The Sunday Stir May 22, 2016

A light read for your Pagan Sunday morning!


Meme of the Week







A Pagan Call to Peaceful Res/Revo lution 

by Ly De Angeles
Photography Arian Levanael (2015)

"I read an article written by a journalist on their thoughts at being invited to a public samhain gathering. It is offensive that the stereotyping of crone, nudity and angsty teen movie actors are how they introduce the article. Paganism is a generic term, most certainly and we all know that, but many of us have hopefully studied and employed vast scholarship to this mysticism. Many of us have traced our ancestry to our indigenous European roots where myth, art, poetry, song, legend the tapestries of tree lore and animal knowledge are woven into spaces within brutal and consumerist cultures.
Through this knowledge and wisdom we are able to offer stories and connection to those of other cultures who, without appropriate sharing, must lump us all together as a bunch of bloody white, mostly privileged, middle class people trying hard to have some kind of significance when, in truth, we have nothing. Not without deep and honest lore.
This true ancestral information is almost forgotten, buried beneath the ash of Abrahmanic dominance. We pay attention to other voices than the propaganda of media. We hear mountains for goodness sake. We are oceans seeking a breath beneath plastic islands. Tony Mierzwicki, I thank you deeply for posting that article.
It is time, however, that those of us celebrating the seasons of our ancestors write new stories to add to the feasts. Repeating material written by Doreen Valiente almost a hundred years ago is no longer vital. Mimicking memes for the sake of sounding like we're with an in-crowd.
I raised a challenge a while back (see below) and I am still willing to get to Ireland before the close of the Gregorian 2016 calendar.
I suggest an equivalent to a gorsedd. I know I have material to share. Anyone? If you know someone to whom this is a significant topic get in touch. I will summon us a community here x
"

Read this: https://www.academia.edu/20205588/Heretical_Anarchy_-_A_Pagan_Call_to_a_Peaceful_Res_Rev_olution



In the News

Disclaimer: These are not authored by me, nor are these necessarily articles with which you may agree or believe. These are meant to provoke thought and discussion. These are out there, on the net, and are being read daily.



Woman Murders Her Father For Killing Her 5 Children And 2 Husbands Through Witchcraft

Community threaten to burn the 'witch'

Irish-American Witchcraft: Is It a Haunting or Fairies?

Woman is tied to a post and whipped to death after villagers accused her of being a WITCH 

Witch camp is coming and doesn't require a letter from Hogwarts

Dis-Spelling the Prosperity Gospel

Why are lemons used in black magic?

Are You Letting Witchcraft Into Your Home? Ex-witch Beth says Satan using conniving tactics

Christian Misogyny: Female Sexuality in the Primary Historical Sources for Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe



Astrology


Monthly Horoscopes from Darkstar Astrology
Weekly Horoscopes from Tarot.com

Remember to get your Daily Magic Guide and Tarot Reading on the Facebook page each morning!







This Week's Totem: Crow



Crow, as a totem, has different meanings to different cultures. Crow is the keeper of Sacred Law- not man-made law, but the Universal Law. Crow is a master of illusion. Crow people must walk their walk and talk their talk. Crows are seen as guardians of ceremonial magic and healing. In some cultures, crows are considered bad omens. Of course, you can bet that I'm not one who ascribes to that. Crows have always kept me from making mistakes, or warning me against danger or that something was happening with my family.

In my experience, crows interact differently with different people, which is why I believe there are so many different ways of viewing them. They are the smartest of all birds. They can not only recognize human faces, but will pass that information along to their young- to the 3rd generation down- particularly, if the humans are unkind to them. A human will be marked by crows as good or bad and then it will take at least 3 generations for that human to be given a chance again. I find myself to be  a lot like them. I am not one who forgives and forgets. I tend toward just cutting people out of my life and moving on, steering very clear of those folks in the future. If you are a Morrigan Child, crows will be with you through your life for various reasons, as they are Her totem.

Overall, Crow's message is about change and manifesting it in your life. If you have been working toward a goal, Crow shows up to tell you that it's just about time for things to come to fruition. More than ever, you should pay attention to the omens and signs around you. Crow could also be warning you that you are either spreading yourself a bit too thin, or that you need to stop scattering your energy and focus on what you really want to manifest in your life.

Crows see the world cross-eyed. This is important, because Crow may be asking you to change your perspective in order to manifest your desires. Look at everything from different angles, and see changes you might need to make to bring you what you want.

