China puts the pressure on nomadic ethnic minorities along its northern border. Feminists within Orthodox Judaism struggle to make their voices heard. And the Scandinavian far-right takes a populist stance. That's right it's time for Fiery Tuesday, our weekly news segment on political and social news from around the globe. If you're looking for a Pagan perspective on the news, here's our take!
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
We Pagans often like to think of ourselves as a minority religion, ignored and disregarded by mainstream culture. But we're far from the group striving for equality and representation. This week for Fiery Tuesday we take a look at America's first underprivileged group: the American Indians / Native Americans, who've struggled for centuries against colonialism and exploitation. Read on to hear about some of the most relevant issues affecting natives today, from protecting their rights to their ancient traditions to how they're represented in the U.S. Census. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Today's blog post is going to delve into the world of Christians and an aspect of the way many practice their faith. I realize that the audience here may not be all that interested. However, the community "fencerow" that I dwell and work in is populated on both sides by Christians. As a matter of fact, until the turning of the 21st century (give or take a couple of years), I walked the same path. So, it is just natural that my musings and experiences are still influenced.
Recently I had the wondrous experience of being "damned to hell for all eternity" because I shared a post on my Facebook page about recognizing the Feminine Divine. The post basically pointed out that while many Bible believers will say that God doesn't have a gender, they will get offended if you refer to God in any feminine term. That set off a locally known person. He went on a rant on his own page babbling about calling God female is "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" and that anyone even hinting at that is going to hell for eternity. I considered the source and instead of being angry, I just put up a little picture of one of those weird monkey toys that clashes cymbals. I had previously responded to this same person with the same scripture source that he likes to use in his judgmental attacks, the Bible. He makes a mistake when trying to use Biblical references in debate because even though I am not a Biblical Scholar, I used to teach Bible at church and did so longer than he has even been alive. Anyway, I digress......
I was married five years ago. Now I am not. My divorce was awful (surprise). My ex-husband was abusive. I had a bad experience in bible college. I was hurt by the church.
When I talk to Christians, I inevitably face a myriad of questions about these experiences, followed by condolences and apologies and reflections of how sad and hard it must have all been. It was sad and hard. And in the years that followed I have healed, I have learned, I have grown, I have fallen in love, with wonderful people, with my life, with my community, with Spirit, and with myself. I am happier now than ever before. My life is not a collection of knee-jerk reactions to pain....
I must begin this article with a disclaimer. There have been entire books written on each of these ancient symbols, and I cannot presume to include all of the information, or all of the esoteric theories, in these few paragraphs. I propose here to discuss the one theme which they all share in common: each of these figures is a three-tiered representation of the levels of Creation.
1) The first figure is sometimes called the Star of David, but it is not exclusively Jewish; you will see it carved in Hindu temples and used by Rosicrucian alchemists. In actual fact it is not a "star" at all, but two interlacing triangles, one pointing up (symbolizing human aspirations toward the Divine) and the other pointing down (symbolizing the Divine's willingness to meet humankind half way). The space where they intersect indicates the creation of a third state: the moment when Divine Consciousness manifests in human flesh. This is the state of Grace. It is Enlightenment. It is Samadhi....
"I once was found
but now I'm lost
but now I'm blind"
That is how many Christians think of me these days. I was a Jesus Freak with a passion to convert Pagans, but it backfired. The Pagans won. And Christians and Pagans alike ask the same question: Why? What happened?...