World Dolphin Day – Our Most Important Lesson

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Original dolphin image © Peter Chadwick http://www.arkive.org

Once again the Oracle celebrates World Dolphin Day! See last year’s post – The Dream of the Dolphin

Every April 14th (the day after my cat’s birthday and the day before my birthday, much to my delight!), people and organizations the world over honor and celebrate these amazing creatures, these magical cousins of ours in the ocean.

While it is wonderful that there is a world-wide day dedicated to dolphins, we need to be aware of them and their plight every day, and we need to do something about it.

All the important and obvious reasons for this can be boiled down to the most important reason: dolphins are us. What happens to them and to their habitat is happening and will happen to us.

Dolphins are still in grave danger all over the world, particularly in Taiji, Japan, where barbaric dolphin hunts and massacres still occur every year. Also, the precious, rare little Vaquita porpoise found only the Sea of Cortez (northern part of the Gulf of California) is teetering on the brink of extinction.

At the time of writing last year’s World Dolphin Day post, there were thirty Vaquitas left. Now there are only twelve.

This means the Vaquita porpoise will be the second cetacean to go extinct in our lifetime. The first was the Baiji river dolphin of China, pronounced extinct in 2006.

This is thanks to the absurd over-fishing of the totoaba fish (also in danger of going extinct), whose swim bladder unfortunately and foolishly goes for as much as $20,000 in Asia. The Vaquitas also fall victim to the nets intended for the totoabas.

Read some of the latest news about the Vaquitas here…

https://ladyfreethinker.org/tragedy-vaquita-porpoise-fate-12-remain/
https://www.yahoo.com/news/race-mexicos-cocaine-sea-pushes-2-species-toward-040804238.html

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Dolphins and other cetaceans are not the only ones in crisis. We humans have been abusing Mother Earth and her resources and other precious children to almost no end, and we are all in danger of going extinct. Yes, all 7 billion+ of us.

One of my favorite things about dolphins is that they evolved from a land mammal called the Mesonyx.

Since all life originated in the oceans to begin with, this means that a creature came out of the sea, onto land, evolved into the Mesonyx, which hunted in the water and then continued to evolve and gradually became a permanent denizen of the ocean, beautifully coming full circle.

So, what lesson do we need to learn from this? We need to come full circle. We need to return home to the salty womb that birthed all life, the source that we have been polluting, exploiting and wasting for decades.

How?

By forgetting space travel and colonization of the Moon or Mars. This is beyond folly and NASA wastes exorbitant amounts of money every year on ultimately futile space exploration and even more futile space colonization.

It would cost several millions of dollars just to get the first few hypothetical explorers to Mars and to feed them on the way. We have nowhere near the technology we need to make these absurd sci-fi dreams come true, so why are we bothering?

There are much more pressing matters and conditions right here on our perfect, beautiful home. What right have we to waste and destroy this magnificent planet only to attempt to use up resources we don’t even have to try to go live out in the cold void for which we are not remotely designed to survive?

The answer is the sea. The true final frontier, the blue frontier. Captain Nemo of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea had the right idea.

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Captain Nemo by George Roux

Robert Ballard, the ex-Navy officer, professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhose Island, and the explorer who discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1985, was strongly influenced by Verne’s 20,000 Leagues, hence the name of his research vessel – EV Nautilus.

 

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Dr. Robert Ballard, image courtesy Hamilton College

 

Dr. Ballard, one of my new heroes since watching his series on Netflix, Alien Deep, is a strong advocate of colonizing our seas instead of Mars or anywhere in outer space. To paraphrase him, “Space colonization is a bunch of baloney”. I agree.

Watch Ballard’s TED talk on ocean exploration.

According to Ballard, NASA’s annual budget could fund NOAA’s ocean exploration for 1600 years.

So why not take all that money and pour it into a much more real, nearby and possible future….floating cities?

Visit the Seasteading Institute to learn more about an incredible vision that may well be the last hope of humanity.

