Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Interview With Mother Moon

Recently I was asked to help out with a senior thesis paper that a friend was working on. She was writing on Celtic tradition and influence and she wondered if I could help her out. At first I was not sure if I was the right person to request help from yet it sounded like it would be fun so I agreed. The help she requested was really quite simple. She only asked that I respond to a questionnaire that she had designed. Set up in somewhat of an interview form, I received the questionnaire a few days back.

When I first saw the questions once again I worried. (You know me, thinking too much). But I began at the top and commenced to answer each one. As I finished I was quite glad that I had accepted. Not only did the questions make me think about what it is that I believe and stand for, they also gave me more confidence in that stance. I decided to share the questions and answers with all of you as a means to let you see once more another side of me. A deeper side of what I believe and also what it is that has brought me to this place. This is somewhat long so I will be breaking it up over the next few days. I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed completing it. I also hope that sparks a bit of a fire in you to re-examine your beliefs and teachings. 
Q: What is your name?
Janie Sheik
Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am a woman of middle age, I live in rural Oklahoma and have done so all my life. I am a mother of three plus one step daughter. I also have the privilege of being a grandmother of three with another on the way.

Growing up in Oklahoma ie: the Bible Belt had an interesting effect on my spiritual upbringing. My mother was a native German with a spiritual background of strict Lutheran mixed with folk beliefs. My father grew up in a home which observed the Jehovah Witness religion (something I did not learn until I was much older). We were not regular church goers however I enjoyed my early experiences in the "Christian" churches.

I enjoy the out of doors and anything to do with nature. My favorite past time is tending my yard. Gardening is in my blood and its skills were handed down to me from my grandmother and father on my paternal side. They taught me the lessons of tending the earth and giving homage to her for what she returned. I also love to grow and harvest my own herbs and wild flowers. I try to propagate from my already established garden, others gardens, or the wild itself. I find peace in the quiet of nature and it has become my favorite place to go to when it seems that life is going too fast.

Q: What is "Mother Moon's Message" (ei. It's concept and how it came to be)? For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write. The number of journals I have accumulated over the years can attest to this. I have written poetry, short stories, children stories, as well as I aspire to one day write a trilogy. I have always wanted to attempt to publish some of my work yet my timid ways have kept me from doing so. Someone suggested that I start a blog as a means to work on my writing as well as to express myself in an outward manner. I started Mother Moon in July of 2009 and it grew into a love. It was a manner to express many of my beliefs and opinions that before I was unable to do as the audience was more vast than a mere rural country town. It has given me confidence and allowed me to be more firm in my spiritual stance. It has also led me to some wonderful people from all over the world whom I would not have met otherwise. It has helped my mind and views to expand to a much broader prospective allowing me to become what I believe to be a much better person.

As for the name of Mother Moon, I have always been quite fond of the moon especially when she is full. When I was a little girl I had a memory of sitting on the kitchen cabinet, my feet in the sink and gazing out the window at the moon. As I did so, a woman (who for many years I thought to be my mother) would tell me stories about the moon and her cycles and the power and magic she held. As I grew older and I related the story to my older sister she told me such things never happened. I went to my mother and she agreed that she had never stood beside me in the darkness of nighttime and tell me stories of the moon. She did however verify that on many occasions she would find me asleep on the kitchen cabinet in the mornings when she would awake. The moon still calls to me and her glow has comforted me many a time. The stories I remember, still aid me today in life. It seemed only fitting that if I was to start a blog in regards to myself and my writings that it should include Luna, as she has influenced me in so many ways.

Q: How have you come to be interested in the Celtic Culture? The Celtic culture has been a fascination of mine since I was young. It probably began with the kinship to the earth that I was taught by my grandparents, especially my grandma. Yet as I grew, I loved reading the stories of King Arthur and always felt drawn to their lore. It was not until much later in life that I searched deeper into the culture and such.

Q: Have you learned anything that is particularly interesting? If I was to say one thing that stood out particularly interesting to me it was the connection to nature and the effects that it has on everyday life. I think that we as people have become blind to the abilities that were given to us when we embarked on this journey of life and evolution. There was a time when man acknowledged what the earth could do for him, mainly because it was a necessity to prosper. Yet in today's world and with the advancement of technology such ways and things have been lost or even forgotten. Stories and tricks of the trade that were passed down within family and such is no longer as important as it was in years past. It is something that I fear if man does not take heed to soon that there could be many that could suffer due simply to their complacency.

Q: How has Celtic Mythology influenced you? As I said before Arthur and the tales of Excalibur have always been dear to me. I have also always had a fondness for Avalon and the stories of its existence. I liken it to the draw that modern day Christians have to the garden of Eden. It resembles somewhat a place of paradise to me.
As for the many Celtic gods and goddesses I have not felt the draw to follow into more detail on them, that is to the point that I would say I worship any of them individually. There are a few though that I tend to associate with more than others. Brigid, for example. She is the associated most with home and its upkeep. She also has influence in healing, druidic activity, wisdom and so on. She is also a Tuatha De Danann.
The Tuatha De Dananm is  referred to as the fairy folk or the Sidhe. The manner and existence of the fae has influenced me greatly and has much to do with my ability as well as progress in regards to my tending of the earth. It is not something I openly speak of often as it brings about odd looks by many yet if asked if I believe in fairies, I would have to say of course.
Ceridwen, the Welsh goddess of rebirth and inspiration also is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Viewed by many as a darker goddess I find her to be a woman with a fierce motherly instinct which lends her to do what she must to protect and further her children. She may not always do what is the best method to eventually come to such conclusions yet her intentions are good. Something I think any mother can relate with in some form.

Q: Are there any stories or themes that stand out? As stated earlier , The fairy folk have greatly influenced me, especially in recent years. It is a relationship that calls for patience and time, something that many people to not have these days or do not make time for. Yet the rewards that one can glean from such activity is beyond what they could imagine. One has to allow themselves to go to a place where most do not believe of its existence.   This in itself can be most difficult as what we are thought of by others these days is so very important to some.
I have tended garden alongside the fairies that reside in my area. It has been quite the honor to be allowed to share in their presence. I have received small trinkets as gifts from them as well. Tiny bobbles that I hold quite precious.

Return tomorrow for Part Two of my Interview.  Blessings

Monday, May 30, 2011

Justice – Is it Always the Same?

What is justice? I ask myself this question at times when I see the court system come to a conclusion that by the facts that I see does not sound rightfully fair. The only encounters I have personally had with the court system are that of my divorce experience in 1997. It was not a good experience. But honestly divorce is something that is not a good gage to use when one is judging the accuracy of the system. It is too easy to come out with "bad" feelings.

Yet when it comes to the criminal system sometimes I wonder. Recently a case was tried in the state of Oklahoma that drew much attention. A local pharmacy was burglarized by two young boys. In the encounter one of the young men was shot and later died. The pharmacist, the one who shot the 16 year old was charged with murder and last week his trial finally was held.

Now to hear this story one would say that it is an open and shut case. The pharmacist was obviously shooting in self defense and of course should not be charged with murder. Yet when you hear all the details, and in turn really listen and watch all the details it is hard to not understand why he was charged in the manner he was.

The boy who was shot was 16 year old Antiwun Parker; A young black boy who participated in the attempted robbery with another young man. They entered the pharmacy as the other young man had his weapon drawn and Parker attempted to pull a mask over his head. At this time the pharmacist 57 year old Jermone Ersland pulled out the weapon he kept behind the counter and shot at the two young men. A bullet struck Parker in the head. He fell to the floor unconscious as the other boy ran out the door. All of this was caught on surveillance video so it cannot be disputed.

If this had been the story's end still I would see how a self defense verdict would be the obvious outcome. He was only protecting his store and himself. How could anyone think otherwise. Yet the story does not stop here.

After shooting Parker, Ersland comes out from behind the counter and walks out the front door. He attempts to follow the man who had been armed and ran from the store. At this time he shoots his weapon two more times. He then returns to his store walking past Parker who is lying motionless on the floor from the gunshot wound he received in the head earlier. Ersland then goes behind the counter and retrieves a second gun. He walks up to Parker who still is lying on the floor and commences to shoot him five additional times in the abdomen.

As the trial began to get underway, many people were outraged at the fact that he was being tried at all. Even after the surveillance video was shown over and over on the evening news many still defended his actions. When the trial drew to a close and the guilty verdict was read, the same outrage came once more. They called him hero, protector, and so on.

For the last two years as this trial has went down its rocky road of stories being changed, judges being dismissed and all the other issues that befell it in an attempt to draw the final outcome out, the evidence was obvious. Protecting ones home, work, or self is one thing. Intentionally shooting someone an additional 5 times after they were initially shot and stopped with a head wound, lying on the ground unconscious and not threatening in any way is a totally different story. But then that is my own opinion. I have attached the surveillance video so that you can watch it yourself and make your own conclusion.

For once I agree with the conclusion that the court came to. For once it appears that justice really was fair and just despite the pressure from some to steer it in other ways. Then why are so many outraged at this? And why do so many feel that he was justified in the actions that he took. Some may say race played a part, perhaps I am not sure. Yet I would have the same feelings regardless if the boy was black, white, red, yellow, or green. Why is it so easy for so many to feel otherwise. I guess I am just looking for some sort of explanation.

I promise to be back soon with my more upbeat bright sunny stories. This was just something that was heavy on my heart and mind and I felt I needed to share.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Early Sunday Mornings

As Human beings,
Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world
as it is in being able to recreate ourselves.
Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Remembering Those Who Give So Much

Four things support the world;
The learning of the wise,
The justice of the great,
The prayers of the good,
The valor of the brave.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Mumblings On A Friday

Well this weekend is said to usher in the beginning of summer. Unofficially of course. Yet Memorial Day is usually when most feel that summer has begun. I myself like to think of June 21 as the beginning of summer. It lends itself to making me think that summer is longer than what it may feel like some years. Yet like most I am already in the swing of summer.

The recent rains have finally started the grass to growing and mowing is quickly becoming a weekly if not more often chore. I do not mind this as I always enjoy my time on the rider mower with my ear buds deep in my ears listening to my music at high volume as I plow across the yard. It is an escape of sorts. Lost in the music and enjoying the smells and sites of nature.

Although the heavy rains filled our pond to its brim once again it also brought about a few friends that I could do without. A good share of snakes and snappers have come to reside in our little water hole. Something that I do not take too kindly too. I am happy with the many frogs we have yet the snakes and turtles... well they can go. Vincent works to keep them out as best he can and already he has taken some of both out.  Yet I noticed today as I was enjoying the morning that there are still some there. The trees and brush have been cleared enough around the pond so that it does not lend itself much to them residing for long yet I am not too keen on stepping upon one as I am strolling around my pond admiring the sites. I give my neighbors way too many things to laugh at. I do not need the scared of snakes dance to be another attraction.

I decided to transplant some of the wildflowers that grow so abundantly in our yard this year to some choice places where I could allow them to grow and not mow over them. This adventure has proven to be quite enjoyable and I think it may become one of my yearly traditions. I have always disliked mowing down so many of the flowers that grow each spring. I also bordered my yard with other perennials along the bottom where it meets the woods. I am hoping that they will create a colorful border as the years pass. One that does not need to be tended so diligently yet allows a nice splash of color as we sit on the back porch and look out.

As I have said previously it has been a bit of an odd year thus far. I being the thinker that I am, continually try to figure out the reason for the difference. Yet have not been able to put my finger on anything specific. It seems that life as of late is sort of scattered in so many arenas. Although there is no reason for it, there seems to be a bit of an uneasiness in me. Like I said I am a bit of an over thinker so I try not to over think this situation.  Still,  I am continually taken back to the same square of thought. I wonder if any of you have felt such things as this.

If so what are your conclusions on the topic? Or am I just being a bit of a silly and once again thinking and over analyzing way too much. I guess I can blame it on the pre menopausal events that have seemed to overtake me as of late. Goodness I never thought that turning 50 could be so much fun. (That is a sarcastic statement!!) Yet I refuse to allow a little thing such as age get me to a place where I feel sorry for myself and come to a conclusion that because of it I am unable to enjoy life anymore... 50 or not I am still going to have all the fun I can.

Well enough of the rambling....I leave you with this thought to ponder as the day continues.

Confront the dark parts of yourself,
and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.
Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.
Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength
August Wilson

Enjoy the rest of the day. May blessings come your way

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Update to Earlier Posting - Ryans Story

Earlier today I posted about the aftermath of the tornados that ravaged through our state earlier this week. One of the accounts that I spoke of was a pregnant mother who attempted to shield her three other children (5, 3 and 15 months) by placing herself over them in the bath tub. Although her efforts were heroic and all she could do, the family was thrown in multiple places as the tornado ripped through their neighborhood, taking their home down to the foundation.

The mother, daughter, and 15 month old son were later found and taken to a nearby hospital. Cole, the 15 month old later succumbed to his injuries and passed. The mother and 5 year old daughter, remain in critical condition. I also spoke of Ryan, the three year old son who was still missing. I found out earlier today that he was found early this morning. Despite hope for a better outcome, he did not make it.

