What Is Rune Meditation?

What Is Rune Meditation?

by: Donald Tyson
Before the runes can be effective for works of magic or divination , they must be understood on the intuitive level and made to come alive in the unconscious. This will occur over time  simply by using them, but the process can be encouraged through regular meditation upon the individual rune symbols. Meditation gives the runes reality in  the astral world, where magical forces and actions manifest themselves most clearly to the awareness.
When you carve a rune materially for a magical purpose, you must also be able to cut it into the astral with your will so that it glows and shimmers on the  material where you made the physical rune. When you draw a rune in the air with your right index finger or  magic wand, you must be able to see it sustaining itself with the eye of your imagination. This does not mean that you pretend to yourself that the rune  exists on the astral level, or picture it there in the way you would imagine the face of your cat. Magical visualization is more intense and real than  regular images in the imagination. The magical image persists and can be so real that it appears material.
Meditation on the runes serves the dual purpose of expanding an understanding of their meanings, both conscious and unconscious (this is needed in  divination) and allowing the clear formation of the runes on the astral level (this is necessary in ritual magic).
There are many ways to actively meditate upon the runes. One is to contemplate the forms of the runes visually. Rune cards are an excellent way of keeping  images of the runes before the sight during meditation, where they impress themselves through the eye upon the mind, when the mind reaches a receptive state.  Here I will describe a second technique that I find effective in bringing the meanings and forms of the runes alive.
In preparation you must be familiar with the shapes of the runes, their names and short meanings, their order, the place of each rune in its aett, and its  pair rune. This can be done by playing with a set of rune wands, or ideally with the rune cards, which are excellent for this purpose. Once you have a  general knowledge of the futhark, you are ready to begin considering the runes individually.
To be most effective, meditations should be done in a series at regular times, one per day. It is possible to do two meditations a day if they are separated  in timeófor example, one at noon and one at midnight. If this is done, a pair of runes should be considered each day. However, until you have had some  experience in meditating upon the individual runes, you should not attempt to consider two or more runes in combination at the same time.
Wear loose clothing and take off your shoes, belt, watch, jewelry, and anything that irritates the skin or restricts the circulation. Even if your watch and  earrings do not irritate you during your daily routine, they may be a distraction during meditation. When the mind is stilled and focused, small sounds will  seem like thunder and the slightest itch will become a torment as your mind, like a restless child, seeks any escape from the task you have imposed upon it.
Do not meditate where there is noise or bustle, or where you are likely to be disturbed. Do not meditate until at least two hours after eating a meal. Do not  meditate just before sleep when you are very tired, and do not meditate when you are physically ill, or when your mind is filled with worry, anger, or  frustration.
Find a tranquil place and sit comfortably with your back relaxed but straight. It does not really matter how you sit. I usually sit Japanese style upon my  heels, but some people find this posture hard on the knees. The important thing is that you forget about how you are sitting and concentrate on the  meditation. Face a blank wall or featureless surface. If there is no flat unbroken surface, turn out the lights and the darkness will serve. If you are  outside, face a wall, a distant forested hill, the ocean horizon, or lie on your back and look at the sky – but it is better not to lie down during  meditation. The important thing is that you not be distracted by something in your field of view. Distractions are not necessarily fatal to meditations, but  they disrupt them and delay your progress. There are bound to be distractions in any case – you want to minimize them.
Take half a dozen slow, deep breaths to clear your lungs and relax your body. When you are ready, extend your right index finger and draw the rune you have  chosen for your meditation in the air at a comfortable armís length, making it a size that will fit easily into the center of your field of vision – about 18  inches tall is a good height.
Now try to actually see the rune in the air where you have drawn it. Hold the form of the rune in your imagination, and mentally retrace over and over the  rune you have drawn whenever its strokes become indistinct or slip from your mind. It is not necessary to use your finger to retrace the rune. Pretend you  have a blackboard in your imagination, and an imaginary piece of chalk that you use to continually redefine the rune as it fades.
Runes should always be drawn, both in the world and in the mind, with strokes that move downward and to the right. A little practice will make this second  nature.
During the meditation do not actively try to consider a predetermined list of associations with the runes. These will rise in their own time and order into  the stillness of your consciousness. Hold your attention upon the shape of the rune and your task of keeping it visually before your inner sight. You must  not be thinking of your grocery list while you are doing this. It is inevitable that your mind will wander to other things, but when it does, gently and  firmly guide it back to the purpose of the meditationóan active contemplation of the rune you have drawn in the air. When an idea about the rune itself, its  nature, or its relationship with other runes comes into your mind, consider it, but do not try to force these ideas. Let them rise by themselves.
This meditation should be stopped before it begins to become physically tiring. There is no point in forcing the work. A period of 15 minutes to half an hour  will be about right for most people. Take care that you remain relaxed, your breathing regular, and your eyes focused normally without strain. Strain of any  kind is counterproductive. Only sustained attention is required, and you will find that this is effort enough.
Success is not marked by how many new ideas you have about the rune, not even by how clearly you are able to visualize its form in space, but rather by how  sustained and effortless your awareness of the rune has been during the period set aside for the exercise.
It is a good idea to do these meditations in the same place and at the same time of day. Several meditations, even half a dozen, should be done on each rune,  but these can be mixed up with other runes. You do not have to meditate upon the same rune for six days running – unless you want to, of course. It can be  useful to consider the runes in groups, doing them in pairs, or in families, or even doing the complete futhark on 24 consecutive days, then repeating it  several times. If the sequence of the meditations becomes tedious, mix it up. Boredom should be minimized, because your mind will seize on any excuse to stop  these exercises.
You will soon discover that your mind is without disciplineónot that its discipline is low, but that it does not have any discipline at all. If you try to  force it too hard, it will turn around and bite you. You will accomplish nothing. Firmness, patience, persistence, and an understanding of how your mind  functions are needed to achieve the best results. Be wary of little tricks. You may suddenly find that your bowels are tumbling every time you sit down to  meditate, that your ears itch, that people are constantly interrupting you, that you feel very tired and sleepy, or that the entire exercise seems pointless  and stupid. These are all ways your mind will use in trying to squirm out of doing the work you have set for it.

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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.

Working With Colors In Candle Magick – Indigo

Indigo

Calms body / mind, stimulates intuition / wisdom / mental abilities / memory / eyesight / sensitivity to psychic energy, focusing and maintaining concentration, becoming meditative, regality, deep space, endless repose, calm, strength, spiritual, discovering past lives, Karmic problems, balancing out Karma, stopping undesirable habits or experiences, meditation, neutralize another’s magic, stop gossip/lies/undesirable competition, corresponds to head, eyes, ears and 6th Chakra.

Grab Bag for the Holiday Season Or, Survival Tips for the Homeward Bound

Grab Bag for the Holiday Season

Or, Survival Tips for the Homeward Bound

by Erika Ginnis

 

I thought that for this article I would  touch on a couple of ideas and techniques that I have found useful during  the holiday season. This is the time of  year when the light seems like a  memory (even as it begins to change  and return), and the dark is ever around  us. It is a powerful time for inner  searching and deep magick. It is a time  of cycles both within us and outside  of us. In some ways, this is the time of  year when it seems like everyone, pagan or not, is bound up in the cyclic  sweep of the turning of the year and  the seasons.

Whatever your own personal opinions about the many traditions that  are celebrated during this time of year  (I personally love the holidays regardless of the name they go by — but  then again I have also been told I am  rather strange!) it is hard to dismiss  all that it brings up in us. All our childhood experiences good or bad are  there with us. All the hopes and  dreams, realized or not, come crowding back on us at this time of year. We  get together with family members  (many of which have little understanding of our particular spirituality), and  sometimes it seems like we become  someone we once were, or never were  but thought we were supposed to be.  It can also be that we love the festivities at this time of year, but those  around us are glum and depressed.  Perhaps we ourselves like this dark  time of inner reflection and long for  its quiet wisdom, but are annoyed by  all the revelers around us and feel the  need to go hibernate under a rock till  spring.

Anything sound familiar yet? Well,  you are not alone. I have personally  found that this period of time right  around Yule to be a great opportunity  for growth and change. The way I look  at it, “If my stuff is going to be up and  strewn all around me anyway, I might  as well take this opportunity to work  on some of it!”

One of the things that I become  increasingly aware of in relation to all  of this, is something that I call a “growth  period.” To define this very simply: “A  growth period is the time it takes the  body to adjust and process the  changes that we make as spirit.” The  holiday season is a time ripe for periods of accelerated growth. We are  confronted with our pasts, with family  issues, with the cyclic and therefore  mortal aspects of ourselves. Adding  this to the fact that it is already a time  of darkness and cold (at least in this  part of the world) can inspire some  pretty intense stuff.

Have you ever taken a class in  some kind of personal development  or spiritual work, and felt like you were  riding an amazing high, only to find  yourself a week or two later getting  sick, or wanting to hide from the world?  This is an example of a growth period. First of all, you make some kind  of change or work on something as  spirit. This happens very quickly, since  spirit isn’t bound by time and space.  Great, no problem, you can make all  these changes and wheeeee! Right?  Well, only partially; you are spirit, you  can change in an instant; however, you  have a body, and that body has to  operate in time and space. So what  happens is that your body needs to  integrate what you have changed. It  needs time to process the new energy.

While you are in this process, it  can feel a little odd. I think of it sometimes like a plant getting a new leaf.  When the leaf is just beginning to unfold, it is a lighter green and is a lot  more tender, more easily bruised. It  hasn’t developed the more waxy finish that the other leaves have.

This is analogous to how we can  feel when we are in a state of flux.  Over time, the leaf grows out and unfolds and becomes just like the others, and the plant is that much larger.  It is the process by which growth occurs. We are not so very different from  the plants. We don’t normally sprout  leaves, but our changes are just as  real and every bit as observable if you  know how to look.

Growth periods can be experienced in a number of ways. You may  want to sleep much more than usual  or not need as much sleep as you are  used to. You may want to have a lot  of sex or want to go out dancing a lot,  or maybe want to hibernate at home  all of a sudden. Maybe you want to  eat a lot of chocolate, or you may  catch a cold, or just feel generally unsettled. It may also be that you feel  better than you ever have and you feel  like the whole world is opening up to  you. These are all growth periods. A  growth period does not have to be  uncomfortable! It is simply the time it  takes the body to process the  changes that you make as spirit.

What is important, especially when  it feels more challenging, is to remember “This is a normal, natural and necessary part of learning and growing.”  Many of us like to try and skip this  part, or try and ignore it. We may feel  more fragile at this time and want to  protect ourselves by denying our  changes. Unfortunately, one of the  things that denial can do is to prolong  the process. If you acknowledge your  growth period, you can then begin to  communicate with your body about  what’s happening and what your body  needs. This will make it all go more  smoothly.

Sometimes all it takes is that conscious recognition that you are indeed  in a growth period. It can make it all  make more sense. Another thing to  remember is that  growth periods are  cyclic…. they have a  beginning, a middle  and an end! They  don’t go on forever; you  will adjust to the changes,  and you will have grown. A  former teacher of mine  used to use the adage: “When  you are up to your ass in alligators,  it’s hard to remember that you set out  to drain the swamp!”

As long as you are in a body, you  will have growth periods; it’s part of  the package. If you are into growing  spiritually, well, guess what, you will go  out of your way to have growth periods! I find that meditation really helps  to keep everything flowing. It may be  that the time that you want to meditate the least is when you need it the  most.

So this brings me back to this particular season. This would be a fabulous time to commit to meditating  daily. This is one of the times of the  year when we all are aware of the cyclic nature of our lives. It is coming up  on the New Year, we are running headlong into our childhood memories, we  are seeing people we might not have  seen since last year. We become very  aware of our own changes or lack  thereof, and it can be pretty intense.  It will very likely put us into a growth  period.

One of the techniques that I suggest people use for getting a handle  on where they are, in their growth, is  as follows: Find a quiet place where  you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. (Sure, you say, with all my relatives in my house, how will this happen? If all else fails, go into the bathroom, lock the door and say you’re  taking a bath.) Take a few minutes to  ground and center.

Let yourself become aware of what  your current growth period is; let the  information flow to you from your stillness. Ask yourself the question: “What  are the spiritual changes I have recently made, and how am I responding to them?” Let the answers flow.  Maybe you have been feeling odd and  unsettled and not wanted to look at  it, so have been on the run as much  as possible to avoid it all. Take this  opportunity to stop running and simply look at what’s happening and why,  and give yourself permission to not  take it all so seriously. Laugh a little at  the huge growth period you are in (if  this is the case) and realize that it will  pass and you will have grown. Even if  the issue that you are working on is  serious, treating it with just a little  amusement can help the energy move  and change more easily.

The next exercise can give you  more insight into what you are working on and can also be a wonderful  way to get in touch with your own  changes.

Take two sheets of paper and a  pen. On the first sheet, start the heading of a letter that  says “Dear  Spirit…”  and at the  end of the  sheet of  paper write  “… love, Body.”  Next, take  the other  sheet of  paper and at the top write “Dear  Body….” and at the end of the paper  write “…love, Spirit.”

If you haven’t already guessed,  you are going to write two letters. Let  your mind relax and let your body have  a voice; let it talk to you and let you  know what’s up, what it feels, what it  needs. Write it down in the first letter.  This is your body communicating to  you, the spiritual being. Don’t judge  what you write, just write. It may say  things like, “Dear Spirit, you haven’t  been paying any attention to me, I need  more exercise, I need more sleep,  please buy me some flowers.” Or perhaps, “I am trying as best as I can, but  I don’t know what we are doing or  where we are going, so I am afraid;  please let me know what’s going on.”  Or even, “I am starting to get a cold,  please  drink a lot  of water so  I won’t be  sick for the  holidays.”

Whatever the  communication, it is  a valuable  tool for staying in touch with the wisdom of the body and for knowing how  your body actually feels in this sometimes hectic season. Now realize you  don’t have to do everything the body  asks for. It may say, “I want to go escape to Hawaii until February,” but  what you as Spirit may decide to do is  go spend 10 minutes tanning and take  a walk in a conservatory of tropical  plants. What you may find is that the  very act of being listened to is enough  to totally change how your body feels.

Next up is the second letter. This  is a letter from you as Spirit to your  body. Take a minute and breathe and  relax. Get in touch with yourself and  you own inner voice. I highly recommend meditating as part of writing  both these letters if it is at all possible. This is the letter that begins  “Dear Body….” You may be surprised  at what you write. Let go of your expectations as you write and let it flow.  It may sound like, “Dear Body, I love  you, but I am not always good at communicating, but I am working on changing that. I want to work on prosperity  for the holidays, and so I have stimulated all the memories from our childhood so I can put them to rest. Sorry  I didn’t mention this to you before I  started….” Or, “I am really proud of  the way you didn’t get enough sleep  for a few days so that I could create  that wonderful holiday dinner. I am  going to make sure there is time now  to relax and enjoy the next week.”

It may also sound totally different than these examples, which is the  point. It is your own voice as spirit  communicating into this physical reality to your body so that you can begin  to work in harmony with each other. It  is all part of the same thing, but it has  different aspects and different voices,  which are each valid and valuable. I  often say that one of our most important relationships, one that colors all  our others, is the one we have as spirit  with our body. If we can begin to harmonize that one, the others are much  more likely to be successful.

Hopefully now that you have some  tools to use during this time of change  and renewal, you can let yourself enjoy what comes to you and be able to  learn from it. If nothing else, you can  know  what  is going on  when  you want nothing  better than  to  stay in  bed and eat chocolate until Spring  Equinox. It is just a growth period! Next  week, most likely, you’ll be planning  what new plants you want to add to  your garden when it thaws out, or beginning that new class you wanted to  take.

I will end with another saying I  heard a lot when I was a student. “Running your energy will get you into a  growth period, and running your energy will get you out!” Meditate, meditate, meditate, and I’ll see you next  year.

Blessed be.

Review of Grounding and Centering

Close your eyes, and turn within.

Take three nice, deep breaths,  breathe down into your belly and  soften it  as you  breathe.  Notice  how you  feel, how  your body  feels.

Be  aware of  your first  chakra. This is simply an energy center (vortex) that is located in the general area near the base of the spine.  For women, the center (vortex) that is  located in the general area near the  base of the spine. For women the center is usually near the area between  the ovaries (note: the chakra positioning doesn’t change if you have had to  have your ovaries removed for any reason). For men the location is slightly  lower in the body because the chakra  placement is associated with the testicles.

Be aware of this area, and allow a  cord of energy to flow downward  from your body…

through the chair you are sitting  in…

through the floor and  down through  the building you  are in…

through the  foundation and  into the deep  earth beneath.

Allow your grounding to flow down  into the earth past all the rocks and  layers of the planet, past the water,  deep into the earth into the heart of  the Mother. Until it reaches the center  of the earth.

Allow your grounding cord to connect securely into the center of  the planet.

Be aware of your grounding  cord being securely connected  also to your first chakra. Allow this  connection, breathe and release energy and tension down your grounding.

Now that you are grounded you  can take the next step and center yourself. Take a nice deep breath and bring  your awareness into the center of your  head. That safe neutral place behind  your eyes and back a bit.

Notice how you body responds. It  might have a reaction to you being centered. Let that reaction simply be, notice it. If you experience any discomfort, release it down your grounding.

Be aware of what the center of  your head is like right now. Is it light?  Is it dark? Is it crowded, or empty?  Cold or warm, big or small? Are you  aware of sensations, sounds, images,  scents? Relax and breathe yourself  into the center of your head. Get comfortable and begin to own this safe  neutral place.

Continue to use your grounding to  release energy from this space so that  you can make more room for you to  focus there in the present moment.

Meeting Dionysus

Meeting Dionysus

by NightOwl

 

“Take a deep, slow breath, and as you exhale, allow yourself to begin to relax.” Sitting on the floor, I began the meditation hoping to meet Dionysus, the god I am dedicated to.

I was leading the meditation that night, for the rest of my circle. I believed I would not go as deeply into trance as I would if someone else were speaking, so I did not really expect to be very successful in meeting my god.

Still, as I began to speak, I found myself drifting deeper and deeper into an altered state of consciousness. Even if I did not meet Dionysus, I felt certain that some teacher or guide would appear for me and reveal something of importance for my life.

The goddess in all her many forms has always been present for me in every aspect of life. A few times a teacher who appeared male has manifested in meditations, but I had not really thought very much about the gods, or about following a god, until I was dedicated to a coven and had to choose one.

My High Priestess suggested Dionysus when I asked for her advice, because of who she knows me to be, and I agreed, but continued to be much more focused on the goddesses and what they were teaching me.

When I am responsible for leading a pathworking (meditation ritual), I seldom expect to fully participate, so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself walking upon a path winding through a beautiful meadow. Birds were singing, insects made small buzzes and chirps. The mingled scents of wildflowers in bloom and other plants flooded my senses. The peace and beauty of the natural world filled me with joy as I walked toward the hill ahead.

Occasionally opening my eyes a tiny slit to check on those following my voice, I was pleased that everyone else appeared relaxed and deep in trance.

The path became steeper as I climbed and I instructed everyone to open their hearts to the one waiting ahead, focusing intention on asking him to appear and advise. A twinge of anxiety made me shiver. The thought intruded that I was being foolish, I was making this all up, that even if everyone else in the group met their god, I would not be worthy to do so.

With the next breath I let go of the tension and fear from those thoughts, remembering that what I do not know is much greater than what I do know, so I was opening my heart in trust and love toward the god awaiting me. Creating a state of pleasant anticipation for whatever lay ahead, I continued to climb the path and mentally call for Dionysus to appear and instruct me.

Finally the path became level. A giant boulder rested directly ahead, and the path circled to the right around it. Seeing it, I described it out loud and said, “When you walk around this huge rock, you will meet your god. Allow yourself to feel happy that you are going to meet him and have this opportunity to learn something important.”

Again fear and doubt vibrated through me, again I began breathing deeply, relaxing my body, and affirming my willingness to be present to whomever or whatever appeared. Much to my surprise, when I walked around the rock, Dionysus stood there smiling at me.

Gasping with shock and joy, I paused for a moment and then slowly moved nearer. I always slow way down when approaching a sacred one, as I am not really sure just how to behave. I definitely try to avoid doing anything that might be annoying to a god. Many years ago when I rushed up to a group of them, demanding answers to questions which were driving me crazy at the time, I was swatted really hard energetically. I hope never to annoy a god again.

Dionysus is so beautiful! He appeared as a young man about 25-30, dressed in a loose fitting toga-like white robe. When he looked into my eyes and smiled, it took my breath away and I staggered from the impact of his energy.

“Thank you for coming here and allowing me to see you,” was all I could manage to think of to say. I somehow remembered to speak out loud to remind everyone to ask their god if he had a gift or advice for them, and mentally asked the same of Dionysus. He smiled more, and as I approached closer, held out a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread, inviting me to eat and drink with him. I accepted the bread but, with much fear said, “I no longer drink alcohol, will you still accept me?”

He laughed and changed the wine to fruit juice, took a drink and offered it to me. I drank some, and ate some bread, while never taking my eyes away from his. He reached out and began caressing my face, my breasts, and then rubbing and stroking my whole body. Again I was finding it difficult to breath.

I reached out to caress him in return as he began changing from a young, slim muscular man to one who was older, fatter, and whose smile became a friendly leer as he rubbed his aroused body against mine. In the next moment, he transformed to another male, and then another, continuing to fondle me and bathe me in his extraordinary energy and passion.

By this time I was almost panting with arousal myself, while observing his changing form with amazement. My own arousal gave me the courage to talk, and I said, “I really like this, and I am honored by your attention, but I wonder if I am not just making this all up to justify my behavior in life. You know, it’s not that I’m a slut, I’m a follower of Dionysus?”

At this he laughed out loud, gently hugged me, and stared so deeply into my eyes that I almost fainted, saying, “You are acting exactly how I wish my priestesses to behave, don’t be afraid,” and laughed again.

Stepping back away from me, he smiled again and held out a pinkish heart-shaped stone, saying, “Here, take this and always remember that sexual ecstasy helps people open their hearts to each other and to the deeper mysteries of life. Sex is one of the greatest creations. It enables two to join and create a third which carries their energy into the future. Ecstasy and celebration make life worth living because they open humans up to the joyous energy of the universe, of creation. Never be afraid to love, or to express that love with another.” Then his form began to slowly fade and disappear.

I turned and walked back around the rock, down the path I had earlier climbed, my mind trying to contain and sort the vastness of what he had shown me. My body was almost in a state of shock from the intensity of his energy. Fortunately I was only walking in my altered state and my body was physically sitting on the floor. I doubt I would have been able to have had this experience standing without falling down. It took a few minutes to return to a more ordinary state of consciousness, but I was able to remember to instruct the others to do so too.

Each of us in the group took a turn in describing what had happened to them, and everyone else had also had an equally powerful experience.

This encounter with the god made me want to know more about him and, I learned that he was Bacchus to the Romans, Lusios the Releaser, and Zagreus – son of Zeus and Persephone who was killed by the Titans and eaten. Athene saved his heart, which was swallowed by Semele, another lover of Zeus, and conceived anew. Hera convinced Semele to trick Zeus into revealing himself in his full glory, which burned Semele to ashes. Zeus rescued Dionysus from her ashes, stitched the unborn babe into his thigh until he was able to be born again, so he is sometimes called twice-born, and Zeus then gave him to the nymphs to raise.

When grown he became the god of all altered states, including drunkenness, religious ecstasy, and celebrations of music, dancing, theater and lustful excess. His male followers were the satyrs, half man and half goat with a horse’s tail, and his female followers were the maenads (mad women). His followers often carry a staff with a pine cone on the end, called a thyrsus, sometimes twined with grape or ivy vines.

The experience I had in this ritual meditation has continued to reverberate through my life and I am deeply honored to express the energy of Dionysus into the world.

