Showing posts from March, 2013

It Is Finished


The Tree Looms

In Norse tradition, Odin sacrifices Himself to Himself by hanging on Yggdrasil, the world tree, for nine nights, wounds himself with a spear, and dies. He wakes with the knowledge of the whole universe, contained in the Runes. This comes from a 13th century poem, so Christianity and Norse Paganism had coexisted for about 300 years at the time this was written. It's entirely possible the story has been influenced by the Crucifixion, as hanging from a tree is not a normal method of sacrifice nor punishment for the Norse. Scholars are divided on the subject. Today is Holy Thursday , the traditional observance of the Last Supper, where Jesus partakes of the unleavened bread and glasses of wine, telling his followers these are his body and blood. He also did a curious thing, he washed his disciples' feet, and he gave them a new commandment. I won't repeat it, I'm sure you know it. In the midst of all this fellowship, this love between friends and family, this observance


Paul says it best: If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child

Next Year, in Jerusalem!

Last night, I was privileged to attend a seder, given by our former neighbors in Newberg. It was fairly non-traditional, with jokes and power point slides and the like. Paddy, the kids and I all attended, and we all had a wonderful, wonderful time. Seder is the Jewish dinner that commemorates Passover. You can find all of the information Wikipedia has pertaining to it here . It's a fantastically complex ritual. We arrived at four, and left at 10, and everyone said it was a fairly quick Seder, as folks had to work the next day. Passover is a celebration of tensions. Freedom and slavery. Obedience and disobedience. Absence and presence. The past, the present, and the future all collide as the Jewish people remember their origins, take stock of their current situation, and hope for the coming of the Messiah. And we joined with them, for there is no separation between these things. I thought it was amazing, and the kids all enjoyed it. We all learned stuff, we ate great food, we

Four Days

There's four days left until we kill our God. In reality, we kill him every day. We kill him with our inattention, our callousness, our self interest instead of regard for others. We kill him in small ways with our indifference to the sufferings of those around us. We kill him with our indifference to the sufferings of those in much worse circumstances than ourselves, far away, in places with funny names and weird weather. We, as a result of the Fall, spend every day trying to kill the spark, to drown out the promise of the Divine, to bury it under our misuse of all the gifts of our world. We take the food we eat, the drink we are given, and  consume to excess, letting scraps rot while others starve. We buy the cheapest clothes, made by slave labor in far away places, made by environmentally unfriendly practices by those with no regard for the future. We pursue our illusions of power and money and status as if they were real, creating conditions where the only options are to tr

Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday, From John 12:12-19: The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!” "Look, the world has gone

Why a Johannite?

When I first started on this path, a friend of mine asked me why I was ordained as a gnostic, rather than in some other church. Lately, I've been thinking about why I chose the Johannite path, rather than just being a solitary gnostic, or another wisdom tradition, maybe some for of Americanized Eastern thought or even a mystical but orthodox Christianity. The Johannite path has a number of qualities it emphasizes that appeal to me, and most of them are expressed in dualities. It's as though one quality drives the Church and its members forward, while the other quality reigns the activity in and keeps it from becoming too extreme. For example: We are an innovative church. We have a number of approved rituals for use at the Eucharist and a great deal of latitude in how we perform the other rituals. Yet we are a traditional church, using older forms of governance and honorifics, and keeping us within due bounds. We use modern technology and ancient rituals. We have modern soc

New Orleans

Today was my last day in New Orleans and I am both happy to be heading back toward home, and sad to be leaving a city I consider a home away from home. New Orleans and I have a mixed history. I came here the first time when I was 16. It was the first time I remember being treated like an adult. My sister was in a basketball tournament, so my parents were busy chaperoning the team and I was left to my own devices during the day. I walked down Decatur Street by myself, and went to St. Louis Cathedral. I had never seen a Church so big. I went to a restaurant not far from the French Market, and had an iced tea and peppered the waitress with all kinds of questions just to hear her talk. I may have fallen a bit in love. I paid for my tea and left a tip that was about five times what the bill came to, all in change. And as I walked through the heat to our hotel, I feel in love with that old, dirty, exciting, wonderful city. I was walking around last night, and in one of the tacky souvenir sho


