Tag Archive: inspiration


Yule

If you consider yourself a green witch, Yule most likely holds some significance personally for you.

One beautiful thing about “being” a green witch is that you can freely adapt your spiritual practice to what best suits you.  Each of us have lifetimes of influences that help us determine what brings us closer to Spirit.  How we do this comes from our intuitive nature and is not dictated by anyone other than ourselves.  If a person can step aside of all the rigamarole surrounding this Holy Day, you’ll see that Yule belongs to no religious group, it is there for everyone. It has been observed by many cultures for thousands of years, predating modern religion.

Personally, I believe being attuned to the earth’s natural forces is of great importance. Especially now as we see our natural environment being used, abused and destroyed on a global scale.  Are we not the caretakers of the Earth, our Mother?

The pivotal points of the year are the solstices and equinoxes in the yearly rotation of the earth. If you look at the plant-life around you, you’ll see they change according to the seasonal cycle.

Seeds drop to fertile soil and some – such as lilac – set their buds during Yuletide for next spring.  Why wouldn’t these seasonal events also be important for us too?  We are a vital component of nature – even if we do nothing more than observe and enjoy it’s beauty.

Ann Murphy-Hiscock in her book The Way of the Green Witch says it best: “By commemorating the seasonal shifts, we can take the time to mark the changes in the energy of our environment and to formally reconnect ourselves  with nature’s energy, which helps us recharge our spiritual batteries.”

Is it any wonder that many of us are tidying up the old year in preparation for Yule, the perfect starting point in the new seasonal cycle.  We too need to harvest the seeds of our thoughts and be ready  to plant them in the inner fertile soil of our hopes and dreams. The perfect time to celebrate the sun’s yearly death (or rest) and re-birth.   The perfect time to let go of those things which are no longer needed and prepare for the things we’ll need as the new cycle gets under way.

Letting your imagination run wild thinking about the possibilities for the new cycle can be a most joyful occasion, even if you’re only a party of one.  I begin my celebration by taking out my favorite collection of ornaments and decorations – many hold pleasant memories of Yuletides past with my children.

Some of the items include natural earth items.  Plants, gemstones and minerals, things that represent the elements of earth, air, water and fire can all generate positive vibratory energy.

Dried herbs, flowers and plants from my garden and around my home have been kept all year specifically to adorn the Yule log fire.  The first flowers are almost always dried and kept for this time of year.  Finding a suitable Yule log and decorating it with seasonal greenery and choice dried flowers, acorns. pine cones and other nuts and seeds is one of my favorite things to do this time of year.

For me, it really isn’t about the giving and receiving of gifts so much as it is a time of reflection and expressing gratitude for all the many gifts already received. Gifts that come from nature and from the many spontaneous blessings the Universe delivers every day throughout the year. Not the kind of gifts typically found in department stores or shopping malls that obscure the real meaning of this time of year for me.

That does not mean that in my joyful spirit I do not like to share with others from the abundance I have. As an agricultural holiday Yule is a natural time, just after an abundant harvest to cook up something  to share with family and friends.  Right now, I have this big ole pumpkin sitting on my counter that I’ve decided to make some pumpkin butter to share.  Maybe with a little rum and maple syrup .  Hmmmmm.

There is something truly magical about Yule.  The day the earth and the sun stands still to allow us a brief respite from the past year as we rest, make merry and look forward to the blessings to come in the New Year.

May your Yule hold much magic, with many wonderful blessings for the New Year.

Wishing you peace, joy, love and happiness, the true gifts of Yule this holiday season.

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

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As the Sun Wanes . . .

Elf-foot-2Giving attention to the waxing and waning moons for the past many years, a passing thought that pops up from time to time is the cycle of the sun.

Here we are at yet another Yuletide.  As the sun begins to slow down for its yearly rest,  I too seem to be finishing up with the past year to make way for the new.

In some ways the year is just a big old clock. A celestial time piece put into motion billions of years ago. Considering just how little time we humans have been known to exist on this planet, its the only thing that seems to have been a constant.  We arrived and over time became aware of the yearly pattern of the seasons.

Is it any surprise that our ancestors. without the distractions of modern life as we know it, looked up to the heavens in wonder and awe?

Even now, looking up at the moon and stars, I often think that the skies we see are for the most part the same as the many generations that have gone before us.  When there was nothing much to look at and study but nature, the sun, the moon and the stars,  celestial and seasonal events held much value as people scheduled their yearly life accordingly.

Our modern day distractions keeps so many of us in a mental fog. Awaiting the light of the sun to shine down upon us and lift us out of the doom and gloom of everyday life.  Up at dawn, tuned into the cultural programming devices such as TV and mobile phones that strive to condition us to believe we need to constantly live in fear.

But on this beautiful late autumn day the sun is shining and I’m in the midst of cleaning up my mess from this past year and getting ready to celebrate Yule.  Moving a lifetime’s worth of memories and collections from a larger house to one quite tiny presents many challenges.

Some people can easily let go of things.  No attachments. What-so-ever.

I am not one of those people.  I have almost everything anyone has ever given me.  Gifts are dear to me. I’m not sure people today truly understand that when I express my gratitude for their generosity, it is from my soul.

Being a creative type, I see the value of many things most people throw in the garbage.  I’m better now, but that unusual jar or sturdy box still tugs at my core.

Today I found THE box with my most treasured collection of Yuletide decorations.  Mostly snowflakes, unique garlands and treasured ornaments that adorned holidays past with my sons, now grown and living far away.  The whereabouts of this sacred box unknown among the many unpacked boxes from my move back to my childhood home 5 years ago.

Living on a meager retirement provides ample opportunity to examine the things I’ve collected along my way.  I cannot part with them.  The memories of my boys growing up and the acquisition of each item as I unpack the box brings me ever closer to feeling at home again.

Organizing is probably my most challenging chore.  With my mind thinking about all the possibilities that exist for the coming new cycle, and trying to find ways to organize the things I love and deciding which things to discard that are no longer useful, my ADHD  is in overload.

However this is the most perfect time of all to ponder these things and to organize for all the possibilities. As I contemplate what the New Year may bring, I am trusting that I will give the Universe enough food for thought to sleep on this Yule.

Hopeful that my cherished dreams come to fruition by next Yule.

May you find all your dreams come true for you too.

Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I miss them.

But tonight was the perfect night for lighting my little outdoor fire pit, and think about my future.  As I’m finishing packing for my move back home to North Carolina, tonight turned out to be a lovely opportunity to get inspired thinking of all the possibilities I have available for my new beginning.

As fate would have it, I was unable to photograph the event due to my camera lens locking up . . . a problem I did eventually find a solution for.  Not wanting to spoil the mood of my Gate of Inspiration meditation, my instincts told me to just enjoy the fire and think . . . and make a wish or two for the future.  Being able to talk with God . . . the Universe’s Life Force . . . can be a wondrous thing . . .

Along the way on my spiritual journey, I learned of a special time of  year  when the universe gives us a little window of time . . . an opening . . . a gate on which to meditate on what inspires us.  Found on Steve Nelson’s website Gaia Astrology ,  I’ve come to enjoy reading his moon magic section.  On the topic of the Gate of Inspiration . . . he has this to say:

Gate of Inspiration, Oct 12-13 (6:40 pm – 6:40 pm) – Dance and Be Free

“A Muse Gate opens every 40 days, 9 each year. The witch queen Cerridwen stirs her caldron for a year and day to brew the “greal” of  Inspiration. Nine maidens alternate their breaths to keep the magic fire burning, each maiden is a Muse. Whatever is blocking energy flow comes before the Gate to be let go. This is a time to release body tensions that hold old ways of thinking and feeling. Breathe deeply and move freely (dance!) to shed the old and open to the special magic of this new time.”

Also being the time of a wishing moon, it felt like the most perfect time to think of and wish for what’s possible ahead of me while asking for help in letting go of the many fears and self-doubts I have.

As I connect more and more to the energies of mother earth . . . the more strengthened I am . . . even though my once lovely garden is now overgrown with weeds . . . it welcomed me on this, one of my final evenings here at my home of the past 14 years.   The frogs . . . who have been silent now for many weeks . . . began croaking again . . . earlier, before sunset . . . several birds had gathered on the wire overlooking the garden . . . a lovely amber-colored butterfly  flew out of the flowers while some of the birds sang . . . yes, this would be a perfect night for expressing my appreciation for teaching me so much during the past three years while encouraging me to continue, at my new home.

Preparing my fire pit for an evening’s festivity is one of my favorite things to do.  I still have some small branches from last year’s Yule tree . . . I savor them during my fires at special times throughout the year. Many other dried herbs and flowers that I’ve saved go into it as special offerings of thanks for the beauty they brought into my life as well as to draw more positive or release negative energies of one variety or another.   I have an old stool without a seat, that I use to set the pit on while I load it with these garden treasures . . . and it is quite beautiful to me, even unlit.

It always amazes me how the wind responds to me in the garden.  I’ve had times when I thought surely it would be too windy for a fire . . . and then, the moment I step into  the circle . . . and light the fire, it calms.  Even more wondrous is when, after asking a question . . . a short gust will blow, as if answering my request.

Magical moments.  Spiritual moments.

While there is not much I will miss here in Florida . . . losing my garden is my greatest sorrow.  I’ve spent many magical moments there . . . and I want to carry those lovely memories with me to my next.

Having many very long branches from trees I pruned early in the spring, now dry enough to burn . . . I placed them around the pit . . . letting the tips burn . . . then pushing it into the fire to keep it going.  Just before coming in for the night . . . I took them out and let the tips cool. I’ll use them again tomorrow and will bring the ends with me for the fire I’ll prepare to dedicate the space for the new garden I will soon be working on . . .

Inspired by the hope of a brighter tomorrow . . . the fire blazed strong and clear.  A good sign.

Leaving behind the troubles of the past . . . and heading toward a new uncharted future is both exciting and terrifying.  On this night, however . . . I am comforted in knowing that this end, while not how I imagined it would be . . . was an answer to my many prayers.

I am grateful.

I liken my own personal spiritual path to a long vacation trip . . . where there are many stops and lovely gift shops.  I go into different areas of my spiritual interests and look around. I may or may not find something I want to keep for myself, but its an adventure all the same, seeing the many gifts they have to offer.

There are many such shops on the path of metaphysical philosophy.  Places that offer lots of gifts.  A spiritual path full of lovely colors, sights and sounds that connect me with Spirit. Practices that let me get actively involved with understanding my purpose on a deeply personal level.  My gratitude for Divine Spirit having led me to this path increases every day. My gratitude too for the wonderful, world wide web . . . for bringing me all this lovely knowledge.

In one such place on the web, I was exposed to the concept of the Gates of Inspiration.

I first learned about these gates on Steve Nelson’s Gaia Astrology website.   Well versed in a variety of ancient astrological and mythological viewpoints, he puts it all together in a very practical, easy to understand way.  The phases of moon being central to my own practice,  I especially love the moon magic page as an almost daily starting point for focusing my energies.

There are nine gates, called Muse Gates by Mr. Nelson and one opens every 40 days. The one that opened today is ruled by the moon, my own ruling planet and remains open until May 1st at 12:45 am EDT.  This timing event occurs on the eve of May Day . . . a cross quarter day marking the mid-point of the Sun’s progression between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice.  By this time, seeds planted earlier have started to sprout and grow and is a time celebrated by many pagans as the beginning of a bountiful period of growth.  It is a day for fun and for enjoying life.  A day to sit, dance and sing in the garden and let the sun shine into your heart and soul with thanksgiving.

This gate is of a particular importance to me as, according to Mr. Nelson, “Whatever blocks creative flow comes before the Gate to be let go. This is a time to dissolve body tensions that hold outmoded ways of thinking and feeling. Breathe deeply and move freely (yoga, tai chi, dance!) to shed the old and be present to the blessings of the new.”

Today, the sun is shining . . . and I’m starting to gear up for my own personal celebration.  My garden is growing, and some of the flowers are blooming. Inspired, I already feel my creative energy stirring.

May all your days be filled with child-like wonder.

Judy

 

 

 

 

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