Guess What? It’s Monday Again! Have A Great One!

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Today’s Affirmation for Monday, February 6th

“When I look into the future, I see a vista of challenge and resolution. I venture forth with strength, hope and faith.”

 

Thought of the Day for Monday, February 6th

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Anonymous

 

Meditation for Monday, February 6th

A Map of Life’s Road

Perform this meditation to help you negotiate your way through various options. First, sketch a map of the paths available to you, and the potential paths these may lead to in the future. Illustrate each path with relevant images or symbols. Meditate on the map through half-closed eyes. Notice whether particular images draw your attention, or new images occur to you, suggesting alternative courses of action. Allow your inner sense of direction to speak to you.

Alternatively create a collage of your future. Leaf through magazines, holding in mind the question “Where do I start to go?” Cut out appealing images, stick them to some cardboard and use the collage as a focus for meditation.

Meditation Every Day? We Thought Not!

Meditation Every Day? We Thought Not!

An Expert Offers a Brush-Up on Meditation Basics

by Dianus Blackcat

Meditation is the foundation of pagan spiritual practice, and a basic method to improve our mental and physical state in today’s often stressful and chaotic world. For most pagans, the art of meditation is one of the first skills learned in spiritual practice. Yet for many, the value found in daily meditation exercises is sometimes left by the wayside during the course of our busy lives.

Why meditate every day? Because from pressure to complete tasks at work or school, to world politics, we are bombarded with stressful stimuli every day. That stress can negatively affect both our mental and physical health. Simple meditation exercises, practiced routinely, can counter the negative impact of overstimulation on our minds and bodies.

Mental and physical stresses are experienced together, joined like two sides of the same coin. For example, think of something pleasant, such as a loved one or a sunny afternoon. Immediately we experience the pleasant feelings associated with these images. After thinking of something good, we feel good. If we think of something unpleasant, we conversely experience a negative sensation. We grimace at the news. Pressures on the job give us tension headaches. We use this same mind-body connection in ritual when we take an action in the physical plane to activate the astral. By this principle, meditation can be approached as ritual and magick.

Meditation techniques vary from person to person. Often meditation is put into a religious context. It is not necessary to do so to achieve the benefits of reduced stress, but as pagans, we find that a spiritual dimension to life leads to increased happiness and health. Some practitioners burn incense and play New Age music. Others might sit in various yoga positions and fast or otherwise modify their diet as part of their meditation routine. Despite the variations, virtually all meditation practices do have some attributes in common: a state of deep relaxation, a quieting of mental chatter and a keen awareness of either our internal state or external surroundings.

Many people find it challenging to experience all three of these common attributes at the same time. They may try to silence mental chatter with a forceful effort, only to end up negating their attempt to remain relaxed. They may become so relaxed as to fall asleep, countering their attempt to remain aware. Meditation is not always easy, but the methods are quite straightforward and simple. Even if we have mastered the techniques, like any skill, meditation becomes easier and more rewarding with practice.

Stress is experienced in the body as tension. The origin of that tension can be a mental source, such as the memory of an argument, or a physical source, such as bad weather. What many people forget is that the mental-physical link works both directions. That is, just as our body responds to thoughts, our thoughts will respond to our body. Many people become grouchy when hungry or depressed when overtired. When we reduce the physical tension, we experience a relief of mental tension. Knowing this gives us our first step in successful meditation: deep relaxation.

Step 1: Deep Relaxation

Find a quiet place were you can comfortably sit upright and not be disturbed. It is helpful to have a small kitchen timer or other alarm to keep track of the time for you, so that you are not preoccupied with how long you have been meditating. Take a moment to tense up and then release each muscle group in your body, beginning with your feet, then legs, then gradually moving upward. Twist your torso, then lift and stretch your arms. Finish by moving the muscles in your face to make exaggerated facial expressions. Wrinkle your nose; stretch your mouth. Really let go, but do not strain yourself. Remember to continue breathing deeply. When you draw in a breath, push out from your belly to expand your lungs. Doing so will increase the amount of available oxygen in your lungs, aiding your relaxation. Be sure to exhale fully to prevent dizziness.

