Thursday, July 20, 2006

Love Will Keep Us Alive...
Most definitely!
I love this song and video.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bonfire and Drum Circle

This is an invitation to all who might wish, to come join us for a Bonfire and Drum Circle on Saturday, July 8th, beginning at 9 pm. 
Bring lawn chairs and your drums, and put on your dancing shoes!
This Bonfire and Drum Circle are in celebration of my Handfasting with Lee SilverFox.
We are also planning of going to the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY, on Sunday, July 9, and all are welcome to join us there as well.  This is one of the "buy one, get one adult admission free" weekends at the Ren Faire, and we will have the discount coupons available at the Bonfire, or you can get one online at
If you would like to join us for the Bonfire and Drum Circle, please drop me a note at, and I will send you directions.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Metamorphosis Newsletter Articles

I've had an email subscription to the Metamorphosis Newsletter from for a while now. Almost every time I receive it there is at least one article that resonates with me, and I usually end up posting it to my egroup or putting it up on my blog.

There are 4 of them this time, and I really want to recommend them to you all. You can find and sign-up for the newsletter at . This week's edition can be found at

The specific articles this time are:

Who Am I?

Make The Mind-Body Connection Work

Drawing Lines

Why Here, Why Now, Why Again?

Some of these are just good information, and a couple of them are extremely synchronistic for me right now, so I'm definitely laughing!

Friday, May 26, 2006

An Open Letter...

An Open Letter to the Pagan Community…. And actually People In General…

I have been trying to find a positive way to say the things I feel I need to say, but I’m coming up against a wall about this, with no other way to express my thoughts and feelings but bluntly. Big surprise there, huh? So here it is….

What is your problem?

It seems that lately all people are doing is whining, complaining, bitching, putting out negative criticism in very hurtful ways, and condemning others who are trying to do positive things for the community. This one says that they are being singled out and attacked for no good reason; that one criticizes how a project or event was done or conducted; another one feels left out or ignored or shunned…. I could probably go on and on with that, but I won’t bother, I think you get the idea.

My response is simple:

Get over yourselves.

I don’t care who you think you are, when it comes to doing positive things for the community at large, everybody is on the same level. I don’t care how many titles or letters you have after your name, or how much money you have. No one is better than anybody else. When events and projects are planned, there are certain ways that things need to be done to ensure a positive outcome. There are procedures established for how things will be accomplished, and rules about what will or won’t be allowed to happen that are clearly designated and delineated. When you do something that very clearly goes against and violates those rules, you’re going to get called on it. Don’t expect anything different. You wouldn’t tolerate it if someone did something like that to you. If you do something wrong, don’t try to turn it around to make it someone else’s fault, and shift the blame.

Feel like something wasn’t done the way you think it should have been done? Step up to the plate, offer to help with a project or event that is being planned, get involved and volunteer. People who sit on the sidelines and do nothing to help have no business complaining about what is and/or how things are done. If you think you can do a better job, then open your mouth, get off your butt, and do it! If you have an idea of a project or event, step up and put your idea out there. I’ll help if I can, if it’s something positive for the community. So will lots of other people. All you have to do is speak up. Stop criticizing people who are making the effort if you aren’t willing to.

Feeling left out, ignored, or shunned? If you want to be included, open your mouth and say so. I don’t read minds, I don’t know who has what to offer. Unless and until you express an interest in doing something, I won’t know it. So don’t go around saying you don’t get included in things because nobody likes you. That’s just bunk. Don’t expect a handwritten, gilded invitation delivered on a silver platter. There isn’t one single human being on this planet who deserves or is entitled to that. We are all the same under the skin. Same hearts, same flesh, same blood, same bone.

Don’t condemn or criticize something or someone that you know nothing about. Take the time to get to know a person, to learn about a religious or spiritual tradition before you take pot shots at it or them. Have an open mind and be willing to communicate and understand another’s point of view, even if, and especially if it seems to be different than your own.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lyrics in My Life

There are some songs playing on the radio these days that I enjoy and I wanted to share some of the lyrics with you. Yes, most of them are country songs! lol

If Heaven - Andy Griggs
If heaven was an hour, it would be twilight

When the fireflies start their dancin’ on the lawn
And supper’s on the stove and mamma’s laughin’
And everybody’s workin’ day is done

If heaven was a town it would be my town
On a summer day in 1985
And everything i wanted was out there waiting
And everyone i loved was still alive

Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye
And if that's what heaven's made of
You know i ain't afraid to die

If heaven was a pie it would be cherry
Cool and sweet and heavy on your tongue
And just one bite would satisfy your hunger
And there’d always be enough for everyone

If heaven was a train it sure would be a fast one
That could take this weary trav’ler round the bend
And if heaven was a tear it'd be my last one
And you’d be in my arms again

Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye
And if that's what heaven's made of
You know i ain't afraid to die

"Every Now and Then" - Garth Brooks
I walked down to the park last night

Warm breeze stirring up a soft moonlight
And my mind started drifting to way back when
Yes I do think about you every now and then

The other day I saw a car like you used to drive
I got a funny feeling down deep inside
And for the briefest moment I felt a smile begin
Yes I do think about you every now and then

I love my life and I'd never trade
Between what you and me had and the life I've made
She's here and she's real, but you were too
And every once in a while I think about you

I heard a song on the radio just yesterday
The same one you always asked me to play
And when the song was over I wished they'd played it again
Yes I do think about you every now and then

I love my life and I'd never trade
Between what you and me had and the life I've made
She's here and she's real, but you were too
And every once in a while I think about you

I've been layin' here all night listenin' to the rain
Talkin' to my heart and tryin' to explain
Why sometimes I catch myself
Wondering what might have been
Yes I do think about you every now and then
Every now and then Every now and then

"I'll Be" - Reba McEntire
When darkness falls upon your heart and soul.
I'll be the light that shines for you.
When you forget how beautiful you are I
'll be there to remind you.
When you can't find your way,
I'll find my way to you.
When troubles come around,
I will come to you.
I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter.
When you need someone to see you through.
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you.
The one that will hold on to you.
When you feel that rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around.
I'll be.
And when you're there with no one there to hold.
I'll be the arms that reach for you.
And when you feel your faith is running low.
I'll be there to believe in you.
When all you find are lies.
I'll be the truth you need.
When you need someone to run to .
You can run to me
I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter.
When you need someone to see you through.
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you.
The one that will hold on to you.
When you feel that rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around.
I'll be.
I'll be the sun.
When your heart's filled with rain.
I'll be the one.
To chase the rain away.
I'll be your shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
Be your shelter.
When you need someone to see you through.
I'll be there to carry you.
I'll be there.
I'll be the rock that will be strong for you.
The one that will hold on to you.
When you feel that rain falling down.
When there's nobody else around.
I'll be.
I'll be.

