Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"There's no finer caress than a love letter, because it makes the world very small, and the writer and reader, the only rulers."-Cecelia Capuzzi, 1987
A love letter is the ultimate in romance. It's something to be cherished, and read over and over again. When we really make the effort to put into words how we feel about someone, that brings us clarity, and it brings meaning to the relationship. Letters of love can be written to our children, or our parents, or to anyone we love and appreciate. -Lissa Coffey
So with this in mind. Why don't we all write a Love Letter today. It just may be the bright moment in someones day. Plus the world can always use more Love. We always hear the bad, lets pass the Great on today.
Friday, May 1, 2009
And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.-- William Shakespeare
Beltane, the counterpart to Samhain, which Pagans and Witches south of the Equator are now celebrating, is one of the Greater Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on May 1st. Most commonly it is pronounced “BELL-tayn,” it can also be “BEEL-teen,” “BEEL-tawn-uh,” or “B’YAL-tinn. ” In some traditions, it is celebrated the night of April 30, but as mentioned yesterday, our ancestors generally did not limit their festivities to only one day or night.
The Irish celebrated Sean Bhealtain, “Old May,” and other terms include May Day, Rood Day, Rudemas, or Galan Haf. It is the joyful, lusty celebration of the coming of fair Summer. People throughout the world will set bonfires atop hills, or near the sacred trees, for the name Beltane is derived in reference to the fires of the Sun God Balor, Bel, Beli, Belinus, Belenos, or Balder.
This Sabbat honors the God and Goddess, Lord and Lady, in their Sacred Marriage. Young couples return from their trysts in the woods and meadows, clad in flowers and joyfulness, having enacting the Divine Union, in order to bring fertility and abundance to the land.
Wiccan handfastings are common at Beltane, however the wise grandmothers knew perfectly well that most lusty trysts formed in the merry month of May were not likely to last, so actual marriages were avoided and considered bad luck during this month.
Instead, the smitten couples were encouraged to enjoy their pleasures, but wait at least one lunation before the serious business of marriage. That’s why June is considered a much more favorable time for a lasting union and to this day is the most popular wedding month.
And if a pregnancy resulted after the Beltane revelries, not only was it not a problem, it was a gift! The children of Beltane were beloved by the entire village. The mother was considered blessed and the child was sure to be magical. The boys were usually named Jack, for their “father,” the Jack of the Green.
The powers of the Good Folk are now growing and the boundaries that separate the human world from the Sidhe are thin. The Landing of the Tuatha De Danann in Ireland is recalled today and the mighty Mother-Goddess of the Land, Dana (or Danu, also Danann) is also honored.
If they are in bloom, bring lilacs and hawthorn inside on this day, along with flowers of all kinds to represent the fertility of the earth. All manner of enchantments and offerings should be given to honor the wildlings and Elementals. Celebrations include weaving the web of life around the Maypole and leaping the Beltane fires for luck.
Now we celebrate of the approach of Summer, when the breezes are scented and evenings are getting warm. Beltane is the time of new life! Look around you - baby animals are being born. Plants are growing strong new shoots. Flowers are bloom. The lush green veil has once more cloaked the forests. Here in the woods of northern Durham, our mountain laurels and blackberry bushes will soon turn our hills into a froth of white and the buds of roses are swelling open.
Put all your energy into nurturing your plans and desires at this time. We have from now until the final harvest at Samhain to grow our dreams! By now we are well on our way with the work we will accomplish this year - work in the world and work done upon ourselves. This is a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth. May your day be most beautiful, and richly blessed!
In the quest to create a gentler, more loving world, kindness is the easiest tool we can use. Though it is easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, our lives are replete with situations in which we can be helpful, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly to loved ones and associates, as well as strangers. The touching, selfless acts of kindness that have the most profoundly uplifting effects are often the simplest: a word of praise, a gentle touch, a helping hand, a gesture of courtesy, or a smile. Such small kindnesses represent an unconditional, unrestricted form of love that we are free to give or withhold at will. When you give the gift of kindness, whether in the form of assistance, concern, or friendliness, your actions create a beacon of happiness and hope that warms people’s hearts.
The components of kindness are compassion, respect, and generosity. Put simply, kindness is the conscious act of engaging others in a positive way without asking whether those individuals deserve to be treated kindly. All living beings thrive on kindness. A single, sincere compliment can turn a person’s entire world around. Holding a door or thanking someone who has held a door for you can inspire others to practice politeness and make already kind individuals feel good about their efforts. Smiling at people you meet—even those who make you feel like frowning—can turn a dreary encounter into a delightful one, for both of you. Every kind act has a positive influence on the individual who has performed said act as well as on the recipient, regardless of whether the act is acknowledged. Kindness brings about more kindness and slowly but surely takes a positive toll on humanity.
Weaving the thread of kindness into your everyday life can be as easy as choosing to offer a hearty “Good morning” and “Good night” to your coworkers or neighbors, a stranger on the street, or the grocery store clerk. When you commit a kind act, you are momentarily disconnected from your ego and bonded with the individual who has benefited from your kindness. Being fully present in each moment of your life facilitates kindness as it increases your awareness of the people around you. You’ll discover that each act of kindness you engage in makes the world, in some small way, a better place.
Think about this. How many times do we walk by someone stuck in our own little world and forget that there are others around. Being involved in our thoughts and problems, that we fail to see someone else dealing with their own. And stepping away from our own stuff even for a few seconds, can change someones outlook. I know that when I have been having a bad time, just someone smiling at me or patting my shoulder or even just putting their arms around me to let me know that maybe they don't know what is going on, but that I am important and matter, or worth that caring is really wonderful and needed. And giving that to someone else gives you a bit of that light to. Give this a thought, and see what kind of light you can pass on to the world.