree. Without a doubt, this young denizen is nestled deep within the trunk of this abiding oak, lost in a deep slumber. For a moment I wonder what it may be that she is dreaming of.

Suddenly I hear the splash of a small fish as it propels itself out of its natural environment into a momentary altered state of experience. Much like a human who has astral projected for the first time. I wonder if there is a change in its sense of reality as it briefly goes from one element to another. Or is it a fleeting experience that passes by un-noticed?

These thoughts lead me to think of my spiritual path which unlike this forest trail is fraught with obstacles placed by fellow humans. For unlike the many denizens of this quiet forest, humans do not adapt well to the environment in which they live. For as long as I can remember I have walked my personal path as an individual and yet many have been the obstacles placed before me by others who have stumbled across my path. The light glows before them but their eyes remain tightly closed.

Spiritual growth is the unique experience of each who walks such a trail and yet many are those who would insist otherwise. The mysteries of life are an experience that is related to the lessons each individual person requires to move forth. And yet there are many who will posture and claim to know the answers that are hidden from them within the mists. Fear of such unknowns spawns a false sense of arrogance and thus limits the ability to truly experience and thus find the understanding that is there for us all.

A spiritual path requires the freedom of mind and heart and the willpower and desire to achieve it. Empty words cast forth from a mass of humanity, is akin to a lonely sigh on a secluded mountaintop. No one truly hears it for there is none about to listen. For those who speak little but listen much, indeed, they will hear the whisper of wisdom as it goes quietly by like a soft springtime breeze. And yet there are many who would gladly lend their voices to the maddening din of transparent experiences, egos rising like a flock of geese, thus offering naught but another obstacle to one’s spiritual path.

We are each as different as the blades of grass that make up a vast field. Perhaps the sage approach is to listen as we each have a unique tale to tell. Though we may each walk a spiritual path our footfalls will not be exactly identical, each step along the path an experience within itself. But rather then live in synchronicity with each other, each of us striving to attain an awareness and understanding of our purpose in life, we would rather place obstacles one before the other.

And woe, are our bitter fruits, given to us by those who would choose to take shortcuts along the path of life. Such folks as these are the loudest of all who seek to place obstacles before others. And little do they care to be listening as the lessons of life present themselves to each of us whom walk this path. For such folks are spiritually apathetic and as such they continually seek the shortest route.

But as I walk along this unexplored path through the forest, I realize the parallels inherent between this woodland trail and my spiritual path. Knowing not where the shortcuts may lead, would I not prefer to follow the trail in its entirety and thus have the opportunity to absorb the experience of life as a whole?

Would I personally want to chance on missing out on important lessons that may advance my understanding of life and thus my spiritual growth by taking shortcuts? And would I choose to hide my lack of such knowledge gained through such an experience by being loud and boastful and eager to set obstacles before others who may be walking beside me? Or would I choose to be silent and let the sounds of this forest and in essence of life, make their presence known to me?

Alas, if I am to be true to the tenets of being an individual who is walking the path of life, then I can only answer for myself. I cannot pretend to be able to answer for others, for though their life experiences may be similar, they are still unique to that traveler. And the only way for me to learn from the experiences of others is to be silent and willing to listen.

Balancing one’s ego is a difficult task, but then the ego is attached to the earthbound soul and once freed from the path of humanity, it is left behind as the spirit sheds such obstacles and flies freely back home. And so as we travel our spiritual path, each individual must decide which is more important, the short-lived desires of the mundane human existence or the long-term goal of spiritual growth.

And so as I walk the last remaining yards of this forest path free of any obstacles, I know that within my heart I will continue to bypass and overcome the obstacles that my fellow humans will surely present me on the path of humanity.

Will you?

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for Jan. 20th is Wisdom

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Wisdom

A very, very few of us are fortunate to be born wise. For most of us our Wisdom evolves, grows as we move through life gathering experience and knowledge. Wisdom denotes your thoughts and feelings derived from the melding of your life experiences with all that you have learned. Our Wisdom can get us through the difficult  moments in our lives as well as provide the mental and spiritual tools we need to succeed.

