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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Khalil Gibran.jpg

As a witch, I follow no one sacred book. We are all children of Spirit and so all of our lips speak eternal truths. However, many of us are in a cloud. It shrouds us with illusion- we perceive reality from a only a small perspective: like trying to know a large house by peeking in through the front door’s key hole. There are so many possibilities out there that we are unaware of.

The writings of Kahlil Gibran light me up from the inside- it reminds me of my own luminosity housed in the hearts of all creation. His poetry is like that cloud of illusion lifted. His words comfort, inspire and dance in my head like a new found lover. I feel like I can take his poems and fashion them into healing charms and love spells and chant their sacred words to wake the dead.

“Love is the lover’s eyes, and the spirit’s wine, and the heart’s nourishment. Love is a rose… Love is the poet’s elation, and the artist’s revelation, and the musician’s inspiration…Love is the sacred shrine in the heart of a child, adored by a merciful mother…Oh seekers, Love is Truth, beseeching Truth, and your Truth in seeking and receiving and protecting Love shall determine its behavior.”

“Marriage is the union of two divinities that a third might be born on earth. It is the union of two souls in a strong love for the abolishment of separateness.”

-from Secrets of the Heart

I started reading his books just two weeks ago. I found the book Secrets of the Heart among my grandmother’s things when she moved into a nursing home five years ago, however I never started reading it until recently. It was always one of those books that beckoned me to keep it around, glance at her signature printed neatly within the inside cover every once in a while. I thought the book was strictly Christian (which it is not-)  and so I never bothered to do much more than skim it. But now that I have reached a new point in my spiritual path- where I honor all paths- I was pleasantly surprised when I began to read. And then by fate’s grace I came across a large book in a thrift store that contained many (it not all) of his writings, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran.

“…the whole earth is my birthplace and all humans are my brothers.”

Kahlil Gibran was a true mystic- he followed no one religion- all inspired him and he wrote of the Spirit of Love as his guide. His writings contain many figures- including the Goddess herself. He was born in Lebanon into a Catholic family but was surrounded with those of many faiths and later as a teenager he moved back and forth between the United States and Lebanon. His family history was tragic- his father was imprisoned as when Gibran was a child and his mother, brother and sister all died of illness in his adolescence (I look up to anyone who can survive all of that) even his own lifetime love could not rightly marry him due to her family’s conservatism. However, the words that flows from him speak of joy, beauty and truth and point to the great mystery of the soul. He was also an artist and a fiction writer and knew Carl Jung (which makes him instantly cool, by the way). According to wikepedia, he is the third best selling poet of all time. His picture is also quite dashing, no?

And so it is with his words that I have been recharging this last week. I feel like the process is not fully finished, but I wanted to peek my head out of my hole for a bit to sing my praise of this wonderful writer.

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Last night in my multicultural counseling class we had a gay couple guest speak about the coming out process. I realize that there are many differences between the Wiccan community and the LGBT community, but I always find it interesting how many similarities there are because of us both identifying ourselves outside of mainstream society.

For one, we both face possible discrimination if we are publicly “out” and we have to constantly stand up for our human rights (so LGBT pagans really get a double whammy of work). Another thing they said was most LGBT people have usually felt a little different growing up, like they didn’t quite fit in to the main crowd so easy. Almost all of the Wiccans and Pagans I have known have said the same thing.

The couple went on to talk about the facts of coming out: it is not just a one time deal and you never have to do it again! The process never ends!! It is the same for Pagans… think about it: You may be out to your friends and family and maybe even those who you work with, but we are still having to judge the right time to come out to people we have just met, too.

For example, I have made some new friends at grad school, but I haven’t brought up my religion till last week because I wanted everyone to know who I was before any possible stereotypes would get slammed on me once I announce that I am Pagan. But here is finally how it went-and I wrote a nonfiction story about it so enjoy…

The Lesbian, The Christian and The Witch

Three female graduate students in their twenties are talking. One is a lesbian, one is a Christian and one is a witch:

The Christian to the Lesbian: “Sometimes I feel that others may be judging me on being a Christian because the stereotypes of Christians being judgmental, but I just want you to know that I completely accept and support your lifestyle. Not all Christians are the same… many of us do focus more on the love side.”

The Lesbian: “Thank you, that means a lot. I never really thought about how you are worried about stereotypes, too.”

The Witch: “Wow, I am so touched by this conversation and I am feeling ready to tell you both something: I’m Pagan!”

The Lesbian: “Pagan?”

The Witch: “Another common name is Wicca.”

The Lesbian: “No way! That is great- I don’t know any Wiccans. Hey my mom is really interested in the Salem Witch Trials.”

The Christian: “What does it mean to be Wiccan?”

The Witch: To honor the masculine and feminine divine and see the sacredness of nature mostly.

The Christian: “It sounds really interesting to learn about. I’m glad you told us. It sounds like we all have something we worry about being discriminated for. ”

The Witch to the Christian: “I owe you an apology, I was worried about telling you because I was placing that judgmental Christian stereotype on you. I have experienced a lot of prejudice from Christians in the past, but now I see that is not true of all, or maybe even most Christians- thank you for being so brave and talking about your feelings.”

Three friends walk back to class… and it doesn’t matter which one is the lesbian, the witch or the christian, because the first word they think about when they see each other is, “Friend”.

The End.

awww… now I am all teary eyed just thinking about it again 🙂

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Language is what defines our reality. In a postmodernistic view, where reality is subject to everyone’s own perceptions, language helps form our realities and can be different for different groups and individuals.

Words convey symbols. But what one word may convey to one person, can mean something so different to another. (Just think of all the connotations connected to the word “magic”).

It seems that with all religions, everyone has a word for God, but the words themselves do not match.

In fact, I personally think the word “God” is still too limiting to what it is I feel the Infinite Spirit represents. The word God feels so human to me. I once read in a Hindu scripture (can’t think of exact one) that people need a personal view and an impersonal view of God, so all the deities help a person connect to God, as there is a humanistic image of He or She, the impersonal view is called Atman (God within) and Brahman (God outside of ourselves). The goal is realizing that they are identical.  I like this perspective, as do many.

However, the word God, or even Goddess, is still limiting in it’s symbolic form. At least for me. Even if I try to connect to the impersonal God, I still end up imagining this old dude in the sky. Some people have an androgynous form of God they like to connect with, but it is still so human. Here’s the thing… out of all the hundreds names for God, what is it that God really means? What is it that God is?

=

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~LOVE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If everyone could just accept this about everyone else’s gods, this would be the start of peace.

If everyone could just place LOVE on their altars, we would have the ultimate ideal for our lives.

LOVE is limitless. It has infinite forms. This is why there are so many deities and ideas of what they are. The world needs so many forms of Love. From the love of creativity to the love of the future generations to allow for death. Love is why we are here. Even if your parents conceived you from what most would deem as loveless sex, you were still conceived because they desired connection.

LOVE IS CONNECTION.

I am not saying I’m giving up on paganism or the God’s. Since love is infinite and we are part of this Infinite energy then there are many forms. Just like there are many, many people born to serve Love in many ways (teachers, musicians, librarians, leaders, garbage truck drivers, mothers, morticians, acrobats, etc…) there are many deities needed to serve Love in many ways  (Allah, Kali, Diana, Jehovah) and yes, many saints and prophets and wise ones (Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Mother Theresa, You?). And let’s not forget about the animals and plants of this world!

Thus, I am a servant of Love. I am love and you are love.

So Blessed Be

Picture by

http://www.cianellistudios.com/spiritual_paintings.html

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Do not despair, but Dance!

Do not weep, but Dance!

Do not tremble with fear, but Dance!

Do not forget- Dance!

It is the first promise and the first lesson in one.

From the beginning of time and unto the end, which are, after all, the same-

to be a Witch is to dance.

And remember your Shadow dances with you.

                         ~ Veronica Cummer, Sorgitzak Old Forest Craft

There are four aspects of being. ~Physical (Earth) ~Emotional (Water) ~Intellectual (Air) and ~Spiritual (Fire)

The first three are well-known in know-how. When drained physically, one must rest, eat well and exercise. When weak emotionally, one needs to figure out what it is that is draining them, take a break from it and often face one’s own Shadow aspect. Also, to nourish one’s heart, often a connection is needed… either through counseling, a friend, or just simply to connect back to one’s self. When tired mentally, a rest from over- stimulating intellectual endeavors is needed and maybe a little distraction.

But how does one go about rejuvenating the Spirit within? Often this is confusing to even self-diagnose because the symptoms of a spiritual drain can seem like physical, emotional and intellectual issues. And often, the prescription needed tends to fall into the categories of the others.

Everyone has a spiritual aspect that needs nourishment. I know an atheist who gets her spiritual needs met by living ethically and seeing a field full of beautiful, twinkling fireflies at night. Some Christians may feed their spiritual side by going to church or praying. For everyone, it is different. However, it is important to know what it is that you need.

For this busy witch, I need the spontaneous moments of making love in the woods. I need to sleep under that stars every once in a while. I need to dance. I need to trance. I need to remember my dreams.

Witches can easily become drained spiritually. For one thing, we are often delving into situations that require a lot of our energy. We walk between the worlds often and to be awakened in both means to inhale and exhale spiritual energy… give and receive. Sometimes we are hermits, making magick in our own little dark caves. Sometimes we are participating community sages, even if some of us are still in the broom closet, I don’t know one witch who doesn’t send healing energy to a friend in need or feel a twinge of remorse for the raccoon that lies silent on the edge of the roads….

We must live in balance like the sky holds steady the day and night. We must know how to nourish the soul.

~Cicada

image from: 1stwebdesigner.com

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