Daily Motivator for July 15 – Imagine yourself

Imagine yourself

Imagine yourself full of energy and enthusiasm, getting up each morning  excited and positive about the day ahead. Imagine yourself being highly  effective, able to achieve whatever you set out to do with confidence and  ease.

In your mind’s eye, see yourself working with discipline and focus, able to  quickly and easily make the right decisions, always knowing what to say and do  in every situation.

Imagine yourself being the person you’ve always wanted to be. Imagine living  the life you’ve always dreamed of living. See it in detail. Visualize it with  richness and intensity. Know you can have it. Know you can do it. Know you can  be it, with absolute certainty.

Imagine yourself being the best you can possibly be. Make your image of  yourself a positive one, and you’ll program yourself for success. Imagine  yourself at your very best. Hold that image firmly in your mind, day after day,  moment by moment, and you’ll absolutely find a way, and live the life, that will  make it real.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator 

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Home Is Where The Health Is

Home Is Where The Health Is

Habitat for Humanity is well known for how successfully they use volunteers  to build homes for families in need. All you have to say is “Habitat” and most  people can conjure up an image of diverse groups working together with lumber,  insulation and bricks and mortar. Habitat is busily building all over the world,  because the need for housing is profound and ever growing. In America alone, 95  million people have housing problems that include insurmountable mortgages,  overcrowding, substandard shelter and homelessness. When families who have been  living in substandard housing are given a chance to buy, and have a hand at  building their own homes, aspects of their lives can take dramatic turns for the  better. The benefits go far beyond just having a solid roof over their heads.  One crucial improvement is the health of their children.

According to Houston Habitat  for Humanity, the number of low-income families that lack safe and  affordable housing is related to the number of children that suffer from viral  infections, anemia, stunted growth and asthma. All of these factors are  attributed to the lack of stable housing. In addition, 10,000  children aged 4 to 9 are hospitalized for asthma attacks each year because  their homes are infested with cockroaches,  a known asthma trigger. For children without stable housing, the effects of  chronic health problems are long-term and far-reaching. Housing  deprivation leads to an average of 25%  greater risk of disability or severe ill health across a person’s  lifespan.

On the other hand, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to  Build a Better America, ”…when adequate housing protects individuals  and families from harmful exposures and provides them with a sense of privacy,  security, stability, and control, it can make important contributions to  health.” Children in stable, healthy home environments are more likely to  stay in school and experience improved test scores in math and reading.

Poor Children Need Healthy Homes

We already know that poor  children are disproportionately affected by environmental pollutants like  those from power plants and refineries. But they are also exposed to indoor  health hazards like lead, mold, mites and other insects and pests, a myriad of  other allergens, radon, volatile organic compounds and asbestos. These  pollutants make them sicker and more susceptible to other illnesses. Of the 26  million Americans who suffer from asthma, 7 million are children. Asthma is the most common chronic diseases among children. And poor children and  children of color suffer asthma at higher rates. Approximately 40% of diagnosed  asthma in children is attributed to residential exposures. The annual economic  cost of asthma, including direct medical costs from hospital stays and indirect  costs such as lost school and work days, amounts  to approximately $56 billion. These are costs that families on the economic  edge cannot afford.

All Families Need Energy-Efficient Homes

Habitat homes are built with stability and energy efficiency in mind. Each  Houston Habitat home receives Energy Star certification, demonstrating a  commitment to energy efficiency and affordability. The families that will buy  the homes take part in their construction. They become homeowners and thus  stakeholders in their community. This is how Habitat not only improves the  health of families, but of entire communities.

Where We Live Matters

Where we live is at the core of our daily lives. Our homes have the most  significant impact on how we survive and how we view our place in the world.  Habitat for Humanity provides the opportunity for families to improve their  economic situations and live in safe homes as sanctuaries against the onslaught  of health and safety threats outdoors. For these families, in a very real sense,  their Habitat homes help them live better and longer.

Habitat for Humanity is doing their part to address pollution, the asthma  epidemic here in Houston, the environment, and preventable childhood illnesses  worldwide. Each of us must do our part too.

EVERY CHILD DESERVES A HEALTHY HOME PLEASE TAKE ACTION WITH  MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE

Calendar of the Sun for July 8

Calendar of the Sun

8 Haymonath

Justicia II: Day of Dike

Color: Dark Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a cloth of dark blue set a flaming torch, a sword, and a set of scales.
Offerings: Right an injustice, or give aid to those who do.
Daily Meal: Fasting. Instead, give readings on justice.

