The Unnatural Positions Meditation
A sure way to relax your body is to have your arms and legs relaxed. If your extremities are tension-free, so will be your mind and emotions, and you will tend to become drowsy and sleepy. So, for example, when we are in a business meeting, we habitually sit in a way that we have become used to, and invariably soon have to fight the urge to fall asleep. Let’s do a demonstration. Right now, cross your legs the way you always do. You will have either your right leg over your left or vice versa. Or, you will have your right ankle over your left, or vice versa. Feels good, right? Now, interlace your fingers. Your right thumb will be over your left thumb, your right index finger over your left, and so on, or vice versa. Now just sit there for about 108 seconds and enjoy how relaxing your habitual posture is, and how comfortable it makes you feel.
Now, cross your legs and interlace your fingers the opposite way. So, if you usually have your right foot crossed over your left and have your left thumb over your right, now put your left foot over your right and interlace all your fingers starting with your right thumb over your left. Now sit there for about 108 seconds.
O.K. Fine, now you see. It is only a small change, just as a pea under a mattress is, but it is annoying enough to keep you awake. Now you can pay attention. You will not be able to fall asleep even if you want to. We are so habituated to our comfy conditioning manner of sitting that anything that is different makes a huge impression on us, overly annoying us and thus waking us up. So now you can pay attention to the boss, the teacher, the priest, or your mother-in-law, or whomever. But most importantly you can now pay attention to the present moment, and it is only in the present that your merging with the universe will take place. You must be present to receive this divine, truly royal present. This little change in physical discomfort can lead to your eternal spiritual comfort. Try it, be annoyed, wake up, and live happily ever after.
Meditation on the Pentacle and Earth
Into a dark world comes the dawn, the start of a new day coming from the East. The powers of Earth spring from the same source. Buds burst forth into new growth. Animals come out to look at the world as it blooms again and fill their bellies once more, the starvation and hunger of winter at an end. The Earth is our foundation and our stability as we learn to frolic and play.
The powers of Earth are vast and abundant. When she is angry, the ground shakes and trembles, warning us to change our actions and helping to shake us free from standing around and watching life pass us by. The gifts she gives are boundless.
If this element were to be placed on the face of a clock, following the path of the sun, it would be in the east, at dawn, when time is new and the earth is just beginning to burst forth with new life. It is a light, creative time that holds the promise of the day to come.
Similarly, the moon rises in the west, and if a witch wished to follow the lunar cycle, the element would be placed there. The new, waxing moon is a time of promise of things to come. It is a time of bringing things into being and manifesting growth into the world. This is the time of the Maiden, of the Huntress, those who hold the reins of creativity and inspiration.
The earth, for a witch, is symbolized by the pentacle. It may be as elaborate or as simple as is meaningful. Simple rocks have been used along with things as complex as sun catchers, crystal plates, and hand thrown pottery. It is the foundation to all a witch’s works and all her spells and magick. It helps to keep them stable and able to work their magick and let go of themselves into ecstatic states, knowing they will find their way back.
If a stone is to be used, the best kinds are ones that are found out on one of the walks or trips that the witch takes. Tumbled or polished ones will work, but they are somewhat distracting from the natural ties that the pentacle has to the earth at times. If you want a shiny one, purchase a small rock tumbler (Most are less than $20.00) and tumble the rocks that you find outside on your own. Granite also works well, if there is a source nearby, since it has both a rough surface and a glossy one.
Marble is another choice, if available, that is a good option if a fancier pentacle is desired. Since the pentacle represents the north and is the stability that a witch ties her spells to as she casts them, it is the anchor point for a circle. Make certain that your pentacle is sturdy enough to take the strain of these things before you acquire and consecrate it.
Meditation on Thinking and Believing
In a world as fast paced and technological as this, it is sometimes hard to come face to face with something that we do not understand. Even this book is a modern miracle. It was created on a PC, typeset on a different PC, send off to the publisher where it was loaded onto still other machinery, and copied at an incredible rate of speed. Someone created the cover picture and loaded it into a form that computerized machinery could use, and it was printed off nearly as fast.
Finally, the cover and the book were bound on still more machinery and the books were packed and placed onto a truck for delivery to your local bookstore. We exist outside of natural time. Instead of rising with the dawn and working until it is dark, we set our alarms to wake us, dash off to work, come home, and continue to work long into the night under the glaring false light of technology.
We can see tiny cells that are far to small to see with the naked eye, and fall victim to high tech crime and other problems. Every day brings new discoveries of still smaller and smaller particles and creations. We analyze everything until we understand it in the smallest detail possible. Why? So that we can think we understand it. We fool ourselves into believing that everything can be rationally explained.
