River of Life Meditation

Find a comfortable place where you can relax and be completely quiet…relax…allow your thought snow to just come and go…come and go…and take a deep breath in and hold it…(pause)…now gather up the tension in your body, and release it as you exhale…take another deep breath, and as you exhale, let go of anybody else’s energy or thoughts you may be carrying….and breathe in new energy…breathe in new possibilities…and allow your body to fill with lightness…feel it becoming lighter and lighter as you relax more and more…relaxing deeply…going deeper…feeling very light now…so light you could almost float away……….

And as you relax, imagine a beautiful colored mist is swirling up around you, billowing up around you into a cushiony, soft, cloud of energy…and you are resting completely upon this cloud…and you are safe…as you breathe in and out, let your thoughts just come and go…relaxing more and more…and the cloud of energy now lifts you up into the air and carries your down into your own inner world…down between the boundaries of time and space…to a place of timeless beauty and infinite possibilities…floating down now, going deeper and deeper, leaving the outer world and its concerns far behind, as you drift and float on this beautiful cloud….going further and further down below you is a rock, a giant rock…and the cloud gently and effortlessly lands upon the rock and you step off it, as the cloud swirls back into a mist and disappears for now…

Stand upon this rock now, and feel the strength of it under your feet…and as you turn around, you look out upon a great river…flowing as far as you can see…seeming to come from some infinite place…and disappearing into an infinite place… a flowing, endless river of energy…this is the river of all life waters…all of life draws upon the life force that moves through its steaming currents… look closely at the water…what color is it? it may look like liquid light to you…look deeply into it, and sense the power and depth of the river…what sound does it make as it courses through its channels?…as you stand securely upon your rock, notice and fragrance …and bend down and cup your hands in the living water, and splash some of it on your face…feel the life giving force on your skin… take a sip of the water…allow the river of life to nourish you….

Now relax a moment upon the rock…and bring into your mind the magical intention that never seemed to go anywhere…what were you trying to accomplish?…what was the basic intention you had?…what was the emotion behind the intention?…feel the energy of that emotion moving onto the palms of your hands now…feel the energy glowing…pulsating…breathe and allow your intention that you’re still clinging to externalize…the energy of it is now shimmering, glowing…swirling into a sphere…allow all of your desire to flow into this sphere…and allow this sphere to appear to you however it appears…and just observe what you see…you may see pictures or symbols emerging within the sphere…whatever you see is fine…

When your sphere is completely filled with the last of your desire, emotion, and intention, hold it aloft…feel the power of it in your hands, a globe of power that you can now release…and look out into the river of life…watch as its currents of possibility flow for ever and ever – as far as you can see…and whenever you’re ready with as much and as little force as you need, throw the pulsating sphere into the river…and give this intention to the life force of this great river…watch as the sphere touches the water…and gradually disappears into the current…

Take a deep breath… as the sphere disappears the last of your intention and emotion and desire merges with the source of all life, from which it originally came…and leaves you…

Now complete any business here that you need to finish…take a few moments to enjoy the flowing river of life and know that the possibilities it nourishes can bring miracles into you life too…

Take another deep breath, and notice the colored mist is once again swirling around you…billowing up underneath you to form a beautiful cloud of cushiony energy, which is lifted up into the air, with you upon it…relaxing into the cloud you are returning the way you came…lifting up…up through time and space, coming back from the inner world…coming up… further and further…floating and drifting back…coming back…bringing you all the way back into your body now, into this room…brining your attention completely back into this time and place…take a deep breath and begin to re-orient yourself to the outer world…and when you’re ready, count to three…, and on the count of three open your eyes, and return feeling relaxed, alert and at peace.

As always, change any of the wording or images in this meditation if it suits your purpose better. The important part is just to finally and completely let go of your intention, so that the energy can be recycled in whatever form the creative force and your own consciousness will allow. Out of this release, new lives, new opportunities, and new magical opportunities are born.


Meditation for Beginners

There are many ways to meditate. They all seem to lead to the same place, so find one that suits you. Here I describe a classic meditation that is simple and easy.

Mantras: A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated to yourself. It could be spoken aloud, as a chant, or silently, as in meditation. Many people think that the best mantras are sounds which have no clear meaning, and are used as a way of displacing your usual thoughts and moving your awareness inward. There are many mantras ranging from words taken from Hindu Sanskrit to Christian scripture (especially when “saying the rosary,” where the repetition of the prayer is meditative). If you do not already know of a good mantra to use I suggest you use “hamsa.” This is a natural mantra, being the sound that one makes when breathing, with “ham” (h-ah-m) on inhalation and “sa” (s-ah) on exhalation.

Directions for the hamsa meditation:
a.. Sit comfortably. A quiet place is preferred, but not required.
b.. Close your eyes. Breathe naturally. Sit for about one minute before you begin thinking the mantra to allow your heart and breathing to slow.
c.. Gently bring your attention to your breath and begin to think the mantra, gently and easily. Just let it come, don’t force it. Think “ham” on the inhale and “sa” on the exhale. Allow yourself to be absorbed in it.
d.. Allow your thoughts and feelings to come and go with detachment. Don’t try to control them in any way. Just note them, and when you realize that you are not repeating the mantra, gently return to the mantra. Do not try to force yourself to think the mantra to the exclusion of all other thoughts. You may experience a deep state of relaxation but it is OK if you don’t.
e.. Meditate in this way for 20 minutes (children for less time).
f.. When done, take about a minute to slowly return to normal awareness. Be gentle with yourself when opening your eyes or coming to stand after a meditation. It isn’t good for your heart to get up quickly after the state of deep rest that is often a result of meditation. Note: It is OK to glance at a clock to time the meditation.
**Don’t use an alarm timer.**

I have found the following techniques deepen my experience. You will certainly find your own as well. These techniques are secondary and may be omitted entirely or added later:

a.. Keep your spine straight, head balanced on your cervical column.
b.. Many people like to pray or do visualization after meditating, while still in an altered state. Some teachers of meditation are opposed to this practice while others advocate it. I suggest to do it if it feels right to you. I do.
c.. As a “pre-meditation” preparation, bring your attention to the physical act of breathing. breathe naturally and, with each cyle of the breath, bring your attention to a different part of your body, paying attention to the changes there as a result of the breathing: the rising and falling of the chest; the movement of your belly; the sensation of the air entering and leaving the nostrils; can you feel any movement of your kidney area? How about your pelvis- do you feel your pelvis tilt at all when you breathe? What do you do between breaths? Is there a pause? If you don’t feel these things it is OK, just consider them, one at a time, and move on. (This can also serve as a short “centering” meditation that can be done while waiting for a stoplight to change, or as a short work or study break.)
During meditation your business is simple awareness, nothing else. It is a time to connect to your inner Source and let go of the things and roles we get caught up in: work, parenting, concerns and responsibilities. It may be that your meditation is peaceful, or it may be fretful and full of obsessive thought. Regardless, daily meditation will have a positive effect on your life.

Benefits of Meditation: The benefits are unique for each person, but both physiological and psychological balancing is common. Some of the benefits of meditation will be realized quickly, and others over many months, so don’t be discouraged.

When to Meditate: I recommend that a person meditate twice a day. Before breakfast and before dinner are ideal. (The digestive system often shuts down during meditation, so a full stomach may result in indigestion. ) Remember, whatever happens is OK. It’s OK to fall asleep or to not become relaxed, OK to laugh or cry, OK to be, or not to be, in an altered state, OK if the mantra doesn’t follow the breath as I have suggested, or even goes away altogether. What is important is that you have an *intention* to think the mantra during your meditation. In short, don’t try to control it! For 20 minutes, twice a day, JUST BE!

Questions and comments: The most common question I get when I teach someone to meditate is “What do you mean by “think the mantra gently and easily”?’ My best answer is an analogy. When you read you take the effort to look at the page, to focus on the page and the words. And you *intend* to discern the meaning of the words. That is usually enough and the meaning comes without much effort, yet there is *some* effort involved. Thinking the mantra is similar in that you direct a similar level of effort (which is very little, yet it is there) toward thinking the mantra. You do *not* force yourself, brow furrowed, to think the mantra to the exclusion of all else. Just let it come, and if that is not enough, then encourage your mind to think it with a small effort.

If you are tired when you meditate you may fall asleep. Regardless, do not use meditation as a sleep aid. If you have insomnia, just meditate during the day and the insomnia will probably take care of itself.

“Sitting comfortably” to meditate does not mean cross-legged. If that is comfortable for you, you can meditate in that position. However, sitting with your feet flat on the floor, erect but comfortable in a chair, is just as good. Don’t lie down.

I suggest that you re-read this occasionally, it contains lots of information.

Pagan Prayer Beads

Since the rosary is a prayer ritual dedicated to the Blessed Mother, it has been a no-brainer to former Catholics to redefine either the rosary itself or similar concepts of prayers to the Goddess using prayer beads.

Repetition was the earliest from of prayer. And prayer beads (or ropes) have not been exclusive to Catholics, many religions have used prayer beads. Many numbers of beads have been used in these including 150, 100, 81, 50 or 33 beads.

Tibetan Malas (Buddhist, Hindu) prayer beads usually number 108 but can be as many as 111, the Bahai use 95, 72 for Greeks and Cabalists and Islam uses 99.

Some Pagan prayer beads are dedicated to the three faces of the goddess, maiden, mother and crone. The number of beads varies but one favorite is three sets of 13 (which totals 39 which, when worked out in numerology to equal 3+9=12 which then reduces to 1+2= 3 – 3 being the number of the triple goddess.) Plus thirteen is the traditional number of a coven.

The most common colors for the Triple Goddess prayer beads are 13 white (or crystal) beads (maiden), 13 red beads (mother) and 13 black beads (crone). Prayers or chants are then repeated on each bead appropriate to that aspect of the goddess. Some put 3 large silver beads between each set of 13 beads and these can be used to meditate on some aspect of the goddess (often smaller separator beads are used to separate the larger beads and not used for prayer). Often the ends of the strand are tied together where an appropriate pendant or tassel is tied on the end.

There are beautiful ones made of 3 sets of 13 blue or purple prayer beds with white pearls used as separators and 3 crystal beads between those as meditations beads. For one color strands…this combination of a color, pearls or silver beads has endless variations. One can make them dedicated to one of the elements, choose birthstones or simply make it out of crystal beads.

There is a 13 bead +3 type of prayer string dedicated to the phases of the moon. The colors chosen were crystal for the First Crescent (Maiden), white for the Bright Moon (Mother) and black for the Dark Moon (Crone). It ends with a silky black tassel and is quite striking in its simplicity.

There are also expensive and breathtakingly beautiful sets in the three favorite colors of amber, 13 amber (gold colored for the maiden), 13 cherry or cognac (for the mother), and 13 green (for the crone) with small pearls used as separators and large Jet beads for the meditation beads. Amber and Jet are the traditional stones of a Wiccan High Priestess (who follows the tradition of having no metal in circle.) Amber, pearl and jet are all organic stones. Amber is fossilized tree sap, pearls are oyster excretions around sand, and jet is fossilized trees. The pendant was a large piece of green amber.

When making your own prayer beads you may chose not to use the standard white, red, black colors. Be creative and choose colors that may be more personal to you and possibly even to your training or degree if a priest or priestess.

There are two great earth representatives of the Goddess being the earth and the sea. You can associate the colors green with earth and blue with the ocean. Use white for the sky representation of the goddess – the moon. So, white for the maiden (also the color of so many maiden goddesses representing the full moon), blue for the mother (the ocean which gave birth to all life) and green for the matron (crone) also the color of north, death, the ancestors and sage wisdom. Your choice for the beads may include snow quartz, sodalite and malachite.

You can decide what colors and prayers are most appropriate for you, using those symbols and words that evoke the most sincere or focused attention on the goddess as you see her…which is the primary purpose of Pagan Prayer Beads after all.

Simple Centering

Sit any way that you feel comfy, so long as your spine is straight. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take very long and very deep breaths through your nose.

Each time you breathe in, hold it for 2 or 3 seconds and then slowly exhale. Continue this breathing until you feel very calm and peaceful. This usually takes 3-5 minutes ( but that is just me).

Take as long as you need. It is different for everyone. Just go at your own pace. You can also use sound to center yourself. Just sit quietly and ring a small bell or chimes, or use a Tibetan singing bowl. Focus on the soft sound and breathe deeply. Keep making the noise until you feel centered.


Candle Meditation

Candle colours are the basic colours associated with the Chakras. They can be used to enhance any meditation and bring well-being in the areas associated with their colour. Choose a meditation and burn the candle of your chosen colour while focusing upon the properties associated with that colour.

For higher awareness, protection (from the material plane). Used for Centrring yourself because your not distracted by colour; Used most often in Meditation for inner peace, Spirituality, and attaining a higher power.

Used to visualize greater intellect and will. Good when concentrating on creative endeavours. Said to increase psychic awareness and clairvoyance. When trying to expand your imagination, this is a good colour to concentrate with.

Used when you are concentrating on finding prosperity, money, and attracting wealth to yourself. Also used by some when they want to concentrate on getting married, have a time of good fortune or getting pregnant.

Used when visualizing more Creativity in sex. It is a stimulating colour and related to healing energies. This is healing for sudden losses or changes.

Used to concentrate on health, self-expression, peace and tranquillity; and greater understanding of those around you.

Used to stimulate extra-ordinary awareness (psychic powers); Comfort that this has been a colour associated with Dignity, Spirituality, and Success it’s vibrancy attract people to it.

Electric in nature, the colour is said to increase intuition, Meditation Ability, Spirituality, It is the colour of power.

For finding a pure, gentle, unconditional love and now. Also used when concentrating on Spiritual Healing

For love, especially sexual in nature also used to concentrate on being a woman, Emotions of Love, Romance, and a true shared Spiritual Awakening.

Colour with black added brings a darker shade and both the protection of black with the colour symbolism. Colour with white added and brings with it both the colour symbolism and the white purity and protection from corruption.

Springtime Meadow Meditation

With eyes closed and breathing deep and even:

Take yourself to a spring meadow
Look at all the colours around you, feel the greenery
You feel warm under the gentle spring sun
Hear the birds song
Smell the fresh grass, run your fingertips across the grasses
Catch the scent of wild flowers
Find a spot to lie in the long grasses and admire the sky
Relax, stretch out all your limbs
Breathe in with all of your senses
Let your spirit be infused with these elements
You feel content with the earth
You are peaceful and happy
Recharged with energy, you breathe in and out in long deep breaths
Feel the energy course through you
You are cleansed and ready to face the rest of your day.

Power of the Sea Meditation

Clear your mind, have no distractions around you. Close your eyes and breathe deep:
Listen to the gentle waves
Calmness is within you
See how the sunlight glints and plays on the waves
Look far out to sea, as far as the horizon takes you
Feel the breeze, let it inside with a deep breath Feel the soft sand between your toes
Sit in the warm sand
Allow the oceans power inside – breathe deeply and slowly in time with the waves
See the white curl on the crest of the wave
You are breathing with the ocean
Feel its force and its gentleness as one
The waves rhythmic lull fill your senses
You are calmed and rested