Remember that Universal Law is not the same as what we think of as "reality". You can bend the laws of physics with your will. Crow can show you how if you are willing to be open to its teachings.

Meditation

This week's meditation is from Cu Dubh. The song is called "Hrafn"

Thursday's Child- Personal Power


There are several different definitions out there of personal power.

The Business Dictionary defines it as: "Influence over others, the source of which resides in the person instead of being vested by the position he or she holds."

And, here are a few others: (thanks to Google Search)

Web definitions, Personal Power:
  • Power is a measure of an entity's ability to control the environment around itself, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power, perceived as legitimate by the social structure. ...

  • That energy which sustains our bodies. It ultimately originates from the Goddess and God (or, rather, the power behind Them). We first absorb it from our biological mothers within the womb and, later, from food, water, the Moon and Sun and other natural objects. ...

  • is based on individual characteristics that are acquired with varying degrees of difficulty and at different rates of development. Many performance skills are easily taught and can be rapidly acquired. Personality traits, on the other hand, take time to develop and can be difficult to modify. ...

  • Control over the environment used solely as a means of producing personal security. Destructive control over other persons.

  • is your power to control you and the environment around you. Most people realize that they are the only ones in control of themselves. While they may let others control them or persuade them to do things from time to time, each of us has control of our person. ...

  • The negotiating and selling power that is derived from you personally. This can be influenced by many factors to include your track record, your bearing, your appearance and your knowledge.

By now, you may be wondering why I've included so many definitions of this phrase. I think it's important, as  this is something that most of us within Paganism believe is very important to cultivate. But, I don't know that we all define it the same way. I don't know that we need to do so, either, but I think when having discussions on any subject concerning Paganism, Witchcraft, etc... one should set the expectation of what is meant by any word or catch-phrase so we're all on the same sheet of music.

My favorite is the one by Ly De Angeles in her book, "Witchcraft: Theory and Practice"

"Personal power is a natural growth process that develops as a result of the life you live in the way of the witch. Others will notice you even when you do not desire to be noticed; therefore, personal power is the ability to disappear when you want to and appear when you want to. It is not an egoistical phenomenon! It is an energy (akin to magnetism){16}, a presence about oneself that will require a firm rein for the first few years. It will emanate from your physical body like a field phenomenon. This field is neither a conscious, nor consciously acquired, function, and you are to know and understand this. Posturing and arrogance are its illusory counterparts. Personal power should not be treated as such (that will be the ego seeking to manipulate a natural force and that is both ugly and offensive). 
Personal power is a direct result of accessing the lifescape of magic and of living within its field. If you allow yourself to become glamoured{17} by it, in either yourself or anyone else, you disrupt the web of the worlds and the places of power will withdraw, oh, even just a little, from the access of those who seek to live within their wonder. 
Personal power is an accumulation of awareness, preparation, intent, and your ability to focus, all through the vessel of the self."

Now, that may seem like quite a long and detailed definition of personal power. Perhaps it is, but it is detailed enough to give one a really good sense of what that should or shouldn't mean, should you accept that interpretation and take it as your own. It should also help when defining a personal code of honor. It helps to understand for some of us who have experienced the phenomenon of being noticed when we wanted to be a wallflower.. or those of us for whom watches don't work, street lights go out.. etc...

It also helps one to see their unique yet entangled connection to other living things, and the responsibility we have to be full of care with it.

I know that when I first read this definition, it struck a chord, felt true to me and it became a part of my understanding and knowledge in how to operate as a Witch. I hope it's helped some of you, even if you don't agree with it, in defining what it means to you. 

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Please do send a comment (remember they are moderated, so it may take me a little while to get notification that I need to approve yours), an email, or message me on Facebook. If you have a particular definition you'd like to share, or this hit home for you.. or even if you didn't like it at all.. it's all feedback, and that's invaluable.

Sláinte!




*page 39
16: See the Art of Invisibility, Part Three
17: See Glamouring, Part Three

Monday Meditation: Escaping the Crab Pot


A man was walking along the beach when he came across another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.

"Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?", he said.

The man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."

So it is with people. If one tries to do something different; get better grades, better jobs, improve themselves, escape their environment, or dream big dreams, other people will try to drag them back down to share their fate.

Moral of the Story:  Fight your way out of that bucket of mediocrity. Charge ahead and do what is right for you. It may not be easy, but you will never share the same fate as those never try.

If you are someone trying to make a difference in the world, I don't care how large or small, you're going to get criticized.~ become deaf to their words.

