‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for May 19th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

If you don’t know what to do about a situation – wait awhile, the answer will come. If weariness overcomes you before you’ve completed a difficult job, wait awhile, you’ll get your second wind.

If you do not agree with someone else’s philosophy, don’t fret, perhaps later you will come to know that the same philosophy can be reached from many different directions.

If you think the activities of another person or group are frivolous and unnecessary, wait a bit, they most likely will feel the same way about you sometime.

If you don’t like what others have to say, wait, they may clarify it – or you may change your mind.

If life hasn’t dished you unhappiness, wait a bit, if you’ve planted any happiness seeds, you will also reap.

We can’t always wait, but sometimes waiting is action, and action of the hardest kind. It is difficult to keep quiet when you have something to say, but it more often saves your face later and sometimes your life.

_________________________________________________

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

Advertisements

Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 19

Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 19

“To be able to greet the sun with the sounds from all of Nature is a great blessing, and it helps us to remember Who is the real provider of all of our benefits.”

–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

The Elders say we should pray to the East every morning. Just try it! Get up early in the morning, watch the sun and listen to the morning sounds, the birds, the winds; smell the air, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Your mid will expand and you will experience oneness with the Great Spirit. You’ll realize who is really in charge. You’ll realize an interconnectedness. You’ll realize how much the Creator loves you! Just try it!

Great Spirit, today, let me feel the Earth, the Father Sun and your presence.

May 19 – Daily Feast

May 19 – Daily Feast

If there is one thing that scares us, it is the thought that any part of life has been wasted. We look back and ask why we let it happen – what was so important that it could steal our youth, our strength, our capacity to be somebody – to just be happy. Is it too late to begin again? Never. It may be with a different set of rules, a standard of values that has changed drastically, but begin again? Yes, Many have started over and have had more happiness and contentment in a short time than in all of what is known as the wasted years. Anyone who has ever traveled a trail of tears wishes they had known then what they know now. But we did not know, and life is not lived by hindsight. We did what we knew to do – sometimes with great ignorance. But if we know the difference now and want to begin again – then why not? And why not now?

~ Years of trial and anxiety, of danger and struggle, have maintained the ….Cherokee people as a distinct community….and such must continue. ~

CHIEF JOHN ROSS

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The Daily Motivator for May 19th – Enjoy this very moment

Enjoy this very moment

You don’t need ideal conditions in order to enjoy an ideal life. You can simply make the choice to do so.

You don’t have to wait until the perfect moment to be happy. Any moment and every moment will do, including this one.

Whatever you’re doing, add a smile and a positive attitude to it. Life’s beauty is everywhere, so make the empowering choice to see it everywhere.

You can choose to complain about your lot in life and to feel sorry for yourself, or you can choose to enjoy the wonder that’s all around you. Keep in mind that there’s valuable opportunity in everything, and a positive perspective enables you to tap into that opportunity.

There are plenty of problems to be fixed, wrongs to be made right, and obstacles to overcome. And the most effective way to move forward is with joy, not with bitterness.

Challenge yourself to enjoy this very moment, fully, completely, sincerely, authentically. And learn to put the power of joy in everything you do.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

The Daily OM for May 19th – Moving through Darkness

Moving through Darkness
The Places We Go

by Madisyn Taylor

Often it takes something major to wake us up as we struggle to maintain an illusion of control.

In life, most of us want things to go to the places we have envisioned ourselves going. We have plans and visions, some of them divinely inspired, that we want to see through to completion. We want to be happy, successful, and healthy, all of which are perfectly natural and perfectly human. So when life takes us to places we didn’t consciously want to go, we often feel as if something has gone wrong, or we must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, or any number of other disheartening possibilities. This is just life’s way of taking us to a place we need to go for reasons that go deeper than our own ability to reason. These hard knocks and trials are designed to shed light on our unconscious workings and deepen our experience of reality.

Often it takes something major to wake us up, to shake us loose from our ego’s grip as it struggles to maintain an illusion of control. It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture. It reminds us that the key to the universe lies in what we do not know, and what we do know is a small fraction of the great mystery in which we live. This awareness softens and lightens us, as we release our resistance to what is. Another gift gleaned from going to these seemingly undesirable places is that, in our response to difficulty, we can see all the patterns and unresolved emotional baggage that stand in the way of our unconditional joyfulness. Joy exists within us independently of whether things go our way or not. And when we don’t feel it, we can trust that we will find it if we are willing to surrender to the situation, moving through it as we move through our difficult feelings.

We can take our inspiration from any fairy tale that finds its central character lost in a dark wood, frightened and alone. We know that the journey through the wood provides its own kind of beauty and richness. On the other side, we will emerge transformed, lighter and brighter, braver and more confident for having moved through that darkness.

