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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gratitude

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I felt like I was holding on by a thread after my husband’s heart attack. I found myself a caretaker while working a full-time job, dealing with our out-of-touch employer, editing my new manuscript for my publisher, keeping my radio show on the air and trying to pay the bills. Then the opportunity to spend a couple days floating on the Lazy River at a resort in Las Vegas presented itself.

Yes, it was in the hottest part of summer in Las Vegas, but anything was better than being in the office where I could not shake off my boss’ demoralizing words. I thought our performance for the last thirty years in his employ buffered us from the angst and vulnerability so many workers were feeling these days, but no. His reply to my query if my husband could expect sick leave during this health crisis kept echoing in my ears. “I don’t want to pay Roy for sitting home on the couch!” It took all my strength to refrain from hoping in his next life he came back as the guy who cleans out port-o-potties.

So we packed up the car and headed for Las Vegas and the Lazy River. Days of floating in quiet contemplation was just what I needed to recharge my batteries and have a moment to think about something besides stents, pills and doctors and how unappreciated I was feeling. At first the Lazy River just allowed, allowed, allowed me to just be, with no pressure. I could drift with no place to go but round and round, softly, gently, and quietly. Even the kids sharing the Lazy River were not a source of aggravation. It was peaceful and my brain could click off for a few hours.

As the hours turned into days, I began to feel like myself again and before I knew it the creative juices were flowing and this Lazy River became a source of inspiration.

Sometimes we can just float along in life, easily avoiding the chaos all around us, without having to put forth much effort to avoid turbulents. We see others around us going under but somehow we’ve managed to catch the current that just steadily pulls us along out of harms way. We may be lucky enough to continue like that for a bit but sooner or later we’re going to brush up against the rocks. We might even feel as if we're drowning as we are unable to avoid getting sucked beneath rapids and struggle to the surface gasping for air. If we’re lucky, in the next few times around the bend, we might be able to catch our breath. We feel lucky to maneuver ourselves away from the crushing weight of the waterfalls, large and small, we see along the journey.

As we go round and round, with each turn of the wheel, we learn to adapt. We try different positions to discern how to place ourselves so that we float along as stable as possible. We stretch and strengthen our muscles to avoid the rocks and waterfalls. We keep an eye on the horizon so we might manage to avoid chaos and not get stuck in log jams. We wear protective covering to ward off direct hits we might not avoid along the way. And sometimes, if we look for it, gifts present themselves during the struggle, and it is oh so important to embrace those moments in gratitude.  I am grateful.  I am grateful.  I am grateful.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In the two months since the election my broader outlook has become less defensive.   I have begun turning from battling the nihilistic right to the vastly more rewarding challenge of helping build a attractive alternative to modernity’s collapsed moral foundations. That collapse facilitated the right wing’s attempt to impose traditional authoritarianism in both secular and religious guise. Now, instead of constantly uprooting the right’s intellectual and moral weeds I hope to help prepare the ground for new growth and beauty. We sure need it.

My reading has shifted from politics to exploring recent studies exploring how our world is truly conscious “all the way down.” So long as materialist reductionism dominate the intellectual conversation, with irrational monotheism as the alternative, we will be regarded as exotic outsiders, and not taken seriously.  This conversation desperately needs widening. More and more people are becoming aware of the inner bankruptcy of the Enlightenment project and its monotheistic alternatives, and so are open to views such as that of many Pagans if they are skillfully presented.

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  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley says #
    Thank you for writing this, it's so nice to know there are others who feel this way.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Quiet Time

In the little corner of the world where I exist, on the small 13 acre plot I call home, it is quiet. The hurly-burly of 'the shopping season' is far away from us, and that is something for which I'm very thankful. By-the-by, 'hurly-burly' is one of my favorite words picked up from reading Homer. At our place, this is not a time of holiday shopping, frenzied consumerism disguised as 'needing to stretch my money further'. Our families know that if we give any gifts at all that they were made by our hand. No, this is a time for something much different..

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Meditations on Hávamál 1-4

Hávamál offers us a glimpse of a past that had already become somewhat nostalgic when a single hand transcribed the poem around 1270 CE.  As David A. H. Evans writes in the Viking Society for Northern Research’s edition of the verses, this second poem of the Elder Edda “is deservedly one of the most celebrated works to have survived from the early Norse world.” It’s full of gnomic advice that continues to be of interest—and application—to us in the modern world. Old Norse text via the Heimskringla Project.

1.    
Gáttir allar,
áðr gangi fram,
um skoðask skyli,
um skyggnast skyli,
því at óvíst er at vita,
hvar óvinir
sitja á fleti fyrir.

2.
Gefendr heilir!
Gestr er inn kominn,
hvar skal sitja sjá?
Mjök er bráðr,
sá er á bröndum skal
síns of freista frama.

3.
Elds er þörf,
þeims inn er kominn
ok á kné kalinn;
matar ok váða
er manni þörf,
þeim er hefr um fjall farit.

4.
Vatns er þörf,
þeim er til verðar kemr,
þerru ok þjóðlaðar,
góðs of æðis,
ef sér geta mætti,
orðs ok endrþögu.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    This is what I needed today. Blessings on your dear head, Laity.
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    You are most kind, my friend.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Devil's Night'

Some slightly more modern history and a slight indulgence: witches always end up in the news around this time of year. Suddenly every news paper or local news station wants to do a 'did you know there are real witches?!' story.

It all gets a bit tiresome.

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  • Tommy wright
    Tommy wright says #
    Loved the poem aS a former Christian can appreciate its meaning I. Now realize how judgemental I was

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Being a devotee of *cough* "lesser-known" Deities does occasionally suck. In my case, while I honor well-known Deities such as Hermes and The Muses and Artemis and Hekate, I am also very devoted to The Charites.

The usual response to that statement is "who?"

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This one little word gets ignored in our lives a lot more than we’d like to admit. I for one have been trying to use it more when confronted with self-doubt, new things or even old things which I’ve tried to put off rather than dealing with because I’ve convinced myself that they’re some how easier to ignore than address…I’m human after all.

Incorporating spiritual practice into ones daily life seems to be one of those things that so many of us desire, but so few of us actually do. When I wrote an article here at Witches&Pagans about starting a morning routine which involved appreciation and an informal conversation with a deity, it got very little public response, but the number of emails and Facebook messages I got not only let me know that many of you read it, but that most of you are afraid to even try to do something like this on the off-change that you’ll some how “fail”. As is you can actually fail at feeling gratitude and appreciation for what you have in your life or that your god(s) are so ready to give up on you that they won’t even aid you during your attempt to strengthen your relationship with them.

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