Category Archives: Church

Divine Meet-up.com?

I’ve felt for the past few weeks now, that my spiritual practice is slightly more selfish and internalized than they could be.  This was most acutely felt (or rather not-felt) during this weeks Equinox.  I had set aside some time to go outside, enjoy the spring-like weather, and welcome the greenery and Life that was appearing around our farm. ( The geese arrived again, six of them this year!)    Yet, it felt a bit hollow and empty.

Oh sure, I’ve lit my candles, taken a few moments to admire and appreciate the budding life around me this spring, but there seems to be something missing.   I’ve fallen out of practice with Faerie-Play (for lack of a better word, since Worship seems the wrong connotation, so I’ll say Play, with the same inflection as capital-L-Love is used sometimes) and an attempt to re-strike that relationship gave me a pretty stern chastisement from the Otherkin camp for falling out of practice to begin with.  So, there’s one item on my to-do list this month.

Still, there’s another aspect of the Divine that I would like to re-connect to, and am not sure the best way to do so.   I want to say hello again to the Gods/Goddesses out there, Bored or otherwise.  Essentially, I would like to reaffirm a Path that includes something more discrete than “The Earth/Nature” (intentionally glossing over the depths of defining “Nature”).

I used to be very active in my Lutheran Church, and had a fairly solid understanding of God.  I redefined my concept of that being, and added other names to “Who is God” as I grew older and more pagan-minded. Still, I’ve never gotten really comfortable with other pantheons in popular use among the Pagani.  Celtic culture is really neat, but I don’t connect to Brigit or Lugh.  Norse Asatru is intellectually intriguing, but I have even less of a bond with Thor or Loki other than lip-service.  Likewise, the recent interest in Greek mythology (ala: Percy Jackson books) is fun reading, and scholarly, but I can not consider myself a student of Hellenismos.

I’ve done a bit of research with my family tree, which contains a fair chunk of ancestors deeply involved with PA Dutch Heathenism, and Hex-craft.  Yet again, my dabblings into that practice seem a bit forced and rote, rather than passionate and rewarding.

So,  here I am at a sort of crossroads.    I’ve got my current Practice and Path, which includes drum-circles, and gardening, and a rather down-to-earth subtle appreciation of The World We Live In, but I am feeling called more and more in my meditaitons to look towards Someone/Something.   The problem is I’m not sure who/what that is.

My question to the readership here is:   Other than continued practice with a particular set of Deities, is there a generalized way of opening myself up to inspiration?   As a (really bad) example, would I gather up an anhk and dagger, calling upon Ma’at or Nuit until something answers… or would I simply ask the spirits and Divine to enter in frith, and wait to see what particular name[s] pops into my head?

Of course, I already understand it’s a somewhat selfish question as well, wanting The Gods to start paying attention to Me…  Still, I’m more curious if I could narrow down my list of options for Me to start paying more attention to Them.

How did you find your current Path?

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Filed under Church, Druidic, Faerie, Questions

How did He die?

One very interesting conversation I’ve been having over email regards the popular story of Jesus’ death upon the cross.

For many, the general story of Jesus being stuck up on a cross (Crucified) and returning to life three days later is one of the core staples of Christian religion.   Yet, many are not aware that the bible itself has a few different descriptions of this important event.

For example, the Gospel of Mark (Mark 15:33-36) reads as follows:

33At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

Matthew (Matthew 27:45), as well, recounts an anguish-filled ending for the Messiah, with the crowd and the guards mocking him. (Mathew also adds that there was a terrible earthquake and things happening as He died, whereas Mark says the Curtain of the Temple was torn asunder and it was dark, as if cloudy or an eclipse.)

Now, in contrast this this heart-wrenching suffering of Jesus, where he died feeling a sense of Ultimate Suffering, is Luke 23:42-46

42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus’ Death
44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

John (John 19:28) recounts a slightly less dramatic ending, where Jesus simply accepts his fate as was foretold, and dies quietly, and never mentions any large supernatural rumblings afterward.

28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

I find it terribly interesting, that if the Gospels are “taken as gospel” (and that this phrase means essentially “really truly True”, there is such differing opinion on the nature of what is probably the most important event in Christian scripture.

Unless you are a literalist, which I find a strange way of viewing the Bible anyway, it seems that each apostle filtered events to slant His story to a particular audience.   John appears the most unbiased reporter.   Matthew and Mark seem to sensationalize the event like a tabloid newspaper.   Luke spreads more of a message of hope and compassion, describing a calm Jesus reassuring another criminal of his place in Heaven, and gently offering his soul to God willingly.

Interesting, eh?

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Filed under Church, Questions, Stories

Another perspective

I recently talked about Perspectives in terms of seeing wildlife in your backyard as a boon, and a symptom of imbalance.  I had been pondering that lately, and realized that the two options were not mutually exclusive, and to look at them in terms of extremes was jsut as bad as ignoring one side of the question itself.

For today’s musing, I present to you this:

What is it?

A few options present themselves to my mind.   For example, it’s an apple, Obviously.  Thinking further…

  • A fruit.
  • a red -skinned food-item
  • a healthy snack
  • a worm house
  • the fall of mankind via Eve
  • a potential tree
  • a jpg file
  • an electronic pixilated representation of a physical object
  • …etc.

I could probably think of a few other increasingly esoteric and creative answers to “What is that?“, but I think the point has been made. The question of “which is the correct answer?” is somewhat moot.  They are all correct.

The same ‘thing’ like that apple pictured above, can be many many things depending on how you look at it.   It’s a less extreme example of the three blind men and the elephant.

Like our own concepts of Spiritual Truth, I believe that just about all of them are valid, for the honest practitioner.  Some may call a spade a spade, and others a shovel or a playing-card, but there is Truth behind the respective words, that has validity.

Think about that the next time you dismiss someone as “wrong” in some subjective topic.  They may be less Right to you’re perspective, granted.  We can also change our own minds in light of continued evidence.  Yet, I am finding that the idea of wholly Wrong-ness is the cause of most troubles in society lately.

Lets stop comparing those apples to themselves, and just make fruit salad with the oranges we find too.

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Filed under Church, Foodage, Moon Muse, _MagicDuel

Another churchy tale

This week at the UU church I [still] attend, was an informal service whereupon members of the congregation had been invited to share a short excerpt from a favorite book, and how it inspired them.

One lady read from Grapes of Wrath, and shared how it changed her outlook on Humanity and Humility, reading of the horrid selfishness of people below their station. She had grown up in a wealthy NewEngland community, and formerly looked down her nose at “poor farmers” until that book made her re-think things.

One man shared a bit from Oral Microbiology and how it changed his view of our communal relationship with ‘the good microbes’.

Yet others shares inspiring sermons, quoted from Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and more traditional “English Literature” such as Flowers for Algernon, and Where the Red Fern Grows.

However, by far my favorite was an older lady who shared “The Hobbit” as her favorite book. She explained briefly that we adults are often told to get our heads out of the clouds, and how this “kids book” showed that even as an older adult, it was “OK to have an imagination”. She also referenced the new movie Avatar, as an example of world-building freedoms and whimsy-wonder.

Instead of reading an excerpt from The Hobbit, however, she admitted that she once submitted music to a “Fanzine” on Middle earth back in the 80s. She had set the first parts of Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar to music, and then launched into a lilting A Cappella song, the lyrics of which are below.

To say the fact I could honestly answer “heard a lady sing in elvish” to the question of What I Did on Sunday, is awesome.

This UU thing may not be entirely spiritually ritualistically filling, but it’s still a fun community to be growing a part of.

(My son also has now expressed interest in going as he misses the other kids. Also, he has learned not to jokingly blow out the small candle I light in the evenings after starting to understand the reasons for lighting a candle “Representing the Love and Mystery that some people call God/dess”)

Galadriel’s Song of Eldamar
I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
Beneath the stars of Ever-eve in Eldamar it shone,
In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion.
There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years,
While here beyond the Sundering Seas now fall the Elven-tears.
O Lórien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lórien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

The melody was vaguely akin to “Spancel Hill” (video link)

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Filed under Church, Esoteric, Faerie, Music, Silly