I first read Peace Pilgrim's book when I was a young, idealistic college student active in the peace movement. At that time I truly believed that I, and others of my generation, could change the world. I was inspired by her words and eager to go forth and help others.
Of course, there was that whole section of life called establishing a social work career and another segment called raising children; plus a concurrent section called trying to pay the bills. Soon life fell into a routine, placing one foot after another, but seldom with joy in my heart as the Peace Pilgrim did.
Now I am 65years old and looking back I wonder, did I help change the world? The news is filled with stories of wars, murders, and rapes. People continue to hurt other people. Our TV shows and movies are full of violence. What happened to the idealism of my generation, the ones who said “give peace a chance?”
Oh I know that here and there I gave some comfort. I listened with an empathic heart to the troubles of my clients. I tried to resolve their problems and acted as an advocate. I offered boxes of tissues to dry the tears. I know these actions were appreciated and every little bit helps. But did they change the world?
After re-reading PEACE PILGRIM, HER LIFE AND WORK IN HER OWN WORDS, I understand its messages at a deeper level. I have decided that I must find inner peace before attempting to bring peace to others. I have re-discovered that possessions can become burdens. My husband and I gave away most of our belongings and are now living quietly in our motorhome.
I have been practicing thinking positive thoughts and trying to see good in everyone. I try to follow Peace Pilgrim's example of living without fear, although I think that is probably my greatest test.
If you haven't read the article Messages from Peace Pilgrim, click on the highlighted link to take you there. Then hurry back here to let me know what you think in the thoughts below.
"There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet." Brooke Medicine Eagle
The official Earth Day comes just once a year. But really, every day is earth day, for we should be constantly aware of our connection to the Earth Mother and how our actions affect this living entity. In our house, we accumulate a lot of plastic soda (we call it pop) bottles. Luckily our RV park has a recycling bin, so periodically we gather them up to take to the collection bin. But there have been times when we have been in places with no access to recycling and each time I put a bottle in the trash, I would cringe.
We have created a culture that promotes the obtaining of things, such as clothing, furniture, knicknacks, and even more. For some people, going shopping is a cure for depression. When I am forced to venture into a Walmart for our biweekly grocery shopping, I often sit on one of the benches to rest. I look around at the displays all around me and wonder, how much is enough? When do we have enough baby items, shoes, electronic devices, posters, or toys?
We have become possessed by our possessions and our economy is dependent on the making of them. Moving into an RV forced us to release most of our material possessions. In return we were gifted with the simple pleasure of enjoying many of the country's most beautiful lakes and forests.
But taking care of the Earth is much more than thinking about what ends up in landfills. We need to be concerned with having clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. We need to raise our voices in protest when large amounts of the Rain Forest are cut down. If you have ever sat in your car during rush hour, moving only inches at a time and smelling the exhaust from all the other cars, you come to value and appreciate good public transportation.
I grew up on the shore of Lake Superior, one of the cleanest, fresh water lakes in the world. But, it too is in danger of pollution from harmful chemicals dumped in the water. We mustn't allow these things to happen. Become aware of the environment around you and join or become active in one of the many environmental protection organizations.
As I said in the article “Gaia – Earth Mother,” she will take care of us, but we also need to take care of her. I encourage you to leave a comment in the space below. I enjoy hearing from my visitors.
The celebration of Beltaine honors life and fertility. If you live in a part of the world that has long, harsh winters, as I did growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, then we greatly appreciate the awakening of the earth once again. Flowers are blooming, trees are turning green, and it is time to celebrate the “merry month of May.”
I wrote about my first experience at a Beltaine festival and dancing the Maypole in the article, “What to Wear to the Beltaine Maypole Dance.” If you have read it and danced over here to this blog post, this is where you can leave a comment or ask a question.
Don't be shy. I would love to learn about your experiences. Have you danced around a Beltaine fire? Do you love to wear flowers in your hair? Tell us your tale in the comment section below.
"There are no accidents... there is only some purpose that we haven't yet understood.”
Deepak Chopra, The Return of Merlin
There I was, goofing around by watching You-Tube videos. You'd be surprised at what I have learned from You-Tube. For several days I had immersed myself in videos about the band Queen. Don't ask me why; it was just something that appealed to me at the moment.
