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!

The Incarnation

Birch Wind:

As always, amazingly expressed. <3

Originally posted on Magic of the Ordinary:

jesus-smallI’ve been wanting to do this post for a while. But one hesitates when writing about overtly ‘Christian’ topics for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is the ever present concern that some folk may see this as proselytizing or positioning ‘Christianity’ as a better path than others. Such is the legacy – even within modern esoterica – of intrusive evangelism and the refusal of some anti-Christian folk to let go of their prejudice. More importantly is the awareness I have limited understanding and qualifications in these areas.

However, I do want to try and be clear here for the simple reason I find it hard discussing theIncarnation with many Pagans, magicians and other folk. They simply do not get it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I personally think most Christians don’t get the Incarnation either. And to be fair it is a mystery, which means…

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The air is quite dry right now.

Cold Northeastern  wind blowing down across the valley and out to the coast.

White snow like confectioners sugar blowing across the roads, pushing up in small fine heaps along the curb.

Not adhering to anything.

Just moving. With the wind.

Wind chimes are all singing.

The house creaks and the tall elderberry tree is scraping across the window.

Spring is very close, vibrating under the earth.

I can feel it.

Winter is doing, as winter does, hanging on desperately.

Soon to be chased away by the next click

In the gear of the Wheel of the Year.

late winter tree

The Relief of Resonation

Journey

Sometimes I come across blogs or books that contain gems which I can resonate so deeply it’s almost ridiculous. It’s comforting because when that happens, when we find resonance in the experience of another, it strengthens the realization of our interconnectedness.

This post http://www.bishopinthegrove.com/unexpected-immediacy-god/ is one of those. Teo Bishop’s struggle he went through during this time, his revelations, thoughts and ponderings really hit close to home for me.

I think my favourite part from here was this

A part of me would like for all of this to be simple: believe that Jesus is the son of God (or don’t), and believe that that means a very specific thing with very specific consequences and very specific edicts attached to it, and you’ll know how to live your life. But that part of me is minuscule when compared to the sense of God’s immediacy in my life at this moment. And the divine seems to care nothing about what I believe! My ability (or inability) to parse all of this out doesn’t make a difference. I still feel an awareness of God working in my life somehow.

And maybe that’s Grace. Maybe the message isn’t that “It doesn’t matter what you do, Jesus has washed your sin away,” but rather “It doesn’t matter what you do, you are swept up in the current of the Spirit… It is always already working in your life… You do not have to deserve it, or earn it, or justify yourself in the eyes of the divine… you are always already in a state of being loved.”

The Divine moves and that current carries. I’m in that current. I don’t pretend to understand it even though I try and try. (which just exhausts the brain) – All I can do is receive, and honour and accept it. Even THAT can be a struggle within itself.

I find that I can be a Christian , and still celebrate the wheel of the year, the cycles of life, death, rebirth, the symbolism of the elements (which are used in many churches – water, incense, candles, etc) the presence of Deity within the world around us. For me, it holds a deeper meaning now, but this process was painful. A pruning and a growth, becoming the tree I am meant to become I suppose. Each of us so different, but each with roots extending deep into the source.

What a journey.

I’m so glad to come across others who have those experiences, not just from Pagan->Christian but any internal spiritual transformation. I love to hear about spiritual growth, currents, experience. We are all part of the same story and I love to read all the chapters.

~Pax