March 8 – Daily Feast

March 8 – Daily Feast

Nature has her indecisive moments. A ma ga nu go gv, the season when new life springs up, may come early with its wildflowers and blossoming trees. She is known for her adolescent behavior, all smiles and flowers in her hair, only to be in tears in a few minutes. We think, this is it, we will never change our opinion. No, we will not be moved, we will cling to this one idea and time cannot erode any part of it. There can be no parting with this idea, nothing and no one can make us think differently. Spring may hint that she is here – so we can relax. But she is never adamant that she will not change. It is only the human being that claims such powers. But the power that keeps us moving and changing and becoming better is not our power but Galun lati.

~ We will never let our hold to this land go for we say to you that our father who sits in heaven gave it to us. ~

AITOOWEYAH, THE STUD, AND KNOCK DOWN

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

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Limitless treasure

Limitless treasure

Every moment is a new opportunity to more fully experience and express the value of your life. The value you live is the value you give.

What you get out of life is not merely a result of what you put into it. What you get out of life and what you put into it are precisely one and the same.

Every moment is an opportunity to invest yourself in meaningful purpose. The quality of that investment at any given time is what defines the true quality of your life.

Fulfillment is not about acquiring something that exists outside of you. It is about more richly and more completely experiencing the unique, magnificent value that is already and always within you.

Life’s circumstances do not, in and of themselves, enhance or detract from the value of your life. Each event, each circumstance gives you a new way to explore and experience that value.

The best you can live is the best you are willing to give, and there’s no limit to what that can be. Fully invest yourself in each moment, and delight in the limitless treasure that is already yours.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for Thursday, March 8 – Earth Living

Earth Living
Following Nature’s Cycles

 

We cannot have harmony and balance in our lives if we forget to include the earth and natural rhythms in our lives.

Nature, in all its myriad forms, is the most powerful force on earth. Although mankind has tried, we have not found a way to match its awesome power, but we have found ways to work with it. Science often confirms the wisdom of the ancients who observed and then harnessed nature’s rhythms and cycles to shape and enhance their lives. We can begin to do this in our own lives by first paying attention to our own natural rhythms, such as when we wake or when we feel the need to sleep. If possible, we may want to try to rise and sleep with the sun or live without electricity for a weekend and then monitor how we feel. We can make the choice to eat the foods of the seasons and to seek fresher, locally grown, or organic produce whose own cycles have not been tampered with by technology.

We can create harmony in our homes by making a smooth transition between our indoor and outdoor spaces. By bringing some of the outdoors inside and taking some of our indoor décor out, we can simultaneously enjoy nature and the comforts of home and the feeling that our living space is expanded. Then, whether inside or out, we can lounge on a comfortable piece of furniture and feel the wind, inhale the scent of deeply breathing plants, listen for the many songs of life, and observe the moon and the stars. As we do this more often, we may find ourselves noticing the pull of the full moon on bodies of water, as well as the water in bodies, or the music of the night acting as a lullaby.

When we seek balance in our lives, we want to balance not just our roles in life but also the natural elements in our spaces. Having representations of the elements in the colors, shapes, and textures of our homes will appeal to our mind, body, and spirit. We may find that when we sync ourselves with nature’s rhythms, we ride the waves of energy to feel more in harmony with life and the world around us.

Special Kitty of the Day for March 8th

Celeste, the Cat of the Day
Name: Celeste
Age: Eleven months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Tabby
Home: Emporia, Kansas, USA
This is Celestial (Celeste for short), and she’s a Cinnamon Tortoiseshell Tabby. While volunteering at the local shelter we came to know Celeste and she soon won our hearts! Unfortunately the shelter euthanizes strays on schedule. We watched as her carrier slowly made its way toward the top of the list. We just couldn’t let that happen. Her litter was found under the porch of an abandoned house and there were two left. After much deliberation, we decided to bring one sickly, striped, green-eyed kitten into the family! Since then our lives have been enriched with a steady supply of hijinks, acrobatics, amazing saves, and occasional all out lovefests.

She loves to sit upon our 55 gal. fish tank and one day while we were feeding the fish she decided to leap into action and by sheer luck we managed to catch her midair, her athletic body suspended over the open water. Now she’ll try anything to get the colorfull little fishies!

She also has bravado, and will walk up to any animal or person she sees to check them out, and then goes about her business as if nothing caught her eye. She’ll then crawl into her box heaven that we built for her and stalk the world, her tail swaying to and fro waiting for the perfect moment…to attack a peice of paper!!

Independent, curious to a fault, and always on the stalk, Celeste is more than just a Kitty of the Day… she’s our kitty forever.

The Most Laid Back Doggie of the “YEAR” for March 8th

Tyson, the Dog of the Day
Name: Tyson
Age: Four years old
Gender: Male Breed: Golden Retriever
Home: Delaware, USA
Our dog Tyson is a big boy, he weighs 120 pounds! Some people think he is half horse. He acts like the biggest baby, though. He came into our home to join our female golden and they are great friends now. We know he does need to lose some weight, but in general he is a very large-boned dog for his breed!

Tyson loves carrying bones around; he can’t go in or out of the house without his bone. He loves attention and can’t stand it when he’s not getting any. He is such a wonderful dog with a great personality. He has brought so much joy into our home.

He loves to come and put his head on your lap and his paw on your leg. He does know how to ‘shake’ especially if you have a treat for him. If he gets mad at us he gives us ‘dirty looks’, He has a stubborn personality sometimes. He is also very playful with his sister, our other golden retriever Dixie. He really enjoys going to the dog park, too. His sense of smell is incredible! We love him so much and are so happy that he came into our lives.

Understanding Negative Energy: Choose Your Words Wisely!

Understanding Negative Energy: Choose Your Words Wisely!

Author: Ryan Hatcher

How often, as energy workers, are we told that negative energy is ‘bad’? “Cleanse it of all negative energy!” “It’s been tainted by negative energy.” “I can feel a lot of negativity here” and so on. Personally I feel this use of the word ‘negative’ to be wrong.

Let’s look at the word negative, and then you might see what I’m getting at. The word negative is the opposite of the word positive. In terms of physics, negativity is a description of a charge, such as positively charged particles and negatively charged particles (protons and electrons respectively) . The poles of a battery are labeled + and – or positive and negative. However, as energy workers we generally consider ‘negative’ to mean ‘bad’, ‘harmful’ and, in an extreme, ‘evil’.

Does this mean that half of a battery is evil? Or since electricity is a flow of electrons and so has a negative charge, does that mean electricity is inherently evil? Well…no, if we think about it, they’re not inherently bad, harmful or evil, although electricity can be harmful if it is misused, like any other energy.

If we look to the Far East, we can look at the ideas of positive and negative from a more spiritual perspective. What I refer to is the concept of Yin and Yang from Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine. Yang, roughly meaning Sun, is positive, masculine overt and open in Chinese. In the Taijitu (the typical Yin-Yang symbol) , Yang is represented by the white section. The concept of Yang energy is that of active, dynamic, masculine aspects, the sun and fire are forces associated with Yang as well as the God principle. Yang is the positive side of the polarity.

In Chinese medicine the Yang part of our body is the right side of our body. There are also Yang organs in the body, associated with active and energizing attributes. Yang is the energy within us that drives us forward, is our passion, and keeps us energized. But if we have too much Yang in our lives, we can end up feeling hyperactive, aggressive, suffer insomnia and eventually burn ourselves out.

Yin is roughly translated as shade, moon, feminine, negative, lunar and hidden in Chinese. In the Taijitu, the black section represents Yin. The concept of Yin energy is that of the passive, stillness and the feminine. The moon and water are forces associated with Yin, as well as emotions, intuition and the Goddess principle. Yin is the negative side of the polarity.

In Chinese medicine, the Yin part of our body is the left side of our body and, as with Yang, there are Yin organs in the body associated with passive, fluid attributes. It is the serenity within us that keeps us calm, allows us to sit and just observe the world around us, are the deep waters of our mind and keep us grounded. However, too much Yin in our lives leaves us feeling lethargic, depressed, lonely and alienated, suffering from hypersomnia and getting nowhere in life.

A balance between the two is imperative to be able to experience life to the fullest and to feel as present in the now as is possible for us as human beings at that moment. The Yin and Yang, together in the Taijitu, are inseparably linked, entwined together to form the whole, the perfect and infinite circle. One cannot exist without the other, just as a shadow cannot exist without a source of light. Also, if we look at the Taijitu we can see that the individual Yin and Yang parts contain a part of the opposite. This shows that opposites exist within everything and the importance of a balanced polarity.

There, polarity, that is the point I’m trying to aim for. Is it possible, looking at the Yin-Yang model to see negative as inherently bad as we have done for so long? If we did, it would mean that everything feminine, including the Goddess, would be bad, harmful and possibly inherently evil. I’m sure no one has any intention of doing that any time soon.

Positive and negative, light and dark. They are just opposites in the balance of polarity and have no sense of moral right or wrong, any more than do the poles of the aforementioned battery or the north and south poles of a compass, or even the earth. They’re just opposites of the same force.

So what do I propose we use instead of the word negative? Personally, I use the words ‘impure’, ‘unclean’ and ‘harmful’ when it comes to describing unwanted energy because that is really what we’re talking about isn’t it? Unwanted energy. Unwanted because it is harmful, impure and unclean. It is the energy that taints our work and our tools, whereas simply ‘negative’ energy could in fact be beneficial, providing a feminine aspect to our tools and working, and thus providing that balance of polarity which is what paganism and ‘the great work’ is supposed to be all about: unifying opposites to create a balanced whole.

Sometimes I feel that, though we understand thoughts and words have power, we still need to choose our thoughts and words more carefully when working directly with the energies of the universe. We need to make sure we know exactly what it is we are asking and that the words we use match our intention and directed will. The universe has a cruel, and sometimes ironic sense of humor (for a non-corporeal, non-specific entity anyway) , and sometimes you get what you’ve asked for, and if you’ve asked using the wrong words, then you’re likely to get a nasty surprise!

So from this moment I ask that we are all more mindful of the words we choose to use, both in our day-to-day lives as well as in our magical lives. Doing so we may just find things flow in the way we want them to and we can each live a happier, more peaceful existence.

Blessed be


Footnotes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taijitu

How to Banish

How to Banish

Author: Taliesin McKnight

The first thing that one should learn to do in magick is to banish. This is a simple precautionary measure. Before conjuring things up, intentionally or unintentionally, banishing should be well understood. Banishing can be defined as cleansing an area (or person) of negative energies or entities. There are various hostile forces in the spirit world that need to be warded off at times.

There are three basic ways to get rid of negative vibrations. These techniques are used in virtually all systems of magick: Wicca, Voodoo, Santeria, ceremonial magick, to name just a few. Once the art of banishing is understood, then it can be done for others as well. After all, magick is not just about your base desires and self-glorification (sobering thought, I know!) , but about helping others. You will be a cunning man or woman, an instrument of the Divine. The three basic methods of banishing are the burning of herbs, the sprinkling of holy water, and ritual.

The burning of herbs is a very ancient form of exorcism (exorcism is another word for banishment) . But not just any herbs are used; they must be cleansing herbs! This may include such plants as vervain, onion, patchouli, and hyssop. You may now be asking yourself, do those herbs really have any power in themselves? This issue is highly debated in the occult community. Some are of the opinion that different herbs have various mystical properties, which can be harnessed and employed by the witch. Others, however, think that it is simply the belief in the mind of the practitioner that makes the employment of herbs effective. Whatever the case may be, virtually all forms of witchcraft regard herbs as highly powerful agents to be made use of in magick.

The basic technique involves burning the herbs and allowing the smoke to touch the area (or person) being cleansed. The smoke is said to drive away impurities. Warning: Do not merely use the incense sticks or cones! Many would-be magicians are conned (intentionally conned by the manufacturers) into using these. Typically, there is no herb in the incense at all. It is merely the “fragrance.” Thus, if you buy lavender incense, chances are there is no lavender in it. So try to avoid merely using the incense named after the plant.

