I was raised in the Roman Catholic church. I believed everything I was taught. I knew everything there was to know in that culture…the Sacraments, the Stations of the Cross, the Mysteries – all of them – the Bible stories…as much of it as a kid my age could possibly know. I was an altar boy of my own decision. I was up to serve…was it 530am or 630am?…Mass during the week, and then we cycled week by week to the slightly later Masses. And all before school. I rang the bells during Transmogrification. I assisted the priest in washing his hands before Communion. I did a great deal of that. And I really did believe in it, and felt a sense of belonging in doing that. At around that time, “The Exorcist” was a big deal, and I had read it, and believed in it. There were people in my family who did not believe in all that, and I thought to myself if it would make them believe, I would agree to being possessed for a SHORT period. I never asked for that, I simply thought it. Of course, it never happened.
Not long after this time, I began to think about what I knew and had been taught about my spirituality. My religion. I was in junior high grade, and I remember walking past an area park and thinking to myself these thoughts….there is an all loving, all merciful, all forgiving God….there is a punishing, fire and brimstone, angry God….and I thought to myself ‘Excuuuuse me?!?!’ At that moment, I was aware that I had been taught both of these ‘Gods”, and I began, right there and then, to realize that both were diametrically opposed, and therefore, not possible. How could the ALL loving, ALL merciful also decide to punish me if I were bad?
Then, I transitioned to the idea that God, as the perfect parent, does not punish, but teaches. God would not hurt me for being bad. But, like strong parents, will let you experience the possible consequences of decisions. And that felt better. And I realized that I was focusing more on God’s LOVE, not the punishment. And I started to feel that if it was not of Love, it not of God, and therefore not what i needed to take in.
When I was a loving member of the ELCA in the 90s, I learned differences between Catholic and Protestant that seemed to resonate within me. Mainly the idea that Grace is freely given….not something to be worked for and earned, and through action/behavior, maintained. How wonderful and freeing that was!! And I enjoyed the Lutheran tradition for about 8-9 years. And I really did enjoy that time, and it helped me blossom more as a loving being. But again, at some point, I moved along, and I missed my Ebenezer and it’s beautiful and loving congregation.
I had begun during the Lutheran time to pay attention to Native American spirituality. Unlike anything before it, I took to it like mother’s milk! It all made sense…the relationship and honoring of the Earth and it’s living beings. Seeing the physical as spiritual, and honoring that. And the next shift began….
At that time, I had begun channeling/medium work, and yet I had no idea that that was what was happening! I began to love being in Nature, at the Arboretum, in the woods, and in Spirit as I knew it…albeit somewhat limited at that time. I began to volunteer at the annual T.E.A.M. Conference, which was based on methodical education, and largely based on Native American / Earth-bound spirituality. Step two!
More recently, I got re-acquainted with friends who I knew on other experiences, and met them again in spirit/energy work. My friend Denise was, back in the day, my interpreting colleague and a working Jehovah’s Witness. More recently, we found each other in Facebook, and the rest is history. She had been one of my loving teachers in this area, and I am so blessed for her leadership. Since then, I have become more involved in energy work, paranormal investigating, and Wiccan spirituality and practices. And I really do resonate more with them than I had with previous religions beforehand.
This past year, I spent time in the challenges of transitioning such spiritualities. All through my growing up, Christmas was my TOP, all time favorite holiday! I knew it, I understood it, an loved the sights and sounds, and we had lovely family histories of going to my aunt’s for Christmas Eve, and then Christmas at home. Even as an adult, I loved Christmas….the sights, the movies, the music, the sounds….all so elevating of my energy! And then there’s Easter…but best left for another post.
Ok, let me shorten all this! Christmas was always soooo special to me for most of my life. Now I find myself drawn to and resonating with a very different spirituality. One that has typically been condemned by much of the Christian church. It is called Pagan. It is called Wiccan. Now, I do not say that the entire Catholic community has been on opposition to Paganism. Indeed, I have met some who bridge the gap. And I’m grateful for that. What resonates for me in all this is truly a physical vibrational response. And it is so much stronger for me than any other spirituality/religion I have followed.
This past holiday season, here was the challenge for me….I was a bit lost. I had the privilege of being involved in preparing and conducting the Yule ceremony at my Temple. It was beautiful, and meaningful even for first time experiencers! The gifts were so lovely, thought out, and not expected at all. All that was lovely! Now….let’s talk about the feeling of transitioning between the two.
Christmas was always the MOST important holiday of my life! I love the sounds, the views, the decorations, the music, etc. My understanding of the person of Jesus has changed over time…but no less grateful, inspired, and loving. But what resonates more is the concept of the land…the Mother Earth…the source of food and sustenance. And in both, there is love. INDEED, LOVE. HOWEVER…there is a difference in how it is done.
My family of origin has not acknowledged the Christmas holidays with me much for a few years. That was fairly challenging. But there is more….I miss the meaningful music. I miss the fairy tales. I miss the decorations as they have changed for me now. I miss the gathering of ‘family’, and the exchange of whatever gifts might be possible. I don’t miss the birth of one of the most connected human experiences of this awareness, nor his messages of LOVE!! One that I feel we still so often miss even the smallest opportunities for. The things about this holiday that used to make such a fun time have changed.
Yule, making total sense to me, celebrates the time and position of the Earth in which we know that the Light is coming back to the Earth. The days start to become longer….the sun is around longer…the Light returns. To all who steward the Earth and grow crops and honor that, this time means that the growing is returning. There is God/Goddess spirituality involved as well, and I am learning about that as well.
Here’s the thing. Almost 50 years of my favorite holiday ever. A few years of the most resonant experiences I have ever had. I am indeed transitioning spiritualities. I don’t join the ‘world-wide’ song of celebration of the birth. Although in both, there is Light coming to the Earth. The music is everywhere. I love it. The decorations are everywhere…. I love them. But they don’t mean what they used to for me. It is very odd in feeling and experience. And when your family of origin does not even ask what you are doing for the holiday, that clarifies it more. And that is not a bad thing….just helping to move along on the journey. It does not mean that there is no contact with them…it’s just different. I am distant from my family of origin, and I am distant from my current spiritual family. It does not have to mean that I am not connected. But when you come from an experience that very much involved family at specific times of the year, the shift is somewhat challenging.
I was with people I loved very much for both Christmas/Yule, and New Year’s. Most of it was Earth based, and lots of love energy sent around. But I did not watch most of my favorite holiday movies. I did not listen to most of my beloved Christmas music. And I missed that a lot. Simultaneously, I understood that the previous did not resonate, and the new is still coming into my resonance. And so this year, I did not feel a sense of orientation, center, etc…and I ended up feeling quite lost and disoriented.
I hope this makes sense. I did have wonderful times over the holidays with wonderful, lovely, and people most loved by me. Letting go of the old perception, and moving into the new one is challenging…especially at a time that has been historically very important. I am very glad that I had the people and experiences that I had during this time. But I’ll tell ya….this part of my transition is fairly challenging.
Feel free to share what you’d like about this experience as it relates to you. And Love and Light to you all.