‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for December 3rd

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Before we can share with others, we must have something to share. And all of us do have something to give. Not material things, but we can share our peace and our love and our loyalty.

Before we can share with others, there must be others with whom to share. For if we are selfish and self-centered enough, we will never have to worry about sharing anything. We will be alone.

Before we can expect others to share with us, we must be capable of accepting. We must be worthy of others who desire to share with us; we must deserve their love.

Before the two of us can ever find anything in this world of mutual interest, we must have enough concern and enough love to feel a need within to produce something good enough to offer; not only to others, but to ourselves. If we have abused our own nature with thoughts of bitterness, harboring painful experiences, self-condemnation for little progress regardless of circumstances, then we have nothing to offer.

The French philosopher Achilles Poincelot once said, “Some people think that all the world should share their misfortunes, though they do not share in the sufferings of anyone else.”

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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 3

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 3

“Listen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf, for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world.”

–Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders

If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.

Great Spirit, let me listen to my Earth teachers, the plants and the animals.

December 3 – Daily Feast

December 3 – Daily Feast

Much has grieved us, we cannot deny it. Strong as we are, believing as we do, we are still grieved, and we must overcome it. To stop grieving does not mean we no longer care, but that we cannot let this emotion consume us when we need a steady hand and a firm step. It will creep back in unlikely moments to make us cry but time will replace the pain with happy memories. Once we have a flicker of light we can know that grieving is at an end. It can no longer take our whole thought because we have things to do, places to go, and a life to live. This is the time.

~ He orders all things, and He has given us a fine day. ~

RED JACKET – SENECA

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

Daily Motivator for December 3rd – Choose a positive response

Choose a positive response

No matter what happens, you can respond in whatever way you choose. So make  your response the most positive one for every person it affects.

There’s nothing to be gained by adding more negativity on top of negativity.  You have the opportunity to break the pattern.

Instead of responding to anger with more anger, challenge yourself to respond  with understanding and compassion. When you’re tempted to respond with  frustration, make the more positive choice to respond with patience.

For your world to be a more positive place, you must take responsibility for  putting more positive energy into it. Though a positive response may be the more  difficult one, it is also the more valuable choice in the long run.

Rather than choosing a response based on what has happened, choose your  response based on the direction you wish to go. Even when life has let you down,  your best choice is a positive response that creates a more positive future.

Each response to life is an opportunity to make progress. Choose a positive  response, again and again, and create a much more positive world.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for December 3rd – Keeping Our Minds Supple

Keeping Our Minds Supple
Questioning Everything

by Madisyn Taylor

Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A lot of people feel threatened if they feel they are being asked to question their cherished beliefs or their perception of reality. Yet questioning is what keeps our minds supple and strong. Simply settling on one way of seeing things and refusing to be open to other possibilities makes the mind rigid and generally creates a restrictive and uncomfortable atmosphere. We all know someone who refuses to budge on one or more issues, and we may have our own sacred cows that could use a little prodding. Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A willingness to question everything, even things we are sure we are right about, can shake us out of complacency and reinvigorate our minds, opening us up to understanding people and perspectives that were alien to us before. This alone is good reason to remain inquisitive, no matter how much experience we have or how old we get. In the Zen tradition, this willingness to question is known as beginner’s mind, and it has a way of generating possibilities we couldn’t have seen from the point of view of knowing something with certainty. The willingness to question everything doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t believe in anything at all, and it doesn’t mean we have to question every single thing in the world every minute of the day. It just means that we are humble enough to acknowledge how little we actually know about the mysterious universe we call home.

Nearly every revolutionary change in the history of human progress came about because someone questioned some time-honored belief or tradition and in doing so revealed a new truth, a new way of doing things, or a new standard for ethical and moral behavior. Just so, a commitment to staying open and inquisitive in our own individual lives can lead us to new personal revolutions and truths, truths that we will hopefully, for the sake of our growth, remain open to questioning.

The Daily OM

The Lady’s Prayer

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The Lady’s Prayer

Our Mother
Who art here present,
Honored be thy name.
Thy time is come
We shall be One
On Earth, which is our heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And love us in our imperfections
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
For thine is the spirit of the great transformation
Forever and ever.
Amen.

