Just an FYI this site will be going down for maintenance in the next couple of hours. Should be up by tomorrow. I apologize for any incovenience.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just for Today, I Will Be Kind to Every Living Thing

Thursday, September 30, 2010
The last in my series on the Reiki Principles and how they can apply to parenting, is this principle. And like yesterday this is a principle that could possibly offend people. Because aren't we all kind to people and other living things?

I know, again, that I am far from perfect. Anger and me have an old relationship. While I have learned to control much of mine, it still can get out and make me say and do things that I shouldn't do. But I am working on being a good example for my kids. 

But on the other hand you can be over kind to living things. There is a story of a Buddha; where he told one of his disciples to draw him a bath. The disciple went and found the tub full of bugs and since he couldn't hurt them he returned to the Buddha. Who of course asked him about his bath. When the disciple told him of what he had found and asked what to do, the Buddha said again, 'draw me a bath'. This was repeated multiple times until the disciple realized that we can't not hurt everything all the time. And as long as we don't go out of our way to harm things then there are allowances made. 

Now again like yesterday I would love any comments and thoughts that you can share.

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just for Today, I Will Be Honest

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
When I decided to write this week long series on the Reiki Principles and children, I knew that this principle would be the one that gave me the biggest problem. I know that we are all honest and if not I don't want to be the one to say it.

But that being said I am going to jump into this with both feet first. So don't be angry and leave. Just leave me some comments, I can deal with criticism.

Our children are always watching us, whether it looks like that or not. So when we deal with the world they are learning how they should deal with the world. This includes the little white lies that some of us (me included) tell to avoid either people of the tasks that they may saddle with us.

So I don't have a lot of room to preach here. But I recognize that I am not perfect and I do strive to be an example of honesty at all times, but especially when my children are watching.

And I guess that the title of today's post is for me just as much as it is for some of you out there. Please give me your thoughts on this topic. It would be much appreciated.

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just for Today, I Will Be Grateful

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Continuing on my series on Reiki and children, we come to the third principle. Be Grateful.

I don't know about yours but my children seem to be growing up faster and faster. I'm waiting for the day that as I watch them play, they grow a foot in a matter of seconds. It seems that in just a few years, they are going to be grown and having children of their own. (For reference they are 6 and 10).

Yes, I know that this sounds facetious but if you are a parent, then you probably know what I am talking about. The world around us is speeding up as well and we are definitely not getting any younger.

While I know that it is difficult with all of the stress in our lives but we do need to take time to be grateful for the blessings we have received in our lives, especially our children. Because, like I have pointed out, they will be grown and apart from us before we can blink.

I'm not going to go into any lists on how to be grateful, because I think we know how to do that. I just wanted to remind you to take some time out to do just that. Light a candle and sit for a moment, strike up a conversation with the Deity(ies) that you follow and say thanks. Then make sure to let your kids know how much you appreciate them.

Hope your week is going well, Blessed Be!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reiki and Children Pt. 2

Monday, September 27, 2010
Yesterday I introduced this series on the Five Reiki Principles and how they could apply to parenting. Specifically I covered the first of these five principles; Just for today, I will not be angry. And how this applies to being a parent. And  Today I wanted to move onto the second principle which is, Just for today, I will not worry.

As evidenced by the overabundance of helicopter parents, worry seems to be the theme of parenting in our modern times. Now sometimes that worry is necessary with the unique stresses that our age puts upon us. But like yesterday we cannot let that worry rule us.

I have for a long time said, that I am not raising kids. Instead I am creating adults. If we worry over our kids and try to save them from any pain, then they have learned nothing. They must learn by failing, because eventually they will learn why they failed and correct it. All our job is, is to teach and encourage them to get back on that horse.

But dealing with worry can be a daunting challenge in the best of times. So here are some ideas on dealing with worry.
  • The first step in dealing with worry is to notice it and then let it go.
  • Like anger, the next step should be, to breathe.
  • Don't 'self-medicate'. If you worry so much that you need to smoke or drink to deal with it, then find someone to talk to.
  • Nurture that which is within. Meditation can work wonders on helping us to find our center. 
  • Cut off the TV. We don't have cable in our house and aside from the cost savings, we don't have the bombardment of worry from society.
If you guys have any other ideas on dealing with worry. I would love to hear it from you guys. This is something that we shouldn't have to deal with alone. Just remember that Just for today, I will not worry.

Blessed Be!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reiki and Children Pt. 1

Sunday, September 26, 2010
For those of you who don't know, Reiki is a healing practice using the energy of the Divine. It is practiced by many Pagans and New Agers (is that a word?) alike. And it is also taught to massage therapists and to nurses as therapeutic touch. Now I know that is a real simple definition, so any Reiki practitioners out there, please don't shoot me. Thanks.

But all joking aside, Reiki practitioners espouse Five Principles. Combined these Principles work to make one a better person so they in turn can be a better healer. How can we heal someone, or in this case act as the channel to do that healing, if we are not pure of thought and action?

A while back a friend of mine posted for a few weeks the Five Principles individually as her Facebook status. This got me to thinking about how they could be used to remind us how to be better parents. This article comes from that thought.

So without further adieu, here are the Five Principles;

Just for today, I will not be angry
Just for today, I will not worry
Just for today, I will be grateful
Just for today, I will be honest
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing

Today I wanted to just focus on the first and then move on to each of the others in turn, as this week moves forward.

I will not be angry.

Just five simple words but sometimes the best of kids can lean on your button or buttons in some cases. They have great skill in finding all of them. And I like to think that even Job, in his great patience, probably got at least a little exasperated with his children.

