• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in daily spiritual work

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Moneyworking

For all that I write about money, I've never summarized how I work with it, in a religious sense.  In part that's because I only set up a formal money shrine recently, and having that around has caused me to step up my game.  Here's a snapshot of my money practice as of today.  I'm actually hoping that I will come back and read this in a few years and be amazed by it.  Who knows, maybe this will chronicle practices that I will forget, and then reconstruct based upon my own ancient writings!

But even if the internet archaeologists don't find it interesting, I hope some readers will.

Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_95012.jpg

A few weeks ago, in a conversation on Facebook with several of my customers about negative Spirit activity, one of them asked me which process I used for cleansing and protecting my own home. Since I am a professional Spiritist (professional as in making my living out of it), I get this kind of question almost very day – and I think my answer always disappoints them.

I spiritually cleanse my house weekly, using seasonal but simple elements like Salt, Sage, Resin Incense and Blessed Water, always caring that they are of the best quality possible. I go from the front of the house to the back, and then from the back to the front, saying a simple prayer that banishes negativity and encourages peace, protection and abundance – not more than two or three lines, that I can learn by memory quickly. If I feel a particularly negative energy I will choose a prayer from any of the prayer books I use, but that is very rare.

...
Last modified on
10

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It Gets Easier. Trust Me on This One.

This morning I packed a basket with Goddesses and Wiccan tools and headed out to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley.  I was invited to talk to the young people's RE (religious education) class--they are doing the section on Neighboring Faiths. I sometimes do the sermon at this sweet church and always enjoy the time I spend there.

I began by asking them all how well they'd scored in the Great Pumpkin Candy Berserker Night celebration. Most of the kids know me so it was pretty comfortable for them to talk--since I'm not technically a stranger.  I then read part of the Charge of the Goddess and we launched into an hour's worth of discussion on the Wheel of the Year, European tribes, tools of the trade and the nature of the Divines.  We finished with casting a circle.

It was fun and the kids were attentive and curious. The little red-head who was sitting beside me had even been to Newgrange and whispered to me that it was "awesome."

...
Last modified on
6
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks. Everything seems best when simplest these days.
  • Shauna Aura Knight
    Shauna Aura Knight says #
    Great post. I really agree with the part about finding your practice getting simpler and deeper.
Cultural exchange vs cultural appropriation

Recently I attended a workshop run by R. J. Stewart and he related a story of a discussion he had with a Lakota Shaman. Something she said to him was that she didn't want white people trying to take the practices of her people and make them their own, but rather that she wanted them to find their own practices and then meet with people from other practices and share what each of them was doing. When I heard that story, it made me think that something which is really important for all of us is cultural exchange, where we appreciate what a given person (and his/her culture) brings to the table without feeling the need to steal from it. Instead that appreciation allows us to learn from the other person and reflect on our own practices in context to what we've learned. We engage in a cultural exchange, so that everyone can benefit from what is learned.

Cultural appropriation is the wholesale stealing of a given culture's practices. The reason people do it may be a result of feeling disconnected from the culture they are in or identifying spirituality as only residing in the cultural practices of the culture they are appropriating from. Regardless of what the reason is, such appropriation ultimately creates a mockery of the original practices, because while the person might steal away the practices, s/he can never truly know the culture. S/he is always interpreting the other culture through the lens of his/her own culture.

One of the grey areas in this kind of discussions involves the choice to study a given culture's practices. I likely fit into that gray area. I study Tibetan and Taoist meditation practices. I am not of the cultures where those practices originated and I don't try to be. I study those practices to learn from them and implement them in my life, without trying to identify with the culture. It's a grey area, because I'm not trying to appropriate the overall culture and pretend to be something I'm not, but I am learning and practicing from that culture's spiritual practices. However, I think that such learning can fit into cultural exchange if it is done respectfully and with an intention to respect the original culture without trying to become part of it.

...
Last modified on
4
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jennifer Tindell
    Jennifer Tindell says #
    Thanks, this is very good.
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    The story I tell about cultural appropriation is that I once approached a Native American practitioner and inquired about learning
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Hi Carl, Thank you for commenting. I wrote an essay for that anthology. It's a good anthology, and some of the other ones that we

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Beginning & Continuing

 

This is the third in a series of blogs that will focus on meditation and contemplative practices in Paganism.  If you have not read the previous parts, I encourage you to do so. 

 

...
Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Quest for Betterment

June’s shadow card is the 8 of Cups, shown here from the new Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne and Kim Huggens.  Here we have a figure, cloaked in red, with his back to us walking away from 8 cups stacked behind him.  Red is the color of passion indicating that this person is passionate about their pursuits.  There are 5 cups on the left and 3 on the right and it appears as though the cups are empty but in truth we do not know if they are or if they have something in them.  If they are full, perhaps he is leaving them behind because they no longer work for him, if they are empty he may be feeling that his life is empty and he is leaving them in search of fulfillment.  He uses a cane to assist him as he walks in a wintry scene though a doorway between very large rocks towards what appears to be a stairway to the moon.  

The 8 of Cups is about going on a quest in some form or another, walking away from a job, a relationship, a belief system, or any other situation, positive or negative, and is often about leaving something good in order to find something even better.  Sometimes the quest is about finding yourself, of looking deep inside to discover those hidden things that you are finally ready to face.  A quest can be about leaving the past behind you so you can move on to better things, or leaving behind emotions that no longer serve you.  

 

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kathryn Shimmura
    Kathryn Shimmura says #
    Thanks, Machelle Although I didn't actually perform any specific shadow work, I did have a dream that night which was definitely s
  • Machelle Earley
    Machelle Earley says #
    Shadow work, in whatever form, is important. A lot of shadowrok is done through dreams.
  • gary c. e.
    gary c. e. says #
    Solid !

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Magic isn't always Glamorous

I've been thinking about what to write for this column for the last week and I've been coming up blank. No topic has really seemed right. There was nothing exciting going on or anything of real note standing out to me. If anything my life has been pretty mundane. Get up, go to meetings, meet with clients, come back and work on a project, spend time with the family, and of course throw some meditation and exercise in the mix for grounding purposes. Nothing very glamorous at all, and yet it strikes me that perhaps there is something to write about that, on this blog and its this: Magic isn't always glamorous or full of drama or anything else that we might associate with pop culture references to magic. Sometimes magic is just part of daily life, something you are doing to make your life easier or more meaningful or to connect with the spirits, but not something which necessarily has a lot of glamour associated with it.

My latest book, A Magical Life, has just been published. I'm excited to have it out, but something that the author of the introduction, Storm Constantine, wrote has been on my mind. In describing the book, she explains that magic isn't a colorful garment we put on, but rather it is an integral part of our being, woven into our lives everyday. And that is how I think of magic. I meditate each day and my meditations are an essential part of my life, something done as a way of bringing order to my mind, while allowing me to connect with the spiritual forces I work with. Nonetheless I'd have to say there is nothing inherently glamorous about the meditation. In fact, there are days I don't want to meditate or do anything else along those lines, and yet I make sure I do meditate because it is part of my life, and because not doing it takes away from the quality of my life.

I think to some degree your average magician is in love with the idea of magic being glamorous. Certainly at the beginning of a person's spiritual work with magic, there is this sense that you need to get all the ceremonial tools and that every act of magic must be an overt, explicit affair that screams to the universe: THIS IS MAGIC! And there is something to be said for doing those loud acts of magic that are glamorous and over the top and amazing in their own right. I've done and still do those kinds of acts of magic when the time is appropriate. But I recognize that fundamentally magic isn't always that way, nor does it need to be. My meditation practice isn't over the top and yet it still fills me with a sense of wonder and amazement. Indeed, if anything my daily work speaks more loudly to me than an over the top ritual because the daily work is where the discipline of the magician is tested. In that daily work, I don't necessarily do magic to solve problems (at least not overtly), but what I do is connect to the magic in a meaningful way that allows me to deepen my relationship to the spiritual forces I'm working with.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Thank you Erik. I'm glad this article was helpful!
  • Erik M Roth
    Erik M Roth says #
    Thank you Taylor. This is a great reminder about the nature of magic and it's ability to weave into everyday life. I appreciate
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Indeed you are not. There are many people out there who realize this.

Additional information