Attached is a link in regards to their story as well as means to help the family out if any of you feel led to do so. There is nothing more heartbreaking than the loss of a child. The hurt seems to be felt more when a face can be put with the one who is no longer with us. Three short years is a brief time to have an impact on this world, yet from the smile on this little boys face, I can tell that he touched many. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to struggle with the events that have befell them this week. The loss of two of their children (and brother) as well as the continual recovery of the mom and sister as well as rebuilding.

One Never Knows

Morning all. Once again I find myself distant and not blogging as much as I would like too. It has definitely been a year of distractions and other things to keep my attention and energy. I have so missed being here and keeping up with everyone and what has been going on. Yet I think that all of us can identify with how life can sometimes just have other plans.

Since I last was here I made yet another trip to my grandkids for a visit. It was my granddaughters 8th birthday and of course I could not miss that. She is growing up so fast. She had a slumber party this year with four other girls. Oh how that brought back memories. Although I will say that it seems little girls grow up faster these days. I am glad she is what some may call a nerd. Interested in school and reading. Although I know that it will not keep her from some things forever, for now she can still be a bit of a little girl. No Justin Beiber for her. Yippee.....

Earlier this week we also had our first official scare with Oklahoma weather. It seems to be such a frantic year for everyone when it comes to weather these days. In April it seemed that it was the southeast that would take the brunt. I kept my tongue tight as I knew that May was the month that Oklahoma always seems to experience its share of tornado alley. The month went smooth for some time until earlier this week. For three days we were warned that severe weather was an extreme possibility. We had went to our moms for a visit and was heading home when we were hit the first time. We were caught in a good storm with all the makings. Strong winds, heavy rains, and hail. Fortunately no tornados were produced at least not in our vicinity. We did however get Vince's truck battered sufficiently with the golf ball to tennis ball hail that fell. A cracked windshield and plenty of dings were our evidence when we finally arrived home that evening. The next day brought even stronger warnings. I prepared the tornado bad as well as the bag with items in it that I may want to have if everything blew away.

It is not an easy thing to pick what one would put in such a bag. Jewelry, trinkets, important papers and such. Thank goodness for backup drives. As all my photos and such can also be kept if need be. As expected, the storms started in the early afternoon and exploded immediately. We watched as they marched across the state growing into massive tornados. We knew that they would eventually have to cross over us and sure enough they did later in the afternoon. In a matter of 15 minutes the storms started and escalated themselves up to tornado status and headed straight for us. Getting Winston into the cellar was a bit of a chore. Last year when I went to the cellar he was still a bit of a pup so I could easily toss him in when he declined from wanting to do it himself. This summer was a bit of a different story. At 95 pounds I was glad Vincent was home with me as I am not sure if I could have gotten him in by myself.

We listened on our weather radio as the tornado sirens went off and we could hear the wind howling above us. When we finally emerged some wind damage was evident. A wooden fence had been blown into the neighbor's yard, taking the pickets and stabbing them into the ground upright, yet all our homes were ok. The storm had just passed north and west of us by not quite a mile. Later that day we went out to survey the damage and I was astonished at how close we were to being hit. The more severe damage started to show itself just a quarter of a mile from our home. Trees uprooted and stripped of their bark, roofs torn from homes, mangled metal twisted around fences and thrown into the tops of trees. Tornados hit on all sides of us. To the south and west, to the east and to the north.

Some ways north of us a mother huddled with her three kids (7,3, and 15 months) in a bathtub. The storm took their home completely off the foundation and threw all four of them in multiple directions. The mother (5 months pregnant herself) was found beneath debris. Two of the kids were found near a lake not far from their home. The 3 year old little boy Ryan is still missing. The 15 month old little boy later died of his injuries and the mother and 7 year old girl lay in a hospital in critical condition. Remember this family and little Ryan who is still missing. It is a clear example of how quickly something can be taken from you and how much we need to remember how precious life and those we hold dear are.

Last time I was here I promised to return and start up my blogging at a more frequent pace. I am hoping once again to do that. Yet like last time I am not sure what life may throw my way again. It has been a funny year, full of things unexpected and a reflection and realization of things that are constant and fixed. I hope that spring/summer is bringing all of you happiness and times of special joy. For those of you who may be traveling through some rougher times, I wish you the energy and wisdom to continue and to find the rare gems along the way that will make the journey worthwhile.

Blessings until we meet again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blessed Beltane

May is a time of fertility and new beginnings after a long winter.
The Faeries are afoot!
They dance in the hills and roll in the grass,
reveling in the joy of warm May breezes.
Our spirits are high with the lust and heartiness of spring.
New life is stirring and appetites are keen.

Laurie Cabot - Celebrate the Earth