GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It’s a scary responsibility to give people astrological advice. What if I suggested that you call in sick (even though you’re not sick) so you could wander off into the Great Unknown in quest of close encounters with mind-blowing teachings? And what if in the course of following my suggestion you learned so many lessons about how to permanently expand your frontiers that you then decided to burn down a bridge to nowhere and give away most of your emotional baggage and live in greater devotion to your soul’s radically simple needs? Could I then get sued by someone in your life who really doesn’t want you to escape your traps?

An excerpt from Rob Brezsny’s January 31, 2007 Free Will Astrology Newsletter

3. Since ancient times, China has hosted three religions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The typical Chinese person has cobbled together a mélange of beliefs gathered from all three. This is different from the Western way, which is to be faithful to one religion or another, never mixing and matching.

But that’s changing in certain enclaves in North America, where growing numbers of seekers are adopting the Chinese approach. They borrow elements from a variety of spiritual traditions to create a personalized path. Religious historians call this syncretism.

As you meditate on conjuring up your own unique mode of worship, think of the good parts you’d like to steal from other religions.

4. Most religions designate a special class of people–priests, rabbis, ayatollahs–to oversee official communications with the Source. This has led to a prevailing assumption, even among those who don’t follow an established faith, that we can’t initiate a divine conversation without the aid of a professional class of trained mediators. Among some sects of the ancient gnostics, in contrast, everyone was regarded as a potential prophet who could experience epiphanies worthy of becoming part of the
ever-evolving doctrine.

As you create your own spiritual path, experiment with this approach. What might you do to eliminate the middleman and commune directly with the Source?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my spirituality lately, finding a new sense of contentment. It’s been a long hard struggle. I don’t know how much I have shared here in the past. But here is a bit of history…

Now that I’ve committed myself, I am not even sure where to start. My mother is a non-practicing Catholic, my father is a non-practicing Methodist. My maternal grandmother was a bruja who found God. She was a healer who turned her back on all that when she became Pentecostal. My paternal grandmother moved within her Christian faith and blended a bit of mountain magic (Appalachian) and Pow Wow (Penn Dutch folk magic) in. She was a kitchen witch without being obvious, it’s through my memories in her kitchen that I am remembering some of her “habits.” I rarely went to church as a child, but was introduced to many included the Catholic Church (girl scout leader), Seventh Day Adventist (summer camp for the blind), Baptist (vacation bible school to get away from the folks), etc. While in junior high I got into D&D and role playing so read a lot on mythology and world religions. While in high school started calling myself a Wiccan and stuck with that through college (where I was introduced to the Lutheran faith). I was content, willing to do rituals from a paperback. My teachers where Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf & Raymond Buckland. I hung out in cemeteries on Halloween with my other goth friends. Wore a pentacle and got in peoples faces when they wouldn’t accept me.

Then my life started falling apart worse than “normal.” First my family lied to me about my mother’s mental state. She tried to kill herself a few times and when I made my weekly call home I was told all sorts excuses why she couldn’t come to the phone. After 4 or 5 weeks my godmother called and told me the truth, my mother was at Pond House and she was not doing well at all. So I left the college of my dreams and moved back home to run my mother’s business and try to maintain my class load at Avery Point. I made it through the year and was encouraged by my mom’s shrink to leave home so I couldn’t keep enabling my mom. So I found a school in Maine rather similar to the one I was going to in Wisconsin. Only a 5 hour drive instead of being half way cross country and if something happened I could get home. But I had lost all my scholarship money – sports scholarships, no writer scholarship, no almost free ticket. My savings were wiped from paying for Avery Point completely out of pocket. I applied for financial aid and my folks made too much money so that meant loans. After 3 years of college my father decided that I couldn’t afford any more loans so he refused to sign my paperwork for my senior year. We tried everything we could think of but because I wasn’t over 25, a parent, in the military or married there was nothing to be done. I couldn’t go back to school.

Let’s just say the summer of ’93 sucked. I was working 2 full time jobs often getting 3 hours (if any) of sleep a night. By the end of the summer and it was obvious I wasn’t getting back to school I was eating and eating and eating. I went from 125 of muscle to a 160 of couch potato in a summer. All of my friends were on their way back to school to finish their last year or to start grad school. I felt extremely alone and was depressed. In October a young woman came into the museum of Fort Griswold, we spoke about the area. She was new here, she’d moved to be near her boyfriend who was in the Navy. She invited to a bible study and for some reason I gave her my number. I didn’t go the first time she called or even the 10th time she called but I finally went and thus started by tenure with the International Church of Christ. I won’t go into much detail other to say it filled a void, the bible study helped quench my thirst to learn. The fellowship eased my loneliness. I was baptised and soon became a leader of the single women’s ministry. Eventually I met Rob, we started dating, we were told we shouldn’t date and we left. Do I regret leaving? Never. Do I miss friends who dropped me like a rotted piece of fruit? Yes. For several years I turned my back on the Christian faith with almost a hatred. But lately (just over a year) I’ve come to realize it’s not Christ that I have issues with it’s many many churches. So…..

I started searching for a church that fits me. Well I doubt that will ever happen. I know that I have to be me and let what be, be. I will probably continue to go to All Souls because the UU churches are liberal enough not to piss me off and few will look at me cross eyes because I am just as comfortable with Rumi or Thich Nhat Hanh or Robert Lawrence Smith.

What am I? I am me.


2 Responses

  1. Nothing wrong with being yourself!

  2. *applauds*
    I feel religion is personal to the individual and your journey only proves that. The labels aren’t important…your connection to the Divine (whomever that is at this moment in time for you) is what is.
    Congrats on being you. 🙂

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