I Can't Unlove You - Kenny Rogers
Postcards and letters
And pictures made to last forever
To be boxed up and tossed away
Knickknacks and souvenirs
In an afternoon, they're out of here
They'll disappear without a trace
But what they mean to me
Can never be replaced

I can't unthink about you
I can't unfeel your touch
I can't unhear all the words
Unsay all the things
That used to mean so much
I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
And finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

Intesrtates and old songs
Like time they go on and on
I guess I could learn to do the same
I could wake up without you
These two arms not around you
Tell myself it's meant to be this way
No matter how I try
I can't change

I can't unthink about you
I can't unfeel your touch
I can't unhear all the words
Unsay all the things
That used to mean so much
I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
And finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

I wish I could unremember
Everything my heart's been through
And finding out it's impossible to do
Oh, oh, it's no use
I can't unlove you

My Wish - Rascal Flatts
I hope that days come easy and moments pass slow,
and each road leads you where you want to go,
and if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.

and if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
if it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,
more then anything, more then anything,

My wish, for you,
is that this life becomes all that you want it,
to your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you,
and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
all the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
and you help somebody every chance you get,

Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
and you always give more then you take.
Oh More then anything,
Yeah, and more then anything,
My wish, for you,
is that this life becomes all that you want it,
to your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

Life Ain't Always Beautiful - Gary Allan
Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down,
it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road
at the end of the day

But the struggle makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way
of takin' its sweet time

No, life ain’t always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain’t always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life ain’t always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles
And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream,
but life don’t work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has its own way
of takin' its sweet time
No, life ain’t always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life ain’t always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
Turn down the lights,
turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don't patronize -
don't patronize me

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't'
Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

I'll close my eyes, then I won't see
The love you don't feel when you're holding me
Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

Cause I can't make you love me if you don't
You can't make your heart feel something it won't
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power
But you won't, no you won't'
Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't

Bring It On Home - Little Big Town
You've got someone here
Wants to make it all right
Someone to love you more
Than I have right here
You've gotta bring it on and I'll hold you tight
A hand to lead you on through the night right here
I know your heart can get
All tangled up inside
But don't you keep it to yourself

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
When the weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me

You know I know you
Like the back of my hand
You know I'm gonna do
All that I can right here
Gonna lie with you
Till you fall asleep
When the morning comes
I'm still gonna be right here
Yes, I am
So take your worries and
Just drop them at the door
Baby, leave it all behind

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
When the weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me

Baby, let me be your safe harbor
Don't let the water come
And carry you away

When your long day is over
And you can barely drag your feet
When the weight of the world
Is on your shoulders
I know what you need
Bring it on home to me
Oh, bring it on home
Oh, bring it on home to me
Home to me
Oh, bring it on, bring it on home to me

You've got someone here wants
To make it all right
Someone who loves you more
Than life right here

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves

This will also be a “letter to the Editor” to be sent to all our my local area newspapers over the coming days….

I have two older dogs, Sam, a 15 y/o female Black Lab, and Lady, an 11 y/o female Black and Tan Coonhound. I have had the joy of the companionship and love of these two sweet girls since they were puppies.

I moved to a new home in August of 2005 in a mobile home park, which had restrictions about the size of dogs that could live there. Unfortunately, my girls are a little bit bigger than the 20 lb limit, so I couldn’t bring them with me. Fortunately and thankfully, two of my dear friends, who I have been living with up to then, gave their consent to my leaving Sam and Lady with them for the time being. I provided their food, and went to visit as often as my schedule would allow. The girls were comfortable there, in a large house, with plenty of outdoor room to play in on their lead lines, and with the company of many feline friends.

My friends, who are a retired couple, were wonderful in their love and care of Sam and Lady, and I am so very grateful for their compassion and support in keeping my girls with them for as long as they did. As time passed, it began to wear on them a little. Being retired, they want to be able to travel, and the dogs were going to pose a problem in this regard. Another issue that became apparent was that Lady (nicknamed “Booger” as a puppy due her personality) wasn’t very happy that I was no longer living there. She started acting out by peeing on the floor even after having been outside on her line for a couple of hours (in nice weather). Sam was developing bladder capacity issues (old bladder equals shorter times between having to go), and while during the day it wasn’t too much of problem as long as someone was home, this carried over to during the night, resulting in shortened and disrupted sleep times for my friends.

A couple of weeks ago, my friends told me in a very positive way that it was time for me to make other living arrangements for Lady and Sam. I knew that this was bound to happen at some point in time, and had done some inquiring at kennel facilities in my area, but wasn’t coming up with anything. So, I needed to talk with the Manager of our mobile home park, explain the situation, that I needed to bring my dogs here while I looked for another home for them. He was reluctant, but gave me permission to do so, but only for a week or two. They needed to be out by May 5th. Well, that was yesterday, and my girls are still here, and I don’t know what I’m going to do, because I can’t keep them here any longer without putting our lot lease in jeopardy.

Since they've been here, there have been no peeing incidents with Lady. So the possibility that she was "pissed off" that I wasn't there with her is a definite possibility!

I have called literally every veterinarian, animal shelter, kennel, and humane society in my area, asking for help, to no avail.

I have been told by several of these locations that my dogs are too old to even be considered for adopting out. Nobody would want to take on the responsibility of the care of dogs of their ages, because there are liable to be health problems in the next couple of years.

I was told that their advice, and my “best bet”, was to just have them euthanized, put to sleep.

I am totally stunned by this attitude, and totally heartbroken that there is apparently no other alternative.

Why is it that dealing with older animals who are healthy and lively is such a problem?

Why should they have to be put to sleep just because there is no place to care for them in their old age?

Why isn’t there such a thing as a retirement home for older domestic animals? A place where dogs and cats and other family pets could go to live when circumstances such as mine, or even the death of their human companions, leaves them with no place to live? A place that is not a cage in a kennel, but a home, complete with couches and pillows and beds. A place with safe access to the outdoors, and a caring staff of people who will be there all the time to love and care and play with them?

I don’t know what the result will be with my girls in the next few days. I am so very sad that I may very well have to put them to sleep. Because it’s not fair. They don’t deserve it.

I know one thing for sure. I am going to start working to try to establish such a place as I’ve described above. A Retirement Home for Older Domestic Companion Animals. With all the comforts of home. I’ll find a way to make this a reality, whether it’s from grant funding, winning the lottery, or finding a philanthropist somewhere who is willing to help me build this place.

If you want to help, let me know…..


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Can You Imagine?

Can You Imagine?
(For the Child in All of Us)
by Robert F. Potts

Can you imagine a world without witches,
A world with all people the same?
Where the only known dragons are hiding in books,
And children are terribly tame?
A world without magic would be sad indeed.
I cannot imagine the pain
Of having a world where there's no Santa Claus,
Where wizards are searched for in vain.

Can you imagine a world without spells,
That science and businesses run?
And think of the sadness a unicorn feels
When he no longer plays in the sun
Can you imagine a world without witches,
No elves, and no magical pools?
And can you imagine how dull it would be
If all that we had were the schools?

I cannot imagine a world without witches,
A world with no magical wand.
A world without beauty,
or even a dream,
Or a wood sprite of whom to be fond
They say I should grow up and be more mature,
Like a normal adult ought to do.
But I'd rather, at night, go to dance with a witch,
And I'll bet that you feel that way, too.

A Hymn To Transcendence

A Hymn to Transcendence

I sing of
the foundational eros
by which nothingness
is attracted to fullness,
creation to the Creator,
the human universe
to the divine milieu.

We exist to transcend
our existence.
Faith takes us
beyond cognition;
hope aspires
to a better condition;
charity is a drive
to fuller fruition

The limited beckons us
to the boundless;
the contingent postulates
the necessary;
the partial gives a glimpse
of the All.

Bewail not, then,
the condition
of creatureliness:
the sea does not complain
of the shore,
nor does the mountain envy
the sky.

Extol, therefore,
the virtues of
For, it is the humble
who achieve greatness
and the meek
who inherit the earth.

Our limit is
not a boundary,
but a connection.
We cannot exist
of ourselves
and for ourselves;
without being
we perish.

The intricate web of
coexistence and collaboration
is not a net
that fetters us in shackles.
but a springboard
that frees us for flight.

if there is nothing
beyond our mortal ken,
there is no room
for flight or fancy
and no purpose
to our dreaming
and striving.

©   Msgr. Walter Niebrzydowski
June 3, 2003

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Change That Is Long Past Due

The Change that is Long Past Due

Note; The following appeared on the United Communities of Spirit general forum as a lengthy discussion of society. It is only one small part of that discussion which ranged over a period of months.

It is clear that "the system" as it currently stands, cannot last much longer, nor can a humanity which supports it. The values of society are simply DEAD WRONG in every area of social endeavor. Humanity imagines;

1) That nature exists to serve human whims.

2) That education is for the conditioning of young minds to serve the corporate work place, rather than for the sake of enlightenment and self-evolution.

3) That humanity can break any natural law it wants to, for as long as it pleases, and not suffer grave consequences for doing so. We see examples of this in genetic engineering, environmental pollution, exhaustion of natural resources, disregard of our own body's systems, the use of deadly pesticides and herbicides, the growing and feeding of animals and crops under the most unnatural of conditions, etc.

4) We find the making of government policies of no value to anyone except a select few, under the guise of "democracy". There is absolute corruption, contradiction and hypocrisy at every level of modern institutions. Everything in this society is based upon money considerations as a top priority above all else. This of course boils down to one simple thing; The insane GREED of a dying race, trying to stave off its fear of what it hasbecome, (and its imminent death) with a security blanket of material things. Such a mind set exists to last yet another decade, year, month, day, or even just one more hour, before the inevitable collapse of this bogus paradigm.

5) There are continuous wars, political battles and false speeches, genocide, germ and chemical poisoning of populations, and daily scandals around the world. This is a spiritual crisis for humanity, not a political one.

6) There is a near total control of the public media through a handful of mega-corporations. These tell corporate lies that are designed for just two purposes;
a) to maintain "consumer confidence", (and therefore blind spending, based on artificially stimulated desires) and,
b) to ensure that a general public uprising does not occur, which would otherwise insist that the practices and policies of the world be changed for the better.

Yet, despite all this, the average person is STILL AT THIS VERY MOMENT in denial that there is even anything wrong with modern society and its values. Incredible! (and of course, quite insane). The media and "education" really have us hypnotized!

The following was a follow up on the above post…

Diane writes;
You are absolutely right. When we attempt to operate from within the system to change it, we cannot help but be conformed somewhat to the mold proscribed by it. We then, however unnoticed by us, in very subtle and insidious ways begin to think and behave according to those limits. The expansion of one's consciousness becomes limited and our spiritual growthbecomes stunted, no matter how enlightened we perceive ourselves to be--or how impervious we think we are to the effects of that association. Perhaps we could expect to be immune to the system's influence were we evolved to the point that we can walk on water or pass through walls.


My reply;

Absolutely cannot change corruption through corrupted means, and expect to rescue a dying civilization. We're choking in our own filth and decay even now, at the hands of a government that is no longer sovereign. The governments are now owned by the corporations, who become more bold in their attempts to totally control the public in anyway possible, with each day that passes. They know their empire is fading away. In their insanity, they will keep profits high, even if it means destroying what remains of the environment and buying puppet presidents like George W. They are creating apsuedo-world for the public mind to "consume". Regardless of these facts however, there are many who still naively assume that all we need to do is "get out the vote" or "write your local congressman". Others still say, "don't even look at world events, that's just feeding the negativity" and that all we need is "unconditional love", (whatever that means, on a practical basis). Clearly, nothing is going to change by virtue of the current status quo. REAL change is about choosing a completely different lifestyle and view of REALITY, than what is currently accepted.


Only the most enlightened and truly adept among us, dare step into that miasma of the cult of materialism unscathed. From this wisdom comes the saying of Jesus that those who believe will take up serpents and can drink poison without fear of harm. For the adept among us, this saying would apply on both the denser levels (i.e. material, flesh) and on the higher vibrational levels (spiritual, invisible). And even then, as you no doubt haveobserved, those few truly adept Christed ones only venture into the fringes of that strange land of false constructs for certain tasks and interventions to be performed (e.g., Jesus, Buddha, and many others of lesser fame)--for some spirit led purpose or goal.


My reply;

The psychic and material reality of our currently civilization is abysmal. And you're right, it would take a high Master such as a Christ or a Buddha to effectively change it, or even brave it unscathed. The world has a great deal of karma to deal with. There is a certain school of thought which says free will should not be tampered with anyway, and that if it is the will of the human race to finally NOT SEE THE TRUTH, or to change their materialistic ways for the better, then so be it. Under this view, it may well be the best thing for the planet, that the cancer of humanity be killed off to make room for life forms which arenot nearly as destructive. Perhaps this is what needs to happen to prove a point to a very hard headed and self indulgent humanity...that the spiritual designs of nature are what should be served by humanity, not the other way around. It may just take the complete collapse of the world economies, the fall of governments, the spread of disease, famine,war and hardship of every conceivable kind, to finally wake up the average FAT AMERICAN (and Western paradigm as a whole).


Even those of us on this forum are but spiritual babes for the most part. We have not had the spiritual knowledge or guts to venture out into the unknown territory that exists outside the "system." Therefore we rationalize that it must be done from within the system, using its venues and resources. But didn't Jesus say (and others as well in different terms) that one cannot serve both God and mammon--also he asked "what communion has righteousness with Belial?" Jesus never spoke from a religious viewpoint, but from the viewpoint of the adept who was totally conscious of the ONEness of all things and of his own oneness with his source. The previous statement was not born of doctrine, but of knowledge of truth. Another thing that Jesus said is that if our right eye offends us, we should cut it out. By this I think he meant that we should cut out of our lives anything that inhibits our growth in Truth and knowledge of the Absolute Eternal. Hmmmm . . .


My reply;

Yes, in other words as a culture we need to cut out the superficiality and destruction of materialistic values, in favor of natural and spiritual laws. It means that we don't buy the new house, fancy car, expensive suit or dress or contribute to the local cancer-producing factory and its products, in our daily lives. It means we must live simply and naturally, observing what our own bodies, and the living creatures of the good Earth are telling us. It means that we must stop telling lies for the sake of comfort, and then having the gall to callthat "spiritual" just because it placates someone’s emotional distress. The distress people are feeling around the world right now, is there for a reason. The distress that is easily perceived by each of us every day contains a message. This message is very simply, "follow natural law or die". I think most people would still, even now, rather die than changea thing. They would rather gossip and focus on the trivial then speak of joint action. So be it.


An aside to the group at large: There are some of us in this community who seem to think that others of us advocate the overthrow of government. Since I have been part of this community I have NEVER seen such a statement by anyone. I HAVE read that some would encourage us to forsake the false constructs of religion and government and even so-called social activism in order to promote the proliferation of truth. Poor Matthew, who is oftenmisunderstood, I think has this rep among some in the community-- totally undeserved!! And I have never seen that any one of us has ever advocated changing the world by violent means. Those of us who promote anarchy of sorts promote that anarchy that is called "peace". It is a separation of oneself out from the influences of the world system in order to grow in spirit. Then to take what one has learned and share it with those who are lead tolisten and utilize it. But we make little progress when we do little but spout jargon and spiritual catch phrases. To those outside our community this seems shallow and superfluous—and hypocritical also when we do not WALK what we TALK. When little orno power is manifested in our lives--or when they see us living by the world's ways, what example is that?


My reply;

My question is, "ok, so what if someone DID advocate the overthrow of the existing government"? So what? Have Americans forgotten how their own country was started? And I definitely "encourage us to forsake the false constructs of religion and government and even so-called social activism in order to promote the proliferation of truth". Yes, absolutely so.


We are not really making progress when we go to this therapist and that therapist seeking magic herbal potions and energy work and are always having someone work on us to improve us from without. One's best guru is his inner self. Aren't we living by the world's ways when we have a "business" of metaphysics and there are alternative paraphernalia and book shops sprouting up everywhere and we spend scads of money on books and therapies and follow first this guru and that guru. Again we are hooked. The world's way is to distract us from our own inner journey and convince us that we are in need of help from others, that we are helpless to reach in and dig out our own inner garbage on our own --and that we should pay somehow for that service. Early on in my metaphysical studies, myson said something to me that stuck like glue--something that is a simple truth that I have not been able to toss off with any rationalization. He said simply that he didn't believe that truth could be bought and that it was not right for one to disseminate truth for a fee. Of course, when we need help from one another, we should seek it -- and it should be freely offered. At the same time, I believe there comes a time that reading and study andtherapies and crystals and energy work and mind treatments become either distractions from the inner journey or things that enable us to indulge in thoughts that are self-defeating in our search for truth. Such thoughts, thoughts that keep us looking outward, arethe bane of the spirit.
Love and peace and clarity to all,
Sunny One Diana


My reply;

Diana, you really clarified here a major flaw in modern thinking. We do indeed, as a culture, give all our power to outside forces. Our "experts" and institutions are given credence under the assumption that they know what is good for us, better than we do . What they knowis how to keep things as they decay. What we know as individuals, is that all the personal power we need is centered within. But to find it and make use of it, requires a consistent seriousness of life view, that does not assume the truth is whatever you want to make up, and that life is just a game to be played , "to get what you can while you can". This is not the purpose of life. Life is NOT A GAME, and it has rules which exists whether humanity likes that fact or not. Life exists to extend spiritual purposes and designs. This is the motive behind biological evolution. We can either apply ourselves individually and en masse to that evolutionary purpose, or we can choose to destroy ourselves, in self-induced foolishness. That's our choice as individuals. If we do not choose the right path as already determined by nature, then we get exactly what we deserve...death and suffering on ever increasing scales, until not one human is left to walk the face of the Earth.

The World Mind Society

Monday, March 27, 2006

In Praise of Difficult Women... Then And Now

In praise of difficult women - then and now
Rachel Buchman is the managing editor of Dragonfire, Drexel University's online magazine for news and culture.

Vashti is the anti-heroine of the Jewish holiday Purim, which took place this year on March 14. It's a fun holiday full of costume parties and much drinking in celebration of the Jews' escape from a death plot in ancient Persia. The traditional heroine of the story is Queen Esther, who saves her people by revealing her Jewish identity to her husband, King Achashverosh, putting herself in grave personal danger. Vashti is the king's first wife, whom he tosses out of the palace when she embarrasses him by refusing to dance before his counselors.
March is also Women's History Month, a time to reflect on the status of women. One of the challenges that stirs my feminist ire is the soft sexism so ingrained in our society, hard to detect and harder to root out. Often, strong women such as Vashti get pigeonholed as pushy. But I wanted to see what would happen if Vashti were made the heroine of Purim.
Picture Vashti, rhumba hips, no deodorant. She likes her grapes, her figs, her slave boys. The King is a fool. Somebody has to run the castle. Who's going to write the edicts, schedule the cleaning, plan menus, arrange marriages, and demand those special olives his majesty likes so much?
Vashti is chillin' with her ladies while the men are out back barbecuing. The women are lying on silk pillows, being rubbed down with oils, being fanned by eunuchs - it's a pretty good party, even if they hadn't invented appletinis yet. Then in comes the king's posse, demanding Vashti come dance for the guests. She isn't having it. She refuses. She is replaced.
She is... difficult.
When I was a kid, my grandfather used to say, "Rachel don't let no one spit in her cereal." I was difficult then and I'm difficult now. "Don't be difficult," my mother would sigh as I kicked and screamed. Now I walk down the street, glorious and free in the new spring air, delighted at the breeze tickling my arm hair, the back of my exposed neck. But with the fine weather comes the bugs and the thugs. Forget whistling and off-color remarks; this one guy couldn't even form a complete sentence. "Legs!" he shouted as I walked by in my first skirt of the season. "Very good," I wanted to say. "You can correctly identify body parts." But I heard it in the back of my head: "Don't be difficult."
Well, I want to be difficult. My favorite women are difficult. Look at Rosa Parks. I can just hear her mother saying, "Just find a seat in the back of the bus, Rosa. Don't be difficult." But she was difficult - a pain, and look where it has brought us.
My mother - she of the warnings - man, was she difficult. And she got it from her mother, who came to this country on her grandmother's dime. My grandmother went to business school in secret. She got married, divorced the guy when he wouldn't let her work, and started her own nursing home. How's that for difficult?
So this is my ode to all the fat actresses, wicked witches, and sluts. For Martha Stewart and biblical Leah, who would not marry second. For my sister, who got her Ph.D. when no one thought she was smart enough.
And to all the women who won't straighten their curly hair, or dye it blonde, or diet. For all the women who won't brighten their teeth or lift their breasts. For all the women who would rather read than clean, run than shop, eat than starve. For all the women who aren't afraid to choose themselves. Thank you for being difficult!
Vashti would not dance. So she gets replaced by Barbie - I mean, Esther - and the king sends a decree to every household in the land "that every man shall be master in his home." So ushers in the era of easy Esther. We never hear from Vashti again, beautiful, beguiling bitch. I wonder what happened to her. Did she have to sell her body? Was there some home for banished queens? Or did she open up a bar someplace in Persia - best lamb kebabs and apricot nectar in town - dance when she wanted, take all the money, all the young serving boys, all the credit? I think she did. After all, she was just that difficult.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're Wine or Cheese

Age Doesn’t Matter Unless You’re Wine or Cheese…..

Ah, yes, but there is definitely a certain amount of joy to be found in it regardless.  It all depends upon attitude and vision of self.  I definitely know what a wide range of joy there is to experience these days, and I’d like to share some of that with you.  

What’s the reason for this today?  Simple.  Tomorrow, 3/24, I am Celebrating my 50th birthday!  Yes, I said 50.  I’m happy about it, pretty near to ecstatic about it, and proud of it to boot.  It is a milestone in so many ways:  Middle age; I can join the AARP; I can join the Red Hat Ladies Society…  LOL!

There are definitely days when my body enjoys reminding me that I am 50, but that’s mostly when my Fibromyalgia decides to flare up, and that’s usually due to my trying to do all the things I used to do when I was a whole lot younger.  Key to dealing with that?  Adequate sleep, and a properly balanced diet.  Oh, and maybe easing up on trying to do everything all by myself (like moving furniture).   Attitude adjustment?  Definitely!  It’s okay to ask for help, even for stubborn Aries people like me.  

I believe that the main thing that is helping me stay young in spirit is love and joy, and looking for it and finding it in all its different aspects every day.   I know that there is really nothing I can’t do, as long as I believe that I can, and more importantly as long as what I do is for the right reasons.  

So, my joys?  My celebration of life is because of…

… of my fiancé and partner, Ron…. Thank you for sharing your love with me and believing in me and us…
…My Heart Sisters who are always with me in my heart and soul <and in my head too! LOL>  I am so very honored and grateful to be able to share this walk with you, and I love each of you so very much…
…My work, both mundane and spiritual, which allows me to help and guide other people to see…
… My Goddess and God, for being there for me when life was dark, and showing me the way to this path…

So tomorrow, I get to sleep in (no alarm clocks), I’m getting my ears pierced again, I get to spend the day with my Love, and then go out for dinner with some dear friends, and I might even get a bit of a hair cut… Oh, don’t worry, I’m not chopping it off, just revitalizing it a bit!  

My wish for all of you today… May you find joy in your lives.  It IS there, all you have to do is look for it and see what it really is.  


Monday, March 20, 2006

Freedom of The Spirit

Freedom of the Spirit by Owen Waters
True freedom is the ability to express who you are through a natural flow of love and creativity.
It’s an Inside Job
Freedom is first gained within your consciousness. Then, because your outer life always reflects that which is within, you gain freedom in all aspects of your life.
Often, much of this potential flow of authentic life experience is reduced by inner blockages. These blockages of the natural flow of love and creativity are formed by the fear-based emotions that come with the challenges of human existence.
Fear is the common factor underlying all disharmonious emotions. For example, fear of inadequacy can lead to jealousy and hatred, fear of lack can generate an over-reaction of greed, while fear of being overwhelmed by life’s challenges can lead to control issues.
Welcome to Planet Earth
When you are born into the human race, you arrive with your own, self-made, personal life plan. This plan includes a list of the personal and societal issues that you intend to work through during this lifetime. Your carefully made plan includes the location and surroundings of your birth as well as your choice of parents. It also includes the friends and associates that you will be likely to meet as your life unfolds.
The personal and societal issues that we adopt in our lives today are generally based upon the consciousness of separation, or duality rather than unity. For example, one issue being worked through today is equality of the sexes. The Old Reality of separation consciousness demanded separation of the power of the sexes into societies based on either matriarchy or patriarchy. The New Reality, into which we are shifting, requires an equality of the sexes; an integration of that which was formerly separated into two. Every woman and every man today is playing some part in this massive societal adjustment towards equality of the sexes.
As the purpose of the entire human experience is to work through and transform such issues, it is appropriate that we seek an elegant solution to all of these fear-based issues. When enough people pass through the gateway into freedom of the spirit, then the hundredth monkey phenomenon will click in and, suddenly, the whole world will wonder why it hadn’t seen such an easy solution all along.
The Shift to the New Reality is a shift to heart-centered and heart-powered consciousness. Society is building up to a critical mass where consciousness will flip from ‘you versus me’ to ‘you and me,’ a shift from competition to mutual cooperation. Every day, more and more people are making this shift to heart-powered consciousness. With a little inner work, these individual transitions to the New Reality happen sooner and more easily.
Dissolving Blockages to Love
Inner work, primarily, means daily meditation. When you make meditation your number one priority each and every day, then you are putting in the time that it takes to transform those societal issues within yourself and to work through your own challenges.
During meditation, you also connect to a wider range of your own consciousness. The deeper layers of your own consciousness can provide you with insights that literally catapult you out of issue-based blockages. As you allow these blockages to dissolve into the light of spiritual consciousness, you become free to express your true nature and to follow your inner joy.
Spiritual study helps adapt your mind to expanded views of reality. There is a recommended reading list of modern spiritual classics on this web site.
The Illusion of Fear
Some concepts in spiritual philosophy also help along this journey into freedom of the spirit. For example, love and fear seem to act like two opposite poles of mankind’s duality consciousness. Actually, from the viewpoint of unity, love is all there is and fear is an illusion which detracts from the natural flow of love through you. Love is a basic component of the original Creator consciousness that fills the universe. Love, therefore, is always available and ready to flow naturally through your heart. You do not have to earn it or demand it, just let it flow.
Allowance and Acceptance
Another key philosophy in gaining freedom is “Live and let live.” When you allow other people to be the way they are, your energy is not absorbed in anyone’s futile dramas. Instead, you are able to use all of your energy to follow your joy and help make the world a better place. You can recognize, love, and accept the inner essence of every person you know, regardless of their outward behavior or how much it may seem to need improvement. It is this unconditional love which heals the world, person by person, and there is no shortage of its supply.
Acceptance of yourself is also vital. Accept who you are now, unimproved, with your current motivations and be thankful that you are exactly who you are. You planned to adopt a certain package of feelings and circumstances in your journey through life. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with you at any point along the journey. Things that appear to need improvement are challenges, not faults, so enjoy the ride and gain the most from the experiences that you came to explore. For example, the inventor, Thomas Edison, carried out over 6,000 experiments before perfecting the first electric light bulb, but he never referred to any of those experiments as failures. Instead, he called each one a step closer to success.
Gaining Freedom of the Spirit
Freedom from fear-based emotions allows true, unconditional love to flow through your heart and true creativity to fill your mind as you pursue your deepest inner joy.
When you see fear as the hollow illusion that it is and allow your heart to open to everyone in your life, then your actions are influenced, not by fear, but by your unconditional love for the people around you and, equally, for yourself. Unconditionally loving yourself means allowing yourself to develop loving relationships where mutual cooperation, not competition or contention, becomes your daily reality.
People’s greatest fears melt away in the face of heart-powered, inner awareness. Your intuitive insight is your connection to the part of your mind that knows each situation, even before it occurs. When you listen to that still, small voice within, you know where you need to be and when. With intuitive insight, you will never become caught up in unfortunate events that are not of your making. For example, if an aircraft is destined to crash, you simply won’t be on it. If you need information to bring yourself back to health, you will know where to find the answers that are the best for you. Even the fear of loneliness will never cloud your heart because, with love in your heart, you will never be left wanting for good company. 
Love and insight will pour from your heart if you let them. Give yourself the gift of true freedom, the freedom to express who you are through a natural flow of love and creativity.
This article was written by Owen Waters, author of "The Shift: The Revolution in Human Consciousness"

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) – Don Miguel Ruiz

Everything we do is based on agreements we have made - agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth."

In this powerful book that has remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for over five years,Don Miguel reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. When we are ready to change these agreements, there are four deceptively simple, yet powerful agreements that we can adopt as guiding principles. The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you wonít be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Surviving The Spiritual Gauntlet

Surviving the Spiritual Gauntlet
By Aluna Joy

Center of the SUN ~ EQUINOX UPDATE

Having entered the first few days of March, it has become quite apparent that we have hit some really powerful energy. I have been watching Equinoxes over the past 12 years, and they just seem to be getting more and more powerful. I have been having powerful visions/dreams... and nightmares (unusual for me) where I see dark beings rising up from the underworld, and I fight to stop them. The last couple of nights I could not tell if I was still here, or if I had crossed over to the next world. I can feel my nervous system getting re-wired or short circuited . . . it is hard to tell which in this moment. Some of the pieces that I have collected over the last 20 years are just now coming together. All this makes me feel like everything is about to change. I wonder sometimes how we can endure the rise in intensity. But somehow we do.

The entire month of March, that surrounds the Equinox, will be an intense emotional roller coaster month. We will feel far more sensitive to the world. Things might seem so dark that we wonder if we can survive this time. Many people have been having unfounded fears of dying or that the world is ending. Will this shift be comfortable? NO! But will we emerge Masters of it? Absolutely YES! We are going to get really clear about what is not working any more to the point that we will be forced to make many shifts in our lives to continue on. The world is going to change. Our lives are going to change. We cannot tolerate the injustices and misuses of energy and power in this world anymore.

This month is beginning to really look like what I would call a Global Dark Night of the Soul. This sounds really scary, but it is not. "Dark Night of the Soul," by nature is deliberately transformative. It feels like death on all levels. While we may feel battered and worn in the transformation, realize that our Spirits are being tempered in the process. It is MOST IMPORTANT to surrender and trust the process. These unrelenting and intense times help us build spiritual strength by showing us our weak spots. It shows us where we are becoming Masters in our lives. This is a necessary step for our ability to evolve into the 5th Dimension. What a great opportunity for all of us!

It will be imperative at this time of powerful energy, coupled with the Equinox, to be helpful and cooperative with each other. Be good to each other. Love each other. Help each other. This is the beginning of the new world and the birth of a new community. We are the baby chicks struggling to get out of the egg, the caterpillar fighting its way out of the cocoon. The birthing process is hard, but well worth the effort. We are not going to give up. We are about to bust free of the limitations that we have tolerated for way too long. The time is so close now... the times are so powerful... We are letting go of this world...

This Equinox is going to be emotionally challenging for most all of us, but it will also prepare us for the entire year of huge transformation and spiritual awakening. This awakening cannot be stopped. I'll bet you have tried top stop it so you could be comfortable, at one time or another. It is not going to work this time. This is a time of breakdowns, losses and dissolving old paradigms on all levels. This is a time of great opportunity. We can't build a new temple without tearing down the old one. It is time to get brave... get out the spiritual work clothes and do the work. The two eclipses in the month of March will light up any shadows in your back closet that you have yet to clean out. Eclipses shine light into our own darkness. On March 14th there is a Full Moon lunar eclipse which will trigger even more emotional tidal waves.

In these most powerful times, it is very helpful to give yourself time in a sacred place in nature. Sacred places, like mountain tops and temple sites, hold and support higher frequencies, so the transformation comes much easier and with more clarity. If you can get away sometime in the month of March, especially around Equinox, it will ease the transition considerably. Also, high altitudes (over 7000 feet), forks in rivers, waterfalls, the oceans (silicone beach sand can elevate the issues), or deep deserts can clear our heads and lighten the heart.

This is a time where our Spirits are being tested to reach and maintain a higher level of impeccability and personal mastery. Becoming Masters is not about avoiding our feelings and emotions, but mastering how we react to them, no matter what the outer circumstances. Not feeling our emotions is flat lining. We are here to LIVE. So feel the issues, do not take them personally, and rise above them and help those around you. I send you Love and Blessings and will again while in the Maya Lands for Equinox.

Aluna Joy's Website

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Personal Environment Impact Statement

This is from the Proteus Coven’s website, posted here with permission.

About the personal environmental impact statement

by Mevlannen Beshderen and Judy Harrow

Pagans worship the Goddess, Mother Earth. We might call our spiritual path Earth religion, or nature mysticism, or geocentric spirituality, as well as calling it neo-Paganism. All of these terms have been used. Our core spiritual practice is applied Immanence, seeking the Sacred, the source of ultimate meaning and value, in this life, in these bodies, on this Earth, here and now. If religion means re-connection, restoring the linkage between belief and behavior, then surely Nature religion must involve living in a loving and reverent relationship with the Earth.

Practicing what you preach literally brings your belief system to life. Any ritual or worship is a meaningless exercise unless we also walk our talk. Our Mother Earth, who is in a life-threatening crisis, needs our authenticity. So to make our love and worship real, we work for Her protection and healing, as our own best talents lead us. How can we do less? We are, after all, Her children, and we know that our lives are entirely dependent on Hers.

Thinking things through

Effective work requires understanding. For this reason, our group's training program includes a dose of plain old nature study. Moreover, if we are acting in a religious way, acting in full congruence with our geocentric values, we can't engage in activism or public advocacy, in trying to tell others what to do, until we have cleaned up our own acts first. Only when we have understood, and taken responsibility for our own direct impact on the Earth, will our words ring true on all levels.

What we learn about our own effects on the Earth from this exercise in self assessment will help guide us as we reduce, reuse, recycle and, most basic of all, rethink.

The Rede requires us to think through the expected, and unexpected-yet-possible, consequences of our actions, and as much as possible to avoid doing what would predictably cause harm. Of course we know that no one can completely and absolutely avoid doing harm to something, somewhere, by any of our actions. We do the best we can to foresee the probabilities, and yet there is always some unexpected side-effect of our best-intentioned actions. There are also those terrible times when the best we can hope to do is still just the lesser evil. Of course, we are responsible for even the unintended consequences of our actions, in the sense of being obliged to do whatever we can to set things right. We are also responsible for making our extrapolations as accurate as possible.

Personal environmental impact analysis

One of our geocentric training exercises is for each of us to do a personal environmental impact analysis, to explore our own impact on the Earth and to identify some feasible and sustainable ways in which we might lighten that impact. This exercise is personal because the only thing we can actually control is our own behavior; it is also truly collective because no human stands alone on the Earth. All the ways we affect the Earth, for good and for ill, happen in interaction with other people. We are also responsible for the indirect results of our choices. Although we may never even have seen a strip mine, if we roast the Thanksgiving turkey in a disposable aluminum roaster, we support them.

Creating a personal environmental impact statement may seem at first to be a daunting task. We can make it much more approachable if we break it up into chunks and first look at each chunk separately. Later, we can combine these chunks to get a sense of the total impact.

A good choice for the first chunk is to examine how our rites themselves effect the environment. If ever we should cherish and protect the Mother, it's during those rituals in which we profess to worship Her. So, both as an example of how to look at any part of our lives, and because of the symbolic importance of this part, let's look together at the nitty-gritty practical effects of our rites on Mother Earth.

Environmental audits for your rituals

Consider the paths by which your ritual consumables came to you -- the candles from the oil refinery and cotton mill, the charcoal from the sawmill, the salt from an underground mine or a seaside bittern pond, the cakes and wine from a wheatfield and vineyard.

Candles and charcoals are a good example, since most of us are acutely aware of how often they need to be replaced. Mevlannen reminisces:

Back when my first group was starting out, we used second-hand candles from the nearby Catholic parish, whose janitor sold them to us for a dollar a bag. We were always amazed that our Catholic neighbours tossed out their candles after one morning's use: there were still many hours' burning left in them. So long as we were getting our candles so cheaply (at less than five cents apiece) we were happy to burn lots of them. After all, the Lady had Herself told us that She liked candles, lots of candles.

But when we moved to Vancouver, our handy source of candles was no more, and we soon realized that we were going through several dollars worth of candles in an evening -- and this was in the days when we could get good candles at five-for-a-dollar. In our new, smaller covenstead we also noticed that the candles (and our altar charcoal) made our ritual room perceptibly warmer, and we greeted the end of our Circles with great anticipation since that meant we could open the windows and breathe sweet, oxygen-rich, fresh air. So, although we were doing the Lady's bidding by burning candles in Her honour, we were also replacing oxygen with carbon dioxide at a fair clip.

As we found out, a more efficient means of obtaining a steady illuminating flame in Circle is the oil lamp. The efficiency comes partly from the fact that the fuel in a lamp, being a liquid, does not need to be melted before it can be burned (thus increasing the productive ratio of light to heat), and the larger diameter of lamp-wick as compared with candle-wick reduces the amount of convective cooling of the luminous flame, thus increasing overall light production per unit of fuel consumed. As an environmental fringe benefit, lamps can be set up to burn vegetable oil (from a renewable, botanical source) as well as the more usual mineral oil (from a non-renewable, geological source).

Now, what is the charcoal made of? What does burning it take from the air and what does it release?

Consider the environmental costs

Do you know exactly what was entailed in the production and transport of your altar tools? Your athame probably started out as iron ore from an open-pit iron mine in Australia or Labrador, then after a long journey by train and ship it went to a blast furnace and a rolling mill, and then on to a foundry or possibly a machine shop. In the course of that journey from the mine to the store where you bought it, the athame (if made from rolled steel) probably required the use of 900 times its own volume in cooling water alone, and twice its volume in raw iron ore, three times its volume in limestone and twice its volume in coal. An athame made of silver or some other exotic material would have required even greater amounts of raw material, some of which -- like the cooling water -- could be recycled, and some of which like the coal and limestone, was lost forever as carbon dioxide and slag. You can perform this sort of analysis of benefits and environmental costs for each of your magical tools and consumables.

Consider what sort of trade-offs you'd be willing to make

Perhaps you have your heart set on candles instead of lamps for the Quarters and Center -- but have you considered using candle lanterns, which reduce wax consumption by shielding the candle flame from draughts? Beeswax candles are more expensive, but they are not made from irreplaceable petroleum. How do you feel about the use of highly-machined brass castings, with their attendant manufacturing waste, in your candle lanterns?

Having done your analysis of the environmental impacts of your Circles, you might wish to move on to consider your other magical work. Do you do a lot of record keeping or write rituals for your group? If you do, are you using recycled paper? Do you recycle the paper you use for drafts? Consider keeping a stock of high-quality scratch paper by your printer or copier, and using the back sides of the sheets for running out drafts.

Another thing we do a lot of is travel to attend gatherings or Circles. It never fails to amaze us how many people come alone in their own automobiles, when they could just as readily be car-pooling. If you use a car, did you shop for energy efficiency and pollution control, as well as for safety? Do you maintain it well-tuned? When you change the oil, where does the old oil go? Better yet, work towards holding gatherings and public rites at a place which can be reached by train or bus. The Earth will thank you, and so will your fellow-travelers.

Now, having taken stock of the impacts of your religious activity, consider the other areas of your life.

Some simple questions to ask yourself

  • What do I pour down my toilet or into a storm-drain?

  • What is the effect on the body of water (usually a stream or lake) that receives that drainage?

  • Did I need to use, and then dispose of, that liquid in the first instance? If you need to use paint thinner, for example, consider using turpentine (which comes from trees, and is therefore potentially a renewable resource as well as being readily biodegradable thanks to its botanical origin).

  • What about energy?

  • Do you know how the energy you use is produced?

  • Are you careful in how you use it?

  • Is your home well-insulated, and your refrigerator regularly defrosted?

  • If you use battery-operated equipment, what do you do with the highly-toxic dead batteries?
These are just a few examples of the way in which you can look at things in your life, and assess their environmental impact.

Now, probe further

  • What do you buy, and why?

  • What are the side-effects of its use?

  • What happens when you throw it away (must you, really?), or try to re-use or re-cycle it?

  • If you have any investments, are they in Earth-friendly industries or technologies?

  • Even more important, how do you think you can realistically and sustainably reduce your personal impact on the environment?

  • What can you realistically and sustainably do that would actively contribute to Her well-being?

  • In the suburbs, can you compost your kitchen trash?

  • In the City, could you commit to the care of one street tree or turn out for a community "clean the park" day?

  • Can you join (or start) an environmental club or committee in your area, where neighbors work together to protect and heal their own part of Mother Earth?

  • Can you write letters to your legislators in support of strong environmental laws?

  • If you have children, are you giving them opportunities to learn about nature?

  • Above all, are you consistently acting from love and care for the Earth, so your children can learn from your example?
Your personal environmental impact statement belongs in your developmental journal. It's an exercise you should probably repeat every few years, to monitor your own progress. If you're in a group, you may want to try writing up your findings in the form of a chart or diagram and sharing it at a meeting. We can all learn from each others' good ideas.

Remember this: we profess an Earth religion; we should therefore concern ourselves with the well-being of the Earth. A personal environmental impact statement is one tool that can help us focus that concern into practical, immediate action. By understanding Her better, we can serve Her better. By serving Her, we make our love real.

written by: Mevlannen Beshderen and Judy Harrow
updated: July 28, 2000; © 1998, 2000 by the authors in trust for the Wicca
the address of this page is:

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ethics... Part I

Ethics… Part I

Referring back to a previous article, “Energy Shifts and The Balance”, humanity is definitely experiencing problems at the present time. Ethics, to me, is the area which is being most severely compromised. The resultant “ripple effect” is evident on a planetary scale. Individual ethics are damaged, spreading out to families, local communities, states, countries, continents, the world. It’s almost as if we’ve reverted to an “I, Me, Mine” mentality, the survival of the one, but not necessarily the fittest.

The energy transmitted by people who are concerned only with their own welfare and best interests transmutes into the plant and animal world, and then into the planetary energy fields. Energy follows thought, remember?

Focusing a life path with that particular concept in mind makes me reluctant to pursue bringing attention to what’s going on around us. What energy gets sent to grows and flourishes. I certainly do not want the current events to continue. However, an essential part of being able to make corrections to an event, circumstance or condition is first and foremost identifying all of the combined elements involved. What’s going on? Is this good/positive or bad/negative? What/who does it affect? How does it affect? What can/should be done? How can/should it be done? Is this my personal “stuff” that is making me view this as bad or negative? Is my reaction based on putting my own best interests first, or does it come from a place of wanting what is for the best and highest good of all?

Being a Witch and following a Pagan Spiritual Path has led me over the years to working with area groups and organizations, with my primary goal being helping people to grow and become the best that they can be. Part of that is finding commonality and making connections that foster understanding and promote unity. My personal path is an eclectic one, blending aspects of Wicca, Druidry, Celtic, Native American and Kabbalistic practices.

One of the tenets, possibly the main one, of Wicca is “An’ it harm none, do as ye will”. The modern day ‘translation’ or applied phrase is “For the good of All, and the harm of none.”

Pertaining to Druidry, “Athelia Nihtscada turns to Irish source material to explore Druid ethics. The old Brehon laws, which were recorded by Christian clerics in the 5th century CE, pre-dated Christianity and offer a fascinating insight into early Irish society. By studying these laws and seeing how they might be applicable to modern living, Nihtscada has articulated eleven principles or codes of conduct for the contemporary Druid:

1. Every action has a consequence that must be observed and you must be prepared to compensate for your actions if required.
2. All life is sacred and all are responsible for seeing that this standard is upheld.
3. You do still live in society and are bound by its rules.
4. Work with high standards.
5. Make an honest living.
6. Be a good host as well as a good guest.
7. Take care of yourself. (Health was held in high esteem amongst the Celts, so much that a person could be fined for being grossly overweight due to lack of care.)
8. Serve your community.
9. Maintain a healthy balance of the spiritual and mundane. (Nihtscad writes: ‘Ethical and self respecting Druids did nothing without being properly schooled or aware of the consequences ahead of time. They knew when it was appropriate to visit the Otherworld and immerse themselves in the spiritual as well as when it was appropriate to be fully in this world.’)
10. Uphold the Truth, starting with yourself. 11. Be sure in your convictions, particularly when judging or accusing someone, but also when debating. Ask yourself: are you really sure? Do you really know that this is the case?”
** From The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, Ethics and Values in Druidism;amp;name=PagEd&file=index&topic_id=1&page_id=50

Modern Day Native American Spirituality follows for the most part the Christian tenet of The Golden Rule “Do until others as you would have them do unto you”, and hold that all beings (man, animal, plant, earth) are sacred. This appears to be common to at least the Jewish Kabbalistic traditions also.

If you go to, their page on “Shared Belief in the “Golden Rule”: Ethics of Reciprocity”, shows pretty much the same philosophy among the majority of what are considered the “major” world religions.

Now that we’ve reviewed that information, I’ll continue on…

So, in our current world, we have events occurring and circumstances coming into existence which, in view of what is claimed to be held sacred by spiritual traditions (I like that word better than “religions”) around the world, go totally against the “grain”. Warfare, chaos, killing, theft, assault, deceit, the disintegration of families, lying, environmental decimation, the promotion of self above others… all are in direct and undeniable conflict with these tenets. And yet it goes on and on and on.

It has been said “people are people”, and that all of these things are “part of what being human is about”. I’m not seeing much positive there.

From The Virtues Project

Simple Ways to Create a Culture of Character

How many of these are traits or characteristics that really and truly exist within humanity today? I know that there are many people who, on an individual level, strive to be able to claim these attributes as part of their being. (There are, unfortunately, days when it just simply doesn’t work, but not for lack of trying.)

Is this what is happening? No.

I hear a voice saying, “There’s no trying to it. Do it”. If we all could “do” everything we wanted to perfectly, without any missteps, we’d be perfect beings, and there’d be no learning, no growing, no evolving. My perspective here is that trying your best is the goal, give it your best shot, to the best of your ability, with best interests and the highest possible good as the intention and goal.

Again, is this what is happening? No.

To take it down to the simplest level possible, people do not truly care about anyone or anything except themselves.

- Don’t care about the vitality and health of our planet – how much of our existing natural resources can we possible use up and how much damage can we do to our environment so that companies and individual people can make money and get rich? Yes, climate change is real, it’s a fact that it’s happening.

- Don’t care about the vitality and health of individual nations – another country doesn’t “do things” the way we think they should, so we wage war against them to get them to conform to our views, killing innocent people and destroying cultures in the process. Or they have something that we want (oil), so we’ll come up with the best possible excuses, or outright lie about it, for attacking them.

- Don’t care about the people who live within our country – send money and aid all over the world, while our own economy suffers, people lose their jobs and homes, and end up living on the streets, starving. Cut the budget for essential services for the people, and transfer it to the military or into the pockets of big business.

- Don’t care about people in communities – they don’t hold the exact same religious beliefs, they’re not the same color, so they’re wrong and they’re bad. Do as I say, not as I do. Criticize, ostracize, condemn, attack what someone else does because it’s different, without learning the truth about them from them.

- Don’t care about animals – get a pet, then don’t take proper care of it, or just decide that it’s too much of a problem and then dump it out on a street or road somewhere, leaving it to fend for itself or die. Pets are a huge responsibility, regardless of the size. Puppies and kittens and other baby animals are so very cute, but they do grow up!

- Don’t care about families – I’m sorry, but this one is a real tough one for me. Kids acting the way they act these days is the responsibility of no one but the parents. Kids are not taught what is right or wrong, they’re not taught respect, discipline, or proper behavior, and these are family issues that have to be taught at home, not in schools.

- Don’t care about individuals – what can I do to help/promote me; how can I get what I want with a minimal amount of effort; I want what someone else has, so I’ll just take it; someone else is getting all the attention that I want, so I’ll take credit for what they’ve done. Well, I’m all in favor of personal growth, getting a better job, a nicer house, etc. But I will not do something that will intentionally hurt another person. I believe in earning what I get, whether it’s a better job, an education, a nice home, or recognition within my community because I did a good job on my part of a project or event.

Do you see the pattern here? Are you beginning to see where this is going?

To Be Continued…….