Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sometimes... We Need Only Listen to Ourselves

Faith is an oasis in the heart
Which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
“Kahil Gibran”

When I read the quote above, I can only laugh. It is so true. It is not the endless thinking and dissecting of something that brings its message to us in a manner that allows it to illuminate our being and give us the feeling inside that we know it is right. It is that stir inside our heart, inside our soul, that tells us that this is the right road to be on and that this is the beginning of the journey that we truly want to travel. Another word for faith is intuition. Intuition is a gift that is all too often overlooked. Overlooked because many times it tells us things which are contrary to what we have had engrained into our minds to believe. We have that small quiet voice inside of us that urges us to take a turn, to choose something or believe something that is not quite in line with what we claim ourselves to represent. Yet we often ignore it because of what would others think? How would such a decision effect how I am perceived by those who look at me each day? Would it make them treat me any differently? Would it label me in a manner that could possibly separate me from others? Do I really want to stand up for this considering how it may eventually affect me?

Many times such decisions could very well do just that. And of course we would rather make sure that all those who look at us…. Let me rephrase that…. All those whom we think look at us feel comfortable. We would not want to upset their delicate life’s journey by changing our impact on it. Therefore we remain as we are. Even when we feel that it is not necessarily right. We can endure the indifference we may feel. We can endure the uncomfortable feelings of not choosing as our intuition leads us. All so that someone who more than likely could care less in regards to our final decision, will not have their life bothered. Of course there are times when those closest to you may balk at any attempt you may make to change. This is because a change will disrupt their environment and cause them to adjust. It is not necessarily because they care that they balk. It is not like they are certain that such a choice on your behalf is not a good one. It is more likely because it creates an uncomfortable feeling for them. Things are not flowing as before. They may be required to readjust themselves as well to accept the “new” you. This would mean change, goodness no.

Still when one is blessed with the gift of intuition we should heed its message. It is given for a good reason. So often we look at life as simple black and white. What we choose to do or not do is often if not always based on what we see, hear, smell, etc. It is based on that which we can describe and show some form of reasoning for. Yet when we allow intuition to play a role in such a decision we are basing our final outcome on a something that cannot quite be described. It is a sense within us that this is the right answer even if every other sense is telling us the opposite. It is what some call a gut feeling. It cannot be described in a manner that is acceptable to most because of the lack of facts that back it up. It can only be described as a feeling and because it is your feeling it is difficult to convey that exact feeling to another in a manner that they too would experience the same thing.

Intuition is given to us as a sense unto itself, although it is often not looked at in this manner. A good example of this is the example of a small child. A child has such a trusting nature. They have the ability to look at a situation and see it for what it truly is. Their eyes have not yet been clouded by the rules and regulations that are often given to everyone eventually. You know what I am speaking of; the rules that slowly form us into “what we are supposed to be”. Children, especially young ones, have not allowed these rules to penetrate them yet. Therefore they see with open eyes… Their intuition is vivid and strong. It is not only felt and viewed as true; it is also seen and heard. It is still a true sense. There is no question as to its validity as it is proven by all that is around.

It is time that we allow ourselves to trust that which has been lacking from our senses for so long. It is time that we open our minds to the messages that come to us daily telling us what is true and what is right. It is time we trust that small quiet voice inside. It is there for a reason. It is there to help guide us where we need to go. I am in no means saying that we should disregard the words of counsel that we receive from friend, family, and others. It is just that we should likewise take into account our own words that lie within ourselves. Sometimes the answer to the questions we seek so diligently is already answered and sitting right inside of us.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Open Mind

I have always been one who ponders… Some call it a thinker. You know the one who takes something and examines it relentlessly attempting to figure its mechanisms out so that they can understand how exactly it all works. With something that is solid and can be held in one’s hands this is not necessarily a bad thing. Yet when applied to a simple thought or act it can become a quite enormous feat. Some things are just as simple as they may appear. They need no elaborate thought process to bring them into light for us to see their clarity.

We have what we seek…
It is there all the time, and if we give it time…
It will make itself known to us
“Thomas Merton”

Still I will think on it…attempting to look at it from all sides and perspectives. As time has passed in my life this process has brought me much insight on certain issues… especially when it comes to seeing it from a perspective other than my own. It is hard sometimes to do this. Most of us feel quite passionate about our views and feel that we have examined it to the point that we know enough of the facts to make our final decision. Yet I have learned there are often other sides, other views, which I have at times not taken into consideration. This simple realization has taken me leaps and bounds ahead of where I began within my journey in life. It has also helped me to understand others as well as myself more. Most people are quite willing to discuss their ideas and views if they do not feel that they are being threatened when doing so. Given the right approach two people with quite different views on a said subject can comfortably sit and discuss it and in the end both come out with new insight.

