Are Both Possible?
Touching our minds, there is always some great story or explanation. Some way of helping our subconscious minds remind our conscious minds who and what we have seen, who and what we are, where we have come from and where we are working to be. Somewhere along the way, many of us lose ourselves in this translation. Somewhere along the way, many of us become afraid, lazy, disoriented by the truth. If we could only set ourselves free by accepting who and what we are and allow ourselves to grow. We truly know deep inside who we are, truly we do. We are swayed by society and our truth to allow ourselves to be that true being, that beautiful spirit, or like myself; we think there is no title to describe ourselves and it is so much easier to just hide who we are rather than expose ourselves or try to “create” a title. People ask why you need a title. Why a label? As much as we would all like to escape it, every single aspect of our lives seems to be this way. Everything has a name, a place, a title. No matter how hard we try, there is a category, a section, a title, a sense of belonging and a need to fall into some category that is out there. People think they know who and what you are, and they say “oh yes! You are a…” as if they truly understand the struggle of what it is to truly be this different being. This being who is so torn. Torn between beliefs, experiences, tragedies, life. What better time than now to give an example. Easter.
Not a hair out of place, eyes sparkling, little plump cheeks bouncing as they run, rosey from endlessly searching the yard for the gifts the Easter bunny had brought.
The time of children running from place to place searching desperately to find that shiny egg filled with treasure. Bonnets and white gloves, grandma’s sweet kisses, and proud smiles. Mothers fussing over their children’s outfits. Family dinners. Church gatherings. Those egg hunts were something though. I remember watching my own children running, all dressed up in little suits, pressed and ready from church. Not a hair out of place, eyes sparkling, little plump cheeks bouncing as they run, rosey from endlessly searching the yard for the gifts the Easter bunny had brought. The joy and smiles on their faces. When my daughter came along, the joy was immense; for now, her big brothers had someone to tell stories of the Easter bunny. I watched as they held her hand and ran with her through the fields, her golden hair flying behind her. Their aura beaming all around them, nothing could ever be so magical. Their giggles filling my head like music on heaven’s harp. If I close my eyes, I can still hear them screaming, laughing, running, the thump in the grass; I can smell the jellybeans and the chocolate. I can taste Easter and remember how it felt to squeeze the three of my little squishy babies in my arms telling them how the Easter bunny loved them but there was one who loved them more. Then came the story of Jesus.
For some reason we have to make their business our business and judge and then decide where we sit.
I grew up Catholic. I learned the Catholic way of Christ. It became what I knew. I will never speak against any religion, as (to me) a religion is a man-made system of beliefs, in which we used to keep us on the straight path to heaven. Do I feel some people took this as a power trip and abused this? Absolutely. Do I feel there is corruption in any and all religions? Absolutely. But if you expect me to bash any religions here, then you are mistaken. I will not. We have all made mistakes, we have all been led astray, we have all been in a place we shouldn’t have been. That being said, I grew up Catholic, and while appreciated the devotion, and the educational aspects of these practices, I felt as if there was something missing. Like…the soul. The soul was missing. For me, because for so many, I could see they were totally committed and devoted. It worked for them, but for me, it’s like there were wires connected but there just wasn’t any juice, no electricity. No flow. It was empty. It was a monotonous droning repetition of prayer and routine but no connection and love. I needed love and soul. I needed out. This God that I was being taught about seemed to be missing somehow, but I wanted more than anything to believe. Truly. Then there was Mary and Jesus. I believed truly that these wonderful people existed. I believed this story of the blessed virgin and her Son Jesus. I felt connected. It was not enough to keep me in the Catholic practice, however, so I left when I was in my late teens. I found myself in the Methodist Church when I turned 20. I found that the practices here were actually fairly similar to those of the Catholic church and that this would be an easy transition. There was no kneeling, and hardly any standing, which was odd to me, but I got over it quickly. It felt warm and inviting, and almost a touch of gospel. I thought this could be my home. I felt a connection. I think I was finding “God”. So, was God in the people then? Or was God in the church? My life was on a roller coaster, between sickness and an abusive marriage, rumors, and major life changes. I learned quickly that God was in fact in the people and for me, however it was not in this church after all. You see, as I grew to become a young woman, I learned about the human condition. As part of our human condition, we judge. We do not just surround people with love and support. For some reason we have to make their business our business and judge and then decide where we sit. That is what happened a lot in my life and it felt like it happened in this church I was in at the time. Some people loved me unconditionally. Some people saw the greatness in the human beings we were and helped each other grow. Some people just needed social status and limelight. Me; I found my place in my music, as I always had as a small child. I was always touched by music. Music was and is the gateway to the soul. When people changed in this church, so did my mind. I left here as well. Though I think there has always been a part of me that never really belonged. You see there is this part of me that is very secretive.
