Daily OM for October 25th – In Line with Spirit

In Line with Spirit

Staying on Track

by Madisyn Taylor

In a world where we have routines to get everything done, we rarely have a routine for our spiritual self.

In a world where we have routines for nearly everything—our route to work, our physical fitness regimen, and our weekday schedule—it’s amazing how many people forget to create a routine for meeting their spiritual needs. We run around in an attempt to be at our many appointments on time and meet our many obligations. In our efforts to be as productive as possible, however, our spiritual needs tend to take a backseat. After all, taking care of our spiritual needs doesn’t directly pay the bills or tone our abdominal muscles. We may even wonder who has time to meditate or write in their journal when there are more pressing matters to see to. The truth is that nurturing ourselves spiritually is what gives us the energy and grounding that we need to make sure that our lives stay on track.

How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of nothingness actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible. Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life.

Having a routine for nurturing your spirit that you do each day lets you feed energy to your soul and can serve you well if your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn into a difficult period. This kind of routine grounds your spirit in your body so that you stay anchored in yourself as you move through each day. Nurturing yourself spiritually allows you to not only stay on track in your life, but it allows for your life to stay on track with what your spirit wants.

The Daily OM

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Who Is A Real Witch Anyway?

Who Is A Real Witch Anyway?

Author:   Amergin Aradia  

It seems that the debate about who is and who is not a “real Witch” is coming to a head. Is this sect real as opposed to that sect? Are those in covens real Witches as opposed to solitaries’. And on and on it goes. It’s beginning to sound like the fight between factions of the Christian religion or between organized religions as a whole. That’s probably the way they began too.

This silly useless debate is pulling our community apart as well. The truth is, are any of us real Witches. And how do you define a real Witch? By whose standards and rules?

As an illustration of my point I’ll tell you my story. I have always known that I was a Witch, even before I really knew what that was. When I was very young (grade school) I had certain abilities and interests that other kids didn’t. I practiced raising energy, practiced ESP (as it was called then) , I astral projected, and I cast spells. I was drawn to the night, the moon and stars, and I identified with all things “magical.”

I wasn’t trained by anyone because there was no one to train me. I had to figure it out for myself and that was in the 1950’s so you know there were very few references to rely on even if I knew where to look. As I grew up I did what everyone else did then, got a job and tried to live what was considered a “normal” life, as unsatisfying as that was.

I maintained my interests and practices over the years as best I could, if only peripherally. There may have been one or two occult bookstores in the area but you really had to search them out and I only managed to get to one every so often and then only to browse because I didn’t know what I was looking for. You didn’t just walk up to someone and tell him or her you were a Witch and wanted to join a coven. And people didn’t come out of the woodwork to invite you to join one, even if you knew where to look.

So I dabbled, training myself the best way I could using instinct as my guide. At the time I would have loved to have found someone to train me and I would have loved to have found a coven to join so that I wouldn’t feel so alone. But they didn’t exactly advertise. And there was no Internet in those days to bring us all together.

So unless you were lucky, you were on your own. Like it or not.

Now that we have all these books, magazines, and web sites to fill in the gaps I find that my instincts did very well by me. Everything that I taught myself way back then is now being touted as the way to do it by the “experts.” I have since collected an entire library of books hoping to find information that would help me advance my practice but with the exception of a few interesting bits that I’ve added here and there, I have been disappointed.

I have also attended classes, open groves, and ceremonies, and while the people that I met were very nice it just didn’t feel right for me. I’ve also become very disillusioned with the influx of the newest brick and mortar shops. They seem to have become havens of self-help, yoga, meditation, and coffee and music.

And while I practice yoga and meditation myself I don’t want to go to my local Craft shop to pick up a yoga mat, balance ball, or a book by Dr. Phil. I want to pick up the tools for my ceremonies and spell crafting and, unfortunately, the kind of shop I want seems to be few and far between (except on line.) It feels as though the craft as I remember it is being homogenized and made so “acceptable” in the eyes of the general public that it is becoming useless to serious practitioners. But I digress here.

So to sum up this article, does it mean that I am not a real Witch because I had no one to “lead the way” or no coven to adopt me and teach me “their right way”? Quite frankly I think that makes me an even better real Witch because I had to figure it out for myself. And because of that my understanding and beliefs don’t quite fit into any prescribed dogma. So that is why I stay a solitary practitioner and that is why I have stepped back from the community as a whole.

But then I don’t look at being a Witch as a religion, with all of its implied rules and regulations and dogma. I look at being a Witch in the same way that the old village Witches looked at it. I revere the earth and heavens and do my best to respect and tread lightly on her.

