‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for November 4th

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

What is the texture of life?

Texture is that finely woven fabric of life that demands we have a congenial environment. It asks that we be industrious toward success, and that we should have a way of life, a purpose. We should hear the music of life and taste the bitter and the sweet.

Texture requires us to research every experience and hear the lesson in it. It orders us to communicate with life and make discoveries about ourselves and progress toward a texture where the course has been refined.

Frequently we should examine the texture of life to identify the quality. How wide is my world? How high is my sky?

All of us should know our own makeup, our capabilities, our gifts with which we have been divinely endowed. And we should think long on these words from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Renascence:

“The world stands out on either side no wider than the heart is wide. Above the world is stretched the sky, no higher than the soul is high.”


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 – November 4

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 4

“The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the woman. Walk the good road…. Be dutiful, respectful, gentle and modest my daughter… Be strong with the warm, strong heart of the earth. No people goes down until their women are weak and dishonored, or dead upon the ground. Be strong and sing the strength of the Great Powers within you, all around you.”

–Village Wise Man, SIOUX

The Elders say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes. We need to especially pray for our women, and ask the Creator to bless them and give them strength. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people. So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle and modest.

Oh, Great One, bless our women. Make them strong today.

November 4 – Daily Feast

November 4 – Daily Feast

At one time or another we have watched someone and wondered how long it would be before we reached their stage of distress. We have been made to believe that if someone in the family has had a problem that we must have it as well. Even with our tendencies to be like someone else, we are still individuals and what we see should teach us to avoid the same pitfalls they had. More is decided in our minds and spirits than we can imagine. We have the creative power of speech, the determination and the grit to stop falling because someone else falls. Deny every thought and every suggestion that we have to be the victims of anything.

~ We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterous lazy drones, all talkers, and no workers. ~


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

Daily Motivator for Nov. 4th – Too valuable to waste

Too valuable to waste

Consider what a truly great day you have today. Think of all the magnificent  possibilities that are yours right now.

You can fill the next hour with sixty minutes of focused, purposeful,  effective effort. You can bring new and meaningful value to your work, your  home, your family, your community and your dreams.

On this day you can learn, experience, work, feel, love and play. You can  make creative use of whatever you have to move in the direction of whatever you  desire.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. So let yourself  imagine something wonderful, and then enjoy the wonderful experience of making  it happen.

Though it might seem easier and more comfortable to just do nothing, that’s  really not the case. If you waste the great possibilities of this day, you will  very soon come to regret it.

So avoid that regret and jump into action. Today is much too valuable to  waste.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for Nov. 4th – Learned Self-reliance

Learned Self-reliance

The Negative Effects of Spoiling Children

by Madisyn Taylor

When children are spoiled we do them a great disservice because they are not being allowed to earn and learn.

Parents are moved by instinct to love, nurture, and provide for their offspring. Because our children are so much a part of us, we want to see them blissfully happy. Also, our own desire to be liked, materialist pressures, and a fervent wish that our c

hildren have everything we lacked as youngsters can prompt us to spoil them. However, while it might seem that buying your child expensive gifts will give them fond memories of childhood or that you can heal your emotional wounds by doting on your sons and daughters, you may be unconsciously interfering with your children’s evolutional development. One of the most precious gifts you can grant your children is the true independence they gain when they learn to earn what they covet and become stewards of their own happiness. Try allowing your children to experience life to the fullest. Let them work and earn what they want. When the time comes for them to go to college and enter the workforce, you will have the confidence that you have raised a child that can both enter and contribute to society confidently.

When children are not afforded the opportunity to explore self-reliance, to understand that with possession comes price, and to fulfill their own needs, they develop a sense of entitlement that blinds them to the necessity of hard work and the needs of others. We may spoil children because giving them gifts is pleasurable. Or we may want to avoid conflict out of fear that our children won’t love us. Yet children who are given acceptance, love, and affection in abundance are often kinder, more charitable, and more responsible than those whose parents accede to their every material demand. They develop a strong sense of self that stretches beyond possessions and the approval of their peers, and as adults they understand that each individual is responsible for building the life they desire. If you find yourself giving in to your child’s every whim, ask yourself why. You may discover that you are trying to answer for what you feel is lacking in your own life.

Rearing your children to respect the value of money and self-sufficiency as they grow from infants to young adults is a challenging but rewarding process. It can be difficult to watch a child struggle to meet a personal goal yet wonderful to be by their side as they achieve it. Your choice not to spoil your children will bless you with more opportunities to show them understanding and compassion and to be fully present with them as they journey toward adulthood.

The Daily OM

“Me Time”

“Me Time”
Author: Ashley Rose

Many people have their morning routines. It is sad to think about how many people just rush around making sure they have everything for the day. Their mental list may be: shower, clothes, papers for work, lunch, car keys… where are the car keys? But what happened to: breathe, “Hello flowers”, me time?

I never realized just how much even a few minutes could change the way I see the world. Even if a person has to set their alarm five minutes earlier, it is worth it. I’m lucky that I don’t have to be to work till 11:00 AM. So, my morning “me time” usually lasts about a half hour.

