Sunday, 20 April 2014

My name is Elf



To introduce myself and my machinima animations.

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Hi , my name is Celestial Elf.
Im a Digital Druid, Pagan Poet, Shamanic Soul and Machinima animation artist
celebrating nature, spirit and the ancient ways.
In respect of my being an Eco-Druid--the short version is because I find my spirituality in and through Nature.

My name is "Celestial" because this denotes the heavens, the freedom of the skies and the beyond. "Elf" because of my affinity with the Norse origins of the term (álfar) describing semi-divine beings endowed with magical powers which they may use for the benefit of mankind.

The machinima films I make are animations filmed within a three dimensional virtual reality world.
Some of my films have been noted for their lovely music and im very happy to say that man musicians including Serpentyne, Lisa Thiel, The Dolmen, World Tree Music and Trouvere have made avaliable for my use specific compositions or songs that i can use in my films.

I make ecology and mythology based machinima animations to share my  message of care for nature, the environment and all of life-kind, with the hope that some among the viewers will both enjoy an be uplifted by them--but more pressingly--be inspired by them to recognize the issues I address and take whatever actions available to them, great or small, to further the causes considered. Be it sharing my film to signing a petition, or changing their life in some way.

Regards my inspiration, perhaps the best explanation of all is
J.L. Stanley's Catechism For A Witch’s Child:

When they ask to see your gods, your book of prayers,
Show them lines drawn delicately with veins on the underside of a bird's wing,
Tell them you believe in giant sycamores mottled and stark against a winter sky,
And in nights so frozen stars crack open spilling streams of molten ice to earth,
And tell them how you drink a holy wine of honeysuckle on a warm spring day,
And of the softness of your mother who never taught you death was life's reward,
But who believed in the earth and the sun and a million, million light years of being.
















Blessed Be to You from Me ~

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Legend of the Two Wolves


Cherokee tale Adapted and Narrated by  C. Mikkal Smith.

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This is an old Cherokee story used for initiating youth and healers. It is not well known outside of Cherokee folklore, but its message is profound and universal. It is called the Legend of Two Wolves.


I will tell this story from the point of view of  the contemporary world -- adapting it to our time and place, as any living myth should be,


* * * *    * * * *    * * * *    * * * *

The story begins with an old man, an Elder, and his Grandson who have been walking in the woods.
Nightfall is approaching and a sliver of moonlight and the evening star are already shining above.
The old man and boy come back into the village, where a fire is burning outside.The old man approaches ahead of the boy and carefully places a couple of logs on the fire.He puts a little tobacco on the fire. He calls out,
“Grandson come here, there is something I want to I want to tell you.”


He walks up and sits down, waiting in the silence.
The old man speaks.
“Grandson, …there is a terrible war going on inside myself, … the time has come to tell you about it because this is a battle that goes on not only inside me, but inside you, and every human in the world.”

“What kind of war is this?” Grandfather?

“There are two wolves fighting for control. A Blue Wolf and a Red Wolf…. One of the wolves, the Blue Wolf, is full of fear. It is needy and greedy and it is always wanting something, but it doesn’t know what. Its mind is filled with Judgment and competition. In time the Blue Wolf has grown big. He becomes angry and filled with envy, wanting what others have. It does not walk lightly on the Earth.”



“The Red Wolf is quite different. It is beautiful and walks gently on the Earth It is filled with reverence and love for life. It lives in the moment and takes delight in the simple pleasures of being alive. It is generous, kind and respectful of all life, its own, and the life of others, the green grasses, the insect peoples, and all the animals.

The grandson sat quietly gazing into the fire, contemplating the story that grandfather told him for awhile in silence. The grandfather add another log and offers some more tobacco and sweet grass.
Then the grandson looks at his grandfather and asks
“But who will win this war, Grandfather?”

The grandfather shifted his position and leaned forward saying softly and directly:
“It depends upon which one You feed!”

A long silence follows as they both gaze into the fire.
Then grandfather speaks:
“So now I have a question: If you have these two wolves within you, Who are You?”

The boy paused for a moment and said
“Perhaps I am both grandfather, sometimes I am one more than the other.”

The grandfather replies sharply,
“No! This is not the answer.” Take some more time with my question.”

The grandfather walked away from the fire for awhile, leaving the grandson alone. When he comes back he offers another log and offers more tobacco. After a period of silence he asks:
“Have you found the answer to my question?”

The boy replied,
“Yes, . . . I am the feeder of wolves.”

The grandfather sat in silence, satisfied the grandson now had understood.



* * * *

Cherokee tale Adapted and Narrated by C. Mikkal Smith Phd Director of Crows Nest Wilderness Retreat and Conference Center, Dowagiac, Michigan, Director of Crows Nest Centers for Shamanic Studies International in France and Belgium, currently teaching in Paris and Payzac; Captetown, South Africa, and Iquitos, Peru. ( Crows Nest Center for Shamanic Studies )

* * * *    * * * *    * * * *    * * * *

The tale of Two Wolves is a powerful psychological and spiritual medicine to initiate the listener into life-wisdom.
The form of this  ‘medicine story’ is a sacred “fire talk”, a heart-to-heart talk around a sacred fire with the aim of transmitting heart-centered and earth-honoring wisdom for living as a whole person.


For Native Americans, “Grandfathers” (or Grandmothers) is a title of respect for the spiritual powers, and for ritual elders and healers. The terms “Grandson” may have originally been a corresponding symbol for the youth or shamanic apprentice.

The focal point of the story is the awakening of the individual to personal responsibility for their life, the outcome of their choices. It presupposes a spiritual being inside, an “I Am” that is free, creative, and can feed its attention and thoughts in ways that result in life enhancement and growth towards fulfillment (Red Wolf), or in ways that thwart and cause the growth of suffering for self and others (Blue Wolf). In the Native American medicine ways to be a fully human means that you are living in a heart-centered and earth-honoring way, and that you are honoring You. To honor you is to honor your own desires, feelings, and vision of things, and to protect all that against the opinions and judgments of others, and especially, protect it against the Blue Wolf energies in your own mind. To be alive and healthy in this way means that you have reduced the size of the Blue Wolf in your life to the point where there are no major obstacles to your being you, living the life you really want and are meant to live. This is folk psychology at its best.

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Priniciples for Feeding the Red Wolf:
1. Commit to honoring yourself without question.
2. Don’t give your power away. Honor your inner teachers and protect what they give you.
3. Trust your own inner sense of heart knowing (heart-NGS, felt-sense, intuition, sprit guides), Initially you may need an outer human teacher to guide you to find and consistently follow your inner teachers (what Fire Talks do).
4. Don’t accept the opinions or wishes of others for you without running it by your heart first.
5. Avoid praise and blame. Know your on value and protect.
6. Don’t let fear stop you. Follow your heart/NGS in spite of fear.
7. Drop victim thinking.
8. Muster the courage to look within and see what you find. Be honest and see warts and all, Blue Wolf habits, so you can go to work reducing these. But also see your unique wood-grained individuality.
9. Take control of your life be removing the Blue wolf energies, and reclaiming lost parts of yourself (soul recovering). Get all of you on line.
10. Get in your flow by living faithfully from your heart and honoring your unique individuality. You will know you are in your flow by the synchronicities, feedback, and NGS.
11. Be pragmatic and use those beliefs and strategies and choices that get results you want and that feel right in your heart, in your bones! Judge the value of your beliefs and choices by the results you get, and not based on the beliefs and opinions of others, or on what external authorities told you.



Are you living from your heart? Is your heart open and generous? How much sunshine is there in your heart? There can’t be much sunshine if you are not living your true life, if you are not strong enough to hold your ground, express your voice in the community, open yourself to the point of view of other people and other creatures. Anything that gets in the way of the life giving sunshine (Blue Wolf-energies) needs some good medicine to remove it and to help you cultivate the life-energies and joy you really want and need.

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Footnote on the Sacred Nature of Wolves;
Both Celestial Elf and Mikkal would like to make clear that the Wolves in this tale are purely symbolic of human energies and that along with  the Cherokee and many other people, we have the greatest respect for Wolves.

The Wolf is a powerful motif in the foundational mythologies and cosmologies of peoples throughout Eurasia and North America (corresponding to the historical extent of the habitat of the gray wolf). The obvious attribute of the wolf is its nature of a predator, and correspondingly in western mythologies it has generally been associated with danger and destruction.
However as a more Earth centered spirituality - awareness of the lives and energies of other creatures, develops in the modern world, both conservation efforts and  positive symbolism of the wolf are gaining ground.
Positive meanings of the Wolf as a  power animal symbolic of freedom emphasize a deep connection with your intuition and instincts. On the negative side, the wolf could represent perception of a threat or a lack of trust in someone or your own feelings or actions. This spirit animal also reflects sharp intelligence in dealing with important matters.
If you have the wolf as a spirit animal, it could be an expression of your sharp intelligence and strong instincts perceiving and understanding the world around you.

Whether the wolf appears in physical form or in a dream or meditation, it may reveal that you’re using your instincts and intuition to grasp a situation well. The fact that your wolf animal spirit guide shows up could also be a call to use this capacity to deal with a recent challenge you’ve experienced in your life.

When a wolf manifests its presence as a guide in your life, it could be a call to live your life more freely, to bring the intensity of passion in your everyday endeavors, it could be an invitation to look at what supports your authentic self and the true expression of yourself. ( http://bit.ly/1jQFJas )

Wolves became extinct in Scotland and Ireland in the 1700s and sometime before that in England, persecuted by Man. Today, their European strongholds include Russia, eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
Reintroducing the Wolf to Scotland was first proposed in the late 1960s, but the idea only started to gain wider publicity and support following the reintroductions of the red wolf to the south-eastern United States in 1989, and the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. More information here( http://bit.ly/1jQGmAN ).

















Tu Kuy ~

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Capitalism – Born in Flames / Women - Burned in Chains ~

Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici;


Caliban and the Witch challenges the widely-held belief that capitalism was at one time a progressive or necessary development. Reinstalling the excluded history of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe with terror for more than 200 years, Federici demonstrates that capitalism has always relied on spectacular violence, particularly against women, people of color, workers, and those cultivating a more egalitarian future, to create its landless working class and to destroy communities and loyalties that existed outside of itself.
 


''A return of the most violent aspects of primitive accumulation has accompanied every phase of capitalist globalisation including the present one, demonstrating that the continuous expulsion of farmers from land, war and plunder on a world scale, and the degradation of women are necessary condition for the existence of capitalism in all times.''.

''Capitalism was the response of the feudal lords, the patrician merchants, the bishops and popes, to a centuries long social conflict...Capitalism was the counter-revolution that destroyed the possibilities that had emerged from the anti-feudal struggle -''

''The “shock therapy” of the Witch Hunt was used to terrorize rebels and visionaries, impose new discipline on the body, on female sexuality in particular, and usher in a new social system based on a landless working class and the devaluation of women’s labor.''



* * * * * * * *

The main focus of Caliban is the Witch Hunt of the 15th–17th centuries in Europe, through which “hundreds of thousands of women were tried, tortured, burned alive or hanged, accused of having sold body and soul to the devil.”

Federici argues that this repression was primarily “a war against women,” which constructed a new sexual hierarchy based on the division between male wage labor and female unpaid reproductive labor such as raising children, caring for the elderly and sick, nurturing their husbands or partners, and maintaining the home. Those accused of witchcraft were often women who lived outside this binary – as rebels, healers, midwives, sexual/gender non-conformists, or those providing forbidden knowledge of contraception or abortion.

Federici posits this systematic violence against women as one mode in the formation of capitalism when she instructs that “the witch-hunt occurred simultaneously with the colonization and extermination of the populations of the New World, the English enclosures, and the beginning of the slave trade.” Contrary to “laissez-faire” orthodoxy which holds that capitalism functions best without state intervention, Federici expands upon Marx’s proposition that it was precisely the state violence of this “primitive accumulation” that laid the foundation for capitalist economics.