The way is not in the sky,
The way is in the heart.

There is so much wisdom out in the world…wisdom which comes from so many walks of life. It is sad to think that there are so many who will never gain from such wisdom because they have chosen to keep a closed mind in regards to certain individuals based simply on their beliefs, race, and/or culture. What is it that keeps one from listening? Could it possibly be a feeling that in doing so they may forfeit some of themselves and lose credibility? Maybe it is the loss of power they feel they will lose if they give any of their ground away. Power plays such a large part in so many struggles. Even when one feels that they are not right and they know that the opposing side holds good points and is in the end the better choice, they will fight for what they represent simply because they do not wish to lose. Why is it that we “enjoy” telling others what is right and what is wrong. Why do we feel such power in being the one who has the last say? Quite possibly because deep down all of us want to have some form of importance to ourselves. We want to feel as if our participation is needed and at times even non-replaceable. Truth is though that any of us can be replaced at any time. True there are some who have such talents that replacement could be a bit of a challenge yet in the end the job can be filled if needed.

It is an individual decision that each one has to make. The decision as to how open we will be to the things around us. Will we open our minds and allow thoughts that are different than our own to be heard? Will we consider the affects that such thoughts could bring? Will we even go as far as to consider the negativity that our own thoughts could bring? Taking it even a step further and changing our thought process if needed, despite the fact that it could shun us from some of those around us. Will we give up the control so that the right thing can eventually be accomplished?

Hopefully so… Hopefully as time continues a new awakening will emerge and the desire to have “my way” or no way will subside. We will finally see the need to work together for the common good as opposed to each struggling to get our own way at whatever the cost may be. Maybe it is just my overly optimistic outlook that helps me to feel that it will eventually be a reality. Yet I hope it is a glimpse at the evolution of man to come. For it is truly in all of us to be such creatures….If we choose to be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Mumblings - Warmer Weather, Babies, and Politics

Another Monday is upon us… another week to start. With being gone last week it seems that I have plenty to keep me busy this week. The wonderful warmer weather also is calling me to come outside and play. I have full intentions of taking advantage of this as much as I possibly can. I have flower beds that need to be tended. They need to be cleaned out of the left over debris from winter as well as new flowers planted. I am hoping that if I do plant that Mother Nature will be kind and not let the cold to come back and bite any delicates I may put out.

Also over the weekend Vincent and I got a new addition to our family. It is funny how the absence of the grandchildren has made us desire something to keep us company. I think he has been as lonely as me at times. We talk seriously about considering adoption. Yesterday we finally took the plunge and brought our little bundle home. His name is Winston…a seven and a half week old white lab. He is a lover to say the least and his first night home was a treat to say the least. I have raised labs in the past and think they are one of the smartest animals there are. Of course our new little addition is no exception. He slept through the night in a large crate next to our bed. And thus far has made no messes in the house. It is good to have something around to cuddle and take care of.

While I was away, I was far too busy playing with grandkids to really pay too much attention to the news or what was happening. It is a bit of a treat at times to do this. Not to worry about all the things that may be mucking up the nightly news. There seems to have been plenty while I was away. I see that Obama’s health care passed. And of course there was many who did not agree with it. I was amazed to see such childish actions from people based on the fact that they did not get their way. I thought that congress worked for the people and not themselves. Yet politics is something I have tried to stay away from here on my blog. Believe me I have an extremely strong opinion on many of the things that occur in our country. I have just not been sure if this is the right venue to voice them at or not. Also living in the area that I do, sometimes my views are not the most popular. With that being said I will go no further. Maybe in a future post, if I am feeling a bit daring I will venture into this area of my life.

This is the week before Easter. I am debating whether or not to dye some eggs of my own. It has always been a favorite thing for me yet with the grandkids gone, it seems a bit silly. Although I will more than likely at least dye a dozen just for the fun of it. I love to look out my kitchen window and see the brightly colored eggs dotting my yard. The neighbor dogs make quick work of them as well as the other creatures that frequent our place, so it is not as if they will be in the yard for long periods of time only to be overturned and mulched by the lawnmower later in the season. This always seems to leave a lovely aroma in the air.

While I was away, the book I am too review (Spiritual Partnership by Gary Zukav) arrived in the mail. I am eager to start reading it. I have to say that it has me quite excited. It looks to be quite interesting and something that I will enjoy. So as this week starts off, it looks as if I have plenty to keep my busy in the days to come. I apologize for not being more active in the reading and commenting while I was away. I did read many posts yet when I attempted to comment it would pull up several duplicates. It was taking me forever to comment on just one post. So I just didn’t do it. I have tried to catch up since I have arrived home yet there are still several that I have not gotten too. Life always seems to go on despite the absence of us doesn’t it? I guess we are all replaceable. Can’t help but smile when I say that… I guess that is a good thing. Enjoy your Monday. I hope the coming week brings many adventures your way and that you are able to enjoy them all. Blessings.

