Saturday, 31 January 2009

Why I'm a Vegetarian

Heifer whines could be human cries

Closer comes the screaming knife

This beautiful creature must die

This beautiful creature must die

A death for no reason

And death for no reason is murder

  - Morrissey

This time last week I decided to go vegetarian. It wasn’t an easy decision given that I was such a carnivore, but it’s been fermenting in my head for the past couple of months. I’ve noticed that when I’ve eaten out, I’ve often gone for a vegetarian option. When I met with my Feri group, most members were vegetarians and when we feasted, I didn’t miss meat.

There are a multitude of reasons for going vegetarian, yet I’m still to hear a convincing argument for being a carnivore. My main reasons are:

1)    Health – I’ve read countless reports on the health benefits of a herbivore lifestyle

2)    Economical – it’s cheaper!

3)    Ecological – I don’t think it’s ecologically correct to raise animals for meat, when crops provide more than enough food for us

4)    Spiritual

The last reason is a funny one, and was only pointed out to me by a fellow Witch. He said “Too much Krishna dude”. Yes, as a Feri trainee I work a lot with the Blue God, and I worship Him in His aspect as Krishna. Now, followers of Krishna generally have a vegetarian diet and whether I’ve subconsciously adopted it for that reason, tapped into the vegetarian meme via Krishna, or whether this is something that Krishna wants me to do if I’m going to serve Him, is unclear to me. I need to do some divination and journeying to discover the answer. But whatever the answer, I feel a lot better in myself by not eating meat.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Sitting Practice and our Sacred Dove

One of the core practices of Feri is the daily sitting practice, which is in essence a meditation on you. Rather than a guided pathworking or visualisation, the Feri practitioner learns to sit with hirself and pay attention to what is happening. I’ve been doing my sitting practice semi-diligently over the past three or four months and I’ve only recently realised the importance of this seemingly simple practice.

During my sitting practice, I connect to my Godself, my Ori, my Aumakua, and I observe its power to listen. Thorn points out that the Hebrew name for the Godself, Neshamah, contains the Hebrew word for ‘to listen’ – the Godself, the Sacred Dove, listens and watches with compassion. When we feel like we can’t sit any longer, our Sacred Dove looks on compassionately. It is the part of ourselves that loves unconditionally, and when we engage in sitting practice, we engage in self-love, recognising ourselves as divine.

While I’ve been doing this practice for months, I’ve begun to reach ecstatic states only in the past couple of weeks. I feel more embodied, and towards the end of the practice, which centres on focusing on my breath, I feel mana flowing into me on every breath, making me aware of all my parts.

And from that, I can reach ecstasy and union with the Gods. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Inauguration Day

Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States.

Sure, he may have fluffed his lines. Sure, he may have had an overtly Christian service.

But watching the inauguration on TV filled me with hope for the future, something that has been slowly ebbing away over the past eight years. Even though I'm not a US citizen, the whole world has felt the effects of an aggressive foreign policy headed by Bush.

So, now we can breathe again, but this is only the beginning.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A Sneak Preview of Enlightenment

As mentioned in a previous post, daily practice is essential to the Feri tradition, and I’ve found this emphasis on daily commitment to prayer, meditation, and energy work inspiring, difficult, ecstatic, and worthwhile. My daily practice has evolved to a more simple flow of energy work and prayer, which generally takes about 20 minutes every morning. This doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you have to leave the house at 7am to get to work, it can mean that sometimes the Work doesn’t get done. Nevertheless, I’ve been doing my daily practice (semi-) diligently over the past few months, and I consider it the very foundation of my day. With this attitude and intention, I find the daily practice very satisfying. It’s the days when I don’t feel like doing it that I find the most useful, if not exactly the most spiritually satisfying.

One of the key tools in the Feri bag of tricks is the Ha Prayer, which is the method to achieve alignment of the Triple soul. I’ve found over the past few months, as I’ve been getting my soul into more alignment, that I am quicker to anger and to react to things. I am a lot more sexual these days, and I crave connection to other people. Victor said that complexes developed in the Vivi, or the Younger self. I believe that I’m starting to work through some complexes, and by expressing my emotions more easily I am freeing myself of the energy that would accumulate in my soul if I suppressed them. Like most people, I do this far to often. As my Vivi and Emi are coming into more alignment with each other, I’m beginning to see and feel the direct links between physical and mental sex, in that I’m craving more than just physical connection with others. And as my Ori comes into alignment with the other parts, I’m catching glimpses of the inherent divinity in others. It might only last a millisecond (like on Wednesday, when I felt a serene love towards a classmate, who I had never spoken to before) but it’s as if the Star Goddess is giving me sneak previews into what True Alignment and Enlightenment might entail.


Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Divine Will - a rant thereof

Divine Will. The Will of God. When we speak of Divine Will, we often associate it with more mainstream (and more often than not the Abrahamic) religions, so it was a surprise to me to read T Thorn Coyle's latest post, in which she mentions that "...[she is] working on a project...that [her] Gods seem to want manifested". While I normally admire her work, I can't help but feel that her trying to declare what her Gods' wills are is a little bit...arrogant. 

The expression of a supposed knowledge of 'Divine Will' seems to me to be very incendiary, and more often than it is discussed in terms of an "us versus them" mentality. At its most benign, it reminds me of footballers who cross themselves before going onto the pitch, trying to invoke the aid of their God during their game. At its worst, it is George Bush saying that God told him to go to war. How often have we heard "God is on our side"?

I think that at times it can seem as if the Gods are indeed "on your side" but I think it's impossible to discover the Will of the Divine, especially if we subscribe to the idea that our Gods are not omnipotent. If the Gods do indeed help you, that doesn't necessarily mean that they approve of what you're doing. 

Anyway, rant over. 

Friday, 2 January 2009

My Relationship with Quakoralina

Holy Mother, in Whom we live, move, and have our being, from You all things emerge and unto You all things return...

In Feri, every spiritual act is begun with the prayer to the Star Goddess, above, also called Quakoralina in the Tradition. She is not invoked, rather She is acknowledged, since She is Everything and Nothing, and therefore it is impossible to invoke Her. She is not feminine per se, but we refer to Her as Her to emphasise Her powers of birth and creation. She is all possibility, all potential. And She is all sexuality. 

For some reason or another, the Star Goddess has been the most difficult of the Feri deities for me to relate to. She just seems less personal than the other Gods, even though by definition I am a part of Her and She is a part of me. The other Gods are easy for me to visualise and relate to; I can pray to Them and even on some occasions invoke Them but it is different with Quakoralina. Perhaps it's because She is less limited than the others. The Blue God is less effected by other people and things: He will always be the Blue God and is easy to love. But the Star Goddess includes all those things I don't like: She is all the bigots and violent people in the world, She is racism and sexism and homophobia. If She truly is everything, how can I love Her if these things are intrinsically a part of Her? Perhaps it is not so much that these things are a part of Her, but that human frailty is. 

(Side note...Just heard on the TV a character saying "Holy Mother of God". Don't you just love synchronicity?)

So how do I relate to the Star Goddess now? I have always been attracted to Catholic images of the Virgin Mary and in Feri, the Star Goddess is seen as Virgin given that She brought forth the Universe on Her own, by Her own power. So, I use images of the Virgin when I pray to the Star Goddess as a way of relating to Her. And slowly but surely, I'm beginning to love the Goddess, rather than just respecting or acknowledging Her. 

It's a slow process, but like all relationships, it will take time and commitment. But I know it's going to be worth it.