‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for March 27

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We pray for change, we hope for a change, but we wait impatiently. Is God not hearing us? We asked. Where is the answer?

If our prayers were suddenly answered, would be we ready? Or would we look behind us for the familiar things, the people, the habits, the routine?

If we were instantly healed, instantly prospered, instantly sought after and loved, then what would we do? Attention, compassion and self-pity are sometimes more important than having everything changed for the better. The fear of being without something to keep us working with the same burden, dealing with familiar pain, can stop us from knowing what it is to be free and well.

If we can envision life without a particular problem we can turn our minds to real change and have it happen. If we can see change, receive it, and know the joy, then gratitude and thanksgiving sets it in place.

 

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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 – March 27

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 27

“…you have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it…You have to say it from the heart.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

We are designed to function from faith. First we pray. Then we use our imagination to create a vision or picture in our mind. We surround this mental picture with our emotions or feelings. These feelings are available when we ask or say it from the heart. The combination of the mental picture and asking from the heart to create the emotions will cause us to believe it. Then we just need to wait. We need to believe as though it is already done.

Great Spirit, remove from me any doubt that comes up today.

March 27 – Daily Feast

March 27 – Daily Feast

When we were born, we could not walk or talk or even focus our eyes. But the ability to do all these things and more was born in us. By continual effort, we still grow and learn and develop our identities. We learned early that we were not a bird and not an animal. And this is where personality begins to question – then, what am I? Who am I? Why am I here? Is this an identity crisis? No, it is a belief crisis. Every person has a hard time believing he has a specific reason for being here. Some have such a hard time believing that they go out and demand what others have. They see themselves outside the circle – not believing their own words and beliefs put them where they are. To a Cherokee status is freedom to move, freedom to achieve honor within himself, freedom to worship, and freedom to do what is right without ridicule.

~ They (the Cherokees) are apt in catching the spirit of growth…. ~

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

Daily Motivator for March 27th – Let yourself be yourself

Let yourself be yourself

Make this day about fulfilling your possibilities, not about satisfying your ego. Make this day about being your authentic best, not about appearing to be impressive.

Free yourself from the burden of worrying about what others might think of you. Use all that liberated energy to make a real, substantive difference in the world.

If you let your ego run your life, it will impose a great cost and leave you with nothing of real value. Raise your expectations higher, and go far beyond those burdensome superficial concerns.

You are genuinely beautiful, worthy and have much to offer life. Let yourself be your authentic self, and let that beauty come forth.

Do what you’re most passionate about doing. Let go of all the things you do to merely keep up appearances.

There is immense value in the unique, authentic person you are. Today, and every day, generously share that value with all of life.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM For March 27th – The Spirit of a Place

The Spirit of a Place
Visiting Sacred Sites

by Madisyn Taylor

Visiting a sacred site can be a useful tool to open something within you that has remained inaccessible.

From time immemorial, the hands of men and women have built sites guided by both the earth’s life force and benevolent beings of light. It is because of this guidance that the sites we deem sacred have long served as repositories of wisdom, energy, and illumination that can be accessed by all. The needs that inspire seekers to converge upon sites known to be sacred vary by individual. Some crave spiritual fulfillment above all else, while others hope to draw upon a site’s energy for the purpose of enlightenment, healing, or deep meditation, awareness and knowledge of information long gone.

Sacred sites can appear insignificant to those who close themselves off from the notion of a living earth. But sites can provide us with a link to a unified consciousness that involves the living and the dead, infinite cultures, the physical plane, and the spiritual world. When we look beyond well-known sites like Stonehenge, we discover energetically active sites such as the Iron Age fogou caves of Cornwall, England, or the pyramids of Meroe in the Sudan. Similarly, it is easy to imagine that hallowed places exist only in remote or exotic locales. Yet many of the most richly vital sites are easily accessible, and visiting these lesser-known sites can be a profoundly moving experience. One such site, Serpent Mound in Ohio, was thought to be created by the ancient Adena peoples nearly 1,000 years ago to align with the summer and winter solstices. Its precise purpose remains unclear, but many who visit the site conclude that it was meant to be a conduit through which cosmic energy could flow into the earth.