Every morning starts off with me opening my bedroom door to three awaiting cats (Daemon, Ireland, and Loki) . I get followed down the stairs as they tell me what they need. Some mornings it is food and water, others just love. And then there are the days they want to go right outside.

After I take care of my ‘kids’, I start making my tea. I’m not a kitchen witch, nor do I grow my own herbs. Some may say that I cheat. But, I buy my green tea at the store.

As I let my tea steep I head outside to my sanctuary. It is a work in progress, but yet still so calming. To give you a mental picture… There is lattice up around the patio (to keep the little ones from slipping through the bars of the gate) . Also, along the top are flower boxes, sitting on the concrete walls. Inside are beautiful cacti.

The flower boxes were put up because Daemon liked to jump over the six-foot concrete wall. The cacti were chosen because I live in the desert and they are hard to kill. You can also find a patio table out here. Along the wall of the house are paper lanterns and two beautifully sounding wind chimes. And, the latest addition: a new garden area.

One weekend my boyfriend and I got some bricks, potting soil, honeysuckle, and a hibiscus. The former eyesore is now a small, but beautiful, garden area. They only thing missing is a fountain (coming soon) .

Now that you hopefully have a mental picture of the patio, we move on towards the front of the house. Through the gate on the left is a bell. This was not placed for magickal purposes or for looks. The bell was put up for all the ignorant people who couldn’t figure out how to open our gate. Honestly, it isn’t that hard! [Sorry sidetracked] On the left are bushes along the whole side of the house. A humming bird feeder is the latest addition. Hopefully it will be joined by some bird feeders soon.

This brings us to the right side. There are lots of plants starting to pop up. If a person looks close enough they could find many bugs crawling around here.

Further down the sidewalk is the magickal area. Two palm trees are growing along side a rose bush. Inside the rose bush is where the mischievous fairies live. I know they are there because of two reasons. One section of lattes (held up with lots of zip ties) just fell down one day. And, occasionally a flower box will fall down. Now one would think the wind would cause this. But they always fall when there is no wind at all…

The last area to describe is the front. There are plans to add at least three more rose bushes here. But for now a lone birdbath stand on the rocks. In front are four dirt circles. As of right now nothing can be seen in these circles. But, soon they will show signs of new flowers growing.

Now that I’ve described my sanctuary, lets get back to my morning routine.

The first thing I do is real out the hose and remember to turn on the water. Yes, there has been a morning here or there where I stare at the hose wondering why it isn’t working. What happens when I’m not awake yet!

I like to start out front. I hose off the birdbath if it needs it and then add more water to it. The circles of dirt get watered next. Then I move along to the palms, rose bush, and new seedlings. I always warn the fairies before I start spraying their home with water.

After the front and side are watered I take time to observe and talk to the plants. I’m sure my neighbors think that I’m crazy. But, that is ok to me. It really does take some time to learn to listen to the plants. But, once you do they can tell you a lot. With a little extra love plants do seem to grow better.

Next comes watering the patio area. Some days I water the cactus and other days I don’t. Some of them tell me when they need watered and just how much. I also water my new garden area too.

Once everything is watered I grab my tea. I sit in my special chair and just feel the magick around me. I take time to stare at the sky and watch the clouds. Then I listen to all of the songs around me. I let the powers of my tea infuse me.

Some days I take a little extra time to ground myself. I try to let go of all the negativity that surrounds me. I let the warmth of the sun burn them away. It’s amazing how taking a deep breath and feeling the warmth of the sun can calm me. And this only takes a few measly seconds!

On occasion I’m graced by the presence of a hummingbird. I like to watch them flutter around. They really are a beautiful bird. My ravens are another favorite of mine to watch.

While I’m taking time for myself, so are my cats. Most days they all find a place to lie out in the sun. That is until a fly comes along. I usually get a laugh as they chase them around. Ireland also likes to talk to the pigeons. If only I really knew what she was trying to say.

Before I go back in the house I thank the Goddess for letting me spend some time with her. I take one last deep breath as I cross the thresholds back into the real world. This was my ‘me time’.

Making Your Life Magical

Making Your Life Magical image Author: WitchGeek
Most Wiccans and witches – and many other pagans – practice some form of “magic” (often spelled “magick” to distinguish it from stage illusions) . Magick is a topic at which most modern westerners would likely scoff, and doubtless this attitude throws into question the credibility of those who claim to practice it.
We do not believe in the “supernatural”. All that exists that is part of this universe, is part of nature itself and is therefore “natural”. If intrusions from other universes or realities happen in this one, then that too is part of its natural processes. In other words, everything – everything – can be rationally and scientifically explained; we just don’t know all of those explanations yet.
We accept that there are many things about this universe that we not only cannot explain in concrete terms, but things of which we’re not even aware. Bear in mind that there was a time that germs, bacteria, and viruses were all completely unknown to humanity; a microscopic world of living creatures has surrounded us for as long as we’ve been on this planet and we only recently learned of it.
Scientists have never actually seen an atom, and many modern physicists feel confident that evidence indicates such incredible things as multiple universes. We’ve learned so much, but that which we still do not know boggles the mind while thrilling the imagination.
As I have said many times, being a witch or a pagan is more about what we do than what we believe. Whether it’s a magickal activity or a religious ritual, we engage in time-honored rites that – for whatever reason – just seem to work for us. It’s a bit like exercise; one need not understand advanced kinetics and physiology in order to benefit from a brisk, daily walk. Nor does one need to understand ritual and magick in order to reap its benefits; those who do it regularly will experience mental and spiritual gains.
But this post isn’t about magick; it’s about life.
I have an Egyptian-themed altar/shrine at home, and among the items on it is a statue of Thoth. In Egyptian mythology, Thoth was – among other things – a god of writing, magick, and science. I’m not sure what initially drew me to him, but my attachment is long-standing and strong enough that I made an altar for him and the goddess Bast.
By day, I’m a computer programmer. I write, using computer languages, things like this:
begin select responder, recipient_role into v_emp_user_name, v_recipient_role from temp_notifications where message_type = itemtype and user_key = v_requisition_no and notification_id = history_record.notification_id; exception when no_data_found then v_emp_user_name := null; v_recipient_role := null; result := ‘COMPLETE:N’; end;
…and when these words are “executed”, they result in the taking place of literal, real-world actions.
Remember Arthur C. Clarke’s famous statement, “any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”? It is easy to see the parallels between what I do by day and the concepts of magick. I use special languages full of words that have power, and yet I must order these words properly for them to have the desired effect. Sometimes they definitely backfire! But most of the time, I get the desired results.
Over time, I began to think of Thoth as having a modern role in addition to those normally attributed to him: the “patron saint” of computer programmers! But then, more recently, I made another connection. If what we pagans call “magick” isn’t supernatural, and if what computer programmers do is so similar to the methods of magickal practices… what, then, separates the two? Is it merely the fact that we humans have a scientific understanding of computer processing?
If modern magickal workings were to be defined scientifically tomorrow, would we put a new name on those activities and cease to call them “magick”?
I’m fond of blurring lines. A line that we’re forced to cross is no different from a line that holds us back; true freedom happens when there are no lines. And true magick happens all around us, every day.
Aleister Crowley defined magick as “the art and science of causing change in conformity with will”. We all do this, every day. For instance, when I sat down to write this post, it was something that I chose – to share my thoughts – and because my will to do this was strong enough, I made the time and put forth the effort. It is art (writing) and science (grammar, spelling, word processors and the Internet) , it is change (because this document didn’t exist before I wrote it) and it was my will.
Am I trying to diminish the practice of magick? Of course not. Instead, I am suggesting that we bring magick into our everyday lives… where it belongs. Learning to see the “magick” in the things that we choose to do means seeing those things in a whole new light… because when we realize that those elements that make up an act of magick exist in so many of our daily actions, we begin to see ways that even the mundane can be made special.
In many eastern philosophies, adherents are taught the value of living in each and every moment:
“As you practice Zen in your life, you will see that living in the present moment is like living heaven on earth. Even though we can all deal with this one moment right in front of us, we rarely live in this one moment right in front of us. We don’t know how. We have been conditioned since our early childhoods to live in the future or the past.” -Everything.com, Zen: Living in the Moment
Seeing ordinary actions as magickal is one way of helping us to live more consciously and building in us the habit of “living in the moment”. Yet it works in the other direction, as well… for as people who have studied the ways of “magick”, we are already trained in the skills necessary to embrace a magickal life.
This is convergence; when the ordinary and the magical become one in a person’s life, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The ordinary takes on new vibrancy, and those energies, which are normally reserved for our rituals suddenly, work their way into our everyday lives.

Footnotes: http://www.everything.com/zen-philosophy-living-in-moment/

Soul Connection: The Means to Finding Your Life Purpose

Soul Connection: The Means to Finding Your Life Purpose
Author: Colleen Deatsman

There is quite a bit of talk these days about “self”, and what that means, in metaphysics and the popular media. In all of these forums and disciplines, a person is divided within themselves in one of a number of different ways. Most disciplines have these divisions designated with terms coined by their founders or adherents. Id-ego-superego and mind-feelings-emotions-spirit are examples of such divisions. But it really boils down to what can be called the “small-s-self”, the workaday self through which we interact with the world, and the “big-S-self”, our authentic or transcendent self. All these words and divisions are substitutes for the traditional terms ego and soul, respectively.

It has further been observed that humans appear to manifest on this plane as beings consisting of body, mind, and spirit. In all the philosophies and disciplines that we know of, the mind purportedly controls the body, strategizing and acting in the world, while the spirit or soul observes the journey, accumulating the “good” and “bad” from life, seemingly acting as the immortal scorecard of our deeds.

Oddly enough, it is the soul in these disciplines that is held to be the human element, which passes on from life to life or, in some belief systems, to an after life. We refer to ourselves by saying; “I have” a mind and body and that “I have” a soul. The relevant question here is: Who is it that has these three things? Who is the “I” that stands outside of body, mind, and soul when we make these proprietary statements?