Celtic Tree Month - Alder Witching Rods

he Alder tree is most commonly used in general weather magic. Alder wood is said to be a good choice for divining rods. Such rods can be used to dowse for water, ley lines, or even lost objects.  Other such names for this divice is dowsing rod or witching rod.  There are two types of divining rods.  The Y shape and the L shape. 
In the case of the Y shape, the two ends are held closely to ones body, about mid waist.  As one walks slowly the item which is sought will cause the point to bend downward to its location.  In the case of the L shape rods, each rod is held in each hand.  As one walks forward the item which is sought will cause the points to cross when its location is found. 
Other magical uses include the use of Alder in healing spells and divination, especially in regards to scrying. It is said that the Alder can aid in the clear sight in regards to an issue which may be troubling you. Its presence giving you shelter from outside emotional influence which will enable one to see things which earlier they may have overlooked. Alder is also known for its ability to cure the surrounding trees around it. It has the ability to enrich the soil with nitrogen, which is needed for trees as well as other plants to grow healthy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Little Vacation

Spring has finally arrived at least according to the calendar. Last weekend the first day of Spring brought us a storm that gave us blizzard like conditions. Winds with gusts up to 50 mph and up to 16 inches of snow in some areas of our state were felt. It was as if old man Winter wanted to make sure that we did not forget him too quickly. I was at the airport early that morning. If lucky I was to catch a flight to Dallas then another to Nashville and spend the week with my daughter and grandkids. It was close, but we were able to finally get out an hour and a half later than scheduled. The heavy winds made it difficult to de-ice the plane. We were the last one they allowed to leave.

Once we topped the clouds the sun shone brightly. I have always loved how when one flies that bad weather is never as bad as it seems. It can seem so dark and menacing down below yet once you make it above the clouds it seems like a beautiful day. Sort of like ones problems. We can lose in our own storms, thinking that there is no way out and that we are sure to be swallowed by their turbulent violence. Yet if we manage to step back and look at it from the outside, we realize at times how small and insignificant it may be. Or at least we may see a method of overcoming them that we could not see while inside of its fury.

Anyways, my flight was a good one. I left snow and wind chill temperatures of close to zero and landed in a beautiful 70 degree day. I was greeted by my daughter and two wonderful grandkids and for the next six days I was close to being in heaven. It had been some time since I had seen my grandkids, close to six months to be exact. It is amazing how much kids can grow in that amount of time… not only in size yet also in their maturity and mannerisms. My granddaughter has always been dear to my heart… quite possibly because she was my first grandchild, yet also because we have a special bond. We sat like two little girls chatting and talking about all kinds of things.

My grandson is who makes me feel most like a grandma (or GG as they call me). He gives loads of hugs and wants to be beside you constantly. We did the usual things that GGs do with their grandkids. A little bit of rain kept us inside for a couple days so we watched movies. Willy Wonka, Stuart Little, and Shorts were a few of them we saw. Cartoons were also high on the list as we were always avid Sponge Bob fans. Coloring, blowing bubbles, going to the park, getting ice cream, riding bikes, and a trip to the toy store and library were a few of the adventures we had during the week also.

My daughter is ready to deliver my newest grandson anytime. Her due date is not until April 12th however she appears ready to pop anytime. Once again I will venture back to Tennessee to spend some time with them in May…first to see my newest grandchild yet also to celebrate my granddaughters 7th birthday. Something I have never missed yet and hopefully will never have to. I am already looking forward to the trip.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review

The other day I received an email that had me quite excited. It was from TLC Book Tours asking if I would be interested in doing a book review on one of the books that they will have featured during the end of April and through the first of May on their virtual book tour. I have to admit that the request caught me a bit by surprised yet also made me smile.

The book is entitled Spiritual Partnership by Gary Zukav.   Filled with poignant examples and practical guidance, including specific guidelines, Spiritual Partnership empowers and enables us to explore our emotions, our intentions, our choices, and our intuition and to use them to create profound spiritual growth. The world is changing around us and within us, and Spiritual Partnership is the roadmap to that change.  The book should be arriving soon . I am looking forward to reading it and also in giving my review. I know it is a bit in the future yet May 11th is the scheduled date when my review will be posted. I just had to share my good news with my friends…

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Positive Attitude

Recently in one of my journeys through blogland I ventured upon a quote used a post on one of my favorite sites to frequent (Rue & Hyssop). She always has insightful words that manage to make one think and this was no different. I wrote the quote down and it lay on my desk for some time. Each day I would see its wisdom and realize how true it rang.

“For everything you missed… You have gained something else

And for everything you gain…. You lose something else

It is about your outlook towards life.

You can choose to Regret…. Or you can choose to Rejoice

How many times has something happened that at the time it appears to be one if not the worst thing that could have occurred? You rack you brain as to how it could have been avoided and what you will do now that it has happened. Yet in time as it comes to fruition you see that there was purpose to the cycle… Something occurs that would not have occurred if the prior “mishap” had not occurred.

There is always something positive in any situation. Sometimes it is hard to see the silver lining that may be so faint that the darkness of the clouds that it encircles keeps you from focusing on it. Yet still it is present. Sometimes it is not immediate that you are blessed with the goodness of a situation. Sometimes it can take time… Sometime it can take years….. Sometimes you may never see it… yet it is still present. Sometimes the gain is not necessarily for you, yet for another. Who through your trial and manner in which you handle and work through it, are inspired in an area of their lives to do likewise.

For those times that you feel you missed out on something that you should have had… and you wonder what it would have been like to have experienced it… There is another time that was given to you instead. A moment with just as much hope and just as much aspiration as the other… It may not be evident at that moment. Yet the question is what you will do with that moment. Will you squander it and give little or no attention to it as it was not “the moment” that you wanted or felt you deserved. You will sulk and hide in your corner for those things that you feel you lost. Blaming it on some unfair injustice that should never have happened?

It is not an easy thing to endure hard times. Such things as finances, relationships, and so on can come close to devastating one. Yet still the attitude that one holds during such times has a strong effect on how the story will play out. An attitude of bitterness and blame slowly builds walls that hold out the comfort and release one needs to work through such issues and move on with their lives. It keeps the anger always present and lurking in the shadows… never allowing the pain to heal. Sometimes release of such feelings can be a major feat. Letting go of something that has been your way of life for such a long time means change… Change means the possibility of discomfort… And although one may be in major discomfort already… The familiar discomfort is much easier to handle than an all together new discomfort.

I count myself so blessed to have the makeup that I have as a person. It took me some time to realize that it was not as easy for some to release such feelings. It was my feeling of not much self worth that thought that if I could do it anyone could. I realized in time that this was not the case. I will be honest and say that at times I do not have the patience I maybe should have in regards to some who are struggling with issues in their lives. Yet I think that this is mainly because I made a decision at an extremely young age to not allow the derogatory events of my life to keep me down. Don’t get me wrong… it was not an easy task at times to keep this promise to myself. There were many times that I felt I was lost in the darkness of my own sorrow to the point that I questioned if I would ever see light. Yet it was the consistent urge in me to keep going…The feeling that has always been in me that there is something better.

I do not talk much about the negative aspects of my life… I have never been one that opens freely and tosses out all the darkness that has occurred. I will at times, if I feel that my experiences can be a tool to comfort of help the situation. Yet mostly I keep them silent. It was hard enough to live through them the first time. Why would I want to continually relive such pain over and over… and even more when there is no good reason to endure such a thing?

I challenge you to ask yourself the question… Do you regret or do you rejoice… There are a couple things in my life that I have wondered about in regards to the choice I made and the results of that choice. I wonder if I should have chosen differently. I think if given the chance I may choose differently. Yet I also know that that is not a choice therefore it is an act I must accept and live with. I overall chose to rejoice. Rejoice in the chances I have been given… Rejoice in the blessings that have been bestowed upon me over and over again… and yes I even rejoice for the trials and pain that I have endured. As I know through even the deepest ones that there was much to be learned and gained.

Growth can be a painful experience. It can pull at parts of one that create great pain. It can take you to depths of yourself that you never thought existed. It can bring forth in one a clarity that is beyond explanation. There is nothing that is simply promised to be given to you. The road to any great gain is usually hard. Yet in the end when all is said and done the journey was well worth the effort and the sacrifice that was given. Rejoice… Rejoice and embrace all that you are… and all that you can be.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Celtic Tree Month - Alder and Its Relationship to the Elements

n relationship to the elements, Alder is connected to air, water, and fire. Young branches can be harvested and easily turned into whistles by cutting both ends. The inside or pith is soft and can easily be pushed out with a smaller stick.
One can even cut a series of branches to various sizes and by tying them together create what is similar to a Pan pipe. It is said that such pipes are magical and have the ability to call the four winds. The Alder is also found near water frequently. The Alder’s oily wood gives it a resistance to the water. Concerning fire, alder is not the form of wood that one would choose for a fire. It does not burn well. However it can be used to create a form of charcoal. It is said that such charcoal was once used for the burning of incense.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome Spring

This weekend comes the Spring Equinox. It is one of the two occurrences of the year cycle when the day is of equal lengths… Half dark and half light. It is the time when Spring comes forth and enters into the cycle to bring warmth and rebirth of life. Already signs have been seen that show the earth preparing for her grand entrance. From the flowering of the blooms to the tender shoots that are springing forth. Her presence is near.