I try to live a spiritual life without bowing to or begging the acceptance of any one archetypal being. I look at the Goddess and Gods as a representation on this plane of the source of all energy and power. I cast spells for my own benefit, and mine alone, as I don’t believe I have the right to manipulate anyone else’s life. And I believe that Karma will out eventually.

I believe that being a Witch is as simple as that. It’s in your heart, it’s in your soul, and it’s who YOU know you really are. Not because someone gives you permission to be one simply because you read and adhere to someone else’s views as written down and published. Or because you attend meetings once a week, or once a month, or even once a quarter.

But because YOU know you are. And whether you are solitary or a member of a group, no matter what that group represents, you are really on your own. You must practice, practice, practice, and hold that knowing in your own heart…alone.

That’s what makes you a “real Witch.”

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 21st

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There is an old Arabian proverb that if you pitch a lucky man in the Nile he will come up with a fish in his mouth. Just to come up would be enough for most of us, but still we do so many things – perhaps half in jest – that we have hopes will throw off the evil spirits and bring good luck to the rescue.

The tokens we carry we’ve carried from childhood, when we were careful never to step on a crack in the walk, or pick up a pin – the silly poems that fascinate children, and sometimes follow them into adulthood when the laughter is gone.

Who are the wise? Those who can rise with the sun letting yesterday go…..and feel within their hearts the gratitude of being alive…..to have the opportunity to glean from their mistakes something that will take them far over that place if ever they pass it again. They know that luck must have a “P” before it to keep them from waiting, to help them turn up something rather than waiting for something to turn up.

And yes, they are lucky who have love to give and the ability to receive it. They have faith in good. And no small amount of peace when they think not how lucky they are, but how blessed!

________________________

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

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for October 18th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

I don’t know what time it is, It may be very late,
But I have dreams to dream and thoughts to think that simply cannot wait.
I don’t know what the weather is, it may be sun or snow.
But in these books and at this time are things I need to know.
I’m not so sure that I’m alone, or if there’s someone there;
It would be nice to hear a voice, for there is much to share.
I don’t need to know your faults, they may not be for me.
No critic enters in this place, nor do my faults they see,
For only One Pure Being knows the time, or shows through your dear face,
Only the One Presence fills our hearts to share this quiet place

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

Blessing of the Book of Shadows

BLESSING OF THE BOOK OF SHADOWS

Hearken as the witch’s word calls to all, a gulf to ford.
Bridge the vast realities. An it harm none, do as ye please.
Elements, protect and guard this book, from wandering eyes and prying looks.
Fill it with thine ancient powers, in this right and ready hour.
Powers of the North, the East below, help me to live, to learn, to grow.
Lend your strength and stability, to practice the Craft and with love be free.
Powers of East, the wind, the Sky, watch over these pages with thine eye.
Your wisdom and knowledge, for these I do ask, that this book be worthy of the
Craft and its task. Powers of South, Fire, and hearth, help these Shadows to
prove their worth. Infuse them with all your healing and passion, so only good
comes from the work that is fashioned. Powers of West, the Water and sea,
change and growth are granted by thee. Bless these pages with all that you know,
that righteous readers may learn and grow. And to the unschooled eye that see,
confusing words and sophistry, lead them from these sacred pages, and bless
their passage through the ages. For free will of all, and harm none, as I have
willed it, it is now done.
So mote it be!

Feng Shui Tip for September 12 – 'School Year Clutter'

By now, you should be starting to nip that new school year clutter right in the bud. Start like this: Keep all school books in a single space per student. Put all the things needed for work into another specific space. Donate any books that don’t fit into your current lifestyle. And except for the most recent issues, recycle all magazines, catalogs and circulars. Even get rid of the articles that you’ve been meaning to clip. Trust your Higher Power to always provide you with the information you really need to live your luckiest life. Once the clutter is cleared, feel your incredible lightness of being, and then enjoy your Ahhhhh-Ha moment!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

THINK ON THESE THINGS for August 28th

THINK ON THESE THINGS
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Symbolism is a part of all our lives. We see certain things and they call to mind a state of life that enriches or drains us of all hope. How like the old Indian chief in the book WHEN THE NIGHTBIRD SINGS. He heard the bird’s clear song at the midnight hour and he rose up from his death bed totally well.

The bird sang of good life and the old Chief heard it. Listen for such a song in your own heart because it may be a miracle for you and you can rise like the phoenix out of ashes to become a new person.

Life has its mysteries, but often those mysteries are more true than the things people shout about. Spirit does not shout to us, but what a wonderful thing when we hear Him whisper. The very breath of life, the holiness of a moment of truth. Listen and hear it.

