Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Entire World Awaits

An Entire World Awaits
Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 94° F | 70° F, Humidity: 22%, UV: 5 out of 16, air quality: ozone Good, particles moderate, current moon phase: waning gibbous 98% of full

Every day, I'm cutting strands, letting go. Last night the CUUPS council, from which I only resigned weeks ago, had its monthly meeting. I am conscious of a change in boundaries - whatever happened, whatever was decided, is no longer my concern. I do care of course, and I am concerned -but it "ain't my business no moh"

I resist the fleeting temptation to call up a friend and get the "scoop." Boundaries.

My work with the CUUPS chapter was about working WITH a group to find its identity, which is separate from my own identity or the identities of the individual members. It was about focusing on the common denominators from within the the membership - what direction were the members most willing to support on a collective basis? How to pick a direction that would cause as few people as possible to lose interest, to feel left out? What is the GROUP vision, and how do we fulfill it? At the same time, how do I speak my conscious, and contribute in meaningful ways, speak my truth about what I believe will work? Each of us needed to compromise, figure out what the deal-breakers were and what we could live with.

My own personal spiritual path had to wait. The group did form its own identity, its own customs, liturgy, and traditions. Together the members developed one of the most effective ritual formats I have personally ever seen. But I set aside my own personal interests because they were not the interests of the group. I know that now that I have stepped back, the group dynamic will change and this will alter the culture. And that's the way it should be.

Now that my efforts aren't going toward the chapter, I can indulge the interests I've set aside. These are unfolding slowly.

My family and I will go out of town to a Pagan Pride celebration in another city this weekend. I am looking forward to it - the drumming, enthusiasm, the atmosphere. I'm expecting to meet a lot of friendly, neat people, relax and have a good time - with none of the baggage that I might experience locally. I'll miss seeing good friends, but as I told one of them recently, "I need a break."

I'm still cutting strands, and I still feel vulnerable.

So, what are these interests, these fascinations that I didn't spend much time on, because it didn't fit the community program? They are wide, diverse, and continuously shifting. A sample follows. I list these not because people who read my blog might find them particularly interesting, but because I'd like to track them myself, as they evolve.

1. I've long been fascinated by Qabalah. I don't know enough about it to describe coherently to anyone else, only that when I delve into it I find it pleasurable, challenging and rewarding. For me, it isn't concrete, the way something like cooking is concrete. Break an egg, drop it into a pan, apply heat. Qabalah to me is an abstract way of understanding and interacting with life and the universe - but in a deeper way than one does by interacting strictly with the material world.

2. Celtic and Western European Shamanism. Native American shamanism might be more accessible because Native American shamans still exist today. But for me, the cultures of my ancestors are more relevant. What modern people might think of as the childlike superstitions of an inferior culture, I see as a way of interacting with the universe the way they experience it. And because most modern people don't experience it that way, I believe we have lost something important. While I appreciate modern technology, I also think it's valid and worthwhile to experience nature and spirituality in these very basic and practical ways. I like to think that modern humans can find a balance - live in the modern world, and still practice basic principles of shamanism.

Two of my favorite movies that touch on shamanism are:

Khadak 2006 A young Mongolian nomad has been told that he is destined to be a shaman. He has epilepsy, and during these episodes has visions that might help him and his people.

Kukushka (The Cuckoo) 2002 In this movie, a Lapp woman takes in two soldiers during World War Two. She leads an isolated, traditional life, and there is a wonderful scene when one of the soldiers comes near death, and she travels to the underworld to retrieve him.

I have a long book list on this topic, and I've read a few of them, but I haven't delved into this subject nearly deeply enough. DH and I occasionally practice shamanic drumming together, and I'm hoping that we can start to do it more often, since I personally find it very fulfilling. I've incorporated some animal medicine into a few full moon rituals, but now I'd like to take it deeper as well.

3. Free Soul: I first saw Pete Sanders at a Whole Life Expo in late 1994 or 1995. He was teaching a short workshop based on his book, "You Are Psychic!" He gave a brief lecture, led us through a guided meditation, and before bringing us back, suggested that we open our eyes and look around. I did, looked at the lecturer, and saw a bright blue aura around him! The experience changed my life. That, and reiki, led to experiences that made me feel for the first time, that there really is a "God," even we don't know what that is, because I "knew" it, felt it, experienced it empirically.

I began to play with "reading auras" for a while, until I began to worry that it wasn't real, that it was just schizophrenic hallucinations or something like that. As soon as I began to question it and fear it was just insanity, I stopped seeing them. It was like flipping a switch, and they were gone. Maybe I am crazy. But I want to return to this, explore it more deeply.

Starhawk said something about the difference between magick and insanity. She said it's crazy to jump off a roof because you think you can fly. I think that maybe if a person can see auras, not be plagued or troubled by them, but welcome them as a part of the overall life experience, without becoming dysfunctional in reaching life goals or having relationships, then maybe it isn't such a bad thing.

I have the DVD, "Sedona, Soul & ESP Discoveries: The Free Soul Method," by M.I.T. Trained Scientist, Pete A. Sanders, Jr. When I watch it, sometimes the skeptic in me sees a flimflam man, a snake oil salesman, a carnival barker, using pseudo science to rope people into his $200.00, two-day retreats. He offers all sorts of lectures and workshops, sells audio CD sets, and advanced programs where one can become an instructor of his methods. The cynic in me says it's just about putting his kids through college. And yet, I know that he once opened a door for me that I slammed shut out of fear. I think these programs might hold the key to that door. And I'm not afraid anymore. I think it's worth a shot, even if the only thing I learn is something more about myself.


4. The Wheel of the Year - I was able to do some of this with the CUUPS group because we offered the public Sabbat celebrations, but now I yearn to express this through family traditions, kitchen witchery, and hearthcrafting. I yearn to live by the Wheel, not just express it outwardly in public rituals. I want to help my children feel the magic of the Wheel, the way I felt the magic of Christmas as a child. The magic needn't happen only at Christmas - there is magic in every moment of the cycle.

5. Wicca - I have never stumbled across a Wiccan tradition that I can embrace fully. Perhaps there isn't one. There are always these little "deal breakers," required beliefs that I simply can't go along with. It reminds me of when, many years ago, I looked into Catholicism as a potential source of faith, and the pastor who counseled me said that I must be able to believe, without any doubt, that the Eucharist was in fact the body and blood of Christ. I couldn't do it, but that didn't stop me from having meaningful meditations on Mary. Likewise, there are many aspects of the Wiccan religions that I find deeply rewarding.

This is just the beginning. I've barely scratched the surface. I've felt tension because something deep inside of me was burgeoning. This is what my subconscious meant when I wrote "new beginnings, "new start", and "spirituality" during that full moon spell a month ago. I want to explore, to "fly" in the metaphorical sense.

Here are some websites I thought were interesting today:



Current Mood: introspective
Current Music: Terry Oldfied "Out of the Depths"

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