Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Ancient Ones CD by Kellianna

The Ancient Ones CD by Kellianna 2012

With another CD coming out in September, Kellianna has been one very busy artist to be able to bring us this 2012 CD and then a follow up album just a year later.
As always Kellianna brings us incredible, spiritually fulfilling musical tracks.
Songs on this CD include:
1.       Thank You Mother (by Pamela Gerke 2006). This is an upbeat song thanking the Earth Goddess for all that she is and provides through the elements. This is a very well written song bringing together the elements and the Mother in a logical and yet symbolic way.
2.       The Ancient Ones (by Kellianna 2012). This is probably my favorite song on this CD. It has a very mystical quality to it with harmonies weaving around the verses. This is an easy to learn song that could easily be added to rituals, and would be particularly appropriate for Samhain.
3.       Mists of Avalon (by Shawna Carol 2002). A great song singing of spring, the maypole and Beltaine. Obviously a wonderful choice for a Beltaine celebration and dancing around the maypole.
4.       Lugh (by Jenna Greene 2007). A song that educates as it entertains, singing a stream of information about the great Celtic God Lugh. Perfect for a dance around a Lughnasadh bonfire.
5.       Wild Maiden (by Sally Pullinger 2011). This would be another great song for dancing around a bonfire, especially any ritual from Beltaine to Mabon. It has a primitive theme as the drums speed up the beat. Dance without a care to this one. Also perfect for full moons or new moons, anytime you can get together and dance in a group!
6.       Bless our Planet (by Shawna Carol 2001). Showing different traditions can coexist even in song form, this song celebrates the planet and her inhabitants, no matter what their religion is, this song reminds us we may have differences but we also have many similarities, including we are all children of this Earth.
7.       Artemis of the Hunt (by Kellianna 2012). Another great song, this one singing the praises of Artemis, while at the same time being educational. This one is also great for summertime rituals and since it refers to the crescent moon, it would be awesome to sing and drum along to at a late night drum circle under a crescent moon.
8.       Daughters of the Earth (by Kellianna 2012). With this song specifying “daughters”, and talking about dancing around a fire, you can easily see how this would be a great song for a women’s group to dance to at a bonfire. What’s really different about this song is the musical quality. Instead of the more tribal sounding music we are more used to hearing from Kellianna, this one is reminiscent psychedelic funk.  A completely different vibe comes from this song creating a sensual groove.
9.       Witch’s Reel (Scottish Traditional). What a fun song, another great song for those bonfire nights, perfect for a spiral dance.
10.   To The Summerlands (by Kellianna 2012) This touching song has no musical accompaniment, so it is just Kellianna’s voice in full glory. This song could be used for Imbolg with references connected to Brighid, it can be used for a funeral rite (particularly for a female), or it can also be used at Samhain. In fact I’m going to have to add this song to my list of songs to be played at my own funeral!
Kellianna is truly one of the greatest musical gifts to pagans who follow an earth centered tradition.  While her music can be listened to at any time, she has so many songs perfect for the sabbats, it’s about time we get her to release CDs for each of the sabbats or at the very least collections pertaining to each of the four seasons. I am looking forward to her latest album which is due out in September.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Lakota Way of Strength of Courage: Lessons in Resilience from the Bow and Arrow by Joseph M. Marshall III

The Lakota Way of Strength of Courage: Lessons in Resilience from the Bow and Arrow by Joseph M. Marshall III  Sounds True

When I first heard of this book , the title caught my attention right away. With a great great great grandfather named Chief Walking Day from the Lakota tradition, this was definitely something about to learn more about.

Marshall tells story from his childhood and from further back in time that have been passed down and shared throughout the generations. Each of these stories can be tied back to a piece of the bow and arrow, the instruction on how to use it, or some piece of lore associated with hunting or the bow and arrow.

Some of the morals covered in these stories include: transformation, simplicity, strength, and resiliency.

These stories were told not only to teach a child how to use the bow and arrow, but how to grow into a responsible adult as well.

Marshall is an expert story teller, having been told these stories his whole life and then passing them on himself.

Even though there are not a whole lot of people left from the Lakota traditions, by writing down these stories and stories, Marshal has ensured that these stories will remain a part of history even if the unthinkable happens and we lose the Lakota nation all together.

Stories like these are one of the things missing from the world today.  Parents don’t take their children out and teach them a skill that includes many life lessons in it as well.  However, just because most parent’s don’t anymore doesn’t mean you have to be one of them.  Read this book, read Marshall’s stories and read about what the taught him and how they affected him.  You can always borrow these stories from the Lakota tradition or think back to life lesson stories you were taught when you were a kid and pass them on.  It’s not too late.  It’s only too lae when we stop all together.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How not to piss of the fey or how not to behave in a spiriutal group

 The other day, I spent working desperately to get the fairy garden back in shape. Though we pack the statuary and wind chimes for the winter there is still a lot that stays out all year, particularly older larger logs that have had a lot of were and tear. I liked to recycle things to make interesting one of a kind pieces for the fairy garden. Not only do they make good conversation pieces, I believe the fey appreciate human attempts at creativity.  At the very least they appreciate when humans are willing to go out of their way to try to make the fey feel more at home or at least give them a pleasant environment in which to live. In some neighborhoods, the fairy garden you create, may be the only place they actually feel safe.

