Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eclectic Spirituality

This week I shall write about "Eclectic Spirituality".

Having been baptized and raised to my adolescence as Catholic...
then accompanying my mom on her spiritual journey thru many faiths...
(Baptist/Presbyterian/Seventh Day Adventist/Pentecostal/Episcopalian)
to my own search (Dutch Reformed/Methodist/United Methodist/Wicca-Pagan path)
Having friends that were Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist....
till I found that I was None...and yet All of these.

My affiliation with the Unitarian Universalist Church seemed like the place for me with all my eclectic beliefs.
(Their motto is: "Room for different beliefs...YOURS." :)

I find Peace and Tolerance to many faiths thru this Eclectic Spiritual Journey.

For instance: I love and accept and admire totally-

Jesus with his kindness and total love for others. Even the untouchables and the unloveable.
Mary- with her faith as a Mother Goddess
Mary Magdalene- with her unconditional love and her sensual past, and her total devotion.
I SO much IDENTIFY with her.
I also accept the wisdom of the Greek Gods especially:

Zeus (Jupiter)- All Powerful and Patriarch. Big Daddy with a temper sometimes. He can fix things! Or break them.
Hera- The Goddess of Marriage and Home (who also has a temper, like most wives :)

Aphrodite (Venus)- Goddess of Love and Beauty...with her Feminine beauty and wiles. She's no prude. She teaches us to be at ONE with our sexuality...which is a GIFT of the Gods. This is something which we women all need to be reminded of from time to time.
Poseidon (Neptune) - God of the Sea ...especially when I travel by water! He can be calm, wild, deep, shallow...he controls all the life within it. And WE are 98% water, remember?
Pan (Faunas)-God of Mischief! Music! Sex! Playfulness! Raaaaowwr!!! :)

Dionysus (Bacchus) - God of Libations! I do worship a delicious goblet of wine, mead or tankard of ale from time to time too. I sometimes even dribble a bit on the ground to honor him.

And then there is:

Ganesh- Remover of Obstacles! With lots of strong arms to take problems AWAY! Sometimes I really need Ganesh to help me move MOUNTAINS!

Buddha- for his calm, thoughtful Zen wisdom. How can you not like this Guy?
When you meditate..."smile with your liver" to bring happiness into your being! I feel in touch with Buddha and Ganesh when I do my Yoga...

Pele- Fiery Goddess of Power, for purging endings clean and making new beginnings fresh!
She can sterilize it and let new things and creativity grow again.

Kwan Yin- For her most loving heart of Compassion, she offers it to All. She is wise, and it's good for us to find this sensitivity within and without.

Then there are the Archangels that I admire and lean on:
Michael- my friend and who can carry all burdens, protector and advice giver. Ask him to help you at anytime, anywhere. He will be there for you.

Gabriel-Rebirth, Creativity, Purification

Ariel- for Healing, Angel of animals

Raphael- Angel of Love, Laughter and Joy

Personally, I find that "cherry picking" has best suited my understanding of the World and its cultures and helps to heal me and to stabilize my Spiritual Quest and it has answered many of my Theological questions in one way or another!

Maybe this Eclectic thing was originally created in me by the Catholic religion and all it's lovely Saints and Angels, Bishops and Priests and stained glass window to look up to and admire. Who knows?

What I do know is that in my heart there is a God/Goddess/Angel for every situation.

I mean, what Catholic hasn't prayed to St. Christopher for safe travels?

Or to Saint Anthony to find something lost?
(BTW~ I still have a fob, which I found one day...that has a St. Anthony medal on it. I was amused! I will always keep it in a special place to remind me.)

Some folks would say that this kind of belief is sacrilege or blasphemy.

But I think it actually Honors our World, the Universe, the Universal Spirit (whatever it really is, it may be hard to describe, name or label) and it makes us understand our diverse populations and historic culture better.

I find Peace when I can pray to those who are in Charge of such things.

It's like the saying: "The right tool for the right job."

That's the ticket!

While you can use a universal tool....
sometimes it's best to specialize.

Case in point:
I could go to my Family Doctor for a toothache...
but a Dentist may be the better call....
Even then...
he may refer me to an Endodontist.

So that's the way I feel about it.

Specialized Faith.

Eclectic Spirituality=

The right God or Goddess or Angel for any particular situation.

Seems logical to me.

For more writings on this letter of the week from other writers, CLICK HERE



Harzgeist said...

"Cherry-picking," as you've called it, isn't my path, but I'm intrigued to see how well it's working out for you!
May I ask how you honour the different Gods and saints? Like, is there one general ritual that you do and just call upon different Gods for different problems, or do you use a more culture-specific ritual, e.g. one modelled on Greek rituals when you honour Zeus?

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I like to think that I honor the moment.

Having grown up in a One Way Only Catholic home, I find comfort in knowing the vast amount of tolerance that does co-exist, and have found Peace there.

A most beautiful blog!


Merlyn said...

Thank you. Me too. I don't think you really need to have "specifics" when it comes to worship. It's not something that the Gods have to have in my opinion, but rather, something that we choose to do for them.

They accept what we give them freely.

They are there for us as we are there for them.

Homelight said...

"Cherry pick?" I believe that each believe system doesn't have the handle the truth. If these pieces from the many beliefs help and guide you on your path - right on.

Because - this has been how I have marched down my journey.

Loona Wynd said...

I'm interested in learning how you combine all of the elements you mentioned as a part of your practice. I have an affinity for Mary (both), Jesus, and several of the Greek Gods you listed as well as the angels.

I'm still trying to get a better understanding of how I am going to work with angels in my practice. I enjoy angels and I do on occasions use the LBRP as part of my practice.

There is much to learn here. While we may both differ in how we go about combining our eclectic practices into a cohesive whole I do respect all eclectics.

Merlyn said...

Thank you. I think it just depends on what you need, and when. You don't have to honor them all at once, some are for some things and others are best for others.

Angels work well in prayers or maybe you could consult Angel cards as a daily Oracle.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts. We all need to realize that we are all just trying to be helpful here. Not judgemental. Harm none. Sometimes our writings bother folks. It's ok, as long as we have put them forth with LOVE.

Sometimes folks don't realize what they say or how it sounds. Maybe they meant no harm. Posting with love....even critiques are fine, as long as it is done for someone's greatest and highest good.
That's all I wanted to say.

Our actions cause ripples. Lets just try to make the water as calm and loving and still so that others can find peace too :)

Hugs to you all.

Rainbow said...

Thank you so much, Merlyn, for this lovely post. I love the balance you've described among different traditions. I unfortunately don't have nearly the knowledge that you do, but for those I do, I connect with them completely spontaneously.

For instance, I once dreamt of a woman holding a baby who was wearing an Egyptian headdress with a coiled snake on it. I discovered that it was Wadjet, a goddess of protection. Clearly she was protecting that which was being born within me at the time of the dream. In any case, when I feel the need for protection, my thoughts and prayers will turn to Wadjet, and I feel safer.

I think when we learn about different spiritual traditions, whatever resonates with us is "programmed" within us this way so that the choice of which representative of Spirit to communicate with is intuitive.


Anonymous said...

I found your post through a link from Rainbow's Pagan Blog Project post for 'E'.
When reading, I thought of something that I had thought of before, but your post clarified it a bit for me: I was raised on a 'one faith' household, and that was so very limiting to me. Eclecticism allows me to experience many gods and holy personages in such personal ways - I truly enjoy the freedom to connect with many different deities. It sounds like you do, too! Thanks for sharing!

Merlyn said...

Yes, I find it to be so too. They become much more approachable, by linking to them for their strong points and admiring them tolerantly for their individual wisdom. Glad you liked it! :)