There are various methods for procuring your herbs. The plants can be bought or grown. Most pagans like to grow their own so they can incorporate the seasonal practices of planting and harvest into it. They may also be purchased at your local metaphysical store or online. Another alternative is to simply go to the grocery store and just see what you can find. If nothing else then many of the herbs can be found in the “spices” section. Onion, garlic, black pepper, and rubbed sage are easy to find; these are all powerful herbs used for banishing. Tobacco can be blended with such herbs to help them burn. Tobacco is often used to replace sulphur in old grimoires. It is connected to Mars (the god of war) . The herbs may be burned upon charcoals. Smudge sticks are also quite popular. These are often composed of a mixture of rubbed sage and bluegrass.

The concept of holy water is found in many different systems of magick. Please note that this does not necessarily refer to holy water from a church. The use of holy water predates Christianity and is used in virtually all forms of Paganism. At its most basic, it is water mixed with sea salt. Various other formulas exist in which one mixes the water with various cleansing herbs such as sage, hyssop, and vervain. This is all up to the individual witch. The herbs are boiled in water and then are strained. This is how such herbal mixtures are made. Marie Laveau water (highly prized in New Orleans Voodoo) is one such example. It is composed of 1 cup of rainwater, 1 cup of spring water, 1 cup of lavender water, 1 cup of rose water, and holy water from a church.

Holy water should always be blessed in some way, which can be accomplished by an elaborate spell or a simple prayer. The water is then sprinkled in the area to drive away evil and any negative, hostile forces. This ancient practice goes back to the very beginning of magick.

Ritual is the last of the three methods. Of course, sprinkling holy water and burning herbs do serve as rituals within themselves, but there are other more elaborate forms of ritual. One of these is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. This ritual comes to us from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a secret society that taught initiates the practices of ceremonial magick. Although this rite is derived from ceremonial magickal tradition, practitioners of many different paths and systems have used it. This is simply due to the fact that the ritual is so effective at cleansing the environment of negativity. Another technique is the ringing of a bell, a method used by a number of cultures.

Those of a Christian background may call on the power of God by invocation and prayer. Another practice is to cut an onion into quarters and to place these in the four corners of a room. The idea is that the onion will absorb the negative “vibes” and is later discarded or burned. Chanting may be employed or various candle spells may be used. Once again, there are countless rituals that can be utilized as rites of exorcism.

Remember, banishing is the first thing that should be learned in the practice of magick. From that point on you may proceed, somewhat safely, on the path of the occultist. The three methods outlined above (the burning of herbs, the sprinkling holy water, and ritual) are used in virtually all forms and systems of magick around the world. They are tried and tested methods that have been successfully employed by witches for many thousands of years. When all else fails, appeal to a Higher Power, however this may be defined.

Always remember that the Ancient Ones are there to aid you upon your path.

Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

Author: caity

Often, sinking as low as I can sink comforts me. Hitting the bottom. If I can feel the floor, then at least I know that’s as low as I’ll ever go, and I do not have to fear falling down or sinking any deeper than this. It’s a sobering, numbing, and leveling feeling. I have found myself curled up in fetal position upon the black depths of the ocean floor more than a few times. I am safe there, because I know that I can go no lower. I can sleep there, because I am not filled with hopes or expectations to distract me or fill my mind with the fear of not attaining them. My nerves can rest, because once living in the state of my fear and dread confirmed, I have nothing to fear any longer.

Some have said that I needed medication or therapy for depression at these times. I used to try both until I realized that, despite what society believes, my soul needed these experiences. Now, I gladly choose depression, if that is the direction my heart is taking at a given time. When it wants to come back to me, I open the door, and say, “Welcome back, old friend. Come in, and sit with me. Teach me something new.” For one who walks in the dark gains excellent night vision, and can navigate through darkness much more easily than one who only goes out in daylight. So I’ll let the sad or dark times tether me down to the floor for at least a little while. If I can make it to the floor without drowning, then I shall never drown.

The dark night of the soul must come upon all of us, especially those of us who are deeply aware of our own spiritual quests. For how can we live in true, natural balance if we have not had our own personal struggles, sufferings, and sorrows? If we are never faced with total aloneness or even neglect, how and when will we ever learn to introspect and look solely to our own selves (or Higher Self) for comfort, love, wisdom, and guidance?