I've mentioned before that I am a book addict and like to read before I go to sleep. I was reading a short novella written by a friend of mine, Devin O'Branagan. The book is called Incarnation and one of the many interesting characters is a parrot that thinks she is Janis Joplin. Now the odd thing about this, as if a parrot thinking it is a bluesy rock singer isn't enough, is that the bird's favorite song is “Killer Queen” by the band Queen.
There it goes again. One of those synchronicities that tap me on the head and says “pay attention.” I laughed about it, finished the book, and went about reading another one. The very next book mentioned "Bohemian Rhapsody," again by Queen. Okay, I am beginning to get a message, but really I didn't feel like writing about Queen. The internet is full of articles about the band and its legendary singer, Freddie Mercury. What new thoughts could I add?
When the third book mentioned “We Will Rock You,” I knew I had better get busy and write something! I decided to focus on the great collaboration between Queen and Adam Lambert, who was one my favorite singers on American Idol. I opened a word doc and started doing some more research. But evidently I wasn't working fast enough, because the book after that one mentioned the song “Another One Bites the Dust.”
I was seriously getting spooked now. I totally believe in synchronicity and the power of coincidences. But they are usually not as insistent as these were. I have no idea why I was led (no I'd say pushed) to write about this group and current lead singer, but there you have it. I had to do it.
Hopefully you will find “The Magical Synergy of Queen + Adam Lambert” to be interesting. If you have some thoughts about any of this, be sure to leave a comment below. If you tell me you hate Adam Lambert and don't think he should be trying to fit in Freddie Mercury's shoes (which he isn't), don't be afraid to say so. I will do my best to be open-minded about all opinions.
This is the page where you can leave a comment about the Oz articles.
I cannot emphasize enough how much the Oz books affected me as I was growing up. I eagerly waited each night for my bedtime story time to begin. My imagination grabbed onto L Frank Baum's descriptions and entered into the fantastic world he had created.
These images have stayed with me all my life and pop up at the most unusual times. It might be a glimpse of Glinda reading from her Great Book, the Nome King turning people in knickknacks, and even Princess Langwidere changing one of her heads. I never know what triggers it, it just happens.
I decided to write a series of articles about the Oz books because I was horrified to find out that many people believed there was only one book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In fact, there are 14 books written by Baum and I have read them all.
I began the journey with the article "Following the Yellow Brick Road." I soon found out that there was too much information, about both the books and Frank Baum's life to easily fit into one article. I decided to continue the story with additional articles.
At this time only the first two articles are available, but I'll be adding the others soon. If you have come here first, whisk yourself of to Following the Yellow Brick Road to read about Dorothy's adventures in the first three books.
The second article is called "Oz--Oz! more about Oz, Mr. Baum!" where I continue to discuss the writer L. Frank Baum and his influence on children's literature.
The third article in the Oz series answers many questions like "Why doesn't Toto talk? We meet the Patchwork Girl and a mechanical man. We also learn about Frank Baum's dark side. Visit Interesting Tidbits from L Frank Baum’s Oz Books.
Then you can grab the tail of the tornado and come back here to leave a comment. Please feel free to leave a comment. I promise that no Winged Monkeys will fly in to take you away.
This is the place to leave a comment about the article "Robert Johnson and the Legend of the Crossroads.
As I began my research about Robert Johnson and the legend of the crossroads, I realized that this was going to be a huge project. Although there is little known about his short and tragic life, there is a wealth of documentation about his music, how it affected other musicians, and whether or not he really made a deal with the devil.
I watched multiple videos with different versions of the Cross Road Blues. I poured over websites devoted to the Blues for any mention of this mysterious man. I watched documentaries about his life. I pondered over inconsistencies in the stories and tried to find accurate sources for the quotes and information I used.
At one point I threw up my hands and told my husband, “I can't do this. There is too much information, too many people to talk about. It is overwhelming me.” And I put the project in a hidden room of the Crossroads and moved on to something else.
The Dalai Lama said, “I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.” Synchronicity or random coincidences seem to pop up in our lives quite frequently. Sometimes my husband and I just shake our heads, laugh, and wonder just what the Universe was trying to tell us.
