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 Page: Profile: Local Clergy   Total Views: 5,075,362  

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Vox ID: 395651

Clergy Id: 9312

Posted: Sep.21.2013

Views 10873
Pagan Clergy

Rev. Emilie Conroy

Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Clergy Profile: I've had several "craf" names over the years, each marking an achievement or a transition. But nothing has suited me so well (or has kept my attention so long) as my own legal name. I have been serving as a learning and research resource in these fields for roughly 20 years. Additionally, I serve on several interfaith discussion councils and I have made it my business to study every path to the divine I can find. So far as I'm concerned, sharing my own knowledge and experience with other people is a vital part of my spiritual journey, but also if I aim to teach, I should let you know more about me and the life circumstances that have brought me to this point.

I think I had the best and healthiest spiritual upbringing a child could experience. To begin, my parents were themselves spiritual explorers, having thought through the mainstream dogma of their youth to a point of universal acceptance and a belief of the divine inherent in everything (and in nothing) . We had no labels and really didn�t need any. They taught me the basics of morality and ethics, and the significance of the intangible, that which really couldn�t be described in words. There were Neopagan and Wiccan influences, but I was encouraged to study and experience all faiths so that I might be of better service to humanity.

The following bit of verse is how I�ve managed to best explain my spiritual origins and my understanding.

My path is sacred, though it names nothing deity
Yet all things like wind and snails and light are holy
This path is me, is mine, is myself
The guiding light of the heart glows in my mind�s eye
Compassion, kindness, love and gentle regard
Acting the words for those without a voice
Cherishing this moment, right now, as the best ever
Secure in the gnosis of the Aether and the Other
Laughter is the language of the spirit
So has been the path so far

I don�t think I qualify as a beginner�but on the other hand, aren�t we all beginners in the eyes of the Goddess? It�s my rule to teach with humility and my goal that no one should ever be made uncomfortable.

I began my studies in depth with the Temple of the Ways, a progressive Pagan tradition celebrating the goddess Nehallenia. In addition to being an active member in the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, I began several new Goddess-oriented projects and initiatives�Spiral Way, Grove of the Seven Sisters, the Tribe of Theagenia, the Sisterhood of Themiskyra, the Temple of the Ways, and most recently Kitty Boston Grove in honor of my grandmother.

I earned my BA from Muhlenberg College in History/Religious Studies/Linguistics in 1993, and went on to pursue graduate studies at Florida State University. I have both taken and taught independent coursework in the history of Neopaganism, Reconstructionism, group and individual therapy, group dynamics, and mediation/conflict resolution.

I am a regular participant and occasional ritual leader in local groups and circles. But I go where I am needed, and so I often serve as visiting clergy with other groups. My favorite action is when I attend interfaith gatherings as a representative of alternative faiths. I carry the community with me, and I am honored to speak as best I can on everyone�s behalf.

Walking my path has been a sincere spiritual adventure, one that has challenged ideas of which I was once certain and one that has helped me develop new thoughts. That I have evolved in mind and spirit over the years is an absolute for me. At the end of the day, I would like to discover who we are and why are we here.

Wicca celebrates the Goddess and the God, but a lot of my personal spiritual is Goddess-oriented. This is not because I�m somehow against males, but rather because in this incarnation I happen to be female.

Kitty Boston Grove, where my coven gathers and where other associated groups join us in celebration and observation, is a place of serenity for me that I know as Blue Avalon. A reflection of the Goddess Herself, Blue Avalon has many layers. For me, Blue Avalon is a place of the spirit, what I call Blue Avalon of the Mind. The grove is also Blue Avalon of the Heart and Blue Avalon of the Soul. But whatever I call it, Blue Avalon is a vital part of me, a place very real both physically and spiritually.

When we consider Blue Avalon as a geographic place of dreams, the grove is an earthly manifestation of the Goddess. She shows us the path to Blue Avalon, which can be a metaphor for the process of attaining wisdom and reflection. The boundaries can be crossed and the challenge is surmountable, but we are still required to make an effort in the journey. In Blue Avalon we are not burdened with the seductive flash of the modern world. Instead we are gifted with a simple splendor, the gentle beauty of trees and hills, the crisp sweetness of apples and the pure taste of cold spring water. Blue Avalon is the Goddess showing Her love.

Yet the Goddess sometimes seems intangible and untouchable. This is no cruel joke or a streak of malice. Rather this is the natural result of our mortal human condition trying to reach across a cosmic gulf to touch the divine. Blue Avalon then is a construct that represents that divine in images and feelings we are able to experience and understand. If a woman wants to connect with the Goddess, all she need do is bite into an apple.

Blue Avalon is sometimes imagined as a place of peaceful endings. For me, Blue Avalon is a land of new beginnings. When I picture the grove and I feel what for me is the Goddess within, I experience an eagerness to learn, to explore new things. I feel that I have only a cursory understanding of Blue Avalon, and the grove is beckoning me to undertake the journey to a more complete understanding. I am encouraged to seek, and to realize that there is truly never any real end to the search. I am inspired.

Much like the cupped hand of the Goddess, Blue Avalon is a cradle of nurturing energies. For many years I have found refuge in the Blue Avalon of my mind. By eating a symbolic apple and drinking from the symbolic well, I am refreshed and renewed. I am made whole and strong and ready to tackle the challenges on my path.

What does Blue Avalon mean to me? Blue Avalon represents the reason I am on the path of the Goddess. Blue Avalon is not only comfort and beauty, but it is the strength to rise up and meet adversity. Just as I feel the Goddess has embraced me, Blue Avalon is welcoming me, and there is much work to be done.

I tend to be an optimist. I believe that circumstances will work out for the best. But our lives aren�t always about the good and the positive. We may find ourselves in despair so deep we begin to question how we can go on�or if we can go on at all. This is the time when we find out who and what we really are, and what we are capable of doing.

But it�s how to survive that may be the knowledge that will serve Blue Avalon and her faithful the best. We�ve all been in pain, we�ve all known suffering. Life is not about avoiding the unpleasant, for the unpleasant is part of life. But it�s these challenges that allow us to find out who we are and how strong we can be. I would share this understanding�how to work through pain as a challenge to be accepted and surmounted. If we are refreshed by the Goddess and a bit of Blue Avalon, we can all find the inner strength to survive when life goes sour. After all, there is much joy and beauty in life, but these things require their balance. To me, being of Blue Avalon means accepting the dark, the painful, and the sad as the natural entities they are.

Considering the state of the world, kinship is more important than ever. We need to know we can rely upon each other. Perhaps the fire of kinship that we can kindle in Blue Avalon can create a light that will pervade the world. I want to share this philosophy, the philosophy of taking what comes as from the Greater Powers and meeting its challenges. We all can push through the pain.

Rates: None. I find no spirit where money is involved.

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