Invocation to Dike

High on your mountain,
Waiting for the world to turn around,
What do you see in that high view
That we do not see, here on the ground?
Lady of Justice, once a maiden
Wreathed in flowers and beauty,
Dancing with your sisters
Marking out the hours
You are now weathered and alone
Waiting out the years.
What right do we have to ask for justice
When we are not ourselves perfect?
The right of every imperfect being.
For if no one asks,
no one receives,
and then no one has an example for which to strive.
Please Lady, have patience
With our folly
Do not give up on us
And do not bend your scales
For we must learn to feel
Justice from within
For it will never come from without.
Have no mercy on our souls,
For only in this way can we learn.

Chant:
Dike Dike
Hora of the Even Hand

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Good Saturday Morning, my dear, dear friends!

Good Morning Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Morning to all my dear friends! I hope you are having a fantastic morning and staying cool. This little guy above is about the way I feel today. We have nine days of temperatures above 100 degrees. Not a drop of rain for a month now, just hot, hot, hot temps. After a while the heat starts to take a toll on a person. According to our weather people (half the time they don’t know what they are talking about, lol!), today is suppose to be our last day in the 100’s for a few days. I think tomorrow is suppose to be 95 and that will feel like a cold snap has come through, lol!

I shouldn’t complain, I am more fortunate than some. I think about those poor people around Washington, D. C.  No power, no A/C, they can’t even turn on a fan to beat the heat. They must be miserable. I feel so sorry for them. I pray their power will be restored soon and their lives can get back to normal.

There are so many in need in this country right now. We can’t forget those people in the West that are battling the wildfires. All the firefighters risking their lives daily. Plus all the homeowners that have lost everything. My heart truly breaks for them. I can’t imagine getting up one morning, everything perfectly normally. Then there is a knock on the door, a person telling you to grab what you can, you have to leave. You get in your car, as you look back, your house has already started going up in flames. Everything you have worked your entire life for, gone in a matter of minutes. Oh Goddess, how horrible.

With there being so much need in this country right now. Will you take a moment today to say this prayer with me and light a candle, please.

O dearest Goddess, Mother of the green

Earth, blue waters and the silver Moon,

please be with us now in our hour of

need. Stress, confusion and chaos have

take hold of our lives, and we can feel

the weight of life’s burdens suffocating

us. We are truly afraid, but we know that

You in all Your loving kindness will hear

us now, and we will feel the heavy weight

getting easier to bear.

O dearest God, Father of the dark forests

and shimmering mountains, grant us

your spiritual strength that we need so

much now, so that we may come through

this time of crisis and get back to our

normal life once again.

Blessed Be!

Good Monday Morning To You, My Dear Friends!

Good Morning Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
Good Monday Morning, my dear friends! I wish you a very happy and blessed week to come. I hope your day is off to a great start. Well, mine, oh, brother! My son is still here keeping me company. He informed me the other day that he will probably be here for a while. Oh, boy! Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death. There is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for him and he knows it. But it is just so different after having the kids all grown and moved away. Then they move back home. Last night, I started once to just sit down and write about how different and strange it is to have one move back home. Then I went outside and looked at the stars and cleared my mind. I have no privacy. I just looked out of the corner of my eye and my son is up. He will be in here in a minute wanting to know what I am doing. He use to know I did my group daily. I thought I told him I now did a blog? My mind must be going. He is on his phone continuously, texting. He will come in here, lay down on the bed, talk and text the whole time. I am use to talking to a person by looking them in the eye. Not him! He has started going out. I told him, he is grown, go do what you want to, you don’t answer to me anymore. He comes in anywhere from 2 to 4 in the morning. The first thing he does is come to the door and holler, “You awake?” Why hell yes I am! I always stay up to all hours of the night :S. Once I go to sleep then get woke up, I can never go back to sleep. Then I take my medicine, I pass out and I sleep late. This runs me late doing the blog. Then last week, he hated his wife, now this week, they might be getting back together. It is enough to make your head swim. I keep thinking have patience. Patience is a virtue. One which I haven’t acquired yet!

Now on to a much lighter note…..

Prayer for Monday – One for Compassion

Dearest parents, please grant me the gift

of compassion. For the green earth; your

woods, forest, waters, air, animals, and

all people. Help me to become an example

of compassion, so I may plant the seed of

compassion for the betterment of all

creation.

So Mote It Be.

The Morality of Sacrifice

by Efun Moyiwa

This article can also be found on Efun Moyiwa’s World Wide Web page, OrishaNet (http://www.seanet.com/~efunmoyiwa/welcome.html).

Animal sacrifice is just a small part of the much larger definition of ebó (sacrifice or offering) in the Santería religion. There are many categories of ebó. There are offerings such as addimú, which can include candles, fruits, candy or any number of items or actions that may be appreciated by the deities or orishas in the religion. In divination, the orishas may ask for a favorite fruit or dish, or they may call for the person to heed advice given. At times, they may ask that a person give up drinking or other practices that are unwise for that individual. They may request a person to wear certain jewelry, receive initiations or any number of other things. Or they may request an animal, usually a chicken or a dove, so the orisha will come to that person’s aid. As a rule, animal sacrifice is called for only in major situations such as sickness or serious misfortune. Animals are also offered when a new priest is consecrated in service of her or his orisha during the birthing process of initiation. In every birth, there is blood.

In our modern society, we have become separated from the concept of death. Even our dead are embalmed and made up to appear living. When we purchase meat to eat or leather to wear, it is preprocessed to remove the shopper from the fact that a life was taken in order that another may live. Meat is wrapped in plastic with a little paper towel to soak up any blood that might remind the buyer of the fact of the animal’s death. The buyer is also kept unaware of the circumstances surrounding the poor animal’s life and, of course, its death. When animals are killed in the slaughterhouse, there is little respect or regard for that animal, the only matter of importance being that the animals are killed cheaply and in great quantity to supply an ever-growing market. In other words, these animals too are sacrificed, though the only deity revered here is greed. We should also take into account that the poultry industry alone kills more animals in one day than Santería has sacrificed worldwide in the last several hundred years!

On the other hand, when an animal is sacrificed in La Regla Lucumí it is first and foremost done with respect: respect for the orisha being offered this life and respect for the little bird whose life is taken in order that we may live better. The animal must be well-cared-for, because it is the property of the orisha. In fact, sometimes the orisha will state that the animal must not die but live with the person, and the orisha expects that animal to be well-cared-for and pampered as theirs.

At the beginning of the sacrifice, when the animal is brought forward, there is a song and action that we perform in acknowledgment that one day our lives will be taken suddenly in much the same way as the animal’s. In this way, our religion differs little from the beliefs of the Native Americans. Here there is a respect for all life, and a respect for the death that must come to all, including ourselves.

Afterwards, if the animal wasn’t used to cleanse a person of illness or misfortune, it is eaten by all the participants. If, on the other hand, it was used for a cleansing, the animal is taken to the place requested by the orisha to complete the offering. These animals cannot be eaten, as we would be eating the sickness or misfortune that was removed from that person.

Whether the ebó is a simple apple or a little chicken, it should always be offered with both hands and an open heart.

A FIGURE FOR INFLUENCES OVER ANOTHER

A FIGURE FOR INFLUENCES OVER ANOTHER

If with fetters, you would tame,
The angry foe, Or bind with shame,
The faithless friend,
Draw this figure In red ink.
In the corners That remain,
Mark four letters Of his name;
Burn the paper; Say this charm:
Circle him round, Cross him within,
Turn him about, and cast him out.

The Pagan Newbie

The Pagan Newbie

Author: Crick

We often hear of someone who considers themselves a ‘newbie’ on the path of the mystical arts, or of others referring to someone as a ‘newbie’. But is either of these descriptions really accurate?

The concepts of paganism and the parameters that define such concepts have always been since the first human took breath and more likely even before the advent of humans. There are some who will say that paganism and thus by association the mystical arts, died out and is just now being re-discovered. But is this really an accurate observation? Or is it really our perception and thus sense of awareness that is new?

How many times as a child did you have an “imaginary friend”? Was this friend really imaginary or was it just that the mind of that child had not yet been brainwashed to deny such a sense of awareness? Was the perception of that child such that they could see/sense otherworldly beings? How many times as a child has one seen faeries?

And yet as adults such sightings have become a desire that is in many cases difficult to achieve.

Why?

Did the faeries cease to appear? Were they, as some would have us think, simply figments of our imagination? Or are such invectives towards the imagination really just subtle denials of that which really does exist but which certain folks feel more comfortable denying the existence of?

Within paganism, imagination, which is visualization by another name, is a necessary tenet or tool of paganism and by association, the mystical arts. And who but a child has such a powerful and unfettered tool as that of imagination/visualization?

And so instead of viewing paganism/mystical arts as some re-discovered form of belief, perhaps it’s simply that our realization and thus acceptance of what has always been is really what is now coming into play. And if this is the case, is anyone really a newbie to paganism/mystical arts?

Could it be that those who now choose paganism/mystical arts are basically just shedding the denial that has been implanted from an early age? When we walk through the woods and a deer silently walks by without one noticing it, is the deer non-existent or is it just our sense of awareness that is the reality here?

When we go fishing we cannot see the fish beneath the surface of the water but we cast our lines in anyway. Do the fish hidden in the depths not exist because we cannot espy them, or do we cast our lines into the murky waters because we know that there is something there even if we cannot physically see it?

Or do we decide that what one cannot see, one cannot acknowledge and thus we move on without bothering to cast our lines in at all.

Paganism/mystical arts are akin to this analogy in many ways. Every person on earth is involved in paganism/mystical arts their entire lives and has always been. For it is such tenets of reality that have immersed us from the very beginning of time as we know it. It is our sense of awareness of this reality that determines whether we once again step onto the path of paganism/mystical arts.

Saint Augustine once said; “Unless you believe, you will not understand”. And so though there are some who will deny the existence of paganism/mystical arts this does not preclude a reality that is ever present and ever evolving. It simply highlights a sense of denial of a profound awareness. And as this denial is pierced and recognition of reality and the higher truths that accompany it are brought into the scope of one’s awareness, that person re-emerges onto the pagan path that in all reality they were always on.

And so in essence, no one is a “newbie” as such in regards to paganism/mystical paths. And so such descriptions as “newbie” should be seen not as an introduction by one to paganism/mystical arts, or as it is in some cases as a diatribe used to elevate one’s own sense of personal status, but rather as a re-awakening of one’s awareness of such a reality.

In my own “personal opinion” such a term as “newbie” should be a cause of celebration much like the birth of a newborn child. For when one opens their awareness beyond the layers of denial that have accumulated over the course of one’s life, that person has emerged from the depths of denial and is once again swimming freely in the waters of self discovery and personal growth.

Is this not a cause for great celebration and adulation by those who willingly walk the pagan/spiritual path?

If we are determined to utilize the word “newbie”, then perhaps we should consider changing the implications of such a word from the current understanding. For in essence, we are all “newbie’s” as we seek to walk the mystical path. For each time we encounter a mystery of life and arrive at an answer that works for our individual lives, we open the door to yet another mystery or experience. Is this not the essence of what it means to be a pagan?

It is this constant seeking that for me at least, defines the difference between being a subservient member of a religion and being a seeker on a spiritual path. The latter has set parameters of which subscribers are expected to follow blindly without question. And of which one is discouraged from questioning even when such questions beg an answer.

As a seeker on the mystical path, one has un-fettered liberties to form and then to seek the answers to the questions of spirituality that we all face, whether as a member of a religion or as a seeker on the spiritual path.

And so if I have to take on the label of “newbie” in order to experience such freedom of the heart, mind and soul, then I personally will wear such a label with humble pride. For as a newbie, I look forward to the rest of my life as being involved in a state of discovery and learning.

If being a newbie equates to being a pagan, I have found my calling, have you?

Daily Motivator for Jan. 30 – Make use

Make use

You don’t have to keep running to catch up. You can make use of the opportunity of today to get out in front of life.

You don’t have to settle for less than the best. You can make use of your unique perspective, skills, knowledge, experience and passions to make life outstanding.

You don’t have to waste any more time. You can make use of each precious moment to bring beautiful, meaningful and satisfying fulfillment.

There are valuable possibilities stretching out in every direction. There is great abundance in this life and you are exquisitely equipped to tap into it.

Lovingly dive deep into your essence and feel your authentic passion. Make use of the energy of that passion to make a difference wherever you are, with whatever you have.

Make use of the immense and magnificent opportunity that is your life in this moment. Make use, and make life even more beautiful by the way you live it.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator