‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for February 8th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Do you want to know the truth about worry? It hits everyone. It is not an ailment just for weaklings or cowards. Worry is the cat you throw out only to have it back in before you can close the door.

Worry has another side. It proves we care very much, and that we appreciate our God-given gifts and loved ones. In a way, it is a sign of strength, for if we can turn it to faith, then faith can be just as strong. And to overcome worry, or to at least control it, there must be faith.

Faith, and the knowledge that if you could be in all the places, watching closely all the things about which you are concerned, you couldn’t do a tenth as much good as one simple prayer.

We are taught, “Be not anxious,” “Fear not,” and “Be not afraid,” and too quickly we become anxious, fearful, and very frightened. But even then we have only to put worry to flight by remembering those quieting words that are so absolutely true, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Recently we had a summer storm. It was rumbling and heavy with darkness. The lightning flashed across the sky, and trees bent back and forth in the uncertain currents. When the first huge drops of rain spattered across the walks and lawns, our thoughts turned to the safety of anyone or anything that might be caught out in the wind and rain.

We’ve been through many summer storms. Some of them left permanent marks upon our memories. The threatening, the darkness, the pressure of the atmosphere are not so different from the emotional storms of the human life. We see lives under pressure bend to and fro in the uncertainty of life. We know concern for the safety of those who experience emotional storms. Then we know the only answer is in God’s hands. There is no other way.

The good earth rights itself quickly after a storm. Nature comes forth more richly for having gone through the storm, and the scars are lost in new growth. And blessed are we when we lift ourselves up to a new, deeper radiance and peace.

______________________________________________

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

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for Dec. 18th is Storm

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Storm

The Storm represents the trouble and discord that creep into our lives from time to time. The storm is represented by a tornado whirling its way across a fertile plain. Tornados are powerful but relatively small, short lived storms, which means that while the turmoil they indicate may be strong it will at least pass quickly. Like the tornado, The Storm is a force outside yourself and beyond your control. During a stormy period you may lose ground. However, knowing one is upon you can certainly help you keep your losses to a minimum, or even turn what might be a disaster into a windfall.

As a daily card, The Storm denotes a time when you should be prepared to face some large challenges in your life. You may find yourself losing more than you gain for awhile. The key to weathering the storm is preparation. You know its coming, so be ready for it and there is a possibility that you can transform a tumultuous event into something good.

Calendar of the Moon for December 4th

Calendar of the Moon

Elder Tree Month

Color: Russet
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a russet cloth set three black candles, a cauldron filled with water, a vase filled with elder branches, a cup of dried elderberries, and a knife.
Offerings: Give aid to the elders in the House, and outside.
Daily Meal: Soups and stews, and soft foods.

Ruis Invocation

Call: Hail the month of passing.
Response: For all things pass away.
Call: Hail the month of waning.
Response: For all things must fade and die.
Call: Hail the month of creaking wood.
Response: Hail the month of creaking bones.
Call: Hail the month of the dwindling Sun.
Response: Hail the time of all endings.
Call: For even as we began the year in silence,
Response: So we shall end the year in silence.
Call: For even as we began the year with chill winds of newness,
Response: So we shall end the year with chill winds of darkness.
Call: May the raven croak his warning from the bare branches.
Response: May the deer leave her footprints in the wake of the first snows.
Call: We will surrender ourselves to the darkness.
Response: Yet even with that surrender, we shall not pass away.
Call: For the seed that was grown in the spring still lives.
Response: Its life force is given back to the Earth.
Call: Its life force is given back to the Maker of new life.
Response: And new life shall spring forth in time.
Call: This is the moment of waiting for the end.
Response: This is the moment of bowed heads.
Call: Elder Goddess, teach us to praise loss, death, and the passing of all things.
Response: For from this flux we know your blessings flow.

Chant: In the eye of the Moon
We walk willingly
Into the darkness.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Your Ancient Symbol Card for October 14th is The Storm

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

The Storm

The Storm represents the trouble and discord that creep into our lives from time to time. The storm is represented by a tornado whirling its way across a fertile plain. Tornados are powerful but relatively small, short lived storms, which means that while the turmoil they indicate may be strong it will at least pass quickly. Like the tornado, The Storm is a force outside yourself and beyond your control. During a stormy period you may lose ground. However, knowing one is upon you can certainly help you keep your losses to a minimum, or even turn what might be a disaster into a windfall.

As a daily card, The Storm denotes a time when you should be prepared to face some large challenges in your life. You may find yourself losing more than you gain for awhile. The key to weathering the storm is preparation. You know its coming, so be ready for it and there is a possibility that you can transform a tumultuous event into something good.

Calendar of the Moon for November 24th

Calendar of the Moon

24 Ngetal/Maimakterion

Maimakteria

Color: Grey
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a grey cloth set a chalice of rainwater, five grey candles, incense, large fans, lightning bolts of metal, and a pile of heavy grey cloaks and veils.
Offering: Let grain blow away into the wind.
Daily Meal: Cold raw food.

Maimakteria Invocation

Hail Zeus Maimaktes, Blustering One!
Hail Gods of wind and rain!
The year turns from autumn to winter
And the storms come, with the hail
And the falling thunder! Spare us,
Spare our houses and the last remnant
Of our crops! Spare the trees that shelter us,
Our roofs and walls and chariots,
Our animals that huddle against the cold.
Hail powers of oncoming winter,
Powers of storm and hurricane,
Powers of wind and water that threaten us!
We ask for forgiveness for all that we have done
That could have been done better,
And we ask for mercy, O Winds,
Even though we have not always been merciful ourselves.
Hail Zeus Maimaktes, Blustering One,
May you turn your eyes from us
And lay your seething vision somewhere
That no innocent heart is harmed.

Chant:
Hail, hail, the wind and the rain,
Hail, hail the tears and the pain,
Hail, hail the force and the form,
Hail, hail the power of the storm.

(Each goes forth to the altar and wraps themselves in heavy grey cloaks and veils. Then all come into a circle and dance, slowly and heavily, chanting. When the chant builds and subsides, the rainwater is poured out as a libation.)

 

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Your Animal Spirit for August 15th is The Panther

Your Animal Spirit for Today
August 15, 2012

 

Panther

Panther medicine is the medicine of silence. Panther can stalk its prey in absolute silence—one of the reasons native tribes associate him with the spirit world—particularly the night. Panther can show you how to face the Shadow within and bring it out into the Light. Panther is powerful medicine—and the fact that you choose him says much about your willingness to face the unknown.

Calendar of the Moon for June 22

22 Duir/Skirophorion

Day of Thunder

Color: Grey and black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of black patterned with grey clouds and yellow lightning place nine yellow candles, a chalice of rainwater, and if possible, a Tesla coil or other static lightning lamp.
Offerings: Go out into the rain during the next storm, and stand unprotected in it.
Daily Meal: Cold food. Only rainwater to drink.

Day of Thunder Invocation

(Call and response, repeating:)

Dark powers of Air, we honor you!
Lords of the storm cloud, we honor you!
Dancers of the lightning bolt, we honor you!
Roar of the summer skies, we call you!
Zeus of the eagle’s eye,
Shango, leaper in the fire,
Oya, Lady of the Wild Winds,
Thor, Lord of the Hammer,
We acknowledge your power
And we give you our respect!
But rather than merely fear you
We ask for your protection,
For the Thunder can be your friend
If you know how to ask!
So we ask this, Gods of Thunder,
Summer storm that rolls across the land,
Protect us from your fury!
Protect us from your wrath!
Protect us from your destruction!
Protect us from your floods!
Protect us from your wrenching winds!
Protect us from the heat of your lightning!
Protect us from your eroding rain!
Protect us from your pelting hail!
Have mercy on us, Gods of Thunder!

(During the last nine lines, one candle is extinguished on each line. As the room falls into darkness, the snuffer of candles flings the rainwater into the libation well. All cry out, “Protect us!” and flee the room.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Dragons of Wind, Storm and Weather

Dragons of Wind, Storm and Weather

 

 

Dragons of wind and storm and weather in general belong to a subspecies of Air dragons. They are long, slender dragons, some of them with great gauzy wings, others with the Oriental “flying-lump” on their foreheads. Down the spine of the back flutter thin fringes of membrane tissue. They tend to be pale yellows and blues, but change to angry red-orange, purple, or black when they call up storms. Long, feathery antennae rise above their eye ridges.

