Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is It Bad to Cast Spells?

People often wonder if spellcasting is bad, evil, or demonic.  Some folks just naturally assume that spell work calls on dark or negative forces.  However, this isn't really correct.  There's a lot more to casting spells.

The first and most important part of determining whether or not spellwork is good or evil is knowing exactly what spellcasting is.  Spells are made up of energy which the caster directs or projects into a specific direction, in order to complete a goal or task.  There are all sorts of energies which can be sent out by a caster, for good or for ill.  In most cases, this energy is all that is directed by the caster, as opposed to the demons or devils which are portrayed in movies and books.

In ancient times, various magickal practices such as voodoo, shamanism, and other forms of sorcery have been practiced by humankind.  Just as in any religion or spiritual belief, there are both light and dark aspects of such practices.  In all forms of religion, there are intentions to help or to hurt, positive and negative parts of all beliefs.  For example: Satanism, which is infamous for its reputation as a dark or evil religion, does use or direct darker energies.  But practicioners of other beliefs, such as Wicca or other forms of Paganism, work under the tenet of "Harm None," and thus will use the powers of good and positive energy only.  Both types of energy are powerful, and neither is more powerful than another one.

It is true that some practicioners do their spellwork on the dark side, projecting negative force or directing dark energy toward a specific target.  Shamans, who can do positive or negative magick, can also project forces out of jealousy, anger, or a wish to possess your spirit or possessions. 

Negative energy can also be projected by everyday people without realizing it, and certainly without casting any spells: most forms of hate, desire for revenge, jealousy, and fear can create negative tension which gathers and creates an overriding feeling of negativity or negative energy.

Just as negativity can be spread by these baser emotions, so can positivity be shared with others.  A smile, a friendly word, sharing one's happiness or good intentions with another person, all of these things can spread positivity as well.  Prayers may be considered another positive form of spellwork, requesting help from a higher power.

Whether you choose to use formal spellwork in your life, remember that the true magic lies within yourself!  Sharing your positivity with others will result in a more positive, wonderful life for yourself and those around you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do Angels Really Exist?

Although many people believe in angels, there are plenty of others (myself included) who can't help but wonder if they truly exist.  Angels are messengers of God, whose purpose is to complete certain assignments.  Many people who believe in angels have experienced "divine intervention" at times in their lives when they needed help the most, which makes their faith a reality.

A true "angel" is thought to be a perfect creation of God, specifically crafted to feel the purest love and tender care toward all of God's creations.  Angels have innate senses of ethics and morals, and angels are inherently wise as well.  An angel has a natural understanding of God's will and how God's rules must be applied to other creatures, because this is the way s/he was created.

Angels and their stories are prevalent in many world religions.  When a spiritually devoted person prays, it is an angel's job to hear and carry out God's will in God's stead.  This can come in the form of physical assistance, but often it is in the form of emotional or intellectual inspiration for the devotee.  The person who is in need of help can feel the peace and healing in his or her heart, or will become inspired to find a way out of the problem s/he is contemplating.  Angels can help make those connections for people as well.

I, personally, feel that belief in angels can't possibly hurt, and it may even help.  I do believe that spirits exist in the physical realm.  And my experience with spirits has shown that most entities who have chosen to remain here on Earth are genuinely interested in helping people.  Perhaps these are what some people call "angels."  One thing is for certain, however; you will not be helped if you don't ask!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mystical Properties of Sunstone/Citrine

Not only are crystals and gems beautiful to look at as we adorn our homes and bodies with them, but they're also wonderful tools to help us focus positive energy, healing us from the inside.  Since the dawn of civilization, crystals and precious or semi-precious stones have been used for their healthful vibrations on our lives, relationships, and our living or workspaces.

Like the dynamic force of the sun, a sunstone crystal can help encourage strength in rising to meet challenges, to inspire leadership, and to strengthen the will of the bearer.  Even better, it is especially powerful when the intentions are meant to benefit a larger group of people rather than for individual fulfillment.  Sunstone can help to generate faith, hope, and positivity.  It is associated with love, prosperity, progress.  Sunstone is a crystal that can help strengthen you emotionally for tough times to come, but also to encapsulate the positivity of happy times and to repel negative energy.  Sunstone can also help you to keep goals and personal standards in mind, so that you're strong enough to reject temptation or to refuse requests which are unreasonable.    It can also help with anxieties and phobias, helping to center and ground you.

Sunstone is a wonderful all-purpose stone, and is an excellent tool to have in your crystal repertoire.  It has many wonderful and helpful properties for those whose lives need a little extra brightening.  It is a type of feldspae, with a Mohs hardness number of around 6; this makes it fairly sturdy, but not extremely hard.  It often occurs in yellows, oranges, and reddish-browns.  The crystal itself is obviously associated with the sun, bringing with it proactive and energetic forces which help to bring about change.  The Sun rules the heart and emotions according to astrological teachings, and sunstone can be utilized to help enhance these within us as well.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Zooming Out: Putting Anxiety and Phobias Into Perspective

Kathy Bates played Jane Stern in "Ambulance Girl."
Since this is the second entry I've written about a Lifetime movie, I've decided to add a new category for them.  Is it silly of me to write about them once in awhile?  Maybe.  But I don't mind sharing it; if I find truth in something, even something as simple as a movie on TV, I like to think about it and share it with all of you.

The movie that I was re-watching was called Ambulance Girl; it starred the amazingly talented Kathy Bates as Jane Stern, a middle-aged, married writer who had been fighting a lifelong battle with anxiety and various phobias.  Jane was afraid of so many things, not the least of which was flying and long car rides.  Her husband, Michael (played by Robin Thomas) was a recovering alcoholic who was also finding his way as a newly sober person.  As her phobias and insecurities began getting worse, Jane made the decision to become an EMT.  You'd think that was a nutty thing for someone who was so deeply stricken with anxiety to do, right?  The idea was that it would help her find a way out of her own mind and focus on other issues.  As an EMT, Jane met new people and learned a lot, including how to deal with her own anxieties.  (I don't want to ruin the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it, so I'll just leave it there.)

I loved this idea.  Sometimes, we're all guilty of becoming obsessed with certain thoughts of principles in our own heads.  It doesn't mean that they aren't meaningful to us, or worthy of some reflection time.  However, when we obsess or fixate on things which may potentially make us unhappy or stressed, we are ignoring the world around us.  We also forget about what is meaningful to those around us -- what makes them happy, afraid, or worried -- and whether we can work with them on those issues.  By taking a step back from our own problems, whether concrete issues or just worries about things that may happen, we are taking control of our own lives.  Zooming out gives us the power to decide if we want our fears to control us, or if we wish to take control of them.  By zooming out, we can also see more of what's going on around us and can therefore get a better sense of perspective.  What results from this is an ability to make better choices and to choose actions which make our lives more positive and fulfilling.

If you're worried about living inside your own head too much, or afraid that you may be obsessing about something that's holding you back, try to replace those feelings with something new.  Try volunteering, or even just helping someone close to you.  Learn more about your anxiety and try to figure out ways to make it less a part of your life.  By zooming out and looking at the big picture in its entirety, you will be doing yourself a great service.  Take control and live the life that you deserve by giving yourself the gift of perspective.

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