We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foto Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I just thought I'd post a few pics from last night's fantastic Full Moon. As you can see, it was pretty cloudy and the clouds were moving extremely fast ...


 

 
 
Wishing you all a magickal weekend! Brightest Blessings!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The waiting game


Greetings my dear friends! My apologies for being out of the blog loop for a few days, but I am utilizing much of my time and energy lately to taking good care of Mr. Gray. Since he has been completely quarantined downstairs away from the rest of our cats, I have been spending as much time as possible with him. Hubby bought some chewable vitamins to help supplement his daily food intake. It is our sincere hope that this aids in strengthening his immune system somewhat. I make sure to completely change his litterbox every other day and he gets fresh spring water and top of the line food daily (on top of a lot of lovin') ...


Eventhough we have not exposed our other cats to him, we have had them to the vets for their FeLeuk shots, and we always wash our hands after handling him, eventhough the disease is NOT airbourne, we are not taking any chances!

Saffice it to say, this is going the be the longest most nerve-racking month for us all ~ ever! I have done so much net-surfing in an attempt to get as much info as I possibly can regarding this, I can honestly tell you that it makes my head spin.

More importantly; however, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt graditude to ALL OF YOU for your wonderful and caring thoughts and prayer of support! Regardless of what happens in the end, I feel so very blessed to have you all in my life ~ as does Mr. Gray.

Much love to everyone!

Kim

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My poor, sweet boy ...



It is with an extremely heavy heart that I write this post about our beloved Mr. Gray. After keeping him completely separated from our other fur babies for the past three days after we brought him inside, we took him to our vet this morning for his dreaded FeLeuk test. (I HATE THEM so much!) Sadly, we were told that he was "slightly positive." Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean? Tabitha, by the way who shared the very same food dish as him for months, had tested negative when we took her? Our vet told us that it means that there is still a slight possibility that he can fight it off, or perhaps it is merely in its' beginning stages. There is no real way of knowing for sure. Either way, my heart breaks for him ...and us.


So what next now? Well, we are supposed to take him back to the vet in another month for yet another (albeit most likely disappointing) test. If still positive, we will have no choice but to totally resign ourselves to his horrible inevitable fate and the only thing we can do is make him as happy and comfortable as possible until his time. I have personally seen what this  Godforsaken terrible disease does as many, many years ago when I was a teenager, my parents found a beautiful 6-month old kitten I named Whiskers.. We only had dogs at the time, so we had absolutely no experience with this kind of thing what-so-ever. One night, Whiskers got very ill. I remember she was in such a daze staring at her water bowl and she couldn't control her bladder. We immediately took her to the vet. They tested her and told us she had FeLeuk. We were told that we put her into remission and at that point the only thing we could do is put her down. Trust me, this is something I will never forget!
 
As for our other cats, as I already mentioned, they have not been exposed to him at all and we have chosen to take them to the vet regardless this Monday and Tuesday for their preventative FeLeuk shots. Mr. Gray was also given his worm pill, and regular vaccinations. We are even treating ALL of our cats as well as him for fleas since flea dirt was found on his body.


I have given the outside cat house which I bought for him to my mother on Thanksgiving as he will no longer need it and she mentioned she would love to have something like it for her inside/outside kitty cat.
 
The only thing I can say for sure is that if and when the worst happens, he will die extremely loved and cared for, which is a lot more than I can say about so many other unfortunate cats out there. I am asking a big favor of everyone to please send as much positive healing energy to Mr. Gray as possible. It would be greatly appreciated, my dear friends.


 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Yule Traditions & Legends: Pagan Lore

 
It is common knowledge among all who are Wiccan/Pagan that many of the traditions and lore celebrated by the Christian faith today are Pagan in nature. But how many and which ones are truly Pagan?

Well, let's start with the oldest written accounts of civilizations known to us ~ the Egyptians and the Sumerians. The Twelve Days of Christmas all began with the celebration of the rebirth of Horus or Marduk. Both lasted a total of twelve days. The Sumerian twelve day battle of Marduk to conquer the deities of darkness gave way to the tradition of gift giving. During this celebration, the Sumerians held large parades much like the ones we have today around this time of the year and also exchanged gifts while wishing all good tidings. Many other civilizations subsequently adopted the Winter Solstice such as the Greeks who chose to honor Zeus and his victory over the god Kronos and, as mentioned before, the Romans who honored Mithras during the celebration of Saturnalia.

