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!

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Sacred Dishes

Today two items I had been looking forward to receiving arrived in the mail. A Chalice and Paten, from Pottery Rowe . I can’t recall the name of the design.. twilight perhaps? The Chalice is much larger than I had imagined and will fit a nice big helping of mead or wine.

Though pottery may not be traditional, I always sort of feel, in Divinaturism, that the Chalice and Paten, are of Natura Mater…. She holds the Divine within her… so to have these sacred dishes made of Earth, that they may hold the spiritually charged libations, just made sense. When I came across these some time ago, they not only ‘called’ to me, but mentally bonked me on the head and said ‘WE want to be on your altar!’ 😉

>Circle of the Eternal Sun

>Our group has been revived. After a year long break in which we have all been pursuing different projects and treading some different paths, we have come together to rebuild our circle.
We each had things that were not resonating properly with us within the structure and correspondences of our previous coven framework. However we had kept with it over the last year or so because it was how we were trained within the Gardnerian Tradition.
Quite eclectic but blooming nicely. We still have some things that need to be rewritten and touched up. It is basically a Neopagan/Panentheistic/Kabbalistic approach. The focus is on the indwelling essence of Divinity within the elements here in this realm and within ourselves. It is about reuniting the sparks within.
The Circle of the Eternal Sun

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Finding Community

I’m not quite sure how to express in words how I am feeling.

I have been thinking alot about community lately. Or lack of. I can understand the draw of Church. The feeling of community. The support, the working together as a group.

I have been thinking alot lately of going to a Unitarian Universalist Church.  I am and will most likely always  be a Wicce, but the UU Church is multi-faith and it is not uncommon to find Pagans there.

But for the sense of community. So many Wiccans get caught up in the labels.And levels, and the “im right, you’re wrong” that it is hard to get them all together in one place in that sort of setting on a regular basis… akin to herding cats. 😀

Don’t get me wrong, I have been part of some wonderful Wiccan celebrations… but the sense of community is still not quite so strong. Alot of it is to do with the fact that many people still do not feel very comfortable being open about it.

But to get together once a week, to have inspiring conversations, potlucks, open celebrations, to support one another, to new moms, to seniors etc…. all those attributes that one tends to say (and i HATE this saying) “make a ‘good Christian’…

Those are NOT just Christian values, the act of compassion, of kindness, of support to one another. They are, or should be, values of mankind.

After all, we are all interconnected. We are all part of the same big picture, making up the unique face of this place we call Earth. So…. what happened to Community?

Can Pagans unite in every day life to help one another , to love one another… or will the diversity get in the way?

I know not everyone wants ‘community’. Many Witches and Pagans are more than happy to be on their own. And that is wonderful too. Different people have different needs… but to have the option would be nice.

Searching through, there are two UU Churches in the sort of general area, but each is about an hour away.

When I moved here from a city about an hour away, I hoped to find an established Pagan community. (in a bible belt, yes… silly me) but there did not seem to be one. In Vancouver there is a bigger pagan presence. Still not a ‘Community’ as in a get together once a week and celebrate life type of thing…. but a community of stores and groups and people… So I made a site to try to get Pagans to come out of the woodwork and connect with one another. I know it takes time… and the few people I have met have been great, but there is no regular get togethers or talks etc. Maybe in time, for those of us that want to make it happen, it will happen.