Card of the Week wb: Monday 24th March 2014

IlluminationI’ve just begun to use a new Oracle deck in preparation for the next deck study with Sacred Mists. It is a beautiful deck by a Native American woman called Linda Ewashina, with really evocative artwork by Jody Bergsma. Based on the medicine wheel of Native American tradition it’s called Spirit of the Wheel [meditation deck]. Although sold as a meditation deck it is, in fact, an oracle deck. however one can use it for meditation too; in fact it really lends itself to this (as does any oracle deck).

So, today I drew ILLUMINATION: Spirit path of the East. Now I make no claims to really know anything about Native American traditions, which is something that drew me to this deck (and the fact it was suggested by a very dear friend of mine). But I thought this card was rather pertinent for a new adventure and oracle study.  Illumination…don’t we all want a bit of that at times? Especially when we are going through situations that are a bit muddied by emotions etc. Traditionally (for me at least) the direction of East has always been tied with knowledge and inspiration. On the card we see a bird of prey (is it an eagle or a hawk?). It doesn’t matter really because what most of us do know is that birds of prey have excellent vision. They can spot their dinner from high up, at long distances and, in the case of the owl, in dim light. So I think this picture  this guide – is helping us to realise that we need to have this kind of spiritual eyesight, or you can think of it in metaphorical terms if you like.

We don’t always see the full picture of any situation do we. It may because we’re too emotionally close to a situation, or perhaps not involved enough. This can lead us to be fixed in our thinking and judgements. However, if we have a bigger picture, a larger vista (like a bird of prey) we can see a lot more and so understand more.

How do we do this? Is it possible for us small humans to transcend our view of things? Well, yes it is but like the card says in its suggested key words, we need Divine Communication, Spiritual Knowing and Inner Light. We ALL have these no matter what our religion (if any) or our world view. The approaches might be different but the end result is the same. Some other associations for these three things might be – spirit guides, ancestors, intuition, gut feeling, prayer and Higher Power etc. We can work on drawing closer to these things, trusting their help and guidance. Of course we probably won’t get the feeling of ZAP! And everything is clearer although it might be – synchronicity has a part to play here if you’re open to it.

Another thing I drew from this card is *patience*. Sometimes birds of prey have to spend large amounts of time scanning the ground from on high looking for their prey. They wheel and arch on the thermals, flying in circles for minutes on end but they don’t give up. This is what we need to do also; we need patience with ourselves and others AND the Universe – it doesn’t always give us the answer straight away and it most often doesn’t give us the answer our human ego wants but will prove the one that is best for us.

Some associations for the direction of East:

Now you may have very different associations here but some of mine are – dawn, rosy sunrise, air, the birds dawn chorus, birds (in general), yellow, Beith (Ogham for Birch), new beginnings, renewal, Sylphs (spirits of air), Aventurine, Yellow Jasper, Lavender, Eyebright, Meadowsweet.

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Daily Om ~ As You Believe

photo(240)When we affirm that we are fulfilled rather than deficient, we are asserting that contentment is a natural way of being. The creative power of the universe is infinite. A single molecule’s destiny is as important as the consequences of the largest supernova. Human potential is subject to this power, but because we are sentient beings, each of us is permitted to choose whether we will struggle against it or work in tandem with it. When we give voice to our desires through focused meditation or solicit the help of spirit guides, we draw upon the universe’s creative power to achieve certain ends. However, because our words are not all the universe hears, the response we receive may surprise us. The discourse we establish through our appeals is a blend of speech, thought, intention, and subconscious reflection. When we ask the universe for something, the unspoken message is that what we want does not exist, and the universe accepts this as truth. Conversely, we manifest completeness through affirmations in which we declare our desires as if we have already obtained them.

When we affirm that we are fulfilled instead of articulating deficiencies, we are asserting that contentment is a natural and necessary element of human existence. Our essence is an expression of fulfillment—the universe wants to satisfy our needs and desires. When we describe our realities in positive terms, we are not denying the challenges inherent in existence. We choose not to focus on lack or dissatisfaction because we understand that the energy of our thoughts will determine the response we receive to our entreaties. Ask yourself how you would feel if your wishes were granted, and then allow yourself to internalize that emotional state. Try to create a picture of satisfaction so vivid that its reality is unquestionable and tell the universe that your vision is fact. At the close of your appeal, express your gratitude, as it is your acknowledgment of the truth of your fulfillment that will set the creative power of the universe into motion.

Working in perfect unison with the creative power of the universe will empower you to manifest spiritual realities in your material existence. As you affirm the beauty, peace, and goodness that already exist within in your life, your capacity to sense and understand their influence will become increasingly sophisticated. To meet your needs and achieve your desires, you need then only banish all thoughts of emptiness so that the energy of completeness can attract fullness into your being.