It is also known that the Christmas tree is very much Pagan in origin, but it was Germanic Pagans who decided to add ornaments to their trees which symbolized the Sun in anticipation of the warmth yet to come. Even modern day decorations such as bells, holiday candles, and wreaths are continuing reminders of our Pagan ancestors. Bells were thought to ward off evil spirits, much like turnips and lighted Jack-o-Lanterns were used at Samhain by the ancient Celts. Evergreens of all kinds are very powerful as they survive the cold, harsh winter months hence symbolizing their importance over death itself. Wreaths symbolize birth, death and rebirth ~ the cycle of the Wheel of the Year.

One of the most endearing of all; however, is the story of the snowflake. The reason behind the belief that they are symbols of love came from the Greek legend about the Goddess Demeter who was said to have cried tears of sorrow after Persephane's decent into the Underworld. These tears formed the first version of snowflakes. There are other similar stories which come from the Sumerians about the Goddess Inanna and so on throughout history.

Kissing underneath the mistletoe? Mistletoe was sacred to the Celts and used for fertility and abundance and when hung over a doorway was protection from evil. The kissing part actually came from the Norse tradition and their custom to receive the blessings of Freya. Blessings of luck, love, fertility and protection from sickness or disease. Reindeer also had a very special meaning to the Celts with the stag being the symbol of Cernunnos.

And finally Santa whose image was originally taken from the Celtic version of The God and the Norse God Odin. His depiction survived throughout the years, although thanks to a clever advertising campaign in the 1930's, has undergone a few minor changes such as his pipe, his elves, etc.

So my friends, why am I giving you all of this information? Well, it is only because I merely have a huge fascination with history and I find it extremely interesting to learn about how we came to our modern beliefs. Do I feel this diminishes the holidays of Christmas or Yule in any way? Certainly not. I feel it simply adds to the splender of the season knowing how these wonderful traditions lived on throughout time.

Cat Tails


Happy Black Friday all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Hubby and I went out to eat at a local Pennsylvania Dutch Family Style Restaurant with my folks. Great homemade food! My mom also surprised me with an adorable little electric figurine to add to my Yule/Christmas decorations ... hey, there is always room for just one more!


I can also tell you that Mr. Gray had a very warm and safe holiday as we were finally able to get him inside and snug. He is currently residing downstairs in the huge dog cage with all the creature comforts a kitty could want. Just as we did with Tabitha, he will remain there until atleast next week when we can get him into our vets for a FeLeuk test (keeping our fingers crossed!) and a check up. If negative, we will proceed to get him his vaccinations and so forth. In the meantime, I will bring him upstairs briefly into the spare bedroom and separate from the other cats from time to time so that he can get a little time out of the cage to stretch his legs and such. The one thing that makes him rather unique is that he is polydactyl, meaning that he is multi-toed. In terms of his disposition and temperament, he appears to be very sweet and lovable, always wanting to be near me and then purring pretty loudly at that!


As far as the rest of the cats are concerned, Kiki has been a bit better around Tabitha ~ often lying on the couch fairly close to her and allowing her to walk on by her without growling or hissing at her. She has also taken to clinging to me a lot more lately. Perhaps it is because she is feeling somewhat insecure and therefore needing a lot more attention from us ...


Midnight and Tabitha have been inseparable. They just adore one another! The really cute thing is that they are always napping next to each other with Tabby following him around from room to room, playing and she is even picking up his funny little habits. Here are some pics of them together ...

 
Then there's Haley who just enjoys chilling on the couch next to me watching television every night ...


And such is yet another day in the life of our (apparently) growing family!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's in a Holiday?: Thanksgiving's Pagan Roots


In my previous posts on the origins of our contemorary holidays, we learn how many of them have roots in Paganism. The holiday of Thanksgiving is hardly different and it was certainly not the first feast celebrating the harvest.


In school, we are taught that in the year 1621 the Pilgrims established Thanksgiving to share their abundant harvest with the local Wampanoag tribe (“People of the Dawn”) who were a civilization of hunters, farmers and fisherman. Although the Pilgrims and Wampanoagans celebrated the first actual Thanksgiving itself, the tribe had its’ own feast day in which they gave thanks for their abundant crops as they honored Kiehtan, the Creator. Future Pagan immigrants brought their harvest festivals to America as well.
 

By the time Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National holiday in 1861, other Europeans had also settled in America and brought with them their own traditions, some Pagan. Harvest festivals were celebrated by European Romans at Cerelia by giving thanks to Ceres, the Goddess of Harvest. Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Pagans celebrated Lughnasadh and Mabon, which as Wiccans we know, is also the First and Second Harvests of the year. The Greeks honored Demeter during the Thesmohoria and the New Englanders’ Pagan ancestors celebrated Harvest Home (the first reaping of crops in August). This was a time for gratitude and reflection followed by singing and dancing, after which everyone enjoyed a wonderful feast.

A special wish for everyone and their families and a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Blessed Be!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Yule Traditions & Legends: Yule Celebrations

 
The celebration of Yule and the Winter Solstice stems from back in the days of Mithras, the Pagan Roman Sun god, through the Nordic tribes, and among a number of other cultures and religions. The Winter Solstice has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the Christian holiday of Christmas and the arrival of the man called Jesus Christ, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. 

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule, the Winter Solstice, from December 21 through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, families would bring home large Yule logs which they would set on fire.

In Germany, people honored the god Oden. In Rome, people celebrated Saturnalia by honoring the god Saturn and so on. However, between the years of 200-500AD, Christianity had successfully maneuvered into the Roman government which was at that time still predominately Pagan. To the Romans, Christianity resembled several elements of their Roman-Pagan beliefs, particularly Mithraism. Mithra was closely tied to the sun gods Helios and Apollo and Mithras’ birthday was celebrated on December 25th, close to the Winter Solstice which was later changed by the Christians to Jesus’ birthday. Furthermore, shepherds were thought to have witnessed Mithras’ birth and were to have partaken in a “last supper” with Mithra before his return to heaven. The Mithratic Priests’ title, Pater Patrum, soon became the title for the Bishop of Rome, “Papa” or “Pope.” In deed, these remarkable similarities were no coincidence.

 

 

Today we, as Wiccans and Pagans. still continue to celebrate Yule and the Winter Solstice. We honor the birth of the God who was born of the Triple Goddess. Yule is also a time when we look forward to seeing the end of the winter hardships and we may anticipate Imbolg and the beginning of the on-coming of Spring!







Yule Traditions & Legends: The Yule Cat


The oldest written sources on the Yule Cat are from the Nineteenth Century. These refer to the fact that those who do not get a new item of clothing for Yule are destined to become offerings for the Yule Cat. It may sound strange that the deprived ones will also become prey, but this tradition is based on the fact that every effort was made to finish all work with the Autumn wool before Yule. The reward for those who took part in the work was a new piece of clothing. Those who were lazy received nothing. Thus the Yule Cat was used as an incentive to get people to work harder.

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Yule Traditions & Legends: The Story of Tinsel


There are many miracles of Christmas. From Germany comes the folk tale of the Christmas Spider ~ a miracle that took place due to the simple house keeping chores associated with the season.

As the story was told, a family living in a small home worked together one Christmas Eve day to clean the house. They cleaned it from top to bottom. All the spiders living in the various parts of the house escaped to the attic as the cleaning took place. Later that evening, after all had gone to bed, they were delighted to see that at least one place in the home remained that would be suitable for a spider -- the Christmas tree!


Having nowhere else to go to spin their webs, they dashed up the trunk of the tree and leaped from branch to branch, spinning their webs and making for them selves a new place in which to live. When Santa Claus arrived he encountered the web-covered tree and somewhat of a difficult dilemma: did he keep the tree wrapped in spider webs and disappoint the family? Or should he remove the webs and destroy the spiders' new home (and ruin their Christmas in the process)?

Santa fixed everything. He turned the spider webs into shimmering silver strands of tinsel that turned the tree into a brilliant decoration. His action thrilled the family - and saved the spiders. That is why today many people decorate their tree with tinsel -- in honor of the Christmas Spider.

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just Imagine ...




With all of the negative karma going on all around us like some kind of contagious disease, I have found myself doing a lot of soul searching as of late. Thinking about what the future holds for us and our Country. Without getting into any sort of rant about politics of which I feel at this point is totally useless anymore, I have chosen instead to remember the words of the late John Lennon. My favorite Lennon song has always been, "Imagine" because it holds such a deep meaning about the world ~ our world. It says a lot about the state of humankind as well and the hope that someday before it is too late, we can all learn how to co-exisit peacefully. A time when we are all free from dominant leaders who continue to lie to their people for the purposes of their own personal agendas be they Demorcrat or Republican,  a time when we all can just be considered the human race, a time when the people of the world stop taking advantage of each other and the legal system as well, and a time when we can all simply agree to disagree without pointing fingers and feeling the need to hurt by labeling others. Well I can dream, can't I?


"Hey Jude" by The Beatles

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2013 Sabbats & Esbats


Full Moon/Esbats:
 
Sunday, January 27th
Monday, February 25th
Wednesday, March 27th
Thursday, April 25th
Saturday, May 25th
Sunday, June 23rd
Monday, July 22nd
Wednesday, August 21st
Thursday, September 19th
Friday, October 18th
Sunday, November 17th
Tuesday, December 17th
 
Sabbats
 
Saturday, February 2nd ~ Imbolg/Imbolc
Wednesday, March 20th ~ Ostara/Spring Equinox
Wednesday, May 1st ~ Beltane
Friday, June 21st ~ Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice
Thursday, August 1st ~ Lughnasadh
Sunday, September 22nd ~ Mabon/Autumn Equinox
Thursday, October 31st ~ Samhain
Saturday, December 21st ~ Yule/Winter Solstice

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yule Decorations


In keeping with one of my yearly sabbat traditions, I added yet another new Yule decoration this year ... or two or three to my collection. I even found a few really old ones which I had actually forgotten that I still had packed upstairs in the attic. Some of these decorations haven't been put out for quite a few years ...

Jim Shore Snowman & Cat
 
 
Yule Wreath
 
Muscial Skating Snowman ~ plays "Skater's Waltz"
 
Cat Stockings

Yule Cat bathroom towels

Yule Cat kitchen towels
 
Some of my Yule nick-nacks
 
 
And, of course, my favorite new tree ornament of all, our sweet cat Tabitha!!
 
 
 
I still have a little more work to do before I am completely finished with my decorating, but so far I am having a ball!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Honoring our Veterans on Veteran's Day





Today is Veteran's Day here in the United States and as a Girl Scout all those many years ago, I remember at the end of every scout meeting we all stood in a circle along with our women Scout Leaders holding hands while singing the words to, "Taps."

I recall the words to this day as I remember our many brave and honored Veterans. My hubby served in the Air Force and so have many of our other members of our family in one branch or other. I would feel terribly amiss if I did not honor them all in some way today.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families on this most important day of "Thank you's!" The following renditional lyrics of the song "Taps" are the ones in which we were taught when I was a Girl Scout.

"Day is done,
 Gone the Sun,
 From the North,
 From the East,
 From the South,
 From the West,
 Safely rest,
 All is nigh."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Turning it all around ...


Turn what around exactly? Well, my dear friends, the events that have occurred over this past most stressful week have been, to say the very least, faith-testing! I have been literally attacked by many folks of my own community (yes sadly, I am speaking of some of my "tolerant" fellow Wiccans) who felt the need to have labeled me many horrible things of which I am most certainy NOT! I shall not re-hash the entire story here on my blog and I will spare you all the ugly details. As with everyone, my views are my own and thankfully are shared by many of my close,  more open-minded Wiccan friends dare I say. Let's just say that the events were so bad that I almost had to delete my Facebook account because of them. The only reason I decided not to is because of the very sweet and kind followers of my blogs who e-mailed me expressing their sadness and that they would miss my blog posts and me very much! I am joined with NetworkedBlogs which is linked to my Facebook. Had I deleted my Facebook account, my followers would have also disappeared from my blogs as would their access. To them, I express my very heart-felt and appreciative "THANK YOU" and I will gladly keep my Facebook open for them and only them. I truly love you all, my friends!  ;-)  (BTW, anyone who happens to be curious about my personal feelings on the election results, all you need to do is visit Robin's awesome blog, "Wiccan Writes" and read the comment section of her latest post about the two old gentlemen having a post-election fuss ~ LOL! GREAT post, Robin! Thank you!)

That being said, I have decided that I need a huge pick-me-up!! And so, I have made up my mind to break tradition this year at my house and begin decorating a tad early for Yule this year. Yes, you heard me right! Instead of putting out my Yule decorations on Black Friday as I usually do, I am getting a big head start this weekend. I truly need a change in mood and atmosphere and I believe this will certainly help do the trick!

