As mentioned previously, I am in a Student Cycle. I am taking this time to recenter on me and what I want to learn, where I want to go and so forth.

My starting point is peace and stillness, and although that sounds pretty straight forward, it takes so much discipline to just sit yourself down and breathe. I am not even talking about meditation. I am just sitting myself down and aligning back my energy within my physical body. Those of you who are sensitive to your own energy, you will notice that your energy body is often slightly peripheral to your physical body (Well, mine is, anyway) My energy center is always slightly in front and to the right of my physical. So I am making a point right now, as much as I can, to sit a few minutes to bring the two together. You wouldn’t believe how relaxing it is to ‘come back home’.

So, I am centering back on me. In this day and age, this sounds selfish. But I am the greatest instrument God/dess has given me. It needs to be in good working order.

In the process, I have learned a valuable lesson:

If you are happy, everyone is happy.

Think about it….

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Greetings everyone!

 

Wanted to let you know that I wrote a post on Pagan Square/Witches and Pagans on the Sciences et Avenir – Hors séries (January-February 2013) issue on the Pagan origins of Christian beliefs.

http://witchesandpagans.com/EasyBlog/the-origins-of-our-beliefs.html

Enjoy reading!

Adelina

Blessings to all!

This post comes as a response to an absolutely wonderful conversation on my blog following the Ash Wednesday post. It addresses the validity of scripture in the context of the Crucifixion. Imagine this: two people who disagree about the ‘validity’ of scripture and who don’t tear each other’s hearts out! There is reason to be hopeful!

Basically the question that poses itself is: Is the Bible central to the Christian faith? It certainly is for certain denomination. The argument that was presented in a comment by one reader (please read his comment on the post entitled ‘Ash Wednesday’. It is very well presented and extremely respectful – Thank you!) is that the Patriarchs of our Tradition agreed on the Canon and that is what we can consider to be our Holy Scripture. All theological implications that form the basis of our Tradition stem from it.
I always tread cautiously when I speak of theology or Church history. I am a simple person, and although I read a lot, it is so easy to misinterpret or misquote events or scripture. My understanding is that it is still debated whether the council of Nicea (and I believe there were more than one) resulted in the acceptance of the Biblical Canon.  Let’s face it: We have been disagreeing on the interpretation of what Jesus said as far back as the Baptism in the Jordan. We have to go on Faith more than anything else. It’s the only thing I feel any certainty about (I acknowledge the paradox!) But I digress.
We needed a written record of our beliefs and our Story. No doubt. That is why we are still here learning and debating about it. In the context of the times, it was great foresight of the Church fathers to compile such a text. It was also largely a Roman requirement to bring the Church into the New Age of Romanità. We have to remember the context of the first Councils. Christianity was finding its place within Rome and it had to make sense to that new ‘audience’. That is why we witnessed a certain ‘philosophizing’ of Christian theology around that time. To be accepted into the Roman elite, the people of Rome had to understand it. Christianity had to speak its language. The first council of Nicea was summoned by Constantine to quell the division within the Church on various heresies. Constantine could not afford dissension within the ranks of the Church and he basically made the Church fathers sit down and agree. There is a solid Roman influence in the compilation of the Church theology and scripture.
Another problem that I have with accepting the Bible as the only source of authenticated scripture is the fact that the gnostic current and the Judeo-Christian currents were completely absent from the discussion. When you read the gnostic gospels, it is evident to me that these beliefs were also present at the time when Jesus walked the earth. To disregard them is like erasing a part of our history and a part of the teaching we received. I don’t believe that they are any less valid than the Canon gospels.
It’s difficult to study Christianity. You would have to dedicate your life to it. And still, you could only base yourself on ‘what is written’. As an author, I can tell you that it is not because I wrote it that it becomes truth. I am not comparing myself to Paul or any of the evangelists (please don’t misunderstand me!), but we can only write our experience and perspective of the moment. That changes and grows as we become wiser and more compassionate. To freeze something in time and consider it non-negotiable is dangerous. The Bible is our historical document, our best record of the path we have been taking. It is impossible to go into the debate of whether it is accurate or divinely inspired. Like I said before, it all goes back to Faith. The one thing that I think is mandatory if you call yourself a Christian is to love and support your brothers and sisters. If anyone uses the Bible to go against our only commandment, then they shouldn’t call themselves Christians.
This discussion began around the topic of the Crucifixion, the explanation of the Divine sacrifice in the scriptures and the topic of Salvation. Basically, the question posed was “If you don’t believe what Christ and His followers said about Himself (in the Bible) then why do you even care what His teachings were?” I want to expand briefly on this.
First of all, I do care about His teachings. Very much. A fact remains: Christ did not write anything down. He did not come to start a religion. Unless you want to argue the concept of Divine inspiration of the scripture (which I think is un-debatable), I believe that biblical accounts (Canon or gnostic) are a point of view of the authors on the events that took place. The Crucifixion is a central Mystery of the Christian faith. I will never deny that. I have already expanded on what I understand (if ‘understand’ is the right word) of the Mystery.
That being said, the letters of the first Christians were written in a context that we must not forget.  The first communities were under persecution and many died for their beliefs. It is therefore not surprising that Christ’s sacrifice has such a prominent place in the letters of the early Christian communities. There was, at the time, a glorification of martyrdom that inspired the communities to keep their beliefs alive. This can be read in a number of early Christian texts, one of the oldest being ‘The Martyrdom of St-Felicity and Perpetua’. I don’t belittle their sacrifice, for without it, the Christian story might have died in the womb. It is just important to consider that the scriptures may have put more emphasis on the sacrifice of the crucifixion to sustain the communities suffering from persecution.
One last point: the concept of salvation through the Crucifixion as described through the letters of (probably) Paul, is a foundational text of the Apostolic movement. The gnostics did not hold the same understanding of the meaning of the sacrifice and most did not believe in martyrdom. Different point of view, but still Christian.
It is difficult for me to write this post. It shakes the very core of our beliefs and requires very important questions to be asked. The most important of which is: What does it mean to be Christian? As I wrote in my book, that question is infinitely more difficult to answer than what it means to be Pagan. These questions bring up so much animosity, deep-rooted in thousands of years of disagreement. I don’t want to fuel that. It’s not our way. I feel it is important to have open discussions to ensure that we all feel safe in seeking that which makes us more like Our Lord, whatever that may be. I hope that in this, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Those of you who have been following my blog over the last couple years have probably noticed that I don’t post as much as I used to. One reason, as I have written last year, is that my family has been needing 1000% of my attention (I’m barely kidding).

But there is another reason why I have been writing less than before. I have realised, deep inside myself, that I am longing to become the Student once more. Since writing ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’, I have been writing, offering what knowledge I have and answering questions from readers worldwide. So, I have found myself in a Teacher position for the last 3 years. I have realised lately that what I yearn more than anything right now, is to learn.

My book ends with my year and a day. At the time, I was still in Crescent Moon School, being a student. Then, at one point, I felt that I had to go out into the world and fend for myself. I wanted to see what other teachers had to offer. I wanted to wander and see where Spirit would take me. It took me to a number of teachers and ultimately took us to Chisasibi, where the North became my greatest teacher. It also called upon me to cross that line between learning and sharing the gifts I had learned. I started putting all that on paper, into what ultimately became ‘The Path’. I also started meeting people who were sympathetic to the Craft and who wanted to learn more about it. I started facilitating a little yoga group and I read Tarot for the first time for people other than my close family.

I feel that I am going full circle in the Student – Teacher cycle. I feel like taking to the road again to see what I might learn next. I am doing more shamanic journeys to learn about myself. I am connecting to my power animals to learn from them. I am also signing up for workshops and I am consulting with a Shaman teacher that I met at a workshop last year. She has helped me find the right questions that I need to ask myself.

You should never give your personal power away to anyone. It is especially true of any Teacher or guide that you might try to follow. A good teacher gives you the questions that you need to answer. A good Guide gives you your power back so that you need not depend on her. But, a good teacher is also someone who seeks the counsel of another wise soul and seeks knowledge at every turn. Do not trust a Teacher who is not willing to be a Student at least as often as he is a guide to others.

Just to let all of you know that I am also blogging on Pagan Square, the blog for ‘Witches and Pagans’. I will leave a link on my blog whenever I post on that site in case you are interested in the topic. It will be a little less of a personal blog, focusing on topics related to the merging of Pagan and Christian practices.

So here is a blog post on Dissidence: http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Paths-Blogs/dissidence.html

Enjoy!

I must have said this before, but I love Lent. I know that it sounds strange, since it is supposed to be a time of penance and sobriety. But there is such power in this time of the year. Every year, without exception I get a big revelation. I set out with a need, an intention for something I want in my life or something I want to change. Just by putting out that intention, I usually end up with something that hits me in full force. This year was not different. I just sat at my altar, quietly listening, and it became clear what would be my quest this year. Sorry for the suspense, but I am not sharing. This is my lesson for the year. I don’t want to influence anyone in what they need to invite in their lives. Try it just once, to sit and listen to the voice within and you will be amazed at what comes up.

Here is how Lent manifests in my life:
First I listen for that lesson I need to learn. Then I make a commitment to work on it for the duration of Lent. Then that lesson becomes a guide for my actions over the next weeks. Holy Week usually offers a final insight on my life, something that really stays with me. For as long as I have done this, I can recall every lesson that has been given me this way.

Since hearing my lenten lesson, I have been putting the lesson into action and pushing my limits. Just being in the mindset creates opportunities for the lesson to manifest. One thing leads to another and the world just opens up into a dialogue between me and the Divine. It is precious beyond words.

May your Lent be filled with Grace.

It is a historic day when a Pope bows before his people and asks for their blessing. With a name like Francis, there is much reason to be hopeful.
I look out my window and I see the tiniest sliver of a new crescent moon. Indeed, it feels like a new beginning.