If you don't conform to what others' views of what you should be or do, you're going to be the subject of ostracism and ridicule. ~ dance to the beat of a drum so loud it drowns out their sounds.

If you make yourself vulnerable by sharing who you really are, you will have a target on your heart, and there are archers who cannot resist shooting at you. Some will hit their target. ~ Be stronger in your vulnerability.

There are bullies in the world who are insecure in who they are, what they believe and are mostly jealous that they can't be you. They don't want you to know that they secretly admire you. They don't want you to believe you are doing good. They want you to conform so they can feel better about their do-nothing lives and their milquetoast personalities. ~ Don't you DARE buy what they're selling!

You, who share uplifting stories, memes, quotes- you have no idea how much that might have changed the entire focus for one person today. Or yesterday... or tomorrow...

You, who blog about your personal experiences and are honest and open and forthright in what you write- you don't know how many lives you touch or who you have helped because not everyone will tell you how much they needed to read that they are not alone. You give them permission to be themselves.

You, who teach what you know to others, don't let those without your talent tell you that you can't.

You, who dress, act, write, sing, dance, make music differently than the rest of the world.. we need you. You are integral and vital to us all. Your brilliant threads make the whole fabric a beautiful masterpiece.

Don't you EVER apologize for being YOU.

There are 7 billion + people in the world. You have a tribe, whether you know it or not. Maybe you haven't found it yet, but they are out there. Your tribe may be small, but it's out there. And, there are other tribes who will celebrate your differences, as well.

Do not let those who sit on their computers blogging about you, snarking, bitching, griping, complaining, etc.. ever stop you. Don't allow someone else's low expectations become your internal messaging. They do nothing to help the world.  They waste your time and energy when you let them get to you.

When someone attempts to diminish you and make you an outcast, it is from a nefarious agenda. It is from within them, not you.They are the dull, frayed, edges of the fabric which weaken and dampen its beauty overall- they will not make the final cut.

Be brilliant. Shine so brightly that they are blinded by your light. Your future's so bright,THEY have to wear shades. Write your unique adventure by living it boldly.

LISTEN to those who support you; the ones who say, "Why not you?"
They are the ones who matter. Your dreams are only limited by your ability to believe in them.

Be Yourself. Be EXTRAORDINARY!


The Sunday Stir: May 15, 2016



A light read for your Pagan Sunday morning!

Meme of the Week:


https://www.facebook.com/InTheGrayMist/

In the News: Stories of Pagan interest from around the world


7 Crazy Historical Beliefs About Witches

Fairies, witches, spirits and Shakespeare - a guide to the folklore of the Clydach Gorge

Americans leaving religion, and turning to witchcraft

Witchcraft: Woman held for killing son, mother-in-law

Suspected witches die after drinking Pastor's holy water




Astrology

Monthly Horoscopes from Darkstar Astrology
Weekly Horoscopes from Tarot.com

Remember to get your Daily Magic Guide and Tarot Reading on the Facebook page each morning!





This Week's Totem: Coyote




Also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It occurs as far north as Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada. The coyote evolved in North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.8 million years ago, alongside the now extinct dire wolf. It fills roughly the same ecological niche in the Americas that is filled in Eurasia and Africa by the similarly sized canids called jackals, among which the coyote is sometimes counted. Its closest living relative is the gray wolf.


The coyote is an amazingly adaptive animal. Native American lore is rich and plentiful where coyote is concerned.  Coyote is both creator and trickster. He is filled with magic, but it doesn't always work as intended. Therein lies the lesson- coyote always bring hidden wisdom with his trickster magic.

Those who carry coyote medicine are known to be pranksters, and like the coyote, they tend to get caught up in their own machinations. In many stories, coyote makes things more complicated than they have to be.

Coyote teaches the balance of wisdom and folly. These two go hand in hand. The ability to not take one's self too seriously is the epitome of coyote medicine.

Coyotes are very family-oriented, despite what television and theater would have us believe. We always see the coyote as a loner, when in fact, he has a very close-knit family unit. Many times, coyotes mate for life. The father is very conscientious and participate in the care and raising of young. Both parents train their young in hunting techniques.The male cares for his mate while she is pregnant, taking on the hunting and feeding of them both.  Those with coyote medicine are wonderful parents and care-givers.

When coyote shows up, it's time to ask yourself some questions. Am I taking myself too seriously? Have I forgotten that playtime is essential to good health? Am I over-complicating a situation? Is someone playing tricks on me? Am I tricking myself?

