Anamchara the soul friend who shares your joys and sorrows, your challenges and struggles as you walk the path of your spirit

Sunday, May 6, 2012

IS IT TIME TO START OVER?

When will these fundamentalist nutjobs figure out that the MODERATES they almost despise are THEIR best protection? That protecting our rights are the best protections for their rights. And I don’t suppose that it will ever sink in that the rest of us, who just happen to be the majority can be pushed just so far and no further.And

And no, we'll try not to push back. That doesn't solve anything. But, very big but, we simply won't follow your path. Perhaps when you finally find yourselves at the end of a dead end road you'll realize that you're welcome to join the party but you can't call all the tunes.

Approximate dates of the most radical fundamentalists

Seventh day Adventists-1863
Four square-1927
Fundamentalism-1920’s
Pentacostals-1900’s
Charismatics within the mainline churches-1960’s
Methodist offshoots-mid 1800’s

And some of the rest of us

Wicca-early 1900’s
Neo druids-mid 1800’s
Celtic reconstruction-1980’s
Other pagan reconstructionists-mid twentieth century

Most of the ultra conservative fundamentalist Christian groups are not much older than the neo pagan reconstructionists. And I believe they can’t stand it. I guess they cling to Biblical literalism to give themselves the illusion that their groups have a history to stand on.

Just finished Tom Cowan’s Fire in the Head on Celtic Shamanism. His discussion the similarities between the experiences of trained shamans and the charges leveled against the so called witches during the great persecutions. The ability to shape shift, the visits to the Otherworld during trances, the so called devil worship.

I could never wrap my head around the reports out of that period. Whole villages with almost no women, not even girls. The attacks on the local healers. Ok, take the reports with a handful of salt. The reported death tolls are still out of sight. One thing makes sense. It wasn’t witches or heretics the hunters were after they were out to break the old religion and these guys were real pieces of work.

Lying was ok. Cheating was ok. Even encouraged since informers got a share of the convicted “witches” property. What if Christian belief had never taken a deep hold and large pockets of the old religion had remained throughout Europe? It wasn’t witches the hunters were after it was the remaining followers of the old ways. If it was Goddess worshipers they were after it would make a twisted sense to go after any female old enough to have begun to learn.

I’m just about ready to call for wiping the slate clean and starting over. Try to find a balance between the old and the new if it’s possible. Learn what we can of the old ways and go back to them if it’s not.

Friday, May 4, 2012

THE ICE MELTED AND I FELL IN

I'm more convinced than ever that it was Brighid calling me just before Easter. Now, to balance that with the Quaker side, at least for now. Some folks have managed to do that. Whether that will include me in the end? Time will tell.

It helps that traditional Quakers fall outside the Catholic/Protestant split. And some of their teachings are closer Eastern Orthodox than to the western churches. What I'm trying to figure out right now is whether the some of the Celtic beliefs (ongoing creation, the presence of the holy within that creation) are unique to the Celts or if they brought them with them when the tribes moved west out of the area just west of Central Asia. I suspect that they are shared beliefs and when the western church grafted Greek and Roman philosophy onto the early church it cut off those branches. Too bad. I'm really falling in love with the picture of a continually evolving Creation.

Which brings me to Easter weekend. I'd been reading. It's kind of hard to read anything by an orthodox writer. Not because of the theology, but the constant references to people I've never heard of. The early teachers, the desert fathers (an mothers), saint so and so, blessed whoever. It's confusing but you get a real feeling of continuity. Which brings me to the family tree. There's one branch that goes back to early third century Armenia. And several great grandfathers (about four dozen times removed, probably related to most of Western Europe) helped build the church in Armenia. Far enough away from Rome to get away with being the first national church.

Then there's the branch from eleventh century Kiev. Including some prime examples of folks who were named as saints strictly for their church building activities. Because great grandmother Olga had ways of dealing with her enemies that did not include prayer and reconciliation. She was a pistol, that one. Not sure what any of them would make of me. They followed their hearts, I'm following mine.

Which brings me to Saturday before Easter. Do I get visitations contemplating the trees, birds and flowers? No, I get them sitting in car, parked in front of the credit union waiting for mom. There they were, the whole damn family. Quakers, Puritans, Russians, oh my. But, without the blue highlights of the lady on the cliff top that I believe was /is Brighid. The group has been falling off since then until there's one figure left. A shadowy gentleman who may owe more than a little to Rae Beth's cunning man and Merlin from King Arthur. So, is he here to give me holy heck for straying from the path or to lead me to a new one. Tom and Rae? I could use a little (a lot) help here.

A CELTIC PRAYER


This is an adaptation of a Celtic prayer I found in the book KNITTING INTO T HE MYSTERY.

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within and light inside the darkness within.

May the blessed sunlight shine upon you and warm your heart ‘til it glows, like a great peat fire, so that strangers may come and warm themselves and that friends may come.

And may the light shine out of the eyes of you, like a candle set in the windows of a house, bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

And may the blessing of the rain be on you – the soft, sweet rain.

May it fall upon your spirit so that the seedlings of light in you shadow may spring up, and shed their sweetness on the air.

And may the blessing of the great rains be on you, that they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool, and sometimes a star.

And may the blessing for the earth be on you – the great round earth who carries all; the great round earth whose suffering has already become radiant.

May you ever have a kindly greeting for people you pass as you are going along the roads.

And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly, your kin and all creatures.

Blessed be

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAND

“For the Celtic peoples, the land was inspirited, able to reflect whatever was done upon it. The concept of land as inert, unable to respond, was foreign to them. There was also a sense that not every inch of the land could be used for human purposes, that some was to be set aside as sacred to the spirits of the land.

The prosperity of the land, the abundance of flocks and herds, the fertility of fields and orchards; all these were dependent upon the sacred ordering that gave respect to the spirit of the land. This intrinsic knowledge arose from the land itself and was mirrored in the way people behaved and believed. In an age when few of us actually work the land with our own hands, this knowledge is now retreating and we begin to see the products of the soil as commodities rather than as inhabitants of the natural order.

The land and its inhabitants speak to us of spirit and sacred order if we will listen to them. It is in the patient tending and listening that those who have worked the land for generations know when a plant or animal needs particular things, and when some profound wisdom is being conveyed. If we make the spaces for those moments of transmission, create opportunities for communication between ourselves and the land, we may begin to embody the sacred orderliness that maintains our whole ecology.”

Caitlin Matthews in The Celtic Spirit.

If we don’t listen to, and defend the land and the other creatures who depend on it will turn against us. It’s two years after the oil spill in the Gulf. They’re finding shrimp with no eyes, deformed fish and shellfish.

Dow and Monsanto create plants that are “herbicide and pesticide ready.” And the weeds and insects are text book examples of natural selection in action. Wildlife officials kill predators like coyotes and the coyotes respond by producing larger litters. And if they don’t the out of control prey animals eat themselves out of house and home. It takes years for the landscape to recover.

If we defend the land, the land will defend us. If we don’t. If we ignore the spirits of the land, water, air and the animals who depend on them; we all lose.

BELTANE

Song of Beltane

I am the calm, I am the quickening.
I am the intoxication and the force,
I am the silence, I am the singer,
I am the bright pavilion and the feasting,
I am the wedding couple and the bed,
I am the morning chorus and the heartbeat,
I am the goal to which all paths are led.

by Caitlin Matthews

Life breaking free. Exuberant. Joyous. Unfettered. A “hey we made it through another winter!”

Celtic summer, Beltane. And it’s a balmy fifty degrees in Dublin. In fact their extended forecast is similar to ours. Temps in the fifties and partly cloudy. Maybe the beginning of summer isn’t tied to a date, it’s based on hope and the belief that the sun will shine and it will warm up. Eventually.

The rhodies are blooming, I think the snow damaged the dogwood blossoms, they’re sparse this year. If you get behind and don’t trim your rosemary it blooms in the spring with a beautiful blue violet flower and the bees love it. They also love the blueberry blossoms.

Don’t have space for great bonfires. Don’t have any sheep or cows to drive between them to give them good luck in the summer pastures and there’s not a maypole in sight. So what. In Oregon summer is more of a promise than a certainty so I’ll go dig out that last bottle of sparkling cider, put on David Arkenstone at his raucous best, light a candle and raise a glass to summer.