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The Secrets In Plain Sight!

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Spiritual Calisthenics For People Who Are Willing To Think!
Recent Episodes for The Secrets In Plain Sight!
DATE: Sat, 25 Sep 2010
SIZE: 28.1 MB
September 25, 2010 - Putting It Away!

With Samhain coming, it's worth our while to discuss resolutions.  At Samhain and at the mundane New Year, we have a tendency, and even a desire, to make resolutions.  The resolutions are promises to ourself of things we want to accomplish in the coming year.  Some people sound cynical about such resolutions because of how few of them seem to actually get fulfilled.  Well, it does not have to be that way! Wouldn't it be a good thing to make a resolution and see it fulfilled?  It can happen, even the same resolution that others leave unfulfilled can be yours - and fulfilled!  Do you really want to quit smoking?  Do you really want to lose weight?  Do you really want to get a better job?  Do you really want to fulfill some other dream? There's a way to go about it.  And it does not involve a Pollyanna approach like some take.  There's a way to grasp reality and bring your resolution to be.  All with some basic principles and a healthy bit of selfishness.   You're not just making a resolution into a reality.  You're also embarking on a spiritual exercise which will let you claim your magickal power - and more of it that you knew that you had! And the result can be a chain-reaction of blessings and opened doors! Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 18 Sep 2010
SIZE: 30.0 MB
September 18, 2010 - Weddings, Funerals And What They Share!

As we see Mabon almost here and Samhain only a few weeks away, it's a good time to think about endings and beginnings.  And during the course of the year, of the more mundane events which might occur, there are none where endings and beginnings are more apparent and obvious than at weddings and funerals. In fact, that's what they share.  They mark a definite ending paired with a beginning.  Or is it a beginning paired with an ending?  Or is it both?  Exploring that point is part of the fun we can have in growing spiritually.  It's like that old debate as to whether a glass is half empty or half full - and someone might add the possibility that the glass is holding the right amount of liquid, but it's twice the size that it needs to be. A funeral marks a definite end.  I can't just call my Dad on the phone anymore, for instance.  And a wedding marks the end of being single and only having to look out for oneself.  The beginning inherent in a wedding is apparent, but what is the beginning that a funeral commemorates?  I never promised you that I'd spoon-feed you answers, and I don't have all of the answers.  But I have experienced enough to know that there is something on the other side of the bridge which we must all cross.  And it is apparent to me that all that I can grasp is one small part of one small corner of the Infinite. And so, let's explore these thoughts for a bit, in preparation for Mabon, Samhain and more!   Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 11 Sep 2010
SIZE: 27.6 MB
September 11, 2010 - Ahead To Mabon And Samhain!

The Christians use Lent and Advent as seasons leading up to Easter and Christmas respectively as a means of introspection, self-examination and renewal.  It is unfortunate that Lent has especially been mis-directed by some to being almost a season of punishment - that was probably not the actual intention.  And if the actual intention was what I presume it to be, a season such as that could be good for us.  After all, we are coming up to what is spiritually the most powerful time of the year. When I was preparing to become a dedicant at a certain coven, the High Priestess had me write a paper on each Sabbat as it approached.  As the time approached Mabon, I made the observation that Mabon could be seen as being to Samhain as a retirement banquet might compare to a funeral.  Except that Samhain does include another harvest.  And if we know the Wheel Of The Year, we know that it does not end at Samhain, does it?  No, it also begins! That makes right now a good time to look back on where we have been, and that might give us a better idea of where we are on this leg of the journey - and how to steer the course on the next leg which begins at Samhain. Let's see what we might do to make this a most fruitful and gainful endeavor. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 04 Sep 2010
SIZE: 29.3 MB
September 4, 2010 - Taking Control Of Rules!

There are those who will claim that rules are unavoidable.  But there are also those of us who have experienced what can happen when rules go too far.  In the Air Force, there was a time when it didn't seem to matter if someone knew which end of a rifle is pointed at the target, so long as there was a nice haircut on your head.  And when dealing with religion or spirituality, there can sometimes seem to be no end to the rules   Rules do have a purpose.  They do make boundaries.  To tell a small child not to play in the street, for instance, is reasonable and makes much sense.  Within the boundaries made by rules, we are more free because the rules keep the dangers away.  But, there can be more rules added in until things get stifling.  Lent is one example.  Or there was the young girl who was convinced that eating meat on Friday would end her life.   Some excesses and some quibblings over when a rule is needed and whether a rule is or is not broken can make for some rather humorous parody, too! So, what do you do with rules?  Much! Let's explore that today. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 28 Aug 2010
SIZE: 32.5 MB
August 28, 2010 - Confronting Controversy!

Controversies seem to be all around us today.  It didn't seem that way when I was growing up.  Not until the early 1060's, and that was because a black family decided to move into our neighborhood.  Until then, and much of the time after that until the Vietnam war entered everyone's lives, controversy was something people read about in the newspaper and perhaps saw on the TV news. Today, it's different.  Today, there are enough controversies that everyone can find at least one that's compelling them to take a side. Know what I find interesting?  In every controversy, each side has something valid to say.  If it weren't so, there would be no side.  But, there's the other side.  And there comes polarization, an "either-or" attitude, demonizing or dehumanizing the other side, exaggerating the other side's shortcomings, and perhaps a heavy dose of gossip.  Finally, you're at a point in time where a difference of opinion has grown into a major dispute.   I'm going to offer you some examples, and some of you might find something to get upset about in the examples I use.  But each has something to be said for it.   And look at the energy being expended.  Well, there's a solution out there.  What will it take to find it? Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 21 Aug 2010
SIZE: 34.3 MB
August 21, 2010 - Forging New Ground!

I've been known to say that where the spiritual is concerned, nobody forges a new path and gets away with it.  Basically, what I do is mostly see how supposedly different things fit together, and sometimes I get into trouble over that.  But Isaac Bonewits was one of those folks who did actually forge new territory.  And it seems right to talk about forging new paths.   When Isaac began his quest, whatever books on magick and non-mainstream spirituality were either gathering dust on university library bookshelves, or were preciously guarded on the bookshelf of a practitioner.  They certainly were not going to be found in your neighborhood bookstore.  And that's to say nothing of jewelry, supplies, ritual garb and the like.   And it's not easy exploring new territory, and it is not going to win you new popularity, either.  And, it's not the safest thing to do, either.  If you want to explore, have some idea that you are walking on solid ground, not thin ice! And yet, for all that can be said to persuade someone not to try, it is a necessary part of our growth as individuals, as cultures, and as societies.   And so, let's look at the implications of something which some of us might want to try. Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 14 Aug 2010
SIZE: 36.7 MB
August 14, 2010 - What's A Saint To You? And The Passing Of Isaac Bonewits

This was another one of those times when I had an episode in the works, and instinct told me to take on another subject.  And it was when the episode was written that I found the reason why. Isaac Bonewits has crossed over. Among many Gnostics, myself included, saints are often referred to as either Celestial Masters or Ascended Masters, the latter being those who once shared our humanity, shortcomings and all.  I cannot think of a better person to fit that description than Isaac Bonewits.  Along with all else that might be said, there was a personal factor.  He gave me much encouragement in building what I am building.   And we can learn much, and gain much, from Ascended Masters such as Isaac, and from Celestial Masters such as the Archangel Uriel. The problem some of us (including me at one time) have with saints is a combination of too much and not enough.  Too much embellishment, and not enough of the person as an actual human being with the same concerns and desires as you and I.  There is no such problem with Isaac - his humanity was obvious. And so let's look at one we knew.  And perhaps celebrate all of them. Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 07 Aug 2010
SIZE: 33.2 MB
August 7, 2010 - Beyond Wrong!

I came across an article about a coming event which I consider to actually be beyond wrong!  Someone is planning on hosting an "International Burn A Quran Day" on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Worse yet, the group planning on hosting the event is a Christian church!  And yes, the people are actually encouraging people to burn a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book!  In explaining his motivation, their pastor claimed that Islam is "of the devil". I cannot imagine a worse expression of hate, not only from the point of view of wanting the various spiritual paths to get along and work together, but it is probably spiritually dangerous to go down such a path. Most of us who are Pagan or Wiccan learned early-on the importance of respecting other people's spiritual paths.  That includes their practices, their deities, their books, and their sacred objects.  Many, many Christians have learned that over the last several years.  I have been in a position to notice some marked improvement, even if there is room for more improvement.  And in this case, even the National Association of Evangelicals has asked them to call off the event.  There are more reasons why a Quran-burning is spiritually dangerous, and I'll cite some very specific specifics. And along with all else, it can be a major mistake to judge a large group by the actions of its extreme fringes.  And that isn't all! Blessed Be!    

DATE: Sat, 31 Jul 2010
SIZE: 33.4 MB
July 31, 2010 - Finding The Open Door, As Opposed To "God's Will"!

Can anything be as frustrating as feeling a strong call to do something, and not being allowed to do it? One particular priest who I admired back when I was an Episcopalian had the habit of delivering some hard-hitting sermons.  They didn't seem to hit hard at first, but when he was done, you felt like he had really gotten up close and personal.  When I asked him about that, his answer was that he was preaching to himself.  I want to mention that up-front because this episode is sort of like that.  And it touches on my frustrations in answering my call to the priesthood. But please understand, it is not about my frustrations or what anyone made me endure.  What I'm actually talking about is something bigger than that, and something that could easily be happening to you. I recall being once told that if The Divine closes a door, another door or a window is opened.  And I considered that saying to be yet another prime example of Pollyanna-style hogwash.  That is, until recently when I looked back and came to the realization that a window or another door opening when the door I was looking at got slammed in my face is exactly what happened, on more than one occasion, and the result of those opened doors and windows is a priesthood and ministry far better than what I had asked for!  If I had gotten what I had first asked for, I would have been bound under obediance and probably in a bunch of trouble, given their current controversies.  Meanwhile, I get to speak my mind and minister to more people, including some whom many of those other folks choose to ignore! The whole object of this episode is not my journey, though.  The object is your journey, and if you can see the other doors opening.  You might be surprised! Blessed Be!      

DATE: Sat, 24 Jul 2010
SIZE: 29.2 MB
July 24, 2010 - That Question Of Questions!

Have you ever noticed that especially where the spiritual or The Divine are concerned, there seem to be two extremes where questioning is concerned.  On one extreme, there are the folks who question everything so often that we wonder if they have any faith in anything.  But then also there are the folks who consider it a sin to question anything!  I've even seen some who didn't seem to want me to agree with them if I cited a source they didn't think well of.  And here we come to the "B-word": balance.  There is very little that we do that does not have faith in its basis, even in the basics of survival in the most mundane aspects of our lives.  If you go to a faucet to get a drink of water, do you get the water analyzed?  If you go to the supermarket to buy food, do you check it for contamination?  There are some things at the root which we depend on faith for! And then, of course, there are the basic core values we all share.  But you you as an individual work with The Divine is something that is personal and individual.  And so, your answers might not be the same as someone else's.  For that matter, someone else's answers might not work for you, either. So, let's explore the question of questions.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 17 Jul 2010
SIZE: 30.1 MB
JuLY 17, 2010 - Opening Your Inner Eyes And Ears!

While I've talked about the issues which will distract you from your spiritual life, we need to take some time to look at what will give it more power and make it actually work. I'm talking about opening your inner eyes and ears.  In the same manner that you can't receive a telephone call if your telephone is unplugged, you also need to be sure that your spiritual eyes and ears are open.  There is probably a lot going on around you.  It helps if you know what you are seeing, you'll do better if you know what to look for, and you won't accomplish much if you are tuning it out. And, there are things you can do to help your inner eyes and ears open, and to understand what you will discover. Before long, you'll be able to see things from a place where many people don't even know that there is a place.  Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 10 Jul 2010
SIZE: 33.2 MB
July 10, 2010 - Some Special Friends

There are some friends who are especially special, especially the ones with four legs.  I have a son and a daughter who I wish would at least write more often now that they are on their own, but Lady Stormy and I have six other "kids" who never let us down.  In fact, we seem to be the focus of their day.  Two are dogs, four are cats, and each one was either rescued or is descended from someone whose rescue we know about. Each one has his or her own story, and it is well worth telling.  But I promise I won't make you hear all of them And some of them are stories of what isn't supposed to happen.  There are folks who claim that a "street cat" can't be made into a house pet.  Well, we have a guy named Thor who can prove that to be a misconception. And, they're both smart and appreciative.  Friends have told us that they are simply too human. And the relationship we have with them is so rewarding.  If you wonder what "familiars" actually do, this is it!  I would say that Thor knows me better than any priest, doctor or even perhaps Lady Stormy! And it does have some great magickal implications.  If you're going to have a pet, then perhaps you can be someone's miracle! Blessed Be!   Blesssed Be    

DATE: Sat, 03 Jul 2010
SIZE: 30.1 MB
July 3, 2010 - Getting Deep!

Ofver the last few weeks, I've been showing you how to grow your spiritual life, how to protect it, and how to make it uniquely yours. Now, let's talk about giving it depth.  In fact, we'll discuss getting it deep in more than one sense.  And you'll see how depth and protection go together so well. We're not talking about something that your typical preacher has.  And, if your memories go back to some bad times in church, we are not talking about something posessed by those busybodies who insisted upon minding everyone's business but their own.  They have what they have.  If you're reading this, you're able to have much, much more. No, you're not able to get so much more because you're reading something that I wrote.  But if you're here, you are probably asking the right questions which will cause some wonderful doors to open. Did you ever notice someone who seems to have a spiritual life, but has one that inhcludes a quiet confidence and acceptance of other people's paths?  They might have what I'm looking for.  They might know.  For you and me, it's for us to build our own and see if that's what we built. And you'll know! Blessed Be!  

DATE: Sat, 26 Jun 2010
SIZE: 29.3 MB
June 26, 2010 - Peeking At Some Secrets!

This is about a secret of mine which will become a secret of yours.  When I was younger and just beginning to explore spirituality, I was especially fascinated by the idea that some of the people I most admired had secret prayers which they didn't share with anyone!  Thomas Merton was well known for his, even if it were in fact secret and nobody knew what it included.  And can you imagine what the Dahlai Lama must have in his most private prayer life? And then, I realized that it was not necessary to know what their secret prayers contained, because they would not do me much good, even if I had a copy of them.  Why?  Because they were theirs, and what I needed was to develop my own. And so, let's explore how such powerful secret devotions are put together.  We can begin with what we might call the obvious and presumable, we can see how they fit into our lives, and we can build from there into something highly personal. And you'll see what I mean! Blessed Be!

DATE: Sat, 19 Jun 2010
SIZE: 30.6 MB
June 19, 2010 - What Price Revenge?

If you are honest with yourself, you know at least one time when you really wanted to get back at someone.  Someone had you that upset.  They'd done something, or perhaps it is what they did not do.  Regardless of the specifics, what you actually wanted was revenge.  The only folks I know of who might not have had that urge in their life are still in diapers. So, what do you do when the urge calls to get even?  For some, the queston is not "what do you do?", but "what did you do?"  Of course, that can be dangerous.  It might perpetuate something, and give that other person another excuse.  Or, if there has been enough time, it might re-awaken issues which everyone but you assumed were in the past. But you feel that not doing anything about it would also be wrong.  After all, you were wronged.  You were hurt.  You are a person, not a doormat. But spending energy about something in the past is a way of looking backwards, and if you are looking backwards to the past, you are not looking forward toward what is waiting ahead of you. So, how do you deal with all of those apparent contradictions? Let's see what might be able to be done!   Blessed Be!  

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A vote and a lot of love from Brook, the iPod Witch. :)

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A vote and much love from Brook, the iPod Witch. :)

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