Adam

Leave a comment

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

Holy Eucharist at Home and Some on Bernadette Roberts

Leave a comment

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

Ecstasy and the Green Man

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Dreams from Last Night

Leave a comment

In the first dream, I was shopping and ready to check out. I saw a croissant that looked delicious, but as is the case in many dreams of mine, it cost too much- in this case, this simple pastry that was hanging on a shelf cost $17.95. I recall the number clearly. (Whoever says one cannot read in dreams has no idea what they’re talking about.)

I also wanted to look at the aisle that had stickers, but people were on the aisle and kept getting in my way.

At some point, I was watching a video while waiting in line, and then a live band began playing in the store. The band members had a “zombie” theme, and the result was that they had outfits that made it look like they were exposed body tissues and bones, and then people dressed up as zombies began to come in. I ducked and kept my eyes closed, and the people kept running by and poking me and touching me, and I screamed for them to stop.

When finally it seemed like all was over, I uncovered my eyes, and I was in a wooden room. There were only two people here besides me, two twins who looked like they were in their 20s. They had blond hair, dark eyes, large noses, and thin lips, and I was attracted to them.

But I knew they might be dangerous, so I tried to leave- I opened a door, and to my horror, the door only opened to another wooden door. I turned the knob of the new door and had fear burning in me because I knew that I was dreaming and could run into anything terrifying at this point.

The door opened this time to a small greenhouse-like area, and I quickly began to fly and burst through the glass. I “swam” in the air, and I recall seeing a huge moon in the sky as well as the rising turrets of some kind of factory.

I woke up. End Dream 1.

Dream 2:

As I fell asleep, I went in with the determination to find my Shadow and confront it. I don’t remember much of what happened here except that I was in my parents’ house, and then I remembered to find the Shadow. I went to the front porch- the first “shaded” area that I saw, and there was some kind of tree growing up from the middle of the front porch  to the its ceiling.

The tree appeared to made of stone, and I walked around it, crying aloud that I wanted the Shadow to appear, that I was here to confront it. Then I cried out for the Subconscious as well.

When I turned to face the house, growing against the wall were two women, one on the left and one of the right. I didn’t know which one to talk to, but the one on the left had darker skin, so I connected that with “Shadow.” I began asking her what to do, what the problem was, and I don’t remember getting a response. I spoke to the one on the right as well without getting much of an answer, and returned to the one on the left, who now looked different.

At some point, her face distorted, and she grabbed me and clutched me too tightly to her breast, leaving me unable to escape. But then I knew what to do- I struggled as much as I could to stand up and face her, and I inhaled her into myself- which, surprisingly, WORKED.

And after that, I woke up.

So my Shadow apparently has something to do with “the feminine” (big surprise there), and I’ve…at least somewhat incorporated her into myself. So…yeah.

Now on to figure out the Social Anxiety.

If anyone wants to help interpret the other elements, bring it.

Steve

New Daily Magical Practice

Leave a comment

This my new magical practice that I’ll be doing from now on. It corresponds with the cycle of the week, so everything happens in terms of the 7 Days.

I begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Then I trace the symbol of the day’s corresponding planet. Today is Wednesday, May 4th, so I trace the planetary symbol of Mercury in the air.

Next, I focus on the element associated with that planet- in this case, the element is water. I imagine all kinds of water as well as a shimmering, glowing, ethereal water that washes over me.

Then I focus on the planet itself and its “soul” or “essence” and allow the energy to enter me- I allow myself to really feel what the energy of the planet is like, what it accesses in my consciousness.

After this, I use the corresponding Greek name of the planet’s associated god and chant the name over and over, attempting to “tap into” the god or receive the god and so on into myself.

I’ve spent a huge chunk of today reciting the name “Hermes” over and over again, for instance.

Eventually, I plan to integrate this into Kabbalah meditation and ritual.

Speaking of which, a weird thing happened earlier. I was at the local Unitarian Universalist church, and I looked at a guy’s watch. From a distance, it looked like he had Hebrew letters inscribed on it. I realized it was just the way the watch was positioned, but I tried to make out the letters- I wasn’t sure because some Hebrew letters look similar.

When I got home and was checking out the digital Tree of Life online, I saw that Mercury was associated with the Sefirot called “Hod,” and I saw the letters and realized that’s what I saw in the watch!!!

That’s a pretty bizarre synchronicity. I guess my unconscious mind was primed for the associations that exist.

Anyway, people are free to use and adapt this mini-meditation however they wish. I’m using it as a personal practice because I need to build up the energy and have gotten out of the rhythm lately.

Steve

 

 

On Humility

Leave a comment

Humility has begun to make sense to me.

Christianity is rife with the word “humility,” and often it’s reduced to some trite sentimentalism and often born out of false piety, whereby I mean piety that is feigned or forced. True devotion to God cannot be forced; it must be born of sincerity and truth.

God is not sappy. God is not about maudlin syrup. God is God is God- which is to say that God is the Absolute Mystery beyond all things.

Thus have I journeyed to the point of my own assumptions and presuppositions, now being confronted with what absolute lack of humility I’ve had when coming into the Presence of God.

Allow me to be clear: “humility” is so often feigned or forced that it’s disgusting. To humiliate someone, to force someone to bow to one’s will out of abuse of one’s own superior position in a hierarchy, is monstrous and born of the sin of Pride.

Pride is the chief sin from which all others flow, and we are prideful to a remarkable degree by our very nature.

Yet pride cannot be smashed but by realization of God’s true grandeur, and this can be terrifying.

We want God to love us- we want to feel good and happy and right in this world, and that’s fine. At the same time, we don’t want to recognize the truly tremendous REALITY that is God.

Even our own love for God might seem inaccessible to us due to our own pride- I think it is in our nature that we want to love God and feel love for Him. (I say “Him” because we don’t have a better, gender-neutral word to use.)  Pride blocks the way.

In humility truly experienced, the Mysterium Tremendum becomes apparent, a crushing Reality pressing down on the heart and mind. In this experience, I can apprehend chants of old- this is what they celebrate, what they worship, the rhythm and the falls and rises- this is what they mean to speak of.

Yet even the chants in all their beauty, the churches in all their glory, all the art that has gone into the Christian religion pales in comparison of the simple, sweet moment of humility in which Heaven is opened and the heart knows directly.

In some cases, we have a feeling of self-satisfaction or smugness that we were correct about something. This, too, is evidence of pride, yet the antidote is nearby- that we do not uphold our correctness in matters as indicative of our own abilities but that somewhere grace and mercy were near enough that we fell into no error.

Let he who has ears, listen. Those who are traveling the mystic’s path will hear what I am saying; to others, I will sound insane or at least muddled. No, my friends- this world- this world is what is muddled, and it’s up to us to solve the problem.

Pax vobiscum.

Steve

Older Entries