As a daily card, Wisdom indicates a time when you should rely heavily on past experiences and knowledge attained to make important decisions in your life. This is a time where reflection and planning should guide your actions. To act rashly, on impulse at this time may well cost you in the future. Go slow, think things out, weigh all of your options carefully and then proceed.

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for Nov. 15th is The Journey

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Journey

While physical travel may be involved, The Journey represents an individual’s spiritual trek from one point to another. The Journey is represented by a sailboat gliding across an open sea. Like those traversing the ocean The Journey requires that we move off the firm ground of our present state and strike out for a new destination. The trip itself may well be full of adventure and challenges. There may be times when we lose sight of where we came from and possibly not even know where we’re going. Storms may crop up without warning. Diversions may slow our progress to our destination down. While it’s good to have an idea of where you want to go, it’s equally important to remember that often it’s the getting there and not the destination that is the most rewarding. To take such a spiritual voyage takes courage and conviction that direction in which your are moving is right for you.

As a daily card, The Journey indicates a time in which you are likely to derive insight and spiritual growth by moving off your everyday path. Although the time span is short, this movement may have a profound and enduring effect on your life. Indeed you may be on the verge of experiencing a revelation, or enjoying a period of self actualization. Be open to new paths and you may well end up with some very positive changes in your life.

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The Daily OM for October 24th – Emerging from the Grey

Emerging from the Grey

Ways We Numb Ourselves

by Madisyn Taylor

Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace.

We are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions. Many of us, however, are uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We may shy away from delight and despair and deny life’s colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It’s easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them, so we may momentarily turn to pleasures such as alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it’s normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but there can also be no joy or healing.

The activities that numb you may seem harmless or pleasurable, but using them to numb yourself diminishes the quality of your life. Numbing yourself so that you don’t have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life’s rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask yourself why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.

With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you’ll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You’ll discover a deeper you—a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace.

The Daily OM

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The Daily OM for Oct. 21st – Sustenance for the Soul

Sustenance for the Soul

Taking time for yourself

by Madisyn Taylor

Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish.

Modern life compels us to rush. Because we feel pressured to make the most of our time each day, the activities that sustain us, rejuvenate us, and help us evolve are often the first to be sacrificed when we are in a hurry or faced with a new obligation. It is importa

nt we remember that there is more to life than achieving success, making money, and even caring for others. Your spiritual needs should occupy an important spot on your list of priorities. Each task you undertake and each relationship you nurture draws from the wellspring of your spiritual vitality. Taking the time to engage in spiritually fulfilling activities replenishes that well and readies you to face another day. Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish and everything to do with your well-being. Regularly taking the time to focus on your soul’s needs ensures that you are able to nurture yourself, spend time with your thoughts, experience tranquility, and expand your spiritual boundaries.

It is easy to avoid using our free moments for spiritual enrichment. There is always something seemingly more pressing that needs to be done. Many people feel guilty when they use their free time to engage in pursuits where they are focusing on themselves because they feel as if they are neglecting their family or their work. To make time for yourself, it may be necessary to say no to people’s requests or refuse to take on extra responsibilities. Scheduling fifteen or thirty minutes of time each day for your spiritual needs can make you feel tranquil, give you more energy and allows you to feel more in touch with the universe. Writing in a journal, meditating, studying the words of wise women and men, and engaging in other spiritual practices can help you make the most of this time.

Making time to nurture your spirit may require that you sacrifice other, less vital activities. The more time you commit to soul-nurturing activities, the happier and more relaxed you will become. The time you devote to enriching your spirit will rejuvenate you and help you create a more restful life.

The Daily OM

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for October 15th is The Lotus

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Lotus

The Lotus represents the spiritual self in its purest form. It reminds us that for most achieving a well developed spirituality is a journey which can be long and arduous. The spirit of the Lotus is not of our secular world, and the presence of The Lotus suggests that what is needed can be found by exploring your relationship with the Universe not as a physical entity pursuing material gain, but as a divine soul in need of celestial sustenance.

