Video Blogging?

March 31, 2010

As I am teaching — or working with, as I would rather call it — my sister, we have decided that the best way for us to do exercises and meditations found in books would be for me to make a video guided version, that we can listen to together during our weekly sessions. I will probably post those meditations and so on here when I make them; I have been thinking of doing videos on spellwork and such due to how many questions I have received about it in the past. I also think having to distill my thoughts and processes into that form would be good for my mind, as well.

For next week we are going to do the Tree of Life meditation, found in Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance. I will probably put the camera on a candle or some other thing that isn’t my physical self when reading these meditations, but we will see. I have never made videos of myself! so this will be something new.

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Daily Goddess

March 31, 2010

In my working with my sister I promised her I would type out the daily reading from Patricia Monaghan’s The Goddess Companion. It is a book that contains a reading for every day of the year. I really like this book and enjoy reading from it daily. The book contains various songs, prayers, meditations, and invocations on different aspects of the goddess from various cultures and times — underneath each excerpt is a bit written by Monaghan, furthering the reading. The subtitle of the book is “divine meditations on the feminine spirit”; if goddess spirituality is for you, this may be a book you would be interested in having.

~ March 31
If a mountain could shine like the sun,
if its brilliance could penetrate the world’s dark quarters,
if all worlds joined together into this brilliance
and if this brilliance became a woman:
That would be a goddess. Devi: The Goddess.

I am that goddess. I am the force of the universe
in the shape of a woman. Nothing exists
that is not me, and nothing but me exists.
All women are but manifestations of me.
And I am the manifestations of all women.

And all women praise me thus: Devi, eternal
embodiment of the universal feminine,
you who create the world and sustain it,
we wreathe you with flowers and incense,
and we beg you to bring us virtue and richness.

– Devi Mahatmyam, Indian song to the goddess

WHO knows what the goddess means? She has meant different things in different eras, in different cultures, to different people. She has been anger and rage as well as peace and fruitfulness. She is the totality of experience of each woman. And she is the divine, experienced in the form of and through the bodies of women. She cannot be limited to a single form, nor contained in a single body. She is more comprehensive than we can imagine. In meditating on her vastness, we encounter it within ourselves.

Spring

March 25, 2010

The birds are singing this morning, all through our neighborhood one can hear their voices. After what seemed like the longest winter ever — whose chill is still lingering, even after the vernal equinox — it is wonderful to hear their songs. The chirps and warbling nourish both my spirit and, I like to think, my gardens in the back.

Sound can be very useful for many things — in ritual, for meditation, for relaxation purposes, as warnings. We have in our home an Indian singing bowl, which I have used for meditation. Strike it, and follow the sound. It seems like it should be such a simple thing, but it’s very complex.

This morning I’m following the sound of the birds’ singing next to my window. Where will it go?

(:

March 20, 2010

Blessed Ostara/Equinox! May your day be filled with the signs of new growth! ♥

This is the official return of the young Goddess after her Winter hibernation.

Osho Zen Tarot

March 13, 2010

I am an intuitive tarot reader. I have several decks that I use, and I do read for clients — but there is one deck I own that I never read for ANYONE from. It is the deck that is only for me. This is the Osho Zen Tarot.

I particularly love this deck because its imagery is so evocative, and the system is not the usual wands/swords/pentacles/cups system. Osho Zen Tarot has its own system, making it an oracle deck. It comes in most handy for introspection, for reflection, and for one-card draws. I find if I do a one-card draw from the Osho deck, it will stay with me throughout the day, and they have been very helpful to me. Today’s draw was Ordinariness.

Zen Tarot Card
Ordinariness

Sometimes it happens that you become one, in some rare moment. Watch the ocean, the tremendous wildness of it–and suddenly you forget your split, your schizophrenia; you relax. Or, moving in the Himalayas, seeing the virgin snow on the Himalayan peaks, suddenly a coolness surrounds you and you need not be false because there is no other human being to be false to. You fall together. Or, listening to beautiful music, you fall together. Whenever, in whatsoever situation, you become one, a peace, a happiness, a bliss, surrounds you, arises in you. You feel fulfilled. There is no need to wait for these moments–these moments can become your natural life. These extraordinary moments can become ordinary moments – that is the whole effort of Zen. You can live an extraordinary life in a very ordinary life: cutting wood, chopping wood, carrying water from the well, you can be tremendously at ease with yourself. Cleaning the floor, cooking food, washing the clothes, you can be perfectly at ease–because the whole question is of you doing your action totally, enjoying, delighting in it.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 3

Commentary:

This figure walking in nature shows us that beauty can be found in the simple, ordinary things of life. We so easily take this beautiful world we live in for granted. Cleaning the house, tending the garden, cooking a meal–the most mundane tasks take on a sacred quality when they are performed with your total involvement, with love, and for their own sake, without thought of recognition or reward. You are facing a time now when this easy, natural and utterly ordinary approach to the situations you encounter will bring far better results than any attempt on your part to be brilliant, clever, or otherwise extra-ordinary. Forget all about making headlines by inventing the latest widget, or dazzling your friends and colleagues with your unique star quality. The special gift you have to offer now is presented best by just taking things easily and simply, one step at a time.

