“THINK on THESE THINGS”

“THINK on THESE THINGS”
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

So much has been written about happiness – the way to it, the reasons for it, the symbols of it – and still people search for that very special something that will assure happiness forever after. Of all the recipes for lasting happiness, we finally have to mix our own. But the one thing everyone has in common is the need for a little bit more. We have this and this, for which we are very thankful, but always the need is extended to that little bit more.

Happiness is like any other part of our lives, we must use wisdom in seeking it. We too often rush headlong into something that seems to be instant happiness, all the time telling ourselves we can right the wrong at a later time. But happiness doesn’t remain happiness for very long when it has such strings attached.

In order to be rightly happy we concentrate on getting, but it is giving that we find most necessary to mix into every recipe. To some happiness will always be elusive, never quite settling anywhere, never quite revealing itself, for they have yet to learn that happiness has the wings of angels, the breath of God, and the love of man, all hidden within Him.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 27

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – September 27

“No one likes to be criticized, but criticism can be something like the desert wind that, in whipping the tender stalks, forces them to strike their roots down deeper for security.”

–Polingaysi Qoyawayma, HOPI

You move toward and become that which you think about. Creating a vision is what guides our lives. If we get off track with our vision, then we experience conflict. Conflict is nature’s way of telling us we are not in harmony. Criticism can be a way for one human being to help another. Often our Elders will give us criticism. This feedback is intended to be helpful. Criticism from our Elders helps us grow strong.

Great Spirit, today, if I need it, please provide me positive criticism.

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September 27 – Daily Feast

September 27 – Daily Feast

 

Walk with me to the edge of the woods and hear the birds. They haven’t all gone south, some stay the winter. The cardinal will later perch in the evergreens and make snow seem whiter – but now he sings in the bottom land that is protected from the wind. See the last of summer’s flowers, the sunflower that is a great deal bigger than the palm of your hand. And watch the lone jet draw lines from one horizon almost to the other before the wind scatters his lines. Even when the season seems to be taking away all that the land has produced – remember the potential is still there, and so is yours.

~ We gave you our hearts. You now have them. ~

SATANK – KIOWA

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Lady A’s Spell of the Day for Sept. 27th: NEW JOB CANDLE BURNING MAGICK

NEW JOB CANDLE BURNING MAGICK

 


Items You Will Need:

 

Goddess Candle

God Candle

Money Incense

Green Candle

 

Good Luck Oil

 Black Candle

Banishing Oil

Petitioner Candle

The Spell:

Build your altar. Place the Petitioner candle beneath the Goddess candle and place the green and black candles beneath the God candle.

Light the incense. Anoint the black candle with banishing oil and say,
” Empower this candle to absorb all negative forces acting upon me.As this candle burns, let it’s powers engulf all obstacles in my way, leaving my path clear for success.”
Light the black candle. Anoint green candle with good luck oil and say,
“I empower this candle to bring me good luck, prosperity and success in acquiring a new and better job. As this candle burns, so might it be a beacon for good fortune and prosperity.”

 Light the green candle. You need not anoint the petitioner candle, but focus strongly on this person (if it is yourself, see yourself in your new job) as you light it, saying,
“As this candle represents {name}, let it be a beacon for positive forces and energies. As this candle burns bright, so does the light of {names}’s heart burn bright with ambition
and desire for a new, better job.”
Concentrate firmly, directing your power to the petitioner candle, which is receiving the energy from the green candle that is burning. After ten minutes or so of concentration,
extinguish the candles in the reverse order in which you lit them. Each day, repeat the spell, moving the green candle two inches closer to the petitioner.

Your spell is complete when the two candles touch.

Crystal of the Day for Sept. 27 is Apache Gold

Apache Gold

Chemical Composition: FeS2
Apache Gold may be used to stimulate digestion and to work up an appetite. Next to that this stone makes sure that stomach and intestines are in good working order and also that nutrients, vitamins and minerals are assimilated by the body. Apache Gold may also be used to dispel diseases of the ear. In magic Apache Gold is used in ceremonial magic and shamanistic travel. In meditation Apache Gold is a grounding stone. Apache Gold is also called Pyrite Agate.

