Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
This Day Our Daily Goddess|
Posted: February 7th. 2004
Times Viewed: 5,823
Work. School. Family. Friends. Bills. Hobbies. Community service. Our daily routine pulls us in so many directions, it sometimes seems impossible just to breathe, relax, and connect with the Goddess.
For Wiccans and Pagans, connecting with the Goddess often means performing a ritual in which we invoke the Goddess, the God, or aspects of Both. But rituals, while magnificent, often take planning time and energy. Depending on the week we're having, these things may be precious commodities. After working or going to school all day, performing a ritual can seem as appealing as scaling Mt. Everest. Even those blessed with the time and the energy for frequent meditation and ritual work may find there's something missing from their routines. The "pit stop" of a ritual may not be enough to see them through the day.
No matter our schedules, every one of us can do more to integrate worship of the Goddess into our daily lives. Worship need not be elaborate; it can be done while walking to work, waiting for a bus, standing in line at the grocery store, or on a coffee break. Here are just a few ways you can sneak some time with the Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Hurry Up and Slow Down!
While people who write books tell us to work smarter, it seems the world wants us to work harder. Everyone - teachers, bosses, spouses, parents - wants you to do as much as you can, as quickly as possible. Most of us aim to please, so we comply: we eat while reading a book, or checking email; we take stacks of work papers or homework back to the sanctuary of our homes; we occupy our brains with some stressful problem as we weave our two-ton vehicles between lanes of heavy traffic.
Soon, life ceases being a journey we should experience, and becomes a race we must endure. The beautiful things about this world pass by our attention, unnoticed. The very work at which we sought to be more efficient becomes shot with mistakes, as inattention and fatigue take their toll. In some cases, as in the driving example, our inattention can harm ourselves and others.
The Goddess is within every thing, every thought, every action. She is manifest within us and around us; there is not a thing our eyes can behold that She did not birth into Creation. When we rush, this glory passes us by: a tree is just a tree, a human being just an obstacle to our success. Our first order of business, then, is to increase our awareness of ourselves and others by slowing down. We do this by tackling one task at a time, keeping our attention focused on the matter at hand until it is complete. When it's time to move on to the next task, we put our attention fully on that. When it's time to drive home at the end of the day, we concentrate only on driving - on the speed of our car, the other cars on the road, any pedestrians who are coming into view.
Many people worry that they will get much less done when they adopt this principle. In fact, the opposite is true. Psychologist Mihaly Csiksentmihaliy has spent his career investigating the concept of "flow", or optimal experience, and has shown that people work their best when they enter a state in which they are focused on a task to the exclusion of other concerns. People who slip into flow tend to make fewer mistakes and get more done than their "multitasking" colleagues. Ironically, if you're looking to get more done, perhaps the best thing you can do is slow down!
Ultimately, however, the practical benefits of slowing down pale next to the spiritual. Appreciate each thing in its turn, and you will see the Goddess unfold from within.
The "morning prayer" is part of the religious practice of millions of people across the world. Practitioners of the Biblical religions will generally start their mornings by cracking open the Bible and pondering an inspirational passage, something that will help them abide in God for the rest of the day.
Often, devotees of the Goddess have no fixed Bible. This is good news! It means that the world is your oyster, and that you can draw inspirational readings from thousands of traditions across the world. To start your morning devotional readings, pick up a book containing hymns to the Goddess (and/or God). Patricia Monaghan's The Goddess Companion is an excellent choice. Monaghan has selected one poem in praise of the Goddess for every day of the year. Mount the book on your altar, and read the current day's poem whenever you wake up in the morning, and also ponder Monaghan's thought-provoking notes beneath the text. When I find a poem that particularly fascinates me, capturing my unspoken image of and devotion to the Goddess better than most others, I commit it to memory so that I can invoke Her even when I am far removed from the family altar.
If you want to take a more personalized approach, such as reciting poetry to a Deity to whom you have dedicated yourself, consider starting your own scrapbook of devotions and hymns. You can record them in a blank notebook or "Book of Shadows", or print them out from your computer. (A three-ring notebook will work wonders here. Stock it with lined notebook paper, or buy a hole punch so you can slip your computer printouts into it.)
Read the passage over several times, until you don't just hear it in your head, but *feel* it in your body. Feel the Goddess working both inside and around you; feel your devotion to Her swell. Bottle this feeling and carry it with you as you shower, cook breakfast, or get the kids ready for school. If you can, revisit it later in the day, such as when you come home from work - or read it at the dinner table, in place of your evening blessing.
Repeat a Mantram
Several months ago, while perusing the Religion section of a used book store in Seattle's University District, I happened across Meditation: An Eight-Point Program by Sri Eknath Easwaran. While some of Sri Easwaran's advice was a bit too austere for my Pagan sensibilities, I was inspired by Sri Easwaran's compassion, selflessness, and love for God. In particular, I owe Sri Easwaran a debt of gratitude for introducing me anew to the Indian concept of the mantram.