Source:
Daily OM

Pagans with Training and Those Self-taught

Pagans with Training and Those Self-taught

Author: Peter Beckley 

The various paths we tread contained under the “umbrella” of Paganism can benefit greatly from structured, formal training. Several of the benefits from having a structured system of passing knowledge from teacher to student include the following:

1. Being able to track progress along a charted plan can provide a beneficial sense of achievement. To know that you are making progress along your chosen path isn’t just a spiritual need; it is also a significant psychological one. Everyone likes to know that they are making gains whenever they embark on a quest. It is especially important when topics such a sympathetic magick are involved since everything one does either helps or hinders the focus that is placed and required to perform this type of magick. Whether spiritual or educational, the nature of the quest doesn’t matter either, although these two are seldom mutually exclusive anyway. Even during a physical journey, it is always nice to know that you’re going in the right direction to get where you want to go.

2. Another need that most people have is the one of tribe or group membership, otherwise known as identification. Many people have a desire to identify themselves as part of a group, from those who go to a ritual solely to socialize afterwards, to those who are interested in achieving planned results and raising specific energies. Even those who identify themselves as solitary are doing it. They belong to a group, and label themselves and that group. The need of tribe or group membership may be strongest during childhood and young adulthood, but people never really outgrow the need to belong to something. One of the most common questions we ask when meeting someone for the first time who we know to be Pagan is, “What are you?” or “What is your path?”. This also explains the reason we wear symbols of our faith, be it pentacle, Thor’s hammer or whatever, and even why we put bumper stickers, signs and other such things on and in our cars.

3. When you are part of a Pagan group that has a formal training program in place, whether face to face or by correspondence, you have opportunities to gain a sense of order to the mysterious world beyond the mundane one that self-teaching might not be able to provide. It can be comforting to know that there is someone you can turn to when you have a question that can be answered within the construct of your chosen “path”.

4. Using a system of responsibly passing knowledge from teacher to student helps to make sure that the information is not lost or forgotten. The programs usually have a specific form that the knowledge is in, a Book of Shadows for example, that gets copied bit by bit as the person learns more of the knowledge. In oral traditions, great care is taken to emphasize remembering the entire breadth of knowledge as it gets passed from student to teacher.

There are also benefits that need to be mentioned when approaching Paganism and its knowledge from the self-taught point-of-view.

1. One of the benefits to teaching yourself about the path you choose to walk is that, if it turns out to not be what you spiritually identify with, it is very easy to start exploring another one. There is not the guilt which is sometimes associated with leaving a spiritual group, nor are there the hurt feelings members of that group might feel if you choose to leave.

2. Following that same line of thought, being self-taught probably increases the amount of convenient exposure to other paths for you to explore. Eclectic Pagans, whether Wiccan, Druid or whatever, use this idea to their advantage by using parts, concepts, ideas and even pantheons from various paths they’ve walked or read about to create their very own, personal Pagan path.

3. While not exclusive to those identifying themselves an eclectic, the idea of being self-taught lends itself most readily to the idea of eclectic Paganism. There is also something to be said for being “your own person” and that can be developed more easily when you aren’t compelled to follow a specific path of structured traditions.

Bringing a third point of view to the table, not all people who belong to groups with formal instruction believe that they should solely rely on the formal teachings as a source for magickal/spiritual instruction. There are folks who feel that self-teaching or exploring topics related to your chosen path should be viewed as a supplement to the knowledge you gain from “inside” your path. Still others have the exact opposite view, seeing the knowledge outside of what their own path teaches as less valuable, perhaps even flawed.

Quite often, it is the source of the information that can bring the question of self-taught vs. formal training to the forefront. Those who believe that, if it didn’t come from someone they regard as an authoritative figure or expert on the subject, then the information isn’t accurate or at all to be considered for use, argue that self-teaching runs the risk of diluting the accurate information in the world. Some go so far as to refuse certain sources of information entirely. On the other hand, there are those who will assume the “good faith” of the sources they find until proven otherwise. These folks will take information from many sources, whether books at the library, stories and training from a teacher, or even the internet, and gather them all up to cross-reference, double-check and verify to find the useful and most accurate information from it all and apply it to their purpose. They may even go so far as to tell others what they find “good” and “bad” about the sources of information. By using the paradigm of the laws of supply and demand, this invariably leads to better resources

While this essay is certainly geared toward the positive side of both choices, there are drawbacks to both as well. This essay doesn’t seek to be complete in the discussion of such a broad subject, but I hope that it has provided some useful and thought-provoking information for you to consider. The most important thing to remember, and I’m sure even those just starting out on any Pagan path have heard it, is that as long as it doesn’t hurt anything, and you feel the spiritual connection you desire, then you’re on the right path.

