Dilemmas of Daily Life: Religious Recruiters

www.awitchsjourney.com

It becomes a bit challenging to continue to be open to listening and open to talking to people in general, when some of them are just trying to trick you, fool you.

 

When you live in a very active, busy, tourist filled city, you get used to answering questions from random people. Usually they ask for directions. I’m always glad to help. But recently, I have been targeted several times by Christian recruiters, or at least that is what they end up appearing to be.

 

Example one. I’m on the train, during a Halloween night, and a woman sitting next to me starts up a conversation about the costumes, and how she used to go to the parade and how much fun it was. We were having a nice conversation, just two strangers on the train talking about fun times. We got off at the same stop, then she dropped the bomb. She gives me a card with information about a Christian radio show and asks that I join her. The disappointment was so huge that I was shocked and couldn’t even utter an answer to her. Looking back at our conversation I realized that she was pointing out all the things she used to do before she joined her religion, how she partied, drank, did this and that, you know, living her life.

 

Another one. Walks up to me, compliments me and I’m wondering what she’s up to. This one wasn’t as sneaky, but she didn’t mention her invitation to her church until the last minute when I said I was walking in a different direction.

 

The latest one found me with my guard up. Although I did not yell, did not say anything rude to her, I stopped her dead in her tracks and walked away. She went straight to the point and asked if I had a church I go to, I said I don’t need a church. She then was surprised and was about to begin her speech, when I turned to her with a smile and said “Please, don’t bother.” and I walked away.

 

I understand that for some people, the joy they feel in their hearts related to their faith is something they feel they want to share with the world. But recruiting is just such a sneaky, low level thing to do. Instead, why don’t you spend your time engaging in activities that have direct, immediate positive impact like volunteering at soup kitchens, or find your local food bank or other organization that collects and distributes food and clothing to those in need? That is something we all need to do more often, and yes I am saying that I myself need to do it more often and that is, volunteer to help those in need.

 

This also presents another problem that was pointed out to me by my hubby. Personal safety. A person approaching us randomly in the streets and starting up a conversation could potentially be just a distraction so that another one can do something else like robbing, or attacking us, or even worse, kidnapping. This is not only possible, it is real danger and it does happen. It brings a dilemma to me because I would rather not shut myself off when I’m out in the street because you never know who might actually need help or who may be a potential new friend. So the solution right now is just to be more alert and listen to my intuition more.

 

We all choose and follow our own path.

Starting out with good health & moving forward!

pentacle AWJ

Well, I must say, I started the year the right way! And my gratitude just keeps growing!

 

On January 18th I went to a Women’s Health Symposium at the Meta Center in NYC. I learned so much! I was just blown out of my mind by the love I felt amongst the women who attended. It was love for life, love for health, love for self and love for all. Sharing different perspectives on health and healing, to improve and help each other grow.

 

First, Susan Wilson gave us valuable information about how easily Cancer statistics can be swayed in any direction to cause fear, and gave us information on other options for testing like thermography. She spoke about breast cancer and for example, that the hereditary risk is only 10%, but lifestyle makes the difference. The risk goes down 50% if we consume more fiber because everything starts at the gut. One great resource she shared was http://breastcanceroptions.org/. Her knowledge is vast and her energy is just so reassuring and calming.

 

Suzy Meszoly, a homeopath, spoke of a holistic approach, of how important energy is and how our bodies are completely capable of healing if we allow and help. She was refreshing and so loving! How great it would be if people had more access to someone like Suzy, for their health concerns!