What I had made a few years ago was definitely one of a kind.  We had an old hot tub that the wood outer casing was falling apart. A few staples, some nails a burning tool several weeks of work, and soon I had the beginning of Puck’s closing speech from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer’s Might Dream’ – “If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended, that we have but slumbered here while these visions did appear.” All on rustic looking old signs spread throughout the garden.  I felt it to be a fitting quote to and a wonderful present to the fey. Each year I would reburn the wording as this was skill I was still quite a beginner at. Each year the rain and sun would fade the wording so I would fill it up good as new.

The at Lughnasadh last year everything changed.  As a Grove, part of our Lughnasadh festivities included several games and feats of strength including tug of war over a mud pit.  After one particularly challenge and a lack of paying attention to what he was doing, a new member to the group crashed through the fairy garden breaking a fairy and destroying flowers. This person, being a relative by marriage knew the garden was there, and if he had paid enough attention he would have understood its significance. But it appeared he had no clue what he had just done.  Too make matters worse, he then “went after” the person who had chased him into the fairy garden and tried attacking him   This ended with the “attackee” picking up the “attacker” and body slamming him onto one of the signs.  The sign was destroyed, the scratches on his body awful, and how he had avoided actually being impaled through the chest or abdomen I will never know.

Now while there were apologizes made between the two guys, my husband and I, the actual property owners were left out of that. There were no apologies, to us there were no offerings of restitution – which would have been difficult to begin with. There was a lot of laughing, but no remorse. But in the way I understand, and practice paganism, it would have at the very least been offered, and it would have been offered in a way where those who had perpetrated the damage would have worked together until it was someone how fixed.  Since this was also a set of special signs made with a very limited type of wood, it was irreplaceable. We could have done something, different.

Needless to say neither of these people are still in our grove.  This event led to complaints from just about every other grove member, which led to a policy change in the amount of alcohol allowed to be consumed and when. While many saw this as a positive step forward, the “guilty” parties saw this as a way to control them. They never see it as something they did wrong, it’s always the other people taking things to seriously and not ‘lightening up’ enough.  I’m not sure how someone can believe that part of lightening up involves destruction of property attempted murder, but hey if so they can do that at home.

We of course found out some people had left the group because of them and I always wish instead of leaving the group people would just come talk to me instead.

It astounds me that in this day and age people still act like this, particularly those who claim to be enlightened.

So at least now those people are gone, and as soon as I get a check I’ve been waiting, for I will be off to a add a few more pieces and hopefully replace some of the lost positive energy.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Get back to Nature - and why I love my UU

The more I attend my new Church: Tree of Life” A Universal Unitarian Congregation. The more I love it. 

Yesterday’s sermon was all about Spring is here, get outside. Spend some time in nature.  Let your spirit reconnect with nature.  Feel the difference in yourself after you have, Whether it’s yard work, playing, hiking whatever, your spirit needs to reconnect with nature to recharge.  They even passed out brochures that contained the information about all of the MCCD parts --- the very  parks that I had started scheduling hike at lat year as a part of the Witch Hat Society field trips as a way to reconnect with nature.  I will be scheduling those again starting very soon, just need to take care of a few things first, like confirm it they still have the hiker’s club.

The more time I get to spend with the UUC though, the more excited I get – People preaching to be outdoors!  Last week they had an earth day event but I was at the fundraising metaphysical faire so knew I would miss that.

It just makes me happy so find so many people wanting the same things in their life that I do.  I’ll admit, it get very difficult to not give up on other people. I hear all the time “I would if I could”, “Maybe next time” and sometimes (especially from my own family) some real lame ass excuse. Honesty is always highly more appreciated. “I can’t stand being in nature”, “I hate bugs and other critters“,  “I would rather have a root canal than spend time outside”. Are not only honest statements, if you find yourself agreeing with them, you have a lot more questioning to do about your chosen pathway as it is.

Pagans are a part of nature. It’s where we get our power. It’s how we recharge. It’s how we  connect with all living things around us.  When we can’t make those connections we become slow and sluggish. The longer we are away, the harder sometimes to get back, but the only way to get back is to get back out there and do it. 

Maybe start slow, meditate outside sitting on the ground, even on a blanket for the real squeamish.  Listen to all the different sounds you hear. Just take them in. Feel the air on your skin particularly the sunlight if you haven’t see it for a while!

Last year when I first scheduled hikes for WHS, I was asked by some people, why hikes? What does that have to do with being pagan or witch? Well if you haven’t figured it out yet ---- you still haven’t been out there long enough!

