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A Veteran’s Worth

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My husband, Jerry, is a disabled Vietnam veteran and has been so since his discharge in the mid-70’s. An outpatient clinic opened in our area and he goes there for his medical and vision care. But for dental, we drive 300 miles round trip to the VA Hospital in Portland. He can receive outpatient care locally but few dentists accept the lower fees the VA allows for dental work. The last guy who did had a staff member who was so unpleasant and unprofessional that he gave up and started back with the folks in Portland. Which is where I sit at this writing, waiting for him to finish getting a filling.

Jerry is also getting an upper denture and while he’s healing we’ve already received two letters cancelling and rescheduling his next appointment. True he needs to heal, but his appointment changed from the end of December to the beginning of January, and as of now, it’s been changed again to the end of January. This is what veterans deal with when it comes to dental treatment. And when the veteran has to drive 300 miles round trip, it would be nice if the appointments weren’t scheduled so far apart.

But all in all, he has very nice things to say about the dental staff who take care of him. He finds them to be thorough, prepared, and conscientious. They’re not in a hurry there; they don’t rush the vets in and out. They’re concerned about how he’s feeling during his time there and always treat him with respect and dignity. And they make sure he understands what they’re doing and why. So, even with the issues that veterans do face, the care is good even with the money woes.

The lobby was filled with veterans and their families as it is every time we come here. Everyone is so kind and helpful at the VA Hospital and we try to arrive in time to have something to eat, even though it was cottage cheese for Jerry this time. He’s relegated to smoothies, mashed potatoes, and blended soups until he gets his upper denture. Thank the Goddess I have a VitaMix. And to tell you what a great place this is, I left my iPad in the bathroom and it was right where I left it, untouched. Meltdown averted.

These are dignified individuals, our beloved veterans. When they need an X-ray, they shouldn’t be told that they will have to drive to Portland to get one because the local hospital won’t take veterans with benefits unless they have other insurance or can pay out of pocket. Apparently our government is late on paying for hospital services. Can you imagine that? Jerry’s knee was full of blood and enormous but they don’t have any X-ray equipment to take a shot of it before draining it.

And when they’re summoned to the eye clinic for a checkup they shouldn’t face ridicule because no one tells them they must wear their glasses when they drive now. Jerry could have done without the insulting demeanor and comments and been glad for the information, but that was beyond the doctor who couldn’t be bothered to be on time for his appointment.

Some of his eye appointments have to do with a diabetes diagnosis that Jerry was blessed with some years ago. The acceptable range was lowered and suddenly he was diabetic. He had run into a tree branch, scratching his eye, and the eye doctors in Portland were concerned it was actually due to diabetes, so he had to have numerous checks to be sure his eye was fine and not diabetes-related. Of course the diabetes numbers were probably due to the cholesterol drug they had him on, not that he needed that either. The nurse even called us while we were on vacation a few years ago to try to convince him he needed the statins even though his numbers were fine. He politely told her no. And that diabetes diagnosis? What diabetes? His numbers have been fine for years and today’s blood pressure was 100/67, so my almost 63 year old husband is doing well.

We were told that the VA tends to redefine acceptable ranges for blood work when other agencies do, typically lowering them and ultimately giving Big Pharma a whole new batch of customers in the process. It’s all well and good to try to keep veterans healthy, but lowering numbers results in more drugs prescribed along with more drugs still to handle the side effects and new conditions said drugs create. It all seems counterproductive at best, negligent at worst. I know, because Jerry experienced it and stopped cooperating with them. And all the negotiations made to lower drug costs presumably to save taxpayer dollars fly right out the window as more veterans are prescribed more drugs to offset side effects. Jerry calls it farming. I’m not so sure he’s wrong.

Again, we all agree that our veterans are worthy of our care and support. Well, the crazy guy running for President seems to be an exception. But most of us recognize the sacrifices veterans and their families have made for this country and feel that Congress has let them down. They don’t need privatized care because doctors evidently need to charge far more than the government wants to pay, dentists as well. So if Republicans expect privatized care to be the answer, they’re either craven or clueless. We’ve experienced this firsthand and it’s just not workable.

If the Republicans in Congress would have actually governed these last eight years instead of behaving like racist jackasses, then maybe the VA would have been fully funded and appointments could be scheduled in a way that actually makes sense. But as we all know, that hasn’t happened and with any luck, voters will throw these freeloaders out of office and elect lawmakers who actually care about our country and our veterans who have given everything for our protection.

So many of the faces I saw today are framed with white hair. My husband turns 63 in December and is no different. These amazing people protected us when we needed it the most, and like my husband, events went a little sideways and now here we all are. They each have a kind word for everyone they see. The staff members who take care of our veterans do all they can to see that our vets have everything they need and we both thank them profusely for that. You’d think providing for our veterans’ care would be just as uppermost in our lawmakers’ minds as well.

November is coming. So are voters.

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A Higher Point of Origin

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If we all decided tomorrow to wake up and be nice to everyone from that point forward, our world would change in an instant. Completely. Gone would be the hateful comments we hear daily in the media. We would elevate others instead of denigrating them. Oppression would end. The happiness of others would be a priority.  We would stop seeing everyone as the other or as the enemy. It’s not that we’d have utopia, but lives would surely improve around the world. Our collective consciousness would be raised and we would engage with others from a much better frame of mind than we seem to these days.

A Course in Miracles tells us that we give everything we see the meaning it has, and that we create the world we see, placing full responsibility for our lives squarely on our own respective shoulders. I remember when I first read this and then tried to absorb it. I understood the notion of personal responsibility well enough, but I wasn’t sure how I created other people’s dysfunctional behavior. How did I create any of their issues?

So although I knew it was true that I gave everything the meaning it had, I reserved judgment on the whole creating the world we see aspect. I also believe that we choose an overall life theme before incarnating including who will be part of that life. And here’s the other thing. If I chose the overall theme in my life before incarnating into a body, then how can I have a problem with what ultimately happens? If I don’t attach any value judgment to anything that happens, I can live my life as a series of experiences. I don’t have to judge them as either good or bad, but as just something I chose to experience.

The Course addresses the fallacy of judgment asserting that it has no constructive place in our lives. So if judgment serves no purpose then looking at anything we experience any other way than as something that simply is provides just the hook we need to become stuck in focus, creating a channel or path that allows us to revisit that experience again and again, using it as a lens through which to see the present.

As an empath, I can easily pull back from physical presence and observe my experiences. I know that sounds odd, but it’s something that empaths do all the time whether they realize it or not when they want to stay out of other people’s energy fields. It’s not always comfortable there, so pulling back into nonphysical presence helps immensely.

We’re here as individuals, in these bodies, and we think we’re separate from others, yet we’re not. As Source Energy, we’re one consciousness. The bodies are only vessels to experience life. They aren’t the consciousness or the presence behind the form. Our nonphysical aspect of Self is what drives the vessel. We can choose to ignore that aspect of Self and pretend that we won’t access it until we die, but that’s just not true. We may appear to be a done deal when we’re born, but in truth, our focus into form is a constant, never-ending process, so we never cease our existence as Source Energy. And becoming aware of this natural process is what many are experiencing now.

There’s a growing sense that we’re more than what we appear to be. Many are calling this ascension, but it’s not the type where we raise our frequency to the point that we begin shimmering and then disappear. It’s that we are realizing that the world we live in could be far better than it is if we only behaved as one family. We’ve lived in conflict for too long and any reason for it was distorted by perception from the beginning.

It all comes down to how we see things, another way of saying where and how do we place our focus or attention. Are we giving our power away to the ego’s vision? We judge others as unworthy so it’s easy to oppress them. We judge other countries as a risk so it’s easy to attack them in an effort to control their behavior and their resources. It’s perception driven cause and effect and the examples are endless. Source Vision, on the other hand, sees none of this. Source Vision sees only wholeness and love. When we access that natural, default awareness, we no longer see others as the enemy but as brothers and sisters, desiring only their happiness and joy.

In Kenpo there’s a concept called moving from point of origin. Martial artists love it when an opponent telegraphs what they’re about to do. It’s like a tell in card playing. Instead of throwing a punch directly from where his hand is positioned (point of origin), the opponent moves a bit, maybe barely pulling back his fist, and then throws his punch. Action no longer beats reaction and your opponent is now on the floor which is exactly where you want him.

If we apply point of origin to our own consciousness or Higher Self, then we should always be creating our experiences from that aspect of Self. Another way of saying this is to let our Higher Self be in charge instead of the ego making all of our decisions. If each of us extended ourselves to others from our true point of origin then I have to believe we would see a collective shift in consciousness that’s positive and unifying.

Forgiveness of others wouldn’t even enter into the conversation because we wouldn’t judge anyone’s behavior in the first place. Because to forgive, you must first judge another as needing that forgiveness. And judgment serves no purpose other than to cause separation and division which seems to be at the root of nearly every problem we experience.

I guess the goal is to not become caught up in the drama and chaos of the world around you. It’s too easy to let the ego take over and judge the bejeezus out of everything and everyone. Then we get angry and it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Pulling back into Source Presence, we see the world for what it is, as a place to experience things. Nothing more, nothing less. And from that perspective, that point of origin, we control our unfolding experiences, not our ego’s reaction to our own and everyone else’s.

Empaths are encouraged to observe rather than to absorb energy around them. The same can be said for what we see happening around us. Observe it, and then try to engage only if you can avoid judging it. Not all experiences will lend themselves to this notion, but if it can be applied to as many of our experiences as possible, I have to believe our lives would be filled with less drama.

We have to stop believing that we must become involved with or react to everything we see. Life is a stimulus/response experience for most of us and it doesn’t have to be that way. Experiencing life from our true point of origin, our Higher Self or Source Presence, gives us the control that the ego only taunts us with.

So what’s your point of origin?

Blessed Be

 

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High Horses

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I read something today about patriarchy that really has me scratching my head. Although I think I understand what the author was talking about, I disagree with her premise I guess. At least I think I do. Apparently women are as responsible for misogyny as are men and we confuse patriarchy with masculinity. And that men want what we want and are really reaching out for understanding and we should embrace them for that.

What?

Then she wants all of the Goddesses out there to get off their high horses about all of it. It’s a paradigm after all. And that’s true. It is a paradigm. But paradigms like patriarchy result in behavior that’s oppressive and unwanted, so there’s no high horse to get off of here. We’re just trying to be safe in a really unsafe world. She ended her piece by telling Boudicca, a great grandmother in my ancestry, to put down her sword. Right, like that would ever happen.

Okay. Yes, we participate in our experiences. I agree with that. If someone behaves in a misogynistic manner to me, I have a choice to call them out on their behavior, or to respond in any other way I might wish. If I choose to say nothing, does it then mean I’m part of the problem? What if I’m afraid? What if I say something and it causes further trouble? Because this has happened to me. I told a man to leave me alone one time and he came up behind me and grabbed my hair and said all sorts of disgusting things to me. Was I to embrace this man as someone who was reaching out to me as the author suggests? Or should I have called the police and let him feel the embrace of law enforcement?

The other thing I found odd was her use of Sister(s). It’s like when someone uses your first name while explaining something to you. It’s condescending and when it happens, I stop listening. I do. I just stop and I don’t care what the person has to say ever again. It’s a zero tolerance thing for me.

Maybe my problem with this is because I don’t see duality the way the author apparently does. I believe the only true duality is nonphysical versus physical presence, so any talk of duality based in physical form is an illusion of sorts. When we talk about Sacred Feminine this and Sacred Masculine that, we’re really defining ourselves in a way that lends itself to expressions of separation when our nonphysical aspect of Self already embodies both of those concepts. Of course the argument to that could be that we live our physical aspect of Self, that our nonphysical aspect isn’t particularly relevant, yet it must be if we’re interjecting the Sacred into the conversation.

I like that the author challenges the reader to think outside the box, so to speak, on a subject that’s clearly controversial, but I still disagree. When women talk about patriarchy, they’re talking about behavior. It may indeed be a paradigm, but it’s behavior that makes us afraid, that keeps us making less than our male counterparts, that oppresses, controls, hurts, and yes, sometimes kills us.

We may stay longer than is safe, but he’s convinced us that he’ll kill us and/or our children if we leave.

Should I have not found an apartment for my mother, brother, and myself after graduating from high school when we were no longer safe from my father? Should we have embraced him when he followed my mother home from work one day? Should we have understood and let him hurt us? Again?

I allowed men to sexually harass me at a business I co-owned with my husband because I was afraid of losing business if I spoke up. Am I part of the problem? On one level, yes. But should I have embraced them for it? Was it okay for one guy to describe my body to me and then giggle to the friend he brought with him, pointing while saying, look how skinny she is, while his friend grinned from ear to ear. Should I have contacted his wife and asked if she wanted me to embrace him, or would she want that privilege? Should I have called my husband into the room, told him what was going on and allowed him to handle it?

So you can see how I’m confused.

There’s lots of men out there who understand how to treat others, women included. They are respectful and have integrity. I know because I’ve been married to one for some 37 years. These are not the men of patriarchy. They’re part of the solution. And while telling women to get off their high horses might spark conversation, it doesn’t take into account the real experiences many of us have.

Women aren’t stupid. We see what’s going on in the world and we are as savvy as we can be to negotiate around all the obstacles that are placed in our way. And to suggest that we help put them there is not just insensitive, but in this Crone’s opinion, wrong.

Blessed Be to all the women up there on their high horses. Stay there. We’ve had to walk behind for too long.

 

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Another Batch of Cannabis Oil

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It’s time again to make some cannabis oil. It’s that thick, sludgy resinous oil made from cannabis that saves lives. I know because it saved mine. I originally used a method described by Rick Simpson, but then I found an oil distiller that sits on my kitchen counter and I like that even better. With the oil distiller, I can capture my expensive grain alcohol rather than letting it evaporate into the air.

Although I’ve done some posts about making cannabis oil in the past and I included the method in Confessions of a Back Porch Herbalist, I thought I would go through the methodology again in case anyone needed a refresher. It takes a pound of dried cannabis bud and two gallons of grain alcohol to strip the cannabis bud of its lifesaving properties.

first rinsestirring the cannabisI like using the work bag from my hash payload bag set to run the alcohol through the cannabis. It’s strong and has the largest screen on it to allow the resin to pass through into the alcohol. The other payload bags have smaller screens and they’re used to make hash. So we added some cannabis bud to the work bag and then poured half of our grain alcohol over it after which we mixed it around.

squeezing out the alcohol

squeezing-out-the-alcohol-2After squeezing out the first rinse, we discovered my husband grabbed the wrong bag so we carefully transferred the cannabis along with the resin that accumulated into the work bag we should have used originally. The smaller micron is necessary for capturing the resin, but since we want that resin to stay in the alcohol, the larger micron bag needs to be used.

So after my husband put on his glasses, we rinsed the cannabis a second time with the other half of the grain alcohol. Most of what we need is stripped during the first rinse, but it’s best to rinse it again to get what is still left on the bud. And it’s particularly important when you’re old and can’t remember to wear your glasses.

squeezing-second-rinse

Now after squeezing out the second rinse from the proper bag, we poured the alcohol mixture into the oil distiller, plugged it in, watched as it eventually began dripping the extracted alcohol into the catch container. Grain alcohol is expensive, so it’s really nice to be able to reuse it. When the alcohol reached a little above half way, we turned off the unit, waited the suggested 20 minutes for it to cool, and then openedoil distiller it to add more alcohol mixture. We did this one more time before we were finished. Each time we added more alcohol mixture, we poured what had collected in the container into another bottle for future oil-distiller-readyuse.

 

When the distilling process is complete, I put the remaining oil in a cup and placed that on a coffee warmer to finish the extraction process. There’s always a little bit of alcohol at the end in the oil and letting it sit uncovered on a coffee warmer allows the remaining alcohol to evaporate. It appears as bubbles on the surface and when the bubble stop, it’s finished. The oil can then be put in a jar or drawn up into a syringe for easy dosing. I use a jar as well as a silicone container for mine. If the oil alcohol mix in distilleris going to be used slowly then I would keep it in the refrigerator.

 

A pound of bud only creates a quarter cup of oil, so it would be impossible for me to use aoil in the distillerny of it if I didn’t grow my own cannabis. I have no clue what a pound of medicinal quality bud costs these days but I know it’s out of my price range. Dosage reportedly begins at an amount the size of half a grain of rice and then with conditions as serious as cancer you work up to a dime’s size amount.

Cannabis oil can be used topically as well and many folks use it to treat skin cancer. I used it on an area on my back that didn’t look right and within two weeks it was gone. It seemed to draw out the mass and then it came off. I don’t know what it was but that’s what happened. I also use it in cannabis based salves to give them additional strength. Cannabis is versatile, whether ingested raw, smoked or vaped, or ingested as a prepared medicine and irrespective of the method used to medicate, healing is the result.oil in silicone

I always get about a half cup of oil initially when I put it on the coffee warmer and today was no different. That will reduce by half and I’ll end up with a quarter cup of oil which I’ll use to keep my RA in check. This oil was made from Cuveé, a strain from TGA Genetics. Cuveé grows prolifically and outside the buds get really big. The branches tend to get heavy and droop so it’s best to keep the lower branches pruned. When they drag on the ground it only invites bugs and other problems. I love Cuveé. It’s beautiful and it’s a wonderful, relaxing medicine.

So that’s it. We began the process around three in the afternoon, which is too late by the way, and finished around 1:30 am, but the oil distiller makes it far safer than letting the alcohol evaporate outside with a fan blowing on it. Plus I was able to capture almost all of the two gallons of grain alcohol we used.

There are lots of videos online to look at and it’s great to see the different equipment people use to make this incredible medicine. To think we can both grow and then make the medicine that saves our lives is amazing. And we can do it in our kitchens! Patients network with other patients or go online to find out what works and what doesn’t. And what seems to work the best and most consistently is the whole plant and not simply one of its components.

The Goddess must of been with me because yesterday I made tomato soup from garden tomatoes as well as another batch of potato soup, began infusing some cannabis into corn syrup for candy, and made oil. But then there’s nothing like a witch who multi-tasks.

Happy healing!

 

Note – this is the distiller I use: Megahome oil distiller

 

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Going Within To Know Truth

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What truths inspire us? It helps to be naturally curious, I suppose. But when I wander about, I find such inspiration in the present moment. No agenda, no purpose other than wandering about looking at all the flowers and plants growing, coming upon a snake or a lizard sunning itself. And who doesn’t love a good argument with a duck who seems to think the strawberries on my front deck belong to him? Of course the ultimate in present moment inspiration is found when I sit and watch my bees coming in and out of their hives.

But a witch realizes that everything we do, everything we are, comes from within, including inspiration. I’ve always had an inner focus that I’ve relied on. We can have all the crystals, candles, and incense we want, but at the end of the day our awareness and true inspiration emanates from an inner focus.

There’s plenty of discussion these days about reawakening the Goddess presence within each of us. Patriarchy has all but destroyed our spirit, allowing oppression to take a firm hold. We’ve lived under a destructive imbalance resistant to change for thousands of years. The return of Goddess presence allows resistance felt to fall away, replaced by a quiet dignity that respects all. We reawaken our Source presence and then remember who we truly are. But know that it’s a reawakening that we experience, and not a redefinition. Because a redefinition assumes a central truth when each of us is here to express our own. Who we are hasn’t changed, we need only reawaken and remember that truth.

We’ve felt the effects of patriarchy in our lives from the moment we’re born with behavior reinforced along gender lines. I remember being told growing up that I should be a teacher because I would be home with my kids in the afternoon and summers, as if my future husband would have no responsibility whatsoever for our children. And that glass ceiling women experience, it’s movable to any position necessary in order that a woman is kept in her place. I earned a Black Belt in Kenpo, but instead of receiving the respect due a person who trained daily for three years to achieve such an honor, my achievement was viewed by some as a gift from my husband, the instructor. I worked my ass off but truth didn’t matter.

And then there’s the intrusive way some men speak to women. And trust me, it doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, some men still believe they can say anything they want to a woman and she’s supposed to be grateful for the attention. Except that we’re not. And when it happens we experience fear, anger, rage, and powerlessness. As if we have no right to speak up and say no.

The choice that began long ago to force patriarchy on the world has taken us off track, creating an imbalance between us that is unsustainable. But the last thing women need is for anyone else to define their own awakening. We need only go within to know our truth. And that truth isn’t found in the past but in the present moment.

Each of us focuses into form to experience life on our own terms, to live our own truth. We don’t replace patriarchy with someone else’s take on our collective experience. We replace it with our own, in alignment with our inner Source Presence. We find our inspiration in the present moment, without the past to influence any outcome. We know what the problem has been and continues to be. Change happens when we live the solution.

Blessed be.

 

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Our Goddess Presence: A Runecasting for 18 Sep 2016

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I’m using a pentagram spread for today’s runecasting. A symbol for power, Spirit unites Water, Fire, Earth, and Air, all elemental influences affecting our lives. Air represents our intellectual presence, Water our emotions, Fire our intuition, and Earth our physical presence with Earth. Spirit represents our beginning, our true essence, and our Akash. Positioning each rune on each element, we see how each one combines with that particular element and what the resulting influence might be.

Transformation and illumination begin our pentagram runecasting with Kenaz in the position of Spirit. Secrets are revealed with this rune of openings. Things may not be as they seem when Kenaz appears. Truth may either need to be ferreted out, or it will be on display for all to see. As a Fire element rune, Kenaz sparks our intuition and brings enlightenment, awakening our creative purpose. Our creative essence is Source energy, and Kenaz tells us to let that be our guide.

Jera is in the position of Elemental Water. Another transformative rune, Jera’s fertile influence brings events to pass and speeds growth. An Earth element rune, Jera brings peace, luck, and prosperity. Cycles are reflected with Jera as well as our unfolding spiritual awareness. We balance and align our relationships with Jera. When Jera appears in a reading, positive rewards can be expected and in the position of Water, those rewards will flow effortlessly.

For the Fire position, I drew Nauthiz, the rune of Skuld, the Norn representing the future. A Fire rune itself, Nauthiz links the forces of our destiny, assisting us in achieving goals and creating positive change. It’s useful to include in binding spells and to turn a negative situation into a positive one. We are cleansed and protected with Nauthiz.

Earth gives us Laguz, a rune of Elemental Water. Our clairsentience is in play with Laguz. As the rune of the occult, Laguz gives us access to the realms of dreams and sorcery, allowing us to gather energies to be invoked by our will. We allow our practical side to be guided by our inner voice, our intuition as we flow easily around obstacles with this Water Element rune, preserving our emotional balance while embracing change that’s inevitable.

Finally, representing the god Tyr, the rune of the spiritual warrior, is Tiwaz, in the position of Air. Itself a rune of Elemental Air, Tiwaz teaches us justice and sacrifice. The spiritual warrior inside us upholds higher ideals and strengthens our self-discipline and character. A sense of order is preserved with Tiwaz with victory assured.

The numerology adds up to 66 which reduces further to 12, and from there to 3. The more I think about the number three, the more I liken it to the Empress in tarot. She takes intention, brings energies together in balance and gives birth to her experience in the world. She embodies the alchemical experience of creation, the Goddess presence within.

Sometimes I don’t know what a runecasting is about until I’m nearly through its interpretation. When I came to the numerology of the reading, I knew at that point what this runecasting is about. The runes suggest a manifesting power and I can think of no power greater than Goddess Presence. She’s been speaking to us for some time now, and She will no longer be dismissed. She seeks not to control or destroy, but to bring truth to bear, replacing the skewed vision of our world we all experience with a more balanced approach.

How then do we manifest Goddess presence in the world? We do it by standing in our own power as Source Energy, expressing ourselves with integrity and truth. We stand as spiritual warriors, ever ready to meet challenges with grace and dignity. We stand firm, yet loving as we know who we are as Source Energy, creating with passion and joy. Our Goddess presence catalyzes and transforms, balances and aligns, cleanses and protects, strengthens and sacrifices, preserves and invokes.

It’s not that things are not what they seem as Kenaz might suggest, but that they’ve been off balance. The lie of patriarchy has been told and believed and its effects are on display for all to see, its consequences felt by so many. And the presence of Nauthiz, the Norn rune depicting the future, tells us that positive change is upon us.

We’ve been silent for too long. We’ve stayed in the background for too long. It’s time to stand up, for ourselves and others.

And it’s time to stand together, allowing the love of Goddess Presence to awaken all to the truth that:

We are one in Source. We are one in love. We are one in joy. And we are here for each other.

~Blessings to all!

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The Moon, The Priestess, and the Magus ~ Tarot for 16 Sep 2015

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A penumbral lunar eclipse that I won’t be able to watch will accompany tonight’s Full Harvest Moon in Pisces. Given the emotional nature of this Full Moon, sensitivities may be enhanced now. From the Thoth tarot deck for today’s tarot reading I drew The Moon, The Priestess, and The Magus, all three cards from the Major Arcana. The numerology of the reading is 3, the number for Spirit, mastery, and synthesis. And with all cards from the Major Arcana, this reading along with tonight’s special Full Harvest Moon promise both completion and new beginnings that bring both awareness and truth.

Drawing three cards from the Major Arcana, particularly on a Full Moon, indicates that larger spiritual principles are at work, and with this moon’s Picean influence, this is surely the case. The Moon itself indicates the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, as well as illusion, either from self or others. We’re asked to see what’s hidden and to confront our fears. As with the tides, The Moon represents the cyclical nature of our lives, suggesting that we embrace change without resistance, letting go of what no longer serves.

Continuing on with the Priestess, this card represents intuition, secret knowledge, and the Feminine Divine. She tells us to rely on our inner wisdom and our psychic awareness to assess our experiences. The Priestess reflects our Higher Self, our place of Source Presence, where all truth resides.

The Magus, the counterpart to the Priestess, allows us to consider the possibility of. He shows us how to visualize what we want, set our intention, and then to act upon that intention. He is our creative force, our inspiration, our willpower. With this energy, we find our balance in the world and realize our potential. It’s with the Magus that we manifest thought into form.

So, wow. Lots of information here. Let’s begin from the standpoint of our Source Presence. All there is is Source Energy. Everything we see and experience, including our own bodies, is an expression of that collective loving energy. We are all powerful and we create the world we see. Notice I used the word create rather than respond. When we respond to everything we see, we judge that response and that’s when our happiness flies out the window when nothing anyone else does should affect our happiness. Nothing.

When we create our reality, the responsibility for how that turns out is completely on us. It’s not anyone else’s fault if that creation blows up in our faces. Because whatever happens, in the final analysis, it’s just stuff that happened. We don’t need to judge it as good or bad. So if it blows up, so what?

The power of the Magus and the Priestess lies in our awareness of Self. As long as we understand that we create with the same power as the energy that creates the universe, we don’t fall in the trap set up by the ego, that strange side of us that seems to cause us so much unhappiness. But when we forget who we are, and give purpose and meaning to the ego’s view of the world, we begin responding to everything around us. We become resistant to our experiences instead of simply experiencing them.

We focus into form with a sense of possibility. We become these bodies, knowing who we are. We know we are all powerful, and then we become stuck in the illusion that we’re not. If this Full Moon in Pisces tells us anything, it’s that illusion begins with each one of us. We may experience it from others, but we must first ask if it’s our own perception that’s illusory. Are we really seeing clearly or is it an illusion from another we’re experiencing?

When we become stuck in our emotions, it can be difficult to achieve clarity, giving birth to the notion of the long dark night of the soul, suggested by The Moon. But it’s not our emotions that are the problem, it’s our focus. Are we creating or responding? The presence of The Magus would suggest that our very essence is the creative force. And the Priestess is our gateway to our inner wisdom. And it’s interesting that together they create the Mother aspect of the Empress, the third card of the Major Arcana, which also reinforces our creative aspect of Self.

So as we go forward into the next month, to what will we give birth? And will it be based in our creative presence or our response to what we see?

Stay present in the now. Stay focused on creating. And bring joy into every aspect of your being.

~Blessings to all!

 

 

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Surrender to Emotional Presence: Tarot for 13 Sep 2016

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We live in our heads too much without really understanding the effect of our thoughts on future action. And yet our thoughts do produce form on some level, even if its only words. And yet, as every witch knows, words have power. In today’s tarot reading the Hanged Man sits (or hangs as it were) between the Ace of Cups and the Knight of Swords. The suit of Swords reflects our intellectual presence and Cups our emotional presence and it seems that surrender may be the answer to balancing our heart with our mind.

The Aces in Tarot signify new beginnings and the Ace of Cups is the beginning of unconditional love and compassion. It’s here where we remain true to our feelings and extend love to others. Balancing our emotions with our intellect so that we convey our feelings in a respectful manner is the message of the cards today. The Knight of Swords, while unafraid of challenges, sometimes comes across a little domineering, but his heart is pure and he meets the world with courage and integrity. He looks to the future unfolding in front of him, his sword over his shoulder, ready if needed. But with compassion, will his sword even be necessary?

The Hanged Man tells us to surrender to the moment, and in this case, to let our compassion be felt in our words. Perhaps we’ve been too judgmental, too critical of others, and we need to take a moment to reflect on a more compassionate perspective. As the Hanged Man, we align in our Source Presence, allowing the chaos of the world around us to fall away. We’re invested only in the moment, leaving the past and future outside our awareness, as we listen to the wisdom of our inner voice.

While we’re prepared for what comes, we must take time to reflect on a more compassionate direction, allowing our emotions to influence as much as our intellect. It’s a necessary balance that we strike, lest our perceptions are driven by judgment. As we align in our Source Presence, we discover that we are at our best when we extend that loving presence to others. Just as the Ace of Cups shows a cup overflowing in front of the white dove of peace, we are like the lotus flower below, nourished by the loving presence of Source Energy.

A note about the numerology of the reading. Although Court Cards aren’t numbered, if they were, the Knight would be a 12 just as is the Hanged Man card. 12 reduces to 3, the number of Spirit, mastery, the Trinity, and synthesis. It represents a genesis of sorts, as when two parents unite to create a child. When we live in our heads, we miss the rest of the fabric of life. We miss the emotion of it, the practicality of it, and the creative passion of it. All we see or understand is what’s going on in our own perceptions, unaware of our effect on others.

The message of this reading is to surrender to the present moment, to find our mastery there, in alignment with our Source Presence within. Let compassion be our foundation, our lens from which we experience the world. And let us go forth into new experiences with eagerness and joy.

Blessings to all!

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Our Journey Back to Family

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Fifteen years have passed since planes hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. And our family has never been the same since. We began as the United States of America. Now, we’re something else. Instead of the tragedy of 9/11 bringing us together, helping us to remember that we’re one family, it seems that we began a downward spiral that we haven’t yet recovered from.

I thought we might have turned a corner when we elected Barack Obama as our President, but if the current election is any indicator, that didn’t happen. Racism and sexism is on display for all the world to see. Congress actually had to be convinced to provide medical care for first responders. It only took fifteen years. From an article dated 12/18/15 on the Maddow Blog by Steve Benen:

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) proudly proclaimed, “After 15 years, the heroes and survivors of 9/11 will know that their health care is permanent and their compensation is full.”
Specifically, the Zadroga measure was included in the omnibus spending bill, which passed the House this morning, and cleared the Senate soon after.
Proponents benefited from some key allies, but it’s worth emphasizing that one of the highest-profile activists in this fight was Jon Stewart, who raised the visibility of the effort in ways public officials couldn’t.¹

I can’t even imagine how first responders and their families felt all those years, waiting for someone to care, some losing their lives in the process, while GOP lawmakers left them alone and hurting. This is NOT what we do to family. It is NOT what we do to each other. Not when they sacrificed everything for us.

Whenever life doesn’t make any sense at all, I cast the runes. In today’s runecasting, I drew Berkano, Ehwaz, and Fehu. Right away, Berkano brings family into the picture; Ehwaz, our soul journey; and Fehu energizes the surrounding runes, sending their energy into the universe. Ehwaz directly follows Berkano, the 18th and 19th runes in the Elder Futhark. The numerology is prescient in that 18 reduces to 9, 19 reduces to 1, 9 plus 1 equals 10, which also reduces to 1. Fehu is also a 1 as the first rune in the Futhark. If we leave it there, we have an expression of unity. Added together, we have 2, the expression of duality. So what the numerology tells me is that our unity is at odds with our duality.

Invoking Gaia energies, Berkano brings healing, fertility, and new beginnings. We give birth to new ideas and bring them to fruition with Berkano. An Earth element rune, Berkano grounds and calms, giving us a chance to align and see what’s important.

Ehwaz represents safe travel as well as abrupt change. In addition, it represents marriage and partnership. But more interesting than that, Ehwaz also represents the vehicle for our soul’s journey or our Merkaba. It supports the family aspect of Berkano in that it reinforces partnership, something that has been compromised of late. We see too many differences between us when we should be experiencing unity. Instead of the wagons remaining circled, we let fear take over and watched them go in unsustainable directions. And now hatred is everywhere.

Expressions of separation have taken priority as perceived differences are more important than treating others with respect and dignity. Today’s runes suggest however that a sense of family is still possible for us, that our journey to oneness has not been fully compromised. Fehu, the sending rune, brings the energies of Berkano and Ehwaz together, binding their partnership aspects in creation of a new sense of purpose.

Fehu’s traditional meaning is cattle or wealth. But our true wealth lies in our unity, in our expression of family. We began as the United States of America. At times it’s been a rocky process in our pursuit of that unity, but we’ve come too far to watch it all go to hell in a hand basket now.

The runes provide some measure of comfort when hearts are still broken from that fateful day. They tell us that family is still possible if we only let go our perception of separation from one another and come together in love and peace. We’re far greater together than we are apart and together we can accomplish anything.

