Pagan Heart

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Clear to me on this Easter Sunday is the reality of what I might temporarily term “my Pagan Heart.”

Of course, the term “Pagan” is problematic for a variety of reasons that boil down to our being human and being limited by language. Different people mean different things by “Pagan,” and the more pedantic among us will waste our time splitting hairs.

Our Modern Paganism is at times (perhaps more often than not) intertwined with the whole of the Western Mystery Tradition.

So you see, for me, Christianity and Wicca (to give two examples) are different flowers growing on the same plant, or at least different varieties of a certain sort of plant.

To further my point: I have the Pagan Heart in the sense that I see Christ and Christian worship not as an archenemy or as a path solely unto itself, but as “another God for the pantheon.”

That is a heresy to some on “both sides” of the discourse. For me, time has shown once and again that I cannot practice only one religion at a time.

Given, my Christianity is the mystical, Gnostic flavor, so my perspectives on Christ were already different.

I’m not sure how the Demiurge and such fit into a more Pagan worldview, but I’m also not here to try to force views to fit together. Perhaps the point isn’t to reconcile all things that can’t understand and fit reality together like a massive, crushing jigsaw puzzle but rather is to accept that blatant contradictions exist.

I’ve decided to start a Youtube vlog on Paganism. Commentary, thoughts, experiences, those sorts of things. Not entirely sure when that’s going up, but we’ll see.

Major topics will include thoughts on polytheism and mysticism and such.

Steve

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Cleansing, Blessing, Sealing

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For those of you who might be unaware, the USA had a presidential election last year, and Donald Trump won, much to the dismay, horror, and revulsion of the vast majority of thinking Americans.

Despair and depression built up in my house, and things were fairly awful for a while.

As time progressed, I realized that thoughtforms had built up in my home, and the time had arrived to banish them and instead fill the house with goodness.

Much to my own surprise, this process worked- by simply intending to banish the negativity, speaking the words, and then by blessing the house with things like joy, friendship, and peace, the entire atmosphere changed along with my attitude along with my day-to-day experience.

This has verified to me the existence of some kind of psychical reality, maybe not one I fully understand, but one that exists nonetheless, and to have manipulated it so quickly still has me in a bit of shock.

The final step is “sealing” the goodness into the house, and I do this in the Name of the Holy Spirit.

I’m truly grateful for my three-fold process of making my day-to-day life better. I’ve added additional prayers as time has progressed, and I make sure to do the Cleansing, Blessing, and Sealing on a nightly basis, just prior to going to bed.

I also have a certain prayer that I use that’s meant to grant a plenary indulgence, but there are techncial requirements for such an indulgence to be granted; nonetheless, the prayer itself is one I use for purification.

The gist here isn’t that I think of humans as awful, wicked, sinful creatures, but I do understand the concept of ritual impurity, and there comes a point where aspects of this world sully us in that regard. So, that has to be banished somehow, and in Christianity, prayers for forgiveness are the way this is accomplished.

Steve

Adam

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In the background of my consciousness, for some time now, I’ve been aware of a connection to other people, or at least the sense that someone is watching and aware of me. The challenge has been to then figure out who it is watching me, and why- and often, I feel this falls into the realm of “Who is my friend?” or some other such question.

But I realized that the observation wasn’t of a personal friend or even of someone else, though it appeared that way to my mind- rather, it is the common human nature, the Ideal of Humanity, the Form of Mankind, that which I have termed “Adam.”

I’ve tried in more recent years to escape Christianity in some sense, but I am drawn back into it. One thing that I must convey is that my understanding and experience of Christianity is through the lens of Western esotericism and what is often termed the Western Mystery  Tradition; I’ve likened this to modern-day Pagans and devotional polytheists and their approach to religion being applied to Catholicism, and that’s a fair beginning description of me.

Of interest in my reading recently is that Western esotericism is defined as a third way between the materialism of the Enlightenment and the fundamentalism of mainstream Christianity, and I think that explains a good deal about me and my inability to simply collapse into the worldview of so many of my friends and family who are atheists and skeptics and such. I simply cannot do it.

Back to Adam- no doubt my discovery of the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life in adolescence led to the development of various sensitivities, and as of late, I’ve taken upon the meditations provided in Stephan Hoeller’s The Fool’s Pilgrimage, my own attempt to raise consciousness and unlock inner mysteries of the universe.

So the idea of Adam as the Form of Mankind or Human Nature Itself, as an Ideal in the Platonic sense, is something I experience first-hand. It’s always in the background, it’s always there, connected to higher realms and to more things than just me.

There are likely implications in the Gnostic mythos and the mysticism I’ve learned from Bernadette Roberts; it’s likely that Christ unites with Adam to save us all, but this hits a level so esoteric and mysterious that I cannot comprehend it intellectually, and even my intuition grows foggy at this point.

I have another worthy entry, but that shall be for tomorrow.

Steve

Kemetu

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While meditating in bed the other night, I suddenly had the image of being in a sort of cave or enclosure, and a black woman dressed in Egyptian regalia sat upon a throne with a hat of some sort, a long hat that looked like it could be the broken skull of an animal.

Behind her was a huge pillar fashioned into the likeness of a serpent, and around the serpent was energy spiraling like the DNA helix; a fire burned atop the serpent, glowing blue.

I asked the woman her name, and she responded, “Kemetu.”

My first instinct was connecting “Kemet” to the word “Kemetic,” and I knew that had to do with Egypt.

But upon looking up the word, I found out that this, in fact, was the word ancient Egyptians used to refer to themselves, and “Kemetu” means “black people.”

Wow. That’s a pretty powerful connection that have arisen in my mind.

I’m not sure what Kemetu meant to teach me or give me, but she was favorable to me, and I am glad to have met her.

Steve

Esteem

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Self-esteem is important. You cannot approach Nirvana with a broken self-esteem because your ego will spend all your energy trying to verify itself.

If you don’t like yourself, you can’t get very far.

So if you don’t like yourself for whatever reason, put down the path to God and find the path to your ego liking itself first.

Liking yourself isn’t selfish, not really. Not liking yourself will cause you to do more damage in the long run with an endless series of addictions and cycles that cannot be broken by those coping mechanisms.

As of late, I have found a girl inside of myself- a young girl, in my second chakra area. And she’s powerful and ready to defend me- I have no idea who she is, where she came from, how long she’s been there, but she does seem to have made herself more known after I began working on my self-esteem and realized I had to learn to like myself.

It isn’t easy. The psyche likes to collapse back into familiar patterns of self-hatred and despair; to like myself requires tremendous energy to fight against a lifetime of fuckery I’ve inherited from other people, from the society around me, through the Collective Unconscious.

Individuating is a horrifying process, and the Collective isn’t fond of it.

But having seen people recently who are possessed by some aspect of the Collective Unconsicous has been even more horrifying. Watching the stereotype of a Trump-supporter go after the local Muslim woman and the Black Lives Matters protestors shocked me- I had no idea people could be just a pure stereotype.

God save us all from this horrible world.

Steve

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

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