‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 8

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Isn’t it true that when someone says something is wrong, our first thought is, “What have I done wrong now?” That constant fear of having a finger of accusation pointed in our direction – that guilt complex that can plague us into admitting guilt when it isn’t ours.

Shakespeare wrote, “The mind of guilt is full of scorpions.” And surely it is. For we often take more on with a feeling of guilt than is required of us. It is more often a feeling of fear, fear of being ridiculed, blamed, or even threatened.

A guilt complex can be erased. Not in a day, and maybe not completely, unless we are dedicated to keeping it out of our minds. We are so prone to throw fuel on the fire that we must always be completely aware of the thoughts we entertain.

But certainly, with turning to our innate faith and wisdom we can find enough courage to recognize the ghosts of guilt and see them for what they are.

Perhaps in the final analysis we find we were not guilty at all. We feel relieved, but if we were guilty, the relief of admitting mistakes is just as great.

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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

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 8

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 8

“I think there was a big mistake made (when) people separated religion and the government. That was one of the big mistakes that was made, because when they did that, then they removed the Creator from their life – or at least from half to three-quarters of their life.”

–Tom Porter, MOHAWK

The Elders tell us that every thing the Creator made is interconnected. Nothing can be separated. The Elders say we should pray before we do anything. We should ask the Creator, what do You want us to do? We are put on the Earth to do the will of God. If we run our governments, communities, families or ourselves without the spiritual we are doomed to failure.

My Creator, guide my life to include the spiritual in everything I do.

October 8 – Daily Feast

October 8 – Daily Feast

St. James says to keep quiet, control your tongue – though no one ever has. Your boat may be huge, but your little tongue is a rudder that can turn a very big ship in the wrong direction. The tongue is like kindling wood that can set a whole woods on fire. Keep your tongue quiet, very quiet. And then St. Mark says to speak – speak to the mountain and tell it to be gone. Not only be gone but sink into the sea. A mountain of trouble needs us to use our tongues. Speak what you want and need, not what you do not want. There is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. These are the times that make us who we are, what we are, and what we will have. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

~ You say you are right and we are wrong. How do you know this to be true? ~

RED JACKET – SENECA, 1800s

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

Daily Motivator for Oct. 8 – Rewarding action

Rewarding action

When you don’t feel like making the effort, that’s when making the effort  will make the biggest difference for you. Instead of giving in to negative  momentum, interrupt it.

The best way to feel like doing it, is to do it. Step beyond your negative  feelings and reward yourself with some positive action.

Feeling sorry for yourself will just give you more reasons to feel sorry for  yourself. Ignore the temptation for self pity and embrace the opportunities for  immediate self improvement.

Your attitude is not somebody else’s fault. Your attitude is yours to choose,  so choose an attitude that will empower and propel you.

The way to feel better is to do better. The way to do better is with  positive, effective action.

Pay attention to your feelings, but don’t use them as excuses. Be effective,  get it done, and see how great you feel.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for October 8 – Centered Silliness

Centered Silliness

Laughing Meditation

by Madisyn Taylor

When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment and transcend stress.

Many people might be surprised to think of laughter as a form of meditation. Yet not only is laughing meditation one of the simplest forms of meditation, but also it is a very powerful one. The physical act of laughing is one of the few actions involving the body, emotions, and the soul. When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment. We also are able to momentarily transcend minor physical and mental stresses. Practiced in the morning, laughing meditation can lend a joyful quality to the entire day. Practiced in the evening, laughing meditation is a potent relaxant that has been known to inspire pleasant dreams. Laughter also can help open our eyes to previously unnoticed absurdities that can make life seem less serious.

There are three stages to mindful laughter. Each stage can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. The first stage involves stretching your body like a cat and breathing deeply. Your stretch should start at the hands and feet before you move through the rest of your body. Stretch out the muscles in your face by yawning and making silly faces. The second stage of the meditation is pure laughter. Imagine a humorous situation, remember funny jokes, or think about how odd it is to be laughing by yourself. When the giggles start to rise, let them. Let the laughter ripple through your belly and down into the soles of your feet. Let the laughter lead to physical movement. Roll on the floor, if you have to, and keep on laughing until you stop. The final stage of the meditation is one of silence. Sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breath.

Laughter brings with it a host of positive effects that operate on both the physical and mental levels. It is also fun, expressive, and a way to release tension. Learn to laugh in the present moment, and you’ll find that joy is always there.

Autumnland: Pagan Path and Paradise

Autumnland: Pagan Path and Paradise

Author:

Prodigal Pagan

I’m aware that “Summerland” is an ancient and commonly held concept of the Pagan afterlife. I suppose that’s because many Pagans imagine Paradise as a land where everything is perfect: Nature in full-bloom, wildlife in abundance, beautiful weather, and so forth. However, my idea of Paradise is Autumn, not Summer.

For me, Autumn is the most beautiful, exhilarating, and fascinating season. The Earth is changing, from mature to wise, Nature’s colors fill the landscape, from the leaves on trees to the swirling pastels in late afternoon clouds, to ripened fields of grains, pumpkins, and more. Various scents seem more noticeable, including food and floral, wood and woodsmoke, minerals and soil. The heavy hand of Summer is removed; the elements are freed. Even the wind and rain smell and feel different. The colder, crisper nights make stargazing more enjoyable. And of course, there is the majestic Harvest Moon.

The summer-long stupor has ended. An impending sense of purpose reawakens. Earth is changing. Life is changing.

Autumn, of “Fall” is often regarded as winding down, slowing toward the sleep of Winter. However, there is heightened activity in the unseen realm, “behind the scenes, ” in the “Reality behind reality.”

I prefer the darker half of the year, from October to April. In fact, I would rather have six months of Autumn and no Summer at all. The Summer of 2009 was more mild than usual (where I am) . However, typical Summer here is unpleasant, hot and humid, and often stagnant air for weeks, with more pests (and pesticides) . The Fall offers more variety, as does Spring. However, Fall does not have as much threat of severe storms that Spring does. Mostly, I prefer the darker half of the year because human activity becomes slower and quieter. Or it used to, in previous generations. (Technology appears to be changing that.)

In Autumn, the Earth herself is more alive, not only with the changes, but also personality. I feel like Nature is communicating more clearly with me. I feel more “at home” in this season than any other.

Perhaps I like Autumn most because I was born on the day before Samhain. Hence, I feel a natural affinity with the season. It is a more spiritual time for me, a sacred time. I don’t engage in formal religious practices, but I become more reflective and introspective, more sensitive to spiritual and paranormal aspects of life. I try to commune with both natural and supernatural elements — or at least invite them to commune with me.

Generally, I take a mythopoetic view of life, that the divine manifests in the human, the supernatural in the natural, heaven in earth. The mythopoetic perspective often lends a surreal view of reality. I’ve been thus oriented since childhood (although I didn’t know the term “mythopoetic” until college) . However, during much of my early adulthood, while I was involved in evangelical Christianity, I tended to suppress this inclination. Doing so caused growing tension for several years, until I eventually left that religious environment. Afterward, it seemed quite natural to re-embrace the mythopoetic way.

My personality tends toward the melancholic. In Western culture, there is an ancient belief that personality types derive from four basic bodily humours. (For the melancholic, the humour is black bile. See further below.) Mine seems to correlate mostly with the element of Earth (of the four elements: earth, water, air, fire) . However, my zodiac birth sign is Scorpio, a water sign. I often dream of water and find the ocean awesome. And yet, I do seem to prefer cold and dry weather to any other combination. I don’t easily tolerate the cold and wet. For a long time I considered relocating to a warm and arid climate, but lately my subconscious (soul) seems to be telling me “cold and dry.”

And all this correlates to the mystic and/or monastic spiritual type. Interestingly, while I was in the evangelical environment, my traits tended sometimes toward the “crusader” type, but when away (and finally departed) from that environment, I have shifted back to a more mystic type. Environment and social context often draw forth varying combinations of traits and dispositions (or moods and modalities) . This can lead to imbalance and therefore tension and conflict. Often a necessary change in religious orientation occurs. The underlying, inherent spiritual type remains and restructures a person’s path. (Or gets the person back onto the right path.) That seems to indicate that we are primarily spirit-beings. And it may also mean that each individual has a spiritual type.

Some people have tried to match personality types with spiritual types, and further link them to learning styles. Still others view spiritual types as being centered in body, mind, heart, or soul. I wonder how much our personality affects our spiritual path, and vice versa. That is, the way we perceive truth, and how we approach situations and relationships, especially with deities and spiritual forces. Indeed the gods and goddesses themselves appear to have various personalities.

Here are some correlations between Seasons, Elements, Qualities, Humours, Personalities, and Spiritual Centers.

Autumn: Earth: Cold and Dry: black bile: Melancholic: Soul
Winter: Water: Cold and Moist: phlegm: Phlegmatic: Mind
Spring: Air: Hot and Moist: blood: Sanguine: Heart
Summer: Fire: Hot and Dry: yellow bile: Choleric: Body

Many people who see such connections also recognize complex combinations as well. While overall dispositions may be evident, everyone is unique. Each person has perspectives, preferences, moods, and motivations that make them similar to others, yet unlike anyone else. We may share some common views and pursue some common goals, but spirituality is an aspect that cannot be pressed into a mold. Especially when it comes to Paganism, it is not one-size-fits-all.

So, I wonder how many Pagans would discover that they might prefer an afterlife or paradise other than Summerland. As far as Seasons go, Summerland would be the least appealing to me. (It would actually seem closer to hell than to heaven. Unless of course, Summerland were like Winter in Florida. That would be fine.)

It is all relative, and relevant, to whom we are as individuals. (And that goes for non-humans as well.)

Perhaps the saying is true, “You don’t choose your path; your path chooses you.”

As I grow older and continue doing soul work and now more soul-shadow work (as the shadows lengthen in life) , I find interesting correlations (and complex combinations) among the four seasons, four elements, personalities, and spiritual paths. I hope to pursue this further. For now, I defer to persons more learned and insightful. Perhaps there will be more essays on such topics. I welcome correspondence with anyone along these lines.

