Still Silent Voice

5998-011I have been hanging out with Christians over the weekend. Now, this isn’t unusual, I live in a heavy Christian area. Most of my family, co-workers, and acquaintances are all Christian – in one form or another. But over this past weekend, I was in a seminar about faith – and I was the only non-Christian there. My anxiety and privacy kept me from self-disclosing this, but I participated in some of the actions and hoped I brought a bit of a non-Christian paradigm. While I was there, I noticed something – that many of the ladies in this group experience god very similar to the ways I do. That particular way is through feeling or what I sometimes call, the heart.

For me, religion has always been about feeling, and not necessarily beliefs or knowledge. I am sure I took this from the way I was raised. I was brought up in a Pentecostal church, and several of the ideas stressed was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, living life filled with the Holy Spirit, and following ones feelings over rationalization of the mind. This “still silent voice” in the heart was the ultimate authority on what was right and wrong. God gave us this tool in order to better communicate with Him, because no matter what we believe or intellectualize about the divine, we could never truly know God. So it is through feeling and the heart where we best can know His wishes, communicate with Him, and learn about Him.

I still believe this. When you are young, and you rebel over the many things your parents wanted you to be. However it seems to trace back when you get older. I will be hitting 40 in a few months, and I realize that my relationship with god has grown since I was a small boy, to the man I am today. But the basic belief that god loves me, and wants me to live fully is still here. Yes, it has waxed and waned with my particular paradigms occurring, but yet here I am. My beliefs are secondary – and I have believed lots of different things. It really isn’t important what I think about life after death, the nature of wrong and right, understanding who god is and what his or her name is. None of things things matter as much as that feeling of heart.

Is this a Christian concept? Most definitely, and I accept that. It is not a bad thing. Is it particularly something that previous believers in my faith practiced? It’s very doubtful. But it does make me who I am, and it fulfills a need that I have. It doesn’t make me any less Kemetic Orthodox than the next person, but I am aware that not everyone needs this or has this.

In closing, I would like to share a Pentecostal Altar call hymn:

“In the Savior’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o’er flow,
His lips with grace o’er flow.

“No mortal can with Him compare,
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair,
Who fill the heav’nly train,
Who fill the heav’nly train.

“He saw me plunged in deep distress,
And flew to my relief;
For me He bore the shameful cross,
And carried all my grief,
And carried all my grief.

“To Him I owe my life and breath,
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death,
And saves me from the grave,
And saves me from the grave.”

Listen to that voice in your heart. Grab that feeling that grows. Know that that is god talking to you and he wants you to know that you are never alone.

 


star_night_time

A quick message I received tonight.

Look at a lit candle in a dark room. See the flame shine and flicker. In a way the flame represents an akh. In the Seen world we can see that person, touch them, smell them, and see that light flicker in their eyes. However once they travel to the Unseen we do not see them as clearly.

Now that a white piece of cloth and look through it at the candle. While you can still see the light, it becomes blurred. In fact it looks like a star shining in the night sky. This is the veil of the Unseen. The light is still there, just not as clear. So are the akhu. Sometimes it just our perceptions that change.

Continue reading

An ending to the year; hope for the new

images (1)It has been a while since I sat down and wrote a blog. Life has been a bit crazy. Today I wanted to discuss the end of the year. End of the year? But it’s July.

For members of the Kemetic Orthodox faith, we are quickly approaching the end of our religious calendar, and beginning a new on with the celebration of Wep Ronpet (also known as the Opening of the Year). Wep Ronpet celebrates the rising of the star, Sirius, over Tawy House (the official residence of the Nisut). Tawy House is the central temple of the Kemetic Orthodox faith. Like secular culture, we celebrate an end to the bad and rotten things which have occurred in the previous year, and welcome new brighter events to occur.

Personally it cannot come too soon.

This has been a rough year for me, which can be seen from my absence on this blog. Over the course of this year my mother has an accident which led to her needing surgery two different times. I was let go from my job of 7 years with the explanation that I was not effective after I asked for a less responsible position. This caused financial hardships which lead to all other sorts of problems. I had a family member attempt suicide, another taken away from cancer, and other family members making life a living hell for all the others.

It has been a tough year.

But something happened to me this year which has never happened before. I did not give up on god.

Usually when tough things happen, god is the first to get the blame. I lose faith, don’t want to talk to god, and blame the gods for allowing these things to happen. I abandon god, and rightly so because obviously god has abandoned me.

