Thursday, 8 November 2012

Revelations

As I enter the new stage in my Spiritual growth more things begin to take their rightful place in my mind and practice.
This year has been spiritually challenging for me. When I began to embark on the winding path of Paganism I naturally rejected previous Christian teachings (though I was never really exposed to them properly) and jumped on the bandwagon of Pagan-Christian resentment. I resented the damage that had been done in the name of Christianity over the hundreds or years and how much culture and life was lost in the process. I resented how Christmas was celebrated and Yule usurped, and Halloween mocked. I took great pride is rudely dismissing Christians who preached on the streets, brandishing my pentagram mischievously  and mocking them for their silly beliefs. Fortunately for me I was not actually into Paganism because of the rebellion of the teenage years. I was actually genuinely besotted with it, just at times those little corruptions crept in.
It took me about 3 years to actually bother to sit down and learn about what they actually believed in. I'd spent time throwing bible verses back at them, criticising parts that didn't quite add up, but never actually empathising and understanding. This last year everything has changed. Not only with my opinion towards Christianity, but Islam too and in fact all religions.

This year has been so spiritually taxing because I have had to go through revelations that at first it did not want to even consider. It's easier to criticise other people, but what about yourself?
it began with me learning about other religions and trying to understand where things had gone wrong - with the intention of building tolerance. I believe that you should do unto others as you wish for yourself; tolerance can't be expected when you don't to it back - and yes even if someone throws it back in your face, be the change you want to see in the world.
So I learnt about Christianity and Islam. It took a little while for initial prejudices to shift and then realisations of reality vs fiction settled in. To cut a long journey short, I began questioning if these religions were right and if I was wrong and that was VERY stressful. You know, I actually seriously considered Islam for myself. My BOS is covered in my theories and doubts.
Then one day under the stars I sat clinging onto my Labradorite and prayed. I prayed that I would understand what God wanted me to know. I wanted to do right but I didn't know what way to go. If going the wrong way would end up with punishment then surely if you really wanted to do right then God should simply reveal it?

And They did.

It took some time to take in and understand the message and now I am at peace with it.
Maybe it is God's way of telling ME what I need to know and understand - and maybe it is different for other people; so please, if you disagree with the following, then that is YOUR gnosis and this is MINE:

What I have come to understand is that EVERY religion has truth within it. God is the creator, who transcends name, gender and form because God is in ALL THINGS. So God has all forms at once. God manifests to me as the unified God and Goddess - for creation needs masculine and feminine. God and Goddess manifest in every thing and I believe that all gods and goddesses are a part of Them. But everything has it's own energy, it's own 'personality', just like I am a different person to you, yet we are linked as humans and children of the earth; we are all one.
So Ra is the god of the Sun. We know he exists, because he is the very being of the Sun, the heat, the power, the life everything. We know the Sun exists! The same applies for all other gods and goddesses of earth's pantheons. Mythology are humanity's way of explaining the nature of these beings, which ultimately unite to the All. So yeah, the Polytheists are right; the Duotheists also; and the Monotheists too.

This leads me to the point about those Monotheistic religions. As above, by believing in the Creator, the All, we can also assume that this is indeed Allah, Yahweh, and Jehovah - regardless of any myths of beliefs that humanity has put upon their names. If we can believe that Aphrodite exists as the goddess of love and beauty (for we know that exists and that she manifests in every feeling of love we exude) then why not the same for Jesus?

It is almost irrelevant whether or not Jesus existed as a real person or not; what is vital here to his followers today is what he represented and continues to. Jesus is an archetype of peace, love and salvation; his mother the archetype of motherhood and pure love. That is who he has become. If we can observe something in nature and recognise it as a 'goddess' and give it a culturally specific name and representation, then why is it so unbelievable that the same has happened to this Jesus-god? It doesn't mean you have to worship him; i don't personally worship Poseidon. But why not just accept him as a relevant and acceptable figure?

This is really important to me.
Even if you disagree with this gnosis that I came by, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you accept or least practice tolerance for everyone. For me, belief-wise why would I not preach tolerance? But even if you don't believe in this Universalism,  I ask that you treat others how you wish to be treated. Simple as.


The topic of the truths of Christianity and Islam (I am yet to explore Judaism, although it is embedded within the former two) is something I'd like to further discuss, as they are far more linked to Paganism than you may realise, had you initially dismissed them along with your bible as you mounted your broomstick as I did.



