Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Opossum with babies (joeys) - A Very Tight Squeeze!

Opossum with joeys. (Best viewed using large player or in full screen mode).

This was taken after I heard a noise in a storage area.  Please note that no noise was made in an attempt to not alarm this mother opossum with all of her babies (joeys). Please also note that what you see falling as this opossum is climbing, is NOT the joeys, but some fiberglass insulation.

We are not sure if this mom is a naturally wild opossum or if it is a pet that has been turned loose due to the coloring.  We have seen one other opossum in this area but never with the joeys on it.  I am thinking we have possibly been observing the dad possum.

What is amazing about opossums are that they are marsupial, the same as kangaroos and sugar gliders.  They carry their babies (joeys) in a pouch.

This would be considered a rare video simply to get this close, during daylight hours, to film such a fantastic scene!

Note: For those quick to point out that a possum and opossum are not entirely the same, this is true. "Possum" normally refers to marsupials that are indigenous to Australia and the surrounding islands. "Opossum" references those marsupials found in the Western Hemisphere.

With that in mind, what you are viewing in this video would be an opossum. The video is tagged with both opossum and possum simply for those searching will be able to find it.

Video captured using a Sprint LG Optimus G cell phone.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Is Candle Magic?

Candle Magic Defined and Instructions

Out of the various types of magic and spell work that can be done, the easiest for me, as a witch, while remaining one of the most powerful, is candle magic. The use of candles in petitions, prayers, ritual and ceremonies are common in most spiritual paths in some form or fashion. Witches throughout the world almost all do some sort of candle magic.
Candle varieties are abundant! You can get them scented, large, small, round, square, tall, wide, flat and sculpted into many different figures. All candles can be used in candle magic. The "key" to remember is that when doing candle magic, always use a new candle. If you keep the old ones that still have plenty of life in them, use them for decorations and ambiance around your home and/or office.
Many will say that color is the most important aspect of candle magic. While I agree that color will enhance the magic, the most important aspect of candle magic or any spell work is "intent". People familiar with my writings will see this word in most of what I write. The reason being, to me, "intent" is the catalyst from which all outcomes of magic will materialize and become reality.
Once you have in mind to do some candle magic, pick a candle that is the appropriate color (a sample chart is listed below) if color is what you are drawn to use. Sometimes color will not fit any chart description for your purpose that you can find online or in a book, however, there is nothing wrong with doing your magic with a candle of a color that simply calls out to you.
The next thing you want to do is charge the candle with "intent". This can be done one of two ways. The first is to inscribe something related to your intent upon the candle with a sacred tool such as your altar athame or knife prior to lighting it. The second one, that I personally do 99% of the time, is to charge the candle by holding it in my right hand, focusing on the actions and outcome I would like to see happen as a result of performing this magic. Once again, intent is used. I say my right hand simply because that is my power hand. If you are left handed, use your left hand to charge the candle as that is your power hand.
However you create the intent via focusing and such, make sure it is realistic in manner and not some far-fetched, off the wall thing.
While in the process of charging, once your intent is created, also voice your petition to the Deity that you are calling upon to work with you on this magic. Being vocal will truly enhance your work.
Once you get that feeling that the transfer of energies has gone into the candle, which you will feel, then light the candle. Place the candle in a safe place, and never leaving a burning candle unattended. Now take the time to sit or lay in front of the candle watching the flame and again focus your intent with thoughts and even visualization.
If possible, allow the candle to burn out. If this is not possible, relight it on successive nights until is used up.
To further enhance any magic you may do, research what kind of requests work with the various lunar cycles, and do you candle magic or other magic at the appropriate times.
As you candle burns you can light incense to enhance the magic.

Candle Color Correspondences:

WHITE: Spirituality, purification, protection; all-purpose.
RED: Energy, protection, sex, defense, aggressive actions.
BLUE: Love, healing, flexibility, friendship, peace.
PINK: Love, romance, companionship.
GREEN: Money, employment, commerce, stability.
YELLOW: Intellect, education, benevolence, writing, the arts.
ORANGE: Luck, changing of personal fortune, attraction of influences.
BROWN: Animal magick, healing of animals, stability.
PURPLE: Luck, protection from negativity.
BLACK: Banishment, binding, reversal, removal of negative influences.
Advice I always give about magic and spell work is to remember The Rede " An it harm none, do what ye will " and this would include manipulation of a person in any manner. This is a "key rule" that witches will follow. This is to not say that you can not use candle magic for self-defensive purposes such as with bindings, but again this is a whole new area of discussion that I will elaborate more on in the future.

Candle Magick Fundamentals


Photo Credit:: Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What Is Shamanism? A Unique Perspective

Shamanism Defined

When we ask about "What is the Shaman?" we seem to expect a shaman to be someone that has magical powers and able to transverse dimensions by simply opening a portal and stepping through. So many have come to ask or decree their shamanism capabilities only to be proven incapable of these great powers.
What are these great powers that we are to manifest? Where have we learned to use these powers to help others or is this about the mighty EGO"E.G.O:. means "Ease God Out." To serve is the way of the shaman, not to take credit for helping out a soul and expecting recognition for the deed. This is something I know we or most of us are aware of. We are only doing the work that the Creator has asked us to do. We are the Hollow Bone that Black Elk and the others spoke of. These powers do not belong to us, they belong to the Creator!
But we are in the age of the Contemporary Shaman which means we incorporate the old ways with the new ways. Contemporary Shamanism is opening yourself up to the energies that the Creator has put out there for those who have committed themselves to helping others. We don't have to dance around a fire, peer into a flame, or wave our hands around to show that we can call upon the Creator to help in healing, in soul retrieval and such. We just do it and give thanks afterwards. Oh we can sit in meditation and journey into the spirit world to do a soul-retrieval and sometimes we do need to that to help others and why? Because they won't believe the healing took place unless we do! You see, helping someone to heal is a matter of listening to their fragmentation and helping them to open their hearts and accept the healing process. This is not to take anything away from the old ways. Goodness, the ancients had powers beyond powers and for us to tap into those powers beyond powers, requires as little as connecting to your heart and mind and becoming one with the Universal energies that the Ancients left behind for our education.
Am I a shaman? No I am not, but we all have the abilities to be Shaman and use the powers that are gifted us. Do you know what power was gifted to you? Ego is an abuse of that power and what is gifted can be lost! Our job is to cultivate those gifts so that they can be called upon instantly.
We ask our spirit guides to join us in journey so that they will protect us as we pass through that 4th dimension, knowing they will help prevent any of the less desireable spirits from attaching themselves.
Have you ever stopped to thank your guides for their love and protection? To not thank them is abuse of those powers! To not thank the Creator for allowing us to be that Hollow Bone, is an abuse of the gift.
So Shamanism is what? Is it being a healer? Is it being a psychic? Is it someone that is specially gifted? I think a Shaman is an everyday person that cares enough about people, and the earth to get up off their rear-ends and make a difference in a world that needs a great deal of healing. What do you think?...

Further thoughts:

I sat with an elder once for quite sometime and we talked about what Spirituality meant to each of us and I understood. He said, "It is not about making Spirituality better, it is about adding to it!" What I believe he was telling me was as we progress to new levels of spirituality, it brings about a deeper understandings of what it means to us individually. We begin to acquire skills we never knew we possessed. We always had them providing the Creator allowed us them, but we begin to learn how to use them.
Adding to our spirituality is learning other ways of performing what needs to be done. If we are walking a shamanic path and we find someone that does something a little or a lot different, and we like what we see, we incorporate that into what we already do. This does not make Spirituality better but deepens our senses concerning spiritual matters. It provides new skills that need honing by the Creator. "T.I.M.E. = Things I Must Earn."

Chief Two-Trees: A Shaman I Was Blessed To Work With

Chief Two Trees of Old Fort, North Carolina. Creator and founder of Native American Studies Institute.
Chief Two Trees of Old Fort, North Carolina. Creator and founder of Native American Studies Institute.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Great Unique Fashion Finds From Thrift Stores, Second-Hand Stores, Yard Sales, And Garage Sales

Unique In "Your" Fashion

When I am out and about running around town, I see many people in the course of a day. What amazes me is how many people tend to dress alike. There is a lack of uniqueness in the world of fashion today! It appears that everyone wants to be as cool as the next person. This could be based on age, race, culture, what is popular at the moment with those in the media, etc. Fashion at this level is not very creative in my way of thinking.
What myself, along with my lovely wife enjoying doing, is going to local thrift stores, such as The Salvation ArmyGoodwillValue Village, or Mom & Pop types of stores along with garage and yard sales. We find great and unique fashions that way! You can mix and match. Sometimes you will find name brand clothing and accessories that simply are not "fad" at the moment. Most of the name brand clothing is quality made and has many more good wears on them.
Growing up in the 60's and 70's, we both are pretty liberal with what we may chose to wear. If you remember those days, pretty much anything was fashionable, and many folks created their own fashions by mixing and matching a wide variety of styles. We still do that today. In reality, "today", as my wife brought home three new Polo shirts that I can wear to work for the fraction of the cost of new ones just this evening.
There is also the idea of helping out charities by purchasing from their thrift stores. Giving back by purchasing, plus donating when the opportunity presents itself. Both are "green" in nature by being a method of recycling.
For work clothing, for myself, there is no better choice. I hate "new" clothes to work in, even after a wash or two. I guess you could say I have sensitive skin or the likes, because new clothing will irritate me in various places. Especially new jeans! That is a nightmare! I work in an environment that can be harsh on clothing, as I work with a breeder and seller of Pet Sugar Gliders. These lovely little creatures are wonderful and loving. However, in the process of being loving, they like to crawl on your shoulders, hang onto your shirt, run down your back....all which is a tad harsh on some clothing as they have little feet with little sharp nails so snags can and will happen. Also, a snag or tear could result from a close encounter of the cage kind. So, second-hand, gently worn, and thrift store clothing is the way to go.
For those in construction work, second-hand clothing is a must. I used to do carpentry work as well as mechanic work, and it is pretty easy to trash some decent clothing in those fields of employment rather quickly.
Now, in this article, I am not talking about "geek" or "nerd" looking clothes... I am including some examples of second-hand clothing photos, and you will see that these clothes look pretty decent if I must say so myself.
Overall, the outstanding quality of this type of shopping provides you with the avenue to be unique in "your" fashion, and stand out in a crowd. You will be amazed at the many compliments that come your way as you are more noticeable that the "mainstream" fashion folks running around town.

A Goodwill Shopping Trip


Image Credits: Flickr Creative Commons