Matt 19:16-19 New Testament Quote for Pagans

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There are (of course) many passages in The Bible and one could have a conclusion and find supporting texts in its pages. We also know that T

he Bible has changed hands many times.  And personally I believe much of what Jesus set out to do was altered by Paul to change from a movement to a religion. This passage speaks to me very personally. I was surprised to find it – really surprised. As many of my Pagan friends, I was raised a Christian and brought up on the 10 commandments. But in this passage, Jesus does not ask onto follow the 10 commandments but five of the commandments from Moses and one of his original ones:

Matthew 19:

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your fat

her and mother,’[a] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

The commandments which are not mentioned (Exodus 20) are: You shall have no other Gods before me;  You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain;  remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy; You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. The 10 Commandments are in the Old Testament. Jesus spoke many times for his love of God or his Father or “The One who is good”- but it is very interesting, to me, that specifically when asked which commandments to keep – all the commandments which mentioned honoring God were omitted. Why is that? This change/edit of the 10 commandments happens a second time in Mark 10:17-19

This same exchange is also found in Mark Chapter  10:17-19

17 And as he is going forth into the way, one having run and having kneeled to him, was questioning him, `Good teacher, what may I do, that life age-during I may inherit?’

18 And Jesus said to him, `Why me dost thou call good? no one [is] good except One — God;

19 the commands thou hast known: Thou mayest not commit adultery, Thou mayest do no murder, Thou mayest not steal, Thou mayest not bear false witness, Thou mayest not defraud, Honour thy father and mother.’

The placement of this exchange of words is found just after Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for keeping a Law of Moses and here he is in the same chapters:

Matthew 19

And it came to pass, when Jesus finished these words, he removed from Galilee, and did come to the borders of Judea, beyond the Jordan,

2 and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And the Pharisees came near to him, tempting him, and saying to him, `Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’

4 And he answering said to them, `Did ye not read, that He who made [them], from the beginning a male and a female made them,

5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall be — the two — for one flesh?

6 so that they are no more two, but one flesh; what therefore God did join together, let no man put asunder.’

7 They say to him, `Why then did Moses command to give a roll of divorce, and to put her away?’

8 He saith to them — `Moses for your stiffness of heart did suffer you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it hath not been so.

So, Jesus sets a precedent for going against the Laws of Moses in both Mark 10 and Matthew 19 prior to his editing the 10 commandments. Absolutely fascinating to me. Why did I not hear this, this way before? I understand there are many, many, and many more inconsistencies through out The Bible – but to me, as a Pagan that does love and respect Jesus this is Huge! Most pagans, most good Samaritans and honest people are keepers and watchers over the commandments as stated in Mark 10:17-19 and Matt 19:16-19. In allowing or disallowing the Moses Commandments of Honoring Moses’ God, a very different religious perspective comes to mind. And one which does speak to the inclusion of all peoples. I wanted to share this passage with other pagan hearted people.

Altering Your Path

IMG_14672013 was a difficult and trying year.

If I could compare it to a hike I would say it was a short vertical climb, very rocky and filled with peril. Many of the rocks and pitfalls would be labeled as dogma. Various dogma’s of society but especially religious dogma. I set out on this path of pagan exploration three years ago. Having no idea of where I stood except seemingly out on a limb. I recommend to those starting out on this path of exploration to give yourself a lot of latitude. Follow your instincts, but be prepared for those instincts to change. Change because the nature of your relationship with your Goddesses and Gods or Spirit Guides and Elements will change as you listen better. Be kind to yourself and give yourself both time to grow and learn and forgiveness if your path happens to have dead ends or lead you back to where you started.

My legs are stronger having gone through the difficult and rocky ascent. They are firm and ready to accept the consequences of my beliefs. And the view is getting better all the time!

Protecting Your Sacred Gifts (throwing pearls at swines)

ImageSometimes very rich wonderful thoughts, feelings, beliefs come to us. One which we hold dearer and closer than most tangible things in our lives. Sometimes we have shared these beliefs or thoughts with a close one or a friend only to watch our most beloved gift become unraveled until the beautiful gift is nothing more then twine.

When left with the twine or remnants of our gift we then choose; do we repair it and hold on to it making it even more dear and precious or do we discard it?

I learned a very valuable gift once on this subject. Along time ago, I had a thought come into my head. The next time I see (we will call him Jake) tell him “this” (and a short message followed). Normally this would not be of much notice we all have thoughts to share with our brother or mother that come popping in. However, this was “Jake”! “Jake” is a famous celebrity. Young and single, hansome, weathy. He very infrequently went to my church and lived in my town. But I had never run into “Jake.” So, this little message popping into my head about “Oh and next time you see Jake tell him…..” stuck out.  And of course I did a little questioning of my sanity, but everything seemed in order -great a message for “Jake.”

