Preparing for the New Moon in Sagittarius

Preparing for the New Moon in Sagittarius

I always feel a little excited by the New Moon. Although the Full Moon is the showstopper – beautiful and full of meaning – the New Moon has its own magic. I feel like it is a pivotal moment every month where you get to assess where you are. The waning moon has fully waned, and you’ve agreed to let go of old mental thought patterns and habits which no longer serve you. Now it’s time to figure out what you DO want.

The fact that the new moon is in Sagittarius is extra exciting for me. Between Aries and Sagittarius, those two signs have composed the lion’s share of my former romantic partners. Who doesn’t love a Sagittarian? They are fun, adventurous, they love to learn, they’re always up to something new, and they don’t take themselves too seriously.

So, along those lines, my plans involve a lot of fun new adventures. I already have a full list of goals for 2019 (like a good little nerd), but this month is kind of the kick-off. This month sets the tone for the new year. Here are a few of my goals so far:

  • Finish my first novel (I didn’t say it would be good, I said I would finish it! Lol!)
  • Complete my 2nd Degree Priestess level
  • Get muscular and lean enough to compete in a figure competition (even if I don’t actually compete)
  • Growing my business, Rain Tree Spirit

What does the New Moon mean to you?

Good luck on setting your intentions for this month!

Peace and joy,

Raven

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Honoring Brigid, My Patron Deity

Honoring Brigid, My Patron Deity

This week I wanted to honor my best friend, Brigid, or Brid (“Breed”), as I usually call her. Brigid is a goddess. Now, what kind of a crazy person has a goddess as their best friend? Me! Brigid is one of my two patron deities. I’ll honor the other one, Osun, in a future post.

Brigid inspires my art and my writing. She is a disciplined, honorable, and strong feminine force for good that I deeply admire. Although she is a Celtic goddesss, I still feel a strong connection to her. For some reason, I have always been drawn to Celtic culture. This is why I avoid typical arguments about cultural appropriation.

We don’t fully understand everything about how the soul re-incarnates. The soul does not reincarnate based on race or culture. The soul is drawn to energetic forces. Energy does not respect man-made geographic or cultural dividing lines, or petty prejudices. It is attracted to like-energy. I have reason to believe that I do actually have ancestry from that region, but that’s not important to me. What’s important is honoring and nurturing the spiritual connection that was birthed in me during a meditative vision.

Brigid first appeared to me during meditation – before I knew anything about her – as a young woman. I didn’t yet understand the Crone, Mother, Maiden aspects of the Goddess. I just saw her as a beautiful red-haired young woman. I knew she wanted me to create artistically – this was before I had taken any art classes or pursued any artistic endeavors. In fact, I couldn’t even draw at this time. I didn’t know what the vision meant, but I remembered it over the years.

Fast-forward to eight years later. I have an Associate’s Degree in Studio art and a Master’s in Creative Writing. Writing, painting, and poetry are now integral parts of my life. So far, I’ve never run out of ideas or had any kind of creative blocks. As if making up for lost time, Brigid sends the ideas liberally and generously. My only limitation is time. I am grateful to Brigid for this. I honor her every single day.

For those who are unfamiliar with Brigid, I will give you a quick summary. However, the only way to really know a patron deity is to spend time with him or her in meditation, visualization, soul walks, etc. But, as an introduction, here’s what I know about my Brid:

Brigid is a maiden goddess. She is the daughter of Dagda, the “father-god” of Ireland. Her season is spring, and her color is red. She is associated with fire, light, knowledge, inspiration, and vitality. Her name means “exalted one.”  In addition to creativity and the arts – especially poetry – she is the goddess of fertility, healing, and abundance. She has a whole pagan holiday devoted to her – Imbolc, February 1, which marks the pagan start of spring.

There is more to her, of course, but it’s the personal relationship you develop with your patron deity that matters the most. A patron deity is simply one aspect of the one Power, one Intelligence, that governs and permeates the Universe. That Universal Power (which we call God, or the Goddess) is so grand as to be remote and difficult for us to grasp. So, the patron deity allows us to tap into the portion of deity that relates to our gifts, talents, and mission on the planet. Connecting to this patron on a daily basis keeps us in touch with our Higher Self and our spiritual purpose.

Regardless of the culture the deity comes from, his or her qualities are Universal. They do not belong to any particular country, race, or ethnicity.

Do you have a patron deity? Who is he or her? How did you connect to them? How do you honor them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Contact me if you want help or guidance on your spiritual path.

Also, please check out Rain Tree Spirit for metaphysical gifts and products. Here is one of the items for sale:

Vintage Moon Necklace

Sign up for my newsletter to receive 20% off through November 30, 2018.

Peace and richest blessings on your journey,

Raven

What Should You Do if Turkey Day is Kind of a Bummer?

What Should You Do if Turkey Day is Kind of a Bummer?

I’m more of a stuffing and mashed potatoes gal than a turkey lover (poor little things!). But I know that, regardless of which food is your favorite, for many people, the holidays are not always all they’re cracked up to be. The Hallmark Channel movies, television commercials, and grocery store decorations make Thanksgiving look amazing, almost ethereal. And, indeed, the end of the year holidays are supposed to be loving and lovely. Thanksgiving (despite the American mythology and hypocrisy involved in the supposed reason for the holiday) should be a day of giving thanks, feeling grateful, appreciating the fall weather, enjoying the blessing of good food and loving company. But it’s not that way for everyone.

So, I wanted to honor and respect those for whom Thanksgiving is a dreaded holiday. It could be due to fractured family relationships, lack of money, isolation from others, seasonal depression, illness, eating disorders, etc.

First of all, you are not alone. Although it may not seem like it because we all wear social masks, this holiday is difficult for many people. So, while it seems like you are the only one who is feeling blue right now, you are not.

Secondly, it’s only one day. Be grateful that, unlike Hanukkah, Thanksgiving does not last eight days. Only one! And feel free to make it as short as possible. If you decide to only make an appearance, rather than hang out at the parties all day, do what you need to do. If you are going to be alone on that day, use it as an excuse to treat yourself like royalty. What have you always wanted to do but it feels too extravagant, or a waste of time? Do it! Treat it as your job to make yourself happy today.

Thirdly, that being said, if you want to be sad, then be sad. Allow yourself to experience the full gamut of emotions without guilt. Do what you need to do – cry, write in a journal, or join an online chat group and vent. Often, the best way to get over something is to go straight through it. So, allow yourself to feel every feeling you’ve been avoiding.

Fourthly, there’s a full moon tomorrow! Bless the Goddess! So, if you are a Wiccan, a Wiccan-in-training, or just a spiritual seeker, take the opportunity to learn about esbats, the monthly honoring of the lunar cycles. Instead of viewing November 22 as Thanksgiving, view it as a celebration of the Goddess. Enjoy Her energy. Feel her joy. Celebrate the power of the Divine Feminine (whether you are male or female). Have a glass of wine and toast Mother Earth for her bounty and generosity!

Have faith that things will get better.  And if you feel like reaching out, please reach out. I will answer you.

 

Peace and love,

Raven

Visualization & Magic for Spiritual Activism

Lions don’t play. You can look at them and know that. They don’t go around bothering people or starting trouble (like people do), but they are not called King of the Jungle for nothing. They protect what’s theirs.

As spiritual beings wandering around in a world of suffering, the World is ours. We have a job to do. There is no need to force our beliefs on anyone. However, as people fostering a connection with the Divine on a daily basis, we owe it to the people around us to use our spiritual gifts, talents, and capacities (whatever they may be) to leave this world a little better than we found it. All it takes is willingness, a little time, and the ability to see what it is we are trying to create. The ability to visualize what you want is the key to creating anything in the here and now.

I learned a powerful lesson in visualization one day while listening to a motivational video by Tony Robbins. He had the audience do an exercise where they raised their right arm, shoulder height, in front of them. While facing forward, they circled the arm behind them as far as they possibly could, and noted how far they were able to go.

Then he had them rest that arm and go through the exercise again – only in the mind. First, visualize the arm lifting forward, in front of you, then, mentally reach the arm around and behind you, this time 20% farther than the spot you were able to reach physically.

Then you bring the arm back around in the mind, and do it again. This time, reach ¾ around the body, in your mind. Rest again. During the final visualization, you see your arm reaching 360 degrees all the way around your body, like Elastic Man. I had nothing else better to do at the time, so I played along with Tony and did the exercise.

The final step was to raise the arm – not in the mind, this time, but in reality. Lift it forward, then reach around. I was absolutely shocked to see how much further I could go than the first time!

Could I go 360 degrees around my whole body? No, of course not. But I got much further than I seemed to be physically capable of the first time. It was a clear demonstration of the power of the mind, the power of visualization. This is the power we tap into when we do a spell, a healing, a reading, or a prayer. This power is not completely understood, but it is well-documented.

More important than any ingredients we might use in a spell, or the flowery words we might use in a public prayer, is the vision we start with in our heads. We have to start any important endeavor with the end in mind. If we can “see” it, from the beginning to the end, we can achieve it. We can’t dictate how it will show up, but we can get much, much closer than if we don’t see it first.

But spiritual practice and magic are not just for ourselves. Getting a better job, making more money, or entering a loving relationship is wonderful. But, as Light beings, we are here to hold the space for the rest of humanity.

The world is becoming an increasingly violent, hostile place. We cannot bury our heads and ignore it just because we may personally be happy and content.  Our Divine mission and purpose (should we choose to accept it) is to bring the beauty of the Goddess to the planet in tangible form.

There are many ways we can make a difference, depending upon our unique gifts and talents. But it all starts in the mind. We have to “see” a world of love and harmony before we can create it. If we can see it, we can believe in it. Once we believe in it, we will do what it takes to make it happen, to the very best of our abilities.

So, how can we get better at visualization? We have to build our ability to visualize the same way we would build a muscle. Start with the “light weights.” For example, before you get out of bed, see yourself performing your normal routine. Do you make your bed first? Do you put coffee on? Do you meditate? (if so, yay, you!!) Whatever you do, stay in bed for a couple of minutes and see it first. It’ll be easy because it’s nothing special, it’s something you always do. You know exactly what it looks like already. But this practice builds your ability to visualize.

Eventually, work your way up to seeing other outside, routine, activities, such as meetings at work, or dates with your significant other. Imagine what you would like to have happen. See it clearly in your mind. Envision what is said, what is done, and what the mood is.

Over time, you can work up to seeing actual Light energy, moving from your hands, your eyes, or your heart towards someone or something. You can learn to direct this energy towards self-healing. or the healing of others. You will be able to envision things far in the future. Start small and build over time. Don’t strain. Stop as soon as you feel taxed. Ground yourself afterwards by picturing your fingers and toes wiggling in dark, rich soil. You can also ground yourself by eating something like a piece of fruit and focusing on the action of eating it. Grounding brings the mind back to normal, earthly life.

Spells are used to improve life in various ways. We can improve our own lives and the lives of the people around us. But everything starts in the mind.

Be patient with yourself and have fun. Be that king-of-the-jungle lion protecting the rest of the pride. You are absolutely qualified for this position. So, be about it! For all of our sakes.

Peace and love,

Raven

How Can You Stay Spiritual When You’re Surrounded By Jerks?

How Can You Stay Spiritual When You’re Surrounded By Jerks?

Energy is transferable. We often refer to this as “vibes,” but the meaning is the same. We pick up on each other’s “energy,” which is really just the coagulation of thoughts into a tangible expression of multiplied energy.

It all begins with thought. Every thought is a unit of energy. Depending upon its nature, an individual thought can have a large or a small amount of energy. But, in general, a single thought, by itself, tends to have only a tiny amount energy.

But thoughts do not travel alone. They travel in packs, and they follow one another closely, like groupies behind a rock star. The parade of random thoughts that fly through our heads may be fairly weak individually, but, together, they form a mob.

And, in an untrained mind, they do not sachet slowly through the brain, sniffing the roses as they go. They race and rush along at break-neck speeds, tripping over one another. They also march insanely in circles, stomping their feet, mumbling as they stumble along, hoping to attract attention and validation.

These packs of thoughts eventually gather enough steam to procreate. Their energy spreads, first into habitual patterns of thoughts. Then words. Then patterns of words. Then actions and behavior. Then patterns of actions, called habits. Habits create results in the world. These results create our lives as we know them.

So, whenever we interact with another human being, we are interacting with a storehouse of various cliques of thoughts. Think of high school cliques: you have the druggies, and the jocks. You have high achievers, artists, nerds, and dropouts. You have teacher’s pets, loners, abused kids, popular kids, special needs kids, and new kids.

When we encounter an individual whom we call a “jerk,” what we are dealing with someone whose storehouse is full of trouble-making cliques. The cliques in their mind are the dangerous kids, the ones who are negative and aggressive. They don’t listen to authority, and they have no higher aspiration than dominating the weaker cliques.

So, if you are someone who is actively trying to graduate the various cliques in your own mind from high schoolers to adulthood, how do you stay on track when the people around you are “jerks?”

  • First of all, stay aware and awake. Visualize what is happening and why. Bullies will always want to take over the school. Vigilant adults are the only ones who can stop them. But they can’t do it by getting into fist fights with the students. They have to enact policies that identify the problem kids and render them powerless in various ways. They can do this because they are smarter, older, more experienced – and they have the authority to do so!
  • Secondly, have a “mantram” in your mind that you use “in  case of emergency.” A mantram is a short, simple, positive phrase that you mentally repeat over and over. The purpose is to maintain control of your own thoughts. Whenever your thoughts want to race along like fools, the mantram pulls them into a conga line of positivity – distracting them long enough to get them back on track. My first mantram was “Rama” which invokes “joy.” Whenever “jerks” threatened to make me angry and frowny, “joy” reminded me of Who (and Whose) I really am.
  • Speak leanly to jerks. Jerks tend to talk and talk and talk. Their aggressive, frantic thoughts carry anxious energy, which they try to expel by dominating others with their nasty words. Counter this with as few words as possible. The words you do use will be full of wisdom and confidence. This renders their babble powerless over you, and usually makes them look and feel pretty silly. But the goal is not revenge. The goal is to neutralize negative energy.
  • If you slip up and join the jerk in their stupidity, forgive yourself then do the repair work. It takes time and practice to learn how to deal with jerks effectively. Most of your time should be spent with people who uplift your life and positively affect your practice. So you might be caught off guard when you have to deal with a jerk. Don’t beat yourself up. When you get back home or to a quiet space, write about the incident in your journal, congratulate yourself on the things you did “right” (in alignment with your highest ideals) and make suggestions to yourself on what you could do better next time. Meditate on it, pray for yourself, thank the Goddess, then forget about it and move on.
  • Lastly, never regret not getting revenge on a jerk. It’s natural for the ego – after an encounter with a jerk – to suggest all the ugly things you should have said to the person to “put them in their place.” Don’t waste time on this. The jerk may look powerful, but he is miserable. There is nothing to envy there. He did not “win” over you, no matter what happened. He lives in an inner world of anger, insecurity, competition, restlessness, jealousy, and fear. He goes to bed with that, and he wakes up with that. Pray for him and let him be. Your life, as an awakened spiritual being, has endless possibilities. Don’t waste a minute of time wishing you could beat a jerk at his own game. That game is not for you. You could never “win” it, even if you tried, and you wouldn’t want to. Let him go his own way, knowing that karma is real (not revenge karma, but cause-and-effect-karma). Whatever we sow, that we will also reap.

Peace and love,

Raven

Happy Samhain!

Happy Samhain!

On this day of recognizing the thin veil between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead, it’s a good time to take stock of our lives.

In America, we generally live lives that completely ignore death. This is beginning to change as life here grows more and more violent. However, for many people, death is still just something we see on the news, or experience occasionally with the death of an aged relative or random accident.

In former times, death was more frequent. Babies often died of diseases. Women were more likely to die in childbirth. People in general were more subject to infectious disease. And the human life span was shorter.

In other words, death was a part of life. It was something that had to be acknowledged and dealt with. Now that we have eliminated so many diseases and improved medical care, life is longer and healthier. This is a wonderful thing. However, death is still a reality – only one we are often unprepared for.

Death, and its handmaiden, old age, are realities that no one wants to talk about. People do their very best to remain in their twenties. They don’t care how many bizarre, painful, or expensive procedures they have to endure to mask the arrival of old age and death.  The focus here is always on Youth. Older people are often ignored, forgotten, hidden away from society’s camera lens. We want to forget all about the fact that this ride called life eventually stops – or, rather, changes.

And that’s the point. There is no actual “end” to life. But it does change. We will one day interact with existence in a new and different way. We will not breathe in air or take in food. We will not have bodies that get sick or damaged, or that need to be fed or cleansed. Our spirits will take over, leaving the body behind. There will be no separation – real or perceived – between God consciousness and human spiritual consciousness.

The only catch is that we do not instantly become enlightened at the moment of physical death. The level of consciousness one has now is the level of consciousness that carries over into the next plane. So, you may or may not be ready to join forever with the One Presence. You may have to return to the planet in a different form in hopes of perfecting your connection to Divinity through new lessons learned in a new life. Each time you get a little closer, ideally. The people you affect on earth – in positive and negative ways – carry a part of you with them as they continue their own lives, now and forever.

So, let’s use today, Hallow’s Eve, to remind ourselves that:

  • Life is precious and never-ending
  • Each day is a new start.
  • Death is merely a transition
  • Life is meant to be a learning and training ground; let’s not waste time on worthless things
  • The legacy we leave behind – the people we’ve affected, the difference we’ve made, the connection we’ve made with Spirit – is all we really get to keep. But it’s also the only thing that really matters.

Peace and love.

And Happy Halloween!

Raven