“THINK on THESE THINGS”
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
We want much. It seems sometimes that wanting is all we ever get done. And yet if it were not for the desires of our hearts, there would be little incentive to work and plan and expect.
Some would have us believe it is wrong to desire more than absolute necessities. But good desires channeled in the right direction can do nothing but better the one who seeks.
Sometimes getting is only a substitute for the true desire. Humans have a way of looking outside themselves for things to satisfy their spiritual hunger. It may be prestige. Or it may be anything that will inflate their egos and give them feelings of security.
Emerson wrote, “The implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.” We have the ability to rise far above what we think we can. We have within us the answers if we but have the wisdom to seek those answers.
And perhaps we should consider, even before we begin to seek, the wisest of all instructions, “With all your getting get understanding.”
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
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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 26
“Those who live for one another learn that love is the bond of perfect unity.”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA
To serve each other, to respect each other, to trust each other, to honor each other, to love each other, to cooperate with each other, to care for each other, to forgive one another, to focus on peoples’ good, to laugh with one another, to learn from one another; to pray for each other – these are all acts of love. These values and actions will connect us to one another in the Unseen World. Nature is a good example of how we should get along with one another. Watch nature. She is our teacher. Nature lives to give to one another. The insects give to the birds who give to the four legged who give to the two legged. The Creator made all things perfect.
Oh Great Spirit, let me serve the people today. Let me see that it is better to give than it is to receive. Be with me today.
August 26 – Daily Feast
He sat easily on the ground and leaned his back against the rough bark of an oak and spoke solemnly of a problem relatively new to Cherokees. “Time was when ka in gv na w that doctors call depression was not in our camp. We had our lands and families, but it has changed. Old ones cry to leave land and trees, children wave little hands. Hardship not new, reason new. A scar is depression in skin. A hurt is depression in soul. Medicine cure cuts, but only Spirit sure hurt. Speak to it in your prayer and tell it go. Refuse it a place and always say thank you. Sing some, too. Deep in soul, sing, and it iron out depression.”
~ I am afraid that the white men are not speaking straight…. ~
CHIEF WENINOCK – YAKIMA, CIRCA 1915
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
The Daily Motivator message for
Friday, August 26, 2016
Drama of the moment
Your anger is justified. But that doesn’t make it any less harmful.
Your frustration is understandable. Even so, it is not your best choice.
Plenty of valid reasons exist for you to be resentful, annoyed, envious, disappointed. Yet you’re better off letting it go and moving on.
Renew your commitment to live by intention, rather than by reaction. Choose to base your thoughts, feelings, actions, priorities on your highest purpose.
Look up, look forward, fill your awareness with what you deeply care about. Feel the power of love as it pushes you in a positive direction.
Envision the good you wish to create. Rise above the drama of the moment, and put your energy into what matters most.
© 2016 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
From The Daily Motivator website at http://greatday.com/motivate/160826.html
The Gift Inside
We are all spiritual beings living in a human body; even though our packaging seems different, we are very much the same.
We have all had the experience of encountering someone whose life seems so completely different from ours that we can almost imagine we have nothing in common. However, if we go deeper into observing, we will see that we all have the same things going on in our lives. It is as if our different lives are in essence the same gift, wrapped in an infinite variety of containers, wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows. Everybody experiences loss, grief, happiness, excitement, anger, and fear. Everyone can have money issues of one kind or another, and everyone struggles with difficult choices.
Our lives show up differently for each one of us because we each learn in different ways. One person may need to learn the value of money by having too little of it, while another may need to learn by having more than enough. We each learn about work and love, with experiences that are tailored to our particular perspective. Even as it appears that some people have it easy while others are in a continual state of struggle, the truth is that we are all learning, and it is very difficult to tell, when looking only at the exterior of a person, what’s going on inside.
This is one of the many things that can be so valuable about cultivating relationships with people from all walks of life. As we get to know those who seem so different from us, we get to really see how much of life’s challenges and joys are universal. We begin to look beyond the packaging of skin color, clothing preferences, and socioeconomic differences, hairstyles, and the cars we drive to the heart of the human experience. It is important to honor and value the differences in our packaging, but it is just as important to honor the gift of life inside each one of us, and the fact that, no matter how different the packaging, the gift inside is the same.
I’m a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
I have commented before on the usefulness of designations in the neopagan community. Though we are generally self-directed with many being solitary and “eclectic”, it is darn helpful to be able to declare certain predispositions, especially if one is interested in working with others. In joining an on-line group or planning a ritual, the use of categories can help determine if a great deal of negotiation, or only a little, is required to make your collaborations most satisfying.
One question often asked is the difference between designations in the neopagan community. Of course, there are a vast variety of answers, and as a very dynamic and vibrant community, these answers may be quite altered in a decade. However, there are some trends that seem to have settled out for the moment…
Earth Religions or Earth-Centred Spirituality is currently the designation for all those traditions that are outside most of the major religions, i.e. Abrahamics, Buddhists, etc., but that also follow an Earth based path. It usually encompasses folk traditions, like European peasant beliefs and practices, as well as native aboriginal spirituality. However, not all followers of those traditions would choose to call themselves pagan, especially if they also practice some form of Abrahamic religion as well. So it’s best to not to assume, which is why Paganism is a subset of Earth Religions.
Paganism, or Neopaganism, is the modern catch-all phrase for many organized and non-organized Earth based religions and spirituality. Often seen as based on European Aboriginal practices and beliefs, it can also be used to describe traditional African, Asian, and North American spirituality, though less so, largely due to its primarily English usage. By declaring oneself “pagan”, it specifically implies resurgence in traditional Earth Based beliefs, sometimes in defiance of Abrahamics, depending on the area, and a reconstruction of traditional wisdom, knowledge, and connection with Nature as a completion of self and humanity. It can be Deity based, supernatural, or atheistic.
Witchcraft is a subset of Paganism. Because of the etymology and use of the word itself, witchcraft usually means pre-Christian folk beliefs of Western and sometimes Eastern Europe. As a modern practice, it has two main elements, either one of which may be included. It is both tribal and a religious choice. For most, it involves the preference of using magic as meditation, prayer, ritual and empowerment. For a smaller group, they are born into families that are known for the “Gift”, “Second Sight”, or the “Eye” if you are less popular… In the past in most places, children born into these families or who showed potential would often have been trained and dedicated to help their communities. A few of these families that survived the Abrahamic purgings retained the gifts and occasionally the training and traditions that went along with them, though most rejected them, usually out of real fear and concern for their safety if they weren’t outright converted.
Like many reClaimed traditions, such as native spirituality, modern witchcraft is a combination of contemporary writings and current analysis of past traditions, as well as past and extant examples of country and folk rituals, and to a much smaller extent, of witch families and their practices. Due to recent advances in cultural archaeology, it is also undergoing the greatest updates and flux. Though most are not from family traditions, modern witches can follow the folk beliefs of the aboriginal Europeans, or practice magic, or both. They can also refer to themselves as witches if they come from a witch family or have the traditional innate abilities, without practising a folk religion or spellcraft. Or any combinations of the above, including practising witchcraft in other traditions, like Abrahamics. (Jewitches. Heh.) It’s a pretty broad category, but my usual test is – anything that can get you burnt as a witch by fundies usually qualifies you to self-identify as a witch. Spellcraft, Goddess worship, foretelling, healing… But not that heretic stuff. That’s totally different.
Due to its heavy reliance on magic and its European structure, Wicca is almost entirely a subset of Witchcraft, though there are a few practitioners who could be considered outside of it, such as high magicians. Wicca is a relatively new tradition, with its origins largely in the middle part of last century, with some of the structure extending back into the Victorian era. Drawing on what was known at the time of folk history and tradition, it is a conglomeration of primarily European beliefs, but also reflects turn of the century Orientalism with elements of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Asian references. Though slow to start, in the last few decades it has had hundreds of writers popularizing it, and has seen an explosion in individual sects. Because of its very modern feel and adaptations while retaining an aura of Romanticism, Wicca is one of the largest and best known segments of Witchcraft and neopaganism, and one of the fastest growing religions in the world.
Wiccans are almost always witches, but witches aren’t always Wiccan. Wiccan is not the ‘politically correct’ term for witch. It’s a sect of witchcraft, like Protestantism is for Christians. They have certain specific beliefs and rituals that identify them as a group. You wouldn’t call all Christians Protestants, would you? (*Hence, the Venn diagram.) I hope that clears things up, especially for the well meaning but less knowledgeable.
