Last Night and Personal Communion

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The past few nights have been awful. A good meditation is followed by a failed attempt to sleep, and then I awaken after only sleeping a few hours, which then leads me to a state of working on myself and accepting my Shadow and emotions, and then I can’t return to sleep for several hours. The whole process is horrific.

Twice last night, I asked my dreams to take me to the subconscious mind. The first time, I was met with darkness- just blankness, nothing really there. The second time, I saw light, and then when I demanded to be taken to the subconscious mind, something in my head seemed to crack open, and I heard a strange noise that I’ve never heard in waking life and saw an even brighter light. I realized the light couldn’t have been from my room, which is what caused me to continue to press towards it. The extremely bright light terrified me so much that it knocked me back into waking mind, and that was that.

Tonight I went in search of a self-communion ritual and found one, then Erik supplied me with another. Taking prayers from both of the rites, I created my own and put together as many elements of the Mass as I could. There are THREE DIFFERENT PARTS to the consecration, and after I said Mass, I checked the music and saw I had been doing the Mass for about 20 minutes or so. Amazing that it took that long but seemed more like five minutes. So many prayers to say, so many gestures to do!

Now, this of course would create a conflict in many people’s minds, as I am not a priest and have not received the sacrament of Holy Orders. But SOMETHING happened in the ritual, as I now feel very dizzy and have a good bit of anxiety. That’s not a terrible thing, and it’s decreasing, and no, I didn’t drink a great deal of the wine, either- only enough for me as I was the only one receiving the Blood, just a bit of a swallow, really. I can’t begin to imagine what I would’ve done to cause this to happen.

Anyway, at least I know the Personal Communion Ritual works and is fairly powerful from what I can tell.

More to come.

Beaux

 

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Working Towards a Definition of “Catholic” and Some Observations

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Within certain traditions, notably that of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, there is huge debate on the meaning of the word “Catholic” and the means by which one can identify specifically as Catholic.

With no doubt, there are a number of people in the Anglican Communion which identify as “Anglo-Catholic,” and the official position of the Communion is that it is both “Catholic and Protestant,” or more appropriately, “Catholic and Reformed.”

But within the Anglican Communion, there is a wide spectrum of worship styles: the High Church, which is no less than a Mass and Catholic, and Low Church, which is rather evangelical and would identify with being Protestant, and the Broad Church, which incorporates elements of both.

The actual word “Catholic” means “universal” and refers to the Christian Church as a whole. In the common language, people use it to mean “a member of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Initially, during the 1500s and the Protestant Reformation, the term “Protestant” referred to someone who was anti-papal; this came because of the continued abuses of the papacy in the Roman Catholic Church in those days. These days, however, “Protestant” has come to mean more so “anti-Catholic.”

If we should suggest that the Episcopal Church is anti-papal, in the sense that Anglicans as a whole do not recognize the Bishop of Rome/Pope as the absolute pontiff or having authority over their church but rather as a Bishop of special honor and recognition among other equal bishops, we might rightly use the term “Protestant.”

However, if we should suggest that the Episcopal Church retains the historical episcopate, that is, the Apostolic Succession, that the Church retains the Sacraments of old, that the Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist as the Source and Summit of the Christian Faith, that the Church relies on the councils of the Church in the past and on the writings of the Church Fathers as well as on the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed as the sufficient summary of the Faith, then we might rightly deem them, unabashedly, to be Catholic.

The Episcopal Church under this situation cannot be deemed “Roman Catholic,” but certainly “Anglo-Catholic” or “English Catholic” may suffice.

On another note, it is oft-quoted that Henry the VIII “founded” the Church of England.

The Church of England was founded, strangely enough, in the 600s. Henry the VIII, in his political debacle with the Pope, declared that he, not the Pope, was the head of the Church of England. Thereto in addition, we must also consider that the concept of the Pope having primacy above and beyond other Bishops was a doctrine defined later in Christianity, around the year 1000 or so. It is, in fact, this very doctrine that contributed to the Eastern Orthodox Church breaking with the Roman Catholic Church. As I understand it, the concept of the Pope never did completely become accepted in England.

Many Anglicans also subscribe to what is known as the “Branch Theory.” The Branch Theory entails that the Original Church is comprised of three denominations- the Anglicans, the Roman Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox.

When religious debates begin on online forums, many snide Roman Catholics will claim that the Anglican Holy Orders are simply invalid. The Anglican Holy Orders are, however, recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Anglicans issued a statement back as to why their Orders are valid.

