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Beltaine • Article: The Happiness Deception ✦ [Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine]
May 02, 2019
Table of Contents
Energy Fields & Astrology -- May Energies
New Article - The Happiness Deception
Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals - Beltaine
Quotes - on Beginnings
Merry Meet! Welcome to the Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine!
You've probably seen in the news that the famous Notre Dame Cathedral burnt down... and on the holiest week of the Christian calendar, no less! There's something I'd like to share with you about that.While I haven't been in that particular cathedral, I have no doubt that it held the same blessed energy that I've experienced in similar cathedrals. Even as a non-Christian, the energy of divine peace is palpable in these places. So please don't take this to mean any disrespect. But I caught a reading on the energy of that event. My greatest passion and my Mission in this life (as you may know) is in the reawakening of the Goddess on the Earth, and the transformation of our planet that goes along with that. And thinking about the conflagration in Paris this week, my first reaction of grief for the loss of this magnificent icon. Following fast on its heels, though, I couldn't help but think that this was symbolic of the demise of religion, particularly Christian religion, that is happening around the world as this new world age dawns. But then I realised: Notre Dame literally means "Our Lady." What could it mean that the most famous cathedral dedicated to Our Lady has been destroyed? Maybe you think it doesn't mean anything. But in my experience and philosophy, everything that happens "here below" is a reflection of what is "up above"... in other words, anything that occurs on the material plane is a symbol of something on the spiritual plane that we can decode for messages and guidance. So now, as the Goddess is truly beginning to take Her place in the world once again, the most famous shrine to the feminine in one of the biggest religions in the world is partially destroyed? What does that tell us about the return of the Goddess? Well, here's what I've channelled about that: The important part of this event is that Notre Dame is not gone completely; she is going to be rebuilt. Just as the Goddess was "destroyed" in ancient times by the rise of patriarchy, but still exists, underneath all the visible destruction. The spirit of her will rise again. There's more though. And this is the part that gives me tingles. Notre Dame was dedicated to the demoted Goddess, Mary, Queen of Heaven, who was taken to be a mere adjunct to the heavenly trinity: God, Son, Holy Spirit. In fact, the Holy Spirit herself, whose origins are Sophia, the feminine principle of wisdom, was altered to an genderless, if not male, energy to fit with the demands of patriarchal philosophy. In other words, Notre Dame was an embodiment of the disempowered Goddess. And this disempowered version of the Goddess is what was destroyed. Like the Phoenix from the ashes of its own pyre, like the Great Goddess Herself, Notre Dame will rise again. What will she symbolise this time? Could she mark the rebirth of the Goddess, this time? In the eyes of most Catholics, that's unlikely. But that is precisely the message I received about this landmark event. The old, disempowered version of the Goddess that we had to make do with, during the spiritual dark ages of the last 5,ooo years, is being replaced. The true Goddess — Mother of the Universe, Earth Mother, Star Goddess — has returned.
This event is a sign that the Goddess is truly and fully present in the world again.It couldn't have happened in the earlier days of Her emergence. But now that She is back, the symbols of the debased Goddess are being rewritten. The fact that it happened on Holy Week, of all possible times, signals that the old stories about her can no longer be sustained... not even by the most uncompromising of her antagonists. So on the one hand, I grieve with France and Catholics everywhere for the loss of this magnificent cathedral. And on the other hand, I rejoice in the hope for humanity that this event symbolises. For it is only the rebirth of the Goddess that can bring renewal — or even survival — to our beleaguered and beloved Earth. Is it contradictory to both mourn and celebrate the same event? I don't think so. Whenever we leave behind one phase of life (or one version of ourselves), there is a period of grieving the loss. Even while we look forward to the future, we recognise that a part of us is dying. And that's okay. We can feel both — we can feel everything we feel, without judgement. It's not about the head after all; it's about the heart. One of my favourite sayings about this, interestingly, is a French one: Le couer a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point. It means, the heart has its own logic or reasons that the intellect can't understand. (It's better in French.) Maybe you'll join in with me, in both saying goodbye to the old story of the feminine face of Divinity, and welcoming with fervent joy the new story of the Goddess Reborn! What a perfect theme for this year's Spring rebirth. With that, I will wish you the very best of Beltaine. May its fires spark new life in all of us!
Energy Fields & Astrology:
The New Moon is coming up on Saturday May 4th. It's an interesting energy, with the planetary combinations:
This Taurus New Moon has a Uranus factor emphasizes the need to do things in a new way. And, a sextile to imaginative Neptune helps us conjure a vision, while a trine to Saturn suggests building something sturdy that will last.
The remainder of the month, there's a wealth of opportunity with awareness, introspection, and gaining clarity with oneself.
Become aware of what is present within you - your health, your desires, anything you've been avoiding - and take time to sit with it. Acknowledge it and become aware of it: once you acknowledge it, there will be more space to let it go or work with it. If you resist something, if you don't shine a light on it, it won't have space to heal (or leave).
Awareness can lead to opportunities. Cultivate your observation skills and curiosity this month, and try approaching situations and thoughts with that level of ease, openness, and "what if?" energy. See what happens when you open yourself to awareness.
Alex Myles also notes:
Next New Moon: Saturday May 4th @ 3:45pm PST, 6:45pm EST, and 11:45pm GMT
Wicca Students Speak Out:
"I have been engulfed in this course, however far behind due to being sick. I'm loving every moment, and experience so far."
- C.Y., USA
"Beautifully presented, with love and obvious sharing of your life's work- thank you for all your efforts and that you put yourself out there. A Path that viscerally encompasses spirituality, not religious doctrine.
Extremely well thought out course material, presented sequentially through the Wheel, with many supportive emails encouraging me to keep moving forward and to not let ego rule. I'm so grateful to you for your leadership and sharing of yourself so eloquently."
- Erica Wolfe, Penticton
"I am in love with this course and I am only on lesson #2 but I have learned so much and all the links to learn even more on certain topics is even better it really is a great program and I cannot wait to continue!"
- A.C., USA
We're in the process of re-building A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan to a new website system. Stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for updates!
New Article: The Happiness Deception
Ask anyone on the street what would make them happier. You will likely get one of these answers:
In this article, we'll look at the first answer as a possible route to happiness, and why it so completely fails to make us happy.
Less Work And More Play
This can come in different forms — less pressure, less stress, less obligations on the one hand; more fun, more pleasure, more freedom on the other.
Who wouldn't be happy if they could live that way?
And yet... we have two overwhelmingly contradicting facts:
1. The richest people — those with least work and most ability to do what pleases them — are often the most desperately lost and unhappy.
2. The wisest and happiest people in history swear that work is not merely the way to happiness, but IS happiness.
There is a poem by the poet Tagore, which goes like this:
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
How can we account for this discrepancy between ideal and reality?
The only contradiction is the level of the question.
When you ask someone what would make them happier, you get the common-sense, logical solution their mind has thought up: less work more play. This is the natural ego-response. The ego is the part of you that deals with everyday reality on the level of logic. Although most people mistake the ego for who they are, it is only a mask, a patch over the full and deep You.
And all the ego wants is to have its own way. In everything. All the time. So doing less of what other people require and more of what it feels like doing seems perfect. How could life get any better than that?
Well, as you might have experienced, it does not bring lasting happiness. It instead brings ennui, apathy, resentment, and quiet desperation. Why? Here's the subconscious thought: "If I have everything and I'm still not happy, I will never be able to be happy."
Having everything you want can't make you happy as long as the ego is still in charge of you. The ego exists to find problems, dissatisfaction, and fear. It thus seeks — and generates — its own unhappiness.
So what's the alternative? Throwing yourself into your job?
Only if your work is deeply meaningful to you.
When Tagore and other spiritual geniuses say that work is joy, they aren't talking about your 9-to-5. They are talking about being of service to others, engaging in work that means something to you, that gives you feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment, and most of all, that connects you to something bigger and more important than yourself.
There is a very old adage that says the best way to feel better about your problems is to help other people with theirs.
Why does this kind of work create happiness when ease and wealth fail? In a nutshell, it effectively dethrones the ego from the centre of your life.
It's really that simple. When ego dominates, you will be unhappy. The less control the ego has over you, the more happiness you will experience!
It may not seem logical to the mind. But it makes perfect sense to the heart. Try it for yourself, and see.
Sabbats, Esbats, & Other Wiccan Rituals:
Beltaine or May Day — the final of the 3 Spring fertility festivals, one of the greatest Wiccan Sabbats. It's celebrated on May 1st (or the evening of April 30th as May Eve).
Beltaine is poised at the cusp between Spring and Summer. It's a solar cross-quarter festival, marking the midpoint in the Sun's journey between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.
The name derives directly from the Old Irish Beltain, and is related to the English word bale, as in balefire. (It's also related to various words referring to fire, ash, and shining.)
Beltaine is a festival of fire, fertility, expansiveness, and abundance. The essence is joyful celebration, dancing with the new life energy abounding on the Earth, the rhythm of creation pulsing through your veins.
On the human level, the ideas and plans we’ve had are now eager to be set into motion, and we begin creating our year’s goals. The energy momentum really picks up; creativity starts to pour forth at a brisk pace. New projects are begun or get fully underway at this time, and we start to actively create in our life what we want to be.
It's a time to celebrate life and growth in all its forms — within and without. A time to tap into the wild, free energy of life to support new goals, and to honor the growing fullness of our lives.
Beltaine is very much a sexual power, and Beltaine's Great Rite — the sacred, ecstatic union of Goddess and God — is enacted by humans and much of Nature, bringing the power of the Divine into manifestation on Earth. Life, from a Wiccan perspective, is born of the love and passion between the Goddess and the God.
Since the Divine lives within each of us, we each have this creative power as well. This Creativity can be expressed in infinite ways.
This is why Beltaine is held to be the second Sabbat when the Veil Between The Worlds is very thin and we can communicate with the souls of those on the other side. It is a "time of no time" when you can step between the worlds with ease, and spirit beings can visit the Earth.
Traditionally, at this time of year, we work magick for ourselves, our homes, our land, and our communities, to bring...
This information about Beltaine is from parts of Lesson #14, "Beltaine" in A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan.
"Birth is violent, and out of that violence is our only chance of rebirth. "
"In the Upanishads they talk about the path of the sun and the path of the moon. The path of the moon is rebirth. The path of the sun leads to self-knowledge, from which there is no return."
"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
Want to Be on Live Calls with erin Dragonsong?
Responding to student feedback, I'm considering adding live online meetings for the Star*Students ($70/month) class.
These would be on a trial basis at first. We'd do one and see how it went, and if you'd want more... as well as how long and how often we should plan them.
Imagine a Question & Answer session based on what you've studied and practiced in the course already.
My goal here has always been to make the best Wiccan course and spiritual training possible for people who are studying on their own. I've made it as close to personal mentorship as I can in a public course. This is one step closer to that goal.
So if you're a Star*Student, I'd like to hear from you! Is this something, in an already full-on study programme, you want to make time for? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
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