The sacred sites that call to you from afar—capturing your imagination and resonating deep within your soul—will nearly always be those that can help you forge a deeper connection with the divine energy that sustains all life. During your pilgrimage, reaffirm your intention to accept whatever gifts are conveyed to you through the sites you visit. Your receptiveness will help you establish lasting relationships with these sites so that you can draw upon their peace and their power from wherever you are.

 

 

Source:

The Daily OM

Magical Gardening: The Care and Feeding of Self

Magical Gardening: The Care and Feeding of Self

Author: Stephanie Arwen 
 

My magical garden has been in my head for years. I can see it laid out in my backyard in a pentagram. One triangle has my kitchen herbs. Another holds herbs for medicinal purposes. The third has flowers for cutting and drying. In four I will plant my vegetables and the fifth will be home to my mints. I will ring the entire thing with stones so that when I sit on the bench I have there, I can rest my feet. It will be blessed under an Earth Full Moon with stones buried for energy and growth.

I thumb through seed catalogs to carefully dog-ear pages that hold plants and seeds that will one day sprout in rich dark earth. I will then harvest those dear little plant beings with a moon-shaped bolline and place them lovingly in a flat basket that I carry on my arm. All of this will be done under the light of the full moon of course. And I shall wear a white flowing gown over my unbound body and bare feet. My hair will float just so in the light breeze as the fairies gather ’round me.

In reality, my very first garden didn’t even come close to this. It was 1985. That was the year I dedicated as well, even though I had been studying since 1980. But I wanted a garden. Off to the K-Mart I went. I decided I should start small, so I brought home two jalapeno plants and two tomato plants. I stopped just short of naming them as I planted the four just off the alley of my home in Bowling Green, Ohio. They grew very well even during the drought that year. I carried water out to them every other day. And I called my mother every week to ask her questions. My mother could make sticks grow. I only got a portion of her green thumb, I fear. But I did have peppers and tomatoes. I gave away the peppers I didn’t eat, but coming home in the afternoon to fresh tomatoes was a delight! And my own green tomatoes to fry up in cornmeal made me a happy Belle.

My second attempt became a glorious joke in Lansing, Michigan when I adopted an urban gardening plot that was 10′ x 10′. My lover and I had a square in front of another couple we knew. They sent me to the store to buy tomatoes and peppers. I bought a full flat of tomatoes and half a flat of peppers. I gave away what I could but I didn’t want any of the tomato plants to die so I planted a half of a flat of tomatoes in the center in about a 2′ x 2′ square. Other non-gardeners will wonder why the gardening readers are now holding their sides from laughing too hard. To say I crammed too many tomatoes into that small section is an understatement.

But from that garden, I learned about the magic of gardening. I found that digging in the dirt close to other people who aren’t like you makes you like them. You find a camaraderie in discussing how best to rid yourself of slugs who are making early salads for themselves out of your baby lettuce. For the record, slugs love beer and will happily die in traps baited with this. I guess they have a wee drop o’ Celtic blood in them, as do I. You also find that the commonality of loving growing things crosses religions religious and sexual identity boundaries. It really does become something bigger than the individual parts. That taught me a lot about my own path.

I also discovered that if you speak to the elderly woman on the porch across from the garden you will hear her name (Miss Rosie is what everyone calls me, child). She will tell you how she watches your garden for you so “those bad hoodlum children” don’t steal you blind. And she will bless you with a smile of such delight when you tell her that’s okay, you can’t eat it all anyway. And you remember to drop a basket of veggies off to her every few days since she can’t get across the street “the way I used to and all the boys would be whistling.”

I learned that gardening can bring love from the earth straight into your home. My lover and I would pick peppers, onions, peas, tomatoes (the ones we could reach… the ones in the middle of the Tomato Jungle From Hell were left for the birds who seemed to love them very much) and other treats to take them home to cook up in our version of ratatouille. We discovered alota lot about each other in those days of gardening.

