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Blessed Be

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.


Beltane Covenant

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.
 


Circles

 

 "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 own day.

The King's Highway
author unknown (If you DO know the author's name, please e-mail the Editor. )

Once 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 rightful owner."

The king replied, "You are the rightful owner."

The traveler replied, "Oh no, this is not mine. I've never known such money."

"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 over,"

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 call.

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 daffodils."

"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 her home."

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 life-changing experience.

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?". . . . .

Author Unknown

This story courtesy of
http://www.homeholidaysfamilyandfun.com

Two Friends


Two 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 sand:

"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, why?"

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 erase it.

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.

~~~~~ Author Unknown, adapted Christa Landon, ed.
 

Successful Action

 

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.

A New Earth

by AE
originally published in
THE IRISH THEOSOPHIST

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
  When a new planet swims within his ken."

     I who had sought afar from earth
             The faery land to greet,
     Now find content within its girth,
             And wonder nigh my feet.

     To-day a nearer love I choose
             And seek no distant sphere,
     For aureoled by faery dews
             The dear brown breasts appear.

     With rainbow radiance come and go
             The airy breaths of day,
     And eve is all a pearly glow
             With moonlit winds a-play.

     The lips of twilight burn my brow,
             The arms of night caress:
     Glimmer her white eyes drooping now
             With grave old tenderness.

     I close mine eyes from dream to be
             The diamond-rayed again,
     As in the ancient hours ere we
             Forgot ourselves to men.

     And all I thought of heaven before
             I find in earth below,
     A sunlight in the hidden core
             To dim the noon-day glow.

     And with the Earth my heart is glad,
             I move as one of old,
     With mists of silver I am clad
             And bright with burning gold.

     -February 1896

 

 

 

You have heard it said "I ask nought in sacrifice."  This is what it means:

10 Things The Goddess Won't Ask

anon.

  1. The Goddess won't ask what your job title was;
    She'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.
  2. The Goddess won't ask how many friends you had;
    She'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
  3. The Goddess won't ask about the garb you had in your closet;
    She'll ask how many you helped to clothe.
  4. The Goddess won't ask what your highest salary was;
    She'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
  5. The Goddess won't ask what kind of car you drove;
    She'll ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.
  6. The Goddess won't ask the square footage of your house;
    She'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
  7. The Goddess won't ask in what neighborhood you lived;
    She'll ask how you treated your neighbors.
  8. The Goddess won't ask about the color of your skin;
    She'll ask about the content of your character.
  9. The Goddess won't ask why it took you so long to seek Her guidance;
    She'll ask, "Whom did you guide?"
  10. 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 corn."

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 instead!

Here you'll find a wonderful animated "guided meditation"

http://i.euniverse.com/funpages/cms_content/2529/4candles.swf

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Updated: April 9, 2007
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Mailing Addresses

"
CUUPS-TwinCities
c/o FUS
900 Mt. Curve Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403