Nine Pagan Virtues: Wisdom

012015wisdom_timThe dictionary defines WISDOM as …

the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise

Personally, I find WISDOM hard to define. Not only because it encompasses so much, but because what it means can vary from one person to another. When we look at WISDOM as something one gains through life experiences then that can mean different things from one person to the next.

Your life experiences may not be the same as my life experiences. It is very rare to find one person who has similar life experiences to another person. The things that I have had happen in my life that have helped to shape me, the things that I have gone through in my life and have grown from, will be different than those of your own life experience.

So experiences and what we learn about life can be so varied. We all have so much to learn from each other. Through sharing our own personal WISDOM we can use good judgement in how we treat each other and the world around us. Hopefully, for the best.

I have always believed that it is very important, that in life, first and foremost, we are always students. We have so much to learn about our world, from each other, and that is always changing. I think once we stop trying to learn then we become stagnant and stuck. So WISDOM can be ever changing. As we learn, what we think we know either grows or shifts. As we live through new life experiences, our WISDOM can grow and shift.

And as Aristotle said …

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

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Ban the Bag

 

Plastic shopping bags often find their way into our oceans. Marine life mistake these bags for food (sea turtles think the bags are jellyfish) and will die choking on them. You can help keep plastic bags out of the ocean and help protect not only the ocean but the planet by carrying reusable bags always for shopping and other purchases/uses. Leave one or two in your car, so you always have them on hand. Here’s some facts on plastic bags and how they are impacting our Oceans! Ban the bag! 
  • Americans use more than 100 billion plastic bags each year, thats more than 300 bags per person per year.
  • Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but a single plastic bag has a life expectancy of up to 1,000 years.
  •  High amounts of plastic material, especially plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles.
  • 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based waste, and the most direct route to the Great Atlantic Garbage patch is from the east coast of the US.
  • Retail businesses spend more than $4 billion per year to provide plastic bags.

Stop Single Use Paper Products

 

Reduce the amount of trash you create by replacing single use paper towels with reusable cloth napkins, sponges and towels. I like to use cloth napkins for meals, and keep a sponge for cleaning surfaces. Each item can be reused multiple times, there for reducing the amount of trash created. It’s a simple solution for a BIG problem.

Crush Plastic

I recently came across a great article on the website One Green Planet with some great information on how plastics damage the oceans and marine life. The article also included some great inforgraphics that I thought I’d share, with some tips on how you can reduce the plastics being found in our oceans. It takes a little more than recycling, as the article states that more than 85% of plastics are never actually recycled. That’s a pretty shocking statistic. Take a few small and easy steps to reduce the amount of plastic you use. You can read the full article here
Carry a reusable water bottle made of glass or other materials instead of buying single use plastic water bottles. Bring your own reusable coffee cups to work or in the car. I love my Starbucks drinks and use their reusable mugs and cold cups. As a bonus, they have reusable straws for the cups as well.
Bring cloth bags on all your shopping trips. Use reusable cloth bags instead of the plastic ones. I like to keep a few in my car at all times, to have them on hand for those impromptu stops at the store.
Try using solid shampoos and conditioners to reduce the amount of plastic shampoo bottles that wind up in our oceans. Lush has some great ones and you dont need any container to hold them in.
I think this one is the most shocking to me. The amount of straws we use that then wind up in the oceans. And its so simple to stop this one. Just dont use straws, drink out of glasses without them, or as I mentioned buy the reusable cold cups with the reusable straws from companies like Starbucks. At restaurants avoid using the straws and tell your server to not bring them to the table.
If you tend to eat at places that offer plastic cutlery, bring your own set of stainless steel ones. Keep a set in your car to always have on hand
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Mermaid Magic

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If you are familiar with Sea or Water Witchcraft, you will know that this is someone who works with the powers of the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, canals, or basically any body of water. I won’t go into that too much because that is a whole other blog post (possibly coming soon). However, I do want to talk about how Mermaids and Mermaid Magic relate to this. What is Mermaid Magic?

Depths of Emotion

Mermaid Magic works with the depths of emotion. As the Mermaid lives within the depths of the oceans and seas they are a great representation of the depths of our emotions. As one would explore the deep blue seas it is important to explore our emotions and what comes up for us in emotional times.

This includes the deeper and darker emotions that we often bottle up. This also incorporates being able to take a look at our shadow shelf. The side of our self that we often hide from others. The side of ourselves that is not bright and bubbly, but represents the darker side of our personality. Taking a look at your shadow self and the depths of your emotions should help you to get clear on things that are on your path that are no longer serving you. Where do you find negative emotions that are a block for you to creating the life you desire?

Mirrors and Looking Within

As the ocean is a reflective surface, it can represent or be represented in or by mirrors. The ocean can be a very reflective place. Take time near the shoreline to look within. This reflective part of the ocean can also be used for scrying.

Sit in meditation at the shoreline. Bring your awareness to your breath and begin to deepen and slow the breath. When you feel centered and grounded, take time to stare into the reflective surface of the ocean. Take notice of any visions that may appear in the water, or anything else that comes up for you. You may not get visions but can also receive messages in the way of a feeling. You can also use some ocean water in a bowl for scrying this way.

Play

Mermaids often represent a playful side of ourselves. Mermaids are depicted swimming intently through the waters, splashing about, etc. They are a great reminder to not take life so seriously and that we must make time to play and have fun.

When available, take time to swim in a natural body of water (oceans, lakes, etc.). If you can teach yourself to swim with a mermaid tail on, even better! Water can be very healing and spending time in the water can help to heal and works deeply with balancing the Sacral Chakra.

Beauty and Sensuality

It is rare to see a mermaid depicted as a hag or a gross looking creature. Our usual idea of a mermaid is a beautiful creature that is seductive in their nature. Mermaids remind us to explore our own sensuality and sexuality. Remember that we are a sexual being and sexual energy is a great catalyst for magic.

This is also a reminder to take care of ourselves through ritual baths and other beauty treatments. Make these treatments a sensual experience. Add sea salt, essential oils, herbs and flowers to your baths. Make bathing a calming ritual that can be a meditative experience, as opposed to something we just do to get ourselves clean.

Feminine and Masculine Energies

Mermaids remind us to examine and take care of our feminine energies. For women, it is a reminder to explore your femininity. In whatever way that is for you. For men, it is a reminder to balance the feminine and masculine energies that we all have.

Every being has both feminine and masculine halves or ourselves. Mermaids are a wonderful reminder to look for ways to keep these energies balanced.

The Element of Water

Obviously, the element of water is a huge part of Mermaid Magic. In rituals or spells we can use water to aid our work, it can be a catalyst for our work or even the inspiration for our work. Water is vital to life. Every living being from humans to plants, needs water to not only survive but to thrive. Water can be used in magic for cleansing, healing, fertility, and love. The Mermaids can be called in to assist in the use of the element of water in magic and spells.

As water is the home of Mermaids and other water spirits, we must work to protect our oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, etc. Do not add anything to bodies of water that can be polluting or harmful. Take from them only what you are offered and leave nothing behind. Give money to conservation charities, participate in beach clean ups and become a warrior to stand up and protect our waters.

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If you think of any other ways that one can harness the magic of the mermaids please leave a comment below. I will continue on this theme in a future post.

Thank you and blessed be.