After you stretch out and relax, you are usually aware of internal thoughts and feelings more than anything else. We might hear a little voice inside our heads or have a constant internal dialogue going on. We rehash old discussions, worry about unpaid bills and criticize our hair or clothes. This is the mental chatter that we need to quiet from time to time, for it is often the most insidious cause of stress in our lives.

We cannot always control the external events that have an impact on us, but we can do something about our reaction to those events. Silencing the mental chatter can give us just the break we need to help us to view external events more objectively. I believe that an underlying motivation for overstimulation in today’s society is the desire to escape relentless self-dialogue. When we process input, we are distracted away from our egos.

Our egos tend to consume a lot of our energy by worrying about superficial, cultural matters. By adjusting our focus away from them, it helps us to connect to that divine part of ourselves that is a great source of spiritual connection and inspiration. Remembering this gives us our second step in successful meditation: silencing the mental chatter.

Step 2: Silencing Mental Chatter

After having stretched, still breathing deeply in a relaxed way, allow your gaze to fall upon some pleasant, yet emotionally neutral, focal point. I recommend you light a candle ahead of time that you can focus on, but anything pleasing to you is fine. It can be a religious object, a flower or some scenic view. Just look at the object. Do not think about it; just watch it. A candle is useful because it will flicker and change, making it easier to observe without boredom because it changes unexpectedly. Do not make mental notes or judgments. As thoughts come into your mind, simply allow them to pass. Do not attempt to force the thoughts out of your head. You are awake and alive, and thoughts will come to you. Rather, continue to pay attention to your focal object. Watch it as if it is about to jump out at you and you don’t want to miss a thing. By focusing your attention on this single object, time will pass and you will realize that the mental chatter has stopped.

When we calm down the voice of our ego by focusing our attention, we suddenly become aware of a great deal of information that we were missing due to our focus on internal dialogue. For many, that internal dialogue is of a criticizing nature. With that internal critic out of the way, it becomes much easier to face the challenges we may have been suppressing. Facing any hidden or suppressed emotions is the best way to release them from our lives and improve our mental and physical health. Knowing this gives us our third step in successful meditation: keen awareness of either our internal state or external surroundings.

Step 3: Keen Awareness

When observing the focal object of your meditation, allow yourself to also notice your surroundings. Notice the temperature of the air around you. If you are outside, is it calm or windy? Is it hot or cold? Listen for any sounds. Is there traffic on the road outside? Is there a bird singing somewhere? Do you hear some people having a conversation somewhere else in the house? Allow yourself to simply be the observer. You may begin to feel a deep connection with the world around you. You may also have sudden flashes of images from previous or current challenges in your life. Allow yourself to view any memories as if you were watching the events of a fictional character in a movie. Simply observe. The detachment from these images may be difficult at first, but concentrate on remaining relaxed and remembering to breathe deeply.

Meditation is a skill that improves with practice. Regular meditation practice will reduce stress and lead to a happier and healthier outlook on life. For positive results, meditation should be performed every day for at least 15 minutes. Each of us can afford to take 15 minutes out of our day to do something good for ourselves. After a while, you may find that troubles in the news and in life, although still troubling, can be dealt with. When we are relaxed and energized through these exercises, we are more able to face challenges. There may be times when we are particularly upset and might feel that we cannot meditate during a crisis. When we are most upset is precisely the time when we need meditation the most. It will help.

