‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Before we can share with others, we must have something to share. And all of us do have something to give. Not material things, but we can share our peace and our love and our loyalty.
Before we can share with others, there must be others with whom to share. For if we are selfish and self-centered enough, we will never have to worry about sharing anything. We will be alone.
Before we can expect others to share with us, we must be capable of accepting. We must be worthy of others who desire to share with us; we must deserve their love.
Before the two of us can ever find anything in this world of mutual interest, we must have enough concern and enough love to feel a need within to produce something good enough to offer; not only to others, but to ourselves. If we have abused our own nature with thoughts of bitterness, harboring painful experiences, self-condemnation for little progress regardless of circumstances, then we have nothing to offer.
The French philosopher Achille Poincelot once said, “Some people think that all the world should share their misfortunes, though they do not share in the sufferings of anyone else.”
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 August 12
“With one mind we address our acknowledgment, respect, and gratefulness to all the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives.”
–Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The sacred Cycle of life – the baby, the youth, the adult, the Elder. Let us respect all directions, the four directions of the Grandfathers; let us respect their power. Let us remember we belong to the earth, the earth does not belong to us. Help us to be respectful to all the gifts You have given us.
Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to be humble. Let me not attack anything in deed or in my thoughts. Let my thoughts focus on the beauty You have created in all things.
August 12 – Daily Feast
Time and space mean nothing to friends. They find each other again and again, to share the things that are important – and a great many things that are ordinary, everyday events. Tsu na li I, friends or close ones, forgive us whether we deserve it or not. They know how easy it is to get off center. But they have high hopes for us – maybe even higher than we have for ourselves. We are at our best when someone chooses to be that kind of friend, to make allowances for our lapses of memory – for no other reason than precious, loyal friendship. It is a quiet, peaceful and dear relationship that never grows old and never ends. Being such a friend is a sweet and blessed responsibility.
~ The Great Spirit has smiled upon us and made us glad. ~
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Go the distance
Though the road ahead is long and challenging, take the next step now. There is much to be done, and you can get it done by making good use of every day, of every moment.
When faced with a difficult task it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. The best way to get past that feeling is not to give up, but to get busy and make some solid progress.
Unexpected challenges will arise, obstacles will block your path, and it will feel like the world is against you. When that happens, the key to feeling better about your situation is to do something positive and proactive with it.
Remind yourself that in this moment all is well, because you are here and able to make a difference. This moment is the sum of everything you have, so choose to feel good about it and to do good with it.
To assure the best of what is to come, make the best of what is right now. Instead of dreading what you imagine in the future, embrace and make positive use of the reality of the present.
You can absolutely go the distance if you’ll take it one positive, productive moment at a time. Live fully now, and you’ll be immensely thankful you did, for a long time to come.
— Ralph Marston
Evolution of the Soul
Life Lessons through Reincarnation
Often we reincarnate on earth with our soul family and often our most intense relationships are with our soul family.
You meet someone for the first time and feel as if you know them already. You’re in a town that you’ve never been to before, yet you recognize streets and buildings. You start playing a new sport and amaze everyone, including yourself, at your natural abilities and intuitive knowing of the rules. We often describe such experiences as déjà vu: the experience or feeling that a new situation has happened to us before. Then again, the possibility does exist that we have actually lived these experiences in the past or, rather, in another lifetime.
Many spiritual practices believe that reincarnation is real: Our souls return to this earth over a series of lifetimes to evolve, learn, grow, transform, and become more spiritually attuned through the course of each life. When we reincarnate, it is believed that we tend to cycle through our different lives with many of the same people. Often these traveling “soul“ companions are the ones we enter into relationships with; we work through our unresolved issues together so that we may heal. When we struggle or keep encountering blocks that keep us from reaching our goals, there may be a specific lesson that we are supposed to learn in this lifetime. Being naturally blessed with a musical talent or another gift can be a special ability that you worked hard to develop in a past life. You may even have lived before as another gender or as part of a different social or economic class. Each lifetime brings with it specific lessons that are necessary for our spiritual evolution.
