‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for December 2nd

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Have you ever stood on the sidelines and watched the drama of your own difficulties being acted out in someone else’s life? Does it provoke a feeling of gratitude that here I will witness something that will help me solve my own problem? Or does it invite a feeling of smugness that they were not so capable of hiding theirs as I have been of concealing mine.

Hiding one’s difficulties can be compared to concealing an elephant. The only possible way to keep it a secret would be to keep it from those who could care less in the first place. If they were face to face with your elephant they would register little surprise and proceed immediately to forget it.

In fact, there is considerable danger in looking down on those who are trying to get their lives on the right track. At least they have the intestinal fortitude to try. And to pretend that one has nothing to overcome is merely polishing the front glass while the back door falls away.

Smugness or compassion? It was Cowper who reminded us, “Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.”

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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 – December 2

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 2

“The smarter a man is the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything.”

–George Webb, PIMA

A spiritual person needs to be careful. The more confident we are, the more likely our egos will get us into trouble. It’s relatively easy to become self-righteous. We start to think we are teachers and others are students. We start to judge others. We start, very subtlety at first, to play God. After a while we really get good at it. This is very dangerous. We need to remind ourselves, we are here to do God’s will. We need to pray every morning. Each day we need to check in with God to see what He would have us do. At night we need to spend time with God and review our day. By doing these things, we will stay on track.

My Creator, guide my path and show me how to correct my life.

December 2 – Daily Feast

December 2 – Daily Feast

Some of our greatest victories come when they are least expected and from sources that we have the least faith in. If the most beat-down person keeps the faith and moves ahead just as though he has a written contract with success, he will, even to his own amazement, come out a winner! Most people think there’s not a chance of success without great publicity and promotion – and the right connections. But the best connections are spiritually motivated by faith and caring that far overshadow puny human efforts. The will to win is important – but the Almighty Hand never has a failure.

~ The Great Spirit whispers in my ear! ~

BLACK HAWK – SAC

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

Daily Motivator for Dec. 2nd – Build great strength

Build great strength

Don’t run from failure or hide from failure or avoid the possibility of  failure. Use failure to improve.

If you’re not willing to fail, you won’t be able to grow. To become stronger  and more capable, you must push yourself beyond what you already know you can  do.

It is only by lifting more weight than you’ve lifted before that you  strengthen your muscles. It is by experiencing failure that you discover new  ways to succeed.

Failure and disappointment can serve as powerful steps along the path to  magnificent achievement. In dealing with the difficult times, you build great  strength with which to create good, meaningful, satisfying and fulfilling value  in your world.

Success means nothing if it is not earned. Failure is an important part of  earning success.

The road to achievement will constantly test you. Be willing to take those  tests, and to work through those tests, and achievement is yours.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for Dec. 2nd – An Unwavering Connection to the Infinite

An Unwavering Connection to the Infinite
Worth

by Madisyn Taylor

Your worth is not a product of your intelligence, your talent, your looks, or how much you have accomplished.

Though much of who and what we are changes as we journey through life, our inherent worth remains constant. While the term self-worth is often used interchangeably with self-esteem, the two qualities are inherently different. Self-esteem is the measure of how you feel

about yourself at a given moment in time. Your worth, however, is not a product of your intelligence, your talent, your looks, your good works, or how much you have accomplished. Rather it is immeasurable and unchanging manifestation of your eternal and infinite oneness with the universe. It represents the cornerstone of the dual foundations of optimism and self-belief. Your worth cannot be taken from you or damaged by life’s rigors, yet it can easily be forgotten or even actively ignored. By regularly acknowledging your self-worth, you can ensure that you never forget what an important, beloved, and special part of the universe you are.

You are born worthy—your worth is intertwined with your very being. Your concept of your own self-worth is thus reinforced by your actions. Each time you endeavor to appreciate yourself, treat yourself kindly, define your personal boundaries, be proactive in seeing that your needs are met, and broaden your horizons, you express your recognition of your innate value. During those periods when you have lost sight of your worth, you will likely feel mired in depression, insecurity, and a lack of confidence. You’ll pursue a counterfeit worth based on judgment rather than the beauty that resides within. When you feel worthy, however, you will accept yourself without hesitation. It is your worth as an individual who is simultaneously interconnected with all living beings that allows you to be happy, confident, and motivated. Because your conception of your worth is not based on the fulfillment of expectations, you’ll see your mistakes and failures as just another part of life’s journey.

Human beings are very much like drops of water in an endless ocean. Our worth comes from our role as distinct individuals as well as our role as an integral part of something larger than ourselves. Simply awakening to this concept can help you rediscover the copious and awe-inspiring worth within each and every one of us.

The Daily OM

Yule Chant for Women

Yule Chant for Women

 

The cauldron is placed in the south with an unlit candle in it and wreathed with
Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe. You will need a veil.

Say:
“I grow desirous of my Lord,
His seed stirs within me.
The time of light is upon us.”

Draw a veil over your head and circle deosil seven times, saying:

“Return, oh return!
God of the sun, god of the light, return!
When I see Thee not
My heart grieves for Thee
Return! Return! Return!”

Stand before the altar with arms upraised, saying:

“Queen of the moon, Queen of the sun
Queen of the heavens, Queen of the stars
Queen of the waters, Queen of the earth
Bring to us the child of promise
It is the great mother who gives birth to Him
It is the Lord of Life who is born again
Darkness and tears are set aside when the sun shall come up early!”

Take a candle from the altar and light the candle in the cauldron, saying:

“Golden sun of hill and mountain
illumine the land, illumine the world
illumine the seas, illumine the rivers
sorrows be laid, joy to the world!
Blessed be the great Goddess
Without beginning, without ending
Everlasting to eternity
Io Evo! He! Blessed Be!
Io Evo! He! Blessed Be!…”

Yule Chant for Men

Yule Chant for Men

 

The cauldron is placed by the south candle with an unlit candle in it. Wreath
the cauldron with Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe.

Stand before the altar with arms upraised, say:

“Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun
Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the Stars
Queen of the Waters, Queen of the Earth
Bring to us the child of promise!
It is the great Mother who gives birth to Him
It is the Lord of Life who is born again
Darkness and tears are set aside when the sun shall come up early!”

Take a candle from the altar and light the candle in the cauldron, say:

“Golden Sun of hill and mountain
Illumine the Land, illumine the World
Illumine the Seas, illumine the Rivers
Sorrows be laid, joy to the World!
Blessed be the great Goddess
Without beginning, without ending
Everlasting to eternity
Io Evo! He! Blessed Be!
Io Evo! He! Blessed Be!…”

The Yule of Our Ancestors

The Yule of Our Ancestors

by Wlfgar Greggarson

The Yule tree is probably one of the most recognizable symbols of the Yule
season. For me, the tree always stood for the coming together of family. It has
been one thing that bound my family together, the center focus for the children
eagerly awaiting the present-opening ritual. For the adults, it was a
comfortable place to drink and catch up on old times. The Yule tree was a
much-needed place of peace for my large family. Now, as an adult with a little
more worldly knowledge, I have found a deeper understanding of the Yule tree’s
lore and purpose.

Customarily, the tree was a spruce or other evergreen, which symbolized the
survival of green life through the barren months of winter, the people’s hope
and nature’s promise that the earth would once again spring back to life. It
was a symbol that the cold touch from the god of death would wane with the
rebirth of the newly returned sun. Surely the goddess of life would and could
replenish all of the earth after Old Man Winter had his fun.

In various parts of Europe, fruit-bearing trees were an important feature
during the Yule season. In more natural times, the folk would gather at a large
apple tree on Twelfth Night to hang cider-soaked bread on its branches for the
good spirits and all the fey and thus renew and strengthen the fragile and
cherished relationship with the wee folk.

Yule has also been a time to begin certain harvest magick. In parts of Denmark,
the people would go out and shake the fruit trees, then hang a token of the
Yule season in their branches and pray for a good harvest in the summer. The
fruit tree is also a sign of the triumph of life through death, much as the
evergreen is a symbol of life’s continuance.

Possibly the origin of decorating the Yule tree lies with the people known as
the Lapplanders or, more correctly, the Sami. It is said the Sami would take
small portions of meals eaten on holy days, put them in pieces of birch bark,
then after making ships out of them, complete with sails, hang them on trees
behind their homes as offerings to the J”l (Yule) spirits.

At some point, it became unsafe to observe heathen Yule practices publicly; it
is probable that, at this point, the Yule tree was brought into the home. Pagan
Yule practices, symbolism and holy tokens became enmeshed and hidden within the
Christ birth mythology. Yule’s theme of honoring the sun, newly reborn, and the
triumph of light through darkness is quite an easy target for an opportunistic
religion.

There are many other Yule traditions, such as wreath making, cake baking, ale
brewing and so on. Another was wassailing, a kind of ritual toasting and
singing, which comes from the words Wes Hal, meaning to be whole. Wassail the
drink was usually a hot cider mixture drunk from a maple turned bowl.

The actual Yule feast is also a favorite of this hungry heathen. The Yule
season ended on Twelfth Night, which is now celebrated on December 31. In more
ancient times, Mothers Night was observed on December 25 and the festivities
continued until January 5. Mothers Night, the beginning of the Yule season
ritual observance, was practiced on different days at different places and
times and is now celebrated beginning at sunset on December 20. Mothers Night
activities included making wreaths woven with wishes for the coming year, a
rite to bless the family and exchanging gifts.

Wreath making can be a fun activity for a coven, kindred or family. Wreaths can
be made using a circular candle holder that holds four candles. Evergreen
branches, sprigs of holly and nuts are good items to offer as gifts to the Yule
spirits. Being that a gift calls for a gift, we can tie small pieces of red
ribbon onto the wreaths with our requests and wishes for the coming season, to
be answered by the Yule spirits.

The Yule log is probably one of the most important aspects of the Yule time
festivities. The log traditionally was kindled from the burnt remains of the
previous year’s Yule fire. The Yule log symbolizes the light returning to
conquer the darkness. Decoration for your log can be of various evergreens,
holly, mistletoe, nuts, fruit and so forth. There are many traditional ways to
collect your log; what I do, because it seems most practical, is save the
thickest part of my Yule tree when it comes time to throw it away. This I keep
through the year (making sure a well-intentioned friend doesn’t accidentally
throw it in the fireplace – no names mentioned), then I decorate it, put
offerings on it and send it to Valhalla.

The burning of the log can be a fun party for your group or family with a round
of toasting, boasting, bragging or promises for things to come in the next
year. In my opinion, this is best done drinking hot cider, because when mead or
ale is drunk, the toasting, boasting and bragging can get out of hand.

Appropriate items to hang on our trees include cookies in the shape of horses,
swine, birds, cats and trees. Apples if available, most varieties of nuts,
strings of cranberries and popcorn are also nice. I like to use my scroll saw
to cut wood into shapes such as horses, swine or other holy tokens such as
pentagrams, labrys, Thor’s hammers, sun wheels and, one of my favorites, the
Valknut, which is three interlocking triangles, a symbol sacred to Odin.

Other Yule season facts are out there, not far out of reach. We can research
and find these things and revive the practices that touch our heathen hearts.
It is our right and responsibility to revive this old lore and educate others
of the many pagan origins of this very heathen time. I hope this small article
will stir your interest in our pagan heritage.

Wassail!

Pagan Wassail

Pagan Wassail

For the Wassail’s Baked Apples:
1 dozen cooking apples
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
butter or margarine
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
Core apples and place in an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon, fill apples    with mixture, dot tops with butter. Add boiling water and sugar to pan and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 60 minutes.
For the Wassail:
1 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon nutmeg, grated (for luck)
1/2 teaspoon mace
2 teaspoons ginger (to prevent arguments)
6 whole cloves (to influence people in high places, and for luck)
1 stick cinnamon (same as cloves)
6 whole allspice
1 dozen eggs, separated
4 bottles sherry
2 cups brandy
Combine first eight ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites    until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Fold whites into yolks. Strain spice mixture into egg mixture and stir. Combine sherry and brandy and    bring almost to a boil. Gradually add liquor to spice and egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you do so. Before serving, add baked apples to foaming liquid.    Serve in a large cauldron.
(The above recipe for “Pagan Wassail” in directly quoted from Laurie    Cabot’s book: “Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition”, pages 71-72, a Delta book, published by Dell Publishing,    1994.)

The Possibilities of the Yule

The Possibilities of the Yule

by P. H. Tiger Snake Lockwood

Birth leads to possibilities — from the heart of chaos rose the Mother,
Euonymus. In Chaos, there is still order. Within what is orderly is Chaos. She
arose from that Chaos, and in her movement, spread Chaos. In her spread of
Chaos, She formed order. Movement begets movement, spreading outward, that
which is colliding haphazardly with other parts of itself. Her awareness let
her know it was cold, so she danced to warm herself. If it were possible to be
cold, it was possible to be warm. If it were possible to stand still, it was
possible to move. Her dance created movement in all things.

What was beneath her feet moved in relation to her.  The stars all around her
moved, both in her vision, and of their own accord. The cold about her moved
and stirred and became the wind. She caught the North Wind, and by forming it
in her hands she made Orphion.

Orphion became aware. He became aroused by Euronyme’s dancing. They joined as Euronyme danced, and that which came from the joining had its’ own awareness. Each awareness, while it was common for all to have awareness, was unique in it’s perspective.

The power of awareness was new and disturbing. Orphion was aware of his part in creation, and became boastful. Euronyme, aware of Orphion’s boasts, aware of
having made Orphion herself, became angry. She stomped on the slithering
braggart’s head to remind him of the facts.

Each awareness that became had similar problems with the new power of this
awareness. They became so enamored of their uniqueness, awareness of others
lessened. Some became aware of the intoxication of awareness, and sought to
harness the power to prevent damage. Others did not, and they ended their time
quarreling. Many learned something of the intoxicating power of awareness, but
became confused as the powerproved dynamic, instead of static. How to
comprehend, even apprehend, the power of awareness, and avoid it’s intoxication was the question of the many. All became plunged into a darkness and cold, a void.

Awareness has many possibilities. If one looks deeply enough into their own
awareness, a face will be seen looking back. The face is not the skin over the
muscles and bones of one’s own skull, but it can be recognized as one’s own.
Yet, it does not belong exclusively to oneself. When one looks at others, still
that face will be seen looking back. To whom does this face belong then? What
is possible in that face? Recognition is shocking, and painful.

The dark night of the soul lay upon many. The many children of
She-Who-Has-Many- Names scattered over the world. They quarreled and fought, and committed atrocities against one another. Survivors of one atrocity would plot and overthrow those who had persecuted them. In victory, they committed atrocities of their own.

It was in this time of darkness and cold that something stirred once again. It
was something that had begun sometime before, but had to grow in the darkness.
Due to the cold, it had to be kept warm.

The darkness and cold was puzzling to many. The sun was close to the Earth, but
seemed so small, and its rays did little to warm the land. Rain fell as white
crystals, covering everything instead of being absorbed into the ground. Breath
was a white vapor that left the mouth as one spoke, and left the nostrils as
one breathed.

In the night sky, the stars moved, but the axis had shifted. The only thing
that continued, seemingly unchanged, was the moon. As the nights grew longer
her white form still hung in the sky, following her cycle. And the women
continued their own cycles, much like Hers. On that longest, coldest of nights,
another birth occurred. What had stirred in darkness, and had to be kept warm,
was brought forth in the pale light and scant warmth. What was born that night
was a male child whose face is the one all recognized as the one they have seen
before.