Daily Practice for a Moon

Today is the new moon (with an eclipse, even, though it won’t be visible where I am) and also the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere–so it feels like a good time for beginnings. :) In fact, the Spring Equinox has always felt the most like a “new year” time to me, and it really gets me in the mood to reevaluate my routines and habits. In that spirit I’ve made an invitation in a few places online for people to join me in committing to a daily spiritual practice for the next full cycle of the moon.

The actual practice will be up to you; we all have our own traditions, our own needs, and our own altars to tend. It can be short and simple, or long and complex–my own will probably only take about five minutes, but I know that whenever I do it the energy of my whole day changes.

It’s also up to you how much you share about your practice. It’s nice to have the support of others sometimes, even when we are working alone, but our practices can also be intensely personal. But if you’d like to share, you can leave a comment here, or connect with me on Facebook (either personally or through the Temple’s FB page). You can also share this idea with your own circle of like-minded friends, and support each other in your own way!

A formal daily practice is not the only way to live a spiritual life, but it is one way to connect with our inner lives on a regular basis. And if you’ve been feeling disconnected from your spiritual life, a month of practice can be a good way to get those energies flowing again. I hope you’ll join me. :)

Bright and dark blessings,
Oraia Helene

yellow candle closer sm

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New Year’s Vectors

At the turn of a new calendar year, we are often invited to set our intentions for the coming year in the form of resolutions. In theory, our intentions set our direction, so this would seem to make sense—but in practice we often move in directions contrary to our stated intentions, which is one reason why resolutions are so often broken or abandoned not long into the year. What makes the most sense to me, then, is to periodically pause to examine our actions, and reset our course if necessary.

We could think of an action as a vector. In physics, vectors are quantities that have magnitude and direction. The classic example of this in the physical world is velocity. The magnitude of your velocity is your speed, but speed alone doesn’t tell the whole story: if you say your speed is 60 mph, I still have no idea where you’re going. But if you say your velocity is 60 mph due east, now we’re getting somewhere (so to speak). :)

Similarly, the actions we take in our lives have a direction and a magnitude of their own, though perhaps not as easily measured. There are large and small actions that take us varying “distances” from our starting point—these have different magnitudes. And there are actions that take us in different directions, moving us toward or away from different states of being. Vectors can add up over time, too, so that a series of small actions can take us a great distance, as long as they’re all pointed in (more or less) the same direction. But if instead we have some nebulous intention to go one way while our actions are carrying us another way, it’s like driving a car while looking out the window at some other destination: we’re making forward progress, but we’re not getting any closer to where we really want to go (and if we’re not paying attention to where we are going, we may not like the end result!).

But when we’re mindful, our intentions do set our direction. So while we may make resolutions on January 1, it’s also important to check in with them throughout the year and see if they are still guiding our actions. Because in the end what matters most is not what we intend, it’s what we do.

If I intend to be a writer, I must write.
If I intend to improve my fitness, I must exercise regularly.
If I intend to be more compassionate, I must actually show more compassion.

Intentions are abstract, in our heads, but the end results we aspire to are not. They are concrete and (hopefully) reachable states of being—and to reach them, even small action vectors will accomplish more than we might think, if they’re pointed in the right direction.

road ahead sm

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Is This Thing On?


It’s been a while. Sorry for that! I’ve had a lot that I’ve been trying to figure out, and that includes what kinds of things I want to write about here. I’m not sure I’ve got a definite answer yet, but I’ve at least got a few things in mind.

So, I’m back, and new developments are coming for this site. In the meantime, enjoy the winter holidays–and make sure to take some time to get outside and get some non-human contact as well.

In that spirit (and just because I can) here is a picture of a hungry porcupine. :)

pokey eating 2 smBright and dark blessings,
Oraia Helene

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Happy Fall!

autumn blessings sm

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Peace and Quiet

It’s been a busy week. Even though Monday was a holiday, the work week still seemed long, and I had a few more social engagements than usual. Those were fun, and I hope to repeat them, but in the end my week was just a bit lacking in my usual balance of “out” and “in.” (And as an introvert, I need a lot of “in”!)

So for this post I just want to share a little bit of the peace and “quiet” I enjoyed earlier in the week, when the frog chorus started up for the evening. Make sure your sound is turned on.  *grin*

(And if the embedded video doesn’t work for you, you can find it on YouTube here.)

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