Hah! Church of England seeks Pagan congregations…

http://www.mysticchrist.co.uk/forest_church

This really makes me laugh. With an ageing congregation and a failing effort to attract younger members, some wise folk in the Church of England have formed- the Forest Church…

 

This is from their website and had me in stitches:

 

Forest Church is a fresh expression of church drawing on much older traditions when sacred places and practices were outside – but it is also drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places.

Forest Church isn’t just normal church happening outside, instead it attempts to participate with creation. And it isn’t just a fellowship group doing an outside activity, we aim to learn, worship, meditate, pray and practice with the trees, at the spring, along the shore….

 

Each group has its own flavour and range of gatherings. Examples vary from meditative walks, workshops on naturalist subjects to more formalised rituals. For some groups the latter tend to draw on the shape of Pagan rituals which have evolved to inhabit the outdoor space although the language often expresses the presence of Christ within the context of the Trinity, whilst also allowing for the fullness of gender expressed within God. Story and the historical myths of the land are celebrated and valued alongside scripture, thus allowing each Forest Church to be centred in its own location.

 

 

So lets see…

 

older traditions -check

sacred places…outside- check

nature-check

wild places-check

meditation- check

trees- check

springs- check

the sea- check

nature-check

Pagan ritual formats- check

 

Yes sir, someone in the C of E used Google, looked up key ideas of neo-Paganism and what attracts neo-Pagans and then used them to create a Church within a Church (or without one as it may technically be) and pitched it as a way to attract new congregations and pitch the wisdom and glory of Christ at them.

This is no different to someone pitching Satanism to attract disillusioned Christians who seek to rebel against the Church (key point: most Satanist’s do not actually believe in the existence of Satan, but rather use the image as a key attraction factor behind what is actually a fairly detailed and interesting philosophy on life and self-development whilst Luciferians have a theistic belief in Lucifer whilst retaining a similar philosophy focused however on self-deification rather than self-improvement and survival)

I respect the efforts of the C of E, but it really does smack of desperation.

Fear the Pagans…well, the real ones who generally don’t call themselves Pagan. The C of E can have the Wiccan’s- which is who I suspect they are targeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fragiligty

Whatever the field of expertise or topic of discourse- Nietzsche was absolutely right. Where we find those with closed minds, we most likely find those with a fear of having their world view shattered. I am generally right and can be stubborn, but a well enough structured reasoning can and does change my views. This is not a weakness- this is progress. I have my views on the world, my religious beliefs and my philosophy- yet should I find myself answering to a god other than Odin, I will have to suck that up.

Psychic work

I’ve never been into psychics. Never been psychic. Never wanted to be so.

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours on a psychic development workshop. Covering topics like listening to your intuition, psychic sand, tarot, painting and the reading of energies left on personal objects- the course was refreshing in its approach and content.

Taught by someone trained by old fashioned mediums, there was little reliance on text or books, but rather a lot of practical and experience based tutoring. The course was great I must admit. Personally, I learned that I am more in touch with this aspect of myself than I thought and I am actually pretty accurate with it, but also- I got confirmation that when sat in a room of peers and discussing topics, that not only is my knowledge developing as I hoped through my study, but that I actually know a lot more than many others. This confirmation is what I was ultimately seeking- something to show that all of my work is paying off and my development is continuing as planned.

A surprising result of the day was that I now understand the tarot a little better and will now be seeking an appropriate pack to work with. Why are there 72 cards? 72 has many occurrences obviously within the fields of Goetic magic and ceremonial workings and is also 9×8, which I view as being the key number 9 of Norse lore being multiplied by the 8 worlds outside of our realm. Interesting. I think there is much research and work for me to do here.

Call me…an Odian- don’t call me Pagan

Pagan… a term generally used to describe indigenous or polytheistic religions. Well, that’s the technical definition, but more often than not we will ind this used to describe anyone following a religion with spiritual, mystical or historic roots. It’s origins were in Latin and quickly came to mean ‘of the countryside’. Of course, the word and its use has evolved drastically over the years and especially in the last 70 years. 

Describe a Pagan? In the UK you can select ‘Pagan’ as your religious beliefs on the government census. The word no longer has any derogatory connotations and is used as an umbrella term, often by those who do not care to dig deeper and understand the religions and beliefs typically characterised as Pagan and placed under its umbrella. The BBC website even has a Pagan religious calendar- a quick look at it will tell you that it is actually a Gardnerian Wiccan calendar and bears little meaning to many other religions that the BBC class as Pagan.

When speaking of or referring to other religions- I use the appropriate names for their beliefs rather than an umbrella term. Why is it inconceivable that they should do the same for us they chose to label ‘Pagan’? By accepting this, we tolerate and approve their lazy dismissal of us as not being worth their time- like a parent dismissing what their babbling child is talking about as being rubbish. When the followers of Abraham (oooh…yes, I mean Christians, Jews and Muslims) degrade our beliefs as not being worth their effort to understand or acknowledge through the use of the correct names, why do we find members of the unfortunately titled ‘Pagan Federation’ laying claim to the right to be called ‘Pagans’. It would take me 2mins to identify these people as being Wiccan (they are by large) yet they blindly pursue a claim to the title of Pagan despite the inferred mocking of their Wiccan religion by those who will not use its name. The Abrahamic religions expect to be shown the appropriate respect by being referred to in terms and names that differentiate them from each other and I firmly believe that we, whatever our non-Abrahamic religious beliefs are, should be doing the same.

I do not share beliefs with a Wiccan, a Druid, a Celtic Reconstructionist or Hellenic person- I mostly have beliefs in common with those that would identify as Heathen or Asatru. Yes, there are varied beliefs to be found within any of these communities- there are variations to be seen in different schools of worship within any of the 5 major world religions. I am an Odian Heathen. I share the same beliefs in the Aesir and Vanir as any Heathen/Asatruar, but I have my own specific form of worship and manner of practice. 

I call on all members of religions typically grouped under the umbrella of Paganism to stand up and say “I am…”

New skills

It’s been a busy ten days or so and I’ve not had time to post.

Aside from being struck down with a bout of flu, I’ve also dived head first into Qabalah and Qliphoth. Whilst trying to get a firm grasp on these and how they will shape my development, I also believe I have found a correlation with my runic system of magic. Only once I am happy with my knowledge will I divulge what I believe is an amazing correlation that came to mind from nowhere. As yet I do not gave the ability to validate its uses.

It’s as Edred Thorsson once said, to paraphrase- Runa is not something you ever finish, new mysteries always present themselves.