Sustainability Now

23 10 2008

Peace, everybody seems to think it’s a good idea. Community, another good idea. Sustainability,  a new/old word that means, honoring, each other and the earth – another good idea. Yet, how do we work it out in our associations and daily life? There are as many ways as there are people. As the economy worsens, more people are beginning to ask the question – Is this all? Do all those strange people on street corners with signs reading – “The end of the World is at hand?” have an inside track on what is going on in the world today? This article is about YOU and ME and every person in our world.

In my travels through cyberspace over the years, I have seen and joined many groups that fit my worldview. To take a page from one of my own articles, Community, fellowship, or Tyranny, written in February of 2008 I stated that community is defined as : A group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society who come together to share  that common interest, activity, feeling, or experience. I also state there that we will not be squashed or forced to follow the path of the tyrant.

In the current economic world we have the results of credit inflation that was always coming. As the world governments continue to shore up a failing economic system it is the people who don’t have large businesses and seemingly unlimited funds that are being hurt the most.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, By 2010, the current tax cuts will average more than $60,000 a year for households in the top 1 percent — and more than $150,000 a year for households with incomes above $1 million.

The cost of the tax cuts (when fully in effect) for people with incomes over $1 million will exceed the total amount the federal government devotes to K-12 and vocational education, and it will exceed what the federal government spends on hospital and other medical care for veterans.

One has only to look at the current bail-out in the United States to see that the above is compounded by the $700+ billion that will come from most of us over the next several years. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, several CEO’s who’s companies are probably going to receive funds from the bail out have said they will use it for acquiring some of their weaker competitors. How is this a bail out? While more and more homeowners are in default of their mortgages, these fat cats are going to buy up the competition!

According to Naomi Wolf in her work Give Me Liberty, she states that the Constitutional rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence of the USA states that we as individuals are entitled by the creator/ix with the following rights: – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. What exactly IS the pursuit of happiness? She contends that it is NOT the right to mySpace, facebook, a new car, a big house, money in the bank, but a “state of enfranchisement in the content of an open and just society.” What is an open and just society? Is it a society that imposes it’s ideals on every other individual? Is it the force of military might to make everyone agree and follow what you decide is the correct path? No, one has only to look to the Declaration of Independence to see that this is NOT the Pursuit of Happiness. In pre-revolutionary days the sovereign crown of England sought to impose it’s will on a group of individuals who chose NOT to follow their model. What other country has the diversity of paths and individuals that the America’s did and does? In 1750 there were Quakers, several Christian denominations, as well as many ethnic groups living somewhat together. True, our African brothers and sisters were enslaved.  While slavery is the great blot of injustice that was in the new nation, and still remains an issue today, we are ALL becoming enslaved to the almighty dollar and an addiction to the NEW definition of happiness and freedom.  We willingly give up our ability to respond in an intelligent and responsible manner and expect the crown, (read government) to take care of us.

The Federal Reserve system was set up in 1913 by a group of individuals with NO oversight.  According to the Madisonian model of government the President is part of the separation of powers and checks and balances system. Congress is the most powerful branch of the government for, Congress makes the laws and the President executes them.  Where is the oversight of the federal reserve? According to the Federal Reserve Board they are an organization who were created on December 23, 1913 to serve as the nation’s central bank, was created by an act of Congress. The System consists of a seven member Board of Governors with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and twelve Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the United States. How does one get an appointment to the board of governors? According to the Federal Reserve Board website:

Appointments to the Board

The seven members of the Board of Governors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve 14-year terms of office. Members may serve only one full term, but a member who has been appointed to complete an unexpired term may be reappointed to a full term. The President designates, and the Senate confirms, two members of the Board to be Chairman and Vice Chairman, for four-year terms.

Representation
Only one member of the Board may be selected from any one of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts. In making appointments, the President is directed by law to select a “fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests and geographical divisions of the country.”  These aspects of selection are intended to ensure representation of regional interests and the interests of various sectors of the public.

