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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Freely you have received; freely give.

–Matthew 10:8

Today’s affirmation comes from the seventh rune of the Elder FutharkGebo. Its traditional meaning comes from the Rune Poems, the oldest of which translates as follows:

Generosity brings credit and honour,
Which support one’s dignity;
It furnishes help and subsistence to all broken men
Who are devoid of aught else.

–The Anglo-Saxon rune poem, Verse VII, as translated by B. Dickins in Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old Teutonic Peoples

The profound is often cloaked in simplicity, and so it is with one aspect of Gebo: spiritual generosity. Gebo’s poem calls us to share the gifts we’ve been given. The first step is recognizing and claiming our unique talents and abilities; the second is sharing them in ways that support everyone’s highest good (including our own).

While it’s true that everyone you meet may not want your gifts, a kind smile or a compassionate word, you are not responsible for anyone’s choices but your own. You have come here to contribute in a special way, and allowing anyone to dowse your light with negativity prevents you from experiencing the peace, joy, and freedom you deserve. Consider as well that it does not support your highest good to continually give to anyone who does not value your time and energy. Share your light because it feels good to do so, and learn to walk away from those who can’t or won’t see it.

By courageously using your uniqueness to make the world better, regardless of doubt or rejection, you help reassure others it’s alright to do the same.

Gebo affirmations:

For the highest good of all, I claim my uniqueness and share my gifts with everyone I meet.

Awareness of my higher purpose and the courage to act on it expands every day.

A quote that relates, from a wonderful man who let his light shine in the face of staunch opposition:

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

–Nelson Mandela

About this affirmation: if the words presented above don’t ring true for you, change them! The words don’t do the work on their own…it’s words + repetition + personal intent and emotional connection that make affirmations such powerful catalysts for positive change. Feel free to create ones that feel good and reflect who you are.

Click here to see other affirmations in this series.

Additional rune source material: Oswald the Runemaker

Affirmations inspired by Orin and Sanaya Roman

I’ve been a runology student for 20 years. See the About page or click here to learn more about my work with the runes.

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I just read a fascinating story in the New York Times discussing the possibility that Jesus was married based on the probable authenticity of a recently uncovered papyrus.

If this is true, what does it mean? Why is the possibility that Jesus wasn’t celibate so threatening to some of the article’s detractors? (Some immediately dismiss it; others assert that “wife” simply means “the Church?”.)

Edit: moments after posting this, the story mysteriously disappeared from the NYT blog. I’ve changed the first link above to point to a similar story at NPR.

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GeboA sister in spirit got in touch with me yesterday and asked about the significance of the rune Gebo. She is searching for her next home, and saw this rune in two trees nearby while praying about the issue.

The traditional meaning of Gebo is “gift,” but runes are like layer cakes and their commonly understood meanings are just the icing. There’s a lot more going on under the surface.

Gebo teaches us about the balance that’s needed between giving and receiving to support well-being on all levels, mental, physical, and spiritual. We should expect to give if we want to receive, and should neither consistently give without receiving nor receive without giving. This applies to all things – material goods, mental/emotional/spiritual energy, etc.

In her book Northern Mysteries and Magick, Freya Aswynn says that “giving gifts was a serious matter” in the Northern tradition (33), and that it was dishonorable to give or receive without an exchange. This concept was (and still is) present in several cultures around the world. For example in many Native American tribes, it is still considered disrespectful to ask for a blessing from a spiritual leader or the Creator without first making a meaningful offering. In this way Gebo shows us that sacrifice is necessary to manifest the gifts we seek. (Let me point out however that the original meaning of sacrifice was to make sacred. Its associations with concepts like ritual killing and pious suffering are primarily due to the influence of Christian doctrine.)

So then, what must you make sacred to attract what you wish?

To my sister, I heard and saw these things as well when meditating on this rune’s meaning for you:

  • A cave, and a waterfall. Find a way to spend some time inside/near either or both, whether this means visiting an actual physical location or journeying there in ceremony or meditation.
  • I heard the word “neighbor.” Does a neighbor have a gift you’ve refused, or have you given them a gift without an exchange of energy? Could be past, present or future.
  • Gather scattered energies and focus them on your desired outcome. Be cautious of the balance between give and take – are you giving too much and expecting to little? Or, are you expecting too much and giving too little? This could pertain to legal matters or a contract, and/or the spiritual energy you’ve invested in reaching your goal.
  • I see bats. You taught me about bat medicine – do they have a message for you? Cougar is also present.

Love and kindness,

J.

