Welcome to Yesterways Order of WiseCraft

Witching my way through the world one day at a time here at Yesterways Cottage, incorporating the ways of old with modern times. Join me as I journey on a spiritual path I call "Yesterways WiseCraft Wicca." Feel free to comment and ask questions -- I'll get back to you, I promise, Witch's honor.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hostile Religions - Live in Peace - LIVE

I've been reading a lot of posts and arguments regarding hostile religions. Many point to ancient histories documenting hatred and atrocities of many religions against another. It is sad but true that ancient peoples harshly dealt with one another and that religion was often used in judgment and persecution against people. What is of more interest and concern to me is religion in modern times and how we deal with our fellow man. Unfortunately, hatred and intolerance is still taught in many modern religions. How people mete out that hatred and intolerance is wide ranging. Some religions teach that people without faith or of differing faiths need *saved* and brought into the fold of the *one true god* while at the other extreme is to annihilate and remove from the face of the earth anyone who does not convert and honor their chosen god. The former is a disrespectful annoyance and the latter is a terrorist movement by radical extremists.

It is understandable that people with similar beliefs and lifestyles will group together and live somewhat peaceably in their commonality. However, when any group of people goes militant and believes they need to make conquests of nonbelievers either by peaceable coercion or force, they have crossed the lines of civility.  When death is involved, they have crossed the lines of humanity.

Spirituality is a personal journey for each person and each person has the right to seek as they choose. No person should have the right to force their beliefs upon another. If a person wants to *witness* for their god/s, the best way to do so is to live as the best example one can be of the faith followed. People may then be drawn to that religious path or perhaps they will just honor you as a good and righteous person. All people do not feel compelled to follow a god of any type. This doesn't mean they are *lost* nor does it mean they cannot be just and good people in the absence of god/s. Too often religion is used as a crutch in the world to deflect responsibility for ones actions -- you will hear things like *it is the will of ----* fill in the blank for a god's name. The gods do not live our lives -- our lives are ours to live. I cannot imagine any god of any path desiring that we wipe out non-believers. I personally would not desire to follow such a god.

If a person is caught up in a spiritual path that makes mandates upon you to adjust your behavior and dress or be punished in this world and the next, then perhaps one should look up the meaning of a cult. When one loses their autonomous individuality and must synchronize with the members of a group with rules from prophets, they are nothing more than a puppet attempting to mirror the lives and actions of others. To me that is failing at life.  If you choose to give up the right to live and make choices in your life and instead deliver all your decisions over to elders of a religion or even to a god then you have abandoned your gift of life. You are not living you are existing in fear and failure because those religions will have you believe that you are unworthy and must strive under the yoke of sins committed before you were even born.

Chose your spirituality wisely, make certain it is truly your choice and not one of coercion or indoctrination, make certain you retain the right to think independently and able to act in accord with your personal conscience, that you fully understand what is asked of you and not blindly following because you *must* do it that way, and most importantly be the most loving and best person you can be on any path that you choose to follow -- love and honor your fellow man/woman and their right to live their lives under their own conscience.

Bright blessings to all,
May those you pray to watch over you,
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My new Labradorite bracelet

I love the Earthbound store. Every now and again, I venture in and prowl around to see if there is anything that intrigues me. Today I made a nice haul. One of my trophies was a labradorite bracelet. I admit the setting is cheap but decorative and looks nice. The big deal for me was the stone. I LOVE labradorite. It is a very amazing stone with lots of metaphysical properties. I've included a photo of the bracelet. I'm sad to say that the photo does not do the stone justice.

This stone has incredible metaphysical properties. Did I say that already? It is a seer's stone for sure. Here's a link to a website that gives a good accounting of all the wonderful properties of this stone:
Crystal Vaults.

If you don't already own a labradorite stone, I strongly encourage you to consider doing so. You will be very glad you did.

Bright blessings to all,
May those you pray to watch over you.
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Distinction of Justice vs. Revenge

A loved one and I were having a conversation over dinner and the topic of justice vs. revenge came up. The world is certainly full of a lot of drama and with the ability to instantaneously respond to things via cellphones, computers and internet, many people have failed to acquire the habit of thinking things through. They *react* to things instead of  contemplating and then *taking action*. There truly is a big difference. I once heard the analogy that our emotions are a horse and we are the rider. We can let the horse buck and fight and race about madly, or we can tame them and ride them with control.

My loved one stated that when people claim they want *justice*, what they really mean is they want *revenge*.  I reflected on that and to some degree he was correct. But then I decided there truly is a difference between *justice* and *revenge*.  Revenge means you want to lash out at someone that has angered, wronged or injured you. You immediately think, well, doesn't justice mean exactly the same thing? Yes and no. Here is the distinction that exists in my mind.

Justice -- the desire to persecute/punish someone for a wrongful act but to do so "within lawful limits". A common statement would be "throw the book at them" or "punish them to fullest extent possible under the law". Is it a form of revenge? Certainly. But it is done within the boundaries and limits of the legal system.

Revenge - the desire to get even by whatever means it takes. No limits, no boundaries. That's a pretty scary thought. For instance, you accidentally cut someone off in traffic or circumstances forced you to do so. Or perhaps you were in a selfish hurry when you did it -- the reason you did it is irrelevant for purposes of this analogy. So, you cut someone off in traffic and the next thing you know, they are chasing you down the highway, trying to run you off the road, perhaps shooting at you. Or they follow you all the way to your destination and then confront you or sabotage your vehicle. This is revenge. This type behavior has become so common place that it has been given a special name -- *road rage*.
Goddess Themis - click here to read more on her.

How would a justice oriented person handle the same situation? They might choose to get the tag number and call it in warning that someone is driving sporadically/dangerously. A justice oriented person would work within legal bounds.

While revenge wouldn't necessarily fit well in a Wiccan system that honors Harm None, I believe justice could fit nicely. I have a strong belief in being a law abiding citizen and when someone doesn't abide by the laws, I firmly believe that justice should be meted out. So absolutely, if someone harms me or mine, my belongings etc., I don't have a problem seeking justice within the legal bounds afforded me.

For some, this will all seem to be semantics, but for me, it is an important distinction. The lines between two sides of something are often blurred and subtle. It is our individual responsibility to find those lines and determine where we stand.

Bright Blessings to All,
Rayven Michaels

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! & New Year's Resolutions #HappyNewYear

I'll start by wishing everyone a Happy, Prosperous, Joyful and Healthful New Year!

It's common place to review the past year on New Year's Eve and then make resolutions for the upcoming year. For me, the key is to make *realistic* resolutions. I could make a resolution that I'm going to make $1 Million Dollars in 2015, but unless I sincerely have a plan to do it or am willing to work at making a plan to do it, such a resolution is pointless. What I could do though is say I'm going to work on my prosperity in 2015 and then figure out what that means and how I can accomplish it. I can spend less by trimming expenses so that I end up with more money. I could work more hours. I could switch jobs. There are lots of things I could do to increase prosperity. The point is, resolutions have to have a plan to back them up or else they are just wishes or just an activity to do on New Year's Eve.

Here are my resolutions for the New Year:
  • Make sure my loved ones know how much they mean to me and that I love them
  • Find joy and happiness in all that I do
  • Find time to read everyday
  • Stay in touch with friends more frequently
  • Advance on my spiritual path
  • Always be open to opportunities in whatever form they present themselves
I may come up with more but these are a good start and are things that I should be able to realistically accomplish.

Happy New Year and Bright Blessings to All!
Rayven Michaels

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

GJOYful Bears: Woodland Fairy Tree House 95% Complete!

What a GORGEOUS Fairy House! I am inspired to make one of my own! Wish me luck. It's a huge undertaking but it will be worth it! And I have some awesome ideas....  Enjoy the article.

GJOYful Bears: Woodland Fairy Tree House 95% Complete!: I have been working on creating a Woodland fairy tree house since September, between creating bears & dragons. The house is for my tin...

Bright Blessings!

Rayven Micheals

Friday, December 26, 2014

Yule Celebration 2014

I'm a little late posting this on the blog. I realized I posted it straight to FB but not on the blog. This year, our Yule/Christmas did not revolve around money and gifts. The only ones we did buy gifts for were the two tiny tot grandchildren.  This wasn't because we were being Grinches or without Yuletide Spirit. We opted to lead by example and not celebrate this season as Commerce Day, something my husband is fond of calling it due to an old Mac Davis movie. And there is a lot of truth to how Yule/Christmas is marketed -- anyone ever heard of Black Friday? I have never participated and have no plans to ever do so. However, I have friends and acquaintances that consider it the kick off event of their holiday traditions. To each their own. ;) As Grandparents now, we have decided to make the holidays more about family, traditions and memories. I think we got off to a very good start this year.

We had a great time at our family Yule/Christmas party. We had a humble meal of brown beans, fried potatoes, hot rolls, tabouli, sauerkraut relish, pickles, salad, dressing & chicken gravy. Nothing fancy and no meat -- was an awesome meal for me - one of my very favorites. In the summer we have garden fresh fried okra too but we enjoyed it without the okra. We played games and had a good time. The Christmas memories game was really fun -- enjoyable to see what things people remember and how they remember them. Then we played a game where everyone had a tiny gift bag with their name on it -- everyone put an anonymous note about each person in the bags. Then you had to read your notes and figure out who said it to you. Handwriting was helpful unless someone else wrote the notes. LOL Anyway, if you got it right, you got to take some treats from the treat bowl to go in your gift bag. We had two perfect scores that figured out who wrote every note about them. It was fun to see what people said. Was a great day finished off with GiGi being a rodeo bull for the Grandkids to ride alternating with being a sheep for mutton busting. I surely worked off all the calories from my meal because the kiddos dearly love their bull riding! LOL

Since my path is different than my family, I did a quiet ritual in my backyard later when I got home. All in all, Yule was simple and yet wonderful this year.

I am already planning for next Yuletide Season with lots of ideas for activities.  We have an unused house in town that I think should become our family gathering spot. Decorate it full out for the holidays and have get togethers there year round. Now I am on a quest to name it. But that shall be a addressed in a different post...

Bright Blessings to All,
May Your Day be Merry and Bright,
Rayven Michaels

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blinging my Blog #checkoutmynewblogcolors

I got a bit behind on blinging my blog and keeping up with the seasons. My old colors were wintery but it was definitely a spring look. So, I finally sat down and winterized the look. Check it out! I think it's pretty... of course.