A Fun and Interesting Test

You are a Type 2 with a 1 wing: "The Helper Idealist"


Your trifix is 2w1, 9w1, 7w8.

In enneagram theory, you have one type for how you relate to the world (either 8, 9, or 1), one type for how you think (5, 6, 7) and one type for how you see yourself (2, 3, 4.) Your tri-fix contains one number from each of these triads. They are listed in the order of how strongly they present in your personality.
Your core type (your strongest type) is Type 2 with a 1 wing: Type Two individuals are generous and kind. Twos love others and want to be loved, and becoming close to others is a theme in the life of the Two. This is why Two is often referred to as the Helper type – because they keep coming, time and time again, to the aid of others. Out of all the types in the Enneagram, Twos are the most likely to help someone when they’re feeling down or when they’re being attacked. When a Type Two is stressed, they can become aggressive like an unhealthy Type Eight. When they’re healthy, a Type Two becomes emotionally aware like a healthy Type Four. You are a Type Two with a One wing, which means that the helpful nature of the Two combines with the idealistic nature of the One to make a very humanitarian personality.
Your second type (your next strongest type) is Type 9 with a 1 wing: Nines are receptive, easygoing, and loveable. Out of all the types in the Enneagram, they have a special ability to get along with others. For this reason, they’re often skilled mediators, resolving conflicts both within themselves and among others. Nines value peace, especially inner peace, very highly. When in a state of growth, Nines become energetic and driven like Type Threes. When stressed, Nines become anxious like an unhealthy Type Six. You are a Type Nine with a One wing, which means that the harmonious traits of the Type Nine merge with the idealistic nature of the Type One. You have an idealized view of the world, and your drive toward harmony is one way to fulfill that dream.

Your third type (the least-used of the three) is Type 7 with a 8 wing: Type Seven individuals are energetic, engaging, and playful. They have a love for life and can easily jump from one exciting topic to the next. The Type Seven thought process is a bit scattered, but that’s because they are easily interested in many different things. This is why Type Seven is often called The Enthusiast. When in a growth state, Type Sevens become focused like Type Fives. When they’re stressed, they become a perfectionist like a Type One. The enthusiastic nature of the Type Seven combines with the aggressive nature of the Type Eight, making 7w8 one of the most assertive types in the Enneagram.


Some words that describe you: relaxed, peaceful, harmonious, generous, helpful, selfless, loving, enthusiastic, energetic, spontaneous, fun.
 
 
Blessings ALL! I found this very fun and interesting personality test on a great blog I just discovered called "The Secret Life of an American Witch"!  These were my results after taking it. Care to find out yours just for the fun if it? Here is the link for you, my friends:


Wishing everyone the blessings of a joyous Saturday!!!!



Enneagram Test - PersonalityCafe - Developed by timeless

Sunday, November 4, 2012

With a little help from Nana ...

Well, I suppose in the wake of Samhain, my beloved grandmother (a.k.a. Nana) has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Of the very few crafty-like skills I actually have, she is the one family member who taught both me and my mother how to crochet. Now, mind you, this was no easy task as she was right-handed (as is my mother) and I am a "lefty." Come to think of it, both my parents are right-handed and my brother (my only sibling) and I are left. Strange, right?

So, I used to sit mirrored in front of her and watch her crochet ~ stitch by stitch. I was determined to learn one way or the other. So this weekend, I decided to "get back to my roots" so to speak and crochet a winter scarf and beanie hat to go with it ...


As always, during my Samhain ceremony I had spoken to many of my family and friends of whom have passed on. I asked my grandmother how she wished me to honor her and I truly feel as if I got my asnwer. Thank you, Nana ~ you are forever missed and loved!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A very special celebration!


Greetings all! I hope everyone enjoyed their Samhain. I know that I did! Originally, I was going to hold a solitary ritual, but much to my surprise and delight, my sister Robin (Aurora Skye) decided to join me this year. It was so wonderful!


We set up our ritual downstairs in my Altar Room and performed an intimate and private Samhain ceremony together. We placed pictures of our honored loved ones, both human and pet, on the altar with the rest of our things and continued to celebrate a very meaningful night.


I am so happy to be blessed with her in my life. She is both friend and family ... and always will be.

Brightest Blessings ALL!