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Posts Tagged ‘excellence’

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I love using my hands. In particular, moving them in a way that allows the fingers to flow in an expressive way. I love to watch others use their hands as well; most often completely unaware of the grace of beauty and form as fingers trace patterns in the air. Our hands open in offering as the grace of abundance flows from wrist to finger-tip. Our hands close tightly in rejection of what is being offered and hold safe the central point of chakra and opening as sacred seed not yet ready for quickening. If the eyes are the gateway to the Soul, I believe the hands are the co-creators in painting the visual expression of that Soul’s work.

In spiritual work hands and the placement of the fingers to create specific shapes and forms punctuate the energy desired or directed and the container in which that energy will move in receptively or flow out projectively. The mudras of the yogi tell the store of creation and the mystery of how creative energy flows.

Our hands are able to grasp manifest materials and the fingers gently hold those treasures in place or crush them back to their base elements. The sensitivity of touch and the sensing of surrounding energy as we reach out into the enveloping space set in to motion visceral and neural response to what we are experiencing.

The carefully directed flow of intent-filled energy as finger becomes the working tool of magickal space offers opportunity for our physical form to literally become the vessel of the magick we are weaving. No need for wand, sword or athame if flesh, blood and bone work cohesively to produce the desired effect.

Our fingers point and guide the attention to whatever direction is the center point and the light caress of fingertips reveals the love and desire flowing through another. We use the fingers as the drawing and guiding tools of pulling someone in for a closer look or loving embrace and we repel with first contact of finger and hand to keep another at distance.

Our fingers and hands create the space of entertainment on shadow lit walls as creatures and scenes come to life. And, serve as the filling support for puppets at play. With gentle syncopation and accent and the dynamic grasping of baton, music carries us to faraway places and inner adventures woven like stories from notes and vibrating air. Instruments respond with harmony or intended dissonance at fingers’ correct placement and fingers fly with mercurial speed on communication across silver and gold flute.

Our fingers can soothe or harm as extension of love or anger’s guise and the impatient drumming of finger on smooth surface can drive to distraction. And, the same repetitive motion turned now towards plucking of harp strings uplifts and brings us closer to the ethereal realms.

We type ad write, paint and craft as creativity flows through in tactile and kinesthetic form. Our mind’s great thoughts drawn down through upper body and final product a vision of inspired act. The gifting of a book or piece of beautifully crafted art holding the indelible finger-prints of our hearts exchange in offering to the chosen one.

Our hands are marvelous things that hold the depth and wisdom of causing change, inspiring action and holding steady and strong. They are powerful and gentle and fit so comfortably together with that of another. So, pick up the brush of finger-tip and dip deeply into the colors of energy and life. Let the painting of your work fill the canvas of a life’s journey. Tell the story, let the energy flow and look into the heart of your creation as arms, hands and fingers wrap round to embrace the being of creative life that you are.

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Etch the words carefully
As finger presses against paper
My thoughts spill through
Each pore as inspiration flows.

Accent the meaning with
Strongly pointed and directive
Finger and bring the truth of
My telling to gather in the heights.

Gently cradle newborn’s body
Knowing that your actions
Will soothe and calm as
New life is held tenderly
And fingers caress smooth skin.

Breathe into the creation
Color flowing from brush
Of finger and paint the
Story of your making
And the vision of your Soul.

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This post is one that I wrote in March of 2013. The sentiment and intention for its writing is once again very true and this year, in particular has been brutal for many leaving them feeling less than empowered by the choices, responses and reactions that have occurred.  The irony is that this post came on the heels of an intense winter and the promise of Spring close at hand. Now, we find ourselves entering into the unknown of what this upcoming year’s winter will bring and the greater opportunity to move inwards in reflection as we bolster and “batten down the hatches”…..

It seems that many are having multiple challenges at all levels of their lives over the course of the past few months. These challenges may have been exacerbated by the intense winter weather, power outages and stressful commutes. This week’s post is an opportunity to release any challenges you are facing and craft within yourself the space of renewal and empowerment. As Spring approaches and the promise of warmer days is just ahead, time for a little spring tune-up.

You may use this pathworking regularly and enjoy the continued effects of routinely clearing away and bolstering your inner strength. Below are some guidelines about how to get the most from your pathworking experience:

Good– Read through the pathworking each time you want to use the pathworking. Make note of pausing in the reading wherever it feels like more time would be spent in the specific train of thought.

Better- Read through the pathworking several times and as you do so, try to set up key points that are stored in the memory. In this way, you can create your own scenarios using the structure of the original pathworking without having to read through the text each time.

Best- Employ the physicality of recording the pathworking in your own voice, which produces an effective recognizable neurological imprint inducing physiological response and imprint to listen to.

When you are ready to make the recording be sure to select a space where you will not be interrupted and has minimal background noise.

Be sure to speak slowly (more so, if you tend to speak quickly and do not annunciate well) and clearly and to give pause where it would naturally occur if you were reading aloud. There may be some points in the meditation where you will want to spend several minutes in the locale that is being presented. Remember to give adequate time of silence for this. Do not stop the recording. Pause in your reading of it and then begin again when sufficient time has passed. Allow the amount of time you wish to have to fill the space on the recording and then resume the reading of the pathworking.

Find a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. Sit back and Enjoy!

The Elixir of Golden Light

Relax your mind and body as you sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths; slowly inhaling 1-2-3 and   exhaling 1-2-3.  Allow your body to establish a gentle, even rhythm of breath; taking you to a restful and peaceful state of consciousness. As your breathing becomes restful allow your consciousness to shift upwards; passing up through the ceiling of the room you are sitting in room and up through the roof of the building. Continue this ascent upwards and out into the moonlit sky. You are aware of the rooftops below and the velvety sky above.

As you travel upwards you become aware of a thick brown and green mist forming around you. You become aware of the smell of  loamy, rich, brown earth and you feel the texture and support of soft fertile dirt beneath your feet. You realize that you are standing in the midst of a lush green forest with trees forming a canopy above and the support of rich brown earth underfoot. Take a moment to take in the smells, the energy and the feel of this perfect space of nature’s creation.

As you look up towards the canopy of trees above you are aware of a glowing white orb slowing descending towards you. As this orb of pure white light descends to within arms’ length, you realize that this place and orb of healing light have been created to bind, contain, heal and transform that which troubles or burdens you.

Now, in this place of perfect grounding and trust, give form to those things that you wish to release. Give form to those issues and situations which cause you concern. Give form to all that you feel is of challenge and obstacle at this time preventing you from being your highest self.

With intent and will reach out, gather these forms together and push them into the center of the brilliance of the sphere in front of you binding them firmly into this single orb of release. Once the orb is filled with all that you wish to release, reach out and grasp it in your hands, holding it outstretched and away from you. Take a moment and take note of the feel and the weight of it. Feel the energy of all that you released to it pulsing within.

Slowly place the sphere into the softness of the earth below, pushing it deep within the ground and allowing the earth to absorb and transform that which has caused you concern. The Great Mother is taking this weight from you and offering you peace and relief. Brush the dirt from your hands and take a moment to savor the feeling of this lightness of being; of the weight of your burdens no longer a part of your being.

As you think on this, you become aware of something shining in the moonlight, and as you take a few steps forward you realize that it is the reflection of the surface of a small pond a few feet ahead of you. The water sparkles like diamonds in the moonlight and it radiates peace and serenity. You feel that if only you could touch it, and slide into the shimmering liquid that it would wash away all of the remaining tension that you have.

Slowly you remove your clothes and drape them over the nearby bush. You step to the edge of the water, sit down on the grass and dangle your feet in the pond, noting that the water is surprisingly warm. The pond is not deep, so you slide in and sit leaning against the bank; your head gently resting on the soft grass at water’s edge. As you close your eyes and relax into the warm water you feel all of the tension and concern slipping away; drawn deep into the cleansing waters. Take a moment and truly feel the peace and calm enveloping you. Rest in the gentle support of the healing waters and feel every cell of your being opening to renewal.

Something gently brushes against your feet and you open your eyes to see that a lily pad is floating towards you with something shiny on it. As the flower moves closer you notice a sparkling powder in the center. You take a little of the powder and wet it. It lathers and foams forming bubbles and you begin to wash your body with the foam. It tingles against your skin, energizing and revitalizing wherever it touches. Take a moment to relish the feel of this energizing foam and when you are ready slip down into the water and wash the foam from your body.

As you wipe the water from your eyes you see that a goblet of fine crystal, filled with a golden liquid has been placed on the grassy edge of the pond. Curious, you take the goblet in your hand and hesitate a moment before lifting it to your lips. You only hesitate a moment because you know that you are in a place of perfect love and perfect trust and that all in this special place are gifts from the Goddess and Her world of Nature.

You slowly tilt the goblet and allow the liquid to flow down your throat and you know intuitively that this is a liqueur of inner strength and self-confidence. This is the empowering nectar that all have savored who would live their truths and stay strong on their course of purpose. As the nectar fills your being, turn your thoughts to how you would wish to be a stronger person. What truths you would wish to manifest in your life.  What the essence of the truth in your heart is and the ways in which you could walk your path in deeper trust and greater love.

As you finish the last drops of liquid you look around and now feel more solid, stable and more substantial and capable of handling any situation which may arise in your life. You gently place the empty goblet on the soft earth and put your clothes on; readying yourself to return to the physical world in a renewed and more loving state. You feel rested and imbued with inner peace. When you are dressed take another look at the pond and know within your heart that this place will always be waiting for you any time you have need. As this thought runs through you and you focus on the inner strength you now feel, you become aware that the pond and forest and earth are beginning to fade from sight. Everything swirling back into an olive colored mist and you feel yourself slowly descending down.

You pass once again through the moonlit night sky and the tops of roofs become more visible as you descend downward. You pass easily through the outside of the building in which you began this journey and come to rest gently back in the room in which you started. You become aware of your physical body resting comfortably in your room and as you gently allow your consciousness to slip back into your physical body you become more aware of the sounds, smells and energies in your space. Take a few deep breaths and when you are ready gently flutter your eyes open, returning to the here and now.

Excerpted from:

R.Fennelly.The Enchanted Gate:Musings on the Magick of the Natural World.February.2013

To Read More about Pathworkings and their uses, take a look at previous posts. There are also many other posts that contain pathworkings you may find useful. Simply type “pathworking” in the Search box:

Pathworking or Guided Meditation– Part 1

Pathworking or Guided Meditation– Part 2

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My favorite movie when I was younger was the 1950’s classic-  Bell, Book and Candle with Kim Novak and James Stewart. It was the story of a witch who loses her powers because she falls in love with a mortal.  The happy ending is that she ends up with the object of her love and they live happily ever after. I was intrigued by the movie and the workings of witchcraft and have often thought back to this first exposure to the concept of the tools and books of spell work.

These next two posts will explore the uses of the tools of the Craft (the Bell), the necessary Books that support the work and finally a brief over view of Candle Magick (next week).

Bells and other Tools

There are many and varied tools that are used in the Wiccan practice of magick. These, in and of themselves are not inherently the “source” of magickal power, but work as conduits and points of focus for the magickal practitioner.  You may often hear it said that there is really no need for any tools other than yourself in working magick; and this statement would be both true and false.

The energy and focus and intent are specifically your products, so if you did not have your tools with you and needed to perform a magickal working, improvisation on finding suitable “stand-ins” or using nothing but your own devices would be necessary.

On the other hand, we are symbol driven beings. The kinesthetic, tactile and engaging of the senses in connecting to and working with a specific tool are vital components to pulling the wholeness of the working or intent together. The tools serve to stimulate and place your consciousness in alignment with what the intent and focus of the working is.  Your personal energy which becomes a vested part of the tools you calm as your own, works in resonance with the energetic state in which you are when the ritual or working is begun. You could think of it in terms of the tools holding your energetic imprint and memory of all the workings you have done previously.

Because your tools become so much a part of your magickal being, it is not unusual to see a witch bring their athame into the ritual space and are worn on the person of the witch; even if coven or another’s tools are present that will be actively used. The athame is carried in a sheath that can be attached to the cords worn and should be at the ready should someone need to be “cut in or out” (using the athame to scribe (or cut) a doorway in the energetic fabric of the cast circle) of the circle during ritual. The wand may be placed twined within the cords worn over the ritual robes and readied to direct and focus a stream of energy towards a specific point during the ritual or working; if called upon. It is for these reasons that often an amulet in the shape of a pentacle is worn by the witch. In some group rituals, everyone is asked to bring their own chalice to be used by themselves in the ritual celebration or working. Having your own specific tools and then using them regularly strengthens their intent.

So, what are these tools and how do you go about acquiring them? The basic set of tools for the working witch align with the elements:

Air/Intellect/Mind = Athame, Swords or Daggers *

Fire/Will/Desire = Wands and Staves *

* in some traditions these tools are switched in their elemental assignment

Water/Emotion/Intuitive Nature = Cauldron and Chalice

Earth/Body/Foundation = Pentacle

Bells

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I’m sure many of us remember standing on the sidelines as a parade went by and the feeling of resonance within our bodies when the band would pass with the thumping beat of the big bass drums. We responded from the core and felt completely shaken from the vibrations of this massive instrument.

Sound is all around us; albeit transparent to most as we go about our busy days. But certain levels of sound and certain vibratory frequencies within that resonance can transport us from a harried pace to a clam peaceful setting. From a place of inertia to involuntarily making us move and finally transporting us to a place of altered consciousness and ecstatic experience.

The ringing of a clear bell just prior to ritual, cuts through the energy and with intent serves to clear the space to be used of negative energy. It also gets our attention; and signals that something is about to happen. The same toning of a crystal singing bowl can, in addition to clearing space also help to raise the level of response and vibration within our own energetic fields.  We feel the energy rising within and consciousness moves in accord with that elevation. Sound creates different energetic patterns and states of consciousness. Incorporating sound into ritual and workings adds another layer of awareness and potential for opening and manifesting. I often use a singing bowl prior to workshops and at times within ritual.  The gentle crescendo of sound and the resonance of higher pitch lend themselves nicely in actively rising on the planes in an auditory sensorial experience.

 A Book is not Just a Book

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Books are the staple of magickal practice, teaching and learning. Access to what in past years had been only shared among initiates and those who had committed to coven, lodge or grove is not only prevalent in all venues but at times difficult to sort through selecting what is bonafide and usable information.  Technology has made reading in any venue as simple as turning on a phone, tablet or computer.  Still, there is nothing like the tactile sensation of holding a book, read it slowly and digesting each new thought allowing it to nourish and feed the hunger to learn.

Books from reputable and respected authors within the community serve to enrich and enhance our learning process and inspire us to debate, question and formulate our own conclusions.  As we continue to gather more information and fill our personal libraries there comes a point when you will want to begin a Book of Shadow and Light. This is essentially a journal or guide that holds special Quarter Calls, rituals, information and results of herbs used , incense recipes, spell work, etc. It is your own personal record of your magickal workings and progress and represents you actively engaging in the creative process.  It is called a Book of Shadow and Light to correspond to the polarity of all magickal workings; that which is overt and that which is hidden from plain sight. This journal should be dedicated to holding your magickal process and not used for mundane or other purposes.

A Book of Shadows may also contain journal entries that relate to the work done and the after effects.  I prefer to keep these entries in a separate journal, since I often will go back and review them and it is more portable to carry a smaller journal.  You will also want to bring your Book of Shadows intro sacred space with you; especially if there is a specific call, invocation or order of ritual that you wish to repeat precisely as done previously.

Generally, your BOS is not something to share with others, hence the mystery that often surrounds such a record.  It is your own personal journey and committing that journey to writing gives power and intent to the works that you do. It is also a history of your beginning steps on the Path of the Wise and can be used as a treasured and valuable resource as the years progress, your skills and knowledge increase and truly living a magickal life has become a 24/7 experience.

What Should it Look Like ?

There are no set and fast rules about what form or how your BOS should look. Some prefer an actual journal type book; others prefer to use electronic files and keep everything on the computer. One is not more effective or better than the other. The important thing is to make it your own. Personalize it in your own unique style. If it is an actual book handle it frequently. You are then also imprinting your energy into it in a physical, manifest way. If it is electronic, BACK UP your files regularly. Open them regularly and as you are typing establish a flow of energy that moves with intent from your hands and fingers into the keys as you type. Remember, as with all magickal working and practice, INTENT is the basis of movement forward on your desired path. With that thought in mind, your BOS can be as simple as a spiral bound notebook or as elaborate as a finely decorated handcrafted journal.

Journaling Your Entries

If you have a space available that you routinely use for your personal rituals or daily meditation, this is an excellent space to also dedicate for the writing in your BOS. Information is freshest just after completing a ritual. So, if you are working a personal ritual, remain for whatever time is needed to record your experiences and make note of what worked what didn’t etc.  You can even incorporate this into part of the working so this act becomes part of the ritual itself. If attending a public ritual, there is usually time and space after to jot down a few notes before leaving. I have often sat in my car after a potent ritual and committed everything to my BOS before I started my journey home. And, then I always completed more the next day as other insights revealed themselves.

Be sure to record your experiences in meditation and divination practice as well. These entries form the foundation of a timeline of your progress. Looking back and marveling at how far you have come in your spiritual progress encourages you to be confident in how you process energy, ritual experience and meditative guidance.

Next week…  Candles, Spellwork and Magick

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There is a saying that I firmly believe that states that all (positive spiritual) paths ultimately lead to the One (source of all).  My belief in this has come as the conclusion of countless numbers of years exploring many different belief systems.  From these explorations, threads of commonality, albeit, different semantics, have woven a spiritual tapestry that is  as rich and diverse as the many roads Ive taken. I had benefit of being raised in n open and supportive spiritual environment.  My Grandmother and Mother had briefly taken the fundamentalist Christian path and came to settle on a new thought metaphysical religion. There was no dogma and the core belief was in the inherent divinity within each individual. The aspiration towards the Christ Consciousness (exemplified by Jesus; but not exclusive to this individual) was goal of spiritual work done through positive affirmation and conscious awareness of the effect of mind on matter.

I taught Sunday School and gave some Sunday lessons while still in my early teens and tried to live the spiritual life 24/7; another concept of practice that emphasized the spiritual path as one that extends well beyond Sunday Service and religious holiday.  All the while I was active in this church, encouragement was given to explore freely what other spiritual paths had to offer.  Rosicrucian and Astara, Witchcraft and Buddhist Philosophy, Yoga and Eastern Energetic Protocols all blended seamlessly in a young mind that was eager to learn and grow.

I also firmly believe that choosing a specific spiritual path is a very personal choice and as such should be made by every individual of their own accord and in their own time. When we had children, it was my mission to allow them to experience a broad spectrum of spiritual and cultural practice.  We celebrated holidays of Hindu, Jewish, Catholic/Christian and more.  My own practice of Wicca flowed through many of the seasons and the children were free to attend what they wished of coven and Tradition events. As they have become young adults, their spiritual path is their own to claim, but the foundations were laid for more informed choice.

When we reach out to obtain more information about the varied beliefs, we are better informed about what our own belief system looks like. When we take the time to participate in some of the rites and ceremonies of worship, we can feel at a deeper level what resonates for our own practice. And, if after having decided on our own course we maintain the effort at bridging the divide that often occurs when we only see from the narrow lens of our perspective, and remain open to what each spiritual path has to offer the other, we become the bridge under whose strength the many streams to the One may flow.

This week do a little research into a spiritual path other than your own.  What are the commonalities and what are the differences? Are there aspects that would enrich your current practice?  When we expand our perspectives in this way we create new stepping stones that elevate and inspire us to seek more from the current stream of practice we flow upon.  The pieces of each new offerings puzzle find there point of connection and the gifts of a new shoreline to explore are within reach.

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I opened my Mind and
Inspiration flowed
Through clearing
Away what was rigid
And unyielding.

I opened my Heart
And I felt that
Love could be
Found in all
Positive paths.

I opened my Eyes
Seeing the beauty
In those whose
Devotion brought
Them nearer to
Their Gods.

I set my foot on the
Stones of my making
Heart and Mind all
In eager accord.

Each stone held a mystery
Each space between the
Synthesizing pause of
Spirit’s illumined breath.

As the bridging
Of beliefs brought
Me to the shores
Of my soul’s
Divine home.

Excerpted and Expanded upon:
Week 30: A Weekly Reflection. R.Fennelly.February 2013.Serpent’s Gate.

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Yearning

I wrote a post in April called “The Hunger”  about how spiritual hunger fuels your desire and aspirations towards spiritual growth. When we yearn for something, this feeling often begins as a hunger. This hunger soon becomes a need and the fires of will begin the process of catalyzing your intent.  When I think of the word yearning, an all consuming desire for something is what I imagine this feeling to be.  Hunger has now transformed itself into a deeper place of having experienced the satisfying of that hunger and now having experienced the state of fullness you are more aware of what it is to be filled by what your desire has attracted to itself.

Yearning comes from the depths of re-membering what quenched your thirst, filled your empty hunger and fed your soul.

What is it you yearn for in the deepest recesses of your being? 

Opening

We go through much of our lives feeling that we have to shut ourselves off in order to remain safe, secure and intact.  Even when we think we have loosened up a bit, there is still a certain amount of guarding that remains, much like the progressive relaxation exercises that still find the place where tension is held.  I attribute this largely to our conditioning.  As a child there are no guards set up and we are open to each and every experience that comes our way.  And at some point this natural state of being begins to grow its own filters as we take in the words, fears, concerns and mistrusting energies of those around us.

When we eventually come to a spiritual path and begin the work of transforming and growing, we find there is much “undoing” that is necessary in order to move forward successfully.  We find that we must loosen our filters and preconceived ideas that shut us down just as we near that precipice of true transformation. We are reminded to breathe into our workings and to allow the grace of Deity, God and Goddess to flow through us informing and enlivening our work. We sit in the space of meditation and expand our awareness allowing ourselves to gently re-open to the spaciousness of our inner landscape.

How do you allow yourself to open to the gifts of your own space of being?

Understanding

You’ve read all the books and done your homework, dotting all the “i”s and crossing all the “t”s.  You  consciously try to walk the walk and talk the talk. You think you understand who you really are.  You don’t!

You offer up devotions, offerings and service to your Gods and honor the monthly cycles of the moon. Carefully and tenderly you call out the names of your beloved Deities and in frustration and desperation you bellow forth calls for help. You think you understand what is needed to connect with the Divine. You haven’t!

You are filled with all manner of knowledge and have transformed it into deep wisdom as the milestones of your spiritual path and practice have been met and achieved. You stand in a place of service to humanity and love and honor, justice and mercy flow easily through all of your interactions.  You understand the meaning of the Great Work and would willingly step into the lace of sacrifice for the greater good of all. You know that you understand the work of this lifetime. You can’t even begin to understand!

Understanding is what remains when all that you think you knew is stripped away.

Understanding is born of experience and the sacrifice is that of surrendering your will to create your own vision to that of the Higher Will whose vision is already realized.

Understanding is standing naked and vulnerable and cloaked only in a trust and gnosis that is unable to be articulated for it is pure essence itself.

Understanding is the integration of all that you are, all that you were and all that you will be for it is all one in the same.

Understanding is a deep yearning that primes  us to reach towards the highest expression of the beauty of our humanity as we open to the awe of our Divinity.

May you be cloaked in the exquisite mantle of  Y.O.U.

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I move continually set
Upon the path of my making.

Encased in what is my space of
Comfort that clouds the clarity
Of my vision but keeps safe
The power of my intent.

Shall I burst free or is
This also a grand illusion
Crafted by the dim luster
Of my will and intent?

For now this veiling
Holds me safe in its
Inner sanctum but
Not forever shall I
Be content to stay
In walls even flexible
Even flexible they may be.

Soon I will burst free
My Will set ablaze
From refined desire’s
Catalytic intent.

And I will rise in full
Glory as the dawning
Of my Will’s sun filled orb.

The word will” is a cornerstone of every spiritual practice. Used as a verb it is the catalyst that brings something into manifestation. The fires of will fueled by heart’s desire acting upon mind create. Desire to become so. Using this word as a noun we define the will as that aspect of our being that becomes the personification of our intent and the authority that determines the outcome. The word then takes on another layer of meaning when consideration is given to where this will is emanating from. We typify the small or lesser will as the force we exert or exact upon others or situations driven by self-serving goals and agendas. This lesser will is focused in the needs of the individual and the level of attachment of the personality within that individual. The Higher Will is that which is informed and aligned with the Higher Self and therefore is not directed by base needs or personal outcome. It is the catalytic fire of those upon a spiritual path who have come closer to a place of individualization (remaining as the single drop that is defined by itself, yet is also part of the larger ocean which is the whole of that definition).

Will permeates our efforts at every level. We make decisions and take action based upon what our will is at that given moment. Will is often used interchangeably with the word intent. And, although the intent of any action is defined more specifically by our will each moves independently of one another. This is often why the magick we set forth does not come to fruition despite the careful efforts of being very specific in intent (or goal). If the energetic bolster of the will is not applied it is merely a schematic of a plan. Moreover, if the raw desire for successful outcome is not directed through the application of will, you may have partial but not lasting success. The furnace has to be consistently fueled for the greatest heat and change to occur. You could think of the intent as being what is focused in upon similar to the fine blade of grass that is set aflame by the directed will of the individual placing the magnifying glass just so to reflect the maximum amount of energy through it.

Another component of will is that of its nature of offering choice of selection for what actions will be taken. Free Will ensures that we are not bound and limited by a predestined path upon which we blindly tread; but rather that at every juncture, and step there is the option of moving in a different direction. And, it is this Free Will that holds us ultimately and solely accountable for what those choices are and co-creators in what our newly determined path offers as result.

Energetically it is at the level of the Throat chakra that we have the fullest expression of free will. The choice in the words we use, the communication we send out into the world and the choices surrounding how, when, in what form, to whom and where we exert that will have the potential for maximum impact. And, again it is the binding together of creative desire (at the level of the Sacral Chakra) and the enlivening of the intent (at the level of the Solar Plexus) drawn into the Heart Center of discernment and refinement of balanced desire and intent. This nexus of intent and desire are brought to a space of quickening moving up into the will of the Throat that infuses that space of communication with power, strength and the ability to manifest.

Moving in accord with this natural flow of will is challenging. Having the necessary discernment to identify what is will that is misdirected and what is Will that is divinely infused can create feelings of disconnect between what we feel our actions should be in this world and how we can freely move into those actions feeling unhampered and having clarity of vision and intent. We become trapped in a shroud of our own making isolated and unsure of how to direct that will in the most productive way. The important thing is to keep moving. To keep testing and looking closely at how we express our will. To look objectively at the product of where we have placed our will and intent and use the lessons of that scrutiny to guide the future steps taken with willful intent. And, to be ever mindful that our greatest strength of will is in the intent of maintaining what makes us uniquely ourselves and then willingly surrender it to the greater collective of what as a whole “IS”.

So, do we shroud ourselves in a bubble, limiting our choices and ever walking without arrival towards the promise of the dawning or setting of our day’s efforts? Or do we use that vision as the microcosmic place of beginning that reflects the outpouring of our will into the Macrocosmic light of the Higher Will?

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The robe slips easily over my shoulders
And drapes my body in magick.

The amulet rests at the space of voice
Just below my upturned head.

I balance all parts of my self
And allow the mysteries
Of true Magick to flow.

I speak the name of power
And step through the Gates
Of Destiny.

My post this week is multi-layered in its approach and relates to a subject that is as expansive and diverse in its understanding as those who walk its spiritual path.  I am a Wiccan High Priestess of Oak and Willow, a coven within a Syncretic Wiccan Tradition, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel.  I am a Witch. This designation colors all aspects of my life and in the spirit of all viable spiritual practice is a seamless weaving of mundane and magick.  So, I will offer in this post as little and as much as the reader wishes to know.

The path of the Witch makes use of self-knowledge, energetic practice, healing modalities and magick and takes these tools as a way in which to experience and interact with all of the surrounding world(s).  The natural world is the sacred Temple and all who abide within its domain are the Priests Priestesses and the Divine in all of their expressions. The goal is one of harmony and balance in all things as well as the acceptance of discord and imbalance as the natural polarities needed for spiritual growth. To be a Witch is to strive to “Know Thyself” and in that knowing serve and honor all others who are part of the interconnectedness that is revealed in that place of gnosis.

One of the responsibilities that many Wiccans take on is the role of service.  This may take the form of volunteering and/or spill over into their professional lives as many are also very much attracted to Social Work, Healthcare and Fundraising.  As a way to reach a broader community, in particular those who are solitary witches or the curious seeker, I wrote an online course that was intended to offer the foundations of the Craft.  There is no sign up or fee, and the material has ben freely offered for study at your own pace.  The extract below is from the first lesson and gives the minimum of philosophical approach encompassing a Wiccan path. For those who want to know more the link at the end will take you to the course.

The Wiccan Path is one of initiatory experience. Each step taken leads towards greater understanding of your own Divine nature, which in turn brings a greater understanding of the natural world and the Divinity that exists around you. By definition, initiation is  an act that sets in motion some course of events. In the case of a spiritual pursuit, initiation opens the seeker to embracing their spiritual nature as a support and foundation to their mundane nature. The spiritual path of a Wiccan (witch) is one filled with the beauty of the natural world and the mystery of the world within each of us.  The path leads to the subtle realms of the astral – the far reaches of the cosmos – and the shadows that lay hidden and buried within each of us.  We practice the Craft of the Wise, which in ancient times was the gifts of the healers and the seers whose ability to see far and wide and enter so completely into alliance with the physical natural world was depended upon to ensure viable crops, healthy livestock, fertility and a sustainable life for those in whom the wise lived.  In ancient times the knowledge was carefully passed in the style of oral tradition, the mysteries given ear to ear hand to hand. Although many of those traditions, rituals and wise ways are lost to the modern practitioner of Wicca, many of the core principles remain, having evolved just as we as a people have evolved, become modernized and have at our fingertips ways of communicating large volumes of information.  The information provided barely touches the surface of what is a complex and diverse spiritual path, that to a large degree can only superficially claim its heritage in the ancient practices of which we truly know so little. Wicca is rooted in the experiential, and is a way of life that is not limited by lack of sacred space, for all the world is sacred space from the Wiccan perspective.

To Read More:   A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path

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9222951_s

In most instances, if you are on a spiritual path that works with personal alchemy and the natural laws that govern its work and resultant product, you will come across seven basic principles. These seven are identified by many names, depending on the philosophy they are defining and have been reworded to adapt accordingly. Their fundamental properties outline the basic concepts that align with science with metaphysics and everything being driven by the natural order (or chaos) of our Universe.

I first came across these principles in a book called The Kybalion, whose authorship is simply stated as The Three Initiates. Who these initiates were has been the subject of much speculation and the publication of the material in 1912 by the Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple has posed even further queries. Nonetheless, these seven tools are at the core of Western Hermetics and form the Universal Laws governing all magickal and alchemical working.

The Kybalion is subtitled a Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, and is dedicated to Hermes Trimegistus and his teachings that were offered and upheld as staples in the training of initiates of hermetic studies.

“To Hermes Trismegistus
Known by the Ancient Egyptians as
“The Great Great” and “Master Of Masters”
This little volume of hermetic teaching is reverently dedicated”

The time honored concept that when the student is ready the teacher shall appear and the doors shall be opened is affirmed in Chapter One:

“Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those
ready for his Teaching open wide
and
“When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh
the lips to fill them with Wisdom.”

So, in that spirit and assuming all are ready to broaden their perspectives or deepen what is already known, I’d like to share these principles with you, offer my understanding of them and hopefully whet your appetite to read more of this fascinating and essential book.

The Seven Principles of Hermeticism which form the Universal (Cosmic) Laws are:

The Principle of Mentalism
THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.

If we think in terms of consciousness and creation, the primal formless state of the Limitless All (or creator) is that of AM (existence). When observation and awareness is directed towards that AM, the I comes into being which stimulates the creation of something more than itself. This creative process begins with informed awareness, the mental aspect being the primary building block. Pure thought forms the concept which then can be acted upon by emotion and will. It is from this principle that the subsequent six emanate.

The Principle of Correspondence
As above, so below; as below, so above.

And in recent times the addition of “as within, so without”. The quintessential axiom that gives definition to the macrocosm and the microcosm being connected by similarities of dynamic and basic nature. It is this principle that inspires us to connect with our higher nature because of the reflection we see of it in the lower and physical realms. It is this principle that gives us pause to reflect on the impact we have at a larger scale based upon the inner workings of our own systems. To correspond is to affirm the “sameness” of a thing that will call to itself that of a similar nature.

The Principle of Vibration
Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

This principle states that all of form is in a constant state of movement. Inertia is the non-movement vibration that is vibration of a sort, nonetheless. Resonating with similar patterns of vibration attunes us to the subtleties held in each increment of dynamic. Vibration produces sound. Sound permeates our worlds. And it is the vibration of a sound that we respond to physically, energetically and etherically. Our breath and the subtlest of our movements disrupts the waves of vibration surrounding us and sets into motion its own pattern of vibration.

The Principle of Polarity
Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

The Law of Polarity is the Universe filling what would be the void. It is the recognition of one state of being because of the acknowledgement of its polarized or opposite state of being. Each of these states being one in the same except for minute and un-observable differences which become more overt as the scale between each widens. Emptiness is the absence of fullness just as fullness is the absence of emptiness. They are both lacking in what the other has abundance of. Similar to the Principle of Correspondence (or resonance) like attracts un-like that is alike defined by the degree of its difference.

The Principle of Rhythm
Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.

I see this as the companion to vibration and to some degree a subset of the Principle of Correspondence. Rhythm provides the container or boundaries (or the lacking there of) and vibration provides the quantifier or needed disruption to produce the resultant cyclical rhythm. Expansion requires a state of contraction (as the necessary point of tension) to enable it to expand anew. Either state if held too long, would result in over compensation of the other, causing a new cycle of rhythm to be established. Stillness or inertness is simply an illusion; which relates back to the connection to the Principle of Vibration once again. The illusion is that of non-movement, which although it may appear unable to be measured is a lower and longer wave of motion or rhythm that may not be perceptible unless we are in resonance with its rate of vibration.

The Principle of Cause and Effect
Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.

For every action there is a reaction. This is a basic principle that we drill into our children so they will be responsible adults. There is no discrimination between good or bad, just simply response which becomes the cause that has an effect which becomes the cause, ad infinitum. This is the principle that causes us to hesitate, pause and think before we react so that we can respond instead. This is the premise that we are not insignificant in the larger scale of the Universe, be-cause if we did not exist the overall result of what we consider to be the Universe would not be the same definition we have of it because we are part of it. This is the principle that keeps us up at night trying to problem solve the best resolution to the difficult choice we must make. Each action creating a different chain of reactions in response to what issued forth catalyzing the cause.

The Principle of Gender
Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.

Gender and polarity are often points of confusion. Although gender is an aspect of polarity it is a dynamic point of differentiation in its own right. Gender spans more than the physical dissimilarities that separate a man from a woman. It’s energetic principle is one of expansion and contraction moving in a rhythmic force of release and receipt.

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life the Pillar that provides Form is the Feminine Gender. This is the gender of receipt, contraction and boundary. The Pillar that provides Force is that of the Masculine. This is the gender of release, expansion and expulsion of formlessness. Both working rhythmically are the necessary actions for the eventual manifestation in Malkuth, the physical world. It is the container of the feminine egg that receives the insemination of the masculine sperm; the two quickening into the first stirrings of human life.

We don’t have to look too far to see these concepts running through every level of our existence. Recognizing them is just the first step. As we explore their deeper meanings, formulate our own definitions and begin to apply the dynamics of their energies, the magick and mysteries of our place in the mind of the All will begin to reveal itself affirming that we are co-creators in the Great Work.

Resource:

The Sacred Texts (on-Line)
The Kybalion
By The Three Initiates
The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple
Chicago, Illinois. 1912

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NYPL-stacks

I want “everything”! To do, to know, to learn, to be adept at everything! Some might call this a type “A” personality, but it goes much further than this. It is not a need to keep busy, but rather a hunger to take it all in. This has always been my nature and that hunger served me well in my youth, but has become cumbersome and limiting as I embrace my latter fifties. The reality is that there is just not enough time in a day, a year or a lifetime to make that an achievable or even productive goal. And, the old adage of being a “Jack of all trades and master of none” looms heavy and large as to what can potentially be the outcome.

Over the years deep conversations, a few physical challenges and the resultant inner dialogue of why I am so driven have helped to reign in this compulsive need to extend myself much further than I should. Having great determination of will to keep pushing regardless have at times made it difficult to focus on how and where my energies are should be distributed.

This behavior colors all aspects of my life, but most notably the dynamics of my spiritual path have raised questions around the efficacy of this need to achieve to a place front and center. I wrote the past two weeks about quality versus quantity and this seems an appropriate follow up to those.

We get so caught up in the process of continual movement that we no longer see that we are not truly moving forward, but simply spinning our wheels, caught in the illusion of the moment. The desire to be a proverbial fount of knowledge and experience is always held in the background of spiritual pursuit. The dynamics and intensity of what that includes vary from individual to individual, but the raw desire remains the same. This is after all the catalyst that inspires us to continue on the path of self evolvement and what keeps us on the path in the first place. That fountain may flow with slow and steady drip, arch up filled with push or swell and overflow in what you feed into it; but it is decidedly the source from which we drink.

To keep these impulses in check I use the months of the harvest as a check in point with myself to assess what I have accomplished. I try to pay closer attention to how much I am extending myself, how much I am trying to learn and experience and when I am reaching that non-productive place of over expansion. I set the intent that most of what I have gained up to this point, I will allow to flow outward in teaching, writing and sharing as an act of harvesting the fruits of my efforts. I set the intent that I will keep the seeds of those experiences and new lessons so they may be replanted when there is adequate space for their growth. I set the intent to enter this time in reflection, celebration and joy in what I have achieved and the inroads I have made.

So, ready, set, and act with intent! Slow the pace and really savor the bounty of the journey along the way. What fruits of harvest and intent does your check in show?

Excerpted in Part:
A Weekly Reflection. Musings for the Year (Week 23). R.Fennelly 2012
More information about book at: http://www.robinfennelly.com

Image Credit: A sectional view of the New York Public Library. 1911. Original Source: From Scientific American. (New York : Munn Co., 1845-). From NYPL’s Digital Gallery

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Fractals2

Last week’s post focused on the axiom of “Quality vs. Quantity” and the emphasis on quality in spiritual studies, workings and practice.  This week I would like to take a look at the quantity side of the coin and the imminent interaction the two have upon one another.

Quantity- Def. of:
a : an indefinite amount or number
b : a determinate or estimated amount
c : total amount or number

If we look at the definitions above there is implied a principle of abundance and having many of something. If we think about quantity as it relates to our spiritual practice this often translates as having lots of books and resource material, many teachers and hosts of workshops, festivals and rituals attended. The goal being to fill ourselves with as much knowledge and experience as possible in hopes of propelling ourselves forward on our chosen path in the little time allotted as physical beings.

Now, I am not saying that these things are not much needed tools, but being indiscriminate in how we use our time, financial resources and energy could be likened to falling prey to the “more is better” syndrome. Workshop junkies who go from one blissful workshop to another without giving time for the information to integrate or verifying the validity of content taken in learn little that is substantive in quality and often burn out prematurely from overload at the point when longevity is most needed. Reading is a wonderful staple of practice and learning, but the quantity of material we can actually process and then put to use is meager compared to the quantity of what is retained if the discernment of quality of content is missing. And, attending ritual after ritual that is devoid of clear intent and understanding of what has been ritualized on your part and quality and power of execution on the part of priest and priestess will leave you thirsting for more satisfying and clearer streams at best, and disconnected, ungrounded and uprooted at worst.

As I noted last week in using the example of refining my skill as a dancer by seeking out actions that were repetitive and determinate in the quantity of hours spent in class and rehearsal, I eventually reached my goal of refinement and quality of movement. This quality came incrementally and was the child that was birthed from the union of maximum effort and selective exercise.  The important factor is that the number of hours spent and practice were all filled with the quality of intent in creating something beautiful and perfect in execution and form that could be added to the quantity of these individual steps that were being accumulated. This effort in and of itself was using a mindset of quality in choosing to select quantity in the  amount of effort put forth.  Each of these individual steps that had been tempered in the quantity of practice  and brought to a place of quality could then be used to create a quality piece of choreography that held both states as its place of inception.

What I have come to learn from this constant flip flop from a place of drawing in everything and then whittling down to the space of refinement and clarity is that any work of self-improvement and self-knowledge takes a great deal of work. It is a work in progress that spans years of concentrated effort and practice and more practice of the skill sets you wish to develop and to maintain. There will be many teachers, both formal and informal, you will engage with and the quality derived from the teachings will be proportionate with the quantity of those interactions. We are, afterall, part of the greater whole which is inclusive of billions of life forms, so to cloister ourselves away, interacting with only a “select” few is counter-intuitive to experiencing the lesson of an incarnate life.  And, it is in the weeding and wading through all of that great mass that we call living  to our highest potential that we can find the balance point of what we personally resonate with as quality that is extracted from what deeply informs and what is discarded.

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