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Gaianist Free Church
Age Range/Type: Family
Located in: Live Oak, Florida
Key Contact: Rev. Joshua
Spiritual Path: All Paths are welcome.
Status: Group Forming
Community Support: Legal Clergy... Teaching Available
Group Overview: About our Church
Dedicated to the Earth Mother Gaia, the Gaianist Free Church is an Earth-Based Church, practicing the Craft of the Wise, whose primary focus is the spiritual and religious growth and education of our membership.
As an outreach organization we, in concert with the American Spiritual Alliance, strive to help create interfaith values. It is our desire to assist in achieving a deeper understanding, greater communication and improved cooperation among the many religious\spiritual organizations in our world today.
We are also very involved in the spirit of environmental stewardship. Our members work to give back to our home, the Earth. In this way we demonstrate our love of the Divine for the many things that have been provided to us.
Our Church carries no bias toward any other belief and in fact welcomes all to share in the love and gratitude we feel for Deity.
Gaianist Free Church
Principles and Philosophies
The Gaianist Free Church, an Earth-Based, Spiritual Tradition, subscribes to the belief that mankind was placed on this planet, not to hold dominion over all other livings things, but as a steward; responsible for nurturing, maintaining and restoring those gifts made available to us by the Divine.
Our beliefs require us to work towards communication, cooperation and understanding between the many beliefs found in our world. We realize that no single belief can prove that they are the "One true religion" and as such, strive to be accepting of all faiths. Because of this, any attempt, by our followers, to convert or sway the belief of another is an act of ill will and is considered unacceptable in the eyes of Deity. Our followers can, at their choosing, discuss our beliefs and philosophies with anyone who approaches them and asks for information.
We follow the "Harm None" philosophy and work diligently in our daily lives to consider our actions. Our goal is to do no harm physically or emotionally to any other person. This philosophy extends to doing no harm to yourself as well. The singular exception to this philosophy is when in defense of ourselves or others. It is not considered a breach of our tenets to utilize the minimum means necessary to solve an issue of this nature.
As a Tradition, we hold all life to be sacred. We also understand mankind is of a somewhat predatory nature and accept the taking of livestock and wildlife as a source of sustenance. We however do not accept the taking of any animal as a "Trophy" or the waste of any animal's life.
While not a belief system steeped in Ritual, the Gaianist Tradition does incorporate Ritual in celebrations of our Holy Days. Rituals of a public nature are always presided over by a fully ordained member of the Clergy. At no time is blood sacrifice practiced as this is considered a violation of the "Harm None" philosophy maintained by our members.
Magick is used within the Tradition, but is often misunderstood. Our view of Magick is the gathering of the energies found around us at all times, coupling those with the basic energies found within each of us and focusing those energies for a specific, positive intent or purpose. This is similar to the term prayer in many other beliefs. Our followers do not "sell" magic potions or spells. This would be considered a corruption of our philosophy. The use of energies is only used in a positive manner and is given freely.
Our Tradition follows the old belief in the Wheel of the Year for our religious endeavors. This is in conjunction with many of the Pagan belief systems around the world. All Celebrations and Holy Days coincide with the Wheel. We only acknowledge the Gregorian calendar in the "Mainstream" aspect of our lives. There are four quarters and four cross-quarters contained within the Wheel; each is representative of a specific Holy Day. Many of these days are also found to one extent or another in many other belief systems.
The Wheel of the Year
Imbolc, (02\01) This is also known as the Festival of Light or Brighids day. The Goddess Brighid was later Canonized by the Church and to this day holds Sainthood within the Catholic Church. The Church continued the celebratory day but moved it to the second of February and renamed it Candle mass. Imbolc is a Sabbat and is one of the Cross Quarter days. It is symbolic of growth, because the early signs of spring are beginning to appear, and many Traditions use it as an initiatory time.
Ostara, (Aligned with the Spring Equinox) This is a time of new beginnings, planting and birth. It is considered a very powerful day Magickally. Named after the Goddess Oestre, this is a time of feasting and celebration. Oestre's symbols are the rabbit and the egg which represent birth and life, symbols still used today in celebration of the Christian holiday Easter; which coincides with the Pagan holiday.
Beltane, (04\30) A celebration of fertility, renewal of hopes and vitality; Beltane is a day of passion. It is often celebrated with twin Balefires and much dancing and music. It is also a Sabbat and considered one of the Cross quarters.
Midsummer, (Aligned with the Summer Solstice) Also known as Lammas or Litha, this holiday is known as the night of herbs. It also marks the Battle of the Holly King and Oak King for control of the reign of the year. Midsummer is a time of feasting, Maypole dancing and singing.
Lughnasadh, (08\01) This is the time of the first harvest, in ancient days this was a very important day because it showed hope for the coming winter. Pagans use this day to show thanks for the gifts provided by the Goddess and God.
Mabon, (Aligned with the Autumnal Equinox) Mabon celebrates the completion of the harvest. It is also a time of mystery and a time for honoring the ancient Deities and spirits. Pagans use this time to enjoy the fruits of personal harvest.
Samhain, (11\01) In the Celtic language, Samhain means "summers end" and marks the
Pagan\Wiccan New Year. This is the time when the veil between our plane and the spirit plane is considered the thinnest. Even today, it is considered the best time to both honor and communicate with those past. It is known by many as Halloween.
Yule, (Aligned with the Winter Solstice) This is the time of renewed promise of life and represents the new birth of the God. Yule logs and greenery were traditionally brought into the home to show the promise of continuing life and prosperity. This practice originated in ancient Egypt honoring the birth of Horus, the man God. These traditions continue today at Christmas, the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ.
Gaianist understanding of Deity and the creation of mankind
There are many stories depicting the creation of mankind and the involvement of Deity in this. We do not subscribe to any specific story in regard to this subject as we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt which, if any, is the accurate tale. We encourage each of our members to choose, through faith, which is most appropriate in their personal relationship with the Divine. We remind our members that each person is ultimately responsible for their own path and it is unacceptable to judge any other person.
The Gaianist Tradition does teach that the Divine plays a significant role in our day to day lives, allowing us the opportunity of free will to make the correct decisions and choices in our walk on this plane.
We view Deity in Two categories, the Universal and the Personal. The Universal aspect of Deity is that which no one can place a face or name to. This aspect encompasses all things physical and meta-physical. The Personal aspect is that which the individual can create and maintain an intimate relationship with. This aspect is often given a name by the practitioner and it is a name usually associated with any one of the Gods and Goddesses found in the great Pantheon.
Our view of Godhead is further explained in the feminine and masculine aspects. In the feminine, we see the Goddess in three forms, the Maiden (the eager student learning and growing) , the Mother (the nurturing and compassionate familial protector) and the Crone (the wise teacher and healer) . The masculine aspect is seen as the Father God, guardian and protector. These aspects are not separate, but four views of the same entity.
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