Thursday, November 16, 2017

Great Spirit Prayer


"Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world.
 
Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
 
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice

Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - Myself.
 
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

~Author Unknown

~~~

Photo Credit:  © ruslan1117 - Fotolia.com

Tradition: Native American

Recommendation from The Radical Virgo: 
Change terms as needed to fit your own belief system. There are so many names for Higher Power: God, Goddess, All That Is, Lord/Lady, Spirit and the Universe to name a few.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Peace Prayer of Wonder and Surprise





Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all: I ask only to share the wonder of it all.

Grant me peace. Your most precious gift, and give me the will to proclaim its message to all the people of the Earth.
Although differences in thought and belief divide us, let love of truth and the pursuit of holiness, unite me with all life.

Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart. May the one who makes peace in the heavens make peace for all.

~~~

Photo: My great-niece Ana in wonder at the Menorah.

Tradition: Judaism

Recommendation from The Radical Virgo: Change terms as needed to fit your own belief system. There are so many names for Higher Power: God, Goddess, All That Is, Lord/Lady, Spirit and the Universe to name a few.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Prayja Vu: Past Prayer Collection





Prayer Month comes but once a year in November, but many of the prayers are wonderful to revisit. 

Here are 10 prayers and two articles from 2013. They range from traditional to astrological and cover many many spiritual orientations.






Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Peace Offerings



Prayer in Action

© 2017 by Joyce Mason

Growing up Catholic, I was taught to offer up my suffering. The nuns said that suffering, when united with Jesus’s suffering on the Cross, helps convert sinners and atones for sins.
That sounds dark, preachy and almost borderline masochistic from my 2017 view of spirituality, but I realized it has both something to offer on its own face and the potential for a more positive spin. If we tone down the punishing language a bit, sinners and sins are just people who miss the mark of best behavior and sins are errors made in learning how to really live. Our suffering can lead to better behavior and paths for others by their option to learn from our mistakes and our wisdom to share what we learn from our own pain. All relationships, I’m sure even our one with Spirit, are about sharing joys, woes and growth.

The astrological/mythical spin. The idea of offering up suffering is the same thing mythical Chiron did when he chose to take on Prometheus’s punishment for him, giving up his own immortality in the process. Prometheus is a symbol for Uranus, society, freedom and the higher mind, the same pool into which we all pour our pain. Poolside we are witness to great acts of love and altruism, compassion and to suggestions for ways to do—or not to do—things. If you think everyone’s suffering doesn’t affect everyone else, think of the Americans for Disabilities Act and how there is now access for all in public places. That’s a blessing for everyone, because even if you have no mobility issues now, as we age, most of us get wobbly and need a cane or other assistive device.

The positive spin. What if we were to do the same thing with acts of kindness? Offer them up not just to the individual who directly benefits from them but to be aware how they benefit us all. In doing these things, we put more kindness into the Cosmic Cloud, where all acts are documented just like our written documents are saved in another kind of Cloud. The idea is similar to the Akashic record of all happenings. Think of it as putting money in a world bank where kindness, good deeds and fun add to the world’s wealth while crime, bitterness and power trips are like bank robberies and major losses. What can we do to keep the world afloat and everyone’s needs met?

Awareness is the key. In these times of turbulent change where the festering boil of hate, racism and an icy winter of discontent can easily cloud the vision of truth (speaking of clouds), acts of kindness and consideration are needed more than ever. Example at Walmart yesterday: I was waiting in line for my deli order when a man who said he had “terrible vision” wanted directions from the clerk to the bread aisle. He clearly could not see where the deli man was directing him several aisles down, so I offered to take him there while my order was being filled. Since it was still a bit of a wait when I got back to the deli, I took the extra minutes to compliment the woman next to me on her choice of glasses frames. We had a pleasant chat.

Little things, but they benefited two people and everyone in the Cloud. I imagine it like one of those electronic boards on the Commodities Exchange. Acts of Kindness up two. Yet the energy of the entire universe is a web of light that each person’s actions affects. I believe that thinking or saying to yourself " ... and I'm offering this up" adds energy to those acts and pitches them into the Cloud with extra strength.