As a daily card, The Lotus is indicative of a period in which your energies should be focused on your spiritual self. This doesn’t mean you should forsake your possessions or place in our secular world. It simply implies you might be well served by reaffirming or further developing your spiritual self at this time.

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Who Is Your Guide Quiz?

Who Is Your Guide? Quiz

Each one of us has powerful inner guides to help us find our way along the  path of our life-journey. These guides bring gifts for us and offer very  specific help. When we connect with the guide we need in the moment, our journey  becomes smoother, we feel supported, and we can make swift soul-progress.

Is your present guide a powerful Shaman King, spirit-centered Priestess  Queen, questing Knight, or youthful Child? Find out with this quiz:

Make note of the numbers of the following statements that are TRUE  for you.

1. I need to make wise plans for my future and set better boundaries and  limits.

2. I would like to feel more safe and secure.

3. I feel out of connection and as if I’m living superficially–but I know  there’s more to my life than this.

4. I am hungry for nurturing, passion, deep feeling, and/or inspiration.

5. I feel as if I have lost something important that would improve the  quality of my life.

6. I need to feel more galvanized to go after what I need.

7. I need more playtime in my life: everything feels like a chore.

8. Old, painful memories and feelings have started to surface in my life and  I am sick of repeating my old patterns.

9. I feel completely unsure of where I am at the moment, sort of lost in the  fog–as if I know nothing at all.

If you answered TRUE to 1 or 2, the Shaman King is the guide who will help  you now. Look to this grounded, wise, powerful part of your Self to help you  feel stable, safe, and able to plan and protect yourself. Collect images of  mature and stable power to keep with you. Give your Shaman King a name. Imagine  being filled with his strength and certainty.

If you answered TRUE to 3 or 4, the Priestess Queen is your guide. This part  of you can help you to feel more deeply connected to All That Is, deeply  nourished and alive to the wonder of living. Find pictures of this archetypal  helper to keep where you will see them and feel supported. Give your Priestess  Queen a name. Visualize her walking beside you, sharing her qualities of  spirit-filled grace and dignity with you.

If you answered TRUE to 5 or 6, the Knight can help you to find what you  seek. This questing part of the Self is a great helper when you know there’s  something you need. Visualize a bold companion who knows every step of the  journey that leads to what you most deeply desire. Give this companion a name.  Imagine him or her beside you as you venture into unfamiliar territory.

If you answered TRUE to 7 or 8, the Child will help you to reconnect with  your playful inner child-self, who knew exactly what she loved to do. She can  show you what you need to do in order to heal from old wounding and create  healthier new patterns for yourself. Collect old photos of yourself and imagine  asking that child-self for her input.

If you answered TRUE to 9, your guide is the Mystery. Difficult though it may  be, you need to trust that you are not meant to know–AND that it is alright not  to know right now. Eventually, things will become clearer. Right now, see if you  can enjoy being in the place of not-knowing.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/who-is-your-guide-quiz.html#ixzz2cRUovvFA

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Spirituality and Magic – Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Spirituality and Magic – Don’t Sell Yourself Short

 Author: Friendly Spirit
I’ve read some informative and highly interesting articles on Witchvox recently and wanted to share a perspective that perhaps may help some in their dealings with their own spirituality. This includes rituals where many find sources of enlightenment but also includes just about anything else, eclectic or traditional, in the general areas of spirituality, magic, ethics, etc. My comments do not center on promoting my own beliefs. Rather I’d like to comment on keeping a bigger picture in mind no matter which path or paths you choose.
The bigger picture is, what are you really and how does what you are relate to which practices you use or follow in seeking spiritual enlightenment? I’d also like to suggest a few simple things to keep in mind when choosing a path or religion.
Which Path/Religion to Choose?
I don’t think that anyone but you can say which exact path or religion is right for you. And I’m not sure most can tell if they don’t try things. I guess the “right” one is the one that works for you. Try things and see what helps you improve your spiritual life. Does it help you to be a happier person or live a better life or feel more spiritual or does it not?
It’s a simple question really but then things should be simple.
But how do you know what to try in order to see what works best for you? Well, I guess many will try different paths before they find out but I can offer here some very simple guidelines in helping eliminate any while conducting your search. These guidelines work very well for me but, if they are something that does not work for you, then don’t use them:

  1. Does the path/religion preach that you are small or insignificant and it offers you a way to improve? I say reject that  path/religion because it is based on a lie. The lie being that you are small and insignificant. You are not. You are an immortal, spiritual  being.
  2. Does the path/religion depend substantially on faith, fear of gods or such things as damnation, etc? I say reject that  path/religion as it is based on a lie. Your goal in spiritual enlightenment should not be based on fear, mysteries that you cannot comprehend,  etc.
  3. Does the path/religion suggest not harming yourself and others and does it have at least some system of ethics against  doing the above? I say look into it. Ethics are logic, really. They are things that just make sense if you truly want to expand spiritually or in any other  way. It makes sense because you the immortal being are good and you will hinder your own growth when doing harm.
  4. Does the path/religion hold firm beliefs that are contrary to your own, even though your own harms no one including  yourself? I don’t suggest getting into it unless you yourself are trying to change your own beliefs, as you feel they are incomplete or somehow  wrong.
  5. Does the path/religion involve the use of drugs, hypnotic suggestions, invalidation or evaluation of you by others? I say  reject it, as real spiritual enlightenment depends on you either regaining or otherwise obtaining a personal spiritual improvement which, in the end, depends  on you and not the invalidation and/or evaluation of others.
  6. Does the path/religion promote kindness and things loving? If so, this is a good point as such things as kindness and love  are completely natural to a spiritual being. Those times you could not be more mean or tough in a situation were not really signs of weakness. But the times  you could not be more kind were signs of weakness as, again, kindness and love are natural in a spiritual being who, when itself, is truly good.

