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Posts Tagged ‘Goddess’

Just for now…stop, breathe, and listen.

Today’s affirmation comes from the fourth rune of the first aett (or “family”) of the Elder FutharkAnsuz. Its traditional meaning comes from the Rune Poems, the oldest of which translates as follows:

The Mouth is the source of every speech,
The mainstay of wisdom,
And solace of sages,
And the happiness and hope of every eorl.

–The Anglo-Saxon rune poem, Verse IV

“The Mouth” in the first stanza as often interpreted as the Divine. In the Northern Tradition this is either the god Odin or Loki, depending on how the rune falls (upright or reversed, respectively). However the Divine has many faces and names, and means different things to different people. For example I see “The Mouth” as my own inner knowing – that part in each of us that answers with a soft but clear whisper when asked, “What now?”

Think for a moment about how much of your day you spend in constant motion, chasing tasks and giving your valuable time to anyone who asks for it. “Most of the day” is probably your answer, and almost everyone else would say the same. Now honestly consider how many of these tasks and meetings leave you with a greater feeling of peace, freedom, and joy once completed. “Not many” is probably your answer, and again many would echo this.

What if, even once today, you stopped what you were doing and asked yourself, “Does what I’m doing now contribute to my highest good?” Then take a deep breath, go within, and listen for the answer. If you don’t receive the answer right away, don’t worry…just keep pausing, breathing, asking, and listening. With practice you will receive the guidance you need.

Ansuz affirmation:

I am aware of my innermost self. It guides and directs me.

A note about this affirmation: if the words presented don’t ring true for you, change them! Make it something that feels good and reflects who you are. For example, some may want to replace “innermost self” above with the name by which they address their Higher Power (God, Goddess, Buddha, etc.). 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 growth.

Click here to see other affirmations in this series.

Rune source material: Oswald the Runemaker

Affirmation 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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Today I learned that an acquaintance of several years recently took her own life. Intuitively I always knew she wasn’t happy, and watched as she looked externally and unsuccessfully for fulfillment and purpose. My heart aches for both the sadness that led to her choice as well as for the grieving family she leaves behind. Sensing that she has not yet moved beyond the veil, I lit a candle and placed it in the window when I got home this evening.

Dear sister,

May the eternal and unwavering light of your soul ascend to the highest levels of peace and love.

Go now, and leave this sadness and turmoil behind. You are free.

In accordance with your free will, So Mote It Be.

–From my Book of Shadows


Beloved one, you are dead, but you are not alone.

We are here with you, the beloved dead await you.

You go from love into love. Carry with you only love.

May our love carry you and open the way.

–From Ulla Mentzel

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Gratitude!

Thank you for abundant truth

Thank you for everlasting love

Thank you for radiant, vibrant health

Thank you for freedom from fear

Thank you for abundant earthly resources

Thank you for physical and spiritual endurance

Thank you for allowing me to see the future through the newness of each day

Thank you for joyous, compassionate unity with all the creatures of our Earth Mother

Thank you for the abundant life that is mine

Oh Great Mystery, maker of all things, thank you for aligning me with you

Adapted from the prayer of gratitude by Grams Twylah Nitsch in the book Prophetic Voices of the Sisters of Honua by Maria Yraceburu

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Mystic Lake, Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park

A p p r e c i a t i o n

I appreciate myself.

I appreciate my time, my energy, and my uniqueness.

I attract and surround myself with people who appreciate me.

I acknowledge and appreciate everyone I encounter.

I attract situations in which I feel appreciated.

 

These affirmations were inspired by the teachings of Orin as written by Sanaya Roman.

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Most Wiccans recognize two related moral codes – the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law.

The Rede states “As it harms none, do what you will.” In simple terms this means “do what you like as long as no one gets hurt, including yourself.”

The Threefold Law states that whatever energy one puts forth (in words, thoughts, and/or actions) will be returned after being multiplied by three.

The concept behind the Rede is not unique to Wicca. In fact, every other major religion teaches a similar ethic of reciprocity.

There are two reasons the Rede feels like truth to me. First, it guides one toward living a sacred life. If we view ourselves and all we encounter as sacred, we’re more likely to use the reverence that results as a basis for the decisions we make (decisions that would likely involve “harming none.”). Second, it’s based on the universal law of cause and effect (simply put, we reap what we sow). We can see evidence of this law all around us.

The Threefold Law does not resound as truth however. First, I see it as an unnecessary over-elaboration of the Rede. Second, in the words of attorney, activist, and well-known Wiccan Phyllis Curott,

“[The Threefold Law is] not ethics, [it]’s expediency. [It’s a] remnant of Biblical patriarchal thinking. It’s a rule based on punishment and fear. What it says is, if I do something wrong, I will be punished, and therefore I will behave. Expediency, self-interest, and this is the weak cousin of an ethical norm. It’s bad morality and it’s not the basis upon which we should conduct ourselves and our lives and our spiritual practices.”

(Expediency means basing current action strictly on a future desired outcome.)

I understand and accept that how I experience life is a direct reflection of the choices I make – I don’t need the Threefold Law hovering over my head to remind me. Also, when I do good I endeavor to do so based on genuine desire -not because I expect to receive a triple bonus of good in return.

It’s important for adherents of all religions to use discernment and to constantly ask questions. Digesting everything one reads or is told without first passing it through these filters is inconsistent with the value we as Wiccans place on personal responsibility.

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In part two of this three part post, I’ll examine the meaning of the maxim many Wiccans strive to live by: As it harms none, do what you will. 

From attorney, activist, and Wiccan author Phyllis Curott in her interview with Guy Spiro of The Monthly Aspectarian:

We are indicted in the rest of the religious community for that. They look at that and they think we’re hedonists and amoral. [It’s] an extension of the concept of living in the sacred universe. [If] we behave in a reverential and sacred manner because [we understand and experience the world as sacred], then we are free to do what we think best as long as nothing is harmed. You have a tremendous freedom, but with it comes responsibility that you are not engaging in behavior that does harm to the sacred.                  

I would add a layer to this by saying that because Wiccans believe everything is interconnected, we accept that harming one part also harms the whole.

This philosophy isn’t just more new-age fluff. Isaac Newton taught us that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Clear-cutting 50 acres of forestland results in soil erosion (tree roots keep the earth from washing away), greater pollution (trees clean the air), and disruption of animal habitat which in turn imbalances the local food chain (and on and on).

As Phyllis alluded, some outside Wicca believe the Rede is too ambiguous to offer clear moral direction. Would it surprise you to learn that some Wiccans feel the same way?

When I first came to the Wiccan path I saw the Rede as the sum of the religion’s moral code – something that when applied would ensure moral and ethical victory no matter the situation. But as time went by I realized for the Rede to work in all situations, all possible actions (including lack of action) must be easily classified as either helpful or harmful. When I started to realize this wasn’t possible, I began to see how the Rede can break down in some situations. For example, it’s easy to determine that physically hurting someone violates the Rede. But what if this is necessary to defend myself or my family from someone with malicious intent?

Randall Sapphire further illustrates this dilemma in his editorial Problems with the Wiccan Rede:  

For example, if a Rede-literalist came across a person unconscious and dying of heart failure at the side of the road, they’d have to walk on by rather than give CPR, because they are unable to get the person’s permission to help them — and for all they know the person might want to die (or so they often claim to excuse their inaction).

Now, rather than viewing the Rede as an all-encompassing moral directive, I view it as a starting point and recognize that it isn’t a cure-all for every possible moral and ethical woe.

The fallacy that all things can be quickly sorted into conveniently labeled bins – right or wrong, good or bad – is a hold-over from patriarchal religion that discourages critical thinking and personal responsibility. Though at first glance it may not seem so, Wiccans who defy common sense to uphold the literal meaning of the Rede have endorsed this fallacy – one incompatible with the value we place on individual accountability.

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To my Christian friends, those who hold themselves to the love Jesus taught and endeavor to teach that same love, this post is not directed at you. This is specifically directed at the vocal minority who have forgotten the foundation their religion was built on, and are content being fear-mongerers.

And the Silly Fundamentalist Award of the Week goes to…

Rev. Kelvin Franklin of Sword Ministries, author of Understanding Spiritual Warfare 2: Know Your Enemy.

Of particular amusement is Section 4 of this well-informed and skillfully-written treatise, Occult Symbols.

I won’t spend much energy defending the symbols of my faith from him, but I will inject some fact about one in particular so others may be spared from his ignorance.

Pentagram: Symbolizes the Morning Star, a name that Satan has taken.

The Pentagram

Attempts to link the pentagram with Satan are silly. First and foremost, Pagans do not believe in (and so do not worship) the all-evil anti-God of the Christian faith. Second, if Rev. Franklin had done his homework on the symbol’s origin, he’d have realized that ancient astronomers discovered it when plotting the course of the planet Venus around the sun. (When viewed from earth, Venus travels around the sun in a completely perfect pentagram shape every eight years.) With a little more digging he’d also have discovered the first recorded use of the pentagram, which occurred in Palestine over 6,000 years ago. This was 4,000 years before the birth of his religion and the introduction of the anti-Christ.

The pentagram is a symbol of the 5 elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit); the 5 directions (north, east, west, south, within/without); the interconnectedness of all things, and our desire to live in balance with all creation. Its five points have also been associated with the qualities of love, wisdom, knowledge, law, and power.

My apologies to the good Reverend that the truth isn’t nearly as sexy as the silliness he’s peddling.

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