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Animal Totems

A coyote in Yosemite National Park, California...

A coyote in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Suomi: Kojootti Yosemiten kansallispuistossa Kaliforniassa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I have a very strong belief that animal totems not only exist but help teach us and guide us as we go through life. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the country or maybe it’s because of my Cherokee heritage. It doesn’t really matter how I came to believe these things. I know that I do and I know that animals do teach me quite a bit.

When I was young, I would spend vast amounts of time in the woods alone. I would sit quietly and still and watch what the animals were doing. I would learn from them by watching their movements, behaviors and patterns. I would watch them play and fight. I had some contact with animals that no one else has that I know personally.

For example, when I was around 10 years old, I came face to face with a mountain lion. I had an instinctual feeling that she was guarding babies. She was crouched in ready to spring mode. We locked eyes and I felt a curiosity from her. She did not spring on and maul me, obviously. Then when I was 11 years old, I was bitten on the leg by a copperhead snake. I wasn’t watching where I was going and the snake bit my leg. Momma rushed me to the hospital after sucking the poison out herself. You can’t even see the scar any more. When I was in my 20s and on a sport dive, I came face to face with a tiger shark. I’m not sure which one of us was more afraid. We both went in opposite directions. Those are just a few examples of the experiences I’ve had with animals. I have always felt a kinship with the animal totems in my world.

Two mornings ago, I was opening the curtains on the back windows of my bedroom and standing about 5 feet from the house and moving closer was a very large coyote. His nose was in the air and he was smelling the feral cats that live outside of my house. It was dawn and he was in full hunt mode. I threw open the window and yelled, “Go Coyote….GO!”. I scared him and he stopped dead and stared at me. I yelled at him again to go and he ran almost to the wood line behind the house. I yelled one more time and he disappeared into the woods. He was very big. I was very shaken. I do not like predators hunting the cats. I also do not like predators of that size being that close to my house. I know there are coyotes close to the house most of the time. I can hear them calling to each other through the woods. Knowing they are out there and seeing them 5 feet from the house are two completely different things.

After I had some time to process seeing that coyote that close, I started to think about what coyotes as animal totems mean to me. I was thinking how that applies to my life now and what wisdom I can glean from that encounter. The lessons that they teach us are as follows:

  • Understanding that all things are sacred–yet nothing is sacred
  • Teaching that only when all masks have fallen will we connect with the Source
  • Intelligence
  • Singing humans into being
  • Childhood trust in truth
  • Teaching us how to rear our young
  • Brings rain
  • Ability to laugh at one’s own mistakes
  • Placing the North Star
  • Shape-shifting
  • Teaching balance between risk and safety
  • Illumination
  • Stealth

I am still processing what the main lesson was for me. I have an idea. I may share when I know for sure.

Do you see the same animal around you all the time? Do you have encounters with animals that you normally would not encounter? Have you considered that you may be coming into contact with animal totems to teach you?

About the Author

My name is Elizabeth Glass. I enjoy sharing my life experiences, my spiritual experiences and just writing in general. I have been writing…


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Liminal and Liminoid

English: Rock concert at The Hexagon The band ...

Rock concert at The Hexagon The band are Jethro Tull, performing an acoustic number. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Expert from my blog… read more here

Browsing through my library, I recently found some interesting material on the idea of liminality. You’d think I’d know all about this concept; it’s right up my alley. But as things go, I’ve only made note of it until now.

Some quick research on Wiki produced these two links. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in religion and the related idea of numinosity. Of particular interest is the distinction anthropologist Victor Turner makes between the liminal and the liminoid. The one is structured and expected by society, and more like work (e.g. going to Church); the other is free and playful (e.g. going to a rock concert). But both apparently have similar effects. They transport you somewhere out of the ordinary.

This second link is an interview with Talal Asad. I was pleasantly surprised to discover his views on postmodernism and religion. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And it’s always great to find an “established” thinker who’s saying things that you’ve already thought about. It gives you a sense of reinforcement and encouragement. After all, a single innovative thinker is often ignored or marginalized (as has been my experience). More than one, however, and people begin to take notice.

Apart from my personal story, I really believe that humanity would benefit from using all of the intellectual tools we have at our disposal… especially with regard to religion and society.

—MC


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An above average look at the belief in astral projection


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Melding Theological Beliefs – An Honorable Approach towards Religious Strife

By Smith Baker

The education of various faiths in different schools and educational institutions is often carried out in a segregated environment which ensures that children and individuals of the same faith and religious background are grouped together. While the given educative scenario may seem to be feasible and highly productive from the teacher’s perspective, too often it is argued that this form of pedagogy does not result in peacemakers who are able to accept other faiths and grow as adults who have high tolerance for conflicting beliefs.

Educators around the world have therefore proposed a new pedagogical strategy for theology schools suggesting that instead of urging students to steep further into their own beliefs and faiths they should be introduced to a classroom setting that supports a multi-faith culture. Of course religion is one of the most ignored aspects in the American academia but given the immense need to nurture tolerant and peacemaking adults, this practical approach toward theology provides a unique and exciting way to handle the challenges being faced at a socio-political level.

Termed as an unorthodox approach, melding the education of different faiths and religions is an excellent way to preach peace and tolerance to our future generation. We live in an era that is dominated by a plethora of religious misunderstanding and theological strife. If schools and colleges were to adopt this approach, we will be providing the various religious communities across the globe to exist in harmony with each other. In addition, there is also a need to place meticulous focus on curriculum and course development and refinement in order to establish new certification programmes that introduce students to topics such as religious conflict resolution and theological ethics. Such programmes however cannot be run by a single faith and therefore will require a collaborative effort, housing the leaders from multiple sects under one roof.

Despite the numerous benefits of this proposed teaching methodology, the view has not been able to avoid considerable criticism and acrimony from various sects across the globe. A number of leaders in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic community have objected to the approach given the concerns that this educative stance may threaten to dilute their beliefs and the foundations of their faith. Many more have called for a critical review of the curriculum and suggest that the same will hamper adequate education in various institutes.

It is however worth mentioning that this approach towards religion and theology stems from the desire to learn. Melding together the studies and beliefs of different faiths is an excellent way to connect individuals across the globe at larger levels. The effectiveness of the approach however lies in how efficiently and how conscientiously it is executed.

About the Author

Smith Baker – I am Smith Baker, a person who possesses the ability to maintain corporate blog updates. Professionally, I have amassed a considerable…


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“To Tirzah” by William Blake

Originally posted on Stuff Jeff Reads:

ToTirzah

Whate’er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
Blow’d in the morn, in evening died;
But Mercy chang’d Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears:

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
And me to Mortal Life betray.
The Death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

In order to fully grasp this poem, there are a couple religious references which should be explained. First, the name Tirzah “is derived from The Song of Solomon vi.4, and signifies physical beauty, that is, sex.” (Geoffrey Keynes) Also, the words on the robe of the…

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Healing the wound(s) within the Heart Chakra

Image via Tumblr

© Angela Ohlman

You are wounded. There are lifetimes of worry, fear, doubt and seeds of darkness planted within your heart centre. Day by day these wounds are grounded in today’s actions, beliefs, doors and windows within each dimension of self you visit, moment to moment. Each one connecting to the next, creating of tapestry of life extended from the wound. Dreams, desires and the endless well of faith, abundance and eternal joy… flow beneath the wound, around it, seeping out in trickles, confusion and chaos.

The wound can be one or many, fresh or old, clean or pungent, male or female, whole or hole. This energy has gained hold and only you can offer its’ release. You must explore the many hallways and doors that lead to deep within this wound. You must be willing to hear your own cries and screams for justice, for revenge and to see the shadow this wound has cast.

Delve within your most inner hurts and there you will see the mirror. The mirror shows your role, your mis-perceptions, your amour, your open wound that you work so hard to hide from the world, deny to yourself, that you protect and seek revenge for. This wound is real, alive, seeping and ready for love.

You must be willing to walk the hallways, to open new doors, to peer within with an open mind, an open heart and be a witness to the path you have been walking. To look beyond the hurt and see what caused this wound, what has been feeding it, what protection is coving your vulnerability and pain? Others will remove the scabs but the wound itself is for you to acknowledge, accept, love and replenish with what it is you desire for your highest self and your relationships with those around you; your tapestry, your life.

The wound is merely a reflection of lost power, or what we have given to others, of what we run from. Once inside you may loath the parts of yourself that lashed out, that screamed for attention, that caused addiction or whatever other blessings are whirling within your storm, the hidden, the forgotten and the despised. Hate and pain are merely the illusions that keep us from finding our wounds and creating again.

Image via Tumblr

Once you surrender to this space…. There is a shift. Your psyche awakens. You meet it, face it, acknowledge it and look for places to heal within it, remove the swords that caused it, release those that you trapped and set yourself free from the guilt, shame, sadness, hurt and pain that was holding you captive. You release the shackles. You simply let go. You can move beyond the pain, replace, heal and retrieve the goodness that was swelling below it. You look around and see the chaos has vanished; there is a clean slate and a rebirth about to take place. You are renewed, revived and full of life.

This is a blank slate, a new garden to create, you realize there is more than just hope, there is an open heart to love, to paint, to create and sing with the joy for whatever your soul truly desires to create from. The calm is beyond the storm, the wound has healed, and the wholeness is satisfying, full, flowing and the tapestry is endless, bountiful and abundant with peace. Everyone is free. You have loved yourself completely, healed your wound, released the past, opened yourself to a new flow, a garden of opportunity and a Truth that only your heart will hear. Take those wings and fly.

About the Author

Angela Abundance – loveheals.ca

Angela is an energy intuitive, psychic medium and spiritual teacher.   She will gracefully guide you closer to WHO you truly are at the…

 


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It Pays To Walk In Love Today

By Ngozi Nwoke

Is it worth walking in love? Some people think that walking in love is weakness and that they will get nothing in return for all their efforts. However, the truth is that those who enjoy the most are those who are walking in Love. This is because God’s attention is drawn to those who obey His commandments; and one of His commandments is that we walk in love – 1 John 4:21.

But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ – 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister – Hebrews 6:10 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him… – 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)

It really pays to walk in love. God is love and He is looking for people through whom He can channel His love to men. And just like the saying goes, ‘the pipe that carries cold water is first cooled’, every channel of the love of God is first blessed with God’s blessings. Remember, the husband man who labours must be first to partake of the fruit, (2 Timothy 2:6)

The challenge is that some people consider only the answers to their prayers yet to come, as reward for their labor of love; meanwhile many other blessings, favour and healings, etc., had been showered on them. There are some things that money cannot buy but God is more than able to take care of them. God truly rewards His faithful followers, even with their desired answered prayers.

There are several scriptural examples of people who walked in love and were handsomely rewarded. We will look at a few examples:

Rahab – Joshua 2:1-21, 6:22-25

She hid the Israelite spies to Jericho and spared them from being killed. God rewarded her by sparing her life too and she ended up as one of the descendants of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mordecai – Esther 6:1-11

He walked in love towards King Ahasuerus by exposing the evil planned against him and the King’s life was spared. God rewarded him greatly by honouring him before the whole kingdom at the very time evil was planned against him by Haman.

Dorcas – Acts 9:36-41

She showered great love on people, especially the widows, that when she died they refused to allow her remain dead. They sent for Peter whom God used to bring her back to life.

Cornelius – Acts 10:1-48

He gave much alms to the people, prayed to God always; and was of a good report among the nation of Jews. God saw his heart and his good works and decided to reward him not only with physical things but also with eternal life. While Peter was speaking, he and his household were saved and were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Jesus Christ – Philippians 2:5-11

Christ, our perfect example, suffered and gave His life for us all. And God gave Him a name above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee bows down and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Myself

My little contributions in people’s lives have been seriously rewarded. For example, I showed hospitality to some people some years back and I am still reaping the benefits. When I relocated back to my country where they were, they were all there to help me settle down quickly. I enjoyed awesome favour of God! I give God praise.

In conclusion, it pays to walk in love. God, who said we should not owe any man anything but love (Romans 13:8), does not owe. God certainly reward every form of love you show. Decide to walk in love, not minding the circumstances or what people will say, and God who sees in secret will reward you openly – Mathew 6:4.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/it-pays-to-walk-in-love-today-6813278.html

About the Author

Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher and a counselor. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God’s love and christian living for more…

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