"A mantram," writes Sri Easwaran, "is a spiritual formula of enormous power than has been transmitted from age to age in a religious tradition." Mantrams are designed to be repeated, over and over again, whenever we need to experience the presence of the Divine. You may already be familiar with this technique in another form: Pagans often use mantrams as chants during rituals. There are several good standards mantrams from which to choose:
She changes everything She touches; and everything She touches, changes.
For I have been with you from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
Isis, Astarte, Ishtar...
As with the devotional reading, you may also select a short, evocative phrase pertaining to your patron Goddess. Select wisely - once chosen, you should stick with your mantram for many months, even years. The mantram becomes most useful when it is repeated often; it is a bridge between your conscious self and your deep Self, and repetition only makes the bridge stronger.
While Easwaran suggests reciting the mantram silently in your mind, other forms of mantra yoga involve chanting the mantram. I like to practice both at various times throughout the day. Reciting the mantram silently means you can invoke it anytime, anyplace, without the people around you backing away as if you're disturbed and dangerous. But chanting the mantram in a deep, resonant voice, from the diaphragm, gives it a physical reality that can be quite powerful indeed.
Whenever I have a free moment during the day, I recite my mantram, deepening my devotion to Her with every repetition. The mantram comes in quite handy during moments of boredom or anxiety - such as standing in line at the grocery store, when our minds start to fret over the bills we haven't paid, or how the cashier is making us late for the Bjork concert. Reciting the mantram refocuses our mind away from fear and hate, and on to love for the Goddess and all of Her children. By slowing our lives down and repeating our mantram, we can reduce much of the stress that plagues us - and become better, nicer, happier people in the process.
Ah, to sleep. No matter how busy we make ourselves, our bodies force upon us a period of rest - and with it, the gift of dream. As the conscious mind winds down, the latent subconscious awakens in an explosion of vision and revision. Every evening brings with it the opportunity for a rich spiritual experience in this Dreamscape.
This sounds easy in theory. In practice, our devotion to "keeping busy" makes us sacrifice this much-needed sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 61% of all Americans "get by" on less than seven hours of sleep a night. Dreamwise, these one- three lost hours of sleep are our most productive. Many people with whom I've talked also report having poor dream recall. Sometimes, this is an indicator of depression. Often, you can coach yourself to better recall within a month's time.
Start with a full night's sleep - eight hours, no excuses. Stop living "the Myth of Our Fast-Paced Times"! This is a Myth you and I have created for ourselves; it is a Myth you and I have the power to shatter. Avoid caffeine and alcohol several hours before bed. If you find you don't wake up in the middle of the night, set your alarm to wake you up around the four- or five-hour mark. Jot down in a notepad any dreams you've had up until that point, and then return to rest. These last few hours are when you'll enjoy Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and will do your most productive dreaming.
Once you've re-balanced your sleep cycle and improved your recall, it's time to orient your dreams to thoughts of the Goddess. As the old adage says - Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you fall asleep worrying about how you'll pay your bills, or obsessing over a problem at work, these anxieties will show up in your dreams in various ways: your teeth will fall out; you'll be late for a plane or bus; you'll find yourself back in school with your homework uncompleted.
A great way to still your mind for dreams is to repeat you mantram in your head. Keeping concentrated on your mantram is difficult when your mind is drifting off, but with a little practice, you'll be able to keep it up until the moment you lapse into deep sleep.
Another technique is to invoke a specific guidance, either for general insight or for an answer to a particular problem. Scott Cunningham's book Dreaming the Divine tells how to create an invocation to a Goddess for just this purpose. (Several months ago, I wrote such an invocation for Inanna.)
Within weeks, you should start experiencing dreams with a spiritual bent. I have met with the Goddess several times, often in guises (such as a respected teacher from school) that don't reveal themselves to me until after I wake. Sometimes I behold the Universe in a state of wonder: an earthly-bright landscape that's alive with Divinity, or a starry sky that reveals in a single glance the Machinery of the Universe.
And other times, I become lucid. In a lucid dream, you are conscious while you are asleep, giving you practically limitless freedom to explore, to fly. It is a thrilling spiritual experience - like finding yourself free after fifteen years in captivity. You may find you can have such experiences on your own, without any training. If not, Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge will give you several techniques to take your dreaming to this next level.
Living Your Creed
If you follow a spiritual Path, you must understand what you have undertaken. Dedication to the Great Goddess - or God, or Horned God, or any Deity - is not a twice-monthly affair. To worship truly, you must keep the Goddess in your thoughts daily, and devote whatever time you can spare to honoring Her and fathoming Her Mysteries. You must build your character, and learn to love yourself - and yet also be ready to leave yourself behind, and see the Universe through Her eyes. For Her eyes are your eyes, and your hands are your Brother's and Sister's hands.
We have been told that this is a lie. It is hard, even painful, to unlearn this. My Great Hope is that the techniques outlined in this article may make your Journey a little easier.
Location: , Washington
Bio: Kensho Godchaser (a.k.a. Jay Allen) lives in Washington State with his soulmate (wife) and five children. His Path focuses on Hindu Shaktism (Goddess worship and devotion), and aims for personal and global enlightenment through the arts of Sacred Play and meditation. In his spare time, he writes for his web site (http://www.KenshoGodchaser.com/).
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