We are missing the relevant truth by glossing over it. If the soul is eternal, and the body is ephemeral, it follows that the soul has a purpose in occupying this body and utilizing this mind at this time. The truth here shines clear. We don’t “have” a soul; we are a soul having a human experience for a particular reason. There is a lot involved in getting born and occupying a body in this world, after all, so the soul must have an agenda if it is to go to all that trouble to be here. The new question then becomes: What is my soul’s agenda? What is my purpose in life?

The key to finding the answer to this question is to get in direct contact with the subtle energies of the soul in order to then understand our life purpose. This is a three-step process. The first step is to shift our perspective from the self-involved egoic personality with all its frantic needs and machinations, to the slow, smooth perspective of soul.

The second step is to harmonize ourselves with the soul’s subtle energy, allowing it to flow through us unfettered by pettiness, strife or our own personal history. The third step is then to act in the world from the powerful place of soul. At that point we will have begun to actualize the performance of the soul’s agenda, our life purpose.

The First Step: Getting Out of the Way

When we are born, we are a blank slate. We stare out at the world from the perspective of pure soul. Because the soul uses the body and mind to interface with the physical world, we have to learn how all that works. Over the course of the next twenty-one years or so, we are filled, like a computer, with the programs that provide the needs for our survival along with the opinions, perceptions, preferences, behaviors, rules, protocols, and expectations of our various family, friends, schools, churches, and society. By the end of this process, the gross stimuli of the dense physical world are the only things that capture our attention. The still small voice of the soul is drowned out by the clamor of the world and our own programming. Our job then becomes to clear a pathway from consciousness, through the resident programming, back to the soul. The two elements of this step are re-programming the behaviors that do not serve us, and the combined discipline of reclamation and recapitulation.

Reprogramming occurs when we recognize and change one of the behaviors or issues in our life we find distracting, confusing, self-defeating, or in the way. Then, we seek out their origins, where they came from, and mentally and emotionally “change” them using the technique of reclamation and recapitulation. This last step requires that we remember the original events in their entirety, seeking out the feelings, emotions and ultimately the beliefs that hold these issues or behaviors in place. Once that is finished, we can dissolve those beliefs and substitute new ones, or we can fully free up the machinery of our being by just letting them go.

This combined technique alters the programming, but also repairs the energy body, reserving our personal energy for our use, rather than for maintaining a disadvantageous behavior. The following is a sample of the Psyche Inventory, a technique designed to dig out a particular behavior and it’s origins during the technique of reclamation and recapitulation.

Typically, you would start by creating a timeline of your life, filling in all of your memorable life events and occurrences. For our purposes here, pick a single memory that has had lasting repercussions in your life, preferably one that is emotionally charged or one where you still feel caught. The Psyche Inventory process requires you to write down everything you can remember about the event.

What happened? Who else was involved and what were your and the other’s actions, intentions, emotions, feelings, and thoughts during the event? Looking deeper, what were the causal factors of the event and what were the changes in you that issued from the event? Did you lose a part of yourself in this instance? Was anything taken from you or did you take something from someone else that needs to be returned?

After this detailed analysis, sit quietly, with eyes closed, and put yourself back in the situation in your mind’s eye, imagining it in precise detail. Give back and receive what was lost or stolen. Forgive and be forgiven. Re-imagine the event in a way that produces a more desirable outcome for you and everyone involved.

Feel with certainty the resolution of this event and the freedom you feel with its closure. Open your eyes and return to the present. From now on, set this event aside. You are finished with it, free to live your life unaffected by the memory or the issues and energetic drain these created.

Obviously, a more detailed and thorough approach, along with ongoing maintenance and monitoring of this process is recommended, but this brief example provides an illustration of the concept. When enough of the resident programming is moved out of the way using this method, the reconnection to soul is automatic and produces a profound shift in awareness and perspective.

The Second Step: Staying in Harmony

Any wise person with even a little experience will tell you that enlightenment is not durable, especially in the beginning stages of self-actualization. Once you are connected to your soul and are oriented to the world from it, the resident ego begins its fight of attrition as it slowly dissipates over time, energetically aligning itself with your new soul-centered orientation. During this period you will notice extensive swings from soul to mind to emotion and back again. It’s just as well, really, because it’s the observable difference between these varied states of awareness that help you sit up and take notice of where you are and where you want to be.

Once you have experienced the consuming clarity and slow brilliance of your soul, you need to find a way to remain in that state of heightened awareness. There are many ways to do this, each discipline has it’s methodology, but the best methods always utilize energy movement as well as some form of meditation. The energy movement will keep you clear and clean and allow you to monitor and fortify the boundaries of your energy body.

Meditation gives you perspective. It allows you to step to one side and get a good look at what you are doing and what is going on in your life. For millennia, shamans have utilized a technique called journeying that has proven to be particularly helpful with this necessary perspective shift.

Rhythmic drumming is employed as a sonic driver to push the individual out of everyday consciousness. That simple act is enough to deliver perspective, but the shamanic journey goes one better and utilizes the individual’s connection to soul to gain added and intense insight as well. The following is an example of a shamanic journey that incorporates healing energy movement.

