Daily Om ~ The Truth of Interdependence

autumn leavesEarth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a kaleidoscope of relationships. Picking a leaf off the ground and contemplating it as an object in and of itself is very inspiring. Its shape and color, the way it feels in your hand, its delicate veins and the stem that once held it fast to the branch of a tree—all of these qualities reveal a leaf to be a miniature work of natural art. As we contemplate this small object more deeply and consider where it came from and what purpose it has served, we find that the leaf is one small but essential part of a system that harnesses the energy of the sun, plumbs the depths of the earth, and in the process brings into being the oxygen many living things rely on to live.

A leaf transforms the elements of its environment—sunlight, carbon dioxide, rain—into nourishment for its tree. This beautiful, nearly weightless, ephemeral piece of nature is a vital conduit to the branch that is a conduit to the trunk that is a conduit to the roots of the tree. The roots, in turn, draw nourishment from the earth to feed the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. The living beings that inhale the oxygen that comes from this process exhale the carbon dioxide that feeds the leaves through which the tree is fed. It is difficult to know where one cycle ends and another one begins.

One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. The person who exhales the carbon dioxide, the clouds that produce the rain, the sun that gives light, the leaf that transforms all these things into sustenance for a tree—not one of these could survive without being part of this cycle.

Each living being is dependent upon other living things for its survival. When we look at the world, we see that this is not a place where different beings survive independently of one another. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive.

Source: Daily Om

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Daily Om ~ A Magical Potion

untitledOur very own lives can be magical like the fleeting morning dew on a flower tip.
The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass, on flower petals and leaves, on cars and car windows. These glistening droplets last only a little while, an integral part of what imbues the early morning with its aura of magic. If we sleep too late, we miss the magnificent display of sunlight playing upon an infinite amount of tiny crystal balls. To step onto the dew-covered grass is to anoint our feet with a form of water that comes only once a day for a short time, a rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. If we inhale slowly and consciously enough, it is almost as if we are drinking in this magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.

In one myth, morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, and in another, the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When we see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from darkness, we may understand this longing in terms of our own gratitude; how blessed we are to be here.

Perhaps heaven really does long to be here on earth, and perhaps that is why we are here—as conduits between the divine and the earthbound. As we drink the morning dew in with our eyes, our skin, our breath, it is easy to imagine that it really is a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of our true purpose, and a daily opportunity to be transformed.

Source: Daily Om

Daily Om ~ Together on Earth

earth-planetWhen we see a photo of our earth from space, it is hard to feel ourselves as being separate from all others. Seeing an image of the planet Earth taken from space inspires awe in many of us, since we can clearly see the connectedness of all of us who live upon this planet. We have created imaginary boundaries, sectioning ourselves into countries and states, forgetting that in reality we are all living together, breathing the same air, drinking from the same water, eating food grown from the same earth. We share everything on this planet, whether we are conscious of it or not, with other people, and those people are our brothers and sisters. Keeping a photograph or painting of the planet Earth in a prominent place in our homes can be a positive way to remember our interconnectedness.

Meditating on the fact that any sense of separation we have from one another is truly an illusion, we will naturally begin to make more conscious choices in our daily lives. The simple act of preparing food, or determining how to dispose of our refuse, can be done with the consciousness that whatever we do will affect all our brothers and sisters, no matter how far away they live, as well as the planet herself. When we foster this kind of awareness in ourselves out of a feeling of awe, it becomes easier to be conscious than to fall back into old habits of thinking of ourselves as separate.

When we contemplate the earth in her wholeness, we attune ourselves to the truth of the bigger picture, which is the Earth, and all of us, every one of us, living on her body. We are connected to one another in the most intimate way, because we literally share our living space. As more people become aware of the reality of our interdependency, things will shift in a positive direction, and much of the discord that we see now will give way to a more cooperative, loving conscious. This is happening already, so as our consciousness grows, we can join with the many other minds working to live in the spirit of togetherness.

Source: Daily Om

Eclipses by Karina BlackHeart

sunlight treesOn April 25 2013, there will be a partial Lunar Eclipse.  Always, on the dark moon following a lunar eclipse, there is a Solar Eclipse.  That one is scheduled for the full moon on May 10. The Lunar Eclipse will be visible in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.  The Solar Eclipse will be visible in Australia, New Zealand and the Central Pacific.

During a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth.  In other words, the Earth passes between Sun and Moon, casting a shadow on the moon.

During a Solar Eclipse, the Moon passes between Sun and Earth blocking the light of the Sun.

Astrologers describe eclipses as times when either something which has been hidden will suddenly be revealed and/or something we perceive as stable will be eclipsed out of our lives.

Both Dark and Full Moon phases are powerful in their own right, but an eclipse tends to amp up and intensify that energy.  The energy of an eclipse can last up to a full lunar cycle (28 days), so even if you don’t feel the effects immediately, keep alert!

Eclipse energy is intense.  Rarely, do we find ourselves unaffected. It’s a good idea to consult an astrologer who’ll provide more information as to the aspects surrounding an eclipse (or any Full or Dark Moon, for that matter).  This information will help prepare you for what might be manifesting as a result of the eclipse.

That said, as Witches we want to be the actors rather than being acted upon.  In other words, astrological events are but one of an infinite number of energies flowing through, in and around us at any given moment.  Eclipse energy is big.  Burying our head in the sand won’t keep us from being impacted but, we can be prepared and we can decide how best to flow with and utilize the energy.

A Witch bows before no one–not even the stars and heavenly bodies!  In other words, we needn’t be enslaved by astrology or any other system.  Do as you Will!

As you research and think about the upcoming eclipses, it might be useful to think about and work magic toward the following ends:

Lunar Eclipse:  What is currently in shadow which could use a little more light shining on it?  What needs to be revealed so it can be dealt with and resolved?

Solar Eclipse:  What needs to be “eclipsed” out of your life?  In other words, what are you ready to release and be done with once and for all?

I’m discussing this now so you have a little time to approach these questions and prepare your magic.  Yes, the eclipses will impact us irregardless of our magical intent.  Yet, we can (and should) also align our intention with their energies to bring about the effects we desire in our lives.

Written by Karina BlackHeart

Daily Om ~ Physical Bodies on Earth

double rainbow

While we are incarnated in a body on this earth, we must remember that we still are a spiritual being at our core. We are on this earth, in our physical bodies, because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way. It is through our physical body and the physical world that we can experience life. Purely spiritual beings are just that – they are in a state of being rather than doing – in a place that is beyond the limitations of time and space. But when we incarnate on the physical plane, we are automatically subject to the laws of physics and the world of dualities. In this place, we know what happiness is because we have experienced sadness, and we understand the value and power of light because we have known darkness. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to let ourselves be spiritual beings having a physical experience.

There is no pain in the spiritual realm, because we know we are one with the limitless source of the universe. But here, in the material realm, our sense of limitation and separation allows us to feel our emotions and to learn about love, forgiveness, and compassion. We go from a spiritual state of oneness to learning how to be in relationship with people who are different and distinct individuals. We learn to understand ourselves through our relationships with the world around us—its seasons and landscapes, challenges and opportunities. And through our journey to find our place among so many others, we begin to recognize our own glimmer of light in a constellation of stars.

Once we remember that we are spiritual beings, we can revel in the experience of being human while knowing we are all connected. We can live from the place of oneness while truly appreciating the beauty of diversity, the bittersweet feel of love and loss, and the elation of triumph over challenges and adversity. It is through these opposites that we experience life itself, and we can ride through the dark times with the understanding that it will help us to appreciate the light of life and love and spirit more fully. We are here now because we made the choice to experience an earth life, so now we can choose to enjoy the journey as completely as possible.

Source: Daily Om

F is for Flipping the coin over

liberty coinFor this post I’m doing for the Pagan Blog Project I’m kind of redressing my earlier post Just Meanderings, although I am not saying my thoughts there were invalid but just a reflection of my current state of mind as it was then. You see, there are times when I think dark thoughts, as does everyone. We all have a shadow side but I’m glad I can accept mine and see it for what it is. When I feel depressed (and I do suffer from mental illness) it is very easy for me to give into the shadow side and see things from a certain hopeless perspective. In this post I’m ‘flipping the coin over’ and looking at things from a different, hopefully more positive, perspective.

When I’m in the throes of my dark thoughts everything seems rather bleak and my judgemental side comes out – I dislike human beings because they are greedy, selfish, thoughtless etc. But I’m only really seeing my own self reflected back at me through them. The parts of me that I like to hide, or even worse, pretend to the outside world that I don’t have. The truth is I AM selfish, greedy and thoughtless…at times. I believe these traits stem from an unchecked ego state. None of us like to admit that we can be these things. We like to see ourselves as good and kind and thoughtful. Well folks, we aren’t! We all have the capacity to be shits! It’s only in awareness and mindfulness that our real selves – or rather our totalities can be realised and inspected.

I guess the truth is rather than hating the human species, it’s more a case of hating what SOME humans DO! Let’s take an example…war. I hate war! I hate the needless destruction and killing. I hate what wars do to people, the environment, the planet. It breaks my heart to see refugees, children, suffer in refugee camps. It breaks my heart to see mothers sobbing over the dead bodies of their children, their husbands, their brothers etc. It breaks my heart to see people suffering when so many other live in the lap of luxury, in safety, and give no thought to the suffering of others. Dwelling on such things can easily make a person cynical and end up hating the whole human race.

However, in my clearer headed moments I thought about this (with the help of a few dear friends who gave me another point of view) and I realised this – not ALL human beings wage war, not ALL human beings want to destroy. There are many, many people who, through personal awareness, have flipped the coin over, and do things differently. However, there are still many who are not aware and still act through unchecked egos. Should I hate them? No I don’t think so. How can one hate someone who isn’t aware?

There is no doubt that humankind is going through a great transition. There are convulsions, not just natural ones, but ones caused by man too – this is plain to see. But I kind of see it as a birthing. When women give birth to a new-born child we go through terrible convulsions (I should know LOL). The pain is great, it hurts and sometimes it’s hard to know when it will end (unless you’re one of the very lucky few who seem to pop babies out like shelling peas). However, for the most part nothing new comes without a struggle. I do think this is what mankind is going through right now. A kind of massive, earth-wide struggle with the collective ego. However, there are many who recognise this and are doing things differently; walking their soul path with integrity and forging new paths. I hope I can be one of them.

Something that was sent to me as a gift really helped me to get back on track and I’d like to share it with you. It’s only an hour long but it is really well worth listening to.

The Source of True Power

I don’t know if the human race will become extinct in the future, it’s not for me or anyone else to see. It certainly is possible as we are animals albeit ‘higher’ ones apparently. But what is more important is living in the present moment and seeing the good amongst the bad, and even more importantly living authentic lives.

E is for Earth Ritual

5789710_origFor this posting for the Pagan Blog Project this week I’d like to share with you all my little Earth Ritual that I do in my back garden at least once a year, and normally at this time of year, and again in the summer. There are a couple of reasons why I do it, first because I wish to bless my garden, the soil to be productive, the grass, the plants that are growing in it, and to bless also all the little critters who live in my back yard, or who make use of it. Secondly, because it just makes me feel good.

The very first thing I do is prepare some incense. I make my own by grinding cinnamon with frankincense and mixing it together. The reason why I use these two is because cinnamon  has the powers of spirituality, success, healing, power and protection (among others) and is fire energy, which is transformative. Frankincense is also fire energy and transformative and has protective and spiritual qualities too, as well as being a resin that helps with removing unwanted negative energies. So these two prove a powerful mix. I grind them both into a fine powder that I will burn on a small charcoal disc in my earthenware bowl.

The second thing I do is make sure I have some Full Moon water with me. This is made on the full moon nearest to the time I wish to do my ritual and is created by leaving still spring water outside on the night of the full moon, in a glass bowl. It doesn’t matter if the night is overcast or raining because the moon’s powerful energy can still permeate the cloud cover. This water is then decanted into a glass bottle I keep on my altar (which also contains a Herkimer diamond that amplifies the energy). I then bless it simply in the names of my patron deities.

Other utensils I will need are my pheasant feather fan to waft the incense smoke about, and three small sprigs of rosemary to use as an asperge for the full moon water.

I spend some time sitting out in my garden meditating and grounding myself – usually do a bit of qi gong at this point. Then basically I go all around my garden in a sunwise fashion (clock wise) wafting incense over every part of it; grass, earth, plants, gate, fence – everything! Then I repeat with my full moon water, which I’ve poured into a little bowl. I use the rosemary sprigs to sprinkle this water over everything too. As I go I just say something very simple like By Earth, Sky and Sea and the Powers that Be – May the earth and everything that grows from it and lives within it be blessed – So mote it Be! To be honest I kind of make it up as I go along with whatever words move me at the time but it’s never complicated.

When I’ve finished I waft incense and sprinkle moon water over my outside altar and then just sit and relax in my garden for a bit – Simples!

Feel free to use this ritual for yourself or adapt it as you see fit.