spirituality

All posts tagged spirituality

Exploring Curiosity

Published July 10, 2017 by Lunapo

E and her parents came over to play yesterday. We swam, played at home, ate dinner, and shared dessert. 

Since it was the Full Moon, I had planned a small dinner ritual based around the Thunder Moon and Thor. 

E’s mom and dad were very polite during the meal blessing and Moon Rite. This was new to E, but she was as good as a 4 year old who is hungry and has a plate of food before her that she cannot yet eat can be expected to be. 

Witchlette and Witchling participated in the Moon Rite, specifically when I asked for Thunder Claps. K, E’s mom, also helped with the clapping. We hailed to Thor and made special recognition to Sif. 

At this point, Witchlette took over by explaining all of the Thor related Asgard stories she could muster between bites of lasagna. Really loud Thunder is Thor hitting frost giants, rock giants, and Loki. Loki cut off all of Sif’s hair because he’s the trouble making trickster. But he didn’t steal Thor’s hammer, but he helped him get it back. 

It made me proud that she cares enough to listen and learn the stories. 

What makes me even more proud is how she is recognizing different pantheneons. Yesterday morning, we watched Moana and at the end, Witchlette remarked Maui is a god like Thor is a god. She then asked me to tell her Maui stories like I tell her Asgard stories. Since I don’t know any Maui stories, we found some on YouTube. We watched 8 Polynesian myths, 5 of them about Maui, 2 of them done in the native language with subtitles I read to her, but also let her hear the language. 4 of the 5 stories we watched we’re within Maui’s “You’re Welcome” diddy. This gave Witchlette a connection back to what she knew, but also provided much more detail than one line from a Disney song. 

My Pagan tribe compliment with how they wish they could be my kids because they see the way my Littles are raised, how Witchlette’s curiosity is encouraged and her spirituality isn’t tied to one set of players. Heck, it isn’t necessarily tied to any real deities. Remember the Turtle Circle?

I hope she can continue to follow her own path, whatever that maybe, that she will hold strong when folks tell her she’s wrong. Because they will. Because people are assholes. I hope she tells Turtle Power and Blessed Be. 

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A raccoon’s toughest job is simply to be

Published September 3, 2014 by Lunapo

Waaaaaaay back in 2007, I bought my first Pagan-centric book. Walking on the Wind by Michael Garrett, Cherokee tribe member and counselor education professor at UNC-Charlotte. It is a new age spiritualist book from a Cherokee perspective, using stories and lessons from the Cherokee people to help modern man connect with the Earth and with himself.

I ate this book up. I highlighted it with different color highlighters to match the flags I placed on the sides of the pages. I read though it once to read it and to find everything I was going to do. Then, I started to re-read it but this time more for meaning and completion than for exposure and knowledge. It was at this point that cultural appropriation was brought to my attention- I shouldn’t try so hard to “be” Cherokee because I’m not Cherokee. While my husband can claim some very very minor heritage to the Cherokee, he doesn’t culturally affiliate with them so I also cannot claim culture by marriage. I should just stop and move on to something else.

It was this cultural appropriation discussion which brought me to the Norse pantheon by way of tribes in Ireland, before realizing that I have Scandinavian heritage therefore have the right to claim Norse pantheon as my own.

I left the Cherokee teachings a few years back, but they never left me.

Every year, I conduct pre-assessments in a variety of areas for the students I’m assigned to. One of them is a reading assessment which includes a non-fiction passage about the beaver. After going through this passage, my memory triggered back to one of my favorite lessons from the Cherokee book. It’s also a thought I had while I was sitting on the beach Saturday, enjoying the breeze and the Sun and the company of Hubby and Witchlette. We had such a wonderful day despite us not really doing anything. We just were, all three of us, together in the moment and it was amazing.

Being and Doing: A Raccoon’s Toughest Job Is Simply To Be.

For copyright purposes, I am not willing to share the whole story word for word, but here is a summary:

Raccoon is playful. All he knows is to play. That’s how he spends his day. He has no where to be and no job to do. Chasing butterflies, wrestling logs, swimming, and scoping out honey are his only objectives…unless he sees something else, in which case that new fun thing becomes the most important thing to do in the moment.

He runs into his friend Beaver and tries to entice him to play, to eat honey, to dance in the flowers. Beaver continuously turns him down because he has serious work to do. Winter is coming and he needs to finish his home. Silly Raccoon has no home to go to. Raccoon wisely corrects Beaver- so long as he thanks Mother Earth for all that she has provided him, she will continue to provide, including a lodge.

Beaver ignores Raccoon and continues building. Raccoon becomes distracted by berries and scurries away to pick some. He finds a hole in a tree and snuggles down for a nap. Beaver continues building. It starts to rain and Beaver keeps working. Rain turns to downpour and Beaver becomes trapped in debris from his lodge and dam breaking with the wind and the current. Raccoon sees his friend needs help and comes to his aid. They scurry off together into the hole in the tree to finish eating the berries together. From then on, Beaver takes breaks to dance with Raccoon in the flowers and Raccoon sometimes helps Beaver to build his dam.

Raccoon doesn’t have any responsibility other than to be. Some days my toughest job is related to EC paperwork, or English teaching, or student behavior management. Somedays some people have really hard times at work and come home to a tough family situation. While all Raccoon has to do is be himself.

The point of the story is to find balance between being- who you are as a human being– and doing- your occupation. “Hi, my name is ______ and I’m a ______.” Most conversations start out that way. What if that was changed to “Hi, my name is ______ and I’m _______”. Not a doing, but a being.

Our wealth is not made up of what we do. It’s made up of who we are. For those of us who are dreamers, believers, wanderers…be you. Do you.

There are many of us who are doers. Lets face it, I wouldn’t have my laptop or the internet to write the post if it wasn’t for the doers. If you are a doer, do it. Do you. So long as you are being true to who you are.

I’m thinking I’m going to go back through this book and try some of the exercises again.

30DOD: I- What religion/spirituality do you follow?

Published June 25, 2014 by Lunapo

The first question on the list of thirty seems like it would be an easy-peesey one. And for some, it might be. Depending on the audience, I could provide a very short, succinct answer.

Pagan. Earth-centered spirituality. Nature-based spirituality.

But seeing as how I love to write and this is, after all, my blog…I’m going to go long winded!

Recently one of the principals at my school gave a comment on the birth of his son- his first child- and how seeing the birth of his son reaffirmed his faith in God. Seeing his wife bring life into the world was like being in the presence of God. …and this was said at a staff meeting. Talk about the separation of church and state. Still, what he said was beautiful, and, despite not partaking in his path, I appriciapted his comments. Especially as a woman and a mother. I told his as much.

“Even though I don’t row the same boat as you, your words resonated with me. Very well said.”

“And what “boat” do you “row”?”

“Do you really want to go down that rabbit hole?”

He then smiled and walked away.

My needs to be updated BoS includes the title “Garden Pagan”, since we revere the Earth first and foremost. I’ve been toying with the thought of Elemental Pagan, since I really look to the five elements for both strength and peace. Woodland Pagan, though that doesn’t really cover all the bases because, while I spend a lot of my time in the woods, I perhaps feel the most connected at the beach in the ocean. Druid Pagan isn’t encompassing enough, because while I found that a lot of what druidry is is what I do, I also add a great deal that is not.

My title for myself is a work in progress, I guess.

Generally speaking, my religion is Nature worship.  I work with the Elements and with energy. I perform Magick and ritual. I hug trees and I talk to the wind. I dance with the flame and I revel in the water. I catch spiders in a cup and put them back outside (and I have a policy in my classroom which requires students to do the same, or leave them be). The Earth herself is my goddess and the sky is my god. I see divinity in all of the universe and I believe Magick and Science to be two sides of the same coin.

Science and Spirtuality

Published May 29, 2014 by Lunapo

Yes, I am one of those people who will quote physics to explain my spirituality.

I know many of the more scientific-minded than I can ever hope to be roll their eyes at folks like me. In my previous post, I quoted the physical law of energy conservation- energy is not created or destroyed, it just changes. A shoddy study was done years ago which “proved” there is a significant change to our bodies when we die. But this study was done so poorly, it proves nothing in the end.

 

Everything can be explained away by the use of energy as the body once again becomes one with the Earth. The atoms that make up our cells that make up our bodies return to their celestial home. These same atoms made up stars millions of years ago, crashed into Earth on a cosmic traveller, and become one with our planet- eventually creating us and everything around us. Then…where do the atoms come from in the first place?

So maybe I am misspoken when I say our life energy isn’t destroyed in death, merely transferred to something else. That while we, in body, cease to exist, we, in spirit, continue. But we, at an atomic level, continue to exhist as well.

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All that has been and all that is is part of us.

Damn.

Just for shits and giggles…we are made up from stars and all of the universe is within us. But also, all of biological history is within us. There is this wonderful exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Science which shows the common DNA between different species. One is a human, another a chimp. I know there is a shark, an insect- bee I think- and a bird. More than half of the lights are on for each of the species. We share DNA with every living thing. Every living thing.

 

 

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Science is a powerful thing. It’s awe inspiring. And it really is spiritual in nature. At least, for me it is.

 

Wicca

Published November 9, 2012 by Lunapo

When I saw “W” was the next letter for PBP, I thought wouldn’t it be neat to do some exploration about Wicca. Many may try to put me into that category, because I am a practicing Witch, and they don’t see the difference.

Think of it this way: not every dealership sells cars and not every car sale happens at a dealership. Some dealerships sell boats, motorcycles, RVs, etc. People sell their cars through car trader or Craigslist.

Not every Wiccan is a Witch and not every Witch is a Wiccan.

“Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence. When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. If this path is yours, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity.” ~ http://wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca.htm

Ok, I fall under most of that. Especially this healer/teacher/seeker part.

The article goes on to discuss the animist beliefs that many Wiccans hold, following the cycles of the Sun, Moon, and the Seasons, and the reverence for the Elements.

Check, check, and check.

This article also mentions revering one Hunter God and one Fertility Goddess. Back in the original foundings, eating and procreating were of vital importance and much harder than it is today. Likewise, I’ve spoken with many Wiccans who have a patron Goddess and God, it’s usually the same as that of the coven.

This is where I begin to differ. There are a number of deities whom I feel comfortable working with depending on the situation.

The preface of the article sums it up best: “The article below describes how Wicca draws from the Old Traditions of Witchcraft. While this is true, we would simply like to clarify that Witchcraft and Wicca, while simular in many respects, are not the same. One can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist. Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.”

I follow the Wheel of the Year, I quote the Rede, I celebrate Esbats, I wear a Pentacle. But I do it all in my way on my own. I do not belong to a Coven; I do not have a High Priestess; I do not follow rules of any one book; I didn’t study a year and a day before beginning to practice (it was really more like three years before I was comfortable enough to start).

I am a Solitary Witch who has many of the same principals as Wicca, who pulls from a few different belief systems and makes them her own.

I can not insult the belief system by claiming to be part of it, especially when I had to research to find all the similarities six years into my journey.

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