For me this time of year has always been a time when an awakening seems to occur in my being. It is a time when an area of me is brought forth and transformed once more. Being a highly reflective person I tend to ponder on many things and how they may affect me or those whom I hold dear. I try to be aware of where I may need to give more attention so that I may be on the path that I should be. This year is no different.

I have been anxious for this time to come this year, as it seems many others have also been. There is an uneasiness it seems in the world. The occurrences that have happened as of late… the struggles many are having in regards to finances and such…. and just the everyday attempt to continually move forward in one’s life.

I wish for you this Ostara that as Spring comes forth she brings new beginnings. A rebirth of vitality that gives the strength needed to move forward with the things that are ahead of you. I wish the sun to shine and warmth to surround you, if only in a figurative manner. I wish the insight and wisdom needed to achieve such things is easily found. Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Resistance - Muse

A little taste of what I got to experience last night....



MySpace Music Videos

A Matter Of Mind......

Sometimes I believe that I am a young woman forever trapped in an aging body. Yet then again there are probably many who feel that way. Although there are times in my life when I have to stop and remind myself that I am 48 years old… Something that usually at the time when I do, it is the last thing on earth I really want to do. As every other part of my being is having the time of my life. I truly am not sure if I will ever get past that part of me…. No matter how old I become chronologically.

Yesterday my day started out somewhat as a downer. It looked as if we were not going to be able to go to the Muse concert as Vincent was not sure if he would make it home in time to drive down to Dallas in time. I had accepted the fact that it more than likely would not happen and as I ran my errands I turned my Muse music up to ease my disappointment. I have to say it did not help. It only made me want to see them more, yet really that did not surprise me. I was at the end of my errands and heading home when Vincent called and said he also was on his way home and we would be heading out as soon as he arrived. I was ecstatic

The concert was phenomenal. I did not think they could get any better after seeing them 7 times prior yet I was mistaken. They definitely have. They have always been a band that is fantastic live and this time was no different. Their light show, their stage format, everything was great. I managed to get a few photos yet my batteries died on me in my camera as I forgot to charge it before… Yet I have plenty of pictures and video from prior times. If you have not noticed I am somewhat of an overzealous Muse fan. Their music lit a fire in me some years back that is hard for me to explain. In some ways they really have been my Muse.

Yet I have to give kudos to where kudos are due. Although I love my boys in the band and yes Matthew Bellamy makes me wish I was ten years younger, my heart belonged to Vincent last night. He drove two hours to work yesterday morning (at 5 am) then two hours home. We then drove to Dallas and back…A three hour trip both ways. We arrived home about 1am in the morning. He was up again this morning at 5:30 am to yet again go to work. That is love guys… I do not know what I did to deserve this man, yet I am so glad that I have him. Those little silly things that are somewhat goofy to ask for yet they mean so much… He always seems to give them to me…

I think the thing that I love most about him is that he always allows me to be myself. No matter how silly that may be. Last night we both rocked out as only two old people could… Singing and dancing to every song Muse played. Looking forward with fingers crossed to the announcement of the lineup for Lollapalooza this year and hoping that once again Muse will headline and we can spend the day front and center like we did a couple years ago. Not even the rain could make us leave that day. Yea… we are a couple of old farts, at least some of the young ones that we meet at times think so. Yet we can rock out with the best of them and a bet better than many.

Like I said, I am not sure if I will ever really “act my age”. To me, any time I do so I feel so out of place. It is not a natural thing…Plus I am having too much fun not doing it. Like they say: Age is a matter of mind…. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top of The Morning To You All

First off let me say I wish all of you the best of luck on this wonderful St. Patty's Day morn... Hope the sun is shining where ever you are and if it's not, I hope it at least feels like it is.  May your fields be covered in clover with the wee folk dancing among it. 

You may wonder why  my spirits are so high?  Well first I just love St Patty's Day.  There is nothing better than a fine Irish holiday to give one a good excuse to chug a pint or two.  It seems that all the Irish blood I gained from my grandfather comes alive on this day.  My hair has a darker shade of red and the green in my eyes seems to sparkle a bit more... I may even be caught talking with a bit of the slang if you listen close. 

Yet there is a bit more that excites me at least this St. Patricks Day. Today is the day of the Muse concert I have been waiting so patiently for.  Tonight we head down to  see the boys.  I would be lieing out my butt if I said I wasn't just a tad bit excited.  Yes I admit it... I know that I am bit old.. Yes... old enough to be the lads mom but that doesn't seem to stop me any.  You would think I would have a little bit of class.  But alas no... when it comes to music and concerts...

I remember when my middle son agreed to go to the Green Day concert with Vince and I... goodness talk about an awakening for a son in regards to his mom... Once again hope your day is a good one... Not to sure about  my day but I can assure you my evening will be a kicker.... enjoy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm A Believer

Last week I felt inclined to post ( Seek and You Shall Find ) in regards to a show I had watched entitled "Letting Go of God."  A story about a devout Catholic who eventually through seeking for answers she became a devout atheist. Many of the comments made in regards to this post kept me thinking still about the question of what one believes.

What makes it right… what makes it wrong. Personally I do not believe that anything makes it wrong. If I wish for others to accept me and my beliefs, what right do I have to not accept them if their beliefs may be different than mine. In my opinion, I have no rights.

Floating around blog land is a so called movement entitled "Project Pagan Enough" The details can be found over at Inciting A Riot. It is one person’s pilgrimage to show other pagan’s the issue of accepting their own kind. I will be the first to admit that although I call myself Pagan, I have at many times not felt so. Why, you may ask? Well mainly because I do not do all the things that many other “Pagans” do. I choose the name of Pagan as I felt that my beliefs and the path that I felt my heart was taking me down was not necessarily in accordance with Christianity and the doctrine they follow.

I had come to a point in my journey where I could no longer claim one thing (or perhaps wear the mask) and yet feel so strongly contrary to it. I will admit that there are many of my beliefs that still intermingle with what many pagans would consider Christian. It is hard for me to completely take some of these traits from me as they have been with me over time and in many ways have proven themselves in my eyes to be truthful. The thin line that I feel I sometimes walk between the two is at times extremely narrow or so I thought.

Over the weekend my heart continued to ponder this issue. I came to the conclusion that I had misinterpreted the situation and what it truly is. Yes there are Christians who I am sure would have issues with my beliefs and the manner that I choose to practice. Yet there are also ones who understand that this is what works best for me. It is my road and my journey. They do not judge what I feel I have found in my quest and therefore there is no friction between us. Likewise there are Pagans who have issues with my deviance from what they may see as the true path and the intermingling of traits they see in my belief and practices. Yet also there are those who accept me freely as another who is striving like them to find the best answers they can in the questions that life seems to give us daily.

I have come to realize that the discord that I felt at times in the church is also apparent in the pagan society. Just like the church has those who sit and look down their noses at others whom they feel do not measure up to the qualities they see themselves with. There are also Pagans who feel that unless one speaks the perfect words and performs the rituals in a specific manner that they also do not deserve the right to call themselves as they do.

I worked once as a church secretary. For four years I sat in the office and watched, being the observer that I am, as members of the church came and went. I saw things that many of the regular members of the church never seen. In many ways I am so glad that they never will, as it would have only caused them to wavier in their walk. I was told things by elders and the elite that I would have never expected to come from one who supposedly held such a position. By the time I left the church these as well as other events made me greatly question myself and the intentions I may have before I performed any act in the name of whom I claimed to follow.

I think this is why I so cling to the role of solitary when one ask me what I consider myself. I have never felt comfortable in calling myself a witch. Yet in ways I feel many of us are just that even though we do not realize it. I believe in magic and many things that are unseen and unexplainable. I do so because I have seen it with my own eyes, I have witnessed it personally. Many things to the extent that to tell some of my experiences, I think would even make some pagans think me mad.

I believe that there are many out there who feel much like me. Who are only trying to search for what they feel fills that void that enters us all at some point in our lives. There are many who want to tell us what it is we should believe… what it is we should do… and exactly how we should do it. There are those that if we stray from such instructions, they consider us unworthy of the name they call themselves. For some time I have felt uncomfortable in calling myself Christian. I know in my heart that it is a title I will no longer use. Yet I also feel somewhat uncomfortable with the title of Pagan. I know that I do not do all the rites and rituals that many talk about. I know that I do not worship the gods and goddesses that many speak of. I had to ask myself then what am I?

In conclusion I can only say that I am a believer. I believe in what I what believe in. I trust its truth and know its validity. I do not try to explain that which I cannot explain. I leave that for the Gods who will in time show me if that be their will. I am content with that. I do not need to feel superior to the point that I define my walk as the only true way. The only true path there may be. There are many paths and there are many followers… how can we all walk on the same road at the same time. It is not possible. Our destination is the same, we just choose to follow different methods to eventually arrive.

I encourage you to stop by the Project Pagan Enough. I encourage Pagan and non-Pagan alike. As this is not an issue that pertains to Pagans alone. It is an issue of acceptance. Acceptance of one another for who and what they are. Of not needing to claim ourselves better than others simply because they do not believe or think as we. We are all made up of what comes and goes from our lives on a daily basis. Even for those in the same boat the experience will be viewed from differing perspectives. One will not see the experience the exact same way the other does. We all experience our spiritualism in much the same manner, or so we should be allowed to. Moments will come when we are all given an opportunity to aid others in their walk, just as others have aided us. Yet it is not our place to pass judgment if by chance they do not take the aid we offer or they choose to alter it to fit them. We truly all are Pagan Enough.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Variation To The Game of Tag

Celtic Dragonfly over at Following the Path as A Thrifty Pagan tagged me this morning.  Yet this game of tag has a bit of a spin to it.  It's a game of photo tag.

The rules are as follows:

Open your first photo file

Scroll to the 10th photo

Post the photo and the story behind it

Tag Five more people.

The photo above is one of the first photos I took with a decent camera.  Vincent was teaching me the ropes with his 35 mm.  I loved the fact that I could take such close up photos.  Caught this bug, (not sure what it is) on tope of a tecate beer cap.  It is one of my favorites by far.

Now for who I wish to tag:
Antics of A Tameran Witch - As I know she has loads of cute puppy pixs
Serindipity - As I love her sunrise photographs
October farm - As she always has the most yummy food pictures
Old Man Sutton - I love his tree photos - especially the roots
Go Out Beneath the Naked Night - I loved her ugly bunny picture. 

Celtic Tree Month - Alder

arch 18 through April 14 is celebrated as the month of the Alder; according to the Celtic tree Calendar. Because of its love for the water, the Alder is often used for underwater foundations. Examples: structures found in Venice, bridges, as well as medieval cathedrals are some of the many used for Alder wood. Its wood is easily worked and quite attractive when tinted or stained. It is sometimes called the Scottish Mahogany. Other uses for Alder wood are in the construction of chairs, barrels, bowls, and wooden clogs.

Alder leaves are simple and serrated and found in most parts of of the world.  The largest grove of Red Alder is said to be on the west coast of North America whereas Black Alder is native to most of Europe.  It is also kin to the Birch family.  The catkins which fall from the tree are high in protein and are edible although they leave a bitter after taste.  The bark of the Alder is also useful.  Native Americans used the Red Alder to treat poison oak, and other skin irritations.  Most recently studies have found that Red alder contains ingrediants that have shown to be effective against various tumors. 

Alder is most notably associated with the Celtic hero of Bran the Blessed. The Alder deity is considered to be Bran the Blessed or God of the  Underworld. Bran was said to have enormous size likened to that of a giant.  It has also been written that he was the first British man. 

A Big Thank You

I have been a bit of a lazy girl.... Last week three wonderful ladies bestowed upon me a wonderful blog award and I am just now getting to sending out the thank you.... Please forgive me for my tardiness. 

So first and formost I would like to send a big thank you along with hugs to three wonderful ladies.  First, Antics of A Tameran Witch . A wonderful blog with simply beautiful things.  From her puppy to her wonderful finds, to her artistic ability.  Next, Go out Beneath the Naked Moon .  A bit cool still for that... but spring is fast approaching so who knows.  And lastly, Howling at the Moon .  Mundane musings as she says, yet I find nothing mundane about them.  Thank you again to all of you for your thoughtful ness.

Next I am suppose share seven things about myself so here goes:

1.  I have a terrible weakness for Lindt white chocolate.  It is absolutely my favorite.  One of those things you hide in corner and eat all alone, because its just so good and you don't want to share. 
2.  When I was growing up we seldom celebrated Christmas.  I did not know why until much later in life when I found out that my father had been raised Jehovah Witness although he never shared his faith in any way with us.  After my mother and father divorced, my mother went "overboard" as if making up for all the prior celebrations we had lost.
3.  It has been a lifelong dream of mine to write a best seller book
4.  I am an avid fisherman.  There is nothing better than getting out early in the morning just as the sun is rising, the mist still on the pond.  Tossing your hook in and the silence being broken by the sound of pulling a big one in. 
5.  My favorite cake is Tres Leches Cake.  And I am talking the real kind made by a little old Mexican woman.  :-)  A grandma preferably... they are wonderful.
6.  My favorite holiday is the 4th of July.  Probably because I am such a firework nut.  I  have fireworks in my garage year round.  We shoot one off on special occasions.  I purchase them after the holiday and get some wonderful deals. 
7.  I truly love my blog friends.  There are so many that have taught me so much and many others who have just been a joy to know. 

Now I am suppose to pass this on to 15 other people... Yet it is always so hard for me to choose only 15... so... to all of you... thank you... and if you would like to pick this up and do it... go for it.  It is always fun to find out more about everyone... Happy Monday

Friday, March 12, 2010

Seek and You Shall Find

The other day I was taking a break from my somewhat unscheduled day. I had grabbed a bite to eat for breakfast and usually at this time I click the TV on for a short time while I eat. There really is not much on TV in the mornings. At least there is nothing which I would deem watchable. Usually this time is spent channel surfing which is exactly what I did that morning. I stopped on a HBO channel. A show entitled Letting Go of God was on. I am not really sure why it caught my attention yet it did.

I sat there and watched while a long time Catholic woman explained her journey through the Catholic Church. She brought up questions and doubts she had formed while attempting to find her God. She talked about how she finally fell out of the church and continued to search in other realms for what she kept calling her God. I did not watch the entire show and sort of wish that I had. When I did check the info on it I found that in the end she comes to the conclusion that there is no God. In other words she goes from a devoted Catholic to an Atheist.

As I said I did not watch the show in its entirety. However I did watch a good portion of it and some of the areas in which she described her “search” sort of made me think. I think all of us have questions in regards to what our beliefs are and why. It is hard to believe that there would be one with no inquisitiveness inside of them. Yet I have seen them or so they appeared to be that way.

The individuals who are raised in a church atmosphere and find no issue with believing all the stories and such that are told to them from the time they are small until present. They do not question the doctrines they are told are correct. They do not question the situations that come into their lives that contradict such laws. They just continue to deal with life and all its adventures based on how they have been told they are to act. I sort of feel sorry for these people. Yes it is easy to sit in a room where everything is told to you. There is no need to make any decisions for yourself in regards to what you believe as you already have the blueprint in front of you. And if by chance you do start to feel yourself falter there are always the elders/deacons/whatever one can lean on. You know the ones who are suppose to know everything. I know that such a life is comforting. There is no need to step out into the real world and experience for yourself the darkness that is there. Who would want to? The stories that can be told are enough to scare anyone from even considering such a thing.

Then there are the individuals that have an issue with the rules and restrictions that church can bring so they are just not going to believe anything. That makes it easy… We are born then we die… that is all there is. The wonders of the world around us, what are they? Merely a coincidence they say. It all “just happened” to come to be. Religion is just a crutch for those who are emotionally unstable. They need to believe in something beyond because they just can’t deal with the life now. I have heard all these lines from “atheist”. I have to say I do not understand them very well. I try and keep myself clear of them as I usually end up in an argument.

Then there are the ones who seek. They search and look for answers to the many questions that fill their minds on a daily basis. They accept the fact that they do not know all the answers. They accept the fact that more than likely they will never find them. Their minds are open to all possibilities that seem to flow by them. They take each one and carefully examine it keeping what they feel is pertinent to them and letting go of what is not of any use. They build and form in time their own religion inside of themselves. Yes, many of these people attend a multitude of churches made up of a multitude of denominations and beliefs. Yet they are not the usual cookie cutter attendee. Their beliefs are much deeper, more real. They do not follow because they are told that is what they are supposed to do. They follow because it is what they feel in their heart is best for them at this time on their never ending journey to find “it”.

Although I would not consider myself a person who is forceful and aggressive in most areas of my life, I feel that when it comes to this area I am. I seek, because I do not know all the answers yet. I seek, because I want to know all I can. I have learned that there are areas that no matter how hard man tries he may never fully understand. It is not an insult to accept such a fact. It is merely being honest with oneself. I guess that in its own way atheism is a manner of seeking. I have known those who have grown tired of the church or any form of spiritualism and just said forget it all. They still ask the questions that even though they will not admit it are geared towards spiritualism. Even if the God they worship is themselves. I have to remind myself to allow them their own journey.

One of my favorite movies is Stigmata. A story of an ordinary woman (Frankie) with no ties to the church through a series of events begins to acquire the wounds that Jesus was said to have endured during the crucifixion. A controversial priest (Father Andrew) is sent to investigate the validity of the story. There are many quotes throughout this movie that echo my beliefs. From when the Cardinal is attempting to kill Frankie because he cannot explain her condition and cries out “I will not let you destroy MY church.” To when Frankie tells Father Andrew. “You know what’s scarier than not believing? Believing, really believing. It’s fucking terrifying. Yet my favorite of all is the quote that Frankie and others say several times throughout the movie. “The kingdom of god is inside you and all around you…not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift a stone…. And you will find me.”

Although this is said in a sense that many would consider “churchy”, it can relate to anyone who believes that there is something and/or someone bigger than them. That it is not what others necessarily tell us to believe or tell us to do, but what we ourselves seek out and eventually find that satisfies that need inside of us. Yes the answers are inside of each of us and they are all around us, we need only look for them.