I am fond of reading books on my Kindle before I go to sleep. I am a book addict, so I tend to download free or low cost books that seem interesting to me. On one particular night, I was reading a detective story with paranormal twists that took place in Los Angeles. The name of the book is The Antiquity: An L.A. Crime Novel by Darren Hackett. It's a pretty good story that involves a burned-out homicide detective trying to solve a string of murders that have to do with an ancient sacred artifact.
There was nothing in the plot of that related to the blues or the Mississippi Delta. So imagine my shock and amazement when one of the characters started talking about Robert Johnson and the legend of the crossroads. I looked up at the ceiling and shook my fist at the Universe. “No, no, no!” I don't want to go back to writing about Robert Johnson. It is too much. I can't do it.”
I crawled out of bed (I wanted to say leaped, but in our RV crawling is a more apt description), made my way to the living room (a short journey) to tell my husband what had just happened. I felt it was important that I have a witness so I wouldn't doubt myself. Then I stomped back to bed to try to sleep after being hit over the head by a synchronicity that was so clear I couldn't ignore it.
The next day I started working on Robert Johnson's article again. I am rather happy with how it turned out. If you haven't read it, slide on over to the page titled “Robert Johnson and the Legend of the Crossroads.” Then slide back over here to let me know what you think. Do you often experience synchronicity in your life? Have you ever acted on them? Just a bit of trivia, a “slide” is a guitar technique that Robert Johnson often used on his songs.
“Welcome Yule” my husband and I say in response to those who wish us a Merry Christmas. As pagans and witches, we do not celebrate the birth of Jesus. Instead we celebrate the Winter Solstice also known as Yule. Welcome Yule is a shortened version of the phrase, “May all things Well and good Come to you and yours at this season of Yule.”
My husband and I started searching for pagan Yule decorations many years ago. We noticed we could not find any holiday cards or signs that used the words “Welcome Yule.” So we decided to make our own in our Zazzle store. Zazzle is an on-line marketplace where you can design products and sell them without having to keep an inventory.
I searched high and low to assist other pagans in finding unique decorations for their Yule tree. Well that is not really true. I actually searched for items from Amazon and Zazzle that fit the symbolic mythology of the season. I also provided a bit of information about the symbols that are associated with Christmas, like mistletoe, holly, and the evergreen tree, that come from pagan customs and have nothing to do with the nativity in Bethlehem.
So feel free to browse at Pagan Friendly Decorations for Yule. There will be a link there if you wish to return to leave a comment. I'd love to hear about your own special Yule traditions.
The Story Behind the Witch Who Danced With Ghosts
Quite a few years ago I was involved in a pagan forum with several people I knew from a local Wiccan group. We decided, just for fun, to create a fantasy where we would each play characters and do some role playing. I decided I wanted to be the crone.
We all came up with different story lines, which became a little tangled at times as we each had our own ideas about what the story was about. I came up with the idea of the crone, who having trouble sleeping one night, wandered around the castle until she stumbled upon a ballroom. Well, you know what happens next. She had a most delightful adventure meeting and dancing with several well-known singers who have passed beyond the veil. Since it was an on-going story, at the end the crone was transported back to her room by the spirits where she woke up bright and cheerful in the morning.
One of the ghosts who visit the witch is George Harrison, who died in 2001. He wrote a song called “All Things Must Pass,” and the chorus emphasizes “All things must pass, All things must pass away.” That is truly the back story of this tale, for the forum I was in eventually disbanded. I later joined a writing platform called Squidoo, where I decided to re-post my witch story for Halloween.
As I was working on adapting it to that format, I said to my husband, “Wouldn't it be cool if the witch actually died in the story?' He said, “I thought she already had.” So the new version of the story was born.
But as George reminded us, all things must pass away, and the writing platform called Squidoo was sold to another company. I decided at that time to move everything I've written to the Crossroads, which I had started but really hadn't devoted much time to. The Witch Who Danced With Ghosts joins several other articles that I had previously written for Squidoo.
If you haven't read it yet, fly, float, or dance over to The Witch Who Danced With Ghosts. Then come back and tell me what you think. I love to hear from my visitors.