But what about the things that we can’t explain? What about the things we can explain but that words just do not describe well? The birth of a child is a miracle in action. Through our research, we can describe what is physically happening throughout the entire development from fertilized egg to human. Yet, those same words cannot hope to ever express the miracle of two single cells coming together to create the marvelously complex beings that we call people. It cannot describe what a soul is or how it comes to be there. It cannot describe the bond that exists between mother and child, or the wonder in the eyes of that child as it learns about its new world.
Thinking and believing have a place in the world. We could not get along without it. However, it is far from sufficient to strive to explain everything there is through this process. Some things should be left as what they are. Miracles. Faith. Mysteries.
(Meditate on these ideas for several days in succession)
Meditation on Knowing and Faith
When a person is alone in the woods, lost, and faced with the decision of which way to go to get out of the woods with no information, how does he find his way out again? When a witch is faced with trying to figure out what is needed to heal someone or what is necessary to do a spell, how does she decide?
Deep inside of each witch is a spot that holds our Self. This Self can tell us many things, what ritual is right to do, which way to turn when lost, what herbs and oils are needed for the upcoming ritual. It holds many answers if a person can learn to listen to that quiet space. It is much like journeying to your own center and just sitting and listening to what comes.
Witches can find out things from other places as well. They are given answers by their spirit guides. Sometimes the answers just pop into their heads and they blink and wonder why they could not figure that out on their own. This is the essence of what knowing is. It is not worrying about where the answer came from or whether it is right, because the witch just knows that it is.
It is a difficult skill to learn, and an even more difficult one to accept. While you are learning, you will question whether or not the answers are coming from somewhere else or whether you are just making them up in your head. On occasion, no answer will come. How do you know that you are not deluding yourself? Essentially, you do not know this. As you work more with your skills, and as you learn more about the world around you and what your beliefs are, you will come to realize that it does not matter where it comes from. It doesn’t matter if it comes from deep in your subconscious and you are just playing games to get to where you can understand it or whether it comes from outside yourself entirely. When you feel that an answer is right, you can accept that you may never know where it came from and simply use it.
Throughout time, every religion has been asked to prove its beliefs. Solid, tangible proof has been demanded for everything from the existence of God to the ability of people to “just know” things. Oracles have been required to try to show how they are not really cheats and hustlers that have no special powers. Atheists, time and again, will try to prove that you are deluding yourself about the existence of higher powers and special abilities. Magick is not really, they will tell you, because there is no way to measure the results because they are so subjective.
There is no way to prove that God exists. This is proof, to someone with no faith, that there really is no God. By using a circular pattern of reasoning, they avoid having to think about things that confuse or disturb them. The things that cannot be measured are ignored.
Faith is the ability, like knowing, to believe in something while asking for no physical proof of its existence. It is the ability to suspend the reasoning mind for a while about something while leaving it active for everything else. Perhaps it is nothing more than the suspension of disbelief, and is not so strange after all.
It does not matter to someone who comes to you for healing whether it was the spell or ritual itself that heals them or whether it is their own faith and belief that it can heal them that brings about the state. The important thing is that they have been healed. We have faith that it was the magick that was done, but the truth of the matter is, it does not make a difference which it was that healed them.
The mind is a powerful tool that must be taught and shown how to work. Faith and belief are two ways of tricking it into working with little or no understanding of what is going on in reality. When you do a binding on a person and their behavior changed, has the magick worked? Maybe. If the person did not know what you were doing, behavior change might signal the existence of magick. Or, instead, it could simply be that the person has realized that what they were doing was wrong and changed their behavior. Does it matter which one it was? No. What matters is that the behavior changed.
We have faith that our magick works because we have no proof. We have faith that the Gods exist because we have no proof. What a boring world it would be if we needed proof for everything. There would be no little miracles or mysteries left for us.
(Meditate on these ideas for several consecutive days)
Meditation on the Law of Thelema
Wicca was started by Gerald Gardner sometime in the forties. His new religion was a mish-mash of philosophies ranging from traditional English folk religions, Ceremonial Magick, and the works of several fraternal organizations. He was also a follower of Alistaire Crowley’s work, and this had some degree of influence on the original ideals of Wicca. Crowley’s followers tended towards using the Law of Thelema as it became known. “Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law. Love under Will.”
The Rede itself is an altered, and simplified, version of this Law. This can be taken literally, just as any rule or law can be when a person does not wish to think about the meaning of it or the spirit of the law. By examining the underlying meaning, however, a person is able to understand the morality that is attached to it.
The first part, “Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law” is often taken alone, without the remaining parts, in order to justify doing whatever a person wishes to do without thought of the effects it will have on others. When looked at closer, though, it becomes plain that this is not what the statement means. First, the capitalization alone tends to call attention to the important factors.
This emphasis on Will and Law are very important. The capitalization of Law makes one believe that there are absolute laws and rules guiding our lives and paths, and that breaking these laws is a “bad thing.” What might result from doing these bad things is left to the imagination of the practitioner. How, then, is a person supposed to know what the Laws are and how not to break them? This is done by living according to Will. Will, in this case, is not living by however you want to live. It is living by True Will, the path that is laid out before us at the time of our birth. By following Will, we stay on that path and do not stray from it.
Many traditions believe that a person can know their path and their true Will by listening to the Self, the soul, or to God. It is an intrinsic path that is a part of each person, if they can only find and listen to it. It will tell them the right thing to do and how to do it. The first part of the Law of Thelema, then, tells a person how to live. Follow your true path and only your true path.
The next part tells us what the Law itself is. “Love is the Law.” Love, here, is not passionate love, romantic love, or any of the things that humans think about when they think of love. Instead it is an expression of the Divine in a person and what holds the universe together. It is the ability to sacrifice for someone that is a stranger, and it is the love that the Gods have for everything around us. It is the Order of nature and the world that tames Chaos.
This force, though, has to have its own set of restraints, or it, too, would become Chaos in the end. This is the third part of the Law. “Love under Will.” This brings us full circle back to the self. Your true path can tell you what the loving action is that needs to be taken. Sometimes that means healing someone, and sometimes that means cutting them loose to drift until they find their own Will.
When the Rede is looked at in the same manner, remnants of the Law can be seen. “An it harm none, do what thou will.” Looking at the second part first, a faint echo of “Do what thou Wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” However, the emphasis on true will and what the Law is has been removed, leaving a person looking to the first half of the Rede for the way to apply it. “An it harm none” looks nothing like the last half of the Law.
A person is left looking at trying to define harm to understand how they are to live. Harmful is defined as causing or capable of causing harm, or injurious in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Under this definition can be found words such as: malevolent, churlish, bitchy, malicious, catty, spiteful, malignant, treacherous, merciless, vindictive, evil, wickedness, curse, scourge, poison, pest, shame, and abuse. Undoubtedly, these can be bad things, but they still do not tell a person how to apply the Rede. Harm is subjective to the person that is creating it and to the person that is receiving it.
This, then, is why so many people reject the Wiccan Rede in favor of other methods of living a moral life. There are times when being malevolent is what is called for by your Will. If you are following the true path that is yours, then doing such will bring you no harm. There are consequences to every action, including inaction. Examine those consequences in order to see if they are something that can be shouldered easily or if they will be a burden to great to bear before performing an action….in other words….think.
(Meditate on these ideas for several days)
Meditation on the Pentacle
Pick up your pentacle or a rock if you don’t have a pentacle, and see how it integrates itself into you. See how it balances who you are and what your strengths are. Find out for yourself how to draw the pentacle into balancing your weaknesses.
When you find your pentacle, take it to your private place. If you can take time to be outdoors with it, this is even better, but not necessary. Examine it in great detail, finding all its quirks and attributes. Look for tiny cracks and fissures that could widen or break your pentacle after heavy use. It is wise to check from time to time for these things even after you consecrated it. If you use it a great deal, eventually you will have to replace it, as the stresses on it eventually will damage it.
After you feel you can find nothing more out just by looking at it, hold it and get to know the feel of it. Is it heavy? Does it make you feel more within yourself when you hold it? Does it make you think of earth and growing things?
Hold the pentacle close to you so that you and it can begin to work closely together. Meditate with it and see if there is a difference in meditating with or without it. Notice if your circles are more stable with it. Take as much time and as many sessions as you need in order to be positive that this is the right thing for your pentacle.
