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Sitting Meditation – Ten minutes of sitting meditation can make all the difference in our ability to confront the world head on as we do our best to be what we are; walkers between the worlds. Sitting meditation need not be complicated. Try simply sitting and focusing on your breath. You can use a timer if you’re on a tight schedule. Sitting in the same position every time and incorporating a simple hand gesture of some kind (also known as a ‘mudra’) will help you enter a relaxed state more quickly. Don’t expect miraculous visions or mind blowing experiences when you sit meditation. Expect to sit, following your breathing, bringing your attention back to the breathing whenever you lose focus.

Keep A Journal The Artist’s Way is a great resource if you’re new to the idea of stream of consciousness journal keeping.  Alternatively, just write out whatever is on your mind that day. This is a good opportunity to discover where you’re out of balance or what’s really bugging you. It’s also a good time to count your blessings and express gratitude for all the many things that are going your way. Journal keeping is one of the best ways we can track our growth, keep records of our magical experiences, and touch base with ourselves.

Water Purification – Once a day, preferably after your meditation &  journalling session, breathe all your stresses, troubles, and all that does not serve you into a glass of clear, clean water. As you breathe out, imagine all the muck leaving your body and filling the water. When you feel emptied out, hold the water up and outward and invite the divine to clean and clear the water of all you put in it. Imagine the water blazing with pure light of whatever colour works best for you that day. Once the water is pulsing with light, drink it down, knowing that it has been charged with power and will fill in all the spaces that were emptied out during your purification. As you drink, imagine yourself glowing with this light, sparkling and shimmering with it.  Once you’re done, ground in whatever way best works for you and get on with your day. This need take no more than three to five minutes, and can be integrated with your daily shower or bath if you’re really pressed for time.

Prayer – At some point during your day, offer up a prayer affirming that you are open to the love of the divine, and to whatever messages the divine has for you that day. If you have a history within a religion that has made prayer difficult for you, push through that. Keep trying. Offer prayers out loud or silently. Think of this as talking to a cherished friend. If you aren’t sure who to pray to, pray anyway. Someone is listening and in time, they will reveal themselves to you wearing whatever mask you most need to interact with.

Making Offerings – You’re already offering your time and effort in the previous four practices, but if you’re having an especially wonderful or difficult time, take a moment to offer something of personal value to the divine. This can be food based – honey, milk, liquor, fruit, bread, a portion of your meal – or bardic – a song, a poem, a story of your own creation – or you can offer natural items like flowers, crystals, stones. Anything that’s pleasing to you is bound to be pleasing to the divine.  You can do this as often as you like as a way to express gratitude for what’s going right, or as a way to petition the divine for assistance with issues that are troubling you.

Consulting the Oracle – Once a day, or however often you like, pull a card, draw a rune, or use your oracle in whatever way best suits you to get a very basic, simple read on where you’re at. If you’re new to using methods of divination, the most widely used method is Tarot. Pull a card, jot down your impressions and what you think the image on the card is telling you, and then and ONLY then, look the meaning up in a good resource.

Walking – Walking puts your feet in direct contact with mother earth, and it’s best done out of doors, which makes it an ideal way to connect with natural forces. While it’s true that we are surrounded by the elements of life whether we’re stuck inside or not, it is easier to relate to air as wind than as some abstract concept. Walking out in whatever weather can increase your physical stamina, which is important for energy raising (and dancing with abandon around a festival fire pit!). It also heals lazy libidos and is effective in easing depression.

These simple practices can be done together, flowing from one to the other beginning with meditation and ending with walking, or you can also just pick one and focus on that one for a period of time until you find your interest flagging. At that point, switch things up and try something new.

Source: Toronto Paganism Examiner

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As Hawking’s children navigate the many complexities of human life, he told Sawyer that he’s offered up three pieces of advice.

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it,” he said. “Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Source: ABC news

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Having slogged through By Oak, Ash and Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism by D. J. Conway – and it was a slog in places – I have begun reading Roebuck in the Thicket: an Anthology of the Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
The essays are a surprisingly easy read for the amount of information they contain, well written, well researched and, most wonderfully of all after reading Conway, I am halfway through with no mention of “Christian* brainwashing”.

