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meditation

Finding Your Own Way

April, 2019

Chapter
10

Seeking
Our Inner Child

In
a world that has become very materialistic and stressful, many of us
love to escape to childhood by watching one of the many fantasy films
that are now so popular. For a little while, we can be transported
back to a world of childish delight, as disbelief is suspended. That
child still lives inside us and has much to offer. In that world of
dragons and knights, of elves and faeries, lies a gateway to
increased optimism and energy. We can learn to see the world in a
fresh new light. Life is truly an adventure if we choose to see it as
one.

It
is a two-way process. By getting in touch with our inner child, we
can unlock a source of creativity and enthusiasm, and learn to see
the world as a place of fun and excitement again. We also bring the
wisdom gathered from experience to bear, on previously unexamined,
childhood beliefs. By doing this we can face old fears and forgotten
assumptions that are holding us back in our efforts to build a happy
and successful life.

Simply
take a few breaths and relax, read the poem and take some time to
gaze at the artwork. Then let any sensations or images flow through
your mind without judgement. If you wish, then continue the exercise
with one of the meditations.

I Remember Me

I remember me,
Suddenly, as plain as plain can be,
I see the world as clear as childlike eyes can see,
and I am young again.

Once more. I see the world is fresh and new,
and filled with wonder and amazing things to do.
Spider webs that sparkle with the sunlit dew,
and I am young again.
The colours of the garden fill my eyes,
Cool green grass, the warm sun flashing rainbows in my eyes,
The fluffy clouds that drift across the pale blue skies,
and I am young again.

What shall I do with this; – my rediscovered youth,
Shall I find a net and hunt for butterflies or newts,
Or shall I sit here in my quiet place, – it matters not,
for I am young again.

I remember me,
And all I ever was is here; – All in life that I held dear,
All that I have ever shared in love has never left,
And I can see it now,
And I am young again.

***

About
the Author:

Patrick
W Kavanagh,
Featuring
the inspirational art of Bill
Oliver

Writer,
poet, Patrick
W Kavanagh

was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small
rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the
human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using
tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics
and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over
40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the
power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance
states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque
Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

Book Review – Mindful Tarot by Lisa Frienkel Tishman, Ph.D

April, 2019

Book Review
Mindful Tarot
Bring a Peace-Filled Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards
by Lisa Frienkel Tishman, Ph.D

The
preface gives the reader a very specific view into the interpretative
style and way in which Dr. Tishman is going to incorporate a Mindful
approach to using the 78 Keys as tools of integration and awareness.
This is a different ideology than is the norm in treating the cards
of the Tarot as tools for accessing predictive information or having
a specific spiritual practice in mind that these interpretations may
be fused into. Dr. Tishman is, after all, a Zen Buddhist minister, so
the underpinnings of this book’s methodology are grounded in a more
eastern, vs. Western Hermetic dialogue.

Mindful
Tarot
is separated into two
Parts, the first giving a very thorough set-up for the reader who is
more acclimated to the traditional hermetic approach in using the
Tarot. Part One: From Mantic to Mindful Tarot begins with the
author’s experience as she sat on the meditation cushion during a
break in the seven-day silent retreat. The author tells us of the
epiphany she had surrounding the simple phrase, ”This
is ALL there is”…
and the clarity
of meaning she derived from that phrase when looking through a
different perspective.

Chapter
Two: Cartomancy and Mindfulness
-gives
even more insight to the interweaving of the tried and true Tarot
expectations and how these may be used in a more mindful way. She
sites the words of Tarot icon, Mary Greer as having been instrumental
is pushing her to seek deeper meaning for the individual…

Many people come to tarot in hopes of “fixing” their lives-obtaining information and guidance that will help them make the “right” decisions and no mistakes-guaranteeing perfection. I ask you, as a Tarot reader, how can we help the querent “embrace brokenness”? 1. Tarot for Your Self, 2nd Edition: A Workbook for Personal Transformation by Mary Greer

I
especially liked Chapter 7: The Daily
Pull
– Dr. Tishman using the acronym
of PULL
for Pausing, Unknowing, Looking, and Leaning In. Many of us are
familiar with the concept of pulling a card daily, not only as a way
of learning the deck but also as guidance for the day’s energies.
The author encourages us to cultivate the (zen) “beginner’s mind”
of absolute aliveness and openness to “what’s that”. We then
move on to the practice of patience, an excellent reminder that
things unfold as they unfold, regardless of the amount of coercion we
attempt to place on the desired (immediate) outcome. Each of the
steps of PULL have an experiential exercise following the descriptive
of how to, which is very helpful In training the individual towards
being present and fully engaged in the action.

Part
Two: Reading the Cards
is separated
into the usual format beginning with the Trumps (Major Arcana), the
Pips (Minor Arcana), the Court Cards. Each of the cards is given a
key word of focus and much like the books contained with a Tarot
deck, information is provided regarding that key word and its
application to a mindful Tarot practice.

Mindful
Tarot is filled with references and quotes that those who have a
solid background in Buddhist or mystic practices will easily
recognize and be able to make use of, which may leave those who are
coming from a hermetic mantic approach may not readily embrace. I
think this is an excellent book directed towards an audience that is
both versed in the nuances of a “real” Mindfulness practice-not
the buzz word version so popular nowadays and has a firm grasp of
understanding of the Tarot Keys using the more traditional predictive
interpretations. The Works Cited section completing the book, gives
validation to Dr. Tishman’s research and exploration used in
penning Mindful Tarot. Many of these, again, are not your staple
tomes for Tarot studies, which makes it all the more fascinating to
read.

Having
such a background to draw from, I found Mindful Tarot to be a very
interesting read that gave me enough thought-provoking information to
easily direct my focus for the Keys use in the way most revealing for
what I was hoping to receive.

About
Lisa:

Lisa
Freinkel Tishman, PhD
, began
studying the Tarot as a grad student at Berkeley in the late 1980s.
She has published extensively on Petrarch, the Renaissance poet
sometimes thought to have influenced the tarot trumps. An
award-winning teacher, Zen Buddhist minister, and certified
mindfulness educator, she is a former humanities professor and dean
at the University of Oregon (UO) and founding director of UO’s
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Lisa is now an interfaith
chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, and
continues to offer mindfulness classes, trainings, and Tarot readings
through her business, Calyx Contemplative Care. She can be found on
YouTube and Instagram as “Mindful Tarot.”