Honestly I was shocked t this question and I wonder if it has anything to do with the difference between those who associate more with neo-pagan than with actual pagan. Personally I don’t use the term “neo”. For me it feels as if we are trying to separate ourselves too much from what we really were. Though I don’t want to go off on a huge tangent here most people will say the different is because pagans sacrificed things and new pagans don’t and while we may not sacrifice our enemies to the gods in a battle, many of us make sacrifices everyday in other ways. Our battles are different – often  we have to sacrifice paying one bill for paying another. Or we do indeed sacrifice the chicken so to speak, when we pull the left overs out of the fridge and realize that with some water, celery and some seasoning, we can pull another meal out of that chicken in the form of soup, we are still sacrificing.  So yes, I still stick with the original term pagan myself, I feel sacrifices, and nature everyday around me.

When you feel run down, tired, and the LEAST likely to spend some time outside  - get back to  nature, you’re missing so much and your batteries? Well they are pretty much completely depleted.

Now I'm headed out --- meeting a friend for a walk!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What is going on in the world

while many people were silly and thought that 12/21/21 was supposed to be the end of the world, others of us new that the Mayans were referring to a change of enlightenment. I has hoped for an easy change and that never happens. This past week is showing how intense it is again. With attacks, explosions, murder, gunmen at schools it just seems that things are getting worse. It's the storm before the calm. I recently started attending the local UU church who's memberships is climbing like mad. I'm hearing from people all over who work in spiritual positions that their businesses are suddenly swarming. So yes, there are a lot of crazies out there doing the wrong thing, heading down the wrong path, but there are many out there seeking a positive path too. The change of enlightenment is coming and these insane criminal acts only push more people too loo or that path of enlightenment. Then change is coming, it just takes time. Just remember for every negative, there is a positive to counter it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When spiritual growth affects relationships….

I have often found one of the difficult aspects of running a spiritual group is dealing with what I tend to refer to as the spiritual decline of some of the members.

While there maybe many different reasons that something like this happens, it’s extremely difficult to know how to handle the situation.

It becomes even more difficult when other group members start coming to you and point out that you aren’t the only one who has noticed that a member or two seems to be taking steps backwards in their spirituality instead of forwards.  It’s disheartening when other group members leave the group because of it.

Sometimes a step back is necessary, so one can get a better view of where they stand, but what do you do when those backwards steps continue? It’s not to get a better view, in fact it seems they have turned their head and are now looking in a completely opposite direction?

When those steps backwards go from equal rights for all to privileges for the few, from knowledgeable informed decisions to believing and spreading rumors and propaganda, and finally falling from a position of respect into a position of intolerance, it’s an unfortunate complicated mess. Sometimes there are casualties. When the casualties are mere children, the pain deepens beyond belief.

As a friend and I discussed the other day, sometime it seems like people around us may get caught in a muck, a quicksand of sorts, and when you try to put a hand out there for them to grab on to, instead of grabbing hold, they kick and scream and only end up sinking faster.  When this person is someone you consider a friend it’s even worse.     
I often have to remind myself, you can’t make someone want help. They have to want it for themselves.  So even though we can clearly see a person change, we can see everything that used to be important to them just get shoved to the side while new items of importance take their place --- often it seems to be people are substituted for money, there really isn’t much we can do.

We have to make the decision if we want to continue to sit around and watch, or if we need to cut the strings so as to not be pulled down into the muck with them.  It’s well known that often when someone tries to help a drowning person, the victim actually in turn may end up drowning their would be rescuer due to panic.

Sometimes we simply have to stand on the shore out of the way, out of reach and way to see what happens.  If that person we have cared for decides they do indeed want help, we can be therefore them. We can offer love, support, even advice, but we can’t heal them. That they must learn to do for themselves, and if they decide to continue forward along the spiritual path, then perhaps, someday again in time, you will find yourselves once again walking side by side.

Intuitive Self-Healing: Achieve Balance and Wellness Through the Body’s Energy Centers

Intuitive Self-Healing: Achieve Balance and Wellness Through the Body’s Energy Centers by Marie Manuchehri, RN. Sounds True. 2012.

Intuitive Self-Healing takes the beautiful story of how Manuchehri learned of her abilities while working in an oncology unit, and combines these anecdotes with lessons on working with the chakras.

In each chapter, Manuchehri, tells the story of one of her clients and shows us how their medical issue ties in with the chakra to be discussed in that chapter. Each chakra is broken down into more detail and Manuchehri writes about each one and how to work with each of them.  She goes into details about other health issues that could arise depending on the condition of the chakra.

Manuchehri writes in a very conversational level and comes across as a kind, caring and loving woman who wants to help heal and teach her patients and students at the same time. 

Each chapter goes into details about how to keep the chakras healthy through the use of different exercises specific to each individual chakra.

This book is filled with a ton of information but doesn’t come across as overwhelming because Manuchehri does such an incredible job of walking the read through each and every step along the way. 

While this book is not meant to take the place of any medical advice, it is designed to go along with any treatments prescribed by your doctor, and with Manuchehri’s nursing education, she has the qualifications to give good, knowledgeable information.

If you are suffering from any sort of illness, looking to work with the chakras or just to broaden your knowledge base, this is an enjoyable, interesting book to add to your collection.