I had to leave that garden behind before my okra was ready to pick. Luckily a good friend promised to tend my garden and eat my okra. Still, it would have been nice to see the okra growing. It has a lovely purple flower that was such a surprise to me. You wouldn’t expect such an ugly produce to come from such a delicate thing. But there is a magic in that as well. Sometimes what we see as ugly just needs to be looked at in a different way.

I am gardening again here in Denver, Colorado. Another urban garden project that is 10′ x 10′. I know I won’t do as many tomatoes, but what I will plant remains a mystery to me. I guess I will go stand in the middle of the soft tilled earth and listen. For the earth will speak to me about what it wants grown there. It will whisper of tomatoes and okra and peppers and squash. I will take a piece of paper and map it all out. Then I will smile as I crumple that paper up. I never follow a plan. My gardens lead me into new places. I wonder where this one will lead me.

Guess it is time to take up the hoe and the shovel. I’ll grab the dog to walk the three blocks to my little piece of dirt. If you don’t think you are a gardener, maybe you are just like me and need to make mistakes and learn to love them as I did. I wish you joy and growth on your path. Don’t forget that sometimes planting too many tomatoes is good for the birds, even if your neighbors giggle at you.

Magic 365: Six Simple Ways To Practice Magic Every Day

Magic 365: Six Simple Ways To Practice Magic Every Day

Author: Violet Seas 

Practicing the Craft takes exactly that: practice. It is much like writing, I’ve found, in that if you don’t make a plan to somehow, in some way, fit it into your busy schedule every day of the week, it lies fallow. This seems likes a lot, as if somehow in our crazy times, in which we make time for foolish things like Facebook or Angry Birds, or the dreaded Farmville, finding time to practice this wonderful religion of ours is simply out of the question. But it’s not impossible, in fact, it’s simple and easy, and there’s one for every type of magick you can think of.

Wash It Off
Ritual baths are a wonderful way to cleanse your aura and focus your thoughts before ritual, but honestly, who has the time? Instead of a lengthy soak, try starting (or ending) your day with a cleansing shower. Visualize all your negativity washing down the drain with the dirt and grime. For added emphasize, you can purchase a special body wash for this purpose. I love to use a blend of eucalyptus and spearmint that works as a stress reliever after a very long day. As you towel off, you can go through your blessings of the God and Goddess, which is a great practice for self-love, as well as daily magick.

Stone Empowerment
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to bring in magick is simple stone magick. I have a plethora of tumbled stones chosen and empowered with intent. When you wake up in the morning, make it part of your routine. Get up, get dressed, and get empowered. You can choose to carry one in your pocket or bra, put a few in a pouch, or you can make your own stone jewelry and wear your charms wherever you go. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as wire wrapping stones into pendants, or simply gluing stones to staple pieces. A wealth of base bracelets, rings, and even earring findings can be found at your local craft store, just waiting to be spelled. Quartz or selenite is a great place to start, for simple cleansing, empowerment, and protection. Try fluorite for knowledge retention, bloodstone for strength, tiger’s eye for courage, or howlite for a soothing calm.

Herbal Accessories
If you’re more inclined to herbal magick, you can wear an oil made of your favorite herbs, or simply put your favorite blend in a locket or secret-ring. With a $3 investment in a tea-ball you could brew a concoction to get your morning starting off with an extra boost, or calm a stressful day. For more permanent charms, you could sew a small pouch of herbs into a favorite scarf or knit hat for an herbal remedy you can wear every day when you need the comfort. A little lavender in a cage ring can help calm your mind in a stressful situation, and a little sage close by is great for clearing mental clutter.

Daily Divining
Doing a tarot card or rune a day is the best way to familiarize yourself with the energies of your desk, and simply to memorize their meanings! They are important tools of magick, and if you wish to utilize them, they require lots and lots of practice, just like any other instrument you utilize in your life. Did you learn bake a cake perfectly the first time? Then what makes you think a tarot deck will work without fail on your initial reading? Practice, practice, ladies and gents! You can do a simple spread for a quick interpretation, or something more complex, such as the Sword or the Mandela format. Pendulums are great as well. You could do these techniques as you settle down to bed to see what’s in store for you tomorrow.