One thing to also consider is that there are, believe it or not, Independent Catholic Churches. That’s right, Catholic Churches that are not Roman Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Orthodox. This is part of a movement known as the Independent Sacramental Movement. The Ecclesia Gnostica and other Gnostic Churches recognize the validity of the Holy Orders of the Church of England, and therefore it is the Roman Catholic Church’s ancient prejudice and political agenda that is invalid, not the Anglican Holy Orders.

Just some more thoughts.

Beaux


The Seven Sacraments and the Seven Chakras

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While in bed one night, I suddenly had the realization that the Seven Sacraments of the Christian Church line up rather well with the Seven Chakras in the human body.

Some of you who are unaware of the older traditions in Christianity may be wondering what a sacrament is. Here, I’ll provide a few definitions that I think are suitable.

According to question 152 of the Gnostic Catechism,

A sacrament is a sacred rite; the visible and outward sign of an invisible, inward grace of God. Anciently, a sacrament was called a mystery.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the second half of Paragraph 1084 reads,

The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that the signify.

Paragraph 1116 reads,

Sacraments are “powers that come forth” from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are “the masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.

The first problem we run into deals largely with the number of sacraments. Arguments among denominations arise at this point.

Officially, the Catholic Church declares there are seven sacraments. While the Anglican Communion states that there are two great sacraments, namely Baptism and Communion, largely within Anglicanism there are seven recognized.

The exoteric church’s sacraments are

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Holy Matrimony
  • Penance
  • Holy Orders
  • Extreme Unction

Now, according to the Gnostic Church and furthermore, explicitly according to the Gospel of Philip, there are five initiatory sacraments, two sustaining sacraments, and two substitutional sacraments. Two of the five initiatory sacraments have been long forgotten in the exoteric churches.

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Redemption
  • Bride-Chamber

The sustaining sacraments:

  • Holy Orders
  • Extreme Unction

And lastly, the substitutional sacraments:

  • Penance
  • Holy Matrimony

This adds up to nine sacraments for the Gnostic Church.

Whew, that’s a lot of info packed in such a short time, isn’t it?

Now, let’s see how these line up with the seven chakras.

Baptism would correspond to the first chakra, at the base of the spine. We are washed at birth, and being baptized is a form of washing us, purifying us from original sin and suchlike. The first chakra deals with early childhood and infancy.

Confirmation typically happens, as I understand it, just prior to or during adolescence. Since during Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit, and since religious devotion awakens often simultaneously with the awakening of sexual energy in the body, this is corresponds great to the second chakra, which deals with emotions and sexuality.

The Holy Eucharist, which is the source and summit of the Christian faith, corresponds to the stomach chakra- which deals with things like identity, will, and power. It is interesting that the food corresponds to part of us that digests it. The Holy Eucharist is the effective means by which Christ is made manifest on Earth- His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In taking the Holy Eucharist, we effectively “commune” with Christ.

Holy Matrimony, which deals with love and marriage, corresponds to the heart chakra. Are you beginning to the pattern yet? The heart chakra also deals with emotions, primarily such things as love, compassion, and affection.

Penance, which requires going to a Priest to confess one’s sins, corresponds to the throat chakra, and often the penance imposed deals with prayer. The throat chakra deals with expression and artistic vision, and so you can see well how this overlaps with things such as confession and penance.

Holy Orders corresponds to the third-eye chakra, which deals with being a seer, having intellectual functions, psychic powers, and so on. A Priest has an indelible mark placed on his soul in being ordained. To become a Priest, he must study and go through initiation such that his own self-knowledge is expanded and so that he can properly instruct the faithful in the religion.

Extreme Unction, the anointing of the sick, would correspond to the crown chakra. The crown chakra deals with God, a connection to the absolute and divine. Extreme Unction is given to people who are ill and especially to people who are on their deathbed- people who are about to met God.

This is a rough sort of sketch of how the chakras and sacraments correspond, but likely you get the idea.

What of the Sacrament of Redemption and the Sacrament of the Bride-Chamber?

First, since Redemption has been replaced by Penance, it would likely correspond to the throat chakra. Bride-Chamber would likely correspond to the heart chakra in the same way, but both are probably understood to correspond to deeper levels of these respective chakras.

The Sacrament of Redemption is understood in a specifically Gnostic way, dealing with the Archons and freeing one’s Spirit from them and so on. The Bride-Chamber, too, has a similar and more advanced purpose, but as I am no authority on these matters, I cannot speak about them in great detail.

These were just some more thoughts that were rumbling around in my head late one night.

Beaux