I stand on the precipice of change.

I exist within that change, a silent sentry tasked with being a mirror for others.

 

Sometimes the most powerful tool is an ally reaffirming your existence as you move from then to now.

 

I don’t think I will ever be truly comfortable in my life. Its a small price to pay for being allowed to watch others heal.

I honor the depth and beauty of your battle scars.

The Death I walk beside is neither big, nor noisy. It does not announce itself, it does not demand our fear, our mortality, it does not feed on pools of red nor graveyards filled with expensive concrete and marble nor the cries of carrion birds.

The Death I walk beside casts a mortal shadow and demands that we do the same.

It requires our gaze only in that it walks beside me and its very presence requires that we change the plot of our path to accommodate Its shadow.

This Death is our daily guide, carves its initials in our flanks and takes a daily dole from our hearts and our souls.

Its the in-between, the space of change, the black hole that envelopes and hides and requires a sacrifice in order to escape its clutches. Its the people you strive to not make eye-contact with, the severed shadow-selves who perch upon the walk and beg for your attention. Its the hidden, the threshhold, where we have the choice of holding the door open or slamming it close. Its the point where live and death become nebulous. We name it,  call it change and it scares us. Its the chaos of the dark and the chaos of the light pooled across our skins and our brains and our lives.

This is the Death who is my companion, who whispers in my ear that we must be grateful for these opportunities that beat us down and bleed us upon the earth. This is our ritual sacrifice, our returning to the womb.

This is the passage from Life into Death into Life and I am the psychopomp to bear silent witness to the sacred act of rebirth.

There is no great love here.

There is no wide dash of passion,

no ripping open the heart,

no mad pulse pounding,

nor the bleeding of eternity through our pores,

nor the fire and brimstone that have painted the pages of

a thousand ages and more.

There is no imagination swathed in sweat,

no beating of twin hearts entwined.

There is the crocus,

pushing,

rising from the morning snow,

slow petals hidden,

silent growth from winters wild depths.

There is the robin,

splash of red amongst the corpses

of autumns victims,

singing out his devotion

to a hidden nest of home.

There is you and I,

bundled in the early dawn,

breathes rising and falling silent as snow,

together.

I try to pay attention when the Universe keeps putting some idea in front of me. I opened my email this morning to these messages:

“Life is no more or less than what we make it.

What will you make today?

Things change because we call forth that change. What will you call forth? Focus on what you want and keep on focusng, softly, easily, joyfully. Choose one focus. And be prepared to smack the ball wth all your might when it’s time.

Nourishment is the ultimate ecological idea. I eat you and you eat me. Study natural nourishment and the keys of the universe are yours.

Green blessings go on and on.
Susun

and

“THE BEGINNING OF GROWING UP

Opening to the world begins to benefit ourselves and others simultaneously. The more we relate with others, the more quickly we discover where we’re blocked. Seeing this is helpful, but it’s also painful. Sometimes we use it as ammunition against ourselves: we aren’t kind, we aren’t honest, we aren’t brave, and we might as well give up right now. But when we apply the instruction to be soft and nonjudgmental to whatever we see at this very moment, the embarrassing reflection in the mirror becomes our friend. We soften further and lighten up more, because we know it’s the only way we can continue to work with others and be of any benefit in the world. This is the beginning of growing up.”   Pema Chödrön

 

Its all about the growth and the sacred act of Becoming.

Finding our Nourishment in the age of denial

A topic that that has been on my mind quite a bit lately is the idea of nourishment. Nourishment is essentially the ability to give ourselves or allow ourselves that which helps us to grow. We can find nourishment on any plane that bisects our lives. I think most of the time we don’t actively think about nourishment. We go from one breath to the next, doing what feels right or natural to us. The issue is, most of what feels “right” is patterned from our childhood, habits built so deeply into us that we don’t ever second-guess them.

There is a commercial on TV right now for the Cooking Channel. In it, the woman speaks about our food sources and says one of the smartest lines I have heard from a commercial in a long time. She essentially says that by eating food shipped in from places we don’t know about or haven’t heard of, we are outsourcing a huge part of our lives. This started a train of thought in my brain. We are outsourcing our lives. Every time I passively read Facebook, watch a TV show or follow links to the next huge thing, I am allowing someone else to make the decision about who I am, what I believe and what I see. You see, the reality around us is constantly in the act of being created. I don’t truly think “my thoughts made my cat do that bad behavior”, that’s not the process of creation I speak of. But our reality is a product of our thought process’. Every time we make a decision, every time we go right instead of left, every time we chose to buy product X off the shelf that’s full of a hundred products, we create our reality. And if we are not actively pursuing that which nourishes us and allows us to grow, we are outsourcing our reality to someone in who-knows-where.

Nourishment is a big part of my life. I actively struggle with a destructive eating disorder and the choice to allow myself to be nourished is truly a daily choice. Sometimes I can say yes to my own growth and development, sometimes it seems an impossible mountain that I am just too tired to climb.

Allowing ourselves to find nourishment in our spiritual lives is also an active, ongoing process. When we make a choice to reach for our faith instead of the TV remote, we are creating a reality that allows us to grow. Too often, lounging on the couch or in front of the computer is the easy option. Too often, we find ourselves in a position to say “Well I would love to do that but this other thing is filling up my time and energy”. We forget that we are not passive little statues, that we make a choice to allow that job, that TV show, that other thing to fill up our time. Yes, its hard to find the time to cook or exercise or meditate. But the question you should ask yourself is this: what else is taking up my time so that I don’t have the time to nourish myself with this thing I am making excuses for? Who am I outsourcing my life to? Who would I become if I made a conscious effort to choice my life?

Even now I am aware that my presenting these questions to you is a form of outsourcing. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or like they have to make a choice they think I would approve of. The important part of this equation is having the awareness to be active participants in our lives.

I read an article yesterday where the author had this to say about her religion: “One thing I like about Christianity is that it tells me what to care about…”

All I can say is this: one thing I like about being pagan is it doesn’t tell me what to think, feel, believe or how to live my life. It leaves the question of nourishment entirely up to me.

Remedies to beat this nasty winter cold going around

Honey and Cinnamon Cold Remedy:

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix. Take this amount every few hours as soon as you feel a cold or other illness coming on.

(http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2010/09/honey-and-cinnamon-a-simple-cold-home-remedy-that-kids-love.html)

 

Immune Boosting Herbs in Finger Gelatin

Ingredients:

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold fruit juice

3 cups fruit juice, heated with herbs or 2 cups hot fruit juice plus one cup tea

2 tablespoons honey, optional

Possible fruit/herb combinations include:

Apple/Cinnamon/Ginger – 1 cup cold apple cider, 3 cups hot apple cider simmered with 2 cinnamon sticks and 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Apple-Carrot/Echinacea – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups carrot juice, 1 cup echinacea tea

Apple-Carrot/Ginger – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups carrot juice plus 1 cup apple cider, simmered with 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Apple/Mint – 1 cup cold apple cider, 2 cups hot apple cider, 1 cup peppermint tea

Pomegranate/Lemon Balm – 1 cup cold pomegranate juice, 2 cups hot pomegranate juice, 1 cup lemon balm tea

Orange/Ginger – 1 cup cold orange (or carrot) juice, 3 cups hot orange juice simmered with 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger root or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger

Directions:

Prepare hot ingredients – If using juice with herbs, place juice and herbs in medium saucepot and simmer for 10 minutes.  If using tea, brew tea and let steep for 10 minutes, covered, then mix with juice in saucepot and heat to boiling.

Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in large bowl; let stand 1 minute.  Add hot juice and stir until gelatin dissolves completely, about 5 minutes.  Stir in honey if desired.  Pour into 13x9x2 inch pan. (Half batches can be molded in a bread pan or 9×9 pan.)

Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  To serve, cut into 1 inch cubes.  Makes about 9 dozen.

(http://www.commonsensehome.com/immune-boosting-herbs-in-finger-gelatin/)

 

Pickled GARLIC
Ingredients

1/2 pound garlic, peeled
1 large red bell pepper, chopped 2 cups
distilled white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Pickling spices

Directions

Place garlic cloves in a medium bowl, first cutting the large cloves in half. Mix in the red bell pepper.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place the distilled white vinegar and white sugar.

Wrap ground dry mustard and celery seed in a spice bag, and place in the liquid mixture. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper. Continue boiling 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard spice bag.

Place garlic and peppers in sterile containers to within 1 inch of the top.

Fill with remaining liquid to within 1/4 inch from the top. Seal and store in the refrigerator approximately three weeks before serving.

 

Health Tonic

  • 1 part fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 part fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 part fresh horseradish, peeled and grated
  • 1 part fresh HOT peppers, chopped (use a variety of the hottest peppers you can find like Habeneros, Jalepenos, Serranos, etc.)
  • ¼ part fresh lemon grass, chopped
  • Raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg)
1.     Wash and prep garlic, ginger, horseradish, peppers and lemon grass.
2.    If using a food processor, use the grater blade to grate the horseradish and ginger.  Remove contents and set aside in large bowl.  Remove grater blade in food processor and replace with “S-shape” blade.   Place peppers and garlic in the food processor and pulse until contents are coarsely chopped, add to large bowl.  If you are hand chopping the peppers, make sure to wear gloves (make sure NOT to rub your eyes as the oils are very potent and will burn).  Chop lemon grass into ½ in chunks and add to large bowl.  Stir all of the contents to evenly combine mixture.
3.    Fill glass jar ¾ of the way full with the garlic, ginger, horseradish, peppers and lemon grass mixture.
4.    Pour apple cider vinegar over the above ingredients until it is filled almost to the top.  Leave about ½-1 inch space at the top of the jar.
5.     Place lid on the jar and shake.  The contents will settle, if more apple cider vinegar is needed, add more.
6.    Shake the Master Tonic/glass jar at least one time everyday.  If you think about it, shake it every time you pass by the jar.  Make sure to put some good intentions into it when you shake it.  Leave out on your counter for about 14 days (New Moon until Full Moon), preferably out of direct sunlight.
7.     Strain Master Tonic on the Full Moon.  Use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to strain contents.  Store in glass bottles, make sure to label and date bottles.
Note: ALL ingredients should be organic or at least grown with organic practices. Other Master Tonic recipes use onion, but I omit it from my recipe.  Feel free to include it if onion is not a problem for you.
Storage: Store Master Tonic tincture in dark place like a cabinet or pantry.  It’s fine to store in a refrigerator too.  Tinctures do not spoil or deteriorate when stored properly and kept out of direct sunlight.
Dosage: Take 1-2 tablespoons per day as a preventative.  Gargle and swish tincture in your mouth, then swallow.  If you need to, chase it with a sip of a drink.  Make sure to break up the dosages, so your body is getting a boost at different times during the day.  Try taking 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 tablespoon in the evening. During illness, increase dosage.  Try taking at least 4 tablespoons per day, making sure to spread out the dosages throughout the day. Tinctures are wonderful because they absorb into your body immediately.

My apologies for the silence. I spent the last month and some odd days working 2 jobs, doing full time school, full time pagan stuffs and adapting to my older sister moving in. The Pagan Blog Project, and this blog specifically, got lost in the shuffle and I may or may not have gotten lost in my own head.

I promise to write deep thoughts for you lovely readers when I get some breathing time.