Source: Daily Om

Daily Om ~ Saying Thank You

380652_127183204108979_809008307_nRemembering to say thank you to our guides and helpers is important for the completion of the assistance they have given. We may have become accustomed to asking for help from the unseen world—whether from angels, guides, or ancestral spirits—but sometimes we may forget to close our connection afterwards with a thank you. When we connect to these energies for assistance, it is much like a phone connection. Forgetting to close the conversation with a proper “goodbye” is like not hanging up. While that line is still connected, others can have trouble getting through, while in the meantime, batteries are being drained. Saying “thank you” is a way of releasing our concerns into trusted hands and getting out of the way so that the universe’s divine order can work on our behalf.

As spiritual beings, we may talk about “staying connected,” but our connection needs to be with our source. We can plug in and recharge, but we run on batteries in between, and every connection we make utilizes some of our personal power. Even being surrounded by people that energize us has its limits, and at some point we will feel ready to go off on our own to do what is ours to do. Instead of trying to be constantly connected, we can turn to these beings for help in a way that is more like placing an order. We contact them, ask for what we need, and then say thank you and goodbye.

Beings of light don’t require our gratitude; it is an energetic acknowledgement of trust and release that benefits us. When we bring ourselves to a sense of being grateful, we affirm that what we have asked is already done. Then we can move forward with confidence to do the things we are meant to do, while knowing that all will be well.

Source: Daily Om

An Offerenda

On the last Full Moon, I performed an *offerenda*. This is something used by
Peruvian and South American shamans to give thanks to the plant spirits that
help them to heal others. Of course it is also performed on The Day of The Dead,
to thank the ancestors. In essence it is a rite of thanksgiving and
gratitude.

So, despite all the ups and downs I’ve been having I really
felt it necessary to perform an offerenda, and what better time to do it than on
the Full Moon and the one nearest to Lughnassadh, a time of thanksgiving
also.

In the first picture you can see some of the offerings I gave,
which have to be formally arranged in layers. You can’t see all of them but it
consisted of grains, chocolate, frankincense, herbs and flowers as well as oak
bark. In the picture you can also see my letter of thanksgiving to the
spirits.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here is my offerenda all wrapped up and placed on my
outside altar, covered with a sprinkling of calendula and rose petals.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time of burning. Whilst it was burning I gave thanks
to the Three Kindreds – the green clan, the ancestors and the shining
ones.

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took a while to burn but while it was burning the
smoke smelled delicious – all that frankincense I’d given. When the flames had
completely died down and it had finished smoking I doused the whole thing with
water as it has been extremely hot here in England and we’ve had a lot of grass
fires and I didn’t want to start one in my own back yard!

Offerenda 22July13FullMoon pic7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This offerenda gave me the opportunity to really thank
those who have helped and supported me and continue to do so, whether they are
humans or spirits. It gave me a chance to thank the Universe for all the
wonderful things I am given on a daily basis. And while I was physically alone
while doing this rite, I was definitely not spiritually alone because while I
might not have seen the spirits and some of my loved ones, I definitely sensed
them. It was a really special time and one I shall definitely be repeating in
the future.

 

The Eagle King

the eagle kingI decided to use a different oracle deck. I’ve been drawn to use Collette Baron Reid’s Wisdom of the Hidden Realms and pulled The Eagle King today.

Rather pertinent I think – about seeing the bigger picture, a vaster perspective, just like the eagle does. Sometimes I do feel like I cannot see the wood for the trees and feel as though I’m going around in circles, both in my mundane life and spiritually. Really I suppose this is sometimes necessary, so one doesn’t miss the lessons and gets another chance at mastery but it’s also good to just allow Spirit to fly like an eagle and know that one’s prayers are reaching The Source, the universe. We, as mere humans, just cannot see all – we’re too puny, but Spirit can and does. At times things might be hidden from us because it’s just not the right time, or we are not ready for the next step but rest assured that time will come, at ‘just’ the right moment.

Janus face in 2012

Janus-dimon21

No, this post is not about Janus per se but rather it is more about looking back and looking forward, as we near the end of this year, 2012. I thought, however, that the Roman god of  beginnings and transitions to be a rather apt metaphor to use. And it echoes a little Yule poem I wrote recently, which I used on a Yule card to my Coven:

This card is sent to you all with love
Coming swiftly on the wings of a dove
As we embrace the newborn Sun
Let’s not forget to have some fun
As the Wheel slowly turns anew
To our spirits let us remain true
Kiss the Holly King as he now sleeps
Half the year his brother now keeps
Embrace the Oak King as he now wakes
His upturned face touched by snowy flakes
Yule is a time for looking back and looking forward
Your efforts will reap blessed reward
So merrily sing
To the newborn King

So I’m doing some looking back and looking forward on this year to discover what I’ve reaped and what my goals are for the coming year – kind of like News Year’s resolutions except not. My actual new year began at Samhain following Celtic tradition but there’s something special about Yule that encourages us to look back and look forward I think.

