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About Gaura

  • Rank
    Strong Minded
  • Birthday 02/20/1971

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  • Location
    Citrus country, Califrornia
  • Interests
    Calligraphy, organic gardening, Greyhound adoption, late talking kids, libertarian politics
  • More About Me
    ex-Catholic pagan mystic living in southern California.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    the Gemstone
  1. Welcome Eccles from a fellow ex-Catholic. While I grew up entirely in Vatican II, I still managed to get some rudiments of Latin poured into me. (Not all bad, it really helps in deciphering and pronouncing scientific names and some medical terms) You are absolutely correct that the Christian myths are retold versions of Mithraic, Egyptian, and other old Pagan faiths. There is very little that is original, it just caught on better. I might add that I screamed when the baptismal water was poured onto me, much to my mother's chagrin. I guess I was too nicely tempered to bite but I certainly can understand you doing so. My son is a little spitfire and would be just as inclined to do so. :-)
  2. My condolences on the stillbirth. My firstborn was a stillborn back in 2000, and I totally agree with you that Christians don't get it and say some pretty hurtful things in the process. I've come to peace with what happened but I know how hard it can be. People kept trying to blame me for "doing something" to kill William when I tried very hard to be a good mother. You probably know that drill.
  3. Well, Taylork, I was going to edit my post to say something along those same lines when IE crashed on me (it does that a lot). Thanks for saying what I never got a chance to say. Actually, Christians trying to stick their noses into politics is what got me politicaly active. While I usually don't make that terribly obvious in my political work-- I find that working silently is just as effective and much safer-- the ones I'm closer to know and understand. Then again our Chair locally is an Atheist, so he understands from his own experience.
  4. I will hopefully attempt to answer the question. I am not sure I am "against" the basic concept of Christianity. Let me make myself clear, I am not against the idea of loving each other and loving Deity. If it takes the idea of a God dying and rising in that old theme to do it, then maybe that is what some people need before they can learn and grow beyond that. I view Christianity as a religion who people who are spiritually children, who have not yet grown to spiritual maturity. There are, however, many aspects of Christianity which are repugnant. First, there is the concept that Christianity is the "one and only way". Divorcing people from the concept that Deity is of many aspects is a crime, IMHO. Forcing people to think in one restricted manner is just plain wrong. We are all unique, our approaches to spirituality should be as well... as evidenced by people here on this site. Second, there is the concept that a woman is less than a man. While this is not an absolute, some liberal strains of Christianity aren't too bad towards women, most types seek to push women into a near-slavery first to parents and then to husbands. That oppression has caused endless pain. Third, there is the concept that guilt and fear are a Christian's constant companions. True spiritual power is not built in a state a grovelling, it is when the person learns, and grows, and gets it about love. There are others, but these are three things which truly anger me.
  5. Roasted Veggies-- with variations on a theme 1 large or 2 smaller potatoes (yukon golds or reds but russets can work) or sweet potato. 1 large or 2 small zucchini, several carrots, or other preferred veggies 1 small onion 1/2 pound tofu cubes, 1/2 pound meatballs, or 2 chicken breasts some sort of seasoning, salt and papper, 21 seasoning, cajun spices, whatever olive oil Cut the potatoes and veggies into small cubes. Put in ovenproof casserole dish. Put protein on top and season. Drizzle oil on top and roast for about an hour or until protein is well cooked and all potatoes and veggies are tender.
  6. From one Ex-Catholic to another-- Firstly, the imprint of a Catholic education is still on you-- how many 20-year-old Americans can write like that without using a lot of "lingo" or typos and grammatical errors? (Yeah, Catholic middle and high school and Catholic college here, we're alike in that one) Seriously, though. I do understand. While I was a natural daughter, and while I was lockstep with Il Papa for the first 20 years of my life, the sense of things not fitting after that is strong. I am also another on the board who have undertaken Journey-work and who have reached beyond the Tunnel to find many very spiritual experiences. Now tha tI am a mother, I do not have the time to Journey anymore and I do miss that aspect of things. Please feel welcome here. I can't remember the comedian's name who once said "I once was Catholic, but I'm doing much better now".. it seems to fit for the moment.
  7. Well, Hadou, there's always the option of exurbia, living on the very fringe of metro areas, That way you could still be a lawyer and live semi-rural. Trust me, no matter your spiritual inclination, the peace and quiet of rural life is worth it.
  8. Flyby-- When I said "live in the country" I didn't mean "camping out and really roughing it" while some Pagans (a minority) have done that and I know one or two of those who have done some variant of that for some time (six months or more), modern life does work so much better when you have something like a house. I lived in a modular house (but a nice one) and we even had super-fast Internet out there. Yeah, we were 10 miles from even a gas station, but it was soooo worth it. I've now been in the city for 2 1./2 years and I am seriously getting the rural itch again, to live on 2-10 acres and to have a property secluded enough that it would feel completely private. Oh, and I have absolutely nothing against living near the beach. Hey, if you can find an affordable place that isn't stacked up against the other like cliff swallow nests, then consider yourself lucky. I know a few quiet houses like that still exist even in SoCal, and probably elsewhere. Nivek, it sounds like you live in Galt's Gulch or something. (and no, I'm not an Ayn Randian, just someone who has heard a few discussions on Atlas Shrugged) Blue Giant, I do understand some of what you mean by the "ecology of the city" and I do recognize the need to know what comprises normal for that environment as well. Like, a Curlew Sandpiper or a Pacific Golden Plover on the LA River not 3 miles from the ports is not normal (but has happened). Likewise, a Washintonia filifera palm growing up out of a crack in the sidewalk is perfectly normal-- out here anyhow. (I actually have to weed them out of my garden!) I guess I mention country living for two reasons: first, the patterns of Nature are frequently more obvious in the country, partially because Nature is more obvious to begin with. Second, while it is very possible with the right house equipment to live life in the city fairly oblivious to the patterns of Nature, you just can't do that in the country. It just isn't possible. The sky gets really, truly dark at night and even the best security pole lights only serve to punch holes in that darkness. Because there aren't 6' privacy fences every hundred feet, the wind and the weather are far easier to perceive. You'd be amazed at how city fencing cuts down on wind. Stuff like that. Also, something like the subtle energy patterns of the Earth are much harder to perceive with all the competing chaos of the city, and speaking of chaos, the peace and quiet of the country makes meditation much easier.
  9. Ah, so you want to become Pagan. Be prepared to study. Start picking up books-- or webpages-- on the branches of the Pagan faith that interest you. But, more importantly, let Nature talk. Go out, study Nature. You can only know that Hawk is sending you a message if you know what a hawk looks like and preferably what its normal habits are. My only half-joking response to newbie Pagans is to go get a degree in Ecology or at least Biology because you will learn so much. (I have a BA in Biology and an MS in Agronomy) Go meditate in the shade of a tree. Some books that I like... "The Elves of Lilly Hill Farm" by Penny Kelley. "Shamanism" by Michael Harner, "Shamanism" by Mircea Eliade. None of these are remotely Wiccan. The first one is close to my heart as a lady learns to live with the land, and with the elves that she has discovered live in her production vineyard. I think it bespeaks how to learn to LIVe a Pagan lifestyle without the emphasis on the religious details and nitpicking. My first teachers were from the spirit realm, so I understand her doing about the same thing. The other two are classics in the field of shamanic practice, which I found very helpful. Finally, if you can-- go live in the country. Some of my strongest lessons took place on 5 acres of High Plains scrub in rural Colorado. There's a reason we're called Pagans-- the old indigenous pagan traditions lasted far longer in the country than in European cities because people still felt the pull of Nature in the rural areas!
  10. Fear not, you are among friends. We are in all stages here, from just barely deconverted to those like me who have been away from church for years. We come in many flavors from atheist and agnostic to various Pagan sorts to occasional eastern philosophies. So dig in, there is a lot of material here that helps you to think about the issues at hand.
  11. For those Pagans who insist on getting all the materials just right and checking all the correspondences and making everyting just...so..., well for them Paganism is a very complex religion fraught with trouble and superstition. Yep, there are Pagan fundies too. I've met them. Ewwww. I've lived rural, for almost five years. While I was out there I learned pretty quickly the lessons of the "pagani" the old country dwellers that believed in pre-Christian folkways that were basically Pagan. The truth is that the influences of contemporary ceremonial magick have infiltrated Wicca especially and Paganism to some extent. I remember talking with some gal who needed a golden bowl-- like the whole thing made out of gold-- for some ritual. I told her, sorry, I've never even seen such a thing. In my mind, things used in ritual are props and really just symbols. If I'd really needed a "golden bowl" I'd have taken a bowl from the cabinet and spay painted it! Geesh! I decided then and there to focus on what the soul of the faith is about-- reconnecting with the Gods/ Deity/ Spirit through connecting with Nature. I keep a garden, which here is a full time proposition, and there I continue to learn. So I keep it simple, and this is much less worrisome for me.
  12. Okay, here's my story. Mind, this is probably going to be a little boring for a lot of you. I don't recall too many nights crying out loud to the Xtian God, or laying prostrate praying. Maybe it's because I come from the Catholics originally. Mom says that when I was still in the hospital at two days old, i was fascinated by the cross the priest wore (religious hospital). She took this as a sign that I would be a good little Catholic from the start. Hmm, guess the Old Ones didn't get the real message across at my baptism, because I screamed at the water being poured on my head! This should have been a clue... I spent the first twenty years of my life as a strong Catholic. I became an altar server (one of the first females allowed to serve in the Archdiocese of Denver) and very involved in the Church. I do remember being nagged by the sense that for all my devotion that I wasn't getting anyting back. But, I was too busy between schoolwork and my horse to really notice. I also remember, all too clearly, when the server who had trained me packed off for seminary school. I remember saying goodbye to him on a glorious May morning, ribbons of the Easter season decorating the altar. I was putting out the Paschal candle when he broke the news. It hurt that I would never be able to choose to go, since the way was barred for a lady. I tried asking Father Angelo about this, and he tried to reassure me. Mind, he's a reformist and I suspect that privately he wouldn't mind female priests. But I didn't get anything to assuage my soul on this. Still I labored, Catholic school, Latin lessons, serving, Catholic college. I became acquainted with the thespians on campus at college, that age-old sanctuary of societal misfits. One of the guys self-described as a witch, and he soon started dating a new, very good friend of mine. This was my first acquaintance with witchcraft. At some point when it was clear that she was going to become Pagan, I confronted her-- on the tennis courts--loudly. I told her she was going to go to Hell. She responded-- with a right hook. I literally didn't speak to her for a week. Well, at the same time I was also having visions of what can only be described as shamanic magic. So I also started reading everything the college library had on the subject, from transliterated Navajo (Dine) Blessingway chants to ethnographies of the Shoshone Indians. I'd put that book inside of another (safer) book and find a quiet corner to read in. I never really drew any suspicion except once with my ex-boyfriend who was about to join the monastery. Nothing came of it, I don't think, but I was rapidly gaining a reputation for being a character on campus, despite that I was a good student who went to Sunday Mass at the abbey without fail. Well, my faith in the Catholic way started taking a steady slippage during my junior and senior years, although I kept up all appearances. There was rather a witch hunt my junior year, because someone got the book "the Unicorn in the Sanctuary" and created a stink. Fortunately I didn't have any physical possessions to really cause concern but one night I was brewing some chamomile tea in my dorm when one of the "God-Squadders" came by. (He's now a priest) He got very angry that I was into herbal tea, and made me read the book. I did, and I recall very few times that I have ever gotten physically ill from reading a BOOK! (a definite warning to the rest of you. Don't read this book after dinner!!!) My senior year also meant the entrance of my husband into my life. Of course we were just dating then, but it became obvious that we were very much an item. He comes from a mixed Catholic/ Lutheran heritage and is the grandson of a Lutheran pastor. He says he went to college as a getaway from all the Catholic stuff. Somehow he did this, I'm not sure how. He went to four Masses his whole time there. By this time I was way beyond telling him that he was going to Hell! Thank goodness, I'm not sure what he would have done!! In grad school I really had more of a chance to learn about both shamanic ways and Wicca. I ended up choosing Wicca for a while over the shamanic ways because I became very sensitive to treading on the Native American paths without any verifiable heritage. (I probably am part Native, but my gran was adopted at birth). It is proper to say that I did blend the shamanic into the Wiccan. I did quite a lot of Journey-work, which was a very good experience for me as No ONE was telling me when to do this or how to do this. It was me, the spirits, and the Otherworlds, and I learned a great deal. After school, I settled in El Paso County Colorado with my then fiancee and about to be hubby. He was also heading Wiccan as he thought it made more sense than Xtianity. We still chose to be married Catholic but it was only a show for the parents. (Neither of which are savvy enough to probably find this place). During the Engaged Encounter we were to speak a bethrothal oath to each other. Fortunately this was a private affair. It was a sunny summer afternoon in the Colorado mountains and Tannim and I chose a spot near the Platte River. The wedding was but a show, the betrothal felt like the real wedding. That's been almost ten years ago. Much has happened since. I've gradually been moving past the Wiccan label to calling myself eclectic Pagan or pagan mystic. I haven't been to church in years! Mom knows I no longer sttend Church and I suspect she still prays for my soul each night. I'm actually at peace with that, she was born Catholic and will be Catholic until she's six feet under, I'm sure. It's what she is, amd I am what I am... not what someone tells me to be. Obviously I'm not into shoving my ideas down any throats... they are not me, so I have no authority to tell them what to believe. This includes my son, I plan on showing him religion in a very varied way so that he can be informed. I know that in my "Any Gods" line I list the concept of the Gemstone. This is a concept my hubby and I have been fleshing out for years, and goes somehting like this. The Gemstone proper is symbolic of Deity in its wholeness, the entirety. Each facet or corner of Deity is symbolic of an aspect or part of Deity. The idea is that humans, in out limited perception, cannot view Deity very well except perhaps in a mystic's vision. So, I approach Deity from the perspective of a Pagan, seeing God in Nature. I still read voraciously, and am heavily intrigued by the historical documents of early Christianity. There were some serious mystics then too!! Whoever wrote the Gospel of Judas was not speaking literally, I don't think! It's interesting to see what the church did to discredit the Gnostics and mystics. (By this, I mean stuff like Irenaeus, not the Da Vinci Code which is almost certainly not all true) So, that's my journey... perhaps not too dramatic but where it is nonetheless.
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