Inspiration for the Day for March 19: The Tortoise And The Hare

 

 

The Tortoise And The Hare

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Like the tortoise and the hare, we all arrive at the same destination, together, eventually.

The classic tale of the tortoise and the hare reminds us that different people take life at different speeds and that one way is not necessarily superior to another. In fact, in the story it is the slower animal that ends up arriving at the destination first. In the same way, some of us seem to move very quickly through the issues and obstacles we all face in our lives. Others need long periods of time to process their feelings and move into new states of awareness. For those of us who perceive ourselves as moving quickly, it can be painful and exasperating to deal with someone else’s slower pace. Yet, just like the tortoise and the hare, we all arrive at the same destination together, eventually.

People who take their time with things are probably in the minority in most of the world today. We live in a time when speed and productivity are valued above almost anything else. Therefore, people who flow at a slower pace are out of sync with the world and are often pestered and prodded to go faster and do more. This can be not only frustrating but also counterproductive because the stress of being pushed to move faster than one is able to move actually slows progress. On the other hand, if a person’s style is honored and supported, they will find their way in their own time and, just like the tortoise, they might just beat the speedier, more easily distracted person to the finish line.

It’s important to remember that we are not actually in a race to get somewhere ahead of someone else, and it is difficult to judge by appearances whether one person has made more progress than another. Whether you count yourself among the fast movers or as one of the slower folks, we can all benefit from respecting the pace that those around us choose for themselves. This way, we can keep our eyes on our own journey, knowing that we will all end up together in the end.

Daily OM

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Celebrations Around the World, March 18: St. Joseph’s Eve

St. Joseph’s Eve

Type of Holiday: Religious (Christian)
Date of Observation: March 19 in the West; July 29 in the East
Where Celebrated: Italy, Sicily, Spain, United States, and by Christians all over the world
Symbols and Customs: Breads, Fruits, and Grains; Fish; Flowering Rod

ORIGINS

Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and foster-father of Jesus, has been honored as a saint since the earliest days of the Christian Church. But very little is known about his life, or even the exact date of his death, which is believed to have occurred when Jesus Christ was eighteen.

The basis of saint day remembrances-for St. Joseph as well as other saints-is found in ancient Roman tradition. On the anniversary of a death, families would share a ritual meal at the grave site of an ancestor. This practice was adopted by Christians who began observing a ritual meal on the death anniversary of ancestors in the faith, especially martyrs. As a result, most Christian saint days are associated with the death of the saint. There are three important exceptions. John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus are honored on their nativities (birthdays). Many who suffered martyrdom are remembered on saint days in the calendars of several Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant sects.

By the thirteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church had instituted canonization, the process of making a person a saint. Before that, Christians venerated people they considered saints. In 1870 Pope Pius IX formally proclaimed Joseph the patron of the universal church.

St. Joseph’s Day is widely celebrated in Italy as a day of feasting and sharing with the poor, of whom he is the patron saint. Each village prepares a “table of St. Joseph” by contributing money, candles, flowers, and food (see FISH ). Then they invite three guests of honor-representing Mary, Joseph, and Jesus-to join in their feast, as well as others representing the twelve apostles. They also invite the orphans, widows, beggars, and poor people of the village to eat with them. The food is blessed by the village priest and by the child chosen to represent Jesus; St. Joseph’s Day

then it is passed from one person to the next. Dia de San Giuseppe, as the day is known, is celebrated by Italians in the United States and in other countries as well.

In Valencia, Spain, it is a week-long festival (March 12-19) called Fallas de San Jose (Bonfires of St. Joseph). Its roots can be found in medieval times, when the carpenters’ guild (of whom Joseph was the patron saint) made a huge bonfire on St. Joseph’s Eve out of the wood shavings that had accumulated over the winter. This was considered the end of the winter and the last night on which candles and lamps would have to be lighted. In fact, the carpenters often burned the parot, or wooden candelabrum, in front of their shops.

In Valencia nowadays the parots have become fallas, or huge floats of intricate scenes made of wood and papier-mâché, satirizing everything from the high cost of living to political personalities. On St. Joseph’s Eve, March 18, the fallas parade through the streets. At midnight on March 19, the celebration ends with a spectacular ceremony known as the crema, when all the fallas are set on fire.

Among Sicilian Catholics living in the United States, St. Joseph’s Day is a major event-the equivalent of ST. PATRICK’S DAY among Irish-Americans. This is particularly true in New Orleans, Milwaukee, and other cities where there are large Sicilian populations. In Southern California, a custom similar to the Hispanic POSADAS takes place on St. Joseph’s Day: Mary’s and Joseph’s search for shelter is reenacted by children, who go from house to house requesting lodging for the night. When they reach the third house, they are greeted by a large St. Joseph’s Altar and an elaborate meal.

SYMBOLS AND CUSTOMS

Breads, Fruits, and Grains

Cards exchanged by Roman Catholics on St. Joseph’s Day often show specially baked breads, fruits, and grains along with images of the saint. They are a symbol of fertility and abundance, although now the day is more of an ethnic festival than a celebration of spring.

Fish

The tables or altars set up in Sicilian homes on St. Joseph’s Day are often used to display the special foods associated with the holiday. Fish is a favorite choice, probably because this holy day falls during LENT, when meat is forbidden. But it may also have something to do with fish as a fertility symbol (see BREADS , FRUITS , AND GRAINS ) and a symbol of Christianity. The fish often stands for Christ in Christian art and literature because the five Greek letters forming the word “fish” are the initial letters of the five words, “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior.” The fish is also a symbol of baptism: Just as the fish cannot live out of the water, the true Christian cannot live except through the waters of baptism.

Flowering Rod

Mary didn’t choose Joseph to be her husband. According to legend, the priest Zacharius was told by an angel to gather together all the widowers, instructing them to bring their rods (or staffs) with them. Joseph appeared with the rest, and their rods were placed in the temple overnight in the hope that God would provide a sign to indicate which of them he favored. The next morning, it was discovered that Joseph’s rod had burst into flower, and a white dove flew out of it. This was taken to be a clear sign of God’s intentions for him. In paintings of the subject, the rejected suitors are often shown breaking their rods with expressions of envy and disgust. Joseph’s rod is usually shown in the form of a stalk of lilies-the lily being a symbol of purity and the flower most often associated with the Virgin Mary (see LILY under ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY).

FURTHER READING

Appleton, LeRoy H., and Stephen Bridges. Symbolism in Liturgical Art. New York: Scribner, 1959. Bellenir, Karen. Religious Holidays and Calendars. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2004. Biedermann, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons and the Meanings Behind Them. New York: Meridian Books, 1994. Brewster, H. Pomeroy. Saints and Festivals of the Christian Church. 1904. Reprint. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1990. Ferguson, George. Signs and Symbols in Christian Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. Henderson, Helene, ed. Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. Santino, Jack. All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Your Daily Motivator for March 8: Worth your effort

Worth your effort

Misfortune is bad enough on its own. Don’t let it become an excuse for you to be less than your best.

Life is difficult enough already. Don’t make it ten times more difficult by getting aggravated at the difficulties.

Instead, see each difficulty as a reason to raise your expectations. As long as you have to deal with the difficulty, you definitely want to make it well worth your effort.

Sure, misfortune can serve as a perfectly reasonable and understandable excuse to sit back and do nothing for a while. Yet it can just as reasonably be the fire that ignites your passion and pushes you up into a higher level of achievement.

When you’ve experienced misfortune, you’ve already paid a costly price. Choose to get something good and valuable for the price you’ve paid.

Misfortune can motivate you in a way that nothing else can. Tap into that energy and call upon it to propel you in a positive direction of your choosing.

— Ralph Marston

 

Read more at The Daily Motivator

Inspiration of the Day for March 8: Looking At What We Don’t Want To See

 

 

 

 

Looking At What We Don’t Want To See

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

The feelings that make us want to run away are buried treasure, full of energy and inspiration if we are willing to look.

