Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

All Our Mortal Joys

Hear now my prayer, you Graces three. For in your gift are all our mortal joys, and every sweet thing, be it wisdom, beauty, or glory, that makes rich the soul of man.
— Pindar, Olympian Ode 14. (Greek lyric 5th century B.C.E.)

At this time of the year, many cultures clear space for new growth and the Graces’ blessings by choosing to renounce various habits, pleasures or comforts. This may be through the practice of fasting, which is simply the abstinence from eating particular or all foods, for a specified time.

As I’ve discussed, food fasting gives the digestive system a rest, so that the body can use its own complex systems to cleanse the toxins and other materials that accumulate from our regular dietary habits. During this period, we may experience side-effects that are somewhat uncomfortable, including hunger, headaches (caffeine withdrawal is notorious for this), and various other symptoms that come from our body working to re-balance itself.

Other kinds of fasting, though, are also worth considering, and for many of the same reasons. Many people find it important to take occasional media fasts, during which they withdraw from the media messages that bombard us day and night.

Yes, I know that most of you reading this are not TV junkies, and are very judicious with your choices of media exposure (which is why I am especially honored that you are visiting here). You are probably well aware of some of the corrosive effects of our culture’s obsession with commercialism. But it is very hard to escape, and so over the next several days, we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of how to go about retreating from the overload, and turn instead to Graceland.

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  • February 19, 2008, 12:46 pm Copper Asetemhat Stewart

    Ah, this kind of fasting can be very important in discovering what is poison to oneself.

    I’m weighing whether to fast from electoral politics this year, since it seems to be the only thing in my life that activates hatred or rage (easier since I’m not happy with the choices). Also weighing how much this “fast” should be a personal proscription for the foreseeable future. In a sense, politics has kept me grounded–in another, it has held me back. There are several ways in which political involvement–even voting–is disconsonant with my perception of reality or even wounding to my practice. (Besides believing that it’s a manipulative scam).

    Not voting would be completely new to me, though I know many folks who’ve shared my political journey were never fond of it.

    I certainly don’t mean this is true for everyone, but I think this year is certainly one in which I should consider a political fast… then wait and see for the longer-term.

  • February 19, 2008, 5:34 pm Madeline

    You know, with all this talk about the switch to digital programming and having to either get a new TV or do something about getting some sort of a box or ??? I’ve had the MEDIA on my mind–

    My local paper listed all the “options” for dealing with the upcoming TV “crisis. ” What they did not mention was THIS OPTION:

    GIVE UP TELEVISION! TURN IT OFF.
    Fire your cable company!

    More and more, my husband and I are thinking we will go this route.Our 34 year old son does not have TV service in his home by choice. (we raised him without TV!)Somewhere along the line we did get one, now we pay $90 a month for basic cable and internet service. !) (lived many many years without either of these “services.” )

    I don’t actually WATCH my TV anymore.I used to like Oprah but now I find ALL the talk shows just boring–too much information. Just way too much information.

    Once in a while I’ll hear about a show I’d like to catch but then I forget to watch it!

    I am busy cooking, baking,cleaning, writing, visiting friend son the internet and in person,I do my hobbies.. I listen to music during the day, or enjoy quiet.

    so–

    YES! A media fast sounds wonderful– and I say why not give TV up for good!

  • February 21, 2008, 9:38 am deborah oak

    beth, you are amazing.