Souls and the World Connection

Undeniably we are all connected. There are too many coincidences and ‘it’s a small world after all’ moments for them to actually be coincidences. So eventually we must ask do coincidences really exist at all or is it truly Fate? Destiny? Perhaps there is a bigger plan?  And though we may deny it we have all asked ourselves this at some point. So for this post I will be looking at the Soul in each of us and how our very own soul connects us to those we love.

Soul: 

  • the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.
  • a person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity:in the depths of her soul, she knew he would betray her

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/soul

To define a Soul as immortal implies that it lasts eternally and therefore could possibly reincarnate leading us to the concepts of Soul Mates and Soul Groups or Families. We have multiple Soul Mates; they are brothers, sisters, parents, friends and lovers. They are the ones that teach us the lessons of life. To teach us these lessons some of these soul mates have to inevitably leave us on our journey in this life, none the less they are still soul mates.

There are many different types of Soul Connections ranging from Twin flames to Karmic Soul Mates to Ego-Mates to Companion Mates. Twin Flames also known as Twin Rays are something I have personally done a lot of research on and could go on about for days so we’ll save the majority of that definition for the next publication. But basically this is what you  need to know on that.

Twin Flames/Twin Rays: (the quick definition) Think of twin flames as the ultimate soul mate (occasionally called Soul Twin), they are literally the other half of your soul. You will only incarnate once or twice with this lucky fella/lady.                   More to come in a future post.

    Back to Soul Mates and all that connecting. Let’s start with the Karmic Soul Mate. Remember that soul mate I mentioned earlier who leaves you to follow their own path after teaching you some valuable life lesson? Yeah that’s your Karmic Soul Mate. Usually you wronged this soul in a past life or they wronged you. Coming back to this life where you two have been brought together to right whatever wrong was once done and such re-balancing the Karmic Scales of Nature. Hence the name. The main features of Karmic relationships are that they are purpose driven and once that purpose has been accomplished (lesson learnt), the relationship will usually end.

    Ego-mates are essentially someone you meet or are with because they make you look good/ feel good. In your heart of hearts you don’t truly love them. This is a lesser mate. It’s a lust or desire type of relationship. They may possess a quality you desire ( good looking perhaps) but the rest of them – their actual personality for example, you really don’t care for. This is where the lust comes in. You’re lusting after that certain quality because you desire it in a true soulmate. This is a superficial relationship because that person just doesn’t quite fit. Basically this person makes your EGO feel good, not you as a whole.

  Next are companion mates which is very similar to a soul mate but lacks some aspect of love be it physical or familiar or something else entirely.

  So that’s it for now folks glad I was able to publish this finally.

Feel free to leave comments or questions.

@eirelandlily on twitter

@itscharh on Tumblr & Instagram

The Banning of #Goddess

As you may have heard, Instagram recently banned the hashtag Goddess. Instagram claims that it is because users were violating their policies on nudity but if you ask me (and many others), that is pure bullsh*t. A worldwide uprise against Instagram has begun using the hashtag #BringBacktheGoddess as it’s rally cry. There is even a petition on change.org – which I will provide the link to at the end. The people want to know the real reason why. However all Instagram has to say is the following:

We only block hashtags when they are consistently being used to share images and videos that violate our Community Guidelines. We’ve taken similar action on dozens of hashtags because they were being used to share inappropriate content.”   – Instagram Spokesperson ( InstaExcuse )

The dozens of other hashtags include #curvy (reinstated), #sexy, #boobs, #lingerie, #underwear, #nude, #bra, #photography, #iphone, #instagirl and #weed. And that is just several from the 2015 list. Now of course some of these do allude to pornography i.e. sexy, boobs and nude, but they also have various other connotations such as beautiful (sexy) and simply a colour or skin tone (nude), as for boobs well #boobz is still an allowed and searchable hashtag. Why? Instagram’s Community Guidelines clearly state “… there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.” ( InstaGuidelines ) This brings up a lot of controversial questions considering when searching #pornographic you get 3512 results, #assholes turns up 344,549 results, #nippletassels gives you 2602 results and #intercourse provides 11,512 results. If all these things are against this ‘guideline’ then why are they not banned?

The ban on #curvy was lifted but the implication remains; #curvy doesn't fit into societal expectations of women.

The ban on #curvy was lifted but the implication remains; #curvy doesn’t fit into societal expectations of women.

Instagram has done a fine job outlining what is not allowed but are failing in the follow through of their own rules and guidelines. They state their bans are valid as many of the hashtags listed above are used in sexually explicit photos or videos. However, many of these hashtags are largely related to the female gender. #God is not banned, and many sexually explicit photos of the male anatomy remain searchable and posted. This is not a nudity issue, this is oppression of both religious beliefs and female empowerment. Goddess has no negative context, many women use it to refer to the Divine Feminine which resides in both deities and regular women alike. Others use it the same way you would use #beautiful or #sexy. And since when were our #bras and #lingerie seen as dangerous to the masses? Last time I checked they are in pretty much every magazine on the market. Which are sold and purchased by the masses.

On the cover of Bleeder Katy Perry stands tall in a #bra and #underwear, while Julia Louis Dreyfus displays pride in her #nude cover on Rolling Stone magazine.

