The Worship of Death

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Many Christians might disagree here, but I don’t care, as I’m not the sort of Christian that’s concerned with dotting my letters on the inside of orthodoxy at all times.

We worship death. Maybe not just death, but Death. 

Also, I don’t think we can escape the fact that we worship death; I think that is part of our human condition.

Don’t believe me?

Exhibit A: the crucifix.

For years, perhaps most of my life, I was always under the impressin that the crucifix was a symbol of Christ-suffering. Only recently when Mambo LaReina talked about some of the Vodou practitioners saying that it’s unlucky to wear a dead man around one’s neck and upon my noticing that there is indeed a pierced, bleeding side on most crucfiixes did I begin to realize that I was staring at the dead body of my God.

And I’m okay with that.

You always have the ninny-headed Christians who run around saying, “Crucifixes are wrong because Jesus is no longer on the cross.”

The less charitable part of myself wants to say, “Oh, go fuck yourself while reading some Joel Osteen, you Evangelical moron.” The more charitable part of me just  shakes my head and moves on.

I would probably also cross myself to make the point.

I definitely swear enough to be a good Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian. The big question is when I’ll start drinking enough to claim the same title. 

Last night, while talking to my friends, I made the point about our worshiping death. In a way, death is seen as the enemy in Christianity. 

That is, until you consider that Christ sanctified death.

The parallel we see in the archetypal level of things is the instance of Santa Muerte, Saint Death. She’s condemned officially by the Catholic Church in Mexico, but her cult of followers are growing increasingly.

I’m one of them. 

Santa Muerte looks like a female grim reaper merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe. The hypothesis is that she’s a syncretized ancient Aztec deity that’s worshiped until the veil of a saint.

But I also read elsewhere the this spirit actually believes she’s Catholic now. That opened my eyes a bit- none of us have considered that maybe spirits and entities change religions, too. 

So, if you think about it, the concept of the Aztec goddess who guards the realm of the dead converting to Catholicism just makes sense- Christ has sanctified her, too, in other words.

The sanctifcation of death by Christ is more veiled; with Santa Muerte, it’s literallyonly veiled, a veiled skeleton. 

She’s also very kind.

My experience with Santa Muerte was that, despite looking like a skeleton, she’s a very sweet saint. She showed me how to give glory to God, to praise Him. At this point, words fail me, because I can’t explain what exactly I was shown, only that I was shown, and that I know that Santa Muerte prays for me, that Death herself is now rooting for me in this world.

In my case, I don’t worship saints and spirits; venerate, yes, including Santa Muerte, but I don’t worship her. Worship goes to the Ultimate Reality and the Ultimate Reality alone.

So strange, really, so strange, that it all plays out the way it does. Now, I can’t look at Christ without thinking of death, and I feel better and better about Life. 

Stevo 

Just Call Me Stevo…

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When I began blogging in the online world two years ago, I decided to adopt a pen name in an attempt to keep myself private in some capacity or another. Many writers use pen names, and I’m a blossoming writer in some capacity, as most of you may have guessed by now.

That being said, I’m going to take a very important stand at this point in time and put myself out there. Sometimes, the courage we gain and the right way to do something is out of sheer observation of another person who does the right thing. A new friend of mine has shown me that it’s more important to be one’s self and to be honest about one’s self than are a lot of things in this world.

So, while I’m going to keep the pen name “Beaux”  (pronounced just as “Bo”) for my food blog, The Yum Yum, I’m ditching it here.

My name is Stephen, and Stevo is a nickname. Or you can call me Steve. 

I’m gay, and I’m a gay mystic, and I’m a gay Christian mystic. I identify as Catholic, specifically, Anglo-Catholic, and I’m a member of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. 

I have interest in all the world religions; I like Voodoo, I like Hoodoo, I like reading Tarot cads, and I like divination in general. 

Of course, the naysayer smay want to come along and say things like, “ZOMG how can u be Christian n be gay too its against gods word”

It’s too laborious to have that conversation, especially with the stupid, because basically what Christians mean when they say you can’t be gay and be Christian is that you’re spoiling their barrel of apples by being a bad apple identifying as one of them. Then the comparisons between allowing murderers and rapists to be counted among their number will begin. This is precisely the sort of attitude that makes me want to label myself simply as “Gnostic” in order to already declare to the mainstream Christians that I’m not one of them and thus don’t have to risk their attempt to expulse me from their shitty level of hillbilliy theology.

Of course, that last parapraph, filled with its snark, lends to the idea that I make a damned good Episcopalian. Now all I need is an Old Fashioned, and we’ll be sitting pretty. 

So, from now on, I’ll sign my blogs on Craving Aletheia simply as “Stevo.” There’s no point in hiding my name; there’s no point in hiding who or what I am if I’m interested in the truth and most especially, the Truth.

There you have it.
 
 Stevo

 

 

The Mystic Seekers

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Thanks to a series of strange events, I’ve happened upon an interesting radio show with some local ghost-hunters: The Mystic Seekers.

Founded by Grady Smith and Mambo LaReina, the group actively engages in paranormal investigation and have a bi-weekly radio show archived at Tenacity Radio. 

Most the main group within the Mystic Seekers are affiliated with or initiated into the Vodou religion. Before anyone starts going on about the evils of Vodou, try doing some research- you might be surprised at what you find, kids!

You can visit the official Mystic Seekers website at http://www.mysticseekers.org.

Now, why am I taking time to blog about them? 

Here’s why:

The Mystic Seekers are a different kind of radio show. I’m a huge, huge fan of Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the Godspeed Institute with Caer Hallundbaek. However, these shows, for all their worth, are still done in an almost technical style.

That doesn’t mean that the Mystic Seekers lack professionalism; what it does mean is that you’ll encounter a show full of warmth, laughter, and people really being themselves. I’ve found myself laughing several times at the sheer humor on the show.

Not only that, but the Mystic Seekers themselves are highly, highly informed when it comes to their subject matter. Mambo LaReina has more than once said things that not only impressed me but confirmed my intuition that these aren’t fluffy, nutty, cruncy-granola New Agers; these are people who get down and dirty with their spirituality, and by that, I mean they get REAL.

You can find the Mystic Seekers on Facebook as well. There’s a Facebook group, as well, and you can apply for membership, but Mambo LaReina has to actually make the call on adding you to the group- so be patient. You can find it here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/MysticSeekers666/

The Mystic Seekers have just celebrated their One-Year Anniversary. Go check them out and show some support! 

Stevo