There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
–Carl Sagan

Solstice = Standing-Still-Sun

Dec. 21st, we enter the belly of the night.

Winter Solstice: We come to the portal that separates darkness from light. Standing in this arch of time where Earth takes a breath before facing us back towards the sun, we too, take a breath, turn inward, pause in this pregnant moment and let darkness reveal its gifts:

Winter Solstice: A time to look back at the year gone by, gather its lessons and put them in the stew of your life. Time to let the heat of your presence cook the stew. Render the lessons into the sweet nectar of wisdom. Then drink of it. One-small-sip-at-a-time.

Winter Solstice: A time to let the longest night of the year seduce you into stillness. Time to silence inner voices, listen to the beating of your own heart. Time to breathe slowly, become the breath. Linger here. The night is long.

Winter Solstice: Time to savor the sweetness of the dark. Nothing to fear. It’s only you. And millions of years of Earth’s turning; away and then back, away and then back towards the light. It’s all you. The dark, the light, the fire, the night: it’s all you. You’re all it. Sweet oneness, savored in the dark.

Winter Solstice: A sacred link, where Earth’s veil thins, the unseen, seen. Images of ancestors and ancient roots threading back beyond time. Back to first humans, their fires still burning to call back the light. We are the ones who hold them sacred. We honor their struggles, their triumphs. We’re here due to them. They gave us our blood.

Winter Solstice: A time to reflect on your life in this moment. Like never before, or ever again, reflect on this sweet, fragile moment.

Winter Solstice: A time to let go of what burdens. Empty out stones sitting heavy in the heart. Let bygones be bygones. Acknowledge. Forgive. Begin again.

Winter Solstice: A fertile time, a time to ready the womb; a time for pregnant possibility. A time to sow seeds of imagination, to germinate in the darkness. A time to tend the inner hearth; be warmed by the coals of creativity.

Winter Solstice: The union of opposites. Fullness: emptying. Emptiness: filling.
The shortest day meets the longest night. Celebrate the dark. Greet the light. We’ve journeyed long; we’ve journeyed far. In summer, we rejoiced in the sun, now absent. In winter, we settle into the night, now present. We draw inward, tuck in our wings to keep warm. All flights are canceled.

Winter Solstice: A time to check inner weather and road conditions. Are you cold? Are you hot? Are you merely lukewarm? Is it stormy? Is it balmy? Are there blue skies inside? Does the road rise to meet you? Are you on shaky ground? Is it smooth? Is it rocky? Can you see where you are?

Winter Solstice: Can you be with it all, just as it is? No fighting, no trying, no pushing the river. It flows by itself, so you watch it. You notice. You see twigs and branches submerged in the stream of your life. Without effort, the water flows over, under and around it all. Nothing can stop it; it goes on forever. Like you do. Like I do. Like we do.

May you go on forever, like this most pregnant night of the year.

A brief ritual to include in your observance of Winter Solstice:

1) Set aside at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, but whatever works for you is fine.
2) Include friends, family members, or celebrate alone if you prefer. It all works.
3) Settle in, light some candles. Build a fire, if you have a fireplace.
4) Spend time with your eyes closed, breathing slowly, watching the breath.
5) Let your awareness settle down in your belly. Sense it, feel it fill and empty. See your
life coming and going on each inhale and exhale. Feel the strength and fragility of each
breath.
6) You might want to include this magnificent video with images from the Hubble space
telescope. It will connect you with the grandeur of the universe in which we live.
Towards the end of the video, notice the tree-like images from deep in space. As
astrology tell us, “As above, so below.” Here’s proof.
7) Reflect on your connection with the universe and your place in it. Who are you in the
grandest scheme of things?
8 ) Remain in silence for a few minutes after you’ve finished. Savor the moment.

The Blessing of the newborn Sun God: “Out of Darkness Light is Re-born. Carry the hope of this moment like a torch in your heart through the coming year. Let it sustain you in your times of darkness, 
and be a symbol of blessing in your times of joy. Let Peace be with you.

source

With just my heart and my mind
I can be driving, driving home
With you asleep on the seat…
Go to sleep, little Earth!
–Kate Bush

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quotes

November 9, 2010

You are not necessarily in control of events that happen during your life, but you can approach them with an open heart, and sometimes a broken heart, and receive a great deal of bounty.

– jarvenpa on bpal.org

Attitude Check!

November 8, 2010

Ever since my boss talked to me about my attitude, I realized a few things. Firstly, the co-workers who complained about me being grumpy weren’t entirely wrong. Second, I have to remind myself to stay positive or else I allow myself to be overwhelmed. I have to treat every day like it’s going to be a great day – and if I do, then it will be. So, even though I was very upset at first, I realize they were right. I’m thankful for that attitude check. It’s helped me with more than just work. (:

“Not gifted with genius, but honestly holding her experience deep in her heart, she keeps it simple and humane. Not worrying about style, she is herself, she breathes fully, she is alive, and she remembers to write.” ~ Adapted from Nanao Sakaki’s Inch by Inch translation of Issa’s haiku and Natalie Goldberg’s The Wild Mind.

stop

give yourself permission to take a moment to really look at yourself and where you are

clear

create some room for those voices in your head to speak their mind, and then try to hear them

shift

be fearless with change – it might be the best thing you ever did

release

let go those things that are not a reflection of who you want to be and who you really are

embody

be what you were meant to be in all its crazy shapes and guises – why wait?

adore

love who you have been, who you are now and who you are going to be – it’s all you

enrich

move in a direction that enhances, empowers and deepens your life.