So What is The Bigger Picture to Keep In Mind in Any Path or Practice?
Keep in mind what you yourself really are verses what is being dealt with in your practice. I feel this is most important in order to obtain the maximum benefit of any path towards spiritual enlightenment.
What you are is very different than what you are being. For example, in this life you may have a female body, be a mother, a wife, an office worker and a Witch. Those are all identities you have assumed as you progressed in life while your body developed from the stage of its birth to where it is now.
Can a good spiritual path help you to be a better mother, Witch, neighbor, wife, etc? Sure it can. It can assist you in being anything you want. But, here again we are addressing what you are being in this lifetime, not what you are.
So, you’re not that body you have, right? I mean, for example, if you lost one of your hands in a car accident does that change that loving thing that is “you?” That thing that loves your children, arts or music? Is your body that thing that soars to wonderful music or what you consider beautiful in nature or otherwise? No, it is not.
I was in a Pagan chat room recently and in it this wonderful lady talked about children and other things, which was a great chat. She was obviously a kind and caring person but she stated that we all love our children because of a genetic imprint that makes us feel nurturing, defending, and so on. I loved her but I wanted to scream out, “YOU ARE MUCH MORE THAN THAT!” Yes, human bodies and animal bodies do have a “life force” and a genetic line that does provide for caring, nurturing, etc. (or else there would be no real continuation of a species), and when you take on a body you tend to be affected by it and the genetic line BUT you are so much more than that.
It was not appropriate to argue in that room nor did I feel a need to argue, but I really wanted her to realize she was SO much more than some sort of “genetic imprint” connected with a body…
Yet science often stops at just that point in trying to measure what you are. The physical universe can make a great “playground” in which to play and bodies can be a “calling card” spiritual beings use to identify and play with each other.
So if you are not your body, are you your mind? Again, you are selling yourself short if you agree that you are your mind. Here is a simple exercise you can do as you read this right now that might help you conclude you are not your mind:
Read these next two paragraphs and then close your eyes and think about it
Pick a pet or other animal you have with you or had with you once. Was it in your house? What color was it? Size? How did it look? When you think of a time with it, do you see it in your living room, outdoors or what? What was it doing then?
You can do this exercise with a child, a friend, whatever. Close you eyes now and do it and, when you are done, open your eyes and continue reading this.
Okay, so I am going to assume you just did the exercise. Who was looking at the picture(s) of that pet, animal, child, friend or whatever after you closed your eyes? It was not your body as your eyes were closed. Was it your mind “looking” at that? No, in fact it was YOU looking at it. And what you were looking at was a part of your mind (the pictures and things you saw).
My point is, you are not your mind. You are an immortal spirit that currently has a mind and a body.
Your body is located in time and in space (for example, here on Earth) and the pictures that make up your mind are locatable as well. But you yourself are not so located except by your own considerations and your agreement with the considerations of others.
While this is a subject that would take up a great deal more writing space than is available here, my whole point is if you want to get maximum spiritual enlightenment from any path you choose, please keep in mind what YOU are and never get confused with what you are not (a body, mind, tools of magic, etc.).
For example, the idea of using crystals, stones and other physical things to produce energy or other effects could really work but not for the reason many think. Matter (physical things) are just solidified energy and if someone figured out (by accident or otherwise) how to “tap it, ” lots could be produced. Some physical things like crystals perhaps store more energy than physical things like granite. I believe that different paths and people of older traditions have discovered a lot of that.
But what’s most important is that it’s NOT something bigger than you (the spirit). You’re tapping into something that can be amazing in terms of what is generally agreed to be possible BUT it is comparatively nothing to what YOU (the spirit) could produce. If it helps you to tap the energy and magic that is “sleeping” inside of you then by all means do it.
If people could practice such things with the bigger picture of what they really are in mind, to the point where they at least don’t worship such things as the tools of magic, then it could really be something special.
Just because we spiritual beings may use bodies and other physical things in order to communicate with each other, does not mean that we must be limited to that or to what is commonly agreed to be the limitations of bodies in order to perceive or communicate.
You know, you have many agreements in place automatically all the time with regard to your body and mind. Such agreements as human eyes see only certain hues, human ears hear only certain sounds, words are important to communication, you must breath air, and so on. If a spiritual being had the body of a cat for a lifetime, it likely would go into agreement with what a cat sees, hears, senses and the like. Same with any other body type. But they are only considerations you have agreed with and you yourself as a spiritual being are not restricted to such limits. If actions taken in rituals or otherwise in different paths help you to simply “disagree” on all those limits to perception, then they are probably good actions if they lead to your own spiritual enlightenment. And they are probably good things to do until some day you will be able to bring all the magic and abilities out of yourself without need of any tools.
Spiritual enlightenment is a matter of rehabilitating the spirit’s (your) abilities so that YOU may make a better life for yourself and others. Don’t be impatient and expect yourself to go from where you are to perfection overnight. If in any way you find yourself improving any aspects of your life (you feel better, you’re no longer depressed, some things come easier now, you feel more love for others, etc.) then by all means be happy as your effort on your path is working. Keep it up. It gets better and better as you grow spiritually and realize more of your own potential.
Just keep in mind that it is you the spiritual being that is awakening and that all the magic there is, is in you now. And if some path helps you find it within yourself for the improvement of you and others then it is a wonderful thing indeed.
You don’t HAVE a spirit. You ARE the spirit. Remember that and I believe you will get much more out of your practice.
Final Comment:
I have made no attempt here to comment on a god or goddess or anything else besides you. I believe that subject is very highly personal and that the more you expand spiritually, the more you understand such things. I only want to point out that you are something very, very special and much more than most people or even many religions let you believe.
Personally I have a very deep affinity for the Goddess. Every time I even reflect on that subject I feel wonderful. I do not categorize her in ways that many others have done. I personally don’t feel her under the many names people have given her in the past. Nor in temples dedicated to her in the various forms that might have been real to people at the time they gave her a name or a temple. Rather, personal to me, I see her everywhere, especially at times where I feel more enlightened. I reflect on her every time I see the love of a mother for her child, when I see anything nurturing, when I so much as see a spore fly in the wind and settle on the ground, knowing some day it may grow to be a plant.
I feel all that at times when I see kindness, love, the good in others. I see her when I see what in many lifetimes I’ve perceived as spirituality, courage, caring, wisdom, magic, strength and all things good. I think of all these things when I think of true “femininity.”
I don’t believe you have to roam anywhere to see her and the best evidence of her is within you now.

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