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Pagan Blog Project 2014:
B is for Beware

Beware does not just mean “watch out”. There is a meaning others don’t often remember Be ‘ware……be wary…….be AWARE.

Awareness is a practice we all need help with. So many people get caught up in just surviving or in nonsense television shows, phone texting, gaming, problems, depressing situations, breakups and…..well,  the list could go on and on. Some of us are only aware of ourselves and forget about Being Aware of the world around us, particularly the natural world.

Most pagans try to practice a one-ness with nature though I have heard people complain that because they live in urban areas, they do not have ready access to parks, forests, blah blah, whatever. Actually, if they opened their eyes, their senses, the natural world is all around us and is in great danger often because of our lack of awareness. This was brought home to me this week when I read a blog post from Debra,  of Breathe Lighter Blog. She posted about a wildfire near her home and work. I commented and we began a dialogue that ended with both of us lamenting the lack of awareness, the carelessness that can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage from wildfire, to say nothing of the terror it causes for wild life. They lose their homes, their food sources and fires scare them to death.


I believe that everyone who enters or drives through a wooded area should have to watch a virtual reality program and experience, through the eyes of a creature, the terror of fire in the woods.   Maybe people would think twice before throwing down that cigarette or leaving a campfire unattended.

Is it carelessness that causes these fires?  Or is it a total lack of concern or awareness for anything that does not directly benefit or entertain us?

We could ask this same question about that chemical spill in West Virginia’s river last week.   There was much publicity about thousands of people with no water but not much about thousands of wild creatures and livestock who had no other recourse but to drink tainted water.

We can learn so much from creatures around us.  It’s winter now and no matter where you live, you can feed the birds who struggle to find food and water.  Watch and learn.   In Ohio, we have the beautiful cardinals, my personal favorites.   They are ground feeders and the males are very very cautious when they feed.  They fly first to the trees and perch high, eyeballing the ground for predators.


Then they jump to lower branches and check out the action from there.  They whistle to the female and she perches high in the tree branches.  Only after he has checked out the ground for safety does his mate  come down and eat while he watches from above.


You can learn a lot about love and caring just by being aware of these little guys.  AND, in the summer, if  you can learn to whistle like they do, they will perch above you on the telephone wires and answer your whistle.   My grandchildren get so tickled when my cardinals come.  ” Mimi!” , they will shout, “your friend is here!  Come and talk to him!”

We build and build and encroach upon animal space.   They struggle to survive as human habitats take over their space.   I awoke one night to find an unwelcome visitor in my kitchen.   A skunk had come in through my dog door and was scarfing dog food out of my Jack Russell’s food bowl.   When I asked him what he was doing in my house, he looked at me like I was foolish, shook his head and walked out the door.   He had to be completely starved to come through that dog door, knowing I had a very feisty dog in there.

I learned a lot about “reputation” that day.   My dog had hidden in the bedroom when that skunk came in.   Once I thought about how hungry that skunk  must be, I checked online to see what he might eat.   I began to put all my scraps on a plate, vegetable peelings, leftover salad and fruit peelings, mashed potato and macaroni and rice leftovers, anything but meat.


I found that he was living under the crawlspace of my house, driven so close, I suppose, because of lack of  food.   I learned a little more than I wanted to know about his sex life when my house filled up with his musk late one night.   Apparently, skunks not only shoot off their scent when frightened , but when sexually excited. I definitely had to put stop to THAT!  I could not stand the middle of the night adventures of his bachelor pad!

I began moving his food plate farther from the house each night.   He would waddle out to eat and entertain us with his antics.  Skunks are very playful little critters.   Finally, when I had moved his dish to the back of the yard, he left the crawlspace and moved under the toolshed.   Whew!   Thus began a nightly ritual of sharing a plate of scraps with whatever creatures are passing through my yard.   We have had the fattest little groundhogs and chubby possums (even though I think they are creepy looking I still feed them) and much entertainment from our creatures.

Even in an urban area, you can see how the natural world would take over if we humans were not around to interfere.   Humans are actually insignificant creatures in Mother Nature’s world.   All of our buildings would crumble to dust if we disappeared. And, all of our technology cannot equip us to compare with the natural instincts and senses of wild creatures that adapt to whatever obstacles we put in their way and still survive.


Be aware      Be ‘ware    Watch and learn from the world around you.   There are many lessons out there.   You will connect with your spiritual beliefs in a stronger way by studying the tribes of “people” who walk on four legs, fly or crawl.


January 24, 2014 - Posted by | folklore, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. 🙂 Amen sister!