This message giving was not something I looked forward to doing. But it was something I looked forward to not having to carry around with me anymore. The days and weeks and months passed. I thought I would run into him at a video store or in line somewhere with a bunch of friends – give my speal, be embarrassed and run for the wind.  But that never happened.  At the time, my best friend was a very beautiful girl that was also a sensitive. She was the kind of beautiful that men stopped to stare. She had an amazing load of confidence that comes with being ultra striking and desired.  Two years had passed since that message “popped” into my head. We two were sitting at table in a sushi restaurant and talking. I told her how I had had a dream last night about “Jake.” and the message I was suppose to give him again. Then she told me the most awful thing…she told me that the message was for her to confirm her message from spirit that she was to be with him. So, after 2 years of carrying this message around it was for her? And thank you very much? I knew she was stealing from me – taking something of value and transferring it to her.  I didn’t really know how to respond when I looked away. When I looked away I saw the sushi bar. I saw the back of “Jake’s” head and knew it was him (never saw him in person before but of course I would know the back of his head at 20 feet)! Went up to him and sure enough it was him. After 2 years gave him the message. He was alone and we talked for about 15 minutes and then I went back and finished my meal. He later thanked me after he finished his meal and said that he really thought about it. That was also the beginning of the end of my friendship with my “bestie.”

That meeting gave me a lifelong gift of claiming my sacred gifts. Other people will want to take your gifts from you for various reasons. Most gifts of spirit should be challenged or looked at weighed carefully. I am not saying that one should accept gifts from spirit blindly. But in the end, only you can decide what is true for you. What is sacred and precious and worth your protection.

Nemain, Maiden aspect of Morrigan and Goddess of Sacred Space

Standing Stones from a far away place

Nemain. She has been with me all of my life. But it took me the greater part of my life to understand that she actually enters and share my body. It was not until I understood the spirit world better that I felt very different on occasions.  I felt like a Goddess, naked, clean and always youthful and blithe. And I felt like this whenever I went to a sacred space for worship.  It never mattered which or where the house of worship was located: a field, a Jewish Temple, Mormon Temple Grounds and their wards, an ancient Buddhist Temple in China, Old European Catholic Cathedrals, outdoor wedding space, Wiccan circle. Anywhere where people gather to worship she is there, in me and with me. And I have felt comfortable in any religious gathering. It does not mean I enjoyed every part of their leaders’ sermon. But I would tell you that I whole heartedly felt comfortable and that I belonged. I figure that Nemain must have come first as she is the Goddess of Sacred Space and the Sacred Grove. Nemain was there before they built the buildings. She was the presence of the land that called the people to gather.

This is how I first came to know her. Her gentle maiden aspect of Holy Reverence. I think many people would be/have been a bit taken aback that one of the aspects of Morrigan could come across so gentle, almost benign. I have been told to “watch out” she is a “Trickster Goddess”. One of Nemain’s aspects maybe the Trickster. Afterall, her main animal is the Crow/Raven. However, that is not the relationship I have with her. On occasion, we will be co-conspiriters – but that is the extent of it. She may well be the Trickster with other people like a Loki or Coyote. But that is just not the relationship that I have with her.  I find that Gods have very, very complex relationships with us that are uniquely  individual. After layers and layers of lifetimes with us how could our relationships be anything but complex?

She is also  “The Frenzied Havoc of War”. To be honest I had a difficult time seeing her in this title until my meeting with the Crow. In that meeting I felt the frenzy and fury of her animal totem/symbol/familiar. I felt the power and the marriage of the spirit world and the mundane world brought together in anger and grief and anticipation. And in the center of this chaos, calm, levelheaded, grounded thought. And I understand this is just a tiny tip of the power that she can muster.

She is a “Lover” and “Protector”. In my relationship with Nemain, she is a consort to Bela-Tu-Cadros the God of War. In Springtime, where sacred water meets green clover she comes into me and transports me to a different time. I will be standing in a grove or meadow ringed with trees. Naked and lighted. Different people will see me and usually ask one of two things. They will either be people fleeing before a war asking for protection. In that case, I will give them a rule or two to follow and then tell them that they have the protection of the forest and to go to my Sacred Grove and directions on how to find it.  The other request I get is from soldiers. They ask me to ask my husband that they may “win in battle or to die well.” When they ask this of me they will then lay something at my feet. Usually its flowers but sometimes it is something different. After being seen my a handful of people, I will return to myself in my time and my place. I have been doing this work with Nemain for about two years now. Ever since I started to worship with her in my sacred space regularly. This particular work only happens in the Springtime. She is the Maiden, the Springtime, the Waxing Moon.

She is a “Sacred Whore”. However, I am not. Not in my mundane /body of flesh at least. I know that my spiritual/Otherworldly form is one that can be convinced to do this type of worship. When my spiritual relationship with Gods and Spirits is sexual I have come to understand that it is through Nemain that I have come to know them.

Nemain is a Dark Goddess. Nemain works with transitions of life to death. Crows and battlefields, the Frenzied Havoc of War these are her domains. Witchcrafting with banishment, cursing, transitions brings her to me naked and cloaked in black. The vision of a Priestess of Death or of intense power comes to mind. When I feel in my witching power as dark, dangerous, sexual and a storm of intensity it is her with me. This aspect of Nemain is so very different in feel from the Goddess of the Sacred Grove – yet it is her all the same. In this form she is much more recognizable as an aspect of the Morrigan.

These are the aspects of Nemain that I interact with/that she works with me on. I have not found very much on the internet about her. And some of what I did find did not resonate with my relationship with her. The only one I can recommend is from “RainbowPagan” on Youtube:

Part One: Nemain lesson by RainbowPagan on YouTube

Part Two: Nemain lession by RainbowPagan on youTube

 

Pagan rituals celebrate Russian summer

Ni Bran:

Awww…Would have loved the celebration Please view to see the wonderful PICTURES!

Originally posted on CNN Photos:

Some young Russians welcome the arrival of summer by heading to the countryside to perform rituals that date back to pagan times, like building a straw man and touching its penis to bring fertility and love.

While in Russia working on another project, photographer Claudine Doury had seen people in the cities of northern Russia celebrate summer by drinking through the night outdoors during the “Belye Nochi,” or “White Nights,” when the sun sets around 11:30 p.m. and rises at 4:30 a.m.

“I saw a lot of people in the street stopping and closing their eyes and taking in the energy of the sun,” Doury said.

She also wanted to see the celebrations in the fields outside the cities.

“It interested me because more and more young people in Russia go every year,” she said.

Ivan Kupala Day falls around the time of summer solstice, the first day of summer…

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Daily Om ~ People Who Don’t Get It

Ni Bran:

This post by DeepG-Glade gave me a wonderful perspective on living, seeing and sensing spirit in a world where many people did not grow up with those senses. She gave me a sense of confidence that I did not know I was lacking. Thank you Deep-Glade

Originally posted on A Sacred Journey:

doi-1033When dealing with people who seem very unaware, remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening. You may be someone who understands the true nature of reality, perceiving deeply that we all emanate from the same source, that we are all essentially one, and that we are here on earth to love one another. To understand this is to be awakened to the true nature of the self, and it is a blessing. Nevertheless, people who just don’t get it are seemingly everywhere and, often, in positions of power. It can be frustrating and painful to watch them behave unconsciously. We all encounter individuals of this bent in our families, at work, and in all areas of public life. It is easy to find ourselves feeling intolerant of these people, wishing we could be free of them even though we know that separation from them is an illusion.

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Making your own Spiritual Tradition

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When I started this journey of Shamanism and Witchcraft, I thought the difficult part was behind me. The finial understanding of what I was, a spirit worker that journeyed into the otherworld and a witch that craft intent into being. On second thought that definition might be a bit esoteric. So let me say it like this: I am a witch and I pursue advice from Spirits in the Spirit World. Like I said, I thought that was the difficult part, coming to terms with being one of those people. I thought the next part would be far easier, learning a witchcraft tradition.

I thought I would find and join a coven and learn through initiation or through adoption into their tradition. I found a few covens. Wonderful covens that offered Wicca 101 classes, that were long established, that did good things for their communities. But then I found out I was not Wiccan. I looked into other groups. And I found I was not a reconstructionalist  (one who is in a religion that is trying to recreate it as best as possible (Celtic, Druid, Heathenry, Asatru). I really enjoy working with people. I really wanted to be part of a group.

But slowly, I learned that I was not suppose to walk any previous path. I was suppose to forge my own. One for me and my family. My guides have been very vague in regard to what this Family Tradition should be about. My only clear picture my guides have given me is a mental image of me leading my family into the forrest from a meadow. It is sunny and there is no trail before us. And that is it. And it plays in my head everytime I think of  investigating a group. It plays in my head when I just think of Shamanism or Witchcraft or Wicca or Celtic or……..

It has been a difficult thing to throw away all preconceived notions of religion. I thought for my witchcraft religion it would be simply a matter of learning from others and assimilating into their existing religion. But I am not to do that. I am to lead my children on a very particular path. Reconsider every aspect of ceremony, what our holy days will be, who we will worship, who is a personal guide and who is apart of Our Tradition’s Pantheon. Will everything be fixed from one year to the next? Does everything change with the seasons? What are we to call ourselves? Will the Gods and Goddess that speak to me speak to my children? Are they just my personal Pantheon or our family’s? It seems for every answer there are ever more unanswered ones.

I have a long way to go. It has taken me a long time to understand this. If any of you have done this work for your family, I would love to hear from you.