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Archive for September, 2014

dreams_difference_game

I have been thinking about and observing for some time now how much we change when we step foot on a spiritual path. These changes occur even if we do not overtly acknowledge the spiritual nature of our work. The volunteer at the animal shelter who has offered up their space of time and energy to sacred creatures is doing the work of Spirit. The person who stops to help another pick up papers that have scattered is doing the work of the Divine. The parent who offers their heart and home to a foster child is walking a path of the Higher Self. And, because of all of these seemingly mundane and small changes, things are different for those they impact and for themselves.

I have also sat and silently observed those who choose not to reach out in a giving way. Their general demeanor is one that is contractive in expression and the rigidity that they exude seems to stifle even their own breath of inhale and exhale. They most often do not see a broader picture and the connections that they forge are strained and impersonal at best. Each day seems to bring more of the sameness and in that stagnant sameness there is very little space for change. There is no time nor space for the Divine and their actions and the  word they create for themselves clearly shows the lack of reverence.

I have expressed both ends of those spectrums. My “me” stage was forged as a defense mechanism because of feeling inadequate and my natural response to being categorized by others that way was to be hard and brittle, never showing weakness or vulnerability. Fortunately, this phase was not a lasting one and as I loosened the defenses a bit and dropped the shields I saw the possibilities held in choosing to live a spiritually rich life.

As I think back on those changes, there is no clearly defining moment that I can point to as being the pivotal awakening. Each step was dynamic in its own way and soon the choices I made, the way in which I expressed my spiritual nature and the expansiveness of that expression were given no more thought than that given to remembering to breathe. And, because of this- Things Are Different!…

Because I have chosen to remain awake in the process of life, Things Are Different!

Because I have chosen to lead, knowing I will make my own mistakes, rather than follow another’s, Things Are Different!

Because I love deeply and am loved, Things Are Different!

Because I ask questions whose answers lead to deeper queries, Things Are Different!

Because I am empowered by what cannot be seen and shape my own course from its energy, Things Are Different!

Because I remain open to change and welcome the possibilities, Things Are Different!

Because I listen to the wisdom of the silence and direct the power of my words with care, Things Are Different!

Because I hold the attitude of gratitude even in loss, Things Are Different!

Because I strive each day to be a better person than I was the day before, Things Are Different!

Because even though I fear change I will let its hand guide me, Things Are Different!

Because I am strong and not afraid to share that strength, Things Are Different!

Because I have silently observed great pain transformed by the grace of perseverance, Things Are Different!

Because I am not ashamed to weep at the feet of the Divine, Things Are Different!

Because I hunger for knowledge and freely give of what has become personal wisdom, Things Are Different!

Because I continue to drink freely from the well of creative inspiration that is Divinely offered, Things Are Different!

Because I have purposefully allowed others to see my vulnerability, Things Are Different!

Because I am a seeker on a path whose beauty is blinding in its simplicity, Things Are Different!

Because I have chosen to create my own successes, Things Are Different!

Because I choose to accept my failures, Things Are Different!

Because I have given oath to walk a path of service, Things Are Different!

Because I live my spiritual truths 24/7-365 days a year, Things Are Different!

Because I push the boundaries without hesitation, Things Are Different!

Because I have felt the joyous surrender of giving myself completely in the ecstasy of music’s embrace, Things Are Different!

Because I am a catalyst, Things Are Different!

Because I offer up devotion to my Gods through the strivings of my own humanity Things Are Different!

Because my life is filled with the magick of knowing there is More to Be-Come – I Am Different!

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Please enjoy the latest installment of my Sabbat articles featured on Witchvox:

The Hermit’s Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox

The Great Wheel has turned once again and we find ourselves at the place of the Autumnal Equinox. The Equinoxes astronomically mark a point when the North and South poles of the Earth are neither tilted away nor towards the Sun. Twice yearly, this event means that both hemispheres are in receipt of equal amounts of day or night respectively. In the Northern Hemisphere the air is cooler, the leaves are turning and beginning to fall from brittle branches and all of life is giving pause to prepare for what changes lay ahead. This is the second of the three harvests and the fields are already beginning to brown as the day’s light gently wanes and we are enveloped in the quickening darkness of the setting sun. In a few more weeks the silence of Samhain’s energy will issue call to the Ancestors and their wisdom. But, for now we must lay the foundations upon which we will stand as we reach deeper into the waning year’s shrouded light. Read more:

The Hermit’s Light- Article

The Hermit’s Lantern- Poetry

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This post is part of the Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path on-line course available at one of my other blogs: A Witch’s Sacred Journey. There is an accompanying pathworking available at the end of that posting, that could be used now several times in the weeks leading up to the parting of the Veils and Samhain’s energy….. Enjoy!