 

Annelie Withfield spoke about nutrition, and she had a lot to say! She said something very important: “When we get sick or out of balance, the first thing to do is stop and look to nature for answers”. She focused on a few foods that are very powerful: beets (great food for women to build blood), greens, sea vegetables, fats (grass fed butter, grass fed beef), pollen, mushrooms and chocolate. She used to be a 100% raw food eater but like many who start that route, she realized that it wasn’t the best lifestyle for her or her family. She also mentioned how important it is to love our water and drink the best water we can (NOT tap water). Annelie’s website is great! Check it out, lots of great recipes! http://www.thesuperfoodfamily.com

 

Susun Weed was the last speaker of the day. She began with a song a cappella; a song about the maiden, mother and crone. She spoke about menopause, and boy did I learn a lot! I really didn’t know anything about menopause since I haven’t been there yet, but I’m glad I was there to learn from those who have walked the path and know that it is part of our lives, it isn’t a curse or a problem. I purchased her book, New Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way, Approaches for Women 30-90. I want to know as much as I can to be ready and enjoy every step of my journey! :) It’s good to know that we don’t necessarily need hormonal treatments during menopause and that if we simply nourish our bodies, our bodies will do the rest. Susun Weed had a lot to say, and her point of view is almost completely opposite from the other speakers, and from what I am used to hearing.

Hearing that raw food is not what we should be eating, and that we must cook our food to get the best nourishment we need… wow! Also, that even in a so called raw food diet, the majority of the food is not raw at all. Cooking is not just putting the food over the fire, there are other ways to cook like, dehydrating, sprouting. Raw foods aren’t nourishing because the cell wall of the food is intact. It can’t be broken if the food is raw, even if we put it through a juicer it won’t break the cell wall and release the nutrients. All this information is very crucial and important to me because, for a long time I’ve been questioning my eating habits and trying to force myself to eat more raw foods but I was never sure if it was the right choice. Now I understand that I either extreme is not beneficial. I guess I kinda knew it, but I just needed more information. Susun Weed paid for research about this matter herself, so I feel that I can trust the information. She also recommended as part of nourishing the body, to drink 1 quart of herbal infusion a day, and she rotates between these 5 herbs: nettles, linden, red clover, oat straw and comfrey. This is part of the Wise Woman Way. I highly recommend to check out her website: http://www.susunweed.com

 

There was much more information and hopefully soon the videos will be up on Youtube so that I can share them here. I feel so blessed to have been there! I can’t wait for the next event!

 

Now for the rest of 2014, I hope to continue growing, loving, learning, living!

 

New Year, New (Moon) Beginning

pentacle AWJ

The energy of the new year presents us with a unique opportunity to start fresh, to begin renewed. This of course is the same opportunity we are given every single day, but because of all the cultural celebration and tradition of New Years Eve, the energy available to us is extra beneficial for this purpose.

To make this even more powerful, we are blessed with the Moon of new beginnings, the New Moon. This is very exciting!

What better conditions to cut cords of (negative) attachment than these? We can cut away all that is not in harmony with us, all that holds us back and make our new beginning stronger.

Cutting Cords

We will be cutting negative cords of attachment. These are built on dependency, possessiveness, unbalanced relationships, ill and destructive desires and the like. Cords of attachment can be with people, situations, feelings, ideas, religions, memories, contracts and also past lives. Sometimes they fade away on their own with time, and other times (more than we’d like) they stick around and become stronger, holding us back and making a mess.

For this you will first take a spiritual cleansing bath or shower of your preference. Make it as elaborate as you feel, or keep it simple. The most important part is your intention. As you bathe or shower you may ask the Divine to cleanse and purify you, ask the water to cleanse and purify you. See all the stress, worries, and other negative junk go down the drain. Breathe slowly, comfortably, and relax.

Now, make your ritual preparations. Dress as you prefer, cast a circle, create sacred space, do what you usually do when you are about to do your magical work. It is important that you feel safe in your space, protected by Deity, spiritual guardians, energetic barrier, whatever works best for you.

Once again, meditate shortly on your intention to cut the negative cords of attachment. To get rid of what holds you back, to let go of that which does not serve you any longer. You may say a prayer for protection and strength, or improvise and speak from the heart about your intentions. Your energy and intention will make this as strong as you want it to be. You want those things gone, right?

