‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 27th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

America’s art critic Henry Theodore Tuckerman believed the hand to be the mind’s own perfect subject. As physical labor shows in a man’s hands, so does illness, or greediness, or strength.

No other part of the body so expresses human behavior. With our hands we work, play, communicate, love, and express our fear, joy, and grief. These beautifully sensitive symbols of faith, love, and friendship are the hands of time that never stand still. They clasp to us the things we love, the books we read, the seeds we plant, the stitches we sew, and the civilization we build.

This marvelously made human hand, directed by the mind’s eye, the mind’s ear, and the heart’s desires, works every waking moment to express its owner’s life.

The gentle touch, so closely linked with our emotions, can also be the unmistakable expression of strength and honesty. And the most beautiful of all, the praying hands, for surely they are conscious only of God.

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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: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 27

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 27

“The law is that all life is equal in the Great Creation, and we, the Human Beings, are charged with the responsibility, each in our generation, to work for the continuation of life.”

–Traditional Circle of Elders

Every generation is accountable to leave the environment in healthy order for the next generation. Every generation is accountable to teach the next generation how to live in harmony and to understand the Laws. We need to ask ourselves, “What are we teaching the next generation?” Each individual is directly accountable.

My Creator, teach me intergenerational responsibility.

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April 27 – Daily Feast

April 27 – Daily Feast

Forgiveness seems to be continually with us – the need to forgive, to be forgiven, is directly tied to loving and being loved – or lovable. We sometimes love better at a distance. Time and space have a way of putting things into perspective so that we can see the right and the wrong to be able to forgive or ask forgiveness. We never gain ground as long as we are obstinate about forgiving. A grudge is a stone wall that forbids us to move in any direction. The Cherokees have labored long to understand the reason for the Trail of Tears – the same way other tribes have tried to understand. Life has a way of working itself out to certain ends, a time for everything, and what has been lost will be regained many times over. When? There is an exact moment. Yoweh knows.

~ When we are at peace we hunt freely, our wives and children do not stand in want….We sleep easy. ~

CHEROKEE

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

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Daily Motivator for April 27th – Worth living

Worth living

You have something beautiful to offer. You have an inspiring and uplifting story to tell.

You experience life in a way that’s unlike anyone else. You have things to say that can benefit everyone else.

You have dreams, visions, and values that can make a real difference in the world. You can give love and joy and meaning to every moment you’re in.

You can make a difference today. You can make life worth living by the way you live it.

You are a priceless, unique expression of what it means to be. Through the focus of your existence, all of existence is brought to life in a way that has no equal.

Live this day with joy and richness and substance and love. Show all of life, in fresh new ways in every moment, why it is so very much worth living.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for April 27th – Growing Pains

Growing Pains
Difficult Times

 

 

We can also benefit from times of constriction and difficult to help us grow and learn. 

It can be very challenging to maintain a positive attitude and a measure of faith when you are in the midst of difficult times. This is partly because we tend to think that if the universe loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances. However, we are like children, and the universe is our wise mother who knows what our souls need to thrive better than we do. Just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything she wants, we also benefit from times of constriction and difficulty to help us grow and learn. If we keep this in mind, and continue to trust that we are loved even when things are hard, it helps us bear the difficult time with grace.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of human beings, and you may feel less alone knowing you are not being singled out. There are extreme energy changes pulsing through the universe at every level and, of course, we are all part of the growing process and the growing pains. It helps if we remember that life is one phase after another and that this difficult time will inevitably give way to something new and different. When we feel overwhelmed we can comfort ourselves with the wise saying: This too shall pass.

At the same time, if you truly feel that nothing is going right for you, it’s never a bad idea to examine your life and see if there are some changes you can make to alleviate some of the difficulty. Gently and compassionately exploring the areas giving you the most trouble may reveal things you are holding onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at yourself or reality. As you take responsibility for the things you can change, you can more easily surrender to the things you can’t, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another.

