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365 Days of Prayer – Day 111

White people are recovering the roots of their shamanic practices. I am of Scandinavian ancestry practicing the Runes and spirit-led teachings of the old gods, who are very happy to teach and inform about the lore of Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds.

I value authors who still remember things that my ancestors had lost, including the perception of the “Spirit-Who-Dwells-In-All-Things.”

Thunder Wizard Michael William Denney has shown that an Indo-European Medicine Wheel is very like the Native American Medicine Wheel. I hold gratitude for the words of Lakota Natives Nicholas Black Elk and Frank Fools Crow, who cared enough about what is holy to share their knowledge with white people who could listen, write down what was said, and so preserve the teachings that resonate respectfully within me.

I do not “borrow” and call something my own when it is not. I am simply a human being who wishes to practice and share methods that bring all peoples into greater harmony with Mother Earth, the Four Directions, and Nature through spiritual being practices.

Creator Gods and Goddesses, I wish to pray for all people today that the human collective might recognize the sanctity of all life and thereby learn to live in unity with one another, not through “sameness” but through the recognition that diversity is part of the All.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 110

Something happened to remind me to remind people how important it is to pray when there is need to take a life. This could be for any reason: plants I am gathering for medicinals or food; a farm animal I have raised for food; or a prayer for the hunters to bring in the game food.

I have shared stories recently of Hem, my tree friend. In his grove stands an aged tree who had been a sapling two hundred years ago when people clear cut the Hemlocks of this valley for the tanning industry. This tree was angry and mornings Alan and I could feel under attack from its projections of fear.

When I visit Hem, we experience much joy in each others’ presence. This elder tree would watch, and project its resentment. It clearly did not trust humans. But I would talk to it. I would ask it not to try to poison my relationship with Hem, because I am not like those people who clear cut the trees of its memory. And I asked it to forgive me so that I could enjoy Hem. This tree was not budging in its opinions or its suspicion. Yet something changed.

Yesterday morning I felt fearful, so I consciously stepped into the fear as my Wind Clan friend Brigid Hopkins suggested I do when my repressed emotions present themselves for healing. I stepped into the fear, and deliberately intensified the emotion. As I did this, the fear faded, and behind my eyes I was no longer Susan, but the tree I am telling the story about.  I was so afraid of the loggers daily coming closer and closer to where I was planted, and feeling keenly the deaths of my people, some dying after lives as long as six hundred to one thousand years, their lives abruptly ended without prayer, without ceremony, without permission.

Her story was heartbreaking.

I brought prayer. I brought ceremony. I called upon the help of my tutelary spirits for something I could not do on my own. This venerable tree has carried her fear for over two hundred years, the tree version of PTSD. With the help of the tutelary spirits, we created sacred space for her healing and her peace of mind.

If these loggers had been conscious of the spiritual beingness of these trees , would they have been so wasteful, or so careless of the value of their lives?

Long ago I read of a Native American practice of praying to the spirit of the being whose life was being sought to meet the tribe’s need to survive. Offerings were made and prayers were said. The spirit of the being was assured that no part of it would be wasted. Every part would be used. And eventually the humans too would lay down their bodies to return to the natural world. All of this was consciously realized and accepted. The prayers made the connection to the spirit of the animal for the spirit of the people and the needs were met and gratitude given.

Here is a “fill in the blank” kind of prayer to ask for and give honor to the gifts of the Earth. Or maybe something else will move you to write your own ceremony. I pray that you will.

Holy Mother Earth, Sacred Father Sky, and all who live in-between. Today I have the need __________________ (fill in the blank by naming your need). I seek _______________ in order to ___________. (I seek medicinals in order to heal, or I seek the deer in order to have meat for the coming winter, or I thank this animal that I have raised for its life in providing me with meat). I know that my own time of dying will come, and at that time I will give my own life to sustain those who come after me. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 112

Today I am grateful for being broken.

I have been pushing hard at work -the daily job that sustains life- and at play -my writing and my learning from the tutelary spirits who are the old gods of the Norse Mythology. Keeping abreast on all these fronts wears me down physically. I had a recurrence of sciatica yesterday, but I have noticed that despite the pain, my joy remains intact. I can only surmise the reason for this is that I am more able to renew my spirit even when the daily grind and pain of body are present.

It is this that I am grateful for. I am also grateful for being broken every time my ego told me that I had to persevere because nobody else was doing their job -as I saw it- and each time that happened, someone else gave me of their strength until I could return to the fight. Finally, finally(!!!) I am able to see that living life is a reciprocal thing. The myth I told myself of being the strong, independent one who needs nobody is a lie. I take the walls of my heart down and see life as it is, and the generosity of others and how we all interact in the day to day grind is a very beautiful thing.

So! Creator! Life Guides! Guardian Angels! Beloved Ones! Thank you for the bottoming out moments when you stood by me -patiently, always so patiently- until I could see and accept the Love you offered in the process of this life journey! Thank you for the bottom of the well moments, when looking far, far down a dark tunnel, and the only light I could perceive at the end of things was prayer. Thank you for recovery times that allow me the grace of time to process the spiritual lessons! Thank you for all of these things. Thank you for health, which I had previously taken for granted. And most of all, thank you for the love of family and friends who make my life truly joyful. Amen-Aho! 

365 Days of Prayer – Day 109 New Gods and Old

Raised Christian, every sacred personage that was not Jesus was regarded as demonic. As I grew up, I chose to throw off this fear-based idea of the divine in favor of a love-based idea of the divine. I came to love the healing Jesus, the Rabbi who preached among the multitudes and lived in regular communion with the one he called Father.

When the Norse gods began coming to me, I learned that Odin too was called Father. He is Val-Fadher, All-Father, and Fimbul-tyr, Great-God, and he has many, many other heiti, or names. It was Odin who gave humanity the Breath of Life, or Ond. Don’t let the misleading teachings of the Christians fool you. “Spirit” is Latin for Breath. The Holy Spirit is not the sole property of Holy Mother Church. The Holy Spirit is found by many names throughout the cultures of the world. There are many gods, and many gods wear many faces.

I believe the gods love us, and help us on our path of spiritual evolution. In my experience, those divine beings whom some think of as devils or adversaries are here to challenge us into growing. Loki, for example, and his half dead, half alive daughter Hela, are those who push us into seeing our own self-deception and our own shadows, so that we might work through these things into the full clarity of our own being.

Please don’t think I am sugarcoating these things. Evil is very real on a larger scale than human beings can be aware of, and humans themselves perpetuate evil out of their own fear. But this is not the topic I wish to pursue today.

Suffice it to say that in my choice to pursue this path I am on, I worked very hard to develop a solid spiritual foundation so that I would not be misled or deceived by an angel of darkness posing as an angel of light. One needs a strong ego and absolute trust in one’s guiding spirits, and one of the very best places to begin is developing one’s relationship with one’s Life Guide, or Thought Adjustor.

You can meet this Being just before sleep or upon waking when your daylight mind is most clear from the pre-occupations of the day. State your intention to meet your Life Guide out loud to your Subconscious mind, and then stay alert for the process to happen. If it doesn’t happen the first time, don’t give up. This awareness (intuition) you are trying to develop is like an unused muscle. Have faith and keep trying.

Dear Gods, thank you for loving us and pushing us toward our highest good. Thank you for the obstacles and the struggles to overcome that cause us to turn toward you in our dark nights of the soul, and for the rejoicing as we emerge again into the mornings of the Spirit. The journey for many of us is long and difficult, but we are upheld by love of you and your love of us. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 108 Self Renewal

Today I woke up after a couple of days of joint pain feeling much better. The Sun has come out, and the storm that was passing through is gone, so the barometric pressure has changed. Other Old People with arthritis can tell you the same thing. We can discern the coming weather sometimes better than the weather person, although we aren’t making the big bucks.

Sigh!

But Yay! I could jump up, move about and get a full workout in. And that touches upon the point I am making today, that keeping our bodies fit and healthy is important to our spiritual life because our body is the vehicle for our spirit.

In the Norse mythology, it is Loki (aka Lodher, aka Ve) who imparts the “Blooming Hue” to the body of wood, even as Odin (aka Voden) gives Breath (Ond), and Hoenir (Vili) imparts the powers of mind. Ve is another word for the sacred enclosure, a temple, or a place one hallows in order to practice one’s energetic, or magical workings. So it is very important to do as best we can for the health of our body, as our body is one of the triune aspects of life in Middle Earth along with the emotional and intellectual.