Responsibilities
The primary responsibility of the Board members is the formulation of monetary policy. The seven Board members constitute a majority of the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group that makes the key decisions affecting the cost and availability of money and credit in the economy. The other five members of the FOMC are Reserve Bank presidents, one of whom is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The other Bank presidents serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. By statute the FOMC determines its own organization, and by tradition it elects the Chairman of the Board of Governors as its Chairman and the President of the New York Bank as its Vice Chairman.

The Board sets reserve requirements and shares the responsibility with the Reserve Banks for discount rate policy. These two functions plus open market operations constitute the monetary policy tools of the Federal Reserve System.

In addition to monetary policy responsibilities, the Federal Reserve Board has regulatory and supervisory responsibilities over banks that are members of the System, bank holding companies, international banking facilities in the United States, Edge Act and agreement corporations, foreign activities of member banks, and the U.S. activities of foreign-owned banks. The Board also sets margin requirements, which limit the use of credit for purchasing or carrying securities.

In addition, the Board plays a key role in assuring the smooth functioning and continued development of the nation’s vast payments system [see Fedwire and Payment System Risk Policy].

Another area of Board responsibility is the development and administration of regulations that implement major federal laws governing consumer credit such as the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Truth in Savings Act”

It can be said that in theory, the US Congress is the oversight of the Federal Reserve Board, but in NO WAY can congress change the decision of the Board of Governors. Who are these individuals?

All of the current board of governors are either individuals who have been IN the monetary system, and have an interest in it’s continuation, for over twenty years or  , in the case of Mr. Warsh, come from the banking industry, (Morgan Stanley) itself. While this in itself is not an indictment of the system, it shows a narrow view of the possibilities for change and growth.

The failure of the current monetary system world wide and the supposed bail out seems to indicate to this writer that something is seriously wrong. In any other business, these individuals would be “asked to leave” for the depth of the crisis they have precipitated. Yet, according to the terms of the fed itself, these individuals can not be removed from office even by the President of the United States.

The time for a different worldview is at hand. Go ahead, google peace initiatives, you will find many organizations, petitions, and web rings that are showing a new awakening to the question we asked earlier – Is this all there is? Obviously, the answer is NO.  Now try Sustainablility.

The definition of Sustainability is: the quality of life in a community — whether the economic, social and environmental systems that make up the community are providing a healthy, productive, meaningful life for all community residents, present and future.

If we examine the current system in these terms, then it is NOT sustainable. The founders of the USA saw the system they were living under as NOT sustainable. They responded  with words and deeds, remember the Boston Tea Party? What are our deeds and words to be? Do we wait for the inevitable collapse and then re-build or do we get together now and create a new reality for ourselves.

Lest you, dear reader, think that all is doom and gloom, take heart. There are many groups right in your back yard that are working toward a new reality. All one needs to do is look. Do not be put off by labels, anarchist, revolutionist, or libertarian. These are just labels put on individuals who desire real change and are working toward a true community of all peoples.

My research into many groups have found that there is also a spiritual component to this change. It really doesn’t matter, what path you follow, as long as it leads to a true fellowship of all peoples. Race, religion, creed, these are the uniqueness that breeds true diversity, which is our strength. Through diversity, we find the power to bend without breaking, if only we set aside our “rightness” for wholeness.

In my little city, in the Midwestern United States, we have 2 “peoples markets”, a multiplicity of small groups that work together WITHOUT dollars, and are quite happy, even without ipods, cell phones, and fancy cars. We really don’t need those. Learn to live in harmony with the world around you, stop and see the beauty in each other and the world. I implore you, get involved for real change, and stand with the founding fathers of this nation to create a “More perfect Union”. One based on the true definition of Life, Liberty , and the Pursuit of Happiness.





Stumbling Blocks to Following Your Spiritual Path

10 09 2008

Introduction
In my last article I spoke on how to choose and began the discussion on following one’s chosen path. As we defined this earlier a spiritual path is one where an individual is taking a route whether physically or metaphysically that pertains to the non-physical being of a person. The most important part of such a path, is that the individual grows, learns, and expands and comes to a reconciliation with their understanding of the metaphysical realms and their understanding of Deity(s).

Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Growth

As one researches, and gets in tune with their path they may find some stumbling blocks to their growth. Dictionary.com defines a stumbling block as: “an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding”. In other words, something that stops the movement on a particular path. These blocks are usually temporary unless an individual chooses to make them permanent.

