Posts Tagged ‘traditions’
The Winter Solstice was celebrated in the ancient world in different traditions. It is known in pagan traditions, and others, as the ‘longest night.’ There are similarities in various world beliefs.
The sun moves into Capricorn at this time and it is the start of the new solar year. This solar occasion is often seen as the rebirth of the sun, symbolized by a Goddess and the birth of her son, celebrated as a festival of light. The ancient cultures of India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Ireland and Wales all shared the belief of a son, born near the winter solstice on the 25th of December, and who died in the spring.
In pagan Europe, this holiday was known as Jul, which means wheel, or Yule. The ancient Egyptian myths of Isis and Osiris repeats in the story of Mary and Jesus. The modern day celebration of the birth of Jesus, is what we know as Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »
The most overlooked aspect of our Christmas spirit is the giving, especially fruit. And for each fruit there is a symbol as an emblem of divinity or purity, as an anchor to our Earth, honoring our agricultural and farming heritage. In parts of Europe, for example, St. Nicholas would put tangerines into the homes of children to announce the arrival of first Advent.
The apple was used as a symbol of longevity and happiness, and youth and fertility, and thus was used in the story of Adam and Eve as the symbol of temptation. Yet, we must remember that in this infamous story, the snake that tempted Adam and Eve, was the bringer of knowledge and this is the age old lore that presents itself again and again throughout history. Not many people know that it was the Tree of Knowledge, not the apple (or sexuality) that tempted them. And in some ancient texts, they were freed by this knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »
Fairies are magical beings believed to have abilities to cast minor spells. However, this is a Hollywood view that bears little relation to fairies from folklore. Folklore fairies have the ability to confuse even the most experienced researcher, because it’s hard to pin down exactly what they are.
According to Victorianhawk.com, Fairies and mankind have existed side-by-side for generations. Fairies look after the natural world, such as woodland, lakes, and mountains. In earlier times it seems that humanity had dealings with fairies on a daily basis, but because of man’s need for scientific explanations, the power and presence of the fairies has been diminishing. Read the rest of this entry »
Raccoons are indeed considered to be night varmints and scavengers. They can destroy property and be a real nuisance. However, spiritually the raccoon has a much more constructive significance and they are the perfect animal totem for Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, the raccoon, when it comes into your life, is referred to as “the one who carries the medicine of the protector of the underdog” and “the one who provides for the young, infirm and the elderly.” Because of its mask-like features, it is often unfairly referred to as The Masked Bandit, but when a raccoon comes into your space, you are being asked to contact your inner warrior, to become a protector and generous provider for those in need. Read the rest of this entry »
The idea of a mysterious, magic mirror evokes scenes from fairy tales like Snow White, where the wicked queen looks into the mirror and is able to see what her enemies are plotting against her. But do magic mirrors really exist? Can they be used to see into the future, as seen in so many fantasy and horror films? The answer is yes.
The magic mirror, also known as the black mirror, is a powerful scrying tool that has been used for thousands of years. A scrying tool is typically an item with a polished or reflective surface, such as a crystal ball, mirror or even a bowl of water. The seer gazes into the reflective surface to see psychic visions. Read the rest of this entry »
Ancestor worship is a wide-spread belief system, in both primitive and sophisticated cultures. Ancestral healing unfortunately gets very little attention these days, even though some of our patterns and energy imbalances may well stem from our genetic pool.
My first exposure to the concept of communicating with our Ancestors occurred many years ago, during initiation into the Southern African culture of divining and healing. During my training to become a Sangoma*, in a remote area in Southern Africa, time was always put aside for offering prayers to, and for consulting with the Ancestors. My mentor taught me how the Ancestor energies affected their still living relatives, and how, in most African cultures, they are seen as being our link to the spirit world. Read the rest of this entry »
Spirituality and religion are often clumped together into the same category. They are certainly similar in nature. For example, a spiritual person can be religious and their religion can intensify their spirituality, but that is not to say religion is the source of spiritual growth.
Religion, however is birthed out of spiritual experiences. Religious practices are often promoted by a specific teacher who has had a profound spiritual experience, or a prophet who communicates information about the spiritual realm, and how it influences the physical world. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the quaintest concepts, that seemed to captivate imaginations around the turn of the 18th century, were the elements and their embodiments in the form of Elemental Spirits. These beings were the personification of the Classical elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.
In the Middle Ages, great attention was given to these four elements in terms of diagnosis, such as the Choleric being linked to the Earth, which would be thus be linked to Taurus. The Phlegmatic was linked to the water element, or Pisces, which often would diagnose lung disorders, thus the word origin for phlegm. Read the rest of this entry »