Mindful Tarot: Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards on Amazon

***

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 at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

Finding Your Own Way

February, 2019

Chapter 9

Candle Meditation

Candle meditation and candle
‘magic’ have a wide application in modern paganism.

There are many variations on
this method. One can use different colour candles to focus on
different aspects of our life and our intention. There are many
‘tables of correspondences’ which link various coloured candles to
different intentions. The most effective colour correspondences are
to be found in any book on colour psychology.

For example, focusing on the
colour red will raise our blood pressure, and perhaps, help to build
our determination for a particular task.

Red
is the colour of action and passion. Try wearing red if you feel a
little fatigued or in need of a boost of energy. It works!

Again, we are building rapport
with our subconscious minds through the effect of symbols.

White is the
colour of purity, meditating on a white candles helps us to gain
clarity, and to focus on higher ideals. Mix it with red and you get
pink.

Pink
is considered by many to be the colour of love. For those who wish to
practise candle ‘magic’, I would simply say that I have never known a
love spell that worked unless the person intended already had fond
feelings, – except perhaps to focus the feelings and confidence of
the person meditating on the candle!

Dark
Blue
is the colour of peace and calm, of night and rest. It is soothing to
the mind and brings restfulness and sleep.

Yellowis the colour of the intellect, of enquiry and
expansiveness. The researcher and the explorer are very much under
the influence of vibrational yellow.

Violet
is considered the colour of the spiritual minded the imaginative and
the ethereal.

Turquoise
(blue-green)
is the colour of healing, acquisition and
maintaining personal boundaries.

Magic is happening all the
time. It is the flow of energy between our total selves and the
universe.

Colour is the simplest way to
effect beneficial changes by manipulating our moods and desires.

Meditating on the various
colours has a marked effect on our moods. Surrounding ourselves with
bright vibrant colours helps us become more cheerful and energetic.
Cool, soft colours, such as blues and green help us become calmer.
Many hospitals have changed their décor based on the discoveries of
colour psychology. I believe that the tables of correspondences are
most likely based on an intuitive understanding of these principles.
As we tune into our own inner worlds, – this wisdom and knowledge
become available to us in dreams, visions and sudden inspirations.

In the Kabbala, the candle is
a symbol of the four worlds,- Aziluth (fire), Beriah (air), Yesirah
(liquid, water), and Assiyah (the physical, the earth) The wick is
considered to be the fifth element, Ether,- or the path that links
all the worlds from the base of Assiyah to the crown of Aziluth.

For this exercise, use a white
candle in a secure candle holder.

Sit at a comfortable distance
from the candle.

As you begin the breathing
exercise, take time to think about the candle as a gateway to the
higher worlds.

Think about the wax, melting
into a liquid and flowing up the wick.

The fire which melts the
candle turns the liquid into a gas and ignites it, creating more
flame.

Like the cycle of spiritual
energy which flows into the matrix of the universe and flows back
upwards to its source.

See the candle as a point of
focus for divine energy.

See the energy flowing out and
creating a circle of light which expands to surround you.

Allow your eyes to close and
visualise your self-being drawn to travel through the flame back to
its divine source.

Allow them to open slowly and
focus on the candle again.

See the light open into a
protective sphere all around you.

As they grow tired, allow your
eyes to close, and repeat the exercise.

Imagine yourself drawn through
the flame into the higher worlds.

Take note of any feelings,
sensations, memories, images and write them down later.

When you are ready, return
through the flame and open your eyes.

Thank any helpers or guides
that you may have and absorb the circle, creating a fine mesh of
golden light around you.

After practising the
meditations for a while, you will begin to have full, detailed
journeys.

Always remember that you can
open your eyes at any time if they are making you uncomfortable.

Try to always have a drink and
a small snack after journeying.

Candle Magic – Colour Magic

I have avoided the rather
thorny subject of magic up to now, – mainly because there has been
more waffle and downright lies written about it, than about almost
any other subject.

Do I believe in magic? A
better question would be, “Do I even know what it is?”

After 45 years of study, I do
have some theories. However, this book is too short to cover more
than a few basic questions. One neither needs to believe nor
disbelieve, in the existence of other worlds for the exercises in
this book to work well for them.

Let us start with my favourite
quotation from Aleister Crowley, “Magick is the ability to make
changes, in conformity with will”.

I would say that Magic is the
ability to make to make changes in consciousness at will.”

How we see the world around us
has a huge control over our feelings, actions, and inevitably, our
future and our happiness.

We hallucinate all the time.
We imagine attitudes and feelings in others that are in fact
projections from our own unconscious self-images. Because we are
unaware of the true source of our feelings, we live our lives in a
random unbalanced way.

Sigmund Freud believed that
the subconscious mind was a garbage bin for all the things we cannot
face in our lives, and he was partially right.

Carl Jung opened up the
possibility that beyond the personal images contained in the
unconscious mind, there is a vast fund of helpful imagery to be
discovered, which will help us make more sense of our lives and
feelings. Our ancestors intuitively tapped into this reservoir and
used it to help make useful decisions and live in a balanced
harmonious way. Many believe that this gave them a deeper connection
with nature and helped in finding food and timing planting and
harvesting, but that is for the reader to decide for themselves.

I believe that by gaining
rapport with our unconscious minds we can free ourselves from many
unexamined beliefs that hold us back from happiness and success.

In a nutshell, meditation
gives us a way to reach beyond our habitual way of thinking. We
discover symbols during meditation which help us, on reflection, to
gain rapport with our own inner worlds.

By reflecting on these
symbols, we can begin to slowly unravel the threads of our
unconscious impulses and beliefs. These beliefs have remained
unexamined because of the non-literate form in which they exist. Our
most important and far-reaching opinions about the world around us
were formed before we had developed language. This mirrors our
development as a species and gives us a link to our distant ancestors
who lived in natural harmony with the world around them.

Language brought many
advantages for our ancestors, – as it does for the individual. But it
comes with the cost of division and disassociation. As we developed
language, we learned to assign new meaning to the world around us,
while, at the same time, our culture imposed its own particular set
of standards upon us.

Magic and ritual attempt to communicate with this non-verbal part of consciousness and to understand the meaning of the communications which we receive in dreams visions and intuition. Music and art attempt to express the contents of these inspirations, as do dance, poetry and mime.

Magic offers us symbols to
spur our unconscious minds to cooperate in our efforts to succeed in
life. Unfortunately, with magic, we are usually asked to adopt
someone else’s symbols and try to force them upon ourselves in a one
size fits all approach. I would recommend that anyone who wishes to
make immediate positive changes in their lives to use colour
meditation/magic as a starting point. Refer to the basic colour
associations above to begin. Wear the colours in your clothing, – or
decorate a room in the colours that apply to the change you wish to
obtain. Coloured cloths are an easy way to begin.

The effects are pretty much
immediately evident. They will help to build confidence in the work
that you are doing.

In my own Celtic culture,
magic and mysticism were considered to be very much the province of
the bard.

In the magical revival of the late 1800’s, it was again the poets and the artists who were the chief motivating forces. In the pages that follow, Bill and I will offer the reader a selection of emotive and mystical art and poetry based on various themes. We have found that the chosen works resonated with many people and helped them to get in touch with their own inner worlds and symbols. As blocked and hidden energies are released, you may well experience tears or laughter. This is nothing to worry about as it merely shows that your meditation has been effective.

Barefoot
Angel

You
are my light in this dark time,

My
one true friend,

My hope of better things to come.

Your
laughter is the sparkling bell,

That
lifts my failing spirits with its chime,

Making heaven where there once was hell.

You
are the sun that makes my shadow tall,

the
rock on which I stand

without you, there is no one at all.

You
are my life, my day, my night,

each
hour, each minute aches for you,

You are the star that makes my evening bright.

You
are the shining jewel in the flower.

the
full bright moon that lights my darkest hour,

My
Princess in her shining tower.

I
never thought that I’d know joy again,

until
I saw the love in your blue eyes,

and found myself reborn.

***

About
the Author:

Patrick
W Kavanagh,
Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer,
poet, Patrick W Kavanagh
was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small
rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the
human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using
tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics
and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over
40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the
power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance
states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque
Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

The Sober Pagan

February, 2019

The
Universe Has Your Back … and More!

One
of the gifts I received at Yule was a set of meditation cards
entitled “The Universe Has Your Back”. Beautifully designed by
Gabrielle Bernstein, with artwork by Micaela Ezra, these are some of
the loveliest cards I have ever seen. I was first going to review
them for “Seeing the Signs” but after looking through them
thoroughly, I realized that they weren’t divinatory in the classic
sense but rather meant just for mediation. Not that Tarot cards,
Lenormard cards and Oracle cards can’t be used for meditation –
we all know that all these cards can be used very effectively as
meditative tools! But “The Universe Has Your Back” belongs to a
class of cards that are only for meditation. For this reason,
I thought they were perfect for reviewing in The Sober Pagan.

First
off, these cards are beautiful. Everything about them – the box,
the back of the cards, the card stock itself, the feel of the cards.
They are top-quality all the way.

The
inside of the box has this little message.

This
is the back of the cards. I really like this. Even before
you get to any of the meditative messages, there’s this lovely
image that begs for its own contemplative consideration. It’s as
simple as haiku but every bit as effective.

For the past few weeks, I have used these cards in my everyday mediation session. Instead of using a Daily Mediation book, such as Twenty-Four Hours A Day by Richmond Walker or Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey or one of the many other AA-approved books, I decided to simply pull one card from the pack and meditate on it. I’m not shuffling the pack or doing anything like that – I’m just taking the cards as they come – one card at a time – one day at a time. Each card is beautiful. I find myself looking forward to seeing what the card is going to be each day!

So
far, these are my favorite cards:

One
thing I’ve noticed is that any one of these cards could make an
awesome poster. Maybe I’m an elderly hippie but that’s what I
think.

So who is Gabrielle Bernstein, the creator of “The Universe Has Your Back” cards? She is the author of The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith, published by Hay House. I have not read this book and the reviews were all over the place in terms of good versus bad.

To find out more, I Googled her and found her website. Here is the link to it: https://gabbybernstein.com/ There are links to lessons on how to “Detox” yourself from being judgmental and how to pray for surrender. There’s another one for a “cord-cutting meditation”. There’s a link to her blog and a link to a place where you can “shop” for all kinds of stuff, including “The Universe Has Your Back” cards.

But of course, Gabrielle Bernstein is only one-half of “The Universe Has Your Back” card team – the artwork is by Micaela Ezra. Here is her website: http://www.micaelaezra.com/ Do yourself a favor and check it out. Although her artwork is based in Jewish philosophical thought, it is universal in its beauty and truth. I read a few of her blog posts and I look forward to taking the time to read them more closely when my surroundings are properly quiet enough for study. And as a craftswoman, I especially love her work with textiles.

So
I am quite pleased with this particular Yule gift! Not only did I
receive the gift of the cards themselves – and their meditative
messages – but I learned about the creator of the cards and the
wonderful artist of the cards. And every day – one day at a time –
I have a very valuable sober tool with which to work!

I very highly recommend “The Universe Has Your Back” cards.

Until
next month, Brightest Blessings!

References:

Gabrielle
Bernstein and Micaela Ezra. “The Universe Has Your Back”: A
52-Card Deck. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2017.

Gabrielle Bernstein. https://gabbybernstein.com/

Micaela Ezra. http://www.micaelaezra.com/

The Universe Has Your Back: A 52-card Deck on Amazon

***

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.

The Bad Witch’s Guide

February, 2019

The Bad Witch’s Guide to Pagan Prayer

(Photo by A L L E F . V I N I C I U S ? on Unsplash)

A
lot of people assume I don’t pray. This is wrong. I have a daily
practice and that means I connect in some degree to what is sacred to
me and within me, usually daily.

My
prayers can look like regular praying, or dancing, or cooking or
nothing at all. Let us talk about what I mean when I say prayer.