Monday, 20 August 2012

Covered in Light Day

I wanted to share with you a worldwide event that is happening on the 21st September this year. It is called Covered in Light Day and is a day to celebrate women who chose to wear the veil, celebrating their choice and reasons to do so, (whether secular or religious) and to promote tolerance and acceptance of this choice of clothing.
This event was created to a group of Pagan women who chose to wear a veil but it is of course not just for them but for ALL women who choose to do so. The event calls for women who wear the veil to speak up proudly about it; it also calls for women who do not chose to wear it, asking them to either wear it on that one day (to experience and appreciate it) or to support those who wear it (men are of course included in this support!).

My friend Katherine spoke about the event on her own blog and inspired me to write about it here to spread the word and get people to join in! Here is her blog post:

Here is the Facebook event: 


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Yes, I'm a Witch.

I have previously explained how I feel about Spiritual labeling and where I fit in with it all, so you probably already know that I identify as a 'witch'. That word is swarming with excitement, fantasy, prejudice, misunderstandings and history, and unsurprisingly invites the most interesting of questions towards me.

Before I start sharing aspects of my craft - the Witches Craft - I thought it best to explain what exactly I mean by 'witch', as it does vary from person to person, book to book.

To my knowledge, a witch is a developed name for the 'wise' (other words such as Wicca/Wicce are included also but I won't go into them).  In the villages of old there would be a 'wisewoman' (typically a woman but also men; men and women can be witches and during the witch hunts of the middle ages both sexes were persecuted) who would help the villagers in their expertise with the knowledge they possessed that others did not. That is part of being wise. They were experienced in the 'wise craft' or 'witchcraft', a craft that involves herbal medicines, midwifery, spell work, divination... They served the community with their knowledge. Unfortunately as new religions appeared and superstitions increased these people became feared due to their specialised knowledge and potential power over people's lives. 

So how am I a witch? My craft (a witches craft incorporates many different practices which may vary among practioners') involves manifesting my wishes and desires through spellwork, with moral codes in order, divining for answers for myself and others, healing prayers and crystal working. Unlike the witches of old I do not accept requests of spells from others unless it is a very just and serious cause. My reason being that I don't want to be taken advantage of and it is unlikely that I will find out the whole story behind a spell request (which is absolutely necessary!). 
I go by the ethical rules of Karma and law of three (that which you send out returns to you thrice back) and so would never dream of cursing another person or even overindulging in unnecessary spells. This is my code, not necessarily the code of all others.
The reason I practice witchcraft is to make my life and the lives of the people close to me, easier and happier. I can find answers in divination to help me progress and make the right decisions in life. I can also connect to nature and the divine by learning the secrets hidden in the power of the earth.

So there is a basic explanation. I'm bound to have missed parts out and I'm unfortunately unable to give a detailed historical account of the history of witchcraft (which you can find elsewhere), but I hope this covers the basics before I dive into any posts about it in the future.

Blessed Be!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Fellowship of Isis Training

I became a member of the Fellowship of Isis a couple of years ago, when I turned 18 and instantly fell in love with its openness, freedom and all-embracing Goddess devotion! Unlike other groups I'd seen, the God was not disrespected or ignored, despite the feminine focus; its members were not criticised for their individual beliefs and all were united under one cause, the Goddess.
I began searching for training courses available under them, wanting to explore the mysteries of the Goddess and build upon my understanding and connection to Her. I'm not sure what I had expected from it but I think I recall expecting the usual from training: A set organised course structure, set information to learn, certain rituals to perform on certain dates... ticking the boxes and then being awarded the title Priestess for all the hard work.
This is not exactly what I experienced and because of that, it has been more beneficial to me than the aforementioned could ever have been. Within my training, which is completely free and set by long-distance correspondence with a FOI Priestess, I am simply asked to set up a FOI shrine to Isis and to perform FOI liturgy when the time suits me. Due to my busy schedule and dualistic lifestyle ritual can only be done effectively when I have time for it and the motivation, otherwise things fall flat, so this is useful to me already. 
The liturgy itself is collections of beautiful writing's, oracles and theatrical performances. I usually stick to the 'script' but I can add my own personality and flavour to it still. After reciting the rite, there is time for meditation on the lessons of the Goddess and here is the crux of my experience under this training:
I report my experiences to the Priestess guiding me and she gives me advice and encouragement and in particular instances of significant Divine revelation I am awarded a Magi degree (four is needed to complete the training. She is so helpful to me and I'm very greatful for her patience and support for me. Beyond that The Goddess Herself is the One training me. In other training degrees the Priest or Priestess may teach you many fantastic things and chose to initiate you at the end of it; however, in this training it is the Goddess Herself Who teaches me all I need to know.
It means that I get to make my own mind up about things, learn what is important to me upon my own initiative and communicate with the Goddess directly - which is what a Priestess does! It does not mean that the structure and content of other courses are not valuable though! I spent 4 years prior to this training soaking up as much information as I could about it; now I have began to really spiral into the core of what this path is all about.

I wanted to share this with you because I hear many people asking to become Priests and Priestesses the moment they find out they can. I hear many people being told what to do and what to believe in, even if the teacher is just guiding them, they often just follow (as I did starting out, we do need that at first). 
The FOI may not appeal to everyone but I hope this post at least gave you something to think about :)

Image by Olivia Robertson

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

My Label and Universalism

There have been many videos on Youtube addressing the issue of spiritual labeling of late and so I wanted to give my input too.

For me, labels are a useful way of quickly identifying your path or religion to someone else. If you reply saying 'I don't have a label, I'm eclectic' it isn't very useful in understanding what it is you believe in, even if it is technically true. So I personally like to have a label on hand, but a quick explanation is always followed.
I identify as an Eclectic Pagan (or Wiccan) Witch. I qualify under the 'Eclectic/American' definition of a Wiccan, yet not the Traditional British one, and so the Pagan/Wiccan label often wavers. The truth is, I could be an 'Eclectic Pagan Witch' and an 'Eclectic Wiccan Witch' and either label would be true for me, but maybe a Traditional Wiccan would prefer that I did not use the latter?

The Eclectic part of my label is so important to me though, yet is the most ambiguous. I am a Pagan - I do not belong to the Abrahamic faiths, and I practice an Earth-Based Spirituality; however, this does not mean that the Abrahamic faiths do not hold any truth for me. When you call yourself an Eclectic Pagan nobody expects that Islam or Catholicism might be relevant there.

I believe that all religions lead to truth. If you want to build a puzzle to find the answers of the universe then what good is it to hold only one piece, or three? You really miss out if you are adamant to ignore Abrahamic faith (especially on moral/judgemental grounds). After all, Pagans are happy to boast the origins of Christmas and Easter, but then discredit those wise enough to apply the old ways to their own religion (the Christians).

World Religion is important to me and my path. I want to know the truth. I want to know God. I want to know the Earth and its inhabitants. And so maybe my label does not explain that to you at first sight, but saying that I am an 'Eclectic, Pagan, Wiccan, Witch, Hindu, Christian, Sufi, Buddhist' may be a bit silly ad confusing - likewise simply saying that I'm a 'Universalist' is just too broad to be understandable.

So really labels for me, are rather useless, but I think so long as it makes sense to me as my own identity then it suits me well.


Saturday, 23 June 2012

God suffers too

I was speaking with my partner, Toby, yesterday and he gave me a very interesting insight. I usually get very emotional about other people's problems, world problems that I just cannot help. I get frustrated and disgusted with how other human beings can treat one another, the environment and animals - I cannot understand how someone can be capable of such things, even down to simple spitefulness.

I get very worked up about these things. Then Toby made me realise that I have been given many blessings in this life time so far, God/dess has given me so much to be greatful for and it seems as if he/she has designed my life to give me the gifts to live a happy life. So why then am I spending so much time being upset about world issues? Surely this goes against what Divinity was trying to do for me?

He also said that the God and Goddess must look upon their world unable to help such issues and so if they can't help, how can I? -- This is not to say that I can't get involved in activism and try my best, but it is just suggesting that I should not allow it to overrun my life.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Introducing Myself and this Blog


Hello there!

I have had blogs in the past by now I am entering a whole new stage in my spirituality and I really want to start afresh.

To introduce myself: I am an Eclectic Pagan Witch, following a path centered on the God and Goddess in nature. My named Matron Goddess is Nut and my Patron God is Osiris, although often I just refer to them as God and Goddess. I have a very Eclectic path and am constantly developing. My path embraces all world religions and spiritualities, including Abrahamic religion.
I celebrate the Wheel of the year and moon phases, aim to heal and help others, and make a difference in this world. 
With regards to things outside of my spirituality, I am studying Egyptology at University and am a Belly Dancer and writer as my hobby. I am a typical Capricorn and so can come across as very serious, bossy and focused. I am all of those things but I am also full of life, positive, hyperactive and I think my jokes are hilarious (I am also half Sagittarius!). 

To introduce this blog: As I said before, I feel that I have come a long way since the beginning of my path 4 and a half years ago. 4 years isn't that long to have studied Paganism, but my dedication and love for it has sped up my learning and so I now here I am. This blog will be a fresh start to my journey, and I hope I stick to it in recording my experiences. This blog is as much as it is for me as it is for you. This is a place where I hope I can record my learning, read back on it and also share it with others in the hope that it will also benefit them. That's also what my Youtube Channel is for. I record all the videos I do to reflect on my journey - and boy, do I see a difference looking back!

I hope you enjoy following this blog, and I hope it is beneficial to all who come by it!

Blessed Be!