Religion vs. Spirituality

Religion vs. Spirituality

Author: Crick   

There is often a blurring of the lines when it comes to the difference between what is a religion and what is a spiritual path. Neo pagans in particular are guilty of this lack of distinction, perhaps because so many neo pagans come from a Abrahamic religion originally. I also believe that because Wicca tries to define itself as a religion that it readily serves as the stepping stone for those who are interested in the mystic arts.

This is not a bad thing, just a pragmatic observation from one who follows a spiritual path rather then a religion.

But then that is where the dual focus of this article comes into play.

To begin with, religions of all types have to define themselves in a manner that sets them apart from other types of religions in order to be seen as a distinctive school of thought and/or belief.

The ironic result of this attempt is that basically all religions have the same underlying theme, whether it be an Abrahamic religion, Judaic, Muslim, Wicca or any of the other four hundred plus religions in the world.

And that theme is that their particular gathering represents all others in the world.

And that the gathering in question does it better then all of the rest. For instance within the Abrahamic religions the Christians claim to be the only “true religion”, within the Muslim religion there are the Baha i, amongst others that claim to represent a better way and so on. Within the neo pagan community the Wicca claim to represent all other pagans, though such claims are simply naive.

For instance those who follow the Shamanic path do not belong to a religion but rather engage in a very personal and thus individualistic spiritual path. They are represented by none but themselves.

My question is; if religion is supposed to be a means of communicating with deity then why does such a communication require so many middle men as it were?

What makes specific folks so special that only they can talk directly to the deity of ones choice?

Is it possible that religion is more about elitism and the many human travails that define our existence as a species?

As far as paganism goes, does connecting with other-wordly entities really require all of the trappings that a religion imposes upon a person?

For instance, does one really need to cast a “Sacred Circle” every single time they want to communicate with deity? Is not the entire earth and all that she contains not sacred?

Has the Sacred Circle simply become a substitute for a raised dais that one uses to distinguish themselves from others with?

This is not to say that there are not “times” when the Sacred Circle should be employed. Such a tool should in my personal opinion, be used as a form of protection when dealing with certain entities and in other instances as a portal to travel to other-wordly realms.

But I also personally believe that some neo pagan religions have perhaps appended the use of such a tool in an effort to define themselves as a separate religion, in short, an attempt at elitism. And as such, the use of such a special tool has become mere dogma and thus has lost much of the meaning of its originally intended use.

One of the problems that I see with religions in general and with neo pagan religions in particular is that when one sets up parameters, especially when dealing with the magickal arts, one sets up barriers to any real spiritual growth.

Paganism was never meant to be stifled by the whims of certain humans and that is exactly what a religion is.

A personage or small group of personages set out a particular dogma and thus a religion is created.

This may work well for those who need such a group mentality in order to relate to their choice of deity. However, paganism is a school of thought and action that does not fit within such a group consciousness.

The magickal arts that are a prevalent part of paganism is never discovered within its entirety. It is a on going process of trial and error which in many cases is what constitutes a real Book of Shadows and not the kind that is purchased off of a book shelf.

What works for one may not work for another and so there is no one BOS for all. Which brings me to yet another thought. Todays neo paganism, on the surface at least, appears to be less about the discovery of ones latent abilities and more about the commercialism that is so prevalent amongst certain so called mystical neo pagan religions. If paganism is about the individual experience, then how can one person define this experience within a book in a way that represents everyone. In reality, they cannot accomplish such a feat and yet there are thousands of neo pagan books written over the last 30 or 40 years that claim to do just that.

As a result the true meaning of paganism and what it represents has become mired in the blatant commercialism that now defines neo paganism.

This sad situation is the direct result of a few folks attempting to fit the concept and workings of paganism into the restrictive parameters of religious dogma. Such an attempt is like trying to fit a square peg into a circle.

In short, this attempt has in many ways stifled the growth and knowledge of what paganism is really about.

And what is that you may ask?

In my personal opinion, paganism is not about yet another form of religion, rather it is about the individual growth of each person who seeks what I personally see as a spiritual path.

If neo pagans would spend less energy in trying to re-invent paganism and instead would spend more time learning about themselves there would be no need for the elitism and commercialism that neo pagan religions bring to the table.

There are many spiritual belief systems under the real pagan umbrella that one could learn from. Those such as the various shaman practices, Native American, practices, Australian bushman and so forth, have been practising their forms of paganism for generations. And yet these folks are not flooding the marketplace with how to books on paganism. But neither do they claim to belong to a mystickal religion either.

