Spirituality

As the wheel turns the seasons change in our worlds and in our lives. As with all things we live in a web of cycles and all come back to the center, back to source. For me it has come back to the beginning.

I could swim before I could walk. I spent my childhood in the sprawling forests and wetlands of the mid-Atlantic Eastern Shores, the hours spent silent but for the passing of leaves beneath my feet. I learned to follow the deer trails and to find shelter in the wilds. As the skies grew dark my father would call me home, back to the “proper” world that my family expected me to live in. But that call was never as strong as the one in my heart calling me back to Creation.

I spent too many years trying to find home. Home for my body, home for my heart, and home for my soul. I know my body is at home wherever there are trees and natural flowing water. Where the call of the birds in the canopy above is clear and pure, uninterrupted by Man’s cities. My heart is at home when I am with the ones I love. We live in societies that impose rather nonsensical limitations on what love is, who we can love, who we can’t, how we should and shouldn’t love. I am more afraid of those who cannot love at all than I am those who have enough love in their hearts to share. My soul… how many truly find home? I have always felt the call of my Creator. In the gentle gusts off the water, in the lapping of the foamy waves, in the ripple of the great yellow poplar… it had always been there, speaking to me. But these limitations… I have spent my life searching. I stepped into the churches and there I found Creator dressed as Yahweh, God, Allah… I spent years traveling in the Pagan circles and there I found it cloaked in many colored garb and called by many names. But everywhere I looked I found it clothed in the trappings of man and our wealth of limitations and expectations, bound by our need to control even that which we were created from. I turned back to the water. I turned back to the trees. I turned to a University and finished a degree in Religion. I started down the long path to a Masters degree in the same. I found community with others who seek, others who do not fit inside the confined boxes that our world wants to provide for us. Along this path I found one who spoke the same language, who felt as though she was a part of me, and I her. She was trained by the Lakota and while my family is parts Delaware, Nanticoke, Cherokee, and Powhatan I questioned whether my ancestors be so sour if I turned to the tribe of another to learn the ways, when my own were stripped from me decades before I was even born? Something tells me no. Mother will forgive me.

If you have come here following an old link for Pagan pages they are long since gone. I used to attend a Friday evening get together in Portland of local Pagans. I quickly found the trappings were just as strong there. Each called themselves by some self granted title that only their ego earned and pawed at books of chafe in an attempt to look wise. If you dared to ask one of them what they truly believed you would quickly be shut out. There are plenty of The Hollow walking the earth and I really don’t need to confine myself in a room with them once a month, thanks. I also helped found a religious education group. It grew. It changed. It went its own way. I have always been open, welcoming, and willing to listen. I find so many who want to cling to a title, to feel like they belong, some more so to shock and few if any even know the meaning behind the words they use. To this day if you want to tell me you are a “traditional Wiccan” and you balk if I ask you which tradition or tell me that you have never heard of Gerald Gardner or Margaret Murray please understand that I’m going to expect you to educate yourself. The same can be said for any who claim a religion yet don’t educate themselves to its tenants, don’t follow its teachings, or pick and choose which to follow to best suit their own goals.

Now understandably, while a Masters student in religion, I had more to read and write than my sanity could sometimes handle. What Is Animism? is a short paper I wrote my first year concerning animism, the basis of all religion. Native religions fall into this category. Taylor suggests that, like culture and society, religion evolves. Animism is the deepest roots of the tree that is world religion. I cling to those roots pretty fiercely. If your eyes begin to cross halfway through, well, it’s a condensed version. Sister says five pages, I gotta crush it into five pages. So sue me.

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