Beltane – Celebrating the Goddess Flora of Springtime and the May Queen

Beltane – Celebrating the Goddess Flora of Springtime and the May Queen
In the month of May, Spring is in full bloom and at its height. The flowers are a beautiful palette of vivid colors blossoming everywhere and the trees are abundant in their greenery. The Earth feels fully alive and vibrantly awake after the deep, long, grey slumber of Winter. Birds sing messages of joy and hope as the sun rises each morning and a new day begins to unfold. Life is flowering and lush.
The Roman Springtime Goddess Flora, the Goddess of Spring and Flowers, puts on her floral rainbow dress and her crown of flowers. She dances under the blue skies and greets the sun as the May Queen.

May 1 begins with the pagan sabbat Beltane. This day celebrates love, fertility, sensuality, sexuality, abundance, beauty, growth, awakening, and all the signs that summer is coming as the days grow lighter and warmer. To honor and celebrate the Goddess of Springtime Flora, the Queen of May and her within your self there are many simple ways to do this during Beltane and the beautiful month of May.

Some ideas are:
*Create a crown of flowers from wild flowers outdoors or from your garden and crown yourself the May Queen. Celebrate yourself as the Queen of Spring.

*Spend time walking in nature connecting to the beauty of Springs full abundance. Go to your local park, garden, or take a hike.

*If you have a garden this is a great time to spend connecting with your plants and flowers as well as blessing you garden on Beltane.

*Pick some flowers and make a May Basket from paper in the shape of a cone to place them in. Give this as a gift to someone you love or decorate your home with it bringing Springtime indoors with the lovely scent of flowers.

*Decorate your home with flowers and greens inside and out.

*If you are an artist take your sketchbook or paint outdoors and draw and paint the flowers and trees blossoming around you. Capture the beauty of the Goddess on paper.

*If you like to write take your journal outdoors and write about your experience in the beautiful Spring weather or write a poem that honors the season and the Goddess Flora and May Queen.

*Dress up in many bright Spring colors as Flora the Spring Goddess and May Queen. Feel your own beauty within manifested in your dress. Celebrate the beauty and sensuality of yourself.

*Think of ways to connect to the sensuality of the Spring season through all your senses-smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound.

*Enjoy your own sensuality and sexuality with yourself or a lover. Honor your body as the Goddess and Queen.

*Have a Spring picnic outdoors. Bring a blanket, picnic basket, and sit on the grass. Make it a May Feast to celebrate the Goddess and Queen within yourself. Invite others and have a Beltane celebration. Buy local Spring foods to share such as berries and honey.

*Contemplate what ways you would like to blossom full this Spring from now until the Summer Solstice and the sabbat Litha. What would you like to grow and bloom more?

*Think of ways to nurture and be self loving everyday in the month of May. Allow new habits to grow and flourish as you treat yourself like the May Queen and Goddess Flora of Springtime.

*Create a ritual to honor the Goddess Flora and connect to beauty, love, sensuality, growth and the abundance of Spring.

May 1, 2012 [Beltane]

May 1, 2012 [Beltane]

Belatian, also spelled Beltine, Iris Beltaine or Beltaine and Cetamainalso is one of the 8 sacred Sabbats of the Pagans. This festival is held on the first day of May in Ireland and Scotland. Beltane was first mentioned in a glossary to Cormac, bishop of Cashel and King of Munstern, who was killed in 908. Cormac describes how cattle were driven between two bonfires on Beltaine as a magical means of protecting them from disease before they were led into summer pastures. This custom is still observed in Ireland.

Beltane was started to celebrate and Bless the seeds and make happy that winter is over and spring is here. Beltain celebrations and rituals are a fact and still celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans to this very day. The other side of the Beltane is celebrated by Christianity as Maypole day with dancing around the pole. Beltain is a fire ritual/celebration and is celebrated around a bonfire. Dancing and singing go all night long and in the morning, flowers were gathered to make wreaths for the hair.

Beltane is the last of the 3 celebration Sabbaths celebrated by the Ancients and it heralded the beginning of summer. Food supplies were low, people were depressed from the drab cold days of winter and this made Beltane celebration very special. Facts and myths blend together during these celebrations.

May was not an ideal time for the ancients for marriage, thus the year and a day was begun for hand fasting couples. This was considered a trial time for couples, living together before making the marriage legal. So it seems to me the Ancients knew living together and knowing one another before actually marrying made more sense than marring then divorce.

Water was another important aspect of the Beltane celebration. Myths surround the usage of water at this time also. It is said that if you bathe in the dew gathered before dawn on Beltane, your beauty will flourish all year. Those sprinkled with May dew are insured if health and happiness. Other customs such as drinking from a well before sunrise will insure good heath and fortune.

The main color of Beltane is green representing growth, abundance, plentiful harvest, fertility and luck. The use of other colors in Beltane celebrations as well as the whole month of may are used, whites, yellows, pinks, reds, violets and purples representing cleansings, purity, good fortune, fertility, happiness and wealth. So no matter how you choose to celebrate Beltane, rather it be a ritual, dancing around the fire or Maypole, singing and eating natures produce, its a time for happiness and joy to be alive and one with the Goddess. Blessed BeÂ…Â…

 

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane

Beltane

 

Beltane

by Lila

 

Gather Round the Maypole Friends

Twist and Turn and Back Again

Dancing, Laughing, Joyful Glee

Now pair off lovers, Secretly

 

In Love’s embrace

The Goddess Grace

The May Queen and Consort Lay

Entangled Limbs on this Sweet Day

 

Gather Round the Maypole Friends

Twist and Turn and Back Again

The Lovers Rest in Quiet Heaps

In Fall the Bountiful Harvest Reaps

 

 

The ancient Celts called this holiday Beltane and began celebrating at sunset on April 30th. It marked the beginning of summer, the time to move with the flocks up to the summer pastures. Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain (‘opposite Samhain’), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas.

 

In Germany, April 30th is Walpurgisnacht, the night when it was believed that witches flew on their brooms to mountaintop gatherings where they danced all night around bonfires. Like Halloween, this is a night when witches, fairies and ghosts wander freely. The veil between the worlds is thin. The Queen of the Fairies rides out on a snow-white horse, looking for mortals to lure away to Fairyland for seven years. Folklore says that if you sit beneath a tree on this night, you will see Her or hear the sound of Her horse’s bells as She rides by. If you hide your face, She will pass you by but if you look at Her, She may choose you.

 

Many May Day customs involve flowers and green branches. Flowers are woven into wreaths to exchange as gifts between lovers or to hang on doors as decoration. Hawthorn is particularly auspicious since it begins blooming when the weather is warm enough for planting. Anyone who went out into the woods and found a branch of flowering hawthorn would bring it triumphantly into the village and announcing the start of planting season. However there were warnings about bringing hawthorn into the house, since it would invite the fairies in.

 

The Maypole is a symbol with many meanings. Often celebrated as and considered a phallic symbol, it also resembles the garlanded trees associated with moon goddesses. In the Phrygian rites of Attis, celebrated around the spring equinox, a fir tree was chopped down, wrapped in a shroud and placed in a tomb. Resurrected three days later, it was decorated and danced around. In some places, May Day ceremonies took place beneath a sacred tree, which was not uprooted. These trees represented the world-tree, the axis between heaven and earth. The Maypole dance is a round dance of alternating male and female dancers, weaving in and out, plaiting ribbons as they go. Maypole dances fulfilled social and sacred functions. They helped people flirt and mingle socially and they also raised energy.

 

Bring the May into your life by bringing home green branches, flowers and branches of flowering trees. Transform your house into a bower by making a wreath to hang on the door or to crown your version of the Goddess. This is a time for giving gifts. Gather flowers with special messages for friends and relatives. Make up your own explanation of the meaning of each flower and give it along with the bouquet. For friends at a distance, send pressed flowers or May Day cards or packets of flower seeds.

 

If you can, stay up all night, preferably outdoors. At least go for a walk in the night on April 30th and listen for the bells that herald the approach of the Fairy Queen. And you can run around, under cover of darkness, leaving May baskets of flowers on doorsteps. On the first of May, wear your most colourful clothes or dress all in green (the colour of the fairies). Consider wearing a flower in your hair.