So, I'm in a city where I don't know many esoteric people. I emailed a few folks before I left, and someone wrote back to me. The Alombrados Oasis 's secretary wrote to me, and told me they were having a public Equinox ritual, and that I was welcome to attend. So, I asked when and where it was. They told me the address, and said it would be at 5 am. Since the Equinox technically happened at 5:02 am, I thought "Fine, they're going to start right at the Equinox". What happened next was all my own issue. 1) I thought it was going to be a firm start time of 5 am, and was prepared to be a little early. 2) I thought it was going to be in the ritual hall. 3) I didn't ask any questions. So, I show up at the address at 5 am, ready to ritual. I have an Esoteric Book Conference t-shirt and my bag, as I'm assuming the ritual space will be rather warm. I'm the first one there. All the doors are locked. Ok, now what? I called some folks, I rang

Making an effort

Today, I took advantage of an opportunity presented by Microsoft.  About 120-150 people who are attending the Microsoft Dynamics conference volunteered to do community outreach in the Gentilly neighborhood. During Katrina, the neighborhood was 8-10 feet underwater, and the the area didn't drain for four weeks. Many of the old houses were completely ruined, and many more needed tons of repairs. Many of the old magnolia trees in the medians also died at this time. A local pastor and a local organizer have been bringing in groups to help rebuild. It's been 8 years  and a lot of houses are repaired and look nice. I saw at least 12 that now sported solar panels.  However, many more still have caved in roofs or boarded up windows. There's still a lot to be done. Our group framed up 3 houses, made 500 yards of fencing for a nearby playground, landscaped 5 homes, worked on the community center's gym, and planted 190 trees. I was only there a half day, and assigned to help

Ecce Panis Angelorum

Today, I was fortunate enough to attend the Eucharist at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. I heard the sermon by the Archbishop, who spoke about Pope Francis I, and his former life as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. He also referred to the Eucharist as 'The Mysteries' several times, and I was pleased with his Pagan Formulations. Behind the altar, an ornate tabernacle was contained between two pillars with a piedment on top, and the piedment said "Ecce Panis Angelorum", "Behold the Bread of the Angels". I'm afraid the picture wasn't very clear, but it's written right under the triangular part at the top. In any case, the image of it sent me into a meditation on the House of Sacrifice. The entrance to the house has two pillars: Sarx and Pneuma, Corpus and Anima, Body and Breath. These columns support the piedment of the Supernal Virtues: Dike, Eleos, and Kudos; Jusiticia, Clementia, Gloria; Justice, Mercy, and Glory. That meditation took me


I'll be traveling today to New Orleans. I've missed 4 posts getting ready to go and just from Saturdays which have been incredibly busy. So, on Sunday I think I'll catch up.  I have 3-4 things percolating in my head, and lucky you, you get to read them. Keep me in your prayers as I hurtle through the atmosphere in a pressurized metal tube that's heavier than air at speeds which Humanity Was Not Meant To Travel (TM). Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Lenten Blogging

I started this with so much hope. I had a whole bunch of blog posts in mind, I was even 5 days up, had a buffer, so that I could miss a day if I needed to and still have something to post. I was posting during the day, on my lunch hour, and I had pretty good quality posts. Now, on day 25 of my Lenten Practice, I'm tired, I'm behind by two days on posting, and I'm out of ideas and buffer. I'm starting to post late at night, last thing of the day, when I'm already fatigued and not at my best. This is affecting the quality of my posts is showing it. I'm starting to do the post because I must, not because I want to, to educate anyone, or to get something out of my head. I'm resentful of my practice. I'm angry that it's one more thing I HAVE to do. I just want to quit. I want to start watching TV or playing video games or clean rabbit cages or do ANYTHING rather than post another blog. Funny, isn't it, the way our minds work. " For what

Farm Update

We completed our move to the farm on February 28th. We're still in the midst of the unpacking phase, but here is what we've accomplished so far: we obtained 33 chicks. About 28 have survived. We think they might have been too cold. we have also obtained 3 rabbits who will be our breeding stock. We're planted all our roses including the St. John's variety. we put the bed frame together. we have improved the fencing. we've been to show in a horse competition in Salem. Paddy has cut down a whole bunch of blackberry bushes, which are quite the nuisance out here. that's all for now. I'm trying to write this on my Kindle and it is getting too frustrating.


Once again I lay before the gentle reader, a total lack of ideas of what to write about. One of the reasons I took such a long hiatus from this blog was my belief that all my posts had to be profound and original. In a sea of human experience of billions of individuals, my voice had to be unique, I had to put forth new ideas, new thoughts. I had to be creative. However, as I've been meditating on creativity, I've come to realize something: It's both utterly unique and an activity of reproducing. When we think about reproducing, we usually think biology. Two creatures of the same type get together to create reproductions of their genetic code. Copies. The copies are not perfect, but the source material is the other two creatures. The combination of the DNA of the two parents is unique, but the offspring are still of the same species. It's the same with any artistic or creative endeavor. While our individual creation is unique to us, it is of a type, whether it&

The Tale of the Prophet

In 1998, in New Orleans, I met a prophet. His name was Fred Snyder, and he was a former member of the Church of God founded by Herbert W. Armstrong . Fred was a fifty year old biblical literalist, a sabbath keeping pork avoiding non-fiber mixing former Marine and widower. He was fascinating to an impressionable young man like me, in the big city for the first time. He'd done so much, had so many stories, and was a fabulous teller of tales. We met because I was in a coffee shop discussing the witch clause in Deuteronomy with a stripper named Misty. He interrupted, and he and his friend sat down and eventually the stripper left but they stayed, and we talked long into the night. He taught me numerous things: Taking the bible literally didn't necessarily mean taking what people said about it literally. He argued lots and lots with pastors about what the bible said, not what they wanted it to say. Strong's Concordance was a well thumbed book in his house. He thought there

Jupiter Work: More results

Good news everyone !  Today in the financial realm: Paddy has found a new job! We got pre-qualified for a new truck loan, which will reduce payments and overall cost of the loan! Chicken coop is already for the 30 layers we're going to get on Saturday (producing eggs for another stream of income). I give thanks to Tzadkiel, Jupiter, and the Most High for their aid, assistance, and continued gifts of our health and necessary wealth. It's late, I'm tired, and this is technically a post. I'll do a more substantial post tomorrow. Good night.

Sorcery vs. Fate

I usually like to be sparked by someone or something else in order to write. I'm kind of reactive that way, and it's a failing I'm trying to get over by requiring a post every day during Lent (and I'm down one).  Today, my interest was sparked by The Unlikely Mage  and his ongoing series of Money Magic postings regarding trying to improve his situation. It's been fun to read, as I'm currently reading other stuff that basically ignores the magic and the intersection between the magician and his material wealth. Magical Knowledge I definitely reacts poorly to the idea of using magic to improve your material lot, seeing the exercise of magical power as a spiritual endeavor. "The Secret Practices of the Sufis" obliquely addresses the Islamic concept of Maktub, or fate (It is written). So, it's nice to see someone working their will in opposition to the stars and currents around them. I heard an anecdote about one magician who swore he was star-crossed.

The body as soul

Today, I have gotten most of the way through " Secret practices of the Sufi Freemasons " by Baron Rudolf Von Sebottendorff (Introduction and Translation by Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D). I've found it to be a wonderful book (Thanks  +Jeffrey S. Kupperman  for the book!) with some very interesting insights that I've also found echoed partially in Josephine McCarthy's Magical Knowledge I . The part that has been echoed is an emphasis on the training of the physical body in regards to esoteric practice. I think it's all too common to forget, especially for gnostics, that the Body is part of the Soul. The Egyptians thought so. Some Jews think so. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says "Your body is the temple of God".  In my opinion, it's a valid Johannite doctrine*. Now, I don't mean to imply that body worship is advocated as a spiritual practice. However, I do think that any spiritual practice without a physical component is missing something. Centering pray

A bag of meat

Today, I was told that Fr.  +Donald Donato  has a phrase he likes. "It's not easy being meat." No, it is not. Today, my meat gave out. I spent the weekend doing wonderful occult things which I cannot discuss, taking in horse shows, and celebrating the Eucharist. I drove 311 miles and had a bit of sleep and a bit of fellowship and a lot of food I don't usually eat. Today, my stomach was all inflamed and I was nauseous, and I had to go home early. I still don't feel good. So, the post today is light, and I still owe one from Saturday. My spirit is strong and feeling well, but my meat is tired. Good night, see you in the morning.


It seems many of my meandering posts start with quotes. This one is no different. I drove past a baptist church today, and on the the little sign board it said "Doubt your doubts, not your beliefs." Bullshit. Your beliefs are the ideas you have to doubt the most. The certainties must be put to the test. Beliefs are not knowledge. Neither is trivia, or information. Once beliefs, trivia, or information is put to the test, it becomes knowledge. And as we know, knowledge is what saves. Once we become certain, we stop questioning. I don't need to wonder about what's going to happen to a pen when I let it go anymore, I know it's going to drop. If I try an experiment, the pen will drop every time while I'm on earth.*  So, certainty. If I do that with a belief, it's a different matter. What if I believe I'll go to heaven if I eat 45 pounds of pasta? I can test that, and find out I'm wrong. So, what about other religious beliefs, can I test them a