Flowing with Life’s Current (A Meditation on Water)

Flowing with Life’s Current

A Meditation on Water

by Melanie Fire Salamander

Water appears in pagan rituals as  one of the four magickal elements,  associated in some traditions with the  West, the autumnal equinox and sunset. Its colors are blues and greens; it  corresponds to the magickal power  to dare and to the Tarot suit of cups.  At Imbolc, this series began with a  meditation on fire; water comes next  as we travel deosil around the circle.

From water, traditionally associated with emotion, you get the emotional flow so required in ritual. To me,  water also connects with the liquid  state of matter, as air corresponds  to the gaseous state, earth to the  solid state, and fire to the process of  changing state. I think, however, it’s  important not only to learn traditional  or other elemental associations but  also to discover and understand our  own elemental associations, to have  our own personal relationship with  each element. To know water better,  we can meditate upon it.

To use the following meditation  on water, either record it on tape and  play it back or have someone read it  to you. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Before starting, find a comfortable  place where you won’t be disturbed;  take the phone off the hook and if  necessary shut the door on your pets.  If you’re prone to falling asleep during  meditation, perform this meditation  sitting up; if you have problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or  the floor.

The Meditation

Relax. Deeply relax, and take a few  deep breaths. In, out; in, out. Feel your  body, wiggle your fingers, your toes,  your nose, your hips and arms; roll your  head. Feel where your body ends and  what’s around you begins: the air  around you, the surface underneath  you. Be here now, present in your body,  in the present moment. Begin to release the cares of your day and week,  and be completely here in the present  moment.

Throughout this meditation, you  will have a complete, deep experience,  and you will remember everything you  sense and learn. If you need to return,  you can always do so. You can recall  yourself to the physical world by moving your fingers and toes. You will be  utterly safe and protected throughout.

Continue to relax and to breathe  deeply, and in your center, a little below and behind your navel, feel a drop  of water. It starts as a tiny drop and  grows to a puddle, perfectly warm and  contained, filling the center of your  body comfortably.

This pool of water flows outward,  into your body, pouring down into your  pelvis, your genitals, your legs and  feet; flowing upward filling your torso,  your chest and shoulders, your neck,  your head. It fills your body, easing  tension as it does, relaxing and calming you. The elemental water fills you  completely.

Now the water overflows downward from your body, safely and comfortably. It soaks through the floor and  the concrete under the building, downward through the moist, cold earth.  The flow from your center joins an  underground stream in the stony rock  below the soil and plunges into bedrock deep beneath the earth.

Let the elemental water pour down  in a cascade from your center and  make a connection to the Earth, to the  heart of Earth. Feel the water flow out  as a waterfall and connect to the flowing, liquid heart of the Mother. (Pause  briefly.)

Let the waterfall wash away old  anger, guilt, fear, sadness into the  Earth, safely giving this energy to the  Earth. Feel the water wash away all the  negative energy into the Earth. (Pause  briefly.)

Now feel the elemental water burst  up again from the earth with joy, rushing effortlessly up through the rock,  past the downward flow that still continues. The liquid energy from the  Mother fills you completely, healing and  cleansing you. (Pause briefly.)

Then the liquid earth energy  bubbles out the top of your head,  upward like a fountain through the air  of the room, through the ceiling,  through the roof into the outside air.  It kisses the tree branches and bursts  into the sky, scattering drops and mist.

In the sky, feel this liquid force  connect to and absorb the energies  of the Sky-Father, the starlight and the  cool energy of the sun and moon.  Connect to the cool, clear energy of  the sky. (Pause briefly.)

The liquid energy condenses as  rain and tumbles down onto your forehead, your shoulders, all over your  body. Feel the raindrops soaking  through your skin and into you, bringing with them the sky energy. Feel the  cool, clear sky energy fill you, cleansing and healing. (Pause briefly.)

Feel the life water passing through  you, downward and upward, drawing  upward warm earth energy, carrying  downward cool liquid sky-energy. Bring  the liquid energies of earth and sky  together in your center and mingle  them gently and thoroughly, mix them  completely and smoothly. Let the combined energy spread into the whole of  your body, healing you, dissolving and  washing away any remaining trouble or  pain into the earth. (Pause for some  time.)

Now imagine yourself standing in  a meadow, under the night sky. The  stars are out, and a few clouds, lit by  a crescent moon. It’s summertime, and  the meadow smells sweet, like newly  cut grass. Feel the cool night breeze  on your body and face. Against your  ankles you feel dew on the grass, and  in the distance you hear the sound of  waves.

Look around a bit; see where you  are. Know that throughout this meditation, you will remember everything  important to you.

You see before you a gravel path,  stones pale and a little phosphorescent in the moonlight. You begin to  walk down the path, slowly; it slopes  gently down a hill. Before you and to  either side stand tall grasses that  rustle in the wind, and a few gnarled  trees. You hear more strongly the  sound of waves, and smell the salt of  the ocean in the breeze.

The path goes under a row of trees  whose limbs have tangled together  above you, twisting to grasp each  other, casting darkness onto the path.  The air is close here and a little  warmer. Despite the deeper darkness,  you feel utterly safe and calm. Through  the tangled branches you see one star  in the silver-lit sky above you, twinkling.

You come out from under the dark trees and see you are at the top of a beach, in the solid sand amid a scattering of beach grass. You go forward, down the beach, breathing deeply in the salt air. Ahead of you the night sky lies calm above a quiet ocean. The crescent moon scatters a path of light along the peaceful flat water, which moves gently. Waves, lips of water, cast gently upon the beach, each leaving a rim of foam shining in the moonlight. You walk forward down the shifting sand to the very edge of the wet sand. It is high tide.

You squat and put your hands in  the ocean water. It feels cool and  soothing. It laps onto your feet, a little  cold, but you don’t mind.

You stand and see down the  beach there’s a pool formed where a  stream runs into the ocean, just a few  feet above the waves’ edge. You walk  to the pool, sit on its bank. You hear  the rushing of the stream down the  rocks to the pool; you hear the lapping surf, the steady breathing of the  sea. The water in the pool is perfectly  clean and transparent, but deeper than  you expected, deep and wide enough  to swim in freely. The cool, clear water moves gently, a current within it  flowing to the sea.

As you look at the pool, raindrops  begin to patter on its surface. Feel the  light drops tap your skin, cool. Sense  what it is to be rain. (Pause briefly.)

You study the water in the pool,  lowering your thought into the cool,  clean water. Dip your hands in the water, feel its coolness gentle on your  hands and arms. Lift water to your lips  and taste it; perceive it with all your  senses. (Pause briefly.)

As you study the water, you notice it has associations for you. Let  these come up freely. (Pause for some  time.) You will remember all parts of  your experience you want to remember.

What emotions do you have for  water? (Pause briefly.)

Do images or symbols or words  float up through the water? (Pause for  some time.)

You continue to study the water,  seeing it, sensing its feel, its taste, its  sounds. You sense now that the water is asking you to come still closer.  In utter confidence and safety, you  lower yourself completely into the  water, over your head. You find you  are warm and breathing easily and  safely underwater. You stand on the  bottom of the pool at its deepest  point, calm and invigorated. You become one with the water. Be the water; see how that feels. (Pause briefly.)

Feel each particle of the water.  (Pause briefly.) Feel the whole water.  (Pause for some time.)

You ask the water what it is, what  its nature is, and the water replies.  (Pause briefly.)

The water may have something else  to communicate to you, about yourself or work or life. (Pause briefly.) It  may have something to communicate  about the world at large. (Pause for  some time.)

Now you look out from the deep  pool, out through its mouth to the  great ocean beyond. You swim effortlessly into the unknown ocean, deep  with life. Greet the ocean; descend into  it. (Pause for some time.)

Now return again out of the water. You’re able to walk easily out onto  the beach, and you find your clothes  perfectly dry. Separate into yourself  sensing the water, keeping everything  you need from the experience, remembering everything. You feel cleansed  and invigorated.

Now say good-bye to the pool, the  ocean and the rain. Thank them for  their presence and the insight they  have conveyed and for allowing you  to become water. (Pause briefly.)

Now turn and take the path back  across the beach to the trees. You  walk under the dark trees, the  branches tangled above you, feel the  warmth of the enclosed space. You  walk back out again, up the gravel path  through the grasses, smelling the salt  of the ocean, feeling the night breeze  gentle on your skin. You return to the  meadow where you started, under the  moonlit sky.

You begin once more to feel your  body. You are coming up from trance,  remembering everything that has happened to you, retaining everything that  was important that you learned from  the water, feeling warm and relaxed  yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle  your fingers and toes. Be present here  and now. Feel the air above and the  surface below you. You will remember  everything you want to remember.  Breathe deeply, and open your eyes.

Shower Your Cares Away

Shower Your Cares Away

by Sylvana SilverWitch

Much more than earth, fire or air,  the healing aspects of water are easy  for me to identify with, maybe partly  because I am a double water sign —  Pisces sun with Cancer rising. I seem  to think about water most of the time.  It seems I am either washing myself,  my hands or face, or drinking or sitting in it. I am very much attuned to  the properties of water, and I find that  if I stray very far away from a large  body of water, I am unhappy and I just  don’t feel right.

Even if you don’t have signs in  water, as a human being you’re naturally attuned to water, because the  great majority of your body is made  of it. In a way, water is the easiest element for us to connect with, because  we can easily submerge ourselves in  it, unlike in fire or earth. When we do  immerse ourselves in water, we’re usually conscious of doing so, unlike our  experience of immersing in air.

Following is a quick cleansing  meditation that makes use of this natural connection to water and that is  designed to be used in the shower.

If you are one of those people who  can’t seem to find the time to meditate, or if you ever need a psychic  cleanup in a hurry, this meditation  might be perfect for you. It takes only  a very few minutes once you get the  process memorized. It really works  and can be very helpful, and it is easy  to do every day as a part of your normal routine, since most of us shower  or bathe every day (or at least I hope  we do). I do it every day, all the time —  no matter where I am.

This meditation involves cleansing and running energy through your  body while in the process of cleansing your body by taking a shower. I  make use of the actual physicality of  washing in the shower and the motion  of the water as a focus for the cleansing and healing meditation.

The first few times, try it when you  are not too rushed, so you have time  to get a feel for how it works for you.

First, get into the shower and do  what ever you need to do that may  take some attention to detail, such as  washing your hair or shaving. Then do  your usual grounding and centering.  Next, visualize yourself standing in the  middle of a wonderful, warm, healing  waterfall, golden sun radiant on you,  mist glistening up brilliant rainbows  and water gently cascading down  around and over you. Visualize the  water delicately caressing every part  of your body with cleansing, nurturing  energy.

Smell the warmth of the water as  it runs in rivulets over your body. Imagine you are in a tropical paradise, a  magickal place that you have come for  healing your body and spirit. Hear the  sounds of the water rushing over you.

Contemplate your day and week  and anything seemingly important that  has happened during them. Feel  throughout your body and notice if  there are any places that your energy  feels “stuck” or heavy. Think about  your physical body and how it has been  feeling. Search with your awareness  your whole body: your bones, muscles,  nerves, skin and organs. Notice any  place that seems to need attention.  Use your perception to observe anything that seems out of place or wrong  to you.

I also like to take this time to look  and feel for energy “cords” connecting me to other people. Cords are  energetic connections to people and  energies that I am not responsible for  and don’t need to carry around. They  look like literal cords, or sometimes  more like cables, between us and  those we come into contact with, especially loved ones, friends, co-workers and yes, even enemies!

When you get a sense of what energies you might want to disperse, then  work on dispersing them by beginning  to propel the energy around and  through you. Dissipate it by gathering  it and sending it washing down your  body with the water into the drain.  Imagine or picture it being cleansed  from you — your energy body then  transparent, shining pure and clear.

Think about being cleansed of all  of the anger, resentment and negativity that has been thrown at you or that  you have picked up from other people  or situations and that you have carried around. These energies can cause  disease and stress. Anger, resentment  and negativity all may harm you if you  don’t dissipate and neutralize them  from time to time.

Understand that by cleaning your  body and using your sponge and soap  and at the same time imagining “cleaning” your body and energy, that you  “scrub” yourself clean, both body and  aura. Then ground out the energy with  the water.

After you have finished cleansing,  see the water flowing completely  through you — healing and nurturing  all the parts of yourself, body, soul,  mind, heart and spirit.

I have found that if I miss my  “shower meditation,” I do not feel  grounded and I have trouble concentrating and focusing on the matters  at hand. I sometimes have physical  symptoms and just don’t feel good if  I miss my water meditation. Try it, see  how it works for you and adapt it if  you need to.

Meditation Every Day? We Thought Not!

Meditation Every Day? We Thought Not!

An Expert Offers a Brush-Up on Meditation Basics

by Dianus Blackcat

Meditation is the foundation of pagan spiritual practice, and a basic method to improve our mental and physical state in today’s often stressful and chaotic world. For most pagans, the art of meditation is one of the first skills learned in spiritual practice. Yet for many, the value found in daily meditation exercises is sometimes left by the wayside during the course of our busy lives.

Why meditate every day? Because from pressure to complete tasks at work or school, to world politics, we are bombarded with stressful stimuli every day. That stress can negatively affect both our mental and physical health. Simple meditation exercises, practiced routinely, can counter the negative impact of overstimulation on our minds and bodies.

Mental and physical stresses are experienced together, joined like two sides of the same coin. For example, think of something pleasant, such as a loved one or a sunny afternoon. Immediately we experience the pleasant feelings associated with these images. After thinking of something good, we feel good. If we think of something unpleasant, we conversely experience a negative sensation. We grimace at the news. Pressures on the job give us tension headaches. We use this same mind-body connection in ritual when we take an action in the physical plane to activate the astral. By this principle, meditation can be approached as ritual and magick.

Meditation techniques vary from person to person. Often meditation is put into a religious context. It is not necessary to do so to achieve the benefits of reduced stress, but as pagans, we find that a spiritual dimension to life leads to increased happiness and health. Some practitioners burn incense and play New Age music. Others might sit in various yoga positions and fast or otherwise modify their diet as part of their meditation routine. Despite the variations, virtually all meditation practices do have some attributes in common: a state of deep relaxation, a quieting of mental chatter and a keen awareness of either our internal state or external surroundings.

Many people find it challenging to experience all three of these common attributes at the same time. They may try to silence mental chatter with a forceful effort, only to end up negating their attempt to remain relaxed. They may become so relaxed as to fall asleep, countering their attempt to remain aware. Meditation is not always easy, but the methods are quite straightforward and simple. Even if we have mastered the techniques, like any skill, meditation becomes easier and more rewarding with practice.

Stress is experienced in the body as tension. The origin of that tension can be a mental source, such as the memory of an argument, or a physical source, such as bad weather. What many people forget is that the mental-physical link works both directions. That is, just as our body responds to thoughts, our thoughts will respond to our body. Many people become grouchy when hungry or depressed when overtired. When we reduce the physical tension, we experience a relief of mental tension. Knowing this gives us our first step in successful meditation: deep relaxation.

Step 1: Deep Relaxation

Find a quiet place were you can comfortably sit upright and not be disturbed. It is helpful to have a small kitchen timer or other alarm to keep track of the time for you, so that you are not preoccupied with how long you have been meditating. Take a moment to tense up and then release each muscle group in your body, beginning with your feet, then legs, then gradually moving upward. Twist your torso, then lift and stretch your arms. Finish by moving the muscles in your face to make exaggerated facial expressions. Wrinkle your nose; stretch your mouth. Really let go, but do not strain yourself. Remember to continue breathing deeply. When you draw in a breath, push out from your belly to expand your lungs. Doing so will increase the amount of available oxygen in your lungs, aiding your relaxation. Be sure to exhale fully to prevent dizziness.