We all get frustrated and maybe a little angry at times. This doesn't make us bad parents, it makes us human. We all undoubtedly have busy lives and in our world they are probably stress filled as well. So after a day of fighting the grind, we don't want to come home to children who misbehave.

But we cannot allow our anger to rule us. So here are some tips to help us, Just for today, to not be angry.
  • Take a break. Put some distance between you and the situation. This will probably help with the misbehaving child. 
  • Breath. Remember that we are all human and make mistakes. 
  • Learn to act and not react. Count to ten before you speak or make a decision. Make a conscious decision to nip anger in the bud.
Now I know that today's topic won't apply to all of you. I have talked to some of you in email and the like and you seem like fantastic parents. But I hope that this might help some of you.

Blessed Be!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mabon Time Activity

Thursday, September 16, 2010
I live in Florida where we really don't have a Fall. It gets cooler but most if not all off the trees keep their leaves. But I know that many places are already moving towards fall and their leaves are changing.

So in that spirit I wanted to suggest a nature walk. Mabon is all about the bounty of the earth being harvested as it comes to full bloom. So enjoy the wondrous beauty of nature.

But while you are out there make sure to collect some things for the children's Book of Shadows. Collect some milkweed pods to decorate the house and altar with at Yule, to attract the faeries. Find some exceptional pretty colored leaves to hang for this Sabbat and the next.

If you happen to make it out, share some of your experiences with us here.

Blessed Be!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The God Mabon or Maponos

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The Sabbat Mabon is the time of the Dark God, who is still a youth. He has not become the fearsome God of Death or the joyous and wintry Holly King, but he still rules over the darkness of the coming winter.
A lot of evidence points to the idea that the name for this Sabbat is after the Celtic God Mabon or Maponos. Mabon means "great son", the child of Modred whose name means "great mother".
Mabon was also portrayed as a minor sun God, yet he represents the power in darkness. His images transcend all the life stages of other Gods. He is a king of death and the Otherworld, a deity of the harvest and fertility, and was once called "The Divine Youth" by his followers. He represents innocent youth when young, strength and virility as a young man, and the sacrificial God when elderly. He was also, in some stories, given power over storms and foul weather. Either to rule them or to dispel them.
In Irish mythology, his counterpart would seem to be the Macc Oc, who was the son of Dagda, Father of the Gods. And was frequently portrayed as a trickster and a lover.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mabon Recipes - Part Three

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In some places the weather is poised to become cooler and as such, many of us will be looking to be making soups and stews. So I have decided to give at least one recipe for stew. The other recipe is just a tasty way to use the bounty of the harvest.

Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups water
  1. Dredge beef cubes in flour until evenly coated.
  2. Melt butter in saute pan and saute coated beef cubes until evenly brown.
  3. Transfer beef to slow cooker and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, cloves, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in water and stir.
  4. Cover and cook on Low 10 to 12 hours or on High 5 to 6 hours. Serve hot!!
All Things Harvested Pot Roast
  • 4-5lb pot roast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2-10oz cans French onion soup
  • 4 large potatoes, quartered
  • 1-8oz package raw baby carrots
  • 1-16oz pkg. frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
In dutch oven or oven safe pot w/lid brown both side of the roast, using half the butter. Set the roast aside. With remaining butter, saute' the onion, garlic, and celery until onions are tender and beginning to brown. Add the the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and pepper. Mix well and then return the pot roast to the pan. Sprinkle salt over the roast and add the french onion soup. Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Baste meat as needed. Add potatoes and carrots and salt to taste. Cook for another 45 minutes. Add broccoli/cauliflower mix and cook for 20 more minutes. Serve with hot bread.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taking Time to Remember and Give Thanks

Sunday, September 12, 2010
Last Monday I spoke about taking time to rest and today I wanted to speak on the subject of taking time to remember. To remember all the things that this year has brought us so far. The good and the bad and the 'just so'. As I have been saying Mabon is a time for our attention to begin to be turned inwards and this is just another form of that reflection.

This year in my life has been one of growth, both personally, spiritually and in the physical realm. I am well into my second degree work and during that time I have been spending 90 days in each of the elements, currently being in Earth. This blog has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to all of you. I have started an Yahoo group recently, the Pagan Village, for Pagan parents to come together and share their life experiences. Through the weekly discussions and other random emails this group is beginning to take shape. And I hope that more of you and your fellow Pagan parents come over and join in.

On a more familial note my daughter has completed and been evaluated for her first year of homeschooling and passed with flying colors. Through my degree work and my wife's we have grown closer and strengthened our family as a whole.

While I don't expect to know all of your personal details, your dirty laundry so to speak, I do hope to hear from some of you on the good things that have come to you this year so far. So please comment and/or email me.

Blessed Be!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mabon Activities -- Gathering of Herbs

Thursday, September 2, 2010
Since Mabon is coming up soon, I figured that I would talk about one of the other things that you can harvest at this time; Herbs. First I wanted to talk about what one needs to gather them. Traditionally a Wiccan would use a boline, white handled ritual knife used for cutting. But really any knife will do as well. You will also need a basket or other similar thing to put the herbs in as you gather them.
In respect you should say a small prayer to the spirit of the plant that you are harvesting. For example, it can be as simple as the following:
Spirit of (name of plant that you are harvesting)
I ask of you to give a part of yourself to me
For aid in my medicine or magick
You should also only take what you need and only take a little from each plant, so that the individual plant does not suffer or die.
Whether planted or harvested wild, gathering herbs can be a worthwhile activity. I'm interested to see how many of you engage in this activity.
Blessed Be!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Children's Story for Mabon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
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.