We are cutting out early to go and express our right to vote!
We hope you take time today to let your voice be heard!
‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler
It is written that where there’s a will there’s a way. If s desire is sincere and the results are for the good of everyone, the first giant steps have already been taken. American clergyman Joel Hawes has been quoted, “You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world, and you will be something – ‘I cannot’ never accomplishes anything; ‘I will try’ has wrought wonders.”
A positive attitude can be one of the greatest joys to experience. To begin a day by willing everything good, and meeting any obstacle with the idea that it has no power, can make some of the most sudden and drastic changes in anyone’s life.
To be something or someone is one of the strongest desires, but it does mean sacrifices of doubt and apprehension and feeling sorry for ones-self. It means laughing instead of lamenting. It means thinking positively and speaking good words.
It is said that a great deal of talent is lost in this world for the want of a little courage. We often think of courage as the kind that wins wars and braves new fronts. But there is another plain, ordinary kind of courage that helps us face our everyday problems.
There is a surprising lack of this kind of courage, and it leads us to seek ways to dodge our responsibilities. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to face everything and everyone and take a firm stand for what we believe. It takes courage to admit we have weaknesses and needs that we must overcome. It is a daily fight to follow the right road when the wrong one looks so smooth. And it takes courage to believe, when obstacles face us.
God has given courage to each of us, for strength to overcome is available to all who are courageous in asking for help to be courageous.
Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.
Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet:
Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org
Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 6
“It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives.”
–He Dog, OGLALA LAKOTA
The women bring us into this life and nurture us as we grow up. When we reach our manhood, she supports us and sings the songs to help the family grow. The Elders say we must look at the woman in a sacred way. We must realize how special her powers are in brining forth life. The woman will bring balance to a man. The woman will help him see. It is said, behind every successful man is a supporting woman. Maybe we should examine how we are thinking about women. The Great Spirit says we should honor them. Are we respecting and honoring our women today?
Grandmother, Grandfather thank you for our women. Today, let me honor them.
November 6 – Daily Feast
Autumn sunshine warms the woods and brings out the elusive woodchuck to sleep in a rock slanted toward the sun. The downy woodpecker thumps on a hollow tree and a doe huffs as she slides her hooves through a carpet of autumn leaves, This is the season of mellow fruitfulness when seed fluffs drift on the breezes, and grasses colored rose and beige bend and bob. Whether it is nature or human nature, it is a time of subtle changes, a time when geese take to the southern skyways and man tries to predict the severity of winter. But back of it all is a loving Spirit who tells us to be anxious for nothing.
~ So why do you ask us to leave the rivers and the sun and the wind and live in houses? ~
PARRA-WA-SAMEN – COMANCHE WARRIOR CHIEF
‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
If you’ve done poorly, you can now do better. If you’ve done well, you can now do even better than that.
Every moment is an opportunity for improvement. Every day is your chance to make good and meaningful use of your wealth of experience.
There is a beauty within you that longs to be expressed more fully and more richly than ever before. No matter what has already happened, that beauty is more compelling than ever, and now is when you can bring it to life.
Look out at the ocean, look up at the night sky, or listen to the sounds of nature during a walk through the woods. Feel your very real connection with all that is, and feel the immense positive possibilities for true fulfillment.
This is not a time to get caught up in trivialities. This is your moment to experience the wonder of existence in a magnificent and abundant universe.
Live like it matters, because it very much does matter. All of life is depending on you to live with everything you have, and now is your time to do so.
— Ralph Marston
Aligning Actions and Words
Words carry a lot of weight in this world, from how we say them to what we say with them, but it is through our actions that we bring things into being. This is what we mean when we say to one another that actions speak louder than words. In many cases, what we say doesn’t necessarily line up with what we are doing, and it is here that it becomes clear that it’s easier to talk about doing something than it is to actually do something. At the same time, it’s easy to keep doing something that we don’t necessarily acknowledge ourselves doing verbally. It’s good for all of us to take a look every once and a while to make sure there is alignment between what we say and what we do.
For example, it’s easy to talk about our dreams, but it takes a lot more energy to take the many small steps that lead to bringing our dreams into reality. If all we ever do is talk about it, we begin to lose faith in ourselves because nothing changes on the external level. In this way, being all talk and no action is actually a form of self-sabotage. It’s also useful to examine our actions to see if, through them, we are following through on our words. For example, in expressing concern about the environment, we can look to make sure that we are taking the simple steps we can take to put that concern into action.
It’s always helpful to observe what we talk about and who we say we are, and then to observe what we actually do in the world. Sometimes we realize our actions haven’t caught up with what we are saying, and at other times we see that we might change our words in a way that it will more adequately reflect what we do in the world. Either way, the more we align our words and our deeds, the clearer we are in expressing our truth in the world, and the more powerful we are in bringing it into reality.
Magical Rites from the Crystal Well, Ed Fitch and Janine Renee, 1987, Llewellyn Publications.
Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves. Therefore, be it noted that:
1. Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must be lived by all who follow the old ways.
2. It must be kenned that thoughts and intent put forth on this Middle Earth will wax strong in other worlds beyond and return… bringing into creation, on this world, that which had been sent forth. Thus one should exercise discipline, for “as ye plant, so shall ye harvest.”
3. It is only by preparing our minds to be as Gods that we can ultimately attain godhead.
4. “This above all… to thine own self be true…”
5. A Witch’s word must have the validity of a signed and witnessed oath. Thus, give thy word sparingly, but adhere to it like iron.
6. Refrain from speaking ill of others, for not all truths of the matter may be known.
7. Pass not unverified words about another, for hearsay is, in large part, a thing of falsehoods.
8. Be thou honest with others, and have them know that honesty is likewise expected of them.
9. The fury of the moment plays folly with the truth; to keep one’s head is a virtue.
10. Contemplate always the consequences of thine acts upon others. Strive not to do harm.
11. Diverse covens may well have diverse views of love between members and with others. When a coven, clan, or grove is visited or joined, one should discern quietly their practices, and abide thereby.
12. Dignity, a gracious manner, and a good humor are much to be admired.
13. As a Witch, thou has power, and thy powers wax strongly as wisdom increases. Therefore, exercise discretion in the use thereof.
14. Courage and honor endure forever. Their echoes remain when the mountains have crumbled to dust.
15. Pledge friendship and fealty to those who so warrant. Strengthen others of the Brethren and they shall strengthen thee.
16. Thou shalt not reveal the secrets of another Witch or Coven. Others have labored long and hard for them, and cherish them as treasures. 1804
17. Though there may be differences among those of the Old Ways, those who are once-born must see nothing, and must hear nothing.
18. Those who follow the mysteries should be above reproach in the eyes of the world.
19. The laws of the land should be obeyed whenever possible and within reason, for in the main they have been chosen with wisdom.
20. Have pride in thyself and seek perfection in body and in mind. For the Lady has said, “How canst thou honor another unless thou give honor to thyself first?”
21. Those who seek the Mysteries should consider themselves the select of the Gods, for it is they would lead the race of humankind to the highest of thrones and beyond the very stars.
Witchcraft is often understood to be evil, demoralizing, and immoral because it goes against the beliefs of the catholic church. This is due mostly to a misunderstanding of the modern use of the term “witch.” In earlier times, witchcraft was essentially the term used for “devil worship.” Witches of old were said to be in league with the devil. They hurt people, traveled to gatherings where they engaged in evil spell-casting, demoralizing acts, and Satan worship. At the same time, there were wisepeople in villages. These people were the healers, the midwives, and the elders who knew things which might be considered witchery today. These people were not, at the time, considered or even called witches. Today, for some reason, these people have chosen to take on the name of witchcraft. Even in medieval times, people engaged in witchery. These things included charms to predict love or the weather, good luck charms, and psychic sight (gifts of the angels). For example, people knew charms that were used in prediction such as limericks and poems. These went something like: “cat’s paw upon the water, first sigh of storm-king’s daughter.” This limerick means that if you see a cat place its paw in water, then there will be a storm. These are sometimes called “old wives’ tales.” Other superstitions are: walking under a ladder is bad luck and smashing a mirror is 7 years bad luck. Magical charms were and are also used: four-leaf clovers, found pennies, locks of hair, horseshoes when turned upside down, and lucky and unlucky numbers. These things were never considered witchcraft the way we use it in witchcraft today.
Many Christians are beginning to understand the differences between what is now called witchcraft and the old word witchcraft which was used for “devil worship.” No one is really sure why the healers of today have chosen this once derogatory term to describe themselves. Likely, it has stemmed from small groups of adolescents forming “covens.” Early Wiccans were not called witches.
Today, witches are known for their good deeds. Witches believe in eternal learning. Witches believe in truth and truth telling. We are always trying to help those around us and find ways to better ourselves. We believe in harming no living being. We believe in fidelity (loyalty), we love our families and raise our children to have good moral standards. We do not believe in forming cults or any other harmful or mind-controlling groups. We stand against killing and oppression of all kinds. We believe in the freedom to love who we choose to love. We believe in self-sacrifice for the good of others. We believe in charity
Contrary to popular belief, Wicca is not evil. Wiccans do not follow the devil. Wiccans do not even believe in the devil. Wicca is a nature oriented religion which centers around a single deity (known as the All) which encompasses all things in the universe and without. This All is divided into two equal halves much the same way as the universe is divided into two halves. There is light and dark, male and female, good and evil, etc. These are often evident in the two deities called the Lord and the Lady. Each represents a perfect and equal half and complement each other much like the yin and the yang. The Lord is a father figure. He represents animals, the soul, fathering, passion and the wild. He is symbolized by the color gold, air, fire, and by the Sun. The Lady or Goddess represents the earth mother, motherhood, nurturing, femininity, and that which we can touch. She is symbolized by water, earth and the moon. Wiccans believe in honoring their deities and in living in harmony with nature and the universe. Witches sometimes practice in groups of up to thirteen called covens. Covens are used to bring different people of a faith together so that they may learn from each other’s experiences. Witches can also work alone. They are called solitaries. Wiccans are generally considered witches because they practice the art of magick. Not al witches, however, are Wiccans. Wicca is a religion and witchcraft is simply the practice of the magickal arts. Because Wiccans worship nature, their holidays coincide with significant days of the year. All of the four seasons are celebrated as well as four other holidays which fall between each. All of the eight holidays are spaced at exactly the same number of days apart and do not always fall on the same day each year. Most of these holidays coincide with Christian holidays such as Christmas (Yule) and Easter (Ostara). These holidays are called the Sabbats or Sabbaths. Witches also may or may not celebrate what are called Esbats. Esbats are specific lunar dates that are of major importance. These are the new moons and the full moons. There are 13 full moons during the year, each representing one month. Thus, the pagan calendar has thirteen months and not twelve. Most today represent these lost days in the thirteenth month to leap year. These holidays are meant to celebrate the earth and her cycles of nature. Wiccans follow one basic fundamental rule: “harm none.” The Wiccan Rede or “Law” states: “Abide the Wiccan law ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust. Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: ‘An’ it harm none, do what ye will.’ And ever mind the rule of three: what ye send out comes back to thee. Follow this with mind and heart, and merry meet and merry part.” The main goal of Wicca is to harm none. Wiccans base their lives on self discipline and helping others. Most spells are done for healing, love, friendship and to help others. You will not find Wiccan spells for harming others or spells which are destructive in any way.
Wicca is a recognized religion worldwide and is protected by the United States Constitution. Contrary to popular belief, Wicca is not an ancient religion. Some of the ideas and rituals follow what is believed to have been practiced by the early Nordic tribes, but the religion was founded in the early 1960’s and was at the time considered a “New Age Religion.” Many unseasoned Wiccans will often refer to their following as “The Olde Ways.” This is often the result of misinformation from other witches either on the internet or in books who claim that they follow ancient traditions. Some will even claim that their beliefs were handed down from century to century and guarded against Christians and others who might seek to waylay witches and traditional witchcraft. Unfortunately, virtually no information has survived to this day and we must rely on skepticism to learn how ancient peoples worshiped.
You’ve seen “The Craft” five times, you watch “Charmed” every week, you have a black cat that you have most recently renamed “Salem” or “Kittywitch” or something like that, and you dress all in black. You can cast any spell from your three spellbooks and a huge pentagram adorns your neck, your (very creepy looking) book of shadows, and numerous other items in your cache of school supplies. People look at you when you walk down the street, your friends think you are oh-so-cool and your craft name, Moonlight FairyWillow WolfWings, is posted at the top of your web forum in creepy red letters. You are a witch, right?
Wrong. Witchcraft is not a fashion statement. It is nothing like what you see in the movies. It is not a fad. Hollywood has created so many false ideas about witchcraft to draw people in. Teenagers are especially susceptible to these ideas. In an attempt to be rebellious, teens will don the look and the catch-phrases of the neo-goth community. They are drawn in by the glamour of Hollywood and the promise of great power. Teenagers encompass a group in society called “midriffs.” (Anyone who has studied sociology or journalism knows what I am talking about.) Midriffs are at a point in life when they feel the need to grow up and look to others around them to learn how to do it. They will copy what they see: fashions, hairstyles, makeup, slang words and behavior in an attempt to fit in with their age group. This rebellion can have negative effects because it makes young people blind. They will follow from one fad to the next. Style is fleeting. Often, young people will turn to witchcraft for its glamour and seduction. Nothing is more alluring to the inexperienced than absolute power. The first thing that you should know about witchcraft is that it is, first and foremost, a religion. Magick is based entirely on religion and the belief in the unknown. I don’t care who you are or what kind of powers you claim to have; unless you have faith in something, you cannot perform magick.
Secondly, magick is not a fashion statement. True witches are easy to discern from the witch-wannabes. Witches do not wear all black. Witches do not wear huge pentagrams or black lipstick. Witches know that the power of magick is in its secrets. When you lay it threadbare before others it loses all its power and all you have left is a costumed wannabe with nothing to show but the ten pounds of crystal and pewter jewelry around their neck. True witches have learned to cast off their desires to be accepted by the “in” crowd. Real witches are at one with themselves and their surroundings and do not seek to fit in with any clique or to dress in a certain style. True witches look just like everyone else. You will not ever be able to tell a true witch in a crowd of people unless they want you to know that they are there (and I can assure you this will not be very often.)
Witchcraft is not what you see on television. No such thing exists. Many movies, television programs, and books, even some pagan books, lure people in with fake ideas of witchcraft. You will not learn to levitate. Fire and lightning will not shoot from your fingertips. You will never be able to bring down the wrath of the gods or walk on water. These things are fiction – fairy tales. They do not happen. Witchcraft is not instantaneous. Magick takes time to happen and even longer to learn. magick is not something that you can learn in a week or a month or even a year. Witches never stop learning. There is too much to learn for anyone to ever be perfect or know everything. Most people come into the craft because it is a fad and quickly leave because it is too hard or it takes too long. Not anyone can be a witch. To practice and learn the craft, one must be patient, curious and honest with themselves.
If you are interested in being a true witch, there are numerous talents that you will learn. Witchcraft requires a love of nature. If the sight of nature and beauty inspire you or strike awe in you then the craft might be right for you. You will learn how to heal others, speak to plants, animals, trees and spirits, travel on the astral plane, learn to understand yourself and others and divine your dreams and the future. You will learn to better yourself and open your eyes and your mind to new possibilities. Witchcraft is very difficult but if you are one of the few who have the talent, strength and patience for it, it can unlock hidden talents you never knew you had and free your imagination.