This is a simple idea—offering these things up not only for the direct recipient but for all of us. Imagine what peace would come from strengthening the Cloud with love, knowing how light overcomes darkness. What a return on investment for the real wealth of a world that works for all.

~~~

Photo Credit: Hand holding heart cloud -© nnudoo, Fotolia.com


Sunday, November 5, 2017

An Earthy Prayer of Peace


Lately I have become fascinated with all things Celtic, especially Celtic spirituality from its pagan roots to its Christian expressions. I am reading with great excitement The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer. I am convinced I was a druid in a past life. Actually, I am beginning to suspect I still am one. As we approach the time of Thanks and Peace on Earth, enjoy this prayer painted in Earth tones.


Deep within the still center of my being, may I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove, may I share peace.
Gently and powerfully within the greater circle of humankind, may I radiate peace.
May the peace of the goddess go in our hearts and the dance of the god enliven our days.

And may we care for the Earth and each other because our lives depend on it.
May our intention be to empower the true light within that enables us to transform our lives, reach out to others, and heal our ailing Earth.

~~~

Tradition: Pagan

Photo Credit: 
Forest park in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, UK, © M-image – Fotolia.com

Recommendation from The Radical Virgo: Change terms as needed to fit your own belief system. There are so many names for Higher Power: God, Goddess, All That Is, Lord/Lady, Spirit and the Universe to name a few.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Sky-ping with the Universe: 5th Annual Prayer and Thanksgiving Month


  
Since 2013, The Radical Virgo has devoted November to interfaith prayers combined with posts about gratitude.  As my own spirituality has evolved, I perceive God/Goddess/All That Is as the ultimate energy source rather than a Man in the Sky, an energy that is the substance of the Universe itself. It is the ethereal stardust that attracts and forms all things, or as I like to say, it’s Creativity with a Capital C or the Creative One. For me there is no separation between science and religion. They are the same. Quantum physics proves this hypothesis more each year.

I like to include as many flavors of spirituality as possible in these posts, something for everyone. I’m not just aiming at inclusiveness but at discovery. There is also something for everyone in traditions that you weren’t raised in or don’t believe in as an overall philosophy. That’s why I love November on The Radical Virgo. I always get new inspiration.

In honoring the orientation that gelled my own spirituality the most, astrology, I realized once again that we pray to Someone or Something in the Sky. The earliest religion was sun worship, and while I don’t believe the planets “make us do it,” I think the right place to look is Up. There are so many metaphors in that upward glance, positivity and the gesture that goes with believing in something bigger. It reminds me of an endearing phrase my husband and I use, “I love you bigger than the sky.” 

For most of us, the sky is as big as it gets. (“The sky’s the limit.”) Astrology fits right into this plan as does a pen-and-ink I own called Time, the zodiac as a clock. The universe is a giant mechanism with lots of moving parts that shepherds us across the human construct of time by repeating cycles just like the wheels in the clockworks. We are made of the same stuff as the stars. Prayer is star conversation, the act of evoking the Creative One to help us in our dense, daily, earthly joys and challenges. It is communicating with the god/good in which we’re all connected, the web of stardust and Creation.

My first spiritual teacher used to say that prayer is talking to God; meditation is listening.

When I finally managed to achieve a daily meditation practice this year after 40 years of trying, I realized I had nearly stopped praying and missed it.  Listening is great but I also want to chat with the literal Powers That Be. However you perceive Higher Power, talking to Him/Her/It feels very good for me—and I hope for you, too.



The Celtic Caim Prayer

I’d like to start this year’s Prayer Month with a beautiful audio meditation/prayer from David Cole on Insight Timer.  The Caim Prayer is one of protection, where we draw an energetic circle around ourselves, keeping in what we want such as love and keeping out what we don’t want, such as fear.

Every blessing,
Joyce


~~~

Photo Credits: Fotolia: Thank the Universe - ©Nikki Zalewski, Celtic Circle - ©macrolink

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Haunting from The Radical Virgo!



© 2010 -17 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved


It's hard for me to have only one favorite holiday with Mercury in Libra, but I have to tell you: Halloween is right up there with Christmas for me.

I don't let my dark side out much, so having a national holiday where everyone is Scorpio for a Day is wildly fun for me. (If you didn't read my fantasy Halloween costume post last year, the treat’s on me--no tricks! Even if you did, it’s worth the déjà-boo.)

And while we’re on the subject, Happy Birthday, Scorpio Suns! Hope your Solar Return was/will be full of passion and potions.

I'm giving out candy shaped like eyeballs and body parts. Oh, and another bag is full of candy bugs. I hope I don't scare any of the little humanoids whose mothers dress them funny. I really get into it. Always have. Hehehehe.

Getting Lore-id

According to About.com, the celebration of Halloween has come down to us for the most part as a cross-cultural stew of folk traditions. Here’s a link that will lure you into as much Halloween lore as you can stand: Halloween 2010: Top Costumes, History, Myths, More. For one thing, it tells us of the holiday’s pagan progenitor:

Halloween's origins date back more than 2,000 years. On what we consider November 1, Europe's Celtic peoples celebrated their New Year's Day, called Samhain (SAH-win).

On Samhain eve—what we know as Halloween—spirits were thought to walk the Earth as they traveled to the afterlife. Fairies, demons, and other creatures were also said to be abroad.  (To those not from the UK, I figured out in reading Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, an incredible memoir about his Irish childhood, that “abroad” means outdoors or out and about, unlike in the US where it means across the Pond or ocean—or out of the country somewhere far off.)

Adjacent Holidays
 
All Soul’s Day.  To be equal opportunity religious in our symbolism, let’s talk the Catholic perspective. In reaction to this pagan good time, Pope Boniface IV in the seventh century decreed November 1 All Saints' Day or All Hallows' Day. It celebrates “the faithfully departed.” Same spirit—spirits! (Does any other religion use the term “faithfully departed?” Does this mean the person didn’t cheat or cheat on death?) I hear Anglicans also celebrate this feast day and the Eastern Orthodox religions celebrate several similar feasts during the year. I like this idea. Halloween is full of presumably unfriendly and unrelated spirits, whereas All Soul’s Day is an opportunity to honor spirits we knew and loved, our ancestors passed, something often don’t do enough in the Western World. So, witches and goblins out trick or treating or those of you taking kids and grandkids on the rounds on Halloween—the next day, bring a flower to the cemetery, say a prayer for your late, great grandma and remember why you loved these sweet souls.


Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos).  Just as St. Paddy’s Day makes me want to be Irish for a day along with most of the rest of the world, Dias de los Muertos makes me want to be Latina. Primarily celebrated in Mexico or by Mexicans living in the US and Canada on November 2, there is a clear association with All Soul’s Day, the day before. Dias de los Muertos focuses on gathering together friends and family to celebrate the lives of their dearly departed. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. However, my favorite part about it is the comical death figurines and costumes that are part of an overall attitude where people thumb their noses at death. When my husband renewed our vows at a close family-and-friends celebration in 2007, I seriously considered topping the cake with a Day of the Dead couple to say that I really meant ‘til death do us part and maybe beyond. I love the fact that this holiday is both solemn and playful, honoring and celebratory with food, music, and dance. It’s so colorful, it gets my vote as the most dramatic example of the upside of Scorpio.

Click to enlarge


Anniversary of Chiron’s Discovery. Adding to this bundle of holidays so close together and sharing All Soul’s Day on November 1st is Chiron’s discovery in 1977. As the patron saint of The Radical Virgo, mythical Chiron gets my vote for being remembered on All Soul’s Day/his Discovery Day. How fascinating that Chiron would be discovered on a day we remember loved ones who have “crossed over.” In her seminal book on the subject, Barbara Hand Clow called Chiron “the rainbow bridge” to the outer planets. There are many references in metaphysical circles about crossing the rainbow bridge at death. In the myth, Chiron surrendered his mortality and died in an act of altruism for others. After three days he was raised to the heavens in a constellation. This has many parallels to the later death and resurrection of Jesus. Both were teachers and beloved for their wisdom. Even if we’re not sure if Chiron was “real,” let’s remember him and all the teachers who have “passed” in our life, whether that means they are no longer incarnate or have passed through our lives and are not currently teaching us. What a wonderful day to pay homage to those whose sacrifices and wisdom have saved and expanded us.


May your black-and-orange season be rich with symbolism—and candy.

~~~

Photo Credits:   Halloween Background with Moon © Luisa Venturoli and Skull Cake © Mediocrephoto, both from Dreamstime