• Tag Archives namaste
  • The Incarnation

    Samain                               Moon of the Winter Solstice

    Snow.  And darkness.  So different from spring and the lengthening days of South America. The darkness and the snow both make me feel at home, rooted in the season that my genes tell me ought to be going on in December.

    Cold seems to have abated and I’ve been working on my nativity presentation.  Now I end with the depression era photograph by Dorothea Lange.  The mother and her children.  A universal and timeless theme.

    I’ve just created my first slide show, this one done in the presentation format of openoffice.doc because that’s the software I have on my laptop. (it’s free.)

    It gives me the ability to project full view images which I could not do in the .pdf format I used when I checked out the projector on Thursday.

    The whole nativity story, of course, comes into the Jesus narrative as an afterthought, a reflection that such an important guy must have had a special and memorable birth.  Not an unusual phenomena in history, but it does make the familiar stories and images very much in the realm of myth and archetype and not history.

    The big idea I take away from the nativity narratives is the incarnation.  God becomes human.  Especially in a monotheistic faith this is an extraordinary idea, mind blowing.  Seemingly impossible.  Debate over just how it was possible occupied the Christian church until the Chalcedonian council when competing ideas got sorted and the notion of Jesus as both fully human and fully God became dominant.

    In m own breakaway syncretism I put the notion of incarnation in synch with the Hindu namaste. The God in me bows to the God in you.  This way we don’t have to wrestle with the unusual task of fitting an omniscient and omnipresent being into a frail human vessel.  Instead, each of us is a splinter of the divinity, a chip off the old divine block.  We don’t have to pray upward and outward to reach the holy, rather we can go down and in, plumbing our depths, depths which have their roots in the sacred river.

    No matter how you understand it this holiseason represents and celebrates the divine human.  Sounds about right to me.  Lets go caroling.

  • Beltane 2011

    Beltane (May 1)                                                        Waning Bee Hiving Moon

    A bit about how I got interested in the auld religion, the ancient Celtic faery faith and from it, the Great Wheel.

    23 years ago I left the Presbyterian ministry and wandered off into a life I could never have anticipated.  The writing turn I took then led me to investigate my Celtic past, the heritage of my Welsh and Irish ancestors.  I learned about Richard Ellis, son of a Welsh captain in William of Orange’s army who was stationed in Dublin.  After his father’s death, his mother paid Richard’s fare to America, to Virginia, where he was to become heir to a relative’s land, a common practice at the turn of the century since children died so often.  This was 1707.

    Also a common practice at the turn of the century was a ship captain’s larceny, stealing Richard’s fare and selling him into indentured servitude in Massachusetts.   Richard went on to found the town of Asheville, Massachusetts and become a captain in the American Revolution.

    My own other Celtic ancestors, the Correls, were famine Irish, part of the boat loads forced out of Ireland by the failed potato crop, or an Gorta Mór it is known in Gaelic, the great hunger. (Incidentally, this was due to planting potatoes as a mono-culture, much like we plant corn, soybeans and wheat today.)  They came to this country in the mid 19th century.

    I did not go into the history of Wales at the turn of the 18th century, nor did I investigate the an gorta mor and its aftermath.  Instead, I went further back, into ancient Ireland and Wales; in fact I looked at all the Celtic lands, Isle of Mann, Scotland, Brittany and Galicia as well.  What fascinated me then, and still does now, was the auld religion, the Faery Faith, as represented in The Fairy Faith by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, more famous as the translator of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

    Not long after leaving the Presbyterian ministry I packed my bags for a week + at St. Denioll’s, a residential library in Hawarden, Wales.  While there I wandered northern Wales, visiting holy wells, castles and Welsh villages.  There was also an extensive collection of Celtic material at St. Denioll’s. Continue reading  Post ID 12230