A Storm of Light is a post-metal [or post-rock] group from New York. This is definitely one of my favorite songs. I love how the sound is so engulfing, overwhelming, powerful. It always transports me to a different place…
Sink into the trees
The age of ruin is over and we revel
From sea to shining sea
Nightmares drift back
Down that river of time
To the dawn of man
And I wonder what went wrong
Their souls gleamed / hearts of gold
Their hands crushed / souls of coal
That spark of light
In their eyes was destruction
Sky of fire
Warms our new dawn
And the kingdom sways
Our sovereign world
Man is all but forgotten
And we live
Together as one
Until that bright star fades
From orange to red to white
And we return home
To the stardust
Dreams drift ahead
Up that river of time
To the end of all
And i wonder what where we’ll go
Our lights dim / bodies to dust
Mass collides / event horizon
That spark of light
In the end is destruction
Way down I remember the way it is always been
Way down I remember my place in the stars was black
Way down I remember how it all began
Way down I remember that lone singular black mass
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them
– TS Elliot, “Four Quartets”
Everyone wants to leave a legacy behind for the ones we love. In a way, I think we all sense what the ancient Egyptians believed, a sentiment the graffiti artist Banksy also shared:
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
Is there life after death? Perhaps we will never know for sure, but what really matters is our legacy. This Earth is our home — our only home — and when our children’s children remember us, hopefully they can say we did everything to make it a better place.
Then when they speak our names with pride, we will live again.
Hiraeth is an unusual word that has no direct translation into English. It’s a kind of nostalgia tinged with a feeling of incompleteness, a longing for a place that perhaps never was.
Pronounced (here-eyeth), this is something those of us with past life memories are probably well-acquainted with. Ever since I was a kid, I had vivid memories of a life in a forest — some kind of temperate rain forest, perhaps, or maybe a cloud forest. The smell of rain and trees still fills my nose and I can still feel the wet earth beneath my feet. In the distance I remember a blue mountain range, cloaked with mist and distance. The images and sensations are still so vivid…nothing like a dream or something saw on TV.
I know this next part is going to sound odd, but bear with me. I think I was some kind of animal — a carnivore — in this life.
As a kid, I felt a deep sense of incompleteness and longing linked to these memories, like I was supposed to still be there, or at least that I missed that old home. Sometimes I still feel that way, particularly when the memories flood my dreams or when I see something that brings it all back….
from the OKC metro area newspaper “Natural Awakenings”
Is prayer part of your spiritual life? I’ve always been fascinated with Catholic rosaries, but I never knew until recently that there are many, many, MANY other ways to connect with the divine. And each technique showcases how prayer can be cathartic, heart-opening, life-affirming, and much more.
If you’d like to spice up your prayer life, consider the following list:
- Affirmations: consider affirmations prayer to your higher self. Create present tense statements that describe a positive or beneficial change you’d like to make. For example, “I’m blossoming with self-confidence.” Use them to counter negative thoughts and emotions.
- Amulets and talismans: these tiny magics are like wearable prayers. They become a positive affirmation as they draw in good energy and radiate it out into the world.
- Ceremonial costumes and masks: dance–twirl like the Sufis, clap, stomp, shake, shiver, and move to the beat of your internal prayer! Dress like a deity and bring its presence into the Circle.
- Mantras or centering prayer: pick a word (like “courage”) or a mantra (like om mani padme hum) and use it to keep your thoughts on prayer or meditation. Unlike affirmations, centering prayers are typically a single word, not a full sentence.
- Chanting: use the powerful energy of chanting to enter a meditative, prayerful state, or use it to sing the praises of a deity, ideal, or spirit. Listen to recordings or join in.
- Despachos: an Andean tradition, Despachos are offering ceremonies to Mother Earth and the elements. Be inspired by this ancient practice to create offering ceremonies of your own.
- Offerings in general: consider it a “thank you” to the spirits that help and support your journey. Flowers, food, music, incense, pure water, and more are all great offering ideas.
- Create your own personal spiritual text: the magically-inclined might call it a “grimoire,” but in the wonderful book “The Way We Pray,” creating your own spiritual text is described as a scrapbook documenting your journey. Put anything inside that inspires and uplifts you.
- Ritual: lighting candles and ringing bells before praying, smudging before praying or sleeping, esbat and sabbat rituals, birthday celebrations, etcetera
- Treasure maps and mandalas: Make a treasure map by placing photos of your goals on a poster board. Keep the board on your altar.
- Make a prayer box or God box. Keep anything in this box that reminds you of God. When you feel distant from Spirit, contemplate some of the things you put in there.
- Visual prayers: paint or draw your prayers. This could be beautifully kept on your altar.
- Creating a shrine or altar to honor a spirit, deity, ancestor, or ideal.
- Use a mala to count affirmations or prayers.
- Ikebana: flower arrangement as prayer.
- Ceremonies: tea ceremonies, for example. Breakfast could be a ceremony as well.
- Breathing exercises, or exercise in general.
- Add icons to your prayer space: photos of ancestors and friends and guides, statues, or anything else that stirs your soul!
- Storytelling or mythtelling.
- Pray outside.
- Pray with others.
- Have a sense of humor when you pray.
A lovely flower arrangement
Many of these ideas came from the book “The Way We Pray,” which is a fantastic resource for broadening your spiritual practice.
Unique prayer beads
Underflow: Prayers to the Gods of Olympus: (greekgods.com)
Carrying their light: (sobeq.wordpress.com)