Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

When I was a child my mother knew a seemingly endless list of poems, songs and stories.  Most of them were told to her when she was a child, passed down from times when children played all day with friends and night was time for family dinners, bed time stories and mommy kisses!

One of these, one of my favorites to this day, was a story about three little boys sailing off through the sky in their wooden shoe. Wynken, Blynken & Nod was written in the 1880's and originally published in 1889 as "Dutch Lullaby." While it was definitely a throw back to beliefs and stories of the old world, it was written and embraced by Americans. As a child, I fell in love with the idea of sailing through the stars. As a mother, I love watching my children imagine the same wonder as they imagine the possibilities! But, as a Pagan, I love the symbolism and find it to be the perfect embodiment of both the magick of the stars and the magick of childhood all rolled in to one!

Here, is that poem! Enjoy!

Wynken, Blynken & Nod
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea---
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

30 Days of Truth

So not only am I a blog writer, but a blog reader. Over the past few months I've seen a number of other bloggers who did the "30 Day's of Truth" challenge to help their bloggers get to know them better. So I have decided to do the same. Over the next 30 days, I'll be answering and exploring the questions in the challenge and hopefully it will aid each of you in knowing who I am and where I'm coming from.

Here's the questions I'll be answering:

Day 01 Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know.
Day 11 Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 Something or someone you couldn't live without, because you've tried living without it.
Day 16 Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 A book you've read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 Something you wish you hadn't done in your life.
Day 23 Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 The reason you believe you're still alive today.
Day 26 Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 What's the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

The Idiots Guide To Christianity

So I finished reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christianity and I have to say I actually learned much more than I ever thought I would. I was raised in a strict Jehovah's Witness family and all of our extended family was Irish Catholic! And when I say Irish Catholic I mean at church before the priest every morning for mass Irish Catholic. Apparently a passion for faith is genetic! So put that together and I honestly didn't think there was to much left for me to learn. Both Irish Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses do their best to educate themselves on other paths - mostly so they can discredit them, but it's still an education.

So coming out of this environment and doing what research I had done on my own I was honestly surprised that there was so much left for me to take in. I will note that the book is only about 98% fact,
there are some areas where the author either didn't quite know the facts or simply had them wrong, but from what I could tell, this was minor. In the end I finished the book with a better education than I started, which was the goal.

The book explores not only the differences in beliefs from denomination to denomination but also the history and in some cases where they are heading now. As with all "Idiots" books there are a great bit of useless facts, but those are always fun to know! I mean I will never need to know that the trend of Streaking or Mooning as a form of protest was started by Quakers, but it's still neat to know!

Personally, I feel we could all do with some extra education on the major religions of our land, and this book - and those like it - are a great way to increase that education easily! If you have the opportunity to read it do so! Check with your local Library, if they don't have it, Amazon has it for just a few dollars!

Status Update...

If your a long time reader you've most likely noticed that I haven't been writing as often as normal. I assure you I am working on some wonderful posts for you. However, I, like everyone else, have but 24 hours in a day and I've been under great pressure with my other ventures. Unfortunately the server where I had my website has been limiting what I could and couldn't do more and more, so I am forced to recreate my entire site. I am also doing my best to post all the most important information to my Natural Living Blog so that I can start promoting it on a larger scale. If that weren't enough, this is Ren Fest month and there's no way in hell I'm missing that! lol... I promise I will be back full time soon enough! Please be patient! 

If you want to know what I'm up to check out my website and view all my ventures in one place!

For Your BOS: Methods for Astral Projection / Out-of-Body Technique

Recently I've had a few questions about Astral Projection, and how to achieve it. First let me say that AP is not something which will come easily. It generally takes LOTS of practice and time to master, so if you don't get it the first time, or even the tenth, just keep trying.

There are LOTS of AP Techniques out there, and sometimes it takes time to find one which fits you. Regardless of your chosen technique, you'll need to master meditation FIRST! Once that is mastered, you can attempt to master astral projection/travel as well...

Here are a few techniques, if none of them speak to you, that's okay, you can find others or develop your own.


The Gazing Technique
(This is the one I use)

This is to be done when going to bed. You need something to focus on. If it is within view, the moon, the stars, a crystal, or a favorite doll will work well. Use whatever you like.

This method involves the body falling asleep, and you should never leave anything that burns unattended.

Place the object within your view and lie down in your bed. Just stare at the object as you doze off. The first few times may be frustrating. You may just fall asleep and that's it. Keep staring at the object. As your eyelids become heavy, keep staring. Eventually your eyes will close, but you will still be able to see the object. You will still be staring at the object. Sit up or stand up, and don't be surprised to see your physical body sleeping peacefully in your bed! When you are out of your body, do whatever you wish.


Silva Mind Control Method
http://www.silvamethod.com/

Quiet your mind. Clear your thoughts.

In your mind say:

"I'm going to count down from 3 to 1, visualizing each number on a white orb suspended in the air above my head. When I reach the third and final "1" my body will be deeply relaxed. I will have no awareness of physical sensations. I will not perceive any physical discomfort. My consciousness will be focused on my astral body.

Now visualize a white orb suspended in the air above your head. Mentally focus on the orb. I visualize a number "3" on the face of the orb. The numbers can be any color. They may vary with each experience. Visualize the 3 three times: three number "3's" on the orb. Your body is completely relaxed. You are losing awareness of your physical body.

Then repeat the visualization with three number "2's." You are into greater relaxation. Now visualize the "1's." You are losing awareness of physical sensations. Your consciousness will be in your astral body.

Repeat this using the number "1's" three times. Your consciousness is now in your astral body.

This could involve training for several sessions. You may also find audio tapes that take you down into these altered states as well. You're getting better and faster as you go along each time.

There is no set agenda for how often you practice astral projection or any other out-of-body technique. It soon becomes fun. It is like a deep meditation.

Now the key is to remain conscious while your body is asleep. Different thoughts may pull you from your focus as the mind loves to chatter. Just push these thoughts away.


The Monroe Technique - by Robert Monroe.
Visit www.monroeinstitute.com for books, videos, and info. (Taken from Leaving the Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection by D. Scott Rogo, Prentice Hall Press)

One of the chief barriers people learning to project face is fear. Many are afraid that they may die, or be harmed in some way as a result of their projection. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Canterbury Institute, renowned for its occult studies, executed an experiment in projection involving over 2,000 people. None of them were hurt in any way by this, and now, three years later, none have complained of any newly arising problems.

Once you are aware that you cannot be harmed by projecting, you should begin Monroe's techniques, step by step.

Step One:

Relax the body. According to Monroe, "The ability to relax is the first prerequisite, perhaps even the first step itself" to having an OBE (Out of Body Experience). This includes both physical and mental relaxation. Monroe does not suggest a method of attaining this relaxation, although progressive muscle relaxation, coupled with deep breathing exercises (inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3... until about 50 or 100) are known to work well.

Step Two:

Enter the state bordering sleep. This is known as the hypnagogic state. Once again, Monroe doesn't recommend any method of doing this. One way is to hold your forearm up, while keeping your upper arm on the bed, or ground. As you start to fall asleep, your arm will fall, and you will awaken again. With practice you can learn to control the hypnagogic state without using your arm.

Another method is to concentrate on an object. When other images start to enter your thoughts, you have entered the hypnagogic state. Passively watch these images. This will also help you maintain this state of near-sleep. Monroe calls this Condition A.

Step Three:

Deepen this state. Begin to clear your mind. Observe your field of vision through your closed eyelids. Stare at the blackness in front of your closed eyes. After a while you may start to notice light patterns. These are simply neural discharges. They have no specific effect. Ignore them. When they cease, one has entered what Monroe calls Condition B.

From here, one must enter an even deeper state of relaxation which Monroe calls Condition C-- a state of such relaxation that you lose all awareness of the body and sensory stimulation. You are almost in a void in which your only source of stimulation will be your own thoughts.

The ideal state for leaving your body is Condition D. This is Condition C when it is voluntarily induced from a rested and refreshed condition and is not the effect of normal fatigue. To achieve Condition D, Monroe suggests that you practice entering it in the morning just as you are getting up, or after a short nap.

Step Four:

Enter a state of Vibration. This is the most important part of the technique, and also the most vague.

Many projectors have noted these vibrations at the onset of projection. They can be experienced as a mild tingling, or as if electricity is being shot through the body. Their cause is a mystery. It may actually be the astral body trying to leave the physical body.

For entering into the vibrational state, he offers the following directions:

1. Remove all jewelry or other items that might be touching your skin.

2. Darken the room so that no light can be seen through your eyelids, but do not shut out all light.

3. Lie down with your body along a north-south axis, with your head pointed toward magnetic north.

4. Loosen all clothing, but keep covered so that you are slightly warmer than what might normally be comfortable.

5. Be sure you are in a location where, and at a time when, there will be absolutely no noise to disturb you.

6. Enter a state of relaxation.

7. Give yourself the mental suggestion that your will remember all that occurs during the upcoming session that will be beneficial to your well being. Repeat this five times.

8. As your breathe, concentrate on the void in front of you.

9. Select a point a foot away from your forehead, then change your point of mental reference to six feet.

10. Turn the point 90 degrees upward by drawing an imaginary line parallel to your body axis up above you head. Focus there and reach out for the vibrations at that point and bring them back into your body.

Even if you don't know what these vibrations are, you will know when you have achieved contact with them.

Step Five:

Learn to control the vibrational state. Practice controlling them by mentally pushing them into your head, down to your toes, making them surge throughout your entire body, and producing vibrational waves from head to foot. To produce this wave effect, concentrate on the vibrations and mentally push a wave out of your head and guide it down your body. Practice this until you can induce these waves on command. Once you have control of the vibrational state, you are ready to leave the body.

Step Six:

Begin with a partial separation. The key here is thought control. Keep your mind firmly focused on the idea of leaving the body. Do not let it wander. Stray thoughts might cause you to lose control of the state.

Now having entered the vibrational state, begin exploring the OBE by releasing a hand or a foot of the "second body". Monroe suggests that you extend a limb until it comes in contact with a familiar object, such as a wall near your bed. Then push it through the object. Return the limb by placing it back in alignment with the physical one. Decrease the vibrational rate, and then terminate the experiment. Lie quietly until you have fully returned to normal. This exercise will prepare you for full separation.

Step Seven:

Dissociate yourself from the body. Monroe suggests two methods for this.

One method is to lift out of the body. To do this, think about getting lighter and lighter after entering the vibrational state. Think about how nice it would be to float upward. Keep this thought in mind at all costs and let no extraneous thoughts interrupt it. An OBE will occur naturally at this point.

Another method is the "Rotation Method" or "roll-out" technique. When you have achieved the vibrational state, try to roll over as if you were turning over in bed. Do not attempt to roll over physically. Try to twist your body from the top and virtually roll over into your second body right out of your physical self. At this point, you will be out of the body, but next to it. Think of floating upward, and you should find yourself floating above the body.

Corn Moon

In late August, we celebrate the beginning of the Corn Moon. This moon phase is also known as the Barley Moon, and carries on the associations of grain and rebirth that we saw back at Lammastide. August was originally known as Sextilis by the ancient Romans, but was later renamed for Augustus (Octavian) Caesar.

Correspondences:
  • Colors: Yellow, red, orange
  • Gemstones: Tigers eye, carnelian, garnet, red agate
  • Trees: Cedar and hazel
  • Gods: Vulcan, Mars, Nemesis, Hecate, Hathor, Thoth
  • Herbs: Rosemary, basil, rue, chamomile
  • Element: Fire
Harness some of the Corn Moon's fiery energy for your ritual and spell work. This is a good time to focus on your spiritual and physical health. It's the time to harvest what you can now to put aside for later use. What sacrifices can you make today that will benefit you further down the road?

Also Known As: Barley Moon

The Greater Good?

The Wiccan Rede gives us the ideal of "Harm None." However, I'm not quite sure how that's supposed to be attainable. While I'm not technically Wiccan, I'm Wiccan-ish, I guess. I follow the Wiccan Calendar, I use a general Wiccan ritual set up and appreciate the idea of peace and love which Wicca portrays. However, one thing that has always bothered me was this ideal of "Harm None." When I was a kid I was taught that God (the Christian God mind you) handed his people an unfulfillable law so that they would always remember they were imperfect and have a need for his forgiveness. To me, this was just disgusting, and not a God I felt I could give any allegiance to. So when I discovered Wicca and found the flexibility of their "rules" I was pleased. The idea of just don't hurt anyone, sounds great. But as I've aged, I've realized it's just as impossible to live a life which causes no harm as it is to live a life which follows the Messianic Law which the Ancient Israelites were supposed to keep.

Now, I'm an Eclectic, my basic beliefs balance not only on a collection of religious teachings both within and without Paganism, but also on some basic common sense. So rather than striving to fulfill an ideal that I simply can't live up to, I prefer to have some sense about the matter. I believe, as I teach my children, to strive for the greater good rather than a "no harm."

But what is the greater good? To me, it's different for each situation, and it's different for each person. In short it's my way of saying do what you believe is the best for everyone and everything in your situation. We know it's harmful to the earth to drive a car, for example, so rather than driving twice as far to go to the wholefoods store, learn what products and produce you can purchase closer that are just as healthy. Or you know telling your best friend that their hubby is cheating is going to hurt her, her marriage and your friendship, but you need to consider what's better in the long run? Letting him run around, knowing what's going on? Possibly putting your friend at risk for an STD? or Hurting her feelings but allowing her to keep herself safe? For me, it was telling her, but for you it could be different.

My point is that we need to focus not on doing NO harm, because while a wonderful idea, it's simply not possible, but on doing whatever is going to create the most positive outcome over all. Sometimes it's not easy to see what' the positive outcome will be out of things like a cheating spouse, but that's when we need to consider all our options before we act and do what we feel is best. Are we going to make mistakes? From time to time we all do, it's just a part of being human, but what matters is we try.

Check out what else I'm writing!