Living near the sea I am lucky enough to be able to collect sea shells easily, I love walking along the beach and always come back with pockets full of shells and hag stones....
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As some of you know, I grew up in a funeral chapel family. All throughout my childhood, my brother and I would tag along when our dad went to work, and we would run around the back of the chapel while he embalmed or made funeral arrangements. We had two phones at our house: our house phone, and the chapel phone, which could ring at any hour.
This proximity to the certainty of mortality came with so many blessings. One of my favorite is my ability to remember - in an instant! - how exceptionally lucky I am to spend even the tiniest of moments with a loved one. Another is my ability to bring myself back to an awareness of the unfathomable preciousness of every individual breath.
Still, it's easy to forget these things during the daily grind and the relentless hypnotism of our cultural messages. So, in the spirit of gratitude (and to warm us up for the upcoming holiday) I thought I'd share 8 of the countless things that make you the luckiest person ever.
2. Your relative degree of health and ability. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of health, you very likely have a number of wonderful abilities, including (but not limited to) any or all of the following: the ability to walk, run, dance, speak, hug, laugh, see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. You also very likely have many or all of your appendages. We don't think of these things much when we have them, but if one of them disappears, how much we miss it, and treasure the memory! But just by remembering this, we can treasure these things now....
As an integral part of many people's lives across the world, religion naturally intersects with just about every other aspect of society: politics, entertainment, morality, law, etc. This week, for Faithful Friday, we take a look at some of the ways religion impacts our lives outside of purely denominational settings. Join us as we look at the politics of religion in the United States, the way in which religion (and other strong ideologies) affect scientific progress, and even how the popular sci-fi franchise Star Wars is impacted by religious values.
"A goddess!" I exclaimed, as I approached a large rounded feminine figure in the National Museum of Ethiopia.
"No!" A man's voice echoed throughout the room.
When he noticed people's glances upon him, the museum guide lowered his voice: "That piece is a very, very old", he said hesitantly. "It is pagan. She comes from the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group here in Ethiopia."
I could not peel my eyes off the figure. The unexpected discovery piqued my interest.
"Does she have a name?" I asked hopefully.
Instead of answering my question, the guide told me about Ethiopia's most famous woman:
Over the past few weeks I've been examining my practice with the Elements. It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last two post I talked about my explorations with Air and my connections with Fire. Now it's time to dive into some deep Water.
Immersing myself in Water -...
Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lammas, Mabon--the eight points in the year that we stop and celebrate the seasons. In the six to eight weeks between each Sabbat, changes have been taking place--some so subtle that you might not be aware of them. The nights get longer--or shorter--by only a minute each day. The weather warms up, or cools down. One of the things that the Sabbats call us to do is to stop and look at the changes that have taken place. It's a time to regroup, reflect, and plan ahead. So in addition to the celebrations, family traditions and seasonal crafts, it's a good idea to spend some time grounding or balancing yourself to deal with the season that's coming up. It's not hard to do. It just takes a little time, a little quiet, and some concentration.
In about two and a half weeks we'll arrive at the Spring Equinox. It's time for those things that were stirring to life at Imbolc to "spring" up--thanks to a warmer environment and nurturing Spring rain. The element of water is considered by many people to be the mother of us all. Think about it. Life started in the sea. And what about you? You floated around in your mom's tum for months, breathing, eating, and growing in water. About 80% of the human body is made of water! People really feel it when water is missing in their lives. Periods without rain--droughts--can cause failed crops and wildfires (we've seen that in the past year in Australia, and over here in the state of California). But just like everything else, balance is essential. Too much water kills plants, animals and people. Flooded areas can breed danger and disease. Remember Hurricane Katrina? That happened several years ago, but the people of New Orleans are still recovering from an overdose of water....