In Neil Gaiman’s book,American
Gods,we are introduced to the idea that when Gods are forgotten, they
settle into a kind of hibernation, waiting to be remembered again, if in fact,
they are ever to be remembered at all. My own personal feeling about this is
that there have been more civilizations on this earth than we ourselves as
humans can remember, civilizations lying under water or desert sand, or rain
forest too dense to uncover easily. Imagine the thought forms, group minds, and
deities lying submerged in our collective consciousness that may never again be
spoken of or thought of by humans.
Last week’s entry for the Pagan Experience was on the topic
of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis. I was very busy preparing for a variety of
things last week – among them getting ready to be on Spring Break as well as
prepping for my classes at Between the Worlds. It seemed to be a good idea to
hold off on writing this entry until after Between the Worlds, not only in the
interest of the very mundane and practical issue of time, but because I knew I
would have plenty of inspiration to write about all three after the conference.
I have been working on a Self-Portrait as part of my Magical Women series. I ran into a little bit of artist's block during the Fall when I became VERY busy with school and did not have time to pay attention to my own work. Working on the self portrait has enabled me to get back in touch with my own personal spiritual practice (as anyone who reads this blog knows, art is a huge part of my spiritual practice) and back on track with making art and making progress on other projects. Whew, long sentence.
How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution
to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this
definition and contributions?
I have been thinking about these questions ever
since they were put forth to me, and I am realizing that my definition of
humanity is actually pretty broad. In my own mind, I have been using the term “personhood” as
opposed to “humanity” to denote an independent, sentient individual. Sometimes
I feel as though the term humanity is not all embracing enough.
January 29, 2015
Finding My Avalon
One of my earliest
childhood memories is of singing along with my father as he either played the
banjo or the ukulele. I learned a lot of “old timey” songs that way, including
one called “Avalon,” penned by Al Jolson way back in the long ago time. The
chorus stays with me, and although the song was later recorded by Louis
Armstrong (also of favorite of my Dad’s), it’s my father’s voice I always hear
in my mind when I think about the lyrics.
In my practice as an artist, I often feel called to explore
the divine in its many manifestations, but I am most interested in the Feminine
Divine. This is a calling I have felt for many, many years, reaching back into
my early childhood when I wondered why many ancient cultures could see the
female in the divine, but Western beliefs had no room for the feminine. God was
a white bearded man sitting on a cloud somewhere, and he had a white, brown
bearded son, and an amorphous Holy Ghost who may or may not have been in
possession of a gender.
Personal practice is one of those things that I try to
impress upon my students – to just develop some kind of practice, whether it is
mindfulness meditation or journeying or guided meditations. It is necessary in
a variety of life’s passages to have the focus needed to accomplish great work
– whether the work is of a spiritual nature, an artistic nature, or just about
anything that needs doing. As a teacher, I often find myself guilty of falling
down on this end of my spiritual practice, just as any other human being trying
to navigate this world would be.