Holy Eucharist at Home and Some on Bernadette Roberts

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Recently, I decided to join my husband’s Unitarian Universalist church. Several reasons contribute to my decision, but I’m not going to bother with them here.

I’ve decided to start doing the Holy Eucharist at home. No, I’m not an ordained priest, and so perhaps it isn’t “valid,” but here’s the thing: I’m tired of doing this idiotic dance of ordination. I’m tired of hoping, waiting, wishing for a Gnostic church to appear here.

It’s probably not going to happen.

In practice, I’ve gone to the UU for four years now, more than I ever did to the Episcopal Church- I still have fond memories of Saint Michael’s, of course.

At the end of the day, it’s just easier for us to go the UU and the come home and have Holy Communion.

And I’ve taken the liberty of creating a UU-esque Holy Communion as well. It has definite inspirations: the Liberal Catholic Church’s liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, and a few Unitarian Universalist Holy Communions I found.

When I mentioned Holy Communion on Facebook, several UUs expressed interest in having this house Eucharist. I’m down for that while explaining to them a definite belief in the Priesthood of All Believers- I am no more or less a priest than anyone else around me.

I’m excited but have to do a few “test-runs” to make sure things will go smoothly. It’ll be nice to celebrate the liturgical  year with the people who are interested in it.

Shifting gears, I read a new article by Bernadette Roberts. I’m not sure how I missed it, but…let me say that whatever’s happened to me recently has also allowed me to see that I think she’s ridiculously aggressive in her approach and sometimes misrepresents other people’s positions. Some of her latest article sounded like word salad.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Incarnation being God creating Its own Human Nature and uniting It to Itself has anything specifically to do with Jesus of Nazareth if the Incarnation is not also God the Son appearing in the flesh as Jesus Christ. I mean, why bother calling oneself a Christian?

But then I haven’t journeyed as far as Bernadette has.

The most bizarre aspect of my dear Bernadette to whom I’ve turned for so long is that she’s fairly unhelpful as far as what to actually do goes- are we to sit and still the mind? Receive Holy Communion frequently? A combination? Seek to help others? All these things and more? From everything I’ve gathered, she began having mystical experiences pretty early in life and proceeded from there. I’m not sure we’ve all had those kinds of experiences from the beginning.

My own experiences have shown me that the Green Man for sure exists, but there’s not much evidence I’ve had for other Gods, at least not anything that’s totally conclusive.

I just wanted to note that her unnecessary aggression will likely push people away.

Steve

Own Way

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My husband has been away on TDY for the past week and a half.

I do enjoy time alone. But I still miss him.

And the one day, I had a breakdown of sorts. While simultaneously enjoying my alone-ness here at my house (save for my three animals), I had to confront that bitter inner world of mine where I perpetually am isolated from everyone and everything.

The loneliness and fear surging up finally forced me to break down and cry. I cried over all the things- the fact that people I love one day will die, the fact that I have no idea what happens after we die, the fact that so many people are suffering every single day, and I can’t do anything about it.

I cried because I know my existence in some way saved my mother, or at least she thought having a child would save her from her own existential isolation, and it didn’t. I cry because I can’t keep my mother protected from her own loneliness and isolation. I can’t protect my own mother from the evil of the universe because I can’t even protect myself. How can I protect anyone else? I can’t save her or my father or my brother or anyone I’ve ever cared about.

I’ve cried over the fact that my dogs will one day die. This is my life- crying over the inevitability of permanent change and separation.

And I’m supposed to just accept it, according to many.

If I knew that we all go on when we die, if I had absolute proof in the way I know that I’m sitting here typing this at this moment, then I would feel better about these things.

But I have no proof or evidence that we go on when we die, and that doesn’t make me try to “live my life to the fullest now,” the bullshit sort of notion forced upon by privileged white people wearing yoga pants- it makes me realize that the only people who can possibly conceive of “living life to the fullest” are the people who have enough money and privilege to do so, that it requires relief from systemic oppression and wage slavery to be able to do anything we call “living” on that level.

I read Eat, Pray, Love and watched the movie. I enjoyed it. But another part of me, the realistic part, was furious. Here’s a woman who has incredible privilege and was successful in the world who destroyed her own life (instead of telling her husband she wanted to travel and didn’t want to have a child yet, she kept trying to get pregnant) and then decided to take a sabbatical and learn all about spirituality BECAUSE SHE COULD FUCKING AFFORD TO JUST WALK AWAY FROM HER LIFE AND START OVER.

Most of us will never have that chance. Our starting-over will either be forced upon us, or we’ll have to gradually change. It’s not something we get to choose to do just whenever.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about Eat, Pray, Love, and it probably won’t be the last, but the point is that people who spew that kind of bullshit really annoy me. They don’t know what they’re talking about and aren’t addressing real issues like existential isolation. That’s the point.

