Welcome to the 2010 Pagan Summer Camp!
These summer camp threads started when members of the MDC pagan circle realized that they were missing out on the summer camp fun! The summer seems to be filled with camps where individuals explore religious/spiritual topics through crafting and contests and community... so why not a pagan summer camp?
If you're curious about past camps, please check out 2007 and 2008, and 2009. In general, Pagan Summer Camp threads are hosted on a different topic each year and focus on a different portion of that topic each week... you do have to supply your own canoe, s'mores, and sleeping bag but hopefully you'll enjoy the camp community even without the group campfire sing.
Soooo... what is the topic for Pagan Summer Camp 2010? drumroll please....
DO IT NOW!
We all want to save the world, have a beautiful organized home, raise a healthy & happy family, enjoy a holistic lifestyle, eat only wholesome local organic happy food, balance work and school and home with ease, have a supportive social life, a passionate love life, be at the perfect weight, live a deeply spiritual and ethical life, and do it all on a budget while saving for emergencies.
But...well... it's possible that most of us don't have this life.
We look around at the pollution attacking the earth and the sea and the sky, we stand on a scale or wait for another job interview or dread the mailbox or step on the tenth lego in as many minutes, and we throw our hands up in despair. (Or in my case, I throw my hands up in despair and then look for ice cream) The hurdles just seem too high, it's too hard, it wont happen.
In the past month though, the universe has been pounding on my door and shouting "baby steps! just do it!" through the window. Every little thing counts. Every step, every thought, every hope, every dream! Start small... start smaller than small! It adds up. A woven cloth is just one thread...after another thread...after another thread. Any single thread is small enough to vanish into the rug without a trace (until found and swallowed by the baby of course) but when you keep laying them, one next to the other, almost before you know it the fabric is flowing off the loom...
The trick is to start small, feel successful, and keep going! Make it a habit. Don't worry about oil in the gulf... just go outside, right now, and say THANK YOU (out loud! your neighbors and co-workers probably think you're a bit odd anyway ) to the sky above you and the earth beneath you. And then look around... is there a piece of litter you could pick up RIGHT NOW? Could you fetch a cup of water to pour on a dried out plant RIGHT NOW? Is there a person driving you to distraction that you could smile at RIGHT NOW? Could you jot a quick haiku or smily face on your hand with a pen RIGHT NOW to bring a breath of beauty and inspiration or at least silliness to your day? And about the gulf... did you know your local, state, and federal representatives all have websites with "contact me" forms? It takes less than 5 minutes to fill that out and send it off, voicing your concern and your trust that they will speak for you on this issue. You just have to do it. Now. You're on the computer already!
Just do it. Do it now.
The goal of Pagan Summer Camp 2010 is to offer tips, tricks, ideas, crafts, songs, poems, promises, support (and possibly chocolate and posh coffee drinks) to help us all build daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal habits of ACTIVE INVOLVED ENGAGED PRACTICAL hope and health rooted in our Pagan spirituality. Pagans dream with the earth, the sea, the sky. Pagans walk with spirits great and small. But we need to turn those dreams into realities one moment at a time, and turn that walk into a physical act. We need to DO IT NOW! And, of course, we need to have fun doing it! So welcome to Camp!
WEEK ONE AND WELL BEGUN!
Grab your backpacks, tie your shoes, make sure to pack a snack... this week we explore Personal Practice. How (and why and when and with what) to build a daily devotional from a pagan perspective. I have a ton of ideas, book suggestions, crafts, and tips to share and I can't wait to hear yours too...
Let's DO IT NOW! (or rather, I'll be back after "doing mommy things now" so talk amongst yourselves! )
And now I have a little goddess-girl wanting to paint NOW! So my first Do-It-Now project is to set up the paint area.
I'll be back though...
subbing. thanks for doing this everyone.
i recently started envisioning the positive i want to develop in my life. every day i envision the way i want my life to go, i also envision positive for others who are in need of it. this isnt neccisarily material possesions, i may want that new juicer, but do i NEED it. this is to bring a greater good into my life and my sons life. i concentrate on the psoitive, releasing the negitive.
subbing! Yay for camp! I feel all shiny and new and ready to get my hands dirty!
Personal Practice - bless this idea and theme as I struggle in trying to weave elements of faith through out my house to remind me, along with what do I need for rituals and what can make do in a pinch (like my little clay bathtub miniature I use for a cauldron )
This is so well timed as I still have a small list of devotional items for my deities to gather but I feel like I'm at the middle of a storm of having a lot of to-do items and not a clear way to start..
So excited for this years camp!
Good afternoon campers
I'm excited to be here. I think I'd like to work on a daily maintenance and checking in/spending a few moments with my alter space each morning. For example, I have a fountain on mine that needs water added regularly. The next full moon I'll set out water to be charged and keep it in a pretty vessel. In the morning I'll add some with my daily intention? just thinking out loud here. To keep to the Do It Now part of things, I think I'll start it today with reg. water until I can have moon water (I have to add the water anyway). Just thinking small steps here.
Thanks so much for starting camp, Clay!
I'm here, I'm here *waving hand while holding it WAY UP with my other hand*
Right now I'm on a train in Massachussetts, but I'm leaning my head on the window and soaking up blessings from the Sun. This is what I can do RIGHT NOW. Along with thinking very happy thoughts and sending positive energy to M
I like to capture tiny zen moments while I can. Even if it's on the toilet I learned to do this while ds was small. Being a single mama (or a SAHM home with kids, even if you have a partner) means a LOT of "be here now" and I learned that early on with a small one who had severe colic. It's hard enough being a new mom, let alone a single mom of a very, very colicky baby. I learned "be here now" in a big way, and yay for me, kept the lesson
subbing, be back soon!
Heyla Happy Campers!
So, daily practice. What does it mean to you?
For me, the ideal daily practice would be broken down into smaller moments that would provide a sort of "spiritual stepping stone" path through the day. A way to quickly and easily center myself, a way to re-focus and return to my self.
But that's a fairly big order, and hard to "Do Now".
So what options are there? I thought we could discuss "Morning Rituals" today... things that can be done each and every morning, things that take just a moment or two, things that can be done while sitting on the toilet/standing in the shower/washing the dishes/driving to work.
In my life, mornings are a bit "busy". But I keep a book of daily devotion ideas next to the computer. I grab a cup of coffee, get the kiddos settled with their breakfast, start nursing Tor and then crack open the book while logging in to check my email. Sometimes it's a book of quotes, or poems. Sometimes an actual "pagan devotional" style book. It doesn't really matter what the book is as long as I open it with intent. I bet everyone has a book of quotations, or poems, or illustrations, or short "one page" meditations sitting on the shelf somewhere... how about, right now, you stand up and get that book. Open it at random and see what the message is. Right now!
So I just did it too...
The book I grabbed was Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler by CW Nevius. It's one of DH's "quick thought" books. And the random page?
"The Great Leap - or Slide"
Going down the slide is a concept, not an event. It embraces the complex push-pull of parenting. We are delighted when the future Olypmic gold medalist tries something new and adventurous, but there's a side of us that sees nothing but pointy corners, slippery floors, and potholes in footpaths. You have to let that go."
The half page goes on to explore this push-pull... obviously the article wasn't written with the intent of providing a "pagan start to the day" but it certainly works. As I plan my trip to the grocery store (with the three munchkins in tow), as I face the terrifying prospect of driving to get us to that store (I have a phobia related to driving that makes daily life tough), as I remember to "Do It Now"... I can also focus on the push-pull of the possibly dangerous/scary road to growth vs the possibly stiffling/boring road to stagnation.
I think maybe that's the message behind "Do It Now"... growing and evolving can be scary, and you may fall off the slide. It's easier to stay on the ground and just think about going down the slide, or avoid the playground altogether bescause then you don't have to worry about it. But then, what's the point?
So... what did the book you find say? What was the title, what was the message ( keeping in mind copyright law that limits us to ~100 words from the original source ), how does it fit into "Do It Now"?
And what do you think... is this sort of "quick message in the morning" something you could do every day? Could this be a part of the daily practice? What if you write down the key phrase or a few words from the page and stick them in your wallet, or on your hand, or in your pocket so that when you see them during the day you're reminded of the quote? Would that help center you back into that moment of meditation? Would it help?
What do you think?
And in case you want some "official camp supplies"
Pagan devotionals/meditation guides (from a Celtic spirituality perspective). Both are by Caitlin Matthews...
The Celtic Spirit; Daily Meditations for the Turning Year
1999 Harper Collins
This one is a daily meditation guide with a pretty "down and dirty" format. Each day has a quote or line of poetry, followed by a short paragraph that discusses some element from that quote, followed by a "to do" or "to consider" idea for the day. The amazon page has a "look inside the book" option that will show you a few sample pages. For me this book has been the perfect fit for the few minutes I have to myself in the bathroom each morning and gives me an ongoing theme or thought to come back to during the day.
Today (July 6th) is "The Familiar Road", the quote is "Many a one inquires about the road he knows well" (a scottish proverb), and the eventual question for the day is "Where are you swimming upstream in your life?"
Celtic Devotional; Daily Prayers and Blessings
1996 Godsfield Press, Harmony Books (Random House)
I really enjoyed this book and followed the daily practice outlined in it for about three years. I hope to return to it someday but for now it just takes up too much time! The book is divided into the four seasons (and an extra section of general activities) and each season is presented with activities to mark the beginning and end of the season, specific meditational and devotional activites that focus on the lunar and solar phases of that season (different for each day and night), and a set of morning and evening rituals/devotions/meditations that are repeated over the course of each week during that season.
The morning devotion is divided into an "invitation" to awaken the spirit, a silent meditation on a theme, the solar meditation presented in a sort of internal question/answer manner, a "prayer", and a blessing for the day. The format for the evening devotion is to light a candle, hen a meditation of self-cleansing and reflection on the day, the lunar devotion or meditation again in a sort of question/answer format, a "prayer", a blessing on the soul to encourage peace after the day's efforts, and a thought to focus on as you fall asleep.
Amazon offers a look in the book feature for this one too... if anyone does start using it I'd love to hear about it! I really found it a great tool for focusing and staying centered. However, it requires a time committment that goes beyond what I can "do now" so it's not going to be coming off the shelf for a while!
Essene Book of Meditations and Blessings
Sunstone Publications 1991
A small book, divided by season and then by day of the week. Each season has a week's worth of morning and evening meditations that repeat throughout the season. In that sense it's similar to the previous daily devotional book. However, the individual devotions are very short and can be done on the run so it's a better "do it now" option for me... this is actually the book I use most mornings.
Today's seasonal focus is "The Tree bends with ripened fruit", the angel of the morning is "Joy", and the morning poem focuses on "joy as a natural state of being". The evening angel is "Power" and the night blessing is focused on "as the tree shares it's gift of fruit, so I share the gifts of my self".
I don't have a book like that so I grabbed my Healing with the Fairies Oracle Cards and drew one card:
The phrase in the little booklet that is catching my attention is this one: By drawing this card, you are being asked to stop the human struggle.
And the affirmation: I am willing to surrender this situation to my Creator right now. When I let go, everything turns out perfectly.
So, stop over-thingking, trust and DO. Stop worrying if it's enough this or that... Start doing and results will follow...
Me think this fit perfectly with the camp theme.
I don't have much of a daily practice right now, but I should. Valerie, that phrase means a lot to me, and it is definitely something I need to work on. what a great affirmation for today!
I did light a candle for my household goddess, Abundantia, and said a little prayer.
I've been toying around with a "daily devotional" for weeks now... Do It Now! Ok, so tomorrow I will start doing some thing in the morning. My goal is to be able to step outside for a few minutes to "embrace the day." The beginning is getting up those few minutes earlier.
Subbing - yikes, I'm late!
I thought I'd subbed already, but I guess it didn't take. Will catch up and think on't and post soon.
Joining in! I so, so need this right now!
I love the devotional book idea. I have some things in my household binder like you described, but it gets buried and I forget about it. I used to have a nice journal filled with inspirational pictures, poems and quotes.
I opened a poem from the carmina gadelica-peace. I'm trying to find it online to share...
When I first read this I was like ... hmm what book will I pull from my shelf when I get home. And then it struck me I did one this morning - just by looking at my TM. 2 things caught my eye:
On my TM I have a picture of 2 hands - open palms up, with a phrase on it:
"Today I will work on being better to myself and remember to smile more"
A little bit from it is a mantra for loving compassion:
Om Mani Padme Hum
Here's a link to the audio I just found (trying to find the mantra)
I would totally listen to that mantra in the shower - how peaceful to wake up to in the morning and start the day.
I have Everyday Positive Thinking by Louise Hay. Opened to a couple of different pages and the theme seems to be "love being you."
Also pulled some Goddess Oracle Cards for DBF and myself. For me it was about independence and fertility *sigh* Probably because I really want a child.
Morning cards are a great devotional practice, and a fast "Do It Now" option! I have a deck of "rune cards" that live on my altar. Many mornings I'll pull a card for the day followed by a card for each member of the family. If something imprtant is happening that day I might pull a card just for that. This isn't a fancy reading, no elaborate layout required. Just a quick "flip the card over" thing.
I then leave the cards on my altar so I can see them as I go up/down the stairs during the day. In grad school I used to carry the day's card with me in my wallet.
This sort of "Do It Now" divination is a perfect example of a daily practice building block. Perhaps layer the divination onto the devotional text? Turn over a card or draw a rune from a deck/pouch on your dresser as you get dressed, then read a passage as you sit on the toilet or brush your teeth or fill your coffee/tea mug?
I really love my rune deck... what's your favorite go to divination tool and how can you make using it an easy part of your day? Could you add a pendulum that doubles as a necklace/bracelet? Could you place your deck in the sock drawer? How about a rune set in your lunch bag? A magic 8 ball on your desk?
Daily devotionals, and short ones-- what a great idea! I used to do this back when I was getting sober. Hazeldon has a fab collection of daily meditation books.
As y'all know, I am out of town right now, but when I get back I may look into getting some sort of new one. Maybe M and I will peruse B&N while I'm here Matter of fact, I think that's a mah-velous idea. I can get a posh coffee while I'm there
But not till tomorrow. It's 94* right now and is supposed to hit 97* before the day's out. AND we're in a city, so I know it's really way hotter than the thermometer says. I didn't sleep well or much, last night, so today I'm feeling really off and we already were out and the heat nearly wilted me. I mean, as in, I was feeling like passing out. That's not like me-- so I think I'd better stay in, today.
But tomorrow? B&N for sure-- yep, great idea
OMG how did I miss a camp starting! I have been very disconnected & scattered of late, so I guess it's not surprising!
Re: Morning rituals... I used to have a fantastic one (I think I shared it on a prev camp or one of our monthly threads) but I can't remember what book I got it from!!!! It was an elemental greeting of the day... intended to be said outside if possible, but standing by your bed looking out the window would do just fine. I am going to have to find it again to share I felt incredibly connected, both to myself & the universe, when I was doing this regularly.
My current 'devotion' isn't really one as such, but I take a few minutes to focus on my Treasure Map and reaffirm the 'things' (some material things, some not) that I hope to bring into my life. And I speak to the Goddess in me, and remind us both that we are going to have a beautiful day and will look to see the divine that resides in the 3 boybarians aka my sons It is REALLY helping me to stop & take a deep breath when I'm getting frustrated with them, and helping me to feel like a better ME
huzzah, camp! camp of the campest!
(clay~ please, please do not link to the so called "organizational thread" for last summer's camp. please. please. if you love me, please. it's sooooooo embarrassing. i'll start a new one with links to all the random stuff from the past year-- including tapping and chakras, if you like..... just please make that planning thread go away.)
i'll be back in the morning with a fresh mind and open heart and delighted spirit!
Aweyn and Cari, yay!!
A new day. A glorious day! Welcome, world!
I used to read my daily devotional in the bathroom when I first got up, but tha doesn't work as well in the summer cause I have allergy eyes and it takes longer to wake up. I have "devotional for women who do too much" and a nice deck that the girls lost most of the cards for...grr, but I found some of them recently, so maybe I can do a draw in the morning. I really liked doing a quick read in the morning.
My general ritual is to sit and chat with friends in the morning while drinking coffee. It needs more "umph" though...and it needs to be simple. Hmmm....
I drew a card this morning... well... the card jumped out of the deck is a more accurate description of how it went.
By drawing this card, you are guided to sit quietly on a daily basis and to visualize yourself living a healthy, happy, abundant, and meaningful life.
Talk about a Do-it-now task!
So I'll use the time I'm going to be sitting on the bench at the park while DS is playing soccer to visualize! (he usually go by himself but there is no way I'm going to let him bike there and back home + playing soccer by this intense heat )
Now: cold shower before heading in the heat! Wet hair will hopefully keep me from wilting on the bench.
Subbing! My mod duties and general life responsibilities kept me from camp last year. And this year I am moving from NY to NC in the middle of camp but I want to participate as much as possible anyway. With the chaos of moving and transitioning, I am having trouble Staying Present and I think keeping up with Pagan Camp could be a big help on that front.
Most of my books are packed but I have all these pamphlets of paint colors from the home improvement store. Maybe I can get some random color guidance?
Ok, I closed my eyes and let my hand land where it was drawn. The colors are Mission Stone, Adobe White and Olive Sprig. These colors mean light and stability to me. They are the colors of river rocks so they evoke feelings of tangible, quiet strength. I need that today! This afternoon, I'm moving my mother out of her co-op completely as she closes on her sale tomorrow afternoon. It's a day of Big Change for her and I will need to be her rock, to hold her steady and get her and us to the Next Place. I will keep the serenity and reliability of these colors in my heart and mind as we get through the day.
Good Golly Miss Molly, it's HOOOOOOT!
Today is a day for doing crafts in the shade I think. Possible a little foot dabbling or swimming in the lake, perhaps a few refreshing drinks, maybe even a little hand waving and shoulder rubbing.... but absolutely nothing that requires much moving around in the sun!
Yesterday we talked about quick and easy, down and dirty, 1-5 minute tricks for connecting to spirit and starting the day out on the right (metaphysical) foot. Morning Cards and Morning Readings were the two techniques that seemed to fit the bill.
Morning Cards... grab a tarot deck, a rune deck, playing cards, a few beautiful postcards, the pages of a gorgeous (or meaningful) calendar, a pouch of rune stones, your I Ching sticks, your D&D markers... whatever you have! Grab one out of the stack to represent your day, or your self. What do you see? What is going on in the image? The "oracular whammy" is less important here than the act of intentionally connecting and being present with yourself. Sure, it would be nice if the card "worked" on an oracular level, but just taking that moment and DOING IT NOW is where the real magic is.
--- I grabbed my rune deck and pulled "Risk/Gamble" for the day and "Journey/Control" for me... which actually does help since I have been debating whether I should go into town today.---
Morning Readings are another quick connection... grab a book of devotions, a page a day book, a collection of quotes or poems (haiku is short, as are limricks!), a book from your specific religious tradition, whatever you have! Read a page or a paragraph or a line and see how it can be applied to the day. Again, the magic comes from DOING IT NOW. Right now. Stick a book behind the toilet or next to your toothbrush. Hang something from a fridge magnet or on the rear view mirror. Stick a collection in your diaper bag, briefcase, messenger tote, beach bag, or lunch sack. Throw a collection of poems in the car and hide an anthology of quickie "adult tales" under your pillow. Whatever it takes to do it now.
---I grabbed the Celtic Spirit book... today's poem is from Mama Goose "There was an old woman lived under a hill, and if she's not gone then she lives there still." and the meditation was on the Divine Feminine.---
So what was your morning card? What was your morning reading? What? It's too hot? You can't get off the couch? Well, no worries! DO IT NOW! Open google, type in +quotation +"insert interest here", click on the first hit, read the first quote. Now share! What did you find? How do you feel?
Building on our morning practice... Crafts!
One thing I adore is to use something physical to remind me to do something spiritual. In my case, I often use beading or fiber arts to craft something "simple" and then charge it with meaning. Then, during the day, when I physically bump into that item it reminds me to re-center/focus/do X.
For example, I love to bead and make jewelry. So I often make a necklace or bracelet that is crafted around a specific intention... when I wear the necklace, every time DS pulls on it I remember to breath deeply before responding. When I wear the bracelet, every time it bumps into the computer I am reminded to pause and consider if being on the computer is the best way to spend my time. When I wear the anklet, every time it chimes I ground/center.
Outside I have windchimes that "cue" meditative moments... when the wind makes them chime I offer a quick blessing to the wind. When the rainbows dance on the ceiling (crystal in the window, or just sun on a dvd) I thank the sun. And so on...
These things take seconds to do, and are a wonderful way to remain present during the day... but without the actual physical reminder, well... I just don't do them!
What physical items do you have RIGHT NOW (no shopping trip required) that could serve as triggers or short cuts? Can you put a cup of water on the counter and thank the waters every time you see it during the day? Then offer the water out of doors each night? Could you place a tiny bowl of deep dark chocolate drops on your desk or shelf and offer a blessing on whomever/whatever in on your mind (or walking past) each time you nibble one? Could you grab a ribbon, hair try, dangle earring, bracelet, piece of string, bead, or other wearable item and dedicate it to mindfulness? Perhaps tie the ribbon round your child's diapers or around your older child's snack drawer for a frequent reminder, or hide the item in the bottom of your bag for a more surprising reminder?
How can you nurture your self and your spirit through phsyical triggers? What can you do RIGHT NOW, THIS MOMENT, to bring connection into your space? Small things, easy things, a flower on the shelf of the fridge and ribbon tied around your ankle, a bead strung through a zipper pull, a cd set in the window to throw rainbows across the room....
Stay cool, stay happy, sip those camp beverages and share those campy crafts!
For the Lazy and Facebooker- I did my tarot on facebook, got the empress
Empress_profile The Empress card represents a woman who is very nurturing, cares about the earth, and tends to have a very sweet demeanor. She is often times a mother or mother figure, a pregnant woman, a nurse or caregiver, or a strong supported of environmental issues. She is usually sweet and kind, never showing prejudice despite age, race, or social status, and she is a great listener, willing to be there with open arms to anyone who needs her help or support. Sometimes this card can represent an impending pregnancy, birth of a child, or birth of a grand-child. An Empress outcome displays a devoted wife or mother and is a great card to have it she represents you or you have her in your life. Love will be sweet with a woman like her.
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