So I’ve been kind of quiet on here lately, after the spate of postings to rekindle my writing and creativity. Some of that has been being busy in my everyday life, busy at work, busy with other projects and writings, and busy fighting off a sinus-chest cold that hit me rather hard in the last week or so.
The enforced downtime of that last bit of busyness has actually been something of a blessing, in that it forced me to review and experiment a bit with my daily practices and offerings. I’ve cleaned and re-dressed my Religious/Spiritual bookshelf, which I had been using the top of as an Altar starting around Samhain, and putting representations of the elements on each of the shelves in order that they appear in the Chakras on the body. It’s coming together rather nicely and I will try to get pictures up as soon as I can find a camera or a cooperative friend’s camera.
The top of the shelf contains a place for The Beloved and Honored Dead, for The WitchFather (whom I also address as Herne), and for Hecate. I also have a small offering cup that sits on the windowsill above the kitchen sink that serves for making offerings to the Spirits of the apartment/place/home.
Currently I’ve settled upon starting with Grounding and Centering, breathing into my Chakra’s from Base to Crown, doing my Chakra based variation of Cleansing Life Force, I’ll pray the Flower Above Me prayer, then making offerings to the Spirits of the Hearth, to the Ancestors, To Herne, and to Hecate. Other prayers and practices may follow, depending on the timing and what’s on my plate for the day. I am also still journalling and still all too often neglecting my physical exercise… I need to integrate my Body into my practice… I take a breath and remind myself that I am ~still~ in process and can begin that needed integration.
Other projects and goings on lately have included The Fabulous Jonathan and I deciding to go on a Yuletide Baking and Goodie-making blitz… including Rice Krispy Treats, Rum and Bourbon Balls, and other cookies and delectables. I am also treating myself to a new method of exploring my Unitarian Universalist path by taking Worship Associate training.
Worship Associates assist the Minister in performing the Service and also provide feedback and assistance where needed. There have been two classes so far. The one last night/tonight (it’s not ~really~ last night until I’ve actually slept) was about Prayer in a U.U. Worship Service context and how selecting readings and adapting them to a U.U. context; we also reviewed some of our observations about what you find when you come to a Service at 1U Orlando.
“We have the same sort of mix of Hymns and spoken pieces and readings and Sermon you may be used to. In our Worship we hold up our shared ideals and seek inspirations from the Worlds Religions, and Philosophies, and from Science to explore the deep and difficult questions of our times. You will find hope and idealism, you will find loving and welcoming community. You will find uplifting music, inspiring words, and people striving to make a world where the inherent worth and dignity of each and every one of us can flourish.”
That was my personal take on the question of “What will I find at a Worship Service at your Church?” which was our primary homework from last month. It was really interesting to discuss the different answers and perspectives, I found it quite interesting to see the similarities and differences in our answers and the discussions that flowed out of them. It’s interesting talking about Prayer, for example, with one of my Atheist brethren from Church, and how she believes it does work although more through focused energy and not because of whom/Whom it is addressed to; especially in the context of both of us being in the Worship Associate class!
I love how I am challenged to grow within the context of my U.U. experience. Not that this work is easy, but it’s rather like the emotional and mental equivalent of doing some simple stretching exercises after many years of sedentary living… tentative, tough, yet also a pleasant feeling and rewarding.
One of the other areas that I’ve been stretching lately is in regards to Christianity. I’ve always thought of myself as tolerant, and Gods know I’ve been known to call out anti-Christian sentiment and bigotry in Pagan environs. Yet I am recently realizing that I have a cynicism regarding Christianity and Christians, an expectation of Bigotry and Intolerance, that is pretty damn bigoted in and of itself.
Bloody hell being introspective, sometimes.
So I think I will be lurking at the Christian Portal and Patheos, and also looking for some other Christian resources that are Non-Christian friendly… especially important given how much of a self-fulfilling world view you can get from the Internet thanks to ad-sense technologies!
I’ve got to get to bed now, I have all sorts of stretching to do tomorrow… and the dreaded laundry!
Peace, and Blessings,
Pax / Geoffrey Stewart