Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
Nothing Special... Part Two
The Third Path
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
Reading the Book of Nature
A Plea Against Religious Discrimination
December 9th. 2012 ...
The Elephant in the Room: Physical Fitness In Pagan Spirituality
Magic Is Not for Free (Sometimes)
Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Discernment and the Sword
Article ID: 14114
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 903
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Posted: November 28th. 2010
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“Discernment, they said you are to use discernment and your sword in your teaching”. These were the first words from my very best sister/friend’s mouth when I answered her call. “They” are those whom she lovingly calls the Peanut Gallery, her PG’s. In all the years I’ve known her, the PG’s have regularly come to her aid with life’s hiccups but have rarely given me any advice… after all they are her PG’s not mine. So when she said that they were giving me their advice this time around, I sat up and listened.
Discernment: the act of selective judgment; good taste and recognizing the truth of a situation. Okay, I can see that happening. Don’t we all in our personal seeking have to use discernment on a daily basis? To take something or to leave it for someone else; to recognize something read or heard as a truth? This has always been one of my core beliefs. So much so that I continually caution this to those who come to me seeking advice as they travel their spiritual paths: to learn to judge if something they’ve read or heard is for them to keep as one of their knowings or to recognize that it isn’t and simply leave it for someone else.
By the time most come to me, they are upset and they’re judging something negatively, i.e. they can’t get past their egos’ filter to understand that it’s not wrong; it’s just not for them. It’s okay to leave it for the next seeker who comes along, for it may be exactly what they need at the time to progress forward. So I can see that using discernment and the sword fits in nicely here too. But wait; did this mean that something was coming up unexpectedly and with great finality like the Tower card in Tarot? And about the “teaching” part… I don’t recognize myself as a teacher.
I love talking about my Creator. I’ll talk and talk if you’ll let me. But I’ve never considered it as teaching anything (again take what you will and leave the rest) . Was I in the process of being blind-sided? What, how, who, why? “I don’t have a clue” she said, “All they would tell me is that this was for you and not me.”
During my dedication to the Goddess many years ago She gave me a double-edged sword. Along with this sword, I was given the honorable task of being one of her warriors. I was instructed to stand quietly along the front lines of this beautiful spiritual path and help to re-introduce Her to the masses. I was to use this sword, not to draw blood, but to cut away the untruths and show the bright and loving core truth of who She is.
This has been the easy part for me for my love of my Goddess supersedes everything else about me and my life’s journey. I guess you could say this was a type of teaching; but again, I’ve never thought that I could be considered a “teacher”. I have no degrees in teaching and the only thing I do seem to have is a boatload of common sense and intuition. I’d been doing what I’d been instructed to do all along, so why the heads up now? Did I mention that my friends’ PG’s have a twisted sense of humor and apparently don’t have a problem with Wal-Mart?
I was standing in a line at our local Wal-Mart and as usual chatting with the folks in front and in back of me. (A note here: I’ve learned more things by standing in the lines at this store. Did you know for instance that heat rashes and fever blisters can be cured by using Boudreaux’s Butt Paste? My only concern at the time it was being explained to me was, oh my Goddess, please don’t let this poor soul have both at the same time!) This time I knew that it was coming close to “revival time” down here in the southland so I was not the least bit surprised by what happened next.
“What Church do you go to?” the person in front asked as she took a step closer.
“Why do you ask?” I say smiling politely.
“Well, we’re having a revival down at our church and I wanted to invite you to come by. By the way do you know Jesus?”
Before I could answer I heard a voice behind me, “Oh how wonderful, we are too! What denomination are you?” she asked while stepping closer.
I was penned in, neatly and with professional dexterity. Hemmed in by highly trained revival-fortified Southern Baptist Ladies (SBLs) and having been a SBL at one time in my life I recognized it for what it was… a lesson in discernment and sword play.
I calmly center and ground. Take a deep breath. Turn so that I can see both at the same time and smile, a huge ear-to-ear smile.
“How nice of you both to ask and yes I do know Jesus. He’s one of my best friends and so is his Mother and Father, especially the Goddess. Oh by the way I’m so, so sorry for not introducing myself. I am Rev. Gralyn, a non-denominational spiritual counselor and High Priestess.” (I say this while digging around in my purse) .
I look up. “I conduct weddings, hand-fasting, naming ceremonies to mention a few. Maybe you know of someone who wants to be hand-fasted? And please don’t forget those of us who are in same-sex relationships and want a commitment ceremony, actually I seem to be doing more of those these days than any of the others, oh Goddess where are those blasted cards! Aha, here they are!” Still smiling from ear to ear I hold them out.
“Would you care for one? No? Well, ok, and when did you say you’re revivals are? There’s just nothing like a good ole knee slappin, foot stompin, hallelujah shoutin southern revival is there? I used to go to them all the time when I was a Southern Baptist; that is, until I was called to the Goddess. Do you know the Goddess?” Swish went the sword cutting away the pretense getting to the heart of the matter: “If not, I’d be honored to tell you about Her”.
Now, during my response I noticed that they were quietly stepping back looking as if I’d suddenly sprouted warts all over and was contagious. Stuttering, one of the lovely SBLs said for me to never mind she was not certain yet when the dates had been set while the other completely left the line.
“That’s fine” I said to the very stiff back in front of me, “Please know that you are loved unconditionally by your Creator, however you perceive your Creator to be and have a great day it was splendid talking with you”.
I packed up and was heading out to the car. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. As I turned I found a young man standing there covered in tattoos from head to toe. “I’m sorry to bother you” he politely said, “I couldn’t help but over hear the conversation you were having with the two ladies. I know your Goddess and love her too. Thank you for showing me a way to respond to those who come at me for just the way I look. Actually, it was all I could do to keep a straight face those two didn’t know which way to go and if they should walk or run. I know that wasn’t your intention but I’ve got to hand it to you I believe they’ll think twice before penning someone in again. Have a good day and if you’re ever in the mood for a tattoo, he said grinning from ear to ear, I’ve got my own business, come on in.”
Did I use discernment and my sword for teaching? I’ll never know for that is up to the PG’s and my Goddess.
Days later my best heart friend sent me a drawing for a tattoo. It’s from the PG’s, she said, so I’m guessing they are pleased after all. Now the only problem is where does one put a tattoo of a sword and angel wings on the plump well-rounded body of a crone?
I’m leaving that up to the Goddess. It is, after all, Her sword.
Location: Hammond, Louisiana
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