To
me a prayer is the mental and spiritual and sometimes physical
seeking of connection to the Divine within and outside of the self. I
have prayers I have written as well as some from the Feri tradition
on my bedroom walls. I may repeat those silently or aloud as written
as as my heart directs in the moment. The words are important but it
is the sensation of connection, or depth, of Anwen that lets me know
I am not just reciting. I am deliberately altering my consciousness,
with a mind to connection.

While
I also meditate often, meditation differs from prayer. In prayer I am
expressing something to myself and the Gods. In meditation I am
listening. I surrender to that connection. Sometimes I listen more
than I speak, sometimes I speak more than I listen. At the root of
prayer is hope, at the root of meditation is trust, faith. That is
why meditation is difficult for a lot of people. Not just because it
takes practice but because to surrender your thoughts, to really
listen within and without is an act of surrender. You have to let go.
Scary stuff for a lot of people.

Prayer
is different. It is an expression of seeking and of holding on, maybe
even building something. Even if there were no Gods prayer would be
important as an expression of our hopes, our strength and desire for
life and connection. An affirmation of awakened selves.

Sometimes
I call on specific Deities though more often I call on the Lord and
Lady, God and Goddess, or even simply Ancient Ones. I usually call
Herself first and then Himself. It was the Feri way I learned early
on and one I still use. I find myself “speaking” more to Herself
and “listening” more to Himself.

I
like the Charges a lot too. Though I don’t use them directly often
save in ritual circle.

Praying
can be dancing, my unspoken hopes and desires moving my body and
radiating that into the world. It can be in song, pagan in origin or
otherwise. It can be in my hands as I touch someone (I like “may
what is sacred to you heal you”). There are prayers in my teacup,
in the glass I use to take my medicines (I am getting better
everyday), in the spoons I use to stir my cooking food. Even if it is
only the words “thank you”.

I
was lucky enough to trade and receive a book of translated
prayer/poetry of Inanna. It is fascinating, ancient and beautiful. It
is rather sexy in places too! As a prayer it is a love poem. “She
who adores, adore me!” It was eye opening because prayer for many
people is a saintly bland affair. This was funny, entertaining,
erotic and tragic. It was eye opening.

Prayer
is more than a wishlist of wants like a child’s list of presents to
Santa. Prayer is speaking in heart, body and mind to what is sacred.
There are wonderful prayers out there but crafting your own is both
more personal and more relevant. You have the option to be as
specific as you like. Writing is often a prayer too. Whether it is
poetry in my many notebooks, on twitter or articles like these, I
have to connect to write. I have to reach into the light within me
and the light without to find the words, though sometimes I can not.
Sometimes there are no words only sounds or sensations.

One
of the other techniques some Feri traditions teach is to simply speak
to your Gods. No thee, thy, thou. Just you talking. Though I do this
least I do find it helps keep me sincere. It is a helpful expression
of where you are. Part confession, part shooting the breeze, this
kind of prayer is both cathartic and humbling. As someone whom has
been and felt I had to be superwoman this gave me a space where I
didn’t have to be perfect, all-knowing or strong. I could rest my
head on my Mother’s breast and cry, rest and just be.

My
personal shrines within my bedroom are where I come to pray most
often. I find cleaning them and it’s objects a prayer in itself.
While I do give offerings to the Gods this is usually part of rites
and ritual rather than daily prayer. I don’t like having food in my
bedroom, so if I do give offerings it is usually flowers, crystals
and objects like feathers I find that have meaning to me. Much like
my own daughter as a small child would bring me flowers and pretty
things.

If
praying is something new for you start small. Something short you can
remember easily or write in a journal. Taking a few moments to say
something from the heart is a beautiful way to start or finish your
day. It can be specific or open as you like.

Goddess
you are the sweet sacred earth

I
am of your body and I am blessed.

Goddess
you are the sacred waters of life

I
am of your body and I am blessed.

Goddess
your breath is the sacred air we breathe

I
am of your breath and I am blessed.

Goddess
you are the candle and the star

I
am of your radient light and I am blessed.

Goddess
your way is that of gratitude

Your
way is of peace.

Your
way is of joy.

Your
way is that of love.

Your
love willed me into creation.

I
honour you and I am honoured by you.

So
mote it be.

You could easily add a named Deity of your choice, replace blessed with anything else, like strong, wise, or holy. You can make it as complicated or simple as you like, it is the reaching with your heart and mind for that sincere connection that matters. So mote it be means “as I have spoken it will be so”. I prefer it to Christianized Amen. Blessed be is always a good ending too. Different paths may have different wordings. If you do something while you do this prayer, like light a candle or such after a time the act itself becomes connected to your prayer.

You
do not of course have to pray. Yet if you are seeking I think it is a
worthy endeavour. It is in the seeking that it matters. For if you do
not find it within you will never find it without.

The
one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real
beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity.”


? Alan
Moore

Finding Your Own Way

December, 2018

Chapter 8

The Shamanistic Path

I add this section for those who are interested in the spiritualistic or shamanistic aspect of meditation. This is simply an introduction to the world of the shaman. For those who wish to delve further, I would advise finding a reliable teacher to help them. In the last twenty years, there has been a widening of interest in the healing and spiritual practices of our ancestors and many have found a pathway back to a more earth-centred method of teaching and healing.

As always, trust your own instincts. Find out as much as you can before becoming too closely involved with any particular individual. We all go through challenging times, – but if this person is not handling the important aspects of their lives very well, then perhaps they are not for you.

If they care more about money than the work they are doing, then they are most likely not the right person to teach you. If they take on too many students, then they may not be able to give the support needed. Many shamans offer healing and counseling. If you are interested in learning from someone, then this may be a good way to find out if your paths are compatible. Even a good shaman may not be suited to you personally. Be prepared to take the time needed to find a way forward. A good friend who is a powerful shaman told me that the teacher will find you when you are ready. We work on ourselves and the universe guides us to where we need to be. I am always suspicious of weekend courses which promise to turn someone into an instant healer /shaman/counsellor with a nice shiny certificate.

What we know of the early religious practices of mankind is based largely on cave paintings and a few archaeological discoveries. Most anthropologists base their conjectures loosely on the tribal cultures which still existed in remote places up until quite recently, – before becoming overrun by modern society.

It is widely believed that shamans have existed as a separate class for at least 30,000 years.