These stumbling blocks may be in the form of lack of understanding, fear, abandonment, (by friends and family), rejection, (personal, or societal), pressure to be normal, or even unfortunately, pressure from people in the Business of Paganism, to keep people to themselves. Take this example:

Research

An individual feels a connection with Kali. A cursory search of the literature shows Kali as a terrible aspect of a goddess. In fact some say that she is actually a demon that eats people alive. Interestingly enough, in the definitive work, The Magic of Kali , translated by Michael Magee, it states that this interpretation of Kali comes from the suppression of a group called the Thuggies, who were such a problem for the British during the empire days. In fact, Kali or Mahaprakrti, is “ the destroyer of anxiety, giving boons, seated on a corpse, and gives all desires.”

Similarly, the Morrigan, of Irish repute, is sometimes considered a “Battle field Goddess” when instead she is actually a Goddess of prosperity and peace after war, and according to some other traditions, while she may indeed release the two ravens that are depicted with her to her followers, she morns and guides the dead of BOTH sides to the Summerlands.

As you can see, this could become a stumbling block to an individual who has neither the time or the inclination to do proper research.

Fear, Abandonment, and rejection

Fear, abandonment, rejection and pressure to be normal are related to our culture and society. In the first article in this series (Choosing and Following Your Own Path ) I stated that we are social creatures that desire acceptance. As the nature of a personal spiritual path is not necessarily the same as those around us, these pressures can be intense. It is only by being truly grounded and committed to our own path that one can stand up to these pressures. In my time as a Spiritual Coach one thing is constant. In the beginning parents, friends, relatives, and spouses can be frightened by, (what they perceive), as a rejection of their values and ideals. Sometimes these loved ones exhibit psychological projection.
According to The Language of Psychology, (a psychology dictionary): Psychological projection (or projection bias) can be defined as unconsciously assuming that others have the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or positions on any given subject as oneself. According to the theories of Sigmund Freud, it is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings—basically parts of oneself—onto someone else (usually another person, but psychological projection onto animals and inanimate objects also occurs).
In this particular example, a loved one projects their own fears, abandonment issues, and rejection onto the individual who has chosen another belief or spiritual path than what they perceive is acceptable. In most of my clients, over time, these same loved ones come to realize that the person in question becomes more peaceful, happy, and balanced as they settle into their own spiritual path.

The Business of Spiritual Growth

As for those who are “in the business”, this is unfortunately what happens to spirituality, when it is replaced with business. In my personal opinion, jealousy, prosperity, (monetary), and mean spiritedness has no place in ANY business. As a facilitator of spiritual paths, I have no investment, or agenda, that I am following, and neither does ANY spiritual coach, facilitator, reader, shaman, or other worker in the field, who is truly following a Spiritual Path.

According to the Ethics Research Center, in 2005, 75% of those polled said they saw NO unethical behaviors in their workplaces. It is incumbent upon us as individuals to understand that ethical behavior is generally demonstrated in the workplace. Unethical behavior, when demonstrated is more easily spoken. Individuals who have been mis-treated by business people are more likely to share their stories than those who are treated well. Any competent business person will tell you that their employees are trained to be pleasant to customers. This is true in the business of Spiritual Growth as well.

First, investigate a potential spiritual guide with individuals who have actually worked with the individual, who can honestly evaluate if this person is worth perusing as a potential coach. Remember that not everyone is happy with the messages they receive from a spiritual worker. Your best choice is to speak to as many people as possible who have worked with that individual. One source of this type of information is testimonials from these actual clients.

Secondly, be cautious of individuals who are susceptible to gossip, or rumors, as these individuals tend to exacerbate and exaggerate issues that may or may not be present. After all, most individuals who facilitate spiritual paths that are not in the mainstream religions/spirituality, don’t fit the traditional mold of a leader.

Thirdly, listen to your own guides and intuition. These are your BEST guides for YOUR path.

Each individual that truly facilitates or teaches within this discipline knows that bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds, and paths to bring about the individual’s highest spiritual enlightenment, doesn’t waste time bashing other workers. Many of my associates, follow Wiccan, Christian, Hindu, and First Peoples, (Native American), paths and we all work together, as there is room for all. After all, since a person’s path is INDIVIDUAL, a particular facilitator can not help everyone.

