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May the rebirth of our new year find much enlightenment and blessings for you! In Light & Love, Paulette

Blessed Winter Solstice to all!!! In Light & Love, Paulette

Thought this was informative and beautiful!

I thought this was beautiful!

"The Goddess and God are equal; neither is higher or more deserving of respect. Though some Wiccans focus their rituals toward the Goddess and seem to forget the God entirely, this is a reaction to centuries of stifling patriarchal religion, and the loss of acknowledgement of the feminine aspect of divinity. Religion based entirely on feminine energy, however, is as unbalanced and unnatural as one totally masculine in focus. The ideal is a perfect balance of the two. The Goddess and God are equal, complementary." Taken from "Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham I like this statement because I am seeking balance in my life. It seems I have always been searching for balance.
*NOTE* A woman I know that is concidered a crone now(in my eyes she will always be an amazing goddess) sent this story to me and made me think about how important all my sisters in spirit are out there....please let's vow to never lose touch! A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter. 'Don't forget your Sisters,' she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them.' 'Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. 'You'll need other women. Women always do.' What a funny piece of advice! the young woman thought. Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!' But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life. After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned: THIS SAYS IT ALL: Time passes. Life happens. Distance separate.
"If there is such a thing as a Peaceful Warrior, it is someone who acts assertively when necessary without sacrificing their center. This is the puzzle: how to stay sweet and open, to not lose my vulnerability, while still being forceful when it's most needed." Taken from an article from Sage Woman.
It is easy to walk a right path when others around you do so. It is far harder to walk a good path when others around you fail and flounder through the wilderness or walk down darksome twisted trails crying for you to follow. It is easy to respect the good Earth when you live with Her under your feet and all that you have issues forth from Her bounty. It is far harder to remember Her when you walk on cold poured stone and buy your food in little tins. It is easy to honor the spirits of the land when your people bring you up to know them. It is far harder even to know them when those around you make a mockery of their very existence; it is harder then even to find those spirits in the first place. It is easy to treat people with kindness when they return it. It is far harder to teach kindness to those who never knew it. Yet this, too, is a Warrior's Way to go down the fractal paths of the world pointing towards the Light. A Warrior chooses the right way, not the easy way, and that indeed is the only thing that has ever made a difference. ~Elizabeth Barrette~ Published in Sage Woman No. 72
This article was published in Sage Woman's Issue 71 The Healing Power of Happiness On February 19, my husband's fraternity brother Steve died of pancreatic cancer. Over the decades they had remained close, and I'd grown to love him too. We knew he'd eventually succumb to the disease, and we were prepared for that, but we were far from ready. The loss hit us hard. The next day my coven sister Phoenix was killed in an auto accident. Nobody was prepared for that. The shock and grief were terrible. Two weeks later, Merlin, one of our cats, died of a brain tumor. I thought I would never smile again. Experiencing all the symptoms of depression, I lost too much weight, too much sleep, and entirely too much hope. Don't get me wrong, people were wonderful. Cards, flowers, email messages, and phone calls cascaded into our home. Those who could came to visit and embrace us. Women all over the country did healing rituals for us. And I was grateful for their love. But my husband and I were inconsolable. Nothing, however loving or kind, could pierce the gloom. A few weeks later another coven sister gave me C.V. Brondwin's book, Clan of the Goddess. I thanked her politely, but, unable to focus, I didn't try to read it until two weeks later. When I finally opened it, I understood what a wonderful gift it was. On page 23, I found these words: "In your lifetime, time and time again, you have experienced moments that were snatches of pure joy. . . With each experience you added a little more divine energy to your soul and that is how you accumulated the divine energy that makes you so powerful today." Cocooned as I was in a thick shell of grief, I felt far from powerful. Nonetheless, I read on and found the suggestion that I make a habit of reliving those times. Taking every experience, one at a time, she suggested I smell it, feel it on my skin. She suggested that I taste it, that I hear every sound, and advised that when I'd experienced the moment as fully as I had the first time around, I should name it and clutch it in my fist then gather it into my heart. She promised that once I had done all that, I could draw on its energy any time I chose. And each time I relived them, those moments would add yet more power to my soul. "All well and good," I groused. (I frequently talk to books.) "But how can I relive my moments of joy when I'm too depressed to remember them?" She suggested reliving the thrill of my first kiss. That was fifty-one years ago! I decided to begin with something more recent—the last time Merlin lay on my lap. I sat on the sofa where the moment had happened and recalled the contentment of being fully present as he draped himself over my right arm. And before I knew it an amazing thing happened: I discovered that I was smiling. Relaxing into the memory, I felt his weight on my thighs. I watched my pale hand stroke his raven colored fur. I listened to his purring. And I watched his little golden eyes close as his purring subsided into sleep. A fire was burning in the hearth, just as it had been when I'd held him last. I listened to the crackle and smelled the woodsy scent. I had my first source of power. I named it Merlin on My Lap and tucked it into my heart. Suddenly, like rainbow-colored confetti, memories fluttered all around me. I could barely keep track of them all. Every time I found my bliss, I found another morsel of Goddess power. That night, for the first time in several weeks, I slept a full eight hours. The next day I had an uncontrollable urge to increase my store of joy. Instead of reflexively petting the other cats while silently mourning Merlin, I deliberately paid attention to each one of them—feeling, seeing, hearing, and smelling all that the experience offered. Then I held each moment in my hand, named it, and added it to my stash. Growing stronger with each bit of joy, I found myself committing one-liners and puns that made my husband laugh. I gathered that laughter to my heart too. I went out for the first time in several weeks, and I found myself joking with the supermarket checkout lady. I grinned at the arrogance of the gulls as they strutted the parking lot. I delighted in the sunshine and the nascent daffodils. I gloried in an early yellow-edged and black Merlin butterfly. And I squirreled away these moments too. We all live through painful moments. The trick is to release the grief-laden memories while internalizing their lessons. In my case the lesson was to be fully present, to honor every second I have with those I love, for as long as I have my trove of memories, I can live them again whenever I want. Merlin and Phoenix and Steve are all still with me, vibrant and precious. I'll savor the triumph of understanding that until the day I die. Pleasure, like sorrow, feeds upon itself. I had to decide which one I would carry and send out into the world. I've made my choice. And having written about it, I've named the act of writing and clutched it in my fist. In a moment I shall gather it into my heart, so whenever I need to I can live this joy again as well. Vila SpiderHawk, author of Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones, lives in the woods of Pennsylvania with her husband, their six cats, and their many woodland friends. SpiderHawk is a practicing Witch, an avid gardener, and a gourmet vegan cook. See her web site at www.vilaspiderhawk.com.
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