Meditation helps us to understand ourselves because it requires us to carefully pay attention to our inner thoughts as well as the world around us. When we pay attention to the world, we can more fully interact with it. When we can interact with the world, we can change the world and cease to be helpless and fearful. Often we approach the world by talking out our opinions and thoughts, projecting sometimes false ideas on others. Meditation is a way to stop the talking. Simple meditation exercises, when practiced routinely, can counter the negative impact of daily stress on our minds and bodies. When I stopped talking, I listened. When I listened, I heard. Listen, and you will hear a world within and around you, inviting you and loving you, divinely connected.

Daily OM for January 2nd – Eternally Present

Eternally Present
Past Life Healing

The key to working with past lives is maintaining awareness of the current reality in which the present takes priority.

Exploring our past lives is a valuable way to understand ourselves better and often leads to healing and the resolution of issues plaguing us in this life. However, the key to working with past lives is maintaining an awareness of the current reality in which the present always takes priority. Past lives can be fascinating and entertaining, or emotionally seductive, and we can get lost in them, losing touch with the most important thing—the life we are living right now.

Of course, there is a deep connection between our past lives and our current life, so it’s sometimes hard to say where one begins and the other one ends. For example, we may be aware that one of our closest friends or partners is someone we knew from a past life, and that connection feels like an unbroken chord reaching into the past, reminding us of the vast nature of the soul. We may have issues with this person that stem from the past, or we may just be blessed with a deep love that we are fortunate to have with us in this life. Either way, the issues must be resolved in this life, in the present moment. The love is our gift to experience in this life, not in the past. In many ways, the gift of dealing with our past lives is the profound revelation of how truly eternal we all are. Once we comprehend this, we can let go of focusing on the details of the past and simply allow our awareness of the eternal to positively influence our ability to be in the present moment.

You will know you have received the full fruits of past-life exploration when you find yourself even more powerfully present in the eternal now. The past becomes less distinct as it resolves itself, merging with the present and the future in the nexus of consciousness that holds all time and space. We realize that this moment holds everything within it, the resolved and the unresolved, the past and the future, and that it is from this moment that we must live our lives.

Introduction To Scrying – Putting your magickal space to work

Introduction To Scrying

 

Putting your magickal space to work

By the time you have worked the exercises in the previous sections for a few months, you will have established a solid foundation for all your future magickal work. Practically every magickal and meditation technique you will ever encounter is a variation or extension of the skills you have learned in building your magickal space.

Every person will have a different level of “peak performance” with these techniques. Only a rare few are able to enter wholly into the magickal space, and become entirely unconscious of their physical body; for these people, the end result of this work is indistinguishable from the classical descriptions of astral projection. Most people will find that a certain portion of their awareness remains “outside”, and that the intensity of the sensations they have never attains the brightness and clarity of normal perception. I fall at the low end of this latter category myself; in my visions, colors are more implied than they are perceived directly, and most of the time I need to focus intently to perceive fine details.

Being able to put all of your awareness into the magickal space is not necessarily an advantage. What matters more is that you make the best use of the level of skill you do have. It is the meaning you can extract from your experiences, the insights you gain into yourself and the world, and the uses to which you can put them, that count the most. Bright and glorious visions are nothing, if they have no useful content or if your awareness and understanding are not (gradually but permanently) expanded thereby.

Having established the basics, in the following sections we are going to look at various exercises, all of which are forms of “scrying”. Before going into the details, we need to consider — in a general way — the nature of the things a person experiences while scrying.

Dreams, it is often said, are the realm of symbols; the same is true of scrying. But while the symbols of dreams are usually expressions of processes happening below the conscious level of awareness, the symbols seen in scrying are often (in an ideal world, always) the expression of processes and events occurring _above_ the level at which consciousness resides. They are the lowest and most readily apprehended aspect of processes that the consciousness can not yet completely encompass. In a sense, the symbols you see are no more than anchor points; a convenient means by which your awareness is given a connection to something coming from outside its current scope.

The form of the symbol does not necessarily bear any direct relation to the nature of that to which you are being connected. Some symbols — such as the Greek gods or the cabalist’s Tree of Life — have forms that directly reflect some aspect of the inner reality. Others have connections that are largely a matter of convention; they relate to particular aspects of the inner reality only because we habitually use them in such a way. The cabalistic color attributes are in this category. And others yet are seized upon to serve the needs of the moment, and have no particular meaning outside the context of the vision in which they occur.

But in all these cases, when a symbol is seen in a vision it has a direct connection to some magickal power, archetype, thought-form or entity. In order to get the greatest benefit out of your scrying, you must continually attempt to sense _beyond_ the symbol, to extend your awareness along the path it provides and apprehend that which it embodies.

Accomplishing this is a delicate task. The relaxation exercises described previously again become important, this time the portion of them dealing with quieting the mind. This is important in two ways: first, because the mind’s internal chatter will tend to overshadow and conceal that which is being communicated through the symbol, and second, because active parts of the mind will attempt to twist the meaning of the symbol to fit with their own preconceptions.

This is especially the case where the practitioner has personal desires that relate to the information being conveyed, or where the person’s self-image feels threatened. If your conception of yourself is dependent on a particular world-view and the information does not accord with that view, it will be almost impossible for you to see it clearly.

To reduce the possibility of this happening, you should also work consciously to develop a mental state of unattachment towards the content of your visions, a deliberate disregard for any personal significance they contain, and a deliberate refusal to evaluate the contents for truth or falsity. Critical evaluation of the results of a scrying session is definitely necessary, but the time for that evaluation is _after_ the session is completed. While the work is proceeding, you should seek to be in a perfect state of suspended judgment; neither believing nor disbelieving anything that you see or sense, simply seeking to receive the symbols and their attached meanings precisely as they present themselves.

When using scrying techniques in magickal work, you are always trying to penetrate unknown “territory”. Any work that can result in a spiritual advance will be, by definition, at least partly outside the scope of your current perspective and understanding. Like anything truly new, it takes the mind a while to adjust and be able to see it clearly. Further, the meanings behind any symbol can have many different levels; it may take a long time for these to “soak in” to your awareness, and the final significance may be very different from the first, superficial appearances. In my own work, it has sometimes taken up to a year and a half, with repeated exposures, before I fully comprehended what I was being shown. Thus, no evaluation you make should ever be so definite that you cannot change it; all meanings should be tentative until they have been repeatedly reinforced by additional experiences.

I cannot give any assurance as to the manner in which the meanings attached to a symbol will appear to a particular person. I do not have enough information from other people to characterize any particular way as “typical”. In my own case, they come in two or three ways, depending on the amount of power I have managed to invoke and how high above my normal level of consciousness I have managed to raise my awareness.

Usually, they appear as groups of thoughts or associations that appear simultaneously in my mind with the words spoken by some entity, providing a detailed context for the words; it is as if the thoughts out of which the entity produced the words were being transmitted along with the words. If I am looking at a visual symbol rather than hearing words, then they appear as sudden detailed “realizations” of what the symbol is intended to represent, which appear instantly in my awareness.

Less frequently, the hidden meaning of symbols appears as an entire storyline, a long series of events that appear in the mind as if some part of myself had been taken away, taken on a long tour through magickal spaces, and was then returned to the exact moment in time from which it had left. The complete tour is instantly “remembered” as it happened, even though for my conscious awareness, no time at all has passed.

In the rarest case, the meaning appears to my awareness as a tightly-bound packet of mystical energy, which sits in my mind and gradually “unravels” itself into words, images, and meanings over a period ranging from minutes to weeks. These “packets” seem to be some magickal equivalent of books. Their content usually does not seem to be directed at the particular person receiving them, but rather at some general audience; and the content is often radically different from the perspectives and ideas the seer would normally be interested in.

You should not take these as being the only ways in which the meanings behind symbols can present themselves to you; you may find that some other means is more typical for you. But if you do happen to receive information in any of these ways, you can feel confident that you have had some success in this matter.

