Cooling Down the Fire

Many of us have become so accustomed to conditions caused by inflammation in our bodies that we don’t even recognize the discomfort and ill feelings that are companions to being in a state of inflammation.  Even I have lapsed into some bad dietary and lifestyle habits that have inflammation creeping back into my body lately and I admit, I’m not all that happy about it!
So… what is inflammation?  Basically, it is how our bodies protect us from foreign microorganisms and substances that are not supposed to be in our bodies or are multiplying to levels that become dangerous.  Most chronic inflammatory conditions and occur when our bodies lose the ability to recognize our own cells as good tenants and begin to attack them as unwelcome guests.  You can read more about inflammation at http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/about-inflammation#1
Here are some common ailments caused by inflammation.  Some of them may surprise you… I know I was surprised when I began researching inflammation and some of the health conditions I was challenged with.
High blood pressure ~ high cholesterol ~ diabetes ~ asthma ~ allergies ~ sinus infections ~ hives ~ skin conditions ~ psoriasis ~ endometriosis ~ PCOS ~ infertility ~ heartburn ~ GERD ~ bipolar disorder ~ migraines ~ depression ~ arthritis ~ joint pain ~ ADHD ~ thyroid ~ IBS ~ dysfunction ~ Lyme disease ~ fibromyalgia ~ chronic fatigue ~ lupus Crohn’s ~ leaky gut syndrome ~ leaky gut ~ diverticulitis ~ ulcerative colitis ~ multiple sclerosis ~ and many more…
What can we do?
The fact is, there is no magic pill or short-term answer.  If you are prone to inflammation, you need to be proactive, diligent and have good mental endurance and dedication to your health and wellness.  Things are NOT going to change overnight, after one week, and possibly not more than minimally after one month.
It.  Takes.  Time!
Do not despair, though!  Here are some things you can do today to start yourself on that journey to less inflammation.
  • Drink more water – no… soda, coffee, beer, energy drinks and juice do not count!  Herbal tea?  Sure!  But start with at least four 8 ounce glasses of fresh, clean water a day and work up to at least 8 glasses.  If you are exercising, working outside or recovering from some dietary indulgences, drink a little more!  While it is possible to drink too much water, you would have to drink several gallons very quickly to truly harm yourself.
  • Eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids – fishes such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and herring… walnuts, pecans, and ground flaxseed are also good sources.  While soy is also rich in Omega-3, many people are sensitive to soy and more and more research is showing soy can cause inflammation.
  • Eat more antioxidant rich foods – embrace those fresh fruits and veggies!  Go to your local farmers market and indulge in their bounty, making sure to choose a wide and colorful variety.  Legumes, whole grains, and green tea, also fall into that category of being high in antioxidants, but also may contribute to inflammation, so pay attention to your body’s response when you eat these things and adjust accordingly.
  • Take supplements – while it is always best to get your nutrition from good, organic whole foods, the fact is that sometimes the body needs a little boost.  As a standard practice, make a habit of speaking to your physician, dietician or nutritionist, and pharmacist before taking ANY new supplement.  There have been far too many people that have taken supplements, only to discover that they had a bad chemical response when taken with their current prescriptions or aggravate symptoms for another condition they are challenged with.
    • Curcumin (found in turmeric) – I like to treat myself to “Golden or TurmericTea” each night to help me relax, get a good night of sleep, and soreness and tenderness.  Recipes for this delightfully spicy cup of comfort can easily be found on the interwebs.
    • Bromelain – found deliciously pre-packaged in pineapple, reduces bruising and swelling.  Too much can upset the stomach and digestive system though, so start with a half a cup and eat more as your body tolerates.
    • Melatonin – produced by the brain to help regulate sleep, which is integral to healing.  Commercial melatonin is produced in laboratories and is sometimes used to help relieve pain for people battling chronic pain symptoms.
    • Probiotics – Good bacteria the keep your digestion working well.  Gut health is so important to overall health, so pay attention to what’s happening at the back end!  Eat fermented foods such a sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt.  If you go the round of supplements, look for a product that has 15 billion microorganisms or more and has a wider sampling of at least four different types of critters in the formula.
    • L-Glutamine – specifically helps your gut heal and thus, the rest of your body.  I like to use a powder that I dissolve in water to make it easier to take.
    • Vitamin D – With a reputation for supporting bone health, more and more research is showing that this vitamin is an integral part of auto-immune health and emotional stability.  While the body does produce vitamin D naturally, the fact is that those of us in northern climates simply do not get enough sunlight to produce the levels needed for optimal health.
  • Exercise – regular and gentle exercise are important to combating inflammation.  Swimming, walking and yoga are all wonderfully gentle exercises.  If you are not ready for that, start where you are… walk around the house… dance in your chair to your favorite music… park one spot further away from the store each day.
  • Sleep – Good sleep is highly under-rated until you are deprived of it!  Make changes in your lifestyle to promote better sleep habits:  Unplug from technology a couple hours before bed.  This includes your cell phone!  Drink a full glass of water before bed.  Take a warm bath or shower.  Sleep in a cooler room.  Turn off all the lights.
  • Spiritual connection – What?  Did you think we wouldn’t touch on this?  We are the Web, after all!  Meditation, journaling and spiritual connection are all found to contribute to good health and wellness.  If you are feeling a little lost, lonely or disconnected, reach out to your Web family
Notice that we are focusing on the positive changes each of us can make to feel better.  This is because it really does no good to belabor any “bad” habits we have.  I prefer to pursue health and wellness with the mindset that we can “trade up” to something better and in doing so, leave less room for the things that negatively impact us.  Think about who in our Web Family is also challenged by things on this list and then think about how we can support each other in our journey to taking proactive measures towards improving our overall health and wellness with positive accountability and loving support.
Choose happiness.  Choose joy.  Choose the good things.  Always, choose love!
Submitted by Darcy “Ravija” Moore, Certified Health & Wellness Coach
p.s.  As part of my love donation to the Web, I offer one-on-one wellness coaching to anyone in the Web family that asks.  In return, please make a small donation of your choosing to the Web if you are able.  Anyone that is willing to do the work, will not be turned away.
(Originally submitted for Web Notes June 2017 edition)

 

Celebrate the Ancestral Women!

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Louisa Leonard West

By Dorothy Abrams

This is Mother’s Night in the Norse Pagan calendar, the night before Winter Solstice. Celebrate your ancestral mothers. Remember who they are.

You may have heard about my great grandmother Louisa Leonard West a hundred times, or not at all. She was my first spirit guide. She spoke to me from her picture hanging at the foot of my sofa where I was napping. Her face changed. Her dress changed. Her hair changed. I learned over time these changes were the faces of other women in my lineage and hers. She brought them through to me.

Then I learned in a past life I had been her best friend growing up until a year or so before Louisa’s marriage I fell through the ice and drowned. I had been visiting an older women in the woods who taught me tarot, tea leaf reading, respect for the nature spirits, healing and magic. She turned out to be Lydia, my friend and teacher in this life.

So on Mother’s Night 2017 I honor Louisa and the woman who taught her tea leaves my friend Lydia. I honor Louisa’s daughter Lulu Pearl West Russell, my grandmother. I honor Dorothy Pearl Russell Abrams, my mother. These women brought me the magic of living authentically. I brought them retroactive healing from asthma and allergies, though we are still all working on it.

Communication with the Ancestors is a two way radio. We speak and so do they. Listen to their wisdom. Ask them questions. Love them. They love you even though you never met some of them. And on my father’s side of the family, I honor my grandmother Ina Louise Lyon Abrams and Laura Eloise Parkman Lyon. They brought me strength of will and persistence. They are women who would not be tricked or defied. If you dared fool them, as my grandfather did, you paid for it all your life. And if the two of them butted heads, it was time to leave the room. I don’t often credit Ina and Laura with my stubborn streak, but I should. Their life theme was “And she persisted.”

So collect the names of your mothers and grandmothers tonight and light a candle. Call their names and ask the teachings they bring. Listen. None of the ancestors like to be brushed off. They won’t accept your excuses. And they surely won’t put up with procrastination.

There’s more about celebrating Mother’s Night from me on the Moon Books Blog.

Mother’s Night: Listen!

A Story of the Yule GiveAway

by Dorothy Anemone:

See my related article at the Moon Books Blog. The Magick of the GiveAway Blanket

One of the first GiveAway blankets I remember at the Web, was on a cold winter night in Cortland County. A local woman took a chance on an announcement she’d seen and joined us for the first time, a single unwrapped gift in hand. When it was time to meditate on the unwrapped gifts displayed in front of us, she took a book on interpreting dreams. The rest of us had brought 3 or more gifts and took as much as we recognized as mean for us. There were still half a dozen gifts left on the blanket. A pen, a notebook, a travel alarm, and three others. They might have been a dream catcher, dream cards, crystals, incense, oils and a calendar. I don’t remember the details. We all looked at them and then at her.

pexels-photo-279467 dream catcher

 

 

 

Someone said “these are all yours.”

 

She looked aghast. She had only brought one and was new. We encouraged her. The pen and notebook were to record dreams. The clock was to awaken at a time in the night when she might be dreaming. Other things were to promote dreaming and remembering dreams. They all fit together.

 

 

 

 

Reluctantly she accepted the gifts with our blessing/insistence. She couldn’t imagine the generosity of strangers to a very shy woman who had only sort of confessed she was looking for help in understanding dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GiveAway Blanket does many things for us at Yule. One of them is accepting that our needs and wants are known to the Spirits and can be answered in surprising ways. It is an exercise in faith that the right hand will find the right gift. It is a step in our own growth to know what we need will be there, even when we don’t know we need it. Not everyone looking for help with dreaming would think of an alarm clock.

