Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Problematic Posting.

Hello, my dear Readers,

I apologize that I haven't posted over the last week or so. About two weeks ago, something very scary happened that has made my PTSD act up again, which makes my social phobia act up. As a result of this, I have been anxious about doing much of anything that equates to public exposure. Apparently this has come to include posting on my blogs right now.

I am attempting to get myself back to where I feel safe in public again. It has been rather difficult, to be honest, and I am not sure how long it is going to take. My therapist and psychiatric provider have both been very helpful in this matter. My husband has been wonderful. And the gods have been very present and helpful. (That help has ranged from keeping me calm when the incident happened to helping me get to sleep to making reminding me to eat meals.)

With the onset of summer vacation being less then a week away, I am going to have to find away to get things done on the fly. It is my intention to start posting back on my usual schedule as soon as possible. It is my hope, actually, to bump my posting up to three times a week. All of that, however, rests on my getting my mental state back to a more healthy position.

I apologize for my lapse in posting. I hope to rectify it soon. And I ask for your continued patience as things proceed forward. Thank you for your readership. I greatly appreciate it. I will attempt to post again soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The importance of mythopoetic history

The subject is mentioned in many of the public sites that discuss Filianism but it is not really discussed. Perhaps because many feel that it is simply enough to say that it matters and it is more 'real' when compared to literal history. I, however, believe it is important to take a moment to explore what mythopoetic history is and why it is important. Because mythopoetic history is very important and has a powerful influence on how entire cultures view themselves.

Literal history is just that. The history that can be proven factually with evidence. It is what most archeologists and historians study. While some argue that literal history is the only form of history, there are also those who deny that historical events happened. (I'm looking right at you, holocaust deniers.) While it is tempting to say that literal history is the only history of the world and humanity, it fails to take in the more subtle aspects that can be only inferred from historical artifacts.

Mythopoetic history is the story we tell ourselves about our origins. Each culture (and subculture) has a different mythopoetic history. Mythopoetic history is fluid and exists in a mutual relationship of influence upon the culture it operates upon/within. The tales of the ancient Greeks, including the great myths of the gods, the great stories of heroes (The Odyssey is perhaps the most well known of them.) and the folklore of the people, make up their mythopoetic history. It tells them where they came from, how the world works, what it means to be a person, what it means to be respectable, and what is to be unforgivable behavior in their society. Mythopoetic history is influenced by cultural shifts.

As such, when you look at the changes to these myths with the passage of time, it becomes apparent what values changed and about when it happened. It is also possible to gague the influence of social stressors, such as economic problems and war, through the evolution of the mythopoetic language of a society. Modern Greece's mythopoetic history is very different from ancient Greece. It is heavily influenced by literal history because of the high value that is placed upon such things in their society now. Elements of the ancient mythopoetic history will remain in that culture's 'story' but they will be reinterpreted and reenvisioned to fit the modern societal conditions.

It is possible for mythopoetic history to be changed in a fairly short period of time. If one consideres the social engineering and manipulation of what became the Nazi Party in the era of the Weimar Republic, the sweeping changes to how the German people viewed themselves was enormous. It built upon several core elements that make up mythopoetic history and then presented them in an attractive fashion, at an aggressive pace. The success of their social engineering is partly due to the fact that the German people at the time were desperately looking for better ways to define themselves and remove the onus of shame that they felt because of their conditions. Another reason why it was so successful was because it acquired patronage from individuals highly placed within the society.

Shifts in mythopoetic history must be grounded in a sense of where the culture comes from, who and what they standfor, and why they have the troubles they do. It must answer the basic questions of existence that go beyond 'where did humans come from?' and 'how did the universe come into being?'. It addresses the questions of what our relationship with the universe should be, what our cultural origins are, and addresses the attributes of a 'good' citizen. When these shifts are well placed and timed correctly, they seem to the person within the structure of the mythopoetic history to be a seamless transition.

Studying mythopoetic history is an important thing. Observing how it is shaped and how it evolves makes it possible for one to have a clear picture of the state of the given society, its values, and its norms. Just as mythopoetic history can be changed through skillful manipulation, it can be retained as well. Some elements of mythopoetic history will persist as folklore simply because one can not erase anything completely from memory. Other elements can be adapted to the evolving culture and retain much of their original concept, with new ones applied to it as well.

One may wonder why mythopoetic history is so important. It is important from an anthropological and sociological position because it depicts the things about the culture that it valued about itself and the world. It is also important from a layman's perspective because it is what is at the heart of political movements and change. If one has a clear understanding of what previous mythopoetic history said about their culture, it becomes possible to affect change in the present mythopoetic history. A fine example of this is how the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s forced a change in how the cultural story of the black community was placed in society. The transition away from that earlier view is still in process, but there is enough of a change that governmental shifts have been made.

Cross posted from  One Witch's Theological Musings

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

On the Hands of Dea.

Orthodox Filianism and Reform Filianism caution us against meditating upon the form of Dea. The reasoning is that we become too focused on humanizing the sacred and reducing the stature of the Mistress of All things and her Daughter to mere objects. When one considers the world history of meditating upon the attributes of the Divine, though, it becomes possible to see that through contemplation of the part one might become more aware of the whole. Indeed, this is something we do when we meditate upon her Love. Meditating upon her form is only slightly less abstract. It becomes an easier way to align our minds towards Dea and to identify as her child when we consider the forms that she has revealed herself to the world because we might see similarities between that form and our own.
I have spent some time meditating upon the hands of Dea. In the Creation, she fashions all of existence with her clever hands. All things that exist bear some mark of their maker, just as clay will bear the impression of the potter's fingerprints. We are not only shape according to her will and in her image, but by her blessed hands when the first daughter was lifted from the reflection on the primordial waters. That most holy touch is remembered by all of existence. For it imparts a blessing upon all that is because it lingers on in that proverbial fingerprint.

Dea's hands are well known for how she shattered the gates of Hell. The Mistress of All Things and her Daughter bring our liberation from the trap of khear in their hands. The Daughter surrenders all signs of her status and protections given to her to gain entrance in to the Netherworld. She does so with her blessed hands, giving away all that she has for the sake of we, the lost and entrapped. The Bright Mother rends the gates of the Netherworld and bears the liberation of her Daughter and all who are lost within khear with her holy hands. These mighty deeds are performed through hands that weave tremendous grace for all who trust in them. Through the deeds of the Bright Mother and the Daughter, we become aware of their will to save us from our error and their compassion for our suffering.

To say that Dea gives many gifts is to make an enormous understatement. Still, let us examine a few to consider the implications of them. From the hands of the Daughter, we are given the holy rite of sacrifice. Through this rite, we become one in her body and spirit. It elevates us from the depths we have fallen and draws us closer to her. The rite of sacrifice is one that enacts the mysteries of the Daughter's sacrifice and revival on the simplest of planes. By participating in this mystery, we are blessed and partake a measure of holiness into ourselves. This strengthens the light of Dea within us and fortifies our souls for the journey homeward that we make through our many incarnations.

Also, from the hands of the Daughter, we receive the fruit of wisdom, represented as an apple in the scriptures. This is a gift that allows us to become into greater thamë with Dea's will. Being thamelic (harmonious) with Dea's will speeds us along the golden path up the sacred mountain to Heaven. In time, we shall reach our destination, union with Dea. This will come from the grace of the Daughter's sacrifice and our lifetimes of effort to move with harmony to Dea's will. We can not accomplish this with out the gift of wisdom that directs our steps upon the golden path.

And, the greatest gift, from the hands of the Bright Mother, comes her Daughter. The Princess of the World and Queen of Heaven, the Daughter completes the glory of creation and all the realms of existence. This gift is priceless beyond words. It brings Dea to the fallen creation and restores a measure of the holiness that was present in the time-before-time. This gift allows us the grace of looking upon Dea with out being blinded by her presence. It allows of the enormous force of the Bright Mother's love to be gentled into something that does not sweep us away and overwhelm us. It takes that force and turns it into something that we can interact with in measures that we can understand to some extent. And, the Daughter, as Priestess of the World, brings our liberation from khear and the Dark Queen's sway.

Let us not forget that the Mother cradles all her children with those holy hands. She holds us in her embrace and protects us from evil with them. Her hands are always gentle upon us, giving guidance and encouragement when needed or giving us aid and succor when needed. Dea reaches into creation and touches all that is with her blessed hands. She gives to us all manner of comfort and love through those gentle touches.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wisdom from Within.

As I sat in meditation a little while back, Dea spoke to me. Her voice was calm, beautiful, and sorrowful. I wrote down what she had said and put it aside. I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't know what to do with it. And I was fearful of the response it would have gotten. After sitting on this for almost a year, I have screwed up my courage to the sticking place (as the Bard would say) and I present it to you below. The over arching message from Our Lady is concern for the world and care that we move closer to the divine harmony known as Thamë.

There are two ways to view the human ability for evil. The first is to argue that all human evil is a conscious rejection of the good. While this is frequently the case, there are plenty of examples where one chooses evil under the mistaken belief it was good. Intentional evil is far more egregious than unintentional. Yet unintentional evil is far more insidious. It lies as a hunter's net covered over with leaves upon the forest floor.

How does one avoid evil? Taking care not to harm others needlessly is a good place to begin.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Guided Meditation: Spirit Garden

The following is a guided meditation. By becoming familiar with one's interior landscape, it becomes easier to utilize personal energies as well as manage one's thoughts and mental states. This guided meditation is a variant of one that I was taught in the early days practicing Wicca. It remains a useful tool. I like to revisit my spirit garden to gain a better insight into my internal state and initiate changes within. I use this meditation on a monthly basis for introspection. It can also be used for communication with the Divine. Preface given, let us proceed on to the script. Some may find that recording the script and playing it back whilst meditating is useful. This may be something you wish to consider as you apply it within your own practices.

Breathe deep. Feel the air filling your lungs. Hold it in for a moment and then let it ease out. Exhale slowly, letting the tensions and worries go out of your body with your breath. Wait a moment, aware of your heart beating in your chest and the feeling of waiting in your lungs. Inhale slowly, savoring the cool air moving through your nose, down your throat, and into your chest. Feel your lungs filling like balloons, pleasantly stretching out to accommodate your breath.

Exhale and feel all of the tension pass out of you, dissipating with your breath into the air. Now, as you inhale, the state of relaxation deepens. A feeling of serenity fills you even as your lungs fill with air. When you exhale, all lingering anxiety and tension fades. You are now in a state of deep peace and comfort, like when you are on the edge of sleep and yet aware.

In this state of peace, you begin to visualize a door, an entry into a hidden, secret place within yourself. This is a place known only to you and is sacred, for it is a part of you. Within your hand, there is a key for this door. You unlock this door and pass through, turning to lock it again from the other side, maintaining the safety of this sacred place. You are safe from all harm here. Within this place of spirit, no one might enter unless you allow them and no ill will can touch you here. You are completely safe, for this is a part of you.

As you turn from the door, you find yourself before a vast garden that stretches as far as the eye can see. It is filled with all manner of green, growing things. Flowers of every color; trees and bushes; even things that are not plants of this world, fantastic, wondrous things from your dreams meet your eye. This garden is the garden of your spirit. As you walk through it, you realize that many of these plants correspond to your dreams, desires, and goals. You find that there are plants that relate to your personality traits as well. As you become acquainted with your spirit garden, you realize that it is a landscape that reflects your soul in all its multiple facets.

Places that are healthy and pleasing to the eye are the healthy parts of yourself that you are comfortable with. Places that are healthy yet unappealing are the parts of yourself that you are uncomfortable with but healthful. Places that are unhealthy are the part of you that are likewise ailing. Negative habits appear as invasive plants, weeds, and plant diseases. This includes the unhealthy thoughtforms that are the basis of these habits.

You will also find there are place in your garden that lead to parts of your mind. One leads to where your dreams take shape. Another path leads you to where you have hidden parts of your spirit, even from yourself. Yet another path leads to where you present yourself to the world. Many, many different paths lead through this garden and are lined with the plants that represent the thoughts associated with their destination.

At the center of the garden, enclosed by that which protects it, is a structure that is the most sacred part of this garden. It is where you commune with the Divine. The structure is as simple or complex as you deeply believe the ideal place of worship would be. Within, there is an icon that represents the deities you believe in. When you go within, the icons transform into living figures of these deities. They are the deities' presence within you. They speak with wisdom and the truth that the deities are known for. At this structure, there is everything present that you might worship them as fully as your heart desires.

Linger in this place. Take a few minutes to speak with the Divine within. When you feel as though it is time to discontinue your conversation, respectfully take your leave of them. As you exit your inner temple of the heart, the figures transform back into the icons. You then proceed along the path back to the doorway into this place. As you go, you feel at peace and loved. At the door, you take out your key and unlock it. You proceed through and then lock it behind you, ensuring the safety and sanctity of this space within.

You become aware of your heartbeat and the pulsing of your veins. Then you become aware of your breathing. As you breathe, you become increasingly aware of your environment and surrounding. The feelings of peace and relaxation remain. Then, you become aware of the sensation of your clothing and the sounds of the space you are in. When you feel fully alert, open your eyes, remembering all that has passed in this meditation.