Becoming a Witch

Becoming a Witch

by Morgaine

© Morgaine 2001.

This article may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, providing that this original copyright notice stays in place at all times.

I am often asked how one becomes a witch. Do you find someone who is a witch and they make you one? Or are you a witch just by saying you are? Can you  make yourself a witch?

The process of becoming a witch doesn’t happen overnight. It is a life change, a new path upon the journey of your life. It takes consideration, study  and work. If you have previously followed a mainstream religion, you may have things that take time to let go, and new things that take time to absorb. I  have heard many people say it is often hard, coming from a life of Christianity, to feel comfortable praying to the Goddess. All new things take time, but if  you are serious upon this path, you will find your way. The Gods call their own home to them.

No matter how you have came about finding the Old Religion, here you are. So where do you go? To the book store. For a novice, books are like the air you  breathe. You must have them, or access to them in some way. If you cannot afford, or do not feel safe having books on the Craft, the internet is the next  best place.

In both books and on the internet you will find a wealth of knowledge that will help guide you upon your new path. Of course, as with anything else, there  is good information and bad information. Avoid any kind of book, or internet site, that speaks of controlling another person in any way, harming them, doing  love spells on a specific person, or tells you to chant in latin, even though you have no idea what you are saying (yes, I have seen sites like that). These  books/sites will not fulfill your need for knowledge in the Craft and will only serve to confuse you.

Once you have read a variety of books and feel called to this path, the next step is to find a teacher. If you have access to a teacher, in my opinion  this is the best course of action. A teacher or a coven can often be found if there is a new age book store in your community. Also, the Witches Voice is a  site that offers networking in every state. It has grown extremely large over the past few years and is a valuable resource in the Craft community. All of my  coven members have found me on the Witches Voice.

Having a mentor can offer so much to you when you are beginning. There will be things you come across that you have a hard time understanding and need  clarification. If you have a teacher, they are just a phone call or email away. If you do not, you must try to decifer things on your own, and may not come  to the correct end on them. If you do not have a teacher, again, the internet is the next best place to look.

If you are only looking for a ‘how to’ on casting spells, then the Craft is not for you. Witchcraft is a serious spiritual path, in which magick  is performed, but is secondary to the religion itself. I would suggest you look to ceremonial magick for that.

A couple of things need to be said about beginning this path, in light of recent attitudes about the Craft. Here lately it seems that you have a people  who, after reading a few books, feel as if they can call themselves a master of the Art. They throw on a title like Lady/Lord, or HP/s, add some black  clothes, a pentacle the size of a hubcap, and they are ready to go. This is not what the Craft is about. If you have spent years following a particular path,  have worked hard for the spiritual lessons that have been presented to you, and through this have attained the title and rank, then by all means use it. But  think of how you would feel if, after all that, you have a newbie with 6 months and 5 books unde their belt walking about calling themselves Lady Starry Ski  or Lord Thunderbutt. It is very offensive. Just like your parents told you when you were growing up (or maybe you still are) ‘don’t rush things, it  will all come to you in the end, and be sweeter for the waiting’. This is true with the Craft. Using titles, putting on airs, and in general acting high  and mighty are not going to make you any more spiritual. And that is what this path is about. What it will do is alienate you from people whom you may  actually want to meet and get to know!

All of this being said the way to become a witch is through study and dedication. Gather all of the information you can. Find the best teacher possible.  Read whatever you can get your hands on. Go outside in nature and commune with the Goddess and God. Listen to the trees and the wind and the rush of the  water, for this is the witch’s world.

Ask These Questions Before You Cast

Ask these questions before you cast a spell:

1) Have I done everything I can to resolve the situation without magic?
Try all the mundane methods of attaining your goals before resorting to spellcraft. If you want a job, send out your resume before you break out the green candles and patchouly. If you want to meet someone special, try reading the personals or signing up for an adult ed class before you reach for the aphrodisiacs. If you’re having conflict with someone at work, try talking to them about the problem before you go looking up binding spells. As one experienced witch put it to me, “this way, you can be sure that your intentions are pure.”
2) Will this spell harm another, or bend someone’s will to mine?
Witches do not cast spells meant to harm someone else. Nor do they cast spells on other people without their permission, no matter how honorable their intentions. There’s a good reason for this: harmful and meddlesome spells have a nasty tendency to backfire on the people who cast them.
When you’re watching someone close to you suffering, it can be hard to consider the situation objectively. One reader asked me about spells to help alleviate anger. When I dug deeper, it turned out that spellcraft was entirely inappropriate. If possible, discuss the matter with another trusted pagan friend. 
3) Am I prepared to accept the consequences of this spell, whatever they might be?
Think long and hard about this one. As I’ve said before, you may cast a spell with the best of intentions, but end up with unexpected consequences. Meditate a bit on it before you decide to cast the spell. Talk to other witches and see if there isn’t a better solution.
Either way, your spell has a better chance of success if you fully “own” it, and anything that results from it. The best way to avoid unforseen consequences is to follow the guidelines set out above — and, most importantly, to cast the spell with love in your heart. Making magick is a powerful and transformative experience. In the midst of the spell, you become the subject, and you become the result. Make sure that what you’re asking for is something you’d like to become.
Remember, the most powerful tool a witch has is their mind. As we can only perceive reality, we can bend it by changing states of consciousness. The universe is like a web, we can change the strands, and we can even break them with our magick. Be careful of what you do. Before every magickal working ask yourself:
‘Do I dare disturb the fragile energies of the universe?’
A spell cast on someone without their permission can be considered as manipulative magick. Even when the best of thoughts are at heart, you must tell them your intentions, or deal with the consequences. Sometimes it isn’t possbile to tell someone you want to cast a healing spell on them,so outweight the benefits to the negative consequences.
A spell which bends will or binds it to yours is completely WRONG. Do not perform them unless absolutely necessary, and by that I only mean bindings and transformations, and if you have no other alternatives, banishings. If you are under some sort of physcial attack, for example abuse, rape or harassment, see the police immediately, do not attempt to bend their will through a spell.
A spell cast to harm someone is just as wrong as bending their will, if not more so. Do not cast a spell to cause ill to a convited murderer, a friend who has gosspped about you, no matter what the magnitude. If it is a felony or illegal under law, get the law enforcers involed. Remember you human rights, and theirs also.
A spell which is personal gain is OK *AS LONG AS* you do not demand too much. Be careful for what you    ask for, you just might get it.

