Sunday, November 6, 2011

Some of my Witchy Poetry

I've been working through a bit of a funk since August and the time of my deceased Mother's birthday.  It only got worse, as the one year anniversary of her death approached and passed, and the anniversary of her memorial service came and went.   I am once again working on writing, drawing, and being creative, but I am still lacking in confidence--a negative side affect of my recent funky mood.   Though I have been working on an entry on Psychic Vampires, I am not yet done with it.  But it has been a long time since I've blogged and I feel a bit of urgency about keeping this going.  So, as a means of priming the pump for future entries, I've decided to share just a few of my poems with you.  I hope you enjoy!

May your joys e’er be many
And your sorrows be few;
The Old Gods and Goddess’
E’er watch over you.

May they guide your feet
On all of their paths;
And you merit their favor
But never their wrath.

May you find power and wisdom
To enlighten your life;
Let your passing harm none
And never work strife.

May you walk in the way
Of the ancients before;
To honor the Old Ones
And acquire their lore.

May you always be one
With the Fey and the trees,
Acquainted with stone, herb enchantment,
Hear the voice on the breeze.

May you wield the mystic powers,
By Earth and by Air
And by Fire and Water
As your will if you dare.

May you look to the Goddess
In laughter and in pain;
From birth into the grave unseen
And beyond to the after between.

May She water your garden
With her gentle rain;
To bring Earth’s abundance,
Prosperity and gain.

May you seek the Craft of the Wise
Perfect in love and in trust;
Take not your gifts lightly
Act in honor you must.

May you tread the Earth gently
And vow ever to care,
For all Mother’s children
And her creatures all where.

May your joys e’er be many
And your sorrows be few;
The Old Gods and Goddess’
E’er watch over you.

May the words of this blessing
Alway’ be to your gain
Merry Meet, Merry Part,
And Merry Meet Again.


Thank you for the grain that grows
The fruit upon the vine
The warm Sunlight upon Earth’s breast,
And the seasons that unwind.

Lord and Lady dine with us
Share our drink and feast
Lend your blessings to us now,
Your nourishment and healing be released.


Luna’s orb has risen high
‘ere tolls the midnight hour
Seal the circle, light the flames,
Evoke the ancient powers.

Deosil the lively dance
Round and round we go
Air grows hot as Witches prance
Sparks glitter o’er each brow.

Thirteen minds and wills entwined
Raise energy to its peak
Shivers travel down each spine
Sacred space electrified

And when the climax has been reached.
The priestess commands down
The veil between the worlds is breached
And everybody hits the ground.

Cone of power bears our will
Ordained to manifest.
Energy spent all lie quiet and still
Enchantment sent at our behest.

Prepare we now to regale
Our working now is done
Let us retire with cakes and ale
Relax, and have some fun!

Luna’s orb will set right soon
The time night has passed on by
Quickly sisters, fly home to bed
Before the rooster cries!

Merry Meet and Merry Part
Again gather we next Moon
When once again the magick starts
As we chant the Witches rune!


In the darkness of the night
Flame of magic burning bright,
By the light of  mystic gleam
Multiply the energies of my dream
By the forces of magic and by my will
By words of power my will fulfill.

Melt away etched runes of power
Release stored energy by the hour
Candle flame raise your light
Enchantment carried on fateful flight.
By the forces of magic and by my will
By words of power my will fulfill.


My priest perform the honored rite
Sacred Space transformed,
Enflamed auras shining bright
Transformations are performed.

By charm enchant the Universe
Serenade the night with spell,
Croon the lover’s song with me
Drink deeply from my well.

Reverently the chalice stir
By athame and love,
Together we become the One
Transcendent, divine, from above.

You are the Sun, I am the Moon
Brightly do we shine.
Intoxicate the Universe with light
Serpent rising, God and Goddess are enshrined.

It should go without saying that the poetry I have written is my intellectual property and should not be copied, shared, or otherwise used without my written permission!

Love and Blessings,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pain Relief Methods

Other effective tools for pain relief include visualization, meditation, prayer, and chanting.  
Each of these activities affect brain wave activity and facilitate altered or higher states of consciousness. 

During my last blog, I spoke about physical pain and made an appeal for compassion toward pain sufferers.   I also promised that I would share a couple of pain management techniques that have helped me.   I didn’t expect it would be an entire week before I would be able to write again.

I should have known that if I was going to write about pain, the Universe would dish me out a bigger than usual dose, just so I would know what I was talking about.  Last blog I spoke about neuropathy pain, but this is not my only source of chronic pain.  I also have arthritis in both of my knees.   To add to this, I injured my right knee about ten years ago.  With a bit of physical therapy, the knee eventually healed well enough that I could hobble around pretty good with my cane.  Until recently, I considered this my “bad knee.”   Whenever there are barometric changes that precede a storm, or it gets very cold or windy, this knee has a tendency to “act up”, becoming very painful.  My menstrual cycles are also accompanied by flare ups of pain.  Fortunately, as I inch toward crone-hood, I have far fewer of these. 

I recently injured my “good” knee.  I’ve been giving it lots of rest, but instead of getting better, it seems to be getting worse!  In fact, I feel as if I’ve started falling apart...  I’ve had to rely more heavily on my cane and on my “bad” knee as I hobble around.  This has enraged both the old injury in my “bad” knee, as well as reawakening the pain in my shoulder.  Even my hand is becoming painful from grasping my cane.  If I thought ambulation was painful before—now it is extremely painful as its next to impossible for me to stand, much less walk, without leaning on a cane! 

I can use a wheelchair for most things during the day, but the doorways in my house are very narrow, so my use of a wheelchair is limited to my living room and kitchen. The short walk to my bathroom and bedroom has become very difficult. There have been days when this knee, along with the other areas it has begun to affect, has been so painful that there is not one comfortable position in which I can sit, stand, or lie.  A few nights, I was even aware of the pain in my sleep!

When dealing with light to moderate pain, there are many effective measures I can rely upon.  A few include smoking cannabis, which is proven effective in relief of pain, nausea and neurological issues, as well as a number of other conditions.  I plan on writing a blog dedicated to the many, almost miraculous, healing properties of cannabis.  Until then, let it just suffice it for me to say that it is a very effective pain deterrent.  Other effective tools for pain relief include meditation, prayer, and chanting.  Each of these activities affect brain wave activity and facilitate altered or higher states of consciousness.   

Pain signals may also be interrupted by other stimuli such as rocking, bouncing, postural changes, bathing or showering, the application of heat or cold,  effleurage (a very light touch massage technique), and deep tissue massage.  Distraction techniques such as reading, knitting, watching TV, working a cross word puzzle, and other pleasant activities can also block out some of the bodies pain signals.   These are probably some of the easiest methods of coping with minor pain.  But when you can not escape from pain, even in your sleep, other measures may be required.

When I experience heavy pain, one of my most effective tools is to attain a deep, trace-like state of relaxation.  Some readers may protest that its impossible to relax while in pain.  I’ll give you that it is difficult, especially if you have not already practiced relaxation techniques.  But if you totally relax your muscles so that you become floppy, like a rag doll, and breathe as if in a deep sleep, your ability to process and let go of pain will improve remarkably.

 When I gave birth to my two sons, I rejected the huffing and puffing freight train antics of my friends who had used the Lamaze method.  I found that relaxation alone was sufficient to cope with the discomforts of labor and birth.  Now, before you just blow me off as being an easy birther, let me point out that I had my second baby at home with midwives.  He was both posterior and had his head cocked to one side, with a hand and ear presenting.  This was not an easy birth!  Nevertheless, relaxation helped me transform the considerable pain of labor into a warm and interesting sensation that was no longer painful.