Financial Remuneration

Everyone has financial needs in this society. In tribal societies, the shaman, or spiritual worker is cared for by the community he or she serves. However, the individual in question is not doing this work as a JOB. Most of us, have been called to do this work, and are happy and honored to be able to facilitate other people’s paths. This isn’t to say, that a spiritual coach, teacher, or facilitator, should never accept support from their clients. It is all about intent. If the renumeration is paramount, then the work is secondary. I for one, and all those I work with, while we accept the funds that are offered,we don’t turn our backs on individuals who are guided to us, who do not have the financial wherewithal to “support” our work.

As one progresses in their particular path, they find various combinations of these and other stumbling blocks. Remember, it is YOUR choice what you follow.

Enjoy your Journey

Bright Blessing,

Alfred Willowhawk





On Choosing and following your own path

10 07 2008

Introduction

” What path is right for me?”, is a question that each seeker asks at least once in their lives. As children, most individuals follow the pathways of their parents. Even if a parent has no particular spiritual path, the child is influenced by their parent. This is almost genetic as, regardless of a path, the mother, to the child, is the goddess. As one grows older and begins to think for themselves, they begin to feel a desire to either embrace or reject their parental suggestions. This includes the chosen spiritual path of the individual.

In my own life, I have spent time in many “spiritual” and “religious” pathways. Some of these were even of my own choosing at the time, so I thought. However, as we are social creatures, even the most reclusive of us, we still seem to blunder about until we finally settle on what works well for us.

Over the years as I facilitate myself and others on reaching some kind of accommodation with their desires for spiritual connection, certain indications seem to be prevalent with the majority of individuals.

What is a Spiritual Path?

Dictionary.com defines the word spiritual, (among other things) as:

of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.

We will not concern ourselves in this article with the definition of the soul, despite differing presuppositional ethics, but accept this as a good working definition to add to our word “path”.

Again, Dictionary.com defines a path as:

a route, course, or track along which something moves, or a course of action, conduct, or procedure.

So, combining both of these we have a spiritual path is one where an individual is taking a route whether physically or metaphysically that pertains to the non-physical being of a person.

This definition allows for many diverse methodologies including those that are primarily of the phsyical realms, and those that are primarily of the non-physical realms.

Pressures that act as filters

As we stated in the introduction, many factors influence our examination and determination of our path. Some of these factors include, environment, social network, (including parents, friends, and co-workers), ethnicity or blood line, and connectedness, or lack of it, to the world around us.

Each of these act as filters through which we see the world around us. Ask any couple in a relationship how many times they “read between the lines” of a statement just to see how effective filters are in our daily lives.

One example of filters in relationships is as follows:

One partner is cooking dinner and asks the other partner: “Would you please take out the overflowing trash please?” The partner who was asks responds: “What, why do you do that, I work all day and of course I will take it out. I simply forgot. What do you think I sit and read all day? I work too! If it is too much trouble for you to cook dinner tonight then we could have gone out!”

The first partner is taken aback by the vehemence of the response as all they really asked was for their partner to take out the trash! Not everything else! The second partner read between the lines, of the other through there own filters.

While this is an extreme example, you can see what filters do in this mundane world, imagine what it does for our persuit of a spiritual path. Each individuals path is unique. One may utilize the same aspects of the divine, yet call them by another name. Take the deific aspect of healing. In some pathways, the deity of healing is Bridghid, (and lets not forget that spellings and language for even the same deity show regional differences), others it is Kwan Yin, and others Quanyin. Whole nations have gone to war over the NAME of a particular deity rather than listening to the aspect and intent of the name.

In our early 21st century world we have many examples of what I call “filter-itis”. Christians fight Muslims, Jews fight Christians, Wiccan’s fight Heathens, on and on and on.

Therefore, the first step in choosing a path is to put away the expectations of the society you are in and focus on the intent of the pathway without these filters.