    Comment by Dawn | January 24, 2014 | Reply

  2. ahh love this post ❤ i wish everyone would think like this


    Comment by onyx1688 | January 24, 2014 | Reply

    • I wish we could be like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant and start a movement.


      Comment by stregajewellry | January 25, 2014 | Reply

      • hehe well… the future is ahead of us :3 why not? 😀


        Comment by onyx1688 | January 25, 2014

  3. You have so thoughtfully and beautifully expressed concern for the natural world and our animal friends. I loved reading your post.

    I thought of you yesterday when we had a bear walking around in a Pasadena neighborhood. I wish I could adequately paint the picture of how heavily populated we are here. But you have some idea of the greater Los Angeles area and can probably imagine quite well. I was listening to the radio as they spoke of the bear and the commentators were speaking as though the poor creature were a circus oddity.

    There wasn’t one comment made about how he was probably hungry and looking for food, potentially displaced because of the fires and although he seemed quite comfortable and wasn’t threatening anyone, if the bears continue to come down into neighborhoods I fear they will be hurt. Fortunately this bear wasn’t harmed. I would have liked to hear the commentators refer to our drought, remind people that because of the drought there will be more wild animals in neighborhoods and seriously consider the “why” behind the bear’s visit.

    You are so correct, that being in a very urban setting, I still see fabulous birds, an occasional deer and nature is all around me to enjoy and appreciate. I am often amazed at “who” I spy! But I do pay attention. And I have had the skunks under the house, too, reminding me that the wild kingdom is close at hand. 🙂


    Comment by Three Well Beings | January 25, 2014 | Reply

    • Oh my gosh, that poor old bear! It’s winter, and regardless of whether is is cold outside, their natural instinct is to hibernate for a time, sleep and rest. He probably got suddenly rousted out of his lair and was totally disoriented. A bear is definitely not someone I want living in my tool shed. They can do a lot of physical damage if they are threatened or hungry, simply because of their size. I do hope he has found some sanctuary.


      Comment by stregajewellry | January 25, 2014 | Reply

  4. My turn to comment on your blog, since you were so kind to take the time to leave a sweet word on mine! I totally agree that awareness is a skill that a lot of folks need to work on, particularly pagan folks. And I have to say, I live in a city, and I don’t find it difficult at all to connect with nature. Sure, if I want to go to the nearest state park I have to hop in the car and drive a bit, but there’s a community park right near me with trails, I have a decent sized garden around my property, there’s a community garden the next neighborhood over that I can visit, and I often takes walks in my own as well as around the connecting neighborhoods and look at the flowers and trees, listen to the birds, feel the wind, etc. I think you can connect to these things regardless of where you live, but you have to practice. Also, I loved your skunk story, it made me laugh out loud! 🙂 Blessings!


    Comment by Ravensong | January 25, 2014 | Reply

    • I’m glad you are finding ways to connect. For all pagans, this should be a priority since pagan faiths are earth-based religions. Too often, I find at pagan meetups, people spend more time talking about what clothes they wear and if someone at work has noticed their pentagram or broomstick skirts and made the “connection” or talking about points of ancient history and tradition. We are the new pagans and we should be making history, not talking about witch “rites” are right.


      Comment by stregajewellry | January 25, 2014 | Reply

  5. I love this post and your philosophy as well. Watching my birds feed is something I never tire of — we have goldfinches right now. We had the same issue as you did with a skunk under our front porch late last winter– I woke up gagging! I did some research and it seems it’s the female that “outgasses”– when they’re done with sex, she sprays the male to let him know “that’s it– we’re done”. We have chickens so we have to be extra careful with predators and skunks will kill chickens if they get the opporutnity, as will raccoons. So you make sure that your coops are secure and then our little friends just go elsewhere for their grub. I know a friend who had a raccoon come in through the cat door and it took her a bit to see it wasn’t the cat, not having her glasses on!


    Comment by Christine Damm | January 27, 2014 | Reply

    • I have had raccoons come into my kitchen through the dog door. I shooed them off in a hurry. Raccoons will make a mess of a dog if they are scared enough. My little Jack was crazy enough to chase almost anything but that skunk! I once woke up, put my feet down on the floor, right on top of a dead possum. When I picked it up to take it outside, I found out it was not dead at all, only playing. Scared the hell out of me! Like I said, possums are creepy to me. I do know that both skunks and raccoons will go after chickens and they are both egg suckers. My son in law used to keep chickens and had lots of trouble with coons. Well, everybody is somebody’s lunch it seems.


      Comment by stregajewellry | January 28, 2014 | Reply

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