Saturday, 26 November 2011

Post No. 342 - Idiots and idiotic things I have known

I was involved in an argument recently with someone who was blocking a driveway into a carpark that quite a few people needed to access, and who were forced to queue out on a road during peak hour as a result. Not a fun situation all round. Since then, I've been watching people on the roads (which I do anyway :) ) as I drive to work from the point of view of stress and the press to hurry in modern life, and the urge to do things faster is really quite clearly problematic. (Mind you, my handling of this situation was not helped by my levels of stress, frustration generally and exhaustion - it has been an incredibly busy week.)

As part of the discussions I had to try to resolve the car parking problem (which, incidentally, were unsuccessful - so I am parking in the street until the morning's batch of insanity is over, then, during smoko, moving my car into that park), one of my colleagues made a comment to the effect that, although communism had been seen to fail, capitalism wasn't doing much better.

Both of us are very much aware of the push to compete and be more efficient in a capitalist market - the price of doing work goes down, but at the price of increased stress on workers, particularly the ones who are less successful. The capitalist argument is that less efficient workers need to find other work, but I posit that the "less efficient" worker may simply be incompatible with the pace expected in today's workplace, and thus - since that pace is expected everywhere - actually have nowhere left to go.

I know of engineers and other professionals who left their work with the advent of faxes becasue the pace had become too quick and the pressure and stress excessive - before the fast pace associated with emails, Twitter and so on. I am also well aware that people have been wanting to drop out of the rate race for many decades at the very least - not to mention going on spiritual and other retreats for millennia. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Movement and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Sauntering_Day.) Shortly before I wrote that, I had a request (during my working day) to do another rush job within a few days.

The pace of the modern economy and "being competitive" is not good for our health.

I also consider our levels of expectations (the bigger house etc) are ALSO very bad, largely for the environment, but that is a topic for another post.

It was interesting, therefore, in light of the foregoing, to read the following in an article on the excellent "The Conversation" website (at http://theconversation.edu.au/):

"In the very 800 page book to which Lukin refers, Chomsky writes in the tradition of George Orwell about terms like “free enterprise” and “free world” which are designed “to insinuate somehow that the system of control and domination and aggression to which those with power were committed were in fact a kind of freedom.” "

That came from an article titled "Chomsky, linguistics, politics and a response to an unfair allegation", at http://theconversation.edu.au/chomsky-linguistics-politics-and-a-response-to-an-unfair-allegation-4391.

I think he has it right. Unfortunately, many of the decision-makers in society, especially too many politicians and business leaders, are innately pushy, insensitive sods, and have to be that in order to get to the positions they're in - they may genuinely see nothing wrong with making a single parent terrified of losing a job if she or he tries to limit working hours so they can do a good job as a parent, or of less confident drivers being stressed and worried by narrower roads or parking spaces. Nevertheless, the fact is, anyone who contributes to such stress is incurring negative karma.

What is the solution? Well, it starts with individuals simplifying and slowing down their lives as much as they can, and being prepared to speak out about this (when it is appropriate - especially on issues of opulence, so, when a friend says, for instance, "isn't my new care magnificent?" a reply might be "do you really need it that big and flashy?"), and, maybe, eventually the media will start picking up on this and then it's just a hop, skip and jump (meaning probably 40 or 50 years) to politicians making some necessary changes ....

Don't hold your breath - breathe normally, in a slow and relaxed manner :)

And on that note, I'll leave it - although I've just today had the experience of a flatbed truck driver stopping in the right lane of a major road during peak hour so he could pick up a few sheets of material from a shop, causing massive disruption to others, and creating a risk of an accident. Yes, this was clearly stupid (there was a service road he could have used), but could it also be (i) a reflection of the pressure to be quicker ("more efficient") in everything, and (ii) the uncaring attitudes of people in power that I mentioned?

There are times when I look at the tailgating, intersection-blocking, late-stopping-behind-other-cars, etc, etc, etc, and think ... would this planet be better off if this bunch of stupid, selfish creatures called human disappeared? Well, yes, probably - but there are signs of hope, mostly that not all humans are stupid and selfish (some are even not either :) ). Still, it is something to ponder: why are so many people incapable of doing something as simple and courteous as obeying the road rules? They're there for good reasons ... why do so many people just not get it?

