For more of my thoughts on vultures, please read my very first LJ post.
A photo to share with you this beautiful Yule morning:
( Witness a tale of supernatural going-ons... )
Inspired, in part, by conversations with swankivy , I've decided to put some effort into maintaining seasonal displays. I've put up displays for specific seasonal holidays such as Samhain, Yule, and Ostara before, but I've never put up anything for Midsummer. That changed not long after my Midsummer stay at the beach.
Below is my first Summer seasonal display, featuring sea shells, gathered during my Midsummer vacation, and one very cute stuffed lobster toy:
This morning I celebrated by taking a long walk out on the marsh to greet the dawning Sun with libation and the song of my didjeridoo.
A few hours bus trip later, I arrived at the cabin on the beach. After a long walk along the beach, along with a little Kung Fu, I'm already feeling MUCH more relaxed. :)
More details to follow when I get access to a computer.
Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.
( More on the placebo effect and its implications in ritual practice for healing... )
In regards to my own personal experience, whilst I've recently experienced some events that have solidified my believe in systems such at the utilization of Qi (Chi), prior to that, I've long held a belief in the power of belief itself and, as such, in the importance of ritual to assist in attaining that belief for the benefit of wellness.
Edit: I later found the article that mentions the shaman. It is "The Sorcerer and His Magic," by Claude Lévi-Strauss, which details some history of a Kwakiutl shaman by the name of Quesalid. Whilst Lévi-Strauss treats the matter rather contemptuously, it is clear, even from his account, that Quesalid comes to see the value in helping his patients believe.
Later on today, of course, I will be having a private Yule ceremony in which I will be honoring the rebirth of the God. For me, it is a time of new beginnings, as the energies of the world shift from building potential to beginning action. As such, I've chosen this evening to consecrate my new sword, which will finally see ritual use, as well as reconsecrate a number of my other implements.
In her article for The Washington Post, Out of darkness, light: Solstice and the lunar eclipse, prominent Pagan author Starhawk wrote:
( More of what both Starhawk and I have written about the Solstice... )
May the promise of the returning Light fill your hearts with warmth, joy and peace this holiday season!
( Read more... )
Catholic Bishops: More Exorcists Needed
NEW YORK (Nov. 12) -- Citing a shortage of priests who can perform the rite, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are holding a conference on how to conduct exorcisms.
The two-day training, which ends Saturday in Baltimore, is to outline the scriptural basis of evil, instruct clergy on evaluating whether a person is truly possessed, and review the prayers and rituals that comprise an exorcism. Among the speakers will be Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, and a priest-assistant to New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
"Learning the liturgical rite is not difficult," DiNardo said in a phone interview before the conference, which is open to clergy only. "The problem is the discernment that the exorcist needs before he would ever attempt the rite."
( Read more... )
However, it's only in recent months that I've begun developing Qigong techniques for other purposes, including direct healing and for protection, among others. And, in the last few weeks, all that practice has begun to show itself in a myriad of ways, such as:
1) Feeling a force of repulsion between my palms, as if bringing the like poles of two magnets together, after spending several minutes focusing and compressing Qi between them during a Qigong exercise.
2) Preventing a bruise from forming on my forearm after accidentally falling on to the metal edge of a stair, striking hard enough to take skin off. I charged the hand of my other arm with Qi and applied it to the would be bruise, then visualized the Qi flowing through the injury and through my body in a circular motion. (Incidentally, less than a week after this occurred, I tried showing my HPS where the injury was, but had some difficulty as the skin had already healed enough that I could only find in brighter light.)
3) Doing forceful blocking practice with a training partner, whilst ignoring the pain of impact and suffering no bruising afterward.
Needless to say, I'm pretty amazed by all of this.
My celebration of Beltaine was a simple, but very satisfying affair. The ceremony included purification followed by, as lupabitch calls it, 'trance dancing' in and amongst a number of lit candles in the pre-dawn darkness, summoning the fertile energy of Spring to bless myself with creativity and productivity over the coming year. This time around, I challenged myself in a very particular way, dancing 'skyclad'* for the first time ever. The experience was a very powerful and evocative event that left me quite energized for the remainder of the day.
* 'Skyclad' is the Wiccan way of saying 'naked' in the context of ceremonial purposes. (If any of you are trying to picture me dancing around naked in your mind, for the love of the Gods, STOP before you TRAUMATIZE yourself! :p )
( The rest beneath the cut. But please read 'cause I kinda need help with this. )
I think today I will celebrate with a small private ceremony and creating some artwork in acknowledgement of the season of fertility.
However you choose to celebrate the Equinox, may you have a warm and wonderful one!
I made a nice meal for 'em, too. Sort of a shrimp and linguine dish with a garlic, cream cheese and spinach sauce. Tried the recipe for the first time - very yummm!
And for desert? RUMBALLS!!! Imagine some highly decadent profiteroles... liberally laced with rummy goodness. :D (Okay, I didn't make those: they came from a family bakery that operates out of the market I went to today.)
And have the Dead touched a single bite? 'Course not! Must've spoiled their appetites before coming to dinner. Ah, well! I'll leave it out for tonight and they can pick on what they want. Whatever is left over in the morning goes out the natual world.
I lit some candles for the honored Dead. Amongst them my grandmother, though I strongly suspect she's probably already on her next turn of the Wheel. I also honored an old acquantance, Wolfie, from my Lycos Pagan Horde days. She finally lost her battle to cancer this year. Her wild tales of her life as a trucker will be missed. Keep on truckin', Wolfie!
And to the living, BLESSED SAMHAIN!!! (or HAPPY HALLOWEEN, if you are thus inclined! :D )
The wheel in the sky keeps on turning...