There was a small still secret that lived within me since I was a very small girl. Probably about 7 or 8. This girl that could connect with animals, nature, and people in a way others couldn’t. This girl that somehow had a knowledge that there were other things, other worlds other beings and connections. I needed to know more. I needed to learn. When I became a young woman, I no longer needed to create songs and poems of “magic” to make people and animals feel better. I could actually look in books now and find out about these other worlds and things and gods and goddesses I think I felt all my life. That is exactly what I did. Though I never strayed away from the one I grew up studying and loving. Jesus Christ. I had come to admire this wonderful prophet. He was a Savior in my eyes. There truly was a connection for me. The teaching of loving one another and eternal peace, the gentleness of His love, His ordinary life, His suffering. He was everything I wanted to learn and teach others to be. I wanted to follow in His footsteps. He radiated pure goodness and love, acceptance. Yet I had this feeling inside that I was led to find some kind of feminine power. Something that helped me see my inner power and gifts. To let me bring all that I am and all that I have to offer into fruition. The love that I have for His people is so immense and I want so much for people to feel loved. I want to love and give to others. That’s all I kept thinking. I am nurturing and mothering. Could this be the connection to Mary or something else? It was something else. I began to learn of other goddesses and of my sincere connection to the Moon. Eostre was a new connection in my life. The goddess of spring. She was celebrated and honored for bringing rebirth, and the renewal of the death of winter. The traditions of celebration through the Anglo-Saxons were adapted through Christianity and the english word Easter was derived from her name. Eostre was gentle and wonderful, so full of hope and life. The people loved her and celebrated her with festivals and feasts, I had come to connect with her and love her also. So many connections to a whole new world. I learned so many things about myself and how to heal and grow as I became a woman. Except how to label what I was becoming.
She took the injured bird into her arms as the bird was dying and healed it, saving it’s life by turning into a hare.
Getting back to Easter, I was confused. I had come to know this loving story of the Easter bunny. I believed in the story of Jesus Christ, wept for His crucifixion and celebrated His Resurrection. Then as I entered the beginning of my teenage life, I learned this whole new story about a Hare and eggs and fertility and spring. Life really took me on a whirlwind. I loved each of these stories; these events and like everything else in life, they all have a place. How was I to choose? I couldn’t choose, plain and simple. I studied and I searched my heart. I meditated and I practiced what I believed to be real to me. I called on my angels and my messengers. There is only one thing I have come to know:
I love the people, different, angry, happy and sad. I want to fill them with love and show them their greatness. I believe there is a God. There are many gods and goddess. The prophet I hold dearest to my heart is Jesus Christ. I cannot hold a grudge against a religion because of what has happened in the past. I cannot blame a people because of what has happened in the past. I know in my soul that Jesus Christ existed as man and lived and was crucified, died and was buried. I believe in His miracles and His teachings and this will never change for me. I had also come to know that the goddess of spring, Eostre, whom I had also become very connected with, for she was very beloved and gentle. Her story of Easter is that came across an injured bird at the end of winter. She took the injured bird into her arms as the bird was dying and healed it, saving it’s life by turning into a hare. To give thanks for this blessing, the hare laid eggs for the goddess every spring, signifying rebirth, new life, new beginnings and gratitude. The English word for Eostre is Easter, so to me, the combination of the two stories is Easter.
During the time that the blessed Jesus is crucified, we take time to remember what Christ did and how to follow in His footsteps to be better people, to love and support one another and our beautiful earth. On the day Christ is Resurrected, the hare is sent out to lay colorful eggs to remind everyone that spring is officially here, and we can celebrate new beginnings, rebirth, and life everlasting with the Divine. This is my New Year celebration. I gather my children and we celebrate Jesus, fertility, gods and goddess, and have a feast and ritual thanking the Divine for our crops and land, and our beautiful animals. We ask for continued support from the Divine for good health and nurturing and we celebrate with a love feast, and communion, which is a breaking of bread and sharing of juice that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ. We collect Easter eggs at the end of the day for fun, we color eggs, we share stories and a special meal. This to me is Easter; this is the Easter story. I still cannot tell you what my title is or where I fit in. I do not even know where that is. I dabble in a little bit of everything and I think everyone should. I believe our hearts and souls will best tells us what to believe in. If it involves love and support, then it cannot be all bad. I honor the beloved Christ. I honor other goddesses and gods. Where does your heart lie this Easter? What title do you have? Or perhaps you are like me and you have just decided that there is no right or wrong way to believe. I am who I am and I love to dabble in all parts of belief. This is the life I have lived always. Amen. So Mote It Be. Blessings Be Dear Ones.