‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 24th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

To so many, getting up in the morning is the worst way to begin a day. To them every morning is the morning after, a time to feel nervous anxiety and regret in the deepest sense, while to others morning is a new world. Yesterday ceased to be with sleep last night.

How much better off we’d be if only for a few hours we could put out of our minds every painful thought and every unpleasant person until the mind and body could find enough new life to begin again.

“The early morning hath gold in its mouth,” wrote Franklin. But it has things more precious than gold. It has life as fresh and sweet as the shimmering, clinging dewdrops in the first rays of golden sunlight. It has the grace of mimosa leaves rippling in the gentlest breeze. It has the songs of the birds and the love of a new awakening.

And in this breathless creation is something more. A new opportunity, another chance, a challenge to walk on, more strong, more forgiving, more loving.

Sleep deep and rest sweet, but rise glad. Don’t let one joyful second be lost in dead oblivion. This is a vision of newness awaiting even the least to arise and accept the best – a new beginning.

Morning need not be a jury trial for oneself. Dawn and sleep can be a miraculous cleansing to set us out on our feet ready to begin again and in a friendlier atmosphere. We must feel friendly toward ourselves before we can possibly find morning good to anyone else.

An unknown writer once wrote, “Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the window sill of heaven, and gaze upon thy Lord, then, with the vision in thy heart, turn strong to meet thy day.”

We need to be strong to meet the day with self control, to find out reason and purpose, but, more important, to leave behind us the heavy and darkened thoughts that kept us from seeing the breathtaking beauty of the most important time – this morning.

___________________________________________

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 24

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 24

“We create that bad among ourselves. We create it; then we try to call it devil, Satan, or evil. But man creates it. There is no devil. Man creates the devil.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Inside every human being are the laws and codes by which we should live. These laws and codes are communicated to us through a little voice. When we are still, this voice guides us. If we choose to live out of harmony, our lives become filled with anger, hate, selfishness, dishonesty, etc. When these things appear in our lives, we give up accountability and blame it on something or someone else. If we want to live in harmony, we need to pray our way back to living the principles the Creator gave us.

Grandfather, today let me walk with the principles.

October 24 – Daily Feast

October 24 – Daily Feast

Though summer still lingers in the last of vegetables in the garden, cooler air pushes down from the North and with it the subtle changes that color sumac and woodbine with brilliant reds. Some song birds stay during the winter, but their songs are different. This is the season of tart red apples and wood smoke twirling through the tops of tall evergreen trees. It seems only yesterday that spring broke through with her wild colors and thunderstorms. And it will seem only another day until this season has passed and the woods will green once more. Use this tranquil time to rest and walk and to enjoy seeing nature in her bare bones.

~ The Indian, essentially an outdoor person, has no use for handkerchiefs; he was practically immune to colds, and like the animal, not addicted to spitting. ~

LUTHER STANDING BEAR – LAKOTA

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

Daily Motivator for Oct. 24th – Vast abundance

Vast abundance

You have much more than you can ever possibly realize. Life is a process of  connecting with deeper and deeper levels of value that have always been there,  and always will.

Does it ever seem that the world has passed you by, or that there are just no  opportunities for you? Then it’s time to move to a more profound and fulfilling  level.

You are capable of much more than you have yet attempted. Fill your heart  with goodness, make the commitment to express that goodness, and there will be a  way.

The reason you get stuck is not because you have too little. It is because  you expect too little.

The way to expect more, at your deepest level, is to make the commitment to  give more goodness to life. Make that commitment, and suddenly new, exciting  possibilities come into view.

Think for a moment, and realize that always, there is something good you can  give. In that simple thought you know without a doubt that life’s vast abundance  is always available to you.

— Ralph Marston

 The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for October 24th – Emerging from the Grey

Emerging from the Grey

Ways We Numb Ourselves

by Madisyn Taylor

Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace.

We are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions. Many of us, however, are uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We may shy away from delight and despair and deny life’s colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It’s easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them, so we may momentarily turn to pleasures such as alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it’s normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but there can also be no joy or healing.

The activities that numb you may seem harmless or pleasurable, but using them to numb yourself diminishes the quality of your life. Numbing yourself so that you don’t have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life’s rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask yourself why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.

With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you’ll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You’ll discover a deeper you—a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace.

The Daily OM

The Samhain Experience

The Samhain Experience

Author:   Crick   

My family roots begin in Ireland and were later relocated to Tennessee and amongst the Ozark mountains of Missouri. My personal experience with Traditional witchcraft began in 1960. As such I was raised to honor the four main sabbats, though we did observe the solstices and the equinoxes as minor events if you will.

To our family, Samhain (Oiche Shamhna) is the most important Sabbat of the year. Pronounced as “Sow-in by the Irish, as SAV-en by the Scottish and as SOW-een by the Welsh. It is exactly opposite Beltain on the Wheel of the year. It is reckoned when the sun has reached 15 degrees Scorpio. Thus, Samhain lies exactly between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. And as such, it is known as a Cross Quarter day.

Samhain is also known as “Samhraidhreadh” which means “summers end”. This indicates that Samhain is the start of the Celtic “New Year”. The Celts were known to have divided the year into two seasons, consisting of summer and winter. The belief is that summer is governed by the Big Sun (the sun) and the winter is governed by what is known as the Little Sun (the moon) .

Samhain is one of the four Fire Festivals and is also known as “Trinoux Samonia.” Originally this Sabbat was celebrated for three days, the day before, the day of and the day after.

In modern times Samhain has become basically a one-day celebration. Neo Pagans tend to lose sight of the historical and spiritual significance of such an important day by combining their Christian beliefs with their newfound pagan beliefs and thus they often intermingle Halloween with Samhain. This corruption is explained away by parroting “it’s for the children”, though this special day is hardly one for children. I do not understand how Neo pagans can claim to understand the significance and energy of such a special time and yet allow their children to make a parody of such a spiritual experience, but then it is what it is.

Traditionally, Samhain is the day when the God symbolically dies and the Goddess is in mourning, though she knows that He will be reborn at Yule.

It is also the Third and Final Harvest, and as such, it is a time for preparing for the coming year. It is also known as the day of the Feast of the Roman Goddess “Pamona”.

Another interesting note is that Samhain is the day that the Tuatha De Danann realized their permanent victory over the Fomorians.

Since this is the time that the veil between Annwn (the Underworld) and our realm of existence, is at its thinnest, it is a time to honor and connect with our ancestors. To some Wiccan beliefs, this means direct descendants who have passed over. To those of us in the Celtic/Faery tradition, this would be the ancestral spirits and deity that resides within the earth.

One way to honor this day is “Fleadh nan Mairbh” (Feast of the Dead) . To do so, set an extra plate or two at the dinner table for visiting spirits. Another way is “Bannock Samhain” which entails setting out cakes and milk outside the door as an offering for passing spirits. This is also the time for the “Dumb Supper”, a meal served in silence in honor of those who have passed to the Summerland’s.

Remember, this is not a time of mourning, but rather of rejoicing and connecting with those that have gone before us. We do not conjure up these visitors in the manner that a medium would do. But rather we invite them to share the day/night with us.

This is also an excellent time for divination. Roasting nuts in the fire and bobbing for apples are a couple of examples of divination from olden times. Another traditional way is to set a shirt on a thorn bush near a stream and see what spirit comes along to fit it on. At which time you would make enquiries. This form of divination is called the shaking bush. As a spirit fills the shirt, it causes the bush to shake.

Some of the Celtic Deity that you may appeal to for assistance during divination are; Ogma, Rosmerta, Baile, Beli, Coventina, Badh, and Gwyn Ap Nuad, just to name a few.

The concept of the carved pumpkin came about from the belief that carving a scary face on the pumpkin and using it as a lantern as one walked at night would scare away evil spirits. Originally they were carved out of turnips.

There is an Irish legend about an Irish lad named Jack. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and then quickly carved a cross into the tree so that the devil could not get down. He then made a deal with the devil so that he would not go to hell upon passing. But when Jack did pass, not only was he barred from hell, but also he was barred from heaven as well because of the doings of his life on earth. Hence he was doomed to walk the earth carrying a lantern to light his way. Thus the Jack-O-Lantern was created.

A custom related to Samhain is to light a hearth fire on this day and to keep it lit until the first day of spring as a way of honoring one’s spiritual ancestors and deity. Originally, all hearth fires were extinguished on this day and then relit from the Druidic fire, which was lit at “Tlachhtga”. This particular fire represented the center of Ireland.

Another custom is to leave a candle in the window as a beacon for spirits to find their way home.

Samhain is a time for reflecting on the year just past and preparing for the coming year. One way to do this is to write the weaknesses and negative actions of the past year down on a piece of parchment. After a period of reflection/meditation, burn the parchment in the cauldron or hearth fire. In this way you are starting out fresh for the upcoming New Year.

– Some of the foods associated with Samhain are pork, corn, apples, pomegranates, pumpkin pie, and cider.
– The colors associated with this day are; red, orange, yellow, brown and black.
– For incense, you can try basil, lilac, clove, yarrow or frankincense.
– Some plants or herbs are apple trees, sage, mugwort (divination) , and gourds.
– Some crystals are onyx, carnelian, and obsidian.

It is my personal hope that Neo pagans will once again enjoy this unique time as it was meant to be celebrated and revered. There is much experience and an ethereal energy connected with Samhain if only one allows him/herself to open up to such a special experience. Halloween (All Saints day) is but a corruption of what used to be. Samhain is a revered occasion and time to connect with those who have gone before us. And with those others who walk a distinctly separate plane from this realm. May you have the inner strength and un-fettered desire to experience this event as it was meant to be…

The Celtic Origins of Samhain

The Celtic Origins of Samhain

Author: Josie

As Samhain approaches, my mind turns to childhood memories of costumes, candy and trick-or-treating. Even in our modern world, the rules are set aside on Halloween day. We ask for candy from strangers. We disguise ourselves and walk around both familiar and strange neighborhoods.

From where did this bizarre holiday come? What are the origins of the themes of death, the macabre and merry-making?

Modern Pagans celebrate Samhain as the third of three harvest festivals. Considered the Pagan New Year’s Day, Neo-Pagans also use this day to honor the ancestors. We often set food on our altars for loved ones who recently passed away. In the Wiccan year-long dance of the Goddess and God, Samhain celebrates the time when the God is in the underworld before His rebirth at Yule.

This festival originated as one of the four Celtic fire festivals; the other three being Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh – the four days we currently call Cross-Quarter days, Greater Sabbats or Greater High Days. In ancient Celtic times many local tribes gathered together in centralized locations, ritual centers (Jones and Pennick 90) or regional capitals for celebration, games, feasting (Rees 8) , markets, fairs and horse races.

In Ireland, the people assembled at the 5 main provinces (Green 55) , and it was a day of peace and amity, where disagreements were set aside, fighting put on hold, and even debts temporarily forgiven (Koch 147) .

Despite the fun and festivities, there was a dark side. As death features so highly in modern Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, and even our modern Neo-Pagan Samhain, it featured just as much back them. Samhain was a harvest festival, yet it was not crops that were harvested, but animals. Samhain marked the end of the grazing season and a time when the herds were brought in from the fields. To feed all of the animals through winter used up precious food that the people needed, therefore the breeding stock was set aside, and all other animals were slaughtered (Jones and Pennick 90) .

I doubt that the ancients were any less callous about this massive slaughter of animals than we would be. Death on that scale would have affected them, and we see this effect in the other aspects of this holy day.

Custom has it that on Samhain Eve, the souls of the dead returned to visit those they knew in life. Food for the spirits of the dead was left outside or at an empty place setting at the dinner table. Doors were left open and the hearth was prepared to welcome them (Rees 90) . Even modern jack-o-lanterns started out as hollowed out turnips and gourds filled with a candle or coals – not to scare away ghost or goblins, but to welcome departed loved ones and show them the way back home.

