Why I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in spirit

I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in everything they are trying to achieve right now as they protect clean water against the disgusting ravages of the fracking oil industry.

I send my energies of light and life to the camp in North Dakota. To add my belief, my trust in the earth and the spirits that are in everything, to the power of the water protectors.

If every person in the world sent good energies to the fight of clean water against oil, they would win in no time. The government, the state police, the workers and companies, would find themselves pulling out, giving up and changing what they want. Eventually. Magical energy mostly takes the most obvious, easiest way.

Magic in the world

There have been a few descriptions of Native American elders performing rituals at the front of the crowd. One man was arrested while he was leading a ritual. This isn’t the made-up stuff of the movies, it’s real, tangible, magic being cast. A very earthy tradition, millennia-old, and it works. My feeling is a huge amount of magic is being wrought in North Dakota for the good of the land, and to me, that was confirmed when a massive herd of bison showed up at the camp this week. I imagine the fervent energies of the crowd and their prayers are melding a potent gathering of resistance. The herd may well belong to the people who live on the reservation, but it was strangely good timing for the herd to gallop past as the protectors were being faced down by a small army.

The water protectors could probably use as much helpful, positive energy as you can spare. Let good win out for once and help prevent the literal erosion of the land we live upon. We’ve already wrecked the seas.

Why is North Dakota important right now (and for the future)

Fracking is bad. It involves forcing water deep into rock, fracturing it. Repeatedly, until it runs out of oil. Literally raping the earth of the very last of her resources. It has a highly dubious safety record, and but nonethelesss that safety record is cited as if acceptable throughout the planning applications that abound in the UK now.

The risk management system is inherently fragile, needing only a few factors to cause it to collapse. Safety record or not, it could f*** up at any time. There have already been oil spills across America and South America, poisoning water sources and damaging the environment and wildlife for decades to come. Fracking is not, in any way, safe.

The 1,172-mile North Dakota Pipeline is planned to run under the Missouri River, though I did read they hadn’t yet acquired the permits for that. That’s a very big clean water source for humans, just waiting to be written off as an ‘accident’ in the event of an oil spill.

What could come of the North Dakota Access Pipeline protest?

The outcome of the protest isn’t the only thing that will be important. The behaviour of public bodies of all descriptions during the protest will also influence how future protests will run. Not just in the US.

  • Take the random acts of violence during stand-offs between protectors and militarized police. How much further do those violent acts have to go before the situation becomes defined as a massacre?
  • Now look at Hillary Clinton’s response to a letter delivered by an impassioned teenager as young people protested outside Clinton’s HQ in Brooklyn, New York. Make of that useless response what you will. Maybe she thinks some of those ‘oiligarchs’ might be more influential on her political career than a bunch of has-been indigeneous people.
  • But then think of Bernie Sanders, doing his best to be the voice of firm and reasonable resistance in the face of corporate favouritism. Who can predict how useful that letter will be? Could go either way.
  • Take the US Government, condoning the use of police and state police against protesting people in order to protect private interests.
  • But consider the United Nations response as they appear to be mobilising to observe the situation first hand.
  • And what about attempts to silence the Press? Amy Goodman from DemocracyNow! arrested and threatened with decades in jail, just for being present at a protest. There were others. Open suppression of the Press is a huge worry. It suggests the oppressors believe no-one can stop them.

From the bottom of my heart, I send love and hope and strength to the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota. I hope you will do the same.

MMX

Maggie Moon

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The dandelion dilemma

My back garden this morning.

Photo: My back garden this morning.

I hate killing dandelions.

I hate it.

I love their yellow bobbing heads, dandelions are so cheerful and smiley.

But my lawn was carpeted with them. And I want grass.

Also I need a lawn with grass to fulfil my tenancy agreement. When it was carpeted with hawkweed and dandelions last time around, I returfed it. A lot of hard work for a not-great result.

So this time I vowed to remove every dandelion (and all the not-yet flowering buttercup) and reseed the patches.

I talk to my houseplants. Always have. I can feel their attention on me when I do. They like it.

So if I talk to houseplants, accepting that they may be improperly categorised sentient beings, I’ve already gone a step too far for gardening. This was the same nightmare I had when I reared goslings, but in a milder way, being that I’m not on pecking terms with the dandelions.

But still it pains me.

They’re bright and cheerful and totally resilient … antifragile, even. They don’t need my pity. Dandelions have been around since the dawn of time, and they’ll be filling up lawns long after I start pushing up daisies.

But it isn’t just that I kill them.

It’s a long, slow death. Over a couple of days, the pulled-up plant weakens and becomes floppy. The mud around the root is caked and dry. Streaks of white juice are still visible. The head never opens again, and the underside of the petals are pale. The root is bendy where once it had stabbed the ground with a proud stiffness.

Some dandelions are many-headed Hydra – and even won the fight with me when the tip of their root broke off in the ground – and some are just little, starting out. I found some completely white ones under the wheelie bin, which the December storms had laid flat. Still growing despite being in the dark. Still with flower heads formed.

Dandelions are a hugely successful plant. The bees love them, and they attract hoverflies and suchlike that do wonders in your garden. They’re a worthy adversary for the gardener. Sometimes they hold on and you lose the tip of the root in the ground. Maybe you dig the lost part out, or maybe you leave it in “Dandelion 1, Maggie 0”.

And dandelions aren’t a bad thing at all. You can use every part of the plant, though I only know about dandelion coffee, where the root is roasted and ground, and dandelion leaf tea.

The medicinal effects of dandelion leaf are supposed to be centred around supporting the body’s digestive system, the liver, and even the blood. Dandelion root also acts as a diuretic, so it affects your waterworks too.

I wish I’d been able to use the 150 dandelions that filled up two feed sacks, but alas where the dog pees (and worse) I don’t eat.

I think I’ll pay some penance by buying some dandelion products, since everything these cheery little plants offer is something I could do with right now.

back yard sans dandelions

My back garden this evening.

And don’t be fooled. I’m not a bleeding heart. I sold my geese and crossed my fingers, knowing that some would be doomed. I’m not a vegetarian, but food provenance is really important to me and most of my diet is veggie. Farming is near my heart, but I’ve always been stubbornly soft.

The dandelion guilt is a milder version of the daily meat dilemma.

Images c/o: ruthkassinger.com and unsplash.com

 

 

Why do people use magick in 2015?

I’m the dubiously proud owner of a copy of that vile and infamous book, Malleus Malleficarium. I haven’t made it past the Second Question in the book itself, but I managed to read the long and complex 1927 introduction, by Montague Summers, whose translation made this particular copy available.

At one point, he muses that 1600s witchcraft seemed to be used a great deal in politics, but he wonders why this is.

Mr. Summers missed the point. People use magic to influence situations that they otherwise would be able to do nothing about.

Even in 2015 there are people in situations where they feel powerless. Not just involving politics; I imagine there is more of a prevalence of love or money spells than there are of Presidential Election influencers.

Now, I’m all for using magic wisely and often. Especially to make your own life brighter in tiny, wonderful ways. The more practiced someone is, the better they will be at it, and to me it’s better that people who know what they’re doing use it, than desperate wildcards who haven’t a clue what’s going to happen.

However, there are many more dabblers than practitioners, so if you’re thinking about using a love spell to drag back the love of your life, or contemplating the next lottery draw with diamonds in your eyes, this article is for you.

Ethical witchcraft

Magic isn’t black or white. Magic is neutral. It’s energy manipulation, pure and simple. Fed by the person’s intention, it takes the easiest, most direct route to produce a result based on the spellcaster’s intention. The more sharp and intense the intention, the better the result. Why do you think there has been a large number of posts about meditation on this blog? 🙂

If your intention is fogged up with crazy-in-love, jealousy, rejection, fear of the future, anger, greed, or even mental illness, you’ll find that you probably don’t get the results you expect. At best you’ll find no change to your situation, but that’s unlikely.

With months of serious meditative practice, a lot of time spent ‘being present’, and soul searching, it’s possible to rise out of many of the negative states of mind mentioned above, and really make something of the use of magic, if that’s what you’re interested in.

Otherwise it’s best left alone, because magic that breaks the rules of the Universe takes a pound of flesh from the wielder. There are too many pitfalls. The types of morality that many of us have grown up with stem from ideals of cleanliness of spirit and body. Keeping your legs closed, and your eyes off the money and things that other people have, that kind of thing.

The Universe isn’t concerned with those types of morals.

The main ethical rule that the Universe appears to swing by is this:

Do not hurt or harm anyone for any reason through magic.

The ‘harm’ term doesn’t just mean physical harm. It also means causing someone to become bound to you, limiting someone’s life in some way. It may mean other stuff too, who knows?

Can you see why it’s so hard to negotiate? Even if you think you’re doing something that will benefit everyone in the long term, you have to take time to really think about the possible consequences of your action.

Even something that has nothing to do with anyone else could bounce back on you if you aren’t clear enough in your mind and your words about what you want.

I’ll give you a mild example: don’t ask for all your bills to be paid, because in the next month you could see every bill you’ve ever escaped.

So, if you’ve got a couple of spells off the internet, or you’re thinking about purchasing a special ring with some kind of magickal entity purportedly bound inside it, take a few weeks or months to really think about what you’re doing and where you’re going. You probably don’t need magick to get what you want, anway.

Magick always takes the most direct route to the outcome of any spell or ritual, so if you cast a spell but there was some obvious way that you could have influenced the situation positively, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself doing just that.

Cast wisely, if at all.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o lightlabcreations.com

 

 

 

Blood moon, witchcraft, and war.

Blood moon over Huddersfield

This beautiful blood moon image was taken by my old friend, Gain Lee, an astronomer in Huddersfield. Given the associations of red and orange (think passion, fire, bombs, explosions, anger, sex and so on), it’s no surprise that people have historically and globally been terrified by this beautiful and terrible portent.

The usual small crowd of prophets have said their pieces about the end of the world and disaster for humankind, and even the Mormon Church issued a statement calling for calm amongst its ranks. Like I said, fear is a natural result of a blood moon, if for no other reason than that many people don’t understand it.

The terrors of war

Instead of taking me down the road of doom-filled prophecies and future terror, Gain’s picture got me thinking about a very clear and present terror that this moon looks over. The spectre of war has had our world by the throat for centuries though it’s worse than ever with the machines of war. Check this Reddit post if you want to examine that claim further.

Why is war the international political tool of choice? What does it gain? The answer is, in part, that war is a means to an end. The strategy game to end them all. Or it’s supposed to be.

There’s a catch.

War is no longer just a means to an end on a political stage. It also has a business end. The endless barrage of weapons is a constant stream of reliable income for the companies that build them. The results of the wars are that the winners are companies enabled to pillage countries for their fossil fuels and minerals.

The mechanised remote murders, displaced people, and increasingly obese bank accounts have dehumanised war altogether. They have destabilised whole countries with a few clicks of a mouse.

Wherever we see war, we should seek to understand it. Even if you aren’t interested in politics – it isn’t just about some half-formed idea of ‘politics’ any more. Politics is everything.

Whether you meet war in the form of displaced people, on the News, on Facebook or wherever, try to look behind the face and see the reasons why those people are there. If you’re lucky enough to live without war in your daily life, you owe everyone else this much.

Witchcraft spirituality and the Morrigan

I was recently approached by a battle goddess, the Morrigan.

I’d sensed her for some time, but because I’m as good as blind on the astral plane, it took me a while to understand. I was pretty surprised. Evocations to specific deities play only a very small part of my most recent spiritual and magical development, and besides, there’s nothing special about me.

But more and more, aspects and specific events of war are being called to my attention. The genocide campaign in Gaza in 2014 sent me into furious overdrive, and more recently, Aleppo and Syria as a whole have been thrust continually into the spotlight. The pure horror and the metallic taste of death on the tongue is almost palpable. I am guilty if I don’t speak out about it.

It is time to shout STOP! No more mechanised, corporate war. No more making money from the deaths of frightened and angry ordinary people. No more of any of it! There has to be a better world to live in than this.

So many, many lives have been lost. Our world has almost never had a time without war, but it is more devastating and furious than ever before, and increasingly automated. When you hear about ‘lives lost’, it’s explained in terms of ‘numbers of life forces lost’, and those numbers become meaningless quickly. There’s no emotional connection to numbers. But it isn’t just the life force lost.

It’s all those children who might have gone to school, made friends, grown up, played tennis, or football, or the piano. The unremarkable as well as the precocious. Some might have been bakers, mechanics, or teachers; scientists and doctors, too. They would have had families and pets, big occasions and small failures. It’s their families, parents, siblings, too, and their life experiences, their joys and fears and mental illnesses and long marriages.

Instead, they are killed, their bodies tossed in pieces on the rubble of their homes. Their future lives are extinguished with the life force.

No. More. WAR.

A last thought on changing the world

There are more ordinary people in the world than there are those who grasp the reins of warfare. All the mechanisms for changing society and reducing the liberties our western countries take with others (and with us) are slow, laborious jobs. Like elections, and law passing, and social mobilisation, protests, occupations, riots, and strikes. And all the while the culture has time to change too. Overnight cultural change is oppression.

I’m not the only person by far who has picked up this feeling that this is what is being asked of us. I play a tiny part in the giant machine that is politics, and hope the occasional seed hits home.

Strange, strange times.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

REVELATION: How to reap the benefits of ‘being present’ every day

I’ve had a revelation. It’s a minor one, because I kinda knew it already, but no less life altering for that.

I think I’m experiencing the first major effects on my life from meditating every day. I know I said that I already noticed positive changes from the first few days I began doing that, but now it’s for real. This is big. BIG.

What is ‘being present’

‘Being present’ is literally living in the present moment. Nothing can hurt you. No-one will come and ‘get’ you. No worries really matter right now. Everything is okay. (I am a worrier, your needs may be different).

That might be easy to say, coming from a woman of reasonably sound mind and body. What if everything isn’t okay? What if something really shit is happening to you right now?

Well here’s the thing: being present stops that stuff from happening in the first place. All that grot doesn’t have to exist. You don’t have to feel bad about anything.

All you have to be is right here, in your shoes, right now. Not thinking or worrying or wondering about the future and the past. Not even worrying about that altercation with a woman last Sunday. Or the next crazy thing your mother’s gone and done. Or the rent. None of that. It’s all about the present moment. The Now is there to be grabbed.

Grab it.

What are the benefits of ‘living in the Now’?

Words come more easily. Thoughts are more coherent and connected. It’s as if there’s a bank of knowledge or information out there in the ether, and when you’re fully present, you’re plugged into that bank with thousands of tiny power cords.

Good things happen. Every day has new joys. I know how it sounds, but it’s bloody true.

On a more realistic-sounding note, I find I’m more productive, more useful, and I have more sensible things to say. (But wonderful things keep happening too).

I care less about things that don’t really matter so much and that makes a difference to my quality of life because I’m happier for it. It’s like being super-aware and not bothered, both at the same time.

How do you become ‘present’ and ‘right now’?

I’ve got something that could help you, but I can’t tell you how to make it a permanent state of being. When I become aware that I’m not present, I do it. I remind myself constantly. It’s my new obsession.

My guess is that the state of being present is more likely to become permanent if you keep on doing it. We’re in it for the long haul.

Like the meditation thing and the ‘being happy’ thing, it’s a full life change, and will take practice. It’s totally worth the initial effort.

It starts with centring and grounding.

EDIT: Removed the Centring and grounding section at the end of this post and reworked it into a permanent page for the blog, here.

Maggie Moon

Image c/o thesongbegins.com

 

Spiritual practices (whatever they are) have to come first. Here’s why:

It makes no difference whether you pray to God, meditate with the Buddha, or dance in the light of the moon, whatever you do that connects you to the Source, you need to put it first. In your day and in your mind.

See, spiritualism isn’t just for one special day of the week; if you do it every day, regularly, you notice the benefits pretty quickly. There’s an absence of drama, and a contentment to build when you aren’t firefighting every problem that comes along.

It appears almost as if crappy things don’t happen any more, but I think it is something a bit more personal. The crappy things continue to present themselves, but how you handle them from the outset is completely different. Instead of dealing with them you get them to dissolve.

So meditate, pray, smudge every day. Be a slave to your practice (but remember to enjoy it). It keeps you safe, steadies your life, and brings in all the luck you could ever need.

Happy Lughnasadh!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o www.karmagrove.com

Forgiveness … How to forgive better (even when you’re still mad).

I’m big on forgiveness. I don’t believe in holding grudges, and I’m fairly straightforward as a person; if I don’t like you, it’ll probably be clear.

So it came to me as a surprise recently, when I realised that I do have a couple of grudges. It’s almost shaming to admit it.

With one of them, I’ve allowed the grudge to dictate (influence?) my behaviour, and managed to make the whole thing worse. With the other, I’m still in a safer position, determined to let it lie.

It’s scary though. When I think of people who habitually hold grudges, I feel sad for them, and a bit frustrated. Perfectly nice people who spoiled themselves, taking a nasty event into their spirit and letting it consume them just a little.

More than anything, I don’t want to be like them.

So how to escape the shackles of grudgebearing?

Dissolve the grudge energy

I can tell you right now, the only spiritual exercise I think worked to help with this is Ho’oponopono, an Hawaiian chant that dissolves the bad feeling and the negativity around a situation. I don’t even know if I ‘do it right’, I just chant the words (see the linked post above), sometimes focusing on my problems, and sometimes not. It’s a kind of spiritual place; a magic that overcomes and changes you.

The place you find yourself in is forgiveness.

See you there.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o rickmcnary.me/the-difference-between-forgiving-and-forgiveness

When meditation doesn’t seem to work for you, and how to boost its effects

The trouble with life is that it gets in the way of the spiritual stuff. Instead of chasing down enlightenment and locking it into place, the real world takes hold of you (unless you’re a hermit) and forces you into the pinball of daily existence.

Go to work. Fall in love. Change jobs. Move house. Have a baby. Have a third baby. Stuff happens. When are you going to fit meditation in there?

Even if you know that inside you is the capacity to be more spiritual, the things that happen are your life, and you’re here to live, so live it you do.

However, every time you meditate or do something else that works towards your spiritual fulfilment, you get a little bit nearer to enlightenment. To understanding what that means. The more often you do it, the more familiar it feels. It’s like creating a beautiful patchwork cloak for your spirit, one piece at a time.

Meditation brings me relief. Locked away from the world for 20-30 minutes, everything feels very peaceful. I presume it affects everyone differently, but I bet peace is a big part of everyone’s experience.

meditation2

Get an extra boost in your daily meditation

The 20-minute daily meditation that I wrote about a few weeks back is a silent affair, where all you need is a stopwatch, yourself, and the determination to do this every day for the rest of your life.

There are also videos on YouTube, and these may be guided meditations (watch out for the weird, creepy, or robotic voiceovers though), or there are videos of Tibetan singing bowls, or you can listen to binaural beats with isochronic tones.

I’ve noticed something about the effectiveness of the different types of meditation that I should share.

In the post about the 20-minute meditation, Leo said that it would take weeks or months to notice the benefits, and I disagreed, because I’ve always found it to be really beneficial super fast.

But having done 20 minutes a day for about 5-6 weeks, I haven’t noticed much difference in me in terms of the peacefulness I normally get. I have it directly afterwards, but it doesn’t seem to last or change the frenzied way in which I think.

So I went back to binaural beats for the last two days, and I’ve rediscovered the lasting feeling of peace and calm that I associate with meditation.

The 20-minute meditation is a good training ground for your spiritual practice, because it is as meditation is meant to be. Quiet and calm around you and in you, and nothing but peace.

Outwardly, the binaural beats couldn’t be further from that quiet place; there is constant sound throughout the track, but within the chaos there is a quiet and it’s easy to get the hang of it.  I know they open my chakras because I can feel it, physically, and I now get more out of them because I’ve become better at meditation because of my regularity of the 20-minute session.

They all work, there’s no doubt about that, it’s just a case of how powerful the experiences are for you. If you feel you need a boost, I urge you to find some videos that suit you and make your vortexes buzz.

But it’s always worth practising the plain video-free meditation to train your willpower.

Sweet life and bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o reikienergyhealers.com

Inline image c/o aboutmeditation.com

 

5 ways to improve your spiritual hygiene (yes, really)

Apologies for the hiatus, folks, but life has been wonderfully non-dramatic and ordinary. Little to write about on a spiritual level. There’s something comforting about ordinary. The mundaneities of everyday living bring a kind of Zen to the mind, and I’ve been doing exactly as I said in my last post: meditating every day for 20 minutes, without fail.

Okay, I’ve had a couple of fails, but I don’t feel bad about those. I’ve also had a brief emotional meltdown, which is why I write this article now.

One thing I’ve come to realise is that when spiritual hygiene is lacking, dramas start to creep in, so here’s my latest offering on the road to enlightenment, Maggie Moon style.

Improve your spiritual hygiene and uplift your life

So, spiritual hygiene. What’s that?

Spiritual hygiene is about keeping your multi-dimensional space clean. The yak of everyday misery, the jealousy, irritation and stress that so many people suffer from, all of this sort of forms like The Fog to clog up your systems and everything around you.

It’s a really good idea to clean up all that space around us on a regular basis. Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Wash yourself

Of course you wash! Most people do, but I reckon once a week, maybe on a ‘fed up’ day, a salt bath is a great idea. A couple of handfuls of proper sea or rock salt is best, mind; no chemicals in there till you wash your hair. When you get out of the bath, don’t pull the plug until your feet are both on the bathroom floor.

2. Wash your clothes (and hang outside)

If you’ve got a favourite sweater or cardi that you wear indoors all the time, don’t forget to wash it regularly. It goes with you through everything; you probably need to keep it cleaner than most pieces of clothing. Soak it in soda crystals, if the fabric will take it, and hang it out in a breeze and the summer sun.

3. Give your home a shine

I recently tidied my handbag out; I realise that was a sign of me needing to clear things out a bit. Must be three years since I did that last. My home is the same. It began to get very untidy last week, so I hit it on Sunday and felt much better. Mess is stress! I should know! I find this one pretty hard to do.

4. Smudge your moods away

Smudging really helps. Regular smudging seems to have a cumulative effect. The reason I know is because I did it daily for months. Then I ran out of sage for a short while, and then I didn’t get back into the daily habit again. Until this week. Let’s just say I feel a lot, LOT better today.

5. Burn incense and ensure nothing lingers

The smoke from the incense as well as the sage, helps to drive out any nasty fogness that has managed to cling on. The reasons for this might be that the smudging wasn’t thorough enough, or that the fog is quite strong. Incense like copal, frankincense and dragonsblood are all powerful cleansers of space. You can buy this kind of stuff at websites like Morrigans or find it at New Age type shops anywhere in the UK.

If you’ve never done any of these things, you stand to be amazed at the difference they can make to your everyday life. Everything just seems to be nicer and easier all the time.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o Joy Xi

You can meditate every day. For the rest of your life.

Seriously. It’s the everdayness that brings the benefits.

I watched this actualized.com video today, and realised it is the second kick up the bum I’ve had from the ether in the last week.

Leo tells us that in meditating every day, the habit of quietening the monkey mind enables us to create the mindfulness that changes our lives. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re rubbish at it. Just do it.

It’s the process – the whole twenty minute process – that matters. It doesn’t matter if you find yourself thinking; just let the thoughts go when you realise you’re thinking again, and distance yourself from them again.

Keep trying to still the ‘crazy drunk, stung monkey’ and keep letting the thoughts go as best you can. For twenty minutes every day, come what may.

Try Leo’s suggestion of the 30-day challenge, and see if you find yourself to be different.

Be blessed!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o wondergressive.com

Ditch your faith and embrace understanding instead!

Today  I am drawn to this quote:

“Forget about faith!” Chiang said it time and again. “You didn’t need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying. This is just the same. Now try again …”

It’s taken from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, a wonderful novella by Richard Bach that seems to expand with significant meaning every time I read it.

I was explaining my spiritual uplift to a friend of almost 20 years the other night; we haven’t seen each other in something like 5 years, and although she knew I’d always been ‘witchy’ she hadn’t known about the new world in which I now live.

Faith for me, turned into a big nothing when I walked up the steps out of my back door to perform a ritual to save my own life, late last year. When I started up the steps, I was still wrapped up in faith, because in my world at the time, although I’d seen a few odd things that might indicate a different paradigm, I couldn’t count those things as ‘evidence’ because they could be so easily explained in terms of real world actuality. I had planned my ritual all day; taken time and care over it, because I didn’t know what else I could do to deal with the issues that had risen in my life as a direct result of someone else’s jealousy and paranoia.

But when I asked my ancestors for their protection, they came. They were there, in the ether, as solid as you or I, and with such deep and meaningful love, I couldn’t ignore or refute it. As the actions of the ritual turned back the hatred that someone else had hurled at me, the real world was directly and undeniably affected. Things kept happening. Wonderful things. And I caused no harm elsewhere.

For me, the barrier of faith was no more, from the first two steps I took up and out of that door that night.

The magic and soulfulness of the world does still exist. It is still there. It is bound up with the Real as much as you and I. We don’t have to ‘believe’; just open our eyes and try to understand it. Because the more we try, the more we will see; and the moment when we step through the barrier of faith and see that our world and ‘that’ world are one and the same, intermingled and gloriously entwined, is the moment when our fragmented lives can come together in love and trust and joy.

What’s the spiritual message, then?

The message isn’t that you should drop everything and become ‘witchy’. Of course not. All roads lead to the same place; it matters not how you get there. Interpret the world according to what you think; learn to understand how it works. You don’t need faith for a spiritual uplift; you need to understand how to raise your own consciousness. No-one else can do it for you. A preacher can inspire you, but he or she can’t lift your consciousness for you.

When the pieces come together like an ethereal jigsaw; when the world suddenly makes sense on a level that you never expected; that’s when your spiritual uplift has begun.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o www.onedancetribe.com

Think yourself happy: 3 simple steps

Ever wondered why one piece of bad luck runs to another? Or why people who really live the lucky seem to get better and better lives? Do they? It probably seems like it when you’re in the thick of it.

But there is something in it.

The level of your being affects the level of your life.

1. Live the dream of forever happiness

Live the optimism, give yourself the emotions and the feelings that come with being optimistic – be optimistic!

The more you get those feelings of self-love, empowerment, and confidence that everything will turn out okay, the better you will do.

2. A little bit of what you fancy

One way you get yourself to feel these feelings (especially on days when everything has gone wrong) is by doing things that you know make you feel happy or contented.

While you’re doing them, consciously enjoy them. Really taste the coffee! Enjoy the ice cream!

Be present as often as you remember, because better mindfulness gives you more value from every experience.

3. Love every bit of your life

Put simply, it’s about making the most of what you’ve got. It doesn’t matter how much you have, all that’s important is that you have it.

That could be an experience, like a roller coaster ride, or a relationship, or material things like TVs and tablets … The most important thing is that you appreciate it; that what you have makes you properly happy.

That kind of thinking propagates good fortune, blessed luck, and good relationships.

Live it and see, if you don’t already do this!

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o nackynice.wordpress.com

Accept death differently (thanks to social media)

It’s a funny thing, death. Not ha-ha funny; weird funny. Especially when it comes to social media.

Blogging

Today I received an ’email update’ from a thing called ‘NetworkedBlogs’. It’s like a headline newsletter for the blogs of people I know. It has a ‘featured friend’ section, and for the second time in about three months, the friend was Jennifer L. Reimer, writer of the most excellent (and slightly insane-sounding) ‘Practice of Madness‘. And here’s the thing (you guessed, didn’t you?). Jen is dead. Passed on. However you say it. She succumbed to death in fairly tragic circumstances over a year ago. She was a larger-than-life character through her writing, and I never met her in person, but some of the things she wrote stayed with me. She was an eternal psychology student, from what I could tell, (possibly a PhD) but her life and pain got in the way.

Bejewelled Blessing

There’s a girl on my Bejewelled Blitz leaderboard, who will never ever have any points again. She was a beautiful, humble character, and I’ll never forget her shyly dazzling smile. Gaelle’s social media ghost is still present, but the quietly glamorous lass who sat in the centre of my kitchen one party, one eye closed because she was so drunk, emitting peals of laughter at everyone’s drunkenness, has gone. The gap is palpable.

Like me or not

If you’ve ever ‘liked’ a Facebook page, you’ll know that when you do, Facebook presents you with ‘send an invitation to your friends to like this page’. It’s a slider with all their happy smiling faces (babies, pets, nice landscapes). My aunt who only passed away last year keeps determinedly appearing on that list as if insisting she wants to be part of the gang.

Birthdays are great remembrance days

The Facebook birthdays app brings up people I knew at school but had lost touch with until the Social Machine forced us to know each other again. Now some of them are gone, they haunt their birthdays, still alive and remembered for more than just a playground fight or a snog 30 years ago, because we get a new chance to be reminded of their adult lives, annually. I’m often glad of that chance, but that I am surprises me too.

Who went where when?

One aspect I find weird about death on social media is that if it wasn’t for Facebook I wouldn’t have known some of them at all, never mind that they had died. Even school friends from way back when. I wouldn’t even have known they had gone.

A different paradigm of death (and life)

The more I learn about death in a spiritual context, the more fascinating it becomes. When I asked my ancestors to protect me, they came. As if they were just standing outside my vision my whole life and when I called to them by name, they stepped forwards and were just there, like a negative imprint in the ether. They were full of love, and it was quite overwhelming. It’s as though spirits wait quietly in line until their next incarnation or their next reunion with other members of their soul group. My experience of greeting my grandparents after they had long since passed on changes my whole view of death because their lifeforces don’t just drain into an unimaginable nothingness. They are just there. An armslength away, looking out for you. See, they hadn’t forgotten me. They hadn’t died and moved on, no longer interested in the lives of those they loved; no longer connected. No. They were emotionally connected to me. So there’s something in the idea of a soul group. I think it might be a Catholic concept; the idea of collections of souls, called monads.

Ever get that feeling?

Some people, when you meet them, their character and attitude feels so familiar, but you know you’ve never met them before. I suffer from seriously strong deja vu, especially around people. To me, people have a hum. An inaudible buzz at a certain pitch – the pitch and tone are individual. I think that’s the source of my deja vu. I’m comforted at the thought of waiting awhile between lives and then having another go if the time is right.

Death is not the end

So now, when I learn someone died, I do feel sad for them, but I also think that they completed whatever they came here to do this time. And that it likely isn’t that bad, being dead; probably a nice rest for a while. I guess love is an energetic connection, not just an emotional one. It’s good to remember people, no matter how weird Facebook makes it, right? 🙂 Stay happy! Maggie Moon

Get the benefits of meditation without sitting still!

Today I have to tell you about Ho’oponopono (ho-oh-pono-pono). As I promised you (and the Universe) a couple of months back, I’m here to share with you my spiritual uplift, and my path now leads me towards understanding the nature of love, gratitude and forgiveness.

I’m not saying I know it all; just telling you what I find out as I go.

I came across Ho’oponopono in about 2011, and it was described to me as something you can say every day, in any order, in English, and thinking about any issue that you have at the time. What happens when you say it is subtle in the extreme. You might not feel any different at the time. But just like with meditation you find that somehow things are different afterwards.

All you say is this (it doesn’t matter what order you say the phrases, just find one that is comfortable for you):

I love you.
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

When my mother had cancer, I said it whenever I found myself imagining the worst.

When I had difficulties with my dog, and I was frustrated with both her and me, I said it.

My mum is still here, insh’Allah, and my dog-girl and I now have a bond. These weren’t the only times I used it, but they bear as decent examples.

This isn’t whizz-bang magic, it’s everyday stuff, like spiritual glue. As with meditation, Ho’oponopono changes you, not the world around you.

All that’s needed is for you to say it. Say it when you’re stressed, when you’re sad, and when you have issues you don’t know how to handle. Say it anyway, even if you have none of those challenges to face.

I treat it like a mantra, repeating it over and over for a couple of minutes a day, but I don’t know how it’s traditionally used. I just know that inside the words is an intention, and that grows within you as they’re spoken out loud.

Why Ho’oponopono works

I’m not pretending to you that my way is the same (and has the same effects) as the traditional Hawaiian practice that has been done for thousands of years. If you change any part of a spiritual ritual, however subtly, you change its effects.

My way is probably as dilute as they come, but I promise, it still has a positive effect.

Each English phrase represents the essence of these four things: love, repentence, reconciliation, and gratitude. They come from the heart chakra, the place where your emotions, your desire to belong, and your need for love and to be loved, are found.

When you open up your heart to love, apology, a desire for reconciliation, and gratitude for everything you have, you open up your world.

Bright blessings, as always!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o bluebutterfliesandme.wordpress.com

2 things gurus won’t tell you about meditation

It’s time to be honest with you.

Meditation is hard as fuck.

It’s not just as easy as ‘sit down, assume the lotus position, forefinger-to-thumb, close your eyes, let’s go’.

What people forget to tell you when they’re spouting about the benefits of meditation is this:

When you plan to do meditation, stuff gets in the way

You miss the bus on the way to your meditation class. Two weeks in a row. You get food poisoning the next week.

You sit down to do it by yourself, lights off, dog quiet, phone on silent, binaural OM playing in your headphones. 15 minutes in, someone calls you, and instead of remaining silent, your phone knocks the track off and beeps persistently till you pick up the call. Then you can’t go back to it because your dinner’s nearly ready.

Or, it rained all day. Ice rain when you took the dog out. Now try to feel like meditating.

When you don’t do meditation, crap happens.

The less you do meditation, the more BS things seem to happen in your life, and how can anyone face meditation (and spiritual nourishment) when the electric bill needs paying and there aren’t enough working hours available?

Reminds me of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Again.

But if you do the meditation, fully engaged with it, the real life stuff doesn’t affect you in the same way.

So, if you’ve had a meditation practice before but fell out of tune with it, I urge you to hop back on and give it another try. If you’ve never done it before, c’mon in, nobody peed in the water! No-one’s going to laugh at you if you do it wrong.

It turns out you won’t do it wrong.

It isn’t how ‘good’ you are at meditation; it’s the regularity that counts.

And by the way? Meditation is easy (to an extent); the hard bit is getting yourself sat down with no distractions for 20 minutes.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image OM Tree of Life Meditation by Laura Iverson c/o fractalenlightenment.com

5 unusual ways meditation WILL improve your life

Something I’ve noticed lately, is that meditation seems to ‘work’ in a variety of ways. It doesn’t just have one function.

1. You might have heard that meditation is a time to ‘download’ information from the Universe … or just to form whole thoughts about how to handle the ups and downs of life. But if you’ve got a pressing problem and you’ve taken to meditation to figure it out, don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with the answers straight away.

Sometimes the answers will come in a different way from what you expect. Sometimes 2-3 days later. Don’t be disappointed, just keep asking!

Regular meditation carries other benefits, though.

2. Your life drops into place. Everything becomes easier, but it isn’t those things, it’s you.

3. It’s because meditation changes your attitude. Whatever negative thought patterns you normally repeat, meditation allows you to pause and stand back from your life, to take a look at it from its farthest edge.

4. So it also gives you more clarity to help with decision-making.

5. And best of all? It empowers you, to face up to your choices and your life and enjoy them or change them, because somehow being present with your candle flame or just your eyes shut and the sound of ‘om’ can deliver a kind of fortitude that boosts your survival rate out in the real world.

If you build your own fortitude through meditation, it becomes clear pretty quickly that you get way more bang-for-your-buck than through finding strength in other people.

Suck it and see! If you don’t find what I’m saying is true, you can always stop 🙂

Love you and thank you

Maggie Moon

 

How to not be needy

What’s the opposite of ‘needy’? Self-affirmed?

Someone needy presumably looks to others to fulfil their needs, but a person who is self-affirmed, i.e. not looking to others to affirm themselves, does not.

I just had a chat with a great friend, and I was really glad I did. I had been thinking about her for a few days, but wasn’t sure how to start the conversation because we’d had so little contact over the last year. She lives on the other side of America, so it’s not like I can just pop round for coffee.

When we parted our conversation, she initiated the ending, and then we trailed on for a few more parting shots, until I ended it. I was decisive; I have a book review to write, and she has a book to edit, but for me this type of decision even existing in my world is something new. It used to get left to the other person to make a break for it.

I’m not as needy any more.

Before, I might have carried on those parting shots endlessly, subconsciously taking advantage of knowing my friend doesn’t want to feel bad by not responding. When you need to affirm yourself through other people, you can’t let them go. Not off the telephone and not in the big events of your life.

I thought back to the last relationship I had, and realised that as my insecurities grew, so did my neediness. My lover found it quite hard to get off the phone from me. But I was already pretty needy before he came along.

self love

How to beat the neediness

My personal self-affirmation now has come with the spiritual uplift I’m experiencing. Maybe one caused the other. But somehow I’m better able to let people go right now, and it only adds to my feeling of self-empowerment.

It’s about being comfortable with yourself; not needing to draw off others’ emotional energy to feed your own well -being. Instead, you know and trust that you’re a valuable person, no matter what the other person thinks of you. They don’t have to stay on the line with you indefinitely to confirm that for you.

I totally recommend it. Meditation helps.

And by the way? You’re still a valuable person, even if you do stuff that’s a bit less than par. Even if you’re needy! We all do things we’re not really proud of, but if you value yourself, it’s easier to see what you’re doing and change it if you don’t like it.

Brightest blessings!

Maggie Moon

neediness

C/O nytimes.com

Featured image c/o Jill Culver via gypsycult.com
Inline image c/o mimiandeunice.com via jennyblake.me

How to raise your vibrations (and easily feel happier)

Today I discovered Teal Swan and her massive number of videos on YouTube. And since it’s my duty to drag you through my journey of self-discovery and offer you ways to help yourself, I’ve posted below the particular video I watched tonight. I’m going to have a lot of fun sifting through her vids and seeing what else I like.

Raising your vibrations

A lot of self-help and spiritual books talk about your vibrations and your frequency, and if you’re familiar with that being a reference to your body’s energies, then you’re on the same wavelength as me.

But how do you raise your vibrations?

My mum asked me that once, years ago. There’s a monthly Wiccan rite called Drawing Down the Moon. It’s a full moon ritual, and the copy that me and my mum have tells you to raise your vibrations.

Neither of us had any clue, but we figured, if you concentrate on what you’re doing, and all your intentions are light and bright and beautiful, that surely has to do the job?

Well, according to Ms. Swan, it’s even more simple than that. All you do is think positive, happy thoughts, and feel the emotions. Feel happy, feel in love, feel loving. Remember what I wrote in my post about Feeling the Love and sending it outside of yourself? Same thing. Actively feeling love for the world.

We’re on the right track, guys! 🙂

If you get a negative thought, observe it. Notice it. Don’t resist it and feel angry and frustrated that you’re thinking it … just look at it.

I find myself doing that a lot lately. I’m one of those drivers that just wishes for open, clear roads, so as a consequence, I nearly always get stuck behind three tourist cars and a double hay wagon. In fact, when I worked in an office, I got such a hang-up about being late and getting stuck behind things that I nearly always manifested an endless slow line of traffic to follow, just as I was getting into my car. Completely involuntarily and, of course, much to my massive frustration.

And that’s why noticing your thoughts, including the negative ones, is a great idea. That negative I always get stuck behind something, I can’t believe how late I am *cry* actually manifests into real life.

Now, I don’t know if I’m the only one in the world who does this (something tell me that’s unlikely), but some of my negative thoughts are horrible, not just mean things about a less confident driver in front of me. About people and animals I love, dying horrible, unnatural deaths.

Obviously I don’t want to manifest anything like that. But if you connect emotionally to the thought, and start feeling the sadness and grief that you would feel if it was real, it picks up power and strength from that.

But we’re on to it, so it won’t get away with that now!

Scrub out the negativity

I have a method for ‘scrubbing out the thought’ that I picked up from some witchy book 20 years ago. As soon as I realise what I have thought, instead of feeling the emotion that you might expect to come with that horrible, negative piece of nasty, I splash an X of white paint across the image or the words and release it. I don’t have to try not to think it again. If it comes back, I do the same thing again. No biggie.

Teal Swan mentions the Observing Mind, where she describes how you stand back from your thoughts when you get a negative one, turn it over without judging it, and release it.

That’s basically what the white paint X does, and it gives you something active to imagine, rather than having to figure out what ‘turning over the thought without judgement’ actually means.

Once the thought is covered by the white paint, there’s nothing to look at anyway; the whole thing is a mess, white paint and messed up nasty thought all over the place, so there’s no point in holding on to it. So let go. Release it.

Happy thoughts, folks!

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o louisdietvorst.wordpress.com

Divine Source, or God?

I’ve been thinking about the concept of God lately. Not just God; not ‘a’ god; but how the concept of gods presents itself across different religions and spiritual practices.

A very dear Christian friend said to me the other day that ‘God is everything and God is in everything’. It was a response to my telling her that The Divine is in everything and we are all part of it; and she kinda brought me down to earth with a clunk of familiarity. Church may be a distant memory, but I went till I was 17 and I still know the hymns at a funeral better than most.

It got me contemplating the meaning of God, because I think the concepts differ across different types of religion in a fascinating way.

The Divine Source instead of God

Sure, I think of the divine source as being:

[Creator] above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:6)

So I replaced ‘One God and Father of all, who is …’ with Creator. I want to remove the God and Father bit from the equation for now. But look at the remainder of the sentence.

It says that my concept of the divine source is the same as the Christian concept of God.

Except: I have ‘met’ two gods this year (goddesses, in fact), with distinct personalities, and even … agendas. Despite the bizarre methods of contact between us (I’m still getting used to the psychic stuff), the exchanges were almost … businesslike. In fact, there was no ‘almost’ about any of it. Certainly businesslike in tone.

I’m not going to drivel on about my ‘spiritual experiences’ but I know what I saw and felt and what I didn’t see.

The different aspects of the divine source

I grew up on a reading diet of Greek and Roman myths, interspersed with westerns, sci-fi, and fantasy, and it’s always been my understanding that in polytheistic religions, each god represents certain parts of the All. So, for example, Apollo was the sun god, with all the fiery positive aspects you might imagine that sort of symbol to hold for people. If you wanted to do well in business, you could do worse than pray to Apollo.

To me, gods and goddesses are incredibly powerful beings; as real as you or me, just possibly on some different plane or dimension (I’m still pretty hazy about all that stuff); but they’re really distinct from one another.

They’re aspects of the divine; different characteristics. Sure they can raise ships from the deep and affect the weather really badly, and I think you could regard them as omnipotent, but ‘all-powerful’ probably comes with the god territory. It’s standard. They are of the Divine, they are divine, but they are not the Divine.

My breakaway from Christianity

One of the reasons why I know Christianity will never be for me again is the thought of the Ephesians verse quoted above. Because to me, Jehovah has utilised the concept of the divine source to his followers, and of course it makes beautiful sense to them, that One God is the answer to everything. It says it everywhere you look in the Bible, but I rediscovered the One concept in modern spirituality … as the divine source.

But to me the divine is not a god. It’s more than the gods, it is the gods, and it’s nameless.

Gods have names. My ‘experiences’ this last 12 months were with the Morrigan, and Brighid, for two entirely unrelated reasons. Very recognisable, and very businesslike. The Christian/Jewish god is Jehovah. Allah is the name of the Muslim god. And of course, the one-god religions all call their god ‘God’ to indicate that there is no other god.

Anoia - the Goddess of Things that Stick in Drawers

Anoia – the Goddess of Things that Stick in Drawers

There are other gods in my paradigm of the universe. I don’t know if they evolve to eventually become some inscrutable part of the divine, but their (to me, proven) existence turns the basic concepts of Christianity and Islam into a parody of what I understand to be real. To me it feels like the Bible and other venerable books are no more than propaganda on behalf of one particular god in each case.

The late, great Terry Pratchett wrote an entire novel about gods. His concept was that there are hundreds of gods, but they become bigger and more powerful the more people pray to them. So there are a lot of small gods worshipped only by a handful of people.

“When you can flatten entire cities at a whim, a tendency towards quiet reflection and seeing-things-from-the-other-fellow’s-point- of-view is seldom necessary.”
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

I honestly think my view borders on Terry Pratchett’s position. Only he’s funnier.

How come the universe is so complicated?!

God Thought for the day! 🙂

Maggie Moon

Inline image c/o sixteentons.deviantart.com please go buy his stuff, it’s cool.
Featured image c/o reachingforsoul.wordpress.com

 

 

Feel the love: Tibetan singing bowls

If you’ve read many of my earlier posts, you’ll know I consider myself to be experiencing a ‘spiritual awakening’ or ‘spiritual evolution’ right now. This is an ongoing process that has changed the way I approach life, amongst other things.

I made a series of small, but hopefully permanent changes to the way I live, because I know that a small change inside of me will create huge changes to my external life. So far, so good. I get on with other people better, I feel good most of the time, I am ‘present’ in my life most of the time (not thinking too much about the past or the future) and life in general has taken a turn for the better. Those big externalisations have been happening!

One of the changes I made was to introduce daily meditative practice. I found that if I did something different each day; maybe a guided meditation one day, contemplative candle-staring another, casting a happiness spell over my home on a darker day, or learning about something new, like crystals, or tarot cards; the sum of all of these things was aimed to continue the good work I was doing on myself.

Last week, I thought maybe I was overdoing it, so I missed a couple of days.

I didn’t notice any negative alterations to myself or the way I was feeling, so I guess I felt okay about it, and I’m not keen to introduce guilt into my spiritual practice, so I didn’t waste time on those kinds of thoughts.

However, today I felt the need to meditate. And I’ve never felt that before. I put it ahead of the rest of my evening activities without even contemplating an alternative. I was keen to do something progressive, so I wasted a good 30 minutes skimming through YouTube to find something that resonated with me.

In the end, I came back to the Tibetan Singing Bowls, by templesounds. There are two versions of each chakra meditation by templesounds. The one I have linked to above is the one where the bloke instructs the listener, but the other version is without words and I love that one just as much.

The revelation

Doing this meditation for the first time in at least a couple of weeks, I realised what happens as you listen. By opening up your heart chakra (like a green spinning ball or a green lotus flower) and reaching outwards to all the people in the world  – not just those you know you love, but everyone – you attract a huge amount of positive love back towards you.

But how do you open your heart chakra?

Concentrate some attention on your heart area, and maybe imagine your chakra down there, spinning away.

Think about someone you really love. Your mum, favourite brother, your lover, a friend, whoever.

Think about the way that feels, almost physically, around the edges of your being. To me it’s like the tips of my energy field are lit up, like there’s an outline of light around me, except that it’s not light; it’s love.

And once you’re aware of your love and your light and the way it makes you feel inside, concentrate on maintaining those feelings.

Expand the feelings outwards; send your light out – not away, just outwards. Still feeling love, think about the world of people out there. Fixate on a country, or a group of people, or some people you know; whatever lights your candle 😉

In a really quiet space, somewhere in your being (remembering that your inner space is infinite, while your external space is not), access the gentle hum of love. It’s like connecting to a battery, but instead of pulsed electricity, it’s pure joy.

Think about that. Pure joy. Out there for you to grab hold of, any time you like.

Bright blessings!

Maggie Moon

Image c/o templesounds.net