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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in healing

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Black Thread Charm

In 1841, Georg Waitz discovered two magic charms in a 9-10th century codex in the Cathedral Chapter library of Merseburg, the only surviving literary remnants of Old High German heathenry. In the second Merseburg charm, Woten heals a horse's sprain after other gods have failed.

Variants of this charm, with different gods and saints, survive all over northwestern Europe—the Germanies, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, Shetland, and the Hebrides—but a similar spell preserved from Vedic India suggests that it may be ancient of origin indeed.

The charm is of the type known to scholars as a historiola: what linguist Philip A. Shaw defines as “a charm in which a narrative is employed that in some way represents or symbolises the achievement of the desired outcome of the charm” (Shaw 62). Magic-workers have been harnessing the driving power of story to propel their charms for millennia; modern spell-smiths take note!

 The Old Craft version of the charm cited below invokes, as one would expect, the god of witches in his person of Wild Rider.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_kvitebj-rn-kong-valemon-1912.jpg

Lithuanians tell of
Giltine, the death goddess
Long nose, even longer tongue
dripping deadly venom
Clad in a white sheet
Found in cemeteries
seeking coffins’ contents
her poison’s source
She bites, strangles, suffocates 
a million ways to die
Giltine knows no obstacles
fences mean nothing
doors open themselves
She’s an unseen shadow
but you will hear her whip
cracking thrice in the air
or the clatter of her bone rattle
Feel a sudden shiver
She’s looked you in the face
and moved on…this time
Though a Patroness of healers
do not interfere with her will
tricking her is possible
but all measures are temporary
She will come for you
There is no escaping fate
Look where she stands
to know thy future
foot of the bed, recovery
head of the bed
say your prayers
your life is done.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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In my previous post I talked about how I was contacted by the director of pastoral services at Duke University Hospital.  Once a month, the chapel invites speakers from various faith traditions to talk to doctors, nurses, social workers, and other hospital staff.  The director had contacted me almost a year ago, asking me to give a short presentation focusing on a Pagan perspective on health, healing, life, and death. 

 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Red Rock Power Spot

Continuing my story of my personal journey, I found Red Rock Park to be a healing place. Red Rock Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, is a popular hiking, rock climbing, and picnicking destination where one can view petroglyphs. I often meditated in a shallow cave I named the Yoda Hole. The trailhead to the rock climbing area with many small caves is on the first overlook of the scenic road in the park.

The image that accompanies this post is a photo of the the Yoda Hole. It was pristine when I used to visit it for healing in the 90s, but had been defaced with graffiti at the time I took this picture. The circular design in the middle of the cave roof is natural, and I liked to position my head under it when I meditated. 

 A quote from my memoir:

     “When my feet touched the red rock I felt power go through me.  It was like plugging into a socket.  My energy level skyrocketed, and I found my pace quickening.  I walked right out onto the promontory of calico stone and sat down, my hands caressing the deep red stone.  At the same time that I realized this was the first stirring of psychic power I had felt in a long time, and I reveled in the feel of the power coursing through me from the rock, I also wondered what it was in the rock that set it apart and made it powerful.  Was the red color from iron, like rust?  If so, was what I felt as magical power actually a magnetic field?"

The red color is, in fact, from iron. Meditating in the Yoda Hole and hiking in the park improved my health. I became able to sense other minds again, including the gods. The gray lifted from me, and there was color in the world again.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_carrom-balance-board.jpgHere's a bit of "belly magic" for you.

The story begins years ago, when I sprained my left ankle, really badly.

The chiropractor suggested I go to the physical therapy supply store and buy a wobble board. The idea was to step side-to-side on this miniature see-saw, a wooden plank perched upon a cylinder, strengthening the tendons in the ankle I had damaged.

b2ap3_thumbnail_balanceboard-1.pngReluctant to pay the high-end price for this gizmo, I stepped into the nearest toy store and found a toy balance board brightly colored in blue and red, complete with a built-in maze game, actually a simple labyrinth.