Close your eyes and relax. Send your awareness around and through the inside of yourself and notice what is happening in your body and energy field. Allow yourself to feel what your body feels. Pay attention to each organ and each system, noticing its color, energy, and pulsating rhythm. Now allow yourself to feel what your energy field feels. Pay attention to each chakra layer. See, sense, and feel how your body and energy field work together. Send the inquiring part of your mind into your body and energy field and ask them to “talk” to you and listen to their response. Hear and feel what is being communicated.

Carry on a conversation with each layer of your energy field, each individual chakra, and each cell, organ, and system of your body, and ask them to communicate with you. See, sense and feel if you have any energy imbalances, blockages, or areas where the energy flow is sluggish. If you do, explore the issues surrounding your imbalanced, blocked, or weak energy flow. Listen.

Now send attention and energy to the areas that need it. Feel the gathering of power as your intent floods these areas with healing life-force energy. See, sense, and feel the healing nature of this energy as it clears and revitalizes your trouble spots. Feel the change in your body and energy field as you do this.

Your inner healer is healing your body and energy field. See and feel it happening. Now slowly open your eyes, holding the images and sensations in place, noticing how you feel.

By practicing a regular discipline of energy cleansing/movement and meditation/journeying, while staying on top of programs that are running your life, you can maintain your constant connection to soul and even enhance it over time.

Part Three: Acting From the Soul

After you have done the heavy lifting of rewriting the programs, and subsequently maintained and broadened your connection to your soul through energy work and journeying/meditation, you find things changing in your life. There is an extensive re-ordering of priorities that takes place as you begin to address the world from your soul connection.

Your thoughts grow quiet as you find less need to hold your old reality in place with the way you talk to yourself and your mind chatter. The conversations you have with others are increasingly substantive. You begin to make a profound difference with what you say and do as your words and actions resound with truth and authenticity. As this happens, you soon notice a pattern that is strangely familiar to you. You will resonate with it.

You realize then that your soul has been quietly trying to express itself through your resident programming for many years, but was not coming through clearly due to your own lack of clarity and soul connection.

It is then you will see the shape that your soul’s purpose has been trying to get your life to take. At that point you will no longer be a divided being, made up of body, mind and spirit, big-S-self and small-s-self, or any other separation. You will have become a unified being, a brilliant soul moving as a force in the world, fulfilling your intended purpose.

Spell Caster’s Affirmation


Spell Caster’s Affirmation

There is one Presence and Power in the Universe
That manifests to me as Goddess and as God
It guides the stars and the planets
It guides me and moves through my life
For I am a perfect incarnation of God /dess
And a perfect priest/ess of God/dess
I am a complete manifestation of this power
I release all imbalanced energy and it’s effects
I harness harmonious energy
And shape it for the good of all
In accordance with free will
With ease and with joy
With love and kindness
So mote it be

Is Fall Sapping Your Energy? 5 Tips to “Fall” Back On

Is Fall Sapping Your Energy? 5 Tips to “Fall” Back On

By Debbie Mandel, Intent.com

The winds of seasonal change are blowing. There is plenty of orange going around from falling leaves out here in the East to carved pumpkins and mums on  doorsteps. In color therapy, orange is the hue of cheerfulness. Therefore I expect to be greeted with sunny dispositions; instead I hear a few mumbled words  and observe allergic eyes, sluggish gaits and stuffy noses.

Fall compels you to take stock of your home, garden, school curriculum and work. You note what is depleted and what areas require innovation. While change  is stimulating, it can be stressful because for awhile you live in ambiguity to see if things will work out. Instead of rigorously following the tracks you  have carefully mapped out, try not to lose track of living in the moment. Nature is a great teacher. Let nature take you on a walk to be present-alive and  alert-to what is meaningful in life.

To power up:

* Fall back on the things that bring you simple pleasures like laughter, massage, well-prepared hearty food, music, art, good  friends-including people and pets.

* Don’t fall down, fall up! Become a work in progress. And if others ask you questions that make you feel small and unimportant, tell  them that you are still under construction.

* Rake the leaves, fall on the pile and show your true colors. Even if you have been hurt in the past, the more you open your heart  and�reveal your inner child, the lighter and happier you will feel.

* Build an identity totem pole on your desk. What small objects fortify your spirit? On my desk I have a photo of a bee on a rose, a  smooth river rock and an aloe plant- it could be horizontal.

* Find physical exercises which energize your mind. If you have to develop a difficult project at work, walk uphill to mirror your climb  to the summit. If you cannot release a sad situation, then play catch with a friend using a basketball or-for greater intensity-a weighted medicine ball.  Imagine when you throw the ball off your chest, you let go of the negativity. When you catch the ball, you catch the abundance of life.

Regarding those fall allergies, keep yourself in balance to minimize the little stressors that cause that tipping point. If you don’t feel better,  consult your doctor for medication.

Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

By Natalya Podgorny, Yoga+

If you’ve ever been transfixed by a candle flame and felt your mind clear, you may have been tapping into a yogic focusing practice called trataka.    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika defines trataka as “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This simple    technique has a purifying, invigorating effect on the mind and improves concentration, paving the way for a deeper meditation practice. Because it is one    of the shat kriyas, or six cleansing actions, trataka also cleans and heals the eyes.

Though many objects can be used to focus your gaze during trataka, the most common is the flame of a candle. Assume a comfortable meditative posture    with your head, neck, and trunk aligned. Set a candle two feet in front of you, with the flame positioned at eye level. Make sure the room is dark and    draft-free.


Begin with your eyes closed, surveying the body and watching the breath until it becomes calm, regular, and even. Then open your eyes and rest your gaze    on the middle part of the flame, right above the tip of the wick. Keep your eyelids slightly more open than usual, and maintain your gaze without blinking    or blurring your vision for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that arise, watching them come and go without becoming engaged.

Close your eyes only when they begin to strain and water, and you can no longer sustain the gaze. (You can cup your palms and place them gently over the    eyes to ease the strain, but do not rub the eyes; because the tears you have shed are carrying away impurities, wipe them gently with a tissue.) Then find    the afterimage of the flame in your mind’s eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center. If the image moves up and down or side to    side, stabilize it by bringing it back to the center, and continue to fix your gaze until the impression disappears. To delve deeper into the mind, you can    follow this practice with meditation.


According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue, and sloth, and closes the doorway creating these problems.    In addition to improving concentration and memory, trataka cleanses both the eyes and the cerebral cortex, balances the nervous system, and relieves    depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Another yogic text, the Gheranda Samhita, states that the practice cultivates clairvoyance and inner    vision.

Because sight, mental discrimination, and the fire at the manipura chakra are intricately interwoven, trataka also nourishes the subtle flame at the    navel center, promoting vitality and inner health. In its more advanced form, as the Himalayan master Swami Rama said, “The practice of trataka    eventually merges into surya sadhana, meditation on the solar energy.”


Under the guidance of a teacher, you can learn how to use a variety of auspicious objects or symbols as the focus of your gaze during trataka, such as a    yantra (a symbolic geometric representation of aspects of Divinity), the symbol Om, the form of a deity, lightning, the moon, your own shadow, or the    glowing orange orb of the rising or setting sun. So steady your gaze, and follow the light all the way to your inner self.

Natalya Podgorny is the editor of Yoga + Joyful Living

The Heart of Unconditional Love

The Heart of Unconditional Love

From the laughter of children at play to the golden rays of the sun
beaming through the sky at sunset, the eternal song of love permeates
all creation. Each beat of our heart pulses to this rhythm in a majestic
and graceful dance connecting us to everyone and everything. Life is
magnificent when we quiet our outer selves and become fully present and
aware of our own loving essence.

To know this grander love is to go beyond the sensation of a first kiss
or a mother’s tender touch in time of need. Although these
extraordinary expressions reveal the existence of love, there is so much
more. This universal love is unconditional and its very presence ignites
our passion and our compassion. It breathes life into our being and
sustains us. It encourages and illuminates the infinite possibilities
while simultaneously providing all that we require to be alive.

It is our heart center that gently nudges us to know and express love in
all that we are. However this does not always come easily. Through eons
of time, the conditioning by our mind to seek logic and reasoning in our
daily affairs has left little trust in the wisdom of the heart. Learning
to once again cultivate our intuition, be intimate with our own unique
understanding of love, and to feel this love deeply, takes both courage
and strength.

Unconditional love is our consistent source of nurturing, inspiration
and potential. Interestingly, we often seek the beauty of nature for its
extraordinary ability to be in constant change while ever expressing its
interconnected uniqueness. This is what captivates and also reminds us
of our own innate capacity to do the same. Nature has the ability to
cycle, recycle, adapt, reclaim and reinvent itself over and over by
simply fulfilling its distinctive purpose with love for all.

When we allow unconditional love to be our personal guiding intention,
our energy flows in the same manner. We stay present in the moment and
share our love without reservation or hesitation. We change, evolve,
expand and express our creativity in new ways ensuring that it benefits
the whole. In this way, life itself evolves through each of us.

You are the heart of unconditional love. What you choose, we all


Chakra Pleasure Attunement

Chakra Pleasure Attunement


This attunement is for experiencing pleasure in each of your chakras. Your chakras are energy centers that correspond with your body, emotions, mind and spirit. By experiencing pleasure in your chakras, you bring more pleasure to your life. However, while the primary focus of this attunement is for enjoyment, the opening of your physical, emotional and mental bodies to pleasure often has a clearing, healing and awakening effect.

This Chakra Pleasure Attunement will work with any and all of your major and minor chakras. I recommend starting with your major chakras and working with all of them in one session beginning with the root/base chakra and working your way up. Then if you wish to work with any of your minor chakras you can do that as part of the same or a separate session. If you need a list of major and minor chakras you will find many internet sites, books and other reference material containing that information.

The purpose of my attunements is to help you tune in and become more in-tune with yourself. When you attune using this attunement, you are becoming more aware of the pleasure in each of your chakras. This is not intended as a healing modality, but rather as self exploration, empowerment and life enrichment. I offer no course materials or certificates, only a way to journey into yourself and bring more of yourself into your everyday life.

Although it is common to attribute the attunement to someone or something outside of yourself, what I offer through my attunements is an understanding that everything you wish to attune yourself to is already present inside of you. When you follow the written instructions in this attunement, I am working with you to help you tune into and experience your pleasure as it already exists inside of you. I am not adding anything to you, I am simply helping you to focus your awareness. However, if while working with any or all of your chakras, you would like to add my pleasure energy to yours, all you have to do is intend to experience it and it will be present.

To Attune: relax and close your eyes. Starting with your root chakra, intend to experience the pleasure that is there. Then just go with the experience. When the sensation subsides or moves to the next chakra, it is time to intend to experience the pleasure that is there. All you need to experience this attunement is intent. These written words are merely information and instructions. When you intend to attune, your intent is assisted by mine and the attunement takes place. Nothing more is needed so please do not ask me to send you the attunement, everything you need is inside of you and supported by the words on this page you are currently reading

This attunement will work one time for each chakra. After that my assistance in attuning, and the addition of my pleasure energy will no longer be available. However, you will still be able to tune in on your own because tuning in is a natural process that you do all the time. This attunement helps strengthen your intention and the results, but even more importantly it teaches you that you are an empowered being, capable of tuning into anything you desire.

Reclaiming: The Etiquette of Witchcraft

Reclaiming: The Etiquette of Witchcraft

The Etiquette of Witchcraft

This article by M. Macha NightMare appeared in the Summer issue of the
Reclaiming Newsletter.

The Etiquette of Witchcraft, Reclaiming Style

The greater community of Witchcraft- throughout the U.S. and abroad- has a few
rules of etiquette of which to be cognizant. I am well aware that ours is not
a religion of “rules” (especially in the ecstasy-based Reclaiming Tradition),
but in order for us to be free of inhibitions, to feel we are in “safe space,” to get the most out of what we are doing and to protect those whose identity as
Witches were it revealed, would compromise them in their mundane lives, it is
imperative that everyone know and agree to abide by the following general

1. First and foremost, a magickal circle is not for observers; it is
participatory and experiential. A circle is a religious rite and all
participants should conduct themselves in a manner respectful to the Goddess.
If one is not prepared to focus and contribute his/her attention and efforts to
the ceremony, one does not belong in the circle. If one does not wish to
participate, s/he should excuse her/himself before the pre-rite meditation and
grounding begins.

2. The taking of photographs is inappropriate and impermissible. As noted in
item 1 above, the ritual, and memories of it, are to be carried in one’s heart;
they are not a proper subject for objective observation and documentation. The
exception to this is when all participants have been asked before the ritual
has begun, and all agree; or when the ritual is “staged” specifically for the
taking of photographs, filming or videotaping. Photographing rituals requires
special tact and sensitivity.

3. Craft groups and circles are not inviolably solemn, but they are serious in
central purpose. Inappropriate talking, joking, laughing, etc. are not only
rude and disrespectful of the Goddess, the Mighty Ones, the priest/esses of the
ritual and other celebrants, but also they interfere with concentration and
continuity of the ceremony. She commands us to have mirth and reverence; humor
and laughter are gifts of the Goddess. Our attitude, conduct and energy should
reflect both the joyousness and the solemnity of this our celebratory religion.
There will be a period within the ritual for the sharing of food, drink and
good wishes, and time for conversation and merrymaking.

4. Since traditional lore teaches that consecrated object easily absorbs
energy (becomes “charged”), tools, such as wand, chalice, athame, jewelry, drum
and other ritual regalia, should not be touched by someone other than the owner
without the owner’s express permission.

5. Once the circle is cast, all celebrants should consider themselves in it
for the duration. It is preferable for one to take care of personal needs
before the ritual is begun, but if one finds it necessary to use the toilet,
feels faint or whatever, one can either ask for assistance or “cut a door” in
the circle and leave, carefully closing and sealing it afterwards. The circle
is intended to contain the energy and focus, and when it is casually entered
and exited, that energy can become dissipated or lost and focus shattered.

6. Anyone who is drunk, stoned or otherwise inebriated does not belong in
circle. In addition, the use of drugs or alcohol (this includes the smoking of
cigarettes) in circle is unacceptable behavior; it can show disrespect and it
puts the user(s) on another wavelength than the nonuser(s). The exception to
this is when the use of chemicals is sacramental and understood and accepted by
everyone in the circle.

7. People who invite others to rituals are responsible for preparing the
guest(s) as to what is expected of them, how to behave, etc. Guests cannot be
expected to know what’s going on all on their own, especially if it’s their
first Craft ritual, but much can be done by the person who invites them to make
them feel more comfortable and included by giving them some information ahead
of time about how things work and how people are expected to behave.

8. What occurs in circle is sacred and not to be talked about with those who
were not part of the circle. This mainly applies to small, private rituals,
and we in Reclaiming are more casual about rehashing big public ones, but if
one is invited to a ritual presented by another Craft tradition, this rule is

The above guidelines are freely adapted from archival material graciously
provided by Valerie Voigt.

Many thanks for reading and observing these few, simple, common-sense, but
essential, guidelines.

The Witch

The Witch

Women have strange powers men do not: the power to bear children and feed them from their own bodies, to bleed without being hurt or sick, and to provoke
erections in heterosexual men. Perhaps these strange beings have even more
remarkable powers.

Or perhaps when the image of a Goddess dwindles until all that remains is the
memory of Her uncanny powers, She becomes a Witch.

Witches have been credited with such magical feats as blasting crops, cursing
people to sickness, lameness or death and causing men to become impotent or
even stealing their penises.

The Renaissance Christian myth of the witch is complex and grotesque. Most
witches were women, the Malleus Maleficarum stated, because “All witchcraft
arises from lust, which in women is insatiable.” Their lust was supposedly for
the Devil, who initiated the witch at the Sabbat and copulated with her often,
according to the accounts of the churchmen.

These witches gathered at mass meetings called Sabbats, to which they flew via
brooms or animal companions. There, the Devil appeared, usually in the form of
a black goat. They kissed his buttocks in greeting. Then they informed him of
all the harmful spells they had done since the last Sabbat. Wild dancing and often sex with gathered demons followed, along with a feast often consisting of
the corpses of babies.

There is no evidence that a real conspiracy of witches who worshipped the Devil
ever existed. But many European clergymen devoutly believed in it during the
great Witch Hunt. Estimates as to how many people, mostly women, were burned or hanged for witchcraft range from a few thousand to nine million.

But the witches of pagan stories had no need for a male Devil. Long before the
great Witch-Hunt, European women were accused of believing that they travelled with the goddess Diana or Signa Oriente or Herodias at night, entering people’s homes and being given food. Roman witches were thought to worship Hecate.

Morgan Le Fay tormented King Arthur and his knights. Circe turned the men who invaded her island into pigs. The volva told Odin how the Aesir gods would
fall. The witches in The Golden Ass can command even the Greek gods with their

The myths have led to a real Witchcraft religion springing up — one that worships Goddesses, not the Christian’s Devil.

Many other cultures have known the fear of the witch, which may date back to
the Stone Age. Some Native American tribes feared witches, such as the Iroquois
and Navajo (Dina). Certain African tribes believe in female witches who ride
trained hyenas to meetings and cast evil spells.

The urban legends of child-molesting Satanist conspiracies that spring up even
today show how enduring the myth of the witch is. As in Renaissance times, most of the accused are women.

Above: “The Witches’ Sabbat”, by Francis Goya. Below: From a collage.

Further Reading

* Europe’s Inner Demons: The Making of the Great European Witch Hunt. Norman

* Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture. Arthur Evans. Fag Rag Press, 1971.

A Little Humor for Your Day – ‘Jail vs. Work’

Jail Vs. Work

IN PRISON…you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell.
AT WORK … you spend the majority of your time in a 6X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON…you get three meals a day.
AT WORK…you only get a break for one meal and you pay for it.

IN PRISON…you get time off for good behavior
AT WORK…you get more work for good behavior

IN PRISON…the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK…you must carry around a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON…you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK…you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON…you get your own toilet.
AT WORK…you have to share with some idiot who pees on the seat.

IN PRISON…they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK…you can’t even speak to your family.

IN PRISON…the taxpayers pay all expenses with no work required.
AT WORK…you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON…you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get  out.
AT WORK…you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON…you must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK…they are called managers.

Quiz of the Day – What Kind of Aromatherapy Do You Need?

What Kind of Aromatherapy Do You Need? Quiz

Stressed? Craving peace or a good night’s sleep? This quiz can help you choose the right  scent. There is even an essential oil that can help you avoid overeating!

Take this fun and easy quiz to discover which essential oils you need in your  life right now!

We also include a great, easy formula for a simple cologne base that you can  start making now to customize later for yourself, or as a gift for family or  friends in the season of gift-giving.

1. Do you feel tired a lot?

2. Are you sometimes sad and moody?

3. Do you feel as if you could really use a lift?

4. Do you need to feel more energized?

5. Do you sometimes overeat?

6. Have you been having some pretty big mood swings lately?

7. Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to  sleep?

8. Do you feel anxious?

9. Do you feel stressed and pressured?

10. Are you sleeping poorly?

11. Could your sex life use a little more sparkle?

If you answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, or 10 try  these anti-depressant oils: Bergamot, Clary sage, jasmine  absolute, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, patchouli, peppermint, rose, rose  geranium, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

If you answered yes to number 5, try this oil to avoid  overeating: Grapefruit oil.

If you answered yes to 2 or 6, these oils help to balance mood  swings: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Jasmine absolute, juniper, sweet orange,  rose, rosewood.

If you answered yes to 11, these oils are considered to  be aphrodisiac: Clary sage, jasmine absolute, patchouli, rose,  sandalwood, ylang ylang.

If you answered yes to number 1, 7, or 10, try these oils to aid in  deeper sleep: Clary sage, lavender, rose, rose  geranium, ylang ylang.

If you answered yes to 5, 7, 9, or 10, try these oils to reduce stress  and tension: Grapefruit, lavender, rose, rose geranium, rosewood,  sandalwood, vanilla, ylang ylang.

If you answered yes to 7 or 10, try these oils to reduce  anxiety: Jasmine absolute, lavender, lemon, sandalwood, ylang ylang.

If you answered yes to number 1, 3, or 4, these oils are  considered rejuvenating: Lemon, peppermint.