Monday, 6 October 2008

What Is My Path?

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but this hasn’t been because I’ve fallen into inactivity or procrastination! Mind you, both things have been enemies of mine in the past, and I am mindful of the different guises they assume with which to lure me!

I have a feeling this is going to turn into one of my rambling posts! Apologies! I just feel a need to summarise my journey to date, as I have a need to declare where I am here and now. Obviously, I’m leaving loads of detail out, just for the sake of space and to save you, dear reader, from pure and guaranteed boredom! I just have a need to make this post another significant marker, which for me, at the moment, is the main purpose of this journal. I hope that in some small way this post will also provide an essence of who I am and what I’m about. I feel it’s timely.

This was confirmed when I read one of Seshat’s recent posts. She writes in a way that often touches my spirit and soul, and this confirmed to me that I needed to make this entry.

As I have said in recent entries, things have been happening for me of late that have moved me on, spiritually, and there are doors opening for me, and I’m both excited and nervous about these things. I have a real sense of anticipation and expectation. There are many things changing around me, professionally, personally and spiritually, and some of these changes will be a constant, I just need to go with them for the time being, whilst other changes I need to take control of, magickally speaking.

I have been walking a pagan path for some years, but I think it’s true to say that probably half of that time I was walking a somewhat ‘fluffy’ path. I don’t say that disrespectfully, I think perhaps many of us come to our paths this way, it’s only with reflection that I see my time then was one of walking into awareness, step by step. This is why I don’t criticise those who seem ‘fluffy’ to me, although at times I may feel irked by them, especially when I feel their fluffiness is being inflicted upon me! I don’t criticise, because it’s not for me to judge where they happen to be on their path. That’s for them to work out. Only they and their Gods know where they are at this point upon their journey. It’s none of my business.

Recently I’ve felt a need to define my path anew. Not that it’s changed, as such, rather there has been something of an evolution, the result of my own spiritual development over time. I’ve felt the need for this redefinition only because I have felt a need to declare my Own True Will – the purpose I was placed here, in this incarnation, at this moment in time. My recent growth has been a result of study together with application and a heart that truly seeks to connect with the One Divine Life and to bring this connection to others, in whatever form they are ready to experience it at the point of development they themselves are at. I feel that is my True Will.

My background is one of fundamental Christianity. I mean the real Charismatic, speaking in tongues, healing the sick and raising the dead type. I even attended an evangelical/charismatic bible college in a bid to ‘get closer to God’ but none of this met that genuine sense of longing and healing I was experiencing within. Indeed, attending the bible college almost destroyed me, because all it showed me was that God found me, as a gay man, and someone who found this patriarchal presentation of religion difficult and uncomfortable, detestable. I was also seeking healing for my visual impairment. I was rejected by the Divine – or so it felt to me at the time, as none of this came to pass. I left the college empty, more empty than I had arrived.

In time I was thrown out of the Christian Church, because of my sexuality, and thrown out of the town, because my parents, pillars of the local charismatic church, felt me to be possessed of the devil. This, as you can imagine, sent my life into turmoil.

After a process of many life events, I moved into a kind of spiritual no-man’s-land, a kind of agnosticism that was pure self indulgence and which resulted in spiritual death – and potentially physical death, such was my carefree abandon. I just lived for myself. At the end of this period I was left with a real gaping whole within that was longing for spiritual fulfilment.

However, the One Divine Life had not let go of me, or my calling. And I do feel that I have a calling, dramatic and over the top as that may sound. I’ve wandered down too many blind alleys to count, but the fact is, the hand of the Divine always brings me back, and in these past few years I’ve found myself in a place I’ve never felt possible. This all began with my eyes being opened to the wonder of nature – or more correctly, Nature. I began to see that my years of searching, this desperate need to feel a sense of ‘belonging’ was futile, because I was seeking that which already existed – I WAS CONNECTED! That connection already existed, it was there, unbroken and vital, and this was such a sense of revelation and joy as I moved into the truth and the reality of this connection.

In time this led me to people who were practising a form of Goddess spirituality locally. I thought that I had found my spiritual home, but in time this proved not to be the case. I think some people there found a gay man – a man who loved and had sex with men – in the middle of a Goddess movement, difficult to handle. I don’t think they knew what to do with me or what to make of me! I don’t say this with any criticism towards any of the sincere and lovely people there at all. I loved many of them, but I think I was ahead of their time in some ways in that my mere presence perhaps challenged them in too many ways. That sounds arrogant and I don’t mean it that way, I just mean that as many of them were working out their own relationships with men, a man who openly professed to being gay forced them into a place that perhaps they were not ready for at that point in their own journey. I felt it right to withdraw from that particular expression of that movement and chose not to dedicate at the end of my first years training. It was the right decision; time has shown that to be the case.

This led me to concentrating and practicing my own solitary practice and it is here that the fireworks really started! As I began, somewhat blindly and with huge ignorance in many ways, to practice my own solitary pagan practice, embracing both the Divine Feminine and Masculine, it was like Source spoke directly into my life – honestly, it felt that powerful. Within my own practice my connection with the One Divine Life was realised and I dedicated myself to Sulis, Goddess of the hot healing springs of Bath (a local city) and to the Lord of the Wildwood. Opening myself to them began a process whereby their qualities began to manifest within me and I was enthralled within my pagan spiritual practice. I love my patron Goddess, and Her connection and energy in my life is a real and constant Truth, The Lord of the Wildwood has shown me what it is to be truly divinely masculine, and to Him I am both thankful and grateful. I have also made connection with a number of Guides and I have worked closely with my ancestors. All of this has led, as you can imagine, to real personal spiritual development.

However, of late, things have moved on, to an extent that at times provides great clarity, but at others throws me into confusion, and it is because of this that I feel a need to define my path. Not to put me into some kind of spiritual package or false bondage and restriction, but in a bid to express where it is I am coming from of late.

Flowing from recent happenings within my own spiritual practice I have found myself drawn to a more magickal expression of my spirituality. This has led some to describe me as a Magician, but this is a title I do not feel worthy to accept and neither do I feel it appropriate. I say this for a number of reasons. One, I know very little of Magick, although I am reading and studying for all I am worth. Also, I have a very real sense of my devotion to my Gods, and this relationship is powerful and real to me. As Seshat says in her post, Magick to me is a genuine gift from my Gods – an outworking of that dynamic relationship.

Boy, I am rambling today, I am sorry! I just need to get this down!

So this combination of a real and genuine pagan practice, that has been so personally powerful for me, and a progressing magickal element to this practice, has been confusing me. How do I combine the two? What does this make me? Am I turning into a ‘pick and mix’ pagan – something that I have never, ever, wanted to be? Have I finally lost the plot somewhere?!? Have I finally lost my very last marble?!?

All I can say is that my connection with the term ‘Hedge Witch’ has never felt more real and genuine. Yes, I am experimenting with Magick. Yes, some of Crowley’s writings have inspired me in ways that the written word has never done before. But, so have the writings of Dion Fortune. Another conundrum!

My path is one of combining the spiritual celebration of my connection with my Gods, with the magickal outworking of that relationship. In truth, right now, I’ve no idea how the fruits of this relationship will express themselves, all I know is, this is the path I am walking today. I am in the ever constant state of Becoming. This is my present home!

As for doors opening, I was walking down Glastonbury High Street the other day, and in a shop window was a very inconspicuous note asking for people to join a reading group exploring the works of Dion Fortune. My heart was in my mouth, and I signed up! I go to the first meeting this week, and this is what I mean about new doors opening, I don’t know where this is going to take me ... but I’m walking through the door!

I am Becoming!


Anonymous said...

Andy, Maybe it would help to view your magic as a structure to affect change that runs parallel to your belief system. Some of the magic I work is not directly Egyptian, yet I call on the power and protection of my gods and meditate with their presence to confirm the validity of the intended spellwork. This draws the thread of my beliefs through my work.
I see no discrepancy in admiring Crowley and Dion, and anyone else who strikes a chord with you. The fact is that you are not looking for a perfect guru; these are flawed human beings who (like you, like me) were doing everything they could to progress on the Journey. We can learn from them, but ultimately we walk our own paths, and ultimately we have to shape our own magic.
Have a look at Boleskine93's post where he has quoted a guest author She took a servitor working of Boleskine's and infused it with her own essence.
I think it is easy, especially from a Christian background, to strive to have a homogeneity in our beliefs, to see untidy "ends" as a weakness. Our path is very different. It MUST constantly develop and change (unlike many monotheistic religions that aim for permanence), and like a beautiful tapestry there will be a few loose threads as we work the pattern. Only when we have reached the end can we go back, tidy the ends, and place the final piece at the feet of our gods.
It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things.
Blessings on your path.

Anonymous said...

Great blog. I have added you, and thanks for adding me. I'm off; there's much for me to read on your blog...

Andy said...

Seshat, thanks so much for your comments. I have started doing some of the things you're suggesting, and can therefore validate your words. Meditating with the presence of my Gods, and therefore having their confirmation upon the validity of my spellwork really is very powerful. It's something I've only just started doing and so your words are a wonderful confirmation - thank you! I know I am called to solitary practice, although I perform ritual with others at times, so sometimes it's difficult to obtain a sense of confirmation on my direction, you've really helped, thank you!

I love the Servitor post, and I love it because of the way that the author talks so beautifully of the way in which she used her own energy, using her intention in so many ways - I have found that a great inspiration. I love how we all learn from each other.

And your comments about homogeneity are spot on, thank you! Just when I think I'm finally free from that Christian past, something else pops up out of the woodwork! More work to do there, methinks!

Boleskine93 - thank you. You're a great inspiration to me.

This Guy said...

Andy! Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you've found my blog so I can find yours!!

This was an absolutly amazing post! Definatly my favourite read of the night! :)

Andy, you are a very creative, and interesting man! I can't wait to read your next post!

Bret =)

Andy said...

You're too kind, Bret, thank you! I'm really pleased we've make contact and I look forward to some meaningful exchanges. Your blog is really lovely. I admire your openness and honesty and this is something I try to reflect in my blog. I shall visit you often!

Mary said...

I have tears in my eyes after reading this post, Andy. Your honesty and openness is breathtaking.

Have you ever considered writing a book?

Andy said...

Mary, that's so lovely of you! You've no idea what a source of encouragement you are to me. I have thought of writing a book, as I do feel I have a story to tell. Years ago I wrote a rough draft, but I've not 'fleshed it out' as it were - I don't know where to start! What's really strange is yesterday I felt that I should be returning to this draft, and today you have said this! Perhaps this means I need to get to work!

Paul said...

Andy I have just read this post and have been deeply moved by your honesty and courage. I hope to comment more fully later but it has been a long day and it is now 2214 :)

Andy said...

Paul - thank you and bless you.

astrology said...

Wow, that was a really interesting post. Well, I don't think that it is that easy to determine one's path. I mean, take a look at me, I am getting quite old and I still am not sure of the path the I have taken or that of I will have to travel to in the future.