Another way that Samhain celebrated death was that it was also a ritual mourning for the death of summer (Green 55) . The Celts thought of the year as being divided into two seasons: Winter and Summer. To the Celts, time occurred in pairs, such as Winter and Summer, night and day, and the dark half of the month and the light half of the month. Dark comes first, just as the darkness of gestation precedes birth. Thus sunset was the start of the new day, and Samhain the start of the new year (a tradition us modern Witches still hold) .

The Celts viewed these pairs of time as microcosms of the universe and time itself (Rees 88-90) . Within these pairs, the laws of time, space and the universe were held. On cusp moments (sunset and sunrise, the nights of the waning and waxing quarter moons, Samhain and Beltane) , the time when one time period has not quite ended and another has not quite begun, the normal laws of time, space and the universe were suspended.

One effect of this suspension was that the barriers between the worlds were broken. The expression one often hears is that the veils between the worlds become thin, due to it being a “boundary time.” This suspension of the “Laws of the Universe” is why the spirits of the dead can visit us (Green 55) and the living can visit the lands of the dead.

These transition periods or moments had the propensity for good or evil. It was neither lucky nor unlucky, but both. Certain acts were forbidden or thought to be unlucky if performed at sunset or sunrise, such as marriages. Yet the morning dew was thought to be restorative and cures were thought to be more potent at sunset.

This contradiction may have stemmed from the thought that these transition times held the potential for renewal and rebirth. This effect is also seen in the twice yearly extinguishing of house or hearth fires, which are then relit on Beltaine and Samhain as a symbolic cleansing.

Predictions and fortune telling were also possible on Samhain because the suspension of the laws of time allowed the boundaries between the present and the future to disappear. Again, we come back to the idea that the laws of the universe are suspended during the cusp time. Although, most predictions were concerned with figuring out whom you would marry and who would die in the coming year.

The realms of the living and dead and the past, present and future were not the only realms to mingle during boundary times. Samhain, as well as Beltane and Midsummer, saw a mingling of the worlds of fairies and humans. On Samhain night, Síd (pronounced shee) mounds were open and lost their glamour (Rees 88-90) , that protection that prevents us from seeing into them.

We can see these phenomena in the story of Finn mac Cumaill and the fairy maiden. In Síd Breg Ele, a beautiful fairy maiden lived. Only on Samhain night could she be wooed, because only then did the Síd mound open and the glamour fall away. Each time a suitor came to woo her, one person of the suitor’s party would be killed, yet no one knew how he was killed.

Finn mac Cumaill was determined to solve this mystery. He sought advice and was told to sit between that fairy mound and the neighboring one on Samhain eve. As he sat there, he saw the two hills open, saw great bonfires in each one and heard the residents in each discussing an exchange of gifts. As one man came out of the hill of the fairy maiden, Finn threw a spear into him. The faerie Finn killed was the one who was killing the suitors’ men (Rees 251) .

The interaction between men and the Síd was not limited to their mounds. In the Fionn Cycle, we hear about Tara, one of the regional capitols, which were often plagued by Síd and Fomoire attacks. During Samhain, warriors from the tribes would gather to offer protection during a time when Tara was more vulnerable. A particular goblin, Aillen mac Midhna, tried every Samhain to set fire to Tara, until Finn magicked him away (Green 20) (Rees 156) .

When placed in the context of Celtic beliefs, much of our Samhain (and Halloween) rituals make perfect sense. Death came from the slaughter of herd animals, whose spilt blood reminded us of mortality. The cusp moment when Summer has ended, but Winter has not yet begun, allowed the veils between the realms of Fairies, Man and the Dead to lift. The transition period also allowed time to stand still and the past, present and future to overlap. Added up we get costume disguises to hide from Fairies, Jack-o-lanterns to guide our dearly departed back to our door, dumb suppers and fortune telling.

But I don’t understand where the candy came from.

________________________

Footnotes:
Green, Miranda J. Celtic Myths. Austin: University of Texas P, 1993.
Jones, Prudence and Nigel Pennick. A History of Pagan Europe. London: Routledge, 1995.
Koch, John. The Celtic Heroic Age. Andover: Celtic Studies, 2000.
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley Rees. Celtic Heritage. London: Thames and Hudson, 1961.

 

 

Understanding

Understanding

Author:   Glowfox 

I am writing this article to help myself understand how I feel about myself. And express the things about me that I hope you all can accept. ‘I’m sorry because it’s going to be like a journal entry.

I always was inclined to the Magickal world when I was young, believing in faeries, reading mythology and faery-tales, delving more deeply into the magickal world everyday as I continued to grow. I was often laughed at, made fun of and picked on at school while growing up, drawing faeries in my notebooks, and when up at the front of the class sharing my poetry and assignments. Even my parents didn’t approve of my interests, especially with them being catholic. I was always the boy reading too much Tolkein, William Butler Yeats, Diana Wynne Jones and filling my head with nonsense. I often had to hide my books and drawings, especially when I became older and started studying magickal texts and grimoires.

I think the reason I picked up this interest in learning and studying witchcraft came from the wonderful pieces of art and history that I studied, and I knew and know now that magick is real. And because of feeling alone, I wanted to connect to something. I wanted to meet the faeiries and feel the powers of the universe. I used my knowledge to gain better understanding of a hidden world veiled in shadow. I guess I might have been selfish, but it felt like I didn’t have much else.

I recall when I was 12 and saved up to get myself some tarot cards, at the local occult store. My parents forbade us from going there. So I used to have to sneak there, often going with my elder sister whom shared similar interests and whom I love very much, but sadly moved away. I got a traditional Raider Waite deck but what so fearful in keeping them, because my parents a few days back from that raided my room and found more magick books. I looked at the cards and felt their power within my hands. They were one of my earliest tools I had received.

I shivered because of what my parents had instilled in me, and when I looked at them I knew I couldn’t keep them, I had to give them back. I ran into the store to give them back but the lady there said that their power has been interrupted and touched and that you can not return tarot decks once they’ve been opened which I accepted, but I really wished she would had taken them. I had to hide them, sadly I took them too a used bookstore where they were worth almost nothing. I just thought the Occult Shop would be a better place for them.

After this I became angry not being able to express myself and having to hide everything. This only made the relationship between my parents and I worse, and I didn’t want to give my passion up. I felt so bad for the tarot cards, still feeling our connection, I remember having wept. I vowed never to rid that which is important to me just because my parents wanted me too. This was a big step for me in my development.

When I started high school, things were okay. I became very busy and met new people, having relationships that ended quickly. And still there was no place where I could express myself, except for in the art room when I got the chance to do self-initiated projects. It didn’t help by me attending a catholic school either (parents forced me too) . There is mandatory Christian Ethics class that is bearable but not interesting or fun, it was and is a place where only one view could be expressed, and that was the teachers. No open-mindedness what-so-ever!

Many students claiming to be catholic didn’t even show it, mocking and gossiping about others, talking crudely and violently (acting violently too) , and a lot of them dressing like gangsters which was the craze.

When I was 15 I remember sitting in one of my classes and being attracted to my male teacher. I began to wonder if I was gay. It was and still is very confusing. And now here was another aspect I knew no one could accept, and I had no one to talk too. I had never felt this way before with the female sex. It happened more frequently, I knew inside I was gay.

I never just gave up on being a Christian either; I was 15, and researched extensively on Christian faith. I read the bible when I was 11. I read the Catholic catechism, and studied the beliefs of the faith and the meanings of their rituals and sacraments. There was so much I didn’t agree to in Christianity. It ended, I resisted to go to church every Sunday, who I was they hated, it didn’t feel right to go their being forced to worship their God falsely and in lies. Eventually they gave up. It’s not that I hate their faith it’s just I gave it a chance and don’t share their beliefs.

When I was 16 and 3/4, in the late spring of 2007 I admitted to myself that I was gay and accepted it. I told myself. And eventually told my older sister and my cousin. Both people I knew that could accept it and me after that, they are still to this day the only ones that know along with a Psychology teacher, I guess you know too. I began to feel alone though, still there was no one I could hang with or talk too.

In and during school I stayed introverted and quiet; trying desperately just to get through unnoticed, still do. It is hard sometimes believing in yourself, having self worth, hope and love. My magick seemed bleak; I gave up on everything and became depressed. I fell into a pit and it took me a lot to crawl out healthy, and I still feel I am fighting to crawl out.

I hope gathering myself with enough money, good grades and self-understanding I will be capable to escape from this. So I plan to move away, quite far. I hope I may be able to discover and develop my Identity away from this seeming a lot me has been crushed here. I have lost time. I do feel okay presently, but I wish to feel better in the future and have less struggles. I think from writing this I have achieved something, although I am not entirely sure.

Signs of a True Elder, Master or Priest

Signs of a True Elder, Master or Priest

Author: Patricia Telesco

I have been very disturbed by the increase in the use of titles like Priest, Priestess, Elder, Teacher, Shaman, Lady, and Lord in our community, specifically by those who really do not have the training to claim such honorable terms. You would not see anyone in the Christian church calling themselves by such a title without ordination and schooling, yet among neo-pagans it seems that nearly anyone who wishes to can take up a title and wield it for boon or bane.

Now, I realize that at the heart of things we are our own Priest and Priestess, but that’s far different than being the spiritual guide for many people (not to mention the difference in Karmic implications). To use a title without having earned it in the eyes of others, through training, or by calling is to dishonor all those who have earned their place as our teachers, elders, priests and priestesses. It also doesn’t present the most positive, responsible image of neo-paganism to outsiders who view such antics as manipulative power trips (often rightly so).

Reading one book does not make anyone an expert. Attending a year’s worth or rituals does not qualify a person for eldership or priesthood! In a world of seemingly shake-and-bake shamanism and instant priesthood, the route to true magical mastery isn’t traversed quickly or without sacrifice, and it can’t be found in the yellow pages. And it certainly has very little to do with a fancy or powerful sounding title. At its pinnacle, adepthood isn’t about impressing people; it’s a way of living and being. In other words, the focus is not on “talking the talk,” but on “walking the walk.” What are some of the signs of a true elder, master or priest?

How about someone who:

Reclaims ancient knowledge, tradition, and powers, keeping them alive for future generations

Safeguards magical history so that we can learn from the past in building the future

Personally accepts the responsibility implied by gaining and using mystical knowledge and skill

Honors the earth as a sacred space and use its resources wisely

Acknowledges that life is an act of worship, and strives to keep his or her words and actions in accord

Respects individual diversity, knowing there are many paths to enlightenment and that each person is a sacred space unto themselves.

Embraces creativity and change as a fundamental necessity in keeping magic vital

Encourages balance in all things, especially in his or her own life

Teaches others the ways of magic in simple, understandable steps (no “instant enlightenment” no fluffy bunny magick).

Offers metaphysical aid, consultation, and insights freely to those in need, without personal expectations of gain

Gives back something to their art, or those who practice it

Realizes that tools are only helpmates to magic. Real power comes from the mind, heart, and will working in harmony with earth and Spirit.

In some ways a priest or elder doesn’t ever “arrive” — we are always getting there, realizing that the more we know, the more we realize how LITTLE we know (smile). When we finally reach this understanding, we’re often ready to teach and lead with both heart and head; in balance is spiritual wisdom. In fact, I would hazard to guess that most people who are truly our priests, priestesses, elders and teachers are those who don’t have to say so – we just know it by the example of their lives!

 

How Magic Can Save the World

How Magic Can Save the World

Author:   Tess Whitehurst 

The world appears to be in dire straights. The environment is suffering, species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, in many parts of the world food and clean water are scarce, and, to top it all off, humans are killing each other. And for just about every imaginable challenge, there are people scrambling to help. We’re recycling, petitioning, protesting, studying, raising awareness, preserving, debating, and donating.

But how can we work holistically toward positive change? How do we get at the cause of all these imbalances, rather than jumping headlong into the mad dash of damage control?

Simple. We do what magical folk do. We shift consciousness. Interestingly, our magical perspective is exactly what the holistic health practitioner ordered. To illustrate, here are some basic magical precepts that can help heal the world.

•Everything is connected, and everything is divine. If everyone very deeply understood that every single thing is interwoven in a complex web of existence, and that all of existence is a part of the divine, there would be no one engaging in activities that caused plants or animals to become compromised or extinct.
•The Earth is our Mother. To us, this is literal, not figurative. Imagine how lovingly our Mother would be treated if everyone understood this as we do.
•Whatever you send out comes back to you multiplied. What you do to someone else, you do to yourself. Mass acceptance of this precept would actually (finally!) give peace a chance.
•We are empowered to change our consciousness in order to create positive shifts in our own lives. When everyone really and truly realizes their true power, they will no longer chase the imaginary power promised by things like greed, violence, hatred, or exploitation.

In the early 1970’s, James Lovelock, the scientist who formulated the Gaia Hypothesis, summarized what people like us already knew: that Planet Earth is a complex, living, breathing organism. Peter Russell took it one step further in his book The Global Brain when he proposed that while rainforests are the lungs and the atmosphere is the circulatory system, humans are the information processors, or in other words, the brain cells.

The brain cells in a fetus or an infant are the same as adult brain cells. They just have not yet formed as many pathways or connections between each other so they cannot function efficiently as a unified whole. Then, little by little, they build connections and begin to redefine themselves as not only one small part of a brain, but as one small part of an entire organism. Similarly (Peter Russell notes) , humans are beginning to form more and more connections and pathways between each other. For example, with one Facebook post, we can communicate instantly with our entire, perhaps global, circle of friends. Or, with one YouTube video, we can conceivably reach several million people within a matter of months.

So, from a macrocosmic perspective, the global brain (AKA the human race) is rapidly evolving to the stage when it can more easily recognize itself as the consciousness and nerve center of a living, breathing, and harmoniously self-sustaining organism. This evolution, if it moves in the most positive direction possible, is what Albert Einstein was hoping for when he wrote:

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘universe, ‘ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”

At this stage in history, it’s easier than it ever has been before for us to create a “new manner of thinking” by setting in motion a magical tsunami of consciousness shifting. But how?

First, we walk our talk. We purify our motives so that they are about love and service. We meditate, we purify and shield our energetic bodies, and we perform ritual and engage in prayer in order to connect with the Divine. We spend time in nature to remind ourselves of beauty, of the rich and vital inner lives and personalities of plants and animals, and of our connection to the whole.

We forgive others and ourselves as we bravely work through old issues and limiting beliefs. We release rigidity of belief and embrace flexibility, openness, and inclusion. We send the energy of love out into the world through our thoughts, feelings, and visualizations. We pray for world peace and perform rituals for planetary healing.

And then, from this place of deep love and integrity, we give gifts to the world from our hearts. We ask our hearts: “what do you want to give?” It might be a painting, a movie, an article, a status update, a specific type of volunteer work, a compliment, a smile, a speech, an idea, or a new way of doing things. We give freely every day, in every situation, as we feel guided, dedicating every single gift we give to the Goddess (or God, or patron deity) and to the healing of the world.

We generously shine our unique light, perspectives, and ideas into the world, knowing that as we do, we are not only increasing our own joy and prosperity (because whatever you send out comes back to you multiplied) , we are also shifting the tide of energy, bringing the cells of the global brain into harmonious unity, and channeling our collective magical energy toward saving the world.

“If powerful men and women
could remain centered in the Tao,
all things would be in harmony.
The world would become a paradise.
All people would be at peace,
And the law would be written in their hearts.”

-The Tao te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell