Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Forgive - Meditation and Visualization Technique

Brown Bag by Jeffrey Beall

By Raven Gypsy

Forgiveness is a topic that comes up often.  But people often don't understand what it really means.  Forgiving someone is not about telling the person who wronged you that what they did is ok.  They wronged you, that's not ok.

Often we physically remove the problem person from our lives, but find that even years later the thought of them and what they did to us continues to haunt us.  It effects how we behave toward other people; how we expect others to behave toward us. It changes the way we think and it upsets us just to think about it. What more can we do to heal a hurt after the person hurting us can't hurt us anymore?  Forgive.

Forgiveness is the process of releasing your feelings about a person or situation.  Forgiveness is not excusing or condoning an act.  Forgiveness means to give up, release, let go of.

Forgiveness is a process that involves you and only you and here is one way to do it.

Close your eyes and see yourself.  Think of the thing they did to hurt you as a paper bag full of dog-doo that you are holding.  See yourself holding the bag as you go about your daily activities.  Everywhere you go, "Tra-La-La, I'm going to the grocery store with a bag of crap, Tra-La-Yuck!"  You don't want to carry this bag of crap anymore.

Visualize yourself, your bag of crap and the other person.  See yourself giving the bag back to the person.  Hear yourself say to the person, "You gave me 'x'.  I don't want it.  It's not mine. I'm giving it back. I am fine."

Here are a few examples:
Someone called you fat. So hand back the bag (in your head! not in real life!) and say (in your head) "You think I'm fat. I like my body just the way it is. That is your opinion.  It is not my opinion of myself."

Your ex spent years spending all your money and causing financial problems. Forgive them. "You have financial problems. I have a job. I pay my bills. I am financially stable.  That was your problem, not mine and I'm giving it back."

Your ex called you overly emotional, needy, always dismissed your feelings. Forgive them. "You do not value my emotions or think they are real. My emotions are my own. I feel them. It doesn't matter if you like them or not.  They are mine. They are real. And it is ok to feel them."

Do not continue to carry around baggage that is not yours. Forgive and move on. 
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Litha Lore (June 21)

Photo By: jason Jenkins

By Raven Gypsy
Alban Heruin also known as Litha is celebrated on June 21.

Although the name Litha is not well attested, it may come from Saxon tradition – the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist, often portraying him in rustic attire, sometimes with horns and cloven feet (like the Greek Demi-God Pan)

Midsummer Night’s Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. The alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens. The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltane is the Gaelic word for May and typically celebrated on May 1.

Traditional Foods: Garden fresh fruits and vegetables are made into a variety of dishes and eaten by Pagan’s who choose to celebrate this day.

Herbs and Flowers: Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, Honeysuckle, Lily Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild Thyme, Daisy, Carnation.

Incense: Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Rose, Wisteria

Woods Burned: Oak

Sacred Gemstone: Emerald

Special Activities: An Ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Signing with Author Rik Potter

 
By Raven Gypsy

Author, Rik Potter is coming to Wanderer to talk about and sell signed copies of his books:
~ Walking a Magic Path
~ The Noble Art of Divination:
A Journal for Tarot and Oracle Decks
~ The Boy Who Lived:
Magical Spirituality in the Harry Potter Universe


Rik Potter is a modern witch, author, teacher, healing practitioner and member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. He has served as high priest of three covens, and has taught classes on a variety of metaphysical subjects. Rik has lectured at colleges, conferences and occult shops about the mysteries of magic and witchcraft. Rik's personal journey follows the ancient paths of Witchcraft, Druidry and Celtic Paganism. Visit him online at www.rikpotter.com


Join us on June 7th, 2015 from 11am - 2pm to speak with Rik about his books.


Location:
Wanderer
Quakertown Farmer's Market
201 Station Rd.
Quakertown, PA 18951

Directions: We are in the Quakertown Farmer's Market in "The Barn" which is a large building behind the main building and behind the water tower, surrounded by the outdoor fleamarket tables. If you walk in the front door nearest the water tower, you'll make the first left inside, and we are at the end of the row on the right.

To RSVP and for event updates, visit us on Facebook.



 





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Book Signing: I Don't Dwell with Author Sam Shelley


By Raven Gypsy

Author, Sam Shelley is coming to Wanderer to talk about and sell signed copies of his book, I Don't Dwell.

Sam’s life was filled with pain and suffering. From the age of 6 a van nearly took his life. As an adult, he was hospitalized several times due to suicidal tendencies as a bipolar, and then being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that left him disabled. In addition he had psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and migraines. One day things suddenly changed, and his health was miraculously restored. This healing could not be explained by his doctors. This is the story of his transformation which began with a five minute daily practice. In this book he shares all the practices and tools that he used for recovery.


Join us on May 30th, 2015 from 11am - 2pm to speak with Sam and learn how you too can heal yourself!


Location:

Wanderer
Quakertown Farmer's Market
201 Station Rd.
Quakertown, PA 18951

Directions: We are in the Quakertown Farmer's Market in "The Barn" which is a large building behind the main building and behind the water tower, surrounded by the outdoor fleamarket tables. If you walk in the front door nearest the water tower, you'll make the first left inside, and we are at the end of the row on the right.

To RSVP and for event updates, visit us on Facebook.


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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Treating Back Pain and More with the Alexander Technique

Photo By: Sarah Joy

By Raven Gypsy

Consider the Alexander Technique Therapy For

The goal of the Alexander Technique is to bring the body's muscles into natural harmony. Hence it can aid in the treatment of a wide variety of neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, including disorders of the neck, back and hip; traumatic and repetitive strain injuries; chronic pain; arthritis; breathing and coordination disorders; stress related disorders; and even migraine.

People with sciatica, scoliosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and neck and low back syndrome may find the Alexander Technique useful in improving overall strength and mobility. Others with Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or fibromyalgia may use it for pain management. It is also used to improve functioning in people with multiple sclerosis, stroke, or Parkinson's disease.

Because the technique requires active participation by the patient, it's impossible to test its effectiveness with customary scientific procedures, such as "placebo controls," in which some patients are given a fake remedy, and "double-blind trials," in which neither the patients nor the therapists know who's receiving genuine treatment. Nevertheless, many people who've undertaken this therapy, including the likes of John Dewey and Aldous Huxley, vouch for its benefits.

How the Alexander Technique Treatments Are Done

Alexander Technique sessions are most often conducted one-on-one with a teacher, but group classes may be available as well. Students wear comfortable clothing, and perform everyday actions, such as walking, bending, standing or sitting, while the teacher encourages the students to shed ingrained--and inappropriate--muscular reactions and allow healthy natural reflexes to take over. To encourage the release of natural reactions, the teacher will lead a student through various movements, occasionally touching the neck, back, or shoulder to help trigger the proper reflexes. Some sessions may have the student lying down most of the time, while others involve mostly sitting and standing. If there is a specific movement the student wishes to improve, such as working at a computer keyboard, holding a telephone, or driving a car, the teacher may work with the student on those as well. Teachers stress that the Alexander Technique is not a passive experience, such as a massage, However, the sessions are not strenuous or physically taxing. No machinery is used.

Treatment Time: The length of each session varies from teacher to teacher, but usually ranges from 30 to 45 minutes.

Treatment Frequency: Sessions may be weekly or more often, depending on the teacher and your needs. The recommended series is a set of 30 lessons.

What Treatment with the Alexander Technique Hopes to Accomplish

With advancing age, most people seem to fall into a variety of common, but unnatural, habits of movement and posture. Depending on the amount of energy and tension these habits commandeer, the results can range from subtle changes in mood to outright pain. The Alexander Technique attempts to remedy these problems by discouraging habitual, counterproductive muscular reactions and allowing efficient natural reflexes to take over.

When you begin training in the Alexander Technique, the goal is to inhibit your habitual muscular responses by deliberately and consciously "doing nothing" so that your body can revert to its inherent natural movements. This is not an exercise in relaxation, per se, but rather a way of reclaiming an efficiency and ease of movement lost through years of poor postures and unnatural muscular response. As you "unlearn" inappropriate habits in the formal sessions, you'll be encouraged to practice your new freedom of movement as you go about your normal activities.

Unlike other bodywork disciplines, such as the Feldenkrais Method, the Alexander Technique focuses on the relationship of head, neck and torso, which teachers call "primary control." Alexander Technique teachers believe that when these three are properly aligned, the head will lift upward and release the neck and spine, improving overall muscular function and allowing you to move your whole body in a harmonious way. Central to the technique are the four "Concepts of Good Use," which focus on freeing the muscles from unneeded tension:

Allow your neck to release so your head can balance forward and up;
Allow your torso to release into length and width;
Allow your legs to release away from your pelvis;
Allow your shoulders to release out to the sides.

The Alexander Technique was developed in the early 1900's by Australian actor F.M. Alexander, who felt that his own bad posture had caused his voice-loss problems. He began working on a system to teach simple, efficient movements that would help improve balance, posture, and coordination while relieving pain. The resulting technique became popular in the U.S. after the first World War, especially among artists, performers and intellectuals, and has been practiced successfully ever since.

Today, the Alexander Technique is used not only by those seeking pain relief, but also by many actors, dancers, athletes, and other performers who use their bodies intensively.

Who Should Avoid The Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is generally considered safe for everyone. However, if you have any chronic health problems, it's wise to check with your doctor before undertaking any form of alternative therapy.

What Side Effects May Occur with the Alexander Technique?

With its emphasis on efficient release of natural muscular reflexes, the Alexander Technique has no known side effects.

How to Choose a Therapist

Make sure your teacher is certified by the North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. This professional organization has well-established programs and requires members to take at least 1,600 hours of training over a three-year period, observe minimum teacher-to-student ratios, and follow set guidelines for conducting their classes. While no special background is required to become a teacher, many practitioners are dancers or other performers who have found the technique useful in their own lives.

When Should Treatment Stop?

You may continue the Alexander Technique classes as long as you wish.

See a Conventional Doctor If...

It is important to make all healthcare decisions and discuss all treatment options with the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.  In addition, because the scope of the Alexander Technique is limited to problems with movement and posture, you'll need to continue regular medical treatment for any nonmuscular disorders such as infection or inflammation. Check with your doctor, too, if you experience any new symptoms while participating in Alexander Technique sessions.

Resources
American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT)
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
Phone: 212-799-0468
North American Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (NASTAT)
3010 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: 800-473-0620

FURTHER READING
The Alexander Technique: How to Use Your Body Without Stress. Wilfred Barlow, M.D. Healing Arts Press, 1991.
Back Trouble. Deborah Caplan. Triad Publishing, 1987.
Body Learning. Michael J. Gelb. Henry Holt, 1996.
Your Guide to the Alexander Technique. John Gray. St.Martin's Press, 1991.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meditation Technique: Alert Relaxation

Photo By: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho

By Raven Gypsy
Alert Relaxation is a meditation technique that enables your body to deeply relax while your mind stays acutely alert. When you become extremely relaxed, your body seems to recede into the back ground while the outside world draws most of your attention.

Imagine that warm currents of mental energy are very slowly moving up through your body. Proceed very slowly, allowing each muscle group to fully relax before sending the imaginary currents onto the next section of your body. Feel the muscles in your feet gradually warming and relaxing as you imagine the currents passing through them. Imagine that the currents very gradually continue moving up through your calves, into your thighs, through your hips and buttocks and into your lower back and abdomen.

Feel the muscles in your legs becoming heavy, warm, and relaxed as they sink down into the chair beneath you. When you feel your legs becoming deeply relaxed, imagine the currents moving in a clock wise motion around your abdomen, then up along your spine and through the front of your torso into your chest and shoulders. Feel the muscles in your stomach and lower back letting go of any tightness or tension as the current passes through them.

When the lower half of your body feels deeply relaxed, imagine the currents flowing upward through your ribs and shoulders, warming and relaxing the upper part of your body, leaving your back and chest, completely warm and free of any stress or tension. Imagine the currents turning around to move downward through your arms, toward your fingers and hands, then moving upward once more and back through your arms and neck toward the top of your head.

New feel the muscles in your neck and face gradually growing warm and relaxing as the imaginary currents pass through them. Then imagine the currents flowing out through the top of your head, leaving your entire body feeling comfortably warm, heavy, and relaxed.

Allow your body to sink down into the chair beneath you. As you do, you may notice some inner part of you becoming lighter as your body feels heavier and heavier. You may even begin to feel a slight sensation of floating above your body. If you find yourself having such feelings, don’t analyze or attempt to directly influence them. Just allow them to evolve on their own.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Adamite

Photo By Stephanie Clifford

By Raven Gypsy

Adamite is a fragile crystaline mineral that is usually embedded in rusting, crumbly rock called Limonite matrix. It typically forms clusters of short, stubby crystals which are translucent. Adamite often grows with a variety of impurities such as copper and cobalt that give it colors ranging from pink and purple to blue and green.  Generally, Adamite crystals are fluorescent under UV light.

Varieties:   Most common varieties include Cobalt Adamite and Copper Adamite.

Deposits: Greece, Chile, UK, France, USA

Care and treatment: Adamite and the Limonite matrix it grows in breaks easily.  Use care when scrubing, as the Limonite matrix will crumble and fall away easily.

Hardness: 3.5

Magical Properties: Adamite help us to look to the resources within us find unique solutions to our problems.  It provides inspiration and confidence. 
It can help to balance our hearts desires with the wisdom of truth.  It can encourage emotional stability and harmony.

Keywords: guidance, solutions, confidence, emotional balance
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