Principally, capitalism could not have been formed without the creation of a landless working class. People do not readily submit themselves to wage labor unless they no longer have an autonomous ability to provide for themselves or their communities. In Marx’s oft-quoted section from Capital, “these new freedmen became sellers of themselves only after they had been robbed of all their own means of production… And the history of this, their expropriation, is written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire...The witch burning was medieval “Shock and Awe.” ''

But unlike Marx, who saw the separation of humans from their traditional land-bases as a necessary evil for the expansion of “the productive forces,” Federici emphasizes the loss of the freedom we once enjoyed through connection to the land. She points out that before the Enclosures, even the lowliest of serfs had their own plot of Earth with which they could use for just about any purpose. Federici writes, “With the use of land also came the use of the ‘commons’ – meadows, forests, lakes, wild pastures – that provided crucial resources for the peasant economy (wood for fuel, timber for building, fishponds, grazing grounds for animals) and fostered community cohesion and cooperation.” [alex knight] ( ( more details look here ) )

* * * * * * * *

''This is also what is happening today, as a new global expansion of the labour market is attempting to set back the clock with respect to the anti-colonial struggle, and the struggles of other rebl subjects - students, feminists, blue collar workers (I add farmers, unemployed, disabled, elderly, single parents, children ) ...


It is not surpising then, if large scale violence and enslavement have been on the agenda, as they were in the period of 'transition' , with the difference that today the conquistadors are the officers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who are still preaching the worth of a penny to the same populations which the dominant world powers have for centuries robbed and pauperized.''

Serious reading for a fuller perspective of our life and times.














Recommended.


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Glad Tidings of The Eighth Magpie ~



Just saw a glad tiding of Eight Magpies in our back garden tree;
A group of magpies is called a tiding.

Related to the crow the magpie is a remarkably intelligent bird and associated with Shamanic qualities. Ancient folklore associated with the magpie suggests that when two or more fly into one’s life good fortune is coming soon. Since magpies are opportunists and seldom miss a chance to get something for nothing, those with this medicine should pay attention to subtle omens that appear in their life then act accordingly so opportunities are not missed. The magpie asks us to wake up and be conscious in every area of our life.

The Magpie is associated with prophecy in the following rhyme (which has many variants)…




One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told
Eight for heaven,
Nine for a kiss,
Ten a surprise you should be careful not to miss,
Eleven for health,
Twelve for wealth,
Thirteen beware it's the devil himself.

Magpie pairs are monogamous and stay together for the entire duration of their lives. An old English tradition notes that if one magpie flies by, you should take your hat off and bow repeating this line : Morning/Afternoon Mr Magpie. How's Mrs Magpie and all the little Magpies? This will help assure your good luck throughout the day.

One seen flying or croaking around a house or sitting alone symbolises that misfortune is present. Should a flock of magpies suddenly abandon a nesting area then, like the crow and rook, death is present and hard times are ahead. To avoid bad luck it is said that taking your hat off to the passing birds will act as protection against darker forces. Perhaps these associations stem from the fact that it was the only bird that would not enter the Ark preferring to stay outside. It is one of the very birds that also has black and white plumage, a combination of the sacred or holy colour (white) and of evil (black).

To have one perch on your roof though is supposed to indicate that the house will never fall down. According to tradition it would be best to rearrange a journey if you see just one. If one is seen on the way to church it signifies that death is present, hence some believe that it is best to cross yourself to ward off evil or negative energies whilst saying 'Devil, Devil, I defy thee'.

In Somerset, England it was once thought that to carry an onion at all times would provide protection against magpies.

Legend also has it that when a magpie's mate dies it summons an assembly of other magpies at which the dead bird is honoured before a new mate is selected. In Celtic lore the bird was sacred to 'Magog.'

Related to the crow the magpie is a remarkably intelligent bird and associated with Shamanic qualities. Ancient folklore associated with the magpie suggests that when two or more fly into one’s life good fortune is coming soon. Since magpies are opportunists and seldom miss a chance to get something for nothing, those with this medicine should pay attention to subtle omens that appear in their life then act accordingly so opportunities are not missed. The Magpie asks us to wake up and be conscious in every area of our life. More Magpie info here.

Wishing you all the luck of the Eighth Magpie -



















 Caw!