|5-Minute Meditation: Light-Song – By Avalon De Witt|
Sit quietly in a comfortable place with your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Listening to the rhythm of your breath, feel your body relaxing from the top of your head, all the way down to the tips of your toes…
Begin to form a vivid picture in your mind. See before you a large golden chalice, spilling over with a pale green light. The soft glow of this light is calming to look at and seems to emanate a sound like a thousand angels singing…
Let this light-born music become clearer and more vibrant. Notice how the light-song harmonizes with your heart beat. You can sense a healing power in the lilting melody that is already making you feel lighter…
Visualize yourself reaching out with your hands cupped together and dipping into the green light as though it were a pool of cool water…
Now ease your hands toward your your heart center and let the green light gently penetrate you there. Allow this gentle green light to expand in your heart and throughout your body filling you with immense joy, bringing a smile to your face…
Feel the song of this light dancing within you, moving through your bloodstream, washing away all your stresses and worries. Observe the way your body responds to the comforting, harmonious music freeing your mind, balancing you…
Spend as long as you like reveling in the relaxation of this tender light-song. Hear it flowing through you, cleansing you completely. Enjoy the feelings of peace and contentment, and remember that you can take in this beautiful light song any time you wish…
Gradually deepen your breath and return to the moment. Bring your attention back to the room. Gently move your fingers and toes and slowly open your eyes. This is a wonderful way to release anxiety and lift your spirits any time of day.
What Pagans Need to Know About Spiritual Creatures and Human-Animal Relations
by R.J. Stewart
The dugong is a large marine mammal that spends its life in the sea. It inhabits shallow coastal waters from the Red Sea and Eastern Africa to the Philippines, New Guinea and Northern Australia. Although aquatic, it breathes air through lungs and gives birth underwater. Birthing a human child underwater has been investigated in our present society with good results. Because water symbolizes the emotions in man a human child born underwater has the opportunity to connect with their deepest emotions immediately upon birth. Scientists are finding that babies born underwater grow up to be healthier with a more balanced temperament.
Dugongs are slow moving giving them little protection from predators which include sharks, salt water crocodiles and killer whales. Those with this totem should study each predator to gain a deeper understanding of this medicine. Dugongs graze on green algae and marine grasses. A diet rich in chlorophyl will benefit those with this medicine.
The dugong lives in pairs or groups of up to 6 individuals. The number two in numerology represents conscious emotional interrelationships. The number six understands the energies of compromise which serve a broader interest. Both numbers symbolize the characteristics of the dugong. The study of even numbers can awaken deeper insights about this totem.
The dugong has a large tapered body. Its forelimbs are rounded flippers. It has no hind limbs. It moves in a forward motion and asks those with this totem to do the same. When it appears in a persons life it serves as a reminder to let go of procrastination and swim into the waters of new beginnings.
Ancient myths surround this creature. When resting, the dugong may “tail stand” in water of proper depth, keeping their heads out of the water. Sightings of dugongs by early seafarers are believed to have given rise to the extensive mythology of mermaids.
The dugong holds great symbolism and is a complex totem to understand completely. Because of this the dugong nudges us forward into a wide range of possibilities. It asks us to study symbols of different origins, compile the information acquired then grow into expanded consciousness. If your goal is to achieve wisdom the dugong will be happy to accommodate you.
The duck is a short necked large billed waterfowl. The legs are placed rearward resulting in a waddling gait. They are swift fliers leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight, usually in compact flocks. Ducks are hatched with a complete covering of down and can take to the water as soon as they leave the nest, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
Ducks are at home on the water. Since water is linked to the emotional rivers of mankind it reminds us to honor our deepest emotions and nourish ourselves adequately. Those with this totem have a tendency to look for emotional solace in others. Although emotional support from another is comforting, true emotional strength must be acquired within. Those with this medicine often have specific lessons to learn about balancing emotional discord. They, like the duckling, plunge into the waters depth at an early age to gain understanding about their inner chaos.
Past lives associated with low self esteem is often reflected in present day life for those with this medicine. They are highly emotional and sensitive to everything around them. Sensitivity can be an attribute if it is balanced with logic and reason. Otherwise it can cause chaos and confusion in our lives. Developing a stronger sense of self is part of the teaching duck holds.
Most ducks pair only for a season. Those with this totem often find that long term relationships are difficult to maintain and restlessness within the relationship is common. Learning how to take flight and spread ones wings without destroying the foundation of that relationship is one of their greatest challenges.
Ducks come in a variety of shades from iridescent to bold colors. It is important to understand the significance of this. Iridescent colors represent a fine line between reality and imagination. Bold colors are solid and hold the qualities of strength and perseverance. If your personal duck has iridescent colors examine your emotions carefully. Are you getting lost in the imaginative side of self and creating more chaos than necessary? If strong and bold it is time to take charge of your life and become the master of your emotions.
Affectionate and community oriented duck medicine people love and are loved deeply. They often feel a great need to be of service and make excellent healers. Because the coloring of ones personal duck is symbolic, healing with color can be beneficial.
Ducks are graceful as they glide through the water reminding us to be gentle with ourselves as we heal, learn and grow into our perfected self.