Pagan Summer Camp: Week 3 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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***Hello everyone and welcome to week 3 of Pagan Summer Camp! This week our focus is on the element of air and its place in our lives and spiritual practice.***

Here is a very basic list of common air qualities and associations:

Direction: East
Colors: Yellow, pale blue, white, grey
Planet: Mercury
Tools: Swords, wand (some prefer), incense, and many people consider the bell an air tool (tools have never mattered all that much to me, to be honest.)
Animals: Winged things such as the eagle, hawk, butterfly, and dragonfly. Also the spider and raccoon
Elemental: Sylph
Stones: Mottled jasper, pumice, mica, aventurine
Plants/herbs: Lavender, goldenrod, sage, acacia, mint, dandelion, clover
Deities: Aditi, Arianrhod, Enlil, Shu and many more

Associations:
Wind, smoke, clouds, high places, fog, music and sound, feathers, movement and dance


Air is the element of thought, wisdom, inspiration, and imagination. It's also a major influence in the realm of dreams, psychic abilities, divination, and visualization. I have always felt that air is the most mysterious and elusive of the elements. It can be playful and gentle, still and calm, or powerful and aggressive. We can’t really see it in quite the same way that we can see the earth or fire, but it’s so very near to us that we can’t go for more than a few minutes without it. Our connection with air is sometimes clear even when we are speaking casually. Consider a few phrases we’ve all said and heard many times:

“I just needed to get some air.”
“She just had this air about her.”
“Must be something in the air…”
“Let’s clear the air”
“You could feel the tension in the air”


These phrases show us just how big a role air plays in our relationships and emotions as well as in our heads (or lungs!)

Because breathing is such an automatic function, our relationship with air can sometimes be taken for granted. With that in mind, to get us started for this week, I invite you to go outside for a few minutes today at your convenience to reacquaint yourself with air. Be with the air just as it is…it doesn’t have to be breezy or warm or cool… it just is exactly as it should be. Feel it with your whole being and welcome it deeply into you. Stay there for however long you are able to really be with air (or until your family starts to hunt you down lol) and welcome it.

“I welcome air
I welcome clarity
I welcome air
I welcome wisdom
I welcome air
I welcome awareness
I welcome air
I welcome the breathe of life”


We’re off and runnin’… err breathing now!

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#2 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 09:38 AM
 
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#3 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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That was great! I never thought about all those phrases we all say about air.

-Rachel

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#4 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 10:44 AM
 
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air...breathing...sounds good to me.

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#5 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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Excellent - I've been doing quite a bit of cleaning around the house - refreshing, cleansing air will be a great inspiration!
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#6 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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Subbing to follow along another wonderful week of Pagan Camp.

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

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#7 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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Wonderful!

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary and we spent the morning floating around in the sky in a hot air balloon! We thought a lot about air!

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#8 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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wow salvia! congrats on the anniversary and w00t! a hot air balloon! What fun!

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#9 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wonderful!

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary and we spent the morning floating around in the sky in a hot air balloon! We thought a lot about air!

How exciting! My Dad and his wife did that last year on a whim and they really enjoyed it. Congratulations on your anniversary, too! My Dh and I celebrated our 10th last year, and it was something special.

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#10 of 55 Old 07-23-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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Subbing Great tread

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#11 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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#12 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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subbing. Thanks for all of these enlightening posts.

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#13 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello there! Day two of this week finds us looking at a pretty cool selection of books for adults and kids alike.

“Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit”, by Cait Johnson

“Ancient Pact, Vol. 1: The Element of Air”, by Caryn Colgan (This is a fiction book that looks really interesting.)

“Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small”, by Ted Andrews

“Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Playful Explorations in the Four Elements”, by Walter Kraul

"When the Wind Stops", by Charlotte Zolotow

"Martha", by Gennady Spirin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Air is involved and often invoked by dance or gesture. I thought this video was cool: Air dancer

Question: Is there a place where you feel particularly able to connect with the element of air?