It is one of life’s great paradoxes that the things we don’t want to look at in ourselves are the very things we need to look at in order to know ourselves better and to become more fully who we are. The feelings that make us want to run away are buried treasure full of energy and inspiration if we are willing to look. These feelings come in many forms, from strange images or snippets of information to recurring dreams and feelings that rise up seemingly without a reason. Whatever shape they come in, and no matter how scary they seem, these messengers bring the information we need in order to grow.

When we are tired of pushing something down, or trying to run away from it, a good first step is to write down what we think we are avoiding. Often this turns out to be only the surface of the issue or a symbol of something else. Expressing ourselves fully on paper is a safe way to begin exploring the murky territory of the unconscious. The coolness of the intellect can give us the distance we need to read what we have written and feel less afraid of it. It helps if we remember that no matter how dark or negative our thoughts or feelings may be, these are energies shared by all humanity. We are not alone in the dark, and all the gurus and teachers we admire had to go through their own unprocessed emotional territory in order to come out the other side brighter and wiser. This can give us the courage we need to open the treasure chest of what we have been avoiding.

Within the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to look at, there are emotions that need to be felt. Unfelt emotions are stuck energy, and when we leave emotions unprocessed, we deprive ourselves of access to that energy. When we feel strong enough, we can begin the process of feeling those emotions, on our own or with guidance from a spiritual counselor. It is through this work that the buried treasure of energy and inspiration will pour forth from our hearts, giving us the courage to look at all the parts of ourselves with insight and compassion.

Daily OM

Spirit Message of the Day – Let Blessings of Serenity Surround You

Spirit Message of the Day – Let Blessings of Serenity Surround You

THE WHITE MAGICK WITCH
“There are times when our focus is on getting things done, and our energy, if it were a color, would be red, yellow, or orange. Sometimes we are growing or nurturing something, and our energy would be green. When we are in pain or mourning, we may say we’re feeling blue, but our energy would look black. If love is filling our lives then pink is the color of the day.”

“*Magick isn’t really colored, but colors are associated with magic and do have power. How do we use white *magick or energy? Many people associate it with peace, harmony, and healing. All of us have times in our lives when we need healing, be it physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional. Depending on the severity of your pain, the services of a professional may be called for, not an oracle. That said, there are cases where you can find healing, peace, and comfort on your own or from those close to you. Also, there are times when you will be called on to provide healing or to restore harmony.” Other times you may be called upon to provide emotional support for friends and loved ones.

“Our White Magick Witch represents the ability to heal and find the serenity that lives in all of us. She is draped in white and purple, the colors of spirituality, purity, and power. She wears a pentagram at her neck, a sign of the dominion of spirit over the earthly elements. Her white candles shine the light of peace and goodness against the darkness of discomfort and evil. Shimmery drops of light fall from her hair. The pale moths represent the transformative effects of healing power.”

MESSAGE FOR YOU
“You or someone you care about is in pain. This  card brings with it the power and promise of healing and peace. However dark and uncomfortable it has been, a soothing, gentler time approaches. This card can also represent you in the role of healer or peacemaker. If you find yourself called to help someone else, answer that call. If you focus on the center of white *magick within your soul, you’ll be able to make a difference in someone’s life.”

HEALING WATERS
“If you are in need of some healing or peace-restoring *magick, here is a simple technique. Draw a warm, comfortable bath. Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with two tablespoons of sweet almond oil, and add them to your bath. Light a purple and white candle (more, if you have them). As you relax in your bath, lie back and close your eyes. Visualize a soft white light filled with a soft, soothing scent and gentle music. Imagine it envelops you, gently supporting your body, casing your senses, quieting your mind. Stay in that safe, healing embrace for as long as you like –or until your bath water gets chilly.”

“To carry healing or peaceful energy with you, anoint a white ribbon with a drop of lavender as you say ‘Heal my body, feed my soul. Feeling healthy is my goal’ and tie the ribbon around your wrist or ankle.”

Today’s guidance is from Barbara Moore’s Enchanted Oracle and book called Destiny’s Portal with card Art by Jessica Galbreth. The author and artist reminds us to “shine brightly because *magickal energy is everywhere and available to everyone. Miracles happen. Deities hear and respond. Life is an amazing  journey. Access and implement *magick into your life. Explore your connections to the past and to nature. Celebrate your glory and your uniqueness. Acknowledge your power. Be beautiful, and be kind.”

IN MY OWN WORDS
(THE SPIRITBLOGGER)

To me, *Magick is defined as the “High Art Of” and an active conscientious process of manifestation; which is the art of causing change in accordance with will. If we align our pure heart’s desire with our willingness and good intentions (with no negative thoughts or ill will towards the self or others), aimed only at our personal self, we can expend spiritual energy to visualize the specific changes we wish to see and then fully release it; thus working to make it manifest into our life and part of our reality. This involves setting an expectation with the universe by using faith, trust, confidence, and positive thinking without attachment to specific results, outcomes, and means, but rather focus for being open to infinite possibilities and believing the universe is capable of providing; once you deem yourself ready to receive its blessings. Expect a miracle.

SpiritBlogger’s Blog

Inspiration for the Day for May 5: Finding Our Life’s Work

 

 

Finding Our Life’s Work

 

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Your most important work in this lifetime may not be your job – it’s a conviction within your soul, recognizable if you allow it to shine.

Sometimes it takes us the better part of a lifetime to discover our life’s work, even though we may have been doing it our whole lives without necessarily realizing it. Our life’s work is not always what we do to make money, although we often think it should be, and sometimes this way of thinking prevents us from seeing clearly what it is. It may be the work of having children, caring for them, and running a household. The way we know our life’s work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

When we are doing our life’s work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn’t mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self. When we are engaged in our life’s work, our bodies feel more alive, because our energy is devoted to a cause that, in turn, feeds us. We may be tired after engaging in our life’s work, but we are almost never depleted. We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.

When we are deeply unhappy, depressed, or subject to one illness after another, this may be due to a sense of disconnection from our life’s work. At times like these, finding the work we are meant to do is an essential act of healing. Most of us remember a time when we felt fully engaged in some act of work, service or creativity, and it is here that we may rediscover the work we are meant to do now. On the other hand, it may be time to explore what inspires us through volunteering, taking a class, going back to school, or just doing whatever it is we long to try. We all have callings, and when we find them, we owe it to ourselves to nurture and protect them, because while they may or may not be our livelihood, they are the keys to our wellbeing.

 

Daily OM

Daily Motivator for March 4: Welcome the consequences

Welcome the consequences

Ask yourself, what can you do today that will improve the consequences you experience tomorrow? How can you make the inevitable consequences turn out in your favor?

For all you do, for all you think, for all you choose, there are consequences. The consequences may come soon, or much later, you might recognize them, or you might not, yet they will always come.

For every action there is a reaction, for every cause a result. Live as though there will be consequences, because there will be.

You cannot avoid consequences. What you can do, however, is to bring about the most desirable consequences as a result of the choices you make.

Gratefully embrace the fact that there are consequences. Consequences enable you to change reality, and you can choose to make those changes valuable, beneficial ones.

When you act in this moment, you act on behalf of all the days and years to come. Act so that when the consequences do arrive, you’ll be delighted to welcome them with open arms.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Inspiration for the Day for March 4: Finding Our Life’s Work

 

 

 

Finding Our Life’s Work

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Your most important work in this lifetime may not be your job – it’s a conviction within your soul, recognizable if you allow it to shine.

Sometimes it takes us the better part of a lifetime to discover our life’s work, even though we may have been doing it our whole lives without necessarily realizing it. Our life’s work is not always what we do to make money, although we often think it should be, and sometimes this way of thinking prevents us from seeing clearly what it is. It may be the work of having children, caring for them, and running a household. The way we know our life’s work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

When we are doing our life’s work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn’t mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self. When we are engaged in our life’s work, our bodies feel more alive, because our energy is devoted to a cause that, in turn, feeds us. We may be tired after engaging in our life’s work, but we are almost never depleted. We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.

When we are deeply unhappy, depressed, or subject to one illness after another, this may be due to a sense of disconnection from our life’s work. At times like these, finding the work we are meant to do is an essential act of healing. Most of us remember a time when we felt fully engaged in some act of work, service or creativity, and it is here that we may rediscover the work we are meant to do now. On the other hand, it may be time to explore what inspires us through volunteering, taking a class, going back to school, or just doing whatever it is we long to try. We all have callings, and when we find them, we owe it to ourselves to nurture and protect them, because while they may or may not be our livelihood, they are the keys to our wellbeing.

 

–Daily OM

Inspiration for the Day for Feb. 20: Personal Power

 

 

 

 

Personal Power

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Power is not about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.

Many of us have do not understand what personal power means. We have been given the false notion that power is bad–that it is something we use to exert our will upon others. In fact, when our personal power is intact, we are neither overbearing nor meek. We have a clear sense of our strength and the impact we can have on others. This actually enables us to be more sensitive. Personal power is what permits us to work on behalf of our dreams and desires. It allows us to realize that we are worthy and deserve to be heard. In addition, our personal power lets us extend the respect we know that we deserve to the people around us. There is no reason to be afraid or ashamed of fully owning your power.

In the chakra system, the solar plexus is the seat of personal power. One way to evaluate your sense of power is to breathe into this part of the body. If it feels tight or nervous, it is an indication that you may not be fully expressing your power. You can heal this imbalance by expanding the area of the solar plexus with your breath. You can also visualize a bright yellow sun in this part of your body. Allow its heat to melt any tension, and let its light dissolve any darkness or heaviness. Repeating this exercise on a regular basis can restore and rejuvenate your sense of power.

Another way to nurture your personal power is to honor your dreams and desires by making concrete plans to manifest them in the world. Start by making a list of things you want, and let yourself think big. Choose one goal from the list and commit to bringing it to fruition. In addition, break the goal into tasks that you can work on each day. Know that you deserve to have your dreams come true and that you have the power to bring them into being.

 

–Daily OM

Inspiration for the Day for Feb 17: Home Is Where the Heart Is

Home Is Where the Heart Is

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

A turtle carries its home on its back, as humans we carry our home in our heart.

The word “home” has a wide variety of connotations. To some, home is merely a place where basic needs are addressed. To others, home is the foundation from which they draw their strength and tranquility. Still, others view home as a place inexorably linked to family. Yet all these definitions of home imply somewhere we can be ourselves and are totally accepted. There, we feel safe enough to let down our guard, peaceful enough to really relax, and loved enough to want to return day after day. However, these qualities need not be linked to a single space or any space at all. Home is where the heart is and can be the locale you live in, a community you once lived in, or the country where you plan to live someday. Or home can be a feeling you carry inside yourself, wherever you are.

The process of evolution can require you to undergo transformations that uproot you. Moving from place to place can seem to literally divide you from the foundations you have come to depend on. Since your home is so intimately tied to the memories that define you, you may feel that you are losing a vital part of yourself when you leave behind your previous house, city, state, or country. And as it may take some time before you fashion new memories, you may feel homeless even after settling into your new abode. To carry your home with you, you need only become your own foundation. Doing so is merely a matter of staying grounded and centered, and recognizing that the pleasures you enjoyed in one place will still touch your heart in another if you allow them.

Your home can be any space or state of being that fulfills you, provided you are at peace with yourself and your surroundings. A person can feel like home to you, as can seasons and activities. If you feel disconnected from what you once thought of as home, your detachment may be a signal that you are ready to move one. Simply put, you will know you have found your home when both your physical environment and energetic surroundings are in harmony with the individual you are within.

 

–Daily OM