In lieu of it being the Easter weekend and the lack of celebration of the Christ story in my Goddess circle I decided with a friend of mine and my husband to go to a Catholic church service today, the day of Christ’s crucifixion. I was a bit reticent but my desire for ceremony and ritual outweighed the reticence and so we went.
Upon entering the church (while my husband and friend were both parking) with my 18 month old Maiden on hip I narrowly missed knocking over the purple sheet covered crucifix that was laying atop a table. I hurriedly entered a surprisingly packed church and found a seat in the very back. The congregation was eerily quiet as they awaited mass. This day is a solemn day in the church so I understood the silence and honoured it as best I could, however the moment we sat down Gracious (my daughter) took a look around and began to belt out her favourite nursing song at the top of her lungs, you might recognize it, it goes like this “We all come from the Goddess and to Her we shall return like a drop of rain, flowing to the Ocean. Hoof and horn, hoof and horn all that dies shall be reborn. Crone and Sage, Crone and Sage wisdom is the gift of age.” There’s another line in there that we don’t sing as I forgot about it when I taught her the song, however these were the lyrics Gracious began to heartily sing the moment we entered the church. I pulled my boob out, reminding myself that any snarky glances I got could reference their very own pro-breastfeeding in church pope and the Goddess chanting ceased from the back of the room. As the service began angelic, archaic hymns were sung in heavy, serious tones, each pause in the hymn was greeted by a “yeeeeee!!!” from my daughter who clapped in excited applause to the performance. As I admired my daughter’s free spirit in church my husband took her for a walk to give the rest of the congregation some space to do their quiet worship. This space gave me some time to contemplate my presence there. I pride myself on my ability to receive a message in any religion or ceremony, I listen for the mystical message behind the words and am able to uplifted, the same was true for this sermon that was given I got a lovely and inspiring message. When the crucifix was carried to the front of the church and the people began to slowly approach the crucifix to pray my mind appreciated what it observed. I like ritual, I like that there is a church that has so much ritual in it. I tried to push aside what I know about the history of this particular church and so that I could just be in the moment, participating, a part of. Yet as I watched the women, men and children march in procession towards the cross I called upon my ancestors, I asked them how they felt about my presence in this church, the message that I felt come through clearly was that the majority of people I saw walking towards that cross came from a lineage that was either threatened into joining the religion that they now worship, or worse killed as the church enforced their will upon the people of the Western world. I can’t forget The Burning Times documentary that I watched nor any of the information that I have researched. This church has never, to my knowledge, apologized for the women, men an children that were burnt as witches during their inquisition. I couldn’t sit there, I couldn’t participate. My Grandmothers deaths mean too much to me. I grabbed my friend and my husband and daughter and we left. Next year we will worship as a family as I lead us through ceremony or we will find a Unity Church and join them.
That was my unexpected message on this Good Friday, a reminder that under no circumstances can I enter a Catholic Church and be okay with myself.
The rest of my time was spent contemplating what this day means to me. This day in particular above all other Christian days of honour simultaneously moves me and irks me. It moves me because of what it represents and it irks me because I believe the majority of people who have learnt about the crucifixion have received a false message. I am irked because the message of Christ is in black and white and with a little bit of spiritual discernment there is quite a powerful message, however the patriarchy and it’s attending henchmen have taken a story of Power and Glory and turned it into one of shame and blame. Most churches will tell you that Jesus died on the cross to save all of us from our sins, that we are lowly sinners and that if we can admit that Jesus is the one and only child of God and that if we choose to worship Him (despite the fact that He admonished everyone that ever worshipped Him and asked them “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” imploring them to find their own personal relationships with this presence that He called Father) then we can be forgiven for being born as lowly sinners and go to Heaven because His death on the cross was a sacrifice that He made for us. He endured all of the sins so that they could be forgiven and we could go to Heaven. That is what we are taught. The ‘Good News’ is that God came to Earth and died for us because we sucked so bad that we weren’t going to ever get there without Him coming down and being brutally beaten, murdered and humiliated. Don’t you feel great?
The mystical message of Christ is much different. It is one that has inspired me and was the beginning point of my personal path towards Source. When Jesus was preparing to leave, the disciples weren’t understanding His message even though He had been teaching with them for three years, He told them “if I go not away the Comforter will not come.” He couldn’t be their only link to God, they needed to get a personal relationship with God. Throughout His ministry He disproved all forms of human power, He proved that sickness had no power as he healed the sick, He proved that mistakes had no power by forgiving the unforgivable, He proved that laws and rules had no power by breaking them, He proved that customs that excluded women and children had no power by breaking those. He came along with a radical message, one that He guaranteed not only could you and I do, but He said that we could do greater works then the ones He was doing. Jesus had attained Christ consciousness, conscious union with the Divine and He spent His three year ministry dispelling the illusions of this realm by overcoming every human belief in lack and limitation that He encountered. His final message was that the body has no power, death has no power, hate has no power. He allowed Himself to be torn to pieces, His flesh was brutalized in front of many, He was nailed to a cross, He was ridiculed and humiliated, He died, right in front of their eyes He died. And with this sacrifice, the sacrifice of His human form He showed us that hate has no power as He forgave and loved those that hated Him before He died, that the body had no power as He endured the unthinkable and that death had no power as in three days time He rose up in His human form and ascended this realm into the next. His message was that nothing, absolutely nothing in this realm has any real power to do any harm to anyone, it is all illusion, it all fades away in the face of Divinity. He exemplified this message so that you and I could attain what He had and so that we too could live free from the bondage of this realm of illusions. The ‘One Son’ is because we are all One, there is One child, One Source, One truth and that truth in the Christian faith is to love, to forgive and to trust in the Power of Source.
