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Welcome Imbolc!

Welcome Imbolc, the return of the sun, a time of quickening in Mother Earth. New life not yet seen, deep in her belly, waiting to burst forth at the appointed time. It will not be long now.

Imbolc, also known as Oimelc, is Gaelic for “ewe’s milk” because this is the season when the milk begins to flow in the lambs and sheep. This is the 1st of 3 Spring Festivals (Imbolc, Ostara & Beltane).

Imbolc is closely associated with the Celtic-Irish goddess Brigid. Imbolc is sacred to Brigid because she is a goddess of fire, of poetry, and of healing, all things that go along with the creative powers of the onset of spring. Brigid is a powerful representation of the Maiden Goddess, and she has been almost perfectly preserved for us today by none other than the Roman Catholic Church. Rather than call her demon and risk the displeasure of all Ireland, they canonized Brigid and made her the patron saint of poetry and healing. This appeased the Irish, who at the time probably saw the Catholic saints as being very similar to gods themselves.

Imbolc was adopted by the Catholic Church as Candlemas, which later became known for Groundhog Day: “If Candlemass day be dry and fair, The half o winter’s to come and mair; If Candlemass day be wet and foul, The half o’ winter’s gane at Yule.”

In the deep of winter, when all lies dormant in the ground, it seems that there is no life to be found. But life is never fully vanquished. In the belly of Mother Earth, deep in her womb, there is life! Life waiting to burst forth at the appointed time.

So whether you watch for the groundhog to come out of it’s hole or you put a candle in your window to represent the Eternal Flame of the Maiden Goddess, may all of you have a moment of quiet in which to listen to the silence around you and feel her body beginning to stir.

cardinals facing the challenge of winter by PATC

I found this blog post from Jeffrey Pierce of Oldways.com to be of great help and comfort for me , I consider Jeffrey to be  my ‘online’ teacher on this path. I like all of us face difficult challenges , some face major ones every now and again, and some of us face challenges on a continual basis. Is the world against us? Is God/ess mad at us? Is the Universe telling us that we are bad and doing a lousy job? Many of us take these challenges we face very personal. But the fact of the matter in my mind is that we are here for a purpose, we are here to grow , learn and mature through our challenges , that we all face, to hone our skills and develop our gifts and talents. Granted there are some things that happen to us because what we sow we reap and that is a spiritual law here in this physical world. But there is a lot of things not of our doing , but what ever the source we need to know that we are in boot camp and the going gets hard more often than not. I personally do not believe we were created just so we can have a good time and have all we want when we want it. That mindset just does not ring true with what I have experience in my life and what I have seen in the lives of those I love. Life happens and I believe that this life is school , teaching us what we need to know for the next life, which will have its own challenges .

blessed be.

THE SECRET OF OUR CHALLENGES

January 2, 2011
by Jeffrey Pierce

My daughter, Munin, is a talented young musician. She recently graduated to the sixth grade and her school skipped her ahead to the seventh grade advanced band where she’s second chair in her section. Getting Munin to practice is easy. The girl loves to play music and does so for hours each day. Where the challenge comes in is in teaching her that simply practicing isn’t enough.
Challenges show us where we’re weak, where our skills are lacking, and they bring our insecurities and vulnerability to the surface. Facing challenges show us that we’re strong, that our skills are still elevating, and that we become secure and confident where we once lacked both. To improve in anything, you have to push your limits. Any warrior can tell you this. Whether you’re training in a martial art, practicing for an athletic event, or trying to improve any skill, you improve by attempting what is difficult, not by staying within your comfort zone. Even when you’re engaged in something very familiar – whether it’s a piece of music, a drill in sports, or simply time on the treadmill – those who excel tell you that they still push themselves, seeking to master those simple tasks so that each crescendo, each throw, each stride is perfectly executed.
In our studies we learned that The Emerald Tablet reminds us of the concept of “As above, so below.” Simply put, physical and spiritual reality mirror each other. The concepts required on one level for transformation also hold true on the other. It’s in this parallel that we discover the secret of our challenges.
When we face challenges in our world, it’s not because we’ve done something wrong. It’s fairly common in spiritual circles to hear someone ask, “What are you doing to attract this energy?” whenever difficult moments arise on our path. The concept at the heart of that presepective is that the challenges we face are somehow our doing. Taking things a step further, it’s implied that since we attracted those challenges, that by altering our behavior or path, we can remove those challenges. In other words, a life without challenges is one where we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. This strongly implies that the challenges we face are wrong – or that we’re doing something wrong because we’re facing them.
What if we’re facing challenges simply because we’re strong enough to do so?
Pushing your boundaries beyond your comfort zone hurts. In music, the melody falters where it typically flows. In sports, you fail in drills over and over again until you develop the ability to complete the task. In martial arts, you’re defeated and pick yourself up from the canvas time and time again.
Challenges show us where we’re weak, where our skills are lacking, and they bring our insecurities and vulnerability to the surface.
Facing challenges show us that we’re strong, that our skills are still elevating, and that we become secure and confident where we once lacked both.
Growth happens beyond our comfort zone. That does not mean the process is going to be fun. It doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt. There is no implied promise that you won’t find yourself in tears from frustration or heartbreak. All that’s promised is that you can do it – not because you already know how or already possess the strength, but because you’re capable of developing the strength, insight, and ability to overcome it. Approach your challenge like a musician, an athlete, or a martial artist who is facing a difficult drill. Break the challenge down into smaller pieces. Where is the struggle coming from? Is it technique? Timing? Perspective? Do you need to let go of something to fully embrace what’s in front of you? Instead of simply plowing ahead and taking it on all at once, break the challenge down into pieces you can work with and address each piece you identify to see if it’s the one that holds the key to overcoming the situation.
You can’t take on an army by yourself, but you can face the warrior right in front of you. The key is to approach our challenges, not as a mountain to be climbed, but as a single step to be taken. We can work with small pieces – and every challenge can be broken into pieces we’re capable of having success with.

The next time you find yourself in a rough stretch of your path, don’t get down on yourself. There is never a reason to use the phrase, “I can’t,” when you find yourself knocked on your butt by the challenges at hand. Instead, pick yourself up. Look the challenge in the eye. You may not get it the first time, or the tenth time, but you wouldn’t be facing the challenges if you didn’t already hold the potential to overcome it. Take strength in that. Your struggles aren’t because you’re weak; you’re facing them because you’re strong enough to win.

Jeffrey Pierce . http://oldways.com/

This is also posted on my blogs: http://owthena.blogspot.com/    and http://owlthena.wordpress.com/

Is there a spiritual path that is pure? That is free from contamination from other paths? I personally think not. I believe we all embrace aspects of various paths that have meaning to us , that assist each of us to experience both worlds, that of Spirit and Physical in the best way for each of us. Yes we may be more Pagan than Christian, or more Christian than Buddhist, or more Taoist than Atheist but we are a little of many paths especially in this generation of expanding knowledge of the world around us via the Internet. I walk the fringes of many paths , why? because there is not one path that covers all that life is. There is alot within “Universalist Mystical and Celtic ” Christianity that speaks to me, that explains alot of what I see that is going on in life, but I have found that it does not cover all that happens in life, so I find that other paths do fill in the blanks. Paganism does that for me, it explains my physical world, it helps me deal with the dualities in life that must be embraced and not shunned. In Christianity and other paths like it,   teach that we must embrace only the good, the light and so forth, of the concept of the ‘oneness’ of God,I have found that we must embrace many aspects of duality if we are to maneuver through life successfully. Paganism embraces THIS physical life with open arms in ways that other paths can not. I know we need both Light and Darkness in our lives in order for growth to happen, I know  that too much light will burn and kill you and not enough light will cause ill health and death, we need them both. We need both love and anger to deal with various aspects that come at us in life. If someone is holding a weapon on us, and is trying to kill us or our family, I know I need anger and fear to get me enough energy to fight my foe, but I also know it takes love to deal with our loved ones who need a tender compassionate heart. Paganism and Taoism teaches us to handle the dualities in life correctly, not to shun them like Christianity seems to teach. The lessons that Life teaches me , is that it takes 2 , mom and dad to make a baby, I tend to embrace the teachings of nature over what ‘man’ says is true, and nature tells me that what ever is our Creator , it most likely contains Both either as one being with 2 natures or energies, or 2 beings male and female with  a Unity of thought and purpose. I really don’t care which it is , I just know that the duality must exist because all of creation comes from the Creator and therefore we most likely  are a chip off the old block and if we are male and female then our GodParents are too.
Yes we can handle various paths and teachings in our lives, and yes we are able to take what works for us and leave what does not. We each have   unique spiritual paths made up of various aspects of many Spiritual disciplines , no one has a ‘pure’ path and it is wrong thinking to believe you do. Just looking within Christianity one can see all the Denominations within it to see that even on that path they pick and choose what works best for each of their own spiritual make up, you have those that like the formal and the ritual, the quiet and the mystical and then you see  denominations that likes to dance in the isles ,singing and clapping their hands ,speaking in tongues, emotions run  on high,it is not a quiet place to be. You have some that must live within a rigid life of laws of do’s and don’ts and some that believe all is legal but not all is helpful.Then you have all the others that fall some where in the middle.
Each religion places their concepts of ‘God/dess’ in their own little boxes, and many  demands that each of us must conform to the dictates and ideas of those in charge. ( I use the word’God/dess ‘because it contains both the male and the female within that word,unlike the word God which leaves out the best part!:) )But here’s the news flash ‘God/dess’ lives within each of us, and does not fit into any box. God/dess is reflected out from all of us as the Moon reflects the Sun. We , each of us ,is a Priest or Priestess of the God/dess that lives within, and here’s another news flash, that reflection is colored and shaped by who we each individually are.
I embrace aspects of 5 paths which are Paganism/witchcraft, Taoism, Native American Spirituality, Christianity and Shamanism, which   can be placed on each point of a pentagram and works well for that symbolism on my altar .
It is just who we are it is how we are hardwired, each of us need different things in our life, each of us has our idea of what is the perfect combination that speaks to our hearts. What we need to understand is that it is normal and ok to do so. We need to stop passing judgement on each other because we have different needs, and different ideas on what we deem the ‘spiritual’. Lets embrace our differences and our similarities and rejoice that our Creator loves us anyway.
blessed be and Shalom
Owlthena

2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,400 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 18 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 72 posts. There were 8 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 503kb.

The busiest day of the year was September 20th with 63 views. The most popular post that day was The Raven Wing Guild of Christian Witches.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were theravenwing.org, mail.live.com, owlthena.blogspot.com, search.aol.com, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for christian witch, saint nicholas, pentacle, sagittarius, and maiden.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Raven Wing Guild of Christian Witches July 2009
3 comments

2

A Symbol I Love February 2010
1 comment

3

A Christian Witch Community Forum… March 2010
4 comments

4

December 6th: The Feast of Saint Nicholas December 2009
1 comment

5

Sagittarius New Moon December 2009
1 comment

I found this through a friend on Facebook and was completely overwhelmed by what I saw this young girl was capable of bringing to life and the message she can send with her artwork.

She claims she is given incredible messages and visions by God and from this visions she turns into the most beautifully moving artwork ever seen by a girl so young and without any training or teaching of any kind…

I myself felt incredibly spiritually connected with her work as if I felt and saw God and Jesus’ messages within…and I have no doubt her gift comes straight from the heavens with the strength, light and love of God behind it.  I hope you find some blessings and perhaps some light and love upon seeing this video as I did…and maybe it’ll bring a little joy to your life too.

Blessed be!

I must say that this group has been very fun and educational, as well as a Spiritual outlet for me. I was raised Pentecostal, very strict Christian background and beliefs from my parents.

Along the road my maternal grandmother and mother practiced Judaism, as well as “mountain medicine.” and native American shamanism as well. What a mixture eh? I, as a child was not to question, but be quiet and learn.

As I grew up I also found that on my fathers side of the family of which I though was of regular black (African American) and Scottish background, I found we were also East Indian, my paternal grandmothers ancestors.
I found that they had a mixture of religious beliefs, of which sort of got lost in my grandmother when they became Episcopalians, and later her and my grandfather joining the A.M.E church (African Methodist Episcopal) after getting married. I come from a really eclectic religious background.

I would love to hear and learn about some of you all out there beliefs and back grounds. So please feel free to share what is inside of you. It is so enriching to know and see how others come into their Spiritual walk.

barefoot on the path
under the gypsy moon
I feel the dew on my skin
as I move gently
through a field of clover and grass
the fragrant earth whispers to me
telling secrets of a heart
filled with compassion
goddess guides me to discover
the mysteries of who she is
I look
and see only me