Herb of the Day for Sept. 27 is Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Botanical: Gaultheria procumbens (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ericaceae

—Synonyms—Teaberry. Boxberry. Mountain Tea. Checkerberry. Thé du Canada. Aromatic Wintergreen. Partridge Berry. Deerberry.
—Part Used—Leaves.
—Habitat—Northern United States from Georgia to Newfoundland; Canada.


—Description—A small indigenous shrubby, creeping, evergreen plant, growing about 5 to 6 inches high under trees and shrubs, particularly under evergreens such as Kalmias and Rhododendrons. It is found in large patches on sandy and barren plains, also on mountainous tracts. The stiff branches bear at their summit tufts of leaves which are petiolate, oval, shiny, coriaceous, the upper side bright green, paler underneath. The drooping white flowers are produced singly from the base of the leaves in June and July, followed by fleshy, bright red berries (with a sweetish taste and peculiar flavour), formed by the enlargement of the calyx. The leaveswere formerly official in the United States Pharmacopoeia, but now only the oil obtained from them is official, though in some parts the whole plant is used. The odour is peculiar and aromatic, and the taste of the whole plant astringent, the leaves being particularly so.

—Constituents—The volatile oil obtained by distillation and to which all the medicinal qualities are due, contains 99 per cent Methyl Salicylate: other properties are 0.3 of a hydrocarbon, Gaultherilene, and an aldehyde or ketone, a secondary alcohol and an ester. To the alcohol and ester are due the characteristic odour of the oil. The oil does not occur crudely in the plant, but as a nonodorous glucoside, and before distillation, the leaves have to be steeped for twelve to twenty-four hours for the oil to develop by fermentation – a reaction between water and a neutral principle: Gaultherin.

—Medicinal Action and Uses—Tonic, stimulant, astringent, aromatic. Useful as a diuretic and emmenagogue and for chronic mucous discharges. Is said to be a good galactogogue. The oil of Gaultheria is its most important product. It has all the properties of the salicylates and therefore is most beneficial in acute rheumatism, but must be given internally in capsules, owing to its pungency, death from inflammation of the stomach having been known to result from frequent and large doses of it. It is readily absorbed by the skin, but is liable to give rise to an eruption, so it is advisable to use for external application the synthetic oil of Wintergreen, Methyl Salicylate, or oil from the bark of Betula lenta, which is almost identical with oil of Gaultheria. In this form, it is a very valuable external application for rheumatic affections in all chronic forms of joint and muscular troubles, lumbago, sciatica, etc. The leaves have found use as a substitute for tea and as a flavouring for genuine tea. The berries form a winter food for animals, partridges, deer, etc. They have been used, steeped in brandy, to produce a bitter tonic taken in small quantities. The oil is a flavouring agent for tooth powders, liquid dentifrices, pastes, etc., especially if combined with menthol and eucalyptus.

—Dosage—Capsules of oil of Gaultheris, 10 minims in each, 1, three times daily.

—Other Species—
Gaultheria hispidula, or Cancer Wintergreen, supposed to remove the cancerous taint from the system. Is also used for scrofula and prolapsus of the womb.

G. Shallonis the Sallol of North-west America, whose edible fruit deserves to be more widely known and cultivated.

Pyrola rotundifolia, known as False Wintergreen or British Wintergreen, was formerly considered a vulnerary.

With Chimophila umbellata, the Bitter Wintergreen, Rheumatism Weed or Pipsissewa, C. maculata, the Spotted Wintergreen was used internally by North American Indians for rheumatism and scrofula. For its diuretic action it is occasionally prescribed, in fluid extract, for cystitis and considered useful in disordered digestion.

Trientalis Europaea, the Chickweed Wintergreen, a British plant, was formerly esteemed in ointment as a wound salve, and an infusion taken internally for blood poisoning or eczema. The root is emetic.

