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Sep. 19th, 2010

I'm back again. Just curious. Reading some friend's blogs. Seeing if I still feel like this is a place where I fit in and can make use of it...Still not sure...

I've been wandering...

I lost my way here for the last couple of years. I registered with The Sacred Mists -- an online Wiccan college two years ago and I got swallowed up with activities, homework and making new friends. I didn't visit my live-journal for so long that I literally forgot my id and password and even what email address I used for it. Then I just forgot about live-journal completely for a while.

Recently I've started blogging using Google blogs. I'm reviewing books I read, and doing a little creative writing, and that reminded me that I have this old live-journal hanging around on the web still. So I dug and dug and finally found all my log in information. So here I am. I've got so much writing here that I don't know if I want to keep this journal, move the content elsewhere, start over fresh with a new live-journal under a different name or what...

Hmmm.I will have to think about this...

Other than that, life continues onwards. I moved into a larger apartment so I have more space and light. I'm starting Belly-dancing lessons for the first time tonight. I'm still pet-sitting/house-sitting and dog-walking. My business hasn't really grown, but although it's small, it's mostly stable and at a level of activity that I can handle.

I'm definitely far from rich. I could use a little bit more money. With that in mind...

I'm still trying to figure out ways to publicize my Tarot readings in my neighborhood. I've written letters introducing myself as a Tarot reader to the owners of a few local coffee shops and one craft beer bar that seem to have holistic sorts of atmospheres.I plan to drop them off later today and call to follow up in a few days.

I guess that's all for today.

Today is my birthday

It's my birthday today, and I turn 42.

The last couple of years I invited various people to gather in a central downtown location to eat, drink, and be merry. This year I started to feel kind of depressed as my birthday approached, and I thought, well hardly any of the people that I invited to my birthday last year have stayed in touch with me over the past year so maybe I will not do the same group gathering thing this year.

Instead I have been lucky and surprised enough to discover that various people have contacted me and arranged individual eat, drink and be merry events. I met with my brother and his beautiful ex-model girlfriend last night. We had dinner at Edward Levesque's Kitchen ( http://www.edwardlevesque.ca/ ), and they gifted me with truly unusual and exotic sweets, and a lovely bottle of port. I really enjoyed the evening, partly because with just the three of us, it was much easier to concentrate on our conversation and not worry that anyone was being left out. I've always done better with fewer people than I have with a large gathering so maybe this is the way to go...?

Tonight - my official birthday night - I am not entirely certain what will happen, but it may involve one of my friends, the movie Twilight, and some sort of dinner again (not sure where).

An old friend from University just called me this morning and I was totally surprised and touched that she remembered my birthday on her own and took the time to give me a call. She has suggested that we meet for lunch or dinner at some point soon.

Then there is the weekend - I gave into parental pressure this year, and I have consented to go out to Hamilton to spend Saturday and Sunday at my mother's house. Spending time with my mother and my father is definitely not one of my favorite things to do. It is often depressing, and highly stressful to be around them. Still, I go through these cycles where I avoid them and avoid them and avoid them until I start to forget how difficult it is to be around them, then I give in, get a reminder of how bad it is, and then go back to avoiding them again for another year or so. I'm not the only one in my family who does this - my brother and my three younger sisters have been boycotting our parents for many years now. Anyway, I think I should, perhaps, be grateful that I still do have both of my parents alive, and that they are interested in spending some time with me, and in celebrating my birthday regardless of how stressful the experience will be.

So, that's all for now. It's time to go and get ready to spend my afternoon walking dogs...

Fear of Death - After Death?

http://uhclem.livejournal.com/ wrote:

"A friend recently wrote me, saying, "Fear of death is the greatest fear. Do you believe it is an abyss? Have you thought of writing on this topic? I would love to see your thoughts and thinking process and I know no matter your position, it will be well thought out and thought provoking."

This is an interesting topic to come up at this time. We are in the time of Scorpio, and it is the time of death and dying in the Pagan Wheel of the Year.

I have been thinking about aging and my own fears of death a lot this past year. I fear the medications that I have to take are causing havoc and damage to my body and brain. I turn 42 this year and I can see and feel the changes in my aging body. I keep thinking back to when I was young and slim and fit and pretty. I think about how all the young people I pass on the street look so great, and how I may be starting to become part of the invisible middle-aged class.

The other day I was walking a dog in an affluent neighborhood and I was flagged down by a window washer/eavestrough cleaner looking for work "M'am! M'am! Do you need your eaves cleaned?" I didn't bother to explain that I didn't own a house so "no" and "M'am" Oh geez - only old women get called that right? I know all the things I'm "supposed" to know - intellectually at least - like as a Pagan woman I'm "supposed" to honor all stages of my life, from Maid, to Mother, to Crone. Well I skipped the Mother stage and it seems I'm going straight through to Crone and I'm not sure I like it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, wisdom and all that precious stuff -- "supposed to's" are easy until you actually "have to".

I have many regrets. I have made many decisions which have turned out in disastrous and disappointing ways. To the rest of the world my life may seem such a waste of time and effort. I don't use my graduate degree, or my undergraduate degree. I don't have a career. I am a financial ruin. I live on disability and walk a few dogs now and then. In the last year I have started to wonder as I lay myself down to go to sleep - what if I never wake up? What if there isn't a tomorrow for me?

But then I have also been doing some interesting reading lately. I've been reading about Wiccan spirituality, quantum physics, string theory, and black holes. According to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki & J.H. Brennan in _Magickal Use of Thoughtforms_ everything is interconnected. Everything gets recycled, and is never truly destroyed. Matter is made up of tiny little things that are both waves and particles. What you try to measure affects the way these tiny things manifest - either as particle, or wave. Everything is energy. There are spaces in between made up of nothing at all. Nothingness. The void.

Consciousness can create changes in reality - but only with a lot of great effort. The world as we know it may be Maya, and Illusion, but it's a stubborn sort of "reality", not subject to the doubts of a few. Phyllis Curott wrote: "Aleister Crowley said that magic is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will. But I like Dion Fortune's version: Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will. Once you've changed your consciousness, you'll learn to change reality. That's what magic is." (p. 71 Bellona quoted by Phyllis Curott in Book of Shadows). This is what many modern day Witches believe, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Also to change this reality, it may take a great many people changing their consciousness, not just one or two.

Black holes are made when matter becomes so dense that it collapses in on itself from the excess gravity. If you go through a black hole you may end up in an alternate universe, or chose from several. The only problem is, your material body would not make it through the super pressure of the incredibly powerful gravity.

But what is your soul made up of? Is your soul merely a function of physical and mental consciousness, or is it made up of something (particle-wave) that might make it through the black hole and inhabit/take up a new form on the other side of the black hole in one of those alternate universes? Is this how reincarnation works?

All my life I've had amazing dreams that I have wondered if they were really dreams, or the flights of my soul through other universes, and other worlds. I've had experiences that would match the descriptions of astral travel. Sometimes I wonder if I have dreamed memories of past lives and/or alternative lives.

I don't have any solid answers, and I don't know what I believe for sure, but it's at least interesting to think about. This body is aging. It may become subject to disease or the accidents of misfortune at any time. One thing that is for sure is that this body is not immortal. My life will not continue as I have known it this far. All I can do is make the most of this life that I can, while I have it. I must accept these truths, and wait to see what happens next. What am I right now, and what will I be in the future - nothingness or wave-particles?

On Human Dignity

I came across this from a fellow Pagan in my inbox this morning. I thought it was very appropriate for me since I tend to be extremely hard on myself.

"If we are going to have any shot at achieving the miracle of treating everyone we meet with at least a strain of human dignity, we've got to start by treating ourselves with human dignity.

After all, how we treat ourselves is how we treat others.

The month of Scorpio is the perfect time to be reminded of this. We tend to be extra hard on ourselves under the influence of this energy. But at the same time, there is always a little poison in the vaccine. Meaning, if we can learn to be nice to ourselves, even when we are in the throes of self-hatred, we can inoculate ourselves against that inner critic for the rest of the year.

There is an amazing story of the Baal Shem the great 18th century who was once traveling through a town in which he was introduced to a wealthy man. The man invited the great sage to stay with him during his visit.

When he arrived at the man's house, the Baal Shem was very surprised to see that the man lived so modestly. Nowhere throughout his house was it evident that the man possessed great wealth. Even the meals he ate consisted of little more than dry bread and water.

The Baal Shem stayed with him for several days and on the third day he woke up and began screaming at the man. "Who do you think you are? Where is all of your wealth? Why do you live like this? Why do you eat stones? Why do you think the Light gave you all of this wealth?"

To this the confused man replied, "Well I'm trying to live modestly. I don't want my ego..."

After they departed one of the friend's asked him, "Why did you do such a thing? He was trying to tell you he was working on shrinking his ego, working on improving himself."

"If he eats dry bread and water what do you think he's going to give the poor to eat? He's going to give them sticks and stones. If this is the way he treats himself, how is he going to treat others! If he has the means to do so he has to treat himself in a very good way. This way he can treat others in a very good way as well."

Be nice to yourself this week. You have so many gifts from the Mother earth that were given to you so you could share them with others. The more you are patient and tolerant of your shortcomings and failures, the more your gifts will come out.

And the more your gifts come out, the better you will feel."

Eight Virtues of the Craft by RuneWolf

Holy smoke. Has it really been 8 weeks since I posted anything here? Wow. I am really slacking off in my journal.
Oh well...

Taken directly from "Eight Virtues of the Craft" by RuneWolf:

[B]Beauty: Not necessarily physical beauty, of course, but the appreciation and expression of balance, wholeness and harmony. Accepting each moment for what it is, and realizing the inherent beauty in the interplay of light and dark, pleasure and pain, life and death. In the individual, embracing and expressing the beauty and authenticity of one’s True Self and True Will.

Strength: Not merely physical strength or even “energetic” strength, such as chi or ond, but also strength of Will, belief, conviction and ethics. The strength to do and say the right thing, even in the face of severe consequences. The strength to be gentle, loving and calm in the face of tragedy, fear and aggression.

Power: A little out of order, as far as I’m concerned, because to me power is the synthesis and interplay of all the other virtues. But we’ll leave it where the Goddess put it!

Compassion: True and mature love for oneself and others, including our non-human brothers and sisters and the “inanimate” manifestations of Gaea. The deep sharing of another’s pain, the desire to relieve it and the willingness to put that desire into action.

Honor: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, do what you say you are going to do.” We often hear that “A Witch’s word is her bond.” Upholding that bond is honor. Being honest with oneself and others is honor. Living up to our commitments is honor. Living by the Rede, the Law of Return or whatever ethical system you embrace is honor. As the Asatruar say, “Reputation is what others say about you. Honor is what you know to be true about yourself.”

Humility: Being “right sized.” Humility is very much misunderstood in the West, and has been warped into a kind of neurotic and obligatory self-abasement by the misapplication of Abrahamic philosophy. Toxic or false humility – “Oh, it’s really nothing. I have no real talent for art!” – is a slap in the face of the God and Goddess who gave us our gifts! True humility is recognizing both our strengths and our weaknesses, and working to cultivate the former and transform the latter. True humility, I have often been told, is looking someone in the eye when they give you a compliment and simply saying, “Thank you.”

Mirth: “Rule 62: Don’t take yourself so seriously.” Mirth isn’t just about getting a case of “the giggles” in the middle of a ritual, nor about singing bawdy folksongs around a festival fire (although these are certainly aspects of mirth). Mirth is about finding and joining in the sheer joy of living, of laughing out loud at the way trees dance in the wind or guffawing at oneself when you realize you have just invoked “the Grateful Dead” instead of “the Mighty Dead.” It’s about realizing that The Joke is on everybody, not just on you, and that it’s a wonderful, blissful, eternal Joke, not a nasty one.

Reverence: Love, awe, respect and veneration for Life, the Gods and ourselves. Gratitude for all the gifts we have been given, and the heartfelt willingness to pass those gifts on to others.

These then, are my nominees for the “Eight Virtues of the Craft;” the short list, if you will. There are obviously other virtues and values that are important in living a decent and fulfilling life in the service of the Lord and Lady, but I can’t help but think, once again, that She wouldn’t have pointed these particular virtues out if She didn’t want us to consider them carefully. I shall be doing that very thing in the days to come.

May you always be beautiful and strong, powerful and compassionate, honorable and humble, mirthful and reverent.

RuneWolf

Afoot?

I just can't help it. I've got this quirky, silly, stupid sense of humor.
I have to watch it sometimes because sometimes my sense of humor
gets me into trouble, and even unintentionally hurts someone's feelings...
but I'm of the school of thought that one mustn't ever take anything
too seriously and...

Every time I see the saying "The Goddess is Alive, and Magick is Afoot"...

I want to say something like, why not two feet? why not an ear? a nose?
A little finger? a yard? a mile? an inch or a centimeter? Why just a foot?
How about Athlete's Foot?

I'm trying so hard not to laugh...snorting...snorting...I hate it when I snort...
oh somebody please stop me!!!
I kind of like this:

"The Precepts of Taliesin and Merlin"
from the Welsh Wiccan Tradition

First: Labor diligently to acquire knowledge, for it is power.

Second: When in authority, decide reasonably, for your
authority may cease at the next moment.

Third: Bear with fortitude the ills of life you can do nothing about,
remembering that no mortal sorrow is perpetual.

Fourth: Love honor for it bringeth peace of mind.

Fifth: Abhor selfishness for it bringeth evil upon all.

Sixth: fight for the rights of the few that they may not be crushed by
the desires of the many, and look carefully at those in power and authority
that they are following the above six precepts.

Warriors of the Rainbow

The more I read about the terrible damage we have done to this planet, the more sick at heart I feel. Yesterday I read a discovery channel news report about how Dead Zones in the Ocean are multiplying and spreading everywhere - and they will soon be affecting ocean wild life in a way that we will really start to notice. No more shrimp, no more fish to eat, then maybe we'll be sorry...and maybe not, because there are so many of us who are short-sighted, ignorant, blind, greedy, and selfish. Reading what I've pasted below I wonder...doubtfully, and bitterly, whether there is really any chance for us to turn things around the way it says...

Warriors of the Rainbow - Native American Lore

There was an old lady, from the Cree tribe, named Eyes of Fire, who prophesied that one day, because of the white mans' or Yo-ne-gis' greed, there would come a time, when the fish would die in the streams, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it, would all but cease to exist.

There would come a time when the "keepers of the legend, stories, culture rituals, and myths, and all the Ancient Tribal Customs" would be needed to restore us to health. They would be mankinds' key to survival, they were the "Warriors of the Rainbow".

There would come a day of awakening when all the peoples of all the tribes would form a New World of Justice, Peace, Freedom and recognition of the Great Spirit. The "Warriors of the Rainbow" would spread these messages and teach all peoples of the Earth or "Elohi". They would teach them how to live the "Way of the Great Spirit".

They would tell them of how the world today has turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is "Sick". The "Warriors of the Rainbow" would show the peoples that this "Ancient Being" (the Great Spirit), is full of love and understanding, and teach them how to make the Earth or "Elohi" beautiful again.

These Warriors would give the people principles or rules to follow to make their path right with the world. These principles would be those of the Ancient Tribes. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach the people of the ancient practices of Unity, Love and Understanding. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four corners of the Earth.

Like the Ancient Tribes, they would teach the people how to pray to the Great Spirit with love that flows like the beautiful mountain stream, and flows along the path to the ocean of life. Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature, and the Great Spirit.

They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life -- the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty in prayer and the solitudes of life. Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of Nature and Mother Earth.

Free from the fears of toxins and destruction, wrought by the Yo-ne-gi and his practices of greed. The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life.

The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way -- not by their political party, or who could speak the loudest, boast the most, or by name calling or mud slinging, but by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom, and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs.

They would be chosen by their "quality" and not the amount of money they had obtained. Like the thoughtful and devoted "Ancient Chiefs", they would understand the people with love, and see that their young were educated with the love and wisdom of their surroundings.

They would show them that miracles can be accomplished to heal this world of its ills, and restore it to health and beauty. The tasks of these "Warriors of the Rainbow" are many and great.

There will be terrifying mountains of ignorance to conquer and they shall find prejudice and hatred. They must be dedicated, unwavering in their strength, and strong of heart. They will find willing hearts and minds that will follow them on this road of returning "Mother Earth" to beauty and plenty -- once more.

The day will come, it is not far away. The day that we shall see how we owe our very existence to the people of all tribes that have maintained their culture and heritage. Those that have kept the rituals, stories, legends, and myths alive. It will be with this knowledge, the knowledge that they have preserved, that we shall once again return to "harmony" with Nature, Mother Earth, and mankind.

It will be with this knowledge that we shall find our "Key to our Survival".

Author unknown

Meditations on Spirituality

"Spirituality is simply the search for meaning in everyday life. True spirituality requires individuals to look within to find the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Our spirituality arises from our own personal relationship with God/the Universe, and not from our relationship with any religious institution." unknown author

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