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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. November's Theme: "Grateful"
Volume 7 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265

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Wiccan Voices
Turning Leaves: Lessons of Gratefulness and Sustainability

with Crystal Blanton

The turning wheel always indicates a time of change, the slow progression of growth that trickles in each person's life in preparation for the future. There is no way to guess what is around the corner as the wheel turns, only the knowledge of life's adventures.

The middle harvest comes and pushes our internal systems into a mode of preparation for the coming darkness, a time when light is short and hope seems to wane with the sun. The time of inner reflection can be full of insight at best and painfully isolating at worst. Each person experiences the dark half of the year in a slightly different way, but overall Pagans look at it as a time that we have to gather resources and exist in a more intense time of Self.

With each turning leaf we have the reminder of what our souls do each year at this time. The dying of the fall leaves is one of the many examples of the life, death, and rebirth cycle of the world in which we live. Acknowledging this necessary time in each person's life could make the difference between quietly accepting the cards you are dealt or preparing to win the poker game. Putting your life in position to receive the lessons of the dark half of the year can be a catalyst to furthering your spiritual growth and having a clear understanding of your purpose, the purpose of your reflection, and at times the purpose of your pain.

In our fast-paced lives, it is seldom that we sit back and evaluate the potential lessons we have learned from events or feelings that feel hurtful or uncomfortable. In most cases we sit in our feelings of pain and hurt, allowing them to play their role in our mental health and take away from the balance our self-worth creates. As time passes and our emotions fade around our experience, it is easy to minimize the impact that has been created on our lives. In reality, each time we experience life we are gaining knowledge which leaves a permanent crinkle on our road map of life. This crinkle doesn't necessarily change the course of our road trip but it could.

As we each learn from the mysteries of life and the sometimes painful growth of the soul, the feelings we acquire on the journey help us to know we are truly alive and within the midst of the human experience. Without the tangible emotions of happiness, joy, pain, fear, worry, heartache and love, we could almost forget that the meaning of life is folded into the myriad of human expressions which help to dictate our path and the stride we use as we walk this path.

This time of year the leaves show us that all living things pass the phase of darkness, becoming brittle, old, tired and used. The wheel of the year allows us to see on the outside what we experience on the inside in the cycle of our lives on a yearly, daily or hourly basis, and sometimes even within the course of each minute. The human experience is about the process of regenerating ourselves over and over again, becoming more complex and more human in the process.

As each leaf detaches from its home and begins the free fall to the ground, remember its purpose and revel in your victory. Each person who is able to get back up after any fall should acknowledge the lesson learned, release the old and regenerate into the new, which is doing something a leaf cannot do. Being grateful for the many lives each of us possess and the various opportunities which serve as reminders of the need to be grateful is a necessary part of growing and becoming bigger than we are; beyond our current understanding.

As the season moves towards death, let the visions of life, love, accomplishment, growth and renewal hold you through to the light. Prepare for your lessons this time of year and never forget to be grateful for the opportunity to wait out the darkness and enjoy your greatness.

Crystal Blanton is a trained and experienced Registered Addictions Specialist in the field of drug and alcohol counseling, which enhances her understanding of spiritual balance and how behaviour and perceptions affect our everyday lives. Blanton is a High Priestess and ordained minister with Family Wiccan Traditions International (FWTI) and Dance of the Spirit Moon Tradition, is on the Executive Board of Directors for FWTI, Elder with Covenant of the Goddess and is a student mentor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and children and tries to read as much as possible.

You can contact Crystal Blanton via email or visit her website at www.crystalblanton.com or www.touchofamethyst.com.

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