Closing the Circle

Closing the Circle

There are two ways to close the circle:

Draw a banishing pentagram while standing in the center of the circle. Say: “Guardians of the East, South, West and North. Powers of Earth, Air, Fire and Water I thank you for joining in my circle and I ask your blessings are you depart. May peace be between us now and forever. Blessed Be!

Once the rite is ending, face North, hold the wand up and say: “Farewell, Spirit of the North. I give thanks for your presence here. Go in power and love.

Repeat this at each point. When done, take your athame and go to the North. Pierce the energy field of the circle and bring the power into the athame. When you return to the North, the circle is no more.

It is important to close the circle properly. The energy you raise during the ritual is trapped in the circle. When you release the circle, the energy is released into the universe. Never leave a circle unopened.

Circle Casting #2

Circle Casting #2 

Clean the space physically with your broom or even a vacuum. Purify by burning incense. As you purify, visualize all the negative and disturbing energies leaving your sacred space.

The altar should face the North (the direction of Earth, representing the Goddess) or East (the direction of the rising sun and represents the God). At each of the four Watchtowers, place some sort of mark or object. North is Earth (bowl of salt, a crystal, or bowl of soil). East is Air (incense, flowers or a feather). South is Fire (red or orange candle, obsidian stone). West is water (a bowl of water or shell).

Take your athame or wand to the North. Trace the outline of the circle. Visualize energy extending out to the circle boundary. Do this 3 times. Say as you trace:

“I cast this circle to protect me from outside influences. I charge this circle to draw in only loving and helping vibrations. I create sacred space.”

When you return to the North, face toward your circle’s barrier. Raise your athame or wand. Say:

“God, Goddess and Guardians of the North. Powers of the Earth. I call you to attend my circle.”

Move to the East. Raise your wand or athame. Say:

“God, Goddess, and Guardians of the East, I call you to attend my circle.”

Move to the South. Raise your wand or athame. Say:

“God, Goddess, and Guardians of the South. Power of fire, I call you to attend my circle.”

Move to the West. Raise your wand or athame and say:

“God, Goddess, and Guardians of the West. Powers of water, I call you to attend my circle.”

Return to the altar and proceed with ritual work.

Circle Casting #1

Circle Casting #1

Stand in front of your altar with your athame or wand raised above your head. Ground and center to relax and become focused. Saying:

“I conjure ye, circle of power, so that you can be for me a boundary between the worlds of men and the realm of the mighty spirits. A Meeting place of trust, love and joy, containing the power I raise herein.”

Now go to the north side of the circle. Walk around the boundary 3 times with your athame or wand. Visualize a white energy or light coming from the tip to energize the circle and form a sphere of protection around you.

Return to the altar. Light the incense. Let the smoke fill your circle and visualize it cleansing the atmosphere. Say:

“The circle is cast. I am between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time. Where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one.”

Go to the Eastern quarter of the circle. Raise your arms high in salute. Say:

“Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtower of the East. By the air that is Her breath, send forth your light. Be here now.”

Trace an invoking pentagram in the air (an invoking pentagram starts at the top point and moves to the bottom left point).

Now move to the South. Say:

“Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South. By the fire that is Her spirit, send forth your flame. Be here now.”

Trace an invoking pentagram in the air.

Now move to the West. Say:

“Hail to the guardians of the Watchtower of the West. By the waters of Her living womb, send forth your flow. Be here now.”

Trace an invoking pentagram in the air.

Now move to the North. Say:

“Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North. By the Earth that is Her body, send forth your strength. Be here now.”

Trace an invoking pentagram.

Return to the altar. Say:

“Welcome all kind and wonderful spirits. The circle is cast. Let the ritual begin!”

Now perform the ritual you came before the Gods to do. Here is one way to close the circle.
Take the athame or wand from the altar. Walk counterclockwise around near the boundary. Draw the circle’s energy into the tool. When all is absorbed, return to the altar, ring the bell once or tap the altar and say:

“Let the circle now be open. Thank you wonderful spirits. Mother and Father for attending my circle. May we all go in peace and love. Blessed Be!”