The Holy Book, Class One

March 11, 2010

I may have mentioned — and probably did — that I have enrolled in Zsuzsanna Budapest’s The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries Class. It’s a beginning, introductory class for Dianic, or Feminist, Wicca. This morning I’m devoting myself to the reading and homework that goes with this class. In so doing, I have found a line in the Holy Book that I think is quite amazing:

“A self-created god who has no mother is an unacceptable concept.” To deny motherhood is to deny women, and there are two kinds of people: mothers and their children.

p.xxiv

The Holy Book first appealed to me because I had learned of its stance as a Feminist book. Indeed, it began as the “Feminist Book of Light and Shadow”. There any many things in it which I have found helpful, and I will be studying this book in one year and one day, the proper amount of time. While there is some controversy over Z’s work and some of the things her covens and practices uphold — like the denial of transwomen in their circles — I do think that there are still some good things here. I have also not made up my mind about certain things. For instance, would I be comfortable at a ritual if it were being held skyclad (or, naked, as we should say), if there were male-bodied people present?

I have to confess I would not. I am a survivor of sexual assault. I am learning to become more comfortable with men in general following this. But I can’t feel comfortable about having them in my most intimate space, in my sacred circle. I don’t think transwomen should be banned from the circles, no, but do I think it’s wrong for a person such as myself to feel uncomfortable with the presence of a male body, no matter what her spirit might be? I just don’t know. There are arguments about this all the time; some say the transwoman can never know the fullness of female experience. Some say they can. I say I don’t know.

Frustrating

March 11, 2010

Today’s meditation was actually six minutes long, but I can honestly say I was so easily distracted I don’t know how worthwhile it was! I noticed my neck itching, my stomach hurting, I fidgeted and had a very difficult time today. My mind couldn’t focus on my breath, instead repeating song lyrics. I’m kind of disappointed with myself, but — these things happen. It can be very difficult to build a good meditation practice and I have been slacking. Therefore, perhaps I will try again a bit later, and perhaps not. Either way, I am definitely trying to take more advantage of the sunlight we’re having and walk in it.

Last night’s meditation happened for a few minutes in the bathtub with the ‘mantra’ of: Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna…

I love to read both the Charge of the Goddess (especially Starhawk’s version) and the Charge of the Dark Goddess (version II). They both speak to me deeply, particularly the bolded lines.

Hear me child, and know Me for who I am. I have been with you since you were born, and I will stay with you until you return to Me at the final dusk.

I am the passionate and seductive lover who inspires the poet to dream. I am the One who calls to you at the end of your journey. After the day is done, My children find their blessed rest in my embrace.

I am the womb from which all things are born.
I am the shadowy, still tomb; all things must come to Me and bare their breasts to die and be reborn to the Whole.

I am the Sorceress that will not be ruled, the Weaver of Time, the Teacher of Mysteries. I snip the threads that bring my children home to me. I slit the throats of the cruel and drink the blood of the heartless. Swallow your fear and come to me, and you will discover true beauty, strength, and courage.

I am the fury which rips the flesh from injustice.
I am the glowing forge that transforms your inner demons into tools of power. Open yourself to my embrace and overcome.

I am the glinting sword that protects you from harm.
I am the crucible in which all the aspects of yourself merge together in a rainbow of union.
I am the velvet depths of the night sky, the swirling mists of midnight, shrouded in mystery.

I am the chrysalis in which you will face that which terrifies you and from which you will blossom forth, vibrant and renewed. Seek me at the crossroads, and you shall be transformed, for once you look upon my face, there is no return.

I am the fire that kisses the shackles away.
I am the cauldron in which all opposites grow to know each other in Truth.
I am the web which connects all things.

I am the Healer of all wounds, the Warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time. I make the weak strong. I make the arrogant humble. I raise up the oppressed and empower the disenfranchised. I am Justice tempered with Mercy.

Most importantly, child, I am you. I am part of you, and I am within you. Seek me within and without, and you will be strong. Know me. Venture into the dark so that you may awaken to Balance, Illumination, and Wholeness. Take my Love with you everywhere and find the Power within to be who you wish.

Today I am hounded by the scent of crushed lavender. I turn my head and smell it everywhere, the awakening of Spring. The Vernal Equinox, Ostara, The Feast of Persephone, the Festival of Trees, Alban Eiler — it goes by so many names — is coming up at the end of the month. I am feeling the energy of the Earth moving all around me.

I buried my hands in dirt and planted herbs today, taking in the sunshine and the cold breeze on the back of my neck. I truly felt the presence of the Goddess as I placed the tender plants within the earth. On the Equinox I will bless them and water them with charged water.

Today I did my five minutes in the early morning hours, while my partner was in bed, asleep. I lit a single tealight in my lotus-shaped lantern. For this five minutes I felt and noticed the heaviness of my body. I felt somewhat tired, but moreso relaxed. I noticed my heartbeat and the way I could feel it in my upper arms.

March 3, 2010

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha