One Path, Two Tools (or, Confessions of an Anglipaganostic)

I think I’m probably too tired to write this post, however I’m going to do it anyhow.

First of all I want to thank the Universalist Fellowship of the Sacred Path – my fellow clergy and friends there who are supportive of me and my journey (as I am equally supportive of them). It’s amazing how we have all been on such spiritual pilgrimages. We exchange stories and thoughts and ideas – as varied as we are in our own religious convictions, we share in one thing – we don’t easily fit into a predetermined religious framework. My biggest thanks to Bishop Mansell Gilmore who does such an amazing job of supporting us all.

I go through cycles of varied beliefs and understandings. It looks on the outside like a complete 360, however each time I come round in that circle I have something new I’ve learned that I’ve brought with me.

I don’t know why it should surprise me that I go in circles. After all, our life is a spiral that circles inward, and circles outward. Ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning.

I realized that although I can walk only one path at a time on my journey homeward, that I require different tools. Sometimes the journey is rocky and steep and sometimes it is flat and open. The tools I use reflect the place I am traveling through during that time.

By trying to combine my Earth-Based understandings and relationships with my Episcopalian/Anglican nature, I was watering down both. Sometimes you simply can NOT use one tool for the other.

I need both in my life.

So I decided to create two tool sets for the journey.

Divinaturist Wicca – an Eclectic Wiccan path

Sacred Path Fellowship – a Progressive Christian path

As I have said in earlier posts, although I see a butting of heads amongst those two paths if we are talking to Fundies (both Christian and Pagan/Wiccan) , I do not see a contradiction in general at all.

There is much merit in visualizing and relating to the Lord and Lady in the way Wicca does things. There is also a large feel of ‘Malkut’ to it, as we operate in this realm and realize the divinity in the world that comes to us from within (and as) the elements. The wheel representing the Seasons, the Life Stages, and various other syncretic aspects.

Likewise there is much to be gained for many from within the Christian tradition, especially the Esoteric and Progressive variants.  Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, Gnostic myths about Sophia and the Logos, shared experiences of humanity found in Psalms. A feeling of ‘Tipheret’.

There is much richness in both the above paths and I will not chose between them.

Now, traveling back into time a bit. I had been accused by members of the Pagan community of being ‘too Christian’ , and I will admit that that was a reason I folded up my work with my Circle of the Eternal Sun , Divinaturist group. I allowed those accusations to affect me. I heard a story of a girl who had come to our local Coffee Cauldron  and the amazement (and displeasure) upon finding out that she was in fact Christian. So, the fact that I had such an interest in Esoteric Christianity and Mysticism (Judaic Mysticism as well) made me think  ‘maybe it was time to leave Wicca behind completely’ and I did. I went ahead with my Christian interests, being an ordained Minister within the UFSP , and took  classes from the Metropolitan Theological Seminary.

Still though, my love and understanding of Wicca was strong and found it’s way into my Christian liturgy that I was creating.  In that process the service lost some of the depth that drew me to it in the first place it didn’t express the meaning behind it well. Nor could the Wiccan aspects be fully appreciated. It became something that offered little to a Christian OR an Earth-Based sort.

The light went on.

I realized that both have their place and indeed I myself need both.

I am not just climbing mountains, nor am I just wandering through the plains. This journey takes me through both and I require the tools of Mysticism as found within Christianity, Judaism and Gnosticism as well as the tools of Celebration and Relationship found within Wicca.

Anyhow – if this made sense, awesome. If it didn’t , well in all fairness I did start writing this after midnight and I was already experiencing a decline of mental capacity due to a very late night (4am) the night before. Sometimes I am most inspired to write when I am too tired to think :).

In Lux et Veritas!

Advertisements

>Always the Wanderer

>If I was crazy, would I truly know it?

Is the fact that I question it often a sign of sanity? Or is it instead, just an awareness of INsanity?
I grew up religion-less. Not only did we have no real religious upbringing, but there was no spirituality either. Not that rare in Western Canada.
My mother was a youngster when she had me. Her and my birth father did not stay together. When I was two, my mom married a Jewish man. He adopted me as his daughter. Before the wedding, my mother converted to Judaism. A few short years later, I had a Mikveh and was given the Jewish name Adina. However, other than the most commonly celebrated Jewish Holy Days, such as Chanukah and Passover, there really was no proof that we were a Jewish family. I had no idea what the celebrations were about.
When I was 16, I became pregnant and wanted to marry my Roman Catholic boyfriend. So, of course, I was baptised Roman Catholic (on my due date. My first born son however, was a bit stubborn luckily and was not born until 12 days later).
I went along with Catholicism for awhile. It was beautiful. Magical almost. When I decided to leave my husband two years later, I left the church as well. I had become a bit bitter toward the Church. I felt that they condoned bad behaviour (my husband was from a family of abusive alcoholics and he was no different unfortunately) by simply allowing them to confess their repeated ill treatment of themselves and others with no encouragement really to right their wrongs. I of course was viewing it all through the eyes of an angry, hurt 18 year old with a small child.
So, for many years after that, a decade or so, I was pretty darn atheist. Then I came across something called Wicca. It had the fancy ritual stuff that I had come to love from the church, yet a whole new world of ideas and beliefs and freedom of expression. It was beautiful.
I wanted to incorporate these new traditions and ideas into my family life and into my own life , and I was very successful at doing so. For the next few years I was a practicing Gardnerian Witch with a little coven, along with my best friend and my new husband (who had been a dear friend of many years. Friend turned lover, turned husband) .
Anyone in the Craft, fortunate enough to be close to a big pagan community, as I was in Vancouver knows that pagans know how to throw one heck of a party!!! Every 6 weeks, some new change in the earth’s life cycle is happening and it is celebrated whole heartedly.
My husband and I decided to have a child together. I had three much older children from a previous life, but my husband had none of his own. This resulted in many life changes. The parties stopped, no drinking or smoking or being in places where indoor smoking was going to be taking place. I stepped back from the pagan way of life and sort of cocooned during my pregnancy.
We then moved about an hour out of town two months before our son was born. Total relocation for me and my kids. We had been in the same neighbourhood for more than a decade. The move was weird for me, but I wasn’t sad or homesick. It was like shedding a layer and emerging. Our son was born. And then about 9 months later I was pregnant again with our second son (my fifth child and fourth boy)
During this time, my Wiccan ways were quite neglected. Nursing non stop, awake all night with crying babies, diapers, hormonal imbalances etc etc…. the days of dancing about in circles with wreathes in my hair felt like light years away. Anything that we did try to put together for some reason never really worked out. And the amount of work it took to put together seemed odd. Why wasn’t it fun? Why wasn’t I looking forward to these celebrations anymore? I realized that it was starting to lacking something to me. I was noticing an absence of substance.
I had never been able to really jump on board with the God and Goddess as anything more than made up personifications. Female and Male aspects of the one Divine personified so that we could more easily send and direct energy toward them which in turn sends energy and love to ourselves because the Divine resides within (etc etc) I saw them as abstract archetypal figures. And it occurred to me that they were no more real than I had felt God was. So why had I been so quick to toss Him out?
About this time I stumbled across a blog by Fr.Jordan Stratford of the Apostolic Johannite Church. I had been googling ‘Witchcraft and Gnosticism’ to see if there were links. I found his blog to be a wonderful read and began looking more deeply into Gnosticism.
Of course, my Wiccan mind still was personifying, and Gnosticism in the sense I was beginning to learn of was quite perfect. Logos and Sophia. Male and Female aspects of the One. The Divine.
So now, I had the beauty of the ritual, plus alot of liberal freedom, because the Gnostic Churches I have been acquainted with are very open to everyone, regardless of your denomination, gender, or sexual orientation. There is all sorts of room for study, contemplating, analyzing etc. I looked online for good forums where I could ask my zillion dumb (to me) questions. I came across a forum that I posted at a few times, but for the most part I was afraid to post because I was pretty sure I would be smacked with the ‘stupid stick’ which some members seemed to carry about quite proudly.
So, I started a website called Spiral Inward, with a forum attached called The Gnostic Cafe. We just celebrated our one year birthday 🙂 During that year I have joined and then dropped out of, a Gnostic Seminary, as well as a Gnostic-ish lay monastery. My views and opinions constantly changing as they grow. Wanting SO much to run a Gnostic church one day, with grace and beauty. Day and night, my mind filled with thoughts about the Nag Hammadi scriptures, the different myths and systems. But one day, my brain just called out “STOP”
I listened. No more studying, just experiencing. Just sitting… cocooning again it seemed.
I started attending an Anglican church. I needed a real, physical sense of community. Something I could experience on a regular basis with other people. Even with Gnostic tendencies, it’s quite enjoyable. One just sorts of views things as a Valentinian… looking for the deeper or alternate meaning within everything. Reciting the creed, and the Lord’s Prayer… then I started some studying again.
Working this time within the Universal Church of Autogenes, a very liberal Church with many Schools of Thought. I originally joined the Valentinian school of thought because it seemed like I was living that sort of life. I read a few Gnostic texts, as well as the New Testament, as well as books regarding the compilation of the New Testament, Early Christianity etc.
Then the next bit hit me. My realization that if I want to follow the teachings of Christ, that I wanted to study his teachings and that was it. I didn’t want everyone’s story and myth about the supposed virgin birth, and his death (the only two things about Christian teachings that seem to leap out at me) . I didn’t want to read all the letters from supposed leaders of the early church to the supposed followers. It would be different if these stories were presented as Myth, (as much of the Old Testament is) but they aren’t. In the Christian community they are presented in a way that is supposed to show us that Jesus was born , and somewhere along the way (or BEFORE, as in John) he became Divine. Whether it be the New Testament, or whether it be the Gnostic Cospels, it was all a bunch of writings about different people’s understandings of Jesus’s life , and their understanding of God’s real agenda (while promoting the belief of their particular community.
So, enter The Gospel of Thomas. No Narrative. No Opinion. Just a bunch of sayings. Take ’em or leave ’em.
Good ol Thomas. Is it genuine? Well, is ANY of our writings anywhere genuine?
For me it’s about as genuine as it’s going to get. And there is a whole lot of room in there to figure out who we are. It’s all about knowing ourselves. I am currently in a Thomasine order within the Holy Monastic Order En Deus. It’s a comforting good place for my heart.
I find myself wondering lately…. Jesus was a Jew. He taught Jewish stuff, but with his own interpretation. If he existed (and I am going with the opinion that he did) then to me he seems more like one of today’s Reform Judaism or Progressive Judaism Rabbi’s. An enlightened teacher. With sayings of wisdom. He followed Jewish customs. But he taught it all with a modern twist. Although Jewish Mysticism wasn’t to make it’s public debut for quite some time after Jesus’ death, one can’t help to wonder what sort of pre-Mysticism might have been going on behind the curtains.
So, that leads me to this turn.
I attend an Anglican church, but I do not believe Jesus was God. I do not believe he was Divine, well not any more than you and I were.
I believe he had a message. He wasn’t the only man from his day with a message, but was the most charismatic perhaps, and left the biggest impression and therfore had followers that resurrected him after his death. Not resurrected as we read in the New Testament, but resurrected in Myth. Although I can’t imagine what Jesus would think if he were here today. Rather than kicking off a movement of liberal thinkers of Judaism, (much like the Reformed/Progressive/Reconstructionist branches of Judaism today) a religion rose up that was based on the death of him. Based on Jesus as a sacrificial lamb. Sure, there are still threads of his actual Jewish teachings here and there, but they are heavily shadowed by the Myth of his Life and Death.
Lately, beginning some light study on Jewish Mysticism, and Kaballah, as well as these nagging ideas of Jesus’ non-divinity, I feel myself drawn back to that pool. The pool I was terrified to go in at my Mikveh. Being welcomed into the Jewish community, as a young child, but with no idea of what or why. Now, 30+ years later I am wanting to get back to the root of it.
I did not realize how beautiful Judaism was. I am not naive and I realize that I would only ever be accepted into a progressive branch of Judaism, but that’s okay. The rituals, the observances, the mindfulness. There is a deep rich culture.
Just after the festival of Sukkot began (unbeknown to me – I had never heard of it) , I had some correspondence with a Rabbi from a local-ish progressive Synagogue. He encouraged me warmly to delve into this current holiday, to read up on it and learn more. I did this, and then of course kept reading. Not only about Sukkot and the Sukkah , the waving of the branches and the seven Guests but about much more… the Shabbat, lighting of the candles on the eve, before sunset, all those things I never realized while I was younger and a newly made Jew and I thought. Wow. Pretty deep. Yes, it is Myth , but it is recognized as Myth (as much of Christian customs) . But more than Myth it is the replaying of the Jewish culture from thousands of years ago, adapted now for a more modern world (in more liberal branches) , a work and celebration of the preservation of a whole culture.
Not just based around the birth and death of a Jewish teacher, not just a constant reminder that someone ‘died for your sins’.
Christianity stems from Judaism, and yet so much about Judaism is left untaught and unrecognized. Too much hang up still from some Bible Thumping type Christians that still think ‘Jews Killed God’.
So, yeah. Still wandering. Still learning. Still trying to find my way home.
A trip back to Judaism might be called for. Maybe it was a turn off I missed awhile back when following this map to God.
Blessings for a joyful Sukkot


