On reading through some of my old writings there are a number of themes that strike a chord with me today. One that resonates most strongly with me at the moment is relationship with Deity. It’s been good to check back and evaluate my spiritual journey as it was happening some months ago, in some cases, many months, because this has allowed to me capture the essence of that journey and has enabled me to see where I want to walk in the months that lie ahead. It’s no coincidence, I am sure, that Imbolc is just around the corner! Things are starting to stir indeed.
I think my entire spiritual journey can be summarised in the title of this entry – it’s all about my relationship with Deity. Back in the days of my Christian upbringing, whilst God was portrayed as a God of love, there was a theme running parallel to this that whilst not saying “this is what you have to do in order to win God’s love”, it was saying, and very clearly, “this is the behaviour, conduct, attitude, thought processes, beliefs and lifestyle you have to mirror in order to maintain God’s love.” There was this incredibly rigid, inflexible, almost hostile, heavy and suffocating code one had to adhere to that had the result of driving any creativity, spontaneous expression, diversity or freedom right out of the door. This had the simple and sad result of creating nothing other than clones, people who all spoke, thought and acted alike, no difference, no diversity, no creativity at all. Just sameness, all stirred together with a sense of having to reach out for God.
And it’s that sense of ‘reaching out’ that is weighing heavy on me today and it is this that has caused me to write this entry today. A mental picture that remains with me from my Charismatic Christian days is of gatherings of people (and don’t get me wrong, the majority of these people were sincere, lovely people) all singing praise to their God with their hands lifted to heaven. But these hands were not just lifted, there was something desperate here, something that spoke of a desperate hunger and a need to reach out and grab something and to pull whatever it was they found back into themselves. There was a tragedy about this and it was this picture that struck me quite vividly even when I still moved in those circles. This desperate desire was something of a neurosis and it spoke of huge effort on the part of the seeker. It left me empty.
No relationship, and most especially one with the Divine, is about rules and regulations. It can’t be about an adherence to a code or religious following of some kind of dogma – this isn’t what relationship is. Relationship is dynamic, it’s real, it has energy and power, it makes things happen, it creates things, it brings things to birth, it changes things and it’s celebratory and has moments of pure ecstasy. This is relationship!
Reflecting on my path to date I have come to see that my relationship with the One Divine Life is not about this strict and inflexible system, and neither is about looking up or back, it’s about looking within. I’ve come in for some criticism in saying this, and it’s so easy to interpret my words as little more than a call to navel gazing. This isn’t what I am saying at all. What I am saying is, as Doreen Valiente was inspired to write in her Change Of The Goddess “for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.” This isn’t just about knowing how one ticks, it’s not just about a call to psychology, it’s about understanding the Mystery and wonder that lies within each one of us.
Each of us is an expression of the One Divine Life and in this each of us is divine. Within me is the very magick that birthed creation. The same energy, the same dynamic, creative relationship. It’s not about a desperate and hungry reaching out, begging to be filled by some distant God, but rather an understanding of that relationship that already is manifest within. The wonder of all this is within me. And this doesn’t exist just to make me feel better, it’s not some egotistical thing, it’s a realisation that the beginning of which brings wholeness and healing not just to individuals, but to the land, our Earth.
My path is a journey that possibly over many lifetimes will take me closer to that ecstatic embrace of the Divine. And this starts, I feel, with understanding where my place truly lies with the One Divine Life, and taking that place begins with an acknowledgement that I, as I am today, am a perfect and pleasing expression of the One Divine Life.