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Posts Tagged ‘Recommended Reading’

I’ve added a page titled Book List to serve as a repository for books about alternative spiritualities, indigenous traditions, and phytology/herbalism that I’ve read and reviewed. (Click here to view or use the navigation tabs at the top.) I’ll add more as I read new titles and continue to review books I’ve read in the past.

Have you come across any books on these subjects that you’ve really enjoyed? If so please share them by leaving a comment below!

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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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I recently picked up a copy of A Witch Alone: The Essential Guide for the Solo Practitioner of the Magical Arts by Marian Green. The book has 13 chapters for the 13 moons in a year. I plan to work through one chapter per lunar cycle beginning just after the new moon, as Green recommends. Interestingly enough, the next new moon is on February 13th, which also marks the beginning of a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar. After 13 chapters, 13 moons, and one lunar year to the day, I will have completed Green’s course. It seems the book came my way at exactly the right time! If you come across this post before the 13th and would like to share in this synchronicity, get the book and make the journey with me! Throughout the coming year I’ll be posting thoughts on the readings, exercises, and outcomes for discussion.

A quote from the introduction:

None of the paths of magic leads away from the world, setting you free from life’s troubles at a stroke; they lead you deeper in. They show you with unveiled eyes the reality of situations, relationships, and the need to come to grips with your own problems and solve them.

How many would-be witches confuse fantasy with reality, and become disenchanted when they discover the Craft is neither easy nor glamorous? How many give up and move on to a less demanding path when they realize it takes more than the waving of a store-bought wand to create the lives they want? Apparently enough that Green thought it warranted mentioning.

I appreciate the reminder that walking a sacred path – any sacred path – requires dedication and commitment, and that by taking my spiritual growth seriously I honor the Old Ones as well as myself. I’m looking forward to the coming year of learning and growth, and again extend an invitation to any who’d like to share in the journey.

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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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Please join us at A Novel Paradigm beginning Wednesday April 22nd for the discussion of Esther and Jerry Hicks’ The Astonishing Power of Emotions.

Click here for a synopsis.

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Are your batteries running low? Finding yourself knee-deep in the muck of present day? Please join us for the reading and discussion of books that inspire and empower at A Novel Paradigm

There’s still time to cast your vote or share your suggestions for our next title, which will be announced April 13th. We’ll begin reading and discussion the following Monday, April 20th.

Hope to see you there!

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sowuloA Novel Paradigm, the fledgling online book discussion group I facilitate, is currently reading Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman. Two passages in Chapter 5 describe each aspect of the rune Sowulo uncannily well. The first describes the “bright side” of the rune:

When you feel strong and in charge of your life, you can come from the heart.

And the second describes Sowulo’s shadow side:

When you feel lacking in control you may feel you must manipulate or engage in power struggles to get what you want. You may think you have to make excuses for your behavior or tell white lies to protect other people’s feelings.

Which of the body’s energy centers (chakras) comes into play when we “engage in power struggles?” The third, or solar plexus chakra, which is the energetic equivalent of Sowulo in our physical and spiritual energy systems.

More on Sowulo at Under a Violet Sun:
Sowulo’s Merkstave?
Sowulu, converse
Daily Rune: Sowulo

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