To cut the cords you can simply visualize a pair of golden scissors, fire scissors, a flaming sword or knife. Or, you can use your ritual athame, or any other tool that helps your intention to cut. You can even use your own hands, and make a cutting motion with your fingers. Begin cutting from the top of your head, above the crown, and continue down and around your body until you get your feet. Cut and throw away, cut and throw away. As you cut, you can say something like “I don’t need this, I release it”, or any other words that you feel inspired to say. Cut as much as you feel you need to. When you are done cutting, visualize yourself as a warrior with an armor that protects you from any cords that may try to re-attach themselves to you.

Sit or stand quietly for a few minutes with gratitude for all you’ve learned, for this new beginning. Allow yourself to feel, to release, and then to welcome the new. Thank the Divine, guardians, protectors, and close your circle as you normally do.

Now, celebrate the new beginning of the beautiful soul that YOU are!

Love & Light
Rev. Priestess Oscura

Healers: are we unable to heal ourselves?

pentacle AWJ

Lately, I’ve been pondering this question. Are healers unable to heal themselves? I don’t mean this in a strict, literal way of course. Just wondering if the majority of healers just don’t heal themselves at all.

 

I believe, as many others do, that to be able to help others, we must first help ourselves. To be strong enough to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves. Love and care for our bodies, minds and spirits. Eat properly, exercise, meditate, sleep. What we invest in ourselves we are able to share with others. A person that is ill, can not possibly take care of another. This is all common sense.

 

Then why is it that the majority of healers that I know and have met, are constantly giving of themselves to others, while never taking proper care of themselves? Many are even sick half the time, never even considering their own health, constantly pushing themselves, and pushing aside their own needs.

 

One way of seeing why this happens is this. How can I think of myself, when there are so many who need my help? How can I possibly spend time pampering myself, when others need of me? How could I possibly neglect them, there is just so much to do, so much healing needed in the world, I can not possibly take time to think of me! This person is sick, that person is sick, they need healing, prayers, herbal remedies, etc…I will take care of myself later….

 

Recently, I was watching a Japanese anime (yes I’m a fan of Japanese anime), that had a particular character which made me think of this subject, and made me want to write about this question that I’ve been asking myself. This anime, titled Arata Kangatari/Arata the Legend, has a character named Kotoha. She is a healer, also could be called a Kitra which is a term used in the Temple I am a member of, Temple Sahjaza and it means a healer, counselor, nurturer, among many other things. Well, Kotoha is a healer, and she works with her hands. She uses a healing touch. At one point in the story, she gets physically hurt, and her friend asks her “Can you not heal yourself?” and her answer is “No, my power only works to heal others, but not myself.” That made me think. It is very literal here, that this healer has a limitation to her powers, and that limitation puts her in great risk. If she was with other healers of her tribe, then it would be fine because they can all take care of each other. Out on her own, it is not so.

 

Although this was a fictional character in a story, I had to compare it to real life healers that I’ve met, including myself. Are we like Kotoha? Not literally, but do we just not know how to heal ourselves? Are we so preoccupied, so engulfed in the task of helping others to heal, that we can not take seriously the fact that we really must heal ourselves first, before we can properly care for others? How can we correct this behavior?

 

There have been times when I honestly am not sure what to do when I don’t feel well physically, mentally and/or spiritually. It is more like my mind goes blank, and I suddenly can’t react properly, I can not react like I would when, say, my mother needs an herbal remedy for a cold, or someone needs a healing prayer, a candle spell, etc… My husband has sometimes brought this up to me, to my own surprise. How is it that you know all these healing remedies and things, and yet you can not figure out what you need to do for yourself? Why does this happen? Is it a state of mind that I get stuck in sometimes? Or do I just need to get used to caring more about myself?

 

The Internet really is a double-edged sword. It helps us learn so much and connect, but wow, it can be so harmful too. The amount of people asking for help, prayers and healing energy is overwhelming and draining. What do we do? Can we really say no? I’m sure a lot of times people say yes, prayers, but they don’t really pray. It is just too much. It really breaks my heart when I start to think about it. I have to stop myself, otherwise I’ll be depressed and that is not helpful at all.