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 5

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – November 5

“You could study the ancestors, but without a deep feeling of communication with them it would be surface learning and surface talking. Once you have gone into yourself and have learnt very deeply, appreciate it, and relate to it very well, everything will come very easily.”

 

–Ellen White, NANAIMO

Inside of every human being are our ancestors, and these ancestors still live. Today, the white man calls this DNA, but there is more than DNA. We have the ability to go inside of ourselves and learn from the ancestors. The ancestor teachings reside in the place of the center. The ancestors are waiting for us to come there so they can share the ancient teachings. It is said, “Be still and Know”.

Great Spirit, let me walk in the stillness.

The Witches Correspondence for Saturday, November 3rd

The Witches Correspondence for Saturday, November 3rd

 

Magickal Intentions: Spirit Communications, Meditation, Psychic Attack or Defense, Locating Lost Things and Missing Persons, Building, Life, Doctrine, Protection, Knowledge, Authority, Limitations, Boundaries, Time and Death
Incense: Black Poppy Seed and Myrrh
Planet: Saturn
Sign: Capricorn and Aquarius
Angel: Cassel
Colors: Black, Grey and Indigo
Herbs/Plants: Myrrh, Moss, Hemlock, Wolfsbane, Coltsfoot, Nightshade and Fir
Stones: Jet, Smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Black Onyx, Snowflake Obsidian, Lava, Pumice
Oil: (Saturn) Cypress, Mimosa, Myrrh, Patchouli

Saturn lends its energies to the last day of the week. Because Saturn is the planet of karma, this day is an excellent time for spellwork involving reincarnation, karmic lessons, the Mysteries, wisdom, and long-term projects. It is also a good time to being efforts that deal with the elderly, death, or the eradication of pests and disease.

 

 

More Saturday Comments

Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!

Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!

Find out more about psychic protection here…

Psychic Protection for the Witch in Everyone!
As part of the launch of my new book, The Witch’s Shield: Psychic Protection and Psychic Self Defense, I wanted to share the techniques that helped me maintain psychic boundaries and a healthy sense of safety. Though few of us learn them when we should, I really think they are basics of psychic hygiene. If you learn to take care of yourself on a daily basis, you can avoid problems in the future. I learned these techniques studying the art and science of witchcraft, hence the book title – The Witch’s Shield. I’ve shared them in classes for both witches and non-witches alike with great success.
Sometimes the word “witch” scares people off. I can understand that. I thought it was silly at first. When my first teacher, a good family friend, revealed she was a witch, I didn’t understand. But I soon found out the spiritual traditions of witchcraft stretch across the globe and throughout time. Witches were the priestesses and priests of the ancient world. They kept the mysteries of magick and psychic ability. A witch is someone who does magick, not only for her- or himself, but for the good of the community. Sometimes the first step in helping our communities, in helping the world, is helping ourselves by finding health, balance, and clarity. Only then can be devote energy to help others.
So, with that in mind, the wisdom of the witch broadens for us. We might not all identify spiritually as witches, but these techniques of psychic protection and magick are universal, and can apply to anyone as long as the person is open to magick, change, and personal responsibility. You will find similar wisdom in the traditions of shamanism, energy healers, ceremonial magicians, and other New Age seekers.

Here are seven psychic protection techniques from which anyone can benefit:

1 – Smudging – Smudging refers to passing yourself or an object through sacred smoke as a means of purification. When burned, certain herbs release a high vibrational energy that is used to purify unwanted, harmful forces – what most people call negative energy. Herbs like sage, cedar, sweet grass, pine, and lavender can be burned, as well as incenses such as frankincense, myrrh, and copal. Simply wave the smoking substance around you and make sure you pass through the smoke. Don’t do too much. It’s an energetic process, not a physical one, so you don’t have to feel like you are asphyxiating.

2- Sea Salt Bath – Similar to smudging, taking a sea salt bath can cleanse the physical body as well as the energy. Put two tablespoons of sea salt or kosher salt in your bath water and soak. Imagine all the stress and harmful energy you have accumulated or taken on from others flowing into the water. Sit in the bathtub as its drains and imagine it flowing down the drain, neutralized by the salt and water. I have a friend who puts a spray bottle of sea salt and water and gives herself a little spritz and sponge bath. The salt neutralizes any harmful energies, and then she just wipes it off. It’s a great way to clear yourself if you’re on the run and a bath is too time consuming.

3 – Amulet – Symbols and charms have long been lauded for their protective powers. In almost every culture, there is a tradition of wearing or carrying a particular amulet, often blessed by a priest/tess, to confer the powers of divine protection upon the wearer. Take a symbol you find sacred and divine. Find it in a jewelry or pendant form. If you cannot, try drawing the symbol on a piece of paper or wood, and carrying it with you. If you are Christian, use a cross. If you are Wiccan, use a pentacle. Hindu, try the Ohm symbol. There are a variety of symbols, from the Star of David to the Hammer of Thor. Find the one that speaks protection to you. Smudge the amulet and hold it in both hands. Think about protection and infuse your thoughts into the amulet, activating its power to protect in the name of your divinities. Carry the charm with you to receive its protection.

4 – Protection Stone – Like a symbolic amulet, you can carry a stone known for its protective and grounding qualities with you. Most dark colored stones have magical associations with protection. Some of my favorite choices are hematite, smoky quartz, onyx, obsidian, jet, and aragonite. Other stores that are protective include red jasper, amber, citrine, and clear quartz. Like an amulet, cleanse your stone and infuse your intention into it.

5 – Meditation – Meditation is one of the greatest keys to psychic defense. Regular meditation practice leaves you clear, centered, and in a mental place where you can respond to potential threats, rather than unconsciously react to them. It doesn’t matter the style or tradition of meditation. Regular practice is the key. You will not get the long term psychic protection benefits of meditation by doing it only once every few weeks. It must be like exercise, done regularly. I suggest at least three times a week. If you can do it daily, so much the better.

6- Healthy Emotional Boundaries – Emotional boundaries are not the most esoteric form of psychic defense, but one that quite a few people leave out. Sometimes psychic defense – particularly from people who are harmful to us, intentionally or unintentionally – is the ability to say “no” and stick to it. If someone asks you to do something or go somewhere, and you only say yes because you are afraid of being “mean” or “letting them down” but you know its not a good situation for you, you must learn to say no. As an adult, only you define what is acceptable and unacceptable in your life. Draw those boundary lines and stick to them.

7 – Living Your True Will – The best form of psychic self-defense is to live out your true will. What is your divine purpose? Find it! Then actually live it. If you are doing what you are meant to be doing, the universe will support you and very little anyone else does or says will be able to stop you. You true will, or what some call your magical will, is not your destiny. It doesn’t happen regardless. This your partnership with the divine. You must choose to fulfill it. But once you choose to be a full, conscious partner with the divine, you will have a divine protection that will help you in all of life’s difficult areas.

For more information and an expanded view on these techniques, and a whole philosophy on psychic protection, look to my full length work, The Witch’s Shield: Psychic Protection and Psychic Self Defense. May the divine guide, bless, and protect each of your steps.

Something You Don’t Give A Thought About ~ What Color is Your Zafu?

What Color Is Your Zafu?

 from Robyn, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

The color of your meditation cushion (zafu) may reveal more about your state  of mind than you realize. Feng shui attributes mood-altering properties to each  color—orange can make you feel optimistic, for example, while brown can imbue  you with a dull-as-a-doorknob sensation. So choose your zafu hue carefully: The  wrong color can have you climbing the wall rather than staring peacefully at it.  Feng shui divides colors into yin and yang, with yin colors falling on the cool  end of the spectrum and yang on the warm. Here’s a basic breakdown of the effect  of colors on your meditating mood:

Yellow: Stimulates joy and uplifts the mind.

Orange: Stirs up energy and boosts confidence.

Red: Excites the passions and helps overcome depression.

Violet: Calms the emotions and deflects irritability.

Blue: Soothes the spirit and also induces harmony.

Green: Balances, heals, and relaxes.

Black: Inspires both introspection and discipline.

Brown: Encourages security and stability .

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