A Little Humor for Your Day – The Lottery

The Lottery

A guy gets home, runs into his house, slams the door and says, “Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!”  The wife says, “Wow! That’s great! I’m so happy! Should I pack for the ocean, or should I pack for the mountains?”  


He says, “I don’t care. Just get the hell out!”

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 18

“Parents have to demonstrate the value of trust, respect and honor.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

Children learn more by watching than by listening. If we want our children to understand and value trust, they know it by watching how adults live their lives! If we want the children to be respectful, they will observe what the adults do and say to each other. We need to walk our talk. We need to remember the children are watching.

Grandfather, help me learn these important values: Trust, Respect and Honor.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 12

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 12

 

“In order for our children to survive in the world, they need a firm understanding and belief in the basic principles of sharing freedom and respect of individuality.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

There is a saying: Tell me, I’ll forget; Show me, I’ll remember; Engage me; I’ll understand. The adults need to determine what the younger generation is the learn. The principle of sharing keeps the youth from being greedy and selfish. The principle of freedom teaches the youth about choices, decisions and consequences. The principle of respect keeps us from playing God and becoming a controller of all things. We need to learn theses lessons so we may demonstrate them for our children.

 

Great Teacher, help me to understand Your principles.

Calendar of the Sun for December 4th

Calendar of the Sun

4 Yulmonath

Day of the Frost King

Color: White
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of thick, soft white place a figure of the Frost King, his sleigh, snowflakes, icicles, and many gifts given to each other. The gifts shall be removed to the Yule Tree later.
Offerings: Give gifts to each other.
Daily Meal: Frozen dishes.

Invocation to the Frost King

Hail to the Lord of Frost!
Hail to his sleigh of bells
Pulled by the beasts of the tundra
Or by snow-white horses
Through the thick white cloak of the Snow Queen.
Hail to the lace-maker, the artist
With his silver brushes, the giver of Death
In the most beautiful and painless way.
Hail to you who are found in many places,
Many stories, many tales, many rites
Around the world, and whose gifts pile up
Around the great Tree where you ride.
Gift-giver, you found the maiden in the snow
And near froze her with your testing,
Yet when she awoke there was fire, and riches
All around her. You smote the ungenerous
And the greedy, for in your world
No one refuses to share. That is the First Law
O f Survival. Share what you have,
Be it fire, food, drink, comradeship,
A warm cloak against the winds,
A warm body against the cold.
Let each day be a gift-giving, you say,
For if all gifts wait until the longest night
We will all be cold indeed.
Hail to you, Father of Winter,
And may you teach us generosity with your knowing smile.

(All bring gifts from the altar and give them to each other, saying why the gift was given, and blessing each person present.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Nov. 29th is The Crow

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Crow

The Crow is the trusted messenger that alerts its allies to both danger and opportunity. Although they may appear playful and too opportunistic to be trusted, Crows are in fact powerful and trustworthy. The Crow sees and hears all. When The Crow reports it is best to listen as their news is always important and presented accurately.

As a daily card, The Crow indicates that you will soon receive news that will either protect you from loss or lead you too opportunities doorstep. To fully realize the advantage the information will soon receive carries with it you will need to react to it quickly and with sureness.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 26

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 26

“In our traditional ways, the woman is the foundation of the family.”

–Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders

We must pay attention to the role of the woman in the family. She is the heartbeat of the family. She should be respected and treated in a sacred manner. We should listen to her guidance. We should help make her role easier by helping with chores or just telling her how much we appreciate her.

Great Spirit, I ask you to bless all the moms.

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent

1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING…
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION…
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let
these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER…
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to
laugh with you.”

4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE…
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief,
handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT…
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That
was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR…
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE…
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive
to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION…
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s
not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to
succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to
open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care.

Good Wednesday Morning To All My Dear Family & Friends!

Witchy Comments=
THE ABC’S OF A WICCAN LIFE

by Victoria Marty

 

Accept others as they are. We are all individuals.

Belief in yourself is a necessity.

Concentration is important in any endeavor, both magickal and in life.

Do what you will, so long as it harms none.

Empathy is an important life skill… learn it, practice it.

Find strength in yourself, your friends, your world and your actions.

God is multifaceted… the Lord and Lady, all deities take many names and faces.

Help others every chance you get.

Intelligence is something that cannot be judged on surface.

Judge not… what you send out comes back to you!

Karma loves to slap you in the face. Watch out for it.

Learning is something that should never stop happening!

Magick is a wonderful gift- but it is not everything.

Nature is precious. Appreciate and protect it.

Over the course of time your soul learns many lessons. Make this life count!

Pray.

Quietness both physically and mentally restores the soul; meditate often.

Remember to take time for yourself as well as others.

Spells can help you, but you must also help yourself!

Tools can only do so much… they are not the foundation of all.

Unless you enjoy worrying, keep a positive mindset!

Visualize the success of your goals before you set out to achieve them.

Wisdom can often be found in the least expected places!

Xenophobia (a hatred of those different from you) is a path to misery.

You are a beautiful person who is capable of anything!

Zapping away all of your troubles is not going to happen

The Daily Cosmic Calnedar for November 3

If you are having a difficult time seeing the start of November as positive, join the club. Friday’s fireworks, followed by Saturday’s lunar transit into Scorpio along with the heightening potency of the dark of the moon cycle, can leave many souls bewildered. However, several celestial alignments attempt a rescue mission as the Sun makes a physically and emotionally vitalizing, 60-degree tie with the red planet Mars (1:49AM PDT) — the last main aspect happening with daylight time in effect.  Once standard time is restored (in most locations across America and world-wide), today’s rescue mission continues as the Moon in Scorpio trines Chiron in Pisces (1:26AM PST and arriving with a boost for healing interests) while practical efforts lead to progress on the business front — courtesy of a Mercury-Saturn parallel (3:16AM and similar to a union in the zodiac).  The big event — the New Moon at 12 degrees of Scorpio (4:51AM) — is also a hybrid Total-Annular Solar Eclipse at 4:48AM. The area of the world influenced is primarily the Eastern zones of North and South America, the Atlantic Ocean, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. One fortunate facet to any New Moon is that it tends to propel humanity forward rather than backward as it represents the seed-point for the coming solar-lunar dance in the zodiac over the next 29.5-days — until the next New Moon (in Sagittarius) takes hold on December 2. Therefore, utilize the hours after the New Moon/Total-Annular Solar Eclipse to take several giant steps forward in your main fields of expertise.  Productivity — especially in the arts — can rise as the largest asteroid Ceres enters affable, airy Libra (6:16AM) — a cycle that lasts until February 3. Be a keen logician and careful analyst when it comes to focusing on important business plans as the Moon makes its monthly union with Saturn (9:19AM).  A 15+ hour void lunar cycle starts during a mind-expanding Moon-Jupiter trine in water signs (8:24PM). This lunar twilight zone lasts until 12:15PM tomorrow when the Moon enters fiery Sagittarius. The big chill can enter affairs of the heart — on a temporary basis overnight — as Venus forms a frictional, 45-degree tie with Saturn (11:32PM). [Note to readers: All times are calculated for Pacific Standard Time — starting at 2AM on the West Coast of the USA and Canada. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

Author:   Treasach   

My continuing series on pagan abbeys has been well received and I have had many inquires about pagan communities in North America, lay and cloistered. For those of you as hungry to be a part of such a dedicated group as I am, but have not yet found the right one, here are a few ways you might be able to connect with something suitable. If there are no structures in place in your area that fit your criteria, and you have the inspiration to create one, I have included some suggestions for that as well.

Identifying

One of the main reasons for dissatisfaction in a group is that most aspirants don’t start by identifying their needs correctly. In Western paganism, and especially in North America, there are often so few dedicated pagan groups that one must join whatever is available regardless of any misgivings or wrong fits, simply to partake of a community setting. This is a pity, as it often does not satisfy either the seeker or the other participants. They, or others, soon leave, or there is a long drawn out period where everyone becomes unhappy. Since there are so few options, and as the community is often so close knit, that a withdrawal or rejection from one group often leaves the seeker with even fewer choices for the future.

We can achieve the honing of our expectations without burning our local bridges by clearly identifying what is most important to us before we even attend our first meeting. Most reps aren’t willing to answer a long form questionnaire for the pleasure of your presence, of course, but most are agreeable to addressing your most important concerns. As it is quite an effort for most smaller groups to include new members, knowing what you need ahead of time can save everyone, including you, a lot of grief. What exactly does a group require for you to be happy in it? What can you live with, and what is a deal breaker?

* Dedicated to your deity, sect, or practice? Atheist? Non-denominational
* Supportive or focused on other communities as well – Gender or sex based, LBGT friendly, actively and pro anti-racial, anti-ablist, anti-agist?
* Level of commitment – Full time, ritual only, class based, coven like? Working in the world or simple meet-ups?
* Level of spirituality – Full time, full ritual, same tradition, like minded or causal?
* Travel – how far are you willing to go? To move, commute, or pop by?

Be honest with yourself. Your needs are your own and no one can criticize you for your choices. Don’t expect others to change their group for you, since they probably won’t, but your self-knowledge will make the task of narrowing your selections much simpler.

Locating

Now that you have broken down into a list of what you actually require, locating a group becomes much easier.

An additional avenue to consider is the practice of your spirituality along with your sacred calling, tasks, or interests. Many pagans find inspiration and sacredness in history, traditional skills, crafts, role-play, sexuality, activism, and other practices. There are many other individuals that also share those interests, and those kinds of groups don’t need to be sacred for you to feel as though you are fulfilling your spiritual needs. They are often easier to find and connect with, and you will learn from them how to better serve your deity (if you have one) and spirit, by honing and practising the skills that you associate most with the sacred.

Another bonus of connecting with any of these communities, religious or secular, is that you should be able to network with others that share your interests, and have an even better chance of finding a less well known but perfect group for your needs. If you find something sacred, so do others!

I’m going to make the leap here that you already know how to search for a pagan group in your area using Google and other on-line means. Witchvox of course lists many local pagan groups. If you still can’t see any that fit the needs you’ve defined, do not despair! There are a lot of avenues that many people miss when they are searching. Here are some suggestions of where to start looking for a group that meets your requirements that may not have an online presence or local listing. Feel free to suggest more.

A word about Message boards: Even though scouring Craigslist, Kijiji and social networking are the first places to start, many communities don’t have the work hours to keep posting on too many sites. Going down to a physical location, like an occult or new age bookstore, whole foods store or community centre and checking or posting on their notice boards is an increasingly disused option, but one worthy of pursuit. For many groups, it’s so much easier to leave up a poster and wait for inquiries than maintain a FB feed. You will always find at least one event or group that you never would have found any other way.

Organized:

Religious, National and International:

Unitarian Universalists
The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
International Humanists: Canada, US, UK, Spiritual Humanism
Maetrum of Cybele
Abbey of the Green Flame
Copper Horse Abbey
OTO
Student groups at Universities and Colleges

Less organized, organic:

Red Tent Movement
Pan Indian movement and Idle No More
Drum circles
shamantic offerings
bardic circles
healing circles
Iron John retreats and The Good Men Project

Cloistered or Segregated secular communities:

alternative healing retreats
Intentional Communities: ecovillages, cohousing communities, residential land trusts, communes, co-ops, housing cooperatives

Secular Communities of Sacred Interests:

ReCreationist:

Society of Creative Anachronisms and medieval reCreationists
Steampunk
war reenactors
LARPS
Bellydancing and other traditional folk dancing
sacred circle dance
Yoga
martial arts and other moving meditation, archery
Women’s and Men’s Healing
Gender Activism
LBGT groups
poly groups
sexuality groups, like BDSM
eco activism
animal activism
political activism
traditional skills – herbology, fibre arts, cookery, leatherworking, blacksmithing
music – medieval, bardic, folk

If you want to move to the country and dedicate yourself to a full time cloistered community, for example, and you *don’t* want to pretend or convert to Catholicism or Buddhism or Taoism or go Amish, but you don’t mind if everyone else isn’t doing the same prayers whenever you are, then International Communities or the new Ecovillages springing up are an excellent alternative. Most are secular, but not anti-religious, and are supportive of most lifestyles.

It would be fabulous if we had already available spaces for pagans who want to dedicate themselves full time as professional monks, for example, but we don’t. Yet. So for the moment, we must satisfy our spiritual selves as much as possible, before we can make those kinds of dedicated communities a reality.

Creating

Even with honing your sacred skills, you now want to dedicate your life to helping others experience that sacred community space. But there are no groups that fulfil your needs in your area, so you have decided to create one. What to do? Here are some suggestions.

Canadian laws are very different from American and other countries, of course, but there are some guidelines.

First, get your ducks in a row. Research what needs aren’t being satisfied in your area, and how to cover those. Redundancy doesn’t help anyone, and the larger the vacuum you are filling, the greater chance you have of attracting participants. Do you need a weekly group meeting at a brick and mortar temple, or event planning group, or non-denominational cross pagan discussion group?