 

My Reiki teacher, Pamela Miles, strongly believes that taking care of ourselves is very important and we should do Reiki self-practice every single day, at least once. To her, this is the base of a healthy life and healthy Reiki practice. I completely agree with Pamela, and I do my Reiki self-practice every day, at least once a day and more if I can accommodate. I decided to take Kundalini Yoga classes more frequently as another way of taking care of myself. These are the steps I’ve taken to improve my self-care, and I know that I need to do more.

 

I would love to know what other healers are doing to take care of their needs. What are you doing to heal thyself, healer?

 

Love & Light,
Priestess Oscura N.

The Year of the Blessed Snake

2013…

 

2013 Year of the Snake

Another year of challenges, and blessings. Many lessons learned, and much gratitude for it all, and for all those people who have taught me something. I have learned a lot from everyone. A few highlights come to mind to make me smile and feel such gratitude!

 

In January, I officiated my first wedding. I am grateful to my sister, Lady Ophelia, who blessed me with this opportunity. It was her who thought of me as the Priestess that would perform the wedding ceremony for her and her beloved. It was her, who put this challenge in front of me and said, “I can’t imagine anyone better than you”. It was because of her, that I got my license to be able to legally officiate weddings in the city of New York. Of course, I couldn’t have gotten my license without the help of Goddess Rosemary, H.P. & Matriarch of Temple Sahjaza. I am surrounded by amazing human beings who care about others, and will do anything they can to help. Lady Ophelia & Matt’s handfasting/wedding was a beautiful, blessed experience that I will always treasure. May their lives continue to be blessed.

 

In March I was blessed with the visit from one of my all time favorite authors who is an immense inspiration to me. And by visit I mean, not that she came to my house (I wish), but she wrote a comment in one of my blog posts (see: Awakening Osiris:  The Egyptian Book of the Dead). Thank you Normandi Ellis!

 

In April, I got to spend time with someone I love very dearly. My beloved sister of Temple Sahjaza, Priestess Madame Webb. I missed her so much, and seeing her again, talking to her, hugging her, ah, it was a true blessing. She is one extraordinary woman.

 

In the summer, I finally started my official journey into herbalism (see previous posts My Journey into Herbalism and A Visit to Mother Nature’s Temple & School) . I am grateful to the NY Open Center and to Peeka Trenkle for making this possible for myself and all the other students who love plants and appreciate all that Mother Nature has given us. I intend to continue learning and practicing herbalism in the years to come.

 

This summer I also was blessed to be in Ammachi’s presence once again. This time I joined in at the front for meditation as well. The love, compassion and unity experienced will always stay with me. Thank you Amma.

 

In October, history was made. Yet another blessing. High Priestess & Matriarch of Temple Sahjaza, Goddess Rosemary, made her comeback to NYC. It was a long time coming, and I don’t even know where to start when it comes to describing this event. Meeting her for the first time in person was so natural, just like seeing an old friend. We had a wonderful time, all of us together. And she performed a Third Eye Opening ritual, which lasted about 4 hours. Four hours, people lined up to have their third eye opened by Goddess Rosemary, while the members of the Temple backed her up energetically and physically. This was another experience that I will never forget. The bonds in this Temple are strong and beautiful.

 

Another blessing in my life this year is Kundalini Yoga. I’m grateful to Donna Amrita Davidge for teaching at NY Open Center. From there I knew I wanted to continue practicing this spiritual, beautiful form of yoga. And now I’ve managed to do that at Kundalini Yoga East. Gratitude!!

 

These are the highlights of my year, but by no means the only blessings I have received and enjoyed. My husband is a daily blessing in my life, and so is my family. I have so much to be grateful for, every single day. I’m working on living more mindfully, and slowing down as much as possible. I look forward to the future with excitement, and a heart full of love and joy.

 

Awake in Peace
Awake in Love
Awake in Joy
Awake in Truth.

 

~Priestess Oscura N.

A Visit to Mother Nature’s Temple and School

Oh Mother Earth, how I love thee, how grateful I am to thee….