Of course, labor and birth are temporary events and their pain is transitory.  When pain is long term, it is impossible to remain relaxed constantly.  One can't engage in movement and physical activity and remain in a deep state of relaxation.  For some of us pain sufferers, just walking to the end of our front walkways can be a physically demanding chore.  Some things that are routine, every day tasks for normal healthy individuals, can be very daunting for us.
I hearken back several years to the time of my first knee injury.  My ex husband had been gone a couple of years by then and I had thoroughly divorced myself from his Christian religious beliefs.  When I first met him I self identified as a Witch, and he was a "backslidden" Christian.  Shortly after I had our first child  he returned to Christianity--and expected me to do the same.  After years of not practicing, I no longer felt competent as a Witch.  Plus there was a “religious” form of Witchcraft called "Wicca", that I wanted to learn more about.  So I undertook coven training.  Toward the end of my training period, I was expected to write and execute a solo ritual.  If I failed, I would not receive initiation.  Having freshly hurt my knee, I was experiencing great difficulty of movement.  Even getting in and out of a vehicle was excruciating.  So I had no idea how I was going to get through this necessary ordeal.

Those of you who have never cast a circle may not understand what a physical challenge this can be if you do not walk well.  There is a fair amount of walking involved.  The first step of casting a circle is doing blessings and cleansings.  First, one blesses the elements at the altar, then they cleanse the ritual area.  This involves navigating a nine foot circle three times around with each of the four elements represented.  So I made three nine foot circuits while aspurging the area with salt and water.  Next, three more circuits are made with fire and air (lit incense).  Then the actual circle must be erected.  Depending on circle call, this may require from one to three more circuits around the perimeter.  Next, portals for the guardians of the watchtowers must be opened.  As there are four Elementals, this required another four circuits.  After this, it was back to the altar for Goddess and God calls.  The circle in place and all participants present, it was then necessary to raise energy to accomplish our magical goal.  After raising and dispatching energy, comes the blessing of the cakes and wine.   The wine, and then the cakes, must be separately delivered around the circle and shared with each individual along with a blessing.  After all this, I had to reverse all these steps—farewell to deity, navigation around the circle multiple times to dismiss the Elementals, and finally to open the circle. 

I was on my feet for just over an hour and made at least 36 passes around the 9 foot perimeter of the circle.   But that was only part of the challenge.  You see, it is a requirement that a circle be cast without the use of mechanical aids.  This can include anything from eye glasses to a cane, crutches, or any other aid to walking.    One must also be free of any substances including medical cannabis, prescription pain relievers, or anything else that might reduce my pain level.

I greatly agonized on how to do this.  During my quiet time just prior to circle, I went inward and sought the Goddess. I appealed to Her to help me step out of my human frailty.  She invited me to rely on her strength and I envisioned Her wrapping a hooded cloak around my shoulders and head.  This garment appeared to be made up of multiple twinkling stars, suns and planets.  Clad as I was, my pain vanished. So did the weakness in my knee.  Thus, I found the strength to do my first solo circle.  

I have taken on the mantle of the Goddess several times since.  Each time I do, I am always amazed at what a powerful, magical tool this is.  Not only does it help me to temporarily get past my pain and physical challenges, it allows me to transcend physical reality and thereby do things that I know would otherwise be physically impossible for me. When times are tough, my pain seems unmanageable, and the road in front of me seems impossible, I find that when I reach beyond my ordinary human strength and seek the strength of the Goddess that lies within me, I can transcend the impossible. 

I know the Goddess will not be everybody’s source of strength.  Using guided visualization is not dependent upon the Goddess, She is just my chosen source of strength.  I have helped others cope with their pain by altering the visualization to suit their spirituality.  For instance, I’ve helped several Christians with a visualization in which I ask them to imagine their pain as angry red energy.   As they breathe in, they visualize breathing in cooling and healing blue light.  As they breathe out, they expel the angry red light.  This exhaled negative energy is collected into a mental satchel, which they then place at the foot of the cross.

Inclusion of spiritual entities is not a prerequisite for using visualization as pain relief.  One might also place their hands in a large bowl of water and visualize their pain being absorbed into the liquid.  When done, immediately pour the negatively energized water outside onto the ground for the Earth to neutralize.  If that is not an option, you may also pour it down the drain, or flush it down the toilet.  Absolutely do not drink it, water plants with it, or recycle it!

I expect that many skeptically minded people might, at first question the validity of chanting, meditation, and visualization for pain relief.  I don’t blame you, I too am a skeptic.  But I’ve learned to keep an open mind about most things until I’ve studied and explored them. 
I find there are reasonable explanations for most things. This includes visualization for pain control. Let me explain.

 The brain is constructed, and functions, as two separate and distinct hemispheres. The left side of the brain is dominant as it governs logical brain functions and everyday activities. 
The right half of the brain normally only comes into play during creative, artistic and musical pursuits, during REM sleep, while day dreaming, and during meditation, prayer and other spiritual pursuits.  In fact, it even has filters that keep us from perceiving left brain activity! 

Our brain functions at different levels of consciousness.  The scientifically minded will prefer to refer to these levels as call "brain waves".  Currently we know of five levels: Beta (14-40 Hz) is the every day level where we spend most of our waking hours.  When we are at Beta level, the brain filters the information we receive.  Alpha (7.5-14 Hz) is the level we function at during meditation, deep relaxation with eyes closed, and while day-dreaming. When we enter this state, we can consciously achieve a relaxed detached awareness that can greatly help cope with pain.  7.5 Hz lies at the base of our conscious awareness.  This is the "gateway" between the conscious and subconscious mind. Heightened intuition occurs while in Alpha state and becomes "louder" and stronger the closer you get to 7.5 Hz.  Theta (4-7.5 Hz) is the level we function at during deep meditation and REM sleep. This is the realm of the subconscious mind and is normally experienced only momentarily—as leave the Alpha state and drift off to sleep; and as you arise from a Delta level sleep or state.  This is the level at which Astral Projection can occur.  We experience a very strong sense of our deepest spiritual connection—the Oneness with the Universe.  While in Theta, vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity, and exceptional insight occur.  The mind's deep-seated programming can be accessed at Theta. Some people use hypnosis or entheogens (mushrooms, peyote, LSD, and other hallucinogens) in order to access this state. Delta (0.5-4 Hz) is the slowest level of mental functioning.   We only attain Delta during deep, dreamless sleep, while under heavy anesthetics, or when in extremely deep states of trance or meditation. At this point awareness is completely detached from our individual ego or physicality.   This is state the state of adepts who separate their minds from all bodily sensation of pain.  Delta is the realm of the unconscious mind.  It is also the gateway to the Universal mind and the collective unconscious.  Information received here is inaccessible at the conscious level.  

To sum it up, when at Beta level, left brain hemisphere operation, we are limited to self awareness.  Here we are individual ego—a  single, solid human being, separate from other beings, from the flow of the collective consciousness, and separate from any emanations of Deity such as Gods and Goddesses,  I AM or whatever you perceive.  But when we enter into deeper levels of consciousness, we bypass the governors of the left brain and loose our individuation.  It is here that we are no longer “I”, but rather a cell in the matrix of the collective consciousness and the Life Force power of the Universe.  Here, where we are "at one" with all that is, we can access the vast knowledge of the collective consciousness! 

