900 Mt. Curve Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
The Pagan Institute
P.O. Box 6809
Minneapolis, MN 55406
The term, "Benediction" literally means "Good spoken word," and the
opposite to "benediction" is "malediction" or curse.
"Blessed Be" is the benediction taught by Gardnerian Witches in the 1960s.
The following are especially nice to reach aloud and then meditate upon.
©Christa Landon 2006
We covenant to support one another in spiritual growth,
to help one another bloom.
Together, we will cultivate the soil of our shared experience,
turning it to the air and light, warming it with loving care,
watering it with tears of compassion and joy.
Spirit of Life which ensouls our community,
Help us to be the always hopeful gardeners of the spirit,
who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth
as without light nothing flowers.
"The eye is the first
circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature
this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in
the cipher of the world. St. Augustine described the nature of God as a
circle whose centre was everywhere,
and its circumference nowhere. We are all our lifetime reading the
copious sense of this first of forms. One moral we have already deduced,
in considering the circular or compensatory character of every human
action. Another analogy we shall now trace; that every action admits of
being outdone. Our life is an
apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be
drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning;
that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every
deep a lower deep opens."
~~~~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Unitarian mystic and minister,
1841, from "Circles."
Thanks to my Catholic friend George K. for this wonderful
quote. I suspect that Augustine stole the idea from the Pythagoreans of his
The King's Highway
author unknown (If you DO know the author's name, please e-mail the Editor. )
a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it
was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to
have a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their
challenge was to see who could travel the highway the best.
On the day of the contest the people came. Some of them had fine chariots,
some had fine clothing, fine hairdos, or great food. Some young men came in
their track clothes and ran along the highway. People traveled the highway
all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king
that there was a large pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot
and this got in their way and hindered their travel.
At the end of the day, a lone traveler crossed the finish line warily and
walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty, but he addressed the king
with great respect and handed him a bag of gold. He explained, "I stopped
along the way to clear a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the
road. This bag of gold was under it all. I want you to return it to its
The king replied, "You are the rightful owner."
The traveler replied, "Oh no, this is not mine. I've never known such
"Oh yes," said the king, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest.
"He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those
who will follow."
The Daffodil Principle
Several times my daughter had
telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are
I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.
"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove
there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my
grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible
in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and
these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch"
My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."
"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm
heading for home!" I assured her.
"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car."
"How far will we have to drive?"
"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."
After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? "This isn't the
way to the garage!"
"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around."
"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you
miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a
small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that
read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child's hand,
and I followed Carolyn down the path.
Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me
lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great
vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The
flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths
of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter
yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it
swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were
five acres of flowers.
"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.
"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's
Carolyn pointed to a well kept A frame house that looked small and modest in
the midst of all that glory.
We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the
Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. 50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet,
and very little brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years
before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy
to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year
after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed
the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable
indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles
of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one
step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time - and learning to love the
doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny
pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we
can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have
accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years
ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years.
Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start
today," she said.
It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make
learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only
ask, "How can I put this to use today?". . . . .
This story courtesy of http://www.homeholidaysfamilyandfun.com
friends were on a long journey through the desert together. The frustrations
and fatigue and their own limitations led to a conflict, which escalated
until one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped
was hurt, but instead of continuing the argument, silently wrote in the
"Today my best friend slapped me in the face."
They both reflected silently on what had happened as they kept on walking.
The disagreement faded from prominence in their minds as they both reflected
on how important their relationship continued to be.
Eventually, they found an oasis, where they decided to bathe. The one who
had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started to drown, but his friend
saved him. After recovered from the near drowning, he etched on a stone:
"Today my best friend saved my life."
The one who had first slapped and then saved his best friend, asked him,
"After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone,
The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in
sand, where the winds of forgiveness can wear it away, but when someone does
something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.
~~~~~ Author Unknown, adapted
Christa Landon, ed.
Successful Action is
Cumulative in Results
Success is the sum of
small efforts, that you
repeat day in and day out.
Many people take the
first step and then stop.
Yet, with every additional step
you take, you enhance immensely
the value of your first step.
All masters of success are chiefly
distinguished by their power of
adding a second, a third, and perhaps
a fourth step in a continuous line.
There is no royal road to anything.
One thing at a time, all things in
succession is the rule of life.
That which grows fast,
withers as rapidly.
That which grows slowly, endures.
Do not despise the bottom rungs
in your ascent to greatness.
©2005 by Max Steingart
Reproduce freely when you maintain this © notice.
originally published in
THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST
"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
new planet swims within his ken."
I who had sought afar from earth
faery land to greet,
Now find content within its girth,
wonder nigh my feet.
To-day a nearer love I choose
seek no distant sphere,
For aureoled by faery dews
dear brown breasts appear.
With rainbow radiance come and go
airy breaths of day,
And eve is all a pearly glow
moonlit winds a-play.
The lips of twilight burn my brow,
arms of night caress:
Glimmer her white eyes drooping now
grave old tenderness.
I close mine eyes from dream to be
As in the ancient hours ere we
ourselves to men.
And all I thought of heaven before
in earth below,
A sunlight in the hidden core
the noon-day glow.
And with the Earth my heart is glad,
as one of old,
With mists of silver I am clad
bright with burning gold.
You have heard it said "I ask nought in sacrifice." This is what it means:
10 Things The Goddess
- The Goddess won't ask what your job title was;
She'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.
- The Goddess won't ask how many friends you had;
She'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
- The Goddess won't ask about the garb you had in your closet;
She'll ask how many you helped to clothe.
- The Goddess won't ask what your highest salary was;
She'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
- The Goddess won't ask what kind of car you drove;
She'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.
- The Goddess won't ask the square footage of your house;
She'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
- The Goddess won't ask in what neighborhood you lived;
She'll ask how you treated your neighbors.
- The Goddess won't ask about the color of your skin;
She'll ask about the content of your character.
- The Goddess won't ask why it took you so long to seek Her guidance;
She'll ask, "Whom did you guide?"
- The Goddess won't ask how many people you forwarded this to;
She'll ask if you were ashamed to pass it on to your friends.
Happy moments, praise the Goddess.
Difficult moments, seek the Goddess.
Quiet moments, worship the Goddess.
Painful moments, trust the Goddess
Every moment, thank the Goddess.
In honor of the planting season here in Minnesota, consider this text a
Mystery Tale from the tradition of Demeter. ;^)
Growing Good Corn, by James Bender, in his book *How to Talk Well*
(New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1994),
There was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his
corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.
One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something
interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer
shared his seed corn with his neighbors. "How can you afford to share your
best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in
competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.
"Why, sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen
from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors
grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of
my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good
So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace must help
their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help
others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it
touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find
happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.
The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help
our neighbors grow good corn.
How have you helped
another Pagan to "grow good corn" lately? So often Pagan leaders
compete with each other. What could we accomplish if we supported each other
| Here you'll find a wonderful animated "guided
Glory to the God who transcends
And to the Goddess who embodies,
And in the Earth peace to all folk of goodwill.
We praise you,
We bless you,
We adore you,
We glorify you,
We revel in gratitude
For your great glory,
A glory in which we partake.
Lord God, Lady Goddess,
Source of power,
Original Father, Original Mother,
Whose image we manifest,
Source of our sacredness,
Lord God, ethereal Father,
Lady Goddess, immanent Mother,
You in whose universe all things are right,
Manifest in us compassion.
You in whose integrity all things are good,
Manifest in us trust and faith.
You in whose wholeness all things are well,
Manifest in us healing.
For in you are we holy,
In you are we complete:
In our connection to you
Do we find our highest selves,
Glorious Mother, Glorious Father.
Amen. Aho. So mote it be.
© 2004 Khrysso Heart LeFey
Used with permission