“THINK on THESE THINGS”
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Did you know that when we poke fun at someone else we’re covering up our own embarrassment?
We all have shortcomings, peculiarities about ourselves that we take no pride in nor want others to know about. So, frequently we call attention to the “different” traits of others. Sometimes we believe they are not aware of their own problems, but they are. They are super-conscious of them, and because of it they must escape through finding something about someone else they believe is worse than their own.
Truly wise persons are those who take their own unique qualities and build around them. Some of the most fascinating people are those who surround their unusual features with such exquisite mannerisms and beautifully developed personalities so handsomely as to make others ordinary.
It has been written by Augustine, “This is the very perfection of man, to find out his own imperfection.”
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 – August 7
“Everything I know I learned by listening and watching.”
–Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE
Sometimes my mind is talking so fast about so many different things that I can’t slow it down. All day long I am judging and making assumptions about everything.
Great Spirit, help me this day to slow down. Help me to listen – quietly. Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. Let me listen and watch only the thing You would have me observe. Guide my eyes and my ears to be focused on You. Grandfather, love me today and teach me to be quiet.
August 7 – Daily Feast
Coming home is near to being a gift of the spirit. Hours have passed and duty has been performed. It is the hour of return – the hour when the circle is completed and coming home is the hour of grace. Sometimes the circle is just a little one – a time of going out and coming back. It doesn’t take long. But years can lie between the going out and the coming back. It is the innate compulsion in an Indian to return to his beginnings – the essential completion of going back. Indeed, of coming home. And he can hear the voices, catch the fragrances, and feel the presence of his forebears and it is a thing of grace that renews and restores his spirit.
~ When I look upon you I know you are all big chiefs. ~
SANTANTA – KIOWA
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
The Daily Motivator message for
Sunday, August 7, 2016
by Ralph Marston
Find something to enjoy and to sincerely value about whatever you are doing. And you will add power and effectiveness to your efforts.
Realize that anything is enjoyable to you solely because you have decided for it to be enjoyable. It’s a decision that can create much value.
Instead of fighting against your own actions, give energy to them. Instead of making yourself miserable, allow yourself to enjoy.
It’s great when you can make positive plans and enjoy following through on them. Yet even when things don’t turn out as planned, you can find something to value and enjoy.
Learn to find enjoyment in life’s surprises, and those surprises can yield great treasure. Choose to enjoy those times when you get knocked off track, and you’ll discover the quickest way to get back on track.
You are at your best when truly enjoying life. So allow enjoyment to bring out your best in every situation.
© 2007 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
From The Daily Motivator website at http://greatday.com/motivate/070309.html
Walking with Awareness
Walking meditation is a simple way to connect with your spirit and mother earth in a very grounded way.
Many of us take the benefits of walking for granted. Each day we limit the steps we take by driving or sitting for long periods of time. But walking even a few blocks a day has unlimited benefits – not only for our health, but our spirit as well, for as we walk, we connect with the earth.
Even when walking on concrete, the earth is still beneath us, supporting us. Walking lets our body remember simpler times, when life was less complicated. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue. Instead of running from place to place or thinking about how much more we can fit into our day, walking allows us to exist in the moment.
Each step we take can lead us to becoming more mindful of ourselves and our feelings. Walking slows us down enough not only to pay attention to where we are in our body, but also to our breath. Taking time to simply notice our breath while we walk, through the length of our inhales and exhales, and becoming attuned to the way in which we breathe is taking a step towards mindfulness. When we become more mindful, we gradually increase our awareness of the environment around us and start to recognize that the normal flow of our thoughts and feelings are not always related to where we are in the present moment. Gradually we realize that the connection we have with the earth and the ground beneath our feet is all that is. By walking and practicing breathing mindfully we gain a sense of calm and tranquility — the problems and troubles of the day slowly fade away because we are in the ‘now’.
The simplicity and ease of a walking practice allows us to create time, space and awareness of our surroundings and of the wonders that lie within. Taking a few moments to walk each day and become more aware of our breath will in turn open the door for the beauty of the world around us to filter in.
Magickal Goody of the Day
Make Your Own Smudge Sticks
Smudging is a great way to cleanse a sacred space, and most people use smudge sticks made of sweetgrass or sage for this purpose. Although they are available commercially — and are fairly inexpensive — it’s easy to make your own if you’ve got herbs growing in your garden, or if there’s a place nearby where you can go wildcrafting.
- Scissors or garden clippers
- Cotton string
- Plants such as sage, mugwort, rosemary, lavender, or juniper
Cut a length of string about five feet long. Put several branches together so that the cut ends are all together, and the leafy ends are all together. Wind the string tightly around the stems of the bundle, leaving two inches of loose string where you began. The smudge stick in the photos contains sage, rosemary and pennyroyal, but you can use any kind of herbs you like.