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

So you missed an opportunity! And they say that opportunity knocks only once – but, only if you believe it! Opportunity has been known to pound on the door and go unnoticed, and it has been known to whisper and be heard. It is all according to how hard we require opportunity to knock before we recognize it.

Our awareness of opportunity will reveal to us how many times it presents itself; so subtle, it may not be recognized by the casual eye. And usually it seems to be completely unprofitable to us personally. More often than not it is service to others without thought of return. It is humility, a willingness to accept the most humble beginnings. It is joy in finding communication with others and finding a kinship with them.

Have you heard of an opportunity fund? Some call it saving for a rainy day. Rainy days can be lovely, too. A rainy day can be an opportunity to get things done. But an opportunity can be any day, rain or shine.

Do you often have the opportunity to speak to your neighbor? It seems to happen too infrequently these days.

The most fun we can have comes when we’ve the opportunity to squelch an ugly rumor. You know, “curst be the tongue whence slanderous rumor, withering friendship’s faith….” Sometimes a little friendship does wither, but if it really amounts to anything it will survive.

What a splendid opportunity to sit quietly and mentally forgive with such depth and joy as to start life anew. There is no greater blessing, no greater opportunity fund.

American editor A.E. Dunning writes, “Great opportunity come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them, is simple fidelity to what each day brings.”

A missed opportunity may well be another opportunity to prepare for a bigger and better one!


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

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:
Click Here to Buy her books at

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 5

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 5

“I have always searched for my place and my people.”

–Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people. Remember, we can get this feeling of belonging when we realize we belong to the Great Spirit and that He really loves us a lot.

My Creator, today, I belong to You. Let me feel Your presence. Thank You.


March 5 – Daily Feast

March 5 – Daily Feast
It is sad when our children have not been able to reply on us to build their self-esteem. The Cherokees call it qa lv quo di. Even those of us that have come a long way have memories that need a loving touch. Parents teach only what they know to teach. But we are not set forever in one direction. We reach an age when we must teach ourselves. We learn to forgive and to understand that when we get to the fork in the road we will know the right way. Why go the wrong way because someone before us did? If our self-esteem has been damaged, feeding it more pity and more ill-treatment is not healing it. Criticism is passed to us the same way blue eyes and dark hair are inherited. But criticism can be changed and replaced with love. This is a decision that changes our lives – and those who follow as well.

~ Civilized people depend too much on man-made printed pages. I turn to the Great Spirit’s book which is the whole of his creation. ~


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


Daily Motivator for March 5th – Think a positive thought

Think a positive thought

Think a positive thought, and you’ll take a positive action. Take a positive action, and you’ll get a valuable result

Thoughts can often seem easy, light, and inconsequential. After all, on its own a mere thought doesn’t have the power to do anything.

However, you most certainly have the power to do many things. And your thoughts are what determine and direct the actions you take.

If you continually focus your thoughts on the things you don’t want, those things will surely find their way into your life. By the same measure, focusing your thoughts on your most positive possibilities enables you to make those possibilities real.

When life brings you disappointment after disappointment, it’s easy to make all your thoughts negative ones. Yet it is just as easy, and far more empowering, to respond with positive thinking.

If you had the power to change your life for the better, would you use that power? You do indeed have that power, and it is in the thoughts you choose to think.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for Monday, March 5th – Little Gurus

Little Gurus
Learning to Follow


When we approach children with the awareness that they can teach us, we automatically become more present ourselves.

As grown-ups, we often approach children with ideas about what we can teach them about this life to which they have so recently arrived. It’s true that we have important information to convey, but children are here to teach us just as much as we are here to teach them. They are so new to the world and far less burdened with preconceived notions about the people, situations, and objects they encounter. They do not avoid people on the basis of appearance, nor do they regard shoes as having only one function. They can be fascinated for half an hour with a pot and a lid, and they are utterly unself-conscious in their emotional expressions. They live their lives fully immersed in the present moment, seeing everything with the open-mindedness born of unknowing. This enables them to inhabit a state of spontaneity, curiosity, and pure excitement about the world that we, as adults, have a hard time accessing. Yet almost every spiritual path calls us to rediscover this way of seeing. In this sense, children are truly our gurus.

When we approach children with the awareness that they are our teachers, we automatically become more present ourselves. We have to be more present when we follow, looking and listening, responding to their lead. We don’t lapse so easily into the role of the director of activities, surrendering instead to having no agenda at all. As we allow our children to determine the flow of play, they pull us deeper into the mystery of the present moment. In this magical place, we become innocent again, not knowing what will happen next and remembering how to let go and flow.

Since we must also embody the role of loving guide to our children, they teach us how to transition gracefully from following to leading and back again. In doing so, we learn to dance with our children in the present moment, shifting and adjusting as we direct the flow from pretending to be kittens wearing shoes on our heads to making sure everyone is fed and bathed.

Kozy Kitten of the Day for March 5th

Cookie, the Cat of the Day
Name: Cookie
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Domestic shorthair
Home: Newnan, Georgia, USA
About three and a half years ago, a small, kinda rough-looking little Tuxedo cat appeared in my neighborhood- my roommate and I named her Sophie. Sophie was almost completely feral, wouldn’t let people get near her, but she was very appreciative of the food and fresh water we put out. And, in due course, around late March 2008, Sophie produced a litter of two tiny kittens – a larger black-and-white guy whom you see here, by the name of Cookie, and a much tinier little girl-cat sister, all black except for two

white spots on her chest, whom we named Mookie.

Cookie, even outside as a ‘feral’ kitten, was a sweetheart, you could tell. His Mom would be showing him how to stalk something and he’d lose it in mid-stalk, just get too carried away with being a kitten, and start rolling around on the lawn, while Sophie glared at him. And when we caught him and his little sister, they got nothing but sweeter. (Incidentally, Sophie and all her other kittens, as well as most of her boyfriends, were alleventually caught, fixed, vaccinated and found loving homes.)

Mookie has stayed a petite little girl-kitten, over the last three years- but Cookie grew! Cookie is now a very handsome eighteen-pounder of a tomcat, a big huge bundle of love- his mostly-symmetrical markings make him very handsome, and the crowning touch is the tiny black spot on his white nose and a tiny white firefly tip on his black tail. He’s still a totally friendly, affectionate guy, for being born “feral”- in fact he’s purring in my lap as I write this. We’re very glad Cookie allowed himself to be captured and ‘domesticated’- and he survived the relocation to Georgia from New Jersey without incident. He’s still buds with all the rest of the members of the Pride. One photo shows him sharing a window-seat with Birdie, another, presumably-unrelated feral tuxedo-cat we caught. We hope he stays with us for many, many years to come.

He and I have “cuddle time” every morning when I check Cat of the Day and other sites- he curls in my lap and purrs and kneads and nuzzles- it’s a daily ritual. We’ve always thought he was especially handsome, and really ought to be in commercials or something – he’s smart enough to train, and he’s a beautiful boy, to be sure.

Precious Pup of the Day for March 5th

McCarty, the Dog of the Day
Name: McCarty
Age: Two and a half years old
Gender: Male Breed: Dachshund mix
Home: Ashland, Virginia, USA
This is my baby boy McCarty. He is named after a Detroit Red Wings Hockey player. McCarty is a Dachshund/Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix. He looks like a dachshund. He is tan in color with white under his neck, nose and tip of his tail.

He has a very human like nature. He loves his mom and whines like a baby every time I leave. He knows the words “car”, “go”, “ride” and any signs of me leaving such as putting on my shoes, grabbing the car keys or purse. I usually have to spell out the words if I am getting ready to leave the house so he won’t get upset. He loves to cuddle with me in bed every night just like a person; under the covers and head on the pillow. He follows me from room to room to get my attention. He loves to play with toys that have squeakers and anything that has stuffing. Once the squeakers and stuffing are out, I just add the remains to his toy basket that is full of destroyed toys.

I got McCarty at nine weeks old and he is two and a half now and weighs a whopping seventeen pounds. I think mommy needs to cut down on the treats a little! McCarty is everything I need to keep me company and is loved so very much!

My Gods and Yours Are Not The Same

My Gods and Yours Are Not The Same

Author: Ailyn

In A Wrinkle In Time, author Madeleine L’Engle gave us fantastical “beasts” without eyes or ears, creatures with soft muted fur and long waving tentacles, beings almost too horrible to look upon. Yet these beings possessed a characteristic that the humans in the book, and I feel humans in general, are sorely lacking. These beasts are able to “feel” they way things truly are, the essence of what makes an object that object, a plant a plant, the soul of things.

In the story, one of the main characters, Meg, is asked by Aunt Beast to describe the sun and light and color. Meg tries, but realizes that to describe what we sense to something lacking those senses is impossibility, and a limitation on how we interact with the universe. While Meg, and humans in general, can describe what we see or touch, we very rarely can grasp the way things truly are, what makes the individual an individual, and not just something that fits into a scientific sort of classification system where we are merely defined by our physical characteristics. The ability that the beasts had allowed them to interact on a deeper level with the cosmos, moving past the physical, which is how we are, into the soul, which is who we are.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with our different Gods. For many Pagans, we view our Gods as existing on a more spiritual than physical level, and developing a sense that allows us to interact with the spiritual is one of the more important ways we connect to our Gods, let alone any other spiritual, magical, or mythical being one may believe in. It is a sense many of us seek to discover within ourselves, a journey that may take us weeks or years. In developing this sense, we come to know the world in a completely different way. And we come to know our Gods.

You would not believe how many times during a conversation about deities on a personal level, I’ve heard something along the lines of, “We both worship (deity) , just different aspects of (deity) , ” or, “Well, that’s how the enemies of (culture) portrayed (deity) . All that bad is really only propaganda; I can’t believe you fell for it, ” even, “That’s how (deity) used to be. He/She really isn’t that way anymore.”

No, no, no! Statements like this just make me want to bash my head against the wall. I realize that we all believe in our Gods in very different ways, and I completely respect that, but when I am being told in no uncertain terms that I am wrong, that I am falling for centuries old propaganda, or that somehow the person I am speaking to has a relationship with a God that is more valid and correct than my own, I tend to get fairly annoyed. And that is why I’m writing this. Because I’m tired of people assuming things about my beliefs, when I’ve usually stated how and what it is I believe. I work hard to develop and maintain relationships, with people and Gods, and since there is no human that has the inherent ability of the beasts to sense the true nature of things, I am resentful when I am told ‘we worship the same Gods’.

I am a fairly strict polytheist, so anything somewhat resembling pantheism or duotheism has no place in my belief system. It’s usually one of the first things people will find out about me when beginning some sort of religious conversation: yes, I believe in lots of Gods, and They are all different. I feel that there could be two separate deities that share the same name, and the same cultural context, and still be different entities. This is what I feel happens when the God I am worshipping and the God someone else is worshipping have completely different personas and traits.

And I am fine with this belief; it makes sense to me. I do not force the other person to follow my view that we are worshipping different Gods. I will explain to them that is what I believe about it, and move forward in the conversation. This usually works, and no hard feelings. But sometimes there is that one person who doesn’t accept a point of view different from his or her own.

You find this with any spirituality; Christianity, Hinduism, Wicca… it’s a human characteristic, not a religious one, this need to be correct and have others acknowledge our correctness. I try quite hard to respect that others view the Gods in different ways than I, and I realize others do too, but sometimes it’s just so hard to deal with those people who are so sure of their rightness, that no other way is recognized, let alone accepted. Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement; I disagree with pantheism, but I accept that many view it as the most rational way.

Obviously I view my way as correct, otherwise I wouldn’t be following it, but just because it’s right and rational to me doesn’t make it so for another. This attitude seems to upset many Pagans, who view it as intolerance, but I would disagree. I am tolerant. I just feel that it would dishonor my Gods for me to treat Them with any less respect than They deserve as the individuals They have revealed Themselves to be.

We humans are limited in our senses, our eyes do not always see well or far enough, our ears don’t always hear like they should, and our ability to “feel” the world around us is dormant nigh unto dying. Yet this feeling is so important to our spiritual selves in connecting to and defining those things and beings that we cannot, or rarely, sense with our physical senses.

If we possessed the inherent sense of Aunt Beast and her kind, we would be able to better know and understand our Gods, and those Gods that aren’t ours, and Gods who we have never even heard of. Because this sense is one that lets us see the reality of the world around us, on a deeper level than what we use right now. Instead, it seems we are merely stumbling along through the darkness and very rarely seeing the stars.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Discipline and Will

Discipline and Will

Author: Maggi Setti

In laziness, in turning away from divine Will, there is turmoil, confusion and slavery. In service to truth and freedom and Will, there is fluidity, satisfaction, and fulfillment. There is growth and abundance in these actions.

Isn’t it funny how there is such a paradox is freedom, free will, and following your divine destiny or your true Will? Whose will do you serve? To whose will are you a slave? Are you a slave to fear? Inertia? What about greed?

Something I consider both necessary and a struggle is the discipline of a daily practice. Just like we all know regular exercise is good for us but we have trouble doing it, I have the same struggle with daily practice. The inertia of the bed had been too much of a lure. Yet, daily practice is how we start our day in tune with our selves, our will, our Higher Self. Without it, we are madly dashing around not following our own will, but the sleep walking, insane flow of modern society.

This year I’ve found myself teaching, leading a study group, and in a college course. I am weaning myself back into the model of college student and find myself picking up old study habits. I have a lot of trouble concentrating at night to read and retain dry textbooks. When I was in school, I would wake at 5 in the morning, when it was quiet to study with the dawn chorus and my cats. Slowly I’m setting the clock earlier and earlier to use the quiet hours in study rather than feeling guilty at night that I don’t have the energy. I plan on using those hours even when my study for the week is complete, in meditation, journaling, and going to the gym. My contemplative, practice hours have returned. The funny thing is the impetus for this change has been out of necessity, but at the same time, the lethargy of wanting to stay in bed is fading. I want to get up, I want to start the day, and I am less tired now that I am busier. Within all that movement is more time, and a stillness and strength fueling me from within. This still flame, burning within my belly, heart, and mind is the fire of Will, of progress, and desire.

I have come to a point where a lot of my work will be patient practice. My lessons that I need to work on are mostly not in books right now. Meditation, disciplined sitting, just coming to the altar daily, and personal development in an internal alchemical way are my current tasks. I remember when I first joined my coven, my HPS was adamant about the importance of daily practice. She mentioned that those who know could tell when a person has the discipline and strength of daily practice. I have on occasion help such a practice for a while and always needed to rededicate myself to the practice. I admired her unyielding steadfastness.

I am also learning the value of resiliency and flexibility. Having a strong core implies that there is also not the brittleness that comes with being immobile.

Great, strong trees bend wildly in storms. In 2003, I witnessed a mild hurricane. I sat in my house, dry and quiet in the lack of electricity. The wind and rain whipped around the house and the trees danced and thrashed. The storm itself smelled of the ocean gone ashore and the energy was wild. Within the safety of my house I did not feel fear, but awe. The trees were what got me. Even the ones that fell or broke did so like a jump of faith off a cliff into the future or into death. No fear, just grace and acceptance. It was a great wisdom the trees gave me then, and I have tried ever since then to adopt that faith and fearlessness into my own life.

Fear can also be the cause our inertia. Fear is an illusion, fear is also a cleanser, and fear can be a guardian at the gate of the threshold of newness and of the unknown. From where does fear and panic originate? What shadow memory does it herald? When we choose what causes us pain and fear and instead trust and have faith in the process over the paths of our lives, fear becomes our teacher and guide.

The more you follow your Will, in faith and in joy, the easier life gets. The challenges become growth moments and sign posts along the journey of the Path instead of unending pools of pain and suffering. You are guided and the universe responds to you. When you know your true Will, choices become easier, the big picture appears for you, and you are less likely to sabotage yourself. Connecting with this Will and staying in the moment is a state of grace. It is a state of grace not just with yourself, but also with the Divine in the universe. You sync with time rather than racing the clock. Opportunities arise for you because you look for them in faith rather than cowering away from possibilities in fear. In fact, when you do momentarily lose your focus, make mistakes, or fall into old, obsolete patterns, you are more likely to bounce back onto the right path and keep going. One of the awesome things about the magickal path is that without guilt, there is no reason to wallow in regrets. To follow one’s will is to move ever forward and onward toward evolution and wholeness.

What modus operandi do you choose? Fear, ignorance, and the many limitations of the normal life or do you choose the path of the Cunning and the path of the Witch? This path is of awareness, responsibility, of Will, and of sight. On this path, things happen when you wish them for good or for ill. You have control over the outcome and what happens to you. This is my path; I couldn’t abide any other. Join me. It may be a hard one, dusty, and dark, but along this path is the starry road leading up to the moon, to the heavens, and to your True Self.

We Can Change The World

We Can Change The World

Author: Lady Wolfwind

I am growing older. That’s a fact. I’m still in the Mother stage of my life, but I am fast approaching Crone. I am okay with this. More than most people, I would guess. I’ve learned that part of my contribution to society, as a Crone, is to provide wisdom and guidance to those seekers who ask. I’ve fit into this role flawlessly. Most people don’t want to hear what you have to say and if they do, they don’t listen anyway. I’m sure this is just a natural part of life. I never listened to my elders either. I look back on it now and I remember their words. How I wish I’d heeded their advice. The road would have been so much easier and I would have traveled so much farther.

I think that we’ve all learned some hard lessons on our journey. I believe that it’s what life is all about. I believe that our lessons and experiences have shaped who we are and what we believe to be true today. I wonder what experiences have led all of you to the Goddess’s path? What made us choose to be so different than mainstream society and their beliefs?

I was talking to my husband this morning. He is not Pagan, but he respects me for who I am. I had had a conversation with our daughter the previous night and there were some things that were said that bothered me. It seems that in talking to my children, they expect me to “be” a certain way. They have expectations of who I should be and how I should be living my life and even what I should believe. They are grown and out of all the people in my life, they are the ones I feel pressure from to live the way society says I should. To put on a false face to please them and the world. They don’t live near me so there is no embarrassment that Mom is a Pagan. Most time I don’t think they know what it truly means and they don’t care to ask or to listen. They are caught up in living their lives and making a living.

As children, I put aside dealing with my own life and figuring out what I wanted for my future to raise them. I didn’t let my past life experiences determine how I would make decisions regarding them. I have come to realize, now that they are older, I’ve grown into the woman I was meant to become. All of my life experiences have made me who I am. They don’t seem to understand that I had past experiences before they were born. They don’t understand that I am living my life exactly the way I want to. They don’t’ seem to understand that it’s a person’s choice to not fit in. It’s the way it has to be. They talk about their past experiences and lessons and think that if it is so with them, it must be so with me. I can never be the person they think I should be.

My husband feels that this is a lesson for them to learn. That it takes years of wisdom before you understand what I’m trying to say. I’m so afraid that even he doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say. Maybe he feels that I should live like everyone else as well. He is younger than me. He set my fears at rest when he looked me in the eyes and told me, “ There are not many people who have the courage to live as you do.” I knew then that he understands me. He said it with such a deep feeling of respect and love that it brought tears to my eyes.

I am afraid that my children will wish they’d gotten to know me after I pass to the other side. Isn’t that the way it usually is? Don’t we all stand back and wish we’d said this or that? Don’t we wish we’d listened to one more story or just sat a few moments longer? Is there a time when we have that “ah ha” moment when it all becomes crystal clear and we finally put the final piece of the puzzle in place and understand the whole picture we’ve struggled with for so long? It is a sad realization that we never took the time to get to know the ones we love the most. Why do they feel the way they do? Why do they believe what they believe? Why is Mom so quiet? Why does Aunt Mary not cry? Do we know? Do we care? Wouldn’t it be nice to figure it all out while you’re sitting with them, looking into their eyes?

This is one of those lessons that I know will have to be learned the hard way. One day they will realize that I had a life before they were born. One day they will honor my strength for overcoming the obstacles that could have stood in the way of me being a good mother to them. One day, they will understand what it means to be Pagan and they will honor me for my courage to walk a different path. One day, they will realize how much I love them. One day, I will not be here. I want them to know me and understand me before that time comes. I don’t think it will work out that way. I think we all walk around with the wounds of “what if.” I don’t think it has to be that way. I think we need to take more time with the ones we love. We get so caught up in the daily grind. We get angry at each other for things that don’t even really matter. We need to learn to listen, not just hear. We need to listen to their body language, and we need to listen to the voice inflections. We need to listen to the subtle clues that vibrate through the air currents, which tell us about the other person. We need to take a moment each day and consciously decide to learn one thing about another person. Take the time to tell the ones you love how you feel about them.

I think if we would take a few moments each morning, instead of running out the door, to make a decision to slow down for a little while each day. If we would make the choice to not keep procrastinating about visiting our aging mother who tells the same stories over and over, to sit with our child and understand how their understanding the world around them, we would become better people for it. I believe it would change not only the ones we’ve taken the time with, but also ourselves. We have to stop letting life get in the way. I think we would understand how we all became to be the people we are and how the ones around us became the people they are. I think all of us would be able to let things go easier.

I believe, as a society, we have lost the course we were supposed to be on. Somewhere, we allowed money and instant gratification to become more important than even the ones that are supposed to mean the most to us. I think, as a Pagan community, we need to be different than that. I think we need to set the standards and set them high. I think we should start living as we talk, to be the example of change in our world. One person can make a difference. I feel that our time is coming. We need to be united and to send a message to the world. We need to slow down and let the message come through loud and strong. Pagans are about love and about doing what is right. We’re about caring about each other, even others of different races and beliefs. We have to start at home.

Tonight, call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile and tell them how much you’ve missed them. Reach out to someone who’s made you angry and tell them that you have forgiven them, set up a date with your spouse, dinner with your parents, a movie with your kids. Don’t worry about how much it will cost. It will cost you much more to not do these things. Don’t worry about what others will think. It is up to us to be the example. Today is the time to take the first steps toward a new world; one we all know is possible. I don’t believe we can put it off any longer.

Finding Your Soulmate: A Highly Overrated Concept

Finding Your Soulmate: A Highly Overrated Concept

Author: Bronwen Forbes

I don’t talk about it much in Pagan or non-Pagan public, but I do have a soulmate. We know we’ve shared several lifetimes in which we were, respectively, husband and wife, brother and sister, and governess and charge, just to name a few. My soulmate has been part of my life (this life) for nearly three decades, is always there when I need him, and I cannot imagine my life without him.

My husband is a good man; I love him dearly. He is more than I could ask for in his roles as supportive husband, great father to our daughter, and my ritual working partner. Without getting nearly as mushy and over-the-top as I could when describing my relationship with him, suffice to say that I am genuinely and truly blessed to have him in my life.

Would it surprise you to know that my husband and my soulmate are not the same person? And that my soulmate is, in fact, also married? And that I’m perfectly okay with that?

We’re taught – and not just in the Pagan community – that finding and settling down happily ever after with our soulmate is the only way we can truly be happy. For those of you who are making yourselves utterly miserable because you can’t find your soulmate, let me be the one to reassure you that not only does this almost never happen, but that you can be perfectly happy in a lifelong relationship with someone who isn’t your soulmate. Even Richard Bach, author of the ultimate soulmate quest tome The Bridge Across Forever, eventually divorced the woman he swore in the book was the other half of his soul.

Clearly, this soulmate thingy is completely overrated.

Where did this whole idea of a soulmate come from, anyway? Ancient Greece by way of Plato, actually, when Plato wrote down some things the playwright Aristophanes allegedly said one night at a dinner party. According to Aristophanes, humans at one time had two heads, four legs and four arms – each. In other words, humans were two people joined together in one perfect (if slightly impractical) whole. However, being human (i.e. not always bright about what the best course of action is when dealing with Deity) , we became proud and comfortable in our wholeness and decided the Gods did not need us to worship them any more. Zeus, true to his nature, was not happy with this state of affairs and as punishment divided all of us happy and complete two-headed, four-armed and four-legged humans in two. We’ve all been looking for our missing halves ever since.

So what happens when you do find your missing half? Well, if you’re lucky, you are compatible in all ways and can, metaphorically speaking, reforge yourselves into a whole person for the rest of your lives. If you’re not so lucky –or if you’re mature enough to be realistic about your and your soulmate’s incompatibility – you find a way to function with your other half in your life somewhere and enter a bonded relationship with someone else.

My soulmate is a gay man; I am a bisexual woman. Therefore there are some obvious basic incompatibilities should we ever have even discussed marriage – we didn’t, although at one point before my own marriage I did offer to marry his Canadian citizen husband of thirteen years (as of this writing) if needed to keep the husband in the States (he got a green card instead, but the offer was seriously considered.) . I did share a house with my soulmate and his husband for about three and a half years, during which we found even more incompatibilities for a long-term relationship besides sexual mismatch-ness.

I am an animal lover to the point that I *must* have at least one pet to be happy – to be *me*; he has asthma on top of pet fur allergies. I am monogamous; I’m not sure my soulmate knows exactly what that word means. We’re both housekeeping-challenged, which means the house (before his husband moved in and wisely hired a cleaning service) was always a royal mess. I am very obviously and actively Pagan; my soulmate is sort of Pagan but not very active or devout in any way I know of. He loves living and working in the big East Coast city he was born near; I’m a small-town Midwesterner by birth and have happily chosen to live my adult life – you guessed it – in a small town in the Midwest.

With my spouse, I can have the monogamous, pet-filled, child-enhanced, mostly tidy, Pagan-active Midwestern life I need in order to be myself. I love it, and I love him for making it possible for me to have it. If my soulmate is akin to a fine steak dinner, life with my husband could be compared to an old-fashioned barbecue: Different, yes, but equally satisfying and in no way “less than” the steak.

And yet, we continue to waste time, energy, ritual space, spell ingredients and pleas to the Gods all in an attempt to find that elusive soulmate. I know; I did it for far too long, all the while not noticing what a great match my husband (then just a really good friend) and I could be, and not realizing that I also had a soulmate who was not in any way good husband material for me.

If you’ve done everything, magickally speaking, to find your soulmate and you haven’t, maybe there’s a message there for you: either you don’t have one, the Gods have decided you’re not compatible (maybe he’s a convicted bank robber) , or you’re just not ready for your soulmate to come into your life.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit, even in Pagan company, that I have a soulmate. It just sounds too fluffy and/or too ‘New Agey’ for me. I tend to refer to him as my brother (which really confuses the heck out of people when they later find out that I am, biologically-speaking, an only child) , and his husbands (they added a third to their relationship not too long ago) as my brothers-in-law. My husband considers them his brothers-in-law as well.

My daughter knows about her uncles. There is a picture of the three of them together in our family portrait collection that hangs on the dining room wall, which we call our Hall of the Ancestors. They are, after all, family.

You don’t need a soulmate. There. I said it. You don’t *need* one in order to be in a fulfilling long-term relationship. I’m glad I have mine – he is an invaluable source of support and we share a history that even my husband wasn’t there for (because I hadn’t met him yet) . So put down the steak knife. Sometimes down-home barbecue is what you need to be happy, if you just give it a chance.

New Moon Report for March 5th – Venus in Taurus

New Moon Report for March 5th

by Jeff Jawer


Venus in Taurus

Monday, March 5, 2:25 am PST, 5:25 am EST

Alluring Venus’ return to her earthy home sign increases the potential for physical pleasure. All we need to do is to stop and appreciate the sweet things that delight our senses. This satisfying transit reminds us to find comfort by accepting ourselves as we are instead of trying so hard to become someone else. Still, resistance to change can lock down relationships and restrict us to familiar tastes and habits. Exercising a little flexibility goes a long way to overcome this self-limiting pattern.