Before We Run & Wish You Good Day & Goddess Bless….


A paper airplane just flew by and reminded me…..

Time is starting to slip away on our raffle this month for the $50.00 gift certificate to our store. As of today, we have only two people that have signed up for this wonderful prize. Don’t miss out on this fantastic chance at some great merchandise. Remember the tickets are only $5.00. Hmm, $5.00 for $50.00 worth of merchandise, sounds like a deal to me.

Anyway, I thought I would just let you know. Have a super fantastic Monday and we will see you tomorrow.

Goddess Bless & Love,

Lady A & The WOTC Team

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‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for January 20th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

True forgiveness could be described as a divine amnesty where we receive a pardon from the unworthy things we’ve done, and have another chance to prove our worth. Forgiveness is something we must give in order to receive. And we have a tendency to linger over old grudges, using them to bolster our reasons for not forgiving. But we cannot return to the past, nor can we change one whit of anything that happened then. We cannot make up for resentments we’ve caused in others, no more than they can make up for ours.

To forgive is divine. God is above punishment, but we are not. It is we, not God, who punish by taking things into our own hands and making them work for our own selfish reasons. We demand punishment by hanging on to painful past experiences that produce self-pity. We are the ones who blame God’s will for our illness, our poverty, our lack of friends. But we are wrong, for there is a moment of truth when we face ourselves and know that we are the guilty.

And there is a time such as William Wordsworth wrote about, “that blessed mood, in which the burden of the mystery, in which they heavy and weary weight of all this unintelligible world, is lightened”….because we’ve been forgiven.

___________________________________

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 – January 20

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 20

“The most important thing now is to reveal the inner temple of the soul with right thinking and right activity.”

–Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU

The key to growing a strong tree is to have a good system of roots and to feed the roots with good medicine. If we put poison in the root system, it will affect the tree, and it will become obvious to the rest of the forest what is being fed to the roots. This is also true of the human being. We need to feed our roots with right thinking. If our thinking is right, it will become obvious to the rest of the people. We don’t need to tell people about ourselves with our mouth because our actions always tell them.

Great Spirit, direct my thinking today. Feed my roots.

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January 20 – Daily Feast

January 20 – Daily Feast

When we rely on other people for what we need to know, we are vulnerable to their mistakes. What others give us may be sincere and it may be genuine, but all information is a matter of how we read it. What one person says with one meaning may reach the ear of another with a different understanding. Wisdom comes from the same source regardless of where we hear it, but it is better to take words of wisdom and work them through our own minds for direction and understanding. When someone else has answers that seem to apply to our questions, we can be open and teachable, but not gullible. It stands to reason if we tune our ears to answers within ourselves, we won’t have to lean on outer sources for information.

~ The British father…..promised aid and assistance…. He is at peace with the Great Father in Washington…..and neither knows nor cares for your grievances… ~

KEOKUK

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

Daily Motivator for Jan. 20th – Nothing to be afraid of

Nothing to be afraid of

Failure is nothing to be afraid of. Highly successful people experience it  all the time, and they do just fine.

What will hold you back is not failure. What will hold you back is doing  nothing because you fear failure.

Say what you authentically believe, without worrying about whether or not  you’re saying the right thing. Express what you truly feel, without being  concerned about what others will think.

And by all means, take action, without fretting or procrastinating or fearing  what might or might not happen. Prepare yourself as best you know how, make  sensible, well-informed choices, and then get busy doing it.

Sometimes, the result won’t be to your liking. But you can deal with that,  and you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t until you step forward and  act.

The way to succeed at anything is to take action even though failure is a  definite possibility. Push yourself constantly forward into action, and make a  beautiful, unique difference in life.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator

 

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Total Protection Incense

Experiences We Don’t Understand
Hidden Gems

by Madisyn Taylor

All of the events in our lives lead to other events, they are all connected.

Sometimes we have an experience that we don’t understand, but if we look deeply, or wait long enough, a reason for that experience will usually reveal itself. All the events in our lives lead to other events, and all that we have manifested in this present moment is the result of past events and experiences. We cannot easily tease apart the many threads that have been woven together to create our current reality. Experiences that don’t make sense, as well as any that we regret, are just as responsible for the good things in our lives as the experiences we do understand or label as “good.

This is especially important to remember at times when we feel directionless or unsure of what to do. It is often at times like these that we take a job or move to a place without really knowing if it’s the right thing to do. We may ultimately end up leaving the job or the place, but often during that time we will have met someone who becomes an important friend, or we may have an experience that changes us in a profound way. When all the pieces of our life don’t quite make sense, we can remember that there may be some hidden gem of a reason that we are where we are having the experiences we are having.

It’s fun to look back on past experiences with an eye to uncovering those gems—the dreadful temporary job in a bland office building that introduced you to the love of your life; the roommate you couldn’t tolerate who gave you a book that changed your life; the time spent living in a city you didn’t like that led you into a deeper relationship with yourself. Remembering these past experiences can restore our faith in the present. Life is full of buried treasures. Chances are, you’re sitting on some right now.

Daily OM

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Prophetic Dreams Incense

Prophetic Dreams Incense

1/2 oz. Sandalwood    

1/4 oz. Bayberry    

1/2 oz. Rose petals    

1/4 oz. Lavender    

1/4 oz. Orris root    

1 oz. Lemon peel    

1/4 tsp. Saltpeter    

3/8 tsp. Frankincense Oil    

1 tsp. Tincture of Benzoin

To help with prophetic dreams, divination and astral projection.

Author Unknown   

Making Your Own Incense

Making Your Own Incense

Things You’ll Need

Herbs, woods and resins
Mortar and pestle
Makko
Bamboo sticks
Gloves

Incense is used in many cultures for purposes such as accents in religious ceremonies or aromatherapy. The process to make incense sticks is fairly simple and can be very rewarding to those interested in creating their own scent.

1. Decide what kind of incense you want to make and purchase the proper ingredients and supplies.

2. Research different incense recipes based on the scents and herbs that you prefer and gather these materials along with tools to prepare to make stick incense.

You will need at least 3 ingredients: an herb, a resin and a wood. You will also need binding materials such as gum Arabic, makko (an incense powder ingredient derived from tree bark), and charcoal to make the mixture combustible.

3. Gather your ingredients, according to your preferred scent strength, along with bamboo sticks and prepare to mix.

4. Crush your herbs or solid ingredients in equal parts to make a smooth powder. Use a mortar and pestle for best results.

5. Combine all dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Add makko.

6. Allow the mixture to sit overnight.

7. Prepare distilled water or fragrant hydrosol and add to your incense mixture slowly.

The mixture will need to be pliable, not runny and able to adhere to the bamboo sticks.

8. Knead the incense dough thoroughly.

9. Roll your mixture onto the bamboo sticks, allowing the mixture to coat the stick evenly.

10. Lay the sticks on a drying rack to enable them to dry evenly.

11. Allow your incense sticks to dry for 1 to weeks prior to attempting to use them.

Tips

Keep incense sticks out of direct sunlight and heat while they are drying.

Experiment with different herb, wood and resin combinations until you obtain a mixture that is most pleasing to you. Also, try other methods of incense making to become familiar with the mixing process and learn how to use the ingredients.

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while you mix ingredients and form them onto incense sticks.

Depending upon which scent you choose, sandalwood versus frankincense for instance, you may need only 10% of makko added to the mixture.

Break up incense sticks that didn’t produce the expected end result and try the process again.

Warnings

Never attempt to dry incense by baking or microwaving it as this creates a fire hazard.

Don’t allow incense to burn unattended. Always burn incense in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children.

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Wiccans Who Never Experience Magic

Wiccans Who Never Experience Magic


BellaOnline’s Wicca Editor

Though it seems like a contradiction, many Wiccans do not experience obvious magic or other mystical states. Understandably, no one wants to admit to being too mundane, earth-bound, or any other label that implies that we are not real Wiccans who walk around in continuous mystical state. So should we just work harder to force the magic? Give up? Or accept our inferior lot in life?