Saint of the Day for Sept. 27th is St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia

Augustiniannun, also called Margarita. She was born in Roccaporena, near Spoleto, Italy, in 1381, and expressed from an early age the desire to become a nun. Her elderly parents insisted that she be married at the age of twelve to a man described in accounts of her life as cruel and harsh. She spent eighteen extremely unhappy years, had two sons, and was finally widowed when her husband was killed in a brawl. Both sons also died, and Rita, still anxious to become a nun, tried unsuccessfully to enter the Augustinians in their convent at Cascia. She was refused because she was a widow and because of the requirement that all sisters should be virgins. Finally, in 1413, the order gave her entry, and she earned fame for her austerity, devotion to prayer, and charity.

In the midst of chronic illnesses, she received visions and wounds on her forehead which resembled the crown of thorns. She died on May 22 at Cascia, and many miracles were reported instantly. Canonized in 1900, she is honored in Spain as La Santa de los Impossibles and elsewhere as a patron saint of hopeless causes.

Deity of the Day for Sept. 27th is THE DAGDA

The Dagda

The Dagda (Proto-Celtic: *Dagodeiwos, Old Irish: Dag Dia, Modern Irish: Daghdha) is an important god of Irish mythology. The Dagda is a father-figure (he is also known as Eochaid(h) Ollathair, or “All-father”) and a protector of the tribe. In some texts his father is Elatha, in others his mother is Ethniu. Other texts say that his mother is Danu. The Dagda’s siblings include the gods Ogma and Lir.

The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann after his predecessor Nuada was injured in battle. The Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians, who inhabited Ireland previously, prior to the coming of the Milesians. His lover was Boann and his daughter was Breg. Prior to the battle with the Fomorians, he coupled with the goddess of war, the Mórrígan, on Samhain in exchange for a plan of battle.

Despite his great power and prestige, the Dagda is sometimes depicted as oafish and crude, even comical, wearing a short, rough tunic that barely covers his rump, dragging his great penis on the ground.

The Dagda had an affair with Bóand, wife of Elcmar. In order to hide their affair, Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months; therefore their son, Óengus, was conceived, gestated and born in one day. He, along with Bóand, helped Óengus search for his love.

Whilst Aengus was away the Dagda shared out his land among his children, but Aengus returned to discover that nothing had been saved for him. Under the guidance of Lugh Aengus later tricked his father out of his home at the Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange). Aengus was instructed to ask his father if he could live in the Brú for láa ogus oidhche “(a) day and (a) night”, which in Irish is ambiguous, and could refer to either “a day and a night”, or “day and night”, which means for all time, and so Aengus took possession of the Brú permanently. In “The Wooing of Étaín”, on the other hand, Aengus uses the same ploy to trick Elcmar out of Brú na Bóinne, with the Dagda’s connivance.

The Dagda was also the father of Bodb Dearg, Cermait, Midir, Aine, and Brigit. He was the brother or father of Oghma, who is probably related to the Gaulish god Ogmios; Ogmios, depicted as an old man with a club, is one of the closest Gaulish parallels to the Dagda. Another Gaulish god who may be related to the Dagda is Sucellus, the striker, depicted with a hammer and cup.

He is credited with a seventy or eighty-year reign (depending on source) over the Tuatha Dé Danann, before dying at the Brú na Bóinne, finally succumbing to a wound inflicted by Cethlenn during the second battle of Magh Tuiredh.

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

My Pentacle Is Bigger Than Yours!

Author: Devon, The Maid Of Epona

I’ve been a practicing solitary witch for a little more than ten years. I have just recently decided to wear my pentacle openly.

Does that mean I’m out of the broom closet? Heavens no! I like to describe myself as having one foot in and the other out of the proverbial broom closet. I believe this to be the smart way to be, living where I live. Hey! Pennsylvania isn’t California!

I’m not a militant pagan although I do have a serious warrior’s streak. But being a warrior also means picking and choosing your fights. I work in the small animal business in one job and in the horse business in the other.

When working in the horse business, keeping your mouth shut about what faith you are, especially if it is an alternative faith that is greatly misunderstood by others, is the wiser way to go.

If I were to be open to everyone about my faith, it would have a detrimental effect on my career. People in the horse business would immediately assume that I was one of those “tree hugging, wackos” and I suddenly wouldn’t get hired or be able to buy or sell horses because gossip runs rampant in stables and sometimes is taken to be truer than the Bible! I also deal with many of the Amish community and I hide my pentacle out of deference to their beliefs.

So I pick and choose when and where to display my symbol of faith openly. I have also made an agreement with myself that, when I wear my pentacle openly, and someone questions my faith, then I must answer truthfully and intelligently.

I tell them that my pentacle stands for the four elements and the element of spirit. I tell them that it is a symbol of wholeness and balance, not of negativity and hatred. And its meaning cannot be twisted by reversing its direction, at least not in my eyes!

The first day I wore my pentacle, I walked about with a heightened sense of awareness, waiting for everybody to judge me. I guess I was expecting the whole world to gasp, point their fingers and declare me a witch in that tone of voice that meant nothing good. The actual reaction of people was much more subdued and confused.

Instead, the only question I had to deal with was, “I didn’t know you’re Jewish!”

Do you know how hard it is not to roll your eyes at someone and exclaim, “What? Can’t you count”?

I took a real risk this past Christmas. My husband had given me two gifts I picked out from our favorite knife catalog; an unusual knife and a pentacle decorated with red gems that I thought was pretty. So what it wasn’t silver!

Well pictures in catalogs can be deceiving!

I thought the pentacle to be modestly sized and the knife to be around the size of a Bowie knife. Well the truth was things were reversed.

The knife was the size of a pocketknife. The pentacle was big. REALLY BIG!

Try a pentacle with some serious attitude and lots of bling to the red gems on it. There was no mistaking it when I chose to wear out. It just reeled you in. Ooooh boy!

Then I decided to wear it out and obvious to a family function. Hey! It was a Christmas gift from my hubby that I still really liked in spite of the size. I wanted to show off my sparkly!

Now, not all of my family knows my religious denomination but most are aware. My parents are a blessing from the Goddess! They approve as long as I don’t go around trying to convert everybody. My brother and sister know and are open minded enough to not make a big deal about such things. My cousins even know and are cool with it.

My uncle? Well, lets just say his religious views scare me! He attends an ultra conservative church that has several ministers, several auditorium sized rooms for worship and boasts an attendance of several thousand people.

I was told to never tell my uncle what religion I was.

He was coming to the party as well.

I probably should NOT have worn the pentacle. But I did.

I also chose to disguise it with my new fashion statement, which was to wear cowboy clothes. You see, in the western horse show world, they have this design that is called a Texas star. It’s like a sheriff’s badge. Hmmm. Guess what? That’s a pentacle!

So I immediately went out and got my western show attire decorated in “Texas Stars”. I’ve got them on my hat and even my horse’s saddle and bridle sport little “pentacles”. No, I won’t wear ten million pentacles on myself but I’ll completely festoon my poor, long suffering horse with them!

Anyway, I showed up at the party with my hunka, big, new pentacle and my “Texas Star” hat. And my uncle showed up later. He looked directly at my new pentacle and then me and my newly dyed, black hair.

And then he asked if I’d had any of the steamed shrimp he brought.

I felt like I had had the rug pulled out from under me. I tried not to laugh my relief.

The pentacle was a big hit though.

Two people asked about it and my religious persuasion. I found out that they also were open-minded and we had a lovely evening chatting about esoteric things. Those conversations would have probably never happened if I hadn’t been daring enough to chance wearing it out.

But the real point of the matter is this: A pentacle, or a cross, or a Jewish star, or whatever symbol you choose to wear is nothing but a piece of jewelry unless the belief is behind it to make it more.

Those Wiccans that chose not to wear a pentacle or any other symbol of faith, does that make them any less of a Wiccan? No.

Sometimes I wear my pentacle and sometimes I wear my favorite jade horse pendant. They are both symbols of faith in my opinion and are as important to me as the cross is to someone else.

