The Long Night

The darkness of the longest night of the year has fallen upon us. Like a comfortable cloak, it wraps itself around me. I am standing watch through this night to the dawn of new light with a kindred spirit, Lady Imbrium. This is not much of a chore as I like the night for its peace and quiet.

The candles and the colorful lights of the Yule tree give the room a warm glow. It isn’t the same as sitting around a hearth fire, but it’s close enough. The weather forecast is calling for strong winds by early morning. Howling winds would complete the wintery atmosphere often associated with this time of year. It is a good time to stay inside and rest… rest like the earth.

I hope the winds come from the north or the west. Daughter RavynStar told of a Chinese goddess called Xi Hou who is the mother of ten suns, in her blog yesterday. She also tells of a Chinese belief that winds from the east or south at this time are considered an ill omen, but winds from the north or west are favorable. The prevailing winds where I live come out of the southwest which has often brought mixed blessings, so maybe there is something to this Chinese lore. Regardless, any wind at this time of year in northeastern Vermont is generally cold and best accompanied by a hot cup of tea.

The dark cycle of 2012 seems darker than previous years. Perhaps it is due to the so-called Mayan doomsday prophesies. I have been surprised at the number of people who seem to have succumbed to the media hype. It is rather reminiscent of the Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds.” It was a well known story when I was in school, but it may have been forgotten by the modern purveyors of media. A lesson forgotten does NOT qualify as a lesson learned.

While there seems to have been a subtle “madness” in the behavior of the general population this year, there was nothing subtle about the madness that created tragedy in Connecticut seven days ago. The public response to this real-life episode out of a horror movie has been (naturally) emotionally charged and reactionary. Unfortunately, the preventative measures being suggested seem unlikely to succeed because they appear to be addressing the symptoms rather than the causes of the underlying problem: our society is ill.

If this seems far-fetched to you, consider that these things are layered on top of the on-going effects of an economic collapse four years ago, concerns of global climate change and “peak oil,” and the endless rhetoric of ridiculous politicians pressing towards a “fiscal cliff.” People are simply stressed-out… extremely! Why wouldn’t they be?

Irresponsible and unscrupulous media sensationalizes anything that might make money, including alleged doomsday prophecies. Irresponsible and unscrupulous leaders want to tax the poor and suffering to solve our economic problems while protecting the rich (even when some of the rich admit that they should be taxed more!) These leaders have the same profile as King John in the Robin Hood tale, and they do not even try to hide it. How can anyone fail to recognize that our society is ill?

The dark cycle of 2012 does seem darker than previous years, but it is time to prepare for the dawn and the reversing of this trend. How can we reverse these trends? Let’s discuss that… the day after “doomsday!” Blessed be.

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Magic Is…

Magic is a tale that mesmerizes with mystery and suspense, and enchants with romance. Magic is the instruction of histories and traditions that enlighten us about our roots. Magic is the humor that brightens every countenance. Magic is the story that inspires us to great deeds. Storytelling is a grand tradition among people, and even though it has progressed from the oral to the spectacular 3-D productions of the silver screen, it is still the art of the Bard.

Magic is the dance. Gather around the fire and let the beating drums move you. Feel the release of the spirit as you move with the rhythm in the light of the dancing flames. Release the chant the comes forth from the depth of your soul with the up swelling spirit. Magic is a sense of “belonging.” Feel the connection with the place, its people, and the dancing flames. Fire is magic. Learn the dance of Life; the Dragons’ Dance.fire

Magic is Spirit, for Spirit is Life, and Life is magic. Spirit flows freely. It is contained within every living thing and that which isn’t, for Spirit is not contained by the rules of humankind. Spirit permeates the Creation, so magic is everywhere. That some cannot recognize it simply means their senses are dulled.

Magic is subtle and refined. The Third Hermetic Principle is simply stated, “Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.” The highest vibrations are subtle and refined and generally attributed to “The Divine.” The lowest vibrations are gross and crude and attributed to the solid matter of the physical realm. It is those who choose to dwell exclusively in this lower realm that claim magic doesn’t really exist; it is all smoke and mirrors. Accustomed to the forms of their “science” of the physical realm, they try to dissect, examine, classify, quantify, and explain the subtle and refined. They then use their failure to explain magic as evidence that it doesn’t exist. They imprison themselves.

To understand magic, you must elevate your awareness of the subtle and refined; you must elevate your spiritual vibration. Coincidentally, the Nazarene taught the same principle as recorded in John 3: 3-8. In all the lore of humankind, the Nazarene was a great adept who still has a large following. Ironically, most followers do not understand His teachings and deny magic as they continue choosing to dwell exclusively in the physical realm. That these souls are as blind as the ones who crucified their adept only heaps more irony upon a large stinking pile of irony… or is that just coincidental, too? However, this essay is not written for them. It is written for those who sincerely struggle to elevate themselves.

To elevate awareness of the subtle and refined, we must strive to abandon the forms of the physical realm. Magic cannot be explained in the technical form you might use to explain the nuclear reactions taking place in the core of the Sun, or the psychological behavior of a child. Do not try to explain magic through understanding garnered by physical senses. Understand that Spirit calls unto spirit. Spirit speaks to you through your inner senses. Open your inner self (heart) to the words, visions, and dreams that Spirit uses to communicate with you. Employ the tools of this physical realm only in the physical realm.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Magic resides in the breath. You are inspired with Life when you inhale. You speak and sing by exhaling. In this manner, the blessings of Life can be given. Speak the words that open your own heart and elevate your vibrations. This is a very important principle that is best explained by something you will discover sooner or later: magic is not something we do; magic is what we are.

In this Winter Solstice, let new light be brought into this dreary world through us. Through charms and enchantments, let us become charming and enchanting. The goblins and trolls that prefer the dark lower realms have ruled this world for far too long. Let us celebrate Yule by letting our lights shine brightly. Be magic!

Mark These Days Well

The great hunter has arisen. The clear sky of a crisp night reveals Orion watching as the Dark Lady moves among you. Soon the Sun will enter the house of the Archer, and Her day draws near. Mark these days well.

The second day of December is Arianrhod’s day. The Sun will mark the center of the great silver wheel in the heavens above as we move towards the Winter Solstice. Yule is the darkest day of the year. Mark these days well.

Waste no words as She passes among you. She knows well the vanity and treachery of your kind (1). She cried out from the high places where paths meet (2), but few heard Her voice, and even fewer answered. Look not to your Lord for salvation, for She has been with Him since the beginning (2) and there is no salvation for the foolish. Mark these days well.

Mark these days with silence and respect; keep your empty words. Let the small light and warmth of a simple candle remind Her of the light and warmth of a humble spirit, instead. If you are beset by life’s travails, set your light in a window to assure that She sees it. Mark these days well.

Know the true reason for a festival of lights in these dark days. While Yule is the darkest day of the year, it is also a turning point. The days that have been growing darker start to grow brighter. Let this be a turning point in troubled times as well. Mark these days well.

Seek the favor of the Lady Arianrhod in hope that she will place a favorable geas upon you, for a geas can be a blessing, a curse, or both. Honor Her in silence that you may hear the voice of Wisdom. Attend Her passing and you may discover why this Dark Lady is also one of the three beautiful maids of the Isle of Prydein (3: see Triad 107). You may discover the Path of Beauty if you mark these days well.

References:

1) Math the Son of Mathonwy: The Fourth Portion of the Mabinogi

2) Proverbs 8 (NIV)

3) The Triads of Wales or Prydein (see Triad 107)