Samhain and its counterpart, Beltane, are the time of access to the wisdom of the natural world and the Ancestors. The energy that is called forth at Beltane and communion with the nature spirits and the Fae stands as the point of inception and quickening of what will move, expand and grow in its form and scope towards the next opportunity. When it comes half wheel cycle to Samhain this energy of communication with and greater access to what lay beyond our physical realms has matured and deepened as we call to the Ancestors to offer up their wisdom. It is this wisdom that will carry us through the darkening of the months, the turning within and the introspection that holds within its womb the spark of Light that will be birthed at the Winter Solstice.

I do a great deal of personal energetic work infusing some of the Eastern mystical practices with those of Western Magick. When drawing on this synthesis and applying it to the energies present at Beltane and Samhain we can use each to inform the other. Beltane’s fires are those of consummate union, celebrated with the union of God and Goddess, male and female. These are the qualities of the polarities held within each of us. Parting the veils at this time is an opening to our natural and instinctual self. The connection to the basic needs and desires that are the promise of continuation of species and cycle of growth and evolution. Energetically, as we enter Samhain’s parting of the veils and its energy we are now ready to open to the experience of our mature and wizened nature and the union of what we may access of the Higher Self informed by the wisdom of our Lower Self. The union of these integral parts of our spiritual and physical states of being enables the transformative reaching out and ultimate connection to the Ancestors who have helped to form who we are.

As we enter into the Dark Half of the year, the winter months and the Sabbats that are held within that space we bring with us the expectations of this growth. We have finished harvesting what had been nurtured from the time of the previous Winter Solstice forward and we hold expectation that the ripe fruits we have carefully selected from this harvest will sustain us through this time of fallow fields, frost and cold. We approach the opening of the veils with great expectations of coming face to face with what visions and mysteries are rooted in our core state of being and align ourselves with the energies of the Dark Goddess and the wisdom of the Crone. It is Her wisdom that takes us into the realms of the Ancestors and the blessings they wish to bestow. And. although we may feel that our intent is clear and purposeful, we often do not embrace every ounce of what lay hidden, largely from fear of what we will lay claim to. Moreover, we hesitate because we are afraid of what the answers that we so dearly seek may be.

For many there is lack of clarity about who and what the Ancestors are. And, this definition will be a variety of things depending on your own beliefs. The Ancestors may be of your own lineage, meaning departed family or those whom offered guidance during their living human existence. If you expand this further and consider that we are all interconnected as spiritual beings, regardless of blood lines, the Ancestors take on the form of all of the great souls who in their incarnation offered teachings, wisdom, and were examples of illuminated and evolved humans. These are those that exemplified the adage that we are Spiritual beings having a physical experience. Most often when you begin the intention of asking for information of the Ancestors, there is greater comfort in the specificity of inquiring of a departed family member or friend. The personal connection and feeling is what makes the difference between asking for help from a Patron or Deity you work with and an Ancestor.

The truth of the matter is that the Ancestors, our guides and guardians want us to succeed. They want us to step fully into the light of who and what we truly are. The Gods and Goddesses want us to become more fully aligned with facing our truths, because then we are better able to see the reality and beauty of their truths. In all of these instances the time of Samhain and the parting of the veils is the optimal time for reaching out and drawing to ourselves the reflected and refined image of understanding that holds everything we need to know.

One of the primary precepts in working with Ancestral wisdom is that of gratitude. Whenever we step into a place of gratitude for what has been received we are aligning ourselves with our Higher Self. Offerings to the Ancestors, altars of remembrance or simply holding a cherished memory in mind strengthen that energetic connection. Opening ourselves to offering up and the act of expressing that gratitude initiates a cycle of receipt and return. It is the universal law of magnetism in action. All that we send out, positive or negative seeks the energy of that which is compatible and similar. Gratitude calls to our place of Spirit within the eternal and the wisdom of those who reside within those realms.

If we are able to stand strong in our conviction and intent to seek the wisdom of our Ancestors as the thinning between the worlds occurs, the information gained becomes the foundation upon which we stand as we begin the process of turning within and integrating what has been received. Like the Hermit of the Tarot, we become the master of our own Will, seeking our truths and finding our way using the light of the lantern of truth.

To access the Pathworking that accompanies this post, please click here and scroll down mid-page:

A Pathworking of Opening

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I sit in a place of quiet and
The tensions of the day fall like
Droplets of water at my feet.

Before me is a candle of light
That opens my mind to the
Potential that lays within.

Below me is the floor of
My home, the treasured
Strength and foundation
That supports and holds
Me in its warm embrace.

Above me is the shelter that
Keeps me warm and dry as
The elements rage and winter
Takes its icy hold.

Within me is the gift
Of a Universe of star-filled
Light and core of primal waters
That call me into their depths.

Time ceases and the rhythm and
Flow of Cosmic vibration’s
Design moves through me as
Subtle bodies respond to
The playing of their celestial
Light filled strands.

I sit and I connect with
My innermost thoughts
And this sacred space of
Physical and ephemeral
Holds my secrets and
With silent encouragement
Moves me along my chosen Path.

What do you claim as your space of spiritual practice? Is it a beautifully appointed room set aside only for the sacred work? Or, does it rest at the core center of who you are?

The notion of sacred space having to always be a definable and discernible location is one that is perpetuated. There is, of course, work that requires the establishment of a firmly defined locale that is prepared as sacred space, but I would like to expand that place of setting to be a definition that is inclusive of those places of spiritual practice that are limitless in their reach and less definable in their boundaries. If we consider the daily work we undertake for ourselves that is often dense with responsibility, short on personal time and filled with obligatory action, the definition of  a dedicated space of spiritual practice becomes less about the where and more about the who.

All around us people engage in some form of practice continually. By definition, the word practice means:

  1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
  2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.
  3. carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

These are all applicable at some (or many) times as we move through our day’s activities. These actions may not be defined as “spiritual” in nature, but the the fact is that we are inherently divinely spiritual beings. Therefore, every action, word, thought, effort we make (in any of the worlds, but most particularly in the physical realm) is part of an ongoing practice of becoming more engaged at deeper levels with what and who surrounds us. The opportunities are endless in offering diverse experiences that allow us to “practice” the art of spiritual awareness. A simple smile offered to one who seems unapproachable; the wishing of a good day to a stranger or the speaking up on behalf of someone whose voice does not have the strength to be heard are all points of lessons learned from practice.

Many of us believe that living a life that is full and enriched by our spiritual path is one that occurs 24/7-365 days a year. If we make our best effort at living the expression of that belief then every setting we find ourselves in, whether it be the meditation room or the board room of your workplace, is indeed sacred space. What occurs in that space may be less than a positive expression of our higher nature, but that does not negate the fact that the space that is holding that energy remains sacred all the while. Imagine how that thought process would potentially change the interactions had and the outcomes achieved?

Now, I am not suggesting a pollyanna approach and an “everything is beautiful” attitude in every situation. Quite the contrary. I believe that we rise to our spiritual best in times of adversity if we hold true to the intent that the sacred is all around us and treat each situation, no matter how difficult, with carefully weighed response. The slow and steady daily strengthening of intent and refining of our will towards a state of flexible response becomes the transparent support for the time we spend in meditation, working our magick or honing our energetic bodies. The challenges we face in daily interaction are not so dissimilar to those we encounter as we stretch ourselves towards quieting our minds in contemplation or pushing ourselves a bit further in the magick we weave.

As we become more inclusive of our environment as sacred space in our spiritual work, the extension of this realm of earth towards the greater Cosmos is not so far a leap. We open the lens of our perception a little wider and begin to notice the sun, the moon and the stars and the subtle effects each has on our deeper work. We sit in quiet reflection opening our consciousness to be fully present in the sacred space we have established and transform that space into the tapestry of our solar system. The sun takes on a different form, the Moon becomes the face of the Goddess and the stars tell the story of ancient lands and beings of great power. We draw our consciousness back into the reality of our physical space and return from the vastness of an indefinable and boundless space of practice forever changed.

So, as you go through your day, see the sacredness of this physical experience as a gift of trial and error. Practice the art of your spiritual truths with each breath of inhalation and each sigh of release. Look up towards the heavens and breath into the vastness of a sacred space of which you have access by the will of true intent. Bring the sacred into every aspect of your being and step fully into being the sacred space of your spiritual practice.

So Mote It Be!

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10--34490-Puzzle Pieces coming Together
When we remember it is similar to pulling together the pieces of a puzzle. A common strategy is to find the pieces that are the edges of the puzzle and fill in from a place a stable boundary. From this foundation, the inside pieces are added and before you know it you can see the whole picture of the completed puzzle!

I did a tarot reading for myself last night that resulted in the cards clearly relaying the message of re-membering and re-assembling the balance of heart and mind to enhance the relationships I currently enjoy. Particularly the relationship I have with the various parts of my SELF.

This process is about the alchemy of strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones that offer opportunities for collaborative and creative sharing. For most of us it is an easier task to attend to those relationships outside of ourselves. The hardest is facing and biding the space of dialogue between the various parts of our Inner Selves. Turning within to re-member and reassemble those parts of self is the first act of collaborative self-relationship.

When we claim our natural state of balance- the place where both our light and shadow natures intertwine and become as one source of strength, we begin the act of memory of our Divine potential. When we gather together those gifts of heart, mind and body and align them with our Soul’s purpose we begin the alchemy of reassembling what had been scattered and separated. As that inner relationship is tended and nurtured we can begin to expand and extend the joy found in that process to infuse those outer relationships we hold so dear.

And, the positive energy that flows from a mutual exchange of life lived in totality brings with it the shared experience and sweetness of grace for all that was freely given and all that was gratefully received. I will remember to give adequate time for reflecting on those parts of myself that have lain dormant and unloved. I will embrace them as my own and use them to build a stronger foundation upon which I may more generously give. I will add each piece of the puzzle with intention until the last piece is settled into its place and the picture of one who loves and is loved is complete.

What will you re-member of your life?

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