 

list from: http://momentumgathering.com/

Temple Spinner

October 16, 2010

I am dreaming back my sisters

Whisper-worn footfalls in the Temple steps

Skywalkers

Storm dwellers

Heavy-breasted cauldron keepers

Songweavers

Snake-sisters

Darkmoon dancers

Labyrinth builders

Star bridgers

Fiery-eyed dragon-ryders

Wind seekers

Shape shifters

Corn daughters

 

Wolf women

Earth stewards

Gentle-handed womb sounders

Dream spinners

Flame keepers

Moon birthers

Come sisters, come home

By: Marie Elena 1999

Princess of Cups Goddess Tarot (K. Waldherr)

This card depicts a girl with long, flowing blonde hair bringing a golden cup to her mouth. She is wearing a lavender gown, also flowing and sparkling in the fabric. The girl is standing in front of what looks like a shore of a lake, because there is water stretching out behind her and mountain lines in the distance. Her face is calm — actually she quite reminds me of Princess Serenity, from Sailor Mooon!

booklet meaning: artistic inspiration and receptivity. a young woman who symbolizes the gifts of Venus — love, beauty, and emotional richness. movement in these areas of life. grace.
reverse: the need to be more receptive to love and beauty. overindulgence in imaginative fantasies.

The meaning of this one for me is less clear than usual, but I admit to being distracted while lacing the deck. She sort of flew out at me. I do think I tend towards fantasy, especially when I am feeling busy or overwhelmed (which I am). However, I also have a lot of room for beauty and richness in my life, and I’m trying to see them more daily. Perhaps she is a gentle reminder to keep looking and to appreciate what I see.

Temptation.

October 3, 2010

Temptation: Nyai Loro Kidul – Goddess Deck (K. Waldherr)

This is a green, watery card. It depicts a woman with aqua skin in the waves of the ocean, which are crashing up in the front of the card. She is smiling.

The book reads that this card means temptation by forces you cannot control. Something deep within the psyche – the shadow – personified as temptation or addiction. Sensual desires. Gluttony or envy. Reverse: freedom from temptation, mastery over something previously controlling.

I’d love to say the reverse side was more true for me, but right now I think this card is point to my tendency to wallow in bad emotions, to let things overwhelm me, and to have a bad attitude. This ties to letting go of attachments to me, which I think is important.

Ten of Pentacles

September 28, 2010

Ten of Pentacles – Goddess Tarot deck (K. Waldherr)

A dark haired, pretty young woman sits on the grass in front of a painting or drawing of the lotus blossom, which graces the pentacles in this deck. Above her arch 8 pentacle coins. The grass is green, the sky is clear. The card looks introspective to me.

The booklet says developing talents or skills, fair payment for hard work, arts/crafts.
reverse: avoiding work, unhappiness with money received for work put out, need to adjust to balance.

daily tarot

September 26, 2010

three of staves, goddess tarot deck (by k. waldherr) —

blond woman with flowing wavy hair staring out at the sea and an expansive sky. to her left, right, and at her right shoulder are staves. Her hands touches the stave at the farthest right. it feels melancholy to me.

the book says: an enterprise about to accumulate in success. the ability to transform goals into realistic action. reversed: ambitious plans which may not be grounded in reality. a frustrating delay in receiving success.

Mabon — The Autumnal Equinox

September 24, 2010

Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox, is always a Sabbat that is special to me. It’s the first Sabbat I ever celebrated, so it’s like an “anniversary” to me. Every Mabon marks one complete turn of the Wheel of the Year since I began my journey in the Craft. This year marked my third Mabon. It feels like no time at all has passed, and I’m still learning all the time and deciding what I think, feel, believe, and want to do — but I’ve grown so much since that first Sabbat. It feels simultaneously as if a thousand years and none at all have passed.

This year I celebrated with my sister and my friend S, both of whom are my “students”. Together we are our own little makeshift coven — and it’s nice to have such a thing. We had a bonfire in S’s firepit, a lovely meal, mulled cider, and we made holy water because of the Full Moon. It was really nice to have a Sabbat and an Esbat coincide like that! Our ritual focused on balance and thankfulness. I think we all needed the time out we took for it.

I think everyone’s favourite part was the toast — I wrote the ritual, and I wrote three toasts in. One to the Earth and its seasons, one to the Goddess, and one to the God. Everyone cheered when I raised the mug of hot, spicy cider and near-yelled, “To the Goddess!” before continuing with the rest of the toast. I think we’ll definitely keep that in the rest of our Sabbats together, maybe with a little re-writing depending on the season.

I need to hold on to the way I feel following Mabon. I’ve been letting school & life really get the better of me lately. It’s time to take a step back and practice some of that good old-fashioned letting go of attachments.

Charge of the Goddess

September 24, 2010

From Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

“I am the Great Mother, worshipped by all and existent prior to their consciousness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal. “I am the chaste Goddess of the moon, the Lady of all magic. The winds and moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens. I am mysteries yet unsolved , a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth. “I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed with the deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of wheat fields heavy with grain. By me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my season. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously fertile. “Worship me as the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth. I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift. “I am the goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas. My names and strengths are manifold. I pour forth magick and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of limitless love.”