Society and Acceptance

There is a quote from John Donne (1572-1631), which is in his “Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions”, Meditation XVII: that goes like this:

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

While Mr Donne was a christian, the sentiment expressed above is still true, (See, I practice what I preach). We are social creatures that desire the acceptance of those around us. The problem occurs when we desire our existing friends, colleagues,family, etc, to accept our new choice, just because we do!

Our brother or sister, who follows another path, can not always see that our path is equally valid. Sometimes this is because they are not following their true path either, however, it can also be that they truly feel that there path is RIGHT and yours is WRONG. While, based on the concept that all paths are one path, ( my own pre-suppositional ethic), this is not necessarily the filters that others see through.

Therefore, seeking acceptance by others, while part of our social conditioning, does not “play well” with some of those around us that follow a different path.

I have many Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, ( not what they call themselves-a topic for another article) , Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan, eclectic, heathen friends, and family, the only thing that is important to me is that they respect my path as I respect theirs.

What to look for in a path

Since, each of us must live within our own filters, examine the path that calls you in as objective way as possible. If you are called to Quanyin, (the bodhavista form of the deity of Compassion and Love – androgenous) then accept that particular deity as one that speaks to you.

If you feel that the trees speak with you, and you can hear/feel this then follow this where it leads you and don’t automatically say, I am not ____ (insert apppropriate group here) and can not really be associated with trees.

If you feel that a particular set of rules (i.e. The Wiccan Rede) speaks to you and reverberates within, then follow it and find others that can support you.

What is important is that it fills some needs within yourself.

The next step is to investigate the teachings of the path and take on that which speaks to you.

Be true to yourself and don’t belittle, or agonize over the choices you have made.

Be confident in yourself. You are the one who must follow the path, so you are the only one that needs to “understand” the path.

Lastly, do not label yourself if it would put you in a box that you do not wish to be part. Boxes are created by large groups and if you are a “round peg” why fit into a “square hole”?

Enjoy the Journey! After all – ALL life is a Journey.. We don’t REALLY know what is TRUTH – (OOPS, another topic for another day)

Bright Blessings,

Alfred





The White Stag and the Community of All People

21 04 2008

A white stag has been recently sighted and photographed in Scotland. These creatures are potent, magical figures, closely associated with unicorns. All Celts considered them to be
messengers from the other world. It is also considered to represent the quest for spiritual knowledge. The stag itself is a representation of the god Cernunnos and purification.

The white stag in Celtic myth is an indicator that the Otherworld is near and serves as a reminder that we are in a time of purification and renewal. It is interesting to note that the appearance of any white creature is an indication of entry into the Otherworld. As is indicated in the first branch of the Mabinogion where Pwyll entered the grove in Arawn’s hunting ground that serves as the basis for the continuing relationship between the Celts and the God of the Otherworld (Arawn) to this day. This stag had a white body with red ears–the typical colors of otherworld creatures including the hounds of Arawn.

White is the color of purity and otherworld being. The video shows that the stag is with other normal colored stags showing us that we need to be in harmony with our Mother’s Earth and all of creation. It also serves as a warning to us that we are rapidly transgressing her desires for both us and the planet.

The White Stag is also the heraldic standard of Henry II. According to Encyclopedia Britannica Henry II was:

… first of the Angevin kings, was one of the most effective of all England’s monarchs. He came to the throne amid the anarchy of Stephen’s reign and promptly collared his errant barons. He refined Norman government and created a capable, self-standing bureaucracy. His energy was equaled only by his ambition and intelligence. Henry survived wars, rebellion, and controversy to successfully rule one of the Middle Ages’ most powerful kingdoms.

While it may be doubtable that to the residents of Scotland and Ireland that Henry was a great king he did bring order and peace, although on his own terms, to this area of the current United Kingdom. His use of the White Stag as his standard and the appearance of the White Stag today should serve as a reminder of the times.

As we struggle through wars, religious intolerance, and imperial subjegation of indiginous peoples let us take a lesson from Pwyll. One must learn to be tolerant, respectful, and honorable to receive the blessings of the Otherworld. This is our warning to come together in a community that represents and fosters the love that we profess. We need to stop the tyranny of the few in a peaceful and respectful manner and stop imposing our will on any other group of people. Our proclivity to see the worst in our fellow people shows that the warning of the White Stag is apt. The Otherworld is a place of trust and truth – let us emulate this on our planet.