It is my own belief that many men who were unsuited to hunting became shamans. In many ways, their initiation was as tough as that of the warriors in many cultures. Often they were buried for several days to symbolise a journey to the underworld.

Those with minor disabilities which would have made them unfit for hunting were able to help their tribe by performing rituals for success and journeying inward to help find the best places to hunt for game. They would then be on hand to protect the camp during the hunt and use divination to resolve any disputes. Contacting the ancestors may have been an important part of their duties and healing diseases by the use of herbs, and in serious cases, ‘soul retrieval’

In soul retrieval, the shaman enters the underworld to find the lost soul of a tribal member. The afflicted may have a mental illness or a fever or be near death.

The shaman must be confident and courageous, or he too may become lost in the vast realms of the underworld and perhaps never return.

I would find this idea quaint, – apart from having witnessed the effects on what could easily be called “loss of soul” on a good friend. He became lost during a badly constructed ritual for past life journeying which was popular in the 1970’s. Something rather nasty returned in his stead.

It took most of the night to evict the ‘entity’ and return this young man and he was never quite the same again. I am aware of the theory of disassociated personality complexes, but it is hard to call them that when they read minds and try to tear your throat out. This is why it is best to get a teacher before tackling more advanced work. Always set your boundaries and your intent. Use whatever help is available to you and meditate in a safe and a sane way. Take things slowly and easily.

My own ideas on how early shamanism was structured, are based more on my own experiences than on the little that is known of early man. Because a group of people may live a nomadic lifestyle or exist in buildings suited to their locality, made of straw and mud, – it hardly proves that their culture has not advanced in 30.000 years.

In 1980, I went to see a small collection of artifacts, taken from Newgrange, Ireland, which were on display in a private library in Dublin. I went with a friend, who I will call Susan. We were invited to go there by the leader of a Rosicrucian group we were involved in. All we were told was to look for an item listed as a ceremonial mace head and see what connection we could make with the object. It was an egg-shaped stone with spiral patterns and a hole through it, large enough to fill a man’s hand.

As I gazed at the object, I found myself back in Newgrange, sometime around the building of the passage tomb. A young man dressed in furs sat in front of a fire using the object to grind something in a bowl. He had a clubbed foot. When I commented on it, he laughed and told me it was why he was chosen to be a shaman. When I compared notes with Susan, it turned out that we had shared the same experience. Our accounts of the vision matched perfectly. Oddly, I forgot about this experience for many years until the memory came back to me one day. I wrote the poem below to remind myself of the journey.

Trance is a powerful tool for spiritual exploration.

It can be triggered by many methods.

Hypnotism is the least trustworthy and most dangerous method.

Wounded Heart

Do only fools and cripples live in longing for the light?

Are wounded hearts the only ones who venture deep into the dark to draw aside the veil?

They, who wander aimlessly in woods and fields, to search for wisdom long before the dawn,

Have pity for the poets and the artists who have felt this sense of exile since the day that they were born.

A simple, egg-shaped stone, small enough to fit inside my palm, became the key.

I gazed upon the spirals on this artifact and little did I realise the tale it had to tell.

My friend and I transported back in space and time to when it last was used.

At Newgrange barrow, we both stood, amazed, astounded and bemused.

The shaman sat before a fire, with robes of fur, and mischief in his eyes.

Grinding herbs with stone and bowl, our sudden apparitions seemed to cause him no surprise.

It happened forty, and five thousand years ago, I scarce remember all he had to say.

But one thing stood so clearly in my mind, it stayed with me until this very day.

He seemed quite young for one so wise, with a boyish face and long dark hair,

But, when I gazed upon his crippled foot, he quickly picked up on my stare.

I commented upon the injury at which he saw me glance,

He laughed as if I was a clumsy child, and asked how else would he have had his chance?

The wounded walk the lonely path, and fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

The blind can see the things which normally are hidden by the light, – their vision knows no end.

The beggar and the vagabond have riches that a king will never know.

And when the journey has no maps or charts, the child within us knows which way to go.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

The Road to Runes

December, 2018

The Road to Runes: The Right Headspace

 

 

Reading runes is a form of divination. All forms of divination require an open mind ready to receive messages and interpret symbols. A stressed and worried mindset will lead to false interpretations, or prevent messages coming through at all. Even the strongest connection between diviner and tools can be blocked by a worried mind or troubled soul.

Of course, we often look for answers from the runes because we are troubled and worried. So how can we stop these worries affecting our divination?

Relax

As an anxious person, believe me, I know this is easier said than done. Relaxation becomes even trickier when you have lots of questions on your mind. However there are several techniques you can use to relax your body, which will normally also help relax your mind.

Listening to music is an old standard for me. Very familiar songs allow me to blank out everything else in my mind, and I often find that belting out a good tune can release a lot of pent-up tension. Classical music can also be very relaxing, but if you’re someone who finds classical music boring, don’t go down this route! Spend some time figuring out which music relaxes you. Are you more relaxed after shouting along to something upbeat? Or by closing your eyes and letting some panpipes wash over you? Services like Spotify are great as they allow you to search for relaxation music and sounds, if you can’t think of anything from your own collection.

The pendulum method, or progressive muscular relaxation (PMR) is also a method I use to help me relax. It also works for sleeplessness. It consists of deliberately tensing groups of muscles, then allowing them to relax. The idea is that for the pendulum to swing the most one way, you first have to pull it all the way in the other direction. So muscles will relax better, or feel more relaxed, after being tense. You may start with your hands, work up to the shoulders, then down to the feet, all the way back up the body leaving neck and face until last. I tend to start with the feet and really take my time. I will talk to myself mentally as I do this: “I’m tensing my toes; I’m relaxing my toes. I’m tensing my feet; I’m relaxing my feet,” and so forth. The combination of muscular relaxation with focusing on the task will leave body and mind loose and ready for anything.

Meditate

Rune meditation is a specific type of meditation designed for understanding the runes better. However, any form of meditation before divination can help make the mind more receptive to messages and more skilled at interpretation. Meditation helps move our mind onto a different level of operating, and allows us to let go of thoughts and feelings which may be bothering us unduly.

