It ocurred to me that by using the term Shekinah, I might be stepping on people’s toes. Although I am of a belief that Shekinah equates Malkuth, I realize that in many (most?) Kabbalistic circles, the Shekinah has been cast out to dwell in Malkuth, and is not necessarily equivalated with the Earth Mother.
For that reason, I’ll most likely be changing the wording up of the ritual a bit.
Basically, COES is constructed like this:
Many Pagan/Wiccan groups do not bring Creation into the group belief. We differ in that we do use a creation myth in our group. We see the basic creation story of Kabbalah as a great tool for understanding the nature of good/evil, and our state of being, as well as our purpose. (as well as honouring the 4 elements as Blessings within the different seasons – Chesed-Water-South-Summer, Malkuth-Earth-West-Autumn, Gevurah-Fire-North-Winter, Tipheret-Air-East-Spring)
Rather than being strict in the teachings of Kabbalah (which in all fairness is a REQUIREMENT if one is actually learning Kabbalah) we are using that Myth as the basis for the understanding of our Great Father (Tipheret) and Great Mother (Malkuth. Binah is a Supernal and therfore is not really associated with this realm, other than her merging and drawing down into Tiferet and then into Malkuth)
An equally important part of our belief is panentheism. The belief that at least a PORTION of divinity exists within matter. A moving force behind all.
The concept that the Great Mother of Matter and the Great Father of Spirit must merge symbolizes the uniting of our small ego self with our bigger spiritual self.
This can be done in s variety of ways that feel right to the individual.
Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Lady and Lord
Queen and King
Bride and Bridegroom…..
it all comes down to the same thing.
And the ‘Kabbalah’ part of this is the understanding that the different aspects of the Godhead have made their way into this realm.
We could say that God as a whole, Constricted, and the Spheres passed through the veil.They fragmented into the positives and negatives we have about us now.
This sort of belief system is what makes this group a bit different from many pagan/wiccan groups who are less interested in the creation myth.
Also, many pagan/wiccan groups do magic to bring about specific things for themself. While we think this is fully understandable, we also feel that because we are all connected, that what our neighbour lacks, WE lack.
We suffer what others are suffer. And this affects the whole world.
Doing magic for personal gain is fine, but we also should be using our ability to raise up love and energy and direct it toward the suffering of the world.
We don’t pray and say “Mr. So n So has cancer, please heal him. ” Nor do we do a spell to heal others physical suffering without consent… however praying to help someone, or a group of people Find the Strength they need to endure hardship. Sending them our Love, pure and simple… THAT is always okay. And always adviseable. In fact, taking time daily, during your morning or evening meditations, to send love toward someone/s is recommended. As we build up love and send it out into the world, the overall amount of love available increases.
So, just rambling a bit here about the ideas behind this group.
Truly, NONE of us knows the truth about creation. All the Gods and Goddesses, and all the spiritual paths.
We are all wrong.
We are all right.
It comes down to this.
People since the begininng of time have been writing stories, Myths to explain the unexplainable.
They write stories to explain their understanding of God and the world. When enough people agree with that idea, a religious movement is formed.
So it has been since the beginning of time.
We are all part of a living myth.