There is one additional level of consciousness that I haven’t yet addressed.  That is Gamma (40+ Hz)   This is the fastest level of brain wave activity and we know little about it, but Gamma waves seem to be associated with high level processing. Gamma is reportedly the level at which Kundalini awakening happens.  The Gamma state is associated with those brilliant bursts of insight often associated with seeing a "flash of light".  Other manifestations are possible.  For instance, a friend who experienced sudden revelation while in Gamma heard a loud popping noise when having sudden brilliant insights.
When researchers measured the brainwaves of Tibetan Buddhist monks, their gamma wave frequencies fluctuated between 30 and 90 Hz. during meditation.  The neurons in their brains fired in coherent synchronized patterns too perfectly timed to be controlled by normal neural processes, which are relatively slow.  This leads some researches to suspect "non-local quantum effects", in other words thought transference.  This suggests that at this level of brain function, thoughts could be received directly from a higher being!  But I'm getting off my subject here!
I have used these techniques to cope with a prolonged period of very rough pain, but what I’ve experienced is nothing compared to the prolonged suffering of cancer and burn patients, victims of traumatic accidents, etc.  I thank the Goddess everyday that my suffering is not of that caliber.

I certainly don’t have all the answers when it comes to pain and I don’t claim my few relaxation techniques will (immediately) work for everybody.  Those adepts who are able to separate mind from body and block out all discomfort have spent countless hours attaining their special abilities.  Unless you are a master of the arts, sometimes pain can become so severe that there is NO way around it except to resort to heavy medications.

If your pain need is so severe that you are not able to manage it through these few techniques, remain positive.  Don’t ever feel like a failure because you must resort to chemical means of pain control.  Our society’s attitude toward pain and relief of suffering lacks greatly in compassion because we are so overly concerned with drug addiction.  Don’t let other’s negative judgments get you down.  Pain is a terribly difficult burden to bear—you are not lazy and your pain is not your fault—but with a little effort you may learn to attain a state where you can find some comfort and relief.  Be well! 

Blessings and Peace,


Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Painful Reality

"The more we work together to foster healing and compassion, the better and more loving planet we will create."

A friend of mine recently added the following message to one of his social media pages:

"Its hard to explain to someone who has no clue.  It's a daily struggle feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Depression, Diabetes, LUPUS, Fibromyalgia, Chrohns, MS, Arthritis, Cancer, etc.).  Never judge what you don't understand."

I too suffer from chronic pain and I have to agree with him. It doesn’t surprise me that I was the only person in our circle of friends who bothered to re-post.  I've long known that most people don’t understand what it is like to cope with pain on a continual basis.  Unless you have ever been in that situation it is impossible to know the insidiousness of pain. 

The friend who posted this has confided many things in me.  I won’t betray his confidences by bringing up any specifics, but I feel I can, in good conscience, point out that anybody who knows him can freely see.  He’s a young man who was formerly very active in many things, including sports. Since becoming less active due to chronic pain, most of his former friends have rejected him.  Even his family seems less than supportive.  The complaints others frequently cast against him concern his (perceived) “laziness”.  Some blame the medical cannabis that he smokes to alleviate his pain for making him lazy, rather than recognizing pain as his major energy drain. 

Sadly, I’ve heard other seriously ill individuals being criticized for being lazy.  If they also happen to smoke cannabis in order to cope with their condition, the knee jerk response toward them becomes “lazy pot smoker”. 

I recently overheard a conversation in which three healthy young men, all under the age of 35, were berating another man who wasn’t present.  The person they were gossiping about is at least 25 years their senior.  Almost three years ago he suffered a devastating neck and back injury.  His injuries left him in constant agonizing pain. While he awaited neck surgery, he slowly lost function of his legs due to nerve damage in his neck and spine. This man’s pain was so severe he was literally curled up in fetal position moaning from the torment.   After surgery he almost died from a staph infection.  

It took almost a year for the bone deep neck wound left behind after surgery to heal.  It finally closed less than 12 weeks ago. This was after it was discovered that his neck surgery had been botched. A large, needle sharp bone remnant had been left, lodged directly into his cervical spine.  This led to multiple wound infections, additional nerve damage, and other horrendous complications. Yet among the callous comments I inadvertently overheard spoken by some of those closest to him were that, “he expects everybody else to do everything for him”; “he doesn’t try hard enough”; and “he has just given up.” 

Given up???!!!   Its remarkable that the man has rehabilitated himself to the point that he has!  He can hold on to objects in order to stand up; he has devised a way use his socks to pull his legs over the tub and then manages to  give himself a shower.  He also grasps his socks to help him pull his legs in and out of bed and to get into his feet onto the leg rests of his wheelchair.  He can even grasp the kitchen counter, lean against his sink and wash his own dishes.  This once very active man is anything but lazy, as was being suggested.  He suffers from nerve damage, is weak, and experiences constant pain!  What’s more, he still faces another surgery to repair additional damage in his spine!  So I was entirely shocked by the callous words being spoken about him.  I had to blink away hot tears.

I could share example after example of others I know who suffer illness and are derided because of it, but I won’t belabor you.  Suffice it to say that, unless you’ve walked a mile in a pain sufferers shoes, you have no idea of how difficult life is for them, nor can you comprehend all the other areas of their lives that the pain affects. The reality of chronic pain goes far beyond the physical agony of the pain itself.  It does not just impact the area(s) of the body that hurt, it affects multiple other areas of a sufferer’s life.  

As illustrated above, when a person continues to suffer from chronic pain, their closest relationships may begin to erode.  Often those nearest and dearest, who are usually called upon to bear the extra burden when an infirm person is no longer independent, become resentful, and often critical.  

When somebody looses some, or all of their independence or usefulness, they also have identity issues they must deal with.  There also may be frustrations due to lack of control.  Caregivers often do not carry out tasks important to the infirm in the way that they would prefer; and when asked to do things in a manner more familiar to the ailing person they can tend to become defensive and stubborn.   When caregivers are unsupportive and unsympathetic it makes it even more difficult for the ailing person to trust their caregivers decisions pertaining to their person and their lives.


Even those who are still fully independent may suffer mood swings and display attitude toward caregivers.   Pain affects one’s mood, leaving the sufferer always on the edge. Just like a wounded animal, they can suddenly lash out at those who only wish to help, pain sufferers can become snappy and unpleasant.  It is difficult to be jovial and amiable while hurting.    

As for a pain sufferer's loss of energy and productivity, continuous pain slowly drains the sufferer moment by moment and day by day.  When pain also disturbs sleep, it really sap one’s energy because it becomes impossible to fully rest and recharge.  

Severe pain can also demand all the sufferer’s attention.  It becomes very difficult to concentrate.  Suggestions to watch T.V., read a good book, or distract oneself with a game or crossword puzzle are ludicrous when you hurt so bad you can’t even think straight.  Sometimes pain can even make it difficult to carry on a conversation.  If you doubt me, just try to carry on a conversation with a woman in advanced first stage labor! 

Even health care professionals tend to rationalize their way around their patient’s pain rather than acknowledging the impact it can have on their lives.  Unlike an infection, broken bone, surgical requirement, etc., chronic pain is an “invisible” illness.  With the abuse of prescription drugs, and especially pain killers, an issue focused upon in the nightly news, chronic pain suffers may find even their doctors are reluctant to help. 

I am so familiar with the plight and prejudice experienced by pain sufferers because I’ve experienced it firsthand.  I’ve suffered from chronic pain for many years.  Nobody seems to understand what I go through, or how I feel.  I have a close relative who has unleashed many angry words at me because I’ve can’t attend family events at his house.  I’ve told him again and again that the eight steep steps leading to his front door are impossible—pain-wise—for me with my arthritic knees.  I can get up them, its coming down that is impossible for me. Rather than accept this explanation, he casts angry words at me each time there is an event I fail to attend.  He has said I’m lazy, and accused me of preferring to smoking pot (which greatly helps reduce my pain level) with my friend, rather than attend his family functions.

I also have a close friend who has berated me for not being more active.  His theory was that, as I moved more, the pain would somehow magically vanish.  I tried his way for about two years.  Along the way I suffered a back injury and repetitive stress injury to both shoulders.  I also experienced a re-emergence of pain from an injury to my achilles tendon that originally happened when I was clipped by a horse around age 14.  I actually began to love exercising, but one can only tolerate so much discomfort.  Eventually pain from my back injury prevented me from carrying out my routine and I soon reverted to my more sedentary “natural” self.

I suffer greatly from arthritis in my knees.  This, coupled with neuropathy has greatly affected my mobility.  When not in my wheelchair, I must use a cane just to get around my house.   The neuropathy causes an annoying numbness in my feet and lower legs.  The numbness makes walking difficult because I can't feel my legs and feet.  In addition, I feel a constant overall ache throughout my body, just as one would feel with the flu.  But the worst part of the neuropathy is the frequent “lightning bolt pains”.   

Lightning bolt pains are sudden searing pain episodes come out of nowhere.  Without warning, a burning bolt of pain will flash down one of my legs, or sometimes arms.  Wherever the affected nerve pathway ends in my fingers, toes, or soles of my feet, it feels just like somebody holding a lit match to the area.  The area can continue to “sizzle” for anywhere from several seconds to a couple of minutes.  These episodes can happen many times an hour.

I’ve tried a variety of methods to cope with the causes of my pain including vegetarian diet, vitamins, herbs, acupuncture, and the aforementioned exercise regiment.  I’ve also resorted to the use of several pharmaceuticals.  In the end, the natural approach did little to help my pain (except for the acupuncture, which did help but was too expensive to continue).  The pharmaceutical approach leaves me feeling drugged and inebriated, not a pleasant state for me.  I don’t walk well.  The last thing I need is something that further impairs me! 

When the reality of pain can be so all consuming, why do others always seem to look down upon those who suffer chronic pain?  Why can’t they see us as more than just lazy?   It really demonstrates how lacking in compassion our society has become.

Often the individuals who point accusatory fingers toward pain sufferers are young, healthy, and have no idea what they are talking about. They have no idea how very difficult just getting through each day can be.  Let me clue you in on something: it is impossible to know the level of pain somebody is experiencing!  Pain suffers perceive that others do not like to hear about our sufferings, so we generally do our best to keep the full extent of our misery to ourselves.  You never know when there might be a pained grimace hiding behind that forced smile.  Until you have experienced ongoing severe pain, you have no right to disrespect us or count us as lazy. 

Another point, please don’t criticize them for smoking cannabis to alleviate their discomforts.  Medical cannabis is not drug abuse.  Cannabis is an amazingly helpful medication and it is much less inebriating that your standard pharmaceutical pain killers.  In addition, it is healing and life giving.  I personally know at least three individuals with severe disease who would not be alive today without it.   Finally, do not falsely attribute the lack of energy and motivation that accompanies pain and illness to “smoking pot.” Pain requires a lot of energy to endure.  If the pain is severe, there is often no energy left for other pursuits.

I thank the Goddess everyday for the medical cannabis that I smoke.  It does not impair me, but it alone addresses my lightning bolt pains.  It reduces their number, so that on some days I only have one or two episodes.  It also reduces the length and severity of the sizzling sensation.   It eases my overall achy pain and helps me cope with the arthritis in my knees.  It also enhances my creativity, helping me to write, draw, meditate, and engage in many other activities that significantly improve the quality of my life. 

I am sure that I will address the issue of medical cannabis many times during the life of this blog because it is a subject that I am very passionate about. But my purpose here today was not to talk about cannabis.

I want to remind those who misunderstand pain sufferers to have a little compassion and sympathy.  You never know when some tragic and untimely event could lead to your own suffering.  The understanding you extend toward a pain sufferer today may be paid back to you in the caring somebody extends toward you tomorrow. The more we work together to foster healing and compassion, the better and more loving planet we will create.

I haven’t forgotten those of you who suffer from pain.  My next blog will be a part II on pain that is going to include several useful techniques I have used over the years to cope. Until then, I'd like to leave you with this inspirational quote.  

"If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen."  ~Loretta Girzartis

Blessings and Peace,