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Class2- Deities

To: Sherry Michael 
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 02:06:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Sherry Michael 
Subject: Class2- Deities

Hi Folks-

A few things first:

I'm waiting for a few more introductions before I send the compiled list 
out. If you have not sent yours in, send it in now! Otherwise just your 
name and address will be listed. I have been happy with the discussion 
lists, and everyone who has shared. Please feel free to increase traffic! 
Topics from past classes may continue to be discussed, even if a new 
class has been sent out.

One note: PLEASE do not CC: messages to my alternate account. The mailbox 
traffic is heavy on it, and I'd like to keep that down as much as 
possible. Use the st90snk7@dunx1 account only if you cannot reach this 
one for some reason.


 *"Wicca 101" class #2 Deities From the teaching coven of the Three Crescents*
  **Please send all e-mail to this account.**
  ***** Please do not distribute in full or in part without this header*****


How have you known God in the past? Was He the Judge, sitting up in 
Heaven, unreachable and unknowable? If you are a woman, how did you feel 
being left out from the divine, or from the priesthood? Was the Virgin 
enough Goddess image for you? Where you ever driven to atheism because 
God was unsatisfying?

Many people find the Jew/Christian/Islam deity comforting, and that is 
wonderful. However, many seekers are dissatisfied by that God. The 
things we will cover in class today will help you get to know the Wiccan 
God and Goddess, and learn the art of worshipful prayer. We will also 
cover meditation: a way to the divine, the beginning step to magical work, 
and the more mundane uses like relaxation.


Wicca is a very unstructured religion, as we have seen in the first 
class. Not surprising then, that the deity concepts are also unstructured 
and very varying.

The Wiccan deities differ from the Jew/Christian/Islam deities in many 
ways. (It does not mean that they cannot be included in Wicca, but 
they may be interpreted differently) Below are a few points on how they are 
different, and hopefully it will help you grasp the Wiccan concept of the Great Ones:

1) No intermediary is necessary to communicate with the God/dess. You do 
not have to go through an official priest to talk to the divine.

2) The God/dess are NOT sitting up in the clouds and unreachable. Wiccans 
are encouraged to try to "bring them down to Earth" and build a personal 
relationship with them.

3) The God/dess, like everything, is not all "good" or "bad". The Earth 
Goddess can have a temper tantrum (ever wonder what an Earthquake is? :) 
and that's natural.

4) The God/dess are not judges, punishers or moving you in a predestined 
path. Think of them possibly more like mindful parents; guiding, 
teaching, an occasional warning if you are heading to danger, and sometimes 
giving suggestions to help you CHOOSE your paths in life.

5) Beware of the deceptive labels of "dark" or "evil" deities. The words 
"dark", "black" and "evil" in many cases just means death or change. 
Western religions usually do not accept death and change as part of the 
circle of life, therefore anything related to death is shunned or labeled 
as evil. Wiccans may be afraid of death or change, but we know it is 
just part of the cycle of life. Do not avoid Lilith, Kali, Hectate or 
Anubis; if you are brave enough to face them, you will learn they hold the 
true Mysteries of life.

Below is a very quick snapshot of some Wiccan myths and symbolisms of the 
Goddess and God. Your milage will vary. Because this is only an 8 session 
course, I can only give you a starting point, and I suggest you further
your reading from other sources for more thorough explanations: 


The Wiccan Goddess commonly takes on the triple aspect of Maiden, 
Mother and Crone. The Maiden is the young virgin (Virgin in the old 
term: a woman who is whole to herself, or independent. May not have sexual 
connotations.) and the carefree youth of springtime. She is represented 
by first love, passion, the waxing moon and new beginnings. The Mother is the 
mother Earth, a full and bountiful woman at her prime of power. She is 
summertime, nurturing mother's love, and the power of women and 
reproduction. She is the full moon. The Crone is the wise old woman who 
holds the mysteries of life and death. The Crone is not to be feared for her 
relation to the end of life, but respected for her knowledge that the end is 
necessary for a new beinging. She is symbolized by winter, the waning moon, the 
spiral of life, infinity and boundless wisdom. These aspects are only 
faces of one All-encompassing Goddess, and you should know all her forms.


The God is the sun, reborn and sacrificed every year to symbolize the 
seasons and birth, death and rebirth. He is the son, born to the Goddess, 
becomes Her lover and makes Her pregnat with His own spirit, and is 
reborn to Her after His death (more on this myth in our holiday class,
just take my word for it for now!). He is the Man of The Woods, caretaker 
of wild places and animals as well as the great hunter. He is the kind 
father, and powerfully protective of His family. He is loving and caring,
and the carefree Green man and Pan. His symbols are the holly in the winter,
and the ivy of the summer. He is the grain that is reaped at the end of
the harvest of life, and dies willingly, knowing that He will be reborn 
and death is just a part of the cycle of life. To know the God in His true 
forms is to know the true meaning of manhood and fatherhood, and the meaning
of the cycles of life.


A common question for beginners is, 'do these Gods and Goddesses really 
exist?'. This question has an answer, which is yes, but has a complex 
explanation. How the deities exist is in the eyes of the believer. 

Often, the Great Ones are seen as embodiments, or symbols,of the cycles and 
powers of nature. Therefore the Goddess exists as surely as the moon 
rises, wind blows, and gravity holds things down. I call this the 
"mother" or "father" Earth theory. The actual deities may not be sitting 
up in the clouds as human form, but that matters not. 

The Great Ones also can be embodied for other reasons. Many people adopt 
mythological deities from other cultures to represent a certain emotional 
or human trait. For instance, love Goddesses are adopted to symbolize 
love, Goddesses of protection are called to protect. As long as the 
emotions exist, or the power, the deities can exist. These Gods can also 
be seen as great examples to look up to or inspire us to be the best we 
can be.

I notice at first it is easier to accept the embodiment theories, but as 
time and your experiences with the Great Ones grow, you may become more 
willing to accept them as actual existing forces. What you believe God to 
be is up to you to figure out, and it will change over time. The important 
part to remember is that you will not be excommunicated for having a different 
deity concept, or questioning. If you believe there is some sort 
of divine power, be it a Goddess or the Mysteries of nature, it can fit a 
Wiccan framework. 


	"And if you who seek to know me, know your seeking and
        yearning will avail you not unless you know the mystery:
        for if that which you seek you find not within yourself,
        you will never find it without.	"
				  - from "The Charge of the Goddess"

Are you confused? It may take you time to learn and build a relationship 
with the Goddess and God. It is not an instant process. You only have the 
answers, and I can only provide you the tools to get to Them.

If certain deities do not come to you right away, you may have to look 
for them. The first step to get to know the Great Ones is research! Would 
you like to use a God from another culture? Does Apollo call to you? Osiris? 
Herne? Go with your instinct! With respect to the cultures, please read 
up on the myths and symbols that culture used. As Wiccans, we are not 
trying to reenact a past religion or its rituals, but you should try to 
understand the culture as best you can, and then incorporate the God into 
your Wiccan tradition and practices respectfully.

The following is a technique to get to know or contact the God/dess you are 
interested in, taken from a very highly suggested book, 
_Invocation of The Gods_ by Ellen Cannon Reed. I credit this technique 
with my success finding my God, after trying for years to rebuild a 
relationship with a male force after rejecting the Christian male God. 
Results seem to be good, but you may have to wait and get a response from 
The God/dess over time, or it may happen right away. Be patient, this may 
have to be repeated over and over again. Her book is basically Egyptian, 
but the below technique will work for any other deity.

Reed's first exercise is a mantra meditation. It can be done anywhere, even 
while doing other things (like sitting in traffic jams). The technique 
starts with controlled rhythmic breathing: breathe in, ...2..3..4, breathe 
out, ...2..3..4. (This breathing exercise should be practiced for all 
types of meditation or relaxation.) When you have the breathing down, add 
this chant (inserting any God/desses name) rhythmically to the breathing:

       In- 2-3-   4-   Out- 2- 3-  4

Repeat and repeat with MEANING...until you have to stop, lose focus or you 
gain contact. Ellen accounts her results using this simple chant with the 
cat Goddess Bast: 	
	"I was chanting 'O Lady Bast, teach me of thee', when I began to 
feel the tension that for me is the feeling of power, energy gathering 
around me. I continued a moment more, until suddenly inside my head (or 
was it?) I heard "SILENCE..." Believe me, I silenced, and as soon as I did 
I heard. " my name, and in silence I shall be heard." 

If you happen to get the attention of your deity, ask questions, listen to 
what they have to tell you,and be respectful. Each God/dess you contact 
will have a different personality, some may MAKE you listen and be 
quiet, others will make you ask the questions. When the contact ends, thank 
the deity for coming.

One of the signs that you have found YOUR God and Goddess is this: can 
you see all the aspects of the Wiccan God or Goddess in the deity? Is the 
Goddess the maiden/mother/crone in one? Is the God 
protector/father/teacher or something new?

 In Ellen's coven, each student chooses or is chosen by a God/dess to 
become a priest/ess of that deity during initiation. I think this is a very 
valid concept, and you may wish to have a special deity to dedicate 
yourself to. Maybe you will be called by a deity to enter a relationship 

Other themes to this meditation is visualization of the deity while 
chanting, singing songs, or playing music. Pictures, statues, or other 
symbols of the God/dess you wish to contact may be helpful. Invision the 
deity being with you until He/She arrives.

How do you know this is not all in your head? Sometimes you don't. After 
meditation and communication with a deity, compare the experience with what 
you know about Him/Her. You may get "weird" signs days after your 
communication. The God/dess may tell you something different from what is 
in books (believe the God, historians can be wrong!) Time, other contacts and 
searching will tell you what is real.


First off, do you know what prayer is for? In many religions prayers are 
punishments or necessary labor. Prayer is a form of worship to the 
divine, a symbol of your love and respect to Them.  Prayer can also be 
used as a way to ask for divine help or influence (but never as a 
bargaining tool for such favors!). Prayer is also simple and the most 
basic magic: you are moving power to the divine, and sometimes asking for 

Prayers can be simple ("thank you Lady for watching over me") or 
elaborate invocations, songs and chants. Included in this section is a 
few chants, invocations (an invocation is asking the deity to become 
present) and prayers for you to use and examine, or make your own!

Wiccans often include offerings in prayer and in ritual to the God/dess. 
Offerings are small items given in thanks (not bribes!). Candles, special 
incenses, and food and drink are common offerings. I don't think I need 
to tell you that blood sacrifice, say from your little brother, is not 
looked well upon! (There IS some valid reasons where blood in pinprick 
amounts, or from menstruation, is used in magic, usually when trying to 
add your essence to a tool or item. This is very different from thinking that
blood is required as a sacrifice.)

Prayers are also said during the holidays and moons, which we will be 
discussing in another class.

How often you pray and if you give an offering is up to you. It is 
suggested at first that you keep some sort of schedule, like praying every 
morning, every full moon, etc, until you get to know your deity. 
Spontaneous prayer to supplement this is fine, of course. All prayers should 
be heartfelt, otherwise they cease to be prayers! 


                   THE CHARGE OF THE GODDESS
         		or "star Goddess"

    "I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon
among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your
soul to arise and come unto me.  For I am the soul of nature that
gives life to the universe.  From Me all things proceed and unto
Me they must return.  Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices,
for behold -- all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.  Let
there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and
humility, mirth and reverence within you.  And you who seek to
know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not,
unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find
not within yourself, you will never find it without.  For behold,
I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is
attained at the end of desire."

The following two are from Scott Cunningham:

The moon illuminates the Earth
with wondrous silver rays;
Illuminate me through the night
and through the sun filled days.

Divine mother,
Mother divine,
Show me the way;
Give me a sign.


She touches everything that changes,
and everything that changes, She touches.


When making an offering, hold the food/incense/etc. Imagine pulling up 
energy from the earth, through your body, arm, and into the offering. Say 
a simple prayer of thanks or honor, like, "O great Lady, The gifts you 
have given me are ones I shall freely return". Burn the incense. Other 
items such as food should be buried, left outside, or poured on the ground.


Meditation is necessary to learn for Wiccans. Ritual, magic, spirit 
quests and prayer all rely on focused thought that meditation and 
visualization teach. So please, practice! The below reading should start 
you on your way. _Book Four_ by Aleister Crowley also includes a helpful 
technique. Notice only 2 of the 3 sections are in this class. Section 3, 
a bibliography, is NOT included: 

                          BASIC MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
                               Part 1 of 3 Parts
                                   May 1987
                                   Bill Witt
                               NEW ATLANTIS BBS
                         Member of the ParaNet system

   This is the first part of a three part online course in Basic
Meditation Techniques

   The course is devided into three sections. Section one deals with
what meditation is and how it plays a part in the lives of those who
use it.  Section two will go into the techniques and tools of
meditation. Section three gives suggestions on how to use what you've
learned, in everyday life. A list of books for further reading on the
subject, will be given at the end of section three.

   This material may be reproduced and distributed only if the header,
by line, and BBS info remain part of any such reproduction.

   Webster defines meditation as "The act of meditating; close or
continued thought; the revolving of a subject in the mind."

   To meditate is to focus mentally on one thought, idea, or concept.
It may also mean, to revolve an idea in your mind so as to change the
way in which you think of that idea. Meditation is therefore, a tool
with which you may manipulate thought in an organized manner.

   Many people view meditation as a very difficult thing to learn. In
reality though, we do it often without even knowing it. When you
daydream or find your mind fixed on one thought, that is a form of
meditation. Have you ever watched a bird in flight, or stared up at
the clouds in the sky, or maybe even found yourself watching a stream
of water flow by? If you have and at that moment the rest of the world
around you has seemed removed, then you were in a state of meditation.
The real key to this practice, is to be able to exercise control over
your thoughts and awareness of the world around you.

   There are many groups of people for whom meditation is an everyday
ritual.  Others use it at special times as a means of relaxation and
"mental house cleaning." It allows the individual a freedom unlike no
other freedom. The freedom to look inside oneself and learn just who
you are. Some use it as a way of being closer to nature or God. No
matter how you wish to use it, you will find it a healthy and very
rewarding experience.

   Most all religions practice meditation in one way or another.
Eastern philosophies such as Yoga, and Buddism are not the only ones
to view meditation as a way of looking for the Truth found in one's
own consciousness.  Even in Christianity meditation finds a place of
value. The Bible itself mentions the value of meditation. In writing
to the Phillippians, the Apostle Paul tells them this. "Finally,
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
(Phil. 4.8)

   So you ask, what can it do for me. Well, beyond just being a good
way to really relax, which we can all use in this hectic world, it can
be a doorway to the Truth inside yourself. It is a way of gaining
wisdom. Knowledge has always been fairly easy to come by. Wisdom on
the other hand, is a bit harder to grasp onto.

   In "The Task" by William Cowper, the following line is found.
"Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men: Wisdom,
in minds attentive to their own."

   For me, meditaion becomes a way of "grounding" myself, of reaching
a place of peace and stability, where I can find how I fit into the

   In many philosophies, meditaion is viewed as a necessary skill. All
those who are students of these philosophies must learn the ways of
meditaion early in their training. Although the techniques may vary
from one group to another, the most basic concepts remain the same.
The ability to be able to focus on one thought and selectively block
out all others is the foundation upon which many more advanced skills
will be built. These skills may range from telepathy to the ability to
move objects with only the mind.

   It is well known that Yogi adepts can lower their breathing and
heart rates to near death levels. This is something you should not try
as it takes years of practice to learn and can be quite dangerous.
Still, these yogis are proof of the type of power the mind can
exercise over the body through meditation.

   In some cultures, the use of drugs to achieve a meditative state is
encouraged. The american indians for example, used drugs derived from
various plants to put themselves into an altered state of
conciousness. This was usually done as a religious practice and as an
event marking the change from one state of life to another. A good
example would be the ceremony marking the coming into manhood of a
young boy. Today there are still many, who advocate the use of drugs
to achieve these altered states. It is my opinion that such measures
are neither necessary nor good. You can reach an altered state of
conciousness without the use of drug induced "highs". It takes
practice, but it can be done.

    In New Age philosophy, the art of meditaion is highly valued. We
also find another well developed skill which is called "creative
visualization". This is the idea of visualising what you want to the
point of it becoming reality. A good example would be a salesman
visualizing himself as successful and prosperous. The concept is
simple, if you can visualize a personal reality, you can change or
bring that reality into being. "Positive Thinking" is a very similar
idea. The technique of creative visualization goes beyond positive
thinking however. It deals with the premise that we all create our own
reality and therefore have the power to change many aspects of that
reality. The idea of "personal reality" is a lengthy one and we do not
have enough room to cover it in this course.

   So far we have looked briefly at what meditation is and how it is
used. By no means have we touched on all the aspects of this practice.
There are many books on the subject which cover it in much more
detail. My purpose is to give you an overview of the many facets of
meditation in the hope that you will wish to learn more.

   In the next section, I will give you insructions on how to meditate
and achieve an altered state of conciousness. Also a list of aids to
meditation will be given and their use explained.

                          BASIC MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
                               Part 2 of 3 Parts
                                   May 1987
                                   Bill Witt
                               NEW ATLANTIS BBS
                         Member of the ParaNet system

   In this second section of the "Basic Meditation Techniques" course,
we will discuss various relaxation procedures and how they will aid
you in entering a trance or meditative state. You will also be given
some ideas about types of music and other "tools" which can help you
achieve these relaxed states of mind. Let's begin.

   First, let's set the stage for our meditation practice. You should
pick a place which is as private and safe as possible. An altered
state of mind, as in meditation, lessens your awareness of the outside
world. For this reason, it is not advisable to practice these
techniques in a public place where there is a chance of being mugged,
robbed, or molested. If you are at home, with other family members or
friends present, ask that you not be disturbed and that all other
noise in the house be kept to a minimum. When you have found a place
suitable for meditation, you may begin.

   "The seekers of new mind states-the mind control devotees, the
encounter group enthusiasts, the drug takers, the psychics, the
meditators - all are on a journey into the interior universe trying to
burst the limits of the socially conditioned mind. Weither acceptable
or unacceptable, moral or immoral, wise or foolish, the mind of man is
stirring toward a new evolution." -- Dr. Barbara Brown (1)

   As I said in section one, trance or meditaive states, alter the way
your mind deals with the realities it accepts as normal. Things which
are experienced in a trance state are often not easily expressed in
everyday language. You will at some level, experience a heightened
state of awareness.  Colors, smells, and sounds may seem amplified
from what they normally are.

   People who can acheive very deep states of trance often leave their
bodies in astral projection, or have psychic experiences.

   I highly recommend, that if you wish to enter deep states of
meditation, you do so under the guidance and teaching of someone who
is well trained in the practice of such techniques. The key thing to
remember is that it's not what level your working on as much as what
you are learning. There is alot to be gained in wisdom and knowledge
at all levels of trance.

   Now let's learn some simple and usefull relaxation exercises.

   You want to be sure that the time you pick to practice your
meditation is a time when you are least likely to be disturbed. You
should not be overly tired or have just finished eating as both of
those conditions may cause you to fall asleep. Even though you wish to
acheive an altered state of consciousness, you do want to remain
conscious to some degree. If you fall asleep when you are meditating,
no harm is done and you will awaken quite refreshed and rested.
Unfortunately though, you may not be able to recall all the things you
experienced while in trance.

   If you are lying down, be sure your back and neck are properly
supported so as not to fatigue the body. If you are sitting, be sure
that both feet are flat on the floor and that you are sitting as erect
as possible without being too stiff or strained. You should have your
arms resting comfortably in your lap with palms up.

   In either case, it is important that your body not become strained
or fatigued for at least thirty minutes. This is a good length of time
to begin with as it should put neither a physical or mental strain on
your being.

   Next, visualize a yourself in a cocoon of white light. You should
surround yourself completely. See the light as bright and warm. You
may play with this sphere of light making it bigger or smaller until
it "feels" right for you.  Say to yourself, "I am protected by the
pure white light of all that is good and truthfull. I am surrounded by
the pure light which keeps out all unwanted and evil influences."

[Owl note: we will be replacing this with a basic circle casting...when 
we learn it in a future class!]

   This is a good idea to do for several reasons. There are those, and
I am one of them, who believe that each of generates an aura which
protects us from outside influences when we are in trance. This aura
may be strengthened by visualizing the light as growing brighter at
our command. Even if you do not accept this idea, the practice lends a
feeling of safety and security to you.  Nothing which is outside of
you may enter or touch you without your permission.

   Learning to control and pay attention to your breathing is the next
step.  You should start by taking a deep breath in through your nose,
hold it for the mental count of 4 and then let it all out slowly
through your mouth. Repeat this until you begin to feel at rest and
relaxed. Allow your breathing to settle into a steady, rythmic rate.
Just this simple technique can relax and refresh you at any time. When
you are only doing the breathing exercise, it is not necessary to go
through the white light sphere visualization. Some people use a
muffled metronome or recording of some other rythmic sound, such as
ocean waves, to aid them in setting the pace of their breathing. A
good source of recorded sounds which can help you in meditation is a
series of records and tapes which have been produced under the title

   Now, as you are breathing, see yourself lying in the warm light of
the sun.  The light is warm and pleasant to be in. Starting with the
tips of your toes, feel the light warming all of your body, slowly
moving up into your legs, your trunk, and then into your arms and
fingers. As you feel this warming become more and more relaxed, going
deeper and deeper into a calm and quiet place.

   When you fell totally relaxed and at peace, bring a single thought
into your mind. It should be of a pleasant experience or of an idea
such as love, joy, peace, or compassion. Focus on this one thought and
if some other thought should try to intrude, picture it as being
written on a clear board between you and your focal thought. Then
picture it being erased from that board as it might be from a piece of
paper. Deal with any thought, other than your focal thought, quickly.
Try to maintain concentration on your focal thought for at least five
minutes. Picture it as being real and experience it as if it were.
When you are able to do this and can exclude all other thoughts as
they attempt to enter your mind, you will have learned the single most
important technique of meditation.

   It is now time to begin coming back to normal consciousness. slowly
let the thought fade from your mind and again become aware of the warm
light of the sun. As you fell the light bathing you in its' warmth,
start to reconnect your mind with the physical sensations of your
body. Become aware of your breathing and the room around you. Do this
slowly and calmly. When you are fully aware of your surroundings, open
your eyes slowly. Enjoy the sense of calm and peace.

   If you succeeded in doing this exercise, you should feel more
relaxed and calm than normal. It is important to remember that you are
comparing it to normal for you, not to what you think others would or
should feel.

   If you do not feel you succeeded try again in a day or two. Between
meditaion sessions, practice your deep breathing exercises. If you
keep trying, you will soon reach a calm and meditative state. Do not
attempt to meditate when you are ill, tired, or hungry. Those feelings
only serve to make your efforts more difficult. A very important part
to remember is that you can not force yourself into a meditative
state. You must flow into it and surrender to it calmly.

   Some things which are found to be helpfull in meditation follow.

   Try concentrating on the flame of a candle when focusing. You could
also use a crystal ball. The later is rather exspensive but small
crystal window ornaments or pyramids also work well and cost much

   Music is also an aid to some. The music should be quiet and
rhythmic. It should bring on feelings of peace and comfort. Such music
may range from New Age recordings to classical.

[Some modern music works as well; my "soul mate" and I like selections 
from the techno group The Orb, and I'm fond of using the long version of 
Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond".]

   Another usefull device is to focus on a symbol which holds special
meaning for you. It may be an well known symbol or one you design
yourself. As long as it holds a special meaning or expresses a special
concept, it is a usefull focusing tool.

[Candles, subdued lighting, LIGHT incense (too much can interfere with deep 
breathing!) are also suggested to set the "mood".]



1) If you need/desire to, begin your search for the God and Goddess (its 
fun, even just for an anthropological exercise). Go to your local bookstore 
and browse mythology, history, Wiccan and woman's studies books for past 
Gods and Goddesses. Note which ones attract you, and try the contact 
rituals when you are ready. Note your thoughts and experiences in your 
journal. This may be an on going task for those of you who seek to find 
Them. If you allready are familiar with a deity, consider talking about 
your experiences with Them in the discussion group.

2) Take a walk outside. Look for the power of the God and Goddess in nature. 
Focus on bodies of water, woods, storms, the stars, moon and sun. Record your 
experiences. What are your opinions about the divine in nature? Think 
about mailing them to the discussion group.

3) Visualization is a form of meditation. Try this visualization exercise:

Hold one of your hands out in front of you and close your eyes..
Breathe slowly and evenly, breathing from your diaphragm.. Relax your
mind, and don't worry if this doesn't work perfectly the first time..
Now, in your outstretched hand, feel yourself holding a fruit.. Let it
be any sort of fruit you like.. Hold the fruit there.. feel it in your
hand, feel the weight, feel the texture..  Is it smooth and heavy, or
light and rough, or something else? Imagine yourself peeling the fruit
if it needs it, and taking a very small bite.. Taste the fruit, feel
it in your mouth.. feel yourself eating the fruit.. Note the taste,
note the consistancy.. swallow the piece you bit off and feel it slide
down your throat.. Bring the rest of the fruit up to your nose.. Smell
the fruit, notice every little detail about the fruit.. Now, slowly
open your eyes, and see the fruit there in your hand.. See it as real,
and take another bite..  Taste this bite as you tasted the last one..
Finish eating the fruit, bite by bite, and when it's done, let the
image vanish.. close your eyes, and then open them again.

4) Practice meditation: This is the "save place" exercise. We will use 
this again in alter classes:

Imagine or create a place that you feel powerful and safe. It can be 
any place: a mountain top, your grandmother's house, a grove, or a make 
believe magical library. Meditate and visualize yourself traveling to the safe
place (walking through the woods to your grove, climbing the stairs to your 
magical library, etc.). Once you get there, take in all the details. Look at
the trees, items in the room. Feel free to "redecorate" as you please. 
What sounds do you hear? What are the smells? What do things feel like? When 
you are ready to leave, imagine yourself traveling away from the safe 
place (walking home from the woods, down the stairs from the magical 
library, etc). Go to this place in future meditations when you need a place 
to escape worries and daily life, or a starting place for deep 

[End of class #2]

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