Which brings me to the crux of this post: I am thoroughly sick of hearing from Complainin’ Pagans about how the Christian community is teaching bigotry and intolerance and committing what would be a hate crime, if the roles were reversed, against the poor little Pagan who aren’t hurting anyone because the Rede says… etc. etc.

The only thing I can think when I hear this is ‘Oh, grow up’.

I guess this feeling has been growing for a while. It was probably brought to a head by following Pagan groups on FaceBook, YouTube and an interesting juxtaposition of essays on WitchVox – Pagans Need to Stop Caring About What Other People Think and The Magick is in the Witch…Not the Bitch

An early paragraph from the latter reads as follows:
“The problem that most non-magickal people have with Magick, aside from centuries of brainwashing by Christianity, is the concept of a binary world. The concept of a binary world is anathema to traditional stratified religions where there is Earth, Heaven, Hell, and only The Creator and The Destroyer can manipulate “Magick” to make things happen. Even then, it is only good and “Holy” when that power comes from God or Jesus, and “evil”, “unnatural”, or “Satanic” when it comes from any other source, for as we all know, that which is not exclusively from the domain of God, comes from the Devil’s own hand.”

I wonder if the Complainin’ Pagan would be surprised to learn that I know more non-religious folk than religious ones, and the majority of Christians are – in my experience, at least – indifferent about my religion. The most interest I’ve had from a Christian was my born-again evangelical housemate at university, and she was mildly curious about the religion at best.
Where’s this brainwashed, bile-spewing Christian they keep harping on about? I’m obviously moving in the wrong (or the right) circles.

The only bad experiences I’ve had with Christians were with the Shadowmancer novel (I still feel betrayed by that book), and with a friend who I’d known for years before his conversion to Christianity, and I’d say he was more ignorant than vitriolic, asking if Paganism was Satanism and eventually – frustratingly, after the time I took trying to explain that non-Christian religion does not mean a lack of morality – denouncing the religion as ‘bullshit’ (he’s as entitled to his opinion as I am mine).

I guess what I’m saying is that yes, I used to be a Persecuted Pagan – overly defensive of my religion and ready to fight all comers – but I’ve grown out of it because I found it both unnecessary and a complete waste of energy. Now when I see it in others, I tend to see it a mark of immaturity.
I probably sound a bit smug here, but I don’t consider myself superior: it’s not that long ago I was much the same, but I find that lately I’m regarding what the Complainin’ Pagan says or advises more critically than I would normally. I’m also tending to put books back on the shelf if I find the same vitriol in print.

I understand that I am fortunate, and these defences might be necessary for some people, but I cannot believe that this degree of intolerance is so widespread that it warrants the number of Persecuted or Complainin’ Pagans I have found in the community. Furthermore, I don’t think that it helps when Pagans bang on about how Christians are universally awful and always on the lookout for new ways to stop us being the honest, good, decent people we would be if they weren’t forever having a go at us.

Why can’t you be religious or spiritual without shouting about it? What’s stopping you being a good Pagan and a good person now?

I don’t care whether Jo/e Anyman is a Satanist, Atheist, Christian, Muslim or member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. All I care is that s/he treats me with the respect I deserve as a fellow human being, and I promise to return that respect.

IIRC, about two thousand years ago a man was nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if people could get along with each other. There’s a lesson in that somewhere…

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* You never hear about ‘Muslim brainwashing’ or ‘Jewish brainwashing’. I guess railing against the status quo is a cool now as it was when we were teens.

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Quotes to think about

Beauty and Strength. Power and Compassion. Honour and Humility. Mirth and Reverence.
– The Charge of the Goddess

Words to live by. Not as easy to remember as the traditional triads, but important nonetheless.
A life in balance can only be lead when the balance is struck within.


If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find without.
– ibid

I am collecting things – skulls and bones, fur and feathers, stones and seeds – without the connection or consent that makes them powerful. I have been thinking about re-evaluating my possessions and trying to shed some weight. Stopping myself from acquiring paraphernalia (and books!) without intent or meaning would be a good start.

Essay at Witchvox: The Qualities of a Goddess Lover

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