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Posts Tagged ‘Theology’

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 ūüôā

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(sign my friends and I put up along a highway for Pagan Pride Day)

Rewind my life about eight years ago…

I had been assistant coaching high school color guard with a respected older role model in my life for years and I was afraid to tell her that I was Pagan. I was afraid to tell anyone at that point. I grew up with so much discrimination because of my faith in my own family that I was convinced everyone else would despise me too if they knew my true religious identity. And then one day one of my pentacle wearing friends visited me at practice and the other coach made a comment after my friend had left. It was then that I made a decision: I am not going to hide who I am anymore. I told her I was Pagan. You know what happened? Not what I initially expected: because she was actually pleasantly surprised! She said that she had met a Pagan couple on her honeymoon and that they were the nicest people she had ever met! A few years later she came to my handfasting and enjoyed herself.

If it hadn’t been for that one experience with that nice Pagan couple, this important woman in my life could have responded much, much differently. I am so grateful¬† for all of the friendly Pagans and Wiccans before me that have been proudly out of the broom closet. Wicca and Paganism is still very, very new for our society to grasp. Often new= scary.

The other day I was in my graduate school classes and we were talking about multiculturalism, tolerance and diversity appreciation. When the teacher asked us to name different subcultures someone mentioned Earth Based Spirituality. The teacher went on to use that as an example of how we are going to have to be understanding of different beliefs, “like Wicca”,¬† to be effective counselors. Looking around the room made my heart sink. A look of disgust swept across one woman’s face and I wanted to cry and yell at the same time. The subject was quickly changed but I knew that once the subject came around again I would reveal my religious identity for the sake of educating everyone in the classroom about my faith, like I had so often done during my undergrad. This is not a small task to be open. I risk¬† losing the respect of some of my professional peers and professors.

There are so many stereotypes that can hurt us. The most common is that Pagans and Wiccans  are either evil or are just a big joke. Both perceptions are hurtful and highly disrespectful.

Watch this shocking video to see the media openly mock Pagans and Wiccans:

http://www.causes.com/actions/1733105-demand-fox-news-apologize-to-pagans-and-wiccans?recruiter_id=46939271&utm_campaign=own_timeline&utm_medium=wall&utm_source=fb

I wanted to slap these ignorant reporters after watching this, but I thought back to that mysterious “nice Pagan couple” from before that had so willingly helped pave the way for me to be accepted. These reporters had never known any Pagans or Wiccans, but I am willing to bet you that they actually had- but the people were still in the closet about their identity. I know a lot of openly Pagan people, but it would shock you to know how many more people I know who are Pagan and do not tell others. I am not judging them, it is their own business why they want to stay in the closet. My only point is that there are way more Pagans out there than people realize!

If you are out of the “broom closet” I want to give you a big hug! It is only through exposure and advocacy that¬† people can begin to tolerate and accept us. The public needs to see that we are a diverse population with varying personalities, education levels, ages and ethnicities. It can be a scary thing to be out, and we won’t be able to win everyone over, but simply wearing a goddess or pentacle necklace in public can lead to wonderful conversations with people who are generally curious. Let’s not let the few intolerant “bad apples” of the crowd deter us from being open if we really want to.

~Blessings,

Cicada

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So I am going to be writing something that may be controversial out there. My only disclaimer is, is that I respect everyone’s rights to have differing beliefs and am glad our world is as diverse as it is.

Here’s something that has been itching at me for a while about the wiccan/witch community: Many of us have do not believe¬†in the supernatural.

When I met my first adult witch she informed me that witches do not actually fly on broom sticks. What??? I was saddened by this, however this woman taught me so much regarding spirituality, meditation and energy work that I in no way regret having met anyone else. Later on I of course learned that witches do fly on broom sticks during out of body experiences (which functions and feels exactly like flying in the physical), but a part of me still wants to be able to pick up a broom on this earth plane and fly off.

There is this theory that practicing magic in harmony with nature will result in natural consequences. For example, making a love charm and meeting the man of your dreams the next day still seems natural for it’s not like bam, he suddenly appeared in your bedroom once you did the spell. So what kind of magic can be done to result in seemingly unnatural results? Some would say forcefull, unfriendly magic, but I have a different take on it.

I believe many of us are afraid. Our minds would freak out if something supernatural were to actually occur. It’s wonderful to communicate with spirits empathically but our eyes have become clouded by our fears in order to see properly. There are so many books on witchcraft out there, but I find some of the oldest books to be the most challenging of our fears. Often it wasn’t groups of people challenging the witch during initiation, but it was the spirits themselves. The witch would go off alone to a wild place and meditate all night. Often this wild place would be a gravesight or haunted spot. The person would come out either a poet and spirit worker, a madman or never at all.

“Witch” is such a strong word. It deems a person capable of doing strong magic. Another downfall of¬†being open to¬†supernatural events is that many of us have been disapointed in the past. Maybe the fairy you once thought you saw never came out again. Maybe once you learned that Santa wasn’t real you stopped believing in the possibility of magic. However, if you are on this spiritual path I doubt that you have completely stopped believing in magic. However that which you have a hard time believing in will¬†be unlikely to be percieved by you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I remember that one of the reasons I¬†felt¬†off in¬†my Christain spiritual community as a child is that my experiences did not fit into what I was supposed to believe. I had clear dream premonitions and it was looked strangely upon. I’m afraid it hasn’t changed much with the pagan community, too. Once at a pagan festival I dreamed that a racoon stole the bread in a different tent of mine in middle of the night. What do you think my family found in the morning? The plastic wrapper of our loaf of bread scattered and shredded in the woods behind our clearing.¬† When we fondly told people about it some looked at me in confusion or disbelief.

Remember why you wanted to be a witch in the first place? You felt the pull of mystery dancing in your blood. You wanted to feel the power of nature pounding in your veins.

Nature has very powerful forces. Asteroids colliding,¬†tornadoes tearing, lightning flaming… powerful magic is natural, too. We just need to be aware that powerful magic will have powerful effects. Don’t forget about the mystery that first danced within you.

~Cicada

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The journey of the Heart takes us deep within our souls

and leads us to find that we are reflections of each other.

  One year ago from today a friend and I began the blog, Witching Wildwood and it fulfilled my outlet for all things spiritually witchy and kept track of our ritual adventures. Then something interesting happened along the way. The only words I can use to describe it is my heart expanded. I began to feel open to all paths of spirit. I began to see love as infinite.

I still adore the pagan path that I have been on since I was 11. I still honor the Goddess when the moonlight shines pale blue on a field of snow and when a deep cave reveals a secret crevice to me to rest and soak in her silence. I still sing of mystery and magic and feel the pull to greet the summer’s sun with bare feet dancing in dew-drip valleys. I still am a witch, and so Witching Wildwood will continue as always…

And now my spiritual path has led me to focus on something that is so expansive but simple that I felt the need to create an additional blog dedicated to it:

LOVE!

Feel free to join me in my new additional blog: Love is My Spirit

I want to explore love as Infinite Spirit. I want to celebrate people who have radiated this force so strongly that their actions helped shift the world, even if their action was so simple that it influenced just one person to open their own heart. I want to create and experiment with Love by awakening it in my own home, city and world community.

When we truly love, we are in harmony not only with our beloved but with all living things. Love is blind, insofar as it makes no distinctions but extends to everyone and everything.

-Living Yoga, edited by Gearg Feuerstein and Stephen Bodian

I have began dreaming about all different religions. I feel like peeling off a COEXIST bumpersticker and adhering it to my soul. How can I live more alive and serve love? How can I channel this energy that is an extension of the connection between us all? These are the questions I am asking.

In this blog I also post up my public art pieces that inspire positivity. I’m planning on having an adventurous year doing these anonymously in my community and am wanting to feature other people who do the same! Welcome!

Many Blessings for your 2013 and Happy One Year Birthday to Witching Wildwood!

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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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