Dragons of wind, storm, and weather are excellent helpers to control excesses in the weather; get things moving in your life, especially in the areas of creativity and the mental processes; protection; flexibility of the mind; openness to new ideas; sweeping away obstacles, most often in a dramatic fashion.

Sometimes these dragons have feather-looking scales that surround their eyes and necks. Such a dragon was the British Henham dragon, which was well documented in 1669. It as described as being only about nine feet long with small wings and rather curious eyes surrounded by “feathers.” The Henham dragon put in repeated appearance before a great number of observers for several years before it disappeared.

These dragons inhabit cloud banks or very high mountain peaks where the winds never cease. Some Oriental weather dragons live in pools and ponds. They are in almost constant motion, riding the breezy air currents or roaring along with a whistling gales. Sometimes two or more of them join forces, either in play or a temporary dispute, thereby creating tornadoes and hurricanes. When they roll together, lightning and thunder occur.

The ancient Chinese writer Wang Fu wrote that dragons scream like struck copper basins when rain is near. Their breath became clouds. After the fourth month of Summer, the dragons were said to divide the land into territorial sections, thus accounting for the wide diversity of weather in any given region. The Chinese believed that careful observation of dragon activity in the skies could predict the future and the weather. For instance, dragons fighting each other was an omen of a rough journey or approaching storms.

Chinese tradition says that the cry of a male dragon makes the wind rise, while the cry of the female makes it calm again. Their mid-air mating, which is more frequent than with Western dragons, causes great storms and downpours of rain.

The Chinese celestial dragon with the name of Fei Lin was said to appear as a dragon with a bird’s head, deer’s horns and a snake’s tail. The Chinese still hold dragon processions to mark their New Year and to ask for rain and fertility. These festivals are accompanied by lots of noise and dancing to give the dragon and spring a good welcome.

The greatest and Lord of all Dragons was the Celestial Lung. He was different from others of his species as he had five claws on each foot instead of the usual four and had a pair of wings, something missing from most Oriental dragons. He appears to have been a dual-element dragon, since he lived in the sky during the spring and summer and in the ocean during the autumn and winter. Celestial Lung had power over the fertility of all creatures and the land itself. He appointed other Oriental dragons to control areas of human activities, such as music, literature, the military, bridge building, law and architecture.

Many of the Celtic intertwined serpent-dragons were of the Air Element. Above the gate of Kilmainham jail in Dublin can still be seen a large carving of entwined Celtic serpent-dragons. The Danish Ringerike style of carving shows the same kind of dragon. These carved, twisting shapes are full of energy, giving the illusion of constant movement. A Buckle from the Sutton Hoo burial site also portrays these aerial serpent-dragons.

Janet Hoult, in her book “Dragons: Their History & Symbolism (Gothic Image, 1990)” tells of seeing such an aerial display of these dragons above the houses in London. She describes it as a fiery ball of golden “serpents” which looped and writhed around each other in a strange dance in the morning skies.

When the Ringerike style went out of fashion in the Middle Ages and dragons began to be more realistically portrayed, this looping movement was retained in at least the tail if no other part of the body. Since even the vilified Christian dragons had at least one loop in their tails, this may have been a symbol for the great and limitless energy of dragons.

Although one does not usually think of the Australian Rainbow Serpent as being a dragon,, it falls into the category of both weather and water dragons. The Rainbow Serpent is known as a rainmaker in Australia, North America, and West Africa. The Australians say that when the rainbows arch across the land, the Rainbow Serpent is traveling from one water hole or water course to another.

From the deserts of Arizona to the peaks of the Andes, the great Feathered or Plumed Serpent Quetzalcoatl was known as a kindly benefactor and rainmaker. When he arched himself across the heavens, he was an awesome sight, with multicolored scales and bright feathers about his neck and head. When he appeared among his human followers, he chosen the form of a handsome young man attired in a cloak of feathers from the quetzal bird. Quetzalcoatl was the god of win, creator of all life forms, the loving father who produced fertility and ample rain. He taught humans the arts and crafts of civilization and gave them the gift of fire. When Tezcatlipoca, god of war, turned the people to sacrificing living human hearts, Quetzalcoatl left the land.

Even in the British Isles, there are still a few remnants of ancient dragons processions for good spring weather. At one time there were a great many suck festivals. Most of the significance has been lost because of the extreme propaganda by the church. In Britain many of the dragon figures carried in the processions have been destroyed. One of the very few remaining is carried each May as part of the Helston Furry Dance. Two very old dragon effigies now hang in the Castle Museum at Norwich. The Civic Snap, which is the older of the two, dates from about 1795; the Pockthorpe Snap was made by the people of a neighboring village.

Throughout the Middle Ages, these dragons effigies for the spring festivals were very elaborate. They had wings that flapped, horseshoes for gums that made a clacking noise as their mouths opened and closed, and gun powder that made them belch smoke and fire. They were painted in bright colors and quickly became the centerpiece and most popular part of the processions.


In Central and South American and the Caribbean there was a dragon called Huracan; hurricanes were named after him. He was also responsible for earthquakes. In Olmec and Mayan carving of Huracan, he is shown with two forelegs one crooked up , the other down, to suggest his spinning movement. He has only one hind leg the destructive leg that sweeps across the Earth. Other carvings show a man sitting inside what was called Dragon-mouth Cave, and identify this person as Huracan’s brother; it is more likely an initiate. Dragon-mouth Cave has the dragon’s eye on its top with the dragon’s flaming eyebrows; the pupil of the eye is an X. Out of the cave mouth issues clouds of mist-laden breath, a symbol of both rain and the fertility of spirit. Carved near this cave mouth are four sets of concentric circle, the South American sign of precious jade-water (spiritual moisture or blessings).

In ancient Greek culture Typhon was one of the children of the Goddess Gaea and Tartarus. He created powerful, destructive whirlwinds called typhoons. He was pictured with a human body, legs of coiling serpents, a hundred dragons’ heads and many wings. Fire glittered from his many eyes.

This subspecies of dragons is petitioned for weather changes, such as bringing rain, abating a storm or calming wind. Obviously, the magician cannot collect any substance from their dwelling places, but he can entice them by using a small drum and the gong or bell to draw their attention. Wind chimes and winds socks also attract them. The magician can easily work outside with this dragon force. However, do not go outside, particularly under trees or with any metal objects, during a thunderstorm! Such action can be potentially dangerous, because lightning could strike you.

Chant while beating the drum or striking the gong with a slow, steady beat:

THE WINDS ARE HOWLING THROUGH THE TREES.
THE CLOUDS ARE RACING ‘CROSS THE SKY.
THE WEATHER IS CHANGING ONCE AGAIN.
GREAT DRAGONS ARE PASSING BY.
BY THOUGHT I FOLLOW YOUR AIRY DANCE
THROUGH MOUNTAINS OF CLOUDS ABOVE SO HIGH,
BRING US GOOD WEATHER FOR THIS LAND.
GREAT DRAGONS, PASS ON BY.

Happy, Happy Thursday, Yes Indeed A Happy Thursday To All!

Good Thursday Morning dear readers and friends! I am not going to write forever I promise. I just wanted to say, “Thank You for all of your prayers, petitions, candle lighting and everything else that was done for my area of the country.” I have always believed that when Pagans come together, we can accomplish great things. I truly believe that now more than ever. Yesterday, I told you I was going to transfer some more info over from my old group. I got throwed off the internet by a fast-moving storm. I turned the TV over to the Weather Channel and there was a huge storm mass coming our direction. The storm was all red which means this storm system is capable of producing tornadoes. One minute the storm was a huge mass, the next it had split right down the middle. The front part that was still headed our direction was slowly dissolving and eventually disappeared. The other mass took a northerly path and missed us totally. That system was the last system headed toward our direction. What was so unusual was the last system splitting the way it did and then just dissolving. As I watched that system, cold chills ran over my body. I knew exactly why this had happened. It happened because of you and your prayers. I wanted to say thank you, dear friends for helping those of us who are in dire straights. Please continue to pray for them. Also continue to pray that our weather stays clear were we can clean up and get those that lost everything a place to stay and anything else they may need. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.