Although the use of wrapped smudge sticks is generally attributed to Native American cultures and practices, the burning of fragrant herbs in a ritual context is found in numerous societies throughout history.
Herbs were burned in ancient Egypt, and the practice is recorded and documented in a tablet inscription that has been dated back to 1500 b.c.e. Many eastern spiritual systems, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto, utilize burning herbs – either loose or as compacted incense – in ritual practice. For the ancient Greeks, smudging was included in rituals to contact the dead, and often was used in tandem with ritual fasting.
Wrap the remaining length of string around the base of the branches several times to secure it. Then, gradually, work your way along the length of branches until you reach the leafy end. Return the string back up to the stems, creating a bit of a criss-cross pattern. You’ll want to wind the string tightly enough that nothing gets loose, but not so tight that it cuts off pieces of the plants.
When you get back to the stems, tie the remainder of the string to the 2″ loose piece you left at the beginning.
Trim off any excess pieces so that the ends of your smudge stick are even.
Dry Your Smudge Sticks
Place the bundle outside or hang it up for drying. Depending on what type of herb you used, and how humid your weather is, it may take a couple of days or as much as a week to dry out. Once your smudge sticks have dried completely, you can store them in a bag or box in a dark cabinet until it’s time to use them and then burn them in ritual for smudging simply by lighting one end.
Safety tip: Some plants may have toxic fumes. Do not burn a plant unless you know it is safe to do so.
Dawn Combs over at Hobby Farms has some great tips on nine different herbs you can burn as incense – and if they’re safe for burning as incense, they’re safe to burn in smudging ceremonies. Dawn recommends you burn your herbs – whether incense or sticks – using ,”a heat tolerant vessel. Traditionally this is an abalone shell with a bit of sand in the bottom. You might also use a charcoal disc beneath the herbs to keep them smoking, especially in the case of resins.”
Incense of the Day
2 Parts Sandalwood
1 Part Rose petals
1 Part Camphor
few drops Tuberose bouquet
few drops Jasmine oil
Burn a bit in the bedroom prior to sleep to produce psychic dreams. Remove the censer from the room before retiring. Use only genuine camphor.
Gemstone of the Day
Website: The Whispering Woods
Herb of the Day
Website: The Whispering Woods
Deity of the Day
Airmid, also known as Airmed or Airmeith, is the Celtic Goddess of the Healing Arts. She was also a member of the Tuatha De Danaan, the most ancient race of deities in Ireland and just as they did, she had great magickal powers. When the Goddess Danu first created the Tuatha De Danaan, she made sure that its members were very powerful gods, filled with great wisdom and skilled in every possible area of expertise.
Some people believe that the Tuatha De Danaan was comprised of Druids, who were extremely knowledgeable in both prophecy and magick. When the members of the Tuatha De Danaan decided to study something, not only did they simply learn about it, they actually went much farther, by deeply immersing themselves in that particular field to the point where they became the greatest experts in the world. They believed strongly in the three components of life: the Earth, the Mysteries, and the Spirit realm and that they were all of equal importance.
Airmid was the daughter of Diancecht, the God of Medicine, and the Chief Physician and Magician of the Tuatha De Danaan. She also had four brothers: Miach, Cian, Cethe, and Cu, and they all followed closely in their father’s footsteps. Airmid also had a sister named Etan, who was a poet who was also married to Oghma. Coming from that kind of a heritage, there can be little doubt that Airmid and her brothers excelled in the healing arts.
When the Fir Bolgs first arrived in Ireland, the Tuatha De Danaan fought against them in a great war, protecting its people and land from invasion. During the first battle, the Tuatha defeated the Fir Bolgs and killed their king, Eocchid MacEric. Nuada, the King of the Tuatha De Danaan was also seriously injured in that battle when his arm became severed from his body.
Since Diancecht was the Chief Physician of the Tuatha De Danaan, he was immediately called upon to attend to Nuada’s wounds, and he brought Airmid and Miach with him to assist. While Diancecht was working upon Nuada, it became increasingly clear that Airmid’s and Miach’s skills as healers were much greater then those of their father.
While Diancecht had decided to replace Nuada’s severed arm with one that he had constructed from silver, Airmid was actually able to regenerate the King’s own arm to perfect working order. Then Miach, using his amazing surgical skills, took the regenerated arm and re-attached it to the King’s body. These actions were extremely important to the Tuatha De Danaan and especially to Nauda, because according to its laws, no one could ever be its king, whose body was not completely whole. If Nuada’s arm had not been re-attached to his body, through Airmid and Miach’s amazing skills, then his reign as King would have ended.
Airmid, Miach and Diancecht built the Well of Slaine in Ireland, which was also known as the Well of Health. They then caste spells over it, so that the well’s magickal waters could not only restore life to those warriors who had been killed in battle; it could actually return them all to perfect health. When a wounded warrior was brought to the well his body was immediately immersed in its waters, which not only brought him back to life, but also made him well enough to return to the battle.