Past life recall can give us valuable insights into our past, present, and future lives. The knowledge of how we lived before can help us overcome present obstacles, understand phobias, and resolve relationship issues. There are workshops you can take to learn about past lives, and past life regression therapists can guide you on your journey backward in time. You can learn to visit your past lives through your dreams, meditation, and trance work. It is even possible to see full scenes of a former lifetime flash before you in your mind’s eye as if you were watching a movie. While looking back at your past lives can be exciting and enlightening, it is important to remember that the answers you are seeking to this life can only truly be found by living this one. Look to your past to see where you’ve been, but remember that the life that matters most is the one that you are living now.
8 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Life
- a Care2 favorite by Ed and Deb Shapiro
We can’t imagine what life would be like without meditation. It has seen us through tough times and many life changes, keeping us sane and grounded and real. Life is challenging enough; we can never know what will arise next and only when our minds are clear and focused can we make the best decisions.
How are you able to deal with the madness and chaos that occurs daily? How do you deal with the challenges of life? Meditation is highly misunderstood and often under-rated yet is perhaps what it takes to be a truly sane person. How does meditation affect us? How does it shift our priorities, enable us to make friends with ourselves, to find answers to our questions?
Here are eight ways meditation can make your life more meaningful and enjoyable!
1. Living With Kindness
No one deserves your kindness and compassion more than yourself. Every time you see or feel suffering, every time you make a mistake or say something stupid and are just about to put yourself down, every time you think of someone you are having a hard time with, every time you encounter the confusion and difficulty of being human, every time you see someone else struggling, upset, or irritated, you can stop and bring loving kindness and compassion. Breathing gently, silently repeat: May I be well, may I be happy, May I be filled with loving kindness.
2. Lightening the Load
In a stressed state, it is easy to lose touch with inner peace, compassion and kindness; in a relaxed state, your mind is clear and you can connect with a deeper sense of purpose and altruism. Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm, just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in- and out-breath: Breathing in, I calm the body and mind; breathing out, I smile.
3. Letting Go of Me
Stillness is always there between the thoughts, behind the story, beneath the noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of being is the habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection there is no way of putting a brake on the ego’s demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about the welfare of all.
4. Dissolving Anger and Fear
We do not accept or release our negative feelings so easily; we are more likely to repress or disown them. But when denied they cause shame, depression, anger, and anxiety. Meditation invites you to openly meet these places, and to see how selfishness, aversion and ignorance create endless dramas and fears. Beneath these is a quiet stillness where you can get to know yourself; this is a wondrous and beautiful experience. Whether you practice for just ten minutes a day or longer does not matter. You are releasing your limitations, while opening to self-acceptance and awareness.
5. Awakening Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. As you sit in meditation and watch your thoughts and feelings moving through you, so you can observe that who you are now is not who you were just a moment ago, let alone a day, a week, or a month ago. Who you, or someone else, was when pain was caused is not who you are now. When you experience your essential interconnectedness you see how the ignorance of this creates separation and suffering, so that forgiveness for such ignorance arises spontaneously.
6. Generating Harmlessness
Simply through the intent to cause less pain you can bring greater dignity to your world, so that harm is replaced with harmlessness and disrespect with respect. Harm is usually caused unintentionally, whether by ignoring someone’s feelings, putting yourself down, reaffirming your hopelessness, disliking your appearance, or seeing yourself as incompetent or unworthy. How much resentment, guilt, or shame are you holding on to, thus perpetuating harmfulness? Meditation enables you transform this through recognizing your essential goodness and the preciousness of all life.
7. Appreciating Appreciation
Take a moment to appreciate the chair you are sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it—all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.
8. Being Aware
Awareness is the key to awakening. Through awareness you can see your monkey mind and all its mischief. Almost everything we do is to achieve something: if we do this, then we will get that; if we do that, then this will happen. But in meditation you do it just to do it. There is no ulterior purpose other than to be here, in the present moment, without trying to get anywhere or achieve anything. You are just aware of whatever is happening, whether pleasant or unpleasant. No judgment, no right or wrong. Simply being aware. Enjoy!
Let Me Breathe: A Simple Abundance Meditation
It’s okay that you feel afraid, wild one, but it is not serving you. Pause for a moment to release it now, and then return to this meditation any time you feel the shadows begin to creep back in. Take a long, deep breath into your body and then release it. Wonderful, do that again… breathe in even more slowly and more deeply, holding it in for a moment and the release that breath from every corner of your being, and hold that emptiness for a moment as well. Good. Now, read along as you continue to breathe these same deep, cleansing breaths.
