Saturday, November 21, 2015

Words to Live By - Do You Know What Yours Are?

When a person follows a pre-constructed religious path, all the tenants of faith are laid out for them and they have but to apply them to their life. However, when one creates their own spiritual path, they have to determine the tenants they live by on their own. Do you know what words you live by and why? Here is my list at this point in time of my life:

  • Do that Which is Right (Blog post: coming soon)
  • Do as you will if it harm naught, but if it harm some, then do as you ought (Blog post: The Nuances of Harm None; In this article I address differing views of Harm None, my views on Harm None, guns, hunting and meat eating)
  • Just Enough (Blog post: coming soon)
I will address each of the tenants above in depth in separate blog posts dedicated to each and link them here. As of time of writing this post, I have previously written a blog post on the Nuances of Harm None which I have linked to above, 

Until the blog post comes, briefly in regards to Do that Which is Right, every situation has a *right* way to handle it but what that right way is may be different depending on the filters, life experiences and tenants of the person viewing the issue at hand. What is *right* to the greatest degree may not be pleasing to all parties in a situation. Occasions where 100% of the parties are 100% pleased is often not possible and the rare instances where it does occur would be cause for great celebration.

Just Enough means exactly that. Whatever remedy you take to solve an issue should be *just enough* to deal with the situation and no more. 

Bright Blessings and may those you pray to watch over you,
Merry Meet and Merry Part
Rayven Michaels
Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Embracing Fall

Welcome to Fall Ya'll. You will hear that alot around Oklahoma right now. I love the cool mornings and late evenings. To me this is the best time of year. But then I say that in the Spring also. But there is just something magickal about knowing it is Pumpkin time! And the beauty of the fall leaves, the smell of smoke from the neighbors fireplaces and cookers smoking meats. I can't eat meat anymore because of my tick borne illness Alpha Gal but I am one of the lucky ones that can at least enjoy the pleasure of smelling smoking meat even if I can't grab it up and have a mouth full. With all this fall nostalgia going on, I had to break out Fall bling on my blog. I love the big tree! Bright Blessings to All! Rayven Michaels Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Recipes to try

I was perusing a Facebook food channel called Tasty and found some recipes that I don't want to lose track of, so I posted them here where we can all enjoy them. ;)

No-Bake Thin Mints You Can Make At Home

Posted by Tasty on Friday, August 7, 2015

Easy Microwave Mug Cake

Posted by Tasty on Thursday, August 6, 2015

Easy Baked Potato Chips (Hasselback Potato)

Posted by Tasty on Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Posted by Tasty on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

3 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

I'm perusing recipes and found this lovely brownie recipe to try.

3-Ingredient Nutella Brownies
Posted by Tasty on Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lemon EO Water

My Young Living Everyday Essentials Oil kit arrived today. I am happier than a hog in a mud wallow! Right now, I am sipping a nice bottle of water that I added 2 drops of YL Lemon oil to. Not only does it taste good, but Lemon EO has lots of benefits to the body: detox the liver, clarify the mind, ease constipation, relieve heartburn and help with blood circulation.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Healing Power of Essential Oils

I have been an avid user of herbs and oils since I was a young woman in my 20s. My first herb book is tattered and worn from all the use. Using essential oils was an inevitable next step since they are the essence of the plant in a highly concentrated form. No tea or tincture can match the power of an essential oil. And just a little dab will do you. Some of the oils can be applied *neat* or undiluted while others require being mixed with a carrier oil to avoid unpleasant skin reactions. If you ever get undiluted peppermint oil on you, trust me, you will remember it. And warning, water is NOT your friend when an oil stings. Water will actually drive the oil deeper into the skin and in some instances, intensify the sting.

My oil purchases were always haphazard in the past. I bought them from GNC or the health food stores. I always knew that some brands were better than others but I for a long time I never really seriously dug into the whats and whys of it all. But when I finally did take the time to do it, one name came up over and over again -- Young Living Oils. It didn't take long to convince me that they were my oils of choice. They have a fabulous *seed to seal process*.

(Information from the Young Living website)

Seed to Seal

1.  Seed -Potent essential oils come from plant species that have been authenticated by Young Living experts. Species certification involves scientific research, field study, university partnerships, and on-site planting certification.
2. Cultivate – Through cultivation on the four Young Living farms, Young Living Essential Oils has mastered the creation of pure, potent essential oils. The company takes this knowledge around the world to co-op farms to certify that these farms’ growing processes meet Young Living’s strict quality standards.

3. Distill – Young Living’s proprietary low-temperature, low-pressure steam distillation process ensures that the beneficial plant compounds in every batch of essential oil remain uncompromised during the extraction process.
4. Test – Each essential oil must pass Young Living’s stringent testing to ensure the optimal bioactive natural compounds are present. Young Living uses its own internal labs, in addition to third-party audits, to verify that international purity and potency standards are met and surpassed.

5. Seal – Young Living completes the Seed to Seal process by carefully sealing each bottle of essential oil before shipping them to members worldwide.
 I'll be writing more on these fabulous oils and all the things you can do with them.

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

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

Words to Live By - Do You Know What Yours Are?

When a person follows a pre-constructed religious path, all the tenants of faith are laid out for them and they have but to apply them to th...