But our gods are not omnipotent or omniscient. Sometimes it just hits the fan and there is nothing that particularly caused it.

For the first time, instead of retreating from god, I ran toward god. I poured out my heart, my disappointments, my own failures. God heard me and even though things did not magical become better, I knew I wasn’t alone. God was there holding me, comforting me. God sees every tear that ever ran down my face and knew my heart and what I endured. I even when I felt alone and that they world sought to destroy me, I knew I was secure in god’s arms.

It is hard to believe, especially when chaos invades our lives. It is a struggle. I am writing this blog so that people can understand that just because I write on this blog a lot about my relationship with god, that that relationship I have is not perfect. I fail sometimes. I don’t believe. But I don’t believe that faith and a relationship with the divine is a linear process. It is on a continuum. Sometimes I have more disbelief than belief and sometimes I have am 100% sure of the divine.

I thank god for this gift that was given to me. It took 38 years for it to come and some very difficult life events which made me feel helpless, hopeless, used, unimportant, and like general garbage. But I wouldn’t take it back. It taught me the reliance I need.

Over this past year several positive things happened as well. I graduated with my master’s degree and started a doctoral program. I found a new job which I love, and got full time hours and a raise. I learned who is really important to me and how much I really do love them. I learned who my friends were and who didn’t care.

As Wep Ronpet approaches, and we perform the ritual to destroy the isfet of last year, I will be there. I will look at that pot, place a mark of all these events on it, and then smash the hell out of it. Never to dwell on these events no more, but to look forward to the great possibilities of what is coming.

This year was of Nut, and she offers hope. I have that hope and it was a difficult journey for it to manifest. Who knows what the next year will bring, but I do know that I will have that hope which I will carry forward into it.


SWM Searching for Spirituality

P1020032

I recently attended Pantheacon in San Jose, CA (http://pantheacon.com/wordpress). Pantheacon is a large pagan gathering filled with 3 days of workshops, hospitality rooms, fellowship, merchandise, and the occasional bizarreness, well maybe a little more than occasional. People are very excited to be there and revel in their uniqueness. The big names in paganism attend as well which helps to attract large amounts of people.

I attended the event with my Sosyete, Fos Fe Yo We.  We honored the lwa, Danbala in a mini-sevis. Our Mami, Mambo T, presented a lecture on Vodou. I also assisted at a ritual dedicated to the ancestors and honoring Wesir. I also attended several other workshops, such as an introduction to Santeria, ritual in honor of Freyr, and an oracular seidh. I got a nice eclectic mix of practices I observed and have a better understanding of them.

One thing I did notice while I was at Pantheacon is the specific topic of this blog. I know this is true of so many, but there seems to be a thirst there – a deep need for something more. They are seeking something outside of themselves to fulfill this need and thirst. Many still do not know what it is, some have an idea. I intellectual know and understand this, but once the profound numbers of these people hit my mind it made me realize something very, very important about myself.

I am extremely lucky.

You see, I am at a place spiritually where I am happy and content. I know what I believe, I understand my place in the world as a spiritual being, and I am comfortable in my practices. I am in a good place. I am not saying this to gloat and declare I am spiritually beyond others. What I am saying is, sometimes it is okay and right to just be where you are at, and be that completely.

I recently spoke to a dear spiritual sister about our work we dedicate to our gods. She was speaking about sometimes not feeling her mother’s presence and worries about this. This is a very valid concern for many. I spoke to her about my own similar experiences. Sometimes it is hard to go through a spiritual routine when we feel like we are not getting anything out of it.

We all seek that spiritual high, that ecstatic state of divine union.  It’s a good feeling isn’t it? Knowing God is there so completely and that He wants to be with you. It is awesome! Unfortunately if we continue to always seek the highs, just like with real drugs we start to build a tolerance. We need new and better highs. We need the latest thing. This I think is part of the issue with these individuals seeking something and not knowing what they are looking for. It can best be summed up by the song from U2:

“I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”

Take a moment. Look where you are at spiritually. You are in a good place. You know where you are. Sometimes even your spiritual life can be mundane. The Catholic saint, Theresa of Lisieux, approached god like this. She was a small nun living in a small convent with the great desire to become a saint. She knew she would never be able to match the heroics of St Joan of Arc or be like the martyrs, so she chose to find God in the small and mundane. She did this by listening to her superiors, cleaning the choir loft, assisting the elderly nuns, and loving everyone like they were God. She did this by accepting who she was and where she was in life. By doing this, in the end she rose to great heights and was able to accomplish what she wanted.

We are not all saints, many of us not even close. But we can find meaning in who we are and what are relationship with the divine is right now. After all that is what spirituality is. It is an understanding of who we are and how this interacts with the Divine. Each one of us has the spark of God. It is what gives us life. Embrace it and find comfort in it

You don’t have to move mountains. It is okay just to sit there and gaze on the beauty and be present.


Mysteries of Wesir, Day 4

Tonight we sit up in anticipation. We sit in vigil with Wesir. We sit with his two sisters, His two queens. He remains gone. Our hearts still ache. Yet, something is stirring. He is the seed placed in the ground. He is covered with the earth. He lies in darkness. Yet, something is there. Something changes.

Tonight I sit in vigil at the god’s shrine. A candle will burn this night till morning. Prayers will be said for the dead, which slowly will be given away to prayers for the living. Tonight the inertness which is Sokar begins to find momentum. He moves again. Something is happening to that seed placed in the ground. It is giving way to something new, something different.

As I look on my life and see those things which have ended, which are no more, I see what changes they brought. I see the lessons learned, the new friends found, and blessed beginnings which only endings can bring. Wesir brings us this.

Sit back tonight. Sit with Him. Listen. See Zep Tepi in the making. Watch the new beginning change way to an new understanding. See hope spring to life.


Mysteries of Wesir, Day 3

The shrine is dark. His candle which is always lit, now is extinguished. Wesir is dead.

Like last year, today is very cold. A harsh wind blows out of the West. Clouds are in the sky obscuring the full moon which hides behind them. Even when He is gone, the veil parts at times so we can see Him. Wesir is gone but do we mourn for Him, or for ourselves? Do we mourn because His life is no more, or do we mourn because that part of our life is gone?

I mourn because I feel empty. I go about my daily business. Work. Assignments. Communicating with friends and relatives. But all feeling empty. It is like I suddenly have a compounded clinical depression slam into me with a sledgehammer. I hide it well. Most people wouldn’t understand. You see, unlike other faiths, us Kemetics don’t get an Easter morning. We don’t ever get the joy of the resurrection.

So tonight I embrace my emptiness. I embrace it because I know it will pass. He has taught me that. He has shown me that all things change, even those as powerful as the gods. And change isn’t bad, it is just another path. It is frightening, not knowing where we are going, but He travels with us.

May you experience the emptiness of the Lord of Silence this night, and know…


Mysteries of Wesir, Day 2

Tonight I sit in a dark room. It is very quiet. I can hear the furnace blowing air. I hear the dog breathing. I can hear the tapping of this keyboard. Even in silence I can find sound. So what could it be like to be in total silence? When death overcomes us, and there is overwhelming silence.

I have been thinking a lot recently about my own death. I used to say to myself I wasn’t frightened of death, and in some ways I am not. I am faced with it frequently in my line of work. I see death slowly take over people, witness it visit, and assist with helping others with the pain. But my own death….

I will die. I will stop breathing. My heart will not beat. My limbs will become cold. I will not see. I will not hear. I will be gone from this world. And sometimes I ask myself if anyone would notice. It is not that I want to make a huge mark on this world, and want people flocking to me telling me how much they love me, because I don’t. When I am gone what will there be left of me?

I leave behind no children. I have not done anything to make history books. But what I can leave behind is much greater. What I leave behind is the spirit of who I am. I am the man who gave of himself to those he cared about. I am the man who believed in something far greater than he could be. I am a man who loved his family from the depths of his heart. I am the man who’s strength comes from within.

In many ways I am like Wesir, and He is who I aspire to be. Did Wesir fear death? His death did not bring salvation or enlightenment. His death wasn’t a sacrifice for wrongdoings. His sacrifice was for His people. He gave up life. He gave up ever seeing His own child. He even braved Aset’s anger at Him for leaving Her alone. He gave up a lot.

Sometimes giving can hurt. Sometimes we don’t want to go outside our comfort zones. But I struggle to be like the Good God, and I will give of myself. Sometimes it is painful, but the more often it is done, the less it hurts. And the closer I share in the god’s vision.

Tonight, sit in silence and think, “what is it Wesir is asking from me?” Maybe it is telling someone you are thinking about them and here for them. Maybe volunteering for those less fortunate. Or maybe He wants you to stand up for what you feel you must do and to fully live.

May the Lord of Silence whisper to your hearts this night.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers