Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Remembering

Remembrance Sunday is a poignant time for so many, and its significance seems even more important nowadays, not only to the older generation who remember the world wars, but to the younger ones who study them in their history classes at school, but also witness vividly through media coverage, the horror of modern weapons. Also, we witness the courage of those who have survived military conflicts, but been terribly injured, and have to re-build their lives. We see the bravery of those who support their recovery, their close family members, and those who repair broken bodies and minds. 

There have been so many inspiring stories this Remembrance time, which have touched my heart more than ever before. It is as though the separation from loved ones, which comes about with the pandemic, has highlighted the importance in our lives of those we love, and how significant it is to remember what they have given to our own lives.

Probably in most countries and cultures there are special ways to remember. In Latin American countries there is the festival of 'El Dia de los Muertos' (the day of the dead), and in the Christian church we have All Saints and All Souls Day. Halloween has similar roots, even though it has become commercialised these days with concentration on ghosts!

White Eagle's teaching gives a different perspective on remembrance, as he reassures us of the reality of eternal life, and that our loved ones living on are not ghostlike! On Sunday, we held our on-line Remembrance service. It is wonderful that technology now allows this opportunity to come together at the inner level, when physical attendance is not possible. (We had participants  from Africa, Europe and all over the UK.) This also brings to mind the fact that our loved ones in spirit (heavenly beings and angels) join us too, and they do not need the internet to do this! 

One of the readings from White Eagle's teaching we shared was really specific about our loved ones continued presence in our lives and I would like to quote a part of it again now, for readers of this blog who were not present at the service.

'We have heard you relating to your friends what a wonderful time you had with your brother or your husband and that has all passed, that has all gone. This is where you make a big mistake, because these things are not over. All the lovely memories you have are still alive and you are can re-live your experieinces of happiness and joy because your dear ones are still living in a world of feeling and emotion and desire. It is not a dark world - they are in a world of light - in many instances, a world of intense beauty and perfection of form.'

And very importantly, White Eagle goes on to say: 'You do not need to go to anyone else for your vision. You have your own vision.... you only need to love God and have an open mind..... you need to expand your consciousness. The more your consciousness expands in the God-life, the more your inner powers will unfold.'

Thank you White Eagle. So as we remember our loved ones in spirit, let's try to be open to their presence with us!

 

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Passion brings power for change

I have a little notebook by my bed in which I write notes about ideas which drop into my head for future writing. I opened it today, and found this heading, 'Passion brings power for change'! There was no date, and I cannot remember when I wrote this down, but when I read it this morning, I thought, 'Yes, this is what White Eagle wants me to write about this time.' I had asked him the night before for an idea for my next blog, and I have noticed over the months, the subtle way in which he gives me hints! Sometimes, it is a chance remark from someone, sometimes a news item or something I read in a magazine, or I am drawn to open a particulart book I have not looked at for a long time.

 Anyway, I have been contemplating recently the inspiring way in which many people are standing up to be counted, and actively working to bring about positive change in so many areas of life. Obviously,  people are deeply concerned about our planet,  the environment, pollution of our oceans, and the whole issue of global warming. (All much in the news just now with the big conference this weekend.) People are feeling passionate about these things, and as I wrote, 'passion brings power for change'. Looking back in history, we can see this over and over again, the abolition of slavery, and changes in the terrible working conditions of the poor, are just two examples.

 In the White Eagle Lodge we have experienced over many years the power of prayer, and this is an important focus of our work. I personally feel passionate about it and the miraculous power of our shining Star symbol. Not a day passes, when I do not think about the Star, but in the last few months I have added more clearly to my Star work, a concentration linked very deliberately with the fifth Ray, the blue ray, which can be thought of as the Ray of Science - or heavenly science and wisdom brought right down to practical application in earthly conditions. Throughout this time of the pandemic, we owe so much to our passionately dedicated scientists and researchers who have been untiring in their efforts to find ways to help us all. So I pray our wonderful Star will bring that extra help, and strength they need to 'keep on keeping on' with their research -  and receive the heavenly  gift of inspiration from the Wisdom Temple of Science!

 White Eagle reminds us in 'Seeking Serenity': 'Do you know how the world is progressing? You may think that disaster lies ahead for some countries or people - but, oh, if only you could see with a clear vision, you would see how great is the power of the Light in your brethren!'

