Mittwoch, 10. August 2016

Looosing my Religion

It's been a while...

I recently experienced something which I believe to be a problem for a lot of people and never thought it could actually be a problem for me.

Religion. Well, I always have been Christian. Not one of those fundamentalist born again ones but rather a moderate, open and tolerant Lutheran. No one ever forced me into it, no one ever indoctrinated me. Before that I had been Christian with a tendency towards being agnostic but then I had some key experiences which made me think and read and at the end drew me deeper into the doctrine as such and into the mysteries. I truely believed to be protected and felt sheltered.

However, all that changed. After a longer time of serious struggeling, hoping, praying, then swearing and threatening, I lost all of it. Or maybe, I lost most of it. The thing is that I do not feel that all that was crap and that (the Abrahamic) God does not exist. I just believe now that he does not care.

Now, without going into detail as to why any what, I always felt drawn towards the ancient Germanic traditions. Without becomming really a heathen, I started to come to the conclusion that Charles the great does not deserve his name at all and that he was actually the butcher and grave digger of Saxonians and their religion (and the "Germanic religion" at all). It was forced upon us. So it would be logical to get "back" into it, right. Now here is the thing, I felt - and feel somehow guilt. I feel guilty for creating and performing rituals directed towards Wodan, Donar and the other ancient Germanic gods. And I ask myself, why? From where I come I do not believe in hell or that people are doomed to burn in hell because they do not believe. I never believed in God as the punisher or the envious god. But as I said I came to the conclusion that he simply does not care. So why for gods sake (...) do I feel guilty?

Well, religion is not a question of "pick one that suits" - at least not for  me. I always get nervous when people tell me they have chosen to become x.... . You believe or not but religion rarely is a matter of reason and deciding what sounds better. It is a process, usually a long one. Logic is barely part of it.

What I (also)  feel is a loss. Like a loss of a good (maybe imaginary) friend. A friend you still feel somehow obliged to, not wanting to let him/her down. I had talked to him, discussed and yelled at him. As said before, I felt sheltered. Wodan for example is not a personal god in the same sense. It is difficult imagining the same kind of contact. At the same time I feel that the gods of our ancestors are the ones which are rather helpful - at least for the time being.

Maybe it is a problem with monotheism. In former times it was no problem to integrate "foreign" gods into your own pantheon. A few more or less did not realy matter. The Romans incorporated (if you want to say so) other gods or made them expressions of or equivalent to their own gods.

I always though that god as such revealed themself to mankind in different ways fitting to cultural situations and specifics and understanding of the people at question and so at the end of the day is the same everywhere, may it be split in their different aspects as in politheism or seen as one (or three) like in monotheism/Christianity.

But that all is logic. It should make me feel relaxed and open, not guilty. But then, when I feel that all is the same, the consequence would be that the God I believe to not to care is the same than the Nordic Gods in their various aspects and so - they would not care too, or?

Do not get me wrong, I do not feel like I may be punished, just had a bad feeling for adressing Odin. At the same time I feel the nordic Gods being more powerul, or better saying, to be stronger.

So what is this about now? Logic tells me to not care and to go as I feel. But that is the point, Logic and feeling is not the same. I have no idea how to get out of this and where this will lead to in my case. But what I can say is, you surely will not be doomed and - logically - there is nothing to be afraid of or feeling bad about when you decide to leave the usual path you were walking on. There also is no reason to fall into extremes denouncing what you have been believing before. That is even more an expression of insecurity and possibly fear. The way must be to find peace within, balance. Maybe it is easyer to deal with single aspects of the one than with the one in all its aspects and complexity. Maybe these aspects can "deal" with me according to their nature - easyer with me, my anger, fear, desires, than the whole and one together who represents all aspects together?

No idea, maybe you have any?

Montag, 16. März 2015

Ritual and Gender

Recently there have been several discussions on the internet regarding the question of Gender in Ritual.

Before I am going into explaining my view, let me give you a disclaimer and some definitions.

I am by all means in favour of total equality of all genders. I do not see any superiority of one over another and am of the opinion that we all have to continue working on reaching the goal of total equality in all aspects of society and life.

When I am referring to male and female, I am referring to the common gender aspects in our human lifes. The terms masculine and feminine are used referring to the respective energies and forces and, in this context, do not relate to gender.

The question that has been discussed was, whether it is (still) ok to use gender specific language for Ritual indicating that specific parts of a ritual referring to the male and others to the female should be avoided. Why should not a priestess instead of a priest perform such parts of a ritual initially thought to be performed by a priest? Why should it not be possible that two priests or two priestesses perform the ritual instead of a pries and priestess?

What we see in these discussions is, in my opinion, a mixing up of different things which should be kept separate. From the way and language of argumentation we often see that people include their view of gender politics into the discussion. Those who support the, lets say traditional concept (keep the priest male and the priestess female), often are confronted with the label “sexist”. People explaining that the “sexist” language in rituals makes them sick. At the end there is the request for re-writing the rituals so that they meet gender neutral demands in language (and meaning). No one shall feel offended or left out, right?

Now is this all necessary? Is this all straight to the point or maybe rather missing it?

As I said before, we should separate the actual necessary discussion related to gender neutrality and equality from ritual – unless the reference to a specific gender is solely meant to be referring to power and dominance. However, I do not believe that most rituals intend this.

Throughout ritual we are attempting to balance forces and energies or to make use of a specific force or energy. Thus, the priest is not representing a male person being the priest but the masculine energy and force, solely for the very sake of the ritual’s purpose. Nothing more, nothing less. The priestess represents the female energies and forces, not a woman being the priestess. However, since by nature most of us are male or female by birth, it may indeed make sense to have a male person representing the priest because the priests purpose is it to represent the masculine, which is inherently stronger in a male priest than in a female. Now, I am not saying that it is impossible that a female person can take the role of the priest in ritual (thus representing the masculine) but calling her anything else but “The Priest” in this context would alter the ritual as this term is referring to the masculine aspect of the ritual.

But is it possible that gender and force to be represented in a ritual differ? If you want to work with Venus, you would not use the sigil and representations for Mars, declaring Mars in this context to be representing Venus, even if you follow the correct hour of day etc for Venus.

So does it indeed make any difference whether a masculine aspect within a ritual is represented by a female person? May it be sufficient if that person is wearing insignia representing the masculine, irrespective of gender? If you believe this is so, why?

We often see that people claim that rituals have to be followed by the word when it comes to detail but at the same time state it would not matter which gender represents a specific aspect of a ritual thought of representing masculine or feminine aspects of the ritual. Other than “it should be like that” and “we need to leave that sexist bullshit behind” and the like, I see no factual argument in these discussions. Now I am not saying that it is not possible that a female person represents the masculine in ritual. But I would like to see arguments for or against it which are other than the one used in mundane gender discussion. Why can we change the initial ritual (or better the understanding as it has been so far) here when we can not do the same with other aspects? Or are the rituals misunderstood and they do actually really only refer to masculine and feminine forces and energies irrespective of gender?

If a ritual calls upon feminine energies, would its intensity in result differ if being performed by a male representing the feminine instead of a female doing so when we (would) agree that within a woman, the inherited female energy is stronger than within a man?

Personally, I have no final opinion on this. However, at this point I tend to believe that a female person can represent the feminine in a stronger, more intense way and that the same counts for male/masculine. But as I said before, this should have nothing to do with any thought of superiority or domination but would be owed solely to the purpose of ritual and the forces represented. As I mentioned already, I am not really decided on this issue.

Finally, I would like to see that the arguments within this debate would center more around the questions raised above, focussed on the ritualistic meaning and purpose and if and how changing gender in relation to the force to be represented by the individual performing the specific aspect of the ritual would  - or would not -  cause a change of result or intensity within the ritual instead of using arguments from a different context related to gender politics.

Dienstag, 24. Februar 2015

Teh Golden Dawn, a religion with a specific Supreme Being?

There was a lot of discussion lately about whether the Golden Dawn is a religion or whether it should have a supreme being (indicating in fact a specific one).

Depending on which definition one uses for determining whether the GD is a religion or not, it may fit certain criteria which would indicate it is a religion. However, in my opinion it would still requite that the members of the GD (orders, lodges, groups, solitaries....) see it as a religion. I believe it is common understanding that it is not. Individual opinion may differ though. At the end, if you want to see it as a religion, well, go ahead, as long as you do not start trying to promulgate it or setting up rules for (us) others etc like we see in so many (other) religions. So do not tell me what I have to believe in when following or better working with the GD tradition.

Then there is the big discussion whether there should be a supreme being. Well that would first require the GD tradition to be a religion, otherwise there is no reason for a supreme being. The GD refers to "The Lord of the Universe". Many understand that as "our Lord, God", the Judeo, Christian (Islamic) God. Is that what is meant by it? Well possibly the Tradition`s founders had this in mind in this or that way. However, the reference is open to any possible individual identification one may come up with. If you understand GOD as the old dude (male) with the white long beard having that all seeing eye above his head, sitting on some cloud, well than that is your imagination but it may not be what the term intends. If you identify the "Lord of the Universe" with that old man, it is your interpretation. The set up is universal and open so no one needs to feel left out or pushed away because of interference of the GD rituals with their own belief system.

And there is the problem. In those posts I am refering to the suggestion was to have a specific ancient diety being recognized as the GD´s supreme being. Well that would in fact push away all those who believe differentely. And the question is, why would there be a need to identify a specific supreme being as the ONE?

Even if a specific god or goddess would fit the definition of the Lord of the Universe, the GD does not have that specification. If you want to change it, well go ahead, found your own order if you deem it necessary that your prefered diety rules your rituals and order. But do not demand from all of us others that we follow your lead.