However, during the second Battle of Moytura, things did not go well for the Tuatha De Danaan because their enemies had filled the Well of Slaine with stones. That made it impossible for them to bring their warriors bodies back to life, and the well soon became known as the “Heapstown Cairn.”
Airmid’s brother Miach was an extremely talented healer, and when Diancecht realized that his son’s abilities were so greatly superior to his own he became extremely jealous. Soon, that jealousy began to turn into rage, and that rage became so great that he drew his sword and slashed Miach quite badly. Miach, however, using his superior medical knowledge and magickal skills, immediately healed the wound.
That just made Diancecht’s anger grow even greater, and for a second time he drew his sword, this time cutting Miach through to the bone. Just as quickly, however, Miach was able to heal himself once more.
It was at that point that Diancecht finally lost what little control he had left over his rage and, once again taking his sword in his hand, he sliced directly into his son’s brain tissue. What happened then was truly miraculous. Miach showed himself to be the outstanding physician that he was, and he actually was able to heal himself one more time.
Finally, it became extremely clear that Diancecht’s hatred of his son had reached the point of no return. Slowly, Diancecht drew his sword and then, for the final time, he struck his son in the head, this time severing Miach’s brain completely from his skull. It was then that Diancecht just walked away, leaving his wounded son who was no longer able to heal himself lying there on the ground to die. Legend has it, that when Diancecht looked down upon his dying son, he never once exhibited even the slightest bit of remorse.
Airmid also had great magickal powers and herb craft was her specialty. Miach had taught her well, and she knew the different uses of each and every plant. When Airmid buried her brother it was with great sorrow. She missed him dearly, since they had always been so very close, and she frequently would go to visit his grave. One day, when she arrived at Miach’s grave, she was amazed to find 365 healing herbs growing on and around his grave, with one herb for every joint and organ of his body.
Methodically, Airmid began to gather up the herbs. Then, quite amazingly, the herbs began to speak to her, telling her of the full range of their healing powers. Airmid then took the herbs and separated each from the other. Then she arranged them systematically upon her cloak, each according to its own particular use or special properties. With the knowledge she had gained from the herbs, she then proceeded to use it to heal people who needed medical attention.
Amazingly, Diancecht’s obsessive hatred for his son did not end with Miach’s death. Still consumed by his enormous rage, Diancecht went over to Airmid’s cloak and overturned it, scattering all the herbs into the wind; thereby making certain that no one except Airmid would ever know the use of the herbs’ healing properties or the secret of how to achieve immortality which was made possible through the herbs proper use.
Even though Diancecht was her father, Airmid found herself unable to have any feelings for him, and refused to have anything to do with him. In fact, she found it so impossible to even go anywhere near him, that she travelled far away to a place where she would never have to see him again.
It is believed that Airmid still works as a Physician, high in the mountains of Ireland, spending much of her time healing Faeries, Elves and humans; bringing them all back to good health through her practical knowledge and amazing magickal skills.
Women Compared To Men
Women have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
Women wait by the phone for a “safe at home call” from a friend after a snowy drive home.
They are child care workers, executives, attorneys, stay-at-home moms, biker babes, and your neighbors.
They wear suits, jeans, and they wear uniforms.
They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice.
They walk and talk the mile to get their children in the right schools and for getting their family the right health care.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
Women are honest, loyal, and forgiving.
They are smart, knowing that knowledge is power. But they still know how to use their softer side to make a point.
Women want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
A woman can make a romantic evening unforgettable.
Women come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes.
They live in homes, apartments and cabins.
They drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin!
Women do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends. And all they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with.
Men are good at lifting heavy stuff.
For more great Pagan humor, visit Turok’s Cabana
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2016 August 7
Explanation: How big is Jupiter’s moon Io? The most volcanic body in the Solar System, Io (usually pronounced “EYE-oh”) is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, about the size of planet Earth’s single large natural satellite. Gliding past Jupiter at the turn of the millennium, the Cassini spacecraft captured this awe inspiring view of active Io with the largest gas giant as a backdrop, offering a stunning demonstration of the ruling planet’s relative size. Although in the featured picture Io appears to be located just in front of the swirling Jovian clouds, Io hurtles around its orbit once every 42 hours at a distance of 420,000 kilometers or so from the center of Jupiter. That puts Io nearly 350,000 kilometers above Jupiter’s cloud tops, roughly equivalent to the distance between Earth and Moon. In July, NASA’s Juno satellite began orbiting Jupiter and will sometimes swoop to within 5,000 kilometers of Jupiter’s cloud tops.
Summer Triangle on August evenings
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.
Originally published on EarthSky