Monday, 20 September 2021

Ode to Autumn

 

“Season of Mists and mellow fruitfulness, close-bosom friend of the maturing sun:

conspiring with him now to load and bless with fruit the vines that found the

thatch-eves run; to bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees and fill all fruit

with ripeness to the core.”     Keats

I love this time of year here in the UK, when gradually, day by day, it

is getting dark a little earlier and sunrise (if we are blessed with a sunny morning) is a little later. As Keats famous poem so evocatively describes it, Autumn has a magic all of its own. The many colours of the leaves, the fruits and berries and very lush flowers, the scents and sounds, and these days again, thankfully, more butterflies, bring such a joyous feeling to my heart. I have so many happy memories of childhood times at New Lands – the gathering of blackberries in the hedgerows, chestnuts and games with conkers – and decorating New Lands chapel for our Harvest Festival service. In those days I was not so aware of the terrible suffering of starving people around the world, but we were taught not to waste and to be very thankful.

Thankfulness is a wonderful quality and I still love (and sing!) the traditional Harvest hymns. ‘Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you God for everything.’ Such simple words but so meaningful, and especially so, I think, in our world today, when so many things seem to have become so much more complicated and stressful. Constant news from all around the globe can feel like a mixed blessing, and remembering to do the simple things, like offering the gift of a kind smile or sending an unexpected greeting brings its own reward in the heart, like a soothing balm, and ‘the mellow fruitfulness of Autumn’. In this season we literally reap the seeds of earlier sowings and nature reminds us all the time of the law of karma, giving a wonderful natural prompt. In the midst of everything which seems negative in our world, we are reminded how much we have to be thankful for.

There is a White Eagle book, White Eagle on Festivals and Celebrations which contains his inspiring teaching linked to the seasons. These words come from the ‘Harvest’ chapter about ‘A Law of Giving and Receiving’.

‘A divine law operates through both the act of giving and the act of receiving. Experience has taught you that by creating a condition of love and harmony deep within your own heart you draw to yourself love and harmony; by creating beauty within, you draw external beauty to you. In other words, as you give, so you receive. What you put into life flows back in full measure – this is inescapable law. It is impossible for any man or woman to give truly from the heart without receiving exactly what they have given.'

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Heavenly Gardens and Childhood Memories of New Lands Garden

I was very fortunate to grow up living in a little cottage on the New Lands estate.
'Wide Horizons' is its name, and it has great views of the beautiful Hampshire countryside, with glorious sunsets and golden light bathing the little garden. My dad, John Hodgson, (our first treasurer of the Lodge in those early days, and very clever he was at helping us all exist on a shoestring!) had green fingers and he spent any spare time he had in the garden. In those days, just after the second world war, everyone was growing vegetables, making chutney and jam (and he was great at this), and we had free range hens too. Lovely to see in lockdown how these simple, natural pursuits have come back into our lives. It is heartwarming too, the way those living in urban environments are being encouraged to develop little garden spaces wherever possible. We are all being encouraged to help wildlife flourish and many public gardens now have wild flower spaces to encourage pollination. There really are more bees and butterflies around this year - it has thrilled my heart to hear and see them.

 My childhood memories have come flooding back...in the 1950s, long before the first Temple was build on New Lands hill, on summer afternoons my Mum used to pack us a picnic tea, and with my sister Rose, and cousins, Colum and Jeremy, we went into New Lands garden and enjoyed all the beauty there. A special favourite was the pond, and in late summer, we would look very carefully for the dragonfly lavae who had climbed up the water plants. There usually were one or two who had just emerged and were drying their wings in the sunlight before flying off in their new freedom. My mum used this beautiful sight as a means to explain death*  to us, and the other children who came to the monthly children's service she led in New Lands chapel. She also talked with us about the beauty of the gardens in heaven, which she called the 'Summerland' - always sunshine there, it seems, and the flowers, birds and insects more lovely than even our paradise gardens on earth. That is where we may go when our bodies sleep at night, she told us, and where we wake up when the time has come to leave behind our physical body...

 And as White Eagle tells us, on the last page of his 'Little Book of Comfort for the Bereaved': 'Let us become aware of the beautiful garden of reunion. Each soul is taken to the quiet sanctuary to sleep until they are ready to awaken to the new life which awaits them. When they wake, they look out into a sunlit garden which is as dear and familiar to them as their most loved garden on earth; and thus they can walk into the sunlight to meet their beloved family and friends who are awaiting their coming. Stay a while here and commune with your loved ones...`

Such a lovely vision for us all to contemplate.

.....................................................................................................................

 * I have recently been given a little book on this theme 'Water Bugs and Dragonflies' by Doris Stickney.  ISBN 978-1-4729-7315-3. It has lovely illustrations, and explains beautifully for children death and re-brith into the heaven world. (First published in 1982, it is still in print.)