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Home is Where the Heart is #ForesightFriday #Divination #Pagan

Divination Method: The Goddess Guidance Oracle

Card(s) Drawn: Vesta

Key Word(s): Home

Basic Message: “Your household situation is improving, either through a move or a healthy change in the occupants.”

My Interpretation: Vesta is the Roman Goddess of the Home & Hearth. She is a fire Goddess that brings both literal & emotional warmth to our homes. This is precisely what we should all focus on in the coming week. The proverbial “They” say that “Home is where the heart is”, if that is indeed true, then our heart is also where our home is.

Let me explain what I mean. Your outward environment effects your inner environment just as much as your inner environment effects the outer. I guess you could revisit the one thing I said in Wednesday’s post about finding your sparkle: “Your world won’t sparkle unless you do”. So what does that mean in regards to this? Well, it’s time to focus on finding that balance between your inner and outer environments. If you’re feeling very at home and content in your own skin, make sure where you spend your time reflects that. If you’re having a bit of trouble feeling that comfort, change your environment to encourage those feelings. It can mean cleaning out some clutter so you feel as though you can breathe. It could be rearranging the furniture, painting a room, designing & installing an art feature on your gigantic living room wall, or even something as simple as lighting some candles and listening to your favorite music. A calm, joyful, peaceful environment will coax the same feelings from within your heart. Let the fire of the candles – or of the fireplace – burn away the cold and negative (figuratively, people…Pixie does NOT want you to set fire to yourself or your home, lol).

All in all, this is a week to feel safe and loved. Some may discover that they are finally “feeling at home” for the first time in a long while. This may be due to an actual move, or perhaps a more symbolic move, such as a shift in thinking in regards to ones place in the world. Remember that “feeling at home” does not always involve a physical place…but is sometimes a feeling that is evoked by certain individuals or experiences.

Home implies intimacy, the kind that goes beyond – yet, may also include – the physical.

Home is comfort, safety, warmth, laughter, and love.

Home is where we often long to be when things get tough.

After all…

maudit: 23: Dorothy Gale. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Give Peace a Chance #WednesdayWisdom #Pagan #Peace

Everyone is aware of the multiple attacks that happened in Paris this past week. The saddest part is that this was not the only horrific act of violence to occur. Two suicide bombers walked into a Beirut marketplace a day before the Paris attacks, which resulted in 44 dead and 200+ injured. Many deaths in the African villages of Ndassima & Mala (as part of ongoing religious violence) took place Monday. Tuesday saw dozens killed in a bombing in Nigeria, as well as a Russian jet destroyed by a bomb over Egypt. Add to that the seemingly endless string of fatal incidents here in the U.S. – whether they be incidents against law enforcement…by law enforcement…or yet another mass shooting.

The World as a whole is under siege by these and other assaults.  This fire of violence has only been fueled by the irrational, fear & hate filled reactions by those who’ve heard of them. The masses are rejecting the idea of taking in Syrian refugees for fear that they will be terrorists. The majority of comments I have seen on social media have been disappointing to say the least. Many have come from our pool of G.O.P. presidential…candidates, but the number from regular everyday folks of all walks of life and faiths (including pagans) is overwhelming.

What people in this country seem to be forgetting is that refusing these refugees dishonors the values of this country. The Statue of Liberty tells us this herself.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is up to us to end the violence. Each and every one of us, as individuals, holds some level of responsibility on the journey to world peace. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was asked about his view of the Paris attacks. He commented on the levels of violence and bloodshed of the 20th century and concluded that this century’s violence is in effect a spill-over of those acts. So, what should we do? His Holiness says:

“People want to lead a peaceful lives. The terrorists are short-sighted, and this is one of the causes of rampant suicide bombings. We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.

We need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody’s interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.”

I think that’s some pretty good advice. We need to work for peace, and we need to start at home, and EXTEND that spirit of peace beyond that of our friends and family. Rain compassion down on those who need it. Do something to help someone in need. Let go of any attitudes that make you question whether or not someone in need “deserves” help…just help.

Forget about the concepts of “Us” and “Them” for we are all one. “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace…”

I may be a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. So let’s all Imagine, and Give Peace a Chance.

 

 

MovingDayBlog

Hello all you gorgeous and generous folks that follow this less than consistent blogger!!

Today I am posting something a little different, it’s a post about a fundraiser I’m participating in, and I would love if you could help me out.

I will be participating in the National Parkinson Foundation’s Moving Day event in Rochester, NY on October 4, 2015.

Did you know that 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson Disease (or “PD”) are diagnosed in the U.S. each year?? That’s crazy right? Especially when you take into account the 1,000,000 or so folks that have already been diagnosed. 

This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart, because in December of 2014 a dear friend and coven-mate of mine was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson Disease…he’s only 35. We have created a team page for our Coven and we’re hoping to raise all sorts of funds…it sure would make Adam a happy camper!

If you are unable to donate at this time, that’s ok (keep us in mind though we’ve got until October) but  please consider sharing this post so we can get the word out. 

My Personal Fundraising Page is here: Shawna’s Moving Day Rochester Page

Any and all funds donated via my page will be added to Team Sangha-Sho’s overall goal.

Thank you all so much for reading.

May the Goddess Bless You All

IrishHeritageYup, that’s what I called it, Irish Heritage Reclamation Day? Why? Well, because in my humble opinion, St. Patrick was a bit of a douche, and I don’t think he should have a day named after him. He is known for 2 things primarily: Driving the snakes out of Ireland, and Bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle. Well, BOTH of these things are not true. He didn’t drive snakes out of Ireland (no snakes ever existed in Ireland…it is widely believed that these ‘snakes’ were actually Druids)), he converted pagans into Christians but Christianity already existed in Ireland though it was not wide-spread (and his ‘mission’ to do so may have been fueled by his being held captive in Ireland as a teen. You know a little bit of “I’ll show those nasties a thing or two” might have been part of his motivation – yes this is conjecture on my part, but this is my blog, I say what I want, lol).

ANYWAY, St. Patrick’s Day is pretty much a U.S. holiday that was celebrated by early Irish immigrants as a way to band together and be proud of their Irish heritage. This is the time when corned beef & cabbage came into play as well. I think it’s nice that they found something to pull them together as a community during a time when they were all experiencing much hardship.

So, if the snakes that Pat drove out of Ireland were pagans, why on earth do I celebrate on this day? Well, much like early Irish-Americans, I am quite proud of my Irish heritage. I have always felt that my Irish roots run deep, and have always had an affinity for all things of an Irish-Celtic nature. I have two Irish deities in my personal eclectic pantheon. I’ve traced the journey of my Great-Grandfather’s family as they made their way to North America – first into Canada, and then to the U.S. a few generations later. Also, this is a day that meant a lot to my family on a personal level. You see, my Great-Grandparents were married on March 17 (many moons ago), and while they have both moved on from this life, I still like to celebrate their union.

Yes, it’s fun to get schnockered, it’s fun to party, I wholly admit to doing both (though not nearly as rowdily as I once did). Partying and drinking, however are secondary or lower on my list of things to celebrate today.

Ol’ Pat (who was NOT Irish, and who’s color is apparently blue) died on March 17th…ok maybe not cool to celebrate the dudes death, BUT my Pixie-ish spin on THAT would be celebrating the end of his personal crusade to oust the Druids. Today I honor those wise and Holy Ones.

So,  I don’t refer to today as St. Patrick’s Day, as I don’t feel he should be celebrated. I call it St. Paddy’s Day (As this actually elevates those early Irish-American folks…since they were oft times referred to as Paddy’s – yes, also not exactly the nicest term either, but come on, let’s reclaim this shit and turn it positive!!), Irish Day, St. Patsy’s Day (as in Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, lol), and any number of things that pop into my little Pixie brain.

Today I honor My Heritage. Today I honor My Family. Today I honor the tenacity of Irish Immigrants. Today I honor the Pagans who died rather than shun their beliefs. Today I honor the Irish Deities. Today I honor Me.

 

CovensteadThis week’s post is really just a bit of a mushy reflection on my part, so please, bare with me.

When I started this path almost 11 years ago, I never thought that a group of local witches would be something I would ever be a part of…let alone one that had an honest to goodness Covenstead.

Most Covens have a place they meet on a regular basis, or the members take turns hosting events at one each others homes. Many times the High Priest or High Priestess will host events at their home. My High Priest and his husband have gone one step further than being hosts…they have mindfully created a Spiritual Home, not only for themselves and the rest of the Coven, but for local Pagan Community as well.

As you can see by the photo that accompanies this post, we have a permanent altar that sits at the center of our designated outdoor ritual space. The circle resides amongst 3 separate gardens; A serene shaded Chinese garden,  a whimsical nook we call the Fairy Grotto, and the spectacular herb garden you see in the photo above. When I walk into this glorious park-like setting, I always forget that we’re in the middle of suburbia, lol.

It’s not just the lovely outdoor setting that makes me love spending time there though. I actually have many reasons. I’ve known my HP since we were in the 3rd grade together, so hanging out with a life long friend that shares my love of the Goddess is beyond spectacular in and of itself. It is where we come together as a Coven and as a community to celebrate the Turn of the Wheel and venerate the Goddess. It is a place of spiritual education, as we work through our respective degree studies. But, mostly, it is a place where I find comfort simply by being there.

I know that I’m usually all sorts of goofy and make jokes and stuff (I’m a little quirky, it’s ok, I know this 😉 )…but talking about the way I feel when I’m there gets me all sorts of sentimental like. It is my sincerest hope that everyone, no matter who they are, or what Path they are on in This Life, has the opportunity to feel the same level of Peace somewhere. Everyone should have that. Someplace to go to take time away from the stresses of modern life, a place where you will not be judged, a place where you always feel welcome and loved. A place to just…Be.

I will stop gushing now, but I really felt the need to just express my gratefulness.

May you all enjoy your weekend…May you all have a Blessed Imbolc…and may you all have someplace that you can feel… the Comfort of a Covenstead.

)O(

 

 As I sit in my parents’ livingroom, beneath the whirring ceiling fan, I sip my morning coffe and hope that my sore throat goes away. It’s miserable to be on vacation and have your body deside NOW is the time for you to get a cold, or feel somehow ‘under the weather’ (I never did understand that phrase….aren’t we all under/in the wearther?? I mean, you can’t really escape weather…but I digress).

Despite the scratchy throat, the occassional queasies and a bit of intermittent light-headedness, I am very Grateful to Be. Grateful to be on vacation and away from the stresses that working for a living brings. Grateful to have my handy dandy laptop at my disposal so I can still post the daily words for this round of Sabbat Bingo at Sacred Mists.Grateful to spend time with my parents and my brother. Grateful tosoon be visiting my Great-Aunt & Uncle as well as my cousin and his family. Grateful to be reminded of what matters in This Life.

Why the sudden gush of sentiments that makes one expect to hear Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” . Well, I guess it probably stems from something that happened a couple weeks ago. A dear friend of mine, who I have known since High School, lost his father after a long battle with illness. It hit me pretty hard. I was not close to his parents, but to see and feel the anguish and loss my friend was suffering was beyond difficult. Mike is the first one of us to have a parent pass away….and it made me sad to think that it is a fact of life that will begin to rear it’s grotesquely sad head again and again as my friends and I continue to get older.

So, today I am grateful. Grateful to still have my parents, foibles and all, and happy to be able to spend time with them….even if I am feeling less than stellar…’cause I know I’d be feeling a whole lot worse if they weren’t around.