There are few articles which might contribute to your breadth and depth of thought as you come up with you own opinions on this, and I have one final point after these. They are:

- "Rare victory for workers whose dignity was cut to the bone", by David Whyte, 25th November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/rare-victory-for-workers-whose-dignity-was-cut-to-the-bone-20111124-1nwwj.html

- "What's mine is yours: the rise of the 'share' market", 14th November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/trends/whats-mine-is-yours-the-rise-of-the-share-market-20111111-1nb3a.html

- "Helping hand or not?", 31st October, 2011 (read the Wikipedia links, including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese, as it appears things may not have been as bad as initially reported)
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/blogs/godless-gross/helping-hand-or-not-20111028-1mnjf.html

- "Troll-attack campaign goes viral", 8th November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/trollattack-campaign-goes-viral-20111108-1n4j4.html

- "War and peace: bullets, batons - then 'jaw jaw' ", by John Silveester, 5th November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/war-and-peace-bullets-batons--then-jaw-jaw-20111104-1mzwb.html

- "Invading, not investigating, has led to a decade of violence", 3rd November, 2011 (this won the "Sydney Peace Prize", apparently - which I am not familiar with)
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/invading-not-investigating-has-led-to-a-decade-of-violence-20111102-1mvje.html

- "Toughing out the teen age shouldn't be such a rough ride", by Tania Ewing, 3rd November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/toughing-out-the-teen-age-shouldnt-be-such-a-rough-ride-20111102-1mvkm.html

- "'Pit bull' of skinheads endures agony to remove tattoos and start a new life", 2nd November, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/world/pit-bull-of-skinheads-endures-agony-to-remove-tattoos-and-start-a-new-life-20111102-1mug6.html
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_People%27s_Project http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/.
Also keep in mind that tattoos can be for positive purposes - in my case, there is a sp[iritual purpose to all but one of my tattoos.

- "Austerity not the only way", 30th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/world/austerity-not-the-only-way-20111029-1mpj2.html

- "Fizzy drinks linked to aggression", 25th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/fizzy-drinks-linked-to-aggression-20111025-1mh6q.html

- "A space that needs occupying", 21st October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-space-that-needs-occupying-20111020-1ma6c.html

- "In the cutthroat world of sport, it's the simple gestures that tell a lot", 20th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/in-the-cutthroat-world-of-sport-its-the-simple-gestures-that-tell-a-lot-20111019-1m80c.html

- "Young hearts of darkness", 10th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/young-hearts-of-darkness-20111009-1lfo8.html

- "Seeking a creed of decency", 10th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/seeking-a-creed-of-decency-20111009-1lfm7.html

- "No one's perfect, not even parents", 6th October, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/no-ones-perfect-not-even-parents-20111005-1l97o.html

- "Greed of boomers led us to a total bust", 26th September, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/greed-of-boomers-led-us-to-a-total-bust-20110925-1krki.html

- "Australians arise - and kindly stop your whingeing", 24th September, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/australians-arise--and-kindly-stop-your-whingeing-20110922-1klpt.html

- "Bad to the bone", 20th September, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/national/bad-to-the-bone-20110919-1khts.html

- "Boomers go bust over kids", 11th September, 2011
http://www.theage.com.au/money/planning/boomers-go-bust-over-kids-20110910-1k2rs.html

Remember, I neither necessarily agree nor disagree, partly or wholly, with any links I post.

Now, my final point .. I once heard someone say (sorry - "pers. comm." [1], so no link :) ) that he wished educated people would breed more, so the world wouldn't get dragged down by - my words - lower class people breeding like rabbits. Well, I would lie to see more evolved people on the planet, and certainly more people being raised by caring, attentive, skillful parents would help (and THAT is what I see as the problem being perceived by this person, not IQ - and anyway, EQ is more important), but after weeks like the one I've just had, I am almost tempted to say "yeah ..." ... after all, someone else (sorry - can't find the link) once theorised that advanced civilisations like the Egyptians popped along to leaven the rest of humanity, to reverse the tend of the rest of us towards atrophy/decay. Hmmm ... again, after the week I've just had ... maybe ...

But then again, maybe not - maybe it is all just the cycle of ages known as the Yuga's.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")

Notes:
  1. "Pers. comm" is an abbreviation from the world of technical literature: it stands for"personal communication", and means that the person being quoted has expresed the point directly to the author, noit in publicly available literature

Tags: society, evolution, selfishness, irresponsibility,

First published: Laugadagr, 26th November, 2011

Last edited: Saturday, 26th November, 2011

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Post No. 341 - Handling sceptics

I recently was asked how I handle sceptics. In a nutshell, my answer was leave 'em be.

I feel no burning need to prove anything to anyone - I suspect much of such desire for proof is due to inner doubt anyway, but I also have a view which is based on an acceptance of survival after physical death, and reincarnation. That means that people don't HAVE to desperately attain perfection in one lifetime, or necessarily even get all their lessons completed successfully in one go: we have all eternity before us.

Of course, neo-Christians would probably say they have all eternity in hell or heaven, but I still consider that they should allow others their choices and their free will - which they attribute to being a gift from Deity, after all.

In fact, Christianity is the only path I've ever been on (and that was only because of my parents expectations when I was a child) that had any expectation of converting others - Wicca and paganism generally don't ... Buddhism doesn't in the way neo-Christian fundamentalists do ... No, I think leave people to their free will choice.

Of course, if someone genuinely wants to discuss something, that is fine. But I have a few tests and conditions on this.

Firstly, discussing and - if it is appropriate - challenging, is OK: attacking is not. I recall many years ago someone I knew asked if she could discuss my faith with me and then said "right - well, prove it!" That is not discussing a matter - that is attacking.

Secondly, I expect people not to get emotional: if they become angry, or upset, they are clearly not ready to have a discussion, and - once again - I will not allow a situation of psychic attack, as is usually the case in such circumstances.

Now, if people are sceptical, there is probably a good reason for that - for instance, they may have been too gullible in past life and are trying to compensate now (and over-compensating, but that is a trap we all can fall into), or they may have incarnated for the noble (I mean that genuinely, not sarcastically - I've seen too many people played for being a sucker) purpose of trying to get others to be less gullible (note that this point does NOT necessarily imply that they have themselves been too gullible: as indicated, it may be a task they have taken on themselves), or they may have been charlatans in a past life and have to balance things out karmically.

So, I don't try to prove psychism or anything else. People's concept of what is adequate "proof" vary, and I simply cannot be bothered these days. What I DO do, however, is make sure I don't create situations where I am putting myself in a corner. I qualify statements, I never gush, and I think about what is happening in situations and with regard to people's motivations - I'm wary.

There are too many important things in life to get hooked up in a battle with sceptics (or "Skeptics"). Leave 'em be - they have the right to be what and who they choose to be, just as we do. If they're influencing someone unduly, you can present a counterview, but do dispassionately and FULLY, GENUINELY AND ABSOLUTELY prepared to have the person you are talking to choose to disbelieve you. That is their free will choice, just as it is your free will choice to have the beliefs (well, knowledge :) ) that you do. We all have to get along with each other in this world, and fighting over proof of psychism is just contributing to the energy of conflict that afflicts this planet. Let it go.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")

Tags: attitudes, Psychic attack, scepticism, gullibility, emotions,

First published: Tysdagr, 22nd November, 2011

Last edited: Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011

Post No. 340 - Weekend and breathing

We visited a friend in the country last weekend. While we were there, I did my usual breathing exercises in the morning, and came to a couple of conclusions.

Firstly, the alternate nostril breathing I do (see here - but I am able to do the 8:32:16 ratio now, when you read that link) seems to be a way of pushing back at the negative energy which is pushed in on us as a result of daily life. What this means is that, if I do enough breaths per day, maybe I can start to reverse some of the damage done by the stresses and strains of life. (Currently I am doing 22 per day - 22 being the number of the "Master Builder" - I was doing 11 per day, which is the number of the "Humanitarian"; maybe I need to sneak this up to 66, which is the number associated with regeneration, according to the numerological study I have done :) [there are a multitude of numerological systems, by the way] )

The other thing I noticed was that this was much harder than normal. Now, I didn't have my crystals with me, but also, we were staying in a hotel, and I had to deal with the energy that had been left there by others (that would have been easier if I done my normal clearing ritual). If I was permanently living in such a situation, I would expect to have to do more breaths per day in order to achieve the clearing I mentioned at the start of this post.

Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")

Tags: breathing, clearing, energy work, rituals,

First published: Tysdagr, 22nd November, 2011

Last edited: Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011

Post No. 339 - New Moon in Sagittarius

On the 25th we have a Dark Moon that is associated with a partial eclipse. This Dark Moon is close to the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius, but I consider that the New Moon will definitely be in Sagittarius, and that is what I have based this ritual on.

The essence of the ritual is:


Sagittarius is a positive, mutable fire sign with associations of freedom, exploration, expansiveness and self-expression. A New Moon in Sagittarius is therefore an ideal time to consider a spring-cleaning in your attitudes towards yourself and any ruts in your life.
Invoke (by chanting their names with increasing vigour) the runes Kenaz (for passion), Sowelu (for, in this case, changes) and Ehwaz (for movement).
When you have a resolution, chant something along the lines of:
As a fire leaps out of wood,
may I too
leap out and go forth,
daring to be free and greater.
Devoke (by chanting their names with decreasing vigour) the runes Kenaz, Sowelu and Ehwaz.

The full ritual is:


All rituals consists of 5 major parts, which you will notice below are segmented into the five elements. Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit, but not in that order. Each Elemental correspondence has its own unique role within the ritual.
In most cases they are broken down as follows:
· East – Air – Athame – Opening – This is the basis of preparation, introduction of the ceremony.
· North – Fire – Wand - Invocations – This is the basis of invocations, prayers of the ceremony.
· Spirit – Centre – the ritual itself.
· West – Water – Chalice - Offerings – This is the time of offerings, libations, and honour
· South – Earth – Pentacle – Closing – This is the time of devocation and opening of the circle.
THE RITUAL
Phase
Actions
Words (if wish to provide guide or use particular words)
People
Overall direction of ritual:
Ritual leader
Collate items required:
· Cauldron and match
· salt, water
· athame
· copy of order of ritual / running sheet / speaking notes
Ask for and brief volunteers
Air – East - Athame OPENING
Cleanse salt, water, incense and fire.
Charge salt, water, incense and fire.
Cleanse and charge area.
Participants waiting outside to Ground and Release, and make sure watches are removed and mobile phones are turned off.
- hand over water, visualise yellow-white light from hand into water, 3 Clockwise, to the south, circles while say
“Behold, I exorcise you, O creature of Water, casting out from you any impurities which may lie within!”
- hand over water, visualise blue-white light filling water, 3 Sunwise (to the north, anticlockwise) circles while say
“And I do bless and consecrate you to this work!”
- hand over salt, visualise yellow-white light from hand into water to force out negativity, 3 Clockwise, to the south, circles while say
“Behold, I exorcise you, O creature of Earth, casting out from you any impurities which may lie within!”
- hand over salt, visualise blue-white light filling water, 3 Sunwise (to the north, anticlockwise) circles while say
“And I do bless and consecrate you to this work!”
- add three pinches salt to water (to make Holy Water) and say
“Behold, the salt is pure! Behold, the water is pure! Purity into purity then, and purity be blessed!”
Walk Sunwise (to the north, anticlockwise) and asperge (sprinkle with Holy Water) while visualise filled with yellow-white light.
“Behold I cleanse and purify this space.”
Turn to face inside of circle, visualise blue-white light and say.
“I bless and consecrate this space.”
Cast circle
“Behold I do cut apart a space between the realms of humankind and of the Might Ones – a Circle of Art, to focus and contain the power raised herein!”
Invite participants into circle and smudge
Fire – North - Wand
INVOCATIONS
Invoke the Four Quarters
East (air)
Example only: “Hail unto You, O Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, power of Air and intellect. We pray that You will be with us this night in our circle, and that You will give Your blessing and Your aid to this our undertaking! We bid you hail, and welcome!”
North (fire)
Example only: “Hail unto You, O Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, power of Fire and manifestation. We pray that You will be with us this night in our circle, and that You will give Your blessing and Your aid to this our undertaking! We bid you hail, and welcome!
West (water)
Example only: “Hail unto You, O Guardian of the Watchtower of the West, power of Water and emotion. We pray that You will be with us this night in our circle, and that You will give Your blessing and Your aid to this our undertaking! We bid you hail, and welcome!”
South (earth)
Example only: “Hail unto You, O Guardian of the Watchtower of the South, power of Earth and integration. We pray that You will be with us this night in our circle, and that You will give Your blessing and Your aid to this our undertaking! We bid you hail, and welcome!”
Invoke the Goddess
Example only: "Divine Mother Goddess, All-Bountiful, All-Beautiful, Source and Sustenance of Existence: we do invoke You, asking now for your aid and guidance in this our undertaking.– May Your Divine Love be as a light within our hearts, now and always! Light our path, guide and strengthen us, enfold us in Your love, Divine Mother – we thus pray! Holy One, we bid You Hail and Welcome!"
Invoke the God (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Example only: "Holy Father God –Son, Brother, and Consort of Our Lady- we do invoke You asking now for your aid and guidance in this our undertaking.–. May Your Divine Love be as a light within our hearts, now and always! Light our path, guide and strengthen us, enfold us in Your love, Divine Father – we thus pray! Holy One, we bid You Hail and Welcome!"
Invoke your Patron Deity (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Invoke the Ancestors (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Example only: “O Mighty Ancestors, Beloved Ones Who have gone before, We invoke You and ask You to join us and to Bless us! Ancestors of the Correllian Tradition, Priestesses and Priests, Mothers and Uncles of the lineage, Spiritual family which aids and supports us –lend us Your inspiration and Your love, Your guidance and Your aid this night, we pray. Beloved Ones, we bid You Hail and Welcome!”
Spirit – Centre
RITUAL
The essence of Virgo is, to me (and I’m not an astrologer), analysis – tending towards self-criticism. The New Moon is about new beginnings, so this combination raises the possibility of a new attitude towards oneself – a new self critique, in a sense. To do that, it often necessary to let go of the old that is inappropriate, strengthen what is old and appropriate, and bring in whatever is new that you wish to strengthen. The key here is knowing what is appropriate, and what is not.
Sagittarius is a positive, mutable fire sign with associations of freedom, exploration, expansiveness and self-expression. A New Moon in Sagittarius is therefore an ideal time to consider a spring-cleaning in your attitudes towards yourself and any ruts in your life.
Invoke (by chanting their names with increasing vigour) the runes Kenaz (for passion), Sowelu (for, in this case, changes) and Ehwaz (for movement).
When you have a resolution, chant something along the lines of:
As a fire leaps out of wood,
may I too
leap out and go forth,
daring to be free and greater.
Devoke (by chanting their names with decreasing vigour) the runes Kenaz, Sowelu and Ehwaz.
Water – West - Chalice
OFFERING
This is traditionally done with a chalice of juice, wine or water passed around the company within the circle AFTER the dedicationary offering has been completed.
Then it is common practice to pour out a small libation, and dedicate that to your Ancestors, physical and spiritual, and to all your friends in Nature, seen and unseen.
Dedicate what remains in the Chalice to the Goddess and the God.
(After the ritual, the libations may be emptied outside, or otherwise respectfully disposed of.)
Earth - South - Pentacle
CLOSING
It is now time to give thanks, and close the ritual
Devoke the Four Quarters
North (fire)
Example only: “Guardian of the Watchtower of the North, power of Fire and manifestation. We thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
West (water)
Example only: “Guardian of the Watchtower of the West, power of Water and emotion. We thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
South (earth)
Example only: “Guardian of the Watchtower of the South, power of Earth and integration. We thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
East (air)
Example only: “Guardian of the Watchtower of the East, power of Air and intellect. We thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
Devoke the Goddess (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Example only: "Divine Mother Goddess, All-Bountiful, All-Beautiful, Source and Sustenance of Existence: we thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!
Devoke the God (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Example only: "Holy Father God –Son, Brother, and Consort of Our Lady, we thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
Devoke your Patron Deity (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Devoke the Ancestors (optional / depending on type of ritual)
Example only: “O Mighty Ancestors, Beloved Ones Who have gone before, we thank You for Your presence here tonight – we thank You for Your aid, and Your guidance. May there be peace between us now and always. Go if You must, stay if You will, we bid You hail, and farewell!”
Take down the Circle itself.
Example only: “As Above, So Below. As the Universe, so the Soul. As within, so without. Merry meet. Merry part. And merry meet again.”
Ground and release all excess energy.


Love, light, hugs and blessings

Gnwmythr
(pronounced "new-MYTH-ear")

Tags: Esbats, new moon, Sagittarius,

First published: Tysdagr, 22nd November, 2011

Last edited: Tuesday, 22nd November, 2011