Our journey of recovery and healing continues. Let’s make that journey together.

Blessings to all!

 

References:

  1. Bill for 9/11 first responders finally passes Congress. Benen, Steve. Maddow Blog. MSNBC. 2015

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Align First, Then Proceed – A Runecasting

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Laguz, Ansuz, and Perthro are the runes I cast today. Jupiter is in Libra and we have a triplicity at work with the numerology coming down to 9, 9, 9. Completion, and the beginning of something new are in order over the next thirteen months (my lucky number). I was born on October 13th, so anytime thirteen comes up, I pay attention. My birth date also reduces to 9 so this current transit with Jupiter is significant.

So when I cast the runes, I wondered if they would give me any insight about the coming months or if there were particular influences I should keep in mind. Laguz, the 21st rune of the Elder Futhark, is a rune of Elemental Water and tells us to move in nonresistance. A witch rune, Laguz tells us to rely on our intuition, to align in our Source Presence. before making any decisions.

With Jupiter in Libra, there’s an element of balance in play and Laguz helps us keep our emotions in balance. Additionally, Laguz suggests a strong, assertive female who is comfortable asserting her will. Laguz cleanses away illusion, casting its net to the universe to bring clarity and vision.

Ansuz is a special rune in that it is the rune of Odin, the god who hung from the World Tree, Yggdrasil, and sacrificed an eye while receiving the runes as a gift to humanity. He reportedly envied the Norns of Fate, the three witches he observed carving runes into Yggdrasil which grows out of the Well of Urd, and hung upside down for 9 days and nights in an effort to learn the wisdom and secrets of the runes. There’s that 9 again.

A rune of Elemental Air, Ansuz is a force of creation, allowing us to channel our Higher Selves when interacting with this rune. Given that the runes are in fact a language, this 4th rune of the Elder Futhark traditionally suggests communication. But the message imparted by the runes is archetypal in nature as with the Major Arcana in Tarot giving us spiritual principles to live by. Ansuz can be used to access the past and the Akashic Record and to increase our spiritual consciousness. As with Laguz, Ansuz helps us align in our Source Presence and to invoke our divinity within, giving rise to our inner voice and knowing.

Perthro is an interesting rune. Although I read runes from their natural position, they can, like tarot cards, include reversals. I view it as opening to the right, as the well of Urd from which runes are cast. Also representing the womb, Perthro, the 14th rune of the Elder Futhark, represents the birth of something new, in sync with our transiting Jupiter in Libra. Perthro helps us understand Wyrd, or the unknown. If open to the right, it suggests birth, to the left, death. It represents cause and effect as well as synchronicity and with the help of the Norns of Fate, directs us toward correct action.

The numerology of the runecasting is 21, 4, and 14. No master numbers present, so we’ll reduce them as they are to 3, 4, and 5 and from there, 12, and from there, 3. Nine is a multiple of three so there’s some synchronicity there. But the three itself is interesting because it may reflect the influence of the three Norns of Fate. Traditionally, the Norns determine fate. From The Seeress’s Prophecy (Voluspa) found in The Poetic Edda:

19 An ash I know that stands, Yggdrasill it’s called, a tall tree, drenched with shining loam; from there come the dews which fall in the valley, green, it stands always over Urd’s well.*

20 From there come girls, knowing a great deal, three from the lake standing under the tree; Urd one is called, Verdandi another— they carved on a wooden slip— Skuld the third;

21 they laid down laws, they chose lives for the sons of men, the fates of men.¹

The Norns, as well as the Disir, practice the Norse magic of the Seidr. A shamanic form of witchcraft, Seidr utilizes journeying and rune magick for divination and it’s essentially been my own practice as a hedge witch for all of my life. So over the next thirteen months, I’ll be paying close attention to what the runes have to tell me as well as what the three Disir have to say during hedge riding. Also called shamanic journeying, the Disir that accompany me during hedge riding are three women who feel like ancestors, grandmothers possibly, and they accompany me while in the trance state. Sometimes they say nothing, simply sitting or walking with me. But on occasion they might say a thing or two, which I welcome with love and respect.

Otherwise, I plan to get out of the way and let the universe unfold as it will, taking any and all opportunities that come my way to create something wonderful. The last couple of years have put me on a course that I never thought possible, and I eagerly await the coming months to see what will come my way. I may post a monthly journal of sorts over the next thirteen months sharing how Jupiter is manifesting for me in Libra. I turn 59 soon, of which the numerology is 5, or change. So changes are clearly in store.

But whatever is coming, the runes are telling me to embrace the unknown aligned in my Source Presence. I know I keep coming back to this idea, but it really is all that any of us needs to do to live a happy and fulfilling life. The presence of Ansuz indicates that I should listen to my inner voice because all truth resides there. Align first, then proceed. Always.

Blessings to all!

 

References:

  1.  The Poetic Edda (Oxford Worlds Classics) (p. 6). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.