I will make no bones about it. I have hereditary arthritis and along the way ended up with type-2 diabetes, so I do the best I can with exercise and diet to manage these conditions. Other people are much worse off than I, so this is no complaint. I simply want to encourage each of us to do the best we can to manage whatever ailments our body engages with in order to have the best life for our spirit. Hence the title today, “Self Renewal.” For me, exercise has become a foundation for staying in touch with my body and even my emotions. As Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, discovered with her scientific experiments, emotions are stored in the body. And as Valerie Hunt discovered in her breakthrough scientific experiments with Rolfing back in the 1970’s, deep seated trauma seems to be stored in the deep muscle tissue. Moving the body, stretching out, is one way to move through stuck emotional issues so that we are freer to be happy and focused on the NOW of our life.

Voden, Vili, and Ve – I give thanks for all the gifts of life. My body, my heart, and my mind contribute to the best life I can experience. Guide me to honor what is sacred at whatever level. Guide me to respect the gift of life inherent within all persons. Let us find community for the sharing.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 107 Taking Time Out

I have been pushing hard to pull tasks together for some upcoming appointments. So today I decided to take some down time and run errands for my household. It turned out to be a wise decision, because I relaxed.

I push myself hard, but in that push, I am losing connection with the end goal in meeting the current one. This can throw my timing and my balance off, and the retrospect of time on the road offers good perspective as to what is truly important. What is real.

Creator, I pray for balance a lot. I pray for wisdom. I pray that my work in the world meet the needs of those whose hearts and minds are opening to the work of conscious becoming. I pray for community. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 106 Changing Viewpoints

I’m watching the Democratic debate on television, and hoping for some change, some ideal person, who has what it takes to win the trust of the American people and turn the tide on the person currently in the White House.

I have watched that person consistently lie to “We the people.” I have watched his supporters cheering him on, as he promised them what he knew they wanted to hear. He sounds very believable, until you look beyond the words and notice that his actions do not echo his words and his promises do not hold up. He has driven up the deficit. He has given pardons to his criminal friends, forgiving even large amounts of money they had stolen from the taxpayer. I would say more, but then I would sound like “Tweetie.”

Today I call upon “We the people.” I beg you to look beyond what is said to what is done. If you do that, I trust your intelligence. Let the election be fair.

Dear Human Collective, as we struggle to evolve through the challenges of meeting the needs and rights of all people, I pray for those who will speak truth to power, for those to whom truth is important, and who will do this job honorably with just regards to all peoples.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 105 Winds of Change

This morning when I woke up I felt that there was a shift in the local energy field. The winds were up and blowing in snow. I could feel a subtle shift in my own energy too, in such a manner that I know myself to be potentially triggered into a negative emotion behavioral loop.

I came downstairs. Was there a frown lurking on my husband’s face? Had I displeased him in some way? I no longer want to go there, I told myself, this could just be my imagination. I smiled and he smiled back.

I grabbed my coat and took the dog for a walk. This is weather that she loves, but the snow was the slippery kind underfoot and made walking difficult for me, and more difficult by the fact that she pulls as she stops to smell, dashes ahead, or to the side for a mouthful of snow. I could feel myself getting irritated, but this is her time to enjoy too, so I breathed deeply, exhaled deeply, took stock of my inner state, and recoiled the length of her leash so that she would have to walk beside me.

We got to the trail where I usually visit Hem. I became aware that I was getting dependent on him to help me dispel my negative inner state, and since I want my relationship with Hem and his grove to be joyful, I decided to dispense with my inner agitation on my own. Remembering what I had learned from Peruvian trained shamans, I prayed to Earth that she would accept my negative emotions as hucha, the dense energy she feeds upon. An enveloping “YES” of affirmative energy was her answer, so I visualized my “roots” growing out of my feet as I walked and sent my fear-based inner agitation down into the center of the Earth. When I reached Hem, I was feeling much better, and this is an exercise anyone can do.

I asked Hem if I could enter his energy field, and for the first time  in a while, Hem said “No.” I turned around and walked away, thinking of how often in the past I would not have taken “No” for an answer, and justified my response by some thought such as “Hem is only a tree, and I can take from him as I please.” The fact is that these trees are beautiful beings of nature and they have their process even as you and I do. Hem wants to sleep for a while as trees often do in the winter time. I accept that. And because I turned around and walked away when Hem said “No,” I think our relationship continues even better.

Odin, you have often reminded me to dwell in my light and in my joy. My own dark moods can turn me away from that until I face them and recognize the source of my triggers in painful thoughts and memories. But I don’t have to act any more from behavior patterns of the past. Thank you for solutions that work, and thank you for life, tree friends, and this very Earth we dwell upon.

Earth, thank you for your gracious bounty, shelter and support throughout many lifetimes. Thank you for digesting my hucha so that I need not bother others with my own “stuff.”

365 Days of Prayer – Day 104 The Bucket List

In the middle of winter when my spirit is weary of cold and lack of sunlight, my imagination soars into the coming spring and how I would like to spend time this year. When I was young and kept horses, I would shop the catalogs and tack shops for some new piece of leather equipment – saddles, bridles, girths, breast collars, grooming equipment, and it was ever so much fun. I love the smell of leather, cleaning it, taking it apart, putting it back together, and keeping a neat tack room.

When I was older and no longer kept horses, I kept my interest in country life alive by keeping a garden. This is the time of year I fantasize about the vegetables and fruits I would enjoy eating off the land. It doesn’t even have to be a cultivated crop. Dandelions are healthy, they do not offend my sense of lawn maintenance, and are pretty to look at. I have enjoyed wandering the local feral fields in search of plants that are healthy for me and even found some that were descended from plants brought here by the colonists.

But lately my bucket list is growing. I would like to visit Iceland or Sweden, learn to speak old Norse, travel to where I can visit the Rune stones in the ancestral homelands, maybe visit the Temple at Luxor, or keep a horse again. None of these things is guaranteed, of course. But it is good to have the fire of imagination to keep me warm on a mid-winter day.

Creator, it is good to have a rich mind! It is good to have thoughts and emotions that move those thoughts to the enrichment of my present moment, mid-winter experience. Thank you!

365 Days of Prayer – Day 103 – Respecting the aged

This is a topic I haven’t talked about much. When Dad was still alive and he had lost Mom, he decided he did not want to be a burden to his children, so he stuck himself in a nursing home for a while. It was a rotten experience and he hated it! The people were old! Dad was not young himself, but to his death he kept a youthful and interested mind, and I am glad he passed his example on to me. 

America is not kind to its elderly. If like me you are of the baby boomer generation, you will remember a culture of youth, beach bodies “Twiggy” thin. Even now I witness aging people trying to recapture the image of youth through plastic surgery, dying their hair young no matter how many wrinkles they wear on their face, trying to stay fit ahead of the sagging breasts (on men and women) and sagging bellies. When that doesn’t work, we take selfies from the top down, so that the second chins or the neck wrinkles don’t make us resemble snapping turtles. Yes, I am trying to be funny, but I am speaking truth too. I am at that age to wear purple, so I can speak truth. 

I think that people should respect and revere the elderly to honor the wisdom that life gives us. So what if we have wrinkles? Some people like those wrinkly faced dogs and old people are not less cuddly. The proof is in the little children with their favorite grandmother. 

Yes, there are consequences to getting old. The bones ache and creak, and it can be difficult to stand up, unlock your joints and move again. The aged body is subject to all the aches and pains our grandparents and parents complained of, cancers, and other ailments. But my spirit has never felt so young all the days of my life! I think the reason is that I have made all the mistakes I am likely to make, suffered all the consequences I am likely to suffer, and learned from them so that I do not expect adverse joy.

So if folks want to appear younger, and it makes them feel better, let them go at it. It costs me nothing and provides plenty of people watching interest. But the moral of the story is to be able to find happiness with You, no matter what your age or material circumstances, and that youth of the spirit comes from remaining interested in life and in learning.

Creator, today I pray that somehow young people and old people needing each other will find each other and that wonderful bonds of spirit can be engaged to the benefit of each other. Young people need supportive mentors and aging people may find interest in the occupations of the young. There are marvelous skill sets to be learned and practiced. Amen.