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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

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 cringe every time I see a “Never Forget 9/11” sign. Is it because I’m insensitive to the unimaginable loss of victims’ families? No. Is it because I’m unpatriotic? No.

It’s because I’m tired of the victim mentality that’s gripped our country since that fateful day, and am even more weary of the negative effects it’s had on our economy, our civil liberties, and our government.

The quotes that follow put better words to my feelings than I can myself. The first refers to Auschwitz, but is also very relevant to the 9/11 tragedy. The second is from an article in Wired. Both are well worth reading.

Maybe the answer isn’t just to ”never forget” But to SEE the wounds of our past actions, to ACKNOWLEDGE the suffering and brutality that happened to all the people, to FORGIVE and LEARN.
We can’t change history. But we can learn from it, and be thankful for its lessons. They were given for a reason, and it was to teach us something. Perhaps the only way through it, is with forgiveness.

Chloe, in response to “Can We Heal If We Never Forget? An Album From Auschwitz”

We can honor the 9/11 victims without being permanently haunted by them.

Spencer Ackerman in “How to Beat Terrorism: Refuse to Be Terrorized”

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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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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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The new pink Ouija board by HasbroTwo years ago the Hasbro Company released a pink version of the classic Ouija board, presumably to revitalize Ouija’s appeal and help it remain a slumber party mainstay. A recent story by Fox News seems to have catapulted this “pink portal to the other side” to the forefront of Christian and non-Christian consciousness alike.

The buzz seems to mostly consist of Christians condemning the product as a “dangerous spiritual game” and non-Christians responding with snark (some of which is pretty entertaining – see the “reviews” link below).

Some snippets of product reviews I found at amazon.com, followed by my take on it all:

I guess it’s an indictment of the level of science education in the U.S.A. Ouija board simply works on kids pushing the marker to the letters. –reviewer Joseph P. Klein
There is inherent in using the board the possibility of demonic contact and influence, since dead people cannot be contacted. The effects are real when it “works.” –reviewer Former Astrologer
Deuteronomy 18:10 states ‘There shall not be found among you anyone who…CALLS UP THE DEAD. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord.’ –reviewer common sense
Based on personal experience, the first two reviews contain little bits of truth (though overall they miss the mark). Here are my thoughts on Ouija:
Q: Who (or what) moves the Ouija board’s marker?
A: Kids trying to either scare or impress their friends.
A: A discarnate spirit on the astral plane. This could be someone who’s recently passed and has not yet progressed to the higher planes of existence, but is more likely an unevolved spiritual entity. Some may dub these beings “demons,” but it’s important to understand that the Abrahamic Religions have perverted the meaning of this word, which simply meant “unclean spirit” originally. However this is precisely why Ouija can be dangerous – in using it, those without the required knowledge or respect essentially make a “phone call” to a room full of strangers, any of whom could “pick up” and some of whom may have malicious intent.
Q: If I had a child, would I let them play with a Ouija board?
A: Generally speaking, no. Though the board itself does not cause harm, the fear surrounding its use might. This fear, now embedded in our society’s consciousness, is exactly what attracts the unevolved spiritual entities I described above (and keeps them around).
Q: What qualifies me to these questions, and why do I disagree with the reviews quoted above?
A: Personal experience. On several occasions friends and family members have spontaneously visited me after passing, often with messages for me or for me to relay to others. Contacting (or being contacted by) those who’ve passed is indeed possible, and I feel strongly that ruling this out simply because one hasn’t experienced it (or worse, judging someone without “walking a mile in their shoes“) is spiritually and emotionally immature. The universe is bigger than any of us can comprehend, and there is plenty that can’t be explained by either religious doctrine or empirical evidence.
I find it ironic that zealots on each side of any religion vs. science debate seem to share the same weakness – the conviction that everything in the universe can be neatly categorized as religion or science, belief or fact, black or white, good or evil. Though it might seem desirable to live in a world where everything is so cut and dry, it would rob us of the opportunity to experience the freedom that humility brings – that quality we embody when we admit there are more questions than answers.

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After high school and before college, I volunteered for an organization called Community Service Volunteers in London, England. For six months I lived with four developmentally delayed young men and assisted them with things like grocery shopping and preparing meals, and accompanied them on social outings. It was a period of immense personal growth on many fronts, and I will always remember those men and my time in England fondly. Years later, immersed in the busyness of everyday life, I had forgotten how important and empowering it is to serve others. This concept was recently brought back to the forefront by someone I wouldn’t normally cross paths with – a Roman Catholic nun.

Last week I volunteered at Sojourner Place in Seattle, a transitional home for women who’ve left bad situations and are beginning to rebuild their lives. It was a humbling experience assisting other volunteers with the prep, serving, and clean up of a meal for the eleven women that live there. Even more cause for personal reflection was the conversation we had with the house leader, a nun by the name of K.C. Young.

K.C. didn’t look like I expected her to – no habit, no rosary. If you met her on the street or at a social gathering, you’d encounter a nicely dressed, well-spoken woman who emanates personal strength and quiet calm. K.C. has been a nun since early adulthood and has spent the last 45 years serving those less fortunate in every corner of the world.

When we arrived she gave us a tour before inviting questions about herself and/or Sojourner Place. When asked how the Roman Catholic Church views service, she replied by explaining the Church’s “theology of service.” She said that God favors the poor and destitute, and that the more fortunate among us are obligated to care for those who have trouble caring for themselves. She went on to say that this philosophy extends beyond people to include the care and preservation of all Creation. Seeing this woman’s strength, compassion and dedication, in addition to the similarities between the “theology of service” she described and the Wiccan Rede, inspired deep respect and admiration.

As many who’ll read this already know, those who walk the Overgrown Path strive to live by the Wiccan Rede, which invites us to do as we choose provided none are harmed by our choices (including ourselves). In Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham explains that “This is more than survival. It also ensures that you’ll be in good condition to take on the tasks of preserving and bettering our world.”

I’m grateful for the reminder that the “tasks of preserving and bettering our world” are shared among many who walk various religious and spiritual paths. This has given me both a new perspective on people like K.C. and her religion, as well as a lot of hope for the future.

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Many people speak of unconditional love but rarely live it. Instead, when they see a condition that causes them to feel negative emotions, they demand a change in the condition; but in doing so, they set themselves on a long and uncomfortable path of attempting to control others in order to feel good.

When controlling others is necessary in order for you to feel good, you must confine yourself to a very small world over which you can gain control, and then you must give more time and energy than you possess to this impossible effort.

–The Teachings of Abraham in the book The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Neo-Conservatives/Christ-Cons may not be the only who “attempt to control others in order to feel good,” but they’ve certainly been the most visible. They’ve been losing the Culture Wars for decades by refusing to recognize the truth in the statements above. Until they replace their dogged determination to control with completely unconditional love, they will continue to experience anger, sorrow, and fear as they watch the world progress beyond their subjective views of morality.

Women will never lose the right to choose. State legislatures will continue to recognize equal rights for lesbians and gays. The world will never work exactly how the Neo-Cons think it should (thank God). When they accept these things and recognize that the doctrine they follow is just as fallible as they are, maybe then they’ll emerge from their “very small worlds” and turn their focus to living their own lives.

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