May we turn and seek the blessings that it represents and return with honor and respect to each other and our world.





Symbols, Language and Magick

17 04 2008


Symbols are an important part of our life. The advent of the writen word has been shown as one of the most important phases of societies. Even if a society did not develop a “fully developed” writing system for the usage of the general population large sectors of every organized people utilized some form of symbols to express themselves.  The symbols that one intuit’s or are drawn to, are indicative of a persons chosen spiritual and metaphysical path. The symbols below( Figure 1) are religious/spiritual symbols that have been devised over the ages. Each symbol is associated with a particular metaphysical or religious path and have taken on meanings over time.

Figure 1


In general, the above symbols should illicit positive or at least ambivelant feelings as one looks at them.
One or two of the symbols in figure 2  may illicit a negative feeling from certain sectors of the population. The symbols themselves are neither positive or negative, they are representations that have been given “life” by sectors of the society and hence have been imbued with a certain amount of power and/or meaning.

Figure 2

The first symbol can be traced to early neolithic celtic and germanic societies, as well as utilized in Hinduism, and in no way was intended to represent what it came to represent in Hitler’s Germany. The middle symbol is, of course, the neolithic goddess but became “forbidden” in Middle Ages Europe as a symbol for promescuity and separation from “God”. The third symbol, the pentegram, has deep significance for those of us who follow a Pagan pathway. This symbol has been called the Devil Star by large sections of modern western society.


Another use of symbols is within healing disciplines. The symbols in Figure 3 are the easily recognized Reiki symbols.

Figure 3

Each symbol is utilized for a different purpose within Reiki just as other healing disciplines utilize symbols for their practices.

According to the Usui Reiki method, the Reiki symbols are used to channel the Reiki energy to assist in healing of the individual. A careful search of alternative healing methodologies will bring  one to a plethura of symbols used for healing including chakras, spirals, swatzikas, circles, and triangles. Each of these symbols have meaning for the individual who uses them. They become important to the person who uses them regardless of any other interpretation.

Language as defined by Wikipedia is a system of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the rules used to manipulate them. The Indo-European pagan societies utilized language  to communicate with each other and other societies. Two such symbolic representations of this communication are Ogham and Runes. Each belonging to a particular culture. In the case of the Ogham;  the Cymric, (Welsh)/ Britons and the Runes by the proto-Germanic/Norse cultures.

The “celtic” writing system known as the Ogham alphabet ( figure 4) is accepted as a set of symbols that were utilized by the Druids, priestesses and members of the society that frequented what is now known as the United Kingdom. Each symbol has become identified with a particular tree and was utilized by the bardic class as a reminder of the triads and teachings of the culture.

Figure 4

The Nordic society utilized runes ( Figure 5) which were utilized by the peoples of Northern Europe from the first century until well into the Middle Ages as both a written alphabet and a system of symbols used for magick and divination.

Similar to the Ogham alphabet each rune has a meaning. While the Ogham represent trees the runes represent actual words in  the proto-Germanic languages. For example,  the names of the first three runes, “fehu”, “uruz”, and “þurisaz”  meaning “cattle”, “aurochs”, and “giant”, respectively.

Figure 5

Magick, can be defined as the desire to create intentional change. Whatever discipline, or path one follows this definition seems to express the general sense of the word. Aleister Crowley

( Golden Dawn) defined it as ” “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will” , ( Magick in Theory and Practice).  Dr John Dee, ( Enochian Magic) defined it as the evocation and commanding of various spirits.( Dr John Dee’s Journals).

The usage of language and symbols in any Magickal system is common. No system is better than any other system, just as no language and no symbols are inherrently bad or good. .  There can be no one perfect system, language, set of symbols. Everything is a function of intent. As long as each individual or society recognizes the right of every other system to exist then

remember

Harm None otherwise do as ye will.

Alfred Willowhawk Copyright 2008, All rights reserved.
By Alfred Willowhawk, Ice and Ink Freelance freelance author. Copyright 2008, All rights reserved.





