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

Saturday, August 15, 2020

A Prayer of Gratitude in Troubled Times

Dear Earth, our Mother — 

Even as we acknowledge the problems we face and those we have caused others of your children, your living species, we also recognise the many joys and delights in our lives. Being alive on this planet is, above all, a blessing.

Thank you dear Mother for the ground that supports us, the air we breathe to take in life; the water we drink to keep us alive, cleansing us inside and out; the food we eat to sustain our lives; the sun we orbit, warming us, giving us light, making life possible.

We give thanks for small daily joys — the smile of a child, the kind word of a friend, the hug of a family member, the kiss of a lover. We are grateful for jokes and laughter, the healing that comes with tears, the pleasure of good conversation, the useful power of thought; for taste and smell, art and music, the colours of flowers, songs of birds, the ever-changing moods of the ocean. We thank you for our guardian mountains, our companion rivers, the fields and forests filling our lives with beauty. We thank you for this land where we live. Thank you for our being here.

We thank you for major miracles: illnesses that didn’t kill us, accidents from which we emerged still breathing, emotional traumas which have not sent us mad, obstacles we overcame by apparent magic or by strengths we didn’t know we had, fore-ordained meetings which brought important friends and surprising opportunities into our lives. We thank you for experiences we considered bad or unlucky, understanding now they were opportunities, gifts to enrich our lives.

We give thanks for being here now, for whatever part we are called to play in this present crisis and whatever new challenges may come. We ask to be of service to the greater good of humanity, and the whole planet — whether our personal roles appear large or small. We know that every strand in the fabric is not only important but essential. Thank you for this momentous opportunity, and for ensuring we are equal to it.

Thank you for the Love within and surrounding us, making everything possible. Thank you for everything.

Written for the Wisdom Circle of The Goddesses of Shining Light (Murwillumbah, Australia).

Shared with Writers' Pantry #33 at Poets and Storytellers United

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Gender of God

A poet whose blog I read just posted this wonderful haibun. (Go on, read it; it’s quite short and truly delightful.)

I fell in love with it.

But then, a little while later, I had the thought that it would have been even more perfect if she’d said ‘Praise God’ instead of ‘Praise the Lord’. The word Lord is clearly male, whereas I like to think of God as female.

Of course, many many people all over the world – probably the majority – believe that God is male, as the widespread book religions* teach. But a substantial number believe that God is female – or that God encompasses all genders and much more besides, whilst they personally prefer to focus on the female or Great Mother aspect. (This latter is my own position.)

Well, it’s obviously a bit much to expect that devout Christians will stop equating ‘Lord’ with God, or that the devout of any other book religion will allow their Deity to be more gender-inclusive. So, if that seems to some of us to be selling God very short, it’s up to us to find our own words.

It’s seldom necessary to make huge changes. I do use the word Goddess sometimes, but ‘God’ works for me too. In my mind ‘God’ is all-encompassing and can be interpreted as ‘Goddess’ if I choose to focus on that aspect. In fact I see the words ‘Goddess’ and also ‘Deity’ as being similarly all-encompassing. (Sometimes I say 'the Universe', giving it this same meaning, way beyond the physical universe. But that's a bit tricky, as I might sometimes refer, in another context, to the physical universe.) The reality of God, I believe, is so vast as to be far beyond our understanding. Paradoxically, each of us can have a personal relationship with the Deity – and to do that, it helps to focus on one aspect we can relate to.

‘Praise God’ works for me.

*The books: E.g. the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Vedic texts, the Buddhist sutras and shastras…. (
Individuals have written books about the Pagan or earth-based spiritual paths, but they are not ‘have to’ books of laws to be obeyed; they are not regarded as the sacred words of God which emanated from the Deity even though written down by people.)

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Taking Issue with the Word ‘Abundance’

People often recommend that we ask for it in our spells, visualisations, affirmations, whatever. It’s better to use that word than ‘money’, they assert, because ‘money’ is too limiting.

I think ‘abundance’ isn’t limiting enough.

I’m inclined to be fat. I’m afraid to ask for abundance in case I acquire, among other things, an abundance of flesh! In fact it’s a very general word altogether. The Universe might interpret a focus on abundance as meaning you wish for an abundance of anything and everything you experience. There are some experiences I definitely would not want more of!

So what I ask for is  prosperity.

This is a much more specific word. There are, of course, various kinds of prosperity one might be blessed with, but all within a certain category, all positive in nature.

I’m a witch and a poet. Both poets and witches understand that they need to be very careful and precise in the way they use words. Words have power!