‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for January 27th

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There is much to be said of small things. Even in this age of emphasis on bigness we must realize that bigness is only a mass of small things. An idea is a small thing. With it we can change our world. We can take a tiny seed and give it careful attention and reap a hundred fold. We can take a little idea and give it our attention and build it into a fortune.

A smile is a small thing. Smile once at someone in passing and three will return the smile. Smiling is so contagious that it moves from person to person until a hundred smiling faces are the result of one.

A thought is a small thing. One thought inspires another and another until a mental image is formed. From that mental image blueprints are drawn. And from those blueprints worlds are built.

Hope is a small thing. One tiny glimmer of hope can lift us out of the deepest pit of darkness. One whisper of encouragement will help us to know that as long as there’s hope there is an excellent chance.

A wish is a small thing. Like a little prayer, it climbs the steps to an idea that makes a smile and gives us hope to make our wishes come true. For in small things are all great things formed, in little beginnings the possibilities of great events.


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 27

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – January 27
There is no death. “Only a change of worlds.” Buddy Red Bow, LAKOTA

The Elders tell us of the other dimension, the Spirit World. Our spirit in our bodies does not die, it only looks that way to our eyes and our brains. Some of our ceremonies allow us to see into the Spirit World. Death is only part of a process of life. It shows the transition into the Spirit World. The Elders tell us this is a joyful life journey.
My Creator, help me to understand both the seen world and the unseen world. Let me not be afraid of the world You live in.

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January 27 – Daily Feast

January 27 – Daily Feast

Habit has its beginnings in thought. Whatever becomes second nature to us has first caught on in our thinking – only to operate, in time, without thinking at all. Breaking with deeply ingrained addictions is something else again. Since we were old enough to understand we have been bent to a certain thought, molded to act and react until we follow through habitually. If what we did gave us comfort or made us feel good, we did it again. We have to fight habit with habit, deliberately changing one thought, one action, for another. If we simply try to remove a habit without filling the vacuum, we are opening the door for more and worse to come in. It is harder when we let thought drift back to remember how we were comforted. There is more than one comfort, more than one joy in forming a new habit.

~ We bury them from sight forever and plant again the Tree. ~


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

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The Daily Motivator for Jan. 27th – Making the effort

Making the effort

When you don’t feel like making the effort, the thing that will help you more  than anything else is to go ahead and make that effort. Even when you are too  tired or too bored, too distracted or too dismayed, the way out is to get busy  and put forth effort.

Wishing for things to be better won’t make things better. What will make  things better is taking positive, focused action.

Making excuses won’t make things right. The way forward is to make a real  difference by making a real effort.

Just because it’s difficult, uncomfortable and inconvenient, doesn’t mean  it’s impossible. You have what it takes to take effective action, and that is a  powerfully positive thing to do.

Instead of wasting your priceless time with procrastination, make good use of  the time that’s now yours. Spend that time making a meaningful difference.

What you get out of life depends on what you get out of yourself. Make the  effort, again and again, and give much more beautiful and meaningful life to all  of life.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Daily OM for January 27th – Fuel that Nurtures

Fuel that Nurtures

Eating Right to Feel Better

by Madisyn Taylor

What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.

A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.

The Daily OM

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Learning to be a Pagan

Learning to be a Pagan

Author:   Lanterna  

I don’t call myself a Wiccan. And I don’t consider myself a Witch either, because I’ve just started walking the path of the Ancient Gods, though I have nurtured the love for magick since I was 11 or 12. It was on Samhain (I called it Halloween at the time) afternoon, and I felt like a huge, powerful, green energy filling my body and soul. I had no religion at the time, and I did not want to belong to any religious group: too many “must dos” and taboos and guilt feelings and intolerance. But an interest in spirituality grew and I got involved in a more or less spiritual movement that proved to be quite disastrous for my mental health. But I did not give up my “quest”.

I’m scared of labels. I’m scared of spiritual masters. I had a bad experience with one of them once. But, honestly, I don’t know how to become a “good” Pagan, if there are any ‘good’ or ‘wrong’ ways to be a Pagan. I just know I am honestly in love with the Earth. I like the divine breeze I can breathe in when I open my window at night, the magick of the roses and the grass in that moment, when everything is quiet, when there is none or very little human activity.

It would be presumptuous of me to say I’m a Witch. Do I serve the Gods well? Do I respect the Earth enough? Do I use my magic tools well enough? I’d like to meet guides but I’m leery of meeting people who are shallow or intolerant or manipulative. I’m tempted to learn on my own, through books (I would not believe everything that is written; I would think carefully about it first) , through Pagan forums or websites.

I think what matters most is the genuine love you feel for the Gods. Nobody can tell you what is the best way to serve Them, worship Them, or how to be an Authentic Pagan. Where there is a will, there is a way, and I’m sure Magick will show me the best path. Maybe I will make wonderful encounters here or somewhere else.

I’m sure some of you who read this article will think that I’m not an “Authentic Pagan” or that it’s just a fad or I do not truly want to get involved in Magick. It’s not true. As I said before, I am genuine. I’m just careful about spiritual movements: I don’t know everything about Paganism, and maybe there are, let’s say, dogmas, opinions, beliefs that I don’t agree with in my very core. I will have to find out.

One of the things that attracted me at first, in Paganism, is that it seems that followers are not judgmental of other faiths. “An’ Ye harm none, do what Ye wilt”. That sounds very wise to me. I try not to harm anyone, and I even try to help and / or comfort people when I can. And yet I am always doubting myself: in what way am I really a Pagan / a Witch? Do you ask yourself the same question? Do you sometimes look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: Do I deserve to call myself a Witch?

What does it mean to be a Witch?

This is why I have a hard time labeling myself, getting involved in a movement, belonging to a Coven or whatever. I’m a Truth seeker, and I want to be authentic. I am afraid of people telling me, “You’re doing it the wrong way” or “that’s not what a Pagan should do”. I am afraid of narrow-mindedness or people leading me on a dangerous path, as this happened once before.

Don’t get me wrong, if I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and experimenting before calling myself a Witch and getting involved in Magick 100%. I think that’s what we should do in all religions: read, think over, experiment and then finally decide. We should also trust the signs when they are very strong: like that huge, powerful energy I felt on Halloween day 15 years ago. Or the bliss induced by a Pagan song. Where there is positive energy, bliss, ecstasy, there must be some truth. And it is likely the same thing when we sense that we have “abilities”. It is surely a sign.

I am also sure that when the Gods want something from us, they know how to get our attention. That’s why I try to be very attentive when I perform a ritual, when I pray, or simply when I feel the presence of the Divine sometime in the day.

So to sum up, I think it is not safe to call yourself a Wiccan or a Witch when you have not had a long experience of being into Paganism BUT it does not mean you’re not trying your best to be a genuine, faithful Pagan. It just means you need to take your time, to think this it over, to ask yourself if you are, or can be, a good Pagan before considering calling yourself something as solemn and serious as Witch.

But if you feel strongly attracted to Paganism, if you feel like you are “being called”, it sure means you have to dig in that way before you eventually realize you are (or are not) fit for this spiritual way of life. It’s not like getting a new haircut or getting a tattoo; it is something that will make you rethink your life and it demands involvement and honesty. You want to be sure you understand everything being a Witch implies so that you can walk the path with honor.

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Magical Thinking Or Magickal Living?

Magical Thinking Or Magickal Living?

Author:   Stifyn Emrys 

Do you believe in the tooth fairy?

Father Christmas?

Or yourself?

Children live in a world of magic and wonder, where knights rescue fair maidens from fire-breathing dragons, where witches command the elements with an incantation or a flick of the wrist. And we believe that somehow, somewhere we should be able to do the same.

We believe we should be able to keep mommy and daddy from fighting so much. That it’s within our power to stop our alcoholic uncle from drinking. That if only we could harness these magical powers, we could bring back the devoted puppy who played fetch for endless hours in our back yard and knew just when to wake us up with a playful kiss when it was time for school.

If only …

When I was 8 years old, that puppy – a Shetland sheepdog named Frisky – was hit by a car in front of our house. Mom told me she was dead, and no amount of wishing or hoping could bring her back. I shouldn’t have let it happen in the first place. I shouldn’t have allowed her to get out of the house and now, worse still, I couldn’t bring her back. I remember calling her name again and again, but she simply wouldn’t come.

And I was convinced that it was all my fault.

Now, years later, I realize that it wasn’t. The world doesn’t revolve around me, and I don’t have the power to bring back Frisky with a wave of a magic wand. I’m simply not that powerful. But at the time, it was natural to believe that I was. “Magical thinking” is a psychological term that characterizes a certain stage of our childhood development (around the late preschool age) during which we believe we have control over our environment. We haven’t yet developed the capacity to differentiate between causation and coincidence, so we bemoan the fact that Daddy got sick because we threw a tantrum and refused to eat our peas.

As we mature, we leave that stage, but it can be tempting to return – especially if our lives are out of control. Our parents divorce, or Daddy hits Mommy, or we are sent away to school. We grow older, and we yearn for a simpler time, when the world wasn’t so complicated and (we imagine) there was magic at our fingertips. In individual terms, we seek a return to the playful innocence of youth; in a historical sense, we long for a golden age or Camelot, where magical forces were at work to ensure that all was right with the world.

But did such a world ever really exist? Was it ever really that easy? Or was it simply that we, as children, just weren’t ready yet to confront the harsh reality of life beyond our parents’ protection?

Magical thinking can be very seductive. And Pagans who fall prey to it, pass it on to their own children, taunting them with the promise that they can somehow control their environment through spellwork, visualization or mere force of will. If we do so as parents, we do our children – and ourselves – no favors. Have you ever tested a teenager’s will? It’s pretty strong already. Even without magical powers, teens are very much a force to be reckoned with.

But we fan the flames of this magical thinking with entertainment and literature that offers the illusion of control. We glamorize Witchcraft as a pop culture phenomenon on the level of the Backstreet Boys or Brittany. Teen Witches can use spellwork to achieve good grades – never mind cracking a book or studying for a test. And what about those so-called Witches on “Charmed”? That Book of Shadows works more like Aladdin’s lamp than a compendium of spiritual insight.

Pagans are hardly the only ones who indulge in such fancies. Christians cling tenaciously to such illusions as a virgin birth and a bodily resurrection, hoping by the force of their will to overcome their fears of sex and mortality. The greater the fear, the more severe the distress, the greater the temptation to seek shelter in that golden age that never was, in that Garden of Eden we never planted. People are afraid of death, of sexuality, of abandonment, of violence. So they hide behind a cloak of magic.

When we present the Craft as something out of “Bewitched” or “Charmed,” we dishonor our children as well as our tradition. (This is not to denigrate those series, which have value if viewed for what they are – pure entertainment.) The Craft is not something that can be mastered like a computer game or worn like a pentacle necklace or garb at a Ren Faire. To be a Witch, the word’s origins themselves tell us, is to be a “wise one.” And wisdom is not a commodity cheaply purchased or easily won. It comes, most often, with experience and trial. Do we therefore bestow this title too lightly? Do we forget that the wise women of the village were most often the crones, who had learned by hard experience to shed the cloak of magical thinking and walk spiritually skyclad in humility and oneness with their source?

The lesson they had learned was simply this: That to combat the temptation of magical thinking, we must move toward the practice of magickal living. What we must, in my view, accept is that the Craft is not about bending the environment to suit our will. That’s the kind of thinking that has produced global warming, rampant pollution, widespread starvation and mass extinctions. It is instead about honoring that same environment and coming to terms with it – and with our own true selves.

If we place ourselves at odds with our surroundings by seeking to control them, we isolate ourselves from the true source of all magick. Where then will be our power? If we, in our arrogance, declare war on Mother Earth, how can we prevail? Indeed, why should we wish to? It is only when we bring ourselves into harmony with the greater whole that we can achieve the truly wondrous. It is only when we connect with the source that we can transcend the narrow bounds of ego and step beyond the constraints of childhood fancy. No longer do we seek to control the source.

We manifest it.

We spend such energy tilting at windmills that we forget to ride the wind. We seek to compel the impossible, we deny the inevitable … but we dare not abide the unthinkable: That we are the magick we have spent our lives pursuing. We are the very change we strive in vain to manifest.

Father Christmas was your own dear father, placing gifts beneath the tree at midnight. The tooth fairy was your loving mother, who cared enough to leave a dime beneath your pillow. They were magick in these moments – and no less so if at other times they quarreled. If they lashed out at you in anger. If they left you when you needed them. If they divorced.

Magick is reality, affirmed in any moment.

We can’t mend our parents’ broken marriage.

Force an alcoholic to stop drinking.

Or a bigot to stop hating.

Or an army to stop killing.

We can’t bring a beloved pet back from the grave.

We can’t wave a wand and conjure up a happy ending.

Not by wishing or willing it.

But we can know our true selves, and be our true selves – secure in the knowledge that this, in itself, is enough. We won’t be able to foresee what wonders will be born of this; but wonders rich and bounteous are sure to manifest. The choice is ours alone to make: We can isolate ourselves in magical thinking …

Or we can empower ourselves through magickal living.

That, in my view is what it means to be a Witch.

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Making Your Life Magical

Making Your Life Magical

Author:   Wulfcempa  

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:

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;
when no_data_found then
v_emp_user_name := null;
v_recipient_role := null;
result := ‘COMPLETE:N’;

…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.



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Magick is…?

Magick is…?

Author:   Darksky  

Magick. We are all here to do magick. Call it what you will… spells, circle, ritual… it’s all magick. It’s all the same… high magic, low magic, candle, poppet, herb, and so on and so forth. Magick. In a nutshell: Magick is the ability to manipulate your surroundings within your environment, to manifest your desires, and protect yourself from outside unwanted energies. That is how I define magick.

So, if we are going to manipulate our surroundings and our environment, don’t we need to be in a position to do so? Meaning, don’t we have to have our spiritual house in order? Is the true magician able to manifest his or her environment even if their inner space is in turmoil? Does magick require us to first have ourselves in order before anointing a single candle or casting a circle?

Circle casting has a great deal of importance placed on preparation. Why is that? Is it about the tools, altar cloth, food, participants, the right moon phase, or even the right time of day and color? They are important factors to consider, but I feel they are adjuncts to the Magick itself, not the whole of the equation.

We chose to pursue a belief system that has no rules per say but yet has numerous procedural protocols. Protocols are merely guidelines. Isn’t it about energy and intentions? The preparation starts way before we check to see what phase we are in or if Mercury has gone retrograde. The prep actually starts with that initial spark of a thought to cast, conjure, and manifest.

I believe magick starts by challenging us to master ourselves. Being able to place our consciousness in another realm, another plane of existence is more than colors and oils. It’s magick; regardless of your practice — Gardenerian, Dianic, Wiccan, Luciferian, Thelemite, Asatru, to name a few — still at the core, it’s magick.

The practice of manipulating your environment has to start from the inside out. All of the belief systems have varied circle/ritual celebration, spells, and different types of celebration. The belief systems start basically the same… meditate, and find yourself so as to not have doubt in your abilities, understand the path and purpose you are on before pursuing the practice of magick and attaining higher states of consciousness.

Magick, in all its various forms, is all around us in everyday life. We are just moving so fast at times that we don’t realize or appreciate it. Some folks don’t even know they are doing magick in everyday life. Take for example church-going folk… they deposit a few dollars into the collection box, take a long match, then choose just the right candle, light it and then kneel and pray. They are empowering that light. They are transferring their intentions to the candle, be it for health, money, peace, or guidance. They are performing candle magick without knowing it.

Does magick have to be ceremonial, with a full circle cast? If magick is the manipulation of one’s environment to manifest one’s desires, is blowing out the candles on a birthday cake after making a wish, magick? What about a coin in a fountain, blowing on a dandelion, a shooting star?

I believe some will disagree, that to manipulate, to be able to manifest, starts within ourselves.
Magick seems to be at work whether we are conscious of it or not. Vibes, intentions, desires, emotions… they are sent out from us every day in staggering volume. How many thoughts would you say you have in a 24-hour period? These emotions, intentions, vibes, and desire flow from us, both positive and negative. We sometimes don’t realize how much magick we do.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.’ –Peace Pilgrim

When we cast spells, perform ritual, and/or commune with our Gods and Goddess, we are emitting energy. We are sending out vibes, intentions, desires, and energy that is emotionally charged. Sending up smoke, burning oils and incense, offering food and drink… all charged with our energy, our essence. Think about it. We should not just go through the motions, to perform a circle/ritual/spell (or whatever your belief system may do) . It’s not to just be “performed”; it’s the essence of the practitioner that envisions, builds, executes and completes the act of circle/ritual/spell.

Magick requires a certain level of commitment. Magick is a living, breathing, consuming thing. Most all belief systems have some rules, mantras, or credo (for example, in the Wiccan tradition, the statement “in perfect love and perfect trust bide the Wiccan rede we must”) . How far does that go? What is that applicable to? Is it just for magick or everyday life? Do we light candles, cultivate herbs, dress our altars, cast our circle, have ritual and then turn that off? Is magick a ready-made thing? Just add water, break glass, needs no batteries? Or is magick and being a magician a lifestyle?

My wife and I took some classes a while back and they where very informative but we were taken a back at the teacher and with the other people in the class. It was not what we expected. It was a coven atmosphere, there was a HP and a HPs during class and ritual. Almost everything seemed to be in its proper place — a general feeling of respect, reverence — but the gossip and petty drama that ensued was confusing. Perfect love and perfect trust? Karmic pattern? Three-fold law? Is it all just words?

Magick, I think, needs to be a way of life. Not a controlling facet, but one that is integrated into everyday life, actions, words and deeds. Magick, I believe, is correctly executed when we mesh with the universe. Magic doesn’t have an on and off switch. Magick must flow uninterrupted, without obstacles placed in its way by us.

Witches are not a rare breed. We were here long ago and shall endure the ignorance of others and their belief systems and persevere, prosper, and pass on our traditions. Being accomplished at anything takes time, patience, commitment, and practice.

If you look at some of the most astute and learned people in any chosen field, notice a common thread: the path they walk, the call they answered, the vision they saw, is a lifestyle. It’s not a hobby; they are manipulating their own environment to manifest whatever it is they want. They perform magick.

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Imbolc: Emerging Into Light

Imbolc: Emerging Into Light

The Celtic festival of Imbolc celebrates the return of Spring from underground and the soul to renewed life.

BY: Mara Freeman

Once again, it is time to welcome in the early Spring and the festival of Bride, or Brigid, the Goddess who brings Light and Life to the land. The ancient Celts called it Imbolc, the time when the new lambs were born, the Earth is beginning to thaw, and new, impossibly fragile-looking green shoots start to emerge through the bare soil.

This miraculous emergence into light is one of the major themes of the holiday. An old Scottish rhyme tells us that this is the time when Bride emerges from the Earth, just as in the Greek myth, enacted at this time of year as part of the Eleusinian mysteries, the goddess Persephone came out of the underworld and Spring returned once more.

These myths are not only about the return of Spring to the land, but also the return of the Soul–traditionally depicted as feminine–from its dwelling in the obscurity of the subconscious mind. In the western world, we tend to get so caught up in material pursuits that the soul is forgotten most of the time – even though we never feel truly at home to ourselves without that connection. At the dawn of the modern age, a poet wrote that “affairs are now soul size.” His words are even more true today: with the escalating crises in the world from wars to global warming, now is the time to fully awaken into what each of us has been called to do during our time on Earth, to emerge into a life that catches fire from the soul-flame within each of us.
When humanity listens to the voice of the soul, rather than being seduced by the astral glamour of consumer-driven culture, then the Soul of the World, the Anima Mundi, will also emerge, like Bride or Persephone, from deep within the Earth where it has been hidden, and its long estrangement from the human race will be over. This is the true meaning behind the Quest for the Holy Grail, a symbol of the Divine Feminine that was withdrawn from the world when our insatiable desire for dominance turned it into the Wasteland. For the Grail to be found, for the Wasteland to be restored to the Courts of Joy, we must learn to become co-creators in partnership with all the Living Intelligences of our planet: human, animal, faery or Devic.
The Festival of Bride is also known as Candlemas, for it is marked by the lighting of candles to brighten the long February nights. This also gives us an opportunity to rekindle our own inner flame upon the shrine of the soul. So light your own candle this season, and as you do so, see this tiny flame as a spark of the One Light that shines through all the worlds. Then sense your own inner flame within your heart and know that you, too, are a spark of the Divine. Breathe in the peace of this knowledge, and listen to your soul telling you how to fully awaken into Light in the emerging year.



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Imbolc: A Midwinter Festival

Imbolc: A Midwinter Festival

Spring is stirring just beneath the surface at Imbolc, a Wiccan holiday when we anticipate the earth’s rebirth.

BY: Kaatryn MacMorgan

On January 31st, many Wiccans, practitioners of the religion of Modern Wicca, will celebrate Imbolc, a midwinter festival halfway between the beginning of winter, at the Winter Solstice, and the beginning of spring, at the Spring Equinox in March. The actual date of Imbolc varies within the many sects of Wicca, falling as early as January 29th and as late as February 3rd, but like all Wiccan holidays, it begins the moment the sun sets and ends just before sunset on the following day.

Wiccan holidays celebrate transitions, the passage from spring to summer, and from winter to spring, for example, so it is not surprising that the name of this holiday, also called Imbolg, the feast of Brighid, and the Calends of February, found its way into Wicca from its native Celtic peoples. Of course, it is not only the Wiccans who have decided to honor this holiday, as its main focus–the change from winter to spring–is most assuredly the point of our secular “Groundhog Day.”

The ancient Romans, Celts, Greeks, Chinese and many Native Americans all have similar holidays at this time of year, and many Reconstructionist, followers of ancient religions being resurrected through a combination of faith, scholastic research and imagination, practice Imbolc in forms far closer to the originals than the modern holiday practiced in Wicca.

For Wiccans the holiday is a break from the gloom of winter, a macroscopic version of the Wednesday parties that celebrate having more of the workweek behind you than before you. It is the day when spring begins to appear like the light at the end of a long tunnel, not really perceptible at first, but affecting the earth nonetheless.

Though we can’t see it through the cover of white, at Imbolc we know the spring bulbs have sent runners into the earth, that the ice floes on our lakes and rivers have begun to thin and move, and that the first of the young animals due in spring have been born. Many Wiccans celebrate this holiday as a group by standing in a dark room, with one small candle flame lighting their way, each Wiccan then lights their candle from that flame, until everyone in the room is bathed in the great light of their community’s bounty. Prayers are said for a gentle spring, and that stores of food and money, greatly depleted by the festivities of the winter solstice, last long enough to be supplemented by the first crops.

It is a holiday of preparedness. The houses of Wiccans are scrubbed floor to ceiling, bills are paid, and taxes are filed, so that none of the business of the winter interferes with the pure joy of the earth’s rebirth. When this has been done, we determine, by logic, by divination, or just an educated guess, what will not last until spring, or what excess is present in our houses. These things become a great feast, in my house, a huge kettle of “stone soup,” soup made by what is brought to it by those that would eat it. We share together in this great pot of soup, complete with a version of the stone soup story and send everyone home with a jar of it as a reminder of how the simplest things can become fantastic with the addition of one magic ingredient–community.


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Daily Feng Shui News for Jan. 27th – The Theme is World Peace

‘Vietnam Peace Day.’ ‘International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.’ ‘Auschwitz Liberation Day.’ Sensing a theme today? Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with us. Whenever you can today, stop for a brief moment and say the following prayer from author and angel archeologist JoAnn Cornug. This prayer appeals to Angel Labbiel, who is said to carry peace in one hand and truth in the other as he resolves conflicts and soothes savage souls. ‘Labbiel, Labbiel, Labbiel. I call forth truth and peace in my world now and continuously.’ I’ll call it forth for all of you too. Peace.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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