‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 28th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

A lady of much wisdom has often remarked, “If you want to feel well all the time and feel alive, you have to keep the rhythm in your body.” Rhythm, the gentle, easy flow of life.

Ordinarily we think of keeping time with music when we think of rhythm. The very idea of allowing one’s self the frivolity of feeling rhythm – and such a wonderful idea!

There is an underlying rhythm to all of living. Wherever there is life, there is that pulsating rhythm that has everything on the move. There is harmony and there is a subtle smoothness to finding one’s own pace. When we get out of step and resist that pace, we have “one of those days” when everything goes wrong.

William Shakespeare wrote, “The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted.”

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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

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 28

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 28

“Indians living close to nature and nature’s ruler are not living in darkness.”

–Walking Buffalo, STONEY

There are many Indian people who are living according to nature and according to ceremony and culture. They may not have a lot of material things, but that doesn’t mean they are not successful. What is success anyway? Can success be measured by material things? What is it we are really chasing anyway? The Elders say that what everyone really wants is to be happy and have a peaceful mind. Material things by themselves do not bring happiness and peace of mind. Only spiritual things bring happiness. When we live a spiritual life we will not have darkness. Instead, we will be happy.

Great Spirit, today, let me walk the Red Road.

April 28 – Daily Feast

April 28 – Daily Feast

How frightening to be out of touch – but how normal! There are times and places we go through that are strange – both in feeling and understanding. We experience an uneasy feeling and want to rush back to the familiar – even though it isn’t the place to be either. In growing, we go through strange places and think unusual thoughts. Fear of the unknown has made us wary, questioning, reaching for something to steady us, to give us direction and purpose. But we must expand our spirits, enlarge our thought to accept or reject what we have yet to learn. The American Indian has known the strangeness of new lands, new customs, has fought and lost – only to fight and win. Some are caught in between, but their staying power is in the Great Spirit who ever holds our hand and intercedes on our behalf.

~ I would that I could make the red people as great as the conceptions of my own mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules over us all. ~

TECUMSEH

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

The Daily Motivator for April 28th – This very day

This very day

Don’t wait any longer. Live your very best life today.

Don’t hold your happiness hostage waiting for some imagined perfect circumstance to come along. Choose to be happy, joyful and truly thankful for the moment you’re in.

You deserve a life that is magnificent. And you deserve to let yourself live it right now.

Don’t put off until someday the richness that you can live on this very day. Remind yourself what a fantastic opportunity you have, and go with it.

You can add unique beauty to life, so do it now. You can live in harmony with your highest vision, so do it now.

This very day, this very place is where you have the good fortune of being. Live it fully, with love, with commitment, with joy and grace, and live it now.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for April 28th – Clinging to the Core

Clinging to the Core
When Our World Falls Apart

by Madisyn Taylor

When external factors shift we have an opportunity to rediscover our core which is the only truly safe place to call home.

There are times when our whole world seems to be falling apart around us, and we are not sure what to hold onto anymore. Sometimes our relationships crumble and sometimes it’s our physical environment. At other times, we can’t put our finger on it, but we feel as if all the walls have fallen down around us and we are standing with nothing to lean on, exposed and vulnerable. These are the times in our lives when we are given an opportunity to see where we have established our sense of identity, safety, and well-being. And while it is perfectly natural and part of our process to locate our sense of self in externals, any time those external factors shift, we have an opportunity to rediscover and move closer to our core, which is the only truly safe place to call home.

The core of our being is not affected by the shifting winds of circumstance or subject to the cycles of change that govern physical reality. It is as steady and consistent as the sun, which is why the great mystics and mystical poets often reference the sun in their odes to the self. Like the sun, there are times when our core seems to be inaccessible to us, but this is just a misperception. We know that when the sun goes behind a cloud or sets for the night, it has not disappeared but is simply temporarily out of sight. In the same way, we can trust that our inner core is always shining brightly, even when we cannot quite see it.

