The best time to plant a fruit tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

This is my blog of yore. It existed in the blogging stone age, long before the advent of “likes” on WP and threaded comment replies. One popular way we devised to reply to individual commenters, was to write inside their comment box, underneath their comment, in bold text. So glad we have a “reply” option now! I’ve republished a few of my old posts, to reconnect with the spirit of this space and the wonderful community that once consistently gathered here. Many have transitioned on to unknown spaces and places, but I hold them near and dear in my heart. I’m leaving this post here, just in case any of my beloved peeps of yore, happens to drop by on whim. Perchance we will reconnect and walk a path together once again. I am here now, at Mother Wintermoon, dabbling in some falling word fragments and tattered verse. Miss you all. Still cherishing our synergy. Peace, love and chocolate, MW ❤️

Every Halloween we are treated to the visage of the Halloween witch, with her missing teeth, sparse, thin and grungy hair, claw-like fingers, bent and crooked body, green flesh, crooked nose and scarily disfigured face. Children and adults alike are intrigued and entertained, getting a kick out of the image of the ugly, scary looking witch. We have become so accustomed to seeing women portrayed as Halloween witches, we buy the masks and display the figures of her, without a second thought. She isn’t real we think, she is the all-in-good-fun face of Halloween.

Where did the image come from? How did it arise? During the witch hunts, women, the most vulnerable members of society, were forcefully taken away to be horrifically tortured as accused witches. Inside dungeons the “witch” was imprisoned, while her torturers attacked her breasts, genitals, face, and hands with pincers, pliers, red hot irons, racks, and the cruelest implements imaginable to break her body, mind and spirit. Once a confession was torn from her bleeding mouth and tortured flesh, she was paraded through town like a chained beast, to be burned alive or hung. Villagers didn’t see her as the woman she was, they saw what she became, a terrifying visage with smashed teeth, broken nose, a bent and broken body, and hands crooked and swollen from the torturers implements. Her face, mouth and body were swollen beyond recognition, chunks of her hair was ripped out of her scalp, and her entire being was covered in filth and bruises of sickly purple and green hues.

She became the witch that we know today as the ugly hag, the demon woman, the symbol of evil; a nonhuman creature to be ridiculed and feared. This Halloween, pay her homage, remember who she was, and honor her as a victim of patriarchal misogyny, persecuted and tortured by simply for being a woman of independent knowledge and wisdom. The Church considered women in formerly venerable positions of honor and respect in their communities, to be a threat to their power and control. Midwives, mentors, healers, herbalists, and wise-women were all regarded with suspicion and singled out as the cause of all misfortune.witch_torture.jpg
The torture inflicted upon women accused of witchcraft was especially cruel.The process of persecuting witches followed the most excruciating inquisitional procedures known to man. Once accused of witchcraft, a woman was highly unlikely to escape a conviction. After tortuous cross-examination, the victim’s body was examined for the witch’s mark. A historian described the process thusly:

…she was stripped naked and the executioner shaved off all her body hair in order to seek in the hidden places of the body the sign which the devil imprinted on his cohorts. Warts, freckles, and birthmarks were considered certain tokens of amorous relations with Satan.

Should a woman show no sign of a witch’s mark, guilt could still be established by methods such as sticking needles in the accused’s eyes.

It is thus, that women became Halloween witches. How often have we seen the “evil” witch portrayed as blind, with clouded eyes? We must always be aware of past history and the way it continues to affect us to this day, yet, we must also remember to balance the harshness of truth and awareness with joyful celebrations. So this Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve enjoy the festivities, but maybe give the evil, ugly witch costumes a pass. Instead, remember the witches with honor and respect. Say a prayer for the women that became the face of the Halloween Witch. May their spirits be free and rest in peace.

Love is all, MW

A very interesting topic entitled, “Consciousness or Money? What Would You Choose?” caught my attention on Mark’s thought-provoking blog The Naked Soul, a favorite gathering spot for wise words and lively discussions.

I followed Mark’s link to the excerpt as follows:

In her book Entering the Castle, Caroline Myss writes that in a class she was teaching, she asked her students the following question: “If given a chance to become more conscious or to have more money, which “more” would you take?” Myss says that 99% of the students in her class chose more money.

There were many responses to the post. The majority viewed “more money” as the erroneous choice and indulged in negative commentary on the mentality of the people that chose it. I saw the same take on it on another blog, from the blogger and his commenters. On the whole, the money choice was judged negatively by Myss’s followers and disciples of “higher consciousness.” I always find it odd when I see spiritual seekers supporting mega-rich, New Age gurus , yet judging far less fortunate people for wanting to be free of financial distress and deprivation.

More money or more consciousness? My question is, why are they considered mutually exclusive? It’s highly offensive, classist and elitist to say that a person or family in need, is on the low end of the consciousness scale by default, because they choose the more money option. I take umbrage with the narrow view that choosing more money equates to lower levels of consciousness.  I’ve been impoverished, working poor, and homeless. Suffice to say…some of the wisest, most generous, and most evolved humans I’ve met, would choose the more money option in a heartbeat. Your very own Momma Moon would choose more money as the greater good and responsibly conscious choice. ~Part of romancing the crone, is understanding responsible consciousness as the highest level of higher consciousness.~

moneyI often see a disconnect with money, manifesting in spiritual communities. Many people on spiritual paths feel ‘money’ obstructs a full and complete connection to Spirit. In actuality, the energy of money can be one with Spirit. Money energy can resonate with love  and goodness. Money in and of itself is neutral, not inherently negative. It is how an individual chooses to use their money which determines the energy it carries and the effects it will have. Money is the servant of the possessor, not the master.

cowry shellsAt one time “Cypraea moneta” shells, (Cowry shells), were used as currency throughout the trade networks of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. Does this means Cowry shells are bad because they were used as currency? Of course not, they were simply pretty shells with the capacity to provide sustenance, essential provisions, and creature comforts. The same is true for money today. ‘More money’ creates leisure time and energy to expend on spiritual pursuits VS struggling to survive or keep your head above water, in a depleting deficit. Money means having the luxury to purchase the goods, trinkets and workshops of a mega-rich guru, if one so desires. With more money we can have access to self-care and extend that out to others. We each have free will and the ability to make constructive choices. Spirit does not disdain money energy simply because some messed up people do not opt to use it in productive and constructive ways.

money3Money is needed to feed the hungry, provide life-saving resources for abused women and children, and house those in need of shelter. Money has an unlimited capacity to save and enhance countless lives. If we honor it rather than assign negative energy to it, money helps us to evolve on all levels in mind, body and spirit.  With sufficient money we are able to buy products and services which support locally owned businesses, creates jobs, keeps employees employed, and sustains economies. More money is more that can be shared to help others get unstuck and move forward in their lives. The ripple effects are immeasurable!

Money is not at odds with Spirit and Higher Consciousness. It’s time for us to embrace money energy as a force of goodness, so that we can use it in Spirit, in the interests of higher good, for ourselves and others. It’s time for us to dispel the lack of awareness inherent in the money VS higher consciousness contest. To label people who would choose more money as less evolved and less conscious, is a narrow and prejudiced belief, completely incongruous with the pursuit of higher consciousness. It’s time for all of us walking the path of higher consciousness to heal our money disconnect.

moneyspirit

“Riches, both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly.”
~Mother Teresa~


Metamorphosing

cocoonmetamorphosisMetamorphosis has been on my mind of late. The process of personal transformation is akin to the butterfly’s metamorphosis from crawling caterpillar to magical, joy inspiring creatures with vibrant wings. Likewise, dragonflies transform from water bound “nymphs” existing only beneath the water’s surface, to ethereal creatures able to fly on iridescent wings.

The caterpillar literally outgrows its own skin in the stages of metamorphosis, and must shed its skin, (a process called “instar”), five times, to make room for its burgeoning self and transformation into an entirely new creature. It must find and attach itself to a place safe from predators, (usually the underside of a leaf) while it transforms.

During this process it has a voracious appetite and actually feasts on its own eggshell, which contains vital nutrients, to begin the process of transformation. It produces enzymes to “digest” plant nutrients and itself, as it literally rearranges its structure to become a new being. The shed skin is replaced by a durable, resilient layer, called the chrysalis, during the process of transformation.

After its metamorphosis is complete, it must allow its wet, wrinkly new wings to dry for a day, (a significant time in the short lifespan of the butterfly), in order to be strong enough to fly. It literally pumps up its wings during this time.

How does the caterpillar know when it’s time to begin transforming? It feels an internal push, which nudges it to find a safe place and start spinning a cocoon around itself.  (Sound familiar so far?) Once inside the cocoon, it doesn’t start sprouting baby wings and changing its body into a butterfly shape. It liquifies into a puddle of goo and a glob of DNA. It is out of that puddle of goo that the butterfly arises.

butterflyIt’s all very much like the voluntarily or involuntarily transformations we undergo during a major life transition. We transform many times during our life cycle: from birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, to old age. More transformations occur when we become a career person, spouse, partner, parent, or grandparent. Some life transitions are scary and involve a number of losses…such as divorce, changes in income and job status, grief, disease, surgery, aging bodies, and disability. People identifying with the LGTQ community also experience life-changing transformations, that often involve losses, fear, and discrimination.

Some transformations are welcomed, others can be very traumatic, where we feel like a puddle of goo, who will be trapped in goop and unable to fly for the remainder of our lives. Losing an identity label we’ve had for long time is trauma many struggle to cope with and overcome.

Instar, the name for the process of metamorphosis is an apt word to describe our own journey to growth, change and transformation. Like the caterpillar, must shed our outgrown layers, to reveal our instar…our internal star. We must have a safe place to cocoon and indulge in the comfort of cocooning, during our “Gah! I am goo” phase.

  • Remind yourself change is inevitable and sometimes we can do nothing more than accept the process and focus on the person we can become.
  • Voraciously nourish yourself in mind, body and spirit during the transition and ingest a diet rich in self-care and positive affirmations.
  • Once your newbie wings form, give them time to dry and pump up, before you try to fly as a transformed being. Trying to fly prematurely, before you’re ready, causes discouraging and disheartening free falls and crash landings.
  • Cut yourself lots of slack, lay off the self-criticism and don’t be hard on yourself. Remember, butterflies shed their skin five times and dragonfly nymphs shed their skin 10 to 15 times before they transform to flying creatures. Only at the sixth or seventh instar, do the external wing pads develop.

dragonflies-in-gardenConsidering the brief life spans of butterflies and dragonflies, shedding their skin five to fifteen times, respectively, is a significant number. Considering the average lifespan of a human being, it stands to reason you should expect to go from puddle of goo to new you, many times during your lifetime. Stay focused on creating a safe cocoon for yourself where you can adjust, nourish, rebuild, and shed those outgrown layers.

Safe and satisfying ‘in-starring’ to you! Don’t forget to give those new wings time to strengthen! The butterfly hangs upside-down to do that, but perhaps you can skip that part.😉 I know how hard it can be to resist the temptation to turn yourself inside-out and upside-down in a desire to expedite the process. (Been there, done that).

 

The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough. ~Rabindranath Tagore

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~R. Buckminster Fuller

bee_pollen2
One philosophy I found to be really validating of my personal beliefs, was found within the pages of Maslow’s book “Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences” Dr. Maslow (1908-1970) states that every major religion in the world began with a deeply personal epiphany from someone who was considered a teacher or a prophet. Maslow called these personal epiphanies, “peak experiences.”

Maslow differed from the status quo in that he saw prophet potential in everyone. He believed everyone was capable of having “peak experiences” equivalent to the solitary visions experienced by the mystics and prophets who gave rise to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and all mainstream faiths. Maslow believed religion, society and other influences suppressed belief in the prophet within, thus preventing some people from having “peak experiences,” while others were able to experience them.

From the point of view of the peak experiencer, each person has his own private religion. This develops out of his own personal revelations in which are revealed to him his own private myths and symbols, rituals and ceremonies. These may be of the profoundest meaning to him personally and yet completely idiosyncratic, i.e., of no meaning to anyone else.”

The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard. To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.

In our search for cosmic purpose, humans are constantly seeking access to ultimate truths, revelations, and the doorway to the divine. Maslow’s wisdom resided in his entreaty and invitation to everyone to see the divine within the mundane and to bear witness to the extraordinary in the ordinary. He believed all people had the capacity to discover miracles and sacredness in ordinary things, if they opened their minds to the possibilities.

Maslow took issue with organized religious appropriation of sacredness and divinity, even the words themselves, so that the essence of them became the exclusive property of self-righteous religious groups, rather than belonging to everyone. By co-opting all concepts of divinity, organized religions appropriated the personal epiphanies of spiritual teachers and prophets and reconfigured them to serve their own agenda, dangling the key to divinity out like a carrot to those that tow their theological line.

In a philosophy that deeply resonates with my personal mission and belief system, Maslow encouraged people from all walks of life to find sacredness, holiness and divinity as they saw it, through the lens of their everyday lives.

The Big Ten (Judeo-Christian).

  • Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
  • Thou shalt not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water below the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
  • Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy GOD in vain.
  • Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  • Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother, that your days may be long upon the Land the LORD your GOD is giving you.
  • Thou shalt not murder.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • Thou shalt not steal.
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.
  • Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, wife, servant, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to thy neighbor.

Beyond The Big Ten:

Ten Commandments of Solon, 638 BCE –558 BCE

Famous Greek (Athenian) statesman, lawmaker, and poet. Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 1.60 by Diogenes Laertius

  • Trust good character more than promises.
  • Do not speak falsely.
  • Do good things.
  • Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made.
  • Learn to obey before you command.
  • When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful.
  • Make reason your supreme commander.
  • Do not associate with people who do bad things.
  • Honor the gods.
  • Have regard for your parents.

Native American Ten Commandments

  • Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
  • Remain close to the Great Spirit.
  • Show great respect for your fellow beings.
  • Work together for the benefit of all humankind.
  • Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
  • Do what you know to be right.
  • Look after the well being of mind and body.
  • Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
  • Be truthful and honest at all times.
  • Take full responsibility for your actions.

Nine Goddess Ethics

By Carol P. Christ

  • Nurture life.
  • Walk in love and beauty.
  • Trust the knowledge that comes through the body.
  • Speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering.
  • Take only what you need.
  • Think about the consequences of your actions for seven generations.
  • Approach the taking of life with great restraint.
  • Practice great generosity.
  • Repair the web.

THE NINE NOBLE VIRTUES OF ASATRU

By facing Iife’s struggles with courage, we constantly extend our capabilities. Without courage, nothing else can be done!

  1. TRUTH

Blind faith has no place in Asatru. No pie-in-the-sky; we must act in this world as we see it and as it really is rather than calmly wait for the next

2. HONOR

We must be true to what we are, and we insist on acting with nobility rather than baseness. Our standards must be banners held high in our hearts.

3. FIDELITY

We stand true to our faith and our values. Loyalty is the basis for all enduring human activity, and we hold it in the highest esteem.

4. HOSPITALITY

The isolation and loneliness of modern life is not necessary. The willingness to share what one has with ones’ fellows, especially travelers, is a vital part of our way of life.

5. DISCIPLINE

We hold to the discipline necessary to fulfill our purpose. We stand willing to exercise the self-control and steadfastness necessary in these difficult times.

6. INDUSTRIOUSNESS

Let us dare to be all that we can be! Let us take risks and taste the richness of life. Passivity is for sheep. We refuse to be mere spectators in life.

7. SELF-RELIANCE

We depend on our own strength and character to achieve our goals. We seek only the freedom necessary to our quest, whatever it may be.

8. PERSEVERANCE

We hold to our path until its completion and are not ashamed to be strong. The cult of the anti-hero will find no support in us, and the gods we follow are not for the weak.

Cattle die, kinsmen die,
one day you yourself must die.
I know one thing that never dies:
the dead man’s reputation.

The Five Precepts of Buddhism:

  • Do not harm other beings.
  • Do not take what is not offered.
  • Do not engage in false or hurtful speech.
  • Do not misuse sex or engage in sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Do not consume stupefying drink or other intoxicants, which cloud one’s mind, lead to addiction, and impair one’s judgment.

Which resonate the most with you?

crow scytheLife offers us the opportunity to become a Spiritual Warrior. A warrior is one who bravely goes into the bleak, shadowed areas within themselves to excavate and face the TRUTH of their being.

Becoming a Spiritual Warrior takes courage and perseverance. The path twists and turns into rough, steep, and rocky terrain. You must walk it alone, with no other human to accompany you, through the denseness of the forest, mountains, gulleys, and caverns. The faces of your fear, guilt, shame, disillusionment, resentment, regret, envy, and sorrow all await your arrival.

You are the only one who can take this journey and look upon all the open wounds residing deep within you. Once you decide to embark on this journey, there is no turning back.

968On this journey, you will encounter your personal thieves and demons. There will be a temptation to hide from them, but the Spiritual Warrior faces them and stays the course. Many times, a Spiritual Warrior will fall down and cry out from the effort, only to get back up and resume the trek up the daunting, difficult and challenging path. Although not all life journey’s have a destination, this is one that does.

At the destination, the arduousness of the journey eases and the energy changes profoundly, within and without. New energy fills the Spiritual Warrior and new, clearer paths become visible, softly glowing with illumination. The Spiritual Warrior moves forward onto the paths of introspection, truth, balance, discernment, and self-awareness, leaving behind the former paths filled with hijackers and thieves.