One of the most appealing things about Wicca is its emphasis on each Wiccan’s personal connection with magic and deity. Wiccans are expected to communicate directly with their patron gods and goddesses. Most religions expect you to interact with the divine through an ecclesiastical authority such as church, minister, or priest. Others emphasize the need for metaphysical intervention such as with saints, lwa, or ancestor spirits. But Wicca is built on an acceptance of personal mysticism. This includes the possibility that Wiccans may experience extensive psychic phenomena such as seeing ghosts, having visions, divining the future, accessing past lives, and casting spells with immediate and obvious results.

So what happens if you are a Wiccan who has never had a mystical experience? The gods have never spoken to you – not even a few cryptic lines in a dream. You try divination and are successful only fifty percent of the time. You have never glimpsed an aura or a ghost. When you attempt to practice witchcraft, the results from your spells are so open to interpretation that you feel you are fooling yourself. You might feel frustration, guilt, shame, and even desperation.

Meanwhile, your envy may intensify as you encounter other Wiccans who seem to live with one foot in a supernatural realm. Some claim to have such a close connection to their patron god that they are spouses or lovers. Others see portents and currents of psychic energy everywhere. Many speak of extensive exploration of past lives, or long meaningful conversations with spirit guides. Are these Wiccans faking it for competitive reasons? Are they completely deluded? Or is all this magical stuff really happening? And why isn’t it happening to Wiccans like you and me?

Believe me, I can relate to these questions. I have been studying Wicca and paganism for years – reading the right books, meditating, and observing the sabbats. However, I have never had a profound mystical experience. The gods have never spoken to me though I have always been drawn to Odin All-Father (or Wotan, as we Anglo-Saxons call him), and was even born on his day (Wednesday). When I hear about other Wiccans having a close connection with the gods, I sometimes I wonder if I am feeling the same way as most of the Carmelite nuns did, plodding along with their bookkeeping and chicken raising while living in the shadow of the great Spanish mystic Saint Teresa of Avila.

I wish I could offer reassurance that you and I will have a dramatic supernatural break-through someday, if we work hard enough. But I don’t know for sure. Opening up to the otherworldly realms is not something that we can force. For most of us, it might have to happen naturally in a state of pure relaxation. This means that we should probably let ourselves forget about it while concentrating on learning as much as we can about the Wiccan path. Meanwhile, our subconscious will be free to open to the mystical realms. Maybe the gods intend some of us to walk our Wiccan path, feeling alone amidst self-doubt, and we will never communicate directly with them. Maybe they know that we can develop the strongest and deepest faith of all Wiccans because we are not getting rewarded with obvious feedback from our efforts. Therefore, our faith has to be strong enough to guide us.

Try not to compare your own Wiccan path to anyone else’s or you may come to the false conclusion that you are doing something wrong, or even that you are not intuitive, psychic, or spiritual enough to be Wiccan. There are many ways to be Wiccan, and not every path is the path that gets the most publicity – the magical mystery tour. Your intuition guided you to Wicca for a reason. Until you feel in your heart that it is not right for you, you should practice Wicca with an open heart and an inquiring mind to find out not what marvels Wicca can show you, but how you can refine yourself through Wicca in order to help bring light to the world.

BellaOnline

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Wiccan Atheists and Agnostics

Wiccan Atheists and Agnostics


BellaOnline’s Wicca Editor

Can Wiccans also be atheists or agnostics? This may seem a strange question because the worship of the Lord and Lady is so central to many Wiccans’ daily spiritual practice. But the short answer is yes. It is possible to concentrate on the cultural aspects of Wicca rather than its religious concepts.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, the definition of atheism is, “1. archaic: Ungodliness, Wickedness 2a: a disbelief in the existence of deity, b: the doctrine that there is no deity.” And, from the same source, here is the definition of agnostic: “1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.”

Atheists do not believe in deities. Agnostics believe that there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of deities. But that does not necessarily mean that atheists and agnostics limit their curiosity only to those phenomena currently verifiable by science. Sometimes it takes the scientific method awhile to explain things that previously seemed like magic such as the laws of gravity, solar eclipses, electricity, hypnosis, and acupuncture. An atheist might not believe in the existence of gods, but she might acknowledge flows of electromagnetic energy that make up the universe. She might keep an open mind about an individual’s ability to influence energy by honing intent through ceremony, which is another way to describe witchcraft.

Atheists or agnostics might believe in witchcraft but not in gods. Maybe they feel strongly that the universe invented itself to its own pattern – which includes the ability of individuals to influence the flows of energy through witchcraft – but the universe itself is not a sentient being that requires worship. Or maybe they believe that everything in the universe is randomly generated, including witchcraft. There are also Deists (not atheists or agnostics) who believe that a deity or deities existed long enough to create the universe and its energy flows, but then ceased to exist and left us all to our own devices.

A Wiccan atheist or agnostic might recognize no higher power than his own moral code. And he might see his moral code and experience as sufficient to guide him through the practice of any skill from accounting to knitting to witchcraft. This type of Wiccan is the opposite of the Wiccan I described in a previous article who is not interested in practicing witchcraft, but seeks only to worship deity.

Another type of Wiccan atheist or agnostic disbelieves in deity AND witchcraft, but finds a strong identity in Wiccan cultural concepts. This might include reverence for nature, a heightened awareness of environmental issues, attraction to Celtic and Anglo-Saxon history, and an affinity for seeking balance and symmetry between the male and female energies present within each of us.

This type of Wiccan is similar to a secular Jew such as J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb, who was an atheist and a scientist, but culturally Jewish. A secular Wiccan might not be interested in practicing witchcraft, and might observe the festivals of the Wheel of the Year mainly as a way to enjoy and connect with the ancient harvest rituals and not as a religious observance. So, as you can see, there is much diversity in what it means to be a Wiccan, which means that our cultural and religious identity has the potential for broad horizons if we can accept our differences.

BellaOnline

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Wiccans Practicing Witchcraft

Wiccans Practicing Witchcraft

Ro Longstreet
BellaOnline’s Wicca Editor

You can walk a Wiccan spiritual path without practicing witchcraft. Wicca is a religion centered upon the natural world that involves worship of God and Goddess. It also requires that you live by certain tenets such as the Wiccan Rede (“An harm it none, do what ye will”).

Meanwhile, witchcraft is a set of learnable methods by which you can influence the flow of energy that surrounds you and permeates the universe. As with skills such as growing herbs or meditating, witchcraft can add a deeper layer to your spiritual life, but you do not have to practice witchcraft to worship the God and Goddess in a Wiccan way. Many Wiccans are interested in witchcraft, some are good at it, and others have no interest whatsoever in picking it up.

Within the broad scope of Wicca, witchcraft is only a small part. If you live your life as a Wiccan without practicing witchcraft, you will still have plenty to keep you occupied. You can focus on ritual rather than spellwork. Daily rituals can include morning and evening prayers to God and Goddess, blessing food and drink, and making everyday choices to live in harmony with the earth.

You can observe ceremonies known as esbats to mark the phases of the moon, and sabbats for the passing of the seasons. Milestones in your life such as marriage, birthdays, birth of a child, passage into adulthood, self-dedication to your spiritual path and more can be celebrated with Wiccan ritual.

Much of Wiccan ritual is similar to witchcraft with a focus on altar, tools, candles, herbs, and other accessories. The difference is that you would not be raising, focusing, and directing energy, as in spellwork. Rather, your ceremony communicates devotion to God and Goddess. If you were to compare an act of witchcraft to a religious ritual, the two would feel very different. Casting a spell involves a rising tension and release whereas a ceremony is more a gentle outpouring of gratitude.

If you did want to practice witchcraft as part of your Wiccan spiritual path, it can deepen your understanding of the natural world that surrounds you. This is similar to how growing your own herbs can put you in touch with the agricultural cycles of life. If you learn to cast spells, it will teach you about the ebb and flow of the energy that fills the universe – and your own place within the tide pool of that vast ocean.

BellaOnline

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