Beauty Blessings
A bottle of witch hazel (found next to the rubbing alcohol in the medical section) , rose petals, a rose quartz, and one simple incantation (Imperfections go away; beauty of Venus come forth today!) makes an inexpensive, yet powerful, beautification potion. Your spell will be ready in one week, simply shake daily and chant the aforementioned incantation, which again, takes only moments. Simply dab it over a cotton ball and use as you would any facial cleanser or toner. It takes just a few seconds, and can easily be incorporated into your daily beauty ritual for clearer skin and a smoother complexion.

Brighten Up
Lighting a candle takes just a few seconds, and the scent, the sight, can ease our pains and alight the senses. It is said that having a white candle lit often can activate the spirit of your house, bringing about a greater sense of peace and comfort. You don’t need that gigantic candle that costs more than a silk shirt either. I use a simple pentagram soapstone candle holder from a thrift store and a white tea light a day, which can be purchased in bags of 150 for a few dollars at your local Wal-Mart. Not so tricky now, is it? And you can use candle magick for all sorts of things every single day, whether it’s a great big candle you snuff out daily, or tiny handmade kosher candles that you can find in the aisle of your local grocery store. You can make it part of your morning as a simple affirmation for something you’re looking to change in your life. Whether it’s a reminder for strength, self-love, or acceptance, you’re limited only by your imagination.

Magick is everywhere. We know this. It is a force in all we encounter and everything we do… every breeze, every flower, every book, and every breath. There’s no need to feel as if it is some far away, impossible to obtain, thing. It is as in your grasp as the computer mouse beneath your hand and the keyboard beneath your fingertips. Magick awaits. Take hold of it, command it, and use it wisely.

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Footnotes:
Everyday Witchcraft by Dorothy Morrison

Living An Urban Pagan LIfestyle

Living An Urban Pagan LIfestyle

Author: raewytch 

What does being a pagan mean to you? We know most people nowadays believe it originally comes from the Latin ‘Paganus’ which meant ‘Rustic’ or a ‘country dweller’ but what does that actually mean to us today?

Nowadays Pagans are usually seen as someone who follows an Earth based spiritual path – honoring the Earth; living harmoniously with Her, usually believing She has Her own individual consciousness. Other Pagan beliefs can include animalism, pantheistic worship and possibly believing in other beings such as faery folk, spirits and devas.

As you know Pagans may follow several spiritual paths such as druidry, witchcraft, shamanism, asatru and so forth. Believe in multiple gods or one, worship a goddess or god singly, or a balance of male and female polarity. Feel attracted to a variety of different pantheons and traditions from Celtic to Greek. Or they may just feel a spiritual connection to the earth alone without any other beliefs or practices. All are different paths within the umbrella of Paganism.

And how does such a person usually live? When following a spiritual path as a Pagan, we are usually expected to be living in the archetypal country cottage. Or maybe a small holding – growing vegetables next to a quiet field with the gentle ‘chuk chuk’ sounds of some happy free-range hens. Herbs are growing in the garden among a sprawling vegetable patch. Trees abundant with their apples, cherries or whatever fruit is in season. Through the fields that border the garden, you can see the hills and forests in the distance, or the atmospheric crashing of waves on a rocky coastline.

Or maybe we have built ourselves a straw bale or hobbit type house, with the roof covered in grass. Maybe we have a semi permanent Yurt or roundhouse, or wooden shack – self-built and wonderful with its quirky shape and decorations. It may have a solar panel or two installed too, or even a small wind turbine spins in the breeze.

Perhaps in the trees there are wind chimes and other meaningful hanging ornaments? A carved statue of Pan sits overlooking an unkempt pond, which attracts the insects loved by the organic gardener. An area designated as a meditation spot or temple has a pergola covered in a mass of honeysuckle and climbing roses. A simple stone table as an altar on which a half consumed candle sits along side some holey stones, crystals laid out to soak up the energy of the coming full moon and the solar rays gently dappling through the leaves of the drooping trees.

Aah… the wonderful life of the pagan! The country dweller. Spiritually sustained daily by such a picture of peace and tranquility.

Or maybe not!

Maybe we are in a two up two down, little room to swing a cat, tiny terraced house in the middle of London or an apartment in downtown NY. The traffic non-stop passing by with its exhaust belching into the air. Or you might live 10 flights up in a concrete grey apartment block in the middle of some other town or city, with austere stairs climbing eternally up to your floor, or having to risk getting into a small, claustrophobic box like lift with the smell of unpleasant questionable aromas, to reach your home.

You might possibly be living in a bed-sit over a corner shop or pizza takeout in Manchester or Glasgow, listening to the wails of sirens in the night.

Not a romantic idea of the pagan is it? Though for most of us it is a truer picture of our lives, rather than the romantic image I just painted. Oh yes, there are the lucky ones that live that lifestyle, but they are not in the majority. And of course there are some who follow a pagan path that prefer to live in the towns and cities for a variety of reasons, not necessarily due to economics and what they can afford.

Some enjoy the accessibility of shops and social activities. There can be ‘get togethers’ with other like-minded people to consider. Many towns and cities have adult education classes that cover more unusual subjects nowadays such as healing, crystals, reiki, permaculture and so forth.

I myself live on the edge of a city in Kent in the UK. I now live in a small house with a garden the size of a shoebox, but previously I lived in a first floor flat in Canterbury, with a balcony. I am lucky enough to be on the edge of the city so I do have access to the nearby countryside and also access to the benefits of city dwellers too. For two years I had to make do with a small concrete space to put pots and containers on for some connection to nature in my home environment. However I preferred to think of this as a challenge rather than something to worry about. It meant I had to put a bit more thought into my spirituality. A bit more effort into making sure I connect to nature regularly.

Now some of you may think this might be a bit of a ‘Pollyanna’ attitude. In fact I have been accused of this before. But surely from a spiritual perspective, looking for the strength I might gain from such a challenge is better than being bitter or complaining about the hand I had been dealt!

It also means looking at things from a different perspective. Whether we are in the middle of a field or a concrete parking space, we are still walking on our Mother Earth. We are still in contact with the elements even if some of the layers are man made. If there is a spirit of the stone, there must be a spirit of the tarmac!

Oh now I hear you laughing! This may sound comical but I believe it to be true. After all, the tarmac is still produced from ingredients that came from nature. Iron and steel come from minerals in the Earth. The watch you are wearing may be powered by quartz crystals.

Take some time to think about the things we have in our urban lives. The things we have around us; cars, roads, houses, supermarkets. What can you find in them that connect it to our surroundings and us? We can still celebrate our meals and thank the Earth for providing it, even if it is now cellophane shrink-wrapped and date stamped.

Even if we don’t catch, kill or grow our own food, it’s still important to teach our children where it all comes from originally and how it’s been treated. Do I really want to take into my body the meat from an animal that has spent its short life in distress? This makes many issues for us to consider.

I don’t have a car now, but when I did, I still appreciated it – understanding its components are all made from natural things and is part of the Earth on which I live. It certainly meant I thought about my carbon footprint on the Earth too – car-pooling where possible and only using where necessary. I had to consider; convenience and time saving maybe – but was I as eco-friendly as I wanted to be?

My point is that being a Pagan is following a spiritual path regardless of whether you live in a field in the middle of nowhere, or behind the motorway in a block of flats, or an apartment in the middle of London, or New York or anywhere really. A pagan may drive a car, ride a motorbike or walk. We may live in a tepee, or in a brick house – none of that matters.

Paganism is many things. It is a spiritual path, a state of mind and a way of life that honors the Earth and all its inhabitants whether animal vegetable or mineral. We need to look beyond the generalizations and honor our connection to our Earthly home where ever or however we live. May the spirit of the breezeblock bless your home.