For those interested in becoming full time dedicants in a cloistered community, there are few other substitutes for pagan abbeys, and those communities will definitely need to be established for us. The complexity of creating one is the apex of organizing skill, as well as our significant validation as a major religion, but it is certainly doable, with drive, vision, and a love of detail. To get some idea of how it’s accomplished, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Visit a few real life abbeys, convents or monasteries. (After all, a lot of them are directly derived from pagan abbeys in the first place!) Many have weekend or weeklong visit privileges, or you can just ask to learn from them. There is a Buddhist Abbey in Nova Scotia that I am planning on conferring with or hanging out in. They have been around since the early 1980’s. You should select one that’s a bit older, too, so they can tell you the problems they have encountered. One in your own state would better, since laws vary so much. Amish or other religious communities can help you see how that works in practice, too.

Then, *do your paperwork*. If your group is even at all organized, like renting a space for a temple, your best bet is creating a corporation or organization that can have a board and be accountable for bills and other legalities. That way, no one person is ever on the hook, and no members are so key that it falls apart if they leave. It’s one of the main factors that determine if your group makes it after the Founders all move on. If that is the best choice to get done what you need to do, make sure you have everything you need to establish your not for profit or even for profit corporation. If you want charitable status, it’s even harder, but you’ll figure which one works best for you when you come to it. Get your founders and other personnel lined up.

If you have a regular, physical location that you rent or own, make sure you pick your space with the locals in mind. They are part of your equation, too. If they feel put out or a lack of consultation, they will punish you, and all your people, and all your visitors. You will be interacting with them to get most of your services and equipment, even if it’s just parking space. It’s not good to piss them off. So arrange team games or picnics or Open Houses for example. If they know you, they will be more likely not to bother or fight you. And maybe even defend what you do.

Once you have your structure in place, with the appropriate advice from other professionals on what they have done, and what went wrong, then it’s time to listen to the community you are serving, to discover what they need to satisfy them. Unlike private or even coven worship, a temple, monastic or segregated community is completely reliant on everyone pulling their weight; as in, they WANT to be there. That means, no matter what your vision is, it can’t replace the gestalt that your group will create. It’s your job to get it together, keep the base going, and make adjustments, but they aren’t minions. If you get too controlling, or conversely, not controlling enough and let a few idiots ruin it for everyone, they will all simply leave, and badmouth your operation to boot. So choose carefully to start with. Pick people who share most of what you see, but not exactly, and select the ones you are reasonably sure aren’t going to flake on you. You can’t push people too hard for this, but you do need to help them stay motivated. Take them with you to investigate other institutions. Make sure they have the hunger for it, like you do.

Once you get it going, you will also have to maintain. This is the biggest mistake most make. Nearly all pagan communities, temples, communes or IC’s end in one generation, because no one builds it to continue. You will, for example, encounter at least one split or takeover attempt in the first 5-10 years, and one every two decades or so after that. Anticipate those, and build your group to withstand it, or it will simply dissolve. If you require a physical location for your work, purchase property if you can, instead of leasing, or in a decade, you’ll have to move, and that can destroy the community entirely. Bring in a wide variety of skill sets, and make sure your people feel nurtured and heard, or they won’t put up with it, and they will think they can do it better, or that another place can do it better. Which is why you may want to include all pagans like we do and not, say, just Wiccans, but that’s your choice. Ego, yours and usurpers, will kill your group gestalt, and then everyone loses. You are the MC, the house manager, and the CEO. But you are not the choir, and without them volunteering their lives, you have no community.

Make no mistake about it: this is a lifelong task. If you do not have these skill sets, then you must either learn them, or join an already existing community and lend your strength to growing that one. It will not happen unless you make it happen, and give it all your personal energy and focus, but without exhausting yourself and leaving you vulnerable and the task unfinished. We are at another time of change, and about to re-build and re-learn what our ancestors had. Some remnants are still here, but most aren’t. Pick where you are best suited to direct your energy, and then do it. For the rest of your life. It still won’t be long enough.

_______________________________

Footnotes:
http://gifts-of-nature.blogspot.ca/2013/07/pagan-abbeys-practical-heritage-for.html
http://www.uua.org/
http://www.druidry.org/
http://iheu.org/
http://humanistcanada.ca/
http://americanhumanist.org/
https://humanism.org.uk/
http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/
http://gallae.com/
http://www.facebook.com/AbbeyoftheGreenFlame
http://www.facebook.com/CopperHorseAbbey
http://oto-usa.org/
http://www.facebook.com/RedTentMovement
http://www.idlenomore.ca/join?splash=1
http://www.ic.org/
http://sca.org/
http://www.gampoabbey.org/