The Woman's Belly Book describes how labyrinths relate to the body's center, the belly's center:

The labyrinth defines a path into and out from center. As a sacred symbol, it maps a journey from the everyday world to the secret core of existence. It charts a path to the World Navel, the point through which the life force emerges to revitalize the world.

From ancient times, cultures throughout the world from the Arctic to Africa have made labyrinths in a variety of designs. The labyrinth appears on cave walls, stone slabs, grave markers, pottery, coins, and the bellies of clay figurines.... Although many associations accompany the design, in some traditions the labyrinth clearly signifies a woman’s belly. The path through the pattern traces the soul’s return to the womb and its emergence in rebirth.

I recently took my balance board out of its box to exercise my ankles and keep them flexible. Stepping side to side, I tried getting the game's yellow ball from the labyrinth's outer channel into the center. No matter how I tried, I couldn't do it. Swishing as it spun, the ball swung around too fast for me to maneuver it through the narrow gateway into the next inner circle.

So I gave up and just played around with initiating the side-to-side motion with different parts of my body: feet, knees, hips, shoulders. Left, right; left, right.

Left, right; left, right: Initiating the movement with my hips made the motion smooth, almost effortless.

Eventually, I no longer heard the sound of the yellow ball circling around. I looked down and saw the sphere had come to rest in the labyrinth's center. With absolutely no effort on my part.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lisa Sarasohn
    Lisa Sarasohn says #
    Susan, thanks for your comment, and what wonderful work you're doing with labyrinths! And yes, I believe The Woman's Belly Book a
  • Susan Harper
    Susan Harper says #
    Thank you for this! As a longtime labyrinth walker, a labyrinth facilitator, I'm always looking for new ways to talk and think abo
Letting Go: The Practice from Hostage to Hopeful

My daily tarot card had been a series of reversals. The Lovers in reverse, the Death card in reverse, everything pointing to letting go of a past that seems to hold me hostage. Hostage to the doubt of not being good enough. Hostage to a body I did not wish to have. Hostage to a heartache that never seemed to abate. Hostage to past mistakes where the universe had let go, and yet I still lived in a vortex of fear, subterfuge, and suffering.

How many of us are living our lives like this?  Were we are a captive hostage attached to suffering!  Why is letting go, and moving on so hard? And how can we develop that into a stillness of heart and mind to lead us from suffering and into sweetness?

...
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_turtlebat_land.jpgMy friend Denise Ostler, a.k.a. Merri Beacon, writes tiny stories set in Turtlebat Land that she calls Fairytale Medicine: "funny stories in an enchanted land where empowering events create feelings of peace, freedom and self-worth."

The stories are truly medicine, slipping through the fairy tale portal-template already installed in our brains to open up possibilities for long-sought healing.

All of her stories are wonderful. "From War to Peace" is a lovely dose. It's particularly timely and — guess what? — it features a big dollop of belly-centric wisdom.

The story begins as, once upon a time, a man named Ergo is chronically denying his chronic anger. Confronted by his wife, he storms out of the house, runs through the village and on and on into the forest until he has to stop and sleep.

The story continues:

Ergo awoke the next morning and started marching. When the sun was high in the sky, he walked into a little clearing where a wooden shack was built. A sign hung on the doorpost that read “HEALER”.

I bet he doesn’t get much business, thought Ergo to himself. The thought struck him as being quite funny and he laughed out loud. Pretty soon he was shrieking with laughter until he had tears in his eyes. A man came out the door of the shack and smiled at Ergo who was now rolling on the ground holding his belly. “Help me,” he gasped. “I can’t stop laughing.”

“It’s because you have so many unshed tears,” said the healer. Ergo stopped laughing abruptly and sat confused on the ground. The healer gave Ergo his hand and led him inside, placing Ergo in a big chair covered with blankets. Next to the chair was a huge glass globe sitting on a little table.

“What is that thing?” asked Ergo.

The story continues here.

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