Today is an important day for me because today represents courage, faith and strength. It reminds me of the barbaric nature of the human who is not connected to their spirit and it reminds me of the safety that lies within me. This day gives me the strength to bare whatever cross of illusion I am baring in the moment and reminds me that in the face of my inner Source it all fades away, it dies away and is reborn as truth, love and eternality. I am forever safe because “thou couldst have no power over me lest it was given you from above.”
Yours in Grace,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
Grace Be With You
I feel the Easter weekend strongly in my soul. I’m not referencing Ostara and her hare here, I’m talking good old fashioned Christian Easter weekend. I’m a bit of a spiritual misfit, I am a Priestess that honours the Feminine and I am a studier of Christian Mysticism. I call my brand of faith Feminine Mysticism because it encompasses both the One Spirit of mysticism with the Feminine honouring of the Earth, emotions and all things incarnate as being holy.
I grieve for the damage that the churches and the patriarchy did to such a beautiful and pure faith Christianity in itself is the message of Jesus the Christ. For some the story of Jesus is a metaphoric tale that teaches sacrifice, unconditional love and the all power of the One Source. For others the story of Jesus is literal and the events took place exactly as the bible states they did. And for others, it is a bit of both, an awareness that the bible was written hundreds of years after Jesus’ life leaves this side open to interpreting the stories in the bible with an ear for fable and fact and hopefully a discerning spirit to go along with them.
Whatever your view the life of Jesus, His message and the legacy that He left is one of love, one of trust, surrender and ultimately one of sacrifice and humility, two words that are often lost in this day and ages approach to fulfilment spirituality, a brand of spiritual practice that is aimed at fulfilling our own personal desires rather than serving and loving others as the Christ message and the earliest Christians practiced.
Holy Thursday is today, it is an important day in the Christian faith. This is the day that Jesus gathered His disciples and had the famous last supper with them. In metaphysics the 12 disciples represent 12 different states of consciousness: love, faith, understanding, wisdom, imagination, zeal, strength, will, life, power, renunciation and order.* When these powers are all perfected within one being they merge into the 13th state of consciousness, the Christ consciousness. Jesus attained this state of enlightenment and at His final meal He performed a ritualized act where He consecrated the bread that they ate and made it into His body and the wine that they drank became His blood. This very act is one that would have ensured a quick arrest and a painful death for any one of us during the inquisitions of the church, it is imperative not to confuse the purity, the depth of power of the Christ message with the damage that those wrought falsely under His name. This ceremonial offering was but a microcosm of what would happen the next day when He would be arrested and crucified (more on the mystical message of the crucifixion tomorrow) when He would give of His earthly form body and blood for all of humanity. During this supper the disciples attempted to honour this living being that was an emanation of the Father God that He loved so well by washing His feet in an act of deference and devotion. Instead Jesus did the unspeakable and stooped to His knees and washed each one of their feet.
This beautiful man who had spent His life perfecting His soul and attempting to transmit what He had attained in consciousness to His disciples did what was unheard of in His time, broke rank and lived His message that we were to serve and love one another. If you could imagine the most holy person you’ve encountered in your life, if you’ve been in the presence of a guru, Ammachi, the Dali Lama, Mother Meera, Mother Teresa or if you’ve ever had an angel, or spirit guide or even the One Divine visit you in a meditation or dream, if you could imagine the awesomeness of this presence, the immensity of the wisdom and love bowing down before you and washing your feet, washing away the debris that your earthly walk has left upon your soul, you may get a glimpse of how the disciples were humbled and for some horrified.
This is the image that continues to go through my mind’s eye today, the image of Jesus the Christ, kneeling, washing, loving and teaching. I weep for that kind of love. I weep for a world that has been so hurt by the church that this message has been sneered at and tossed aside in many circles. A world that encourages us to do what feels good, to put ourselves first. Seeming spiritual practices that encourage personal growth and connection to Source but leave out the humility, the service, the egoic sacrifices offered to our neighbour in the name of true love and devotion to the Creator that serves us all unceasingly.
I give thanks on this Holy Thursday for the message of the Christ. I give thanks for the Christian faith that teaches love, service and humility and I honour the earth walk that my sisters and brothers have taken as Christ honoured those of His disciples. I bow down to you, to where you have been, what you have seen, what you have done and to who you are at the depth of your Spirit despite the influence that this third dimensional realm has had on you. I pray that I may receive that same love and understanding from my sisters and brothers in return.
Yours in Grace,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
Grace Be With You
*learn more about these soul powers through the Unity Church teachings and writings