Breathing is the key to meditation. A very skilled meditation master advised me that breath is the only tool we ever need. Philosophical, but also accurate. Find yourself a comfortable position. There’s no rule that says you have to sit cross legged, or sit at all. Laying down is perfectly acceptable, although there is the risk of falling asleep! I have joint issues which means it’s very painful for me to sit cross-legged, so I normally sit on a chair or on my sofa, supported by cushions in order to have a straight back whilst remaining relaxed. Once you are comfortable, start to focus on your breath. Breathe naturally, but make a note of it flowing in and out of your body. Notice the breath coming in, then feel it leaving you. In, then out. Imagine yourself breathing in fresh, cooling air, and imagine any stress or tension leaving you with every out breath. Inhale refreshment, exhale stress and worry. Inhale light, expel confusion. Inhale relaxation, exhale aggravation.

If you struggle to breathe normally whilst focusing on your breath, try counting as you breathe. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of four, then breathe out for a slow count of five. There are lots of different breathing techniques to allow you to enter a meditative state. Once you find your mind starting to relax, you can start to let go of troublesome thoughts. Notice them appear, then just let them drift away. Don’t try to quiet your mind; this is impossible and can make you feel more stressed when you fail. Let the thoughts rumble through your mind but treat them as though you are watching traffic, or the birds flying by. You don’t need to be involved with them right now. Observe them, then let them pass. Stay in this state for as long as is comfortable or until you feel relaxed and comfortable. Always come back to yourself slowly, and gently. Drink some water. Thank yourself for the gift of relaxation. Now you are ready to read your runes.

***

About the Author:

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: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

MagickalArts

December, 2018

Excerpted from:

19-Days of Illuminated Darkness

Day Three

The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice



For most of us the turning of the Greater Wheel to the Winter Solstice (Yule) is one of welcoming the return of the Light of

renewal and strength, the promise of increasingly longer hours of daylight and anticipation of warmer weather and a more outer world focused time. This change is subtle in physical form as this is also when the cold of the Winter (Northern Hemisphere) will remain for a few months more prompting us to retreat indoors as the early arrival of evening’s darkness envelopes and calls us into the warmth and light of home.

Each year, I do my work of Self, both within my Tradition (The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel) and personally to call forth this return of Light. And, I also find myself retreating more deeply into the shadows and taking refuge in its landscape of shadow; being intuitively drawn towards the deeper work of spiritual quickening, I think of this as the energy of the Hermit Key of the Tarot and my time to move into the darkened areas of my own inner landscape so that I may welcome and bring forth the Greater Light within. This is also the time of relying on my Shadow self to provide the necessary absence of light to guide me through those darkened paths in a constructive and informed way.

In all spiritual practice, the thought of the physical being holding the Inner Flame of Spirit or The Divine Spark of Light is offered up as a basic concept. The language may differ. The way in which this Inner Light presents itself and interacts with conscious awareness may have different ideology. And, the tools and methods used to quicken its energy may be worlds apart in intent and function, but the premise remains the same. In the space of our dark nature lay a light that is luminescent and brilliant that may be called upon to enliven and transform our spiritual and mundane pursuits. If we take it a step further, this transformation is the direct result of collaboration and embracing the dark and the light natures of our consciousness and using each as support and spiritual catalyst of the other.

This dark nature that I am referring to also has many names, functions and philosophies attached to it. I will simply call it the Shadow (Self) . There is an inherent polarity in all things and this Shadow is that polarized image of our Light nature. I am intentionally not using words that are negative in connotation for the Shadow, because it is not anymore a negative aspect of our being than the Light filled self is. Both are states of being that are subject to all the permutations and scales of intensity and impact that any other state of being is. In reality, if we did not have the antithesis or opposite of something, how could we ever enjoy and fully embrace the thing that is being opposed? So, how can this Shadow state be used during the waxing of the Light and engaged to work co-creatively upon those parts of myself I Will to quicken and prime in alignment with the increasing state of light?

The time of the Solstices allows for a deeper awareness and exploration of what impact we have in this world and how we may use the information we learn about ourselves to move in appropriate and fulfilling ways. It is the time of disequilibrium to bring about the eventual balance that is actualized at the Equinoxes. Neither of these energies are about everything being measured and being exactly the same amount of something on each pan of the scale. Rather, they are the states of balance that are dynamic in nature, moving and flowing one to the other and arriving at an informed state of equilibrium at some point of the process. It is again about the process of polarities and the allowance of a void or lesser amount of one thing, so that it may be filled and quickened by its opposite. There is also the component of sacrifice within these thoughts in that we must willingly acknowledge that something must be given up to make room for that which would be drawn in.

This is the battle of the Holly and the Oak Kings, as each gives way to the other and also resists the relinquishing to the other of its power. One holds the promise of the growing Light and the other the refuge of the increasing Darkness. And, although they are one in the same, in order that the cycles may continue and a newly formed energy can be birthed into being, one must relinquish a parcel of its power to be subsumed into the other; temporary imbalance as brothers become enemies and in the final act, become allies in the process of transformation. The Light of the Oak King birthed from the darkening and lessening of the Holly King.

We call forth to the return of the Light-filled Oak King and celebrate the waxing of the Light half of the year. But, in order for that light to shine in its fullest way, we must also embrace and celebrate the remaining vestiges of the darkness of the Holly King. The darkness of the months that persist of winter’s cold. The darkness that becomes the expanding shadow as the sun shines increasingly longer and brighter around us. And, the darkness that we can retreat into to find those hidden sparks that yearn to be nurtured and brought to the full light of day.

As the weather remains or becomes even colder, the natural inclination is to seek out the warmth and coziness of home. And, so I retreat into the welcoming warmth of my home and settle in ready to study, meditate and reveal more of myself to myself. I embrace the early evening darkness as a cloak that I step into so I can more fully appreciate the sun’s light of day. I move within both physically, settling into home and family and spiritually as I dig deeper into the recesses of my own nature. I seek out and call to the inner spark within and stand ready to embrace also the Shadow of my nature as it rises to the surface, revealed by that light.

In meditation, I allow my breath to slow and deepen into the darkness and move along the paths of my own creation that I have tended to in the previous months in preparation for this time of going within. These paths are often mired with the thorns and treacherous roots of inertness, illusory thoughts and judgments that I have used as the trappings of who I am in the world. My Shadow has nurtured each and knows the weakness and strength of each because in this space of darkness what is revealed is often seen more clearly in its true form than in the blinding light.
When I finally relax and surrender into the wisdom of my Shadow the first striking of the match of greater light is drawn across the rough surface of my resistance, and the resistance is transformed into the tiny sparks that ignite the part of myself that is receptive and waiting.

In accord with the energy of Yule, I allow the weakening resistance of my Holly King to be replaced with a renewed sense of purpose and the strength of my Oak King. My Shadow self is resistant to being brought forward, knowing that bits of it will be released in sacrifice and other parts will be transformed so that its darker nature can work co-creatively with the strength of my light self. I call to the Oak King that he may bless and enliven both aspects of myself as we move forward into the new year in anticipation of what can be seeded at the Spring Equinox; and accepting the knowledge that his wisdom will be transformed as the Shadow begins to strengthen its work at the Summer Solstice and the rising once again of the Holly King.

At those points when the darkness seems pervasive and overwhelming and the light is barely visible I am reminded that without the necessary shade to prevent the seedling from drying and withering from an overabundance of the light’s unfiltered rays, the beauty of new growth and radiant and healthy flower will not come to fruition.

May the blessings of the growing Light and the wisdom of the Dark create the quickened space for a prosperous, enlightened and informed Yule.

***

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.

Mindful Meditation

December, 2018

Winter Solstice Meditation

(Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash)

The Winter Solstice has been a time of celebration, merriment, and relaxation across cultures for millennia. The shift into winter has always brought a turning inwards for myself. The change from Sagittarius to Capricorn is a great way to use this energy for forward movement, instead of downward spiral. This is a great meditation for the Solstice, the couple of days before or after, or whenever you need a boost of inspiration and drive. If you are solitary and prefer to listen to the meditation, you will find that option below.

Find a comfortable position where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and feel where you are making contact with the ground. Feel a root come down from your feet or the base of your spine and burrow into the cold soil below. Feel the hibernating animals all around you, tucked in for the winter. Let the safety of the earth enfold you as you let go and fall deeper into yourself and the arms of Mother Earth.

You are in a winter field at night. You see a centaur, half man, half horse emerge from the tree line. He approaches you with eyes that are both wise and wild and smiles a confident and knowing smile.

“Where is your passion leading you next?” he asks as he takes off his quiver of arrows and hands them down to you.

What comes to your mind first? Do you embrace it or doubt it? Let other passions arise and be aware of your ego’s reaction to them. Does intuition or fear hold you back from any? Are some on fire, already filling you with excitement at their prospect?

See each arrow as a potential direction that you can explore, and choose the one that is singing loudest to your heart. As you pull it from the quiver, the arrow-head bursts into flame. The centaur smiles at you again and he hands you his bow, pointing off to the distant mountains and says, “Take your aim and fire.”

You notch the arrow and pull the bow back. You take a deep breath as you aim towards the mountains and as you exhale you let the arrow loose. You both watch it zoom across the darkened landscape until it hits high up on a mountain.

The centaur nods in approval and reaches his hand down to you saying, “Jump on, let’s go get it!”. You swing up onto his back and he takes off at lighting speed in the direction of the fire you lit on the mountain.

You are full of excitement and elation as you gallop across the land at an amazing speed. You keep your eyes on the blaze and you feel your passion growing as you near it. How does it feel to run unwaveringly to your dream?

Sooner than you thought possible, you’re at the base of the mountain. You notice a goat standing on a rock next to the path that leads up the mountain. The centaur turns to you and says, “This is as far as I can take you, he’ll show you the rest of the way. Remember your excitement when the path gets challenging. The view from the top is worth the work.” You slide down from his back and approach the gruff mountain goat, who with barely any acknowledgment, turns abruptly, jumping from his perch and trotting up the rock path ahead.

You take a deep breath as you gaze up the path. You see high above you the flickering of the flame you lit. How do you feel standing at the base of the mountain, looking up to where you long to be? Honor that feeling, and then start your ascent.

The path quickly becomes very steep. You’re thankful for the mountain goat leading you. He finds a way over any challenge, taking only a second to assess the situation and then calmly finding a solution. Any resistance you were feeling melts away as you take on his determination, finding a way up or around any difficult terrain you encounter. Anytime exhaustion begins to creep in, you shift your gaze from the path in front of you, to the glow above and you remember the excitement you felt rushing towards that blaze, when anything seemed possible.

You’re keeping pace with the mountain goat now, and where he seemed serious at first, you now see through his determination to the joy that is rising as the fire gets brighter and brighter as you climb. He is proud of the work you’ve done and so are you. You find yourself smiling as the warmth of self-confidence rises up through your solar plexus, up through your heart and fills your whole being. As you bask in that glow, you crest a peak and see your fire burning right in front of you. Feel the exuberance of success! You’ve made it! Take a moment to sit with the fire, giving gratitude, releasing any fears, and receiving any messages.

When you are ready, you shift your gaze from the fire to the horizon and notice that dawn is breaking. The sun has returned and the long night has ended. Feel the first rays hit your face and take that warmth and the warmth of the fire into your heart. Feel it grow and expand in your chest. Know that it will keep you warm through the cold months ahead as the sun, and you, get stronger and stronger each day.

Take a deep breath and feel the ground beneath you. Wiggle your fingers and toes, feeling yourself come back to your body. Keeping your eyes closed, wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug. Feel the warmth that is still glowing in your heart. Take a deep breath, release your arms, and open your eyes, knowing that you’re ready to take on anything to reach your dream.

[audio mp3="http://paganpages.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Winter-Solstice-SagCap-Meditation-online-audio-converter.com_.mp3"][/audio]

***

About the Author:

Rebecca Coates is a Tarot reader, massage therapist and fire dancer. She has been in a coven for the past two years and is about to embark on a journey around the United States and is looking to meet other witches and lovers of magic. Visit beckycoateslmt.com to connect with her.

Finding Your Own Way

November, 2018

Chapter 7

Meditating With A Spirit Drum

One of the easiest and most effective ways to meditate is by using a ‘spirit’ drum.

Having been a part of many workshops and drumming circles, I can personally attest to the simplicity and effectiveness of using ‘spirit’ drums for healing and journeying.

If you have a few interested friends and somewhere to go to practice, – you will find that it is an amazing and uplifting experience.

Should you wish to form a circle, you will find that spirit drums vary greatly in price.

A lot of people use ‘bodhrans’ instead, as they are cheaper and can be bought from most music shops. They are hand drums used in traditional Irish and Celtic music.

If you look online, there are many useful videos to get you started. Compact discs are also widely available with shamanistic drumming and Spirit music. I would recommend Native American drumming tracks, but that is just a matter of personal taste, – there are drumming tracks available from many cultures.

If you decide to drum in a group, the biggest obstacle to success will be your own self-consciousness. Having just a small group of two or three close friends will help.

The rewards of overcoming your initial feelings of reserve are well worth the effort.

In a drumming circle, the energy of the drums take over, and the rhythm takes on a collective life of its own.

It is always a good idea to set out your intentions before drumming. Whether you wish to feel uplifted, journey, or send healing to someone, – make your intentions clear before beginning the drumming session. Imagine yourself working within a golden circle of love and protection.

Upload a few tracks online until you find a beat that appeals to you and practice it quietly in private until you feel confident with it. There is no great art or skill required. The most powerful beat is a simple steady rhythm of single beats on the drum. This is called a shamanistic beat.

Spirit Drum Meditation

To begin, choose a quiet area where you will be undisturbed.

Take several deep breaths and tell yourself to relax.

Take a little time to read the poem below and to absorb the images from the artwork

You may play a drumming track quietly in the background if you wish, but it is not essential.

Imagine a golden sphere of protection around you as you work.

Begin with the third eye meditation.

As you breathe out through your third eye, visualise a shining path ahead of you.

Allow yourself to be drawn onto this path.

You can see a fire ahead of you, in the distance, and you walk slowly towards it.

If you see any creatures nearby, take note, as they may be important to you later on in your journeys.

You will see a group of figures around the fire. Some may be drumming. Some may be dancing. How they appear to you will depend on what it is you need to learn on your path.

Spend some time by the fire and take note of whatever you experience there.

Stay near the fire until you are ready to return.

Turn back and walk down the path and you will find yourself back where you started the meditation. Breathe slowly and easily and open your eyes when you are ready.

If you feel uncomfortable at any stage of the exercise, simply open your eyes and you will return to your room, safe within the circle of light.

Finish the meditation by thanking your subconscious mind for its cooperation. Also, thank any Deities and helpers. Then draw the golden circle back to you and close the session.

What you experience and where you go on this journey will vary greatly according to your personal needs. It is always helpful to spend a few moments in setting the boundaries for your journey before you begin. What is it that you wish to achieve? What type of journey are you expecting? Is there some challenge or personal goal that you wish to focus on?

This meditation is particularly powerful when done in a drumming circle.

Be sure to have a drink and a snack before travelling home or handling any machinery.

Write down anything you saw, heard or felt. Especially, note any creatures that you encountered.

Drumbeats

The drums are beating softly in the distance,

Like a peaceful heart. they draw me to them,

leaving life’s conundrums far behind.

Like poetry, with inspirations, much too large for words,

The rhythm opens up my soul and fills my mind.

As I sit and write, the rhythm of the drums still beats within my heart.

In the forest of my mind, I see the shamans dance and whirl.

Orange flames that go so high, they almost reach the moonlit sky.

Somewhere in the Once, or in the Now, they beat their drums for me.

And now the healing magic of their chants is reaching out to me.

Wolves with emerald eyes are in the shadows.

I can hear the eagles piercing cry.

Brother Bear is everywhere, and I can also see.

All the spirits of the native forest watching over me.

Lending me their powers, so I can live the life I never thought could be.

There is poetry in every beat, and magic in the rhythm of the drums.

Through the cadence of his chants, I find the link, the shaman comes.

Healing for the body, for the spirit and the mind,

As I leave this world of consternation far behind,

and find again, the wisdom and the beauty that was meant for all mankind.

This is another meditation for the spirit drum which came to me a few years ago.

It is almost impossible to meditate without finding a great connectedness with the wider universe and the earth around us. This poem is a warning about the way we are treating the earth.

We are all interdependent, – if a single species dies, then we are all so much poorer and so is the legacy that we leave to our children. If the earth dies, – then we die with her.

Whether we have one life or many, we have a duty of care for the planet and those around us.

As we develop through meditation we will feel this much more keenly.

Reaching out to the world and the people, plants and animals around us will bring us much joy.

However, our increased sensitivity brings with it a need to learn to protect ourselves, and a tendency to avoid certain people and situations. Unexpected changes will begin to happen in our lives, as we move into areas of activity that were once difficult to even imagine.

Be prepared too, for resistance from family and friends as you move away from old habits and develop new areas of activity. Much of it will be in a misguided spirit of over-protection, so be patient in your dealings with those who fear the changes in your life will begin to balance out as you forge a new agreement with your subconscious mind. You will be forging a new path in life which is based on your own needs and not the expectations of others.

A Warriors Tears

What will we make of the world when the last rose has died?

When all alone we stand upon the naked earth where once the weeping willow cried.

Where once the sparrow chirped upon the leafy bough,

And now, across the barren wastes, the wind blows soft and low

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Where vast majestic rivers flowed, now runs a ragged little stream.

No fish still swim within its dark and murky flow.

No dragonflies above the bare, baked clay that guides its weary way.

No butterflies delight our eyes with a colourful display.

And when our world has gone,

Where will we go?

Take the seeds of mother earth and scatter them wherever you may go.

We can plant ten trees for every tree that dies.

Cut the fences, chop the posts and let the buffalo run free.

Take the earth back from the greedy; let us share it as we did in days of old.

For when our Mother dies,

Where will we go?

I channeled this in a couple of minutes. The first two verses came in an instant. I added the last verse after a moment’s reflection as a reminder that there is always hope.

For those who drum, it chants well to a basic shamanistic beat or, “drums across the water” (such as you might hear in an old cowboy movie)

My wife, Tina, told me to sing it, and I grabbed my drum.

To my amazement, it just flowed through me. It was a very powerful experience.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

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