"Coyote is you, me, booby traps, jet airplanes with toilets that don't work, blind dates, and all the humorous and whimsical things we encounter along the way." ~Jamie Sams/David Carson "Animal Medicine Cards"

Coyote always brings laughter and groans. Learning to laugh at ourselves and find the wisdom in our folly is crucial to our survival.




Meditation Time




Today's meditation comes from Omnia. The song is called "Alive". Listen to the song and let the lyrics sink in...




Hot like the sun
Wet like the rain
Green like the leaves
Life is a game

Stars in my head
Shine Moon shine
Everything's cool
And I feel fine!

Can you touch
the root that feeds us?
Can you hear
the words that I say?
Can you feel
the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedibodah
Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedah

(Goddess Vana
Sweet vernal goddess)

Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedibodah
Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedah

Falledal do, falledal dea
falledal do, falledal da
falledal do, falledal dea

Ya Vana Dea ribeda

(Dance for Vana,
Hail goddess of spring)

Can you touch
the root that feeds us?
Can you hear
the words that I say?
Can you feel
the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedibodah
Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedah

(Goddess Vana
Sweet vernal goddess)

Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedibodah
Vana Dea
dzjo Vana Dea
la Vana doh
aribedah

Falledal do, falledal dea
falledal do, falledal da
falledal do, falledal dea

Ya Vana Dea ribeda

Can you touch
the root that feeds us?
Can you hear
the words that I say?
Can you feel
the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Strong like the grass, tall like a tree
Free like the wind, eternally
Nothing to lose, nothing to gain
Just running wild, again and again and again...

Can you touch
the root that feeds us?
Can you hear
the words that I say?
Can you feel
the music move you?
Can you feel alive today?

Falledal do, falledal dea
falledal do, falledal da
falledal do, falledal dea

Ya Vana Dea ribeda

Bumblebees and blossom, only trees and me
Humble bees and blossom, only trees and me...







 Kallan is a writer, adventurer, bibliophile, and baking enthusiast who loves learning, science, religion, philosophy, geography, anthropology, politics, peppermint, her children and grandchildren, friends and  friends who are family, being outdoors, animals,  walking, hiking, and the earth. 


Demystifying Friday the 13th: Luck isn't a Lady ... She's a Witch! by Tony Sokol

Modern Spellcaster's Tarot by Melanie Marquis


Today is Friday the 13th, and we here at The Secret Life of the American Witch are feeling luckier than a black cat stepping on a crack under a hot tin ladder. Sure, the Apollo 13 didn’t make it to the Moon, but ancient Greeks crowned Zeus the thirteenth and most powerful god. Friday the 13th, the 1980 horror movie, went on to be a classic and spawn a lucrative franchise. How lucky is that?

The day got its bad rep on Friday, the 13th of October, in 1307 when France’s King Philip IV ordered the Knights Templars to be simultaneously arrested and ultimately executed because God was “not pleased.” The Templars were believed to have the mummified severed head of John the Baptist at their headquarters on the Temple Mount. They were suspected of worshipping Baphomet.

But 13 is not an unfortunate number. It is a magical number and a decidedly feminine number strong enough to break any jinx someone might be feeling.  Lady Luck, in her incarnation as the Roman Goddess Fortuna, had a powerful cult in Ancient Rome through which she sustained the empire. It was rumored that she granted special favors to her boy toy emperors and centurions who worshipped at her feet while ruling the greatest civilization of the world at the time.

Christian Day
"For me, the number thirteen has always been a lucky and magical number so I see Friday the 13th as a time to cast your most powerful spells to bring your dreams to fruition," explained Salem, Massachusetts’ Christian Day, the world’s most famous warlock. 

Day is a seasoned veteran of public appeal through his book, shops, and many successful events. Clearly,  co-producers Christian Day and Brian Cain worship at Fortuna’s altar because their premiere spring offering in the heart of New Orleans, HEX FEST,  typically sells out months in advance.


Madame X

Madame X, the owner, administrator, mentor and matriarch of the international nightkind coven House of the Dreaming and co-founder of the New Jersey-based Vampire Court Iron Garden floated over to The Secret Life of the American Witch to give some occult background to the number 13.

The spiritual significance of the number 13 “has ancient roots beginning with the original 13 tribes,” Madame X said. “It had special significance during the times of Babylon and Egypt and continues to have great occult and mystical significance.”

“There are 13 Buddhas, 13 Mexican solar gods, 13 solar disks, even 13 Treasures of Britain, which are cloaks, crooks, drinking horns, mantles etc. of the great leaders and heroes of old. The most interesting ones, for me, would be the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant and the chariot of Morgan Mwynfawr.”

When asked why the ancients may have fixated on the number, Madame X offered, “perhaps it has to do with the lunar phases, 13 degrees, 13 weeks is the time it takes from the equinoxes to the solstices. 13 weeks times 4 is the 52 weeks it takes the Earth to make one complete revolution around the Sun.”
“The number 13 is associated with the moon, which is not only feminine in nature, but associated with the Goddess. Also, there are 13 full moons within a year. We, as women, have 13 menstrual periods within a year, which is why many women call their periods their ‘moontime.’ Our bodies' cycles coincide with the moon's cycles. That is why I believe the number 13 is feminine and sacred to women,” said Susan Morgaine, a Feminist Goddess-oriented Witch who writes the blog ShaktiWarrior.

Lisa Derrick

“The moon is thought of within Goddess Spirituality as the aspects of the Goddess as Maiden, Mother, Crone, stages of life that all women go through,” Sorceress Lisa Derrick explained from a gallery in the trendy LA Arts District where her artists typically sell out against the odds.


Luck is a Lady and we love the lady best when she is a tramp. But let's keep the party polite, because lucky ladies earned the right to be as fickle as fate.

Melanie Marquis

"The 13th card of the tarot is Death, which symbolizes the transformation and rebirth that can be found in the light of the darkest shadows," Melanie Marquis, author of Modern Spellcaster's Tarot explained.

All numbers may have energy if you apply them. Math is a universal language in science and one of the sciences of magic is sacred geometry. It all adds up.

“Power is where you chose to put it,” Madame X concluded.

“The most powerful tool in magic is, after all, intention. For a Chaos Magician ‘Everything is magical’ and ‘nothing is magical at all’ are both permissible statements but only one will be of true magical value.”
Marie Bargas
Venice, CA based “Jinx Busters” presenter and producer Marie Bargas explains it all is a nutshell:

"Thirteen is a number of change, whether we like it or not. In terms of luck it can be good or bad depending on whether or not we choose to fight or surrender. I've always surrendered so it's been very lucky for me. Resistance is futile.”

Happy Friday the Thirteenth.




 Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of  Geek, The Chiseler, hypnocloud.com and wrote for Smashpipe,  KpopStarz.com, Altvariety, Coed.com, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media  Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays  produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera  "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers  (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."



Book Review: How to Communicate Like a Buddhist

Today, I'm reviewing, "How to Communicate Like a Buddhist" by Cynthia Kane. 



Below, is a description of the book from the publisher:

An Instruction Manual for Clear Communication
The most well known Buddhist teachers on the planet all have something in common: they are excellent communicators. This is not by accident, as the Buddha taught what are called the four elements of right speech over 2,600 years ago.
In this one-of-a-kind book, certified meditation and mindfulness instructor Cynthia Kane has taken the four elements of right speech and developed them into a modern practice based on mindful listening, mindful speech, and mindful silence.
 Beginning with an illuminating self-test to assess your current communication style, this book will take you through the author's own five-step practice that is designed to help you:
  •  Listen to yourself (your internal and external words)
  •  Listen to others
  •  Speak consciously, concisely, and clearly
  •  Regard silence as a part of speech
  •  Meditate to enhance your communication skills
If you have ever felt misheard, have trouble stating how you feel, or long to have more meaningful and genuine conversations, this book can help. The simple steps outlined in this book will have a huge effect on how you communicate with others and yourself.
Communication is essential to being human, and when you become better at it, your personal truth becomes clearer, your relationships improve, and the result is that you experience more peace and harmony in your life.

This was a great read, particularly if you are interested in spirituality as a way of life, and how to incorporate those practices practically. There's a good balance here between instruction and application, and it feels conversational.

As many of you who study spirituality will recognize, she calls upon a poem that is usually misattributed to the Buddha:
Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate, ask yourself, "Is it true?"
At the second gate, ask, "Is it necessary?"
At the third gate, ask, "Is it kind?"
Even if it isn't an exact quote, it is very much in line with Buddhist philosophy. She also uses what she calls the "Three c's"; speaking consciously, concisely, and clearly. She doesn't stop with how to speak, though. She also instructs the reader on how to listen mindfully, a critical component in any effective communication endeavor.

It's clear that the author 'practices what she preaches'. This isn't a long book, or a difficult read, but if you are interested in more potent and meaningful dialogue, I highly recommend having this book in your arsenal.

You can purchase the book here at Red Wheel Weiser books.

Monday Meditation: Jupiter and The Bee

As the planet Jupiter stations direct today, the focus of this meditation is on the god as he is portrayed in a Greek story written by Aesop.


A BEE from Mount Hymettus, the queen of the hive, ascended to Olympus to present Jupiter some honey fresh from her combs. Jupiter, delighted with the offering of honey, promised to give whatever she should ask.  She therefore besought him, saying,
"Give me, I pray thee, a sting, that if any mortal shall approach to take my honey, I may kill him."  Jupiter was much displeased, for he loved the race of man, but could not refuse the request because of his promise.  He thus answered the Bee:  "You shall
have your request, but it will be at the peril of your own life. For if you use your sting, it shall remain in the wound you make, and then you will die from the loss of it."  ~Aesop's Fables
Aesop's Moral: "He who prays hard against his neighbor, brings a curse upon himself." or "Evil wishes, like chickens, come home to roost."


Consider the following:


The bee in the story may be misunderstood. Like most villains, she has her own side to this. She was less forgiving of humans than Jupiter. Let's face it. He's a god. He can afford more benevolence than the bee who is in the trenches every day with these thieves.  She wanted to protect her people. She might have been a little on the selfish side from Jupiter's viewpoint, but that's food for her tribe, and humans can find other sources of food themselves; her people can't. From Jupiter's perspective, he loves human beings, and she's put him in an awkward position, so he had to even the playing field.

Protecting what you love and cherish usually requires a cost. While the moral of Aesop's story might be to not curse your enemies, it could be seen as "evaluate what you cherish and be sure it's worth the price."

Are you wasting precious energy and time on things that no longer serve you? Are you fighting with the gods (insert your idea of deity or non-deity here) or yourself in letting go of that thing? Are you willing to give up your life for it? Is it worth focusing on?

Choose your battles wisely.  Not every conflict deserves a your involvement. Not everything protected (including  'sacred cows') is worth the price paid for it. Sometimes, humans tend to no longer want something, but if another person pays attention to it, it suddenly becomes precious again.

The bee in Aesop's story is now forced to choose her battles wisely, because she will lose her life when she stings.

It's worth considering...


Sláinte (to your good health)!





   Kallan is a writer, adventurer, bibliophile, and baking enthusiast who         loves learning, science, religion, philosophy, geography, anthropology,       politics, peppermint, her children and grandchildren, friends and friends   who are family, being outdoors, animals,  walking, hiking, and the earth. 

The Sunday Stir: May 8, 2016

A light read for your Pagan Sunday morning!


Meme of the Week:






In the News: Stories of Pagan interest from around the world












Astrology


Monthly Horoscopes from Darkstar Astrology

Having fun with Mercury Retrograde from Big Sky Astrology

Weekly Horoscopes from Tarot.com


Remember to get your Daily Magic Guide and Tarot Reading on the Facebook page each morning!


Weekly Totem: Weasel

  Key words and phrases: Stealth, keen observation,    discretion, elegance, camouflage

 From "Medicine Cards" by Jamie Sams and David  Carson:
  "The chiefs sent Weasel to the enemy camp to smoke    them for power. 'What are the medicines of the enemy?'  the chiefs asked Weasel upon its return. 
 Weasel never failed to give an accurate account of  the enemy's numbers, strengths, and weaknesses. It  was Weasel who tearfully told the Original People of the coming of the white boat people. "These brothers have strange new medicines," said Weasel. "They will tell us that to live the way we do is wrong. They will confuse us with their talking bark. They have stolen thunder from Sky Father and placed it in their weapons. They have no respect for the animal brothers and sisters, and they make their thunder speak to the animals and kill them. They will make the thunder speak to us also. Their numbers are too many to count, and these white brothers will steal everything from us but our spirits. The great dark shadow of the ravenous bird of death has fallen over the People." 

Weasels in Nature

In order to understand a totem, one must study the animal as it is observed in nature.

Focusing on the ermine (short-tailed weasel, stoat), these creatures are native to both Eurasia and North America. Ermine inhabit open woodlands, brushy areas, grasslands, wetlands, and farmlands. They typically eat small mammals, including rabbits, chipmunks, voles, shrews, and mice. For those with this totem, it's a good idea to study the totems of these prey animals. Here, you may find your 'shadow totem', or aspects about yourself you may wish to "devour" or keep hidden.

The winter fur is very dense and silky, but quite closely lying and short, while the summer fur is rougher, shorter and sparse. In summer, the fur is sandy-brown on the back and head and a white below. Ermine moult twice a year. In spring, the moult is slow, starting from the forehead, across the back, toward the belly. In autumn, the moult is quicker, progressing in the reverse direction. The moult, initiated by photoperiod, starts earlier in autumn and later in spring at higher latitudes. In the stoat's northern range, it adopts a completely white coat (save for the black tail-tip) during the winter period. Differences in the winter and summer coats are less apparent in southern forms of the species.In the species' southern range, the coat remains brown, but is denser and sometimes paler than in summer. For those with this totem, you are flexible and able to adapt easily to your environment. You blend in easily, and enjoy the seasons equally.

The ermine does not dig its own burrows, instead using the burrows and nest chambers of the rodents it kills. The skins and underfur of rodent prey are used to line the nest chamber.  Ermine also inhabits old and rotting stumps, under tree roots, in heaps of brushwood, haystacks, in bog hummocks, in the cracks of vacant mud buildings, in rock piles, rock clefts, and even in magpie nests. Males and females typically live apart, but close to each other. For those with this totem, marriage may not be suitable to you, nor home ownership. 

The weasel is a usually silent animal, but can produce a range of sounds. Kits produce a fine chirping noise. Adults trill excitedly before mating, and indicate submission through quiet trilling, whining, and squealing. When nervous, they hiss, and will intersperse this with sharp barks or shrieks and prolonged screeching when aggressive.

Aggressive behavior in weasels include:
  • Noncontact approach, which is sometimes accompanied by a threat display and vocalization from the approached animal.
  • Forward thrust, accompanied by a sharp shriek, which is usually done when defending a nest or retreat site.
  • Nest occupation, when one appropriates the nesting site of a weaker individual.
  • Kleptoparasitism, in which a dominant stoat appropriates the kill of a weaker one, usually after a fight.
  • Submissive stoats express their status by avoiding higher-ranking animals, fleeing from them or making whining or squealing sounds.

For those with this totem, be aware of these behaviors and how they affect you and those around you.

Weasel as a Totem

The Spirit of Weasel teaches the benefit of quiet observation. You will act when the time is right. Weasel’s gift of stealth combined with the gift of observation offers you the power of being the proverbial “fly on the wall.” Weasel can sneak into situations unobserved then uncover the truth of the situation that remains hidden or ignored by everyone else.

Weasel uncovers the truth not in order to be right or even to be known as the revealer of truth. It is solely performed to facilitate healing and transformation. Living in an illusion blocks one from becoming whole and growing to meet his/her potential.

Weasel sharpens your intellect and enhances your mental and physical agility. A sign of material wealth, prosperity and luxury, the weasel favors quality and shuns cheap imitations.

Although independent by nature, the weasel can be a devoted spouse, and even more so, a parent.

This animal spirit brings blessings of happiness to families and intimate relationships, encouraging the joy of shared experiences, and strengthening deeper connections.



Meditation: Omnia


Here is Omnia's Pagan Folklore DVD courtesy of Youtube. Enjoy!





Sláinte!






   Kallan is a writer, adventurer, bibliophile, and baking enthusiast who    loves learning, science, religion, philosophy, geography, anthropology,    politics, peppermint, her children and grandchildren, friends and friends    who are family, being outdoors, animals,  walking, hiking, and the earth. 

New Moon in Taurus: 5 Tips for Intention-setting



There's a new moon on the horizon today and it's in the sign of Taurus. Taurus is a sensual, earthy sign that likes luxury, loyalty, family and friends. The Taurus New Moon forms a useful Grand Earth Trine with expansive Jupiter in efficient Virgo, and potent Pluto in calculating Capricorn.

For we Aquarians, Rick Levine (astrologer) gives the following advice:

Aquarius - It's time to set a stake in the ground that can be used as a cornerstone for the foundation you are busy constructing. Although there will be a fair share of obstacles ahead, creating consistency in your life is crucial while the Taurus New Moon feeds your 4th House of Security. Ultimately, building on what you have already gained is possible as long as you feel emotionally safe. However, your future will be more uncertain if you are anxious about your present vulnerability. Stability is more important to success than brilliance when push comes to shove.
For the rest of the zodiac family, click here for your new moon horoscope.

If you haven't signed up already, I also highly recommend April Elliott Kent's Big Sky Astrology site where you can get her free downloadable new moon workbook in your email box each month.

Remembering that we have 5 planets in retrograde, this is a year where we're given an opportunity to look back and decide what's really important before we get shoved forward into a new life, which is definitely coming. I am grateful for the lessons of the day.

Here are some New Moon in Taurus tips for reconnecting with what's most important to you:


A walk in the woods- it's a scientific fact that a walk in nature (particularly in wooded areas) actually changes your mood and lowers your blood pressure.

Spend two hours in silence- this can be difficult for some of us, as we live in a world of sound-bombardment until we're so wiped out that we fall asleep. It's also been proven by scientific study that 2 hours a day in silence builds up brain cells and intelligence. This will help you in your decision-making processes.

Meditate to music- find something that carries you away. Get lost in it. See where it takes you. Write down your experience.

Light some candles and turn off the electricity. Candle light is not only economical, but it can put us in a more contemplative  and peaceful state.

Take a hot bath- try some epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil to help you relax. You could add a few candles and some music while you're in there.

Once you're relaxed, take some time to contemplate what you really want in life. What are the three most important things to you? Are you focused on those, or have other things distracted you? In what ways can you take action to return to your important things?

Write your ideas down. Put them in a sacred place (an altar, under your pillow, etc.) Then, go back in the morning and review/edit. Now, you can set your new moon intentions with clarity and be confident in the actions you can take to make them happen.

Sláinte (to your good health)!








   Kallan is a writer, adventurer, bibliophile, and baking enthusiast who      loves learning, science, religion, philosophy, geography, anthropology,  politics, peppermint, her children and grandchildren, friends and friends  who are family, being outdoors, animals,  walking, hiking, and the earth. 

Thursday's Child- Don't Be Ugly


If you are someone who grew up below the Mason-Dixon line of the United States, you've heard the term, "Don't be ugly." There isn't a southern mother I know who didn't say this to her children. Being ugly didn't have anything to do with your looks; it had everything to do with your behavior, particularly when it came to how you treated others.

If you and your sister were fighting, your mother told you both not to be ugly to one another. If you were being unkind to a waiter, you were told in an overly nice tone (because we southerners do not air our dirty laundry in public), "Now, don't be ugly," and you can be sure we were severely punished for that public parental embarrassment when we got home. This also applied to using proper table manners, writing thank-you notes to obscure relatives, and generally any behavior thought to be less than genteel.

In today's society, we don't necessarily adhere to Emily Post anymore. If you don't know who she was, then you have proven my point. She wrote columns and books on manners and etiquette, and both me and my peers growing up had to read and understand her. Some of us were even forced into going to classes on this, so when I say this was a thing, it really was. It was a southern culture thing, and a source of pride for every parent who received compliments on their children's behavior.

Yesterday, I encountered some ugliness from an online acquaintance. She shared a meme making fun of white people who don't get  american black culture's inside jokes and codes. When I asked her if she really thought that this was funny, she was shocked that I didn't. She immediately moved to a position of, "Oh, you don't get the joke. That's okay- you're not supposed to."

I was well-aware of the lingo used, as the meaning of the 'code' and the insult being cast on women who share my skin color and culture. If I had posted something like that toward black women, I'd have been immediately called out as a racist, and rightfully so- it was ugly behavior. After discussing it, I moved on. Sometimes, you have no choice but to walk away from people who are toxic, even if they can't or won't see it for themselves.

When you feel the need to put down others in order to feel good about yourself, you're being ugly. When you exclude others with secret codes, language that is meant only for your insider group, when you minimize the culture and intellect of other people, you're being ugly. It doesn't matter what excuse you use, painting lipstick on a pig is a ridiculous and wasted endeavor. I've seen it happen both by whites and blacks, and it's ugly no matter what the the pigment of the lipstick.

Right now, we live in a world where racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny are rampant. When we see the world through these eyes, it's a very ugly place indeed. We're making it that way through our behavior, and what we tolerate.  In the United States, we're moving into a much more volatile place with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee-apparent. One thing he has accomplished is to expose the deep-seated racism among the adult, white, republican voters in this country. The more we seek hate, the more it will find us.

We can choose differently. We can protest and fight for equality without having to endure repulsive behavior cloaked in the excuses of "otherness". We can fully appreciate each other's culture without insults and derision.

We can choose the power of love and the beauty of unity instead.  They may become our survival tools in the very near future.

Sláinte.


Thursday's Child is a series of articles where the author expresses her opinions on topical matters, whether Witchcraft-related or not. The title is inspired by the poem, and that the author was born on a Thursday.