On the cover of Bleeder Katy Perry stands tall in a #bra and #underwear, while Julia Louis Dreyfus displays pride in her #nude cover on Rolling Stone magazine.

RollingStoneDreyfus

These leading ladies, one a singer the other an actress and comedian both look stunning. No one had an issue with these covers on well known magazines. So what is the problem with regular women showing off their bodies in consensual photos and videos on Instagram? Well the answer is easy enough, we are just that – regular women, imperfect and flawed in our beauty and apparently beliefs. We are a minority in both gender and religion and the fact we dare to be proud of that seems to threaten Instagram. And that has pissed off a lot of people, the backlash on Twitter is both sarcastic and angry.

Backlash on Twitter for #BringBacktheGoddess

Backlash on Twitter for #BringBacktheGoddess

We are a group that has been persecuted for a very long period of time, I speak of both women and Pagans, and quite frankly we’re sick and tired of it. This time we won’t be silent and we won’t give up. #BringBacktheGoddess is a revolution in  the making for both religious and gender equality. So please embrace this movement and #BringBacktheGoddess by signing change.org’s petition. Sign to #bringbacktheGoddess

Thank you for reading, as usual for more from me follow on Twitter @eirelandlily, Instagram @itscharh for more on this issue as well as animal pics/videos and the occasional random thought.

The Appropriation of Paganism

Cultural appropriation is defined as the adoption of elements of a different cultural group while lacking the knowledge and understanding of said culture’s history, beliefs and traditions. As of late, the topic of cultural appropriation in the West has become quite prominent and controversial. Some say cultural appropriation is in actuality more like cultural appreciation as copying is the sincerest form of flattery, others argue it is the natural course of our nations’ progression due to immigration and inter-racial and cultural marriages. In any case if you lack the proper education and understanding of why these elements are so important to each individual group, you are likely insulting said group even if unintended.

Most cultural appropriation focuses on African American culture or Native American culture these days, two primary examples would be Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop music video; which has been criticized for excessive twerking, using African Americans as what some have called ‘accessories’ and her blanket statement of attempting to get “a black sound”[http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/miley-cyrus-needs-to-take-an-african-american-studies-class ]. Equally as bad and offensive is young teenagers at Coachella wearing traditional Native American ceremonial war headressses as accessories. And this isn’t just kids at music festivals, this is the celebrities and role models of today’s youth such as Pharrell, Harry Styles, Johnny Depp (in his role as Tonto), Heidi Klum, Wayne Coyne and the list goes on, considering this trendy. It is not only upsetting, it is down right degrading. [http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/04/pharrell-harry-styles-and-native-american-appropriation.html]

Pharrell & Celebrities Appropriation 'Trend'

Pharrell & Celebrities Appropriation ‘Trend’

As a young white female raised in middle-class Toronto, I don’t pretend to fully understand these cultures and their lengthy histories myself. However, as a Pagan I can relate. On a yearly basis on Samhain, or Halloween as most would know it, one of Paganism’s most sacred holidays, I witness Witch culture appropriation; when little children condoned by their parents, run around dressed  up as decrepit ugly old ladies claiming to be Witches. Often their faces will be painted green. Sometimes they will have a broomstick on hand or a plastic cauldron to collect their candy in. This is equally as wrong, what is worse is that it goes by unnoticed by pretty much everyone. This may be because not many people would consider Witch culture an actual thing. However, it is a practiced religious belief and a fast growing one at that. As folk religions make up the seventh largest religion(s) in the world.

Raised to Appropriate Annually

Raised to Appropriate Annually

The cultural appropriation of Paganism has been an ongoing issue, we are often viewed as Satanic or evil, many a times I have been told I am going to Hell as has every other practitioner of the Path I imagine. Hollywood has made it extremely difficult for us to be seen as respectable members of society without keeping quiet about our beliefs with movies and shows like The Wizard of Oz (sorry Dorothy but I refuse to melt), Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Blair Witch Project and well I could go on. Some of these films I love as they are silly and lighthearted, others are harsher and meaner, some are even a steady mix. Either way, each one puts a stain on the history of our beliefs and practices.

Salem Witch Trials 1692

Salem Witch Trials 1692

The main history I wish to focus on are the countless deaths that took place during the witch trials – world wide. In the U.S. the first witch trial took place in Connecticut in 1647. Alice Young was the first accused and she was hung to death.  At least forty seven men and women were accused of Witchcraft between the years of 1647 to 1693 in Colonial America alone. [http://www.witchcraftandwitches.com/trials_connecticut.html ] It has been estimated, though so far impossible to prove, by historians that between 40 000 – 50 000 people were killed across Europe from the year 1200 to present. In some parts of the world such as Africa, witch hunts and the persecution of the people who hold similar beliefs i.e. hoo doo and voo doo, is still an ongoing political and religious issue. So cultural appropriation of Paganism is not just wrong and hurtful, it is shaming and outright dangerous. It puts us in a position that is near impossible to get out of between the mockery and the general fear. And in some cases is killing people all so Hollywood can make some cash off a religion they don’t understand. In the appropriation of my culture and my experience with the appropriation of cultures, we the minority groups are not the dangerous ones but the victims in a world wide game of cat and mouse.

– @eirelandlily