 

Treat yourself like a Goddess. Take a long luxurious bath in scented water. Anoint yourself with oils. Crown yourself with flowers. Indulge yourself. Sip your May wine. Honor your sexual choices. In your journal, recall the times when sex was magical, when you felt alluring or you fell in love. Write about smoldering glances, the times your body caught fire, the sweetness of a first kiss or caress. If you have a partner, celebrate sex as a sacred activity. Make the time you spend together and the space you inhabit special. Light candles or strew the bed with rose petals. Notice how your lover represents the God or Goddess to you. This is the time to celebrate attraction and pleasure.

Beltaine: Make Scents

Beltaine: Make Scents

by Jon Bergeon

 

The following herbs listed fall under the categories of the element of fire, of growth, renewal, fertility, prosperity and gain, harmony and success. Items in parentheses are attributes of secondary concern that may help in designing a suitable incense recipe.

  • Angelica: gain and renewal (also guards against negativity)
  • Basil: prosperity, harmony and success (also aids in banishment)
  • Bay: harmony (also guards against negativity)
  • Cedar: gain and success (also aids psychic activity)
  • Cloves: growth (also aids psychic activity)
  • Coriander: gain and fertility (fire part of fire element/Mars)
  • Garlic: success (also aids in self-assertion and banishment)
  • Hyssop: prosperity (also aids in purification)
  • Juniper: gain and fertility (also guards against negativity)
  • Marigold: renewal and success (also aids psychic activity)
  • Mustard: fertility, success and gain (also guards against negativity)
  • Onion: success (also aids against negativity)

The following lists the recommended parts of the herbs to be employed in the making of incense.

  • Angelica: root
  • Basil: all
  • Bay: leaf
  • Cedar: all
  • Cloves: buds
  • Coriander: seeds
  • Garlic: bulb
  • Hyssop: all
  • Juniper: berries
  • Marigold: flowers
  • Mustard: seeds
  • Onion: bulb

In all cases, the oils of the herbs listed may substitute for the recommended parts to be employed for incense.

Flowers, due to their place in May festivities, may be used to reduce the martial qualities of some of the herbs. The following flowers do not magically interfere with the previously listed herbs.

  • Alyssum: quells anger
  • Chamomile: calms
  • Geranium: fertility, love
  • Lavender: calms, aids in psychic activity
  • Lilac: protection, banishment of negativity
  • Rose: love, peace and protection

As an alternative to burning herbs as an incense, the herbs may be placed in water and the water heated to produce a desired effect. This may be done by obtaining a stand with a small bowl, underneath which a candle may be placed.

Herb parts may be used in a loose incense and burned with the use of charcoal, or herbs may be powdered (which is best done with a coffee grinder) and saltpeter, gum arabic and water added to make the herbs into a paste from which cones may be fashioned. Making cone incense is, however, more difficult than just burning loose incense, as sometimes the saltpeter mixture, when too much or too little is used, burns at an undesirable rate or even not at all.

Sources

  1. Smith, Steven R., Wylundt’s Book of Incense, Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1989.
  2. Zalewski, C.L., Herbs in Magic and Alchemy, Prism Press. England, 1990.
  3. Cunningham, Scott, Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Llewellyn, 1993.

A Meditation on Magick

A Meditation on Magick

by Bestia Mortale

 

I’d like to examine three levels of magick, the world, the will and the spirit, from a particular perspective I shall describe.

Like most things, magick looks different from different sides. The word “magick” normally conjures up spells, unseen forces, strange worlds and mysterious beings. This is the “supernatural” point of view. This is the vantage from which we see sorcerers pursuing arcane knowledge to gain amazing power.

Take the skeptical version of this point of view, and magick signifies self-delusion, wish-fulfillment fantasy, unconscious deception and intentional fraud.

But then stroll around to another viewpoint, where you assume knowledge rather than ignorance. Assume for a moment that you can understand everything (not that anyone can). From this perspective, much of what we think of as magick vanishes, becoming just another technology, just another way to get what you want.

