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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mythology Synchroblog 4: Children's Story for Mabon

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Mahud of Between Old & New Moons has brought us together in an another Synchroblog. This topic being; On Otherworlds.
This post is just one of the many other posts found in this fourth Mythology Synchroblog. Here is a list of those other bloggers.
To me the Mabon season is the perfect time to talk about journeying through Otherworlds, specifically the Underworld, because in my spiritual tradition this is the time that the Goddess leaves the world and begins her journey to Summerland to find the lost Sun King. She subsequently returns as Samhain, infused with light and pregnant with the Newborn Sun.
In this myth I see many parallels with our own eventual journeyes through the Otherworld. As She faced the monsters on the dark paths throught the Underworld. So shall we all face the monsters within, on our own journey to find enlightenment. One of the other parallels in this myth si the finding of the Sun, the light of the world. Now while most us wont' be repsonible fo r the rebirth fo the Sun; each of us, if we choose to take the Journey, shall find the light of our world. Shall find the enlightenment we are supposed to experience in this lifetime. Th elight that will finally chase away all the Shadows that we clin to and strengthen through the fear and shame we feel about them.
I am a firm believer in working diligently to incorporate the Shadow aspects of our personality into a whole, and more complete person: And so this why I believe that a journey into the Otherworlds is an important one. For the Otherworlds, while existing as a place outside of us, also exists with each and every one of us.
This being said I wanted to share with you the current installment in my series of children's stories about the different Sabbats. I hope that you all enjoy it.

"Grandfather, is the next story of the Gods, the one for Mabon, is it sad?" asked the little girl as she looked up with tears in her eyes. "I don't know if we can take another sad story"
The Grandfather paused for a moment and looked down at her upturned face and said, "The next two stories are sadder then the last. But they only make you sad because you have forgotten how it all ends and begins at Yule."
"You mean the rebirth of the Sun King and the Goddess becoming young again?"
"Yes children that is exactly what I mean. For you see there must be sadness if there is to be happiness or we wouldn't appreciate it. There must be winter for every summer so that everything can have a chance to rest.
"And that is what this Sabbat is about. It is the finishing of the work to prepare for the winter. The harvest of the fruit and vine and the storing of supplies and repairing of tools and such.
"But it is also the time that the Goddess leaves us on her annual journey to the Underworld in search of her lost love, the Sun King. For with his death, the magick that they had laid in the Spring had began to fade and Winter was coming fast. And this was a fitting time for her to leave because the fruit that is harvested is like her. They are the womb that holds the seed with a promise of new life. And she is the same.
"So She went to the shore and lit a bonfire of the sacred woods and began to chant and to dance. Longer and faster did She dance. Around and around she spun and finally Her spirit lifted from Her body and began its long journey down into the Underworld.
"I will not speak of all the scary things that she faced. From Giants and Ogres to Dragons and other Wyrms all seeked to block her way. But none were strong enough to block her path. For she came in love everlasting and of course, having been this way before, she knew the ways to avoid most dangers.
"But finally She came to a pool glowing with Golden Light and the scent of roses filled the air around Her. She had finally found her lost love. But he slept with the sleep of Death on the edge of the pool.
"With Her voice raised in song, she began to wash the body of the fallen Sun King. She sang of power and love. Of racing across the green grass in spring and the warmth of the Sun in late summer. The smell of all the flowers in bloom and the feel of swimming in cool water on a hot summer day. All the things that the Sun King could bring back to the Earth if he only lived.
"Finally after what seemed an eternity the Sun King awoke and looked at Her and smiled. 'My Goddess,' he said, 'I have not the strength to return in this body. I will not survive the journey back into the land of the living. But I will dissolve my body and go into you as a spark of life that you can foster and grow until the time is right and ordained.'
And with a last breath He did just that. With a burst of light his body turned into energy and infused the Goddess, further aging her but giving her the strength to make the new Sun within her.
"And so with this She began her journey back to the land of living. Now see children there is always hope even in the darkest of times. The Sun has begun his journey back to join us in the land of the living. And the Goddess while apart from us is soon to return."
With this the children smiled, for the story wasn't as sad as they had expected it to be. And it let them know that all was going to be OK.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pagan Virtues -- Patience

Monday, August 25, 2008
Probably one of the hardest things for anyone to learn. But also one of the most important lessons to learn. My spiritual teacher always talks about Wicca and the organic method. Meaning that things happen in the time and way they are supposed to happen, we just have to be patient enough to wait for it to happen. Now this doesn't mean that we can sit idly by and wait for the bills to be paid. Rather it is to take life one day at a time and to just let things flow.
For a long time I struggled against the flow of the Universe and the Gods, so I can attest to the fact that things will change and happen if we are just patient enough.
But how do we teach this to our children? You can start small. For example, in the Spring, my family is planning on buying a "butterfly from caterpillar kit". The act of waiting that my children are going to have to endure will be almost more than they can bear. But through waiting for the reward they will learn some small measure of patience.
I'm interested in hearing about different ideas from all of you. So go ahead and comment and let me know what you all think.
<--part 4 part 6-->

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pagan Mealtime Prayers

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
To me there is nothing more important then prayer in our daily lives. But I also know that sometimes we don't know what words to use. So I have put together some prayers that I have found and some that I have wrote to help us thank the Gods for the bounties of the Earth.

Flesh of my flesh
Blood of my blood
As I eat of this bread
And drink of this wine
So do I do of you
Blessed Be!

Breakfast time

Mother Earth (or Goddess of your choice)
Thank you for my breakfast,
It will give me energy to last,
And, make me as strong as a ships mast.

Lunch time

Mother Earth (or Goddess of your choice)
Thank you for my lunch,
I really needed this noontime munch,
To give my energy an extra punch.

Dinner time

Mother Earth (or Goddess of your choice)
Thank you for our evening meal,
All day long you've helped me a great deal,
It is your Great Love we feel.

A Simple Thanks

Lord and Lady, watch over us,
and bless us as we eat.
Bless this food, this bounty of earth,
we thank you, so mote it be.

A Prayer to the Earth

Corn and grain, meat and milk,
upon my table before me.
Gifts of life, bringing sustenance and strength,
I am grateful for all I have.

Celebrating Meat

Hail! Hail! The hunt has ended,
and meat is on the table!
We honor the deer who feeds us tonight,
may his spirit live within us!

Invitation to the Gods

I set a place at my table for the gods,
and ask them to join me here tonight.
My home is always open to you,
and my heart is open as well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pagan Virtues -- Devotion

Monday, August 18, 2008
In my continuing series on Pagan virtues we come to Devotion. So what is devotion? I define it as the following and worshiping of the Gods, and all that that entails. I have recently talked on the importance of faith and I believe that faith is an important part of devotion. For if we do not have faith how can we have devotion. It would be worshiping Gods that we do not believe in.
Yet how are children supposed to learn devotion? Here are some ideas to try:
  • Have them look for the Gods in all things
  • Pray regularly (and if they are old enough then have them meditate regularly)
  • Include them in your own personal worship
  • Read to them about mythology
I say the first because they must learn to recognize the touch of the Gods on the world and the secrets that they whisper to us. If they cannot see Them then they cannot follow Them. This is also part of the fourth on the list, they must know the Gods and their stories if they are to worship and follow them.
The other two are pretty self explanatory. It is simply encouraging the act of worship. Devotion and faith will often follow from these things.
So what things do all of you do to encourage devotion in your children?
<--part 3 part 5-->

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pagan Virtues -- Humility

Monday, August 11, 2008
The third item in my series on Pagan Virtues is humility. Humility defined as the state of being humble. I know that definition does little to explain this virtue. So let us move one and define humble; having or showing awareness of one's defects.
I think that humility is something that is missing in our culture. We are afraid of letting our kids lose, at anything. They have done away with keeping score and/or lowered the standards in school, so that no one's self-esteem is damaged. And what has been the result? We have a generation of children with no drive. They do not understand that they have limitations and so they can't understand why they fail in the real world.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not advocating ruining a child's self-esteem. But rather I am encouraging parents to let children try, and possibly fail, on their own without interference. If you instill perseverance in your children and not let them quit, they will overcome any obstacles to to finish something.
The youth of today have been described as cocky and to full of themselves. This is another symptom of the lack of humility in our children. They don't know that they aren't invincible and perfect because we have never taught them to know it. If we don't let them fail and try again then they will not learn any kind of awareness of their defects.
Blessed Be!
<--part 2 part 4-->

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chemical Free Home Cleaning

Tuesday, August 5, 2008
With us living in a world engulfed in all sorts of chemicals, shouldn't the home be a place that isn't quite so toxic?
I have found and listed below some recipes for different cleaning supplies, that you can make and use. Just make sure to check a small area to see if any of these cause any discoloration.

Window Washing Cleaner Recipe
Combine the following in a clean unused spray bottle
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
  • 2 cups of water in a spray bottle
Non-abrasive Microwave Cleaner Recipe

Mix together in a microwavable cup and microwave to a boil. Allow to set in the microwave for five minutes and wipe microwave clean.
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup of water
All Purpose General Homemade Cleaner Recipe
Combine the following in a clean unused spray bottle
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • 2 cups of warm tap water
Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

Sprinkle a light dusting of baking soda over your carpets. Allow to sit for thirty minutes. Vacuum as normal. Make certain that your carpets are dry before you use this.

Mold and Mildew Remover Homemade Cleaner Recipe
Combine the following in a clean unused spray bottle
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 cups of warm water
Unclog Drains Homemade Recipe

Pour 1/2 cup of white, distilled vinegar down your drain. Let stand for twenty minutes. Pour 4 cups of very hot water in drain. Next pour ¼ cup of lemon juice down your drain. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour an additional 4 cups of very hot water in drain. This will unclog your drains in the kitchens or bathrooms and remove odors.

Pet Stain Remover Recipe
Combine the following in a clean unused spray bottle
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 4 cups of warm tap water
courtesy of associatedcontent.com

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pagan Virtues -- Charity

Monday, August 4, 2008
In my continuing series on Pagan Virtues, we come to the virtue of Charity. This is one can be of the more difficult to instill into your children. It has been my experience that one of the things that children learn early is "mine" and "me". Now while there is nothing wrong with children developing a strong sense of self, this can quickly lead into egoism, vanity and in the worst cases bullies.
Don't get me wrong I am not saying that your children, or any children for that matter are naturally selfish. But it is the role of parents to make sure that they don't turn out that way.
So how can we manage to teach children how to be charitable? Well first, I think, we must define what is meant by charity in this case. So to answer this, I will again quote Webster: benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.
The love I speak of is not just passionate love, or even brotherly love. The term for this love is Agape. Defined as the selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature).
I know, its a mouthful, but what better lesson can you teach your kid then love?
Now to relate back to what I said at the beginning, children start off being obsessed with me and mine, so for them to not just be tolerant of others but to love them and to have goodwill towards, they must have good examples i.e. Parents.
Teach your children to love others and to do nice things for others. It has been my experience that to make them do so, is a wrong choice. They will only rebel. Point out the world around them and step back to give them chances to develop a sense of Charity for their fellow man.
Blessed Be!
<--part 1 part 3-->