Once a walker of the land, the dolphin returned home to the deep magical source of everything – the Ocean. We need to do the same.

1280px-Delphinus_delphis_02 knossos queen's megaron

Detail of a fresco in the “Queen’s Megaron” of the palace of Knossos on Crete


© 2018 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

Featured image: Dolphin Dream by Carol Cavalaris

Resources:
https://www.seasteading.org/
https://www.seasteading.org/2009/06/robert-ballards-ted-talk-ocean-exploration/
http://understanddolphins.tripod.com/dolphinevolution.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesonyx
https://nautiluslive.org/

Conchomancy: Messages from the Sea

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There are, probably literally, countless forms of divination throughout the world. While you have undoubtedly at least heard of many, such as Tarot, astrology, crystal gazing and dream interpretation, you may be less familiar with conchomancy – the art of divining with seashells.

Just like the myriad spectral crystals that grow deep in Mother Earth’s flesh and bring us healing vibrations and messages, so too do the similarly composed shells that grow in her blood, the oceans.

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Calcium carbonate, the primary compound in seashells and pearls, is also found in its more stable form, calcite, in rocks and crystals.

This scientific fact alone interestingly mirrors the nature and energies of these two different Earth treasures – the broader, original compound comprising the shells that move within the moving element, and its most stable polymorph making up the grounded, much-less-moving crystals.

There are different methods and rituals within conchomancy, depending on the culture. For instance, probably the most commonly known are Obi and Diloggun, originally of West African Yoruba tradition.

These systems, particularly as they have now evolved in Santeria traditions in the Americas, may make use of kola nuts, coconut shell pieces, or cowrie shells.

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Yoruba divination board – Possibly Owo region, Nigeria, Late 19th to early 20th century

 


The modern method of conchomancy that I am currently studying is the Ocean Oracle that has been painstakingly developed over decades of research by Michelle (aka Shelley, most appropriately!) Hanson.

The following excerpts are from the 200-card oracle deck guidebook, “Ocean Oracle: What Seashells Reveal About Our True Nature“.

The book you hold in your hands is the culmination of a lifelong quest for information, first about shells and then about the depths of awareness. Having never lived near the ocean, my first exposure to seashells came courtesy of my grandparents. Upon returning from a vacation in Florida, they gifted their four-year-old granddaughter with shells that had gathered off the beach. Even at that young age I was famously curious among my family, and these wonders of nature inspired my curiosity with a new intensity.

The following pages contain what I call the language of the shells. To help you as you develop your own interpretation skills, I have included snippets of past readings that represent a broad spectrum of what I have witnessed. I hope you will look upon what the shells have taught me as an indicator of what they may hold in store for you.

Michelle offers an in-depth certification course consisting of five modules of thorough lessons on both the biology and the metaphysics of shells and the creatures that grow them.

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Complete Ocean Oracle kit by Michelle Hanson, 2007

I am currently about halfway through the first module and it took no time at all for me to start to tune in to the language of the shells. I found that I intuitively agreed with many of her interpretations, and also received even more (and, sometimes, just different) messages from multiple shells.

One story that Michelle shares early on in the course, is her experience with the book “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Almost every chapter of the book is named for a shell upon which Lindbergh contemplated and meditated while spending a reclusive two weeks on Captiva Island, on Florida’s gulf coast.

Over a long period of time, Michelle Hanson was repeatedly gifted copies of the book, which she hesitated to read for fear that Lindbergh’s interpretations would clash with her own, leaving her to perhaps question the results of her own work and meditations.

However, after receiving a fourth copy (the day after she gave one away, attempting to cull the collection), she finally read it and found that the additional and different meanings presented only reinforced that there indeed is a shell language, and that, of course, different people may receive slightly or even very different messages. This doesn’t mean that any of them are wrong.

pink shell with seaweed 1937 georgia o'keeffe

Pink Shell with Seaweed
by Georgia O’Keeffe 1937

I could not have been happier to have discovered, and then much later, acquire, the Ocean Oracle. For a split second I was slightly intimidated by the size of the deck (200 shells strong), but immediately felt much more excited and satisfied once I realized that that only meant how very much there was to learn and enjoy.

