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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in holy
The Holy, the Wye, and the Rumanian Treasure: Being a Brief (but Deep) Excursion through the Ancestral Mind

In colloquial English we tend to think of holy and sacred as being vaguely synonymous, but to the ancestors they were two distinct, if related, forms of being.

The original meaning of holy—Old English hâlig—emerges when we examine its sister-words deriving from the same Old Germanic root: hale, healthy, whole, hail, wholesome, hallow. Holy denotes an intrinsic state of being characterized by radical completeness in self: wholeness, entirety, unbrokenness.

The first observation to make about sacred, on the other hand, is that it derives from Latin rather than Old English. Possibly Latin sacer replaced Old English wîh (or wêoh) because of the latter's pagan associations. If so, they don't seem to have had this problem on the Continent, where the old Germanic word still survives in the Modern German name for Christmas Eve: Weihnacht, “holy night.” (It's worth noting that modern German-speaking pagans refer to Yule as Weihenacht, an archaic form of the same word.)

But in fact both the Latin and Old English words refer to the same concept. What is sacer or wîh is something that belongs to a god. Hence, to sacrifice (literally, “make sacer”) something is to give it to a god. Sacrilege is the theft of something that belongs to a god: in the eyes of the ancestors, one of the most terrible of crimes.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Our Holy Emptiness

“Holiness is not a personal achievement, It's an emptiness,” says theologian Brennan Manning, “holiness is an emptiness you discover in yourself. Instead of resenting it, you accept it, and it becomes the free space where God can create anew.”

Please read “God” as shorthand. For years, I understood to mean “God” as “love,” as in 1 John 4:8 and 16: “God is love.” Coming out of difficult orthodoxy of my childhood religious experiences, god is love worked for me. I think it works for many. How many look past the bindings of orthodoxy and just say love? Even when love is predicated on dogma, like love the sinner and not the sin, many still slide into the love paradigm.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Michelle Law
    Michelle Law says #
    I can relate to this concept whole heartedly. Just recently went through a separation of a friendship that had been on going for m
  • Erick DuPree
    Erick DuPree says #
    Michelle, Thank you for your kind words and for finding the inner peace that Goddess can provide in helping to make the changes ne

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Words for Loss

My mother died early this morning, following a long illness and a rapid recent decline. In her spirit, I offer these words, taken from the Portland First Unitarian Church service last weekend. It's important to remember that all life passages are holy, and all are a cause for celebration, and honoring.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Dear Susan, I am so sorry for your loss. If you feel the need/desire to talk, call me 888-724-3966. I lost my dad and mom as a yo
  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Thank you, Anne....
  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker says #
    Thank you, Natalie. I appreciate it....
  • Natalie Reed
    Natalie Reed says #
    So sorry for your loss - may your mother's journey to the Summerlands be swift and joyous.

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