Heathenism is a collective category of paganism who follow the Old Religion and who will sometimes consider themselves Wiccan if they practice magic but usually don’t identify as witches at all. Primarily men, they can be of a more structured faith, like Druids, or more folk based, like Odinists. They often identify with warrior culture and value traditional knowledge, self-reliance, personal strength and honour.
This is a very brief sketch, of course, and some in the community will dispute these categories. There are lots of others as well. Wizards, or High Magic practitioners, for example, deal with the Other World and its denizens in a rigid, formalized manner, and so can be from nearly any religion, including Abrahamics. From what our current literature refers to, these are the general starting points and what most persons will intend to convey when they use these terms at the moment. As neopaganism is one of the fastest growing religions on the planet, however, I have little doubt that these terms will alter considerably in the next decade or so.
*Venn diagram is here:
Life, Journey, and the Challenge
I have been thinking a lot lately. About everything that I have been experiencing, things going on in my life, where I want to go. So I wanted to write some things down, and while I started doing that, I found I had something to say.
So here I am writing this article, spilling my soul as it where — to send out a message to others who may be doing the same thing as I am right now. So that’s why I have named this article ‘Life, Journey, and the Challenge’ because that’s what I just came up with in my head while writing this.
I’m a Witch. I have not chosen a spiritual path as of yet, but Pagan will do just fine. I have been opening up to the world since I started out on my journey. I have felt, seen, and done many new things that I have never done, or have not done for a long time. Something magical that brings imagination and life into the equation.
I have been finding something that I have not seen since I was very young. So now here I am, a witch coming into his powers as it where, and finding that I am doing what I should be doing.
Of course many questions have come to mind. Where will all this lead? what will my future be like, how will I turn out. There are things I want to be able to do, and I try hard to make that happen. There are things I want to do; places I want to go. There are people I want to meet, things I want to learn.
But right now I am stuck going to college, working, doing what most Americans do. But I keep finding that I am not satisfied with this. So I dream, and I dream.
I kind of know what I want out of life; I kind of have an idea where I want to end up. So now I am trying to see who I really am. I have been picking my mind for memories, ideas, and experiences. I even have been watching old family movies to see what I was like, who I was then.
I have been meditating, and organizing my mind. This in turn has also helped me open up even more to things because the person I am is a person who is open, and full of energy. I am a happy go lucky guy who just wants to live. So I have an idea who I am now…
Okay…Even after all this, I still have no idea.
Yes that is right, I am as lost as ever. There is a saying that I always have liked to say. It is a little something that I came up with, but at the time I really did not see it as I do now.
“It’s not the Reward, It is the challenge.”
I came up with that a while ago, but only now see it for what it is. It does not matter who I will become, where I will end up, or what will happen to me. What matters is I try my hardest; I keep pushing myself, and keep learning. When life throws me a challenge, I take it. When life sends me a choice, take the hardest path.
As long as I push myself, and see what I can really do, then it won’t matter what is in store for the future. Because if I have kept true to myself, then I will be just fine, and even if something happens to me, at least I would have given it all I could. I would have lived my life to the fullest, and there for in turn fulfilled my dreams.
Yes it is true I am still young, 21 to be specific. I also know I as a young person may not know as much as older people may know. But I hope that I can show a side of me in this article that I normally don’t show. The adult side of myself, the smart and creative person I am.
This is really the first article I have ever written, I have never written something like this, that others would read. In fact my grammar and spelling are not even good. (Thank you spell check for the help.) But I hope that what I have to say is understandable, and I hope that my words in some way are helpful.
I know some people may not know me; some are close friends, and some just know me by this article. But I really hope, that you will not just read this article as another article, but as one made by someone who is following a similar path as you are.
This is my message to all of you who may read this: let life happen; make choices. Don’t worry about what may happen, or what will happen. Just live life, take it head on, and in the end, you will be happy.
Don’t always take the easy path in life, take the hardest path, and become a stronger sole, a stronger person. Let’s say you have two paths in front of you. One path is 25 miles long and looks beautiful. The other path is 10 miles long but looks very dangerous and scary. You may think that I will pick the longer path because it takes more work, but I choose the short path. The short path is the one filled with danger, and adventure.
That’s one thing you must never forget. The longer path will not always be the best. Sometimes the short path will be the more challenging path, and the most adventure filled one.
And as long as you choose your path, and follow it the best you can, then the reward won’t matter, because you would have already experienced the reward, in doing the challenge.
“It’s not the Reward, It is the challenge.”