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While no one is shocked, as so many pagans have experienced this, I have a strong bias against Christianity. We all know why, so, I do not want this post to be about the issues that led me to this point, but I would like to discuss why this has become an issue for me.
As I have mentioned in the past, I work heavily with my ancestors with an Ancestry Alter. I ran into a problem in the past year where my ancestors that are Catholic no longer wished to be at my alter. This was a really painful thing for me, as I knew that they didn’t want to be there because I was pagan, and this was not what they wanted to support. But I was also grateful to them as they were there for me through the toughest part, when I was learning to start, and despite the prejudice, they helped me.
Now, It is important to mention at this point that so much of my recent work has brought me to see my privilege, and the decisions I make based on only the information I can see, which is not necessarily all the information that is presented.
But them leaving my alter really made me heart sick. And it took months of doing my own personal work, that while listening to the podcast “The Jaguar and the Owl” that it suddenly came to me, my ancestors did not leave my alter because they were against me, or my faith, or my work… They asked to leave because of the hatred I had for Christianity. Because through that, there is no way I could truly love them, as their religion is as much of them, as mine is of me.
Heart sick did not even begin to describe the way I felt at that moment in time. They left because I allowed the wrongs I experienced turn something beautiful into a subtle hatred that was so pervasive that I have a hard time allowing friendship with self-identified Christians. How does this suite my needs or my faith? I let those Christians of my youth win, by letting them seed this hatred in me. I often question how I could have let this happen. And I realized that the answer is: It truly doesn’t matter.
As with all mistakes, the important part is how you move forward with your new realization, and although learn from the past, don’t waste time lamenting what cannot be changed.
So the question came: How do I heal such a deep and dark rift within myself? I think this is the most difficult question I have ever posed, and I couldn’t hear any answers came through. (It is amazing how we can be so blocked, you can’t hear good advise sometimes)
I asked a friend, Sarenth Odinson, while out to dinner. He asked a few basic questions, and then he mentioned the idea of contacting Jesus himself.
I pause a moment only to give visual affect to the way this statement affected me. As a shaman, I guess I do have the capacity to reach out to the dead. Wow, no pressure there at all.
Anyway, we continued our conversation, and he mentioned something else that really helped me in this thought process. Sarenth also teaches a living traditions type of class where he teaches people to live his tribal religion. I asked him how it was going. And he said, wonderfully, slower than I anticipated, but wonderfully. He commented on how he took for granted how to pray, as he learned it in his own Christian background. Some people are matriculated with no formal religion or prayer at all.
Much like when I learned the value in a martial art I trained in and no longer had use for, I realized that my pagan faith, is built on the shoulders of my Catholic upbringing. Because I grew up Catholic, I learned to connect to spirit, and how to pray. How can I hate something that is such an integral part of who I am?
This conversation was particularly helpful due to what I could hear from it. And it always makes me question, what valuable pieces am I not hearing. I guess that is why I am determined to stay a perpetual student, so much to learn, so many subtleties.
That night, while pondering how I would go about contacting someone as powerful and well known as Jesus.
And he was there, Rabbi Jesus.
And an interesting conversation we had. I feel as if it would be in appropriate to outline it here, but it moved me in remarkable ways.
I would like to tell you some of the things I have learned, and that I hope from every one. Note, these are my words, not his.
I honestly feel we should all be more like Rabbi Jesus. All of us. Of all of the deities I have worked with, he was the first powerful figure with whom I have spoken that I didn’t feel the need to have even a little bit of guard up. I felt perfectly safe in his presence. He was more compassionate than I could have ever imagined, and being in that presence was a gift onto itself.
For those who are Christian, I simply ask you choose your actions based on love. For those of you who act and protest, and feel the need for your passionate faith be heard, I ask that you think about how Rabbi Jesus himself would act in that situation, not how your leader or book tell you. I have read many of the existing versions of the bible, and the actions of the Rabbi I met, are not what are held true in the text. If your faith is true, you may still question everything, and still learn the truths of your faith.
For those of you who are not Christian, I simply ask you to choose your actions based on love. When it comes to others, think how you would like them to treat you. Notice that I didn’t say, act as your God(desse)s would act? I am hip to the fact that not all of our God(desse)s are peaceful. If your faith is true, you may still question everything, and still learn the truths of your faith.
I would like more Christ, and less Christianity.