 

I went on my first field trip to identify medicinal plants. We were a large group, led by the amazing Peeka Trenkle. A bus ride early in the morning took me and my hubby to New Paltz, NY. From there, we got a ride to Stone Mountain Farm. The second we got out of the car, the loudest sound I’ve ever heard in such a place….the songs of the tree frogs and the cicadas, surrounding us in a non-stop soundtrack to our walk through nature.

 

We all eagerly took notes and photos, as our Nature guide (Peeka) pointed the wonders that Mother Nature offers us, what they can do for us and how every single plant, flower, tree, grows where it is needed, when it is needed. I learned so much, like for example, that wherever there is poison ivy, not far from it there is an antidote called Jewelweed (some photos below).

 

Such a beautiful, sunny day it was, and Mother Nature showed us so much, including two black snakes we saw mating on a tree! We sat under some nice shade to enjoy our packed lunches, looking at a magic circle of stones that had been erected in that area (I imagine there was a wonderful Summer Solstice celebration there!). Most of us had some cicadas hitch a ride on our heads, backs, and other parts of our clothes (jaja!).

 

Our walk ended by an incredible, peaceful, grand willow tree.

Gratitude….

My journey into Herbalism

Studying herbalism is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s one of those things that I could have learned from my grandmother, but back then when I was a kid, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do now (I wish I had).

 

Sure, I could buy some books, read, use trial and error, and that would work just fine. But my personal preference is to learn in a group setting, with other people. So, I started looking for some classes in NYC. Fortunately, a place I love here in the city called New York Open Center has a great introductory course. I wasn’t sure at first, so I started asking friends for opinions and recommendations, but eventually I realized that if I want to do something, I just have to go ahead and do it. Opinions, though helpful, were just slowing me down and making me doubt.

 

So, here I am, super excited to be taking a four month herbalism course with the amazing Peeka Trenkle. And to add to the excitement, Drew DiVittorio and David Winston also teach some of the classes. So far it has been an amazing experience. My appreciation of herbs has grown exponentially, and my excitement to learn more and work with herbs just keeps growing.

 

I finally made my first herbal preparations! I’m so excited! I’m working on two tinctures, and I watch them lovingly every

tincturesday. One is a tincture of lavender, feverfew and California poppy used to relieve migraines (I don’t get migraines as often any longer but I figured this would be a good one to have). The other one is dandelion root and burdock root to help cleanse and detox the liver. Now I just have to let the herbs and alcohol work their magic and wait. Of course I plan to start more preparations, but I’m taking my time. Did I say this is exciting? It is, very much so!

 

I can’t wait to plant my own medicinal herbal garden, to get more familiar with all the herbs, and be able to enjoy the magic of Mother Nature, the real medicine that has been here all along. My gratitude to Mother Earth and all the blessings she gives us every single day. <3 :)

 

Love & Light

 

The pendulum swings – awakening

Civilization…industrialization…so many great things, so many helpful things, and yet, so many distractions, inhibitors, obstacles.

 

A long time ago, our connection to nature, to each other, to The All, was alive in us, it was how we lived. We saw, felt, tasted, enjoyed, learned through this connection. And we lived in harmony, in balance. We truly, lived.

 

As civilization developed, we then slowly drifted away from the connection. We got so far apart from it that we completely shut it away from our lives, denied it. And as a result, our minds embraced the twisted idea that we were the masters of this planet, the owners, the rulers of it. Harmony and balance were no more. The pendulum was swinging. We abused the planet, we abused ourselves and others. We were at the opposite end of what we used to be like. We were nearly completely disconnected. Our minds lost in a sea of technology, distractions, materialism, greed…DESTRUCTION.

 

But destruction precedes creation. And the pendulum continues to swing. The connection that was always there,  has been once again, acknowledged. We are awakening to this connection, to our spirituality, to the greatness, the amazing, limitless, divine that is US/ME/YOU.

 

May the awakening continue. May peace, love, joy and truth spread to all.

 

I close my eyes and I feel…I feel, and I can not describe what it is that I feel. My chest swells, my eyes tear up. I feel, a connection, I feel that love is everywhere, that it is waiting for us to open up, to allow it in. That is all we have to do: open up, allow it, welcome it, accept it. Letting go of the old, shedding our old skin, and embracing love, and by doing so, finding balance and harmony…finding joy.

 

And so, we continue…

~O

Love is…

Love is a power like no other. I really have trouble describing love. It  is one of those things you have to experience, not talk about.

 

Love makes a difference; it changes perspectives; it brings light into the darkest places. Don’t get me wrong, without darkness there is no light, but you know what I mean, we need balance. 😉

 

Through the years, I’ve had people ask me for love spells. To that I usually say, I don’t think you really need to do that. To find love no spells are needed really, you just have to truly want it, welcome it and accept it in your life. You need to first love yourself, appreciate who you are, all of it, the parts that you like and the parts you don’t like. Love and care for yourself, and only then will you be able to love and care for others. Why? Because we are all like cells in one giant being; like pieces of one puzzle; like parts of one organic machine. We may have grown up believing the notion that we are separate individuals who do our own thing, live our own lives, and that’s all that matters. But the truth is not like that. We all affect each other, influence each other and are connected to each other. All of us. This is why I’m against war, but that’s a whole other subject, or as my mother would say “esos son otros veinte pesos” (translation: “that’s another twenty dollars.” it’s a Puerto Rican saying).

 

As the world continues to change and people slowly (and hopefully) moving into a spiritual awakening, love becomes even more important and takes a front seat in our lives. I’ve felt that more and more, Love  is all we need to bring balance, harmony and peace to this world.

 

But again, start by loving yourself. Give yourself credit for all that you do. You are here today, you have been through a lot and yet here you stand. Turn the TV off, don’t let it dictate what love is, what being happy is. The media has completely distorted positive things like love, happiness, joy, just so that a few can get wealthy by brainwashing people into buying their products in order to be “happy”, or “loved”. That is a road that leads not to true love, but to empty, short-lived fake love. So with that said, love yourself! You are wonderful because you are part of it all, just like me and the person next to you.

 

If you are at a point in your life in which you want to attract romantic love, and start a relationship, that is also wonderful as long as you practice self-love on a daily basis. If you’ve ever asked anyone “how do I know when it’s love?” “how do I find real love?” and the answer has ever sounded anything like this: “You’ll know when it arrives”, or “When you least expect it”, don’t feel frustrated by those answers. That is really how it works. The more you search, the less you find. That is why I’m inviting you to just focus on loving yourself and appreciating yourself, and taking good care of yourself first. Because, the light that shines from within you will become even brighter from the self-nourishment, and will surely attract love. Remember, like attracts like. If you’ve been in a not so good relationship, take some time now to heal. Let it be, let things flow, stay still and meditate. If you don’t want to attract more of what you don’t like, then you need to shift your thoughts into what you like. Don’t say things like, ” I never want another person to treat me this way”, NO! Don’t do that, you will attract what you are focusing on with your words! Instead, say things like “I attract kind, loving people into my life.” “I attract responsible, loving, fun, caring people into my life”. “I am surrounded by love, kindness, joy and positive people”. Notice the difference? Write it down every day, repeat it in your mind, until you automatically think and say it. It doesn’t matter if these things are not in your life at the moment because soon they will be, if you continue to focus on them.

 

I remember, I used to say to my mom, “I want my marriage to be as loving, fun and caring as yours”. I got exactly what I said I wanted, and it gets better every day!

 

I know that life has its ups and downs, and frustrations, but those are just experiences and we choose wether we let them rule our lives or we learn from them and let them go. The harder you hold on to that which doesn’t make you happy, the harder it will be for love and happiness to come into your life.

 

Choose love, and it will choose you. :) Next, I will post a simple Love Spell for those of you who want to strengthen your intention to attract Love into your lives.

Rings of love