meditate

MagickalArts

April, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Two

Excerpted from Part One…

…”Our physical bodies are a wonderful and grand vessel of complex and varied capabilities. Most of the functions that sustain our life are transparent in their process and automatic in their function. We breathe, our heart beats; we move in coordinated and purposeful mechanics, we feel, we think, we react. All of these physiological components are used as vehicles of anchoring in the refinement of our spiritual and subtle nature. We are humans in corporeal state and as such our level of response to spiritual and energetic action is through the vehicle of physical being. Even those experiences that we cannot articulate or are unaware of their potency and impact move through the state of our physical being and often become the eventual place of manifestation.”…

FIRE- WATER – EARTH

Reproductive System


Held within the polarity of the reproductive organs is the mystery of creation. The womb of the female becoming the place of quickening for the life that will, if viable reach full term and be replicated as human and physical being. It is this combination of earthly form serving as vessel and the seminal fluids of the male quickening the ovum of potential that the fires of creative out pour are produced. It is the movement and flowing of these waters held in the birth canal that offer up the fires of contraction and expansion to release this new life into being. At a purely physiological state, it is the healthy functioning of the reproductive system that ensures the continuation of humanity. These urges to create further provide ground for interpersonal connection engaging mind and heart in the selection of the fittest and physiological response in the secretion of hormones that will attract.

FIRE

Digestive System


Our digestive system is the furnace that acts to assimilate and effectively distribute what we take into our bodies as nourishment that becomes the fuel to keep us running. It is through this system that the foods we take into our physical structure are broken down into more digestible particles; nutrients and what will enliven are extruded and the transformed products are then eliminated before stagnancy can set in. Our digestive system is also largely responsible for the immunologic responses of our bodies.

This information is brief in its content as each of these systems is vastly complex and can be further categorized in sub-systems. The important consideration is that each system is dependent on the other either directly or through the bridge of another in producing the necessary life force to keep us alive. When we consider the complexity and precision of this life force and its active components that keep us functioning it truly is a profound and deeply humbling analysis. These same structures apply to every living thing in their own way of specificity and in larger scope to the entire universe.

It is for this reason that our first point of connection to that which is part of, yet independent of ourselves is through the knowledge of our own smaller universe that is our physical being. Once we begin that exploration we see the broader picture of our connectivity to all manner of life and how work on the self, produces far-reaching effects beyond that self.

The exercises below are suggested to make you more aware of the pulsation and vibrancy of your body. Most often we do not really feel the movement of the blood and beating o our hearts unless we are engaging in a physical activity beyond what our normal resting state would be.

Physical Exercises:

1. Engage in a moderate from of physical activity for at least 5 minutes. Enough to raise your heart rate. This should be in accord with your state of overall physical condition and what limitations you may or may not have. This activity could be climbing a flight of stairs, dancing, marching in place, etc…Standing or sitting, turn your awareness to the pace of your heart rate, and the feelings of blood moving through your body in response to the exerted effort. Try to completely engage with this sensation and make note of the fiery nature and pulsation of heart beat. Stay in this state of awareness for as long as you are able. As your pulse returns to its normal rhythm, remain conscious of this shifting and “cooling down” period. When you have returned to your normal state of activity, make note of how this differs from what you just experienced. Make note of how much more alive you feel as the release of the endorphins lifts your perspective. This similar type of feeling can be noted in the raising of personal energy as byproduct of an energetic protocol or practice.

2. Sit in a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. Take a few very deep breaths of inhalation and audibly sigh into the exhalation of each. Do this for several breaths, each time listening more deeply and opening to the physical feelings produced in the expansion and contraction of your chest and lungs. Continue breathing in a relaxed way with no emphasis on inhale or exhale (no sound). Listen more deeply and make note of the sound (inner) of the air passing into your lungs. Really try to hear the gentle whoosh in and the long extended soft sound of exhale. Send your complete focus to the sounds you are hearing for several breaths.

Now, shift your awareness to the physical, rather than audible sensations as you breathe. Make note of how your skin stretches softly in expansion on inhale and the gentle and elastic pulling in on the contraction of exhale. Try to consciously expand your skin just slightly further and contract more fully in for a few breaths. Send your complete focus to this action of physical sensation for several breaths.

Return your awareness to simply breathing, giving no more attention to the audible or the physical sensation. You should be feeling very relaxed and more expansive as you complete this exercise. We forget to breathe deeply and with intention because of the fast paced nature of our days. Taking time to acknowledge and consciously breathe opens your clarity of focus and anchoring to your physical state.

References:


Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Art Video

November, 2018

Swedish Petroglyphs

 

 

Sweden has an abundance of mysterious petroglyphs. The Swedish word for petroglyphs is “hällristningar”. This refers to figures and shapes carved in rock surfaces. Most of these images are pre-historic in origin.

Scandinavia has a very large concentration of rock art, created around c. 9000 (the first century BCE). There are about 30,000 registered sites (but new sites are being discovered all the time). Vivid interpretations have been attempted, based on Old Norse beliefs and Sami ethnography.

In truth we do not know until today what their purpose or meaning really was. Do they tell stories? Were they a backdrop for community rituals and ceremony?

This video offers an introduction and some key information followed by shamanic drumming inviting people to meditate on (or journey into) five photographs of Swedish Petroglyphs.

I invite you to share your experiences in the comments section for this video. Who knows, this might just give us some powerful (if non-scientific) clues to the lives of the Bronze Age inhabitants of Scandinavia!

I look forward to reading your responses!

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

My Life Prayer

September, 2018

My Life Prayer

Great Spirit

Show me how to use my gifts in service of you and all of the beauty you create.

Teach me how to step out of the way so you can move through me like the graceful dancer you are.

Teach me your choreography.

Give me the courage to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.

Continue to surprise me with creativity in unlikely places- I like that.

Teach me how to be present- how to live in awe and wonder like a child.

Keep me curious and open to learning from all kinds of places, people, things, and creatures.

Teach me to treat my process with tenderness.

Remind me to offer gratitude and show me ways to celebrate my victories.

Preserve my tenacity.

Keep me humble.

Keep sending people into my life who love me unconditionally and believe in my work.

Show me how to keep my heart open.

Most of all, show me how to live an artful, harmonious life while simultaneously walking lightly on the Earth.

-Jen Engracio

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic practitioner, Reiki Master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Mindful Meditations

September, 2018

 

     As we honor the energies of the West while entering Autumn — the season of reaping what we have sown during the second harvest of Mabon – we are encouraged to take a moment to show gratitude for our abundance. Our crops have borne fruit which is being stored for the darkening season and our fields are growing hearty vegetables which we will reap at the third harvest, Samhain.

 

Items Needed

-sunset location

-cup of drinkable water

-writing utensil

-paper (or the like)

 

Choose a preferably clear day to watch the sunset while sitting in nature. This mediation will still work from indoors but we are Pagan so nature is our place of worship. Face the West as you observe the colors of the sky, hear the sounds around you, feel the wind. Acknowledge that with each setting sun, completes the cycle as the day transforms into night, just as summer turns to autumn. Now get into a comfortable position and sit with your cup of water. Stare into the water, scry upon its surface. Reflect upon 20 things you are grateful for in this moment, this day, this year, this lifetime. Jot them down as they come to you. Feel free to write more than 20 but do not write less. When you are satisfied with your list, notice the feeling of gratitude within you. Imagine you are channeling that feeling through your hands and into the cup of water you’re holding. Imagine the molecules gently vibrating with warm, white light. Acknowledge your gratitude for the water and drink from your cup. Thank the water for nourishing you. Thank the West, the sunset, and nature around you, for holding sacred space during your Mindful Meditation. Thank yourself for taking the time to reflect upon your abundance in gratitude.

 

Blessed Be!

 

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About the Author:

(Amy Dubenetsky & Becky Coates, respectively; Writers of the Mindful Meditations column & Coven Sisters.)

This Mindful Meditation is brought to you by Amy Dubenetsky, a Bodyworker/Reiki Practitioner/Witch based out of Manchester, CT whom leads group meditations as well.  Amy is deeply involved with her Coven, Organic Farming, and various Dance Communities across the country.

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @bodyandbeyond444.

