28 November 2010

Are You of the Land?

“Land, then, is not merely soil: it is a foundation of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals ... an ethic to supplement and guide the economic relation to land presupposes the existence of some mental image of land as a biotic mechanism. We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in ...” – Aldo Leopold, ecologist (from ”Wisdom of Elders” by David Suzuki and Peter Knudtson)

One description of being a Pagan is to have a relationship with the land, after all, the word Pagan is said to have been derived from the Latin Paganus meaning “country dweller”, amongst other interpretations. Yet, in this modern age how many of us who describe ourselves as "practising Pagans" and declare that we follow a “Pagan life style” are honestly “one” with nature and the land upon which we reside?  How many of us feel the tides change within us when they change around us?

25 November 2010

Walking with Awareness - Mindful Walking

While walking, each step we take can lead us to becoming more mindful of ourselves and our feelings.

Many of us take the benefits of walking for granted. Each day we limit the steps we take by driving or sitting for long periods of time. But walking even a few blocks a day has unlimited benefits – not only for our health, but our spirit as well, for as we walk, we connect with the earth.

Even when walking on concrete, the earth is still beneath us, supporting us. Walking lets our body remember simpler times, when life was less complicated. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue. Instead of running from place to place or thinking about how much more we can fit into our day, walking allows us to exist in the moment. 

21 November 2010

Gifts that keep on Giving

Around this time of the year a similar dilemma appears and that is what to do for Christmas? Do I celebrate it with the rest of my non-Pagan family and friends, by accepting gifts and engaging in other festivities? Or do I declare myself a “Christmas-free zone”, after all why celebrate a festival belonging to another faith – it is not as if I celebrate other festivals or holy days, such as Ramadan etc? Often, in order to keep everyone happy a combination of the two is successful.
from World Vision"s "Smiles"

Whilst in our secular society, the religion aspect of Christmas has largely been replaced by the focus on families spending the day together and the exchanging of gifts, for some people both these ideas can be rather unpleasant.

One possible solution to at least the latter, may be the suggestion of a donation made on your behalf to a worthwhile charitable organisation ... of which there are many. 

18 November 2010

Full Moon in Taurus - 21 November

The Full Moon on 21 November at 29°18′ Taurus is conjunct the fixed star Alcyone. It is connected to the fates and judgment of the dead. There is potential for penetrating insight, but it can sometimes be blind to the obvious. Alcyone is in the Pleiades, as with all nebula it is thought to cause bad eyesight. This Moon then is definitely about vision and how one regards and judges a dilemma, one must guard against being rash and narrow minded.

The Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters, are a cluster and are connected with tears so there is some sadness involved with them. The Neptune/Chiron conjunction is squaring this Full Moon, seems like they have been dancing around each other for ages. They keep within a three degree orb all through 2011 retro-ing back and forth even into 2012.

No one has taken much notice of the Neptune/Chiron conjunction since Jupiter left the scene and linked up with more exciting Uranus. So the Moon throws some focus onto these two’s last clinch before they start sloooowly moving apart. Chiron with Neptune is hard to put a finger on. Chiron was abandoned as a child but this spurred him to put all his energy into study so that he became the wise teacher of the gods, he also sacrificed himself for the greater good. 

13 November 2010

A Full Embrace Excluding Nothing - Finding Peace Within

If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first.

Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures.  However, we often seem stumped as to how to bring this ideal situation into being.  
If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. 
If we do not like ourselves, for example, we probably won't like those around us. 
If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world.
If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world.

We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change. 

12 November 2010

Egregores and Perfect Love/Perfect Trust

For those experienced with group ritual magick, one of the more important aspects is the construction of the "group consciousness" or, to use a phrase that is probably more commonly associated with ceremonial magick than Wicca, "egregore".  In this use of the word, an egregore is that it is a "thought form" or "collective group mind" that is built up by the group as a whole through the use of disciplined focus and energy.  Another description of an egregore is that it is some kind of magickal entity that is specifically created by a group as an "encapsulation of the group's collective aspirations and ideals". 

The ability to create such an entity successfully can only be achieved when all members of the group are on the "same page".  That means, the level of discipline, focus and direction is equal, not to mention the direction and ideals behind such a creation is clearly formed.  This is no mean feat and can take a number of years of close, intimate workings within the group by all members involved.  Within Wicca, this can be perceived as the ultimate example of the Wiccan axiom "perfect love and perfect trust".

11 November 2010

11 November - Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the official end of World War I on that date in 1918, as the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. (Note that "at the 11th hour", refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.)

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

06 November 2010

More New Moon in Scorpio

by Lynn Hayes

Scorpio is the sign of passion and intensity, and the Truth that exists where life and death meet. This New Moon offers us an opportunity to face the darkness and discover our own Truth - to strip ourselves of any falseness and pledge to live in that Truth. New Moons begin a new cycle, and in Scorpio the challenge is to confront our emotional fears without becoming enmeshed in the story.

The New Moon is often shown as a sliver of a crescent, but it is actually the darkest point of the lunar cycle. The New Moon occurs when the Moon conjoins the Sun and the solar light completely obscures the lunar, leaving us in darkness. But it is in that darkness that the first rays of light can be seen.

04 November 2010

New Moon in Scorpio

by Dana Gerhardt

On Saturday, 6 November 2010, it will be another New Moon: a time when astrologers around the blogosphere attempt to divine its intentions and the magically minded make wishes. But fates are personal.

Even if a New Moon chart could be forced to describe them all, no single astrologer could tell that many stories. Whether time is a marching calendar, cyclical waves, or dotted with portals to other dimensions, in all systems, the New Moon is a special moment. The wishes you make now may indeed be super-powered, but if you don’t have a strong relationship with the archetypes, don’t expect special favors. If you rarely visit your Aunt Bernice, she’s got little motivation to throw money at your cat’s surgery. Visit the invisible world. New Moons are potent times to forge alliances with the gods. Make an offering. Bow and open yourself to their touch. Humans have been rendezvousing with these archetypes for thousands of years. The invisible powers will awaken new interest in you. Call out to the gods and they will respond.

03 November 2010

Lessons of Reflection - Interfering

Each of us is on our own path and we all learn differently. Because of this it is important to not interfere with another’s path of growth.

When we care about people, we want to save them from pain by offering them the benefit of our experience. Sometimes we feel like we know what is best for them. Sometimes, like when their safety is involved, we need to step in, but those times are rare. More often we find ourselves becoming frustrated when our close friends or family members do not use our relationship insights or follow our dietary advice, and this is where we find our challenge. We may even find ourselves becoming angry when they choose another path. This strength of feeling is usually a sign that our motivations go beyond merely helping another to indicate that there is a lesson there for us.