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Heaven is for RealThis morning The New York Times reported that Heaven Is For Real, a book based on the near-death experience of a 4 year-old boy in which he met various biblical figures including Jesus, has become a “publishing phenomenon, dominating best-seller lists and selling hundreds of thousands of copies.”

Reading the article left me feeling conflicted. On one hand, it’s clear by its sales that this book has brought hope and inspiration to many. With these in such short supply, I’m truly happy for anything that adds more of both to the collective conscious.

On the other hand, it was the boy’s father who decided to flesh out the story and publish the 163-page book. As I thought more about this I began to feel a little insulted…though that’s really too strong a word. Perhaps “excluded” is a better fit.

The book’s title feels like yet another declaration that the Christian path is the only path. It’s distressing that the book may serve as proof to some that what lies beyond the veil is indeed the Christian heaven, and only the Christian heaven. The renewed fervor it may lend to those who’ve memorized and constantly regurgitate the tired and worn “Jesus is the only way” argument also concerns me.

To be clear I actually admire Jesus immensely, and am open to different ideas about where our souls go when we leave the physical world. (I have my ideas, and so do you. Without verifiable facts, who’s to say which is right or wrong?) What I don’t like is the monopoly on tickets to the afterlife and “salvation” Christianity claims to have, which I’ve always viewed as an instrument of control more than anything.

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According to The New York Times, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a bill today abolishing the death penalty in his state. Illinois joins a list of 15 other states including Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin which have also eliminated capital punishment. One of the bill’s supporters was anti-death-penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean, made famous when portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the Oscar-winning movie Dead Man Walking.

Who truly has the ethical and spiritual authority to decide if “an eye for an eye” is just punishment for a crime? How does killing someone, even when they’re guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, serve the victim, the victim’s family, and society at large?

Hopefully more states (including my own) will realize that the death penalty is moralistic and out-dated, and will pass similar abolition bills in the future.

Dead Man Walking

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…for hastening the demise of mainstream evangelical Christianity.

As more Christians realize the extent of your arrogance, insensitivity, righteousness, and general asshattery, many will undoubtedly hasten to distance themselves from you and your rhetoric. If I were a Christian, I’d certainly be embarrassed to be associated with you.

[The earthquake in Haiti] may be a blessing in disguise.

Would you say the same if someone you love was there at the time of the quake, still missing and likely buried under rubble?

[The Haitians] made a pact with the devil, [and] have been cursed ever since.

You’re a jackass, Pat Robertson. You’re insulated by wealth and privilege and are completely out of touch with reality as a result.

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Both the Christian and secular media worlds are ablaze as Jon Meacham’s article The End of Christian America makes its rounds.

From the blogosphere this morning:

Well, I thought of the wrath God must feel for those arrogant blasphemers who reject His law and I also thought about how righteous His judgement will be.

Shotgun Smith on his response to “some woman in Australia who thought that the death of Christianity was undoubtedly a good thing.”

The Decline and Fall of Christian AmericaEasy there, turbo. I’m guessing you didn’t read the entire article, as I suspect many of your Christian brethren won’t. To say the article is about the “death of Christianity” is incorrect and a bit pessimistic.

From page 36: “Let’s be clear: while the percentage of Christians may be shrinking, rumors of the death of Christianity are greatly exaggerated.”

The article actually discusses the decline of Christianity in our country and theorizes that this has occurred due to the lack of distinction between church and state.

While arguing that the influence of either too much secularism or too much religion creates imbalance in the political system, Meacham reminds the reader that “As crucial as religion has been and is to the life of the nation, America’s unifying force has never been a specific faith, but a commitment to freedom – not least freedom of conscience.” In simpler terms, our Founding Fathers neither envisioned nor intended to create America as a strictly Christian Nation, but rather as one in which each citizen had freedom and liberty.

I infer from this that the author sees a correlation between Christianity’s decline and how religious conservatives have long used politics to force their morals and values on the public. It’s easy to see why secular society, resenting attempts by Christian political leaders to forcibly remove Constitutional liberties (a woman’s right to choose, the right of same-sex couples to wed, the need for stem cell research funding, etc.) would want to distance itself from Christianity.

I also speculate that though they may never realize it, the Christ-Con’s sole saving grace is their failure to accomplish their over-arching aim: to rebuild the bulwark of 1950’s Christian America. Had they succeeded in stamping out all beliefs and practices that don’t coincide with their own, it wouldn’t be long before another group rose to power and did the same to them. And schadenfreude aside, that would be a bad for us all.

 

Oppression of anyone is oppression of everyone.
–Stevie Wonder

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