No one, so far, has told me how to deal with that inner pain I carry. No one has come along that could be a teacher to me. I need the person that I can trust because I otherwise trust no one. Half the people who claim to teach others don’t know what they’re talking about, and I can see that, and it scares me because I can’t speak out against them- it upsets the social order.

I need a teacher that I can test, and test again, and test yet a third time with real issues. If a teacher comes along and passes all three tests, I’ll follow them, probably into Hell and back.

But until then, I guess I have to make my own way, loneliness and pain and all.

Steve

Loki and Norse Gods

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For whatever reason, I discovered that I have a connection with Loki.

I didn’t expect that. At all.

Mainly, the connection with Loki seems to be around my second chakra. Yeah, yeah, I know, that sounds strange, but the area in the lower back and lower stomach is where I had the sense of, “Loki, Loki, Loki.”

Loki’s presence and energy is highly ambivalent- not just chaos for the sake of chaos, but chaos for the sake of FUN. Acting crazy because it’s fun. Doing things that are uncharacteristic of one because they’re fun.

And that’s how I acted around my husband when I felt Loki’s energy.

And now Loki no longer seems to be active, but that’s how the Gods are. They come, they go, and we’re not the ones to control them.

Odin helped me recently. I cried for help, and he helped me, and that’s all I’ll say on the matter. He’s a good guy.

Steve

Dream Record

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In one part of the dream, I recall being in a large house with many expensive things. I had a certain fear of being there, knowing somewhere that having expensive things in the home meant people were more apt to break in and try to steal something- whereas one living in a modest home renders one far less likely to lose anything because the perceived value is different.

At another part, I was in a restaurant, and suddenly was part of a video game. In the video game, some variation of Zelda, I had to don a mask of one of the Zora to enter a restaurant and be mistaken for staff. There were two pieces to the mask- a part that looked like a Zora mask and a part that looked like a weird gold thing.

I put the mask on and was “mistaken” as such and led to a room where an awesome musician played. I was told to sit down on a bed that was high and probably used for the care of an older person.

Then I was supposed to react in some way, but because I wasn’t used to actually being inside a video game, when I wanted to talk to a person in particular, I said aloud…”A Button.” Everyone looked at me strangely.

One of the men there was HOT…he was a black man that had been sitting with someone else. I realized I was dreaming and decided to make out with him, and it was an amazing experience. He forced his tongue in and out of my mouth in a way that mimicked sex, and it was just as good as if not better than sex.

And then I woke up because my dreams that are sexual always wake me up.

Is there a good analysis for the dream? I’m not sure. I want to think the black man was some kind of Shadow representation, and this could mean I “made friends” in an intimate way with my Shadow.

There were other things I dreamed prior to all this, but I cannot remember them now.

Steve

Ecstasy and the Green Man

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As I stated previously, so far, the only god that I TRULY know exists beyond any shadow of any doubt is the God of Nature, the God who appeared to me as the Green Man in my mind’s eye.

Imagine, if you will, that you have blood vessels connected throughout the world, and that’s essentially what the experience is like.

While listening to Celtic-inspired music the other night, I had an ecstasy of the Green Man- it felt as though he were inside of me, the ecstasy rising and rising again such that my eyes rolled back in my head for several minutes as I was swept away to the rhythms and the sheer LIFE FORCE pulsing through my body.

I have had to re-think Hard Polytheism, and it’s true, I’ve experienced other entities/deities to some extent, but none to THIS extent. Other situations may be deemed as “wishful thinking” or “projections of my unconscious mind” and whatnot, but the god of nature TRULY EXISTS.

Lately, my practice has taken a new route- I stand before one of my altars and draw the pentagram of the day’s corresponding element, and then I empower it with the planet that rules that day, and most recently, I’ve begun adding the associated deity. Then I banish it all, and repeat, several times again.

I fell ill this morning, awakening with a terrible headache and an upset stomach such that I vomited profusely. Could this be related to the spiritual practice? It’s certainly possible.

The important thing here is that I’m practicing something. As opposed to my teenaged years when I searched for some kind of ideal system, I’m learning through the process.

Rereading Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, I certainly am more discerning that I was at age 16. I simply throw out what I find to be bullshit and move on with my life and my studies.

During ritual itself, I know where things must be worked on- I have trouble raising and directing energy. This is now apparent to me, though the actual casting of the circle and calling the corners is fairly effective from what I can tell.

I think some of my Hoodoo had effect because of the energy raised while doing so- things like the Litany of the Saints and so on.

Speaking of which, I understand now that my affinity for things ceremonial in Christianity comes down to it all being a form of High Magic. That’s all there is to it. I couldn’t care less about the exoteric bullshit that masquerades as anything of substance. To see the energy raised, to see people connected to the Divine through Christ and to unite with Christ- that’s an amazing feat. Long, boring sermons on how everything’s a sin and you’d better behave or you’ll burn forever has little relevance to people in this life OR the next.

As someone once said to me, “I like Christianity for its mystical aspects. Other than that, it can go to hell.”

Certainly, I’m not entirely sure about Christ and the like. I understand why the Christian Church’s…well, EVERYTHING is questionable. Certainly the track record is bad. But a majority in nearly any religion or group consists of blithering idiots who stumble blindly, and I’m lucky enough to find people in various groups who are outside that majority. Praise be to God!

Steve

 

 

On Solutions and Levels

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Lately, as I’ve come more in contact with the Hard Polytheist community, I’ve become more sympathetic to that view.

Moreover, I’m inclined in my current practice to be a Hard Polytheist when addressing the Gods.

That being said, I’ve also been re-reading Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and I’ve brought the knowledge of the last 16 years of my life to the game this go-around.

I cannot deny that there’s something intuitively appealing about the idea of the Gods being Faces of some kind of Divine Nature.

Moreover, when it comes to a matter of magical operations, it’s not a matter of what is true or false in terms of theory; what matters is the result. Does the method work? That is the question.

However, many people find the idea that all the gods and goddesses of history are really just names for one great big God and one great big Goddess is superficial, ridiculous, or incongruent with what they’ve actually experienced.

Where I would counter is that it’s certainly not Wiccans who invented the idea of syncreticsm or that different deities were, in fact, the same deity mentioned by many names- it seems this was a popular thing to do with the goddess Isis in the ancient Hellenic world, whereby various Greek goddesses were identified as truly being Isis.

So that really poses a problem- how can we discern which gods and goddesses are established and exist as opposed to which ones are, in fact, different names for the same deities?

Certainly the Roman deities generally seem to be the Greek deities renamed, or at the very least, the Romans syncretized heavily their deities with the Greek gods and their mythology.

I digress.

Generally speaking, I think that all things are ultimately manifestations of the same kind of energy or Being or Potential Being or what have you that some would refer to simply as “God,” and so I think that the references to “God” and “Goddess” theologically could well be representative of some sort of “Meta-Deity.”

In other words, there’s a truth that all the goddesses and gods of history are the same- at a deeper level, they originate from the same Energy or Principle- but they, in and of themselves, are individuals in the way that we humans are individuals but are still human and made out of the same “human-ness.”

Years ago, I ran into a similar situation where I saw a competition between the idea of Nirvana and the use of Low Magic- whereby one seemed only to bolster the Ego while the other was the Ultimate Goal, and one would always be compromised for the other.

The solution came as I aged out of my teenaged years and realized that we exist on several levels simultaneously. We simultaneously have concerns about deep spirituality as well as how to pay bills and whether or not we’ll find enough friends and someone to love. So the goals are, in fact, not at odds.

Either way, with the Divine, I now walk a path of greater humility- who am I to tell the Divine what and how to do anything? That doesn’t mean I take things lying down, though; my words are heard, my thoughts expressed, my spiritual practice a consistent aspect of my life.

So far, the deities who have expressly worked with me that I can verify are Hera and Aphrodite. I did call Hecate one night along with Dionysus and asked for their blessings, but I cannot say that they manifested in the same way as Hera and Aphrodite.

Also, I seem to largely be geared toward honoring one deity at a time, which is to say that in a Circle cast, honoring ONE deity and not two or more is the best way to approach things.

Anyway, yes. The solution is that we have to throw away our systems of extreme dichotomy, of the either-or- EITHER the gods are real in terms of being external, OR they’re a part of our mind manifesting. Perhaps it’s “both, and.”

It isn’t that Archetypes are strictly part of the mind- perhaps they’re part of the cosmos itself, and the Gods are part of that.

One thing I do know that- the Gods I’ve called do NOT appreciate being referred to as “just” archetypes or “Just” parts of the unconscious mind or treated as such- they will refuse to answer when that kind of hubris comes from me.

Next blog, I’ll talk about how this relates to Christianity and the conception of the Divine there.

Steve

More Dreams

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Last night, I had a dream I was being baptized (? maybe) and confirmed again, in some other Church.

The Gnostic Church?

It’s hard to tell.

The dream was important, though…I know that much.

My dreams lately seem more important.

Still doing rituals. Today, it was heavily Christian in nature as I specifically invoked Jesus Christ as the Lord of Nature and so on.

One thing of which I am certain this life now- there is a God of Nature, as in some kind of God or Spirit or Life Force that flows through the natural world and connects us. I can’t be sure of other things relating to spirituality- but the Nature God is definitely real.

Steve

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