Why Spells Don’t Always Work

WHY  SPELLS DON’T ALWAYS WORK

Spell casting, in and of itself, is not difficult. Generally, it follows an
easy formula with separate and distinct steps. A spell is a procedure to
follow to reach a desired end. It does not require a great deal of money, a
huge compendium of tools, or exotic ingredients to work. It does require
faith in yourself and a commection with deity.
When describing spells to non-magickal people, a witch will often tell them
that a spell is much like a prayer. You are calling upon divinity to assist
you, as in a prayer, but a spell requires more than just pleading to divinity
to help you out of a jam. In a spell YOU are an active ingredient. Your
faith and your knowledge are as important as understanding there is divinity
out there to call upon.
Many of you have already heard of the Witches’ Pyramid, the foundation of our magickal acts: To Know, To Will, To Dare, and To Be Silent. This pyramid is  the underlying structure of any spell formula.
To Know 
Before you can cast a spell, you need to know who you are. Ego aside, you
have to come to terms with who you are, how you operate, and why you do the things you do.
The second thing you must know is precisely what you want. This is not as
easy as it seems. People rarely sit back and consider what they really want
out of life. Part of this is because they are afraid. They fear they may not
get what they want, and they fear that they will fail. These fears stop us
from knowing.
For example, time and time again people I know have spelled for love. They
have not done the ultimate no-no by targeting a specific person, but they do
something just as bad–they don’t really know what they ultimately want.
When they get what they spelled for, often they are disappointed, because
there is something attached to that new lover they didn’t think of.
Therefore, all spells must be specific.
One of the best ways to begin a working is to write out, in detail, exactly
what you want in one straight line on a piece of paper. Underneath,
phonetically begin to pare each word down. Underneath that line, pare the
words down again. Continue this procedure until only one letter from each
word is left. Interlock the few remaining letters into a sigil. Use this
sigil in whatever magickal application you have chosen to ensure your spell
remains specific.
To Will  
Another stumbling block in spell casting is lack of will, whether it is will
power, belief, or conviction. Will depends on how badly you want to make a
change. Do you believe you are capable of making the change, or do you think
it is only wishful thinking? Are you willing to re-program your mind, your
environment, your relationships, in order to bring about ther change you
desire? Without will, a spell will fizzle. Is your mind fogged with doubt,
or unnecessary problems that will prevent bringing about the change you say
you want?
One of the best techniques for increasing your will power is the use of
meditation on a daily basis. Once you have learned to relax, use the alpha
state to program the events you wish to come to pass. You should work on
both short-term and long-term goals.
Another technique that is useful in spell casting is to write down why you
wish to manifest something. Let this explanation sit on your altar
overnight, then re-read it. Does it make sense? Is this what you really
want? Does your reasoning still appear firm, or is it full of holes?
Are you patient? Patience has a lot to do with will. Once you have a firm
grip on “will,” you are a third of the way through on accurate spell casting.
To Dare  
To dare means you are not inclined to sit around on your laurels. It means
that you are not choosing to procrastinate, rather you are choosing to move
with purpose. To dare indicates that you are no longer afraid of the
outcome, or fear failure. You are confident that you control your own
destiny to the point where you won’t even argue about it, either with someone
else, or yourself.
Although “to dare” doesn’t appear to create a lot of work, it does require
you to make an active decision. This is the next catalyst for your magickal
operation. From here, you will plan the appropriate day, hour, moon phase,
astrological energies, and tools required for working magick,including what
divinity you will choose. To dare can lead to a great deal of work and
preparation.
To Be Silent  
Even if you are an adept, you should learn to be quiet about your magickal
operations. There is only one exception, which is when you are working with
a group. If the group mind is actively participating on a project they
should be informed of their success or failure.
In the beginning, you should be silent so that you are not affected by
others’ opinions. Don’t tell them what you are performing magick for, as you
risk failure. Why? Because they can unconsciously affect you with their
disbelief or negativity.
Likewise, once you become proficient at spell casting, don’t announce
it–especially to a novice. No real adept will ever tell a novice that “My
spells always work.” Not only is it rude, it is also untrue. Everyone
fails. Imagine what a novice would think if they knew you lost your job,your
kids are running rampant, and you are deeply in debt. If your spells always
worked, you would not be in such a fix, would you? Foolish words can ruin
your reputation, which in turn, will ruin your own self-confidence.
Therefore, keep your trap shut–this ensures success in your magickal
operations as well as keeping your reputation intact. No one likes a
braggart, and no one considers an egotistical Witch a good leader or cleric.
When Spell’s Fail  
Try this chant
Oh God/dess (whoever you worship) I am not worthy of    
your perfect grace, nor the magick i find within myself    
and within you. I ask now in Just, for i have grown weak    
that thou would accompany me in rituals and spells.    
Be By my side in this time of need. I do not deserve you    
Oh God/dess. but still I ask, for i am only but a mortal    
Oh God/dess, Bless me!    
Oh God/dess, accompany me!    
Oh God/dess, Shine light upon me!    
Oh God/dess, grant me wisdom!    
Oh God/dess, Grant me Humility!    
Oh God/dess, Stay with me!    
Oh God/dess, Protect me from evil!    
Oh God/dess, I love thee above all things!    
Please Oh ancient ones, hear me!    
Amen

Basic Spell Construction

 

BASIC SPELL CONSTRUCTION

 

Write your own spells

Because of the very nature of Magick, each working should be highly individualized and personal. Even if following a traditional spell, it should be tailored to your specific needs to be most effective for you. Understanding the basics of Spell Construction will enable you to formulate your own specific, effective spells for any purpose you desire.

Preliminary planning is necessary. The very first step is to decide precisely what your desired end result is to be. Before you can start, you must decide where you are going. You must be very explicit.

Flowing with these currents will make your magickal work much easier.

Remember to plan your project for a time of uninterrupted privacy.

It is important that you have no distractions. Generally speaking, it is best to work as late at night as possible. A time when there is less frantic energy is most appropriate. You might consider Midnight or later.

In choosing a place to do your magickal working pay particular attention to your needs, for you must be comfortable. Your place should be private, quiet and secure. If at all possible, set aside a special place for this purpose only. An unused room, a special corner of your bedroom, a quiet, secluded spot in your garden. A place that is yours. A place that you can come to whenever need arises and that is as free from intrusion of others as possible.

Prior to the night of your magickal working, gather together the things that you will need. All of the things used are tools. They have no inherent magick. They are to help you create a mood. If correctly made and used, they will trigger primitive responses from deep within you. They should be chosen with care.

Consider the purpose of your ritual and choose your tools accordingly. If your magick is to be sexual, your candles, oils, incenses and so forth, should bring forth a sexual response. If the desired result of your Magick is Tranquillity, then the tools should make you feel calm, peaceful and serene. Any candles you might use should not have commercially added fragrances as these may not be appropriate for your working.

Prior to your ritual, prepare yourself and your equipment by any means necessary to clean and purify. Historically, people have fasted, followed meticulous and detailed bathing practices, practiced chastity and used many other methods.

Most often a Ritual Bath is the preferred method. A bath frequently utilizing candlelight, fragrant herbs, bath salts or sensuous oils.

A sumptuous hot bath, special bathing preparations and appropriate lighting, combined, can create the soothing effect which will help in the very important step of relaxing and clearing the mind completely of all mundane thoughts and experiences of the day. Your ritual Bath should, also, begin to set the specific vibrations conducive to your purpose into motion. You must not only cleanse and purify but must, also, begin to create the type of energy necessary.

Once your purification process has been accomplished, you are now ready to begin. Proceed to the special place you have previously chosen in which to perform your magick. If at all possible, you should make use of the primitive responses set into motion by a well chosen piece of music. Your music should start slowly and build to a rousing climax.

As you use your oils, light your candle or incense (or utilise any other tool you have chosen), you should begin to further intensify the energy that you have set into motion around you. A high degree of intensity is vitally important.

The Altered State of Consciousness that you must reach is not a meditative state. Anything that interferes with your ability to concentrate upon, reach and control the high energy state necessary to perform magick should be avoided. Such as, screaming children, a sink full of dirty dishes, use of alcohol or drugs, etc.

Do not scatter your energy by attempting to do more than one magickal working at a time.

Remember that Magick is the manipulation of energy, a thought is a form of energy and a visualisation is an even stronger form of energy. Your visualisation can be a method used to intensify further and direct your will. Your visualisation can be the method by which you control the magickal energy you have produced.

You must know what you want. You must see it. You must feel the high energy flow. You must direct it.

One of the most important elements in the practice of any form of Magick is the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. This means that whatever you do (or don’t do) you cause something to happen.

The most important consideration is the Universal Law of Retribution. This means that no matter what you do it comes back to you in like kind.

It is the nature of things that as you send something out it gains momentum, so that, by the time it comes back to you, it is three times stronger. If you do something nice for someone, someone will do something nicer for you.

It is important, also, that you choose your time carefully. You should take into consideration all Astrological implications, energy currents and Moon phases.

The Moon is the astronomical body closest to us and, therefore, has a profound influence upon us, it is very important to choose a time when the Moon is in an astrological sign which is appropriate for your working. For example:

Aries/Action – Enthusiasm, Taurus/

Renewal – Sensuality, Gemini/Communication – Curiosity, Cancer/

Emotion – Nurturing, Leo/Vitality – Determined, Virgo/Organizing –

Studious, Libra/Balance – Co-operation, Scorpio/Sexual –

Philosophical, Capricorn/Authority – Ambitious, Aquarius/Innovation

– Social, Pisces/Sensitivity – Idealistic.

Bear in mind that magickal workings for gain, increase or bringing things to you, should be initiated when the Moon is Waxing (from Dark to Full); when the Moon is Waning (from Full to Dark), it is time for magickal workings of decrease or sending away.

The highest energy occurs at the Full Moon and, therefore, this is the most powerful time for magickal workings. The New Moon is the next most powerful time for Magick.

Whenever possible, follow Nature’s natural Energy Currents. There is a natural time for starting things (a planting time), for maturing things (a growing time), for reaping things ( a harvest time) and, of course, a time forest and planning.