They practice and learn from a spiritual point of view. And isn’t that what true paganism is supposed to be all about?There is often a blurring of the lines when it comes to the difference between what is a religion and what is a spiritual path. Neo pagans in particular are guilty of this lack of distinction, perhaps because so many neo pagans come from a Abrahamic religion originally. I also believe that because Wicca tries to define itself as a religion that it readily serves as the stepping stone for those who are interested in the mystic arts.

This is not a bad thing, just a pragmatic observation from one who follows a spiritual path rather then a religion.

But then that is where the dual focus of this article comes into play.

To begin with, religions of all types have to define themselves in a manner that sets them apart from other types of religions in order to be seen as a distinctive school of thought and/or belief.

The ironic result of this attempt is that basically all religions have the same underlying theme, whether it be an Abrahamic religion, Judaic, Muslim, Wicca or any of the other four hundred plus religions in the world.

And that theme is that their particular gathering represents all others in the world.

And that the gathering in question does it better then all of the rest. For instance within the Abrahamic religions the Christians claim to be the only “true religion”, within the Muslim religion there are the Baha i, amongst others that claim to represent a better way and so on. Within the neo pagan community the Wicca claim to represent all other pagans, though such claims are simply naive.

For instance those who follow the Shamanic path do not belong to a religion but rather engage in a very personal and thus individualistic spiritual path. They are represented by none but themselves.

My question is; if religion is supposed to be a means of communicating with deity then why does such a communication require so many middle men as it were?

What makes specific folks so special that only they can talk directly to the deity of ones choice?

Is it possible that religion is more about elitism and the many human travails that define our existence as a species?

As far as paganism goes, does connecting with other-wordly entities really require all of the trappings that a religion imposes upon a person?

For instance, does one really need to cast a “Sacred Circle” every single time they want to communicate with deity? Is not the entire earth and all that she contains not sacred?

Has the Sacred Circle simply become a substitute for a raised dais that one uses to distinguish themselves from others with?

This is not to say that there are not “times” when the Sacred Circle should be employed. Such a tool should in my personal opinion, be used as a form of protection when dealing with certain entities and in other instances as a portal to travel to other-wordly realms.

But I also personally believe that some neo pagan religions have perhaps appended the use of such a tool in an effort to define themselves as a separate religion, in short, an attempt at elitism. And as such, the use of such a special tool has become mere dogma and thus has lost much of the meaning of its originally intended use.

One of the problems that I see with religions in general and with neo pagan religions in particular is that when one sets up parameters, especially when dealing with the magickal arts, one sets up barriers to any real spiritual growth.

Paganism was never meant to be stifled by the whims of certain humans and that is exactly what a religion is.

A personage or small group of personages set out a particular dogma and thus a religion is created.

This may work well for those who need such a group mentality in order to relate to their choice of deity. However, paganism is a school of thought and action that does not fit within such a group consciousness.

The magickal arts that are a prevalent part of paganism is never discovered within its entirety. It is a on going process of trial and error which in many cases is what constitutes a real Book of Shadows and not the kind that is purchased off of a book shelf.

What works for one may not work for another and so there is no one BOS for all. Which brings me to yet another thought. Todays neo paganism, on the surface at least, appears to be less about the discovery of ones latent abilities and more about the commercialism that is so prevalent amongst certain so called mystical neo pagan religions. If paganism is about the individual experience, then how can one person define this experience within a book in a way that represents everyone. In reality, they cannot accomplish such a feat and yet there are thousands of neo pagan books written over the last 30 or 40 years that claim to do just that.

As a result the true meaning of paganism and what it represents has become mired in the blatant commercialism that now defines neo paganism.

This sad situation is the direct result of a few folks attempting to fit the concept and workings of paganism into the restrictive parameters of religious dogma. Such an attempt is like trying to fit a square peg into a circle.

In short, this attempt has in many ways stifled the growth and knowledge of what paganism is really about.

And what is that you may ask?

In my personal opinion, paganism is not about yet another form of religion, rather it is about the individual growth of each person who seeks what I personally see as a spiritual path.

If neo pagans would spend less energy in trying to re-invent paganism and instead would spend more time learning about themselves there would be no need for the elitism and commercialism that neo pagan religions bring to the table.

There are many spiritual belief systems under the real pagan umbrella that one could learn from. Those such as the various shaman practices, Native American, practices, Australian bushman and so forth, have been practising their forms of paganism for generations. And yet these folks are not flooding the marketplace with how to books on paganism. But neither do they claim to belong to a mystickal religion either.

They practice and learn from a spiritual point of view. And isn’t that what true paganism is supposed to be all about?There is often a blurring of the lines when it comes to the difference between what is a religion and what is a spiritual path. Neo pagans in particular are guilty of this lack of distinction, perhaps because so many neo pagans come from a Abrahamic religion originally. I also believe that because Wicca tries to define itself as a religion that it readily serves as the stepping stone for those who are interested in the mystic arts.

This is not a bad thing, just a pragmatic observation from one who follows a spiritual path rather then a religion.

But then that is where the dual focus of this article comes into play.

To begin with, religions of all types have to define themselves in a manner that sets them apart from other types of religions in order to be seen as a distinctive school of thought and/or belief.

The ironic result of this attempt is that basically all religions have the same underlying theme, whether it be an Abrahamic religion, Judaic, Muslim, Wicca or any of the other four hundred plus religions in the world.

And that theme is that their particular gathering represents all others in the world.

And that the gathering in question does it better then all of the rest. For instance within the Abrahamic religions the Christians claim to be the only “true religion”, within the Muslim religion there are the Baha i, amongst others that claim to represent a better way and so on. Within the neo pagan community the Wicca claim to represent all other pagans, though such claims are simply naive.

For instance those who follow the Shamanic path do not belong to a religion but rather engage in a very personal and thus individualistic spiritual path. They are represented by none but themselves.

My question is; if religion is supposed to be a means of communicating with deity then why does such a communication require so many middle men as it were?

What makes specific folks so special that only they can talk directly to the deity of ones choice?

Is it possible that religion is more about elitism and the many human travails that define our existence as a species?

As far as paganism goes, does connecting with other-wordly entities really require all of the trappings that a religion imposes upon a person?

For instance, does one really need to cast a “Sacred Circle” every single time they want to communicate with deity? Is not the entire earth and all that she contains not sacred?

Has the Sacred Circle simply become a substitute for a raised dais that one uses to distinguish themselves from others with?

This is not to say that there are not “times” when the Sacred Circle should be employed. Such a tool should in my personal opinion, be used as a form of protection when dealing with certain entities and in other instances as a portal to travel to other-wordly realms.

But I also personally believe that some neo pagan religions have perhaps appended the use of such a tool in an effort to define themselves as a separate religion, in short, an attempt at elitism. And as such, the use of such a special tool has become mere dogma and thus has lost much of the meaning of its originally intended use.

One of the problems that I see with religions in general and with neo pagan religions in particular is that when one sets up parameters, especially when dealing with the magickal arts, one sets up barriers to any real spiritual growth.

Paganism was never meant to be stifled by the whims of certain humans and that is exactly what a religion is.

A personage or small group of personages set out a particular dogma and thus a religion is created.

This may work well for those who need such a group mentality in order to relate to their choice of deity. However, paganism is a school of thought and action that does not fit within such a group consciousness.

The magickal arts that are a prevalent part of paganism is never discovered within its entirety. It is a on going process of trial and error which in many cases is what constitutes a real Book of Shadows and not the kind that is purchased off of a book shelf.

What works for one may not work for another and so there is no one BOS for all. Which brings me to yet another thought. Todays neo paganism, on the surface at least, appears to be less about the discovery of ones latent abilities and more about the commercialism that is so prevalent amongst certain so called mystical neo pagan religions. If paganism is about the individual experience, then how can one person define this experience within a book in a way that represents everyone. In reality, they cannot accomplish such a feat and yet there are thousands of neo pagan books written over the last 30 or 40 years that claim to do just that.

As a result the true meaning of paganism and what it represents has become mired in the blatant commercialism that now defines neo paganism.

This sad situation is the direct result of a few folks attempting to fit the concept and workings of paganism into the restrictive parameters of religious dogma. Such an attempt is like trying to fit a square peg into a circle.

In short, this attempt has in many ways stifled the growth and knowledge of what paganism is really about.

And what is that you may ask?

In my personal opinion, paganism is not about yet another form of religion, rather it is about the individual growth of each person who seeks what I personally see as a spiritual path.

If neo pagans would spend less energy in trying to re-invent paganism and instead would spend more time learning about themselves there would be no need for the elitism and commercialism that neo pagan religions bring to the table.

There are many spiritual belief systems under the real pagan umbrella that one could learn from. Those such as the various shaman practices, Native American, practices, Australian bushman and so forth, have been practising their forms of paganism for generations. And yet these folks are not flooding the marketplace with how to books on paganism. But neither do they claim to belong to a mystickal religion either.

They practice and learn from a spiritual point of view. And isn’t that what true paganism is supposed to be all about?

The Magick and the Mundane

The Magick and the Mundane

Author: Moon Willow Witch 

We as Witches and Pagans are ordinary people living a not so ordinary life. We must find a balance to keep the magick alive within us.