Let me breathe in the transformative love that flows with ease through the universe, and breathe out the fear that aches in my chest. Let me breathe in the healing light of the thousand angels who are holding me in this moment… and breathe out the dark whispers that echo in my mind. Let me breathe in the warmth of my spirit community and breathe out the lie of isolation. Let me breathe in the simplicity I long for, and breathe out the hurt and complexities of yesterday. Let me breathe in my wild and passionate nature, and breathe out every obstacle to openness. Let me breathe in the truth that I AM, I AM… and breathe out resistance to love. Let me breathe in divine abundance and then, breathe out the need to deny the divine within. Let me breathe in the eternal flow of love and abundance… and then breathe out to release all that no longer serves me.
Free Guided Meditation Tool
Have you been wanting to get into meditation but didn’t know where to start? There’s an app for that!
Former monk-turned-meditation-guru Andy Puddicombe wants everyone to learn the power of meditation, and his Headspace project is all about helping people learn how to meditate. His Headspace app for iPhone or Android is a powerful tool for anyone looking to learn the basics of meditation and start a regular practice.
If you’re not familiar with Puddicombe, check out his inspiring TED Talk above about the power of taking 10 minutes to meditate each day. Or, as he calls it “doing nothing.”
I just started using the app recently, and I’m already loving it! The basic program is a series of ten ten-minute meditation practices, which you go through in order. Each day builds on the previous day’s practice. After that, there are a couple hundred other meditations that you can try in any order that you like, though the additional programs are not free.
Before you do your first meditation, he also walks you through a short series of videos to help you get in the right headspace for your practice. He emphasizes that meditation is a skill, and that you shouldn’t force it. One of the things I’m digging most about this program is that he frequently reminds you that it’s OK if your mind wanders and it’s OK to have conscious thoughts while you’re meditating. The key is noticing when that happens and observing those things without letting them effect you.
I also love the tone of the program. There is no new-agey music, creepy whispering narrator, or strange sound- or voice-effects. He just calmly walks you through each day’s exercise. If you prefer more of a new-age spin on meditation, this app might not be for you.
Take Ten, Day One Video
This is the introductory video from the Headspace Take Ten series. The rest of the series is available via the Headspace app for iPhone or Android.
Instead of a quiz today, I have a question for everybody. I would like as many as possible to participate. You know sort of start a conversation. Now here’s the question……
I was watching the History Channel last night. They were previewing a new show that is coming on. But in the commercial for it, the same question was asked again and again. So after about 4 times of seeing the commercial I got to thinking about the question. I actually gave it some serious thought (which is unusual for me, lol!). The question that kept reappearing was….
If you could go back in time and stop an event from happening (like 9/11, WWI, assassination of JFK), which event would you try to prevent?
My answer to the question came quickly to me. I would go back and prevent John Wilkins Booth from shooting Abraham Lincoln. I have always admired Lincoln and his life was cut way too short. I believe he would have probably been one of our greatest Presidents ever. He was President during some very turmoil times but his judgment was good and he did what he thought was right. But there is one thing that has always baffled me about Lincoln. He was so against slavery that he was willing to go to war to free all the slaves. But in reality he had slaves of his own. That never made a lick of sense to me, the President having slaves. Then I stop to think, Lincoln and I had some pretty similiar thoughts and ideas. I don’t believe in slavery and I don’t understand what was wrong with the people back then. Every man should be free and what our forefathers were thinking is beyond me. He believed in equality for everyone. In this country that should be a given. And most of all, he was willing to fight for an idea that he believed in. It is ashame the way he was killed. Shot from behind, only a coward does that. When Booth jumped to the stage he should have broken more than his leg. He should have broken his neck. If Lincoln had lived, there is no telling if this country would have been better off. But it sure could get any worse.
Now it’s your turn, what event would you stop?
The birthstone most associated with August is the peridot, a beautiful green gemstone that is sometimes mistaken as an emerald. According to ancient traditions, wearing a peridot close to the skin will reduce stress of all sorts while also freeing the mind from anger and guilt. It has also long been believed that wearing peridot jewelry can slow the aging process while increasing endurance, confidence and self-esteem. This gemstone brings those blessings even if you weren’t born in August, so if this information rings true, then this might just be the most perfect jewelry for you.
