Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Monday, December 8, 2014

Positive & Negative Thinking

Stay in a positive frame of mind; think only positive thoughts; don't say or think negative thoughts; if you think a negative thought, immediately restate it in the positive. Have you heard any of these? A lot of this is from the Law of Attraction mentality. There's nothing wrong with that, but... does it really serve us as much as most think? Or is it just another way of pushing down or repressing what we don't want to deal with?

In my capacity as a spiritual advisor and teacher, I advise staying positive all the time, or at least as much as one can. Yes, I am aware how hard that can be, I have my own demons to wrestle. I do feel that wallowing in the negative is unhealthy, but after reading what I am about to share, it has made me think that contemplation and acknowledgement of the negative may be more useful and healthier.

I just began reading Tarot and the Chakras, Opening New Dimensions to Healers by Miriam Jacobs, so although I can't really review the book, the following paragraph gave me much food for thought:

"The power of positive thinking has its merits, but how can thinking only be positive? It is better to realize that no situation, no matter how difficult or complicated, lasts forever. And it is very important to realize that any charged emotion associated with difficulties, past or present, can be released. Negative thoughts tend to accumulate and stagnate the flow of air. It is like a stuffy room or strong winds. They can affect our emotions, and our physical body as well. In order to change negative thoughts, it is important to be aware of what the thoughts are connected to and find a way to accept them before attempting to do anything about them.  There is great value in differentiating among your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This is best done by simply being present, rather than by judging or over-thinking. In energetic terms, that suggests a state of stillness and peaceful acceptance. After acceptance, change can happen. The charge of counterproductive thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations can be released, transformed, and healed."

Well, that is a lot different than just restating the issue in the positive. Exploration of the why, where "it" comes from are really important for full healing. But... there are some things we may never be able to figure out the whys and wherefores of - past life issues, other issues no amount of exploration can find. That's OK, as long as we don't bury it by putting on a happy face and pretending all is well in our life when it isn't. Acknowledgement is key, I think, not just stating those affirmations.

I'm a great one for over-thinking, so maybe I'm over-thinking this issue. It sure does strike a chord for me, though. I still don't advocate wallowing in one's misery - we've already experienced whatever trauma has led to these feelings, but we're still here, we're still OK... for the most part.

Thoughts? I love to know what others feel, think about this. Not sure I clearly articulated how this made me think, but it has my brain going!

Blessings dam and deep.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Women's Rites to Honor Bona Dea



One of the feast days I very much am dedicated to celebrating in December is that which is to honor Bona Dea, the Good Goddess of Ancient Rome. She is a goddess of women, healing, fertility, and freedom. There is some debate as to the actual date, December 3rd or 4th, but side our modern calendar was not used in ancient times, most women I know, who keep this date sacred, celebrate it on December 3rd.

No men, or even depictions of them or male animals, were permitted where the rites took place. Although the Vestal Virgins assisted with these rites, they were generally conducted in the home of a Roman magistrate of high standing by his wife.

Bona Dea's temple had a garden of medicinal herbs, and She was and is invoked by those who are in need of healing. In addition, She bestows fertility, not just in regard to having children, but fertility in all things. The cornucopia is one of Her symbols, a symbol of abundance and plenty.

Take time to honor Bona Dea tomorrow or Thursday, giving thanks for all She has bestowed upon you. If you have issues that need healing, ask for Her assistance. Although wine with blood is a traditional libation, use your intuition and make an appropriate libation and offering from your heart. As very little is known of these rites, use your intuition and do not worry if you are performing your rite "correctly." Come from your heart space, with love and honor, and you cannot but honor Her.

Invocation to Bona Dea

O Bona Dea,
Good Goddess of the Earth
Whose name is mystery,
Whose name is a hundred names,
Whose spirit lives in us all
And in every goddess who touches the soil,
And in every mortal who sprang from the clay,
Be with us on this day!
You have made the Earth spring forth
With many green goods for us,
Not merely those with which we feed our bellies,
But also those which heal our bodies.
Lady who heals us, godmother of Hygeia,
Daughter of Faunus who tracks in the wild,
We find your gifts both in our gardens
And on the wild paths where you have trodden.
We see the healing herbs springing up
In each of your passing footprints,
And we are grateful for our lives.
O Bona Dea,
Good Goddess of the Earth
Whose name is mystery
But whose gifts are so concrete,
We revere you and ask that you bless this day
Your plants which you have so generously given us,
That we may always be healed
And always help to heal others.

(from The Pagan Book of Prayers, by Ceisiwr Serith 

Blessings dam and deep!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


A Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I am grateful for the friends I have here,
those who read my ramblings, and all the other
good things in my life.

I hope you are also having a lovely holiday
filled with as much love and goodness as mine.

And now we continue our journey into the darkness of the year,
awaiting the return of the light, and welcoming the respite that
Winter brings, as well as its blessings of thoughtful contemplation.

Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remembering Olivia Robertson


The Fellowship of Isis posted this today on their Facebook page. I will be joining with many others in remembering and honoring this legendary Elder of the Craft tomorrow by lighting a candle. Join us.

From the Fellowship of Isis Facebook page:

Blessings to all Aset Shemsu. Please join us in lighting a candle to remember and honor Olivia Robertson, on the first anniversary of her passing.

"My own dedication came from sudden awareness of identity with the White Light of Isis, a shining silver-white feminine figure with wide shining lightning flashes extending from either side of her head – that encompassed the stars. So I learnt that wi
thout Truth, Love becomes dissipated. I have always received inspiration from Those outside myself. I received the teaching: 'Approach Truth with courage: Love with humility.' Divine reality pervades every being. I learnt to honour the truth in all faiths and philosophies. To accept Deity in each creature and atom. I felt the love within all born of The Great Mother of All." (Olivia Robertson, "The Call of Isis")

The Life and Work of Olivia Robertson:

http://www.fellowshipofisis.com/oliviarobertson.html

As priestesses and witches, this is part of what we do, remembering and honoring the Blessed Dead. Olivia can be included on my Ancestor shrine because of all she taught, worked for, and shared about the arts of Witchcraft, Wicca, magick, the priestess/priest path. Her influence was felt by many of us, whether we are part of the Fellowship of Isis or not.

Blessed be your journey, Olivia.

Blessings dark and deep!






Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day to Honor the Manes (Blessed Dead), Nov. 8th


I am still honoring the season of Hallowstide and always celebrate this Roman holiday. It is the "Day to Honor the Manes" (Blessed Dead). This year it falls on Saturday, November 8th.

One of three days, August 24, October 5 and November 8, when the Mundus, an area, generally in a city, which was considered to be a portal or access point to the Otherworlds, both upper and under, was opened to make offerings of the Fruits of the Harvest to the Blessed Dead, the Manes, in Rome and a number of other Roman cities.

To participate in the traditional manner, place your offerings of seasonal fruits in a sacred place you consider to be a portal to the Otherworlds - hedge, gateway, lake, or even cemetery; then offer prayers to your dead ancestors. Light a candle for them at your altar or ancestor shrine and, again, make appropriate prayers or just speak to them.

Sound familiar? Yes, it is very like Hallows or Samhain. There are three Roman festival days which one could align to the three harvest festivals that modern Pagans and Polytheists honor - August 24th would be most closely related to Lammas, October 5th to the Autumn Equinox, and November 8th to Hallows/Samhain. Of course, our Ancestors should be remembered throughout the year, at least weekly, but these "Days to Honor the Manes" have become an important part of my Ancestor veneration practice.

In the work that I do, I encounter many people who feel they are cursed or crossed, or have, in general, very bad luck. Ninety five to ninety nine per cent feel someone is "hexing" them. While this may be true in some cases, many times that feeling of things not being right can be attributed to your lack of honoring your Ancestors. As Laura Patsouris states in her book, Weaving Memory, A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors, (click on my Amazon Affiliates widget to the right of this post),

"Many of us have noticed that the dead, in general, are becoming increasingly restless and upset about the lack of honor given to them... There is no better protection from random angry dead people than having your Ancestral house strong and in order. This is because, when your ties to your ancestors are strong and well-nourished, they will protect you from the angry dead..."

Your practice and link to your Ancestors, be they of blood, breed, or friendship, is an important spiritual practice, especially for those of us who are called to work with the dead. You do not want to begin working with the dead until, again in the words of Laura, your Ancestral house is in order.

Many people who practice Ancestor veneration find that their Ancestors are just waiting to be called, because they love you. They want to assist you, they are strong protection. Yes, there are family issues and Ancestors you will not want to include, that's fine, you choose which Ancestors to honor, it is up to you.

Blessings dark and deep!

PS: You may notice a new widget on the side of my blog for Amazon. I am now an Amazon Affiliate. Please click directly from it when buying, it assists me in keeping the blog, Facebook page, and my soon to be Etsy page running. I thank you! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Secrecy, Sacredness, and Oaths


I had an interesting experience the other day. I am a Reiki Master/Teacher of both Traditional Usui and Karuna Reiki. I began my journey with Reiki about 10 years ago; it is a daily practice and permeates every part of my life, every day. I don't know where I would be had I not discovered it.

There are a number of things about Reiki that can vary from tradition to tradition, but one of the most important is that the Reiki symbols are sacred and therefore to be kept secret. When I received the first three symbols, I understood that I took an oath to keep them secret. There is no reason to plaster the symbols everywhere, wear them on jewelry, or put them out for all to see because without the attunements, they do nothing. Now, I have been a practicing witch for over forty years,  and I take oaths very seriously, in any tradition, spiritual path, and in one's personal life, so this keeping these sacred symbols secret is a serious matter .

So, I met someone who did her Reiki training with Diane Stein. Being heavily influenced by Dianic Feminist witchcraft, Diane is considered to be one of the grandmothers of the Dianic Feminist tradition. My problem with Stein, and why I don't recommend many of her books, is because she published a book with the symbols. Her "followers" feel, as did this woman I encountered, that the symbols are sacred, but not to be kept secret, they are for everyone. This woman's attitude about Dr. Usui was rather sneering and I had to ask her how she could feel that way and practice Reiki. There were a few other things; she attunes people for free, which is certainly her choice and I have no real issue with this. I personally think that the fees many charge for Reiki training are too high. I later spoke to someone who was attuned by this woman and was told that she and her partner received no training whatsoever, they were just told to read Stein's book to page 26. They knew nothing and felt the attunements were rather worthless. They plan to study with what they refer to as a real teacher.

Now, anyone can do whatever they choose, each of us has our own path to tread. That being said, we all need to be aware that there are teachers and there are people who call themselves teachers. If you receive Reiki attunements but no instructions you loose a very important part of Reiki. If you feel that the majority of the Reiki community and the tradition is wrong when they agree that the symbols are to be kept secret, I would hesitate to teach you any form metaphysics or occult tradition. I would question your integrity and sincerity in keeping any oaths. 

I realize there are people who will disagree with this and you are certainly free to do so, but keeping oaths and secrets, in occult and metaphysical traditions is a serious matter. These mysteries are not for everyone.

Blessings dark and deep!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Everyday Hallows - 31

Skull of Light, Illumination
The Halloween Oracle, by Stacey DeMarco

Hallows Blessings to all. Thank you for joining me in this journey through the month of October and Hallowstide. May you be blessed by the Goddesses, your Ancestors, and the Guardian Spirits who assist you. May you find all that you need as you travel this path.

The Skull of Illumination brings our Hallows Everyday and the nine days of divination to a conclusion. We have arrived at a place of clarity, understanding. Walking the path in the darkness, we found and continue to find, torches to guide us along the way. The wisdom that has been given to us on the path of our exploration is the light that allows us to see. What we see is the past that has shaped us and given us the foundation that now supports us. We can see the light in the darkness shows the Unseen, and we can proceed from here secure that the way will somehow always be lit for us so we can find what we need. It is up to us whether or not we continue along a path that is not always acceptable, certainly not easy, but rewards us with magick and mystery.

Our way really is lit as we forge ahead, learning from what is shown to us. We can stop hiding in the darkness and instead see what it has to offer.

Blessings dark and deep!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 30

Well, here we are on the 30th. The month has gone by quickly, just too fast for me. Even so, I have this tremendous feeling of wonderful things to come. All this energy of releasing that has reared up throughout the month, there was a reason for that, I feel it very strongly. I am tossing off the feelings and issues that have held me back, I truly feel that I am beginning an important new cycle. And it feels very good this morning, a real shift.

Over the past few days, I have felt like I've been getting my butt kicked energetically with all the devotional practices, the divination. So much thought and contemplation this year about Hallows Everyday, it was a real spiritual work-out, so to speak. But today, I've awakened with a sense of joy, an excitement, and a very strong feeling, as mentioned, that something new and wonderful is beginning.

Now... onto the oracle for today.

Lady De Los Muertos, Acceptance and Equality
The Halloween Oracle, by Stacey DeMarco

In a way, this card was a surprise and yet not so much. This lady is known also as Santisima Muerte, (Most Holy Death), Santa Muerte (Holy Death), and the Holy Queen, among other epithets. She is a blend of Catholic and older Mexican origins, coming to be more known when she appeared in the nineteenth century to a healer in Veracruz, or so the story goes. Since then, there have been, according to those who are dedicated to Her, many miracles. Her origins date back to pre-Spanish Mexico, but some claim She comes to us through the Yoruba tradition, Voudon, Santeria, and Palo Mayombe. Whatever Her origins, Her practitioners are generally not concerned with them, but more with Santa Muerte Herself and the gifts She brings into the devotee's life. 

Late last year, Santisima Muerte began to call to me. I began some studies, and here She is again. Another call? For me? For some of you?

This card's appearance continues the theme of releasing that which doesn't serve us. It also tells us that those issues in our lives which are based in fear need to be rethought. Death is inevitable, but we don't have to dwell on it - you'll go out of your mind. Instead, take a different approach, one based in the positive, and consider that all will be well. Fluffy? OK, maybe, but a little fluff really never does hurt, although too much may choke you! ; )

Taking a more positive approach, can assist us in changing what we want changed more easily, and keeps fear in its place. Exploring Santisima Muerte and the gifts and wisdom She can bestow, while certainly not everyone's cup of tea, is one example of learning to deal with death with acceptance. Bring death into its place in life, an equal partner, inevitable, and a next step. I think of it, or try to, as the new adventure after this one.

For me, this card is a call, one I won't ignore; for others... you will choose from what I've said here and your own contemplations. That being said, the card could just be a call from the Underworld, the Ancestors, Santa Muerte, Herself. It is the time of year when that happens. Sometimes it is just a simple hello and those passed saying, "we're here on the other side, but still with you, we're watching over you, remember us."

Blessings dark and deep!

   


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hallows Everyday - 29

Skeleton, Strength
The Halloween Oracle, by Stacey DeMarco

It is interesting that when I read about this card, it spoke about Halloween being a scary time, and also dressing up as a skeleton for Halloween - "...we even dress as skeletons who have no flesh at all and their bones are there for all to see... In short we are showing our vulnerability at Halloween and our strength in facing our fears too." When I was a little girl and we moved from the city to the country, for the first two Halloweens I dressed in a skeleton costume. I suffered from panic attacks and was a nervous child, I can remember being fearful and depressed. I hadn't really felt those feelings, despite them still being there, or thought about them in a very long time, but the memories and feelings came flooding back with those words. I looked at an old photograph on the shelf, about 50 years ago, of me in my skeleton costume. So, yes, interesting.

This card, the Skeleton, is about two ways of being; vulnerable yet strong. There is no need to be strong all the time, no need to carry all the burdens by yourself, to be alone in fear. As fearful as I was as a child, I pushed myself and kept going, struggled and managed to live, learn, and grow up to share compassion for those who suffer from anxiety and assist them in working through it. Many people helped me along the way, and others didn't. I walked away from those who couldn't or wouldn't accept both parts of me.

Now, I walk in the darkness, not completely without fear, but strong enough to go forward, explore it, and find the peace that is in that dark cave, deep within. Anyone who knows me, if they take the time to look, will see both my strength and my vulnerability - and that is just fine - it's who I really am. Those who care for me will accept both.

Everyone has vulnerabilities, there is no shame in that. They are part of being human, part of understanding that we are perfect in our so-called imperfections. How strong we really are! Despite the fear laying beneath the surface, we are in fact, strong enough to tackle whatever presents itself to us. The question is, will you show both sides of yourself? Or... do you think, as many do, that you must hide the one, never showing it? 

The message here is that you are incredibly strong and brave when you show your vulnerable side, no matter what anyone says. It is healthier to let go of the burden of carrying guilt, shame, hubris, anxiety, illness... whatever it may be, hidden so no one sees. Bare your soul a bit, but don't wallow in the vulnerability either. Let go of the need to show you are the strongest, the best, never wrong, never fearful. On the other side of the coin, don't let the vulnerable overshadow your strength; feel your strength, know it, own it. Balance is the key.  Learn to be at ease with the very human need for support. Accept that support gratefully, without resentment or embarrassment. Ask the questions you may think are stupid, but actually show how wise you are to ask. You will find that there are those who love you and have been holding out their hands waiting to help you, wanting to be there for you. Offer your hand to them.

Blessings dark and deep!