This Yule 2017 will be celebrated at the Web in Lyons on December 23rd. We will each bring 3 gifts. We will then each take 3 gifts. No one knows what they will be. Trusting the spirit to take our favorite things and put them in the right hands is the essence of the Yule season. Give and let it be returned.

 

Web Annual Dinner 11/5/17: 2017 Trustees!

We had a fine time at the Deer Head Lakeside Restaurant & Bar Sunday. This is an yearly turnkey and all the trimmings feast, raffle and a little annual business.  I want to introduce your newly elected members of the Council of Trustees.

First Dorothy Abrams was re-elected for another 2 year term. You know her as Anemone and Webweaver. She is the author of Identity and the Quartered Circle, one of the Web’s founders and teachers. She is married to Merlin and they live in Clyde at the home of many cats.

Missy Goodsell is a new member of the Council. She has been with us for years initiated in all 4 levels of Web Wicca. She lives in Hannibal. She is a healer, artist and contributor to Sacred Sex and Magick and to iPagan.

Mary Moon is re elected after a few years rest and recreation. She is a former treasurer and former chair of the Web. She is an initiate of all 4 levels of Web Wicca, a healer and our chief Reiki Master and Teacher. Mary lives in Wolcott.  She also is a contributor to Sacred Sex and Magick.

Diane Van Norman is re elected after a couple years r and r though she has been attending some of the council meetings as a past chair. Diane lives in Lyons. She also is a Reiki Master, healer and initiate of all 4 levels of Web Wicca. She is one of our key teachers for Wicca I and a contributor to Sacred Sex and Magick.

Ron Gates is a new councilor and fairly new to the Web. He has years of experience with other groups including Angel Heart and online education in witchcraft and wicca. Ron lives in Lyons. He has been one of those people who is fully committed to the ceremonies and is there every time the door is open.

Michaelene Wojkowski is a new councilor who has been attending Council meetings regularly as a Web voting member. She finds her way to us through Buddhism and is quick to identify the similarities. She runs a cat grooming business in Lyons where she lives.

Paul Baldwin, Ravija, and Zatira continue in their terms as councilors. We are all meeting November 21st 2017 at noon for orientation, selection of officers and goal setting. Note because the Web PATH Center is set up to form pagan pathways for the 21st century, we do something differently. The Council makes every attempt to work by consensus instead of majority vote. The trustees select their leaders from among themselves as a group of peers. To conform to state law and bylaws based on that we have a chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. Elly Keyel who has been our treasurer for a long time will work with us as a chief financial officer but will not be on the Council because she has far exceeded her term limits. She deserves a break!!

Also leaving us this year are Flow, Cindy, and Ken. We thank them for their hard work and commitment to the Web and celebrate their decisions to work from within the ranks as members.  Love to all of you.

And for the rest of you readers, come out and get involved. Our next group Web planning meeting is January 1st 2018 when we set the schedule for the year. Draw sabbats and esabats out of a hat and be a ritualist for next year. That’s what we usually do, letting the Goddesses decide who leads what over the calendar year. It’s always exciting to see who gets what!

 

Shamanic Sessions Return to the Web

Hooray! We have returned to our twice monthly shamanic drum and trance sessions for the 2017-2018 series.  As always we meet the 2nd and 4th Sundays 2 pm to 4pm unless pre-empted by Council Meetings or classes. After the long summer months it’s good to be back together. Because Zatira has taken on a new job, Anemone has picked up the drum beater and will lead the sessions. So she added a couple new things. 

Basic shamanic instruction is offered at each meeting.  How to find a power animal, how to contact a spirit guide, how to find a power song, how to create a healing garden.  Ask a question and we will answer it. If you want to cover all the information a Foundations of Shamanic Practice course might include, don’t miss a session!!

We will endeavor to take two journeys each week. They will be structured so that experienced workers can follow their own needs for information or psychic work. New workers can develop the necessary skills to shape their own practices. We will have group healing journeys or other responses to current events in the world. So if you have a concern and want intervention at home or in the world, bring them with you for the group working.

We will also include some work in the arts and healing each week. Many indigenous people include shamanic art. Some draw or paint what they see in their journeys. Others create sacred objects that are useful and beautiful. Healing itself is an art. We will make talisman pieces or use previously crafted objects to enhance the healing magic of our group. Let’s see what we can do with our art when we connect up with spirit.

Finally, we can share the group facilitation with experienced shamanic workers and bring in guest leaders as the group grows large enough. That’s our plan for the 2017-2018 shamanic series.  Look for more info here soon.!