Hello my friends
As you've probably guessed by now, a lot of things have been happening in my life.
I have grown in so many ways, and have turned a new corner in my search for infinite bliss.
So I have decided to create a new blog to witness and honour this part of my journey.
If you'd like to keep me company along the way visit http://michellechant.wordpress.com/ and leave me a message.
With much love and many blissings,
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Hello my friends
Posted by Mich at 9:52 pm
Wow, its been such a long, long time since I visited here.
Its been such a busy year ... getting Chakradance off the ground and starting a new job ... my life has been one big whirlwind. Suffice to say I'm a little on the exhausted side.
I'm off sick at the moment ... I thought I just had bronchitis, but in fact I have tracheitis, which is no fun, and apparently very contagious - joy!
But let me tell you about me year so far.
I started teaching Chakradance at the beginning of this year. I've now completed 2 nine week cycles and two three hour workshops, and I'm getting wonderful feedback. I love this type of work, its so fulfilling to assist people on such an amazing journey! I feel as though I'm growing ...
I was supposed to start teaching another class last night, however I postponed due to the fact that I didn't think the class would appreciate a practioner that was 'barking like a dog' ... what a way to meditate!
In March I started working with the Treasury, and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the work and the people. I'm growing professionally which wasn't happening for the past two years.
Oh, and I've met a guy ... quite cute really. I met him at an open day for the college (where I teach). He's asked me out, but of course I've been ill and have been unable to go, however he calls me every day to check on me and see how I am. Its really nice to have met someone like that.
So, that's been my world so far this year. What have you been up to?
Posted by Mich at 11:29 am
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Phew ... what a year it has been so far. Thanks to all of you who have left or sent me messages ... I've missed you too.
Words can't describe how I've missed hanging out here with you all -- travelling all over the world every night to visit each and everyone of you. How I've missed you!
There's been so much going on for me in my little part of the world -- where do I begin?
A couple of months ago, I was offered a new job which I accepted. And boy has it been a whirlwind!
Now I have to say that I like this place ... the people are really nice ... normal even ... which makes a nice change. I didn't realise just how toxic my old work environment was until I left it behind.
That said, its taken me out of my comfort zone, and challenged me. Here I'm not everyone's 'go-to girl' with a solution for every problem. In this place I'm the chick who's trying to get her head around a highly technical project and a diverse range of stakeholders.
It freaked me out for a little while, wondering what on earth had I walked into. For a while there I didn't feel terribly intelligent, in fact I felt so far out of my depth that that nasty, little voice started to creep back into my head to tell me what a fool I am.
Surprisingly, this time I was prepared, and knew how to deal with that old foe. I must admit though, that it helped I had landed in a supportive and nurturing environment. Of course after seven years of working in the same job, I was going to feel like a fish out of water walking into a new one. And, after getting to know my new colleagues, I realised I wasn't the only one feeling this way.
I'm now getting up to speed, and am glad to report that I am winning the respect of my colleagues. And, probably more important for me, is that I'm making some wonderful friendships!
Speaking of new friendships, I have some beautiful ones blossoming over at Om Shanti College as well, where I'm teaching Chakradance.
Yes, I started teaching Chakradance this year, and feel truly blessed.
I had seven participants during the first term, with 12 attending my three-hour workshop. This term I'm over the moon with 10 participants for my nine week course! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
The experiences we've shared as a group are incredible. And I'm growing, oh how I'm growing!!
With my mind being stretched, and my spirit dancing, I've needed to do something for my body. So I've taken up pilates, and boy am I loving that!
Oh, and I've started to redesign my website ... Its still a work in progress, so its not at home on its own url yet, however it is live ... why don't you check it out and let me know what you think? http://goddessfire.wordpress.com
So now you know why I've been so quiet ... life has been quite the whirlwind!
Posted by Mich at 6:27 pm
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Monday, 14 April 2008
Here's the Modern Goddess' third video in her series of Affirmation Videos. Don't forget to check out the series of journaling articles at Rainbow Dreams!
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
A journey into Self, using creative visualisation, music and dance, this 9-week cycle is designed to help participants to explore, experience and balance their own chakras, and is more indepth than the 8 week cycle.
It starts with an introductory overview, and goes on to focus on the seven major chakras in turn (one per week) before culminating in an integration session.
Although music and dance form the primary focus, sessions also include sensing, working with elements and colours, guided visualisations and short meditations.
This class runs for 2 hours, 1 night per week, over 9 weeks.
From: Monday 28th April
Time: 6.30 - 8.30pm
Where: Om Shanti College, Griffith Shops
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Here's the Modern Goddess' second video in her series of Affirmation Videos. Don't forget to check out the series of journaling articles at Rainbow Dreams!
Sunday, 23 March 2008
As you all know, our very own Modern Goddess, Nicole, has created a beauty-full journal and meditation CD. If you're interested in learning more about journalling, Nicole has written a series of articles, which you can find at Rainbow Dreams.
But Nicole hasn't stopped there, she has created a series of Affirmation Videos. Here's the first one!
Friday, 14 March 2008
A successful coach, facilitator and empowerment advocate, Nicole Graham originally hails from Australia but is now living in Hong Kong. Nicole is a qualified Adult Educator, Certified Soul Coach, Certified Past Life Coach, Goddess Facilitator and Reiki Master.
Her businesses, The Modern Goddess has evolved over time and evolved out of a passion to help women become empowered and inspired.
Nicole has co-written a guided journal and co-recorded the companion guided meditation CD, Journal for the Modern Goddess, with Gold Coast-based artist, Tara Spicer. Their business together is Journals for Empowerment.
What was the inspiration behind the Journal for the Modern Goddess?
Tara and I both have a passion to help women become empowered and inspired. For Tara she is doing this through her paintings and for me it is through my workshops and coaching.
As we bounced our ideas around, the more inspired we became and over a 6 month period we found we had created a beautiful journal we wanted to share with the world. Our passions fed each other’s passion.
Is it reflective of your own spiritual journey?
I look back over my life and am so grateful for the experiences that I have because I know that they have gotten me to where I am today. There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past 10 years and I’m now feeling that I’m in a really great space. I’m settled, I’ve been through the changes I have needed to go through and now I’m living my dreams.
I’m a person who reflects back over time and I can now see that birthing this journal has allowed me to really plant my feet on the ground and say, yes... all it good, all is just how it is meant to be, and I’m so grateful for this journey. Yes, it is a reflection of my own spiritual journey.
What is the purpose of the journal?
The purpose of the journal is to help women discover the beauty that they hold within them. It is encouraging them to uncover the beautiful, unique and powerful Goddess that they really are. Women are amazing and too often they forget how amazing they are. This journal helps them to remember.
What makes this journal unique?
It is a combination of things. The beautiful imagery, the specifically tailored sections for ‘self empowerment’ through guided self study, and the companion guided meditation CD. The journal takes its owner on a magical journey to find their own personal power.
What’s your favourite part?
It is hard to pick my favourite part because every time I look through the journal I am in awe of its beauty and I know I’m a little biased because as one of the co-creators, how can I not love what we’ve produced. However, having to pick a favourite part, I love the guided meditation CD. I remember being so nervous about recording the meditations and felt sick but when
How did you choose the imagery used in the journal?
It was an interesting journey because we originally were looking at Tara’s existing paintings and then at some point we both realised that the journal needed a goddess of its own, one that really represented the journal’s purpose.
Our goddess was created specifically for the journal. I asked Tara how she came to paint the image and this is what she said:
"This image is an image that, from my heart, honours the great Goddess within every woman. Three years ago, I gave birth to my daughter and it was a very powerful event that took more than I thought I could possibly give of myself. The following day (and every day since) I have had an overwhelming realisation of just how amazing every single woman is and how powerful she is, what she can give and what she can accomplish.
"I have been disappointed in how this incredible strength and light is never really honoured and recognised in our day to day lives and I really wanted to create something that made celebration of every woman’s inner Goddess a part of our daily lives. This painting is a reminder to every woman to spend a little time each day, to go within, discover and connect with the Modern Goddess that they are despite the great many distractions and demands that day to day living presents"
Why combine meditation with journaling?
Journaling is a powerful tool for self-discovery and so is meditation therefore combining the two felt very natural. We feel that the meditation CD compliments the guided writing sections, and at the same time has power of its own. Meditation can help you delve deeper, and to really listen to your intuition, your inner self. Combine that with writing and it allows you to really explore your own journey.
So, who should be using the journal?
Women who want to connect with their higher self, their inner power, their inner goddess. Women who want to explore their thoughts and feelings to help them understand who they are and where they want to head in life. You do not need to be journaling frequently because it has been created to write in it when you feel like it and in the section that is relevant to what is going on in your life at that moment.
Do you have any special offers for those reading this interview?
Yes! We are currently on our Virtual Book Tour promoting our Journal for the Modern Goddess. Followers of the tour can enter our competition to win a Meditation Kit consisting of a ‘How to Guide’ to Meditation, a pack of incense sticks, gratitude /meditation beads, 5 Goddess affirmation cards, an amethyst gemstone (the stone of meditation). To read more, visit our competitions page.
So what are you planning next?
We are currently working on our ‘Journal for the Pregnant Goddess’ and she is coming along beautifully. This time you’ll see more of Tara’s gorgeous artwork not just with one image but with a series of images.
Michelle, thanks for interviewing me and being one of our hosts for our virtual book tour.
Nicole Graham and Tara Spicer are currently on a virtual book tour promoting their recently released writing journal, Journal for the Modern Goddess.
About the Journal for the Modern Goddess:
This beautiful hard covered, spiral bound writing journal helps women uncover the beautiful, unique and powerful Goddess that they really are.The journal features 6 coloured inserts with inspirational quotes, guided questions, affirmations and 204 lined pages for journaling. The coloured inserts divides the journal into sections - Gratitude and Happiness; Moving Forward; Dreams and Visions; Journal Pages; Guided Meditation; and Sanctuaries and Sisterhood.The companion guided meditation CD features 3 tracks that provide women with sacred journeys that inspire and encourage them to create positive life patterns. These tracks help them to recognise and invite magic, inspiration and loving energy into their lives.
The journal retails for $34.95 AUD including GST.
To view or purchase the journal, please visit Nicole and Tara’s website, Journals for Empowerment. Please click on the banner visit:
Saturday, 1 March 2008
At the beginning of the year I created a wish list - 100 wishes for 2008.
These wishes have been granted so far:
- I am healthy - I eat nutritous and tasty foods
- I am fit - I practice pilates and work out every day
- To laugh more
- To dance more
- To let go of anger
- To forgive
- To be forgiven
- Find a 'home' for Chakradance
- My Chakradance practice takes off in Canberra
- I find an exciting new job which is rewarding and challenging
- To work with fun, professional people who I respect and who respect me
- Learn yoga
- Connect more with my neighbours
- We are kept safe from bushfires and natural disasters
- Marnie and Dennis have a healthy baby
All in all, not a bad year so far!
Thursday, 21 February 2008
I started doing a lot of work in my heart chakra today.
My last session with Gayla opened a gaping wound in my heart.
I felt such loss, and grief. Its Owen's anniversary today, and I realised that for the past 14 years I have been angry.
Angry with him for leaving me.
Angry with myself for being angry with him.
This anger and grief has held me back from moving on.
I had constructed a brick wall around my heart, allowing nobody access - and I didn't discriminate.
Today, with Gayla's help I pulled down a brick, and then another one, and another one after that. I confronted my anger and grief head on, and while I have a long journey ahead of me, I feel lighter.
I started working with my heart chakra last night, and realised that I need to sit within my heart and honour myself.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Photo of Mich by Leonie Allan
Being a single gal, missing that ever elusive relationship with the guy of my dreams, I decided that this year I would not take Valentine's Day laying down!
But what the hell, I made it a week for self-love, so here's what I did ...
I bought myself a ring of commitment (now you know my secret), yes it looks like an engagement ring and I wear it on that finger. But I bought it to remind myself that I AM ENOUGH. And to make a commitment to myself. I love myself enough to move my body. I love myself enough to eat healthy foods. And I love myself enough to get healthy.
I started yoga classes.
I started private lessons for pilates.
On Monday night I danced the Sacral Chakra to honour my inner-feminine, my sensuality, my sexuality and my creativity.
I had a somewhat indulgent day on Valentines Day itself. I took the day off and had a two hour session with my life coach, and a one hour session with my pilates coach.
This self-love thing rocks!
What did you do?
Sunday, 10 February 2008
I came home from a party tonight to find I couldn't actually get home.
The police had my street blocked off, the excuse ... they were conducting a police operation. A line of neighbours cars down the other street because none of us could get home ...
No explanation, we were just told to wait.
I thought that it was a gas leak or something like that, so I hung out with my neighbours, wondering what the hell was going on and why no one [police] was talking to us.
When we were finally allowed to drive in, I saw a number of police officers in what looked like tactical gear, carrying, yep, you guessed it ... bloody big guns ... I don't know ... my first instinct was that they were machine guns.
Talk about freaking out here ...
I got home and Trinity was going ape ... every sound at the moment is making me jump.
This is a quiet little suburb of Canberra on the edge of a lake ... its mainly retirees and professionals ...
WHAT THE HELL?
No, seriously ... what has this world come to? Why does violence exist at all? I don't get it, I just don't get it.
Posted by Mich at 1:18 am
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Inspired by Boho Mom's post the other day, I thought it a wonderful idea to post a list I am grateful for this week:
- Teaching my first Chakradance class ~ it was bliss-full!
- The gorgeous women in my class
- Talented and soulful friends scattered throughout the corners of the earth
- A free movie ticket
- Having a secret
What are you grateful for right now?
Monday, 4 February 2008
I've found a site for Aussie Wiccans which has some good information for those in the Southern Hemisphere. I'm not sure how old the information is, so I can't vouch for the exact dates, so please take them as approximate, and I will endeavour to get the right dates soon.
Lammas / Lughnassadh 2nd February: Lughnassadh is the Celtic festival in honour of the sun God and is actually celebrated on the 7th. Lammas is a harvest festival, at which time it is appropriate to give thanks for the bounty of the earth. It is the first of three harvest sabbats. The sun god Lugh is celebrate as he is the god of harvest, fire and light. It is at this time that the first crops, usually grains and vegetables are ready to be harvested. The baking of bread is traditionally the way to celebrate this day, as is the making or purchasing of corn dolls to guard your home for the coming season. This is the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest. The sun king, now dark Lord, gives his energy to the crops to ensure life while the mother prepares to give way to her aspect as the Crone. Now is a good time to teach what you have learned, to share the fruits of your acheivements with the world. Other than bread baking and dolls, you can decorate your altar with fruit and vegetables of the harvest.
Autumn Equinox / Mabon 20th-23rd March: Mabon is the second harvest, and goddess mourns her fallen consort, but the emphasis is on the message of rebirth that can be found in the harvest seeds. You can celebrate by decorating the house with dried and coloured ears of corn to remind yourself and your home of the end of the harvest season. Again, the day and night are of equal length, and we give thanks for the last fruits of the harvest. Mabon marks the end of the second harvest, a time when the majority of the crops are gathered. The Goddess enters the Crone stage at this time. At the Autumn Equinox, the days and nights are equal. It is a time of balance, but light gives way to increased darkness. It is a good time to walk in the forests, gathering dried plants for use as altar decorations or herbal magick, Cornbread and cider are good additions the the festivites and Autumn leaves make great altar decorations.
Samhain - April 30th: Samhain, popularly known as Halloween is the witches’ New Year. This is the last of the three harvest sabbats, marking the end of the growing seasons. This is a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Deceased ancestors and other friendly spirits are reunited with loved ones. It is a nice gesture to leave candles in the windows and plates of food for the visiting spirits. Divination is also heightened on this night. Autumn foliage and other autumny items can be used for altar decorations.
Yule - 20th-23rd June: Yule or winter solstice coincides closely to the christian christmas celebration even though people in the southern hemisphere celebrate Yule mid-year. Yule is all about winter. Hanging bells is a good custom, so you know when the wood spirits are frolicking about your home. The colours of this season are red and green. A lesser known tradition is burning the Yule log. Magickal symbols are carved into a log prior to setting it ablaze on the evening before Yule. A piece of the Yule log should be kept to protect the home throughout the year from negative energies and to light next year's log. If you can't burn a Yule log, find the biggest red candle you can get your hands on and carve symbols into its side. Surround it with mistletoe and holly, cedar and/or rosemary, light and let it burn all night long to ensure a prosperous year of warmth and light.Yule is a celebration of rebirth of the Sun. The god who died at Samhain is born from the virgin goddess. This the time of the year when the goddess turns the wheel of the year to its beginning point. This is the shortest day of the year and it celebrates the return of the god as seen in the lengthening of daylight. Here, the longest night of the year, the goddess gives birth to the sun child and hope for new light is born. Yule is a time of awakening to new goals and leaving old regrets behind.
Imbolc / Candlemas - 2nd August: Candlemas involves celebrations of banishing the winter and welcoming the spring. Light a candle in every room of the house or turn on all the lights for a moment or two to welcome back the sun. At the time of Candlemas, the newborn sun god is seen as a small child nursing from his mother. At this phase of the cycle, winter is swept away and new beginnings are nurtured. Some Wiccan traditions and groups favour this time of year for initiations into the craft. The goddess becomes the Maiden again as the wheel turns towards spring. It a celebration of Spring and the new life it represents.
Ostara / Spring Equinox 20th-23rd September: The Spring Equinox is the point of equilibrium - the balance is suspended just before spring bursts forth from winter. A good way to celebrate is to half fill a bown with water and place a selection of flowers into it for a display in a prominent position in the home. The night and day are of equal length at the equinoc and Ostara is the festical of balance and fertility. It is a celebration of of birth and new life. A day when death has no power over the living. This is the time of the official return of the young goddess after her winter hibernation. It is believed that the goddess and young god consumed their love, from this the goddess became pregnant with the god to be born at Yule. Traditionally Ostara us a time for collecting wild flowers, walking in nature's beauty and cultivating herbs. This is the time to free yourself from anything in the past that may be holding you back.
Beltane - 31st October - November 1st: Beltane is the celebration of the approach of summer, when breezes are scented and the evenings are getting warm and the divine union of the Lord and the Lady. Celebrations can include weaving a web of life around the May Pole and leaping the Beltane fire for luck. Lilacs and/or Hawthorn should be brought inside on this day, along with flowers of all kinds to represent the fertility of the earth. This is a festival of love, lust and fertility. This Sabbat celebrateslife above all else. It is a festival of fertility to bring on the bountiful crops planted at the beginning of Spring. Pagans of the old days, at this time of year used to ride broomsticks and jump into the air to show the crops how high to grow (hence the myth of witches flying on broomsticks). The May Pole was also used at this time to symbolise the union of the God and Goddess with the weaving of ribbons together in mock sexual union. The Goddess enters the Mother phase at this time. Wiccan Handfastings are very common at this festival. This is a time of self-discovery, love, union and developing your potential for personal growth. Beltane is a time of new life. It is a time when baby animals are born, new plants grown shoots, flowers bloom and trees rebirth their leaves. Many like to celebrate Beltane by decorating their homes and themselved with fresh flowers, or by stringing up greenery around their homes and offices. Sending flowers to loved ones, planting new gardens, cleaning out the cupboards and general spring cleaning are all traditional Beltane gestures. Alot of witches celebrate fertility at this time, focusing on the cauldron for their main spell ideas, the cauldron representing all that is feminine. Others perfer the older tradition of dancing around the May Pole, a far more masculine symbol of fertility. Favourite Beltane past times include plaiting and weaving, and in general anything where you join two substances together to make a third. Traditional Beltane foods are anything dairy such as custard and ice-cream etc, but anything representing the sweetness of life would be just as appropriate. Just remember to celebrate love and life.
Summer Solstice/Lithia 20th-23rd December: Your Midsummer's dreams will be more lucid, so adopting new psychic dream routines is recommended. A fire lit and kept alight till midnight brings good luck to the home and its occupants. This is a time to perform rituals for personal power and protection, to celebrate the sun Lord's powers. This is the longest day of the year and the Sun God is at his strongest. The Goddess is heavy with pregnancy just as the earth is ready for the harvesting. It also marks the waning of the year as each day becomes shorter, heralding the onset of Autumn and Winter. The Summer Solstice, the longest day, is a time of triumph and light. In many wiccan celebrations, this is the Oak King, who represents the waxing year, is triumphed over the Holly king, who represents the waning year. The two are actually one; the oak king is the growing youth, while the holly king is the mature man. Healings and love magick are especially suitable at this time. Midsummer night's eve is supposed to be a good time to commune with field and forrest spirits
Saturday, 2 February 2008
The majority of authors residing in the Northern Hemisphere seem to have little or no knowledge at all of the differences between the hemispheres. And if such a difference is acknowledged, it is usually limited to only the Sabbats.
It is no wonder that endless debates occur on how to "do things" down under.
The following is a suggestion based on my own personal observances as both a Wytch and magickian who resides in the Southern Hemisphere, which may be of assistance to others.
There are at least four major differences between the Hemispheres. The first is the obvious six-month difference in the seasons. When it is Midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere, we in the South are celebrating Midwinter (the "Christmas in July" theme is becoming a popular event even amongst non-Pagans). The dates, according to general consensus, of the Southern Sabbats are:
- Samhain - 30 April
- Midwinter Solstice (Yule) - 21 June
- Imbolg - 1 August
- Spring or Vernal Equinox (Eostre) - 21 September
- Bealtaine - 1 November
- Midsummer Solstice (Litha) - 21 December
- Lughnasadh - 1 February
- Autumn Equinox (Mabon) - 21 March
If we use the astrological signs in which the Sun moves into to determine each Sabbat date as opposed to actual calendar dates, then this too is changed by six months:
- Samhain - 15 deg Taurus
- Midwinter Solstice - 0 deg Cancer
- Imbolg - 15 deg Leo
- Spring Equinox - 0 deg Libra
- Bealtaine - 15 deg Scorpio
- Midsummer Solstice - 0 deg Capricorn
- Lughnasadh - 15 deg Aquarius
- Autumn Equinox - 0 deg Aries
This means that Northern Hemisphere-based festivals appear largely out of place in the Southern Hemisphere.
Our Morris Dances however still celebrate "May Day" on 1 May regardless of the fact that it marks the beginning of Winter; likewise the Christian Easter falls in Autumn as opposed to Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
However, there are specific events that do align - in particular specific Southern Hemisphere-based public holidays. One good example is ANZAC Day, the day on which we remember Australian and New Zealand service men and women that died at war. This day of remembrance occurs on 25 April, close to the Southern Samhain on 30 April.
The next major difference between the Hemispheres is the direction in which the Sun moves across the sky. As in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun still rises in the East and sets in the West, however on its journey across the sky in the Southern Hemisphere, it travels via the North because of the tilt of the Earth's axis. For this reason, most Pagans in the Southern Hemisphere cast their circles in this direction, via the North or in an anti-clockwise direction.
It irks me when authors refer to deosil as meaning "clockwise" and widdershins as meaning "anticlockwise." Not only does this not apply to the Southern Hemisphere, but also it is etymologically incorrect. According to the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word deosil comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning "sunwise" or "in the direction of the (apparent) motion of the sun," and in the Southern Hemisphere this is anticlockwise. The term widdershins comes from the Middle High Germanic word "widersinnes" meaning "against the sun." In the Southern Hemisphere, this is clockwise, representing the direction for banishing, winding down energies or even for darker workings. Of course, as English - as well as other European languages incorporated into the English language - stem from the Northern Hemisphere as opposed to the Southern Hemisphere, Northern associations are more dominant. For example, deosil is also said to come from the Irish word "cor deiseil" which means "auspicious right hand turn," while widdershins is akin to the Irish "cor tuathal" meaning "the mundane left-hand turn." To save confusion, however, for Southern Hemispheric Pagans, I prefer and recommend the first definition with respect to the Sun.
A further observance is that the energy flow of the Earth between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is also reversed. Prior to spending time in England I was told to observe the direction in which the water drained down the plughole. In the Northern Hemisphere, energy moves in a clockwise direction, whereas in the Southern Hemisphere, it is anti-clockwise.If we take the above information into consideration when placing the elements around our magickal circle, it then seems logical for the placement of Fire to be in the North, while Earth is placed in the South. Environmentally, to the North is the Equator and from the North come the scorching Summer winds. North is also the placement in the sky of the Noonday Sun. In the South however, where the Sun never appears in the Southern Hemisphere, are the bitter cold Winter winds, as well as the frozen mass we refer to as Antarctica. However, this goes against the directional placements of the elements in more traditional Pagan groups.
I know a number of traditional Crafters who continue to place their altars in the North because according to their tradition (despite it being Northern Hemispheric-based) this is the "dark quarter." One reasoning behind this is that on the astral the directional placements of the elements do not matter. If this is the case, then when I operate between the worlds, it should not matter if my physical altar and circle casting reflects the land in which I reside. Surely, if the founders of Earth-based traditions such as the Craft and Wicca (for example, Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders or even Aleister Crowley) were based, or had spent some time, in the Southern Hemisphere, would they not have taken the differences into consideration?
Some Pagans living in the eastern states of Australia not only swap the elemental directions of Fire and Earth around, but also Water and Air. When you take the environment into consideration, it is easy to see why they do this. East of Australia is the Tasman Sea or even the Pacific Ocean - large bodies of water. In the Southern Hemisphere our weather patterns move largely from the West (therefore the placement of Air).
Another difference between the hemispheres, which is often overlooked, is the direction in which the crescents of the Waxing and Waning Moons point. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Waxing Moon in the sky actually points to the right, while the Waning Moon points to the left. Therefore the symbol of the Triple Moon Goddess (the maiden, mother and crone) reflects an introverted appearance opposed to the extroverted appearance in the Northern Hemisphere. But there are times where the Moon decides to really throw the spanner into the works and the Waxing Moon can be observed lying on her back pointing upwards, and the corresponding Waning Moon pointing downwards.
For us Southern Pagan practitioners, there is more to take into consideration when we work our magick and our circles than simply swapping the Sabbat dates around. And with the varying opinions and reasons behind even basic circle casting, it is little wonder newcomers to the various Pagan traditions in the Southern Hemisphere find it all very confusing. Maybe Pagan book publishers should take this into consideration, and if anyone is interested in issuing a contract for such a book, I would be interested in writing one (shameless plug, but I couldn't resist).
In the Southern Hemisphere not only do we appear to do things standing on our heads but also working backwards as well - or maybe it is you Northern Hemispheric Pagans who have got it wrong!
Bio: Frances has been studying the occult arts for over 15 years and is trained as a ceremonial magickian as well as being initiated as an Alexandrian Wytch. These days she finds herself drawn to pre-Gardnerian Craft, as well as experimenting with various magickal techniques. She resides in Adelaide, South Australia, where she writes for various mainstream magazines as well as Pagan publications.
Friday, 1 February 2008
I have been tagged by Nicole over at The Modern Goddess… here’s the meme.
- Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
- Pick your month of birth.
- Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below).
- Highlight the traits that apply to you and if you would like write some wit or not.
- Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them.
- Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!
I'm an August baby, a Leo in fact.
- Loves to joke: check
- Attractive: I'm ok ...
- Suave and caring: hmmm ... I think so
- Brave and fearless: I try to be
- Firm and has leadership qualities: yep
- Knows how to console others: I've a nurting instinct
- Too generous and egoistic: definitely
- Takes high pride in oneself: that I do
- Thirsty for praises: ok, guilty
- Extraordinary spirit: I like to think so!
- Easily angered: hmm, not sure about this, I like to think I'm a slow boil
- Angry when provoked: ok, yes, it can be like poking a snake with a stick
- Easily jealous: the jealous green monster does dwell deep within
- Observant: absolutely, just call me eagle eye
- Careful and cautious: somewhat
- Thinks quickly: yes
- Independent thoughts: definitely
- Loves to lead and to be led: ok, you got me
- Loves to dream: definitely a dreamer
- Talented in the arts, music and defense: in a way ...
- Sensitive but not petty: I hope so
- Poor resistance against illnesses: Disagree here ... I'm a pretty healthy bunny
- Learns to relax: Something I've been learning to do over the past couple of years
- Hasty and trusty: Yes
- Romantic: Sometimes sickenly so ...
- Loving and caring: Sometimes to much so
- Loves to make friends: That's me!
Here are the summaries for each month:
JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.
FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.
MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.
APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.
MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.
JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.
JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.
AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.
SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.
OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.
NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas.Difficult to fathom.Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.
DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.
I’m not going to tag anyone… however if you come across this and haven’t been tagged consider yourself tagged!
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
If you feel you're only functioning from the eyebrows up, get thee to a Goddess Playshop," says goddess.com.au creatrix, Anita Ryan-Revel.
Whether it's a goddess workshop, sacred retreat or women's circle, any event that connects women in a safe space is invaluable for a healthy state of being," she says. "This is by far the most beautiful way to awaken the heart, body and soul."
In fact, such activities are vital to the mental wellbeing of women, according to Leonie Young, CEO of beyondblue: the national depression initiative.
With the erosion of the traditional family structures and the surge in single women and working mothers, such gatherings can replace the traditional support systems a partner and family would normally have provided.
"Women who remain isolated are at greater risk of developing depression," says Leonie. "Meeting other women for fun and enjoyable activities not only boosts motivation, it provides a social environment for them to communicate and problem-solve. Ultimately this leads to an increased sense of belonging, reduced isolation and empowers them to deal with whatever life throws at them."
A survivor of depression herself, Anita developed her Goddess Playshops as one such enjoyable and empowering activity.
"Self-empowerment doesn't have to come through self-help books and dreary seminars. I use lots of easy and fun methods to help women connect with their ultimate source of power - their inner goddess."
Such gatherings allow women of all backgrounds to explore their weaknesses, strengths, psyche and soul.
"Women are enabled to reach spiritual depths and new levels of enlightenment they may not realise exist otherwise. In my Playshops, women remember that they are beautiful and powerful beings capable of achieving great things."
Lyn Volare is a New York-based facilitator of goddess workshops and events that celebrate the Divine Feminine.
"We all have the right to live a happy, empowered, spiritually fulfilling life, so I created events which bring magic back into women's lives. They encourage women to visit that peaceful inner sanctum where they can find the source of their strength and wisdom," she says.
Any woman is eligible to attend a gathering, says Anita. "It doesn't matter what your race, religion or culture is - the energy created by a group of strong, creative and compassionate women creates a new, all-powerful set of guidelines to live by."
Lyn concurs. "I have had all sorts of women attending my events - pouting priestesses, boardroom babes, earth mothers, Amazon women. Every woman should have the opportunity to connect with self and others to create a magical and fulfilling existence for herself."
A gathering doesn't have to focus on spirituality alone, however.
"I have conducted Playshops that are about nail polish, silk, chocolate and glitter," says Anita. "There are hundreds of activities that women can do in a gathering to help them connect with their higher consciousness and inner selves. Whatever they do, it all helps save them from being the Serial Soloist in the workplace or the Alone Ranger at home, and that's a good thing for everyone."
Below are some suggested activities women can do in a group together to celebrate the feminine divine.
Lyn sets the mood of her workshops by creating a lavish space using fabrics in rich vibrant colours, candles, flowers and essential oils.
"When women walk into this space, their jaws drop," she says. "It's like they're entering their very own 'Red Tent'. One woman likened it to re-entering the womb, which I suppose is quite appropriate."
If sumptuous fabrics don't fit the budget, Anita suggests setting the scene with crystal chips, candles and comfortable chairs.
"Aim to transform your ordinary lounge room into a magical space. The coffee table, for example, could be made into an altar using crystals, feathers, wooden statues, flowers, floating candles and a wand - these are all things that can come from nature at little expense. Choose an item from each of the elements to make it significant and special."
Prepare the Space
Even though every woman has gathered for the same purpose, it is important to decide on a set of behavioural ground rules and ensure the group agrees on them.
"I remind participants that they are in a nurturing and safe space. Crying is allowed, as is laughter, but judgemental attitudes are to be left at the door," says Anita. "Guidelines let everyone know what is expected from them, thereby adding to their security."
Once the space has been prepared, Lyn calls in the energies of the goddess with a short prayer and the lighting of altar candles. Sage or rose water is also used to cleanse the space and to uplift the participants.
"I then declare the circle opened," says Lyn, "and the real fun begins."
Meet a Goddess Patron
"As modern life focuses on 'doing' rather than 'being', I like to start off with a guided meditation to settle everyone into their bodies," recommends Anita. "This way the outside world can be left behind while we look inwards for a goddess patron to guide us through the next stage."
To find a goddess patron during a guided meditation (the visualisation in Anita's book, The Goddess Guide to Chakra Vitality is ideal), the hostess should introduce the group to several goddess archetypes and ask the women to listen for a message from each of them.
"Whichever message comes through the strongest should be taken as the goddess patron," says Anita.
"Music or gentle drumming or rattling can be used to deepen the meditative experience," suggest Lyn, "but pace them so they are no longer than 20 minutes."
Once the meditation is finished and people are back in the 'now', Anita suggests developing affirmations to promote a longer-term positive state of mind. Affirmations are precise statements that describe what you want to happen in your life.
"I get my workshop participants to build their affirmations based on the message they heard from their patron goddess. I also do it during a pampering exercise - it becomes a more free-flowing right-brain activity when the mind is being distracted by massaging hands, painting toe-nails or applying henna tattoos."
"Affirmations are powerful tools for changing your traditional attitudes to problems and outlook on life," says Lyn. "They can also be spoken as blessings for others which can be very transformative. But like motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, warns, a repeated affirmation becomes embedded in the subconscious mind and eventually becomes your reality, so be careful what you wish for!"
Since ancient time our ancestors used dance as an expression of God and nature. By dancing they could become the spirit of the sun, moon, animals and plants and be empowered with their attributes.
"Movement is a primal language that doesn't need words or specific rules," says Anita. "It helps clear out the cobwebs, get the blood flowing and tones the body. It can be skilled like ballet, or free-form like rolling in grass or jumping around a lounge-room table. As long as the dancer allows instinct to drive her limbs she is transmitting a message from nature and thereby allowing a connection."
Recent years have seen a resurgence of belly dance in mainstream culture. Lyn introduces belly-dancing in some of her events, but takes it one step further and uses a blindfold.
"A blindfold shuts down the source of distractions and outer stimulation to the brain," she explains. "It gets people back into their bodies without being embarrassed about being watched or judged. It also lets the dancer see inner visions and find hidden meanings to their burning questions."
To get an ever-lasting reminder of the special energy gained, organise a day-long gathering and create a mask.
"Masks have the power to make things larger than life and transport you into the realm of the archetypes," says Lyn. "The wearer can expand her consciousness and explore new possibilities, taking her out of the square in imagining a new life map."
Masks can be made in papier-mâché, plaster, leather, metal or wood. "Plaster is good because it can be used to fit the face, torso, or even a pregnant belly for posterity!" says Lyn.
"If time is short, decorate a standard plastic mould that you can buy from any craft store," suggests Anita. "Go wild with feathers, sequins, shells, glitter, beads and paint - this way you can feel exquisite when you put it on and travel to amazing places within yourself."
Anita Ryan-Revel Goddess.com.au
Beyondblue For more information on depression, available treatments and where to get help: beyondblue.org.au
Friday, 25 January 2008
Have you discovered Kate Nowark's Heartfelt Blessings yet? I've been a big Kate fan for a few years now, and like the daily Notes from the Universe, I love receiving her Heartfelt Blessings in my inbox.
You are a one-of-a-kind creation, Mich, who came here to love, spread joy and honor life, and if you will celebrate your differences, the world will, too.
May your day be filled with all things good.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
A new year, a new term ... I'm leading Chakradance at OmShanti College this year, and I can't wait. Classes start in less than two weeks!
OmShanti is a natural therapies college, so there's a lot of synergy between us.
For those of you who don't know, Chakradance is a dance, meditation and therapy. Best of all, its a dynamic and delightful way to chane your life.
Chakradance directly works with each chakra - energising, rebalancing, soothing and stimulating the entire system. Its unique blend of dance and sound, spiritual understanding and sacred space can hlep us to dramatically rework our own energy, to the point where we begin to transform how we look, feel and think. Our intuition can be ignited, and we make better choices in our lives as a result of this healing and balancing process.
Dance is an ageless, natural form of expression that allows you to experience freedom, ecstasy and a closer relationship with the Divine. All movement connects us to our own spirit. Athletes often speak about being 'in the zone', a place where their sense of self dissolves and merges with the Creator. Similarly, all action has an energetic spiritual and physical impace on us - from swimming, to running, walking and whirling, to the wildest of movements, dance can be ecstatic. And of all the hearling forms of movement, dancing is the one which can transform us energetically, physically and mentally. When we dance with joy and spontaneity, it becomes uplifting and deeply cleansing.
But just don't take my word for it ... see it for yourself!
Monday, 21 January 2008
Why do I fight it so hard?
Decluttering my home, my life ...
Its almost as though I want to continue to punish myself
for some misdeed that I can't remember committing.
I've become the queen of procrastination
Living in chaos for the past few weeks,
as I can't finish what I started.
I wonder why I fight happiness
Yes, I do want it to come in to my life
But a part of me resists, why?
I know if I declutter my life
I'll have my space
My life will be lighter
Why do I resist?
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Friday, 18 January 2008
The other day I was walking around the lake with Trinity.
It was dusk, and the sun was starting to set behind the Brindabellas.
A cool breeze quelled the heat of the day, and the ducks and water hens were getting their babies ready for bed.
Everyone we passed had a smile and a hello for us. It was so peaceful, it was truly magical.
I noticed the sun sky suddenly darken, and I looked up to see the sun had ducked behind a cloud to show me its silver lining.
Stopping to drink in this moment, I marvelled at the beauty I was witnessing.
It was then that I noticed, that the cloud had formed the shape of an angel.
I could see her in profile - her wings, her flowing gown, her beautiful face, even her hair tied back in a pony tail. The rays of the sun forming her aura. It was beautiful, magical ....
Thats when I knew that we're never alone - that our angels are always watching over us.
All the hardships, trials and tribulations that I'd faced in 2007 were over. I could feel the different energy of 2008.
Everything is falling into place ... life is beautiful!
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
I bought Denise Linn's Soul Coaching Oracle Cards today, and the very first card I pulled was Passion.
This card tells me to follow my bliss!
To discover what I absolutely love to do or be, and then, like an arrow directed at its target, not to let anything stop me from fulfilling my passion.
It also says exuberant emotions are coming to me, perhaps in the form of a romance.
So what happened today?
Well, I found a venue for Chakradance - Om Shanti - a college training in natural therapies, so there's lots of synergy there. But for me its not only a venue, they're going to market my courses and do all the admin for me. So I get back to my passion of dance and meditation without having to worry too much about the business side.
While I was there, I signed up for Yoga classes, and I'm also starting private pilates lessons at the end of January.
As for the romance? Watch this space ...
Sunday, 6 January 2008
As you all know, I've been doing a lot of work on the feminine side of spirituality. However one of our soul sisters has asked me about the masculine side.
I know that the solar plexus is our masculine energy, and all about the anima and animus ... however her question stumped me.
Anyone know of any good books or websites that will help me to explore this?
Posted by Mich at 11:06 pm
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
I'm loving my daily Notes from the Universe. My latest one was so empowering, it set my spirits soaring!
Do you think it would be cheating, Mich, knowing all that I know, if I placed a bet on your inevitable happiness, success, and saunter?
Good. Because I have. It was called the "Big Bang," and every moment of every day I walk in your shoes.
Mich, I knew what I was doing.