True North

True North


When we are finding our way, it helps to know the nature of the experience we are seeking – our true north or spiritual purpose. Thinking that our purpose lies in a particular goal, such as a certain relationship or job, we may feel lost when that option is thwarted. However, when we realize that what we are seeking is a profound experience, such as deep connection or creative fulfilment, rather than something predefined, we can seek alternative ways to live out our purpose. Meditating on the North Star can help to clarify the experiences we are seeking. As you gaze at the star, ask “What fulfilment am I looking for ?” and let the answers come to you.

Quotes On Spirituality That Will Change Your Life

By Deon Du Plessis

On a deep emotional level we are all aware of our spiritual nature and underneath the surface level of life there is a dimension that we all long to make contact with. There are many views and definitions of what spirituality really is, but what I would like to do here is to present 3 quotes on spirituality from 3 very influential people; people who have made vastly different contributions to life and our understanding of what it means to be a human being in this world.

 

The first quote on spirituality is from Joseph Campbell, a man who spent a lifetime writing and thinking about the mysteries of life. Here’s what he had to say:

 

“All you can learn is what your own inward life is and try to stay loyal to that.”

 

In our ego driven world we all tend to look around for approval and for how to act and behave. We tend to compare ourselves to others to determine where we are in life and also where we ought to be going.

 

Spirituality calls on you to look deep within to find your own unique place and path in life. You are unique in every way and on a spiritual level you have a journey tailored to suit only you. When you look within you will discover that authentic spiritual part called your Self through which your entire life is lived. Joseph Campbell tells us to find this part of ourselves and then to stay true to that instead of always looking outside of ourselves for answers.

 

True fulfillment in life will never come from living up to someone else’s expectations or living your life the way you believe you ought to. It will never come from the attainment of goals or achieving what’s considered to be success. The ultimate purpose of life is to find out what you are about on that deeper spiritual level and then to live it.

 

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

 

The first quote on spirituality from Joseph Campbell was about finding your own authentic path in life. In this quote from Mother Theresa, she tells us how to do it. When mother Theresa offers spiritual advice I for one am willing to listen.

 

She gives us a very profound spiritual lesson and that is to embrace silence. God is the friend of silence and when you quiet your mind, you get to reconnect with God on a personal level. In our crazy-busy world, time for silence is probably the last thing on most people’s list of priorities, yet this is where true authentic power in life comes from. When you empty your mind from all the mundane demands and you return to the centre deep within you are once again connected with that divine power that orchestrates the entire universe.

 

In a world dominated by new trends and technologies it seems like there is an even greater demand on our attention from every direction. We marvel at the latest inventions and the wonders of new technology, but still it’s all very temporary and only lasts until the next best thing comes along.

 

Even when you look beyond all the man-made wonders and venture into nature to observe a sunset, a shooting star or a thunderstorm, there is one thing that is universally mysterious about it. Even with our technology and scientific knowledge, there is still a huge chunk of it that we simply do not understand. This is what Albert Einstein had to say about it:

 

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

 

Behind all the surface wonders of the world lies a deeper mystery – as if there is a divine hand behind it all that silently orchestrates and organizes it. This is the true wonder of life. At the heart of spirituality is this wonderful and mysterious force that is the essence of life.

 

Spirituality is about really waking up to life and to develop a higher awareness – an awareness of that mysterious force behind all of life. If you are not absolutely fascinated with life then you simply don’t know enough. It’s ironic that our modern day scientists are becoming more and more spiritual because the more we find out about the true nature of life, the more they are realizing that there is an indescribably force behind it all.

 

These 3 quotes on spirituality are from 3 very different people, but their message is the same: beyond the mundane activities of life there is something bigger; a higher force that some call God. It is in your nature to know this Force. By discovering your own unique place in the world, by embracing silence and making contact with God you can awaken an awareness deep within yourself that will open your eyes to a whole new way of life.

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