So what did I achieve this year? I completed my Clinical Herbalism Diploma, the Sacred Mists Herbalist Course (well, everything but the Final, which I am going to be turning in in the next few weeks), I also completed 4½ years of therapy (with 1 year of intensive therapy), I shared my greatest ‘skeleton in the closet’ with my therapeutic group just before ending and it was a HUGE relief, I was Student of the Month in my Coven in September, I started The Herborium newsletter (at Samhain), my relationship with my daughter continues to improve, I’ve carried on with Oracle Studies with very good results and I have really improved in taking personal responsibility for myself. Last but definitely not least I’ve learnt to practise mindfulness and remain in the present moment to a greater degree than ever before.

That’s not to say things have been easy for me – there have been a lot of ups and downs and quite scary patches for me to deal with. A couple of times I’ve faltered and resorted to self-harm. However, even at these times I mustered the courage to do the things I had to do in order to sort the situation out and didn’t rely on someone else doing it for me. That’s not to say I haven’t asked for a bit of moral support, and I think it’s important one does ask for support when going through difficulties. I’ve had experiences and learned valuable lessons in 2012 and I thank my patron deities and the Universe for these, and also thank my guides for steering me in the right directions. I also thank my friends, spiritual, human and animal for their support and help in ‘keeping it real’.

In thinking about the biggest stumbling block to achieving what I would like to do in my life, and my growth, I think that it is still my nemesis FEAR. Yes fear has stalked me and is the root of everything that holds me back. So, this time at my Coven’s Yule Ritual I made it my purpose to cast fear into the depths of the Cauldron of Life:

I release fear into the depths, where its power can be transmuted and changed into that which is positive and healthful. So Mote it Be!

Next, I made my spiritual goal for the coming year 2013.

I draw into me the power of the Universe in order to help me achieve my goals in 2013, with courage and fortitude. So Mote it Be!

Making these simple affirmations really helped me to focus on being able to achieve what I want out of life, what I would like to achieve and what would make me happy…maybe not straight away but working towards these steadily and with courage and purpose instead of being consumed with fear and doing nothing. I truly believe the power of affirmations is immense but in order for them to work you need to keep saying them, make the saying of them into a simple ritual perhaps – light a candle, write your affirmation on a slip of paper, repeat it three times and then burn it in the candle flame. This way your intent rises upwards in the smoke into the Universe, where it can be directed in a positive way for your benefit. Keep repeating the affirmation throughout the day too. If you’ve never used affirmations before all this might sound silly but believe me, the more you do it, the more you can actually manifest in your life and the happier and more grounded you’ll be.

Many fruitful blessings to you for the coming year, 2013!

Daily Om ~ Those Who Came Before

Our ancestors represent another wellspring from which we may draw for they, too, can act as our spirit guides.   Many entities assume the role of spirit guide. Throughout our lives, we may call upon angels, animal and nature spirits, ascended masters, and celestial guardians for aid, protection, and support. Our ancestors represent another wellspring from which we may draw wisdom in times of need for they, too, can act as our spirit guides. Since our forbears spent at least one lifetime experiencing the tribulations that are a part of human existence, the perspective they can offer is a uniquely grounded one. Ancestral spirit guides can empathize with our fears and our frailties, worry, temptation, and feelings of insecurity. Once you have requested their guidance, they will see to it that you emerge unscathed on the far side of conflicts and are well-equipped to fulfill your potential.   If your relationship with your relatives was strained when they were earthbound or you feel disconnected from your heritage, the thought of asking your ancestors for aid can be disconcerting. But when the soul takes on its spirit form, it becomes pure light. Your ancestors, regardless of who or what they were in life, are monitoring your life’s journey because you are their progeny and they want to see you do your best. You can communicate with them directly, as well as through meditation, your dreams, or the written word. Creating an altar or shrine that displays images of your forbears or objects owned by them can help you connect with individual ancestors. The guidance they provide may take many forms as each ancestral spirit guide retains its individual identity and will thus have its own style of communication. If your ancestors do not speak to you directly or visit you in your dreams, examine your life to determine whether they are replying to your queries subconsciously.   When you make contact with your forebears, thank them for being a part of the web of intent that gave you life. Honoring their wisdom and experience can make your life seem larger and richer. Like other spirit guides, your ancestors won’t interfere with your choices or attempt to deprive you of free will. They will only do their best to answer your questions and provide you with all the love, aid, and guidance you ask for in order to help you evolve as an individual.