But I am not a Wiccan because I choose to wear a pentacle. I am Wiccan because that is what language my heart sings.

And no one can change what you feel in your heart. You can only choose whether or not to speak it.

Do you wear your pentacle on your skin or in your heart?

Devon, the Maid of Epona

Blessed Be

Blessed Be

Author: Ariel

Probably the most common phrase that we use in the Craft is “Blessed Be.” This phrase is possibly the major common denominator in all of the different Craft traditions.

It is something that is a unifying principle within Witchcraft and although it is the most often articulated saying we have, it seems to me to be the least understood one I know of.

When we say “Blessed Be, ” all too often it is simply new jargon, or a substitute for “Hi, ” “How are you?” or “Good Bye.” Yet, these two words comprise one of the most powerful and sophisticated sentences in the English language.

“Blessed Be” is an ultimate Zen phrase, “Blessed be that which is”; “All that is, is blessed”. We are recognizing a truth that all is inherently blessed. We are reminded that in the present moment, everything is perfect. There is nothing that needs to be changed, and nothing that needs to be improved.

In this moment, everything is sacred. Being at one with the sacred now is a blessed state indeed, and saying “blessed be” from that point of view is a potent statement of recognition of the perfection of this moment. There is no future to obsess about, and no past to regret.

There is only this moment; it goes on forever, and all is truly blessed.

Another important facet of this gem of a saying is that it is a constant reminder of our function in the Craft: We are here to bless.

Once we develop a significant relationship with Spirit, in whatever way it presents itself to us, we eventually come to recognize that what the world needs from us is our blessing. The only significant contribution we have to offer the world is blessing.

In any situation, with any person or group of people, we are here to say (and mean) “Blessed Be, ” either silently or aloud.

When we take an honest look at any problem in the world, it becomes apparent that the problem stems from a lack of blessing, and the only cure is to bless.

I know for myself, I can honestly say that anytime I have been less than loving or compassionate in my life, it was in response to a great deal of pain I was experiencing at the time.

What I didn’t need in order to turn my life around was more judgment, anger and criticism. What I needed was love and blessing.

I needed someone to say “Blessed Be” and mean it.

We are children of divinity–children of the Mother and Father, of Spirit, of God, or whatever you choose to call it. As divine children, we are here as expressions of our parents. We are here as lights in a dark world. Our function is to recognize the light and divinity in everyone else.

“Blessed Be” can also be another way of saying “The divine love in me recognizes the divine love in you”. We are here as healers of this world. Whether we take this job seriously or not will determine what direction our world takes.

We have the power to transform the world in every moment just by seeing any situation from the point of view that we are divine beings here to bring blessing.

It isn’t a question of whether or not we have the power to bless, it is a question of whether we choose to use it or not.

If we say “Blessed Be” consistently and mean it, this planet can heal very quickly.

One thing that I have learned in my life is that there is enough pain in this world. We all know what pain is. We have been to hell already; we don’t need to indulge in pain any longer in order to know we want something else.

I can honestly look at my life and say that what I really need is not more misery. I see that what many of us are doing is indulge in misery out of habit, or addiction. It takes a great deal of determination to understand that our addictions are not serving us any longer and then decide that we are going to relinquish our investment in them.

Unfortunately, like any addiction, we often wait until we hit rock bottom before we realize that we have a problem. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to sobriety is for the alcoholic to recognize that they are powerless over alcohol, and that there is a higher power who can restore them to sanity.

This is what blessing is all about. Whatever our wound, the healing comes about from blessing.

If we have a strained relationship with another person, our greatest work to bring us happiness in that relationship is the honest blessing of that person.

If we have a problem with our job, the healing comes about from blessing the job, and all the people in it on every level.

The act of blessing that I describe is not an abdication of power; it is a reclaiming of power.

Some might worry that we need to protect and need to defend ourselves, and that if we are blessing all the time, it will just leave us vulnerable to attack. This worry comes from the erroneous point of view that Spirit is ineffectual. We would do well to remember that the power of love is fierce.

Spirit is intelligent. It knows what to do. When we bless the world, we are in a position of ultimate power. Just as when our physical immune system is healthy, it takes care of all the viral and bacterial activity without us needing to know what is happening.

The Craft of blessing results in building a spiritual immune system that is so strong that nothing can touch us. It is not necessary for us to carry out punishment (curses) on others in order to be safe and protected. In fact, cursing is a domain in which we leave ourselves the most open and vulnerable to attack.

Cursing is very subtle stuff. Curses aren’t necessarily consciously cast. Anytime we desire the pain and destruction of another person for any reason, we are withholding our blessing, and are by default cursing.

Resentments and grudges do come up however, and I am not suggesting that we are supposed to just suppress our feelings and pretend like we are not feeling rage when we are feeling it.

What I am suggesting however is that when we are feeling anything other than love for people that we recognize it and bring it to Spirit to heal.

This is the ultimate magic: transformation.

When we are feeling anger toward another person, we can say “Goddess, I am really pissed of at so-and-so, and want to crush their big fat head right now. Please heal this situation. Please bring me back in harmony with your compassion. Show me what I need to do in this situation, let me know what to say in order that this situation be healed.”

We aren’t denying our rage, but we are embracing our ability to move beyond it. A curse is when the rage and desire to destroy are kept within us to fester.

Curses are psychic malignancies.

Blessing is a silent art. Just because we bless someone doesn’t mean we have to have lunch with him or her.

Blessing is not about forcing our personal wills on any situation. It is simply recognizing the people and situation before us as divine, and seeing the love at the heart of whatever is going on regardless of the drama that is being played out.

We simply access the Spirit within us and ask for its will to be done in our presence. We withdraw our preconceived notions of what is supposed to happen, or what we think we want to have happen, and allow ourselves to invoke the presence of pure love.

When we are facing a problem, and we think we have tried everything, it is very important that we ask ourselves whether or not we have given our blessing. Often this is something that we have overlooked.

I can’t count the number of times I have been in the throes of misery and the one thing I have NOT tried is asking Spirit directly to take the problem and heal it for me. Once we renounce our addiction in the pain, we are transformed.

We have shifted our plane of experience from one of cursing, to one of blessing.

There is no more simple, or more powerful magical charm in the universe than “Blessed Be.”

Simple Thoughts on Churches and Personal Spirituality

Simple Thoughts on Churches and Personal Spirituality

Author: Disciple of Oghma

I left the Christian faith this last year. After 25 years, I had became everything one seeks to become in a Christian (I still had my issues, but who doesn’t?). But I met a balanced person who gave a thought provoking life testimony. I nearly flipped when I found out this person was a dark pagan. I started rethinking my whole world.

Now I am on a new personal path with a much greater respect for others.

Once I had left Christianity, I started seeing clearly a lot of the odd misconceptions that it promotes… such as the twisted definition of ‘love’ among other things.

If a Christian’s relationship with his or her God could be put in the context of human marriage terms, then the Christian should get a restraining order on God, change his or her name and leave. A funny thought unless you find truth in it.

Anyway… after a year of thought, I have realigned my perspective of the Path.

When I first left the Christian religion, I realized all the hate and rage and condemnation that I was throwing around in the name of ‘love’. In an attempt to decide if that was ‘just me’ or the teachings of the church, I have studied the faith from a different angle.

At first, I drew the conclusion it was a parasitic organism that has been using its popularity and influence to corrupt the nations.
But an idea struck me and I no longer think Christianity is to blame for the problems with people.

I think the Christian church is a symptom of the underlying weaknesses of people not the illness itself. It’s all about our desire to have a set of black-and-white fatalistic standards to use as a system of measurement to understand our world.

So we create a system of “Absolute Truths”.

Then we create a control-based system to ‘run it’ so that we can take advantage of our own desire not to take responsibility for ourselves and to enrich ourselves at the cost of others all… the while feeling pride at our ‘humble spirituality’.

So then what do we do?

We build a large comfortable plush little shrine to an image of human perfection and greatness. The average church, not including all the zoning permits, costs an average of $3-$5 million to build. (I Googled the “cost of church building” and plucked a few sums. It isn’t an absolute number but it gives a good idea to the cost.)

Then we throw our individual responsibilities at it, pray, and ask it to do everything for us. Our only real ‘job’, it would seem, is to use it as an excuse to hate, kill, steal, and harm any whom disagree with us and our god.

Jehovah is the icon of what the average selfish lazy person would be if he or she was a god:

“Let there be “less of you more of me in your life.”

“Give me the upper 10% of your prosperity.”

“I love you if you sing my praises and enslave yourself to me.”

“I’ll help if it suits me and if I don’t, it will work to your benefit”.

(These are beliefs that were generally promoted to me in my churches. I have been through four branches of Protestantism and studied several of the “spinoff faiths of Judaism.” So if you find this inaccurate, I only mean to explain the background from which I draw my current musings).

It is possible for any faith to become in every way as ‘dark’ as we have often accused the Judeo-Christian belief and all its related spin-offs (Mormon, Judaism, Catholic, Jehovah witness, Satanism, protestant, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, etc.) as being.

It seems the only way to avoid this path is to cut the problem off at the roots.

Personal Growth and Responsibility

It seems when we face ourselves, we very often discover that all the roots of our problems stem from either bad reactions to outside stimuli or a passive/active bad decision on our part.

This includes a new growing trend I am seeing in “disorganized religion” as well: The pop up Wicca/Pagan Sunday schools and the adoption of opposing religious practices like Wiccan “CHRISTenings”.

There is a great freedom in disorganized paths but people who seeks any sort of power should exercise a measure of discretion and be assured that they are grounded. Power without responsibility is dangerous, no matter what badge one wears.

Also we must accept ourselves entirely. We must accept all of our darkness as well as all of our light. To do otherwise is to dwarf one’s growth as well as grant power to the darkness, thus leaving it unchecked.

All of the dark aspects of ourselves, in proper controlled amounts, are actually healthy things. Greed, sloth, envy, pride, etc. Without any of these things, we would never strive, never seek to achieve or grow. They are integral parts of ourselves.

It is as unbalanced to applaud tendencies of light while divorcing ones of darkness just as it is to believe only in a female or only in a male creator.

We don’t have to be destructive either. To find balance and growth, one should simply accept both the inner darkness and inner light to be whole. If you are not whole, how can you grow and stand?

When we recognize our weakness, we master it and find balance. Otherwise it doesn’t matter what the name of your faith is or what you call yourself. You will simply continue to commit acts of cruelty, ignorance, sloth, malice, strife, theft, condemnation, and pride.

If we all would seize the opportunity to take responsibility, accept ourselves, correct our own errors, love and respect everyone – including respecting their rights to their own paths and their own views — and stop trying to make a black-and-white standard in this colorful world, perhaps we can be a better people and encourage growth in a better world.

Disciple_of_oghma

 

Can a Christian Practice Magick?

Can a Christian Practice Magick?

Author: Belenus

For many years, I struggled with a personal conflict. You see, my Christian upbringing didn’t seem to fit in with what I call my “mystic callings, ” that is, my other path of mystery and magick. I kept my magikal pursuits separate from my religious activities. I began my magickal journey more than twenty years ago by studying astrology, because the notion of predicting the future and getting a better handle on my own personality and relationships with others appealed to me. I must admit that my romantic urges were a major driving force in all this investigation and revelation, as were my materialistic ambitions.

So, although I didn’t keep my Astrological studies from my close friends and family, I didn’t advertise it to those in my religious community. When I did divulge to a very select few, it was with a real sense of insecurity and fear that I was being negatively judged. When my Mystic interests branched out into the areas of Magick and Paganism, I did indeed keep it almost exclusively to myself, as I felt that this was even more off the beaten path and frowned upon by society in general and particularly so by my Christian family and community.