When my husband mentioned he was writing an article on Mabon, I jumped at the chance to add it to my Wiccan Sabbats page in the Crossroads. He is my go-to person when I have a question about Wicca or almost anything really.
Arawyn is the name I've known him by ever since we met on-line 18 years ago. Of course he has a muggle name, Gene Wallace, but it took me a long time to get comfortable using it.
Let me share just a bit of his history.
Arawyn served for 13 years as a US Air Force avionics technologist, working with electronic stealth systems. He is a Vietnam veteran with two tours of duty.
He worked for 7 years as a civilian systems technical representative on the B-1B flight test project.
Arawyn has been a avid game player all his life, starting with chess and moving on to role play and computer gaming.
Though he was raised in a fundamental Christian family, he stepped out of the box of his Christian programming just before joining Air Force at the age of 20. He explored secular humanism for several years and then delved into Druidry through the Henge of Keltria.
Arawyn went to his first Wicca class in a bookstore in late 1995. He became a member of the Circle of the Cosmic Muse and was initiated in October, 1996. The High Priestess of Cosmic Muse, Maria Kay Simms, is the author of the book "Witch's Circle". For two years he was deeply involved in the circle activities. He also taught Wicca Basics and Rune Divination and Magickal Working at bookstores in the San Diego area.
We were both involved in a witch-themed independent movie called Mind Forest., where we played the parts of witches in the late 1600s., Arawyn also served as technical consultant for the film and wrote the chant that weaves its way through the film. Unfortunately, it has never been made into a feature film but you can view the trailer. He is the big scary guy with the big sword.
Arawyn has had a thirst for knowledge all his life and is constantly reading books and everything else available, and has enjoyed doing in-depth research on many subjects since high school, both in libraries and on-line. He received his first set of encyclopedias right after he was born and read each one, as well as yearly updates, cover to cover.
As I said earlier, we met on-line in 1997 in a spiritual chat room and got together in the material world in 1998. We consider ourselves to be spirit mates and have chosen to travel together in the rest of this incarnation, continuing to seek and experience spiritual knowledge. We are now living in an RV in New Mexico with our feline master, Wileykat.
We are both in the process incorporating the theories of quantum physics with our Wiccan beliefs. Arawyn likes to refer to his theories as Quantum Realism.
Travel this path to read the article “Why Is The Autumnal Equinox Named Mabon?"
I had intended this post to be an area where people could ask him questions. Unfortunately, he passed through the doorway to the spirit world on Feb 13, 2017. He had a major heart attack which followed a minor attack in November. Although I know we shall meet again, right now I am missing my best friend.
Also by Arawyn Walense
What "So Mote It Be" Means
I find that when I start writing a new article, I never know where it will end up. When I was still a member of the on-line writing site, Squidoo, I belonged to the Squidoo Book Club. One day they offered a challenge....write about your favorite fictional character, I had to really think about it. There were so many to choose from. But somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, where few dare to tred, I heard the little voice saying, “Dobby is still a free elf.” I knew I had to focus the review on Dobby the House-Elf from Harry Potter.
It was a huge undertaking, for I wanted to explore the mythology of house elves to set the scene for the appearance of Dobby. Talking about the story line was quite easy, since J.K. Rowling had already done the hard work.
But then I ran across an interview with her where she said she didn't really know where her characters and story lines come from. I had another writer friend who said she believed her characters were already in existence, and she just discovered them.
That whole idea set me down the rabbit hole into the theory of parallel universes. So two my interests, fantasy fiction and quantum physics were joined together. I really don't think Dobby thought he was quite that powerful.
If you have been sad because Dobby died in the book and movie, please take a moment to read “Is Dobby Still Alive in a Parallel Universe?” Then apparate, a magical form of teleportation, back to this blog post to leave a comment about what you have read. I dearly love to read comments from my readers and I promise to answer you.
Click on this magical portal.
“Is Dobby Still Alive in a Parallel Universe?”
I am a storyteller. I like to wrap inspirational messages inside little vignettes of my life or the lives of others. I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and am now living full time in an RV. Everything I've experienced in my 65 years in this incarnation is fair game to be written about.