*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*<<<=-=>>>*

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

“GOOD MORNING, WOTC!” Welcome to all our visitors & love to all of our friends & family!

Good Morning to all my friends, family and visitors this wonderful Wednesday morning! I want to set the record straight and get something straight with all of you. I believe when I do this I will feel much better and I won’t be in this pickle by myself or feel all alone. If you remember when I gave the women who working here the week off, I stayed in the office. I did our daily publications then I nosed around. I got into our books that Annie was suppose to be keeping. I gave her this job because she was a trusted friend that I had known for a long time. I also thought it would take a burden off of me and I could tend to the animals.

I had my reasons for going for the books and I should have done so sooner. I had been noticing the last couple of weeks, that she was hitting me up for money because we were out of this or that. I kept a money box in the office, which at the first of the week, I would put money in. Money out of my own pocket. I always kept a certain amount in it. I got to noticing I would have to add more and more money to the box to get it back to the amount that was suppose to be in there. Well I checked the money box and it was empty. So I drug out the books and I was floored. In the books, there was bills that were suppose to have been paid but weren’t. It wasn’t the donation money you gave to the animals, I always took that and applied it to the animals. But I have had to negotiate with the utilities, the mortgage company, the feed company and everybody else we owe for payment arrangements. All this has been coming out of my own pocket, now I am flat ass broke and I have found a Whopper of a bill. This bill kills my soul. It is the property taxes on the refuge. I found where she had paid the land taxes but did not pay the buildings’ taxes. She knew how I loved this place. If I could get my hands on her I would strangle her. I have notified the proper authorities of this matter and  they are looking for her. But she can’t be found, no one knows where she is.

I have let all this build up on me till I thought I would go insane. The buildings’ taxes are driving me crazy and being out of my medicine don’t help either.  But if I don’t come up with the money by the middle of April, the sheriff will auction the buildings off at the courthouse. So I have to rack and scrap to get the money up to prevent this from happening. If there was ever a time I need my friends, it is now. I feel so bad that I trusted her but I had known her for years. She even worked as a bookkeeper for a government plant out here. I don’t understand it at all. Why would she do me this way? I don’t get it. I have thought and thought about it and I don’t understand it at all. I know if I lose the refuge, I will go crazy. The animals, I love and we have some I don’t know where they would go if we lost this place. I do know one thing, if I ever get out of this mess. I will never trust anyone again. NEVER, EVER!

So now dear friends and family, you know what has been wrong with me. I feel so bad about this happening, I can never tell you how much I do. But I need your help, I have took all my personal funds and applied to what I could to keep the place going. I am totally broke plus I have left my husband. I will go into that later but now the refuge is in dire straights. I need your help to come up with the tax money to prevent the sale of the buildings. I hate like heck to ask but I promise the WOTC will never, ever get in this situation again. If I have to I will take the books with me and do them while I attend to an animal. I promise. No one will ever have access to the money here. Thankfully, I was handling the animals’ donations. But that money has run out also, so that has been another worry on my mind. The remaining money I had I took and applied that to the care of the animals. So right, now I am totally broke and on the mercy of the world. And Annie wherever she is, she is a witch with her ass on fire. I can guarantee you, she will be wishing the Law finds her soon. But in the meantime, I have to prevent the Law from selling us. We need your donations again and I am so sorry to ask. But this is a must. We can’t loose the refuge. Please help us save the refuge and the work we do here. Please any amount you can give will help, believe me it will.

Please help us save the refuge. Donate today, please. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I will eternally be to you. Thank you so much for listening and being my friends and family.

 

May the Goddess Bless You & Keep You,

Love,

Lady Of The  Abyss

 

 

More Welcome Comments

We Are Honoring Our Past, Present, & Future Soliders All Weekend! They Deserve It!

Memorial Day Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Freedom’s Colors
©2002 Roger W Hancock (www.PoetPatriot.com)

Red is for Bravery;
blood shed in sacrifice.
Freedom came with lives the price

White is for Liberty;
freedom’s purity.
Life be free from God’s decree

Blue is for Justice;
as vast as the sky.
Over freedom’s land to occupy

Doing What the Book Says: A Cautionary Tale

Doing What the Book Says: A Cautionary Tale

Author: Bronwen Forbes 

I was young, I was a shiny new Pagan, the Internet – which made contacting my fellow religionists as easy as calling my mom – was about ten years away from being invented, and by gosh I was going to perform this solitary sabbat exactly as The Book told me to! (And no, I’m not going to tell you which “The Book” it was. It would only embarrass me further and wouldn’t do the now-deceased author’s reputation any good. Okay, okay I’ll give you a hint somewhere below) : By the time I’d finished my ritual, I’d nearly burned the house down – a house that included my dog, four cats, and my born again Christian (now ex) husband.

But I learned a valuable lesson that night, a lesson that I see more and more new Pagans ignoring these days:

Books (and now the Internet) are no substitute for practical, hands-on experience with a group of like-minded people. But allow me to continue my illustration:

The Book said I needed a cauldron for this ritual, so I found a really cute brass one at Pier One – it even had soldered-on brass feet which I thought was particularly important – it’d be up off the hideous pumpkin orange shag carpet in my den because Gods forbid I scorch the hideous pumpkin orange shag carpet. The Book said to pour about an inch and a half of rubbing alcohol into the cauldron. And light it.

And, Gods help me and my now ex-husband who was sleeping – oblivious to the ritual and the fire – in the next room and the dog and the cats, I lit it.

The Book didn’t say (or maybe I missed that part) that this ritual had been designed to be performed outside. Outside where, theoretically, a six-foot column of flame shooting out of a brass cauldron wouldn’t be quite so much of an issue. Naturally, The Book didn’t say anything about having a pot lid or sand nearby to smother the flames, so I had no way to douse the tall bonfire that was pretty much the same shade as the hideous pumpkin orange shag carpet.

The Book also didn’t say that the cauldron would, ideally, be cast iron, and not soldered brass bits. Any intelligent, experienced ritualist could have told me that, but I didn’t know any other ritualists yet – intelligent or otherwise – so I was on my own. And it finally dawned on me that I was in big trouble when the solder attaching one of the cauldron legs melted from the heat, causing the pot to tip sideways.

I now had about four feet of flame at about a forty to forty-five degree angle from the floor. I’m just damn lucky it didn’t tip so far that the alcohol poured out onto the aforementioned lovely orange shag carpet. As it was, some of the individual threads were a little black and crunchy if you examined them too closely.

Eventually, the inch and a half of rubbing alcohol burned itself out. Subdued, I finished the rest of the ritual as quickly as possible, put my things away, and crawled into bed beside my still-sleeping spouse. All that was left to deal with was the interesting conversation the next day.

Him: How did that black stuff get on the ceiling in the den? It looks like soot.

Me: I have no idea, dear.

Him: And the carpet looks like it’s singed or something.

Me: Really? I hadn’t noticed.

Funny? Yes. Stupid and potentially lethal? You betcha. However, the incident made me understand the contemporary wisdom of the old phrase, “You cannot be a witch alone” and I started circling and studying with the nearest group before the next sabbat. (Nice to know I’m not as dumb as I look!)

I am not saying that being a solitary practitioner is a bad thing. Far from it, whether you choose to be so for personal or geographical reasons. I am saying, don’t leave your common sense in the back pocket of your other pants whenever you open a book of Pagan rituals or click on a Pagan how-to website. It’s not common sense to wear a short, sleeveless tunic at an outdoor ritual in January. In Wisconsin. It’s not common sense to fast if you have any sort of blood sugar issue. And it’s sure not common sense to try to set your den on fire just because The Book said to do something a certain way. If I’d been thinking, instead of slavishly following, I’d have had one heck of a less exciting evening – to my benefit. And yes, these are all examples of bad advice I’ve seen in books and online.

If some faceless Pagan authority (me included) writes that you should do something and your gut tells you it’s a bad idea, listen to your gut. Better yet, go find someone who’s actually been in ritual with other people and ask them – and their friends. If, through Witchvox, you can’t find someone in your neighborhood, well, it’s better to go online and ask around rather than suffer frostbite – or burn your house down. Better yet, see if you can spend a few holidays in ritual with them, ask questions, learn how rituals are — and are not — supposed to go.

I’m on a lot of online Pagan forums, and I can’t even begin to count how many posts go something like, “I tried this ritual with my friends last night and now I feel sick and I have the worst headache. What did I do wrong?” Well, did you ground and center beforehand? “No, the ritual didn’t say to.” Did you check to see if you might be allergic to whatever you burned as incense? “Um, no.” Did you eat anything beforehand? “Um, no.” Five minutes asking about these sorts of basics beforehand, either online or at a local Pagan meet up would stop most, if not all, of these sad posts.

I’m also a print journalism major, and my professors are always cautioning me that if something, no matter how preposterous, is written down, people will believe it. This includes you. So we future newspaper reporters need to be extra careful about making sure our stories are as accurate as possible. How do we do that? We confirm through other sources anything we’re told as “fact.”

I cannot advise you too strongly to do the same.