‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 16th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

It is said that pearls worn by a happy person have a warm and more lustrous glow.

Pearls are like gentle moments strung together for the happy person – they cannot help but glow.

Gentle moments, like pearls, seem to be so few. Yet, how rich and warm and beautiful they make our lives.

It takes only a few moments to enjoy a talk with someone about good things instead of the bad; it takes only a few moments to drop a line to a shut-in when attention means so much. It takes only a few moments to see a sunset, or read a Scripture, or listen to a child talk.

It takes only a few moments to open the door to happiness. And if happiness seems only a few moments long, so will trouble if we open the door and let it out instead of harboring it.

Life is made up of a few moments all strung together like pearls. Each moment is a pearl, and it is up to us to pick the ones with the highest luster. If we do not have time to do great things, take a few gentle moments and do small things in a great way.

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 – October 16

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 16

“Many religions have been brought to this land. And the way my religion is, they teach me, and they taught me, and told me to respect all religions. And I still do that.”

–Horace Axtell, NEZ PERCE

The Creator put on this Earth many different religions which represent different roads to walk to God. All religions are right and good if the path is the path to God. Should we be judging which road is better or worse than the other? When we accept each other’s way we can stand in a circle, hold hands and listen to each other as we pray to God. Let us be more accepting of the religions of others.

Great Spirit – God, Grandfather, Grandmother, Lord – let me know peace.

October 16 – Daily Feast

October 16 – Daily Feast

There were ducks on the pond this morning, a pair of blue-winged teals gliding smoothly along and stopping only to feed. They were oblivious to cattle feeding along the slopes – and even to footsteps on the grass. It is a calm peace of mind that is not easily startled. Everywhere is beauty, the cottonwood tree white against the oaks and evergreens, the ungainly heron wading at the water’s edge. So common and so unlikely to attract attention because it all fits together in a picture so easily taken for granted. But the peace cannot be taken for granted because it seeps into the soul like sunlight pierces the deepest shadows – and rests.

~ I questioned the trees and bushes….Who made you? In dream Wakan Tanka told me I must honor his works in nature. ~

BRAVE BUFFALO – SIOUX

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

Daily Motivator for Oct. 16th – Stronger than the problems

Stronger than the problems

Do not seek to be free of the problems. Work to be stronger than the  problems.

A life with no problems would be a life with no opportunities for growth or  achievement. That’s not what you want, and it is certainly not realistic.

In the real world there are difficult problems, and there will always be. Yet  there are also countless possibilities for progress and true fulfillment.

Don’t waste your time fantasizing about a life free of problems. Instead, use  your imagination and your efforts to transform those problems into positive  value.

Embrace each situation as it is, along with all the problems. Accept that the  problems exist, and you can then begin to successfully work through them.

Life will always be challenging in one way or another. So rise to the  challenges and use your unique set of abilities to make life great.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for October 16th – Cultivating the Seed Within

Cultivating the Seed Within

Peace

by Madisyn Taylor

We can learn to locate the seed of peace inside ourselves in order to have a reliable source of serenity.

 

In our noisy world, we often find ourselves longing for peace and searching to find it somewhere else. While it’s true that there are places we can visit where we can experience peace, such as sacred sites or buildings, we do not need to wait until we get to one of these places to feel at peace. Instead, we can learn to locate the seed of peace inside ourselves and cultivate it so that it grows into a reliable source of serenity that we can always access, no matter where we are.

We experience peace when we are in a state of mental calm and serenity. It might surprise you to notice how infrequently you allow yourself to be free from anxiety. Realizing this is the first step to inner peace. If you wait until all the details of your life are taken care of to allow yourself to experience peace, you will never feel peaceful because there is always something that your mind can grab onto to create anxiety. It is important to consciously set aside your worries and make time to cultivate inner peace.

Ideally, you could schedule time each day to meditate on peace and experience what it feels like to be calm and serene. It takes practice to learn how to let go of your worries, so give yourself some time. Inhale deeply, and feel your worries dissolve with every exhale. Remind yourself that soon enough you will be able to take care of everything you need to, but right now you are taking a break. As the clutter of your thoughts and concerns clear away, you will start to feel more serene. Allow yourself to move deeper into this state with each inhale. Realize that you have the power to free yourself from anxiety simply by deciding to do so. The more you practice feeling peaceful, the easier it will be for you to feel at peace.

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Author:   Rev. etain.butterfly   

I am enjoying my Cronehood journey and wish I could say the same for many of our aging population. What I am observing and I must say it is a concern to me…why do people of age want to home in on talking about their illness (s) and making it their main topic of conversation? I can understand when a crisis happens, there is a new diagnosis that is heavy on their mind and that there stages they go through (shock, grieving, barter, and acceptance) , however I am not talking about this. I am talking about the need to focus on the aging process as a loss and a ‘giving up’ instead of looking at it for what it is… a process that can offer freedom and joys. Let me give you some examples.

A friend of mine is a diabetic and he has this condition because of many years of not paying attention to what he ate and the amount of what he ate. He continued to gain weight and the signs started showing up that he was near developing Type II Diabetes at age 58. When he had a chance to correct the situation by diet alone, he still made bad decisions about his food intake. Then he was given the devastating news that he was now a full fledge diabetic that must take insulin.

I was very patient when he learned he had to change his eating habits, monitor his blood sugar, and learn to give himself insulin shots. I understood it would take him time to adjust, so his constant talking and yes, even complaining, was expected. As a friend, it was my job to help him through this transition and give him the needed support to ease all the changes that he would have to go through.

So, here’s his story now. He’s 68 years old and has had this condition for several years. He continues to make this health issue his topic of conversation even when things are going really well. The fact is, he has had this condition for 10 years and has chosen to play the ‘poor me scenario’. His doctor has provided him with excellent information and several resources to help him cope. He always needs to announce to anyone and everyone in earshot that he is a diabetic and then goes into the same old routine of boring them to death with details of his blood sugar and his eating routine. An example of his usual conversation…

”Oh my blood sugar is 100 and that is good but usually it is higher than that. Gosh, what do you think that means? Should I call the doctor? Maybe I should eat a candy bar to get it higher. What do you think? I will have to check it again later. Maybe I should call my daughter.”

He has a daughter who is an RN and he is driving her bonkers. When I am around him, I end up tuning him out when he starts this nonsense. Now I find myself avoiding him because I am sick of hearing his persistent complaining. It is taking a toll on my psychic energy. In other words, it sucks the life right out of me and, after visiting with him, I am tired and so ready to take a nap.

I see this with other Crones also. They talk about their arthritic aches and pains plus stiffness in their joints as much as they do about the changes in the weather. These are chronic conditions, meaning they will experience this from time to time, and talking about it obsessively won’t change a thing.

At what point do people decide that the aging process means they need to constantly talk about their health issues? At what point do they stop engaging in healthier topics of conversation? What are the reasons for this shift in how they converse with people and, more importantly, do they even realize how depressing this whole routine is?

One reason may actually be major depression (also known as clinical depression) , which is a medical illness. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain and can appear in people regardless of age, race or economic status. The illness can appear after a triggering event or for no apparent reason at all.

Look for signs of:

•Constant complaints of aches and pains (back, stomach, arms, legs, head, chest) , fatigue, slowed movements and speech, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, weight increase or decrease, blurred vision, dizziness, heart racing, anxiety.
•An overall sadness or apathy, withdrawn; unable to find pleasure in anything. Also irritability, mood swings or constant complaining; nothing seems to make the person happy.
•Talk of worthlessness, not being needed anymore, excessive and unwarranted guilt.
•Frequent doctor visits without relief in symptoms; all tests come out negative.
•Alcoholism can mask an underlying depression.

Another reason is ‘doing as others do’. Meaning they mimic what other elders are doing. Again if that is what they see and hear from their associates, there is a strong chance they may get caught up in the same negative behavior.

A third reason is the lack of stimulation, which will give them other things to talk about. Many times, elders find themselves alone with infrequent visitation from family and friends. They concentrate on familiar things like illnesses, chronic aches and pains, and the medications they take.

I, too, have minor health issues, however I chose to acknowledge that ‘it is what it is’. I have been dealt this hand and therefore I will do what I can to not let it slow me down. As I said, I am an observer of people partly because I am an RN and it’s part of my job. I have made note that those individuals who are really struggling with major health issues hardly complain at all. They keep a positive attitude and, in doing so, don’t let their condition stop them from enjoying life. Along with keeping a positive attitude, you may also find, as I have, that ‘like attracts like’. People benefit from being around cheerful positive people.

As an Elder and Crone myself, I hope to stir the Pagan community to take notice of how they choose to age. Are we aging with grace or are we just aging? Talk to the God and Goddess for help in modifying your way of thinking so you can handle life’s little ups and down. If you have family and / or friends who are displaying this type of behavior, show empathy and love by helping them comprehend the negative effects that persist when they chose to concentrate on their health issues in a pessimistic way. Sometimes it becomes a habit and they don’t even realize how often it occurs.

Behaviors can be changed, so make up your mind to age with GRACE and not just age.

Crone Inspiration

Crone Inspiration

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly

I work in an outpatient surgery center and I must share a story about a lively 92-year-old Crone that came in for cataract surgery. As I was interviewing her I noticed she was really tan so I ask if she had been on vacation and she said with a gleam in her eyes “Why yes, I just got back from visiting my son and his wife in Florida.” I ask if she had a nice time and she chuckled and said, “Not really; I thought they were boring. All they wanted to do was watch TV.” I ask her what she would have liked to do and she answered “Go parasailing on the beach, do some snorkeling to view the beautiful fish in the ocean, and to go horseback riding’.

Wow, what an amazing energetic view on what a vacation should be. She was so full of positive energy and love of life. I couldn’t help thinking…”I want to be like that when I am her age”. She was a real ‘Crone – Inspiration’ and a joy to listen to. When it was my break time I sat with her in recovery room and listened to her views on life and the importance of keeping active.

According to Wikipedia: “The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, [1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag”.

Funny, I don’t see myself as disagreeable (although I can be at times) , malicious, or sinister in manner. Just for the record I don’t have a huge wart on my nose either.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Origin of Hag – Middle English hagge demon, old woman. First known use: the 14-century. The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca.”

Crone Council states: “Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words.
The Crone began re-emerging into our consciousness in the early 1980s, and today many older women are embracing this connection. We are tapping into the ancient crone’s attributes of wisdom, compassion, transformation, healing laughter, and bawdiness. The ancient crone archetype strengthens our belief and confidence in age-accumulated knowledge, insights and intuitions enabling women to stand up for their rights.”*

The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, [Maiden, Mother and Crone] and she represents part of the circle of life. In today’s society where it seems everyone worships youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she symbolizes our destruction, decay and death. Here, as in nature, the death of winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the spring.

Her positive attribute is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. She is beyond child bearing and now is the wisdom keeper, seer, and healer that is often sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Her color is black and she is associated with waning or new moon, autumn and winter.

When I look into the mirror I see some wrinkles representing the aging process. My step isn’t like it was in my 20s; however some say it is hard to keep up with my pace. I don’t dwell on the changes happening to my body. I embrace the gift of living and all that the God and Goddess have allowed me to experience. I don’t sit home watching TV – I am out adding new experiences to my long list of things to do. Right now I am concentrating on Poi, and learning a new Tarot deck.

My 92-year-old patient told me to always treat your body as a temple – for God will reward you for taking care of yourself. She also said looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full will drain the life energy right out of you. She also said to look at life as if you were an innocent child and in doing so you will see adventure all around you. With that sparkle in her eyes she also said, “It doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of good wine” She won my heart over with that remark.

I am Crone and I am a proud Crone. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for many, many years. I have learned many things as I have traveled on my true path of life. I have made mistakes; learned by those mistakes and moved on. I have learned to be more kind, show more compassion, learn to listen more and speak less. I have learned to share my life’s experiences. I am a Crone, I am a wise Crone, and most importantly I am a Happy Crone.
I wrote this poem to express what being a Crone means to me…

I am Crone (by Etain©)

I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show

I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill

I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare

I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant

 


Footnotes:   * http://cronescounsel.org/The_Ancient_Cone

Let’s Get Crafty – Making a Smudging Stick

Making a Smudging Stick

Be aware of any dangerous chemical reactions or allergies to the plants being used. If you intend to burn a plant in a smudge stick do your research into the plant first to ensure that what you are burning is not dangerous to your health. Always find out if you are allergic first, and have another person on hand or ready to help you if something goes wrong. Call 911 or the appropriate telephone number if a dangerous condition occurs.

Always be careful of how you burn your smudge stick, ensuring that you do not burn yourself. Always use proper fire preventative measures; place burning objects within or upon the appropriate fire burning apparatus. Be aware that holding the smudge stick within your hands can result in burning your hands.

When wrapping the bundle, you should be careful to wrap tightly enough to hold the stems and leaves in place, but not to cut them.

Humidity is a factor in dry time, ensure that your bundle has dried fully before attempting to burn it.

Ensure that there is no mold/mildew growth upon your bundle before burning it.

~Ingredients~

  • Herb(s) appropriate for the smudging
  • String that will safely burn, such as jute line or cotton string

~Process~

  1. Select your fresh herb from the plant (unless you can get long stems of plants elsewhere).
  2. Cut the plant according to size. Plants which are more leafy should be cut in smaller sections, and those that are less leafy can be cut in larger sections.
  3. Cut the string to a good length, such as five to six feet.
  4. Place the pieces according to like, stems to stems and leafs to leafs.
  5. Wrap string around the base, leaving a few inches of string loose.
  6. Wrap up from stems to leafs, then back again in a crisscross pattern.
  7. After returning to the base, tie the few inches from before to the end of your string.
  8. Trim if necessary to give a uniform look.
  9. Place your bundle in a place where it shall dry.

Full Moon Ritual No. 2 (Solitary)

Solitary Full Moon Ritual

The ritual can be performormed indoors as well as out. Try to have a a type of representation of the Full Moon floating in the water, it may be made of white paper or use a white flower, so long as you cannot see its reflection.

Items you will need:a bowl of water

White paper Moon or a White flower

Raise the bowl towards the Moon in the sky and say these words;

‘Hail to thee white swan on the river. Present life, tide turner, moving
through the streams of life, all hail.
Mother of old and new days, to you, through you, this night we cling to
your aura.
Pure reflection, total in belief, touched by Your presence, I am in your
power and wisdom.
I praise Your power, your peace, my power, my peace.
I am strong, I praise, I bless.’
 

Replace the bowl on your altar. Stand for a few moments while appreciating the power of the Moon.

Full Moon Ritual No. 1

Full Moon Ritual No. 1

You will need

-two white candles

-a bell

-Wine or lunar liquid

-Your chalice (or cup)

-spell material if you are doing something afterwards

Cast your circle . Stand before the altar facing North and say:

This is the time of the full moon, a time of great power for positive manifestation, a time of increasing and gaining. The tide of Moon-power is strong. I am of the Goddess. I stand before You at Your altar, in love and adoration. Be with me Goddess. Let me feel your presence here tonight.”

Go to the east with the bell. Ring it once and say:

“Hail Selene. Help me feel the Lady’s power and presence within my mind.”

Go to the South. Ring the bell once and say:

“Hail Cerridwen. Help me feel the Lady’s power and presence within my spirit.”

Go to the West. Ring the bell once and say:

“Hail Athene. Help me feel the Lady’s power and presence within my emotions.”

Go back to the North. Ring the bell once and say:

“Hail Aphrodite. Help me feel the Lady’s power and presence in my body.”

You will probably have an amazing wave of feelings come over you. Let them sink into your body and soul. When you are ready, return the bell to the altar, turn to the North, and raise your arms high above your head. Say:

“Hail Goddess! Moon Mother, Lady of Light, Mistress of Magick and Animals. You are the white light of the Moon upon the Earth, the brillant rays of sun upon life. You are the beginning and ending, the One who creates and takes away. Within You, I see myself and all woman. In this time, You come to me and fill me with your presence.”

Communicate with Her now. Tell Her your problems, wishes and anything you wish to tell her. When you are finished say:

All honor and love to the wonderful Goddess, for She is the power behind all powers, the Goddess behind all gods, the Eternal Life behind death. I see Her loving face within the moon and rejoice. All Hail Queen of the heavens and the earth, the eternal on of Wisdom!”

Raise the chalice to toast her and say:

To Diana and all the Goddesses!”

Now is the time for divination, meditation, and spellwork of any kind.

Close the circle when done.