Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wear Your Label Lightly - Paradigms Needn't Imprison

I tend to wear labels loosely, more for ease of dialog than anything else. A label is a descriptor and nothing more and need only be a box, imprisoning and petrifying, when you make it so.

Too often many seem inclined to use their chosen label as not only a helpful descriptor, but as a prison that defines, for them, all that they may experience, accept, understand and know. That which falls outside the parameters of the box is ignored or rejected.

This is, in my opinion, spiritually deadly because no tradition contains within itself the totality of all possible human spiritual experiences and awareness. Sophisticated traditions will contain more than enough of reality within their paradigm to take the seeker to the point wherein the tradition is no longer needed. Less sophisticated traditions may be barely fleshed enough to keep an aspirant growing past the early years of spiritual practice and experience.

Due to the realities of the modern world and it’s abundant freedom to seek outside the commonplace, the paths many of us have chosen are either new, yet informed by ancient myth, principles, and practices, or truly ancient, yet gutted and skeletal due to the influence of cultural forces that ever seek to obliterate and demonize those beliefs unlike their own.

Both new paths with ancient roots and ancient paths denuded of the purity of their folklore and sacred myths, often leave blanks that need filling. These “blanks” are the experiences and awareness that are not within the purview of a given path or tradition to express or comprehend at least in its modern manifestation.

Thus are many of us called to learn from living traditions. We seek to fill in the gaps left behind by the cruelties of time, war, and forgetfulness. We learn and we grow, gleaning insight wherever it is to be found and, if we are wise, rejecting nothing merely because it fails to fall within the parameters of the labels with which we have chosen to define ourselves.

What we come to understand, through study and experience, we use, even if such choices violate the purity parameters of those mired in paradigms that reject all truth inexpressible within their own tradition.

Dare I say, truth is truth, even if one’s chosen tradition doesn't have the language to express it.

As your needs demand, be part of a tradition or path that suits you. However, it’s best to wear the label you’ve chosen as lightly as possible for truth tends to travel best through traditions, paths, and labels so light as to be transparent.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Prayer to Isis Panthea - A Modern Pagan's Prayer to the Great Goddess as Ground of Being

This is going to be, for me, a relatively brief blog post as its purpose is to impart the words I was inspired to put to paper, so to speak, upon arising from meditation this evening.

In all my years as a Pagan magician and mystic (30+yrs at this point) I have come to understand that all I need to know or experience, in terms of spiritual awareness, has ever been made available to me via the vehicle of committed spiritual practice. No amount of study, stimulating conversation with either like-minded or challenging souls, or intellectual rumination can help one come to terms with spiritual, magickal, and mystical realities the way dedicated spiritual practice can.

Spiritual awareness is, in this context, akin to falling in love.

No amount of reading up on the subject of falling in love can truly prepare one for the reality of what it really means to fall in love. Of course, one can read all about the evolutionary benefits of pair bonding, the neuro-chemical tides released by the brain when one feels love, or any number of brute, and often sadly reductionistic, facts on the subject of love as a biological reality. One may even accomplish being seen as either quite intelligent or as an insufferable bore, depending on the company one keeps, due to the ability to regurgitate such trivia on demand.

However, despite the fact one's brain is brimming with others' thoughts on the subject of love, none of this second-hand knowledge will be more than a footnote in the awareness of one who has actually fallen in love. The thoughts of others on the subject of love are swept away in a tsunami of personal experience that makes pale and shallow the pedestrian intellectualizing that once served as truth.

Such is the experience of the Divine for those who are willing to set aside being armchair magicians and mystics and who, instead, are willing to do the work and experience for ourselves what others merely talk about.

My theology is distinctly monistic (basically Panentheistic Dialectical Monism) in approach and though, nowadays, monism seems to have fallen on hard times within some sectors of the Pagan Community, I've never been one to pay much, if any, attention to the theological squabbles of others, I have always sought instead to follow the path of practice, study, and personal gnosis.

Isis Rising by Gilbert Williams

Prayer to Isis Panthea

It is not I who love, but you who love through me.

It is not I who touch, but you who touch through me.

It is not I who embrace, but you who embrace through me.

It is not I who perceive, but you who perceive through me.

It is not I who feel joy, but you who feel joy through me.

It is not I who weep, but you who weep through me.

It is not I who sorrow, but you who sorrow through me.

It is not I who rage and anguish at cruelty and injustice, but you whose righteousness is manifest both through the severity of justice the mercy of compassion who moves through me.

It is not I who reach out, but you who reach out through me.

It is not I who bring healing, but you who heal through me.

It is not my virtue through which I live in accord with Ma’at, but by you who are the heart of all virtue.

It is not I who breathe, but you who breathe through me.

It is you who are my Mother.

It is you who are my Lover.

It is you who are my Beloved.

It is you who are Sovereign of the Elements.

It is you who are Mother of the Gods.

It is you who are the Supreme Mystery whose veil none have lifted.

It is you who are both Seeker and That Which is Sought, both the Sacred Journey and its Destination.

It is not I who live, but you who live through me.

When I breathe my last breath, It is not I who shall die, but you who shall pass through the Gates of Death and it is not I who shall be reborn, but you who shall be reborn again to participate in the Great Dance, you who are dancer, the stage, and song.

Praise unto you Mother Isis, you who are my Guide, my Wisdom, and none other than my own Divine Self.