Solo Ritual for the New Moon in Virgo

new moon in virgo

It’s the new moon in Virgo! It’s the perfect time to reboot. Ready? Here are some keywords for the energies that are in play now that can help you set your intention and go with the flow.

Keywords

New moon – new beginnings, plant new seeds, refocus, renew, regroup

Virgo – perfectionism, service, analysis, communication, cool, critical, humility, standoffish, restless, modest, unassuming, sensible, practical, productive, conscientious, orderly, neat

Prepare

Prepare for this new moon in Virgo ritual by gathering a journal or paper, a pen, hot tea, and meditative music. You will also need other items, but they will vary based upon your personal choices.

Set Your Intention

In what area above do you need a new start? This can be your intention for this new moon. Here are some examples:

  • I am impeccable with my words.
  • I am of service to those in need.
  • I am engaging in social situations.
  • My feet are firmly planted on the ground as I reach for the stars.
  • Everything I need is available to me.
  • I always work for my highest good.
  • I am good enough.

Create Your Altar

What items will make your intentions visible in the material world? What objects will help you to connect with this energy? What will you offer in gratitude for the help that you receive? Use these items for your new moon in Virgo altar. Here are some suggestions to inspire you.

  • sapphires or something in that color, like your altar cloth
  • crystals like green jade, celestite, fluorite, red jasper, moonstone, or citrine
  • fresh fall flowers
  • photos of your friends
  • a bowl of earth
  • candles

Purify and Open Your Space

Now that you have an intention and an altar, let’s open sacred space. You can cleanse this area with water, fire (candles), or air (incense, or burning aromatic plants). Don’t forget to also purify yourself, your altar items, and anything that you bring into your ritual space. Call to the directions, elements, ancestors, helping spirits, the Moon, or whomever or whatever you choose to have support you during this process.

Meditation

Turn on your meditative music. Mentally say your affirmation three times, then sit and breathe in the energy of the new moon. Feel the feminine energies of Virgo, the Earth (Virgo’s element), and the Moon occupying the circle with you. Allow them to speak to you. Remember that this is the dark of the moon. It’s about emptying and resting. If you don’t seem to get anything in particular, that’s okay. You’re doing it perfectly. Just empty and be open to receiving when you’re ready.

When you feel “done,” come back to the present awareness. Relax. Leisurely drink your tea. If your affirmation still feels the same, write that down on a small piece of paper. If it has changed, write that down instead. Put it somewhere that you will see it during this current lunar phase.

Each time you look at it, feel that energy getting stronger within you. Look for ways that it is already true. Trust that everything is just as it should be. Know that your wishes were heard and that the support that you called in is here. Burn the paper on the eve before the next new moon.

If you received any other insights during your meditation, write those down in your journal.

Close Your Ritual

When you are finished, thank the energies that came to support you during this process. Close the circle.

Creating an Ancestor Veneration Practice

ancestor veneration

Modern people live in extreme disconnection from our ancestors. On the macro level, this extends to the plants, animals, and minerals. Many of us aren’t even aware of that detachment. But perhaps what makes an even bigger impact is the divorce of our own families. How many of us grew up without a father? How many don’t speak to members of their family – or even their whole families! Raise your hand if you don’t know yourself.

Life is holistic. It’s about living in relationship with everything and everyone. When you are that connected, you are deeply supported and never lonely. You know your purpose and can stride confidently towards it. Your life becomes a thread that weaves smoothly from childhood, adulthood, elder hood, death, ancestor, and back again. It becomes natural.

If you would like to begin to incorporate your human ancestors into your life, here are some suggestions on how to get started with creating an ancestor veneration practice. There is no one right or wrong way, so do what feels right for you. You can do as many or few as you like.

Get a DNA Test

Most of us tend to think of our ancestors as people we knew or heard of. We go back far further than the last hundred years or so. All of us go back thousands of years. We all have relatives from far off countries that we never imagined. If you think that your heritage was “pure” whatever, think again. Even if your family comes from an island, they migrated from somewhere. Get curious. Find out your history. The more you know about your gifts and burdens, the easier it will be to claim the blessings and heal the wounds.

Die Well

Death is such a distant act now. We die in hospitals and outsource the funeral and burial to professionals. It used to be a personal act. We died at home. The viewing was at home. Neighbors, relatives, and friends supported and mourned as a part of life. It wasn’t something that you took time away from life to do. Songs were sung and prayers helped the dead to transition to the Otherworld. Now we put the dead in the ground and never speak of it again. There is no process for the unresolved business to dissipate and the soul to be cleansed so that the dead can become ancestors. Plan your death. Do it well. Become an ancestor.

Live Well

Dying well is easiest when you live well. This means you engage in healthy relationships with the Earth, animals, plants, mineral kingdom, and people. You take care of yourself, your family, your property, and your community. You earn money in a way that is good for the soul. Things like integrity, authenticity, honor, reciprocity, and relationship are part of your daily life. Your life is heart centered. All you have to do is be you. If you do that, your light will shine and the Earth will be blessed with your being. You’ll be an example to your descendants and bless them from the other side.

Make a Scrapbook

It’s important to speak the names and tell the stories of our ancestors. It keeps them connected to our hearts. It enlivens their memory. Making a scrapbook helps to keep the stories and people in the family. It’s a visual reminder so that they are not lost throughout the generations. Many people know nothing of their grandparents much less those that came before them. Creating a scrapbook forces you to talk to your elders. So you hear the stories while they are alive, not at the eulogy. You will learn a lot in the process and realize the treasure that family brings.

Celebrate Ancestor Day

Many traditions have a day for honoring the ancestors. It’s often around Halloween, but could also be other days. During this time, we often visit and clean the graves. Some make offerings and say prayers at the shrines. At Pan Society we have a feast for the dead giving them traditional ancestral foods. Maybe you want to sit by a bonfire and tell their stories. Or perhaps you want to stay up all night and listen for their voices. Find out what your ancestors did and do the same. Or join us at Pan Society for our community celebration.

Pray For Them

If you have intergenerational trauma from addiction, physical abuse, sexual abuse or poverty, you can pray for those who have passed on. Many cultures believe that prayer helps to “clean” the wounds of life so that the soul can move on to the Otherworld. This also releases the energy so that it doesn’t continue to contaminate the family line.

Create and Tend a Shrine

An ancestor shrine is a commitment. You can’t put it up and then neglect it. Start by choosing a place that is not used for sleeping, but is also not busy, like a kitchen. You can even place it outside. This is a great idea, in fact, if your ancestors were nomadic or agricultural. The shrine can be big or small. It can look like a shelf, a house, a pile of rocks, or whatever strikes your fancy. It can even just be a bench by a tree where you like to talk to them. Visit it regularly. Bring offerings. Clean it. Purify it. Speak to the dead. Listen for their voices. Ask for help.

I wouldn’t speak to the people whose names you remember. If they did not die well, they may not be in the Otherworld. Those who are not in the Otherworld are still the same personality that they were when they were living and may not have the clarity of vision or high enough vibration to be all that helpful. I would also not put up photos of those whose names you remember. If they have not fully transitioned, this may keep them here.

Ancestor veneration is not worship. It’s the practice of living in connection to the past, present, and future. It’s remembering who you are and staying rooted. If your family is not all that healthy, this can help to get you back on track. Hurt people hurt people. It can be easier to love those who are in spirit than those who are in the flesh. When our loved ones are loved, they send love back. This can erase that hurt.

It can be hard to see the blessings in people who were not very nice. When we look hard, we see that goodness lives within them and in us too. This can help us to love ourselves and radiate love. As each of us cleans up our lives and our own family line, we impact everyone else because we’re all connected.

Ageism in Spirituality

ageism in spirituality

It’s time to confront ageism in spirituality. To have true connection, we have to value our Elders and include them in our lives. Modern society marginalizes older people. “We don’t value you” and “We don’t want to be you” is hidden in our language, advertising, and behavior. Here is what I mean:

  • Advertisers use the fear of aging to sell products. They focuses on fighting aging, as if it’s something to avoid.
  • Rich and healthy older people who live in gated communities on golf courses are glamorized in the media. Everyone else is invisible. The message is, if you are a burden, get lost.
  • Store merchandise focuses on youth and pop culture. If older people “dress young” they can be told to act their age, but stores don’t have hip, fashionable clothes for older people. There is no fashion world for this demographic.
  • There are lots of coming of age books and movies that help teens transition into adulthood. Very few deal with transitioning into elderhood. Even when they do exist, they aren’t popular. We don’t care.
  • To many “crone” has a negative connotation. It means hag, ugly, lonely, and depressed. For women especially, being old is like a curse of uselessness and unproductivity. Other phrases like “senior moment” and “you look great for your age” also convey that being older is undesirable and less valuable.
  • 57% of Europeans believe that older people contribute little to society. Perhaps this is why as people age, they have a harder time getting a job, make less money, and can slide into poverty despite their education and skill level. Only 47% of people aged 55 to 64 are able to re-enter the workforce after losing their job.
  • The American Geriatrics Society says there are only about 7,600 physicians nationwide certified as geriatric specialists. We need 36,000 by 2030.

Age discrimination impacts all of us in practical and spiritual ways. Here are some statistics:

  • People with positive attitudes about the older generations are 44% more likely to fully recover from a severe disability when compared to those with negative attitudes.
  • In one survey, those who heavily criticize seniors had a 30% greater decline in their own memory 40 years later.
  • Those with more positive self-perceptions of aging live 7.5 years longer than those with negative self-perceptions of aging.
  • In one study, 25% of people who held negative stereotypes of the senior demographic had a heart attack 30 years later. Just 13% of people who held a positive view of seniors had the same issue.
  • Yale School of Public Health shows that when younger people talk about seniors as “a burden,” make ugly jokes about the physical changes of aging, or hold unflattering stereotypes of the worth of older people, they reduce their own chances of healthy aging.
  • In one study, 62% of children said they learned about older people from their grandparents. Other research has shown that children who know an older person well tend to portray older people in more positive ways.
  • Another study showed that those who are exposed to older people have less anxiety about death. This includes just looking at pictures of older people!

The wheel of life always turns. When we are not exposed to elders, we don’t learn how to age with dignity. Being older becomes scary and something to be avoided. If we separate ourselves from our older family, we don’t have relationships that form the bridge from where we are to where we are going. This is  huge issue that creates a domino effect. Children don’t know how to be adults. Adult don’t know how to be elders. Elders don’t learn how to transition. We see this all around us, don’t we?

Here’s how we can change this dynamic one person at a time.

  • Talk to your elders. Listen to their stories. Ask for advice. Be polite. Ask about their lives, traditions, and heritage. These are your stories too!
  • Tell older people that you appreciate and respect them. Show your gratitude.
  • Honor elders by opening doors, letting them eat first, or putting them in a place of esteem in some way.
  • Offer to do little things like clean their glasses, do their grocery shopping for them, or make their bed. If they have mobility issues, this is a huge help.
  • Be patient. Let them take their time.
  • Watch a movie together. Read a book. Then talk about it. Engaging in conversation is mentally stimulating, but it also helps you to connect to other ideas and get to know each other.
  • Ask your elders to show you skills, like basket weaving, knitting, carpentry, or calligraphy that the manufacturing age is wiping out.
  • If you have a skill, go to an assisted living home and share it. This can be music, dance, storytelling, energy healing – anything!
  • Make a family scrapbook with the seniors in your family. Record their memories so that they live on.
  • Observe Ancestor Day. Restore the connection between the living and dead.
  • When your elders pass, include them in your ancestor shrine.
  • Use photos of the elderly in your social media. Show them in a positive light.
  • Share your positive stories of your older family members with others. Shine a light on them.
  • If possible and healthy, ask the grandparents to provide childcare for your kids so that they grow up with family instead of strangers.
  • Live on ancestral land so that the elders, you, and your children have a connection to and support of the Earth.
  • Plan for your elder years. Moving into it consciously makes it just another part of life.
  • Make friends with people who are younger and older. Create a new comfort zone.
  • When you see stereotypes, or if you are a victim of ageism, call it out! We’re all guilty of ageism. It was taught to us. When you know better, you do better. We can all be better.

Ageism is just another way to separate us from each other. We can’t be whole when we feel estranged. So get connected. Love your people. Let them love you back.

What’s Modern Animism?

modern animism

The question “what’s modern animism” continues to come up. We’ve talked about it on the podcast, youtube channel, and on our facebook page a little. The more we share, the more questions come up that show there is more to clarify. So, here’s another stab at modern animism. Let us know what you think.

Why Modern Animism?

To answer the question of “why modern animism,” we have to first look at older types of animism. Animism is simply the belief that everything has a spirit. Before science and technology evolved, there were few methods to prove why things happened. All knowledge came from observation and experience. This led to many conclusions that vary from culture to culture, but included the belief that everything was spiritual. As culture and technology evolved, many people abandoned these beliefs. Native Americans, Australian aborigines, the Sami, the Ainu, Igorots, and Evenks are just some of the people who have continuously practiced animism to modern times. Many of their old beliefs are now being validated by science.

The Old Gods Don’t Fit

It’s neither appropriate nor practical to adopt the spiritual practices of extant indigenous people. One reason why is that the old gods don’t fit. Gods belong to a certain time, certain people, and specific place. They can’t be easily adopted without significantly changing them. For example, what purpose would the Apus (mountain spirits) have in the plains? Can you pick and choose your pantheon, or do they all operate together? Animism is holistic. For me, a pantheon works as a collective. It’s not a buffet.

History tells us that most of the Greek gods simply morphed into Roman gods when the Romans took over. There are many examples of this in other cultures too, so can we just adapt and do the same? Maybe, but not without altering them and/or ourselves. For example, everyone had a hearth goddess because fire is essential to survival. In ancient Greece, she was Hestia. In Rome, she was Vesta. Greeks were spiritual, intellectual, and philosophical, and creative. They valued the present moment. Romans valued morals, actions, having a good life, had a high sense of patriotism, and cared about their afterlife. Hestia was a gentle guardian of the hearth. Everyone had an altar to her in the center of the home. There was also one at the center of the village. Vesta was disciplined, militant, and warlike. She was guardian of the home and state. They are the same at the core, but present very differently.

The values of many gods don’t work in the modern world. Some gods are rapists. Many are vengeful, jealous, and just plain immature. Modern people want a different role models.

Western culture has rapidly evolved in just the last fifty years. Fifty years ago, we didn’t have widespread use of home computers, cell phones, microwaves, televisions, hybrid vehicles, air conditioning, digital cameras,  or a thousand other things we now take for granted. Most ancient gods just don’t fit well in these times.

You Can’t Substitute

Can you see how a celebration for one hearth goddess would not be appropriate for the other? Can you imagine how one might fit into your life better than another? Now mix in other gods. Do you start to see how this can be a problem in a holistic system? Each piece is part of a puzzle. If you took many apple puzzles and scrambled them all together, you couldn’t make a complete picture of an apple if one of the puzzles is lifelike, another is cartoonish, and another is abstract.

Culture Matters

Let me give you another example of why we need modern animism. Culture matters. Many cultures believed that the skulls of the dead were important. We see evidence for this in the Catholics keeping the heads of saints as holy relics. The skull of Bran the Blessed guards the England to this day in the Tower of London. The head hunters of the Philippines kept skulls of their enemies so that the deceased would serve them in the afterlife. The Khmer display stupas of the skulls of victims of genocide. Although they were violently slaughtered, these are the bones of the ancestors and are meant to be revered.

Would you do this? Most of us wouldn’t. We have different relationships with life and death, so it may not be a heartfelt reflection of who we are now. There are many practices that don’t work well in the western world.

Modern Animism is Respectful

We have destroyed many animist cultures through war and religion. We continue to destroy them by buying and selling spirituality, participating in spiritual tourism, destroying their homelands, and setting ourselves up as experts and spreading misinformation. Adopting modern animism puts a stop to those practices. We can borrow ideas and traditions from native animists, but we shape them to our modern life and call them by their right names. We don’t pass off X as “authentic” or something that it is not.

Our indigenous brothers are our teachers. We learn from them without stealing from them. Nature is our home. We enjoy her and live from her without exploiting her. Each face we see is a reflection of ourselves. In this way, we learn to live in Oneness, respect, and equality.

Modern Animism is Holistic

When we talk about people, crime, the weather, animals, prayer, divination, cooking, medicine – anything – it’s all spiritual. Life is holistic. You can’t say where the mind, body, or spirit begin and end. It’s continuous and indivisible. A holistic spiritual practice shows up in road rage, how you spend your money and time, how you take care of your body, and how you treat others. It teaches you how to be your best self, live in community, and live with a toe in the past, while in the present, and having an eye for the future.

We Live in the Now

For better or worse, we live here now. We can’t go back. We can’t be our ancestors. Neither can we be adopt an ethnicity or cultural history that is not our own. Authenticity means embracing who we are, where we are. We forgive the trespasses we perpetrated and received. We illuminate our blind spots so that we can keep growing and contribute something. Our lives are conscious expressions of our highest and best selves. When we wobble, we make amends, and keep going.

We’re Culturally Mixed

Have you done 23andme? I don’t think it’s much of a surprised that we’re all mixed. Even the most culturally isolated people aren’t “pure.” (Trust me, I was really surprised by my mom’s DNA). This means we have ancestors from many, many different traditions. Which ones are you going to honor? Are you going to follow the traditions of the ones that go back 200 years or 2000? Are the ones on your dad’s dad’s line more to your liking or you mom’s dad? How do you choose? With modern animism, you don’t have to choose. You can be you and honor them all. You don’t have to deny part of who you are because your family tree has some bad apples or some ancestors who look different from you. Just be you.

It Reconnect Us to Nature

Pan Society is not a revealed religion. In revealed religions, God tells his wishes to one person who then has to tell everyone else. That’s law for all time. Some people are included and some are not. It’s a very us vs. them way to approach life.

That’s not us. We are a Nature religion. Everyone has the same opportunity to connect and learn. All you have to do is open your heart and eyes and pay attention. There is air to breathe, food to eat, places  to shelter, and teachers in abundance. Everything you need is available. Everyone is of equal value. As life evolves, Nature evolves and we change to adapt. It’s a beautiful, elegant system that teaches us to trust in the wheel of life.

People Need a Tribe

For so long many people were persecuted for having different lifestyles, skin colors, religious belief, healing practices, or for just being different. They chose solitary living and authenticity over going with the flow. Today we don’t have to do that. Today we have a place for all people who believe everything is spiritual. It’s Pan Society. That’s why we were created. To be authentic, share that with others, give others space to share and be seen, and grow together. Together we can create a new animism that is a reflection of modern times. We can use the animist past of our ancestors as a spring board to a new, connected, peaceful, respectful future.

That’s my vision of modern animism. What’s yours?

Celebrating the Feast of Transformation

feast of transformation

All Pan Society holy days are connected with the natural world – particularly the sun. The Feast of Transformation is an agricultural holy day that marks the beginning of the harvest season. It’s time to reap what we have sown. Indeed, the feast is a reaping of the hard work that went into planting this year’s crops. It is made up of seasonal, fresh foods from this year’s plantings. Wild foods are also a great way to symbolize the Earth’s natural fertility.

This time of year is often the hottest, but we already see that night comes on earlier. We’re at the halfway point of the sun’s reign on earth. His power wanes. The death of the sun is but a short time away.

The “transformation” is a recognition of the need for sacrifice. Something has to end so that something else can begin. Or to put it another way, it’s a time of death and rebirth. The wheat that we harvest must be cut down so we can make bread. The seeds are collected so they can be sown again next year and be reborn.

The Feast of Transformation is also a fire festival. The Promise of Spring starts the fire festival season with a small hearth fire. May Day and the Summer Solstice also feature fires, but the Feast of Transformation is the biggest. The harvest demonstrates the sun’s victory over the cold, wet, windy weather of winter. Life can continue for one more season. This is cause to celebrate. How?

Feasting, of course. Dancing, music, bonfires or light of any kind. Fairs, festivals. Sports and games. Community fun. Masculine energy and activities are the focus of this time of year. Too soon the cold weather will come and we’ll slide into quiet, dark, solitary time. And this is the way the wheel of life rolls. The sun must decline. Rest will come after the harvest, but today we party!

How can you observe this holy day? Here are some ideas:

  • Go to a local “pick your own” farm and harvest some of the season’s fresh food.
  • Eat wild or local foods.
  • Contemplate how the waning sun and masculine energy is happening in your life.
  • Journal on what you are reaping. Is it what you anticipated? Is it what you wanted?
  • Journal on what you need to sacrifice to get what you want.
  • Dance.
  • Attend a bonfire.
  • Create an altar of lights or candles.
  • Participate in games.
  • Attend a local fair.
  • Create a ritual that includes gratitude for the Earth’s continued fertility.
  • Create a ritual that celebrates the marriage of the Earth and Sun.
  • Meditate on the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth.

Six Ways that Mung Beans Boost Your Health

bean sprouts

I’m always quoting Hippocrates. “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food.” Choosing healthy foods slowly nourishes your body and keeps it looking and feeling good throughout your life. Some food pack a great punch, giving you more bang for your buck. Mung beans are definitely a great example of that. So let’s look at the ways that mung bean sprouts boost your health.

Aids in Weight Loss

Mung beans help with weight loss in a variety of ways. They are low in calories. They are high in fiber which can make you feel fuller and eat less. This fiber has the added benefit of reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes often add mung beans to their diet. Mung beans are a mild diuretic. That helps to reduce excess water weight. To boost the anti-diuretic action, use the beans in food and add cumin, parsley, coriander, fennel, and celery. In other words, try an Indian dish!

Helps to Detoxify the Body

Mung beans are used in Ayurvedic medicine to help detoxify the body. If you are experiencing bloating, fatigue, a white coating on your tongue, or in frequent or hard bowel movements, you could benefit from a cleanse. The best way to do this is with kitchari, which is a blend of mung beans and spices. You eat this with your food for at least ten days while avoiding alcohol, sugar, cold foods, and processed foods. This is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

Anti-aging Properties

Mung beans are high in copper. This keeps the skin looking wrinkle free and hair and nails strong and healthy. If you have heard the saying, “Black don’t crack,” this could be why. Mung beans are regularly consumed in places where people have melanin. So, it might not be the melanin, but the diet.

Strengthens Bones

Mung beans are high in calcium and Vitamin C. This helps to keep bones strong. This is especially important for older people, athletes, and those who drink sodas.

Keeps Gums Strong

If your gums aren’t strong, your teeth are vulnerable to disease. Mung beans contain sodium that the body needs to maintain gum health. If you have pain, bleeding while brushing, or a foul mouth odor, you could need sodium.

Keeps Eyes Healthy

Mung beans are loaded with vision promoting vitamins. They can help keep the retina flexible and adaptable.

Mung beans are packed with health benefits. These six are just a teaser to get you interested in natural medicine in general and mung beans in particular. Most people sprout the beans because in this stage of growth, the plant has many more health benefits.

If you choose to sprout your beans, be careful of bacteria growth! You can get sick if your plants get moldy. Also take it easy. You can also overdo a good thing and take away the health benefits. If you want to play it safe, just use mung bean paste in your food as a thickener or add it to smooties.  Or just go here where you can find lots of recipes to help you add mung beans to your diet.

Ethics in Divination

ethics in divination

If you engage in divination- either as the practitioner or client- you have to consider ethics. Ethics? In divination? Yes, ethics always play a role in every aspect of life.

Before we can talk about that, let’s first define divination. For most people, divination means the practice of seeking information from supernatural means. For some animists (like me), it means looking to the natural world for information. If you see everything as natural, then there can be no supernatural. How we define this will play a part in where you draw the line.

No Hidden Fees

Some say that divination is a spiritual practice. Some believe that psychic ability comes from God. Many believe that spiritual services are not for sale. If you are one of them, charging for readings is unethical. Charing really high fees (like some famous psychics and mediums- and even not-so-famous ones), might also be considered unethical. While everything in Nature requires reciprocity to keep the energy going around, what is given and received needs to be in balance. Whether you charge fees or not, there should never be any hidden fees. The client should always know what the fees are and be in agreement with that before services begin.

Pan Society is offering divination services as a means to fund our church. Our readers set their own fee. We get a percentage of sales in return for hosting and managing the website. As with many ethical issues, there isn’t always a clear right or wrong way to see it.

Honoring Confidentiality

Whether you have the Sight or are peeking over the fence to get information about someone, it’s a violation of Sovereignty to look where you are not invited. It’s also a sacred trust to keep confidential everything that is shared. That’s not a grey area at all. For example, I don’t answer questions about people who are not present. I only read for the person who is in front of me. ALL information is always confidential.

Telling the Truth

Whether you’re sharing your credentials or giving someone guidance, you always have to tell the truth. It might be hard for someone to hear bad news, but you can’t sugar coat it. You might ask if they want to hear it, but you can neither overstate nor understate anything. Making up stories to make someone feel good is also way out of line. Of course, if you don’t know, it’s okay to say you don’t know. Nobody is “on” 100% of the time.

Keeping the Client’s Welfare in Mind

People usually go to a reader because they are having problems. Sometimes they are even having crises. Preying on them make more money is wrong. For example, telling someone there is a curse on them and you will remove it for $1000 is wrong. (Yes, this happens!) Encouraging them to rely on you is wrong. Lying to them is wrong. Compassion and respect is always right.

Encouraging Sovereignty

Lots of times people go to readers because they want someone to tell them what to do. This can be a seductive trap if the reader likes admiration and wants to be appreciated. However, a good reader practices healthy boundaries and only helps the client to make her own decisions. She never tells you what to do. She respects the client’s point of view.

Works Within Her Skill Set

Nobody can help everyone. Sometimes clients need to see someone else. Maybe because it’s just not clicking today. Or sometimes the client and helper won’t ever work. Or it could be that that client needs a doctor, therapist, or lawyer. An ethical reader will refer you on to the person who can help you.

Respect

In all circumstances, our fellow creatures deserve respect. Going into an intuitive counseling session is no different. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, or sexual orientation, all people shall be respected.

If you have any questions about ethics in divination, leave us a comment. Let’s talk. By being open about things, we can avoid issues and encourage understanding.

How Can You Believe in a Vengeful God?

vengeful god

We ask for questions, we’ve got them! The most recent one comes from a Christian. He wants to know “How can you believe in a vengeful God?” He specifically talks about God sending people to burn in a pit of fire for eternity for either sinning or not believing in him. If you have this question too, read on.

First I want to say that questions regarding Christianity are best answered by Christians. When someone outside of animism speaks for animism, their reply is tainted by outsider bias. We all have it. We can only understand what we know from our own experience. When we interpret things that have a different context, our own experiences color our interpretations. So, if you have questions about Christianity, animism, Judaism, or any -ism, you will most likely get an answer that fits your world view if you ask someone from that culture.

Now let’s look at this idea of gods in general. Gods exist to help humans navigate the unknown. We know that there are things mightier than we are. We know that some things are mysterious and unknown. Some things defy explanation. Surrendering to the gods and asking for their help when we encounter these things gives us hope. It gives us a way to get through life without fear. In return for this help, we give the gods our devotion, prayers, and sacrifices. Life is always reciprocal. We don’t come empty handed to the altar and expect presents from Santa Claus.

When we don’t have this exchange of energy, the relationship dries up. If the gods ask too much of us and don’t give back, we stop believing and praying. When the culture changes and we expand our ideas, we may find things that used to be mysterious are now commonplace. So, we don’t have a need for those gods anymore. Or we place our faith in another “god” such as medicine.

So religion isn’t a static thing. It grows and changes with culture and society. Religions that require strict adherence to ideas that were created for a set time, place, and culture often fail to thrive. This is especially true now when the world is so connected and it’s hard to live in isolation from other ideas and cultures.

One of the ways that religions deal with this is through fear and control. If my god is powerful enough to destroy you, you’d better watch out and obey! If my god gives society laws, it’s for control. Now pro-social behaviors are a good thing. They encourage positive interactions and the survival of society. When they become too rigid, they are no longer helpful.

Gods show us how to live. They are reflections of our society. A vengeful god is not the most loving example. It’s an example of authoritarianism – my way or the highway! Threats of ostracism aren’t things that many modern people support because we know the pain of guilt, shame, and isolation. We prefer acceptance of diversity and compassion towards others who are perfect. We’ve seen destrution, war, trauma, and terror and don’t want that from our gods. That’s why many people are asking “How can you believe in a vengeful God?” It’s why many people can’t tolerate this in their gods anymore.

That’s my take on it. Remember I am not a Christian. There are many other ways to think about this. Feel free to take or leave anything here that helps you figure out your truth. You can also leave a comment on your perspective. Sharing helps us to all grow.

Comparing Panism to “Spiritual Not Religious”

spiritual not religious

I often get the question, “What’s the difference between Pan Society and Spiritual Not Religious?” We have more in common than differences, however, here is a break down of what I see. These are generalizations because groups value individuality. So there is a lot of diversity in both.

Spiritual not religious tends to be a solo practice. Panist can also be solo practitioners, but since our path is Sovereignty, Connection, and Oneness, we provide lots of opportunities and methods for Panists to connect to other humans.

Spiritual not religious tends to be free flowing and without rules. At Pan Society, we also believe in no dogma. Everyone is free to have their own thoughts and beliefs. However, the belief that everything is alive, connected, and sacred gives some guidelines that promote values like open mindedness, respect, and love. Sovereignty also means that we don’t intrude on the rights, physical space, or practice of other people. We take responsibility for ourselves. Connection means we engage in fellowship with others. Consequently Panists are more likely to have something in common with other Panists.

Spiritual not religious tends to be unaffiliated. We created Pan Society so that spiritual people can be affiliated. We like connection and commonality while retaining our independence and individuality.

Spiritual not religious tends to focus on a holistic lifestyle and wellness. Pan Society does too. It reaches beyond the person to the plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms too, to give people a way to connect to the universe.

Individuals who are spiritual not religious can look very different from each other. Some may believe in God, crystal healing, ghosts, and plant medicine, while others do not. The same is true with Pan Society. The practice and beliefs of each person is a reflection of that person.

People in both groups may or may not actually go to church. They don’t feel that spirituality is restricted to a service, place, or ritual. Spirituality is found within and without. Pan Society offers moon circles and holy days for those who like fellowship.

The biggest difference is that at Pan Society, we are affiliated. We have loose guidelines and beliefs, but we do have something that creates a foundation. We have holy days so that we can all observe either alone or together. So, there is a community and structure. If you are looking for that in your spiritual expression and share our values, join us.

Fourteen Signs That You’re Having an Awakening

awakening

What does awakening look like? Would you know if it happened to you? If you are feeling a little loopy and are not sure what’s going on, you could be in the midst of an awakening. If you are feeling a little loopy and are not sure what’s going on, you could be in the midst of an awakening. Here are fourteen signs to let you know for sure.

Feeling Not Yourself

Remember what it felt like to fall in love for the first time? Things were awakening in you that you didn’t know existed? You had all these feelings? This confusion? That’s a bit like what this “not yourself” feeling feels like. Maybe you feel bits of your old self popping up mixed with something that you aren’t really sure what it is because it’s so new. This is the feeling of becoming. Things are stirred up. When they settle, you won’t be who you were. This might be painful. The key to getting to the other side is to become an observer. Be it. Feel it. Don’t act until the dust has settled.

Your Junk Becomes Painfully Obvious

A light is shined on all the junk that isn’t working for you. You can’t escape it. If you try, it becomes really painful. This could be about all the past hurts you hold onto. It could be about how you view yourself, others, or the world. Lots of people go through life blissfully blind. Awakening is an opportunity to wake up and make changes. It’s a chance to redo your life in a way that is functional, beautiful, and rejuvenating. Nobody gets a “get out of jail free” card. Seeing your junk is just the first step. You have to purge it to be free of it. You can’t give it to someone else. No cheating allowed.

People Don’t Fit Anymore

People are attracted to each other because of resonance or energy. We attract what we need. As we change, our needs change so naturally we won’t feel as comfortable with the same people. Even if your friends are on a spiritual journey, they may not evolve at the same speed or in the same way. So, you’re going to lose some folks. It’s normal,  natural, and healthy. If you resist this and hold on, you will find yourself feeling drained by these people. These relationships will become a burden instead of something that enriches you. It will slow your growth down. Let go of the people who no longer inspire you or fit in your life. It creates space for those who do. If you have to hold on to people (like family), change the way you view or relate to them so that the relationship is as least neutral if not healthy.

It Becomes Harder to Be Superficial or Fake

When you know what it feels like to be uniquely and truly you, it gets harder and harder to do anything else. It’s actually painful. The more separate you are from your authentic self, the more depressed you become. You may stop doing things you used to do with people you used to like because they no longer fit. It’s cool. This isn’t you anymore. Maybe it never was. Honor it. (This is easier if you have something that is you to replace it with so that the loss doesn’t leave a hole).

Your Awareness of The Outer World Increases

What awakens is the soul. This deepens your spirituality. Spirituality is about connection – not just to your own center, but to the universe. This means that your awareness of your outer world increases too. You may see injustice that you didn’t notice before. You may feel more moved by racism, animal cruelty, child abuse, inequality, or the rape of the environment. This probably will make you a better steward of your fellow man and the planet. It doesn’t necessarily mean you turn into an activist. It could just mean you spend your time and money differently. The individual expression of this varies from person to person.

You Begin to Value Freedom More Than Stuff

Once you have this feeling of authenticity and connection, everything else pales in comparison. You want this for others and demand it for yourself. You are more willing to give up titles, possessions, and even people to have it. Your judgment of others drops because  you “get” it. You get that life is not about possessions or holding on. It’s about living fully in this moment in the most authentic, alive way that you can. A light load makes that easier.

Feeling Deep Sadness

Mourning losses is normal. As you awaken, you begin to lose your sleeping self, your old habits, old desires, people, blocks, old ways of thinking, maybe your old body, and so much more. If you coped by ignoring things, all the things you didn’t feel will come up too. They are making space for what’s coming. Let yourself feel it. It’s a cleansing. Sometimes you will know exactly what you are feeling and why. Other times it will be a mystery. This is not a time for analyzing. Don’t worry about figuring it all out. Knowing won’t really matter. Just feel. It will end when it’s done.

You Need to Be the Best, Most Authentic Version of Yourself

Playing second fiddle, hiding, being unhealthy, and feeling stuck are no longer tolerable options. You get a “do or die” feeling that is unstoppable. You begin to value yourself and honor your body as a temple. So you eat better, exercise, and perhaps groom yourself with more care. You want your work to be meaningful. You live within your values. Continuous growth and self exploration are important because you value yourself. You know you have a purpose and you want to be the best that you can be to fulfill that purpose.

You “Get” That Life is Transient

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her leaf’s a flower
But only so an hour

… so said Robert Frost in “Nothing Gold Can Stay.” As you awaken, you start to get this. You understand that nothing stays the same. Not bliss, not pain. Life is like the weather. Hang out a moment and it will change. So you start to roll with the punches. This can give you unimaginable flexibility. It can release the need to control. So many of us fight to keep things stable and the same. Growth only happens when we’re challenged. Life only happens in motion. Awakening means you accept the cyclical flow of nature.

You Care More

Since you know you are connected to everything, you care more. You want to leave the world a better place than how you found it. Again, it doesn’t mean that you have to become an advocate or save lives. If you are a carpenter, that could mean that you make your work finer so that those who use it can enjoy it more. Or it could have nothing to do with your work. Maybe you just decide to grow your own organic food so that your body and the environment are cleaner. You could decide to support only companies that share your philosophies. You could support campaigns that champion your values. Perhaps you feel more compassionate towards animals and your fellow man. You understand your duty to protect the earth, air, and water and do your part.

You Care Less

The things that used to matter – family obligations, societal norms, religious guidelines, security, acknowledgement – are no longer as important as your inner compass. You don’t value outside expectations anymore. You don’t care for security as much because your priorities switch. If being you means you have to downsize your life, you’re willing. If being you means you have to step into the limelight and live large, you’re willing. You no longer want to be held to a false standard.

This caring less also extends to the outside world. You care less about judging others. You don’t get involved in gossip. Things that used to offend you don’t offend you anymore. Worrying and controlling things become a thing of the past. You just realize that those things aren’t important anymore.

You Become a Better Giver and Receiver

As your heart energy becomes healthier, you are able to give with an open hand. You have no expectation of the receiver. You just give to give. This makes you a better receiver too. Instead of saying, “Oh, you shouldn’t have” or feeling like you have to do something of equal value in return, you can just say, “Thank you.” This results in the universe sending more blessings your way. You can’t receive what you don’t feel you deserve. You can’t receive what you deny others. Being a better giver and receiver makes life flow with the generosity that you feel and express.

You Lose Your Fear

Most of our limitations come from fear. To live authentically, we have to give up our fear. We can take chances because we trust that the universe provides us with all we need. When we see adversity, we know that it is there to teach us and make us stronger. When we feel peace, we trust that it is real so we can relax into it. If we live small, simple lives, we see the beauty in it rather than seeing it as a function that we haven’t done enough or achieved enough. We know that we always have enough.

Happiness is the Reward

Many of these things sound painful or hard. If there were no reward, it would be. Fortunately awakening is blissful. When you are “in the zone,” you feel more alive and more yourself than ever before. You’re happier, more connected, inspired, productive, and creative. You flow. It is as it is meant to be. This is why we push through the painful birthing stage, that place of becoming – so that we can Be.

If you are reading this and thinking, “Jeez, that’s what awakening looks like? I am not very awake!” don’t worry. We’re all works in progress. Awakening often starts as a burst. Something acts as a catalyst to move us to extreme discomfort. To get out of that, we have to do something different. Or maybe something so good happens that we want to hold on to it, so we start to make changes to make that more possible.

However it starts, the act of becoming is never instantaneous. We’re only ever awake for a moment at a time. Since all things are in motion, we are ever changing. What we look like as a parent, lover, teacher, or artist is not the same from season to season. So just enjoy this season. Let loose the baggage and limitations so that you can be here now. It is enough.