Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reiki etcetera

I started a blog with that name a few months ago.

But I've got so many blogs it's ridiculous. I've decided to incorporate that one under the CRONEWYZE label, which covers energy, magick, and any esoteric or even practical wisdom I think I may have acquired.

Reiki, and other forms of healing which I do, are all about energy really; so is the practice of magick. I have even been known to express the opinion that Reiki is an Order of Magick — though I expect few if any other Reiki Masters would agree. Depends on your definition of magick, perhaps. Mine is: Magick is just science for which we haven't yet found the scientific explanation. Also, Reiki traditionally has three Degrees. Certainly it can seem magickal in its effects!

Anyway, look for the 'Reiki' and 'HEALING' labels for posts on those subjects. Some of them will show up on dates earlier than this, when they were first written, so you may have to hunt for them. Just click on the appropriate label. ('HEALING' is a broader category than 'Reiki', hence the capitals.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Esbat and Sabbat

For those who don’t know, Esbats are our full moon celebrations, and Sabbats are the eight seasonal festivals on the Wheel of the Year.

The night of the Supermoon on the 19th was wet and overcast here; there was never a chance of seeing that full moon, which was so unusually close to the earth. Yet the rain was timely, as that night had been designated worldwide, by an environmentally conscious online group, as a time to honour water and perform rituals to bless the world’s water. We were advised to go and fill bottles with water from a river or lake, then put the full bottles on our altars to receive blessings ongoingly.

I’m too old to go traipsing around the countryside looking for the nearest accessible body of water! Instead I stood out in the rain, cast circle, spoke a blessing, and held out a small blue glass bottle for the rain to fall into it.

It was very fine rain that night, so the bottle didn’t fill up. I stood it upright in the garden against the wooden boundary of a herb bed, resting securely in a little hollow in the soil.  We have had several sharp showers since then, but they have been brief; the bottle is only about one-sixteenth full — and it’s a tiny bottle. This is going to take time. Never mind; I can bless it where it stands. The herb garden, private and enclosed, protected by the neighbours’ trees, has become my favourite place for ritual. That corner of it can be a special altar to water for the time being.

The night of the full moon was closely followed by Mabon (we being in the Southern Hemisphere). The loosely-knit group of Pagans we’ve been celebrating Sabbats with this last year has gone into temporary hiatus, as we and others have found ourselves dealing with pressing personal matters all at the same time.  We think of each other at such times, and send greetings, but for those without easy access to other gatherings, our celebrations at present are solitary or in couples.

LightStar and I kept things simple. It being Mabon, a harvest festival, we each made a list of the things we were glad to have harvested in the last little while. Most but not all of them were intangibles. We have arrived at much enjoyment of life on a day-to-day basis.

Mabon takes place at the Autumn Equinox, when the light and dark are evenly balanced. After that, the lengthening of the darkness into Winter begins. Darkness is a time for spells of banishment, so it was also appropriate to list the things we wanted to release and be rid of.

Then we went out into the herb garden, again in very fine rain, cast circle, and declared to the elements our thanks for our harvest and our intention to release the unwanted items. My cast iron cauldron, which lives outside, had a little water in the bottom even though it had been under shelter. I tried to burn the harvest lists; it was difficult as they got wet. So I made a virtue of necessity, thanking the fire and water which had already touched the paper, then crumpling what was left of it into a tight ball and throwing it into the air, finally burying it in the earth, thanking air and earth too.

My cauldron is an old Dutch oven with a lid. The lid was dry, so I inverted it and burnt on it the lists of items to be released. I wanted just fire for that, to release them without delay. Fire is the quickest energy. They burnt right down to ash. Two tiny bits of paper took more time to burn after the rest had gone. I looked, and saw that they were the single items from each list which the person concerned had most trouble letting go of! But burn they did, all the way, taking only a little longer than the rest.

LightStar thought of another thing to release, so he shouted it confidently into the air, arms outstretched in the appropriate gesture.

Then we opened the circle, came inside and made love. No, it wasn’t Beltane, but lovemaking is always an appropriate conclusion to magickal work. ‘All acts of love and pleasure,’ says the Goddess, ‘are My rituals.’

Just now I brought the cauldron inside, scrubbed it, coated it inside and out with olive oil, and put it in a slow oven to re-season.  It shall live indoors in future, when it’s not in use.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Are We Helpless in the Face of Disasters

Not entirely.

Once the flood, fire, earthquake or tsunami has happened, we can't undo it. But it's always useful to send Love energy to such situations, and to the people in them and the places where they occur.  If you're a Reiki practitioner, Reiki is one of the easiest ways to do that. Beam it at the TV screen when you're watching the news footage — either to the general scene or to individuals who are shown, or both. When you see those scenes in your head later, as you're bound to, again visualise and intend to 'zap' them with that energy or surround them in it.

This is a huge act of faith, as you will never know if it did any good. It is a time to recall the many instances when you have been able to get feedback and to know that Reiki helped a person or situation. Knowing that, trust that it will help in the large-scale disasters also, and remember that some Reiki is better than none.

Sometimes weather magick can prevent threatened disasters. Witches would probably just light a candle. In his book Urban Shaman, Serge Kahili King recounts instances of shamans banding together to successfully turn away destructive weather from population areas. Group energy is very powerful; for that reason it is also effective to take part in such events as world-wide meditations at specific times.

For people who aren't shamans or witches and don't know how to use Reiki, heartfelt prayer is also powerful. So are 'Love projections' where you get into a semi-meditative state and focus Love towards the person / place / situation. You can visualise it as white light if that makes it easier — or rainbow light, or pink light, or green, or gold — so long as you hold the understanding that this light is an expression of Love energy.

Humanity has been told by many teachers over the centuries that Love is the essential for making our lives work, having ourselves and our planet be healthy. It's a very difficult thing to do, to stay always in that state. Most of us have to catch ourselves —eventually! — when we fall out of it, pick ourselves up and start again. It is worth persevering. There is nothing that is so much worth doing.

I am now in my 'senior' years, with a great deal of life experience behind me. It becomes more and more apparent to me that Love is indeed the only thing that really matters. It's vital.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Drama and Discord; Entities and Groups

What if there were energies which fed off human emotion? What if they were particularly nourished by drama, discord, fear, self-doubt and denial? What if , therefore, they sought to destabilise human societies, and also small groups and  individuals?

What if a group of friendly Pagans of different backgrounds were to come together regularly to share fellowship and ideas? Wouldn’t this group be an obvious magnet for the destabilising energies? All the more so because such a group of Pagans would have the potential to be a force for peace and harmony in the world — which any destabilising entities would have a vested interest in preventing.

There are such entities, as many healers, psychics and energy clearers can attest.  Whether you think they are conscious, sentient beings or some kind of unthinking force; whether you believe they come from ‘out there’ or are products of our own psyches — the effect is what counts, and that can be devastating. As humans, we need eternal vigilance to stay in our strength as beings of radiant energy, and not be undermined. It’s all too easy to get lax and not notice. In fact, the majority of human beings don’t even realise there is any such danger.

For those of us who do, it’s important to maintain whatever practices keep our own energy clear — meditation, the Middle Pillar exercise, Reiki or whatever. (These are not mutually exclusive, by the way.)

Then there is the energy space we inhabit and move around in. It’s easy to get into blame and self-justification in our interactions with people. I do it too — don’t we all! But what if the real problem is something in the space between us? For instance, at times when my husband and I get testy with each other, if we remember to have a look at what’s between us instead of just getting caught up in the emotions, we always find some extraneous energy needing to be cleared. This is not a function of the subject of dissension. (It’s possible to disagree calmly, even about cherished principles.) When things get heated, it’s worth being aware of the possibility that something else is stirring up the violent emotions.

If you can’t see or sense energy, and if you don’t have a clearing technique, you can simply ask the angels to clear whatever there may be in your space that is promoting doubt, denial or discord.  They will respond and help!

I don't mean to excuse bad behaviour; I do mean to say it's important to minimise it.

It would be inhuman to go through life with no anger, worry, doubt, etc. It’s useless to try and be saintly by suppressing such things. But it’s also harmful to give vent to them in a way that draws to us the very entities that escalate them. It is true that, if we have a genuine grievance with another person, the best thing to do is to talk it out with them (rather than bitch about them to others). However it would be good to clear one’s own energy first and not be speaking from the agitated emotions.

Sad things recently happened in a group I belong to, where tensions and misunderstandings escalated until some permanent divisions resulted. I’m remiss, in that I too got caught up in the ‘he said, she said’ even while trying to promote peace.

It starts with me. I too easily let my practices slip. Time to re-institute them on a daily basis.  If I slip again, as humans can, I’ll hope to catch myself fast and resume.  (Maybe a post-it note on the bathroom mirror would save me from forgetting!)

And I do think, for everyone involved in a group, it’s important to use whatever techniques we have to keep the group energy clear. If you have no special techniques, it’s effective to send love to the group as whole (visualised as white light if you find that helps) or to pray for its collective peace and wellbeing.

The facilitator of one online healing group I belong to sends out regular reminders for each of us to send healing to the whole group and to the extended families of all members. This is a lovely habit, which takes only a few minutes and would be good for any group.

Let’s not forget our interactions on the practical, everyday level, including those in group contexts. How good it would be if in all circumstances we could give the highest priority to taking tender care of each other.

P.S. My friend Ursula posted a comment in another forum, making a very important point which is something I wish I'd also said in this post — so I am quoting her here:

It's true, I believe they do exist AND still, the drama, discord, fear, self-doubt and denial must be in us first for them to find food for their energies.....still we must be responsible for what we put out there and who and what it attracts......which by its presence tells us what's inside us........if we were all love they'd never find us!!!