By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com
Naudhiz may foretell needs unmet and friction in relationships. You may be in a time where you should be very careful in whatever endeavor you take on. Also it may be that you are about to learn some of life’s hard lessons and come out the other side of this period a stronger being.
Monday, Aug 12th, 2013
Traditionally entitled “Empress,” this major arcana or “trump” card portrays the energy of the Great Mother. She is Nature, around us but also within us, the ever-unfolding Source of life-giving power. She is often pictured as a pre-Christian Goddess, as the one whom the High Priestess is channeling down to earth for the rest of us.
In medieval Europe, the Empress card was painted to represent whatever Queen currently ruled the land, probably to satisfy the Inquisitors. But the scholars of the Renaissance and beyond had no doubt of her true identity, although she could not be fully revealed on Tarot cards as the “woman clothed with the sun” until after the French Revolution.
This supreme archetype of femininity also symbolizes fertility. It is She who provides us nourishment and security. She is also sometimes seen as delighting us with flowers and fruit. A potentially terrifying aspect of this archetype manifests itself whenever karmic mood swings wipe out our plans, like a storm that has come upon us. Whatever happens, the Empress is the Source of our Embodiment and of Natural Law. She might even be called “the Great Recycler.”
When You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going
How outer planet transits are shaking up your life
Outer planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are heavy hitters. These guys mean business, and when they transit a personal planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) or angle in your chart by close degree, you can count on upsets in your world.
Right now, it’s fascinating to note that not one zodiac sign is immune from an outer planet transit. If you’re a Fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), we give you the transit of Saturn in Scorpio. If you’re a Mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) then you’re the winner of a Neptune in Pisces transit. And if you’re a Cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), well then, you’ve won the cosmic jackpot. That’s because you get the simultaneous transit of Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.
When I consult with my clients, or even look around the lives of my own family members, I see the fascinating difference that each type of outer planetary transit has in their world. The common theme is change through developmental tension, ultimately leading to personal growth. For each outer planet that transits something vital in your horoscope, it can feel like you’re going through the muck. I’m reminded of the famous Winston Churchill quote these days more than ever:
“When you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Easier said than done, right? And yet, we humans are a resilient bunch. We can take so much pressure from the outside world — and even from our own creation — and not only manage to survive, but thrive.
Even hell has an end
What resonates most about this quote as I apply it to astrological cycles is the reminder that even hell has an ending. Eventually, you’ll get out and come to the other side of pain. Eventually, you’ll see the light again. Yet the only way to ensure that is to keep going through the darkness.
While it’s true that every outer planetary transit to your horoscope has the commonality of morphing your world through a series of stressful circumstances, it’s important to note that each outer planet has a very different style, or modus operandi, with which he accomplishes this.
I thought it might be helpful to briefly clarify the differences so that when you or someone you know experiences a transit, you’ll have an idea of how the specific outer planet goes about achieving his mission.
What Saturn transits can teach
Saturn transits change through restrictive, limiting and sometimes overbearing circumstances. Saturn is also discipline, responsibility and authority. There are many different ways in which this can happen. Let’s say you’re having a Saturn transit to your 10th House of Career. This angle of the chart is concerned with your status in life, your professional goals and ambitions, and authority figures in your world.
When Saturn comes to this point in your horoscope (and we all get this transit about once every 29 years) it can either be an incredible career pinnacle, where you’re recognized as the authority in your industry, or it can be a time of drudgery, where, in the eyes of the boss, your best is never good enough.
The positive end of this transit uses the most illuminative qualities of Saturn to help you master your goals. The shadow is felt as roadblock after roadblock as you work ferociously to get your name out there. Either way Saturn crystalizes what he touches. That’s how he teaches.
Uranus can shake you awake
What if Uranus was transiting the same angle in your chart? Uranus is the great awakener of the zodiac. He presents radical change in our life in the most sudden, unexpected way. When transiting Uranus crosses your 10th house you can expect sudden opportunity in career or a sudden change in status (going from married to divorced or divorced to married are examples).
This is also a time of waking up to what liberates you in terms of your life direction and following it. Uranus teaches by destabilizing what it touches, forcing us to accommodate to these shifts and get in touch with our brilliance.
Neptune transits point to gain through loss
How about good old Neptune? Neptune dissolves what it touches. When you have a Neptune transit, something — or someone — tends to slip through your fingers. This can also be a time of tremendous idealism because of the extraordinary spiritual component of Neptune.
A transit of Neptune to your 10th house can result in a major ego loss professionally or personally. There might be a scandal involving you that obliterates your reputation if you have been going down an unsavory path. Alternatively, this might be a time you decide to follow your imaginative career goals and pursue that opportunity in music, film, photography or the healing arts.
What will disappear during this transit is your attachment to the status in life you held before Neptune arrived. Neptune transits teach us by softening us up enough to allow illumination in.
Surrendering to planet Pluto
And then there’s Pluto. This planet, more than any other, likes it in hell. He is, after all, the God of the underworld. When you’re having a Pluto transit you know it because the pain you endure can be brutal. Pluto teaches through elimination. He kills off what you no longer need — what is actually impeding you from soul growth.
The more you fight Pluto on this, the harder your transit will be. Do yourself a favor and when Pluto comes calling, prepare to surrender. You’re only job during a Pluto transit is to accept the transformation. Even if it hurts. Especially when it hurts. Pluto is the planet of power, and if he happens to transit your 10th house you can either arrive at an incredible position of power (sometimes notoriety) professionally, or you can fall from a position of power if you’ve been abusing your clout.
Either way, Pluto teaches you that with great power comes great responsibility and if you’re not using it for the greater good, when he transits your 10th house he’s going to rip it right away.
So, are you going through hell right now? Join the club. My advice? Keep it moving.
Weekly Astrology: August 12-18, 2013
This week it’s all about “me, me, me”
It might be a short week in terms of planetary aspects, but that certainly doesn’t mean its short on depth. In fact, we all know that most of the time it’s not about quantity, but all about quality. This week we’ve got superb quality in the cosmic sky!
Here’s the lowdown on the key cosmic events the week of August 12-18, 2013.
Wednesday, August 14: Mercury in Leo trine Uranus in Aries
What you can surely expect early in the week and peaking on Wednesday is fantastic mental stamina. High spirited, innovative thinking will be a hallmark for everyone, thanks to a gorgeous trine between Mercury in Leo and Uranus in Aries.
Mercury in Leo likes to communicate theatrically. His words need to have flair and this placement is known for being exceptionally talented in the story telling department. When Mercury in Leo is at a friendly angle to Uranus in Aries, there’s an added spark of innovation to whatever is communicated. Expect original ideas to fly and Eureka moments dramatically declared in conversation.
The other side of this trine is the fact that it’s decidedly ego centered. Everyone will have a grand old time talking about themselves — or to themselves. It’s a “me, me, me” dialogue, for sure. However, the funny part is that because it’s a trine, no one will fault you for it. So go ahead, self-promote — especially when it comes to your most unusual talents and ideas!
Friday, August 16: Venus in Libra
Hearts will open up once again by Friday, thanks to Venus moving into relationship-oriented Libra. It’s not that Venus in Virgo is close-hearted — it’s just more tight-lipped when it comes to the expression of relationship needs. The shift in energy will be felt in a major way because now Venus will be in her home sign and much more comfortable to express herself naturally.
What does that entail? Well, Venus in Libra is certainly more social, graceful and charming. From Friday until September 11 you’ll have an extraordinary edge when it comes to nurturing the harmony potential in any partnership. The gentle dance of give and take in a relationship will become more of a focus, and in general everyone will be more willing to give.
The exception to this rule will be when Venus squares Pluto and opposes Uranus, but that won’t happen this week, so for now just trust that Venus in Libra is certainly in a happy place.
Because this is a short week when it comes to planetary aspects, it’s also a good week to focus on your New Moon intentions from last week. Although the New Moon in Leo occurred on August 6, for this entire week you will still have that energy to use to your advantage.
Don’t forget to plant seeds of intention that revolve around a new creative project, romance or situation with a child in your life. Use the extraordinary mental energy this Wednesday to flesh out an idea related to your New Moon intentions.
And for this weekend? Expect a lot less “I” and a lot more “we” in your conversations.