Every morning when I wake up, I move the curtains aside a little bit and look outside. I notice the color of the sky, the clouds, the sun, the woods surrounding my home; hear the wind rustling through the trees or the rain falling on the roof. Lately of course, it’s been seeing that the trees are getting barer and there are more gold leaves on the ground than green grass peeking through. I look for signs from nature about what’s coming and I listen. I take a deep breath, close my eyes for a second and remind myself that no matter what the day brings, I am ready for it and I can come home to my little peaceful corner of the world and just be.

I have to get ready for the day by myself and talk to no one, or else I feel rushed, bothered, and agitated. I’m not a morning person and I definitely am one who needs plenty of me time, which is why I love that short, peaceful span when the witchlings have gotten on the bus and I can put on some music and start thinking as I prepare to face the day before leaving for work. The house is pin drop quiet and a little bit eerie, as if the walls are suddenly watching me. That is when my ghostly little girl is there; sometimes making noises to get my attention, but mostly it’s just a feeling that I am not alone. It’s kind of comforting now, actually. If you really paid attention, you’d see that there are spirits all around.

I have a fantastic job, work with great people and enjoy what I do, but the bottom line is that it’s not feeding my soul (but it is what feeds my children, so I keep doing it) , and this has become a necessity for me. Something changed over the past few years and I have to do things that I find spiritually fulfilling or I become a mean, aggravated, yelling version of me once I get home that I really don’t like to be. I think its part of awakening and finding your calling. Everything else just feels like a waste of precious time and so, so shallow.

I look at everyone around me mindlessly going about their days, one rolling right into the next, thinking this is life as we know it, how it’s supposed to be, that fitting in and keeping up are the important things, but only just skimming the surface, that average, boring surface that if only they would stop and notice the tangible electric spark in the air, on the wind, in the feeling of a raindrop hitting their skin, that they would see a tiny ripple in that surface, peer in a little more closely, and realize there is a whole other world down there, up there, all around there, and they just need to dive in. Strip off the convention and the paradigms and go blindly into the water, just trusting in it all.

I can talk a good game to anyone who hasn’t yet awakened, gently suggesting new ways to see, when really I just want to shake them and scream, “WAKE UP, THERE IS SO MUCH MORE!” But then I remember that not every soul is ready for that, that it is their own journey and that maybe my purpose for crossing their path is to be that sort nutty girl with the deep, wild eyes who talked about Fate, and the Soul, and the Universe and the Goddess as if there were REAL and maybe someday they’ll notice the spark and that tiny little spark will relight their fire.

At night, when everyone is asleep and it’s so very dark, the vast, comforting dark, I am alone with the sky and the moon and the stars and my thoughts. I do the usual cleaning and picking up, the putting back together of what was taken apart and undone throughout the day, and it becomes like a meditation for me, so much so, that sometimes I realize I’ve wiped the counter top this way and that until my arm is a little tired but then I feel satisfied and accomplished, and I can slip into my little me time world and do the things that feed my soul. Sometimes I listen to a song that makes me feel so alive, like I am hurtling through time and space, almost like how I imagine it would feel to fly, and I dance until my heart is pounding, breath fast, every nerve tingling, dance like The Witch of Portobello, feeling it with every fiber of my being. I do all of this until I am truly tired, eyes heavy, and there is nothing left to contemplate that day. Every night I sleep with the window open so I can hear the Goddess and her creatures as I fall asleep and again as I wake up. There is nothing so beautiful as the sound of the night as you drift off to sleep. Nothing.

That’s where the magick comes from; from finding the beauty and the lessons of the Goddess in every single moment, just slow down and look, feel, ask and you shall receive. The Goddess is all things, in all things; she is a place, a being, and a feeling. You can add all the props in the world, with the athame and a chalice and the incense and the salt and the water and the candles all in the right place on your altar, but really it’s all a bunch of stuff that you don’t usually need. The Goddess is around you all the time, and if you stop and notice that just once every day, then that is good enough. She will know. She will hear your call. The answers are not in the motions of the ritual itself, they are in the feeling you get when you create your intentions and set them forth into the Universe to become. They are in each mindful step you take every day that fills up your heart and brightens the light inside you that you shine out to the world. Remember if that which you seek you find not within, you will never find without.

The Origin of Magick

The Origin of Magick

Author: Crick   

Have you ever wondered about the origins of magick?
By magick I am not referring to the stage tricks employed by various entertainers for our amusement, but rather the energy which numerous cultures and belief systems have tapped into in order to manifest their various objectives.

This universal gift is known by many different names depending on which culture/belief system one looks at. It may be known simply as magick, prayers, miracles, life force, juju, karma and so forth.
For the purpose of this article it will be referred to as energy.