We can cling to this core when things around us are falling apart, knowing that an inexhaustible light shines from within ourselves. Times of external darkness can be a great gift in that they provide an opportunity to remember this inner light that shines regardless of the circumstances of our lives. When our external lives begin to come back together, we are able to lean a bit more lightly on the structures we used to call home, knowing more clearly than ever that our true home is that bright sun shining in our core.

 

Source:
The Daily OM

A Covenant Liturgy for Human and Animal Companions

A Covenant Liturgy for Human and Animal Companions

Mindful of our kinship with all living creatures, and our responsibility to care for them, let us renew our covenant with the animals in our care.

Leader: Will you name this creature?

Human: (name of animal is given)

Leader: Will you care for [name], and love and protect him/her, in good times and bad, as long as he/she lives?

Human: I will.

(The human companion is invited to touch/pat/stroke the animal as a sign of the covenant reaffirmed between them.)

We give thanks for the creatures who live alongside us as companions and friends; for their loyalty, love, and trust which enrich our lives and give us joy. May we learn the value of kindness, the power of mercy, the strength of gentleness, and a new spirit of humility. Blessed Be.
–From Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care by the Rev. Andrew Linzey

Meeting Your Animal Guide/Totem

Exercise to Meet Your Animal Guide/Totem

 

Relax, Take a few deep breaths. You will find yourself growing lighter and lighter.. Your surrounds seem to be fading around you, and you are wrapped in the warm darkness of your inner self, your own energy and mind. It is safe, warm and comfortable.

You begin to see a very soft light, and slowly the picture opens. You find yourself by a clear pool of water. The sky above is blue, and there is a soft haze in the far of distance.

Above you, you can see the Sun and Moon together in the sky. You are not sure if it is Dawn or Dusk, but you know it is one of those powerful “Between Times” a time in which there is a thinning of the veils between the physical and the spiritual.

To your right, at the end of this clear pool of water, is a waterfall. The spray from this waterfall is a cool, refreshing mist. And where it touches the pool, water ripples outward, distorting all of the reflections in the pool.

You look about you at the green grasses and the distant trees, and all is quite. It is as if Nature is in a state of Quietness.

You look back at the waterfall, and you notice that there is a cave behind it. You step carefully behind the Falls, into a dark, muted cave. You are surprised, because the cave is lit by soft, glowing torches, which gives the cave a sense of warmth and security. You slowly begin to travel down the path of this cave, still feeling safe and warm.

You feel happy, and a small childlike laughter slips out. For the first time in a long time, you feel like a child, about to explore the wondrous treasures of the world.

The walls of this cave feel warm as you touch them. As you go further into the cave it begins to widen and grows taller. The torches are fewer and more distant, and you pass a few that aren’t even lit. You can see the glowing of the sun at the end of the cave.

You walk out the exit of the cave, the sun feels warm against your face. You also see a river before you, and lush, green grass.

Across the field is the edge of a rich, deep-green forest. You pause only for a minute, and then you burst through this beautiful meadow, feeling the warmth of the sun against your face. You feel very happy.

The grass is soft beneath your feet, and you can smell the rich fragrance of honey and wildflowers. The air is sweet, and you tilt your head back and stretch your arms wide.

Next to the river is a large, ancient oak tree. Surrounding it is the lushest, and greenest grass you have ever seen. You run to it and sit down beneath it. You stretch out, and roll in its softness, and you inhale its sweetness.

You sit up and notice a stone near the tree that looks as if it were almost a chair. You sit down on it and you find that this stone fits your form perfectly. You breath deeply, and from this chair you look about you.

It is quiet and peaceful, and you know that this meadow is a place where wildlife must come, and for a moment you envy the Animals and the Birds for having such a place of beauty.

You sit quietly and enjoy the beauty of this meadow. It is as if with each breath you become more and more a part of it, and it becomes more and more a part of you.

Suddenly you see a movement out of the corner of your eye near the edge of the forest, your breath catches. You think to yourself, that maybe you will see some wildlife after all. Then from among the trees comes movement. It may soar above you or it may step out into the meadow. You sit quietly, and very still.

Watching, as an animal appears in your vision, don’t force it. Allow it to show itself to you. And as it does, its eyes seek you out and hold your gaze. Never have you seen anything so wonderful, so unique. Such Animals have always seemed so wild and out of touch.

There is no fear as the animal draws closer, only recognition and wonder. Surely you think that this must be a dream! Then, as if in response to your thoughts, it makes a sound, a movement, a gesture and you fix your eyes upon it.

In that moment, you begin to understand. You catch glimpses of memories of how it has helped you in the past. You know now, why you have always been so fascinated with it.

And then it begins to move toward the cave. It pauses and looks back at you, as if telling you that it is time to go. You stand up and begin to follow it. As you approach the mouth of the cave, it waits. It is so close to you that you can almost touch it.

Carefully, and gently you extent your hand out to it, but before your hand gets close enough to touch it, it jumps and runs back to the edge of the forest. It pauses, looking back at you once more, and then disappears into that lush, deep-green forest.

You understand, that it will take time to develop a relationship with it. There is much you have to learn from each other. Until then you must be patient. You smile a sweet sadness, and then follow the cave back to the waterfall.

You step from the cave, and out behind the waterfall. You look into the clear pool, and see your reflection rippling. And then behind your reflection you see the form of your Animal Totem. You catch your breath and you laugh, thanking it for opening to you. As you do, the image disappears, and the scene around you begins to fade.

You are again in the warm darkness of your own mind. The image of your Totem is strong within you, as you breathe deeply and allow yourself to come back to your surrounding.

 

Source:

BearToe Corner

 

Snow Leopard As A Totem – Visionary/Renewal

Snow Leopard

Visionary / Renewal

By

Messages and Meanings: Past Life Connections, Secretive, Agility, Awakening
Snow leopard is a member of the leopard and jaguar wild cats. Snow leopard, smaller in size, that other leopards, is the loftier cousin that resides in the mountainous regions of Asia. Asia is an ancient land and for this reason the snow leopard has the reputation of possessing higher knowledge or past life connections.The snow leopards multi-colored coat give it a camouflage effect, allowing it to stay hidden. This gives it an advantage over its prey but on a spiritual level it gives it a perspective from a distance. If snow leopard is your totem then you have the ability to learn how to step back and see the bigger picture.

This spotted cat is extremely agile due to its environment, scaling mountain ranges and leaping over rocky cliffs. Be grateful if snow leopard totem surfaces when you are struggling, this spirit can teach you how to move past any troubling obstacles that have been blocking your path.

Also, invite the snow leopard to accompany you during meditation if you are interested in getting glimpses into your past life or wishing to become enlightened.

 

Cougar As A Totem

Cougar

Alternate Names: Puma, Panther, Mountain Lion

By

Messages and Meanings: Personal Power, Assertiveness, Acknowledgement
Talking about the cougar could easily be equated it with a “coming of age” story. Cougar will show you when it is time to review the lessons you have learned from the past and how to best utilize them to come into your personal power. When cougar medicine surfaces it is a time to take action rather than sitting on the sidelines. Own it!The cougar does not wait when opportunities arise, it leaps. However, it does not do this nilly-willy, it has the knowledge and tools to be efficient in its making advances.

Bobcat As A Totem – Keeper of Secrets

Bobcat

Keeper of Secrets

By

Meanings and Messages: secrecy, lonliness, meditation, trust, loyalty

The bobcat keeps to itself, enjoying a solitary life. Males and females come together for mating purposes in the wintertime but do not live as a family. The loner male is nomadic… and may have several mates stretched out over several different regions. Whereas the females do not wander far from home.

Bobcat has keen senses: seeing, hearing, and feeling. These abilities make the bobcat an excellent nocturnal hunter. Don’t even try to hide your true self or keep secrets from a person aligned with bobcat energies, they will see right through you.

People with the bobcat as their totem do tend to be loners or have a few select friends. They value being isolated from others but need to be careful not to become overly reclusive. They are trustworthy individuals and are often told confidences by close friends and mere acquaintances.

 

Domestic and Feral Cats As Totems – Instinctual Healer

Domestic and Feral Cats

Instinctual Healer

By

Meanings and Messages: independence, curiosity, unpredictability, perceptive
The domestic cat is a favorite pet in peoples’ homes. Personality traits of domestic cats can vary depending on the breed. Cats are said to have nine lives, able to get themselves out of dangerous predicaments as easily as they got into them. People with a domestic cat as their totem are often curious and unpredictable. Cat medicine teaches independence and the okay-ness of not following someone else’s lead. When a cat totem appears look to see where you can take a leadership role.Cats in the home often serve the role of healer and will sit near anyone in the household who needs healing, speeding the recovery period. A cat’s purring can help reduce his owner’s stress or anxieties. Cat purring can ease discomforts such as stomach pain, and also help boost immune systems.It is also important to pay attention to the health of your cat. Cats will often take on the symptoms of ailments being suffered by their humans. When this happens, appreciate their talents as diagnosticians, so take heed. Get your cat to the vet AND make an appointment for yourself to have a health checkup.

Feral cats born on the farm or abandoned on the roadside of a rural setting have a different meaning. When a feral cat makes its appearance ask yourself if you have any abandonment issues to work on. Also, a feral cat as a totem can indicate the wild nature of your personality. A feral cat messenger could be signaling caution, reminding you to be wary of anyone who tries to come near you who you don’t know very well.

Lion Totem – King of the Jungle

Lion Totem

King of the Jungle

By

Meanings / Messages: nurture, power, cooperation, community, expressing yourself (Roar!)
The lion as a totem carries a group or family energy. They roam the countryside within a pride. Community is very important to them. If lion is your totem then you will have a strong sense of community or a desire to belong to a group.The lion is known for its magnificent mane and ferocious roar. The roar is a predatory warning. The lion does not wish to fight, but will take a stand to protect the lionesses and cubs in his pride. The lioness’ role is hunter and caregiver for the cubs. The young cubs are allowed to play and enjoy life.

When lion totem appears, notice if it is a lion, lioness, or cub. If it is the male then you may need to make sure you are protecting the members of your family. This doesn’t mean that you must fight, but to stand up and be seen as strong and willing to fight for them if needed. If it is the lioness, then you may need to review your role as provider and caregiver. Are your children getting their nurturing needs met? If it is the cub that appears, ask yourself if you are allowing enough play into your life?

 

Tiger Totem – Passionate Endeavors

Tiger Totem

Passionate Endeavors

By

Messages and Meanings: power, devotion to offspring, past life connections, adventuresome
Tiger totem symbolizes power and passion. Tiger medicine is flamboyant with its bold and sleek look. Sensuality and sensitivity are characteristics of tiger medicine. The tiger is not necessarily drawn to family life, but its mating is magnetic and passionate, and mothers are very devoted to their young.Anyone with the tiger as their totem is likely to be drawn to water. If you look to their natal chart in astrology the water element will be prominent. The tiger prowls at night time. If you are drawing from tiger medicine your best productivity will be in the evening and into the early morning hours.

If tiger makes its appearance you could find yourself drawn to another person with strong karmic ties. Tiger energy is not gentle… you will FEEL things, emotionally deep stuff. But, in the end it will be worthwhile. Tigers are adventuresome animals, so get ready for the ride of your life.

 

Cat Totems

Cat Totems

Nocturnal Felines

By , About.com

 

A cat’s nature to prowl after dark. Cats have keen eyesight and are also very instinctual. People with cat medicine tend to walk on the dark side and delve into mysterious depths. They are curious and make good detectives.

Tigers

Tiger totem symbolizes power and passion. Tiger medicine is flamboyant with its bold and sleek look. Sensuality and sensitivity are characteristics of tiger medicine. The tiger is not necessarily drawn to family life, but its mating is magnetic and passionate, and mothers are very devoted to their young. The tiger prowls at night time. If you are drawing from tiger medicine your best productivity will be in the evening and into the early morning hours.

Lions

The lion as a totem carries a group or family energy. They roam the countryside within a pride. Community is very important to them. If lion is your totem then you will have a strong sense of community or a desire to belong to a group. The lion is known for its magnificent mane and ferocious roar. The roar is a predatory warning. The lion does not wish to fight, but will take a stand to protect the lionesses and cubs in his pride. The lioness’ role is hunter and caregiver for the cubs.

Domesticated Cats

The domestic cat is a favorite pet in peoples’ homes. Personality traits of domestic cats can vary depending on the breed. Cats are said to have nine lives, able to get themselves out of dangerous predicaments as easily as they got into them. People with a domestic cat as their totem are often curious and unpredictable. Cat medicine teaches independence and the okay-ness of not following someone else’s lead.

Bobcats

The bob cat is solitary and highly instinctual in nature. Males and females come together only during the winter mating season. Females do not roam far from home, whereas the males are nomadic and will mate with half a dozen females from different territories. There is a mystical aura surrounding those with bob cat as their spirit totem, they are empathic, secretive, and knowing.

Cougars

Other names for the cougar include puma, mountain lion, and panther depending on the region. The lesson of the cougar is to come into your own power, flex your muscles, and show your assertiveness. The cougar is likely to show up in your life when you are struggling with indecision… to spawn action.

Pantherns

Not to be confused with the cougar, the name panther is associated with both leopard and jaguar cats. These animals are loners, quietly pursuing their lives. People with panthers as their spirit guides are often introspective and exude their power from the background. If you have lost your personal power invite panther to teach you how to find it.

 

 

What is an Animal Familiar?

What is an Animal Familiar?

By , About.com

In some traditions of modern Wicca and Paganism, the concept of an animal familiar is incorporated into practice. Today, a familiar is often defined as an animal with whom we have a magical connection, but in truth, the concept is a bit more complex than this.

History of the Familiar

During the days of the European witch hunts, familiars were “said to be given to witches by the devil,” according to Rosemary Guiley’s Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. They were, in essence, small demons which could be sent out to do a witch’s bidding. Although cats — especially black ones — were the favored vessel for such a demon to inhabit, dogs, toads, and other small animals were sometimes used.

In some Scandinavian countries, familiars were associated with spirits of the land and nature. Fairies, dwarves, and other elemental beings were believed to inhabit the physical bodies of animals. Once the Christian church came along, this practice went underground — because any spirit other than an angel must be a demon. During the witch-hunt era, many domestic animals were killed because of their association with known witches and heretics.

During the Salem witch trials, there is little account of the practice of animal familiars, although one man was charged with encouraging a dog to attack by way of magical means. The dog, interestingly enough, was tried, convicted, and hanged.

In shamanistic practices, the animal familiar is not a physical being at all, but a thought-form or spiritual entity. It often travels astrally, or serves as a magical guardian against those who might try to psychically attack the shaman.

Today, many Wiccans and Pagans have an animal companion that they consider their familiar – and most people no longer believe that these are spirits or demons inhabiting an animal. Instead, they have an emotional and psychic bond with the cat, dog, or whatever, who is attuned to the powers of its human partner.

Finding a Familiar

Not everyone has, needs, or even wants a familiar. If you have an animal companion as a pet, such as a cat or dog, try working on strengthening your psychic connection with that animal. Books such as Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak contain some excellent pointers on how to do this.

If an animal has appeared in your life unexpectedly — such as a stray cat that appears regularly, for instance — it’s possible that it may have been drawn to you psychically. However, be sure to rule out mundane reasons for its appearance first. If you’re leaving out food for the local feral kitties, that’s a far more logical explanation. Likewise, if you see a sudden influx of birds, consider the season — is the ground thawing, making food more available?

If you’d like to draw a familiar to you, some traditions believe you can do this by meditation. Find a quiet place to sit undisturbed, and allow your mind to wander. As you journey, you may encounter various people or objects. Focus your intent on meeting an animal companion, and see if you come into contact with any.

In addition to familiars, some people do magical work with what’s called a power animal or a spirit animal. A power animal is a spiritual guardian that some people connect with. However, much like other spiritual entities, there’s no rule or guideline that says you must have one. If you happen to connect with an animal entity while meditating or performing astral travel, then that may be your power animal or it may just be curious about what you’re up to.