The beach is one place for me, but then that's such a great place to connect with all of the elements. I find that in my back yard in the dark is another place for me to feel the air, particularly in the fall when I can hear the leaves blowing around me. Oddly enough my upstairs bathroom window is a terrific spot for that as well. It gives me this perfect view of the street and the tree branches blowing, leaves fluttering down and birds are often quite close without feeling threatened by me. It’s private (because I can lock the door! lol) and very freeing even though I am indoors. I once stood there during a massive wind storm (after danger from tree limbs falling drove me back inside anyway) and I just listened to the wind howling and singing with my eyes closed. Even though it was a chaotic wind I felt totally at peace and like I just wanted to float right out into it!.

So where are you best able to connect to the air? Tell us about it if you feel like sharing! :

See you tomorrow campers!

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#14 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 10:21 AM
 
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The wind is one of the elements that can really scare me. I was never frightened of it as a child but in recent years, I have begun to see wind as very destructive. It makes me sad to think of the wind as destrcutive and to be scared of it. Gentle breezes are fine but anything with big gusts or combined with a storm freak me out. I think it stems from having a tree come down, it almost hit the girls window...so, I think my goal will be to reclaim wind becuase it is more than a destructive force.

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#15 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Question: Is there a place where you feel particularly able to connect with the element of air?
Great info, UnschoolnMa! Wonderful books-thanks!:

The coast is also a great place for me to connect with the element of air. There is so much energy and vitality in the ocean breezes- I sometimes feel I can almost hear a million stories carried by those winds.

Mountain tops are also a special place to me. Once, many years ago at the top of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, I stood and watched the ravens as the stood at the edge. To see the ease in which they stepped off the edge and caught the up draft- it filled me with such joy!

Last night I was able to take a walk down our road alone. It was a bit windy, so I thought about experiencing the wind with all my senses. It was wonderful to feel it on my skin, see it making the young corn plants dance, hear it in the rustle of the trees overhead and smell an electric freshness coming in with the weather. (Sometimes, the wind decides to bring in the smell sensation that is the pig farm west of us! )

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The wind is one of the elements that can really scare me...so, I think my goal will be to reclaim wind becuase it is more than a destructive force.
From my point of view, all the elements have a destructive side. Our Mother is alive and can move in frightening, destructive ways. For my own peace, it is important to recognise and honor this while not taking it personally.

Last year there was a big wind storm here. For some reason, I decided I had to go out into it. It was night and I stood unable to move as I watched the large trees sway wildly above me. For a second, I felt the vast power of the Earth- the terrible power the is part of the whole. I felt a bit like an ant. Then I ran back into the house!


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#16 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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This weekend while we were hiking we did some grounding work. DW mentioned afterward that she had a hard time with Fire (which is actually her birth element) because she could see it only as destructive. I thought about it a minutes and all the elements can be seen as destructive. I think that only helped me respect them even more. It showed me just how much power and energy they hold.

As for wind, we have a large lake here at work. There is just about always a breeze coming off the lake. I love sitting down there when I get the chance especially on cool spring and fall days. I also feel it strongly in Fall with the leaves.

-Rachel

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#17 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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I feel very connected to the air at this time, as it is monsoon season and the air feel heavy. Plus we get wild wind storms. It is pretty amazing.

Those books look great! Thanks

H

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#18 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I think I lost the power the embrace both the good and the bad (so to speak).

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#19 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by brendon View Post
Gentle breezes are fine but anything with big gusts or combined with a storm freak me out. I think it stems from having a tree come down, it almost hit the girls window...so, I think my goal will be to reclaim wind becuase it is more than a destructive force.
I think that's a very brave goal, and it seems like it would be very healing for you too. I can only imagine how scary it would be to have a tree just miss my kids' window! (I have a mild fear of the water, deep fast water, so I hear you.)

Do you think seeing the big helpful things wind can do (in person and/or in meditation) might be helpful? Things like pollination, creating energy, moving sails, etc. When you are ready for it, maybe letting this fear go with and into the wind could be a good ritual for you. Wishing you well with this goal!

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#20 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once, many years ago at the top of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico, I stood and watched the ravens as the stood at the edge. To see the ease in which they stepped off the edge and caught the up draft- it filled me with such joy!
What a treat that must have been! The gift of flight is such a cool thing to think about. When my Ds and I are talking about superpowers and such I always say I'd like to be able to fly or turn invisible. Both seem pretty airy to me now that I think of it. "Vanished into thin air..." Who am I kiddin'... I just want an invisibility cloak.

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and smell an electric freshness coming in with the weather. (Sometimes, the wind decides to bring in the smell sensation that is the pig farm west of us! )
Oh I love how the air changes scents and how they are carried on the wind! It's really great when it's been super hot and then a bit of rain falls. The scent of the rain on the hot pavement and earth is really great, IMO. I will definitely wish you air vibes that are not from the west of you!

Quote:
Last year there was a big wind storm here. For some reason, I decided I had to go out into it. It was night and I stood unable to move as I watched the large trees sway wildly above me. For a second, I felt the vast power of the Earth- the terrible power the is part of the whole. I felt a bit like an ant. Then I ran back into the house!
I am so like that with wild weather. It's a little scary when it's that intense, but it's like I am just called right out there by the wind. Moth to a flame style. There really is magic in the air.

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#21 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As for wind, we have a large lake here at work. There is just about always a breeze coming off the lake. I love sitting down there when I get the chance especially on cool spring and fall days. I also feel it strongly in Fall with the leaves.
How wonderful that you have a lake at your work! I sure wish I could step out my back door and have a lovely little lake or pond there.

Leaves are a wind thing for me too. It must be the wind blowing fallen leaves in autumn that does it. Such a nice sound!

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#22 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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How wonderful that you have a lake at your work! I sure wish I could step out my back door and have a lovely little lake or pond there.
It's great. I used to smoke and I'd step out back and watch the lake. I quit smoking almost 3 years ago and since then I just don't get out there like I used to. I'll take a pic tomorrow and post a link here. In the meantime I took this image of the night sky this weekend while we were camping, thought you would enjoy it. I spent a good few minutes just looking up watching the leaves sway and dance.

-Rachel

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#23 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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Burtsgirl- your picture is just breathtaking!

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#24 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh wow, that is really lovely! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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#25 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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ah... air!

i'm one of those have to have the fans on all year types. even if it's cold, i can feel stiffled if there's not enough air movement....

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Originally Posted by Salvia View Post
Today is my 10th wedding anniversary and we spent the morning floating around in the sky in a hot air balloon! We thought a lot about air!
congrats!! and, how wonderful! i've always dreamed of doing that.....

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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Is there a place where you feel particularly able to connect with the element of air?
the mountains! the air there is so different...

"Once I get you up there,
Where the air is rarefied
We'll just glide
Starry eyed..."


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Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
I feel very connected to the air at this time, as it is monsoon season and the air feel heavy. Plus we get wild wind storms. It is pretty amazing.
yes! we had a massive one yesterday (even had hail!)... i openend the doors and the windows to let all that energy in... ahhhhh!

anyone have air cleansing tips to share? i recently found out that burning beeswax candles releases negative ions... like with a thunderstorm! so cool. also, we're thinking of using this clay stuff on the walls in our new home... it's supposed to keep the air clean too!
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#26 of 55 Old 07-24-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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In the meantime I took this image of the night sky this weekend while we were camping, thought you would enjoy it. I spent a good few minutes just looking up watching the leaves sway and dance.
Wow! How beautiful!

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#27 of 55 Old 07-25-2007, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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anyone have air cleansing tips to share? i recently found out that burning beeswax candles releases negative ions... like with a thunderstorm!

That's pretty cool! I find that house plants are a valuable thing for the air in my space. It just feels cleaner and lighter and definitely more alive to have a plant thriving and contributing to the air I breathe.

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#28 of 55 Old 07-25-2007, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there campers! Today I thought I would share some meditations that you might find useful for connecting with the air element. The first one is really more of a visualization on communication. It can come in really handy for the times we are feeling “stuck” in that area. It’s such a simple but powerful tool.

***Bring your attention to the east and of warm wispy air. It may help you to look at a candle, a feather, or a scroll of written words. Picture the air surrounding you. The air is our companion in communication and thought. Think about the times you have felt unheard, unclear, misunderstood, or when anger prevented you from communicating clearly. Imagine those words and moments all before you in a ball and see the air dissolve and carry them away. Now, see your thoughts becoming clear and orderly. Visualize yourself speaking to someone clearly even in the midst of an emotional or stressful situation. See yourself being heard and responded to as the air works in your mind and speech keeping things open and moving. Spend a few moments grounding and “coming down”.***

The second one is a guided meditation for finding your air symbol. The usual air symbol for pagan/earthy minded folks is the upright triangle with a horizontal line through it. This meditation is designed to help you discover your personal symbol for connecting to air at the present time. It works quite well if you have someone to read it to you.

*** You are walking down a narrow path just before dawn, and the sky is still dark. On one side of the path is a heavily wooded forest, and on the other side is a swift clear creek with a sandy shoreline. The air is calm and you can hear nothing but your footsteps on the ground and the light sounds of the creek flowing by. The sky before you starts to lighten up with the rising sun. As you walk further the path slowly starts to disappear beneath your feet.

You find yourself heading into a tight rocky tunnel and you enter it in the dark. Half way through the tunnel you begin to smell the faint scent of mint and lavender. The air becomes warmer and feels heavy as you breathe in.

You are reaching the end of the narrow passage now, and the rocky wall feels damp beneath your hands. Up ahead you can see cracks in the wall and they are letting in scattered beams of light. The exit seems so far away but you press on. The tunnel narrows even more as you squeeze through the warm rocks holding your breathe and pushing forward toward light.

Suddenly you are free of the confinement, and you are facing an open hillside. A breeze meets your face. It's coming from up ahead and it’s inviting you to follow. You walk slowly at first and then faster as the air gathers strength. You are aware of birds singing around you now and you feel as if your feet aren’t touching the ground. You stop at the base of a great tree and see a yellow box before you. You reach down to pick it up only to find that it rises to meet you. The wind is whipping strongly now- blowing tree tops, but around your body all is calm. You slowly open the box. A sudden rush of air envelopes you as the contents are revealed…..

The element of Air has given you a gift. You examine it intently and close your eyes, clutching the gift in your hand. When you open your eyes you are sitting under the tree and the gift and box are gone. The gift has become a part of you until it is no longer needed.
***

If you do the meditation and feel comfortable, perhaps you'd like to share what was in your box? Maybe you already know what your air symbol is. For me it's the butterfly and leaf, which can look very butterfly like in the right breeze in the fall.

As an activity today why not make a bird feeder for our airy friends? A paper towel roll coated in a bit of peanut butter and rolled in bird seeds can be hung in the yard. Dental floss holds up well in all kinds of weather as a hanging string. My Dd is 13 and still enjoys making these!

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#29 of 55 Old 07-25-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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Thanks everyone. It was a little blurry but turned out nice, still not as good as being there in person and watching the leaves dance. As promised here's my lake at work. Our property is over 200 acres and we have serval lakes here along with a pecan grove. This lake has special meaning for me, it was where DW and I fell in love and began our journey together. I also did my first pagan ritual at this lake. So good times, me and this lake. I always feel a sense of balance and peace when I visit with it.

-Rachel

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#30 of 55 Old 07-25-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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LOVE the bird feeder idea with the paper towel roll!

-Rachel

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