Have you ever wondered if such energy was a latent presence here on earth prior to the arrival of humankind? Residing here as an ancient primordial force, which was patiently waiting for sentient beings to discover its presence and purpose.

And if it was here prior to the arrival of human beings, did it serve an active purpose in the shaping of life and/or the creation of events that allowed for said life to begin? Was this primordial energy an essence that was introduced by Deity by way of a direct involvement with what we know as life? Or was it a side effect that formed as a result of actions taken by Deity during the course of said activities?

Or perhaps it is a development that manifested itself with the advent of humans? Could it be that the life force that we know as spirit introduced this energy into the life process in order to provide us with opportunities to expand our spiritual awareness and/or connection with alternate realms?

And if this is the case, why do you suppose that such a tool for growth and/or communication is so under utilized?

I say this because in society today, folks tend to become less connected with the world around them and more absorbed with the part of the self that is influenced by the individual ego.

And if this is a tool for growth and communication, why is it that those folks who actually use this energy for this purpose are spurned and looked upon with suspicion and in many cases with outright disdain by others in society? Witchcraft in essence, embodies the concepts and principals in the use of such energy.

And yet the word “witch” brings out and runs the gauntlet of emotions and perceptions of humanity as a whole. And depending on which side of the fence one stands, a witch is either an evil and vile creature or a person who is in touch with and resonates with the universal energies of which magick is a major part of.

Where does this fear of the unknown come from?

Was the ego installed into our souls as a balance to such a powerful tool? Has the balance shifted too far to one side of our souls?

As humans we readily employ magick in our various endeavors, but do we really understand its origins and what exactly is that we are using as a tool? Could the ego be a safety mechanism that has been allowed for whatever reasons, to exceed its purpose?

In some cultures, magick known as prayers is used as a means of communication with Deity. Does magick have but one specific intended use? And if so, are all other uses of such energy but an abuse of its original intended use?

Within these same cultures, when an event that is normally beyond the capacity of mere mortals, occurs, it is called a miracle.

Are these so called miracles really but a form of the same energy that others would call magick? Can we as humans in fact manifest these miracles by employing this energy? Or should such manifestations be the sole province of deity?

And while we are on the subject, does this energy have a shelf life?

Does it become stronger with use, opening even more avenues of discovery and power as one venture along the path, or does it weaken from non-use and/or the cultural disbelief in such a power?

Or is it simply a neutral tool offered by the powers to be, with many different attachments waiting to be realized by humanity.

Regardless of what name we call this energy or by what concept we use to identify with it, this gift has surpassed all boundaries of cultural, religious and societal beliefs. It is found in all aspects and fiber of this existence that we call life. It is a dominant force, often in a passive way, in basically everything that we do as humans. As such we may most likely only achieve but a peripheral understanding of such a complicated and diverse force.

Perhaps one day when we become as one with deity, a more comprehensive understanding of such a gift will be made known to us. But until such a revelation is proffered by the powers that be, we should always strive to understand as much as we are able to in order to effectively use such energy in a way that is both constructive and meaningful to our personal lives and not only our personal lives but to those around us as well.

As members of a diverse community, we have a responsibility to contribute to the health and well being of our community. Because of the diversity of society, there will always be divergent views as to what this energy is or in how it is to be used. But at the end of the day, how we use such energy is still an individual decision.

There are certain pagans, in particular Wiccans, who believe that whatever energy is sent out will return to the originator threefold.
As a traditional witch, I personally am not so sure that such a transfer is so cut and dry, but in general such a concept is a good yardstick or learning curve to adhere to.

I personally do not consider myself a master for I do not believe in such a being outside of deity. Rather I am a student of life with lots of questions. For without such questions there are no answers.
And quite frankly I don’t have answers to many of the questions that I have asked here. What few answers I may have are based upon my personal life experiences.

As pagans we are each individual and thus should answer such questions as they pertain to each person in regards to ones own beliefs and practices…

Subject: A letter from *Mom* and *Dad*

Subject: A letter from *Mom* and *Dad*

From: God/dess
To: Our Children of Earth

Re: Idiotic Religious Rivalries

Dear Children (and believe us, that’s all of you), We consider ourselves pretty patient folks. For instance, look at the Grand Canyon. It took millions of years to get it right. And about evolution? Boy, nothing is slower than designing that whole Darwinian thing to take place, cell by cell, and gene by gene.

 

We’ve been patient through your fashions, civilizations, wars and schemes, and the countless ways you take Us for granted until you get yourselves into big trouble again and again.

We want to let you know about some of the things that are starting to tick Us off.

First of all, your religious rivalries are driving Us up a wall. Enough already! Let’s get one thing straight: These are YOUR religions, not Ours. We’re the whole enchilada; We’re beyond them all. Every one of your religions claims there is only one of Us (which by the way, is absolutely true). But in the very next breath, each religion claims it’s Our favorite one.

And each claims it’s scriptures were written personally by Us, and that all the other scriptures are man-made. Oy Vey. How do We even begin to put a stop to such complicated nonsense?

Okay, listen up now. We’re your Father AND Mother, and We don’t play favorites among Our children.

Also, We hate to break it to you, but We don’t write. Our longhand is awful, and We’ve always been more of “doers” anyway. So ALL of your books, including those Bibles, were written by men and women. They were inspired, remarkable people, but they also made mistakes here and there. We made sure of that so that you would never trust a written word more than your own living heart.

You see, one human being to Us, even a bum on the street, is worth more than all the Holy Books in the world. That’s just the kind of folks we are.

Our spirit is not a historical thing. It’s alive right here, right now, as fresh as your next breath.

Holy books and religious rites are sacred and powerful, but not more so than the least of you. They were only meant to steer you in the right direction, not to keep you arguing with each other, and certainly not to keep you from trusting your own personal connection with Us.

Which brings Us to Our next point about your nonsense. You act like We need you and your religions to stick up for Us or “win souls” for Our sake. Please, don’t do Us any favors. We can stand quite well on our own,thank you. We don’t need you to defend Us, and We don’t need constant credit. We just want you to be good to each other.

And another thing, We don’t get all worked up over money or politics, so stop dragging Our names into your dramas. For example, We swear to Us smile::::, that We never threatened Oral Roberts. We never rode in any of Rajneesh’s Rolls Royces. We never told Pat Robertson to run for president, and We’ve never, EVER had a conversation with Jim Baker, Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggart! Of course, come Judgment Day, We certainly intend to….

The thing is, We want you to stop thinking of religion as some sort of loyalty pledge to Us.

The true purpose of your religions is so that YOU can become more aware of Us, not the other way around. Believe Us, We know you already. We know what’s in each of your hearts, and We love you with no strings attached.

Lighten up and enjoy Us. That’s what religion is best for. What you seem to forget is how mysterious We are.

You look at the petty differences in your Scriptures and say, “Well, if THIS is the truth, then THAT can’t be!” But instead of trying to figure out Our Paradoxes and Unfathomable Nature, which by the way, you NEVER will, why not open your hearts to the simple common threads in all religions.

You know what We’re talking about. Love and respect everyone. Be kind, even when life is scary or confusing. Take courage and be of good cheer, for We are always with you. Learn how to be quiet, so you can hear Our still, small voice. (We don’t like to shout).

Leave the world a better place by living your life with dignity and gracefulness, for you are Our Own Children. Hold back nothing from life, for the parts of you that can die surely will, and the parts that can’t, won’t. So don’t worry, be happy. (We stole that last line from Bobby McFerrin.)

Simple stuff. Why do you keep making it so complicated? It’s like you’re always looking for an excuse to be upset. And We’re very tired of being your main excuse. Do you think We care whether you call Us…. Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Diana, Wakantonka, Brahma, Cerridwen, Father, Mother, God, Goddess or even the Void of Nirvana? Do you think We care which of Our special children you feel closest to, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna, Gerald, Mohammed or any of the others? You can call Us and Our Special Ones any name you choose, if only you would go about Our business of loving one another as We love you. How can you keep neglecting something so simple?

We’re not telling you to abandon your religions. Enjoy your religions, honor them, learn from them, just as you should enjoy, honor, and learn from your parents.

But do you walk around telling everyone that your parents are better than theirs? Your religion, like your parents, may always have the most special place in your hearts, We don’t mind that at all. And We don’t want you to combine all the Great Traditions in One Big Mess. Each religion is unique for a reason. Each has a unique style so that people can find the best path for themselves.

Know that Our Special Children, the ones that your religions revolve around, all live in the same place, (Our heart), and they get along perfectly, We assure you.

The clergy must stop creating a myth of sibling rivalry where there is none. Our blessed children of Earth, the world has grown too small for you pervasive religious bigotries and confusion. The whole planet is connected by air travel, satellite dishes, telephones, fax machines, rock concerts, diseases, and mutual needs and concerns.

Get with the program! If you really want to help, then commit yourselves to figuring out how to feed your hungry, clothe your naked, protect your abused, and shelter your poor. And just as importantly, make your own everyday life a shining example of kindness and good humor. We’ve given you all the resources you need, if only you abandon your fear of each other and begin living, loving and laughing together.

We’re not really ticked off. We just wanted to grab your attention because We hate to see you suffer. But We have given you free will to choose your own paths, and We just want you to be happy.

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,

Us