Now I am both a mage and a Christian, and I do not feel particularly conflicted about it. Just a fleeting guilt feeling now and again, usually brought about by some external reminder that there are Christians who do indeed condemn such activities. That even sounds funny in the same sentence, you know, Christian and condemning? And although I don’t go shouting my Magickal activities off roof tops, I am comfortable within myself that I am on the right path for me, and have integrated Magick into the other areas of my life, including my religion. I feel actually compelled to follow this duel path and even though I see some inconsistencies, I am confident that this is my calling for now.

I go to Catholic Mass and see many of its rituals and methods to be similar to Magickal rituals and methods. For example, the burning of incense in the Mass parallels Magickal rituals that use incense as a way to carry intentions to higher forces, be they Gods or Goddesses or what ever. The Catholic Mass is full of symbolism and what some would call Magic. Symbols are also a large component in Wicca, Paganism and are used in working Magick. Chanting and singing are other examples of techniques used in both Christian and Pagan rituals and rites.

One major difference I see between Christian prayers and working Magick is that with prayer, a person asks for something and then passively waits and hopes that it is answered in a way that satisfies a need. This is quite different from the Magician who inserts her or his own power and will into the work. Rather than hoping for something to change, the Magician “wills” the change to come about.

I feel that as a Christian Mystic, I have an advantage in many ways. I get to combine both prayer and magick in my rituals. Intuition dictates that with this combination, I should have even better results. I am not too concerned with this for now though. I am just answering the two callings I have in a way that helps me thrive spiritually. I use rituals that incorporate both some standard Wiccan magickal tools, such as a wand and an athame, but also include prayer and a chalice filled with blessed, Holy water from my local parish.

I like to think that I am the kind of person who accepts people from all walks of life and faith, or even no faith. This is not always easy in a world that has people of different faiths and paths, drawing lines and grabbing at power and control, but I think I do it as well as just about anybody. The key has been to nurture an open mind and often examine myself and my motives. Over time, this has lead to a level of self-awareness that allows me to be true to self, and at the same time, let others be as they are.

I remember a small event that took place several years ago, which let me know I was making progress. I realized as I watched a political debate on the television that I wasn’t getting angry with the commentator who was espousing what I felt was the wrong side of the argument. I told my wife that in the past, I would have turned off the T.V. in anger and disgust, unable to handle emotionally my own internal conflict that watching the show produced.

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t too long ago that the very sight of a Pentagram made me cringe. In case you don’t know, the sight of a Pentagram can send shivers down the spine of many Christians who don’t know better; that it is not a symbol of evil, but of things that are life affirming and good. I look back on this now, and chuckle at my own built in sense of prejudice, especially now, knowing that much of what the Christians practice, borrow from Pagan traditions.

I personally believe that most religions have it wrong in the sense that they tend to foster a kind of ‘us and them’ attitude among their members. I believe, as did Gandhi and many others, that the idea of being separate from each other and even with the natural world is an illusion. We are all one and need to start acting that way. I look at it such that each being is like an individual cell that is part of a greater living being, and when one of us is deprived, sick or in trouble, we are all effected.

The Catholic Church systematically adopted many of the old ways and gave them a new twist, in order to bring more souls into the Christian fold. I think that after some analysis, one will find more similarities between Paganism and Christianity than differences.

I’ve recently begun investigating Hoodoo traditions and have learned how they are interrelated with the Catholic Church. I am excited to follow that path farther to see where it takes me. It is interesting to me that each Catholic Saint is attributed with special powers to help those who petition them with prayer requests. How is this different from one Wiccan praying to Odin and another praying to Diana?

I subscribe to the tenet that all Gods are one God, and that Love is the highest law. But, while I am here on this good earth, I expect that struggle and conflict, whether from external sources, or from internal issues, will always be a part of life for me, just less so as the years go by.

Thoughts of the Day for Sept. 27th – Thinks that make you go Huh?

  • Incontinence Hotline…Can you hold, please?
  • Oh, no! Not ANOTHER learning experience!
  • The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.
  • Advice is free: The right answer will cost plenty.
  • Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.
  • My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.
Trish