Sunday, May 26, 2013

Responsibilitly of the Elders of the Pagan Paths

The Youth and New Ones are our future

This is a great and powerful time for the Earth and Nature based beliefs. Whether you call yourself Wiccan, Pagan, Witch, Shaman or Neo-something, we are seeing a greater return and flowing toward these beliefs than at any other time in history. Thousands of people both young and old reach out to us seeking answers, searching for the truth and fellowship with others of like mind. Without exception, these people are hearing the voices of our ancestors and they are listening to the gentle voice of the Lord and Lady which echo's in their soul. For those of us who have traveled this path for a time, this is the beginning of a new era and one which requires a change in our thought processes. I will speak to this in greater detail later.

My experience from talking with others has shown, that while many of us are out of the proverbial "Broom Closet," when talking with close friends who share our beliefs, we quite often play our cards close to the vest when dealing with others outside our close circle of friends. In many cases, this is still a necessity because of family or work considerations, however it carries over into our dealings with other followers of our community with whom we have not become comfortable. With the dawn of this new era, we must shed these apprehensions to move forward and embrace those just becoming enlightened to the voices of our ancestors.

Hopefully, those of you who have walked this path for a time, can remember how confused and unsure you were when beginning you journey. Like myself, there is a possibility that you wrestled with the emotional conflicts between what you had always been led to believe by the unaware, and what your heart was telling you. You probably also were unsure where to start reading and learning even though there were only a hand full of books or so to choose from.

Today it is just as confusing to the new seekers of truth and information if not more so. They still struggle with the same emotional conflicts as we did, yet there are several hundred books to choose from and relatively few of us willing to step far enough away from the shadows to offer advice and guidance in making the right choices. It is an intimidating situation for them to say the least.

This is the area where I want to nudge your comfort zones and present a concept which you may not have thought about.

Earlier, I said that those of us who have followed this path must change our thought processes. In considering this, we must come to understand that the beginning followers of the Earth and Nature beliefs we see today are the new generation. These are the people who are coming forward to learn, understand, embrace and dispel the centuries of superstition and misconception which surround our beliefs. Therefore, we must move forward to embrace the next generation. We must move forward to assume the role of mentors and guides.

If we ever hope to achieve understanding and acceptance of our beliefs to build unity within our scattered communities, WE MUST shoulder the responsibility of ensuring THAT future becomes a reality. We simply cannot sit idle and hope those who follow will understand the true meaning of our ways without adequate guidance.

As with any rite or ritual, we know from experience that the realization of our intent and will is totally dependent upon the energy we pour into that working. We must then understand that that ensuring a positive future for our ways is no different. We will get back exactly what energy we put into the Cauldron of the future.

We are the Elders of the Wiccan, Pagan and Witchcraft community, and we are the future Wise One's of the past. If we do not teach our traditions, values, morals and ethics of the old ways, who will?

I receive many request each and every month of new ones seeking information. Each and every one represents our future reaching a hand out to us, the Elders, the Wise One's of these paths for guidance and answers. They are willing to understand, accept and follow this path, if we will only take the time to truthfully answer their questions and guide them from our wisdom and experience.

Understand this clearly my friends. They are the future, our legacy, the ones who are reaching out to change the centuries of myth, superstition and misconception which we and those before us have sought for so long.

So as you surf the Internet or encounter one who is new to our ways, embrace them with love and make the connection with their spirit. I urge you to not pass them by, but to reach out and take that hand if even only momentarily to answer a question or offer reassurance. Let the love of the Lord and Lady fill your spirit and move a few steps further away from the shadows. Assume your place as one of the teachers of Strength, Honor, Harmony and Balance. Come forward to help bring the Lady's children home to the warmth and security of her bosom.

I charge you to step from the shadows and take your place within the Circle to escort the dawn of a new day for our beliefs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spiritual Healing - Transformation

Recently this topic has come up several times, so I felt now was the time to share what I have about this with those requesting and those seeking.

Transformation is a very classical idea, and we see it in all world religions and spirituality. In Christianity,  Metanoia in the New Testament = a transformed mind.  The Holy Spirit is transformational, is also the spirit of truth.  God is onmipotent, therefore root-transformational.  Christ is a wayshower, sacred heart, communion, spiritual substances, et al, is transformational.

Insight as transformational = gnosis, jnana, prajna, etc.

Religious devotion is transformational - a love of God and truth, bhakti, hearing truth from a true teacher.

Real healing affects every part of us; spiritual, mental, emotional, energetic, physical.  Real healing affects the complete inner and the complete outer aspects of life, transforms them.  There is an aspect of eternity involved, so even if we grow by fits and starts, there is something permanent in a real transformation.

Real healing "moves energy," and is not just a mental phenomenon.  Part of moving energy is Spirit prevailing on us, on life circumstances, transforming them.

Define Supreme Being, Source, God, Mother Earth, Great Father, Spirit any way you like.  Just start somewhere, seek the best you can find for exemplars / teachers / inspiration, course correct as you go, move to greater and more workable truths as you go along.  Trust that greater and more workable truths will be revealed.

Validate ourself as Spirit, or pure consciousness, primordial purity, whatever you want to call it.

Real healing must involve the spiritual dimensions of life.

What works best naturally aligns spiritual truth, mind, emotion, feeling (a form of intuition), energy body, physical body, worldly life and circumstances.

There are no limits with Spirit.  To the extent that we are operating with limited ideas, Spirit cannot come through and transform in the moment.  We need to be prepared, purified, sincere, and ready to receive Spirit in the moment for the transformation of our own lives.  Every religion and spiritual path has its own language for this idea.  How closely clergy, members, adherents follow the core path of transformation is up to them.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Making It Happen - An Inquiry Into Heka

A History of Heka

Ancient Egyptian culture had no distinction between the magical and mundane worlds, believing that the two were fully intertwined and inseparable. One of the ways they believed they could influence the world (both theirs and the gods) was through the use of heka. Heka to them was a great power, primarily accessed through speaking or writing to ask the netjerw for healing, protection, or support.

“… [an] expression of the divine creativeness through thought and speech…” -- Egyptian Religion, by Siegfried Morenz

Heka comes from the Coptic word hik, which was translated into the Greek ‘mageia’, and the Latin ‘magia’, both of which were defined as ‘illegal sorcery’. This is why today, heka is mistakenly translated into English as ‘magic’. Yet heka is a neutral word, directing the self with purpose of regaining ma’at when something has gone wrong.

Heka was first recorded when translating the coffin texts of Egyptian tombs. The passage found on them described an existing force that the gods utilized to create, to destroy, and to change both their and the human world.

… to me belonged the universe before you gods had come into being. You have come afterwards because I am Heka…” -- Coffin Text, Spell 261

The force of heka itself consists of four parts: heka, rw, seshaw, and pekhret. Heka itself, which is described as, “a primeval potency that empowered the creator god at the beginning of time”, and is often depicted as existing, “before duality had yet come into being”. The other components are rw (sacred texts), seshaw (magical rituals or treatments), and pekhret (medicinal prescriptions).

Heka is one of the three creative powers of the Sun god Ra, which were necessary for Creation to come about. Thus heka was the divine energy or the life force, the other two were hu, divine utterance, and sia, divine knowledge.

Like ma’at, heka was later personified into a netjer (a god), and is depicted as a man standing in front of the naos where the Sungod is seen, in the sunboat, and sometimes holding different ritual objects.

A Greek word, naos means “inner sanctuary” of a temple. The most famous one was constructed by Pharaoh Nectanebo I in the 4th century BCE, at Saft. It was dedicated to Isis, and the inner part of the temple was called “Naos of the Decades”. This naos was later moved to a temple in Canopus. Such temples were used to record detailed charts of stars, using a system that divided the sky into segments called decans. Decan stars were used to accurately measure the passage of time and to mark feasts and holidays regularly on the calendar. These fell under the rw part of heka.

Heka appears in the Book of the Coming Forth By Day, sometimes called the Book of the Dead, translated from the Papyrus of Ani (1240 BCE).

"Behold, it is not this Pepi who hath said these things to you, O ye gods, it is Heka who hath said these things to you, O ye gods, and this Meri-Ra is the support which is under Heka; he cometh forth therefore and ascendeth into heaven." -- Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge

"I am one with Atum when he still floated alone in Nun, the waters of chaos, before any of his strength had gone into creating the cosmos. I am Atum at his most inexhaustible - the potence and potential of all that is to be. This is my magic protection and it's older and greater than all the gods together!"

As these passages suggest, the concept of heka, like ma’at, existed before any of the netjerw came into being. Yet even after the concept became personified, heka continued to play an important part in the development of the other netjerw. Aset bore the title “Weret-Hekau”, meaning ‘great of heka [magic]’, as in myth she managed to trick Ra into revealing his secret name to her. The powerful goddess Sekhmet also carried this title.

The best definition of heka I have found is ‘lifeforce in action’, meaning that one’s whole self is dedicated to correcting something that is not ma’at. It consists more than just saying a prayer or reading a passage, but totally and utterly committing to returning things to a proper order.

Ra traveling through the underworld in his barque, from the copy of the Book of Gates in the tomb of Ramses I (KV16).
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Revitalizing Our Spirituality

Reweaving The Cloth

For those of us who began walking our paths many, many moons ago, those basic first lessons are far in the past. They're at the hem of our robes, and as such, perhaps, they've grown worn with the passage of time and the many miles we've walked. Like our robes, they may have worn thin and be in need of repair. How do you repair this? Simply put, you go back to the beginning and start all over, this time, hopefully, wiser and more prepared to learn the lessons of those basics.

You may need to rededicate to your path, beginning again at the very fundamental stage of  learning, as if you were a complete beginner. Of course, you bring with yourself to this endeavor all the many years of  learning and walking your path that you have already. You will be delighted and surprised by the depth of meaning that you find in reweaving the cloth.

Revisiting the simple meditations that so closely resemble those that you may have done years ago, you will find that you are hard pressed to wrap words around the extensive and remarkably rich meanings that you are experiencing during these meditations. So many years ago, these meditations taught us how to focus our energy to do magic. Today they are teaching us to focus on recreating ourselves far more completely than we have ever done before.

We start facing down our own demons. Our fears and prejudices are laid bare before us, without any gauzy shield to protect us from their intensity. Our pain and anger, our bitterness and sorrow, our joy and hopes: all exposed in such a way that we have little choice but to look at them and reclaim them. No more are these intense emotions that we normally tuck away in a safe, dark corner of our soul orphans, left to wither or fester. They are ours. They are a part of us. In reclaiming them, we reweave yet another bit of the cloth.

We thought that the cloth of our path was strong and without flaw for a long time, for we simply chose not to look at the long tattered and frayed hem that we were dragging behind is. We chose to ignore the holes where the briers on our path had reached out and snagged the cloth. We chose to close our eyes to the reality that we were not tending to our own needs as we should, because to do so would be difficult, time consuming and disturbing.

It has been all of that, and more. We struggled with our Charges. We couldn't find the words to speak about our gods and goddesses at first, trying too hard to please others. When we finally *got* them, they came like wildfires in our mind, pouring out of us like water from a chalice. Then we struggled with the essay, because again, we were trying at first to please. Only when we turned inwards and looked at what we really felt, and didn't worry what others thought, did the words come to express what we wanted to say.

We need to focus on revivifying our path, bringing it back to life, though it was never dead. It is refreshing and enlightening to touch upon all of these "basic" tenets once again, this time with all the years of experiences casting their own light upon the experiences. On top of all of this is something else. In the reweaving of the cloth, we will also be healing the wounds to our soul. It isn't always pleasant, to be gentle about it, but invaluable, as we are finally able to move forward, through the pain and sorrow, into the next phase of our life. Our robes are once more whole, without frayed hem or holes. The patches show, but they are marks of the journey so far, and so aren't a problem at all.

Holding Your Horse
No matter how high on the path you trod, never forget the man who holds your horse.