Community, Fellowship or Tyranny

26 02 2008

Fighting on a global scale that is an imposition of one groups ideals. National groups that fight for their RIGHTS  over another. Non smokers outlawing hooka’s and taxing cigarrettes to “discourage” people from harming themselves and “saving” money for insurance companies.  The indication is that groups of individuals seem to band together to create an adversarial relationship with others - Is that all there is to a community? Webster’s dictionary defines community as   a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.  There is no part of this definition that states that one must or is entitled to impose their interests on another group or individuals. A cursory examination of the world news shows Serbs preventing citizens of Kosovo from declaring their own identity, the “War on Terrorism”  that the United States is fighting in Iraq, Kurdish separatists and Turkish troops vying for their rights, and on and on.  Domestically in the USA one group decides what is best for everyone  and seeks to impose that on everyone else. 

Lately I have seen small groups of people begin to band together in a grassroots way around a common purpose to SHARE ideas and talents with each other for mutual support and encouragement. A small group of people form a truly open Art Guild in one city that has been dominated by a RECOGNIZED art guild for many years that has become an exclusive club for the few, in this same community a group of wordsmiths are gathering momentum to share  with everyone and gather in a local  park.  A Fellowship is defined by Websters as a community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience.  There is that word again COMMUNITY. So,  lets put both of these definitions together and we come up with a new definition for Fellowship. A group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society who come together to share  that common interest, activity, feeling, or experience. This begins to sound a little like the definition of a society, which according to Webster again is defined as as an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another. 

Here then is my proposition, there is no difference between community, fellowship and society as long as the society does not impose its will upon another – Tyranny.  A society or fellowship that honors this definition would be one that honors, respects and lives diversity. It would not matter what color, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability one demonstrates as a restirction of their opportunity within the group. The Great Spirit, God, Goddess, Chaos, Nature, would be equally honored and respected by all members of the fellowship as this is what breathes life into any group. No one view, religion, spirituality or  language is inherrently better or more right than any other. In fact it is in our diversity as individuals that we grow stronger, more tolerant and more healthy.

As I am observing these things and participating in them here in the Mid West of the United States I am sure, intuitively, that there are other areas of the world that are experiencing a similar phenomenom. We will not be squashed, silenced or forced to surrender to the forces Tyranny.

Personkind (so as to not be gender specific), will survive, adapt, and continue to integrate in peaceful and joyful communion with each other one fellowship at a time. It is slow and unstoppable. One group can never impose their will for long on another. Only in fellowship and respect can we all abide well on the Mother’s Earth. Yes, I am a Pagan, so what, we all wish to live. I do not presume to know anything for another person, I am an observer, and a participant in the world. I choose FELLOWSHIP – what do you choose?





Of Small ponds, coffee houses and other fishy things

22 01 2008

Is it better being a small fish is a large pond or a large fish in a small pond? One of the eternal questions in our fast paced Internet world .  Our information age has redefined large and small. Any individual with a computer and an Internet connection can have their thoughts, cogitations, spiritual beliefs, and predictive “powers” displayed for all to see.  In an earlier age, these conversations were relegated to the early morning coffee house and late night pontifications with a bottle of wine, or the smoke blend of your choice.

 Today, any search on the Internet brings a host of articles by individuals with diverse views on any topic. As an example query your favorite search engine for “spiritual enlightenment”. Everything from the far right to the far left of the spectrum. We are beginning to learn that the old adages are dying.

Honest conversation about differences are excellent, after all ( forgive yet another platitude) Iron sharpens Iron. If an individual is not secure enough in their own framework then how can they disparage another’s?  Growth is always painful, ask any mother of a teething infant, without it we all die.

In my earlier post, On Being Human,I propose that one can seek the divine within themselves to find the divine that is the greater whole. Wholeness is, for me, the goal of being on this planet. It doesn’t matter what an individual pursues, just that they pursue it and don’t expect me to follow it.  Each individual walks their path, if one is lucky enough to find that someone else is on the same path great – that is called community. Communities come together as a way to mutually support, love, and encourage each other. The universe is the biggest pond we know, we are all small fish. Every-time we attack another we bring down ourselves, waste energy, and time that can be better spent on growth, just look in our own backyards.

So, let the ego go, we are all very small fish in a very big pond.








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