When you want something, you use your understanding of the world combined with your intelligence to identify a course of action that might achieve it. Then you use your will and determination to follow that course of action. As you go, you use intermediate results to modify your course of action. Are you a sorcerer or an engineer?

Both historians of science and historians of magick are well aware that until relatively recently, the two were more or less indistinguishable. In the last several centuries, the techniques of modern science and engineering have emerged as by far the most powerful and effective means of doing magick in the world. The spells of physics almost always work reliably, and when they don’t, physicists are delighted – there are always reputations to be made in perfecting them.

The magick of getting what we want in the world is fascinating and impressive but not necessarily deeply moving. Take doing the dishes, for example. Some people still eat with their hands from food that lies in their laps. Others have pursued centuries of dogged experimentation to produce specialized eating surfaces and utensils. Some people clean such surfaces and utensils in streambeds, while others have devoted amazing ingenuity to channeling and heating water and devising special chemicals that make cleaning these surfaces and utensils easier. Some people wash their own dishes, while others have devised complex social transactions that result in “servants” of various sorts doing the cleanup. There are even electric dishwashing machines, and if that’s not supernatural, nothing is.

At the same time, who cares? We eat. If we do it right, we are nourished, we don’t get sick, and we don’t have to devote too much of our energy to doing it. Fine china, beautiful silverware, exotic spices, gourmet recipes, all these are lovely if they don’t cost us too much.

From a perspective of understanding, the magick of getting what we want tends to merge disappointingly into what we like to call “technology,” our ancillary crafts, and its appeal seems less bright, if no less useful, from this point of view.

There is also magick of the will – the art of being able to decide cleanly. Each of us is full of ambivalence. We want a thousand contradictory things, consciously, semi-consciously, entirely unconsciously. Magick of the will aligns and balances all those conflicting desires so that you can choose consistently and effectively to achieve a given end.

Will is an elusive magick that varies radically from person to person. Like music, painting or writing, it can be taught, but like any art, it is based on talent and taste. It is practiced by every successful person in the world, although few would regard it as magick. The ability to choose consistently and well, at least within a narrow focus, is essential to success in almost every undertaking.

There are easy ways to achieve will. Some of the peskiest and most disruptive of our desires are ethical and emotional. Simply by suppressing these, you can become much more effectively decisive. Fortunately, few people want to pay that price. Indeed, it may be that no one has the resources to pay that price, except by foolish borrowing.

Will is like health. Many of us are blessed with it initially, but to keep it takes luck, attention and good habits. Many of the disciplines of what we narrowly refer to these days as “magick” can be helpful, but plenty of people who have never used the word are masters of will magick.

Finally, there is magick of the spirit, the magick of listening to the quiet voices. This is a magick that is easy to lose in modern life. Plenty of atheist engineers and salesmen may be better sorcerers or better at will magick than you or I, but few of them have found a way to meet their spiritual needs.

Following Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, many of us have come to see the roots of our spiritual yearnings sinking deep into our unconscious minds, down among primal cultural artifacts and almost universal archetypes. Whether they re-emerge on the other side of the unconscious into an astral reality is a philosophical question, not a practical one. After all, satisfying the deep yearnings of your unconscious mind is important whether or not you want to believe that the spiritual world is “real.” Lots of people know that it is, and lots of other people know it isn’t, but I don’t like the question.

I’m very clear that something really happens when I give myself over to magick of the spirit. It happens often, particularly if I make the effort to let it. It happens in loving sex just about every time. It happens at the oddest moments. It happens in meditation, speaking with a goddess or a god. But particularly, it happens when I connect to the spirits of place, of the earth.

Sitting on the ragged stones at the edge of the sea watching patterns in the water, crouched with my back to a rock high in the mountains, listening to the songs of the wind, standing among the old trees in a forest glade feeling rain on my face, I find myself lost in wonder. Minutes pass when I am far, far away. I come back changed. My yearning is answered and affirmed. These are moments of pure magick for me. I don’t know what happens, but I know it’s important. It doesn’t have to do with getting some specific thing I want or honing my will; it has to do with receiving some kind of deep sustenance.

This magick of spirit goes well beyond our wisdom.