Somewhere mellow Jazz is lofting over pumpkin fields in cool twilight, while laughing children play among the red-golden leaves, with frolicking cats. (There must always be cats.) The moon is rising over Autumnland, and I know I’m at home.

Peace and Blessings.

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Here are a few websites discussing the correlations mentioned above. I found these sites at random, and I do not endorse them or any other site, subject, or author associated with them. The information is rather elementary.

http://www.kheper.net/topics/typology/four_humours.html

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/hippocrates/a/hippocraticmeds.htm

http://www.wholeliving.com/article/whats-your-spiritual-type

The following is from a Christian point of view:
http://www.metanoia.org/martha/writing/spiritualtype.htm

This one is also from a Christian point of view:
http://www.gbod.org/education/articles.asp?item_id=12679

A Blessing for an Autumn Fire

A Blessing for an Autumn Fire

 

When the hills of my valley blaze with autumn color, I know it’s time to ready my woodstove for the winter season. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it’s a good idea to perform a blessing ritual as you light the season’s first fire, especially if you perform fire magic. Ready the wood and ignite the fire using the flame of a white or orange candle as you recite this blessing:

Ancient fire,
Burn safely and bright.
Favor me with warmth and light.
Creator of the magical Jinn,
Welcome to my hearth again.
Outside nature dies,
And the world grows dark.
Warm me forever with your spark.

As a purifying offering, sprinkle a bit of salt on the flames. Sit by the fire and meditate or divine by the flames. Most of all enjoy

the season’s first fire.

By: James Kambos,

 

Llewellyn and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

Samhain Dreamtime

SAMHAIN DREAMTIME

Veils have ever been our womon symbol
to dance to mate to grieve to withdraw
our rites of passage, our transitions
to become the Goddess
of Moondark. of Croning. of Death.

What do you Dream when the Veil thins ?

do you hear the weeping of an ancient tree
or of the spider who’s lifework is lost

do you face the winds,
the tunnel between nightmares and death

do you know the agony of emotion
exploding into shards of color
do you bleed as they pierce your flesh

do you see the faces of your grandmothers
as they give Birth, as they die, as they discover
how many can you name
how many know your Name

do you dream the lives of others, blending your
self with their pain until you
must stand and Name yourself again
or be forever lost

Will you whisper to me your secrets?

A Witch’s Thoughts on Halloween

A WITCH’S THOUGHTS ON HALLOWEEN

Most people celebrate Halloween as a children’s holiday of candy and costumes. However, I will be celebrating tonight as Samhain (“Sow-wen”), the Celtic New Year the night for remembering loved ones past and looking toward the future. For I am a Neo-pagan, a follower of the Old Religion, a Wiccan.  I am a Witch.

There are probably as many definitions of Wicca as there are practitioners of the Craft–one of the joys of this path is that there is no “one, true way”; intuition is as valuable as teaching.  This then is my personal definition of what Wicca is to me.

First, what Wicca is not is devil-worship.  Wiccans don’t believe in an entity of all-evil.  (I personally don’t believe in evil per se; all evil is simply a perversion orexcess of something that is good when present in a proper balance.)

Wicca is a religion based on experience of Deity as male and female.  It is
pantheistic–seeing all things as part of God/dess, and seeing the Earth Herself as a living organism of whom we are part.  It is also a religion of immanence–seeing God/dess present in each of us and in the world around us, not “out there somewhere” but part of daily life.

Wiccans celebrate eight major holidays, or sabbats–the beginning and midpoint of each season.  We also celebrate the phases of the moon:  some only celebrate the full moon while others celebrate full, waxing, and new moons.Each of these rituals helps keep us in touch with Nature.  These celebrations are in small groups usually called circles, covens, or groves and are usually led by a Priestess, and often a Priest.  Some groups share duties and avoid titles.

Wicca is also a “Craft”.  We practice magic through chants, visualizations and
spells, all to focus our will on something we want to happen.  We believe that
everything we do, good or ill, comes back to us tripled, which is why we don’t
“hex” or “curse” anyone.  We also believe that many psychic talents are real and simply haven’t been studied enough by science to be catalogued as such.

Wiccans for the most part accept reincarnation, not as dogma to be believed, but as fact based on personal experience.  Many of us remember past lives.  As one who has studied science, I know that every atom of my body once was part of something else, and I am continually losing atoms that become part of others. Knowing this, it makes sense that my soul also is “recycled”.

Wicca is a positive philosophy.  The only “law” is ‘An it harm none, do as ye will”: Enjoy life to its fullest, and remember to help everyone else enjoy it as well.Wiccans don’t preach; Wiccans don’t evangelize.  Everyone has to find his/her own path, and we welcome the diversity this brings.

So tonight, when you dress up as a “wicked witch”, know that there are “good
witches” celebrating as well.  Know that I and thousands like me throughout the world are celebrating the cycles of life through the dance of the Lord and the Lady, trying to make this world we all share a little brighter through our cauldron fires in the darkness.  Know we are not out to convert you; know we mean you no harm.  All we ask for is under-standing, tolerance, and the freedom to practice as we choose.

Blessed Be,

Cecylyna Brightsword