Dienstag, 10. Juni 2014

Let Them Not Hijack our History

I have been contemplating a post about this for a while but somehow never got through with it. However, due to recent events and a blog post by Nick, I decided to do this little post now.

For quite a while I have been interrested in Germanic (heathen) culture and history. Main reason may be that I am German and a history nerd. As a magician, I am also interested in the mythology and magic of my ancestors. However, a lot of bollocks is to be read about both, history and magic when it comes to the ancient Germans. But that is not the main point of this post. Our history was hijacked by nazis and racists. Thus, whenever you show an interrest into the old Germanic culture, you are automatically linked to these nutheads. Nazis use the ancient Germans to found and justify their claims of a strong, "clean" (as in racial clean), dominant German culture which should still be leading Europe and I guess the world. Add some new age esoteric rubbish (note that the term "esoteric" is a swear word in German - or close to it, for good reasons) and you also get a link between Germanic tribes and Atlantis. I am not going into a debate about ideology or what some think about what ideology means and is. But I am pissed to the highest levels, that you can not discuss Germanic culture, religious practice or anything else related to the past without getting suspicious looks - if people are friendly with you.

I do envy people in England, Ireland, Scottland etc for their awareness of the ancient past and history. If someone there is interrested in celtic culture, no one would think that they are nazis or racist. A reason why it is different here is of course the abuse of the Germanic history by the Nazis throughout the time of the 3rd Reich. This history burned the past and puts anyone who shows an interrest into Germanic history (unless it is a pure accademic interrest) into context of what happened between '33 and '45. This made it easy for the Nazis and Neonazis to take over this part of German history (the Germanic one). It is a shame indeed. And often enough people who run pages about Germanic histiory or culture allow or use content which supports this public view (like, why to use Fraktur font in a Germanic context, or black-white-red coloring?).

The same we see in the Golden Dawn community. In Greece some idiots abuse the name Golden Dawn (well, the Greec version but it always gets translated into GD) for their political agenda and the community can do nothing but change the names of their orders or temples. Media would be happy to make a link between facists and occult "secret" orders and "weird" rituals.... Unfortunately some people within the GD community published posts making such links while at the same time claiming to protect the "GD" (most likely less the community and more the desired "dominance" of their order).

There is not much one can do unless the entire community would stand up making a stong statement that there is no link between those Nazi groups and the GD as an occult tradition. The least we can do is to ban those who make such links or propagate any such ideas at first sight!

Let them not hijack our history!!!

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2012

First Visit at Schlag Library - getting Linage

Yesterday I had a first visit at the Schlag Library. The Library is located in Schlag’s former house, which is quite interesting. I have to say that I am amazed about the stuff one can find there. I have only been in one of their rooms and got stuck at one shelf for two hours and cannot imagine what else there might be.  

I found a lot of original manuscripts related to various Rosicrucian Societies  and other manuscripts and documents. 

There was an annex to this page which explained that "yoga alone is not already Alchemy"... how revealing...
Unfortunately there is no way to search for such documents, you have to go through binders and binders and see what they contain. In that case, I will certainly spend a lot of time there. 

The downside is, it is only available once a week with prior request for admission.  Normally you have to specify what you want and they get it for you. I could convince the Lady in charge to let me go on a quest on my own, something that is rather helpful in a library like that.

I also found first editions of various books, including this one of The Book of Thoth hand numbered 109, and with an inscription by Crowley.   

That obviously means that he once held the Book in his very own hands. Now, I believe that this gives me some serious and direct linage - obviously.

In later visits I hope to find some stuff to write about here.

In L.V.X.

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2012

Back from Life and some Plans

The odds of mundane life have cleared up a bit and although still pretty present I shall be able to concentrate on the important things more now.

I have plans for a few posts, some of which were started over a year ago and I hope I will be able to finish them soon.

In the meantime I found access to a nice collection of occult works, originally started by Oskar R. Schlag . He assembled one of the most important private libraries on the esoteric field. He was a medium, interested in the occult and a well known psychotherapist. He co-operated with Jung,  also giving him access to his collection of esoteric and occult works.

Apparently there are some interesting rare manuscripts regarding Alchemy originating from the 17th and 18th centuries amongst other really interesting things. There also is quite some stuff regarding the Golden Dawn in there and I am looking forward to examine the documents he collected.

I am looking forward to some interesting stuff and hopefully quite some material to write about…..

Samstag, 29. Januar 2011

The Universe in an Eggshell

It´s been a while. Unfortunately the mundane world keeps me in its evil claws and so I am somewhat reduced in my activities . I try keeping up my daily routines as good as possible since I am getting much needed energy out of the rituals.

Over at MOTO Peregrin posted a very interesting thingie which was followed by an interesting little discussion. Today I came across this one and it somehow fits to that post so I thoujght I share it here. The story is posted in various places without the author's name but it seems that the original story comes from Andy Weir .

"The Egg"
by Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.