But even the 200 are less than half of what Michelle has in her personal collection that she uses for readings, that is still only a fraction of all the shells in the world. Of her “extras”, I was very blessed to be gifted a few when I met Michelle and her husband this past February.

I had been on something of a hiatus from my Ocean Oracle studies, as well as this blog, since before the holidays last year. However, in meeting Michelle and having wonderful discussions about shells, seeing stunning abalones and others from her collection, and even being gifted with a handful of beauties from her “extras”, I felt a renewed sense of motivation and energy to return to studying the shells and sharing what I learn here.

I hope to build on what Michelle has started and not only share tidbits from her work, but to help expand it and share additional and alternative meanings to shells included in the Ocean Oracle, as well as many others not included.

It is not until the third module of lessons (remember, I’m only still in the first!) that Shelley mentions partnering with one shell to create an inner self-portrait, but I feel that I may have found my shell partner already, at least for now. Interestingly enough, it came from among the shells that she gave me.

Just like guardian and power animals, crystals, trees, flowers, etc., everyone can have a personal shell teacher or even multiple shell teachers and guides throughout their lives. At this moment, at least, mine seems to be the humble little Janthina snail.

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Janthina janthina 1807

 

Coming soon:
Conchomancy series continues with the purple, pelagic Janthina snail! Stay tuned for insights into the meanings and energies of the Janthina and the type of meditations and manifestations for which it can be used, and more!

 


 

Ocean Oracle © Michelle Ziff Hanson, originally published 2004

All original material © 2018 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

featured image: At Low Tide by Sir Edward Poynter 1913

Transformation: Scorpio New Moon Oracle

scorpio-1907.jpg!HalfHD Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

“Scorpio” by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis 1907

Tomorrow’s New Moon will occur in Scorpio at 6:42 a.m. EST.

Scorpio is probably the most famous and yet infamous sign of the zodiac, one that even the astrologically unaware seem to know and have some opinion about. I have a coworker who is very intelligent and (as usually follows) somewhat jaded, has a pithy, dry sense of humor and can be prickly in ways, but is quite likeable. I asked him recently when his birthday is, and, at the time, it had just passed. I said, “Oh, so you’re a Scorpio!” to which he knowingly replied “Yep…nothin’ but trouble!”

While this man probably knows little about astrology over all, he certainly knows enough about himself and the sign of Scorpio to believe in it and to understand what it says about his nature.

When your average person hears “Gemini”, they probably don’t immediately think of the Twins. When they think of Aries or Capricorn, they may not know or easily recognize that they are the Ram and the Goat, respectively. However, when you hear “Scorpio”, there is no room for doubt about what it is.

R. I. Pocock (1894) Scorpions of the Malay Archipelago

from “Scorpions of the Malay Archipelago” by R.I. Pocock 1894

The scorpion is a dark, frightening, secretive and deadly creature. So, there is an inherent fear attached to this sign and much of what it represents. Scorpio is a sign filled with contradictions, reflecting both the best and the worst of human nature. So, while there is fear, there is also an understandable fascination.

Scorpio’s element is Water and it is ruled by both Mars and Pluto. Mars was the traditional ruler of the sign before Pluto was discovered in 1930. Both of these planets are appropriate rulers for the brooding, powerful sign, though Pluto especially so – Pluto (Hades in Greek) is the distant, mysterious god of death and the Underworld.

scorpio glyph

Another very fitting symbol for Scorpio is the mermaid, as Gail Wood suggests in her book “Sisters of the Dark Moon: 13 Rituals of the Dark Goddess”.

“Victorian writers and artists were fascinated and repelled by the mermaid, to see a beautiful woman from the waist up and then to see her legs and her sexuality fused together in a powerful tail; did that mean she controlled her sexual activity? The power frightened them and the idea that they had no access to her spirituality bewildered them. They wrote about her and they painted her, but they never learned her secrets. Hans Christian Andersen tried to tame her by taking away her voice or her soul…No matter how hard anyone tries, the mermaid remains a powerful symbol of watery mystery, the key to emotions, love, and sexual pleasure. Her mystery is revealed to only a few and her song often draws the unthinking into the shallows and the rocks.”

 

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“The Mermaid” by Edvard Munch 1896

 

Scorpio rules the genitals and reproductive organs and, therefore, unresolved emotional issues, abuse of/addictions to sexual activity and other such repressions or difficulties will often manifest in these parts of the body. Scorpios can be very prone to venereal or urinary infections and other such ailments.

Women especially (whether Scorpio or not) may experience an array of health issues in the reproductive system because of uncontrolled or suppressed emotions, stress connected to love and relationships or unhealthy/excessive sexual practices.

The New Moon phase is a time for scrying & divining, reflecting, healing and setting new goals and intentions. It is a time of renewal and hope. If you have had any troubles with relationships, emotional and/or sexual health or have just felt lost or disconnected from the divine and your higher self, this is a perfect time to restore balance and focus on transforming negatives into positives. Indeed, almost above all else (especially in its more positive aspects), Scorpio is the sign of transformation.

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“The Crystal Ball” by John William Waterhouse 1902

This also supports the idea of mermaids representing Scorpio – not only were many known mermaids from lore originally human, but mermaids have traditionally had the ability to turn themselves into completely human forms at will, much like the Celtic selkie (a similar creature that is a seal who turns into a beautiful woman when she removes her magical sealskin).

I’ve discovered that this has been commonly depicted by Russian artists especially; many of their paintings of mermaids show them visiting the surface world in human form.

mermaid.jpg!HalfHD Konstantin Vasilyev

“Mermaid” by Konstantin Vasilyev

 

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“Mermaids” by Konstantin Makovsky, 1879

The earliest known mermaid that we have record of is Atargatis (known as Derceto to the Greeks), the ancient Syrian mother goddess. She had a mortal lover named Hadad, but she accidentally killed him in the throes of her divine passion. She was so filled with grief and guilt that she threw herself into a sacred lake to drown. However, the waters and the fishes therein knew of her divinity and would not let her die, but instead transformed her into a half-fish, preserving her womanly beauty from the hips up.

Derceto, from Oedipus Aegyptiacus by Athanasius Kircher 1652

Derceto, from Oedipus Aegyptiacus by Athansius Kircher, 1652

Atargatis is a goddess near and dear to my heart at all times, but this particular New Moon (and whole season) is ideal to work with her for any healing or transformation, especially from the woes of love, emotions and relationships.

She understands loss and sorrow on a deeply profound, personal level and this, combined with her already-existing motherly attributes, makes her a very empathetic and comforting goddess.

She represents the new forms that can be born out of tragedy and loss and how, once we heal, we can be even more powerful and special than ever before.

Atargatis is the goddess I chose to channel for this Scorpio New Moon Oracle, and so of course I use the Oracle of the Mermaids.

The upper, human portion of a mermaid represents that which is above the surface: the mundane, corporeal and temporal world. Her tail represents that which is hidden below mystic waters: intuition, magic, the mysteries of sexuality, life and death, and the Otherworld.

So, the first card for this reading represents the human part and our tangible, day-to-day lives. The second card represents the submerged tail of our inner psyches and power, personal mysteries and Spirit.

I asked Atargatis to show what we can all learn or what needs to be worked on – in regard to those two portions – during this dark, watery, transformative time until the next new moon in bright and burning Sagittarius.

First Card – Dreams
Second Card – Imramma

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from “The Oracle of the Mermaids Guidebook” by Lucy Cavendish: Mermaids cannot always reach you when you are on land…When you cannot be reached through the song of the waves, you will be reached on the waves of the sleeping brain, and in them you will be told what it is you need to let go of, what it is that fascinates and drives you, and what it is you yearn and hunger for. …When this card shows up, it is a sure sign that the mermaids are reaching out to you through the oceans of your sleep time.

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from “The Oracle of the Mermaids Guidebook”: You have long divided yourself into your parts: your emotions you keep so separate from your head. On Imramma, the lines you have so cleanly divided all into will blur, and you will at times no longer know what is real or unreal. But all the while we will sing you onwards, calling you forth, so you continue to follow the journey of the soul. You will gather so much, and experience such awe, that you will feel at times you may be dreaming. But you are not.

Atargatis speaks…

You may well be surprised to see “Dreams” representing that which needs attention or can offer you lessons in your tangible, waking, everyday life…for what of your human experience is more directly linked to the hidden depths and mysteries of the soul and the subconscious mind than dreaming?

However, that is the key – to acknowledge and understand how blurred are the lines between this world and that one, and that dreams are a gateway from your mundane life to the deeper meanings and higher truths that give your life meaning. Dreams serve many purposes and, in many ways, they are just as “real” as what you experience when you are awake.

This physical world is in fact but a shadow of the real world, as attested by the Oglala Lakota hero Crazy Horse during his profound vision quest. So don’t dismiss the one third of your life that you spend submerged in the oceans of dreams, and don’t ignore or doubt the messages you can receive therein. That which seems of the other world is actually crucial to your survival in this world.

During this time of year especially are the borders between the worlds nearly invisible, so take advantage of these opportunities for learning and growth and make a point of meditating on and recording your dreams.

Immrama* are Old Irish tales of heroes taking sea journeys to the Otherworld, including the islands and challenges that must be encountered and overcome along the way, and often with no chance or plan of return. This is a deep spiritual journey that can take a lifetime, and the idea of no return refers to the permanent change that such journeys and evolutions of the soul often entail.

Now is an ideal time for such personal journeys and explorations, and you may even have certain opportunities soon to take such a voyage, whether literal or spiritual and metaphorical. Let the dreams that you experience in your physical, mundane life (the shadow world) lead you into your personal journey where you can experience the real world.

There are many who would have you believe that what is real is false and what is false is real…use your intuition to avoid these traps. Believe in that which your soul cries out to believe in and to know.

We mermaids rule these realms of dreaming, journeying and the ethereal waters of spirit and magic, and we know the truths that the material, corrupted world attempts to conceal and destroy…call upon us for strength, guidance and healing and know that you are far stronger than you believe. But it is your belief – or lack thereof – that makes all the difference in both worlds.

 

bather-between-light-and-darkness-1935(1).jpg!HalfHD Rene Magritte

“Bather Between Light and Darkness” by Rene Magritte 1935

*Lucy Cavendish misspells the term “Immrama” in her Oracle of the Mermaids, and also incorrectly refers to it in the singular, as when she says “…embarking on an Imramma…”, when the term is actually the plural of immram.


featured image “The Little Mermaid Dissolving into Foam” by Edmund Dulac

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

 

Words of Water: from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

In Coleridge’s longest and most famous major poem, a lanky old mariner regales a stranger on his way to a wedding with a supernatural tale of a long sea voyage-turned-nightmare due to the shooting of an albatross. At one dire point, the thirst-crazed mariner and his shipmates encounter (or hallucinate..?) a crumbling shell of a ship bearing Death himself and a yet more frightening female companion, playing at a game of chance to determine which will claim either the crew or the mariner who killed the fateful albatross.

The ghostly hulk comes alongside the mariner’s ship, and surprise and confusion turns quickly to terror as he recognizes the figures aboard…


Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)

How fast she nears and nears!
Are those her sails that glance in the sun,
Like restless gossameres?

Are those her ribs through which the sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a Death? and are there two?
Is Death that Woman’s mate?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man’s blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
`The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!’
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper o’er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman’s face by his lamp gleamed white;
From the sails the dew did drip –
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

 

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Death and his companion, Life-in-Death, from “Poems of Coleridge” illustrated by Gerald Fenwick Metcalfe 1907

Life-in-Death preferred, obviously, to have won the mariner, securing for him (as is her role, made evident by her name) a fate worse than death as punishment for killing the albatross. He is condemned to watch his shipmates die one by one, and then to spend seven days and nights staring at the curse in their eyes, their faces frozen in haunting, accusing expressions.

Though mercifully, he was freed of his punishment and the dead albatross which had hung about his neck, but only once he acknowledged in awe the beauty of all the creatures in the sea, to which he had earlier disdainfully referred to as “slimy things”.

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Read the full poem here

Featured image: “Ship” by Mikalojus Konstaninas Ciulionis 1906

Original material © 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

Samhain Oracle of Persephone

Received on astrological Samhain, 11/7/17 at 6:45 a.m. (EST) using the Healing Light Tarot

The Healing Light Tarot draws inspiration from an ancient Celtic concept. It relates to the periods of Dusk and Dawn, where the veil between this world and the spiritual realm is at its thinnest. This is a time for visions, realisations and, above all, healing. The other main motif in this deck is the mandorla, the oval shaped portal created when two circles overlap and a symbol of the divine feminine. The mandorla is a healing gateway so I’ve placed one on each card. Where it opens, healing and wholeness can be found.” – Christopher Butler

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Evocation

Kore, Maiden of the Fertile Earth Above, Queen Persephone of the Dead, and Sacred Center of the Five Rivers of Hades…hear me this Samhain dawn and accept this offering of pomegranate juice. Hear the question of those who would seek your wisdom during this season of death and endings, and tell us how we may balance and integrate the above and the below; how we can learn from your story and your brave walking between the worlds of the living and the dead, achieving ultimate balance.

The Three Card Spread

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“You mortals see the light of a star for eons after it has collapsed and dissolved back into the void of its origin. The light has unspeakably far to travel and yet, even after its own origin has died, still it travels…still you see it even from light years away and for many years to come.

Death, a sacrifice, is present even in one of your most comforting symbols of hope, magic and dreams coming true. But it is the truest testament of what can and does endure after death, and what can only come about because of death.

How long have you watched and mapped the stars and yearned to travel beyond the borders of your planet? How long have you gazed up in hope and placed wishes upon them? How long have you seen your ancestors’ visage in the stars, and those of gods and monsters and sought to join them all in the celestial plane?

Yet still many of you fear and even demonize the gate through which this will be achieved: death. Death who is as sacred as life, for death feeds life and all life becomes death. Do not fear or force the cycles of nature or they will force you into them in a manner not of your choosing. You cannot and will not flourish if you are ruled by fear or discord.

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Fear will make you weak if you surrender too much to it. Instead you must be strong. One can feel fear and not be ruled by it, for strength and courage do not require the absence of fear. They require only that you overcome the fear and know that you are beyond it.

Know that many of the things and people you fear probably fear you more, like scurrying, distracting roaches. Or if you simply despise them, perhaps they despise you more. Too many of you are far too concerned with what the wrong people think of you and your personal truth, and this robs you of your strength.

And too many of you judge yourselves far too harshly and yet also everyone around you. This prevents you from building the foundation with yourself that you need to progress. To be rooted in strength is the only way to successfully grow.

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Let this hope and this strength spur you into action. A wand is a tool of power, a conduit, a source of inspiration and illumination, a means to penetrate the mysteries of life and death. There is nothing to be learned of life or death without a spirit of adventure, a willingness to not only speak but to do, and neither falsely.

For nothing can hide in the light of cosmic truth, or even in the shadows. They may conceal temporarily, but shadows only exist because of light and both are truth.

If you lead or teach no one else, you must lead yourself and you must know that in the end you only dwell in and only have yourself. You are a lone champion in a desert of ancient mysteries, and you may only save or control or enlighten yourself.

But, like the Star – even long after it has died – you, your actions, your truth, and the path you forged, even if only you were blessed enough to tread it, will echo and ripple through time and space, melding into the energy of the One, ever cycling within the unknowable cosmic dance of all creation.”

 

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Proserpina with a Pomegranate by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

 

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved