spirituality Archives - Page 6 of 9 - Experiential Online Animism Class
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spiritual significance of scars

The Spiritual Significance of Scars

If you want to know about the spiritual significance of scars, visit a battleground, a holocaust site, or any symbol of horror. I've been to Tuol Sleng, Culloden, and Wounded Knee. I hope to visit Auschwitz some day too. You might wonder what that has to do with spirituality. Aren't those places of darkness? Actually, yes. The energy at  Tuol Sleng, Culloden, and Wounded Knee is oppressive. The lingering promise of horrible death wraps itself around you and threatens to choke you. It enters your pores and drowns you in unimaginable sorrow. They are wounds in the spiritual flesh of humanity. So, why should anyone go there? To never forget. To heal. To forgive, and to stand renewed. "The wound is the place where light enters you." ~Rumi We live in an age where scars are seen...

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giving too much

Spirituality and Giving Too Much

There are a lot of religious teachings that support martyrdom. Giving up your life, sacrificing comfort, living in poverty in service to others are all seen as ways to sainthood - literally and figuratively. Many spiritual traditions teach that spirituality is free and services are to be shared with the community. So, is there a line where you are giving too much? I say yes! Even good things can become bad things if they get out of balance. Just think of Goldilocks. Some porridge is too hot. Some is too cold, and some is just right. The same applies to giving. A person with healthy boundaries gives, and stops when it begins to interfere with his own well-being or values. Let's look at some examples to put this into perspective. "Sheila" and...

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The Many Benefits of Rituals

There are many benefits of rituals. You just have to engage in them with an open heart to see for yourself. There is nothing superstitious or evil about it. It's just a way to get in touch with yourself, your ancestors, and the universe. Rituals Help You Get Acquainted With Your World When you do rituals, you invoke the energy of people, deities, and things to help you. This helps you to get to know the energy of things. Which plants are good for throat ailments? How can trees take your emotional pain away? What element (air, earth, fire, or water) is best for increasing energy? What is good for taking things away? When you realize that things have energy, it may get you curious about how you are using your own energy. It may...

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beware of labels

Beware of Labels

Beware of labels. They exist to classify and separate. Sometimes, of course, this is necessary. If you want vanilla ice cream, you don't want to be served chocolate. But if you are talking about people, it can get tricky. People believe and live up to labels. This is why when I was  a dance teacher, I never told my students that something was hard. If I made it look easy, and they believed it was easy, they'd just do it. If I said, "This is an advanced move," they'd struggle. What does this have to do with spirituality? Well, when we talk about being awakened or enlightened, we are generally saying that we have something special and other people do not. To that I said, "How do you know?" What is enlightenment? What...

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spirituality as an escape

Spirituality as an Escape

There is no right or wrong path. You can't do spirituality wrong. All paths lead to the same destination. Some paths are just more direct and joyous than others. If you're using spirituality as an escape, you could be taking the hard, circuitous route. What does that looks like? Well, if your spirituality separates you from your human experience, it could be a way of not being here. It could be a way to escape your life. "I've learned that living is not the same thing as making a life." ~Maya Angelou I get that we are spirits having a human experience, but why not actually have that spiritual experience? Why be in a hurry to leave here? And if you're here, why not enjoy it. Have you seen the way sweet grass gently...

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Why Should Women Pay Attention to the Moon?

I was recently asked why should women pay attention to the moon? There are two answers to that. The first is rather practical. If you were going to be caught in a thunderstorm or heat wave, wouldn't you prefer to know about it in advance so that you can prepare? Knowing about the moon phase and what astrological sign it's in gives you that information. Generally speaking, new moons are for beginnings. Full moons are for banishing or getting rid of things. If you're a gardener, you want to know about the moon phase so that you plant at the best time. Bulbs and root vegetables are planted when the moon is waning. Plant above ground crops when the moon is waxing. Hair stylists, doctors, and therapists may also want to pay attention...

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sacred battlefield

Finding the Sacred on the Battlefield

A battlefield is not your typical place that a sacred seeker finds the divine. I mean, who ever heard of a sacred battlefield? If all life is sacred, then God is here too. On our last trip to Scotland, we stopped at the Culloden Battlefield where between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites and 300 government soldiers were wounded or killed. The butchery here is legendary, and modern Scots still show the pain of it when talking about it. It looks calm and picturesque today until you get to the monument. A dark, mourning energy penetrates the air here. It feels like the pain and dashed hopes of all Scotland lies here. Contrast that to American Civil War battle at Appomattox. This is where General Lee surrendered to General Grant which cascaded into a...

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living small

Living Small

One of the most profound discoveries I came back from our sacred travel tour of Scotland with is the idea of living small. That runs so counter to the western programming of bigger, better, faster. We're always reaching for higher heights. When you realize how small you are, it's easy to laugh at that and be content with just being who you are, where you are, and living small. What does that mean? Consider this. The oldest rocks in Scotland, and some of the oldest rocks in the world, are found in the Outer Hebrides. Lewisian Gneiss are three billion years old. They were once buried deep beneath the surface. They resurfaced about 1000 million years ago. Astounding, isn't it? You can't get away from thinking about rocks and the so called permanence...

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go wild

What it Means to “Go Wild”

"Go Wild" was the theme for my last sacred travel adventure to Scotland. It was pure inspiration, nothing planned. It just felt right. I thought it would be about tapping into our own individual nature and allowing it room to flourish. For me, it was not that at all. "Go wild" meant far more than that. It was about finding your true self within the matrix of the universe. It was the sensation of feeling how you fit into the world. Man has had a habit of bending the world to fit into his desires. We live in molded, comfortable structures that dominate the land. We travel in vehicles that encapsulate us and keep the world out. Our food is grown in perfectly straight rows in plots of single organisms instead...

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travel junkie

You Might Be a Sacred Travel Junkie If…

I admit it. I am a Gypsy at heart. I have a full fledged case of wanderlust. Palmists have told me it's in my palm. It's in my astrological chart. It's just what I was born to do. You'll get no apologies from me. That said, there is a line where too much of a good thing is no longer great. It's possible to be a sacred travel junkie. Yep, it's true. Here are some signs to let you know where you stand. You Need More and More to Get That Same High of the First Great Trip Is your travel becoming more frequent or more extreme? Do you have to get to even more remote places or stay in more extreme conditions before it feels good? Do you compare all other...

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