Articles/Essays From Pagans
April 3rd. 2016 ...
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GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
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To Know, to Will, to Dare...
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From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
How I Maintain My Spiritual Practice in a War Zone
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Article ID: 13565
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Shadow [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 18th. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,957
It is September 2009, a couple of days after the passing of the Autumn Equinox, my favorite Sabbat. I have just returned to Afghanistan from leave to finish serving on my tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As I write this, violence surrounds the province and one must always remain vigilant.
Before I left, we just completed the Presidential elections during the end of August. In one day, there were over 80 instances of election related violence in my province alone. I was grateful and thankful that none of the attacks resulted in the death of my fellow warriors in the province. I am still waiting to see if there will be a run-off election between the two major presidential candidates.
There have been rumors of planned attacks on our base that is nestled away in the mountains. There are no AAFES, no Green Beans, and no Pizza Huts or Subway sandwich shops here. We practice light discipline as to not give away our position and there are no lights in the area once the sun goes down. During the dark hours, you have to rely on the illumination of the moon, stars and a flashlight. The sense of life is one of a past age. It reminds you of a step back into the past with a hodgepodge of some modern amenities. But this isn’t what fills my mind.
A tear fell from my eyes as I sat on a C17 surrounded with other service members. The impetus of the tears and my swirling emotions was the thought that for at least six months, I would not be able to see the people that mean the most to me: the love of my life, the members of my coven and order and the friends in my life that have showered me with love.
My family is comprised of all of these hearts. I bless them in my prayers everyday when I touch divinity with my mind. I think of them when they are sick, how and what they are doing, their children and how they are faring in the world that we live in with a downed economy and a rising number of disgruntled citizens.
I find myself a Priest away from his circle and unable to provide direct support for the members. Although I do have the opportunity to communicate with them via email, albeit not always regularly, I definitely feel as if a part of myself is missing. I wonder if they know how much they mean to me and the impact that they have made in my life.
However, with loss, there is always opportunity.
I now have the opportunity to assist others I am with in my new surroundings. I may not play the role of a spiritual counselor or father, but I can assist others in keeping a positive disposition and keep things in perspective. More importantly, I can remind others that they are connected to God and that we co-exist in a universe of interdependence.
I just completed a daily meditation and daily devotion performed within my mind in the astral realms reinforcing my astral temple. While in a war zone, I say to myself and remind myself whole-heartedly that I am one of the lucky ones. I have love in my life, great friends, and a great relationship with the God and Goddess. I know that I have all of these blessings in my life because of my spiritual practice. I am able to shift my perspective and change my consciousness.
I remind myself, spirituality is not a matter of convenience. Witches, Pagans and Magicians should breathe magic in their souls and realize that it is part of everything they do. All of their actions are infused with magic. They are the impetus for change and can create a more harmonious environment for every other living being in the world.
Spirituality should not be practiced as a matter of convenience or when you “have time.” I invest my time to my path and I sacrifice myself to my path. I am using this time for deeper reflection of the universe.
During what little free moments that I have, I write lectures, meditate and channel information from the universe for the betterment of myself and my spiritual practice. After I integrate these new lessons that I learn, I will pass on this knowledge to other spiritual seekers.
Richard Bach said in Illusions, “You teach best what you need most to learn.” Here I am working to refine my teaching skills, my practice and understanding of the spiritual realms. Each day I make the time to meditate, even if it is only for five minutes after a 16-hour day.
I don’t look at my spirituality as something that I do, but as a part of who I am. It is a part of me, a part of what makes up my personality, and part of my world and the decisions that I make.
My rituals here don’t involve the burning of incense or lighting of candles. They don’t have elaborate altar set ups or fancy tools. My rituals utilize the most important tools of magic and spirituality, my mind and emotions.
Every morning, I proclaim my gratitude for the blessings that I have and the gift of a new day. I utter the sacred names while performing daily cleansing and clearing rituals. I connect with deity daily in order to maintain my spiritual health and gain any insight that may be provided. I consecrate my meals in order to remind me of the sacrifices that were made for me to have food and my connection to the physical world. I provide spiritual counseling when I can via email while providing lessons and answers for my students via email.
I am already planning how I can help my community when I get back. What beach clean ups that I can attend and which shelters to donate canned goods and a helping hand to. I ponder what community activities that I can be involved in and what organizations that I can continue to donate to in order to make my community a better one. In addition, I will return to teaching classes on spirituality, magic and witchcraft with increased zeal.
I don’t think that the world is cruel. I think we have stepped far away from showing love to our fellow man.
I know that I am part of the chain of change that is making the world a better, safer, more loving and spiritual place. The problems in the mundane world are a reminder that we all hold the heart of the sacred and spark of divinity within us.
We have the power to heal the planet, correct the wrongs that have occurred in our society and heal the damaged pieces of our consciousness. It is through our active living, living well and radiating joy that we do our greatest work for the Gods.
I hope no one has to be in a war zone in order to learn this truth.
Brightest Blessings and Blessed Be!
Location: Long Beach, California
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