I am grateful for the era of the dark night in my life, for it was in this time that I discovered Wicca. Without the dark night of the soul, I would have never wanted to look deeper. Without the dark night, I may never have felt the need to seek for answers. Without my aloneness, I would have had others to look to, and would have never had to face myself, to look to my own heart, and learn to introspect and find my true spirit. My true face would not have shown its light to guide me through. And I’d still be living on the surface, trying desperately to block out fear of the unknown depths of the ocean, never finding my true face at the floor of my spirit, nor discovering my own capabilities and potential.

The dark night of the soul taught me how to hold and soothe my own self. And perhaps most significantly, the dark experiences of my past made me who I am today. Truly, I would not be half the person I have become if it was not for my wounds and sorrows. This realization has taught me to believe that every experience, even what we perceive as the darkest or most negative, is actually yet another learning experience, an experiment of our existence, and something through which we can gain knowledge and wisdom. There is truly no such thing as objective negativity; all is subjective.

In the Christian theology, and indeed within our mainstream society, we must never transgress over into darkness, for darkness is always “evil.” But to me, and to most practitioners of Earth-based spirituality, darkness is just as necessary as light, and is a healthy, natural, and educational component of the human experience. As well, balance and moderation are the keys to enlightenment. The dark is there to balance the light, not necessarily to be at war with it, thus the dark itself can still bring about enlightenment. And besides, in every great tale of mythology or lore, the great hero’s journey always includes descending into the underworld. It is my belief that we all must descend into our own underworld in order to get the most out of our journey here. I truly believe that darkness and pain is not an evil monster or devil to be feared, but instead a force that has an alternate method of helping us, of blessing us, and of teaching us some of life’s most important lessons.

And strangely, I have even found now, after my journey through deeper waters, that even though I have come out and into bright light again, and all is fairly well in my life, I somehow still seek aloneness. I somehow still wish to retreat to myself, to remember my sorrows, and to find my bed in darkness. I want to curl up in the fetal position on the lowest, most numbing floor of my pain, deep down where I am entirely by myself, just to feel and remember the sensations of sadness. Sadness is a universally shared aspect of existence and humanity, thus I will embrace it as a testament to my aliveness. And when I see it this way, it actually feels good to me when I hit rock bottom. It’s comforting to level myself with the lowest of sorrows and wallow in them for a while. It is part of the natural range of human emotions, part of the human experience. It even gives me a strangely sickening feeling, which somehow paradoxically alleviates my fears by confirming them.

I once read that to be a Witch is to be alone. Indeed, my loneliest times were when I was most attracted to the idea of being a Witch, and the most involved in seeking my own spirituality through Wicca. I find Wicca and Paganism so refreshing for their non-resistance to the range in human emotions, including the ones that may not feel as “good, ” with the understanding that aliveness and life itself is to be embraced and felt with the senses, and for their stressing of natural objective balance over subjective human judgment. A Witch understands that experiences are not objectively “good” or “bad, ” but depend upon one’s perspective. Both sides of all dualities (light and dark, yin and yang, male and female) are equal and necessary, not to be fought against one another nor made into a “versus.” I could not agree with this philosophy more.

In conclusion, I believe that dualities can, do, and must coexist… and that we can learn to not only deal with, but also be comfortable with and even benefit from both sides of every coin, both ends of any spectrum. So while although the light is usually seen as what’s “good, ” this does not make darkness “bad” by default; darkness is simply a necessary part of one’s spiritual journey, a balancer to the light. Like everything, it can be used for positive growth and for drawing inner-strength and spiritual enlightenment in an entirely new, different, and challenging way.

This is what the dark night of the soul has taught me… because I did not fight it, I let it in, and I let it teach me. What has the dark night of your soul taught you?

Knowing Right and Wrong

Knowing Right and Wrong

Author: Stewart Bitkoff

On one level people want simple answers and to be told what to do. On another they want freedom to choose and make their own decisions. People are multi-level and have the capacity to make their own choices as well as accept direction from others. Discordance sets in when the guidance from others or authority does not fit what the individual wants or feels is right for them. In this case, the individual is in conflict and looks for something else.

Most people are taught a philosophy of ‘right and wrong.’ At an early age aspects of this protective mechanism are projected into daily life and are part of social and religious training. For example, if you do not get-up on time and arrive timely at school this is bad. As an adult, being late will eventually result in loss of job. Or as a youth, if you take street drugs, this will lead to personal problems and addiction.

It is difficult to disagree with these two maxims about daily life. Get places on time and do not take potentially damaging street drugs. However, to complicate matters other factors may be at play. Perhaps the individual is getting to work late because of an inner, hidden unease with this type of work. In time, after warnings by the supervisor, the worker realizes this and moves on. Or the youth experimenting with recreational drugs uses this learning in a future career in brain chemistry. Or in a more damaging scenario, after years of addiction the person sobers up and becomes a drug counselor who, because of personal experience, helps dozens of others.

From a higher perspective, looking at events: travelers are taught to take a more longitudinal and holistic view of the effect of specific actions. In real life, often it is not a simple matter of an action being ‘right or wrong.’ Actions are complex and involve others, having both a collective and individual effect. Before making many decisions it is wise to consider their long term and multi-level effect.

As an example, how about the common situation where your beloved asks- do you think I have put on a few pounds? Does this dress/suit make me look heavy? Sometimes telling the truth can be unnecessarily hurtful, particularly if the individual has been struggling with their weight. In this situation, I’ll leave it to you to figure out what is right or wrong; in most things, we are free to pick and choose.

Further when viewing the effect of personal action, it is impossible to know all the variables involved; particularly over a long period of time and actions that affect countless others. However, for the spiritual traveler, it is possible to know some of this and begins by asking the question: will this action bring me closer or distance me from my higher destiny?

The answer to this question may be thought out as well as perceived. First, we rationally consider and list the effects using what we term our common sense. Next, we use our intuition, requesting if the action will bring us closer or distance us from our higher self. Perception is intuitive knowledge that emerges from our collective consciousness. By turning inward, the traveler unlocks this holistic awareness and uses this answer along with their rational thought to arrive at an action.

At an early age, it is important to learn about the difference between right and wrong. It is important to learn some things are good for us and some things are not. Yet, spiritual teaching must go deeper, illustrating and considering the aspect of longitudinal effect and destiny. While one piece of chocolate may be tasty and even nutritious, twenty is not, particularly, if we are diabetic or prone to dental problems.

Most spiritual training programs teach the traveler to pray, or turn inward in some fashion or another before taking an important action. Within each person, there is an inner voice or capacity to know if an action will bring us closer to our own higher self and the higher destiny of the universe. Most people have forgotten to develop and listen to their own inner voice and have relied upon others to teach them about right and wrong.

This original social, moral and religious teaching, about what is useful in life, was intended as a beginning; and the traveler, as they matured was to be instructed on how to make their own more complex, intuitive decisions. For many, this has been omitted from their training and they continue to rely upon limited and simplistic learning constructs.

Many of which have been tied to a hidden and sometimes not so hidden ‘fear and reward’ system. In a sense, for these travelers, their thoughts on certain subjects have become fixed, often engineered by others.

*
Humanity is conscious energy
Burning like sunlight.
By reflecting the Light into this world
Humanity neutralizes personal spiritual darkness.

Embrace your own inner beliefs
And then travel beyond them.
Embrace higher knowledge
And as the Source Wills
You will become a sun unto yourself:
Knowing right from wrong,
Dissipating your own lower needs and desires.

*
What some call religious training and tradition:
Often is based upon historical and no longer accurate,
Incomplete information; also, in some presentations
There is tendency to misapply traditional exercises to this culture.
Further, many sacred books include
Selective reportage by believers and historians;
With altered teachings to control desired behaviors
Which were insisted upon by the ruling entity or clergy.

Remember many cherished religious traditions and behaviors no longer serve any real or spiritual function. However, they do increase people’s feelings of comfort/tradition and need to be viewed within their emotional framework.
*

The Law

Traveler: Holy One, tell me of the Law

Master: The Law is Inscribed on the heart of each person. Beneath the layers of dust- from selfish living- that surround each heart, is the Golden Rule. The Law is also Written in the Books and is known to all. It is written: That which brings you closer to your higher self and the Beloved is the Measure.

Travelers know what is right; yet, allow themselves to be deceived by their desires. If a traveler would ask their Higher Self or The Light to help make their decision- each would correctly and reach higher.

If you will pray, the Light will cleanse your heart and The Law will be inscribed upon it- Lighting the Darkness. SB

Living Your Religion Every Day

Living Your Religion Every Day

Author: James Bulls

This story is neither about high ceremony nor exotic sorcery; it is not about the alchemical secret to eternal life but the simple secret to everyday life. To preface this simple secret, consider the words of Johann von Goethe who said, “Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.” There are some who would disagree with that statement, but consider its merits on a day-to-day basis. For contrast, consider James Dean’s statement, “Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die today.” You may certainly choose to live each day under the dictates of extremity, but such a lifestyle relies on black-and-white dichotomies quite incompatible with a harmonious lifestyle and a society that requires those members who wish to live successfully the ability to distinguish subtleties, nuance, and shades of grey.

To return to Goethe’s statement that moderation brings happiness, one must look at each day not as a singular opportunity to figuratively explode like James Dean but to burn a low, steady flame. Extremists who make dramatic resolutions toward religious expression attract much attention, but after the noise is finished what remains is a spiritual model incompatible with modern life. As it concerns living your religion everyday, the loud dramatists advocate set rules and habits for life: meditate for an hour every day; read cards every day; exercise every day; never eat this; never drink that; always perform the quarter, cross-quarter, full-Moon, and dark-Moon rituals; and so on. And so the misguided accept one absolute after another into their spiritual devotions until all their time and energy is devoted to planning for the next event.

The trouble with living your religion in terms of absolutes is that each of us is fallible and will fail to satisfy an artificial schedule and arbitrary definition of “spiritual perfection.” Absolutes invite failure, failure invites discouragement, discouragement invites dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction invites mediocrity. This “mediocrity” of which I speak is the ball-and-chain, which prohibits daily expression of one’s religion – it is the intangible obstacle that stands between the spiritually dead and the sublime angels!

Living moderately provides room for failure and permits one to find as much satisfaction in the loving preparation of afternoon tea as another might find in an elaborate Spring Equinox celebration. Moderation permits one to say “I forgive myself for my weaknesses, ” and “This is enough for today.” Living your religion on a daily basis is determined in neither quantity nor quality, but in the process and your ability to find satisfaction in it.

Much of the spiritual insight commonly taught in the New Thought, New Age, Wiccan, and Occult communities is imported from the East, but there is much of value in the West that gets overlooked. With respect to living one’s religion every day and the importance of moderation I set out at the beginning, consider the Religious Society of Friends, also called the Quakers. The Friends believe in moderation, modesty, and (not unlike the Zen Buddhists) a direct experience of God outside of material limitations. The Friends live their faith every day not necessarily through dictated prayer times and worship services, but through quiet appreciation for the Divine and making common-sense choices to live modestly which not only prevent egoic obstacles to spiritual growth but also provide more time for to focus on their friends and family members, community, and simple acts of devotion.

Living moderately (and dare I say modestly) is not a sexy adventure for bold heroes but the source of pure happiness. Living one’s religion every day isn’t a matter of selecting specific rituals, adopting absolute views in the name of simplicity, or making loud declarations for the sake of consistency – it is in fact a broad, consistent expression of your core values. For example, consider Pantheism, a path whose travellers see the very world in which they live as the body of the Divine and who value the environment, wildlife, and the needs of their kin and neighbours. Pantheists may have specific rituals they practice for spiritual edification such as cartomancy, theurgy, and folk medicine (Qi gong, Reiki, etc.) , but it is putting the carriage before the horse to say that the rituals are the religion – a religion is the sum of the core values and ultimate goals!

To live their religion every day, Pantheists may choose activities or make simple changes which support their beliefs such as: turning off a light when they leave the room; taking the time and effort to recycle paper, glass, and plastic; collect litter in their neighbourhood or at the local park; volunteer once or twice a month at the animal shelter; donate their time to Habitat for Humanity; making a meal for a friend or inviting a friend to a meal; walking or riding a bike when a vehicle isn’t needed; using cloth shopping bags; turning off the TV or computer to spend more time with your spouse and children; or even just smiling and saying hello to strangers on the street. None of these actions are as sexy and exciting as high ceremony or deep meditation, but they are all easily adopted into one’s everyday life and each of them supports the religious expression of the Pantheist.

Moderation is the simple secret to daily expression of one’s religion; you will not find happiness in strict adherence to daily religious ritual but in the small, simple activities and choices, which are the mundane foundation of your religious philosophy. If you worship the Earth, make choices, which protect the environment. If you revere the sacred feminine, make choices that would lead others to respect femininity. If you believe that your spiritual purpose is to serve your fellows, be friendly and willing to help. But if you want to live your religion every day, don’t obligate yourself to an arbitrary schedule of worship or you’ll only become a slave to your faith. Remember you values and you’ll immediately change from an event-based religion to a day-to-day expression of faith.

New Moon Report for March 8 – Full Moon in Virgo

New Moon Report for March 8

by Jeff Jawer

Full Moon in Virgo

Thursday, March 8, 1:39 am PST, 4:39 am EST

The pragmatic and sometimes picky Virgo Moon’s opposition to the Sun in limitless Pisces makes it hard to buckle down and deal with details we’d rather ignore. Acerbic Mars in Virgo reinforces the lunar inclination to find fault instead of going with the flow. Criticism, though, is useful only when it’s constructive and meant to serve a higher purpose. Refining skills and engaging in self-analysis, it should be remembered, are means to an end rather than the goal itself.

Calendar of the Moon for March 8th

Calendar of the Moon

Ash Tree Month

Color: Pale Blue
Elements: Water and air
Altar: On a cloth of pale blue set a great bowl of salt water in which are set many shells and stones, a shell full of salt, incense, and the figures of sea-birds and fishes.
Offerings: Wash something clean, or air it out.
Daily Meal: Either fish or seafood, or poultry.

Nion/Anthesterion Invocation

Call: Now is the time of wind and water.
Response: Now is the time of sea and sky.
Call: Now is the time of the Gods of weather.
Response: Now is the time of the great waves.
Call: Now is the time of terrible flooding.
Response: Now is the time of needed rain.
Call: Now is the time of battering gales.
Response: Now is the time of winds of change.
Call: Now is the time of fear of change.
Response: Now, and always, change will win.
Call: The wild winds disturb our dreams.
Response: The wild winds awake our minds.
Call: The heavy rains flood our hearts.
Response: The heavy rains water our future.
Call: The sea will sweep us away.
Response: The sea will bear us up.
Call: The sea is cold and unending.
Response: The sea is the source of life.
Call: We are ships on the lost expanse of the ocean.
Response: We are winds that call to one another.
Call: We will brave the wind and water.
Response: We will bring together mind and heart.
Call: We will come home safely after wandering.
Response: We will anchor safely after our journeys.
Call: We will come through wind and water!
Response: We will come through wind and water!
(Repeat last two lines twice more.)

Chant:
We will come through wind and water
We will come through sea and sky

Calendar of the Sun for March 8th

Calendar of the Sun

Media Hiems

Color: White and grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Set out a cloth of white and grey, a vase of bare branches, a single grey candle, a pitcher of melted snow or rainwater, pots of earth, and seeds to be sown and nurtured in the greenhouse.
Offering: Seeds, preferably saved from the year before.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian.

Media Hiems Invocation

Earth that lies asleep
Waiting for the touch of the Sun
To grow in strength and light
And awaken thee to life,
We warm thee with our breath,
We prepare thee with our hands,
We plant thee with our hopes,
We await thy awakening
With faith in the coming of Spring.

Chant:
Breath warms thee
Hands prepare thee
Hope sows thee
Sun awaken thee.

(All take seeds and plant them in the pots of earth, water them, and breathe onto them, visualizing the seeds awakening and growing. The remainder of the water is poured out as a libation to the Earth. The pots are then taken to the greenhouse in procession to be nurtured until planting time.)