After you stretch out and relax, you are usually aware of internal thoughts and feelings more than anything else. We might hear a little voice inside our heads or have a constant internal dialogue going on. We rehash old discussions, worry about unpaid bills and criticize our hair or clothes. This is the mental chatter that we need to quiet from time to time, for it is often the most insidious cause of stress in our lives.

We cannot always control the external events that have an impact on us, but we can do something about our reaction to those events. Silencing the mental chatter can give us just the break we need to help us to view external events more objectively. I believe that an underlying motivation for overstimulation in today’s society is the desire to escape relentless self-dialogue. When we process input, we are distracted away from our egos.

Our egos tend to consume a lot of our energy by worrying about superficial, cultural matters. By adjusting our focus away from them, it helps us to connect to that divine part of ourselves that is a great source of spiritual connection and inspiration. Remembering this gives us our second step in successful meditation: silencing the mental chatter.

Step 2: Silencing Mental Chatter

After having stretched, still breathing deeply in a relaxed way, allow your gaze to fall upon some pleasant, yet emotionally neutral, focal point. I recommend you light a candle ahead of time that you can focus on, but anything pleasing to you is fine. It can be a religious object, a flower or some scenic view. Just look at the object. Do not think about it; just watch it. A candle is useful because it will flicker and change, making it easier to observe without boredom because it changes unexpectedly. Do not make mental notes or judgments. As thoughts come into your mind, simply allow them to pass. Do not attempt to force the thoughts out of your head. You are awake and alive, and thoughts will come to you. Rather, continue to pay attention to your focal object. Watch it as if it is about to jump out at you and you don’t want to miss a thing. By focusing your attention on this single object, time will pass and you will realize that the mental chatter has stopped.

When we calm down the voice of our ego by focusing our attention, we suddenly become aware of a great deal of information that we were missing due to our focus on internal dialogue. For many, that internal dialogue is of a criticizing nature. With that internal critic out of the way, it becomes much easier to face the challenges we may have been suppressing. Facing any hidden or suppressed emotions is the best way to release them from our lives and improve our mental and physical health. Knowing this gives us our third step in successful meditation: keen awareness of either our internal state or external surroundings.

Step 3: Keen Awareness

When observing the focal object of your meditation, allow yourself to also notice your surroundings. Notice the temperature of the air around you. If you are outside, is it calm or windy? Is it hot or cold? Listen for any sounds. Is there traffic on the road outside? Is there a bird singing somewhere? Do you hear some people having a conversation somewhere else in the house? Allow yourself to simply be the observer. You may begin to feel a deep connection with the world around you. You may also have sudden flashes of images from previous or current challenges in your life. Allow yourself to view any memories as if you were watching the events of a fictional character in a movie. Simply observe. The detachment from these images may be difficult at first, but concentrate on remaining relaxed and remembering to breathe deeply.

Meditation is a skill that improves with practice. Regular meditation practice will reduce stress and lead to a happier and healthier outlook on life. For positive results, meditation should be performed every day for at least 15 minutes. Each of us can afford to take 15 minutes out of our day to do something good for ourselves. After a while, you may find that troubles in the news and in life, although still troubling, can be dealt with. When we are relaxed and energized through these exercises, we are more able to face challenges. There may be times when we are particularly upset and might feel that we cannot meditate during a crisis. When we are most upset is precisely the time when we need meditation the most. It will help.

Meditation helps us to understand ourselves because it requires us to carefully pay attention to our inner thoughts as well as the world around us. When we pay attention to the world, we can more fully interact with it. When we can interact with the world, we can change the world and cease to be helpless and fearful. Often we approach the world by talking out our opinions and thoughts, projecting sometimes false ideas on others. Meditation is a way to stop the talking. Simple meditation exercises, when practiced routinely, can counter the negative impact of daily stress on our minds and bodies. When I stopped talking, I listened. When I listened, I heard. Listen, and you will hear a world within and around you, inviting you and loving you, divinely connected.

Visiting the Well of Release (A Meditation to Process Pain)

Visiting the Well of Release

A Meditation to Process Pain

by Melanie Fire Salamander

Okay, it’s that time of year again. I don’t know about you, but the  first part of the year, New Year’s through Valentine’s, way too often finds  me breaking up with someone. I hate it! You’d think I’d have figured out  how to avoid it by now. But the pain of leaving, or worse of being left,  never seems to get easier. All I seem to be able to hope for is a few more  tools for dealing with it.

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid this pitfall, pain is all  around us. Life, as the Buddha said, is suffering. This is a bad time of  year for family pain, our having just gone through the holidays. The earth  lies fallow, exposing her wounds: building sites like open sores, old mines  and dumps, places whose ruin makes you weep. And it’s a dark time of  year, when during long nights and short dreary  days all the specific, personal drek we’ve avoided  in summer and fall can rise and engulf us.

Don’t let that happen! You can process pain. Not shove it, to find it  later, having grown runners to other, older pains, but truly process it — be in  it, feel it deeply, then let it go. It’s not a hasty process. Expect to do this  work over and over again. But each time you do, I promise you, you can and  will let go a little pain. It’s hard work, because to release the pain, I find,  you have to feel it again and know its roots, its causes, which usually go  back to sufferings of early life or even before. But if you’re willing to do  the work, you can heal.

Following is a meditation to help that process happen. In honor of  the season and of the goddess Brigid, I’ve built into the meditation an image  of a sacred, healing well, an image of this goddess, whose holy day Imbolc  or Candlemas is. To use this meditation, either record it on tape and play  it back or ask someone to read it to you. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Before starting, find a comfortable place where you won’t be  disturbed; take the phone off the hook and if necessary shut out your pets. If  you’re prone to falling asleep, try sitting up as you meditate, preferably on a  chair or against a surface that helps keep your back straight; alternatively,  you can sit cross-legged or in lotus position. If you have  problems relaxing, stretch out on a bed, couch or the floor.

The Meditation

Close your eyes, and begin to relax. Take a few deep breaths: in,  out; in, out. Feel your body, wriggle your fingers and toes, your nose, your  hips and arms; roll your head. Feel where your body ends and what’s around  you begins. Feel the air around you, the surface underneath you. Be here  now, present in your body, in the present moment. Feel yourself begin to relax.

Continue to breathe deeply, and begin to release the cares of your  day and week with your breath. Be completely here in the  present moment.

Throughout this meditation, you will have a complete, deep  experience, and you will remember everything you sense and learn. If you need to  return, you can always recall yourself to the physical world by moving your  fingers and toes. You will feel utterly safe and protected throughout.

Relax more fully still, and breathe deeply. Feel in the center of your  body, behind and below your belly button, a spark of life, your life, your  eternal fire. Feel that flame pulse with life. Let that flaming center send a  spark of energy downward, a liquid trail like molten fire, down through your  groin into your base and down into the earth. Feel this energy flow  downward, through the foundation of the building, down into the deep, wet,  cold earth, the soil, through hidden underground streams, cool water  slick on rocks, and below that into the solid rock of the earth’s mantle. Feel  the personal flame from your body push down through rock into the deep  core of the earth, the earth’s molten center, where all is fire as it is fire  inside you. Feel your own personal fire connect with the energy of the  earth, deep and red, the red glowing heart of the earth.

At the same time, feel a spark of energy flare upward from  the center of your body, up through your torso, through your neck,  through your head, through the top of your head into the air. Let this  energy flow upward through the air of the room, through the ceiling, through  the roof of the building into the cold air. Let the energy fountain up, up,  up, through the cold damp air, past clouds of rain and ice, up into the clear  sky above all clouds. Feel your personal fire energy connect with the fires  of the sky, the energy of sun and stars and moon, fiery, swirling sky energy.

Feel your deep energetic connections to both earth and sky,  tap into those connections and deeply feel them. Let sky energy begin to  flow downward into you, and at the same time let earth energy flow upward  into you. Feel the two energies combine in your center, swirling together  gently and cleanly, into one combined healing energy. Let this energy  flow outward from your center, filling your torso, filling your lungs and  throat, filling your head, filling your groin and pelvis, your legs and arms,  touching and washing away remaining tension, cleansing and healing. Let all  negative energy you can let go of flow with this wave out through your  grounding. Let negative energy, tension and pain and anger and everything you want  to let go of flow sweetly and cleanly down your grounding, into the  earth, which can reuse the energy for other things.

Now let a wave of sky energy come through you again, combine  with earth energy, and fill you, cleansing you, and wash away another layer  of negativity down your grounding. Release everything you need  to release. Keep any information you require, but release pain, tension,  fear and error with the cleansing, healing energy down your grounding.

And again, let another wave of sky energy come into you, combine  with the energy of earth, fill you and cleanse you, washing trouble and  pain away down your grounding into the earth. Feel your deep connection  to earth, and let trouble and pain wash into the earth. Keep any  information you require, but let all the pain you can go into the earth.

Feel yourself cleansed and sparkling, full of earth and sky  energy, and deeply connected to both earth and sky. Ground out any energy  you

don’t need into the earth.

Now imagine yourself at a stone boundary marker, standing beside  a gravel road. It is dusk, wintertime, and you are in farm country. The  landscape is wintry, with a light dusting of snow, the tree branches bare of leaves,  but you don’t feel the cold. Smoke rises from chimneys of houses here  and there, some far away on bare hills of cropped brown. The air smells  cold and of woodsmoke.

You turn and walk a while down this road. To either  side are fields full of stubble, tan. As you pass, crows rise  cawing. Far across a field, you see a lone scarecrow standing.

The road slopes gently down a hill, and you come into a small  wood. Tree limbs rise gnarled and black around you, shadowing the road.  A rabbit raises its head, brown against white shadowed snow, looks at you  a moment and bounds away.

You come out of the wood into a flat landscape, cropped fields to  either side behind board fences. You walk awhile, the scenery barely  changing, all in colors of brown and grey. The smell of the air changes, and  you realize you must be coming to a body of fresh water. Walking forward,  you crest a shallow hill and see before you stands of rushes around a large lake.

You continue forward on the road. The gravel stops, and you keep  going on an earthen path. Tall rushes stand at either side, the air brushing  through them, whispering. You push down the path through the rushes and  find yourself at a dock where a small rowboat is tied up, oars lying in  its bottom.

From here, at the lake’s edge, you have a clear view across. A band  of gold haze lies along the horizon, between long bands of  grey-purple cloud. The water is steel-grey, and in the center of the lake lies a  small island, crowned by a grove of birch trees. The island attracts you  strongly, and you decide to row out to it.

Knowing this is the custom of the place, you get into the boat, untie  it, and fitting the oars to the oarlocks begin to row. The island is not  far away, but it takes longer to get there than you think it will. The boat  moves slowly and dreamily through the twilit water. The twilight stays constant;  the sky does not get darker. This seems strange, but you feel perfectly  safe and protected, and you accept that twilight stays in this place.

You come to the island shore, step out onto gravel and pull the boat  up so it won’t float away, setting the oars in its bottom. The grey water,  tinged lavender in the light, laps the gravel shore. You walk toward the grove  of birch, and again though the trees don’t seem far away, it takes you longer  to get to them than you thought it would. Things move slowly in this place.  All around you lies dusk-purple light. Know that you will  remember everything you need to from this place.

You edge between two birch trees and come to the center of the  island. Here sits a stone well. Over the well hangs a weeping willow. The long  arms of the willow move gently in the air, rustling.

You see among the willow branches, sitting on the edge of  the well, a woman clad in sage-green. Her hair is  long, falling almost to the ground, and a very fair blonde,  or colorless, or grey — it’s hard to tell in the light.  She greets you and tells you that this is the Well  of Release, and she is its keeper.

You greet her with reverence. You know she is no ordinary person but  a goddess. (Pause briefly.)

She asks you what you would release, and you tell her.  (Pause briefly.)

She asks you to sit on the edge of the well, sit comfortably. When  you are seated, she asks you go deeply into the problem you would  release, saying she will protect you as you do.

You agree to her suggestion and begin to go into the problem in  your mind. See the problem in your mind. See pictures of scenes around  this issue, the people involved, the places. Take some time and bring the  problem you want to release fully into your consciousness and emotions.  (Pause for some time.)

Feel the emotions around the problem. Name these emotions. Be  in them. Avoid resisting them, but let them be present and flow through  you. Feel them fully. (Pause for some  time.)

The keeper of the well watches you, understanding fully  and protecting you as you do this work. When you have fully gone  into, recognized and felt the emotions around this problem, she nods  deeply and says she will give you something to hold this issue, a symbol or  object to contain this pain. She holds out her hands, and between them is  this symbol or object. (Pause briefly.)

You take it into your own hands. This symbol is a container and is  meant for your use, to protect you. You feel perfectly safe and protected.

She instructs you now to put the problem you want to release into  the symbol, to let flow into the symbol everything you need to let go. You  do so gently and fully, letting your emotions and memories and  thoughts flow into the symbol, keeping only that information you need and  letting go all pain into the symbol. (Pause for some  time.)

Once you have put what you need to into the symbol, the keeper of  the well cranks the well-handle and draws up the bucket. She instructs you  to put your symbol into the bucket, and you do. It goes easily, no matter  how big or amorphous it is, as if that’s  where it belongs. It disappears into the bucket.

Then the well-keeper lets the bucket back down into the well.  The Well of Release, she tells you, lets into an underground stream, a stream  that is able to change and break up pain and trouble and old blockages  and let energy go where it belongs. You look down into the well, and you  see the bucket hit the water, the dark water with just a ripple of light, see  the bucket go into the water, disappear into the water. As it does, you  feel released of your pain, you feel it gone. (Pause  briefly.)

Now the keeper of the well brings out a crystal decanter full of  water, and she motions you to stand in a silver-edged basin whose drain  feeds into the source of the well. “This is the cleansing Water of Release,”  she  tells you. You see the water in the decanter sparkle with its own  inner light. She pours the water over your head; it cascades down over you,  and you feel not wet but as if cleansing, healing energy were going  through you, washing away the last vestiges of pain and trouble, releasing the  last blocks and letting them pour downward into the  underground stream and into the earth. (Pause  for some time.)

The well-keeper smiles at you and says, “Now you are cleansed  and healed, and in token I give you a gift.” In her two hands she holds out  this gift, and you take it. You examine it, and she tells you what you need  to know to understand it. (Pause briefly.)

Know that you will keep the memory of this gift as you need  to, and all else that you need to retain.

Now you say your good-byes to  the keeper of the well and thank her. (Pause briefly.)

Leaving her, you pass out between the birch trees, and on the gravel  shore find the boat. You draw it toward the water and get in, push off with  your oar and slowly row back to the lake shore.

At the lake’s edge, you tie the boat to the dock, replace the oars in  the boat bottom and, turning, walk back through the rustling reeds along  the path. You pass through the reeds to the long flat land, the road with  brown fields on either side, and into the dark wood. You notice that it has begun  to get dark. But it is a reassuring darkness, a warm and  protective darkness, a blanket drawn over the land that lets it sleep.

You pass under the black, gnarled branches and out of the dark  wood, and you walk up the slope of the hill, looking at the cropped fields on  either side. You greet the scarecrow and the crows that rise from the fields to  caw at you. You continue along the gravel  road, the landscape getting darker around you, and you find yourself  back at the boundary marker from which you started.

You settle down beside this marker. All around you darkness  falls, comfortable, comforting and calm. Know that you will  remember everything you need to from this meditation. You will keep  everything you need to keep.

You begin once more to feel your body. You are coming up from  trance, feeling warm and relaxed yet energetic. Feel your body; wiggle  your fingers and toes. Feel the surface below you and the air above.  Retain in your mind everything you want to remember from this meditation.

Feel yourself present in your body, present in the here and  now. Notice your breath; feel yourself draw breath deep into your lungs and let  it go. You feel present and calm yet full of warm energy.

Breathe deeply once more, and open your eyes.

Blue Light Dream Meditation (Snow Moon)

Blue Light Dream Meditation

(Snow Moon)

Glue light is used to wash negativity from your energy field.

Before you go to sleep, lie back comfortably. Take a deep breath to center your awareness. Imagine a bright cobalt blue light shining in a stream into your power chakra at the base of your stomach. Sense its warmth as its begins to energize you on every level of your being. Starting in your gut, it sends out a positive harmonic that neutralizes any discomfort or negativity it encounters. Sense it moving through the various parts of your body, mind, and spirit, eliminating anything negative.

After eliminating the negative, the blue light then starts accentuating the positive energy in you. Imagine that you can take the bluelight and manifest it into anything you want. Realize that all you have to do is wish it to be and it becomes reality.

While you drift to sleep, tell the blue light what you really want and who you really want to be. Repeat to yourself over and over:

“Bright blue light, please empower my dreams.”

Life As The Witch – Simply, Easy Meditation for Today’s Busy Witch

I know in today’s society we are all very busy. Rush here, rush there, The whole time your mind is swirling with thoughts of what to next, where to go and much more. A witch, in particular, needs to be able clear all the daily grime out of her mind. If she doesn’t then she won’t be able to cast successful spells. Concentration and visualization these are basically the main part involved in Spellcrafting. To achieve concentration and visualization, we must start with meditation. Meditation lays out the ground work for us learn how to control our mind and our thoughts. After we have mastered the skill of meditation, we can then move on.

I found a wonderful meditation. It is simple to use. I know the new ones to The Craft will love it. The older Practitioners might find it too simple. The name of the meditation is “The Heartbeat Meditation.” I hope those that want to use it enjoys it!

This is a very simple meditation that can be a building block for many future meditations as well as magical workings. It is a useful tool for focus and concentration. To begin, find a place where you will be undisturbed. This should be a place that is peaceful to you. It can be either indoors or outdoors. It is preferable that you begin attempting this with as little noise and other distractions as possible as you get more adept at this one may use meditative music. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes if desired, and breathe deeply for a few moments. Clear your mind as much as possible and relax. Concentrate on feeling your heart beat. Feel it beat and pulse within your body. Concentrate until you can feel each distinctive beat. If you succeed in this, try to feel your pulse in other areas of your body, such as your arms, legs, hand, feet, midsection, neck, or head. How does the sensation of the pulse in these areas differ from the beat of your heart?

How is it the same?

If you are having difficulty feeling your heartbeat, stop, take a break, and come back to it later. It may take a few sessions of practice before you are able to feel it with certainty. Above all, don’t become frustrated, as this could block further attempts to feel the beat. Once you are able to feel your heartbeat, and the pulse in different areas of the body, you can move on to more difficult things. Try decreasing the time it takes to feel the beat. Ideally, as soon as you think of it you should be able to feel the pulse wherever in your body you wish. Upon succeeding in this, try feeling your heartbeat in more difficult circumstances; while outside walking, while at work or in school, while talking to others. You should desire to reach the point where you can feel the beat as soon as you think to try in any situation without interrupting other activities. As stated, this exercise aids in focus and concentration, but it can also help you use your inner power more effectively, since the pulse of your heart is intimately tied to the flow of your life energy.

Basic Breathing Meditation

Basic Breathing Meditation

 

Our minds are constantly active, always jumping from thought to thought,  emotion to emotion.  Getting in touch with the nonlocal intelligence, the  universal soul that lies within us and is part of us all, requires finding a way  past the fog of distracting thoughts that typically hide it from us.  We cannot  fight our way through a real fog.

If we are quiet, we encounter moments of pure silence, and through these gaps  we can glimpse the deeper level of the soul.  Each glimpse increases our  understanding, and eventually our consciousness becomes expanded.

Controlling the flood of thoughts is very difficult for most people.   Beginners can sometime become very frustrated, but frustration is just another  thought, another emotion that gets in the way.  The goal is to release all  thoughts, quietly, passively.

A common way to begin meditation is to gently focus on one thing so that it  becomes more difficult for stray thoughts to enter your mind.

To begin a breathing mediation, find a comfortable position.  Sit in a  comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the ground.  Place your hands in your  lap with the palms facing upward.  Close your eyes and begin witnessing your  breath.  Observe the inflow and outflow of your breath without attempting to  control it in any way.

You may find that your breathing spontaneously gets faster or slower, deeper  or shallower, and may even pause for a time.  Observe the changes without  resistance or anticipation.  Whenever your attention drifts away from your  breath to a sound in the environment, or a sensation in your body, or a thought  in your mind, gently return your awareness to your breathing.

Once a person becomes comfortable with simply sitting quietly and focusing on  breathing, I recommend adding a mantra, which creates a mental environment that  will allow you to expand your consciousness.

 

Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra  (Three Rivers Press).

 

How To Meditate

How To Meditate

 

The purpose of meditation is to stop thinking for a time, wait for the fog of  thought to thin, and glimpse the spirit within. Controlling the flood of  thoughts is very difficult for most people. Beginners can sometimes become very  frustrated, but frustration is just another thought, another emotion that gets  in the way. The goal is to release all thoughts, quietly, passively.

A common way to begin meditation is to gently focus on one thing so that it  becomes more difficult for stray thoughts to enter your mind. I like to start  with a breathing meditation.

To begin meditation, find a comfortable position. Sit in a comfortable chair,  with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands in your lap with the palms  facing upward. Close your eyes and begin witnessing your breath. Observe the  inflow and outflow of your breath without attempting to control it in any way.  You may find that your breathing spontaneously gets faster or slower, deeper or  shallower, and may even pause for a time. Observe the changes without resistance  or anticipation. Whenever your attention drifts away from your breath to a sound  in the environment, or a sensation in your body, or a thought in your mind,  gently return your awareness to your breathing.

This is the basic mediation. Once a person becomes comfortable with simply  sitting quietly and focusing on breathing, I recommend adding a mantra, which  creates a mental environment that will allow you to expand your  consciousness.

 

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Samhain Ancestor Meditation

Calling Upon the Ancient Ones

By , About.com Guide

 

When performing an ancestor meditation, people experience different things. You may find yourself meeting a specific person that you are aware of in your family history — maybe you’ve heard the stories about great-uncle Joe who went out west after the Civil War, and now you have the privilege of chatting with him, or perhaps you’ll meet the grandmother who passed away when you were a child. Some people, however, meet their ancestors as archetypes. In other words, it may not be a specific individual you meet, but rather a symbol — instead of adventurous great-uncle Joe, it may be a non-specific Civil War soldier or frontiersman. Either way, understand that meeting these individuals is a gift. Pay attention to what they say and do — it may be that they’re trying to give you a message.

Setting the Mood

 

Before you perform this meditation, it’s not a bad idea to spend some time with the tangible, physical aspects of your family. Bring out the old photo albums, read through wild Aunt Tillie’s diary from the Great Depression, get out your grandfather’s old pocket watch that almost sank with the Titanic. These are the material things that connect us to our family. They link us, magically and spiritually. Spend time with them, absorbing their energies and thinking of the things they’ve seen, the places they’ve been.

You can perform this ritual anywhere, but if you can do it outside at night it’s even more powerful. Decorate your altar (or if you’re outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with the symbols of your ancestors — the photos, journals, war medals, watches, jewelry, etc. No candles are necessary for this meditation, but if you’d like to light one, do so. You may also want to burn some Samhain spirit incense.

Claiming Your Birthright

 

Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Think about who you are, and what you are made of, and know that everything within you is the sum of all your ancestors. From thousands of years ago, generations of people have come together over the centuries to create the person you are now. Think about your own strengths — and weaknesses — and remember that they came from somewhere. This is a time to honor the ancestors who formed you.

Recite your genealogy — aloud if you like — as far back as you can go. As you say each name, describe the person and their life. An example might go something like this:

I am the daughter of James, who fought in Vietnam and returned to tell the tale. James was the son of Eldon and Maggie, who met on the battlefields of France, as she nursed him back to health.    Eldon was the son of Alice, who sailed aboard Titanic and survived. Alice was the daughter of Patrick and Molly, who farmed the soil of Ireland, who raised horses and tatted lace to feed the children…

 

and so forth. Go back as far as you like, elaborating in as much detail as you choose. Once you can go back no further, end with “those whose blood runs in me, whose names I do not yet know”.

If you happened to meet a certain ancestor, or their archetype, during your meditation, take a moment to thank them for stopping by. Take note of any information they may have given you — even if it doesn’t make sense just now, it may later on when you give it some more thought. Think about all the people you come from, whose genes are part of you. Some were great people — some, not so much, but the point is, they all belong to you. They all have helped shape and create you. Appreciate them for what they were, with no expectations or apologies, and know that they are watching over you.

Meditation to Meet Your Water Guide

Meditation to Meet Your Water Guide 

Create a simple altar with a bowl of water and floating blue candles. Use a rain-scented incense. You may keep a chalice filled with wine or a favorite herbal tea on the altar. Take several deep, cleansing breaths. Cast your personal circle. Close your eyes. Visualize the gateway to the elemental realm of water. What does it look like? How does it open? Focus on your breath. Keep your breathing deep, slow and steady. See the gate open, and walk through it. Amazingly, you find yourself walking across the bottom of the sea, yet you can still breathe easily, encased in your own personal bubble. The sand is firm under your feet. Around you are bright coral shells, starfish, sea horses, and dolphins. Schools of brightly colored fish swim by. Walk slowly toward the figure you see in the distance. Focus on your breath. You are calm, relaxed and happy. Greet your elemental guide for the realm of water, and listen to what he has to say. When you have heard all you wish, thank him. Begin to walk back toward the gateway. Stay focused on your breath as you take on last look at the beautiful world beneath the waves. Walk through the gateway and see it close. Take several deep breaths and then open your eyes slowly. Write down what you learned in your journal. Close your circle.