Realizations and Contemplations

I was reading Jung and the Lost Gospels ( S.A. Hoeller) the other night, chapter 6, Errant Wisdom~The Myth of Sophia ; Introduction: Gnosis,Metaphor and Myth.
I had one of those ‘moments’. You know, the type that cause an almost audible ‘click’ of recognition.
In the craft we did rituals to celebrate the Sabbats, and there are rituals to bring about desires/magic, but it just really didn’t work for me. It felt more like dress up. It was fun, and sometimes I got a real feeling of energy (possibly from dancing in circles while chanting… kind of a head rush), but because I did not feel a real call to a particular pair of deities, I had a hard time visualizing who it was I was invoking and why.
When I decided to find out where our rituals came from, I realized that much of what we do is from the origin of hermetic societies. In fact, it is so similar that I would say it’s in many ways like a ‘Reader’s Digest Condensed Version’.
I had always wondered why we had the female represented on the left of the altar, usually by a black candle (north side when altar faces east) and the male represented on the right side of the altar, usually by a white candle (south side when altar faces east). Then, saw some Golden Dawn and O.T.O temple pictures in a book that showed two pillars. One mainly black to the North of the altar, and one mainly white to the South of the altar. And I learned that the Pillar of Severity was Feminine, North, Black…. and learned that the Pillar of Mercy was Masculine, South, White. Hmm… as a friend of mine pointed out, the Wiccan altar is akin to a ‘Temple on a Table’ (Hermetic Temple). Also interesting is that in Wicca we are instructed always to do a banishing earth pentagram . Is this why it was called ‘Earth Based?’ Anyone can read an abundance of literature on ceremonial magic, and see that the Banishing and Invoking Earth pentagram is in part the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. But rather than calling on the Angelic Beings of the Higher Realms, and invoking the different names of the Divine, we call upon the earthly elements, and their earthly-realm gaurdians…It’s like all Craft rituals were done in the realm of Malkuth. It makes sense when one realizes that many of the things witches do in ritual is material based magic. Love, money, health, etc. All things on an earthly plane. Celebration of the seasons – also earth based. I understand now why I felt that I was not transcending. I was rooting myself in only an earthly realm, using earthly symbols and literal interpretation of those symbols.
At one point, about a year or two ago, I started to see the wheel of the year as reflections of my inner self. I no longer saw myself as looking at the elements in a literal sense, but rather instead how they triggered the reaction of those aspects of me which they related to.It was just something not really taught in the books I read as a beginner, and for some reason, although we are TAUGHT (and I understood) the correspondences, I really did not internalize it as an ‘as above so below’. If you look at how the Craft is taught to people, it really lacks the structure of the same Hermetic Societies who originally constructed these things into the rituals they are. Perhaps because Gardner had this information as ‘fragmented’, in his own words. Bits from here, other bits from there. It LOOKED nice, it was FUN, and even provided an arena for personal exploration in a possibly more relaxed atmosphere than the Hermetic societies. A Ceremonial Magic ‘Light’….. so to speak. But also lacking was a real sense of ‘WHAT is this for?’
Even at Hermetic.com in fact, it lists Gardnerian Witchcraft as an offshoot of the Golden Dawn. G.D. and other Hermetic Societies look at these rituals as a way of Trascendence. A way of connecting oneself to their higher-self , becoming ‘More human than human’ (much more than that really, but I don’t have the knowledge or time at the moment to really get into what it’s all about) Much has been written about how much or how little of Gardnerian Wicca was based on information from Crowley, and from Gardner’s association with the O.T.O. So it makes sense that so much of Gardner’s rituals sound like a simpler version of Ceremonial Magic However, at the time of starting my Witch’s path, I didn’t know this. I had no knowledge of Ceremonial Magic, and instead thought I was following a Religion of Olde. A Goddess Religion. Love, and Peace, and Gaia etc etc….
When I found that I needed more than that path could provide, and started looking into Gnosticism, I found two deities that I had ‘known’ all along, but was not aware of in a concious sense. Sophia and Jesus. And when they are given a place on my altar, in my ‘Temple on a Table’, and I love them within myself, as well as in the realm in which they dwell (as within, so without), it brings about a WHOLE new relationship with the Divine.
Wow, what a ramble this has turned into. I have no idea if it will even make it off my wordpad and onto the blog.
Anyhow… to sum it up. I fell in love with the ritual of the Craft, but wasn’t sure why. I knew there was something deeper in it calling me. I could not identify with the Pagan deities, but I knew there was a meaning behind it all. I felt like I was playing dress up and role playing, without realizing why (other than celebration of the seasons) we were really making such a big deal of it all. A nice ritual without a real understanding of why things were the way they were.
Then I learned about Gnosticism, and then I began reading about Qabalah, and hermetics…. the Pillars of Severity and Mercy, the Inner as the Outer. And finally, about WHY ritual plays such an import and profound part of becoming one with the Divine. With Gnosis. It’s not just about paying homage to your Goddess and God on the altar. It is about reliving an experience. As so wonderfully put (in my opinion) below, by +Stephan A. Hoeller:

“Experience turned into myth and myth turned inward as psychological self-knowledge: such is the grand movement of Gnosis on the plane of psychic reality. Yet, there is still a third component, which allows the myth to descend from the purely psychological to the material level of manifestation where it may impress not only the intuitive, thinking and feeling functions but also the function of sensation. This third element is valid ritual, possessing true meaning, which becomes the dramatization or “playing out” of the myth in plain view of the senses. The considerable concern of the Gnostics with sacramental ritual attests to the important role played by the ritualization of myth in the above-noted movement of Gnosis. It is also here in the nature of this movement of Gnosis that we may graphically apprehend the great difference separating such mainstream traditions as Judaism, non-Gnostic Christianity, and Islam, on the one hand from the alternative tradition of Gnosticism on the other.
The tendency of the mainstream traditions is to turn the initial experience into dogma and commandment through the intermediary agency of historically interpreted holy scriptures, which usually appear as stories with a moral. The tendency of the alternative tradition is to move from initial experience to an expression of the experience in myth, and from there to the ritual playing out of the myth into fully perceptible physical manifestation, from whence proceeds the withdrawal of the images into the Self, thus opening the way to original and primal experience once more.”
-+Stephan A. Hoeller:Jung and the Lost Gospels , p102-103.

Well, that’s about enough writing for today!

Looks like Winter Left Early -Jan 19 2010

If the weather could be like today all year round, how enjoyable that would be. Warm but not at all hot, slight breeze, sun shining…. Well, ok, in all honesty, I enjoy the rain and storms sometimes also, but temperature-wise it was just delightful.
Today, after our walk, we poked about the garden and sure enough, spring had found its way there!!!
Our lilac tree is in bud, and little green tops of crocuses or grape hyacinth are popping through. The twisted hazel has new growth and leaf buds, as does both elderberry bushes.
Early spring is only matched in love from me by early autumn.
At least this year though, I won’t have to detest summer so much. It will no longer be 39 degrees in our house, because we are getting a heat pump/cooling system 😀 Yippee! I’m so thrilled. No more heatstroke from multiple nights spent unable to cool down, and a better heating alternative for cooler nights. (nights above 0. For nights below 0, the furnace will kick in and do its thing)
I was playing with clay last night and made a little teraphim for my altar. It is a conjoined Mother/Father God . It started out as a female and male figure, but then I decided to blend them into one another. They are faceless.. but have appropriate physical attributes 🙂

I will paint the Mother black and the Father white. Though the clay is already white, once its dry it will have the rough chalky appearance, and so white paint will look better, especially when next to black paint.
I ordered a new set of tarot cards. Navigators of the Mystic SEA. I was reading about them at Aeclectic Tarot , and they just sounded pretty neat. And the more I looked at different pictures, and read different opinions on them, the more I thought they might be nice for a personal deck.

I also got the book for the deck. It’s a pretty detailed book, and I found it on eBay for 3.00.
I will stick with my Golden Dawn Magical Tarot deck for workings, as the correspondences in the Navigators deck is different as far as the Tree of Life goes. Julia Tuck (the author of the deck and cards) goes at it from Malkuth back toward Kether instead of the other way around, so I don’t want to confuse myself, lol… but I think they might be an interesting deck at the very least.
I’ve been thinking alot lately about religious vocations. As odd as it might sound coming from a Witch, I really would like to serve the Divine of my self and my fellow brothers and sisters by being able to take on the role of a spiritual Minister/Guide/Priest. Not of the sort that you might be thinking, as after all, I do still have very mystical/esoteric and even hermetic threads of thoughts that make up my spiritual self. There are Gnostic Churches such as the AJC that are accepting of those variances, and I am going to do my best to pursue this.
From the time I first stumbled across Gnosticism at the Ecclesia Gnostica , I knew I was headed in the right direction, and since the birth of Spiral Inward and the forum , I have had the opportunity to learn more, and meet more people and one thing leads to another.
It’s like having being lost, going in what seems like circles, and then suddenly recognizing landmarks – although you don’t recall seeing them before. You realize that you are in a familiar place, heading in an unknown yet familiar direction.
It’s a nice feeling.

The Snow has Fallen

Yep. First snow fall of the year. Funny how up here in the Great White North, snow is not as commonplace as some of our friends from the south might think. Not along the southwest coast anyhow.
I bottled ten bottles of mead today. I made some labels for them with my very lacking labelling program. Moon of Akellare Mead. Our coven name.
The mead is VERY dry, and is maxed out at the 18% that our Lalvin 1118 allowed.
Hopefully, with some aging, it will taste less like mildly flavoured whiskey, and more like the honey/berry wine it should. (though I AM a big fan of whiskey, so that’s okay too)
I had the reverend from Carman United Church over for tea. She’s really nice. Being the eclectic Witch/Gnostic that I am, I decided that until I can get some people interested in an AJC (Apostolic Johannite Church) out this way, that I want to attend church. Not just any church, but one that can allow me the comfort of connecting with God in my own way. The United Church of Canada recently adopted A Song of Faith as “a timely and contextual statement of faith, with a view to circulation throughout the whole church for study and response while honouring the diversity of our church and acknowledging our place in a pluralistic world and in an ongoing and developing tradition of faith”….
I sort of stumbled upon it one day not long ago and thought… wow. I really like this.
Now, although it appealed to my Gnostic self, and my Witch self, I don’t take to heart the term ‘Creator’, as I don’t see the ‘creator’ god as the Divine God. This flawed world in which we live seems to display too much of the mark of a demiurge of sorts. This is the existence which we fell into. And I’m just trying to find my way home. When this Song of Faith calls God the Creator God, for my own mind’s peace, I read it as just THE BIG GUY, the Emanator … The Ineffable… and of course, any mention of sin, well to me, to sin merely means to Miss the Mark.. to err. So really, I can find alot of inspiration in many things I read, when I read it with my X-Ray Gnostic Goggles on 😉

Here is a part of the Song of Faith:

“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We also speak of God as

Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer

God, Christ, and Spirit

Mother, Friend, and Comforter

Source of Life, Living Word, and Bond of Love,

and in other ways that speak faithfully of

the One on whom our hearts rely,

the fully shared life at the heart of the universe.

We witness to Holy Mystery that is Wholly Love.

God is creative and self-giving,

generously moving

in all the near and distant corners of the universe.

Nothing exists that does not find its source in God.

Our first response to God’s providence is gratitude.

We sing thanksgiving.

Finding ourselves in a world of beauty and mystery,

of living things, diverse and interdependent,

of complex patterns of growth and evolution,

of subatomic particles and cosmic swirls,

we sing of God the Creator,

the Maker and Source of all that is.

Each part of creation reveals unique aspects of God the Creator,

who is both in creation and beyond it.

All parts of creation, animate and inanimate, are related.

All creation is good.

We sing of the Creator,

who made humans to live and move

and have their being in God.

In and with God,

we can direct our lives toward right relationship

with each other and with God.

We can discover our place as one strand in the web of life.

We can grow in wisdom and compassion.

We can recognize all people as kin.

We can accept our mortality and finitude, not as a curse,

but as a challenge to make our lives and choices matter.

Made in the image of God,

we yearn for the fulfillment that is life in God.

Yet we choose to turn away from God.

We surrender ourselves to sin,

a disposition revealed in selfishness, cowardice, or apathy.

Becoming bound and complacent

in a web of false desires and wrong choices,

we bring harm to ourselves and others.

This brokenness in human life and community

is an outcome of sin.

Sin is not only personal

but accumulates

to become habitual and systemic forms

of injustice, violence, and hatred.

We are all touched by this brokenness:

the rise of selfish individualism

that erodes human solidarity;

the concentration of wealth and power

without regard for the needs of all;

the toxins of religious and ethnic bigotry;

the degradation of the blessedness of human bodies

and human passions through sexual exploitation;

the delusion of unchecked progress and limitless growth

that threatens our home, the earth;

the covert despair that lulls many into numb complicity

with empires and systems of domination.”

At Spiral Inward, a thread was posted about Jesus Outside Christianity. A blog post by a woman who had an experience in which she connected to Jesus, as a Pagan. It was a really nice read. You can check it out here A Non-Christian Experience with Jesus.

For the years I spent in the Craft, solely as a Witch, although I had alot of fun, for me it was lacking. Too much of it felt like dress up, or smoke and mirrors. Not to say it is fake, or that it feels this way for everyone… but for me it just didn’t pull my spirit. No, Goddess did not talk to me, and no specific deity called my name. But when I read about Sophia and Jesus the Christ/Logos… it hit a nerve. I had been reading alot about where our ritual as Gardnerians had come from, and that led to Crowleyish stuff (not surprising, as he wrote Gardners rituals), which ended up leading me to Gnosticism. Now, working with Hermetics as a system, and Gnosticism as my spiritual belief… Wow.

That’s all I can say.

I feel it. The presence of Archangels, the connection to my Chokmah and Binah and Sophia and Christ, and… The Divine. Finally. After all these years of spiritually searching, I stumbled upon the path home. I know I’m not done.. NOwhere near it, but I do know that at least I finally am BEGINNING to understand,

Who I was

What I have become

Where I was

Where I am going

From what I am being freed of

What birth is

What rebirth is

It is a bit of a slow process. But it is progress. And my heart is filled with joy. (even as the dark shadows stir unhappily at being exposed to the light)

With all these thoughts floating around in my head, I can say I am looking forward to Christmas. The return of the Sun. The re-birth of myself.

*Thanks to Father Scott+ for starting the Seven Questions Thread.