‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
James Russell Lowell once wrote, “No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him.” Each of us has been given a talent. It may not be some great shining thing that will attract attention and bring fame. But living has become so intricate, so great in detail, so fine in its workings, that it requires that skill of all men.
Every time we touch something, hear, see, and feel, we are using the results of other peoples talents. Too many take their own abilities for granted and see a task as just another job. But that isn’t true, because no matter how small your part may seem, it takes its place in the world of living as important and necessary as the greatest talent.
The secret of a successful talent is in its use. The most minute gift was put there for a purpose and we should never belittle it but gratefully devote our attention to developing its perfection.
There are a number of self-improvement books on the market today. Among them are excellent etiquette books teaching us the correct way of doing things and how to live more graciously with our fellow man. But one can be quite learned and lose the benefit of keeping the social graces with oneself.
You owe it to yourself to quit belittling your abilities in thought or word. Self-respect is a necessity in order to keep on good terms with oneself
You owe yourself spiritual growth – the ability to enter a church reverently and to sit quietly in your own preparatory service before the formal service begins.
It is your duty to fill your mind with the better thoughts, the sweetening of the nature and a measure of tolerance – for you will make mistakes, but there should also be the power to forgive oneself, to go on from there.
To be on good terms with oneself is to worry less about violating the rules of good behavior with all others
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
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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 31
“One is not born a Tewa but rather one is made a Tewa… Once made, one has to work hard continuously throughout one’s life to remain a Tewa.”
–Alfonso Ortiz, SAN JUAN PUEBLO
Being Indian is being spiritual. It is not the color of our skin. Being Indian is how we think. We need to learn our culture, our language, our dances, our traditions and customs. It is one thing to know these things, but another to live them. We need to spend time with the Elders and get their guidance. We need to go to the mountains, woods and desert to pray. Being spiritual is the way for us to think right. Walking the Red Road and thinking right is the greatest gift we can give to our children.
Grandfather, help me to Walk the Talk.
October 31 – Daily Feast
Few things are mind-and-spirit-adjusting like putting our hand to a job that has been waiting too long. The bigger the job, the better our concentration. Work keeps the hands busy and frees the mind from raw nerves and injured feelings. A time to talk will come – if it is needed at all. Sometimes busy hands like walking feet can do away with things thought to be unsolvable. Decide to do a thing that no one else can do – a specific move away from pain. It can set the wheel to turn – maybe slowly at first – but soon you’ll be on top again.
~ If white man wants to live in peace with Indian he can live in peace. ~
CHIEF JOSEPH – NEZ PERCE
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Richness flowing out
If you cannot fully value and appreciate what you have, you might as well not have it. Life’s richness is valuable precisely to the extent that you make it valuable.
The way to make it valuable is to be thankful. The way to be truly thankful for what you have is to make good and meaningful use of it.
This moment is an opportunity to do just that. This situation, whatever else it may be, is your chance to create new value and richness.
Look at what you have right now, but not as a static scorecard. Look at what you have and see the possibilities for moving forward.
Your highest fulfillment will come not from accumulating possessions. It will come from creating and expressing new value in your own unique way.
Be truly and immensely thankful for this moment and for what’s in it. Then live it in such a way that new richness comes flowing out.
— Ralph Marston
Giving the Gift of You
Serving Your Community
Being of service to our community is part of being a good citizen of the planet earth.
To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive and helpful to all people, creatures, and plant life that share this earth with us. While “being of service“ is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for others in service, without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.
There are many ways to be of service to our community. There are the obvious and much needed volunteer opportunities, such as serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, mentoring our youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then, there is the kind of service that we may not even think of as being acts of service. Learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who isn’t motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give of yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter all are simple ways to offer your services to your community.
There are many ways that you can serve the world. Imagine the impact we would have on the environment if we picked up one piece of trash off the street everyday and chose not to drive our car once a week. Even gardening tactics such as throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others – including the lives of birds and insects. Everyday, you can do something to make this world a better place. During meditation, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching your neighborhood kids how to whistle will impact someone’s day or even their life. Giving of yourself is the best gift that you can give.
Halloween Charm Bag For Drawing Moneyfrom “HALLOWEEN, spells, customs and recipes” by Silver Ravenwolf
You could make a bunch of these to use as Witchy Party favors at your Samhain party…. Write the instructions and ingredients to the charm but provide each guest with the orange bag. Okay here we go….. you will need (per charm):
7 pumpkin seeds 1/4 teaspoon dried, ground pumpkin rind 1/4 teaspoon dried mint 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 silver coin 1 small orange flannel bag with 17 in. red ribbon black felt pen
On a new moon before Halloween, mix the herbal ingredients together Hum:
“East and west, and south and north Prosperity, I bring thee forth.”
Draw a dollar sign on each side of the pumpkin seeds.. Add the pumpkin seeds to the mixture. Pour into the orange bag. Hold the coin in your hands until it gets warm. Humming the same chant all through this. On the following Thursday, hold the bag in your hands and repeat the chant until the bag becomes warm. Add 7 knots to the ribbon around the bag – two are for money, three for abundance, four for stability, five for protection, six for luck, and the seventh know to seal the spell. Put away until Samhain.
On Samhain, hold the bag in your hands over the need fire until the bag warms in your hands. Repeat the chant as you do this. Keep on your person or in your purse etc. Good for one full year. You can rework the spell on a new moon to keep the bag at its peak This makes a very nice gift for the certain someone.
Samhain Prosperity Spell
Pass a skull (plastic or wax), some pumpkin spice and some dried pumpkin seed, a large white plate, a small bowl, a black bag, and a gold cord through incense smoke. Mix the seeds and spice in a bowl and stir counterclockwise to banish negativity, clockwise for the blessings of your ancestors. Place a list of your ancestors on the plate, and set the skull on top, sprinkling it with the seed and spice mixture. Hold your hands over the skull asking that your ancestors bring harmony and prosperity into your life, and cover the skull with the bag for seven days. On the seventh day, place the spice, seeds, and skull in the bag, and tie it all securely with the gold cord. Place it in the west part of your attic or basement.
Feast of the Dead
Communication with the spirits is easiest at this time, for the veil between our world and theirs is very thin. It is a time to reflect on our ancestors and those who we have lost.
For the Witch, it is a holiday where we honor our dead friends, relatives, ancestors, and even pets who have passed on. We remember them by putting an extra plate at the dinner table for them.
Along the north wall of the dining room there is a small table prepared as an unobtrusive altar, and without preamble or fuss each person places there some small token or photograph of their dearly departed, some person or being whose memory or influence in their life still means something to them.
Each person quietly lights a candle for his or her various dead, and then they bow their heads in a moment of silence. Memories spill forth and emotions run deep. When it is time a bell is softly chimed and all stand.
A shared moment of silence is observed, and then everyone takes a turn making a toast to his or her chosen ancestor. The bell is sounded once more and everyone takes his or her place at the dining room table to partake of a feast enjoyed. In silence, each guest communing with their own spirits and remembrances.
We honor our ancestors at Samhain as they have honored us in the days before we were born. And as they shall honor us in the nights ahead when we eventually cross the river to take up our place beside those who have gone before into the greatest Mystery of all.
Samhain Activities of Our Ancestors
On this day people would gather early in the day since there were so many things going on. In olden times the affair would last for two or three days. Crafting included brewing Mead for the day’s festivities as well as for the winter season to come. They carved Jack-o-Lanterns to discourage negative spirits from bothering the people at the gathering. Candles were blessed for use throughout the winter, as well as blending oils for magical uses. Simples were brewed to make sure each person had a good tonic to see them through the hard days of winter.
Anything that was braided was thought to be lucky since it was binding things together and by doing that bringing the community closer together. Quilts were gathered to be finished and ladies shared their recipes for simples and for dying cloth. The men of the clan hunted for days before the gathering to insure food for everyone. Children would be sent on “Nutting” parties and they would produce that bounty to be shared by everyone.
Games of strength and chance were played by young and old alike. This was also a great time for story telling and in this way the patterns of life were passed down from one generation to another year after year. At this time of the year we are reminded of the tribal beginnings that we have all come from and it is appropriate that we still use the basic instruments of drum and gourd, cymbal, and horns. We chant together into the night and recreate the spiral dances.
Bringing people together for singing and dancing is very important even if they are not the best of singers or dancers. The manner of performance is not important, the pleasure of the joining is!