Seeing the Signs

June, 2018

Depression and divination

(Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash)

Depression is a disease that affects millions of people, regardless of religion, ethnic background, genetic make-up or economic outlook. Many of us take antidepressants, trying to feel better and suffer dubious side-effects from these medications. Some of us become addicted to these meds. Others of us self-medicate with drugs and alcohol and may end up with addictions to these substances. Some of us console ourselves with “comfort” foods, while others of us lose our appetites altogether and even when we are ravenously hungry, we can not eat. Some of us relieve our psychic pain by cutting ourselves. We lose pleasure in many of our favorite activities. Our days are long and boring. Depression robs us of all that once made us happy.

I personally suffer from bipolar mood disorder, which means along with depression, I also have episodes of mania. I am actually what’s called a “rapid cycler” – I can cycle in and out of manic and depressed moods within a single day. I can be depressed and manic at the very same time. But like a day is contained within a week and a week is contained within a month, my days of rapid cycling are contained within seasons of either manic moods or depressed moods. Generally, I am more manic in the early winter and later spring and depressed in the early spring and most of the summer.

Since being formally diagnosed in 1993, I have been on dozens of medications, most of which have been totally useless. I fully believe that most of the medications caused more problems than they solved and most of the problems that I had in the 1990’s and early 2000’s were a direct result of taking psych meds. I was out of my mind most of the time. I have been fairly stable since I reached my Crone years but I still have my moods.

This recent depression was triggered way back in 2016 when our current president was elected and I think many of us went into a deep slump at that time. Certain health issues of mine came to fore, as well as housing problems, and I had to move from New England – which I love – back to Buffalo – which I do love, but Buffalo is like loving an abusive man with addiction issues who’s never going to change. I know that many cities are just like Buffalo but I don’t have the emotional attachment to those other cities. And things really are worse here than they were in 2016 – for poor people, that is. There’s lots of shiny new buildings and expensive restaurants and microbreweries selling drinks that will give me a migraine after the first sip, they’re so damn hoppy. But that’s another subject.

At this point, I have been depressed for well over a year – with seasonal episodes of mania, like the one I’m in now – and it is affecting every facet of my life. If being depressed is defined as “losing interest in things that used to interest you”, then I have got the sickness pretty bad. I love to cook and eat but I have lost interest in food altogether – I go for days, eating nothing other than Cheerios, fried eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I simply do not care. I stopped writing my novel over a year ago – I even took the blog off WordPress – I keep saying that I’m going to restart it – and honestly, I miss my characters – they were like friends of mine! But I don’t write – I barely keep my diary.

One of the things that depression has stolen from me is my desire to use my Tarot cards or throw the I-Ching or study the Lenormand or pull a few Runes or anything. Like my attitude toward food, I simply do not care. It’s like – so what? One day is just another day. And with the madman in the White House, we may not have a tomorrow anyway. So what difference does anything make?

I was cleaning the other day – this is where being manic always works out – and I found my divination journal. The paucity of entries are pathetic. The last time I had done a reading was in February! And honestly, I didn’t remember it.

I did a Tarot reading that day – a Celtic Cross – with my Rider-Waite cards – partly because I felt guilty that I hadn’t done any readings in such a long time and partly because I thought that maybe I would see something new. Maybe it was my depression – but it just seemed to me that the cards were telling me that I was depressed – which I already knew! But maybe it’s just I’m too depressed to be reading my own cards. I don’t know – which brings me back to the whole point of this essay – depressing and divination. What is a practitioner to do?

I have to step out of myself to answer this question – as if I were being asked the question by another person. I would answer, go back to the basics. Pick one card a day and meditate on that card. Read all of your spiritual books and remind yourself of your path and why you are on this path. Go to the park and walk where it is green and quiet. Listen to the birds chirping.

I was told that there is no cure for bipolar disease and I do not think there is a cure for depression – there is only managing the symptoms. But I am going to do what I *told* myself to do – pick a card a day and meditate on that card. Read all of my spiritual books and remind myself of my path and why I am on this path. Go to one of the many parks in Buffalo – even if it means getting on the bus – and walk around the greenery that I have right here. Everything will change. The wheel will turn.

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

5 Easy Tips to Help You Relax

October, 2017

With all of the technology available to us today, you’d think life would be easier. Certainly, we don’t have to do many of our daily chores by hand if we choose, but still, stress remains one of the biggest threats to health (source).

So what can be done to manage stress?

The first important thing is to recognize that we might not even realize we are being affected by stress. So it’s important to work some practices into our daily routine that help us deal with the stress that we may not even be aware of.

The biggest problem with this for most people is finding the time. So here are five easy ways to help manage stress levels as part of daily life.

#1 – Meditate

In its most simple form, meditation is setting aside some time to spend in quiet contemplation. Scientific research indicates that meditation can have a significantly positive effect on stress.

Meditation doesn’t have to take long – even five or ten minutes is enough, it’s portable, and doesn’t have to be complicated, although it is a skill that takes practice to develop. A good way to start is just to sit in a comfortable posture, with your hands resting gently in your lap.

Close your eyes slightly or fully, and focus your attention on the pattern of your breathing. Try not to think about anything other than your breath. Some people use the technique of recognizing any thoughts that might come into their mind, and gently pushing them aside, or allowing them to float out of the mind while returning their focus to their breathing.

Alternatively, you could try a guided meditation, many of which are accessible online, like these (source).

2# – Get outside

Being outdoors in the open air, and spending time in natural places helps you to recharge and appreciate the simple things in life. It is possible to do this virtually anywhere, and beaches, woods, forests and even city parks or the tiniest copse of trees are all fabulous places to be.

Clinical studies have long proven that spending time outdoors, especially in the sunshine, and walking are both highly beneficial to health, reducing stress, anxiety and depression (source).

Walking barefoot – making sure that it’s safe to do so first – helps to connect with nature and become attuned to natural cycles. Observe the beauty and harmony, and the natural forces at work.

In daily life, make detours that take a more scenic route on your way to work, use your lunch break to get out into nature, and make family walks part of your regular routine.

#3 – Eat Chocolate

This is the yummiest stress buster ever! Studies have shown that daily consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate (and to a lesser degree milk chocolate) can significantly reduce stress levels.

Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (above 75%) has also been shown to decrease blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes. This serves to illustrate the fact that treats in moderation really can be good for you (source).

#4 – Do Some Gardening

Once you’ve made short work of your daily chocolate quota, it’s time to head into the back yard. Not only can you work off a few calories, it’s also good for reducing stress.

Numerous studies have shown that caring for plants, weeding and tidying the yard can have numerous significant benefits to health, including reducing stress, anxiety, depression and increasing life satisfaction and self-esteem.

So whether it’s your window box, someone else’s yard, or even a corner of a park or woodland you regularly visit, a daily dose of gardening – even just for a few minutes – is definitely on the stress buster list (source).

#5 – Laughter is the Best Medicine

You know those moments when something just tickles you, and you start to giggle? Moments later, you find the giggle gradually escalating into a fit of laughter that you just can’t control…doesn’t it feel great?

There’s a reason for that. Laughter is thought to release endorphins – chemicals that make us feel good, and has been shown in research to help to decrease stress, anxiety and depression, and give increased quality of life.

So make it a habit. Find a memory that makes you laugh, or a joke, or spend time watching what the children are up to when they think you’re not looking – anything that gives you that feel good factor. And when the laughter comes, don’t hold back…just let it out! (source).

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About the Author:

Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.

Before the Gates

August, 2017

A poem based on a meditation and visualization of Hekate, where she informed me I would make a choice, then walk through fire. She was not wrong, and it was more than worth it. This was written almost immediately upon returning from the meditative state.

 

One is a source of distraction

The other is a source of inspiration

One wishes to see me grounded

The other wonders how far I could fly

Let me stand upon your shoulders

Let me reach into the sky

Then you can climb on mine

And we’ll be reaching twice as high

One is a source of frustration

The other is a source of pure elation

One wishes to see me simple

The other revels in my complexity.

Let me open up the windows

Let us breathe true life once more

When finding walls around us

We’ll be breaking down the door.

So when standing at the crossroads

Says the lady with two lights

You can go the easy way

With no worry and no fights

But when standing at the crossroads

Says the one with whip and knife

Be sure you’re moving for yourself:

Your happiness; your life.

You may find this world again

But you may never find this soul

So never miss a chance

To complete yourself;

Be whole.

© Mabh Savage 2014

 

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Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of:

 A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

 

and

 

Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

 

Follow Mabh on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.